Many people assume that this time a year fireworks are simply a fun addition to their celebrations. We tend to hear fireworks during the 4th of July and throughout the summer. Fireworks cause anxiety for many people and sometimes their pets. From their loud sounds to their bright flashes people find themselves not experiencing the joy that many others do.
Firework anxiety is different for everyone but can be described as a negative physical or mental response to fireworks. This can be a panic disorder, unease, and even triggering PTSD. During these times it is beneficial to add extra things into your diet in order to ease the body just in case fireworks are out to play. Herbs are one of the easiest ways to incorporate anxiety relief into your daily diet.
For example, Lavender is a wonderful herb that can easily be added into deserts or infused into drinks for a light summer refreshment. Simply Recipes has an amazing home made lemonade you can try. Click here for the recipe. Lavender is great because it is thought to help calm the body by relaxing the nervous system. Many people even use lavender as a means to gain a better night's sleep.
Another phenomenal herb for firework anxiety is valerian root. Valerian root has been used throughout the years as an aid for loss of sleep. It is thought to work because it produces a calming effect that may even calm you enough to sleep. When used in smaller doses this root can be highly effective for simply calming the body. Great with salads! Check out this recipe here.
Passionflower, is an herb that we love here at Breeze Botanicals. This herb is infused in many of the products we carry and a featured herb in a lot of the Mental Ease lines that we carry from our sister company Sun God Medicinals, like the Heka Happy Tea. The Happy Tea is a mildly uplifting tea that can be consumed throughout the day. Passionflowers are also great when added to salad. To check out the Happy Tea click here.
So this 4th of July take a deep breath, surround yourself with friends and family (at a safe pandemic distance of course), and hopefully with the help of your herbal allies enjoy a wonderful fourth of July.
The Pride of Cannabis
At Breeze Botanicals, we take great pride in offering a wide array of clean, local cannabis and cannabis-derived products to help our clients feel empowered in their own healing. To purchase requires only a state approved ID, cash, and an openness to experience the many healing, soothing properties of the beautiful plant. It’s beautiful to be able to do this, and we can with great thanks to gay activist Dennis Peron.
“Mr. Peron was a driving force behind a San Francisco ordinance allowing medical marijuana — a move that later aided the 1996 passage of Proposition 215 that legalized medical use in the state.” Because of this precedent, we can buy cannabis in an ever growing number of states in the U.S. And while there remains much to improve upon in the cannabis industry (lack of diversity, the exceptionally stringent tracking, the exorbitant taxes), aren’t we grateful to be here now?
After serving in the military during the Vietnam War, and moved by his experiences there, Dennis Peron returned home determined to make change in the world. Rather than continue adhering to rigid expectations of what it means to be a man in America, Peron became a “dirty hippie”, a qualifier he embraced, and acted with others to make cannabis legal (again). But then, AIDS (Acquired Immune Difficiency Syndrome) began stealing the lives of gay men at alarming numbers. Due to the stigma and legal discrimination visited upon the queer community, not much was done to help those slowly melting away in pain. Peron saw his friends and loved ones dying and knew cannabis could help them manage pain, stimulate appetite, and maybe lift their spirits, to create space for joy or understanding. He fought for them, for his community, for the community at large.
And it was a dangerous fight. "In 1994, Peron co-founded, along with Brownie Mary and several others, San Francisco's Cannabis Buyers Club, the first public medical cannabis dispensary in the U.S." It was not fancy. It didn’t have a menu. And it operated under constant threat. The establishment was raided multiple times and Peron was once shot by police. But he persisted. They all persisted. Many people, when speaking of the relationship between cannabis and the LGBTQI+ communities,
cite the criminalization of each as the commonality. However, the right to decide what we do with our bodies, what we use as medicine, to live our lives freely, is what brings the cannabis and queer communites together. The communities overlap in the most wondrous of ways.
Learn about Composting
Composting: What is it?
During these worrisome times, gardening is quickly becoming popular for those seeking a safe outdoor activity that is not just physically beneficial, but also mentally and economically beneficial. Our collective food supply is experiencing disruption in distribution and as more folks become aware of how the system of agriculture works, tending one’s own garden is not only deeply satisfying but a great way to ensure the growing process and resulting bounty is clean and reliable.
