Cayenne Pepper for Shock

If I were just a wee bit less clumsy, I wouldn’t have the chance to try out the lovely herbal remedies I read about (like onions if you bruise yourself while tumbling down the stairs.) What would be the fun of learning about herbs though if you don’t put them to the test, right?

It was the day of Joshua’s little sister’s wedding rehearsal. He wasn’t able to get off work as early as he’d hoped so by the time he got home we were already running late. I hurried to load up the van while he changed. I quickly walked around the back to buckle in Meg. Normally, I can walk under the open trunk with no problem. Alas, the trunk wasn’t quite open all the way and I trotted right into it.

Immediately, I started to hyper-ventilate and felt like I was going into shock. Unbidden tears streamed down uncontrollably. I put my hand to my head and blood poured down my arm.

Cayenne Pepper - Powder - 135k

Cayenne pepper from the Bulk Herb Store

I am not a doctor or a nurse. The only hospital I have ever worked at is a doll hospital. There, a band-aid can cure a heart attack. As always, please do you own research and contact your health care provider immediately if your condition is serious!  

I made it to the table and melted into a chair, leaving a trail of blood from the garage to the kitchen table. I knew head cuts bleed really easily and the blood loss shouldn’t bother me. But everything seemed to spin out of focus and I couldn’t stop shaking, crying, and hyper-ventilating.

Joshua came running when he heard my feeble call for help.

“Cayenne! Can you get me some cayenne pepper in water?” I whispered weakly. “I think it will help.”

Despite the dazed feeling, a vivid story of cayenne helping shock had come to mind. [Herbs come alive in Lalitha's Ten Essential Herbs, making it much easier to remember when to use what!]

Joshua fumbled hurriedly through the spice cabinet and finally found the buried cayenne pepper.

I’m not sure how much cayenne he put in the glass of water, but it was bright orange. Normally, I’m a huge wimp when it comes to hot stuff. With shaking hand I took a sip. The cayenne tasted sweet!

A few sips later, I had stopped shaking and started breathing more regularly. By the time Joshua had gently wiped the blood from my hair and cleaned up the trail of blood, I was feeling recovered enough to go to the rehearsal. As I read later, it’s common for people suffering from shock to experience the sweet taste when they take cayenne pepper. Tasting the spiciness again is a sign that the shock is fading.

We were really late, but we made it to the rehearsal. After we got back, I upgraded the cayenne pepper to an easily-accessible spot in the spice rack.

Why is cayenne so effective? Read more here…

Linked up at Mama MomentsGrowing HomeHealthy 2DayFrugal Days, Sustainable Ways,Works for MeWalking RedeemedGraced SimplicityProverbs 31,  & Simple Lives

 [Full disclosure: links to products in this post are my referral links.]

Cayenne Pepper: Herbal Highlight

As I learn about the wonders of the plants in God’s creation, I find myself standing in awe again and again. I love learning how herbs work and ways to use them. The problem is that with so many herbs out there, my brain gets over-crowded.

So, each month I’m focusing on just one herb and how to use it [and yes, this is four weeks later than I planned!] Last month’s herb was yarrow, which makes an effective, though very bitter, tonic tea and is an excellent addition to herbal salves.

September’s herbal highlight is one of the most beloved herbs of all time: cayenne pepper.

Herbal Highlight: Cayenne(photo credit

I am not a doctor or a nurse. The only hospital I have ever worked at is a doll hospital. There, a band-aid can cure a heart attack. As always, please do you own research and talk to your health care provider if your condition is serious. 

If only granted one herb, many herbalists would pick cayenne. Ancient Egyptian tombs indicate that its healing powers have been valued for millennia.

What’s so special about cayenne? A lot.

Perhaps its most important trait is its ability to stimulate circulation in the body, from the organs down to the tiniest cell. Cayenne’s stimulating powers help it cleanse the blood, boost the immune system, strengthen the heart, and flush out impurities.

If you, like me, are a huge wimp when it comes to hot food, start small. You don’t need to find the hottest cayenne and take a huge pinch. Build up your tolerance slowly. Although it’s tempting to want to take it in a capsule, Lalitha cautions in 10 Essential Herbs, “An important process is initiated in the mouth, brain, and digestive tract when Cayenne interacts with the saliva and enzymes in the mouth…Many stomachs do not like to be surprised [by cayenne]. (1)”

If you happen to get too much cayenne, just take a sip of milk or spoonful of yogurt. It cools the mouth quickly.

Here are just a few uses for this incredible herb:

Carrier Herb

Cayenne, which is pretty amazing in its own right, is especially beloved because of its effectiveness as a carrier herb. Just a touch of cayenne added to another herb makes the other herb more effective because it speeds the absorption into the bloodstream.

Nerve Pain

Arthritis and many of the other “itises” can be helped by cayenne. “It appears to act by decreasing the concentration of substance P, the primary chemical used by nerve cells to transmit pain signals. (2)” Unlike other topical pain killers, which tend to lose their effectiveness over time, the capsaicin in cayenne has a cumulative effect. Regular use increases its effectiveness.

Stomach Problems

Although raw cayenne or cooked dried powder can cause stomach upset and even lead to ulcers, dried it helps heal the stomach and promote “digestion by stimulating the release of saliva and stomach enzymes(1,3)”! So, if you’re using it in food, add it at the very last second so that it doesn’t have time to cook.

Cold feet

It’s a traditional remedy for cold feet. (Just sprinkle a teensy tiny bit in your socks and stomp around a bit!)

Later this week, I’ll be sharing how cayenne helped me when I went into shock after smacking my head against the trunk… 

What’s your favorite use for cayenne? 

