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Sunny Dandelion

imageAbout a month ago our sweet lab mix Snow had reconstruction surgery on her knee and has been sidelined from play time so I have to walk her everyday. It gives me a chance to stroll across our land taking time to appreciate its beauty and to see what’s new. Today I spotted a familiar sight, one that has been gone from the landscape for some time, Dandelions in bloom! We had a few warm days after the bitter cold and I’m sure the plants decided to make an appearance to remind us that spring will be here before we know it.

Dandelions always remind me of my childhood, we had them growing everywhere, and of the times spent with friends making wishes before releasing their seeds to the wind. The magical time when we ran around and played until dark, not a care in the world, enjoying all that life threw at us. It’s sunny yellow petals are such a great sight to see and always brings a smile to my face.image

As I grew older I started to understand the power of such a wonderful weed and hate when others try to eliminate it from their yard. This tiny yellow blooming plant does wonders for the human body, I wish everyone would let them be!.

So let’s talk about the mighty Dandelion. Did you know that Dandelion is rich in beta-carotene, vitamin C, fiber, iron, potassium, and calcium just to name a few. The root can be used in teas or roasted and used as a coffee substitute, the greens can be eaten raw in salads or sautéed or steamed in casseroles, Quiche etc.

This lovely plant can help with:
Improve liver function
Cancer (study after study shows it may slow cancer growth and prevents it from spreading)
Help regulate blood sugar and insulin levels
Help inflammation
Strengthen the immune system
Promote eye health
Aid in weight loss

The good news is you can find Dandelion in some grocery stores (I have seen it in Harris Teeter) the bad news is that most of the dandelion you see in playgrounds, on roadsides or yards have been exposed to toxic chemicals. So unless you know that the land is organic don’t use any of the plants you find there.

As always there are some precautions and possible side effects when using this plant. It can cause diarrhea or upset stomach so introduce it slowly into your diet to make sure your system can tolerate it. Dandelion is a member of the Asteraceae family so if you are allergic to chamomile, ragweed, sunflower or Echinacea you could be allergic to dandelion as well. Also use caution if you are on any blood thinners, diuretic medicine or have gallbladder issues.

So the next time you see sunny Dandelion show up in your yard pay homage to this lovely weed!

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Amazing Mushrooms

Let’s talk about mushrooms!

While walking on our property months ago I ran across a large patch of Trametes versicolor or Turkey Tail. It’s usually very easy to spot with it’s striking colors and turkey tail shape. But did you know how wonderful this mushroom really is?

imageResearch has proven that turkey tail has several beneficial and healing properties so let’s talk about a few of those.

  • Has antioxidants that can help inhibit or reduce damage caused by imbalances in the system that lead to inflammation and cellular damage. One study showed over 35 different phenolic compounds in a sample of turkey tail extract.
  • Turkey tail contains immune boosting agents that help strengthen your immune system.
  • Research has shown that using turkey tail extracts in combination with chemotherapy extends survival rates in cancer patients. The mushrooms are thought to have antitumor properties that can inhibit the growth of certain cancer cells.
  • Can keep your gut healthy because the mushroom contains prebiotics which helps enhance the growth of beneficial bacteria.
  • Researchers are now conducting tests on turkey tails ability to reduced blood sugar levels for type 2 diabetics and improving athletic performance.

There are a few reported side effects from using Turkey Tail in combination with chemotherapy such as nausea, gas, vomiting and the darkening of fingernails. Overall the research on this mushroom has proven very positive and successful. I’m sure they will continue to find more amazing benefits of this wonderful medicinal from nature.

How can you incorporate it into your life? Turkey tail is one mushroom I would not recommend eating because the taste is well yucky! You can add the mushrooms to any broth you are making, can take it in capsule form, or take it in tincture form. Please do not consume any mushroom unless it has been verified by an expert to indeed be what you think it is. While most are harmless some can cause extreme diarrhea or even death.

So the next time you see Turkey Tail on the trail you will indeed know it’s power!

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Tis The Season

stock-photo-christmas-lantern-on-snow-with-fir-branch-in-evening-scene-734835814 copy

It’s the time of year when we need to put ourselves in “time out”! All the stress and craziness of the season leaves us worn down with head spinning so it’s OK to find a quiet corner and spend a few moments just breathing. Listen to the sounds around you, your breath, calm the to do list in your head and just be!

I love sitting by my Christmas Villages (yes I have multiple villages) at night with the lights on, seeing the twinkle of the tree nearby, thinking of the simplicity of the old ways where family, friends, song, good food and drink were most important. Somehow we have let the “things” take over the season. Our family has cut back on some of the “things” the last few years and have brought back a few of the older traditions, which makes for a more relaxing and memorable holiday. What traditions would you like to include this year? What “things” can you do without?

However you celebrate the holidays remember to stop and be thankful for the year you were given, to take time to be with family and friends, and above all just be in the moment!

Happy and safe holidays to all from my family to yours.

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Happy Winter Solstice!


Today is the shortest day of the year and signifies the return of daylight. I have spent the day reflecting on the bounties of the year and what I wanted to release and be done with. Sometimes letting go of what no longer serves you is hard, taking a long hard look at where you are and what has been holding you back takes work. If you can release to the world the ideas, habits or thoughts that limit you it can be liberating! Take time out tonight and reflect and decide what needs to be gone from your life.



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Herbal Flu and Cold Relief


I have been waiting on this tincture to be ready for what seems forever and just in time for cold and flu season! If you are not familiar with tinctures think of them as natures medicine. Before big pharmaceutical companies existed humans relied upon herbal based medicines to help them heal and feel better. So many of the herbs, plants and flowers that you are familiar with have tremendous healing properties and it’s easy, but time-consuming, to harness those benefits.

Making a tincture is one way to make herbal medicine that can be used instead of over the counter medication for headaches, upset tummy, colds and flu just to name a few. Of course always check with a doctor before taking any medication to insure you are correctly diagnosing the problem. A tincture can be made with fresh or dried herbs and plants, can be made with 90-100 proof alcohol and must sit for around 4-6 weeks minimum before use.


This particular tincture was made with Tito’s Vodka, Echinacea, Thyme, Rosemary and other beneficial herbs mixed together in a mason jar, blended with cold and flu symptoms in mind. It’s been about 7 weeks since I made this blend and will strain it and prepare it for usage.

Echinacea is known for its helpful properties when it comes to colds. It builds the immune system, helps with upper respiratory issues, and reduces pain. Rosemary helps detox the body, reduces pain and inflammation, improves mood, protects against infection and is rich in iron and vitamin B-6. Thyme helps prevent fungal and viral infections, improves mood and supports good respiratory health and breathing. Other herbs used will help strengthen the immune system, fight inflammation, and will boost antioxidants in the system.

Can be taken daily but is used short term, just for cold and flu symptoms. It is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women, young children, or those with high blood pressure. Herbs are powerful medicine when used correctly!

* Disclaimer, I am not a medical doctor, nurse or other licensed health care professional. I’m just giving you my knowledge of plants and herbs.