Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Herbs for Use in Pregnancy and Labor

What are my favorite herbs to use for pregnancy and labor?

I have been so blessed to discover that our Creator YHVH gave us everything we need for life and healing right in His own creation. I've tried my best for the last nine years to live as natural and chemical free as I know how. In that journey I've discovered that my pregnancies and labors have been much more pleasant when I add certain herbs to my daily routine. So, I thought I'd share with you the herbal supplements that I use and highly recommend.

The first and most important is Red Raspberry leaf. RRL is excellent before, during, and after pregnancy. Here is an excerpt from "The How To Herb Book":

Red Raspberry is used as a basic herbal foundation for all female organs and problems. It is in many female combinations.

  • Strengthens wall of uterus and entire female reproductive system.
  • Decreases profuse menstrual flow.
  • Good during all months of pregnancy. Alleviates morning sickness and nausea. Has been used as a preventative for hemorrhaging during labor. Assists labor, makes delivery easier and relieves after pains. Tones and regulates before, during and after childbirth.
  • Increases and enriches milk for lactation, can be combined with marshmallow tea.
  • Raspberry tea is mild and pleasant to taste. It is good for stomachaches and bowel problems in children. For diarrhea in babies.
  • Soothing to stomach and bowels and cankerous conditions of mucous membranes in the alimentary canal.
  • High mineral and vitamin source.

As you can see RRL is an excellent pregnancy herb. You can drink it in tea form or take it in tincture form. I keep both around. I find that it's easier with my life to just take a tincture. I don't have much time to sit around and sip tea : ) However, you can brew up a whole pot and make a pitcher of iced RRL tea to enjoy. I sell a pregnancy tincture from my herb page called Julie's Pregnancy Support. It has RRL, alfalfa, nettle, and  peppermint. Each have great properties for supporting pregnancy. I take two droppers under the tongue 2-3 times a day.

I also take a nettle tincture twice a day. I have always been prone to UTIs and have gotten horrible kidney infections requiring antibiotics after three of my births. A couple pregnancies ago my naturopathic doctor recommended taking a nettle supplement during my pregnancy. To my amazement, I had no symptoms of a kidney infection at all after the birth. I've taken it every pregnancy since and have not had to go on antibiotics since! Nettle is also very high in vitamin K, also important before, during, and after pregnancy. Nettle is also found on my herb page.

When the last five weeks of my pregnancy arrive I take a tincture that I get at called Childbirth, 5 Weeks Before. It has Red Raspberry Leaf, Blue Cohosh Root, Motherwort, False Unicorn Root, Wild Yam Root, Bayberry Bark, Squaw Vine, and Blessed Thistle to help prepare a woman's body for an easier birth. 

When labor begins I will refresh my self with RRL tea, EmergenC, and water with lemon. I will also take a calcium supplement, that I will make myself out of eggshells, to increase pain tolerance. You can learn how to do that here

During transition when things get really crazy and I just want to give up I'll take a homeopath of Aconite.
Aconite is very useful when overly emotional or distressed. It brings back a sense of well being. 
This will be the first time I will be trying this particular herb. I'll let you know how it goes : )))
When the urge to push comes I will be taking Arnica, also in homeopath form, to avoid swelling of the perineum. I will also take it directly after baby is born to reduce swelling of the perineum.
After baby has nursed I will take a dropperful of Angelica to help release and bring the entire placenta.
After the placenta is looked over to make sure it is complete, I will be given a dropper of Shepherd's Purse to cause the uterus to clamp down and stop the bleeding.
Yahweh forbid, but if hemorrhaging should happen I will take 3 capsules of Cayenne Pepper that we make ourselves with our encapsulater. Cayenne Pepper is known to stop heavy bleeding when taken internally or rubbed on externally.
 I get terrible afterbirth pains, especially while nursing, for about 1-2 weeks after delivery. I will be taking a tincture of Crampbark to help with the pain and make the contractions more productive to shrinking my uterus back to its original size.
These are the herbs that I highly recommend and I hope you will be blessed with the opportunity to use them as well. I challenge you also to study and find out the many things our Creator has given us right in His creation so that you will be blessed and healed!





