Friday, October 17, 2008

Healing through Natural Herbs

Here is a list of Herbs I have been taught to use in healing. I use most of them when they are needed and have found them to be very helpful...

ALFALFA - Heart disease, stroke, cancer, bad breath

ALOE: Externally - burns, wounds, inflammation. Internally - diabetes, constipation, blood sugar

ANGELICA (Dong Quai) - Menopause, respiratory problems, digestion, arthritis

APPLE - Constipation, diarrhea, cardiovascular, cancer, diabetes

ARNICA:Externally - Pain reliever, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, acne, insect bites. Not for internal use.

ASTRAGALUS:Internally - Cancer, tonic, colds & flu, antiviral, antibacterial

Herbs as medicines - Use Black cohosh for woman's problems

BEARBERRY (Uva-ursi) - Urinary tract infections

BILBERRY:Internally - Serious eye conditions, opening arteries, throat inflammations, diarrhea, bruises

BLACKBERRY - Eye problems, diarrhea, hemorrhoids

BLACK COHOSH:Internally - PMS, menopause, mentrual aches

BLACK HAW - Menstrual cramps, fever, pains

BLUE COHOSH - Labor initiation

BONESET - Colds, flu

BUCHU - PMS, diuretic

BUCKTHORN - Constipation

BURDOCK:Detoxification, water retention

CALENDULA:Burns, sore throat, oral infections, wounds

CARAWAY - Digestion


CATNIP - Digestion, anxiety, infections, female issues

CAT'S CLAW:Arthritis, herpes, allergies, immune systems, cancer, anti-viral

CAYENNE:Externally - Arthritis, healed infections, shingles. Internally - Nutrition, antioxidant

CELERY - Gout, hypertension

CHAMOMILE:Wounds, indigestion, nausea, insomnia, anxiety

CHAPARRAL - Tooth decay, gum disease, arthritis

CHASTE TREE - PMS, menstrual problems

CINNAMON - Hypertension, antiseptic, digestion

CLOVE - Mouthwash, toothache

COCOA - Antioxidant, fatigue, depression

COFFEE - Fatigue, colds, flu, asthma

COMFREY - Wounds

CRANBERRY - Nutrition, Urinary tract infections

DILL - Stomach soother, UTI

DANDELION - dandelion releases bile & water, eases indigestion & rheumatism

DONG QUAI - Menstrual cramps, PMS, liver tonic

ECHINACEA - A great immune system booster

ELDERBERRY - Prevent, treat cold & bronchitis

ELECAMPINE - Asthma, emphysema, tuberculosis, antibacterial

EPHEDRA - Respiratory problems, obesity

EUCALYPTUS - Colds, flu

FAINTING: Broomweed, cardamom, coffee, ephedrine, eucalyptus, rosemary

FATIGUE: Astragalus, Ginseng

FEMALE FERTILITY: Info on female fertility herbs

FEVER: Bayberry, Meadowsweet, White willow

FIBROIDS: Burdock, Milk thistle

FIBROMYALGIA: Apply Cayenne. Ingest Devil's claw, Ginkgo, St. John's wort, Willow.

FLATULENCE: Chamomile, fennel, Ginger, Peppermint

FOOD POISONING PREVENTION, TREATMENT: Angelica, sage, Cinnamon, Thyme, Garlic

FLU: Elder, licorice root are more great examples of the use of herbs as medicines for common conditions

FUNGAL SKIN INFECTIONS: Apply Arnica, Garlic, Tea tree oil. Ingest Garlic
natural healing herbs like milk thistle ease gallstones

GALLSTONES: Artichoke, coffee, dandelion, turmeric, peppermint oil, milk thistle

GAS: Dill

GENITAL WARTS: St. John's wort, garlic, licorice

GIARDIASIS: Goldenseal, barberry

GINGIVITIS: Bloodroot, camomile, Echinacea, licorice, purslane, sage

GLAUCOMA: Bilberry, ginkgo, blackberry, cranberry, raspberry

GOUT: Celery, nettle, boswellia, celery seed, devil's claw, turmeric

GRAVE’S DISEASE (Hyperthyroidism): Bugleweed, lemon balm, self-heal, kelp, verbena

GUM DISEASE: Internal - Goldenseal, myrrh. External - Aloe, calendula

HANGOVER: Ginkgo, dandelion, willow

HAY FEVER: Nettle, parsley, garlic, licorice, peppermint oil

HEADACHES: Cayenne, feverfew, ginger, meadowsweet, peppermint, white willow.


HEART DISEASE: Alfalfa, evening primrose, garlic, ginger, gonkgo, hawthorn, green tea, motherwort, onion.

