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Monthly Archives: December 2013

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19 Most Viewed Mason Jar Ideas Of 2013!

Mason jars were so beloved by crafters this past year that Huff Post called them the DIY equivalent of the cronut. Here are the 19 most popular mason jar projects on Hometalk in 2013.posted on 

I haven’t tried any of these yet, but I’m wanting to try many of them!!! ET 

19. Easter bunny peeps + mason jars = adorable candleholders!

Easter bunny peeps + mason jars = adorable candleholders!

Debbie / Via hometalk.com

Take a peep: two of 2013’s hottest stars cozy up together.

18. Mason jar down-home style chandelier

Mason jar down-home style chandelier

Marty / Via hometalk.com

Well, the first thing you know, old Jed’s a millionaire …

17. The (simple & cheap) secret of homespun dishwasher detergent

The (simple & cheap) secret of homespun dishwasher detergent

Measuredbytheheart / Via hometalk.com

Nowhere to store this dish soap once you’ve mixed it up? Umm, why not try … *drum roll* … a mason jar?

16. Here’s how to put together a Vogue-worthy votive candle

Here’s how to put together a Vogue-worthy votive candle

Sarah / Via hometalk.com

This lit-up mason jar goes glam with stylish peekaboo cutouts.

15. Those blooming mason jars make great vases!

Those blooming mason jars make great vases!

Linda / Via hometalk.com

Mum’s the word at this meeting of the masons.

14. Another vase idea: all prettied up with distressed paint.

Another vase idea: all prettied up with distressed paint.

Linda / Via hometalk.com

Discard them, distress them, mason jars just keep going strong.

13. Mason jars can do ANYTHING …

Mason jars can do ANYTHING ...

Katie / Via hometalk.com

… light up the great outdoors, pack preserves, dangle from the ceiling like Spiderman.

12. Neat’n’tidy mason jars organize your bathroom stuff.

Neat’n’tidy mason jars organize your bathroom stuff.

Lizmarie / Via hometalk.com

Perfect for New Year’s morning. Just follow the numbers.

11. . Packaging for homemade vinegar-citrus cleaner

. Packaging for homemade vinegar-citrus cleaner

Jeremy / Via hometalk.com

This cleaning solution packs quite a wallop, but please don’t drink it. Not even as a hangover cure.

10. New Year Resolution: perk up thrift shop vases and their humble mason jar cousins with a coat of fresh paint.

New Year Resolution: perk up thrift shop vases and their humble mason jar cousins with a coat of fresh paint.

Linda / Via hometalk.com

Stock up on DIY vases for all the bright bouquets your SO’s resolved to bring you in 2014.

9. Quite possibly the most unusual snow globes of the year.

Quite possibly the most unusual snow globes of the year.

Jessica / Via hometalk.com

Mason jars display a case of the wintertime blues in Tinseltown.

8. There’s a crafty cocktail of inexpensive, natural smelling room freshener inside these masons.

There’s a crafty cocktail of inexpensive, natural smelling room freshener inside these masons.

Dan / Via hometalk.com

Now that’s what we call home brew!

7. Indoor MJ planters dispense fresh herbs on demand.

Indoor MJ planters dispense fresh herbs on demand.

Home Repair Tutor / Via hometalk.com

How herbivores can spice up their life in any season.

6. Fairy lights set mason jars a-twinkle.

Fairy lights set mason jars a-twinkle.

Carrie / Via hometalk.com

One thing a gal (or guy) just can’t have too much of: mason jar lamps. Like Christmas all year long.

5. Good little mason jars keeping your twine tangle-free.

Good little mason jars keeping your twine tangle-free.

‘a casarella / Via hometalk.com

Use these to build the biggest ball of twine in Minnesota. Or just to wrap parcels.

4. Create porch lights you can be proud of.

Create porch lights you can be proud of.

All Things Heart and Home / Via hometalk.com

The charming mason jar lights in the pic were actually put together for a devoted DIYer by her ever-lovin’ hubby. Sweet.

3. Mason jars morph into faux etched canisters.

Mason jars morph into faux etched canisters.

Colleen / Via hometalk.com

You too can have stylish staples in their own country chic containers.

2. Easy instructions for building a mason jar solar light.

Easy instructions for building a mason jar solar light.

Melissa / Via hometalk.com

Light up your life as you take a load off the planet.

1. Most popular mason jar project of the year: a “green” light.

Most popular mason jar project of the year: a “green” light.

ThriftDee / Via hometalk.com

A DIY outdoor light that combines upcycling with solar power. Tree huggers rule!

This post was created by a user and has not been vetted or endorsed by BuzzFeed’s editorial staff. BuzzFeed Community is a place where anyone can post awesome lists and creations.Learn more or post your buzz!



 Some of these are very unusual… Great ideas…ET

More than meets the eye.

Aside from the one way we all know vodka can be put to good use, it’s not a completely pointless liquid otherwise. In fact, the alcoholic beverage spreads itself quite thin on the usefulness scale. Vodka’s anti-bacterial properties are what give it such potency in combatting a lot of common ailments and household issues – from earaches to carpet stains. Grab yourself a bottle, or two, and redefine what it means to booze.

Poison Ivy Reliever

Apply vodka to an area affected by poison ivy and it will dry up surrounding skin, getting rid of any oils that are causing the poison ivy to inflame and itch.

Laundry Freshener

Fill a small spray bottle with vodka and lightly spray clothes. The vodka smell goes away when the clothes dry completely. The vodka helps to remove any unwanted odors.

