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Monday, April 30, 2012

Introducing Detox Herbs

Herbs for detoxification are wonderful when you are knowledgeable about them- image by

Hey y'all!

It's time to start talking about detox herbs! I've tried to lay out a good foundation of health for you. I've talked about getting enough sleep, drinking enough pure water, healthy diets, "earthing," and how to lose weight safely. It is at this point in a healthy lifestyle that we want to begin releasing all the bad "gunk" we have accumulated in our colons, livers, kidneys, and bloodstream. I personally love detoxing, and feel fantastic when I do it!

I was delighted to see this post on Dr. Richard Schulze's blog. I love Dr. Schulze. He's a really "out there" character, but he knows herbs like nobody's business and has witnessed people healing themselves of everything under the sun by simply doing the right things for their bodies and lives. I'd like to get y'all excited about detoxing by letting Dr. Schulze tell you about it.

There are herbs for practically everything: detoxing, losing weight, improving skin tone, calming nerves...- image by 

In time, I'm going to teach you how to make some herbal recipes, plus give you all the information I can on these herbs so you can make educated choices about your health. I'll tell you right now (and constantly) that I'm not a doctor, and not an expert. I will tell you to always seek the advice of a qualified health practitioner before doing anything you read about on the Internet. But if you'd like to learn more about herbs and other natural healing therapies, stay tuned!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Mountain Rose Herbs Certified Organic Teas: Rave Review

Hey y'all!

It's tea time!

Do y'all love tea as much as I do? I am crazy about all different kinds of herbal tea, and guess what? Mountain Rose Herbs has a gorgeous new line of teas!

image courtesy of Mountain Rose Herbs

I have been a happy Mountain Rose Herbs customer for years. I buy almost all of my herbs from them, and have also bought things like organic aloe vera gel, castor oil, and wheat germ oil from them. I love their products and customer service so much that I became an affiliate. Sometimes in my herb orders I'll tuck in a little treat, like tea!

Mountain Rose Herbs teas are made from 100% certified organic ingredients. They are earth kosher and "fair for life" fair trade teas. These handcrafted tea formulas have been time-tested for over twenty years. There are over sixty-five different varieties of greens, reds, whites, blacks, and blends to choose from.

I've enjoyed their delicate green sencha, their bold gunpowder green (oh, wow!), their yerba mate (tastes a little like hay or dried grasses and smells wonderful), and their exquisite red roobois (which I am totally hooked on). Y'all might like to try the tea sampler, which contains three 1.5 oz. tins of certified organic green sencha, black ceylon, and red roobois for $14.95 plus shipping.

MRH tea sampler set- courtesy Mountain Rose Herbs

Aren't these containers beautiful? 

All of the tea boxes are completely sustainable. They are made of 100% recycled cardboard, printed with soy ink and water based varnish. The boxes are either compostable, reusable, or recyclable. The labels contain detailed brewing instructions and are recyclable, too. The tea bags themselves are made from 100% compostable Pacific Northwest non-GMO tree resin. 

Here in Texas it gets really hot beginning in May and doesn't let up until late October. We love our sweet iced tea. I make my iced tea from green tea because of the amazing antioxidants, and sweeten it with honey. So we drink tea all year round.

You can enter the Mountain Rose Herbs site by clicking on the banner:

Mountain Rose Herbs. A herbs, health and harmony c

I was just hired as a teacher and I look forward to bringing some of these teas to work with me! Leave a comment and tell me where you most enjoy sipping tea!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

How to Heal an Earache Naturally

Hey y'all!

My little five year old granddaughter has an earache! My daughter asked for recommendations on how to heal an earache naturally. Several people chimed in with their thoughts. I thought my readers might appreciate knowing how to heal an earache naturally, since it is a pretty common experience, especially among children.

My advice to my daughter was simple. I told her to put anywhere from a few drops to a full eyedropper of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in my granddaughter's ear, and then plug the ear up with some cotton. I suggested my daughter give my granddaughter "something for the pain," and place a warm heating pad over her ear while she was lying down. Put her on a "clean" diet and give her a lot of orange juice in order to help break up the mucous build-up. I also told my daughter to check my granddaughter's temperature. If it went up above 99 degrees Farenheit (37.2 degrees Celcius), she would be running a low grade fever, indicative of a full-blown ear infection- acute otitis media. At that point, my daughter would need to decide if she would take my granddaughter to a doctor or not. A friend of mine in nursing school said to use an "anti-inflammatory" pain reliever such as Motrin. Earaches are no fun.

The reason I told my daughter to use hydrogen peroxide was because this is a very common household item, and I was almost positive she had some at her house. However, for the future, this is what I would tell anyone who wanted to heal an earache naturally.

