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Category Archives: Better Health

The Daniel Plan…

The Daniel Plan focuses on the core food groups of healthy carbs, healthy fats, healthy protein, healing spices, drinks, and super foods. And The Daniel Plan gives an easy guideline to use for any meal:

50 percent non-starchy veggies
25 percent healthy animal or vegetable proteins
25 percent healthy starch or whole grains
Side of low-glycemic fruit
Drink—water or herbal ice teas with

The Daniel Plan focuses on the core food groups of healthy carbs, healthy fats, healthy protein, healing spices, drinks, and super foods. And The Daniel Plan gives an easy guideline to use for any meal:

50 percent non-starchy veggies
25 percent healthy animal or vegetable proteins
25 percent healthy starch or whole grains
Side of low-glycemic fruit
Drink—water or herbal ice teas with

Cabbage and Vegetable Soup,,,,

½ head of cabbage, chopped
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup white or yellow onion, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chicken broth
14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
and cayenne pepper
Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
Add celery, onions, bell peppers, and carrots.
Saute until slightly tender.
Stir in garlic.
Pour in chicken broth.
Stir in tomatoes and cabbage.
Bring to a boil and then reduce heat.
Cook until cabbage is tender.
Stir in oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, black pepper and salt (if using)
Taste broth and adjust seasoning if needed.

How To Make Your Own Super-Healthy Detox Tea —- from Herbs-info.com

I haven’t tried this yet, but I already drink Lemon water with ginger… so I’ll just add a few more ingredients..ET

I haven’t


I’m back in Austin after a wonderful whirlwind of a weekend in Omaha and Des Moines. I had such an amazing time and the event was a total success! I received so many wonderful comments and messages the next day from people saying they came away from the event feeling inspired and motivated to make changes in their own lives! One lovely lady drove all the way from Minnesota just for the event! She said she recently started incorporating my green smoothies into her routine and has already lost 15lbs!! I am so flattered that you drove all that way, Denise and am so excited to hear more about your progress!!

Linda Wagner's Detox E-Books are HERE!!

Today I was ready for a little detox and so I made a variation of my favorite Lemon Ginger Detox Tea. The ingredients pack a powerful punch and act as an anti-inflammatory, anti-infective, antioxidant, lymph system cleanser and more.

I’ve already talked about how amazing Lemon Water is on it’s own but just look at the added benefits you get when adding ginger, turmeric, and cayenne!


  • Ovarian Cancer Treatment: Ginger may be powerful weapon in the treatment of ovarian cancer. A study conducted at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center found that ginger powder induces cell death in all ovarian cancer cells to which it was applied.
  • Colon Cancer Prevention: A study at the University of Minnesota found that ginger may slow the growth of colorectal cancer cells.
  • Morning Sickness: A review of several studies has concluded that ginger is just as effective as vitamin B6 in the treatment of morning sickness.
  • Motion Sickness Remedy: Ginger has been shown to be an effective remedy for the nausea associated with motion sickness.
  • Reduces Pain and Inflammation: One study showed that ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and is a powerful natural painkiller.
  • Heartburn Relief: Ginger has long been used as a natural heartburn remedy. It is most often taken in the form of tea for this purpose.
  • Cold and Flu Prevention and Treatment: Ginger has long been used as a natural treatment for colds and the flu. Many people also find ginger to be helpful in the case of stomach flus or food poisoning, which is not surprising given the positive effects ginger has upon the digestive tract.
  • Migraine Relief: Research has shown that ginger may provide migraine relief due to its ability to stop prostaglandins from causing pain and inflammation in blood vessels.
  • Menstrual Cramp Relief: In Chinese medicine, ginger tea with brown sugar is used in the treatment of menstrual cramps. (source)


  • It is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent.
  • When combined with cauliflower, it has shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth of existing prostate cancer.
  • Prevented breast cancer from spreading to the lungs in mice.
  • May prevent melanoma and cause existing melanoma cells to commit suicide.
  • Reduces the risk of childhood leukemia.
  • Is a natural liver detoxifier.
  • May prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by removing amyloyd plaque buildup in the brain.
  • May prevent metastases from occurring in many different forms of cancer.
  • It is a potent natural anti-inflammatory that works as well as many anti-inflammatory drugs but without the side effects.
  • Has shown promise in slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis in mice.
  • Is a natural painkiller and cox-2 inhibitor.
  • May aid in fat metabolism and help in weight management.
  • Has long been used in Chinese medicine as a treatment for depression.
  • Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it is a natural treatment for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Has been shown to stop the growth of new blood vessels in tumors.
  • Speeds up wound healing and assists in remodeling of damaged skin.
  • May help in the treatment of psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions. (source)


  • Anti-Cold & Flu Agent: When you have a cold or flu, cayenne pepper helps break up congested mucus and gets it moving. Once the mucus starts to leave your body, you will get some relief from many of the flu symptoms you may be experiencing.
  • Anti-Fungal Properties: The results of one study indicated that cayenne pepper could effectively prevent the formation of the fungal pathogens.
  • Migraine Headache Prevention: Many naturopaths have known of the health benefits of cayenne pepper, especially for migraine symptoms.
  • Anti-Allergen: Cayenne is a wonderful anti-inflammatory agent and may even help relieve allergies.
  • Digestive Aid: This spice is a well-known digestive aid. It stimulates the digestive tract, increasing the flow of enzyme production and gastric juices. This, in turn, aids the body’s ability to metabolize the food (and toxins) we take into the system. Cayenne pepper is also a wonderful medicinal herb for relieving intestinal gas. It stimulates intestinal peristaltic motion, aiding in both assimilation and elimination.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Cayenne’s anti-inflammatory properties makes it a great herb for arthritis, diabetes, psoriasis and herpes-related nerve damage.
  • Prevents & Treats Blood Clots: Cayenne pepper also helps reduce atherosclerosis, encourages fibrinolytic activity and prevents the formation of blood clots, all of which can help reduce the chances of a heart attack or stroke.
  • Detox Support: Cayenne is a known circulatory stimulant. It also increases the pulse of our lymphatic and digestive rhythms.
  • Possible Anti-Cancer Agent: Studies done at the Loma Linda University in California found that cayenne pepper can prevent lung cancer in smokers. Other studies have also shown a similar reaction in cayenne’s ability to inhibit liver tumors.
  • Supports Weight Loss: Scientists at the Laval University in Quebec found that participants who took cayenne pepper for breakfast were found to have less appetite, leading to less caloric intake throughout the day. Cayenne is also a great metabolic-booster, aiding the body in burning excess amounts of fats.
  • Improves Heart-Health: Cayenne helps to keep blood pressure levels normalized. It also rids the body of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. (source)



You’ll need:

  • 2 inch knob of ginger
  • 2-3 inch piece of turmeric root or substitute 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1-2 dashes of cayenne (or you could juice 1/2 a habanero or jalapeño pepper)
  • 4 lemons (3 for juicing and 1 for slicing as a garnish)
  • 3 droppers vanilla stevia
  • 2 quarts water

In a juicer, juice your ginger root, turmeric, and 3 lemons. I recommend using Breville brand juicers. I love Breville because they are easy to use, easy to clean, and great quality!

In a large pitcher add your juice to about 2 quarts of water, a couple droppers of vanilla stevia to taste, a couple dashes of cayenne and your thinly cut lemon slices. Mix well with a wooden spoon and adjust flavors to taste. Let sit for about 10 mins before serving to let the flavors blend.  Will last about 5 days in the fridge.

You can enjoy at room temperature or over ice. This tea is sweet, tangy and very spicy! Be ready, it’s got some serious kick!! But it always helps me “get back to normal” after travelling. I tend to get puffy and retain water when I travel and this tea helps flush out my lymphatic system and reduce swelling. I absolutely love it and I hope you do too!

Six natural alternatives to ibuprofen

These are definitely  options to consider.. ET

May 30, 2009


The saying used to be, “Take two aspirin and call me in the morning,” but many people turn to ibuprofen to relieve inflammation, pain, and fever. This nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), available both over the counter and by prescription, is commonly used to treat arthritis, menstrual symptoms, headache, general aches and pains, and various inflammatory conditions.

Side effects of ibuprofen

Although many people think of ibuprofen as being rather benign, it is associated with an increased risk of heart and circulation problems, including stroke and heart attack, as well as gastrointestinal problems, such as bleeding or perforation of the stomach or intestinal tract. These risks increase the longer you take the drug, although the length of time until it affects any one individual varies depending on their overall health, use of other medications, age, and other factors.


Natural alternatives to ibuprofen
Many studies have been done on various natural pain killers and anti-inflammatories that can be used as alternatives to ibuprofen. They generally have mild to no side effects. Here are a few you may want to consider. You should always consult a knowledgeable health-care professional before starting a new treatment program.

Boswellia: This anti-inflammatory remedy comes from the Boswellia serratatree that grows in India. The anti-inflammatory properties of boswellia are attributed to the boswellic acids that it contains. These acids improve blood flow to the joints and prevent inflammatory white cells from entering damaged tissue. Also known as “Indian frankincense,” boswellia is available as a supplement and a topical cream. For pain and inflammation, a suggested dose is 450 to 750 mg daily for three to four weeks.

