3 Reasons to Love Dandelion

Everyone knows what a dandelion is! The very young discover its stunning bright yellow flowers as they begin to explore their outdoor worlds. Its flowers are often gifted. The bouquet of the ‘littles’ presented to young mothers and grandmothers – and often without stems. Yet not everyone knows the absolute gold mine that dwells within this passionately loved… and sometimes equally despised humble plant.

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is a herbaceous perennial which “has a basal rosette of pinnately lobed leaves and a hollow stalk that supports a single head with many small, yellow, strap-shaped flowers (the tiny flowers collectively appear to be a single, large flower). The small seed-like fruits are born on a common receptacle and are tipped by an elongate, narrow beak, to which are attached an array of white bristles, which aid in wind dispersal. The leaves and flower stalks yield a white latex when bruised.”1

Dandelion is the low-growing cousin of the sunflower family. It is native to both Western Europe and the Mediterranean, but has now spread (by wind, bird, or settler) to every temperate climate. It prefers to grow in grassy locations and cultivated ground. Basically, wherever people are, dandelions are. This is perfect, because whether one knows it or not, we… need… dandelion.


Dandelion Improves the Soil!

More than the occasional dandelion is a sign of poor, deteriorated soil conditions. Dandelion prefers full sun and is tolerant of poor growing conditions. Its taproot can grow from six to 18 inches deep. This helps to break up compacted soil by drilling down into the earth, which both aerates and also draws minerals up into the topsoil where its shallow-rooted plant neighbors can benefit. In this way, dandelion conditions and prepares the soil, making it easier for other more delicate plant species to take hold and receive the nutrients they require.

Gardeners gain additional benefits by cultivating dandelion in their gardens as it attracts pollinating insects and also releases ethylene gas which assists fruit in ripening.

Who would have thought? All this from the lowly dandelion. A mighty tool designed to bring healing and restoration to the earth’s soil.

Dandelion is Nutritious Food!

One of the earliest plants to bloom in the spring, dandelion is a critical food source for pollinators, especially honey bees.

Dandelion is also an important source of food for herbivores such as deer and rabbits. Likewise, a variety farm animals actively seek out dandelion. They instinctively know that after a long winter their bodies need the powerhouse nutritional ‘superfood’ that this unassuming herb so generously provides.



In the Netherlands, the common name for dandelion is “paardebloem”, which when translated means “horse flower”. The name “horse-flower first appeared in 1906 as a general accepted name in the book “Dutch plant names” of Henry Heukels. The name probably originated because of the fact that horses (also rabbits and pigs) love to eat the leaves of this plant and that it was commonly used as feed. Sometimes it was even named ‘horse-lettuce’.”2

Any horse pasture will soon find itself cleared of dandelion’s little yellow disks as equines actively seek them out. After a long winter and the nutritionally-depleted stored hay of late spring just before first cutting is ready, dandelion greens serve to cleanse the blood of all who will partake.

The First Dandelion

Simple and fresh and fair from winter’s close emerging,
As if no artifice of fashion, business, politics, had ever been,
Forth from its sunny nook of shelter’d grass—innocent, golden, calm as the dawn,
The spring’s first dandelion shows its trustful face.

~ Walt Whitman ~

However, dandelion is not only for animals. Back in the day, in the late winter before it was time to plant spring gardens, common folk knew to forage for the early-producing greens such as dandelion.

The modern newbie forager can heave a sigh of relief that dandelion has no poisonous look-alikes. So there is no reason to hold back. Dandelion is one amazing herb that everyone can confidently get their hands on!

As a young girl, I remember my mother digging dandelions in the early spring to remove them from our yard. She saved the green leaves and prepared them for dinner. At our house, we ate them just one way. Mom would pan fry some bacon, then add the dandelion greens to the pan until they were well wilted. Then she would serve them with a little apple cider vinegar.

NOTE: Never consume dandelions that are growing near or have been contaminated with lawn fertilizers, fungicides, herbicides, or any other chemicals.


Buds (unopened flowers) – Salads, stir fry, etc.