HEARTBURN: Aloe, licorice root, cabbage juice

HEMORRHOIDS: External-witch hazel, horse chestnut, slippery elm, mullein; Internal-horse chestnut, butcher's broom.

HEPATITIS: Licorice, milk thistle

HERPES: External-lemon balm, licorice, St John's wort, comfrey, peppermint; Internal-echinacea, garlic, ginseng, lemon balm, licorice

HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE: Garlic, hawthorn, dandelion, ginger, turmeric, valerian.

HIGH CHOLESTEROL: Alfalfa, artichoke, Cat's claw, garlic, ginger, hawthorn, psyllium, tea, turmeric.

HIV Infection (AIDS): Licorice, oregano, St. John’s-wort, aloe, astragalus

HIVES: Internal- chamomile, licorice, stinging nettle. External- Aloe, chamomile, nettle, parsley, yarrow

HYPOTHYROIDISM: Internal- Variety of bitters, bladderwack, myrhh (extrernal too)
great herbal natural remedy, chamomile for heartburn

IMPOTENCE: Ginkgo, ginseng

INDIGESTION: Chamomile, ginger, licorice, peppermint


INFLUENZA: Elder, licorice root

INSECT BITES & STINGS: Internal - Aloe, echinacea, plaintain, tea, witch hazel

INSOMNIA: Kava-kava, chamomile, valerian, passionflower, hop, yarrow.

INTERMITTENT CLAUDICATION: Garlic, ginger, ginkgo, hawthorn

INTESTINAL PARASITES: Epazote, garlic, ginger

JET LAG: Lavender, geranium, rosemary & ginger

KIDNEY STONES: Corn silk, Khella, skullcap, valerian, wild yam

LARYNGITIS: Cardamom, ginger, horehound, mallow, mullein

LEAD POISONING: Apple, garlic

LEPROSY: Garlic, Gotu kolae

LIVER DISEASE: Licorice, green tea, dandelion, artichoke, turmeric, peppers

LYME DISEASE: Bupleurum, Echinacea, garlic, licorice



MEMORY PROBLEMS: Ginkgo, Siberian ginseng, water hyssop

MENOPAUSE: Black cohosh, dang gui, St.-John’s-wort.

MENSTRUAL PROBLEMS: Black cohosh, cramp bark, black haw, feverfew, vitex, yarrow

MIGRAINE: Feverfew

MORNING SICKNESS: Chamomile, ginger, peppermint

MOTION SICKNESS: Fennel, ginger, peppermint

MOUTH SORES: Blackberry

MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS: Black currant, evening primrose, flaxseed, ginkgo, purslane


NAUSEA: Catnip, chamomile, ginger, lemon balm, peppermint

NERVE PAIN: Corydalis, Jamaican dogwood, St.-John’s-wort, cayenne

OBESITY: Garcinia, psyllium, Siberian ginseng, yohimbe.

OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER (OCD): Bergamot oil, California poppy, kava-kava, St.-John’s-wort, valerian

OSTEOPOROSIS: Horsetail, red clover, stinging nettle

PAPAYA: indigestion, ulcers, slipped disc

PARSLEY: high blodd pressure, heart problems, bad breath, allergies, fever

PASSIONFLOWER: stress, anxiety, insomnia, indigestion, wounds

PAUD' ARCO: Antiparisitic, antiinflammatory, expectorant

PENNYROYAL: insect repellant, cough, congestion, indigestion. Essential oil can cause death at over 1 Tbls

PEPPERMINT:Indigestion, flatulence, nausea

PLANTAIN: bronchitis, skin irritations, antibacterial

POKE: Raise metabolism, detox, rheumatism, lymphe disorders

PRICKLY ASH: Arthritis, rheumatism, skin infections, parasites

PSYLLIUM:Constipation, hemorrhoids, cholesterol

RASPBERRY: diarrhea, disease prevention, cataracts, maculardegeneration

RED CLOVER: Bronchitis, asthma, skin problems, cancer

RED PEPPER: indigestion, diarrhea, pain, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, psoriasis, shingles, headaches

RED RASPBERRY LEAF: Menstruel pain, diarrhea, colds, mouth/throat problems

REISHI: Immune booster, tonic, anxiety, HBP, hepatitis, bronchitis, asthma
natural healing herbs, st. johns wort

