Happy Spring

Plants are expressing their life force as they emerge from the soil to meet the light.

Aphrodisiac Honey – to give you Spring Fever!
Honey – 1 quart, local raw wildflower or buckwheat honey
Red Roses – 1/2 cup
Orange blossoms – 1/2 cup
Blood Orange peels – 1/4 cup
Tangerine peels – 1/4 cup
Vanilla bean – 1 bean cut open and scraped, include all parts
Dark Cacao powder – 2 tablespoons, sweetened or unsweetened
Cinnamon powder – 1 teaspoon
*Red Pepper flakes – a pinch
*optional
These amounts are approximate suggestions, adjust to suit your taste.
Put all (or some if you can’t get all) of the dried herbs into a quart jar and cover with the honey.
Stir and wait as long as you can! It will be good in a day, and get even better as it ages!
Six weeks? Six months? Your call! You can leave the herbs in the jar or decant them by gently heating the honey till it pours like water, and then strain it through a fine sieve.
OR put the herbs into a saucepan, cover with the honey, cook on very low heat for 30 – 60 minutes then pour off the honey through a strainer and enjoy!
Enjoy it by the spoonful, or in tea, or lick it off your finger or someone else’s!
It also spreads well on toast and pancakes.
Rich in antioxidants, this honey even makes a beautifying facial mask.
Let’s all have lots of fun stirring up spring fever, and meeting old and new plant friends.
amethyst-healing-properties-1050x700
Have you ever wondered what the power of crystals can do for your skin?  Well here is one purple powder and gemstone that can make some magic happen in your life!
Amethyst is a crystal that many know for its decorative beauty, and healing presence in the home ~ but few know its healing skin benefits. Amethyst is a part of the quartz family and is right up there with Rose Quartz on the beauty spectrum.

There are two reasons we need to soak up the sunshine ~ Far Infrared rays and Vitamin D.  We need both of these to feel healthy and vibrant. This is one of the reasons that we have a skin-deep connection to Amethyst. Our bodies radiate FIR energy through the skin ~ have you ever wondered why hands-on healing feels so magical?

Amethyst creates magnetic fields that are small but detectable; it also has the ability to absorb and reflect Far-Infrared Rays (FIR).  Our own bodies radiate FIR energy through the skin and the levels we carry fluctuate: when it is high we feel healthy and vibrant, and when it’s low our energy wanes/drops. This is why it is so essential to get our healthy doses of sunshine and Amethyst; it makes you feel good. 

When using Amethyst, her naturally-occurring magnetic fields interact with your body’s electromagnetic field. Some might call this combo no less than a match made in heaven; Far Infrared Rays (FIR) are waves of energy, totally invisible to the naked eye, and yet, these magic rays are capable of penetrating deep into the body to heal and aid in many ways.

Here are several ways Amethyst supports the healing process for your skin ~

  • Increase Circulation ~ the magic FIR rays emitted by Amethyst powders gently raise the surface temperature of the skin to aid in her healing process.  This heat helps your capillaries to expand and promotes good blood circulation.  Increased blood circulation nourishes the skin cells with oxygen and nutrients to keep your cells healthy and vital and by carrying away waste products, like free radicals.
  • Cell Repair & Wound healing ~ as mentioned above, FIR improves your blood flow and increases your skin temperature ~ FIR also adds another healing component by stimulating a group of cells called fibroblasts to make more collagen which is very important in wound healing and tissue repair.
  • Detoxifying ~ Amethyst crystals carry a negative charge ~ toxins, free radicals and other hazardous wastes carry a positive charge.  This is important in the removal of toxins and free radicals. The negative ions draw out the positively charged particles to detoxify and cleanse your skin ~ giving your skin a clean, refreshed feel. 
  • Anti-Bacterial Support~ far-infrared rays have been shown to inhibit the growth of bacteria.
  • Sleeping Aid ~ Amethyst emits anions, which can aid in helping you sleep.  The low level of FIR heat Amethyst emits can support a better night sleep ~ and we all know how important our sleep is to our health and wellness!

