dehydrate-herbs-spices

Best Food Dehydrator Reviews

Dehydrator are a simple and easy way to dry herbs, preserve foods and create healthy snacks. With so many different electric dehydrators on the market it can be hard to figure out which is the best dehydrator for you.  Do you need stackable trays?, should you have vertical or horizontal air flow?, how many watts is optimal?, the decisions can be overwhelming.  So to help make the decision simple for you we have put together a review of the following 5 best food dehydrators on the market today.

 

Benefits of Dehydrators

We all know that it is better to eat healthy, non processed foods, but we all fall into the trap of grabbing a chocolate bar or bag of chips just because its readily available. If only our cupboards and lunch bags were filled with tasty yet, nutritious, good for us snacks.  Food dehydrators, food drying and preservation have made healthy homemade healthy snacks a much easier option without having to spend lots of time cooking or deciphering complicated recipes. We found some really great dehydrator recipes on homesteading.com that you should check out.

Dehydrators can help us process and preserve all sorts of herbs, fruits, vegetables and meat, keeping them available all year round.

 

BEST DEHYDRATOR COMPARISON TABLE

ModelModelAirflowAdjustable TempTraysWattsPrice
Excalibur 3900BHorizontalYes 105 - 165 °9600$$$
Magic Mill ProHorizontalYes 95 - 158 °F6400$$
Nesco FD 1018AVerticalYes 95 - 160 °F8 - 301000$$
Nesco FD 75AVerticalYes 95 - 160 °F5 - 12700$
Gourmia GFD1750HorizontalYes 104 - 158 °F10550$$$
 

 

WHAT TO CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING A FOOD DEHYDRATOR

 A food dehydrator is usually built with several individual trays where the food is placed for drying. There are different types of dehydrators each of them offering different options such as: timers, adjustable thermostats, see through covers, fans and so on. While most dehydrators are easy to use, some are more technical and would require an expert to operate them, as in the case of industrial dryers. Here we focus on the dehydrators for home use. 

Here is a breakdown of the different features available on home dehydrators that you should consider.

 

1)VERTICAL vs HORIZONTAL AIR FLOW:

VERTICAL FLOW DEHYDRATORS have the heat source and fan mounted either on the top or the bottom of the machine and is commonly found in the models with stackable trays. Machines with the bottom mounted heat base can provide uneven heat flow and make it harder to dry tougher foods such as jerky meat. But his can be solved by rotating the trays throughout the drying process. Since some food can be messy we prefer the top mounted dehydrators as they do not have the risk of getting drips in the fan which could cause problems. 

HORIZONTAL FLOW DEHYDRATORS have the fan and heat source located on the side or back of the machine.  In most cases the horizontal flow of of the air provides more even drying than the vertical flow dehydrators. But the horizontal airflow tends to take longer to dry out the food compared to the vertical flow machines and tend to be more expensive than their vertical flow counterparts.

TEMPERATURE RANGE. Some of the lower priced food dehydrators do not have an adjustable temperature control.  Sometimes his can cause the problem of case hardening (when the outside seals leaving moisture inside), when foods are being dried at too high of a temperature to quickly.   Having the ability to adjust the temperature to suit the product being preserved is preferred.  Approximate temperature settings for food types are:

Herbs and Spices - 95°F
Nuts and Seeds - 105°F
Fruits and Vegetables - 135°F
Meats, Fish and Jerky - 160°F

You should always refer to the manufacturers instructions for the temperature setting for you particular machine. 

 

2) TRAYS vs SHELVES:

STACKABLE TRAYS have the benefit of allowing you to add more trays than what comes with the machine (refer to the manufactures instructions on the maximum recommended for you model). For example the Nesco FD 1018A come with 8 trays but this can be expanded to up to 30 giving you a total of 30 sq. ft. of drying space. The downside of the stackable trays is that you can't just slide out a tray if you want to check the progress of the drying.  Also the height of you food is limited to the depth of the tray height (approximately 1 1/2 inches), so if you plan on dehydrating any bulky items the shelf model would be a better choice.

SHELF DEHYDRATORS have the benefit of allowing you to just pull out a shelf if you want to check the progress of the dehydrating. Additionally you can remove shelve if you need additional height to dehydrate bulk foods or crafts.  The down side is that due to the box shape of the machines you are limited to number of shelve you can have.

 

3) EXTRA FEATURES:

TIMERS: Some dehydrator such as the Excalibur 3926TB are equipped with an automatic timer.  Although this is not necessary it can be a handy feature so that you don't over dry your foods buy forgetting to turn off your machine. You can set it and forget it!.

CLEAR TRAYS AND COVERS: Some manufactures offer clear trays or doors on their dehydrator. This can make it more convenient to check in on drying progress without needing to unstack or open the door on your machine. Not a necessary feature but a nice one to have. 

MESH SHEETS INSERTS: Mesh sheets are used when dehydrating small, fine produce like herbs and spice. These sheet prevent small pieces falling through the trays or getting stuck in the holes on the regular trays.

FRUIT ROLL SHEETS: These are solid inserts that are used when dehydrating anything that starts out runny, such as fruit leather. These also can be used in place of the Mesh inserts.

 

 

BEST FOOD DEHYDRATOR- DETAILED REVIEWS

 

Excalibur 3900B

The Excalibur 3900B is a 9-tray dehydrator with 15 square feet drying space that allows for the easy drying of fruits and vegetables without needing manual rotation. It is constructed to dry food to the barest minimum moisture level while keeping the food safe and hygienic with its easy to clean poly screen tray inserts.

It includes an adjustable thermostat temperature control (105-165⁰F),  making it perfect for drying beef jerky, fruits, vegetables or  to re-crisp bread and biscuits etc. This dehydrator uses a horizontal airflow system (which is parallel and exclusive to Excalibur) with a back unit where the fan, heating element, and thermostat are attached in such a way that allows cool air to be drawn in, heated and evenly distributed over each tray.

This allows the food to dehydrate faster with more concentrated nutrients which is said to give a better taste and flavor. Unlike any other dehydrator, the Excalibur 3900B states that it dries "safer, better, and faster" because of its patented "hyper wave fluctuation technology" which makes the temperature fluctuate up and down to prevent even drying  or for moisture to tray inside the dehydrator.

The fluctuation technology process helps to keep enzymes within the food active, dry the food and prevents the growth of yeast, mold or spoilage of dried food. It has a 4.7-star rating among customers who have tested and used the product.

 

Features and specifications

  • Dimension: 12.5’’ (H) x 17’’ (W) x 19’’ (D)
  • Voltage: 110V
  • Watts: 600watts
  • Hyper wave fluctuation technology
  • Airflow: Horizontal (Parallax)
  • Tray: 9
  • Timer: No
  • Built-in on/off switch

  • Adjustable thermostat (105-165⁰F)
  • Poly screen tray inserts
  • 15 square feet space
  • Color: Black
  • Weight: 22pounds
  • Rating: 4.7
  • Warranty: 10 years

 

 

Pros
  • Dehydrates faster and better
  • Yields safe and ready to eat food
  • Easy to clean and operate
  • Large size for bulky food items
  • Dries a large batch of food at a time
  • Suitable for large families
  • Even distribution of heat over food
  • No need for manual tray rotation

Cons
  • More costly than other models
  • Noisier than other models
  • No timer
  • Need to lift the lid/trays to monitor progress

Verdict

The Excalibur 3900B is no doubt one of the best food dehydrators for herbs, fruits and vegetable you can own in the house. It makes it easy for you to make your own preserved food at the temperature that suits you best and store them for as long as you want to. With the Excalibur 3900B dehydrator, you can have healthy dehydrated snacks in no time.

 

Nesco Fd75a

Looking for a simple home dehydrator, then the  Nesco FD75a is recommended for you. This dehydrator features a top mounted fan with a drying capacity of 700watts. It has a built-in adjustable thermostat at a temperature of 95-160⁰F.

With the vertical flow, this dehydrator does not require manual tray rotation and it operates with a  patented "Converga flow" system that allows  quick drying of food. This model comes with 5 food drying trays but  has the capacity of taking up to 12 trays if you buy extra.

The dehydrator vertical,  centrifugal air flow is directed inwards through every tray thus allowing you to dry different food items without the flavors mixing.  It also features a Vita-Save opaque exterior that protects the dried food from harmful lights. It is very easy to wash with other dishes in the dishwasher.

Unlike the Nesco FD 75pr that is shipped in retail packaging, the 75a model is shipped in "certified frustration-free packaging". The product also contains 2 solid "fruit roll up" sheets, 2 mesh sheets, and 3 jerky spice packets with a recipe book to help you try out different healthy recipes.

Features and Specifications

  • Dimension: 13’’ x 13’’ x 10’’
  • Weight: 7.5lb
  • Drying area: 4.5 square feet (for 5 drying trays) 10 square feet (for more)
  • Top mounted fan
  • Adjustable thermostat
  • Vita-Save opaque exterior
  • 5 trays (fits more, up to 12)

  • 2-Solid sheets
  • 2 mesh sheets
  • 3 jerky spice packets
  • Temperature: 95- 160⁰F
  • Watts: 700
  • Airflow: Centrifugal (with the Converga flow system)
  • Rating: 4.5
  • Warranty: 1year

Pros
  • High drying capacity (hours not days)
  • Centrifugal airflow that allows inward flow of air through food items
  • Fits well on countertops or below raised cabinets
  • Can take up to 12 drying trays, which allows it to dry more at a time
  • Flavors do not mix
  • Does not require manual rotation
  • Easy to wash in a dishwasher

Cons
  • No timer
  • Low power effectiveness i.e. you spend the same power drying less quantity of food as with drying more.
  • Less base capacity
  • No on/off switch
  • Need to lift the lid/trays to monitor progress

Verdict

The Nesco FD 75a dehydrator is light and easily portable. It is an affordable price meaning that anyone can easy preserve herbs and food fresh from the garden. With the Nesco FD 75a dehydrator, you can be sure to have a dried food with a 100% nutrient retention, and low moisture content. It is rated 4.5 among customers who are all very happy with this dehydrator.