Flower Preserver

Plants produce the ripening gas ethylene, which promotes maturation. Vodka stunts ethylene production and allows for flowers to stay fresher, longer. Spray flower stems with a 2:1 ratio mix of vodka and sugar. Repeat every few days.

Insect Repellent

Keep the insects at bay by squirting some vodka on your skin before going outdoors. Add essential lavender oil. Insects hate the smell of lavender, and you will prefer it to the smell of vodka lingering on your skin. You could also mix vodka into your scented moisturizer.


Jelly Fish Bite Soother

Much like vodka helps to treat poison ivy on the skin, the liquid also helps to alleviate the pain and itch that come post nasty jelly fish bite. Bring along a 1:1 mixture of vodka and water in a spray bottle to the beach just in case of an attack.

Hair Shiner

Add 1-2 ounces of vodka to your shampoo and watch as your hair emerges from a shower feeling cleaner, silky, and shiny.

Band-Aid Remover

Vodka will help to dissolve the sticky edges of a band-aid and allow for a painless removal. Not that you would, but a few swigs before peeling the adhesive off won’t hurt either.

Computer Screen Cleaner

Using water to clean a computer screen often leaves behind distracting smears. Apply vodka to the screen and wipe away for a seamless and clear complexion.


Eye Glasses Cleaner

It may not be the best idea to carry around a bottle of vodka, but a small spray bottle may be less conspicuous and prove to be very useful. Your glasses will get star treatment on the go.

Air Freshener

Mix equal parts water and vodka in a spray bottle and spray around the house. The vodka dissolves odors and the solution is completely odorless.

Razor Blade Cleanser

Soak razor blades in vodka and dissolve away build-up and buff the razor all in one. This trick will keep your razor blades clean and disinfected whilst extending the lifespan of your razor collection.

Jewelry Cleaner

Let your jewelry sparkle and shine. Soak and lightly scrub them in some vodka to remove any impurities.

Pore Reduction

Lightly soak one side of a cotton ball in vodka and dab your face. The vodkas acts as an astringent, tightening the pores and removing excess oils.

Homemade Mouthwash

Because of vodka’s capacity to fight bacteria and prevent infection, you can gargle it in the A.M. (without swallowing) to clean your mouth. Vodka may not be the first thing you want to taste on a sensitive morning stomach, so dilute it with equal parts water add a few drops of mint oil.

Cold Sore Treatment

Vodka can help to reduce cold sore inflammation and redness by drying the affected area. Dip one end of a Q-tip into vodka and use it to dab sores.


Shower Cleaner

Attack those moldy, dark crevices with a toothbrush and some vodka. Spray vodka onto moldy areas, let sit for 15 minutes, and then scrub away. The vodka kills the mold.


Vodka is a great disinfectant and antiseptic. Apply to minor cuts and burns to kill bacteria.

Stickiness Remover

Vodka works wonders on removing all that is gooey! From stickers on car surfaces to gum on the bottom of a shoe, a little vodka goes a long way.

Treat Ear Aches

Put a few drops of vodka into your ear. Let the alcohol sit in the ears for a few minutes each and then drain. The vodka kills bacteria that causes pain.

Stain Remover

Vodka effectively gets rid of ink, grass and lipstick stains. Dab stain with vodka and rub the stain away. Add the stained garment to the laundry afterwards for a more thorough clean.

Tooth-Ache Reliever

Gargle vodka without swallowing, unless you want a buzz. The vodka will prevent infection and reduce inflammation and soreness in the mouth.


Foot Odor Cure

For those of you who suffer from foot odor, consider vodka your new best friend. Soak your feet in a shallow bucket of vodka, which will kill bacteria-causing odor. Let your feet dry to get rid of the vodka smell or wash your feet with fragrant soap directly after the treatment.

Fever Alleviation 

Vodka works well as a liniment to reduce a fever, because it evaporates very quickly and can provide a cooling relief. Apply vodka to a soft cloth and place on your chest.

Images: Karola RieglerBarkTasumi1968Marcus VegasSeishin17

Aylin Erman currently resides in Istanbul and is creator of plant-based recipe website GlowKitchen.

by  on August 23, 2012 in FOOD

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!

How to grow a lemon tree from seed

I have lots of lemons and limes, so I need to get planting… ET

When life gives you lemons, grow trees!

If you’ve ever seen a flowering lemon tree, you’ll understand why. For those of you who haven’t, allow me explain. Their lush, dark green, oval leaves have a glossy texture that shimmers in sunlight. Their delicate white flowers bloom with a citrus fragrance and are soft to the touch. Their exotic nature provides an alluring quality. And, finally, they bear the exciting possibility of fruit!

Typically, lemon trees flourish outdoors year-round in hot, sunny regions, but they can also thrive indoors as edible houseplants in cold-season climates. At the organic food store where I work we have a healthy lemon cutting producing massive fruit in a garage setting all year. It makes for an impressive sight during the dead of a Canadian winter!

This is the little tree with big fruit in the shop I work at.

And while rooting cuttings is a sensible option for fast fruit, lemon tree cuttings are not readily available in many parts of the world. But lemons are another story. And although it may take anywhere from 3-6 years for your tree to be capable of producing fruit, there is something extra rewarding about starting from seed. I currently have six strong little seedlings on the go, all of which were germinated in the middle of winter with very little effort. Watching them grow has been an exciting and fascinating experience and I know the best is yet to come.

