Equine Prenatal Herbal Blend

Equine Prenatal Herbal Blend

Raspberry Leaf (Rubus ssp) – Raspberry leaf has been used during pregnancy for centuries and is known as one of nature’s strongest allies to nourish and strengthen the muscles of the pelvic region, and especially of the uterus.  It’s high in Vitamins C, E, A, and B, and is rich in minerals like calcium, iron, phosphorous and potassium.  Its been known to increase fertility and prevents miscarriage.  It can ease morning sickness and other digestive issues during pregnancy.  During foaling and post partum, it can ease labor by strengthen the uterine muscles, helps to increase milk production, and improves the process of expelling the afterbirth.

Nettle Leaf (Urtica dioca) – This rich, nourishing tonic is a valuable to whole body health. Highly rich in vitamins and minerals, the herb increases health to numerous areas of the body in a safe, gentle manner perfect for pregnancy.   Like raspberry, it helps to increase fertility.  Nettles will nourish both the mare and the foal, and strengthens the blood vessels which prevents hemorrhage after foaling.  Nettles also help increase milk production and the nutritive value of the milk.

Dandelion Leaf (Taraxacum officinale) – Dandelion is one of natures most useful weeds, and can be especially useful during pregnancy due to it’s ability to aid the body in eliminating toxins by supporting the liver and kidneys, and also as a mild diuretic that can help prevent edema, water retention, and hypertension.   Dandelion is considered one of the five most nutritious vegetables on earth and all parts of the plant are edible.

Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) – One of my all time favorite plants, Lemon balm is a member of the mint family.  Lemon balm is a safe and gentle relaxing herb that can help alleviate anxiety and create a feeling of calm content.  It’s an excellent addition to a pregnancy blend because in addition to it’s calming properties, it’s also one of nature’s strongest antiviral herbs.

Blue will get a cup of this herb blend in the morning, and a cup at night.  I like to add it to a little bit of soaked beet pulp to add moisture to the herbs and make them more delicious, but she seems to love them dry just as much.

The final blend:

1 lb raspberry leaf

1 lb nettle leaf

1/4 lb dandelion leaf

1/4 lb lemon balm

Natural Hoof Oil

Natural Hoof Oil

3 cups Olive Oil

1/4 cup rosemary

1/4 cup rosehips

1/4 cup nettles

1/4 cup calendula

1/4 cup comfrey

1/4 cup bladderack

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup lanolin (optional)

1 Tablespoon Tea Tree Oil

1 Tablespoon Lavender Oil

1 Tablespoon Vitamin E Oil

* In a double boiler, heat the olive oil and dried herbs over very low heat for about 2 hours.  The heat needs to be low enough that the oil doesn’t sizzle at all – if it does, you are effectively ‘frying’ the herbs.  I use a stainless steel bowl for the oil and herbs and I sent it on top of a saucepot of water on super low heat.

* After 2 hours, strain the oil mixture using a screen sieve lined with a couple layers of cheesecloth.  You really want to make sure that you get all the plant material out of the oil, as any left could mold and make the whole batch unusable.   I like to strain my herbs directly into a glass pyrex pitcher.  This allows me to get an accurate measurement of how much oil there is (not a big deal for this recipe, but often very important). It also makes it a lot easier to reheat the oil and eventually pour it into whatever container you are planning to use.

* Paint the entire hoof with the oil from the coronet band all the way to the frog underneath.  If the hoof is in bad shape, use the oil 2 – 3 times per week for the first month.  Watch carefully to make sure that you are not “over moisturizing” the hoof – you’ll know if you see the hoof starting to become spongy or over soft.

After about a month, hopefully you will see marked improvement in the hoof quality and you can move to a maintenance level of once a week.

My personal maintenance program for hoof health is that every time I pick their hooves, I spray the bottom with my Hoof Spray (a blend of Apple Cider Vinegar, Rosemary, and Distilled Water).   Once a week I paint their hooves generously with my Hoof Oil.

Remember that environmental conditions play a big role in hoof health.  The climate where you live, whether your horses are on pasture or kept in a stable, age, and diet will all affect the health of your horse’s hooves.e pyrex pitcher full of strained oil directly into a saucepot of hot water and return to low heat.  Allow the oil to warm for about 5 minutes, and then add the coconut oil and lanolin. (Lanolin is an animal derived product, so only use it if you want.  It comes from the sebaceous glands of wool bearing animals, like sheep.  It’s very emollient and helps protect the hoof against the ravages of nature.)

