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The Easiest Way To Carve A Turkey-Carving a turkey for beginners (you can do it!)

Put down that electric knife! We understand that it’s fun and it’s just about the only chance for urban dwellers to get their annual lumberjack on, but it also kind of…well, mangles turkey. You can do this with nothing more than a large, sharp knife, a big ‘ol fork and a thoroughly cooked and rested turkey. Seriously, trying to carve a turkey that isn’t finished is an ugly thing to behold. Cook it just right, rest it for at least 30 minutes (or the juices will run right out and you’ll have the kind of dry turkey everyone complains about), then follow these easy steps.

 

  • Using the tip of a sharp knife, poke around the area between the leg and the thigh until you find the socket, or the “sweet spot.” Pull the leg away from the body with one hand and cut it away from the rest of the body.
  • Repeat on the other side, then separate the thigh from the leg and the wings from the body using the same “locate the joint” technique.

Now, for the white meat.

  • Using downward-slanting slices, carve the breast away from the body in even slices, holding the body down with a large fork. The slices will start small and gradually get bigger. Repeat on the other side.
  • Overlap the layers of white meat on the serving tray to help keep them moist – remember, moisture evaporates.

Sound easy? That’s because it is. Don’t fear the turkey.

http://www.foodrepublic.com/2011/11/23/easiest-way-carve-turkey

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DIY Easy Bake Oven Recipes

Almost every girl born since 1963 has had one of her earliest cooking experiences with an Easy-Bake Oven. What little girl (who is about 40-50 now) didn’t like having one? Most of our moms were working and didn’t really have the time to let us get our aprons dirty in the kitchen, making our own little cakes and brownies and icings. And so, Kenner came up with a great “toy” to keep us little gals busy in the kitchen with minimal mess and minimal supervision. It was one of the rare toys that actually accomplished something.

 

 

Here is the original Easy bake oven and a little history.

The Easy-Bake Oven is a working toy oven introduced by Kenner in 1963, and currently manufactured by Hasbro. The original toy used an ordinary incandescent light bulb as a heat source; current versions use a true heating element. By 1997, more than 16 million Easy-Bake Ovens (in 11 models) had been sold.

The oven comes with packets of cake mix and small round pans. (Additional mixes can be purchased separately.) After water is added to the mix in the pan, it is pushed into the oven through a slot. After cooking, the cake is pushed out through a slot in the other end.

The Easy-Bake Oven was introduced in 1963 by Kenner Products, a CincinnatiOhio based toy company. The original Kenner Easy-Bake Oven was heated by two 100 watt incandescent lightbulbs, came in a pale yellow or turquoise, and was designed to resemble a conventional oven. The design changed many times over the years. A more recent model resembles a microwave oven.

The Easy-Bake Oven was invented by Ronald Howes, a prolific toy inventor known for working with Kenner Products. He said he was inspired to make the oven after hearing Kenner salesman report how chestnuts were roasted by street vendors in New York City. In addition to his creation of the Easy-Bake Oven, Howes also was involved in the creation of or refinement to a number of other Kenner Toy products, including Spirograph, Give-a-Show Projector, and Close-and-Play Record Player. Howes died on February 16, 2010 at the age of 83.

 

 

Kenner became a division of Hasbro, and Hasbro continued to produce the oven. The Easy-Bake Oven and Snack Center was introduced in 1993.

In 2002, a version for boys was introduced, the “Queasy Bake Cookerator”.

A decade after the Easy-Bake Oven and Snack Center was introduced, the Real Meal Oven was released. This oven was different from the others as it could cook bigger portions and could cook two with two pans at the same time. It won the 2003 Best Toy Parenting magazine Toy of the Year Award. The neutral colors were more accepted across genders. The pans were bigger, and it could bake both desserts and meals. Also, this model featured a heating element and did not require a light bulb.

In 2006, a different version of the Easy-Bake was released, featuring a stove-top warmer, and a heating element. Like the first version by Hasbro, it had smaller pans and only could bake one pan at a time.

The new front-loading Hasbro design, a substantial departure from the traditional push-through arrangement, was apparently ill-conceived, as all (approx. 985,000) such units were recalled over safety concerns and reported injuries.

The oven was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2006.

