WORMWOOD ~ WONDROUS WORMWOOD

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Most of the time I lived in California, I had a wormwood plant by the door of my home. When I moved across the country, I gave my well-loved door guardian to my oh-so-sweet, young neighbor. She loved plants, and I knew she would provide a good home for my beloved wormwood friend.

My herbal friend is dearly missed. And I sometimes wonder how she is doing now ❤

This amazing plants botanical name is Artemisia absinthium.

It was used by both the Greeks and the Romans to combat fever and fight intestinal worms. They also used it as a bitter tonic. It is one of the most bitter plants known to herbalists, for sure.

Still, there are so many herbs which can be used as bitters, that wormwood would not be at the top of my list for this purpose. Dandelion, yellow dock, and chamomile, among others, all make really amazing bitter tonics. And because wormwood has a bit of a sordid past, it is simpler and safer to just choose a suitable replacement herb instead.

This herb is a main component of absinthe. An alcohol product which has been banned in many countries. Absinthe was widely consumed by French bohemians in the 19th century. Those who drank it habitually suffered from intoxications known as absinthism. Symptoms included; tremors, sleeplessness, hallucinations, and convulsions. These side-effects are what led to its ban in France.

Wormwood is considered a hallucinogenic and psychoactive ally by many in the herbal world. It is said to have an affect on the brain which is similar to that of THC.

And while there are many reputable herbalists out there using this herb internally with great success, I am not among them at this time. I have kept my focus on it’s other talents. Until I have an opportunity to work with someone who is familiar with its ‘powers’, I will continue to employ this amazing herb externally and energetically. I find both of these applications useful for my purposes. And there is never any harm in sticking to the safest route. Particularly, when you lack the knowledge needed to travel the rockier road.

But before I share the ways I use wormwood with you, let me say one final thing about taking this little beauty internally. Wormwood is an abortifacient. Therefore, it should not be taken by pregnant women. And it contains thujone, which is toxic in high doses.

Now onto that with which I am more informed …

This plant makes an incredibly effective cream/balm/salve for pain and inflammation reduction. I like to have a bit around the house to use when the tension in my neck flares up. I have an old injury there and wormwood helps ‘work it out’ when it acts up.

It makes incredibly wonderful little sleep pillows. They are fun to sew and make really great gifts. This is perhaps one of the nicest ways to share the energetics that wormwood possesses with friends and family.

The energetic quality it is likely most reknown for is it’s ability to dispel negativity. Place it in a bowl and set it in a room following an argument and it will restore the positive vibe there in no time. Or infuse it into an oil and wear it on days when you expect to have to deal with any sort of unpleasantness.

One of my favorite ways to use wormwood in this regard is to infuse it in a bucket of water and use it to clean all the surfaces in my home. I have done this upon moving into the last few places I’ve lived and felt I had good results. And, besides, it smells lovely. So it’s really just a pleasure to work with it in this way.

Wormwood deters weeds and can be planted in your garden for this purpose. How marvelous! You do have to be careful not to plant it around your herbs though. It’s roots secrete a component that may inhibit their growth. Best to keep it with the veggies 😉

This herb repels fleas, moths, and caterpillars. And when infused in water can be used for aphid control.

Getting familiar with wormwood and its properties is definitely a worthwhile venture. So, if you are inclined to get to know it better, I say go for it!

Please do take a moment to pop into the comments and share any information you may have about this lovely herb. I would love to hear what you have to say.

And … connect with me on facebook, instagram, and pinterest to stay abreast of any other happenings here at Bohemian Apothecarist.

As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❤

DISCLAIMER: I am not a licensed health professional. You are solely responsible for researching herbs to determine how you choose to use them. If you decide to make them a part of your health care plan, I take no responsibility for the results of that decision.

