How to Make a Garlic and Herb Oxymel…for respiratory health

garlic and herb oxymel

It really is that time of year. The lush green of Summer melds into vibrant hues of red, yellow, and orange. There is a slight crisp to the morning air. And your kids wake up with the crud. You know the crud. Not quite sick enough to stop life, but left to its own devices, the crud can quickly turn into something worse.

Well, this morning, my youngest daughter, Liza Jane-4, woke up with the crud. She had a slight cough last night, but by morning it was hacking and phlegmy.  The first thing I did, was give her a healthy dose of my Elderberry Plus Syrup.  Then, I got to working on my Garlic and Herb Oxymel recipe. Before I get into the details of the recipe (there are two ways to make it), you are probably thinking “Oxy-what?” Oxymel comes from the Latin “oxymeli” meaning “acid and honey”. Put simply, it is a mixture of an acid-vinegar-with honey to make various herbal remedies. In our case, for respiratory support.

As I mentioned earlier, there are several ways to prepare your oxymel. The first is the preferred, but as is the case with most herbal preparations, it takes time to reach its full potency and is the way that you would make it BEFORE you need it. The second is a faster preparation for those of us who need something NOW.

The ingredients that you need for both methods are exactly the same:

  • Apple Cider Vinegar (preferably raw and organic)
  • Raw Local Honey (if possibly)
  • Fresh Garlic
  • Various Herbs (I chose mullein, thyme, sage, and oregano because these are great herbs for respiratory health)

METHOD 1

  1. Get a clean canning jar. Put equal parts of chopped garlic and your herbs in the jar. Fill it 1/3-1/4 full.
  2. Add equal portions of vinegar and honey until jar is full.
  3. SHAKE IT! Give it a shake every day.
  4. Patience. Let it sit for 2 weeks.                                                                                           IMG_0585
  5. Strain, label, and refrigerate.

METHOD 2

  1. Add herbs and apple cider vinegar to a glass pot/pan. Make sure that you use twice as much vinegar than you intend to have at the end. Also, make sure that you have a glass pot for this method. Vinegar leaches minerals and you do not want any metals leached into your oxymel. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Please be careful as vinegar is very strong when heated.                                                            IMG_0583
  2. After vinegar is reduced by half, strain, cool, and add equal parts of honey.
  3. SHAKE IT!                                                                                                                             IMG_0614
  4. Try to convince a very picky 4 year old that it doesn’t taste disgusting! I usually give a tablespoon or two every 3 hours. It should get rid of the crud fairly quickly. I’ve never had to give an oxymel for more than 24 hours!

Now, there is a pretty popular oxymel that is making its way around the internet-any guesses as to what it is called? The first person to comment below the correct answer wins an 8oz. bottle of my Garlic and Herb Oxymel-not available for purchase!

All About Herbal Tinctures

all about tinctures

Herbal tinctures are one of my favorite ways to take herbal medicine. They are fast-acting, potent, and portable! While teas are great, and I LOVE my teas, tinctures are usually my go-to for the ease and quickness. A dropper full of tincture is easy to just squirt into your mouth-whereas you have to go through the process of boiling water, steeping herbs, straining, sweetening, etc. Which, don’t get me wrong-I love the ritual of brewing teas! But, when you have a sinus headache, you want something to hit it fast and hard.

Oh, you don’t know what a tincture is? Let me explain! A tincture is simply an extract of constituents of the plant material into a menstruum (solvent-alcohol, vinegar, or vegetable glycerin, typically). My preferred menstruum is alcohol. I personally use 190 proof organic alcohol that I then dilute down to appx. 100 proof. But, you can just buy a cheap bottle of vodka, rum, brandy, etc. as long as it is around 100 proof (50%). Anything less and you run the risk of not getting the full extraction.

