{Recipe} Momma’s Bliss Tea

This tasty and uplifting tea blend will give your body & soul a boost. It’s formulated with new moms in mind, but is beneficial as a relaxing, digestive & urinary system soothing tea for men and women of all ages.

Peppermint is well loved for it’s delicious flavor, as well as its medicinal benefits. It is a mildly stimulating herb that helps one to feel refreshed and renewed – without the jittery feeling that stronger stimulants like coffee can bring on. Herbalist Jethro Kloss states that it “bring[s] back to the body its natural warmth and glow.” It is also very soothing for the digestive system. It helps to ease gas, cramping, and irritation in the stomach & digestive tract. It can relieve nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and constipation as well.

Lemongrass has a particularly lovely taste and scent, making it a delicious addition to this tea blend. Like peppermint, it has a relaxing effect on the muscles of the stomach and digestive tract and thus, relieves flatulence and painful cramping.

Lavender is a wonderfully relaxing herb that is helpful for easing nervousness and anxiety. It is a mild anti-depressant. It relieves tension, stress, and insomnia. It can also aid in headache relief.

Chamomile is a gentle, relaxing herb that helps to calm stress and nervousness. It is beneficial for digestion. It can also help to ease sore, aching muscles due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Corn silk is especially soothing and healing for the entire urinary system. It is helpful for a variety of issues of the kidney and bladder, such as kidney stones, cystitis, and frequent urination. It’s diuretic properties also make it helpful for easing fluid retention.

When using corn silk be sure that it comes from organic corn, as much of what is available for sale in stores has been sprayed heavily with pesticides.

Roses contain vitamin C and thus help to boost overall health. They also have mild sedative and anti-depressant qualities.

Lemon balm is a calming herb. It is antispasmodic, and thus helps to relieve tension, especially in the stomach and nervous system. It can be used to help relieve stress, anxiety, general exhaustion, and insomnia.

Momma’ Bliss Tea Blend

  • 3 parts peppermint
  • 3 parts lemongrass
  • 2 parts lavender
  • 2 parts chamomile
  • 2 parts cornsilk
  • 1 part roses
  • 1 part lemon balm

To prepare: Add 4-6 tablespoons of above herb mixture to a quart of water. Bring water to a boil. Pour hot water over herbs and cover. Let infuse 20 minutes to an hour and then strain out herbs.

Enjoy several cups of this tea blend throughout the day to help lift spirits and revitalize the body post-partum. Mothers with older children can also enjoy a cup (or more!) of this tea daily to help promote health and soothe nerves.

Moms, it can be easy to forget to take care of yourself when you are busy tending to your children, but drinking a few cups of tea throughout the day is an easy way to nourish yourself and brighten your spirits so you can give your children your best.

If you’re currently pregnant, you may want to mix up a big batch of this tea blend (using dry herbs) before baby comes so you can have it on hand after the birth when things can be a bit hectic.

Expectant/new moms, may also appreciate these posts:


Gladstar, Rosemary. Herbal Healing for Women.

Gladstar, Rosemary. Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health.

Kloss, Jethro. Back to Eden.

Weed, Susan. Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Years.


Herbs for Healthy Breastfeeding

Herbs are a natural, gentle way to support and nourish a breastfeeding mom and baby. Certain herbs, called galactagogues, actually help to encourage and increase breast milk. Many of these plants also provide essential vitamins and minerals to help keep mom healthy and relaxed through the stresses of breastfeeding and infant care.

The following herbs are well-loved galactagogues that can be used regularly for plentiful milk:

Blessed Thistle (Cnicus benedictus)

This herb, also called mother’s milk thistle, is known for its ability to increase milk supply and improve the vitality of a nursing mother. It is also helpful for easing depression. Herbalist, Susun Weed, recommends a dose of up to 20 drops of tincture, 2-4 times daily.

Borage (Borago officinalis)

The leaves of this plant can be made into a tea to help increase milk flow. Weed states,”Half a cupful of Borage infusion at each nursing insures an abundant supply of milk, acts as a mild laxative, and soothes jangled nerves.”

Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum)

The seeds of this plant are especially nourishing. They can be made into a tea that helps to promote milk production.

Hops (Humulus Lupulus)

Hops increases production and enriches milk. It also helps promote sleep and relaxation.

Nettle (Urtica dioica)

This nourishing herb is an important source of vitamins and minerals, including calcium, which is important for lactation. It increases richness and amount of breast milk produced.

Raspberry leaf (Rubus)

This herb contains calcium in its most absorbable form. It has high amounts of vitamins and minerals that nourish mom and help to ensure plentiful milk production.


Aromatic seeds such as, anise, cumin, fennel, caraway, coriander, and dill, also increase milk production and additionally, tone the digestive system. Their benefits are passed along through the milk and can help to reduce colic and indigestion for baby.

