Herbal Remedies

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A Recipe for Homemade Calamine Lotion


Being the outdoorsy type of family that we are…we go through quite a bit of bug repellent.

Nevertheless, we always end up with some type of bite or rash.

One of the most common remedies for these types of ailments is calamine lotion. Calamine seems to be the go-to for those suffering from poison ivy and mosquito bites to chicken pox and eczema.

So here’s a homemade recipe that you can make with just a few ingredients that produces a look-a-like Calamine lotion. Well…it’s not exactly “look-a-like” — it’s more grey than pink — but I tell ya, it works wonders on any skin condition that causes an itchy irritation!

Homemade Calamine Lotion


-1 tablespoon sea salt
-1 tablespoon baking soda
-1 tablespoon bentonite clay
-15 drops essential oils (use one or a combination of lavender, geranium, chamomile, yarrow, peppermint, and tea tree)
-enough water to form a paste


1. In a small glass or ceramic bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients.

2. Slowly mix in the water until a smooth paste forms, then add the essential oils.

3. Use as you would calamine lotion and apply directly to affected area.

Note: Because of the water content, I’d estimate this lotion to keep refrigerated for 3-5 days. Your best bet is to keep a small glass jar of the dry ingredients pre-mixed, spoon a small amount into your hand, and make a paste with the liquids as needed. Similar to how one would use this Herbal Healing Clay…


Looking for ingredients? Mountain Rose Herbs carries the sea salt, bentonite clay, and essential oils you will need.

And as always…if you really enjoyed this post I would be so honored if you’d click this link and subscribe to the blog! To those of you who have been committed readers, I sincerely thank you.

Cultivating Herbal Friendships

Homemade Remedies for the Relief of Insect Stings and Bites

Insect stings and bites of all different kinds have the potential to be extremely painful, itchy, and uncomfortable.

These days it can be hard to find something we can feel confident in to put on our skin — something that is effective and relieves the discomfort. But the good news is…there are common items you may have lying around your home, in your kitchen cabinets, or even steps away in the backyard that can help!

Let’s take a look at a few common, homemade remedies that any of us can grab the next time we experience an insect sting or bite.

Natural Treatment for Stings and Bites

1. A slice of onion. Cut a slice of onion and put it directly on to the affected area. Onions contain a powerful healing enzyme that can relieve the discomfort and promote healing.

2. Make a compress. After removing the stinger and washing the skin precede to soak a piece of cotton in lemon juice, witch hazel, or apple cider vinegar and apply it directly to the affected area. Repeat as often as needed. These items will help to reduce the toxicity of the venom and relieve the pain.

3. Aloe Vera. Aloe vera gel can also be a great help. If you have a plant growing at home, simply cut it open and rub it on the affected area as often as needed. Don’t have it fresh? I like this aloe vera gel product.

4. Epsom salt bath. If there are multiple stings or bites, an Epsom salt bath can provide a wonderful bit of relief. Find salts here…

5. Raw Honey. Dab on a thin layer of raw honey and reap the benefits of it’s healing power.

6. Make a paste. This remedy is great for humans and pet alike! Make a paste with baking soda and a few drops of water. Put the paste on the area and let it sit for approximately 15 minutes before washing off. The baking soda helps to neutralize the venom from the sting/bite.

7. Aspirin. Add a few drops of water or rubbing alcohol to a crushed Aspirin and apply the paste to the affected area.

8. Banana peels. The inside skins of bananas — when rubbed on itchy bug bites — can provide immediate relief! You’ll need to peel the banana, cut off a bit of the skin, rub the inside of it on the affected area, let it dry (do not rinse), repeat as often as needed.

9. Essential oils. A couple drops of lavender essential oils are sure to reduce pain and inflammation when applied directly to a sting or bite. Tea tree oil is also very soothing. Find your essential oils here…

10. Herbs. Try your hand at making an herbal salve (Click here for my homemade itch relief stick recipe), poultice, or compress using any of the following herbs for amazing results:

  • Plantain — My favorite way to use plantain is to tear off a fresh leaf, chew it slightly, and then apply the spit poutice to the affected area.
  • Comfrey
  • Calendula
  • Chickweed
  • Lemon balm 
  • If they aren’t growing in your backyard…Find these organic dried herbs here…

And lastly you can always apply an ice pack. Doing so will help to constrict the blood vessels, thereby decreasing the blood flow which should help to prevent any venom from spreading — not to mention, itching is relieved by the numbing of the skin.

What homemade remedies do you use to treat insect stings or bites?

And as always…if you really enjoyed this post I would be so honored if you’d click this link and subscribe to the blog! To those of you who have been committed readers, thank you.

