The Christian Herbal Launch Day Giveaway!

The Christian Herbal Launch Day Giveaway!

From My Heart

The more I study herbal medicine, the greater my desire to share that knowledge with others. I am beginning to realize that I learn more when I am teaching others. Funny how God created us that way!

Anyhow, this website has been on my heart for many years now. There are so many Christians in the world who are now realizing the amazing gift that herbs are to us, but solid Christian-based herbal wisdom has dwindled to near extinction.

However, God always provides a remnant, and so it is with herbal teachers. Few and far between as they may be, the knowledge of herbalism is being spread and Christian families are once again able to use the plants all around us to nourish and doctor our families.

Not to sound like an alarmist, but our country’s medical system is becoming so flawed that many Christians are looking for other options. And while we may not be equipped for medical emergencies and serious problems, we can take the small step of learning to build up our family’s health (prevention) and treat the smaller problems that come up in the course of living.

Launch Day Giveaway

With all that said, I am super excited to finally get this website up and running. There is so much information I would like to share! But as a homeschooling mom of soon-to-be seven kiddos, there just isn’t time in the day to get everything done I would like. So I will work diligently to do what I can, and I pray that others would come along beside me and join as teachers of the great gift of herbalism!

To officially launch The Christian Herbal, I have some great gifts that I would like to give to one of my readers. Several companies have stepped up and offered to donate prizes to the giveaway, and I think you will find them to be rather AWESOME!!!

Bulk Herb Store

Great selection of bulk herbs, books, and remedies. Articles, Research Aids and much more.

Prize: Beginner’s Herb Kit
Contains: Snooze Tincture, Less Stress Herba-Smoothie, Cough Tea, Double-E Immune Booster, Red Rooibos Spice Chai Tea, Peppermint Leaf Cut, Rise and Shine Tea

Mountain Rose Herbs

Mountain Rose Herbs Essential Oils @jasminejlucero

Prize: Classic Essential Oil Kit
Contains all certified organic oils of: Eucalyptus, Geranium, Lavender, Peppermint, Rosemary and Tea Tree

Trilight Health

Trilight Health @jasminejlucero

Prize: Trilight Liquid Herbs
$50.00 gift certificate toward the purchase of Trilight products.

Natural Herbal Living

Prize: 5 Issues of Natural Herbal Living magazine
Issues include: Rose, Ginger, Rosemary, Elder, Echinacea + Bonus: Approaching a Personal Herbal Practice, Herbalism Basics, and Safety Information

Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Botany

Exploring Creation with Botany @jasminejluceroBotanyNBJ

Prize: Exploring Creation with Botany plus Botany Notebooking Journal

The Christian Herbal

medical herbalism @jasminejlucero

Prize: Medical Herbalism by David Hoffmann

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Herbal Medicine Making: Calendula Lotion

Calendula Lotion @christianherbal

Herbal Medicine Making: Calendula Lotion has been moved to my new herbal site The Christian Herbal.

Herbal Medicine Making: Onion Poultice

Onion Poultice Ingredients @jasminejlucero

Herbal Medicine Making: Onion Poultice has been moved to my new herbal site The Christian Herbal.

Herbal Medicine Making

I am working to finish up a module in my herbal course that teaches medicine making. I have been making herbal medicine for years, but now it is time to do it “by the book”. Last month I finished reading The Herbal Medicine Maker’s Handbook by James Green. This book really is a must read for anyone who is serious about learning to make herbal medicine.

Besides teaching you the basics of making all kinds of herbal medicines, Green also goes over which kinds of medicines are appropriate for which herbs based on that herbs constituents. For example, slippery elm is very mucilaginous and does not extract well in alcohol based medicines. It’s properties are better suited for an infusion (herbal tea).

He also covers both the folk method of medicine making (what I have been using) and the weight-to-volume method (a more precise method, especially for obtaining exact dosages). Honestly, the more precise methods are a little more difficult for me as I tend to be a little artistic in everything I do. Recipes, instructions, and patterns all stifle my creativity! However, I know not everyone loves my experiments as much as I do, so I sometimes need to conform.

