Rebuild Your Soil with Wine Cap Mushrooms

wine cap

If you have poor soil and want help from the garden store, they will test your soil sample. Then they will recommend a bunch of products and fertilizers to help you grow the plants that you want. However, these products won’t build soil. In the long term, they may degrade the soil further by continuing to unbalance it. Wine cap mushrooms are the natural alternative to this approach, but before I go on, let’s talk about soil.

What is Soil?

Soil is often called the “skin of the earth.” It is made up minerals, water, air, organisms, and the decaying matter. Soil is important to all life as it is home to many creatures like worms and foxes. Plants also live there. These plants directly or indirectly feed most organisms on earth.

Bacteria and fungi dwell in the soil and break down decaying matter and turn them into nutrients that other organisms can use. The creatures within the soil breathe and exhale carbon dioxide which cycles back to the plants.

Soil holds water that the plants and animals within it can use to live. It also filters water to keep it clean. So you can see that soil is important in so many aspects of life.

Contrast this with “dirt” that is soil that has lost its life-giving properties. This happens through erosion, pollution, loss of habitat, tilling, intensive monoculture farming, use of chemical fertilizers, not allowing the land to rest, compaction, intensive grazing, and road building. Although there is lots of dirt around, we are losing soil at an alarming rate. No soil, no life.

Wine Caps to the Rescue

So, what can YOU do to contribute to the restoration of soil? Grow wine caps. Wine caps (Stropharia raguso-annulata) are some of the easiest mushrooms to grow. They are super easy to care for and edible! So as they are creating healthy soil for you, you can eat the flowers (mushrooms).

How do they do this? Well, we start with wine cap spawn, organic mulch, and cardboard. We’re going to make spawn lasagna in the shade. You can do this in spring or fall.

First we lay down the cardboard, cover that with two inches of mulch, then spread the spawn on top. Do that again with a second layer. Now, we keep it moist long enough for the spawn to begin growing. Leave it undisturbed and wait.

Underneath the soil, the spawn will begin producing mycelia. Mycelia are microscopic threads that branch out and exchange nutrients, provide water to plants, and boost immunity of plants and animals in the soil. This is the web of life in motion. The wine caps break down the mulch and transform it into life giving things that it uses and shares with others.

All you have to do to keep this love chain going is water it, feed it (hay, wood chips, etc) and wait. Nature will do the rest.

How to Use Your Soil

Once you have living soil, you can transplant this anywhere you want to create healthy soil. Just dig out a pile of soil, wine cap mushrooms, and mycelia and put it where you want healthier soil. Fill in the hole with mulch. Feed and water the old and new areas so that both continue to create new life.

If you put it in your garden or lawn, you may get mushrooms there! Don’t worry. This is a good thing. It’s a sign of health. Just let them flourish. Or eat them. They are yummy.

Tips for Creating Healthy Soil

  1. Don’t till the soil. Tilling the soil is ripping into the skin of the earth. If I tore into your skin, I could do a lot of damage, right? Skin keeps good things in and bad things out. That’s its job. So don’t till the earth.
  2. Fertilize with manure or compost. These are all natural and have less chance of unbalancing or contaminating your soil.
  3. Plant herbs with deep roots, like comfrey and stinging nettle. They are great for your herbal medicine chest. Additionally their deep roots will bring up nutrients that lie deep within the soil to the surface.
  4. Add earthworms. Sterile soil won’t have worms. If you have put down chemical fertilizers, they may have killed your worms. Worms stay where there is food, so you may need to help them along by adding them to the soil where they will reduce compaction, aerate the soil, and provide nutrients.
  5. Compost your weeds, trimmings, annuals, and other “waste.” They contain nutrients you can return to the soil.

When you set out to rebuild the soil, it’s hard to know whether you are making progress or not. But when you see those beautiful, abundant wine caps popping out, it validates that the work was worthwhile. You have stopped the loss of habitat in your corner of the world and raised some food for yourself.

Make Your Own Rosewater

rose water

Roses are here! If you are like me, you’re thinking now is the time to make your own rose water. If you’ve never done it before, don’t worry. It’s easy. And I will tell you how, but first let’s talk about why you want to.

