Thursday, January 10, 2013

My favorite creation - Healing Salve (name updated to "the greenchild salve")

(Please note, the name of this salve was updated to "the greenchild salve" in 2015.)

Let me preface this post with "please always consult your medical practitioner" and "this product is not intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any disease".  I cannot make any sort of promise that my Healing Salve will heal anybody; yes the essential oils used have known properties, but people still may react differently to them. There are essential oils out there with proven properties that don't do the job for me. All I can tell you is what I personally use my salve for.  There, I think I covered it. :)

Today, as I got out of my Jeep to pick up my son from preschool, I managed to whack my leg pretty hard with the door of the Jeep.  After cussing silently to myself, hopping around a bit, rubbing my leg, and thinking "that's gonna leave a mark!" I realized that just inside the school was my son's backpack . . . and in it was a tub of my Healing Salve.  I limped my way inside and made my way straight to the salve, applied it, and breathed a sigh of relief.  The pain was gone and all I'll have to remind me of the incident is a little bit of scraped up skin.

Things I've used my Healing Salve for: sprained ankles, bruises, minor burns, scrapes, cuts, and inflammation - from joints to laryngitis, and my son's diaper rash.  I use my favorite herb and essential oils - plantain (plantago major), tea tree oil, lavender essential oil, rose geranium essential oil, oregano essential oil, sweet orange essential oil, and raw honey in a natural base of butters and oils.  Plantain has wonderful healing and anti-inflammatory properties; it is also anti-bacterial and helps control bleeding.  Tea tree is known to be anti-septic, anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial.  Lavender has been proven to have calming, soothing, sedating properties.  It is also commonly used as an anti-septic and to treat minor burns.  Rose geranium has astringent, anti-inflammatory, and mildly anti-bacterial properties.  Oregano essential oil is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic, and anti-viral.  Sweet orange essential oil is widely used as an anti-depressant for its uplifting scent as well as being anti-inflammatory and anti-septic.  Raw honey is not only delicious (LOL, do NOT eat the Healing Salve, trust me on that, it doesn't taste anywhere near as good as it smells!!) but is also anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal as well as anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant; it is also used on burns.

My Healing Salve recipe originally called for only the first three: plantain, tea tree, and lavender, as I had plenty of experience using those three. Then I learned about (and tried) rose geranium.  While reducing bruising is not listed as one of its main uses, I found when applied within the first few minutes after a deep tissue injury that it gave an almost indescribably wonderfully warm caressing feeling to the injury that not only relieved my pain but significantly reduced the likelihood of resulting swelling and bruising. Successfully using it after several injuries, this became a permanent ingredient.  Oregano essential oil has such good properties that I decided to add it as an extra component; however, I very much dislike its scent and added sweet orange to temper it.  I love the scent of sweet orange essential oil and use it often in many of my skin care creations.  Later on I discovered how much I like raw honey when added to my lotions, so I added it to the salve too.  Honey does not like to emulsify well into butters and oils, so when making it, I continually stir the salve until cooled which helps to prevent separation.  If you ever see a watery separation in the salve, it's just the raw honey - no cause for worry, just stir it back in.

I do need to tell you that the Healing Salve is NOT intended for immediate use after chemical and severe burns.  Please wait at least a minimum of 1 - 2 hours after a chemical or severe burn to apply (please seek medical assistance!), or a stinging sensation may occur due to the essential oils used, as well as the already-irritated skin turning red for several minutes. Since I cook . . . a lot . . . I occasionally have had more-than-minor burns, and have learned this lesson well.  Also, as with any skin care product, please take care to keep out of baby's mouth.

How do I know all this about injuries?  I  . . . ummm . . . LOL . . . happen to have a lot of experience in the bumps, bruises, sprains, strains, cuts, scrapes, abrasions, burns, etc. department . . . I was a pretty accident-prone person until I learned to slow down!  I was always in too much of a hurry and well, accidents happened.  A lot. Often. I've fallen down the stairs more times than I can remember, and sprained my ankles more times than I can count. During all that, I also followed the typical Standard American Diet and had chronic pain while in my twenties. While I have since moved to what's called the paleo way of eating (thanks to my son's needs) and no longer have chronic pain, that chronic pain is what led me to create my Healing Salve in the first place for the anti-inflammatory properties and it has since blossomed into so much more.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Some personal thoughts today . . .

It's the new year already and I've been spending a lot of time reflecting on days past.  I am thankful for the things I've learned and for all those loved ones in my life and especially thankful for the wonderful opportunities headed my way!  It is because of all of that, that I am who I am today.

I saw an article today on ABC News that made me smile, and I wanted to share.

While December 31st 2012 marked the passing of my beloved grandmother, who nutured my love of sewing, it also marked the 5 year anniversary of a terrible time in my life; our first attempt with IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) unfortunately resulting in a ruptured uterus and subsequent removal and of course death of our 7 week baby, the first one that had a heartbeat, seen for the first time mere hours before.  So, as you can imagine, I've been thinking about babies and pregnancy a lot lately.

With the rupture, my son's pregnancy 6 months later was considered high risk – first because of the recent rupture, then because of the suspicion of Down Syndrome, then later for the placenta’s placement (the placenta's placement eventually caused severe hemorrhaging, resulting in his earlier-than-planned premature birth).  And with a high risk pregnancy came ultrasounds – lots of them.  And I mean LOTS! Because of the high risk pregnancy I was advised not to travel on my own so family and friends came with me to all of my OB appointments and got to see my son in all his pre-birth glory, 3- and 4-D ultrasounds included.  It was amazing to be able to share that with my mother and my mother-in-law; they loved seeing him wiggle around on the screen, having never experienced an ultrasound with their own pregnancies many years ago.

The ultrasounds were necessary for us, but I have no opinion on their safety for typical pregnancies because I have no experience with that; I've had 4 pregnancies, none of them typical (actually, since the previous 3 were all heterotopic pregnancies, my son's pregnancy is the closest to normal I ever had!).  Having had so many ultrasounds, and being able to share them with those close to me, I love this idea!  Sonogram Parties!  If we ever have another pregnancy (which would hopefully NOT be high risk, which would then not involve so many ultrasounds), this is something I'd love to do and share with my family and friends.
Please feel free to share your thoughts and experiences! :)