SUMACADE ~ A SUMMERTIME HERBAL BEVERAGE YOU’LL LOVE

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It has been many moons since I was introduced to sumacade. I can’t even recall who first shared this herbal knowledge with me. But I can see myself standing in the production room in the back of my herbal shop, brewing up this tasty summertime treat for the very first time. And that, like most all of my herbal firsts, is a fond memory ❤

Sumac is a very easy herb to identify. It has only two look-a-likes, poison sumac and tree of heaven. I’ve always been a little bewildered as tp why they are considered look-a-likes for sumac, because they have white fruit/berries and sumacs berry blooms are red.

Nonetheless, they are look-a-likes. And poison sumac is … well … poison.

This is a picture of the type of sumac shrub I gather the material from to make my sumacade. Apart from the difference in the color of the fruit/berries between this bush and it’s two look-a-likes there is another variation you can us to tell them apart.

The sumac used to make ade has serrated edges around the leaves. Poison sumac and tree of heaven’s leaves have smooth edges.

The botanical names for the ade you want to make herbal beverages with are Rhus glabra and Rhus typhina.

In addition to vitamin C, the berries of the sumac shrub contain many beneficial minerals.

Sumac berries were used by Native Americans, Native Canadians, and American pioneers for many ailments. These include; bladder issues, digestive problems, respiratory ailments, and fever. It was also used as a laxative and a diuretic. And to support liver function, as well.

A little sumacade in the fridge throughout late summer and early fall is a good, good thing. It’s such a healthy way to treat yourself well. If you have this incredible berry available to you don’t miss out on the pleasures and benefits it has to offer 😉

Head out to your closest sumac shrub and harvest yourself 3 or 4 clusters of berries. Be sure they are deep red in color, as this indicates that they are ripe.

Bring them home and get out your favorite half gallon pitcher. Or if you have one, grab a half gallon canning jar.

Boil about 2 cups of water and sweeten it with your favorite natural, unprocessed sweetener. This step is done to taste. So remember that these 2 cups of water will sweeten the whole batch of ade. Don’t go overboard. Sweetener is not really healthy. Besides you won’t need much 😉

Pour your ‘sweet mix’ into the vessel you’re using to make your beverage, place the full cones of berries in it too, and then top it off with water.

Let it sit on the kitchen counter until it cools down to room temperature. Then cover it and let it sit overnight.

In the morning pull out the berries, and if you are opposed to the small plant particles left behind being in your drink, line a strainer with a coffee filter and use it to remove them.

And that’s it all! You have made sumacade ❤

The only thing left for you to do now is give it a taste and let me know how that goes for you! Is it a beverage you see yourself making again? A few times a year? Or just once a season? I’d love to know 😉

And … connect with me on facebook, instagram, and pinterest to stay abreast of any other happenings here at Bohemian Apothecarist.

As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❤

DISCLAIMER: I am not a licensed health professional. You are solely responsible for researching herbs to determine how you choose to use them. If you decide to make them a part of your health care plan, I take no responsibility for the results of that decision.

LAW OF ATTRACTION & HER 11 SIBLINGS

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I’ve been an avid Law of Attraction (LOA) practitioner for about 8 years now.

I first learned of this universal truth 14 years ago. I dabbled with it a bit here and there for quite some time (well, 6 years if you do the math). But I didn’t develop a consistent application of it in my life until 2012. It was then that I realized I was spending endless hours studying LOA and not very much time applying it in my daily life.

Some incredibly adverse circumstances caused me to begin correcting that error right away. I started to fine-tune my ability to direct my thoughts and keep my vibration at optimal levels for manifestation success; two very important LOA basics.

Doing just these two things instantly changed my attraction game for the better. As my skills continued to improve, my life improved drastically. LOA is mad cool stuff and I highly recommend it as a fundamental life practice.

However, it is not the only universal law. But it has gained so much popularity that I feel people are either unaware of or quick to dismiss the other eleven universal laws.

All of these laws play an intricate part in energetically designing the life we want. Not to mention that they are simply a key component of being a good human!

Developing an understanding of each of them, and consistently applying them in your life, will result in notable changes! Changes for the better!