Benefits of Rose Water

  • reduces skin irritation of eczema or rosacea due to anti-inflammatory properties
  • reduces skin redness
  • helps cuts, scars, and burns heal faster
  • the smell enhances the mood. It has anti-depressant, anti-anxiety, and libido boosting properties!
  • when used in a compress, it can relieve headaches
  • reduces wrinkles
  • when used internally, it can help with stomach upset
  • when used internally, it can sooth sore throats
  • helps to prevent and treat infections because of its antiseptic properties

So now that you want to have a bottle on hand all the time, let’s talk about how to make it.

How to Make Your Own Rosewater

Start with organic roses. If you are growing your own, that will be ideal as they will be fresher. Fresher is better. You can use dried in a pinch or in the winter.

Different roses have different scents. You can experiment to see if you have a preference. Generally speaking, red or pink roses with thick, velvety petals will have more of the classic rose scent. Yellow and white roses have a lighter scent that can mimic other flowers. Climbers, ground covers, and big blossoms will work, so it doesn’t matter what type you use. The roses with the best reputation for scent are: Mr. Lincoln, April in Paris, America Climber, Double Delight, Tropicana, and Don Juan. These are very common in the USA and are easy to find anywhere.

You will need:

  • a stainless steel pot with a lid
  • a glass bowl that is smaller than your pot
  • distilled water
  • organic rose petals
  • ice

Instructions

  1. Gather your rose petals.
  2. Wash petals to remove any dirt.
  3. Add the glass bowl to the pot.
  4. Put the petals in a stainless steel pot. Add enough distilled water to cover them. Make sure neither the petals nor the distilled water are in the bowl.
  5. Turn heat to medium taking care not to boil the water.
  6. Put the lid upside down on the pot. This will help the distilled water to gather in the bowl below.
  7. Put ice in the upside down lid. This helps with condensation. Replace ice as needed.
  8. When the roses have faded, pour the water in the bowl into a clean, glass jar and store it in the refrigerator. Use as needed in recipes, tea, facial toner, or medicine.

This is a pretty simple process that will save you tons of money. If you keep it in the refrigerator, your rose water should stay fresh for about six months. So give it a try. Let us know how you like it.

How to Make Dandelion Jelly

dandelion jelly

I am sure you know about all the many medicinal and magical uses for everybody’s favorite herb, dandelion. But did you know you can also make dandelion jelly? Yep! It tastes like honey, so you can use it as a honey replacer and get all the yummy benefits of dandelions in your diet.

And it’s easy and fun! Ready to get started?

Ingredients

  • 3 cups fresh picked, unsprayed, densely packed dandelion *blossoms 
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 box powdered pectin
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 t. vanilla extract (optional)

Rinse the blossoms and cut off the stems and any green parts. The green parts are bitter and you don’t want them in your jelly.

Bring the water to a boil. Add half the blossoms. Stir and cover for 20 minutes. Turn the heat off and let it rest for 20 minutes.

Strain the blossoms and return the water to the pot. Return to a boil. Add the remaining blossoms. Cover. Turn off the heat and steep for 15 minutes.

Strain squeezing the blossoms to extract all the water.

Return the water to a boil and add the remaining ingredients. Stir to dissolve sugar and pectin. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat.

Store in sterilized glass jars in the refrigerator.

Notes:

  • when wildcrafting, take only what you need so that there will be plants for the future. Calculate to take not more than ten percent of the total plants in a given area.
  • Dandelion jelly has the consistency of honey, not jelly.
  • Jelly will keep for a year.

How to Make Elderberry Syrup

elderberry syrup

A couple years ago, few people knew what elderberry (Sambucus Nigra or Sambucus canadensis) syrup was. After a nasty flu season, I started to see it everywhere on mainstream grocery store shelves. Elderberry gummies, juice, teas, wine, capsules, jam, and lozenges are all the rage.

Good news can’t be suppressed, so it’s no wonder the knowledge about elderberry has exploded. They are packed with vitamins and anti-inflammatory properties. They may protect the heart too. Lots of people use them to reduce the symptoms of cold and flu.

