It’s the time of year when the nettles are up and the green is on. This is one of the times of year when wildfoods and medicine is abundant on SongCroft so you can often find me roaming the land with a basket, shovel and scissors in hand.
Today I was out wild-harvesting the nettles, Urtica dioica, that grow here. They are growing rich and dense in very fertile soil. In fact, they are an indicator species meaning that they tend to grow where the soil is rich and full of nutrients. An added bonus of this is that when we add the nettles for our meals, we are receiving the earths gift of these beneficial nutrients. I should add, that I am super happy that nettles grow on our farm since we have never used synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or anything like that so the soil is clean and safe to harvest from. Living on unspoiled land is a blessing in our life.
Back to my friend nettle. It has many benefits but I will only share a few of the arial (above ground) parts for now and I will revisit the topic in a later post. One of the most commonly known benefits is that it is rich in iron. Historically, it has been used as a tonic herb as well as a for anemia. Many studies show that nettles have even more iron than spinach. It has been used as a diuretic dating back at least to the Ancient Greeks and was used for blood circulation and as a topical stimulant by Pacific Northwest Tribes while canoeing long distances.
Nettle is also known for its antihistamine properties but there is some misinformation here. While nettle is a mast cell stabilizer, working at the H1 receptor) and it does have the ability to assist with lowering the level of histamine in your body, it can only do that in certain forms. Nettles that have been cooked or improperly dried loose this ability. For this benefit, you need to eat it raw or to dry correctly. Freeze-dried nettle is usually a good product.
Young nettle leaves can be eaten as a cooked herb, like spinach, or even baked in to cakes, breads or even made in to a pesto “nesto” as I will share with you. Because it is not cooked, you will be able to enjoy the deliciousness, get the many vitamins and minerals as well as the antihistamine benefits.
3 Cup (packed) young nettle leaves
5 garlic cloves
1 cup walnuts (pine nuts are fine too)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 Tbs Lemon Juice
1/2 cup nutritional yeast (you can substitute parmesan or asiago)
1. Place nettle leaves in your blender or food processor
2. Add peeled garlic
3. Add walnuts
4. Add olive oil, sea salt, lemon juice and nutritional yeast
5. Pulse until it is all blended and creamy.
6. Eat this like you would any pesto.
Toss it with pasta, put a dollop on top of grilled chicken or fish, make it a bit thicker for a healthy dip. This can also be frozen in ice cube trays or on a cookie sheet and cut in to portions before placing in a container in the freezer so it can be enjoyed out of season.
If this sort of thing interests you, this is only a glimpse of what you can learn and be able to utilize as one of my Wellness Coaching clients. Let’s work together to help you reach your goals.
#healthyliving #wellness #goodhealth #happy #gooutside
Yummy nettle pesto, or nesto. Enjoy it as a dip for veggies, on pasta or scrambled with eggs. If you love this sort of thing as much as I do and want to get more educational and fun information, as well as some special offers, sign up for our newsletter. http://songcroftnaturals.com/
There is so much unrest out there in the world. Even in our little town of Snohomish, WA., I am seeing more and more people who are needing stress and anxiety relief since the change in our administration. I feel blessed to be able to provide healing massage that soothes tension and eases stress. While I can literally feel first hand, how massage helps to lower stress and I know that massage is extremely beneficial but I would like to offer more for those who are in distress.
While I can’t make it all go away, oh how I wish I could, I can offer some options for people to redirect this energy into something positive. Think about it. Energy is energy. We can hold it inside and try to put a cap on it as it builds and threatens to overflow or we can redirect that energy towards something we believe in and it will flow naturally. I’m not saying it will all be easy but it is an opportunity to create positive change while taking care of one’s self.
With that, here are my ideas. Yes, I am positive things were left out so please include more below in the comments. This can be a living document that we all contribute helpful ideas to.
*Let’s keep it positive.
Here are some ideas for staying sane in the current world:
- Take care of yourself. Get sleep, eat well, exercise, meditate and practice yoga. Don’t let stress take over your health.
- Do things that make you happy. Dance, listen to music, create art.
- Get outside. Take in the fresh air and beauty.
- Pick one or two issue and stick with it. Focus your energy and don’t get side-tracked.
- Assist families in need, including an immigrant family.
- Reach out to a senior and see if they need help.
- Create a postcard campaign and have others over to do it with. You can create a calendar/flowchart of which to do by when to keep on track.
- Try to tune out some of the negative.
- Don’t participate in negative talk, focus on what we can do
- Join community groups that are already taking action, such as RESULTS, 350.org, etc…
- Join or start conversation circles in your community.
- Take the high road and don’t slander. Comments made based on looks, body type, etc are not helpful and are based in hate. They are no different from what is coming out of “his” mouth.
- Host or organize a conflict resolution/mediation training for your community.
