Cunningham Family's Adventures Thru the USA

How to…

Final Two Weeks

We are in the final two weeks before we pull out. And we haven’t even fully decided where we are going.

Still, I am overly excited about it all. I wish the west wasn’t having a melt down. Between the California wildfires and the Washington wildfires, the red tide that stretches from the southern tip of California to the northern tip of Alaska, and now the toxic mine spill out of Colorado spilling into the Grand Canyon and New Mexico… -sighs- Then I haven’t  mentioned, Florida’s recent deadly amoeba scare. North East here we come. -laughs- Another time west, another time. -shakeshead- So here I sit, typing, eating a snack… trying to keep my head sane.

As I repack the camper, I am reminded of both the good and the bad. By the time we exited the camper in February (2015) we had a running joke: “If we had a life time supply of towels, we would burn the camper down.” -laughs- No life time supply of towels ever appeared, so the camper is still standing. -laughs- This was mainly due to a ton of things we had learned and we desperately wanted a do over but we had to get out of it first.

So if you are at all considering RVing full time, take care when picking out your Camper/Rv/5th Wheel. It really does matter. Pick something that can handle ALL 4 seasons. Especially if you are planning to spend any time up north. Even if you are not planning it, consider it anyways. We learned the hard way, trust me. Our camper is a 2 season camper and twice now we have spent a winter in it… up north… Once in Tennessee (6′) and once in Colorado/Montana (-12’/-15′)…. Brrr!

Another thing that happens is the ice and snow will wedge itself in places you’d never think and suddenly you’ll find that you are popping seals like crazy…. Then you have other issues like your walls/cabinets/drawers sweating (more like pouring buckets), pipes freezing and water/gray/poop tanks freezing, tracking snow in and it puddling by the door (which is double bad when you have to walk puppies 4x a day) and it’s just all a mess. So we have decided that because we enjoy this lifestyle so much, that we are gonna buy a bus and remodel it over the next 5 years. Hopefully we do it right this time. Besides, Lilie and Little Bill are reaching an age where they are not enjoying home-school as much. It’s really the lack of an old fashion school social life AND they both have about grown right out of their cubby holes (bunks).

Okay on to things that are more fun…

Things We Learned the 1st Time Around:

1. No cardboard anything. If it’s in cardboard, find something plastic to store it in. Unless it’s food, than I’d opt for glass.

2. Less is more. Truly that is a lesson learned far to late for most RVers, including ourselves. I think the first time around we traveled for about 3-4 months; returned home and unloaded about 4 totes out of the camper and even still we could have pulled yet one more.

3. All animals need their own space. Last time we had travel cages for the cats (which the door got broken to one). They developed a routine of sleeping in them if there was too much commotion going on. The cages got shuffled around a lot and they did not seem to appreciate that very much. The dogs refused to allow us to move their bed from the middle of the walk way. That drove me insane!!!!! I’m just merely suggesting creating a ongoing, permanent spot for them. -smiles-

4. Tight spaces, Big smells. Whether it’s a trash can or a liter box…. or someone farting for that matter… Smell travels and pretty quickly too. For the trash we did 2 things. We had an inside trash can with a lid (which has been broken -frowns-) and an outside trash can with a lid. I suggest metal, in Virgina we had a squirrel eat a hole in our trash can lid.  Next we used a liter that was a pine, corn mix. The cats really seemed to prefer this one (I think I would too if I had to be stuck in a tiny space with that much smell) and if it wafted out, it was pleasant for us too. For the last, I learned to keep a little air fresher handy for the middle of the night. Dog farts are the worst!

5. Everything needs a home. Period. Otherwise you may end up with unnecessary clutter or it getting broken. Example: Our first trip (literally the 1st), we left our home in Connecticut and stopped in Virginia (where we ended up with a flat tire by morning? seriously?), I opened the door to check on the animals and see how everything was riding… I was not prepared for what was waiting for me on the other side of that door. A sea of broken glass, thumb tacks and dog food. -sighs- Apparently no one find the glass jar of thumb tack a home and the large tote of dog food was not secured and fell over spilling all of its contents… Result… the above… -laughs- That was fun for days…

6. Everything needs to be secured. As stated above, this one is huge. Bungees and eye hooks work well for just about all your weird odd ball pieces. Large dog food totes, -smiles- extra tables, extra chairs, a fan, mini heater, grill, trash can, travel cages… We use them everywhere.

7. A place for dirty clothes and shoes. This one seems to hit us pretty hard. There is 6 of us in a 30 foot space. Now we can make some laundry… the problem is always where the hell to put it. Last time, that place ended up being at the foot of our bed. Not my 1st choice but merely my only choice… ugh. Shoes we kept under the kids floor area but I also hated it there because they kept getting lost in the abyss of the under carriage. I still haven’t figures this one out… and no, I’d really prefer not to hang them on the back of my living room door. There has to be a better way…    Always open to suggestions. -smiles-

8. You could sweep every 20 minutes. Maybe it comes from having 2 large dogs that need walked 4 times a day or from the large amount of traffic we seem to get… But I’d swear you could sweep up a cup of dirt every 20 minutes.

