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{Note from Jessica: Today's post is shared by my sweet friend Jess Kuh. Jess is a fellow real food blogger with a passion for natural living, herbs, and anything that keeps her family and home healthy. Her site, Simply Healthy Home is a treasure trove of great information about getting and staying healthy, all while living a happy life along the way! Make sure you stop by her website to check out her tasty recipes and DIY tutorials. Tell her I sent you! :)}

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by Jess Kuh
Simply Healthy Home

When I first began learning about herbs I was looking at it in such a limited view:

“Plantain is for infection, comfrey is for broke bones, yarrow is for fevers…”

And while those still hold to be true in my house, I also know that herbs are complex and kind of have a “life” of their own.

Herbs are used daily at our house. My kids can't live with out plantain salve, but we also use herbs to nourish our bodies. Herbs, unlike synthetic vitamins, are easily assimilated in the body, making them readily available for our bodies to use.

Throughout history, herbs have been used as daily tonics for strengthening and cleansing our systems. Different herbs have a different place depending on the needs of our bodies.

Plants (herbs) are loaded with vital minerals and vitamins as well as contain properties that can help balance our bodies. Adaptogenic herbs are great at helping restore balance in our bodies. Tonic herbs can help nourish our systems, though there seems to be some discrepancy for this term as tonic herbs can also mean ‘toning' in some herbal references.

One of the wonderful things about herbs is that you can find a specific one for a problem area in your body, or you can find a more ‘broad' herb that can feed all of your systems.

Looking at herbs can be overwhelming and there is no “one size fits all”. It's best to research a few and see what may be a fit for you.

When trying herbs, I like to use one at at time so you can see what it is doing for your or not doing for you (this is a process called “simpling”). I've made the mistake of starting new herbs all together and I couldn't tell what was working for me.

Herbs are also easy to add into your daily routine. For nourishing, I think infusions (i.e. herbal teas) are great. They are simple too! Just take one ounce of dried herbs and place in one quart of hot water, cover, and let sit over night. In the morning you can strain the herbs and drink the infusion throughout the day. Herbs can also be tinctured and you can take a few drops during your normal vitamin routine. For more detailed info on how to make basic herbal preparations, check out Jessica's post on Infusions, Decoctions, and Tinctures.

Nourishing Our Bodies with Herbs // deliciousobsessions.com #herbs #herbalremedies #naturalremedies

Nourishing Herbs to Try

AlfalfaA natural source of chlorophyll, alfalfa contains eight amino acids. This herb can be helpful to those that are prone to anemia. Alfalfa is also a good source of carotene. Note: Should be avoided if on blood thinners.

Red Clover Blossoms: These pretty blooms are a great way to detoxify your blood. Red clover is a good herbal source of calcium, chromium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. Note: Should be avoided by those taking blood thinners and during pregnancy.

Astralagus: The root is perfect for building up the immune system by helping your white blood cell count. This is also great at helping with autoimmune disorders as it supports T-cell production. Read Jessica's Astragalus profile here.

Nettle Leaves: A natural diuretic, nettles help clean out the kidney system and purify the blood. Jessica uses Nettle in a lot of her adaptogenic herbal tea blends and her rooibos herbal tea blends.

Dandelion Leaves: A gentle liver cleanser that helps promote good digestion. Dandelion is a great blood builder. Perfect for a spring pick me up.

Red Raspberry Leaf: While red raspberry leaf is commonly thought of as a uterine tonic, it's really a great herb for anyone. It's full of vitamins and minerals. This is a favorite I like to use in my kid's multi-herbal tincture. Jessica uses red raspberry leaf in a lot of her adaptogenic herbal tea blends and her rooibos herbal tea blends.

Oat Straw: Another herb also full of minerals, this herb due to it's high content of fiber helps with bowel function. It is a good source of magnesium.

As always,research to make sure the specific herb is a good fit for your needs.

Basic Herbal Preparations

If you’re new to herbs and are feeling confused about all the different preparations for them, don’t be! Let me help you out with this Basic Herbal Preparations post. You can also watch the videos below to learn more about a couple herbal preparations and about my favorite source for organic, sustainably harvested herbs.

How do you use herbs in your home? We would love to hear from you! Leave a comment below!