Flowers – Snack, salads, wine. Try your hand at mixing the yellow petals into softened butter with a touch of added honey for a delicious treat on bread and muffins! 

Leaves – Salads (the youngest leaves are always the sweetest). When they become more bitter: sauté, add to soups, use as a pot herb, casseroles, mix with other greens in pesto, etc. The greens can also be used as a spinach substitute in any recipe. 

Dandelion leaves are delicious and rich in nutrients. The raw leaves contain vitamins: A, thiamine (B-1), riboflavin (B-2), niacin (B-3), pyridoxine (B-6), folate (B-9), C, E, K, and the minerals: calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, and selenium.

HINT: To reduce the bitter taste of the older leaves either cook them like a potherb in one change of water and/or add a dash of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar.

Crowns (The part between the root and the leaves.) – Can be sautéed or fried.

Roots – As a root vegetable process the dandelion root in a similar manner to a mature beet which has a thick outer layer.  Steam for 2 minutes, put in cool water, then easily peel the outer skin of off the taproot as it is bitter. Next, place the cleaned roots in a pan of water.  Bring to a boil, then simmer until soft.  It is delicious served with butter with a taste similar to a parsnip.

The root of the dandelion contains one of the best sources of inulin (a plant fiber) which is considered a prebiotic that feeds the good bacteria in the gut. Inulin also provides a feeling of fullness and clears the body of cholesterol.

To make a coffee-like beverage dandelion root can be roasted and ground, then used as a tea.

To prepare the root for roasting, thoroughly wash and dry them then chop them into small bits.  Next, spread the root thinly on a baking sheet and place it in the oven at 250–300 degrees.  Stir every 15 minutes to roast evenly.  The roasting process will likely take anywhere from one and a half to two hours to be complete.  During this time the color will develop into a rich brown and the roasted roots will give off a fragrant aroma.

When done, cool and store the root in a glass container.  Use a coffee grinder, Vitamix, or blender to grind up the roasted dandelion into grounds and add to coffee, or make a tea.

Roasted dandelion root is enjoyable in combination with other herbs such as chicory root, cacao, ginger, vanilla, or cinnamon to name a few. Here’s a recipe for you to enjoy:

Darlene’s Mocha Delight!

~ A Delicious, Health-Promoting Coffee Substitute ~

  • 1 Cup Dandelion Root, Roasted (cut & sifted)
  • 1 Cup Chicory Root, Roasted (cut & sifted)
  • 1 Heaping TSP Cacao, powdered
  • 1/4 TSP Powdered Cinnamon

In a pint jar, combine all the ingredients and mix thoroughly. Label and store with a secure lid.

Add 1/2 – 1 scant teaspoon (more or less as desired) to a tea infuser for each 8 to 16 ounces of water. (I like to use large coffee mugs for my tea!)

Pour boiling hot water over the tea and allow to steep for 3 to 5 minutes for a delicious “coffee-substitute” beverage. Steep longer – 10 to 15 minutes or steep the first tea a second time to draw out more nutrients and increase the health benefits.

Be sure to add some almond milk, coconut milk, or a maybe a little of both and you are good to go. There is a natural sweetness to this recipe that does not require additional sweeteners. It is great cold as the “chocolaty” taste seems to increase as it cools. Yum.

“Coffee people” and “non-coffee” people are pleasantly surprised when they try this hot beverage. It is satisfying, delicious, and provides a nutrient boost the body really craves.

Dandelion leaves and roots do not have the same nutrient composition. The nutrient analysis below will reveal some of the major differences. The data provided is in 100 grams of dandelion leaf or root, respectively. Where information is blank no data was provided.

Dandelion is a Valuable Medicinal!