Here is a step-by-step guide to growing your very own lemon tree from seed:

Things you’ll need:

1. A lemon. Make sure you purchase an organic lemon since some non-organic lemon seeds may be “duds”, incapable of germinating. Any organic lemon will do, but if you have climate or space restrictions, you may want to try looking for a specific variety called a “Meyer” lemon. Meyer lemons are a smaller type of lemon, often grown for ornamental purposes, and are thus better suited for indoor containers. I chose Meyer seeds for these reasons, but you can use any seed that makes sense for your situation.

This is a Meyer lemon!

2. Potting soil. I would guess that any potting soil will do, but I suggest using one with a blend of peat, perlite, vermiculite, and organic fertilizer. Every single one of the seeds I planted in this type of certified organic potting mix have sprouted beautifully, so I think it’s fair to say that it works.

3. Container/pot. A container (with drainage holes) that is 5-6” deep and a few inches in diameter will be sufficient for sprouting; however, the seedling will need to be re-potted into a much larger container. Mature lemon trees prefer a container that is wider rather than deeper, so I suggest planting your seedling in a pot that is 10-16” deep and 12-18” in diameter. Your baby tree will happily make itself at home in this larger container for the next few years, at which time you may want to upgrade again.

4. A grow light or lots of sun. Lemon trees need a lot of light, especially when they are sprouting and require 10-14 hours of it each day. If you don’t have a consistently sunny window (like me), get a grow light. They don’t cost much and will prove their worth in healthy green foliage.

Method for sprouting the lemon seed:

1. Pre-moisten your potting soil. Put some soil into a bucket and mix in some water until the soil is damp all the way through.

2. Fill your container with the pre-moistened soil. Leave about an inch of space below the rim of your container.

3. Slice open your lemon and choose a seed that looks completely full of life. Pop it into your mouth and suck on it until all the flesh is removed and the lemon flavour is gone. Do not allow the seed to dry out at any time. It needs to stay moist in order to germinate. I suggest keeping it in your mouth until you’re ready to plant.

4. Plant your seed! While it’s moist, plant your seed about 1/2″ below the soil level. Cover it completely with soil and water well with a squirt bottle or gentle watering can.

5. Cover your container with breathable plastic to keep your seeds warm and moist. I used a piece of clear garbage bag with holes poked into it and a rubber band to securely hold it in place.

6. Place the container in a warm location and observe for the next few days. Keep in mind: your seed needs warmth and moisture in order to germinate. Don’t allow the potting soil to dry out completely. Also take caution that you don’t cook your seed in its little greenhouse. Too much heat and moisture could lead to a rotten seed! You’re aiming to achieve a nice balance, so if you feel like the soil is warm enough without the plastic then it’s probably safest to remove it.

7. In about two weeks you may notice a sprout emerging from the soil. Once it appears, remove the plastic (if it’s still on) and place the little guy in a warm location with plenty of direct sunlight. Supplement sun with your grow light if needed.

Here are my little guys one month after planting.

At a little less than two months old, this little guy is upgrading to a larger home.

8. Care for your new baby and watch it grow! Provide it with:

  • Water. Ensure that the soil is damp at all times, especially when your lemon tree is young. Do not allow it to sit in a puddle of stagnant water though; those drainage holes are there for good reason.
  • Sunlight. Place it in a warm sunny window where it will receive eight hours of direct sunlight each day, or supplement some sun for a grow light. Since Toronto rarely seems to get any sun in the winter, my sprouts reside in a well-lit window under the warm rays of a grow light for 12 hours each day.
  • Food. In order to keep your lemon tree healthy and growing the soil will eventually need to be replenished with nutrients. I suggest feeding it an organic fertilizer, such as compost or vermicompost, once it has developed a nice little set of leaves. Dig a little trench around the base of your tree, fill it with compost and water it well. Or, serve it up as compost tea. Try feeding it twice a year or as needed, but do not overfeed! When it comes to fertilizing, less it best; so if in doubt, put it off a bit longer. (Another option is to start your seed in potting soil with vermicompost or worm castings mixed into it).
  • Love. Spend some time looking at your new citrus friend. Pay attention to its growth. Feel it, talk to it, sing to it, but don’t try to dance with it. Get into the habit of watching for browning leaves and checking the underside of leaves for pests. Just like us, our plants can fall victim to bugs and disease and may sometimes require some extra love and affection.

Preparing Garden Soil for Planting

Organic Garden SoilHealthy soil is the basis of healthy plants and a healthy environment. When garden soil is in good shape there is less need for fertilizers or pesticides. As author and respected gardener Frank Tozer writes, “When building soil you not only improve your plants health, but you can also improve your own.”

Organic soil is rich in humus, the end result of decaying materials such as leaves, grass clippings and compost. It holds moisture, but drains well. Good organic soil is loose and fluffy — filled with air that plant roots need — and it has plenty of minerals essential for vigorous plant growth. It is alive with living organisms — from earthworms to fungi and bacteria — that help maintain the quality of the soil. Proper pH is also an essential characteristic of healthy soil.

So, how do you know if your soil is healthy? And what do you do if it isn’t?

