Carrier oils or base oils that are sometime called, are used to infuse herbs in, added to herbal products such as lotions and soaps, or used all on their own. These vegetable oils are excellent for skin and hair. But some are made from nuts and should be avoided if you are allergic.
Here are some of the more common carrier oils we use in body products we use:
Sweet Almond Oil
This oil is expressed from the seed of the sweet almond rather than the bitter almond. It has a faint aroma and is very close to the natural oils found in the skin. Use for chapped, irritated skin, eczema, cradle cap, and to soften wrinkles.
Apricot Kernel Oil
This oil is expressed from the seed of the apricot. It is a heavy oil but easily absorbed into the skin, therefore an excellent moisturizing oil for face, hands, and hair. It’s high in Vitamins A and C. Great for mature, dry, and sensitive skin.
This is one of the most penetrating oils. It is pressed out of the dehydrated thinly sliced fruit. The oil is pale yellow with a green aroma and is rich in Vitamin A and D as well and lecithin, potassium, and chlorophyll. Very moisturizing oil for rash, eczema, mature skin, parched skin, and aging skin.
This oil is semi-solid but melts easily when put on skin. It is prepared from the endosperm of the coconut fruit. It forms a barrier against infections, softens, moisturizes skin, and prevents wrinkling, sagging, and protects skin from damaging UV rays. Use on aging skin, and skin that needs protection.
Evening Primrose Oil
An expensive oil to produce, but is used for dandruff, sun-damaged skin, eczema, problem skin such as acne, aging skin, inflamed skin. It is an excellent oil for rheumatoid arthritis as a rub and for wounds. It is used in my breast salve to reduce cysts and pain.
This oil is mildly astringent and especially suited for acne or oily skin. Because it is primarily polyunsaturated, it is best refrigerated if it is to be kept for any length of time. It is a great oil to use if you don’t want your skin to feel oiler that it already is.
It is really a liquid wax that contains all the natural forms of antioxidants. It is extracted from an edible seed, not a nut that can be used on most sensitive skin, including baby skin. It does not clog pores and does not stain. Use for facial massage, hair/scalp conditioning, cuticles, psoriasis, revitalizing, and soothing after sun exposure.
Macadamia Nut Oil
This oil is expressed from the rich macadamia nut, has a medicinal aroma, and is oily on the skin. It softens dry mature skin. Use in shampoos, conditioners, creams, and massage oils.
Fully ripe olives are crushed, not the seed, to make this rich oil. It is heavy and used in cosmetics and soaps. It is filled with skin nutrients such as Vitamin E that softens dry skin. The aroma is somewhat strong. Using essential oils can cover the smell if you don’t like it.
This oil is produced from the seeds of the safflower plant. Apply to bruises, sprains, and painful arthritis joints. It can be used in salves and rubs to be used to relieve pain such as knees, shoulder, and back.
Sesame Seed Oil
It is an extraction from raw seeds. It is a light color and is a natural skin moisturizer, a good source of vegetable protein, rich in lecithin, Vitamin B complex, Vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Use for rheumatic conditions, eczema, psoriasis, and dry skin.
This light oil is high in linoleic acid, Vitamins A, B complex, D, and E, as well as calcium, zinc, potassium, iron, and phosphorus. Use for bruises, dermatitis, and ulcers. I use this deep absorbing oil in my breast salve to reduce cysts and pain.
This is a very easy but effective herbal medicine for inflamed ears, joint pain, and more. Mullein grows all around us, so start your infusion today.
This is mullein growing in my garden. It has large fuzzy leaves and has a tall flower stalk in its second year. Small yellow flowers grow along the stalk. You will be collecting this flowers to make the ear drops.
Please make sure you are collecting Mullein and not another plant.
If wildcrafting make sure the plant is 50 feet away from traffic.
Collect enough flowers to fill a glass jar to 3/4 full. Pour olive oil over the flowers until they are completely covered. Lid tightly and label your jar.
Store out of direct sunlight for 4-6 weeks. Give the jar a gentle shake every day or so.
After 4-6 weeks, strain your infusion through a cloth or coffee filter. Warming your infusion will make it drain faster.
Store in a glass jar out of direct sunlight for up to a year. Don’t forget to label your jar.
Uses for your Mullein Flower Oil
Ear aches: To reduce pain and swelling, add 2-3 drops in ear, 3-4 times daily. Cover with cotton ball. Use until ear is better.
Mouth ulcers: Dry area and rub oil on the ulcer until better.
Skin issues: For insect bites, sunburn, rashes, bruises, cuts, scrapes, and small wounds. Simply dip a cotton swap in oil and gently apply to area.
Massage oil: For joint pain, apply to area as needed.
Postpartum: Apply to vaginal area to decrease swelling, reduce pain, and chance of infection as needed. Apply to C-section incision for faster healing as needed.
Hemorrhoids: Apply to area for relief from swelling and pain.
Lilac flower infusion is an old fashioned home remedy for skin ailments including sunburns, scrapes, and cuts. Lilac flowers have astringent properties. Astringents contain compounds that are highly effective in toning and tightening your skin. A topical application of lilac oil infusion or salve helps in reducing premature aging, wrinkles and skin sagging.
The salve is a lovely solid perfume if you want something natural and light. Apply it to wrists, behind ears, lips, neck, navel, behind knees, or wherever.
The First Step – Infusion
Pick the freshest flowers after the dew has dried, around 10 am. Lay the flowers on a paper towel or white towel to dry for a week out of direct sunlight. Turn the flowers once a day for even drying.
When the flowers are dried, remove the flowers from the stems by running your fingers down the stem.
Place your dried flowers in a sterilized glass jar. I usually fill the jar loosely to 1/2 full. Then, pour your choice of oil over to flowers, filling to 1 inch from the top. Cap and label your jar. I like to use olive oil because of long self life and it has healing properties as well. There are other wonderful oils to choose from such as sweet almond and sunflower.