Monday, August 22, 2011

My New Adventure

I've had a bunch of things run through my mind that I thought, "I should blog about that". Every time I think to sit down and write, something comes up. But I think what it is really is that I'm a bit intimidated about putting my thoughts out here for everyone to read. Can that truly be so? If you know me for very long at all, you figure out really quickly that I lack not in opinion :) SO, why am I avoiding writing until I have something "great" to say? 

Anyways, I thought I might share with you my new adventure.

So, I've decided to cloth diaper this baby and Zion has been my guinea pig the last couple of weeks. I started out with two G Diapers, and two Fuzzibunz diapers. I just figured that would be at least four diapers less a day that I would go through. A few days later, a friend heard that I was braving the cloth diaper thing and gave me her stash to use (she's got 5 blessings 7 and under, therefor there's no room in her life for cloth diapering). Boy can I understand that. I'm just now in at a place in my life that I feel I can even consider CDing.

How has it been going you ask? It's been going much better than I expected, even though I was planning on just doing this no matter. You know, you just have to make up your mind that you're going to do things or you'll let "stuff" get in the way and make excuses. I had to decide the same thing about breastfeeding. I had it in my mind that I was going for it no matter how hard or inconvenient it was. Boy was I glad I did. I could never go back to a bottle.

I did discover, as my husband and I had been dunking and swishing poopy diapers for a week, that I'd really like to have one of those toilet sprayers. So, my husband, the jack of all trades, master of none, made me one using these instructions. It was more expensive than what they said, but so worth it.
It's really not been that big of a deal to change over to CDers. I'm even using cloth wipes, which I thought would be totally disgusting, but it's not. I actually feel like his bottom is way more clean than using disposable wipes AND I'm saving a little more money. 

I was having a little trouble getting the Fuzzibunz diapers to come out smelling clean, but I read more about cleaning CDers at Green Mountain Diapers and voila, my problems are gone.

I throw my dirty diapers and the wet/dry bag I have to stash them in the wash and use every cycle I have plus a soak, washing them with Charlies Soap using cold water. Then I put them through a quick hot wash without soap. I hang some out to dry in the house (I don't have much room) and dry the rest in the dryer. Problem solved!

Cloth diapering is for super moms, I've always thought. I guess that's why I feel such a sense of accomplishment having been doing it now for three whole weeks (big cheesy grin). I don't feel like I'm in the league of super moms yet, but I'm on my way : )))

Z sporting his Fuzzibunz

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Homeschool Plans at Our House

Last year we decided to experiment with a different homeschool approach than I've ever used before. I very much like systematic textbook learning. I'm comfortable teaching with textbooks, but we found ourselves in a position that we could not just purchase whatever my little heart desired. This led me to do some searching the internet and picking my out-of-the-box friends' brains : )

Last year we experimented mostly with Ambleside Online. It was kinda scary stepping out of my comfort zone, but I was pleasantly pleased with the things we learned and the improvements I saw. For one, my children have always been horrible at spelling no matter the program we chose. For a few years we just quit doing it. Last year, using the Charlotte Mason influenced AO, my children's spelling improved greatly. We also got to try some science and history curriculum suggested by Timberdoodle. We absolutely loved it. It made me realize how boring the textbooks and workbooks I had been using in the past were.

So, with that said, we're choosing to do most of the same things again this year. It is extremely cost effective and enjoyable for us all.

