Posts Tagged With: health

Guidelines for Using Herbs Safely

Recently I have shared a lot of fun little projects for kids~ kids and worms, kids and volcanoes, kids and lady bugs.  Today I want to talk about something a bit more serious, using herbs and herbal medicines safely.


This is an important albeit somewhat slippery topic.  Every person is different and just as with any substance, we each have the potential to react differently to herbs.  Yet there are ways to approach and use herbs safely so we can harvest the amazing health enhancing benefits of plants.

In fact, people often make the mistake of thinking herbs are completely safe because they are a natural products.  While others consider herbs unsafe due to lack of testing and regulation.  The truth is that just as with anything there are benefits and risks with using herbs.  So how can you reap the benefits of using herbs while lowering, if not eliminating risks?  The more you know when using herbs the safer you will be!

To read more about this important topic please visit Natural Living Mamma were I shared a guest post on this topic.

Image Credit: Morgue File
Categories: Herbal Medicines, Herbs For Kids and Mamas, Ingredients And Herbs, Natural Family Care, Practices For Intentional Living | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

Natural Living Monday

Welcome to Natural Living Monday where we share all our natural living tips, tricks, and fun ideas.


Your Hosts:

Amanda from Natural Living Mamma

Katie from Nourishing Simplicity

Angela from Mama Rosemary

Andrea from Homemade for Elle

Last weeks most popular posts were:

10 Apple Cider Vinegar Cures by Rockin the Green Life

How Gardening Can Make You Healthy by Livin In The Green

Tame Unwanted Hair Growth by Oatmeal With A Fork

No-Fail No-Pound Sauerkraut by Phoenix Helix

Congratulations on being featured! These amazing posts (and a few others) will be tweeted, shared on my Facebook page and pinned on my Pinterest boards!

Are you ready to link up?

From this week forward the list is in random order!

Here are the rules: Your blog article must fit these categories: sustainable living, homesteading, DIY, herbs, home-made body and skin care, real food (no processed ingredients, Weston A. Price Foundation guidelines are a good place to start to define “real food”), and all things “natural“.

Link back to this week’s blog hop post so that everyone can see the other amazing posts.

Show some love! Go check out and see what others have posted. Share the hop and the posts you love!

Not required but I would love it if you would grab the button and share!


What are your best natural living posts this week?


Please Note:  

To add a post and see all the wonderful posts linked up this week, please choose “Click here” below!  

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Thank you for joining us on Natural Living Monday!

Natural Living Mamma


Categories: Herbal Medicines, Natural Living Monday Blog Hop | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Super Breakfast Miso Soup

Soup for breakfast you say?  I thought it kinda strange too when my husband told me about the soup he used to eat while living with Japanese roommate during college. For years he would reminisce about the breakfasts they would have together ~ delicious, healthy and convenient Japanese soups complete with dried little fishes floating around in the bowl.  A recent journey into a grain-free diet has brought him back around to having nutrient rich soup for breakfast and this recipe is his own creation.  It is chock full of goodness from nettles and shiitake mushrooms to miso and seaweed.  What better way to start your day?

Normally I love to have yogurt with berries and ground flax seed for breakfast or some nice veggies scrambled with eggs and cheese, and so do my kids.  Seaweeds and shiitake mushrooms are a bit hard for me to handle even though I want to love them, really!  Yes, I am a reforming picky eater. So when my hubby started making this soup I observed him with interest and a bit of jealousy along with a healthy dose of happiness that he was making such a great start to his day.  And just the other morning, I took the plunge and tried his soup.  One taste made my body light up and I found it was delicious!  (Just like I tell my kids, you never know if you will like something until you give it a try…)  The last two days I have indulged in a big bowl of this delicious soup early in the day.  My energy has been a steady, wonderful hum and I don’t feel hungry until noon, pretty amazing!

This morning hubby man taught me to make this very special soup so I could share it with all of you!  He doesn’t really measure anything exactly so this is the best interpretation of his method based on my careful observation.  He also uses the frozen veggies and dried herbs for convenience.  Feel free to substitute fresh ingredients in their place, though you may need to adjust the quantity.  If you can find little dried fishes to add to your soup, go for it!  Please let us know where you found them, we can’t find them anywhere which is kind of a bummer for my husband.

Ingredients ~

Makes about 2, 16 ounce bowls of soup

  • 2 to 3 cups of Water
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. Wakame Flakes
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup frozen Spinach
  • 1/2 cup sliced, frozen or 2 big dried Shiitake Mushrooms
  • 1/2 to 1 tbsp. (scant) Dried Nettles
  • 1/4 block of cubed Tofu, optional.  We use a great sprouted tofu that is easier to digest than regular tofu.
  • A splash or a squirt to taste of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (optional)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 big tbsp. Miso Paste

Method ~

Stage One

Create Your Broth

nettles and shiitakes

Add to a sauce pan:

  • 2 to 3 cups of water at least 2″ deep
  • Sprinkle in about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon wakame flakes. These expand hugely as they get saturated with the water, pretty cool.
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup frozen spinach
  • 1/2 cup sliced shiitakes or 2 big dried ones ~ “I like shiitakes!”
  • About 1/2 to 1 scant tablespoon dried nettles, as if you were making a light nettle tea in a cup.

Ideally you would lightly boil this for about a 1/2 hour, otherwise just get it to an active simmer and move on the stage two.  While you are waiting for your soup to cook is a great time for a cup of  tea and  writing in a journal or a nice round of yoga.

Stage Two

Tofu and Bragg’s

tofu cubes

Turn down heat a bit and add to the sauce pan:

  • Add 1/4 block of tofu cubed  (or you can add this in the first stage)
  • For a little flavoring, add a squirt of Bragg’s to tweak out the flavor

If you are pressed for time, you could combine stages 1 and 2.  Both of these ingredients are optional so you can skip this step all together if you want.

Stage Three

The Eggs

Drop two eggs into the soup kinda swirling it around as you drop it.  Now you have two sources of protein, egg and tofu!

Then break up the yolky parts a little, if you can find them.  “Some times you can’t find them and I don’t know what happens then.”

Bring to another simmer to make sure egg gets fully cooked.

My Hubby is a self-admitting heat-adjusting fanatic… and he is, he can take 20 minutes to make a piece of toast in the oven carefully watching and adjusting the toasts placement as well as the temp of the oven.  So you may not need to increase the temp here, just make sure your eggs are fully cooked.

Stage Four

The Miso and the Broth

smeared miso

Take a nice big tablespoon of miso and smear it around the inside of your bowl.  If you just add the miso as a big blob in the bottom of the bowl, it may not dissolve and you may go crazy trying to hunt it down to mix it in.  This way is fast and makes it easy to mix the miso into the soup.

Finally add the broth to your miso smeared bowl.  You want to be sure that the soup has cooled a bit and is not boiling so as to keep the cultures in the miso vital and alive.

Carefully mix in your miso into your amazing broth and enjoy!

miso soup

For a bit of helpful info about soy check out:

Soy And Women’s Health: The Truth About Soy Benefits And Safety by Aviva Romm

Special News!  This week I am guest posting about using herbal medicines safely over at Natural Living Mama.  Hop on over and check it out!

Shared On:  Simple Meals Friday

Categories: Food Is Your Best Medicine, Kitchen Creations, Natural Family Care | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

The Art Of Bathing

Nourishing Mama Mission Three ~

How have you been?  Feeling a bit more centered and relaxed?  I hope so!  A few weeks of claiming sacred time for myself and practicing conscious thoughts of gratitude upon waking have done so much for me.

This third pursuit of the Nourishing Mama Mission promises to be my favorite so far, the art of bathing.

I love baths.  I love water and how it has the power to wash away everything, absolutely everything.  Stress, dirt, illness, concerns and on and on…  One of my teacher’s at herb school told us that water is very accepting and healing.  He said that when sitting by a stream you can ask the water to take away your worries, and it will.  Having tried this, I can attest that water will do this for you, even when you are in the tub.  As the water drains from the tub ask it to take away your pain, your cares and give thanks to the water.

All the Elements are present in the bath ~


Surrounding, cleansing and supporting, it is truly magical and healing.


It is Fire that heats the water and the soul.


Our plant allies become part of the bath whether in the form of herbs or essential oils, they add their special properties and healing.


A deep breath is instigated by the deep warmth of water and by the fragrance of the plants.

Breathing deeply centers and calms the spirit.


This is you, this is me, bringing ourselves to the moment.  To be healed and nourished.

V Candle

Most of the mammas I know would agree that taking time for a bath is really taking out some time for yourself.  It means a lot to close that door on the world, slip into a warm fragrant tub and rest there undisturbed.  Can you find sometime to do this for yourself?  At least once a week?  Give it a try and see how you feel.

Here is my favorite no fuss recipe for making a healing, relaxing bath ~

Fill your tub with warm to hot water and add:

  • 1 to 2 cups of relaxing Epsom salts, depending on the size of your tub
  • 6 to 10 drops of beautiful cleansing lavender essential oil

Have a big glass of cool water nearby to sip and bring a good book with you to read, if you so wish.  Get in and relax, let go and know the water will wash away anything you no longer need or want.

More essential oil blends for the bath ~

  • Awakens the brain while also providing relaxation: 4 drops each rosemary and lavender 
  • Great for easing stress and fatigue at the start of menstruation:  5 drops of clary sage and 3 of lavender
  • Soothes mental fatigue and anger, plus smells divine: 4 drops cardamom and 4 drops ylang ylang
  • For easing stress and when you need a bit of happiness: 5 drops rose geranium, 3 drops orange  & 3 drops lavender

Note:  Whenever possible add a big handful of Epsom salts to your bath which help to relax muscles and draw out toxins plus so much more, they are magical!

Look for more delicious bath recipes in the coming days.  I know it will be hard for me, but I will research and try every recipe to give us all more wonderful ways to enjoy the art of bathing.

Blessings and Love!

Bath Blends To Try: 

Minty Mint Bath

Soothing Herbal Bath For Irritated Muscles & Nerves

Rosy Oatmeal Bath

Candy Cane Bath Salts

More Nourishing Mama Mission…

Mama On A Mission ~ Introduction

Nourishing Mama Mission One ~ Cultivating Sacred Space 

Nourishing Mama Mission Two ~ Attitude of Gratitude ~ The Start of the Day

Nourishing Mama Mission Four ~ Herbal Infusions, Healthful Simplicity

Shared On:  Time For A Party!, Wildcrafting Wednesday, Wednesday Wonderings

Image Credit: Morgue File (photos 1 -5)

Categories: Bathing, Mama Care And Empowerment, Natural Family Care, Nourishing Mama Mission, Parenting, Practices For Intentional Living | Tags: , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

The Magic of Chocolate

English: Dark chocolate. Español: Chocolate negro.

English: Dark chocolate. Español: Chocolate negro. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you remember the very first time you tasted chocolate?  Real chocolate, the kind that is dark with contrasting sweet and bitter flavors?  I do.  It was a bit of a shock after experiencing only sweet milk chocolate up until that point in my life, yet, once I got past that initial surprise, it was obvious I had found a new love.   I love to watch a person’s face when they take that first bite of a particular chocolate, before they know what to expect.  Their expression screwing up in delight as complex bitter, creamy chocolate melts on the tongue briefly but fully overwhelming the senses.


Chocolate is delicious but not everyone likes it.  This is hard for me to believe, how could someone not like chocolate?  Apparently it is true though.  Once of my dear friends suffers from this affliction and I find myself feeling strange when we decide to share a dessert because I would of course order something, anything with chocolate.  So I usually let her choose which confection to indulge in.  Another friend confessed to an aversion for chocolate just the other day and a woman we were with said, “Are we on the same planet at the same time?”

High in antioxidants and containing mood enhancing alkaloids, dark chocolate has wonderful health benefits.   Once, to my great delight, I was even told to eat more chocolate.    While I lay on her table waiting for her to ‘release my inner dragons’ my acupuncturist explained, “You really need to eat more chocolate, dark chocolate to support your Heart meridian.”  Thrill filled me as I realized I now had a reason to have more of my favorite thing.

Cocoa beans

Health Benefits Of Dark Chocolate ~

  • High in protective antioxidants as well as vitamins and minerals like magnesium, copper and potassium.
  • Heart healthy effects such as lowering blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels while relaxing arteries and enabling blood to flow smoothly.
  • Improves blood flow to brain, heart and eyes.
  • May decrease risk of Alzheimer’s disease and increase cognitive function.
  • Increases cellular insulin sensitivity thereby decreasing risk of type 2 diabetes.

Because chocolate is so delicious with the capability of being strong in its effect, it should not be approached lightly.  Strive to eat about one ounce per day for optimal effect, I know it is hard…  Chocolate is made from the fruit of the cacao tree (Theobroma cacao).  Theobroma means “food of the gods,” and that, in my opinion is what chocolate is.

Recipes ~

Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookies From Mama Rosemary

Homemade Peppermint Patties and Honey-Butter Finger Bites From The Nerdy Farm Wife

Lavender Chocolate Truffles From Herbal Musings

Hot Dandelion Cocoa From Mountain Rose Herbs

Sources ~

Aviva Romm’s Top 10 Superfood Picks For Women

Chocolate And Your Health: The Basics

10 Health Benefits of Chocolate

Health Benefits Of Chocolate Growing

Benefits Of Chocolate: Study Finds Eating Cocoa Daily May Improve Cognitive impairment

Heart And Vascular Health & Prevention

Shared On: Time For A Party!

Categories: Food Is Your Best Medicine, Valentine's Day | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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