herbalism

Herbs for Homestead Bees

The buzzing of pollinators in a garden—it’s a sound every gardener loves to hear in the spring. It means healthy plants and vegetables will soon arrive, and our little bee friends are helping us along the way. Bees are essential to any homestead. In fact, they are like tiny herbalists that create natural concoctions that benefit us. They give us honey, which is antiseptic, antibacterial, and has healing properties. They give us beeswax to make our own salves and ointments. They give us propolis to help with colds and allergies. And more than anything, they pollinate our plants, gardens, and orchards. We couldn’t do what we do without bees. And it’s not just honeybees. There are other pollinators like carpenter bees and bumblebees. And all bees love herbs.

If you’re on the herbalism journey on your homestead, you may be wondering how in the world we can help pollinators herbally. From planting herbs that attract pollinators and enhance honey flavor, to using herbal cleaners in our bee hives, we can absolutely utilize herbs in our homestead apiaries. Here’s how…

We can start by attracting pollinators and offering attractant herbs to our bee hives. There are a lot of different herbs that will attract pollinators to your homestead. And if you already have beehives, planting these herbs will help ensure that your bees have enough to forage during the warm months.

Herbs That Attract Pollinators

  • Lemon Balm
  • Chives
  • Rosemary
  • Borage
  • Lavender
  • Sage
  • Comfrey
  • Thyme
  • Echinacea
  • Feverfew
  • Yarrow
  • Dandelion
  • Oregano
  • Savory
  • Mint
  • Rosemary
  • Chamomile
  • Red Clover
  • Motherwort
  • Marjoram
  • Catnip
  • Hyssop
  • Bee Balm

Preparing and Cleaning Your Hive Boxes

When preparing to take on a new hive, or just generally cleaning out your boxes from an old hive, there are a few herbs you can use to promote general health and keep pests, like ants, away from the hive.

Wash down the hive with the herbal solution recipe below, then rub down the inside of the hive with sprigs of rosemary, thyme, catnip, and mint. You can even lay these herbs on the inside top cover of your hive to deter insect pests.

New Hive Cleaner

Use this cleaner to clean out a new bee hive before adding your bees.

  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Catnip
  • Sage
  • Peppermint
  • Distilled water
  • Witch hazel

Method:

  1. Add handfuls of fresh herbs (or a tbsp each of dried herbs) to a 16-oz glass spray bottle.
  2. Fill bottle three-quarters of the way with distilled water, and fill the remainder with witch hazel.
  3. Allow bottle to set for six hours before using.
  4. Shake well, then spray inside of hive thoroughly while cleaning. Wipe well.

 

Encouraging New or Weak Bee Hives

When taking on a new hive that could be stressed, or when dealing with a weak bee hive, offering your bees an herbal tea will help boost energy and general health. This is also a great tea to give during harsh weather (drought or excessive rain), or before the winter months set in.

Herbal Bee Tea

The herbs in this bee tea solution offer so many benefits and good food for your bees. It’s a mixture that can be kept on hand (dried) and made up quickly when needed to stimulate the bees’ immune systems and metabolism. To strengthen a weak, new, or swarm hive, offer it to your bees every day for 1–2 weeks. If the bees don’t take the tea, stop offering it. It means they have enough to forage or simply aren’t interested or in need.

1 tbsp each:

  • Echinacea
  • Peppermint
  • Chamomile
  • Yarrow
  • Stinging Nettle
  • Lemon Balm
  • Thyme
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sage
  • 4 cups distilled water
  • 1/2 cup raw honey

Method:

  1. Make your dried tea mixture by mixing all of the herbs in a large mason jar or storage jar. Cap tightly, label, and store in your pantry until ready to use.
  2. When ready to use, bring 4 cups of distilled water to a boil. Remove from heat and add 3–4 tsp of dried tea to hot water. Allow to steep for 5–7 minutes.
  3. Add honey once mixture is lukewarm. Mix well.
  4. Pour tea into a glass jar and add to the feeder area of your hive (entrance feeders work well). Remove the tea after 24 hours, as your tea will lose its medicinal potency after sitting for 12–24 hours.
  5. Offer for general bee health every 1–2 months.

