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)

Mama Balance

Mama’s Beautiful Balance

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For all the women out there: whether you are a mother of small children, grown children or no children at all! We all are caregivers in some way and we all have the magical creative force of women, whether we birth children, ideas, art, projects or inspiration.  This blend is intended to bring balance to female hormones and reproductive system whether during menstruation, menopause or post-menopause. It is also a blend for balancing our busy lives, bringing a sense of calm, grounded strength. What follows is specific information about some of the herbs in the blend.  

Lady’s mantle is the beautiful low-lying perennial with wide, soft, ruffled leaves that collect morning dew and raindrops in perfect jewels. She’s magical just to look at.  Lady’s mantle has a strengthening and astringent effect on the female reproductive system and is an excellent uterine tonic. It helps regulate menstruation and control excessive bleeding.  It also has a toning and firming effect on the breasts, helping with lumpy, swollen, achy or saggy breast tissue.

Blessed thistle helps to increase milk supply in nursing mothers and helps with hormone imbalance. It increases circulation, supplying more oxygen to the brain and thus enhancing memory.

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Motherwort! (Leonurus cardiaca)

Motherwort is an incredible ally for women in all stages of life: it helps smooth the way for girls going through puberty, helps relieve menstrual cramping and bring on late periods, and helps moderate hormone levels, mood swings and hot flashes associated with menopause.  Motherwort is an emmenagogue and can encourage uterine contractions and labor, so is useful at the end of pregnancy. Magically, motherwort is an herb for protection. Gail Faith Edwards says that it “gives a sense of purpose and joy, an expectation that all will succeed. It brings the gifts of inner growth and trust.”

 

 

All together, these herbs bring balance, beauty, and support for the female body. I hope you enjoy it as I have. ❤

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

 *not for use during pregnancy*

Ingredients:

lady’s mantle* motherwort* blessed thistle* evening primrose* tulsi* rose* and violet leaf and flower* in grain alcohol, filtered water, raw RI honey, vegetable glycerin and love.   

1oz. $14

*grown and harvested in RI with love and without chemicals

Lip Balm

Lip Balms

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As part of our workshops in December, we made three delightful lip balm flavors.  We made my classic lip balm that I’ve made in the past: calendula infused olive oil with and a hint of citrus. We made a peppermint cocoa with a hint of honey. And then we have a red tinted lip balm made with beet powder and a little peppermint. Hope you enjoy all three!

Ingredients:
All in a base of shea butter, coconut oil and RI beeswax. Calendula: Calendula infused olive oil, orange essential oil. Hot Cocoa: organic cocoa powder, raw honey, peppermint essential oil. Red Tinted: organic beet powder, peppermint essential oil.

Immune System

Immune System Tonic

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Echinacea is a strong and effective immune system support herb, that is still for children and elderly, having no known side-effects.  It is fascinating how this plant works; it is actually increasing the T-cell (white blood cell) activity in the body, thereby boosting the body’s first line of defense against colds, flus and other illnesses.  It is used preventatively and curatively with wonderful success.

I added astragalus and tulsi to this blend because they boost the immune system in different ways than echinacea. They are both immunomodulators, meaning they nourish and strengthen over-all immune system function and also have specific properties that support different body systems.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine astragalus is a Spleen Qi tonic, bringing energy, stamina, improved digestion. It is also a Lung Qi tonic, strengthening the gateway to the body (our lungs), thus protecting us from invading viruses and bacteria. Plus, it stimulates the production of various components of the immune system.

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.

Suggested Use:  15 drops every 2-3 hours or 1-3 dropperfuls 3 times per day. (A dropperful is equivalent to ¼ tsp or 35 drops) Use at the first signs of illness. Best to use in rotation: 5 days on, then 2 days off until sickness has passed. Then take a break until you need extra immune support again.

Ingredients:

echinacea leaf, flower, roots and seeds, astragalus root, tulsi leaf, stem and flowers in grain alcohol and water