There are three ways to infuse your leaves. They are:
The long method – place the jar in a dark place, shake every day for 2-6 weeks (The best way, but it’s a long wait. This is the only way I infuse.)
The short method – place your jar in a pot with 2 inches water, simmer water on low for an hour, replacing water as needed until properties are extracted (on low because you don’t want water droplets to form on the inside of the jar, not good). Only use this one if you’re in a hurry.
Another short method – place the jar on an electric candle warmer for a few hours, stirring a few times, don’t let it get too hot. Only use this one if you’re in a hurry.
When the infusion is done, strain the warm (not hot) through cheese cloth, white cloth, or coffee filter. Your special oil is ready to use now or you can continue and make salve. If you’ve decided to use the oil, you any wish for a little scent. Sadly, very little of the lilac scent is retained in the infusion. You can add essential oil is you wish. Five drops of Lavender EO and one drop Frankincense is a great combo to each 1/4 cup of infused oil, but you can add whatever scent you choose.
The Second Step – Salve
To make a salve with your infused oil is quick and easy.
1/4 cup infused Lilac oil
1 tablespoon beeswax
10 drops Vitamin E (opt.) (you can use gel caps)
5 drops Lavender essential oil (opt.)
1 drop Frankincense essential oil (opt.)
Using the number 2 or 3 (I use 3 to warm and melt only) method above, warm the infused oil, beeswax, and Vitamin E in a glass jar. When the beeswax is melted, add the essential oils of choice. Stir and quickly pour into your containers. That’s it!
The poured oil will cool and harden in 30 minutes, and it is ready to use. As it cools and hardens, it usually turns a lighter color, which is normal. Enjoy!
Peppermint tea is a refreshing herbal tea that can be enjoyed hot or iced. This is not the white and red candy loaded with sugar. This recipe refers to the peppermint plant. It has been used traditionally in almost every country for a wide array of problems. The most common are:
Upset Stomach or Indigestion
Get The Recipe
Peppermint tea is very easy to make and its benefits are many, and it tastes, well, minty. Want a single cup or 2 quarts for the family, get the recipes below.
Place peppermint leaves in an infusion cup or a regular cup. Pour hot water over herbs, cover with lid or saucer, and steep for 10 minutes. Strain out herbs, add lemon or lime (opt.), and add a sweetener, such as honey, stevia, or sugar (opt.)
Enjoy hot if you’re feeling ill. But for a cooling refreshing drink, pour over ice.
Place peppermint leaves in an teapot or pot. Pour hot water over herbs, cover with lid, and steep for 10 minutes. Strain out herbs, add lemon or lime (opt.), and add a sweetener, such as honey, stevia, or sugar (opt.)
Enjoy hot if you’re feeling ill. But for a cooling refreshing drink, pour over ice.
Of course, if you’re not feeling well, please see your doctor. Do not drink peppermint if you are allergic or sensitive. Use with caution if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Avocado are a healthy snack or can be added to your lunch menu. Avocados are loaded with nutrients such as vitamin K, vitamin E, and vitamin A. Avocados are also a good source of dietary fiber, which helps reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity, according to the California Avocados website.
Avocados are also a great source of nutrients, including:
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
Niacin (Vitamin B3)
Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5)
Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6)
Because they are so high in calories, consuming them in excess could add extra calories, which may cause weight gain if they’re not compensated for elsewhere in the diet.
This is a simple recipe I use once a week on whole wheat toast or it can be stuffed in a whole wheat pita.
We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But, I’m not one to eat a big meal so early in the day, so oatmeal is a great choice. This is my favorite way to enjoy healthy oats.
This is a nourishing butter cream using a healing comfrey leaf infusion. It leaves skin soft, healthy, and moisturized without feeling greasy. Use this cream lightly on:
Strains, such as ankle
Pulled and sore muscles
Upper and lower back pain
Inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis and gout
While comfrey is well-known for its health benefits internally, it also poses some risks. It contains compounds that can harm your liver. It may also be carcinogenic. Therefore, it is advised to use externally only for short periods although some Herbalist recommend using it internally. It is also advised against using topical comfrey on open wounds. If in doubt, ask your doctor.
How To Make Comfrey Cream
1/4 cup cocoa butter, or another butter, or a combination of butters (2 oz.)
1/4 cup unrefined shea butter, or another butter, or a combination of butters (2 oz.)
1/2 cup coconut oil, or another solid oil such as palm, palm kernel (4 oz.)
1/2 cup liquid oil (infused with comfrey leaf), such as olive, jojoba, sweet almond, apricot (4 oz.)
2 teaspoon arrowroot powder or tapioca starch, or cornstarch
1 teaspoon vitamin E (optional)
15-30 drops lavender, frankincense, or peppermint oil (optional)
Melt butters and oils together over medium heat in a double boiler, a pot of boiling water with smaller pot or stainless steel bowl fitted inside, or my favorite, a candle warmer.
Place melted mixture in freezer 15-30 minutes to firm up. When mixture is hardened, remove from freezer.
Add the arrowroot powder, essential oil (if using), and vitamin E (if using). I only use arrowroot powder and vitamin E in my cream.
Using a stand or hand mixer, start whipping mixture on slowest setting and gradually increase speed until mixture softens. Whip until light and fluffy. You may have to return bowl to freezer if it doesn’t set (this is normal). Remove and whip some more.
Store in an airtight glass jar and keep out of direct sunlight, which promotes oxidation and may cause cream to melt. Makes 2 pints.
Remember, each woman will experience menopause differently. Some will breeze through it with little symptoms, while others will be very uncomfortable. You’re reading this because, like me, you want a natural approach for relief.
