Sunday, December 20, 2009

Herbal Teas for Digestive Distress & Bitters

Between Thanksgiving and New Years is when my digestive system really wants to kill me. Sugar, and larger, heavier quantities of food and drink along with less sunlight and less exercise really tax my poor digestive system along with overall mental and physical health. I feel sluggish and depressed. It's important to take care of our digestive system at all times of the year, but during the winter it is most important because our bodies our slowing down and (trying!) to rest. Teas and bitters can help our digestive system everyday by stimulating our body and helping it to run quicker and smoother.


Herbal Teas for Digestive Distress

Phyllis Light's Slippery Elm Brew

Slippery Elm (cut and sifted-not powder) - 3 heaping tablespoons

Add Slippery Elm to one gallon of water. Bring to boil and simmer briskly for about one and a half hours. The tea is ready when it turns dark red and the Slippery Elm mostly goes to the bottom. This is an extraordinary soothing tea for any sort of digestive irritation including heartburn, gastritis, diarrhea, irritable bowel, and colitis.

Madelon's Liver Cleansing Tea

2 parts Burdock Root
1 part Dandelion Root
1 part Sarsparilla
1/2 part Yellow Dock
pinch of Ginger
pinch of Cinnamon
pinch Licorice Root

Add two and a half to three tablespoons of herb to one quart of filtered water and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Let it steep covered for about an hour and strain.

Christopher Hobb's High Mucilage Tea for Irritable Bowel Issues

1 part Flax Seed
1 part Marshmallow Root
1 part Fenugreek
pinch of Licorice Root
pinch of Caraway or Fennel

Add herbs to quart of water and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for forty minutes. After turning off heat, cover and allow to steep for fifteen minutes. Strain and drink tea very frequently when experiencing uncomfortable symptoms.

Madelon's Calming Digestive Tea

2 parts Lemon Balm
1 part Chamomile
1 part Meadowsweet
1/2 part Pepperming
1/2 part Marshmallow
pinch of Licorice

Use 2-3 tablespoons of the mixture to 1 quart of boiling water and infuse for at least in hour.

Kathi Keville's Heartburn Formula

1 part Chamomile
1 part Lemon Balm
1 part Licorice
1/2 part Slippery Elm
1/4 part Fennel Seeds
1/4 part Catnip

Pour 1 1/2 cups very hot eater over the herbs and steep for at least 15 minutes (more time is better). Strain herbs and add 1 1/2 cups of either carrot or apple juice. Store in refrigerator.



"Bitters are imperative; everyone needs some bitters in their diet.
No traditional culture could have imagined a diet virtually (if
not absolutely) devoid of any bitter foods—as we seem to have
established in most modern diets. This is not to say that one
should force themselves to eat a bowl of raw dandelion roots,
but to posit that the “medicinal” actions associated with bitters
might be viewed in an entirely different light.
I am a firm believer in Bitter Deficiency Syndrome; a no-
tion that posits that much of the health woes faced by modern
folk has at its root a lack of bitter flavor in the diet; and that
many of the digestive problems for which we see bitters as a
“remedy” are actually symptoms of deficiency of this flavor.
Perhaps it is not right to think that bitters should be used to
treat sluggish digestion, but that a lack of bitter flavor in one’s
diet can be a cause of sluggish digestion. Perhaps many of the
conditions calling for bitters as a remedy arise from their omis-
sion, not unlike rickets arises from a lack of vitamin D.
I was first introduced to the idea of bitter deficiency syn-
drome by James Green, who wrote in The Male Herbal:
"It is my opinion that the nearly complete lack of bitter
flavored foods in the overall U.S. and Canadian diet is a
major contributing factor to common cultural health im-
balances such as PMS, other female and male sexual organ
dysfunctions, hormonal imbalances, migraine headache,
indigestion, liver and gall bladder dysfunction, abnormal
metabolism, hypoglycemia, diabetes, etc. "" - Blessed Bitters
by jim mcdonald

Bitters stimulate the salivary glands to produce more saliva and stimulate the stomach to release more acid to help break down food. Bitters also stimulate the pancreas to secrete digestive enzymes and the liver to increase the flow of bile. Because the stomach acid production tend to decrease with age, bitters can be helpful for elderly people with sluggish digestion. In the traditional medicine of Europe and China, bitter herbs are used to strengthen digestions, improve functioning of the nervous system and enhance vital energy in the body. Bitter herbs and foods stabilize blood sugar levels and reduce food cravings. They have a regulatory effect on the hormones released by the pancreas.