Encouraging Herbal Foraging

It’s hard to think that we could spend time and money on our bee hives, only to have them killed off because a neighbor or local industrial farm has sprayed chemicals on their property. For this reason, we need to encourage our bees to forage on our homestead. This is accomplished by planting various herbs, vegetables, and flowers right around the hives themselves. This is why many homesteaders and farmers place their hives directly in their gardens—not only because it helps the homesteader pollinate their garden, but because it helps the bees stay close to home.

Choose herbs from the list mentioned in this section to encourage bees to stay close by. If given enough plants, they will forage around home first. This also helps to ensure a healthy hive by offering plenty of plants during the spring and summer. Plant perennials (like echinacea, lemon balm, yarrow, and sage) that come back bigger and stronger each year so that your pollinators can get started as soon as possible each spring.

Herbal Honey Enhancers

Try planting these herbs nearby to enhance honey color and flavor:

  • Anise-hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)—Bees feast on hyssop and it can be one of the top nectar producers for bees.
  • Red Clover (Trifolium pratense)—Produces a white to amber honey, enhances overall bee health.
  • Marjoram (Origanum vulgare)—Gives honey an aromatic scent and flavor.
  • Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca)—Gives honey a minty fresh flavor.
  • Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)—Offers a slight herbal taste and honey of a dark amber color.

 

All in all, bees and herbs go hand in hand. Herbs are so aromatic and delicious, and bees thing so too! Not only can they help you, the homesteader, but they can also help the original homestead herbalists—the bees!

You can learn more about herbalism in my book, The Homesteader’s Herbal Companion, where I talk about growing, harvest, preserving, and using herbs on your homestead, in your home, and for your family and livestock.

xoxo
Amy

photo credits:
photo 1, 3 4, & 6— Kaylee Richardson of The Farm on Quail Hollow
photo 5— Carina Richard-Wheat of The Rustic Mod

 

How to Treat Ear Infections with Herbs

Ear infections are one of the most common ailments in children under the age of 8. Even teenagers and adults can get ear infections, though it’s less common. Unfortunately, not only are ear infections the most popular ailments in our younger generations, but they are also one of the main causes of overuse of antibiotics. In fact, most ear infections will clear up within 24-72 hours after the first symptoms. Parents who take their children to the doctor to get an antibiotic often believe that the antibiotic is what cured their child, when the reality is that the ear infection, more likely than not, began clearing on its own. It takes 24-48 hours for an antibiotic to begin working. It can take the same amount of time for the symptoms of an ear infection to begin subsideing on its own.

I get it, though. I’m a mom. I think I ran to the doctor for almost every single ear infection that my son had when he was little. There were a few times that I didn’t, but other times, I was just worried. Worried moms, that’s never a good thing!

Back then, I wasn’t confident enough in my herbal knowledge to help the issue, and so, I turned to modern medicine. But that’s the beauty of modern medicine—peace of mind. And when in doubt, I encourage you to heed your instincts, even now!

However, there are plenty of other ways to heal an ear infection and help ease symptoms. We’ll go over a few of those right after we understand why and how we get ear infections.

Preventing Ear Infections

Before we can treat an ear infection at home, there are some important things we have to take into consideration. Prevention is the number one place we need to begin.

Most children who have an ear infection get one because of immature Eustachian tubes. Little ones have the smallest tubes, and when they become inflamed during a cold or teething, fluid and/or bacteria can get trapped in the Eustachian tubes and cause pain, inflammation, and ultimately, an ear infection.

Most little ones get ear infections from inflammation and blocked tubes, and during (or right after) having a cold or an allergen inflammation. We can prevent ear infections during this time by first trying to prevent the cold and flu. You can do this by secondarily administering herbal remedies and supplements through your breast milk if you are a nursing mom. Try making an elderberry and astragalus syrup to not only help prevent you from getting a cold, but baby as well. Never give the syrup to infants, however, the syrup is safe for most toddlers.

You can also prevent an ear infection by aiding the draining process of fluid in the middle ear.

