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Herbal Medicine Kit – Heat Exhaustion & Sunstroke

Mint, oh mint Fresh green and cool. You help my tummy feel great!

~Brenda Hunter



Welcome Back….

 …to another posting of the Herbal Medicine Kit.  Today we are learning about and discussing Heat Exhaustion and Sunstroke.  We will be making a “It’s HOT outside Tea” and discussing various herbs.

Let’s get to it…


Heat Exhaustion & Sunstroke- Part 2

Just like your car, your body can get overheated when the air temperature soars or when you overexert yourself.  Sometimes this is heat exhaustion and sometimes, heat stroke.  Let’s look at the individual cases.

Heat Exhaustion

Heat Exhaustion:

 Heat exhaustion typically begins with a wave of dizziness and is often accompanied by weakness and tingling sensations.  The skin becomes pale, cool and clammy and the pulse weak.  But your body may remain normal.  These are all signs you have lost too much fluid and too many important minerals.

What to do to help?

Heat exhaustion can generally be self-treated, but your body needs to cool down quickly to avoid further damage.  Keep this person quiet and comfortable, replacing lost fluid and minerals with miso soup, fruit juices, or one of the electrolyte drink.  Also the Lavender Compress would be excellent on the forehead!


In an attempt to cool down the body begins to sweat; as a result, you lose even more water and salt.  Then….the opposite symptoms result: high fever, lack of sweating and a bounding pulse…this indicates more than heat exhaustion…this indicated sunstroke.  Sunstroke victims need to have medical attention ASAP!


What can you do while you wait for Medical Help?

 Cool the person down with ice water, have him drink it and apply cold compresses and if possible with submersion in a cold bath.


Heat Exhaustion/Stroke Prevention

Heatstroke is predictable and preventable. Take these steps to prevent heatstroke during hot weather:

Wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing. Wearing excess clothing or clothing that fits tightly won’t allow your body to cool properly.

Wear light-colored clothing if you’re in the sun. Dark clothing absorbs heat. Light-colored clothing can help keep you cool by reflecting the sun’s rays.

 Drink plenty of fluids. Staying hydrated will help your body sweat and maintain a normal body temperature.

Take extra precautions with certain medications. Be on the lookout for heat-related problems if you take medications that can affect your body’s ability to stay hydrated and dissipate heat.

Never leave children or anyone else in a parked car. This is a common cause of heat-related deaths in children. When parked in the sun, the temperature in your car can rise 20 degrees F (more than 6.7 C) in just 10 minutes. It’s not safe to leave a person inside a parked car in hot weather for any period of time, even if the windows are cracked or the car is in the shade. When your car is parked, keep it locked to prevent a child from getting inside.

Take it easy during the hottest parts of the day. If you can’t avoid strenuous activity in hot weather, follow the same precautions and rest frequently in a cool spot. Try to schedule exercise or physical labor for cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or evening. Taking breaks and replenishing your fluids during that time will help your body regulate your temperature.

Get acclimatized. Limit the amount you spend working or exercising in the heat until you’re conditioned to it. People who are not used to hot weather are especially susceptible to heat-related illness, including heatstroke. It can take several weeks for your body to adjust to hot weather.

Be cautious if you’re at increased risk. If you take medications or have a physical condition that increases your risk of heat-related problems, avoid the heat and act quickly if you notice symptoms of overheating. If you participate in a strenuous sporting event or activity in hot weather, make sure there are medical services at the event in case a heat emergency arises.

It’s HOT outside Tea!

Click HERE to print



Recap: Today we looked at and discussed Heat Exhaustion and Sunstroke. We also made a tea: “It’s Hot Outside”

Looking Ahead:  Next week we will be discussing in more depth all of the herbs we used in our “Its Hot Outside” Tea:  Mulberry leaves, Peony root bark, Licorice root, Ginseng.  We have looked at Peppermint in past Herbal Med Kit Postings.

Reminder:  Next week we will be reviewing information…look ahead to the following week and gather the following supplies for our Poison Ivy, Oak and Sumac Post: Grindelia & Comfrey!

I am participating in the following Blog Hops:

Blessings to you and yours,






 I am also a Contributing Author at:



Kidney Stones – Oh MY!

Kidney Stones

Joe Pye Weed


About the best that can be said of kidney stones is that once you go through the experience, you may find yourself willing to go out of your way to make sure they do not come back again! One bout is enough to make most people re-think their diets and make some changes!

About half the people who get kidney stones will suffer them again, along with the symptoms of sudden, sharp waves of pain, nausea, and profuse sweating that accompany this problem. Severe cases are also accompanied by bleeding and, if there is an infection, even fever. As with any kidney condition, please see your physician or naturopath to determine the exact cause of your symptoms and the severity of your condition.