RHUBARB: diarrhea, constipation

ROOIBOS: hepatitis, tonic, thinking, endurance, strength, antioxidant

ROSE: colds, flu, mouth sores

ROSEMARY:Stomach upset, flatulence, rheumatism

SAGE: fever, wounds, indigestion, food poisoning, sore throats

SARSAPARILLA: high blood pressure, cardiac problems

SAW PALMETTO:Enlarged prostate or BPH

SCHISANDRA: hepatitis, liver problems, blood pressure, endurance, antioxidant

SCULLCAP: Insomnia, anxiety, inflammation, cholesterol, heart disease

SENNA: constipation

SHEEP SORREL: Diuretic, laxative, cancer

SHEPHERD'S PURSE: bleeding, induce labor, wounds

SHIITAKE: Heart disease, cancer, immune system

SIBERIAN GINSENG: fatigue, stress, mental processes

SKULLCAP: nerves, tonic, insomnia, anxiety

SLIPPERY ELM: wounds, coughs, sore throat, indigestion

SOYBEAN: cholesterol, hot flashes, breast cancer, osteoporosis

SPIRULINA: Immune system, heart disease, digestion, detox, cancer, athletic performance

ST. JOHN'S WORT: depression, apply to cuts & burns
herbs, information, tea tree oil

STINGING NETTLE: Allergy, hayfever, inflammation, arthritis

TARRAGON: toothache, infections

TEA: Cancer, heart disease, disrrhea, tooth decay

TEA TREE OIL: infections, acne, sore throat

THYME: coughs, infection, indigestion, women’s health

TURKEY RHUBARB: Anti-diarrheal, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, detoxifying

TURMERIC: ulcers, hardening of arteries, indigestion, liver problems, cholesterol, inflammation, cancer

USNEA: problems w/ lungs, intestines, throat, sinuses, urinary and reproductive tract., antibiotic, anti-fungal. One of the great Chinese medical herbs.

UVA URSI: urinary tract infections, cystitis (bladder inflammation), kidney stones
Great directory of herbs, VALERIAN

VALERIAN: insomnia, anxiety, muscle spasms, hbp

VERVAIN: pain, inflammation, constipation

VITEX: PMS & other female conditions
Chinese medical herbs, willow bark

WILLOW BARK: fever, pain, inflammation, heart problems, stroke, women’s issues. Commonly used by consumers who use herbs as medicines instead of OTCs.

WITCH HAZEL: hemorrhoids, skin problems, sunburn

YARROW: urinary infections, high blood pressure, women’s issues, heart problems, wounds, diarrhea, stress, anxiety,

YELLOW DOCK: digestion, skin conditions, constipation, liver detox

Making a Herbal Medicine Chest

I am a down to earth person who depends on the Earth to heal me and my family. I am Wiccan in faith and I am best known as a Kitchen Witch. I have degrees in Herbs and other things. I decided that I would share with al who are interested in the use of herbs in a medicinal way. Here I have for you a medicine cabinet contents that I use in my home. I grow my own herbs at home all year round inside and out of the home. Here is a listing of the herbs i use and the use for them.....

Slippery Elm powder - There are many uses for Slippery Elm powder that make it more than suitable for the use in the home. For internal applications, it can be made into a smooth paste with cold water which is then swallowed. This greatly helps alleviate the symptoms of gastritis, colitis and enteritis, as it is well tolerated by the stomach. It is helpful in providing a soothing relief for nagging coughs and in the treatment of acid reflux. No herbal medicine chest is complete without this useful herb on hand.

Peppermint - Aside from the traditional uses as a digestive for upset stomach, relief for cramping and gas, and fever reducer, peppermint can be used in pillows to promote restful sleep.

Lemon Balm - Lemon balm's primary use is in treating viral infections of the skin, especially for herpes and cold sores. Although it does not prevent flare-ups, it relieves the itching and helps the lesions heal faster, usually in a few days. Lemon Balm's success with skin infections has been well documented in clinical trials.

Chamomile - Useful in treating minor abrasions, cuts, and scrapes, and as a sedative and sleep aid. Chamomile is also useful in stopping spasms in the smooth muscles lining the stomach and intestines.

Activated Charcoal - Charcoal is used by hospital emergency rooms in cases of poison ingestion. I have found having activated charcoal on hand to be a lifesaver in cases of food poisoning or nausea. It has saved me a trip to the emergency room a couple of times! I definitely include charcoal in my herbal medicine chest.


In addition, there are three tinctures to have immediately on hand that are the most widely useful:

Echinacea tincture - Echinacea is herbal medicines primary choice in choosing natural cures for colds. Through stimulating the immune system, the herbs can also be used to treat chronic yeast infections in women and to prevent urinary tract infections. The roots and the whole plant are considered beneficial in the treatment of sores, wounds, and burns, possessing anti-inflammatory and antibacterial characteristics. It is one of the best of the antiviral herbs.

