DIY Golden Milk with Immune-Supporting Herbs by Aisling Badger, January 19, 2017

Golden Milk, or Turmeric Milk is a traditional Indian and Ayurvedic beverage that is typically drunk before bed and has recently gained popularity in the wellness world due to its healing and rich nutritional qualities.  While we enjoy the ritual of drinking warm beverages as we wind down in the evenings, this recipe is great during the day as well, as it is rich in warming, circulatory, and immune system tonics which are important in the long cold winter months.

We have taken the traditional recipe of Golden Milk and added in a few of our favorite immune supporting herbs like ginger, cinnamon, cayenne, and astragalus, making this drink a powerful immune tonic.

golden-milk-immune-herbs

Turmeric is a rhizome of the Curcuma longa plant and has a shockingly bright golden orange color. Turmeric is what gives the color to curry powder, and has been a traditional medicine and food of native Indian cultures for thousands of years.  Its flavor is the perfect combination of earthy bitterness and spicy sweetness and combines well with a sweetener like honey. It is high in essential vitamins and minerals that our body needs to stay in optimal health. Most of its compounds are fat soluble, so combining some fat into the mixture will help the body easily absorb those vital nutrients.

Astragalus is one of our best adaptogens, meaning it helps support the body during times of physical, mental, or emotional stress. It is also an excellent tonic for supporting our vital, resilient immune system. In China and among herbalists throughout the world, this plant is utilized as one of the best […]

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Cayenne Medicine & Winter Warmth By Aisling Badger, December 9, 2016

Capsicum annuum is the plant that produces the spicy fruit commonly known as Cayenne Pepper or Chili. It has been used by native cultures as food and medicine for thousands of years, and its use continues to grow in modern culture today. Early evidence suggests its cultivation may have begun in Mexico, but has been used throughout many communities around the world. While it is often used as a culinary spice, most cultures have a history of using cayenne pepper therapeutically as well.

cayenne for medicine

A small fruit, cayenne is often dried and powdered, and it brings a powerful kick that is noticed in even the smallest amounts. Cayenne pepper has gained popularity for cleansing and is used in detoxifying drinks such as the master cleanse, which uses the spice to support the circulatory and digestive systems.

Cayenne’s most profound action is bringing warmth to any formula, dish or beverage. It provides initial spice that lingers on the lips but then spreads heat quickly throughout our body. A healthy dose of cayenne can be felt deep in the stomach, warming and supporting our immune system and digestive tract.

The most well-known active ingredient in cayenne is a components of its pungent oleoresin: capsaicin. The degree of pungency, calculated in heat units of dried Capsicum or the extract, determines its value of potency. Many traditional herbalists believe that cayenne is one of our most useful herbs in the medicine cabinet, not only for the circulatory and immune system but for its ability to bring to life and to wake up a formula. It acts as a […]

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8 Herbs To Have In Your Medicine Cabinet This Fall By Aisling Badger, November 10, 2016

Dried Herbs

It’s the time of year, where more often than not we are turning to our medicine cupboard to support our bodies and our families. An abundance of tea herbs, honey and lemon, fresh herbs like ginger, turmeric, cayenne and garlic are all great to have on hand throughout the winter. A few herbal tinctures also play useful roles and are key ingredients in the medicine cabinet.

elderberryElderberry | Elderberry is an excellent superfood-like ally safe to take in large quantities. With elderberry and plenty of rest, our body’s natural response kicks in–that’s why elderberry syrups and tea have long been used to help support optimal immune function. All these amazing herbs come in handy when our resources are low: elderberry helps our body maintain its normal immune response. Because it’s so much like food, it’s incredibly safe for kids, and happens to taste divine when combined with honey–hence the elderberry syrup! This one is a must have for the kitchen herb cabinet as it’s family-safe.

The flowers of Elder are also quite useful and are used for supporting sinuses and a healthy inflammatory response. While lovely in tea because of its sweet aromatic quality, Elderflower also is great in tincture form and used in combination with other herbs. You can find Elderflower in most of our First Aid formulas because this plant is safe, and supports so many different functions of our body.

Elecampane flowerElecampane | Herbalists rely on Elecampane when it comes to

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Echinacea Medicine By Aisling Badger, October 27, 2016

Echinacea Flower CloseupEchinacea is one of the most well-known herbal medicines today. Its characteristic cone-like flower has graced gardens and medicine cabinets for centuries as a trusted plant in our wellness toolkit.

It is a member of the Asteraceae or Compositae family (commonly referred to as the aster, daisy, or sunflower family) and a hardy perennial flower which is native to North America, although much of what is available out there today is cultivated. The name “Echinacea” comes from the Greek word ekhinos and the Latin prefix echino-, both of which describe something prickly (these words are also the origin of the echinoderm “spiny skin” family of marine animals, which includes starfish and sea urchins.) Echinacea is commonly called purple coneflower, because the rich, bright purple flowers gradually form into a hardened cone.  The most commonly used medicinal varieties are Echinacea purpurea and angustifolia. In the northeast where our growing season is much shorter compared with other temperate places, the plant takes two years to flower and become large and potent enough to harvest for medicinal qualities. With Echinacea, the whole plant can be used, and often the most well-rounded Echinacea tincture is made from the root, leaf, and flower.

The fresh root is slightly sweet and pungent and has a characteristic tingle that lingers on the tongue. The tingling sensation is due to the alkylamides, which are especially concentrated in the roots. This is a good way to determine the quality of your medicine; potent Echinacea is strong and tingly.  

At Urban Moonshine, we feel lucky to get ours from excellent sources. Our Echinacea […]

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