Kidney stones are mineral deposits made up of calcium, uric acid or the amino acid cysteine. There are numerous theories as to how these stones form, but no ones knows for absolute sure. Contributing factors may include:



Lack of exercise

Repeated kidney infections

History of kidney issues in your family

In some herbal books it is said that lemon juice reduces the size of kidney stones, but most herbal remedies including those based on lemon juice and hydrangea do not actually dissolve stones. Instead they help eliminate the stones and reduce or relieve the pain that occurs as they are eliminated. The larger the stone, the more uncomfortable this can be. Good herbs that help reduce infection, pain and spasms are cramp bark, goldenrod and joe pye weed, aptly nicknamed “gravel root” for its ability to get rid of stones.

At least 75% of kidney stones are composed of calcium combined with phosphate or oxalic acid. Medical experts believe that these stones result from an accumulation of unused calcium and lack of general exercise.

Since calcium phosphate stones are most common in alkaline urine, cranberries and other herbs that acidify urine also help prevent stones. Levels of the enzyme urease, which contributes to kidney stones, are increased by bacteria and the alkaline urine they produce. If you are prone to kidney stones, play it safe and avoid the following oxalic acid rich foods:



Beet Greens


Green Tea


Uric acid stones are found in urine that is too acidic. If you get this type of stone eat the following foods:



Apple Juice



These foods will help make your urine more alkaline. Also consider changing or modifying your diet. One thing that can cause your urine to be overly acidic is an overabundance of PROTEIN. The herbs Meadowsweet, Sarsaparilla, Joe Pye Weed and Plantain help rid the kidneys of excess uric acid.

Kidney Stone Tea

2 tsp Hydrangea Root

1 tsp Wild Yam Root

1 tsp Cramp Bark

1 ½ Qt Water

1 tsp Joe Pye Weed

½ tsp EACH Corn Silk, Plantain Leaf, Yarrow Leaf

*Add hydrangea, wild yam and cramp bark to water in a saucepan.

*Bring to boil, turn down heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

*Remove from heat, add rest of herbs, cover pan and steep for at least 20 minutes.

*Strain and keep refrigerated.

*Drink 3-4 Cups daily.

*If bleeding occurs with your Kidney Stones, add 30 drops of Shepherd’s Purse tincture to each cup of tea.

A tea is most especially appropriate when treating a kidney infection because you should be drinking plenty of water to keep the kidneys flushed and help kidney stones from forming. You can also take this formula as a tincture; 2-3 droppers-full per day.

Blessings to you and yours,





I am participating in the following Blog Hops:

Homestead Barn Hop


Eco KIds Tuesdays


Wildcrafting Wednesday

I am also a Contributing Author at:



Herbal Medicine Kit – Fainting & Dizziness


“Our passion for plant’s it runs through our veins

Our passion for healing and to help ease the pain”

Welcome Back…

 …to another posting of the Herbal Medicine Kit.  Today we are looking Fainting & Dizziness.  We will be talking about the lovely herb Lavender and making Lavender smelling salts and a Lavender Compress.

Let’s get to it…


Fainting & Dizziness

A “Fainting” Spell

 What IS Fainting, exactly?  Fainting happens because your brain is not receiving enough blood.

 Fainting is characterized by a cold and sweaty feeling, an uncomfortable sensation in the pit of the stomach.

 Why does this happen??  Well, standing up too quickly or overexerting yourself can cause you to feel faint.  A strong emotional shock or the sight of blood is enough to cause some people to feel faint!

A Fainting Episode!



Dizziness is a word that is often used to describe two different feelings, lightheadedness and vertigo. It’s important to know exactly what you mean when you say “I feel dizzy.”

 Lightheadedness is a feeling that you are about to faint or “pass out.” Although you may feel dizzy, you do not feel as though you or your surroundings are moving. Lightheadedness often goes away or improves when you lie down. If lightheadedness gets worse, it can lead to a feeling of almost fainting or a fainting spell. You may sometimes feel nauseated or vomit when you are lightheaded.

Vertigo is a feeling that you or your surroundings are moving when there is no actual movement. You may feel as though you are spinning, whirling, falling, or tilting. When you have severe vertigo, you may feel very nauseated or vomit. You may have trouble walking or standing, and you may lose your balance and fall.


 Lavender to the rescue!

Lavender Salts

 Probably nobody was as prepared as the Victorians when it came to fainting “spells!”

