As you make your garden plan for spring and you order seeds from catalogs take a moment to think about plants you can grow for their medicinal properties. There are plenty of safe and effective herbs you can grow and use in homemade remedies for everything from first aid uses to illness.
Learning about herbs and all their uses is actually quite fun. It is a perfect way to pass time during the dreary, cold winter months. Make a plan now to come to know the following herbs and plant a few. Then when spring and summer comes try your hand at making herbal remedies. You can create your very own homestead apothecary! Enjoy!
20 Safe Herbs to Grow and Use
Aloe – A succulent prized for its thick gel that is perfect for soothing burns and skin irritations.
Burdock – This tenacious weed is great for skin problems like acne, eczema, and psoriasis.
Calendula – Beautiful flowers that promote cell repair and growth in rashes, sores, and burns.
Chamomile – Gentle but effective in treating colic, indigestion, infection, and more.
Chickweed – Soothes skin irritations and calms itchy eyes. Great eating too!
Dandelion – A great liver tonic and blood purifier. Good for digestion.
Echinacea – Stimulates the immune system and fights off cold and flu in the beginning stages.
Elder – Helpful with fevers, viral infections, and frequent bladder infections.
Goldenseal – Can be used to fight off illness and conjunctivitis. Makes a great mouthwash.
Hawthorn – Can help with cholesterol levels and blood flow.
Jewelweed – Excellent for dealing with poison ivy and poison oak.
Lemon Balm – Helps with depression, memory, focus, and digestive issues like colic.
Licorice – Soothes inflamed tissues such as sore throats and ulcers. Also good for adrenal fatigue.
Marsh Mallow – Lubricates dry coughs and moisturizes the lungs. Also soothes skin.
Nettle – Helps with joint pain, allergies, and hay fever.
Plantain – Often used for wounds, bites, stings, and blood poisoning.
Red Clover – One of the very best vitamin and mineral supplements you could ever take.
St. John’s Wart – Helps with stress, depression, nerve damage, and seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
Valerian – Helps with insomnia and nervous system disorders.
Yarrow – Helps with swelling after injuries, soothes menstrual cramps, and reduces heavy bleeding.
When you’re planning a family vacation it’s important to take each individual’s needs into account. This means making sure everyone can join in with planned activities and that everyone can have fun. If you have a vegan in the family, making sure everyone will be able to eat can be a little more complicated, but with good planning you should still be able to enjoy a great adventure together.
What is veganism?
If one of your family members is vegan that person may have asked not to be given certain foods, but you could still be uncertain which foods are acceptable. In fact it’s simple: vegans don’t eat any animal-derived products. This means that they’re vegetarian but, along with avoiding meat and fish, they also avoid dairy products, eggs and honey. Most vegans also avoid products containing animal derivatives such as beef gelatin, which is present in many processed foods, and they avoid wearing leather or fur. In some parts of the world, there have been people living like this for thousands of years. Modern veganism has been around in the West for about 70 years. It’s increasingly popular, especially with young people, and you can find out more about it from the Vegan Society.
Choosing where to eat
When you have a vegan family member it can be difficult to find restaurants where everybody is happy to eat. Chinese, Japanese and Korean places usually don’t use dairy products, so are okay as long as they offer vegetarian options. If they are run by recent immigrants who are not sure what’s vegetarian and what isn’t, it’s best to ask for Buddhist food. Some traditional American restaurants are happy to take dairy products out of their vegetarian dishes where practicable. Vegans gradually become unable to digest the proteins in dairy food, so it can be a good idea to take an artificial lactose capsule before eating, in case of accidental contamination; this will reduce the risk of illness.
Where to stay
When you’re choosing accommodation, you may want to check first to see if there are restaurants in your hotel or nearby that can cater to vegans. Alternatively, you could choose a self-catering apartment where you can cook your own food. If you’re staying in a hotel, see if there is a fridge you can use; this will allow you to store your own foods, which the kitchen may be willing to cook for you.
By now, most people are familiar with the range of meat substitute products that are available to vegetarians – everything from tempeh rashers to soya mince. It’s important to note that many Quorn products are not suitable for vegans because they are made using eggs. These days there are also some great alternatives to eggs and dairy products, making it easy to substitute ingredients. Check out Hampton Creek’s Facebook to learn more about the work being done in this area. Hampton Creek food is also very healthy because it doesn’t contain trans-fatty acids or MSG. As a result, even a cook with no experience of vegan nutrition can now produce healthy, enjoyable meals.
On the journey
When you’re on a plane, getting the staff to switch ingredients isn’t really an option. When you’re driving long distance and relying on diners, it can also present a significant challenge. To deal with these situations, it’s a good idea to take plenty of snacks. Flapjacks, oatcakes and rice cakes are great because they pack a lot of energy into a small package and can keep you going for a long time.
