Your Mood is Your Medicine

Well Child practices- safe to use on grownups too.

Posted: June 6th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

A few simple practices, when actually practiced, can make the difference between ritalin, claritin and, well, you.  If you think I’m lying just try it (for at least a couple of weeks- this isn’t a pop-a-pill 1 minute solution, this is a savor your lifesaver practice) and see… About 30% of conditions (generally I treat people, as there aren’t points on conditions, but for the sake of fluidity…) I treat with acupuncture could be alleviated with just these two things.

Breathe. Slowly. Deeply- really deeply- imagine into your toes, allowing your lower belly to raise while counting to four slowly. For children this can be very tricky. It is helpful to put your hand low on their belly, or challenge them to slowly raise a balancing ruler across their hips using only their breath. Let the exhale be longer than the inhale- count for them to eight.

Sleep.  It might seem impossible, but children often need 10- 12 hours of sleep (you’ve seen how busy they are all day, right?).  Don’t be fooled- I’ve heard so many parents say “Oh, he won’t go to bed until 10 o’clock.”  This may sound harsh, but not only is that child not getting enough sleep, he’s also doing your job.  There are lots of good books out there about getting children to go to sleep.  The most important rule is consistency.  Children thrive with routine, not the least of which is bedtime.  The other nice thing about bedtime is the more consistent it is, the easier it gets.  My children are in bed at 7:30, even my 8 year old.  That means he is totally refreshed by 7 am and helps out with the little ones when I’ve stayed up until midnight.

Girlie Stuff

Posted: May 17th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Body/Mind, My View of Health, practices | Tags: | No Comments »

If you don’t have female parts, you might want to stop reading. Not because there is some interesting tidbit about you, just because you may find out some things you might rather never learn about.

Ok, that over I’ll get right to it. I had recurring yeast infections since my second pregnancy. And I have tried every natural remedy, so here are the best (ok, cleaning up your diet is huge)– in the meantime so you can go out in public without scratching:
Garlic, apple cider vinegar, yogurt and when all else fails a suppository of boric acid (Warning: Never Ingest Boric Acid- for suppository use only!).

If you are at the point of considering antibiotics, please reconsider and instead try some of the remedies below and begin including raw sauerkraut, pickles, or a tablespoon of raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar at each meal. Better yet get or make yourself some kombucha (I like GT Dave’s because there’s virtually no sugar, even though it’s expensive or ask a health nut friend). I find that if I begin to get any early warning signs now I can drink a bottle of kombucha and knock it right back into balance.

All of this is, however, assuming you’re not also downing a pint of Haagen- Dazs nightly (which I love to do and am much more conscientious about since realizing the horrific aftereffects- and I don’t even mean cellulite ;) . Basically if you have a tendency to be yeasty you could well have a dairy or wheat sensitivity, or vice versa, you could be sensitive due to the yeast imbalance- I can actually handle some ice cream when my flora’s not all whacked out. So at least for rebalancing you’ll need to cut out (ok, realistically cut down, as the misery and stress of cutting out all sugars and flours is probably worse for you than a little sugar) sugars and refined flours and maybe even dairy. Take a probiotic supplement if the kombucha/ sauerkraut isn’t happening- you can actually take significantly more than the recommended dosage, which it generally for maintenance, not therapy.  A little raw honey in your tea is fine, and goat’s milk cheese is less “dampening” than cow milk (but tastes pretty gamey, so no go on the goat milk in my coffee).

This one you can eat liberally or take capsules of, and use as a vaginal suppository, changing every few hours or at least twice a day. You may want to put a piece of thread through it to make removal um, easier. Some people say that nicking the clove can cause a burning sensation if you are already irritated, but I’ve found that nicking it releases the effective oils, thus relieving symptoms quickly. Be forewarned, though- you will realize the interconnectedness of things as you may be able to taste the garlic even when using as a suppository.

Apple cider vinegar-
I’m sure this is what our grandmas knew. The acidity of the vinegar kills the yeast while good raw vinegar has beneficial bacteria to begin repopluating. Try mixing it 1/8 with water as a rinse, maybe even scooping out the excess yeast. If you believe in douching you can use it that way too.

Plain Please! I cannot vouch for the results of flavors, but assume the sugars (which feed yeast) would cause big trouble. Apply it topically (you can put a little internally too if you want) for instant soothing relief- you can even add some powdered acidophilus (or break open a capsule) to boost the effectiveness. Along the same lines, once you have killed the yeast with any of the other remedies you can use an acidophilus capsule suppository to give the beneficial repopulation a “leg up,” so to speak.

