Posted on Leave a comment

How to make honey fermented garlic

honey fermented garlic

Honey fermented garlic recipe your friend and family will love!

Honey fermented garlic is so easy to make, it’s perfect for first-time fermenters. The hardest part is peeling a jarful of garlic!

Garlic and honey have many proven health benefits. You can enjoy their beneficial properties by using them alone or together. They can be taken as medicinal supplements, or added to recipes in their natural form.

Garlic and honey have been used in traditional medicines around the world. The main health ingredient in garlic is allicin. It contains oxygen, sulfur, and other chemicals that give garlic antibacterial and disease-fighting properties.

It might sound counterintuitive to use honey as a fermentation medium due to its antimicrobial properties. Honey’s low pH (acidity) and extremely low water content help to kill off any invading microbes. However, by simply increasing the water content obtained by the juices released by the garlic, honey’s smothering antibacterial defence is weakened. Beneficial bacteria are allowed entry and the wild yeasts that were dormant in raw honey are stimulated. These yeasts kickstart the fermentation process by consuming the glucose and fructose found in the honey (and fructose from garlic), producing alcohol, carbon dioxide and acetic acid. These fermentation byproducts, along with keeping the ferment in an anaerobic (no oxygen) environment, preserve the food and create amazing flavour.

Fermenting garlic in honey is a perfect ferment for beginners because it is so easy! The raw honey naturally provides the right conditions for a delicious and probiotic ferment.

Fermented garlic honey should become a staple in your home. It’s really easy to make, will elevate the flavor of even the most tried and true dishes and can be your secret immune-boosting and cold-fighting weapon. Try it, and you’ll always need a jar on hand.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 heads of fresh garlic
  • 1 cup raw honey

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Sanitize an air-tight glass jar.
  • Fill the jar with peeled garlic leaving a 3cm of headroom. Bruise the garlic a bit to help with the fermentation.
  • Do this by pressing down on the garlic slightly with my kitchen knife until it cracks.
  • Pour raw honey over the garlic until it is completely covered. The garlic will naturally float above the honey, and that’s fine.
  • Place the jar somewhere dark to ferment, like a closet. Open the jar every 3 days to release the build-up of pressure (from the fermentation) then reseal the jar and turn it over. Rotating the jar will help keep the garlic submerged under the honey.
  • Ferment for at least 1 week or up to 3 months.
  • Once you start to use the garlic, store the jar in the fridge to prevent potential contamination.

No worries about botulism when it comes to this or other cultured foods. The good bacteria dominate and keep pathogens out. Botulism can only occur when you heat food and can or remove the oxygen. Heating the foods kills all the bacteria and then only botulism can survive the high heat. You never do this with cultured foods which makes them one of the safest foods to make and eat. Good bacteria dominate!

On average honey has a pH of around 3.9, so it is too acidic for botulism to be an issue. However, it is important to use pure raw honey in this recipe. A lot of commercial honey is fake or adulterated, which wouldn’t have the right pH, nor the natural microorganisms required for fermentation.

Fermented Garlic Tips

    1. Leave a couple of inches of headspace at the top of the jar.
    2. Seal the jar but not so tightly that pressure cannot escape.
    3. Place the jar on a saucer because it’s going to leak honey as it ferments and bubbles – a positive sign of fermentation!
    4. At first, the garlic cloves will float up to the top of the jar.
    5. Give it a stir (or tighten cap and shake) every few days to coat all the cloves.
    6. The honey will liquify as it starts to ferment. Eventually all the garlic sinks to bottom.
    7. The actual fermentation will slow down after the first couple of weeks.
    8. We recommend changing to a plastic lid at this point, because this ferment seems to commonly form rust on the lid.

Posted on Leave a comment

How to make a Blue Lotus wine infusion

blue lotus wine infusion

Blue Lotus Wine Infusion recipe.

Blue Lotus Wine Infusion has a long history of use and adoration across the continents. It has been used by many cultures including those of the Egyptian, Mayan, Syrian, and Thai peoples.

