nutrition & supplement info

Myths & Truths About Sugar In Herbal Preparations Causing Immune System Depression

April 15, 2015

Myths & Truths About Sugar In Herbal Preparations Causing Immune System Depression | Growing Up Herbal | Today I'm exploring if using sugar in herbal preparations really depresses the immune system.

As Mary Poppin’s song states, “Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down… in the most delightful way!”

Yes, it’s true that sugar does make medicine taste better (prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal), but it’s also been shown to drastically inhibit the immune system when consumed in large amounts.

With that being true, why then do so many herbalists suggest using sugars (even natural ones like honey and maple syrup) in herbal preparations? After all, aren’t herbs supposed to be beneficial to the body? Why would you combine something good for the body with something bad for the body?

This is something I’ve often wondered so I decided to do some research and see if I could come up with an answer… or a least one that would suffice for the moment. Here’s what I’ve found!

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using herbs & essential oils

Using Herbs: Herbal Syrups, Honeys, And Oxymels

April 8, 2015

Using Herbs: Herbal Syrups, Honeys, & Oxymels | Growing Up Herbal | Today I'm talking about the sweeter tasting herbal preparations. How to make and use them, and so much more!

Well here we are at the final post in the How To Start Using Herbs blog series. These posts have spanned 2 1/2 months with 14 posts total covering the basic things you need to know to help you get started using herbs.

Today we’ll be talking about herbal syrups, honeys, and oxymels. What they are, how they’re used, and how to make them. We’ll also be talking about how how you can make these preparations more shelf-stable as well as the big question of whether it’s a smart move to be giving kids herbal medicines that contain sugar.

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using herbs & essential oils

Using Herbs: Herbal Tinctures, Glycerites, And Vinegars

April 1, 2015

Using Herbs: Herbal Tinctures, Glycerites, And Vinegars | Growing Up Herbal | Learn all about herbal tinctures, glycerites, and vinegars in today's How To Start Using Herbs post!

When I first started learning about and using herbs, my idea of herbal medicine centered around the use of herbal tinctures for everything.

Not only was I trying to fit herbs in a box (as you learn more about herbs you’ll find that they do NOT fit into boxes), but I was limiting them in so many ways. Besides that, I had no idea how herbs really worked, and when I didn’t get the results I thought I was supposed to be getting it was frustrating. As I’ve said many times in previous posts, herbs themselves aren’t going to “cure” your problem. They gently assist the body in healing itself. Basically, they give the body little nudges to get itself back to normal. I hope I’m making sense.

Now if you too have thought the same thing about herbal medicine, today’s post is for you. Today I’m going to talk about herbal tinctures, glycerites, and vinegars. I’ll be talking about the differences in these preparations, what they’re used for, how long they last, and of course, how to make them. 

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March Book Club Review: French Kids Eat Everything

March 30, 2015

March Book Club Selection: French Kids Eat Everything | Growing Up Herbal | This month we're tackling the subject of picky eaters. Get the book, read it, and join us for the review at the end of the month!

If you deal with picky eaters, young and old, at your house, French Kids Eat Everything may be for you. It was written by Karen Le Billon, wife, mom of two daughters, Professor at the University of British Columbia, and a Rhodes Scholar with a PhD from Oxford. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including the New York Times, Guardian, Sunday Times, Observer, and Huffington Post, as well as being featured on Good Morning America.  

Karen tells the story of how her family moved to France to spend a year in her husband’s hometown. What she didn’t expect was that her family, including two picky daughters, would completely change the way they ate.

Although her memoir is very entertaining, the 305-page book is broken down into ten chapters that cover Karen’s 10 French Food Rules in depth.  I’ll list them here and give my quick thoughts, but you must get the book to unpack them. You will want to explore these rules further! 

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using herbs & essential oils

Curious About Using Essential Oils With Your Kids? A Q&A With Plant Therapy About Their KidSafe Synergy Line

March 27, 2015

Plant Therapy Q&A About KidSafe Synergies | Growing Up Herbal | Finally a line of essential oil blends specifically for kids! Come learn more about KidSafe Synergies in today's Q&A post!

Let’s rewind back to about 5 years ago. When I first started using essential oils as a part of my natural medicine toolbox, I went about it all wrong. You see… I started using the oils before I really knew a whole lot about them.

Sure I knew which oil to use for which ailment and to put a certain number of drops in a certain amount of carrier oil, but honestly, that’s about it. I knew nothing about the different methods that can be used with essential oils, about blending the right oils together to create powerhouse synergy blends, or about safely using these concentrated oils on myself and my kids other than not using them straight on the skin.

You see, I was like many natural mamas today. I was trying to avoid toxins and meds and go with something natural, and instead of learning about this particular option myself, I blindly went along with what other people told me about it. Plus, it was natural, and natural means safe, right?

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using herbs & essential oils

Using Herbs: Herbal Salves and Creams

March 25, 2015

Using Herbs: Herbal Salves and Creams | Growing Up Herbal | Learn how to make herbal salves and creams as well as how to use them in this Using Herbs post!

If you search the internet for herbal remedy recipes, you’re sure to find many herbal salves show up in the search results. You’ll probably also notice a few creams or lotions mixed in as well.

So what exactly is an herbal salve, how does it work to bring healing to the body, and how do you make one yourself? How does a cream differ from a salve? And when should you not use an herbal salve or cream on the skin?

These are the questions I’ll be answering in today’s Using Herbs post.

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