According to the County of Santa Barbara website lessismore.org, “organic wastes, such as food waste and yard waste, make up 25 to 50% of what people throw away”. Composting can reduce the percentage of organic waste in landfills, where it takes up space and produces dangerous methane gas while decomposing there. When composting at home, we turn the materials allowing oxygen to enter the mix, lessening greenhouse gases.
Composting is nature’s resourceful way to fertilize and repair soils, softening clay-like soil, or helping sandy soils better retain water. It occurs without human assistance in forests and other naturescapes, for example, when fruit, branches, leaves, or dead animals decompose on the forest floor. The soil involved becomes enriched by the breakdown of those organic materials, resulting in beneficial bacteria, microbes, and chemicals. When we compost for our gardens, we are assisting and speeding up the decomposition of organic materials. Compost creates the rich layer of humus plants need to thrive and produce brag-worthy plant life filled with vitamins, color, and heartiness.
Thinking about composting? Here is some information to consider:
You don’t need a lot of space to compost.
There is an idea that one needs lots of space, or plans to grow a lot of produce, to warrant the effort of composting. Actually, it can be done on any scale for which we have the space, energy, and need. We can even compost indoors using modified five gallon buckets, old dresser drawers, or plastic bins. The Spruce has great tips on how to do this ourselves. Also, there are many stylish, inexpensive online options for outdoor and indoor bins, as well as at our local gardening store and several of our favorite retail establishments. There are even kitchen countertop versions available!
Should I compost the traditional way, or vermicompost?
Vermicomposting utilizes worms to better aerate the soil, as well as hasten the decomposition process of our materials. With traditional compost, we need to turn the materials to bring oxygen to the process. With vermicompost, the worms do this with their wriggling movements, reducing the physicality required from us. This is ideal for gardeners who have limited mobility. Also, Vermicompost takes much less time to be ready, while traditional compost can take between six and nine months to be ready for use. Another advantage of vermiculture is worm castings. Castings are the waste eliminated by worms, and are higher in phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen than traditional composting.
Traditional composting also has its advantages. It can be done indoors or outdoors, bins can be as deep or shallow as we desire, and turning the compost can be physically satisfying exercise. And while both methods improve soil quality, plant growth and yield, and when done properly, limit dangerous or destructive pests, traditional composting is less expensive than vermicomposting. Traditional composting also uses heat, while vermiculture necessitates regulated cooler temperatures, more precise ratios of materials, and requires a slightly more complex harvest.
I’ve heard it’s smelly business! And what about pests?
We’ve heard this, too! But the fact of the matter is that done correctly, compost does not offend. Composting is a delicate balance of water, air, and differing organic materials. Given this, there are a few conditions which contribute to a bad smelling compost.
Too much moisture.
If your compost is too wet, the microbes ordinarily responsible for breaking materials down cannot do that work. If the pile is not turned often enough, the other materials not abundant enough, or the pile is located in space that is too cool. An overabundance of moisture brings down oxygen levels, slowing the decomposition process.
The components are not proportionate ..
A compost pile, or vermicompost bin, holds materials. We add what are called “brown” materials, “green” material, and water. Each of these materials does a job important to the nutrient content of the pile. Too much of either green or brown materials inhibits the breakdown of material.
Items like meat and dairy were added.
Meat and dairy can be composted, being super-rich in nutrients, but separately from green waste compost. Meat products, bones, and dairy should be composted on a smaller scale, covered. Composting such material, however, may bring pests to the pile.
What is in compost?
Compost consists of brown and green materials, as well as soil and water. “Brown materials for composting include dry or woody plant material. In most cases, these materials are brown, or naturally turn brown like fall leaves, pine needles, scratch papers, twigs, tree branches and bark”. The green materials are the food waste added, such as banana peels, tea leaves and tea bags, egg shells, rinds and used coffee grounds. Then, water (and worms, if vermicomposting). These proportions matter. If there is too much food waste, or green, the food is simply wet and spoiling. Too much brown can dry out our pile.
These materials are layered in the bin. Begin with a diverse collection of brown materials, then a layer of green waste, and a little water to keep things moist so micro-organisms can do their powerful work. Then add some more paper, leaves, yard trimmings, food scraps, and so on as needed.