English Name: Dandelion
Binomial Name: Taraxacum officinale
Plant Family: Asteracae (Compositae)
Parts Used: Root, Leaf
Herbal Actions: Diuretic, hepatic, cholagogue, anti-rheumatic, laxative, tonic, bitter


Indications – LEAF: As a diuretic, dandelion leaf is preferable to the root. “Dandelion leaf is a powerful diuretic, with an action comparable to that of the drug furosemide. The usual effect of a drug that stimulated kidney function is loss of vital potassium from the body, which can aggravate any cardiovascular problem that may be present. Dandelion leaf, however, is not only an effective diuretic, but also one of the best natural sources of potassium. It is thus an ideally balanced remedy that may be used safely whenever diuretic action is needed, even for water retention related heart problems. Overall, this herb is a most valuable general tonic and perhaps the best widely applicable diuretic and liver tonic.”3

Indications – ROOT: Dandelion root (not the leaf) should be selected for conditions associated with:

> Liver and gallbladder such as inflammation, congestion, chronic jaundice, and high cholesterol.

> Autointoxication which occurs when “the waste products of metabolism, decomposed matter from the intestine, or the products of dead and infected tissue, as in gangrene” are not properly eliminated from the body.4

> Aphthous ulcers canker sore-type ulcers commonly located in the mouth, genitals, or intestines.

> Digestive disturbances like loss of appetite, chronic gastritis, constipation, or diarrhea.

> Used topically for skin disorders (acne, eczema, psoriasis, rashes, and boils) the milky white latex “sap” is alkaline which may help curb itching skin and eczema. In addition, its anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties may reduce acne-causing bacteria and other skin infections. The latex appears to speed the healing of scars and the red inflammation caused by acne.  Dandelion sap also seems to work very well with sensitive skin, although for those allergic to plants in the Asteracae family, dandelion would be contraindicated.

> Diabetes may be helped by stimulating insulin sensitivity as well as insulin production by the pancreas which aids in controlling blood sugar levels.

> Certain Autoimmune conditions and blood disorders such as rheumatism and anemia.

NOTE: When using herbs medicinally, always be sure they are organic or responsibly wildcrafted. Wildcrafted herbs should be gathered in areas distant from chemical spraying or ‘drift’ that occurs from conventional crop pesticide use.

Have you ever gardened with, eaten, or used dandelion medicinally? If you have not, learning to use this common plant is very beneficial. You’ll be glad you did!


  1. Ancestral Plants: A Primitive Skills Guide to Important Edible, Medicinal, and Useful Plants of the Northeast – Volume 1 by Arthur Haines p.184
  2. 2
  3. Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine by David Hoffman p.587
  4. 4


Here is the definition of Pharmakeia:

  1. the use or the administering of drugs
  2. poisoning
  3. sorcery, magical arts, often found in connection with idolatry and fostered by it
  4. metaph. the deceptions and seductions of idolatry

There is an occult aspect to the administration of pharmaceuticals only seen with clarity when one knows how and where to search for it.

The word occult, means occluded or hidden/shut away. One way in which the knowledge of pharmaceuticals is hidden, shut away, kept from the general public is behind the medical “priesthood” and pharmaceutical jargon of our medical system.

Bear with me for just a moment. As a child I was told that I could not understand God or religion so my job was to just be obedient and do just as I was told. Similarly, as adults we are told that we cannot understand the mysteries of our own well-being, therefore, we must go to a “doctor” who will then interpret knowledge that is “beyond the range of ordinary knowledge or understanding”.

That’s the very definition of occult is it not! In the following example, see if you can locate the hidden, or occult information and expose it in the comments section below.

Here is a link regarding Fosamax lawsuits: https://bit.ly/2N8ZAET

” Since 2006, hundreds of Fosamax ONJ lawsuits against Merck, the manufacturer of Fosamax (the brand name for Alendronate), claim that rather than increasing bone density and strengthening bones, in some cases Fosamax has actually caused a deterioration of the jaw bone or contributed to femur fractures.

Fosamax belongs to a class of drugs called bisphosphonates–which also includes drugs Actonel, Boniva and Reclast among others–that are prescribed to help prevent the loss of bone mass and are used to treat osteoporosis and similar diseases.

Fosamax was approved by the FDA in 1995 to treat post-menopausal osteoporosis and Paget’s disease of bone: a chronic, focal skeletal disorder characterized by greatly increased and disorderly bone remodeling. Since its approval, Fosamax has been taken by nearly 10 million men and women.”


