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Teas, Tinctures, Tonics, Confusing?

Teas, Tinctures, Tonics, Confusing?

Teas, Tinctures, Tonics, Confusing? 


Do you find remembering the difference between Teas, Tinctures, Tonics, confusing? I have been personally using and selling encapsulated herbs for over thirty years.  I still have a lot to learn.  Last year when I started this web site I began to make my own skin care. I love my Oil Face Cleanser and my moisturizer.  (Links to recipes soon.)

This year I am venturing out quite a bit more with essential oils. In all of these topics you come across the terms Teas, Tinctures, Tonics, infusions and more.  I am always having to look them up because I can never remember what is what.

Teas, Tinctures, Tonics, Confusing?

Today I came across this post by Faith at Nourishing Herbalist and she has taken the time to write it all down in one place.  She also has included a wonderful picture chart that she gives permission to print and share. Thank you Faith.


Teas, Tinctures, Tonics, Confusing?

Photo from

Do you make Tinctures, Tonics or infusions?  What do you use them for.  I would love to have you share.

Edible Patio Garden

My Edible Patio Garden


It is raining right now in Northern California but for the season we have not had near enough.  That brings us all talking about the possibilities of water rations this summer.

My first thoughts were that we should not plant a garden this year if we would be short of water.  But…. I changed my mind.  My husband and I talked about it and with the crazy Winter this has been all over the States  – not enough water here – too much water there-  crazy freezing and snow  – well… you get my drift – our food in the stores may become even more expensive than normal.

It has been crazy expensive to feed the cattle around here, so I would not be surprised to see beef prices go up.  Also with little water, the crops will not be producing as they should.  That may affect our fruit and vegetable prices at both the stores and the farmers markets.

Our fruit trees bloomed very early because it was gorgeous in both December and January.  But were the bees out there to do their job of pollinating?  I don’t know.  We seem to have a lack of bees problem anyway.  Now, we have wind and rain, so only time will tell how the fruit and nuts trees in the area will fair.

Now back on point – we decided if we must, we will let the grass die and water our

Edible Patio Garden

So last weekend I started……………I went to our local farmers Market; we have one that is open all year now.  Besides some fresh vegetable to use in my cooking last week I bought plants.  Most of them will put on pretty flowers.  The key and fun part is for my Edible Patio Garden, I did not buy anything we could not eat.  Many of these plants look familiar to me.  I think they grew wild near where I grew up in Oregon.  I think most people kills these plants as weed out of their yards because we have not been taught through times that they can be eaten.

Here is what I bought for my:

Edible Patio Garden

Sorrel – 

 The lady that sold this to me said that it will taste similar to kiwifruit or wild

Edible Patio Plants

Garden Sorrel

strawberries. (Mine only has a couple of leaves so I did not taste it yet.) I read the leaves are high in vitamin C.  This is one that I will try a small amount in salads, or my green smoothies.  Womens-health-club  says it can be poisonous.  It also talks about possible medication interactions.  Neither my husband or I take any so I just need to find out a total safe amount to eat.   Wikipedia’s Sorrel page.

I look forward to talking to the lady that sold me the Sorrel varieties to ask again how she uses it and how much. 

This is an example as to how we each need to do our own research about things and make our own choices.

 Wild Sheep Sorrel –

Edible Patio Plants

Wild Sheep Sorrel

The leaves of this plant have a lemony tang. I am pretty sure this grew wild all over my parent’s property.  And when it flowered then went to seed we ran our fingers up the stem and popped off the seeds.  It was good fun.   But it sounds like you don’t want to eat too much of this one either.  I will update when I can learn more. Learn more here: Wikipedia

 Salad Burnet –

The young leaves of this plant taste a little like cucumber. I have tasted mine.  I understand if you pick the large ones they are bitter.  Wikipedia talks about Salad Burnet. has a good amount of information on growing and uses for Salad Burnet.

Edible Patio Plants

Salad Burnet

 Borage – 

 Borage is also called Starflower. Bees like these flowers and we need more bees. I think the flowers are beautiful.  They will change from pink to purple. The leaves are also supposed to taste like cucumbers.  Borage is said to be a great companion planting for tomatoes and strawberries.  I have strawberries already on my deck and I usually have 4 to 6 tomatoes plants on the deck.  I haven’t bought those yet.  It is said that Borage helps to keep the tomato horn worm off the tomatoes, that would be good.  I HATE picking them off. Learn more from also has some good information about Borage.

