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Frequently Asked Questions

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FAQs: Beeyoutifultop

Q: My youngest daughter will be 3 soon, can I give her a half a dose of SuperKids?

A: There are no high concentrations of fat soluble vitamins in either of these two products, so the dosages you suggested should be fine. Water soluble vitamins get stored until storage capacity (mostly in the liver) is full and then get excreted harmlessly. Fat soluble vitamins like A, can actually be deadly in high dosages as the body doesn't excrete them. I can't think of any allergens or anything else that would be a problem.

Q: The SuperMom pills do not say that they are gluten free...Do you happen to know if this is just an oversight, or if they do contain some gluten?

A: It contains wheat grass, but not wheat. Wheat grass has no gluten. They don't certify it as gluten free because there is the off chance that some kernels of wheat can manage to get into the harvest. But, we've had quite a few ciliacs use the SuperMom and SuperDad products with no ill effects whatsoever.

FAQs: Berkey Water Filterstop

Q: I'm about to order an Imperial Berkey, where does it ship from and how do you ship it?

A: All Berkey items ship directly from the manufacturer located in Colorado. And, unless otherwise requested, all Berkey items shipped to Continental U.S. addresses are shipped via UPS Ground with Signature Required (except for replacement parts that may ship via Postal Service). All other destinations are shipped to via Postal Service.

Q: In case I don't like the Berkey I choose or something and want a refund, what's your return policy?

A: As long as the Berkey items you purchased are not used, you are welcome to return them for a refund within 60 days of the purchase date. However, please be advised that, unless there was a shipping error or shipping damage by UPS, a 15% restocking will be deducted from your refund (imposed by the Berkey manufacturer). A used item that is not working properly, will be warranted as stated in the following answer (below this one).

Q: Is there a warranty with these Berkey water filters? You know, in case one is not working right.

A: Yes, the Black Berkey purification elements have a two-year prorated warranty calculated in six months intervals. Our guarantee is prorated similar to the guarantee on tire tread. In other words, if you have used the filters for six months, 75% of the guarantee still applies and so you can get a replacement set for 25% of the normal cost.

The systems themselves (Big Berkey, etc.) and their components have a six-month warranty as stated below.

New Millennium Concepts, Ltd. (the manufacturer) warrants Berkey Products to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for a period of 6 months from date of purchase. Black Berkey purification elements have a two-year prorated warranted calculated in six months intervals. New Millennium Concepts, Ltd. will replace or repair any product that it deems is not properly functioning during the stated warranty period. Relief under this warranty is limited to the replacement or repair of defective materials or workmanship only. New Millennium Concepts, Ltd. shall not be held liable for incidental or consequential damage to personal property from, but not limited to, a defective unit, improper use, abuse, accident, or neglect, etc. No warranty will apply to units which have been used for purposes not intended, which have been altered so as, in the manufacturers judgment, to affect adversely its performance. This warranty is for the original retail purchaser only, and cannot be transferred. Repair or replacement of parts will be made upon delivery to manufacturer’s plant or authorized service dealer at customer’s expense. The laws of the State of Texas, USA, will govern any disputes regarding this warranty or claim made. This warranty, which is given expressly in lieu of all warranties, expressed or implied, or merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, constitutes the only warranty made by New Millennium Concepts, Ltd.

Q: We would like to get a Berkey system but don't know which size to buy. Can you help?

A: There are 3 factors to consider when choosing the best size for your needs:

1) How many gallons of water do you consume per day? As a rule of thumb, one person consumes 1 - 2 gallons per day. That adds up to 2 - 4 gallons per day for a couple, and so on. Once you have that figure, you'll want to purchase a system that will NOT require you to refill it more than twice a day to produce the amount of water you need. For instance, if you determine you consume about 6 gallons per day, the Royal Berkey will be the smallest system you'll want to purchase as it holds 3.25 gallons. Refilled twice in one day, it would produce about 6.5 gallons.

As you can read in our Customer Feedback, many of our customers find they drink more water when they start using a Berkey system for the simple reason that the water tastes much better. They also use the "Berkey water" for all their cooking needs as well. "If you wouldn't drink it, don't cook with it." Naturally, this use increases the amount of water they consume per day.

2) Emergencies: a natural disaster or simple power outage can temporarily render you without water. In such occasions, you'll be glad to have purchased a Berkey system with a holding capacity greater than your average daily need.