9. Consider a Swiffer. That thing was amazing. It just seemed to fit into all the tight corners, reaching places my mop just could not reach. I eventually threw my regular mop away and just used that. The problem was I was not a big fan of spending $12 every time I ran out of those stupid pads. So, I suggest making a few reusable ones before you ever hit the road. How to make reusable Sweeper Pads, Wet Jet Pads.

10. Not all toilet paper is created equal. You CAN NOT use good toilet paper in an rv. That is a huge no no and the one rule that makes me the saddest. I love Charmin. Even their crappy stuff is better than the stuff you are actually recommended to use in an rv. See the problem is it clumps in the system and will back you up in the long run. Same concept as to not leaving your gray open all the time. You need the water to break up the teepee… And the teepee has to be able to break up fast and easy…


Solar Viewer

Photo: How to Build a Solar Viewer that Will Allow You to Safely View a Projected Image of the Sun</p><br /><br />
<p>What you need<br /><br /><br />
- two pieces of white card or a long box<br /><br /><br />
- aluminium foil<br /><br /><br />
- a pin<br /><br /><br />
- binoculars or telescope (optional).</p><br /><br />
<p>What to do:<br /><br /><br />
1. Cut a five centimetre square in the centre of one piece of card.<br /><br /><br />
2. Use a piece of aluminium foil to cover the square hole and tape to the card. Pierce a small hole in the centre of the foil using a pin or the sharp end of a pencil.<br /><br /><br />
3. Stand with your back to the Sun and hold the card with aluminium foil above your shoulder or to your side, in the direction of the Sun. Use the other piece of cardboard to show the light passing through the hole in the aluminium foil.<br /><br /><br />
4. By changing the distance between the two pieces of card you can change the size and brightness of the Sun's image.<br /><br /><br />
5. Holding the two pieces of card approximately one metre apart works best. If using a box, simply put the box over your head and look at the projection. You may feel silly, but it's the safest way if you don't have other equipment.</p><br /><br />
<p>The length of the box is important. The longer the box, the bigger the pinhole image. To find the size of the image, multiply the length of the box by the number 0.0093. For a box that is 1 meter long, the image will be 0.0093 meters (or 9.3 mm) in diameter. If your box is 5 feet (60 inches) long, your solar image will be 60 x 0.0093 = 0.56 inches in diameter. If you want to round things off, the size of the image is about 1/100th the length of the box.</p><br /><br />
<p>An alternative is to use a telescope or pair of binoculars to project an image of the Sun.</p><br /><br />
<p>At no time should you look through the binoculars or telescope to view the Sun.<br /><br /><br />
If you use binoculars attach them to a tripod and cover one lens with a piece of card.<br /><br /><br />
Aim the binoculars or telescope at the Sun and project the image on to a screen or wall.<br /><br /><br />
To protect the binoculars or telescope from becoming hot and overheating, turn it away from the Sun every minute or so.</p><br /><br />
<p>Source: http://www.csiro.au/Outcomes/Understanding-the-Universe/Tracking-spacecraft/solar-viewer.aspx

How to Build a Solar Viewer that Will Allow You to Safely View a Projected Image of the Sun

What you need
– two pieces of white card or a long box
– aluminium foil
– a pin
– binoculars or telescope (optional)

What to do:
1. Cut a five centimetre square in the centre of one piece of card.
2. Use a piece of aluminium foil to cover the square hole and tape to the card. Pierce a small hole in the centre of the foil using a pin or the sharp end of a pencil.
3. Stand with your back to the Sun and hold the card with aluminium foil above your shoulder or to your side, in the direction of the Sun. Use the other piece of cardboard to show the light passing through the hole in the aluminium foil.
4. By changing the distance between the two pieces of card you can change the size and brightness of the Sun’s image.
5. Holding the two pieces of card approximately one metre apart works best. If using a box, simply put the box over your head and look at the projection. You may feel silly, but it’s the safest way if you don’t have other equipment.

The length of the box is important. The longer the box, the bigger the pinhole image. To find the size of the image, multiply the length of the box by the number 0.0093. For a box that is 1 meter long, the image will be 0.0093 meters (or 9.3 mm) in diameter. If your box is 5 feet (60 inches) long, your solar image will be 60 x 0.0093 = 0.56 inches in diameter. If you want to round things off, the size of the image is about 1/100th the length of the box.

An alternative is to use a telescope or pair of binoculars to project an image of the Sun.

At no time should you look through the binoculars or telescope to view the Sun.

If you use binoculars attach them to a tripod and cover one lens with a piece of card.
Aim the binoculars or telescope at the Sun and project the image on to a screen or wall.
To protect the binoculars or telescope from becoming hot and overheating, turn it away from the Sun every minute or so.


Garlic

This common seasoning has been used as medicine in many cultures for more than 3,000 years.

Garlic inhabits at least 2 of the enzymes involved in the production of cholesterol by the liver, thus lowering cholesterol synthesis.