Edible Patio Plants

Borage tiny

Edible Patio Plants


Edible Patio Plants





 Clary Sage –

Clary Sage also has a very pretty flower.  I have ordered this one on my Essential Oil order and am looking forward to using it for insomnia and times of feeling anxious. Wikipedia doesn’t have a lot to say about this one.  It has also been historically used to help women balance their hormones. has some great information that I will be referring back to when my plant has lots of leaves and flowers.

Edible Patio Plants

Clary Sage


Kale – 

I planted Kale in a pot last year and it took me awhile to get used to it’s very strong  flavor on it’s own.  I don’t mind it in my green smoothies or a small amount in a salad. If I get over run with it, I plan to try Kale chips.  Also beet chips, but I haven’t planted those yet either.  Wikipedia also mentions that the flavor is sweetened when frozen or hit by a frost, so I will be trying that as well. 

Edible Patio Plants


Swiss Chard – 

(Bright Lights variety)  I loved all the colors!!  I have grown Swiss chard before so I know it is simple. Chard is high in vitamins A, K and C.  It is good fresh in salads and if you let it get to big and it is a little bitter just steam it like you would spinach and that usually takes care of it.

Edible Patio Plants

Colorful Chard

Chinese Cabbage –

(Napa Cabbage)  I have never grown this.  I like to eat it steamed and I made my first batch of Kimchi out of some I bought.  So I am excited to learn how this one grows.  It sounds like it would have been better planted in late summer early fall but we shall just have to see.

Edible Patio Plants

Napa Cabbage

Strawberries –

(Sequoia variety)  Since I understand that strawberries have shallow roots I am planting them in one of my hanging pots.  I can always move them later if they are not happy there.  I have others in pots on the deck as well. The Sequoia is supposed to give a large flavorful strawberry.

Licorice Mint –

This is just for fun.  I planted it  beside my lemon mint.  I will try steeping them together for some tea.  I am not real fond of the flavor of licorice but my husband likes it.  I also have a chocolate mint plant.

Red Onions – 

I don’t think onions need any introduction.

Garlic –

I love to cook with garlic and have never tried to grow it.

Ginger –

I use ginger in my cooking and have never grown it either. 

Turmeric – 

I have not yet cooked with turmeric.  Not fresh that is. I use turmeric capsules for inflammation and pain. So I am hoping when it grows, if I add it to more of my cooking dishes I can buy less capsules.  Or I will be able to grind it and dry it and make my own. Should be cheaper. I will also use the turmeric in my “I refuse to get sick” liquid.  I had not found any when I made my last batch.

Then we have a section of dirt between two Mulberry Trees, that when we moved here there was grass trying to grow there.  I finally gave up on that and we sectioned it off and I planted some ground cover.  That has really never taken of either, so now I am going to try to amend it a hole at a time and plant some edible plants in there.  So we mixed a BUNCH of compost, and a small amount of sand in to that clay dirt.  Then we planted some Asparagus and Artichokes.  I hope they do well.  Will hopefully share pictures of their bounty.

That is as far as I have gotten so far.  Well to be truthful not all of that is in the pots yet.  Almost, but I did not feel like playing in the rain today.  🙂

So what do you plant?  Do you have room for a large garden or do you plant in pots?



Eyes and Essential Oils

Eyes and Essential Oils 

Normally when  I share with you I like to have used/eaten etc. whatever it is for awhile and tweek to my liking.  On this one I am going to just share.

I have absolutely no experience with eyes and essential oils and I am not going to pretend I do.  I must say though,  I will be making this first serum as soon as I get in the couple of oils I do not already have.

Rebecca at  has put together a post with very interesting information about the use of essential oils and eye health.  In this post she has three recipes that have really peaked my interest.

This first recipe is said to improve vision.  You use it on the facial bone area.

[quote]Dr. David Hill, a world renowned essential oil expert and others have suggested that they have improved their vision with long term regular use of this blend AKA DIY Immortelle.[/quote]

The oils used in her recipe are ones that I either already have on hand or are right here on my “to buy” list.  I wear readers at the moment. I will be making this one up soon and will let you know.  It would be very nice to either need a less strength or not at all.