When to use bitters:

Poor fat digestion
Poor protein digestion
Weakness due to chronic illness
Intestinal cramps and excessive gas
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Excessive cravings for sweets

Bitters Formula:

1 part Artichoke
1 part Orange Peel
1/4 part Gentian
1/4 part Cardamom
1/4 part Ginger

This can be made into a tincture or a bitters tea which is simmered for 30 minutes. Other bitter herbs include dandelion, yarrow, and peach


Monday, December 14, 2009

Drift Into Dreamland, Naturally

A hundred years ago, prior to the lure of radio and television and the fast-paced modern world, nine and a half hours constituted an average night’s sleep. In the 1950s and ’60s, the average number of hours spent sleeping dropped to eight. The average American adult today sleeps seven and a half hours, and this number continues to decline.
Sleep-deprived people are chronically tired, irritable, moody and potentially depressed. All aspects of life are affected. Researchers say that people who invest in a full night’s sleep are recompensed by heightened productivity, creativity, focus and health. Moreover, sleep contributes to psychological well-being by processing emotions and memories through dreaming. 

Insomnia: The Basics
Statistics suggest that one-fifth of American adults and half of American seniors have difficulty falling asleep on any given night. And as many as 15 percent of adults suffer from chronic insomnia, the most prevalent of the sleep disorders. Insomnia is the inability to get enough sleep night after night, for weeks on end.
There are at least two types of insomnia. The first type is caused by tension, overwork and mental strain, especially for those who work late at night. Relaxing herbs, such as catnip (Nepeta cataria), valerian (Valeriana officinalis), passionflower (Passiflora incarnata), chamomile (Matricaria recutita) and linden flower (Tilia ¥vulgaris) may be helpful for this type. Other recommended practices include stretching before bedtime, taking a warm bath before bed, practicing meditation and deep breathing (especially at night), receiving regular massage or acupuncture treatments, and avoiding working into the wee hours.
The second type is when people fall asleep but wake up after a few hours and are unable to go back to sleep. This may be associated with adrenal weakness, in which case consistent use of adrenal tonic herbs, such as eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus), rehmannia (Rehmannia glutinosa) and reishi (Ganoderma lucidum), may be useful.
Either type of insomnia may be based on, or at least worsened by, a neurotransmitter imbalance. Herbs and foods that help restore the proper serotonin levels in the brain, such as L-tryptophan-rich foods like yogurt, spirulina and legumes, can be useful, as well as St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum).
Three general rules for insomniacs are: (1) Go to sleep only when tired; (2) if you cannot fall asleep after 10 minutes, then get up and do something else until you are tired; and (3) use the sleep area for sleeping only.
Important note: Because chronic insomnia can be linked to serious medical conditions, consult your doctor if you suffer from persistent sleep problems that aren’t responsive to healthy lifestyle changes. 

Herbs that Support Sleep
Some of the most commonly used herbs with good track records for helping facilitate sleep are listed below. Note that it often is preferable to take the herbs in small doses throughout the day, rather than taking one dose at bedtime.
Valerian has been used since antiquity to help relieve sleeplessness. It is an excellent herbal sedative that has none of the negative side effects of Valium and other synthetic sedatives. A number of clinical studies support the central nervous system-relaxing qualities of this popular tranquilizing herb, and several double-blind trials have shown that it can help people fall asleep faster and have a more relaxed, higher-quality night’s sleep. It is thought that valerian may work through an interaction of its constituents with gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors in the brain. Dosage: 1 cup tea, two to three times daily; 2 to 5 droppersful tincture, two to three times daily; 1 to 2 capsules, two to three times daily.
Kava (Piper methysticum) is the national drink of Fiji and is popular throughout the South Seas, where it has a long history of use soothing nerves and promoting deep sleep. It is effective for anxiety, stress and restlessness — some of the underlying causes of insomnia. In addition to imparting a calm feeling and relaxing the body, kava has the additional benefits of causing mild euphoria and enhancing the dream state. Several short-term clinical studies indicate that kava is effective in treating insomnia. Dosage: 1 cup tea, three to four times daily; 2 to 4 droppersful tincture, two to three times daily; 1 to 2 tablets, two to three times daily. Note: As a sleep aid, a standardized extract containing 180 to 210 mg of kavalactones is recommended. Do not combine this herb with alcohol or barbiturates, and avoid kava if you have liver problems.
Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) is a widely used, safe sedative herb that can be taken over a long period of time. It is particularly indicated for insomnia caused by an overactive mind, worry or nightmares. In the mid-1800s and early 1900s, the Eclectic physicians used the entire plant in moderate doses for restlessness and wakefulness due to nervous exhaustion or overwork. It also was used for insomnia in the very young and the elderly. Homeopaths used passionflower for insomnia caused by exhaustion. A tincture of the freshly dried plant is recommended, as the herb seems to lose its potency after it has been dried and stored for several months. Dosage: 1 cup tea, three to four times daily; 1 dropperful tincture, three to four times daily.
Reishi is an important medicinal mushroom that tones the adrenals and calms the mind. It can be quite useful in cases of obstinate sleeping imbalances. Reishi is especially indicated for people with anxiety and sleeplessness accompanied by adrenal or nervous system weakness. Dosage: two to three 1-gram capsules, two to three times daily.
St. John’s wort, when used for several months at a low to moderate dose, can help with some types of chronic insomnia. This herb — the herbal superstar for treating mild to moderate depression — can help preserve healthy levels of serotonin in the brain, leading to improved sleep in some cases. Dosage: 2 to 3 droppersful of tincture in the morning and evening; 2 capsules standardized extract in the morning and 1 capsule in the evening.

