10 Items Every Herbalist Needs

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As an herbalist, you’ll need more than just herbs and oils to make herbal remedies.

10 Items Every Herbalist Needs

There’s a lot of equipment that is needed to make infused oils, salves, tinctures, and more. Some of these things are quite simple and even have more than one use. How many of these do you use?

1. Scales

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It’s very important to have a scale when making and administering herbal remedies. Most homemade recipes are done in small batches so smaller scales that measure down to the smallest ounce are the best to use.

2. Mason Jars

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What can’t you do with mason jars? Not only are they great for canning but they are excellent for storing herbs. You can infuse oils and tinctures in these jars. You can set aromatherapy candles and salves in them. There’s a world of possibilities with glass jars like Mason jars.

3. Double Boiler

pot-820012_1920If you ever plan on making candles, lotions, lip balms, or salves, a double boiler is a must. You can create a double boiler by setting a mason jar in a pot of water but actual double boilers are so much easier to work with. You don’t have to worry about hot glass and a double boiler pan is much easier to hold.

4. Tin Containers

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Tin containers are great for so many things. You can store herbs and tea in them as well as using them to set candles, salves, lotions, and lip balms. They come in so many different sizes and styles.

5. Amber Glass Bottles

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Amber or blue glass bottles are very important in protecting your herbal liquids, such as infused oils or tinctures. Amber bottles filter out the most sunlight which can affect or damage herbal liquids. It’s important to store your herbal ingredients in amber or dark places. Light damage can affect the potency and effectiveness of herbs and herbal liquids.  Beer is bottled in amber bottles for the same reason.

6. Mortar and Pestle

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Mortars and pestles have been used for centuries for grinding plants and making herbal mixtures. They are great for making poultices, bruising plants, and grinding up herbs and spices. I have used them not only in making herbal medicine but for grinding up egg shells and whole spices for cooking and baking.

7. Strainer

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There are two main strainers used in herbalism. Your standard food strainers and tea ball strainers. The food strainer is used in filtering out herbs in infused oils and tinctures. For a finer strain, you can also use cheesecloth. Tea balls are a great reusable option for brewing loose leaf herbal teas.

8. Cheesecloth

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Cheesecloth is a loosely woven cloth made from cotton. It looks like gauze but was originally used in cheese making. Cheesecloth is great to use when straining out infused oils and tinctures to make sure even some of the smallest petals and plants get filtered out. Using a cheesecloth also allows you to squeeze out every last drop of your infusion.

9. Tincture Jars

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What differs tincture jars from regular amber or glass jars is that it comes with a glass dropper. Most tinctures base their dosage on drops rather than teaspoons. Amber or blue tincture bottles are best as the tinted glass will protect the tincture.

10. Resources

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One of the most important thing for an herbalist to have is a great library of resources! It’s good to have many reference materials and ways to study and identify plants. Here are some of my favorite books.

These ten items are staples in my house for making herbal medicine and more. What do you use to make your herbal creations?


Disclaimer: All information on Not Your Typical Hippie is for educational purposes only. I am not a doctor, veterinarian, dietician, or health expert. If you wish to have advice on a medical problem, please consult a doctor. I cannot guarantee that any information provided will work for every person. Please consult a doctor before making any health changes. I am not liable for any choices you make based on the information provided on this website. (Learn more here)

Hippie Fest – Hocking Hills 2017

Last year I went to Hippie Fest and liked it so much I returned this year! Grab your tie-dyed shirt and your bell bottoms and let’s take a look at this year’s Hippie Fest.

hippie fest 2017

Hippie Fest – Hocking Hills 2017

Where: 28508 Murphy Rd, Logan, OH 43138
When: July 22 & 23, August 5 & 6 11am-6pm
Entrance Cost: $5 Preorder ($6.27 after online fees), $10 at the gate
Dog-Friendly: Yes
Family Friendly: Yes

Hippie Fest was in Charlotte, NC in April this year and will be in Michigan October 7th and Myrtle Beach, SC October 28th.