There herb of choice was Lavender, for everything from sniffing Lavender & Camphor salts to inhaling the aroma of “swooning” pillows…or sachets as we call them now.  Although fainting is not nearly as common these days, almost everyone has a dizzy spell or becomes somewhat “faint” at times.

Lavender salts…

 Lavender is still the herb of choice these days to relieve the occasional dizziness and fainting spell, although any herb with a sharp fragrance such as rosemary, eucalyptus or tea tree will do the trick as well.

 Lavender Compress

Lavender compresses, rolled and ready to use!


Lavender Compress Recipe

Click HERE to print




Keep chilled in the refrigerator.

To take advantage of herbs revivifying effects, place a hot compress on the back of the neck and another on the forehead.  The fragrance of the herbs, and the heat work together to increase circulation.  Combine compresses with the more traditional advice from doctors and place your head between your knees or lie down to get blood flowing into your brain again.

Compresses are also excellent used chilled in hot, humid and sunny weather.  They will help bring down your temperature to alleviate any possibility of those nasty “fainting” spells from heat and over-exertion.

Lavender Smelling Salts Recipe

Click HERE to print


Smelling salts can be any scent that you actually prefer.  Essential oils are messy to transport around, especially in a ladies purse!  Lids come off, oils seep out, bad thing happen and all of a sudden you are a walking rosemary plant!

Here’s an idea; use any essential oil that you like to have around whether that is lavender, rosemary, thieves, a rescue remedy of some sort…and turn it into smelling salts.  No mess, no fuss…no walking rosemary plant!


Recap:  Today we looked at the lovely herb Lavender, made Lavender Smelling Salts and a Lavender Compress.  We talked all about Fainting & Dizziness.

Looking ahead:  Next week we will take a look at Frostbite and Heatstroke.  Our talks will center around many herbs and spices; Cayenne, Ginger, Mulberry, Peony, Peppermint, Licorice and Ginseng.  We will also be making a Foot Warming Powder and a Heat Exhaustion Tea

Reminder:  Gather all your herbs and spices mentioned above.


 I am participating in the following Blog Hops:


Until next post…

Blessings to you and yours,





I am also a Contributing Author at:




Whole Wheat Bread & Roll Recipe

Whole Wheat Bread & Rolls

The Joy of Bread Making!

Ahhh…the quest for the perfect loaf of bread or roll!

And what do we usually end up with? A hockey puck! Or brick!

But no more! I have found the most perfect recipe for whole wheat…yes, you heard me right…whole wheat bread and it is so versatile, you can even use the recipe for rolls, hamburger buns, round artisan loaves, traditional rectangle sandwich loafs! Did I mention it’s NO RISE??!!! Read on fellow frustrated bakers……..

First the recipe…..

Whole Wheat No Rise Bread/Roll Recipe

Click HERE to print

Get your ingredients together…..


***Thank you, thank you Melissa k. Norris!

Now let’s break it down into steps for you….so easy!

Step #1:

Water, yeast, sugar.

Stir your water, yeast, and sugar together. Stir well in a plastic, ceramic or glass bowl. Do NOT use metal…I repeat…do NOT use metal. Your yeasties do not like it! Use a WOODEN SPOON…again, no metal-not even a whisk-yeast does not like metal as it inhibits its growth potential!!! Leave for 5 minutes until it becomes frothy on top. It will look like this:

Frothy top.

Step #2:

Add oil, flour, salt and baking powder and mix well.

Mix, mix, mix.

Step #3:

Knead your dough.

Turn out onto a lightly…lightly floured board and knead gently for a few minutes. Melissa says for 6-8, I have never gone that long. I knead just until the dough is smooth as a babys bottom! See below:

Soft as a baby’s……

Step #4:Divide your dough

This dough will make 1 loaf and 12 rolls OR 2 loaves OR 24 rolls. You decide!

Divide dough…

And again…

Step #5: Form your bread into Loaves and Rolls

Shape into loaf

Cut into portions

Shape into a ball

Step #6: Let rest…yes, rest…not rise…rest!

Let your precious little breads rest a little. You’ve mixed them and punched them and formed them…they’re tired. They will size up a little…but not double. Just FYI.

Resting is good….

Step #6: Bake!

400 degrees for 12-15 minutes for rolls, add 5-10 more for bread

Beautiful Rolls…

Beautiful Loaf…

Melissa recommends baking on a pizza stone. I would love too as well, but cannot find one (I am being frugal and waiting till I find one at a thrift store!), I bake my bread in bread pans AND my round loaves on a foil lined pizza pan and my rolls on a foil lined cookie or pizza pan, lightly sprayed.

Step #7: Enjoy!!

These yummy rolls look so pretty on my china from England!

Really, really good hot out of the oven!!