I use tinctures for all kinds of things. Headaches, stress, allergies, sleeplessness, anxiety, liver support, digestion, respiratory support, immune boosting. All the things! As I said, alcohol is the preferred solvent, as it and the water content are sure to extract the alkaloids and water soluble components of the plant. Now, the exception is if I want to extract the nourishing components of a plant (vitamins and minerals). In that case, I like to use apple cider vinegar.

If you are concerned about using alcohol preparations, fear not! I give them to my children. If you think about it-the amount of alcohol in a dosage is about 15-20 drops. That comes to MAYBE a mL of alcohol. One serving of alcohol is 30 mL (one ounce). You would have to drink an entire 1 ounce bottle of tincture to get a mixed drink’s serving of alcohol. And, a child’s dosage is even less-depending on weight it is between 3-10 drops. There is more alcohol in the vanilla extract you are cooking with! The only concern, in my opinion, with using alcohol based tinctures with children is convincing them to use it. Because, the taste leaves much to be desired.  You can hide it in tea, smoothies, apple sauce, etc.  There is the option of glycerin based tinctures, but they aren’t as effective.

Interested in making your own tinctures? Keep reading for a simple tutorial!

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Step 1: Get some herbs. Ideally, you want to work with freshly harvested herbs. Unfortunately, we don’t all have access to a bountiful herb garden or know how to properly wild craft. So, the option is to use dried. You can purchase them in bulk from various stores online, Mountain Rose Herbs, Bulk Herb Store, Monterrey Bay Herb Co., Starwest Botanicals are a few that I love. OR, you can contact me for smaller 1 ounce amounts. Sometimes it is intimidating receiving a pound of herbs when you are just starting out! For this tincture, I am using dried skullcap. Skullcap is fabulous for stress, anxiety, and pain relief. I LOVE it. It’s one of my most popular tinctures. There are two methods to use here. 1-the folk method. Put some herbs in a jar. Just an eyeballed amount. Perfect for folks who are just making it for themselves and don’t worry if one batch is more potent than the next. and 2-the weight to volume method (w:v). Each herb has a specific w:v ratio, but the most common is 1:5. Which means, that for 1 part of plant material, you use 5 parts solvent. So, for example, you have 2 ounces of skullcap by weight. You will need 10 ounces of alcohol. If you are making them for yourself, friends, and family, this method is unnecessary.

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Step 2: Combine with menstruum in jar. Put your herbs in a clean mason jar. Cover with your solvent. Make sure all the plant material is covered. You can even have a few inches extra in the jar. Cap it. Give it a shake.

Step 3: LABEL!! You do not want a jar of mystery tincture in your house. Trust me. The label should have the name of the herb (common and botanical), the menstruum used, and the date you prepared it.

Step 4: Wait. Patiently. It takes at least 6 weeks for a tincture to fully macerate.  Keep it on your counter. Give it a shake everyday/every other day.

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Step 5. Strain. Use a fine wire mesh strainer, or some cheesecloth/muslin. I invert the jar over the strainer and let it sit for a few hours. Then, I press all the herbs to make sure I get all the liquid out. Compost the remnants (marc).

Step 6. Bottle. You can just rinse out your jar and pour your tincture right back in it. I would suggest getting a few dropper bottles (always glass!!!) for easy of dosage and convenience. Store the majority away in the jar, and keep your little bottle in your purse, bathroom, etc, wherever you keep your medicine. Again, make sure that you label your bottles!!

Do you make your own tinctures? I’d love to see pictures! Share them on my Facebook page at Wild Earth Herbals or tag me on instagram @wildearthherbals. 

Simple Bone Broth Tutorial

BoneBrothTute

Bone broth, while a simple creation, can be somewhat daunting to undertake. You hear horror stories of friends who have completely ruined a batch, or maybe that horror story was you? I have a friend-who shall remain nameless-who left the bag of giblets in her chicken! Love ya, J!! Here, you will learn about why you should be making bone broth (or stock, as my chef friends will correct me!) and how you can make it virtually fool proof. Let’s get started.