Capsaicin: The active component of chili peppers, capsaicin is often used topically to nerve, muscle, and joint pain. It works by interfering with substance P, a chemical that helps transmit pain signals to the brain. It is available as a topical cream or gels in several different potencies (most often, 0.025% to 0.075%) and is usually applied three to four times daily. It can cause some stinging and burning initially, but it typically subsides with use.

Cat’s claw: Uncaria tomentosa, or cat’s claw, also known as una de gato, grows in South America. It contains an anti-inflammatory agent that blocks the production of the hormone prostaglandin, which contributes to inflammation and pain. Suggested doses are 250 to 1,000 mg capsules one to three times daily. Taking too high a dose may cause diarrhea.
Curcumin: Curcumin is a component of the herb turmeric, and it is a potent painkiller that can block proteins in the body that cause inflammation and also stops the neurotransmitter called substance P from sending pain message to the brain. Studies show that curcumin is effective in easing the chronic pain of rheumatoid arthritis. A suggested dose is 400 to 600 mg of curcumin taken three times daily for pain and inflammation.

Omega-3 fatty acids: The omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties that have proven beneficial for people who suffer with arthritis, other inflammatory joint conditions, and inflammatory bowel diseases. Omega-3s also reduce cardiovascular risk, which is especially helpful for people with rheumatoid arthritis, which carries an increased risk for cardiovascular disease. A suggested dose of omega-3 fatty acids as fish oil is 1,000 mg daily.

White willow bark: This herb is the predecessor of aspirin. White willow bark contains salicin, which converts to salicylic acid in the stomach. White willow bark is much less irritating to the stomach than the synthetic drug, aspirin, while it works to relieve pain, inflammation, and fever. A suggested dose is 1 to 2 dropperfuls of white willow bark tincture daily.
You can find the natural remedies mentioned in this article at many Phoenix-area stores and pharmacies, including Sprouts Farmers MarketHealthy Habit Health Foods, and the Natural Medicinary.


I use nutmeg in cooking and I found this information so I thought I’d share it here..ET


Names of Nutmeg, past and present

Chinese: rou dou kou / ron dau kou
Japanese: hikaya
Malay: pala / buah pala
Pinyin: Rou Dou Kou
Indian: jaiphal / jatipari / jatikosha
Hindi: Jaayphala / Jayphala / Japhal / Jaephal / Jaiphal
Spanish: nuez moscada / nuez moscada y macis
German: die mustanuß / muskatbuam
French: muscade / noix muscade / fleur de muscade / macis / muscade et macis
English: nutmeg / muscade (adapted) / mace / nutmeg and mace (complete nomenclature)
Latin (esoteric): muscada (pronounced: moose-kah-duh) / nox muscada / macis (pronounced: mah-sees; alternately: mah-cheese)
Latin (scientific nomenclature): Myristica fragrans / Myristica malabarica / Myristica officinalis

Nutmeg – General Info

Nutmeg is a popular (and formerly notorious) spice that is derived from the fruit (specifically the seeds) of the nutmeg tree – Myristica fragrans; a large evergreen tree native to the Banda Islands in Indonesia. The plant now thrives in a large area that encompasses Europe and Asia, although its point of origin is oftentimes attributed to India, where the spice had been used prior to its commonplace employment in mediaeval European cuisine and medicine.

Uses Of Nutmeg
Uses Of Nutmeg – infographic to repin / share
Background image source – Brocken InaGlory (via Wikiepdia) – lic. under CC 3.0

The nutmeg plant is a relatively tall tree which grows upwards of twenty to twenty-five feet in length. It is characterized by its smooth, sap-laden grey to grayish-brown bark. It is also notable for its tendency to have uneven stem growths, and for its highly aromatic, broad, glossy leaves which possess a matte underside. The nutmeg tree also sports small white to lavender-hued star-burst shaped flowers that begin as tiny bead-like growths that later blossom into many-petaled inflorescences.

The fruit of the nutmeg tree is around the size of an apricot, with the seed being of corresponding size. The fruit is drupe-shaped, featuring smooth to slightly pitted pale-green to yellowish matte skin which encases succulent edible flesh and a singular seed with a red to dark-red hued aril. The flesh of the nutmeg may be consumed as a type of foodstuff, although it is most commonly cultivated and harvested for its seeds (which are made into whole or ground nutmeg), and its arils (the hairy, delicate coating of the nutmeg seeds) which are dried and ground to make the spice known as mace.

Just like the majority of spices, nutmeg and mace are primarily dried prior to use. The seeds are oftentimes cured to help preserve the spice and prevent its being consumed by pests. This was traditionally done by sun-drying the seeds for a week, and is then followed by slow roasting in a charcoal fire. Mace on the other hand is simply separated from the seed of the nutmeg plant and immediately sundried and powdered. Nowadays, both mace and nutmeg are processed through modern means, often undergoing flash dehydration for faster yields, although some variants available in the markets, especially the artisanal types, are still cured and processed traditionally.

Of all the known spices in the world, the nutmeg fruit is among the few plants that provide two distinct types of spices from a singular source. [1] Nutmeg is rumored to be one of the “secret ingredients” in the Coca Cola recipe.

All three parts of the fruit are known for their narcotic – and toxic – effects if taken in large enough quantities, and even the aroma of the flowers is said to be intoxicating. [2]

There are many other species of Myristica tree and over 300 are listed. [3] These grow for example in grow in India and New Guinea – but nuts from these trees are considered to be adulterants of Myristica fragrans. [3]

Nutmeg – History

Nutmeg has been used as a spice for many centuries, typically being grated fresh or purchased in ready powdered form. [3] It was well known throughout the Old World, and later on, the New World. The history of nutmeg’s use dates back to the time of the Ancient Egyptians, where it was used in religious rites, medicine, cosmetics, and in the preservation of foodstuffs. The Ancient Egyptians were (perhaps) also the first culture to employ nutmeg for the purposes of consciousness alteration, although the spread of its employment for such purposes seems to have come about after its introduction into Early Roman society.

In medieval times, nutmeg was very expensive and highly prized as a spice – and it played a curious, astonishingly significant role in the destiny of empires of those days.

Nutmeg was known to have reached Constantinople by the 9th century: St Theodore of Studium (759 – 826 A.D.), a Byzantine monk of Constantinople, was said to have allowed the use of Nutmeg in his monastery, though whether it was previously forbidden due to alleged aphrodisiac effects, or whether due to the fact that monks were supposed to live a plain life without excessive sensory stimulation, is not stated. [3]

Myristica fragrans
Myristica fragrans (nutmeg)
Illustration from old medicinal plant book (Kohler)

Nutmeg is mentioned in the Canterbury Tales of Chaucer (c. 1343 – 25 October 1400). Chaucer’s Sir Thopas describes “licorice and ginger and many a clove and nutmeg to put in ale”. Nutmeg was called Notemuge at that time, the name meaning a nut with musky fragrance.

In those days, the world’s only source of Nutmeg was Run Island, one of the smallest islands in the Indonesian Banda Islands. Due to the value of Nutmeg, and of mace, derived from the fruit of the same tree, Run was considered of economic importance despite its small size. Arab traders kept the Banda’s location secret; controlling the market and selling Nutmeg for a high price to Venetian traders. [4] The Venetians in turn held the monopoly of European trade with the Middle East, and grew wealthy – as herbs and spices were among the most expensive and in-demand products of the Middle ages. [5]

This scenario lasted until 1511, when the Portuguese learned the location of the islands. Then followed the English and the Dutch, who fought ferocious battles for supremacy in the spice trade.[3]

The price of nutmeg was driven sky-high by faith in the belief that a recipe of nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves; eaten, powdered and mixed into drinks, or even worn, was the only remedy for the plague. Traders of old were known to “hype” the mysteries of nutmeg, telling tales that the spices came from Eden itself, or of great and terrifying dangers undergone in its harvesting. It’s been said that at this time, a sackful of nutmeg could have set a person up financially for life. [6] The practice of carrying a nutmeg in the pocket as a charm against ill health continued until recent times in England.

From 1620 the Dutch reigned supreme in the spice trade until eventually, in the early 19th century, Nutmeg trees were transplanted to British colonies such as Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and Grenada. [4]

Nutmeg – General Herbal Uses:

Nutmeg plays a major role in both modern and ancient cuisine, where it’s edible fruit, and its two derivative spices are often incorporated into a wide array of different dishes. The fruit of the nutmeg tree is usually made into a sweet preserve after the extraction of the seeds and arils, although very ripe specimens can be eaten as is without any preliminary preparations. In a number of Asiatic cultures, the succulent flesh of the nutmeg fruit is typically made into candies, or otherwise incorporated into a number of different desserts.

Nutmeg seeds and powdered mace derived from its arils are the two most commonly employed constituent parts of the nutmeg plant, with its uses being by far more popular than even the employment of the whole fruit itself. In terms of culinary uses, there is a long-standing debate over the better of the two spices, although it is a general given that nutmeg imparts a slightly more robust flavour in contrast to mace’s more delicate notes. Due to the fact that mace and nutmeg both share a slightly similar flavour and aroma profile, they tend to be used interchangeably, especially by amateur culinary enthusiasts. There is also a long-standing misconception that states that powdered nutmeg is equivalent to mace, however, they are in fact two wholly different spices.

