Autumn tinctures

SWEET CITRUS SUNSHINE

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Similar to the Shine the Light blend, this creation is about bringing the vibrancy and sunshine of summer into our darker days. I grew lemon verbena for the first time this year and its scent is on its way to becoming my all-time favorite smell ever; I could just float away on its lemony cloud of loveliness. So that’s what I was trying to bottle when I made this blend. It’s that feeling of being on Cloud 9, just drifting along without a care in the world: so calm, so content, spirits soaring. All of these lemony herbs certainly lift the spirits and promote a feeling of well-being while soothing and toning the nervous system. They are also all wonderful digestive herbs, helping relieve abdominal discomfort of all kinds. Plus, they help alleviate fever, are anti-spasmodic and anti-viral. I added a handful of fresh raspberries and sunny flowers for that extra little taste of summer.  I must say, it’s really like summer in a bottle.

Suggested Use:  1-3 dropperfuls one to three times per day, as needed.

Ingredients:
Lemon verbena, lemon balm, lemongrass, lime basil, lemon, fresh raspberries, calendula, nasturtium in vodka. 1oz. $13

Autumn Tinctures

Shine the Light Blend

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This blend is inspired by the wonders of St. John’s Wort (some like to call it “St. Joan’s Wort and I recently saw an herbalist label hers as “Solstice Wort”), which is in its full glory on the summer solstice, soaking in all the magic of the sun and the feeling of unlimited potential and abundance in the air.  

I mixed in some lemon balm oxymel; an infusion of lemon balm in raw apple cider vinegar and raw honey, my new favorite way to preserve an herb.  So much yum. Lemon balm is a special nervine that is soothing and calming to the mind as well as the digestive tract.  It is also anti-viral, helping a body stay healthy during cold season.  In magical lore it is said to attract love and its flower essence “develops self-love and strengthens the belief that you are worthy and deserving of love” (from Opening our Wild Hearts to the Healing Herbs).

And then of course I mixed in some tulsi, aka holy basil.  As we move into the dark time of year, this herb (as is true of all basils) is wonderfully uplifting and comforting.  It helps us maintain a balanced state of mind and a feeling of well-being. It is also antiseptic and anti-viral, keeping the body free of infection.

The rose is added whenever we need a little boost of summer splendor.  Associated with beauty and love in so many cultures in all of time, the rose helps bring that beauty into your heart.  I love that the beach roses here in Rhode Island are also in full bloom on the summer solstice, making this blend really like some sunshine in a bottle.

Suggested Use: 1-3 dropperfuls one to three times per day, as needed.

**St. John’s wort does interact and/or decrease the efficacy of many prescription drugs.  Please look at the drug interactions list if you are taking any pharmaceutical medication**

Ingredients:

St. John’s wort, lemon balm, tulsi, rose in grain alcohol, vodka, water, raw apple cider vinegar and raw honey

Digestive Bitters

Herbal Bitters: Digestion Tonic

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These miraculous herbs offer us the gift of a very under-used and under-appreciated taste.  Bitter is the flavor that is suggested in Chinese medicine when the weather is turning colder at the end of autumn. “Bitter challenges the body, alerting it through taste that a complex food is being ingested,” says the Urban Moonshine website. When the bitter flavor hits the tongue, it signals the body to produce bile and enzymes for digestion, thus making it easier on the body to break down food.  Bitters can help with such digestive complications as acid reflux, heartburn, indigestion, gas and cramping.

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Suggested Use:

One to two dropperfuls (30-60 drops) before or after meals.

Ingredients:

burdock root, dandelion leaf and root, chamomile, green apple, fennel seed, ginger in grain alcohol and water

Astragalus

Astragalus

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Astragalus is one of the premier herbal remedies for Lyme disease support.  It enhances immune system function in such a way that it assists the body in getting rid of the Lyme infection.  Stephen Buhner has done extensive research on Lyme treatment and has developed an herbal protocol to address acute Lyme as well as chronic Lyme.  He also suggests using astragalus as a preventative because of its positive effect on the immune system.  He actually recommends taking it every day, all year round if living in a Lyme disease area.  Another important detail is that with chronic Lyme, sometimes astragalus can make symptoms worse. But Buhner notes that sometimes that is not the case. So I recommend avoiding it in cases of chronic Lyme.

Astragalus has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years as an adaptogen, meaning it helps the body deal with symptoms of stress.  Besides being one of the best herbs for building immune system strength, it is also energizing to the entire body, improving athletic endurance. It also promotes circulatory health and stimulates regular metabolism of dietary sugars (often used by diabetics).  Here’s more info than you ever wanted to know about astragalus.

