diy medicine

6•12 Today was Mikołajki in Poland! The day in which Santa brings little gifts! 🎄🎁 maybe that’s a polish way to get into that Christmas mood! Here’s my cork board, haven’t updated it yet.

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DIY Heart Healthy Syrup

Yay! The first medicine I’ve prepared for my herbal first aid cupboard is a Heart Healthy Syrup! Here’s what I did, step by step. (Warning, Image heavy post!!)

The main medicinal ingredient in this syrup is chrysanthemum. Chrysanthemum is a great overall healthy herb, it helps reduce fevers and infections and has lots of antioxidants.  It has also been known to lower blood pressure levels and increase blood flow to the heart. I’ll probably make a fever reducing syrup later on, but there are more herbs I’d like to add to that so today I focused on the heart aspect.

(**NOTE: Please do not change medication of a diagnosed illness without consulting an actual medical professional!)

Alrighty, so first you’ll need some stuff…

  • Chrysanthemum (I used dried flowers, the kind for making tea.)
  • Honey
  • Sugar
  • Water
  • Small sauce pan
  • Small strainer
  • Something to stir with. A whisk will help later on too.
  • A funnel
  • Containers for storage (I used recycled brandy bottles.)

Step 1!

Add ¼ cup of chrysanthemum and a quart (4 cups) of cold water to your sauce pan. Its important for the water to be cold or room temp so everything infuses as it heats up together. 

Step 2!

Heat on medium temp. and bring to a simmer. Simmer liquid on med-low or low (depending on your stove) and reduce it to about ½ or a pint (2 cups.) This will take awhile so be patient. The important thing is to not heat to too high too quickly.

Step 3!

Strain your mixture into a separate container. Pour back into the pot. You don’t have to, but I added food coloring at this step to tell my syrups apart more easily.

Step 4!

Add two cups of sweetener. I used one cup of sugar and one cup of honey. You can use whatever sweetener you have, agave, sugar, honey, brown sugar, even maple syrup. Some recipes will say just use one cup of sweetener especially if you’re just going to refrigerate it, but I used more as a preservative and to make it shelf safe. Add the sugar first and whisk to dissolve, then add your honey.

Step 5!

Warm over low heat and stir well for about 30 minutes. Again this will be tedious, but slow and steady wins the race, you don’t want your sugars to burn. It will thicken and reduce to about half again.

Step 6! 

You’re almost done! Use a funnel to pour the warm syrup into empty, glass containers. Leave them on the counter to cool. After they’ve cooled, don’t forget to label and date them.

Treats high blood pressure/hypertension and heart irregularities

Directions: Take one spoonful by mouth daily, or add to warm tea.

Hope you enjoyed! I’ll add my tutorial for a stomachache syrup tonight! :)

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Art From An Insane Asylum

Agnes Richter was a German seamstress held as a patient in an insane asylum during the 1890s. During her time there, she densely embroidered her straitjacket with words, undecipherable phrases and drawings which documented her thoughts and feelings throughout her time there.

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Tech-Savvy Families Use Home-Built Diabetes Device

“Third-grader Andrew Calabrese carries his backpack everywhere he goes at his San Diego-area school. His backpack isn’t just filled with books, it is carrying his robotic pancreas.

The device, long considered the Holy Grail of Type 1 diabetes technology, wasn’t constructed by a medical-device company. It hasn’t been approved by regulators. It was put together by his father.

Jason Calabrese, a software engineer, followed instructions that had been shared online to hack an old insulin pump so it could automatically dose the hormone in response to his son’s blood-sugar levels. Mr. Calabrese got the approval of Andrew’s doctor for his son to take the home-built device to school.

The Calabreses aren’t alone. More than 50 people have soldered, tinkered and written software to make such devices for themselves or their children. The systems—known in the industry as artificial pancreases or closed loop systems—have been studied for decades, but improvements to sensor technology for real-time glucose monitoring have made them possible.

The Food and Drug Administration has made approving such devices a priority and several companies are working on them. But the years long process of commercial development and regulatory approval is longer than many patients want, and some are technologically savvy enough to do it on their own.”

