Fear and Anxiety – Not a Trick or a Treat

With Halloween just around the corner it seems fitting to cover some remedies that deal with fear and anxiety.  When it comes to emotional well-being Homeopathy is a wonderful ally to have on your side.  It’s gentle, effective and does not produce the potentially dangerous side effects that prescription medications can.  Listed below are some of the top remedies for fear and anxiety.

Aconitum Napellus:  This remedy is one of the first choices for panic disorders.  It includes panic attacks, especially when they come on in the evening or for those who wake up with fright 1 – 2 hours after going to sleep.  One who needs this remedy may also have a tremendous fear of death.  It is also a main remedy for someone who has great anxiety after an accident, such as a car accident.  There may also be a great anxiety for others, restlessness, fear of being in a crowded place and claustrophobia.

Agaracus:  This remedy contains an extreme fear of cancer and great anxiety about health.  Insignificant health issues are exaggerated causing great fear and anxiety.

Agnus Castus:  Like agaracus, this remedy focuses on great anxiety about one’s health but, in addition, when a person who needs this remedy gets sick they will feel that death is imminent.  There is a great fear of death.

Argentum Nitricum:  This remedy includes many fears and will generally be needed for someone who is also very impulsive by nature.  Fears include, claustrophobia, heights, bridges, diseases, accidents, fainting, driving, elevators, theaters, airplanes and the fear of being late.  There is anxiety about health and anxiety increases when alone.  A person needing this remedy generally feels better with company.  There is also an anxiety while anticipating an upcoming event.

Arsenicum Album:  This is another prominent remedy for panic attacks.  Panic attacks that will point you to this remedy generally happen after midnight or between midnight and 2am.  There is tremendous anxiety that often occurs with great restlessness.  There is anxiety about health and a despair about recovery when ill.  Also present may be a great anxiety about other family members or close friends because these people provide the person who needs this remedy with their security base.  Someone who requires this remedy will generally be proper, tense, worried and desire to be in control at all times.  Other fears include disease, especially cancer, germs, robbers, poverty, evil, vomiting and insanity.

Borax:  This remedy is marked by an extreme fear of downward motion.  This is so extreme that if it’s an infant the infant may scream when it’s being put down in it’s crib because of the downward motion.  There may be fear of escalators, descending stairs, elevators and even of rocking in a rocking chair because of the motion.

Bryonia:  Someone who may require this remedy has fears that center around the future, poverty and financial ruin.

Cannabis Indica:  This remedy is indicated when there is great anxiety and general fearfulness, which may include panic attacks.  There is a fear of insanity, which is usually expressed by a fear of losing control.  There also can be a fear that one will antidote their homeopathic remedy.

Kali Bromatum:  This remedy is indicated when the anxiety presents as more of a paranoia.  It can also be indicated when fear centers around religiosity.  One needing this remedy may feel as if they are singled-out for divine wrath and there may be a despair of salvation due to guilt.  Other fears may include the fear of insanity, being alone, fear of being poisoned and fear of being injured.  Night terrors may also be present.

Magnesia Carbonica:  This remedy centers around a general anxiety that is present during the day but is better in the evening once one is in bed.  Someone needing this remedy is a peacemaker.  They want to be sure everyone is getting along and is happy.  There is a fear of violence and confrontations.  There may be a great sensitivity to noise.

Magnesia Muriatic:  This remedy is similar to the above, however the anxiety in this remedy is worse while in bed and better during the day.  As in Magnesia Carbonica, this remedy is also indicated for someone who is a peacemaker and who does not like disagreements and confrontations.  Anxiety is generally worse while reading, in the evening and during menses.

Mancinella:  The Halloween remedy.  Someone who may require this remedy is afraid of the dark, ghosts, insanity, evil and devils.  They may be tormented by their extreme fear of the dark.

Nitricum Acidum:  This remedy is indicated for someone who has great anxiety about their health with a fear of cancer and death.  As many remedies have this indication, one who should veer toward this remedy is someone who is also very pessimistic in life.  There may be depression and anger toward life.  There is generally great irritability and peevishness.

Opium:  Homeopathic opium is indicated when there are complains from fright more than the fright itself.  This remedy is indicated when fright leads to convulsions, tremors or insomnia.  Every time the person needing this remedy thinks of the thing that frightened them the symptoms are triggered.

