Herb of the day: German Chamomile

german chamomile

German Chamomile

There are two plants that are known as chamomile—German Chamomile (which is the most popular) and Roman (or English) Chamomile. Though belonging to different species, they are used to treat the same conditions. Both have been used to treat frayed nerves, various digestive disorders, muscle spasms, mild infections, and a range of skin conditions.

Other names these plants go by are: chamomile, chamomile, wild chamomile, sweet chamomile, German chamomile, Hungarian chamomile, mayweed, scented mayweed, and pineapple weed. 


Some of the uses for Chamomile are:


  • Sore Throats
  • Chest colds
  • Abscesses
  • Gingivitis – inflammation of the gums
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Psoriasis
  • Acne
  • Eczema
  • Minor burns
  • Ulcerative Colitis – Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Chicken pox
  • Diaper rash
  • Colic


  • Internally, chamomile flowers have widely been used for herbal tea. It is so popular that it can be found in the tea aisle of most grocery stores. Chamomile tea has been used as a mild sedative and a tonic to calm the nerves. When a child is teething, chamomile tea can be safely used for both of these purposes. It will calm him and help to keep him from being emotional while cutting his teeth.
  • Other uses for chamomile tea are: Anti-inflammatory – used for arthritis, and other swellings.
  • Antispasmodic – used for intestinal and menstrual cramps, relieving gas pains, and a mild, effective laxative.
  • Vasodilator – used for fever, sore throats, the aches and pain of colds and flu, headaches and allergies.
  • Anti anxiety tonic.


Externally, chamomile flowers can be made into an infusion, which is especially good for the hair. They can be added to cosmetics as an anti-allergenic or made into an ointment for treating wounds or hemorrhoids. Dried chamomile can be used as potpourri and for herb pillows, and burned for aromatherapy. Other external uses are:

  • Compresses – for swellings, sunburns, burns.
  • Added to baths to relieve muscle aches, sooth tired feet, and soften skin.
  • Rubbed on the skin to repel insects.
  • Water plants with the tea to feed them and prevent some diseases.
  • Essential oils can be used as a flavoring, in making perfume, and to combat neuralgia and eczema.
  • Made into a paste, use it to treat skin irritations, infections, and burns.
  • Steam therapy for treating asthma, hay fever, and sinusitis.



Grind dried flowers in mortar and pestle, add some water or unsweetened chamomile tea, and slowly add oatmeal as needed.


Place a handful of flowers in a mesh bag, hang from the faucet by its string, and run the bath water over it.

Natural Hair Highlights:

Thoroughly wet hair with unsweetened, warm chamomile tea. Wrap head with plastic wrap and cover with a bath towel. Keep head warm for 30 to 60 minutes to bring out natural highlights. Dry and style as usual. This will add golden highlights to brown hair.

Steam Therapy:

Place dried chamomile flowers into a mesh strainer over a pan of boiling water. Breathe the steam deeply to ease respiratory symptoms.



Children under 18 should use half of the recommended adult dose.

To relieve colic use 1 – 2 ounces of unsweetened chamomile tea daily.


  • Tea: pour 1 cup boiling water over 2-3 heaping tablespoons of dried flowers, steep 10-15 minutes. Drink 3-4 times daily      between meals.
  • Tincture: (1:5, 45% alcohol) use 1-3 ml (100-150 drops) three times daily in a cup of hot water.
  • Capsules: 300-400 mg three times daily.
  • Gargle/mouthwash: make the tea above and let it cool. Gargle as often as desired. You can also make an oral rinse of 10-15      drops of chamomile extract in 100ml warm water. This may be used three times daily.  (dosage information via Herbs2000.com)


While chamomile is considered to be a safe herb, some people may experience allergic reactions such as hay fever, sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes. It may worsen asthma symptoms, so those with asthma should not use it. Those with allergies to asters, daisies, chrysanthemums, and ragweed may also have reactions to chamomile, as they are related.

Pregnant women should take care in using chamomile. It is a uterine stimulator and can cause contractions. Drinking large amounts of chamomile tea with high concentrations of the herb may cause vomiting.

Other possible interactions include:

  • Blood thinning medications – chamomile may increase risk of bleeding when taken with warfarin.
  • Sedative – chamomile can increase the effects of drugs that have a sedative effect, including anticonvulsants – Dilantin      and Depakote; barbituates; tranquilizers – Xanax and Valium; insomnia treatments – Ambien, Sonata, Rozerem; antidepressants – Elavil; and alcohol.
  • Herbs like kava, catnip, and valerian root.