 

NescoFD-1018a

The NescoFd -1018a is a plastic, white colored dehydrator which comes with  8-drying trays but can take as many as 30 tray in one go. Unlike some plastic equipment, the Nescofd-1018a is free from carcinogens and does not overheat even after multiple uses.

It consists of 8 fruit rolled sheets, 8 clean-A-screens, 1 jerky and spice cure packet and a recipe book. It has an adjustable thermostat with a temperature range between 95-160⁰F enabling you to regulate the temperature you need for a particular food item. It has a power capacity of 1000 watts that allows you to dry food faster in hours; what other appliances take days to do.

It features a powerful functioning fan that runs at 2400 RPM that makes it work four times faster than dehydrators without a fan. The NescoFd-1018a dehydrator is built with a Vita-Save body to protect food product from harmful light. It also operates on the Converga flow system and the air flows  on every food tray and assures you of a uniformly dried food item.

Features and Specifications
  • Dimension: 15.9’’ x17.2’’ x 17.2’’
  • Tray dimension: 1.2 x 16.5 x 16.5’’
  • Cord length: 36’’
  • Weight: 29 pounds
  • Power: 1000watts
  • Air flow: Vertical
  • Category: Stackable
  • Adjustable thermostat
  • Converga flow system

  • VitaSave opaque body
  • Material: Plastic (Polypropylene)
  • Digital timer
  • Temperature: 95-160⁰F
  • Fan size: 4.5’’
  • Fan capacity: 2400RPM
  • Rating: 4.4
  • Warranty: 1year

Pros

  • Dries fast and efficiently
  • Does not overheat
  • Easy to clean
  • Temperature can be regulated and adjusted
  • Gives even drying
  • Comes with extra accessories
  • Affordable to own
  • Strong power capacity
  • Drying pressure adjusts automatically to the number of trays

Cons

  • A bit louder than other brands
  • No timer
  • Need to lift the lid/trays to monitor progress

Verdict

The NescoFD-1018a is great for those who need the option of dehydrating very large batches at once (up to 30 trays).  Although this dehydrator has one of higher price tags on the list, it is an affordable appliance for those who are serious about dehydrating for their family or business. The only feature we feel this dehydrator is missing is an automatic timer. It has a 4.6-star rating among customers who have used it.

 

 

Gourmia GFD1750

 The Gourmia 1750 dehydrator features a digital control LCD panel where even a "newbie" can easily regulate the temperature and all other operations needed to dry or preserve herbs and food.

It contains 10 drying trays, with 7 levels of drying temperature. The front door has a transparent window so it is easy to see and monitor the progress of the food drying. Also included in the pack is one "jerky or sausage sure hang" drying rack. The door of the dehydrator is magnetic, so you don’t have to worry about a slightly opened door.

The dehydrator works on 48 hours drying time and  features a Circumsmart 360⁰airflow system. It has a sleek modern design.

Features and Specifications

  • Magnetic door
  • Digital timer
  • Digital control center LCD panel
  • Color: Black
  • Circumsmart 360⁰ airflow
  • 10 drying trays
  • 1 sausage hanging rack

  • Power: 550W
  • Voltage: 120V-60Hz
  • Size: 10.25’’ x 15.5’’ x 15’’
  • Weight: 11.5 Lbs
  • Drying time: 48 hours
  • Rating: 3.9

Pros
  • Even drying
  • Easy to use
  • Digital time and temperature control
  • Affordable price
  • Looks great on countertops
  • Transparent door to monitor drying progress

Cons
  • Some reviews mention timer issues
  • Could be noisy at times
  • Instructions need to be printed
  • Trays need to be manually rotated

Verdict

The Gourmia 1750 is suitable for drying fruits and vegetables and has the advantage of being left to work while you get on with another work as it will go off on its own in time. It is an affordable appliance for the kitchen and with this dehydrator; you don’t have to worry anymore about throwing away spoilt food. It has a 3.9-star rating among customers who have used it.

 

Magic Mill Pro

One of the best food dehydrators for herbs, the Magic Mill Pro features outstanding components that make it unique among others. It has a rear mounted fan that allows even drying. Along with its adjustable thermostat, the dehydrator also has a digital thermostat and timer that allows you to leave your food to dry without worry while you go about other activities.

The Magic Mill consists of six spacious and adjustable stainless racks, six plastic fine mesh trays, 3 nonstick trays, 1 set of oven mitts and a drip tray that collects residues after drying. The Magic Mill has a drying time of 19-20 hours at a temperature of 95 158⁰F.

An overheating safety precaution has been put in place to prevent overheating while using the equipment. Its airflow circulation technology also allows for a horizontal distribution of air within the dehydrator.

Features and Specifications

  • Rear-mounted fan
  • Automatic shut off
  • 5 hours of drying time
  • Temperature: 95-158⁰F
  • 6 stainless racks
  • 6 plastic trays
  • 3 nonstick trays
  • 1 set oven mitt
  • Color: Black

  • 1 drip tray
  • Airflow circulation technology
  • Dimension: 12’’ x 17’’ x 19’’
  • Watt: 400-450
  • Airflow: Horizontal
  • Product type: Stainless
  • Rating: 4.6
  • Warranty: 1 year

Pros
  • Digital timer and thermostat
  • Drip trays for collecting residues
  • Even drying
  • Automatic shut off
  • Bigger and more spacious
  • Dries faster
  • Noiseless
  • Affordable
  • Effective heat distribution

Cons
  • Timer is not reliable
  • Frequent plastic smell
  • High power usage

Verdict

The Magic Mill Pro is an effective dehydrator that is recommended for every home and factories. It is fast and reliable and you can definitely get the best-dried fruits out of using it. It is affordable and convenient to use, while you monitor every process as it works. It is definitely worth its price and rated 4.6 among others.

 

Check out this article from humoroushomemaking.com for 40 great idea to use your dehydrator for. Or our article on Preserving and Drying Herbs

diy-cleaners

Best DIY Natural Home Cleaners – 8 Recipes

 

Making your own DIY natural cleaners is a simple and cost effective way to get rid of some of the most toxic and poisonous products in your home. According to the National Capital Poison Center cleaning substances were the second highest cause of unintentional poisoning in of children under 6 years old in the U.S 2014.  Many people don't realize how toxic many of the commercial products they use in their home everyday really are. The harmful chemicals are not only a danger if accidentally consumed , but can also cause acute or chronic illness due to repeated exposure from skin contact and through inhaling the VOC's (volatile organic compounds) they release into the air. 

 

TOXIC CHEMICALS IN COMMERCIAL CLEANERS YOU WANT TO AVOID


1) AMMONIA

Found in: Glass, oven, drain, toilet and multipurpose cleaners.

Health Risks: Exposure to ammonia at minimum can cause eye, throat, lung and skin irritation, at worst it will result in lung damage, blindness and death. When mixed with bleach  highly poisonous chloramine gas is produced. 

2) BUTOXYETHANOL

Found in: Glass, oven and multipurpose cleaners.

Health Risks:2-butoxyethanol is used in many common cleaners as as solvent and has a characteristic sweet smell. 2-Butoxyethanol belongs in the  Glycol Ethers family of chemicals. According to the EPA, short term exposure high levels of Glycol Ethers can cause headaches, sore throats, and kidney and liver damage. Long term exposure has been linked to anemia, anorexia, nausea, fatigue and neurological damage.  sore throats when inhaled, at high levels glycol ethers can also contribute to narcosis, pulmonary edema, and severe liver and kidney damage. 

3) SODIUM HYDROXIDE

Found in: Oven, toilet, disinfectants and drain cleaners.

Health Risks: Highly corrosive; can burn the eyes, skin and lungs. It can cause blindness if it gets in your eyes. If swallowed it will cause nausea, stomach cramps diarrhea and even death.

4) FORMALDEHYDE

Found in: Soap, glass, oven and multipurpose cleaners.

Health Risks: Formaldehyde is a colorless, flammable, strong-smelling chemical that is used in many household products. Short tern contact can cause asthma attacks, eye, nose and throat irritation. Long tern exposure can cause cancer. 

5) SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE

Found in: Dish soap, toilet cleaners and Liquid Laundry Soap.

Health Risks: Sodium lauryl sulfate is used in many cleaning products to create foam.  It is a known skin irritant and a possible carcinogen 

6) PHALATES

Found in: Air fresheners, dish soaps and most products with "fragrance" listed as an ingredient.

Health Risks: Phthalates are known to reduce sperm count. It can cause eye, skin, nose and throat irritation. Phaltes have also been linked to breast cancer, type II diabetes and ADHD. 

7) TRICLOSAN

Found in: Liquid dishwashing detergents and antibacterial hand soaps. 

Health Risks: Triclosan is used as an antibacterial agent, but it can promote the growth of drug-resistant bacteria.  It can impair muscle function and reduce the strength of your heart muscle. A study in the Oxford Journal found that Triclosan imitates estrogen in the body, chemicals that do this are linked to an increase in breast cancer. 

 

Instead of paying for multiple expensive commercial cleaners that contain toxins and poisons, try these simple homemade, environmentally friendly, diy natural cleaners.

 

8 DIY NATURAL CLEANERS - RECIPES

 

homemade-multipurpose-cleaner

  

1) Multipurpose Cleaner


What you will Need:
  • Spray Bottle
  • Bowl
  • Whisk
  • Funnel
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • 1 Tbs of Borax
  • 1 Tbs of Hydrogen Peroxide
  • 2 cups of hot water
  • 1/2 cup of vinegar
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • Essential oils (optional)
Directions:

1. Put 1 tablespoon Borax to a mixing bowl, and cover with 2 cups hot water. Whisk until borax dissolves
2. Add the 1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide, 1/2 cup vinegar, and juice from 1 lemon to the bowl. Give the mixture a gentle stir.
3. Use a funnel to pour the cleaner into the spray bottle and top with a few drops of essential oil (optional), which gives the all-purpose cleaner any scent you choose.