The ancient Egyptian peoples are most well known for their love of the Blue Lotus flower, they have even discovered the flowers laid upon the body of King Tut inside of his tomb.

Women and pharaohs would wear head dresses adorned with Blue Lotus flowers and they had many uses for it in both social and spiritual practices.

The flowers of Blue Lotus would be infused into wines- this preparation would be used during gathering thought to be what would be considered an orgy and during spiritual practice because of its euphoria inducing effects.

Blue Lotus contains nuciferan (a natural anti-spasmodic) along with aporphine, which will give you feelings of calming euphoria. For that reason, it is a natural anti-anxiety and stress reliever. No wonder it was often used in ancient social gatherings. It has been reported to be useful as an aphrodisiac and to remedy erectile dysfunction (which might explain the ancient nude party scenes depicted in some of the carvings!). Perhaps its a modern-day Viagra as well. On a more medicinal front, Blue Lotus is used to treat gastrointestinal problems, diarrhea and dyspepsia, being a great aid for sleep and helping chronic stress.

This magical elixir (Blue Lotion Infused Wine) was concealed by the early Church for well over 1500 years. It’s true purpose long forgotten until interest re-emerged again in the mid 1800’s when archeologists began asking questions. They too wondered why temple wall carvings showed Blue Lotus flowers laying over earthen jars. No one guessed it was to steep flowers in wine for its touted euphoric and “mind altering” use

Blue Lotus is apoptogenic; meaning it will adapt to the needs of the person taking its medicine. For example; if you are in need of deep relaxation it will act in that way- but if you are in need of a little bit of energy it will not make you tired.

Its effects are diverse:

  • Anti Anxiety
  • Calming nervine
  • Its anti spasmodic (contains a compound called nuciferan)
  • Pain relieving
  • Anti inflammatory
  • Treats gastrointestinal discomfort (indigestion, diarrhea, nausea)
  • Aids in restful sleep
  • Aphrodisiac
  • Remedy for erectile dysfunction
  • Supports PMS symptoms

INGREDIENTS:

30g Blue Lotus Flower (Shop here)

1 bottle of red or white wine (If using red wine opt for a Merlot, if using white opt for a dry white like Pinot noir).

DIRECTIONS:

1. The general ratio used is 30g of blue lotus leaf and stamen, to 1 bottle of wine. Pour out about a half a glass as this will make it possible to stuff your 30g of lotus in the bottle.

2. Grind your petals down (you can use a mortar and pestle, coffee grinder, herb grinder, food processor or even a sharp pair of herb or fabric scissors) use a thick neck funnel to stuff your foliage into the bottle. I like to use my nutribullet as it’s so much quicker and efficient.

3. After its all in, re-cork the bottle, and shake the bottle intensively before you place in the fridge. Keep the bottle in a cool, dark place and shake it once a day. This not only aerates the wine, but also allows more of the plant foliage to seep out into the wine itself, oxygenating the menstrual within the maceration process This is a process called “leaching” where the active contents are separated from the plant matter and absorbed into the carrier liquid (menstrum), in this case wine.

4. Keep your bottle stored well and remember to shake once or twice daily. Some people say the wine should be ready in 3-5 days, but if you want to get the most out of your wine infusion preparation, I recommend at least a week to two weeks. But if you only got to do it for 1-2 days its ok, it just wont be as strong. Make sure to properly label your bottle with the date of your infusion and the amount of lotus you used to keep track.

5. Once you’ve let your lotus extract into the wine for the amount of days you’ve chosen to, it’s time to filter. Using a fine mesh filter, or cheese cloth, or even an old t-shirt, is great. Make sure to press your muslin or cheese cloth to get every last squeeze of the lotus infused wine.

6. For you blue lotus fanatics, you’ll probably want to eat the pressed flowers. The lotus effects will come on in about the same time as the alcohol effects. Some feel more calm, relaxed and slightly euphoric when drinking the lotus wine compared to wine alone. When composing the drink, you can enjoy it as is, or top it off with blueberries, or blackberries to enhance a more fruity-sangria type flavor if you wish. Also adding about 20% sparkling water to make it more of a spritzer.