Menopause occurs when a woman hasn’t menstruated in 12 consecutive months and can no longer become pregnant naturally. It usually begins between the ages of 45 and 55, but can develop before or after this age range. Menopause can cause uncomfortable symptoms, such as hot flashes and weight gain. For most women, medical treatment isn’t needed for menopause.
Listed below are possible symptoms. Although it may sound like no walk in the park, not every woman will experience all these 34 symptoms of menopause.
1. Hot flushes – One of the most common symptoms of menopause, and normally appear as a rising redness on the chest, neck and face and can make you feel very overheated and sweaty.
2. Night sweats – Essentially, night sweats are hot flushes that occur at night and can disrupt sleep or can lead you to feeling unpleasant when you wake up.
3. Irregular periods – Because menopause is all to do with the end of your reproductive years, your periods will start to dissipate as your hormone production decreases. These can, therefore, become very erratic; sometimes you may get PMS but with no bleeding, for example.
4. Mood swings -This can feel like a more extreme version of the mood swings you may have experienced during your periods.
5. Vaginal dryness – Your natural lubrication is maintained by your oestrogen levels, so as these begin to drop, you may notice vaginal dryness. This can cause some pain and discomfort, particularly during sex.
6. Decreased libido – While a man’s sex drive is largely controlled by testosterone, a woman’s is primarily controlled by estrogen. As we’ve already established, these levels drastically drop during menopause, which can reduce your sexual appetite.
7. Headaches – These are typically more common for women who experienced them during their periods. But if headaches persist then you may be suffering from migraines and should visit your doctor.
8. Breast soreness – Any time in your life when your hormones drastically change can create the same symptoms; this is typically menstruation, pregnancy and menopause. So while breasts can become sore while on your period or pregnant, it can also happen during menopause.
9. Burning mouth- It’s not quite as common as some of the other symptoms, but decreased levels of saliva during menopause can lead to what’s known as ‘burning mouth syndrome’. This is a hot sensation that affects the tongue, lips, cheeks and roof of the mouth.
10. Joint pain – Not all joint pain may signal arthritis, but the menopause is a common time for women to develop musculoskeletal symptoms.
11. Digestive problems – Your digestive system is one of the most sensitive systems in your body and is often the first thing to get disrupted due to any major changes to your body (new medications, new foods, nervousness). Changes to hormones are another major body change that can lead to stomach upsets such as bloating, indigestion, constipation, diarrhea and cramps.
12. Electric shocks – Because of the erratic changes going on in your body during menopause, you may notice that you experience more electric shocks. It may happen just before a hot flush.
13. Muscle tension – This can often be closely linked to stress and anxiety and presents itself as a feeling of tightness in the muscles, like a strain.
14. Gum problems – Affecting between 10 and 40 percent of menopausal women, gum problems are often accompanied by a metallic taste in the mouth.
15. Tingling extremities – It’s not overly common but a tingling sensation can appear on any part of the body. This is usually in the feet, hands, arms and legs.
16. Itchy skin – Low estrogen levels can also lead to low collagen levels. Collagen is responsible for keeping skin plump, firm and healthy so with less of it, you may notice that skin can become thin, dry and itchy.
17. Fatigue – One of the more common symptoms of menopause, many women will notice a feeling of extreme tiredness.
18. Anxiety – Along with mood swings, menopausal women may notice increased feelings of anxiety. As many as one in three women may experience this during menopause.
19. Disrupted sleep – Because of all the changes going on in your body (as well as the other menopausal symptoms), you may also experience disrupted sleep and insomnia.
20. Hair loss – While most people are aware that a lot of men lose their hair as they get older, not everyone realizes that women can get this too. Menopause can act as an accelerator for hair loss, leaving it looking thinner.
21. Memory lapses – These are usually only temporary but memory lapses can occur during menopause.
22. Difficulty concentrating – The brain doesn’t work as hard during menopause because estrogen is the hormone that pushes it to burn glucose for energy. With lower levels of estrogen, you end up with a lack of focus and concentration.
23. Weight gain – Many women notice weight gain when they start taking the contraceptive pill, caused by a major change in hormones. The major change in hormones during menopause can also cause weight gain but this can usually be combated by healthy eating and exercising.
24. Dizzy spells – Vertigo and feeling dizzy during menopause are thought to be caused by the drop in estrogen production.
25. Bloating – This usually occurs right at the start of your menopause and could even be one of the first symptoms you notice. If you’re still having periods but are constantly feeling bloated then this could be a hint that your menopause is coming.
26. Stress incontinence – A lot of women will already have experience incontinence as a result of childbirth, but this can increase around menopause. However, this could be more related to age than the actual menopausal process.
27. Brittle nails – Lower estrogen levels and dehydration can leave your nails feeling brittle and can make them snap or break more easily.
28. Allergies – While you may never have had a problem with certain things before, you may notice allergies or intolerances during or after menopause. This is because hormones are very closely linked to your immune system.
29. Irregular heartbeat – Lower estrogen levels can overstimulate the nervous system and circulatory system, which can, in turn, lead to heart palpitations or an irregular heartbeat.
30. Body odor – Not only can the menopause make you sweat more, but the change in hormones can also actually change your natural scent.
31. Irritability – Your hormones play a large role in contributing to your emotions and the fluctuation can lead to feelings of sadness or irritability.
32. Depression – In more extreme cases, this change in emotions can lead to depression. Depression is four times more likely to affect women of a menopausal age than a woman below the age of 45.
33. Panic disorder – Menopausal women are actually more susceptible to panic attacks than almost anyone else.
34. Osteoporosis – Bone density can drop by up to 20% after the menopause, which puts you at risk of osteoporosis.
Herbs That May Help
This is my favorite herbal tea blend for menopause relief. Each herb helps with one or more symptoms of menopause.