Mountain Rose Herbs

Top 10 Herbs for Your Kitchen Herbal Tea Closet

Top 10 Herbs for your medicinal herbal tea closet by Frugally Sustainable

Adding an herbal tea closet to your kitchen can be as simple as clearing a shelf in one of your kitchen cabinets and filling it with a few jars full of dried medicinal herbs.

Love the idea of having an herbal tea closet, but don’t know where to start?

Below I have listed the 10 herbs that I use the most for tea making. They include common medicinal herbs that are known to nourish and treat a variety of minor ailments. They also represent a wide base of plant material…from roots and leaves to flowers and berries.

Build your family’s resistance to disease and be prepared — at a moments notice — to create a healing remedy.

1. Nettle Leaf. Ahhh…nettles! I love them! Nutritionally speaking, nettle leaf contains an extremely high chlorophyll content along with being a substantial source for vitamins C and A, calcium, silicon, potassium chloride, protein and fiber. Some type of nettle infusion, when consumed daily, can be the catalyst to overall vitality.

2. Lemon Balm. This leaf teas has been historically used to treat all kinds of nervous system ailments. Lemon balm is known for it’s ability to calm an irritable child, act as an antiviral in treating cold sores due to the herpes virus, heal wounds and protect the skin, treat the symptoms of the common cold and flu when combined with other medicinal herbs, and it can relieve the symptoms of migraine headaches, anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

3. Chamomile. Safe for the whole family, this gentle herb will forever hold it’s value. Traditionally chamomile tea is used to help the body unwind and induces a restful sleep. Additionally, the soothing effects of chamomile can stop spasms in the smooth muscle lining of the digestive tract…relieving stomachaches and calming the bowels. Chamomile tea has also been proven to contain antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and anti-parasitic properties.

4. Dandelion Root. When prepared as a decoction, dandelion root tea will revitalize the liver and aids the body in the removal of toxins. This medicinal herb has the ability to detox while maintaining the proper balance of electrolytes and nutrients our bodies need.

5. Echinacea Root. One of the most common root teas used for the treatment of colds. Echinacea stimulates the immune system, and has proven to possess antibacterial properties. When taken internally at the first sign sickness, this tea has the ability to help boost the body’s immune system and shorten the duration of symptoms. A strong decoction may also be made and applies externally for the treatment of skin ailments such as sores, bug bites, stings, minor wounds, and burns.

6. Peppermint. Just at the thought of a cup of peppermint tea…all my troubles are set at ease. This leaf tea is truly a stress reliever and cure-all. Minor aches and pains, headaches, and tension are no match for peppermint tea. Also a proven digestive aid, take a cup after a nutritious meal and help your body absorb all of the vitamins and mineral necessary for health.

7. Plantain. Plantain tea is a great herbal blood purifier and excellent to have on hand for your family’s first-aid needs. A plantain leaf infusion can used as a wash or compress to clean wounds and likewise applied to relief the itching from poison ivy/oak/sumac, bug bites, and bee stings.

8. Elderberries. Traditionally elderberries have been used medicinally in teas and syrups. They are also often added to jellies and wines to and are known to increase flavor. But that’s not what makes the berry a must-have in my tea closet…I use elderberries primarily to prevent illness. And should we fall ill, a strong tea made of elderberries and raw honey will treat fevers and bring healing for the flu.

9. Rose Hips. This fruit of the rose is one of the most concentrated plant sources of vitamin C known. They can be easily included in many cold prevention teas and medicinal remedies. Rose hips are also an excellent source for a variety of antioxidants. In fact, they make a great sustainable source of vitamin C for those who may not have citrus fruits available.

10. Seasonal. With every season comes a different need. Right now I’m loving the addition of alfalfa to our daily infusions, but sometimes it’s astragalus or raspberry leaf…it could even be sage or oatstraw.

***Many of these herbs can be foraged for or easily grown at home.

Click here to read more about buying and storing dried bulk herbs


-I personally trust the quality and integrity of the products from Mountain Rose Herbs. The herbs that I receive from them always far exceed my expectations. I love that they label when the herbs were harvested and packaged! And I love that anytime I’ve ever had a question they answer it promptly. Not to mention, their prices are the best I’ve found.

-When purchasing from Mountain Rose Herbs, bulk purchases are rewarded with significant discounts. Save even more by asking your like-minded friends if they’d be interested in placing an order with you for bulk medicinal herbs.

-Grow your own by purchasing non-GMO, purely medicinal herbal seeds here…

Now it’s your turn! What are your favorite herbal teas? Do you have a tea closet?

Be sure not to miss a single post in the series…click this link and subscribe to the blog.

Mountain Rose Herbs

How to Treat Migraines with an Herbal Tincture at Home ~ A Recipe

How to Treat Migraine Headaches with a Homemade Herbal Tincture by Frugally Sustainable

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) abounds in my garden!

