Sharon Hubbs-Kreft, Herbalist - Amazing Grace Herbals LLC

  (Keyport, New Jersey)
Mother Earth Recommended . . .
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Last Day of the Calgo Gardens Farmers Market Sale!

Last day of the Calgo Gardens Farmers Market –             Friday,   September 4th      11:30am – 4:30 pm

 

Mention this blog and receive 20% off all teas and tinctures and 10% off all natural soaps, lotions, candles, herbal vinegars, herb gifts and herbal culinary spices

 

If you would like a special order, please email me at wintersaurora@yahoo.com and I will be happy to bring it to the market so you can receive the discount.

 

To view a full line of my remedies, please visit www.localharvest.org/store/M10524 - this offer does not apply to online purchases – or email me for a print list. I also special formulate so if you would like something blended, please let me know.

 

Thanks for a great season and hope to see you again next year! I also have the soaps and lotions available through the winter and also offer holiday gift baskets.

 

Peaceful Blessings and warm greetings for the autumn and winter season ahead!

 

 
 

Natural remedies for teething infants

A teething baby and toddler can be more then a handful (trust me!) and I wanted to share some natural suggestions to help relieve pain from your little one as well as help yourself to de-stress.

When a baby firsts starts to teethe, there are tell-tale behavioral signs and changes. Most times babies will chew their hands or put anything they can find in their mouth as well as rub their gums on objects you would rather they stay clear of. Many babies will also drool, this is from the excess saliva to help the new tooth break through the gum. However, there are other signs too like diarrhea, diaper rash, fever and restlessness. I can tell you our daughter was the later, she never drooled but she pooped like crazy and was very restless.

Most pediatricians will encourage you to reach for the baby Tylenol and give it as needed. This may be necesary if your little run in running a mild fever but in most cases you can ease the irritability naturally. I will mention if you child does have a fever and it is over 101 and lasts for more then a few days, PLEASE contact your provider to be sure it is not something else like an infection or illness.

Chamomile Tea has been used in my family for years, especially for teething. You can use Chamomile alone by making a infusion of the flowers and giving it in a bottle or juice cup. Chamomile is gentle addition to many natural fruit juices for older infants and can also be made into ice cubes or popsicle sticks for molar pushing toddlers and for a great summer treat. Chamomile is used for its nervine properties and can bring relief to a restless body.

When the irritability is getting to you and you feel there is nothing more to do, you can add Catnip to the Chamomile. I offer this blend here in my Local Harvest store. "Catnip Tea". Catnip is also a nervine and can also help reduce a fever. This what I was given when I was a baby and this what we gave our daughter. It is very gentle on the system and can help balance the overall child so to say. You would blend both herbs and infuse them. You can also freeze this into chips and popsicles.

Another option is to freeze a cloth either dipped in water or dipped in Chamomile or Catnip/Chamomile. This is great for babies as there is less fear of choking. It will keep baby busy will numbing the gums and if you infuse the herbs you will giving a little bit more to aid in the teething process.

I would also freeze veggies and fruits like apples, broccoli, grapes, carrots, blueberries, strawberries, watermelon, cucumbers, mango - basically any fruits or veggies I had around. When our daughter was a wee little one, I would add the veggies/fruit to a mesh bag and let her explore. She loved every flavor and again, numbed her gums in the process. As she got older, we eliminated the mesh bag and let her "enjoy" the frozen produce, meaning, basically, she was covered in juice as the produce melted!

Teething rings are great, especially the ones you can freeze. We found the fruit and veggies to work a little better but each child is different and you may come up with you own ways to help.

There are homeopathic remedies that work great too - Hyland's offers a topical teething gel which was fabulous. You can apply the gel to the gums and it works as good (if not better) then the conventional, alcohol based/benzocaine topicals. This worked well until our daughter got older and wanted to bite down on your finger to ease the pain but when she was a baby it worked great. Hyland's and Humphrey's also make homepathic teething pellets. These are phenomenal as well. They are safe for use as needed and one of the ingredients is Chamomile. For babies, you would have to dilute the pellets in water but for older babies and toddlers they can be given as direct oral. Our daughter loves Humphrey's "Very Berry" teething pellets.

I also offer Rosehip Syrup. My Grandmother always had this handy for when a friend or relative had a teething infant. Rosehips are loaded with Vitamin C which also boosts immunity and helps the body overall while it is preparing for new teeth. A child's immune system could be lowered due to the effects of teething and it is important to not forget the immune system.

Once the new little teeth have erupted be sure to exercise good oral care and take good care of those pearly whites. Brush them atleast twice a day and after a meal, even the first teeth can be cleaned with a finger brush, and try not to let your little one go to sleep with juice, milk or formula as the sugars from these drinks can lay on teeth as the child sleeps and can promote tooth decay. Of course, if you see any odd spots or strange marks on your little ones teeth be sure to contact the family dentist and have them take a look - an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

Enjoy your little one, everyday is a blessing and the adage is true, children do grow like weeds herbs!

Peaceful Blessings!