 

 

oven-cleaner

 

 

2) Oven Cleaner

 
What you will Need:
  • Sponge
  • Bowl
  • Whisk
  • Paper towel
  • 1/2 cup of baking soda
  • 1/4 cup of liquid dish soap
  • 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide
  • 1 tbs of vinegar
  • Zest from 1 lemon
Directions:

1. Whisk  all the ingredients together in a bowl until until its a thick paste.
2. Wipe down the oven with warm soapy water.
3. Using the sponge spread  the cleaning paste all over the inside of the oven.
4. Close the door and let sit for 4 hours.
5. After 4 hours use a damp sponge to remove all the cleaning paste.

 

 

dish-soap

 

3) Dish Soap


What you will Need:
Directions:

1. In a mixing bowl mix the 1Tbs Borax, 1 Tbs Washing Soda, 3/4 cup of Castile Soap, and 2 1/4 Tbs of Vinegar.
2. Gently mix in the 2 1/4 cups of boiling water, and the 10-15 drops of the optional essential oil
3. Leave the mixture to cool to room temperature.  Once cooled transfer to the pump bottle or other storage container of your choice.

 

 

 liquid-laundry-soap-fabric-softner

 

4) Liquid Laundry Soap

 
What you will Need:
Directions:

1. In large bowl mix the 1/2 cup of Washing Soda and 1/4 cup of Borax. 
2. Cover the dry ingredients with boiling water (approx 1-2 cups), whisk until Borax and Washing soda have dissolved. 
3. Add in the 1 tbs of castile soap and 1/4 cup of vinegar, mix gently.
4. Pour the mix into the gallon container. Add enough hot water to fill. (also add 10-20 drops of essential oil, if using).
5. Gently swirl the container to mix. Use approx 1/3 cup per load of laundry.

 

5) Fabric Softener

 
What you will Need:
  • 1 gallon container
  • Microwave safe bowls
  • Whisk
  • Funnel
  • Measuring cups
  • 6 cups of hot water
  • 3 cups of vinegar
  • 2 cups of hair conditioner
  • 10-20 drops of essential oils (optional)
Directions:

1. In a microwave separately heat the vinegar and conditioner sightly, (just above room temperature).
2. In the 1 gallon container, gently combine the water, vinegar and hair conditioner. (Do not shake or you will cause foaming).
3. Add the essential oil (optional).

 

 

fabric-refresher

 

 6) Fabric Refresher


What you will Need:
  • Spray Bottle
  • Funnel
  • Measuring cups
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup of liquid fabric softener (store bought or see recipe #5 fabric softener above)
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
Directions:

1. In a spray bottle mix the water, fabric softener and vinegar.

 

 

toilet-clener

 

7) Toilet Cleaner


What you will Need:
  • Squirt Bottle
  • Funnel
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • 2 cups of water
  • 3/4 cups castile soap
  • 3/4 Tbs baking soda
  • 10-15 drops Essential oils
Directions:

1. In a squirt bottle gently mix the water, baking soda, castile soap and essential oil.
2. Squirt around the toilet bowl, scrub with toilet brush. 

 

 

 

carpet-cleaner

 

 

8) Carpet Cleaner


What you will Need:
  • Spray Bottle
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • 2 cups of hot water
  • 1 cup of vinegar2 Tsp salt
  • - 15-20 drops Essential oils (Optional)
Directions:

1. In the spray bottle combine the water and vinegar.
2. Add the salt and essential oils. Gently shake
3. Spray on carpet and allow to dry, then vacuum the treated area.

 

I use these DIY natural cleaners in my house and love them. Try them out and let me know what you think of them. If you have ways I can improve them, let me know. The comment section is always open an looking for feedback.

But if you are looking for even more DIY natural cleaners you can make yourself we found some great ones on Popsugar.com and on goodhousekeeping.com, check them out, they are great resources of information.

 

diy-fire-cider

Homemade Master Tonic – Fire Cider To Boost Your Health

This homemade Master Tonic recipe is a staple in my home. I try to always have some brewing to make sure I don't run out. It is a strong fermented, natural remedy to combat common colds, infections and antibiotic-resistant infections. It combines many common healing ingredients into one powerful immune boosting tonic. Combining all the benefits of garlic, onion, ginger, horseradish, hot peppers, turmeric and apple cider vinegar. At first you may find the taste very strong, I know I did. But its a taste that grows on you. I actually look forward to it each night before I go to bed.

For general health, and to support your immune system drink 1oz every day.  When sick, take a 1oz 2-3 times a day.

Master Tonic also known as Fire Cider is made with ingredients with known beneficial health properties. I have listed the ingredients and their benefits below:

GINGER: Ginger helps to stimulates and eases digestion, alleviate nausea and boost circulation. It eases congestion, is an anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic and helps fight cold and flu symptoms.

ONION: Assists kidney function, it is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, antibiotic, and anti-parasitic.

GARLIC: Garlic is an anti-parasitic, anti-bacterial and an anti-fungal.  It stimulates metabolism, helps to normalize blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol.  It supports healthy gut flora, and assists to eliminate toxins and fight cold and flu symptoms.

HORSERADISH ROOT: Will increases circulation, helps stimulates the lung and colon functions. It is an antibacterial and a source of iron and potassium.
HOT PEPPERS: Hot peppers are anti-parasitic, high in antioxidants. They enhances blood circulation, supports lung and heart functions, stimulates digestion, dispels mucous, and will help to eases congestion.
TURMERIC: Turmeric is an anti-bacterial, it assists digestion, and will helps to support your immune system.
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR: Is an anti-bacterial and it will help cleanses the digestive tract, will lower blood sugar, and supportive of the gallbladder/liver functions, helps joint function, fights off fatigue, headaches, food poisoning, insomnia.
  

Homemade Master Tonic Recipe

What you will need:

  • - Large Mason Jar with a tight fitting lid
  • - Bowl
  • - 4 cups (approx) apple cider vinegar
  • - ¼ cup finely chopped garlic
  • - ¼ cup finely chopped onion
  • -¼ cup fresh peppers, the hottest you can find (be careful with the cleaning – wear gloves!!!)
  • - ¼ cup grated ginger
  • - 2 tbsp grated horseradish
  • - 2 tbsp turmeric powder or 2 pieces of turmeric root

 

Preparation:

  1. Finely chop all the dry ingredients and combine in the bowl. (A food processor could be used for this step.)
  2. Fill the large mason jar 2/3 full with the chopped ingredients.
  3. Pour in the apple cider vinegar and fill the jar to the top.
  4. Close well and shake. to mix all the ingredients.
  5. Store the jar in a cool and dry place for 6 weeks. Shake the jar well each day. 
  6. After 6 weeks, strain through a fine mesh strainer.
  7. Store the Master Tonic in a glass bottle (Preferably of dark glass).

Here is a great instructional video by Rosemary Gladstar, a leader in the world of herbalism and the founder of the California School of Herbal Studies (the oldest running school of herbal studies in the United States).

 

11 Natural Remedies to get Rid of Ants in Your House

 

Every year, when the weather warms up we have to deal with ant home invasions so I look to natural remedies to get rid of ants. It's best to deal with the situation as soon as you see even one ant marching through your house. This little ant is not just a lost little creature trying to find its way home, it is a scout. A scout sent out to find the easiest access to food for the colony.  If the scout ant is successful in finding a cache of food it will leave a scent trail for other to follow. This is why you will see an "ant train" weaving its way across your floor or counter. 

To successfully rid yourself of this insect invasion first you must wipe out the scent trail to prevent new ants from following the course. Then you have to deter new groups from wanting to explore you house. 

Battling ants can be frustrating and annoying, as they are very persistent little creatures. By using the natural remedies to get rid of ants listed below you will be able to turn back the ant invasion without needing to resort to toxic pesticides that could harm your children or pets. 

 

11 NATURAL REMEDIES TO GET RID OF ANTS

 

borax

 

 1.BORAX


What you will need:
  • 1 1/2 Tbs Borax
  • 1/2 cup Sugar 1 1/2 cups Warm Water
  • Cotton balls
  • Small bowl
  • Whisk
  • Jar with a lid
Directions:

1. In a bowl whisk the 1 1/2 Tbs of Borax with the 1/2 cup of sugar, and get rid of any lumps.
2. Whisk in just enough water to create loose paste. Mix until all the power has dissolved.
3. Dip a few cotton balls in the mixture.
4. Place these cotton balls in places where you have seen the ants.
5. Wait. It may take a little while for the ants to find the Borax covered cotton balls. Once they do they will eat the sugary solution and also take it home to their nest. 
6. Store the rest of your Ant killing home remedy in the jar (please label your jar), and store out of the way of children.

 
WHY IT WORKS

Borax contains boric acid which damages the ants outer skeletons, causing them to dehydrate. Most commercial insecticides also use boric acid. Borax is less toxic than other insecticides, but it is still mildly toxic. Please ensure that children and pets do not have access to borax-based ant traps.

 

cinnamon

 

2. CINNAMON


What you will need:
  • Cinnamon
Directions:

1. Once you see a line of ants marching through your house follow it back and find where the are getting into your house. 
2. Sprinkle an unbroken line of cinnamon at the entry point. For additional fighting power, if you can find the next outside sprinkle the nest with cinnamon too.

 
WHY IT WORKS

Cinnamon is a great option for killing ants. When an ant inhales cinnamon, it suffocates and dies. Other natural powders like cayenne or coffee also kills ants through inhalation and suffocation. We like to use cinnamon is because it is not harmful to children and pets. Also the scent of cinnamon disrupts the ants' ability to smell. Since ants rely on smell  to detect food and to leave and send messages back to the colony, this is a bad for the ants. For cinnamon to be the most effective, ants need to take small amounts of cinnamon back to the nest.

 

lemon

 

3. LEMON


What you will need:
Directions:

1. Juice the lemon
2. Remove the zest from the lemon and save. 
3. In the spray bottle mix lemon juice and water.
4. Spray the areas where you see the ants - counters, floors etc, also spray the areas where the ants are getting into you house. 
5. At the points of entry sprinkle the lemon zest.