Other medications – because chamomile is broken down by certain enzymes in the liver, it can interact with other medications that are also broken down by the same enzymes, such as: Saldane, statins (medications which reduce cholesterol, such as Lipitor and Xetia); birth control pills; and some antifungal drugs.


Halloween is coming up soon. Please read this and share with your friends who have children at home.

Yes, fright night, All Hallow’s Eve, Halloween, what ever you might refer to it as, is just 72 hours away. I read a post on a group that I belong to, and thought it was worthy to share with as many friends as possible. For this reason, I decided to share it here, on my Facebook page (Living a Self Sufficient Lifestyle) and on my 2 yahoo groups as well. If you only knew how close I was to buying these for my kids when they were younger. I even wanted a pair of them just for fun. Read on and beware, be very aware.

The Horrible Halloween Accessory that Can Make You  Blind

The Horrible Halloween Accessory that Can Make You Blind

Nothing tops off a Halloween costume quite like a pair of glowing eyes, cat eyes, or devil eyes, but if you’re not careful, you  could end starring in your own personal horror story. Hollywood and Broadway  make good use of decorative contact lenses, but you might want to think twice  before wearing them and you definitely shouldn’t let your kids wear them.
Plopping the wrong contact lenses into your eyes just for the fun of it just  may jeopardize your eye health in a big way. As tempting as it may be, you should NEVER buy  contact lenses without a prescription and NEVER borrow them from someone  else.
David Bakke of Money Crashers tells Care2 of his brief brush with Halloween  eyes. “I used Halloween contact lenses once in the past but took them out after  only about an hour. They caused eye pain and headaches and I later learned that  the damage could have been much worse had I left them in.”
These days, Mr. Bakke knows better and offers a few words of advice from the  voice of experience. “Halloween contact lenses can cause infections, abrasions  on the cornea, and permanent damage to your vision. I say, don’t even think  about it unless you have your eyes examined first by a qualified eye doctor and  obtain a prescription as well.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns that wearing  contact lenses incorrectly can cause:

  • a cut or scratch on the top layer of your eyeball (corneal abrasion)
  • allergic reactions like itchy, watery red eyes
  • decreased vision
  • infection
  • blindness

Warning signs of eye infection include:

  • unusual discharge
  • pain in the eye(s) that doesn’t go away after a short period of time
  • decreased vision

If you have any of these signs, see a licensed eye doctor (optometrist or  ophthalmologist) immediately.
Orlando optometrist Eric Perez says, “The consequences can range from simple  eye irritation to something tragic like corneal ulcers (that may lead to needing  a corneal transplant). An improperly fitting contact lens will scratch the  corneal epithelium making it easier for bacteria to enter the eye leading to  unfortunate consequences.”
An eye infection can easily become serious, even causing blindness if not properly treated. The FDA classifies  decorative contact lenses as a medical device and oversees their safety and  effectiveness.
Want that special Halloween look in your eyes? Forget the novelty shops and  online stores. Don’t even borrow them from your closest friend. It is most  definitely not worth the risk. Visit an eye care professional who carries  decorative contact lenses

Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/the-horrible-halloween-accessory-that-can-make-you-blind.html#ixzz2j2arDtCT


Feeding Time

help, they're after me!

This is the chore that I actually think that I love most. It’s like playing the Pied Piper. Just walk out of the back door, yell “Chicken!” at the top of your lungs, and they all come running. Ducks, geese, chickens, turkeys, cats, and the dogs. I’ve learned to feet the free rangers, the ducks, turkeys, geese and chickens first. Cats 2nd, and the dogs and goats last. If I make the mistake of feeding the cats first, even though I’ve learned to out it up high, inevitably, the chickens will fly up to get cat food. It seems like they ALL like cat food.

It’s a fun walk back to the chicken coop. Pied Piper it is. Speed Star 1.0455375  00They all follow in a single line, or sometimes, like yesterday, whichever animal got there first, won! The geese and chickens run with their wings outstretched as fast as they can.Speed Star 1.0446379  00

Speed Star 1.0359483  00 Those outstretched wings give them a little lift and enables them to run faster. Turkeys run like a prehistoric beast from Jurassic Park. The dog, well, she just runs over all of them, It’s like having an 80 pound weimeraner dozer. I can’t tell you how many animals she’s rolled in the past. It’s funny, because the rolled one just gets up and continues on their quick trek to the chicken coop.

