Thursday, June 9, 2011

Just one gal sharing her notes...

See, when I don't have to spend my evening grading papers for the online courses I teach, I can watch The Voice and blog about completely random things, like this... HOME REMEDIES! This makes me very happy!

I love home remedies and have always felt that they actually work better than pharmaceuticals. They are typically cheap, easier to get your hands on (many can be found in your pantry), and rarely have negative side effects!

My love affair with tricks of the trade started with apple cider vinegar (ACV). For as long as I can remember, my grandmother preached the glories of this miracle drink as a remedy for everything from a stomach ache to stinky feet. We rolled our eyes and incessantly cracked ACV jokes behind her back. Need money to pay your bills? Having relationship problems? Drink apple cider vinegar!

In a desperate attempt to kick a cold, a couple of years ago I put the age old remedy to the test. My only disappointment? That I hadn't tried it sooner!

So, sip ACV warm with some water (1-2 tsp in a small glass of H2O) and lots of honey, and lemon if you have it, to ease the inflammation of a sore throat, to prevent bacteria infection of the tonsils, or to thin out mucous. For best results start sipping at the first sign of illness (tickly throat, post nasal drip, etc). For even better results have a glass once a week just for the heck of it... plus its great for your gut! I even use it diluted with water as a toner for my face! Works, well... beautifully!

ACV is amazing... a great blessing God has given us for natural good health. Pick up some high quality ACV from a health food store... the kind that still has the "mother" floating on top. Mmmm. Good stuff.

A few other remedies that I've had personal success with...

Garlic- a natural antibiotic and antifungal. Smells great too!- although your spouse may not agree. Have a cold that has turned sinus, tonsil, or respiratory infection? Chop up a few fresh cloves and swallow whole like a pill (or chew it if you can take it like a man). Garlic oil for an ear infection can be made my warming a clove in olive oil... or just place a half garlic clove just on the outside of the ear and hold in place with a cotton ball. Garlic is also the best treatment for a yeast infection! Forget the messy and expensive creams! Garlic is amazing!

Tea Tree Oil- This is hands-down the best essential oil to have in your medicine cabinet. The Apple Cider Vinegar of essential oils, if you will. This volatile oil is easily absorbed into the blood stream and lymph system when applied in a carrier oil (such as olive oil) in the neck and chest area. I've also used tea tree on Grace Louise's feet and chest during a cold. It also works well at treating a yeast diaper rash (again, mixed with a carrier oil and applied). Even one drop on a diaper can keep yeast at bay.

Cayenne Pepper (capsicum)- Capsicum works inside the body, as well as topically. Add to warm salt water and gargle for almost immediate relief for a sore throat. Ironically, it reduces inflammation.

Neti pot- There's a current joke on the Joy FM radio station about the neti pot. Apparently J.R. thinks that it was created as a practical joke to see if people would deliberately drown themselves. I'm a fan (both of the Joy FM and of the neti pot) and have had great success with this remedy for years. I use it at the first sign of a cold (again, post nasal drip and a tickly throat get me going every time). Who knew drowning yourself on a small scale could promote good health?!

Lymph massage- My most recent area of interest. I'm not sick often, but boy, this last cold threw me for a loop! I started feeling bad just days before my yoga certification training weekend. I rested Thursday and Friday, followed my remedies, and prayed for supernatural strength to make it through my class in Ft. Meyers. I had a great weekend (which reminds me, I should write about that experience...), but noticed the sore throat coming back Saturday night and then even more so Sunday evening. My glands were swollen severely and tender to the touch. I did some reading and started massaging with a tea tree oil blend Sunday night. I gave myself a mini anatomy lesson and then ensued an even longer lymph massage the next day. By Tuesday morning my glands were neither enlarged nor tender. This works, folks!

It is always my hope that sickness doesn't enter this home, but when it does, I've got a proven effective repertoire of remedies. Please share if you have any more to add!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Love Letters

Every major age milestone since Grace Louise was born, I've written her a little letter highlighting all the things she's doing and just sharing my heart at the moment. I have a letter that my mom wrote for me while she was pregnant, which I absolutely treasure! It is just so precious to have a glimpse into the heart of a mother, especially when its your own! Passionate Homemaking just wrote a blog entry about the art of letter-writing today (which I didn't even see until after I wrote this... how cool!)

An excerpt from GL's 18 month letter...

A few truly precious things you do that make my heart melt...

say “sit mommy” when you want to nurse

say “wapoo” (I love you!) and “night night skeeter bite!”

mimick mommy’s yoga poses

sit in front of your bookshelf on the floor and read book after book by yourself

sit on the big girl potty, get your own toilet paper, and wipe yourself (but you’re not potty trained yet!)

carry a purse and put small books and toys in it

carry your baby dolls everywhere

play peek a boo with yourself and other random objects, saying “where’d go?”

say really sweet southern things like “bye y’all”, “bye now”, and “oh my!”

cackle and shriek when you laugh

Mommy and daddy must continue to ask the Lord to guide our footsteps in parenting, careful not to put ourselves on auto-pilot or forget the purpose of what we are doing... training you to know and the love the Lord and to desire to give Him glory with your life. I want you to be smart. I want you to be talented. But most of all, I want you to desire after Jesus with your whole heart. I am so able to mess this up. I have a good chance of teaching you things I shouldn’t or not teaching you things I should. Yet, God’s grace is sufficient even for this. You are His. And this is all for His glory.

18months- Memorial Day Weekend