These practices may include:
  • Making sure your baby or little one is angled upright (when sick) while taking a bottle or nursing, as well as when they are sleeping, if at all possible. For older kids, propping pillows underneath of them while napping or sleeping is a must. For infants, allowing them to nap and sleep in a swing will be greatly beneficial.
  • Taking your children for chiropractic care. Chiropractic care allows the lymph nodes and channels throughout the body to drain more easily. It can also reduce inflammation and swelling. Find a trusted pediatric practitioner in your area.
  • Massage Therapy, focused around the lymph node areas, will help the body relax and drain the system of any excess fluid and sinus build up and blockage during colds and flus.

Prevention is your first step to helping your child with an ear infection. These simple methods can help rid the possibility of ear infection for your child, and even for yourself.

Different Types of Ear Infections

Let’s face it. Sometimes we forget to prop our kids up. Sometimes we forget to prevent cold and flu with herbs and vitamins. So now, our kid has an ear infection, and that’s ok! But what type of ear infection do they have? You may never know just by watching your child, but in many cases, especially when we practice the “wait”, we can know exactly what type of ear infection our child has…if it’s even an ear infection at all.

Here are the different types of common ear infections, and one other possibility:

  • It’s not an ear infection at all. Yep, that’s right. I could just be swelling and inflammation that will work itself out. The actual presence of puss and fluid never happens. Your child is just uncomfortable from inflammation in the sinuses and ear canal. This is a major cause for children pulling at their ears and never having an ear infection.
  • Acute otitis media (AOM)—this is the most common ear infection. This infection affects part of the middle ear and causes fluid to be trapped behind the eardrum. It can cause an earache and a fever, but it will typically resolve in a matter of 2-3 days.
  • Otitis media with effusion (OME)—this can be seen as an ear infection, but sometimes it’s just trapped fluid. The fluid never goes away after the original ear infection has subsided. Some children never have any symptoms with it. Or, they may just have discomfort on a regular basis because the fluid is trapped. We often think it’s a reoccurring ear infection, when in actuality, it’s just fluid build up.
  • Chronic otitis media with effusion (COME)—this ear infection is the most dramatic and may require medical attention. COME makes it harder for children to fight off other infections that may be lurking in the body because they are in a constant state of having an ear infection. Reoccurring infections can happen every couple of weeks due to fluid build up over an extended period of time. This type of infection needs medical attention.

I always encourage parents to practice the wait. Give your child 3-4 days after symptoms begin to see if they begin to subside on their own if you don’t want to take the herbal route. If the child isn’t better after a few days, it’s time to got to the doctor.

However, treating the ear inflammation or infection from the very beginning with herbal remedies is your best bet, and can prevent further, more dramatic, types of ear infections from occurring and reoccurring.

Whatever you do, I encourage you to hold off on antibiotics as long as possible.

The overuse of antibiotics truly takes hold of our children and their future generations when we overuse complicated medicines for simplistic ailments. Five in every six children in the United States will experience an ear infection during their childhood. According to Healthy People 2020, 77.8% of pediatric visits for ear infections result in antibiotic prescriptions. The overuse of antibiotics creates superbugs and antibiotic resistance in our communities.

Why are we consistently prescribing antibiotics for an ailment that will more than likely resolve itself in the same amount of time it takes for an antibiotic to begin working?

Besides the fact that we’re abusing antibiotics, let’s consider that antibiotics still do relieve pain or the stress of an ear infection. Only herbal remedies or pain relievers can do that. So why not kill treat the ailment and give natural pain and inflammation relief all at once?

Herbal Treatment for Ear Infections

There are a few different ways we can treat ear infections at home, and all of them are completely healthy and beneficial to your little one. The best way to treat efficiently and effectively is at the first sign of symptoms. Once you know, for sure, that your child (or you!) has an ear infection, immediate treatment methods should begin.

One of the best ways to treat an ear infection is with garlic, mullein, calendula, St. John’s Wort, lavender, and other anti-inflammatory and antibacterial herbs. You can create an herbal oil remedy (recipes below) to place inside of the ear. However, if the ear drum is ruptured do not use this oil inside of the ear. Rub it on the outside of the ear and behind the ear.