* Once the lanolin and the coconut oil have been fully incorporated, remove the oil from the heat.  Take the Pyrex pitcher out of the water (be careful, the glass will be very hot) and allow it to cool for 20 minutes.  It’s important to allow it to cool fully before the next step.  Essential oils are highly delicate at high temperatures and you’ll evaporate a majority of the volatile oils if you add it to the hot oil.

* Once the blend has been cooled sufficiently, you can add the Tea Tree Oil, the Lavender Oil, and the Vitamin E.  Both the Tea Tree and Lavender oils will function as antibacterial agents, and the Vitamin E will serve as a preservative to the oil as well as supplement to the hoof medicine.

To Use:  Using a paintbrush, generously paint the hoof with the oil.  Be careful not to get too much on the floor, as it might be slippery!

Pumpkin Chicken Treats

I saw this recipe on one of my favorite web blogs, Fresh Eggs Daily.  I modified it a little bit and thought I’d add a few more herbs into to it give it that special herbal ‘boost’.  It was easy to make and the girls seem to love it!

3 cups whole wheat flour
1 cups oats
1/4 cup dried nettle leaf
2 Tablespoons peanut butter
1 cup cooked pumpkin
3 eggs
1 Tablespoon molasses

Preheat the oven to 350.
In a large bowl, whisk together the dried ingredients; flour, oats, nettles.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, eggs, pumpkin and molasses.
Combine the wet ingredients together with the dry and mix well, forming into a dough.  If it’s too sticky, add a little more flour.  If it’s too dry, add a touch of water.
Roll out onto a floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick.
Use a cookie cutter to cut the desired shapes, and using a chopstick, poke two holes in each shape.
Bake for about 30 – 45 minutes (mine were a little thick so it took a little longer).
Once they are allowed to dry, just string a string through the holes and hang it in your coop.

It took the ladies a little while to find the treats, but once they did they seemed to like it and it was a great boredom buster for the winter, as well as using up some of my extra pumpkins!

 

Fresh Ginger Honey Syrup

Fresh Ginger Honey Syrup

I recently saw a recipe for a ginger syrup, and thought I’d give it a go.  Like always, I had to change things up a bit to suit my own tastes  and purposes, so this is my recipe for Ginger Syrup.  This syrup is great for mixing with soda water, starting a sauce, or putting in hot water or tea.  Ginger is a great remedy for upset stomach, fevers, and sore throat.  On top of all that good stuff, it’s delicious!  Yummy!

 

Fresh Ginger Honey Syrup

8 oz fresh ginger root. (I always hate when recipes call for a weight, cuz who has time for that?  Just get a big ginger root)

6 cups water

1 cup local honey

159

Cut the ginger root into large pieces and roughly peel them.  Some recipes say you can leave them unpeeled, but unless know where that roots been grown, I’d go ahead and peel it.  It doesn’t have to be perfect, but get the majority of peel off.

Cut the peeled root into small cubes.

165

Put the root and the water in sauce pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium
low, and simmer for about 45 min – 1 hour.
You want the water to reduce to two cups of liquid.

172

Remove from heat, and allow to cool a little to a temperature that is safe to handle.  Strain it through cheesecloth into a pyrex measuring cup.  You want about 2 cups of liquid. The ratio is 2 parts of liquid to 1 part of honey, so if you have more or less liquid, just adjust the honey amount. For example, if you only have 1 1/2 cup liquid, use 3/4 cups of honey.

178

Wipe out the pan, and return the liquid to the cleaned pan.  Put the pan back on the stovetop on low heat.

Add the honey, and allow to melt and incorporate fully into the infusion.  Use local honey, if possible.  Local honey will contain pollen from your local environment, and this is believed to help reduce the immune response to pollen that people with allergies suffer.

184

Put the finished syrup into a mason jar and cover.  Keep refrigerated – and it should last about 12 weeks.

What can you do with it?

–        Add about a tablespoon to sparkling water with a squeeze of lime for a natural lime ginger ale.

–        Use it with a bit of fresh garlic and tamari for a delectable Asian sauce

–        Use a tablespoon in hot water with the juice of half a lemon for an excellent cold remedy.

188

 

Natural Herbal Carpet Powder

Natural Herbal Carpet Powder

Do you have dogs?  Do you have carpets? Well, if you do, and your like me, your carpets smell like dogs. . .  (I noticed this morning when I was laying on the carpet, pretending to do yoga, but really just laying there. . . .)

So, I made this easy carpet deodorizing powder : Simple, quick, and delicious smelling.

