The Many Benefits of Honey

Honey is well known for being a health food but does it have health benefits or is it just another fad food?

Honey is made up of sugar, water, and some vitamins. It does not contain any fat but does contain minuscule amounts of protein and fiber.

Let’s take a look at what all is in honey:

  • Sugar (fructose, glucose, and sucrose)
  • Water
  • Vitamins B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, & C
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Zinc

See a complete composition of honey here.Continue reading →

What are Tinctures?

Tinctures are an infusion of herbs in alcohol and water that is meant to be taken internally to treat or prevent ailments.

a solution of alcohol or of alcohol and water, containing animal, vegetable, orchemical drugs1

History

Tinctures have been around for quite some time but they haven’t been used for medicinal purposes the way we do today for very long.

Over 1,500 years ago the Chinese began the practice of steeping herbs in wine to create medicine. These Medicinal Wines were used to treat things like arthritis, infertility, chronic skin diseases, injuries, fractures, colds, asthma, loss of voice, and much, much more. The wines are more often used to treat older adults, though there are some treatments for younger adults and children.Continue reading →

How to Make Tinctures

Making tinctures are a great addition to the natural first aid kit and are easy to make!

How to Make Tinctures

What you will need:

  • A mason jar
  • Chosen herb(s)
  • Alcohol-Vodka 80-90 proof
  1. Fill the jar up with ½-¾ with fresh or dried herbs. If using fresh herbs, chop them up to help release the juices.
  2. Fill the jar up with alcohol, enough so that it covers the herbs.
  3. Shake the jar. Herbs should be able to move freely.
  4. Keep the jar in a cool, dark place for 4-8 weeks.
  5. Shake a couple times per week and make sure there is always alcohol covering the herbs.

After 4-8 weeks…Continue reading →

What is a Glycerite?

If you’ve ever made or had a tincture that does not contain alcohol you have had a glycerite!

Before we get into what a glycerite is, let’s talk about its main ingredient, glycerin.

Glycerin was accidentally discovered in 1779 by K. W. Scheele, a Swedish chemist.  M. E. Chevreul gave glycerin its name in 1811 after the Greek word, glykys, meaning sweet. It did not become an important ingredient until 1866 when Alfred Nobel invented dynamite. From there it became a commercialized ingredient.Continue reading →

St. John’s Wort

St. John’s Wort is best known for its use in treating depression. It has many uses but also must be used with caution as it interacts with many medications.

St. John’s Wort lost its popularity in the 1800’s but has made a rebound in recent years. It is the number one treatment for depression in Germany and at one point it had outsold the antidepressant Prozac.

In the mid-1600’s it was popular to use earthworms and other animal parts as a medicinal ingredient. An oil compound made up of St. John’s Wort, earthworms, and other herbs were a popular remedy at that time.Continue reading →

Elderberry

You may have seen elderberry cough syrup on the grocery store shelf right next to the rest of the cough syrup. Recently, it has become a popular home remedy for treating colds and the flu but has been used for centuries to treat these things and more.

Elderberry juice was used to treat the flu epidemic in Panama in 1995 and the German Commission E (German FDA) approved elderberry for treatment of coughs, bronchitis, fevers, and colds. Though it has been known for centuries as a remedy to help treat some illnesses and boost the immune system, only recently has there been studies to show us the possibilities of the elderberry in modern-day medicine.Continue reading →

Poison Ivy Identification

If you have ever had a run-in with poison ivy you know how irritating it can be, but do you know some of the history behind it or how to identify it?

During the late 1700’s Europeans were fascinated by plants that are native to North America. As unimaginable as it may think, poison ivy seeds were sold as exotic plants.

The first written account of poison ivy was in 1624!Continue reading →

Pawpaw

The pawpaw is not only native to North America, but it is also the most northern species in the Annonaceae family, a mostly tropical custard apple family.

 

In 1541, a Portuguese officer made the first written account of the pawpaw while he was on an expedition of the southeastern United States. He wrote about the Native Americans growing and eating pawpaws in the Mississippi Valley region. Members of this expedition named the pawpaw after the papaya due to their similarities. In some areas around the world, the papaya is also called pawpaw which can lead to some confusion.Continue reading →

Stinging Nettle

Stinging nettle is a plant that you may or may not have had the pleasure to come across. It likes moist and nutrient-rich soils so when you walk along a river or a stream you may have been unfortunate enough to rub up against one. Little hairs on this plant create a stinging or burning sensation when it comes into contact with your skin.

Regardless of the painful nature of this plant people still eat it, use it for medicine, and make fabric and rope from its fibers. However, one should still be cautious of this plant especially with dogs as hunting dogs have died from extreme exposure to the plant.

It was once believed that if you pull up stinging nettles by their roots while calling a sick person’s name it would drive away a fever.

Nettle is native to North America but a different species was brought over from the U.K. Both plants are so similar that they are hard to differentiate but luckily they can be interchangeable. There are some other species of nettle including “false” nettle and wood nettle. You will want to familiarize yourself with the different species if you plan to go out and harvest some.Continue reading →

Wild Violets

Violets are neat little flowers that are sometimes considered a weed. Violets are also called Pansies. There are over 500 different species of violets and pansies in the genus Viola. 60 species are native to North America but a lot of what we find today are from Europe.

Since 500 B.C. violets have been used for medicinal purposes as well as for flavorings.

Syrup made from the flowers was used as laxatives for children and used as an expectorant for upper respiratory issues. The flowers can also be infused in oil to be used in salves and lip balms as well as infusing in honey for violet flavored honey. The flowers are completely edible so they are sometimes left in the honey.Continue reading →

Instagram
RSS
Follow by Email