St. John's Wort
Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) tea is a well-known nervine commonly used in many parts of Europe, South America and Mexico for both children and adults with insomnia. This calming herb, well-known for its soothing action on the stomach, is particularly well-suited for those who experience sleeplessness coupled with digestive difficulties; 5 or 6 drops of chamomile essential oil can be added to bathwater before bed to soothe overwrought nerves and help induce sleep. Dosage: 1 to 2 cups tea, two to three times daily; 15 to 30 drops tincture, two to three times daily. Chamomile also is available in homeopathic tablets for children (follow manufacturer’s directions).
Hops (Humulus lupulus), one of the main relaxing components of beer, has long been used to induce sleep. For mild insomnia, the herb was used in sleep pillows. The herb was used specifically for insomnia due to worry, nerve weakness or alcohol abuse. Modern herbalists suggest the herb as a mild sedative to promote sleep and counteract restlessness and anxiety. Hops often are combined with other herbs, such as valerian and St. John’s wort. Fresh hops preparations are good for toning the digestion, whereas dried preparations combined with valerian are indicated for nervousness, restlessness and sleep disturbances. Some herbalists emphasize the importance of using dried hops preparations when a sedative action is desired, as fresh hops (tea or tincture) sometimes can have a stimulating effect. Dosage: 1 cup tea, two to three times daily; 1 to 3 droppersful tincture, two to three times daily.
Catnip is a gentle herb that contains sedative properties. A cup of tea after meals helps relieve indigestion and heartburn. Chemical constituents in catnip, which intoxicate cats, are similar to the natural sedative compounds found in the herb valerian, supporting catnip’s traditional use as a mild tranquilizer and sedative in humans. A cup of catnip tea may be taken before bed as a mild sleep aid, or taken for relaxation during times of tension. Dosage: 2 to 3 cups tea daily; 1 dropperful tincture, two to three times daily.
Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) is an extremely safe herb used to regulate and feed the nervous system. It is important to take the herb long-term — the longer it is taken, the better the results. Skullcap imparts a quieting effect when taken regularly throughout the day, so that it often becomes unnecessary to take anything else to induce sleep at night. Dosage: 1 cup tea, three to four times daily; 1 dropperful tincture three times daily.
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia). The traditional uses of lavender for nervousness and insomnia still are common today, and the herb and its alluring essential oil are popular in commerce. In Germany, authorities have approved the use of this herb for restlessness and insomnia. Lavender is useful both internally as a tea or tincture and externally as an essential oil (its absorption into the body through the skin and by inhalation has been confirmed by researchers). In one laboratory study with mice, hyperactivity induced by caffeine was reduced and nearly eliminated by inhalation of lavender oil. This aromatherapy study serves to sanction the popular use of lavender herb pillows to facilitate falling asleep and reducing stress. Another study conducted by a nurse in an English hospital suggests that massaging the feet of intensive-care patients with lavender oil reduces wakefulness. A few drops of lavender oil added to a bath before bedtime is recommended for insomniacs. Dosage: 1 cup tea, two to three times daily; 15 to 20 drops tincture, two to three times daily; essential oil may be inhaled; diluted essential oil can be massaged into the skin (use 10 drops essential oil per ounce of vegetable oil); or added to baths (3 to 10 drops).
Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) has long been used to reduce stress and anxiety, promote restful sleep, calm the nervous system and relieve insomnia. In aromatherapy, essential oil of lemon balm is used to promote relaxation, particularly in cases of depression and nervous tension. Dosage: 1 cup tea, two to three times daily; 2 to 3 droppersful tincture, three to four times daily.

Herbal Insomnia Formula
The following tried-and-true formula is effective for insomnia. Make a tea by steeping 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of the combined herbs in a cup of boiled water for 20 minutes; strain and drink 1⁄2 to 1 cup as desired. A little honey, Licorice or Stevia can be added to make it sweeter.

Valerian 30 percent
Linden 20 percent
Kava 20 percent
Chamomile 20 percent
Catnip 10 percent

By Christopher Hobbs

I could never get tired of seeing this

Monday, November 23, 2009


Name: Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon), American Cranberry, Bogberry, and Bog Cranberry.

Family: Ericaceae

Parts Used: Berries

Uses: Cystitis and other urinary tract infections (helps neutralize acids and dissolve sediment), clearing kidney stones, the prevention of asthma attacks (dilating bronchial passages during an attack), reducing ammonia urinary odors in the elderly, acne prevention, cancer and heart disease prevention, cold and flu prevention (high antioxidant and vitamin C content)

Constituents: Arbutin, colorful anthocyanins and their colorless precursors the oligomeric proanthocyanidins, and natural sugars

High in phosphorus, potassium, and calcium; contains significant amounts of iron, magnesium, manganese, sodium and B-complex vitamins. Antibacterial compounds in cranberries inhibit urinary infecting bacteria from adhering to tract walls so that they are flushed from the system. It is a good source of bioflavonoids and vitamin C for tissue tone. Has anti-cancer, blood purifying and immuno-stimulant effects.