I didn’t know that animals could be so much fun. One doesn’t need a television set with a collection of farm animals. Just sit back and watch. Eventually they will have you rolling, laughing. Farm work is hard work, but it’s so rewarding to see nature at it’s best. Enjoy the pictures…

Putting up Fencing.

Speed Star 1.0423384  00

     My husband and I spent the day yesterday working on fencing. He worked on the north side of the new cow pasture, I worked on the south side.  One would think, awww, that not all that bad, but I double dare anyone to fight wild rose bushes, untangle cut barbed wire, straighten it out, splice it, stretch it, and restring the blasted stuff.

 Our neighbor is the most wonderful man anyone would ever want to know. C.B. was born and raised on a farm, knows just about everything anyone would want to know about farming and animal husbandry. We ask him lots of questions, and while he snickers the whole time, he always has an answer for us, teaches us how to be the farmers that we think we are. Who ever would have thought we would have to repair fences this early in the game? We’ve been here on this farm for 3-1/2 years now. C.B. rented this 10 acres for many years before we bought it, put all new 4-strand barbed wire fence around the entire farm that should have lasted for decades. Instead, we bought the place, and within the 2 months after we signed the contract on it and moved our camper on it to begin building our farm, someone (not C.B.) cut the first 3 strands of barbed wire along the south side of the property. We could see 4-wheeler tracks coming from that area, so I suppose that fence line was impedance to someone. Never-the-less, we’re getting ready to buy 2 tiny, mini Jersey bulls and must have the fence intact and ready for the 2 little guys. We’ve not been too concerned about it until now, and, procrastination has it’s good…and bad points. It’s a part of farm life…fence repair that is.

  But, it’s a first for me. In the 2 weeks from the time C. B. lent us the fence stretcher and showed me how to use it, and now, I’d forgotten which end of the wire goes where, how to get the fence stretcher back down from the all the way up position and then, didn’t remember that the little hook on the back is actually for hooking around a fence post to help hold this 10 pound piece of metal and pull the wire

What does a blonde headed woman who knows nothing about this do when first faced with this situation? I sat down and cried, then prayed for God to please show me how to use this piece of equipment. After the face wash, it was time to get up off my behind, figure out how to use the fence stretcher that C.B. showed me how to use several weeks ago. It’s taken this long for me to get the ambition to actually fix the dern fence, and now, having 2 weeks before we go get our little men, it has to be done. God answers prayers. I remembered how to use the fence stretcher and was able to get the 500 foot section of the top wire done and half of the 2nd wire. Tomorrow, I will go out, finish the 2nd row, do the 3rd row and it’s done!  Fortunately, the bottom row of fencing wasn’t cut and is still nice and tight.


Of all of this, there were many lessons that I learned today that I’d like to share with you.


  1. Pay attention the first time someone tells you something. If you need to, take  notes. It saves tears, frustration and a lot of time.
  2. I have learned the importance of those barbed wire roll holders that farmers put on the sides of their tractors. Trying to unroll a roll of barbed wire loaded in a wheelbarrow, trudging through knee high grass is not an easy task. Nor is it fun, even with heavy gloves on. 
  3. Have the right tools for the job. Barbed wire does not cut easily with a small pair of wire cutters. You need BIG, heavy-duty cutters. You also need large pliers. The channel lock pliers that my husband brought me to use,  don’t work.
  4. Take a set of branch cutters with you to remove wild rosebushes, scrub brush and  tree branches that are in the way of the fence repair. Rosebush thorns go  through the heaviest of sweat pants. I won’t show you pictures of my legs.     
  5. If      your dog goes with you, have an understanding with the dog that the tools  are mom’s. They are not the dog’s play toys. Mom does not have time to  play retrieve the tool from a smiling dog who likes to steal things.  Either have this understanding with the dog, or wear a jacket with deep pockets or a tool belt. I finally had to put the pliers, wire cutters and  fence ties in my pockets.
  6. The dog must also understand that when mom is working, it is not time to play “shake hands”. An 80 pound weimeraner has big paws, and it does not feel good when you get smacked on the head with a dog who does not understand  the concept of work vs play.
  7. If you have to work next to other animals, specifically goats, be absolutely sure that you do not back up against their paddock. They pull the ties out of  your jacket, untie your shoe laces and will nip you in the butt, then look at you like :I didn’t do that”. Sure!! Right!!!
  8. No  matter what time of the year you are in the fields, use insect repellant.  I will not show you pictures of the no-see-um bites along my ankles.
  9. Wear shoes with good tread. Walking in knee high grass with slick soled shoes is like walking on ice. Slip, slidin’ away….
  10. Barbed  wire is not your friend.
  11. And neither is a stretching tool.
  12. Today I leave the dog in her pen.