Lemon Balm Leaf
Lemon Balm is used for nervous agitation, dizziness, fevers, headaches, insomnia, hypertension, gas, menstrual cramps, menstrual cramps, mental clarity and concentration, painful urination, palpitations, nausea relief, hypothyroidism, and urinary spasms.
Red Clover Tops
Red clover is considered to be one of the richest sources of isoflavones, which are water-soluble chemicals that act like estrogens. Red Clover is used for hot flashes/flushes, PMS, breast enhancement and breast health as well as lowering cholesterol, improving urine production and improving circulation of the blood, to help prevent osteoporosis, reduce the possibility of blood clots and arterial plaques.
Ginkgo Biloba Leaf
Ginkgo acts to enhance oxygen utilization and thus improves memory, concentration, and other mental faculties. It also been shown to improve long-distance vision and may reverse damage to the retina of the eye. In treatment of depression in elderly people, may provide relief for headaches, sinusitis, vertigo, and tinnitus.
Dandelion leaf is highly effective for menstrual bloating, PMS, and the breast tenderness associated with water retention. Its gentle but effective diuretic qualities aid the kidneys in eliminating excess water held in the body during hormonal changes.
Ginger root is well known as a remedy for travel sickness, nausea and indigestion and is used for wind, colic, irritable bowel, loss of appetite, chills, cold, flu, poor circulation, menstrual cramps, dyspepsia (bloating, heartburn, flatulence), indigestion and gastrointestinal problems such as gas and stomach cramps.
Nettle (Stinging Nettles) will help with allergies, anemia, arthritis, bronchitis, bursitis, gingivitis, laryngitis, rhinitis, sinusitis, tendinitis, BPH, rheumatism and other inflammatory conditions, HBP, hair loss, excessive menstruation, hemorrhoids, eczema, gout, sciatica, neuralgia, hemorrhoids, Alzheimer’s disease, asthma, bladder infections, hives, kidney stones, multiple sclerosis, PMS, and sciatica.
Black Cohosh Root
Use for hot flashes, irritability, mood swings, sleep disturbances, PMS , menstrual irregularities, and uterine spasms.
Black cohosh has an estrogen-like effect, and women who are pregnant or lactating should not use the herb. Large doses of this herb may cause abdominal pain, nausea, headaches, and dizziness. Women taking estrogen therapy should consult a physician before using black cohosh.
Large doses of black cohosh cause symptoms of poisoning, particularly nausea and dizziness, and can also provoke miscarriage.
Use for hot flashes and night sweats, excessive menstrual bleeding and irregular periods, gas, nervous headaches, improving memory, indigestion, infected gums, lack of appetite, and inflammations of the mouth, tongue or throat.
This recipe is in parts, so you can make as much ahead of time as you wish. Example, one part can be a tablespoon, a cup, or an ounce.
1 part dried Lemon Balm leaf
1 part dried Red Clover Tops (flower, leaf, tender stem) or Flower
1 part dried Ginkgo Biloba leaf
1 part Dandelion leaf
1/3 part dried Ginger root chopped pieces
1 part dried Nettle leaf
1/3 part Black Cohosh* root
1 part Sage leaf
In a large bowl, blend the herbs completely. Store in a glass jar, label, and lid tightly.
Add 1 tablespoon to one cup boiling water. Steep for 15 minutes, remove herbs, and drink 1 – 3 times daily according to your needs. You may add lemon, honey, cinnamon, or Stevia, but never sugar.
Thankfully, fevers aren’t as dangerous as many people fear, but comfort is just a cup of herbal tea away. When a loved one gets a fever, we want to reduce it instantly.
When your body temperature rises because of an infection, it’s called a fever. Fevers are caused by chemicals called pyrogens flowing in the bloodstream. The purpose of a fever is thought to be to raise the body’s temperature enough to kill off certain bacteria and viruses sensitive to temperature changes. It also helps to regulate our immune system.
If the fever is over 102 F, your doctor should be consulted. But, if the fever is low grade, I don’t take anything, or give a loved one anything such as an OTC medicine. I prefer to brew up an herbal tea. Herbal teas help to:
Warm and stimulate the body
Encourage detoxification through sweating
Provide extra hydration
Relieve pain and unpleasant symptoms
Offer immune-supporting vitamins and antioxidants
Boost mood and relaxation (sleep)
Has a cooling effect to help reduce fevers.
Here are my favorite herbal teas for fever and body aches:
It is also one of the most useful, potent herbal allies that I can think of! Yarrow is both an anti-inflammatory as well as being antimicrobial. It reduces pain, is an anti-catarrhal, relaxes circulation, and is a mild sedative, too.
Yarrow infusion is most effective when taken at the onset of the flu symptoms, but it can also help before the problem starts. Do not take yarrow daily for more than two weeks, even less if there are known liver weaknesses.
Yarrow will help you to get rid of a dry fever when taken as a hot infusion. As a diaphoretic, it opens your pores and induces perspiration. This seems like the opposite of what you want, but the heat and sweat are supporting the action your body is already taking to evict the flu. Combine this with a thick blanket, a hot water bottle for your feet, and get ready to sleep and sweat. All the sweating will eventually help cool you off a bit.
Lemony-mint tasting, catnip is a cooling, gentle, and relaxing herbal nervine especially good for children, and soothes hyperactivity, colic, fever, constipation, stomach ache, and insomnia. It helps relax the smooth muscles of the intestines, and is an anti-catarrhal (dissolves and prevents formation of mucus and prevents mucus membrane inflammation).
Ginger eases pain and inflammation, soothes nausea as well as gas and cramps in the digestive tract, stimulates the appetite and bile secretion in the liver, stimulates the circulatory system and promotes sweating, loosens trapped mucus in the lungs, and is antimicrobial. While ginger is clearly an herb with many uses, its antimicrobial activity, ability to thin mucus, and diaphoretic action are the actions that help the body progress in resolution of a cold or the flu.
