Monday Morning Recap {Bell Buckle Craft Fair}

Do you ever have moments in life when you sit back & know without the shadow of a doubt that you are on your path? Moments when all of the chips fall together & the years of hard work, uncertainty, learning & jumping in with both feet to a field that isn’t very popular are just right? I’m still riding a craft fair high this morning. As an herbalist, I never really know how my products are going to be viewed or received by people who wander into the booth. The tiny little apothecary bottles are filled with pieces of my heart. Much like sending your children off to school for the first time, putting out herbal products for public viewing & scrutiny is a big deal! Our little booth received so much love & encouragement this weekend from so many of you. Whether you texted or called, came in person to give hugs & ohh & ahh over the sights & smells, if you were a complete stranger who chatted & asked questions, or an online acquaintance who liked pictures & sent virtual love, I can’t thank you enough! Our time in Bell Buckle was wonderful & encouraging. It was a huge learning experience & full of laughter, fun & at times even delirium. From the bottom of my heart, thank you!

Tracey & I are excited for things to come. Our next big show will be December 1st at the Shabby Lane Shops Holiday Splendor Trunk Show at Murfreesboro’s Lane Agri-Park Community Center. For the next two Thursdays you can find us set up at the Farmers Market @ Beans Creek Winery in Manchester & Nov 3 I’ll be at Manchester’s Holiday Market @ the Ada Wright building (aka, the barn @ the boys’ ball field).

Until then it’s the mommy, wife & herbalist’s life… Not to shabby if you ask me. Enjoy a few snap shots from my phone. Real pics of the prep & weekend will come as soon as I sit down at the laptop.

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Happy Monday sweet friends,
Mae

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Combining Conventional + Holistic Medicine

Last Saturday I sat outside all day in cold, damp conditions & since then, I’ve been paying a hefty price for doing so. After throwing every conceivable herbal treatment at my system & neither seeing, nor feeling steady or consistent improvement, I knew it was time for allopathic assistance on Tuesday morning. A quick visit to the walk-in clinic revealed that I didn’t have strep & I was given a snot shot & prescription for a z-pack. My pride as an herbalist took a dent; it’s never easy for me to give in to conventional medicine, but obviously there are times that it is called for. This flu-type illness was certainly a case where combining traditional & modern day medicine was necessary.

How I use holistic medicine to assist in my recovery:

The symptoms: cold core & extremities, sore throat, white, coated tongue, dry mouth, ear ache, body aches & pains, excessive mucus production, very low energy, pale coloring, loss of voice, deep, hacking & productive cough, glassy eyes, healthy appetite, overly sensitive to stimulants such as coffee, caffeine or sugar, cravings for salt, excessive, cyclic thoughts.

What these symptoms tell me to look for in an herbal protocol: warming, fire building herbs, soothing & astringent herbs for the mucus membrane & lymphatic system, a mineral heavy, earthy diet, lots of water & rest. As a very fiery person, this flu had drained my fire & I was exhibiting very watery (mucus production + glassy eyes) & airy (cyclical thought patterns + being stuck in my own head) elements. By bringing in warming, bitter & salty herbs & foods, It will build back my internal fire & add earth to my current water/air constitution.

Herbs & foods I incorporated:
Elder & Sumac syrup: a traditional native remedy for cold & flu, this syrup is diaphoretic (sweat inducing), supportive for building the immune system, soothing to the mucus membrane, & helps bring down a fever (cooling). While I didn’t need the cooling aspect, it was very helpful in all the other areas. 1 TSP every hour & a half

Ginger & Echinacea tea: this warming, soothing, lymph combo is a favorite of mine. The most important thing to remember with echinacea (purple cone flower to you gardeners) is that in order for it to work in your system, it MUST be used early & heavily to act as an antibiotic. I didn’t have any tincture ready, so a tea of the stem & leaves had to do. A strong decoction taken every hour would have been best, but I didn’t have the energy. This is when tinctures are so handy to have around! {slaps hand for being ill prepared.}

Goldenseal tincture: The big guns came out to work, but I think I waited too long to incorporate this bitter, antibiotic medicine. It wasn’t until Monday afternoon, after my husband’s suggestion thar I even thought to use goldenseal. It’s strong drying properties make it an obvious choice. It’s extremely bitter (digestive aid & liver support) taste make it rather unpleasant to get down.