Goat Mastitis Prevention: Herbal Treatment

Our Gabby lost a set of twins and we’ve had ongoing issues with her having mastitis. This is information shared from our vet and from personal experience. The following picture is not Gabby, but one that I found online to show you what mastitis in goats looks like. It is something that must be treated, otherwise the soft tissue in the teat will become permanently damaged and kids born to that doe will not be able to nurse her,

picture of goat mastitis

Goat Mastitis Prevention

If milk tastes salty, the goat usually has mastitis
Too full of milk will cause milk leakage

Eliminate chapping. Use a good quality teat dip

Use a bag balm after milking. Make sure to towel dry the udder after washing it. Use an antibacterial milking soap.

Milk 3x a day to evacuate bacteria out of the udder.

Infection leads to tissue damage.. the white blood cells can get ‘outgunned&# 39;

Bed in straw over sand. Silica gives no source for bacteria to live.. clean the straw daily to every other day. Strip stalls.

Mastitis prevention: Apple cider vinegar. 1 cup to 1 gallon of water. Add molasses if you like. Milk does with mastitis or suspect of it LAST! And always wash your hands between milking different animals

Teat dip; Dry powdered goldenseal root. Use as you would for any other dip, except it is dry.

Medicine Balls for Mastitis:

Add these dry powdered herbs to molasses.. stir to doughish consistancy, roll in wheat flour and/or slippery elm and dry.

Equal parts, Thyme, Garlic, Rosemary, Oregano, Sage, Mustard. Give
approximently 1 TB every 12 hours for 7-10 days

Quick List of edible and non edible (poisonous) plants for goats

Due to the intense vulgar, crude, vicious negativity on my personal email account regarding this post, the post has been removed.


I am sorry for having to delete an article that was based on fact, and research not only by me, but by countless others who’s names were credited at the end of the article. To them, I offer my personal thanks for keeping my herd alive and well, and to those who have had issues in their own flocks, my only advice is to use a livestock qualified veterinarian to either treat your animals before it is too late to do so, or spend the money to have a necropsy done so that you don’t dwell on supposition that may or may not be fact. When a farmer takes on raising livestock, they are obligated to provide the best of care to those animals. They are living, breathing beings who fill our hearts and our pastures giving us food, financial security and enjoyment in the process. We do at our farm, costly as it may be, to ensure that our herds and flocks are well fed, well housed, and cared for with the same compassion and concern as we would have for ourselves.


Unforeseen things happen, but one simply cannot blame a writer who has shared their time and resources, for misfortune that they themselves encounter. There is no blame and there should not be harsh words to another person, period…for anything…ever.


With that, when I have time to return to blogging, uplifting, constructive and pleasantry is always appreciated.  If that can’t be the case, since this world is so full of hate,  please don’t bother to send negativity, vulgarity or crudeness. Instead, I will pray for you as those comments cannot and will not be published.



Herb of the Day: Garlic (Allium Sativum)


Since about 3000 BC, garlic and its extracts have been used in almost every culture for its medicinal and epicurean qualities. It is believed to have originated somewhere in Central Asia and has been widely dispersed throughout the world. Many have thought that the reason for such a widespread distribution is due mostly to the scattering of the Israelites outside the Palestine area after the Babylonian captivity.
Garlic is classified as both a medicinal herb and as an herb for use to add flavor to food, and should be used for both purposes. As a dietary supplement it can be beneficial in helping to support a healthy diet. As a part of an alternative medicine program it works as follows:


antiviral; can aid in the alleviation of influenza and the common cold. Also helps destroy Hantavirus,  Helps rid the skin of warts.

Antifungal, (useful against athlete’s foot, candida albicans, thrush,

Antibacterial-helps to inhibit the growth of Heliobacter Pylori- the peptic ulcer forming bacteria,  much more potent than tetracycline and penicillin. Also helps with bronchitis, asthma, sore throats, coughing and congestion formation.  Helps in wound healing such as boils, kills staphylococcal infections, toxic shock syndrome, ear infections including glue ear and otitis media,

Antiparasitic/Antihelminic: Helps to expel parasites and intestinal worms

Lowers Cholesterol (lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol without hurting the HDL (good cholesterol) levels, therefore helps to inhibit heart           disease.

Lowers blood pressure. Garlic is probably one of the best antioxidants around to help reduce the incidence of heart disease.

