Tag Archives: herbs

Do your research

Do your research

I do not suggest you learn about the safety of and uses for essential oils from novice. This seems to be the case with many home party givers. If you attend a home party please ask the background of the hostess to determine their knowledge and experience level. Find out how long they have study and used oils, and what sources they have used in their studies.

Just this week another customer was planning to purchase Oregano Essential Oil to digest. In the process of the sale she told me of her plan which she learned through a doterra representative to put 3 drops of oregano in a glass of water and drink it. She never said what she planned to cure with this practice, something she was reluctant to share. My response, “Oh my, I do not recommend that,” left her startled. And, once again I heard the, ‘my doterra lady said’ to put three drops in a glass a water and drink it. In regards to Oregano Essential Oil, doterra’s website actually says: “Internal use: Dilute one drop in 4 fl. oz. of liquid.”  However, I don’t agree with that either. Oil and water separate, and Oregano Essential Oil carries enough heat to burn your skin, mouth, and throat. I can not say what else it may burn on its way down. In the end, I lost the sale and the lady remained safe.

Two weeks ago a mother came to me that planned to put essential oils on the feet of her young infant baby for chest congestion; the infant appeared to weight about 10 pounds. She was asking me which oils to use and was considering eucalyptus and a few others known to have anti-bacterial properties. She also learned this at a home party. I quickly told her, “The only oil I am aware of that is said safe for infants is Lavender Oil and even that I recommend diluting heavily.” Again, another lost sale and a bewildered mother.

Whether you are using essential oils oresoucre books.jpgr dried herbs do your own research, use reputable resources such as, http://umm.edu/health/medical/altme, look at as many sources as possible to compare what is recommended and dilute, dilute, dilute!

Using Carrier Oils to Dilute Essential Oils

Using Carrier Oils to Dilute Essential Oils

Essential Oils and Carrier Oils are not the same. Essential oils are very potent, need to be used in very small amounts and in most cases need to be diluted before applying to the skin. Carrier oils, sometimes call base oils, are generally skin safe and can be applied to the skin in large quantity, such as in massage or as a moisturizer. Carrier Oils are used to dilute Essential Oils.

Essential Oils are pure in nature, steamed or pressed from various parts of the plant. Carrier oils may also be taken from plant life but are fatty oils rather than pure oil. Similarly, your carrier oils taken from plant life should be cold pressed or cold expeller pressed. Avoid oils that have been heated in the process or those that have been solvent extracted. Heated oils loose valued properties and nutritional values; they are often marked as “refined”. With solvent extraction you are exposed to whatever the solvent was that the plant was extracted into.

No need to search high and low, carrier oils can be found in your kitchen. Common kitchen oils such as olive oil and coconut oil are great carrier oils. However, remember to check the extraction method. Refined coconut oil will not give you the same benefit when applied to the skin as unrefined oil/cold pressed. Additionally, sunflower, almond, shea butter, jojoba, apricot, and avocado oil are excellent choices for use as carrier oils.

Oils both essential and carrier have their own characteristics and can be picked and matched to your personal needs. Some carrier oils are better for oily skin types, some are better for dry. Some oils are high in one nutrient while others are high in a different nutrient. For massage, some oils have a nice glide for while others will absorb quickly into the skin or may be hard to spread. You can become knowledgeable about the characteristics of individual oils with a little research. Start your research by knowing what your needs are and in what type of application or recipe you will use the oil. If all this is more than you care to know or invest time in, than just go to your kitchen cupboard and choose from what you have on hand.

Diluting and blending oils can be as simple or advanced as you would like to make it. Simply add a drop or two of essential oil to a teaspoon of carrier oil in the palm of your hand and apply. Or delve deep into blending and making your own personally targeted massage oils, lotions, creams, and soaps.

To better understand the nature of essential oils and carrier oils do this experiment:

Fold a paper towel into a long strip, drop one drop of several different essential oils and one drop each of several carrier oils onto this paper towel. Watch it over the next several days to see the results. Good quality essential oils should evaporate away while the carrier oils will remain and over time may become sticky.carrier oils.JPG

Using Sea Salts in Pickling Brines

Using Sea Salts in Pickling Brines

Replace Pickling Salt with Sea Salt in your pickling brine.
Sea Salt has more health benefits than processed salts. The concept behind pickling salt is that they are finely ground to allow them to completely dissolve into the brine. Accomplish this by purchasing a finely ground sea salt, or grinding your coarse salt with a mortar & pestle or electric spice grinder before use. An electric kitchen coffee grinder is great for grinding spices. Regardless of the salt and your method, simmer your brine until your salt is well dissolved.

For the brine, a solution of 5% salt is necessary if you are canning for shelf storage, you can decrease the salt if you are making refrigerator pickles. For shelf storage make sure you follow the necessary steps for proper home canning. I use the “USDA National Center for Home Food Preservation” site for all my home canning and freezing questions. http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/cucumber_pick.html

Here is a basic brine recipe:
12 cups water
4 cups white vinegar
2/3 cups pickling salt
Bring the brine to a rapid boil.