*I use Turbinado for the sugar in this recipe.

*I use olive oil for the oil in this recipe.

*These keep really well and for a long time in the refrigerator.

*This recipe is very forgiving when it comes to the type of flour used. I have used whole wheat white/wheat half and half and I have used all whole wheat and I have used 1 C each white whole wheat and whole wheat and the rest dark rye.

*Measurements are pretty spot on.

*The baked bread/rolls freeze beautifully…just take out and bake in 350 oven to warm and brown.

Good luck…you won’t need much, this is a fantastic and easy recipe!!

Blessings to you and yours,





I’m also a Contributing Author at:

Modern Homesteaders  http://modernhomesteaders.net

Herbal Medicine Kit – Cuts & Scrapes Part 2

Welcome Back…

…to another posting of the Herbal Medicine Kit. We will be discussing the herbs Oregon Graperoot, Goldenseal and Lemon essential oil. We will be making Tincture of Goldenseal and Lemon & Tea Tree Antiseptic Spray.

Let’s get to it…

Cuts & Scrapes Part 2

Scraped Elbow!

Regardless of how careful you might be, the human body is subject to all kinds of injuries, not the least of which are cuts and scrapes. Throughout history, people have used herbal remedies to treat minor skin disturbances. The ancient Romans made strange compresses using spider webs to treat their cuts and scrapes. Native Americans used sphagnum moss in a similar fashion. Don’t ignore basic first aid when it comes to treating a cut or scrape, apply pressure to stop the bleeding, and then clean the wound. Here is where herbs come in; they can effectively clean and soothe many common, everyday cuts and scrapes.

Check with your doctor if you have concerns about using herbal remedies.

Sprays, which can be potent antiseptics are good for raw wounds or any injuries that you want to avoid touching.

Lemon & Tea Tree Antiseptic Spray

Click HERE to print

Lemon & Tea Tree Antiseptic Spray

Oregon Grape Root

Oregon Grape

Oregon-Grape, the state flower of Oregon, derives its name from its use as a medicine and food along the Oregon Trail, and that popularity as a food and medicine nearly led to its extinction in the late nineteenth century. The plant was also included in the traditional diets and medicines of the Pacific Northwest aboriginal peoples. Both the leaves and root bark of this evergreen perennial are used medicinally, and the root, containing the powerful alkaloid, berberine, was officially included in the United States Pharmacopoeia from 1905 to 1916.

Oregon- Grape leaves greatly resemble holly leaves, and the plant bears beautiful yellow flowers and small, tart, purplish-black fruits that resemble grape clusters. Oregon-Grape was included in many culinary preparations, including a jelly that is rich in vitamin C, and the root was also used as a greenish-yellow dye (the berries were a source of purple dye). Blackfoot Indians called it Ot-to-gue and used it to check rectal hemorrhage, dysentery and stomach troubles. The Kwakiutls made a bark tea to offset an excess of bile, and Oregon-Grape was also found to be beneficial for open boils, kidney troubles and as a topical antiseptic for wounds. In Europe today, Oregon-Grape is used topically to treat psoriasis and dry skin rashes. Some of the principal constituents in Oregon-Grape include alkaloids (especially berberine, berbamine, isocorydin and oxyacanthine), tannins and vitamin C.

***Berberine-containing plants (Barberry, Oregon-Grape, Goldenseal, etc.) should not be used by pregnant or nursing women. Those who suffer from hyperthyroid conditions should not take Oregon Grape Root Herbal Supplement, and diabetics should use Oregon-Grape Root only under the supervision of a physician. There is some evidence that berberine may interfere with the efficacy of tetracycline medications. High doses (many times the recommended amount) may cause vomiting, lowered blood pressure and lowered heart rate, lethargy, nosebleed, skin, eye and kidney irritation. Do not take Oregon-Grape Root if you have chronic diarrhea, a duodenal ulcer or excessive stomach acid, as it could make these conditions worse. Oregon- Grape root is not recommended for prolonged use.

Oregon Grape Root Tincture Printable

Click HERE to print

Oregon Grape Root Tincture




Goldenseal is a hardy, herbaceous, North American woodland perennial that grows under two feet in height with a thick, yellow root and a single, erect stem producing leaves and a flower. The flowers are small, white; and a patch of Hydrastis will not remain in blossom longer than a week or ten days. From the flower, a single, red, inedible fruit emerges, but it is the roots, dug from three-year-old plants, that are used in herbal medicine. Its botanical genus, Hydrastis, is said to be derived from two Greek words signifying “water” and “to accomplish,” probably attributed because of its active effect on the body’s mucous membranes secretions.

