Tag Archives: herbs

Seven Ways to Prepare Now for Low Stress and Budget-Friendly Holiday Gifting

seven ways to prepare now for low stress and budget-friendly holiday gifting from Beeyoutiful.com

I know, I know, I KNOW. There’s a special kind of frustration and pressure that mounts when you walk into a store in October (probably still wearing short sleeves!) only to see Christmas decorations up already.

Goodness, let me have my fall, people! I’m not even getting to wear my boots yet!

But what I do appreciate are all the great ideas for holiday gifts that are creeping into my Pinterest feed, and the fun craft ideas that float across Facebook. And given that I have almost already filled my entire schedule for the next 12 weeks, I am glad to be reminded that if I want to make a few thoughtful gifts, it might be time to plan on it now.

So while we’re not ready to turn on the Christmas tunes at Beeyoutiful headquarters and throw any tinsel just yet, we are going to give you a head start with our list of seven Christmas gifts you might want to make or purchase before the holiday rush this year.
seven ways to prepare now for low stress and budget-friendly holiday gifting from Beeyoutiful.com

1. Cinnamon Ornaments

They’re not edible, but these cookie imposters smell divine and are great as teacher gifts or for Grandma.

1 cup Applesauce
1 1/2 cup Ground Cinnamon
*You can also add small amounts of glitter to your dough to add extra glitz to your ornaments!

Mix until thoroughly incorporated. Place dough on a sheet of cinnamon-dusted waxed paper; place a second sheet on top of the dough. Roll to 1/4 inch thickness, and then peel off the top paper. Use your favorite cookie or biscuit cutters to cut dough into shapes.

Using a thin spatula, place dough shapes on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Using a ice pick or skewer, poke a hole on the top part of each ornament to later insert the ribbon.  Bake in a preheated oven at 200* until solid (up to 2 hours).

Once cooled, insert ribbon or decorative string and tie in a hanging loop. Hang on your Christmas tree or anywhere you’d like to spread the scent of Cinnamon.

2. Herbal Sugar Scrub

This is a great gift for those on your list who enjoy a bit of pampering.
1 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Sweet Almond Oil
1/8 cup Raw Honey
1/8 cup crushed Hibiscus petals
30 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil (Or substitute another favorite oil)

Mix together until thoroughly incorporated and then store in a tightly capped glass jar. Place in tins or decorative glass jars for a beautiful gift. Use a chalk board tag and a liquid chalk pen for an added cute touch on the label.

3. Herb and Spice Blends

Buy your herbs and spices in bulk and create some of your own blends, then give them as gifts to your favorite cooks! Several popular spice blends are Cajun, Italian, Herbs de Provence, Ranch, and Cinnamon Sugar. Here’s a salt blend to get you started.

Kickin’ Popcorn Salt

1 cup Sea Salt
1/2 cup Chili Powder
1 Tbs Cayenne Powder
1/4 cup Paprika
1/4 cup Garlic Granules
1 Tbs Oregano
1 Tbs Thyme

Mix together and store in a tightly capped glass container. Pop your popcorn, then melt butter and add 1-2 teaspoons of this salt to taste. (I also like to add the juice of a lime.) Drizzle over freshly popped popcorn and toss to distribute evenly.

4. Herbal Tea Blends

Use bulk herbs and teas to create custom blends for your next tea time. (Learn the simple steps to blending herbs here!)

5. Essential Oil Rollerball

Create your own unique aromatherapy blends using your favorite essential oils, jojoba oil, and an empty rollerball bottle. The Complete Book of Aromatherapy and Essential Oils has some great recipes and tips on making safe and fragrant blends!

6. Spiced Vanilla Granola

Get our delicious recipe here! Make it ahead in big batches, then portion it into pretty containers to gift later.

7. Books

Choosing a favorite wellness book for a friend is a great way to share information and education, and boost their long-term health too. Talk about a gift that keeps on giving!


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9 Easy Ways to Support Liver Health

Your liver is responsible for filtering every drop of blood that comes from the digestive tract, and then it metabolizes and eliminates the toxins and chemicals that it encounters. It’s also responsible for secreting bile, an aid in the digestive process.

A sluggish liver that’s not operating optimally will affect the health of your whole body. The toxins the liver usually removes can stay in the body, causing damage and making you feel unwell. Thankfully, there are several simple things you can do that can have a positive impact on your liver!
9 Easy Ways to Support Liver Health from Beeyoutiful.com1. Eat liver-happy foods. These include garlic, leafy greens, grapefruit, green tea, and grains, along with apples and avocados. These foods are known to help support and nourish the liver, while not overburdening it.