In 2011, the last version which used a 100 Watt incandescent light bulb was replaced by a new version with a dedicated heating element. The replacement was due to a greener lighting policy by the US Federal Government, which would eliminate incandescent light bulbs that put out sufficient heat to bake goods inside the Easy-Bake Oven. This rendered all models that used a light bulb as the heating element obsolete, without being able to replace the part once the existing bulbs burned out. However some critics of the redesign have indicated that halogen light bulbs put out sufficient heat to replace incandescent bulbs. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easy-Bake_Oven

I never had an Easy Bake oven but my friends did as well as my little sister. I was too busy with Barbie dolls, their houses and Hot Wheels cars/tracks. I think i got more fun out of the Hot Wheels garage then my brothers did. And lets not forget Gumby! He and Pokey were my favorites since I could remember.

 

I used to go down the street to my friend’s house and play with her and her easy bake oven. I was amazed at the cakes that came out of that little thing. We used to ice up little layer cakes and have a tea party so we could devour our creations. My mom could tell who I was playing with when I came home because of the chocolate on the corners of my mouth.

Easy Bake ovens are a lot of fun. Both my daughters had one, but every time I had to go buy refills it made me cringe. The prices of those little packets are costly. To try to cut down on the expense, I used to buy boxes of cake mix and experiment with how much water to use etc until I had it perfected enough for the kids to use with success. Then along came the internet.

Over the years I have posted some of these recipes on my email list and folks love them. Easy Bake Ingredients on the Cheap! (I did not invent all of these recipes.) Here are some to get you started. I hope you and the kids enjoy:

~Children’s Chocolate Cake Mix

1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable shortening

In a medium bowl, combine sugar, cocoa powder, flour, baking soda and salt. Stir with a wire whisk until blended. With a pastry blender, cut in shortening until evenly distributed and mixture resembles corn meal. Spoon about 1/3 cup of the mixture into each of 11 small containers with tight-fitting lids or ziplock bags. Seal containers. Label with date and contents. Store in a cool dry place. Use within 12 weeks. Makes 11 packages of Children’s Chocolate Cake Mix for Easy Bake style oven.

To Use:
1 package cake mix
4 tsp. water.

Mix together and stir with a fork or spoon until blended and smooth. Pour mixture into greased and floured 4 inch round miniature baking pan. Follow directions for child’s oven, or bake in mom’s preheated 375* oven for 12 to 13 minutes. Remove from oven and cool in pan on a rack for 5 minutes. Invert onto a small plate and remove pan. When cool, frost with Children’s Chocolate Frosting. Serves 2 children.

~Children’s Chocolate Frosting

2 cups icing sugar — sifted
3 tablespoons instant nonfat milk powder
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
6 tablespoons vegetable shortening

In a medium bowl, combine icing sugar, milk powder and cocoa powder. (Sift cocoa if lumpy.) With a pastry blender, cut in he shortening. Spoon about 1/3 cup of mixture into each of 9 small containers or ziplock bags and seal tightly. Label with date and contents. Store in a cool dry place. Use within 12 weeks. Makes 9 packages of Children’s Chocolate Frosting.

To Use:
1 pkg. Children’s Chocolate Frosting mix
3/4 tsp. water In a small bowl, combine frosting mix and water. Stir with a spoon until smooth. Makes about 1/4 cup.

~Children’s Cookie Mix

1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup brown sugar — packed
1/2 cup vegetable shortening

In a medium bowl, combine oats, flour, baking soda and brown sugar. Stir to blend. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender until mixture resembles corn meal. Spoon about 1/2 cup mixture into each of 8 small containers or ziplock bags. Seal bags tightly. Label with date and contents. Store in a cool dry place. Use within 12 weeks. Makes 8 packages of Children’s Cookie Mix. Each package makes 9 cookies.

To Use: Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 package Children’s Cookie Mix
2 teaspoons water
1 tablespoon raisins
1 tablespoon mini semi sweet chocolate chips sugar

Preheat mom’s oven to 350*, or follow directions for Easy Bake oven for baking cookies.

In a small bowl, combine cookie mix, water, raisins and chocolate chips. Stir with a spoon until mixture holds together in one big ball. Shape one teaspoon of dough at a time into a ball. Arrange on an ungreased cookie sheet. Butter bottom of a small drinking glass. Dip buttered glass bottom in sugar. Flatten each ball by pressing with sugar-coated glass. Bake
10 to 12 minutes in mom’s oven or as directed in Easy Bake oven. Remove from oven. Cool on a rack. Each package of mix makes about 9 cookies.