Linked up at Mama MomentsGrowing HomeHealthy 2DayFrugal Days, Sustainable Ways,Works for MeWalking RedeemedGraced SimplicityProverbs 31,  & Simple Lives

 [Full disclosure: links to some products in this post are my referral links.]

Want to read more? These are some of my favorite herbal resources. :)

(1) 10 Essential Herbs, pgs. 31-57

(2)  Herbal Drugstore, pg. 431

(3) Medicinal Herbs, pg. 61

My Perfect Kids (Ahem!)

Today was one of those days. The kind that felt a bit like being on a see-saw.

One moment, the children were dripping sweetness like a ripe, juicy peach. They said “please” and “thanks”, shared their toys happily, and sweet echoes of “Yes ma’am” echoed around the room when I asked them to do something.  I felt like giving myself a pat on the back for how well we were doing on this parenting adventure.

The next moment, loud shrieks of “MAMA! Guess what _________ did!” and “Stop it right NOW!” jarred my proud thoughts and brought me back to reality with a screech.

My perfect kids. Or not so perfect.

  • The reality that I’m a sinful mother who needs grace every moment of every day.
  • The reality that, even at their most perfect, my children are sinful creatures who need grace every moment of every day too.
  • The reality that all my best methods and well-thought out plans are naught if the Lord doesn’t build our house.
  • The reality that even though I love this season of life (almost all the time), it’s a picture of imperfection.
  • The reality that God’s mercies are not just new for me every morning, they’re new for my children.
  • The reality that few things drive you to your knees like parenting.
  • The reality that the seeds I plant now may not bear fruit for years or decades, for good or ill.
  • The reality that I can’t be a joyful mother of children unless my joy is rooted in Something deeper than happy children and a semblance of order.

And so I lift my eyes from my not-at-all perfect self and not-at-all perfect children, and rejoice in the reality that Jesus came to redeem messy families like mine and use them to build His church.


 May be linked up at Mama MomentsGrowing Home & Graced Simplicity

Recipe: Hootenanny


It’s got to be one of the funniest-named breakfasts ever. And it sure looks funny as it rises and topples in the oven. But it’s delicious, delightfully simple, and (with a light dusting of powdered sugar) it’s a fancy way to serve eggs.

Joshua grew up eating it and now we’re all fans.

Because it’s so simple to mix together, it makes a great Sunday morning breakfast. Toss the hootenanny in the oven, get ready for church, eat breakfast, and go!

Hootenanny: Funny name, delicious breakfast

The mountains of puff have fallen

Hootenanny Recipe


  • 4-6 T butter
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup  of milk
  • 1 cup flour (we use up to half whole grain)
  • scant 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 T vanilla, opt.
  • dash of cinnamon/nutmeg, opt.


I awake many Sunday mornings to the smell of hot hootenanny. Since the best part is the crust, Joshua makes it in muffin tins. YUM! (Notice our fancy plates? One of the ways we celebrate the Lord’s Day is by using disposable dishes all day long.


  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Melt butter in a 9×13 pan OR 12 muffin tins.
  3. While butter melts, mix together remaining ingredients.
  4. Pour over melted butter. Do NOT stir.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.
  6. Serve with real maple syrup and a light dusting of powdered sugar. 

May be linked up at Mama MomentsGrowing HomeWorks for MeWalking RedeemedGraced SimplicityFabulously Frugal & Simple Lives


DIY Herbal Salve

If you can make pancakes, you can make an herbal salve. (If you can’t make pancakes, you probably still can.)

Not only is it easy, making an herbal salve is fun and useful. In the one week since making my first antibacterial green salve, we’ve used it on a mild diaper rash, a not-at-all-mild forehead bump, and a badly skinned knee. Each time I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how soothing the salve seemed to be and how quickly the owie started to heal.

Once you have selected your herbs and infused your herbal oil, it’s time to make a salve.

Make your own antibacterial green salve (it's fun and easy!)

Antibacterial green salve with yarrowlavendercalendula, plantain, clover, and rosemary (Here are some other great herbal choices!) 

DIY Herbal Green Salve

Ingredients & supplies: 

  • Herbal oil
  • Beeswax (approximately 1/4 cup beeswax per 1 cup herbal oil)
  • Cheese cloth OR old, clean tea towel
  • Double broiler or two pots
  • Tins OR glass jars


  1. Strain the herbal oil through a cheese cloth or tea towel (that you don’t mind getting stained) and measure.
  2. Pour into a double broiler OR a small pot that fits into a slightly larger one. Pour water into the bottom pot and heat over very low heat. You don’t want to burn the oil.
  3. Add beeswax, stirring occasionally until the beeswax is melted.
  4. Test your salve’s consistency by placing a teaspoon of it on a plate in the freezer. After a couple minutes, check to see if it’s your desired thickness. If it’s too thin, add more beeswax. If it’s too thick, add a little olive oil.
  5. Once the salve is the right consistency, pour it into tins or glass jars.
  6. Mark the jars with the contents and date (because, unless your memory is WAY better than mine, you will forget!) and enjoy!

Stored in a cool, dry place the salve lasts a long time. Once it starts to lose it’s color or smell off, discard.

Tips: Want to make an extra potent salve? Once you’ve strained the herbal oil, add fresh dried herbs and pour the strained oil over them. Store in a sunny spot for another two weeks. If condensation forms, wipe dry. Then, strain again and make your extra awesome salve!

 May be linked up at Mama MomentsGrowing HomeHealthy 2DayWorks for MeWalking RedeemedGraced SimplicityFabulously Frugal & Simple Lives

[Full disclosure: links to products in this post are my referral links.]