Don’t forget to share this Blue Lotus Wine Infusion with your friends and be sure to mention that is may lead to lucid dreams and or increased sexual activity!

Here are some other ideas on how to use Blue Lotus Flower:

Blue Lotus Tea:
Steep 5g of Tea in 250mL of water for 10 minutes. Squeeze all excess liquid out of the flowers if you can. Add honey or sweetener and enjoy this sacred tea infusion.

Smoking Mix:
Blend a little Blue Lotus with your other favorite smoking herbs for a flavorful and euphoric twist. Mixes incredibly and blissfully with Mullein flowers – these two herbs are often used together with your other favorite for a longer lasting, smooth burn. Learn how to make your own herbal smoke blend here.

Other ideas:
~Blue Lotus Chocolate
~Blue Lotus Brownies
~Blue Lotus Vodka Elixir

blue lotus wine infusion

Posted on Leave a comment

How to make a comfrey salve

comfrey salve

How to use and make Comfrey Salve

Comfrey has been used medicinally for thousands of years to reduce pain and promote healing.  Modern peer-reviewed studies are finding that topical comfrey preparations, such as comfrey salve and comfrey cream, are an incredibly effective herbal pain reliever.

Comfrey is a controversial plant. Many gardeners have it growing somewhere whether it’s a relic of a past garden or used to make plant feed. Bees and other pollinators love it too and for that reason alone it’s a fabulous plant to have in an organic garden. I have several clumps in my allotment and use the leaves as a compost activator, a feed, and also in ointments. The reason I use it? In one study it’s been shown to accelerate skin healing by 58%!

Although comfrey is a wonderful skin healer, it also has a long history of use for internal injuries. Traditional folk medicine has it used in all kinds of preparations, from poultices to lay on the skin to medicinal teas. Incredibly, it’s been used for at over 2000 years. However, studies using rats have shown that it can be dangerous when taken internally.

There is A LOT of information on comfrey and potential toxicity out there. Quite a lot of folks that defend its safely too. The bottom line is that all varieties of comfrey contains alkaloids that could cause liver damage. Especially when taken internally, in high doses, and/or long periods. This is why you should avoid using comfrey root at all, since it has ten times more pyrrolizidine alkaloids than the leaves.

Fortunately, these alkaloids are not easily absorbed by the skin. That makes using comfrey oil on your skin safe, as long as it’s not put on open wounds or sores.

Below is a recipe that combines comfrey and plantain.

Comfrey and plantain are two herbs that have been used for thousands of years for a variety of ailments.

Comfrey in Latin means “knitting together”.  Comfrey is the ideal healer for wounds, sores, bruises, sore joints and broken bones.   As an external remedy, Comfrey contains allantion, which is a known anti-inflammatory, making this herb useful in speeding healing and encourages new skin and cell growth.  As a rub for sore joints and muscles, this anti-inflammatory property will aid in relieving the inflammation that causes the soreness.
Plantain is a well known herb that is commonly used to reduce the pain and inflammation of insect bites.  It is also widely used to aid in reducing the itching of poison ivy rashes. Plantain is also known as an excellent healer of diaper rash.

Making a homemade comfrey salve follows the same process as making any other herbal salve.  It all starts with making a herbal infused oil. CLICK HERE TO LEARN HOW TO MAKE AN INFUSED OIL.

The infused oil is then thickened with melted beeswax before pouring into containers to harden.

Once you have a comfrey infused oil, it’s simple to thicken it into a herbal salve.

Salve recipes vary, but I like the consistency when I use a 1 to 8 ratio of oil to beeswax (by weight).

So if you are using say 100ml of infused comfrey oil you would then want to add in 800g of melted beeswax.

Put the oil and beeswax in a heat-safe bowl or double boiler bowl, and gently melt it over a pot of simmering water (basically, in a double boiler).  Once melted, pour the salves into jars or salve tins.

