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Homemade Herbal Mouthwash Recipes
The last time I picked up a bottle of generic mouthwash, I couldn’t pronounce most of the ingredients listed. That’s a serious red flag for me. I always tried to take care of my teeth and even though I brush twice a day and floss a few times a week, I felt like something was missing. So, I decided that I didn’t want to skip the swish and spit part of my dental hygiene routine. Natural, homemade mouthwash to the rescue! Organic extracts and teas are wonderful ingredients to help you avoid artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, and sweeteners often found in commercial mouthwash products. There are more than a few herbs you can use as a base to both flavor your mouthwash and lend their herbal superpowers to your DIY creation.
Best Herbs for Digestion + 3 Easy Recipes
I just returned from a three-week vacation, and while the trip was fantastic, it's been a challenge getting my body back into a healthy balance since I've gotten home. I’m playing catch-up with work, running late on gardening must-dos, and haven’t taken the time to plan ahead on how I’m eating—all of which have impacted my appetite and digestive health.
Ginger Root: Cultivation, History, and Recipes
Have you ever asked yourself, “What herbs and spices would I bring to a desert island?” It’s a fun exercise to think about what you can’t live without. Salt, nettles, and ginger root top my list! Ginger root’s warm, spicy flavor makes the perfect addition to Thai and Indian dishes. It also uplifts healthful tea and drink recipes, like this Turmeric Ginger Tea. Ginger root (Zingiber officinale) supports healthy digestion and helps relieve occasional upset stomach and nausea.* Making a simple ginger root tea when I was pregnant really helped me stay grounded. I think of ginger as this wonderous plant ally, but it wasn’t until recently that I researched the history and cultivation of it. Now I have a renewed love of ginger!
Chai Spice Oatmeal Cookie Recipe+ Vegan Option
A slightly different version of this delicious chai spice oatmeal cookie recipe has been floating around Mountain Rose Herbs since at least 2012 when someone adapted it from a white chocolate oatmeal cookie recipe they found online. The first time I made these chai-inspired gems, I loved the spice mix and oat combination, and the amount of sugar was just right, but the texture was seriously off by my standards. Cookie texture is of course a matter of preference; by my taste, the cookies were dense instead of tender and they were too dry. I wanted the flavor of the chai spices, but also a moist, chewy cookie with great mouthfeel. I was trying to decide how I wanted to alter the recipe—cut back on flour, add more moisture maybe. There were a couple different ways to address this, but I wanted to stay as true to the original as I could, so I started to track the recipe history to find the right fix. Recipe detective work is one of my food-nerd joys.
Organic Garden Design: The Benefits of Companion Planting with Herbs
Gardening is truly a year-round activity. Each season presents us with unique tasks, opportunities, and challenges. Just like the plants that we lovingly tend, every garden and its respective gardener has its own life cycle; in the spring we bloom, followed quickly by the abundant harvests of summer and autumn. In the winter, both garden and gardener retreat into the season of rest, the final stage of the cycle before we return to the beginning to do it all again.
DIY Bath Fizz Powder with Lavender
I have to admit that, while I love crafting, I’m best at the practical crafts. If you need a salve, or a syrup, or an infused oil, I’ve got you. But if we’re talking about decorative, pretty sorts of crafting, I rely on my friends. I don’t know if it’s a lack of patience or a dislike of finicky details, but I find things like hand-forming perfectly round bath bombs to be an exercise in frustration and I live in a small home without space for lots of fancy soap-molds and gadgets to help me along. This is why I really like projects like homemade potpourri and this fizzing lavender bath powder for winter crafting projects—because I can easily and happily produce a wonderfully packaged and fully appreciated gift of herbal goodness.
Benefits and History of Slippery Elm Bark + Tea Recipe
Slippery elm (Ulmus rubra) is one of the best known medicinal tree barks. It has a history of use that goes back thousands of years—North American First Nations people utilized slippery elm for a variety of health issues and introduced it to European colonists, who quickly incorporated it into their pharmacopoeia. As cited in Henry H. Gibson’s American Forest Trees, published in 1913, it became “a household remedy which most families in the country provided and kept in store along with catnip, mandrake, sage, dogwood blossoms, and other rural remedies which were depended upon to rout diseases in the days when physicians were few....”. Today, when physicians are more plentiful, it continues to be a profoundly effective mucilaginous demulcent that is a standard in western herbalism. Let’s take a moment to talk about this ancient ally.
Forgotten Cookie Recipe With Yaupon Tea
“Forgotten cookies” are an American classic and a perfect vehicle for America’s “forgotten” tea. If you’ve been reading along with my blogs here at Mountain Rose Herbs, you know I got seriously into yaupon tea this year. As a bonafide history nerd, I first became fascinated with the story of America's only native tea plant and then, of course, I had to try it. I’ll spare you the history lesson, but yaupon is an excellent caffeinated tea choice for me because it isn’t bitter, it can be re-steeped more than once without a change in flavor, and it provides a gentle caffeine boost and increased focus without the jitteriness I sometimes get from coffee or Camellia sinensis based teas. It’s also loaded with theophylline, theobromine, and a plethora of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, etc. I’ve been experimenting with multiple ways to bring it into my diet to replace other caffeine. This summer I brewed it with cooling hibiscus, sweetened it with a little honey, and kept it in the refrigerator to have delicious hibiscus-yaupon iced tea on hand. And then, one evening when I was in a cookie baking mood and perusing some of my favorite recipes, I thought of forgotten cookies and had the quintessential lightbulb moment: forgotten cookies + forgotten tea = pure joy.