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Parking

Hippie Fest was held on a different property this year so parking was much easier. Last year the car almost didn’t make it up the hill! This year it was located on flatter property. When we got there we had to park and walk to the festival location. They had disability parking closer to the event where the rest of the public is not allowed to park. Parking was free and there were people there directing traffic. We had no problem parking but it was pretty muddy due to the rain. They had a golf cart shuttle available for $5 if you didn’t want to trek up to the event. The walk wasn’t too bad or too far. You did have to go up a hill but it was not like climbing a mountain!

Vendors

Hippie Fest is mostly made of vendors and there was a lot there this year. I didn’t recognize many of them and was sad to see some of my favorite booths from last year were not there this year.

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It was in the 70’s and lightly raining when my friend Lindsey and I went on Sunday, August 6th. I had preordered tickets this year back in May and not too soon after they were all sold out. Last year it was free and I’m not sure why you had to buy tickets this year.

The day before was apparently really hot and even though it was raining when we went it was still very well attended. Due to the rain, it was muddy at this location but I liked it a lot better than last year’s location. The vendors were spread out on the property and some were even up on a hill by a pond.

Just about anything you can think of that would be present at a hippie themed festival was there, minus drugs and alcohol. Jelwery, hemp products, knitted clothes, crystals, Henna body art, tarot card readers, art, clothing, dream catchers, natural soaps, essential oils, incense, everything. Sadly, there were no horses or alpacas this year.

One of my favorite booths was Of Wolves and Ravens. Handmade jewelry made from wood, crystals, bones, and insects. They were all very cool and their booth was really awesome as well. Check out their shop or their Instagram to see more of their work.

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There weren’t any animals there but there was a mermaid! Mermaid Marella is a professional mermaid who was there selling mermaid gear and ocean themed items. You could take pictures with her and she even let us touch her tail. You can learn more about her on her website and you can find her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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It’s always great to see groups out at festivals raising awareness and funds for a good cause. There was a booth there selling hand made bracelets, headbands, camera straps, and more through Threads of Hope. The products were made by women in the Philippines to help provide them with an income so that they could provide basic needs for their families and keep the women out of prostitution. They had different colors and patterns that were each hand made and designed by the women making them. Lindsey and I picked out bracelets for each other and it was a bit of a tough choice because of how many options there were. Bracelets were $2.00 each or 3 for $5.00.

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Hippie Fest wouldn’t be complete without some tie-dye! It was free to tie-dye but $15.00 for a white Hippie Fest shirt. We didn’t get shirts to tie-dye while we were there but maybe next year. Regardless of the rain people were still dying shirts.

Food

Hippie Fest is not known for its food choices. Both last year and this year had limited options for food.

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It would be really awesome to see some more organic and vegetarian/vegan friendly food stands. I know there are some in the area because there were quite a few at Pawpaw Fest last year. Maybe they don’t know or Hippie Fest has limited availability for food vendors. Either way, don’t come to hippie fest just for the food.

Lindsey had a Philly cheese steak sandwich and I had a pita taco thing. The food was okay. Definitely not the best festival food I’ve had but we were both starving when we got there. There was a stand doing frozen and cold drinks. Lindsey got a frozen vanilla chai latte which was amazing.

Music

There were many musicians there compared to last year. They had the main stage under a big dome structure. The dome also had floor sitting space and some standing cocktail tables. There was another stage by one of the ponds and the tie-dye station. Musicians were playing pretty much the entire time we were there and they were pretty good.

Other

Bathrooms: There were port-o-potties throughout the festival.

Activities: Other than the tie-dye that you had to buy a shirt for, there was a bubble station over by the barn stage that kids and adults could use. There was also a booth that had a bunch of hula hoops that you could play with.

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Final Thoughts

I really enjoyed Hippie Fest once again. Even with the rain, it was enjoyable. We did not spend as much time there as I did the year before mostly due to the rain. There were so many unique vendors and great musicians which really help define Hippie Fest. This is one of those festivals that I will probably continue to go to throughout the years. I was disappointed in the food selection and the fact the festival was not free this year. However, $5.00 was not too much to attend the festival.