Not only is delicious and aromatic but it is an anti-inflammatory, immune-stimulating, antimicrobial. Microbes, including the fungi that infect the skin.

Also garlic has remarkable antibiotic and anti-fungal properties that can heal many types of health disorders, including vaginal infections (no matter what there cause may be from), lyme disease and even prevents cancer.

Because garlic can irritate the skin, dilute it in olive oil. Mash or blend a clove with about 2 tsp. and apply paste to skin. Remove after an hour.

For fungi that infect the skin such as, athlete’s foot, jock inch, ringworm create a garlic infused oil by adding 4 garlic cloves, crushed to a jar or air tight glass container, that has 1/4 cup olive oil in it. Let stand at room temp for about 3 days, strain and store in the frig for up to 6 months. Apply the oil to the skin 2-3 times day.

For intestinal parasites such as giardia and amoebas, and worms such as hookworm, tapeworm, pinworm and even roundworm. Include 2-3 raw cloves in your diet day.

The use of crushed up Garlic as a means to kill off infections is a great remedy.

Any cuts or wounds on your skin that seem like they are getting infected should be rubbed with crushed up garlic , dilute with about 1 tsp olive oil if need be. Leave it on for no more than 10 minutes at a time…but do on and off until the infection is gone. While your body heals it should always remain red looking until the new layer of skin has returned fully. Larger cuts or wounds sometimes are prone to getting infected.

For the most part the infections are never big, but if left unattended there is a chance that they could become dangerous…

Garlic is also known to possess many beneficial properties that improve overall health, along with lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol.

Garlic contains substances that discourage platelets from sticking together. Not only will consumption gradually reduce blood clot occurrences but will in time, prevent blood clots altogether. Garlic breaks down fibrin-based clots, which form into stroke causing emboli. Just include 1-3 cloves of garlic in your diet daily. Eat raw or cook as little as possible.

It also helps with pneumonia as well as helping with angina, which is a pain that occurs when the heart isn’t getting enough oxygen and it is used to treat bronchitis and asthma.

The anti-inflammatory substance quercetin, helps calm the allergic response during hay fever season.

Garlic is actually a very potent antibacterial and antiviral agent that helps ward off sinusitis.

It is also believed by some researchers, that garlic will help bring down triglyceride levels. A triglyceride is a glyceride that occurs naturally in tissues and consists of three fatty acids that are bound together in a single molecule.  They are an important energy source forming much of the fat stored in the body.

Having trouble stomaching raw garlic?

Try thinly slicing it.

I’ll wrap it in string cheese, add it to a slice of pizza, or put it on a salad… My favorite way to eat Garlic is thinly sliced in a grilled cheese sandwich. You could always try to marinate it in a combination of equal parts honey and fresh lemon juice and cover. Store in frig for up to 2 days. Eat 1-2 tsp 3 or 4 times a day.

Either way, get it in your diet!!!

Word of Caution:

May inter act with Anticoagulant drugs.

Consult your doctor if you have stomach inflammation, take warfarin or other blood thinners, or expect to have a surgery soon.

Also when treating vaginal infections it takes 5-10 days. Then add yogurt to your diet to balance back out your PH.

Also may cause heartburn and/or flatulence.


How to make Eucalyptus Teas

Dried Eucalyptus Tea Recipe

  • 1 cup boiling Water
  • 1/2 tsp. dried Eucalyptus Leaves
  • Honey, to taste

To make eucalyptus tea, pour boiling water over dried eucalyptus leaves. Cover and steep for 10 minutes; strain. Sweeten with honey, to taste. You can drink up to 2 – 3 cups a day.

However, Eucalyptus tea made of dried eucalyptus leaves has lost most of its healing power and should be avoided as herbal medicine. Instead it’s best to cut small branches with a few dozen fresh leaves and keep this fresh branches in a vase with water to prevent drying of the leaves.

Fresh Eucalyptus Tea Recipe

Take a single leave, break the eucalyptus leave into small pieces or cut it in to pieces, put in a large cup, add hot water and let rest for about 4-6 minutes – then add honey or brown sugar. The bits of leaf should then be strained and discarded. Take care not to ingest the eucalyptus oil directly, as it is extremely strong and somewhat volatile. Then drink in small sips while hot.

You can drink one or 2 cups of eucalyptus tea just for fun or as preventive medicine. If you have a cough, then you drink 4-5 large cups per day.

Caution: In large doses eucalyptus can cause nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. Do not use more than 1/2 teaspoon per cup of water.

Herbal Tea Recipe for Asthma & Bronchitis

  • 1 1/2 ounce dried eucalyptus leaves
  • 1 ounce dried coltsfoot leaves
  • 1 ounce dried thyme leaves

Use one teaspoon of this herbal mixture per cup of boiling water. Make this tea mixture to help open a tight respiratory tract and congested lungs. The herbal ingredients in this tea are known for their antispasmodic and disinfectant properties.