Herbal teas are a great way to benefit from herbs while simultaneously increasing fluid intake. It is essential that breastfeeding moms drink plenty of water, around 12 cups daily. Drinking daily teas of vitamin & mineral rich herbs like raspberry leaf, nettle, alfalfa, and red clover will help to encourage an abundant supply of breast milk and provide important nutrients for mom and baby.

Herbalist, Susan Weed, recommends the following tea blend for breastfeeding mothers. This recipe is excerpted from her book, Herbs for the Childbearing Year.

Susun Weed’s Nursing Formula

•1 ounce dried Blessed Thistle or Borage leaves

•1 ounce dried Raspberry or Nettle leaves

•1 teaspoon of any one of these seeds: Anise, Cumin, Fennel, Caraway, Coriander, Dill

Place leaves in a half-gallon jar and fill to the top with boiling water. Cap tightly and let steep overnight. Strain out herbs and refrigerate liquid until needed. As you get ready to nurse, pour off one cupful of the brew and heat it nearly to the boil. Pour it over a teaspoonful of any of the aromatic seeds. Let it brew and cool for five more minutes before drinking.

This brew can be drunk freely, up to two quarts a day if you desire.

In her book, Herbal Healing for Women,

Herbalist, Rosemary Gladstar, recommends regularly drinking one of the following tea blends to promote breastfeeding.

Rosemary Gladstar’s Mother’s Milk Tea

3 parts fennel seed

1 / 2 part fenugreek seed

1 / 2 part blessed thistle leaf

1 / 4 part hops

Blessed Thistle Tea

1 part blessed thistle

4 parts fennel seeds

2 parts nettle

2 parts raspberry leaf

To Make: Use four to six tablespoons of herb mixture per quart of water. Add herbs to cold water and bring to a slow boil over low heat. Remove from heat and infuse for twenty minutes. Strain. Drink three to four cups daily.

Herbalist, Juliette de Bairacli Levy, also recommends eating plenty of green herbs in salad to help produce milk, especially wild garlic leaves, spring onions, milk thistle hearts, comfrey leaves, chicory, mallows, dill, coriander, dandelion leaves, watercress, and alfalfa. She mentions that borage flowers and all the clovers are also beneficial.

Herbs are a great way to naturally increase milk production while breastfeeding. Many galactagogues are also nutritious and have other important benefits, such as soothing the nervous and digestive systems. If your a nursing mom, try adding a few milk boosting teas to your daily routine. Your body and your baby will thank you!


Fallon, Sally & Thomas S. Cowan, MD. The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Child Care.

Gladstar, Rosemary. Herbal Healing for Women.

Kloster, Jethro. Back to Eden.

Levy, Juliette de Bairacli Levy. Nature’s Children.

Weed, Susan. Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year.

Make Your Own Immune Boosting Fire Cider

Fire ciders are a well loved folk preparation that have been used traditionally to boost digestion, aid healthy body processes, warm one up on cold days, and help to ward off illness. Autumn is the perfect time to make a big batch of fire cider so that it can be used to promote health throughout the winter months.

Fire cider is simple to prepare, but it does need to infuse for some time before it’s ready. Depending on who you ask, the exact recipe varies, but the basic formula remains the same: vinegar + health boosting herbs + honey.

For my version, I use a homemade fruit vinegar as the base. This adds a pleasant flavor and extra health boosting properties. However, using organic apple cider vinegar will work perfectly fine too.

Onion is often used to treat colds, flus, and coughs. It is antibiotic and helps to reduce mucus. It is also anti-inflammatory and is helpful for rheumatic conditions.

Garlic has antiseptic and antibiotic properties. It has long been used to treat colds, flu, and ear infections. It is also an expectorant that helps to reduce mucus.

Ginger is a warming herb that is helpful for treating sore throats, colds, coughs, and chronic bronchitis.

Nettle is a tonic herb that improves overall health and resiliency. It is beneficial for treating fevers or colds. It can also be used to boost the immune system. The root has high levels of sterol, which enhances production of white blood cells.

Thyme is an antiseptic herb that is an effective remedy for colds, flu, coughs, bronchitis. It also is helpful for boosting the immune system and relieving congestion.

Oregano is a powerful antiseptic that can be used to treat respiratory problems, like coughs, tonsillitis, bronchitis, and asthma. It also helps to boost digestive processes.

Turmeric is helpful for inflammatory disorders, like arthritis. It boosts digestion and improves liver function. It also has antibacterial properties.

Lemon is valuable as a preventive medicine. It improves circulation and the body’s ability to fight off infection. It is also an antiseptic and antibacterial that can be used to treat sore throats, colds, flu, and chest infections and to reduce fevers. It eases rheumatism and arthritis. It also helps to detoxify the liver and promotes a healthy digestion.

Aji and cayenne peppers are warming and stimulating. Both are high in capsaicin. This constituent improves circulation and thus helps to bring more blood to the hands, feet, and vital organs. It helps to relieve pain and arthritis. It is antimicrobial and has been used traditionally to help prevent infections. It also relieve gas and digestive problems.

