Tag Archives: tea

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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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! 

Encourage Vitality with Herbal Spring Cleaning for Your Body

spring cleaning herbal tea from Beeyoutiful.com

Grandmothers have known for centuries the power of both culinary and medicinal herbs to aid the body in cleansing and restoring vitality. Encouraging vitality is often a completely different concept than the traditional viewpoint of Western medicine, which typically reacts to a disease but doesn’t encourage wellness from the start. In centuries past, traditional elders knew the importance of aiding the body in keeping well.

It was just this past fall when I read the value of using springtime herbs to help eliminate the toxins accumulated over the wintertime. I think it’s brilliant that each spring, the right herbs to create a cleansing tonic pop up in our yards! I laugh because these healing herbs are the very “weeds” most people spray to kill.

In the midst of my current herbalist coursework, I have found that often things we consider a nuisance in our manicured lawns are herbal gifts ready to nourish and revitalize our bodies. I hope you will join me in appreciating the beauty and wisdom of spring herbs, and have a cup of delicious Spring Cleaning Tea to encourage health and vitality. spring cleaning herbal tea from Beeyoutiful.com

Dandelion Leaf: supports and nourishes the liver, helping to eliminate toxins easier
Red Raspberry Leaf: rich in vitamins and nutrients to ensure the body is nourished, historically used to support and soothe the body through times of illness and can also be used to encourage vitality
Nettles: a great source of calcium and other trace minerals; studies also show that is can help support the body during seasonal allergies
Rosehips: one of nature’s best sources of Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that helps to neutralize free radicals that cause damage to the body and its systems
Hibiscus: delicious and full of anti-oxidants and Vitamin C, great for building the immune system
Calendula: extremely rich in antioxidants, also has been seen to be effective in maintaining a healthy digestive tract and thus lending strength to the immune system
Lemon Peel:  another great antioxidant source that adds a punch of flavor

Spring Cleaning Tea Recipe

2 parts Dandelion Leaf
2 parts Red Raspberry Leaf
2 parts Nettles
1 part Rosehips
1 part Hibiscus
1/2 part Calendula
1/2 part Lemon Peel

Mix all the dried herbs and then store in a glass jar. Use 1 tablespoon for 8 oz or 1 cup for gallon. Boil distilled water and then remove from the heat. Add tea and cover. Let steep for 15-20 minutes, then strain and sweeten with honey or stevia.

Red Raspberry Leaf: A “Miracle Herb” for Women

Red Raspberry Leaf: A "Miracle Herb" For Women from Beeyoutiful.com

This information originally appeared in a slightly different format in our Winter 2007-2008 Catalog.

My greatest passion in life is experiencing the birth of a child with parents who love children as much as I do. As a Licensed Midwife, it has been my privilege to advise many women during pregnancy, and to be present at thousands of births. I take it upon myself to care for my clients before, during, and after the birth, physically, mentally and emotionally.

Red Raspberry Leaf: A "Miracle Herb" For Women from Beeyoutiful.comFor thousands of years, midwives and Chinese herbalists have used herbs with very good results. This fact is not lost on the current medical community, as many of our allopathic medicines are derived from herbs.

As a midwife and herbalist, I use herbs constantly in my practice. I have found that certain herbs contribute significant amounts of nourishment necessary to our bodies. I believe that the female body was designed to give birth, and that with proper nutrition, it can usually do what it knows how to do, without much intervention.

I had one client who was worried about having her fifth baby. After a few prenatal visits, I was puzzled about her concern. I was thinking, “Fifth baby, what could she be worried about?” After some coaxing, she finally admitted that it was the after pains that had her concerned about her birth. Apparently the after pains were so incredibly intense after her fourth baby that she was not at all concerned about the act of actually giving birth to number 5, but was fearful instead about the pains to come later.

Now that I knew what was troubling her, I suggested that she increase her intake of Red Raspberry Leaf. She was skeptical that this would help, but was willing to give it a try. I advise all of my clients to take Red Raspberry Leaf through pregnancy, and I explained to her why.