INGREDIENTS
1.5 cup dried comfrey leaves.
1.5 cup dried plantain leaves.
Olive Oil to Fill (about 1L)
80g beeswax

  1. Place comfrey and plantain in a pint mason jar and cover with a carrier oil (like olive oil). Be sure to cover the herb material by at least 2.5cm, and stir to remove air bubbles.
  2. For the fast infusion method, which is required for fresh herbs, place the jar in a double boiler or crockpot with water. Turn it on very low, and gently heat the mixture keeping it under 60 degrees Celsius. Allow the herbs to infuse in the warm oil for 24 hours before straining. (Can be used with fresh or dried herbs.)
  3. For the slower infusion method (only with dried herbs), allow the herbs to infuse at room temperature for 2-6 weeks before straining.
  4. Measure the strained herb-infused oil. You should have roughly 250ml of oil. For every 250ml of oil, add 30g beeswax (by weight).
  5. Place the herb-infused oil and beeswax into a heatproof bowl and warm gently over a double boiler. Stir to combine and once melted, remove from heat.
  6. Pour the comfrey/plantain salve into salve tins or small jars and allow the mixture to cool for a few hours before using.

If using fresh herbs, you must quick infuse the oil because the water in fresh herbs will cause the oil to go rancid if slowly infused for 4-6 weeks. Drying the herbs first is also an option, which will allow you to use the slow infuse method if you wish. This remedy can be made with comfrey leaves or comfrey root, or a combination of the two.

Herbal salves keep 1-2 years in a cool dark place.

If you’re feeling adventurous you can also add Rosemary and Vit. E oil to your salve.

Below is a video on HOW TO MAKE AN INFUSED OIL which is the basis for making your salve.

Then the second video shows how to make a comfrey salve.

 

Posted on 1 Comment

how to make herbal oil infusions

herbal oil infusions

Learn how to make herbal oil infusions

Herbs are renowned for their ability to soothe rashes, bug bites, minor cuts and other common skin irritations. If you’ve got an herb garden at home or access to herbs at your local market, why not try making herbal oil infusions to add to your family’s medicine chest?

Infusing oil with herbs is a great way to add color, scent, and beneficial properties to natural skin care and soap recipes. As the basis of home skin care recipes starts with good quality oils, adding herbs allows you to enhance the oils and design customized and unique recipes for massage bars, bath melts, lotions, soaps and more. Using homegrown herbs harvested from your own organic garden is a fun way to personalize your products, but you can also purchase bulk herbs from reliable sources that will be just as effective. No matter how you do it, adding herbs to oils make your beauty products uniquely herbalicious!

Once you have chosen the herbs and oils that are beneficial for the project you have in mind, it is time to infuse the herbs into the oils. How to infuse herbs into oil: Hot and Cold Method

There are two primary methods of infusing herbs into a fixed oil. The hot oil infusion method is quick and relatively painless, and the cold infusion method which takes 6-8 weeks. Some believe that the cold infusion method is more medicinally beneficial, but after working with both cold and hot infused oils, each method has its own pro’s and con’s. Personally I use low heat for the first 12 hours, then cap and seal the oils (as long as I am infusing a dry herb and not a fresh herb) and let it sit for an additional 4-6 weeks. The color and fragrance are both so rich when you do it this way that it has become my favorite. You can feel free to decide a favorite method for your self.

The cold infusion method is wonderful for both fresh and dried herbs. Dry herbs tend to make more potent oil and there is less of a chance of rancidity. Fresh herbs have a higher water content, which can lead to rancid oil or mold issues, so special care should be taken when infusing fresh herbs in oil. I tend to usually work with dry herbs, but when herbs like St. John’s wort, arnica, Californian Poppy and chickweed are in season I will definitely make some nice fresh infused oils with them.