Herbal Tea Recipe for Acne

  • 1 ounce dried eucalyptus leaves
  • 1 ounce dried dandelion roots and leaves mixture
  • 3/4 ounce dried licorice root
  • 3/4 ounce fennel seeds

Use 1 teaspoon of this herbal mixture per cup of boiling water. You can drink this herbal tea as prescribed above, or use it as a facial wash. Either way, it is effective in healing such skin conditions as acne.

Eucalyptus Tea Recipe for Head Colds

  • 1/2 ounce dried eucalyptus leaves
  • 1 ounce dried peppermint leaves
  • 1/2 ounce dried chamomile flowers

Use 1 teaspoon of this herbal mixture per cup of boiling water. Sweeten with honey to taste. These herbs are prescribed for their decongestants and expectorant effects. Eucalyptus is antiseptic, as well, and is very helpful for a head cold, sinus congestion and the flu.


Learn How to Identify Dangerous Plants

Dangerous Plants that can still be used:


How to make Essential Oils from Scratch

Materials

  • Distillation equipment, including at least a tank or retort, a condenser, a furnace or other heat source and a separator.
  • Glass tubing to connect distillation components
  • Plant materials from which to extract the oils
  • Containers made of dark glass or stainless steel in which to store the oils

Step 1

Obtain or build a still.  If you want to try building a still, you’ve got plenty of room for creativity – there are thousands of still designs, and even today, many stills are homemade. The key components of a still are:

  1. The heat source or furnace, which is used to boil the water. Direct fire, a fire built under the retort is the oldest method for heating the still. Today, we can also use gas, such as propane or butane, and electricity. Fuel costs are a major factor when considering a heat source for you distiller.
  2. The holding tank or retort, which holds both the water and just above the water on a grate or false bottom – picture a vegetable steamer – the plant material to be distilled.
  3. The condenser, which collects the steam and cools it, usually by piping it through a tube immersed in cold water, and…
  4. The separator, which separates the essential oil from the water vapor. The separator, or Essencier, is one of the most important pieces of apparatus a distiller can have. This enables the distiller to separate the essential oils from the distillate in a passive manner.

Step 2

Harvest your raw material. The quantity of essential oils contained in a plant varies over the course of the plant’s development, so it is essential to harvest at the right time. This will depend on the type of plant, so you need to do some research to determine when to harvest. It is also critical to harvest the plants correctly – careless handling, harvesting the wrong parts, even harvesting at the wrong time of day can reduce the quantity and quality of the essential oils. Again, research the plant you wish to distill. Generally plants that are in whole form (not crushed or powdered) are best.

Step 3

Dry the plant material. Drying reduces the amount of oil in each plant, but can greatly increase your yield per batch because you will be able to fit more material into each batch. Drying should be done slowly and NOT in direct sunlight. You can choose not to dry your plant material. Commercially grown plants such as lavender and peppermint may be allowed to dry in the field after cutting for a day or so. The ideal drying method varies from plant to plant, but in general you should not overheat the plants – drying in the shade or even in a dark room minimizes the oil lost – you should not over dry them, and you must not allow the plants to become wet again before distillation. Distill as soon as possible after drying. Remember when drying plant material, exercise care not to allow the material to become contaminated with dirt, dust or other contaminants. Contamination will reduce the quality of your oil and may make it unusable. Also when distilling most flowers, skip the drying process and distill soon after harvesting.

Step 4

Add water to the tank of your still. Use clean water, ideally filtered or distilled and as soft as possible. If you’re using a manufactured still, follow the manufacturer’s direction. Otherwise, simply make sure you have enough water in the still to complete the distillation; depending on the plant and on the quantity, distillation can take anywhere from a half-hour to six hours or more after the water boils. Be sure that the water level is close to, but not touching, the false bottom that will hold the plant material. If you are performing a hydrodistillation (this is useful for delicate flowers or powdered roots, bark or wood), you will need to have your plant material free-floating in the water. Remember Do not distill a batch for too long (check recommendations for the specific plant), as this will add little additional oil but may possibly contaminate your batch with unwanted chemical compounds.

Step 5

Add your plant material and pack it tightly in the still. You do not need to chop or cut the plant material, and doing so will cause you to lose some of the oils. The plant material should rest on the false bottom or grate above the water and should touch the sides of the still as little as possible. The layer of plant material can be quite thick as long as it is below the steam outlet (a couple of inches below the outlet for a small still, a foot below for a large one).

Step 6

Close the still and boil the water. Most plants will release their essential oils at 100 degrees Celsius or 212 degrees Fahrenheit, the normal boiling point of water.

Step 7

Remember to keep an eye on the still. After a while the distillate should begin to come through your condenser and into your separator. The process should be fairly hands-off, but you will want to ensure that you do not run out of water in your still. Depending on the length of the distillation process, you may also need to change the water in the condenser so that the cooling process continues to work. Follow the instructions for the particular plant you are distilling.

Step 8

Filter the collected oil. Once your distillation is complete you may filter the oil through cheesecloth or similar dry cotton fabric. Ensure that the cloth is dry and clean – detergent residues as well as dirt can contaminate the oil.