I decided to share with you what I plan on doing this year. I'm doing ninth, sixth, fifth, and second grades. I bought planners for each child and have their daily assignments written in each planner. We work in three twelve week terms. Each day the student is to do their assignments and then highlight them. I have time slots assigned for computer work and studies done as a group, such as Hebrew, elementary history and science, etc. I highly recommend Managers of Their Homes by Steve and Teri Maxwell. It has been such a life saver for me for the last nine years. I keep a weekday schedule going, but do not schedule every aspect of our day, only those things that help a family of ten to run smoother and more efficiently throughout the day.

So, here it is by grade:
Ninth Grade
Bible- The weekly Parsha as assigned here, and the Classbook to go along with it.
They will also read the Restoration of Torah commentary for the week.
Memorize at least a 20 verse passage of Scripture, 2 Tehillim (Psalms), and 2 hymns

History- The Story of the Constitution , a freebie given to me by a friend : ), Books on the Salem Witch Trials, read verbatim court cases from the trials, read "Founding Father- Rediscovering George Washington", watch "Liberty! The American Revolution" (a documentary found on Netflix), "Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation", and watch "John Adams" an HBO series.

Geography- Books on the Lewis and Clark expedition and follow their trail on a US map, "Walk Across America" by Peter Jenkins also following along with a map, and play US geography games here.

Citizenship- Charlotte Mason's "Ourselves"

Composition and Current Events-   Re-write 2 new stories a week.

Literature- "The Count of Monte Cristo", "Pride and Predjudice", and ?

Science- We plan on doing Biology, but I cannot afford what I'd like to get right now. We're still praying that Father YHVH provides : ) We have Biology 101that we got from Timberdoodle, but it will not be worth a whole credit. 

Typing- Ten Thumbs

Art- How Great Thou Art

Foreign Language-  Pimslours Hebrew

Music- Memorize 2 hymns, 3 Hebrew songs, and 3 patriotic songs

Health- Shonda Parker's "Mommy Diagnostics"

Life Skills- Small Engine Repair, Cooking and Canning, Making herbal salves and tinctures, and drivers ed
Money Management- "Using Your Money Wisely" by Burkett

Additional Free Reading:
Northanger Abbey
A Tale of Two Cities
The Scarlet Pimpernel
Rob Roy
Horatio Hornblower series

Sixth Grade
Daily: Copywork from current reading, math (Teaching Textbooks 6), oral narration of readings, literature, and Bible
Weekly: art, typing, written narration, dictation, history, science, geography, nature study, Hebrew 3x a week, and poetry

Bible: Same as ninth minus the commentary, 1 Psalm and 1 hymn per term

History- "Mystery of History" (borrowed from a friend)

Geography- Read "The True Story of David Livingstone, Explorer" following along on a map and Shepherd Software's geography games

Nature Study- Keep a journal of nature and read herb books

and read " Relativity" by Clarice Swisher

Foreign Language- Pimsluer's Hebrew and memorize 3 songs in Hebrew

Typing- Ten Thumbs

Poetry- Study Robert Frost,Carl Sandburg, and Longfellow. Memorize 1 poem from each poet

Literature- "Animal Farm", and choose two other books from free reading list

Free Reading List:
Where the Red Fern Grows
Letters From Rifka
Snow Treasure 
Miracles on Maple Hill
Number the Stars
Rob Roy
Jack and Jill

Fifth Grade

Daily: Copywork from current reading, math (Teaching Textbooks 5), oral narration of readings, literature, and Bible
Weekly: art, typing, written narration, dictation, history, science, geography, nature study, Hebrew 3x a week, and poetry

Bible: Same as ninth minus the commentary, 1 Psalm and 1 hymn per term

History- "Mystery of History" (borrowed from a friend)

Geography- Shepherd Software's geography games

Science- Anatomy and Physiology   and read biographies on "Isaac Newton", "Alexander Graham Bell", and "George Washington Carver".