Cold Herbal Oil Infusions – Step-By-Step

. What you’ll need:

  • Dried, coarsely chopped herbs. Calendula, comfrey, plantain, St. John’s Wort and lavender are popular ingredients for soothing oil infusions. It’s easiest to work with dried herbs, since fresh ones contain water which may lead to rotting or mold.
  • Oil. Olive and sunflower oils are good choices. Be sure to use fresh oil so that the infusion will last longer.
  • A glass jar. Canning jars work nicely, but any jar with a lid will do.
  • A strainer and cheesecloth or fine-weave towel.
  • Bottle or jar for storage. Amber glass blocks light and may help your infusion last longer.

How to make herb-infused oil:

  1. Prepare your jar. Make sure the jar is clean and very dry. Again, any water in the jar can lead to spoilage.
  2. Fill the jar to the top with herbs.
  3. Pour oil over the herbs slowly. Using a chopstick or knife, move the herbs around to make sure all air pockets are filled with oil. Add enough oil to completely cover all the herbs, filling right up to the brim of the jar.
  4. Cover the jar, give it a few shakes, and put it in a cool place inside your house. Every now and then, give your jar a shake. It will be ready to use in 3-6 weeks. The jar may ooze or leak a little, so place it on a plate or towel.
  5. Strain the oil into your storage bottles through a cloth-lined strainer. Give the herbs a final few squeezes to get the last of that herb-soaked goodness.
  6. Cork and label your bottles. The oil should last at room temperature for up to a year; two years if you add a capsule or two of vitamin E, a natural preservative.

Hot Herbal Oil Infusions – Step-By-Step

Infusing herbs into oils with heat takes less time, reduces the chances for fresh herbs to turn the oil rancid or moldy, and extracts more volatile oils and color. It is a good choice for a quick project if you just don’t have the time to wait for the cold infusion method. This method is easier for beginners who really enjoy the instant gratification of a job well done.

Ingredients:

  • Heatproof Mason jar, Pyrex bowl, or double boiler.
  • Oil of choice
  • Herb of choice (fresh or dry)
  • Double boiler or old pot you won’t use for food any more

Directions:

  1. Place the herbs in the sanitized jar, bowl, or double boiler as you would in the cold method.
  2. Pour oil in the jar as you would the cold method, being cautious not to add oils that denature easily in heat like rose hip seed oil – that can be added later after the infusion into the predominate fixed oil is complete.
  3. Add water to your double boiler or old pot, about 1/3 up the pan. You want to be sure that when the jar is placed in the water, it has water up the sides, but you don’t want any water to come into contact with your oil.
  4. Place the double boiler or old pot on the stove and turn the stove on low. The water should be steaming but not simmering or boiling. Ideally, you want the water under 80 degrees. Some people can do this in crock pots, but mine runs way too hot, even on low, and burns the herbs, so I don’t use this method.
  5. Place the jar into the water, being sure no water will get into the jar/bowl. Double boilers don’t have this problem.
  6. Allow the jars to sit in the warm bath for 12-24 hours, being sure the water never runs low, as that can crack the jar and destroy the herb, and never gets too hot, again avoiding burning the herb.
  7. Allow the oil to cool to room temperature and strain and storing as described above.
Herbal oils make lovely gifts and can be used as a massage oil or added to the bath.
You can also turn herbal oils into soothing salves by warming 150ml of oil in a double boiler or a glass container set inside a pot of water on the stove. Gradually add about a cup of grated beeswax and stir until the mixture melts. Add a little vitamin E, then pour into clean, very dry tins or small jars.
Depending on the herbs you used, these can be helpful for itching and rashes and can make an ultra-moisturizing lip balm. Enjoy!

Here is a quick recipe for Fresh Herb Infused Rosemary Oil.

Rosemary olive oil is a great addition to anything that would benefit from both olive oil and rosemary.
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 60 mins
Total: 65 mins
Servings: 16 servings
Ingredients:

  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh rosemary leaves (removed from woody stems)

Instructions:

  1. Gather the ingredients.
  2. Use a heavy pot that heats evenly. Avoid aluminum and non-enameled cast iron. Place the rosemary in the pot and pour the oil over it.
  3. Heat over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes. You want the oil to warm but not simmer.
  4. Turn off the heat and let the rosemary infuse in the oil for 1 hour.
  5. Strain into a clean, dry glass bottle or jar (it is not necessary to sterilize the bottle or jar for this recipe)
  6. Cover tightly and store away from direct light or heat at room temperature for up to 2 months, or in the refrigerator for 6 months.