3) An increase in users: after a number of years, you may find that your Berkey system is needing to be refilled more often to keep up with a growing family (more members and/or children have grown into adults). You'll be glad to have secured a Berkey system with this in mind as it is a lifetime purchase.

Go Berkey - 1 Quart
Travel Berkey - 1.5 Gallons
Big Berkey - 2.25 Gallons
Berkey Light - 2.75 Gallons
Royal Berkey - 3.25 Gallons
Imperial Berkey - 4.5 Gallons
Crown Berkey - 6 Gallons

Q: What is the filtration rate per hour for the various Berkey systems?

A: The chart below shows the gallons per hour for each system, when configured with 2 Black Berkey elements and when expanded to accommodate the maximum number of elements. Flow rates calculated with upper chamber full to top. Flow rate decreases as water level declines.

Travel Berkey - 2.75 Gallons - n/a
Big Berkey - 3.5 Gallons - 7 Gallons
Berkey Light - 4.25 Gallons - 8 Gallons
Royal Berkey - 4.0 Gallons - 8 Gallons
Imperial Berkey - 5.5 Gallons - 16.5 Gallons
Crown Berkey - 6.5 Gallons - 26 Gallons

Q: A family in our area recently purchased a Crown Berkey from you with 8 elements, and they love it. I'd like to buy one too but don't know how many elements I need. How do I figure that out?

A: The more elements that you have in your Berkey system, the faster the water is filtered. For instance, a Royal Berkey with 4 elements can filter water twice as fast as one with 2 elements. A Crown Berkey with 8 elements will filter water 4 times faster than a Crown Berkey with 2 elements. This can make a big difference when you need water NOW, and there is no filtered water in the Berkey.

Picture this, you walk up to your Berkey to get some water only to find it is near empty because someone forgot to refill it. At such a time, the more elements your Berkey has, the sooner you will have water available. Your friends' Crown Berkey with 8 elements will provide them with gallons of filtered water in just a few minutes vs. waiting a while for the water to be filtered using, say only 2 elements.

More elements in a Berkey will not only filter the water faster but you will also have less need to clean the elements as more elements "share" the load of purifying the water. Moreover, more elements is like having more than one pair of shoes in that one pair of shoes will wear out faster if that is all you use.

You also save on the purchase of a system with 4 elements or more as each pair of elements are $7 less ($100 vs. $107).

The Travel Berkey can only use 2 elements at one time. That means the rate at which they filter the water is fixed (not upgradeable). On the other hand, the Big, Royal, Imperial and Crown Berkeys are all capable of using more than 2 elements at one time. This option is critical considering that Berkeys are a life-time purchase.

Q: How do I know when it is time to replace Black Berkey elements in my system?

A: The manufacturer suggests 2 methods. The first method is:

1) Multiply the number of Black Berkey elements in your system by 3,000 gallons to get Total Gallons for all Elements within the system.
2) Next keep track of how many times you usually refill the upper chamber in a week.
3) Then multiply that figure times the capacity in gallons of your particular system (for example the Berkey Light system is 2.75 gallons) to determine Total Gallons Used per Week.
4) Finally divide the Total Gallons Used per Week into the Total Gallons for all Filters and that will tell you how many weeks before the filters should be replaced.
5) Next, calculate the future date for replacement (52 weeks per year), write that date on a sticker and attach it to the bottom of your system for future reference.

Your Black Berkey elements will never stop working; the filtration rate just slows down. This brings us to the second method. If after cleaning your elements they do not filter any faster; it is time to replace them. This is the simplest way to decide, and the one we use ourselves.

Q: We are going to be traveling to a third world country and will require a system for a large group of people. Which system would you recommend?

A: As a rule of thumb, you will need 2 gallons per day per person for sustained use and 1/2 to one gallon per day per person for short-term emergency use. The difference being that for sustained use more water is required for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and hygiene whereas for short-term emergency use, drinking water alone is calculated. Please make a determination as to the number of people within the group and whether or not the system will be used for sustained or for emergency use, then review the above FAQ’s to make a determination as to the best system to meet your group's needs.

You might also want to consider taking several Sport Berkey purification bottles as well. These systems are very compact personal purification systems and were developed for use in third world countries. They often come in very handy when travel requires that you be away from the location of your larger purification system.

