Herbal Recipes/Remedies

Lovey’s Mushroom Nootropics Coffee

Servings: Varies

​Mushrooms in our coffee? Yup, it is the latest craze. Here is a wonderful little recipe my wife (Lovey) concocted that turns your ordinary morning cup-a-joe into an amazing mental cognition/stress reducing/energy fueled bomb!

What You will Need:

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl
  2. Sift with a fine mesh sieve
  3. Prepare standard serving of black coffee
  4. Stir in 1Tbsp. of mix to every 4oz. of coffee
  5. Enjoy thoroughly
  6. Dominate your day

Benefits:

  • To read the benefits of healing mushrooms, see my blog.
  • Ceylon Cinnamon is terrific for an aid to lowering blood sugar levels, which will help with sweets cravings!
  • Raw maca powder extraordinarily nutritious, is known to help male libido (woah!!), can help symptoms of menopause, may help improve mood, can potentially help with cognition and may even reduce prostate size.

Smitty’s Stress Wine

Servings: Varies

AKA Carmelite Water
Carmelite Water has been around for centuries. The star attraction of this delicious drink is lemon balm! Lemon balm is in the mint family and can help relieve stress and anxiety. It also may help relieve indigestion and even boost cognitive function. Try it in this classic white wine infusion, you won’t regret it!

What You will Need:

Directions:

  1. Combine all the herbs and spices into a glass quart jar.
  2. Pour the wine into the jar and stir very well.
  3. Seal tightly with lid and allow to steep for 24 hours.
  4. Strain the herbs/spices using muslin and discard spent herb/spices. Composting is a great option!
  5. Place the infused wine into a sterilized bottle, cap and store in cool dark location. (Mason jars work well for this if you don’t have a good bottle option).
  6. Enjoy as needed!

***Want a bonus when taking this stress relieving wine? Try Bucklebury’s amazing Tranquility Essential Oil Roll-On blend; hand crafted, 100% pure and smells great!

Smitty’s Special Cold and Flu Tea

Servings: 3-5

What You will Need:

  • 1 tsp. dried Licorice Root
  • 1 tsp. dried Marshmallow Root
  • 1 tsp. dried Wild Cherry Bark
  • 1 tsp. dried White Willow Bark
  • 1 tsp. dried Chamomile
  • Tea ball, tea strainer, do-it-yourself tea bags etc.
  • Coffee grinder or mortar and pestle
  • Your favorite mug

Directions:

  1. Grind each herb into as fine a powder as you can. It’s best if you can use a coffee bean grinder, but those of you who want to go old school, a mortar and pestle works great! You can get these dried herbs at your favorite local health food store or if you want to order online, take a look here.
  2. Combine the dried herbs in a bowl and mix well.
  3. Put 1-2tsp. of dried herb mix in your tea ball/strainer/bag. You can get really nice do it yourself tea bags here.
  4. Bring 8oz of water to boil.
  5. Steep herbs in hot water for five minutes.
  6. After five minutes, discard spent herb and enjoy!

Bonus ads:

  • Add a tablespoon or two of brandy or bourbon to create a potent and delicious hot toddy
  • You can add honey to sweeten if so desired

Did you know:

You can also get this great herb mix in our delicious Soothing Syrup (original or alcohol free)!? Find out more in our webstore! It’s a humdinger!

Dandelion Leaf Hot Infusion

Servings: Varies

Hot infusions are made with 1 part coarsely ground dried herb to 20 parts boiling water. In this recipe we will be using 25g of dried dandelion leaf with 500ml (1 point) of boiling water.