How the bin is situated is also important. When doing traditional compost, ideally the bin rests on the ground to catch some of those organisms. The more diverse the organic materials, including bugs and organisms that break down materials, the higher the quality of the resulting humus. Where it is situated matters, too. Heat is integral to the chemical breakdown of the materials. Vermicompost bins need to be kept in a cool space, typically indoors, to keep worms from drying out and dying. The worms do the work of breaking down materials, making the process physical rather than chemical. This means gardeners need to turn their piles more often with the traditional method.
All that is to say . . .
Our sister farm, Sunna Ra Acres, uses compost to feed our gorgeous, fragrant cannabis! If we have the desire, energy, and resources, composting is a beneficial way to nourish our soil, enrich our produce, and participate in our food production, ensuring its cleanliness and nutritional value and beauty. From soil, to seed, to harvest, to consumption, starting with amended soil, along with healing the soil we use, brings huge pride and satisfaction for so many gardeners.
For additional information, check out these sources:
Stop Compost Smell! 5 Reasons Your Compost Stinks
Why Does My Compost Pile Smell Bad?
How to Hot Compost
Which Items are "Greens", and Which are "Browns?"
Vermicomposting 101: What Are the Differences Between Vermicomposting and Composting?
thinking about mothers day
mother’s Day, we take time to celebrate and appreciate the women that helped to raise and guide us into the people we are today. Some brought us into this world, others adopted us into theirs, and many we celebrate because they are important mother figures in our lives.
Psychologists suggest that strong bonds first form between mother and child during the feeding process. They link the feeling of being full after feeding to the feeling of being fulfilled. This may mean our first positive feelings towards our mothers are survival based.
Harry Harlow, a physiologist working at the University of Wisconsin-Madison during the 1960’s, believed that comfort played more of a key role in the love that we feel for our mothers. He performed a study where he deprived young monkey’s of food and then placed them with two available mother figures, one which would provide comfort and no food; and one which would provide food yet no comfort. Time and time again the monkey’s would fill their bellies with food, but then run right back to their comfort mothers. Some would even come close to starving before leaving the warmth that their comfort mother was giving them to seek more food. His work supported the idea that a mother’s bond went far beyond simple survival.
Another study done by Mary Ainsworth suggests that a mother’s behavior has more influence then we may even be aware of. Her work focused on the idea that these relationships we have with our mothers in particular, give us mental representation of what our future relationships with others should look like. In some ways we crave love and fellowship more than we crave basic needs like food and comfort. This means the impact our mothers have in our lives is extremely significant.
Our mother’s put in a lot of work to shape us and build us into contributing members of society. Today’s mothers and Grandmothers are working full time jobs while making sure their children have good meals and a structured upbringing. Essentially, it is harder than ever to be a mother.
We had a customer in the shop the other day who bought our Hypnos Hemp Sleep Aid Tincture to help her get more out of her nights rest. She said the tincture allowed her to wake up as fresh and ready for her three children who, right now, require a lot of her attention. From making sure they have completed their at home school work, to making sure they don’t forget how to be social she is one busy mom. This is also known as caring for yourself so you can care for others. Sometimes though, our beloved mothers forget to take time to care for themselves. Mother's Day is our chance to help, and to remind them of how precious they are to us.
If you are looking for the perfect gift for mom, Sun God Medicinals has produced fantastic herbal products that have supportive herbs for any woman looking for a boost. The Eir line of products is formulated and compounded with women in mind, featuring supportive medicinal herbs traditionally used by herbalists for their hormone balancing properties, as well as support of the female reproductive system.
The Eir line includes herbs such as:
BLACK COHOSH (Arctium lappa)
The Eir line includes products for women of all ages and needs, but maybe the Hypnos sleep aid or another selection of herbs is right for your mom - each one makes a thoughtful gift to remind mom to take some time for herself. Comfort gifts are great, because they allow mom multiple opportunities to take time for herself. Think medicinal herbs this year and give the gift of relief.
This mother’s Day, we hope you take time to celebrate the person who helped you become you!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Hemp Products Disclaimer: All Products Contain Less Than 0.3% THC.
the herbalist corner 3/04:
Ahh.. the clouds are beginning to clear, and more days of sunny weather are starting to outweigh those frigid, grey afternoons. Any major climate shift will cause some disruptions to our day-to-day life. Achy joints, general fatigue, and sluggish digestion are all common experiences in the sloth of winter. Lucky for us, and as the Beatles put it best, here comes the sun! It’s time to get ourselves prepared for the activities and enjoyment spring has to offer. The best way to prepare yourself for this seasonal change, is to build your immune system and support your mental health.
