Echinacea angustifolia (commonly known as Purple coneflower)
Family: Compositae (Daisy)
Parts Used: Entire plant but the root is the most potent
Echinacea is a must have herb around here, at the onset of any illness or infection I start administering echinacea immediately and very often - like every hour. I love using this herb because it is so gentle so I can use it on my little ones, yet super powerful so it can give any invader the boot.
Herbal Actions and Properties
Echinacea has a special property of not only stimulating the immune system but fortifying and protecting cells against foreign invaders such as viruses and bacteria. Because of this property it can be used for any type of illness or infection in the body. Here are just a few of the most common ailments echinacea has been used to treat:
Methods of Use
When treating external conditions take both internally and then apply externally as well.
In the Garden
You can purchase echinacea in your local nursery in the spring. It is in the perennial section under the name purple coneflower, just make sure you check the latin name to be Echinacea angustifolia. You can also start from seed. The most common Echinacea is E. purpurea, this species can also be used, it is just not as potent as the angustifolia species.
Harvesting the entire plant (at least 3 years old):
Echinacea can be taken as a tea, tincture or capsule. I prefer to use it as a glycerite. The key to having the best results using it is taking it at the very first sign of illness and taking it often for a short period of time. As I mentioned above, I administer it every hour (that you are awake) for a 24 hour period and then I evaluate and see if more is needed at which point I may lesson the duration of time to 3 times a day. I never go beyond a week just because the body has taken care of the problem by then. I almost always use echinacea in addition to other herbs specific to the ailment/coniditon I am treating.
Here are the dosage amounts I use, which can be adjusted per person and conditon. Sometimes I feel I need to give it every half hour or maybe every two hours...you can read your body (or children's body) quite easily during an illness to see what will work best for you.
Tea - one cup of tea, 3-5 times a day (adult)
one cup of tea, 2-3 times a day (children)
Tincture/glycerite - 1-2 dropperfuls every hour (children)
2-3 dropperfuls every hour (adult)
Capsules - 2-3 capsules every hour
Where can I purchase Echinacea
You can grow your own echinacea starting from plant (at your local nursery) or seed (can be purchased from Mountain Rose Herbs or Baker Creek Seeds) or purchase high quality, organic and sustainably grown herb from Mountain Rose Herbs or Bulk Herb Store. The herb comes in root form since that is where it is the most potent. It comes in powder, chopped or if purchasing from Mountain Rose Herbs you can get it already tinctured either the entire plant (root, leaf, flower, seed) or just the root or in capsues. You could get it at your local healthfood store but I haven't been impressed with the quality of herbs at mine so I don't like to purchase them there.
I love to use my Miracle Face Cream for dry, flaky skin, wrinkles and other skin conditions. But sometimes just a little more power is needed in rejuvenating skin and even tackling those fine lines around the eyes and mouth. I originally made this serum for healing and preventing scars but have since used it for those fine line wrinkle areas around my face, I now use it every night as part of my face care routine. It is also very soothing and healing for hang nails, paper cuts, boils, sores of all kinds and any other type of skin condition. Just keep in mind, a little goes a long way.
2 Tbsp. Calendula infused olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. rosehip oil
1 1/2 tsp. wheat germ oil
1/2 tsp. Vitamin E oil
10 drop helichrysum essential oil
4 drops myrrh essential oil
10 drops carrot seed essential oil
10 drops frankincense essential oil
Mix all ingredients together in a glass bottle with dropper. Roll the bottle between your hands to fully incorporate ingredients.
Where to get the ingredients
You can easily make your own Calendula oil but if you would rather purchase it Mountain Rose Herbs carries it along with a large selection of carrier oils and other herbal oils. Butterfly Express also has a pretty good selection of carrier oils at a really great price. I have made a point not to recommend essential oils but encourage you to do your research when deciding what to use. Just be aware all essential oils are not created equally, this information may be helpful when deciding.
*I am not affiliated with any of these companies, I just love their products.
The time has come to share the recipe for my Miracle Face Cream. After the birth of my last child, I developed a horrible case of eczema on my hands, which slowly started to grow up my arm. I had to stop using all commercial products as they seemed to agravate the condition. I was forced out of necessity to make all personal care products from scratch, so I knew exactly what was in them. I found that even "healthfood store" products had undesirable ingredients in them and I wanted everything in as raw a form as possible. I found many recipes for lotion and played around with a few versions before I developed this perfect combination of ingredients and the way to get that perfectly creamy texture that will not separate after the initial mixing.
