Tag Archives: herbs

Still alive..just been REALLY BUSY!! But, I have exciting news!

Tinctures and Salves 2

Well, I disappeared…I know. Yes, we have been doing ALL kinds of stuff around here let me tell you! And, MORE to do!! But, I have some VERY exciting news! I opened my business!! Pappy’s Simple Livin’. I picked the name because of my grandpa, better known as Pappy, and the fact that I aim to help people get back to a more simple life. Now, that doesn’t mean that I do not enjoy SOME things of this era (as in the internet…I do), but I believe that people should be able to sustain themselves if need be.

In addition to starting my business, I also started teaching a nutrition class on Wed at our church. It feels great to “work” in my field again. Although it is a volunteer class, getting to help people with improving their health through better nutrition, and helping them with fitness is AWESOME! What i even better is the biblical applications that go right along with it.

So with that said, I just created a new blog for Pappy’s Simple Livin’ that  will keep you updated on my business ventures from  I just created it , so give me time to get everything loaded.

Also, I am planning to use this blog for my class to, so expect to see regular posts on here. I will be providing more herbal tips, sustainable living tips, nutrition tips (I have a degree), fitness tips (I am a certified trainer), as well as ramblings… SO EXCITED!! Feel free to give me post ideas if there is anything that you are interested in, or if you have health/nutrition/fitness concerns, or questions!!

Also, feel free to check out my etsy store, I will be adding more, and more products in the next few weeks! I wil be planning MORE announcements! Giveaways and MORE! So share, and check back!!



Maria ❤


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My Weekend Project: An Herb Box From Untreated Pallets



We had a weekend of canning, cleaning, and mucking pens.

Ye haw! I know, your jealous! (lol :-))

However, we did get an herb box slapped together from untreated pallets. (Treated pallets may last longer, but they also could leach nasties into your soil…and into your herbs)

This herb box is in no way a majorly constructed, life lasting herb box…but it will do the job…for free.

We would have needed about five million  wagon loads of dirt, so we decided to use a bit of German wisdom …blended with some hillbilly-redneck gumption to create a raised herb bed. We took the idea from German raised bed gardens (a.k.a. hugelkultur raised construction) and put brush at the bottom of the herb box.

Next we added some seasoned “patties” from the pasture. (old cow poo)

Next we put some dirt from the compost, some leftover un-fortified tobacco soil, and sprinkled it with high magnesium lime for good measure.



My son, Cade (who is 4), thought it looked like a big cake. lol

I am soaking the herb seeds for 24 hours(because I am not really sure what the water retention will be like in the box..we tend to make up stuff as we go along…that’s just how we roll)

I will let you know how the planting goes…I am also making plant markers today with the kids help…should be…um…interesting.


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Posted by on July 22, 2013 in DIY, Garden


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Gathering Wild Herbs: #1 Stinging Nettle (great for seasonal allergies)


I like to gather wild herbs.

I figure the more I gather…the less I buy…that means more cha-ching in Mama’s pocket. 

The kids…um….love it too. By “love it” I mean they come with me after I threaten that who ever stays in the house can finish the dishes and laundry for me. 🙂

There are several things that I gather.

I will start discussing them here and there to help give some insight on what, how, and why to collect wild herbs. 

Apparently…collecting wild herbs is all the rage now …SMILE…

I wish I had known how fashionable it was…I would start dressing the part…but alas…..

Lots of chores that I have been doing for years has become fashionable.

I am lovin it. 

Any who…

Stinging nettle.

Many people know stinging nettle..up close and personal.

That is the plant that you “find” while walking through the pasture in your flip flops instead of your Bogs….that you bought even though your husband gasped at the price while commenting that Walmart had them for $15 even though you explained the financial sense of splurging for the quality brand…or maybe that is just me….

Well..its the stinging one (hence the name stinging nettle).

Stinging nettle, or just nettle, can be used for a variety of things. 

