Diet, rest, hydration are just the start of preventing colds, coughs, and the flu. But what happens when you catch that virus going around? Natural herbal medicines are a great way to try and help those symptoms out at home when they are in their earliest stages.
In last week's post (Tools for Preventing Coughs, Colds, and Flu Part I), we chatted about the Coronavirus along with ways to prevent getting viruses, including the common cold and flu. This week it is time to dive deep into the types of herbs that one might find helpful in preventing coughs, colds, and flu along with those that are helpful after catching them.
The Coronavirus is topping all of the headlines this cold and flu season. As of the date of this post, there has been a reported 7,700 cases and 170 deaths.
The fear of this unknown virus is causing panic among the nation and worry and concern amongst caregivers, especially mothers. We have had people asking us what herbs might prevent catching viruses should they come to our area.
Not only is the Coronavirus a concern but also the usual run of cold and flu season. Interestingly enough, the Coronavirus has very similar symptoms to cold and flu symptoms.
Here is something that may surprise you, though!
It's that time of year where the stores start stocking up on roses and other flowers. Boxes of chocolate begin to line the shelves. St. Valentine's day is only a little over a week away.
While St. Valentine is remembered by the giving of gifts and notes to those we love, this month is also American Heart Health Month. Those roses and chocolate not only bring smiles to our faces as physical proofs of love, but they also have medicinal effects on the body as well.
I don't know about you, but I'm always happy to find out more good news about my favorite herb, chocolate. Are you ready to read all of the reasons that you SHOULD be eating more chocolate?
The morning is very dark this time of year, the air is crisp, and there are weather reports of snowstorms and possible storms coming our way. Nothing feels better on the throat and in the hands than a warm cup of tea. If you are a tea drinker, that is.
'Tis the season for gifting and what in the world to get the loved one or friend or co-worker in our life who loves herbal teas?
Herbal teas can really be their own 'monster' because they really are so much different from black or green teas. They steep for a different time, and they come in so many different flavors! They are caffeine-free, and so the motivations for drinking them are usually different than drinking black or green tea.
The question really is, though, do herbal tea drinkers need different gifts from black and green tea drinkers?
The family has gathered around in a warm cozy house, and the smell of food is wafting through the air. The kitchen is all hustle and bustle, and tasty appetizers are awaiting.
Veggie trays, olives, cookies, fudge, chips, and cream cheese dip with chips.
When it comes to a holiday dinner, though, there was one dish that always completed the festivities, and these holiday gatherings wouldn't be the same without it.
The only bad news is that this favorite was filled with red dye and processed sugars.
Growing up on Sunday's for both my Farmer and I meant Sunday breakfast was a little different from the rest of the week. While I was use to pancakes, my Farmer loved his mom's coffee cake.
Before realizing I had a sugar allergy I remember going to his parents for Sunday breakfast and having his mom's coffee cake. It really was a favorite.
Then we dived into the world of whole foods and that coffee cake just wasn't a treat that I could have any more.
One recent Sunday I asked the Farmer, "What would you like for breakfast?" He replied, "Coffee Cake!" with a twinkle in his eye, knowing well that there was usually so much sugar in coffee cake that I would never make it.
I'm always up for a good challenge though!
Quiche is a quintessential tea time recipe, but what really makes these special is that they are tiny and bite size. The dangerous part is that they are so yummy it might seem like you didn’t eat many with their delicate size and impressive flavor.
A good maple sausage really pairs well with the comforting earthiness of the sweet potatoes. These tiny quiches also freeze well and can be ready in a toaster oven in a matter of minutes. Make them in bulk so you can stock up and have them on demand. They also work great for a quick breakfast on the run.
Nothing says October like pumpkin spice, am I right?
Did you know that the spices in pumpkin pie spice are the perfect blend of medicinal goodness for fall? Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and cloves. Not only are most of these herbs anti-viral and anti-bacterial, but they are also considered catalysts or movers in the herbal medicine world. They get the blood a-moving, along with the lymph. They warm you up and keep things flowing. They are the movers and the shakers of the spice world.
So, for all of you "pumpkin spice everything" fans, you now have another reason to love on your pumpkin spice. The recipe we are sharing today is no different and in addition to pumpkin spice, we are adding the very loved flavor of chai. The two together are a dangerous combo and then add them to this real, whole food, muffin recipe and you have some fabulous fall deliciousness!
