Tag Archives: herbal az

Frontier Co-op Organic Valerian Root – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Frontier Co-op Organic Valerian Root.  Before we continue due to the content below I have to give a disclaimer, I am not a doctor, I don’t even pretend to be one on TV.  While I am a life time user of herbs, I am also not a certified herbalist, nothing I am about to say should be seen is medical or nutritional advice.  It is just my personal experience.

So about two years ago I set out to create a “bed time tea”, my goal was a tea that would set the mind at ease and get you to sleep fast.  I built this tea on valerian root for many reasons.  You can find a wide range of Valerian’s uses at Web MD, chief among them though are insomnia and relaxing muscle and relieving aches and pains.

Now there are a ton of teas out there with Valerian in it, but I like to mix my own teas, simply put buying herbs in bulk saves money and you can make custom blends.  Last week I mentioned in my interview with herbalist Cat Ellis that I had a “night time tea that tasted like gym socks but would knock you flat out” and that resulted in a ton of requests for the recipe.

So I decided to feature Valerian today and give away that recipe, all but two ingredients can be purchased at Amazon, I’ll give a few sources for them in the P.S. below.  Note that the parts below are by volume, not weight…

I make this tea at about 2 heaping tablespoons to the cup, note that this doesn’t taste good.  Frankly it isn’t that bad, I am setting the expectation bar low however, unlike my other teas you are not drinking this one for the flavor.  I do sweeten this one with honey.

I can’t explain this but if you want this tea to work my best results seem to come from going to bed within 30 minutes or less of consuming it. If you wait much longer the effects seem to change to relaxed but alert.  However, if you go strait to bed you generally crash and sleep solid though the night, at least I do.

It also for me seems to increase the vividness of my dreams.  Note that I am a long time student of lucid dreaming and have trained myself to recognize dreams and awaken within them.  This is beyond the scope of this review but there is lots of info online about doing it.   I will talk just a tiny bit about it in today’s on air IOTD segment.

So if you want to give this a try, you can simply mix it up and give it a go, but I will caution that I take no regular medications and I don’t know what interactions these herbs could have with pharmaceuticals.  So please check with your doctor before using these are any herbs if you have any physical conditions or side effects.  Again I am not a doctor or certified herbalist, I am not giving medial advice, I am just telling you my personal experiences.

So check out Frontier Co-op Organic Valerian Root today.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. – The herb you can’t get on Amazon for some reason is Damiana Leaf.  You can make the tea without it, it will still work.  That said it is a wonderful herb that in my view really enhances this tea.  If you skip the Damiana increase the Valerian to 4 parts to rebalance the recipe a bit.

P.S.S.  Here is a simplified recipe if you just want to give it a try without all the other herbs.  Go with 2 parts of Valerian to 1 part of mint.  This will be a quite sedative tea and aid in falling asleep for many people.  Again I recommend hitting the pillow no more than 30 minutes after consuming it.

Miracle of Aloe Heel Stick – Item of the Day

heelstickEvery day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Miracle of Aloe Heel Stick.  I am pretty skeptical when I see any health and wellness product marketed as a “miracle” but after trying this one, I am okay with them claiming it.

I have always struggled with dry heels and sometimes they crack, but when we started actually farming and I dealt with farm work coupled with North Texas very dry winters, it got really bad.  I tried a few things and NOTHING and I mean NOTHING came close to how well this worked.

Not only does it work but this packaging is the perfect solution to simple application.  Most other products have to be put on with your fingers, this results in your hands being coated in thick lotion like product.  I for one dislike this a great deal.  Then you have to wash it off because if you touch anything, it gets all over it.

With this stick approach, I put on my socks up to my heel, apply it, pull the sock up and done.  Clean hands, no wasted product and man this stuff works and works great.  So if you or someone you love suffers from dried or cracked heels give the Miracle of Aloe Heel Stick a try, you won’t regret.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. – For those with diabetes this type of injury can have severe consequences an I think this product is even more important to know about.

 

 

The Herbal Medicine Makers Handbook by James Green – Item of the Day

handbook

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the book, The Herbal Medicine Makers Handbook, A Home Manual by James Green.  If I had to rely on only one book on medicinal herbs and their use it would be this book.