Valerian Tincture - Perhaps the most useful herb for sleep problems. Its calming and relaxing properties make it one of the best herbs for relieving stress and tension. In treating insomnia, valerian reduces the time it takes to fall asleep, allowing for a deep, restful sleep without creating grogginess the next morning.

Licorice Tincture - The most common use of licorice world-wide is to treat coughs and colds. Licorice is especially useful for treating coughs with sticky phlegm, or for treating colds that accompany an upset stomach.


The following essential oils would be very useful to keep in a herbal medicine kit:

Tea Tree- therapeutic properties of tea tree oil are antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral, fungicide, and insecticide. Has shown promise in the treatment of head lice. It can also be helpful in treating cold sores and gingivitis. This is another "must have" for any complete herbal medicine chest.

Lavender- Lavender oil has a soothing and calming effect on the nerves, relieving tension, depression, panic, hysteria and other forms of nervous exhaustion. It's been known to be effective for headaches, particularly migraines. Lavender oil is one of the few essentials oils that can be used on the skin without dilution , and is especially useful when treating a minor burn wound.

Eucalyptus- One of the best antiviral herbs, Eucalyptus oil is very helpful when used for headaches, fevers, ailments of the respiratory tract and muscular aches and pains. It has a soothing and calming effect on the whole body and helps bolster the immune system.

Clove- Clove oil is useful for its disinfecting properties and in relieving pain, especially toothache, arthritis and rheumatism. It can also be effective for complaints of the digestion system. Clove oil is a common component in herbal insect repellents.


A couple of infused oils to have on hand would be an Arnica oil , St. John's Wort oil, and a Garlic Mullein Ear Oil -

Arnica Oil - A specific external treatment for physical trauma, sprains, bruising and other injuries. Use immediately after strenuous exertion or injury to prevent, relieve and reduce swelling, bruises and pain.

St. John's wort Oil - A valuable anti-inflammatory which can help speed the healing of wounds, bruises, varicose veins, sunburns, bee stings, and mild burns.

Garlic Mullien Ear Oil - a few drops in the ear canal can help heal ear infections.


Ointments are wonderful for healing problems of the skin or with bruising, sore muscles and strains -

Chickweed - Especially useful for rashes, itching, and excema.

Calendula - For treating skin problems, bleeding, and minor burns.

Comfrey - Speeds wound healing and helps prevent scar tissue.

Marigold - For inflammations of the skin, bruising, or strains.

Supplies you should have to prepare and store your natural medicine and herbs -

dropper bottles
tins and jars

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Things You can Make Yourself

I am the type of person who hates to pay high prices on things my kids have to have for school supplies or for them to have to use at home to have fun with. I have came across these recipes for
my kids to use when they either get bored or school supplies. (I only have then use the crayons for the school supply part though.) Have fun making these for your children or grandchildren!

How to Make Playdough

2 cups flour
2 cups warm water
1 cup salt
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon cream of tartar (optional for improved elasticity)

food coloring (liquid, powder, or unflavored drink mix)
scented oils

Mix all of the ingredients together, and stir over low heat. The dough will begin to thicken until it resembles mashed potatoes.

When the dough pulls away from the sides and clumps in the center, as shown below, remove the pan from heat and allow the dough to cool enough to handle.

IMPORTANT NOTE: if your playdough is still sticky, you simply need to cook it longer! Keep stirring and cooking until the dough is dry and feels like playdough.

Turn the dough out onto a clean counter or silicone mat, and knead vigorously until it becomes silky-smooth. Divide the dough into balls for coloring.

Make a divot in the center of the ball, and drop some food coloring in. Fold the dough over, working the food color through the body of the playdough, trying to keep the raw dye away from your hands and the counter. You could use gloves or plastic wrap at this stage to keep your hands clean- only the concentrated dye will color your skin, so as soon as it's worked in bare hands are fine.

Work the dye through, adding more as necessary to achieve your chosen color.

Play with your playdough- I really don't need to help you there. It's entirely edible, if a bit salty, so it's kid-safe.

When you're done store it in an air-tight container. If it begins to dry out, you can knead a bit of water in again to soften the dough back to useability. Once it's dried past a certain point, however, you'll just have to start over; thankfully it's not terribly difficult.