Pain reducer for people suffering from arthritis, gout

Blood thinner for the prevention of thrombophlebitis (blood clots)

Blood purifier- helps heal septicemia (bloodstream infections

Helps regulate blood sugar as it boosts the production of insulin through the pancreas


Preparing and Dosing GarlicFresh garlic and supplements that mimic it should be used for best results. Garlic that has been dried or cooked and garlic oil lose a major portion of their effectiveness and potency during the processing – though they aren’t without value. They are still beneficial when eaten. Medicinal preparations should state that they have an allicin potency of at least 6,000 mcg on the label. (Allicin is the organosulfur compound in garlic that has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.) These supplements should be used alternately with one clove of chopped, fresh garlic daily – garlic that has been peeled, either whole or chopped or minced and is sold in jars in the supermarket are not potent enough. All good quality supplements will list the ‘allicin potential’ and not an actual amount of allicin. This ‘potential’ means that when the allicin gets into the stomach it releases 6,000 mcg of allicin. It is this pungent component that gives garlic its sharp flavor and smell. Supplements do not actually contain allicin because it is a highly unstable compound and quickly breaks down. Good garlic supplements contain alliin instead. Alliin is a stable chemical that transforms into allicin and is released into the body as such during digestion; this allows the body to make the best use of this compound for the body’s healing.

The following from www.herbs2000.com

Cloves:FRESH GARLIC CLOVES – Fresh slightly bruised cloves of garlic can be rubbed on acne covered skin as a treatment. Fresh garlic cloves can also be mashed and used on warts  or to draw out corns and soothe irritated skin. Garlic cloves can be regularly consumed as part of the diet in the form of a prophylactic herbal remedy – to ward off the risk of infection. Consuming garlic on a regular basis also helps in reducing high cholesterol levels in the blood, which leads to an improved functioning of the cardiovascular system. Garlic also helps lower blood sugar levels and diabetics can consume some cloves as a part of the meals daily. To treat all kinds of digestive disorders, three to six crushed cloves can be eaten daily, especially when dealing with acute conditions such as severe digestive disorders – including gastroenteritis, dysentery, intestinal worms, and other infections of the digestive system. HERBAL GARLIC JUICE – Garlic cloves can be turned into a juice, this drink relieves digestive disorders and infections. Drinking the juice daily will also help a person fight chronic atherosclerosis. MACERATION – Three or four cloves of garlic can be steeped over night in a little water or milk. This garlic liquor can be used the next day for ridding the body of intestinal parasites. CAPSULES – Powdered garlic is also made into capsules. This form is an aromatic alternative to the commercial “pearls.” There are distinct benefits associated with using garlic in this form; recent clinical trials have shown that daily consumption of two g of the powder in capsule form actually prevented the incidence of additional heart attack in individuals who had already undergone an attack earlier. Infections such as thrush can also be alleviated by taking the capsules daily. PEARLS – This form of the garlic remedy can be use as an alternative to the capsule form. One thing to remember is that the greater the “deodorized” state of the pearls, the less is their effectiveness. Strong odors suggest potency in the remedy.


Garlic and garlic supplements should be stored in a cool, dark, dry place with good air circulation. Garlic should be checked on a regular basis and any cloves that are damaged should be removed as soon as possible, being careful not to nick the remaining cloves.
Necessary Precautions
Garlic is natural and safe; however it does cause one’s sweat and breath to have a rather unpleasant order. If the person using this in the necessary quantities for improving health doesn’t have this odoriferous side effect, then the treatment wasn’t useful. It is the smell of garlic that indicates the presence of its healing attributes.
If you want to reduce the malodorous side effect when using garlic, you should take a source of chlorophyll, such as fresh leafy green vegetables or parsley, with the garlic.
A rare but more serious side effect from taking garlic is spontaneous bleeding. This can be caused by either taking too much garlic and/or garlic supplements or by taking it with blood thinners – such as aspirin or Coumadin (also called warfarin). Do Not take more than the recommended dosage. Do Not take it with any type of blood thinners without consulting a natural health care professional.
Taking garlic on a short-term basis is considered safe during pregnancy.
The information in this article IS NOT MEANT TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is only meant for informational purposes. Neither the author nor its publishers take any responsibility for possible consequences from any treatment procedure, dietary modification, exercise, action, or application of medication which may result from reading or following the information herein contained. The publication of this article and the information contained herein doesn’t constitute the practice of medicine nor does this information replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, readers must seek the advice of their doctor or other health care provider.