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Make An Emergency Preparedness Plan For Your Family

Let’s face it. Sooner or later your family will encounter a natural disaster or similar emergency event that requires you to jump into action to stay safe and sound. Doing so will become much easier when you go in prepared and with a plan. Here are three basic questions that you should ask yourself to formulate an emergency preparedness plan for your family.

Where Will You Go?

The first question you need to ask yourself is where you will go when an emergency arises. Will you stay at home and shelter in place? Will you head out of town and evacuate? If you are heading out, where will you go and where will you stay?

These are important questions and you don’t want to make those decisions when you are in the middle of a disaster. Those are stressful times and it can be hard to make smart decisions quickly in those situations. A big part of your emergency preparedness plan should be to think through possible scenarios and then get the information you need ahead of time. For example, figure out what routes you can take to get out of the area, determine where you want to go if possible, and then get the contact information for a hotel or the people you’ll be staying with.

How Will You Stay In Touch?

There is nothing scarier than not being able to get in touch with loved ones during a disaster or emergency event. Just as important is being able to get news and emergency alerts or announcements. Think about how you will accomplish this both while you’re on the road and when you’re staying in your home or emergency shelter.

Making sure everyone has a mobile phone is a great start. Don’t forget that these devices need to be charged. Having chargers, including car chargers with you is a must. An additional battery, or a backup power supply will come in very handy as well.

Be conservative with your device usage to make the battery power last as long as possible. It’s important to talk to your kids about this ahead of a disaster and remind them regularly.

Don’t rely on just your smart phone for news and communication. A backup plan will come in handy when you can’t get a good connection or run out of power on your device. Designate a meeting point or a person that everyone contacts when you can’t get a hold of each other. Have a backup solution for finding out what’s going on like a weather radio.

What Supplies Do You Need?

The more prepared you are, the safer and more comfortable you’ll be when the inevitable happens. Depending on what natural disaster you face, where you live, who is part of your family, and simple things like weather will determine the supplies you need.

Start with the basics you need for survival including food, water, shelter, and medication. Don’t forget about your pets. From there, start thinking about creature comforts like light, entertainment, and the likes. Having a headlamp and a good book can make waiting out a power outage a lot more pleasant. Add a cup of hot chocolate made with a camping stove, hot water, and instant cocoa mix makes it even more pleasant. Be prepared and you’ll greatly increase your chances of making it through the emergency or disaster just fine.

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Do You Know What Disasters You Should Be Prepared For?

It doesn’t matter where you live, chances are that sooner or later you’ll face some sort of a disaster that will leave you without power, water, or access to buy more. It could be a natural disaster like a hurricane, snow storm, flood, tornado, or earthquake. Or it could be a manmade disaster that has the power grid failing or requires you to stay put in your home for a few days or even weeks. The world can be a harsh place, but there’s something we can do. We can prepare for the disasters most likely to occur in our area.

Your first step in your own disaster preparedness should be to find out what types of emergency situations you need to get ready for. Take a few minutes to review the types of disasters your area is prone to. This is particularly important for natural disaster. If you live in Florida or the South Easter US coast, you should prepare for hurricane season. If you live in the North East or south of the Great Lakes, you should get ready for big snow storms. If you’re in the Mid-West, or South West, chances are you’ll come across a tornado or two. In California, you may prepare for earthquakes.

Next, think about possible man-made disasters. If you live near a dam, you may need a plan of action for flooding. If you live near a nuclear plant, you should think about a way to get out quickly if something were to happen at the plant. You get the idea. What disasters we prepare for will be different for a lot of us and what sort of emergency plan you have will depend on those variables.

Once you have your list of disasters that you need to prepare for, it may be a good idea to consider if and when you would try to prepare to stay at your home and ride it out, and when it may be time to evacuate. Obviously those decisions may be outside of your control, such as in the event of a mandatory evacuation, but there will also be plenty of times when the decision is up to you.