 
WHY IT WORKS

Ants leave an invisible scent trail to a food source for other ants to follow. This is why you see ants traveling in a single line across your floors and counters.  Lemon juice won't kill the ants, but its smell and acid disrupts the scent trails they leave behind. The next group of ants will not be able to follow the paths left behind, and the citrus smell will discourage them from starting a new one.

  

vinegar

 

4. VINEGAR


What you will need:
  • 1 cup Vinegar
  • 1 cup Water
  • Spray bottle
  • Cloth
Directions:

1. Mix the water and vinegar together in the spray bottle.
2. Spray and wipe down the  the areas where you see the ants - counters, floors etc, also spray the areas where the ants are getting into your house. 

 
WHY IT WORKS

Like Lemon juice the smell and acid of the vinegar disrupts the scent trails ants leave behind for their friend to follow.

  

diatomaceous_earth

 

5. DIATOMACEOUS EARTH


What you will need:
Directions:

1. Sprinkle a thin amount of diatomaceous earth where ants are seen and where they are entering the house.
2. Repeat each day until the ants are gone. 

 
WHY IT WORKS

Diatomaceous Earth is made up of crushed fossilized skeletons  of marine phytoplankton. When it comes in contact with the ants the jagged and sharp little pieces of Diatomaceous Earth scratches up the insects' bodies then dries up their fluids.  It will hurt insects but is not toxic to mammals.

  

peppermint-oil

 

6. PEPPERMINT OIL


What you will need:
  • 12 Drops Peppermint oil
  • 2 Tbs Witch Hazel
  • 3/4 cup water
  • Spray bottle
Directions:

1. In the spray bottle mix the water, with hazel and peppermint oil. 
2. Gently shake to mix.
3. Spray around the doors and windows, or anywhere the ants are entering your home. 

 
WHY IT WORKS

The smell of the peppermint oil and the witch hazel will eliminate the invisible scent trail left by the ants. It won't kill the ants, but the next group of ants will not be able to find the paths left by the previous ants for them to follow.

 

corn-starch

 

7. CORN STARCH


What you will need:
  • Corn Starch
Directions:

1. Sprinkle corn starch around where you see the ants.

 
WHY IT WORKS

Ants are attracted to cornstarch and they will try to eat it. But ants are unable to digest cornstarch so they starve and die.

 

castile-soap

 

8. CASTILE SOAP (Peppermint)


What you will need:
Directions:

1. In the spray bottle mix the water, with castile peppermint soap. 
2. Gently shake to mix.
2. Spray around the doors and windows, or anywhere the ants are entering your home. 

 
WHY IT WORKS

The soap will dissolve the ants exterior wax coating killing them on contact.

 

baking-soda

 

9. POWDERED SUGAR AND BAKING SODA


What you will need:
  • 1 part powdered sugar
  • 1 part baking soda
  • Small shallow container (such as jar lids)
Directions:

1. Combine the 1 part powdered sugar with 1 part baking soda.
2. Place the mixture in the small containers.
2. Place these ants trays where you see the ants. 

 
WHY IT WORKS

The ants are attracted to the sugar. But they cannot tell the difference between the sugar and the baking soda. Once they eat the baking soda it will react with their stomach acids and kill them.

  

chalk

 

10. CHALK


What you will need:
  • Chalk
Directions:

1. Use the chalk  to draw/make an unbroken barrier lines around doors and windows. Draw lines anywhere ants are getting in to your house.  

 
WHY IT WORKS

Ants will not cross a chalk line. The fine chalk powder will stick to their feet and clog their pores. This hurts the ants and deters them.

 

peanut-butter

 

11. PEANUT BUTTER AND BORAX


What you will need:
  • 1 part Peanut Butter
  • 1 part Borax
  • Straw
  • Scissors
  • Small bowl
Directions:

1. In the bowl mix the 1 part peanut butter and the 1 part borax
2. Repeatedly stick the end of the straw into the mixture, filling up the straw.
2. Cut the straw in to 1 inch pieces. Place these ant traps in the places you see the ants.

 
WHY IT WORKS

Ants are attracted to the peanut butter and accidentally eat the borax too. The borax poisons them and they die. 

 

Did these Natural Remedies for getting rid of ants help you, or did you find a better solution? Let us know in the comments, we are always looking for feedback or new recipes to try.

dried-herbs

6 Simple Ways for Preserving and Drying Herbs at Home

 

Preserving and drying herbs is really simple.  Although I always love using fresh herbs when ever possible,  some applications such as herbal teas and herb oils work really well with dried herbs and flowers. If you are growing your own herbs, it is cheaper to dry them than to buy the store bought ones. I like to preserve as many fresh herbs, from my garden and the store, as possible to use all year round. There are many different ways to preserve and dry herbs and here we have outlined 6 of the best ways to make sure you have access to all you favourite herbs whenever you need them.

 

PRESERVING AND DRYING HERBS

 

PREPARING THE HERBS

Gently wash and pat dry the fresh herbs. Personally I find a salad spinner works very well for this.  Pick out any discoloured leaves.  If you have a variety of different types of herb you wish to preserve separate them into their individual plant type. Then sort the into two sections - High moisture content and Low moisture content.

 

HIGH MOISTURE HERBS


High moisture herbs need "Fast Drying Methods" so that they do not develop mold. The best method for drying these types of herbs is in a dehydrator, oven or microwave.

Basil
Lemon balm
Mint
Tarragon
Parsley
Cilantro

 

 

LOW MOISTURE HERBS


Herbs with low moisture can be preserved with "Slow Drying Methods" without fear of mold. So they can be preserved using the  air drying methods. They can be dried with any of the fast methods listed below.

Thyme
Rosemary
Oregano
Bay Leaf
Dill
Summer Savory
Marjoram
Sage

 

FAST DRYING METHODS 

 

1. DEHYDRATOR

Dehydrating is my favourite way to dry herbs as its so fast and simple.  Place a single layer of herbs on to the dehydrating tray. Turn the dehydrator to the manufacturer recommended temperature for herbs (approximately 95°F).  The drying time will be anywhere from 1 to 4 hours depending on the moisture content and the amount of herbs you are drying.

2. OVEN DRYING

Place your herbs on to a cookie sheet or low rimmed pan. Turn the oven on to its lowest setting, with the door open. Leave the herbs in the warm oven for about 2 to 4 hours.  Personally I find this method wasteful on energy and it tends to heat up the kitchen so I prefer to use the dehydrator.

3. MICROWAVE

Place a single layer of herbs between two piece of paper towel. Place in microwave on high for 1-2 minutes.  Let the plant cool. If they are not completely dried out and brittle, heat again for 30 seconds and let cool. Repeat the 30 seconds reheat and cool until herbs are completely dry.


 4. FREEZING

Most herbs need to be blanched before freezing (Basil, dill, and chives do not need to be blanched). To do this put the herbs into boiling salted water for just under a minute. Then immediately put the herbs in to ice water to stop the cooking process.  Then place the herbs in to a ziplock bag or other storage contain and put in the freezer.

 

 

SLOW DRYING METHODS

 

5.INDOOR AIR DRYING

a) Gather a small bunch of the herb  and tie there stems together, hang upside down in a dark place for 2 to 3 weeks. If you do not have a suitable dark area, place the bunch it a brown paper bag, do not let the herbs touch the side of the bag. Tear several holes in the bag for air circulation and hang to dry.  By keeping the herbs out of the UV of the sun they will retain more of their colour.

b) Spread the herbs out flat on a window screen. Then suspend the screen indoors between the back of two chairs. Turn the herbs once or twice a day to get even drying. This method will take a few weeks to thoroughly dry out the herbs.
 

6. SALT DRYING

Place a small bunch of herbs into a jar. Fill the jar with non-iodized salt. Completely covering the herbs. Stir the salt and herb mix every few days.  Repeat until the moisture has been completely drawn out of the plants. This will take approximately two weeks.

Here is a great instructional video from Mother Earth News air drying and freezing herbs.

STORING HERBS

Once fully dried you herbs should be stored in a labeled and dated air tight container. Dried herbs will last for 1 to 3 years, after this time they tend to lose their flavour. For the newly dried herbs you should check the container for the first few days for signs of moisture.  If you had not completely dried out the herbs you will run the risk of mold. If you see signed of moisture repeat the drying process. If you see signs of mold do not use the herbs.

8 Herbal Sleep Remedies You Can Make At Home

Homemade herbal sleep aids are simple to make and are an easy way to help you get a good night sleep. Everyone has a trouble sleeping at some point in there lives, some of us more than others. Often I'm plagued with mild insomnia, especially after a stressful day. I go to bed all ready for a nice night's snooze and of course as soon as my head hits the pillow....bang....my brain decides that now the best time to try to figure out world peace, or try to solve every math problem I failed in high school (and there was a lot!!).  

If you are like me the thought of having to take expensive, possible habit forming medication doesn't sit well, and most of the time they make me groggy in the morning. As with any aliment before I turn to the commercial medications, I like to try a more natural approach.  Since what works for one person may not work for another I have complied a list of 9 of the best homemade herbal sleep that I use to help me go to sleep depending on what I have on hand. Give one a try next time you can't sleep, I hope one of these help you get the good night sleep you deserve.

Before we get to the recipes for the homemade sleep remedies, first we should look at what we can to do to help promote sleep without any supplements. By implementing these habits hopefully won't need any help sleeping at all.

 

8 Herbal Sleep Aids You can Make at Home

 

 valeriana-officinalis-848738_640 

 

1)Valerian Tea

 Valerian is a flowering perennial plant. A Native Plant to Europe and Asia it was introduce to North America and will grow in zones 4-9.  This hardy plants roots have been used as a natural sleep aid for centuries. Studies have shown that as a herbal sleep aid Valerian has shown to be useful for insomnia other sleep disrupting disorders.  It is thought to work by increasing the amount of GABA (gamma aminobutryic acid) that regulates the action of nerve cells and has a calming effect.  The easiest way to prepare valerian is by decocting the root and making a tea. Try brewing up this easy valerian tea. It does have a strong smell but it will help you get your  ZZZZZ's. 