Hibiscus, Pomegranate Fire Cider

  • 64 ounces of apple cider vinegar
  • 10 ounces honey (or honee for vegan option)
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 large cloves of garlic
  • Fresh Ginger  (10″ of a man’s-thumb-width piece)
  • Fresh Turmeric (10″ of a man’s-thumb-width piece, or 3 Tablespoons powder)
  • Horseradish (1.5 cups of coarsely chopped 1″ pieces)
  • 2 large pomegranates (plump, succulent, and garnet in color)
  • 2 oranges
  • 8 dried cayenne peppers (or 2 teaspoons dried cayenne powder)
  • 4 Tablespoons loose hibiscus
  1. Peel the garlic, and coarsely chop the onions, horseradish, and turmeric. Place them in a food processor or blender, along with the cayenne peppers, with enough apple cider vinegar to cover. Blend carefully with the lid on, and take care not to let fumes or slurry enter your eyes.
  2. Place the slurried spiciness in a double boiler. Don’t have one? Nest a smaller pot in a bigger pot or saucepan and use a couple of upside-down mason jar rings to keep the inside pot up off the outside one. Add a little water to the outside pot and voila – double boiler! Add the rest of the apple cider vinegar to the slurry and keep the heat on low, with the lid on! Let the mixture heat on low (don’t let it get above 120 degrees) for three hours, stirring once in a while. Again, careful with the fumes!!!!
  3. Meanwhile, back at the bat cave, peel your oranges and de-seed the pomegranates, sneaking off a nibble or two. Put on an old apron and mash the pomegranates and oranges with a potato masher in the sink.
  4. After a couple hours, taste the slurry. If it’s too mild for your fire cider pleasure, this is your chance to add more of the spicy herbs and cook for one more hour. After three hours of total cook time, turn off the heat and add the hibiscus and the juicy pomegranate/orange mixture. Let sit for one hour and check the color- if it’s too light in color add more hibiscus. When the cider is a beautiful red, strain the mixture through a cheesecloth or potato ricer. You will need to squeeze out or press the slurry, or you will loose a great deal of the medicine. Add the honey and mix well, making sure all the honey is dissolved. Place in clear glass jars, label and refrigerate. Dosage is one teaspoon as needed.

**** NOTE -This recipe makes eight to nine bottles (8 ounce) and should be refrigerated for longer-term storage. If you are making the recipe just for yourself, I recommend making a fourth of all the ingredients (yielding about 16 ounces of fire cider, or a pint). It may keep unrefrigerated for a short period, but the extra liquid from the pomegranate and oranges may dilute the vinegar enough to allow microbial growth.

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Side project for a friend of mine. Was up so late last night working on this with my partner.

~3000 capsules, each containing 500mg of herbs and extracted THC/CBD.

~1000 on the left are a primarily THC blend, and the ~2000 on the right are a primarily CBD blend.

There were some other beneficial herbs, fungi & minerals in them too, like shilajit, maca, ashwagandha, holy basil, cordyceps, chaga, etc.

Apparently the suggested dose is 2 capsules- haven’t had a chance to try any yet though.

DIY Sick Tea

This tea is perfect for soothing a sore throat and clearing your sinuses. It’s extremely sweet, so if you’re not into that type of tea, try a different tea bag of your liking. Fruity ones will work best. Ultimately, all of these ingredients can be adjusted to your tastes, but this is my favorite combination. My friend told me that it reminds him of a slice of cinnamon apple pie.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tazo Passion Tea Bag
  • ½ Cup Water
  • ½ Cup Apple Juice
  • 1 Tbsp. Honey
  • ½ Tsp. Lemon Juice
  • 1 Pinch of Cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Heat ½ cup of water and steep tea bag. Fill other half of cup with apple juice and stir.
  2. Slowly stir in the honey until melted.
  3. Add lemon juice and pinch of cinnamon to taste. Stir.
  4. Enjoy!

Dad, casually: “Just a heads up - when the nuclear blast kills your mother and I and it’s up to you to protect the last struggling remnants of humankind, I have a pretty good prepper library in the basement. Got everything you’ll need, just about. Lots of stuff on DIY medicine and herbs and growing your own food. Alright, I’m going to pick up some lamp oil, need anything from the store?”
Me: “….I, uh. I’m good. Thanks.”

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More poppies (Papaver somniferum) bloom every day on the hügelkultur mounds; it’s a shame the blossoms are so short-lived, but I suppose that’s why I planted 20+ kinds of flower there instead of one.

Opium poppies are also the kind you use for poppyseed production: I should have a fair amount of seed to bake with after this season!