Can you guess what the top two scone flavors are amongst tea drinkers?
As a business owner that makes and blends tea for a living, one could can imagine I'm in quite a few different tea groups. When I polled all of these groups to see what their favorite treats were, to eat with their tea, they came back with a two resounding answers.
Lavender Lemon Scones and Orange Cranberry Scones.
We decided we had to take these traditional and popular scone flavors into our farm kitchen and give them a little real, whole food make over. The result was fabulous! So fabulous we decided we would share it!
Happy Fall Ya'll!
Did you just discover the largest zucchini you have ever seen hiding in your garden?
You thought that you were done with that never ending summer squash. You were ready for the first frost and the leaves to change color. Bring on the winter rest!
OR MAYBE you love zucchini like I do and you just wish there was more fabulous ways to cook it up.
This recipe is for you... who found the prize winning squash and for you who love all things zucchini.
OH AND ALSO FOR YOU... who are gluten and dairy free like us!
"Two hundred years ago, the average American ate only 2 pounds of sugar a year. In 1970, we ate 123 pounds of sugar per year. Today, the average American consumes almost 152 pounds of sugar in one year. This is equal to 3 pounds (or 6 cups) of sugar consumed in one week!" [source]
That's total insanity, no wonder we have obesity rates at the highest its been and why not only adults, but children are also facing diabetes at alarming rates.
So, must we give up all the sweet things we love to bake? Certainly not but there is an alternative that is not only a healthy replacement to sugar, but also has health benefits when it is consumed.
The answer comes from the colder parts of the country, and despite the name, sugar making, the only sweetness here is from maple trees.
Your mama is coming.
She expects a nice cuppa earl grey and a sweet treat.
But there is one problem, you don't have anything sweet on hand and you have to eek out enough earl grey to get her a decent cuppa.
What's a child to do?
It may not be your mama, and you might not be the child, but every one has times where company is coming and some comforting homemade food is in order.
These quick and simple hand pies are just what the mama in our story needs (or maybe its you that needs them).
There is a chill in the air. The mornings are a bit crisper and the sun sets a bit earlier. Yellow, orange, and red leaves are popping up more and more. My tea is turning from fruity, sweet, and iced to hot, rich, and spicy.
Fall is in the air and in my cup.
With all of that comes back-to-school season (or in our case, homeschool season), and with back-to-school usually comes back-to-germs, colds and flus.
No need to fear though! This week we are sharing a secret weapon of how you can fight cold and flu season naturally. Not only will this super awesome berry syrup help you prevent colds and flus, but it will help kick any cold and flu you catch, to the curb, quicker and faster. This berry syrup is full of super berry goodness and one berry in the mix you may not even be familiar with.
When I polled tea drinkers on various facebook groups, guess what the most common dessert to have with tea was?
Nope, not scones. Shortbread.
Shortbread is a very light, delicate cookie, very dainty and perfect for an afternoon tea time treat. It is light in flavor, yet sweet making it easy to pair with about any cup of tea. Whether it be black, green, or your favorite herbal.
These short bread cookies though.
They probably shouldn't be so yummy, it just means that I eat too many. It's a good thing they are free of any refined sweetener, sugar free and made with a whole grain flour. Healthier for sure, and dare I say even more flavor?!
Ok! That concludes this blog post!
Just kidding! Two of my favorite flavors are chocolate and mint but today we are going to just chat about Peppermint.
Not only is it tasty with chocolate, but it also shines when it comes to digestive health, cooking, headaches and muscle cramps.
I have a confession to make.
I've been buying kombucha ready made that the store.
That's right, the resident tea queen at the farm, has been buying ready made kombucha. That expensive kombucha, you know the one. Even though I have a whole 600 square foot space reserved for tea ingredients and all the things to make my own, much more affordably.
It's hurting the pocket book though and it's time stop that madness.
Is this you? Are you spending $3-5 dollars a bottle on your kombucha habit? There are better ways!
Join me in making simple, and MUCH more affordable kombucha at home, with SO many more flavor options! You won't be sorry.
Basket after basket full of flowers. Crate after crate full of berries. All of the goodness is hauled in from the garden, from the farmer's market and from around the farm to help produce flavorful and healthful herbal teas.
