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Taking herbal powders can be kind of challenging sometimes - which is a shame, because they're so awesome and effective. Traditionally. herbal powders would simply be placed on the back of the tongue and washed down with water, or mixed in a little warm water and consumed quickly. However, it's been my personal experience (as well as my experience recommending herbal powders to people) that folks need to have a good first experience taking powders, or they'll be hesitant to try them again. 

Previously, I posted my recipe for nut butter balls that make a fantastic carrier for almost any herbal powder. These lozenges are my second favorite way to take herbal powders - especially for the sore throats that come with fall and winter. These marshmallow root and slippery elm herbal lozenges are so easy to make, and so soothing to chew or dissolve when you have a scratchy or raw throat. Marshmallow and slippery elm are both demulcents, meaning they're extra mucilaginous and coat the tissue / lining of the esophagus to soothe inflamed tissue. I like to add some extra sweetness to the recipe with a little licorice, and also some wild cherry bark for it's anti-tussive and astringent quality (it's really ideal for dry, unproductive coughs). 

The key to making these little lozenges is to allow them time to dry completely. If there's even a hint of moisture left in them, no matter how you store them they'll mold rather quickly. I let mine sit out on the counter for about 2 days to dry out completely, and I've also used a dehydrator for quick prep and that works beautifully. They should look like unappealing little pieces of dirt by the time you're all done. You can adjust the sweetness by making your licorice decoction stronger or adding a bit more honey. Regardless, you need to keep the moisture level the same (1/4 cup liquid no matter what your desired sweetness) or they will not have the right consistency. Once prepared and dried, I store mine in a little glass mason jar in the medicine cabinet and use as needed. I'll either use them up in one season, or discard the remaining lozenges at the end of each season and prepare a new batch. The shelf life on these little lozenges is not super long - 3 months is often my max. 

Marshmallow Herbal Lozenges

1 tablespoon Licorice root
1 teaspoon Ginger root
10ml wild cherry bark tincture
2 tablespoons raw honey
1/2 cup Marshmallow root powder
Slippery elm powder

Decoct the licorice and ginger root in about 1 cup of water and let simmer for 10 minutes. Measure out the honey in a measuring cup and pour the licorice and ginger decoction plus the wild cherry bark tincture in with the honey until you have 1/4 cup of liquid. Mix together until the honey is melted and incorporated into the decoction. In a separate bowl, add the marshmallow root powder and make a little well in the center. Gently pour the 1/4 cup liquid mixture into the well and mix thoroughly together with you hands until you have a dry dough texture. On a clean surface, dust a small area with slippery elm powder and roll the dry marshmallow dough out to 1/4 inch thickness, coating each side with the slippery elm powder. Punch out small discs using a bottle cap or small cutter (get creative...) and set aside to dry completely for at least 24 hours, or use a food dehydrator. Once completely dried, store in a glass container for up to 3 months. 

 

Herbal medicine is the people's medicine. It started with individuals, then communities, traveled into your kitchen and has now made it's way (albeit with some resistance) into mainstream medicine. The whole point of herbal medicine is to harness our relationship with the plants around us to develop healing allies that are accessible, affordable, and available for everyone to use. No patents. No astronomical costs. No ownership of the plants or their medicines. I hope that it always stays this way. I hope that no one ever is allowed to take ownership of a plant, or patent an herb, or restrict the availability (or affordability) of a traditional herbal medicine. This just goes against everything herbal medicine is about. And this is why you'll likely never find an herbalist who is "in it for the money". 

I'm also all about herbalists being able to make a living and support themselves sharing their formulas and gifts of knowledge with the people. Throughout all of history, in every community, there have been herbalists / medicine people who make it their life's work to utilize plants in the healing of people, and even today this hold true. Maintaining a thriving business as an herbalist today requires a considerable amount of craftiness and flexibility - and I can tell you there are still a million hoops to jump through and endless compliance procedures to stay on top of. However, one thing herbalists rarely had to take much notice of was naming their products. This is usually the fun part about making new formulas - birthing them into creation with their own special name. Or, as many herbalists have done - naming generational medicines after their predecessors of very similar formulas. One such example is Rosemary's Gladstar's tried and true (hugely famous) formula of an apple cider vinegar based concoction she called Fire Cider which was introduced by her into the world some 40 years ago. It's become an herbalists kitchen staple for immune support, digestive aide and even as an addition to everything from salad dressings to soups and stews. Everyone makes it a little differently with their own tweaks and variations, and the name has always passed along with each generation of formulas. 

Recently, the name has been taken away from traditional herbalists and trademarked - assigned to one company and one company alone. Other herbalists who continued to sell their products with this name were being sued for infringement (which is kind of an herbalists worst nightmare). In the herb world, the trademarking of this name by a single company (who didn't actually come up with this name or this formula themselves) was not super well received. The herb world is small. Grievances travel quickly and stick around for a while. Not surprisingly, stuff like this happens all the time in a product based society. Using a trademarked name is a no-no if you want keep your product on the market. Obviously. In the herb world though - this just doesn't happen. And people freaked out. Herbalists have enough to worry about people coming after them for all kinds of contrived reasons, but having herbalists come after herbalists is really disheartening. 