Fresh or Dried?

Elderberries are only in season for a short time – five to fifteen days between July and September depending upon the climate. Fortunately, they don’t ripen all at once, so if the birds get them one day, you can try again the next. Another bit of good luck is that these plants are found virtually everywhere. When they are out of season or don’t grow in your area, you can use dried elderberries..

Elderberry Syrup Recipe

  • 2 cups dried organic elderberries or 3 cups of fresh elderberries
  • 4 cups cold distilled water for cooking
  • 2-3 tsp. organic dried ginger root
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • 1 -2 cups raw, local honey (to taste, more will extend the shelf life)
  • a cup vodka or brandy (optional, to increase shelf life)

Soak dried elderberries in cold, clean water in a stainless steel pot overnight. Drain in the morning.

Put soaked dried or fresh berries and 4 cups of distilled water in a stainless steel pot and heat until boiling. Turn the heat down low. Simmer for thirty minutes. Don’t simmer too long or the liquid will become very bitter. Strain through a cheesecloth, squeezing all the juice out. Return to the pan and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half.

Add honey, lemon juice, and alcohol. Mix well. Store in a sterilized glass jar with a lid. Take one tablespoon per day during the winter as a wellness tonic or as needed for illness.

I believe elderberry syrup is here to stay. I doubt it will be vanishing from the store shelves any time soon, but if you want to feel empowered, get close to Nature, and provide for yourself, now you can make your own!

*Note: Red elderberries Sambucus racemosa, are poisonous and should never be used.

Two Immune Boosting Garlic Recipes

immune boosting

You don’t have to run out and get some fancy schmancy immune boosting concoction. You probably have the ingredients in your kitchen to make two potent immune boosting garlic recipes right now. In this article, I’ll show you how to make garlic honey and garlic vinegar. It’s so easy, you will wonder why you haven’t done it before now. But first, let’s talk about the benefits.

Benefits of Garlic

Raw garlic is a powerhouse when it comes to maintaining health. Research focuses on its positive impact on

  • Anti-bacterial effects
  • Anti-viral effects
  • Anti-fungal effects
  • Antioxidants
  • Blood pressure
  • Cancer prevention and care
  • Cardio vascular care.
  • Cholesterol
  • Memory improvement

It’s no wonder it’s been used medicinally for over 1,000 years. You can even use it in the garden to keep bugs away.

Some say the purple skinned garlic is the healthiest.

Benefits of Honey

Ancients used honey as a food and a medicine. While it’s low in vitamins and minerals, it’s high in bioactive plant compounds and antioxidants. The pollen that the bees consumer impact the health benefits. Generally speaking, the darker the honey, the more healthy it is.

The antioxidants reduce the risk of stroke, heart attack, and some types of cancer. Honey may help reduce blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides. Putting honey on wounds and burns speeds healing. You’ve probably heard of honey cough syrup, right? That’s because it suppresses coughs.

Benefits of Vinegar

Vinegar has been used for at least 7,000 years for food and medicine. Some claim in lengthens life, heals the gut, improves hearing, mental powers, and vision.  It’s also used to keep skin and hair healthy.

How does it do this? It’s packed with amino acids, healthful enzymes, and trace elements.  It contains more than thirty needed nutrients, a dozen minerals, and several Vitamins, essential acids, and enzymes.  Additionally, it’s a great source of calcium, chlorine, fluorine, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, silicon, sodium, and sulfur.  The body requires 22 essential minerals for health and 19 of them are found in ACV!

How to Make Garlic Honey

You need a small glass jar with a lid, raw honey, a head of garlic, a garlic press, and a knife. (The best place to get raw honey is at your local farmer’s market).

Separate the head into individual cloves. Cut off the hard ends. Place the cloves on a cutting board and gently press with the knife to crack the skin. This will make them easier to peel. Once the skin are removed, put the cloves in the garlic press and crush them. Crushed garlic releases more of the healthy compounds. Let rest for fifteen minutes.