2. When your liver needs a little love, avoid processed foods, alcohol, and foods high in sodium and sugar.

3. Stay hydrated. Drinking the right amount of liquids helps the body to flush toxins out of the liver and increase optimum health.

4. Do gentle liver-stimulating exercises. One simple exercise you can do is to sit crosslegged on the floor with your back straight. Simply turn slightly to the right and then to the left. This helps stimulate and increase blood flow to the area without putting undue strain on the body. Start with 10 repetitions, then gradually increase to 100 per day. Moderate exercise also can be beneficial as it helps to decrease insulin resistance and fatty deposits in the liver.

5. Avoid unnecessary medications. Ask your doctor which of your medications are metabolized through your liver and if there are alternatives you could use instead. Replacing some popular pain reducers with alternatives such as Arnica Homeopathics can decrease the burden on your liver.

6. Love your gut. Some studies have shown that liver health is directly impacted by gut health and poor gut flora. Using fermented foods or a daily probiotic can help to both increase and diversify the population of gut flora.

7. Sip some tea. Several herbs have historically been used to help support the liver. Dandelion, Turmeric, Peppermint, Milk Thistle, Barberry, and Rosemary are the most well known.

8. Use spices and herbs in cooking. Garlic, Turmeric, Rosemary, Oregano, and Thyme are encouraging to the liver and can be used regularly in cooking to provide ongoing support.

9. Take your liver-happy supplements. Silymarin Liver Support, Digestive Enzymes and Digest Best, Red Raspberry Leaf, and Vitamin C (Gentle C, Rosehip C, and ChewC) can all contribute to the liver’s wellbeing.

Dig deeper! Learn about choosing probioticsimproving gut health, and creating herbal tea blends and brewing tea

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Foodie Friday: How to Create Your Own Herbal Tea Blends (Plus a Recipe!)

#FoodieFriday- How to Create Your Own Herbal Tea Blends (Plus a Recipe!) from Beeyoutiful.com

#FoodieFriday- How to Create Your Own Herbal Tea Blends (Plus a Recipe!) from Beeyoutiful.com (2)Few things bring comfort to my mind as much as a warm cup of herbal tea on a crisp fall day. As the temperatures drop and leaves turn, my morning routine has begun to steadily include a mug or two of my favorite herbal delights! It is soothing, helps me slow down a bit and awakens me for the day, but even better, this liquid supports my body with vital nutrients and encourages my healthy immune system. How blessed we are that something so good for us is also so delicious.

While mixing blends is something anyone can do, there is some art to mixing a tea that is not only delicious but provides the nutritional support you need. You can have some delicious teas that lack nutritional density, or you can have a bitter stout teas that work beautifully but are literally hard to swallow! Learning to select a careful balance of herbs that have both taste and active properties, and that pair well, is the key.

Often herbs or spices fall into both categories, such as Cinnamon, Elderberries, Lemon Balm, and Hibiscus. They are all very nutrient dense while being quite tasty as well. Using these along with a more herbaceous tasting selection helps to cover the less delectable flavor and take your cup of grassy flavored water to a new level of bold fruity or spicy flavors.

#FoodieFriday- How to Create Your Own Herbal Tea Blends (Plus a Recipe!) from Beeyoutiful.com (1)When crafting an herbal tea, start by selecting your target outcomes. For example, if you’ve awakened with a scratchy throat and want to soothe and lend nutritional support, you’ll want to select herbs and spices to support throat health.

These could include (but definitely are not limited to) Slippery Elm Bark, Marshmallow Leaf or Root, Mullein, Cinnamon Bark, Elderberries, Hibiscus, Rosehips, Elderflower, Licorice Root, Garlic, and Cayenne. Now a big infusion of these herbs might help the sore throat, but wowzers! It might be really hard to get down.
Selecting a few of the powerful favorites and then pairing them with some flavorful teas will make a sip you will not only benefit from but enjoy drinking.

From these, I suggest selecting several that have historical benefits for the throat; Slippery Elm, Mullein, Marshmallow and Licorice Root would be my base. I’d use equal parts of each, and then add Cinnamon Bark, Orange Peel, Lemon Balm and Clove to help lend a little flavor. Licorice Root’s spicy warmth helps marry the flavors between the two groups.

Here’s a recipe for my favorite Throat Love Herbal Tea Blend.