Both mace and nutmeg are highly aromatic and flavourful, often releasing the utmost of its aromatic notes when warm or hot. Both of these spices are commonly ground into powder and mixed with other types of seasonings, and due to its highly flavourful (and originally extremely costly) nature, are usually integrated only in very small amounts. Its limited use should also be credited to the fact that in very large amounts, both nutmeg and mace is highly toxic. Both nutmeg and mace feature in some regional garam masala (Indian spice mixture) recipes, and may be integrated into spice rubs, or employed as a general seasoning for sundry foods and beverages. In older times, nutmeg and mace was extensively used by the more affluent for the curing of meats, or for the emboldening of stews, especially those which contain gamey meats. In European culture, it is usually associated with flavouring a wide assortment of warming alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and was an almost indispensable ingredient in mulled beverages. The subtler flavour of mace usually allotted it a place in most sweetmeats and desserts, although even the bolder nutmeg was also incorporated into snacks, typically in very small amounts. Both spices were also known to be added into different preserves to add subtle nuances in its flavour, and to further improve and extend its shelf-life. [1]

The medicinal use of nutmeg stretches back to the time of the Ancient Egyptian and Early Roman periods, where it’s very integration into foodstuffs (and the subsequent consumption of foodstuffs containing nutmeg or mace) was in itself of medicinal value. The earliest common medium of medicinal employment for nutmeg and mace seemed to be in its integration into mulled spirits, which yielded a semi-narcotic draught which was known to be an excellent stomachic, digestive aid, relaxant, antipyretic, expectorant, and emmenagouge. It was almost never used by itself and was commonly combined with an assortment of other herbs and spices, typically cloves, cinnamon, and ginger root. The most common use of nutmeg and mace is as a mild tea to seasoning to help settle the stomach and alleviate the symptoms of nausea. When taken during a dizzy spell, it is traditionally noted to help prevent vomiting. [7]

Powdered nutmeg and mace was also taken as a form of snuff, by itself or mixed with shredded tobacco (and in some variants, cloves). It was notorious for its hallucinogenic after-effects, although it was partaken of more for the relief of flu symptoms such as stuffy nose, headaches, and migraine. Imbibed as a smokable mixture, it was also reputedly employed to help alleviate the symptoms of cough and cure asthma, although general oral consumption of either spices were just as equally effective (sans the possible hallucinogenic side-effects).

Very potent decoctions of whole nutmeg seeds have been employed during the Middle Ages as an early type of anti-microbial wash or rinse, and can be employed for medicating bandages or sterilizing injuries such as wounds to help avoid infection. Mixed with cloves, rosemary, and nettle leaves, nutmeg can be employed as an after-shampoo hair rinse. It may even be allowed to macerate in apple cider or cane vinegar to achieve similar purposes, as regulated use has traditionally been said to improve hair-growth and stave off premature graying. Ground into a very fine powder and mixed with bath salts, yogurt, powdered senna (Cassia obovata), powdered henna (Lawsonia enermis) or any other medium base, it can be employed cosmetically to help improve skin tone and complexion, or (if applied to the hair and scalp via a henna or senna paste base, it can effectively improve hair texture and fight dandruff, along with a number of common scalp problems. [8]

Because of its prolific use in the fields of cuisine and medicine, a culture developed from the employment of nutmeg, so much so that by the latter part of the 17th century affluent individuals would oftentimes carry portable nutmeg graters made from (or plated with) precious metals. [9] These highly ornamental fashion accessories often encased a moderately sized nutmeg seed, which could be grated, and the powder derived from the action caught by the compartment that initially housed the seed. This made it possible for people to lace nearly everything they partook of with nutmeg in the belief that its medicinal properties (being above-par) were akin to a panacea. Realistically, the vogue for nutmeg and mace began to take hold of the European populace due to the undeniable mood-altering effects that were experienced from the copious consumption of nutmeg. To this effect, a tea with a few grates of fresh nutmeg integrated into it can help to alleviate stress and improve one’s mood, while an extremely mild spiced tea made from a nutmeg seed (with or without the inclusion of other spices) is said to help warm the body, improve circulation, and (quite contradictorily) even promote sleep.

For a time, nutmeg was also notoriously employed by women as an abortifacient. Typically consumed whole, or otherwise imbibed in small doses repeatedly over a period of several weeks, it was believed to induce abortion primarily due to its cytotoxic properties. Its use as an extremely dangerous abortifacient reached its zenith sometime during the latter part of the Vicrtorian Era, where it proved to be a highly popular ‘drug’ for women who worked in houses of pleasure. Its use as an abortifacient soon extended to general usage, eventually eclipsing its other medicinal uses. Its employment for contraceptive purposes pervaded until well into the early 1900s, causing many cases of recorded and unrecorded fatalities brought about by nutmeg poisoning. [10] To this day, nutmeg is still considered a dangerous spice despite its common integration into a variety of foodstuffs, although its accidental liberal usage is nevertheless a slightly common happenstance, more so when it comes to inexpert cooks who are new to the idea of incorporating spices into their foods.

The essential oil of nutmeg (obtained via steam distillation of ground nutmeg seeds) is also a very popular therapeutic and culinary ingredient. It is typically integrated into dishes in lieu of whole or ground nutmeg, albeit in relatively lesser amounts. It is incorporated into cough syrups (a common addition in Traditional Chinese Medicinal tonics and syrups), or mixed with a base oil to create anti-arthritic or anti-rheumatic ointments or salves. It may be used in its pure state to help relieve toothaches or heal bleeding gums in much the same light as clove oil. It has also been employed for aromatherapeutic purposes, usually for diffusers, where it is employed as a stress-relieving and enervating aroma. [11]

Nutmeg – Esoteric Uses:

In the general body of western esoteric herbalism, nutmeg is employed most commonly as an incense is burnt for protection, to increase psychical abilities, for attracting luck. Mace is equally employed for the selfsame purposes, and it is said that the scent of incense boosts one’s intellectual acuity. Whole nutmeg plays a very potent and powerful role in voodoo and hoodoo, where it is commonly employed in the creation of juju bags that are carried as good luck or protection charms. In Creole superstition, it is said that nutmeg is an excellent spice to be employed when attempting to attract love or increase desire. A folkloric belief stated that sprinkling grated nutmeg on a woman’s left shoe at midnight for seven consecutive days would drive her mad with love and desire for whoever performed the act. [12]

Nutmeg is a somewhat popular (albeit extremely dangerous) natural hallucinogen. Whether imbibed in small portions for a short, consecutive span of time, or drunk in moderately large doses in a short amount of time, nutmeg – and subsequently, mace – possesses mild to potent hallucinogenic effects, although with very detrimental (and even lethal) after-effects. [13] The use of nutmeg as a hallucinogen may have stemmed from a traditional shamanic employment of the plant-matter to achieve altered states of perception, although no historical record of tribal usage solely within the context of its being an entheogen has been found to support such possibilities save for limited accounts that suggest the use of close species of the nutmeg family as a hallucinogenic drug in the Amazon basin. It was, and still remains a somewhat unsafe ‘filler’ – used unscrupulously to increase the potency of street drugs – a practice that became somewhat commonplace during the early 1960s at the height of the hippy culture. The essential oil of nutmeg has also been employed for hallucinogenic purposes. The essential oil contains elemincin, a hallucinogenic compound that is similar to mescaline.

Is Nutmeg an Aphrodisiac?

Nutmeg has had a reputation as an aphrodisiac since ancient times, and has been included in many an “aphrodisiac formula”. Hari Datt Sharma’s 2005 “Better Sex The Herbal Way” states that nutmeg is chewed with betel leaf to create euphoria, and that it “acts as an aphrodisiac by stimulating the higher centres of sex.” It’s said to have been made into a love potion in Israel, and, fried in gingili oil, rubbed into the genitals before intercourse to create a pleasant sensation. This practice was also described by the English “Professor of Physick” William Salmon (1644–1713), who stated that nutmeg oil applied in this way was an aphrodisiac. [14] This doesn’t seem particularly safe as it may be irritant and so is not advised.

Nutmeg has also had a reputation as an aphrodisiac in the Unani medicinal system (India) [15] and in other cultures of the orient.

Spices were associated with luxury and the exotic; is it any wonder then that they have acquired a reputation as being aphrodisiac? However, some scientific research has actually been done into the aphrodisiac qualities of nutmeg. A study on mice at the Faculty of Unani Medicine, Aligarh Muslim University, India – in 2003 and 2005 – found that extracts of the nutmeg and clove were found to stimulate the mounting behaviour of male mice, and also to significantly increase their mating performance. [16]

This was followed up at the same faculty by a 2005 study on rats, which found, at the dose of 500 mg/kg “significant and sustained increase in the sexual activity of normal male rats without any conspicuous adverse effects, [indicating] that the 50% ethanolic extract of nutmeg possesses aphrodisiac activity, increasing both libido and potency, which might be attributed to its nervous stimulating property.” [17]

Nutmeg contains myristicin, a substance that has been used by drug chemists as a precursor to the restricted narcotic MDA, and it has been hypothesized that myristicin is transformed in the body to similar substances in the amphetamine family, which would explain the stimulant effects. Nutmeg also contains elemicin, another substance with structural similarity to amphetamines, safrole and many other compounds. [15]

Nutmeg – Safety Notes:

Although small amounts of nutmeg are said to produce no neurological or physiological response, nutmeg is dangerous when taken in large doses, and can even (rarely) be fatal. As little as one heaping tablespoon of nutmeg taken straight-up or otherwise integrated into beverages or foodstuffs and consumed immediately can result in discomforts associated with a flood of myristicin in the bloodstream. A dose of 7.5g or more is said to lead to convulsions, palpitations, nausea, intoxication, and possibly panic. The intoxication produced by high doses of nutmeg is generally held to be of a very unpleasant nature, and it is often reported not to be worth seeking out as a “high”. Don’t do it! It’s very dangerous and will not be a fun time.