Think about what makes the most sense to you and your family. If you are able to stay put, you can take care of issues as they pop up and prevent further damage. If a storm blows out a window, you can board it up and prevent water from coming in for example. At other times, it may be safer and more convenient to get out of the disaster’s way. For those cases as well as mandatory evacuation, think about where you would go. Do you have family or friends you can stay with? If that’s not an option, look into an area you may want to travel to and get the numbers of a few hotels. Things move fast when a storm hits and evacuations are ordered. You don’t want to waste time on trying to make those decisions then and lose out on a hotel room for yourself and your loved ones. Shelters should always be a last resort. Trust me, it’s not the most comfortable place to make it through a disaster.


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Mindfulness for Couples

Relationships are hard work. People get busy with life and simply neglect to nourish their union. Sometimes it turns into a competition for time between family, work and self-care. With all that happens in a day or even a week, what’s left over for sustaining a relationship? Exactly that, leftovers.

Unintentionally, we often overlook feeding our partners with what is necessary for a healthy relationship. Mindfulness for couples is used, more often than not, in couples counseling sessions by the professionals. Why wait until there’s so much turmoil you need couch time in a therapists’ office? There are plenty of exercises you could initiate now!

First, let’s take a look at the mindfulness concept. In a nutshell, the practice of mindfulness is being present in the moment, becoming aware of the situation at hand and accepting, without judgment, what’s happening. It might sound complicated but it’s rather simple, it just takes practice.

For instance, when an individual is stressed out and on the verge of breaking, a professional counselor trained in mindfulness techniques might recommend a “time-out”. Go to a quiet space, sit down with your back straight and do breathing exercises.

Take a deep breath in through the nose counting to three and slowly exhale out through the mouth counting to five. Listen to your body and simply be aware; concentrate only on your breathing and how it makes you feel.

How Can Mindfulness Benefit a Relationship?

Mindfulness for couples is much the same, only with your partner. No, not necessarily breathing exercises but there are plenty of exercises you can do with your mate that will help develop a greater understanding of their emotional state.

Many of us wait until we are in the middle of a screaming match before trying to effectively communicate, but by that point no one is really willing to listen, words go flying and feelings get mutilated. This is followed by regret and maybe an apology or even the silent treatment; neither of which are healthy and both can be avoided.

Specific Mindfulness Methods

Let’s take a look at some mindfulness for couples techniques that might be useful:

Daily Affirmation

It’s one thing to tell your love that you appreciate something they are doing or have done, but when you give them your undivided attention, look them in the eyes and follow the affirmation with how it makes you feel, it is far more appreciatively received, and it sticks.

To go a step further, your partner would effectively reiterate what you’ve just told them in their own words. For example, “I love it when you rub my back after a long day at work; it makes me feel like you care that I’m tense and want to help.” Your partner would then follow-up with his interpretation of what you’ve just relayed.

Scheduled Date Night

Sounds simple enough right? But there are rules! Put your devices down if you are enjoying a meal together, look each other in the eyes and engage in meaningful conversation. Avoid topics that would cause critique or conflict. Open your ears and hear what your partner is saying without thinking of an immediate response while they are still talking.

If you are going to a movie or a play, hold hands while sitting, share the same popcorn and soda, and then talk about your opinions on the show afterward. Any event will work and if you both don’t share the same ideas on what you should do, alternate.

He wants to see a movie and she wants to have a picnic in the park? Easy. One thing this week, the other next week. Be excited to spend the quality time with one another and fully engage, mindfully and purposefully. Whatever you do, don’t skip out on your mate and reschedule!

Most importantly, if it’s not “your thing”, don’t disassociate. Make an extra effort to consciously focus, experience and participate. Make memories. That is what mindfulness is and does.

Ask and Ye Shall Receive

Sit down with your loved one and create a list of things that make each of you happy and deliriously in love. Remember when you were dating and he brought you flowers or when she would nibble on your ears? Write. It. Down.

Use a list or even put cut these suggestions out on strips of paper and place them in a jar. Each week grab one out and do it. Suggestions? Hold hands while watching TV. Bring a surprise home after work; a candy bar, a new perfume, a flower you picked from the neighbors yard… anything, but make sure it’s sincere.

