Tag Archives: cinnamon

I am back… with healthy jelly shots… no, really.

I know, I know, it has been months.  I am sorry for abandoning this blog, and the many other parts of my life which have been sacrificed on the altar of getting the new house up and running.  Well, the latter hasn’t happened either really, as I suspect that is a Labour of Hercules, but here are the highlights of what has been going on in the life of Viridian Herbalist…

really long lists

-Painting in the new house like chairs, front doors and stuff trying to make the house our own.  We actually own the place now, so that is a step forward.

– Keeping on top of laundry and cleaning in a bigger house juggling typically difficult English weather

– Moving my Mum from the wilds of Wiltshire to a flat complex next door but three to the new house, and organising getting her place sorted out as well as ours

– Going to Adoption Panel and being approved as Adoptive parents, and now getting on to the matching process, with yet another new social worker.

– Getting inspiration for a story which is really going well.  I have written over 14,000 words of it so far, and I keep on going.  Although I have always loved creative writing, I don’t think I have ever managed to sustain a story and characters for so long.

– Going on holiday to Canada to stay with my best friend and her family and having a fabulous time

– Coming back to dear old Blighty and getting ourselves over jet lag and back into the swing of life, the universe and everything.


I have, however, now decided that it is time to get back to posting and doing Herbalism studies, before we get matched with our potential children, at which point, all bets are off again until we get into some kind of routine.  Let’s not borrow trouble though.  It is good to be back posting!


So, I did some searching on Pinterest for a really good thing to post about for my return post.  I found a really interesting pin from http://commonsensehome.com/ about making home made immune boosting jelly shots.  Who doesn’t like jelly shots?!  Usually the ones I have had are rather alcoholic and not good to consume in large or small quantities (though they are fun!).  But this is a really simple recipe, and a great idea to boot.  Especially as with the change of season we are moving into a very active period for colds and flu.  Anything that might help increase my immune system and stop the germs getting to me and slowing me down has got to be a good idea.


Obviously you need to think about which herbs help to build up your immune system.  There are lots of suggestions on the website but I am considering making two varieties.  One will be the tasty, fruity and spicy sort, using grapefruit juice, honey, cinnamon and ginger, maybe with a bit of mint added in for its antiviral properties.  That can be the prophylactic if you will, the one to stop the infections if at all possible.  The second sort I will make will be the “shock troops”, the one to be brought out to fight if my body succumbs.  They will have echinacea (from tea most likely), garlic, ginger, maybe sage.  They won’t taste very nice, but hopefully they will do the trick.


These jelly shots are made using plain gelatin, not the commercially bought flavoured gelatin.  The flavours will come from the fruit juice and the herbs.


You need 3 tablespoons of plain powdered gelatin or agar agar for Kosher/Vegan/Vegetarians.

1 cup of cold fruit juice

3 cups of heated fruit juice, heated with the herbs of choice, or 2 cups of fruit juice and 1 cup of hot tea

2 tablespoons of honey


You sprinkle the gelatin over the cold juice in a large bowl and let it stand for 1 minute.  Add in the hot juice and stir until the gelatin dissolves, which could take up to 10 minutes. Stir in the honey if you want to include it.  Pour the mixture into a rectangular dish of choice, but make sure it will be easy to cut into 1 inch cubes.  Refrigerate until firm, which will take about 3 hours and then you can cut them up.


This mix can make up to 9 dozen, but the recipe can be cut in half.  I will probably keep the shots in the fridge, and take one daily to boost the immune system and if I succumb to the bugs, then up the dose to 2 a day.


If you do make these, let me know how you get on with them!



Allergy season is definitely upon us…

I am lucky.  I don’t suffer from hayfever.  But this last couple of weeks, the pollen from the plants have even got up my nose.  I have been sneezing and rubbing strangely itchy eyes.  I understand these are some common symptoms of the dreaded hayfever, along with sore throats and dry coughs.


I wondered if there was anything I could find online to help.  Unfortunately I do not have a magic wand to cure hayfever.  I wish I did.  I know it makes people miserable, and uncomfortable, and I wish I could help you all.  Plus… let’s face it, if I could cure it, I would make millions!


However, I did find an allergy relief syrup which might help.  All the ingredients of this recipe need to be organic, and it should really help with the sore throats and the dry coughs.

honey and lemon

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 teaspoon of grated ginger

1 tablespoon of raw honey (either local to your area, or manuka)

1/2 teaspoon of bee pollen

1 tsp lemon juice


Combine all of the ingredients and warm slightly so the honey is runny.  Once it is all combined, put it in a clean glass jar and take a teaspoon of this twice daily.  The honey will coat the throat and will help to ease the soreness and dry cough, and the ginger and cinnamon will clear the nose and shake up and congestion.  The bee pollen may actually help you to become less sensitive to the pollen particles in your local area.



I hope it works for those of you who suffer.

Today I am on a very long car journey…

In North American terms, it is a bit of trip, but in terms of the UK, I am travelling a long way indeed.  Although North America has a lot more miles, we have a lot more people in one place … so driving here is a lot more difficult that you might think.  I will be travelling over 400 miles in a day, because I am off to fetch my Mum so that she can spend a week up with us in the new house.


