Looking for Natural Remedies for Your Kids? Here are Some Tips for Safely Using Herbs

More and more, we have been leaning back toward natural remedies for small ailments. Herbal teas soothe when we are sick, apple cider vinegar is a wonderous disinfectant, and ginger works wonders for your tummy. But even natural ingredients can have some adverse effects. It’s important to use them safely and Kate Tietje author of Natural Remedies for Kids has some important advice.



Dried herbs image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Safely Using Herbs

Before diving into natural remedies, it’s important to know how to use herbs safely. Not all herbs are 
appropriate for all people in all situations. You’ll find specific cautions on each recipe, so you can determine what is best for your family.

Please read the cautions carefully and consult your doctor if you have a special health concern before using any remedy.

Even simple herbs, like ginger, should not be used by some people. Always read the individual contraindications on each recipe.

Always Properly Label Your Herbs

If your herbs aren’t properly labeled, then plants that look similar may get mixed up and used improperly. If in doubt, throw it out. Never use an herb if you’re not completely sure what it is.

Check the Contraindications

Some herbs can cause adverse effects in some people, just like anything else—for example, some people are allergic to peanuts or shellfish, which are foods that many people can consume without an issue.
If an herb is known to be harmful or potentially harmful to some people, it will be noted on individual recipes. Read these carefully before choosing which ones to prepare.
When in Doubt, Use Smaller Doses
For some people, it takes only a tiny dose to bring about the desired effects; for others, it takes a larger dose. You can always take more, but you can’t take less. Start with a very small dose, especially the first time you use an herb. Consider taking notes on what doses you give and how they work, so you’ll know next time what is right for each member of your family.
Know if Internal Use is Safe
Some of the recipes in this book can actually be used topically or internally. Many of the herbs can be used both ways in different preparations. A few must never be used internally; these recipes will be labeled “for external use only.” Know the proper amount and method for taking any remedy you use.
Store Herbs and Remedies Properly
Herbs should be stored in their original bags or labeled glass jars, away from heat and sunlight, and out of your child’s reach. Remedies should be stored in labeled glass jars, bottles, or tins. Some remedies must be refrigerated. Make sure to check the individual recipes for storage instructions. If a remedy ever smells off or looks discolored or moldy, throw it out.
In general, herbs are pretty safe. Most of the herbs used in the book are “adaptogenic,” which means that they are used to gently balance the body, rather than have any strong effect. Many are safe even in large doses (these are chosen purposely). Still, always exercise caution with an herb that is new to you or your child.



Natural Remedies for Kids is an easy-to-use reference for parents who are ready to take their family’s health into their own hands by using over 100 natural and herbal remedies to help common ailments at home.

There’s no need to rush off to the doctor at the first sign of sniffles or fever! Instead, understand what each symptom may be a sign of, how to help treat that symptom naturally, and how to help your child rest comfortably until the illness is over. Find out if the symptoms may be serious enough to warrant a call to the doctor. Then, learn to prepare one of the many recipes for home remedies found within the book to help your child naturally.

Clear up common conditions like:

  • Diaper rash
  • Eczema
  • Runny noses
  • Coughs
  • Sore throats
  • Upset stomach
  • Teething
  • and more

Find tips and hints from Kate Tietje on which remedies are best for which issues. Discover the time-tested treatments that will help to keep your child healthy and happy, naturally!

How Well Do You Know Your Diabetes?

