Friday, May 19, 2017

Growing and using catnip for tea

We're all familiar with catnip and how it affects cats. What is less well-known is how it affects humans. No, catnip is not just for cats! Catnip can be used topically or as a tea, tincture or infusion for many different reasons. Catnip is also one of the herbs that has a long history of use for children.

Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is a member of the mint family. It's sometimes referred to as Catmint. Even though it seems to produce a euphoria response in cats, catnip will not get you high! Here's an excellent explanation of why it works for cats though. 

growing catnip tea
Catnip has a much milder effect on people but it still produces many desired effects. There are many reasons why you should grow catnip for yourself:

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The best essential oils for headache relief

Lately I have been getting a lot of headaches. It started about three months ago. A couple of times a week I would wake up with a headache behind my eyes. It was a dull pain that made it hard to think straight at times. Sometimes the pain was actually in my eyes, other times it felt like sinus pressure, but it was always in the same general area.

Sometimes these headaches would last a couple hours. Other times they would last all the way till bedtime. I was having a hard time stopping them and I couldn't even figure out where they came from.

essential oils for headaches

I tried all the usual things for headaches: aspirin, Tylenol, ibuprofen, heat, cold, sleep, caffeine, even allergy medicines and nothing worked. I slept well & I don't have allergies so there was basically no reason why I would wake up with these headaches. Especially since it never happened before! (yes, I did see a Dr and she couldn't find a medical reason why I started getting headaches)

I eventually turned to essential oils out of desperation. I was literally grasping at straws. I was just praying something would work because it's really hard to go through your entire day with your whole face full of squeezing pressure. I have essential oils on hand, I use them in my salve recipes and diffuser all the time. So luckily I had about 20 to choose from and carrier oils to go with them.

Friday, May 12, 2017

How to keep deer out of your garden

One of my least favorite parts of gardening is battling the deer. It seems that every year just when I think everything is growing great, I find evidence of deer in my garden. This time it was my bulbs that had just sprouted. The deer had eaten my lily's down to just stubs. While this is heartbreaking, unfortunately it's nothing new for me. I live in an area with a lot of wildlife so it just makes sense that the deer will get in my garden and treat it like an all you can eat buffet.

I have tried just about everything to keep deer out of my garden. From fences to scare tactics, I've done it all and it sort of works. The biggest problem with keeping deer out of your garden is that they will adapt rapidly to anything you may try. Yes, many different tactics may work, but nothing that works well works forever.

Deer in garden.

The most effective deterrents are physical barriers like fences or netting's. Fences should be 8 feet tall to be most effective. Some people have luck with shrub walls if they're very thick and dense.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Grow amazing Lavender plants!

We all have that one herb we can't grow enough of and for me that herb is lavender. No matter how many lavender plants I have, I just can't get enough of these fragrant purple flowers! I have been growing lavender for several years and by far my favorite variety is English Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) I love it so much that I even grow lavender right beside the kitchen door!

I use lavender in many different ways including lotions, salves, teas and even baked goods. I mostly use lavender for it's aromatherapy properties. It's known to help induce sleep, calm anxiety, reduce stress and soothe headaches.

Lavender | growing

English lavender (also known as true lavender) is a small evergreen shrub and is the most aromatic variety of the lavenders. It is pest resistant and a low maintenance herb. It's fairly easy to grow, but can be difficult to get started from seed. Many people choose to propagate lavender from cuttings instead as it is much easier.

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