The Natural Buzz
If eating a spoonful of raw honey for allergies doesn't seem realistic, you may want to try these recipes. They taste delicious and you'll get the allergy relief you're craving.
Cinnamon Honey Butter
½ Cup Organic Softened Butter
½ Cup Ann Bee’s Naturals Honey
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
In a medium bowl, combine butter, honey and cinnamon. Beat until light and fluffy. Spread on anything where you'd use butter.
Honey Feta Spread
1 (4oz) Package Feta Cheese
3 TBSP Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 cup Ann Bee’s Naturals Honey
Place the block of feta cheese in the center of a large dinner plate. Drizzle honey over the top. Sprinkle with cracked black pepper. Serve with crackers or use fresh veggies to dip.
Peaches & Cream…Grilled
4 Fresh Organic Peaches, Halved & Pitted
1TBSP Grapeseed Oil
Organic Demerara Sugar (just enough to lightly sprinkle)
2 TBSP Ann Bee's Naturals Honey
1 cup softened cream cheese
Preheat a grill for medium-high heat. Brush peaches with a light coating of oil, sprinkle with demerara sugar. Place pit side down onto the grill. Grill for 5 minutes, or until the surfaces have nice grill marks. Turn the peaches over, and drizzle with a bit of honey. Place a dollop of the cream cheese spread in the place where the pit was. Grill for 2 to 3 more minutes, or until the filling is warm. Serve immediately.
The only drawback to using honey for allergies is that it only works for pollen allergies. My daughter is severely allergic to cats. I've found that a tea containing Nettle, Wild Yam, Dandelion Root, Eleurthero, and Licorice Root and sweetened with Raw Honey has been beneficial. She likes hers over ice but once the summer hits she'll be getting ice pops made from the tea.
If you are suffering from Seasonal Allergies stay tuned for recipes using Raw Local Honey in the next few weeks.
Thank you to everyone who entered our Customer Appreciation Contest. The winners are as follows:
1st Place Winner Deb Short
2nd Place Winner Stacy Hindt
3rd Place Winner Priscilla Garvin
The 10 winners of a lip butter balm are
Cindilusviews (on Instagram)
sprinkles_ww (on Instagram)
auntdebs1 (on Instagram)
katie_n_brandons_mom (on instagram)
mandamarie91 (on instagram)
Congratulations!!! Please contact us to claim your prizes and thank you for helping us to have a successful 2015!!!
Ann Bee's that is...
I’d like to thank the women who chose to attend the break out session I led at Cecil College Saturday. Here is the information we discussed and I apologize for the technical difficulties resulting in your not receiving this then.
Properties: anti-inflammatory & antimicrobial
- treat bladder infections (tea)
- stomach ulcers (tea)
- mouthwash (rinse)
- mouth ulcers (rinse)
- sore throats (gargle)
- skin infections
- chapped lips
- diaper rash
- Calendula is considered safe and nontoxic, however, it can stimulate menstruation so pregnant women should not take calendula internally.
Cinnamon (Root and Oil)
Properties: antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic
Internal Uses: (Cinnamon Powder)
- gall bladder
- coronary artery disease
- high blood pressure
- staph infections
- boost brain activity
- headaches that are caused by colds
- mosquito repellent
- Using 1% cinnamon oil in water as a spray can repel insects like spiders, roaches, rats, black ants as well as killing mosquito larvae in standing water.
- cinnamon oil should be avoided for internal consumption
- Always dilute cinnamon oil
- Hot Oil so use no more than 10 drops per 1oz of carrier oil.
Boswellia (Frankincense Resin)
Properties: anti-inflammatory, antihyperlipidemic (controls blood lipids), antiartherosclerotic (anticoronary plaque), analgesic, hepatoprotective (protects the liver), antipyretic
- joint pain
- respiratory conditions
- cardiovascular problems
- fevers (antipyretic)
- skin and blood diseases
- cardiovascular diseases
- mouth sores
- sore throat
- vaginal discharges
- hair loss
- syphilitic diseases
- irregular menses
- liver stimulation
- muscle pain
- joint pain
- Side effects include GI disturbances when taken internally if you have an allergy you may experience chest pain, wheezing or shortness of breath. When used topically it may cause redness, rash or sensitivity of skin.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Properties: antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and decongestant
- rash creams
- runny nose
- sore throat
- nasal congestion
Precautions: dilute it with a carrier oil, therapeutic application is 15-18 drops per 1 oz of carrier.
