Healing Eczema Salve

Many of us suffer from dry skin, especially during the winter, but some suffer from eczema that can be itchy and painful. There are many herbs available and when combined together can create a healing and soothing salve to help with dry skin and eczema.

This eczema salve is made with natural ingredients and can truly transform skin.
This eczema salve is made with natural ingredients and can truly transform skin.

 

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I first started working on an eczema lotion in December of 2015 for my husband. Eczema is not uncommon in his family and this was the first time he developed eczema in the time that I knew him. It started on his hand and it was bothersome to him but we didn’t think much of it. Next thing we knew it had taken over the back of his hand, his fingers, and spread all the way up to his elbows on both arms. It was painful and uncomfortable and his skin looked like a dried, cracked piece of land hit by a drought.

The tricky thing about eczema is that you don’t always know what is causing it or why. It’s not something that can be cured but is managed usually by lotions and avoiding things that cause flare-ups. It took awhile but we found that for my husband his eczema is worse in the winter and his flare-ups are usually caused by dust (he works retail) and from most soaps. We have completely switched what shampoos and soaps we use, he uses gloves while doing dishes, and uses an eczema salve almost every day and it helps keep his eczema at bay.Continue reading →

How to Identify Plants: Leaves Part III

Deciduous woody plants lose their leaves every autumn but some trees, like evergreens, keep their leaves. Evergreen leaves are often different from deciduous plants and pine trees are a very well know group of evergreens. Check out Part I to learn about leaf parts and arrangements and Part II to learn about leaf shapes and margins.

Learn how to learn plants on your own!
Learn how to learn plants on your own!

 

Not every evergreen is a conifer (pine family) and not every conifer is an evergreen. However, most conifers are evergreen and have very different leaves compared to deciduous plants. We are going to talk about the leaves found specifically within the conifer family.

Conifer Leaves

Conifers leaves are called needles and can either be rounded, flat or angled.Continue reading →

How to Create a Wildlife Garden

Have you passed by a home with a Certified Wildlife Habitat in their yard full of flowers and other plants? Anyone can create a wildlife garden on their property to help local fauna and even get it certified.

Want to attract wild life to your garden? Want it to be a certified wildlife garden? See what it takes to make a wildlife garden.
Want to attract wild life to your garden? Want it to be a certified wildlife garden? See what it takes to make a wildlife garden.

 

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Importance of Wildlife Gardens

What is the first thing you think of when you hear the word “wildlife”? Maybe deer or raccoons? This may deter you from considering planting a wildlife garden but the point of a wildlife garden is not to attract deer or raccoons but butterflies and other smaller creatures.

Most urban homes have nice, trimmed grass lawns in both the front and backyard. Some people may have some flower beds and a tree here and there but it’s mostly grass. As soon a spring begins people rush out to buy Roundup® to kill those “pesky” dandelions in their yard. Not only are the pesticides being used not great for the environment but what is a lawn full of grass doing for the environment? Nothing. Grass doesn’t provide any value to the local fauna and you’re not grazing cows in your suburban yard.Continue reading →

The Best Herbs for Colds & Flu

Cold and flu season is upon us. There are many herbs available that can help you get through this winter. Are you ready?

Not all herbs will help you get through a cold or the flu. Learn which herbs you should have in your herb cabinet!
Not all herbs will help you get through a cold or the flu. Learn which herbs you should have in your herb cabinet!

 

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Before we talk about herbs that can help with a cold or flu, please know that the flu can turn very serious very quickly. Always talk to your doctor before starting something new and special attention should be taken to the very young, elderly, and with those who have underlying conditions such as asthma or having a compromised immune system. The flu could lead to the contraction of pneumonia or strep throat. See a doctor if you start coughing up blood, you have trouble breathing, can’t keep fluids down, have a very high fever, or experience confusion.

Since the flu and common cold are both viruses and not bacteria you will not be prescribed antibiotics to treat them. You usually just have to wait it out or take over the counter painkillers and decongestants. There are some herbs available that can help prevent colds and flu as well as help you get through the sickness if you manage to catch either. I’m very prone to getting colds and many of these herbs I have personally worked pretty well for me, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for you too.Continue reading →

Planet Saving Resolutions Anyone Can Do

The new year is a time for change and resolutions. A lot of people choose to focus on their health whether it be attending a gym or starting a new diet. Why don’t we try to focus on improving the health of our planet this year?

A new you, a new planet. What are you doing this year to better the environment?
A new you, a new planet. What are you doing this year to better the environment?

 

Living an eco-friendly or green lifestyle can be very daunting. You see people like Lauren Singer who is best known for producing so little trash in the past 4 years that it fits in a mason jar. You sit there and think, how on earth is that possible? Singer proved that is its possible to live a zero waste lifestyle which is very good for our planet. But don’t worry, you don’t have to go all out at once but there are baby steps that you can take to reduce your impact on the earth.