TIP: If you wash the rosemary before infusing it, make sure you dry it completely because any bit of moisture may spoil the oil before you’ve used it all.

*Notes on Food Safety for Infused Oils

Always start with clean, dry herbs and sterilized jars or bottles. Do not use herbs that show any sign of mold. It is crucial when preserving any type of food that you always follow the processing instructions specified in the recipe and make sure to sterilize jars and other products for canning.
Homemade oils do not stay fresh as long as processed oils, and they will need to be used within a short time after opening. Flavored oils should be used within two months. Straining out the herbs and refrigerating the oil will help the oil last longer. Many gift recipients won’t want to use it up quickly, so be sure to put a “use by” date on the label and remind them the oil won’t stay fresh for long.

 

Posted on Leave a comment

How to make bath salts

how to make bath salts

How to make bath salts at home

Let’s set up the scene a little bit. You come home after a long day at work, the first activity you want to engage in is some sort of relaxation. Time to clear the negative energy from the day to unwind, so you think about a bath but you want it to make it a little more magical. That’s where the herbal bath salts come into play. All you have to do is pour the mixture into your bath, let it absorb into the water, and feel the relaxation and blessing wash over you. Packed with essential oils, healing salts, herbal remedies, these herbal bath salts will turn an average bath into a magical, energy cleansing experience.

Cherished botanicals can play an important role in this process. You can choose from a variety of leaves and flowers to customize your experience based on your specific needs and preferences. Some classic herbs to use as a bath tea, salt soak, or for aromatherapy include lavender, rose, chamomile, calendula, peppermint, rosemary, geranium, grapefruit, orange, fir, cleavers, oat tops, ginger, jasmine, and ylang ylang. Some other fun ingredients to have on hand in your home spa include coarse sea salt, Epsom salt, Himalayan pink salt, French green clay, and bath oils. After a good soak, it is also lovely to spritz your skin and the air around you with cooling rose, peppermint, lime, ylang ylang or blood orange hydrosol. With just a few of these supplies conveniently stocked by your tub, you’ll be ready to pamper yourself whenever the inspiration flows.

What are Epsom Salts?

Otherwise known as magnesium sulfate, epsom salts are probably the most famous aid in helping to relax sore muscles. Epsom salts work by releasing magnesium and sulfate into water (the warm water breaks it down) and helps to relieve muscle aches and pain. You can absolutely use epsom salts on their own, but combining them with sea salt and herbal remedies helps ramp up their effectiveness.

Why Use Sea Salt in Bath Salts?

Believe it or not, there’s no actual salt in epsom salts. As I mentioned epsom salts are actually a combination of magnesium and sulfate so for a double-whammy effect, this bath salts recipe uses both epsom salts and sea salt.

Sea salt’s benefits depend on where the salt was sourced from. Dead Sea Salts, for example are believed to be some of the highest quality sea salt and are known to promote:

  • relaxation
  • sore muscle release
  • relief for certain skin conditions

Pink Himalayan Sea Salt is also known to help ease certain skin conditions and help the body detoxify.

We like a combination of both epsom salt and sea salt though you’re welcome to sub one for the other.

Wondering how to make bath salts? This homemade bath salts recipe will help soothe sore muscles, moisturize skin and relax you into your next bath – with 4 different combinations to help you customize your bath salts blend to meet your needs. Note while we suggest essential oils in the recipes below, combining dried herbs in your herbal bath salt mix will make it look more colourful. You may straight up swap the essential oil for their dried herb counterparts. The focus should be on finding out which herbs you enjoy and then using those to make up your own personal herbal bath salt blend.