Properties: carminative (relieves flatulence), expectorant, antiseptic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, stimulating and aphrodisiac
- bone health
- strengthen the immune system
- increase your appetite
- antioxidant (helps to prevents various types of cancer)
- improve respiratory conditions
- aid digestion
- arthritis symptoms
- reduce excess gas
- enhance sexual activity
- relieve pains related to menstrual disorders
External & Aromatherapy Uses:
- mental stress
- hair loss
Precautions: When taken orally incites the release of bile from the gallbladder so that would be a side effect to bear in mind if you are suffering from gallstones. May be phototoxic.
Lavender Essential Oil
Properties: antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, analgesic, anti-convulsant, anti-depressant, anti-rheumatic, anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, carminative, decongestant, deodorant, diuretic, hypotensive, sedative
External & Aromatherapy Uses:
- calm fussy children
- insect repellent
- increased cognitive function
- loosens phlegm
- relieves congestion
- hair loss
- lowers blood pressure
- boosts immune system
- cuts, burns
- scar tissues
Precautions: Lavender oil should never be taken internally. Ingestion can cause serious health complications, characterized by blurred vision, difficult breathing, burning eyes, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Properties: demulcent (forms soothing film), emollient, expectorant, diuretic
- mouth ulcers
- canker sores
- cuts on the inside of the cheeks
- inflamed gums
- sore throats
- peptic ulcers
- inflamed intestines
- kidney stones
- bladder infections
- control blood sugar spikes
Precautions: Marshmallow may cause low blood sugar in some people, inhibits absorption of medication so take marshmallow root at least 3-4 hours after taking prescription medications.
- chronic bronchitis
- muscle pains
- muscle tension
- sound sleep
- stomach cramps
- urinary tract infection
- whooping cough
- swine flu
- herpes virus
- insect bites
- herpes virus
Precautions: mullein seeds are poisonous so use the leaves only.
Properties: astringent, antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant, anti-parasitic, antiseptic, antiviral, febrifugal, immune boosting, tranquilizer
- increased energy
- blood pressure
- cardiovascular system
- immune system
- normalization of heart beat irregularities
- diminished cravings
- chronically achy joints
- joint pain
Precautions: Olive leaf should not to be used by diabetics due to its potential blood-sugar lowering properties. Do not steep in water above 180 (212 is boiling) to avoid burning the leaves.
Properties: estrogenic, sedative, tonic, antidepressant, appetite suppressant, antibiotic
- slows blood clotting
- breast pain
- hot flashes
- menopausal symptoms
- benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH
- helpful in quitting smoking
- lower the levels of 'bad' low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL)
- raise the levels of 'good' high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol
- wound healing
Precautions: Women with hormone-dependent conditions such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and cancers of the breast, ovaries, or uterus should not take red clover due to its possible estrogenic effects unless under the care of a physician.
Properties: antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral, balsamic, cicatrisant, expectorant, fungicide, insecticide, stimulant
- diminish acne scars
- common cold
- hair loss
- insect repellent
- insect bites
- Athlete’s Foot
Precautions: Internally tea tree is toxic and should be strictly avoided. The side effects of consuming tea tree essential oil can be quite serious, and they include confusion, hallucinations, drowsiness, coma, unsteadiness, severe rashes, vomiting, diarrhea, general weakness, stomach upset, and blood cell abnormalities.
Turmeric (root and oil)
Properties: antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant
(always use in conjunction black pepper because piperine increases absorption by 2000%)
- muscle pain
- joint pain
External Uses: (oil)
- muscle pain
- hair loss
- male pattern baldness
Precautions: It makes your skin more sensitive to UV light, and is highly concentrated so be sure to dilute it. Use only 1% or less in creams and oils and be sure to do a patch test. Internally use only 5 drops per ounce of oil and ingest no more than 5 drops daily.
How to make Tinctures, Infusions & Decoctions
Let's face it, it's easy to grow herbs but then what do you do with them? Here is where you take your new knowledge and transform your medicine cabinet into an herbal wonderland!
We'll start with tinctures because they are the most concentrated and the easiest to make. They use alcohol as the solvent. If you prefer to avoid alcohol skip down to infusions or decoctions.
Chop the herbs to release juices
Fill jar about ½ to ¾ with herbs or ¼ to ½ of roots.
Pour alcohol over the herbs.
Jar should look full of the herbs but they should move freely when shaken.