So … let’s take a look at ALL 12 Universal Laws together …

1) THE LAW OF VIBRATION

This law states that everything in the universe is in constant motion. Everything vibrates. There are many different frequencies with which things vibrate, but everything is always in a constant state of vibration. ALWAYS.

When you recognize this basic tenet you become more in-tune to the vibrations in the environment around you (as well as your own). As you grow into being able to adjust your frequency, things of like frequency will align themselves with you (yes, this is the foundational law for LOA).

If you are not able to adjust your own frequency yet, this law can still be very helpful for you. Use it to remove people, places, and things which are energetically vibrating at a frequency you do not want in your life. When you are uncomfortable in a certain surrounding, around a certain person, or even in the presence of an object, remove yourself. Leave the place, gracefully dismiss yourself from the person, or get rid of the object. Doing this consistently will create a remarkable degree of change in your life.

2) THE LAW OF ATTRACTION

This law states that like vibrational frequencies attract like vibrational frequencies. Positive vibration attracts positive vibration. Negative vibration attracts negative vibration. Think joyfulness attracts joyfulness, aggravation attracts aggravation.

It seems that many people can intellectually understand this law, but few have a real grasp of how powerfully present it is in their lives. It is always at work. If you dip into negativity for just a moment it can change the direction of your day.

The next time someone aggravates you in traffic and you allow that energy to stay with you, pay attention. The rest of your day will be laden with things that irritate you. Likewise, getting truly caught up in someone else’s joy will fill the rest of your day with pleasant social interactions. It’s really a beautiful phenomenon. It lends a comforting sense of certainty to life. If you maintain a high positive vibration, only things of the same vibration can enter your physical space. Guaranteed! Every time! No question about it 😉

BUT, remain mindful that this law responds only to true emotions. You can’t fake your way through it. You have to train yourself to stay in a GENUINELY positive emotional state as much as you can!

3) THE LAW OF GENDER

This law states that there are both masculine and feminine energies in ALL things. We live in a society where male and female roles are often rigidly separated. It is frowned upon for a person of one gender to display qualities of the opposite gender. Yet both genders possess masculine and feminine qualities. And to live outside the recognition of this principle strips you of your power. Many internal struggles are caused by the lack of unity experienced when you do not recognize that both gender energies are at work within you.

If masculine energy is left to act on its own, it has a tendency to act without restraint, order, or reason. This results in chaos. If feminine energy is left to act on its own, it has a tendency to sit in a state of reflection, not actually doing anything. This results in stagnation. The two must work together. When they are in harmony, it is evidenced by thoughtful action. This results in success.

4) THE LAW OF RHYTHM

This law states that energy is like a pendulum. It swings to the right and then it swings to the left. The entire universe is involved in this predictable energetic oscillation. Back and forth. To and fro. A perfect rhythm.

This law can be observed in the rising and setting of the sun and moon, the ebb and flow of the tides, the coming and going of the seasons, and in the rhythmic swing of consciousness and unconsciousness.

You can observe this law at work in your own life as well. If you pay attention to patterns in your mental, physical, and emotional states it will become apparent to you that they swing back and forth just like a pendulum.

Those who have mastered universal law know that it is best to refrain from getting either overly excited or allowing anything to push them too far into a negative state of mind. Instead, they accept the natural rhythm of life, the swing of the pendulum, without allowing it to venture too far out in either direction.

5) THE LAW OF CORRESPONDENCE

This law states that our outer world is a direct reflection of our inner world. As without, so within. The thoughts you foster and the deepest beliefs you hold about yourself are physically manifested all around you. If you wish to alter these manifestations, you must do so by changing your inner world.

Take a good, long look at the reality of your inner world and actively work on molding it into that which you wish to see manifest in your physical reality.

6) THE LAW OF POLARITY

This law states that all things have an opposite; joy and sorrow, day and night, dark and light, up and down. Without one the other cannot exist.

Working with this law can help you redirect negative patterns and destructive behaviors in your life. When you recognize that your thoughts and feelings are not serving you, it provides an opportunity to turn them in the direction of their opposite.