Q: What are the basic differences between the Berkey Light and the other stainless steel systems?

A: The Berkey Light system is designed for outdoor use therefore it is about three pounds lighter in weight than the equivalent capacity of our stainless steel system. The Go Berkey system is also designed for outdoor use and is the smallest of the stainless steel systems. It is compact enough to fit within a suitcase because unlike the Berkey Light system, the upper chamber nests within the lower chamber during travel. This is the preferred system when mobility is a big issue.

The four-multi use systems are designed for indoor everyday use so they are of a heavier construction than the above systems but these systems can also be used outdoors or during unexpected emergencies when a source of potable water may not be available.

Q: I have been using my system for about 6 months and the flow rate has slowed down considerably. Do I need to replace the elements?

A: No. Unlike other filtration elements, the Black Berkey elements and the ceramic elements are re-cleanable. What typically causes the filters to drip slowly is turbidity and sediment clogging the micro-pores of the elements. Simply remove the elements from your system, scrub the exterior of each element under running water with preferably a green pad (3M or ScotchBrite brand, etc.) or stiff toothbrush. It’s simple to do and takes less than a minute per element.

Q: Do the Black Berkey elements remove drugs from the water?

A: There are simply too many varieties of pharmaceuticals that a water filtering system could be tested for to see how it performs. By too many I mean it is impossible to test for them all. However, we do know from testing, that the purification process used by the Black Berkey elements remove more pollutants than any other system available on the market today. In other words, if there are any systems that remove pharmaceuticals from the water, the Black Berkeys are one of them.

Q: I just started using my Berkey system but it is hardly filtering any water. Am I doing something wrong?

A: Typically the problem you are experiencing is due to high water tension, which prevents the air from purging from the micro pores of the new purification elements. Included with your Black Berkey elements is a priming button and instructions for use. Take out the Black Berkey elements, prime, and re-install them when you finish.

Q: Is there a way to test my Berkey system to make sure it is working properly?

A: Yes. You can test the Black Berkey elements by filling the upper chamber with water, and then adding a tablespoon of food coloring for every gallon of water within your upper chamber. If the food coloring is removed entirely, your system is working properly. If not, make sure the wing nuts on the elements are securely tightened then re-run the test.

Q: I just purchased a Berkey system but didn't receive a priming button with my Black Berkey elements. Instead, I think I received an extra black washer in the box. The instructions say to use the tan colored priming button. What gives?

A: Please check in the box which held your Black Berkey elements. The box should contain two elements. Attached to each element should be a rubber washer and a wing nut. Also in the box, should be what could look like another single black rubber washer. This is your priming button. It is thicker than the washers and the center hole is smaller. This black priming button can easily be confused with a washer (we asked the manufacturer to change the color of the priming button back to tan).

Q: What are the differences between the Super Sterasyl Ceramic elements and the Black Berkey elements ?

A: The ceramic elements were developed and are made in England since the early 1800’s, and are what gave the Berkey systems their world renowned reputation. The Black Berkey elements were developed and are made in the U.S. since around 2000. As you will see below, they are very similar. However, after using and selling them for 11 years, experience has taught us that the ceramic elements are trouble-free (more likely to perform for several years with no issues).

1) Longevity: Both elements are re-cleanable, but the ceramic elements may last longer.
2) Price: About the same.
3) Filtration Rate: About the same.
4) Post Filters: Both elements can be enhanced (when needed) by the use of post filters (PF-2 for the Black Berkey elements and PF-4 for the ceramic elements). Post filters slow the filtering rate by 15 – 20%.
5) Filtering power: The Black Berkey elements remove slightly more chlorine, lead, and other heavy metals, and completely remove MTBE. The ceramic elements need to be combined with the PF-4 to accomplish this. Both elements need the use of their post filters to reduce fluoride.

Both the Black Berkey elements and the ceramic are far more powerful and last longer than any other filtering systems available today. Whichever one you choose, you made the right choice. Again, after hearing from our customers for 11 years, we recommend the ceramic elements over the Black Berkeys.

Q: Do the PF-2 elements replace the Black Berkey elements?

A: No. The Black Berkey elements and the PF-2 elements are used together at the same time. The top of the PF-2 elements screw onto the bottom of the Black Berkey elements (similar to installing a light bulb). The water flows through the Black Berkey elements, then the PF-2 elements. "PF" in PF-2 stands for Post Filter.