Write a love note. Cook and serve a meal. Grocery shop together. These things are simple but could mean the world to your lover.

Mindfulness for couples doesn’t necessarily mean you have to gaze into each other’s eyes and profess your undying affection. There are endless “exercises” you could incorporate into your daily lives that will create a mutual love and adoration. And when you are mindful with your love and adoration guess what happens? You are less likely to explode during the tough conversations inevitable in any relationship.

Mindfulness is the Opposite of Taking for Granted

Engaging your conscious mind to be more mindfully aware of loving and being loved will move your relationship from a should be/could be/would be existence to an “is now” experience.

You both will subconsciously reflect on how loved you are and that you are in this together, thus creating a stronger team and much greater respect for your mate. It’s a win-win! Don’t stop with these few suggestions though. Find what works best in your relationship and for your given situation.

You wouldn’t neglect your body of food or water, right? Relationships take constant work and nurturing as well. Mindfulness for couples is work, yes, but it’s so worth it! Give your relationship the fuel it deserves to grow and succeed!

Mindfulness | Personal Development
  • Make An Emergency Preparedness Plan For Your Family

    Let’s face it. Sooner or later your family will encounter a natural disaster or similar emergency event that requires you to jump into action to stay safe and sound. Doing so will become much easier when you go in prepared and with a plan. Here are three basic questions that you should ask yourself to […]

  • Do You Know What Disasters You Should Be Prepared For?

    It doesn’t matter where you live, chances are that sooner or later you’ll face some sort of a disaster that will leave you without power, water, or access to buy more. It could be a natural disaster like a hurricane, snow storm, flood, tornado, or earthquake. Or it could be a manmade disaster that has […]

  • Mindfulness for Couples

    Relationships are hard work. People get busy with life and simply neglect to nourish their union. Sometimes it turns into a competition for time between family, work and self-care. With all that happens in a day or even a week, what’s left over for sustaining a relationship? Exactly that, leftovers. Unintentionally, we often overlook feeding […]

  • mindfulness for pain

    Mindfulness for Chronic Pain

    Chronic pain. It’s horrendous, obviously painful, often debilitating and causes a plethora of other issues when conventional treatments fail. Chronic pain sufferers commonly experience anything from anxiety and depression to pain medication side-effects and addiction. All of this on top of excruciating pain that can’t seem to be controlled. Using the mindfulness approach for chronic […]

  • mindfulness for busy moms

    Mindfulness for Busy Moms

    Life with kids is hectic, to say the least. If you’re lucky enough to get one down for a nap, the others will inevitably require your immediate undivided attention, the third snack for the day or your taxi skills to get to another activity. Moms are on the move! They typically don’t get the luxury […]

  • aroma aromatic assortment bottles

    Drying and Preserving Medicinal Herbs and Plants

    Being able to properly harvest and preserve your herbs after planting them is a very important part of creating your own herbal pharmacy. Below are all the steps you can take to easily preserve your medicinal herbs. Step 1.) Harvesting Flowers For flowering herbs like calendula, rose and lavender; harvest just before the flowers open. […]

  • Kielbasa Bow Tie Skillet

    Kielbasa Bow Tie Skillet

    Cook pasta..  Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute the sausage and garlic in butter.  Combine cornstarch and milk until…

  • six potted plants close up photo

    Herbs You Can Grow At Home That Make Great Natural Remedies

    than adding fresh herbs to your favorite recipes. Herb gardens are actually chock full of amazing natural home remedies

  • Chicken Soup: Makes Almost Everything Better + Recipe

    Chicken soup is one of the most common home remedies. It has tons of benefits, and really does help with colds and flus! Several studies have shown that chicken soup has the ability to reduce symptoms as well as help the body recover from these types of sicknesses

  • flat lay photo of alternative medicines

    A Case For Old-Fashioned Natural Remedies

    Old-fashioned remedies have their (literal) roots in herbal and natural medicines. Plants are the original medicine where all our modern day pharmaceuticals come from! They are also free of all the synthetic and potentially harmful chemicals people have put into medicine today. Hundreds of years ago, before there were huge corporate drug companies; there were […]

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Mindfulness for Chronic Pain

mindfulness for pain

Chronic pain. It’s horrendous, obviously painful, often debilitating and causes a plethora of other issues when conventional treatments fail. Chronic pain sufferers commonly experience anything from anxiety and depression to pain medication side-effects and addiction. All of this on top of excruciating pain that can’t seem to be controlled. Using the mindfulness approach for chronic pain may be just what the doctor didn’t know to order.