~Children’s Lemon or White Cake Mix for Children’s Oven

1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon-flavored unsweetened drink powder — like Kool-Aid
1/3 cup vegetable shortening

In a medium bowl, combine sugar, flour, baking soda, salt and drink powder. Stir with a wire whisk until blended. With a pastry blender, cut in shortening until evenly distributed and mixture resembles corn meal. Spoon about 1/3 cup mixture into each of 10 small containers or ziplock bags. Seal bags tightly. Label with date and contents. Store in a cool dry place. Use within 12 weeks. Makes 10 packages Children’s Lemon Cake Mix.

To Use:
1 pkg. Children’s Lemon Cake Mix
4 teaspoons water


Preheat mom’s oven to 375*. If using an Easy Bake oven, follow directions for baking cakes.

Grease and flour a 4 inch miniature cake pan. In a small bowl, combine cake mix and water. Stir with a fork or spoon until blended and smooth. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Bake 12 to 13 minutes in mom’s oven or as directed in play oven. Remove from oven. Cool in pan on rack for
5 minutes. Invert cake onto a small plate. Remove pan. When cool, frost with Children’s White Frosting if desired. Serves 2 children.

NOTES: Any flavor of Kool-Aid powder can be used for a wide variety of flavors. For a white cake mix, omit the powder. If you like, a drop or two of vanilla may be added at the time the cake is prepared.

Children’s White Frosting Mix

2 cups icing sugar — sifted
3 tablespoons instant nonfat milk powder
6 tablespoons vegetable shortening


In a medium bowl, combine icing sugar and milk powder. Stir with a wire whisk to blend. With a pastry blender, cut in shortening. Spoon about
1/3 cup mixture into each of 8 small containers or ziplock bags. Seal bags tightly. Label with date and contents. Store in a cool dry place. Use within 12 weeks. Makes 8 packages of Children’s White Frosting Mix.

To Use:
1 pkg. Children’s White Frosting mix 3/4 teaspoon water

In a small bowl, combine mix and water. Stir well with a spoon until smooth and creamy. Makes about 1/4 cup frosting. A drop or two of vanilla may be added if desired.

~Children’s Lemon Cake Mix:

1 c. sugar,
1 1/2 c. flour,
1t. baking soda,
1/2t. salt, 1t. lemon Kool-Aid,
1/3 c. vegetable shortening. Combine dry ingredients. Cut in shortening. Spoon 1/4 mixture into about 12 sandwich bags. I then put all the little bags into a freezer bag. Zip it up and store it on the shelf in the pantry. It will keep for about 6 months.

To have your little one make a cake: Mix 1 package of mix with 1 tablespoon of water. Stir well until smooth. Bake in greased pan in easy bake oven until slightly brown.

Child’s Chocolate Cake Mix All ingredients are the same except replace the 1t. lemon Kool-Aid with 3 Tablespoons of baking cocoa (the unsweetened kind)

~Easy Bake Oven Biscuits

1/4  cup  Bisquick
4 teaspoons  milk

Combine Bisquick and milk with a fork. Drop by half-teaspoonfuls onto a well-greased pan.

Bake 10 minutes. Yield:   8 biscuits


~Easy Bake Brownies – 6 pieces

2 1/2 tb Sugar
1 ts Oil
1/8 ts Vanilla extract
4 ts Chocolate syrup
2 tb Plus
1 ts Flour

Sir together sugar, oil, vanilla, chocolate and flour until the batter is smooth and chocolate-colored. Pour batter into greased and floured pan. Bake 15 minutes. When cool, cut them into wedges or little squares. Makes 6 wedges or 1/2 inch squares.

~Easy Bake Cookie Mix

1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup brown sugar — packed
1/2 cup vegetable shortening

In a medium bowl, combine oats, flour, baking soda and brown sugar. Stir to blend. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender until mixture resembles corn meal. Spoon about 1/2 cup mixture into each of 8 small containers or ziplock  bags. Seal bags tightly. Label with date and contents. Store in a cool dry place. Use within 12 weeks. Makes 8 packages of Cookie Mix. Each package makes 9 cookies.

