We are thrilled to announce that 3Girls Holistic will soon be available at Motherhood Maternity stores nationwide!
Keep your eyes peeled for one of our new products, soon-to-be released Tender Tush Treatment, at your local Motherhood Maternity store! 3Girls Holistic’s Tender Tush spray is a soothing and healing combination of herbal extracts that provide relief for the discomfort associated with hemorrhoids and postpartum perineal swelling, inflammation, and wounds. Just spritz this 100% natural spray liberally to affected areas, to speed recovery of the perineum following childbirth and/or to help the healing process of hemorrhoids.
With the increasing problems associated with over-prescription of antibiotics, I believe that one of the most under-utilized solutions are herbal remedies for common ailments. Ear infections are the most common reason that children are brought to the doctor, and anti-biotic therapy is the most common prescription given to treat them. However, time and time again studies have shown that over 85% of ear infections are not bacterial related, which means that anti-biotics won’t do a bit of good.
So what do you do the next time your little love, or yourself for that matter, begins to complain of an earache? Reach for your natural remedy toolkit and treat it naturally!
Garlic, mullein flowers, and olive oil combine to make a powerful blend that not only eliminates the infection, but also relieves the associated pain. The medicinal use of garlic dates back over 5000 years. It is widely recognized as having antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal properties. It is one of my go-to measures during cold and flu season – swallowing a raw clove daily can do wonders at keeping illness at bay! Mullein is another of the oldest known medicinal plants and has been used to treat a wide array of illnesses. It is native to Europe, but now grows wild throughout the US. During summer months, you can cultivate your own, otherwise check out your local herb store, or a trusted online supplier such as Mountain Rose Herbs. Because Mullein flowers can sometimes be hard to come by, I recommend keeping a small amount on hand at all times for when the need for it arises.
What you’ll need:
- 2-3 tablespoons chopped garlic
- 2-3 tablespoons mullein flowers
- Extra virgin olive oil
- In a small saucepan or double boiler, combine the garlic and mullein flowers. Add just enough olive oil to cover the herbs.
- Warm over very low heat from 20-30 minutes
- Strain well – using either a fine mesh strainer or a piece of cheesecloth over a bowl.
- Store in a tightly sealed glass jar (make sure it is sanitized and completely dry before adding the oil)
- Keep in the refrigerator between uses
- Warm the oil to room temperature. This is best done in a teaspoon or small glass bowl (think ramkin) held over a stovetop burner or candle.
- Using a dropper, suction the oil and place 3-4 drops into the ear.
- Massage the outer ear and around the base after applying the oil
- Administer every 30 minutes or as often as needed.
- Keep a small cloth or paper towel near the ear to catch any excess oil that will naturally drain out on its own within a few minutes.
If you or one of your loved ones happens to come down with a cold or the flu, and an accompanying cough, you’ll be happy to have this simple recipe on hand to help soothe the throat and alleviate the bothersome cough. It’s a simple syrup, both in ingredients (most of us have them at home already), and in preparation. Can’t ask for more than that for an at home healing remedy!
Thymol, the volatile oil found in thyme, is antiseptic, antibiotic, and has expectorant properties. It is often found in conventional cough syrups. German medical herbalist Rudolph Fritz Weiss, M.D. says this of thyme: “Thyme is to the trachea (windpipe) and bronchia what peppermint is to the stomach and intestines”
- 1 Cup boiling water
- 2 tablespoons dried thyme or 4 tablespoons fresh thyme
- ½ cup raw, organic honey
- Pour boiling water over the thyme, cover and steep for 20 minutes
- Strain thyme out of the water
- Add honey
- Warm the tea over low heat to dissolve the honey, if necessary
- Store in a glass bottle with cap or cork
- Take 1 tsp as often as needed
* This syrup should keep for a several weeks if stored in the refrigerator, or other cold, dark location.