I have since used this cream for my face and found it to not only prevent skin damage and wrinkles but to heal and keep moisture in the delicate skin of the face. My Mom found it to actually reverse her wrinkles since she has a silly habit of using new face creams on only half of her face to see if they really work. You can see the results of her experiment below, this was after using the cream for 3 weeks. I have also used this as a hand and body lotion, for dry patches of skin, rashes, eczema and all types of skin conditions.
1 oz. beeswax
.85 oz. coconut oil
.45 oz. cocoa butter
.40 oz. mango butter
1/4 tsp. lanolin
3/4 cup Calendula infused olive oil
Add to a small saucepan and melt over very low heat. Pour into a blender and let sit until it becomes an opaque color with a pudding like consistency.
1 tsp. of Ageless essential oil blend from Butterfly Express (or create your own blend)
1 tsp. Vitamin E oil
Add the following ingredients into a measuring cup:
2/3 cup distilled water
1/3 cup aloe vera liquid (I prefer the Mountain Rose Herbs aloe vera)
Turn on the blender and slowly pour the liquid mixture while it is going. It may get so thick the blender chugs and doesn't want to mix just turn it off, add more liquid if you still have some left, give it a stir and turn it on again. I use a Blendtec and it comes with a twister jar that allows me to easily turn the contents while blending so if you happen to have a Blendtec I highly recommend the twister jar attachment. Continue blending until the liquid is fully incorporated and you have a rich, thick, cream.
Where to Get Ingredients
I have gotten my ingredients from several places but my favorite and highest quality ingredients have been from Mountain Rose Herbs, I always purchase from them when possible. I have also used Bulk Apothecary and Amazon.
*Just a quick note that I am not affliliated with these businesses, I just really love Mountain Rose Herbs and love the deals that Bulk Apothecary offers.
I was introduced to Earthpaste years ago when I was suffering so much with very sensitive teeth. I had tried the sensitive toothpastes, but was also on a mission to clear all chemical laden items from my home which meant I was searching for an all natural toothpaste as well. After using Earthpaste for only a week my teeth had completely lost the senstivity, but that wasn't all, I noticed my teeth were whiter and I could actually see new gum growth on the tops of teeth where a dentist had once warned me of receding gums.
While Earthpaste is mixed to perfection and very convenient in a push tube, it is costly at $8.00 a tube (yet still worth every penny in my opinion). So I decided to try my hand at mixing my own at a fraction of the cost. We had a fun time mixing up different flavors while also sticking with the flavors Earthpaste comes in.
The reason Earthpaste works so well is the ingredients;
Redmond clay pulls bacteria and germs from the mouth like a magnet while putting in calcium and other minerals (also known as remineralizing).
Real salt acts as a steralizer, healer of mouth sores and gums as well as giving the paste it's scrubbing action to remove plaque and other build up on teeth.
Xylitol serves dual purposes as a sweetener and is also known for prevention of tooth decay and remineralizing.
Tea tree essential oil is antibacterial and fights infection, cleansing the mouth of bacteria in addition to the clay.
Essential oils add flavoring and each one has its own powerhouse of bacteria and infection fighting properties.
1 cup Redmond clay
1/4 cup Xylitol (powdered in a coffee grinder)
1 teaspoon Real salt
3 cups distilled water
10 drops tea tree essential oil
other essential oils for flavoring
Stir the clay, Xylitol and salt in a glass mixing bowl. Add the water and stir with a wooden spoon until the clay mixture is incorporated well. It may seem really runny at first but will continue to thicken to a ketcup consistency. Add the tea tree oil and stir well. Because I wanted several flavors I filled glass spice jars and added 10 drops of essential oil per jar. You can make a big batch in a quart jar or whatever you have on hand, just make sure to use glass. Add essential oils to taste. I made several different flavors; peppermint, wintergreen, cinnamon, lemon, orange, lemon/lime (which tastes like skittles) and a Four Thieves blend of cinnamon, lemon, clove and rosemary.
I like to use a wooden popsicle stick to apply. When working with clay always use glass and wood to avoid rusting in metal and pulling of toxins from plastic. After brushing I make a rinse with 2 cups of distilled water and 7 drops of the four thieves blend (or just plain clove oil), then don't forget the floss.
Where do I get the ingredients
Redmond clay can be purchased online at their website, they also have a store finder link on the website as well. I have also seen it at my local healthfood store and Amazon. If you would rather just purchase the Earthpaste you can find it at all of these places as well. I purchase my Xylitol from my local healthfood store, you can also purchase that from Amazon as well.
*I am not affiliated with Redmond, I just really love their products.
