Monday, February 28, 2011

Dill; Not Just For Pickles!

Merry Monday Everyone!

Today I thought it would be fun to share some info concerning Dill....
It's gift is so much more than just pickles!


Dill; Not Just For Pickles!

The International Herb Association designated dill as the Herb of the Year in 2010, and now (late fall and winter) is the best time for planting this ancient herb.

Dill (Anthemis graveolens) is a cool season plant. It grows easily in any sunny spot in the garden, or in a planter on the deck or patio. Just make sure you plant it somewhere you'd like ti to grow for a while, as the herb doesn't transplant well. In fact, starting it indoors in little seed pots actually stunts the plant, allowing it to only reach a mere half or two thirds of its normal height of 3 to 4 feet.

In Zones 6 and 7, dill benefits from a fall planting - the same time you would plant cilantro, poppies, and larkspur. In warmer climates you can plant dill in early fall for a winter crop.
  • Simply loosen the soil with a rake, scatter the seed, and tamp it lightly. Don't bother the soil after tat. In early spring , usually late March (may be different for your area), the young dill "ferns" will start coming up.

  • About two to three weeks after you see dill growing in your garden, plant another row of dill seed nearby. In a month, plant another row. Why? Because if you like dill and use it often, this is the way to keep a supply coming along as the season warms.

  • You can keep cutting dill back for a while, but it's purpose is to go to seed before hot weather hits, so eventually it will bloom, drop its leaves and die. If you let the seeds fall to the ground and reseed, you'll have dill coming up every spring and sometimes again in the fall.

Dill use dates back to ancient Egyptian and early Roman times. The Greeks believed dill bestowed good luck and fortune and could ward off hexes. Today, Europeans use dill with fish and wild game. Norwegians use dill with a variety of sauces and fish dishes. In India, bunches of dill weed (meaning the leaves and young stems) are cooked as a vegetable in dishes that feature potatoes, garlic, onions and Indian spices.

In America, we associate dill with pickles. Americans on average, eat nine pounds of pickles a year - most of which are dill pickles. It sounds like a lot, but every fast food hamburger, veggie burger, and fish sandwich has two to three pickles per sandwich. ( This pickle statistic inadvertently reflects the amount of fast food we eat) Of course, dill's culinary range extends past the cucumber, proving great flavor o grilled salmon,for example, in a lemon and sour cream sauce , or sprinkled over deviled eggs for a bit of color.

Dill seeds have ling been known to soothe the stomach of adults and babies alike, and making an infusion is simple.
  • Steep 2 tsp of seed in 1 cup of boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes, then strain. Drink one or two cups a day.

Several dill varieties are available from seed companies, and some of these are slower to bloom and set seed, providing you with more leaves to use in your favorite dishes.'Slow Bolt', 'Dukat,' 'Bouquet'(Which is a dwarf variety)'Hercules', 'Delikat' (one of the best for pot growing) and 'Mammoth' are some of the better varieties around.

You can find more information at the International Herb Association website at

Friday, February 25, 2011

What Is Homeopathy?

G'morning everyone!

I would like to formally introduce the newest member of our family.....

.....I present, Reno's new brother.....wait for it.....


                                         Is that not just the cutest??? Why thank you!

What Is Homeopathy?

Western medicine assumes people fall ill due to disease and sickness, and uses drugs that tackle symptoms directly. Homeopathy assumes if people are ill they are out of balance and  their body is struggling to heal itself.

A remedy creating the symptoms of a particular disease in a healthy person will eradicate them in someone ill with the same disease. The more a remedy is diluted, the more potent it is . The ingredients, however, can be poisonous in the natural state, as can the undiluted "mother remedy". Minor ailments require a remedy only diluted to 6 centesimals(c) or 30c, whereas a long term complaint may require a dilution of 1 million centesimals(m). 

Many factores are considered in selection, such as emotional state and even reaction to the weather, so effects differ from person to person.

Treating Minor Ailments At Home

A professional homeopath is necessary to treat long-standing or serious complaints. But many minor complaints can be as easily treated at home. These include:

Fear~Silvernitrate or gelsenuim is used.

Minor Injury~Arnica will help bruising swelling and bleeding.

Female Ailments~Use actea for menstrual and pregnancy problems.

Children~Chamomile helps colic and teething; calcium phosphate is good for "growing pains".