To Use:

Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 package Children’s Cookie Mix
2 teaspoons water
1 tablespoon raisins
1 tablespoon mini semi sweet chocolate chips sugar

Preheat mom’s oven to 350*, or follow directions for Easy Bake oven for baking cookies.

In a small bowl, combine cookie mix, water, raisins and chocolate chips. Stir with a spoon until mixture holds together in one big ball. Shape one teaspoon of dough at a time into a ball. Arrange on an ungreased cookie sheet. Butter bottom of a small drinking glass. Dip buttered glass bottom in sugar. Flatten each ball by pressing with sugarcoated glass. Bake 10 to 12 minutes in mom’s oven or as directed in Easy Bake oven. Remove from oven. Cool on a rack. Each package of mix makes about 9 cookies. Thumbprint Cookie Mix

1 tablespoon Powdered Sugar
2 tablespoons Margarine
1/4  teaspoon Vanilla
1/2  teaspoon Water
1/4  cup Flour Your favorite jelly

Stir together powdered sugar, margarine, vanilla, water and flour until the flour disappears. Roll the dough between your fingers and make 12 small balls, 1/2 inch each. Place a few balls at a time on an ungreased sheet or pan with space between them. Press your thumb into the middle of each ball to make a thumb print. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, then remove. Repeat until all the cookies are baked. When the cookies are cool, fill each thumb print with jelly. Makes 12 cookies.

~Barbie’s Pretty Pink Cake

5  tablespoons Flour
1/4  teaspoon Baking Powder
1/8  teaspoon Salt
5      teaspoons Red Sugar Crystals
1/4  teaspoon Vanilla
4      teaspoons Vegetable Oil
8      teaspoons Milk

Stir together cake flour, baking powder, salt, red sugar, vanilla, oil and milk until the batter is smooth and pink. Pour 3 Tbsp. of batter into greased and floured cake pan. Bake 15 mins. Repeat for  second layer. Makes 2 layers. Barbie’s Sparkling Frosting

4 teaspoons Vegetable Shortening
2/3  cup Powdered Sugar
1/4  teaspoon Vanilla
2  teaspoons  Milk Colored sugar crystals for decoration

In a small bowl, mix together shortening, powdered sugar, vanilla and milk until smooth and creamy.  Spread 2 tsp. of frosting on top of
1st layer.  Add 2nd layer and continue frosting. Sprinkle with colored crystal  sugars.

Frosts a 2 layer cake.

 ~Crazy Cake

4 1/2 t flour
3 t sugar
1/4 t cocoa
1 dash salt
1/8 t baking soda
1 1/2 t salad oil
1/8 t vanilla
1/8 t vinegar
1 T water

Pour water over all ingredients and mix well with fork, but do not beat. Bake in oven about 10 minutes.

And if you are even more adventurous, try letting your children make you breakfast in their Easy Bake:

Line the little cake tin with tinfoil and put in a little melted butter.

 

Crack in an egg, add a touch of salt and cook till done.

 

You can cook Bagel Bites, Taco Bites and quartered mini pizzas as well. Try it out and Bon appetite!

 

 

 

How to grow vegetables all winter long

Defy winter and grow your vegetables year-round, even after the first frost.

For most gardeners, winter means staring out the window, making plans for spring and pining for better weather. “This is the season of lists and callow hopefulness,” Katharine White wrote in her 1979 seminal work, Onward and Upward in the Garden. “Hundreds of thousands of bewitched readers are poring over their catalogues, making lists for their seed and plant orders, and dreaming their dreams.”

Although the growing season in Atlantic Canada is short, with about 130 frost-free days, an increasing number of gardeners are using inexpensive and innovative methods to extend the growing and harvesting season through the coldest months of the year.

“I pulled carrots from the ground in late November and early December last year,” says Niki Jabbour, a Halifax-based garden writer whose first book, The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener, comes out in mid-December.

Off-season gardening is “ridiculously easy,” Jabbour says. “There are so many different crops you can grow. I just think people don’t know they can do it because they think it’s too cold. But it’s not the cold—it’s the amount of light we receive.”

Plants will stop growing when there are fewer than 10 hours of daylight available, Jabbour explains. She says the key to success is knowing what to plant at what time of year and selecting cool-season vegetables like lettuce for fall planting.

“If you plant lettuce in late August when it’s hot, it’s not going to germinate for you,” she says. “So you have to plant at the right time, grow at the right time and eat at the right time.” You also need some form of cover to protect against frost and wind.”