And just a little note on the side ~ when your bodies FIR levels are high, you can be a transmitter of these healing waves to your partner or your pet ~ so cuddle up gems!

This powerfully protective and comforting gemstone should not only be a part of your beauty routine, but also your daily life.

So slather up and get a dose of this precious powder and gem essence. Pretty soon you’ll be thinking good thoughts, glowing from inside out, and, who knows…taking off for Neverland might be in your near future.

The magic is real, don’t be afraid to get swept up in it.

spring-birds

Spring Detox for Your Home!

Spring is the time of year that we start eating lighter and detoxing. It’s time for spring cleaning of body, mind, and home! While there is a lot of focus on what we eat, often not enough attention is paid to how we clean our homes… Making sure that all of your household cleaning products are naturally-derived is extremely important – especially if you have children. The products we use every day may give off toxins that we then breathe in or absorb through our skin. They may also pollute the air in our environment. Studies have shown that environmental toxicity is a contributor to many conditions such as autoimmune disease, heart disease and even cancer(1). The chemicals found in many common household cleaners are carcinogens which mean that they can cause cancer. Bleach and ammonia are highly toxic and, when mixed together, they are a lethal combination(2).  Other chemicals which are hormone and endocrine disruptors are glycol ethers and phthalates (3) so it’s important to be able to identify every ingredient on a label that you are using in your home. If you can’t identify it, don’t use it. With just a few simple ingredients, including some wonderfully fragrant essential oils, you can disinfect and clean, as well as rid your home of bacteria, mold, viruses, unpleasant odors, and dust mites.

As a caution, when you buy essential oils you should beware of anything that says “fragrance added.” If it does not say “100% (pure) essential oils” then the ingredient is synthetic. Most of the fragrance used in household cleaning products and deodorizers are synthetic. There is nothing natural about them and they are harmful to your health. Essential oils are great for the home since they are non-toxic and they possess many therapeutic properties that will benefit you for a clean healthy home. They are antiseptic, disinfectant, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and anti-fungal – and of course, they smell great.

These are some recipes I created to get you through all your spring cleaning. I use sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) in all three recipes so you don’t have to go out and buy too many essential oils; however, I am also giving you a list of essential oils you can substitute. The citrus oils are all antiseptic, disinfectant, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and anti-fungal so you can replace orange oil with lemon (Citrus limon), grapefruit (Citrus x paradisi) or lime (Citrus aurantifolia) essential oil.

It’s also fun to experiment and mix scents that you like. It might even make you enjoy cleaning!

General All-purpose Cleaner

Lemon (Citrus limon)
Lemon is one of the most popular citrus fruits in the world. It is extracted from the rind of the fruit. It is antiseptic, a disinfectant, anti-bacterial and anti-microbial, making it a great all-purpose household cleaner. It was even used during World War I as a disinfectant in hospitals. Lemon essential oil is calming but it is also refreshing to the mind, as it helps lift negative emotions. It is believed that inhaling lemon essential oil helps to increase concentration and alertness; therefore, it can be a great room freshener in offices.

Orange Sweet (Citrus sinensis)

Orange Sweet is a citrus essential oil that is extracted from the rind of the orange. It is antiseptic, anti-fungal and anti-microbial. It is also very uplifting for your mood, making it a good scent to have in any home. Sweet orange essential oil is an excellent degreaser and cleaner due to an ingredient called, d-Limonene. A study conducted by The University of Arkansas and Colorado State University found that Valencia orange (Citrus sinensis var. valencia) essential oil inhibited E. Coli and Salmonella during the refrigeration process of beef(3). It also inhibited Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) which is a deadly staph infection(4).

Peppermint (Mentha x Piperita)
Peppermint essential oil is extracted from the leaves of a herb. It is a hybrid of spearmint (Mentha spicata) and water mint (Mentha aquatica). It is antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial and antiseptic. Bugs tend not to like it, so it is a good choice to add to an all-purpose aromatherapy blend around the house.