Determining Soil Health

Of the 17 or so elements thought to be essential for plant growth, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are the most important. They are known as primary or macronutrients because plants take them from the soil in the largest amounts. Fertilizers that contain all three of these nutrients are labeled complete fertilizers, but they are hardly complete in an absolute sense. Calcium, magnesium and sulfur, known as secondary nutrients, are also important to many plants. Lesser or micronutrients include boron, copper, iron manganese and zinc. Some micronutrients have specific functions such as cobalt, which isn’t used by most plants but helps legumes fix nitrogen. Another critical component of your soil is its acid-alkaline balance or pH reading. All these essentials — and the proper texture — makes for healthy soil.


One way to determine what minerals are lacking or abundant in your soil is to get it tested. Local Cooperative Extension Services often offer low cost soil tests. These tests usually measure levels of soil pH, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, and sometimes nitrogen. They may also report the soil’s micronutrient content, but this isn’t essential to the gardener who adds plenty of organic matter to her soil. For a less intensive test, pick up a do-it-yourself version such as the Rapitest Soil Test Kit and do your own simple, rewarding chemistry.

pH levels can be critical to your plant’s ability to absorb nutrients. Most minerals and nutrients are best available to plants in soils with a pH of between 6.5-6.8. If your soil is acidic (low pH, at or below 6.0) or alkaline (high pH, above 7.0) it doesn’t matter how rich it is in nutrients, the plants won’t be able to absorb them. pH is usually included in a soil test, or you can buy a pH Meter and determine the acid-alkaline balance of your soil on your own.

The best time to get the soil tested is in the spring or fall when it is most stable. This is also the best time to add any amendments or organic fertilizer should your soil fall short of minerals or nutrients.

Soil Texture and Type

In addition to uncovering your soil’s pH, macronutrient content and mineral levels you’ll want to examine its texture.

Soil texture depends on the amounts of sand, silt and clay it holds. A handy description of the three main soil components and an easy test to determine your soil type can be found at NASA’s Soil Science Education Page. Sand constitutes the biggest pieces of soil particles and feels gritty to the touch. Next in size are the silt particles which are slippery when wet and powdery when dry. The smallest pieces are clay. They are flat and tend to stack together like plates or sheets of paper. You don’t need an expert to determine soil texture. Just pick up a little and rub it between your fingers. If the soil feels gritty, it is considered sandy. If the soil feels smooth like talcum powder, it is silty. If the soil feels harsh when dry and slippery and sticky when wet, the soil is heavy clay. Most soils will fall somewhere in between.

Sandy soils tend to be nutrient-poor since water and nutrients rapidly drain through the large spaces between the particles of sand. These soils also tend to be low in beneficial microbes and organic matter that plants thrive on.

Silty soils are dense and do not drain well. They are more fertile than either sandy or clay soils.

Heavy clay soils are quite dense, do not drain well and tend to be hard and crack when dry. Because there isn’t much space between the clay particles, there usually isn’t much organic matter or microbial life in the soil. Plant roots have a hard time growing in the hard material.

Improving Garden Soil

Adding organic matter in the form of compost and aged manure, or using mulch or growing cover crops (green manures), is the best way to prepare soil for planting. Adding chemical fertilizers will replenish only certain nutrients and do nothing for maintaining good, friable soil. Organic matter will help supply everything your plants need.


Just like humans, plants need air, both above ground for photosynthesis and in the soil as well. Air in the soil holds atmospheric nitrogen that can be converted into a usable form for plants. Soil oxygen is also crucial to the survival of soil organisms that benefit plants.

Good soil provides just the right space between its particles to hold air that plants will use. Silty and heavy clay soils have small particles that are close together. These dense soils have little air. Sandy soils have the opposite problem; their particles are too big and spaced out. The excessive amount of air in sandy soil leads to rapid decomposition of organic matter.

Adding organic matter, especially compost, will help balance the air supply (the perfect soil is about 25% air). Also, try not to step in the beds or use heavy equipment that can compact the soil. Avoid working the soil if it is very wet.


All forms of life, including plants and soil organisms, need water, but not too much or too little. Healthy soil should be about 25% water.

In soils with too much pore space (sandy soils), water quickly drains through and cannot be used by plants. In dense, silt or clay soils, the soil gets waterlogged as all the pore space is filled with water. This will suffocate plant roots and soil organisms.

The best soils have both small and large pore spaces. Adding organic matter (see below) is the best way to improve the structure of your soil through the formation of aggregates. Additionally, organic matter holds water so that plants can use it when they need it.

Soil Life

A healthy organism population is essential to healthy soil. These little critters make nutrients available to plants and bind soil particles into aggregates that make the soil loose and fluffy. Soil organisms include earthworms, nematodes, springtails, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, mites and many others.

Some of these organisms can be purchased and added to the soil, but unless the environment is suitable for them, they will languish. Better to create an ideal habitat by providing the food (organic matter), air and water they need and let them thrive on their own.

Organic Matter

Adding compost will improve almost any soil. The texture of silty and clay soils, not to mention their nutrient levels, are radically improved from initially having the compost mixed in. All soils get better with annual applications on top. Organic compost can be purchased by the bag or by the yard, or you can make it yourself at home.

Compost and other organic materials hold soil particles together in aggregates and help to retain moisture. They also absorb and store nutrients that are then available to plants, and compost is a food source for beneficial microorganisms.

Making your own compost can be as easy as piling brown layers (straw, leaves), and green layers (grass clippings, livestock manure, food waste) on top of one another. Keep the pile moist and turn it often.

If a pile is too messy, or you are concerned about rodents and other animals getting into your pile, there are all kinds of composters available for purchase to contain your vegetable scraps and make turning a cinch.