Many gardeners use fabric row covers made of spun polyester to extend the growing season by a month in either direction. You can also use bell-shaped cloches to cover and protect individual plants. These are available at garden centres or you can make your own at home from old milk jugs.

Cold frames, or bottomless boxes with clear tops, are popular season extenders. You can build these from wood, brick or straw bales, covered with old windows or greenhouse plastic. Another option is a hoop house or mini-tunnel, consisting of plastic or metal conduit bent around a raised bed to create a hoop. The whole structure is covered with plastic sheeting, allowing light to reach the plants but protecting them from frost, snow and wind.

Layout 1

 

(To construct a hoop house, start by building a raised bed from new or recycled materials. Metal rods from an old bed frame can be used as angle irons in the corners of the box. Form hoops by bending 1/2-inch (1.3-cm) PVC pipe across the raised bed. Space the hoops one metre apart and place a metal strap across the top to stabilize the hoops. Fill the box with compost and plant cool-weather veggies. Cover hoops with plastic to protect seedlings from frost.)

A self-described lazy gardener, Jabbour appreciates that cold-season gardening involves less maintenance than warm-season gardening. “In the middle of winter, there are no bugs, there are no slugs,” she says. “And because the plants are covered in a cold frame or mini-hoop tunnel, there are no deer. All I do is harvest in the winter.”

Certain vegetables—like carrots, parsnips, leeks and kale—are even sweeter in winter because their starches turn to sugar as a natural form of anti-freeze. “It makes them taste better,” says Jabbour. “I don’t even pick carrots until we get a couple of frosts.”

By pushing the gardening season later into the year, she was able to discover vegetables she had never heard of before, such as mâche (a small, nutty green common in Europe), claytonia (miner’s lettuce), tatsoi and mizuna (the latter two, Japanese greens). Jabbour says being open to new tastes, textures and flavours, and trying something new each year, have been highlights of year-round gardening.

A few hours away in Darlington, Prince Edward Island, Amy Smith and Verena Varga operate Heartbeet Organics. They tried cold-season gardening for the first time last year after buying a house that came with two large greenhouses.

“Last winter was intense in P.E.I.,” Varga recalls. “Sometimes the snow went halfway up the outside of the greenhouse.” Despite the weather, Smith and Varga managed to be among the few purveyors offering fresh spinach and salad greens in mid-winter at the Charlottetown Farmers’ Market.

Although their greenhouses were equipped with propane heaters, they wanted to try growing without heat. Smith planned on testing some of the techniques she had read about in books, especially those by Maine-based gardener and writer, Eliot Coleman.

“We had no idea what would happen,” she says. “We were really experimenting.” The pair had good success with mustard greens, spinach and bok choy, but had trouble growing mâche.

“We heard it was a great late fall or winter crop,” Smith says. “But it was a major disappointment. It germinated and then went dormant. We expected it to be the best crop but it was the worst.”

Trial and error is part of the game, Smith says. She kept detailed records of the crops they planted and carefully tracked the amount of daylight throughout the fall and winter to mark when they had crossed the 10-hour threshold.

“The biggest challenge was getting the snow off the greenhouses,” says Varga. “But being inside was almost therapeutic because it was so warm and humid in the middle of winter.”

One big thrill came on New Year’s Eve, when the couple had family visiting. “We were making a New Year’s feast and we went out to the greenhouse and cut some baby bok choy and made a salad out of it,” Varga says. “The joy we got from being able to run out and snip some greens and have a salad in winter was just awesome.”

What to plant (Courtesy Alison Lynes, Halifax Seed)

Plants that can overwinter for early spring harvest:

  • alliacea (garlic, leeks, onions)
  • herbs (thyme, oregano, sage, chives)
  • root vegetables (turnips, carrots, parsnips)
  • greens (spinach, kale)

Plants for late-fall/winter harvest:

  • brassicas (broccoli, rapini, Brussels sprouts, cabbages, kohl rabi)
  • root vegetables (turnips, rutabaga, carrots, beets, radishes, parsnips, Jerusalem artichokes)
  • greens (kale, bok choy, collards, swiss chard, spinach, arugula)