Basil Essential Oil is also a great remedy when placing the diluted oil around the outside of the ear canal and behind the ear. You can also put it in an ear oil recipe. Never place essential oils inside of the ear canal undiluted or without being in a recipe (like the one below).

You can certainly give pain reliever, like tylenol or advil, and offset the liver toxicity by offering milk thistle (dose according to weight). But you’ll find that the herbal oil itself will help relieve a lot of that pain.

Use one of these simple recipes for earaches and infections. You can make it in advance and store it in a cool, dark place for 6-8 months, or you can make it on demand when needed.

Again, do NOT place these remedies inside of the ear if there is a ruptured ear drum.

Infant and Pediatric Ear Infection Oil

Dose: 3-5 drops per application (in or around ear) every 2-3 hours until symptoms resolve
Age: 2 months and older

Ingredients:
7 grams chamomile flowers, dried
7 grams garlic, dried
2/3 cup avocado oil

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees. Once it reaches 250 degrees, turn it off and keep the door closed.
  2. Place herbs in a mason jar and cover with avocado oil. Immediately place in oven once oven has been turned off.
  3. Leave the jar of herbs and oil in the oven for 2-3 hours, infusing the oil with the medicinal herbs.
  4. Remove the jar from the oven and strain the oil into a sterile 4 oz dropper bottle. Make sure you squeeze all of the oil out of the herbs!

 

Child and Adult Ear Infection Oil

Dose: 3-5 drops per application (in or around ear) every 2-4 hours until symptoms resolve
Age: 9 months and older
This oil is great for older children and is more efficient because of the addition of basil essential oil.

Ingredients:

7 grams chamomile flowers, dried
9 grams garlic, dried
4 grams calendula flowers, dried
1 cup avocado oil
48 drops sweet basil essential oil
2 tsp raw or manuka honey (*optional)

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees. Once it reaches 250 degrees, turn it off and keep the door closed.
  2. Place herbs in a mason jar and cover with avocado oil. Do not add basil essential oil. Immediately place in oven once oven has been turned off.
  3. Leave the jar of herbs and oil in the oven for 2-3 hours, infusing the oil with the medicinal herbs.
  4. Remove the jar from the oven and strain the oil into two sterile 4 oz dropper bottles. Make sure you squeeze all of the oil out of the herbs!
  5. Add basil essential oil to the strained oil liquid and mix well. if using honey, add while mixture is still warm. Stir until completely mixed.
  6. Shake well before using.

*Additions: Raw honey and manuka honey are great additions to this remedy. You can

 

*These recipes and more can be found in the Vintage Remedies Confident Family Herbalist course.

 

 

Resources:

Healthy People 2020. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

Kristinsson, K., Magnusdottir, A., Petersen, H., & Hermansson, A., (2005). Effective treatment of experimental acute otitis media by application of volatile fluids into ear canal. The Journal of Infectious Disease. 191:1876-1880.

Lieberthal, A. S., Carroll, A. E., Chonmaitree, T., Ganiats, T. G., Hoberman, A., Jackson, M. A., … & Schwartz, R. H. (2013). The diagnosis and management of acute otitis media. Pediatrics131(3), e964-e999.

Rosenfeld, R. M., Vertrees, J. E., Carr, J., Cipolle, R. J., Uden, D. L., Giebink, G. S., & Canafax, D. M. (1994). Clinical efficacy of antimicrobial drugs for acute otitis media: metaanalysis of 5400 children from thirty-three randomized trials. The Journal of Pediatrics124(3), 355-367.

Soni, A. (2008).Ear Infections (Otitis Media) in Children (0-17): Use and Expenditures, 2006. Statistical Brief #228. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.

Dr’s Urged to Stop Using Antibiotics for Ear Infections — https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2013/02/25/172588359/pediatricians-urged-to-treat-ear-infections-more-cautiously

Antibiotics are often ineffective for ear infections — https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0072563/

Our Holistic Remedies Cabinet | Essential Oils and Herbs

I often say the very beginning of our homesteading journey happened when I began diving more and more into herbal remedies. Herbs have always been my passion along this journey, and more recently, I’ve added essential oils (EOs). While herbs will always be my first go-to, because they are in their most natural form, EOs are a close second, or when I need something to really help instantly.
As the seasons change, I am constantly replenishing my Holistic Remedies cabinet, so today, I want to take you through the “must have” herbs and EOs that I keep on hand here around our homestead—be it for ourselves, our household, our pets, or our farm animals.