 
 

Herbs in danger of extinction

I have composed a list of herbs most in danger of extinction. Many can be found locally in nurseries and garden centers while other are protected by local preservation societies. If you happen to see one of these herbs (some may be found in the perennial section of your garden center), please take a look and try to grow it. If the herb is local to your area it may prosper and you can take great pride in knowing you are helping to preserve the future of one of the Earth's most precious healers. Some parts of the plant may be toxic to harvest unless you consult the help of an Herbalist, healer or educated gardener but nonetheless you will be greatly helping the cause!

American Ginseng - Arnica - Black Cohosh - Bloodroot - Blue Cohosh - Echinacea - Gentian - Goldenseal - Eyebright - Helonias Root - Lady's Slipper - Lomantuim - Oregon Grape - Osha - Partridgeberry - Slippery Elm - Sundew - Trillium - Yerba Mansa

If you should research these herbs and know what you are looking for and see it growing wild, please do not wildcraft - leave it be and pray it will spread it seeds.

For more information on herbs in danger of extinction you can visit the United Plant Savers website for more information as well as for a more in-depth list.

Many blessings and if you have any questions or would like to harvest one of the above herbs and would like to know how to use the whole plant, please contact me, I will be more then happy to help.

Peaceful Blessings!

 

 
 

Herbal Ice Cubes

We all try to use as many fresh herbs as possible but what happens when you are left with a small amount and not enough to make your favorite dish? Or how about when you use almost every leaf off the stem but have not even a handful left and you know if you leave it in the fridge it may die or shrivel up in the veggie drawer? Very easy, make herbal ice cubes!

Fill an empty ice cube tray with whatever leftover herbs you have whether it be for cooking, baking, salads or whatever you are using them for. Top off the tray with either water or vegetable broth. I like using the vegetable broth on all culinary and aromatic herbs that you would use for sauces, saute's, soups and baked dishes. I use water when I am freezing herbs like Mint for example which can easily be added to a fresh glass of sun tea.

Once the cubes have frozen, remove them from the tray and store is a resealable food storage bag and be sure to label the bag. Once the herbs freeze, they tend to look alike and you won't know exactly what are using unless you slightly defrost it.

All herbs can be frozen in this way; this is such a special treat in the winter months when you are craving for some fresh cilantro to add to your broth, basil to add to your sauce or just a pinch of sage for your butternut squash soup!  I have also froze many mints as well as lemon balm, lemon verbena, dill, caraway leaf, fennel leaf, sage (I use organic chicken broth to freeze), salad burnet (I use water to freeze and then add it to a homemade ranch dressing recipe), scented geranuims (great for baking, use water to freeze), pineapple sage (fabulous in iced tea, use water to freeze), chives . . . well, now that I think about it, I have frozen in cubes almost every single herb I grow  . . . and that's lot's and lot's and lot's!!!

Enjoy harvesting and happy preserving!

Peaceful Blessings!

 
 

Flower Scented Sugar

I made my last batch of flower sugar last week when my lilacs were in final bloom. I love "lilac sugar", it has such a unique flavor and can really add a twist to some common dishes and drinks. I espcailly like to add it to Green tea or Jasmine flower tea.

You can make all types of flower sugars with edible flowers like violets, lilacs and roses; just make sure the flowers are orgaincally grown with no chance of them being misted with any type of insectide.

My 2 year old daughter was so excited to make the flower sugar with me this year that I had to share this simple recipe. Children love to interact in the kitchen and especially with this project they can really get involved wihtout getting too messy or without ingesting too many goodies!!

Flower Scented Sugar Recipe

2 cups granulated sugar (I use organic sugar in the raw)                           1 cup violet, rose or lilac petals, gently crushed to release aroma

Combine the sugar and petals in a glass container (washed spaghetti jars work great for this), shake well as to evenly distribute the petals. Cover the jar and let it sit at room temperature for about a week; don't leave it near the stove where it could warm it up and increase melting. After a week or so, sift the sugar to remove the flower pieces (I actually leave the flower pieces in if I am using a dusting of sugar for a cake or brad topping - people are amazed that they are eating flowers!). Enjoy the delicious scent and store the sugar in the same glass jar. You can substitute the flower sugar for any plain sugar in any recipe for cookies (sugar cookies are very yummy), breads, plain cakes (angel food cakes are tasty too), jams/jellies or syrups.

This can get addicting and you will be so sad when you use the last of your flower scented sugar that you will want to rush the year by to make more.

Flower Garnish

I like to be creative and when most people see flowers on a plate they will not touch them at all, so how do you get your friends to try something new? Easy, fool them into thinking the flower is a sugar garnish!!! Violets work best for this  . . . pick fresh organic violets, use a small craft brush and lightly coat the petals with egg white and dip into crystal sugar. You can shake off the extra so it doesn't look caked on. Heat your oven to about 250F and bake petals for about 8-10 minutes or until you see the leaves start to wilt. Ovens and temperatures vary so it may be a little trial and error until you get the timing perfect for your oven. Garnish as you like!

A family friend always did this in the spring and it was so magical to see the flowers coated with sugar - they looked like tiny dew drops on the petals, I use to call them fairy tears when I was a child and still do today!!!

Happy harvesting your petals and happy cooking!

Peaceful Blessings!

 
 
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