How to Make Soap Nut Liquid Soap

What are soap nuts? They are berries that contain natural saponins and are popular today as a natural soap replacement. You can read more about them here.

Soap nuts are a natural alternative to soap that can easily be made into a liquid soap.
Soap nuts are a natural alternative to soap that can easily be made into a liquid soap.

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You can throw whole soap nuts into your laundry or dishwasher, but sometimes it can be easier to use soap nut liquid. Soap nut liquid is also used as a base for many different things that can be used around the house.

You can use the liquid as is or add it to other recipes. Soap nut liquid can be used in:Continue reading →

What Are Soap Nuts?

Soap nuts aren’t actually nuts, but berries!

Soap nuts are a berry that has soap qualities to them. Learn about the plant and how you can use them to replace store bought soap.
Soap nuts are a berry that has soap qualities to them. Learn about the plant and how you can use them to replace store bought soap.

 

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Soap nuts come from a genus called Sapindus which includes a group of small trees and shrubs that produce a berry that contains natural saponins.

There are a quite a few different species of soap nut trees, even some that are native to North America. For the most part, they grow in tropical and sub-tropical areas around the world. They require a lot of water and some species can grow to be over 80 feet tall.Continue reading →

What is Apitherapy and is it Safe?

Apitherapy, also known as “bee venom” or “bee sting” therapy, has been around for thousands of years. If you are a beekeeper you might be familiar with this, but most individuals have never heard of it before!

Have you ever heard of apitherapy? It may not be for everyone...
Have you ever heard of apitherapy? It may not be for everyone…

Apitherapy is the medicinal use of bee products or, as Dr. Stefan Stangaciu, editor in chief of the International Federation of Beekeepers’ Association, says it’s the “art and science of treatment and holistic healing through the honeybee and her products for the benefit of mankind and all the animal kingdom.”

Continue reading →

10 Ways You Can Reduce Your Waste This Year

Last Earth Day I talked about Why We Need to Do More Than Just Recycle. Here are 10 different ways you can help reduce waste in your own home.

Needs some ideas on how to reduce your environmental impact? Here are 10 ways you can reduce waste in your life.
Needs some ideas on how to reduce your environmental impact? Here are 10 ways you can reduce waste in your life.

1. Use Reusable Bags

What it reduces: Using reusable bags when you go grocery shopping will reduce plastic waste. You won’t have a need to use plastic bags if you bring your own!

If you forget your reusable bags opt for paper bags. It’s easier to recycle and paper bags come from a renewable resource. If you do end up using some plastic shopping bags, check and see if there are any areas that will accept plastic bags for recycling.Continue reading →

History, Identification, & Uses of St. John’s Wort

St. John’s Wort is best known for its use in treating depression. It has many uses but also must be used with caution as it interacts with many medications.

St. John's Wort is best known for its use in treating depression. It has many uses but also must be used with caution as it interacts with many medications.
St. John’s Wort is best known for its use in treating depression. It has many uses but also must be used with caution as it interacts with many medications.

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St. John’s Wort lost its popularity in the 1800’s but has made a rebound in recent years. It is the number one treatment for depression in Germany and at one point it had outsold the antidepressant Prozac.

In the mid-1600’s it was popular to use earthworms and other animal parts as a medicinal ingredient. An oil compound made up of St. John’s Wort, earthworms, and other herbs were a popular remedy at that time.Continue reading →

Do You Know Your Bees & Bee Look-A-Likes?

There are over 4,000 species of bees native to North America. There are many different types of bees and many insects that look like bees, but do you know the difference?

Not everything in the garden is a bee. Can you tell the difference?
Not everything in the garden is a bee. Can you tell the difference?

Bumblebees

Bumble Bee
Bombus spp.

Bumblebees are one of the most commonly known bees. There are 50 species native to North America and are best known for pollinating tomato plants. They are large, furry, and mostly black with yellow, white, and sometimes even bright orange stripes. Bumblebees are ground nesters and often make their nests in abandoned mouse nests. They do form colonies with one queen and workers, but they do not get as big as honeybee colonies.Continue reading →

The Many Benefits of Honey

Honey is well known for being a health food but does it have health benefits or is it just another fad food?

Honey has many benefits and it may be something you want to keep on hand.
Honey has many benefits and it may be something you want to keep on hand.

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Honey is made up of sugar, water, and some vitamins. It does not contain any fat but does contain minuscule amounts of protein and fiber.

Let’s take a look at what all is in honey:

  • Sugar (fructose, glucose, and sucrose)
  • Water
  • Vitamins B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, & C
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Zinc

See a complete composition of honey here.Continue reading →

5 Ways You Can Help Save the Bees This Spring

Bees are a pretty big topic right now with the declining populations and the U.S. listing a bumblebee species on the endangered list for the first time. It is important now more than ever to try to save these pollinators especially when the U.S. might eliminate the Endangered Species Act of 1973.

Anyone can help the bees! Here are some ways the you can help.
Anyone can help the bees! Here are some ways the you can help.

More than $15 billion worth of food is pollinated by bees in the U.S. every year. That’s a lot of food! As bee populations go down, the amount of food production also goes down. This means higher prices for the consumer. Things like pesticides, loss of habitat, and more contribute to the decline of bee populations. Luckily, there are 5 easy ways we can help bee populations at our own homes!

1. Plant Native Plants

Bee populations are not only important to us for food production, but to many native species that rely on them for pollinations. Bee populations have adapted to collecting nectar from local flowers. Even though they will collect nectar from non-native plants, there’s not enough of these plants to make up for what they could have in the native area.Continue reading →

The Difference Between Raw Honey & Honey

Honey is a big topic right now and is being praised for being a healthy food. There are worries of honey being fake or filled with corn syrup. Some say that the lack of honey pollen means it’s not honey and that processed honey is no longer honey anymore either. The question is, is it?

Is there a difference? Is one better than the other? Lean what the difference is between raw honey and honey.
Is there a difference? Is one better than the other? Lean what the difference is between raw honey and honey.

Difference Between Raw Honey and Honey

In the U.S. there is no legal definition that separates the difference between raw honey and honey. When a product is labeled as “raw” it refers to honey that has not been heated or filtered.

There are two types of honey; comb honey and extracted honey.Continue reading →

History, Identification, & Uses of Plantain

You’ve probably seen this plant growing in your yard and along the sidewalks but did you know this plant has medicinal properties?

Today the plantain is considered a weed but it was considered a sacred herb in the Anglo-Saxon medical text, Lacnunga. It is one of nine herbs used to treat poisonings and infections.
Today the plantain is considered a weed but it was considered a sacred herb in the Anglo-Saxon medical text, Lacnunga. It is one of nine herbs used to treat poisonings and infections.

 

Today the plantain is considered a weed but it was considered a sacred herb in the Anglo-Saxon medical text, Lacnunga. It is one of nine herbs used to treat poisonings and infections.

The Native Americans would keep powdered plantain root with them as a form of protection against rattlesnakes. They also gave the plantain the name “Englishman’s Foot” or “White Man’s Footprint” because the plant seemed to follow the colonist as they traveled throughout the Americas. This is one way they believe the plant was brought over to the Americas.Continue reading →