Why the heck do I want to make bone broth when I can just open a box from the store?

Well, thank you for asking! The main reason is that you should always be in control of what you are consuming. Conventional boxed broths have around 850 mg of sodium in them! Even the ‘all natural and organic’ brands have over 500. That’s almost 1/4 of your daily sodium intake in one serving. Insanity. I won’t even go into the MSG and preservatives. Let’s just say NO to all the things. Your homemade broth with have chicken, water, herbs, and veggies. And that is IT.
There are tons of benefits to consuming bone broth. It is super nutritious, rich with vitamins and minerals; it improves joint health and digestion, and is great for immune support. There is always a nugget of truth to old wives’ tales-and this is one of them. If you are feeling under the weather, a nourishing soup made with your broth (or just sip on it from a coffee mug!) will have you back on your feet in no time! Stick around and learn just how easy it is to make.

Step 1: Get a chicken. A whole chicken (DON’T forget to remove the bag of giblets!). For a great flavor profile, roast it as you would normally roast chicken. WHAT? You don’t roast chicken?? That is OKAY. Just pick one up from the deli section of your favorite grocery store.  Roasting a chicken can be intimidating, but it too is super easy. But, that’s for another day. Remove all the meat from the roasted chicken (once it’s cooled-don’t burn your fingers!). Throw the remains in a slow cooker. Cover with water. Add about 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar. ACV is amazing at pulling minerals from things that are soaking in it. Anytime you want to maximize your mineral content of your food, add ACV. Let it sit for about 30-45 minutes.

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Step 2: Add your herbs and veggies. Don’t make this part complicated. Just use whatever you have on hand. This batch is simply going to have garlic and carrots as the veggies (I REALLY need to go shopping). For the herbs, I can be a little more creative as I have an entire room devoted to them. Because we are heading into the time of the year where the funk is everywhere, I’m adding some extra immunity to it with astragalus, shiitake mushrooms, burdock root, and stinging nettles.

IMG_0504                                 IMG_0505

Step 3: Turn slow cooker on low and let cook for 24-48 hours. If you want to go longer than 24 hours, make sure you check the water levels after the first day-you may want to add more water. If it has cooked as long as you want, move onto the next step….

IMG_0506

Step 4. Strain and pour into clean jars. Yes. Seriously-you are done. Now, at this point, you can add some extra grass-fed gelatin if you’d like, but it’s not necessary. To store it, you can either refrigerate it if you plan on using it in the next few days, or freeze it for later. If you are freezing, make sure you leave a few inches of head room to allow for expansion. I use my broth for all kinds of things-soups, rice, gravies and sauces, or just to drink if I am feeling gnarly.
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And, that’s it! Are you amazed at how easy it is? Do you make bone broths? What do you differently?

30 Day Mindfulness Project

30 day mindfulness project

 

 

In today’s world of multi-tasking, over-committing, and being constantly on the go from one thing to another, we need to slow our pace. In my self-realization that I needed to stop and focus on each moment as it comes, I started making a list of all the this that I want to do in a day. I started thinking about all the ways I wished to improve my day to day life, but for some reason, couldn’t fit any of it in. With this I realized that I waste a lot of time. Whether on social media or just being stuck trying to figure out what to do next-I was  A-not spending my time wisely and B-allowing the day to slip by without paying attention to anything that I experienced.  Out of this frustration came this project.

I invite you to join me in my journey. It’s not hard, I promise! Starting July 1st, I will send out an email every day with 1 mindful activity. Each activity will be in one of four categories: body, mind, soul, and home. It could be as easy as “drink a cup of tea.” Simple, right? But remember-make it mindful and intentional. Or, it can be a little more challenging for some like “spend the entire day without electronics.”

The second part of this project will be to document your activity with a picture and post it on your social media. I really want this idea to spread and get more people to think about how they live day to day and start living their lives on purpose-with purpose. We will use the tags #30daysofmindfulness or #30daysofmindfulnessproject and whatever other tags you would like to add! Have fun and be creative with it!