Phosphorus:  This remedy contains many fears and is indicated for people who are generally open, excitable gullible and suggestible.  Fears include being alone, death, the dark, thunderstorms, that something bad will happen, disease, the future, ghosts, insanity, robbers, insects, earthquakes and more.  Anxiety is raised when alone and is better for the person when they are in the company of others.

Silica:  This remedy is indicated for those who have a lack of self-confidence.  Fears center around performance, such as stage fright.  Anxiety arises over small details and from noise.  The anxiety feels paralyzing.  There is also a fear of pins, needles and other sharp objects.

Stramonium:  This remedy has many fears that will usually be accompanied by rage and anger if this remedy is needed.  There is fear of violent death.  Fear of the dark is so intense that one must sleep with the light on.  There also may be a fear of water, including submerging head in water, even in the shower.  Other fears include animals, dogs, mirrors, reflecting objects, disease, ghosts, injury, suffocation and claustrophobia.  Fright will stay with someone who needs this remedy for a long time, especially if it was a violent fright, such as a car accident.  Night terrors may also be present and may include waking up shrieking or screaming out in sleep.  There may also be violent behavior.

I’ve also found a few Nature’s Sunshine blends that are very helpful in easing anxiety.

AnxiousLess:  One of the main ingredients in this blend is Magnesium, which has shown to reduce anxiety.  This blend works quickly and helps to reduce fatigue.

Nutri-Calm:  Is another blend specifically made for anxiety and stress and includes B vitamins and Folic Acid. Its a good mixture to sooth nerves and aid sleep.

The remedies above are some of my main suggestions for fear and anxiety, but in addition to homeopathy, herbs and vitamins, things such as Reiki, meditation and aromatherapy (Lavender and Citrus oils being my favorite choices) can have a positive effect and can help increase your chances of success.

**We do not diagnose or treat disease.  The information provided herein is for educational purposes only.  If you require a diagnoses or if your situation is emergent and life-threatening please consult a licensed medical doctor.

Colds and Flu

It’s that time of year, once again. The days begin to get shorter.  We start spending less time with sunshine and fresh air. The kids head back to school and bring home an array of different colds and respiratory ailments.  Pharmacies, physicians, and hospitals, push us to get the flu shot, despite it’s lack of effectiveness most years and it’s potential for serious side-effects.

A strong immune system is the best defense we have.  There are ways to naturally boost that system and stay healthy.  At the very least, shorten the length of time an illness hangs around if we do fall sick.

Being a homeopath, I reach for the remedies, but I also incorporate other immune strengtheners.

Lifestyle:  Eat healthy, get plenty of sleep, exercise and find a way that works for you to reduce stress.  Drink plenty of water.  Include a good multivitamin/mineral supplement in your daily routine.

Vitamin D:  It’s been studied that most Americans are deficient in Vitamin D.  It’s also been proven that Vitamin D can both help ward off sicknesses like the flu and help you recover from the flu.

Vitamin C:  Start taking it now!  Double up the dose if you get the flu.

Essential Oils:  I generally pull out our essential oils once a cold sets in (aside from diffusing them nearly all year long).  At home we use Thieves from Young Living for colds and illness more than any other oil.  I will us it in the diffuser to kill germs in the air.  For application, we will rub a couple of drops on the bottom of our feet and cover with socks.  If you do this, you need to be sure to let your feet get nice and warm (enough to sweat out the toxins that the oils will help draw out).  It can substantially assist in shortening the length of a cold.  For respiratory illness we will diffuse Rosemary or RC.

Homeopathy:  During the 1918 flu (of which is claimed H1N1 was derived) there were Homeopathic hospitals in the US as well as conventional hospitals.  Homeopathic hospitals saw only a 1% mortality rate for the treatment of the flu.  The conventional hospitals, 30%.   I’ve seen what Homeopathy can do when it comes to the flu (and colds).  It works.

Homeopathy For Prevention

Oscillococcinum: Can be taken for the prevention of the flu or at the very first sign of getting sick.

Influenzinum: Most Homeopathic pharmacies and some local health food stores carry this remedy. It is the best remedy I’ve found to prevent the flu.  Washington Homeopathics is where I order ours.