Growing tips

  • Pick varieties that grow to maturity in short time periods.
  • Water less in the late fall to prevent freeze/thaw cycles from splitting vegetables.
  • Plant greens, lettuces and herbs every few weeks to ensure continuous harvest throughout the season, including late into fall.

http://eastcoastliving.ca/2011/11/gardening-winter11/

Crock Pot Baked Potatoes

Today I am sharing a secret with all of you that I just recently discovered.  I wish I had learned about this a long time ago, or at least at the beginning of the summer.  So here is the secret – you can make baked potatoes in a crock pot!  I know, isn’t that cool.  It is so simple to do.

http://realmomkitchen.com/7995/crock-pot-baked-potatoes/

Burdock and its uses

Overview:

Burdock has been used for centuries to treat a host of ailments. It has been traditionally used as a “blood purifier” to clear the bloodstream of toxins, as a diuretic (helping rid the body of excess water by increasing urine output), and as a topical remedy for skin problems such as eczema, acne, and psoriasis. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, burdock is often used with other herbs for sore throat and colds. Extracts of burdock root are found in a variety of herbal preparations, as well as homeopathic remedies.

In Japan and some parts of Europe, burdock is eaten as vegetable. Burdock contains inulin, a natural dietary fiber, and has also been used traditionally to improve digestion. In fact, recent studies confirm that burdock has prebiotic properties that could improve health.

Despite the fact that burdock has been used for centuries to treat a variety of conditions, very few scientific studies have examined burdock’s effects.

burdock flowers

 

Plant Description:

Burdock is native to Europe and Northern Asia and is now widespread throughout the United States as well, where it grows as a weed. In Japan and parts of Europe, it is cultivated as a vegetable. A member of the daisy family, burdock is a stout, common weed with burrs that stick to clothing or animal fur. The plant grows to a height of about 3 – 4 feet. It has purple flowers that bloom between the months of June and October. Burdock has wavy, heart shaped leaves that are green on the top and whitish on the bottom. The deep roots, which are used medicinally, are brownish green, or nearly black on the outside.

What’s It Made Of?:

Burdock consists primarily of carbohydrates, volatile oils, plant sterols, tannins, and fatty oils. Researchers aren’t sure which active ingredients in burdock root are responsible for its healing properties, but the herb may have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial effects. In fact, recent studies show that burdock contains phenolic acids, quercetin and luteolin — all powerful antioxidants.

Available Forms:

Burdock products consist of fresh or dried roots. Burdock supplements can be purchased as dried root powder, decoctions (liquid made by boiling down the herb in water), tinctures (a solution of the herb in alcohol, or water and alcohol), or fluid extracts.

images

 

How to Take It:

Pediatric

There are no known scientific reports on the pediatric use of burdock, so burdock should only be given to children under the supervision of a doctor.

Adult

  • Capsules: 1 – 2 g 3 times per day
  • Dried root: steep 2 – 6 grams in 150 mL (2/3 of a cup) in boiling water for 10 – 15 minutes and then strain and drink 3 times a day; may soak a cloth in the liquid and, once cooled, wrap the cloth around affected skin area or wound (known as a poultice). Do not use on open wounds.
  • Tincture (1:5): 30 – 60 drops, once daily. Typically, burdock is combined in tincture form with other herbs. The tincture may also be applied to a cloth and wrapped around affected skin area or wound.
  • Fluid extract (1:1): 30 – 60 drops, 2 times a day
  • Tea: 2 – 6 grams steeped in 500 mL water (about 2 cups), 3 times per day

Topical preparations of burdock are also used for skin problems (such as eczema) and wounds.

Precautions:

The use of herbs is a time honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. Herbs, however, can trigger side effects and can interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, you should take herbs with care, under the supervision of a health care provider.

Pregnant or nursing women should avoid burdock as it may cause damage to the fetus.

If you are sensitive to daises, chrysanthemums, or ragweed, you may also experience an allergic reaction to burdock.

People who are dehydrated should not take burdock because the herb’s diuretic effects may make dehydration worse.

It is best to avoid taking large amounts of burdock as a supplement because there are so few studies on the herb’s safety. However, burdock eaten as a food is considered safe.

Because the roots of burdock closely resemble those of belladonna or deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna), there is a risk that burdock preparations may be contaminated with these potentially dangerous herbs. Be sure to buy products from established companies with good reputations. Do not gather burdock in the wild.