Peppermint has an array of health benefits. Not only does it help to prevent vomiting, nausea and motion sickness, but it also helps reduce fever and discomfort, boosts the immune system, helps to improve breath, aids in relieving mental stress, cough and cold, and relieves stomach discomfort.
It is used to ease tension and stress, emotional upset, nervousness, and insomnia. Happily, chamomile is gentle enough for children while still being helpful for adults. Don’t use chamomile if you’re allergic to the Daisy family, you may have an allergic reaction to this herb too.
Though cinnamon has medicinal uses, it’s mostly used in this case to improve the taste of the herbal tea.
The flowers are known for their high antioxidant content and Vitamin C which is great for boosting your immune system. Elderflower also helps fighting flu and respiratory disturbances by encouraging water to leave the body, helping you to “sweat it out”.
A Favorite Tea Blend
Of course, the herbs listed above can be used as a single tea, but this is a great herbal tea blend for fever, aches, and sleep. This recipe is for an adult to 12 years of age. For ages 11 and under, cut recipe according to age and increase the water a little. Never give honey to a child under 1-2 years of age, use a sugar instead.
Antiviral herbs inhibit the development of viruses. Many of the best antiviral herbs boost the immune system, which allows the body to attack viral pathogens. This can be even better than attacking specific pathogens, which antiviral drugs are designed to do, because pathogens mutate over time and become less susceptible to treatment.
Not only do antiviral herbs fight viral infections, boost the immune system and work as flu natural remedies, but they have a number of other health benefits, such as cardiovascular, digestive and anti-inflammatory support.
An herb that kills viruses or slows the progression of viral infection in the body.
Here are herbs with powerful antiviral activity.
Oregano is a powerful antiviral agent. Oregano is a popular herb in the mint family that’s known for its impressive medicinal qualities. Its plant compounds, which include carvacrol, offer antiviral properties. You can cook with oregano or add it to herbal tea blends, but the best way to use it is Oregano oil.
Also a member of the mint family, sage is an aromatic herb that has long been used in traditional medicine to treat viral infections. The antiviral properties are mostly attributed to compounds called safficinolide, which are found in the leaves and stem of the plant. You can cook with Sage, make a tea for drinking or throat gargle, or blend it in herbal teas.
Many types of basil, including the sweet and holy varieties, may fight certain viral infections. You can cook with Sage, make a tea for drinking, or blend it in herbal teas. One of the best ways to enjoy it is fresh in pesto in which there are many recipes. Fresh shredded leaves are delicious on salads or in stir fry recipes.
Fennel is a licorice-flavored plant that may fight certain viruses. You can cook with Fennel seeds or leaves, make a tea for drinking, or blend it in herbal teas. One of the best ways to enjoy the fresh bulb is in a stir fry. Fresh shredded leaves are delicious on salads. Seeds are great in breads.
Garlic is a popular natural remedy for a wide array of conditions, including viral infections. The fresh or dried cloves are delicious in stir fry, and roasted meats. They can be added to smoothies. Fresh chopped leaves can be used in salads, stews, or eggs. A favorite way to take Garlic is a cough syrup you can make at home. It’s called Garlic, Onion, and Honey Syrup. Free recipe HERE.
Lemon balm is a lemony plant that’s commonly used in teas and seasonings. It’s also celebrated for its medicinal qualities. Lemon balm extract is a concentrated source of potent essential oils and plant compounds that have antiviral activity. It’s useful for the herpes viruses, and other viruses. Another way to enjoy it is place in the warm bath.
Peppermint is known to have powerful antiviral qualities and commonly added to teas, extracts, and tinctures meant to naturally treat viral infections. Its leaves and essential oils contain active components, including menthol and rosmarinic acid, which have antiviral and anti-inflammatory activity.
Rosemary is frequently has therapeutic applications due to its numerous plant compounds, including oleanolic acid, which has displayed antiviral activity against many viruses. Use Rosemary in cooking and roasting, herbal tea blends, salves, soaps, and tinctures. Cut the long stems and lay them around your house to release a fresh pine fragrance.
Echinacea is one of the most powerful natural antivirals against human viruses. It contains a compound called echinacein that inhibits bacteria and viruses from penetrating healthy cells. This greatly reduces the chances of contracting any type of infection while consuming echinacea. Therefore, it is best used at the onset of the sickness for only 4 weeks. Use flowers, leaves, and roots in teas, infusions, and tinctures.
Elderberry is found to substantially reduce upper respiratory symptoms caused by viral infections. It fights infections including influenza, herpes, viral infections and bacterial infections. But is best used as a preventive herb, but helpful during the illness. Use flowers and berries in teas, infusions, tinctures, and syrup. Our free recipe for syrup HERE
Licorice has been used in traditional Chinese medicine and other natural practices for centuries. Glycyrrhizin, liquiritigenin, and glabridin are just some of the active substances in Licorice that have powerful antiviral properties. Licorice root is commonly added to store brought herbal blends. Be careful with this root if you have high blood pressure.
Astragalus root, another powerful antiviral herb, has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries, and its main use is to boost the body’s immune system. Scientific studies have shown that Astragalus has antiviral properties and stimulates the immune system. Use this root in soups, teas, and tinctures.
Ginger products, such as elixirs, teas, and lozenges, are popular natural remedies — and for good reason. Ginger has been shown to have impressive antiviral activity thanks to its high concentration of potent plant compounds. Use this root in soups, tinctures, baking, and stir fry too.
Ginseng, which can be found in Korean and American varieties, is the root of plants in the Panax family. Long used in traditional Chinese medicine, it has been shown to be particularly effective at fighting viruses. Use in tea, tincture, or capsules.
