Migraine Tincture

Disclaimer:  The instructions I offer here in this post (and in all my posts about herbs and home remedies) are what I use personally at home. Of course the standard disclaimer goes: I am not a doctor and don’t prescribe medicines or herbs, this is just what  we have done here for generations with great results.  

 

I do occasionally suffer with a Migraine headache. They aren’t as bad as they used to be and I chalk that up to menopause. Yes, the “M” word actually does offer a few benefits.  But I still get them now and then and they really do hurt.  They seem to be worse in the fall and winter so I thought I’d share with you how to make a tincture that will help with these nasty headaches.feverfew tincture

I have used Feverfew for these headaches for over 20 years. I just go outside, pull a leaf off and pop it in my mouth. I bite down on the leaf and though bitter, the oils in the plant usually relieve the pain before it gets started good.

But in the winter when the plant isn’t growing outdoors and my brown thumb rears its ugly head with my indoor herbs, I was out of luck.  And since I’ve been on somewhat of a Tincture Kick lately, I figured, why not?

I don’t particularly like tincture taste, it kind of burns. I could make tinctures with glycerin, but I prefer to use more old fashioned ways so I use vodka or pure grain alcohol or even brandy.  The alcohol pulls the oils from the plants and its the oils that do the trick.

Now, Feverfew is quite bitter. I don’t like it either but I figured if I put some other herbs in the vodka with it, it might taste better. I used Feverfew, Spearmint and Lemon Balm.  Spearmint and Lemon Balm are often used for headache as well as Feverfew.

I mashed equal amounts of the herbs into a half pint jar, covered with vodka let it sit for about 4-6 weeks.  Now its winter time and I have strained the liquid off, put the used herbs in the compost bin and bottled up the liquid in a dropper bottle.

At the first sign of a migraine, which for me is the aura, I’ll start taking the liquid, about 1/2 teaspoon at a time.  I’ll increase the dosage if needed. Many herbalists recommend using 30 drops every 2 hours for an acute attack and 30 drops 2 times a day to prevent migraines.

Feverfew contains a sesquiterpene lactone called parthenolide.  Parthenolide is believed to be the primary active chemical responsible for alleviating both the severity and the frequency of migraine headaches. For more information about how Feverfew works on migraine headaches see the article at Webmd

 

The picture below shows the kind of dropper bottles I use. That’s elderberry tincture on the plate.

dropper bottles

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can purchase Feverfew, Spearmint and Lemon Balm at Mountain Rose Herbs. I am not an affiliate these are just links for you to use if you like.   They also carry tincture bottles and droppers.

 

 

My Homemade Cough Medicine

tea

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is my homemade cough medicine recipe.  I make a quart jar of this every year and we go through it in about 3 months. It will keep nearly forever at room temperature.  I find that it feels good on a sore throat if it is heated up before administering.

We also take it dissolved in hot tea, its delicious!

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar ( Bragg’s is great)
2 tablespoons honey (local raw honey is best)
2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (add 1/2 tsp if you can stand it, its good for you!)
1 teaspoon grated, fresh ginger. Peel first.
Mix well, store in a tightly covered jar at room temp. Use a teaspoon at a time, as needed, for cough and/or sore throat. It might be too hot for small children so reduce the hot pepper accordingly.

Thanksgiving Is Coming Up!

Hey, guess what? Its nearly Thanksgiving. And my life is SO busy right now that I am not going to be making very many new posts, but I WILL be using all my own Thanksgiving helps and recipes.

You can use them too.

tgplanner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First there is my Thanksgiving Planner. Check it out if you need a map for getting Thanksgiving together. My 44 page Thanksgiving Planner includes……..

  • Brief History of Thanksgiving
  • Thanksgiving Games
  • 4-Week Thanksgiving Planner and Devotionals
  • Article: “The Danger of Unmet Expectations”
  • Devotional: “Renew My Strength, Lord”
  • Devotional: “Holy Living”
  • Sylvia’s Turkey Tips
  • Instructions for Brining a Turkey
  • Recipes ~ both Family Favorite Recipes and Whole Food, Allergy-Friendly Recipes
  • Harvest Crafts and Home Decor Ideas

 

 

 

 

Here is my personal planning list from last Thanksgiving, it might help you get started:

Sylvia’s Personal Thanksgiving Planning List 2013

list

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then …..cleaning and decluttering and getting the house ready:

woman cleaning

 

 

 

 

 

Fast And Furious Fall Cleaning in the …..

Living Room

Master Bed Room

Bathroom

Kitchen

 

pumpkin votive

 

 

 

 

A little simple, easy, tasteful decorating, perhaps?

Little Pumpkin Votive Holders

Easiest Decorating Idea Ever

 

 

 

turkey_baked

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, about that TURKEY…  here are all my Turkey Tips in one place. Brining, defrosting, stuffing, roasting its all here:

Turkey Tips

 

You might want….

….my Homemade Disinfectants and Cleaner Recipes

….Mamaw’s Homemade Pue Crust Recipe

Homemade Cranberry Relish

Aunt Eura’s Yeast Rolls

 

 

mammys pie

Mammy’s Pumpkin Pie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All my pie recipes…..