Step 9

Pour the oil into a container for storage. Do this as quickly as possible. Most essential oils can be kept for at least two years, but some have extraordinary shelf lives. To maximize the useful life of your oil, keep it in a dark glass bottle or stainless steel container. Use a clean funnel to pour the oil into the container, and make sure the container is impeccably clean before pouring the oil into it. Store in a cool, dark place.

Step 10

Decide what to do with the hydrosol. The distillation process produces the essential oil and a hydrosol, the term for the water that has been distilled and which collects in the separator. Some hydrosols are usable themselves like rose water or lavender water, for example. If you do not wish to save the hydrosol you can pour it into the still for the next batch (but only if you will be distilling another batch immediately) or you can discard it.

Step 11

You can also place plant material directly into the water. This method is easier, but the quantity and quality of the resulting oil will be reduced. The best distillation method is steam distillation, in which the water is boiled in a separate retort and then pumped into the retort which holds the plant material. This method makes the best quality oil and allows you to control the process better, but it is more complicated (and more expensive) to set up.

Step 12

You will need a lot of plant material to make a little essential oil. You may just decide to make hydrosols. If that is the case a small distiller such as a 5 liter or 10 liter copper distiller will be adequate. If you plan to make essential oils, consider obtaining a larger apparatus. A 40 liter rotating column alembic distiller, for example, will enable you to make up to 5 ounces of essential oil and a large quantity of hydrosols.

Step 13

Most essential oils are held in the plant’s oil glands, veins and hairs, which are very fragile. If you disturb or break them, you will reduce your yield of oil, so it is essential to handle the plants with care and to handle them as little as possible.

Step 14

Stainless steel and glass are the best materials for your distillation components. Do not use plastic tubing. Copper pots are traditionally used for the retort, and these work well for a variety of plants, but some plants contain chemicals that react with copper to produce unwanted impurities – heavily tinned copper is suitable in all cases, however. Aluminum can also be used, but not with plants, such as wintergreen and cloves, the oils of which contain phenols.

Step 15

While distillation removes many impurities. Pesticides and herbicides can contaminate your oil. For this reason it is best to use organically grown plants, whether you purchase them or grow your own. Remember Organic does not mean that pesticides or fertilizers were not applied to the plant, just different from commonly used synthetic pesticides or fertilizers.

Step 16

Remember Essential oils are extremely concentrated, and it is often advisable to dilute them in a carrier oil before applying them to skin. The most popular carrier oils are almond oil and grapeseed oil, but a variety of different oils can be used. They can be added during the bottling process or mixed with the pure oil just prior to use. The latter is often preferable because you may not want diluted oil for some uses, and carrier oils often have a shorter shelf life than essential oils. Remember most essential oils should not be ingested, especially if undiluted, and many should be diluted even when applied topically as some essential oils are TOXIC.

Caution:

With that being said, some oils are really dangerous to handle or have around the house at all. Many are banned from use in cosmetics or as flavorings. Some can be fatal if accidentally swallowed, and others can cause an immediate skin reaction. Those oils are produced because they have industrial uses, but have little to no medicinal, aromatherapy, flavoring, or other household value.


Uses of Eucalyptus

How to make Eucalyptus Oil from Scratch

How to make Eucalyptus Teas

Eucalyptus Uses:

There are many medicinal benefits of Eucalyptus Oil and it is most commonly used in chest rubs, decongestants, cough remedies and muscle & joint ointments.