I like to enjoy a shot of fire cider diluted in a bit of hot water on cold nights. It’s also a delicious, healthy addition to soups, stir fries, and salad dressings. It can also be taken straight if you don’t mind some spice! I like taking bigger, more frequent doses to boost immunity if it seems like illness is threatening to come on.

Below you will find the recipe for my version of fire cider. It yields roughly a half gallon of cider. If this seems like it will be too much for you feel free to half the recipe, however, you may just find that you appreciate having lots of this spicy tonic on hand throughout the winter.

How to Make Fire Cider


  • homemade fruit vinegar or apple cider vinegar (about 1/4 gallon)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 15 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp fresh ginger root, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh stinging nettle, roughly chopped
  • several sprigs of fresh thyme
  • several sprigs of fresh oregano
  • 2 Tbsp fresh turmeric root, chopped
  • 1 lemon, juice & zest
  • 2-3 fresh aji peppers, chopped or 1/2-1 tsp cayenne pepper powder
  • honey, to taste


Roughly chop onions, peppers, & herbs and put into a large jar. (This recipe works best in at least a 1/2 gallon size jar.) You can substitute dried herbs if fresh ones aren’t available, but if so, decrease the amount of herbs you are using. Dried herbs will expand as they absorb the vinegar.

Pour the vinegar over the other ingredients until they are covered by an inch or two of liquid. Cover the jar and let sit for 4 weeks. Strain out the liquid and set aside. Compost the other ingredients. Add honey to taste and mix well.


Chevallier, Andrew. Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine. 2nd ed., Dorling Kindersley Publishing, 2000.

Grieves, M. A Modern Herbal. http://www.botanical.com

Kloss, Jethro. Back to Eden. Lotus Press, 2009.

Herbs for Childbirth

Herbs are a safe, natural way to support new moms emotionally and physically during labor. If you plan on having a natural childbirth, or just want to reduce the medications that your infant is exposed to during the birthing process, herbs are a great, effective alternative to pharmaceuticals.

The last few weeks of pregnancy are a great time to start putting together your herbal birthing kit. Having everything in order can help set your mind at ease as your due date approaches. The following preparations are helpful to have on hand for a smooth, natural child birth.


Labor Support Tea Blend

  • 1 part raspberry leaf
  • 1 part nettle leaf
  • 1/2 part chamomile

Make a large batch at the first signs of labor and drink freely as labor progresses. You may want to have the herbs blended ahead of time so you don’t have to worry about it when labor begins.

To prepare: Add 1-3 tablespoons of above herb mixture to a strainer or tea ball and place in a cup. Bring water to a boil. Pour hot water over herbs and cover. Let infuse 15 minutes to an hour and then strain out herbs.

When drunk throughout labor, raspberry leaf helps the uterus work strongly and smoothly. This helps the birth effort and facilitates placenta delivery. Nettle leaf is helpful throughout the birthing process as it aids in preventing post-partum hemorrhage and helps to restore energy and vitality. Chamomile is helpful during labor as well due to its calming, relaxing, and pain reducing effects.


St.John’s Wort

St. John’s wort tincture can be used during labor to ease pain. It is also helpful for controlling spasms in the back, sides, and uterus. Dose: 25-30 drops at 30 minutes intervals.

This herb combines particularly well with Skullcap for pain control. Dose: 25 drops of St.John’s wort tincture combined with 3 drops of Skullcap tincture for pain, as needed. Take as often as every half hour.


This herb is an lovely ally throughout the birthing process. For labor pains, try 5 drops at half hour intervals. The effects will be felt in 20 minutes and will fade over 1-3 hours. This dose can be repeated as needed.

When taken after birth, motherwort helps to prevent hemorrhage & shock, soothes & calms, and tones the uterus. Dose: 10 drops tincture post-partum.

The tincture can also be helpful in easing after birth pains and for helping the mother adjust emotionally after the birth. Try 5 drops in water, repeated as needed, to relieve tension and confusion of overwhelming emotions post-partum.

Blue Cohosh

Blue cohosh encourages the uterus to start contracting and increases the force of these contractions. Using 10-20 drops of tincture in water repeated hourly as needed will produce regular and coordinated contractions.

This herb also promotes the release of oxytocin and helps the uterus to contract, close rapidly, and quickly regain its pre-pregnancy shape post-partum, which helps to decrease after birth pains.

Blue cohosh works synergistically with black cohosh, so midwives often use these two herbs together as the combination is more effective than using each herb on its own.

Black Cohosh

This herb aids in softening and ripening the cervix and helps the uterus contract in a coordinated and effective way. It works synergistically with blue cohosh to help strengthen or restart contractions during stalled labor.


This herb is a valuable remedy for pain. Taking 3-8 drops of tincture in water will help with the pain of cervix dilation. This dose can be repeated as needed, but watch out for the herb’s sedative effects.