Over the next few weeks, I wanted to walk through each of my medicine making endeavors. I am not by any means a professional, but am having so much fun learning. It is amazing to me how wonderfully the Lord has provided for His children with the plants of the field!

Some of the medicines I will be covering over the next few weeks include:

  • tinctures
  • glycerites
  • lotions
  • poultices
  • syrups
  • infusions/decoctions
  • herbal steams
  • and much more!

If you have not already subscribed to my blog, you may want to do that now so that you don’t miss all the fun!

Mountain Rose Herbs. A herbs, health and harmony c

Herbalism from Pagan Roots?

Herbalism from Pagan Roots? @jasminejlucero

Herbalism from Pagan Roots? has been moved to my new herbal site, The Christian Herbal.

The Herbal Medicine Cabinet

With winter approaching and me feeling a little more settled at home, I decided to tackle a not-so-typical job this week.  It was time to clean out the herb pantry and start planning my upcoming medicine making.

The Herb Cabinet

The first thing I did was go through everything and take inventory.  I wanted to see what herbs I had on hand and which ones I needed to purchase.  Then I begin to organize everything.

On my bottom shelf, I store all my bags of loose bulk herbs.  These are herbs that I buy in larger quantities and use more frequently.  For instance, my pregnancy tea herbs, boo boo salve herbs, and my triple threat cold and flu fighter herbs are all on this shelf.  Next, I have a shelf full of canning jars.  I use these to store herbs that I use in small quantities, or ones that only have a little left.  I peeled off the labels from the bags the herbs came in and adhered them to the jars so that I could easily tell what was in them.  I also keep some of my storebought teas on this shelf.  I like to buy the Traditional Medicinals teas.  Even though I make glycerites with essentially the same ingredients the teas, it is sometimes more comforting to drink a cup of tea when you are sick so I keep both on hand.  On the top shelf, I keep my supplies.  These include different oils, glycerine, witch hazel, beeswax…all kinds of goodies.  I use these for both my medicine making and my skincare products.

As I organized the herbs in my cabinet, I made not of anything I was out of.  This time it looks like I need to order more bentonite clay.  I check the herbs to make sure that they still have a strong, fresh smell.  Any of the herbs that look faded, have faint, musty smells, or that just don’t seem fresh get tossed out.  Because I am making medicine for my family, I want to make sure that the herbs I will use are of the best quality.

{FYI: Just learned this week that smelling and tasting herbs to determine their freshness has a big scientific name…organoleptic evaluation…makes sense.  We are evaluating with our organs!}

Bottles, Bottles, and More Bottles

In my bathroom, I keep my tinctures, glycerites, and any other supplements I might have.  I went ahead and pulled all of these out to see what I might be running low on.  I organized everything by type of medicine so that I could more easily remember what might be missing.  I really should keep a master list, I just haven’t gotten that organized yet!

So my groups include:

1) essential oils – I only use these topically as they can be very taxing on the body if taken internally.  The main ones I like to keep on hand are tea tree oil (which I need to buy) and lavender eo.  I also use rosemary in my lipbalm, and several others in my soaps, but as for medicine tea tree oil and lavender are my go to’s.

2) tinctures – I haven’t used tinctures a whole lot, just because I use glycerites to treat the kids.  However, as I am learning more about medicine making, I am going to step out this winter and make some tinctures.  And since I will be strutting down the liquor aisle, I am also going to try my hand at vanilla extract!  Can’t wait!

3) supplements – These are various things I have accumulated over the course of time for various illnesses.  The only supplements I keep regularly are garlic capsules, acidophilus, and prenatals.  I recently bought some burdock root to help with the eczema on my daughter’s hands and cranberry capsules for a uti.  I try not to clutter up my cabinets with too many bottles of miscellaneous pills.