Possible Interactions:

There are no known scientific reports of interactions between burdock and conventional medications. However, you should talk to your doctor before taking burdock if you take any of the following:

Diuretics (water pills) — Burdock could make the effect of these drugs stronger, causing you to become dehydrated.

Medications for diabetes — Burdock might lower blood sugar, resulting in hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

Blood thinning medications — Burdock might slow blood clotting and, when taken with blood thinning medications, may increase the risk of bruising and bleeding.

Alternative Names:

Arctium lappa; Arctium minus

http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/burdock-000227.htm

Arnica and its Uses

Overview:

Arnica (Arnica montana) has been used for medicinal purposes since the 1500s and is still popular today. Applied to the skin as a cream, ointment, liniment, salve, or tincture, arnica has been used to soothe muscle aches, reduce inflammation, and heal wounds. It is commonly used for injuries such as sprains and bruises. As an herb, arnica is generally used only topically (on the skin) because it can cause serious side effects when taken by mouth. Oral homeopathic remedies do contain arnica, but they use an extremely diluted form that is not considered dangerous. If you have any question about whether you have the herbal or homeopathic form of arnica, talk to your doctor before taking it.

download

 

Plant Description:

Arnica is a perennial that grows to a height of 1 – 2 feet with yellow-orange flowers similar to daisies. Stems are round and hairy, ending in one to three flower stalks, with flowers 2 – 3 inches across. Leaves are bright green. The upper leaves are toothed and slightly hairy, while lower leaves have rounded tips. It is native to the mountains of Europe and Siberia, and is cultivated in North America.

Parts Used:

Fresh or dried flower heads are used in medicinal preparations.

Medicinal Uses and Indications:

  • Arnica is used topically for a wide range of conditions, including bruises, sprains, muscle aches, wound healing, superficial phlebitis, joint pain, inflammation from insect bites, and swelling from broken bones.
  • Homeopathic preparations are also used to treat sore muscles, bruises, and other conditions caused by overexertion or injury. Homeopathic doses are extremely diluted. They have no detectable amount of the plant in them and are generally considered safe for internal use when taken according to the directions on the label.

Available Forms:

Arnica is available in topical creams and ointments. It is most commonly found as a tincture, which can also be used as the base for compresses and poultices. Arnica oil may also be used in topical preparations.

A number of homeopathic remedies are available in pill, topical, or injectable forms.

How to Take It:

You should not take arnica by mouth without direct medical supervision, except in dilute form as a homeopathic remedy, because side effects may be severe (see “Precautions”).

Homeopathic products should be used according to directions on the label or the advice of your homeopathic practitioner. Health care providers may give homeopathic preparations by injection.

When using arnica topically, never apply it to an open wound without a doctor’s supervision.

Pediatric

Homeopathic preparations may be used to treat bruising, swelling, and trauma to soft tissues. Follow the dosage instructions on the product label or consult a licensed homeopath. Use only in homeopathic formulations. Don’ t use the herb itself.

Adult

Topical preparations of arnica may be prepared as follows:

  • Tincture: a 1:10 tincture prepared with 70% ethanol
  • Creams and ointments: 20 – 25% tincture or a maximum of 15% arnica oil made from one part dried arnica flower head and five parts vegetable oil
  • Compresses: tincture diluted 3 – 10 times with water
  • Poultices: tincture diluted 3 – 10 times with water
  • Mouthwash: tincture diluted 10 times with water (rinse but don’t swallow)

Precautions:

Arnica is generally safe when used on the skin. However, using it for a long time may irritate the skin, causing eczema, peeling, blisters, or other skin conditions. Arnica should not be used on broken skin, such as leg ulcers. Also, people who are hypersensitive or allergic to the herb should avoid it.

Arnica is rarely used as an internal herbal remedy because it can cause dizziness, tremors, and heart irregularities. It may also irritate mucous membranes and cause vomiting. Large doses can even be fatal. Do not take arnica by mouth except under close supervision of your doctor. Homeopathic remedies, which use extremely small amounts of arnica, can usually be taken safely.

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, avoid taking arnica, and ask your doctor before using it on your skin. Talk to your doctor before taking any medication, including herbs.

Possible Interactions:

When used topically or in a homeopathic remedy, arnica does not interact with any conventional medications.

Alternative Names:

Arnica montana; Leopard’s bane

http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/arnica-000222.htm