When I went on birth control in my late teen years, it made me feel awful and sluggish. It was my first bad encounter with a monthly medicine. But when I decided to go off of birth control in the second year of marriage, I was even more amazed by how wonderful I felt going off of it. It’s the same with most medicines or preventatives people take now days. You get so used to feeling “bad”, that you forget what feeling “good” feels like.
My next adventure into modern medicine was even worse. When my 1 year old son (at the time) was diagnosed with childhood asthma, I was terrified by the amount of medicines they were forcing down our throats. It had to change. I had to find something better for my baby,
I’m not saying there isn’t a place for modern medicine. I know many people who wouldn’t be alive today if not for modern medicine. However, I am saying that I believe, as a family unit, most (if not all) common ailments and medicinal needs can be met at home—either through herbal remedies or EOs.

Before We Begin

As with anything when it comes to herbalism, preventing illnesses and diseases from happening is probably more the key to success than simply treating the disease or illness. Therefore, having a good diet, a healthy (non-leaky) gut, and living simply (with limited processed items and chemicals) are things that play a huge role into our health. So take these things into account before starting on introducing herbs and EOs into your family’s life.
 
Also, you should know the EOs and herbs are extremely powerful—especially EOs. They are to be respected and never abused. Our ancestors used these treatments for centuries, but it wasn’t necessarily something that needed to be used every single day of their life. Be careful of dosage with herbs and EOs, and when using EOs seek a professionals advice when it comes to ingestion. While it is now widely accepted for EOs to be ingested (and mostly safe in capsule form), should a raw EO hit your stomach lining, it could cause extreme discomfort and make an already leaky gut worse.
Please use caution whenever adding new things into your family’s medicine cabinet. Children and people with Epilepsy or Neurological issues should take caution and not use certain sensitive oils.
Please always use a carrier oil whenever using EOs. 
If a health issue continues to persist long after you’ve been using EOs, then it may be best to see a holistic doctor or nutritionist to get to the bottom of whatever is ailing you. Many times, EOs and herbs can mask or temporarily treat underlying issues, but not cure them. If something is persistent, you need to make sure you get to the bottom of it and stop temporarily treating.
You can find the EOs that I use here. If you’d like to receive discounts on these oils (it’s worth it!), please contact me personally so we can chat!
I order all of my organic herbs here.

What’s In My Holistic Remedies Cabinet

…and how I use it.

Essential Oils

Oregano — A natural immune support and cleansing agent. I use this on animals that have scraps or cuts, in order to boost their immune system and help their bodies fight off anything that could cause more harm. I use it on cuts and scrapes along with Tea Tree oil, in order to treat and prevent contamination or nastiness from multiplying. Also aids in digestive and respiratory issues. It is also effective when defused in the barn or coop, should your chickens need respiratory help due to sensitive airways or illness.
Breathe This was the very first thing I used when treating my son’s childhood respiratory issues. It helps open airways and aids in respiratory issues. It is especially beneficial during high threat seasons. I suggest putting this oil in a roll-on bottle for convenient use.
PeppermintI use peppermint all.the.time. Whether it’s warding off ants in my kitchen, cooling high temperatures, or putting it in our homemade toothpaste. Peppermint also aids in digestion and allows easy breathing. I also use peppermint whenever I have a bone or muscle soreness. My knee cap often comes out of place, and the discomfort that comes with it is unbearable. Peppermint takes care of that! Use with extreme caution on children under the age of 6. 
 