Surprisingly they are delicious, and can be used anyway that you use spinach. (they do not sting when you cook them).

They can be dried and used in teas, and to make tinctures. 

Grandma has used the dried herb in teas, and taken a nettle tincture to relieve allergies for as long as I can remember. 

Gathering nettle is easy to do. It grows prolifically. Just make sure that you are wearing gloves.

 I gather mine, and hang the plants upside down to dry. You could also use a food dehydrator to dehydrate the leaves. Once the leaves are dry store them in a jar with a lid.


You can do it up fancy..cutting the leaves and removing the stems…or just stick the dry leaves in a jar like I do…I have 6 kids I do not have the time for fancy.

To make a tea, simply steep in hot water, and sweeten with honey if desired.

For a Nettle Tincture, you have two options:

Glycerin Tincture, or Alcohol based Tincture.

The glycerin tincture will have a sweeter taste, however the alcohol tincture has a much longer shelf life.

To make the tincture place the nettle in a jar, and cover with glycerin or alcohol (whichever floats your boat). 

Cover, label with  the name & date, and store in a dark place 3-6 weeks.

Shake daily (or at least whenever you remember to like I do 😉 ). 

NOTE: Always do you research when gathering any wild herb. Plants can look a lot alike. It is a good idea to purchase a field guide to allow you to safely gather wild plants for use. It does cost a little money, but think of it this are gathering FREE plants. The guide will allow you to gather a variety of FREE plants. 


Posted by on July 19, 2013 in Foraging


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Making Red Clover Tinctures

I love  herbs. I love using what God has given us to help our bodies. I make tinctures.

Yes, I am one of “those people”.

I will not apologize for it. Natural healing gets a big ol’ “AMEN” around here.

That being said, while I do promote allowing the body to heal itself…I do believe that there are times when conventional medicine in needed. But, that is in severe cases.

So…anyway…back to tinctures…

I make tinctures.

I have for years.

Now they are becoming fashionable.

I love being fashionable.

Sure, sometimes I end up staying in what I slept in all day long.

Sure sometimes I am outside covered in anonymous animal poo.

But, then I make a tincture..and I feel fashionable. I take what I can get. Don’t judge me.

This tincture is one I started a few weeks ago.

Me and two of the younger kids, Cade-4, and Kyla-8 (the makeshift dog from yesterdays post), gathered red clover flowers.

I placed them into a mason jar, covered them with vegetable glycerin, put a lid on it, labeled it with the date and what it was, and put it in a dark pantry closet.

I shook it once everyday for three weeks (you can leave it up to six weeks I was just running low on this tincture).

You can also use 90 proof alcohol, but since I was making this for the kids the sweeter taste from vegetable glycerin is preferred.

(Just a side note on the alcohol. We do not drink alcohol. Tinctures are taken in a small dose. Just like you would take a cough medicine…which contains alcohol. Nuff said.)

Anyway…at the end of the three weeks I got out a clean mason jar, and my funnel with a straining attachment (if you don’t have a straining attachment you can use cheesecloth). I dumped in the jar that contained the red clover, glycerin mixture. It looked like this:



Okay, it’s not yummy. However, it is good for a whole host of things, including; coughs, and upset stomach.

The flowers can be steeped into a tea, and are tasty this way. But, the medicinal properties are more concentrated in a tincture.


The liquid will look amber colored. A little like maple syrup. I love maple syrup. This does not taste like maple syrup.

Take a wooden spoon and press the juices out of the herbs.

(Once it is strained I compost the leftovers. You can discard them anyway that floats your boat)

You are left with the amber colored liquid.

Place a cap on it, label it, and place it in the fridge (tastes better cold to the kiddos if they have to take it).

There ya go…easy peasy.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor. You are responsible for your own health, and the health of your children. I am a believer in natural remedies. I am not telling you to believe.

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Posted by on July 11, 2013 in Herbs


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