First, I highly recommend that everyone get into the habit of taking echinacea tincture every day. Echinacea is the herbalist's number one go-to herb for boosting the immune system. Here is an article I wrote for Natural News a year ago on the effectiveness of echinacea against radiation. Echinacea is that good. How much echinacea is enough? It really depends on body size. Top herbalists say to take 1-2 eyedroppers of echinacea tincture two or three times a day for an adult maintenance dose. For a child, we would want to cut that amount in half or a quarter, depending on the age and size of the child. If someone is fighting an infection, of course we would increase that. Just so you know, most herbal tinctures taste terrible. You will want to mix them with unsweetened fruit juice in order for a child to take them. I will write a post next week on the powers of echinacea and teach you how to make your own very potent echinacea tincture. I promise, you will love not getting every cold or sniffle that comes along.

Next, there are two herbal products that have a host of anecdotal evidence (to the point of being empirical evidence) suggesting their use for earaches. One is garlic oil, and the other is an herbal formula called B & B. Garlic is very well documented scientifically to effectively heal bacterial and fungal infections as well as many other medical issues. My favorite brand of garlic oil is from Dr. John R. Christopher, who was perhaps the greatest master herbalist of the twentieth century. The garlic kills any infection in the ear. You can get this garlic oil on (in full disclosure, I am an affiliate):


Herbs also sells Dr. Christopher's Garlic Oil, if you would rather purchase it from some place other than Amazon.

You can put a decent sized clove of garlic in the ear canal and put a piece of tape over it to hold it in place, but it has been my experience that the heat from the allicin (the chemical that gives garlic its distinctive odor) may be too intense for someone with an earache.

Simply putting about four drops of garlic oil in the ear at night, stuffing the ear with a piece of cotton (from a vitamin bottle, or use the cotton balls women use to take off eye makeup), and covering the ear with either a heating pad, a warm hand towel, or a clean sock filled with rice or oats and heated in the microwave should start the healing process. Do this for a week, then make a solution of half apple cider vinegar and half warm water to rinse the ear out. Use an ear syringe like this (be gentle, please):

Ear syringe for rinsing out the ear after an earache- image by Quick Medical

Another herbal formula I have been pretty impressed with is Dr. Christopher's Ear and Nerve Formula, which is nicknamed "B & B." This formula contains blue and black cohosh, blue vervain, skullcap, and lobelia in a grain alcohol menstrum (suspension). For an earache, you would put four drops of garlic oil followed by four drops of B & B at night for a week, followed by the apple cider vinegar and water rinse at the end of the week. Each night, you will place a warmed towel or heating pad over the ear for soothing comfort.


Personally, I cannot recommend B & B for any pregnant woman because of the blue and black cohosh. These herbs can cause uterine contractions.

HUGE DISCLAIMER: These products have *not* been tested or approved by the FDA. The information I have provided here and anywhere else on this site is for education purposes only. I do my best to provide accurate, scientifically documented information. However, it is not intended to replace or substitute for advice from a knowledgeable and professional health care provider. Especially when dealing with children, please seek the advice of a physician or other trusted health care provider and do your own research before taking any action. Just because something may work for me does not in any way mean it may work for you. We are all different, so please take responsibility for your own health and assume your own risk.

I want to say something else. Check your child's throat if he or she is complaining of an earache. One of my sons complained of an earache and a sore throat for a week. It hurt so bad he could not sleep. I finally took him to the doctor. He did not have an ear infection as I suspected, but instead had strep throat!  I found out that with strep, the pain is referred to the ears.

P.S.: I am making steady progress on my Superfood ebook. I think y'all will really like it!

P.P.S: I continue to be amazed at all of the readers I have from all over the world! Today I send special greetings and love to my Canadian and Russian readers! I am so honored to have you!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Why I Named My Blog "Bluebonnet" Natural Healing Therapy

Hey y'all!

I've been missing from action this week because of Easter preparations, plus I passed my exam to become a teacher! I am so excited! Since it has been such a crazy week, I thought I would do a quick post about why I decided to call my blog "Bluebonnet" Natural Healing Therapy.

Most of my readers know I'm from Texas. I love it here. I live in Central Texas, which is a little more "country" than the big cities like Dallas and Houston. There really are a lot of cowboys here, plus the beef industry with all of the large ranches are nearby. I live just a 20 minute drive from the famous Bush ranch owned by former U.S. President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush.

The official State Flower of Texas is the bluebonnet. They are called bluebonnets because each petal looks like a blue prairie or poke bonnet that pioneer Texas women wore during the 1800's.