- Work to hone your skills in community building, emergency response and first aid.
- Train to run for office. http://ow.ly/kvys308lXJX
- Donate, support (call, write and make the issues visible) and stand with Standing Rock. http://standwithstandingrock.net/
- Grow food and donate it to the food banks.
- Volunteer at food banks, in classrooms or anywhere else you are inspired to.
- Show up at rallies.
- If you can’t get to rallies and meetings, support those who are by delivering hot meals, childcare and providing transportation.
- Be inclusive in organizing but do not “lead” those whose issues they are.
- Ask someone from a marginalized community what you can do to help support them.
- Own and then use your privilege for good, if you have it.
- Start or join a Community Unity Alliance group in your neighborhood or town. Involve the NAACP, C3, LGBTQ groups, faith groups, school districts, alter-abled people, etc.
- Try to understand others, listen. We can’t work together if we don’t know what is in each others heads.
- Work to inspire others to get involved in the “good work” because we need more good and it is healthy to redirect negative energy.
- Adopt a park. Clean, weed, plant and enjoy.
- Volunteer for organizations that are losing funding.
- Create and distribute care packages for the homeless
- Smile, be friendly and reach out to others
- Know that you are contributing to positive actions.
- Be love and shine your light bright!
As we enter the time of reflection and dreaming, I invite you to write down your dreams. Keep a note pad next to your bed and write down anything you can remember as well as your feelings and thoughts. Sit with these writings for a while. Let them build then, take some time to read through them. Is there an underlying message? Is there something you left out that you intended to do this year? Explore your dreams and then go live them.
Do you have a hard time getting a good nights sleep? Do you wake up feeling tired and fatigued? Are you often searching for a natural sleep aid? I hope some of these suggestions help you.
I am going to cover some of the reasons why sleep is so important and then give some tips that will hopefully be helpful. But first, I want to talk a bit about how sleep effects our entire being and how we are in this world.
Why is Sleep So Important?
Many people don’t realize how important sleep is. It is restorative. It gives your body time to heal and effects your immune systems ability to do its job. When we don’t get enough sleep, especially quality sleep, our immune system can become tired too. Sleep deprivation can result in being more prone to illness. People who are sleep deprived often catch more colds and when they do, they last longer. Unfortunately, this can start a cycle where a person can’t sleep well because they are sick. Occasionally, when we are sick, all we can do is sleep and that can be our body sending us a message that it needs to call in all of our resources to fight a virus or whatever it is we are going through. This is the time to allow ourselves to crawl into a comfy nest and sleep as best we are able.
Another challenge with sleep deprivation is the loss of concentration. Have you ever been so tired you can’t think straight? It’s a thing! It is hard to think clearly when our body and minds are exhausted. Sometimes, if it is possible, it’s better to take a nap and then try to do what you are struggling to stay focused on. It’s like my dad used to say, “you can chop more wood with a sharp ax.” Trying to work when you are exhausted can take much longer and leave you with a poor result. Of course, sometimes we don’t have a choice. Life is just what it is so if the baby has you up all night and your can’t find the your cell phone because you put it in the diaper pail in the middle of the night, hang in there. I’ve been there. Ewww.
Sleep also effects our skin. Not getting enough sleep actually ages the appearance of our skin. It can lead to or contribute to puffy eyes, sallow complexion and if it is a chronic issue, it can lead to fine lines and dark circles under the eyes. People who lose a lot of sleep tend to have a lack of that “glow” that so many of us are seeking.You can use a products like SongCroft Naturals Exfoliate and it will help, but there is nothing like a good nights sleep.
Tips for a Good Nights Sleep
Set a bedtime
Really. Set a goal for the time you want to be in bed and commit to it. Even better, create a bedtime ritual that you enjoy and you can benefit even further from practicing. I do a whole skin care routine at night. I cleanse my face using our Fresh Face Cleanser, tone with Frankincense and Rose Toner and then moisturize with After a few nights, you might start to feel so much more alert that you have more energy to get whatever it was that you thought you had to stay up late to do. Spray a little of our Lavender Dreams in the bedroom. massage some on to the bottoms of your feet. This is very popular in many medicinal herb practices. It can be very relaxing to some people.
Slow down and unplug a couple hours before bedtime
You don’t need to go into a sensory depravation tank or anything but at least consider lowering lights. Unplugging from the computer. Refraining from any action movies or games that can get your adrenaline pumping. Speaking of adrenaline, do not do work outs at night unless your whole schedule is flipped from the norm. Consider using our Rescue Me Aromatherapy Spray to help you transition to a calmer and less hectic time.
Exercise earlier in the day
Take a walk, pump weights, do yoga or whatever floats your boat. Even light exercise is better than none.