Making Handmade Paper

Many types of paper that can be used include:

Computer Paper (unprinted)
Newspaper (If you want a grayish colored paper)
Egg Cartons
Old Cards (For heavier paper)
Toilet Paper
Paper Bags
Non Waxed Boxes (Pre-soak in warm water)
Office Paper
Tissue Paper (For finer paper)
Typing Paper
Construction Paper

Supplies you'll need:

Window Screening (mold)
Wood Frame (old picture frame can be used too) (deckle)
Plastic Basin/Tub (Large enough to totally immerse frame)
Blender/Food Processor (For making paper pulp)
White Felt or Flannel Fabric
Staples or Tacks (For tacking screen on frame)
Liquid starch (optional)


1. Select the pieces of paper to be recycled. You can even mix different types to create your own unique paper.

2. Rip the paper into small bits, and place into the blender. (about half full). Fill the blender with warm water. Run the blender slowly at first then increase the speed until the pulp looks smooth and well blended. ( 30 -40 seconds) Check that no flakes of paper remain. If there are, blend longer.

3. The next step is to make a mold. The mold, in this case, is made simply by stretching fiberglass screen (plain old door and window screen) over a wooden frame and stapling it. It should be as tight as possible.

4. Fill the basin about half way with water. Add 3 blender loads of pulp. (the more pulp you add the thicker the finished paper will be) Stir the mixture.

5. Now is the time to add the liquid starch for sizing.(This is not necessary but if the paper is going to be used for writing on, you should add some, the starch helps to prevent inks from soaking into the paper fibers.) Stir 2 teaspoons of liquid starch into the pulp.

Place the mold into the pulp and then level it out while it is submerged. Gently wiggle it side-to-side until the pulp on top of the screen looks even.

6. Slowly lift the mold up until it is above the level of the water. Wait until most of the water has drained from the new paper sheet. If the paper is very thick, remove some pulp from the tub. If it is too thin, add more pulp and stir the mixture again.

7. When the mold stops dripping, gently place one edge on the side of a fabric square (felt or flannel square). Gently ease the mold down flat, with the paper directly on the fabric. Use a sponge to press out as much water as possible. Wring the excess water from the sponge back into the large plastic tub.

8. Now comes the tricky part. Hold the fabric square flat and slowly lift the edge of the mold. The wet sheet of paper should remain on the fabric. If it sticks to the mold, you may have pulled to fast or not pressed out enough water. It takes a little practice. You can gently press out any bubbles and loose edges at this point.

9. Repeat the steps above, and stack the fabric squares on a cookie sheet. Save one fabric square to place on the top of the stack to cover the last piece of paper. Use another cookie sheet to press the remaining water out of the stack. (do this outside or in the bathtub, it can make a mess)

10. After you press the stack, gently separate the sheets. They can be dried by hanging on a clothesline or laying them out on sheets of newspaper. When they have dried peel them off the fabric and voila! you have paper!
Food-Coloring Crayons

1 cup Ivory Snow soap powder (this brand is the most gentle for skin)
Food coloring (as many colors as you'd like)
2 tablespoons hot water
1 small mixing bowl for each color crayon you want to make
Ice tray or candy mold (for the crayon molds)
Mixing spoon

What to do:

Step One: In a large mixing bowl, stir the soap flakes and hot water until the mixture thickens.

Step Two: Spoon an even amount of the mixture into each of the small bowls.

Step Three: Add a few drops of the food coloring into each of the bowls. Keep mixing in more color until your mixture is a thick paste.

Step Four: Spoon even amounts of the crayon mixture into the molds. Make sure there are no air bubbles in the paste.

Step Five: Set your crayon molds aside to dry. Be patient -- it can take up to a week to dry fully.

Step Six: After the molds are dry, remove your new crayons from the mold. Set them aside somewhere they will not be disturbed. Let your crayons dry for another day or two.

Mix together:

2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 cup water
Food coloring, optional

Store in refrigerator.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Homemade Cleaning Solutions

I have come to find through the years that things you use to cook with are excellent household cleaners instead of buying products with harsh chemicals in them. With me having kids and a dog I find it better to use things without the harsh chemicals. Here are some things you can find in your home to clean with...

Baking Soda - cleans, deodorizes, softens water, scours.
Soap - unscented soap in liquid form, flakes, powders or bars is biodegradable and will clean just about anything. Avoid using soaps which contain petroleum distillates.
Lemon - one of the strongest food-acids, effective against most household bacteria.
Borax - (sodium borate) cleans, deodorizes, disinfects, softens water, cleans wallpaper, painted walls and floors.
White Vinegar - cuts grease, removes mildew, odors, some stains and wax build-up.
Washing soda- cuts grease, removes stains, softens water, cleans wall, tiles, sinks and tubs. Use care, as washing soda can irritate mucous membranes. Do not use on aluminum.
Isopropyl Alcohol - is an excellent disinfectant. (It has been suggested to replace this with ethanol or 100 proof alcohol in solution with water. There is some indication that isopropyl alcohol buildup contributes to illness in the body.
Cornstarch - can be used to clean windows, polish furniture, shampoo carpets and rugs.
Citrus Solvent - cleans paint brushes, oil and grease, some stains. (Citrus solvent may cause skin, lung or eye irritations for people with multiple chemical sensitivities.)