White Distilled Vinegar
White Distilled Vinegar is one of the best cleaning ingredients for the home since it is a natural disinfectant. It can help to kill mold, bacteria, and viruses. In addition, it is very inexpensive.

Directions for Use:
You will need a sixteen-ounce size spray bottle.

Essential Oils:
20 drops Lemon (Citrus limon)
30 drops Orange Sweet (Citrus sinensis)
15 drops Peppermint (Mentha x Piperita)

White Distilled Vinegar*
Distilled Water*

*Fill the remaining bottle with a 50/50 combination of white vinegar and distilled water.  I prefer distilled water but if you don’t have distilled water, use filtered water. Once you have all of the ingredients in the bottle, shake it prior to every use because the essential oils and water will separate. If you want to change the scent, from time to time you can substitute with lime, grapefruit, eucalyptus (Eucaplyptusspp.), clove bud (Syzygium aromaticum) and lavender (Lavandula angustifolia).

You can use this blend as a general cleaner for your kitchen, especially for the countertops, refrigerator, cabinets and even wood surfaces.

Window Cleaner

I like using an eight-ounce size bottle since it’s smaller and easier to handle and it will fit in any cabinet. If you want to make a sixteen-ounce bottle, just double up the recipe.

Essential Oils:

3 drops Lemon (Citrus limon)

3 drops Peppermint (Mentha x Piperita)

White Distilled Vinegar*
Distilled Water*

*Fill the remaining bottle with a 50/50 combination of white vinegar and distilled water. I prefer distilled water but if you don’t have distilled water, you can use filtered water. Once you have all of the ingredients in the bottle, shake it prior to every use because the essential oils and water will separate. If you want to change the scent from time to time, you can substitute lemon with lime, grapefruit or orange.

Bath and Sink Scrub

Clove (Syzygium aromaticum)
Clove essential oil is extracted from the buds of the clove plant. It is antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-microbial, antiseptic and antiviral, making it a great choice for cleaning tubs and sinks.

Orange Sweet (Citrus sinensis)
See above description under General All-purpose Cleaner

Pure Liquid Castile Soap
Make sure that your soap is pure Castile. I use Dr. Bronner’s castile soap because for over 150 years it has been a family-run business and the quality of the product is never comprised for profit. The soap is pure and organic, with no dyes, whiteners or synthetic fragrances. The bottles are made from 100% recycled plastic so you are doing something good for the environment. They are available in different scents such as orange, sweet almond (Prunis Dulcis), eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint and lemon, and the soap blends perfectly with essential oils. You should have this product in your home as it has so many uses and can replace many products. I also use it as a hand and body wash, and shampoo – and you can even wash floors and clothes with it.

Baking Soda (Sodium bicarbonate)
Baking soda is right up there with vinegar as a cleaning superstar! It is non-toxic, absorbs odor, and it is great for sinks and tubs due to its abrasive texture. It has many uses in the home – from brushing your teeth to shining silver. I never use toxic oven cleaners. Instead, I mix baking soda and water to get rid of spills in my oven. You can rub it on with a soft cloth or leave some on the spills overnight and then wash it the next day.

Use a twelve-ounce glass jar with an airtight clamp lid or a screw top.

Essential Oils:
5 drops Clove bud (Syzygium aromaticum)
5 drops Orange Sweet (Citrus sinensis)

½ cup Pure Liquid Castile Soap*
½ cup Baking Soda*

*I mix equal parts of baking soda and castile soap to make a paste. If you want to make a bigger batch just double-up the recipe. Add the baking soda and castile soap to the jar, then add the essential oils. Once you have all of the ingredients in the jar, mix it together with a spoon or spatula. You can apply a small amount to a cloth or sponge to clean.

As the seasons change, or you just want to try a different aroma, you can use ten drops of any of the following essential oils, or just mix two essential oils together. They all have antiseptic, disinfectant, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties.

• Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)
• Eucalyptus Globulus (Eucalyptus globulus)
• Rosemary ct. cineole (Rosmarinus officinalis)
• Peppermint (Mentha x Piperita)
• Lemon (Citrus limon)
• Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

Wood Cleaner

Orange Sweet (Citrus sinensis)
See above description under General All-purpose Cleaner

Olive Oil (Olea europaea)
Olive oil moisturizes dry wood and gives it a shine.

White Distilled Vinegar
See above description under General All-purpose Cleaner

You will need a two-ounce flip top bottle.

Essential Oil:
15 drops Orange Sweet (Citrus sinensis)
A ½ ounce of White Distilled Vinegar
Olive Oil (Olea europaea)*

*Fill the remaining bottle with olive oil. Once you have all of the ingredients in the bottle, shake it prior to every use. Put about a tablespoon on a soft cloth and wipe down the wood. Apply more as needed.

hummingbirds

Spring Brings the Fastest of Flappers.

The world’s smallest bird can take up a big chunk of a person’s spring to-do list: Trim the trees, weed the garden, make nectar and hang the feeders.

With the beginning of spring, hummingbirds are making their way north after migrations that took many of them more than 500 miles across the Gulf of Mexico. They will return to the same yards where they have stayed in the past.

“They are fascinating, I call them nature’s miracle. They have all these disadvantages {size, enemies, flying solo}, yet they thriving and have all these incredible abilities,” said Jonh Schaust, chief naturalist for Wild Birds Unlimited Inc. natural shops, which are based in Carmel, Indiana.

Although hummingbirds are not traditional pets in the sense that they cannot be caged, clothed or leashed, enthusiasts consider the tiny colorful birds as pets that they feed, watch and fuss over.

Every spring, for instance, Schaust fields calls from people worried that not all of the hummingbirds that lived in their yards will return. “They say last year they had six and this year there is only one. They want to know if they got hurt if they were caught in a hurricane,” he said.

It’s illegal to sell or keep a hummingbird as a pet, but people who put out food and feeders and make their properties bird-friendly care about them like pets. A good reason why hummingbirds shouldn’t be caged like canaries or parakeets is that it would die if it weren’t free to fly and feed.

A hummingbird has to visit between 200 to 1,000 flowers a day to survive, depending on the size of the bird and amount of nectar in the flower. Nectar is available in many stores, along with bird feeders, but concoctions can be made at home with four parts water to one part sugar.

Hummingbird numbers are unknown but estimated to be in the hundreds of millions, though they are only found in The North, Central, and South America. They can live between three to five years.

Anyone who wants to attract hummingbirds to their yards should avoid pesticides in their gardens since the birds need nectar and small bugs, and residue can easily be carried back to its nest. Preparing for the return of the birds means carefully trimming trees and plants to avoid agitating a nest.

It might seem like a lot of work for a bird that weighs just a tenth of an ounce, but devotees say the rewards are handsome among them watching their flight. Hummingbirds flap their wings 20 to 80 times a second in a figure-eight motion to get a lift going up and coming down. They can fly forward, backward, right side up and upside down, making them “one of few birds who can fly backward and the only one that can sustain flight backward.’ “It’s just amazing to me that they can beat, breathe, hover and still be able to eat.”

Spring is an ideal time to watch for them because it coincides with one of the bird’s two mating seasons. Females build walnut-sized nests or redecorate last year’s, the process takes six to 10 days. The nests are reinforced with spider web silk so some homeowners might see the tiny birds in the eaves of homes collecting webs. To camouflage the nest, the mother covers the outside with lichen from tree trunks and glues it on with tree sap. If a nest breaks before the hummingbirds return, it can be rebuilt by humans. Hummingbirds have no sense of smell so the mother won’t have any problem with you touching the baby. You can even rebuild a nest if it was destroyed.

After making a yard hospital, hummingbird watchers have few other responsibilities. Orphaned babies can be brought to rehabilitation’s centers, but medical attention for injured birds is difficult for an animal that size. Surgery is unheard of, adding that it’s a problem when the bandage weighs more than the patient.

Advertisements

3 comments

Leave a Reply to GrannyMoon Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.