Q: We are on well water. Do we need the PF-2 elements?

A: Not likely. The PF-2 elements should only be used if you have confirmed with your municipality that they are adding fluoride to the water OR you have tested the water and found it to have fluoride and you want to remove it. The PF-2 elements are not usually needed if you are using spring or well water.

Keep in mind that use of the PF-2 elements slows the filtration rate of your Berkey system by 15 – 20 %. They also displace water which means your Berkey system will hold (store) less water in the bottom chamber.

Q: I installed my PF-2 elements but my water is a bit cloudy, and why does it have a bad taste?

A: Insufficient re-conditioning (priming) may result in an undesirable taste and/or cloudiness in the water. The odd taste is from process dust that may not have been washed free from the elements during the conditioning process. Please remove the PF-2 elements and re-condition them for no less than 60 seconds (longer may be needed) on both ends. This should expel any residual process dust and fix the problem.

Q: Can I filter sea (salt) water through my Berkey system?

A: No. The concentration of salt in sea water will more than likely ruin the elements fairly quickly.

Q: I have a water softener installed in our house, can I filter that water through my Berkey?

A: Some folks do but we do not recommend it. It is best if you put water in your Berkey that has not gone through your water softener (the excess salt will likely shorten the life of the elements).

Q: In case of an emergency, can I take water from our pool and filter it with my Berkey system? Will all the chlorine be removed?

A: Yes. The Berkeys can make chlorinated pool water safe for consumption. However, keep in mind that such a use will cause the elements to wear faster. So, I would only do so in case of emergency.

Q: Which of the three methods of water filtration, reverse osmosis, distillation or Berkey purification is the healthiest for drinking purposes?

A: With respect to the healthfulness of the water, most health experts that are up to date on current research are no longer recommending drinking RO or distilled water on a long-term basis because these methods remove all the beneficial minerals from the water making the water an acidic "hypotonic" solution. A chemist will tell you that any time a hypotonic (de-mineralized) solution comes into contact with a "hypertonic" (mineralized) solution, the minerals within the hypertonic solution will transfer out and into the hypotonic solution until equilibrium is achieved. What this means is simply that when one drinks hypotonic water, the minerals in the blood and lymphatic system, which are hypertonic, transfer into the hypotonic RO or distilled water that is consumed and the minerals are flushed out of the body upon urination.

In an effort to re-mineralize, the blood and lymphatic systems then begin to scavenge for minerals from other parts of the body, such as bones and other organs, and this process repeats itself every time de-mineralized hypotonic water is re-consumed. Several studies suggest that people who drink de-mineralized water (hypotonic) over a long period of time tend to be more prone to degenerative diseases such as osteoporosis.

Berkey purification systems do not remove the beneficial minerals from the water but they do extract harmful heavy metals such as lead and mercury as well as sedimentary minerals such as iron oxide. Therefore, the TDS reading will not typically change much unless there are a lot of heavy metals or sedimentary minerals in the source water.

Q: With respect to maintenance, how does reverse osmosis, distillation and Berkey systems compare?

A: All Berkey systems are easy to disassemble and clean. The lower chamber should be washed in ordinary dishwater occasionally. The elements may need to be cleaned typically after 6-12 months of use.

Distillation systems need to be soaked and cleaned with vinegar solution to remove the scale, typically after each gallon or two.

Reverse osmosis systems can have up to four filter elements, with each needing to be changed at differing intervals from four months up to two years. This requires that the water pressure be shut off and part or all of the system to be disassembled for maintenance. Additionally, the bladder tank should be washed with a chlorine solution at six-month intervals to kill any colonizing bacteria.

Q: What is the pathological removal capability of a reverse osmosis system vs. the Berkeys?

A: Reverse Osmosis does not remove pathogenic bacteria and that is why it is often necessary to add an additional UV light to the system. However, the UV sometimes does not kill all the bacteria because any turbidity in the water can create shaded spots preventing some bacteria from being exposed. Typically, the UV is installed before the bladder tank; however it is in the bladder tank that bacteria usually colonize. Therefore, if the bladder tank is not sterilized on a regular basis, it becomes a source for bacteriological contamination that is never exposed to UV. Additionally, the carcasses of the dead bacteria remain within the drinking water with an RO system whereas they are removed by the Black Berkey elements.