Don’t be fooled by stereotypes—both main types of diabetes (1 and 2) can occur at any weight or age.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is far more common, diagnosed in 90 percent of people with diabetes, frequently among older people and those with excess weight. If you have been diagnosed but have never had diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) from high blood sugars, and are responding well to a treatment without insulin, then you likely have type 2 diabetes.
Treatments include eating fewer carbohydrates, increasing activity levels, and taking non-insulin medications, especially one that contains metformin. Many people with type 2 diabetes also take insulin if their body cannot produce enough to manage their sugar levels. Going on insulin does not mean you have developed type 1 diabetes.
Pre-Diabetes or Gestational Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes [develops] along a continuum as the body loses its ability over time to manage blood sugars. When this process begins, before it reaches the clinical definition of type 2 diabetes, we call it pre-diabetes.
When the process starts during pregnancy, it is called gestational diabetes. Without action, pre-diabetes and gestational diabetes almost always lead to type 2. If you have been diagnosed with one of these conditions, think of it as your chance to halt the progression into type 2 diabetes.
Many people are only diagnosed with type 2 when they experience a complication such as nerve damage in their fingers, toes, or eyes. Early knowledge gives you a chance to slow, halt, or even reverse the effects of diabetes.
Type 1 Diabetes
If you have had an episode of DKA and take insulin, you likely have type 1 diabetes.This is more common in children and young adults. If in doubt, ask your doctor to confirm the diagnosis with two tests.
The first is aGAD antibodies test. When positive, it indicates that your body is creating antibodies to attack the cells that we know are damaged in people with type 1 diabetes. The second is C-Peptide test, which determines how much insulin your body is producing. The test requires a simple blood draw, and should be done when your sugars are above 100 mg/dL.
The C-Peptide test is not widely available, and should be done by a diabetes specialist or someone who is familiar with ordering the test and interpreting the results. It is not a perfect tool for diagnosis, as most people with type 1 diabetes continue to produce some insulin, especially in the first couple of years. If you have type 1 diabetes, the result will be below the normal range and possibly zero.
If you find yourself quickly moving from a pill to insulin injections, especially if you are in your 20s or 30s, you may have a variation of type 1 diabetes called LADA, for “latentautoimmune diabetes of adulthood.” The treatment is the same as for type 1 diabetes. 
Understanding Points vs. Trends
A single number on its own has very little meaning. It’s like looking at a single frame from a movie and thinking that you understand the story.
Diabetes is not about managing individual blood sugars, but about managing how they rise and fall. This distinction is extremely important. For example, your blood sugar is 100 mg/dL and you are getting ready to drive, what do you do? If your blood sugar has been stable at 100 mg/dL for the last hour, probably nothing.
But what if it was 300 mg/dL an hour ago and you treated it with an extra insulin injection? You may be heading towards a severe low blood sugar—and possibly a car accident if you don’t take action to treat the oncoming low by consuming carbohydrates.


Work with your body and learn to manage your diabetes for a healthy and happy life.

Thriving with Diabetes empowers you to take charge of your diabetes, so you don’t just deal with your symptoms, but change the way you think to improve your health, happiness, and quality of life. Through a simple four-step process, people with diabetes learn how to intuitively understand their blood sugars and what causes both good and bad numbers. This proactive approach results in the ability to manage diabetes personally, not just by a set of notes from the doctor.

Written by Dr. Paul Rosman and David Edelman, co-founder of Diabetes Daily,Thriving with Diabetes is not just about eating joyful, satisfying, and diabetes-friendly meals (although that’s certainly part of it!), but also about managing the daily challenges of physical activity, stress, pain, sleep patterns, and other life events that have a major, but underappreciated, impact on blood sugar trends. You’ll also pinpoint your favorite meals and activities and use them as multipliers of success–focusing on the positive rather than the negative. The result is immediate and satisfying improvements to total health, both physically and mentally!


How To Read Tarot Cards for Yourself–Or Someone Else

So you’ve finally bought yourself a tarot card deck and you’re wondering what’s the best way to do a reading? Well Liz Dean, author of The Ultimate Guide to Tarot, suggests the proper method for divining for yourself or for friends.

1. Shuffling the Deck

After you’ve cleansed the deck, shuffle the cards for a few moments. Relax and allow your feelings and questions to surface. To choose the cards for a reading, you can use either the fan method or cut the deck.

The fan method is best when you want just a few cards for a reading, while cutting the deck suits more elaborate layouts that need lots of cards, such as the Celtic Cross or Tree of Life.

Fan Method

When reading for yourself: Spread all the cards facedown in a fan shape. Choose the cards one by one with just your left hand (known as the hand of fate), from anywhere in the fan, and place them in front of you, still facedown, following the spread layout you have chosen.

When reading for another person: Have the person shuffle the deck. Take the deck from the recipient and fan out the cards for him or her. Ask the recipient to choose the cards from the fan with his or her left hand and pass them to you so you can lay them out, keeping the cards facedown.


If the Ten of Wands comes up during your reading, it means there is too much going on to get an accurate reading.

Cutting the Deck

When reading for yourself: Cut the deck twice with your left hand so you have three piles facedown on the table. Choose one pile to become the top of the deck and gather up the other two piles underneath it. Lay out the cards according to the spread you have chosen (see the book for more details) by dealing the cards from the top of the deck and placing them facedown in front of you.