Preparations: For medicinal use, the powder is best. May be encapsulated or added to sugar-free teas. Most dried and powdered products on the market are freeze-dried and usually contain and anti-caking agent to prevent it from solidifying.

Harvest: Ranging from damp bogs to mountain forests. Many species are cultivated in natural or artificial bogs throughout the United States, but especially in Massachusetts and Washington. Other plants of the Vaccinium species include blueberry, bilberry and lingonberry.

Precautions: Adding sugar to cranberry powder cancels out the antibacterial effects of the herb.

By: Jacqueline Ryan

By Kami McBride

This tangy red fruit that makes it to the thanksgiving table is the perfect food for this time of year. Cranberries are loaded with vitamin C and help to ward off colds and flu. They help boost the immune system and can help keep the body strong during the cold months. They are of course a very bitter fruit, so find a way that you like to prepare them and eat them as part of your winter health program. Cranberries make a great chutney or relish that tastes good on more than just turkey! We mix cranberry chutney into rice and put it on sandwiches. Cranberries contain high amounts of antioxidants that help protect against heart disease and cancer. Cranberries are one of the fruits with the highest known anti- oxidant content. Anti-oxidant foods have been shown to protect the body against cardiovascular disease. More Americans die of heart disease than anything else. Think of your cranberries as food for the heart. Anybody that suffers from Urinary tract infections or cystitis knows that cranberries are their ally. Cranberries also reduce other infections by blocking different bacteria from sticking in other areas of the body as well. Bacteria in the urinary tract, stomach and mouth have been shown to be inhibited by the presence of cranberries. They are also a general tonic to the kidneys and urinary tract. Cranberry tea is also a good remedy for mild nausea. If for some odd reason you don’t eat your cranberries fresh or would like to save them for tea to drink through the winter, they store well frozen. Just put them in a zip lock freezer bag or a mason jar in the freezer. They last for about 8 months this way.

Cranberry Tea
1 cup water
1 cup crushed cranberries
Bring water and cranberries to a boil; turn off the heat and let sit for one half
hour. Add honey to sweeten and enjoy this health enhancing beverage. Add 1
cup of lemonade to make this into a holiday beverage or just enjoy the tea and its
antibacterial properties as a general tonic promoting winter wellness.

Herbal Cranberry Chutney
2 cups fresh cranberries
1 orange
Handful of chopped dates
1/2 cup agave nectar or sugar source of choice
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 small finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon finely chopped sage leaf
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
1 tablespoon finely chopped savory
If your thanksgiving cranberry dish still comes from a can….try this instead!!

Cranberry Jalapeno dip
4 cups fresh finely chopped cranberries
3/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
1/2 cup agave nectar or other sugar source of choice
1/4 cup minced green onions
3 tablespoons lime juice
2-3 tablespoons finely minced jalapeno peppers
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger root
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
Mix everything together, let it sit for several hours before serving. Pour over a
block of cream cheese and serve with crackers
This is an unusual favorite that you will find at our table every year during the

Kami McBride has taught herbal medicine since 1988. Through her herb classes
and personal wellness consultations she provides people with the tools to create
a sustainable approach to their health care. Kami has helped thousands of
people learn to use herbs in their daily lives in ways that are healthy, safe and
fun and she teaches classes in herbal medicine and women’s health at her
school and herb gardens in Vacaville, California.

hawks seen leaving High Ledges

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thanksgiving Prayer

We return thanks to our mother, the earth, which sustains us.
We return thanks to the rivers and streams, which supply us with water.
We return thanks to all herbs, which furnish medicines for the cure of our diseases.
We return thanks to the moon and stars, which have given to us their light when the sun was gone.
We return thanks to the sun, that has looked upon the earth with a beneficent eye.
Lastly, we return thanks to the Great Spirit, in Whom is embodied all goodness, and Who directs all things for the good of Her children.
Iroquois Prayer, adapted

Touisset Marsh Wildlife Refuge

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Green Feather Herbs Special Herbal Tea Blends

2 cups loose tea

Strong Bones Tea
a blend of calcium-rich herbs

Nettle, Oatstraw, Chamomile, Peppermint, Licorice Root, Alfalfa, Marshmallow Root

Goodbye Stress Tea
relax after a stressful day with this blend that promotes relaxation

Lemon Balm, Chamomile, Rose, Oatstraw, Lavender

Moon Time Tea
soothing blend that restores menstrual balance

Red Raspberry Leaf, Crampbark, Nettle, Oatstraw, Lemon Balm, Yarrow

Pick Me Up Tea
to help you get through your day

St. john's Wort, Peppermint, Lemongrass, Nettle, Hibiscus

Bedtime Tea
a blend that promotes and encourages sleep

Chamomile, Passionflower, Lemon Balm, Skullcap, Hops

Vitamin C Tea
this blend is packed with vitamin C to help support your body and keep it healthy