If you feel sad, do something that brings you joy. If you are irritable, do something that soothes you. If you feel tense, do something that relaxes you. Replace those things which bring negative energy into your life with things which promote a more positive energy.

Practicing this law is very empowering and teaches you to look for and utilize solutions, rather than dwelling on problems.

7) THE LAW OF DIVINE ONENESS

This law states that all things are interconnected and come from one source. This is one of the most difficult laws for us to truly grasp. We don’t have very much trouble understanding that all energy emanates from one source, but seem to struggle with truly comprehending that all is one. There is no separation. None. Not even a little bit. ALL is ONE.

Every person, place, and thing IS a perfect expression of the Divine. This even applies to people, places, and things that we find off-putting. And yes, it applies to things which disgust us, offend us, frighten us, etc.

I am the first to admit that it feels impossible to embrace this law at times. BUT recognizing and working with this concept is paramount to achieving our highest state of being. Physically, emotionally, mentally, and materially.

So, I say, start trying to wrap your head around the concept. I know I am. And when you stumble across something that makes you cringe at the idea that it is part of the same Divine energy as yourself, then shift your thoughts elsewhere. You don’t have to accept it right off. But you MUST NOT allow yourself to bash it. Not with your thoughts. And certainly not with your words. Just let it be and move on.

Taking this approach will spur growth, and little by little, over time, you will find that your acceptance of ALL as ONE expands. Stretch it as far as you can. Every little advance in living in harmony with this law will bring great blessing to your physical reality. AND that’s a good thing!

8) THE LAW OF RELATIVITY

This law states that all things are made ‘real’ because of the fact that they can be compared to other things. Good could not hold meaning to us if we did not have bad to compare it too. It would simply be. Without meaning.

You assign meaning to things as a result of your comparison of them to other things. It serves you best to stay mindful of the fact that your perspective forms your thoughts and your thoughts form your reality.

Regardless of what is happening in your life at the moment, there will always be someone who has it better than you and someone who has it worse than you.

Do not define things as good, bad, big, small, etc. Simply accept that they are. Energy is always manifesting. It is on the move. Period.

9) THE LAW OF PERPETUAL TRANSMUTATION OF ENERGY

This law states that energy is perpetually moving and it will ALWAYS manifest. Higher vibrational energy will always consume lower vibrational energy. So, it is not necessary to ‘work’ toward changing our lives. It is more fruitful to simply ‘allow them to be changed’ through the perpetual motion of energy.

This does not mean that you don’t have to do anything at all. You too are energy. You too are always moving and manifesting. However, it assures you that if you put your focus on maintaining a high vibration, your life will naturally work out for your highest good.

Ahhhhhhhh! That’s simple stuff! Go about your daily business. Do it with a good attitude. Done.

10) THE LAW OF COMPENSATION

This law states that what we reap is a direct result of what we have sown. Always do what you can to give out into the world those things you would like to receive from it. Be generous. Share abundance. Be kind. Show respect. And … well, you get the idea!

Often people will do something kind or generous for someone and then look for that same person to treat them with kindness and generosity. When the person does not reciprocate in the way they expect, they decide that this law (often referred to as karma) is a farce.

Don’t let this trip you up. It is not a farce. It does not state that you will receive exactly what you gave in return. And it certainly doesn’t state that you will receive anything at all back from whence you gave it. As a matter of fact, I cannot recall even one time that it has worked that way for me. You will receive in the same measure as you put out there though. For sure. 100%.

But there is no telling what it will be or where it will come from. Simply be assured that the Universe will bring precisely what you need at the very moment you need it. She is ingenious. AND she will delight you every time!

11) THE LAW OF CAUSE AND EFFECT

This law states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Every single thought and every single action produce a wave of energy that ripples out into the Universe. There it creates an effect. Negative thoughts and actions create undesirable effects. Positive thoughts and actions create desirable effects. But make no mistake, ALL thoughts and actions create an effect.

