Spicy Herbs & The Metal Element

How is it November already!? Like many of you, I’m surprised once again of how quickly time passes. We are deep into Autumn and the holiday season is quickly approaching. Many of you know that in Chinese medicine theory,  there are 5 Elements or Phases that have several correspondences, including a season. Autumn is associated with the Metal Element, as are the organ systems of the lungs and large intestines, the emotions of grief and acceptance, and the flavor of spicy.

Element Metal
Season Autumn
Color White
Environment Dry
Phase of Life Harvest
Organ Systems Lungs/Large Intestine
Flavor Spicy (Acrid, Pungent)
Sense Organ Nose
Tissue Skin
Emotion Grief/Acceptance
Sound  Crying
Entity Po- Corporeal Soul
Animal Tiger

Each element has a flavor or taste attached to it. In Chinese herbalism, flavors have very specific actions and can travel to precise areas of the body. Understanding the energetics of herbs and foods is essential in combining effective formulas.

The spicy flavor of the herbs has the specific function of dispersing Qi (vital life force energy) from the external part of the body, called the Wei Qi. You’re probably thinking, Ok, so what does dispersing qi from the external part of the body mean?

When qi is dispersed throughout the Wei Qi, the pores open and sweating occurs- reducing body temperature and pushing external pathogens, or “evil qi” out of the body. When someone has a strong Wei Qi, the pathogens that cause cold or flu are pushed out of the body. If there is a weak Wei Qi, the immune system is not strong enough to fight off the pathogen and frequent and recurrent colds may occur. A weakened Wei Qi can also be associated with Lung Qi deficiency  that manifests as seasonal allergies, asthma and even eczema.

After twenty years of studying herbal medicine and ten years as an acupuncturist, I have Resolve Amazon Picyears of experience working with all of these conditions. My love of aromatic plants and Chinese Medicine is what inspired me to create my Baker Botanica 5 Element Essential Oil line. Resolve, my Metal Element blend includes spicy herbs like Eucalyptus radiata, Douglas Fir, Scots Pine, and Tulsi (Holy) Basil.  Terpenes in Holy Basil are proven anti-pyretics (fever reducers) and Eucalyptus radiata is not only safe for children, but also has strong anti-bacterial and expectorant properties. The delicate notes of Douglas Fir and the sharpness of Scots Pine provide additional anti-microbial properties.

The therapeutic properties of aromatic plants are well documented, not only in Chinese medicine, but also from medicines around the world. Today most of us have access to highly medicinal plants and we don’t even think about. Rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, fennel, cilantro, parsley, garlic, onions, and scallions are found in grocery stores around the world, and although we think of them as culinary herbs, we have forgotten how they have been used as medicine for centuries.

To find out more about spicy herbs, the Metal Element (including our corporeal soul, Po) and more, check out the first episode of Season 2 of my podcast, The Herb Walk with Jessica Baker on iTunes. And please Subscribe and leave a review so I can serve you better!

I almost hate to say it, but the holy days are just around the corner. For fresh ideas, check out my Baker Botanica 5 Element Blends (purchase one or the entire set!) and my book, Plant Songs: Reflections on Herbal Medicine, both available on Amazon.

With love,

JessicaBakerPic 

Jessica

when energy flows, wellness grows

Elder Rose Immuni-Tea Recipe

Brrrrrrr…a cold, wet storm has been hovering over Colorado for the last few days. The leaves have turned, and I see the squirrels scurry around preparing for the coming Winter, I have been wearing my scarf and gloves, but for the first time since I moved to Denver, I am not lamenting the coming cold.

I am excited to make more oatmeal congees, where I will add butter and honey, cinnamon, ginger, jujube dates, and citrus peel. I look forward to big pots of beans and stewed roots. I will have early nights of reading by dimmed lights, with a warm cup of herbal tea by my side. Just writing about it makes me want to cuddle up with a good book.

I’ve been drinking a really delicious tea lately and it is perfect for not only warming heart and soul on cold nights, it is also full of flavonoids and proanthocyanidins, which have shown to fight infections and reduce effects of colds and flu. I drink a couple of cups each morning, but you can have up to a quart a day if you so desire.