Take a bath
Claim this time for you. I avoid reading books during this time because I have a hard time putting a good one down! Magazines and articles are a much better read for me in the bath. Epsom salt can be especially relaxing, candle light is soothing and quiet is priceless.
Consider your sleep environment
Is your bed comfortable? Do you have a good pillow? Would blackout curtains be helpful? How about creating a sanctuary with calming colors and comforting textiles?
These are just a few tips. There are many others out there. If you are really sleep challenged, it might be worth seeing a healthcare provider in case you have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can be caused by all sorts of things and they can address that with you if necessary.
I hope this article has been helpful to you.
Until next time, be well-
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As always, we would love to hear from you and I am sure our readers will too.
If you have any tips or hints for others, please do add them to the comments below. We are all in this together.
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When we say that SongCroft Naturals products are artisan made and that each product is made by hand with love, we mean it.
People sometimes have images of big machines with conveyor belts moving body moisturizer tubes along within our production facility. The reality is that each tube, each jar, each bottle is filled by hand by someone who is happy in their work and glad to be bringing nurturing goodness to you.
Our processes are simple. We grow botanical goodness, blend artisan formulations, create our products by hand and send them off to you wil love. This is the way of our family farm business. We grow love.
Truly Simple, Amazing Results. That’s SongCroft Naturals.
It’s Shop Small Saturday and people all over the country are coming out to support small businesses. This is an important movement to help keep more commerce in the hands of small family businesses rather than just silently allowing large corporations to take over our neighborhood economies.
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good (wo)men do nothing.”
Tonight, our family will go out and support a small local restaurant, buy tea from our favorite small tea shop, see the tree lighting in our sweet little town and if we are lucky, we will find the carolers that are spreading cheer. See things to do in Snohomish “Home for the Holidays”, here.
We are grateful for the many people who support us during this annual event. It makes a huge difference in our year and allows us to hold space for healthy goodness on our family farm. We appreciate you all for your support.
#shopsmallsaturday #familybusiness #familyfarm #ecobeauty #naturalbeauty #BOGO #sale #buyonegetonefree
We can’t think of a better way to thank all of our wonderful customers for their loyal support and encouragement than to offer a Buy one Get one Free sale!
Customers who shop on Saturday the 28th of November, wont risk missing out on our limited editions holiday gift collections and the fabulous DIY Herbal Medicine Maker Kit! These are products these products have received rave reviews and we know our customers love love them!
They will go fast so order early!
Join us November 28th– 30th for our ever popular
Buy one Get one Free Sale
*One item shows in the cart and two ship.
With Deep Gratitude,
The Richardson Family
I like to think of Thanksgiving as a celebration of a year of gratitude rather than just one day. In this post, I am going to share with you one of my secrets. It is one of the things that really make me happy. Let me know if you think I’m crazy or if you share my joy.
Several times each week on my personal Facebook page, I like to list at least three things I am grateful for. Sometimes I mention friends, sometimes I mention my family, sometimes it is a moment to rest but I often mention that I am grateful that I have choices in my life. Think about it, many people do not have choices. The choice of what to wear, what to eat, what book to read or whatever else.
I do not take for granted the fact that I have choices in my life. I remind myself how blessed I am every morning. I have a choice to smile through my day, spread peace and kindness and to make a difference in this world. Even the smallest things, like holding the door for someone or taking the time to listen to the response when I ask, “How are you.” These simple things are choices I can make to help make the world a better place.
One of my favorite things is to do little things for Ron. Ron is a veteran who stands next to the freeway exit each morning when I drive my daughter to class. He panhandles for his meals and life. I don’t judge Ron for what he does. I have no idea what his life path was like and how he got there. What I do know is that he is friendly and always polite and has a positive attitude. I am grateful that whenever I pass Ron, I can give him a dollar and sometimes a cup of coffee (it is cold outside here). This week, we plan to bring him a care package for the holiday. Something home-cooked with love. We will put a tag on it with his name, “To Ron”.
I can’t solve his problems but I can let him know that he is thought of, he is not invisible and someone thinks he matters. This is love. I can give Ron, a stranger, love and that is what I am grateful for. The choice to give love. I am blessed.
After writing this, it occurred to me to reach out to my community to see what people could put together for Ron. I posted a message on a message board where I don’t even know folks. I gave a brief description of Ron and how I would like to bring him some warm things and spread kindness to him. I asked if anyone would like to join me. Last night I got an email from a gal who knitted him a Seahawk colored scarf and donated a Seahawks hat. Another gal emailed with a Seahawks sweatshirt. A third gal offered her business card so he can come in and get a meal at her place. These folks are total strangers to me and to Ron. It goes to show that although we are being flooded with negative stories about the world, good still exists and even prevails. These strangers have made this Thanksgiving something to be truly grateful for. Thanks for “being love”.
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Natural Personal Care Product, Travel Kit and Natural Bath and Body Product.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.