Aconite: This is one of our favorite remedies. It should be taken at the first sign of a flu. It works when the onset is very sudden and should be taken within the first few hours of feeling sick, even if no clear symptoms are present.

Ferrum Phos: This remedy can be thought of as a back up for Aconite. If you miss taking Aconite within the first few hours of feeling ill, go to Ferrum Phos.

When you know you have the flu (or a cold)

Arsenicum: There may be a fever with great chilliness. Profuse and acrid discharge may present from the nose and/or eyes. There may be some thirst but for small, frequent sips. A person who needs this remedy will be worse from getting cold and will feel better with warmth (unless there is a headache present). There may also be irritability and anxiousness.

Baptisia: Someone who needs this remedy will have a sudden onset of symptoms. There is generally a high fever with profuse sweating. The body may feel sore and bruised either all over or in small spots around the body. A person who requires this remedy may look dull and flushed and there is usually a great thirst. Vomiting and diarrhea may be present but not always.

Bryonia: This flu will present itself with a slow onset of symptoms. A person who fits this remedy will be very hot and very dry, which may cause a great thirst for cold water in large quantities but at infrequent intervals. The body will ache all over. There may be a painful cough that causes a headache. Someone who needs this remedy will not want to move and the headache or body aches will feel better with pressure. In general this remedy will present for someone who wants to be left alone and wants to lay completely still.

Eupatorium Perfoliatum: The fever for this remedy will present with the person shivering, who may have chills running up their back. The body will ache so badly that the person feels as if their bones are broken. There may be a bursting headache, so bad that even the eyeballs feel sore. There is a thirst for cold drinks and a desire to lay as still as possible.

Gelsemium: This is the number one flu remedy. The onset of this flu is slow. Fever will present with heat that alternates with chills. There is usually no sweating with this fever and chills may run up and down the spine. Body will ache all over. Muscles may feel very heavy and weak, even the eye lids will feel heavy. There is generally no thirst. The three key words for this remedy are “droopy”, “drowsy” and “dull”.

Mercurius Solubilis: The fever for this remedy will present with a ‘creeping chilliness’. There may be acrid, smelly, yellow/green mucus discharge from the nose. There may be an intense thirst and a constant hunger. A person who needs this remedy will feel worse from temperature changes and feels better with a constant temperature and lots of rest.

Nux Vomica: Someone who requires this remedy will have a fever with chilliness and may get the shivers after drinking. The limbs and back will ache. There may be a stuffy, stopped up nose that is worse at night. There is a thirst for hot drinks, such as tea. A person needing this remedy will feel better with cold and worse with warmth. This remedy is also indicated when there is a great irritability.

Pyrogen: This fever will present with creeping chills and a ‘thumping heart’. It may also present with a rapid heart rate if the fever is low. There will be severe pain in the limbs and back. The pain may feel as if the person has been beaten and bruised. There is usually a headache present and no thirst. Someone who requires this remedy will be very restless, both with the aching body and the chills.

Rhus Tox: The fever for this remedy will present with chilliness. The pain will be centered more around the joints and bones. There may be a red discoloration at the tip of the tongue and there is a general thirst. The person who needs this remedy will feel better with gentle motion and warmth and may be very restless.

After a cold or flu

China: This remedy is for those who have a difficult time recovering from the flu. There is a great physical weakness and may be a lot of sweating.

Kali Phos: Depression (mild) after the flu.

Gelsemium: This remedy is indicated if the weakness and heaviness will not go away after the flu.

Influenzinum: This remedy is for someone who has never felt well since having the flu. There is a feeling that the person has never recovered.

If you do decide to get a flu shot this year, and you have a reaction, there are remedies that will aid in the recovery.  The main remedy being Thuja. If it is life threatening, go to the closest emergency room.

If you choose Homeopathy, always consult a Certified Classical Homeopath if you are uncertain which remedy is best for you.

Be well and stay healthy!

Heidi

B and W Leaf

Muscle, Joint and Sports Injuries

Whether you garden, take morning jogs, participate on the high school basketball team, or (like my kids) love to ski, injuries can happen. The following remedies and oils can help.

Homeopathic Remedies: (Potency is determined by the nature/severity of the injury. If you are unsure which potency to use, contact a Certified Homeopath. However, 30C is the most widely used and is found in most health food stores.)