When reading for another person: Ask the recipient to shuffle the cards. Have the recipient split the deck into three piles using his or her left hand and then choose one pile. Gather up the remaining two piles for the person and place their chosen pile on top. Then you lay out the cards.

2. Turning Over the Cards

When turning over the cards, always flip them sideways—from left to right—not from top to bottom or vice versa, or you may be turning the card upside down. Doing so can give it a different meaning (see What About Reversals in the book).

Using the Card Interpretations

As you will see throughout this book, the cards—particularly the major arcana cards—have lots of symbols and possible meanings. Consider the cards before you look up their meaning; think about what aspect of a card you are drawn to first. This is your internal guidance directing you to the most relevant meaning of the card for your reading. This also means that the cards can offer a varying significance each time you look at them.

Similarly, when you read for other people, you will find that you don’t give a card the same interpretation for every person who gets that card in a reading—you are personalizing the reading according to your intuition.

Sometimes you’ll begin a reading and can’t make sense of what the cards are telling you. If this happens, here’s what to do:

  • Shuffle and lay out the cards again. If the same or similar cards come up this time, go with the reading. Relax and tune in to the card images; don’t worry about reading the traditional interpretations. Say what comes into your head straight away, and the words will flow.
  • Did the Ten of Wands (above) come up? If so, this often means there’s too much going on just now and it’s not the right time to read your cards. Wait a day or two and try again.
  • If you’re reading for someone else, feeling blocked can indicate the recipient’s state of mind. Here’s an example: During a recent beginners’ workshop, one of my students said, “My mind is blank. I’ve laid out the cards for Rosa, but I just don’t know what’s going on here—can you help me?” Before I could respond, Rosa said, “But that’s just how I feel—totally confused. I can’t think.” If this happens to you, acknowledge the recipient’s feelings and begin the reading again, asking him or her to let go of expectations.



Tarot expert Liz Dean offers an overview to all of the important elements of each card from symbols, to links with astrology, kabbala and numerology. The Ultimate Guide to Tarot also includes all the classic tarot spreads—Celtic Cross, Horseshoe, Star and Astrological Year Ahead—plus, a mini-layout to try for each of the 22 major cards.

Learn how to combine the three essential ingredients of a great tarot reading: knowing the meaning of the cards, how to lay them out, and trusting the intuitive messages the images often spark within us during a reading. This synthesis is the true magic of tarot.

With the authority and confidence this book offers, The Ultimate Guide to Tarot will be the must-have companion for beginner readers and tarot aficionados alike.

Hayfever Making You Miserable? Try This Honey Remedy

If you’ve been dealing with the itchy, watery eyes, scratchy throat, and sneezing that comes with spring, then you’re in need of this helpful tip from The Little Book of Home Remedies, Aches and Ailments by Dr. Linda White, Barbara H. Seeber and Barbara Brownell Grogan.


For many people, spring is the sneezin’ season. Other symptoms of hay fever (allergic rhinitis in the medical world) include nasal congestion and itchy and watery nose and eyes. If you only have these symptoms a couple of months, consider yourself lucky.

Cherryblossomtree (1)

Springtime blossoms are appealing to the eye but hard on the allergies. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Some people have a year-round condition called perennial rhinitis. Triggers include pollen, molds, dust mites, animal dander, and other airborne offenders.

Allergic and perennial rhinitis tends to run in families, along with asthma and atopic dermatitis (eczema). In recent decades, the prevalence of all three conditions has risen. A warmer climate with longer growing seasons is expected to increase the pollen load for hay fever sufferers.

The underlying problem is immune system hypersensitivity. The immune system detects a speck of ragweed pollen and reacts as though an army of streptococci had invaded.

In response, white blood cells produce a type of antibody called immunoglobulin E (IgE), which binds to mast cells, immune system cells involved in allergic reactions. Once IgE binds to mast cells, the latter release histamine and other inflammatory chemicals that cause those well-known symptoms.

Conventional treatment calls for avoiding known allergens and taking medication, such as antihistamines, to reduce symptoms. Side effects include excessive drying of the mouth, nose, and throat.

The older antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and chlorpheniramine, also cause drowsiness. Newer antihistamines, such as loratadine (Claritin) and fexofenadine (Allegra), are less sedating.