You will need…

  • 1 tsp of dried valerian root
  • Strainer or infusion device, such as a tea ball 
  • 8 oz. fresh water to boil

Directions

  • Put 1 tsp of valerian root in your tea ball or similar infusion device and place in your mug.
  • Add 8 oz. of boiling water and cover the mug. Let sit and steep for 15 minutes before drinking. 
  • Add milk or honey if you’d like for flavour.

 

linden-tree-817061_640

 

2) Linden tea

Linden trees (also know as basswood trees) grow throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Linden is known to help with mild insomnia and anxiety.  The sedative properties in Linden may be from its volatile oil components citral, citronellal, citronellol, eugenol, and limonene were shown in a study to help in curbing stress and to promote relaxation. Most people report feeling relaxed, and even drowsy. Linden also can help with indigestion as well as nausea and vomiting.

You will need…
- 1-2 teaspoons of dried linden flowers
-Honey (optional)
-Hot water

Directions

  • Steep 1-2 teaspoons or so in 1 cup hot water. Steep longer if you want to reap more of the medicinal qualities from the herb. Add honey if you prefer your tea sweetened.
  • Drink the tea hot or cold.

 

chamomile-1261796_640

 

3) Chamomile tea

Chamomile has been used through out history for medicinal uses. Most commonly today it is used as a tea to help in relaxation and and to induce sleep.

In a study published by the BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine it concluded that Chamomile does help people sleep. This was comparing people using chamomile compared to a a group taking a placebo. 

You will need…
- 1-2 teaspoons of dried  chamomile flowers
-Honey (optional)
-Hot water

Directions

  • Steep 1-2 teaspoons or so in 1 cup hot water. Steep longer if you want to reap more of the medicinal qualities from the herb. Add honey if you prefer your tea sweetened.
  • Drink the tea hot or cold.

  

hypericum-perforatum-855486_640

 

4) St John's Wort

Use of  St Johns wort has been  dated back to the ancient Greeks, first mentioned by Pliney the Elder  for is medicinal benefits.

Modern scientific studies show that it can help relieve chronic insomnia and mild depression when related to certain brain chemistry imbalances. 

St Johns Wort contains the ingredients hypericin and hyperforin.  Hypericin is the ingredient used to help with sleep. As the Hypericin in St. John's Wort may inhibit the bodily chemical, monoamine oxidase, which is associated with anxiety and depression.

You will need…
-2 teaspoons of dried Saint John’s Wort (herb top/flowers)
-8 ounces of freshly boiled water
-honey or lemon to taste (optional)

Directions

  • Place the herb in a mug and cover with boiling water.
  • Steep for 5-10 minutes, strain, and drink once daily (either morning or 30-45 minutes before bed.)

Other Forms of St John's Wort:

Allow 2-3 weeks for the full therapeutic effect to develop. If you experience light sensitivity or other unpleasant symptoms, reduce or discontinue the St. John’s wort and consult a qualified medical professional.

 

lemon-balm

  

5) Lemon Balm

According to the American Botanical Council Lemon Balm tea was approved by the German Standard License for calming  nervous disorders of sleep and of the gastrointestinal tract, and to stimulate the appetite.

Lemon balm is  often used as an alternative to commercial sleep aids, which can often cause speech slurring, impaired memory and other side effects.

You will need…
- 1-3 teaspoons of dried lemon balm (or 3/4 cup of fresh leaves)
-Honey (optional)
-Hot water

Directions

  • Put 1 to three teaspoons of the dried lemon balm for each cup of boiling water. 
  • Steep for 5 minutes, or longer if you prefer.
  • You can drink the tea up to 4 times daily.
  • Add honey if you prefer your tea sweetened. 

OR 

Make a sleepy time herbal syrup

  • Add 3/4 cup lemon balm leaves into a small pot and add enough water to just cover the leaves.
  • Simmer, covered partially, until the liquid is reduced in half.
  • Strain out & compost the leaves.
  • While still quite warm, measure out about 1/2 cup of the concentrated tea and stir 1/4 cup raw honey into it.
  • Store in the refrigerator for a week or so.
  • Dose by the spoonful at night to help calm and relax everyone from children to adults. (Keeping in mind that honey should not be given to infants under one year old.)

 

hop-harvest-1596086_640

  

6) Hops

Historically, hops were a traditional medicine used as one of the herbs for sleep because they contain methylbutenol, which has a calming, sedating, and sleep inducing effects.

Now in modern times, Commission E, Germany's equivalent to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has given its approval for using hops in cases of anxiety, restlessness, and fighting sleepless nights.

The first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word hops is probably beer, but this quick growing vine is also an excellent remedy for calming nerves and promoting relaxation (not in the form of beer, sorry!) Rather, it can be made into a strong tea and drank right before bed, or made into a sleep sachet and placed under your pillow at night (just replace or add it to the lavender).

You will need…
-2 tablespoons of dried hops
-4 cups of boiling water
-A quart glass jar with a tightly fitting lid

Directions
Place the hops into a glass jar with a tightly fitting lid and cover with boiling water. Allow it to steep for at least 5 hours, or overnight, and then strain. Reheat or chill and drink a cup 30-45 minutes before bedtime for an easy and restful slumber. This will keep in the refrigerator for 2 days.

 

lavender-1636567_640

 

7) Lavender

A number of studies have reported that lavender essential oil may be beneficial in a variety of conditions, including insomnia, alopecia (hair loss), anxiety, stress, and postoperative pain. However, most of these studies have been small. Lavender is also being studied for antibacterial and antiviral properties. Lavender oil is often used in other forms of integrative medicine, such as massage, acupuncture, and chiropractic manipulation.

Insomnia or Agitation

In folklore, pillows were filled with lavender flowers to help restless people fall sleep. Scientific evidence suggests that aromatherapy with lavender may slow the activity of the nervous system, improve sleep quality, promote relaxation, and lift mood in people suffering from sleep disorders. Studies also suggest that massage with essential oils, particularly lavender, may result in improved sleep quality, more stable mood, better concentration, and reduced anxiety. In one study, people who received massage with lavender felt less anxious and more positive than those who received massage alone. Several small studies suggest that lavender aromatherapy may help reduce agitation in people with dementia. Lavender flowers have also been approved in Germany as a tea for insomnia, restlessness, and nervous stomach irritations.

You will need…
- 1-2 teaspoons of dried  lavender
-Honey (optional)
-Hot water

Directions

  • Steep 1-2 teaspoons of lavender in 1 cup hot water. Steep longer if you want to reap more of the medicinal qualities from the herb. Add honey if you prefer your tea sweetened.
  • Drink the tea hot or cold.

 

california-poppy

 

8) California Poppy

Recent studies have shown that the medicinal ingredients in the herb Eschscholzia californica blocks pain, allowing the patient to sleep through the night without being awakened due to discomfort. The herb also helps to induce sleep, enabling patients who are in to fall asleep and experience a more restful sleep.

 

You will need…
California Poppy Tincture, (How to Make a Tincture)

Directions

  • The tincture can be ingested in its raw form, or can be added to water if preferred.
  • Adults: 30-40 drops per day.
  • Children (Age 2-17) : Dose varies depending on size and weight, see "Clarks Rule"

 

 (Childs weight/150lbs) x adult dose
Example for a 90lbs child, adult dose 60 drops
= (90/150) x 60 = 36 drops

  

Other Ways to Improve Sleep

You shouldn't have to rely on possible habit forming sedatives or expensive over the counter medications to get to sleep. Often other health and life issues are the most common cause of sleep disruption. Before you run to the pharmacy for a commercial sedative to try to fix up your chronic sleep problem, you might try these changes in your routine first. Combined with a homemade natural sleep aid you will soon find your are getting to sleep naturally and easily.

Go to Bed before Midnight

Sleep happens in 90 minute cycles, made up of two parts : non-REM sleep and REM sleep. We repeat the 90 minutes cycle through out the night. Most of our deep healing sleep occurs in the first 2 sleep cycles – not towards morning. The ratio of non-REM-to-REM sleep within these 90-minute cycles changes across the night, no matter when you go to bed. Early in the night (between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m.), most of those cycles are comprised of deep non-REM sleep and little REM sleep. The second half of the night (between 3 a.m. and 7 a.m.), this balance changes; cycles are comprised of more REM sleep with a lighter form of non-REM sleep. Because there more deep non-REM sleep earlier in the night, someone who goes to bed before midnight will have who sleeps from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. (eight hours total) will have a different overall composition of sleep with more non-REM than someone who sleeps from 3 a.m. to 11 a.m. (also eight hours total) and so is likely to experience more REM.

No Caffeine in the Evening

Caffeine maybe your go to in the daytime to feel awake, but as stimulant it will do the same in the evening. By not having any caffeine after 4 or 5 pm it will help prevent you from being up all evening and increase you ability to have a good night rest. Caffeine stays in your system for up to 12 hours, so the effects of coffee could linger late into the night. Not having caffeine for a single day can improve sleep quality that night, a study in the Journal of Clinical Nursing found.

Avoid These Foods...

Processed foods like deli meats contain a lot of sodium (salt), which by raising your blood pressure and dehydrating you can disrupt sleep.

Dark chocolate, even this healthiest form of chocolate can contain high levels of caffeine. So like coffee it can keep you up at night.

Spicy foods before bedtime can give you indigestion that makes it nearly impossible to get a good night's sleep. But even if you can eat spicy foods without discomfort, they are still linked with more time spent awake during the night and taking longer to fall asleep. It's speculated that this may be due to capsaicin, an active ingredient in chili peppers, affecting sleep via changes in body temperature.

Get More Exercise

A study in published the journal Mental Health and Physical Activity found that People sleep significantly better and feel more alert during the day if they get at least 150 minutes of exercise a week, a new study concludes.