Here are some recipies I use to help me clean my house safely...

All-Purpose Cleaner: Mix 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup baking soda (or 2 teaspoons borax) into 1/2 gallon (2 liters) water. Store and keep. Use for removal of water deposit stains on shower stall panels, bathroom chrome fixtures, windows, bathroom mirrors, etc.
Another alternative is microfiber cloths which lift off dirt, grease and dust without the need for cleaning chemicals, because they are formulated to penetrate and trap dirt. There are a number of different brands. A good quality cloth can last for several years.

Air Freshener: Commercial air fresheners mask smells and coat nasal passages to diminish the sense of smell.
• Baking soda or vinegar with lemon juice in small dishes absorbs odors around the house.
• Having houseplants helps reduce odors in the home.
• Prevent cooking odors by simmering vinegar (1 tbsp in 1 cup water) on the stove while cooking. To get such smells as fish and onion off utensils and cutting boards, wipe them with vinegar and wash in soapy water.
• Keep fresh coffee grounds on the counter.
• Grind up a slice of lemon in the garbage disposal.
• Simmer water and cinnamon or other spices on stove.
• Place bowls of fragrant dried herbs and flowers in room.

Bathroom mold: Mold in bathroom tile grout is a common problem and can be a health concern. Mix one part hydrogen peroxide (3%) with two parts water in a spray bottle and spray on areas with mold. Wait at least one hour before rinsing or using shower.

Carpet stains: Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray directly on stain, let sit for several minutes, and clean with a brush or sponge using warm soapy water.
For a heavy duty carpet cleaner, mix 1/4 cup each of salt, borax and vinegar. Rub paste into carpet and leave for a few hours. Vacuum.

Chopping block cleaner: Rub a slice of lemon across a chopping block to disinfect the surface. For tougher stains, squeeze some of the lemon juice onto the spot and let sit for 10 minutes, then wipe.

Coffee and tea stains: Stains in cups can be removed by applying vinegar to a sponge and wiping. To clean a teakettle or coffee maker, add 2 cups water and 1/4 cup vinegar; bring to a boil. Let cool, wipe with a clean cloth and rinse thoroughly with water.

• Plastic food storage containers - soak overnight in warm water and baking soda
• In-sink garbage disposal units - grind up lemon or orange peel in the unit
• Carpets - sprinkle baking soda several hours before vacuuming
• Garage, basements - set a sliced onion on a plate in center of room for 12 - 24 hours

Dishwasher Soap: Mix equal parts of borax and washing soda, but increase the washing soda if your water is hard.

Dishwashing Soap: Commercial low-phosphate detergents are not themselves harmful, but phosphates nourish algae which use up oxygen in waterways. A detergent substitution is to use liquid soap. Add 2 or 3 tablespoons of vinegar to the warm, soapy water for tough jobs.

Disinfectant: Mix 2 teaspoons borax, 4 tablespoons vinegar and 3 cups hot water. For stronger cleaning power add 1/4 teaspoon liquid castile soap. Wipe on with dampened cloth or use non-aerosol spray bottle.

Drain Cleaner: For light drain cleaning, mix 1/2 cup salt in 4 liters water, heat (but not to a boil) and pour down the drain. For stronger cleaning, pour about 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain, then 1/2 cup vinegar. The resulting chemical reaction can break fatty acids down into soap and glycerine, allowing the clog to wash down the drain. After 15 minutes, pour in boiling water to clear residue. Caution: only use this method with metal plumbing. Plastic pipes can melt if excess boiling water is used. Also, do not use this method after trying a commercial drain opener--the vinegar can react with the drain opener to create dangerous fumes.

Furniture Polish: For varnished wood, add a few drops of lemon oil into a 1/2 cup warm water. Mix well and spray onto a soft cotton cloth. Cloth should only be slightly damp. Wipe furniture with the cloth, and finish by wiping once more using a dry soft cotton cloth.
For unvarnished wood, mix two tsps each of olive oil and lemon juice and apply a small amount to a soft cotton cloth. Wring the cloth to spread the mixture further into the material and apply to the furniture using wide strokes. This helps distribute the oil evenly.

Laundry Detergent: Mix 1 cup Ivory soap (or Fels Naptha soap), 1/2 cup washing soda and 1/2 cup borax. Use 1 tbsp for light loads; 2 tbsp for heavy loads.