Intranasal steroid sprays and other medications can manage symptoms in people with persistent symptoms. Finally, immunotherapy (“allergy shots”) may be used to desensitize people to allergens (the substance that causes an allergic reaction).

Honey-Sage Tea

Popular lore has it that local honey (made by bees visiting local plants) can reduce hay fever symptoms. New studies are confirming the benefits of honey.

    • 2 cups (475 ml) water
    • 2 teaspoons dried, crushed sage leaves
    • 2 tablespoons (40 g) honey

PREPARATION AND USE: In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the sage. Turn off the
heat. Cover and steep for 15 minutes. Stir in the honey. Sip and enjoy.

YIELD: 1 large or 2 small servings

HOW IT WORKS: For nasal secretions, sage (Salvia officinalis) has a drying and anti-inflammatory effect. A Finnish study was able to confirm that, for people allergic to birch pollen, consuming steadily greater amounts of birch pollen honey between November and March (before hay fever season) had significantly fewer symptoms come spring.

Do not give honey to infants under twelve months of age because of the small risk of botulism.


In this giftable mini booklet of The Little Book of Home Remedies, Aches and Ailments, Barbara H. Seeber and Barbara Brownell Grogan join Dr. Linda White to draw on years of training in the area of natural healing to help you treat aches and pains and manageable ailments naturally. This handy guide provides remedies and advice for headaches, migranes, arthritis, joint pain, earaches and more.

Have a Green Day to Teach Your Family About Environmental Awareness

As parents, you may be looking for ways to get your kids outdoors and moving. Tim and Kerry Meek have a great idea in their fun new book, 100 Family Adventures, that will also get your kids thinking about the environment and living green. 



This is more of a challenge than an adventure, perhaps, but sometimes making a simple change to our everyday habits and lifestyle choices tests our powers of resilience and determination as much as any physical challenge may do.

Environmental issues such as global warming, rising seas levels and green energy regularly appear in the news. Nowadays people are becoming more aware of the issues, but little is being done to combat them.

World Environment Day has been celebrating on 5 June every year since 1973. It aims to raise awareness of environmental issues that are affecting the planet. Earth Day is another annual event that is celebrated on 22 April. People all over the world celebrate and hold events to promote respect for the Earth’s environment.

So, you could hold your own ‘Green Day,’ in which you promote green issues at your own local level.


  • Plant trees–simply plant a tree in your garden or school, or offer to help planting trees at an organized event
  • Pick up litter in the local area
  • Switch off lights and electrical appliances that aren’t being used
  • Recycle and reuse materials–promote this by creating posters for your local area
  • Only buy and eat locally grown produce
  • Don’t use the car or any vehicle for the day;instead, walk, scooter or cycle everywhere


  • Choose a theme for your ‘Green Day;’ focus on one key issue, such as water. Million of people die each year from water shortages, lack of sanitation and hygiene-related illnesses; these deaths happen mainly in developing countries. We take water for granted and use it without thinking. During your ‘Green Day,’ make a concerted effort to become aware of how much water you use
  • Turn off the taps when brushing your teeth
  • Collect rainwater in an outdoor [container]
  • Have a shower, not a bath. If you have a shower, try to see how quick you can be (under four minutes)
  • Use a plug in the sink when washing your face or shaving
  • Use a bowl for washing food and vegetables, then use the same water to rinse out cans, jars and bottles for recycling
  • Only use the dishwasher when it’s full
  • Place a Save-a-flush bag in your toilet cistern to reduce the amount of water used for flushing



Childhood obesity is increasing year on year. Happiness and well-being levels in children are on the decline too. Children spend less time outside and more time in front of screens: computers, phones, games, television.

100 Family Adventures provides a valuable resource bank of tried and tested outdoor activities to enjoy with children, swapping ‘screen time’ for ‘green time’. Particularly inspiring for people who want to get started, but don’t know how, the book shows how any family, anywhere in the country, can enjoy time together outdoors.

Activities are grouped into themes: Woodland, Water, Close to Home, Hills and Mountains, Exploring, By the Sea, Extreme Weather. Within each section is a range in difficulty, from making a rope swing to scrambling up a stream, from spending a day without electricity to going on a charity bike ride, from exploring a rockpool to camping on an uninhabited island.

Packed with inspiring photos, sensible but enthusiastic instructions from parents Tim and Kerry combine with remarks and advice (and jokes!) from children Amy and Ella.