Math- Teaching Textbooks 5 (borrowed from a friend)

Foreign Language- same as other grades
Poetry- Memorize one poem each term. Term 1 Rudyard Kipling, Term 2 Longfellow, Term3 Whittier

Literature- Read "Kim", "Captains Courageous", & "The Prince and the Pauper"

Typing- We're using a program called Ten Thumbs, but there are multiple free ones you can find on the Internet for free

Free Reading- same as sixth grade list

Second Grade

Bible- Read through Mathew and answer the Classbook questions orally. Memorize 10 verses each term plus one hymn
Copywork- Three days a week he will copy part of his verse memorization using Print Handwriting Worksheets. 
Two days a week he'll spend 20-30 minutes copying one of his reading books.

History- Mystery of History and read "Joan of Arc" ~ Diane Stanley

Geography- Shepherd Software geography games and read "Tree in the Trail" and "Seabird" by Holling C. Holling

Science- Apologia's Anatomy and Physiology
For Language and Math he is using Time4Learning. Time 4 Learning has been an excellent and inexpensive way to homeschool on those years I've been overwhelmed. It uses my children's love for computer learning to teach the subjects Pre-school through 8th grade. I used it a couple years ago for two of my children when I had just had my seventh baby. We also used it last year just for math since my children are very visual and Time4Learning fits their learning style to a tee. It is $20 a month for the first student and $15 a month for each additional student. They offer all of your core subjects for this one price. I highly recommend it.

Literature- "Heidi" and The Little House on the Prairie books

This homeschool year, (thanks to endless valuable Internet resources, giving friends, and our own collection over the years) we'll be homeschooling pretty cheaply, but very richly. 

My prayer is that we will, "Do your utmost to present yourself approved to Elohim, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly handling the Word of Truth." 2 Timothy 2:15, and that we will become more like Messiah Yeshua this year. 

May you be blessed this school year with the shalom that surpasses all understanding that can only be found in Yeshua ha Moshiach!







Saturday, August 6, 2011

Sabbath at Our Home

Exo 31:13  “And you, speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, saying, ‘My Sabbaths you are to guard, by all means, for it is a sign1 between Me and you throughout your generations, to know that I, יהוה, am setting you apart. 

Our Sabbath has been a real delight that we guard so that nothing gets in the way of our day to rest and commune with our Creator. We made Barbecue Chicken Breasts, Mashed Potatoes, Salad, and Poppy Seed Challah for our erev Shabbat dinner. We also made some yummy Pumpkin-Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies for dessert. 

Bethany and Dylan went to a homeschool co op Bible study and got to say good-bye to some friends who are going off to college. They learned about praise and played volley ball. 

While they were gone, us and our younger children worshiped with Monte Judah via the Internet. The little ones joined in a circle and danced before YHVH. It's such a joy to watch them enjoy the Sabbath.

Today we joined my MOPS group at the Underwater Bridge for some fun and fellowship. It was a good time to be had by all. 

Next week, when Friday evening comes a calling, why don't you try taking the Creator's permission to spend a whole 24 hours in His rest. I think you'll find that He'll bring a refreshment to your soul, too.

Shabbat shalom from the Nitz Tribe : )

Joel, Brice, and Asher

Analise, Joel, and Brice

Dancing the hora



Dylan and Josiah Speck

This is a rarity for Analise. She's usually so serious.

Zion holding on to Mommy's hand.


Zion standing, but not walking yet.

Baby Z is too cute!
Bethany hanging out in the sun : )

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Do You Know What Love Is?

Check out my article in this month's Feelin' Feminine E-zine.

Julie's Herbal Tinctures and Salves

Julie's Tinctures and Salves
  ImLife Tincture

Julie's Black Salve 2 oz. tin $6 or 4 oz. tin $11

Contains: Arnica, Comfrey, Activated Charcoal, Cayenne Pepper, Olive Oil, Bees Wax, Grape Fruit Seed Extract, and Tea Tree Oil

Uses: Reduces bruising and swelling, soothes pain, draws out toxins into itself, and promotes quick healing. Generously apply to bruises, bumps, sprains, rashes, fungal infections, and for general pain and discomfort of injuries.