Myristicin is also reported deadly to some animals in quantities harmless to humans – and for this reason Nutmeg should NEVER be given to dogs. [3]

Nutmeg may be illegal in some countries including Oman and Saudi Arabia.[18]

Nutmeg should not be given to pregnant women due to its abortifacient effects. While very minute doses seem to be relatively safe, the risk the possibility of induced abortion caused by nutmeg is a risk that mustn’t be taken.

There has at times been much adulteration and fraud in the Nutmeg trade. [19] One famous (and amusing) example from history actually involved carving fake “nutmegs” out of wood. Presumably these might have been mixed in with some real nutmegs in order to make the bag more profitable…

Nutmeg is listed in the AHPA’s “Herbs of Commerce”, p252. [20]

Nutmeg – References:

[1-2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nutmeg

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nutmeg

[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Run_(island)

[5] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spice_trade

[6] http://web.archive.org/web/20100406162701/http://www.seventypercent.com/2007/12/the-spice-of-life/

[7] http://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/n/nutmeg07.html

[8] http://books.google.com.ph/books?id=3eb7OiuZIDMC&pg=PA206

[9] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nutmeg_grater

[10] http://www.scribd.com/doc/22321349/63/Nutmeg

[11] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nutmeg_oil

[12] http://herb-magic.com/nutmeg-whole.html

[13] http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/data-and-analysis/bulletin/bulletin_1966-01-01_4_page003.html

[14] http://www.alternet.org/drugs/140480/do_you_know_about_the_narcotic_effects_of_nutmeg?page=3

[15] http://www.pharmj.com/editorial/20061223/christmas/p786spicytale.html

[16] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14567759

[17] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16033651

[18] http://www.erowid.org/plants/nutmeg/nutmeg_law.shtml

[19] http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/n/nutmeg07.html

[20] “Herbs of Commerce” (AHPA) (2000 edition) – Michael McGuffin, John T. Kartesz, Albert Y Leung, Arthur O. Tucker p.252

– See more at: http://www.herbs-info.com/nutmeg.html#sthash.i1cXeePi.dpuf

14 Soothing Remedies for Nausea & Morning Sickness

nauseaNausea is a feeling of unease and sickness that is hard to put words too, but that at some point another most of us have been all too familiar with. Often times the pre-curser to vomiting, is a miserable thing to experience. It can be caused for many reasons, from dehydration to food poisoning, morning sickness to motion sickness, medications to acid reflux. A lot of the time occasional nausea does not warrant a trip to the doctor-always exercise common sense when make that decision-and there are quite a few natural and home remedies for nausea that you can try. Treating your nausea naturally tends to be less likely than stronger medications to be hard on your body, possibly making you feel worse rather than better.

1. Glorious ginger

Ginger, be it in the form of ginger ale, tea, or even raw, is almost a guarantee to help stop nausea in its tracks. Ginger promotes the secretion of various digestive juices/enzymes that help neutralize stomach acid. It also contains phenols that relax stomach muscles and act similar to a sedative on irritated stomach tissue, reducing over activity of the stomach. At the same time, the phenols are helping your intestine move digested food and toxins through your system quicker, getting any bad stuff that may be making you feel ill pass faster. You can take it in capsule form, nibble the root raw, or grate some into a soothing soup. Personally, if it’s possible, I find fresh tea or ginger ale (the real stuff) to be the best way to calm an upset stomach.

If making tea you will need…
– 1 ginger root, 2 inches
-Honey (optional)
-A peeler or sharp knife
-2-3 cups of water
-Wax paper
-A cutting board

Wash your gingerroot well and then peel. Slice it into small pieces, cover with wax paper, and crush it or make your pieces extra small. Boil 2-3 cups of water over medium high heat and then add your ginger, letting it boil for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and strain if you like, or pour everything into your mug. Add honey if you like. Sip slowly and relax.

ginger tea

If making ginger ale you will need…
-2 cups of roughly chopped fresh ginger, peeled
-3-4 strips of lemon or lime peel
-Chilled club soda, about 3 quarts
-Ice cubes
-1/2 cup of sugar, or 1 cup if you prefer

In a saucepan place 2 cups of fresh gingerroot, peeled and roughly chopped, lemon or lime peel, and 4 cups of water. Let this come to a boil over high heat, and then at an active simmer let it sit uncovered for 10 minutes or so. While stirring, add in your sugar. I prefer less, and wouldn’t exceed using 1 cup. After you add the sugar continue to boil the mixture until it is reduced to about 3 cups-around another 15 minutes. Strain over a large bowl, separating solids from the liquid. Chill the syrup in a glass container with a lid until cold, or up to 7 days. Mix ¼ cup of the syrup with 1 cup of cold club soda and pour over ice. Add flavorings to taste.

2. Learn acupressure

Acupressure is comprised of putting pressure in specific points on the body to relieve some symptoms causing discomfort or feelings of being ill, like nausea. You can use a nausea band, or just apply the pressure yourself. It is thought that utilizing pressure points in your body will release neurotransmitters, like serotonin or endorphins. These chemicals then block other chemicals that may be out of balance and/or causing you to feel sick.

Some acupressure points to try…

The p6 point or “inner gate”: 2 or 3 finger widths down from the top crease in your wrist (at the base of your palm) there is a groove between two large tendons. Gently apply pressure to this area when you feel nauseas.

Top and bottom of wrist: Take your thumb and index finger and firmly press on the points (where the p6 is) on both sides of your write. Hold for 10-30 seconds, or up to 5 minutes, and breathe deeply.

acupressure for nausea

3. Let it out

If you’re feeling so nauseous you think you need to vomit, don’t fight the urge. It’s your body’s way of getting out something that’s causing harm in your stomach, and you usually feel much better afterwards. Holding it in can also damage the esophagus, because the stomach acid is just being held in your throat.

4. Manage anxiety

For me, when it comes to nausea, I am my worst enemy. If I even think I feel nauseous I worry about it until I really, truly, do feel sick. This happens particularly in places when it would be extremely unfortunate to vomit-like in a class, during a meeting, on a date, and so on and so forth. If you worry yourself sick, you can try-

– Accepting the fact that you might throw up. Acknowledge the thought, and let it go. This masters the fear causing the nausea.

– Breathing and sipping water. It gives you something to focus on feeling better. Hyperventilating can also make you nausea, or even make you vomit.

5. Make milk toast

Bland foods can help tame your tummy, and 2 that are particularly favored are milk and bread. Bread absorbs excess acid, while milk coats your stomach, which is also why they are generally recommended when you something like aspirin, which can hurt an empty stomach. However, you do not want to drink milk straight, as dairy alone can cause upset, so make milk toast for a happy medium. Do NOT make this if you have gastroenteritis (the stomach flu) which reacts poorly to dairy. Milk toast helps the most when the stomach is irritated from over-the-counter pain meds.

You will need…
-1 cup of milk
-1 piece of toast
-unsalted butter

Heat up 1 cup of milk until it’s hot, but not boiling, and then pour into a cereal bowl, or one similar. Toast a piece of bread, and spread a tiny bit of unsalted butter on it. Crumble the toast into the milk, and eat slowly.

6. Stretch

Upper back and neck pain can set off reoccurring bouts of nausea. In this case, the nausea is your bodies’ way of reacting to the discomfort in your back or neck. Try doing some simple neck and back stretches to release the tension causing the queasiness.

A back exercise: Try lying on a flat, solid surface (aka the floor.) Put down a yoga mat or something similar if you like. Lie like you’re about to do a push-up but instead of lifting up your whole mid-section, only lift up your upper body. Let your back arch and stretch as you tilt your head back as far as possible, the underneath of your chin facing the ceiling.

For neck exercise: Do not do actual neck rolls. Growing up playing rugby my coaches emphasized that when we stretched out in warm up rolling your neck around was not a good thing. It can pinch nerves, make you dizzy, and grind on disks. The vertebrae of your neck are not shaped for motion that follows a circular path, and overtime this hyperextension can have detrimental effects. Instead tip your head forward and touch your chin to your chest. Hold for 10-15 seconds. Follow this with tilting, not rolling, your head to left (like you’re trying to touch your ear to your shoulder) and hold for 10-15 seconds. Repeat on the right side.

7. Slice a fresh lemon

The smell of citrus can cut through the murky feeling of nausea, calm your stomach, and calm you.

You will need…
-1 fresh lemon
-A sharp knife

Slice the lemon in half and position it close to you so you can smell it, but it’s not overwhelming. Make sure you are inhaling and exhaling fully.


8. Apply a cool compress

Applying a cool compress (not shockingly cold) on the back of your neck when you’re in the midst of a bout of nausea can help kick the queasiness. It is the most effective when combined with the positions as described in #7.