  • Eucalyptus Oil is most commonly used as decongestants. You can put 4-5 drops of eucalyptus oil in a hot compress and apply on the chest. You can also mix 2 drops of Eucalyptus oil in 2 teaspoons of carrier oil and apply as a chest rub.
  • You can also use Eucalyptus oil to clear the nasal passages, by putting a few drops (2-3) of Eucalyptus oil to a steam inhalation. You can also apply a few drops to a handkerchief and inhale. Eucalyptus oil has is often compared to menthol because it helps to get rid of nasal congestion.
  • It is also used to purify a sickroom during illness. You can make a spray by adding 20-25 drops of eucalyptus oil to 300ml of water. Shake the spray properly before each use. This can be sprayed directly into the room to kill the germs.
  • Eucalyptus Oil is also used as a muscle or joint rub. Mix 3 drops of Eucalyptus oil, 2 drops of lavender oil, and 2 drops of Roman Chamomile to 2 teaspoons of carrier oil and apply on the joints for a soothing effect.
  • It is also used to keep insects and bugs at bay. Add 3 drops of Eucalyptus oil, 3 drops of lavender oil & 3 drops of Basil and use as an oil vaporizer or diffuser.
  • It is often used by athletes to help relieve muscle soreness. It has a warming effect on the skin and muscles, and relieves pain.
  • It is also used as a local application for ulcers and sores.  1 OZ. of eucalyptus oil should be added to 1 pint of lukewarm water.
  • Its fluid extract is used internally in cases of scarlet fever, typhoid and intermittent fever.
  • It is also used as a natural antibacterial spray that can be used in kitchen and bathroom. Add 15 drops of Eucalyptus oil, 30 drops of Tea Tree oil and 20 drops of Lemon to half a litre of water and store in a plant sprayer. Shake well before each use. But remember to dry the surface thoroughly before preparing food, if you have sprayed this solution. However it is not suitable for use on polished wood. Shake it properly before every use.
  • It can also be used to remove tar from clothes. Apply a few drops of Eucalyptus oil to the area and wipe the tar gently using a clean cloth.
  • It is also used to treat Greenfly and Blackfly infestations on plants.
  • It is also commonly used in veterinary practice. It is used for parasitic skin infections. And it is given to horses in influenza, to dogs in distemper and to all animals in septicaemia.
  • Eucalyptus oil is one of the ingredients of catheder oil, that is used for sterilizing and lubricating urethral catheters.
  • When suffering from croup or spasmodic throat troubles, the oil can be freely applied externally.
  • Eucalyptus leaves can be used in potpourris, skin lotions and herbal bath.Its oil has a pleasant aroma and cooling properties. You can diffuse Eucalyptus into the air, for a refreshing smell.
  • Eucalyptus Oil is sometimes used as a stimulant and antiseptic gargle.
  • The antiseptic properties of eucalyptus oil confer some anti-malarial action, but it cannot take the place of Cinchona.
  • Eucalyptus is amoung those herbs that detoxify and cleanse the kidneys and liver, helping these organs to function efficiently, which in turn benefits the skin. Drinking 3 cups of eucalyptus tea a day can clear up acne and minor bacterial infections. =
  • The tissue-constricting tannins in eucalyptus make it an effective remedy for bleeding gums. Rinse with the tea two to three time daily.
  • Bronchitis and sinus congestion can be eased by inhaling the steam from eucalyptus tea. Pour 1 quart of boiling water over 1 tablespoon of dried eucalyptus leaves., cover to seal in the volatile oil, and steep for 5 minutes. Drape a towel over your head and shoulders to form a tent over the tea. close your eyes and for 10 minutes, breathe in the steam. Use this facial steam daily until your symptoms abate.
  • A traditional folk-medicine remedy, a eucalyptus compress is effective in treating painful joints, minor burns and sore muscles. the compress is particularly suitable for stiffness and swelling due to arthritis. Soak a clean cotton cloth in the cooled tea, wring out and apply 2 – 3 times a day for relief.
  • Make a cup of healing eucalyptus tea from equal parts of dried eucalyptus leaves and dried calendula flowers. The tannins in eucalyptus help reduce inflammation while calendula soothes. Let the tea cool, and then use it as a gargle 2 – 3 times a day until symptoms subside.

Eucalyptus Tree

There are over 500 species of eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus). Some are the size of an ornamental shrub, and some grow to be giant trees.

(Silver Dollar Gum Eucalyptus Tree)

 Large, round, silver leaves add a decorative touch to dried arrangements. Grow indoors and enjoy its air deodorizing effects.

The oil was used in traditional Aboriginal medicines to heal wounds and fungal infections. Eucalyptus is antiseptic, antiviral, antifungal and antipasmodic.

Teas made of eucalyptus leaves were also used to reduce fevers.

Although its oil has been used orally to treat some conditions, the oil is TOXIC when taken full strength and must be diluted for safety.

The diluted oil is taken by mouth for pain and swelling (inflammation) of respiratory tract mucous membranes, coughs, bronchitis, sinus pain and inflammation, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and respiratory infections.

It is also used as an expectorant to loosen coughs, antiseptic, fever reducer, and in vaporizer fluids. Other uses include treatment of wounds, burns, ulcers, and cancer.

Diluted eucalyptus oil is applied directly to the skin for pain and swelling of joints, genital herpes, and nasal stuffiness. Ointments containing eucalyptus are also applied to the nose and chest to relieve congestion. The oil helps loosen phlegm, so many people inhale eucalyptus steam to help treat bronchitis, coughs, and the flu. Laboratory studies showed that the oil contains substances that kill bacteria. It also may kill some viruses and fungi.

Herbalists often recommend using fresh leaves in teas and gargles to soothe sore throats and treat bronchitis and sinusitis. Eucalyptus leaf is used for infections, fever, upset stomach, and to help loosen coughs.

The leaf is also used for treating respiratory tract infections, whooping cough, asthma, pulmonary tuberculosis, osteoarthritis, joint pain (rheumatism), acne, wounds, poorly healing ulcers, burns, bacterial dysentery, ringworms, liver and gallbladder problems, loss of appetite and cancer.

Also being rich in cineole, an antiseptic that kills bacteria that can cause bad breath. Eucalyptus is used in some antiseptic mouthwashes, along with other oils, and the mouthwashes have been shown to help prevent plaque and gingivitis.

Caution:

Eucalyptus oil is generally safe when applied to the skin of adults. Don’ t apply eucalyptus oil, salve or chest rub to the face or nose of a child under 2. Do not give a child eucalyptus orally, as it is TOXIC. Do not give cough drops containing eucalyptus to children under 6. Ask your doctor before using eucalyptus oil as a chest rub for your child or to inhale steam for congestion.