A nationally representative sample of more than 2,600 men and women, ages 18-85, found that 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity a week, which is the national guideline, provided a 65 percent improvement in sleep quality. People also said they felt less sleepy during the day, compared to those with less physical activity.

Take Calcium and Magnesium

James F. Balch, M.D., author of Prescription for Nutritional Healing, writes: "A lack of the nutrients calcium and magnesium will cause you to wake up after a few hours and not be able to return to sleep."

Calcium is directly related to our cycles of sleep. In one study, published in the European Neurology Journal, researchers found that calcium levels in the body are higher during some of the deepest levels of sleep, such as the rapid eye movement (REM) phase. The study concluded that disturbances in sleep, especially the absence of REM deep sleep or disturbed REM sleep, are related to a calcium deficiency. Restoration to the normal course of sleep was achieved following the normalization of the blood calcium level.

William Sears, M.D. writes: "Calcium helps the brain use the amino acid tryptophan to manufacture the sleep-inducing substance melatonin. This explains why dairy products, which contain both tryptophan and calcium, are one of the top sleep-inducing foods."

In magnesium deficiency, chronic insomnia is one of the main, central symptoms. Sleep is usually agitated with frequent nighttime awakenings. On the other hand, a high magnesium, low aluminum diet has been found to be associated with deeper, less interrupted sleep. This was proven in a study done by James Penland at the Human Nutrition Research Center in North Dakota. The study was titled "Effects of trace element nutrition on sleep patterns in adult women." It's important to note that a balanced ratio of calcium and magnesium is important to overall health, and these two minerals should be taken together for best results.

 

For more tips on Healthy tips to help you sleep try reading the Healthy Sleep Tips post from the National Sleep Foundation 

 

Let me now how these work for you, I always love getting feedback, or if you have another natural sleep remedy that works for you let me know in the comments.  

How to Get Rid of Pimples – 35 Home Remedies

 

We all want to get rid of pimples fast when we get them. No one is immune from this common skin disorder. Pimples can affect people at any stage in life. Many of us think we will out grow the dreaded acne affliction after the teenage years. Sadly this is not true. Pimples are most common in teenagers, but an average of  37.5% of women and 25.2% of men between the ages of 20 and 50 have regular pimple outbreaks according to webmd.com.

Pimples can cause us to feel embarrassed,  suffer from social anxiety and in severe cases worsen depression. Because of this many people, men and women, will turn to make up to quickly cover them up or expensive commercial treatments to hopefully get rid of them forever.  Make up for the quick pimple cover usually end up making the acne problem worse, and commercial treatments can take a long tine to have noticeable effects. So what can we do to make a pimple disappear safely while waiting for the long term acne treatment of work?

There are multiple home and herbal remedies that can help to reduce the size and redness of a monster pimple.  But since everyone has different skin types and chemistry, what works for one person may not work for another. So to make sure you find a home treatment for you  we have complied a list of 36 ways to get rid of pimples fast. Try one if it doesn't work for you try another, I'm sure one of these remedies will work for you.

Let us know what work for you in the comments below, we would love to hear your home remedy, pimple fighting, success stories.

 

What Causes Pimples?

Acne, or pimples and zits as they are more commonly known, are cause by a build up of excess oil (sebum) in the the skin. Most often break outs occur on the face, back, and neck, but pimples can occur any where on the body. The build up of oils can can be cause by many things, stress, poor diet, hormones...so basically daily life causes pimples. Sometimes these oils can build up fast enough that the duct get plugged up, causing  inflammation, add in a bit of bacteria that everyone has on their skin and bang...you have pimples.

So what can you do rid of pimples fast, in a natural way?. Luckily there are many proven home remedies that will help alleviate this most irritating of skin conditions.   Below we have complied 35  fantastic home remedies to help you get rid of pimples as fast as possible.  After each treatment is recommended to apply you moisturizer. If you skin gets to dried out this can cause more pimples as your body react by producing excess oil to counter act the dry skin.


 

35 Home Remedies to Get Rid of Pimple

 

1. THYME TINCTURE

A study in 2012 by Kimberly Sanderson and Dr. Margarita Gomez Escalade at the Leeds Metropolitan University found that a thyme tincture was more effective in fighting acne than commercial  blemish treatments containing benzoyl peroxide.  The study showed that the thyme tincture was able to kill off the acne bacterium after 5 minutes of application.  So where can you get a thyme tincture? Well you can either buy tinctures from your local health store or of course online. Alternatively you can get rid of pimples fast by  making your own Tincture.

HOW TO USE:  Apply a thyme tincture just to the acne and leave on for at least 5 minutes.  After, wash the area throughly and part dry.  Re-apply  2 to 3 times a day, remembering to wash the area after each application. (Adding a thyme toner to your daily routine can also help to prevent pimple outbreaks from occurring.

 

 

2. ASPIRIN

Aspirin also known as acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) will treat inflammation. It will help to reduce the swelling and redness of a pimple pretty fast. But if you are allergic to Aspirin or on any medication that will react with aspirin you should not try this remedy even though its just on your skin, as your body can still absorb this medication.

HOW TO USE: Crush 1 aspirin. Add 1 part aspirin power to 2 parts water and mix to make a paste.  Apply the paste to the pimple using a sterile material like a cotton swap. Leave on for 10 minutes, then rinse well with water. It is not recommended to leave on longer than 10 minutes or to use this method a lot in one day, since the aspirin can be absorbed into your blood stream through the skin.

 

 

3. TOOTHPASTE

Why does toothpaste work so well to fight pimples? Most toothpastes contain hydrogen peroxide baking soda or even witch hazel, all of which can help to dry out and kill the bacteria causing the acne and get rid of pimples fast. With toothpaste being a sticky medium, this means it is the perfect vehicle to adhere these substances to the infected area.

HOW TO USE:  First wash the area you which to use the tooth paste and pat dry. Using the white paste type of toothpaste (not the gel or any thing with the gel or other additives), dab a small amount directly on to the blemish. Leave on over night if possible. At minimum 15 minutes if you find your skin too sensitive. After gentle wash the area and pat dry. Repeat as necessary up to 3 days.  Never apply tooth paste to a whole area, such as using is as a face mask. As this can dry out the skin too much, and cause severe irritation.

 

 

4. POTATO

The natural potassium, sulphur and chlorine in potatoes will dry up the oils that are causing the pimple. Also potatoes contain vitamins and minerals that will help to reduce the inflammation and swelling that cause the pimples to visually stand out.

HOW TO USE:  Thinly slice a washed and peeled potato. Rub a potato slice over the infected area for a few minutes or until the slice feels dry. If you have multiple pimple you wish to treat use a a new slice for each section to prevent spreading any bacteria from one area to another. Repeat 3 times a day until the pimple is gone.

 

 

5. LEMON AND CINNAMON PASTE

This can be an be a powerful pimple remedy, but it can also cause irritation on sensitive skin. It is best to test this on your skin before applying to your face.

HOW TO USE:  Mix 1 part fresh Lemon Juice with 1 part Cinnamon powder.  Dab the paste directly to the pimple. Leave on for 1 minute then rinse the area and pat dry.

 

 

6. GREEN TEA

Green tea will help to inhibit the production of the oil (sebrum) that builds in pores and cause pimples.

HOW TO USE: Place two tea bags of green tea into boiling water and allow to steep for 1- 3 minutes. Allow the tea to cool then apply to skin. Leave to dry then rinse with water. (Alternately you can use the cooled tea bags to apply the green tea to your skin).

 

 

7. BENONITE CLAY MASK

Benonite clay, some time called Aztec clay acts as an absorbent to soak up the excess oils from your skin. It is used in a wide variety of beauty treatments and works really well for oily prone skin. This mask will get rid of pimples fast and leave your sink silky and soft.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED: 1 TBS of Beonite Clay, 1TBS of ground oatmeal, 2 tsps of water, 2 to 4 drops of essential oil (optional)

HOW TO USE:  Mix the clay, oatmeal, water and essential oil in to a smooth paste.  Cover the area you wish to treat and leave on until the mask drys. Then rinse off with warm water and pat dry.

 

8. TEA TREE OIL

Tea tree oil, also known as Melaleuca oil has natural antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial qualities. There has been many scientific studies that discuss the medical benefits of tea tree oil. This versatile oil is widely used in many home remedies and in natural household disinfectants.

HOW TO USE: Apply a few drops of 100% tea tree oil to a sterile material such as a cotton swab, or cotton wipe. (If you have very sensitive skin you may wish to dilute the tea tree oil with a bit of water, aloe gel, or raw organic honey first).  Apply the oil directly on to the pimple and leave on overnight, or a few hours at minimum.

 

 

9. WITCH HAZEL

Adding a witch hazel toner to your daily routine will reduce you acne. It is a natural antiseptic, antioxidant and will reduce inflammation and the pesky acne causing oil.  Witch hazel can be used as is or in a skin toner or face mask in your fight against acne. It is great for drying out the oils in the skin , but is milder than salicylic acid , so it won't dry out your skin to much.

HOW TO USE: Apply witch hazel to washed clean skin daily. NOTE: You may notice a few extra pimples come to the surface  in the first week of use. This is because the witch hazel will draw all the dirt, grime and oils that cause pimples to the surface.  After all the bad stuff has been drawn out of you skin you will start to see an approved difference in you skin. 

 

 

10. CALAMINE LOTION

Calamine lotion is a mixture of zinc oxide and ferric oxide. It has antiseptic and astringent properties. It will help to dry out and reduce the redness and inflammation of acne.

HOW TO USE: After washing and drying the pimple prone area, apply the calamine lotion only on the pimple. Leave it on over night. Then gently wash and dry the area. Repeat each night as needed. You should see dramatic result within a week.

 

 

11. HONEY SKIN WASH

Organic raw honey has natural probiotic and antibacterial properties. It is great for sensitive skin and will remove oils, and other dirt that will contribute to a pimple out break. Using a honey face wash you will dramatically lower your chance of getting having an acne outbreaks.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED: 1/3 cup or raw organic honey, 1/3 cup of liquid castile soap, 3tbs of cooled boiled water, 2 tbs spoons of olive oil, a soap dispenser or small storage bottle. 