A lot of these things we will be discussing are things that I have started doing and some of them I haven’t even completed since the year before. Every little thing counts and over time making eco-friendly choices will become easier and easier. Are you ready? Here are 5 things you can do this year to reduce your impact and start living a greener lifestyle.Continue reading →

Warming Winter Cats Tea

Need something other than chai to drink this winter? Give this warming, cinnamon filled tea a try and it might be the perfect tea for getting you through the winter.

Need something to warm you up? Try this warm cinnamon herbal tea blend that you can make yourself.
Need something to warm you up? Try this warm cinnamon herbal tea blend that you can make yourself.

 

I originally created this tea for my mother in law who wanted a cinnamon tea. This tea blend did not disappoint. It’s even a favorite of my husbands who is very much like his mother. I named it “Cats Tea” because of the cats claw and catnip in the tea but it’s also ironic because my husband is very allergic to cats. Also, don’t give this tea to your cat…

Whenever I make tea I make it with more than the purpose of enjoying a cup of tea. Each herb is picked for a specific reason. This tea is very different from what I normally make since fruity teas are more my thing.

Cinnamon– anti-bacterial, antifungal, anti-infective, anti-oxidant, anti-parasitic, antiseptic, astringent, stomachic, diaphoreticContinue reading →

History, Identification, & Uses of Mistletoe

Who are you planning on meeting under the mistletoe this Christmas? Besides inducing a kiss, mistletoe has once been used medicinally and are even being studied today for its role in treating cancer.

Mistletoe can be used for more than a holiday kiss, it can also be used in medicine
Mistletoe can be used for more than a holiday kiss, it can also be used in medicine

Mistletoe is actually a parasitic plant which means that it obtains all the nutrients it needs from the host plant. They grow on deciduous trees including maples, oaks, poplars, apple trees, and birch. It is said that mistletoe grown on oaks have the best medicinal properties. The plant does not kill its host but the host must be at least 20 years old and becomes weakened by the mistletoe.

There are many species of mistletoe but there are two that we will be discussing here. Phoradendron leucarpum is native to North America and has some history of being used as medicine. Viscum album is native to Europe and is best known for its medicinal uses. It’s possible that both species could be used interchangeably but most of the medicinal information we have on mistletoe is from Viscum album.Continue reading →

How to Make Immune Boosting Elderberry Syrup

Making your own elderberry syrup is easy, kid safe, and something that can help get you through cold and flu season.

Need an immune boost? Learn how to make elderberry syrup for this cold and flu season.
Need an immune boost? Learn how to make elderberry syrup for this cold and flu season.

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The worst part about getting sick is having to take those nasty syrups you can pick up at the pharmacy. You know which ones I’m talking about. We’ve all had one at some point in our life and sometimes they were just as bad as being sick. I’m looking at you, Pepto Bismol. Being sick is miserable as it is so why suffer more just to try to feel better?

Elderberry syrup is a tasty, honey-sweetened syrup that will make you want more even when you’re not sick. Elderberries are a great immune booster and way cheaper to make at home. You can get premade elderberry syrup at some stores if you aren’t up to making your own. However, a homemade syrup is something that you can even use on pancakes…Continue reading →

History, Identification, & Uses of Persimmons

Kaki persimmons, or Japanese persimmons, are popular fruits available in autumn but did you know there is a persimmon tree native to North America?

Did you know that there is a persimmon native to North America? Learn how to identify it and when to go out picking.
Did you know that there is a persimmon native to North America? Learn how to identify it and when to go out picking.

 

The American Persimmon was a fascinating plant too early settlers but were actively used by Native American for both food and medicine. Persimmon loaves were often gifted to the settlers by the Native American. It soon became a favorite North American fruit. It wasn’t long before more recipes started to include persimmons.

There are many types of persimmon found around the world. Diospyros kaki is the most popular cultivated species that is native to Japan, China, and Korea. Kaki persimmons are what you can normally find in the store. Diospyros virginiana is native to eastern North America and not cultivated for its fruit. Their fruit is also delicious and a great food source for wildlife and pollen for honey bees. In the U.S., the American persimmon is grown for its wood.Continue reading →

Peanut Free Buckeye Balls

Buckeyes: the fruit of Ohio’s state tree and the favorite dessert of any Ohio State Buckeye fan.

Everyone deserves to enjoy the wonderful taste of buckeyes. Here's a peanut free alternative for those allergic to peanuts!
Everyone deserves to enjoy the wonderful taste of buckeyes. Here’s a peanut free alternative for those allergic to peanuts!

 

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Oh, Buckeyes. If you grew up in Ohio you are familiar with buckeye candy. Sugary ball of peanut butter coated in chocolate to look like buckeyes from the buckeye tree. If you grew up in Columbus you may be familiar with the 235-pound buckeye candy on display at Anthony Thomas. College football is a big thing in Ohio, especially in Columbus, and with football comes buckeye candy.Continue reading →