Here is a link to what Merk says about Fosamax: https://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/f/fosamax/fosamax_pi.pdf

“FOSAMAX is a bisphosphonate indicated for:  Treatment and prevention of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women (1.1, 1.2)  Treatment to increase bone mass in men with osteoporosis (1.3)  Treatment of glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis (1.4)  Treatment of Paget’s disease of bone (1.5)”…

“Geriatric Use Of the patients receiving FOSAMAX in the Fracture Intervention Trial (FIT), 71% (n=2302) were greater than or equal to 65 years of age and 17% (n=550) were greater than or equal to 75 years of age. Of the patients receiving FOSAMAX in the United States and Multinational osteoporosis treatment studies in women, osteoporosis studies in men, glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis studies, and Paget’s disease studies [see Clinical Studies (14.1), (14.3), (14.4), (14.5)], 45%, 54%, 37%, and 70%, respectively, were 65 years of age or over. No overall differences in efficacy or safety were observed between these patients and younger patients, but greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out.” [Emphasis mine]


Hidden in the fine print, an outright lie. Merck says their studies indicate “no differences in efficacy or safety were observed”, yet after 10 million people received the drug, and after many were damaged by the drug and sued – only then did Merck agree to a settlement.

“NEW YORK (Reuters) – Merck & Co Inc said on Monday that it was prepared to pay $27.7 million to settle lawsuits by hundreds of people who sued the company over allegations that its osteoporosis drug Fosamax caused bones in the jaw to deteriorate.

Lawyers for Merck and plaintiffs disclosed the proposed settlement at a court hearing in New York to resolve 1,140 lawsuits pending in federal and state courts. Any settlement would need to be approved by a judge. “


The point is not that pharmaceutical companies lie, nor is it that pharmaceuticals are toxic and powerful to damage the human body. The point is that it is hidden from public view in such a manner as potential to harm is not disclosed. Doctors have admitted to not following Merck’s directives – and even those directives were not enough. Which is why Merck preferred to agree to a settlement.

Perhaps these days everyone needs to study out the documentation for the prescriptions they take so they can know be fully aware of the harm they may be caused. Who else is looking out for them?

“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patient in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.”

~ 1903, Thomas Edison

Isn’t that an interesting quote? Who would have thought we would have drifted so far from such simplicity. Yet, there is an answer. Visit your holistic health professional when you have a need for gentle remedies that work with your body to support its healing processes.

The Herbs & The Bees, LLC, or its staff do not diagnose or prescribe. Our purpose is to provide information, products and suggested wellness programs to those who will share responsibility for their personal well-being. Our services are not a substitute for medical advice.If you are seeking medical advice, please consult a licensed physician.

Herbal Awareness ~ Stevia

The Food and Drug Administration approved Stevia as a healthy (because it does not contribute sugar to the diet) “natural” sweetener, although very little has been studied about Stevia’s (Stevia rebaudiana) contraceptive component.

That should not come as a surprise because, well, if Stevia is an effective contraceptive, then pharmaceutical companies will not gain profit from investing in research. Additionally, they stand to lose money especially among those looking for a more natural alternative to sweet without the calories.

My primary concern is not that Stevia is an under-studied herbal contraceptive alternative for those seeking birth-control measures. My concern lies in the fact that couples desiring to conceive who are making dietary and lifestyle changes in preparation for a much-wanted child, may be thwarted in their efforts by the consumption of Stevia. Stevia causes both male and female infertility.

Historically, among the Indians in Paraguay, where Stevia is a native weed, the plant is not used as a sweetener but as a common contraceptive.

The glycosides in Stevia are very similar structurally to certain plant hormones. When the plant is manufactured (or “purified”), one of the ten balancing hormones (eight of these are sweet) becomes isolated from the others. Although some studies say that this is safe, other studies suggest that these plant glycosides having this hormone structure can act as a mutagen and at very high concentrations, increase the risk of cancer. Although most people, will not ingest these processed forms of Stevia in great enough quantities for this to be of concern, it may be significant enough to impair those with autoimmune disease. In this case, the outside influence of hormones can potentially speed disease development and progression.

