Friday, August 24, 2012

Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) for Superpower Hair

Lots of teas are good for your hair, but one that excels is horsetail (Equisetum arvense). If you're looking to imbibe your hair with superpowers, this is your herb.

After I discussed horsetail during yesterday's Nappturalite Radio interview, which you can hear at the bottom of this post, I thought it'd be nice to give you the lowdown here on the blog. And if you're visiting for the first time, welcome! Glad to have you along!

So, how do you use horsetail? You can either drink it or wear it. Either way, it's prepared the same. I find that simmering it seems to bring out the most silica, which is what gives your hair shine and strength. Put a heaping teaspoon of horsetail per cup of water into a pan and simmer it for about five or ten minutes, or until the herb starts sinking to the bottom of the pan instead of floating like a bunch of grass trimmings. Turn off the heat and allow the tea to cool. Strain it well, especially if you plan to drink it.

Now you have two choices, remember? Drink it or wear it. If you prefer to drink it, you'll also be feeding your nails, your skin, even your connective tissue. It's a nutritive tea, so bottoms up! Feel free to drink it every day.

Wanna wear it instead? Take it to the shower with you. After you've washed your hair, pour it on and leave it. No rinsing it back out. You'll notice your hair is shinier and more manageable. You may also notice that water beads up on it! That's just the silica doing the water-off-a-duck's-back trick. (Silica's such a showoff.)

One last word before I leave you to make your tea: Make sure to get certified organic horsetail.  If it's not, you risk getting herb that's sucked up pesticides, even heavy metals, that may have been downstream from its watery home. So go for the good stuff. I like Frontier Bulk Horsetail Herb, Cut & Sifted, CERTIFIED ORGANIC, in the 1 lb. package. It's cheap, and a pound will last you till the cows (or the horses) come home.

Want to hear more about horsetail and other herbal teas for hair? Be sure to check out August 23rd's episode of Nappturalite Radio! You'll hear what else I and others have to say about the health benefits of tea for hair and beauty.

Let's Have Tea! Benefits of Tea & Aromatherapy 08/23 by Nappturalite Radio | Blog Talk Radio

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Nappturalite Radio Interview - I'll be There!

Nappturalite Host Dawn Yerger
Tonight, 08/23/12 at 7 p.m. EST, brew yourself a cup of tea and tune in to Nappturalite Radio online to learn about herbal teas and aromatherapy! I'll be discussing herbal teas for beautiful hair with host Dawn Yerger at about 8 p.m. EST. Can't make it to tea then? That's alright. You can listen online later or download the mp3.

Hope you can come! Keep up on the latest events, interviews, and book releases by subscribing to this blog or visiting me on Facebook. Or Twitter. I'm there, too. Pinterest? Yup. Goodreads, Shelfari, Amazon... No wonder I have jetlag!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

How to Control Allergies Naturally with an Herb that Would Otherwise Make You Sneeze

This time of year allergy sufferers aren't usually having much fun; if you're one of them, you may be wondering how to treat your allergies naturally with herbs. One of the more helpful herbs might surprise you. It's one of the big offenders. Ragweed.

No, this isn't a matter of homeopathic "like treats like." It's the pollen of ragweed (Ambrosia) that causes the allergies - not the rest of the plant. You can purchase ragweed tincture commercially, or you can send a friend out to gather and tincture it for you. The easy way to make a ragweed tincture via Simpler's method is to stuff a clean glass jar with everything but the root, then cover the plant in the purest, strongest grain alcohol you can get. Cover it tightly and wait for about two weeks. Then strain out the herb. (You can do this part; the pollen is too drunk to fly at you by then.) Whether you buy it or make it yourself, the dosage is the same: 20 to 40 drops up to 4 times a day.

You can prepare a ragweed tea, too. You'll definitely want someone else to collect the herb for you, then bundle and hang it until dried. Have them hide it far and away from you. Once it's dry, it can be crunched up and stored in a glass jar. Prepare a standard infusion of the tea by pouring a mugful of almost boiling water over a teaball of herb. Allow it to sit for about 15 to 20 minutes before straining. Drink about 1 or 2 ounces of it up to 4 times a day.

There's something slightly revengeful about combatting allergies by ripping up the offending plant and ingesting it, don't you think? Or perhaps ragweed doesn't really mean us all that harm and tries to make up for it. Either way, it's pretty cool, don't you think?

For more herbal goodness, be sure to check out my books on Amazon or Like me on Facebook, where I share remedies, random natural tips, and the occasional guffaw.

Friday, August 17, 2012

How to Make Your Own Homemade Natural Bugspray

While preparing for a trip to the woods, I decided it would be fun to share with you how to make your own homemade natural bugspray. If you have just a few essential oils, you can ward off biting, nibbling critters of all sorts. Except bears. You're on your own there.

Here's what you'll need:

A clean 4-ounce spray bottle
4 ounces distilled water
30 drops lavender oil
30 drops rosemary oil
30 drops sweet orange oil
30 drops spruce oil
A wee bit of vodka or grain alcohol, say, 3 or 4 squirts with an eyedropper

Mix this all into your spray bottle and shake vigorously before each application. You can reapply as needed. The best part? You won't have to inhale all those smelly icky-poo bugspray fumes. Nothing worse than heading out into the woods to inhale the fragrance of the forest and instead getting a DEET headrush. Okay, so this stuff definitely has a fragrance. But it blends in with the forest. And while you won't smell the stuff after a few minutes, the mosquitoes and biting flies definitely will. Word on the woodland path is they don't like it.

Now, you go enjoy preparing your own homemade natural bugspray, and I'll let you know later if I have to come up with a recipe for bear repellant.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Herbs Gone Wild! Ancient Remedies Turned Loose - in Print

I can't count the number of emails I've received from people asking me when Herbs Gone Wild! Ancient Remedies Turned Loose will go to print. Will it? Won't it? Why NOT? (Thanks especially to my dear friend Ann who keeps insisting it should be in print, and to reader Debra who wanted to send copies to Camp Fern, an incredible place for youth she told me about.)

Why not, indeed. You'll be happy to know that the print edition is in the works and should be out shortly. I'm keeping my fingers, toes, and eyes crossed in the hopes that it will be available for sale within a week. If you're as excited about this as I am, then - well, I'm sorry that you're losing so much sleep. But keep your face glued to this blog because it will be announced here the moment it's "Turned Loose" on Amazon -- at a reasonable price, I might add.

Thanks to all of you for your gracious input! It's always wonderful hearing from you, and the support for going to print has been much appreciated. And if you're wondering, Beauty Gone Wild, Hair Gone Wild, and Teas for Life will all be following into print within the coming months.

Not subscribed to yet? Please do! You'll be among the first to know when Herbs Gone Wild! Ancient Remedies Turned Loose turns to print.