This book is hard to describe in a way as it is almost a dichotomy in itself.  On one hand it is extremely easy to read and highly approachable.  The author starts out with a true project/lesson.  Making a dandelion tincture.  The author does this for a variety of reasons.  First, almost anyone can find dandelion to harvest locally.  Second, the herb is inherently safe to use.  Third, the herb is easy to identify and no dangerous plant even looks remotely like a dandelion.  Fourth, by getting you started with a project out of the gate you gain confidence as you proceed with the book.

This book is written by a guy that uses both humor and humility and never tries to sound smart, he just ends up sounding really smart, because well, he is.  This is not a guy that decided one day that “oh I should gather up some information and write a book about herbs”, rather a man that lives this way who decided to canonize his knowledge into an incredible book.  Yet it is kept incredibly simple with the majority of it based on a core of 30 common herbs.

Then there is the other side.  While easy to read and approachable, this is really like a full course text book on herbal medicines.  Want to know how to make your own simple still from what you likely already have in your home to make a hydrosol?  Well first would you like to know what a hydrosol is and how to use it?  You will learn both in this book.  How about making and using glycerite and 20 herbs that work well in that form?  Yep you will learn that too.  Take the time and work though this book, all 384 pages of it, make at least 2-3 products of every form given and it is like taking a self directed course in herbalism.

One thing to be aware of for some.  The author sort of crosses into the world of shamanism/paganism at times, sayig things like,

“Now that you have properly identified and graciously harvested this plant, offer gratitude one again for its life.  Consider leaving an offering, like a strand of your hair, a prayer, a song, a story, whatever; plant spirits are known to be deeply touched by simple gestures of appreciation.”

While this may be a bit off putting for some, I’d like to point out two things here.  First that showing gratitude is good for our spirits, no matter how you define spirit.  Whether a religious prayer before a meal or simply a thought of I am grateful for this food from a secular perspective, either one builds good character and self reflection.

Second I remember a documentary on Amazon peoples where the tribe decided they needed a new canoe.  A tree was selected and one man selected to fell the tree.  The man said a prayer and spoke to the tree, he apologized for needing to take its life.  He explained that his people would honor the tree’s sacrifice, that the canoe and other parts would serve his people for several generations.  That they would plant a tree from this trees own seed in its place and make sure it was protected so it could grow into a strong tree.

That had to be 25 years ago and I have yet to forget that moment and the words that man said to a tree.  Call such a man a primitive if you want but how much more forest would exist if all trees cut for our needs were cut with such reverence.  Also think about this, that man was about to spend a full day of manual labor to cut that huge tree down.  No chain saws in his tribe and yet he met the task with humility.

So yea there is some woo woo in this book but nothing over the top in my view.  What you get is quality instruction, a true course in home herbal medicine making and concise information to make this practice safe and effective.  Again, if I could only have one book on herbal medicine it would be The Herbal Medicine Makers Handbook, by James Green.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

 

Davidson’s Organic Peppermint Leaves – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Davidson’s Organic Peppermint Leaves which are a great deal at $13.55 a pound.

As many of you know I grow a lot of peppermint on my homestead so you may wonder why I buy this product.

Think of it this way, to make a pound of dry mint you need to harvest about ten pounds.  You then need to dry it, sort it, sift it and then you have your pound.  Now I use fresh mint all the time but I also make up blends for use as daily teas, mead infusions, etc.  If it takes me two hours of jacking around to make a pound of dry mint I can buy for 14 bucks, I am valuing my time at 7 dollars an hour.

It comes down to this…

  • Sheer Volume
  • Ease of Use
  • Value of my Time

My number one use for this product is my daily drinking tea, I love this stuff and try to make up about 4 quarts every time I blend it.  We give some away but I honestly go through about a quart a week.  So we are back to time value equations, do one blending, drink tea for a month.  Here is that recipe.  All parts are measured by volume not weight.