This is a never-ending chain which loops throughout all of creation. Every cause (thought and action) has an effect, and every effect becomes the cause of something else.

It is easy to grasp the full concept of this law if we take a look at the cause and effect action of diet, work, and rest in our lives. When we overindulge in these things we find that we suffer from adverse physical conditions/symptoms. Overeating causes weight gain and health issues. Working long hours causes fatigue and mental fogginess. Sleeping too much causes lethargy. Get it! Of course you do 😉

12) THE LAW OF ACTION

This law states that we must perform the actions necessary to reach the goals we wish to achieve.

Maintaining a positive vibration is perhaps the most important thing you can do in your life. In my opinion, it actually is the MOST important thing. No holds barred!

However, that does not mean that action is not necessary if you want to see your deepest desires come to pass in this lifetime. You simply can’t sit around on your butt thinking happy thoughts and expect the Universe to deliver your wildest fantasies to your doorstep. She won’t. BUT if you take the action steps necessary to perpetuate her response, it will speed things right along for you! So … how do you choose the ‘right steps’?

Start by taking the path of least resistance. If you are struggling, you are likely on the wrong path. Things should feel good, or at the very least they should feel right. That is not to say that you won’t experience challenges. You will. But challenge is healthy and productive, and you can feel that. It promotes self-growth. Go with it! Struggle on the other hand feels negative. It promotes frustration and anxiety. Avoid it!

The bottom line … take positive ‘feel good’ action every day.

And there they are …

The 12 Laws of the Universe!

Love them. Hate them. Work with them. Or work against them. It is entirely up to you!

But be aware, that they are in full effect at all times. They NEVER fail. So if you are working against them you are working against yourself 😦

I would love to hear your thoughts on these laws in the comments. Have you heard of all of them? Or just a few? Or is this your first exposure to them?

Are you using any of them in your life right now? Tell me which ones, and how you feel practicing them is working to your advantage.

And … connect with me on facebook, instagram, and pinterest to stay abreast of any other happenings here at Bohemian Apothecarist.

As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❤

CHANTERELLE MUSHROOMS ~ JUST A FEW SHORT WEEKS

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Chanterelles are easily the most known wild mushroom out there. It seems that just about anyone who has ever had even the slightest interest in foraging mushrooms has heard of these fabulous little woodland treats.

They are also one of the tastiest wild shrooms. And they are among the least likely to cause gastrointestinal distress, a side effect of many wild mushrooms. Particularly by those who are not accustomed to eating them.

They are common throughout the United States and rather easy to find. They do have look-a-likes, so proper identification is key. But then proper identification should always be a priority when harvesting any wild food 😉

Foraging wild mushrooms has slowly been creeping its way into my life for a few years now. And I’m a fan ❤

Chanterelles are one of my very favorite shrooms to find. I always get quite excited when my eyes spot their bright, golden yellow color on the forest floor. I know the goodness that awaits me as I place them in my basket. And I don’t even mind the tedious job of cleaning them up when they come home. It’s well worth the effort ❤

They are only with us for a few short weeks a year. So our time together is fleeting. Making me cherish it all the more.

Fortunately, they freeze really well so the bounty can be preserved and spread over a few months (or more if you’re lucky)!

If you’re among the blessed who get their hands on some it’s pretty simple to prep them for freezing. Clean them well and cut off the bottom of the stems. Slice them up and dry fry them to remove the water. Drain them and allow them to cool. Place them in freezer bags and toss in the freezer for later.

The first batch that was wild-harvested in my house this year was sauteed with shrimp, served over rice noodles, and topped with a butter basil sauce. Sooooooo damn YUMMY 😉

Eat light the first few times you try chanterelles just to be sure they get along well with your belly. I find that each year it is best to go easy on portion size for my first few meals. Then … it’s time to dig right in!

Do you wild-harvest mushrooms? If so, what are your favorites? And how do you prepare them? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments. Being a relatively new ‘shroomer’ I’m like a sponge for info. So, if you’ve got some, dish it up please!