My personal opinion about the whole situation is not really relevant. Let's bring this around to the present, and why I've added this gorgeous, delicious and exciting new product to the shop. My local health food store approached me about 6 months ago after they had gotten a whirlwind of complaints from consumers, local herbalists and people who were "in the know" about what was happening with this formula. The product they were currently carrying (now trademarked) was just sitting on the shelf with a healthy customer population not wanting to support a company going after small herbalists. They asked if I would be interested in coming up with a similar formula, with my own twist, and naming it anything I liked. After some initial hesitation (and lots of encouragement from my own community), I decided, what the hell. Go for it. 

So, here she is. My apple cider vinegar based Flaming Elixir, infused with the most potent and stimulating immune and digestive supporting herbs your tummy will likely experience this season. Robust and flavorful schisandra, immune supporting garlic, onion and thyme, liver loving, anti-inflammatory turmeric and spicy potent cayenne flavor this amazingly strong traditional kitchen remedy.  There's 2 sizes: one for home, and one for travel. I like taking about 1 teaspoon or up to a tablespoon (mixed in just a bit of water) before meals to stimulate digestion, and I also use this as a base for homemade salad dressings and take shots of if if Ive got a cold coming on (or lingering). I love the taste of vinegar, and the intense punch of the herbs really makes it powerful. (Side note - contraindicated if you already have heat related imbalances in your gut, like ulcers, GERD or inflamed digestive tissue).

My take away from all of this is not to take business away from any herbal company, or to pass judgement on any companies decision to basically help them find their niche and make a living as a small, herbal business. In the herb world I'm trying to contribute to - we all support each other and I sincerely hope that every herbalist succeeds and thrives in a modern world that often pushes them down. Flexibility and adaptability is necessary for any industry to move forward, and names don't really matter as long as the relationship with plants and people continue to be mutually beneficial. 

Joyous early fall wishes, friends. I hope you love our new Flaming Elixir :)

And feel free to use the name. 

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Until I was about 27, I really wasn't that into blogs. I never sat, curled up with mug in hand and pup at my side, drooling over endless food porn photo streams and dreamy travel blogs feeling absolutely transported. Everyone seemed to have a blog about something, and that just wasn't part of my often already computer filled day. Eventually, friends of mine started blogs and I began to check out theirs, and then sort of naively stumbled down the vast rabbit hole that is natural health blogs, food blogs, travel blogs, sustainability blogs, camping blogs....oh my god the list just goes on. I started getting really inspired, and felt like a whole new world was opening up (hello, www. It's like we never met before then?) When I had this weird (and kind of unnatural, for me) urge to start a blog of my own, I fought the temptation for a while, until one day, I just didn't anymore. I think it's because of so many other folks who shared their gifts of knowledge that somehow matriculated into my home and my brain, settling in for frequent one sided chats about their creative projects, foods, and philosophies. It's amazing how connected we can seemingly feel even when we're so far away. The cyber community can be intricately tight - like it's own extended community. And that's kind of beautiful. 

Over the past 3 years, there have been a few blogs that have just blown my mind. Website that I constantly frequent, and often refer other folks to check out for recipes, products, style or just straight up solidly good information. Creatives with products that I love to support (and just get so giddy with happiness to see them successful), or philosophies I really resonate with, or with insanely good recipes (that are crazy allergen friendly) that are now part of my sweet and slow Saturday morning cyber visiting routine. Below is a brief list, filled with some amazing people I've come to really admire that I just wanted to leave right here, for you to peruse too, and get swallowed up by their beauty...

For the Foods:

Will Frolic For Food - Drooling over Renee's food AND her photos on a weekly basis. 

My New Roots - Revolutionary Pancakes are almost a weekly staple. 

Local Milk 

Nutrition Stripped - Blissed out black bean burgers are on my table at least once a month. Also, beautifully articulated nutrition info!

Vidya Living - juices, smoothies and SOUPS. 

My Darling Lemon Thyme

Marte Marie Forsberg - for her cottage kitchen recipes and her absolutely gorgeous visual storytelling

The Forest Feast

101 Cookbooks -Her new cookbook, Near & Far, is probably the most beautiful cook book I've ever owned

Herbal Goodness and Goddesses:

Wooden Spoon Herbs - Herbal product beauty

Gaia Herbs - Amazingly top notch herbal products (and herb farm!)

Avena Botanicals - Herb sourcing, sustainable grown herbal medicine and beautiful herb farm. 

Urban Moonshine - Bitters for the people!

Zack Woods Herb Farm - top notch herb farm and supplier for herbalists <3

Camille Freeman - my nutrition professor and sweet friend (video tutorials for the nerdy physiology for hippie folks too!)

Bevin Clare - my herbal medicine professor and sweet friend (with a clinical herb blog that is just spot on). 

Natural Beauty:

Marble & Milkweed

RMS Beauty

Badger

Evan Healy

Juniper Ridge

Sustainability & Holistic Living/Style:

An Unhurried Life 

Pure Green Magazine

Reading My Tea Leaves

Ashley Neese

Free + Native

Elizabeth Suzann - those textiles....

Prana - (recycled) wool sweaters all winter long. 

The Reformation 

Nisolo - their Harper Chukka & Oliver oxford are my wardrobe staples, any season. 

Beautifully Crafted Things:

Suite One Studio

St. Signora

Peg & Awl - keeping my work place a little rustically whimsical....also, beautifully made, sturdy work bags come with me every day. 

With Lavender & Lace

What blogs and makers do you really love? I'd love to hear your recommendations!


HELLO, I’M LINDSAY.
Herbal medicine and nutrition is my expertise. Understanding plants, their properties, and their powers is my passion.

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