Arnica:  is one of the most widely used remedies for an injury. It is predominantly indicated when there is bruising, even if the area just feels bruised, without any discoloration. It can stop a bruise from forming if taken soon enough. It can also bring down swelling. The pain in this remedy is worse touch, pressure and with any jarring motion.

Bellis Perennis: This remedy is generally used if Arnica provides little or no help. It is used for sore muscles or bruising with deep, intense pain. The pain is worse from cold and better from heat.

Bryonia: This remedy is indicated for injured joints that are worse from even the slightest movement. The pain is so intense it cannot bear any touch yet it feels better with applied pressure or if the joint/injury is wrapped in a tight bandage. The pain tends to be stitching and hot. Injured area may be very red in color.

Ledum: Someone needing this remedy will have joints that are cold to the touch and look bruised. The pain feels better with a cold application.

Hypericum: This remedy is most helpful when an injury happens to a nerve. There will usually be numbness, tingling or a tickling feeling with sharp, shooting pain.

Rhus Tox: This remedy will present with stiff and sore joints upon rising in the morning. The pain is better after moving around. Massage and warmth will also help with the pain. Restlessness may also be present. It can also be used for joint pain that comes on during or just before damp weather.

Ruta:  Injuries requiring this remedy are those that happen to a ligament or tendon. There may be stiffness, nerve pain and sensitivity to touch at the injury site. Pain is better with rest, warmth and some light movement.

Phytolacca: This remedy is used for joint pain that occurs during cold and damp weather. The pain is better with rest and worse with motion. It is often used for tendon sheaths, Achilles heel and injuries to the ankle joint.

Rhododendron: The pain that accompanies this remedy is worse before storms (especially cold and wet) and is worse with rest. Motion helps, but only small amounts.

Calcarea Carbonica or Calcarea Phos: Help mend and strengthen broken bones. Can help prevent re-injury.

Essential Oils (Unless otherwise indicated, mix a few drops of the essential oil with a base oil, such as organic olive oil or organic almond oil and gently massage into injured site.)

PanAway (Young Living Blend): This blend was specifically designed to assist with trauma, injury, irritation and bruising. It includes wintergreen, helichrysum, clove and peppermint oils.

Chamomile: Used as an anti-inflammatory. Can help muscle pain and spasms.

Lavender: This oil is wonderful for relaxation. Like Chamomile, it also has anti-inflammatory properties and can help relieve muscle tension.

Peppermint: Especially helpful with head pain/injury.

Yarrow: This oil is used as an analgesic pain reliever. It can help muscle and joint pain and is also an anti-inflammatory.

Tylor Race

**We do not diagnose or treat disease. The information provided herein is for educational purposes only. If you require a diagnosis or if your situation is emergent and life-threatening, please consult a licensed medical doctor.

Whooping Cough Support

Here in Michigan, we have recently been experiencing a rise in cases of Pertussis or Whooping Cough, with a current total of 37 confirmed cases, mostly in school-aged children. When it comes to the spread of an illness such as whooping-cough, tensions can run high for parents. Many times, it turns into the blame game between vaccinated and unvaccinated families. (The cases here are close to 50/50 between vaccinated and unvaccinated (or not up to date on the vaccine), although that number fluctuates as new cases come forth. Many states have seen outbreaks where a majority of the children were vaccinated.) In my research of whooping-cough, it’s evident that most of the fear surrounding this illness comes from the fact that modern medicine is limited in its means to treat it and therefore relies almost solely on a vaccine and antibiotics. When those fail, fear ensues.

While whooping-cough can be alarming in babies, it doesn’t have to be a scary event when you know how to care for yourself and your family. Whether you are vaccinated or not vaccinated against this ailment, there are effective ways to lessen whooping-cough symptoms and to shorten the length of the illness should you or your family come down with it.

Below is a list of the most effective Homeopathic remedies and other valuable therapies to use should a case of whooping-cough affect you or someone you know. When choosing a Homeopathic remedy, choose the one that most closely matches as many of the symptoms as possible. If you are uncertain which remedy to use, contact a Certified Homeopathic Practitioner.