As previously mentioned, skullcap combines well with St. John’s wort for pain relief during labor.

Post-partum, skullcap is helpful for fatigue and tension. It is an effective sedative that will bring sound sleep to an over-excited, exhausted new mom. It can be used in large doses if needed when being used for promoting sleep, as it has no negative side effects.

Shepherd’s Purse

This herb is a blood coagulant and vasoconstrictor that is particularly indicated for treating post-partum hemorrhage. Taking several dropperfuls during labor can help prevent excessive bleeding and help to form blood clots after birth.

When used post-partum, it promotes uterine contractions, helps the uterus clamp down, and stops bleeding quickly. Dose: 1 teaspoon or 150 drops, repeated every minute as needed.

Post-Partum Tincture Blend

  • 1 part shepherd’s purse tincture
  • 1 part motherwort tincture
  • 1/2 part blue cohosh tincture
  • 1/2 part black cohosh tincture

Dose: take 1 dropperful under the tongue. Repeat in 1 minute, as needed.

When taken post-partum, this tincture blend:

  • helps the uterus to clamp down
  • promotes the release of oxytocin
  • prevents shock
  • stops excessive bleeding
  • helps blood clots to form
  • relieves pain
  • calms and aids in the processing of emotions


Other Preparations

Lavender essential oil

Lavender is calming and helpful for boosting spirits during labor to aid in the birthing process.

Bach’s Rescue Remedy

Rescue Remedy is a blend of flower essences that helps to bring calm and relaxation in times of stress or trauma.

Raspberry leaf infusion ice cubes

As previously mentioned, raspberry leaf is helpful when taken throughout labor. Sucking on ice cubes made with the infusion is a refreshing way for mom to get the benefits of this lovely herb.

Herbs or Flowers

Fresh or dried herbs and bouquets of flowers can bring a touch of beauty and vitality to the birthing space. Traditionally, sprigs of lavender, lemon balm, and rosemary were placed in the birthing room to help bring courage to women in labor.


For more information on using herbs to nourish and support baby and mother throughout pregnancy, check out my post, Herbs for a Healthy Pregnancy.

Herbs are great allies post-partum too! Check out this post from the Herbal Academy to learn more: Gentle Herbal Support for New Mom’s. 



Gladstar, Rosemary. Herbal Healing for Women.

Levy, Juliette de Bairacli. Nature’s Children.

Weed, Susan. Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year.

Resources for New Herbalists

A newly found interest in herbalism can spark one’s curiosity in a serious way. There is much to know about the many different wonderful medicinal plants – how to grow & harvest them, how to prepare them, how to use them, and so on.

The following list is a compilation of some wonderful blogs & websites, books, and a few other resources to get you started on your green journey.

Many of the blogs listed are favorites of mine, ones I turn to often for inspiration, to learn something new, or to rediscover a plant I haven’t used in awhile. The books listed are ones that I have personally read and enjoyed. There is lots of great literature on herbs and various aspects of natural medicine, but I chose to list books that will be helpful to lay some groundwork as you delve into herbalism. You will also find these books useful later on as references.

I’ve also included links for some herb and seed suppliers to help get you started with herbal preparation and cultivation.

Best wishes as you embark on your adventures in herbalism!


herbcraft.org – Michigan based herbalist jim mcdonald’s website. Here you will find info about a variety of herbs, as well as some recipes and how to’s. There is also a schedule of his upcoming herb walks and classes (which are really informative, fun, and worth attending if you live in the area!)

matthewwoodherbs.com– Herbalist, Matthew Wood’s, website has links to many of his writings on topics related to nature and herbalism, including detailed information on specific herbs and his thoughts on nature wisdom, the philosophy of healing, energetics, and lots more.

Kiva’s Enchantments – Folk herbalist, Kiva Rose’s, blog where she shares herbal recipes, information about using specific herbs, musings about herbalism, and a lot more.

7song.com – Herbalist 7song’s website links to lots of great PDFs covering botany, medicinal preparations, and specific herbal treatments useful for first aid, various health issues, and the different body systems. It also includes information about classes and apprenticeships at the Northeast School of Botanical Medicine.

Mountain Rose HerbBlog– Mountain Rose Herb’s blog is a collection of awesome DIY herbal how to’s, recipes, product profiles, and other feature stories about different projects they’re involved in.

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The Incredible Nettle

Nettle (Urtica dioica), also known as Stinging Nettle, is a lovely plant that is is a favorite if many an herbalist (including myself!). It sometimes gets a bad reputation because its stems and leaves are covered in small, sharp spurs that can cause severe irritation and pain on areas of skin that come in contact with the plant. However, despite its sting, nettle is a valuable wonderful medicinal and a tasty, nutritious edible. There’s much to love about this wonderful herb!

Nettle grows in temperate regions all over the world. The entire plant can be utilized for food or medicine. Young nettle leaves can be cooked and eaten like spinach. (Old plants may cause kidney damage when eaten raw.) Nettle is a valuable edible, as it is an excellent source of vitamins- including A, C, D and K- and minerals, like choline, lecithin, silica, and iron. The aerial parts are utilized for teas and tinctures and the roots are medicinal.