Chocolate Pecan

Chess

Buttermilk

Mammy’s Pumpkin

 

I will try to add more recipes and helps as I can. Have a lovely Thanksgiving! 

 

 

You Can Make Homemade Cranberry Sauce

This sauce is amazing. Its good with turkey and its good on grilled panini sandwiches. Easy to make, keeps well in the frig for weeks.

cranberry-sauce

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries

1 cup red wine and/or pure cranberry juice

2 large oranges, juiced and zested

1/2 cup maple syrup (more to taste)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

salt and pepper to taste

Yields approximately 3 cups. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium low and let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until most of the cranberries have popped. Serve hot or chilled.

Canned Apple Pie Filling – New Recipe

I’m bringing this post up from the past. Its a great recipe and there is a link to a somewhat different recipe.

Well its new for me anyway. Here is my other recipe which uses quick cooking tapioca as a thickener.

This one is a bit different.

Apple Pie Filling

10 pounds tart apples – peeled, cored and sliced
5 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cup Clearjel - Cook type, not instant. This link is an affiliate link
1 T. cinnamon
2-1/2 cups cold water
5 cups apple juice OR use water, its up to you.
1 tsp. nutmeg
3/4 cup bottled lemon juice
In this recipe you first want to boil your apple slices. This cooks the apples and keeps them from shrinking so much once they are cooked in the canner, and from making your jars look like they are missing some apples.
So bring a large kettle of water to a boil. Add about 1 quart of apple slices at a time and bring the water back to a boil. strain the apple slices out of the boiling water and add the next batch of apple slices. Keep the boiled apples covered while you are boiling the rest of them.
Once you’re done, you can empty out the water because you will need the kettle.
In your large kettle, preferably heavy-bottomed, add the sugar, Clear-Jel, nutmeg and cinnamon. Add the apple juice or water and stir. Turn up the heat and cook the mixture until it is thick, bubbly and smooth. Turn off heat.
Add the apple slices and lemon juice. Stir.
Fill hot jars 3/4 full of apples and syrup. Top of each jar with syrup to within 1 inch of the rim of the jars.
Run a plastic or rubber spatula around the inside of the jars to release air bubbles.
Clean off the rims with a clean, wet cloth.
Add lids and rings.
Water bath the jars for 25 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to sit on a dishcloth on the cabinet.Allow the jars to remain undisturbed over night.
Makes 6 or 7 quarts.

Creek Stewart on Camping In A Storm

Creek has some great information for you about what to do when a storm comes up when you’re camping.

Re-hydrating Your Dehydrated Food

While I am on break, here is an article from my friend, Vickilynn Haycraft over at Real Food Living about how to re-hydrate your homemade dehydrated foods. Great info!

From Dehydrated To Dinner

corn

A New Day

 

 

breakfast morning

 

 

 

 

 

 

A New Day.

I love those words. I am not a morning person but I do have to get up and get moving like everyone else. When I lie down at night I feel hopeful and thankful.

And when I rise, I open my eyes with thanks and I look forward to the day. This is why:

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!”

Lamentations 3:22-24

Homemade Hamburger Helper: Different Varieties and In Bulk

 Hamburger Helper is so stinkin’ convenient. If only it wasn’t so unhealthy. Its chock full of sugar, salt, preservatives and other junk but it sure tastes good and its filling. So I started making my own hamburger helper years ago. My children really like it.

hamburger helper 2

 

 

 

 

 

If you make Hamburger Helper you know that you use milk.  I use powdered milk because I can make up the seasoning mix and have it on hand and just have to add water.

Here are a few recipes for the Seasoning Packs you’ll need to make my homemade Hamburger Helper. Feel free to modify for your family.  The original Hamburger Helper has a lot of sugar in it. I prefer to have a more healthy dish so I have left out the sugar, you could add a bit of sugar in if your palate demands it.

Make up the Seasoning Mix and store it in a glass jar in a cool place. Be sure to label it and it wouldn’t hurt to keep the instructions for making the dish with the seasoning.

The first one is the classic Hamburger Cheesy Mac.

First make your Seasoning Mix.

This amount will make 4 different meals of Cheesy Mac.  For each recipe you’ll shake the jar well to combine and distribute the seasonings and use  one half cup of the mix for each recipe of Cheesy Mac.

1 – 1/4 cup instant powdered milk
5 Tablespoons cornstarch
3 Tablespoon plus 1 tsp. paprika
1 – 1/2  Tablespoon  onion powder
1 – 1/2  Tablespoons garlic powder
1 – 1/2  Tablespoons  salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
 

You will need for each recipe of this dish:
Remember that the seasoning mix makes 4 recipes of this dish

1 pound ground meat
3 1/3 cups hot water
1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

To prepare:

Brown the ground meat in a large skillet or pot.  Add one half cup of seasoning mix.

Add the water and the uncooked macaroni.  Stir well and allow to simmer on low heat for  15-20 minutes.

Once the macaroni is tender and all the water is absorbed, add the shredded cheese, stir.

Taste for salt and pepper.