The Woman’s Herb

Red Raspberry Leaf (Rubus idaeus) is a widely used herbal tonic that is especially beneficial during pregnancy. Brewed as a tea, taken in capsule form, or as an infusion, Red Raspberry Leaf is one of the safest and most commonly used tonic herbs for women wanting to get pregnant or for women who are already pregnant.

Taking this herb helps facilitate all the functions our bodies do for us on a daily basis. This is why Red Raspberry Leaf is considered a ‘tonic’ herb; it tones and supports the body in general. Red Raspberry Leaf tones the uterus, improves the quality of labor contractions, improves quality of sleep, decreases feelings of anxiety and nervousness, and decreases constipation.

It also contains the most easily assimilated form of calcium. Because Red Raspberry Leaf has calcium that is so readily available to our bodies, and most of us have a calcium deficiency, many people notice a change in how they feel right away. Since osteoporosis is related to a lack of calcium, daily use of Red Raspberry Leaf is highly recommended for all women.

Beeyoutiful’s encapsulated organic Red Raspberry Leaf is easily absorbed by the body. All the necessary trace minerals and vitamins your body needs to easily assimilate the calcium are already right there, occurring naturally in the herb itself. Almost every trace mineral that our bodies use is available in Red Raspberry Leaf. This means no one in a lab had to figure out how to formulate something that might work as well as the real thing!

How to Use Red Raspberry Leaf

You can drink 1-6 cups of mild-tasting Red Raspberry Leaf tea per day, hot or iced. Or, you can take one to four capsules per day. Use more in the second half of the day if you tend to have trouble sleeping, since Red Raspberry Leaf encourages a deeper, more restful sleep.

It is almost impossible to overdose on Red Raspberry Leaf, but if you take very large amounts, you may experience either very loose stool or constipation. Either is a sure sign that you have more than reached your body’s threshold for calcium levels. Just back down on your dose by one or two cups of tea or one or two capsules, and your bathroom habits should return to what is familiar to you.Recipe: Nourish & Flourish Tea with herbs from Beeyoutiful. com

Tea recipe: Pour 1 cup boiling water over 2 teaspoons of dried Red Raspberry Leaf and steep for ten minutes. Steeping longer than ten minutes will only make the tea bitter, not stronger. For stronger tea, use more in the tea bag or tea ball. Sweeten with stevia, honey, or a bit of rapadura

I like to add Nettles, Alfalfa or Spearmint to my Red Raspberry Leaf tea. This combination makes for a very toning tea. Nettles has every trace mineral our bodies need and helps build up red blood cells as well. Alfalfa helps blood to clot well and prevents unnecessary blood loss. Spearmint is soothing to the stomach and adds a bit of flavor to these herbs for a little more punch to your tea.

Not up for making a tea blend yourself? Try a prepared version of Pregnancy Tea. Or if you’re just not a tea drinker, try Beeyoutiful’s encapsulated organic Red Raspberry Leaf. Try one to six capsules per day, based on comfort and bowel tolerance.

Pregnancy and Red Raspberry Leaf

In addition to many vitamins and minerals, Red Raspberry Leaf also contains an alkaloid called fragrine which lends tone and strength to the uterus. There are several schools of thought on the subject with conflicting information about the use of this herb during pregnancy. (Talk with your care provider about what’s right for your body and pregnancy!)

Many clinicians advise drinking one cup of Red Raspberry Leaf tea per day in the first trimester and 2 cups in the second trimester, then switching to an infusion (a stronger tea) for the third trimester to ensure a strong uterus and prevent miscarriage.

Other clinicians suggest that frequent use (3-4 cups per day of tea, or 1-2 capsules) just during the third trimester is beneficial to the uterine and pelvic muscles.

And finally, some clinicians advise not using Red Raspberry Leaf in the first trimester, particularly if you have a history of miscarriage. Some midwives in the U.K. claim an increase in early miscarriage rates associated with women who have used Red Raspberry Leaf, and it’s been noted that the herb may cause minor spotting in the beginning of a pregnancy.