Did you go to Hippie Fest this year? Interested in going later this year or next year? You can follow Hippie Fest on Facebook to stay up to date with their festival and if they are coming to a city near you.

Does Green Tea Have Health Benefits?

Green tea is well known for aiding in weight loss but the question is, does it work and are there any other health benefits?

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History

Green tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant, an evergreen shrub with glossy green leaves. There are two main strains used for making green teas. Camellia sinensis sinensis, native to China, is used to make green, white, and sometimes black and oolong teas and prefers growing in mountainous regions. Camellia sinensis assamica, native to India, is used to make black and pu’erh tea and prefers to grow in humid and warm areas.

This history of green tea starts in 8th century China when they learned how to keep green tea leaves from oxidizing by steaming the leaves. Over the next couple of hundred of years, steaming, frying, drying and roasting the leaves led to different ways to prepare the Camellia sinensis leaves for teas that had a less bitter taste. Depending on how the leaves are prepared, and how much they are or are not allowed to oxidize, will produce different types of teas such as green, black or oolong tea.

Tea has always been an important part of China’s history starting in the 3rd century to present day. It was once a luxury, gifts to emperors and government officials, to one of the most popular teas in China that was available for everyone. Tea eventually made its way west and became engrained into many different cultures.

Nutrition in Green Tea

Caffeine

Green tea is a zero calorie drink and contains between 20-45 milligrams of caffeine per 8oz cup of tea depending on how long the tea is brewed. Black tea contains about 50 milligrams of caffeine and coffee contains about 95 milligrams per cup. Green tea may not contain as much caffeine as coffee but it does have enough to cause an effect. Luckily, green tea won’t create a “jittery” effect like caffeine does.

Amino Acids

The amino acid L-theanine increases dopamine and the production of alpha waves in the brain as well the activity of the inhibitory neurotransmitter, GABA. GABA has an anti-anxiety effect possibly making green tea a great drink for those with anxiety, but it could also worsen it. L-theanine, paired up with caffeine, can improve brain function and can give you more stable energy.

Antioxidants

Green tea contains a high amount of antioxidants which are very beneficial to us. Flavonoids and catechins can reduce the development of free radicals and the presence Epigallocatechin Gallates (EGCG) could potentially be the reason why green tea has such powerful medicinal properties.
Polyphenols have anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic effects and by weight, make up about 20-45 percent of green tea. Catechins, such as EGCGs, make up about 60-80 percent of green tea and can help prevent cell damage. Because of the antioxidant present in green tea, it could potentially be used to prevent various diseases, including cancer.

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Cancer

Antioxidants are very important in preventing cancer and fortunately, green tea is packed full of them. Just keep in mind that milk can reduce the value of antioxidants so adding it to your tea may not be a good idea if you are wanting the benefits of green tea’s antioxidants.

Green tea could potentially help in the prevention and treatment of breast, bladder, ovarian, colorectal, esophageal, lung, prostate, skin, and stomach cancer. The amount of tea you’d have to drink per day to prevent cancer varies from 2-10 cups a day. There is currently no specific recommendation for how much tea you shouldn’t drink every day. The FDA does not support the claims that green tea can help aid in the prevention of any type of cancer due to a lack of scientific evidence.

Science is constantly changing and new evidence is surfacing but scientific studies done on green tea’s effect on cancer are a relatively new thing. The studies are expensive, long, and have not produced any sufficient data to prove that it can prevent cancer. However, we are stepping in the right direction. This review cites anticancer activity of green tea in animal studies and is promoting clinical trials that would be very helpful in creating an anticancer drug from green tea. Another review of seventeen studies done on gastric cancer in Chinese and Japanese men and women provide insufficient evidence and suggests that more studies are needed.  There have been some positive outcomes in animal studies in preventing breast cancer but due to lack of human clinical trial studies, there’s not enough data to show that it would benefit humans. Results of animal studies show a protective effect against lung and throat cancer but unfortunately, human studies have had inconclusive results. It’s possible that green tea could help prevent cancer but more studies are needed.