It is one of the most easy to grow medicinal herbs and has some pretty amazing healing properties…making it a great addition to the home pharmacy.

Historically, lemon balm has been used to treat all kinds of nervous system ailments and is known for it’s ability to:

  • calm an irritable child.
  • act as an antiviral in treating cold sores due to the herpes virus.
  • heal wounds and protect the skin.
  • treat the symptoms of the common cold and flu when combined with other medicinal herbs.
  • relieve the symptoms of migraine headaches, anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

Likewise, feverfew is unbeatable when it comes to treating the common headache, migraines, stress/tension headaches, and those headaches associated with PMS symptoms. It truly is a wonder herb and a must in the garden of those who suffer these ailments.

Note: Please see my How to Make a Tincture at Home video for more helpful information regarding making a tincture.

Migraine Tincture ~ A Recipe

Supplies needed

-Solvent (i.e. 100 proof alcohol or vegetable glycerin)
-quart sized glass mason jar
-4 oz. fresh or 2 oz. of dried herbs


-3 parts lemon balm
-2 parts feverfew
-100 proof vodka to fill


1. Measure your herbs depending on whether you are using fresh or dried herbs.
2. If using fresh herbs, chop until fine.
3. Add herbs to glass jar.
4. Pour solvent over herbs to fill the jar. The solvent should rise 1-2 inches above the herbs.
5. Place the lid on the jar and shake until the herbs are well combined.
6. Label jar with contents and date.
7. Set in a warm, sunny window and steep for 2-6 weeks, shaking daily.
8. Strain with a cheesecloth, compost the plant material, and place tincture in dark colored bottles for storage in a cool, dark place. The tincture should keep for up to 5 years.

Adult Dosage

At the sudden onset of migraine symptoms, begin taking 1/4-1/2 a teaspoon of the tincture every 30 minutes to an hour until symptoms subside.

Feel free to print this recipe and add it to your herbal journal: Migraine Tincture Recipe (131kb PDF)

Looking for the raw materials mentioned in this post? Check out the good people over at Mountain Rose Herbs and Bulk Herb Store…they are the go-to for all my dried herb and medicinal herb seed needs!

Be sure not to miss a single post in the series…click this link and subscribe to the blog.

Disclaimer: Please understand that this information is for educational purposes only. The statements made here have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and they are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure or prevent any disease. Don’t take my word for it…you should always engage conventional wisdom and consult with your medical professional to determine potential drug interactions and safety of use.


Building Your Medicine Chest: First-Aid Antiseptic Ointment

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Today I want to share with you an all-natural product that you can make easily at home in order to build your DIY medicine chest.

This homemade antiseptic ointment is packed full with germ-killing properties that will help treat everyday minor cuts, scraps, and abrasions.

You can use this ointment just as you would a tube of that pricey commercially-prepared stuff.

Best part of this is…you control the ingredients!

First-Aid Antiseptic Ointment 


For recipes such as these, I only recommend the use of the organic essential oils from Mountain Rose Herbs.


  1. Over very low heat, in a small pot or double boiler, melt oils and beeswax.
  2. Remove from heat and add vitamin E oil and essential oils. Stir until well combined.
  3. Pour mixture into small sterilized jars (or a mason jar). Allow to cool on counter.
  4. Store in a cool, dark place. Use as needed on wounds. Will keep for approximately 5 years.


-Antiseptic properties of the essential oils include:

  • Tea tree oil: antibiotic, anti-fungal, antiviral, antibacterial
  • Lavender: analgesic (pain relief), antibiotic, anti-fungal, antiviral, antibacterial
  • Lemon: antibiotic, antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial

-For those who do not like the smell of lavender…you may substitute chamomile essential oils for lavender and fir essential oils for lemon.

-I purchase the ingredients used in this recipe from a local health food store. Otherwise, I like to purchase from Mountain Rose Herbs.

You can purchase this first-aid ointment from my Etsy Shop
click here to visit The Marketplace!

Simple Homemade Remedies For A Variety of Respiratory Illnesses

It’s the holiday season, and with all of the festivities that can mean…large family gatherings, crowded shopping centers, parties, shaking hands, hugs and kisses all around! It’s a breeding ground for the spread of a variety of ailments that effect our respiratory systems.

You know what I’m talking about–runny noses, sore throats, bronchitis, asthma, coughs, and earaches.

Unfortunately modern medicine has made its attempt to fool many of us into believing that the simple, homemade remedies of days-gone-by are no longer beneficial. In fact, it is estimated that Americans spend nearly $4.4 billion on over-the-counter cold and cough remedies. Amazingly, there is no evidence to prove that many of these remedies have any effect at all.