Ingrediets:

1/2 cup lavender flowers – smell delicious and attract friendship, happiness, and tranquility

1/2 cup rosemary – anti-microbial and cleanse all negative energy

1/2 cup baking soda -absorb odors and deodorizes

 

Step one: Put the herbs in a clean coffee grinder (I have one that I only use for grinding herbs.  If you only have the one you use for coffee, wipe it out well, and then wipe it with a little vinegar. Allow it to dry before you grind the herbs.)

011small

Step Two: In a large bowl, add the baking soda and stir with a whisk.  Make sure you get all the blobs of baking soda broken up (you might have to use your hands).

015small

Step Three: Put it in a shaker jar (or don’t, you can just sprinkle it on the carpet if you want).  Don’t have one? You can make one easily with a mason jar, lid, hammer and nail. Just make sure when you hammer the nails in the mason jar lid you do it from the back to the front, and hammer into a block of wood, not your floor or kitchen counter.

016small

Step Four: Sprinkle a bunch onto the carpet.  Allow it to sit for at least 3o minutes to absorb the stinkiness.

019small

Step Five: Vacuum it all up (it also helps to deodorize your vacuum cleaner!

027small

 

And now, you have a delightful smelling carpet.  And dog!

023small

 

Apricot Cherry Jam

Apricot Cherry Jam

  • 5 cups pureed apricots (buy about 3 lbs. fully ripe apricots)
  • 1 cup pureed cherries {buy about 2- 2 1/2 cups fruit}
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. EVER-FRESH Fruit Protector
  • 4-1/2 cups sugar, measured into a bowl {you’ll need to divide it somewhat later on}
  • 1 box SURE-JELL For Less or No Sugar Needed Recipes Premium Fruit Pectin
  • 1/2 tsp. butter

Pit and halve unpeeled apricots. Puree them using any sort of food processor. I don’t like my puree to be “baby food-like” but generally I run the food processor until most of the large chunks are gone. Measure exactly 5 cups prepared fruit into a large measuring bowl.

Next you’ll want to do the same process for the cherries. Wash them, then halve them, removing the cherry pit in the process. For 1 cup puree, you’ll generally use about 2- 2 1/2 cups fruit. Puree the cherries more than you did the apricots- the cherries will be more “baby food” like.

Pour fruit into a large stockpot. Stir in lemon juice and fruit protector. Turn heat on medium-high and put a lid on the mixture. Allow it to heat up for about 10 minutes, stirring about once every 2-3 minutes.

At this point the jam is more orange than red. Don’t worry- as it cooks those little bits of cherry skin will disappear and the jam will turn a beautiful red color.

Mix 1/4 cup of the sugar (from the measured amount in the bowl) and pectin in small bowl. Add to fruit in stockpot. Add butter to reduce foaming. Bring mixture to full rolling boil (a boil that doesn’t stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat, stirring constantly.

Stir in remaining 4-1/4 cups sugar. Return to full rolling boil and boil for about  5-10 minutes. After about 5 minutes I take a small spoonful and put it in a little bowl, then put both in the freezer. After a minute or two that small jam sample has cooled and you can see if your jam will set up. If the mixture cools and it’s very runny, add about 1/4 cup more sugar and boil an additional 5 minutes, stirring constantly. If the sample of jam sets up into a nice jam texture, it’s done!
Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with metal spoon if you’d like. I just stir mine up and ladle it into the jars.
Ladle immediately into prepared jars, filling to within 1/8 inch of tops. {The jar will be almost entirely full- only a tiny amount of head space remains. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with two-piece lids.
To use the inversion method: Please note that this is the method used for generations by individuals without fancy canning equipment. Because the jam is not processed in boiling water, there is a risk of spoilage. I try and make the process as sanitary as possible though, so before I begin making the jam I either run my jars and lids through a “sanitize” cycle in the dishwasher, or I wash them in super hot water. Dry on a clean cloth until ready to use.
Once you’ve made your jam and it’s done, ladle it into the jars. Put the lid on immediately and wipe and jam off the threads. Screw on the rims and quickly turn the entire jar of jam upside down. Do this with all remaining jars.
Let the jam sit, upside down, untouched for 24 hours. After that point, turn the jam back right-side up and press the middle of the lid- where the inversion process should have sealed the jar. If the lid presses down and pops back up, like a button, you’ll need to refrigerate and eat the jam now. {Or you could freeze it!} However, chances are the lid will be sealed and you will not be able to feel any movement of the lid, meaning it has sealed. Label the jars and put them in your pantry, to be eaten within about 6-8 month’s time.
This recipe comes from