Weight Loss

Green tea may increase your metabolism and help aid in burning fat but there are not very many studies that show that green tea can make a significant difference in weight loss. However, green tea, along with caffeine, could help prevent metabolic syndrome. The presence of metabolic syndrome increases your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

The Brain

Green tea has the potential to help improve your memory according to this study. It could also reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Traditional Uses

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, green tea is considered one of the 50 fundamental herbs. It has been used in both China and India as a stimulant, diuretic, astringent, and to improve heart health. It has also been used to treat gas, diarrhea, dysentery, and hepatitis, regulate body temperature and blood sugar, promote digestion, and improving mental processes. Believe it or not, green tea has also been used externally in the form of a poultice to treat cuts, burns, bruises, insect bites, ophthalmia, and swelling.

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Side Effects

Unfortunately, green tea can produce side effects and interact with medications mainly due to its caffeine content.

-Green tea could cause insomnia, anxiety, irritability, nausea, or upset stomach in those with a sensitivity to caffeine.
-Excessive use could cause dizziness, constipation, constipation, indigestion, palpitations, and insomnia.
-Caffeine overdose can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, and loss of appetite.
-It is recommended that you not drink green tea, take green tea extracts or supplements if on: blood thinners, stimulant drugs (such as amphetamines, cocaine, or ephedrine), antibiotics, birth control pills, estrogens, lithium, MAOIs, anticoagulant, or nicotine, see a complete list here.
-Green tea could interact with anemia, anxiety disorders, bleeding disorders, heart conditions, diabetes, diarrhea, glaucoma, high blood pressure, IBS, liver disease, and osteoporosis.
-Consult your doctor and/or midwife before taking any form of green tea if you are pregnant or breast feeding.

Conclusion

Green tea has a long history and many beneficial properties. While there are not many modern studies today that prove its effectiveness for cancer prevention and weight loss, new studies are being performed and maybe one day we will have plenty of studies with sound evidence. It could interact with some medication and health issues but also as the possibility of improving health. Always consult your doctor before starting a new health regimen.


10 Proven Benefits of Green Tea
Green tea: Health benefits, side effects, and research
Camellia sinensis
What Is Metabolic Syndrome?
Chinese Tea History Part Ⅰ- Green Tea History
University of Maryland Medical Center Green Tea
Plants for a Future Camellia sinensis

Disclaimer: All information on Not Your Typical Hippie is for educational purposes only. I am not a doctor, veterinarian, dietician, or health expert. If you wish to have advice on a medical problem, please consult a doctor. I cannot guarantee that any information provided will work for every person. Please consult a doctor before making any health changes. I am not liable for any choices you make based on the information provided on this website. (Learn more here)

Kentucky Bacon, Bourbon and Brew Festival 2017

Bacon and bourbon lovers unite! This is the festival for you if you like fair food stuffed with bacon and love to drink bourbon.

Kentucky Bacon, Bourbon and Brew Festival 2017

Kentucky Bacon, Bourbon and Brew Festival 2017

Where: Newport Kentucky Riverfront Newport, Kentucky 41071
When: July 14-16, Friday 5pm-11pm, Saturday 12pm-11pm, Sunday 12pm-9pm
Entrance Cost: FREE
Dog-Friendly: No
Family Friendly: Yes
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Even though the sign said no animals we did see people there with their nonservice dogs.

Parking

There was parking available down along the river front. Some of it was meter parking which was free on the Sunday we went. There’s a lot of parking throughout Newport within walking distance of the festival. Most if it is pay to park.Continue reading →

How to Make Herbal Relaxation Tea

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After a long day sitting down with a nice cup of tea can be relaxing. Drinking a tea that is designed to help you relax is even better.