For some tasty ideas of how to add more nettle to your diet, check out these recipes:

Note: If eating nettles sounds a little dangerous to you, never fear – the plant loses its sting once it is dried or cooked. But, you may want to wear gloves while harvesting nettle and preparing any recipes with nettle to avoid getting stung during those processes. 

Nettle Beer from The Herbal Academy

Nettle Garlic Buttermilk Biscuits from Mountain Rose Herbs Blog

Stinging Nettle Spanikopita from Join Me For Dinner

Nettle Pesto Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes from The Bojon Gourmet

Nettle Chips from Mountain Rose Herbs Blog

Stinging Nettle Lasagna from Learning Herbs

Ali Baba’s Savory Stinging Nettle Muffins from Palachink

Garlic Cream & Nettle Pizza from Food & Wine

Wild Weed Frittata from Mountain Rose Herbs Blog

Nettle-Mushroom Pie with Pine Nuts from Voodoo & Sauce

Stinging Nettle Ravioli with Butter & Sage from La Tavola Marche

Hungry for more ways to enjoy nettle? Check out these 12 stinging nettle recipes from The Herbal Academy.

In addition to being a delicious and healthful edible, nettle is also a wonderful medicinal plant. It is a general toning herb that strengthens and nourishes the whole body, balances metabolic function, and improves circulation. It has been used traditionally as a cleansing herb because of its ability to aid elimination of waste from the body.

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A Holistic Treatment Plan for Seasonal Allergies

If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you know how frustrating the symptoms can be. Dealing with running, itchy eyes and nose, sneezing, coughing, and wheezing can make life very uncomfortable and unfortunately, prescription allergy medications can leave you feeling groggy and tired. There are ways, however, to treat allergies holistically. The results are not immediately effective, however, when the treatments are done faithfully, the result is permanent relief from seasonal allergies and better health overall.


It is best to start this part of the treatment when you are having the least amount symptoms, well before the onset of an acute allergic reaction. Continue the below program for 6 months to a year.

Support the Liver with Diet & Herbs
Allergies occur when the liver over reacts to foreign protein bodies in the environment, including things like plant pollens, dust, animal hairs, chemicals, foods, and cosmetics. Usually, this hypersensitivity to environmental factors is caused by a weakness or breakdown somewhere in our internal system.

If cellular wastes are not being efficiently broken down or eliminated, they build up and begin to weaken internal tissues and organs. This excess protein build up in the blood triggers white blood cell activity, which activates other defense systems in the body. This creates a state of chronic low level agitation in the body that makes it hypersensitive to foreign proteins, also known as antigens.

When an antigen enters the blood stream, the body produces antibodies to “protect” itself. This reaction causes the production of histamine, which is toxic to membranes. This substance causes blood vessels to dilate and makes them more permeable. Histamine is responsible for causing allergy symptoms, like swelling of the mucous membranes in the nose, eyes, and lungs, and the contraction of air passages that results in wheezing and edema.

The liver is responsible for deactivating poisonous substances in the body, even those that the body itself creates. When the liver is healthy, it is able to produce an enzyme, histaminases, which is a natural antihistamine. However, when the liver is stressed, it can not produce enough histaminases to eliminate the histamine the body produced and allergy symptoms continue. Thus, a healthy liver is crucial to being able to eliminate allergies.
Because the liver plays such an important role in the allergic process, the first step to treating hay fever and getting rid of allergies is cleansing and toning the liver.


Most liver imbalances can be classified as deficiencies or excesses. A person who suffers from hay fever tends to be liver deficient.

In this case, the liver function is slow and weak. Cellular wastes are not properly eliminated, and the body is polluted with its own toxic metabolic wastes (as described above). A liver deficiency results in poor use of ingested nutrients and inefficient uptake of the proteins and cholesterol the body needs to regenerate cells. Diet is crucial to helping to improve the health of the liver and establish balance in the body.

Deficient livers are often caused by a diet that includes too many simple carbohydrates and not enough quality protein and fats. Usually, too much emphasis has been put on raw, or cold “yin” type foods; dairy, fruits, and carbs. So in general, a corrective diet for a liver deficient person should include more high quality proteins, fats & oils, and warming foods, as well as:

  • dark leafy greens
  • fresh sprouts – especially clover, fenugreek & alfalfa
  • fresh, steamed vegetables – especially beets and other root veggies
  • whole grains
  • seeds – especially sesame
  • raw almonds
  • fresh, alkalizing fruits, like lemon & grapefrui

Foods to Avoid 

  • alcohol
  • cold drinks and foods
  • fried, fatty, oily foods
  • dairy
  • food preservatives and additives
  • sweets, sugar, and fruit juices
  • raw fruits and vegetables

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Herbs for A Healthy Pregnancy

Herbs are a lovely, natural way to support mom and baby during pregnancy. They can help provide important vitamins and minerals, ease morning sickness, relieve stress, and help to level out mood swings.