What You will Need:

Directions:

  1. Weigh out 25g of dandelion leaf and put in mason jar.
  2. Pour 500ml (1 pint) boiling water upon herb.
  3. Stir this very well.
  4. Put lid on jar tight and let stand for 30 minutes.
  5. Strain herb (called the marc or pulp at this point) from the liquid. It’s best to use muslin as this will allow you to press the marc/pulp. If you don’t strain the marc, you will lose a large amount of the extract and not have a potent infusion.
  6. Add enough hot water (pour it through the pressed marc for added potency) to make the infusion 500ml (1 pint).
  7. Store in a sterilized mason jar (or bottle with tight lid) for up to

Dosing/Storage: 1 cup infusion 3x a day until infusion is gone. Best if completely consumed in 12 hours. Do not keep past 24 hours if stored in a COOL place.

Dandelion leaf is incredibly nutritious. It is also a terrific diuretic. Additionally, it may help promote a health liver, fight inflammation, aid in blood sugar control, and is great source of natural potassium!

Herb Glossary

What is an Herb?

Herbs are the usable parts of herbaceous plants (plants that lack a woody stem). The word herb most often refers to those that have culinary, cosmetic, or medicinal uses. The culinary uses of herbs are what differentiates them from spices.

While herbs are referred to as leafy greens or flowering parts of a plant, fresh or dried, spices, on the other hand, are produced from the other parts of the plants, which are usually dried, including berries, roots, barks, seeds, and fruits.

In general use, herbs are used for food, flavoring, medicine, or fragrances due to their savory and aromatic properties.

Smitty’s Favorite Herbs List:

Chamomile

​The first herb on my list is a tremendous herb with a wide array of uses. The Spanish name for this herb is manzanilla which simply means “little apple” it’s no surprise that the Spanish people gave it this name. When the leaves and petals are bruised, they give off a very distinct apple aroma. There are two main species of chamomile: German chamomile and Roman or English chamomile. They’re all similar in there medicinal effects. Both varieties are relatively easy to grow from seed, in fact if they are left to seed on their own, you’ll find that they have grown back the next spring.

Key Medicinal Uses

  • Sedative (soothe the nervous system, reduce stress and nervousness throughout body)
  • Digestive (aids digestion)
  • Colic
  • Mouth ulcers
  • EczemaAnti-allergenic
  • Anti-inflammatory (reduces inflammation)
  • Vulnerary (wound healer)

Caution

​In rare cases people have shown symptoms of an allergic reaction to chamomile this is generally people who have severe ragweed allergies. Generally speaking chamomile is a very safe herb though.

Cinnamon

​​Best known as a kitchen spice, cinnamon is also known for its medicinal properties. While not really an herb I still think it’s important to list it in our list of herbs and their uses. Cinnamon actually comes from the inner bark of a tree in the laurel family. It’s been used for centuries and was a hot commodity for trade in ancient times. In fact during the first century A.D. in Rome cinnamon was 15 times more expensive than silver. The Chinese were probably the first to use cinnamon as a medicinal herb and used it to treat fevers, and diarrhea. In more modern times cinnamon has been found to stabilize blood sugar levels in diabetics, as it has an insulin kind of effect.

Key Medicinal Uses

  • Diabetes
  • Mild stimulant
  • Aromatic (odoriferous, with fragrant/pungent/spicy taste, stimulate gastrointestinal mucous membranes)
  • Astringent (binding action on mucous membranes, skin, and other tissues)
  • Antimicrobial (helps the body destroy or resist pathogenic microorganisms)
  • Carminative (relieves gas)

Caution

Ground cinnamon is very safe, the volatile oils can however cause a skin rash. Small amounts of Coumarin can be found in cinnamon and even though generally only large doses of this compound will cause blood-thinning and liver problems, it is something to be aware of. Also if you’re planning on having surgery you should stop the use of cinnamon at least one week before going in as it has a blood thinning effect. You should also take care to monitor your blood sugar to avoid an unsafe drop in blood pressure.

Comfrey

​Comfrey’s use dates back centuries to at least the time of the ancient Greeks. During the Middle Ages comfrey was a widely cultivated herb found extensively in the gardens of monasteries. During the Middle Ages it was known as “Knit Bone” because of its reported ability to heal broken bones when applied in salve form to the injured area. In the latter half of the 20th Century, some studies showed that comfrey when taken internally can cause severe liver damage. Whether this is true or not, the good news is, external applications in the form of ointments, poultices, or creams are still considered safe. Comfrey can still be found growing wild in central Europe, and the eastern United States as well as a few western states.