Essential Oils as Hand Sanitizers

Turn your liquid soaps (both dish and hand soaps) into a hand-sanitizer by adding a couple drops of Oregano Essential Oil. Start with an eco-friendly, non-scented dish detergent. I add 3 or 4 drops of oil per cup of liquid soap.

In the kitchen, this anti-bacterial soap not only sanitizes your hands, it also helps sanitize your dishes, sinks, and work space. I also use it for washing fruits and vegetables, be sure to rinse thoroughly.

If you are not fond of the smell of Oregano Oil, there are many other oils that would suffice, such as eucalyptus, lemongrass, orange, patchouli, and peppermint. I love the smell of Rosemary Essential Oil, so I use 3 drops rosemary oil and 1 drop peppermint oil per one cup of liquid soap, for my hand soaps at my restroom sinks. Visitors seem to enjoy it too.

by Pamela J Kramerhand sanitzer with oregano oil

The Abstract, “Antibacterial and antifungal activity of ten essential oils in vitro.” as posted at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8893526 states the following:

“The essential oils of aegle, ageratum, citronella, eucalyptus, geranium, lemongrass, orange, palmarosa, patchouli and peppermint, were tested for antibacterial activity against 22 bacteria, including Gram-positive cocci and rods and Gram-negative rods, and twelve fungi (3 yeast-like and 9 filamentous) by the disc diffusion method. Lemongrass, eucalyptus, peppermint and orange oils were effective against all the 22 bacterial strains. Aegle and palmarosa oils inhibited 21 bacteria; patchouli and ageratum oils inhibited 20 bacteria and citronella and geranium oils were inhibitory to 15 and 12 bacterial strains, respectively. All twelve fungi were inhibited by seven oils (aegle, citronella, geranium, lemongrass, orange, palmarosa and patchouli). Eucalyptus and peppermint oils were effective against eleven fungi. Ageratum oil was inhibitory to only four fungi tested. The MIC of eucalyptus, lemongrass, palmarosa and peppermint oils ranged from 0.16 to > 20 microliters ml-1 for eighteen bacteria and from 0.25 to 10 microliters ml-1 for twelve fungi.”

Microbios. 1996;86(349):237-46. Pattnaik S1Subramanyam VRKole C.

Author information    1Regional Medical Research Centre, (Indian Council of Medical Research), Bhubaneswar, India

 

 

Tumeric as a Tooth Whitener

I’m serious about trying this turmeric toothpaste suggestion for whitening teeth. I followed the recipe suggestions and used: 1 tablespoon coconut oil, 1 teaspoon turmeric root powder, and 2 drops of peppermint oil.
Day Two – Okay, I’ve used the turmeric toothpaste three times. I can report a very clean feeling, and maybe even some whitening. Beware, while it doesn’t stain your teeth it does stain fingernails. I’ll report on the whitening again next week.
Day Five – I said I would report back on the Turmeric Toothpaste blend (coconut oil, turmeric root powder, & salt) so here is what I learned: I feel there was some degree of whitening but ones teeth can only get so white and I am not a young puppy. However, a word of caution, I have two crowns, I am not sure what they are made of, probably porcelain or ceramic, they got really white so now they are whiter than my other teeth. This of course made me curious so I tried it on my tea cups and it was amazing at removing tea stains. Even more curious, I thought maybe it was just the coconut oil, but that did not work. Then, I tried it on my counter top but it left a yellow stain that I had to scrub out with a spray cleaner, don’t do that! And, remember, it stains fingernails. In the end, I do think it has value as a tooth whitener, and there should be some other good benefits beyond whitening. 2016-02-24 10.54.00

Stay Warm, Spice It Up

Everyone is talking about COLD, SNOW, & BLOWING WINDS. Facebook post are flooded with complaints and everyone I talk to has something to say on the subject. Even those who are winter lovers have had their fill of bitter cold. With spring still weeks away and the winds of March soon upon us, the need to warm up is still a topic of desire.

These spices and herbs can increase circulation and warm the body: ginger, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic, wasabi, and curry spice blends. Not only for cooking, many of them can be steeped for tea.

An old tradition is to put black pepper or cayenne pepper in your socks. However, beware, some say the cayenne heated up over time and produced skin burns. A better choice, essential oils diluted and used in massage also warm the body. We carry a large selection of warming essential oils.

Stay warm and see you at market.

The Art of Tea Blending

Upcoming Classes
September
The Art of Tea Blending
October
Making Herbal Remedies
November
Essential Oils in Daily
Additional details & online registration @ www.krameratmarket.com.

The Art Of Tea Blending facebook

 

Kramer at market website

Please check out my website www.krameratmarket.com.
From there you can email me. You can also view and print the complete shopping list. The shopping list is a list of all the products you will find at market. I plan to add a shopping cart that will allow you to order on-line. The shopping cart will give you the option to have your order shipped or to pick up at market. The shopping cart is still a month or so away. I will make another post when the shopping cart is ready for your use. In addition, you can access my facebook page and my pinterest from my website. You can also access my facebook page from the link above.
Thank you for your support and for your purchases. I hope to see you at market.

