A Survivor’s Guide to the Essential Oil Craze



After recently having a class on aromatherapy at our Herbal weekend, I thought this post was fitting especially with all the info, good and bad out there. GREAT POST!!! Enjoy – and please comment if you’d like. :)

Originally posted on Madhupa Maypop:

“…there’s an essential oil for that,” they say…

It is with great love, concern and respect for the plant kingdom that I write this post. As a Community Herbalist, I feel it is my responsibility to offer information to the community I serve. Please read this post and SHARE if you resonate with what I write.

(For the record, I do use essential oils ~ but *very* sparingly. For example, in one quart of herb-infused oil with melted beeswax to make salve, I would use about 10-13 drops of lavender essential oil. The reason I am posting this on essential oils, is because ~ just like everyone else ~ I am exploring right relationship with this type of herbal preparation.)

There is a deep, rich, long line of herbalist traditions on every continent of the planet.  Most of these traditions use plants in their raw form, infusing plant material in…

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Headache Relief Recipes

Headache Relief Recipes

Last month I posted some information regarding Feverfew for migraines and how to use it. Not everyone finds relief with just one particular remedy so I found a few more that you can add to your medicine cabinet. Personally feverfew works for me with migraines but not necessarily with tension headaches.

Peppermint essential oil seems to work with sinus type headaches and sometimes with tension headaches I add lavender. Think of it in terms of Western Medicine for a moment: If you had a headache you may reach for Advil, someone else may grab a Goody’s powder and another may need a Zomig(Ugghhh). Therefore, we need more herbal choices so we do not go get those dreaded over the counter meds.

Mint and lots of it!!!

Mint and lots of it!!!

I am going to make this recipe later today. Click the title for the full post from Fresh Bites Daily!

Your New Migraine Remedy

It is a tincture that includes fresh feverfew, peppermint and lemon balm. I have noted a small mistake in the post, at least I think it is, towards the end on the second set of measurements it says -

Add 1.5 oz. fresh herbs(I think they mean dried because earlier the measurements were 3 oz. fresh with a higher alcohol content) Personally I will use the following method, now that I have learned it:

Tincture Using Fresh Plant

It is a 1:2 ratio of plant to menstruum for fresh plants. I looked up the alcohol content needed for the plants and two out the three called for 100% alcohol(menstruum). Really it is 95%  and I am using organic cane alcohol.:) For 4 ounces by WEIGHT, you need 8 ounces of alcohol. 4 ounces can be a lot so make sure your jar is at least double the size of your menstruum. IF you pack it all in there and fresh material is sticking up, shake it well and wait 24 hours. If it is still sticking up, top off with a bit more menstruum. Then shake daily and strain after two weeks. Dosage is 1/4 tsp. up to 3x/day, more frequently if an acute situation – every 20-30 minutes.

PS: for dried plants the ratio is 1:5 and usually the alcohol content changes.


Quick Headache Balm

1/4 cup plus 1 T Organic unrefined coconut oil

1-2 T beeswax(depends on how hard you want the balm, test after 1 T on a cold spoon to harden, add more beeswax if needed)

15-20 drops peppermint essential oil

10-12 drops lavender essential oil

Melt the coconut oil and beeswax over low heat. Get your containers ready – I use small 1/2 ounce plastic jars so this amount would make about 5-6 that size. Add your essential oils to the oil/beeswax mix, stir and pour into clean containers. Let harden then cap. I keep one of these in my purse so it is handy when I am out. Apply to your temples, at the base of the neck, across forehead, on your wrists(because sometimes a headache make you feel nauseous and/or to your pressure point between your thumb and forefinger.

Other helpful tips for headaches:

Chew on a basil leaf or a peppermint leaf

Drink a GIANT glass of water – sometimes you are just dehydrated

Drink some electrolytes like coconut water or this amazing drink – Tumeric Berry Lemonade

Put some lavender essential oil(diluted in a carrier oil) on your soles of your feet, across your forehead, close your eyes and lay down for about 20 minutes.