Boric Acid capsules-
This one is a little more work, but when your yeast is as stubborn as mine was during pregnancy (and as insistent as I was not to use lord-knows-what’s in that drug) it is miraculous. There are more complicated versions, but a very basic one is to get some empty “00″ size capsules and a bottle of boric acid from your pharmacy and fill them up (please don’t do this around small children and clean up after yourself). Then insert one vaginally nightly for 5 nights. Wear at least a pantyliner as it seems to liquefy the yeast or something.  This supposedly works for gardinerella (the fishy smelling protozoa) too.

Last, but certainly not least- now that I have it in a better balance I’ve become aware that when I feel frustrated with my husband I begin to literally itch within 24 hours if I don’t deal with it. Sometimes meditation helps, and sometimes I have to ask for what I need.

I know I’m not the only one who “tried everything,” so I figure I’d share my stubbornly natural information with you. Surprisingly, I have at least this much information on a variety of other topics too… to be shared at a later date, or upon request.
Peace Y’all

Crazy People make Mice Crazy Too!

Posted: May 17th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

I just found this on the internet, and feel compelled to repost it! Wow!

Processed and GE Foods Freak Out Mice

Schools in Wisconsin are showing kids the dangers of genetically engineered (GE) and processed junk food with some unique science class experiments. Sister Luigi Frigo repeats the experiment every year in her second grade class in Cudahy, Wisconsin. Students feed one group of mice unprocessed whole foods. A second group of mice are given the same junk foods served at most schools. Within a couple of days, the behavior of the second group of mice develop erratic sleeping schedules and become lazy, nervous and even violent. It takes the mice about three weeks on unprocessed foods to return to normal. According to Frigo, the second graders tried to do the experiment again a few months later with the same mice, but the animals had learned their lesson. They refused to eat the GE food!

(from Comanche County Chronicle, Elgin, OK, September, 2008

Reduce Plastic and Recycle Easy

Posted: March 20th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 1 Comment »

I bought two stainless steel travel jars for my kids to the tune of say $12 apiece. Within 2 days the little rubber piece (in the plastic top) had gone missing, which made it a spilly cup more than a sippy cup.
To reduce my plastic usage we save glass jars-  wash them in the dishwasher and they make space- saving food storage that we put in our lunchbox (and remind children not to throw the lunchbags…).   I save everything from pesto jars for juice glasses and kid cups to pasta sauce jars for big enough water cups that I can take to work for an iced latte or herbal tea.  The jars are actually much sturdier than our store bought glasses were (before we broke them one by one.)

One of my favorites is buying juice in concentrate form- at our local natural market we get elderberry (don’t get me started on the benefits…), cranberry, black cherry, pomegranate, etc. in syrup form.  I don’t even mix up big gallons- I put it in the fridge as is, where it saves fridge real estate and I can vary the intensity for different household palates.  I just splash a bit in when water just won’t do and- presto! colorful juice I can control the sugar content of!  When the concentrate is all gone… the bottles are the perfect size for lunch drinks.  (If you are sending another glass container be sure to wrap your reusable cloth napkin around one or the other to prevent breakage).  

For sandwiches we mostly use wax or butcher paper sealed with a little masking tape- while not necessarily the most ecological it’s still a convenient and less plasticky choice.  You can reuse the waxed paper (depending on the sandwich,) and if your children are like mine, they can color on the butcher paper later.  

The best part is you can write your love note right on their food!

Beauty Products in Your Pantry

Posted: March 13th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , | No Comments »

Essentially I got into making my own natural beauty care products by accident. When I say “make” that’s actually not true- with three children I don’t have time for mixing up potions very much, so I keep it simple.  Years ago, in a natural health market I was about to buy a $30 facial scrub. Luckily I looked at the ingredients, of which there were two- cornmeal and myrrh powder. Four ounces of cornmeal and myrrh…

Given the extensive claims on the packaging, I instead bought the two ingredients for $5, and made enough to last years, with leftover to make cornbread.  Myrrh powder as it turns out is medicinal, historically used for mouth cleansers to heal and kill bacteria (those wise men were bearing fresh breath.)  Corn meal, finely ground makes a gentle scrubbing abrasive.  If you read beauty labels all the high-end stuff is touting things that you already buy to ingest- green tea, vitamin c, fruit acids…

A whole lot cheaper is to open your fridge and rub a strawberry on your face.