Q: With respect to cost, how does reverse osmosis, distillation and Berkey systems compare?

A: With respect to upfront cost, RO systems typically are the most expensive due to the cost of the system and the additional expense to have the system plumbed in. Next in cost would be a distillation unit. A Berkey system will typically be the least expensive of the three.

With respect to cost per gallon of water, calculated upon the cost per gallon for replacement filters and energy costs, distillation systems and RO systems properly maintained typically cost between 35-65 cents per gallon. A Berkey system typically costs about 1.6 cents per gallon.

Q: Is there a replacement element for the KDF Shower Filter ?

A: No, the KDF Shower Filter do not have a replacement element.

FAQs: Bulk Herb Blendstop

Q: Dear More Than Alive,
I just received my order of Lemon Lovers Tea (VERY quickly I might add!). I read and followed your website instructions, using 3 T of tea per 2 cups of water, and it worked just fine. My question is, can I brew a whole bunch of this at once and then store it in the refrigerator, or does that make the herbs less potent?

Also, can I tie the herbs up in a coffee filter when they are steeping or do they need to be loose in the pot?

A: Making a big batch of tea at once is not a bad idea. It will save you time, and be just as effective for a few days as long as you keep it refrigerated.

I've seen some folks tie up their loose herbs in coffee filters just as you thought of here. It is a great idea, as you save the step of straining the tea later. Just don't pack in the herbs too tight.

FAQs: Bulk Herbstop

Q: What is the best way to store bulk herbs?

A: In general, keep the herbs in air-tight containers, as cold as possible, and never expose them to light unless in use. If at all possible, keep them in the refrigerator or freezer.

Q: Which herbs should I avoid while I'm pregnant?

A: I'd avoid the internal use of the following herbs during pregnancy:

Wormwood herb
Black Walnut hull
Red Clover blossoms
Red Clover herb

Q: Which herbs would you consider to taste good in a tea?

A: The following are herbs we consider to taste good and we add them to recipes as flavor enhancers:

  • Chamomile flowers
  • Jasmine Green Tea
  • Peppermint leaf
  • Red Raspberry leaf
  • Spearmint leaf
  • Sarsaparilla root
  • Rooibos Tea
  • Cloves
  • Licorice root
  • Oolong Tea
  • Cinnamon chips
  • Elderberry
  • Lemon Balm
  • Hibiscus flowers

Q: I was reading...about cayenne, and had some questions regarding pregnancy and nursing. Little person #4 is due in 5 weeks, and I am having some issues with varicose veins, etc. I was wondering if I can take cayenne when I'm nursing a new baby...or could it affect milk flavor or the baby somehow?

A: I take the cayenne powder stirred into a drink throughout my pregnancies and during nursing. I have not noticed any ill effects whatsoever. Just remember to start a very small amount (no more than a quarter teaspoon) mixed into no more than four ounces of a drink of your choice. Lastly, as you increase the powder, it's best to take it twice in one day in lesser amounts than once in a larger amount.

Q: I am hearing that there are probably going to be forced vaccinations for the swine flu. What do you recommend to counteract this horrible vaccine?

A: I'll attempt to keep my answer to you short... A diet that includes the regular intake of antibacterial and antiviral herbs combined with some common sense and a healthy immune system is all one needs to ward off any potential epidemic/superbug/plague, etc. Some of the herbs that should be in one's diet are Cinnamon, Cloves, Cayenne, Garlic, Rosemary, Thyme, Turmeric, Activated Charcoal, Bentonite Clay, etc. (we consume these very regularly one way or another). Some examples of herbs that one should have on hand that are not easy to implement into one's diet are Yarrow, Lobelia, Echinacea, Elderberries, Pau d' Arco, Wormwood, etc. We have learned all we know about these and other herbs from reading the books we offer.

Q: I need to increase my intake of iodine. How do you make sure you are taking enough.

A: Most of the world gets its iodine from sources that originate in the ocean thus the salty taste (flavor). Kelp, like everything else that came from the ocean, is quite high on iodine. We have a mix of powdered herbs which includes kelp that we take everyday stirred into a liquid like juice or tea. That is our way of making sure we have enough iodine.

