Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Spring Tonic Syrup

Elderberry (Sambucus) is known as an immune boosting flu remedy but did you know it purifies the blood and circulatory system? Making it a a great (and tasty) spring tonic, but is often overlooked as one. This little berry can do wonders helping us transition from one season to the next.

Here's a syrup I just made the other day for my family to use as a spring tonic. You can put this on pancakes, ice cream or just take a couple of tsp everyday. My kids like to mix it in with their water to make tea in a roundabout way. Hey, whatever works, right?!

~Spring Tonic Syrup~

1c. dried elderberries 
1/2 c. dried rose hips
1/8 c. dried licorice
1/8 c. dried ginger
1 cinnamon stick
2 c. honey
4 cups water

Combine all ingredients in a soup pot. Bring to an almost a boil and reduce to low heat and simmer for 20 minutes or so. Strain into a clean glass jar or bottle, using a mesh strainer. Add in honey and keep it in the fridge for up to 2 months.

Next time I make this I am going to play around with the recipe more and maybe add some dandelion, nettles and violets to this for the next batch.  (We'll have all three in abundance by the time we run out of our current supply!)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Spring Cleansing "Roots" Soup

This nourishing soup boosts immunity and is also a wonderful spring tonic. Spring tonics help add vitamins and minerals to your diet and gently cleanse the lymphatic system. They can be taken for a week or so as you acclimate to the warmer weather and need a boost and cleanse from higher fat and starchy winter diets. This "root soup" is good for strengthening the lungs, purifying the blood and cleansing to the liver and gallbladder. It is also useful for treating colds, sinus infections, arthritis and gout.

Here's a quick lowdown on how these roots cleanse and tone the vital organ systems;

Dandelion root- Liver tonic. Promotes bile flow.

Burdock root-Cleanses the digestive system as well as the lymphatic system. It is immune boosting to boot!

Astragalus- Increases the production of white blood cells and strengthens the immune system. Is a great energy tonic.

Ginger- Ginger is a wonderful circulatory and digestive stimulant.

Garlic & Onions- Are good immune boosters.

You can find fresh burdock, dandelion, astragalus, sea veggies and the shitake mushrooms at your local co-op or health food store. Dried can be substituted for fresh but fresh is optimal. You can reconstitute dried roots by soaking them in water for a bit. Slice thinly.

1 ounce dried astragalus root
4 ounces fresh dandelion root
4 ounces fresh burdock root
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root
1 tablespoon dried kelp, dulse, or other sea vegetable
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
7 medium-size fresh shiitake mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, minced
herbs and seasonings to taste
1/2 cup miso paste

Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil and reduce heat. Add astragalus, dandelion, burdock, ginger, and sea vegetable; cover and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. Strain, return broth to pot, and keep over medium heat. In a saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat; add onion and mushrooms, and saute until tender. Add garlic; saute for a few more minutes. Add entire mixture to broth. Turn off heat, and stir in miso paste. Season to taste.

This makes 3 qts of soup.

(This post was originally posted on April 4th, 2009. Reposting to kick off my spring tonic week!)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Self Care Sunday - April's Bliss Sugar Scrub Glow

This is a series devoted to easy to make body care recipes for self care! I hope you enjoy!

~April's Bliss Sugar Scrub Glow~

1 c. organic raw sugar
1 c. powdered organic rose petals
1 tsp. organic vanilla extract
2-4 tbsp. organic carrier oil (olive/almond/avocado/jojoba)

Combine all ingredients and mix well with a fork. Store in a glass jar with a lid and let sit overnight to let the vanilla infuse into the dried mixture..

When your ready to mix up an application in a separate dish, you can add  2-4 Tbsp. of oil to 1/2 cup of salt per application. (You can basically play with the consistency..) You want it to be thick enough to scoop up with your hand or a spoon.

To use; scoop or spoon some into the palm of your hand and rub generously over elbows, knees, arms, legs, feet & hands and rinse well. Your skin will be silky soft! If you want to make the scrub extra aromatic you could add a few drops of rose otto and/ chamomile essential oil  or infuse the carrier oil with a vanilla bean. Mmmmm!!!

Mine are adorned with some whole roses just for prettyness sake.. If you choose to do this, just scoop these out of your bath/shower so they don't clog up the drain!