Winter + Yule Essential Oil Diffuser Blend

winter + yule essential oil diffuser blend

Winter is such a wonderful time to allow for the aromatic benefits of essential oils to bless our lives.

A time…

…to cleanse and freshen the air within our homes — often shut tight against the colder weather.

Not to mention, the emotions induced by seasonal scents…ones that remind us of all those warm + joyous moments.

I say, the people of ancient times were the wiser.

They were known to bring cut branches of evergreens — those such as fir, mistletoe, pine, and juniper — inside to release their intoxicating aromas. This practice was common during the time leading up to, and around, the Winter Solstice — when the days grow shorter and the nights grow longer.

It is during the Winter when our longing for the light and life of warmer days grows.

The recipe given below, is a fairly simple blend of essential oils I’ve designed to evoke a sense of celebration, life, and renewal — one given through the scents most commonly associated with the Winter Solstice, Yule, and the entire holiday season.

Setting Your Intention

I encourage you, as you prepare a batch of this diffuser blend, visualize what it must have been like for those before us…

…as our ancestors stood witness to the rise of the sun on the day of the Winter Solstice — I think about the intensity of cold they must have experienced — with only the flames of a small fire to warm them — and oh the relief that manifests’ at the rebirth of the sun!!!

Diffuse this blend in your home to aid in celebration of the season through protection, blessing (love), meditation (peace), and cleansing.

Winter + Yule Essential Oil Diffuser Blend

Ingredients
*For the highest medicinal value available choose dōTERRA™ essential oils or the organic oils from Mountain Rose Herbs…these are the brands I trust to provide the ultimate in health + safety for myself, my family, my friends, and my home. 

  • 4 drops pine essential oil
  • 3 drops frankincense essential oil
  • 2 drops sweet orange essential oil
  • 2 drops cypress essential oil
  • 2 drops juniper essential oil
  • 1 drop clove essential oil

CLICK HERE to purchase
Organic essential oils
online from Mountain Rose Herbs.

To use

Add each of the essential oils in a small glass bottle (I love these Amber Glass Bottles with Reducer) and invert the bottle gently a few times to blend. Note :: I like to make a decent-sized batch to last several uses.

Date + label the bottle.

Diffuse as directed by your essential oil diffuser. Note :: I add my oil blend — 15-20 drops — directly into my nebulizing diffuser (a diffuser that I absolutely LOVE).

DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my knowledge-sharing/writing/blogging activities, I occasionally may receive monetary compensation for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this article. However, I only recommend products or services I have personally used myself and trust.

The Herbarium :: For a Deeper Connection to Plants + Like-Minded Others

Introducing the The Herbarium...join NOW!!!

Your Virtual and Vibrant Collection of Herbal Resources. 

“We are herbalists, a spirited group of individuals from all walks of life, joined together by our gratitude for nature and our desire to live and heal with plants.

Along our herbal journey, we have grown closer to the earth and closer to the fellow beings whom it sustains. We have learned and continue to learn how even the smallest, seemingly insignificant plant has value. Real valueto its ecosystem and to us.

This connection that we share, this knowledge that we have gained, and all that we have yet to learn

these are the roots of The Herbarium.”
-The Herbal Academy of New England

The fine folks at The Herbal Academy of New England (HANE) have done it again!

And I am beyond thrilled to introduce you to the most AMAZING opportunity!!!

As lovers of plant medicine, we all know the study and practical use of herbs is a life-long journey.

The Herbarium is a dynamic membership site offering a rich collection of herbal resources to aid in that journey.

The Herbal Academy of New England (HANE) has drawn upon the concept of the traditional herbarium — a collection of dried plants preserved for reference purposes — expanded it, and taken it digital to create a vibrant and thoughtful collection of herbal resources for members.   

As part of The Herbarium community, you will have all of these resources right at your fingertips, enriching your herbalism practice.

The Herbarium offers self-directed herbal education for students who wish to continue their studies beyond the HANE online courses…

…and for readers who wish to expand upon their knowledge or are just dipping their toes in.

