Friday, April 29, 2016

Spring Cleaning with Natural Products

Sitting here this morning early, with coffee in hand, watching the sun rise behind the mountain. Well sort of, its cloudy this morning but there is still a glow as the sun creeps into the sky. Behind me is a steep incline to the top of Piney Mountain, my son's work shop sits about half way up. In the winter I can see the top of the mountain through the bare trees, but now they are all green again so only looking at the tops of the trees can I see the top. It takes the sun a long time to come over the mountain, if I go to town early, it's already up as I get away down the hill. God has put me in a truly breathtaking place to spend the last of my life. I have been lucky to see a lot of places, some great, others not so much. Today I got a newsletter from Mountain Rose Herbs with some great cleaning recipes. If you are still buying harsh chemical products, I urge you to consider going green and natural. These ingredients clean as a well as clorox, and other caustic products, and are so much safer for you, your kids, pets and the environment. Lets start with a general surface cleaner for kitchen counters, cabinets, glass, blinds, tubs, fan blades etc. In most grocery stores you can purchase spray bottles for just over a buck, I found mine at Walmart. You can also clean and reuse old glass cleaner spray bottles, just be sure all the old stuff is removed. okay, Surface Cleaner: 16 ounce spray bottle 8 ounces white vinegar 6 ounces water 2 ounces vodka or rubbing alcohol 10 drops essential lavender oil 5 drops essential rosemary oil 5 drops essential lemon oil. Combine all in spray bottle shake before use On to soft scrub, for your sinks, tubs, toilets etc glass jar 1/2 cup baking soda, 1/2 cup liquid castile soap, 15 drops of essential oil, like rosemary, tea tree or your choice. Mix well, apply to paper towel or cloth and scrub away, rinse well. Have you used Febreze? I was told by a vet many years ago it may be toxic for pets, had a kitty get sick and she thought that was the cause. Well, here is a home made version that won;t harm a thing: 16 ounce spray bottle, 3 ounces vodka or rubbing alcohol, 15 drops lavender essential oil. 12 ounces rose hydrosol. Put in your bottle, shake and spray curtains, rugs, furniture, pet beds, cars upholstery etc. I ran across an article in my new Mother Earth on blood sugar, if you are working with that problem, did you know that dandelions are most helpful? They contain alpha-glucosidaze, which is natures blood sugar reducer. You should check with your doc of course, but a tea made with flowers and leaves can reduce the amount of medication needed. It's finally spring, almost summer, we seem to jump from that lovely cool period right into very warm weather. My garden is mostly up, have beets, St. Francis beans, cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, lettuce and herbs doing well, also potatoes and my berries are looking good, both strawberries and blueberries are getting ripe. Love this time of renewal, when the earth once again becomes green and lush. Hope you are taking time to enjoy and not just stress out from yard wor, all too soon winter will make its return. Enjoy the weather, and your life, and give thanks for all your blessings. Til next time, be healthy. Final note, all ingredients need for cleaning recipes can be found at Mountain Rose Herbs, and most of them also at Swanson Vitamins, or Amazon.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Castile Soap and Chamomile

Sometimes the simplest things are the best, and cheapest. If you are trying for a healthy home, these two items are your friends. I have a large bottle of Castile soap, purchased from Mountain Rose Herbs, in my cupboard. I use it in foaming face wash, shampoo, and other home made personal items. Its simple to use,To make an all purpose cleaner, combine 1 gallon of hot water with 1/2 cup liquid Castile soap and 10 drops essential thyme oil. Spray on cupboards, sink, tubs,any surface you need to clean., If you have pets, make a shampoo that repels fleas with Castile and peppermint essential oil, bugs hate peppermint. Just keep it out of eyes and nose. Add a few squirts of Castile to 2 cups hot water to clean up greasy stove tops. Using Castile instead of normal disinfectants can help ease allergies, it will take a few weeks to see improvement as you need the toxic stuff you have been using to get cleaned out. Living in a clean , green house is so good for your health. Chamomile has long been used as a relaxing tea, to aid in sleep. But its good for ulcers too, and tummy troubles, very soothing. Steep a cup of chamomile blossoms in 2 cups boiling water, strain, cool and use as a hair conditioner, do not rinse out. It will leave your hair soft and slightly lighter. If you have puffy eyes, steep some flowers and make small compresses to put under your eyes, while relaxing a short time.Its also good for itches, scrapes and burns, can use tea or make salves and lotions, recipes easy to find on line. Amazing how going back to old remedies can improve our lives. I watched a spot on ABC news a while back saying lots of folk are getting tired of the side effects, cost and inconvenience of prescription meds, so they are looking for holistic, and alternative doctors who can use both, and keep your side effects at bay. Seems our grandparents knew a lot more than we gave them credit for. Back on the prairie, docs were few and far between and pioneers needed a good basic knowledge of herbal care. Even the Native Americans had a good handle on growing and using herbs, tree roots and bark etc. It kind of seems the farther we progress, the less healthy we are. It's trying to be spring, the dogwoods are lovely, the red buds are about gone, but my snowballs, tulips etc are so pretty. We have been in an area this week with 3 forest fires burning very close to us. We ate our share of smoke for a day or two, but the fire is burning away from us and up another mountain now. It's splitting so they are still using helicopters to drop water, last report said we had an extra 130 firefighters brought in to fight this giant blaze, We could use a good soaking rain to help get all these fires out. Hope you are having a lovely spring, enjoying some warmer days and the flowers that are now appearing. I am waiting for my little hummingbirds to return, love watching them. Take care.