Lime Deposits: You can reduce lime deposits in your teakettle by putting in 1/2 cup (125ml) white vinegar and 2 cups water, and gently boiling for a few minutes. Rinse well with fresh water while kettle is still warm.

Marks on walls and painted surfaces: Many ink spots, pencil, crayon or marker spots can be cleaned from painted surfaces using baking soda applied to a damp sponge. Rub gently, then wipe and rinse.

Metal Cleaners and Polishes:
aluminum: using a soft cloth, clean with a solution of cream of tartar and water.
brass or
bronze: polish with a soft cloth dipped in lemon and baking-soda solution, or vinegar and salt solution.
chrome: polish with baby oil, vinegar, or aluminum foil shiny side out.
copper: soak a cotton rag in a pot of boiling water with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 cup white vinegar. Apply to copper while hot; let cool, then wipe clean. For tougher jobs, sprinkle baking soda or lemon juice on a soft cloth, then wipe. For copper cookware, sprinkle a lemon wedge with salt, then scrub.
gold: clean with toothpaste, or a paste of salt, vinegar, and flour.
silver: line a pan with aluminum foil and fill with water; add a teaspoon each of baking soda and salt. Bring to a boil and immerse silver. Polish with soft cloth.
stainless steel: clean with a cloth dampened with undiluted white vinegar, or olive oil. For stainless cookware, mix 4 tbs baking soda in 1 qt water, and apply using a soft cloth. Wipe dry using a clean cloth.

Mold and Mildew: Use white vinegar or lemon juice full strength. Apply with a sponge or scrubby.

Mothballs: The common mothball is made of paradichlorobenzene, which is harmful to liver and kidneys. Cedar chips in a cheesecloth square, or cedar oil in an absorbant cloth will repel moths. The cedar should be 'aromatic cedar', also referred to as juniper in some areas. Cedar chips are available at many craft supply stores, or make your own using a plane and a block of cedar from the lumberyard.
Homemade moth-repelling sachets can also be made with lavender, rosemary, vetiver and rose petals.
Dried lemon peels are also a natural moth deterrent - simply toss into clothes chest, or tie in cheesecloth and hang in the closet.

Oil and Grease Spots: For small spills on the garage floor, add baking soda and scrub with wet brush.

Oven Cleaner: Moisten oven surfaces with sponge and water. Use 3/4cup baking soda, 1/4cup salt and 1/4cup water to make a thick paste, and spread throughout oven interior. (avoid bare metal and any openings) Let sit overnight. Remove with spatula and wipe clean. Rub gently with fine steel wool for tough spots. Or use Arm & Hammer Oven Cleaner, declared nontoxic by Consumers Union.

Paint Brush Cleaner: Non-toxic, citrus oil based solvents are now available commercially under several brand names. Citra-Solve is one brand. This works well for cleaning brushes of oil-based paints. Paint brushes and rollers used for an on-going project can be saved overnight, or even up to a week, without cleaning at all. Simply wrap the brush or roller snugly in a plastic bag, such as a used bread or produce bag. Squeeze out air pockets and store away from light. The paint won't dry because air can't get to it. Simply unwrap the brush or roller the next day and continue with the job.
Fresh paint odors can be reduced by placing a small dish of white vinegar in the room.

Rust Remover: Sprinkle a little salt on the rust, squeeze a lime over the salt until it is well soaked. Leave the mixture on for 2 - 3 hours. Use leftover rind to scrub residue.

Scouring Powder: For top of stove, refrigerator and other such surfaces that should not be scratched, use baking soda. Apply baking soda directly with a damp sponge.

Shoe Polish: Olive oil with a few drops of lemon juice can be applied to shoes with a thick cotton or terry rag. Leave for a few minutes; wipe and buff with a clean, dry rag.

Stickers on walls: Our children covered the inside of their room doors with stickers. Now they are grown, but the stickers remained. To remove, sponge vinegar over them several times, and wait 15 minutes, then rub off the stickers. This also works for price tags (stickers) on tools, etc.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner: Mix 1/4 cup baking soda and 1 cup vinegar, pour into basin and let it set for a few minutes. Scrub with brush and rinse. A mixture of borax (2 parts) and lemon juice (one part) will also work.

Tub and Tile Cleaner: For simple cleaning, rub in baking soda with a damp sponge and rinse with fresh water. For tougher jobs, wipe surfaces with vinegar first and follow with baking soda as a scouring powder. (Vinegar can break down tile grout, so use sparingly.)