Elder Rose Immuni-Tea

2 ounces dried Elderberries (Sambucus nigra)

2 ounces dried Citrus peel (Citrus reticulata) organic or unsprayed; I use mandarin or tangerine peels

1/2 ounce dried Red Rose petals (Rosa centifola) organic or unsprayed

1/2 ounce dried Milky Oats (Avena sativa)

1/4 ounce dried Nettle leaf (Urtica dioica) 

Mix all ingredients together and store in a glass jar in a cool, dark location. Use 2-3 tbsp of herbs per 2 cups of tea. Boil water and pour hot water over herbs for 10-20 minutes, cover with lid. Strain herbs and set aside to use one more time (if steeped for less than 20 minutes). Add honey if desired. Sip and feel the herbs nourish and strengthen your body, mind, and spirit.

To find out more about making infusion, watch my Youtube video How To Make An Herbal Infusion, subscribe to my Youtube channel and watch videos on Chinese medicine, Western herbalism, Aromatherapy and more!

With love,

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Jessica Baker, LAc, RH (AHG)

when energy flows, wellness grows

Berry Blossom Sun Tea Recipe

Here on the coast of Northern California, the mist-covered mornings is a nice reprieve to he harsh sun and dry heat of Denver. The fog hugs the coast in an intimate embrace thanks to what is left of the ancient redwood canopy.  I am grateful for the cool breeze and grey skies.

The rhythm of the waves lulls me to sleep each night and the birdsongs sing me awake each morning. I am reminded me that this is when I am happiest. I know that among the trees and by the sea is where I’m meant to be. One day it will be again. Until then I cherish the moments I am here.

I walk around our land and am surrounded by blackberries (Himalayan, which are quite invasive, but the bees love them), huckleberries, and salal berries. Patches of daisies, roses, and foxglove are scattered along side the plantain, horsetail, and self-heal. It’s an herbalist dream around here. I am grateful to have access to these herbal treasures.

I look forward to the berries that will be plentiful soon! Until then I may take a blackberry blossom or two (if the bees allow) for an afternoon sun tea. I have many iterations of “yard” tea, but the fruit blossom teas are some of my all time favorite!

You can use any blossom that grows (unsprayed) around you.

Berry Blossom Sun Tea

Handful of blossoms from your favorite berry bush:

Blackberry, Huckleberry, Raspberry, Salal Berry, Blueberry, Boysenberry

In full sun, steep berry blossoms in 2 cups of spring water for at least one hour. Sip and enjoy the delicate flavor!

For more tea and other herbal recipes, check out my book, Plant Songs: Reflections on Herbal Medicine 

My new 5 Element Essential Oil Blends are Now Available on my website, www.bakerbotanica.com    Check them out and let me know what you think!

 

With love,

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Jessica

Elderberry Dreaming on a Winter’s Day

December is here already and I am as shocked as everyone else. I’m back in Denver and the nights are cold and windy. There isn’t any snow in the city and I hate to say that I am glad!

I can hear people sniffling and coughing around me as I’m out and about. It’s a good reminder to keep my immunity strong! Small things like washing your hands frequently (many people don’t wash door handles or light switches) and eating nutrient dense foods like soups and stews will be a big help in staving off other people’s germs.

I also drink elderberry tea every morning, switching up the other ingredients depending on what I have going on.

My 3 favorite Elderberry blends:

1 tsp Elderberries, 1 tsp Hawthorn berries, 2 inch piece of Citrus peel – I make this on those days of over-indulgence, where there may just be a cookie or two enjoyed

1 tsp Elderberries, 1 tsp Yarrow flowers, 1 tsp Peppermint– This is my go-to when I begin to feel that chill or fever coming on and I need to kick it out

1 tsp Elderberries, 1 tsp Rose petals, 1 inch piece of Citrus peel– This is my base tea on most days. I drink as is or add an herb or two that is calling me that day.

Steep herbs in 8 ounces of hot water for 15 minutes. Strain and drink while warm.

I’d love to hear what herbs you like with elderberry!

For the love of plants,

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Jessica

when energy flows, wellnes grows

 

Treating the Common Cold with Essential Oils

In Chinese Medicine, we distinguish whether the common cold is either wind-heat or wind-cold.

This differentiation is important because we treat each syndrome differently. This recipe is good for those with wind-cold. Some of the symptoms may include a slight fever, slight sweating, chills, body aches, no thirst, itchy throat, and an occipital headache.

Concentrated Essential Oil Blend:
3 drops rosemary essential oil
3 drops lemongrass essential oil
2 drops ginger essential oil
2 drops pine essential oil
3 drops thyme linalool essential oil

Instructions: 

  1. Put 5 to 7 drops of essential oil blend in a bowl of hot water, place a towel over your head and lean over the bowl inhaling deeply
  2. For topical use, dilute essential oils in 2 ounces carrier oil and rub on neck, shoulders and lymph nodes

Here’s to feeling better this fall season!