Drocera: This is the first remedy to consider in cases of whooping-cough. The coughing fits can be lengthy and severe, making it difficult to catch ones breath. The cough is generally worse after midnight and worse upon lying down. The cough may cause vomiting and can be painful. There may be a tickling or dryness in the throat, which can cause fits of coughing. The cough is generally not productive and the coughing fits can get worse in trying to reach the phlegm. This cough may cause nose bleeds.

Antimonium Tartaricum: This remedy is indicated when breathing and coughing is accompanied by loud rattling in the chest due to the mucus. While coughing it will sound as if there is an overwhelming amount of mucus but none will be produced from the cough. In addition, if this remedy is indicated, there will mostly likely be a great weakness and sleepiness present. It may seem as if the person needing this remedy is too weak to cough up the mucus.

Bryonia: This cough will be dry, hard and very painful. There may be a feeling that you must hold your chest in order to cough hard enough to get the phlegm to move up. The cough becomes worse during any movement and can be worse from eating and upon entering a warm room. The person who needs this remedy may continually want to be left alone and to lie perfectly still.

Causticum: This cough will get deeper and deeper as it persists to try to reach the mucus. The cough will be worse from cold drinks but will be better with bending over/forward. The cough may be hard and racking, with a raw feeling in the chest.

Coccus Cacti: This remedy is indicated when the cough produces a thick, clear, ropy mucus. Many times, because of this mucus, the cough with end in vomiting. The mucus may come out of the nose, as well as the chest. Drinking a cold glass of water or breathing in cold air may temporarily relieve the cough and the tickling that may be present in the throat. This cough is generally worse in a warm room.

Cuprum Metallicum: The cough that would indicate this remedy is very similar to the cough of Drocera except in this remedy you will see cramping of muscles, clenched fists and/or convulsions associated with the cough. There may be sudden coughing attacks that lead to near-suffocation. There may be blueness in the face, fingers or toes. The cough is generally worse in the middle of the night (around 3am) and if emotions run high (such as the child getting upset).

Ipecacuanha: This remedy is used mainly for children in situations of cough and is indicated when there is persistent nausea present that is not relieved by vomiting that follows the cough. This remedy should also be considered if the child becomes very stiff and rigid with the cough. The cough may rattle and can be worse when entering a warm room.

Spongia: The cough that will benefit from this remedy will be dry, tickling, constricting and painful (both in the chest and in the throat). The cough may be worse from talking and swallowing and can be characterized as a cough that sounds like a seal barking. It is generally worse before midnight and with cold drinks and may be temporarily alleviated by eating.

In addition to Homeopathy, there are other things you can do to lessen the symptoms and shorten the length of the illness.

Vitamin C: One of the most important things you can do is up your daily intake of vitamin C. Dosage depends on size/age. If you are unsure, contact your medical provider. Always consult your provider before administering vitamins to infants or young children.

Thyme Essential Oil: Put a few drops into a warm bath, diffuser or humidifier. The Thyme can help kill bacteria and the warm steam, in combination, can help loosen mucus and give relief from the cough. Other effective oils include: Eucalyptus, Rosemary, R.C., Marjoram and Pine.

Chest or Back Massage: You can mix a couple of drops of one of the oils listed above to a little olive oil for a chest or back massage.

Herbal and/or Ginger Tea: Unless your cough is one that is worse when you drink something warm, a nice warm glass of tea can be a relief. Choose your favorite and add fresh ginger for an immune boost and for help to excrete toxins (ginger can help you to “sweat it out”). Sweeten with honey if desired. Mullein is also a nice addition to your herbal tea. It is a natural expectorant and in many times, can be found right in your back yard.

Thieves Oil: This is an oil blend available at Young Living and it’s one of our favorites. When sick (with any cold, virus or bacterial infection) rub Thieves oils directly on the bottoms of both feet about an hour before bed. Put on a pair of very warm socks (double up if necessary, you want your feet to sweat while you sleep). Your body will absorb the oils and then when your feet begin to sweat during the night you will excrete some of the toxins that have built up during the illness. This has always worked wonders for our family in lessening the symptoms and shortening the length of almost every illness.

Light, Easy Meals: Soups and broths are the best. If your cough is worse from drinking or eating warm foods/liquids try a variety of juices. It is important to stay away from dairy as it can increase the amount of mucus.