To join, please click the link below. We’ll be getting started in a few days!

Sign up here

The Herbalist’s Kitchen…Part One: The Equipment!

herbalist's kitchen part one

Ever wonder what exactly goes on inside the home of an herbalist? Chances are, her kitchen doesn’t look that much different than yours. There might be a few subtle differences-some hanging herbs, fermented foods, unknown concoctions in fridge, herbs simmering on the stove, and mason jars-oh, the mason jars! Any herbalist worth her salt will have a cabinet full of them.

Here are my ‘must haves’ in my kitchen:

  • Double Boiler-This is really important if you are interested in making salves and fast infusing oils. You don’t ever want your heat source to directly heat your oils and waxes. Mine is a vintage enamel pot from the 30’s. 90% of my kitchen equipment comes from a thrift store. It is a great resource!
  • Slow Cooker-This is another device used to quickly infuse oils. I like to just let my oils infuse over time, but sometimes I need something sooner, so a mason jar in a water bath in a slow cooker does the trick.
  • Mortar and Pestle-I really enjoy the meditative process of manually masticating my herbs rather than using an electric grinder. The thought of adding mechanical energy to my herbs doesn’t appeal to me, but a lot of people like the efficiency of a coffee grinder.
  • Tea Kettle-This is a must for obvious reasons.
  • Strainer-I just use a plain ol’ wire mesh kitchen strainer to strain my tinctures, infused oils, and teas. Nothing fancy here.
  • Cheese cloth-A lot of times, small particulates of herbs get through the strainer. So, I line it with cheese cloth and then squeeze the remnants out. You can also use thin muslin that can be reused after washing.
  • Measuring cups-I always use either Pyrex or Anchor Hocking brand glass measuring cups. They are heavy duty, and you don’t need to worry about plastic degrading or metal interacting. I also buy these at the thrift store.
  • Various sizes of bottles and jars-You’ll need all the mason jars for steeping your teas, percolating your tinctures and vinegars (NEVER use plastic or metal-only glass), storing herbs, drinking glasses, etc. I also think investing in some good amber bottles, glass droppers, jars for salves, etc is a good idea.

What do you have in your kitchen? Do you like to play with herbs? Next time, we’ll talk about basic herbs to keep on hand in your kitchen without spending a fortune.

AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging and social media activities, I may  receive monetary compensation for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this article. However, I only recommend products or services that are in line with my personal and professional ethics and standards. 

Kid Friendly Herbal Tea…Peace Berry Blast…

peace berry blast

 

If your kids are anything like mine, they really balk at drinking herbal teas. They just aren’t as sweet as daddy’s tea (Southern Sweet Tea). Well, I was tired of fighting with them, so I made up a tea blend that looks like a “fruit” flavored drink and tastes like a fruity minty tea. Unbeknownst to them, it is chocked full of herbal goodness. It have tons of vitamins and minerals, is refreshing and good for your immune system.

Ingredients:

  • Red Raspberry Leaf-rich in iron, calcium, and Vitamin E
  • Stinging Nettle Leaf-a great source of iron, calcium, Vitamin A, and chlorophyll
  • Hibiscus-Provides the brilliant red color. Great for upper respiratory health, heart and circulatory health, and contains vitamins A, C, and iron.
  • Rosehips-TONS of Vitamin C! Great for a healthy immune system.
  • Orange Peel-Vitamin C, evens out the herby flavor
  • Peppermint Leaf-anti-oxidant, good for digestive and respiratory health
  • Stevia Leaf-Just a pinch is added to sweeten it up a little bit. This is real whole stevia leaf. No extracts or processed mess here!