Harvest Moon Elixir Recipe

Happy Harvest Moon!! May the fruits of your love be blessed with abundance and joy!

I love the Harvest Moon so much that my husband and I chose to be married ten years ago on the date of the Harvest Moon, the first full moon after the Autumn Equinox. We had a private ceremony on the cliffs above Luffenholtz Beach, the first place we went when we moved to Humboldt County twenty years ago. Two decades later our love burns bright.

To celebrate our love for each other and for harvest season I want to share one of my favorite recipes with you. Harvest flowers under the light of the full moon. If you are using dried flowers, prepare the elixir outside. If you have a significant other, harvest and prepare elixir together.

Harvest Moon Elixir

1 bundle of yarrow flowers

2 wild roses

2 organic cannabis buds

Place flowers in a clean, glass quart jar. Fill jar with fresh spring water and cover with a lid. Place jar in a location where the full moon is in sight and can infuse the elixir throughout the night. In the morning, strain out flowers and sip infusion throughout the day. Share with the one you love the most.

For the love of plants,

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Jessica

when energy flows, wellness grows

Photo credit: Chrystalinks

 

Simple & Nourishing Tisane

I’m paying homage to my first herb teacher, Jane Bothwell, with my recipe post today.

This was probably one of the first herbal blends I ever made, and definitely the first I drank that wasn’t Celestial Seasonings Chamomile, Peppermint, or Sleepy Time.

I remember Jane speaking of each plant with love and reverence. Although I hadn’t really been exposed to herbalism, everything she said made sense. The way she spoke about herbs resonated deep within me and I knew at that very first class that herbalism would be a part of my life.

Thank you Jane for sparking my passion for herbal medicine!

Simple & Nourishing Herbal Tisane

1 handful of Nettles

1 handful of Milky Oats or Oatstraw

1 handful of Spearmint

1 handful of Red Raspberry leaves

If you have access to these herbs fresh- perfect! If not, dried is wonderful too!

Steep herbs in 1 quart of boiled water and steep for 15-20 minutes (or sit for a couple of hours in the sun)

Strain herbs (or not- herbalists like to strain through their teeth, lol!)

Sip and be nourished.

 

With love,

 

Jessica

After Sun Skin Soother

I’ve tried to spend more time outside the last few days to get in as much as I can of the last of summer. My skin is feeling a little tight and dry and I need to make sure it stays moist and supple before the cold, dry air hits Colorado.

This is one of my favorite blends for nourishing skin after a day out in the sun.

After Sun Skin Soother

2 ounces of Comfrey and Calendula infused Apricot Kernel or Olive Oil

5 drops Lavender Essential Oil

5 drops Carrot Seed Essential Oil

3 drops Helichrysum Essential Oil

2 drops Hemp Essential Oil 

Blend essential oils into carrier oil and mix well. Apply to the entire body after a long day in the sun. It’s also wonderful after being in the pool, river, lake, or ocean.

All of these essential oils have properties that will heal damaged skin and repair oxidative stress. 

With love,

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Jessica 

when energy flows, wellness grows

 

Strong Woman Tea

In preparation for my class at this year’s Red Earth Herbal Gathering (August 19-20 in Longmont, Colorado- tickets still available!) I want to share this nourishing and delicious sun tea to support women’s health and wellbeing. This is one of my go-to teas when I feel fatigued, overwhelmed, or out of balance. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Strong Woman Tea

2 tbsp Red Raspberry leaf

1 tbsp Milky Oat tops

1 tbsp Marshmallow root

1 tsp Vitex seeds

1 tsp Nettle leaf

Place all herbs into a glass quart jar and cover with filtered tap water or spring water. Set in the sun for 4 hours or so. Strain out herbs and drink the tea over the next couple of days. You will feel great!

With love,

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Jessica

when energy flows, wellness grows

Lemon Balm Lemonade Recipe

July is hot here in Denver and there’s nothing like a refreshing glass of iced cold lemonade. I know, I know. As an acupuncturist I shouldn’t encourage drinking iced beverages, but I am making an exception for this cooling and medicinal lemonade!