If you have questions rather than info, ask away. I’ll do my best to answer them!

And … connect with me on facebook, instagram, and pinterest to stay abreast of any other happenings here at Bohemian Apothecarist.

As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❤

RULES TO LIVE BY ~ MY THREE NON-NEGOTIABLES

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We all have rules we live by. Some of us may be more cognizant of them than others. But we all have them nonetheless. You’ve heard people state them many times.

“Don’t compare your insides to someone else’s outsides.”

“Don’t mistake making a living with making a life.”

“Get comfortable in your own skin.”

These, and several others, are all ‘life rules’ I respect. And I actually employ them pretty regularly in my own life. But they are not the ones that have had the most impact on me. You know, the ones that literally took my breath away for a few moments when I first heard them. Like really heard them.

There are three life rules which qualify for that status in my world. I live by them almost infallibly. AND today I’d like to share them with you, in hopes that they have the same profound effect on you that they have had on me. They make my life better! I want to spread that around 😉

1) YOU TEACH PEOPLE HOW TO TREAT YOU

The way that you respond to how people treat you literally shapes their future behavior toward you.

If you are being treated in a way that displeases you, than it is paramount that you remember the only behavior you can change is your own. You cannot make another person behave differently. However, you can certainly change the way you react to them. Don’t react neutrally. And don’t react positively. React negatively.

Remember not to ‘overreact’ negatively, as this will not benefit you. Remain calm. Don’t lose your patience. Voice your displeasure, and move on with your day. If their behavior has ‘ruffled your feathers’, try to keep that under wraps. Not doing so, will only feed their flame.

When your reaction changes, their behavior must change also. It really must. Sometimes this means that they will remove themselves from your space. AND I think that’s an acceptable solution as well. Don’t you?

Obviously, if the situation is serious enough you will want to make removing yourself from their space the way you change your reaction. Remain calm. Don’t lose your patience. Voice your displeasure (or not in abusive situations), and move on with your life. Do not maintain contact with them if they are abusive in nature. It will only feed their flame.

I have used this technique in my life from the moment it was taught to me. It works pretty damn reliably. It is harder to employ in personal situations where behavioral patterns are already set. BUT with steadfast patience and consistent responses it can absolutely be done.

2) LIVE LIFE ON PURPOSE

We are not meant to sit back and allow life to ‘happen to us’. We are creating this life we live, and we need to choose each step of our path with intention.

I know that some of you are saying, “You don’t get it, Diane Gail. All of these things are going on in my life and I can’t just ignore them. I have to deal with them. Life is happening to me. I can’t just stop that. What am I supposed to do?”

My response to you is this …

Choose one or two things that you want in your life. And then do them ‘on purpose’. They can be large or small. Both are doable. Small can be implemented. Large can be tackled in little bite size chunks.

I have been practicing this life rule for quite some time. So, I now have many things in my life which have been intentionally chosen and implemented. As well as many that I have been chipping away at for some time. The result is that a rather large portion of my current life has evolved from the act of ‘living life on purpose’. And that is just the way I like it.

However, I recall the early days of trying to get this practice in place. It wasn’t easy! But it gets easier. I promise 😉 Once you decide to make a few things that are important to you a priority, the Universe begins to assist you in ways which cannot be explained or imagined. She is faithful like that.

So choose something and do it on purpose. Set it right up among the things which are most important to you. And get started on making it happen. Then choose another. And then another. And then … well you get the idea 😉

Before you know it, you will be living the beautiful life you’ve always dreamed of. A life you have chosen on purpose.

3) QUIT EXPLAINING YOURSELF

It is not necessary to explain your choices, or your reasons for them, to others. People are only able to understand the world around them as it appears through the lens of their own experiences. If they do not ‘get it’ when you try explaining your choices to them, then no amount of clarification will make them understand.

And exactly why are you explaining anyway?

If it is because you need their acceptance, you are spinning your wheels needlessly. You cannot obtain acceptance from someone who isn’t even able to wrap their head around what you’re trying to do/choose.