Combine the garlic and honey in the jar and screw on the lid. Let it sit for 3-5 days before using. Eat a clove per day to maintain health.

How to Make Garlic Vinegar

You will need a quart size glass container, raw apple cider or Chinese rice vinegar and five heads of garlic. (You can reduce the recipe to make smaller amounts). Break garlic into cloves and cut off the dry ends. Remove the skins. Crush with the garlic press. Place the garlic and vinegar into the glass jar. Shake and let it rest in a dark place for at least two weeks. After two weeks it’s ready to use. After a month, you can discard the garlic and continue to use the vinegar.

To maintain health, drink one teaspoon per day in water after a meal. If you are sick, take two tablespoons mixed with warm water three times a day until you are feeling better.

Taking it straight can erode the enamel on your teeth. You can also use it in salads, but you don’t want to warm it as heat can destroy the benefits.

Prevention is the best medicine. These two immune boosting garlic recipes are easy, inexpensive so anyone can do this.

Planting Your Medicinal Herb Garden

medicinal herb

Nothing creates connection to Nature quicker than growing your own food and medicines. It’s spring! If you’re considering planting your medicinal herb garden as a way to develop that connection, read on! You will find that it also cultivates sovereignty because you will become more self sufficient, too. As an added bonus, getting your hands in the soil will help to keep your natural, healthy microbes up. So let’s get stared!

Planning Your Garden

Before you get started, you have to consider some things and make a few decisions.

  • will your garden be indoors or out?
  • is your soil suitable for what you want to grow or do you need alternative arrangements?
  • how is the sunlight?
  • what grows naturally in your area?
  • which herbs are most versatile and useful?
  • how much care do your plants need? Can you provide this?
  • will your chosen herbs grow well together?
  • how will you deal with pests?

Indoors or Out?

If you have poor soil, want herbs year round, don’t have a yard, have a window with strong sunlight for 6-8 hours, and don’t want to fuss with weeding, indoor herbs may be the way to go. Indoor herbs grow best when each herb has its own pot. You can also choose herbs that may not grow well with others because each pot will have its own soil. You can move them around so that shade loving plants aren’t near sun loving plants. Those that need lots of water are separated from those that only need a little. You can have lots of versatility with indoor herbs.

If you choose to put it outdoors, you can still use pots, create a small or huge garden, or incorporate the herbs into the landscape. Plants that spread out, like mints and echinacea, do better in pots to keep them contained, or in spaces all to themselves so they don’t take over other plants.

Dealing With Poor Soil

In the old days, gardeners would till the soil, add peat, vermiculite, compost, and other additives to make poor soil more productive. Many natural gardeners now opt for the no till method for its ecological benefits. Tilling destroys fungal networks and the sticky exudates of soil organisms that hold soil together. Tilling also destroys humus, the organic component of soil that is necessary for plant life. All you need to do is put down a layer of cardboard where you want to place your plants. Cover with 2 inches of compost. Put your seeds or starter plants in the hole, and cover with mulch.

There is no tilling required. Although weeds will grow here, they will be easier to pull out because the soil always stays loose. So don’t walk in your garden so it stays that way.

Situating the Garden

Be sure to situate your beds in a place where your plants are most likely to grow. Many herbs like full sun. Some are better in shady areas. Some will stay where they are put, and some spread out. Consider this when designing your beds. It’s also useful to put plants that inhibit insects or fungi near plants you intend to eat or use as medicines. For example, lavender, garlic, sunflowers, petunias, and marigolds are commonly used as natural plant protectors.

Which Medicinal Herbs to Plant?

When choosing medicinal herbs, you will want to consider what grows naturally in your area. While some herbs are well known for their medicinal properties, you might consider whether or not to import non-native species into your environment. Sometimes these can become invasive and disrupt the natural ecology. If you haven’t moved, your internal environment (microbes) evolved with your external environment, so chances are, what works best for you is something that grows locally.

A Beginner Herb Garden

For beginners who want a good variety of herbs that are easy to grow and use, I suggest planting: chamomile, echinacea, yarrow, lemon balm, and peppermint. You will recognize many of these as teas.