2 Tbs Slippery Elm Bark
2 Tbs Mullein
2 Tbs Marshmallow Leaf
2 Tbs Licorice Root
1 Tbs Cinnamon Bark
1 Tbs Orange Peel
1 Tbs Lemon Balm
1 Tbs Cloves

Mix together and store in a dark glass or metal container. Use 1-2 teaspoons per cup. Steep in freshly boiled water for 10-15 minutes. Sweeten with honey or stevia to taste. Enjoy!

Herbal tea blends can be quite expensive, with some specialty blends costing as much as $50 or more per pound. A pound will make quite a few cups of tea, but knowing how to blend your own teas allows you to create your own unique flavors while going easier on the budget.

We would love to hear your favorite blends or recipes! Try out some of Beeyoutiful’s Tea Blends and let us know what you think.

Happy Tea Drinking!

Mary Ewing, Family Herbalist#FoodieFriday- How to Create Your Own Herbal Tea Blends (Plus a Recipe!) from Beeyoutiful.com

A Bone-Loving Sip

A Bone Loving Sip from Beeyoutiful.com

Using herbs that are abundant in bone and muscle-supporting minerals such as silicon, magnesium, calcium and selenium is a smart and easy way to build health. Turn those herbs into teas and you can stay hydrated at the same time!

Horsetail (also called Shavegrass) and Nettle Leaf make an amazing base for a tea that supports bone and muscle health. Using those two as the base, you can add in fresh fruit or other more tasty herbs to customize and add flavor to the brew. A Bone Loving Sip from Beeyoutiful.com

You can also brew strong infusions of Horsetail and Nettles for use in smoothies, or add a bit to bone broths.

Here is my favorite way to enjoy these bone-loving herbs!

Mary’s Bone Sips

1 tsp Horsetail
1 tsp Nettles
1 tsp Hibiscus
1 tsp Lemon Balm

Mix dried herbs together and steep for at least 20 minutes in 1 quart of freshly boiled water. Strain herbs and serve hot or cold. If desired, sweeten with honey or stevia and add a twist of lemon.

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How-To Tuesday: 9 Ways to Rely on Peppermint Leaf

#HowToTuesday: 9 Ways to Rely On Peppermint Leaf from Beeyoutiful.com

One of the first things we’ll do once we finally purchase our homestead is put in a large herbal garden with loads of both culinary and medicinal herbs for me to have at my fingertips. I have a few potted herbs now that can be moved easily, but it isn’t the same.
#HowToTuesday- 9 Ways to Rely On Peppermint Leaf from Beeyoutiful.comThankfully I have my collection of dried herbs available to use. They are so handy and convenient, and I keep all my mason jars lined up and ready to put into action at a moment’s notice.
Peppermint Leaf is one of my favorite herbs to use in so many different applications throughout life and home. The scent is typically loved by all ages, and the herb is calming and soothing to the body.

Here are nine ways that I love to use Peppermint.

1. Add a little cooling tea to your shampoo regimen. Add 1 teaspoon each of dried Peppermint, Horsetail, and Nettle Leaf to 8 ounces freshly boiled water and let steep for 1 hour. Use to rinse hair to stimulate scalp and encourage hair growth. You can use this recipe to make a bigger batch, if needed; simply store the extra in the refrigerator and use up within three days.
2. Add dried Peppermint Leaf to sugar scrubs to add texture and a delightful aroma.
3. A cup of peppermint tea can help to soothe an upset stomach or a feeling of having overeaten.
4. Make a peppermint-infused oil to gently massage the stomach and back and relieve an icky stomach from the outside in.

Peppermint Leaf Infused Oil

Fresh or Dried Peppermint Leaf
Your choice of oil (we suggest Olive Oil or Coconut Oil if you plan on using it in any edible recipes)

Add peppermint leaf to a jar and cover with oil. Shake well and leave in a window. Shake every 12 hours. In the summer, you can strain after 2 days of steeping, but in the cold days of winter you might need to allow to sit for a full month to get a potent infusion. Strain and store infused oil in a glass jar for up to 3 months.

#HowToTuesday- 9 Ways to Rely On Peppermint Leaf from Beeyoutiful.com 5. Put dried Peppermint Leaf in small fabric bags, tie with a ribbon, and place the sachets in drawers, closets and cabinets to discourage bugs and pests. You can also sprinkle the leaves straight into your cabinets and on window sills.
6. Try some Nighttime Peace Tea the next time you have trouble settling into bed. Use 1/2 teaspoon each of dried Peppermint, Catnip, and Chamomile. Steep in 8 ounces of freshly boiled water. Sweeten with honey or stevia to taste.

7. Using a base of unscented lotion, add ten drops of Peppermint Leaf Tincture and mix thoroughly. Then massage on sore muscles and joints. This makes a wonderfully cooling and soothing massage cream!
8. Make your own Peppermint Leaf Extract to use in cooking or as a tincture.