Goldenrod bath: I was soooo achey that the pressure of the bed sheet & down comforter hurt. A good bath is always soothing to my body & soul. The added benefit of sweating out toxins & having my friend goldenrod to ease the body aches were great perks.

Chai tea + brandy: hello, my little friend! This oh-so-warming & soothing, not to mention delicious combo is a new favorite. When you get cold & sick call me. I’ll make us both some.

Water, water, and more water: support the lymph, flush toxins from the liver, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

Chamomile: another digestive bitter & building herb to use as a tonic while healing. It’s all about comfort & support.

Rest: this is where I always mess things up. One day, maybe, history will quit repeating itself. When I get an inkling of energy, I feel like I have to check off the impossibly long lists my over-thoughtful mind has created immediately! {face plant} Things like cleaning bathrooms, cooking big dinners, doing all of the laundry & cleaning out my studio are examples of what no to do. Sigh. My downfall & more than likely the reason I’m still in bed an entire week later.

Whole foods: bone broth soups, root veggies, nutritive, healing, traditional soups & warm teas – I can’t get enough!

Probiotics & yogurt: dear antibiotics, you have wreaked havoc on my digestion. I don’t appreciate it in any way. After such violent medicines kill off any healthy bacteria along with the invaders that made me so ill, it’s so very, very important to add a good probiotic & plain yogurt cultures to help build back a healthy gut.

That’s about it from the sick bed. It’s nap time again. Do you combine healing methods? Anything you’d add to my protocol?

Happy napping,
Mae

Three Things Thursday

1.

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This post is brought to you by chai tea + brandy. For breakfast. It’s a good thing: warming, soothing to a sore throat & hacking cough, & opening up clogged ears. Also? It’s ridiculously quite yummy.

2. Last night my husband & I were having a very serious discussion about the over abundance of cop/killer/solve the crime shows in the dvr que. {Side note: Mommas let your babies play cops & robbers & shoot things & discover the play side of violence as children so their future wives aren’t constantly forced to watch violent things. M’kay?} When I told him his killing show interfered with the beards being back he gave me distant, blank look. How can he not get excited abut pretty rednecks who shoot things?!!

3. Speaking of rednecks, on a recent trip to the Smokies, my children’s inner redneck shined (shone?) like the top of the Chrystler building. They chose 2 souvenirs each: airbrushed t-shirts & camo hats. You can take the kids out of the country… However, today for school pictures they tapped into their more preppy side. Say cheese!

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Loosey goosey out,
Mae

P.S. I’m not responsible in any way for grammatical or spelling errors due to the haze hanging out in my head. And various things of that nature.

P.P.S. I ❤ Big Bird. ~and that's pretty much all of the political debate you'll see on Going Herbal. Now, I need a nap.

Welcoming Fall With Real Food Ingredients

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I love everything there is about Fall: football, soccer, warming foods, scarves, boots, open windows all day, crisp mornings & evenings, running trails of freshly fallen leaves, the list could go on & on. With each change of season, I always make a welcoming spice blend to simmer on the stove & beckon seasonal changes to happily enter our home. This simple blend is my absolute favorite, & also happens to remind me of the potpourri blends my mom simmered constantly during my childhood.

My Ode to Fall Blend:
2 sticks of cinnamon
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups water

Mix ingredients in a small saucepan & simmer on low all day. Check water levels & add more as needed.

How do you welcome this beautiful season?

Happy Fall! May your toes be warm & your days be filled with joy,
Mae

InstaFriday

Holy smokes, is it Friday already?! These days are flying by & no matter how much I plan, I never seem to accomplish all that covers my beloved post it note lists. With craft show season quickly approaching {my 1st show is in 2 weeks!!!}, I’m spending a lot of time working in the studio, gathering herbs & drying them for herbal concoctions.