DIY Cutting Board Oil: Maintain Your Cutting Boards & Wooden Utensils
I am a wooden utensil and cast iron kind of cook. These reliable, wonderful tools don’t require electricity and they last a remarkably long time if cared for correctly. I especially love the butcher block, cutting boards, and wooden spoons my husband has made over the years, and it’s important to me to take care of them so they last. My dilemma for a long time was how to condition them. Vegetable oils like olive oil, grapeseed oil, etc. are wonderful, but are not shelf-stable and can experience “rancidification” over time, which can make wood smell funky and leave a bad flavor on chopped foods. The standard go-to oil is food-safe mineral oil, sometimes called liquid paraffin. But mineral oil is generally a petroleum product and I don’t care how “food-safe” it is; I don’t want to cut my home-grown vegetables on a board coated with a petroleum-based oil. So, obviously, I had to figure out a DIY way to get around this dilemma and take proper care of my wooden kitchen utensils.
How to Make Scented Wax Melts + DIY Pumpkin Spice Air Freshener Blend
If you’ve ever tried to make candles before, you know it can sometimes be a messy and frustrating process. Getting the wick to stand just right requires a bit of practice and patience. This is one of many reasons I prefer making wax melts. Not only are they more forgiving to make, they are less expensive than candles, and you can make customized scents, shapes, and sizes to suit your preferences. It’s also easier to make smaller batches of different blends so you have more options to choose from as various moods and situations arise.
DIY Herbal Dog Treat Recipe
Pets, like other family members, sometimes need herbal remedies to feel their best. That’s why we offer Natural Pet Care products. We want to keep our furry friends healthy, happy and relaxed. Just like when we see a family member stressed out, we do everything we can to calm them down. And oh my, has my pup been stressed. Those of us who have been working from home recently know that our pets have been on cloud nine, getting extra snuggles, loads of attention, and maybe even a walk at lunch. My pup has been happy and super chill having me home. Now that I’m getting back to the office and away from home more, it’s been especially tough on her. Homemade dog treats coupled with good exercise are a DIY approach to helping her feel calm and safe.
A Promise of Permanence
We are living in unpredictable times. This sounds like an obvious statement when the entire world is reeling from two years of pandemic and social and political unrest, and it seems as if everything is spinning out of our control. We are indeed living through precarious times, but what I am referring to specifically in this blog is the nature of business and industry. The herbal products industry has changed enormously over the last few years, and in my opinion, it’s not been for the best. Most of the herbal companies that we have worked with, that we have known and admired for decades, have now been acquired by private equity firms, investment holdings, and venture capitalists. I have never witnessed anything like this in the 22 years I have been at Mountain Rose Herbs. Our community has grown significantly smaller, and the industry is pushing hard towards a profit-driven business model that is the antithesis of everything I believe in. This disturbing reality has made me think a lot about permanence: permanence, and predictability, and being a brand that people can trust.
How to Make a Warming Herbal Cocktail with Tinctures
I notice winter first when the leaves begin to dry, fade, and fall. I imagine the life force of the tree receding back into its trunk and underground roots. I feel a bit melancholic at first—not wanting to have to follow nature’s lead in hunkering down and going in. But I’ve come to love Fall as a season as full as any other, with its own flavors, rhythms, and herbal remedies.
How to Make a Mushroom Double Extraction
As more and more people discover the benefits of adding mushrooms to their herbal practice and culinary explorations, they are increasingly interested in how to best prepare and consume these fascinating fungi. Some mushrooms, like shiitakes, are well known and widely used in both cooking and herbalism. Others, like reishi, chaga and maitake, may be new to you. Some are wonderful culinary additions, while others have amazing health benefits, but less-than-amazing flavor. Making a decoction with some of these mushrooms is often preferable. However, to get all of the beneficial constituents from mushrooms, a “double extraction” is the way to go.
How to Use TCM Herbs for Nourishing Soups
As the days shorten, plants send their energy to their roots and go to seed, while deciduous trees shed their leaves. We cozy up in warmer clothes, stack firewood, and start storing up our food and energy reserves for the winter. In autumn, we transition from the more active yang seasons of spring and summer into the more restful yin seasons of autumn and winter. We too send our energies underground, sleeping and eating more, and moving and doing less. In autumn, we bundle, store, and prepare for the more fallow winter season ahead, when the world rests.
Our 160-page magazine-style journal features articles from esteemed guest authors about herbalism, organics, sustainability, and projects that inspire us. Best of all, it’s FREE.
VISIT OUR STORES
Nestled in unique must-visit downtown Eugene, Oregon in the Farmers’ Union Marketplace, our Mercantile store gives you a vintage apothecary spirit, with a modern twist. We designed our store with the intent to give our customers a feel of coziness, character, and a space to comfortably delve into some herbal goodness.
The 5th Street Public Market is in the heart of Eugene’s Historic District. A premier destination, it is known for its enchanting courtyards, shops, eateries, and tasting rooms. Surrounded by the area’s finest restaurants, coffee, shopping, parks, and community events, the 5th Street Market has everything you need in one stunning, central location in downtown Eugene.
Bridgeport Village is a charming Mecca for shoppers. Located just 10 miles south of Portland, it is easy to spend a day perusing the multitude of shops. You can catch a movie at the cinema, have lunch at one of the many restaurants, and even enjoy an array of beauty and spa services. There really is something for everyone.