If it is because you are simply excited about some new thought process or activity you’ve discovered, and you want to share it with others, then by all means share away. But the very minute you see someone’s eyes glaze over, drop the subject and move on to a conversation you can both participate in. Likewise, if you give a full explanation to someone about your interest and they respond in a way that doesn’t even remotely connect to what you’ve just said, move on. They don’t get it. AND that’s OK!

People are having their own experience in this world. Each of them is walking their very own path. And there is no way that they will understand the paths of every other person they meet.

So, with that thought in mind, if you find yourself feeling a bit disturbed by the fact that people don’t ‘get what you’re doing’, you may want to take a look at where that’s coming from. Perhaps, you are so wrapped up in them understanding your choices that you are not considering where they are on their own journey. In other words, you are doing to them the very thing you do not want them to do to you. It’s pretty ironic really. Could it be that you are the one who doesn’t ‘get it’?

This life rule set me free in a multitude of ways. The most important thing that it brought to my life was being able to make choices without concern over the opinion of others.

I choose. I implement. My decision. If someone supports my choice great. If they don’t, no matter. When someone who is close to me doesn’t support a choice I have made, I simply avoid making it part of our interactions. Issue solved!

And that’s it … 3 non-negotiable life rules that are game-changers for sure!

Do you relate to these life rules? Do you practice any of them in your own life? Let me know in the comments. Or, perhaps, you have a life rule of your own that you would like to share with me? I’d love to hear about it 😉

And … connect with me on facebook, instagram, and pinterest to stay abreast of any other happenings here at Bohemian Apothecarist.

As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❤

POTATO LATKES RECIPE

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I grew up with the notion of potato latkes, known as potato pancakes in my hometown area, being classified as fair food. If there was a fair or a carnival in any one of the local towns, there was sure to be potato pancakes there.

When my Mom remarried, after my fathers passing, she married a man who made one mean potato pancake. And I was pretty thrilled to have this fair food become a part of my in-home menu. No complaints from this girl. I could eat them every night 😉

In all fairness, I’ll eat a potato just about any way you prepare it. They are one of the foods which have me hopelessly entwined in their spell.

But, regardless, shredding them, seasoning them, frying them, and serving them with sour cream can’t be beat. Some latke lovers skip the sour cream and go for a side of applesauce instead. I get it. Everybody has their preferences. But for this girl, it’s sour cream ALL THE WAY! You, of course, get to choose for yourself. AND I promise I won’t think less of you if you go for the applesauce. I might even admire your will power in making the healthier choice 😉

I decided to whip up a batch of latkes yesterday as I was craving a little ‘taste of home’, and it occurred to me that all of you may be interested in getting your hands on the best damn latke recipe ever. Which would be the one I use! So … I’m writing this post to give you a fair shot at it ❤


POTATO LATKE RECIPE


4 1/2 c shredded potato

1/2 c grated onion

3 eggs, beaten

1/2 c bread crumbs

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

vegetable oil for frying

sour cream, optional

applesauce, optional

Soak shredded potatoes in water for 10 minutes to remove excess starch. Drain and hand squeeze remove as much water as possible.

In a large mixing bowl combine potato, onion, eggs, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and garlic.

Place a 1/2 inch layer of vegetable oil in a skillet and heat to med-high temperature. I set my electric skillet on 275°

Using a large household tablespoon, scoop heaping portions of potato mixture from the bowl, pressing them up against the side of the bowl as you do in order to drain any excess liquid.

Drop the spoonfuls into the hot oil carefully and then gently flatten them with your spoon. Cook until golden brown. This should take 3-5 minutes per side.

Remove from pan and set on a plate lined with a paper towel. Allow the paper towel to absorb any excess grease.

Serve with a scoop of sour cream on top. You can garnish the sour cream with paprika, fresh oregano, or chopped scallions if you like. Or serve with a side dish of applesauce, if you prefer.