 

Next up is Beef Stroganoff.  If you can get sour cream powder, its good in this mix and you’d use 2 - 1/2 cups of it in the big batch of mix, but since most people can’t, I decided to build this recipe using fresh sour cream added at the last minute of cooking.

Seasoning Mix
Remember, this makes 4 different recipes of the Beef Stroganoff dish

1 – 1/4 cup instant powdered milk
5 TBS cornstarch
10 tsp. garlic powder
10 tsp. onion powder
10 tsp. parsley
10 tsp. salt
5 tsp. pepper

  You will also need:  
Remember that the seasoning mix makes 4 recipes of this dish

1 pound ground meat
2 cups hot water
1 1/2 cups small egg noodles
1 cup sour cream

To Prepare:

Brown the ground meat in a large skillet or pot. Add one half cup of seasoning mix.

Add the water and the uncooked noodles.  Stir well and allow to simmer on low for  15-20 minutes. Add hot water if needed throughout cooking.

Once the noodles are tender and all the water is absorbed, remove from heat and stir in sour cream.

Taste for salt and pepper.

 

The last one is for a Rice Hamburger Dish. Instead of pasta, it uses rice. I cook my rice before hand. In fact, I cook whatever rice I am going to use in my menus during the week and refrigerate it. But for this meal, you can just put the rice on to cook while you are cooking the hamburger and preparing the other ingredients.

I guess this is sort of a Jambalaya type dish. Its as spicy as you want it to be, just add more pepper or seasoning like Tony Chachere’s . This Seasoning Mix Recipe will make 4 different dishes of Rice Hamburger.

1 – 1/4 cup instant powdered milk
5 Tablespoons TBS cornstarch
1\4 cup diced, dried sweet bell peppers (optional)

Spices and Herbs:
1- 1\2 Tablespoons Paprika
1 Tablespoon Chili powder
2 teaspoons cayenne
2 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons thyme
5 teaspoons onion powder
5 teaspoons garlic powder
5 teaspoons salt

OR, instead of the spices and herbs above, you can use 1\2 cup of Tony Chachere’s Cajun Seasoning, or Zatarain’s

You will also need:
1 pound ground meat
3 1\2 cups hot water
1 cup shredded cheese
1 small can of stewed tomatoes (about 8 ounces)

Put 1 cup rice and 2 cups water on to cook. While that is simmering, brown the ground beef in a large skillet or pot. When the beef is done, drain it and place it back over the heat.

Add 1\2 cup of the seasoning mix to the beef, add the hot water and tomatoes then stir. Lower heat to a simmer.
Stir in the cooked rice. Cover and let sit for 5-10 minutes to thicken.
When heated through and thick, add the shredded cheese. Cover and let sit again another 5 minutes. Serve.

Dehydrating Corn and Green Beans

dried veg

 

 

 

 

 

 

For years I have dehydrated all kinds of food for my family.  Fruits, vegetables, herbs, meat and even complete meals are on my regular dehydrating list.  Two vegetables that I have always dried without using the dehydrator though were Green Beans and Sweet Corn.

Stringing Green Beans picture found at http://samplers-and-santas.blogspot.com/

Stringing Green Beans picture found at http://samplers-and-santas.blogspot.com/

I used to take a needle and heavy string and string up green beans to dry indoors.  Green Beans dried this way are called “Leather Britches”.  This is a very old method and it works well as long as you don’t mind veggies hanging around your living room or kitchen. 

Cast iron corn dryer picture found online

Cast iron corn dryer picture found online

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet Corn is another one I have always dried without a dehydrator. I just stuck the cob of corn on a cast iron dryer and let it hang around til it was dry, then I’d shell it and store it.

I tried something new for me this week though, I dried both green beans and sweet corn in the dehydrator.  It was definitely faster.

dried corn

 

 

 

 

 

 

beans

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dried green beans can be used in soups and stews or just cooked the way you would ordinarily cook fresh green beans. The ones dried in the dehydrator are dried very dry, they are hard and crispy.  When I dry them on string they normally don’t ever get that dry, but I wanted them to be completely dry so I could store them in jars.  To dry Green Beans in the dehydrator, just rinse them off to get dirt and leaves off, break and string the beans, shell the over ripe beans, then place them in the dehydrator at 125*F. You can’t really over dry Green Beans so let the dehydrator run til they are so crisp that they break apart if you try to crush them with a hammer or heavy object.  I let these run in the dehydrator for about 8 hours.

corn

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sweet corn is dry and crispy too, so when I store it in jars it won’t grow mold.  Sweet corn is naturally very moist so it can take a little longer than the beans but this batch ran 8 hours at 125*F and turned out great. To prepare sweet corn for dehydrating, shuck the corn, pull out all the silks, cut the kernels off the cob with a big, sharp knife. Lay the kernels on the dehydrating mats in a single layer. Dehydrate at 125*F til completely dry, like the green beans.

This batch of dried beans and corn will be stored in mason jars but you could also store them in vacuum bags or in the freezer.  Dehydrated foods don’t take up much room so when you use them, think about how much they will plump up after cooking. I would use about 12 cup of this dried corn in a pot of vegetable soup, for example.