Soak your feet in a hot lavender water bath – oooohhhhh good!!!!

Eat something – you may just be hungry but make it good like protein not a cookie!

Have a hot cup of Kava Kava Chocolate drink from Rosalee de la Floret

Have a cup of Ginger Tea

Eat some crystallized ginger – LOVE

Acupressure Massage
This ancient Chinese healing method involves applying pressure to certain points on the body to relieve pain. Place your finger in the depression between your first and second toe and press firmly for 3 to 5 minutes. *Dr. Oz*

Eat some almonds except if you have a migraine, can sometimes trigger it.

Go for a walk outside.

Jump in a pool – you may be overheated OR no pool? Jump in a cool shower.

I hope you enjoyed today’s post! Please share with your friends :)





Blackberry Adaptogenic Smoothie Recipe


I admit, I am on a creative drink thing lately!!! Don’t really know why but it is fun and why not? :D

A couple days ago I had picked some blackberries and dew berries and still had a handful in the fridge. I thought about making something frozen and delicious!

purple smoothie

Isn’t it beautiful?

It started with just the blackberries and almond milk and ice but then in went the vanilla protein powder(low sugar kind), a bit of gluccie and then I remembered the adaptogenic herb mix!!!

Let me explain some of those ingredients first before you think I went off the deep end, gluccie WHAT!?!? Trim Healthy Mama term for:


- a dietary fiber made from the Konjac Root which helps as an appetite suppressant and weight management.

As for the  adaptogenic herb mix, I got that recipe from Andrea at Frugally Sustainable and I will share it with you too.

Adaptogenic Herbal Smoothie Mix


-2 parts Eleuthero powder
-1 part Tulsi powder
-1 part Maca powder
-1 part Ashwagandha powder
-1/2 part Tumeric root powder

***You can find all of these herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs. 


1. Simply measure and mix all ingredients in a large bowl until well combined.

2. Transfer to a glass mason jar and store in a cool, dark place.

3. To use…take 1 teaspoon of the powder daily. It’s super yummy in smoothies, nut milks with a touch of honey, or mixed into your favorite foods

While this supplement is good for all of us…seriously consider taking this powder daily if you experience: chronic fatigue, anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia, decreased libido, or adrenal insufficiency. From Andrea – FS.


Handful of blackberries

1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Blend these two together and strain, if desired. Add back to the blender with -

1/4 tsp gluccie

1 tsp. adaptogen herb mix


Blend then add 1/2-1 scoop vanilla protein powder

Blend until smooth! If desired add stevia or honey to taste.




Tumeric Berry Lemonade Recipe

Tumeric Berry Lemonade Recipe

Sometimes I just make up recipes! It may have been inspired from someone else’s recipe or I just see what is around in the kitchen that I can use. Really this may have been inspired from a Trim Healthy Mama drink.

I had a headache from being out in the heat, was thirsty and wanted something refreshing with an anti-inflammatory bonus.  Refreshing antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and electrolyte drink. Water, ice, lemons, lime, celtic sea salt, raspberries, coconut oil, tumeric, ginger and stevia. Mmmmm good! So the “Tumeric Berry Lemonade” was born!


I shared it on face book and everyone loved it so here is the recipe! ENJOY :)

Tumeric Berry Lemonade

8-10 oz water – needed for rehydration
Pinch sea salt – electrolyte
Healthy pinch powdered ginger(was too lazy to grate fresh) – anti-inflammatory
About 1/8 tsp tumeric (cucurmin – powerful anti-inflammatory)
1/4 of a lemon 
Wedge of lime
1 tsp. Organic coconut oil – electrolyte, energy boost
Stevia to taste
8-10 raspberries – antioxidant
Mix well. Add ice.

The coconut oil will solidify in small pieces but I like it when I get one.

I love coconut oil and here is a bonus from Miss Katie over at Wellness Mama to tell you of all the good uses for coconut oil!  Coconut Oil Benefits

Wildcrafting Wednesday




Eat The Peppergrass!