Sleepy Time Bath Salts Blend

  • 4 cups epsom salts
  • 1 cup coarse dead sea salt or pink himalayan salt crystals
  • 20 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 20 drops of chamomile
  • optional: 2 tbsp dried lavender and 2 tbsp dried chamomile

Skin Food Bath Salts Blend

  • 4 cups epsom salts
  • 1 cup coarse dead sea salt or pink himalayan salt crystals
  • 40 drops rose essential oil
  • 20 Drops CBD oil.
  • optional: 2 tbsp dried rose and 4 tbsp dried desiccated coconut (blended)

Relaxing Bath Salts Blend

  • 4 cups epsom salts
  • 1 cup coarse dead sea salt or pink himalayan salt crystals
  • 20 drops bergamot essential oil
  • 10 drops neroli essential oil
  • 10 drops sandalwood essential oil
  • optional: 2 tbsp dried lavender

Uplifting Bath Salts Blend

  • 4 cups epsom salts
  • 1 cup coarse dead sea salt or pink himalayan salt crystals
  • 20 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  • 20 drops grapefruit essential oil
  • 10 drops clove essential oil
  • optional: 1 tbsp dried rosemary

Quick Tip: Blend Your Herbs

One quick suggestion for you: for easy clean-up I highly recommend you pulse your herbs in your blender to break them down. Not only will this helps release the essential oils from them, it will also make clean-up so much easier. While floating herbs may make your bath look pretty, they make cleaning your tub post-bath a total nightmare. Just give them a few pulses in your blender to break them down before mixing in with the rest of your ingredients. This will allow them to go down the drain with the rest of your bath salts.

How to make a Herbal Tea Bath
Choose one or more of the following organic botanicals:

Roses
Calendula Flowers
Lavender Flowers
Peppermint Leaf
Chamomile Flowers
Oat Tops
Passionflower
Comfrey Leaf
Hops
Cleavers
Ginger Root
Holy Basil Leaf
Lemonbalm Leaf
Red Clover Blossoms
Rosemary Leaf
Violet Leaf
Directions

Mix your choice of herbs in a jar. Fill a drawstring cotton muslin bag with the herbal blend and drape over the faucet so hot water runs through the bag and creates a tea in the tub. Once the tub is full, toss the tied bag into the water and swish it around to infuse your bath with even more herbal goodness. Another method is to make a large pot of tea using your herbal bath blend and add that herbal infused liquid to the tub before getting in to soak.

Bath salts are known to help balance your hormones by replenishing your body’s magnesium, soothe cramps, and lower inflammation. Most of all they are super relaxing! Breathing in the aromatherapy of all the oils helps to calm your whole system. Most of all, enjoy the whole experience!

With Mother’s Day around the corner why not try making your own natural soothing herbal bath salts?

 

Posted on Leave a comment

How to make herbal vinegar

herbal vinegar

How to Make (and Use) Herbal Vinegar

Herbal vinegar has a special place in the medicine cabinet, and they’re a popular condiment.
In fact, many plants that are traditionally prepared as herbal vinegars easily straddle the divide between medicine and spice. And while both alcohol and water are stronger solvents for most medicinal constituents, vinegar extracts hold their own in several arenas:
1) Medicinal vinegar extracts can be a good choice for people who avoid alcohol-based tinctures.
2) Vinegar draws out minerals more effectively than alcohol, and thus makes an excellent solvent for mineral-rich herbs.
3) Culinary vinegars are a delightful way to enjoy the flavors and medicinal qualities of our favorite kitchen herbs. In particular, the flavor and heat of spicy herbs easily lends itself to vinegar. Vinegar is often employed as the base for many traditional preparations of these enlivening herbs, including the ever-popular fire cider.

Herbal vinegar can be used in a variety of ways. Here are a few suggestions. I’m sure there are many more!