What Red Raspberry Leaf does not do is start labor or promote contractions. It is not an emmenagogue (something that promotes a miscarriage) or an oxytocic herb (an herb or chemical that promotes uterine contractions). It does strengthen the pelvic and uterine muscles, allowing you to feel healthier throughout your pregnancy, and allowing labor and the muscles involved with birthing to be more relaxed and efficient.

Contact your midwife, herbalist, or physician for personalized input about your use of Red Raspberry Leaf. Do the homework yourself to feel good about your decision to use or not use this herb, and when to use it during pregnancy. This advice is good for any decision you might be facing about your pregnancy options or your own health and welfare in general!

Worries Put To Rest

Well, my anxious client faithfully took the Red Raspberry Leaf in the higher amounts we discussed for her. Her birth experience went so smoothly that I almost missed it! She felt just fine at her 24 hour check up, too, but said that the next day would be the real test to see if the herb had helped. I told her to call me if she experienced any after pains like she had in the past, and then scheduled a routine five-day postpartum check up.

I never received any phone calls from her, and wondered if she was going to tough it out rather than call. That was in my mind as I rang the door bell on the day of my visit, hoping to hear good news, yet fearing I wouldn’t. My face split into a huge grin as my client all but tap-danced to the door to let me in! She couldn’t stop telling me how great the first few days after the birth had been, and how they’d been nothing like her last postpartum experience.

My client was so excited that she wanted me to promise that I would tell every pregnant woman of this “miracle herb” that made all the difference for her. So, this is me keeping my promise and telling all of you this “big secret” to feeling good during and after your births! Red Raspberry Leaf truly is a miracle herb!

Written by Jenny West, LM, CPM, HBCE, TBMP, CST, CH; a midwife/herbalist who has been in practice for 18 years and delivered over 7000 babies.

3 Things That Banished Discomfort From My 4th Pregnancy, Part 1

3 Things That Banished Discomfort from My 4th Pregnancy

Thanks for joining us for Pregnancy Week! Start here with Part 1. Some of this information originally appeared in a slightly different format in our Winter 2011 catalog

After three pregnancies, each featuring quite a number of “pregnancy symptoms” and baby complications following the birth, I resigned myself to the idea that all my pregnancies would be difficult, and my health would never be great while expecting. I envied women who actually enjoyed pregnancy. Many feel wonderful and love every minute of it, but I had never experienced such a thing!
pregnancy

Throwing up was a way of life for me with most of my pregnancies, sometimes continuing the entire nine months. I was constipated, had blood sugar problems, anemia, backaches, swelling, you name it! Since I was convinced that a lot of my problems centered on nutrition, I decided to change my diet and be faithful with supplementation to see if my fourth pregnancy could be any better.

The first few weeks were still hard with plenty of tiredness, vomiting, migraines, and dizziness, but I stuck with my plan. Slowly I noticed a difference, and by week 15, I was actually starting to feel good. By 20 weeks, I consistently felt wonderful! For the first time ever, I was pregnant and felt fine at the same time.

Despite my success, I was quaking in my boots as I went for gestational diabetes and anemia checks around 30 weeks. I just knew some of my problem was “genetically me.” I’ve always battled hypoglycemia and anemia, so when my midwife took blood samples, we waited nervously as her machine ticked down the seconds. I almost fell off her couch when the results came back with textbook normal levels! As the weeks passed, I continued to feel fine, sleep well, and have fairly decent energy levels.

There were three things that I did differently this time around. Let’s look at the first one today in two parts, and the other two tomorrow.

#1a: Traditional Diet

In an earlier post, I recommended the Weston A. Price Foundation approach to a healthy diet as preparation for pregnancy: raw milk, farm fresh eggs, good fats (butter, animal fats, coconut oil, olive oil, cod liver oil), bone broths, lacto-fermented vegetables, and grass-fed meats and vegetables (see Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon for tips and recipes).

This plan has become the mainstay of eating for my family and me. I’ve also limited my intake of white flour, white sugar, empty calories, preservatives, and chemicals. Eating 2 tablespoons of coconut oil each day helped to decrease my cravings for carbohydrates and starches, and to maintain pregnancy-appropriate weight gain. My protein intake is 80-100g per day, spaced evenly throughout the day and making sure to have a healthy portion in the morning.