LavenderI’ll be honest, I hate the smell of lavender. But it does amazing things to my body. It helps me get a restful sleep at night when I am feeling less than rested. I simply place it on the bottom of my feet. It’s also useful during homeschool days that are less than restful, if you get my drift. Lavender is great at soothing bug bites too!
CedarwoodCedarwood is widely used in spa settings. The smell is aromatic and calming, but the oil itself aids in healthy and bright skin. Cedarwood promotes hair growth (though, I’m trying to be less hairy now days). It also helps you focus, helps mouth irritations and pain, relieves muscle spasms, and more.
Eucalyptus Another helper in the respiratory department, Eucalyptus is a great oil that helps promote easy breathing. Diffuse this during the winter months when your nose is just not at it’s clearest, or add a few drops to a hot bath for soothing relief. Use with extreme caution on children under the age of 6.
Tea Tree (Melaleuca)  Melaleuca is a natural purifying agent, and therefore, we keep this on hand in abundance at all times. We use this in place of harsh alcohol or peroxide when cleaning wounds on ourselves or our animals. I have also treated bumblefoot in chickens by wrapping their foot with a brace coated in Melaleuca, Oregano, and a carrier oil. Melaleuca is great for the skin and scalp as well.
 
OnGuard While this is brand specific, the main oils in this blend are Wild Orange Peel, Clove Bud, Cinnamon Bark/Leaf, Eucalyptus Leaf, and Rosemary Leaf/Flower essential oils. This builds immunity and keeps the yuckies away. It promotes natural antioxidant defenses and healthy blood circulation.
 
TerraShield  This is a must have on every homestead. Because, let’s face it, every single homestead has bugs. TerraShield is also brand specific, but the ingredients include Ylang Ylang Flower, Nootka Wood, Cedarwood Wood, and more. It is the perfect alternative to chemical filled bug spray! One application of this provides protection for up to 6 hours. You can also use this in limited amounts in your coops and around your animals to help ward off flies in the Summer time.
 
Clary Sage  Clary Sage is known for its ability to help improve eye sight and eye strain. It is a natural aphrodisiac, painkiller, it’s antiseptic, and helps regulate blood pressure. It helps during menstruation for women, causing a better flow and ease of pain. While Clary Sage is an extremely powerful and useful EO, it is not suggested that you use it frequently, and especially not on children or if pregnant. Please also use caution, as it is a hormone EO that promotes estrogen.
 
Frankincense  Frankincense is considered one of the “miracle” oils, mainly because it was used widely through out the Bible. It is the King of all oils. Frankincense supports healthy cellular function. We use it on boils or cysts that may pop up on my husbands skin. And we also use it for epidermis support in general, as it helps promote the regeneration of healthy cells.

Carrier Oils:

Either of the following Carrier Oils will work just fine. I’ve even used regular coconut oil when in a pinch. The reason I suggest fractionated CO is for blending purposes, so that it doesn’t solidify.

Herbal remedies were my very first passion when it came to holistic living. And honestly, they always will be. The romanticism of herbs and their uses is incredibly enticing and interesting. I love to educate myself when it comes to herbs in their rawest form. Therefore, these are the herbs or herbal remedies I keep on hand most days.

 

While herbs are my number one go-to, they take up a lot of room. This is why I keep a lot of EOs on hand (since they don’t take up as much room), and then the really important dried herbs on hand in 1 or 2 lb bags.