A typical blue poke bonnet, designed to keep the sun off a woman's face and neck as she worked outdoors- image by Vicki Lane Mysteries

Every spring, in March through mid-April, the hills and roadsides out in the country of Texas turn blue from these wildflowers. This year, the bluebonnets have been spectacular. I would love to share a part of "my" Texas with you:

 Marble Falls, Texas- image by Brynn Lee with National Geographic

Burnett, Texas

Fredericksburg, Texas- image by Mike Hessong

Brady, Texas

Elgin, Texas

Prayer Mountain, outside Dallas, Texas

Mason, Texas

and perhaps my favorite of this year's bluebonnet images:

Hill Country, Texas

Hat tip to Texas Hill Country's Facebook Page for most of these amazing photos!  I hope you enjoyed one of the special parts of my "real" life. Tell us what you think, or share something special from your part of the world!

P.S.:  Merhaba to my readers in Turkey! Welcome to the "Bluebonnet" family! I am floored to have readers from all over the planet!

Monday, April 2, 2012

How to Wildcraft Dandelion

Happy Spring! Today I'm going to teach you how to wildcraft dandelion!- image by thepurebar

Hey y'all!

If your yard is anything like mine, you have an abundance of fresh "weeds" growing all over the place right now. Did you know that your own yard is one of the best places on the planet for wildcrafted herbs? Yes, your own yard is telling you what you need to be eating and doing for your health right now. I have wild dandelion springing up like crazy. For the past month, I have wildcrafted what I can of it. I want to teach y'all how to wildcraft dandelion, too. It's easy!

Natural News recently published my article heralding that  dandelion is finally recognized as an antioxidant by the scientific community. As one of my readers commented, "It's about time!"

Health Benefits of Dandelion

Dandelion gets its name from the French phrase "dent de lion," or "lion's tooth." This refers to dandelion's sharp, jagged leaves. Dandelion has as much iron content as spinach, and four times the Vitamin A. The "weed" is loaded with calcium, magnesium, and other minerals, as well. Traditionally, dandelion has been documented as being beneficial for bone health, liver function, diabetes, the urinary tract, skin care, the gall bladder, the circulatory system, and as the medical community now confirms, cancer treatment.

How to Wildcraft Dandelion 

If you have ever tried to dig up a dandelion, including the roots, you know the root can be up to a foot long and a half inch (centimeter) wide. It is fleshy and brittle.  It reminds me of a slender white carrot. I have never juiced dandelion roots, but the roots are juicy enough that one could. I have tasted dandelion root raw. It is bitter, but is so good for the liver.

Dr. John R. Christopher, perhaps the greatest master herbalist of the 20th century, states that the best dandelion roots are from two year old or older dandelions. I cannot tell from his notes if he left the dandelion tops intact for at least two years or of he harvested the tops and waited at least two years before harvesting the roots. If he meant he harvested the tops and left the roots for at least two years, then I know I have some amazing dandelion roots this year.

Please make sure the dandelions you plan to harvest are organic!- image by HOSONISM

I wait to harvest dandelion until the spring after it rains. This softens the soil, and it offers the roots a lot of moisture. The first time I ever harvested dandelion roots, I used a tablespoon (soup spoon) from the kitchen. I had no idea the roots were a foot long. I got impatient and broke the roots like a carrot. Had I been any kind of a decent herbalist back then, I would have known better. We want to harvest as much of the root intact as possible, because we want to save as much of the milky, healing juice contained within the roots as possible. Now I either use a long trowel or a small shovel. You might want to wear a pair of garden gloves, because mature dandelion leaves are prickly. I tap off as much dirt from the root as I can, then bring the plants into the house.

Once I bring the dandelions into the house, I rinse the dirt off, then let the plants sit in a large bowl of cool water. This year, I got busy and could not deal with the dandelions for a few days. They actually continued to grow and blossom, even in the water. Now that's live food!

Here is a sweet video of a guy getting into wildcrafting dandelions:

Dandelion Recipes

You can make fresh dandelion tea with this recipe. As mentioned in the video, dandelion tea is fantastic for a spring liver cleanse. You can throw the leaves into a spring salad, too. I am doing this with some of my salads this spring. Make sure you use "baby" leaves for the salad. I tried using some older, prickly leaves and did not like the result. However, if you eat cooked food, you may enjoy sauteing your mature dandelion leaves with a medley of other vegetables. The entire plant can be juiced fresh.

My Paleo/Caveman people will love this recipe. My vegan friends will want to use a different source of fat:

How to Dry and Store Dandelion

If you want to dry and store dandelion leaves, just hang the plant upside down out of direct sunlight once it has been cleaned. When the leaves are thoroughly dry, they will still be green but will crumble easily. Dandelion root should be scrubbed clean just like a carrot, chopped, and dried either in an oven on low heat or in a dehydrator. When the roots are dried, the outside will look a little dark, but the inside will still have a white color. Dried herbs can be stored in the freezer in freezer bags or in large glass jars with airtight lids.

If you are not comfortable drying your own dandelion, I highly recommend Mountain Rose Herbs as a source. There is an ad on the sidebar which goes directly to the Mountain Rose Herbs homepage.

Please share any dandelion recipes, tips, or experiences in the comment section!