Organic (straw, hay, grass clippings, shredded bark) cover the soil and insulate it from extreme heat and cold. Mulches reduce water loss through evaporation and deter the growth of weeds. They break down slowly, enriching the soil with organic matter. Visit the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service for an in-depth discussion of mulch and mulching techniques.

Inorganic mulches (pebbles, gravel, black plastic, landscape fabrics) will prevent rapid evaporation and keep weeds down just as an organic mulch does. Unlike organic mulches, they do not need to be replaced every year and will not attract insects and rodents. However, inorganic mulches do not benefit the soil by breaking down and adding organic matter which improves soil structure and nutrient content. If you’re looking to improve your soil structure, use a clean, seed-free, high-quality garden mulch.


Dry or liquid fertilizer can add nutrients to the soil that might not get there any other way. Organic garden fertilizers work a little slower than their synthetic counterparts, but they release their nutrients over a longer time frame. Additionally synthetic fertilizers are bad for the environment and can make the soil worse in the long run as beneficial microorganisms are killed off.Organic dry fertilizers are mixed into the soil according to the directions on the label and then watered. They work more slowly than liquid fertilizers, but last longer. Fertilizer blends contain different amounts of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. The ratio is listed on the label (for example 5-10-5). Other fertilizers may contain bat guano, rock phosphate, molasses or other ingredients. There are dozens of recipes for making your own organic fertilizer. Most are variations on nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium theme with added nutrients that come from seed meals, ash, lime, greensand or other mineral dusts and additional organic materials, often kelp, leaf mold or cured manures. You can find good basic recipes here and here.

Liquid fertilizers are sprayed directly on the plant foliage or onto the soil. Popular organic liquid fertilizers include fish emulsion and seaweed blends. Compost teas are another liquid fertilizer that is easy to make and takes advantage of the compost you have piling up in the yard.

If you are using a foliar spray, be sure to wet the underside of the leaves. This is where the stomata, the microscopic openings that take in gases, are located. As they open to let in carbon dioxide and release moisture, they will quickly absorb the fertilizer. Read the labels of the liquid fertilizer you choose as some could burn crops and should be applied only to soil.

Cover Crops

Cover crops are a temporary planting, usually sown in the fall, that help protect the soil from wind and erosion and add valuable organic material. They also establish a dense root structure that can have a positive effect on soil texture. Cover crops also suppress weeds, deter insects and disease and help fix nitrogen. When the crops are turned into the soil, they become green manure (see Overview of Cover Crops and Green Manures). Rye and alfalfa are common cover crops.

Cover crops are planted at the end of the growing season (winter cover cops) or during part of the growing season itself (summer cover crops). Legumes such as cowpeas, soybeans, annual sweetclover or velvet beans may be grown as summer green manure crops to add nitrogen along with organic matter. Non-legumes such as sorghum-sudangrass, millet, forage sorghum, or buckwheat are grown to provide biomass, smother weeds, and improve soil tilth.

Winter cover crops are planted in late summer or fall to provide soil cover during the off season. Choose a legume crop for the added benefit of nitrogen fixation. Growers in northern states should select cover crops, such as hairy vetch and rye, with enough cold tolerance to survive hard winters. Many more winter cover crops are adapted to the southern U.S. Cool-season legumes include clovers, vetches, medics, and field peas. They are sometimes planted in a mix with winter cereal grains such as oats, rye, or wheat.

After you have harvested your summer crops, add compost and any other amendments (such as lime) that you have determined your soil needs. Disperse the cover crop seeds and rake lightly. If you grow vegetables into the fall, plant cover crops seeds in between the rows a month or less before you expect to harvest.

Don’t let your cover crops go to seed or they may prove invasive. When spring comes around, till the crop into the soil 2-3 weeks before planting. A rototiller is an easy way to incorporate cover crops into the soil.


Don’t plan on changing the pH of your soil with one dose of a wonder material. As explained at Savvy Gardener.com it should take a season or two to moderate the pH and then a little effort every year to maintain it. Whether the soil is acidic or alkaline, adding lots of organic material every year will help balance it out.

Acidic soil can be buffered with powdered limestone added to the soil in the fall. (Autumn is the primetime to do this because it takes several months to work). Be aware that plants like azaleas and blueberries grow better in acidic soil, but most plants don’t.

To raise the pH of sandy soil by about a point, add 3-4 pounds of ground limestone per 100 square feet. For loamy soil, 7-8 pounds of limestone per 100 feet should help, and 8-10 pounds per 100 feet is appropriate for heavy clay soil. Limestone should be applied at least two to three months ahead of planting to give it time to work.

Wood ash can also raise the pH of soil, but care must be taken in its use. Applying too much wood ash may result in high pH readings and take nutrients from your soil. Spread only light amounts on top of your soil in the fall and make sure to thoroughly turn the soil in the spring. Seeds that come in contact with ash may not germinate. If using wood ash every year, keep a close eye on your soil’s ph and stop using it when the proper reading is achieved.

Alkaline soil on the other hand, needs to be made more acidic. This can be done with the addition of sulfur, sawdust, conifer needles, sawdust or oak leaves. In sandy soil you can lower pH by approximately one point by adding 1 pound of ground sulfur per 100 feet to sandy soil, 1.5-2 pounds per 100 feet in loamy soil and 2 pounds per 100 feet to heavy clay soils.