The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. Herbs, however, contain components that can trigger side effects and can interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, herbs should be taken with care, under the supervision of a health care provider qualified in the field of botanical medicine.

People with asthma, seizure disorders, liver or kidney disease, and low blood pressure should not use eucalyptus without first talking to their doctors. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not use eucalyptus.

How to use


Fig Cooking Tips

Fig Equivalents

• 1 pound fresh figs = 9 medium
• 1 pound fresh figs = 12 small
• 1 pound fresh figs = 2-2/3 cups chopped
• 1 pound canned figs = 12 to 16 whole figs
• 1 pound dried figs = 44 whole figs
• 1 pound dried = 3 cups chopped

• Figs produce protein-digesting enzymes that break down muscle and connective tissue in meat, making them an excellent tenderizer as well as flavor-enhancer.

• When chopping dried figs by hand with knife or scissors, dip into warm water occasionally to prevent sticking.

• When chopping in a food processor, add some of the sugar called for in the recipe to prevent fruit from sticking.

• If dried figs seem hard or too dry, they can be soaked, steamed or poached to restore moisture.

• Dried figs can be used interchangeably with prunes, dried apricots, and dates in most recipes.

• To separate dried figs that are stuck together, pop them in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds.


Fig Cobbler

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups peeled, halved fresh Figs (about 2-1/2 pounds)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh Lemon Juice
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground Nutmeg or Allspice
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter

Cheddar Pastry:

  • 1 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/3 cup solid All-Vegetable Shortening
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons Cold Water

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Arrange figs evenly in a lightly greased 10 by 6 by 2-inch baking dish; sprinkle with lemon juice.
  3. Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg or allspice. Stir well and sprinkle over figs. Dot with butter.
  4. For the Cheddar pastry, combine flour and salt. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Stir in Cheddar cheese. Sprinkle cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, evenly over surface. Stir with a fork until dry ingredients are moistened. Shape dough into a ball and chill 1 hour.
  5. Roll pastry out to 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut into 10-inch by 1/2-inch strips. Arrange in a lattice pattern over figs. Trim edges.
  6. Bake 40 to 45 minutes.

Yield: 6 servings


Fresh Fig Preserves

Ingredients:

  • 2 (1-inch thick) slices peeled fresh Ginger
  • 1 whole Cinnamon stick
  • 4-1/2 pounds Sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh Lemon Juice
  • 4 pounds firm ripe Figs, washed and peeled
  • 2 Lemons, sliced and seeded

Preparation:

  1. Tie ginger and cinnamon stick in a cheesecloth bag. Set aside.
  2. Place sugar and lemon juice in a large non-reactive stockpot. Heat, adding just enough water to dissolve the sugar.
  3. Add spice bag, figs, and lemon slices. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer at a low boil about 45 minutes, stirring often to prevent sticking.
  4. Remove and discard spice bag. Spoon hot fig preserves into hot, sterilized canning jars. Wipe rims clean and seal immediately with hot, sterilized lids.
  5. Process in boiling water bath for 5 minutes for half-pints or 10 minutes for pints.

Yield: 8 to 10 half-pints


Fig Raisin Spice Loaf

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped fresh Figs (may substitute 1/2 cup chopped dried figs)
  • 1 cup Raisins
  • 1-3/4 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon fresh-grated Nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon Allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 cup solid Shortening (may substitute an equal amount of butter)
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar, packed
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup Sour Cream
  • 1/2 cup Milk

Optional Glaze:

  • 1 cup Powdered Confectioners’ Sugar
  • Heavy Cream or Milk

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease a standard loaf pan.
  2. Cover figs and raisins with boiling water and let sit to plump for 15 minutes. Drain thoroughly and pat dry with paper towels.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, cream shortening and brown sugar together until it resembles clumpy wet sand. Beat in eggs, sour cream, and milk.
  5. Add flour mixture, half at a time, to the wet ingredients. Blend until smooth and combined. Batter will be thick. Fold in figs and raisins by hand.
  6. Pour into prepared pan and bake about 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool to room temperature before slicing to serve.
Optional Glaze:
Add heavy cream or milk to powdered sugar a little at a time, just until it reaches a spreadable consistency. Spread or drizzle on top of cooled loaf.

Cornish Hens Stuffed with Brandied Figs

Cornish hens are stuffed with figs soaked in a portwine and an allspice marinade, then baked on a bed of salt. Cooking the poultry on a bed of salt produces a beautiful golden skin and does not impart much salt to the finished dish as you might think. It is a classic method. Plan ahead to marinate the figs in the port for 1 hour before beginning.