I know that sounds kind of crazy, and you’ll have to be careful your kids aren’t looking, ’cause there will be strawberry mashed all over your house, but it works.  Go to a luxury organic spa and guess what they’re using?  Your guacamole, (ok, just the avocado) milk, honey and fruits.  From an Ayurvedic perspective milk has cooling properties, soothing inflammation and dryness.  Avocado has a somewhat similar benefit with more moisturizing emollient properties.  

For a really simple pick- my face up, pour a cup of your favorite herbal tea, while steeping rub your fruit on your face, hold the cup near your face to let the steam into your pores, and when it’s done steeping use the teabag to wipe off the residue.

Here are some of your common ingredients filled with natural goodness, not to mention buzzworthy scientific things like antioxidants, enzymes, amino acids and proteins:

Cucumber is clarifying and soothing for combination skin, strawberries for oily skin and avocado for dry.  Licorice is the major natural ingredient in non-hydroquinone lighteners and pigmentation reduction- it’s used to reduce redness and inflammation and also has antiviral properties. So when I make my kids a cup of tea I rub the teabag on my face. Chamomile I use similarly- it helps with irritation and sensitivity. Raw honey is also used for pretty much anything as it is a powerful natural antibiotic and also has tons of enzymes- it has been used for eons as a moisturizer and wound healer- it’s a little sticky, but when mixed with a lotion or used diluted it’s not nearly as sticky a you’d think.  Coconut oil is used on our hair (if you have finer hair you can use it as a deep conditioner, then wash it out)  and our bodies- it is antifungal and it smells like an island vacation too.

Peace in the Kingdom

Posted: February 20th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

I received a text the other night, and felt quite shaken. How could I feel so upset over a few little words? I couldn’t eat. I wrote four or five responses, explaining in detail that I meant only goodwill.  She was clearly upset. We had been friends for a long time and had a falling out a few months back (actually I had it out with her husband).  She hasn’t spoken to me since, though occasionally our children play together via daddy. I have left many messages letting her know that we were thinking of her and that my son would really like to play with her son.  

I was in a conundrum: do I allow my children to play at a house where the grownups wouldn’t speak to me?

She never answered or returned any calls. I asked daddy to find out if she was ever going to speak to me for the sake of our children. She texted me an answer of kinds. I responded simply that I loved her and wished her fulfillment. She apparently couldn’t believe that was true and texted back to that effect. I replied simply “I am hopeful for peace in the kingdom, and I am aware that it begins with me.”
On the heels of an historic inauguration of a thoughtful leader who reminded me that we are the change.

Winter Cheat Sheet

Posted: December 28th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: My View of Health, practices, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Please note, this is what I do or would do for my own family- not intended to treat or diagnose anyone else…

Also, that I would rather you have this information available than wait until I have more time to format it, so here’s some basics I love and have found myself telling the moms I know when their peanuts are ill, that are available at most health food stores and don’t require specialized knowledge.

if nursing, breast milk is good for everything- you can put it in eyes, ears and noses…

general winter recommendations:
-regular fish oil supplements
-extra vit c
-astragalus 1-3x a week (none if sick already)
-homeopathic anaes barbarae 1x a week during flu outbreaks
-elderberry juice
-eat all foods and drink at room temperature or warmer

for colds;
colds that come on suddenly after catching a chill:
homeopathic Aconitum Napellus,
warm baths and clothing, sweating

fevers in children, except for poisoning are generally self- limited, and often go above 103. Accompanying seizures are from the fever coming down quickly and are not harmful of themselves. I generally do not give anything for fever, unless the child is miserable- usually that fever is quite high and i give homeopathic belladonna. more often i treat the accompanying symptoms of congestion.

Any mucus/ infection (including ear):
-remove all milk products from diet. minimize fried foods. dilute fruit juices and reduce overall sugar intake including refined flours.
-eat/drink nothing cold- warm herbal teas: chamomile, licorice, holy basil
-with sticky/gluey mucus or lasting a long time: homeopathic Kali Bichromium, every 15 minutes until relief begins, then as needed.
-steam in bathroom: turn on hot water, shut the door, stand kid on counter if necessary to get steam inhaled. make sure child does not touch scalding water.
-vitamin C, adjust for weight- one dose every few hours until stools become loose

- we use Buried Treasure ACF a lot, as it has a nice combo of herbs- it does have colloidal silver, which is getting mixed publicity, but from my understanding is relatively harmless (I also use the cream as an antibiotic for wounds).

-rubbing the upper back, especially halfway between the shoulder blades and the spine, and on the inside of the foot, just past where a bunion might be if you had one…

Ear aches/ infections:
mullein/garlic oil drops in the ear

Please feel free to leave comment if you’d like to see other topics.

Snuggles and backrubs are also very good medicine.