Wallpaper Remover: Mix equal parts of white vinegar and hot water, apply with sponge over the old wallpaper to soften the adhesive. Open room windows or use a fan to dissipate the pungent vinegar smell.

Water Rings on Wood: Water rings on a wooden table or counter are the result of moisture that is trapped under the topcoat, but not the finish. Try applying toothpaste or mayonnaise to a damp cloth and rub into the ring. Once the ring is removed, buff the entire wood surface.

Window Cleaner: Mix 2 teaspoons of white vinegar with 1 liter (qt) warm water. Use crumpled newspaper or cotton cloth to clean. Don't clean windows if the sun is on them, or if they are warm, or streaks will show on drying. The All-Purpose Cleaner (above) also works well on windows. Be sure to follow the recipe, because using too strong a solution of vinegar will etch the glass and eventually cloud it.

Fall Leaves....

I have decided to make things from the leaves this year that have fallen from my neighbor's trees.
Instead of bagging them up or putting them out to the curb that I would put them to good use. I have decided to use the leaves in picture frames, candle holders, in candles, in wreathes, and table arrangements.
I have tall glass vases and decided to take nuts and leaves that have fallen from the trees and place a candle glass candle holder and put leaves and nuts around it on the inside of the tall vases. Take the leaves and press them and put them on the outside of the picture frames and glue them flat against them. For my wreathes I have decided to make them with leaves and nuts and flowers i have growing for fall. There is so much you can do with leaves and nuts. For a table arrangement you can use gourds, pumpkins, corn maze and add some leaves and nuts to it to make a beautiful arrangement. Just so much to do!
My kids and I have already started on some projects and we have a barn about a mile away from us that the communtity uses for Halloween and to sell things they grow plant and vegetable wise so it is open all year round with so many things to do. We have decided to make things and sell them there to share with everyone and the proceeds we make we will donate half to a foundation and the other half we will use to make our crafts.
We have decided to make things with pumpkin seeds since Halloween is upon us and save the rest to grow pumpkins next year. We have dried out corn to use the seeds to make things and we saved the corns on the cobs to make our own corn maze. My mind is constantly working all the time even when I sleep just thinking about all I can do to help out the Earth. I have many ideas that come to me and if anyone would like any ideas of anything they find on what they can make of it just let me know I would be gald to share ideas with you all.
I have recently taught my kids how to make paper and we even incorporate leaves into the paper. They use the paper for crafts, notes, and even for writting to thier family members. They even make great party invitations!


This past summer "08 I decided to teach my kids the importance of "Living Green" to help conserve our Earth. I took them down to the woods ( 2 doors down from our house) and we collected branches, cleaned up some of the woods, planted some trees, and we bought bags of rocks that we spread down there by the river and trees. I decided to teach my kids the importance of what Mother Earth has given to us and how to give it back.
We took the branches home and made some picture frames from them , we twisted some of them and made a family lawn chair from them, and we even made a solar light house from the fallen trees . We actually had a lot of fun this past summer. My son was so into it that he made me some planter boxes for my flowers! My son is so into living green now that he took pictures of what we made and did and took them to school to share with his classmates. We have been looking for a new house one that has trees on the property ( since we have none on ours that we live on) and we are currently making things for our new home. We rent where we are right now and my landlord does not like trees or such on his property. My kids have family day on Saturdays or Sundays ( depending what day my son's football game lands on) and my daughter's and my son and I make things that we have recycled. We have made so many beautiful things.
We have been taking things like cans, plastic milk cartons, glass bottles, and many other things and making planters, sun catchers, bird feeders, and many other things. My kids look forward to it every weekend. We recently made a floor mat out of smooth stones of various sizes and place mats for our kitchen table. We tumbled our stones we found and polished them up smooth and made things out of them. It was a lot of fun! Some parts of my city have recycling bins they put out to the curb and un-fortunately we are not one of them , but I bought 2 garbage cans that I fill up and on the weekend we take the things we do not use to a recycling place and my kids think it is the greatest field trip
I have 5 children that range from 5-12 and I hope by teaching them everything about giving to Mother Earth that she gives us will make them a better person in life. I hope they pass this onto thier children as well. There is so much out there that people do not know and need to take the time to learn and do.
My daughter has had a blanket of hers for years and it is finally wearing out so she decided to cut it up and sew the pieces she made togther to make a new blanket instead of throwing it out so it makes me happy to see she is recycling it. I feel if more and more people do things like this then it would make Life on Earth alot cleaner to live in. I do encourage people to look around inside thier house and think about what they can do to make things for thier home from the materials they find. Believe me it is a lot of fun and it makes u feel good about yourslef.