4) glycerites – These are really the staple of my medicines.  I usually either make these myself, or buy them from Trilight Herbs.  The ones I regularly buy are the White Willow, Sinus Minus, and Scout Out.  The reason I buy these is because I want to make sure they are 1) strong enough and 2) in the case of Sinus Minus and Scout Out, they have a more complicated formula than I am comfortable making at this point.  Some of the ones that I make myself are echinacea & thyme, cherry bark cough syrup, elderberry syrup, tummy relief, and the triple threat I mentioned above.  All of these have only a few simple ingredients and are easy to make.

The Final Count

After organizing and putting everything back in it’s place, I have devised a plan to build up my medicinal herb cabinet.

Need to Order:

Trilight Herbs (thankfully they are on sale right now for 15% off)

  • white willow
  • sinus minus
  • scout out

Lucky Vitamin

  • garlic capsules
  • acidophilus
  • tea tree essential oil
  • st. john’s wort oil

Mountain Rose Herbs

  • bentonite clay
  • glycerine

Need to Make:

  • cherry bark cough syrup
  • elderberry syrup
  • triple threat
  • tummy relief

And I don’t want to forget, vanilla extract. Not necessarily a medicinal herb, but I want to make it while I am making all the rest!

My friend Keri Mae at A Happy Home is sharing her favorite “must have” herbs. So please stop by and say hi to her. I am anxious to see what she working on so I can get a few ideas myself (I always get ideas when I visit her site!).

What about you? Do you have an herbal medicine cabinet? What are your must haves in your cabinet?

Linked up at The Homestead Barn Hop

How to Make Dirt Toothpowder

Sometimes I wonder how much is too much to share about myself on my blog.  This is one of those times. I will know you truly love me if you stick around after you find out I brush my teeth with dirt toothpowder (as my children affectionately call it)!

Over the years, as I have studied natural health and herbalism, I have realized–
1) how many everyday items I was using are not that healthy (even ones bought from “health” stores) and
2) how dependent our family was on these manufactured products.

In an effort to choose the healthiest options available, I have also been blessed to find that in the case of toothpaste, the healthiest option is also the cheapest.

One thing I want to add before sharing how I make our dirt toothpowder, is something I didn’t quite understand when I began my herbal/natural health studies. When I decided that yes, I could make my family’s toothpowder, I set out to find the right recipe. As if there had to be a right way and all the rest were wrong. As if getting it wrong meant that my children’s teeth would all rot and fall out.

This is the beauty of learning to make your own toothpowder (or any health care product for that matter). You are able to decide what to use, use what you have on hand, or customize what you are going to use based on your needs. God has generously provided man with herbs and natural substances that can do more than one job. In the case of salt, it can season our food, give us vital minerals, be used as a cleanser, and the list goes on.

But what if we don’t have access to the ingredient we need. Guess what, God has also provided herbs and natural substances that can be substituted for one another.

With all that said, there are many, many toothpowder recipes out there. This is just one that I have put together for our family. I been using it for about 6 months now and have been very pleased with it. My teeth have a much cleaner feel to them. I have one tooth that has lost a filling (I know, I need to have it taken care of but haven’t decided what to do about it–still researching). Before, when I was using regular store-bought toothpaste, the tooth was very sensitive and often caused me pain. Now that I am using the toothpowder, I don’t have any pain from it. My kids have also made the adjustment nicely. In fact, they often offer their input and I will sometimes make adjustments based on their inputs.

Dirt Toothpowder Recipe

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Bentonite Clay
1/4 cup Sea Salt
1/4 cup Baking Soda
1 Tablespoon Sage Leaf
1 Tablespoon Peppermint Leaf
40 drops Peppermint Essential Oil

Grind sage and peppermint leaf in a coffee grinder until powdered.

Mix all ingredients in a zip lock bag or bowl. I like mixing in a bag because I can use a rolling pin to break up any lumps.

I use emptied baby food jars to give each their own little jar of dirt toothpowder. This batch made almost three jars of powder.