Mindfulness is, in a nutshell, paying close attention and maintaining direct focus. Being unafraid to gracefully embrace a moment, good or bad, and know that it’s okay to let it go. Yes, it sounds terrifying to a chronic pain sufferer to pay more attention to the pain. Don’t stop reading! It will become clear how mindfulness for chronic pain can be highly advantageous and even help eradicate pain almost completely when practiced properly.

Practical Mindfulness Methods

A common relaxation technique over the years has been to tense up each part of the body, individually, count to 10, and then release your hold. The object is to notice exactly how tense you were to begin with, and to physically feel the tension go away. You would typically start from head to toe and gradually work your way down each body part until your entire body is completely relaxed.

For instance, you could start with your face by crinkling your forehead, squeezing your eyes together, pursing your lips and clenching your teeth. Inhale through your nose, hold the tension as tight as you can for 10 seconds and then slowly exhale through your mouth. Feel the muscles relax in your face and head.

Feel the tension and stress leave your body. Notice how you can actually feel the blood start to move again and how revitalized yet relaxed and calm it makes you feel. How completely aware you feel. This is the same premise as mindfulness for chronic pain.

The idea is to get closer to the pain, acknowledge it, appreciate it, and let it leave. Accept that the pain is there, without judgment, which is the hardest part really. Naturally we associate chronic pain and all that tags along with it as negative.

Focus On the Relief From Pain

But just for this exercise, try and view it neutrally. Shake hands with the pain as if it’s the first time you’re meeting a new neighbor. Visualize the pain. And when you exhale, let the pain move on.

Substantial pain relief may not be immediate, but if you are mindful and continue practicing mindfulness for chronic pain, the decrease in pain will gradually happen. It takes practice and focus, but it’s well worth the reward considering the damage other treatment modalities can potentially cause to your body, mind and spirit.

It also helps to alter your mindset on the pain itself. Your approach should be to understand your pain, individually describe the sensations you notice with and without the mindfulness exercises, and create a deeper awareness of balance.

If you enter this with the only idea that your pain needs to be “fixed”, if you aren’t extremely successful on your first shot of meditation, your mind will interpret that as “failure”. And mindfulness for chronic pain is so much more than simple success and/or failure.

Mindfulness will help you achieve a more accurate perception of the pain. You essentially retrain your brain to calculate pain differently. Think about it; your mind doesn’t actually feel the pain, but it sure tells you on a scale how bad it might feel.

In order for your brain to differentiate the intensity of pain, it first had to send signals all the way down to the core of the pain, which was then interpreted as even greater pain. It’s like poking a really bad bruise. Ouch!

Mindfulness and Pain Connection

Food for thought: Mindfulness for chronic pain isn’t about eradicating pain. Mindfulness is a phenomenal and powerful modality to help you live a full life even with the pain. Your focus is no longer on the outside obstacles but on accepting what’s going on inside your body and having a different relationship with it.

You can choose your reactions, believe it or not, and mindfulness for chronic pain assists in just that. With practice and determination, you can and will alter your pain response. Think of all the added benefits like less narcotic pain medication, less chance for addiction to medications, as well as decreased anxiety and depression symptoms.

What about the fact that you can begin again to live a meaningful, active life without spending the majority of energy on avoiding any pain breakthrough?
Mindfulness for chronic pain has endless potential and the results can effect multiple areas of your life. There’s really no reason not to try it.