Use finely chopped herbs
Fill jar same as Fresh Herbs.
Allow plenty of space if using roots (they’ll expand!)
With both fresh and dry be careful to completely cover the herbs with alcohol.
Type of Alcohol to use.
40% – 50% (80-90 proof vodka) • “Standard” percentage range for tinctures (I use this for Red Clover). • Good for most dried herbs and fresh herbs that are not juicy. • Good for extraction of water soluble properties.
67.5% – 70% (½ 80 proof vodka + ½ 190 proof grain alcohol) • Extracts most volatile aromatic properties. • Good for fresh high-moisture herbs like lemon balm, berries, and aromatic roots. • The higher alcohol percentage will draw out more of the plant juices.
85% – 95% (190 proof grain alcohol) • Good for gums and resins (It's what I use to make Propolis Tincture). • Extracts aromatics and essential oils that are bound in the plant and do not dissipate easily. • The alcohol strength can produce a tincture that is very strong in taste and difficult to palate. • Often used for drop dosage medicines. • Will totally dehydrate herbs.
Extraction Time and Bottling
Store jar in a cool, dry, dark cabinet. Shake several times a week and check your alcohol levels. If the alcohol has evaporated a bit and the herb is not totally submerged, be sure to top off the jar with more alcohol. Herbs exposed to air can introduce mold and bacteria into your tincture. Allow the mixture to extract for 6-8 weeks.
Strain into amber glass bottle using cheesecloth and funnel. Be sure to squeeze until it can no longer express any more liquid.
Don't forget to make notes and label your bottle. Take note of the name of herb, if it was dried or fresh, what part of plant you used, alcohol percentage, date you made it and any other pertinent information (especially if you wildcrafted your own herbs). Store in a cool, dark place. Lasts for several years.
Infusions & Decoctions
Hot Infusions (Tea is a hot infusion)
Hot infusions draw out vitamins, enzymes, and aromatic volatile oils.
Scoop several TBSP of dried herbs into a strainer or cheesecloth, heat 1 cup of water until it boils, place strainer into cup, pour hot water into cup, steep 15 minutes to an hour, strain.
Cold Infusions are ideal for slimy herbs and herbs with delicate essential oils. (great for marshmallow root)
Fill quart jar with cold water, bundle about an ounce of herbs in cheesecloth, submerge bundle below the water, screw lid on, allow to infuse overnight. (If you don’t have cheesecloth you can just put the herbs into the water and then strain).
This is the method used for Chaga.
Place herbs into sauce pan, cover with cold water, heat water slowly to a simmer and cover. Allow to gently simmer for 25-45 minutes (for chaga 45-1.5hrs), strain and reserve tea.
Store Infusions and Decoctions in the refrigerator and consume within a week. If they begin to smell funny, develop bubbles, or tastes different don't consume it. You can still use it as a hair rinse or water your plants with it though. (They don't have the preservative of either alcohol or honey.)
Great for making cough syrups, stomach remedies, or other medicines depending on the herbs you use.
Decoct roots, barks or berries for 20 minutes. Add leafy herbs and steep for 10 minutes. Strain the herbs and then measure your liquid. Add equal parts of raw local honey. Gently simmer (below 110° so you don’t destroy the properties of the honey).
Pour into dry, sterilized amber bottles. You can also add tincture to your syrup for increased medicinal benefits. It will also extend shelf life. Don’t forget to label! Store in fridge for up to 6mo.
And last but not least the recipe for Ginger Candy.
Recipe for Ginger Candy
- ½ pound Ginger (Organic)
- 2 cup water
- 1.25 cup Local Raw Honey
Peel ginger and slice as thinly as possible, bring ginger and 2 cups water to a boil in a pot over high heat. Cover and reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes, then uncover and continue to simmer another 10-15 minutes, until tender (longer if your slices are thick). Drain all but about ¼ cup of water from the pot. Add honey to pot. Simmer uncovered over low heat (below 110° so you don’t destroy the properties of the honey) for another 30 minutes until ginger has turned darker in color and slightly translucent. Stir occasionally to make sure it doesn’t burn. Remove from heat. Can be strained or stored in syrup. If you strain the ginger save the syrup to use in tea!
If you stumble upon this and would like more information please feel free to contact me. If you are interested in learning more let me know and we can schedule a longer session.
Every November Ann Bee's Naturals chooses a foundation to donate a portion of our sales. This year we are supporting The Danny Did Foundation. If you are unfamiliar with them and the work they do please follow the link and read about the work they're doing. Here is an excerpt from their About Us page.