Rosehips, Hibiscus, Orange Peel, Cinnamon, Lemongrass, White Pine Needles

Women's Tonic Tea
a general tonic for women

Oatstraw, Lemon Balm, Nettle, Peppermint, Raspberry Leaf, Stevia

Headache Tea
to help soothe and relieve headaches

Lemon Balm, Skullcap, Chamomile, Feverfew

Good Morning Tea

a calming yet stimulating blend to help start the day off right

Lemon Balm, Chamomile, Lavender, Peppermint

Sore Throat Tea
to help soothe sore and scratchy throat

Licorice Root, Cinnamon, Echinacea, Marshmallow Root

Healthy Liver Tea
helps support healthy liver function

Dandelion Root, Burdock Root, Flax Seed, Cinnamon Bark, Licorice Root

Heartburn Ease Tea
this blend helps soothe heartburn
Marshmallow Root, Orange Peel, Chamomile, Fennel Seeds

Belly Ease Tea
promotes proper digestion and soothes gastric upset, such as nausea, bloating and cramping

Fennel, Chamomile, Peppermint

Cold and Flu Care Tea
this blend provides relief and healing during colds and flu with its antiviral, immune enhancing, and diaphoretic properties

Elderberry, Boneset, Peppermint, Yarrow

Please email

Products are made to order so please be patient :)

All products are organic and/or wild harvested and made with prayer and love by
Green Feather Herbs

For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Green Feather Herbs Product List


Body Powder

Lavender and Rose
4 oz $6.00

Peppermint Foot Cream
To awaken, refresh, cool, and moisturize.
2 oz $8.00

Herbal Bath Blends
Stimulating Bath Blend- Peppermint, Calendula, Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Sage

Relaxing Bath Blend- Chamomile, Lavender, Roses, Hops, Passionflower

Winter Bath Blend- Calendula, Cinnamon, Lavender, Cloves
Pack of 4 $10.00


Nourishing Face, Hand, and Body Cream
A lightly scented rich and nourishing moisturizer.
2 oz $10.00

Sugar or Salt Scrub
Exfoliating and moisturizing for face and body.

Relaxing Blend- Lavender and Geranium Essential Oils

Invigorating Blend-
Lemon Eucalyptus and Peppermint Essential Oils
8 oz $10.00

Eye and Facial Gel
A soothing and anti-inflammatory blend of essential oils that improves complexion and adds tone and elasticity to sensitive skin . This is an excellent panacea for premature aging and keeping wrinkles at bay.
2 oz $9.00

Facial Scrubs/Masks
Deep Cleansing- Exfoliant for treating all skin types, especially beneficial for oily skin and problems associated with acne. May either be used as a facial scrub or as a facial mask.

Facial Grains- A gentle, rejuvenating and non-drying face and neck exfoliate. It may be used as a mask when combined with yogurt, honey, or any hydrosol.
6 oz $10.00

Honey Lip Balm

1/2 oz $4.00
1 oz $7.00
(natural plant-based pink/red color can be added if you wish)


Healing Salve- This salve is used externally on dry or chapped skin, eczema, burns, cuts, scrapes, bug bites, poison ivy, or any general skin irritations or inflammation.

Muscle Salve- This salve is used for joint inflammation, sprains, strains, muscle soreness, swelling, bruising, varicose veins, and arthritic discomfort (not to be used on broken skin or mucous membranes).

Breath Easy Vapor Balm- This is a safe and stimulating rub for both children and adults suffering from the common cold, allergies, influenza, congestion, and upper respiratory infections. Rub liberally on both chest and upper back several times a day.
2 oz $10.00

Aromatherapy Eye Pillows

Relaxing Pillow- Lavender and Chamomile flowers
Decongesting Pillow- Peppermint and Eucalyptus leaves

Tooth Powder
These old-fashioned tooth powders don’t have the consistency that most people associate with toothpaste, but they leave your teeth feeling clean and healthy.

Traditional Peppermint
Citrus Mint

4 oz $8.00

Insect Away
This insect repellent is safe for children, adults and pets. Apply liberally to exposed skin every two to three hours.
2 oz $6.00

1/2 ounce $6.00

MulleinLiquid extract of fresh leaves
Ratio- 1:1
Uses: Inflammation of respiratory system and urinary passages; dry coughs and hoarseness; cystitis and burning urine. Sores in mouth and throat. Diarrhea. Lymphatic irritation and swellings, mumps.
Dose: Take 30-60 drops, 2 to 5 times per day.

Liquid extract of fresh leaves, stem, and flower
Ratio- 1:1
Uses: Excellent for inducing sweat and lowering fevers (taken in hot water); colds and flu. Passive bleeding and excessive menstrual flow. Varicose veins and hemorrhoids. Stimulates appetite and improves digestion.
Dose: Take 30-40 drops, 2 to 5 times per day. To enhance appetite and digestion, take 15 minutes before meals.
Caution: Larger doses may cause nausea.