HOW TO USE: Put the 3 tbs of cooled boiled water in to the dispenser or jar, then add the liquid castile soap, oils and honey.  Stir or gentle shake the the ingredients together until the honey dissolves.  Wet the area you want to apply the Honey Skin Wash. Apply a small amount of the mixture to the area in circular motions as you would when washing with soap. Rinse the are with warm water and pat dry.  Use this wash to replace you usual cleansing soap in your daily routine.

 

 

12. MILK AND HONEY PASTE

Stories of Queen Cleopatras perfect skin has made the Milk and Honey baths famous our collective memories.  These days filling a whole bath with milk would get quite expensive and you might look a bit odd buying 80 litres of milk to fill your bath.  But you can use this ancient remedy on a smaller scale to help perfect you skin and reduce your acne.

HOW TO USE: Mix 2 parts milk with 1 part raw organic honey until the honey is completely dissolved. This should end up being a creamy or paste consistency. Apply the paste to you skin and gently work in using circular motions. Leave on for 5 to 10 minutes. After, rinse the area with cool water and pat dry.

 

 

13. HONEY AND CINNAMON PASTE (Test first)

In combination Honey and Cinnamon are very effective at combating acne. But cinnamon can be to strong for sensitive skin, it is recommend that you test this on a small patch of skin first.

HOW TO USE: Mix 1/2 tsp of raw organic honey with 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon to create a paste. Apply Honey and Cinnamon past directly on to the pimple. Leave on over night, if possible or at minimum 15 minutes. Rinse off with warm water and pat the area dry.

 

 

14. SUGAR SCRUB

As an exfoliant a sugar scrub with help remove excess dead skin and other dirt that contributes to clogged pore that lead to pimples. This sugar scrub will leave you skin glowing and soft.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED: 1/4 cup of white sugar, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 1/2 tbs of coarse sea sat, approx 1/8 cup of oil (Olive, coconut, avocado are recommended), 1 1/2 tbs of vanilla extract.

HOW TO USE: Mix the all of the dry ingredients and the vanilla together.  Slowing add in the oil and mix together. Add as little or as much oil as needed to get the  consistency if moist sand.  Using your fingers massage the sugar scrub on to your skin. Don't be to aggressive, as you don't what to get rid of all your natural skin oils.  Leave the scrub on for a few minutes than wash off with cool water and pat dry.

 

 

15. AVOCADO AND HONEY FACE MASK

Avocado is a natural antioxidant and  full of healthy natural oils. Honey is a natural anti bacterial and a great skin healer. Together in an avocado and honey face mask these to ingredients create a superior acne fighter

HOW TO USE: Mix 1 tbs of raw organic honey with the innards of 1 avocado into a paste. Apply to your skin and leave on for 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water and pat dry.

 

 

16. PEPPERMINT OIL

Peppermint is a natural anti-bacterial and antiseptic. Peppermint also has natural cooling properties that will help sooth and reduce inflammation of the pimple.

HOW TO USE: Apply the peppermint oil directly to the pimple. Repeat up to 4 times a day.

 

 

17. BASIL

In 2006 The Journal of Cosmetic Science publish its finding on Basil as a treatment for acne. They found that sweet basil oil was very effective  in fighting the bacteria that causes pimples.  You can use the basil in various forms to gain the benefits of this natural antibacterial herb and get rid of pimples fast.

HOW TO USE: Steaming: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Remove from heat and add 2 drops of Basil oil (or a handful of crushed fresh Basil leaves). Lean over the steam at a comfortable distance so as not to burn your skin. The basil steam will open your pores and eliminate the bad bacteria.  Follow up with a cleansing mask or just splash your face with cool water.

BASIL TONER: Boil a small handful of crushed fresh basil leaves (or 4 tsps of dried basil) in approx 1 cup of water. Allow to boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Once cooled strain out the Basil leaves. With a cotton ball apply the Basil Tea all over the acne prone area. No need to rinse off.

 

 

18. GARLIC

As an anti-fungal, anti bacterial and natural antiseptic garlic is a great remedy for acne. Also garlic contain thiacremonon which has drying properties that will reduce the amount of oils that contribute to pimple production.

HOW TO USE: Peel and crush 3 or 4 raw garlic cloves.  Mix with 1 tbs of water. Apply this mixture to the acne area and leave on for 15 minutes or over night if you skin is not to sensitive. Wash off with warm or cool water and pat dry.

 

 

19. MINT

Mint is a great herb to get rid of pimples.  Mint fights infection and is a good source of vitamin A and C. Which will help to reduce the amount of oil production and assist in reducing or fading scarring.

HOW TO USE: Grind up 1/4 cup of fresh mint leaves in a blender, food processor or with a mortar and pestle. To bind the mint in to a paste for you skin, add either 1 egg white,  a small about of plain yogurt, or honey.  Apply the mint mask to you acne prone area leave on until it dries. Rinse with cool water and pat dry. Mint can cause a tingling sensation  or reaction for sensitive skin, so please test on a small patch of skin prior to using. 

 

 

20. ICE

Unlike most of the other pimple treatments on this list ice won't cure your pimple, but it does work fast as calming down the redness and swelling.  But when you reduce the size of acne you also help reduce how long it sticks around.

HOW TO USE: Place and ice cube in a clean cloth (never put ice directly on the skin as this can cause damage).  Apply the ice cube cloth wrapped in a cloth on to the pimple and leave in place for 1 minute. Take off the ice and wait for 5 minutes. Repeat.

 

 

21. ORANGE PEEL PASTE

Oranges, especially the peel, are high in vitamin C. Vitamin C is an antioxidant and will help reduce the redness and swelling associated with acne.

HOW TO USE:  Save the skin of a few oranges. Remove as mush of the the inside fibrous white part as you can. Wash the peels.  Then you need to throughly dry out the peels. You can do this either in a dehydrator for fast results, or on a baking tray in the sun if you don't mind waiting a few days. Once dries crush the orange peel into a powder. This can be done in a blender, food processor, herb grinder or in a mortar and pestle. In a bowl add just enough water to the orange powder to make  a paste. Apply the paste to a cleaned and wash area you wish to treat. Leave on for 20 mins, then wash off with cool water. Repeat daily.

 

 

22. BANANA PEELS

A natural antiseptic, high in vitamins A,B,C and E, Banana Peels are a great source to clear up all those pesky pimples.

HOW TO USE: Take a banana peel and cut in to 1 inch pieces. Cleanse the area you wish to treat.  Rub the inside of the peel on the affected area for approx 10 minutes.  When the peel turns brown switch to a fresh piece. Allow the skin to absorb the banana goodness for about 20 mins then wash the skin with warn water and pat dry.

 

 

23. BAKING SODA

Many people will add baking soda to a bath to calm irritations and rashes as will balance the skins pH levels, neutralizes acids and fights infection. These beneficial properties can also help with getting rid of acne. Baking soda can irritate your skin if used to often so we don't recommend this treatment every day. Once or twice a week is ok.

HOW TO USE: Mix 2 tbs of baking soda with just enough water to mix into a paste. Apply to the skin and leave on for 15 to 20 minutes. Wash off with cool water and pat dry. Apply a moisturizer as you don't want you skin to dry out to much as this in turn can cause more pimples to come up.

 

 

24. SANDALWOOD AND ROSEWATER


Sandalwood works to remove dirt and oils from you skin. It is also an antiseptic and an astringent that will help get rid of your pimples and prevent  future breakouts.  Rosewater has been used for generations to restore moisture to  the skin and sooth redness and inflammation. Together, the two create a perfect remedy to get rid of pimples fast.

HOW TO USE: Mix 1 part rosewater to 1 part sandalwood powder to for a paste. Apply the paste to washed skin and leave on for 15mins. Remove with a damp wash cloth and pat dry.

 

 

25. APPLE CIDAR VINEGAR

Apple Cider vinegar is a great at destroying the bacteria that causes pimples. It's and astringent  that will help to dry the oil from your skin and will help to restore your skins pH balance and get rid of pimples fast.

How to use: Mix 1 part Pure unfiltered apple cider vinegar with 3 parts of fresh water.  Was your face with clean warm water and pat dry. Use a cotton ball or other sterile material to apply the apple cider wash on to the pimple and leave for as long as possible. At minimum 10 minutes, but overnight is best. After, wash the area throughly.  Reapply several times a day. Remember to wash the area thoroughly after each application.

 

 

26. PINK HIMILAYAN SALT

As we all know from feeling dehydrated when we eat too much salt, salt will draw out moisture.  Salt is also used as a preservative as it will prevent bacteria from growing. These properties make it a popular remedy for acne.

HOW TO USE:  Mix a fine grain Pink Himalayan salt (or sea slat works too, just don't use table salt as it is missing most of its healing minerals) with and equal amount of warm water. If you only have coarse salt grind it in a food processor or with a mortar and pestle. Soak a face cloth with the salt mix and hold it to you skin for 5mins.(Salt in wounds hurts so avoid any cuts.) After rinse the area with warm water and par dry. If you skin fells to dry, apply a moisturizer.

 

 

27. EGG WHITES

Egg whites have amino acids and vitamin B, it is also an astringent and will absorb excess oils. Many people swear by egg white masks as a way to combat bad skin.

HOW TO USE: Whisk 3-4 egg whites until frothy (you can also add in a few teaspoons of lemon juice and honey for even more benefit). Wash the area with warm water and then apply the mask to that area.  Leave on until the egg whites have dried. Remove with warm water and a face cloth then pat dry.

 

 

28. ALOE

Its common knowledge that aloe is good for sun burns. But did you know that aloe is also good for cuts, scraps and pimples. Studies show that this amazing plant is an anti fugal, anti bacterial and also combats inflamation.

HOW TO USE: Apply aloe gel, either fresh from the plant or store bought, to the problem area.  Leave on for and hour or over night, then rinse off with warm water. Repeat regularly.