I love driving, and I am happy to undertake long journeys, but it got me thinking about natural remedies you can use to make long journeys easier if you are not overwhelmingly thrilled with the thought of them.

cinnamon sticks

There are some pressure bracelets you can get, which use reflexology and acupuncture and pressure points to stop you feeling travel sick.  I know they have been used on ferry journeys to great effect.  There is also ginger and cinnamon which have been proven to help that nausea, and perhaps more surprisingly, diet coke!  I don’t know why that works, but it really does!


The biggest problem for me when I am on a long journey is getting tired.  I like to chose a radio station with some peppy music, maybe get the window open and let some air fly around (though not too much because it does horrible things to the petrol consumption!), but probably the best advice is to stop every 2 hours to walk around before getting back on the road.

mint tea

Incidentally, even though I am a HUGE coffee addict (sorry… I meant fan.  I am a coffee fan!) I would not suggest driving and drinking lots of coffee.  Peppermint tea is probably a better bet.


I hope to able to post on Thursday having safely returned home with our VIP (Very Important Parent!) for her mini-break with us.

How to treat fungal nails…

I have a friend who is plagued by fungal nail infections, and he is at his wits end.  I want to help, so in my research I have come across a couple of things that might be able to help him.


The first tip is to use listerine mouthwash.  Apply the mouthwash onto the nail and watch the infection disappear.  Well, it says Antiseptic on the label, and I can tell you that it works.


The next tip is something I am going to run up for him.  It is a topical ointment.  Take 1 and a quarter cup of extra virgin olive oil, 1-2 ounces of beeswax and a few drops of some antiseptic and antifungal essential oils.  If you melt the wax in a bowl over some boiling water, then add the olive oil and the essential oils at the end of the process.  Pop into a tin and let it cool and harden.  You just need to apply it and hopefully this preparation will work wonders.  I think I will use Lemon, Tea tree and Cinnamon.  It will certainly smell interesting!


Have a great Sunday everyone.

Cinnamon – amazing superfood

 I have to declare an interest here.   I love Cinnamon.  I think I might be slightly addicted to it actually.  I would have cinnamon with everything if I could, and I admit that I am a sucker for any kind of candy or sweets with cinnamon in them.  I was delighted to find a poster on Pinterest declaring that there 20 benefits to the spice.  Yay!!


Cinnamon is a spice derived from the inside bark of several sorts of trees of the Cinnamomum genus.   Cinnamomum verum is also known as “True Cinnamon” but you can also source other kinds of Cinnamon which are known as “Cassia” to differentiate them.  It is a spice with a long history, reaching back at least 4,000 years to Egypt in 2000BC.  It is referenced in the Bible and Hebrew texts and has been regarded as a gift fit for Kings and as offerings to Gods.


Cinnamon is known to lower cholesterol, and also to help manage sugar cravings and reduce blood sugar levels.  It can also protect against heart disease, and there is discussion that it can reduce the proliferation of leukemic and lymphoma cancer cells. 


As it smells so nice, it is obvious that it fights bad breath and it has traditionally been used to help toothache.  It is warming, so it helps chronic coughs, colds and is an aid to clear the sinuses.  Cinnamon can also help to boost brain activity.  I swear that the tissue impregnated with Cinnamon Leaf Oil is the reason I managed to pass my accounting exams!

 cinnamon leaf

Cinnamon is antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, antiparastic, and antiseptic.  It can help against headlice, yeast infections and stomach ulcers.  It is effective for indigestion, nausea, vomiting, upset stomachs, diarrhea and gas.  It is a diuretic and therefore helps secretion and discharge of urine, so it is useful in the treatment of urinary tract infections.  It can also inhibit bacterial growth.


Cinnamon can provide relief from menstrual cramps, it helps reduce pain and inflammation associated with arthritis, and it can also help reduce muscle pain and stiffness.  As cinnamon increases the blood circulation, this is why it helps with the removal of pain.  But it also increases the oxygen supply to the body leading to higher metabolic activity.  The chemical Cinnamaldehyde, present in cinnamon, helps prevent unwanted clumping of blood platelets.

 cinnamon sticks

Cinnamon also helps to boost your immune system.  It has been known to remove regular fatigue.  I know that if I burn cinnamon leaf oil in an aromatherapy burner, I will have more energy than if I burn another sort of oil.  Cinnamon also has anti ageing properties too.  If you make a paste of honey and cinnamon can be used to treat insect bites.  If this wasn’t enough it is also a great source of manganese, fibre, iron and calcium. 


Of course, the best thing is that it makes food taste fabulous.  Try putting ground cinnamon on your beef roast.  It is a taste sensation.  Oh, and another weird quirk is that cinnamon causes hallucinations in cats!  Which explains why my lovely Christmas decorations of sticks of cinnamon wrapped in ribbons always get attacked by my felines! 


Of course, as word of caution needs to be sounded.  Don’t go and eat a lorry load of cinnamon swirls, or 8 pounds of cinnamon balls.  Be moderate, and use cinnamon to for the benefits you require.