Red Clover
Liquid extract of flowering tops
Ratio- 1:1
Uses: Coughs, bronchitis, and weak lungs. High in minerals and strengthening to the body. Acts as a mild sedative, useful for children and the elderly. Used to keep skin supple and healthy. Moderate the intensity of hot flashes. Prevent and reverse breast cancer. Taken as a warm infusion it is soothing to the nerves
Dose: 15-25 drops, 1-4 times a day
Caution: Red clover should not be taken by pregnant or nursing women, as the effects on developing fetus and infants is not determined. There are some studies that suggest taking red clover may affect fetal development. It is also recommended that you do not take red Clover while on blood thinning medication.

GoldenrodLiquid extract of fresh flowering tops
Ratio- 1:1
Uses: Goldenrod is used in conjunction with other remedies and/or medications for the treatment of bladder infections, irritation of the urinary tract, and bladder/kidney stones. It increases the flow of urine, which helps wash out bacteria and kidney stones. It may also soothe inflamed tissues and calm muscle spasms in the urinary tract as well. Goldenrod cannot treat urinary conditions alone, but works very well with other treatments. Used in the treatment of arthritis. Clears mucus from the upper respiratory tract
Dose: Take 6-12 drops in liquid or under tongue, 1-3 times/day
Caution: Do not use during acute attacks of kidney stones or other kidney disorders.

Queen Anne’s Lace Seed (Wild Carrot)Liquid extract of fresh seeds
Ratio- 1:1
Herbal contraceptive for women--prevents egg implantation.* Helps to loose weight gained by water retention. Helps relieve pain from arthritis and gout. Thyroid tonic.
Dose: 10-20 drops, 1-4 times a day
*(Before using and for more information on Wild Carrot has an herbal contraceptive go to

Please email

Products are made to order so please be patient :)

All products are organic and/or locally wild harvested and made with prayer and love by
Green Feather Herbs

For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cold and Flu Recipes

Cold and Flu Recipes

Cold and Flu Tea

4 cups water
1 tablespoon echinacea root
1 tablespoon red root
1 tablespooin calendula flowers

Simmer the Echinacea and red root on the lowest heat for fifteen minutes. Turn off the heat and add the calendula. Let everything steep for another thirty minutes after the calendula has been added
Symptom Specifics: Useful when there is lymph congestion. If your throat lymph nodes get engorged and sore when you get a cold, this is a helpful tea

Cold Care Tea

4 cups water
1 tablespoon elder berries
1 tablespoon elder flower
1 tablespoon yarrow leaf and flower
1 tablespoon ginger root

Bring four cups of water to a boil in a pot and remove from the heat. Add the herbs to the pan or pour the water over the herbs into a tea pot. Steep the herbs for one hour. Warm the tea up again and enjoy.
Symptom Specifics: Sinus congestion and compacted mucus in the sinus area
Cinnamon Ginger Tea

2 cups water
1 tablespoon ginger root
1 teaspoon cinnamon bark

Simmer on low heat for thirty minutes
Symptom Specifics: Feeling chilled or catching a cold that is triggered by exposure to wind or cold weather

Soothing Throat Tea

2 parts echinacea root
1 part ginger root
1 part licorice root

Decoct on low heat for thirty minutes
Symptom Specifics: Good for when your throat is scratchy or sore

Easy Cough Tea

3 cups water
2 tablespoons slippery elm bark
1 tablespoon fresh ginger root
1 tablespoon licorice root

Decoct the ginger and licorice root for thirty minutes. Turn off the heat and let the tea cool down a little before adding the slippery elm bark. After adding the slippery elm let everything infuse for another half hour. Drink at room temperature
Symptom Specifics: Spasmodic, non-productive cough

Vitamin C Tea Blend

2 parts rose hips
1 part red raspberry leaf
1 part orange peel
1 part pine needles

Make an infusion and let steep for four hours. Warm the tea up and add a little honey before drinking.
Symptom Specifics: Drink a few cups a week as a prevention tea at the onset of winter

Cinnamon Ginger Honey

1 cup honey
2 tbls. dried powdered cinnamon
1 tbls. dried powdered ginger

Let herbs steep in honey for at least two weeks before eating. Leave the herbs in for the shelf life of the honey, about one year. Put on toast and warm cereal


Herbal Protocol for Treatment and Prevention of the Flu by Mary Blue

An herbalist perspective is one that the flu is a “ housecleaning”. Our bodies are flushing out the virus or bacteria and other toxins. Herbalists use herbs and food to encourage this cleansing, to prevent co-infections,increase white blood cell count, to relieve pain, promote restful sleep and help lesson the severity of the symptoms of the flu. Herbal Protocols can help no matter what strain of the flu it is.


