Thursday, July 22, 2010

An Interesting Brew

I really hate the taste of Oil of Oregano, yet it is one of the most amazing remedies when bacterial overgrowth is an issue.  Oil of Oregano is a definite ‘keep on hand’ for your home care and first aid kit.

In point of fact, many of the culinary herbs and spices that we use on a daily basis have anti-microbial benefits.  Herbs such as thyme, rosemary, basil, cilantro, and lavender, all have infection fighting qualities.  Turmeric, often used in the making of pickles, is a great anti-inflammatory. Cloves discourage parasites, as does Cumin and Coriander seed.  Parsley cleans the blood, and black pepper aids digestion and circulation.

I usually buy a natural throat spray (Natural Factors and Organika make good ones) that usually contains bee propolis, Echinacea and other herbs.  I then add about 10 drops of my Oil of Oregano to it.   I spray this brew into the back of my throat as a defence when the masses are sniffling and sneezing around me. 

When I was on holiday in March I ran out of it, just when my throat was feeling a little scratchy.  Yikes!  What to do! My son-in-law had some vodka on hand, and my daughter had some oil of oregano.  I re-filled the spray bottle with the vodka and added the oil.  Whew, saved.

When I got back home I had used most of this concoction up.  I found a little spiced rum in the back of my cupboard and thought ‘why not’, its food grade alcohol.

This was the find of the century! The spice of the rum seems to cancel out the spice of the oil of oregano.  All that is left is kind of a vanilla under taste.

I have heard from the grapevine that Sailor Jerry’s is the best rum, but I used Capt Morgan’s.  Whichever you prefer, you may want to give this strange brew a try.  Let me know if it works.

Keep well

Friday, July 9, 2010

There is No Such Thing as a Small Thing

In my world, there is no such thing as a small thing.  Small adjustments in our lifestyle can gain huge benefits.  Let me tell you a story:

I had a history of sinusitis, rhinitis, and tonsillitis as a child.  In fact, I have lymph scaring from repeated tonsillitis.  I was also repeatedly treated with antibiotics.  By the age of 12, I had the appearance of very angry looking adolescent acne.  This misery continued through most of my 20’s.  For a time, I was under the care of a dermatologist who put me on (Tetracycline) a wide-spectrum antibiotic for at least 5 years.  He would often give my breakouts local injections of cortisone

My digestive system and menstrual become wonky (now I recognize the typical signs of Candida and yeast overgrowth).  I took my self off the medication, before I found that I was pregnant, thank God, but unfortunately, my baby still had the signs of Candida yeast as well (cradle cap, thrush and a wicked chronic diaper rash).

In hind sight, this is what I know about myself. 

I was very allergic to cigarette smoke.  When I was growing up, both of my parents smoked inside the home.  My Dad quit at some point, probably when I was near my teens, but my Mom continued to smoke for the rest of her life.  When I was in my early 30's, I had a session with a Specialized Kinesiologist to reverse the allergy to cigarette smoke.  It worked very well.  Now I don’t like being in a smoky environment or smelling it on other people's clothes, but at least it doesn’t ‘zone me’.  I have to be honest here and admit that I smoked as well, off and on throughout my 20’s.  Cigarettes make me feel really sick, no matter who smokes them.

I am intolerant of cow’s dairy.  I don’t have any acute reactions to dairy.  Rather it congests me over time, and if I keep ingesting it, I begin to get cysts under the skin of my face, chest and upper back. I was fed cow’s milk from the time I was born.  It was in every desert and sauce, and a staple in the home where I grew up.  I loved milk!  I love cheese!

I am very allergic to oranges and kiwi fruit.  I break out in weeping hives almost immediately.  It used to appear on my face, but fortunately, if I get a reaction now while really being vigilant about avoiding most fruits, I just get a small breakout on my butt.  I loved orange juice, and drank it happily every day!

My first solid food as an infant was Pablum, wheat and other grain mush.  Like most of Blood-type A’s, I am also sensitive to wheat and have trouble digesting gluten (grain based proteins).  When eaten over time, wheat causes me to feel very fatigued, constipated and congested as well.  I have more energy and my elimination is better if I ingest wheat very sparingly.

I don’t want to be overly simplistic here, and don’t assume that this is a Formula.  We are all created differently.  However, if my mother had known some small things about me, my health would have taken a better turn.