Herbs

Elderberry Syrup — When I first started making this at home, I was a skeptic. But when my child came down with his first cold of that season, and it was gone within 24 hrs of giving him this syrup, I was hooked FOR LIFE, ya’ll. I mean, seriously, this is a miracle worker in our family. This recipe includes organic elderberries, raw local honey, ginger, cloves, and cinnamon. It is the easiest thing to make and it will last you an entire Winter (for smaller families). Elderberry Syrup helps prevent flu and colds when taken daily, and gives an amazing boost to the immune system. Read all about it in the link provided.
Fire Cider — This stuff is potent. Whew, lawdy. This stuff is potent. But it works. You remember the old timers taking shots of whiskey to get rid of a cold? Well, this is along the same concept, except it will put a fire in your belly, let me tell you. I use this recipe, and it works wonders. “Fire Cider is a traditional remedy with deep roots in folk medicine. The tasty combination of vinegar infused with powerful decongestant and spicy circulatory movers makes this recipe especially pleasant and easy to incorporate into your daily diet to help boost natural health processes, stimulate digestion, and get you nice and warmed up on cold days.” Source
Echinacea — Echinacea is something we grow right here on our homestead. We use it through out the year for our animals and for ourselves. Be advised, if you have a ragweed allergy, then stay far away from Echinacea. It could, in fact, make your symptoms worse. If you are not allergic to ragweed, then this can be used to help boost the immune system, treat infection, and cure illnesses. Other uses are in the treatment of boils, yeast infections, snake bites, diphtheria, low white blood cell count, strep throat, anxiety, migraines, indigestion, and so much more. We give this to our animals through out the year to keep them healthy and strong. Echinacea was the go to herb before antibiotics came along. That alone should tell you something! We also grow Black Eyed Susans, which are also part of the Echinacea family, and are even more effective than Echinacea.
OreganoAnother herb that we grow right here on our homestead. We add oregano to our animals feed, as it is a natural antibiotic. It helps prevent illness and infection in our animals. You can also place it in their water. Oregano also aides in respiratory health.
PeppermintI love my peppermint plants. Peppermint is anti-inflammatory, promotes the ease of fever, it is anti-septic, and anti-bacterial. It helps in the healing of (and easement of) respiratory issues, asthma, digestive tract diseases (such as IBS) and upset tummies (colic, indigestion), cracked and chapped skin, and so much more.
Red Raspberry LeavesThis herb is a very successful herb on our homestead. It promotes good reproductive health both for ourselves and our animals. It helps nursing mothers, has a high level of vitamin C which helps boost immunity, soothes sunburn and other skin conditions, and it even helps our animals during pregnancy, labor, and after delivery.
Garlic — Another item that can easily be grown on the homestead. Garlic is vital for cardiovascular health, is a natural blood thinner, reduces cholesterol, fights infection, and promotes good blood circulation. We use it to detoxify and remove heavy metals from our bodies. It is also good to use as a natural antibiotic, because it helps get rid of bacteria and other things that could be lurking on or in  your body. Put garlic into your chicken feed to boost their immune systems and help keep them healthy.
Turmeric — We keep turmeric capsules on hand at all times. We also keep just regular turmeric powder on hand to cook with, add to dog food, etc. Turmeric is incredibly awesome. It is an anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant, Anticoagulants/Antiplatelets (aspirin), has anti-cancer effects, helps lower blood sugar, treats IBS and other bowel issues, regulates cholesterol, and can be used as a steroid to help things like asthma, psoriasis, etc.
Colloidal Silver — To make a long story short, if nothing else, you need this in your life. It is new to us, but something we are quickly becoming attached to. To put it in an easy to understand term, colloidal silver attaches itself to sick cells and bacteria and blocks their ability to do harm to your body. It is antibiotic, antiviral, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory. It can prevent cold/flu, pneumonia, sinus issues, cure pink eye/ear infections. It is the miracle of all herbs/holistic drugs, in my humble opinion. And we are stocking up on it!
As you grow in herbalism and holistic living, you’ll find that certain herbs and EOs work better for your remedies cabinet. Take it slow and see which herbs and EOs you need to keep on hand by what things ail your family the most, or by which items you need to use most often for your animals.
If you are interested in learning more about essential oils, and joining my essential oil family, visit my EO page here. The best part is, not only do you receive access to discounts and supportive education, but you have direct access to me at all times for your holistic needs and growth.
** DISCLAIMER: Please know that there are risks with herbal remedies just as there are risks with modern medicine. PLEASE do your own research before using an herb or essential oil. Each and every person has different health issues, and herbs and EOs are not a “one size fits all” cure.
 
I am not a doctor or a medical professional. Please take these suggested uses at your own risk.
 
These claims have not been approved by the FDA.

 

 

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*Disclaimer: While I am an herbalist, and herbalism is not regulated by the FDA, I am not a medical doctor. The recipes and tips on this website are geared towards those who want to live a more natural lifestyle.
Please use all herbal remedy recipes on this website only after doing thorough research in regard to your own health needs, and after seeking medical attention if necessary. 
*Affiliate links: I may receive a commission on some of the links on this website. It is of no additional cost to you.

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