Soil Texture

To make sandy soil less sandy, mix 3-4 inches of organic matter (like compost) into the soil. Use wood chips, leaves, hay, straw or bark to mulch around plants and add at least 2 inches of organic material each year. If possible, grow cover crops and turn them into the soil in the spring (see cover crops discussion above).

If silty soil is a problem, you can improve it by adding an inch of organic material each year. Try to avoid compacting the soil — don’t walk on it or till it unless absolutely necessary. Raised beds are a great way to use silty soil without having to intensively work it.

Heavy clay soil will be improved with the addition of 2-3 inches of organic matter worked into it. Then add another inch or more to the top each year. Raised beds will improve the drainage and keep you from walking on it, which can compact the soil. Try not to till unless necessary.

Nutrient Deficiencies

Typically, bone meal is recommended to boost phosphorous levels in the soil while blood meal is suggested for raising nitrogen levels. However, both of these are products of slaughterhouses. Fortunately, there are some alternatives.

In lieu of blood meal or fish emulsion, try alfalfa meal or alfalfa pellets (sold for rabbit food). Or grow alfalfa as a cover crop to make nitrogen available to plants. Alfalfa also adds a bit of phosphorous and potassium and works well as a compost accelerator.

Like alfalfa pellets, cottonseed meal can be purchased at your local feed store and provides nitrogen to the soil. It is pretty acidic, however, so use it in combination with lime unless you want to lower the soil pH.

As a substitute for bone meal, add soft-rock phosphate to increase phosphorous levels.

As a side note, unless you can find organic alfalfa or cottonseed meal, adding them to the soil isn’t strictly “organic.” Non-organically grown alfalfa and cotton seed may contain pesticide and herbicide residues. Organic fertilizers will add nutrients without danger from chemicals.




  • Related Links

    • Cornell Turfgrass ProgramYour portal to lawn care information at Cornell University. It’s the definitive resource for both turfgrass professionals and homeowners.
    • CSU TurfgrassThe official site of the Colorado State University Turf Program. Practical advice on starting a new lawn, what grasses to use and how best to care for them.
    • Gardening & HorticultureColleges and Universities have some great gardening information. The Colorado State University Extension is one of the better ones.
    • GardenWebAn award winning site, the Garden Web hosts forums, garden exchanges, articles, contests, a plant database, the Web’s largest garden-related glossary and more.
    • Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)Helping people understand soils! NRCS is a Federal agency that provides leadership in a partnership effort to help people conserve, maintain, and improve our natural resources and environment.
    • Soil Science Education Home PageA NASA website with chapters on Soil Basics, Working with Soil, Soil & Agriculture, and much more. You will love this site!
    • Yard & Garden Fact Sheets at Ohio StateMore than 14,000 articles are just a click or two away with answers to your questions on gardening, lawn care, and pest control, just to name a few.

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.

75 uses are for Young Living essential oils

75 ways to use essential oils


I have not tried any of these yet…  ET

Please note these 75 uses are for Young Living essential oils. Not all essential oils are the same. Young Living essential oils are therapeutic/medicinal grade, verses many oils on the market, which are cosmetic/fragrant grade.