Most of the commercially-prepared products we can buy actually set their aim on suppressing symptoms rather than preventing or curing them.

Homemade Remedies For Respiratory Illnesses

Medicine cabinets stocked with healing herbs from the garden, and pantries packed full with nutritionally dense foodstuffs, provide some of the finest curative powers that have been known for centuries–and have been proven to be easy on the wallet as well!

The Common Cold

  • The many benefits of homemade chicken broth are being researched and they are finding that the science behind this “old wives’ tale” is in fact an effect treatment for the common cold. Try this Garlicky Chicken Broth.
  • Enjoy a sandwich made of whole-grain bread (homemade is best), raw yellow onion, a half-inch of grated horseradish, one slice of cheddar cheese and brown mustard.
  • Use garlic, yellow onions, parsley, and thyme frequently in your cooking (thyme and parsley contain an extremely high amount of vitamin C).
  • Drink several cups of warm honey/lemon water daily.
  • Wash your hands.
  • Keep the indoor thermostat set at 68 degrees F or below.
  • Humidify the air with a stove top pan full of water, cinnamon and cloves. 


Sore Throat


  • Drink horehound tea.
  • Suck on Horehound Lozenges.
  • Drink chamomile tea (a natural antihistamine).
  • Add chamomile flowers to hot water and inhale the steam.
  • Incorporate raw, local honey into the diet.
  • Consume 1 tablespoon of white mustard seeds in water or molasses twice a day.


Fevers are often associated with respiratory illnesses. See Natural Treatment of Fevers.

-If there are symptoms of an earache, whip up some of this.

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DISCLAIMER: Please remember that I am not a doctor and have no authority to diagnosis an illness. The statements made here are simply my own opinion and have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure or prevent any disease. This notice is required by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. Seek the advice of your medical professional before using any of these remedies.

Horehound Lozenges: The Homemade Remedy For Sore Throats, Coughs, and Asthma

Horehound is a perennial herb from the mint family. Known for it’s bitter taste and incredible curative properties, it is used primarily in the treatment of respiratory and bronchial illnesses–such as sore throats, coughs, and asthma.

It acts as an expectorant as it loosens phlegm in the chest. Marrubiin, one of the compounds in horehound, stimulates bronchial secretions thereby helping to break up congestion. Research also indicates that marrubiin acts as an antibiotic as well as an anti-viral.

Additional Benefits of Horehound

In addition to the respiratory system, horehound is also beneficial for the digestive system. In fact, horehound may help with all of the following:

  • Intestinal gas
  • Nausea
  • Parasites
  • Jaundice
  • Sore Throats
  • Cough
  • The common cold
  • Asthma

Horehound is often prepared as a syrup or tea. However, our family prepares horehound lozenges to have on hand for a quick go-to remedy, should the need arise.

Horehound Lozenge Recipe


-1 cup dried horehound leaves
-1 cup water
-1 1/2 cup raw, local honey


-stainless steel pot
-cookie sheet
-candy thermometer (optional)


1. In a small stainless steel pot, boil the horehound leaves and water, covered, for 25 minutes.

2. Cool and strain the mixture using a cheesecloth.

3. Reserve the liquid and compost the leaves.
4. Add the honey to the liquid, return to the pot, and bring to a boil once again.
5. Once boiling reduce to a simmer.
6. Cook mixture, stirring constantly, until the syrup reaches 300 degree F (this will take a while). Or, if you’re like me and don’t have a candy thermometer, use the “test” (see below).
7. Grease a cookie sheet with butter or coconut oil and pour in the syrup.

8.When the syrup has cooled and is pliable, begin pulling off small piece and rolling between the palms of greased hand, form a small ball. Work quickly as the mixture hardens pretty fast. I like to institute the help of little hands! The children love helping at this step:)

9. Allow lozenges to cool on pan.
10. Store in a cool, dry place.


-The “test.” I do not own a candy thermometer so I use the “test” method when making this remedy. To insure that the syrup has reached the right temperature/consistency, I place just a drop or two of the syrup into a bowl full of ice water. If the syrup turns and stays hard (like a cough drop) then you know it’s ready. If it is still soft and sticky, it needs to keep cooking.

-Yes, these lozenges will have a slightly bitter taste. That is part of what makes them so effective as an expectorant.

-The yield is dependent on the size of your drops. I like to make some larger for adults and some smaller for the children.

-I purchase some of my herbs from a local health food store that sells herbs in bulk. Otherwise, I like to purchase from Mountain Rose Herbs or The Bulk Herb Store.

Check here to find a source for raw, local honey.

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DISCLAIMER: The statements made here are the sole opinion of the author and have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure or prevent any disease. This notice is required by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. Please consult a medical professional prior to using this remedy.