Emotion~Use phosphorus for nervous tension, sepia for hormonal imbalance and gold for depression.

Homeopathic Remedies For Your Medicine Chest

Homeopathic Gels~Some homeopathic medicines, for example arnica and calendula, are available in gel form. These remedies are for external problems such as bruises, burns, bites and stings and skin irritation.

Gels provide an easy way to apply the remedy directly to the problem, though the is does not work for all ailments - some require an orally applied remedy.

Homeopathic Capsules~Homeopathic remedies are most commonly available in capsule or tablet form to be used in the case of illnesses that require internal application of the remedy. The tablets are generally very small, which makes them easy to store in your handbag or medicine chest.

Homeopathic Tinctures~Tinctures can be applied in many ways, depending on the complaint and the remedy. You should always check the packaging carefully to make sure you are using the tincture properly and that your dosage is correct - potency will differ according to dilution.

Some tinctures are taken internally and work in a similar manner to tablets. Others are taken as eye drops, ear drops or are applied to a problem area using a compress. Many serve the same purposes as a gel. All treatments come form an initial mother tincture, which is diluted until the correct dilution is reached.

Your Homeopathy Kit~You can easily build your own homeopathy medicine kit at home; indeed, many health food stores now offer complete kits. You can also buy specially designed remedies for particular conditions, which have been formulated with homeopathic remedies most useful for the complaint.

  • You should never attempt to make homeopathic remedies yourself, as many remedies are distilled from plants and herbs that are toxic in their natural form and may cause you serious harm.

  • Remedies come in a variety of dilutions, so consult a homeopath to check which dilution is best for your symptoms. A good rule of thumb is that the  more diluted a remedy is, the higher its potency. Pay attention to how often a remedy must be taken, as homeopathy works best in small does infrequently. Remedies bought from health stores are generally safe, even in pregnancy and for children. Choose a variety for your kit to prepare for all eventualities.

  • Ledum is handy for bites and stings, bryonia for headaches and nausea, urtica for burns and scalds, silica for infections and spots, euphrasia for eye complaints and ruta grav for pulled muscles.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

New Puppy!

Greetings all, I have a new corgi puppy so bear with me...I will try to post again real soon.

Thanks for your understanding!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Featured Artist Tuesday!

Hello there! In case you were here earlier today, you might have noticed I didn't have Tuesday's featured artist.

I forgot it was Tuesday.

Go ahead laugh...I am!!

Today I present to you a wonderful gal who had creative skills forming in the womb!

Some of the most creative, expressive artists have explored many different mediums, therefore finding, in the end, the one that fuels their passion.

So for your viewing pleasure, I present....

Stacey Peterson of Stormflight Designs!

Ever since I was a child I have enjoyed art in all its myriad forms.  My parents encouraged me to take every art class I could while growing up.  I started out with a magic-marker class and progressed through each medium of drawing and painting, and then into ceramics and bronze modeling.

 In my teens I began finding my style through fabric – clothing design and quilting where I strengthened my skills with a degree in Home Economics where I focused on fashion and clothing design.  I love geometric shapes, colors and the practicality of a nice warm quilt.

  It wasn’t until my family and I did some gem mining in North Carolina that I finally discovered how much I love gems and rocks…that's when my creative spark began to flame in a big way.  I finely found an art form I could sink my teeth into. 

 I took a gem faceting class and then realized I needed to learn how to set them into jewelry! So, my journey into the wonderful world of metal began and has become my passion.

You can find Stacey's beautiful creations at:

 (geeky jewelry)

 (all items from both etsy shops)




Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Herbal Remedies To Treat Ailments Of Old Age

G'moring friends!

Sorry I haven't posted in a few days, some personal experiences happening; I am back and rearin' to go.....

Growing older is, in so many ways,  a riching experience that will lead us to being wise in our own right; unfortunately growing older also can, and most times will, leave your joints and other body parts achy and well, worn out!

So I thought I would share some herbal remedies to help you combat the effects of aging...


Herbal Remedies To Treat Ailments Of Old Age

You associate aging with ill health and incapacity but, with a good diet and active lifestyle, it's possible to maintain physical and mental vitality. Your metabolism slows down and your energy wanes in later years, but herbs can act to maintain health and combat ailments associate with old age.

