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

Healing Comes in All Forms

There are times when people tell me they are surprised if I take an Ibuprofen for a headache or that I have, on occasion, popped an antihistamine.  More recently I had a severe allergic reaction to something and had to be on prednisone for a few days to get over the worst of it.  I didn’t like it, but I accepted it. 

Yes, as much as possible, I believe in natural healing, natural medicine and health through means other than the allopathic path and use of harsh medicine.  However, I also realize that every form of healing has its place.  If one of my girls breaks an arm, a homeopathic remedy alone is not going to put it back into place, relieve the pain and allow it to heal.  Initially we may need allopathic care.  Or a severe allergic reaction, like the one I had a couple of weeks ago, could not be helped with herbs alone.  The predinose got me through the worst of it, and possibly saved my life.  Now, I can use the natural medicine I prefer to heal (from both the allergic reaction and the predinsone) and to prevent a future occurrence.  Every modality has its place.

Healing can also come from places other than the remedies or medicine we take.  It can come from meditation, stress relief, excercise, spending time with people we love and from simple actions we take.  This past weekend, I harvested and dried oregano, one of my favorite tasks.  For me, this process is meditative and relaxing; carefully cutting the stems, gently removing the leaves, smelling the sweet, yet spicy aroma of the plant fill my kitchen.  To me, this is healing, just as much as the homeopathic remedy I took this morning.  My mind cleared and I was completely swept up into the simple act of drying this herb.  Everything else fell away.  Everything we do has the potential to be a healing task if we allow it to be; typing on the computer, drying herbs, driving to work, all of it.  If we choose, in every moment, to let go into the task before us it can be a healing moment.  Let go into the doing.  Let go into just being.  Let go into the moment and make your whole day a time for healing.  If there is a task you just can’t let go into, one that continues to cause stress instead of healing,  perhaps it’s time to examine that task and change course.  Maybe the healing is to come by showing you it’s time to do something new? 

A Simple Shift of Thought

[tweetmeme]Have you ever had a bad day? Monday, for me, was one of those of days. I woke up in a foul mood, I found out my health insurance rates were going up, my brother was angry about a few things and was sending me not-so-pleasant text messages throughout the day and I lost my debt card. It was one of those days that was just one thing after the other. Nothing went smoothly.

That evening my partner called to say goodnight and asked an interesting question. He said, “how is it that your bad days are so much better than my bad days”? This is a great question!

It all has to do with a simple shift of thought.

What is it about a bad day that makes it “bad”. Using an example from my Monday, is it really a bad thing to lose your debt card? All it really meant for me, in my case, was a phone call to the bank and a nice conversation with the owner of the store I left it in when she found it the next day. Is that so bad? It all has to do with what I tell myself about what happened. I could tell myself that it’s aweful to have lost my debt card and that now I have to take time out of my busy day to call the bank, cancel my card and get a new one. It’s such a hassel!!! Or, I just tell myself that I need a new card, I had a nice conversation with the woman at the bank and a nice conversation with the owner of the store. No judgement – good or bad. It’s just what happened. If I struggle with what happened, if I struggle against reality, then I will suffer. If I accept it as what happened, with no judgement – good or bad – I don’t suffer. It’s as simple as that.

The same is true for when we find ourselves in a foul mood. That morning when I woke up and was feeling grumpy and aggitated I could have fought against that mood and told myself that “this mood is bad” and “I need to get rid of it as soon as possible” but I didn’t. Instead I observed my mood, noticed it was on the foul side and accepted it. In fact, I enjoyed it. I didn’t fight against it. I didn’t try and push it away. I enjoyed the energy as it was. Would I generally prefer to be in a happy mood, of course, but I am human. Emotions and moods are going to come and go. Why not enjoy them all instead of labeling certain emotions “good” and others “bad”. It felt good on Monday to allow myself to be in a bad mood. I didn’t fight it. I let it be, knowing it wouldn’t last and enjoying it while it was there. Had I tried to push my foul mood away it would have only made me suffer.

This is what my partner was noticing. I accepted the reality of my day and my mood as they were. I didn’t fight them and I didn’t expect anything to be different than it was. That is why my “bad” day looked better than any “bad” day he had ever had.

Next time you find yourself in a foul mood or having a “bad” day try a simple shift of thought and see how it turns out.

*****************************************************************

Ultimately, it’s how you view your moods and your day that makes the difference but if a shift in thought is not something for you (or even if it is) the Homeopath in me feels pulled to recommend a few remedies for irritability and aggitation. They will not, however, stop any of the day’s events – “good” or “bad”.

Chamomile – Irritability with anger.

Pulsatilla – Irritability with sadness and/or weeping. Changeable moods.

Nux Vomica – Irritability with impatience and intollerance of others.

Sepia – Irritability with a feeling of being overworked. May feel hopeless. Sarcastic.

Ignatia – Irritability from grief or loss. Mood swings.

Calc Phos – Irritability and mood swings caused by stress and the “pressures” of life. Fatigue.