Use Garlic to Ward Off These Common Ailments

In the book Healing Herbs, Tina Sams breaks down the beneficial properties of some of the most commonly found plants. Nearly everyone uses garlic in their kitchen, but maybe it belongs in your medicine cabinet too! Check out what makes garlic such a powerful medicinal superhero!

To many, garlic has been a typical ingredient, as common as salt and pepper on the kitchen table. Though my family rarely cooked with garlic, I would wrangle an invite to dinner with the Italian family down the road every chance I got.
There was nothing that came out of my neighbors’ kitchen that didn’t make my mouth water upon the slightest whiff of garlicky goodness. Garlic is a bulb composed of between four and fifteen cloves in a husk that ranges in hue from clear white to tan or even pink.
Growing garlic is ridiculously easy. Find an organic source, buy a bulb, and place the cloves in the ground about 2 inches (5 cm) deep in full sun. Stalks, called “scapes,” come up in early summer and are trimmed off before blooming so that the bulbs get the growth energy instead of the flower.
The scapes can be used in the same way as garlic, and have recently become a sought-after vegetable. When the cut stalks turn brown, it is time to harvest. Store in a cool, dry spot in the same way you would store onions. Many people braid the stalks and hang the garlic bulbs, removing them from the bottom as they are needed. Garlic has been popular in folk medicine for many generations and has been in use in China, Europe, and India for eons.
Even the ancient Egyptians used it for both food and medicine.It has a long, rich history, and it is no exaggeration to say that garlic is a bit of a miracle. Entire books have been written as odes to the “stinking rose” and still we continue to find more benefits from its use. 
One of the best-known healing components in garlic is called allicin. The pharmaceutical crowd would move to isolate this one component and leave the rest behind, but in herbalism we know that the whole plant contains buffers and synergistic substances that activate and smooth out the effectiveness.
Allicin comes in this great-tasting package, a naturally occurring antibiotic and healing powerhouse combined with enough vitamin C to prevent scurvy.
There are more than 100 valuable healing components included in garlic, many of which are currently being researched. Garlic is often used in an ear oil to help with the painful ear infections of early childhood. It has immense healing and preventive properties to fight influenza, colds, and yeasts and fungi-like thrush and athlete’s foot.
It fights staph infection, and during World Wars I and II army medics used garlic juice–soaked moss to prevent gangrene and help fight wound infection.Crushed garlic or garlic oil can pull infection from a cut, but don’t lay this simple poultice directly on the skin, as it is potent and may raise blisters.

Garlic image by Donovan Govan, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Garlic is often used in an ear oil to help with the painful ear infections of early childhood. It has immense healing and preventive properties to fight influenza, colds, and yeasts and fungi-like thrush and athlete’s foot. It fights staphinfection, and during World Wars I and II armymedics used garlic juice–soaked moss to pre-vent gangrene and help fight wound infection.Crushed garlic or garlic oil can pull infection from a cut, but don’t lay this simple poultice directly on the skin, as it is potent and may raise blisters.
Garlic keeps us hale and hearty during our middle years with antiseptic, antibiotic, antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties, and is even a repellent for worms and other parasites (however, it is toxic to household pets).
Garlic is especially useful for the elderly, because it strengthens the heart and circulatory systems. It has been found to assist with high blood pressure while reducing serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It helps keep the blood vessels supple and free of plague. The use of garlic is very helpful in regulating levels of blood sugar, and it is potent enough that if you are using insulin and use a lot of garlic, you should let your doctor know.
It is no wonder that garlic is thought of as having the ability to ward off vampires and myriad other evils, since it actually does protect us from so many things. 



Ever wondered about the benefits of dandelion, chickweed, and elder? Healing Herbs is an essential reference for the beginning herbalist, featuring 20 common herbs, many of which are considered weeds, that can often be found in hedgerows, meadows, and wild places.

Along with medicinal information, this book includes traditional folklore and fortifying recipes for each edible or medicinal plant, and plenty of easy-to-follow instructions to help fill a backyard herbalist’s medicine chest with remedies to keep the whole family happy and healthy.

Healing Herbs is conveniently organized by plant, making it easier for the home herbalist to find, identify, and use healing plants from the backyard. Herbalist Tina Sams identifies the 20 most common and healthful herbs and over 100 natural remedies that are easy, inexpensive, and effective. This illustrated guide is fundamental for any nature-lover’s library.