Saturday, October 29, 2011

Good Helpers for Good Health

 It's a cold rainy morning, rained most of yesterday but we need the moisture. Looks like our neighbors to the north and east are going to be getting some early snow.
  Today I have some assorted hints to file away for use when needed.
  Did you know that the scent of lemon reduces stress?  To make some airspray, grate lemon zest into olive oil, let set a few days then strain. Now you have essential oil, and can add  a few drops to a container of water, maybe 1/2 cup, put into spray bottle and mist your rooms. Lemon and olive oil dressing  is good for you and tasty, add some herbs and a great salad dressing is ready. You can also coat your chicken with lemon and olive oil before baking.
  Got dry elbows?  Try mixing:
1 Tablespoon wheat germ
2 tablespoons oatmeal
1 tablespoon cocoanut oil
1 tablespoon cream
Put this blended mix on your elbows and wrap saran wrap around. Let it stay for 20 minutes then wash gently away.

 Got stretch marks? Try mixing:
3 tablespoons of sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon milk
Rub into affected areas.
  Lets think spring. when you are planning next years planting, consider a bed  or marigolds, also known as Calendula.  These lovely flowers have been used for such a long time as healing salves and balms. To create usable oil, just pick a jar full of flowers, pull them apart and dry them for at least 12 hours. If you don't dry them, they will become rancid. Place in sterile jar, and cover with organic olive oil.  Keep this mix in a sunny window for 4 to 6 weeks, shaking once a day. Then strain and store in a dark place. This oil can be used for  aches, bruises, sore muscles.  It can also be made into salves and lotions. Salve is made by mixing 4 ounces of the oil into 1/2 oz of melted beeswax and 20 drops of essential lavender oil.
  My last thought for today , with the colder weather coming on, is a way to warm cold hands and feet.  Put 2 whole cinnamon sticks and 1 teaspoon whole cloves into 3 cups of boiling water.  Steep 15 minutes. Strain. Warm and drink 3 cups a day.
 Hope you are getting prepared for winter and the coming holiday season, can you believe it's only 7 weeks  until Christmas?  Stay warm!


Friday, October 21, 2011

Grocery shopping for healthy alternatives

 Our lovely fall weather took a turn for the colder, snow on Mt LaConte, an inch they say, its much higher than our mountain. But the chill is being felt. Should warm up again in a few days.
   Before we move deeper into the grocery store, I need to back track. Forgot a very important use for garlic on our last trip. I buy Sally Hansen Hard as Nails  nail polish, and add about 1/4 teaspoon of chopped garlic to the bottle. Yep, its a bit tricky but I like to use the little jars of pre chopped garlic, and just sort of feed it in with my finger. Let this set about a week, then polish clean nails, two coats.  don't remove it during the week, just keep adding another coat every 2 or 3 days. After about a month nails are as hard as acrylic ones, I am impressed with the strength! I do remove  polish once a week.
  Today, lets move to the tea and coffee isle.  Peppermint tea is good for your insides and your outsides. Make it fairly strong by brewing in a covered container for 15 to 20 minutes. You can use the used bags on insect bites, very soothing. Also works on rashes and feet of diabetic folk. Just soak a cloth in the brewed tea and apply. And of course, drink it for tummy upsets. You can add some honey if you like it sweeter.
  Camomile is the next to purchase. This one has so many uses. It's great for children and adults. If you have a teething baby, brew it (per peppermint instructions) and try these.  For Pink Eye, soak cotton balls and apply to eyes, for cold and flu and sore throat, just sip a cup. This is also good to ease gout pain and muscle pain(drink). If you are traveling and need them while on the road, Starbucks has them for sale, but you need to know what to ask for. Peppermint is sold as "Refresh," and Chamomile is sold as "Calm." For little or big people, popsicles can be made to aid upset tummys and diarrhea.  Just brew your tea, use 3 cups and stir in 2 cups of yogurt, 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice and honey to taste. Pour into pop molds or use plastic dixie cups and add a popsicle stick, freeze. You can also freeze a clean cloth with the tea on it and let you teething baby chew on it.
  On to the spice aisle. You all know that salt water is a great gargle for sore throats. But did you know you can make an electrolyte drink, much like the ones you pay so much for  by mixing  a pinch of salt in a glass with lemon and honey? Warm water works best.
   Cinnamon is great for circulation, digestion, fever, blood sugar(put it in your oatmeal)  toothache, and it refreshes your mouth if you sprinkle it on your toothbrush and brush your teeth once in a while. Clove oil is also a great item to use on a toothache. In 1885  cocaine was legal and sold for 15 cents a bottle to use for toothache. If you can't sleep dry bringing a cup of milk almost to a boil and stirring in 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, cover and brew about 10 minutes, add a little honey and drink.
  Sage is good for sores in your mouth(canker) or you can gargle with it, when made as a tea. Or  put fresh sage leaves in a jar ,cover with honey and let sit til syrupy to use for sore throat. I had an infection on a knuckle this last week and brewed up some tea and soaked, it seems to be gone.
  We will wind up today with turmeric. This stuff is amazing.  You can sprinkle it on small cuts to stop bleeding, but my favorite I learned nearly 40 years ago. It's a potent anti inflamatory. My Mom had horrid hands, all gnarled up with arthritis, and very painful. She was a teacher and was put on medicines, likely steroids, to allow her to write on the blackboard and do her paper work with less pain. I went to my Health food store and asked if there was a way to keep from having the same problem as I aged. I was told to take turmeric and ginger supplements. Started then, still take them, as did my husband until his death, and I am now 74 but have no problems with pain in any of my joints. Knuckles are slightly enlarged but that's it.  It also may help ward of cancer, any illness is a sign if inflammation in the body somewhere so what ever you can do to prevent future problems, go for it.
   Hope this gives you a few new ideas, good health to all!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Grocery Store Health Helpers

