Friday, August 15, 2014

Stop Buying Herbal Supplements and Make Your Own Cheaply

You can make your own herbal supplements cheaply and safely at home. You don't need expensive equipment and you can be certain of the quality of the herbs you grow.

Make Your Own Herb Supplements

Buying herbal supplements is expensive. Besides price, there is also the question of the quality of the herbs, the age of the herbs (how long have they been sitting around, losing their potency), and where the herbs were grown and in what kind of soil.

As an herb lover, I have always been suspicious of any health product sold in stores. It is in my nature to question everything and, while I am sure that there are many quality herb supplement companies, I don't have the time and resources to be 100 percent certain of the condition of the herbal supplements available. The only way I can be certain of the quality of my herbal supplements is by growing my own.

Growing Your Own Herbs

Growing herbs is a fun and healthy activity. Many herbs can be grown in pots on a sunny windowsill or on a sunny patio. If you have a small patch of earth to garden, you can grow many more herbs. If none of this is available to you, consider renting a community garden plot or asking a friend or relative for a small patch of herb to garden.

Easy Herbs to Grow

Caraway Seeds (Carum carvi)

Catnip (Nepeta)

Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)

Coriander (Coriandrum sativum)

Dandelion Root (Taraxacum officinale)

Elecampane Root (Inula)

Fennel Seed (Foeniculum vulgare)

Hops (Humulus lupulus)

Horsetail (Equisetum arvense)

Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis)

Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)

Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza glabra)

Marshmallow (Athaea officials)

Nettle (Urtica)

Parsley (Petroselinum)

Rosemary (Rosmarinus)

Sage (Salvia)

St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum)

Valerian Root (Valeriana officinalis)

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

How to Grind the Herbs

After you have grown, picked, and dried your herbs, you will need to grind them into powder form.

Mortar and pestle. This is the old fashion way to grind herbs. It does not take electricity for you to grind your herbs this way, but it can be a time consuming process.

Magic Bullet. Many people have been successfully using the Magic Bullet to grind their herbs into powder form.

Food processor. A simple food processor will grind your herbs.

Coffee grinder. Another popular item that people are using to grind their herbs into powder form.


The capsules you need to make your own herbal supplements can be bought online. The capsules are inexpensive and can be bought in bulk from places, such as

Capsule Filler Machine

Filling capsules by hand is tedious work. Capsule filler machines are inexpensive and speeds up the process of making herb supplements.

Storing Your Supplements

After you have made your supplements, you will need to store them properly. Store made capsules in a dry containers, just as a glass jar. Keep the supplements out of the sunlight to prevent deterioration of the vitamins and minerals in the herbs. The supplements should also be stored in a cool area of the home. Cool, dark, and dry are the three necessities for keeping your herbal supplements safe.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

How I Use Coconut Oil for Better Health

From the first day I started using coconut oil I saw the benefits. From better skin and hair to feeling healthy, I am now convinced coconut oil is the reason for my well being.

Reasons for Choosing Coconut Oil

It was a rash decision. I told my teenage daughter to grab her shoes and meet me in the car. We drove off to the health food store. We walked in and straight ahead I saw what I was looking for: extra virgin coconut oil.

For the past few months I have been researching for different ways to improve my overall health. The only catch is that I am generally lazy when it comes to setting up any sort of regime. I needed something I could quickly use and see almost immediate benefits. Coconut oil made sense to me because I could use it in cooking and baking - something I do every day - and I love the flavor of coconuts. Keeping it on the kitchen counter, I could also easily eat a spoonful of it for each meal I prepared: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In sight, easy use, and tastes good. These were the perfect qualities of a regime I could actually follow.

Soft Lips and Healthy Skin

One of the first things I did when I opened up the tub of coconut oil was put some on my lips. From that moment on, I haven't used anything else to soften my lips. I no longer have chapped lips and the skin on my lips is soft, smooth, and perfect for those rare occasions I put on a bit of color.

Coconut oil also softens the skin. I began using it on my face the first night by testing out just a tiny amount of coconut oil on my cheeks. I did not break out and the oil was quickly absorbed into my skin. After the initial test, each night I would put a light layer on my entire face and neck, including the skin under my eyes. I could not be more pleased. My skin began to soften within the first week and there have been no acne outbreaks from using the coconut oil. (Other people have experienced pimples when using coconut oil on their face. What you experience my very well different from my own experience.)

Rough patches of skin have also been softened by regular use of coconut oil. At night, I will sometimes rub some coconut oil onto my feet and put on a pair of clean socks. My feet have softened up and my heels are no longer cracked from dryness. My elbows have also softened and no longer pain me from dry skin.

There are many other skin uses you can try out. Extra virgin coconut oil is said to help fade age spots. Use it as often as necessary to keep your hands moisturized. As I've done with my feet, I have also used coconut oil on my hands and then placed a pair of clean cotton gloves overtop to hold in the moisture. This helped with my dry hands and cuticles. You can also use the oil as a makeup remover. The side benefit of this is that the oil seems to help with growing healthier eyelashes.

