Gluten Free Home

January started with a quick trip the ER for Matthew. We didn’t know what he was reacting to. But he was reacting. A few months later the same thing. Again we were baffled. I had done research and had come to the conclusion that he had a gluten sensitivity. So, we worked with his doctor to do testing. But, she had also recommended doing an elimination diet. At least for 4 weeks. This because the gluten tests don’t always show positive. And they’re not very good at showing a sensitivity. The tests results did return negative. But, I continued with the elimination diet.  After 5 weeks we sat down and tried some wheat. I gave it to him in small doses and we checked his pulse over the next 15 minutes. Within 4 minutes his pulse went from 60 to 80 per minute. The test confirmed his sensitivity.

Now that I know he has this sensitivity. We have made a lot of changes at home. We tried to do what we can to make it less of an impact. But, it’s really hard. Pretty much most of what is processed has gluten. We are forced to go to a healthier diet.  Which isn’t a bad thing. But, it’s a change. We really didn’t have too many processed things, at least so I thought. But, having to be consciously aware of what we’re buying has been a learning experience.

My main concern and new initiative is to teach Matthew how to cook for himself. So, that when he moves out he knows how to eat properly.

I’ve been searching online and I found a few good sites. We’ll start our trial this coming weekend. I’m excited and little bit scared. But, we’ll figure this out!

Allergy Tea #1

This is the Allergy Tea that I have been drinking for the past year. I have turned this into a tincture. I’ve also made some updates and changes. But, this is the basic recipe.

Allergy Tea

  • 2P Chamomile
  • 1P Eleuthro
  • 2P Nettle
  • 1P Ginger
  • 2P Holy Basil
  • 2P Licorice
  • 2P Dandelion

The first couple of months I did not use Dandelion. I started that after I was able to lessen the amount of medications I took. Then I started to add the dandelion. I prefer drinking this as a tea over the tincture. There’s just a good feeling about sitting down and drinking a cup of tea that you know is healing. I made a tincture because there are days I’m rushing out the door and I don’t have time to drink the tea. But, I do what I can to sit and have that cup.

Now that my allergies are a bit more stable. I do mix things up a bit. Sometimes, I’ll drink nettle and chai with a little bit of milk. I also have another tea I drink when my asthma starts acting up. That’s simply just Thyme and Ginger with a bit of honey.

I claim absolutely no medical benefits to be accurate correct or better than any of the medication that you’re taking. Or any medical advise. Please speak to your doctor. This is purely for informational purposes. As well as I’m sharing a nice tea that I think has been helpful and tasty for me.

Thanks!

DIY Herbal Press

The teas have been wonderful!! But, it was time to move up and learn how to do more! So,I decided to try my hand at tinctures. I have to admit it seemed a bit much. But, after the first tincture it was easy! They were a lot easier to make than I had initially thought. I ended up making 4 at once. I have heard people squeezing the menstruum to get all the tincture. And I tried that. But, I didn’t feel as though I got much back. Out of a 20 ounces tincture I received about 10 ounces of liquid. And I believe most of that was because I couldn’t squeeze out all of the liquid from the menstruum. I decided to hold off on my other tinctures until I got myself a press. 

I searched online for a press. I found a few online for about $150. The cheaper one was about $130. Then there was one for only $50 on eBay.  The thing was all these presses were big. I believe the smallest one was about 12 inches. I don’t have much room in my little townhouse, so I figured, there has to be another option. I’m really big into making things myself. DIY is somewhere in my genes. So, I searched and searched for something that could be comparable, yet compact. And I found a site that shows you how to make one! Authentic Mama, How to Make a Tincture Press. It seems easy enough and cost effective. 

Supplies:

  • ($10) Steel canister 
  • ($12) C-clamp
  • ($5)  1 Round wooden (Needs to fit in the canister, not very snug, but small enough to go in and out and yet large enough that it’s pressing the herbs. 
  • ($5) Cheese Cloth

How to assemble:

Place herbs in the cheese cloth, then place in the canister. Place one of the round wooden pieces in the canister. Then place the C-Clamp in the canister. Make sure it’s centered nicely on the wooden piece inside. Then press. The liquid that comes out is pretty filtered. But, because I grind my herbs, rather than fine chop, I also filtered it one more time.

For under $40, I have an herbal press that’s space saving, yet big enough to press the herbs for my tinctures. I store the wooden piece, and cheese cloth in the canister when I put it away, so everything is packed together nicely and easily obtainable.

Herbal Press

For directions and details on making the press, please visit Authentic Mama.

Herbal Remedies

I have lived with allergies all my life. But, 6 years ago when I got stung by a bee it went from bad to severe. I developed sinus issues and  asthma. The asthma was new but it was triggered by the allergies. I spent most of the first 5 years in and out of the hospital. I’d be there at least 5 to 8 times a year. The doctors prescribed more pills and different pills and inhalers just to get me under control. But, it was never under control. Then last year I started having digestion issues and I just was so tired of all the medication I was taking. A day’s worth of medication looked like this:

  • Simbacort, AM & PM
  • Arbuterol, as needed
  • Flonase, AM & PM
  • Zyrtec, AM 
  • 3 Benadryl AM, Mid Day, PM
  • 60 mg decongestant AM
  • Nasal only if it was really bad. PM
  • Dulera (updated 4/11/2014, had a discussion with my allergist recently. We went over the meds I was taking. I completely forgot about Dulera.)

I decided to attend an allergy class ran by Herbalist, Julie James. I learned that the medications I was using was just suppressing the issues. They weren’t treating them or healing my body. I figured I was on so many medications,  herbs shouldn’t be so bad. For 3 months I drank an herbal tea morning and night. And after 3 months, I stopped using the Benadryl daily. Then a few months after, I stopped using the decongestant. Slowly but surely I lessened the use of all my medications.

A year later, I am only using Zyrtec and Benadryl when it’s bad. On occasion I might use a decongestant. I still carry the Arbuterol, but I use it less than I have ever before.  I know allergies will never go away. Unfortunately, that’s just my bodies response to the allergens. What the herbs did is strengthened my immunity system and has lessened the harsh response. In the last  year I only went to the hospital once and it was because of the flu.  I call that success.

I want to learn more about herbs, more about taking better care of myself and my body. I want to heal and strengthen myself. And I think this is the best way possible. I’m very grateful for Julie and feel so honored that she cares enough to teach what she knows.  I have learned a lot.