The following tea blend is one that herbalist , Rosemary Gladstar, recommends for pregnant mothers. It is tasty and nourishing. This blend can be enjoyed throughout pregnancy to provide essential nutrients, strengthen muscles used during childbirth, ease stress, and gently boost energy levels.

Pregnancy Tea 

  • 4 parts peppermint or spearmint
  • 3 parts raspberry leaf
  • 3 parts lemongrass
  • 2 parts nettle
  • 2 parts oat straw
  • 2 parts strawberry leaf
  • 1 part comfrey leaf
  • Optional: a pinch of stevia


Tonic herbs strengthen and improve general, overall health and vitality of the whole body or in some cases, a specific body system. They are gentle enough to be used often over an extended period of time, and in fact, often work best when used regularly.

Raspberry (Rubus)
Raspberry leaf is a safe and widely used herb for supporting pregnancy. Prepared as an infusion,* it makes a lovely uterine and general pregnancy tonic. It can be used regularly throughout pregnancy to nourish mother and baby and to strengthen the muscles used during childbirth.

The leaves of raspberry contain an alkaloid called fragrine, which helps to tone the muscles of the pelvis and uterus. It is also rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, B complex, C, & E; phosphorus, potassium and iron. The infusion of raspberry leaf also contains calcium in its most absorbable form. The uptake of this mineral is further enhanced by the aforementioned phosphorus, vitamin A & C contained in the leaf.

The regular use of this tonic herb is especially beneficial before and during pregnancy. Prior to conception, raspberry leaf combined with red clover blossoms can help to improve fertility in both men and women. During pregnancy, it can help to ease morning sickness by gently relieving an upset stomach and nausea.
If taken throughout pregnancy, Rubus helps to tone the uterus, which helps prevent miscarriage and postpartum hemorrhage. During childbirth, this toning allows the uterus to contract more effectively, which may make birth faster and easier. Also, because it strengthens the muscles used during labor and delivery, regular use of raspberry leaf during pregnancy can reduce labor pains and healing time after birth.
Raspberry leaf can also be beneficial after the baby is born. The high mineral content of this herb often helps the mother’s body to produce enough breast milk. However, since it is slightly astringent, some mothers may actually experience the opposite effect.

Nettle (Urtica dioica)
Nettle is a wonderfully nourishing tonic herb, especially during pregnancy. It has a high chlorophyll content compared to other herbs and is source of nearly every vitamin and mineral that is known to be needed for human development. It is rich in vitamins A, C, D, & K; calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, and sulfur.
Nettle is easy to enjoy. The infusion* is deep and rich tasting. It is also a delicious spring edible in temperate zones. If you’re lucky enough to live in warmer climates, it can be eaten year round.
There are many benefits to regular consumption of nettle before and during pregnancy. Before pregnancy, nettles help to improve fertility in both men and women.

During pregnancy, this herb helps to provide essential nutrients for mother and baby. Nettle infusions supply readily absorbable phosphorus, calcium, and vitamins A & D.

Nettles also help to ease leg cramps and other muscle spasms. Since this herb is mildly astringent and generally nourishing, it strengthens the blood vessels can help to reduce hemorrhoids. Additionally, nettles tone and strengthen the kidneys, which have to cleanse 150% of the normal blood flow during most of pregnancy.
Regular use of nettle throughout pregnancy helps to reduce pain during and after childbirth because it is high in easily assimilated calcium, which reduces muscles pains in the uterus, legs, and other areas. It also is an excellent source of vitamin K and increases the amount hemoglobin that is available, both of which help to decrease the risk of bleeding postpartum. In case bleeding after birth does occur, drinking fresh nettle in teaspoon doses will help to slow it. After birth, nettle helps mothers produce rich, abundant breast milk.

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Make Your Own Herbal First Aid Kit

We all know that life is extremely unpredictable. One minute you’re happily cutting food for your rabbits and the next thing you know you’re staring dazed at your finger thats now dripping with blood after a too close encounter with your pruning shears.

Even if you aren’t quite as accident prone as I am, things happen and its nice to be prepared when they do. Having a well stocked first aid kit in your home and with you when you travel is a great way to be ready for whatever issues may arise. If you get anxious when you travel, knowing that you are well prepared in case of illness or injury can be a good way to relieve some of your stress.

The following is a list of things in my personal first aid kit. Feel free to make substitutions or omit things based on what is available and makes the most sense for your needs. Some of these remedies are somewhat specific for travelers, so you may choose not to include them in your home medicine cabinet.


Tinctures are a really handy on-the-go herbal preparation, especially if you store them in dropper bottles. I like to store all of my tincture bottles in a small ziplock bag in case of spills. If you’re traveling with glass bottles, you’ll want to pad them somehow to prevent them from breaking.