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Mindfulness for Busy Moms

mindfulness for busy moms

Life with kids is hectic, to say the least. If you’re lucky enough to get one down for a nap, the others will inevitably require your immediate undivided attention, the third snack for the day or your taxi skills to get to another activity. Moms are on the move! They typically don’t get the luxury of scheduled breaks or the end of their shift.

Which is exactly why mindfulness for busy moms is essential! When you think about it, being a mom is all about balance. Whether you work outside the home or are a stay-at-home mom, you’ve got a ton of things to accomplish on any given day with a mental checklist and any number of screaming kids in the background offering constant distraction.

Mindfulness for Self-help

Somehow, you pull it all together and make everything happen for everyone else, but what about you? To keep balance you’ve got to find a way to take care of yourself, because if mama falls apart, the whole operation falls apart!

Mindfulness has become such a popular method for lowering stress levels and helping with all sorts of medical and mental health issues. But mindfulness for busy moms might just be the real jackpot here. Sometimes finding a yoga class matching our skill level seems just as impossible as allotting the time to get away and show up for the class itself.

The same applies to running out to a spa for a massage, not to mention massages aren’t exactly budget friendly these days. And forget about a weekend getaway or even a girls’ night out; that’s entirely too much planning and don’t we already do enough planning for our own crew?

Mindfulness Can Fit to Your Schedule

The best part about mindfulness, other than the obvious and immediate release of tension, is you can do it first thing in the morning, smack dab in the middle of the day, the end of the day and at night. You can practice mindfulness once a day or find mindfulness moments for busy moms all throughout the day.

Yes, mindfulness can be just that simple. It’s all about being in the present moment and being aware of what’s happening right now. You take a moment to embrace the moment and allow it to happen, without pondering how it should or could be different.

Here are a few ways to incorporate mindfulness activities into everyday life any time of the day:

1.) Deep, cleansing breaths. Ok, this one seems pretty obvious and probably at the top of all the lists. It’s easy, quick and can be performed all throughout the day. But for busy moms, this one is particularly helpful first thing in the morning before you’ve even gotten out from under the covers.

Here’s why: Your mind is already processing the days’ activities before you even get out of bed. Take three or four deep breaths, count the seconds of each inhale and slowly count out the exhale. Even if you hear the kids pitter pattering down the hall or fighting over the bathroom, take this couple of minutes no matter what. Allow yourself to exist, without worry or contemplation, fear or anticipation. Just breathe and be.

2.) Bring on the java! Maybe coffee isn’t your thing, but whatever is, take a moment to sit down and enjoy it. Here’s how to do it mindfully; find a quiet space and don’t dive right in. Maybe while everyone is busy getting ready for school or maybe during snack time when all the littles have their mouths full of all those healthful snacks.

Get your cup of goodness, sit down and take a mindful approach. Smell the aroma, notice how you feel before you’ve taken the first sip, take care to appreciate the first sip in all its splendor and how it feels going down. How does it taste? Is the cup warming your hands? These simple measures to keep focused on this exact couple of minutes, without distraction, is exactly what mindfulness is all about.

3.) Hide. It sounds ridiculous but it might just save everyone’s sanity that day. If you’ve ever gotten to the point of breaking, before you scream and yell and later regret it, go hide. Run to your favorite closet (consider the pantry, there are probably cookies in there) and just be with yourself.

No little people begging for your attention or squealing on each other. Close your eyes and take deep breaths. Take in your surroundings. After a couple minutes of solitude you are more likely to respond rather than react to the situation.

The world isn’t going to fall apart if you appear to disappear for a few minutes during the day, but your state of mind surely could crumble if you don’t make time for yourself. These are just a few suggestions to help you get started and more comfortable with the concept of mindfulness.

You could also incorporate meditation, prayer, journaling, or a brisk walk (even if it’s just the perimeter of the backyard). Maybe coloring or spending a few minutes crocheting is more your style. The point is to find the mindfulness approach that’s most effective for you as a busy mom.


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Drying and Preserving Medicinal Herbs and Plants

aroma aromatic assortment bottles

Being able to properly harvest and preserve your herbs after planting them is a very important part of creating your own herbal pharmacy. Below are all the steps you can take to easily preserve your medicinal herbs.