Lemon Balm Lemonade (aka: Melissa’s Lemonade)

Handful of fresh lemon balm

6 lemons

1/2 cup honey (more if desired)

1 cup boiling water

3 cups spring water

Ice

Scrub lemons, peel the rind thinly avoiding the white; set aside.

Place the lemon rind, lemon balm leaves and the honey into a small heat-proof pitcher.  Pour the boiling water into the pitcher and stir well, crushing the lemon balm leaves to release their flavor.  Let steep 15 minutes.

Cut lemons in half and squeeze out the juice.  Strain juice into pitcher, add a few fresh sprigs of lemon balm, then add the cooled, strained syrup.  Top with water and ice. Take a long drink and enjoy!

With love,

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Jessica

 

when energy flows, wellness grows

A Peaceful Journey

May has been one full of dramatic changes. It hasn’t just been the weather, where we have had 80 degree days, thunderstorms, hail and snow all within a couple of weeks. The shifts have also been of heart and soul.

Many of us are coming to grips with the undeniable injustices that are occurring all over the place. These horrific acts have always been happening, but now with the internet we know exactly when they happen and sometimes we even get a live feed.

We want to know what’s happening so we can try to change it. I just don’t know if our psyches are able to assimilate all the information that comes at us in newsfeeds, notifications, and pop-ups.

I know for me it is overwhelming and downright obnoxious. Knowledge is power, but a lot of what we see is not knowledge, but distraction and opinion pieces that look like real news. How are we supposed to know what is important and relevant and what is just written to rile us up.

As I sit here upset with the way things are, I remember that I can help change what I don’t like to see in the world. My place is just to remind others, and myself, that it is our relationship with Nature that will bring about the greatest peace. I just have to find peace within myself and then I will be much more peaceful and loving towards others (easier said than done!).

Here’s my Peaceful Journey Blend that I will be dousing myself with all day today, and probably the next 4 years! Remember, use organic and ethically wild-crafted herbs and essential oils whenever possible! And use those precious essential oils sparingly!!

Peaceful Journey Blend 

3 drops Mt. Shasta Lavender essential oil- relaxes NS, reduces anxiety

3 drops Clary Sage essential oil- brings clarity to thoughts and feelings

2 drops Mandarin essential oil- transforms energy

2 drops Frankincense essential oil- reduces pain and sorrow

Add all essential oils to 1 ounce carrier oil (I Love apricot kernel oil). Mix well. Put in a roll-on bottle and anoint yourself when you need clarity and relaxation.

With love,

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Jessica

when energy flows, wellness grows 

Floral Sun Tea Recipe

Vibes are high as the warm weather pervades Colorado and the sun motivates me to do more, feel more, be more!
Today’s recipe is one of my favorite herbal sun teas. I like to set out first thing in the morning and then enjoy in the late afternoon as a cooling remedy for my body and soul. On a really hot day, I’ll add ice (don’t tell my fellow acupuncturists!)

The best way to make sun tea to me is not to measure, but feel out how much of each herb to use. Clinically it’s important to measure herbs, but for the purpose of a fun sun tea- use your imagination!

Floral Sun Tea (fresh if possible)

A handful each of: rose petals, calendula and violet flowers, nettle leaves

A few milky oat tops

A small amount of red raspberry leaves 

Steep for a few hours in the sun and enjoy!!

 

With love,

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Jessica 

When energy flows, wellness grows 

A Common Sense Approach to Cleansing

So many people are obsessed with Spring cleanses. I enjoy a good cleanse, but I think it is often misunderstood and steeped in the idea that we are “dirty”, “unclean” and “impure.” I disagree with this notion (and think our patriarchal religions have contributed to this way of thinking.)

A Spring cleanse is important when we have been eating heavy or fatty foods that are needed in the Winter to keep us warm and nurtured through the long, cold months. A cleanse should be a nice break for the liver, which has to process everything we take into our bodies, including emotions.

For me I like my cleanse to last about a week. For 2-3 days I just eat simply. I like to have steamed vegetables and greens, well cooked rice or quinoa, and I drink only water and an herbal tea of dandelion flowers & greens, violet leaves & flowers, milky oat tops and horsetail. Then for 1-2 days only I will have only water, herbal tea, and diluted fruit and vegetable juice (my favorite juice is carrot, beet, kale, ginger and lemon). If I feel I need more sustenance, I will have one or two servings of steamed vegetables. Then another day or two of eating simply. That’s it! 

I don’t condone a cleanse that requires a ton of supplements. That is not giving your liver a much needed break. Which is the point of a cleanse! Be gentle with yourself, go slow and observe how eating simply feels within your body.

Lovin’ Myself Like Spring Teadandelion-tea-photo

1 tbsp Dandelion flowers & greens

1 tbsp Violet leaves & flowers

1 tbsp Milky oat tops

1 tbsp Horsetail 

If using fresh herbs, use 3 tbsp instead of 1 tbsp 

Add all herbs to 2 cups of hot water. Steep for 10-15 minutes. The tea will get bitter, but try to drink without sweetener. If it is too bitter, steep for only 5 minutes. Strain herbs and drink throughout the day. Try to have at least 2-3 cups of herbal tea each day during your cleanse.

With love,

JessicaBaker

Jessica 

when energy flows, wellness grows 

Aromatic Wood Element Blend

Spring seems to be in full swing here in Denver, with the days getting up in the 70’s and the nights still dipping into the 30’s. I Love this time of year! I feel the renewed spirit of the Earth, as the longer days warm me deep within my core.

For others, Spring starts getting that Yang rising! Irritability, frustration, lack of focus and burn out can already be starting for those with a Wood element/phase imbalance.

This blend really helps me when I feel tension building in my neck and shoulders or I find it hard to take a deep breath in moments of impatience, anger or worry. As always use organic and/or ethically wild harvested herbs and essential oils.

Let It Flow Blend

3 drops Chamomile essential oil (Tanacetum is great to use too, and way less expensive)

3 drops St. Johns Wort essential oil

3 drops Myrrh essential oil 

3 drops Conifer essential oil (Pinyon pine, Douglas Fir, your choice!)

Add all essential oils (play around with what you blend first- it will give insight into the alchemy of plants as you notice the change in aroma depending on what gets added together first- use the blend even if you don’t Love the smell, these concentrated plant medicines are not to be wasted) to 1 ounces of Carrier Oil like Olive Oil, Apricot kernel or your oil of choice. I like to put my blends in roll-on bottles, that way I can carry with me and use easily anywhere I am. 

I’d love to hear how your blending goes!

With love,

jessicabaker

Jessica 

5 Element Recipe post

 

Chinese medicine is rooted in the knowledge that humans are cosmic beings of this Earth that are intricately connected to the rhythms of nature.

Use this blend when you need balance, clarity or harmony in your life.

Elemental Essences

Fire (Summer)- 3 drops St. John’s Wort essential oil

Earth (Center)- 2 drops Mandarin essential oil

Metal (Autumn)- 2 drops Himalayan Mint essential oil

Water (Winter)- 3 drops Pink Lotus absolute

Wood (Spring)- 2 drops Douglas Fir essential oil

Add all essential oils to a carrier oil (olive, apricot kernel, coconut) and put in a 1 ounce glass bottle. Apply the oil to your heart, head or low back when feeling fatigued, overwhelmed or out of sorts.

With love,

jessicabaker

Jessica

when energy flows, wellness grows

Community Herbal Classes in Denver

I have had so much on my plate lately that I haven’t been able to focus on doing one of the things I love so much- teaching people about the powers of herbalism!

That is why I am so happy to announce I have scheduled 5 upcoming herb classes. All classes will be held at Urban Sanctuary at 2745 Welton Street Denver, CO 80205

Tuesday Feb 28th

6pm-7:30pm 

Intro to Herbalism          

This donation based class is offered to give you a brief overview of western and Chinese herbalismherbal energetics, aromatherapy, and plant spirit medicine. I’m interested in knowing what the community wants to learn about so I can offer classes according to your needs. A 4-part herbal series begins Thursday March 16th.

Thursdays March 16, 23, 30, April 6

7pm-8:30pm 

4- week Community Herbalism Series

This is a 4-week series that will include Western & Chinese herbal energetics, aromatherapy, herbal medicine making and plant spirit medicine. Please come with an open mind and an open heart. Drop-in available is the series doesn’t fill. Limit is 15 people.  $50/series, $15/class

I’m also hosting a Community Acupuncture clinic to offer services to those that may not be able to afford a private session.

Friday March 10 12pm-2pm

Community Acupuncture Clinic

img_0307$10-20 suggested donation, Walk-in only

Your session will be in the yoga room. There may be up to 8 people receiving acupuncture at the same time. You will be lying on a mat, supported with blankets and bolsters. Auricular (ear) acupuncture will be provided and body points may be used in some cases. The intention of this community acupuncture is to help heal the collective trauma we have all experienced.  More community acupuncture clinics to come. (photo credit: AWB)

Contact Jessica at 707.499.8587 or jbakerlac@gmail.com to register for classes.