These are the herbal tinctures in my first aid kit:

Echinacea – This cleansing, immune boosting, antibiotic, and antiviral herb is a great addition to any medicine cabinet. The tincture can be used topically to disinfect cuts and scrapes. It can be taken internally to help treat colds, flus, food poisoning, and bacterial infections. Herbalist, Rosemary Gladstar, recommends taking a dropperful of tincture every 3-4 hours at the first sign of illness (sore throat, cough, fatigue, etc.) until symptoms subside.

Echinacea can also be used preventatively prior to leaving home to prevent illness if you tend to get sick when traveling. Gladstar recommends taking a dropperful 2-3 times daily for three days before traveling and three days after arriving at your destination to boost and support immune function.

Digestive Bitters – This tincture is an invaluable remedy to have on hand for a wide variety of stomach issues. Digestive bitters tincture aids digestion, relieves gas & bloating, and can be helpful for nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

You’ll find more information about bitters and how to make your own tincture in my post, Digestive Bitters.

Valerian – This is one of my favorite herbs for a variety of issues that may arise during travel. It is sedative, pain relieving, and soothing to the nervous system. It’s a valuable sleep aid, helps relieve muscle spasms, calms overexcitement, and is good for general pain relief.

While many people find valerian to be relaxing, a small percentage of people actually experience a stimulating effect from this herb. If you haven’t taken valerian before, try a small dose to see how it will affect you.

Typical dosing: 10 drops to 1 tsp for insomnia, stress, pain, menstrual cramps, aching muscles.

St. John’s wort – This herb is helpful in with general pain relief. It has properties that aids wounded tissues in their recovery. It is an anti-inflammatory. It also aids in recovery of mental/emotional balance after suffering trauma.

Typical dosing: 10-30 drops for nerve pain, depression, anxiety, or burns.

Ginkgo-Hawthorne – This herbal combination can ease the symptoms of jet lag and can also help treat altitude sickness. Gladstar recommends taking 1/2 to 1 tsp of tincture 3 times daily for several days before and after traveling to help prevent jet lag. Avoid taking ginkgo if you take blood thinning medications.


Capsules are another herbal preparation that is very convenient for travel. You can often find herbal capsules in health food stores and even some pharmacies. Mountain Rose Herbs is another great source.

If you’re going to be using a lot of capsules, it’s probably worth it to buy your own capsule machine and empty capsules so you can fill them with your own powdered herbs. This will save you money and also allows you to make customized herbal blends to fill your capsules with.

If you’re not assembling this first aid kit for travel and just want to have a well stocked medicine cabinet at your home, you may want to keep loose dried herbs on hand instead of capsules. It can be cheaper and it’s really not that inconvenient to make a cup of tea when you’re at home. Do whatever works best for you and your family.

The following capsules are in my first aid kit:

Ginger – This herb is helpful for cases of nausea, motion sickness, and helps to calm stomach issues caused by stress and anxiety. It’s warming properties also make it helpful for several other issues travelers might find themselves dealing with, like menstrual issues (especially cramps), coughs, sore throats, and colds.

Activated charcoal – Internally, this powder helps to absorb a variety of toxins from the digestive tract, including many chemicals, poisons, and pathogens that cause food and water bourne illnesses.

It also can be used externally to treat spider bites or help to draw out splinters. Just break open a capsule and mix the contents with a very small amount of water to make a paste. Smooth the paste over the affected area and let dry. Remove with a cloth dipped in warm water.

White willow bark – Willow is a natural source of salicin, the active ingredient in aspirin. It is useful as an anti-inflammatory and all-purpose pain reliever. It can also be useful for treatment of occasional headaches. Standard dosing: 2 capsules with food.

Cranberry – Cranberry capsules are an invaluable remedy to have on hand if you’re prone to bladder or urinary tract infections. Start taking capsules in large doses at the first sign of infection. This can help stop a bladder infection that is just starting.

Essential Oils

Lavender essential oil – Lavender has a wide variety of uses and is very gentle. It’s antiseptic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and calming.

Dab a drop of essential oil on your finger and rub on temples and behind ears to soothe headaches caused by stress and tension or to help calm nerves in stressful situations. This method is also helpful for cases of insomnia.

Lavender EO can also be used topically to promote healing and reduce pain or itching in bruises, burns, wounds, and insect bites. Apply a few drops to affected area to soothe and help prevent infection. For burns, mix a few drops of oil with a tablespoon of honey to make a healing, antiseptic dressing.

Peppermint essential oil – This stimulating essential oil is uplifting, energizing and has a variety of first aid uses.

For upset stomach and digestive issues, add 3 to 4 drops of pure essential oil to a cup of warm water and drink.

For headaches caused by fatigue, put a few drops on a towel or cloth and inhale deeply. Or mix 6-10 drops of peppermint oil with a carrier oil (like olive, sunflower, or coconut oil) and massage onto back of the neck.