If you would like to try to make it yourself, it’s fairly easy. I use equal parts everything, but a pinch of peppermint and stevia. Steep about 1/2 ounce (wt.) in boiling water for about 10-15 minutes. Longer if you’d like. Shorter if you’d like. Strain. Put in a gallon container and fill with ice and water. Voila!

I get my herbs from either Mountain Rose Herbs or Bulk Herb Store. Or, if you don’t want to bother buying pounds of herbs, you can pick up an ounce or two of the tea blend at my Etsy shop!

AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging and social media activities, I may  receive monetary compensation for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this article. However, I only recommend products or services that are in line with my personal and professional ethics and standards. 

Beat Springtime ALLERGIES at Home, Naturally.

springallergy

It’s that time again…the earth is coming back to life-flowers and trees blooming, grass is growing green again, birds are chirping, and a cloud of pollen rolls across the land. The temperature is nice enough that you want to open your windows, but a few minutes into it, and you are sneezing, coughing, and your eyes are definitely revolting.

Over-the-counter allergy medicines come with some pretty unpleasant side-effects like drowsiness, dizziness, constipation, lower milk supply in breastfeeding mothers,  dry mouth, high blood pressure, increased heart rate, and more.  I know when I felt like they were my only option many years ago, even the non-drowsy medications would knock me out-and most didn’t even really work on my allergy symptoms!

Let’s start at the root of the problem. Why do we have seasonal allergies? How are so many people allergic to nature? Didn’t humans used to be outdoors much more so than they are now? What the heck did they do before antihistamines???

“Allergy symptoms are caused by an overactive immune system. Your immune system produces substances known as antibodies that protect you from unwanted invaders that could make you sick or cause an infection.

When you have allergies, your immune system is producing antibodies in response to exposure to things like pollen, dust, or pet dander that it perceives as harmful, even though they aren’t.

It’s not the exposure to allergens that are the root cause of your allergies, it’s your body’s overreaction causing the cascade of allergic symptoms.”  –Deane Alban, Natural News

So, it seems the most important thing that we should be doing is working on our immune system so it responds properly. But, that is a long and ongoing process. In the meantime, here are a few things that you can do to lessen your symptoms and help you through the onslaught of histamines.

Local Raw Honey  This is one of the most well known natural remedies for seasonal allergies. Local raw honey has traces of local pollen. So, the theory is that by consuming it daily throughout the year, your body is acclimated to the pollen. That way, when we are inundated with it in the spring (or fall), our bodies don’t revolt. By local I mean LOCAL. You really need to find honey that is within a 10 mile radius of where you live. Check your local Farmers’ Market; if you can’t find any there, chances are someone there will point you in the right direction. If you really can’t find ANY around, a friend of mine let me in on a little trick she discovered. She washed her car really well in the spring and allowed a good coating of pollen to accumulate. Here in the South, that takes about a day. Then, she swiped a good finger-full of pollen off her car and ate it! Sort of like a pollen-inoculation. She swears by it. Maybe have a glass of water nearby…

Apple Cider Vinegar Apple Cider Vinegar is another one of those things that we hear a lot about as a cure-all magic pill. Well, that’s because it really does help with so many things! It helps lessen the severity of your symptoms and also strengthens your immune system so over time, you won’t be affected as badly. Make sure that your vinegar has the ‘mother’ in it. That is very important.  I suggested taking a tablespoon or 2 a day mixed with some raw honey in a glass of warm water as a daily tonic. 

Herbs! Of course we knew that one was coming. While I have used honey and apple cider vinegar on a regular basis for 10+ years, nothing has come close to the relief I have found with my beloved herbs. It really is amazing how fast and effective they are. My top herbs for allergy relief are stinging nettle leaf and goldenrod.  Both are a component in my Allergy Support Tincture, and nettles are one of the main herbs in my allergy tea. I prefer to use goldenrod as an antihistamine and nettles as more of a daily support. I drink nettles infusions several times a week, and they have lessened my reactions tremendously, but sometimes I really need something extra, so I will take a few droppers full of goldenrod tincture and my symptoms go away fairly quickly. And the great thing is there are no yucky side effects! 

Do you have seasonal allergies? What have you found to be helpful to control them?

AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging and social media activities, I may  receive monetary compensation for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this article. However, I only recommend products or services that are in line with my personal and professional ethics and standards. 

Make Your Own Black Drawing Salve

salve blavk

Black salve is a must have for any natural medicine cabinet. It is great to keep on hand for all sorts of ailments.  Now, this is not to be confused with the traditional black salve made with blood root that is purported to cure cancer. This is a MUCH milder and safer version. We use it for things like: cysts, boils, acne, splinters, and bug bites.

The key is to use ingredients that are astringent or ‘pulling’. I start with a base of plantain infused olive oil. Plantain itself is very astringent. I use fresh plantain poultices on bites and splinters to draw out. Then, I add bentonite clay and activated charcoal. The bentonite clay is also very drawing, and the charcoal traps and removes any bacteria. I also add a bit of raw honey for its healing properties as well.

black salve2Here’s my recipe:

3 ounces of Plantain-infused Organic Olive Oil

1 ounce of Beeswax

2 Tablespoons of Bentonite Clay

2 Tablespoons of Activated Charcoal

1 Tablespoon of Raw Honey

Heat infused oil and beeswax together in a double boiler until wax is melted. Stir in clay, charcoal, and honey until smooth. Quickly transfer to storage container-preferably a glass jar, though some use metal tins.

Don’t have time or energy to make your own? Head on over to my etsy shop and pick up a jar today! Or, comment below for a chance to win a 2 ounce jar!  A winner has been selected! Thanks for all who have commented.

WEHswirl

AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging and social media activities, I may  receive monetary compensation for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this article. However, I only recommend products or services that are in line with my personal and professional ethics and standards. 

DIY Herbal All-Purpose Cleaner

diy cleaner title pic

Surely by now most people have either seen the orange peel in vinegar method of creating a natural kitchen cleaner. There may even be a few recipes that call for adding in essential oils to give it even that much more of a antimicrobial kick.  Well, yes-this is a bit similar. I’ve taken the basic idea of orange peels in vinegar and doctored it up a bit.

I tend to like to stay away from using essential oils because while I have studied herbalism for several years, I have not spent one dime on any aromatherapy courses.  I strongly feel that essential oils are VASTLY over used-and by people who do NOT know how to safely use them.  So, this recipe has taken the idea of the essential oils of certain plants and incorporated the use of the whole plant instead.

Ingredients:

  • Orange peels
  • Whole cloves
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Fresh rosemary
  • Fresh lavender
  • Distilled white vinegar

The recipe is a simple as you would think-combine all the herbs in a large mason jar and cover with the vinegar. Let sit for 2+weeks and strain. Pour vinegar about 1/4 into a spray bottle and fill with water. Voila! You now have a great smelling, effective all-purpose cleaner that utilizes the anti-microbial properties of plants without the potential dangers of using volatile essential oils.

You can find most of these herbs locally (either grown yourself or in your grocery store) but you can also find them online at places like Mountain Rose Herbs or Bulk Herb Store.

 

WEHswirl

 

AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging and social media activities, I may  receive monetary compensation for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this article. However, I only recommend products or services that are in line with my personal and professional ethics and standards. 

 

All About Violet

 

 

wild violet title picWild Violets (viola odorata) are pretty little perennials that tend to pop up in late winter/early spring (depending on where you live). Unfortunately, most people consider them to be annoying weeds. They are easily identified by their purple flowers and heart shaped leaves. Please don’t confuse them with African violets that are grown as houseplants. They are NOT the same thing.