I make my astragalus tincture as a strong water decoction, meaning I boil the fresh or dried root in water.  Water is the best extractor of the active constituents in astragalus. Because it is water soluble and has a mild flavor, astragalus makes a fine addition to food.  You can add astragalus powder to anything: smoothies, grains, soups.  Some folks put the sliced dry root (sometimes called a tongue depressor because of its shape) into their pot of soup, grains, or beans so that the simmering action extracts the medicinal properties.  I also make astragalus ice cubes by making a strong decoction and then freezing it in an ice cube tray. This makes an easy dosing for my family.  I add it to any of our drinks, smoothies or soup.

Suggested Use:

3-4 dropperfuls (1/2 to 1 teaspoon) once daily for prevention. Use 2 to 3 teaspoons a day after a tick bite or when dealing with acute Lyme symptoms. **Not for use in chronic Lyme**

Ingredients:

fresh and dried astragalus root, water, grain alcohol (20% for preservation)

Dream Deep

Dream Deep Elixir

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I made this delicious elixir as a nervous system support and relaxing sleep aid.  It has the added bonus of enhancing your dreams and offering energetic protection. (read this sweet post on mugwort.)   Chamomile and catnip are very relaxing nervines that promote calm minds and restful sleep.  Skullcap is a mild sedative that really helps promote sleep. Lemon balm and rose help to lift the spirits and soothe the heart.  All of these herbs help to nourish the nervous system, soothing anxiety, stress, agitation and restlessness. So take some deep breaths and feel your mind relax, your body unwind and your heart melt into a big hug.  Dream well.

Suggested Use:

1-3 dropperfuls as needed. I love to mix a splash (about 1 tsp) into sparkling water.  I also find it effective to use just 1-2 dropperfuls right before bed or if I wake in the night.

Ingredients:

catnip, lemon balm, skullcap, mugwort, chamomile, rose petals in brandy and raw RI honey

 

Elderberry Rosehip

Elderberry Rosehip Syrup

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This is the most popular cold and flu remedy in Europe and I hope you will see why!  Elder is an immune system enhancer, but gentle enough to use every day (tho you might want to save it for when folks around you are sick).  It’s also a diaphoretic, helping to induce sweating and reduce fevers. It’s so delicious, you can drizzle it on pancakes or mix it into yogurt or just drink it straight.

The rosehips are full of Vitamin C, as well as other minerals and are a powerful antioxidant. They are a great boost to your immune system when you’re feeling run-down or under the weather.

Suggested Use:

one to two Tablespoons 1-3 times per day.  Keep refrigerated!

Ingredients:

fresh elderberries, rosehips and ginger with cinnamon sticks, water and raw RI honey.

B. Love Tea

B. Love Tea Blend

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This autumn is all about unconditional love.  I’ve created three products that are designed to help lift the heart and wrap you in a big hug, reminding you that you are loved, held and appreciated.  This tea blend highlights one my favorite herbs, Tulsi (aka Holy Basil), which is the great balancer, helping the body adapt to stressors of all kinds. So as your body comes into greater balance, the other herbs help to open and support the heart.  Hawthorn strengthens the physical heart and helps to regulate blood pressure, as well as helping to soothe the emotional heart and bring a sense of open-hearted well-being. Damiana is often thought of as an aphrodisiac, but is also a powerful nervine, helping to soothe symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression.  It is really an herb to promote self-love.

So blessings on your dear heart. May you feel held in unconditional love and support.

Ingredients:

tulsi, hawthorn leaf and flower, damiana, cinnamon, violet leaf and flower, rose petals

Tulsi Rose Vinegar

Tulsi Rose Vinegar Heart Tonic

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This infused vinegar with raw honey is perfect for when the weather turns cold and our bodies need extra support to stay healthy in body and spirit.  Tulsi (aka Holy Basil) is an incredible ally during times of stress, helping our body adapt, stay healthy and balanced. Tulsi is also an anti-bacterial, anti-viral immune supportive herb that has range of actions, supporting the lungs and regulating cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels. The rosehips are packed with vitamin C and antioxidants, adding extra immune support.  The hawthorn berries and rose petals make this a lovely heart tonic, supporting the physical and emotional heart, aiding in circulation and regulating blood pressure. Hawthorn even helps the heart recuperate from heart surgery or heart attack, and helps treat heart disease and weakness of the heart muscle. The raw apple cider vinegar has its own health benefits: normalizing blood sugar and cholesterol, aiding in digestion and elimination, and helping manage fatigue. A perfect autumn sweet vinegar.

Suggested Use:

Start with 1 teaspoon per day either straight or mixed into water, juice or tea. Then gradually increase the amount you take each day until you are using 1-2 Tbsp.  My favorite way is as soon as I wake up to put 1 Tbsp into a quart of warm water with honey. We call it morning tea, and it is a great way to wake up your belly and break your nightly fast. You can also try sprinkling this on stir-fry, stews, salads, beans and grains.

Ingredients:

tulsi, rosehips, rose petals, hawthorn berries in raw organic apple cider vinegar and raw honey