Rebecca’s second recipe is for people with Macular Degeneration. This one is actually rubbed into the feet. How exciting to possibly be able to improve these issues without drugs.

The third recipe on the eye and essential oils post at Camp Wander is an eye drop

[quote]According to Modern Essentials, these drops have been used for Glaucoma, cataracts, spots, film and growths of various kinds.[/quote]

She says this one stings, which makes sense as it has Apple Cider vinegar in it. As this one is actually put in the eye, talk to your eye doctor first.

 Rebecca, thank you so much for researching this and sharing.

Disclaimer:  Again, I am not a doctor.  I am sharing because I find this information interesting and possibly very beneficial.  What you do with your own body is your responsibility.  Do your own research. 

Rpse Toner with Ingredients

Rose Facial Toner

Rose Facial Toner

In my quest to make my own healthy, homemade, skin care, I decided I wanted to make a toner; a Rose Facial Toner.  I tried to make this feel like the Organic Toner I had been using.  I don’t know how close I really came, but so far I am liking the way it feels.  And the pores in my face that had just started to change (bigger) are looking more normal to me (smaller).  

Rpse Toner with Ingredients

Rose Toner with Ingredients

 Rose Facial Toner

What I used:

2 oz of *Homemade Rose Infused Witch Hazel

2 oz of **Homemade Rose Water

1 tbl Apricot Kernel Oil

1tbl Rosehip Seed Oil

2 Vit E Capsules

 Mix this Rose Facial Toner all together and put it in a spritzing bottle.  I used the one my old toner came in. I like it because it is glass.  You must shake this well before each use as the liquids will separate from the oils.

*Read how to make Rose Infused Witch Hazel

**Read how to make Rose Water

Below are the products that I bought for this formula.  I looked for a wonderful, glass, spritzer bottle to suggest and I am not completely sold on one yet.  So I hope you also have a glass spritzer bottle you can repurpose for your Rose Facial Toner.




Have you made your own toner?  What formula do you like?  I hope you enjoy.

As with any recipe keep in mind your allergies.  If you are allergic to Roses or Apricots you probably would not want to make this.

Use Oil of Oregano to Beat a Cold


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Oil of Oregano

Oil of Oregano

Oil of Oregano is a wonderful stimulating and warming Essential Oil

Fall is here and I already had a summer cold so I do plan to pick up some Oil of Oregano to add to my herbal arsenal.

While doing some research this morning I ran across a blog post by Lindsay, AKA The Delighted Momma.  This is a little of what she has to say.


[quote style=”boxed”] This magical little herb has recently helped ward off several colds that I had
coming on in the past few months.  And when I say ward off I mean I wake up with
a cold or a sore throat, I take a few drops and by the next morning any sign of
a cold is gone.[/quote]

You can buy Oil of Oregano from Nature’s Sunshine here.

Or you can pick it up from Amazon here.  


Then pop on over to and see how Lindsay uses Oil of Oregano to beat a cold.

How to Beat a Cold with Oil of Oregano 

 Have you ever used Oil of Oregano?

What do you use to keep a cold away or make it go away faster?

Another product I use a lot, when I feel I have a Virus, is Nature’s Sunshine combination VSC.  Learn more about that here.


Beef Broth Gelatin

Bone broth

Home made Beef Broth Gelatin –

I have not set out to make home made beef broth – gelatin for probably over 20 years.  I have made and saved some for use when I have cooked a roast or something like that.  Anyway….I bought some Powdered Gelatin and in doing my research I was reminded of making home made.  So I have a pot going on the stove right now!!

Let me say the reason I have not made it in years as I have always fed my dogs Raw with the BARF principals so my dogs got all the beef bones.  Now I am down to one dog and she developed pancreatitis last year and my Natural vet told me she could no longer handle over 10% fat or the raw meals.

I am buying a half of Dexter Beef in the next couple of months so I am diligently working on eating out of my freezer.  And what did I remember was in there yesterday????  A bag of Dexter grass fed beef bones given to me by a client.

So, what is the process to making your healthy homemade beef gelatin?

Bone to roast

Bone to roast

Take your variety of beef bones and place them in a roasting pan and put them in the oven at 350 degrees until they are nicely browned.  This timing will depend on how full you fill your oven.  I only had a small bag of bones so it fit in one pan. I let them roast three hours.  (When I get my new beef I will do a large batch at once since the oven will be on anyway.)