People all over the world have used chamomile tea for centuries to promote sleep, ease digestion, promote urination and relieve colic. It’s also used for washing wounds and sores. Other uses are : soothes inflammation, infection, colic, muscle spasms and tension. The pretty white flowers are also visually appealing.

Everyone knows about the immune boosting properties of echinacea. Echinacea grows easily once it’s started. It produces tons of seeds so it’s easy to keep going. It’s not picky about sunlight and can tolerate long periods of drought. You can use it fresh or dried in tea or tincture it for use throughout the year.

Yarrow is one of my favorites! It’s considered a weed so it grows just about anywhere, is very hardy, and I think it’s also really pretty. Use it to reduce inflammation and muscle spasms and relieve pain. Some say it helps with digestion and anxiety too. You can use it as a tea to help with colds and fever. It’s also very handy for stopping bleeding.

Bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds love lemon balm. Lemon balm reduce fevers and treat colds by inducing sweating; calms the digestive tract; relieves spasms related to cramps and headaches; and helps with insomnia. It also inhibits the growth of fungi and bacteria. Since it’s best used fresh or recently dried, and because it can take over and spread, you may want to grow this one indoors in a container. Or maybe put a little outside for the creatures to enjoy, too.

Peppermint is another one that can take over. Some people avoid it for that reason. It’s got such great healing properties that you might consider it though. Peppermint is widely used in tea for stomach complaints. People also use it for insomnia, nervous tension, colds (by inducing sweating, it was thought to purge the infection), cramps, diarrhea and nausea. Recent research has shown that the essential oil contains substances that relieve muscle spasms and inhibit the growth of bacteria and viruses.

Some Other Suggestions

The suggestions above cover a wide variety of ailments. However, if you want an herb garden that tackles specific complaints, here are some suggestions.

Herbs for immunity– Echinacea, elderberry, andrographis, astragalus, and garlic

Herbs for anxiety/sleep – ashwaganda, bacopa, chamomile, kava kava, St. John’s wort, lavender, lemon balm, passionflower, valerian

Fertility herbs– red raspberry leaf, alfalfa, stinging nettle

Women’s reproductive health herbs – black cohost, crampbark, motherwort, mugwort, calendula, chamomile, fennel, basil, wormwood, rosemary, rose petals, fenugreek, lavender, partridge berry

Herbs for pain– willow bark, turmeric, feverfew, ginger, thyme, ginseng, St. John’s wort, devil’s claw, oregano, botswelia. The best herb for pain will depend on the cause of the pain.

Herbs for infections- garlic, ginger, echinacea, goldenseal, clove, oregano, anise, myrrh, pau d’arco

Gardening is healthy. It gets you outside. You have a relationship to the plants that help your body thrive. You start to see how all of Nature is connected. Making your own medicines empowers you to take charge of your own health, too. It’s a beautiful thing to do for yourself and your family.

Make Your Own Natural Antiviral and Antibacterial Cleaners

natural antiviral

Don’t want chemical cleaners, but you do want germ killing power? No worries. You can make your own natural antiviral and antibacterial cleaners. Here’s how!

You need:

  • 16 oz spray container, preferably dark colored glass
  • 16 oz. of 70%+ grain alcohol or 70%+ rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol
  • 1/2 teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide or witch hazel

Mix the alcohol and hydrogen peroxide into the glass container. This will constitute your basic recipe. You can experiment with the blends below to find your favorite.

Blend #1

30 drops tea tree essential oil

15 drops lemon essential oil

15 drops lavender essential oil

15 drops eucalyptus essential oil

Blend #2

1 teaspoon of thieves oil

Blend #3

4 teaspoons of tea tree essential oil

40 drops of grapefruit seed extract

Benefits

These cleaners are all natural and non-toxic. They fight mold, mildew, odors, bacteria, funguses, and viruses. They eliminate bad smells and most leave a pleasant scent behind (some won’t like the tea tree smell).

How to Use It

Use the spray to clean hard surfaces, door knobs, toilets, running shoes, laundry, trashcans, diaper pails, light switches, faucet handles, remote controls, cell phone, keyboards, and freshen the air. You can spray it directly on surfaces, diffuse it into the air, or put it in your washer.