"To achieve our goals, the DDF engages physicians and researchers in the fields of neurology and epileptology; we collaborate with medical technology companies; we consult with epilepsy organizations, and we interact with all those affected by Danny’s story. We ask doctors to talk about SUDEP, and we offer ourselves as an outlet to which doctors can steer patients. We create informational pieces about safety in epilepsy in general and SUDEP in particular. We pursue the latest seizure detection and seizure prediction technologies, and once identified as viable and worthwhile instruments, we work to get these products approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration and then covered by insurance companies. We view these devices as complimentary to medicinal, surgical, and dietary measures that are used to treat seizures, and –with SUDEP accounting from an estimated 20 percent of seizure-related deaths– we believe that there is no such thing as too much prevention."
We believe it's time for a CURE! "Please go and enjoy your life. Danny did."
Many of my customers have expressed an interest in keeping bees. Great news! There is a FREE class for non-beekeepers called Brief Introduction to Beekeeping on Tuesday, December 2, 2014 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm at the University of Delaware, Room 132 in the Townsend Building, 531 S. College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717. This program is for non-beekeepers only, please. There is no charge for participation and pre-registration is required because of limited space. To register please contact Bill Leitzinger via e-mail: NCCBeekeepers@gmail.com
Three years ago I got our business license and started our website. I still can’t believe we’ve been doing this for 3 years and it wouldn’t have been possible without you, our customers! We value our customers and work hard to provide you with the highest quality products. Your calls, emails, Facebook posts and comments, reviews and visits are much appreciated. Without you we wouldn’t be where we are today. Thank you for your support and loyalty! We are pleased you enjoy using our products and that they are helping you. That has always been our goal.
We have big plans this coming year, new equipment, staff and products! And as we go forward it’s important to remember where we came from. Here are a few of our favorite photos that show the progression from 2011 to now.
Our First Batch (Orange Beeswax) Sept 2011
We ran out of cake racks to dry on and moved up to this in December 2011.
The soap making took on a life of it's own and needed more space than the kitchen could accommodate so we converted the upstairs Master Bedroom into a Soap Studio.
And filled it up in no time! Now we have two of these and will be transitioning to a new system in 2015.
With lots of help and hard work we transformed it into a working area where we've created products that have gone all over the world!
Our labeling has changed over time as well.
December 2011 Gold Labeled Soap
January 2012 with the Sunflower.
December 2012 New Labels
But one thing that hasn't changed and never will is our commitment to provide our customers with healthy, wholesome, affordable products!
Thank you for making the past 3 years possible! We look forward to many years to come!
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked, “Do you make a conditioner?” I have a page on my site called Shampoo Bar Success which goes into the whole reason some people develop what I like to call “Barbie Doll Hair Syndrome” where your hair feels wet and weird even when it’s dry, so I won’t go into that here.
But a vinegar rinse doesn’t have to be plain. Today we’ll talk about why apple cider vinegar makes a great conditioner, infusing herbs into the vinegar and using essential oils as well.
If you looked at your hair under a microscope it might appear to have flakes on it. These “flakes” are the cuticle and they are what protect the fragile inner layers of our hair. When the cuticle is lying flat it will reflect light causing the hair to shine. When the cuticle is lying flat it will also give out hair the silky smooth appearance we love. When the cuticle is worn down our hair will look dull, lifeless, frizzy or limp.
Commercial conditioners work by coating the hair with silicone to cause the cuticle to lie down and appear smooth. Problem is, now you have silicone covered hair. So how do we get our cuticles to behave without chemicals? Apple cider vinegar!
Apple cider vinegar strips the build-up of silicone other residue from our hair shaft causing the cuticle to lay flat (shinier hair) as well as closing the cuticles which allows our hair to slide more easily and results in less tangles.
You can use a plain vinegar rinse, starting with a 1-1 ratio of vinegar to water to strip off the residue and silicone build up when you begin using natural shampoo bar. As you go use less vinegar and more water. There is no specific ratio that is best because we all have different needs. Dry hair tends to need less vinegar than oily hair. Experiment to find what’s right for you. I like to do my rinse in the shower after I shampoo and leave it on for a few minutes. Save the hair rinse until after you’ve washed and rinsed the rest of you. You CAN leave it in. The smell will go away after your hair is dry. If you struggle with dandruff or an itchy scalp try leaving it in, the ACV will restore the natural PH of the hair and help with those conditions.