Ingredients:

  • 4 to 6 medium to large fresh figs
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 cup Port
  • 4 1-pound poussin or Cornish hens, giblets removed and rinsed
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cups rock salt or other salt

Preparation:

  1. Cut figs in quarters. In a small bowl mix allspice with Port wine. Put figs in a zip-lock bag, add marinade, close, shake back and forth a few times and marinate 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Put salt in a shallow roasting pan just large enough to hold all the Cornish hens without crowding.
  3. Loosen the skin of the hens and season with salt and pepper. Season cavity with salt and pepper and stuff with drained figs. (If using small hens, you may have a few figs left over. Do not over stuff the hens, however.) Brush the flesh of the hens with fig marinade and truss hens. Brush any remaining marinade over hens.
  4. Put hens in the oven 30 to 35 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees in the deep thigh of the hens. Remove, let rest 10 minutes, covered with foil. Untruss and serve.

Tips: Roasting poultry – from Cornish hens to turkeys – on rock salt (or other salt) minimizes grease splattering. Just scrape off any salt that may have attached to the bottom of the birds and discard the grease-soaked salt from the roasting pan.


Candied Figs

Ingredients:

  • 4 quarts plus 2 cups water
  • 2 Tablespoons baking soda
  • 30 figs
  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar

Preparation:

  1. In large bowl, combine 4 quarts water and baking soda. Add fruit and soak 10 minutes. Drain.
  2. In large saucepan, combine sugar and 2 cups water. Bring syrup to a boil; add fruit and simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Simmer mixture 20 minutes each day until syrup is absorbed.
  3. Dry fruit on waxed paper on trays in the sun. Dredge fruit with sugar and store in an airtight container.

Double Chocolate Pistachio Cookies with Fig

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup ground pistachios
  • 2 tablespoons ground Flax Seed
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 2 teaspoons finely ground Coffee Beans (optional)
  • 3 dried Figs, stems removed, cut in quarters
  • 3 Dates, pitted and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon Agave Nectar
  • 1 fresh Strawberry

Directions

  1. Stir pistachios, flax seed, cocoa powder, and coffee beans together in a bowl.
  2. Blend figs, dates, cinnamon, agave nectar, and strawberry together in a food processor until thoroughly combined.
  3. Stir fruit mixture into pistachio mixture; mix to form a workable dough.
  4. Divide dough in half and pat each half into a flat cookie shape. Place cookies on a plate and refrigerate for 1 hour, flipping cookies after 30 minutes.

Fig Bars

Ingredients

  • 1 cup White Sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • 7/8 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground Cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground Allspice
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2 cups chopped dried Figs
  • 1 cup chopped Walnuts
  • 1 cup Confectioners’ Sugar for rolling

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9×13 inch baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar until thick and pale. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, cloves, cinnamon and allspice; blend into the egg mixture along with the vanilla. Finally fold in the chopped figs and walnuts. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.
  3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until lightly toasted. When cool, cut into squares and roll the squares in confectioners’ sugar.

Italian Fig Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups dried figs
  • 3/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, 1/3 cup sugar and baking powder. Cut in shortening and butter until mixture resembles small peas. Stir in the milk and egg until the dough comes together. Divide dough into two pieces, wrap and refrigerate for about 2 hours or until easy to handle.
  2. In a food processor or blender, grind the figs, raisins and almonds until they are coarsely chopped. In a medium bowl, stir together the 1/4 cup of sugar, hot water, cinnamon and pepper. Stir in the fruit mixture, cover and set aside until the dough is ready.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece of the dough out to a 12 inch square. Cut each piece into 12 3×4 inch rectangles. Using a heaping tablespoon of filling for each rectangle, spread filling along one of the short sides of the rectangle. Roll up from that side. Place rolls, seam side down, on an ungreased cookie sheet. Curve each roll slightly. Snip outer edge of the curve three times.
  5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown. Glaze with your favorite confectioners’ glaze.

Fig Filling for Pastries

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Dried Figs
  • 1 Orange, zested
  • 1/2 cup Semi-sweet Chocolate hips
  • 1/4 cup Whiskey
  • 1/2 cup chopped Walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup Maple Sugar

Directions

  1. Remove stems and gently wash figs.
  2. Chop in food processor in batches.
  3. In a non-stick pan, combine chopped figs with orange zest, chocolate chips, whiskey, walnuts, maple syrup, and cinnamon.
  4. Heat over medium heat until chocolate melts, stirring frequently.
  5. Cool completely.

Fig Manicotti

Ingredients:

  • 100 grams dried figs
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • manicotti or cannelloni or lasagna sheets
  • cinnamon
  • 50 grams almonds or hazelnuts, ground
  • mint leaves to garnish

Directions:

  1. Cut the figs in small pieces and pour the hot water over them. Add the cinnamon and allow this to set for a while so the figs can become a pasty mass. Alternatively, you can buy the fig paste already made from European or Turkish grocery stores.
  2. Cook the lasagna sheet in boiling water. Remove them and cut it in half if it is a long sheet.
  3. Place a small amount of the fig mass along one edge of the lasagna sheet and roll the sheet to encompass the figs.
  4. Place the manicottis in the refrigerator until serving.
  5. Serve chilled, with a sprinkling of ground nuts on the top and mint leaves at the side.

Fig Recipes