Prevention is key with immune health, and with our current, world viral scare, there’s no better time to adopt a few immune system boosting habits. Some of my favorites include: prioritizing sleep, at least 6-8 hours is ideal to allow cell repair, regeneration and recovery. Eating your rainbow, nutrition and gut health are key to a balanced immune system. Eating real food, mostly plants and staying hydrated are also crucial. The general rule of thumb for hydration is for every pound you weigh, drink one ounce of water. There are certainly more ways to support your immune health, but by adding these suggestions into your routine, you may just see a difference in your overall well-being.
As the days begin to warm, and our sluggish habits of winter start to shed, we may find ourselves caught in a lazier than we would like mentality. Don’t fret, this is normal and there are ways to support your mental health when these feelings arise. My favorites include any type of meditation practice, generally for 5-10 minutes, or more! There are a few different types of meditation you can try. Positive affirmations are another way to boost your confidence and revitalize your being. Try it in the mirror each morning on the way to work! Of course we can’t forget about herbal support- from nervines to adaptogens, there are so many to choose from. Some go-to herbal remedies I grab when I am feeling mentally sluggish or just a bit down in the dumps are Milky Oats and Saint John's Wort. Both offer unique nervine, or nervous system support, and are powerful adaptogens that help our bodies adjust to our environments.
Breeze Botanical stores offer a variety of products that are formulated with some of my favorite herbal allies, as well as products that may support the immune system and overall vitality. The Panacea Immune Support Hemp Tincture from Sun God Medicinals provides a well-rounded combination of both immune and nervous system support, with the added relief of hemp, and they are crafted with bioregional, sustainably harvested herbs (bonus!)
At both store locations, we have a well-trained team, ready to answer any questions you may have. For any in-depth inquiries, we also have our clinical herbalist standing by to guide you on your path of healing- book an appointment today and begin your herbal medicine journey!
the herbalist corner 2/17:
Aphrodisiacs have always intrigued us here at Breeze Botanicals. From their potent, lust giving abilities, to the tasty flavors and aromas of the variety of edible aphrodisiacs out there- I just want to try them all, and I am sure you share the same urges. Before I decided to indulge in my favorite lovely treats this month, I decided to do a little research first. What is an aphrodisiac anyway, and where did they come from? Here’s a quick glimpse into that fantastic tale, and some herbal accompaniments that may just enhance your love life in all the right ways.
A very brief re-telling of the story of the Greek Goddess, Aphrodite, sheds some light on the progression of the history and integration of these powerful herbal elixirs and allies that blurred the line between medicine and magic. Aphrodite, of which aphrodisiac was later named, was famed for her delectable treats known to increase sex drive and performance. The only catch: in exchange for these much desired traits was the consumption of a few succulent and fresh...dove brains!
But do not fret, there are a few tastier options available to us that have those same spicy effects! There are a variety of aphrodisiacs that are steeped in both science and lore, but one of my favorites is definitely chocolate! Sun God Medicinals, Ra Cannabis Chocolate Squares, available in both peppermint and orange flavors, are blended with a silky cocoa that is sure to tickle the senses. Chocolate, and more properly cacao, has been used by the Mayans for centuries for both ritual and daily consumption. It is considered an aphrodisiac because of how it can spike the dopamine of the pleasure center of the brain, resulting in “all the feels”.
At Breeze Botanical stores, we carry Sun god Medicinals compounded blends of potent aphrodisiacs and other supportive herbs, formulated to help you achieve your most pleasurable experiences yet! From single herbal tincture of Rose and Damiana to Lemon Balm and Motherwort, to herbal tea blends such as the Heka Happy Tea and Hercules Muscle Ease Tea, all make easy additions to any daily routine, that can add that little bit of enjoyment to your day that you surely deserve. Stop by Breeze Botanical stores to check out these products, and many more of our lovely herbal options!
We are always so delighted to hear questions from our LOVELY customers, and especially feedback on any of our products. So please leave us a review, bring a friend to our stores, and begin to spread the knowledge and the access to sustainable, bioregional medicinal herbs and Cannabis. And as always, Happy Healing!!