Peppermint Leaf Extract
Peppermint Leaf, fresh or dried
Vodka, unflavored and preferably non-GMO

Add peppermint leaf to a mason jar and fill the jar to cover the herbs with vodka. Use a ratio of 1:4 if using dried herbs, so 1/4 cup dried peppermint to 1 cup of vodka; for fresh herbs, use 1:2, so 1/2 cup fresh peppermint to 1 cup vodka.

If using fresh peppermint, strain after one month; with dried peppermint, allow to steep for four months. This extract can be used to flavor coffee and teas or in baking, or take a few drops to help relieve digestive complaints.

9. I am in love with using a Peppermint Poultice as minty warm relief for congestion and headaches! Place several teaspoons of peppermint leaf in a bowl. Add enough freshly boiled water to thoroughly dampen the herbs. Mix well with either a pestle or a fork until incorporated. Place the moist herbs on a clean, dry cotton cloth and fold into a small packet. When cooled enough to apply to the skin, place on the chest for congestion or on forehead or back of the neck for a headache.

How do you use Peppermint Leaf? Let us know in the comments below!

How-To Tuesday: How to Make Herbal Teas, Infusions, and Decoctions

#HowToTuesday- How to Make Herbal Teas, Infusions, & Decoctions from Beeyoutiful.com

The easiest and most time-honored way to use herbs is as a beverage. We usually call this liquid an ​herbal tea​.

What we drink and refer to as tea is usually actually a weak ​infusion. ​Herbal infusions are​ made by covering the leafy or floral portions of the plant with freshly boiled water, using a cup of water to 1-2 teaspoons of herb. The mixture is allowed to steep for 3-5 minutes before straining out the herbs and using the liquid.

#HowToTuesday- How to Make Herbal Teas, Infusions, & Decoctions from Beeyoutiful.com​A stronger preparation, called a ​decoction​, is made by simmering larger amounts of the herb in water over low heat for 15 minutes or more. Decoctions are usually made from the dense, woody parts of the plant. Using 2 teaspoons of herb (or more) per cup of water and simmering it until the liquid reduces by half allows the active constituents of the herb to concentrate into a more potent form than a lightly-steeped infusion.

Hot infusions made from richly-scented herbs should be covered while steeping to keep the volatile oils from dissipating into the steam. (Simply cover the pot or kettle while steeping, or if making only one serving, place a small saucer over the teacup.) Decoctions are generally used for medicinal remedies such as compresses, enemas, or concentrated herbal syrups. 

Infusions and decoctions should always be made with the freshest, purest water available. They’re best when fresh, but can be refrigerated and used within a maximum of 3 days.

Both infusions and decoctions can be made using a single herb or a combination. Some blends are formulated to take advantage of the synergistic support of the selected herbs, or to allow a sweeter herb to disguise the strong flavor of a nourishing but less pleasant-tasting herb.

Beeyoutiful Herbal Tea Blends

After weeks of behind the scenes mixing, blending, researching, tweaking, tasting, and even more mixing, our Beeyoutiful product development team is finally ready to proudly introduce a line of custom formulated herbal teas!

These are the teas we reach for with our families, no matter what is going on in our lives. These delicious blends have been formulated to provide nutrition to support your body through its changing needs, and we went out of our way to make some easy button options for you.

Keep your eyes open in the coming weeks for even more blends that will be added!

Bee Ready Mama – When you are growing a new life, your own body needs access to a much larger amount of nutrients, the building blocks of life. Eating a well-balanced diet full of traditional foods as described in the Weston A. Price Guidelines helps ensure that the maximum amount of needed nutrition is available to the mother’s body to create the new life within.

Adding a tea such as Bee Ready Mama can aid in achieving the optimal nutrient level. This specific blend was formulated to support with nutrients that both nourish the body and help to support the reproductive system.

With the deliciousness of tart rosehips dancing on your tastebuds along with a subtle hint of lemon, all the herbs mingle to create a nourishing and refreshing tea that is as pleasant to drink as it is beneficial. Since every woman and every pregnancy is unique, be sure to have your pregnancy care provider review the ingredients to be sure they are appropriate for you.

Catch-A-Dream – On those long nights when sleep has not found us, we turn to a warm mug of Catch-A-Dream Tea. It’s formulated with a special blend of five herbs to support and nourish our bodies while encouraging deep and restful sleep. Effective and gentle enough for our littlest ones (2 and up!), Catch-A-Dream’s soothing mint aroma will help lull you to sleep.