Dandelions are widely regarded as weeds but have been studied for multiple medicinal properties, including potential antiviral effects. The whole plant from root to flowers can be used. Use in tea, tincture, or capsules.
The flower petals of this antiviral herb has high amounts of flavonoids, which are plant-based antioxidants that protect cells from being damaged by free radicals; it also fights viruses, inflammation and bacteria. The dried petals of the plant are used in tinctures, ointments and washes to treat infections, burns, wounds and cuts.
The bark and root of Cat’s Claw has antiviral properties. This powerful herb is also anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal. The best way to consume cat’s claw regularly is by making an herbal tea with a tablespoon of the herb in eight ounces of water.
The Olive leaf has antiviral properties, giving it the ability to treat the common cold and dangerous viruses. Research shows that olive leaf extracts effectively fight against a number of disease-causing microbes, including some viruses that cause influenza and other respiratory infections. Use Olive leaf as a extract.
How to Use
Teas are a great way to get the antiviral benefits of herbs every day. Steep one to two teaspoons of loose herbs in one cup hot water for 5–10 minutes for leaves and flower petals. Simmer one to two teaspoons in 1 1/2 cup hot water for 10-15 minutes, covered for bark (chopped), root (chopped), berries, and flower heads.
Herbal infusions are stronger than teas because they require a larger quantity of herbs. To make your own herbal infusion, steep a cup of antiviral herbs in water for about 7 hours. Chop larger and thicker herbs.
Keep the infusion in an air-tight jar, and drink it cold or heated. Because the infusions are strong, don’t drink more than one cup a day.
DIY Herbal-Infused Oil
An infused oil is when you heat the herb in a carrier oil for several weeks. Use about 1/2 cup of antiviral herbs (you can use one herb or a mixture (it’s better to infuse each herb in it’s own jar and mix when ready; chop larger and thicker herbs), and add it to 1 cup of coconut, jojoba, or choice of oil.
Once the herbs are infused into the oil, drain the leaves and keep the oil in a jar. You can use the oil topically to alleviate pain and get rid of infections. Don’t use if oil looks or smells bad.
Many of these herbs are sold as essential oils; make sure to purchase organic and pure essential oils from a reputable company.
To use essential oils for their antiviral properties, diffuse 3–5 drops in your home, add 2–3 drops to warm bath water or mix 1–2 drops with a carrier oil and apply the mixture directly to the skin. Massaging essential oils/carrier oil mixture into your feet, abdomen and chest is useful when fighting a fever or flu symptoms.
Use herbs with caution! You should talk with your doctor before mixing herbs with medications, or if you have a medical condition.
The most important health benefits of stinging nettle include its ability to detoxify the body, improve metabolic efficiency, boost immunity, increase circulation, improve energy levels, manage menstruation, minimize menopausal symptoms, and aid in skin care. It has the power to protect the health of the kidney and gallbladder, lower inflammation, increase muscle mass, regulate hormonal activity, lower blood pressure, soothe hemorrhoids, and improve respiratory conditions.
Nettle tea is a delicious and beneficial beverage that helps boost the immune system, relieve pain and inflammation, protect the heart and optimize digestion. Nettle tea can be quite a strong beverage, and has a rapid effect on the body, primarily due to the flavonoids, carotenoids, vitamins, and minerals found in the plant.
To make a 3 day supply: Add 1 cup or 1 oz. dried nettle leaves in quart jar. Fill with boiling water, stir, and fill to the top with boiling water. Infuse for 24 hours for maximum benefits and taste. After infusion cools, place in refrigerator. After 24 hours, strain out herbs and squeeze out liquid. Store in refrigerator up to three days. You will have to increase this amount as you increase your intake.
Enjoy a cold drink everyday. To start with, drink 1/4 cup each morning, and slowly increase over months to up to 8 oz. If you feel shaky, you need to reduce the amount you drink. Start your new batch when you have a single dose remaining.
Check out our videos on how to make homemade herbal remedies by Lisa Ray, Herbalist at Sage Hill Botanicals Herb Company on Youtube.
Mix a batch or two of our delicious Hot Cocoa. You’ll want to keep this mix on hand for your family and visitors. Easy to make!
Ingredients: 2 cups Confectioners Sugar 1 cup Dutch Processed Cocoa 1 teaspoon Salt (Do not skip this ingredient! Himalayan salt is great to use)
Directions: Sift the confectioners’ sugar into a large bowl. Sift the cocoa powder into a large bowl. Combine the confectioners’ sugar and cocoa powder. Add salt. Mix. Now sift the mixture again in a large bowl. Store in an air tight container. I highly recommend mason jars to store it. Shake before using each and every time. Serve with hot milk, or water, or even coconut milk to make a fabulous mug of Hot Cocoa.
How to use: Use 1/4 cup dry mix to 3/4 cup milk. May add whipped cream, red pepper, cinnamon stick, marshmallows, crushed peppermint candy, etc.
Create a cleansing experience so luxurious, leaving your skin so beautiful, that you may never cover your skin with makeup.
A cleanser rooted in ancient ritual, Cleansing Grains are powered by earth and plants; the perfect cleanser to start and end your day with.
This incredibly gentle, deliciously luxurious water-activated powder brings together the gentle cleansing and brightening powers of clay, and the moisturizing and exfoliating benefits of almonds, oats and a blend of vitamin-rich botanicals to leave you with soft, luminous and healthy skin.
Gently exfoliates to remove dull, dry skin, revealing a smooth, radiant complexion
Whisk away oils, dirt, and pollution without stripping your skin
Brightens and enhances glow
Smooths skin texture with gentle buffing
Powdered formulation lasts a long time and allows you to customize the texture to your preference
Does double duty as a mask: Simple leave on your skin for a few minutes before rinsing
Changing your mix in from water to another liquid offers customization options
1 cup oats, ground
2 cups white clay
1/4 cup almonds, ground
1/8 cup lavender flowers, ground
1/8 cup rose petals, ground
Combine together and place in a glass jar.