 

 

29. PAPAYA

Due to natural enzymes in Papaya (Alkalide capain) it will help to soften and and cleanse you skin. It will also help to reduce redness and inflammation.

HOW TO USE: Peel and deseed 1 fresh papaya. Mash up the the leftover fruit and apply a thin layer to your entire face as a mask. Left on until it dries then wash off with cold water and pat dry.

 

 

30. CUCUMBER

Cucumber is said is another beauty secret of Cleopatra. She would use it to help cleanse, moisturize and reduce redness on her skin.  This is because cucumbers are made up of 90% water cucumbers making them a good way to cleanse and hydrate you skin. The natural minerals and amino acids help to firm the skin and tighten pores. Besides being a great way to get rid of pimples, it has been said that cucumbers will also help to reduce wrinkles, what a bonus.

HOW TO USE: The easiest way to use is to apply  fresh cumber slice to the skin where you have acne. leave on for 20 mins then remove and wash the area with warm water, then with cold.

 

CUCUMBER FACE MASK: In a blender or food processor, add one peeled and cut up, 2 tbs of oats, 1 tbs of honey and 2 tbs of fresh lemon juice. Combine until it is a smooth paste.  Apply this to you skin and massage gentle to exfoliate dead skin and break up dirt and oils. Then leave on for 20 mins. Rinse with cool water and pat dry.

 

 

31. ZINC

A study out of Turkey has shown that in the patients studied that the severity of acne went up as the levels of zinc went down. Multiple other studies have shown that using a zinc supplement reduces acne in most patients.

HOW TO USE: It is recommend to take 30mg of elemental zinc each day.  You should read the label of you zinc supplement carefully. Zinc gluconate is not the same as elemental zinc. Approximately 200mg of zinc gluconate will yield about 30mg of elemental zinc. The actual amount of elemental zinc should be listed on the container.

 

 

32. ECHINACEA

A 2010 study conducted by  the University of British Columbia concluded that the anti bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of echinacea made it a viable treatment for acne.

HOW TO USE: Apply an echinacea tincture directly to the pimple 3 times a day and leave on. Reapt daily until the pimple disapears.

 

 

33. CHAMOMILE

Chamomile has been used throughout history for its beneficial healing properties. Most commonly used for a relaxing sleep aid. But did you know that chamomile also has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and will sped the healing of skin wounds.

HOW TO USE: Steep 4 tsps of dried chamomile in 8oz of boiling water for 3-5 minutes. Strain the tea and let it cool. Wash the infected area. Saturate a clean cloth in the chamomile tea and slightly wring out. Apply the compress to the area and leave on for 15 minutes. After gently  rinse the skin with cool water and pat dry.

 

 

34. FENNEL

As a natural antiseptic and anti inflammatory, fennel has been used for centuries as a natural skin cleaner and it combats the bacteria that causes pimples.

HOW TO USE: Steep 2 tbs of fennel seeds in 1/2 cup of boiling water for 15 minutes. Strain out the seeds. Add 1 tbs of the fennel water to 1 tbs of honey and 1 tbs of ground oatmeal.  Mix into a paste then aplly to the skin. Leave on for 20 mins. Rinse with cool water and pat dry.

 

 

35. YARROW

Yarrow is an antiseptic, and a natural astringent. USed externally a yarrow tincture will help you to combat the pesky pimples and prevent future out breaks.

HOW TO USE: Gently wash the skin area you wish to treat. Apply a yarrow tincture (see How to Make a Tincture) to the affected area. Let the tincture dry on the skin. Repeat daily.

 

 

 

** Disclaimer: Making home remedies is very easy, but remember that herbal remedies can be very potent and can interact with prescription medication. Herbal remedies should not be used without seeking the advice of your doctor. If you are suffering from any health issue lasting longer than two week we urge you to seek the advice of a qualified health professional. All information on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the recommendation from you health care provider. Please research and use common sense before using any home remedies**

How to Make a Tincture – Homemade Remedies

 

Making herbal tinctures is a simple and effective way to help boost your families health and wellbeing. I have multiple preparations that I use all year round to stave off flu's and colds, or to help when I'm feeling anxious or stressed out. Read below to learn how to make a tincture at home in just 5 simple steps

I first learned about tinctures and their benefits from my neighbour after I came down with a particularly nasty cold. When she learn how under the weather I was she rushed over with a tincture that she purchased from a local naturopath, she swore it would make be feel better. What can I say...it did.  With in 24 hrs I felt the cold shifting out of my body. This began my interest in the medicinal benefits of Herbs and plants.

At first I would buy all my herbal remedies online or at the local health store as I didn't feel confident in making my own. But the more I learned about herbs, plants and remedies the more I wanted to learn about making herbal tinctures myself.  Many of my friends felt the same way and so I thought I would share what I have learned not only with them, but with you too.

I hope you find this how to guide to making herbal tincture useful and informative.  If you feel we have missed out on some information about tinctures that you would like to know, please leave me a comment and tell me what you would like to learn.

WHAT IS A TINCTURE?

 

A tincture is a concentrated liquid extract made from plants. Through out history tinctures have been used as remedies for many health issues, from colds and coughs to insomnia and depression. Because the beneficial properties are so concentrated in the tincture form, a single dropper full is the equivalent of  of a whole cup of herbal tea. Tinctures are fast acting as they absorb quickly into the blood stream.

Making herbal tinctures is a simple way to , tinctures can stay viable for many years as the herbs are extracted in a high proof alcohol such as vodka or brandy. Alcohol free tinctures (extracts) can also be made with apple cider vinegar or vegetable glycerin, but they tend to be less potent than their alcohol cousins and have a lower shelf life.

Tinctures can be make from fresh or dried plants and, with or with out alcohol.  Below is the simple base Tincture recipe, by switching up and combining various plants and herbs you can make any number of remedies.

Need help deciding on what tincture or extract to make: for a complete list of recipes see  tincture recipes:



HOW TO MAKE A TINCTURE

What you'll need:

  1. A clean pint sized glass jar with a lid.
  2. Alcohol - at least 80 proof CONSUMABLE Alcohol such as vodka or brand.
  3. Alcohol alternative if desired (Apple cider vinegar, vegetable glycerin)
  4. Herbs, Plants, Bark and Berries (Fresh or Dried, grind or finely cut up, but not powdered)
  5. Small dark bottles for storage (preferably with droppers)
  6. Fine strainer - metal, cheese cloth or muslin
  7. Funnel
 

STEP 1:  CHOOSE AND PREPARE YOUR HERBS, PLANTS, BARKS OR BERRIES.
  1. Fresh plant materials such as leaves and flowers should be finely chopped or ground up. This can be done by  hand or with a grinder or a mortar and pestle.
  2. Fresh barks, berries, or roots can be gently rinsed if needed, but do not let them get become water logged, and should be finely cut or or ground.
  3. Dried plant materials should be finely cut up, but avoid turning into a powder as this will make it more difficult to stain out the plant matter later.

Not sure what herbs or plants to use, take a look at:

 
STEP 2: FILL THE JAR
  1. Fill the jar 1/2 way  for dried plants or 3/4 full for fresh materials.
  2. Fill the jar to where the lid ring starts with alcohol or the alcohol alternative.
  3. Screw the lid of the jar on tightly.
 

STEP 3: STORE AND SHAKE
  1. Label your jars with the date and tincture type. Leave them to process in a cool, dark space for approximately 6 weeks.
  2. Everyday for the first week give the jars a shake to mix up the liquid and the plant material.
  3. After the first week you can just let them sit for 6 weeks.
 

STEP 4: STRAIN AND BOTTLE (After 6 weeks)
  1. Strain the jars contents over a container using the sieve, cheesecloth or muslin. Squeeze all the liquid out of the herb materials, to get out all the liquid out you can. This left over plant matter can be discarded or composted.
  2. Using the funnel fill your small dropper jars almost to the top with the tincture liquid. Date and label your bottles and store away from direct sunlight.

 

Check out this great how-to video by Allison Martin from motherearthliving.com

DOSAGE AND USE

Tincture can be administered in a variety of ways, but always give the bottle a shake before using.  This is recommended as it is common for sediment to settle to the bottom and you want all the good things in the tincture to be evenly mixed through out.

Tincture can be taken directly as is or can be mixed into 2-6 ounces of water, or in a hot liquid like tea.

The most used dosage for tincture is a "dropperful" (also know as a squeeze). One dropperful or squeeze is the amount of tincture that is drawn up into the dropper when you squeeze the suction top once.  Depending on the dropper you use this will be about 30 drops or the equivalent of 1/5th of a teaspoon.

The usual recommend tincture dosage for adults is 2 droppersful 2-3 times a day. For children the recommend amount will vary on individual size and weight.  According to Naturopathic Doctor News and Reviews  you can determine the dosage for children in two ways : The Clark's Rule method or the Young's Rule method.

 
1) Clark's Rule (children 2-17 years):

(Childs weight/150lbs) x adult dose
Example for a 90lbs child, adult dose 60 drops
= (90/150) x 60 = 36 drops

 
 2) Young's Rule:

[childs age/(childs age +12)]x adult dose
Example for a 9 year child, adult dose 60 drops = [9/(9+12)] x 60 = 26 drops


See how easy it is to make herbal preparations at home. We hope you liked this guide on How to Make a Tincture.  If you have a home remedy you would love us to try? Share you favourites below.

For additional inspiration about Making Herbal Tinctures check out these other great resources we found on the web.


Wildernesscollege.com - Tincture Recipes: Making Home Remedies

Cleversurvivalist.com - Herbalism Tinctures
Mommypotamus.com- Valerian Root Tincture Recipe

 

** Disclaimer: Making Herbal tinctures is very easy, but remember that herbal remedies can be very potent and can interact with prescription medication. Herbal remedies should not be used without seeking the advice of your doctor. If you are suffering from any health issue lasting longer than two week we urge you to seek the advice of a qualified health professional. All information on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the recommendation from you health care provider. Please research and use common sense before using any home remedies**