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

Croup

Croup, the barking cough and throat constriction that no one wants to see their child go through.  This year it seems to be running rampant in our neck of the woods.  Many parents I work with have had their children come down with croup this season, some even multiple times.  It is possible to avoid the steroids and calm the croup with Homeopathy, in fact and in my experience, it is one the most successfully treated acute ailments.  The relief in symptoms is vivid and quick. 

Croup is different than a straightforward cough.  It usually afflicts children from the ages of 1 – 4.  This year, in our area, I’ve seen it in children as old as 8.  It is a respiratory infection that is usually followed by laryngitis.  The cough is worse at night and has a sound that is similar to a seals bark.  Many times a child with croup will complain that he/she cannot catch his/her breath or is having trouble breathing because of the cough and thoat constriction. 

Below is a list of the main remedies used for croup. 

Aconitum:  This is the very first remedy to consider.  It must be used within the first 12 – 24 hours of the onset of the illness.  Give Aconitum 30C every hour until there is improvement.  Once some improvement is seen, exend the frequency of the dose to every 2 hours.  When improvement is clear stop giving the remedy completely.  With Homeopathy, sleep is considered a great sign that the remedy is working and improvement is coming, especially in children.  If your child falls asleep after the first or second dose, let him/her sleep.  The event is most likely over.  Other indications for Aconitum include a child who is easily frieghtened, anxiety and restlessness.

Spongia Tosta:  If you did not catch the illness within the 12 – 24 hour period needed for Aconitum or if the Aconitum has no effect on the croup, the next remedy to reach for is Spongia.  This remedy is indicated when the cough sounds like a saw going through wood and/or the typical croup cough that sounds like a seal’s bark.  There may also be wheezing, and changeable moods.  The child may be anxious at one minute and happy the next.  The child may also state that he/she feels suffocated and/or full in the chest and throat.

Hepar Sulphuris:   This remedy can be indicated for croup as well.  The cough will have the same “croupy” sound to it but will sound a little “looser”.  There may be a “whisteling” to the child’s breathing.  The cough will be made worse by cold wind or air.  There may also be choking fits during the cough.

Having these remedies on hand this time of year when you have small children can be a lifesaver.  They can save your child from the uncomfortable cough and, in turn, help you get more sleep on the nights the cough comes out.  Children recover quickly from croup when Homeopathy is used.  If you have a question regarding which remedy to use, contact a certified Homeopathic practitioner.  Most remedies can be found at your local health food store.

The information provided on this website is for educational purposes only and may not be construed as medical advice. If you seek medical advice contact a licensed healthcare provider.

Flu Season

It’s that time of year, once again. Pharmacies, physicians, hospitals, all pushing us to get the flu shot. I’ve done years of research on vaccines and that has led to our choice not to vaccinate, especially the yearly flu vaccine. As much as they are touted by physicians and the media as being safe and effective, I’ve met too many people who would strongly disagree. I’ve met too many people who were adversely affected by vaccines, flu or other.

There is a better and safer way to combat the flu. A natural way. A strong immune system is the best defense.

Being a homeopath, I do reach for the remedies, along with other natural means.

Lifestyle:  Eat healthy, get plenty of sleep, exercise and find a way that works for you to reduce stress.  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.

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.  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

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 the 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.  Consult a Certified Classical Homeopath if you are unsure of your reaction or if you are uncertain which remedy is best for you.  If your reaction to the shot is life threatening, go to your local emergency room.

If you want to learn more about how to use Homeopathy for yourself and your family during this flu season try one of our classes.  We’re have a great special in October!  $25 off our Homeopathy for Acute Care and First Aid course.  The course includes a reference book, with remedy guide  and symptom guide ($25 value), a first aid reference book ($10 value) and all of the class handouts, including the symptoms for 50 of the most widely used remedies.  The class also includes lifetime contact with a Certified Classical Homeopath for any questions that come up after the course.

Be well and stay healthy!

Heidi

Gastroenteritis Fun…or not so much

A couple of weeks ago we were plagued with a bout of gastroenteritis around our household, not to mention a few other friends and family members close by.  It’s not fun and despite the fact that we eat healthy, sleep well and take care of ourselves, there are times we come down with illnesses.  Thankfully, there are Homeopathic remedies to come to our aid and can help heal and shorten the length of the illness.