I manage my own health now.  I do small things like prefer ‘smoke free’ environments, avoid cow’s milk and restrict my intake of cheese and frozen dairy treats, only have moderate amounts of yogurt and butter.  I eat very little wheat and limit other gluten grains.  I avoid oranges and kiwi like the plague.  I am very moderate with other fruits and eat them in season.

Just little things.

Keep Well_

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Changing Our Inner Programing

We often find ourselves is a rut of the ‘same old, same old’, the same litany of thoughts, the same negative feelings and the same limiting outlook.  Here are some simple solutions to help us immediately move into a better state of being.

When we get stressed out, our breathing becomes rapid and shallow.  Often people will hold their breath when they tense up.  Taking a few deep and slow breaths can really help us ‘pull out’.  Tibetan nasal breathing can really de-stress us.  Use your right thumb to block your right nostril and just take a few minutes of deep slow breathing. 

Over time, we take all our issues to the body and lock it in the body.  Pay attention to your posture.  Often just changing position; straightening your spine, or moving and releasing your hips will make a huge change in your thoughts and feelings.  There is actually a trauma defusion technique that uses posture as a key-in.  For example, if you were injured with your body in a certain posture, re-visiting that same posture will key up the trauma.

Bach Flower Essences
A fundamental part of my supply needs when I first started out in private practice in 1989, was a complete set of Bach Essences.  Just as nutrition is for the physical body, Flower Essences are energy remedies to balance and support the emotional body.

Dr. Edward Bach was an M.D. in the 1930’s and 40’s, specializing in bacteriology and endocrinology.  He wanted to, as he put it, “treat the whole person”.  As he listened to his patient’s stories he began to notice re-occurring themes emerging.  He developed his ‘Bach Essences’ in response to these themes.
Flower Essences have been an essential part of my services from the very beginning.  What is interesting to me is that after almost 20 years in practice I have had to replace and refill five of the 38 remedies.  This has given me a chance to reflect on what life issues have been the most commonly evident in the last 20 years.

Centuary:  In the negative (or stressed) state, one’s connection with one’s own will is poor.  This is the ‘doormat’ personality, who will tend be overly influenced by stronger personalities or to loose themselves in service to others to the degree of doing themselves harm.

Pine:  In the negative state, pine will tend to cling to feelings of quilt.  This can be conscious or unconscious as well.  This is the person who feels the need to apologize constantly. An example would be growing up knowing you were an ‘unwanted pregnancy’.

Red Chestnut:  In the negative state, these people suffer for those they love.  They easily and excessively tune into other people and situations and are great transmitters as well.  This essence relates to a powerful energy link, or locked energy between two people. 
Vervain:  These people experience anticipatory stress; trying to be on call or on time to the point where they are squandering their energies.  Imagine a tennis player running all over the court until the point of exhaustion.  He is knocking himself out, but he’s not centered enough to connect with the ball.

Vine:  These people are natural leaders.  In the extreme negative state, a person is greedy for power, having no respect for the individuality of others.  Bossy vine types wonder why people are so upset with them, saying “it was for their own good”.

Walnut relates to new beginnings and unaffected ness.  This is the final step remedy.  All your belongings are in the moving van, and yet there is still a reluctance to let go.  This is that last attachment.  It can be to a place, person, attitude or job.

Star of Bethlehem relates to the qualities of awakening and reorientation.  This is one of the most important remedies in Rescue Remedy.  This is for shocks or trauma whether it be physical emotional or mental.  This remedy restores our self-healing mechanisms.

Willow relates to the qualities of personal responsibility and constructive thought.  This is used when people tend to blame others, hold on to grudges or get lost in self pity.  Disappointments and resentment can be powerfully projected into the outside world.

White Chestnut relates to the qualities of tranquility and discernment. Long after the argument is over, your mind refuses to shut down and relax.  Unwanted thoughts of ‘should have saids’ go around and around like clothes in a dryer. This remedy relieves the constant mental chatter can lead to headaches and unrelenting tension.  Often used when
experiencing insomnia.

Flower essences may also describe the nature of people around us (past or present) that ‘stress us out’.  Often a grown person will say “that sounds just like my mother” or “this isn’t me, it sounds like my husband”.
It is wonderful to find remedies that so gently and sweetly bring a person back to balance.

Which Bach Essences might be helpful for you?  Why?

The most useful approach in regard to self-care is awareness.  Pay attention to the body’s subtle cues. Our bodies are always talking to us.  There is amazing healing potential when we begin to listen.

Have a great summer_