Features of The Herbarium

  • MONOGRAPHS — An ever-growing database including detailed medicinal uses of each plant, beautiful images and botanical prints, quick facts, and scientific research and articles for further reading. By combining traditional herbal wisdom, hands-on experience, and modern scientific research, the monograph collection includes some of the most complete information to date.
  • LIBRARY — An ever-expanding collection of in-depth herbal resources including articles, presentations, videos, and podcasts from some of the most brilliant herbal minds from across the globe.
  • MEDIA — Here you will find convenient access to downloadable and printable charts and graphs as well as ebooks on various herbal topics. These are valuable tools for the herbalist!
  • HANDPICKED BY HANE — Looking for even more resources? Members will find a compilation of handpicked books and reviews on some of the best herbal works.
  • MEMBER PERKS — As a member, you will receive 10% off all online programs and local workshops. All ebooks sold online will be offered FREE to you in our membership program.
  • HIDDEN GEMS — Interaction is not required but we’ve got plenty of ways to get involved. Answer a poll and vote on which herb you’d like to see featured in the next monograph! Plus, keep your eye out for bonus videos found in monographs and articles. These treasured tips are worth every penny!
  • COMMUNITY — (My personal fave!) Connect with one another, discuss site content, and share recipes and remedies in The Herbarium forum.

THE HERBARIUM IS FOR EVERYONE!

So whether you:

  • Don’t have the time OR money to study in an in-person herbal program
  • Reached an end to your formal herbal studies
  • Can’t find an organized place to study herbs in-depth
  • Or just want to learn more!

Membership is for you!

From beginner to seasoned herbalist, the information inside The Herbarium walls will enrich and inspire your herbal studies. Whether you are new to herbalism or have been studying for many years, the tools you will find here will both help you begin your studies AND make them rich.

Each section of the website will be growing with you, so start from the beginning and learn with all of us — as we all share and build our collection of herbal resources.

Learning is not meant to be journeyed alone.

Let’s walk this path together!

BECOME A MEMBER

Members will receive one year complete access into The Herbarium and all of its offerings for just $45!

Thats only $3.75/month.

And better yet…

Frugally Sustainable readers will receive a full year membership for only $39 using the coupon code GIVETHANKS.

That’s only $3.25/month!

Click HERE to join!

Is it worth the investment?

For the searchable monograph database alone, it is! This will be your go-to resource as an herbalist.

FREE to members, HANE ebooks…these are sold individually to the public for up to $4.99 each.

Members may enjoy up to $55 in discounts towards online courses.

Plus, you will receive 10% off every local workshop.

Subscriptions renew annually, but you can cancel anytime.

Join The Herbarium

Click HERE to join!

I will be joining this community and sincerely hope to connect with you there!!!

DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my knowledge-sharing/writing/blogging activities, I occasionally may receive monetary compensation for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this article. However, I only recommend products or services I have personally used myself and trust.

Magical Winter Solstice Brew :: A Recipe for Holiday Yule Wine

Magical Winter Solstice + Yule Brew Recipe

Be sure to PIN IT for later!

“I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December
A magical thing
And sweet to remember.

We are nearer to Spring
Than we were in September.
I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December.”
-Oliver Herford

Late dawn.

Early sunset.

Shortest day. Longest night.

For us in the Northern Hemisphere, the Winter Solstice marks the longest night and shortest day of the year.

No matter where you live on this Earth, it’s our signal to celebrate the rebirth of the sun! For us on the northern part of Earth, the shortest day is here! After the Winter Solstice, the days get longer, and the nights shorter.

The solstice happens in a universal instant — one that all of us, everywhere on Earth share. According to my Deluxe Moon app…this year, the Winter Solstice comes on December 21 at 3:59 p.m. here in Arizona. It’s when the tilt of the Earth away from the sun produces — in the Northern Hemisphere — its shortest day and longest night of the year.

Yule is the celebration that honors this glorious seasonal shift!

And during a time with so many reasons to celebrate — and so many gatherings to attend — I am preparing a yummy treat!

My Magical Winter Solstice Brew!

Over the next few days, I will be gathering the herbs and ingredients needed for the recipe.