Yay! Christmas season is here! I want to share with you this beautiful video (click on image above) that portrays how we are Christ's hands here on earth. He spent His life in selfless service and gave the ultimate sacrifice for each one of us, let us give to Him by following His commandments and serving our fellow man. I invite you this Christmas season to join with me in serving others by following this countdown to Christmas and "Lighting the World" as Jesus showed by His example. I wish you all a Merry Christmas!
It's the time of year for mixing up some herbal remedies for the winter season. There are many recipes out there to boost the immune system and aid the body in healing from colds and flu, but many of them aren't so tasty. I love my remedies to not only aid the body in healing but to taste good as well, especially if I am going to be giving them to my kiddos. I can handle taking a vinegar/garlic blend but they wouldn't touch it after the first round and since herbs work best when taken regularly (when treating acute conditions, I administer them every waking hour until the person is feeling better).
With all that in mind my immune boosting blend is simple and delicious, just three ingredients. My favorite way to prepare it is in a glycerite but you could make a syrup, tincture, tea or capsule with the blend also.
Cold Kicker Blend
3 parts elderberry
2 parts echinacea root
1 part rosehips
You can read all about the properties of elderberry here, echinacea stimulates the body to release more white blood cells which are the virus/bacteria fighters and rosehips have a very high concentration of vitamin C which also gives the immune system a boost to aid the body in fighting off infection and viruses.
These are just general guidelines, each body will respond differently. If I feel like I need more I take more, if my child asks for more, I give them more. Our bodies know what they need if we are in tune with them.
Acute conditions = you are sick:
Glycerite/tincture - 2 to 3 dropperfuls every waking hour
tea - 2 to 3 cups a day
Glycerite/tincture - 2 to 3 dropperfuls a day
tea - 1 cup, 2 to 3 times a week
Where can I get these herbs?
I love to grow what I can in my garden, then harvest, dry and store them myself. What I don't grow I purchase from Mountain Rose Herbs or Bulk Herb Store, I love and use both of them for their high quality and organic properties. With that said my home grown are always the freshest and best quality of any herbs I have every purchased.
Breakfast is our favorite meal of the day and sometimes the only meal I can get Little Man to eat...but he sure does eat a lot of it. With all that pumpkin in the fridge I have been adding it to everything, today we got a taste of it in our French Toast. I usually use our whole grain bread for french toast but after walking the bakery section at Smith's Marketplace I had to purchase the cinnamon bread and make it a special treat...and it was.
1 cup milk
½ cup pumpkin puree
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
pinch of Real salt
1 loaf of bread
Blend the ingredients together and use to dip the bread in and cook on the griddle until toasty. Sprinkle with cream cheese syrup.
Cream Cheese Syrup
4 oz. cream cheese
1 cup pure maple syrup
Blend in a blender until smooth and creamy. This is the same glaze we used for the Pumpkin Donuts and we loved it so much we just want to put it on everything!
I love the harvest season. For some reason this year my biggest crops were those planted by Little Man, which means we had lots of pumpkins. One of the pumpkin varieties he planted were New England Sugar Pie Pumpkins and we had about 20 of them on one plant. We have been cooking up a different pumpkin recipe every week and I will be sharing some of them with you this month....tis the season for pumpkins!
Pumpkin Spice Doughnuts
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.
2 cups pastry flour (soft white wheat)
½ cup sucanat
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. Real salt
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
In a separate bowl mix all the "wet" ingredients.
1 cup pumpkin puree
¼ cup milk
¼ cup oil
Gently mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined. Fill donut pan(s) with batter. Bake at 325 for 15 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes and then turn pan over and shake the doughnuts out. Dip tops in cream cheese glaze. Makes 12 donuts.
Cream Cheese Glaze
4 oz. cream cheese
1 cup maple syrup
Place in blender and blend until a smooth, creamy consistency.
Other Pumpkin Recipes from the Blog
After much prayer and pondering I have decided to dissolve the store portion of my website here at Annie's Place. I have been guided down or I should say "up" a different path this year and I'm having a hard time balancing all of my responsibilities, so it is time to let something go. I still feel compelled to continue with the blog and building the resources here on the website, when time allows. I have always wanted to have the herbal remedies I share available for purchase for those who don't have the time or skill to make their own. But the time has come to let others go "fishing" themselves, rather than me providing the fish. On a positive note, this also means I will be sharing my "secret" recipe for my Miracle Face Cream....look for that in the coming month (or two if we are going to be realistic).
In the mean time I have compiled all the salves I had in my store right here in one convenient place for those who want to dive right in.
I’m Annie. Welcome to my place where I share what I have learned of natural and frugal living, healthy eating, gardening, homeschooling, herbal crafting, preparing temporally and spiritually, and love for God and Country.
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