Following are a few of the most widely used remedies for gastroenteritis.  My hope is that you will never need them for this reason but if there comes a time, as we’ve all had at one point or another in our lives, one of these may help you to obtain a quick and speedy recovery.  The symptoms included may not be pretty, but gastro illnesses usually aren’t so here we go:

  • Aloe – Diarrhea with a sudden urge.  Possible involuntary stool with flatus.  Mucus and/or blood may be present.
  • Arsenicum Album – Extreme stomach pains that are worse with milk or dairy products.  Food poisoning (of any kind).  Acrid diarrhea with watery stool.
  • Bismuth – Severe cramping, pain or burning in the stomach.  Great thirst for cold water.  Profuse diarrhea.  In addition, the person who would need this remedy desires company during their illness and may have a great fear of death.
  • Bryonia – Gastroenteritis that is worse with any movement.  The person needing this remedy also may just want everyone to leave them alone.  Hides in dark room and wishes not to be bothered.
  • Croton Tiglium – Abdominal rumbling with sudden diarrhea.  Incredibly urgent diarrhea.  Diarrhea that comes immediately after eating or drinking.
  • Gambogia – Diarrhea and vomiting together.  Sudden urge for stool.  Burning or stitching pains before diarrhea.  Exhaustion after diarrhea.  Stool may contain blood.
  • Mercurius – Constant urge for stool.  Straining that is undiminished after passing stool.  May be bloody and mucus filled.  Stool feels hot.
  • Nux Vomica – Diarrhea after drinking too much alcohol.
  • Petroleum – Ravenous appetite during diarrhea or after stool.  Diarrhea in the daytime only.  Cramping before stool.
  • Phos Ac – Painless diarrhea.  Odorless.  Involuntary.  Profuse.  Cases of collapse after long bouts of diarrhea.
  • Podo – Profuse diarrhea.  Worse at 4am, in the mornings and in the evenings.  Worse with drinking, eating and heat.  Very watery.  Abdomen gurgles.

If you are ever unfortunate enough to have a case of gastroenteritis, the above remedies can aid in your recovery when correctly chosen.  If you are unsure of which remedy is right for you, consult a certified Homeopathic practitioner for assistance.  The above remedies can be taken in a 30C dose.  3 doses per day for 3 days.  Stop taking the remedy when symptoms improve.

If your condition lasts for more than 3 days, is more severe or immediately life-threatening seek medical attention from a certified Homeopath, a licensed medical doctor and/or head to the emergency room, as you may have something other than a bacterial or viral infection.

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? 

Chamomilla

Just about anyone with children who uses Homeopathy for their family is familiar with this remedy.  It assists with everything from teething to colic. It is certainly a remedy to have on hand, whether you have children or not.

Below are a few of its most prominent indications for use:

  • This remedy almost always contains anger and/or great irritability, especially in children.  Child may strike out or kick at others.
  • Colic.  When baby just wants to be carried everywhere and cries angrily, this remedy is indicated, especially when the child is inconsolable, wants to be held, yet acts like he/she doesn’t want to be touched.
  • Incredible sensitivity to pain.  Reactions to pain may show great anger.  The pain is exaggerated much beyond what would be expected from the ailment.
  • Number one remedy for teething.  It may include diarrhea from teething and be indicated for children who have a difficult time breaking new teeth through the gum.
  • Complaints come on after a bout of anger.
  • Indicated for ear infections/pain when the pain is worse from touch and from the wind.
  • Some general indications for this remedy include one cheek being red and the other pale, symptoms are worse around 9am and at night, there is a general aggravation from the wind and feet are hot, needing to be uncovered at night.

Chamomilla is a remedy to keep on hand, whether you have children or not.

If you have any doubts or concerns about which remedy to choose, contact a Certified Homeopath.  Giving the wrong remedy will cause no harm, but nor with it help!

What is Reiki?

This is a very common question.  Many people believe that Reiki is the same as the alternative therapy of Healing Touch.  While it appears similar, it is quite different in many ways, from the technique itself to the way someone is initiated and certified as a practitioner.

So what is it?

Reiki, although not always called this, is an ancient healing method used by Tibetan Lamas for over 2000 years.  In the late 1800’s it was given the name Reiki by Master Mikao Usui, who studied ancient Buddhist texts, Christianity and other divinely inspired texts, noticing this common healing modality.  While he came about the use of Reiki through these studies, Reiki is not religious, nor is it a religion.  It is about our life force.  Reiki is a Japanese term that Master Usui used in an attempt to describe this healing energy system, the link from “all that is” to the physical form.

The word itself is made up of two Japanese words.  Rei, pronounced ‘ray’, is difficult to translate to English but essentially means ‘universal’.  Ki, pronounced “key”, translates as ‘life force energy’, similar to Chi as in Tai’Chi.   We are all created from this universal energy, whether you refer to that as consciousness, God, the divine or awareness etc.  Reiki is a healing touch method that is used to stimulate/raise the energy to bring balance and harmony to your body.  When your Ki (Chi) is low you are more susceptible to illness and dis-ease.  Reiki is used to bring you back into balance to bring about health. Through the Attunement process the Reiki Master is able to channel this universal energy directly to the receiver.

Those that receive a Reiki treatment usually report a strong sense of calmness and well-being.  Stress and anxiety fall away and the body is put back into balance emotionally, mentally and physically.

For more information and a more detailed history of Reiki a good resource is located at http://www.reiki.org.

The Reiki Principles

Just for today, I will give thanks for my many blessings.

Just for today, I will not worry.

Just for today, I will not be angry.

Just for today, I will do my work honestly.

Just for today, I will be kind to my neighbor and every living thing.