One study on the contraceptive properties of Stevia in 1968 (there’s not much, folks) performed on adult female rats whose fertility was proven, gave them a decoction (strong tea) of the herb. It was found to decrease fertility for at least 50 to 60 days even after they stopped ingesting it. 1

Another study done in 1999, asserts that tested prepubescent male rats on a mere 60 days of an aqueous extract (basically, a strong tea) resulted in a decrease in the final weight of the testis, seminal vesicle, and cauda epididymidis (the tube that connects a testicle to a vas deferens in the male reproductive system.) The Stevia solution also lowered the fructose content of the male sex glands and decreased the epididymal sperm concentration as well as a marked decreased their testosterone level. 2 These are major changes in very young male rats. There is no information regarding whether these changes are completely reversible when use is discontinued. I would expect that traditionally Stevia was not given to young children as they do not procreate. So what are we doing to our kids by allowing them to consume foods and beverages containing Stevia? We really have no clue how Stevia affects young developing males, or females for that matter. Most of us never knew it had contraceptive actions.

Traditionally, Stevia was used as a contraceptive agent by females. It was not used as a food (sweetener) as we, in our modern culture have decided it can be used. The Stevia plant has been sweet for thousands of years, but we with our burgeoning intellect decide we can ‘fake out’ our ravenous sweet tooths with it. This information is something to chew on. Or maybe not. The fact that this plant has such a bitter aftertaste might actually be its redeeming quality. Perhaps we should take heed.

Holistic Health Practitioners and Herbalists need to be aware of all of the herbal actions of Stevia in order to recommend appropriate dietary changes and remedies for their clients. From the limited amount of sometimes conflicting information, there is not much to pull from. I would give much credence to how this plant was used historically. When an herb is well-known in an entire culture for a specific effect and is utilized as such for hundreds of years, even though modern society has not yet studied it out, we ought to use wisdom in our recommendations.

We know that the natives used Stevia’s aerial parts to make teas for consumption. Our modern culture processes it, bleaches it white, and does who-knows-what to the plant even to the isolating of plant constituents – just like a pharmaceutical and still has the audacity to call it “natural”. We have no real knowledge how those changes affect the herbal properties. Me, I would skip them and just use the leaves – or avoid anything labeled Stevia entirely, especially if you – a male or a female – want to have a baby.

Seriously, when we crave sweets that much it is an indicator that something systemic going on the body. It will not be corrected by consuming alternative sweeteners as a substitute. To get free from the cravings there are other steps required.

If you have questions, please post them below. If you desire a personalized consult for this or other health-related issues, please feel free to schedule an initial consult or a free 15-minute Discovery Session HERE. I would like to assist.

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The Herbs & The Bees, LLC, or its staff do not diagnose or prescribe. Our purpose is to provide information, products and suggested wellness programs to those who will share responsibility for their personal well-being. Our services are not a substitute for medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, please consult a licensed physician.

References & Resources:

Stevia Image Source: https://pixabay.com/en/stevia-leaf-sugar-plant-sweetness-74187/

1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17744732

2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10619379

Population, Resources, Environment: Issues In Human Ecology by Paul R. and Anne H. Ehrlich




A Cardiac Moment!

Chronic stress and high levels of calcium lower both testosterone levels and thyroid function. This results in increased stress on the arteries which in turn cause cracks.

When nutrient excesses and deficiencies occur blood calcium levels remain too high for too long. Dairy is one of the top food allergens. It often causes inflammation throughout the entire body. High carb consumption is what causes LDL cholesterol to oxidize and turn brown. All cholesterol is good, but it is when LDL cholesterol is oxidized that we should be concerned. A high carb diet also leaches real vitamins and minerals from the body. The lack of nutrients cause imbalances in the body and as a result of these imbalances over time, plaque (a mixture oxidized LDL cholesterol and calcium) builds up and the arteries become calcified.