Jacks Morning Blend – Nine Mile Farms Tea

That tea is one every singe person who has tried it loved.  Especially sweetened with stevia.  Another blend I do is simply 50% peppermint to 50% lemon balm.  This makes a great tea on its own, I also make a mead with it at 3 lbs of honey to the gallon, infused with 3/4ths of a cup of this blend.

All by itself it makes a great tea, I use about 4 level tablespoons to my large French Press or about two to a large cup with my Tea Infuser.  If you have paid attention you will notice that Davidson’s is one of my go to’s when it comes to herbs and tea.  They have an incredible value to price ratio, are almost always available in organic and simply taste great.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com along with all of our Amazon reviews.

P.S. – For some reason Amazon has lumped ALL Davidson’s tea reviews together, this renders the reviews on this item essentially useless.

Frontier Whole Chamomile Flower Tea – Item of the Day

chamomtea

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Frontier Whole Chamomile Flower which is sold by the pound.  This stuff is awesome, I use it in many of my teas and in my infamous “Three Flowers Blend” for mead.

There is a lot to like about this item.  First and this is important to me, these are whole flowers as you can see in the photo above.  I have purchased many different brands of chamomile and many times I have gotten what looked more like dust and chaff than whole flowers.

Next this is an Organic product.  I would love to buy organic or local all the time, but we all have financial limits.  With herbs though, especially in bulk you can generally justify the very small cost increase.  This product is actually less per pound than some competing non organic options.

Lastly is taste, and face it if you don’t get good flavor what is the point.  Any medicinal or nutritional value is going to be depleted if flavor is depleted.  This stuff has a wonderful sweet flavor and a characterist I can only describe as “buttery”.

Here are some of my favorite recipes for using this stuff.

Jacks Morning Blend – Nine Mile Farms Tea

Spearmint Orange Winter Warmer Tea

Both of these are best made with a quality tea infuser or a French Press.  When I make them with a french press I use four tablespoons for my first batch and then just add 1 additional tablespoon for each additional batch that day.

Three Flowers Blend (3FB)

Three Flowers Blend started as a tea, frankly I didn’t really like it as a hot or even a cold tea.  The heather imparts a bitterness that isn’t really pleasant in a sipping tea.  But it intrigued me so I tried making a mead with it and man was it amazing.  People love it.

Per gallon of mead, use 3/4th of a cup of 3FB, 3 pounds of honey and 1 Tablespoon of Fermax.  Ferment for 30 days with a pack each of Cuvee and Pasteur Blanc yeast.  Rack and ferment at least 15 more days until completely clear.  Then bottle.

Finally I want to point out that Frontier Whole Chamomile Flower tea is damn good all by itself.  Just about 2 tablespoons to the large cup or 1 tablespoon to a standard tea cup and it is wonderful tea.  It is also a great ingredient in herbal salves and in soap making.

Additionally chamomile is wonderful for bees, just make a concentrated tea with your French Press, dump that into your sugar syrup when you are making it up and feed as normal.  DO NOT put loose leaf tea directly into your syrup, it will make a mess you can’t imagine.   I don’t know this from experience, I know it from common sense, trust me on it.

Also did you know Chamomile tea suppresses mold?  I have learned this growing micro greens.  I just make up a strong tea and put it in a spray bottle and spray young micro greens with it to suppress mold from messing them up and it works great.  I also toss a pinch in my sunflower soaking bucket for my sunflower spouts for the birds and no mold.

Lastly, chamomile also makes wonderful herbal cough drops you can make yourself, here is an article on doing that with any herbs of your choice.  It is super easy and much better than what you buy in the store.

So with all that going for it consider adding Frontier Whole Chamomile Flower to your pantry and preps today.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. – You will note that all the links above are for one pound bags. I buy in bulk because it is cheaper, they store forever if you put them in sealed ball jars and I use a lot.

You will also note that all of the linked items are Davidson’s, Frontier or Starwest Botanicals.  I have never been unhappy with any of these companies.  So I usually shop all three for any bulk herb and pick the best price because to me they are all beyond stellar.  The one exception is heather flowers, because they do not carry them.  If you want to make some 3FB just know 4 ounces of heather flower is a LOT of heather and unlike many other herbs you likely won’t use it for many other things.