Everyone Needs Peaceful Sleep

We are not nocturnal. Our bodies function best when we get up with the sunrise, around 5:00 am. This puts a good bedtime at 9:00 or 10:00 pm.

Nightly Routine
A calming nighttime routine will prepare you both physically and mental for the task of falling asleep. Develop a routine of winding down that starts an hour or two before bedtime.

Calm the Mind
Purge your worries by keeping an evening journal that allows you to put life in perspective, include several positive things about your day. This can be as simple as a visit from your favorite outdoor bird. Look for things that brought a smile to your day. Enjoy a cup of you favorite calming tea. Then top it off with 10 or 15 minutes of light reading.

Herbal Teas for Relaxation and Sleep
My Favorite Choices: Lavender, Chamomile, Passionflower. Additional Calming Teas: Catnip, Lemonbalm, Valerian, St. John’s Wort.

Odd Market Days

Those market days right before a holiday are what I call “Odd Market Days”. Many of our regular shoppers don’t venture in on these odd days. They know the market mix will be out of the ordinary and the traffic count high. I always enjoy these days. They are an opportunity to meet new people; both locals who have a day off work and out-of-towners who are visiting for the first time or only come periodically when in town visiting friends and family.

The first timers are the best. They bring their cameras, taking pictures of the displays and market life. I enjoy their enthusiasm for what the market represents as well as what it has to offer. I often hear comments like, we don’t have anything like this where I live. And while Yorkers complain about the price of things we are often a bargain for those coming from up state New York or from the west coast.

The yearly repeat customers that show up on these days are happy to spout, “Remember me I was here last year”. These once a year shoppers are often ready to stock up on items they know won’t be available to them until their next trip back to PA.

The biggest business value from “Odd Market Days” is the opportunity to pick up new customers that will support you through out the year. These are those people that aren’t normally available to come to market on a Friday but find product and friendship that is worth seeking out through out the year. These people are one of the ways I grow my business.

So while some vendors don’t like these “Odd Market Days”; I see them as on opportunity to both grow my business and hear a few new stories. Recently, one of my yearly customer’s stocked up heavily on teas while stating, “You can’t buy teas where I live; the only beverages available are coffee and moonshine”.

I also love it when they buy your product because it has your name, city and state on it. These are souvenir gift and the purchasers of these gifts are proud to have found a local product to take home.  So, be it an “Odd Market Day” or just a regular Friday, “I look forward to seeing you at market!”

Each week at Market

Each week market brings new as well as repeat customers and interaction with market stand owners and market employees. Slowly, one week/one day at a time I follow their lives, their experiences and share in their gained knowledge. I generally wait on 40 to 60 customers a week and have conversation with another 20 or 30. I would think it fair to say I talk to 60 to 80 people in a market day. I met a young man recently that told me he had read that in a trip to the supermarket you have 3 to 5 personal encounters as opposed to a market shop where you can have 25 to 30. I spend very little time in supermarkets but I can attest to the market side of the equation. Each week I see both planned and chance meetings among friends and family. I witness hugs, laughter and even prayer amongst these chance meetings. Please come out and support the market it is a great tradition worth keeping. See you on Friday!

The Media and Your Health

Recently, I was asked if people are looking more to herbs, teas and natural supplements to address their health needs. I believe the more informed individuals have always done this. They are the advent readers, researchers and close to nature persons of our society. Recently however, the media has sent a wave of new people in search of natural cures for their ailments. I am sure that anyone reading this blog is aware of the, “Dr. Oz. said…” craze. While I believe he and other media avenues are influencing what people are buying, I also believe the need is being driven by a whole different avenue. Here is a list of some that come to mind, I am sure you could add to this list:

Cost of medical insurance
Lack of medical insurance
Lack to what medical insurance covers
High medical insurance deductibles and co-pays
Cost of prescription drugs
Side effects of prescription drugs
Disappointment in the results of drugs taken
And last but not least – Obesity and ill-health brought on by years of bad choices such as processed foods, fast foods and lack of exercise.

The problem I have when people ask me which herb or tea to consume for their illness is I believe there is no one magic cure. No one herb or tea will offset an array of bad choices. Lifestyle change is essential.

For all of you who are interested in getting back to nature in order to improve your health and well-being I suggest RESEARCH. Do your own research; there is no substitution for self-study. Only you know and understand the needs of your body. As you read you will find specific information that applies to your symptoms. You will be able to apply what is working or not working for you as well as what has worked or not worked in the past. When doing research avoid advertisers and websites geared toward selling products. Use sources like:
Smithsonian Handbooks
DK Publishing Books – http://us.dk.com/
Reader’s Digest Publications
wikipedia.com
botanical.com

%d bloggers like this: