Working with an Herbalist June 10, 2014 22:38

Working with an herbalist may be a very different health care experience compared to working with other practitioners, especially medical doctors.  Herbalists tend to work within the framework of holism.  Herbalists aren’t so quick to reduce the body into microscopic and isolated parts.  They tend to look at the interconnectedness of the body and mind and how individual body systems interrelate and influence each other.  Herbalists see a disorder as the result of imbalances in the body and rather than treat only the symptoms they might dig a little deeper to attempt to discover the underlying cause of the illness.  Many of us usually may not connect a rash on the exterior of the body to the function of the gut but from the herbalist’s view the rash could be caused or aggravated by a digestive system that is out of balance.  Headaches can be the result of a myriad of issues and while taking an antidote may quell the headache temporarily the headache may return if the underlying cause has not been addressed.  To effectively utilize holism in general and specifically with herbalism the client and the practitioner must try to see the bigger picture when it comes to wellness or illness regarding the body.  Many times diet and lifestyle issues will be examined. 


In our society we customarily seek out a medical practitioner, usually a medical doctor, to diagnose our ailments.  In anticipation of a forth coming prescription, clients most often work on the diagnosed health issues within the framework of the diagnosing modality.  However, when the prescribed treatments do not resonate with the client or when the issues remain unresolved or seemingly resolved but later returns clients will often seek treatment for their aliments outside of the diagnosing modality.   When the diagnosing modality is MD medicine the idea of a client seeking out an herbalist rather than sticking with or selecting another MD is horrific to most MDs.  Here in lies the seed of the concept of “alternative” medicine.  Since most people utilize MD medicine as primary care and when that system fails, as it often does, to resolve the ailments and the client seeks healthcare from especially more natural modalities it is perceived that the client is then seeking “alternative” medicine.  Natural, holistic and especially herbal medicine is “alternative” because it is a modality that is profoundly different from the dominant medical paradigm, MD medicine.  The idea of “alternative” medicine to this herbalist is appalling.  In this case the very word alternative connotes second choice by default or a less-than choice.   As a consumer of healthcare it is absolutely acceptable for anyone to select any viable system of medicine as a primary system.   Nevertheless, rarely do herbalists serve as primary care practitioners.  Herbalists never have hospital privileges unless they posses licensure in an additional modality and herbalists are rarely available for emergency situations.


Herbalists work differently from medical doctors in several ways especially because they rarely make a diagnosis and because they utilize unfamiliar traditions and medicines.   While allopathic or MD medicine is the primary medical modality of our western world, it is important to note that it is not the only medical modality of the global world.  And, more importantly the practice of botanical medicine predates MD medicine by thousands of years.  For all of time people across the globe have used plants as medicine. Botanical medicine has had its place in every traditional system of medicine that has ever been, and it continues as an individual modality today.  It need not be a case of alternatives nor either-or mentalities, rather and more appropriately, it is a case of complements and an integration of strategies, methods and medicines that work together to achieve wellness.


Rarely does a client seek out the help of an herbalist, or any other practitioner, while in a state of wellness.  We are socialized to take medicine when we are ill, not when we are well.  So, for the most part when people decide to work with an herbalist they usually have a determined or particular health issue that they desire to work on with herbs and that is just fine.  Herbs are routinely used to affect an acute or chronic health issue however, when herbs are applied regularly with the intention of maintaining wellness the goal is to prevent illness from occurring altogether.  This is somewhat of shift from the mindset of the dominant health care paradigm, and can be a challenging model to get accustomed to. 


There are a few common ways to ingest herbs.  The herbalist may make suggestions for teas, tinctures or capsules as well as for various topical applications depending upon the condition.  Utilizing tea may be the first and prevailing approach.  The use of medicinal teas sets up an opportunity for the client to actively participate in one’s day-to-day health care.  Making medicinal tea keeps one in touch with a more simplistic approach to maintaining wellness.  It is totally approachable, anyone can make tea. The client may need to make lifestyle accommodations in order to get into the routine of preparing teas on a regular basis however it is truly a medicine making process for all.  


In the case when a client does not have the ability to make tea or when the recommended herbs are less than palatable the next option is to utilize tinctures or capsules.   A tincture is an aqueous solution that contains the medicinal value of herbs in concentration.  Most often tinctures are made with alcohol.  One teaspoon of an alcohol based tincture is roughly the equivalent to one cup of tea.   Tinctures can be quite handy when, as mentioned previously, the herbs are too displeasing to ingest in tea [this is an extremely frequent situation] or when the recommended quantity of herbs exceed any possibility of ingestion through teas.  The utilization of tinctures are especially ideal when the client is on the go and finds it more convenient to carry with them a small bottle of tincture rather than a quart or two of tea each day.  While people commonly lug around cumbersome water bottles they could just as easily carry herbal tea around instead of water.  Again, this is a case of lifestyle accommodations for the purpose of ingesting one’s herbal medicines.


When tea and tincture are not appropriate for a particular situation the herbalist can create herbal capsules for the client.   The client may have to ingest six or more rather large pills daily which can be a deterrent to client compliance, and seems to smack of pharmaceutical herbalism rather than holistic folk herbalism.  However, this may be the appropriate delivery mechanism for a particular herb, issue or client.


No matter which delivery system is utilized, and only three primary ingestion methods were discussed so far, we didn’t even begin to cover topical or inhalation applications, the main thing to remember is to find the delivery system that is best suited for the client.  This will take open lines of communication on the parts of both the herbalist and the client.


Regardless of which delivery system is utilized, the timing and duration of the herbal regimen will fluctuate depending upon the individual.   For herbs used in a tonic way be patient, it may take months to see and feel significant changes.  For herbs used in acute manner, hopefully a fairly quick response time will be seen.  In either case, it may be appropriate to alter, evolve or tweak the formulations.  Unlike patent medications particularly pharmaceuticals, there may be more than one or two herbs of varying nature that can achieve the desired effect.  It takes an experienced practitioner to apply herbal diversity to a situation and an open minded and flexible client with willingness to set the foundation for a successful partnership. 

What is an Herbal Tincture? And How to Use it. June 10, 2014 22:18

A tincture (or herbal extract) is made by steeping the fresh or dried herbs (the marc) in a solution of food grade alcohol and or Glycerin (the menstruum) for at least six weeks before pressing/straining it. The alcohol, extracts both the oil based medicinal properties of the herb as well as the water based properties, it also serves as a preservative, giving a tincture a shelf life of at least 8-10 years when stored away from heat and light. 

Our tinctures are made in food grade and/or organic alcohol and steeped in small hand mixed batches, assuring an artisan consistency and higher quality tincture. 

The many advantages of tinctures over other forms of herbal medicine are that they are concentrated, easy to take, quickly absorbed /Bio available, have no fillers or random other ingredients and they have a very long shelf life.  

Herbal tinctures are herb extracts often suspended in alcohol. If you have concerns about alcohol consumption, please follow these instructions:

Before each dose: 1. Boil some water 2. Measure tincture dose into a glass 3. Pour ¼ cup of boiling water into glass with tincture. 4. Allow tincture and water mixture to cool, and take dosage as usual.

It is important to know how to use a tincture so here are some guidelines:  

One eyedropper full consists of 25 drops  [one squeeze of the eyedropper bulb.]

The glass bulb will only be full about 1 inch 

For Best Results:  Be consistent:  Too often we forget and/or stop taking it as soon as we start feeling better. Although one missed dosage will not make a big difference, it may slow down your healing/recovery time. I like to leave my tinctures somewhere I will see them every day to remind myself to take them.


How to Use a Tincture for Children

 Children take their tinctures readily when they are served in a small cup or glass with an easy chaser is added.


DOSING GUIDELINES FOR HERBAL TINCTURES  Tinctures can be taken in accordance to “body weight”. For every 50 pounds of body weight – take one dropper full of tincture. If for some reason you should skip a dose simply double the next dose.  

The general guideline is as follows:   

30 pounds = 15 * DROPS  two times daily   *Drops not droppers full

 50 pounds = 1 Dropper full two times daily  ** Always start here and work your way up to your body weight**

100 pounds = 2 Droppers full two times daily

150 pounds = 3 Droppers full two times daily ** So on and So forth**


For autoimmune disorders it is recommended to double your doses for the first week of your treatment.          

* Herbal tinctures can be taken with or without food; because it is in tincture form it is absorbed quickly into the blood stream.   Sometimes it is appropriate to add a midday dose.  Your tincture should be thought of, and used like a nutritional supplement.

If you have any concerns or questions about your herbal tincture or their use with medications, please ask your doctor or medical professional. 



I am not nor do I claim to be a Medical Doctor, nor am I licensed to practice medicine in any state. My training is in natural health and healing, proper diet and the use of herbs and other natural methods to assist the body's natural ability to heal itself. Herbalists do not prescribe medications but rather make suggestions by which you can help your body regain balance and achieve healing. This knowledge should be used in conjunction with but not instead of proper conventional medical care and treatment.

March Special of the Month!!!! February 14, 2014 19:08

March's special is Tinctures and Syrups:

All Tinctures & Syrups are 25% off

Use the discount code: Tinc25%off



Herby Cleaning part 2 All purpose Cleaners + June 19, 2013 18:24

This is Part 2 of the recipe low down, on frugally herbally fun DIY cleaners to keep you, your family and your home happy healthy and clean:

Dish Washer Detergent:


Each batch yields 20 ounces of resulting product which you should store in some type of container you were going to dispose of.  I suggest something 1 gallon size or smaller so you can fit it under your kitchen sink; old coffee cans work great.  Feel free to double the batch, or multiply it accordingly to create any amount you’d like.

 Into a 32 ounce container – add 1 cup of borax:
Add 1 cup of washing soda:
Add 1/2 cup of citric acid (double for hard water):
Add 1/2 cup of kosher salt:
Put the lid on & shake it up good: When you do a load use 1 tablespoon of detergent per load (you can use a heaping tablespoon if you feel the need, but I do not).

This detergent will clump together but it doesn’t matter… just scoop out your tablespoon & forget about the clumps!  It clumps because of the citric acid.


Fill your rinse agent dispenser with white vinegar. J


1/2 teaspoon washing soda
A dab of liquid soap
2 cups hot tap water

Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle and shake until the washing soda has dissolved. Apply and wipe off with a sponge or rag.


All-Purpose Cleaner II:

2T vinegar

1 t Borax

Hot water

a few drops of a mild dish detergent

10 drops of essential oil, optional 

In a 16 spray bottle put vinegar, borax and hot water.  Swish around until borax has dissolved.  Add the drops of dish detergent and fill the rest of the bottle with water.  Add the essential oil (I like using orange or lavender). 



1/4-1/2 teaspoon liquid detergent
3 tablespoons vinegar
2 cups water
Spray bottle

Put all the ingredients into a spray bottle, shake it up a bit, and use as you would a commercial brand. The soap in this recipe is important. It cuts the wax residue from the commercial brands you might have used in the past.



Simply pour about 1/2 cup of baking soda into a bowl, and add enough liquid detergent to make a texture like frosting. Scoop the mixture onto a sponge, and wash the surface, or add to flip top bottle to store for later. This is the perfect recipe for cleaning the bathtub because it rinses easily and doesn't leave grit.

Note: Add 1 teaspoon of vegetable glycerin to the mixture and store in a sealed glass jar, to keep the product moist. Otherwise just make as much as you need at a time.

Frugally herbally Household cleaning - Part one Laundry! June 13, 2013 17:05

So I asked and you all said you wanted me to post about my household cleaners that I make to clean me and my home clean in a frugal & herbalishous fashion!!!!


This first installment is going to be on Laundry. 

I have members of my family that have very sensitive skin and store bought detergent was a problem, I was also running a house of 9 so TONS of laundry and it was so expensive. I was perusing craigslist and saw an add for homemade detergent for $10 for five gallons well holy smokes I as pretty sure I had hit the jackpot!!!


So I ordered some right away, it was ok, it worked not super well, and it came in a five gallon bucket - really that was just annoying and it wasn't very consistent, it was what appeared to me to be just water mixed with soap powder stuffs, it still left that same powder residue on my clothes that powdered detergent does - NO BUENO!

So it tried a few more recipes, and after doctoring things up eventually came up with one I love that's easy peasy. 


Get ready to save some money if you are still using straight up store bought, (until I got used to the consistency I used to mix 1 gallon store bought with two gallons of mine, equaling something like $14 for three FULL gallons of Great detergent, but now and am used to it and I just use mine and everything still comes out just as clean... ) This comes out to less then a dollar per Gallon if you use Fels naptha, If say you bought Dr bronners bar soap or other homemade soap it will cost about $1 a gallon yes it's about .06 a load.


Laundry Detergent:

½ cup bar soap grated (I have used Fels Naptha, but it’s still store bought soap with potential cruddy stuffs in it, now I use my own bar soap that I make so that I know exactly what’s in it.)

½ cup washing soda

½ cup borax powder 

~You will also need a small bucket, about 2 gallon size~

Two one gallon jugs to put your detergent in, or a bucket with a lid. ( I use old liquid detergent containers they work great!)


Put about 6 cups of water on to boil, add the grated soap, and washing soda and borax to the water, Stir continually this mixer will begin to foam, just keep stirring by the time the soap and powders dissolve I pour this in to the bucket of one gallon HOT water and then Stir until well mixed it starts to thicken just a little, I then add 10 Cups of cold water, stir vigorously.


Pour in to one gallon jugs if you like or leave in the bucket if it has a lid.  It will gel up as it cools so I always shake well before using and you use about ½ cups per load.


After it cools I add Essential oils depending on what’s going on at the time in my family, for normal every day I add 5-10mls of Lavender and the same of Tea tree oil to each gallon, If it’s cold & flu season I add 5-10mls of eucalyptus to each gallon as well. Another option would be to add a Thieves oil blend 10-15mls to it for that extra cleaning factor.


**Side Notes about the soap** 

 ~The finished soap will not be a smooth gel.  It looks kinda like egg flower soup, its water and gelly clumps.

 ~The soap is low sudsing soap.  Which means it’s totally ok to use in Frontload waters that require low sudsing soap, and really it’s not the bubbles that clean your clothes that is only true of washing skin ;)




Color-Safe Bleach:
This bleach is for delicate colors and synthetic fabrics. It reduces yellowing in silks and woolens.
2 cups hydrogen peroxide
14 cups water
Mix ingredients and store in a plastic one-gallon container. Soak items to be cleaned in this solution for 10 to 30 minutes.

HerbDay 2013 May 4, 2013 09:20

Lets celebrate Herbs!!!

The eighth annual HerbDay will take place Saturday, May 4, 2013. HerbDay is an international celebration of herbs and herbal products that are packed with events aimed at educating and sharing ideas about the many ways herbs bring joy and well-being into our daily lives. We celebrate herbs' use in food, beverages, medicine, beauty products, and crafts, along with the art of growing and gardening with herbs.  -


In honor of Herbday enjoy 10% off all products today using the discount code **herbday2013**


Goings ons.... March 7, 2013 12:16

Just a note We leave for our Stocking / vacation trip on the 15th So anything ordered after noon on the 15th of march, will not get shipped until after the 6th of April.   So if you want it before then go get it ;) 

Also FB Page Sale (See the page for the discount code) On Essences Ends on the 15th - we are down to a couple bottles left in a few things!

First Post New Site: Onward & Upward!!! February 28, 2013 12:35

Lots of change lately at MGA... New Assistants New Shop New Blog.... New & Improved recipes!!! Pheeeewwww!

New diggs in a few months!!! 


So anyway this is going to start the next newness, The new Weekley Info Post, So each week I am going to Pick a topic/product to write about sometimes it will be really general IE Flower Essences... and sometimes Very specific Cal Poppy Tincture.. Yeah like that... Some will be reposting some will be my own writing some will be writing from the team :) 


This week is Tinctures What are they how are they used, how do they help, why are they effective?