  • Add to marinade.
  • Use in salad dressing (usually one part vinegar to two parts oil and a little sweetener (maple syrup or honey), if desired. My favorite salad dressing is made with tarragon vinegar.
  • Make a creamy salad dressing by mixing herbal vinegar with mayonnaise.
  • Drizzle over roasted vegetables.
  • Drizzle over fish.
  • Use to baste chicken while baking.
  • Add a splash to soups and stews to add extra flavor.
  • Use in stir fry.
Food preservation has been around for thousands of years. From drying acorns for extended storage to turning grapes into wine, the act of preservation has allowed people around the globe to enjoy various foods and botanicals well past their harvest season.

The most important thing to remember when making an herbal vinegar is to use enough herbs. It’s common to use too little, but this often leads to herbal vinegar without much flavor. Any vinegar can be used to make an extract, but take note that not all vinegars are created equal, and this should be taken into consideration when using them in an extract. We recommend using organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar.

A FEW VINEGAR OPTIONS TO CONSIDER WHEN MAKING AN HERBAL VINEGAR EXTRACT:

  • Unpasteurized apple cider vinegar (with “the mother”)
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Sherry vinegar
  • Rice wine vinegar
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • White wine vinegar
  • Champagne vinegar
  • Ume plum vinegar

White wine vinegar. White wine vinegar goes well with many herbs and is perfect for herbs or flower petals that produce color. Dill, basil, tarragon, chervil, and lemon balm are well-suited to white wine vinegar.

Red wine vinegar. Red wine vinegar adds a rich flavor and pairs well with sage, thyme, parsley and bay leaves.

Apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar pairs well with many herbs and makes an aesthetically pleasing vinegar. Herbal vinegars with apple cider are suitable for cosmetics; see below.

Champagne vinegar. If you want to be fancy, champagne vinegar will produce a beautifully delicate herbal vinegar.

Approximately one cup of fresh herbs is needed per two cups of vinegar. This can be adjusted to account for stronger tasting herbs (use less) or very mild herbs (use more).

Also important — select herbs that are in good condition. Don’t use herbs that are yellowing. Avoid using powdered herbs or spices as they will make the vinegar cloudy.

Much like using alcohol to make tinctures, vinegar is a culinary go-to for preserving and enhancing a variety of ingredients. Although alcohol does a fantastic job of extracting flavor and constituents, it often doesn’t quite fit into one’s culinary repertoire. Vinegar extracts can, however, seamlessly work their way into your daily creations.

Beyond the flavor, what you’ll love most about making vinegar extracts is how easy they are to create. A little hands-off effort and patience yields delicious results that you can enjoy for months to come.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups vinegar see below for which types
  • 1 cup fresh herbs loosely packed (or 1/2 cup dried herbs) 

Instructions

  1. Clean herbs by preferred method.
  2. If herbs are organically grown, a general rinsing should suffice. If not organically grown, soak in water before rinsing. Place in a sterilized jar.
  3. Gently bruise the herbs by pressing with a spoon or smash a few times in a mortar and pestle before placing in the jar.
  4. Pour vinegar over the herbs and close jar tightly.
  5. It’s best to use a non-metallic lid, or a piece of plastic wrap over the top of the jar before placing the lid on to keep the vinegar from coming into contact with the metal (it will react with the vinegar).
  6. Keep jar in a dark place (such as a closed cabinet or at room temperature for at least one week.
  7. Check to see if the flavor is the strength you desire.
  8. If not, steep another week or two.
  9. If after three weeks the flavor is not very strong, try adding more herbs and leave to steep again.
  10. Once the flavor is to your liking, strain out the herbs and pour the herbal vinegar into clean bottles.
  11. Cap tightly and add a label.

Here is a quick mixed herbal vinegar recipe: Use 2 cups apple cider vinegar instead of wine vinegar. In a medium stainless-steel, enamel, or nonstick saucepan heat vinegar just until boiling. In a sterilized 1-pint glass jar place 6 sprigs fresh thyme, 1 sprig fresh rosemary, 1 spring tarragon and 10 peppercorn sand 1 strip lemon peel.

If you want to be fancy, use a nice swing top bottle and add a pretty tag at the neck of the bottle.

It will make a great hostess gift and also impress the hell out of your friends at your next dinner party!