Elevated cortisol (a hormone excreted in response to stress) and low testosterone cause damage to the endothelial wall of the arteries requiring these plaque ‘patches’. The excess calcium and brown/oxidized LDL cholesterol are laid down over fissures in the arteries. This is ingenious actually, as the body places an especially formulated ‘internal’ Band-Aid so-to-speak, over arterial cracks. If the nutritional deficiencies are then addressed the body would have enough resources to fix the artery and the calcifications would then dissolve and be removed as body waste.

Calcifications are even being found in athletes! We think of these folks as being extremely healthy, however, to the body, intense workouts are perceived as chronic stress. Simply stated,

“Elevated Adrenalin combined with nutritional deficiencies cause calcifications in the arteries.”

–High Calcium Score in Athlete & Heart Disease by Russ Scala

What a powerful statement! Nutrition, especially nutrition specific to disease states is not commonly practiced in allopathic medicine. New arteries can actually form around the heart restoring a person’s vitality. Yet this is not practiced as a part of the “Standard of Care”. Perhaps what we call “health-care” might be more accurately described as “disease management.”

So if one is wanting to take better care of their heart and circulatory system where might one start?

First, get rid of that stress. There is no other way around it. I had a client tell me once that their life was very stressful but she had become “used to it”. A lot of us like think that way, but need to realize that the part of our body that responds to stress doesn’t think rationally. Stress provokes a response from the limbic part of the brain. This is not where one reasons, but where “fight or flight” occurs. Stress – whether from emotional turmoil in family or relationships, job stress, financial problems, or even a broken-heart, engages the limbic brain and causes a very chemical reaction in the body. These chemical reactions use up nutritional resources. Elevated cortisol/lowered testosterone also causes constriction and dilation of the arteries. The benefit of proper testosterone levels is that it keeps the arteries dilated. Don’t most of us know that when we are stressed some of the first things we set aside in the tyranny of the urgent are getting proper sleep and making healthy food choices?

Additionally, as people who have chronic stress we need to learn to think differently. It’s called a paradigm change. When our paradigm changes we practice carving out time for ourselves just to ‘be’ and relax. Prayer, quiet time, resting, taking a walk, playing with a pet, and things like these all help to create space in our daily lives for refreshing and restoration.

Next we need to consider nutrition. It is important to thoughtfully take in pure water and foods that are high in nutrition. We know that even organic foods are not always grown in nutrient dense soil. This means it is vital to include whole food-derived supplements in our diets. Also, avoid white sugar, artificial sweeteners, dairy, grains, prepared (boxed) foods, and eating at restaurants.

These suggestions are a wise place to start. Take them one step at a time and once you have mastered one of them, take on the next one. Soon you will be living and eating much healthier and your body will thank you by feeling more energetic and pain free.

If you desire a personalized consult for this or other health-related issues, please feel free to schedule an initial consult or a free 15-minute Discovery Session HERE.

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The Herbs & The Bees, LLC, or its staff do not diagnose or prescribe. Our purpose is to provide information, products and suggested wellness programs to those who will share responsibility for their personal well-being. Our services are not a substitute for medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, please consult a licensed physician.

Eyeglass & Window Cleaner You Can Make at Home!

On and off I have been searching for an alternative to chemical-based, toxic cleaners to clean my eyeglasses. Frequently I use just plain old soap and water, but I do like the convenience of a spray bottle AND I have yet to find a suitable cleaner for my windows. Until now…

In the past, I have tried white vinegar and a white vinegar with soap and water combination, but still, I seemed to get a lot of streaking and it took repeated attempts to get the windows clean enough.

It gets really old quickly cleaning all those tiny windows on French doors over and over. I can think of a million other things I would rather be doing. So recently on a spring-like day, and the sun decided to shine. It took no shame in making a spectacle of my hazy windows, and I could take it no longer. Here’s what I did:

I grabbed my paper towels and got to work. I have to say that I am very pleased with the result. Not only that, there is almost no odor. Nothing like the strong scent of vinegar or those nasty synthetic chemicals that always to assaulted my nose. No streaks and a quick clean. If you’re wondering how to clean glass, it’s as easy as:

1… Spray the window with the cleaning solution.

