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THE LATEST FROM OUR BLOG
Small Gifts & Stocking Stuffers Under $20
Gift-giving can be difficult, especially during the holidays. Finding the right gift at the right price is hard enough, but then layer on crowded parking lots, long shopping lines, and inclement weather, and you have yourself a recipe for holiday stress! We just don't need that added pressure in our already hectic lives. With this in mind, I curated a simple list of budget-friendly gift ideas that you can have delivered right to your doorstep. You'll find the perfect gifts for the health enthusiast, foodie, tea lover, or fragrance connoisseur in your life. (Or for yourself; you also deserve it!)
Homemade Rosehip Jelly Using Dried Rosehips + Vintage Thumbprint Cookie Recipe
I love rosehips. I love the way they look on rose shrubs and how they remain bright points of color as the gray of winter approaches. I love how they feed wildlife when it's cold. I love the nutritional and healthful gifts they offer. And I particularly love how those tart little hips are perfect for jellies, jams, and syrups. I don't always have time in the fall to harvest and clean fresh hips, so I am always grateful for dried rosehips when winter finally arrives and I can slow down and do some cold weather nesting. Now I have the time to pull luscious dried rosehips from my apothecary closet to make rosehip jelly for my family. However, said family firmly believes that rosehip jelly season also means cookie season, because homemade jellies and jams are the best for thumbprint and/or frosted sugar cookies.
Goldenseal: Planting a Future for One of Our Most At-Risk Herbs
Although goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) was used by First Nations peoples for hundreds of years before Europeans arrived in the Americas, the first written source regarding goldenseal appears in an 1801 series of essays by botanist and physician Benjamin Smith Barton titled Towards a Materia Medica in the United States. Early colonists found a well-established trade network already in place for medicinal herbs, including goldenseal. Indigenous people used it as a dye and also for a variety of health issues, including as a bitter to support digestion, as a skin and eye wash, and as a dental rinse. By the 1830s, goldenseal was also a favorite of practitioners of Eclectic medicine, and demand was increasing exponentially. That demand has never let up and today goldenseal is considered to be one of the most at-risk herbs on United Plant Savers' At-Risk Medicinal Plants List. There is, however, a potentially bright future for goldenseal thanks to innovations in cultivation.
Sweater Weather Roll-On Perfume Recipe
Homemade perfumes are wonderful for a myriad of reasons. From the ability to try new things without an enormous price tag to the pleasure of crafting something both beautiful and useful, perfume making is a pastime that I've grown to truly love. I custom tailor fragrances to match my mood or emotional needs or to harness the energetics of certain plants. But I also have a fondness for crafting blends that match the seasons.
2022 DIY Gift Guide + Free Herb-Inspired Gift Tag Template
Each year as I make my holiday gift list, I have a certain set of criteria that I aim for. Offerings that are thoughtful, personal, and useful are my top priorities. I have generally found that homemade gifts are more appreciated than things that I can find in mass at any big box store. Small-batch DIY gifts also allow for customization and are great for keeping waste out of landfills.
Bitter, Aromatic, and Demulcent Herbs for Digestion + 3 Recipes
This is the time of year when we start thinking about how to best support our bodies as our diets shift to heartier winter eating and those inevitable holiday meals that are just around the corner. Digestive function is a key factor in our overall health and wellness, and can be thrown off by a number of things that are part and parcel of this time of year: not just hearty cold weather meals, but also changes in our routine, less sun and exercise, the stressors (both positive and negative) of family gatherings, holiday travel, etc. This seasonal dietary and energy flux impacts our bodies in a wide variety of ways, and can particularly play havoc on our digestive system. Fortunately, when we pay attention to our own unique rhythm, we can get ahead of these factors and be prepared when our normal balance is off-kilter. There are three herbal actions that are particularly helpful: bitters, aromatics, and demulcents.
Buy Nothing Day: A Stand Against Throw-Away Culture
For many years, we have celebrated Buy Nothing Day. Founded in Canada in 1992, the Buy Nothing Movement arose in protest of mass consumerism and the throw-away culture that accompanies it. The movement has grown and evolved over the past decades to include more than 65 nations. The biggest shopping day of the year—the day after Thanksgiving, or Black Friday—has become the movement's international day of protest: Buy Nothing Day. Here at Mountain Rose Herbs, we applaud this effort and wholly support Buy Nothing Day! Overconsumption eats up natural resources and puts our planet in peril. As the CEO and owner of Mountain Rose Herbs, I encourage you NOT to shop with us on Friday, November 25, 20222. The fact that we, as a society, have created a national holiday of shopping suggests that our priorities need realignment. Buy Nothing Day is our act of pushback.
Homemade Candles + Winter Bloom Essential Oil Blend (and Vegan Option)
Candlelight is good anytime, but during the winter holidays, it's part of human traditions that date back thousands of years. This year, as the cost of everything, including candles, has skyrocketed, it makes more sense than ever to make our own. I've made candles for fun over the years, including holiday candles, but I'm definitely not a candle-making artisan. Fortunately, we don't have to be experts to produce simple, lovely poured candles. Making our own gives us the freedom to customize the scent with pure essential oils. Candle making is also a wonderful activity with kids, so the winter school holidays are a great time to pull out the wicks, wax, and your favorite upcycled jars. Developing some old-fashioned skills like this one means inflation doesn't have to put a damper on what you love most this time of year: traditions and family.
Herbs to Support Burnout
Burnout. Most of us at one time or another have felt fatigue, jumpiness, irritability, lack of concentration, hopelessness, occasional digestive and bowel disruptions, difficulty sleeping, headaches, and muscle soreness to name a few. It feels like we are always working to keep it at bay. Adopting nourishing nervines and adaptogens into our lives can be immensely helpful to support and balance our nervous systems.* And when I say adopt the herb, I really mean embrace them and they will embrace you back! They work best when used daily over time. If your life includes a lot of stress and/or discomfort, these herbs can help you increase your capacity and resiliency. I'll share the ones I use most in my work as a community herbalist.
Holiday Appetizers: Seed Crackers with Cashew "Sour Cream” Dip
Festive holiday gatherings can be tricky when you have family members and friends with dietary restrictions. In my circle of favorite people, one person is a vegetarian and is also lactose intolerant, several of us don't eat gluten, another person is allergic to almonds and hazelnuts, a couple people are trying to lose weight, and another is in serious training for a national martial arts championship and is on a weight gain and muscle building plan. It's hard to come up with foods that please us all! We've found that an appetizers and cocktails/mocktails party is sometimes the way to go! It's easier to create small bites that people can choose from rather than a single sit-down meal that requires different options for everyone. Great appetizers are where these remarkably healthy and delicious seed crackers come in. They check everyone's boxes and also make a fantastic vehicle for a healthful, festive herbal dip that you can customize to your palate.
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Peppermint Essential Oil
Stacking Spice Jar
Winter Spice Tea
Pomegranate Seed Oil
Astragalus Root Capsules
Beeswax Lip Balm
Cascadia Aroma Spray
Mason Jar Tea Infuser
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