Herbal Immuni-Tea – When the sniffles sneak up or your system is run down, it is time to pour yourself a glass of Herbal Immuni-Tea. With herbs carefully selected to support the body when exposed to or fighting off viruses, Herbal Immuni-Tea is a delicious tea that is sure to please your pickiest sipper.

And while it’s not for sipping, Beeyoutiful’s Madre Mender Postpartum Sitz Bath is a great way to support the healing process for uncomfortable, swollen, or damaged tissue after giving birth. With a healing and vibrant mixture of herbs, Madre Mender provides a soothing and beautiful bath mixture. Each herb was hand selected not just for its healing properties, but to bring some of the most beautiful parts of nature to your bath.

We cannot wait to hear your response to these new teas! As you are learning how to use herbs in your own home, this is a great way to incorporate them into your daily routine. These herbal teas are a great value, too; just one pound of loose herbal tea makes approximately 200 servings, making it one of the most affordable ways to incorporate the benefits of herbs into your health-building strategy.

For even more about using herbal infusions and decoctions, we suggest Herbal Antibiotics and The ABC Herbal.  

How-To Tuesday: 8 Ways To Soothe a Cranky Ear

How-To Tuesday: 8 Ways to Soothe a Cranky Ear from Beeyoutiful.com

There is nothing worse than a cranky ear that won’t let you rest… except maybe your little one’s tired, cranky ears. Sometimes, no matter how hard we try to watch what they eat, remove food items that seem to trigger ear problems, and make sure they don’t get water in their ears while swimming, it seems that occasionally our little ones still end up bothered by a painful ear.

How-To Tuesday: 8 Ways to Soothe a Cranky Ear from Beeyoutiful.comHere are a few things that have worked in our family to help soothe cranky ears and let us all get some rest!

Important note: If you even suspect the eardrum might be ruptured, do not put anything into the ear and contact your care provider immediately.

1. Slice off the top of an onion and, using the stem and outer skin as a handle, hold the onion up to the offending ear. Typically within a few minutes the discomfort disappears.

2. Good digestion can often help you avoid cranky ears. Our littles take a digestive enzyme and probiotics daily.

3. Eliminate common trigger foods such as wheat, dairy, soy, and sugar from the diet.

4. Try steam inhalation with dried or fresh herbs (remember the nasal passages and ears are connected!). In a large heatproof bowl, place 1 oz of each or some of the following herbs: Lemon Balm, Chamomile, Elder Flowers, and/or Spearmint. Pour very hot or boiling water over the herbs and let steep for 1-2 minutes. As it steams, drape a towel over your shoulders and head, leaning over the bowl to trap the steam and direct it more easily as you breathe. (Be very careful to avoid steam burns!)

5. Sip on some tea made from equal parts Lemon Balm and Mullein. It is yummy and soothing! Add some honey for extra comfort.

6. Use a clean sock filled with uncooked rice and then warmed in the microwave to apply gentle heat to the ear (keep the heat mild; overheated rice packs can irritate and even burn the skin). One of our Beeyoutiful teammates also recently tried this using Coarse Rock Salt instead of rice; the salt seemed to work faster and hold a gentle heat longer, and the added minerals may also be beneficial.

7. Use Lavender and Tea Tree Essential Oils, diluted with Sweet Almond Oil to gently massage around the ear and neck

Ear and Neck Massage Oil

Mix together in small bottle. Massage around ear and neck. For external use only; Do Not Put This Blend Inside the Ear!

8. For soothing of a very cranky ear, try using Garlic Oil or Mullein Oil.

Garlic Oil

  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/8 cup Olive Oil

Simmer at lowest possible heat for several hours. (Do not let it burn!) Strain and store infused oil in a dark glass bottle. Use 2 drops per ear, as needed. Store for no more than one month. This recipe can also be used on the bottom of the feet, spine, and neck to help boost immunity.

Mullein Oil

  • 2 oz Dried or Fresh Mullein
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 2 oz Olive Oil or other carrier oil

Mix all ingredients in a glass jar and let sit for 1-2 weeks, shaking occasionally. To speed up the process for immediate use, you can cook over the lowest heat possible on the stove for 30 mins to 6 hours.) Strain and store infused oil in a dark glass container. Use 2 drops per ear, as needed. Store for no more than 1 month.

Important note worth repeating: If you even suspect the eardrum might be ruptured, do not put anything into the ear and contact your care provider immediately. Massages outside of the ear and on the lymph nodes around the ear and down the neck may continue to be helpful, but never drop anything into an ear that has a ruptured eardrum! 

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