Julie's Green Salve  2 oz. tin $6 or 4oz. tin $11

Contains: Plantain Leaf, Calendula Flower, Comfrey Leaf, Yarrow Flower, Rosemary Leaf, Echinacea Root, Echinacea Leaf, Olive Oil, Bees Wax, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Vitamin E, and Spearmint Oil

Uses: This is a great salve to have around for use on everything. Each herb has benefits that come together to help heal skin, knit bone, clear rashes, fight infection, pull out poison, and much more. You can rub it on wounds or put some on problem areas, then wrap it, and let the salve work.

Julie's Comfrey Salve  2 oz. tin $6 or 4oz. tin $11

Contains: Comfrey Leaf, Olive Oil, Bees Wax, Vitamin E oil
Uses: Comfrey is high in calcium and vitamin C. It has a strong history of being used as an external application by itself or in poultices for the mending of wounds and broken bones. It is a contact healer, relieving pain and immediately helping to grow new flesh and bone. The Latin name itself translates "knitting together."

Julie's Immunoboost Tincture (alcohol based)   2oz. $12  4oz. $20

Contains: Olive leaf, Burdock root, Echinacea root, Pau D'Arco bark, Dandelion root, Nettle leaf, Red Clover tops, Cat's Claw bark, Butcher's Broom root, and honey
Uses:Immunoboost is a combination of nine different herbs containing natural antibiotic properties to help boost the immune system and fight infections.

Not for pregnant mommies.

Julie's Pregnancy Support Tincture (Alcohol based) 2oz. $12  4oz. $20

Contains: Red raspberry, alfalfa, nettle, peppermint
Red Raspberry leaf has a medically proven and trusted track record in helping strengthen the womb of a pregnant woman, and it is also reported to be effective in restoring the womb after delivering.I mixed in some Alfalfa so I could double the nutritional. Nettle has a plethora of healing and supportive properties. Peppermint was added for flavor and to aid digestion.

Julie's Goodnight Tincture (alcohol  based) 2 oz. $12  4oz. $20

Contains: Lemon balm, catnip, chamomile flower, passionflower, oatstraw, hops

Uses: Goodnight Tincture is a combination of herbs that are both good for you and calming. These herbs have no negative effect on children, no addicting properties, and no side effects .Adults and children can quickly regain their calm and feel noticeably better only minutes after taking this tincture. Passionflower is one of the best herbs for chronic insomnia, having no addictive effects and allowing you to awake refreshed and alert in the morning. It has been used as a mild sedative and to treat pain and imbalances of the nervous system. Besides being an excellent herbal sedative, passionflower relieves smooth
muscle spasms.

Julie's Sleep Tight (alcohol tincture) 2oz. $14  4oz. $22

Contains: Lemon balm, catnip, chamomile flower, passionflower, oatstraw, hops, and valerian root

For those of you who need something a little stronger than Goodnight. Sleep Tight has valerian root added whicht targets the higher brain centers, suppressing and regulating the autonomic nervous system. Consequently, valerian is very effective in dispelling psychosomatic diseases which result from a glitch in the regulation of the autonomic nervous system. Valerian pacifies the fear of hypochondriacs, soothes the nervous and calms the hysterical.

*Not for use in children*

Julie's White Willow Bark Tincture (alcohol based) 2oz. $10  4oz. $18

White willow bark is known for relieving pain. It has also been used for fevers, rheumatism, inflammation and more.

White Willow’s main substance is salicin. White willow bark is what aspirin was made of in the early days of medicine. The great thing about taking White Willow is that it will not thin the blood or irritate the stomach like aspirin. You can take it internally or rub it on externally.
White willow bark is not considered safe for use by pregnant women.