You may begin tincturing this brew at anytime leading up to the Solstice. However, I encourage you to join me this Saturday November 22, 2014 — on the day of the New Moon — in setting the Solstice brew in glass mason jars!

This allows a beautiful + complete New Moon to New Moon tincturing cycle — as the 2014 Winter Solstice falls on the New Moon.

What a truly magical + blessed gift to bring to any holiday party and/or family get-together!

How to Make Winter Solstice + Yule Brew with the magic of the moon.

Winter Solstice Brew + Yule Wine Recipe

Yield :: 1 quart-size glass jar

Ingredients
*Use organic ingredients if at all possible. I have linked to my favorites as examples. 

Method

  1. Combine all ingredients in a quart-size glass jar.
  2. Shake well to combine.
  3. Allow mixture to sit up to 4 weeks, if possible. Note :: Set mixture on the New Moon just prior to the Winter Solstice just in time to use on the New Moon of the Solstice. Quick Brew Tips :: Setting the mixture anytime prior to the Solstice is just as magical:) 1 week, 2 weeks, 3 weeks prior…DO IT!!!

To Serve 

On the day of the Winter Solstice (Yule or Christmas…really whatever holiday celebration is at hand), add entire contents of the jar to a saucepan or slow cooker. Add 1/4-1/2 cup of raw, organic honey (sweeten to taste). Warm on very low heat setting, heating mixture throughout.

Serve warm.

Enjoy.

Happy Solstice, everyone!

A Homemade Super Effective Healing Cream for Eczema

How to make your own homemade SUPER effective skin healing eczema + psoriasis cream

Never loose this recipe :: Pin It 

Searching for a truly effective remedy for eczema is often exhausting and can seem at times down right…debilitating.

However, moving away from the steroidal treatments of conventional medicine toward the plant-based, anti-inflammatory solutions of herbs + aromatherapy demonstrates the successful revival of nearly forgotten wisdom.

We know that eczema, by and large, is an external symptom of internal imbalance + disharmony.

While the journey of correcting the underlying cause — diet + lifestyle + autoimmunity + metabolism — could take years…creating all-natural topical creams, lotions, and/or salves can provide symptomatic relief along the often difficult road.

I’ve designed this herbal — totally chemical-free, all-natural, plant-based — formula to help soothe and ease extremely dry, bumpy, itchy, eczema-prone skin.

All of the ingredients — the herbs, the butter, the oils — were chosen for their ability to ::

  • regenerate + repair + normalize the skin
  • hydrate extremely dry patches
  • soothe sensitive skin
  • reduce the occurrence of itchy, red inflammatory breakouts
  • heal

Ready for relief!

Healing Eczema Cream

Ingredients
*Use only pure, organic, additive-free ingredients. I have linked to the only products I recommend.

Learn more :: Click here to learn how to make your own calendula herbal oil at home.

Essential Oil Blend
*Use only pure, organic and/or wildharvested oils. I have linked to the superior oils made available by Mountain Rose Herbs

Method

  1. Combine all ingredients and essential oils — in their natural state, without the use of heat — in a stainless steel or glass bowl.
  2. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, whip for approximately 3-4 minutes — or until well combined.
  3. Transfer cream to glass jars (I love these) for storage. Store in a cool, dark place.

For Best Results

Apply a generous dose of this cream to the skin immediately after a bath or shower. Gently towel wet skin by patting dry just prior to application. Likewise, apply anytime to clean, dry skin whenever relief is needed throughout the day.

Please Remember

Making remedies such as these in your kitchen requires the utmost in cleanliness in order to inhibit bacterial growth. Be sure to use thoroughly cleaned utensils, bowls, and counter surfaces throughout the process.

Expiration

This cream should last 6+ months on the counter. There is no need for refrigeration.

Note: Naturally the results will be different for everyone. This is by no means a cure-all. I’m just happy to share with you my experience with these plants and/or oils. Please use conventional wisdom and consult with your medical professional prior to using this or any other herbal remedy. And as we know all too well the FDA doesn’t like any type of claim…therefore, take it for what it is, and remember, this information is purely educational in its purpose.

DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my knowledge-sharing/writing/blogging activities, I occasionally may receive monetary compensation for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this article. However, I only recommend products or services I have personally used myself and trust.

Potato Garlic Soup Recipe

The yummiest Potato Garlic Soup recipe EVER!

Nothing says winter like a warm + cozy bowl of delicious goodness!

I love soups…

…and I love them even more during the coldest, darkest season of the year.

This soup in particular, begs for a comfy couch, a crackling fire, and slippers.

Not to mention, if you have a hint of a cold…this will surely aid in healing.

Potato Garlic Soup

Yield :: 4 servings

Ingredients
*Use local organic, non-GMO ingredients whenever possible.

  • 4 cups red potatoes, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons real salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grass-fed, ghee (ghee is my favorite, but you can use coconut oil or olive oil in substitution)
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth (water, milk, or chicken broth may be used in substitution)
  • 8-10 cloves fresh garlic, peeled
  • 3-4 tablespoons grass-fed butter
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • shredded cheddar cheese, optional

Method

  1. Combine the potatoes, water, and salt in a saucepan. Cook until tender (approx. 20 minutes). Note :: Do not drain.
  2. Heat the ghee, or oil, in a skillet. Saute chopped onions until translucent (approx. 10 minutes).
  3. Using a food processor or blender, puree undrained potatoes, sauteed onions, fresh garlic, butter, and 1/8 cup fresh parsley until smooth.
  4. Pour puree back into saucepan, add vegetable broth to the desired consistency, and cook over medium heat for 5-10 minutes or until heated through.
  5. Serve in warm bowl. Top with shredded cheese (optional), fresh parsley, and pepper.

Enjoy!

Learn more :: Follow my “Soups” Pinterest board for continued inspiration!

How to Make Winter Solstice Incense Cones

How to make winter solstice incense cones

Making incense is a very intentional and beautiful form of creative art.

It’s super fun to make and such a blessing to use.

Incense may take the form of ::

  • loose ingredients to be burned on outdoors fire or indoors on a charcoal disc
  • hand-shaped cones, cylinders, or sticks

All forms of incense — except that of loose incense — consist of four foundational ingredients: a burnable base, an aromatic substance, a bonding element, and a liquid to bring it all together.

The beautiful thing about making incense at home…you set the intention for the incense…you choose the ingredients.

I created this incense to be enjoyed for the next few weeks leading up to the Winter Solstice. The aromatics used in the recipe I am sharing with you include herbs + oils strongly associated with the season. Basically…it smells like a Christmas tree explosion in my kitchen right now!

*The aromatics/herbs used for incense are best gathered from the wild. The next best option, is to purchase wildcrafted or organic herbs.

  • pine needles…these I gathered from a tree near my home. We use pine needles in incense to cleanse a space of negativity, for protection + purification, and to ward off illness.
  • red cedar tips…these I purchase online here. Medicinally, cedar is an herb of protection. We burn cedar to bring peace…to cleanse our home and to protect against unwanted influences.
  • juniper berries…I purchase juniper berries online here or here. Burn juniper berries for the purpose of cleansing and purifying the air indoors. Juniper berries are also used for protection and illness prevention.

I’ve made plenty of these cones — enough for my own personal use…

…and I’ve set a whole bunch to cure/dry.

They’ll make very meaningful gifts to give to my friends + family for the holidays.

How to make winter solstice incense cones at home

So, are you ready for some fun!?!

Let make incense!