Key Medicinal Uses

  • Anti-inflammatory (reduces inflammation)
  • Demulcent (soothe and protect irritated or inflamed internal tissue, particularly mucous membranes)
  • Vulnerary (wound healer)
  • Astringent (binding action on mucous membranes, skin, and other tissues)

Caution

​I think it is safer to err on the side of caution and I would discourage anybody from taking comfrey internally. The alkaloids found within it can be very damaging to the liver.

Dandelion

​The dandelion is often thought of as a weed by most people. Once you understand what you can do with Dandelions however, your opinion will change very quickly. They are a tremendous herb that offers plenty of medicinal and nutritional benefits. One great thing about the dandelion herb is that the whole plant can be used from the flower down to the roots. The leaves make a great addition to salads and the flowers (when still yellow) can be eaten raw, cooked or made into a dandelion wine. Even the root of the dandelion can be consumed, usually it is roasted and eaten or added to a nice cup of tea. Dandelion has terrific diuretic properties.

Key Medicinal Uses

  • Diuretic (increase the secretion and elimination of urine)
  • Hepatic (aid the liver)
  • Mild laxative
  • Nephritic (aid in healing kidney)

Caution

Generally considered a safe herb, it can have a negative effect on those with ragweed allergies. If you pick fresh Dandelion, wash thoroughly, as you would with anything taken from the wild!

Echinacea

​Echinacea is an at-risk plant due to over-cultivation. It is an immune stimulant and has anti-microbial properties that help the body’s resistance to virus. It is an alternative and also anti-catarrhal. It is one of the more popular herbs on the market, and you will find it in many immune response liquids and syrups. Many people say taking it prior to not feeling well is the best bet, but I find it works as both a preventative, and as an aid to the immune response even after I’m sick!

Key Medicinal Uses

  • Colds and flus
  • Vulnerary (wound healer)
  • Alternative (blood cleanser)
  • Antibacterial (inhibits bacterial growth)
  • Antiviral (inhibits viral spreading)
  • Immune-enhancing

Caution

​In some cases Echinacea has been known to cause an allergic reaction. This is most likely the case for those who are allergic to the Asteracae family (daisy).

Elder

​​Elder is almost a complete pharmacy all by itself. Elder leaves are used externally as an emollient and vulnerary. You can also take the leaves internally to help as a diuretic and expectorant, respectively. The flowers can be prepared in a cold infusion and are diuretic and also act as an alternative. The berries, the most popular part of the plant, make for a reliable home remedy for cold, flu and fever.

Key Medicinal Uses

  • Colds and flu
  • Expectorant (expels mucous from lungs and respiratory passages)
  • Diuretic (increase the secretion and elimination of urine)
  • Alternative (blood cleanser)
  • Immune-enhancing

Garlic

​Garlic has been used for thousands of years and was thought to increase strength and stamina. It was used by the first Olympic athletes of Greece which very well could make it one of the first performance enhancing substances. Over the centuries garlic has been tied into various kinds of lore, such as warding off vampires, and some witches are said to have used it to ward off wicked spirits, and in charms and spells. In the Middle Ages monasteries would grow garlic to treat digestive, kidney, and breathing issues. During World War II the Russians reportedly ate a lot of garlic and some say it helped keep them alive through the hard times. Today garlic is used widely to treat and prevent heart disease, reduce high blood pressure, strengthen the immune system, and help regulate healthy cholesterol levels.

