Friday, July 27, 2012

Pine Salve, winter malady helps, stock up now

   The pine salve that has been brewing on my cupboard for many weeks has been finished. It says it's good for aches and pains but I found a different use for it. In February I broke out with a rash I get off and on, stress mostly, and have not been able to get rid of it. Until this week. The salve is wonderful, all but a few bumps have gone away. Here is how to make it, its fairly easy. Gather a pile of pine branches, Douglas Fir, Cypress, or any kind of Pine. Cut the needles into smallish pieces until you have about 3 cups, no branches. Put these into a quart jar, filling about 2/3 full. Add 2 tablespoons of juniper berrys(found on facebook) and a couple of tablespoons of grated orange peel. Cover this with oil. I used a mix of apricot kernal, jojoba and olive oil. Cover and set in a dark corner somewhere and leave for 4 weeks. Strain the oil out of the jar into a pan, discard the solid stuff.  You should have 3 cups of infused oil. To this add 4 ounces of grated beeswax and melt the wax over low low heat. Remove from heat and pour into containers. I used tins, but little jars would work too. It sets up fast, and is great stuff.
   Its so hot that thinking about cold and flu season now is difficult. But it will be here soon, school starts in a few weeks and that always heralds the first colds of the season. There are things in your pantry that can help. 
  To unstuff stuffy noses, peppermint or eucalyptus oils are invaluable. Put a few drops in a pan of warm water, towel over head and inhale. You can add a few drops of eucalyptus to a vaporizer too, and fill the room with easing steam.
   Licorice is a great throat soother, just eating licorice(black) candy is helpful. If you have high blood pressure, avoid this, it will raise it. To make your own throat lozenges here is a good way:
   2 Tablespoons of licorice powder
   1 teaspoon honey
   cocoa powder
Put the powder(licorice) in a bowl, add the honey, and unsweetened cocoa powder to make a thick paste. Knead until smooth. Make into pill sized pieces. These need to dry, in a dehydrator or in a 150 degree oven on a cookie sheet til they are dry. Put them in a glass jar and they will keep for a long time.
  To soothe a sore throat, mix 1/4 cup of local honey with 1/4 cup of water, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of chopped or dried sage. Mix well and keep in the refrigerator.
  My fave quick kicker for sore throat is to just chew a clove of fresh garlic.
  Licorice, black pepper and ginger are all forms of antibiotics, keep these in mind and make ginger tea for flu or colds, add pepper to your food. And if its ok for you, eat licorice. Other forms of herbal antibiotics are juniper,honey and goldenseal.
  How about one recipe for the road, a sweet treat.
  Almond Anise Brittle
  1/2 cup sliced almonds
  1 cup sugar
  1/3 cup water
  pinch of cream of tartar
 2 tablespoons anise seeds
  In a 250 degree oven, toast the almonds on unlined baking sheet until golden. In a medium pot, combine sugar, water. and cream of tarter. Heat til sugar is dissolved. Cover pot and boil for about 5 minutes.  Remove lid an look at color, should be amber. When it is, quickly add almonds and aniseseeds and pour onto a buttered cookie sheet or foil.Spread thin so it will end up with a glass like texture. Break up after set and store. This is so pretty, could make a nice Christmas gift.
  Hope you are bearing up under the heat, take care.


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