Arthritis, rheumatism and gout reduce mobility  and can lead to depression. Anti-inflammatory herbs, such as white willow, devil's claw and rosemary, can increase mobility and reduces pain. involvement in creative activities, such as painting, needlework and crosswords, plays a vial role in maintaining mental capacity, and, and Chinese herbs can restore vitality and vigor. Bone density drops, but herbs such as sage reduce the risk of breaking bones, which are slow to repair in the elderly.

Herbs For Combating Ailments Of Aging

Arthritis And Gout~For aching muscles or creaking, stiff, swollen or painful joints:
  • Angelica
  • Devils Claw
  • Rosemary
  • White Willow

Brittle Bones~For unusual or dramatic weight loss or frequent breakages, especially of the wrist and hip bones:
  • Sage

Memory Loss~For forgetfulness and disorientation, poor short-term memory, and forgetting familiar names:
  • Ginko
  • Ginseng
  • Gotu Kola
  • Purple Sage
  • Rosemary

Hardening Arteries~For confusion, cold feet and hands, breathlessness:
  • Ginko
  • Greater periwinkle
  • Mistletoe

More Information On Herbs For Aging

Gotu Kola~This herb boosts mental performance, creativity and memory. It improves circulation to the brain and strengthens nerve function. Take a daily infusion as a brain tonic.

Ginko~this is widely believed to be one f the most important herbs for treating dementia and memory loss. Ginkgo improves blood flow to the heart, stimulates circulation to the brain and helps to protect against strokes and hardening of the arteries by reducing the risk of blood clots.

Once thought extinct, ginkgo is now grown on plantations across the globe. Juice is extracted from the fresh leaves, or the leaves are dried and used to prepare tinctures.

White Willow~Treating arthritis, willow relieves inflammation and swelling. Its anagesic action is similar to aspirin, due to salicylic acid, which inhibits prostaglandin production, relieving pain.

Celery~Celery is a restorative herb that prevents uric acid from accumulating in joins, resulting in arthritis or gout. It improves circulation to the muscles and joints and detoxifies blood.

Do not eat seeds for cultivation as they have a coating of fungicide.

Mistletoe~This parasitic evergreen was sacred to the Druids and Pagans. An extract of the leaves promotes restful sleep and reduces blood pressure. Its berries can be fatally toxic, so take it under medical supervision

Bladderwrack~This seaweed is rich in iodine and other minerals. It provides a gentle metabolic stimulant and anti rheumatic properties for the elderly.

Collect fresh from beaches for an infused oil to apply externally to aching joints.

Devils Claw~The tubers of this African desert plant are a well-established and powerful herbal treatment for chronic rheumatism and arthritis.

Rich in iridoid glyscosides, devil's claw has extremely effective anti-inflammatory and analgesic actions, which help to restore movement in painful joints.

Take devil's claw regularly for rheumatism or arthritis, either internally as a tincture or applied as  a cream externally to soothe painful joints.

Memory-Boosting Tonic

To make a highly effective and delicious tonic that helps to boost memory:

1. Mix a tsp each of
  • Dried Ginko Leaf
  • Chopped Ginseng root
  • Gotu Kola
with 1/4 cup cold distilled water in a large saucepan

2.  Bring the mixture to a boil, cover with a lid and allow to infuse for 15-20 minutes.

3. Stain the hot mixture carefully and pour it into an airtight container for storage in a cool place, preferable in the refrigerator.

4. Drink a small cup of your infusion twice daily to help improve your mental capacity and memory.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

How To Make Flower Remedies and Herbal Tinctures

Oh wish that was me, enjoying the hammock in the summer sun!

Today I am going to share making flower remedies and herbal tinctures.

Tinctures can be stored for a ling time, making them the perfect way to harness the restorative power of flowers and herbs......


How To Make Flower Remedies and Herbal Tinctures

Tinctures are made by steeping fresh or dried herbs in pure alcohol. The plants' active constituents are dissolved in the alcohol, which acts as an excellent preservatives.

Herbal tinctures are stronger than infusions and decoctions. They are a convenient way to administer herbal remedies over extended periods of time, especially when traveling . It's standard to make a tincture from a single herb and to blend tincture from a single herb and to blend tinctures from your herbal medicine cabinet as required. They have a shelf life of up to two years, so it is well worth preparing your own homemade tinctures.

Flower remedies are a form of homeopathic tincture. They are a subtle treatment that captures the essential qualities of flowers or herbs by infusing them in water. Flower remedies are effective for treating the emotional imbalances that underlie many illnesses, and they are also a good way to raise your energy levels.