For relief from painful insect bites or stings, apply a drop or 2 of essential oil directly onto the affected area.

For burns, mix a few drops with a tablespoon of honey to make an antiseptic, anti-inflammatory dressing.

Tea tree essential oil – Tea tree is a powerful antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal. The essential oil of this herb is very versatile and can be used to treat a variety of issues that may arise on your travels.

To relieve symptoms of sinus & bronchial infections, and colds, put 10-15 drops in a bowl or pot of hot water. Drape a towel over your head and the bowl and steam for 8-10 minutes. Or if an herbal steam isn’t practical, try put a few drops of tea tree essential oil on a cloth or towel, hold over your nose and breathe in deeply.

For fungal infections and rashes, apply a few drops directly to the affected area.

To ease tooth and gum infections, mix 2 drops of tea tree essential oil with 1/4 teaspoon of goldenseal powder and apply to infected area. Do not ingest tea tree oil.

To remove embedded ticks, put a drop of tea tree EO on the butt of the tick.

For wounds, cuts, or insect bites, apply to affected area to prevent infection.


Kloss linament – This traditional remedy is helpful for topical treatment of muscle inflammation, insect bites, scratches, wounds, boils, pimples, infected rashes, splinters, and poison oak/ivy. It should be used only externally.

The following recipe is adapted from Back to Eden by Jethro Kloss.

Jethro Kloss’ Herbal Linament

  • 1 oz golden seal root
  • 1 oz myrrh gum
  • 1/4 oz cayenne
  • 1 pint rubbing alcohol

Combine ingredients in a glass jar with a lid that fits tightly. Cover and let sit in a warm place for 2 weeks or more, shaking daily.

After 2 weeks, strain well and store in a glass jar. Apply to affected area to relieve any of conditions listed above. This remedy will sting when applied to broken skin. Dilute with water for use on animals and children.



Insect Repellent 


Every good first aid kit will also include the following items to help sanitize and bandage wounds or stabilize injuries.

  • Tweezers
  • Scissors
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Gauze
  • Band aids
  • Steri-Strips
  • Cotton swabs
  • Cotton pads
  • Ace wrap
  • Athletic tape
  • Moleskin

Enjoy putting together your own herbal first aid kit. Being prepared for injury and illness can help relieve some of the stress of travel and will help your trip go smoother if an accident occurs or if you fall ill away from home.

Have a favorite first aid herb I didn’t mention? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

7Song. “Wilderness Herbal First Aid.” http://www.7song.com.

7Song. “Herbal First Aid: Protocols, Pain remedies, Wound care and Street Medicine.” http://www.7song.com.

7Song. “Herbal First Aid: Wound Care.” http://www.7song.com.

Gladstar, Rosemary. Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health. 

Gladstar, Rosemary. “Herbs for the Traveler.”

Hoffman, David. Medical Herbalism.

Kloss, Jethro. Back to Eden.

Tierra, Michael. The Way of Herbs.

Weed, Susan. Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year. 

Herbal Dream Pillows & Tea

Throughout history, dreams have had a special significance in many cultures. There is written record of dream interpretations dating back to over 5,000 years old. Ancient Egyptians, for example, highly valued dreams, especially vivid ones, as they believed they were messages from the gods. The ancient Greeks also felt that dreams were divine messages and used interpretations of their dreams to help them make decisions, predict the future, and solve problems.
Today, dreams are still a bit of a mystery to us. Some researchers claim that they help to store memories, while others feel that they are important for resolving conflicts and regulating mood. While the specific benefits of dreams are still uncertain, it is clear that healthy sleep patterns are important to health and well being.

Insomnia and difficulty with dream recall can make it hard to benefit from sleep and dreams. Herbal dream pillows and teas, however, promote vivid dreams, peaceful sleep, and dream recall. They are simple to make and are a natural, non-habit forming way to promote healthy sleep and dream cycles.

The herbs in these dream blends are naturally calming and dream boosting. Mugwort is used to enhance and promote lucid dreams. It has also traditionally been used for protection and was woven into necklaces by Native Americans to help keep away dreams about the dead.

Lavender and chamomile are calming herbs. They promote relaxation and restful sleep. Passion flower is soothing and naturally reduces stress. It aids in easing anxiety and quieting a busy or worried mind.

Oats are a natural sedative and are well-loved by herbalists for their soothing effect on the nervous system. They have been used traditionally to help calm anxiety and alleviate insomnia.


Dream Pillows


  • 3 parts lavender
  • 3 parts roses
  • 2 parts mugwort
  • 1 part chamomile
  • 1 part rosemary
  • 1/2 part eucalyptus


Combine all dry herbs in a large bowl and mix well. Scoop this herbal mixture into pouches sewed from fabric scraps of your choosing. Sew the pouch closed.

To use: tuck the herb sachet under your pillow to promote peaceful sleep and enhance dreams. Drink a cup of sweet dreams tea before bed for an added effect.

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