When you get ready to brush your teeth, just wet your toothbrush and lightly tap toothpowder with the bristles. Brush as regular.

Schoolhouse Review: Beeyoutiful Skincare

A few years ago, I said goodbye to pricey facial cleansers and started making my own.  I wash my face with my handmade soap.  I then spray on a simple toner and apply a moisturizing cream I make from beneficial oils.  My skin has greatly improved, both in clearity and softness.

I usually only wear make-up if we are going somewhere special (church, appointments, activities) which ends up being once or twice a week.  I use a brand name mineral foundation, along with eye shadow, blush, and mascara.  I have been pleased with them to a degree, but had always hoped I would find something more “natural”.

Last month I found it.

The Review

I had heard of Beeyoutiful before, but I thought they only sold vitamins and herbal supplements. I didn’t realize they also sell skin care and natural make-up. I was excited to see what they had to offer.

As part of the Homeschool Review Crew, I was given the chance to review Beeyoutiful’s mineral foundation, two mineral eye/lip colors, the foundation brush, and the combo brush. The set came in a sweet organza bag along with a DVD explaining how to apply the make-up. Because I have worn mineral foundation for years, I didn’t think I needed to watch the videos. I was wrong. I needed to watch the videos. I’ll explain why in a bit.

The Products

We were given a trial size (1/5) of the foundation…generally enough to last several weeks. As I said before, I don’t wear make-up very often, so for me even the trial size last a long time. Before the review, I was given a choice of three sample packets of foundation to help me choose the correct color. Samples are available for $1.00. I would suggest buying a few of them to try before deciding on a color. It really helps to see the foundation on your skin before deciding. There are 24 shades available to choose from. Unfortunately my namesake shade was too dark for me and I had to go with Genevieve. (I love that the shades have names! Great marketing technique…so much better than light beige 102!)

I received one trial size mineral eye/lip color and one sample size of mineral eye/lip color. For the trial size I chose Sea Sand (a somewhat sandy color with a purple tint) and for the sample I chose Heather Dew. Because these colors can be used for both eyes and lips, we were instructed to pick out colors that could be used for both.

The foundation brush we received was a full, lush, stubby little brush that did an excellent job of blending in the foundation. The combo brush is an all purpose brush with different brushes on each end. One end has more rounded bristles. I used this end for my eye shadow and lip applications. The other end has shorter bristles in a row. This was great for creating an eye-liner effect with the eye shadow.

This mineral make-up is very different than others on the market. I noticed right away that the foundation is a very fine powder. After some investigation, I found that it is made of mica, iron oxides, titanium dioxide, ultramarine blue, and zinc oxide. There are no fillers added to the foundation.

I did a little more research to find out what these ingredients were and if they were good for my skin. Here is what I found out from the Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary

mica – earth mineral that gives a shimmer to make-up
iron oxide – iron compound used as a coloring
ultramarine blue – inorganic pigment
zinc oxide – anti-irritant, earth mineral used as a thickener, lubricant, and sunscreen
titanium dioxide – earth mineral used as a thickener, lubricant, and sunscreen (There was conflicting information on titanium dioxide. One sources said that the micro particles could enter the skin and were not good. However, the Cosmetic Cop seems to explain why this would not happen…

Titanium dioxide is typically micronized and coated for use in cosmetic products. The micronizing makes this somewhat heavy-feeling ingredient easier to spread on skin, not to mention making it more cosmetically elegant. Micronized titanium dioxide is also has much greater stability and can provide better sun protection than non-micronized titanium dioxide. Micronized titanium dioxide does not penetrate skin so there is no need to be concerned about it getting into your body (well, unless you eat the stuff). Even when titanium dioxide nanoparticles are used, the coatings employed have a larger molecular size that keeps the nanoparticles of titanium dioxide from penetrating beyond the uppermost layers of skin.

All ingredients received a rating of a smiley face or a check and a smiley face. I take it these are good ratings.