Eggs also have iodine. However, the highest concentration of iodine in a non-oceanic source is Black Walnut. We offer the hulls which is a brownish and oily powder. Its actually very high in many nutrients. You can read about it on our website, if it interests you. It would definitely be a very good source of iodine without any sodium.

For years now, we use only real salt which is quite different than table salt and most sea salts as it has a lot of color to it due to its high mineral content. One of the minerals it is high on is iodine.

FAQs: Essential Oilstop

Q: You offer so many oils. How do I choose which one I should use?

A: When we are considering which oil to use for a need, a few things help us decide:
1. How do I want to use it? Topically, internally, diffused, etc. Not all oils can be used internally. Some are best diffused. Others are for topical use only. Some can be used any way you choose. Figure out how you want to use it, and that may narrow your options down a bit.
2. How does it smell? Every oil has it's own unique scent. Some in our home love the smell of Lavender, while others are repulsed by it. This may be difficult to decide on, since you can't sample the scents. Just choose one you think will have a pleasant scent. You'll soon develop a like and dislike list.
3. How much does it cost? There can be a drastic price difference from one oil to the next. If 2 or 3 oils seem to be effective for the same condition, you may want to disqualify the most expensive one.
4. Is there a warning I should be aware of? Some oils should not be used internally during pregnancy. Others should not be used by children or those with a tendency to epilepticy. Always consider warnings that may help you choose which oil to use or which not to use.

FAQs: Generaltop

Q: Do you have a printed catalog?

A: Yes. However, be advised, it is nothing more than a few pages from our website printed out on paper (a few articles, the order form, etc.). The catalog is only a small fraction of the information available online. For someone that has internet access, the website is their best option. If you'd like to mail in your order, print out the order form and mail it in with your payment. Otherwise, please e-mail us your mailing address.

Q: Joy,
I had a miscarriage with severe bleeding on May 28th, and more severe bleeding followed by a D&C on June 3rd. I am now anemic. What can you recommend to help my blood heal as fast as possible? Also, can you recommend any natural sleep aids? I'm having trouble sleeping at night. I am still nursing my 14 month-old daughter, so anything I take would need to be safe for her.

A: I'm truly sorry to hear of your recent trials. The LORD is good and faithful.

Considering what you shared in your e-mail about the bleeding and D&C, I'd take SuperMom and Spirulina capsules at least until your iron level was completely back to normal (no more anemia). I’d also drink several glasses of tea made at home with herbs such as: Red Clover, Red Raspberry, Alfalfa, Oatstraw, Nettle, and such alike (an equal part of each is fine or in any amounts you prefer). Those herbs are full of nutrients that will build and purify your blood, along with other good medicinal benefits. Concerning the trouble sleeping, you may find that using all the above mentioned may take care of that too. I would use them for a little while before trying something specifically for the trouble sleeping.

All the above mentioned is safe during nursing, and would actually enrich the quality of your milk. I’ve only shared what I would do if I were in your situation. Feel free to write again, if needed.

Q: What product (on a tight budget) would you first recommend to our family that seems to catch every germ that goes around? And some of suffer from allergies and some from sinuses. Is there one thing that Dad, Mom, 4 year old, 2 year old and 2 month old can take? Thanks so much!

A: No products can make up for a healthy life-style: restful sleep, lots of water, lots of fun, eating a good old traditional diet, a good amount of physical activity, pursuing your dreams while maintaining a clear conscience, etc. You can save lots of money buying things that we and others offer by making improvements in such areas of your live(s). You may want to check out the Eat and Live page on our website.

Now, to simply answer your question: I would consider trying the product Tummy Tune-Up. It is a very powerful probiotic. You may see some good results using it. We sure like it and use it just about everyday in our home.

Q: I live in Australia. How can I find out exact shipping costs for my order before I place it?

A: First, add your desired items to the Shopping Cart. Then, click on the "Checkout" button. Enter your Country and Postal Code. This will show you the exact costs involved before making the purchase.

Q: How do I make sure I'm getting the bulk discount on my herb purchase?

A: The Shopping Cart applies all the bulk discounts automatically. For instance, if you have 11 lbs. of bulk herbs in your Shopping Cart, all the per pound prices have already been reduced by 10%.

Q: I was wondering if you had anything that you suggested for malaria prevention.