Just shake the bottle before spraying to ensure that the ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the bottle. Spray into the item you want to clean and allow it to air dry.

Many of us are trying to live in more environmentally friendly ways. We are trying to live in connection with Nature. Switching from harsh chemicals to natural options is a great way to clean up the environment and keep us all healthier.

No Hand Sanitizer? No Problem!

no hand sanitizer

No hand sanitizer? No problem. This article will give you some ideas on what you can do to stay healthy through the disease outbreak. But first, let’s talk about why not having hand sanitizer isn’t a big deal.

Why No Hand Sanitizer?

Hand sanitizer is a “better than nothing” solution for places where soap and water aren’t available, like petting zoos. It’s not a great idea for routine disease prevention for several reasons. While hand sanitizers that contain at least 60% alcohol will kill germs, it also strips your skin of beneficial bacterias and oils that protect you from disease. If it doesn’t contain alcohol, it probably contains an antibacterial agent which can lead to the development of bugs that are resistant to antibiotics. Finally, most contain toxic chemicals. Plain soap and warm water is effective at killing bad bugs while keeping your natural defenses intact.

Why No Masks?

There was a run on masks early on, but a mask is not a great prevention tool because there is a shortage. Medical professionals need them. If they can’t have a safe work environment, why should they go to work? Sick people need them to keep from spraying their germs to healthy people. While masks do prevent healthy people from inhaling toxins, I wouldn’t worry about not having one if you are not sick.

Vitamin C

There are conflicting reports about whether Vitamin C actually helps with COVID-19 or not, but Shanghai is endorsing it  as an official treatment. They say that intravenous Vitamin C taken as soon as symptoms appear lessen the severity and length of the disease. Vitamin C is cheap and seems to be in plentiful supply.

Vitamin D

Most Americans are deficient in Vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency is related to a compromised immune system and depression. Studies show that taking vitamin D daily or weekly was more effective than larger doses taken in single or monthly boluses. The most common supplementary daily dose used was vitamin D3 300-4,000 IU. (Note: it takes 90 days for Vitamin D supplementation to make a noticeable change).

Garlic

Garlic has been used by lots of people around the world and throughout time for preventing disease outside of and within the body. In 2005, researchers at the University of Ottawa tested 19 natural health products that contain garlic and five fresh garlic extracts for active compounds and antimicrobial activity against three types of common bacteria: E. faecalis, which causes urinary tract infections; N. gonorrhoeae, which causes the sexually transmitted disease gonorrhea; and S. aureus, which is responsible for many types of infections that are common in hospitals. The products most successful at eradicating these bacteria were the ones with the highest allicin content.

Oxygen

I always say taking a deep breath helps with everything! It is helping with Coronavirus in South Korea, too. They have increased oxygen through a mask, but there are other ways to increase oxygen. BEMER brings more oxygen to the micro vessels. Ozone water also helps.

Umcka

Umcka is an herbal remedy from South Africa. It plays a role in the production of a specialized protein, called cytokines, that may protect the body’s cells from viral infection. If you’d like to try this, supplement with 1.5 mL 1-3 times daily.

Zinc

Most people are low in zinc. It’s not easy to balance zinc in the body because it’s a mineral and minerals work in ratios. If you add one, it can unbalance others. This shows up in studies about zinc’s effectiveness against cold and flu. It appears to help if you take it within 24 hours of symptoms appearing. However, if you take too much, it can cause problems. 150 mg per day of zinc acetate is the maximum recommended dose.

Close Your Mouth

Lots of people are mouth breathers. The nose is a filter that keeps out pollen, dust, and pathogens. If your breath comes in through the mouth, you don’t get that filtration. An easy way to inhibit all airborne disease is to breath with your mouth closed.

Crystals

Crystals have been used for healing for centuries. If you are a crystal practitioner and already have a stash, why not use them now? I wouldn’t go out and buy some right now because you probably want to hold them to see what feels right. Now is not the best time to touch things that many others have had their hands on. If you don’t already have crystals, I’d opt for something else. For more information on which crystals to use and how to use them, click the link above.