You will need…
-1 cool compress

Get a cool compress-an ice pack that’s been sitting out for a few minutes is fine, a washcloth dunked in cool water, or a compress you’ve made yourself. Take up one of the above positions. If lying down, place the compress under your neck. If sitting, drape it across the back of your neck. Both this, and the position you’re in, are particularly helpful is the nausea is being brought on by anxiety of some sort.

7. Kick your heels up, or sit down

Circulation can be a big reason when it comes to feeling dizzy or faint, and dizziness is often accompanied by nausea. To help reduce the feeling, try the following positions to pump blood to where it is needed, or to stop it from rushing. They may also help your brain maintain a sense of balance or stability by changing up blood flow.

• Find a place to lie down-a bed in a dark, quiet, room is optimum. Make sure your head is lying mostly flat, with no pillows or only a very thin one. Bend your knees, and make sure you’re breathing and not shorting yourself oxygen.

• Sit down with your back up against a wall, put your knees up, and put your head between them. Breathe.

10. Peppermint (again)

Like lemon, peppermint is one of those fresh scents that have the remarkable ability to tame an upset stomach. It has several forms that lend themselves to natural remedies, such as tea or oil. For quick relief, try rubbing some peppermint oil directly on your gums.

You will need…
-Peppermint oil
-Cotton swabs or a means of washing hands

Dip or roll a cotton swab in a few drops of peppermint oil. Apply directly to your gums, and reapply if necessary. If you don’t have cotton swabs, wash your hands thoroughly. Put some oil on your fingertip, and rub onto your gums.

11. Suck on frozen fruit

Keep a few slices of lime or lemon in a plastic baggy in the freezer, and use for the times you find yourself getting nauseas. Like the smell of lemon can help you feel better, so can the sharp, fresh flavor of a straight wedge of lemon or lime. It also helps take your mind off of it, and while it may create a rush of saliva, it might transform it into an experience better than the “wet mouth” you get right before you are sick to your stomach. The cold is akin to sucking on ice-chips or a Popsicle if your stomach is upset, but if you prefer or didn’t plan ahead, unfrozen works too.

You will need…
-Several slices of freshly cut lemon or lime, frozen or unfrozen

At a time you don’t feel ill, cut a few wedges of lemon or lime. Toss them in a plastic baggy and put them in the freezer. When you start to feel nauseas, lie down (unless laying down makes it worse, of course) and suck on a slice. If you don’t have any frozen, fresh can substitute fine.

suck on a lemon for morning sickness

12. Get some air

Stepping outside into fresh air is sometimes all the remedy you need for nausea. Another way to help calm your body down is get air flowing over you.

You will need…
-A fan
-A place to sit or lie down

Place a fan so that it blows gently across your face. Having the fan oscillate (or turn) can make this more pleasant. When you start to get that hot and flushed feeling and break into a clammy sweat, a little air can go a long ways to stopping the awful feeling of nausea.

13. Replace fluids and nutrients

If you’ve been sick to your stomach and are still feeling nauseas, you are probably perpetuating the problem by not replacing the fluid you’ve lost. Even if you haven’t thrown up yet, still make sure you’re drinking plenty of water, as it is one of the most steadfast ways to relieve a feeling of queasiness.

14. Follow the BRAT diet

If you’re nausea is caused by something like the stomach flu or food poisoning, follow the BRAT diet to keep it under control. It is comprised of:

-Applesauce (without sugar)

It has a little less ring to it, but you can do the BRATPP diet, which is adding on:

-Pasta (lightly buttered or with a little oil)
-Potatoes (avoid the steak or gravy)

Treating the cause of your nausea is the best route to go, but there are plenty of times when it hits without warning, and with no way to prevent it. In this case, trying out natural remedies is a good route to take. Not only does it mean you probably don’t have to leave the house while you feel sick, but they’ll be easier on your body then the foreign substances we often use to treat ourselves today.

14 Remedies for Nausea & Upset Stomach- for soothing relief.

The Golden Rule

“Mind over matter” is a good thing to remember in general, but it pertains to nausea in particular. Queasiness can, a lot of the time, be something that manifests as a result of what’s going on in your head, rather than what’s actually going on in your body. Also, if you fear throwing up (which makes you feel like throwing up) consciously think about how it’s okay if you do. Once you accept it you take the power away from the thought, and then it leaves you alone.

You may also like our list of 14 Home Remedies for Headaches

17 Homemade Spice Mixes {with Recipes & Why You Should Use Them!

 I have not tried any thing here yet!!! ET

17 Homemade Spice Mixes  e1361066251485

By Erin Odom, Contributing Writer

Are you working to ditch processed foods and put more real food on the table? We’re running a series called Real Food Made Simple: A Beginner’s Guide to Eating Better. Our goal is to answer the questions you might have and make the transition a whole lot easier!

Even before I started cooking from scratch, I started making my own homemade spice mixes.

At first, it was out of pure laziness. I don’t like to shop. Even before I had kids, I didn’t like to run out to thegrocery store for an item or two on my ingredient list if I could avoid it. And, hence, I started making things at home.

The very first spice mix for me to make on my own was taco seasoning. I think back then I googled a recipe, and when I realized I had all the ingredients on hand, I was elated.

The next time I was at the store, I checked the ingredient list on the back of the taco seasoning mix I normally purchased. Surely the ingredients would be the same, right?



The food labels on the bulk of store-bought seasoning mixes are full of fillers, preservatives and other unwanted fake flavor enhancers. These ingredients include:

  • modified food starch (a thickener, often derived from GMO sources but not always),
  • sugar,
  • partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (trans fat and often made from a GMO oil sources, such as cottonseed, canola or soybean),
  • MSG (including “hidden” MSG under other names)
  • hidden gluten (dangerous for those with a gluten intolerance or celiac disease)
  • natural flavorings (So what’s the big deal here? Read this.)
  • silicon dioxide (to prevent caking–not necessarily bad but an additive to know about nonetheless)
  • spices (This sounds innocent…but what exactly are these anonymous “spices”?),
  • and more.

After learning that store-bought spice mixes aren’t always so wholesome, I committed to making my seasonings at home–for both convenience and health reasons.

storebought spices

How to Make Your Own

Seriously, making your own spice mixes is probably the easiest kitchen task you will ever do.

Supplies Needed:


Simply combine all the individual spices together in a jar, shake the jar and–voila!–you have your spice mixes!

I have sometimes gotten in the rut of making just what I needed per meal at the time I am cooking. This is inconvenient and tags extra time onto dinner prep. I now mix up a whole canning jar at once, label the top with the ingredients needed to fill the jar as well as with the amounts needed in recipes I make frequently.

homemade taco seasoning1

But what if you don’t have all the single-ingredient herbs and spices?

No problem! Check out this handy list of herb and spice substitutions.

Homemade Spice Mixes

And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for: check out this full line-up of homemade spice mixes! I’ve also included some recipes that call for these mixes. Your family will thank you for never entering the spice mix aisle of the grocery store again!

Allspice Alternative

Use in:

Apple Pie Spice Mix

Use in:

Cajun Seasoning

Use in:

Chili Powder

Use in:

Cinnamon Sugar WMark e1352210917224

Image by Whole New Mom

Cinnamon Sugar

Use to:

  • sprinkle on toast or other baked goods
  • sprinkle in oatmeal

Curry Powder

Use in:

Dry Creamed Soup Spice Mix

Use in any recipe that calls for a “cream-of” soup.

Cream Of Soup Mix

Image by Stacy Makes Cents

“Emeril’s Essence” Seasoning Blend

Use in:

Garlic Salt

Use in:

Italian Seasoning

Use in:

emeril essence 1024x689

Image by The Nourishing Home

Lemon Pepper

Use in:

Poultry Seasoning

Use in:

Pumpkin Pie Spice

Use in:

Pumpkin 1

Image by Day2Day Joys

Ranch Dip Mix

Use in:

(Here’s another good ranch dip mix recipe!)

Sausage Seasoning

Use it in:

Taco Seasoning

Use in:


Image by Your Thriving Family

Tumeric Newari Spice

Use in:

Need more inspiration? I’m constantly adding to my spices/sauces/dips/dressing board on Pinterest. You can follow me here.

Two other helpful resources for all things homemade, including many condiments, sauce and more are the recipe ebooks Easy. Homemade. and also Restocking the Pantry.

Note: Even some single-ingredient spices contain hidden fillers! Be sure to carefully read the food labelsand call the manufacturer if necessary. Many health food stores and co-ops sell spices in bulk. The Bulk Herb Store and Mountain Rose Herbs are two online stores that sell quality herbs and spices.

22 Natural Sore Throat Remedies to Help Soothe the Pain — from: –http://everydayroots.com/

Yes my throat is sore and my nose is running, and I’m not sure I have enough tissues in the house to take care of that problem.. If I can make the throat feel better then maybe I can carry on for the rest of Christmas Eve.. This is a wonderful time of the year, but a horrible time to be sick, so I’ll do whatever to make myself feel better without retreating or whining. I’m so glad that I found this site….ET


sore throatA sore throat can be a royal pain in the uh…throat. Like blinking, we never notice how much we swallow until we start paying attention to it, and when it hurts like nobody’s business, it’s kind of difficult not to pay attention. But before you go getting down about how long you’re going to have to suffer with it, consider taking some action-relief may be close than you think. Below are 22 simple at home sore throat remedies that will help you get started on naturally soothing the ache.