Julie's Nettle Tincture (alcohol based) 2 oz. $10  4oz. $18

Uses: Contains bitter compounds that increase the flow of urine, are antiseptic, and relieve pains. It also contains astringent compounds that shrink inflamed tissues and stop bleeding. Nettle has been used to treat urinary tract infections, respiratory tract infections, inflammatory skin conditions, diarrhea, and asthma.
Julie's Ginseng Tincture (alcohol based) 2oz. $10  4oz. $18
Ginseng will give you a boost of energy and vitality. It has been known to treat hormonal imbalances. It is also an immune stimulant. Take ginseng daily to really reap the full benefits. 

Julie's St. John's Wort (alcohol based) 2 oz. $10  4oz. $18

Indicated Usages - Internal: alcohol withdrawal, bruises and muscle pain,post-partum pain and depression,Neuropathy / Bell's Palsy, Parkinson's- BET- RLS, smoking cessation, uterine/menstrual pain, bed wetting, depression/anxiety, herpes, urinary deficiency, HIV, spinal pain/injury
External: Bruises, burns, sunburn, cuts, abrasions, back pain, swollen glands

Julie's Elderberry Tincture (alcohol based) 2oz. $15  4oz. $28

Elderberries are tasty flu fighters. They contain compounds that inhibit the enzyme flu viruses from penetrating our cell membranes and also prevent the virus from invading respiratory tract cells. Taken early enough, as a tea or tincture, you may be able to head off an upcoming illness before it becomes a full-blown flu. They are especially good for bronchitis, colds, coughing, and influenza. Also contains substances that ease inflammation and pain and soothe the intestines, thus making them useful in all inflammatory bowel diseases. It is known to have a gentle laxative action, and their mild tonic action helps to arrest diarrhea. 

Julie's Bentonite Clay Capsules (kosher) 30 capsules $10

  • The internal use of Bentonite clay is an excellent and simple way to do an effective cleanse. Among other benefits, it can reduce body odor, skin blemishes, and digestive track issues of all sorts.
  • The clay can be stirred into water, juice or any other beverage of your choice. It can also be sprinkled on foods or encapsulated.
  • We keep it on hand, among other items, to use internally and externally in case of snake bites or any other kind of poisoning.
  • Bentonite clay can be used to benefit anyone: men, women (including before, during or after pregnancy, and nursing), children, and animals.
  • It can be used as often as you would like, and in any way you choose. Just remember to consume LOTS of water while using it internally.

Cayenne Pepper Capsules (kosher) 30 capsules $15

  One of the most effective stimulants, cayenne targets the digestive and the circulatory system primarily. Cayenne regulates blood pressure, strengthens the pulse, feeds the heart, lowers cholesterol, thins the blood, cleanses the circulatory system, heals ulcers, stops hemorrhaging, speeds healing of wounds, rebuilds damaged tissue, eases congestion, aids digestions, regulates elimination, relieves arthritis and rheumatism, prevents the spread of infection and numbs pain.

Spirulina Capsules (organic & kosher) 30 capsules $18

 Spirulina is an all natural food source that is made up of a highly nutritious micro salt water plant that is more than 60% proteins and amino acids.
• Is a strong Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
• Is a naturally occurring rich vegetable protein.
• Protects the cells, organs, and body tissues from oxidative stress.
• Stimulates the vitality of cells, in particular red corpuscles to insure proper oxygenation of muscle cells.
• Is rich in proteins (18 amino acids), vitamins (E, B1, B2, B3, B12, and ET P), essential fatty acids, minerals, polysaccharides, and trace elements.
• Supports the immune system and joint health.
• Protects and detoxifies the liver-kidney system.
• Supports a healthy inflammatory response and neurological health.

Julie's Mama's Milk Tincture (alcohol based) 2oz. $12  4oz. $20

Contains Natural Caffeine Free: Red raspberry leaf, fennel seed, nettle leaf, fenugreek seed, dandelion leaf, blessed thistle

Mama's Milk Tincture helps you nursing mamas increase your milk supply and the nutritional value of your milk.

Prices do not include shipping.

Contact Julie at