The Herb Stop Blog
Good Herbal Choices In December
December is the month when feelings of compassion and love rise up. We come together during the coldest and darkest time of the year to be joyful, reminding each other that the light and life will return again. We bake, cook, and decorate our homes and work places. To help you get into the holiday spirit make your own delicious and festive gifts. Here are some ideas:
Last Minute Home Made GiftsHerbal Vinegars and Herbal Oils
It is easy to make herbal vinegars/oils. They make pretty and useful gifts and can be added to a gift basket with other foods or cooking utensils.
- Get a pretty clear glass bottles (well cleaned) and place in it a few fresh Cranberries and a few fresh Sage leaves. Cover with warm rice wine vinegar. Decorate with festive ribbons around the bottles.
- Here is another herbal vinegar idea. In a well cleaned pretty bottle place a fresh sprig of Rosemary and cover with apple cider vinegar. Decorate the bottle.
- Herb oils make also beautiful gifts and can be used in stir-fry cooking or in salads. Place fresh or dried Parsley, Sage and Thyme into a pretty clear bottle and cover with sunflower seed oil. Decorate the bottle.
This pungent Mustard powder has the added flavors of herbs and spices.
In a bowl mix well together one cup Mustard powder with one tbsp sea salt, one tsp dried Thyme, one tsp dried Tarragon, and one tsp Apple Pie Spice mix. Spoon this mix into small clean, dry jars and seal well. Decorate the jar and place the following instructions on a label: To serve, combine Mustard powder with an equal amount of cold water 10 minutes before needed.
For the vegetarian or gourmet cook in your life, make up some herbal rice blends. To two cups of any kind of rice add approximately 1 tbsp of herbs or herb mix, such as Herbes de Provence, Curry, Garam Masala, Mexican Spice Mix, etc. Place each rice mix in a clear jar. Decorate and add a label with ingredient list and instructions.
Herbal Sugar and Herbal Sea Salt
Any kind of sugar or salt can be upgraded into something more delicious and exciting. For example you can add a Vanilla bean to sugar, or Lemon peel, Cinnamon stick, fragrant Rose petals from your garden, etc. You can also simply add a few drops essential oil, such as Lavender, Tangerine, or Bergamot (make sure the essential oils are food grade). The same can be done with salt. Spoon the end product into a pretty jar with decorative label.
Gifts to Pamper the Body
Look for beautiful bottles in antique stores or recycled jars in your home. Re-label them in your own handwriting with ingredient list and instruction for use.
Salt scrubs use to be named “Salt Glow”, because they make your skin soft and beautiful. Use it on hands, feet, elbows, and any area of the body where the skin appears thick and rough.
Fill ¾ of a jar with sea salt. Cover the salt with grape seed oil. Add a few drops of vitamin E oil and Lavender essential oil. Stir mixture and make sure the salt is fully covered with oil.
More Gift Ideas
There are endless possibilities for herbal gift ideas, such as: Teas, herbal chocolates, herbal liquors, culinary herb mixtures, herbal face and hand creams, herbal handmade paper, herbal holiday ornaments, scented fire-starters, herbal candles, and much, much more.
Sacred Gifts Oil
Sacred Gifts is an Herb Stop infused oil and contains Frankincense, Myrrh and gold infused in a Jojoba oil base. This oil blend relates to the gifts given to Jesus at his birth. Let’s look at some of the meanings of those precious gifts:
Gold raises cellular vibration, integrating the soul to the body, because without body the soul has no expression. Frankincense evokes the divine within us. Myrrh cleanses out toxins that have hardened in the body, mind and emotions. These gifts in combination increase cellular vibration, circulation, oxygenation and assimilation, providing you with more energy. Increased energy results in detoxification, and emotional and mental clarity is achieved.
Use approximately ¼ oz for a full body massage, body wrap or body poultice. Can also be applied and massaged into areas of the body that need attention.
My Ultimate Oatmeal Breakfast
Oatmeal contains beneficial vitamins and minerals, and the bran has the highest protein content of all grains. Oats increase stamina and warmth, excellent for those cold winter mornings. Oats are also great for strengthening the nervous system. Known to rebuild the myelin sheath around the nerves oatmeal can be a wonderful breakfast for people who are nervous and stressed out.
For one serving I place ¼ cup of steel cut oats and one tbsp of oat brand into a small crock-pot. To this I add 1 tbsp of raisins and 1 tbsp of walnuts, a pinch of Nutmeg powder and two pinches of Cinnamon, and one cup of water. I cook all this on a low temperature for about 30 minutes. Enjoy with a little cream and maple syrup and you will feel nourished for the whole day. But please, do not drink citrus juices with your oatmeal. Apple juice or herbal teas are better choices.
Scent For December
Certain aromas can help you create a positive environment as long as they are herb-based, not chemical-based. Natural fragrances have mood-elevating properties, are non-toxic, do not irritate humans or pets and can also ward of viruses and bacteria. For a festive feeling in your home or work place combine the following essential oils to diffuse into the air.
December 23rd – January 20th Birthday People
If your birthday falls between December 23rd and January 20th your astrological sign is Capricorn. Capricorn people have a tendency to have problems with the knees, bone structure and skin. Herbs and foods for Capricorns deal with structure, the skeletal system, ligaments, teeth and possibly hearing and the gall bladder: Beet, Boneset, Comfrey, Cypress, Horsetail, Lady’s Slipper, Lobelia, Mullein, Quince, Skullcap, Slippery Elm and Tamarind.
Pine Needle Tea
Getting more vitamin C during the winter months is always a good idea. Snip some fresh Pine or Spruce needles (young or old) into a cup. Boil some water and pour over the needles. Let it steep for about 20 minutes. Strain, and enjoy. If you like, you can add a little honey. Pine needles are not only high in vitamin C but also vitamin A.
Written by Leilah