2… Use a paper towel to rub the solution all around the window glass to get it wet and then again to rub the dirt and grime off.

3… Use a clean paper towel to get off the remaining moisture and residual dirt.

There you go. Bada bing, bada boom! A simple, yet effective solution.

After cleaning my French door I did the bathroom mirror, then took off outside to try the cleaner on my car windows. Phenomenal! It worked like a charm on that road grime that gets all over them. (Then I had to take the whole car to the carwash. One can’t have clean windows and a filthy car.)

You can substitute rubbing alcohol for the witch hazel. Since I have not tried it, I cannot attest to how well that works, but I would assume it would be more drying to the rubber around car windows so be careful with that.

Lastly, I tried this solution on my glasses, and of course it worked great! So folks, let me know what ingredients you chose and how well this works for you!

The Herbs & The Bees, LLC, or its staff do not diagnose or prescribe. Our purpose is to provide information, products and suggested wellness programs to those who will share responsibility for their personal well-being. Our services are not a substitute for medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, please consult a licensed physician.

DIY Air Cleaner

There is a very affordable DIY air purifier that anyone can make for under $25, while the cold weather is upon us and many of us are spending more time in the house with the windows closed up. Even in the better weather, having a space to breath without all the dust and pollen is so nice.

Here is how to inexpensively keep the air in a room at least 90% cleaner than it is right now.

Standard 20″ Box Fan

You’ll want to start with a standard 20” x 20” box fan. Walmart currently has the Lasko 20” box fan for $17.88. You don’t need this brand necessarily, just use any standard 20” box fan. Chances are you already have one lying around somewhere…

Next you’ll need a 20” x 20” x 1” MERV 13 HEPA furnace replacement filter. A MERV 13-rated filter is effective for reducing pollen, dust mites, sanding dust, textile and carpet fibers, mold spores, dusting aids, cement and lead dust, Legionella, humidifier dust, milled flour, auto emissions, all bacteria, most tobacco smoke, droplet nuclei (from sneezing,) and more…

20″ x 20″ x 1″ MERV 13 Furnace Air Filters

The least expensive brand I have found with the MERV 13 rating is listed in a package of 6 filters (see photo above) on Amazon for $17.53 with free shipping on orders over $25. (I know I can always find something to buy to make up the difference. Keep me away from the books…)

Anyway, that is just $2.92 each! It is recommended that the filter be changed on your DIY Air Filter every 3 months. A package of six will last one fan a full year-and-a-half unless you need to change them out sooner.

Duct tape or zip ties (whichever you prefer) to attach the filter to the back of the fan.

HINT: Write the ‘3-month change-out’ date on the new filter when attaching to the box fan.

NOTE: There are no affiliate links in this blog. I have provided the best information and pricing I could find at the time of this writing. If you find a better value, please share it with us in the comments below. Thank you.

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For an explanation and demonstration watch THIS or THIS.

MERV Ratings Article & MERV Rating Chart

The Herbs & The Bees, LLC, or its staff do not diagnose or prescribe. Our purpose is to provide information, products and suggested wellness programs to those who will share responsibility for their personal well-being. Our services are not a substitute for medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, please consult a licensed physician.

Heather’s Heavenly Toothpaste Recipe

Wowzers! Here is a gift from one of our very own who is a professionally trained chef! You just know it’s gonna be good when Heather’s hands are in it! She’s designed a recipe that even the kids will like! (Phew!)

Now about the ingredients. Coconut oil is anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral. Here’s one study: (The Effect of Coconut Oil pulling on Streptococcus mutans Count in Saliva in Comparison with Chlorhexidine Mouthwash.) that found coconut oil was more effective than Chlorhexidine (a disinfectant and antiseptic) commonly used in mouthwash. It is very effective in eliminating streptococcus mutans (an oral bacteria that causes tooth decay). There are also studies revealing the antifungal nature of coconut oil in treating yeast infections of the mouth. An oil-pulling technique would work best for this last situation along with no eating or drinking for half an hour afterward.

Baking soda is useful for removing plaque and odors from teeth and its alkalinity neutralizes the acidic bacteria that build up in the mouth.