You can also make your ACV rinse as fancy as you want! Infusing herbs into vinegar is a simple way to add extra conditioning to your hair. Herbs contain many wonderful properties and you can experiment to find the ones that are right for you. Personally, I like Ayurvedic Herbs for hair.
Bhringraj is excellent for promoting hair growth, moisturizing dry hair, and reducing premature greying, balding and alopecia.
Brahmi Powder darkens hair (not one I need since I’m a natural blonde), strengthens the roots, controls premature graying and helps clear up dandruff.
Shikakai Powder cleanses the scalp, breathes new life into dull hair, fights dandruff, makes hair silky and detangles. Amla Powder stimulates the root to promote hair growth, reduces shedding, fights premature graying and is great conditioner.
Neem is a powerful antiseptic and helpful for clearing dandruff.
Don’t have access to Ayurvedic Herbs? Try some of these more commonly found ones.
Rosemary is great for dandruff and hair loss. Be aware it can darken hair so best for brunettes and dark hair colors.
Calendula is hydrating, clears dandruff, and strengthens both scalp and hair. It is also great for giving natural highlights.
Chamomile is soothing for the scalp and is said to help prevent hair loss. It also imparts a beautiful shine.
Whichever herb you choose be sure that it’s organic or if from your own yard that it’s not been sprayed with chemicals.
Place about a cup of chopped herbs into a glass jar and cover with about 2 cups of vinegar. If you’re using powdered herbs you can use about 4 TBSP per cup of ACV. Steep fresh herbs in a cool, dry place for a couple of weeks. For powders be sure to shake the jar frequently to impart the properties of the powder to the ACV.
After a few weeks, strain the vinegar into a clean jar or bottle and it will keep about 6 months in the refrigerator. If you happen to run out or are just really impatient you can also boil the vinegar and herbs together for about 15-30 minutes and then allow to sit, off the heat for another 30-45minutes. Strain, cool and refrigerate.
Essential oils can be added to your ACV rinse with or without herbs but be very careful because some oils can burn you if not properly diluted. Never use more than a 1.5% dilution of essential oils in vinegar (5-10 drops to 2 cups of vinegar).
Look for Ayurvedic Vinegar Herbal Rinses on our website within the next couple of weeks.
The answer is... of course. Without Lye there is not Soap! All REAL soap is made with lye (sodium hydroxide mixed with oils). Any skin washing product or shampoo made without sodium hydroxide is a detergent, not soap.
I’ve had quite a few people ask me whether I use lye in my soaps and the answer is yes, the real question however is this…Is there lye in my soap? The answer to that is NO! Here is why.
Once the process of saponification is complete, the lye and oil molecules have combined and chemically changed into soap and glycerin. There is no lye present in the finished bars of soap or shampoo. While all real soap must be made with lye, no lye remains in our finished product after saponification.
Even products you find in the stores that don’t have “Lye” on the label still started out with lye. If you read the labels carefully you will see…
- saponified oils: oils and butters are mixed with sodium hydroxide and a liquid (usually water).
- sodium cocoate: the generic name for the mixture of coconut oil with sodium hydroxide (lye).
- sodium palmate: the generic name for the mixture of palm oil with sodium hydroxide (lye).
- sodium palm kernelate: the generic name for the mixture of palm kernel oil with sodium hydroxide (lye).
- sodium tallowate: the generic name for the mixture of beef fat (tallow) with sodium hydroxide (lye).
- sodium olivate: the generic name for the mixture of olive oil with sodium hydroxide (lye).
On our labels we list our ingredients as Saponified oils of…not to deceive anyone but because many consumers are afraid of the word lye.
In case you aren’t familiar with the chemical process of saponification here is a very rudimentary explanation.
The process of saponification occurs when the triglycerides (fat) react with sodium or potassium hydroxide (lye) producing a fatty acid and glycerol called soap. Lipids that contain fatty acid ester linkages can undergo hydrolysis. This reaction is catalyzed by a strong acid or base. Saponification is the alkaline hydrolysis of the fatty acid esters.
We formulate each recipe to ensure that not only does each oil fully saponify but that each oil is superfatted. Superfatting is where there is additional oil in relation to sodium hydroxide resulting in excess glycerin. Superfatted soaps have superior moisturizing and emollient qualities. That is why Ann Bee’s Naturals soaps and shampoo bars are so luxurious on your skin.