A little sample of our week:

Looking in antique shops for booth decor & storage.

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Items from the studio.

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Fresh, organic herbs from the garden.

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Thoroughly enjoying cool mornings for coffee breaks & yummy muffins.

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Have a fabulous weekend, all! What’s on your agenda for welcoming Fall?
Mae

Chamomile: Not Just a Sleepy Time Herbal Tea

Even before I got into herbs, I new that chamomile was a great tea to drink if you needed help falling asleep. {Thank you American television.} Modern medicine does a great job @ taking a symptom, finding one chemical component to make the symptom go away & then running it into the ground. As an herbalist, my job is to take several steps back from a symptom, listen to signals from clients, & look for patterns of dysfunction to help treat to assist the body in finding homeostasis. Balance & support are always my goals in herbal protocols.

A favorite herb that I keep on hand is Chamomile, known to the ancient Greeks as “ground apple.” This herb not only has sedative properties to help with sleep, but also acts as a whole body tonic to build strength during & after an illness. As a nervine, chamomile is wonderful to have on hand during emergencies to bring a calmness to situations, it helps ease menstrual cramps & has anti-biotic properties, & with the bitterness of this plant, chamomile is wonderful for digestive upset such as colic in babies & young children, & healing the intestinal walls in cases of Leaky Gut & Candida.

As with any physical problems, diet is ALWAYS number one in treating the body. If you can heal the gut, you can make a huge impact on physical symptoms, mental/emotional stress & body processes. Headaches, nervous tension, colds, allergies, autoimmune disease, and more can easily be maintained & controlled through the right individual diet & exercise plan. Chamomile works well in many of these situations to provide bodily support for digestion related pains (including headaches related to liver overload), easing physical & mental tension, lowering fevers with colds, easing the intensity of allergies due to mucus overload in the body & has a cumulative effect for auto immune symptoms.

Most recently in our house, I have used chamomile specifically for digestive upset & constipation, calming bad dreams (due to eating too close to bed time & stress), easing nervous energy & stress & seemingly unending cases of the whines {from both children & this momma}. Chamomile blends beautifully in juices, so the children don’t mind (and sometimes aren’t even aware of) taking it & is a pleasant tea to sip while snuggled up with a cozy blanket & good book.

There is no magic pill, food, formula or herb to heal any / all issues, but with the right food choices, regular exercise & body process support, chamomile is a great herbal friend – and not just for helping Grandmothers get to sleep.

May your sleep be sweet & your liver be happy,
Mae

InstaFriday

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It’s finally Friday & this tired Mommy couldn’t be happier for a long weekend to get some good ol’ r ‘n r.

We kicked off last weekend with a night of backyard camping {for the girls only} & the Tooth Fairy found us thanks to H leaving an oh-so-bright flashlight shining on the lost body part.

I love watching the fog roll out on early mornings as I get to enjoy coffee before everyone starts waking. Country living is a gift.

My poor little sick one has been a trooper. He takes whatever I give him & while the herbs have helped tremendously, I can’t get the mucus in his chest to break up & move out for anything. Off to the doc we go for some allopathic assistance.

Here’s to a weekend of recovery & seriously delicious, healing foods.
Mae

Three Things Thursday

1. Parenting is hard. Not that this is new news, or anything, but it’s been especially difficult in our house the past few months. Today I was talking with a wise woman about things & she said, “When I learned to slow down & communicate with my children, parenting became so much easier.” Her words hit me like a Mac truck. Perspective is an important talent to have. How applicable is her wisdom to every facet of life?

2. We’ve had a sick one in the house this week. Herbs, herbs, & more herbs have gone into my little man & thankfully his fever broke without getting into the frighteningly high zone & he only missed one day of school. Germs are good until they aren’t, huh?

3. I needed to get out of the house today, so I went “pre-shopping” for school picture outfits. The kids have outgrown Carter’s, aren’t really Gymboree style wearers & H isn’t going to be sporting Justice clothing any time soon (or ever if i can help it). It makes me think the Amish are on to something.

Keep calm & sew rad clothes,
Mae