Herbal Syrups are likely the tastiest of all herbal preparations. They are concentrated herbal extracts that have been combined with honey, maple syrup, or other sweetener to give them a thick consistency and sweet taste. Kids love them, and because of that they are one of the best ways to prepare herbal remedies for children. Herbal Syrups also make great sore throat soothers and cough syrups. While somewhat time consuming to prepare (you have to wait for the liquid to reduce over low heat), they are easy and will save you quite a bit of money over store bought preparations.
To make an herbal syrup you will need the following supplies:
- Two ounces of dried herb (weight, not volume)
- 1 quart of water
- A medium-sized saucepan or double boiler
- Small-medium colander or strainer
- Medium sized bowl
- 1 cup sweetener of choice. Options include: honey (raw organic is best and most nutritious), succanut, agave nectar, maple syrup, or vegetable glycerin.
- A sterilized jar with a small neck and a good lid or cork. (You can often find lots of these at places like TJ Maxx and Ross)
- 2 tablespoons Brandy or Vodka (optional, to help preserve)
- Combine the water and herbs in a saucepan, and simmer over low heat until the liquid has reduced to about 1 pint.
- Using a small colander or strainer lined with cheesecloth, strain the herbs from the infusion over a bowl. Once the liquid has all seeped through, bring the ends of the cheesecloth together and squeeze out any remaining fluid from the herb. This ensures that you get all of the valuable properties out of the herbs and into the syrup.
- Pour the liquid back into the saucepan, and add the sweetener. Warm over medium heat until thoroughly mixed. If desired, you can simmer the mixture over medium heat for 20-30 minutes for a thicker consistency. However, this will cause some of the living enzymes found in honey to be killed off.
- Add alcohol, if desired.
- Remove from heat and allow the syrup to cool to room temperature.
- Pour into your bottle and label.
- Syrups will last for several weeks, often months, if refrigerated.
USING HERBAL SYRUPS
A dose of most herbal syrups is 1-3 teaspoonfuls, taken as needed. Take a spoonful of bitter syrup just before meals for best results. Take cough syrups as often as every hour.
If you don’t have a local herb store, I recommend the following online retailers for your bulk herb needs:
LOVE these pretty ways of growing herbs right in the kitchen! So pretty, simple, accessible and efficient!
Growing up, whenever someone in my house got a cut or scrape, my mom would get out the hydrogen peroxide and pour it on until the bubbles subsided. The only thing about her ways that made me think twice was knowing that the hydrogen peroxide was going to sting, but if it bubbled up, it meant it was dirty and in need of cleaning. Remember those good ol’ days?!
I kept up that tradition for quite some time thinking that my mom must have known what she was doing, so there wasn’t any reason why I should do things differently. Then one day I learned that while cleaning wounds with hydrogen peroxide isn’t bad, it doesn’t actually work very well as an antiseptic and the bubbles are really just something cool to look at, as opposed to any real indication of how dirty the area is (check out http://science.howstuffworks.com/innovation/science-questions/question115.htm for more info on that). It was around this time that I started experimenting with herbs and essential oils, and came across what is now the remedy that I turn to when someone in my household gets a cut or scrape.
To clean all cuts and wounds (unless very large or deep which would need medical attention) I grab an antiseptic solution of Witch Hazel and Melalecua (tea tree) essential oil. To make, simply add 6-8 drops of Melaleuca oil for every cup of witch hazel extract). If the area looks like it could use a really good cleaning, I turn to Dr. Kloss’s Liniment, which has been around for ages and is great, not only for cleaning wounds and soothing insect bites, but also for reducing inflammation of the muscles. To make Kloss’s Liniment you will need:
- 1 ounce echinacea powder
- 1 ounce goldenseal powder
- 1 ounce myrrh powder
- 1/4 ounce cayenne powder
- 1 pint rubbing alcohol
- Place the powders in a jar and cover with rubbing alcohol, leaving about a 2 inch margin above the herbs and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Place the mixture in a warm location and let sit for 4 weeks.
- Strain and rebottle. For external use only.