The Application

before

Here is why I needed to watch the video and why you probably do to…

Instead of just dipping the brush into the powder and puffing it all over your face, there is a bit of a technique to applying the foundation. First I washed my face and applied my toner. Then I tapped out a bit of the foundation into the lid. I added in a dollop of moisturizer and mixed it all together. If the shade is not dark enough, add in a little more foundation.

mixing foundation and moisturizer

Once the foundation is mixed, swirl the foundation brush into the foundation picking up as much as possible.

foundation loaded onto brush

Buff the foundation all over the face. Notice that there are no foundation lines at my jawline. The foundation goes on ultra smooth and has a very natural finish.

Next, I used my Heather Dew sample on my eyes, with the Sea Sand as an eye liner. I dipped the rounded end of my combo brush into a bit of water, then into the minerals. It took several applications to achieve the level of color I wanted. For the eye liner, I just used the other end of the brush.

For the lips, I used the same rounded brush. But this time I ran it across my peppermint lip balm several times, then picked up the minerals. This is great because I love the feel of my lip balm, but it has some color added to it!

The final me (excuse the red nose, I have a terrible cold)…

The Price

Mineral Foundation – $25.00 for 2.58g
Eye/Lip Minerals – $10.00 for .45g
Samples – $1.00
Foundation Brush – $11.00
Combo Brush – $6.50

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To see what my fellow crewmates had to say about Beeyoutiful Skincare, click the banner here:

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Disclaimer: As part of the TOS Schoolhouse Review Crew, I received the product or service mentioned above for the purpose of a review. All opinions are my own. For more information, please read my disclosure.

Boo Boo Salve Recipe

~Note~ I wrote most of this post last August when my mom was staying with us for the summer. I am not sure why I never got around to posting it, but as I was organizing my blog post I came across it. It brought back sweet memories of times spent with my mom. She loved Ikey so much and would keep him with her throughout the day as she went about her work.

Oh the joys of living in South Texas!  My 2 year old was out in the yard helping my mom feed the animals when he stepped in a fire ant bed.  For those of you not familiar with the little creatures, they are tiny red ants that sting like, well, FIRE.  When you disturb their nest, hundreds of them pour out looking for the culprit.  Within a few seconds, Ikey’s crocs were filled with fire ants.

He came in crying with bites all over his feet.  I washed them off and slathered on the Boo Boo Salve, then put on a thick pair of socks.  Within half an hour the whelps were gone, and no blisters had formed.

I love my Boo Boo Salve.  We use it for all kinds of “boo boos”…cuts, scraps, burns, diaper rash, eczema, even thrush.  I usually make up a large amount and refill a tin container any time we run low.  I don’t have a set recipe, but rather just general directions in making it.

Boo Boo Salve

Dried Comfrey, Plantain, St. John’s Wort, and Calendula
Olive Oil
Beeswax
Tea Tree Essential Oil
Lavender Essential Oil

I use equal parts by weight of Comfrey, Plantain, St. John’s Wort and Calendula.  I place the herbs in a jar and cover the herbs plus 1 inch over in olive oil.  I put the jar in a cool, dark place and let set for 4-6 weeks.  It does take a while to steep in the oil, but when it is done you have a dark rich oil.

Using cheesecloth, strain the herbs from the oil.  Place the oil in the top of a double boiler and heat on low.  Begin adding beeswax and letting it melt.  I continue adding beeswax until the salve hardens on the back of a spoon when cooled.  At this point, I add in a generous amount of tea tree essential oil and lavender essential oil.  I pour into a jar and allow to cool.  I use this jar to refill my small tin container that I keep handy in the bathroom.

If you are looking for quality herbs and oils, I buy from Mountain Rose Herbs. I have always been pleased with the service and they have a large selection of products.

Should Christians Use Herbs? (part 3)

Should Christians Use Herbs? @jasminejlucero

Should Christians Use Herbs? (part 3) has been moved to my new herbal site, The Christian Herbal.