Food: Eating a diet that is rich in organic veggies and low in processed,fried and sugary foods is a great way of staying healthy and getting over the flu fast if you do get it. A toxic body has a harder time fighting off viruses and bacteria because it is too busy processing toxins and cannot support the Immune System, the Circulatory System, and the elimination processes in their fight to rid the body of pathogens.

Great foods to prevent the flu

Local organic veggies, local GMO free Meat and eggs, Organic Grains,Organic Fruit and Veggies, Miso, and unpasteurized fermented foods.(Fermented foods are high in Vitamin C, are very cleansing, and have a beneficial effect on the digestive system.)
RAW GARLIC is one of the most important flu preventatives. You can eat it with a spoonful of honey (which has anti-bacterial properties.)Turmeric, Cayenne, Ginger, Sage, Thyme, and Oregano are all herbs that can help prevent the flu. It is great to incorporate these into cooking.

Things to avoid!

Sugar. It feeds Bacteria/ Viruses. (think about bread or beer, you add sugar to the bacteria and it grows. The same things happen in our body.)

Coffee. Coffee dehydrates the body and depletes it of vitamins and minerals, especially b vitamins that help support the immune system.

Alcohol. Alcohol clogs up our liver and can inhibit the immune system. It also turns into sugar in the body and can feed bacteria/viruses.

Processed Food. Food with preservatives, food coloring, fried foods, etc,keep our bodies at an overworked state. The liver and other organs become stressed and literally clogged up. Keeping your system clear and clean will help you stay healthy and recover quickly.

STRESS: The effects of stress on immune system functioning and overall level of wellness have been studied and well-documented. Chronic Stress can raise cortisol levels and weaken our immune system and make us more susceptible to colds and the flu, as well as more serious health problems.

Herbs (Prevention)
Note: You do not have to take all of these herbs at once.Pick one or two from each category, and work with them.

Adaptogens: Astragulus Tea, Tincture or Capsules, Siberian Ginseng Tincture, Reishi Mushroom Tincture or Capsule, Holy Basil Tea. Adaptogens help our body deal with stress.

Anti-bacterial, Aromatic: Sage, Oregano, Thyme, Ginger.
These culinary herbs are not only good to cook with, they are great for tea! These are all great for a sore throat and breathing in the steam from a hot cup of tea will clear clogged sinuses.

Tonics: Nettles Tea, Alfalfa Tea, Comfrey Tea.
Tonics are high in vitamins and minerals and give our bodies a boost of nourishment.

Nervines: Oatstraw Tea, Lemon Balm Tea, Chamomile Tea.
Nervines help nourish our nervous system and can help deal with daily stress.

Detoxifying Herbs: Dandelion Tincture, Red Clover Tea, Chickweed Tea, Cleavers Tea.

Immune Herbs: Echinacea Tincture, Licorice Tincture or Tea, Astragulus Tea, Tincture or Capsule. (do not take Echinacea for more than 1 week at a time).


There is no cure-all herb or food for the flu. The herbs/foods listed below help our bodies deal with the pathogens in our system. They support our circulatory system, elimation system, the liver, kidneys and more! These herbs may help induce sweating and reduce fevers, or produce interferon, which in turn produces white blood cells, or help us sleep, which can be hard when you have the flu.

Food (Treatment)
It is best to stick to simple foods as to not clog up the system and make the body work too hard digesting complex meals. Soup: Miso in vegetable or chicken broth. Soup is good because the body doesn’t have to waste energy with the digestion process. It can just soak up vitamins and minerals from the broth.
Grains: Brown Rice, Quinoa
Veggies: spinach, kale, carrot, broccoli and RAW GARLIC!! Some acupuncturists think the swine flu is a hot condition, therefore they recommend staying away from hot, spicy foods. If it is not the swine flu, then cayenne pepper, ginger and other hot spicy herbs and veggies can be very beneficial. These foods can help induce sweating and mucous membrane cleansing.
RAW HONEY is a natural anti-biotic. Mix it with a clove of raw garlic.

Herbs (Treatment)
Note: You do not have to take all of these herbs at once. Pick one or two from each category to work with.

Immune Support: Astragulus Tincture, Tea or Capsule, Boneset Tincture or Tea ,

Andrographis Tincture, Licorice Tea or Tincture, Turmeric Capsules or Tincture.
Anti-viral/ Anti-bacterial herbs: Elderberry Berry/Flower Syrup or Tea, Sage Tea,
Oregano Tea, Thyme Tea.

Adaptogens: Astragulus Tea, Tincture or Capsule, Holy Basil Tea.

Tonics: Nettle Tea, Alfalfa Tea, Oastraw Tea.

Febrifuge: (induce sweating) Yarrow Tincture or Tea, Elder Flower Tea or Tincture
(febrifuge herbs are best taken in hot water)

Strong Nervines: (sleep) Skullcap Tincture or Tea, Valerian Tincture, Lavender Essential Oil, Chamomile Tea or Tincture

Anodyne: (pain reliever) White Willow Bark Tincture, Valerian Tincture, Meadowsweet Tincture

Demulcents: (sooth the mucous membranes, especially with a dry hacking cough) Marshmallow Root Tea, Slippery Elm Bark Tea(Demuclents can only be taken in tea form)

Expectorants: (only if the cough is actually producing mucous) Mullein Tea, Coltsfoot Tea

Cough Suppressants: Osha Root Tincture or chew on root, Wild Cherry Bark Syrup, Tea or Tincture, Holy Basil Tea.