Rest, Rest, Rest: While sleep will be interrupted with coughing, it is important to rest as much as possible when you can. Prop yourself or your child up with a few pillows if lying down aggravates the cough.

While whooping-cough can put anyone in an undesirable situation, there are things you can do to help you and your family during this bout of illness.

Mullein

Mullein

**We do not diagnose or treat disease. The information provided herein is for educational purposes only.  If you require a diagnosis or if your situation is emergent and life-threatening, please consult a licensed medical doctor.

Homeopathy and Summertime Rashes

We live in Northern Michigan and spend much of our summer on the beaches of Lake Michigan.  Some of our favorite beaches have poison ivy lining the trails.  Although we have learned to avoid it (my oldest daughter is very susceptible), we still keep remedies on hand if a rash develops and avoid using any cortisone creams or other medications.  In addition to poison ivy, Homeopathy is very effective with poison oak, poison sumac, hives, allergic reactions on the skin and more.

Below are some of the most commonly used remedies for rashes.  As when using Homeopathy for other ailments, choose the remedy that most closely resembles the symptoms you are experiencing for the greatest and most rapid result.

Anacardium:  This remedy is generally most effective with rashes that come from poison Oak.  There will be great itching and swelling.  Fluid-filled blisters may also be present.  The itching will be worse with heat or if hot water is applied.

Apis:  This is the first remedy we think of when hives are present.  Rash or hives will be red and swollen.  They may or may not itch, but there is usually a burning or a stinging pain.  The discomfort of the rash is relieved by a cold compress.  My youngest daughter will develop hives if she accidentally consumes a tree nut.  This remedy has been our lifesaver.  In addition, this remedy is made from the honey bee, which also makes it a wonderful remedy for bee, wasp or yellow jacket stings.

Belladonna:  This is generally not the first remedy I reach for when it comes to rashes, however if the rash comes on very fast and is very hot with a throbbing pain, I would consider this remedy.  A fever may also be present.

Bryonia:  A Bryonia rash would be hot, dry and lumpy.  The discomfort would be worse from movement, pressure and touch.  Someone requiring this remedy may want to lie completely still and not move.

Graphites:  This remedy is indicated when the rash is oozing with a thick, sticky, golden fluid that eventually becomes hardened and crusty.  The itch will be worse at night.

Ledum:  This is the first remedy I think of for bug bites, especially if a person is sensitive to mosquito bites and ends up with large welts around the sting site.  Like this bug bite reaction, the rash will be very swollen and puffy.  It will also be relieved by cold applications.

Natrum Muraticum:  This remedy is usually considered for more chronic rashes, however, if a rash develops that is worse from the sun and from physical excursion, this may be a remedy to consider.  The rash itself will be dry and flaky.  Many rashes requiring this remedy will occur around the hair-line or at the bends of the knees or elbows.

Rhus Tox:  This is the first remedy to consider in cases of poison ivy, as it is made from this very plant.  The rash may burn and will itch intensely.  The rash will feel better with heat or by running the rash under hot water.  In some cases the heat will make the itch worse while it is applied but, once removed, the itching will cease.  In some instances, those with a rash requiring Rhus Tox will becoming very restless and will not be able to sit still.

Sepia:  A rash requiring this remedy will be very dry and scaly with a red or brownish tint.  Getting too warm under the covers or under clothing will make the itching of this rash worse, as will sweating.

Sulphur:  A rash needing sulphur will be red, irritated, burning and itchy.  Heat will aggravate it, as will washing.  This is the first remedy to think of for rashes caused by clothing irritation, especially if the rash develops from wool.  Itching will be almost unbearable but will make the rash worse and can cause it to spread.  The rash itself can be either dry and scaly or moist and weepy.

Urtica Urens:  This is the first remedy to consider when faced with a rash that resembles a nettle rash (It is made from the stinging nettle plant).  The eruptions will sting and burn greatly.  Scratching will make the rash worse, as will applying a cold compress or cold water.  If a rash develops during heat stroke or overheating, this is also a remedy to consider.