Mix 1-2 teaspoons with water or other liquid (see options below). Massage on face, leave for 1-15 minutes. Rinse off with warm water.
Follow with toner and moisturizer for a complete morning or evening facial.
You can add any flower or herb you wish. Instead of using water to mix your grains, use an:
herbal tea such as sage, nettle, peppermint, or chamomile
Lemon balm is a powerful antiviral, proven to banish cold sores. Use this homemade super healing cold sore lip salve recipe to help fight & prevent cold sores.
Cold sores — also called fever blisters — are a common viral infection. They are tiny, fluid-filled blisters on and around your lips. Cold sores are caused by certain strains of the herpes simplex virus.
Cold sores can develop due to a lowered immune system due to stress or sickness. Luckily, they begin with a sort of tingling sensation on or around the lips. Too much sun or fever, for some people, also cause cold sore.
Lemon balm is a favorite cold sore home remedies for dealing with the herpes virus. This gentle, tonic herb has strong anti-viral properties. My recipe also includes peppermint and tea tree which adds to the healing properties of this balm. I don’t usually use essential oils, but in this case, I do. If you want to make it without essential oils, you can infuse the peppermint separately in olive oil and mix together. Tea Tree will have to be used as an essential oil. I’ve never seen the leaves being sold, but you may find them.
1 capsule Vitamin E (prick the capsule and squeeze the liquid out)
Combine the first three ingredients in a heat proof container. Set it down into a saucepan containing a few inches of water. Watch carefully and heat over low heat until everything is melted.
My favorite way to melt my oils and beeswax, is on my electric candle warmer. It takes a little longer, but the oils are warmed slowly never get too hot, which can destroy the healing properties of the infusion.
When the beeswax is completely melted, remove from heat and stir in the essential oils and Vitamin E (if using).
Pour into small tins, jars, or whatever you have on hand. If using a recycled jar, please sterilize in boiling water. Cap, label, and store away from direct heat or sunlight.
Use as a lip balm when you feel the tingling sensation around your lips. When the sore appears, apply the balm to that area as well. Can be used every four hours until well. But, can be used daily as a lip balm too.
You can create many homemade gifts from our lavender, rose, or chamomile flower for your friends and yourself. You can make bath bags, bath salts, bath fuzzies, bath oils, soap, sachets, salves, lotions, tea bags, dream pillows, and so many more.
One of my favorite is bath salts. It’s super easy to make, and it makes your bath relaxing and very calming. Here’s a simple recipe:
•2 cups Epsom salt or Dead Sea salt
1 teaspoon ground or whole herb flowers
•2 tablespoons of your favorite carrier oil (sweet almond, apricot kernel, olive oil)
•10-15 drops essential oil (opt)
Few drops of food color (opt.)
In a medium-sized glass mixing bowl, add salt and carrier oil and mix well. Add essential oils and food color, mix. Lastly, add flowers and stir lightly. Store in an airtight glass container.
Fill tub with very warm water, add 1-3 tablespoons of your homemade bath salts. Slip into the fragrant bath up to your neck, and enjoy!
Body Powder is refreshing and keeps your dry. But, with all the harmful ingredients in store- brought body powder, one is afraid to use it. Make your own safe and natural body powder in a few minutes with a few ingredients you may have on hand.
This is all you need to make your own natural body powder:
Violet Leaf Uses – Fibrocystic Breasts, Eczema, and other skin problems.
My fibrocystic breasts have become a big problem for me since I’ve reached pre-menopause. Especially certain times of the month. Update: Lumps GONE
Here are signs and symptoms of fibrocystic breasts (you may experience one or more):
Breast lumps or areas of thickening that tend to blend into the surrounding breast tissue
Generalized breast pain or tenderness
Breast lumps that fluctuate in size with the menstrual cycle
Nipple discharge that tends to leak without pressure or squeezing
Breast changes that are similar in both breasts
Monthly increase in breast pain or lumpiness from mid-cycle (ovulation) to just before your period
Of course, if you’ve found a lump or having any discomfort in your breast, it’s wise to see your doctor immediately.
I see my doctor every year, and she offered no help for my painful breast. So, I started researching natural ways to help.
What I discovered was really very simple, and right under my nose. Yes, the humble violet.
Start with harvesting violet leaves and making an infusion.
Harvest fresh, unmarked, violet leaves. If dirty, rinse in a bowl of pure water. Pat dry with a paper towel.
In a cool area out of direct sun light, lay the leaves on a dry paper towel or cloth one inch apart. I like to use my kitchen table to dry all my herbs. That way, they are always in sight, so I’ll remember to check on them. Turn the leaves every day, for 2-3 days. They will be crunchy when dried.
When dried, pack your leaves in a sterilized glass jar. There’s no certain amount of leaves, it’s just what you can find, but a handful of dried leaves is a great start. Or you can purchase dried leaves.
Pour a carrier oil to cover the leaves. I like to use sunflower, and/or evening primrose.
There’s three ways to infuse your leaves. They are:
The long method – place the jar in a dark place, shake every day for 4-6 weeks (The best way, but it’s a long wait
The short method – place your jar in a pot with 2 inches water, simmer water on low for an hour, replacing water as needed until properties are extracted (on low because you don’t want water droplets to form on the inside of the jar, not good)
Another short method – place the jar on an electric candle warmer for a few hours, stirring a few times, don’t let it get too hot
Is It Ready?
When your oil turns a beautiful herbal golden green, it’s ready. Pour the oil through a filter, such as a coffee filter or cloth. Warm oil drains better.
You can use your infused oil now! Rub it on your breast for relief…
If you don’t like the oily feel, make a balm instead.