Note: Do not give honey on its own or otherwise to children under the age of 1 year.

1. Gargle With Warm Salt Water:

When your Grandmother told you to gargle with salt water, she knew what she was talking about. Gargling with salt water isn’t an old wives tale-it’s about one of the closest to a cures for a sore throat you can get.

When our throats hurt, regardless of what causes it, it’s because the cells in the mucous membranes have become swollen and inflamed. By gargling with salt water you decrease the swelling, as salts primary function is to draw out water, which in turn shrinks the swollen cell and eases the pain. It also helps wash away the excess mucous and allows your stuffy nose (if you have one) to drain properly.

You will need…
-1 cup of warm water (8 oz.)
-½ teaspoon of table salt

Heat water until it’s warm, but not hot. Thoroughly mix in salt. Gargle. Repeat 3 throughout the day as needed. Any more than that and you risk drying out healthy soft tissue and making things worse.

gargle salt water

2. Make And Enjoy A Hot Toddy (or have someone make it for you.)

Typically a Hot Toddy helps a sore throat -particularly one accompanied by a cold- for 2 reasons. The honey and lemon soothes your throat, while the alcohol helps you sleep. I personally leave the alcohol out of mine as my mother did when she made her version for me growing up. Whether or not you use it is up to you, but keep in mind that steering clear of alcohol when you’re under the weather is usually best.

You will need…
-2 oz. bourbon or whiskey (optional, not recommended)
-1 tablespoon of honey, or more to taste
-4 ounces hot water
-1 teaspoon lemon juice
-1 slice fresh lemon (optional)

If you’re using it, pour the alcohol into a large mug. Add the honey, and leave the spoon in the mug. Pour the hot water into the mug, making sure it gets the last bit of honey off the spoon. Add the lemon juice and stir well. Place the mug in the microwave and heat until its nice and hot, but not boiling (about 1 minute.) Add the lemon slice, and enjoy.

3. Mix up an ACV drink

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is probably right up there with garlic (its unfortunate the things that make us better can’t taste delicious) but some people swear by it. Its high levels of acidity can kill bacteria quite efficiently, and when mixed with honey it can soothe the soreness in your throat as well.

You will need…
-1 tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar
-1 tablespoon of honey
-1 cup of very warm water

Mix the ACV and honey into very warm water. Drink it while it’s still warm!


If you don’t want to swallow it (and it does have a strong taste) try 2 tablespoons of ACV and mix with ½ cup warm water. Gargle once a day.

honey and vinegar for sore throat

4. Suck on Garlic

Yup, it sounds repulsive, and you probably don’t want to go on a dinner date right afterwards, but garlic is a natural remedy that can kick a sore throat right in it’s painfully swollen tush. The reason lies in the garlic’s allicin, a compound that can kill the bacteria that causes strep and fight the germs causing pain and irritation.

You will need…
-1 fresh clove of garlic, sliced in half

Place 1 piece of garlic in each cheek, and suck on it like a cough drop. Occasionally crush your teeth against it to release the allicin- there’s no need to actually bite it. Try this once daily.


5. Have A Marshmallow

Don’t get too excited-I am referring to the herb called Marshmallow, or Marshmallow Root. It has been used with a fair amount of success for several centuries in North America and Europe as it contains mucilage, which helps coat and soothe mucus membranes in the throat.

Note that if you have diabetes, you should consult your doctor before using Marshmallow Root, as it may lower your blood sugar.

You will need…
-1 tablespoon of the dried root
-1 cup of boiling water

Put one tablespoon of dried root in a mug and pour boiling water over it. Cover and steep for 30-60 minutes before straining and drinking.

6. Steam It Out

Steam can ease a sore throat-particularly one that hurts due to dryness-shorten its duration, and make it easier to breathe if you’re congested. You don’t have to head to your gym’s sauna/steam room to get the treatment either-there are ways to use steam as a remedy without leaving the comfort of your home.

You will need…
-1 medium to large bowl
-Enough hot water to fill your bowl about halfway
-1 bath towel or a towel of similar size
-Eucalyptus oil (optional)

Boil a pot of water and pour it into your bowl. Lean over the bowl so that you can fully inhale the rising steam-you don’t have to stick your face right up to it. Drape the towel over your head to create a tent for the steam. Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil if you’d like to make it more soothing. If you’re worried about frightening someone who walks in on a mysterious towel-draped creature snuffling and sniffling over a bowl of steaming water, taking a hot shower and letting the bathroom steam up can provide some relief as well.

7. Kick It With Cayenne

Drinking warm water with cayenne can actually make you feel better. This is another one of those really funky sounding home remedies, but again, a lot of people swear by it. Dumping something involving hot peppers in any way, shape, or form down your already searing throat seems counterintuitive to helping it, but there’s a method to the madness. Cayenne (and other hot peppers) have a chemical compound called capsaicin that temporarily relieves pain, much like Advil or aspirin does. It accomplishes this by hindering something called substance P, which is what transmits pain signals to your brain. Thus, the discomfort from your sore throat is diluted when coming in contact with the Cayenne-and quickly to boot.

You will need…
-1/2 teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
-1 cup of boiling water
-1 teaspoon of honey

Add 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper to 1 cup of boiling water. Stir in the honey, and wait until the mixture is warm-but not hot-before drinking throughout the day as needed. Make sure to stir it frequently, as the Cayenne tends to settle. If you’re sensitive to spice, reduce the pepper to as little as 1/8 of a teaspoon.

cayenne pepper

8. Drink Licorice Root Tea

By drinking licorice root tea you can naturally get some relief for your sore throat. The anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties of licorice root help reduce swelling and irritation, and soothe the mucus membranes in your throat. You can buy tea with licorice in it, or brew up your own. The recipe below has a few extra ingredients to make this at home remedy for sore throats taste extra yummy and comforting.

You will need…
-1 cup chopped dry licorice root
-1/2 cup cinnamon chips
-2 tablespoons whole cloves
-1/2 cup chamomile flowers

Mix everything in a bowl thoroughly. Store in a glass jar away from light and heat if you wish to save some for later. To prepare the tea, combine 3 heaping tablespoons of the tea mix and 2.5 cups of cold water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, than reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes. Pour into a large mug through a strainer, sip, and enjoy.

Recipe courtesy of Nourishing Days (www.nourishingdays.com)

9. Get Your Rest & Fluids

It’s an obvious one, but its repeated so often for a reason, so don’t brush it off. Combine it with other natural remedies, and it may boost their effectiveness as well. Make sure you’re letting your body rest, and drink as much fluid as you can!

You will need…
-A comfy place to curl up
-Water, orange juice, more water, herbal tea, and anything else liquid you deem appropriate (alcohol and caffeine should be avoided.)

Get a good book or order your favorite movie. Get cozy, rest, and drink, drink, drink!

10. Make Baking Soda “Tea”

Baking soda is often times touted as a simple, straightforward, and effective home remedy for sore throats. The reason? Baking soda has antibacterial properties, which could help to kill off the nasties camping out in your throat. It also has a slightly Alkaline PH-this soothes minor skin irritations such as bug bites and rashes, and it will act similarly on the swollen tissues in your throat. Toss in some salt (see #1 for details on salt) and you have a mixture that’s set up for soothing success.

You will need…
-1 cup of very warm water
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon or a little less baking soda

Heat the water until it is very warm, but not so warm that you can’t drink it. Mix in ½ teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon or a little less baking soda, stir, and test the temperature. Pour some of the liquid into your throat, let it sit for a moment, then gargle. Do this twice in a row 3 times daily.

11. Hunker In With Honeysuckle

There’s a reason why there has recently been a resurgence of the use of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for both humans and animals alike-many of the natural remedies really work. TCM has the effects and properties of various plants down to a science, and while medical treatment has changed, those same plants remain working just as well as they did way back when they were discovered. Blessed with a name so tasty you just want to cram it into your mouth, Honeysuckle is one of those plants. It is extremely effective in easing coughs, sore throats, and flu symptoms. Thanks to its bacterial fighting properties, it can help ward off the nasty buggers in your system, and keep them from coming back. On top of that, it flushes toxins out of your bloodstream, and works as an anti-inflammatory to help reduce the swelling tissue in your throats. To enjoy its benefits, just brew yourself a fresh cup of piping hot tea.

You will need…
-2 cups of Honeysuckle flowers & leaves (fresh is best)
-1 quart of water
-A way to heat the water

If you’re lucky enough to live by wild Honeysuckle, pick two cups of the flowers and leaves in equal parts. If you don’t grow it or live by wild plants, get them at a store-it can be hard to come by sometimes, TCM shops are your best option. Once you have your leaves and flowers, simmer them in one quart of boiling water for 10 minutes. Strain, and add honey/lemon if you like.

12. Chomp Those Cloves

Cloves have been used for centuries, particularly in Traditional Chinese Medicine, but they aren’t used nearly as much nowadays. Still, cloves were often used to help ease pain in the mouth (such as toothaches) and throat. At one time dentists even commonly used it as an anesthetic, and some still do today. The reason they can be successful as a pain killer is because of the substance eugenol they contain. Eugenol can be a natural pain killer, and can act as an anti-bacterial as well. Chewing on whole cloves will slowly release that eugenol, and hopefully numb the pain in your throat. Just try to contain your excitement at finally having an excuse to go chow down on cloves, ok?

