Tag Archives: herbs

ranch

Homemade Ranch Dressing

ranch

My whole family loves this stuff.  Do your children eat Ranch on everything like mine do?  Then this is something you should think about making.

The Worcestershire sauce makes the dressing look kind of ivory in color, not pure white like bottled dressing but it sure does add to the flavor so don’t leave it out.

As soon as the chives and dill started growing I had to make some of this dressing.  It will keep in the frig about 1 week. Some recipes for Ranch have onion powder in them, I have found that the chives have just enough onion-y flavor.

Homemade Ranch Dressing

1 clove garlic – smashed, then rubbed on the cutting board with 1/4 teaspoon of coarse salt
1 cup real mayonnaise – you can use homemade!
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves, minced – don’t use the curly parsley, its just not the same.
2 tablespoons fresh dill, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Dash hot sauce
1/4 to 1/2 cup buttermilk (as needed for desired consistency)

Directions:
Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour before serving or overnight. I store this dressing in a mason jar with a lid.

feverfew tincture

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.

You may be interested in these other tinctures I make:

Elderberry Tincture
Oregano Tincture
Violet Tincture

 

oregano in vodka

Oregano TIncture For Colds and Flu

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.    oregano in vodka

I learned from Shannon over at Nourishing Days that Oregano Oil can be used to treat colds and flu. I already use elderberry tincture for that so I did some research and decided to make Oregano Oil using the organic oregano in my garden and some cheapo vodka.

In the interest of full disclosure, that elderberry tincture? Man it burns going down.  So I put it in a cup of Earl Grey tea and its almost palatable.  Blech. But it works. 

Oregano tincture may be nearly as bad but I will make it. Since we don’t have small children here any longer, we can man up and take it.

Pack a quart jar with fresh oregano, pour some kind of spirits over it like brandy or vodka. Let it sit in the dark about 6 weeks. Strain it and store it in dark bottles or in a dark place like a frig or cellar.

The dosage varies depending on who you talk to but, like most herbal tinctures, I think 1 teaspoon (1 teaspoon = 12.5 mg.) three times a day for adults would work nicely. Children’s dosage should probably be figured according to Clark’s Rule or Young’s Rule.