 Red, yellow and russet colors are popping up on the mountains. Couldn't get a real good look today because of the rain, and the clouds sitting down on the mountains. Another week or two and it should be peak season for colors. And with fall and winter, come the assorted colds, coughs, flu, sinus and general ickys.
  So today lets take a trip through the grocery store and pick up some helpers to keep you and your family in good health.
  Our first super helper is garlic. Its a natural antibacterial, works for lots of infections. Good even for fighting MRSA. Takes good care of your heart and your cholesterol level too, just add to as many dishes as you can and eat hearty.  Lets brew up some  oil, by putting 5 cloves of garlic in a jar and covering with olive oil.  Let set a day then use on fungus infections(toe and finger nails,) an d if you have a baby with a cough, rub  between baby's toes and cover with socks,  helps a cough or an internal infection.
  Next lets grab an onion.  Chop it up and put in a container, glass is best. Cover with sugar, let sit until it turns to syrup. Keep in frig and take a spoonful of the syrup as needed for coughing, no chance of overdosing.
  You may have to look a bit, but next on the list is a chunk of ginger root. This stuff is incredible.  If you have carsick kids, feed them ginger cookies, ginger ale, anything ginger to settle the tummies. Its also good for gas, bloating, congestion, sore throat, and pain.  It harmonizes pain in head and leg cramps. Brew a tea by grating 1/2 inch of peeled ginger root into a cup, pour boiling water over it, cover  and steep for 15 minutes. You can add a dash of lemon juice and some honey if you like, but drink as much as you like. Gargle with it for sore throats.
  Next snag a head of cabbage.  Way back when my oldest son was in high school, he had an ulcer that gave him a lot of pain and trouble. We cooked up a half a head of cabbage, and besides eating the leaves, he drank the water  several times a day(keep in frig) . There is something very soothing about it, that helps heal ulcers. If you eat it as sauerkraut, it contains probiotics. You can also take a raw leaf and put over a wound, covering with a sterile bandage to help heal the wound.
 Our last produce item for today is a potato. Peel and grate, put on burns with sterile dressing.
 Lets move over to the cereal isle now, and grab a box of oatmeal. Old fashioned is best but quick cooking will work.  Oats are wonderful for skin, eczema, itching etc. Even Chickenpox is soothed by soaking in an oatmeal bath. Just tie up a piece of cloth with oatmeal inside it and drop into the tub. Use it to gently wash with. After the bath, discard the oats and wash the cloth for the next time. 
  Hope this gives you a few new thoughts, next time we will try a few more isles in the grocery store. Take care, enjoy this lovely fall weather!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Brown sugar Scrub

October arrived so quickly, despite the heat, summer went  too fast. This is such a wonderful time of year, here in the mountains, it's still very lush and green, the leaves have not started changing yet. Peak season for color is always late October into mid November. The second crop of tomatoes that was started this year seems to have passed the test, looks like they will harvest in the next few weeks. The original fields have had their spraying of poison and are all withered and brown, leaving tons of unpicked tomatoes with warning signs about eating them.  Seems such a waste of good food, it always makes me a little sad.
   I have a recipe for you today that feels and smells so good. Use when showering or bathing.The brown sugar I like is in a plastic container with a handle, and very grainy. The regular type does not work as well.
  In a bowl, mix together:
   1/2 cup  of the grainy brown sugar( you can use regular)
   1/2 cup white sugar
   1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons sunflower or canola oil
   1/2 vanilla( the real stuff).
Blend the sugars then add the oil and vanilla. I have used Olive Oil too.
Store in jar, plastic is better in case you drop it in the shower.
  My Granddaughter posted a note on facebook this week saying she had given her year old baby girl a metal bowl and and spoon to play with and the result was an hour of "music." I remember when my kids liked playing with simple things, no electronic goodies back in the fifties. Kids had to use their imaginations and it was a good thing. Wonder how many of us could go even one day now without computer, cell phone, tv etc. The young folk would be hard pressed. Have a great week.