Key Medicinal Uses

  • Antibiotic
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Blood-thinner
  • Supports beneficial intestinal flora
  • Counters cough and respiratory infection
  • Anti-fungal
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Diarrhea
  • Heart health

Caution

As in most cases, too much of anything is not a good thing. It is reported that there is a small risk of taking daily large doses (more than four cloves/day) as this much garlic can affect your body’s ability to form clots. I would recommend reducing intake of garlic at least two weeks prior to any surgery and/or if you are on anticoagulant medication.

Licorice

​Licorice is one of my personal favorites! People generally use the root and /or the rhizomes, but I almost always use the root. Licorice, also known as ‘sweet root’, has a naturally sweet flavor. Many people are surprised to find that it does NOT taste like licorice candy. The distinct flavor in licorice candy (black) is anise. It has been used in the past however as a sweetener in candies and beverages. People have been using Licorice root for its medicinal benefits for centuries. It is native to Europe and Asia. The early Egyptians loved licorice root and used it in tea as a cure-all.

Key Medicinal Uses

  • Respiratory support
  • Indigestion
  • Anti-inflammatory (reduces inflammation)
  • Psoriasis (externally)
  • Eczema (externally)
  • Demulcent (soothe and protect irritated or inflamed internal tissue, particularly mucous membranes)
  • Expectorant (expels mucous from lungs and respiratory passages)

Warning:

​Too much licorice root can lead to low levels of potassium in the body, which causes muscle weakness, a condition known as Hypokalemia. Additionally, consuming too much licorice root can lead to high blood pressure, swelling, and heartbeat irregularity. Some people are allergic to licorice root.

Marshmallow

​​Another one of my all time favorites, Marshmallow (root) is an amazing herb! Due to its abundance of mucilage, it makes for a GREAT emollient when used in salves (external use). When used internally, it is a soothing demulcent that reduces heat and swelling in inflamed and irritated mucous membranes. You can also use the root for gastrointestinal tract issues. The leaves are expectorant, diuretic, and anti-inflammatory.

Key Medicinal Uses

  • Emollient (soften, soothe and protect skin when applied externally)
  • Demulcent (soothe and protect irritated or inflamed internal tissue, particularly mucous membranes)
  • Expectorant (expels mucous from lungs and respiratory passages)
  • Diuretic (increase the secretion and elimination of urine)
  • Anti-inflammatory

Nettle

​​When most folks hear the words, “Stinging Nettles” a negative image is formed in their mind. Perhaps they recall a time they ran into the stuff camping and paid for it with a painful Stinging Nettle rash! The reason this happens is the nettle plant has sharp spines that are released upon contact and once they penetrate the skin, they release certain chemicals into the body. This in turn produces that burning/itchy rash we all love so much. Putting this unpleasant fact about this plant aside I want to call out that Stinging Nettle is actually a terrific herb and has multiple benefits for us all!

Key Medicinal Uses

  • Anti-allergenic
  • Diuretic (increase the secretion and elimination of urine)
  • Antispasmodic (prevent or ease spasms/cramps)
  • Anti-inflammatory (reduces inflammation)
  • Alternative (blood cleanser)
  • Tonic (strengthen or invigorate organs or the entire organism)

Caution

​Nettles has a few possible side effects. Upset stomach, rash and impotence are all possible but are rare. If you’re taking any medication for high blood pressure, diabetes, anxiety or insomnia you should talk to your doctor before taking the nettle herb.

Turmeric

​​Turmeric is seen by most people as a spice and rightfully so. However, don’t let that be the only reason you ever ingest this awesome root! Turmeric has a long tradition and history in India/Asia and people have enjoyed its benefits for centuries. Marco Polo once described turmeric as being a vegetable with qualities resembling that of saffron. It didn’t get popular in the west until the mid-20th Century. Turmeric contains Curcumin, the main ingredient found in it. Curcumin is a natural anti-inflammatory, increases the antioxidant capacity of the body, and can potentially lower your risk of heart disease among a great many things. Note that the body’s natural ability to absorb Curcumin is low so the best way to take this is in a supplement form. It is fat soluble, so I would take it with a fatty meal and you can even add some black pepper to aid absorption if you wish.