Herbal Decongestant Steam

Take 2 quarts simmering water and add 5 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil. You can substitute Eucalyptus Oil with White Pine needles or Sage/Thyme leaves. Turn off heat under pan and breathe in steam. You can hold a towel over your head to collect the steam. Keep eyes closed.

Herbal Anti-Bacterial Bath

Fill a bathtub with hot water, add 1/2 cup sea salt and 25 drops lavender essential oil, 25 drops tea tree essential oil. Make sure you do not have a high fever before getting into a very hot tub. If you do have a high fever take the bath in lukewarm water.(Remember fevers are our bodies way of heating up to kill pathogens. Very
high fevers are dangerous, but a low fever is actually good)


Colloidal Silver: 2 squirts three times daily (strong anti-biotic)
Vitamin C: 2000 mg daily
Vitamin D: get your sunlight!!
*Vitamin D has been proven to help with flu prevention.*
If you haven’t had much sun exposure, take a supplement when sick or when those around you are sick.

Anti-Viral/ Anti-biotic Hand Wash

20 drops grapefruit seed extract
30 drops tea tree essential oil extract
1/2 gallon water

Antiseptic Spray for Surfaces

1/4 cup Vodka
1/2 gallon Water
30 drops Tea Tree Oil
30 drops Lavender
Essential oil. Disinfect door knobs switches , handles, toys and other
surfaces that are commonly touched.

Air Sanitizer

Simmer water on low heat in a pot with 15 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil or
15 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil or Lavender Essential Oil. Steam room
every 7-10 hours



*Stay home and avoid sharing items with household members (pens,papers,computers, remote control. sheets, towels, eating utensils, food.)
*Wear a surgical mask when around others.
*Clean sheets, bedding and clothes every day.
*Caregivers should wear disposable gloves and wearing a mask when giving care.


Mary Blue, Activist, Herbalist, and Community Organizer is currently the Practicing Herbalist, Education Coordinator and Director of The Peace Gardens Botanical Sanctuary at 7 Arrows . She lives in Providence RI , where she has been farming ¼ acre for 7 years and sells her herbal medicines and products at local farmers markets.Mary has taught numerous free garden/ nutrition / herbal workshops to children and high school students in Providence She currently teaches adult classes here at 7 Arrows and offers classes and workshops to groups and organizations all over New England.She is a founding member of the Annual Northeast Grassroots Community Herbal Convergence organizational committee and Bio-Justice, 2007, a counter conference to the annual Biotechnology Conference is Boston MA . She is the founder of The Cemetery Street Community Clinic, and co-founder of Providence Recycle-A- Bike.She is a member of NEHA (Northeast Herbal Association) and was a guest speaker at their 2007 annual retreat.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Essential Oil Hand Sanitizer

Monday through Friday I'm inside a huge school filled with germy children who don't wash their hands enough and rely on alcohol & chemical based hand sanitizer as a cure-all. I do my best by eating nourishing foods (raw garlic!), using a neti pot, getting plenty of sleep, and making lots of preventative herbal decoctions and infusions. Sometimes though, I need another line of defense.
A couple days ago I threw together an essential oil hand sanitizer that doesn't contain all that weird stuff that commercial hand sanitizer contains and doesn't dry out my hands with alcohol. Because many viruses are airborne I also wanted something that I could dab under my nose to help keep the air I breath as virus-free as possible.

About the essential oils:
I chose Tea Tree because it's antibacterial, antibiotic, anti-infectious, fungicidal, antiseptic, antiviral, and MORE...a powerful essential oil! Lavender is a lovely smelling stimulant that is antimicrobial and antiseptic. Lemon Eucalyptus is antibiotic, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antiviral, and bactericidal.

Essential Oil Hand Sanitizer

Store in a small spray bottle

1 tsp. aloe vera gel
3/4 cup witch hazel
15 drops lavender essential oil
10 drops tea tree essential oil
5 drops lemon eucalyptus essential oil

High Ledges

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tooth Care

The harmful chemicals, toxins, artificial colors and sweeteners in toothpaste are becoming more well known. Read labels carefully though...even products that claim they are natural have nasty ingredients.
The truth is making your own toothpaste, or tooth powder, is extremely easy, effective, and cheap.

homemade toothpaste

I combine baking soda (aluminum free), arrowroot powder, sea salt, and essentials oils to create my own tooth powder. Essentials oils such as peppermint, spearmint, lavender, myrrh, and cinnamon are anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antiseptic (among many other things).
Keep tooth powder in a glass jar by the sink. A years supply with cost about three dollars!

making toothpaste