Eat The Peppergrass!

Peppergrass? As the name implied – the seed pods or disks or whatever they are called taste spicy and peppery. I never really paid any attention to this plant. It always seemed insignificant, tiny and I kind of didn’t notice it much. Today, on the other hand, it seemed to just jump out at me in the horses side pasture, it was EVERYWHERE. Yep one of those invasives and usually it gets mowed over but now that I know a bit more about it, we can eat it!

Some people call it peppergrass and some call it pepper weed, actually virginia pepper weed. Botanical name is Lepidium viginicum. Fromwhat I have gathered, many of the Lepidium species are peppery and edible.

Here is the picture of my plant that I picked. Below the picture is the link to Greene Dean’s article on peppergrass. Love his stuff!!!


Peppergrass: Potent Pipsqueak



Lepidium Virginicum: Bottlebrush Peppergrass

There are two ways of thinking about peppergrass, either as a real neat wild treat, or an obnoxious, noxious weed. Regardless of your world view — or weed view — peppergrass is a survivor and part of man’s diet for many thousands of years. As far back as 300 BC Pliny was writing about the Lepidium, and more than a thousand years before that the Incas were cultivating it. Read more…



What Does Community Mean To You?

What Does Community Mean To You?

When you think of the word – Community, what comes to mind?

A neighborhood?

A place to hang out?

A group of people?

As defined in Webster’s, here are ALL the definitions!!! Just bear with me a minute. :)

: a group of people who live in the same area (such as a city, town, or neighborhood)

: a group of people who have the same interests, religion, race, etc.

: a group of nations

:  a unified body of individuals: as

a :  statecommonwealth

b :  the people with common interests living in a particular area; broadly :  the area itself <the problems of a largecommunity>

c :  an interacting population of various kinds of individuals (as species) in a common location

d :  a group of people with a common characteristic or interest living together within a larger society <a communityof retired persons>

e :  a group linked by a common policy

f :  a body of persons or nations having a common history or common social, economic, and political interests <the international community>

g :  a body of persons of common and especially professional interests scattered through a larger society <the academiccommunity>

:  society at large
a :  joint ownership or participation <community of goods>

b :  common character :  likeness <community of interests>

c :  social activity :  fellowship

d :  a social state or condition

Ok so we have enough definitions and examples, don’t ya think? Community to me is my family,
My cute family!

My cute family!

Doggie community

Doggie community

Chicken community - sharing the bounty!

Chicken community – sharing the bounty!

my friends, my coworkers at the Farmer’s Market and of course, my Ladies Homestead gals.
No matter what you call your group, your peeps, you do things with and for each other  and share or contribute to build relationships.
Without community, we are just one lonely soul thinking we can do it all by our self with no help from others. Sad but true for some. Community makes us stronger!
You frequently hear me talk about bartering at the market and with friends and know that I LOVE this. I would be so on board with a no money barter only society but I don’t think that is going to happen anytime soon, if so I am ready. :)
My market community – I had one loaf of bread left at the market this week and Hal from Foster-Brady Farm next door to me had some veggies left. I gave  him the loaf and he shared with me a bunch of stuff!!! So sweet! He did not want to go home with it so I happily obliged. I got a bag – big bag of broccoli, three 8-ball squash and some kale and lettuce. Sharing equals happiness!!
I purchased the cabbage , beets and dog treats

I purchased the cabbage , beets and dog treats

While packing up, Gail had some flowers left so she gave me some lilies and echinacea.
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So what did I do with all that broccoli?
We ate some that night then today I cut it all up and put the florets in ziplocs and now what to do with all those stems???? I just can’t see throwing them out, maybe soup.
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PS The color came out weird in the stalks pic, they are all green!!! Hahaha…
Here are a couple ideas I should try!