3 oz. infused oil from violet leaves
¼ oz. beeswax (to start with)
Melt infused oil and beeswax using method 2 or 3 above. To test its consistency, dip a cool spoon in the warm mixture and let cool. If you want it thicker, add more beeswax, a little at a time, until it’s perfect.
Pour into tins, plastic balm pots, or whatever you have available. Let cool, and use whenever your breasts are tender. Makes approx. 6 oz.
Seem easy? It is! Get started making something herbal today.
Not up to making your own, then order ours (click on photo).
Fall is finally here, but sadly, that means summer is over. All my herbs are going to seed and clean up has begun.
I decided to harvest the rest of my basil this morning. They are now tied in cute bundles hanging on my porch. I’m lucky to have a large porch that stays shady and dry, so my bundles dry nicely there.
Sweet basil is my most favorite basil. I love cooking with basil. and there’s many “flavors” to choose from.
I’m writing this blog because I’ve discovered another great use for my basil.
We’ve gotten so much rain this summer, that mosquitoes have been in abundance. With all the news reports and articles on illnesses spread by mosquito bites, one can’t help but be concerned.
By accident, I discovered that mosquitoes did not bite me when I gathered my sweet basil. So, I did some research, and sure enough, mosquitoes are repelled by the scent that crushed basil releases.
Commercial insect repellent is very dangerous, so I refuse to let my family use it. I’m always getting asked by family and friends, “What herb is good for this?” Of course, they’re really asking for a natural approach instead of a chemical approach. I’m only too happy to help being a person in search of a all natural life. I know, impossible, but I keep trying.
Back to basil, I only grown sweet basil, but lemon, cinnamon, and Peruvian works great too for mosquitoes. I now keep a bundle by the kitchen door for the herb gathering trips. When my husband and I cook, we like to clip fresh herbs to use, so he sends me out, but I always give myself a few basil “whips” with my basil bundle. My arms and legs are most susceptible, so a few swipes keep the bites at bay. It works great even if it’s dried.
Of course, when we go on herb walks and fishing trips, a bundle of basil is questionable. Especially since I take a large backpack of “stuff” I need, which my husband usually, bless his heart, ends up carrying.
For these trips, I simmer some fresh or dried basil leaves in distilled water for about five minutes. Turn off the burner, and when cool, strain off the herbs, place in a sprayer bottle, and we have insect repellent to go. When we get to the lake or trail, we spray each other’s clothes from head to toe. You can stray your skin too, I do.
A big concern for people that have sensitive skin or have allergies. I think you won’t be bothered by using basil at all. I have very sensitive skin, and I can use it without any reactions. Please test on a small area just to be sure, especially on children.
But of course, I like the reaction the mosquitoes have.
Weekly herbal face steaming is very beneficial to your skin, and it’s easy to do at home.
Forget the expensive facial treatments, and opt for this herbal face steam instead.
With all of the dirt, pollution and toxins we’re exposed to on a daily basis, our skin can really take a beating. The nutrients from the herbs get deep into pores to clear them out, and give your skin its natural glow back.
Not all skin is the same, right? There are herbs for different skin types. Below is a list of herbs that will detox dry, oily, mature, and sensitive skin. You’ll also find herbs for acne and other problem skin.
Herbal facials are also very relaxing, blissful, and rejuvenating. Who needs a little of these after a long day? Be good to yourself.
DIY Herbal Face Steam
To make your own face steam, you will need:
Boiling water, distilled if possible
Choice of herbs
Place herbs in bowl, and carefully pour boiling water over herbs. Leaning your head over the bowl, drape a towel over your head and around the bowl. By doing this, the steam will surround your face and head.
Always keep your eyes closed, because the steam will be too hot for your eyes. You can raise the towel to allow air in if you get too hot.
After the facial, rinse with cool water, and apply a good oil as listed below.
This is a great method if you have sinus problems or an ear ache.
Herbs To Use For Your Skin Type
Use one teaspoon of one or more of the following herbs for your specific skin type or problem.
If you have dry skin, an herbal facial steam may help stimulate oil production while increasing circulation and removing impurities. To prevent over drying, steam your face five minutes, and once a week. People suffering from dry skin may have under active oil production.
Peppermint Leaves (a pinch)
Comfrey Leaves or Root
After facial, use almond oil, apricot kernel oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, hazelnut oil, hemp seed oil, macadamia nut oil, or sunflower seed oil.
Oily and Acne Skin
Oily skin normally results in overactive oil gland production, common in teens and some adults. Facial steams for oily skin typically include herbs credited with addressing excess oil production as well as soothing inflamed or acne-ridden skin. Consider using a facial steam at least once a week to slow oil production and unclog pores.
Eucalyptus leaves and a drop of Tea Tree essential oil is good for acne skin.
Witch Hazel Leaves
Strawberry, Raspberry, or Blackberry Leaves
After facial, use apricot kernel oil, argan oil, coconut oil, flaxseed oil, grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, or sesame seed oil.
Many of the herbs used for the dry skin herbal facial work well for mature because the related issue involves the under-production of sebum, which slows as we age. Do not use a facial steam for more than five minutes or more often than once a week.
Apply vitamin E and vitamin A capsule around the eyes and on wrinkled areas of the face and neck before steaming.
Comfrey Root or Leaf
After the facial, use apricot kernel oil, avocado oil, grapeseed oil, hazelnut oil, hemp seed oil, macadamia nut oil, rose hip oil, or sunflower seed oil
This is the skin I can relate too, because I have very sensitive skin. I have to be very careful with what products I use on my skin. Here are some herbs I have had good results from. Enjoy an herbal face steam once a week for five minutes.
After facial, use apricot kernel oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, evening primrose oil, grapeseed oil, rose hip oil, or sunflower oil.
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