Key Medicinal Uses

  • Hepatic (aid the liver)
  • Antioxidant (eliminates free radicals)
  • Anti-inflammatory (reduces inflammation)

White Willow Bark

​​White Willow bark has been used for centuries as an analgesic. As far back as the time of Hippocrates, people recognized and utilized this amazing bark to relieve pain and/or reduce fever. White Willow bark contains a chemical called Salicin, that is very similar to aspirin. No herbal medicine cabinet should be without White Willow bark!

Key Medicinal Uses

  • Analgesic (reduces pain)
  • Febrifuge (reduces fever)
  • Gout
  • Weight loss

Caution

Considered safe it taken by mouth for short periods of time (up to 12 weeks). For those that are allergic to aspirin, it may cause stomach upset, itching, rash and other allergic reactions.

Wild Cherry Bark

​As with White Willow, Wild Cherry is a plant, but the bark is used to make medicine. People have been using Wild Cherry bark for cough, colds, bronchitis, pain relief, and gout for a very long time.

Key Medicinal Uses

  • Cough
  • Bronchitis
  • Gout
  • Analgesic (reduces pain)

Caution

​Could interact with sedatives and medicines used for high cholesterol, fungal infections, allergies and cancer. If you are on any of these medications, consult a physician before use.

Valerian

​​Valerian is primarily a nervine tonic. It is used mostly for anxiety, nervousness, despondency, and insomnia. It is also great for gas, cramps, constipation and irritable bowl syndrome. It has a REALLY strong, unpleasant odor so if you buy some in bulk form, keep it in an air tight container or the other food items in your pantry will start to taste like it smells! It works wonders if you are having trouble falling to sleep!

Key Medicinal Uses

  • Mild analgesic (reduces pain)
  • Mild bitter
  • Hypnotic (relax, sedate, induce sleep)
  • Antispasmodic (prevent or ease spasms/cramps)

Caution

​Valerian is generally considered safe, but too large of a dose can cause a mild headache. Additionally, some people have also reported side effects such as nausea and upper stomach pain. Other less severe side effects include brain fog, dry mouth, strange dreams, and drowsiness.

Witch Hazel

​Witch hazel has been used for centuries by Native Americans. It may not be considered an herb by some due to the fact it is a woody shrub, but it has very strong astringent and antiseptic properties and very much deserves a spot in this list. It is very easy and common to see Witch Hazel on the shelf in any grocery store in the form of liquid (which is the extract of the twigs in alcohol). It is most notably used externally for reducing inflammation (think hemorrhoids) and also a great astringent for the skin.

Key Medicinal Uses

  • Anti-inflammatory (reduces inflammation)
  • Helps stop bleeding
  • Astringent (binding action on mucous membranes, skin, and other tissues)

Yarrow

​​Yarrow is awesome! It’s one of the best diaphoretic herbs, making it a standard remedy for fever reduction. It has vasodilation and diuretic properties. As a tonic it is astringent, anti-septic, anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic. It is great for intestinal bleeding, uterine hemorrhage, and hemorrhoids. You can also use it externally to treat wounds as it is styptic and a wound healing vulnerary. Yarrow is a first aid kit all on its own! In fact Achilles is said to have used it on the battlefield (cuts) and its scientific name is Achillea millefolium because of this!

Key Medicinal Uses

  • Astringent (binding action on mucous membranes, skin, and other tissues)
  • Tonic (strengthen or invigorate organs or the entire organism)
  • Strengthens blood vessels
  • Stops bleeding
  • Vulnerary (wound healer)
  • Diaphoretic (stimulates sweating)
  • Febrifuge (reduces fever)

Caution

​You shouldn’t use yarrow if you’re pregnant or nursing. Additionally, in some rare cases yarrow has been shown to cause allergic reactions especially on the skin.

If you have questions about herbs, or how to prepare herbs, just ask Smitty!

*The statements on this page have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Herbs are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.