No one likes it when they don't feel well and although there isn't a sure way to stay well through the cold winter months, there are many ways to help prevent that dreaded cold and build up your immune system.
I like to make soup. For some it seems intimidating, but in reality, it is quite easy. All you need are bones. Yes, bones. Bone broth is exceptional. Beef, pork, chicken, turkey, fish, it doesn't matter. I take it a step further and leave the meat on the bone and will make a soup from an entire chicken. It gives a little more flavor and then I can use the meat for something else, like chicken salad, a chicken pie, or put it back into the soup for a hearty stew.
So, you take your bones or chicken and place them in a big pot of water. You could use whey, but that is for another blog. I bring it to a slight boil and let it set for hours on the stove simmering. Having a wood stove makes it much easier but you can use and electric or gas stove or even a crock pot.
Once your soup broth has reduced down, all the meat should fall off the bones and you should have much less water than you started with. Then you let it cool slightly and pour it through a strainer. A fine stainless steel strainer or cheese cloth will do. Separate your any meat from the bones and set aside.
Now you have your broth. It can be frozen or use it right away to make your soup.
What you put in your soup is up to you. You can leave it as it is and add some or all of the following herbs or you can put in vegetables, meat or mushrooms, rice, noodles, or anything else you choose. It is fun to experiment.
Garlic, cayenne pepper, ginger, lemon, parsley, oregano, cilantro, sage thyme, turmeric, and many other herbs all help to build the immune system. I try to use as many as possible.
If you add some unrefined coconut oil you will get a hint of coconut flavor as well as even more beneficial nutrients for your body. I prefer coconut cream concentrate for a rich coconut flavor which is especially good when using ginger, lemon, cayenne, garlic, and cilantro.
Soup is so soothing and good for you! So go make some soup!
Nutmeg November 07 2014, 0 Comments
If you haven't had the opportunity to try fresh grated nutmeg, you really need to indulge yourself. This exotic herb loses much of its flavor quickly. Keeping whole nuts and grating them when needed is the preferred method and it really does make a difference. The fragrance is aromatic and uplifting. Nutmeg is a ancient spice known to heighten the senses and provide health benefits to include: relieving pain, soothing indigestion, increasing immune system function, and detoxifying the body.
There is much folklore surrounding the nut. It was thought to have magical powers to ward off disease and was also known to increase virility. Throughout history amulets made from nutmeg were worn and graters made of silver, ivory or wood were kept.
The essence of nutmeg reminds me of Christmas. There is nothing like fresh cream eggnog with grated nutmeg. It is a must for the holidays and one of my favorite simple treats is warmed milk with molasses, turmeric and grated nutmeg. Not only is it pleasant and soothing, but is beneficial to your body. My husband even likes it!
As with all good things there are limitations. A word of caution: Nutmeg consumed in quantity can cause hallucinations and in large doses may be lethal. Not more than a pinch per serving or half teaspoon in a recipe is recommended. It should be used sparingly and should not be given to children.
I think every woman wants beautiful skin and in order for your skin to be beautiful it must first be healthy. The skin is the largest organ of the human body. It needs to be fed, nourished, and protected just as the rest, and as harsh, dry winter weather approaches our skin needs additional nourishment and protection.
It is important to cleanse the skin with a nondrying soap and seal moisture in so that it can remain soft and supple and deter premature wrinkles. Although all of our skin needs moisture, our face is the most exposed and has thinner skin that dries more quickly.
I can’t stress how important it is that any products you put on your skin must be natural and non-toxic. Our bodies are exposed to so much pollution and irritants that every possible way that we can avoid them, brings us closer to being truly healthy.
Our Skincare Collection and other skincare products
Our Facial Cleanse is made with organic castile soap and other ingredients that moisturize as they clean. The essential oils of lavender and geranium have antiseptic and healing qualities that have long been known to improve the skin. The Facial Spray is a toner/astringent made from Witchhazel, well known for condensing the pours and discouraging blemishes. Lavender Cream is my personal favorite to moisturize the face. It is a medium to heavy blend of oils whipped into a cream that leaves the skin feeling soft and new. We also have Rejuvenating Butter an extremely rich moisturizer for all over and don’t forget those lips. Our Lip Balm is delicious, moisturizing and protects from the sun as well.
You are what you eat
So now that I have talked about nourishing and protecting the skin from the outside and about some of the products that we have that may help you, I must also tell you how important it is to nourish and protect the skin from the inside. Drink lots of good clean water. An organic herbal tea can do wonders for your skin and wellbeing. Raw dairy, yes raw dairy, builds the immune system, helps your body more readily absorb nutrients and will make you glow. Stay away from processed foods and eat naturally raised local meats and produce whenever possible.
Sweet Annie October 08 2014, 0 Comments
I have a big bunch of Sweet Annie (Artemisia annua) also known as sweet wormwood, sweet sagewort, annual wormwood, and qīnghāo, growing just as you enter the garden. It is a tall fern like plant that isn't very impressive, but has a heavenly aroma.
I have been harvesting it and bringing it into my home where the fragrance is almost intoxicating. Sweet Annie has long been used to fight bacterial infections and is most commonly used in a preparation for malaria. It amazes me that such a sweet smelling herb can be so potent.
Dana, who also lives on the farm has been making grapevine wreaths intertwined with the Sweet Annie and laced with rosehips and tansy. They dry so well and are very pretty.
Fall is here and that means Winter is coming. One of my favorite remedies for a cold crisp morning is Elderberry "Shrub" Tea. Elderberries have wonderful immune system building properties and "Shrub" is an age old way of preserving fruits and berries into a beverage using apple cider vinegar and sugar. I prefer honey. Most of you already know the health benefits of apple cider vinegar and honey.
I take as many elderberries as I can find and place them in a stainless steel or glass bowl. Cover them with apple cider vinegar. Organic with the "mother" is best. Cover with a cloth and let sit for a few days to ferment, longer in the refrigerator if you like. Strain the juice and berries through a sieve and cheese cloth to get all the juice. Simmer on the stove with a little honey, raw local is best. I usually use a 1-4 ratio, you can always add more honey to your tea afterwards. Once juice and honey have condensed to a light syrup, pour into sterilized glass jars and store in a cool dark place. When a beverage is desired, use a couple tablespoons added to water or hot water for tea. It soothes the throat, builds the immune system and is very nice when you feel the onset of a cold.
We are excited to announce the launch of our brand new look and website. We are no longer just at the farmers markets and farm store. Our all natural herbal products are now available for your purchase on-line. We are just getting started and will have lots more to come. Look for our new products and experience many of our readily available products.
We look forward to providing our all natural, non toxic herbal products to benefit your good health and beauty. All made with love and blessings. Dina