Learn more :: Incense: Crafting & Use of Magickal Scents

Winter Solstice Incense Cones

Yield :: 6-8 cones

Ingredients

Optional Add-ins

Method

  1. Measure the herbs (equal parts of pine needles, juniper berries, red cedar tips) into electric grinder or mortar+ pestle.
  2. Grind herbs until fine.
  3. Transfer powdered herbs to a glass bowl — add sandalwood powder, clove powder, and guar gum — use a small wire whisk or wooden stick (a chopstick is perfect) to blend until well combined.
  4. Very slowly add the liquid just a little bit at a time. Carefully mix the liquid in. Mix with a wooden stick for several minutes. Please note :: The mixture may look too dry at first, but keep mixing. As you mix, use your fingers to press the mixture together to help completely combine.  
  5. After several minutes, gather the incense “dough” into your hands and begin to knead. If the incense is too dry and won’t form a dough ball, add a few more drops of water. You want a smooth dough, without any cracks.
  6. Add essential oils if using. Knead dough 30 more seconds to combine.
  7. Pinch off 1/4 teaspoon of dough. Using your thumb and index fingers on both hands, form a tall, thin cone.
  8. Repeat until all dough is used. This recipe should make 6-8 cones.
  9. Allow incense to cure/dry on a clean, flat surface for 5-7 days. Be sure to keep incense away from drafts, direct sunlight, and heat. Please note :: A long, slow drying process is what we are after here. Drying incense to quickly will lead to cracks and burning issues.
  10. Store incense in a glass container, in a cool, dark place.

To Burn

  1. Place a layer of sand in a heat-proof dish. Note: This is the sand I use, and the brass incense burner I have in my home.
  2. Light the tip of the incense cone and burn as you would commercially prepared incense cones.
  3. Enjoy the best smelling house on the block!

Read more :: Follow my “Sacramental Smoke” Pinterest Board for continued inspiration along your incense creating journey!

What type of incense are you making and enjoying these days?

Homemade Moisturizing Winter Lotion

Homemade Moisturizing Winter Lotion

I have a jar of herb-infused olive oil I made this past summer sitting on my counter in the kitchen.

It’s been beckoning me in the recent days…telling me it’s ready.

So, I’ve decided to set half of the oil in freshly, dried herbs with the addition of organically cultivated goldenseal root for a new batch of anti-microbial ointment I’ll make when my current stock is out.

With the other half of the oil, I am in the kitchen whipping up a quick batch of lotion!

For this lotion, I’ve set out with the intention of creating a richer formula to give our skin extra protection and moisture for winter.

Made with the absolute best organic olive oil (this is the only olive oil I’ll ever use), in combination with the following skin-loving herbs ::

  • calendula flowers and comfrey leaves + roots from my home garden
  • plantain harvested along a stream while visiting my sister in Colorado
  • organically cultivated St. John’s wort + olive leaf I purchased from Mountain Rose Herbs

Moisturizing Winter Lotion

Ingredients
*Choose only organic ingredients. I have linked directly to the ingredients I personally use and recommend.

Essential Oil Blend
*For the highest medicinal value available choose dōTERRA™  Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade™ essential oils or the organic oils from Mountain Rose Herbs…these are the brands I trust to provide the ultimate in health + safety for myself, my family, and my friends. 

  • 30 drops geranium essential oils
  • 15 drops frankincense essential oils
  • 25 drops cedarwood essential oils
  • 30 drops chamomile essential oils, (lavender is an excellent substitute)

Method

  1. Using a kitchen scale, weigh all ingredients.
  2. In a small sauce pan, combine the kokum butter, herb oil, liquid of choice, glycerin (or honey), emulsifying wax, stearic acid, and citric acid.
  3. Heat mixture on the stove over low heat, until the mixture is well combined and completely melted. Stir frequently.
  4. Remove from stove.
  5. Using an immersion blender (or a wire whisk), stir intermittently until cool, creamy, and thick.
  6. Add in rosemary antioxidant (extract) and essential oils.
  7. Stir well.
  8. Pour into storage jars (I use these).

Please remember :: Making lotion at home in your kitchen requires the utmost in cleanliness in order to inhibit bacterial growth and prevent mold. This is why it is very important to use aloe vera gel, hydrosols, or purified/distilled water for the tea infusion in the recipe. Likewise, please be sure to use thoroughly cleaned utensils, pans, bowls, and counter surfaces throughout the process.

This lotion should last 4-6 month on the counter. There is no need for refrigeration. However, if you see mold growing, toss it out. Tip :: If you use more than one jar/container feel free to store them in the fridge until you’re ready to use them. And just so you know, I’ve never had any mold grow in mine — ever.

***I make this for my family and for my dear friend. Her daughter has eczema…and this is the only thing that helps!***