Thieves Oil

Thieves oil has been used to prevent sickness for centuries. It’s a tried and true remedy that lots of people swear by. You can make your own or buy it. This also seems to be well stocked.

Rest

The immune system needs rest and routine to stay in top shape. Sleep is restorative. Be sure to get enough sleep.

Relaxation

Stress depletes you and makes you more susceptible to dis-ease. The calmer you are, the healthier you are. If situations are stressing you out, do something. Meditate. Read. Talk to someone. Help someone. Sing. Breathe. Fix something. Dance. Distract yourself with pleasant or useful activity. It will pass the time in a more joyous way.

Minimize Social Contact

People are carriers of disease. It only takes exposure to the wrong one to get a disease. If you want to limit the risk, minimize social contact. Have only one person make bank, grocery, and other necessary runs. If you don’t have to go out, don’t. Think of it as time to do all those things you wanted to do and never had the time.

I’m not a doctor, so I can’t say what is the right thing to do right now. Most doctors don’t know much about COVID-19 either because it’s so new. I do know that people feel more empowered and calm when they feel like they have a sense of control.

So while perhaps none of these ideas are proven to help against COVID-19, I wouldn’t wait for someone to tell you what to do. Do your research. Then help yourself by doing one or more of these things or coming up with your own solutions.

Empowerment reduces anxiety. It’s your life. Take charge. And if there is no hand sanitizer, so what? Doing something is better than doing nothing. Things are not hopeless. Take charge of your life and your health. Work with Nature. Focus on what you can do and let go of the rest.

Crystals to Boost the Immune System

using crystals to boost the immune system

Lots of people are focused on staying healthy right now. In addition to washing your hands, and social isolation, now is a good time to use crystals to boost the immune system. So, which ones are the best?

Amethyst

If you ask 10 crystal users what they use for immunity, I’d guess 9 out of 10 would have amethyst at the top of the list.

Amethyst has really interesting mythology associated with it. The word itself is Greek and it means “not intoxicated.” A beautiful Greek maiden was on her way to the temple of Diana when a ferocious beast sprang upon her. Unbeknownst to Amethyst, the wine god Bacchus was angry over an insult. In a fit of anger, he vowed that the first person he met would be torn apart by his tigers. Amethyst appealed to Diana for help. Diana saved her by turning her into a clear, white crystal. Bacchus felt sorry for his wrath and poured grape juice over the crystal as an offering, turning it purple.

Amethyst is sobering, grounding, and helps to control evil thoughts. It protects from treachery, surprise attacks, physical harm, psychic attack, disease, and infection. The high vibrations purifies and protects and helps the user to connect to the spirit realms.

Black Tourmaline

Everyone has at least one black tourmaline, right? It has so many uses! Probably the most common reason people work with black tourmaline is for grounding and protection. In ancient times, it was used to protect spell casters from earth demons as they did their magic. It’s still used today as a psychic shield deflecting and dispelling negative energies, entities, or destructive forces. Additionally, it guards against radiation and environmental pollutants, and is highly useful in purifying and neutralizing one’s own negativity.

As for physical uses, black tourmaline defends against debilitating disease and strengthens the immune system, heart, and adrenal glands. It also is beneficial in treating the bowels, constipation, IBS, and diseases of the colon, as well as ridding the body of heavy metal toxins and environmental pollutants. For mental uses, it helps to relieve anxiety and paranoia, keeping one grounded.

Emerald

Emerald works well alone, but it’s especially good for boosting the immune system when paired with other crystals with like qualities. It is associated with spring, youth, the heart chakra, unconditional love, and overall vitality. As the heart impacts all the other organs, emerald can revitalize all organs. It may be useful in treating the lungs, liver, gall bladder, pancreas and kidneys, as well as the spine and muscle system. It also aids recovery after infectious illness. Additionally, it helps with emotional heaviness.