You can experiment with different essential oils and combinations. If you are an essential oil connoisseur you might try lemon or a lemon/lavender combination. There are so many to choose from: lime, clove/cinnamon, spearmint, vanilla, cinnamon/nutmeg/vanilla, orange, tangerine, pizza, chicken’n gravy, pot roast, bacon… Woops! I got a little carried away.


Items needed

  • 4 oz. or larger glass jar with a lid (DO NOT use plastic containers when utilizing essential oils.)
  • Spoon or Popsicle stick (to stir)
  • Bowl with hot water (To melt the coconut oil placed in the glass jar)· Essential Oils of your choice


  • 1/4 C – Coconut Oil, melted
  • 2 – 4 TBSP – Baking Soda (If you’re new to using Baking Soda, start off with a smaller amount. You can always re-melt and add more.)
  • 20 Drops – Peppermint essential oil
  • 20 Drops – Clove Bud essential oil (Clove is a strong flavor you may want to start with 10 drops, taste, then decide if you want to add more.)

Coconut oil melts at about 78 degrees. So place the ¼ Cup of coconut oil into your glass jar, then set the jar in a bowl of hot water until it is liquefied. Next, using the Popsicle stick stir in the baking soda. Last, add your essential oils and mix well, then allow it to solidify. (If you are impatient, the refrigerator will do this quickly.) …and violà!

What can you expect? The toothpaste will taste a little salty and be just a wee bit gritty because of the baking soda. The coconut oil in the recipe makes for a creamy feeling on your teeth that will go away. For those who have a hard time adjusting to new flavors and textures be sure to give this a fair try. Use it consistently for at least two weeks or so. It will be well worth the effort.

*Remember, especially if you have young children, they need to spit this out after using it, just like they do with a commercial toothpaste. What gets spit out is all kinds of bacteria and fungus. Nothing anyone wants to swallow.

We would love to hear your thoughts on this recipe in the comments below. So be sure to let us know if you used Heather’s recipe or if you tweaked it to your own liking, and if so how it turned out.

…And don’t forget to thank Miss Heather for sharing her wonderful, natural homemade toothpaste recipe with us. I’ve always wondered what a chef uses for toothpaste. Haven’t you?

The Herbs & The Bees, LLC, or its staff do not diagnose or prescribe.Our purpose is to provide information, products and suggested wellness programs to those who will share responsibility for their personal well being. Our services are not a substitute for medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, please consult a licensed physician.

Holistic is Best!

  Wholeness and restoration on a physical, emotional, and spiritual level are attainable for each of us. A holistic view of health incorporates the idea that the whole is more than a mere sum of its parts. As a Holistic Health Professional and Clinical Master Herbalist I am trained to identify natural remedies that support the body’s attempt to restore balance and vitality. I take into consideration a person’s individual characteristics and life situations while formulating remedies and making recommendations.

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  Illness vilifies health. This makes our inner thoughts just as crucial as nutrition is to our body and the process of rejuvenation.  The body responds to thought patterns, emotions, fear, and other stressors which ultimately set the stage for either strength and vitality or an undermining of health at the spirit, soul, or body level causing a progression toward illness and disease.

Negative perceptions of life, trauma and stress, grief, loneliness, guilt, etc., often precede illness.

 Negative perceptions of life, trauma and stress, grief, loneliness, guilt, etc., often precede illness.  Likewise, a paradigm change may induce healing.  Difficult life situations challenge these ingrained thought patterns challenging us to learn new, healthier ways of thinking.

Certain weaknesses in the body can cause or exacerbate this negative spiral. Fortunately there are remedies such as herbs, homeopathics, nutrition, and others that can make a world of difference by becoming a catalyst in the paradigm change.

If it is time to make a much-needed change, click on the “Make an Appointment” button below and schedule your Consultation Intake appointment.

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If natural, holistic heath is new to you and you would like to find out more, “Make an appointment” for a FREE 15-minute Discovery Session phone call where we will discuss how a holistic perspective on health utilizing natural remedies can benefit you!

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