Soft Hair

If you have dry or curly hair, coconut oil is a blessing. Before going to bed, simply place a small amount of oil in your hands and, using your body heat, soften and melt the oil. Massage it into your hair. Comb through and bun or braid your hair back for the night. The next day, wash out the oil. Your hair will feel softer and healthier.

To get rid of static hair on cold winter days, put the tiniest amount of coconut oil on your hands and melt it between them. Lightly run your hands through your hair, focusing mostly on the ends.

Eating Coconut Oil for Better Health

Eating coconut oil has been an easy habit to get myself into. I believe this is mainly because I enjoy the flavor of coconuts. I take roughly 3 teaspoons of coconut oil a day, approximately 1 teaspoon before each meal. From my personal experience, this has helped my curb my snacking habits and it has given me small energy boosts with no crashing experience afterwards, as with coffee.

There are studies that show that the lauric acid in coconut oil can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. It is also said to improve thyroid health.

Amazingly, coconut oil also increases the body's absorption of vitamin D and calcium. As a woman in my 40s, calcium intake has been a major concern of mine. I have switched to drinking raw milk for the health benefits and taking natural calcium supplements. I now have the coconut oil working to my benefit, as well.

Fight Off the Flu

Coconut oil is antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiviral. Many people believe that ingesting coconut oil on a daily basis has helped them avoid or overcome the flu more easily than if they were not ingesting the oil. I haven't been taking coconut oil long enough to know whether or not it will help out this flu season, but I am anxious to find out if my new health ritual proves beneficial against the flu.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

12 Herbs You Can Grow Indoors

There are plenty of herbs that you can grow indoors or move from your garden and bring indoors when the weather starts to get cold.

1. Basil - Basil can be grown indoors and sprigs can be cut, chopped, and added to spaghetti sauce. Eating a leaf of basil will also tame bad breath.

2. Chives - Chives grow really well when potted and brought indoors. Use fresh, chopped chives in scrambled eggs are as a garnish for deviled eggs.

3. Dill - Grow inside and add fresh dill to breads and soups.

4. Fennel - Fennel is commonly used to cure an upset stomach. Grow indoors in a well-drained pot.

5. Hyssop - Grow hyssop in a sunny window and use it to make a healthy tea.

6. Lavender - Lavender growing in a sunny window can make a whole room smell beautiful.

7. Parsley - Parsley is a popular garnish and freshly chopped parsley is a much needed addition to homemade chicken noodle soup.

8. Peppermint - Peppermint grown in a sunny window can be used to make tea that will soothe an upset stomach.

9. Rosemary - Potted rosemary plants are a common Christmas gift and can be grown indoors.

10. Sage - Sage is a great addition to breads, bread stuffing, and soups. Use freshly grown sage for baking, cooking, and in teas.

11. Savory - Savory can be added to meat dishes and it is used in making broths.

12. Thyme - Thyme can be added to a number of meat dishes, soups, and broths.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Drying Herbs in the Car

There are many ways to dry freshly picked herbs, but drying them in my car is my favorite method. Cars can get very hot in the summer when the sun is beating down on them. It makes a great oven for drying herbs, without the risk of burning them. When I dry herbs in the car, I don't have to worry about bugs getting into the drying herbs and any bugs that were on the herbs quickly die in the heat. Being a cat owner, cat hair can also be an issue when drying herbs. There is no cat hair in my car. Also, the drying herbs make my car smell great.

My method for drying herbs in the car is simple. I spread newspaper over the seats. I then gather my herbs and spread them out over the newspaper. I crack two of the windows just a tiny bit so that moisture can escape. Finally, I turn the herbs every 4 hours during daylight. I close the car windows and turn them once before going to bed. The next morning, I give them another turn and crack open two windows. I continue this until the herbs are completely dry. They are usually dry in 2 days, but I like to keep this up for three days just to be certain that everything is fully dried.

Years ago, I used to tie herbs in bunches and hang them to dry, but they would collect dust, cat hair,and an occasional spider web. Drying my herbs in the car has given me cleaner herbs to use in my cooking, and the herbs dry quickly without wasting electricity.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Mexican hamburgers recipe

Mexican hamburgers recipe

1 lb ground beef 
1/3 cup crushed corn chips 
2 tbsp  finely chopped green chilies 
1/4 tsp salt 

Put all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and mix. Shape into 4 patties and grill.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Sunflower hamburgers recipe

Sunflower hamburgers recipe 

1 lb ground beef 
1/4 cup chopped sunflower seeds, unsalted 
1/4 cup finely chopped onion 
1/4 cup finely chopped green pepper
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 tsp salt 
Dash of pepper 

Put all ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix and shape into 4 patties. Grill.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Great toppings for hotdogs

Summertime is hotdog time. Here is a list of great toppings you can put on your hotdogs.

Leftover chili
Chili sauce, shredded lettuce, and shredded cheddar cheese 
Cottage cheese and chopped onion 
Leftover sloppy Joe
Chopped bacon and shredded cheddar cheese 
Barbecue sauce and chopped green pepper 
Pineapple and ketchup 
Sauerkraut and shredded Swiss cheese 
Potato salad 
Baked beans 
Shredded lettuce and shredded Swiss cheese 
Chopped onion and ranch dressing