Travelling with a vegan family member may require a bit of extra organization, but it’s far from impossible. A well-planned trip can still be lots of fun for all involved.
I was blessed with giant caterpillar eyebrows. In order to keep them looking halfway decent I need to tweeze or wax them regularly. Neither of these activities is any fun as any woman will tell you. It is painful and I end up with raging red, puffy eyebrows that can hurt for a full day or more. I usually try to avoid any errands for a day or so afterwards so I don’t get strange looks!
At any rate I had a special event planned and I forgot all about taming the brows until the day of. I did not want to go to this event looking swollen and puffy so I decided to see if essential oils would help. I am not sure why I was surprised that they did because are miraculous, but the sheer speed with which my brows and forehead went back to normal is amazing. Only 2-3 hours after waxing, I was back to normal. You could not even tell. And after only an hour I was not feeling any pain or irritation.
My new favorite remedy for eyebrow waxing irritations is Rutavala! It was one of my favorite oil blends already so this is just one more reason to love it. I have the roll on version so that application is super easy.
It is a blend of coconut oil, lavender, valerian, and rue oils. It is super soothing and not a bit greasy. Enjoy!
If you want to get in shape and keep an exercise regime going strong, it is important not to become bored and feel like your fitness routine isn’t motivating yourself enough to push hard to achieve the goals you have set yourself. This is one of the main problems with working out in a gym. Those same four walls every day, the feel of the familiar thud as each step hits the treadmill, and you can probably see someone in much better shape than you a short distance away, making you feel bad for how easy they are making it look.
That’s why it can be so much better to run outside and discover the depths of your local area at the same time. Take advantage of parks, green spaces and nature trails to give your eyes a treat as you put some miles in. When your mind is distracted by what is around you, it is much easier to keep going as you don’t really notice you’re even training that hard if you get absorbed in your surroundings.
If you mix it up each day as well, you won’t get too used to that beautiful park run you did the other week, which keeps it exciting and memorable each time you do it. Find a route planner online that has all of the footpaths and trails you maybe hadn’t spotted before and map out a path to tackle. It is often said that if you know exactly where you will be running, it feels like less of a chore than if you just wander aimlessly as you can be aware of how far you have left to go and how much gas is still in your tank.
If you start to really get into it and feel like you can push yourself even further than you have been, then get outdoors and get as far into nature as is possible. It has even been found that running or jogging in natural surroundings can increase the positive effects of the workout by half, compared to expending the same energy in the gym. As being around trees and grass can actually reduce the levels of stress in your brain, it is the perfect excuse to combine exercise and relaxation in a beautiful space.
One of the best ways to stick to something like this is to rope other people in with you along the way. Get the whole family involved for a fun activity day and explore some local nature sites. If you’re planning on bringing the kids, make sure Mom or Dad bring a backpack with water and some healthy snacks so the little ones don’t run out of energy too soon and start complaining!
This is no bad advice for anyone, though. If you are out for a reasonably long time, make sure you come prepared with some hydration to keep going. Becoming dehydrated can affect performance levels, so make sure you top up when thirsty to carry on for longer.
When getting started or getting back into a routine it is important not to go all out straight away. Impact injuries are common when your body isn’t prepared for such a workout if the muscles haven’t been properly utilized in a while so it is important to listen to what your body has to say.
When considering injury prevention, you can find the best knee sleeves for running at reasonable prices online. If you know that a particular joint is likely to be troublesome, it can be worth the investment to ensure your best laid plans for getting fit aren’t curtailed by an injury that could have been avoided.
Remember though, that everyone has a bad day sometimes and there is no point in beating yourself up over that one day where you missed out on a run due to other arrangements or feeling under the weather. If you allow that disappointment and negativity to creep into your fitness outlook, it can drag you down back to where you started. Instead, figure out your schedule way in advance to limit the amount of times this can happen and remain positive that you will reach your fitness targets eventually.
So if you are feeling bored of the same layout, and the same exact routine in the gym, consider making the most of the world outside your window and see what beautiful things may pass you by as you make for a more enjoyable workout.
Don’t let the cold temperatures and rainy (or snowy) weather get to you. Spring is right around the corner and there are lots of garden chores that require your attention this month.
February Garden Chores:
- Harvest winter hardy cabbages, brassicas, leeks, celeriac, parsnips, rutabagas, and winter radishes
- Check garden beds, fruit cages, etc for damage after snowfalls
- Start making homemade cloches/hoops
- Winter prune established apple and pear trees
- Prune grapevines and fruit bushes
- Stock bird feeders
- Cover seedbeds with newspaper and cardboard
- Buy/start seed potatoes
- Lay out garden plan for upcoming year
- Order seeds from catalogs (think regional, organic, heirloom)
- Order new asparagus crowns for planting in March/April
- Sow seeds indoors for planting in spring