1. Ease pain 
Apply a few drops of Pan Away blend to the affected area and layer with Peppermint for a natural analgesic effect.
2. Freshen stinky sneakers and shoes.
Place cotton balls with sever…al drops of either Thieves, Peppermint, Geranium, Lemon or Tea Tree into shoes overnight.
3. Scent a room for mood. 
Gently scent a room using the YL Travel Diffuser or Ultrasonic Diffuser try Evergreen Essence or Christmas Spirit during winter, or Citrus Fresh essential oils during spring and summer. For romance, try the blend Sensation.
4. Scented dryer sheet. 
Add a few drops of your favorite YL essential oil to a dampened washcloth, toss into your clothes dryer when drying laundry.
5. Repel flies 
Fill a 32 oz. spray bottle with water, add 20-30 drops of Peppermint, shake often. Spray kitchen counter-tops, around windows/doors – and yourself (do not get spray on your face or eyes!)
6. Eliminate food odors in the fridge.
Add 1-2 drops Orange, Lemon, Grapefruit, Bergamot, Thieves, or Purification essential oil to 1 cup of water. Using a sponge wipe surface of icebox, freezer, oven, trash cans.
7. Air Freshener spray.
Add 20-30 drops of Peppermint, Lemon, Thieves, or Purification to a 32 oz. spray bottle of water – spritz into the air for a nontoxic freshener that kills odors rather than mask them.
8. Repel mice and squirrels in the home.
Put several drops of Peppermint oil on cotton balls in problem areas where mice enter.
9. Carpet freshener. 
Add 10 drops of Thieves or Purification with 3 drops peppermint to 1 cup cornstarch or baking soda, stir well, let sit for 24 hours in a closed jar. Sprinkle carpet and vacuum after about an hour.
10. Doggy odor? 
Try YL Lavender Shampoo and several drops of Palo Santo essential oil when you give your dog a bath. Massage in mixture for 20 minutes, rinse… your dog will smell amazingly GREAT!
11. Non-toxic dog flea collar. 
On a soft rope put several drops of Purification and Palo Santo, then put the rope into a bandanna to tie loosely around the dog’s neck.
12. Scent your room while you vacuum. 
Put 2-3 drops of your favorite YL oil on a cotton ball placed inside the vacuum canister of your vacuum cleaner.
13. Tired muscles and aching joints? 
Add one part each Pan Away, Peppermint and Basil oil to 4 parts V-6 or Jojoba. Massage into area as needed.
14. Deodorant powder.
Mix in a small jar – mix 2 oz. Cornstarch, 1 oz. Baking soda, and a few drops of either Geranium, Melrose, Thieves, Joy, or Lavender essential oil.
15. Massage oil. 
Add 10 to 12 drops of your favorite YL essential oil to 2 oz. of YL V-6 Massage Oil base.
16. Refreshing soak bath.
Blend in a small jar one drop each of Juniper, Cedarwood, Grapefruit, Lavender, Rosemary, Lemon or Fennel to 2 oz. of sea salt or Epsom Salts. Add 1-2 tablespoons of the salt mixture to a warm bath and soak.
17. Stay awake and alert. 
Put a couple drops each of Peppermint and Rosemary on cotton ball near the car heating/cooling vents for a refreshing scent.
18. Sleep well. 
Place hanky sprinkled with a couple drops of Chamomile and Lavender oil under our pillow.
19. Smelly hotel rooms while on vacation. 
Add a few drops each of Chamomile and Lavender to travel-sized mister, or a few drops of Thieves or Purification.
20. Athletes foot / nail fungus. 
Dab a couple drops of Melrose on toes and rub on feet to soothe burning, tired feet and to combat foot fungus.
21. Ease headache. 
Massage 1 drop of Peppermint, Lavender or Pan Away on temples (avoiding eye area) and back of the neck for relief.
22. Scented stationery gift. 
Add a couple drops of Lavender, Jasmine or Ylang Ylang to a cotton ball, place stationary and envelopes and cotton ball in a zip-lock baggie for 24 hours. Put into a pretty box with a nice pen, tie with ribbon.
23. Aromatic sachets. 
Add a few drops of Citrus Fresh, or your favorite YL essential oil, to dried flowers/herbs in lightweight decorative cloth bags then tie with a thin ribbon.
24. Potpourri. 
Fill glass jars or decorative boxes with dried flowers scented with a few drops of of your favorite YL essential oil.
25. Perfume. 
Add 25 drops your favorite YL essential oil to 1 oz. jojoba oil. Let sit in a tightly capped bottle for two weeks before using.
26. Bath oils. 
Add a few drops of Lavender, Release, Peace & Calming, Gentle Baby, or Ylang Ylang essential oil in a small jar of apricot or almond oil and stir thoroughly. To use: put 1-2 TBSP in warm running bath water.
27. Arthritis or stiff joints. 
Mix 2 drops each of Wintergreen, Cypress, and Lemongrass with 2 tablespoons of V-6 massage oil. Apply topically to achy joints.
28. Bathtub scrubbing cleaner. 
Mix 1 cup baking soda, 6-10 drops of Thieves essential oil in a bowl. Pour mixture into an airtight container to have on hand. Use this mixture the same way you would use SoftScrub.
29. No calorie, refreshing, flavored water. 
Add 1-4 of either Lemon, Peppermint, Grapefruit, Spearmint, Orange or Citrus Fresh to a 16 oz. glass of water.
30. Lavender-Peppermint Foot Soak for tired feet. 
Mix together in a small bowl: 1/4 cup Epsom Salts, 2 drops each of Lavender, Peppermint and Chamomile essential oils, add to warm foot bath water, soak for 10-15 minutes.
31. Peppermint Hot Chocolate/Peppermint Coffee. 
Make your hot chocolate as usual, take a toothpick and dip it into the center hole of your bottle of YL Peppermint essential oil (only a tiny amount will get on the toothpick, which is what you want), then swirl the toothpick in your cup of hot chocolate – perfect! You may add an entire drop, like I prefer!
32. Dipping Oil (for bread) 
In a small dipping bowl put 1 oz. of olive oil and one drop of either Mountain Savory, Oregano, Thyme, Marjoram, or Basil. Set dipping bowl on table so everyone can dip as desired..
33. Copper polish. 
Add 1 drop of Lemon to a soft cloth and gently buff.
34. Aid digestion. 
Add one drop of either Di-Gize or Peppermint to a tall glass of water. Di-Gize can also be rubbed onto the tummy area, you may want to use a carrier oil.
35. Fever sponge bath. 
Add 2 drops each of of Eucalyptus, Peppermint and Lavender into your basin of cool water. Submerge a washcloth into the basin and wring, gently wipe body.
36. Alleviate depression.
Put 1-2 drops of Geranium, Lavender, Joy and Bergamot on a hanky or in your YL Travel Diffuser or Ultrasonic Diffuser.