From late spring to the depths of summer, the harvest starts coming in. Fresh and flavorful Oregon strawberries, earthy antioxidant packed aronia berries, delicate and earthy blackberry leaves. What ever the botanical may be, its a mad rush to get the harvest in and preserved for the winter.
Our favorite way to preserve on the farm is to dehydrate the bounty. Not only does it make fabulous tea, but it's also a great way to put up food as well. With a few simple tips and tricks, dehydrating is also very easy to do.
It's near the end of summer, which means that the days are getting shorter and fall is coming quicker than quick. It also means that there are piles and piles of zucchini, or what I've decided to refer to as courgettes. (Their fancy French name)
Don't you think it sounds better?
"Hey neighbor! Would you like some of my fancy home grown French courgettes?"
They will at least stop and pause instead of shouting no and throwing them back at you, don't you think?
Many a zucchini grower knows what I'm talking about. That zucchini abundance, and what to do with it all? No worries, from one courgette grower to another, some help is on the way.
Our small family tea company started slowly through various craft shows and the local farmer's market. We would often get questions about growing and using herbs for tea.
"I have this mint growing in my yard, can I use that for tea?"
"How do I use it? Can I use it fresh? Do I have to dry it?"
"What herbs are good to use as tea?"
"What herbs go good together?"
Sometimes it's one of those weeks... or maybe one of those months. Or a couple of months? The schedule gets crazy and somethings just fall off the to-do list. Like say the kombucha making.
When that happens then there is sour kombucha, a.k.a. vinegar. And sometimes that means a WHOLE LOT of vinegar. Oh my. What is a home kombucha making mama to do?
A very traditional tea time sandwich meets, healthy, good for you fermented ingredients.
This isn't your typical tuna sandwich, though it does have many traditional ingredients about it. We here at Farmhouse Teas are all about taking the traditions of tea time and mixing them with whole, real foods to help build better health.
Not a tuna fan, don't turn your nose up at the fish yet - shredded chicken works just as well for this recipe so come on over the farm kitchen and see what we have cooking!
Ahh summer! Your sunshine makes one want to "squeeze the day," yet it is also draining at the same time. Your long days allow for large amounts of time spent sowing and reaping the harvest from the summer garden, basking in the sun out on the beach or in the orchard or hiking the mountains of our Cascade forest.
Those activities really require a lot of aerobic action and at the same time produce a lot of perspiration. Losing precious minerals and salts in the process. Leading to achy muscles, nerve issues and exhaustion.
Time to grab the Gatorade! Oh wait... bad idea. Dye filled, processed sugar laden, nay high fructose corn syrup filled, junk. Seems like two steps backwards. Time for some natural electrolyte drinks and there are many to choose from.
'Tis the season for all things basil, no?
Nothing quite says summer to me as pesto sauce! Well... ok maybe except for iced tea, but what kind of a tea sommelier would I be, if I didn't included tea on the list?
While pesto is basically great smeared on anything, aside from maybe chocolate... hmm. I'm always looking for great ways to use it. Today I'm sharing two yummy recipes that we love. Roasted Garlic Basil Crustini and Turkey Pesto Tea Sandwiches.
Mother's Day is not far off and the mad dash to find just what mom has been hoping for has started.
As a mom myself, I'd be happy to help you out, since you asked ;) Just some quiet time, with loved ones, good food and a good cuppa tea. With lots of sunshine. Flowers and chocolate never hurt either.
That's where these lavender lemon scones come in.
Easter is coming quicker than quick, and it's time to start planning that Easter Brunch or Easter Dinner menu! Or maybe its not brunch, but linner (lunch & dinner), like we are hosting down on the farm this year.
We will be serving the traditional ham at our brunch/linner, along with more of a potluck style meal. I'll be cooking a few other dishes to go with the ham as my contribution. I thought about scalloped potatoes, but Grandma's potato salad is tradition and a must have. Aside from the ham and potato salad, I haven't thought about it much, with the exception of dessert. Dessert first, am I right?
Enter carrot cake. Very traditional and very seasonal. It's the perfect blend of sweet cream cheese frosting, hearty sprouted flour, and the freshness of spring carrots.
Welcome to our Family Tea Farm!
Howdy from our farm to your home! It is said that the, "farm is the nursery of the family," and that "the family is the nursery of the nation." We hope you enjoy your visit to our blog as we share with you the happenings on our little "nursery". Thank you for following us on our journey and watching us GROW! Read more about our farm HERE.