Note: Do not substitute clove oil for whole cloves, as it may result in stomach upset.

You will need…
-Several whole cloves
-A glass of water (optional, but you should be drinking fluids anyway.)

Pop a clove or two into your mouth and suck on it until it becomes soft, and then chew as if it were gum. Swallowing them afterwards is not harmful. Use as needed.

suck on cloves

13. Get Help From Hydrogen

Oh yes, it was the mortal enemy of any child who fell off their bike a lot, or did anything that resulted in some nasty skinned knees. You’re hurt, you’re upset that you fell, and then your mom carries you kicking and screaming into the bathroom and dumps Hydrogen Peroxide all over your cuts. Not cool mom. Of course she was correct in her actions though-it does kill off of bacteria and clean out cuts to stave off infection. With that in mind, we can broaden its use to helping a sore throat in the form of a gargle.

You will need…
-3 percent Hydrogen Peroxide
-A drinking cup

Pour one cap-full of Hydrogen Peroxide into your drinking cup. Warm up some water (don’t make it hot) and dilute the Peroxide with one capful of warm water.

Gargle thoroughly before spitting the liquid back out. If you can’t stand the taste, a little honey won’t hurt.

hydrogen peroxide throat soother

14. Avoid Irritants

It sounds like stating the obvious to say “avoid irritants,” but many of us are stoic creatures, and we’ll fight whatever ails us and crawl to work, soccer practice, class, or whatever it is to keep life on track. If you truly must go out, make a very conscious effort steer clear of fumes, smog, and smoke-more than usual. Breathing that stuff in will irritate the soft tissues at the back of your throat that already have enough to deal with. While lozenges can help stimulate saliva, avoid those with lots of sugar-same goes for hard candies. Caffeine and alcohol can hinder our body’s ability to fight off infection, and prolong your sore throat, so avoid them if you can. Do your best to rest up, and remember to take care of yourself (or have someone take care of you!)

You will need…
-1 bedside bell
-A serv-I mean-a good friend who will take care of you

Ring thy bell!

15. Do Pomegranate Power-Ups

The list of all the beneficial stuff contained in pomegranates is off the charts-it has something to help just about anything. Focusing in on sore throats, pomegranates can help fight off infection with anti-oxidants, while they also contain astringents. An astringent is a substance that causes contraction of body tissue, so they will help the swelling in your throat go down, in turn diminishing the pain. You can utilize these properties in a few ways, either by making tea and gargling or drinking it, or gargling/drinking juice. The tea takes a bit more work to make, so I suggest getting the ingredients prepared ahead of time so you don’t have to do much when you’re ill.

You will need…
-1 pomegranate
-3-4 cups of water


-1 (or more) bottles of pomegranate juice-try to find organic/ones with less sugar

To make tea, peel the pomegranate and collect its rinds. Boil the rinds for 15 minutes or so in 3-4 cups of water (time and water amount can be adjusted to your preferences.) Drink the tea, or gargle for at least 30 seconds. You can get the rinds in advance, and then dry them in an airtight jar away from direct sunlight. That way, you have them on hand for when you get sick. If you don’t want to make the tea, gargling or drinking pomegranate juice at least 3 times a day can help as well.

pomegranate powerup

16. Make Cozy Chamomile Tea

Chamomile is a natural remedy for sore throats. Its components kill off bacteria, while it works as a natural pain-killer. It also has anti-spasmodic properties (aka it helps the muscles relax) which can help you rest. Overall, it’s one soothing wonder herb.

You will need…
-1 bag of chamomile tea
-1 mug
-1 cup of boiling water

When the water has boiled, pour into your mug and add the tea bag. Cover and let steep for 10 minutes. Add a bit of honey and lemon if you like. Drink as needed.

chamomile tea

17. Drink That Ginger

Ginger has a pretty intense-even spicy- flavor, so why would you want to ingest it when your throat is already tender and sore? It just so happens that ginger is packed with properties that will chase away the pain. It works brilliantly as a cold remedy as well, and colds and sore throats often go hand in hand. It’s an expectorant, which means it helps loosen and expel mucus from your respiratory system (including the extra mucus in your throat.) It does this in part because its aroma opens up your sinuses. It also boosts your circulation, increasing oxygen to your cells, flushing out toxins, and speeding up the healing process. To top it off it acts as an anti-inflammatory, and fights off bad bacteria too. To top the top off, you can enjoy all of ginger’s benefits in a warm, soothing, cup of tea.

You will need…

-Fresh ginger root, 2 inches long
-A sharp knife or vegetable peeler
-A cutting board
-2-3 cups of water
-Wax paper

Wash ginger root thoroughly, then peel. Slice into small pieces, place on a cutting board, and cover it with a piece of wax paper. Crush it using a mallet, the flat side of the knife, anything-it’s not a science, a rock from your garden would probably do if it suits your fancy. If you don’t want to bother crushing, you can slice it into very small chunks after peeling. Boil your water over medium heat and then add the ginger. Let it boil for 3-5 minutes, then take a cup and enjoy it piping hot-add some honey or other flavorings if you like. You can strain it before drinking if you don’t want little bits of ginger at the bottom of your cup. Just make sure you enjoy it while it’s nice and warm!

sore throat ginger tea

18. Gargle Sage

Sage was used medicinally for a long, long, time well before it entered the culinary scene. Some people say it has something to cure a little bit of everything, but we’re just focusing on how to use it as an effective natural remedy for your sore throat. Sage is an astringent, meaning it causes body tissues to contract, which means that it can help with swelling. Since the tissues at the back of your throat get swollen when you’re ill, you can see why sage could be of use. The phenolic acids in sage are also known to fight and kill off the bad bacteria that could be the culprit or a contributor to your symptoms. In this case, a good way to use the sage is in the form of a gargle.

You will need…
-1 cup of boiling water
-2 teaspoons sage leaves (dried or fresh)
-1/4 ounce salt

Boil your water, and then pour it over the sage in a mug. Cover and steep for 20 minutes. Strain, add salt, and gargle as needed.

gargle sage

19. Avoid Milk, Or Drink It

Warm milk might seem like the perfect thing to ease your throat. It’s soothing, non-irritating, and relaxing-plus, it’s getting fluid into your body. While not true for all sore throats, if your pain comes along with congestion, it may be best to steer clear of milk. The reason is because milk coats the throat, which already has excess mucus thanks to your illness. It may also increase mucus production which, like coating the throat, would not help at all. On the other hand, if you have a very dry or raw sore throat, some milk and honey may be just the thing to help soothe it.

20. Keep Food And Drink Temperatures Moderate

A huge glass of ice water might sound fabulous, but in reality, the temperature can sometimes make the throat ache more. Same thing goes for hot-while teas and soups are often called for “hot,” err more on the side of “warm.” Liquid that is too hot will just burn and cause more pain. By letting things come to room temperature or keeping them cool rather than cold, or warm rather than hot, you can avoid aggravating your throat further (sadly, this means popsicles and ice cream may be best avoided.)

21. Spice Things Up

Truly spicy foods should be avoided when your throat hurts, but one “spicy” home remedy that helps relieve some of the pain of a sore throat (one that is the result of a cold) is cinnamon. It’s extremely high in anti-oxidants, and its aroma often times helps to open up the sinuses, which lessens the production of mucus and helps you breathe a little easier. There are some pretty straightforward remedies using cinnamon out there, including ones that involve mixing cinnamon powder straight into water. To get the best of both taste and health benefits, using “cinnamon water” is a great way to go about achieving a yummy drink that will also help you feel better.

You will need…
-1-2 cinnamon sticks
-1-1/2 cups of boiling water
-The tea of your choice

Bring water to a boil and add the cinnamon. Boil for about 2-3 minutes, and then remove the cinnamon. Steep your choice of herbal or green tea in the cinnamon water, drink, and enjoy.

*Chamomile tea steeped in cinnamon water with honey to taste would be a fabulous combo to beat off the sickness.*

cinnamon sticks

22. Mix & Match

There is obviously a theme to the kinds of ingredients used in the home remedies for sore throats. If what they are, and know what’s causing the sore throat, you can try different combinations to see what works for you. There’s a surprising amount of variation, even on things as simple as salt water gargles! Some examples- some people will suggest simply lemon juice and honey, while some say honey and warm water, or others say combine all three and then add a pinch of cayenne.


If none of the remedies above seem to do it for you, below are 5 ingredients that we found to be the most prevalent in helping a sore throat, be it on their own, combined, or in another form.

1. Salt: It draws the water out of your swollen mucus membranes, reducing swelling and pain.

2. Honey: Comforting and soothing honey helps coat the throat when it is dry, scratchy and painful. It also kills bacteria. It should not be given to children under 2 years of age.

3. Lemon: Cuts through unwanted mucus, kills bacteria, and can help dull the pain in sore spots. Often used with honey.

4. Apple Cider Vinegar: It’s a major germ-buster, and while it may seem counter-intuitive, ACV can really help relieve your sore throat.

5. Baking Soda: Due to its PH levels it can help soothe minor skin irritations, and also helps rid your body of bad bacteria that could be lurking about and making things worse.