Nettle, or Stinging Nettle – Urtica dioica – is one of my favorite herbs. An all-around nourishing herb, it can be used as part of a daily approach to health. It has a high mineral content, and contains considerable amounts of calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and silicic acid.
Nettle has an affinity for the immune, circulatory, nervous, digestive and endocrine systems, as well as the respiratory and urinary tracts, working in a supportive role for all of the above. Because of it’s rich mineral content, it is of great benefit for anemic and undernourished individuals. It helps to relieve leg and menstrual cramps, likely due to its high magnesium content. Nettle is helpful in illnesses that involve excessive mucous, and can be used for asthma, edema, hay fever, and gout. For those with chronic illnesses, Nettle can be used long-term as a supportive and rejuvenating tonic.
Nettle has a pleasant taste somewhat resembling spinach. It is often combined with other herbs in a tea, but makes a nutritious palatable drink on it’s own.
As a plant, it is strong and bold, and prefers shade and well-drained soil. In the wild, it’s often found growing near creeks, where the water flows freely, ensuring that its roots don’t get bogged down in muddy ground. Nettle will spread its roots in all directions, allowing the plant to grow generously. In the home garden, it will do best in a semi-shaded area with plenty of water in a rich, well-drained soil. However, Nettle will help to enrich the soil herself if its not up to her standards already.
Caution: Due to its emmenagogic and abortifacient effects, excessively large doses are contraindicated in pregnancy. As a decocted tea or overnight infusion in normal doses, however, it is safe to be consumed by pregnant women. It is not recommended to use this plant raw, as it causes skin and mucous membrane irritation, thus the name Stinging Nettle. When cooked or dried, this irritating characteristic disappears.
There is no doubt that my 6 year old daughter is fancy! She loves clothes, fashion and makeup as much as I love herbs. I usually let her wear lip gloss, and figured we could combine our interests by making our own. We had a lip gloss/balm making party with her friends, and the results were wonderful. Happy kids, healthy and safe product, and fun memories.
- 7-8 teaspoons of oil – we used 4 of coconut and 4 of castor, but you can use any high quality base oil that you have on hand. (For a firmer consistency, use 7 teaspoons and for a softer consistency, use 8) *Castor oil on its own is great for a quick gloss if you don’t have anything else around.
- 2 teaspoons of beeswax
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 10-12 drops of essential oil of your choice (we used Tangerine, but you could opt for Peppermint if you enjoy a tingle)
- 2 drops pure vanilla (optional)
- 1 Capsule Vitamin E oil (optional)
- Warm the oil, beeswax and honey over low heat in a small saucepan or double boiler, stirring occasionally until melted.
- Remove from heat and add the essential oil, vanilla and vitamin E.
- Let cool slightly and fill the container of choice. We used 1/2 oz tins, but you can also use small glass jars, or empty lip balm tubes.
- Allow the balm to cool and harden, use and enjoy! To speed the cooling process, you can place the balms in the refrigerator.
I love botanical center pieces to dress up my table! Here are some easy and pretty ways to do just that.
In my lactation work, I see many mothers who struggle with low milk supply. One of my favorite herbs to use to help increase milk supply is Shatavari. In Ayurvedic medicine it is considered the most important rejuvenating tonic for women, and is said to nourish and strengthen the reproductive system. It has an affinity for the female reproductive tract and is used to help with sexual debility, infertility, and as a hormone balancer. Because it supplies numerous steroidal precursors – the building blocks for the production of sex hormones – it is a great option for menopausal women.
Overall, it is a very soothing, nourishing and detoxifying herb. Due to its demulcent qualities, it is very helpful for dry, inflamed mucous membranes throughout the body. It is used in the treatment of irritated conditions of the urinary system and respiratory tract, gastritis, peptic ulcerations, hyperacidity, diarrhea, dysentery, chronic fevers and herpes. It is also calming, and can be used to help relieve anxiety and stress. Painful swollen joints and muscle tension can benefit from its external application.
Traditionally, it is prepared as a milk decoction with ghee, raw sugar and honey.