This sweet little plant really is versatile and useful! But, before you start, you need to know a few things about wild harvesting. First, make SURE that the area that pick from isn’t sprayed by chemicals, where your dog defecates, close to the road, or any other place that you think is contaminated. Secondly, you want young and healthy growth. Look for vibrant colors. Third-you always want to ask permission from both the land owner and the plant itself. Fourth, never take more than you will use and never more than 5-10% of what is available. And lastly, always give thanks to the plant, earth, Mother Nature, God, or who/whatever you recognize as the giver of what you are taking. You should try to do your harvesting in the morning just after the dew has evaporated. Some of the ways that we will use wild violet call for fresh plant material and some require it to be dried, so make sure you save some to dry. 

Nutritional. Violets are packed full of minerals and vitamins-especially A and C. One of my favorite things to make is a wild green salad with violet leaves, blooms, dandelion greens, yellow dock, plantain, purslane, henbit, dead nettles, and cleavers. You can also saute the leaves like you would any other green. Another delicious treat is Wild Violet Lemonade. This is a great way to sneak in some extra nutrients to your kids and replace those toxic ‘fruit’ drinks they love so much.  Infused vinegar is my other go-to usage for wild violet. Vinegar is well known for its ability to extract vitamins and minerals from plant sources. Infusing vinegar is super easy. Get a clean mason jar and fill it with either violet blossoms, leaves, or both and cover with either white vinegar or apple cider vinegar. Let it set in a cool dark place for 2-6 weeks. Strain and label. If you use white vinegar, try to make a batch with just blossoms-you will make a BEAUTIFUL purple vinegar! I use vinegars for all kinds of things. I flavor cooked greens with them, you can make a salad dressing with it, you can even use it as a hair rinse and a bath soak. Think of all the goodness of apple cider vinegar that you hear about-and add a power punch of nutrients with plant infusions!

10247459_728384073849329_8258624107772710316_nMedicinal. Wild violet has numerous medicinal properties. It is anti-inflammatory, helps the lymphatic system, is a blood purifier, it is a mild laxative and diuretic, a fever reducer, and supports the immune system. Making a syrup from the flowers is probably the easiest way to get your kids to reap the benefits. A syrup or tea is great for young ones who are constipated or have a fever. Simple fill a glass jar with the fresh flowers and pour boiling water over them. Allow to steep for 4 hours. Strain. You can stop here if you would like to have a cup of violet tea ( really, it’s an infusion…) or continue if you would like to turn it into a syrup. Herbal syrups are really just ways of making teas/infusions palatable for children (or those with tastebuds of children!).  Pour the infusion into a saucepan. Add equal quantities of sugar or honey and bring to a slow boil. Allow to boil for about 20 minutes or so and pour into glass jar. Store in fridge.  A great preparation for violets is in a salve or balm. It has been known to treat eczema and fibrocystic breast issues. Simply infuse dried violet leaf in an organic oil of your choice for several weeks. Strain and heat in a double boiler with a bit of beeswax. Continue to heat until wax is melted. Pour into glass jar. If it is too hard, remelt and add more oil. If it is too soft, remelt and add more wax. Tinctures are probably my favorite herbal preparation. Whenever possible, use fresh plant material. Place in clean glass jar (notice a theme here?) and cover with 100 proof alcohol (I prefer vodka, but use what you would like). LABEL! Give a good shake and place in cool dark area for 6+weeks. Give it a shake every day or so. Strain and bottle in an amber dropper bottle. Tinctures are the most effective form of herbal medicine. It is quick and easily absorbed into your blood stream. 

Just for fun! Crystallized violet blossoms and violet ice cubes! Crystallized violets are a fun garnish for baked goods and violet ice cubes would be a hit a kid’s party. Just fill an ice cube tray with the blossoms and fill with water as normal.

If you do not have access to fresh violets for some reason, you can always order them. I prefer to use Mountain Rose Herbs, but there are plenty of other herbal companies available!

WEHswirl

AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging and social media activities, I may  receive monetary compensation for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this article. However, I only recommend products or services that are in line with my personal and professional ethics and standards.