Fluorite

Fluorite cleans negative energies by absorbing them, so it should be cleaned often. It aligns the body to its natural energetic state of mind, body, and spirit wellness. It may be used to dispel disorders at the beginning of symptoms, and is regarded as a natural antiviral, immune stimulator, and anti-inflammatory agent.

All colors of fluorite are highly beneficial to the skin, mucous membranes and respiratory tract, and may be utilized to dissipate symptoms of colds and flu, sinusitis, bronchitis, dry cough, emphysema and pneumonia, as well as staph and strep infections, canker sores and herpes, ulcers, shingles and nerve-related pain. Fluorite may also be used in treatments of violent or highly infectious disease, as well as a protective preventative for those who work with infected patients.

How to Use Crystals to Boost the Immune System

Wear it. Keeping the crystal close to your skin will help to heal you through resonance. This is where the energy of the crystal balances your energy.

Meditation with them. Crystals are intelligent. They have things to teach. When you create a relationship with them, you will begin to hear them speak (or see, we all receive information differently). They tend to stay within their energetic wheelhouse so don’t ask a crystal that is good for travel about love affairs!

Create an elixir. Putting them in water or oil (either on the full moon or not) imbues the water with the essence of the crystal which you can then drink or use for annointing. Be careful though! Crystals that are water soluable will dissolve! The rule of thumb is, if it ends in -ite, it’s water soluable. However, you still want to check because there are others that don’t end in -ite that are also water soluable like turquoise and lapis lazuli.

Another caution is to be sure that the crystal is safe to ingest or put on the skin. Some carry impurities or toxins, like cinnabar! To be safest, put the crystals in a glass container, then put that in a larger container of fluid so that the crystal is within the fluid, but not actually touching it.

Do a ritual with them. Follow your own inner guidance about how to use crystals in ritual. It helps to already have a relationship with your crystals and include them in the planning. The more interactive it is, the better.

Health is one of the most important things we all possess. When it’s threatened, things can get really scary. If you have crystals and do crystal work, you can use crystals to boost the immune system and help yourself.

Making Thieves Oil and Vinegar

thieves oil

We’re heading into cold and flu season. It’s a great idea to have some thieves oil and thieves vinegar on hand. Now is the time to make it.

The Thieves Oil Story

The thieves oil story goes back to the time of the plague. The Black Death killed thirty to sixty percent of Europe’s population. When the plague swept through, there were carcasses in the streets with no one to tend to them or the ill and dying. Necessity is the mother of invention, and some enterprising person concocted the thieves oil blend of essential oils to enable them to rob the dead without contracting the plague.

Fortunately, the thieves were caught. The judge wanted to know how they avoided getting sick. They bargained that they’d share the recipe if they were spared the death sentence. They did share it, and that is how we know it today.

There are many blends under the name “thieves.” Here is one version.

Thieves Essential Oil Blend

Combine the following in a dark glass container.

  • 40 drops clove essential oil
  • 36 drops lemon essential oil
  • 20 drops cinnamon bark essential oil
  • 16 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  • 10 drops rosemary essential oil

If using in a diffuser, drop 2-5 drops (depending upon the size of the diffuser) into water and allow to permeate the air.

You can also put a drop on the bottom of each foot at night. Cover your feet with socks. If using it this way, you want to dilute it in a carrier oil first. The ratio is 2% essential oil to 98% carrier oil.

This is excellent to use daily during cold and flu season. You can use it while flying. I diffuse it in my office to keep my immune system strong.

Thieves Vinegar

Fill a jar with the following fresh herbs: rosemary, sage, lavender, thyme, mint, cinnamon sticks, and garlic. Top with raw apple cider vinegar. Seal with a plastic lid or place parchment between steel and the solution so that it doesn’t rust. Label with the date and contents. Shake daily. Store for four to six weeks in a cool, dry place.

Once ready to use, you can take one tablespoon per day to ward off illness. Spritz your front door with it to keep negative energy away. You can also use it to disinfect surfaces. Both blends can also be used in protection rituals.

Feel free to play with the recipe. Most herbs with antiviral, antiseptic, anti-fungal, and antibacterial properties will do. I’d keep the garlic content high and consistent though as it really makes this more effective.