In 1798, Benjamin Smith Barton observed that the Cherokees used it as a folk cancer remedy, which is also one of the earliest observations of the occurrence and treatment of cancer among American Indian groups. Few wildflowers were as important to the American Indians as the versatile Goldenseal. The roots supplied the Cherokee and Iroquois with a brilliant yellow dye for their weapons and clothing, a paint for their faces (giving the plant one of its common names, Yellow Indian Paint) and medicinal remedies for indigestion, inflamed eyes, mouth ulcers, cancer, tuberculosis and edema.

It may not have been effective for all those ailments, but its use as an antiseptic and in stopping bleeding was well noted. Pioneers quickly adopted Goldenseal, and it became a mainstay of pioneer medicine, frequently sold as an ingredient in patent medicines in traveling medicine shows. The root is an ingredient in many herbal remedies, as it not only possesses medicinal virtues of its own, but it also appears to enhance the potency of other herbs. Goldenseal has also found its way into modern medicine as a treatment for inflamed eyes, and some drug manufacturers include an alkaloid extracted from the root in their eye drops.

Once common in eastern North America, Goldenseal has almost become extinct in many places by commercial harvesting, and the plant was cited on the CITES list for protection and conservation, making it a rare and expensive commodity. Some of Goldenseal’s constituents include alkaloids (hydrastine, berberine, canadine and hydrastanine), tannins, beta-carotene, fatty acids, resin, albumin, essential oil, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium selenium, zinc, vitamins A, C and E and B-vitamins.

Lemon Essential Oil

Fresh Lemons

The virtues of the lemon and its close relative, the citron, have been well-known throughout history. The poet Virgil had this to say:

And dulling tastes of happy Citron fruit, Than which, no helpe more present can be had, If any time stepmothers worse than brute have poyson’d pots, and mingled herbs of sute With hurtfull charmes: this Citron fruit doth chase Blacke venome from the body in every place.

Writing in her 1931 book on herbal medicine, Maude Grieve says, “The lemon is the most valuable of all fruit for preserving health.” This was written in the days before aromatherapy, so Grieve couldn’t have had complete knowledge of the importance of lemon essential oil. She wrote, “The oil is not very active, and is used chiefly for flavouring.”


Like many essential oils, the constituents of lemon oil have antiseptic properties. What makes these properties noteworthy in lemon oil is that here they’re combined with a delightful aroma. Lemon is a great modifier for medicinal-smelling oils like tea tree and eucalyptus. Lemon works synergistically on a therapeutic, aesthetic and emotional level. This is very important when working with blends containing strongly medicinal oils, which may have a tendency to produce a negative aesthetic or emotional effect in aroma-sensitive people.

Lemon oil is uplifting and cleansing. It replaces negative emotions by creating a cheerful atmosphere of freshness and purity. It can help dispel mental fatigue and psychological heaviness. The aroma of lemon can inspire increased concentration and awareness. A Japanese study suggested that after diffusing lemon oil throughout a busy office building, typing errors decreased by 54%.

Because lemon oil is clarifying and aids the decision making process, it’s called the rational oil. Lemon is associated with the color yellow, with light and warm, penetrating energy. Simply placing a drop or two of lemon on a tissue can produce marvelous results. It’s a great addition to gently uplifting aromatherapy blends, along with other citrus oils as well as lavender and neroli.


Lemon oil is powerfully astringent and antiseptic. Because it can cause skin irritation if used by sensitive individuals in dilutions exceeding 5%, it should not be applied undiluted to skin. Five drops or less of lemon oil should be added to a teaspoon of a carrier oil. Lemon oil can contain up to two percent furanocoumarin compounds, including bergaptene. These compounds act as photosensitizing agents, which can increase the skin’s sensitivity to ultraviolet light, causing accelerated burning and skin damage. Don’t use lemon oil on the skin in the presence of sunlight.

**Courtesy of Aura Cacia

Recap: Today we discussed the herbs Oregon Graperoot, Goldenseal and Lemon essential oil. We made Tincture of Goldenseal and Lemon & Tea Tree Antiseptic Spray.

Looking ahead: Next week we will end our series on Cuts & Scrapes with a look at deeper wounds requiring a Poultice and Wound-healing Tea. We will look more in-depth at Plantain, Astragulus and Baptisia

Reminder: Have on hand fresh Comfrey or Plantain leaves, Astragalus root, Baptisia Root and Echinacea Root.

I am participating in the following Blog Hops:

Homestead Barn Hop

Eco KIds Tuesdays

Wildcrafting Wednesday

Until next post…

Blessings to you and yours,





I am also a Contributing Author at:

Modern Homesteaders