Some Ideal herbs And Flowers For Tinctures And Remedies

  • Helps to lessen negativity

  • Calms digestive inflammation

  • Increases generosity

  • Soothes and heals acne

St. John's Wort~
  • Soothes anxiety

  • Calms pre-menstrual tension

  • Increases laughter and relaxation

Red Chestnut~
  • Reduces anxiety and depression

  • Prevents over-protection of family and friends

  • Improves positive thinking and self-esteem

  • Rheumatism and arthritis~

  • Despondency an despair

  • Neuralgia and headaches

  • Puts your troubles into perspective

Dong Quai~
  • Builds healthy blood

  • Restores energy levels

  • Strengthens the uterus

  • Stimulates the appetite

  • Promotes digestion

  • Eases stomach upsets

  • Expectorant for coughs and colds

  • Improves memory

  • Improves mental function

  • Helps circulatory problems

  • Eases hemorrhoids

  • For wounds and inflammations

  • Ulcers and gum inflammations

  • Menstrual cramps

  • Has restorative effects

  • Reinforces strength and endurance

  • Reduces feelings of self-blame

  • Reduces guilt

  • Helps to improve self-awareness

How To Make Your Flower Remedies And Tinctures

Making A Tincture

1. Chop 3 cups of fresh herbs (or, if you prefer 2 cups of dried herbs). Place them in a large glass jar

2. Pour one quart of pure alcohol (vodka or rum) over the herbs. Screw the lid on the jar and shake we to ensure that the herbs are fully submerged.

3. Keep in a cool dark place for 10-14 days. Shake the jar for one minute each day.

4. Strain the mixture through a muslin or linen cloth. Discard the herbs and pour the liquid into sterilized screw top glass bottles.

5. Label the bottles with the date and the name of the herb.

To Make St. John's Wort Tincture~

1. Collect 2 1/2 cups of the flowering heads of St. John's Wort. Place the flower heads containing the buds, flowers and leaves in the alcohol as in the recipes.

2. Take 1 tsp of the tincture, diluted in water or fruit juice, three times a day to combat anxiety and tension headaches.

Making A Remedy

1. Place 1/2 cup of freshly picked whole flower heads in a shallow glass or earthen ware bowl.

2. Add approximately 1 cup of pure spring water. Make sure that all the flowers are fully submerged and cover with a muslin cloth.

3. Place the bowl in a sunny spot for one day. This can be a sheltered spot in the garden or on a sunny windowsill.

4. In the evening, remove the flower heads and measure the remaining liquid.

5. Add an equal amount of pure alcohol (vodka or rum) and pour the remedy into sterilized bottles.

Marigold Remedy~

1. Submerge 5-6 freshly picked marigold flower heads in spring water as described in the flower remedy recipe.

2. It's best to grow your own marigolds but, if you are purchasing them, you should ensure that the flowers are organic.

3. Apply 4-5 drops of the essence under your tongue 4 times a day to restore a positive frame of mind.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Featured Artist Tuesday!

G'morning! Today I present, for your viewing pleasure, a gal that loves her craft work and is inspired by many to keep learning and building her already wonderful skills....

So without further ado...I present....

Angelique Proprietor of Drunkenmimes Ecclectic LadyLand!!!

Hello, I'm Angelique a.k.a. 'Drunkenmimes Ecclectic LadyLand.

 I've been artsy and creative since I was a little kid, but beading is the one thing that stuck with me, and that I have put the most effort into. It's a good thing that I don't have any children because I'd probably forget their names while I'm busy doing my crafts.

The bulk of my practice has been in the last two-three years, and I enjoy the challenges of trying to 'step outside the box' to create new designs. I like to think that I have a lot of different styles to choose from-every piece is one-of-a-kind, but I'm slowly evolving.

One medium I find particularly exciting is polymer clay. The possibilities are infinite, and there are some jaw-dropping creations by incredibly talented polymer clay artists who inspire me. The effect that I love the most is the "watercolor look" that can be achieved with alcohol inks. I ordered some online, I'm waiting for them in the mail, and it's all I can do to not tackle the postman and demand he hand them over.

Thank you reading my ramble, and if you want to check out my latest creations in my studio, it's I also have a blog here Ecclectic LadyLand on Facebook, and Twitter