Supporting a The Adrenals, Thyroid, and Whole Body Through Herbs

When it comes to supporting overall wellness, herbs are a great tool to have in your toolkit, especially those who may be dealing with chronic illness of some type. Since 2009, when I started this site, I have met thousands upon thousands of people through my work and by far, the #1 health complaints are:

Because of this, I wanted to add in a section into this post about the benefit of using herbs with chronic illness.

If you are dealing with any type of chronic illness, I'm sorry to break it to you, but caffeine may not be your best friend. 🙁 While you can find lots of info online in both the pro- and the anti-coffee camps, the fact of the matter comes down to the fact that are a lot of people dealing with chronic illness, especially thyroid and adrenal problems, that simply cannot tolerate coffee and caffeine.

While those with sluggish adrenal glands tend to feel run down and in need of a regular pick-me-up (like coffee and other caffeinated beverages), in the long run, caffeine can do more harm than good while you are healing. I go into the “whys” around caffeine and your adrenals in this detailed post here. In addition to the caffeine, there are other constituents, molds, and mycotoxins that can show up in coffee that some people find they react to and can further exacerbate the toxic load on the body.

When I was diagnosed with autoimmune disease and adrenal fatigue, one of the first things that had to go was coffee. In addition to dealing with these issues, we suspected that I was having some detox pathway sluggishness so we wanted to also focus on supporting the liver and lymph systems. Most people who are dealing with chronic illness are also going to have issues with detoxification of the body, which is why herbs can play such an important role. 

To be honest, I never drank coffee because of the caffeine. I drank coffee for the taste and aroma, as well as the emotional experience I felt to my morning cup of joe. For me, it was a ritual that I looked forward to every day (and sometimes multiple times a day). Whether I was brewing it at home or going to my local coffee shops, the experience was one that I clung to tightly.

But, when I was faced with new health struggles, I knew I had to do whatever I could to support my body and give it the tools it needed to heal. Giving up coffee and caffeine was one step in this direction.

And it sucked.

I turned to the coffee substitutes on the market in a desperate attempt to recreate the ritual I had grown so fond of, but nothing ever tasted the way I wanted it to. Nothing ever gave me that same experience that my cup of “real” coffee did. I knew there had to be something better, but I simply could not find it on my health food store's shelves.

Necessity is the mother of invention so that is why I created my own coffee substitutes. They were made with organic, sustainably harvested herbs with zero grains, zero gluten, and zero caffeine. Just herbs.

Herbs that not only tasted delicious but supported my body's function, like liver detox, bile production, digestion, etc. All of the herbs used in my “coffee” blends have been used for thousands of years to support the body's normal functions and help everything work a little better — something we all need in today's toxic world! (psst, dandelion is one of the herbs!)

When it came to creating these blends, if I could get something to not only tasted amazing (and helped me recreate my dearly loved ritual), but also did amazingly supportive things for my body, then it's a no brainer!

I sold these pre-made blends on Etsy for awhile and the demand was more than I could keep up with. People literally LOVED these blends and were stunned at how much like coffee they actually tasted. Customers who had been dealing with a variety of chronic illnesses had given up coffee to heal their bodies, but like me were deeply missing their morning cup of joe ritual.

After careful consideration and work with some highly experienced advisors, I decided to stop selling the pre-made blends and instead share my proprietary recipes in the form of an eBook. That way I could arm people with the knowledge and recipes they needed to make their own caffeine-free, gluten-free, grain-free blends in the comfort of their own home. 

That is why I created the best-selling DIY Herbal Coffees eBook: A Complete Guide To Making Delicious Herbal Coffees to Support Healing & Stress Relief.

Now in its second edition, this ebook features:

  • All of my proprietary herbal blend recipes to you can craft a homemade herbal cup of “coffee” at home.
  • A ton of researched information about coffee's impact on the health of those dealing with issues like adrenal fatigue, blood sugar dysregulation, autoimmune disease, thyroid disease, and any other chronic illness.
  • Information about all of the herbs used, why I selected them, how to source them, how to prepare and store you “coffees”, and much more.
  • Access to your own personal coffee shop where I show you how to recreate your favorite coffee shop drinks and pastries with wholesome, nourishing real food ingredients. No junk here. Only real food.

This book truly is a comprehensive guide to supporting your health, reducing your stress, and bringing a little something special back into your healing journey. You can learn more and download your own copy of this revolutionary wellness guide here, or simply click on the image below.

Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle 2015 // deliciousobsessions.com

 


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