Sometimes ingesting or inhaling herbs isn't an option. It's still possible to enjoy the therapeutic benefits of herbs, including cannabis, without putting it in your body. We call this transdermal application topicals. Topicals can include herb-infused lotions, salves, massage oils, etc., that are applied to the skin, usually directly to the area of discomfort. Cannabis topicals are minimally invasive and most of the time non-psychoactive. The cannabinoids, such as THC, CBD, or CBN, are absorbed into the skin, but usually don't have a cerebral effect, making it a great option for those who can't or don't want to feel any psychoactivity.
Topicals allow for quicker and more focused relief. They may be effective for localized nerve pain, tension, muscle ache, inflammation, and even some skin conditions. When absorbed through the skin, cannabinoids bind to the abundant CB2 receptors near the skin's surface. This may help explain the non-psychoactive nature of topicals, since a high occurs when THC binds to CB1 receptors. The cannabinoids are also not typically crossing into the bloodstream unless applied directly to a vienous region or in people with very thin skin, like seniors. It is advised, that seniors or people with thinner skin start with caution to evaluate psychoactivity. Begin with a small test area of skin to evaluate the cerebral effects from any THC-rich topical.
The effects of localized relief in topicals may be felt rather quickly. Continued reapplication may be necessary, but topicals are a convenient and covert way to use medicinal herbs whenever necessary. Topicals may not be the best standalone method for someone experiencing deep tissue, widespread, or chronic pain because the product may not reach that deeply or address the root cause of the pain or spasms. A better approach may be pairing a topical with an internal method, like a tincture. However, heat is a useful tool for increasing the effectiveness of topicals. A good time to apply your lotion or salve is after a hot shower when your pores are open. Try pressing a heating pad to the area after applying the topical to help ease muscles or inflammation.
Topicals are a friendly and effective way to use medicinal herbs, including cannabis therapeutically. It provides an opportunity for new or wary users to see for themselves how medicinal cannabis can be effective.
The Herbalist corner 2/2:
Mmmm love is in the air… the sweet smell of roses and the decadent taste of chocolate are beginning to creep into our minds. That’s right, Valentine’s day is soon upon us and it has us at Breeze Botanicals thinking about our heart health on many levels. This season is sure to bring a mix of emotions from passion to disappointment, and unfortunately we all have experienced this wide spectrum, but did you know that there may be a few herbal allies that may just become your favorite shoulder to cry on and new best friend during those hard times. Supportive herbs such as Damiana and St. John’s Wort has become popular thymoleptic herbs, or contain mood-enhancing abilities, that offer both a sweet fragrance and taste that are almost as comforting as a warm embrace. Luckily, we carry these herbs, as well as other heart-opening and protective herbs such as Rose and Hawthorn, in our apothecary as loose herbs, as well as in Hemp and Cannabis products compounded by Sun God Medicinals.
The Heka Happy Tea Blend and the Eir Menopause Hemp Tincture both contain a variety of cardioprotective herbs that may support both physical and emotional well-being. We also offer a safe space to discuss your health and wellness plans with our clinical herbalist and well trained staff of professionals. If you are interested in booking an Herbal Consultation, please read more about the services offered here. Remember do not forget to love yourself, because at the end of the day, we all deserve a little bit of pleasure! Happy season of LOVE!
The Herbalist corner 1/16:
When we think of detoxing the body, we usually associate the liver, kidneys, and maybe the simple act of drinking water with this process, but did you know there is an even more robust system you can nourish that may just be the nudge you need to achieve your detoxification goals? I’m talking about the circulatory system!
Our blood makes up about 7% of our total body weight and can pump at a rate of five to six quarts per minute, and that's about two-thousand gallons per day! Think of blood as a giant public cleaning service, making stops and checking in on the organs, giving them what they need, and most importantly, taking away what they do not. Our blood is not only a massive amount of liquid flowing between the cells of every organ in the body, it is also a complex formulation of hormones, electrolytes, nutrients, gasses, red and white blood cells, and of course, water. Without each of these vital components our blood would not be able to attract impurities and carry the toxins to their appropriate elimination routes.