The potency to use for the rashes listed above range from 6C – 30C.  I generally go with 30C unless I don’t have any on hand.  Each remedy can be taken 3 – 6 times per day, depending on the need.  As a general rule, the remedy can be taken every one – two hours.  If no improvement is seen after a couple of doses, another remedy may be needed.  For more immediate cases, such as the times when my daughter has accidentally eaten a tree nut and the reaction is more imminent, I will increase the time frame to every 15 minutes until an improvement is seen.  Choosing the right potency and frequency can be tricky.  If you ever have any questions or concerns about which remedy, potency or frequency to use, consult a certified homeopath.

If the rash is due to a severe allergic reaction seek emergency medical attention.

River

**We do not diagnose or treat disease.  The information provided herein is for educational purposes only.  If you require a diagnosis or if your situation is emergent and life-threatening please consult a licensed medical doctor.

 

 

Echinacea Tincture

It’s fall here in Northern Michigan.  The flowers in our garden are fading, the squash is ready to harvest and the Echinacea is ready to be dug up and preserved.

As many of you know, Echinacea is an immune supporter.  It can assist your body in warding off colds and flus and can help in recovery if you do come down with an illness.

We have Echinacea all over our little stretch of the woods and this is the time of year we harvest the roots for tincture.

It is best to harvest the plants when the flowers begin to die off and the stems begin to brown.  The nutrients of the plant begin to receded back down into the roots, making them more potent.

echinacea

To harvest, you only need a few sections of the plant.  A little goes a long way.  Echinacea spreads wonderfully, so using a few plants for their roots shouldn’t deplete your supply, as long as you leave some plants in the ground.  Our garden started out with only 2 plants and now we have close to 50.  Each fall I will gently dig up 3 or 4 for their roots.

  • After you dig up the plants, you can cut off the stem.  You will only use the roots.
  • Gently wash the roots.  I run them under warm water and use a toothbrush to remove the dirt.  Be sure to take the time to remove all of the dirt from the roots.
  • Once all of the dirt is removed and the roots are clean, use a sharp knife to cut the root into small pieces.
  • Fill an amber glass dropper bottle (I use a 4 oz. bottle) 1/4 to 1/2 full with the root.
  • Pour 100 proof vodka into the dropper bottle until full.
  • Let the tincture sit for at least one month in a cool, dry place before using.  Shake the bottle daily during this time.
  • If you choose, you can strain the root out using a funnel and cheesecloth, putting the liquid into a new, clean dropper bottle.
  • To use, put a few drops directly under your tongue daily during cold and flu season.  You can use up to 3 times a day when sick.  You can also add a couple of drops to a cup of hot tea or juice.

If you are opposed to the alcohol content within the tincture you can also dry the roots instead of steeping them in alcohol.  Use a standard or solar dehydrator to dry them.  (We got our dehydrator from www.dryit.com and we love it.  You can also build your own.)  Store the roots, once dried, in an air tight container, such as a mason jar.  To use, steep a few small pieces of the root into some hot tea.  I usually crush them a little too.  I do this for our kids when they have a cold and usually add a little fresh ginger and honey.

Most of what we grow in our garden is either edible or medicinal and out of all of the plants we grow, Echinacea is one of our favorites.

Lavender Oil

Every year we try new things with the lavender we harvest.  We use it for baking, decoration, sachets, soaps, medicine and more.  

Recently we took a stab at making lavender oil, which can be used as a bug repellant, to aid in restful sleep and for perfume.  It’s also wonderful in removing the itch from mosquito bites and taming dandruff.

How to make lavender Oil:

1.  Harvest the lavender.

2.  Remove the flowers and put into a jar with a tight-fitting lid.

3.  Add Organic Olive Oil or Grapeseed Oil to the jar.

4.  Let the oil and lavender sit for one month in a cool, dark place.  Shake the jar daily.

5.  After one month, using a funnel and cheesecloth, strain the oil from the flowers into a new, clean jar.  Many people will discard the olive oil but we did not.  It smells too nice and is great for adding to shampoo/conditioner or using directly on your scalp for healthy hair.  You can also use the olive oil as a bug repellant by dabbing some on your neck and behind your ears.

6.  Once the olive oil is drained, express the lavender oil from the flowers using two spoons.  Put some flowers onto one spoon.  Use the other spoon to press down and expel the oil.  Store the oil in amber glass bottles/jars.  Enjoy.

lavender