Knowing what causes the sore throat can allow you to know how to treat it. Below are a few of the biggest culprits.

• Swelling: The swelling of the tissues in your throat cause pain-look for something that works as an anti-inflammatory or astringent.

• Dryness: Find something that will coat your throat, but NOT create more mucus.

• Bacteria: Sore throats can be cause by bacteria. Find something that naturally kills off the germs.

The next time you feel your throat starting to get painful, use any of the above as soon as possible. In the middle of the worst sore throat you’ve ever had, drinking tea probably won’t feel like much in comparison to the effect of over-the counter pain medication, but home remedies can stop it before it has much chance to get worse.

22 Sore Throat Remedies- to help ease the pain.

While there is no miracle cure, natural home remedies have also been shown to shorten the duration of cold and flu symptoms (ahem, sore throat) and lessen the severity of the symptoms throughout the time you’re ill. When taking a more natural route for treatment, you’re body feels better than when you’re taking OTC drugs (even if you don’t feel it right away) and a healthy body means a healthy recovery.

A natural Spa treatment at Home…

30+ things to do with eggshells — from: http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/

30+ Things to Do with Eggshells


how to use eggshells

To the majority of people, eggshells are simply trash.

But to homesteader, eggshells are a surprisingly useful resource. You know what they say… “Waste not, want not.”

I personally get a big kick out of finding uses for things people normally throw away. So, I’ve put together a list of 9 Things You Can Do with Eggshells around your own homestead.

(Holy Moly! My list started out with a measly 9 ideas, but after all of my thrifty readers left their ideas in the comment section, it has grown to 30+! I’ve edited the list with these new additions- keep them coming folks!)

**It is very important to only use eggshells from healthy, natural chickens if you or your animals are going to ingest the shells. Eggs from factory farms are not only less nutritious, but can also carry harmful pathogens. I personally have no problem eating raw eggs from my own free-range hens, but I wouldn’t do so with eggs from the store.**

1. Feed them to your chickens.

Boost your flock’s calcium intake by crushing the shells and feeding them back to your hens. My girls much prefer crushed egg shells over the oyster shell supplement from the feed store. I wrote a post a while back that has all the details of collecting, crushing, and feeding the shells.

2. Use the shell’s membrane as an all-natural bandage.

I just discovered this idea, so I have yet to try it, but what a cool concept! The membrane of the shell is reported to help promote healing in cuts and scratches. This post should be able to answer most of your questions about using membranes as a first-aid tool.

uses for eggshells

3. Boil the eggshells in your coffee.

My first thought when I read this idea was ”Why on earth would you do that?” But apparently, people have been boiling eggshells in their coffee for centuries to help clarify the grounds and reduce bitterness. I have yet to give this a try myself, but it might be worth a try. Here is a Boiled Eggshell Coffee tutorial.

4. Sprinkle the eggshells around your garden to deter pests.

Soft-bodied critters like slugs or snails don’t like crawling over sharp pieces of eggshell.

5. Give your tomatoes a calcium boost.

Blossom-end rot is a common tomato problem, but I recently learned that it is actually caused by a calcium deficiency in the plant. Experienced gardeners often place eggshells in the bottom of the hole when transplanting their tomato plants to help combat this problem. I’m definitely trying this next year! For more natural gardening tips, grab a copy of my latest eBook, Natural Homestead. It has dozens of recipes to keep your garden chemical-free.

6. Eat them.

Yeah, I know. First I told you to eat your weeds, and now I’m saying to eat eggshells… Hey, I never claimed to be normal;)

But yes, many folks actually do eat eggshells for their awesome amounts of calcium.  I’ve never actually tried it, but I know that several of my readers have. This post will give you all the info you need to make your own calcium-rich eggshell powder.

7. Use eggshells to start seedlings.

If homemade paper pots aren’t your style, give some of your smaller seedlings a start in rinsed-out shells. This post from Apartment Therapy will give you all the info and photos you need to get you started.

8. Toss them in the compost pile.

Add calcium to your compost by adding eggshells to your pile or tumbler.

9. Sow directly into the soil.

If none of the previous idea sound appealing and you don’t have a compost pile, then you can simply turn crushed eggshells directly into your garden patch. It’s still better than sending them to the garbage.

uses for eggshells

All of the following ideas were submitted by readers of The Prairie Homestead:

10. Potting Soil Addition: Used coffee grounds and egg shells are wonderful in potted plants. I use a 1:4 ratio. (From Tala)

11. Blade Sharpening: Keep them in the freezer and use to clean and sharpen blender blades by adding water. Then pour the mixture into your compost bin. (From Greenie and Ceridwyn)

12. Canine Remedy: I save my eggshells and let them dry out, when I have a good size amount I crush them, then use a coffee grinder and make them into a powder. If one of my dogs get diarrhea, I just sprinkle a couple teaspoons of the eggshell powder on their food for a day and the diarrhea goes away. (From Terri)

13. Calcium Pills: I save my eggshells in a large bowl, then I steam them to sanitize them and let them dry. Then I grind them down (I use a Vitamix but I think any blender would do if you crush them a little first, or just do it in a coffee grinder) into a fine powder and spoon them into 00-size gelatin capsules for homemade calcium pills. (From Mari)

14. Mineral supplement: I sometimes soak eggshells in lemon water for a few weeks in the fridge. Then I add a tiny bit to my shakes to get extra minerals. (From Jill)

15. Tooth Remineralizing: Natural News.com has an article about using comfrey root & fresh egg shell (organic & pasture raised) for re-mineralizing your teeth.  Not sure about this particular method, but it would make sense due to the healing properties of the comfrey AND the minerals in the egg shell.  (From Jennifer)

16. Sidewalk chalk: 5-8 eggshells (finely ground), 1 tsp hot water, 1 tsp flour, food coloring optional…mix and pack into toilet tissue rolls and let dry. (From Linda) 

17. First Aid Treatment: Fresh egg membranes applied, then allowed to dry, will draw minor infections: splinters, pimples, boils, etc. (From Anne)

18. Making Water Kefir: You can also use eggshell to nourish your water kefir grains.  You just add 1/4 of a clean eggshell to your water kefir while it’s brewing.  We’ve done this instead of buying mineral drops and it seems to work great. (From Jenna, Sherry, and Tiffani)

19. Christmas Ornaments: When I found a large cache of slightly-flawed plastic suncatcher ornaments to paint cheap at the local flea market a few years ago, I snatched a big bunch of them up.  I mixed regular acrylic colors with Elmer’s glue and various “texturizing” elements to pack those suncatchers with.  I tried everything from small seeds and spices, to sifted sand, and my favorite turned out to be crushed eggshells.  They were no longer transparent, but the flaws were covered, and they make very nice Christmas tree ornaments, wall hangings, mobiles, etc. (From Sweetp)

20. Make Calcium Citrate: Make your own calcium citrate using only fresh farm raised, preferably organic, egg shells.  Rinse residual egg out of the shells and air dry. Crush the shell and add 1t. lemon juice per egg shell and cover.  The lemon juice will dissolve the shell and there you have it… calcium citrate. (From Mary Anne)

21. Calcium-Rich Vinegar: I was taught by my herbalist teacher to make a calcium rich vinegar by adding calcium rich herbs (nettles, dock, etc) and one clean high quality eggshell to apple cider vinegar.  It needs to infuse for at least six weeks, then be decanted.  But the calcium from the shell and the plants goes into the vinegar and can be used as regular vinegar would be in salad dressing, over cooked greens, etc.  (From Sara)

22. Pan Scrubber: Crushed egg shells work great to scrub pans that have food stuck in them. Yes they will break up, but they still do the job! (From Rose)

23. Ice Cream Addition (?): I was told companies put egg shell powder in cheap ice cream to add extra calcium.  I imagine you could do this when making homemade ice cream as well.(From Brenda)

24. Cosmetic Booster: Make it into a powder and add a little bit to your nail polish to strengthen nails. Take that same powder and put it into ice cube trays with water and rub it on your face– it helps reduce the look of wrinkles. Put the powder in your lotion– it softens your hands. (From Amy)

25. Add to Broth/Stocks: For extra calcium and minerals. (From Becky and Tiffani) (See my homemade stock/broth tutorial here.)

26. Arts and Crafts: Use eggshells to make mosaics or mixed-media art projects. (From Carol and Janet)

27. House Plant Booster: “My Grandmother kept eggshells covered with water in a mason jar which she used to water her African violets. She had the most magnificent plants imaginable!”(From Cynthia)

28. Wild Bird Treat: You can also feed them to the birds. They’re high in calcium and are great for birds in the spring when they are laying eggs– just make sure to sterilize them. Bake them in the oven for 20 minutes at 250 F and crush them. (From Susanne)

29. Laundry Whitener: To help your whites not to turn grey, put a handful of clean, broken eggshells and 2 slices of lemon in a little cheesecloth bag with your clothes in the washer. It will prevent the soap deposit that turns the white clothes grey. (From Emilie)

30. Garbage Disposal Cleaner: Toss a few shells down your disposal to help freshen things up. (From Carol) (Okay– since originally posting this, I’ve had several folks say this is a bad idea and that it will clog your drain– so proceed with caution…)

What do you do with eggshells?