37. Moth repellant. 
On a cotton ball, put 4 drops each of Lavender and Cedarwood, put cotton ball in chest or drawer.
38. Asthma.
Add 1 drop of Frankincense to the crown of the head.Rub RC essential oil over the chest and breathe in both of these oils.
39. Help heal cold sores. 
Apply 1 drop of either Lavender or Melrose to the cold sore.
40. Cleanse and heal open wounds / antiseptic spray. 
Use a drop of Lavender and Tea Tree (Melaleuca) to the site of the cut or scratch. These essential oils can also be put into a small spray bottle with distilled water and used as an antiseptic spray.
41. Burns. 
Lavender – need I say more?
42. Dandruff and hair loss. 
In a small 4 oz. spray bottle filled with distilled water, add 8 drops each of Lavender (for dandruff) and Rosemary (for hair loss and to stimulate scalp), spritz scalp before bedtime and brush/comb in. I would also take YL Omega Blue supplement as many skin and health conditions are the result of deficiency of omega 3s.
43. Flu going around? 
Add a drop of Thieves essential oil to the bottoms of your feet and in a capsule and swallow.
44. Prevent MRSA / staph infections.
To your YL diffuser or air freshener spray, add 20-30 drops of either Lemongrass or the blend R.C. – these can also be added to the blend Thieves.
45. Bathroom air freshener. 
In a 4 oz. bottle filled with water, add 6 drops of both Lemon and Purification.
46. Callous or bunion? 
Apply 1 drop of Lemon oil morning and night.
47. Increase shelf-life of fresh produce. 
Fill a bowl with cool water and 2-3 drops of Lemon oil. Drop your cleaned fruit into the water and stir. Be sure all surfaces of the fruit contact the lemon water.
48. Sanitize counter-tops.
In a 4 oz. bottle filled with water, add 8 drops of either Thieves or Lemon essential oil or use Thieves Household Cleaner.
49. Sanitize and disinfect dish cloth. 
Soak your dishcloth overnight in a bowl of water and 1 drop of Lemon oil to disinfect and kill germs.
50. Frustration / Depression / Uplift Mood. 
Rub a drop of Joy oil over the heart and on the bottom of each foot. The Feelings Kit is for promoting emotional clearing and may be another good choice.
51. Inflammation and Bruises. 
Apply a couple drops of PanAway oil topically on an injured area to reduce inflammation and bruising – NOT for open wounds.
52. Blemishes. 
Apply 1 drop of Purification or Lemon Oil to blemish – keep away from eyes!
53. Dry aging skin solution.
Add 1 drop each of Frankincense, Lavender and Sandalwood to a tablespoon of Coconut Oil – apply a very thin amount on face before bedtime.
54. Dog ear mites. 
Apply Purification oil and Peppermint oil diluted with V-6 Massage Oil to a cotton ball and rub just inside the ear to eliminate ear mites in dogs. Do NOT put essential oils into ear canal!!!
55. Blisters. 
Rub a drop of Purification or Ylang Ylang essential oil on a blister to cleanse and disinfect.
56. Sore throat. 
Rub a drop of Purification oil on the outside of a sore throat when it is first beginning. Or, gargle with Thieves essential oil a few times a day, then swallow!
57. Air travel germ protection. 
Before leaving home, put a cotton ball with 4 drops of either Purification or Thieves, into a baggie – open baggie often to inhale the aroma. You can also apply a drop of either Thieves or Purification to the soles of your feet for protection from germs too.
58. Over-active and hard to manage children. 
Diffuse the blend Peace & Calming for 15 minutes every 2-3 hours and apply the oil to the bottoms of their feet.
59. Sciatica pain. 
Rub 2-3 drops of PanAway at the base of the spine, Valor all along the spine and to the feet.
60. Cranky man around the house??? 
Rub 1 drop of the blend Joy between your palms and then spread over the face and neck after shaving.
61. Chiropractic adjustments. 
Before your Chiropractic session rub a couple drops of the blend Valor on the soles of your feet, this will will help your body get in alignment much faster.
62. Embedded ticks on people and dogs.
Put 1-2 drops of Palo Santo or Purification essential oil on the embedded tick to dislodge and kill the tick.
63. Getting rid of Bedbugs.
Before going to work, completely fill with Purification and turn on your TheraPro  Diffuser in your bedroom with the door closed, and let the diffuser run all day. Do NOT enter- keep children and pets away.
64. Natural Laundry Detergent. 
Use 1 TBSP Thieves Household Cleaner in place of all laundry detergents. It will not make suds and cleans laundry really well.
65. Protection in your kids bedrooms spray. 
In a 6 oz. spray bottle, add 8-12 drops of either Lavender, White Angelica, Valor or Sacred Mountain and spray under beds and in closets- it helps encourage calmness, courage and protection.
66. For bites and boo-boo’s. 
Lavender essential oil and Purification bring relief.
67. Dog with back pain. 
Try Deep Relief Roll-on on your dogs back, you will have to move the fur so the essential oil gets on their skin.
68. Nutritious and delicious ginger ale. 
Try pouring one bottle of Ginger Brew (found in most health food stores) into a tall glass and add 1-2 oz. of NingXia Red for a delicious and nutricious carbonated beverage.
69. Get rid of facial wrinkles.
Rub a couple drops of both 3 Wise Men and Copaiba essential oils on your face every night to help regenerate skin and smooth wrinkles. Frankincense essential oil is a miracle oil!
70. Eliminate greasy build-up from shampoo. 
Try any of the YL shampoo’s and conditioners. These non-toxic products are amazing! No more flat, greasy build-up again! Plus, you will save a ton of money on the conditioner because it is so concentrated.  I like the lavender one.
71. Muscle cramps in calves.
Try rubbing in 5-7 drops of Gentle Baby essential oil.
72. PMS symptoms? 
Try Dragon Time essential oil or Clary Sage oil. Rub either on abdomen, or on the feet.
73. Window cleaner. 
Try 5 drops of Lemon in a 14 oz. spray bottle filled with water, or simply use Thieves Household Cleaner.
74. Anxiety? 
Try equal amounts of both Orange and Lavender essential oils in your diffuser.
75. Bee stings. 
Try 1 drop of either Thieves or Purification essential oils on the location of the sting for relief.

If you are interested in using essential oils for your everyday healthcare needs, click here.