We often hear the saying, “build your blood”, but what does that mean? According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, when we have depleted blood or nutrient deficient blood, then that may be reflected in symptoms not only associated with poor heart health, but also mental disease in the forms of anxiety and depressed states. Some traditional diets suggest supporting the blood through regular consumption of seaweed, black soy, organ meats like liver, red meat, eggs, and specific herbs. Herbs such as Licorice, Astragalus, and Reishi are a few that have been traditionally significant, and modern science has backed as well.
I know what you're thinking- You had no idea our blood was this important huh? Well, do not fret! It is never too late to build your blood, restore the proper balance of nutrients, and maintain a healthy and vivacious life. At Breeze Botanicals stores we carry various Sun God Medicinal products, compounded with both Cannabis, Hemp, and Herbals, that include blood building and circulatory herbs, that may support you in realizing your detoxification desires and beyond. Also, please keep in mind we do have a Clinical Herbalist, as well as highly trained professionals on staff, ready to answer any questions you may have in either stores or over the phone. Happy Healing!
The HErbalist Corner 12/29:
3….2.. wait not yet- we still have a few days before the New Year’s celebrations begin, but did you make your resolution yet? It is that looming question on everybody's mind, but where do you start to even divulge the list of changes you hope to enact in the year to come. Take a deep breath and try not to panic, and let’s see if my short guide to resolution setting can ease you through this stressful time of year.
My first piece of advice in differentiating between my needs from my wants for the upcoming year is with a good, old fashioned list. Never underestimate the value of physically writing something down, putting it in an intuitive order from most to least supportive as they come to you naturally, and allow yourself to step back and observe all of the notions you just put on the table. Although it might not feel like it yet, you actually have already taken the first step toward what I consider a mindful transition to achieve our New Year's resolutions. I sometimes like to take it one step further by after completing my list to my best ability (and you are always welcome to add and delete- there are no real rules here), I start to go, one-by-one, through the items and visualize their success. I’m sure you have heard it before, something along the lines of: you must see it to believe it, and it’s many other variations- but it works! I implore you to try this practice while beginning to set your New Year’s resolutions.
Another practice I find supportive when beginning to contemplate the goals for the year to come is through meditation and mindfulness practices. These can manifest in so many ways from yoga or workout classes, to healing self-care routines such as abayanga, Ayurvedic oil massage, or a simple date with nature. I find my most clear-minded states when grounded in the forest, surrounded by the scent of pines, cedars, and junipers, in a space where I feel I am able to connect to my intentions most acutely. It is important to find a practice that fits well with yourlifestyle, that feels safe, and that allows you the space to explore even the silliest of notions. Our goals and intentions for the New Year may not be as clear-cut as we may have hoped, so by tapping into a more mindful sate, I find that the clutter begins to clear and the truly supportive ideas shine.
Lastly, herbal allies have always been there for me in times of confusion or intense desire, when all I want is to make that thing happen and I become fixated on whether I fail or succeed. This year, instead of letting these feelings of doubt and control come over you, befriend and herb that allows you to escape these negative feelings of self. Thymoleptic herbs, or mood enhancing botanicals, work to both nourish and uplift the nervous system, helping us to shake the rollercoaster of emotions. When I am in a pinch, and need to escape overwhelming feelings, I lean on my tincture preparations of herbals and when I have a longer moment to unwind, I like to indulge in a variety of herbal teas, such as Chamomile, Lavender, and Skullcap- to name a few favorites.
Here at Breeze Botanicals we are fortunate to carry Sun God Medicinals compounded formulation of herbal tinctures, teas, and topicals that are formulated for the intentions of supporting the nervous system and to nourish tissues throughout the body; this enables us to feel more-centered and ready to tackle any New Year’s resolution we have decided to set. Products such as the Heka and Hercules lines of teas, tinctures, and topicals, provide a variety of nervous tension relief and may help support a clearer mind, helping you to be more precise when setting those personal goals for the upcoming year. Also, for a more in-depth consultation, we have a clinical herbalist on staff who is ready to support you as we move into the New Year- reserve an appointment today and start your year with positive change!
The Herbalist Team at Breeze Botanical's uses our collective educational experiences and on-going thirst for knowledge to normalize the conversation around herbs and to demystify the world of herbal medicine. Join us on this journey and embrace the plants around you.