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How to Make Elderberry Syrup for Immune System Support
Each year as winter approaches, I reliably find my patients asking me about the best herbal remedies to use during the cold weather months. One of the most mon questions I encounter is, “What nutritional preparations can I use to help keep my family strong and healthy throughout the sniffle season?”. There's a wide array of herbs well-suited to addressing specific and general winter wellness goals, but one of my favorite, tried-and-true choices for general immune support is the elderberry.
Loose Leaf Tea vs. Tea Bags
I love a good cup of tea and I love that there is literally a tea for any circumstance I may find myself in. Thus, my tea collection is just as varied as the many different experiences that I go through each day. When I first began drinking tea, I knew it mainly as something to ease my cold symptoms. I remember standing in the tea aisle in the grocery store, all stuffed up, staring blearily (and somewhat blankly) at the various tea boxes. Since then, I have learned a lot about the wonderful world of tea. I have tried them all— bright and fruity, deep and sultry, and nutritive and soothing, each offering something uniquely wonderful. My biggest tea lesson to date came when I tried loose leaf tea for the first time. There was no parison in flavor. After that, it was not long before the boxed teas disappeared from my shelves at home and were replaced by meticulously hand-labeled jars filled with all my favorite teas.
Summer Cocktail: A Refreshing Herbal Highball
It’s hot in Oregon this summer. Really, really hot. Which means it’s time for my favorite cooling herbal cocktail. When the thermometer is pushing unfortably into the 90s (and just don’t even get me started on our recent 111℉ day here in Eugene), I start thinking about a good hibiscus highball. The beauty of this highball is that it uses ingredients I always have on hand and gives me easy options to customize flavors for different people with my choices of tea and ginger beer. I like to use our Hibiscus High Tea because it is full of some of my favorite herbal allies and I love the cooling power and gorgeous, deep red of hibiscus. Sometimes I also brew up a Lemon Tea or Vanilla Rooibos for a delicious change of pace. Enjoy!
Fungus-Fighting Nail Oil with Tea Tree
Nail fungus is a mon condition and people who struggle with it know that it is difficult to treat and requires consistency and perseverance to manage. Many medications will seem to clear it up, only to have it e back shortly after. I wish I could say there was a miracle cure. However, since I am obligated to tell the truth here, what I can say is that by mitting to some simple daily nail care that involves a good fungus-fighting nail oil, you can make steady progress and, if you stick to your daily care, you can ultimately keep nail fungus at bay. This DIY nail oil recipe brings the fungus-fighting powers of roses and essential oils to the battle and simultaneously delivers vitamins and essential fatty acids to strengthen and moisturize your nails and cuticles.
Understanding Herbal Actions and How They Support the Micorbiome
We now know that microflorae in our gut, which have evolved in a symbiotic relationship with us over time, directly influence—either positively or negatively—every aspect of our health and wellbeing, including our digestion, immune functions, neurological and emotional health, hormonal balance, cardiovascular strength, and more. Attracting beneficial microflorae (the ones that flip the genetic switches toward health and balance) is a matter of making healthy food and lifestyle choices. In other words, what we eat tips the scales towards wellbeing or dis-ease. When we choose to eat an organic plant-based diet high in phytonutrients, antioxidants, and dietary fiber, we attract a much more diverse, healthy, and resilient microbiome, which in turn strengthens our defenses against illness and unhealthy aging. In this line of defense, carminative, nervine, bitter, and demulcent herbs can be leveraged much like secret agents who step in to fend off undesirable effects.
Homemade Hop Ginger Brew
To me, there aren’t many drinks more refreshing than a well-crafted ginger beer, especially during these hot summer months. There’s something so delightful about the balance between the ever-so-slight sweetness, the spicy zing of ginger, and the carbonation. Ever on a quest to try new DIY culinary experiments, I thought it’d be fun to attempt a homemade version of this soda.
Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap with Soap Nuts
I have to admit, it was really difficult for me to believe that soap nuts could actually work. My skepticism caused me to walk by them at my local natural grocery store for years. I liked the idea of an all-natural laundry solution, but I figured soap nuts would not be effective enough to take on the stains and scents of my active lifestyle and dirty gardening clothes.
How to Make Quick-Pickled Vegetables + Homemade Pickling Spice Recipe
It’s the season of fresh and vibrant produce, and as my garden bounty gets close to being harvested, the anticipation of pickling season has me dreaming of all the food preservation projects I will be undertaking. I look forward to donning my kitchen apron and preserving the fruits (and vegetables) of my labor. While I whole-heartedly love canning, sometimes it’s nice to knock a little time off the process. I can’t tell you how many all-nighters I have pulled in the name of saving all the produce, but as I get a bit older, I don’t bounce back from those long nights quite as fast as I used to. One of my tricks for saving a considerable amount of time is quick pickling!
Building an Herbal Library: Our Favorite Botanical Books
If you ask herbalists, botanists, and body care enthusiasts, most say that building a library of reference and recipe books is one of the most important steps in being an expert. Gathering books from professionals who offer their experiences, philosophies, and expertise gives you a strong foundation on which to build your practice. Here are some of our favorite books on herbal education, aromatherapy, healthy eating, skincare, and growing and foraging plants.