Protein is crucial to the development of your baby during pregnancy. Most people consume only about 35g per day; that level can sustain you and your baby, but it increases your risk for developing toxemia or pre-eclampsia.

Early on, it was sometimes a struggle to eat these things when I felt yucky; soda and a chocolate chip muffin sounded much better. But if I chose to have a bowl of bone broth, I would often start to feel normal again soon. Thankfully, as I entered my second trimester, I felt much better and was able to eat the suggested diet without problems.

Even the best diet often lacks key nutrients crucial for ourselves and our developing babies. Therefore, supplementation is essential, and I can only attempt to tell you what a difference it made in my fourth pregnancy. (My husband is also grateful for Beeyoutiful because supplements have meant he’s heard a lot less complaining on my part!)

#1b: Supplementation

Yesterday I posted about crucial supplements to take before pregnancy even begins. Many of them are the same that I recommend throughout pregnancy, with a few additions to keep on hand.

Red Raspberry Leaves and Evening Primrose Oil are both excellent hormonal supports during pregnancy, and they prepare the uterus and body for labor. I have read many different suggestions regarding when to start taking them; I suggest personal research and asking your midwife or health practitioner what is best for you. Each woman’s body and pregnancy is different, and unique needs should be specifically addressed.

Activated Charcoal was a lifesaver during pregnancy, for two specific reasons. A horrible stomach flu went through our family while on vacation; I immediately grabbed the charcoal and began regular doses. Although I typically catch any and all stomach viruses, it totally skipped me! It also greatly relieved my morning sickness and indigestion.

When I felt bad or had that acidy feeling in the pit of my stomach, I drank a slurry of Activated Charcoal powder. While I don’t mind the slurry’s taste and texture, others may prefer tablets or capsules. (NOTE: With regular use of charcoal for morning sickness, be sure to take either a mineral supplement or to mineralize your water because charcoal can decrease the minerals present in your intestines.)

Oh, what a comfort Pregnancy Tea has been to me! When I am not feeling well, have a lack of energy, feel extra emotional, cold, or just want to enjoy a cup of warm tea that’s good for me, I relish Pregnancy Tea. Its slightly spearmint flavor is quite a comfort when mixed with a little honey and sipped while I rest in my favorite rocking chair.

For those back aches or round ligament pains, Ow!-Ease is my favorite pain reducer. If occasional back or neck-aches creep up, Ow!-Ease delivers instant relief.

Join us again tomorrow when we’ll talk about the important roles that exercise and rest played in my pregnancy. 

Chai Tea – Winter 2008-2009 Catalog

Chai Tea

I LOVE Chai tea and was looking for a good recipe. A friend gave me one that I have modified, added to and made my own. I  love a cup on a cold morning. If you love Chai, I think you will like this!

4 Cups Water

4 T Loose Black Tea or

4 Tea Bags

3-4 T Evaporated Cane Juice or Rapadura

1 Toe of Fresh Ginger, grated or chopped

2-3 Cinnamon Sticks

8-10 Whole Cloves

1 tsp. Cardamom

1 tsp. Nutmeg

Pinch of Tumeric

Pinch of Black Pepper

1 tsp. Vanilla

Cream or Milk

Add water, Rapadura or other sweetener and spices to a 2-3qt pan and bring to a slow boil. After about 15-20 minutes, add  loose tea or tea bags and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes. Remove from heat and strain through a tight mesh strainer into a 4 cup measuring cup. Stir in vanilla. Some of your liquid may have boiled away. Add back enough hot water to make 4 cups of tea. Serve with 1/4 cup warm cream or milk in each cup. True Chai is creamy and sweet. You may use any sweetener you prefer, but I have found that adding a sweetener of your choice to your spices as they simmer helps to bring a  fuller body to the tea as opposed to adding stevia to unsweetened tea in your cup. Hope you enjoy this as much as I do! —Stephanie J.

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