Preparing for Cold and Flu Season – Step #1- Probiotics

Preparing for cold and flu season with probiotics. Learn about a study that showed probiotic consumption lead to fewer fevers, coughs and runny noses.

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are beneficial microorganisms similar to the “friendly” bacteria found naturally in the body’s digestive system. Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) of Maryland states that we each house two to five pounds (1.0 to 2.26 kilograms) of live bacteria inside our bodies.

How do probiotics work?

Antibiotics work by killing bacteria, both friendly and unfriendly.  Probiotics add good bacteria to your body.  Adding more good bacteria can crowd out the bad bacteria, at at the very least make it more difficult for them to thrive. [Read more...]

How to Make Elderberry Syrups and Jellies

How to Make Elderberry Syrups and Jellies with Fresh or Dried Elderberries
My friend, Tami, saw my comment on the Common Sense Homesteading Facebook page about wanting to experiment with elderberries, and embraced the challenge with gusto.  She and her family went picking, and came home with the entire car trunk filled with elderberries.  Bless her heart, I didn’t have time to help her process them the next day, so she stuck them in the freezer overnight and tackled them herself.  In this post we’ll share how to process fresh elderberries, plus how to make elderberry syrup and elderberry jelly with those fresh elderberries, and an easy recipe for a small batch of immune boosting elderberry syrup with dried elderberries. [Read more...]

How to Make Dandelion Wine and Dandelion Cookies

Dandelion Wine Recipe -  "In the late 1800s and early 1900s, it was not proper for ladies to drink alcohol; however, dandelion flower wine was considered so therapeutic to the kidneys and digestive system that it was deemed medicinal even for the ladies."

We have been inundated by dandelions – LOTS OF DANDELIONS!  They are everywhere!  Along the driveway…

driveway dandelions

…in the garden, in the yard – hundreds (maybe thousands?) of dandelions. What do yo do when you’re overrun with dandelions?  Eat them (and make some wine)!  :-) The boys and I got picking and we gathered a large bowl full of dandelion flowers for wine and cookies, plus some greens for a decoction.  I grabbed some roots, too, but then I read that you’re supposed to harvest those in fall, so my dried and roasted dandelion root coffee substitute is on hold. [Read more...]

What if I Told You Weeds and Bacteria Could Save Your Life?

What if I Told You Weeds and Bacteria Could Save Your Life?  What you need to know about  wild plants and friendly bacteria.  The truth may surprise you.

“The trend in bacterial development of antibiotic resistance is not unlike the increasing resistance of agricultural pests to pesticides. In 1938, scientists knew of just seven insect and mite species that had acquired resistance to pesticides. By 1984 that figure had climbed to 447 and included most of the world’s major pests.  In response to heavier pesticide use and a wider variety of pesticides, pests have evolved sophisticated mechanisms for resisting the action of chemicals designed to kill them. Pesticides also kill the pests’ natural enemies, much like antibiotics kill the natural enemies of harmful bacteria in the body.”

– by Michael Schmidt, from Beyond Antibiotics

What if I told you weeds and bacteria we are trying so hard to kill could save your life? Would you think I was crazy? I’ve been doing a lot of reading and a lot of thinking lately, and I’ve come to realize that much of what we are told in our day to day lives is not only inaccurate, but flat out wrong.  Here are my latest thoughts on our wild and tiny neighbors. [Read more...]

Breast Health – Healing with Foods and Detoxification

Breast Health - Healing with Foods and Detoxification @ Common Sense Homesteading

Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and 1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer during her lifetime (isn’t that crazy?), I thought it was a good time to pull together some tips and tools to help you help yourself to keep your breasts healthy.  Our health is critical to our quality of life.  This is why I feature health related content on a “homesteading” site, and why my first e-book is titled “Common Sense Health:  Diet, Detox and Physical Activities“.  This post will focus on the diet and detoxification aspects of breast health. [Read more...]