Step 1.) Harvesting

Flowers

For flowering herbs like calendula, rose and lavender; harvest just before the flowers open. You should do your harvesting on a dry day in the morning just after the dew has evaporated. Harvest flowering herbs with stems, to make drying easier. You can separate them once they have sufficiently dried.

Leaves

For leafy herbs like basil and oregano; harvest before they begin to flower. Do this harvesting on a dry morning as well. When you harvest, cut each stem just above where it meets the main stalk.

Fruits

For fruiting plants like elderberries, you would definitely want to harvest them when they are ripe. This will depend on the type of fruit it is, so be sure you keep your eyes open if you have multiple fruiting plants you want to use. Harvest simply by picking the fruits off.

Roots

For roots like ginger, marshmallow, and turmeric; harvest at the end of their growth cycle. This will also vary by plant, so make sure you know what’s what when your plants have begun to go dormant. When you’re ready to harvest, you just dig up the root and set it aside for preservation!

Seeds

For seeds like fennel and flax, wait for the seeds to fully mature before harvesting. Make sure they are still on the plant when harvested, so you can take advantage of them while they are still intact and the most potent.

Step 2.) Preservation of Herbs

Flowers

Small flowers can be dried whole, while larger flowers should have the petals carefully separated for best drying results. Lay out your petals and flowers on clean tea towels or paper towels in a room with good circulation and low sunlight. It is important that they be laid out in one layer without any overlap to avoid making a big compost pile. Turn and check on them throughout the day, to make sure they are drying properly.

Leaves

Like flowers, some leafy herbs can be dried whole; while others do better with their leaves removed and laid out. For leaves alone, you use the same technique as you would with the flowers above. For whole stalks, you can gently tie them together by the stems in little bundles. Then, you hang these bundles upside-down until the herbs dry. You will want to keep your hanging herbs in a similar, if not the same place as your laid out herbs—High circulation, and indirect sunlight.

Fruits

Fruits can be most easily preserved by drying or freezing. When freezing or drying fruits, it is best to remove the skins and seeds from larger kinds, as well as chop them into chunks or slices. However, for smaller fruits like berries, you can simply wash and freeze/dry as they are. Just make sure you choose fruits that are ripe and not bruised or damaged in any way, so that they will last as long as possible and retain their nutrients.
To dry fruits, you can use your oven or a dehydrator to dry them out. For dehydrators, you would simply follow the instructions that came with it. If you want to use your oven, however, there is an easy way to do it… Preheat your oven to the lowest temp it has—this should be under two hundred degrees Fahrenheit. Then lay your fruit out in one layer on a nonstick, oven-safe tray. Place in the oven and leave it alone until your fruit is completely dried out.

Roots

The best way to preserve roots is to freeze them and grate off what you want as needed. However, it is important that they be frozen in a vacuum sealed bag or container. This maintains their freshness longer, and keeps them from developing freezer burn over time.

Seeds

As long as bugs and moisture are completely kept away from seeds, they are the easiest to store. You can simply air dry your seeds of any moisture the same way you would flowers and leaves; then place them in airtight containers. Keep seeds in a cool, dry place for most long-lasting results.

Step 3.) Storage

This is the simplest part of the whole process! Whatever you freeze can stay frozen, and anything you dried out simply needs to be kept in airtight containers in cool, dry places. Check on your stores often to make sure mold or pests have not taken hold, and enjoy creating your very own personal preservation paradise!

Herbs You Can Grow at Home that Make Great Natural Remedies

Kielbasa Bow Tie Skillet

Kielbasa Bow Tie Skillet

The Kielbasa Bow Tie Skillet recipe is a favorite dish at our house. It’s an easy skillet meal that is sure to please as well as disappear. Made with sliced kielbasa sauted in garlic and bow tie pasta with shredded cheddar cheese. Yummy !

Prepare this dish in a skillet within about 20 minutes and serve up to 4 people.

