Posts tagged: diy products

How To Make Homemade Extracts – Vanilla, Lemon Or Almond

How To Make Homemade Extracts
How To Make Homemade Extracts – Vanilla, Lemon Or Almond. Image – (with permission)

When you think of herbal extracts, you might (if you are like me) imagine some kind of arcane “alchemist’s lair” with curious distillation equipment, dusty old textbooks and of course a magical, permeating aroma of unusual flowers and herbs with strange Latin names. Yes? Even though herbalism has become very scientific in modern times, it is still (to me) redolent of ancient mysteries and magic.

But it might please you to know that herbalism is not all arcane and complex, and that some herbal projects are delightfully simple. Like this one: Homemade extracts of vanilla, lemon or almond. We found a great page over at Common Sense Homesteading describing an easy way to make three yummy extracts that can be used in recipes and for other aromatic purposes. This could be a perfect project for an apprentice “herbal alchemist”. 😉 This is a great tutorial full of tips and ideas! They’ve even made printable labels that you can just download and use – how cool is that?

One of the fun things about these extracts is that various forms of alcohol, such as brandy or rum, can be used – giving the possibility for subtle and unique concoctions. Note of course that due to the use of alcohol, this project should for safety reasons be undertaken (and the finished products used) by adults / under strict adult supervision.

It’s important to make sure your equipment is clean – but one of the good things about alcoholic herbal extracts (as opposed to, say, floral waters) is that the use of 40% alcohol creates a product with a good shelf life, with a very low risk of bacterial problems – as alcohol is a preservative.

The only downside of this work is (perhaps) the length of time needed for the extract to be made; it could be several weeks sitting there, depending on which extract you make.

It’s also possible to make these extracts using orange, mint, coconut and more. Can you think of some others?

Ok here’s the link to the full homemade extracts tutorial: Have fun! 🙂

How To Make Natural Ginger Ale

How To Make Natural Ginger AleImage – (with permission)

We just found an awesome tutorial for how to make your own natural ginger ale! The link follows after our introduction to the topic.

If you’re sick of the modern generation of unhealthy junk sodas then this could be perfect for you! We all want beverages that have great taste, but wouldn’t it be great if we could get that without short-changing ourselves when it comes to our health and nutrition? Ingredients like High Fructose Corn Syrup or aspartame are deal-breakers for me. If those things are in there, I won’t touch it. End of story. 😉

What’s great about this recipe we have found is not only that it contains real ginger (see this page for our full tutorial on the health benefits of ginger) – well known for its numerous health benefits – but it is naturally fermented, which makes it naturally fizzy! The drink contains natural probiotics and enzymes that are widely regarded to have a beneficial effect on the digestive system.

Fermented drinks and foods have been utilized since ancient times on account of their health benefits. This formula uses a short-brew method so that it does not become alcoholic.

One note – you have to be careful to follow the instructions properly. As with making other fermented drinks such as Jun (an old Tibetan Fermented Tea drink), you can create too much pressure, enough to burst the bottles if you do it wrong.

Another note that caught my eye from the comments on the original page – although the recipe calls for some sugar, note that the fermentation process will transform much of this. One person advised not to substitute with honey (it is a commonly held position that due to being antimicrobial it interferes with the fermentation) or stevia.

Ok here’s the link to the full tutorial:

How To Make Your Own Natural Headache Balm

How To Make Your Own Natural Headache Balm
How To Make Your Own Natural Headache BalmPhoto – (with permission)

As some of you may know, there has been some controversy lately over the safety pharmaceutical headache remedies, with the BBC reporting that they may in fact be causing “millions of headaches” and setting up a “vicious cycle” of painkiller use.

There are the other potential side effects, too. I know all about this: I can’t take Ibuprofen as it leads to internal bleeding, even if I only use a small amount! It’s also well known that some of these substances can be taxing to the liver and kidneys.

It really helps to have some alternative options to try. Our good friends at Everyday Roots have done it again, and come up with a fantastic balm that uses 100% natural ingredients.

We have also featured a couple of posts in the past all about natural headache remedies – and although their titles are similar, these are in fact completely different pages with numerous different remedies listed:

18 Natural Remedies For Headaches

19 Homemade Headache Remedies

We also have a page on herbs for migraines if you are interested in more:

Ok here is the link to the full Natural Headache Balm tutorial:

Do you have any other tips and natural headache remedies to share? Please let us know on our Facebook page or in the comments. 🙂