Bones roasted

Bones roasted

Once you have roasted your bones, transfer them to a stock pot or any large pot.  Cover them with water by a couple of inches, but you need a couple of inches of space at the top of your pot so you don’t have major boil over.  My stock pot is probably about 5 quarts and to the water and bones I

Bones ready to boil

Bones ready to boil

added 1/2 cup of vinegar,  (I understand the vinegar helps to leach out the nutrients from the bone.) and some vegetables.  This would also be a good use of your large Crock Pot, so you could turn it on and forget about it.  Bring your pot to a slow simmer, put a lid on it and forget it.  I cooked mine for 36 hours. Because I did it on the stove top, I turned the pot off every night and turned it on again in the morning.  I Will be doing it in the Crock pot



next time.  On the last day I scooped all the bones out with a slotted spoon and scraped off any remaining meat and pushed out the marrow so it would be in my stock. I then added some salt and pepper to taste and let it simmer some more.  At the end of my third day, I drained the bones from the from the stock and put it in jars.  I put a couple in the freezer and a couple in my fridge to use right away.

I wanted every last drop

I wanted every last drop

There will be fat that will come to the top as it cools. Some people use it for their cooking.  That is a personal preference.

At the time of finally getting this post complete I have already drank or cooked with all my stock and am looking forward to my beef delivery.

Do you cook your own bone broth?  Share your ideas in the comment section below.

Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil

I have fallen in love with Coconut oil!!!

I absolutely love this oil.  I have been using it for oil pulling (teeth).  I have been rubbing it on a section of my gums in the hope it will give it some added nutrition and help it grow back a little.  (I brushed too hard and caused some gum recession) Now I know you can BRUSH TOO HARD.

I am cooking with coconut oil.

I am putting coconut oil in my coffee and my breakfast smoothie.

I am using it as a lotion after I get out of the hot tub at night and the shower in the morning.

For months I have been using this brand that I have gotten at Trader Joes. It is Organic Virgin Coconut Oil.  It does not state whether it is refined or unrefined which makes me thinCoconut Oilk it is refined.

Many of the articles that I have been reading talk about the greater benefits of unrefined, Organic Virgin Coconut oil.  The unrefined has the most beneficial properties intact. So as I am writing this post I am waiting for my first order of this Jarrow’s Brand.

Coconut Oil
Jarrow Formulas Coconut Oil 100% Organic, Extra Virgin, 32 Ounce

(Affil Link)

As an update, I wondered how I would do with adding this “fat” to my diet.  Now don’t get me wrong, I am probably not using more than a table spoon or so a day but I am continuing to loose weight not gain.  This Jarrow brand is wonderful!!

Here is one article that talks a little about the differences in refined and unrefined.

Gelatin Face Mask

Gelatin Face Mask

In doing my research to share information about the wonderful benefits of Gelatin,  (Affiliate Link) I ran across some recipes for DIY Face Masks.

This is what I decided to try.

DIY Gelatin Face Mask

  • 1 tablespoon Powdered Gelatin
  • 2 tablespoons Almond Milk   (Amendment: Next time I will try 1 tbl. of milk if I use lemon juice.)
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • Optional: A couple drops of your favorite Essential Oil in stead of Lemon Juice.

You want your liquids to be room temperature to a little warmer for the Gelatin to mix nicely.

Gelatin Mask

Gelatin Mask

I found an unused small paint brush in my drawer so that is what I used to apply.  It felt very nice going on.  I took a picture, it’s pretty scary.  🙂

Mask dried

Mask dried

This made quite a bit more mask than I needed and since I have an aging neck as well I painted it all over my face and all the way down my neck.  I have now been sitting here with it on for 20 minutes and it is not quite dry enough to peel off.

Do Not – get this mask on your hair line, your eyebrows or any hair you want to keep.  If you do make sure you wash it off from there and not peel it off.

So I  have to share this experience as I have not used this type of mask in years.  I put this mask solution right up to about a 1/4″ from my eyes (to help that saggy skin, I hope) and right down to my lip line.  As this is drying my face is getting harder and harder to move.  I am writing this and drinking coffee,  with my own flavor mix added, and my lips are almost not listening to me.

I want the full amount of skin tightening benefit that I might get from this is why I am letting it dry completely.