If you try this recipe let me know how it works out for you in the comments! Bonus points if you share your preference on the sour cream vs. the applesauce 😉

And … connect with me on facebook, instagram, and pinterest to stay abreast of any other happenings here at Bohemian Apothecarist.

As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❤

MAKE AN ELDERBERRY SYRUP TO SUPPORT YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM

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Elderberries and I are great friends. My Grandma and I used to pick them at the edge of our property when I was a little girl. Those memories are a bit blurry for me, so I don’t recall what Grandma did with all those berries we picked. But I’m willing to bet she created something very similar to what I’m about to share with you today.

I am a big fan of immunity boosters. Our bodies are under a relentless and consistent attack from toxins that abound in our modern day environment. There are chemicals EVERYWHERE. I try to purge them from my system pretty regularly. I do this in many ways. The two primary ways I utilize are keeping my body and its surrounding environment as chemical-free as possible and taking herbs to enhance liver functioning. The liver cleanses our system of toxins. It’s a hard job, indeed. Poor thing 😦 She can use a little help every now and again!

Providing a little boost to our immune system also assists our bodies in dealing with the onslaught of toxins that come its way.

The elderberry syrup recipe I’m about to share with you is one of my all-time indispensable allies. I have been using it to boost my immune system and combat the cold & flu season for many years now. I prepare a batch of this deliciousness in the beginning of July each year. It brews for about 6 weeks; making it ready for consumption by mid to late August.

I dose myself with this tasty, health enhancing brew 3 times a day until the batch is gone.

And voila! My body is well equipped to repel the cold & flu bugs that try to attach themselves to it throughout the season.

I recently started making another batch of this wondrous brew in late winter. This batch is then ready for early to mid spring. It has proven to be quite an effective home remedy for allergies, as well. So, that’s perfect timing!

All of the ingredients, in this seemingly magical brew, contribute to its efficacy. Each of them carries potent immune boosting properties. Combined they are pretty unstoppable.

Elderberry and ginger are top of the line immune system boosters. And local honey assists the body in fighting off the viruses Mama Nature anticipates to hit the locality it is harvested in. In addition, it is one of the best stand alone herbal cures for allergies that I know. It’s a real superstar 😉

So grab a quart jar Apothecarists …

And let’s get started …

Pour about 1 cup of dried elderberries into your jar.

Add 1/2 cup of sliced ginger root.

Fill the remainder of the jar with plain brandy and shake.

Label the jar with the contents and the date. Either today’s date or the date six weeks from today. I usually write, ‘Brew until ??/??/????’ on my label.

Place the jar in a dark, cool spot. Shake it each day for 6 weeks.

After 6 weeks have passed, strain the mixture using a mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth or organic muslin. You can place the cloth full of herbal material in a ricer, and press as much of the prized herbal nectar out of it as possible if you like.

Mix this herbal brew with local honey. One part brew to one part honey. This will make a nice syrup, with a pleasingly sweet and fruity flavor. Please try to obtain local honey. And be aware that sometimes a label reveals where a food product is packaged, as opposed to where it is produced. You want to be sure it is produced in your area.

If you are absolutely unable to get your hands on local honey, use store bought. After all, ya gotta do what ya gotta do 😉

Take one tablespoon of this fabulously effective brew, 3 times daily until the batch is gone.

If at any point you feel as though you are coming down with a cold or flu, take 1 tablespoon per hour for two or three days.

If you do get a cold or flu, this remedy will not clear it up. BUT, it will greatly reduce the symptoms and shorten the life of the illness.

If you have made an immunity syrup from elderberries before, please tell me a little about it in the comments. Or, if you make this one, let me know how it works out for you. I’d love to hear your input.

And … connect with me on facebook, instagram, and pinterest to stay abreast of any other happenings here at Bohemian Apothecarist.

As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❤

DISCLAIMER: I am not a licensed health professional. You are solely responsible for researching herbs to determine how you choose to use them. If you decide to make them a part of your health care plan, I take no responsibility for the results of that decision.