Broccoli Stalk Soup


Broccoli Hushpuppies

broccoli hushpuppies
OR Holy Moly !!
Broccoli Stem Pesto

Broccoli Stem Pesto

Enjoy your day today and share with me what community means to you. :D

Harvesting Feverfew

Harvesting Feverfew

So what is feverfew? Up until 4 years ago, I never heard of it! Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) is used mainly for headaches – migraines to be more specific. I USED to get migraines, yep USED to until I stated taking feverfew capsules and have not had a migraine in years. It was probably the start of my road to herbalism.

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My patch!!!

After purchasing the capsules and taking them for each day for 90 days, I realized I needed to get more or find my own feverfew to make some capsules. At the time, I was afraid to stop taking them and wasn’t even sure how long I could be on them but until knowing more, I was not stopping. I looked all over my property, neighbors property and no feverfew…sigh so I planted my very first medicinal seeds and a few months later I had my very own patch of feverfew that keeps reseeding itself and coming back each spring. Of course I still needed to do something to either make my own capsules or buy another bottle so I found a reliable source of organic dried feverfew from Mountain Rose Herbs, ordered a pound(yeah why the heck did I need a pound? Rookie mistake), ordered the capsule making machine and gel capsules and I was on my way to making medicine!

I made lots and lots and lots of capsules and shared them with everyone!!! Anyone that had ever had a migraine was going to try them – with precautions, I might add. Not being too over zealous here because feverfew does have some contraindications and may not be for everyone.

Here is the good and the bad:

Helps headaches by controlling the inflammation that causes blood vessel constriction in the head which may contribute to headaches. It works to inhibit the release of two inflammatory substances, serotonin and prostaglandins, both believed to contribute to the onset of migraines.

Pain relief for arthritis

Reduces fevers, hence the name. :)

Can use as a flea rinse for pets

Warnings: Since it opens the blood vessels vs. constriction – it may bring on menses- heavier than normal too. I would usually back off a few days during my cycle.

Do not use while pregnant.

Do not use if allergic to plants in the ragweed family. ***If you are allergic, taking the freeze dried capsules may be a good choice but definitely not fresh!

Ok back to the harvest. There is bunches and bunches outside and I only harvested a small amount although it looks like a giant amount at first.

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I left it in the basket for two days to start drying before I garbled. Ahhh new word? Well it was to me! Garbling is removing all the unwanted plant parts, debris and any insects to leave you with all the good stuff!!

I stripped the leaves off the thick stems, clipped the flowers off the small stems and this is what I have left to allow to dry completely. I will weigh it after it is completely dried and work on another pile of feverfew.

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By the way, you don’t have to make those capsules, here are a couple of easier ways to make your medicine ;)

Tea – 2-3 tsp. dried feverfew to one cup of boiling water. Let steep for 10-15 minutes. I like to combine this with either holy basil or a touch of lavender.

Lavender-Feverfew Migraine Tincture – Recipe from Rosemary Gladstar

1 part California poppy(seed, flower & leaf)

1 part feverfew leaf

1 part lavender bud

80 proof vodka, brandy or vegetable glycerin if you don’t want the alcohol. Not as strong but still effective

Chop herbs fine. Place them in a clean, dry glass jar. Pour enough alcohol over the herbs to completely cover them by 2″. Seal jar and label with the date. Shake your jar daily and you can strain it after two weeks. I usually do mine between the 3rd and 4th week. Some say after two weeks, others 4-6 weeks. Dosage – for long term use – take 1/2 tsp. 2x/day for up to 3 months. Discontinue for 3-4 weeks, then repeat the cycle as needed. For acute symptoms, take 1/4 tsp. every 20-30 minutes for up to 2 hours.

PS: Here is a botanical of feverfew to compare to other plants that may resemble it. The leaves are what you need to know to distinguish them from chamomile or may weed or daisy etc…

 koeh-036-feverfewFeverfew Botanical illustration – note the flowers appear to have 10 petals but actually there are 5 pairs of petals. The petals are blunted on the edges.

small white asters

small white asters

Hope you enjoyed today’s post!
Wildcrafting Wednesday

Leave me a comment if you have used feverfew or if you have any other headache/migraine remedies -