Ok, so I think it must be time for the peel off,  back in a minute to let you know how that goes.

Mask peel

Mask peel

DONE – Let me tell you taking it off my neck was no big deal, just peeled it off.  I felt it but no big deal.  Now as I got to my face it was a little more intense.  I did about half my face by just peeling it off, then decided to wet a wash cloth with warm water, lay it on the rest of my face to soften the peel up a bit.  That was much better.

Sorry that picture is blurry.  I’ll take another one when I do it next week.

Result? – My face feels very nice and soft!!!


Gelatin – It’s many benefits

Gelatin – It’s many benefits

A while ago I started researching for the next thing to stop my skin from ageing.   I have hit my mid 50’s and though I have used high quality skin care since my mid 20’s I am still beginning to see some sag happening.  Oh NO!!!!

What I ran into is people talking about the benefits of a high quality Gelatin.  So I ordered some.  I found it on Amazon.  And that said that leads to a little confusion as well.  There are a few different types.  “Great Lakes”  makes a pure protein, Kosher, unflavored, Beef gelatin. (Affiliate Link)  A second product they also make is a pure protein,   Unflavored Gelatin, Porcine, . (Affiliate Link)

Both of these come in a reddish/orange canister.  So be careful and make sure you are getting the one you want.  The Porcine comes from Pig not Beef.

Both of these products dissolve in warm to hot water and will thicken what you put them in home made jello, gravies, etc.


“Great Lakes” third option is pure protein, Kosher, Bovine/Beef gelatin, but they have used a different process in making it, they call it  Collagen Hydrolysate. (Affiliate Link)

The process making it hydrolyzed makes this product quick to assimilate into the body and improves the hydration to connective tissues.

Great Lakes website says:
“Hydrolyzed Collagen is the missing link in supplying amino acids like glycine, proline and lysine that are required by the body to build connective tissue to regulate cell growth. It will benefit hair, skin tissue, muscle, cartilage, ligaments and blood cell growth. Some doctors are referring to this product as the new anti-aging product of the century.”

I have bought both of the Beef Gelatin’s and tend to use the Collagen Hydrolysate the most.  I have started making my own Coffee flavoring and this one is easy to add to my cold Almond Milk.

The ideal source:

The ideal source for your Gelatin is from your own home made.  See my recipe here.

Now lets explore some of the benefits –

  • The Glycine which is 29% of these products is said to help us with our sleep quality as well as lessen sleepiness during the day.
  • Skin,  (supposed to help tighten skin!!!) Increase Nail and Hair health and growth
  • Anti aging
  • Joint and bone health
  • Some of the reviews I read said their Cellulite lessened  (Can’t wait for that one either)
  • It is also said to improve digestion. (Which would make sense if it binds with water and then helps thing move.  My personal suggestion, with this in mind, would be to make sure you are drinking plenty of water).

 I made Healthy Gelatin Fruit Snacks, they are great way to have a treat and ass more gelatin into your diet.

Here are some recipes from Great Lakes to use with Gelatin.

I searched on Pinterest and found many fun things to do with Gelatin as well as DIY face masks.  You can see my making it and using it. It made my skin feel nice and soft.

This page by The Weston A. Price Foundation has information and also some recipes about using Gelatin.

There are many, many people sharing about the wonderful benefits of Gelatin. Here is a whole other post to share that.

Do you use Gelatin?  How often?  What results have you seen?  Please share.


Rubbermaid glass

Glass Containers – no BPA

Glass Containers – no BPA

A few years ago I switched out my cheap plastic storage containers to some BPA free plastic ones.  I thought I was doing a great thing.  And I still feel it was a better choice.  Now I am reading that what they have changed out the BPA for, BPSis nearly as bad for us as the BPA.  Does that just figure.  So now I will be working towards changing out for glass.  I think this  Rubbermaid 8-Piece Glass Food Storage Container Set, will be my first purchase. (Affil Link)

Rubbermaid glass

Rubbermaid Glass


They look like they have very nice sealing lids.


These containers by Kinetic Go Green look very nice as well.
(Affil Link)   The FDA has actually made some changes as to the use of BPA but in my opinion they let a lot of products, medicines etc. be approved that are NOT good for us.  So you do need to do your own research and make your own decisions.  As for me I feel there are so many bad chemicals out there that are very hard to stay away from that if I can limit my exposure to some, I will.