Ingredients:
  • 8 oz. uncooked bow tie pasta
  • 1 lb. fully cooked kielbasa or smoked Polish sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 T. butter
  • 1 T. cornstarch
  • 1-1/2 c. milk
  • 1 c. (4 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese
Directions:

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute the sausage and garlic in butter. Combine the cornstarch and milk until smooth; gradually add to the skillet. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Drain pasta, add to sausage mixture. Stir in cheese; cook until cheese is melted.

Enjoy !!

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Herbs You Can Grow At Home That Make Great Natural Remedies

six potted plants close up photo

Having an herb garden can be useful for a lot more than adding fresh herbs to your favorite recipes. Herb gardens are actually chock full of amazing natural home remedies! Below are just a few really easy-to-grow herbs you can grow at home, as well as what natural remedies you can use them for.

Basil

This green, leafy herb is full of vitamins and antioxidants that make it quite a fantastic tool for natural medicine:

  • Chewing the leaves helps with stomach pains.
  • Drinking basil tea relieves coughing fits.
  • A facial steam with basil and water soothes headaches.
  • Basil paste takes the pain and toxins out of bug bites and stings.
  • Essential oil of basil works to fix ear infections and aches.

Lavender

These lovely, purple flowers are more than just beautiful! They can be used for many different things:

  • Use lavender tea as a hair rinse to clear up dandruff.
  • Add the dried flowers to oatmeal for an anti-inflammatory facial scrub.
  • Apply lavender essential oil to burns to help soothe and heal them.
  • Spray a mixture of water and lavender oil anywhere you want to keep bugs away.

Dill

Adding this bright green herb to recipes strengthens your bones, and also improves your cellular function. However, that’s not all! There are more things you can use dill for:

  • Dill essential oil can help relieve cramps from menstruation, indigestion, gas, and even in the muscles.
  • Small doses of dill tea can help soothe colicky babies.
  • Eating the herb helps with milk production in nursing mothers.

Fennel

The seeds, in particular, have the most benefits to offer you and your family. Fennel is purifying, helps with digestion, and can even improve eyesight in some people! The most common home remedies of fennel include:

  • Soak fennel seeds in water overnight, then drink to help with heat stroke.
  • Eat a small handful after meals to aid digestion.
  • Fennel powder mixed with grape juice and cumin powder lowers fevers when you drink it.

Oregano

This velvety herb is anti everything! Anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-viral, and antibacterial. It also had lots of antioxidants to boost all these benefits as well. Here’s what you can use oregano for at home:

  • Drink oregano tea to help with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS.)
  • Oregano essential oil mixed with salt into a paste is an effective cure for Athlete’s Foot.
  • Add the essential oil to olive oil as a rub for muscle and joint pain relief.

These are just a few herbs with a few go their home remedies to get you started. Nearly every herb you can grow is full of benefits and potential natural medicinal properties you can take advantage of! Use this as the first step to your future of making your very own natural remedies. Happy herb gardening!

5 Herbs to Grow
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Chicken Soup: Makes Almost Everything Better + Recipe

Everyone has been sick at one time of their life or another. We all have memories of that one bad cold we had once, and one of the things that helped make us feel better—Chicken soup. Maybe it was from a can, or maybe it was an old recipe passed down through your family… Whichever it was, it helped sooo much! Keep reading to find out how.

Chicken soup is one of the most common home remedies. It has tons of benefits, and really does help with colds and flus! Several studies have shown that chicken soup has the ability to reduce symptoms as well as help the body recover from these types of sicknesses. Let’s break down how:

Broth

It is very important to stay hydrated when you are sick; and a warm, flavorful broth is the perfect way to do that. Broth is just as important as the rest of the soup, and can also be a great vehicle for extra spices with their own added benefits.

Chicken

Chicken is full of protein and B vitamins. Protein is a great fuel for the body, and also helps you feel full longer; while B vitamins boost the immune system, as well as cell and brain function. This will help you feel less foggy and more alert… Not right away, though! First, you will need to have a nap induced by the tryptophan chicken also has. Rest is another vital part of healing properly from sickness.