I hope to see you there!

With love,

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Jessica

Warm those Achy Muscles

The snow has finally arrived in Denver and I can feel the cold seep into my muscles and joints. I make this blend to use for guasha or cupping, as it is warming and alleviates aches and pains. This oil can also be massaged into sore muscles- but I recommend using gloves, as this blend contains essential oils that are known to cause irritation and redness of the skin. If you don’t use gloves, wash your hands thoroughly before you touch any delicate mucus membranes (eyes, mouth, genitalia). I learned this the hard way…many times!

Warm Those Achy Muscles Blend

3 drops artemisia alba essential oil (warming, enters all primary meridians)

3 drops st. john’s wort essential oil (cooling, uplifts spirit, reduces nerve and muscle pain)

2 drops cinnamon bark essential oil (warming, tonifies kidneys and mingmen)

2 drops pine essential oil (warming, transforms cold, reduces aches and pains)

Dilute essential oils in 1 ounce carrier oil (apricot, olive or sesame). Pour into glass bottle with dropper lid. Drop 4-8 drops into your gloved palm and massage into painful muscles or joints.

Caution: This will cause redness and irritation of the skin. If warming is too intense, lather area with coconut oil or soap. Rinse skin and apply unscented lotion or cream.

May this blend warm you, body and soul.

With love,

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Jessica

When energy flows, wellness grows

Photo credit: Tom Merton/Getty Images

Winter Solstice Anointing Oil

Winter Solstice marks the shortest day and longest night of the year. It is celebrated as the turning of the wheel and the return of the Sun. We are in rhythm with these holy days and we feel our own energy slowly begin to rise as our yang energy increases with the sun.

This essential oil blend honors the holy season of spiritual rebirth with Frankincense, Myrrh and Hemp and celebrates the return of the sun with Saint John’s Wort. It is divine!

Winter Solstice Blendfrankincense-essential-oil

1 ounce Apricot Kernel Oil

3 drops Frankincense essential oil

3 drops Myrrh essential oil

2 drops Hemp essential oil

2 drops St. John’s Wort essential oil

Add essential oils to Apricot kernel oil, one at a time, blending completely between each addition. Pour into a 1 ounce roll-on bottle. Anoint yourself and your loved ones on the top of the head, temples, chest, and lower back.

Invoke the energy of the sun and give thanks for the warmth, light and life it provides.

With love,

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Jessica

Photo credit: Organic Facts

Solution for the Holiday Hustle

Herbs and essential oils are some of my favorite allies to combat the stress of the holiday rush. Instead of stalking the malls, I choose to walk among the conifers that have been here for millennia. I inhale their resinous aroma and instantly breathe deeper. Evergreens, like redwoods, pines and firs are some of our oldest ancestors, and their resiliency is transmitted to us, simply by being  in their presence.

I share with you one of my favorite blends for honoring the vitality and strength in all of us.

Holiday Hustle Spritz

2 ounces Spring Water

5 drops Douglas Fir (or conifer of choice) essential oil

4 drops Clary Sage essential oil

4 drops Mandarin essential oil

2 drops Spearmint essential oil

Add each essential oil separately to the spring water, blending thoroughly between each one. Pour mixture into a 2-ounce glass spritzer bottle.

Spray as needed for energy, inspiration and grounding amidst all the holiday madness. Inhale and appreciate that it’s necessary to take time to slow down, breathe and relax.

If you find yourself stressed out, contemplate on what you are getting caught up in. If you are worried about what to buy someone you love, know that your friendship and love are the greatest gifts you can give someone this holiday season. Your presence is all they truly desire.

With Love,

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Jessica

apple cider

Recipe: Spooky Spiced Apple Cider

Spiced cider is one of my favorite things about fall. I always look forward to making my herbal cider recipe, which I like to drink on cold nights.

Ingredients:
1 quart Apple Juice
3 cinnamon sticks
1-3 inch piece of ginger
1/2 tablespoon clove powder
Handful of dried or fresh orange peel
Handful of dried hawthorn berries

Instructions: 

  1. Simmer together for 30-45 minutes:
  2. Turn off the heat. Let mixture cool slightly and then strain out the herbs.
  3. Add a generous helping of bourbon or whiskey to the warm cider, inhale deeply and drink.

Happy Halloween!