A: If you absolutely cannot avoid areas where malaria is common, try to do all possible not to be bitten by mosquitoes. Avoiding the bite is truly the best prevention. First, use repellent. We never use chemical repellents but this would be one exception. Malaria is much worse than the exposure to the chemicals in repellents. Cover yourself and clothing with it. Second, use more clothing than necessary to cover any exposed skin. Many mosquitoes can bite through a thin layer of cloth so wear whatever necessary to protect the skin while avoiding overheating. Third, use netting around your head and living area as much as possible.

Now, there are some herbs that may help if consumed internally regularly: Black Walnut, Horsetail, Cloves, Cayenne, Garlic, Yellow Dock, etc. These are all known parasitics.

Once malaria has been confirmed in the body, the must effective natural remedy we know of is drinking Wormwood tea. Wormwood is by far the worst tasting of all herbs. However, the folks we know that used it said it was bearable compared to the malaria symptoms. It can be consumed in smaller amounts to prevent malaria but it simply tastes so bitter that it would take a pretty brave soul to do that.

FAQs: Home Remediestop

Q: We just finished making some tinctures but wonder how much each of us should take? I wouldn't want to over do it. How do I figure out the right dosage for adults and children?

A: This is a very good question. Because tinctures are much more potent than teas, the doses of tinctures are more critical. Teas can normally be taken as often as desired.

We like to determine the doses of tinctures by starting each person with a small amount, and increasing only as necessary. Then, we jot down the amount so as to know how much to use next time. For instance, Rebekah discovered that when using the Sleep Sweet Tincture, it takes about 3 droppers full for her, 2 droppers full for her 4 year old, and 1 dropper full for her baby. This information was something she concluded after some trials. You can do the same. Just start out with an amount and see what happens. The next day, adjust the amount as you see fit, and jot it down. Oh, some of us prefer teaspoons over using a dropper. Use what you have.

Home herbal remedies are just that. There are some herbs that should be treated with caution when used internally, such as Wormwood and Rue. But, for the most part, there is room for trial and error.

Herbal Antibiotics and Practical Herbalism have recommend dosages with their remedies. These were helpful in leading us to come up with dosages for our own creations. Herbal Antibiotics and The ABC Herbal have a bit of very helpful information on determening dosages for children.

Q: My eldest daughter used to make elderberry syrup by boiling down the elderberries, I think with just water, then mixing it with glycerin. I want to make an elderberry syrup using raw apple cider vinegar and local raw honey. Could you give me any counsel on the best procedure?

A: The elderberries your daughter used were very likely to be fresh rather than dried. It can be made with dried berries but the procedure is slightly different, as well as the resulting syrup (I would imagine fresh is best for a syrup using honey or glycerine and dried is best for extracts using alcohol or vinegar).

Liquid extracts are made differently depending on what medium you choose. Almost all commercially available or home-made extracts use full grain or consumable alcohol as the medium of choice. Here are a few of the reasons for this:

1. By far, for most herbs, alcohol removes more of the medicinal properties than any other medium. A more concentrated extract means smaller dosages.
2. By far, extracts made with alcohol last longer before going bad (alcohol acts as a preservative).
3. By far, the procedure involved in making alcohol tinctures is simpler.

Now, some folks like to use alternatives to alcohol, such as glycerine, apple cider vinegar, honey, etc. Vinegar extracts are made using the same methods as alcohol (usually takes 2-3 weeks of herbs sitting in a container with the alcohol or vinegar: shake daily and after 2-3 weeks strain, and your done). Again, the vinegar does not extract as many of the medicinal properties.

Glycerine and honey extracts are made quite differently than alcohol and vinegar because to extract the medicinal properties from the herbs, the whole thing must be heated (low heat for several hours to several days). Though the extract is finished sooner rather than in several weeks, it is much more involved and messier. Of course, these 2 mediums are sweet to the tongue which means children are more open to the idea of such a medicine.

Now, a berry extract made with glycerine or honey is slightly different than one made of leaves or roots because you don't have to remove (strain) the berries when the extract is finished. One can blend the berries with the honey or glycerine and end up with a syrup.

BTW, knowing how effective and affordable Beeyoutiful's Berry Well is, I would not spend the time and effort to make an elderberry syrup. Unless, of course you have elderberries on your property that are begging you to use them in a remedy.

The above is just an opinion. Do your own research and enjoy what you learn. You can checkout the How-to directions page for more specifics on remedy making.

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