How to make relaxation tea

My husband loves to drink tea so I started making our own tea blends for us to enjoy. Every tea I make serves a purpose. Since he works in retail and I’m just all around a stressed out person, we both needed a tea that was enjoyable and relaxing. Stress can seriously affect the body and sometimes we just need a little help.Continue reading →

History, Identification, & Uses of Lavender

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Lavender is one of the most popular scents as well as one of the most popular herbs used in natural medicine. It has a long history and a wonderful smell with many benefits.

Lavender

Lavender is a species of the mint family that is native to the Mediterranean. Today, it is grown and used around the world. Lavandula angustifolia, or English Lavender, is the most commonly used lavender for culinary and medicinal purposes but there are many different types of lavender.

Lavender was first farmed by the Arabs. They were also the first ones to make distilleries for making lavender essential oils. Arabian physicians cherished lavender for its ability to clean wounds and heal. They also used lavender to treat the nervous system, stress, insomnia, and to kill germs.

The Greeks and Romans also used lavender much in the same way that the Arabs did. They sold and traded lavender and lavender oil along the spice trail and eventually took it all the way to England. For the Egyptians, it was used in their mummification process and as a perfume. It is said that Cleopatra used lavender to seduce men and that lavender was found in the tomb of King Tutankhamen.Continue reading →

Summer Solstice Lavender Festival 2017

Did you know that there are lavender farms in Ohio? Not only is it possible to grow lavender in Ohio, but there are actually quite a few lavender farms in Ohio.

Ohio Lavender Festival 2017

9th Annual Summer Solstice Lavender Festival

Where: Peaceful Acres Lavender Farm, 2387 Martinsville Rd Martinsville, Ohio
When: June 17-18, 2017; 10am-6pm & 11am-4pm, Open rain or shine!
Entrance Cost: FREE
Dog-Friendly: Yes
Family Friendly: Yes

Parking

There was parking available on the farm itself. It was a $2 minimum donation to Good Shepherd Ministries, an interdenominational Christian agency, which helps restore the lives of people with histories of incarceration, drug, and alcohol abuse. Many of the volunteers there who were helping with parking were from this program.Continue reading →

History, Identification, & Uses of Calendula

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Calendula is well known for being a healing herb as well as a commonly used herb in culinary recipes. Often planted in gardens for its beauty, Calendula has many useful properties.

Calendula

Calendula has been used since the 12th century but its origins are a bit disputed. It is believed to have originated somewhere in the Mediterranean but no one is quite sure where exactly.

The word Calendula comes from the Latin word calendae, meaning the first day of the month. The Romans loved calendula and it was a symbol of joy and happiness. Both the Romans and the Greeks used the flower in their rituals and ceremonies.

Calendula has been used in many cultures around the world. It was commonly used in pots and stews, possibly giving it its other common name, Pot Marigold. It’s a sacred flower in India and has been used in weddings and religious rituals. The Aztecs and Mayans used the flowers during their ceremonies, and today they are used on altars on the Day of the Dead in Mexico and Central America. The Egyptians loved to use calendula for skin rejuvenation.Continue reading →

How to Identify Plants: Leaves Part II

If you haven’t already, check out Part I to learn about leaf parts and arrangements.

Identifying plants- part II

Here we are going to discuss leaf margins and their shapes.

 

Margins

The margin of a leaf is the edge of the leaf. You’ll have to be close to a leaf to be able to see the margin. It’s one of the fine details that can differ leaves from one another.

Entire

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An entire margin is smooth throughout and toothless.Continue reading →

How to Choose Quality Supplements

There are over 29,000 different herbal products sold throughout North America. Over $5 billion is spent on herbal supplements every year in the U.S. but not all supplements contain what they market.

How to Choose Quality Supplements (1)

Supplements and the FDA

Herbal supplements are considered to be dietary supplements and are not regulated by the FDA. The FDA isn’t even “authorized to review dietary supplement products for safety and effectiveness before they are marketed.” It’s the responsibility of the manufacturer and distributors to make sure their products are safe, aren’t false or misleading, and that they comply with the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and FDA regulations.Continue reading →