Noodles

Depending on the noodle, there are a lot of different possible vitamins and benefits. Vegetable noodles add extra vitamins; while regular or egg noodles give you a boost of carbs and help you feel satisfied as you eat. Plus, they are just plain fun to eat!

Vegetables

Veggies provide the necessary vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants your body needs to recover more quickly from colds and flus. Be sure to use a good variety of vegetable to take advantage of as many benefits as possible. Think rainbow, eat the rainbow—and not the skittle kind! 😉

Benefits

All of these ingredients work together to create an incredible powerhouse of soothing and healing abilities. Studies prove that chicken soup helps with all of the following:

  • Thins Mucus.
The combination of steam and nutrients work together to thin and drain mucus more effectively. This means it is much easier to expel this mucus through coughing and nose blowing—which can be a huge relief.
  • Boosts Immunity.
With all the nutrients all mixed together, chicken soup is a true recipe for immune function success. Not only does it help you heal, but it helps your body recover as well; preventing lingering coughs or other symptoms from sticking around!
  • Reduces Inflammation
It has been proven that chicken soup works to slow down certain white blood cells that contribute to inflammatory symptoms in the sinuses. This greatly relieves that inflammation as well as any built-up congestion.

While chicken soup does not magically make colds disappear, it DOES make the experience more bearable. So next time you feel a flu or a cold coming on, whip up a pot and enjoy!

Recipe for Chicken Noodle Soup

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A Case For Old-Fashioned Natural Remedies

flat lay photo of alternative medicines

Old-fashioned remedies have their (literal) roots in herbal and natural medicines. Plants are the original medicine where all our modern day pharmaceuticals come from! They are also free of all the synthetic and potentially harmful chemicals people have put into medicine today.

Hundreds of years ago, before there were huge corporate drug companies; there were apothecaries. These were essentially pharmacies full of natural medicine, run by experienced herbalists of the time. These people worked hard to figure out what plants to use to help the people that came to them. They worked on medical advice, medicinal trials, mixtures, and some even grew their own plants to be sure they could offer quality medicine to their “patients.” Another thing apothecary proprietors would do is sell their natural remedies to the practicing physicians at the time as well. Apothecary owners were very well-versed in the ways all different kinds of plants work, and often devoted their entire lives to these studies. You could definitely say they were early versions of the fancy scientists we have today!

Then, with modern civilization came GREAT breakthroughs in medicine. We found penicillin, developed chemotherapy, and even discovered ways to survive deadly diseases through vaccines! However, with these fantastic developments also came a huge dependency on pharmaceutical drugs… With this came all the issues we have today with price-gouging, severe side effects, and blind trust in whatever these drug companies say. This is why natural remedies are making such a huge comeback in the western world… People are starting to realize that herbal medicines and old-fashioned remedies actually still have a LOT of merit.

Most pharmaceuticals seem to work very well, but they actually function more like band-aids. They work fast, yet they effects are only temporary symptom control… Take cold medicine, for example. Your most common over-the-counter medicine simply masks the symptoms. To get real healing and relief, you need to get something with an expectorant. Those symptom hiders are STILL on the shelves, though; pulling in money into useless pockets every day.

Meanwhile, herbal remedies (when prepared properly) do what they say they will do. Natural medicine works more like a cast—restorative and healing over time. They also come in endless forms so you can find the best kind for your needs, no matter what. Essential oils, teas, pills, raw, gummies, dried, etc. are all examples of mediums that herbal medicines can be found in. Natural remedies are also much more affordable and accessible, with fewer side effects than prescription or over-the-counter drugs.

Some things that can be healed through natural remedies include:

  • Anxiety
  • Arthritis
  • Depression
  • Digestive Issues
  • Heart/Circulation Problems
  • Hormone Levels
  • Inflammation
  • Insomnia
  • Oral Care
  • Pain
  • Skin Conditions
  • …and so much more!

Get in touch with a licensed naturopathic doctor today, and find out how you can take advantage of the amazing benefits from old-fashioned, natural remedies!

Meanwhile, check out our Chicken Soup article and Recipe – Here