Thursday, December 20, 2007

St. Johnswort & Seasonal Affective Disorder

SAD - the medical name for what most of us call the Winter Blues. Here we are so close to the big holiday season, and many people are really not so jolly. I have been there - and I do understand. For at least twenty years of my life, it was a really difficult season. I would find myself dwelling on losses instead of blessings. If you are in this state, you really need to address it. Some of this may be "SAD", if you can, try to sit in a sunny window for at least 20 minutes a day or get out in the day light and take a walk.
Here in Central New York it is rare that we have 20 minutes of sun everyday, so you need to be more proactive, try a light box, and if you are in really SAD condition see a Doctor or N.D..
Visit your herbalist or health food store and find a good herbal remedy.
When I became an herbalist I started making my own tinctures of St.Johnswort. The sunny little plant grows wild all over the Adirondacks. Many people have said that it did not work for them, but I believe they were not taking it in the correct form. Herbalist Michel Moore says that it works best in tincture form, and I agree with him. It also has to be taken for at least six weeks before you begin to see a difference.
In our herbal classes we take students on an herbal journey and teach them the correct methods of tincture making, make it part of your New Years resolution to join us in 2008.
Watch for our 2008 class listings on our web site @
or e-mail us @
Have a Happy Holidays, and watch for our post next week in Neti Pots... cynthia

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Ginger Recipes

Merry Christmas to all,
So many people call me looking for pain relief and I aways tell them about Ginger. It is used for head aches and stomach problems in the orient. It really should be on your weekly grocery list. Once you try some of the homemade recipes we know that you will be reaching for the ginger ale instead of the aspirin! Visit our website @ for more natural living ideas.
So many of you said that you lost these recipes, so here they are again,
My favorite Ginger recipes,to buy fresh root - check for the freshest looking - it should have a soft skin like a new potato,be sure to peel it before using.

Ginger Ale
8 ounces fresh ginger root
peel and finely chop
add to 1 gallon fresh water
Bring to a full boil, then simmer for 3 to 4 hours (the water should reduce by 1/2)
Strain out the ginger and save for tea or cooking.
Add 6 cups or natural sugar or honey.
Bring to boil again and then simmer for another hour. Cool, and store in the refrigerator. Use 2 tablespoons per 8 ounces of seltzer.
This is great to take when fighting a cold, ginger is known for it's anti viral properties, it is also great for upset stomach!

Molasses & Ginger Cookies "Ice box cookie"
Bake @ 375
3 cups flour
1/3 cup bran (wheat or oat)
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ginger powder
or 2 tbl or fresh grated ginger
3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks) softened
2/3 cup molasses. Sift all dry ingredients
Cut in butter with pastry blender,add molasses
Mix together,knead well, divide into to rolls, wrap in wax paper and chill for 3 hours or more.
Slice 1/4 inch thick, place on un greased cookie sheet, garnish with raisins or nuts,or make a thumb print and add jam. Bake @ 375 for 10 minutes. Can also be rolled out for gingerbread men.
Tomorrow's post ...SAD - seasonal affective disorder - our herbal remedies

Monday, December 17, 2007

Herbal Beginings

I always have a lot of questions about the world around us. This natural curiosity led me into the herbal world. Did you ever ask the question "How did they ever come up with the idea to use an herb a certain way?" I am aways amazed as I study the herbal world to find out many of the histories behind herbal remedies. Through this blog I hope to give you some of the insights I have gained along the way.
I am an herbalist and an herbal product creator. I enjoy the creative part of the business. Most of the products I create have been made for me or my family members. Only the ones that have been tested and proven to work end up on my website @
I have had hundreds of happy customers and students along the way. I hope to share some fun herbal living ideas with you.
My herbal journey began one day when I bit into an apple and broke out into hives that lasted six months. It was very stressful not knowing when my hives would flare up. It made my life miserable.My Doctor, who is from an apple farming family told me that the sprays on the trees had been changed to a sulfate based chemical and that they were causing the hives. He suggested that I try to eliminate sulfates from my diet and switch to natural soaps. So I decided to make my own soaps. That was seven years ago. Along the way I began studying herbs and their remedies. My first salve I made was Winter Salve, I created it for my dad's cracked heels. It worked so well that I began selling it. I sold out of it at the first craft show I took it to. The next show I made twice as much and had many of the same people show up to buy it for their friends. Here in Central New York State we have some of the most rotten weather on the planet, so people here really need a product that protects their skin from all of the damage Mother Nature can inflict. So if you have not tried this product we hope you will. We offer free shipping inside the Continental U.S.. Tomorrow I will post a few recipes using one of my favorite herbs, Ginger.