How to Make Natural Dog Shampoo with Soothing Tea Base
The 4-leggers in my household are not entirely pro-bath. Our terrier mix loves life after a bath; she runs madly about the house with pure joy. During the bath, however, she looks like we’re torturing her. We’re just grateful she stands still for it because her “little brother” is a corgi-mix built for escape. He is slippery and wily when wet and groans out his woes the entire bath time. And then there is the big queen-to-rule-them-all kitty who needs regular brushing and occasional “spot cleaning” assistance with her thick double coat because one cat tongue is simply not enough to manage it all. This crew loves to sleep on the foot of our bed, so whatever dirt and smells they’ve tucked away throughout the day end up on my handmade quilts. Simple answer: regular baths, right? The double-conundrum is that good pet shampoo is ridiculously expensive, and I am also on a quest to stop buying plastic packaging (apparently, there is a rule somewhere that dog shampoo must be sold only in plastic bottles that I cannot recycle here in Oregon). Fortunately, it’s easy and inexpensive to make good homemade dog shampoo with gentle, sustainable ingredients I always have on hand.
Essential Oils for Sleep + Diffuser Blend for a Restful Slumber
We all know that getting adequate sleep on a regular basis is important for good health and attitude. Good sleep habits are linked to a whole variety of wellness goals: improved concentration, better organization and productivity, healthy body weight, better physical performance, heart and brain health, increased immune function, and more. We also know that lack of sleep on a regular basis worsens depression, impacts blood sugar, antagonizes inflammation, and affects our ability to participate in healthy social relationships. As we’re all figuring out how to re-engage with our world, finding ways to sleep peacefully and to create a healthy schedule is more imperative than ever. Happily, incorporating pure, natural essential oils into your bedtime routine is a wonderful way to let your body and mind know that it’s now okay to rest.
Smoke Cleansing Around the World
Smoke cleansing—burning botanicals, resins, wood, etc. for health and/or spiritual purposes—is an ancient practice that is mon in a wide variety of cultures and faiths around the world. For instance, I was introduced to smoke cleansing through the practice of “fire saining,” a Celtic tradition that resonates well with my cultural and personal history. However, the form of smoke cleansing that most people are familiar with today is “smudging.” The mercialization of smudging is unfortunate on multiple fronts—it is cultural appropriation of North American indigenous practices, it has created serious issues around illegal and/or irresponsible wildharvesting of traditional smudging herbs, and it disregards the wealth of other forms of smoke cleansing that are just as ancient and powerful. Many times, looking to our own culture, faith, munity, or heritage in our relationship to the botanical world can help us identify herbal allies that are particularly aligned with us as individuals. Our ancestors had personal relationships with these plants; they have been part of our people—our DNA—for time immemorial. Smoke cleansing can be a powerful, renewing, and healing practice for many people, particularly when they are embracing a form that resonates with their genuine self.
Meet Our On-Staff Certified Aromatherapist
In the past few years, interest in aromatherapy has skyrocketed. More and more people are looking at alternative ways to manage their own wellness, build resilience, and create a peaceful, clean space to rejuvenate and renew. Increasingly, people are reaching out to us with questions, and inevitably we look to our Director of Product Development and Certified Aromatherapist, Christine, to provide us with guidance. Having a talented aromatherapist on staff and continuing to invest in her ongoing professional development has been one of the best decisions for both Mountain Rose Herbs and our wonderful customers. Christine brings remarkable expertise to both product creation and quality control, keeps us in close touch with the aromatherapy munity and trade associations, and is the mastermind behind our new lines of oil blends and essential oil kits. She also has excellent insights for others who are interested in pursuing aromatherapy personally or professionally. We love her story, and we want to share it with you, along with her tips for those who have discovered their own passion for essential oils and want to learn more.
Berry Summer Mocktail Recipe with Cooling Herbs
My husband recently went on a summer-mocktail quest. It started because he made homemade ginger beer, which was good, but lacked some important refreshing element; it was a bit “much” on a hot day. Still, it was inspirational. The delicious, summery, layered mocktail that my honey ultimately came up with utilizes ginger beer (homemade or store-bought) and some of the most refreshing, cooling herbal allies. It also celebrates both summer berries and the beautiful roses of the season with a berry and rose simple syrup. Make tea and simple syrup the evening before so all you have to do is find some shade and settle in for a revitalizing, enjoyable day. Bring on the sun, we’re ready!
Our 160-page magazine-style journal features articles from esteemed guest authors about herbalism, organics, sustainability, and projects that inspire us. Best of all, it’s FREE.
VISIT OUR STORES
Nestled in unique must-visit downtown Eugene, Oregon in the Farmers’ Union Marketplace, our Mercantile store gives you a vintage apothecary spirit, with a modern twist. We designed our store with the intent to give our customers a feel of coziness, character, and a space to fortably delve into some herbal goodness.
The 5th Street Public Market is in the heart of Eugene’s Historic District. A premier destination, it is known for its enchanting courtyards, shops, eateries, and tasting rooms. Surrounded by the area’s finest restaurants, coffee, shopping, parks, and munity events, the 5th Street Market has everything you need in one stunning, central location in downtown Eugene.
Bridgeport Village is a charming Mecca for shoppers. Located just 10 miles south of Portland, it is easy to spend a day perusing the multitude of shops. You can catch a movie at the cinema, have lunch at one of the many restaurants, and even enjoy an array of beauty and spa services. There really is something for everyone.