Category Archives: Pain & Inflammation

Ear Infection Tea?

Certain herbs can help take the edge off an ear infection. The following herbs can be combined in a tea to help relieve and heal this painful condition:

  • Chamomile
    • Actions: antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory (reduces pain), vulnerary (encourages healing), calms the nervous system
  • Echinacea
    • Actions: antimicrobial, enhances immune function, anti-inflammatory, anti-catarrhal (loosens mucus – think eustachian tube), vulnerary
  • Marshmallow
    • Actions: demulcent (protects mucosal tissues and helps thin thickened mucus), anti-inflammatory, expectorant
  • Slippery Elm
    • Actions: demulcent, astringent, anti-inflammatory, nutritive
  • Sambucus (Black Elder)
    • Actions: expectorant, diaphoretic (enhances sweating – aids fever), vulnerary, anti-catarrhal

Do not consume if allergic to Asteraceae (Asters) or Chrysanthemum family herbs/plants.

Consult your naturopathic doctor or registered herbalist to see if this tea is indicated for you.

 

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Flashburn (AKA: Welder’s Eye Burn)?

I remember my father having to pause, annoyed, as he rested his eyes from a sudden incident of “welder’s flashburn.” This is like a sunburn to the eye, the more serious burns resulting in pain and redness. A proper assessment by your doctor is highly recommended for this event; however, few will actually go. To preserve your vision for your senior years, here are 4 practical treatments that offer relief and effective recovery for an eye flashburn/sunburn:

  1. Raw potato poultice – shred potato, clump it together and apply to closed eye(s)
  2. Vitamin A oil drops – apply to open eye(s)
  3. Cold pack – apply to closed eye(s) for 10 minutes
  4. Euphrasia 30Ch homeopathic – take as per label

FYI: potatoes can stain purple or black.

Consult your ND or MD as to whether any of the above remedies are right for you.

Shingles Alert!

Maybe it’s just me, but shingles seems to be on the rise. Like any other herpes virus (e.g. cold sores) it may be helpful to supplement with the amino acid lysine to decrease the duration, while avoiding the amino acid arginine (arginine can worsen or prolong the outbreak). Foods high in arginine are turkey, pork, chicken, soy, dairy, chickpeas, lentils, peanuts, and peas. Talk to your ND to see if this is the right choice for you.

How to Shrink a Hemorrhoid?

Okay, here’s what to do:

  • Brew yourself the strongest batch of black tea you possibly can.
  • Cool it down to a temperature your skin finds comfortable.
  • Immerse a cotton ball or take one of the tea bags and place it directly on the ‘rhoid.
  • Get comfy on your stomach and read a book or watch a movie to pass the time – keep it peaceful- nothing scary like The Hole.

No matter what the size the evil gremlins may be, the natural tannins of the tea will send these little minions back into the dark abyss from whence they came… and put an end to their evil, itch-filled assault on your anus.

High Five!

Swish Away Your Canker Sores?

Here’s a recipe for a mouth wash that is pretty much guaranteed to take your canker sores away. You will have to go to a health food store to buy them:

  • 2 tsp Chinese Red Sage (Salvia officinalis var. rubia; leaves are preferred, but the root will also work (found at most Chinese herb stores); any of the other Salvia’s will also work
  • 2 tsp German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)

Add the herbs to a mug of hot water and let cool until comfortably warm. Then strain out the herbs (best to use a large tea ball), swish, rinse, and spit out. Repeat daily until you have a happy mouth. The two herbs carry out effective actions that kill bugs, lubricate, calm, and tighten the tissue, reduce inflammation, and speed up healing. It tastes terrible, and it works.

Enjoi!

Post Injury Sciatica

There is a specific homeopathic first aid remedy for sciatica following injury – Ruta graveolens. The standard practice for first aid potencies in homeopathy are 30ch and 200ch. As always, it is best to first consult a naturopathic or homeopathic doctor to determine whether Ruta is the right choice for you.

First Aid Rescue For Bites & Stings

Got an animal bite, insect bite, or a simple sting? Ledum is the classic homeopathic first aid remedy used to treat such a case. Try a 30CH potency and take as directed or with increased frequency. Obviously seek medical attention if injury is severe or if you are worried about infection.

Ear Infection? Here’s Onion.

Believe it or not, ear infections are RARELY due to infection, which is why antibiotics do nothing for them. So, what then is the issue? For kids typically under eight years of age, the Eustachian tubes that connect the ear with the throat lay more horizontal than vertical in nature. As a result, fluid that needs to drain through the tube becomes backed up causing serious #$%*!!! ear pain. For adults, ear infections are usually the result of having a cold or allergy that congests the tube causing the fore mentioned profanity. So, what to do?

  1. Grab a medium to large sized onion.
  2. Cut in half (don’t worry about peeling).
  3. Steam for 5-10 min (or microwave for 50 sec). It should be firm (not fully cooked), but soft to touch.
  4. Wrap in clean tea towel so that only 1 towel layer covers sliced area.
  5. Cup ear with onion and hold until pain subsides. Careful, it’s hot!

Ok, so what’s the magic? The moist heat from the onion draws fluid from the ear, and warms up the mucus (onion sulfur compounds may help break up the mucus), therefore making the Eustachian tube easier to drain. Viola!

Secondary Option:I had chronic ear aches as a child, and would be taken to hospital. The MDs would pour cod liver oil in my ear followed by a cotton ball, and prescribe an over-the-counter pain killer. Seemed to help.

Luis Guzman Has Pretty Feet.

Warming Socks are a historic home remedy for colds, tired feet, and insomnia:

  1. Take a pair of cotton socks and soak them in water of room temperature.
  2. Wring out so they do not drip, but remain saturated.
  3. Put socks on.
  4. Put on dry wool socks over top of wet socks.
  5. Go to sleep.
  6. Wake up with toasty feet and feeling better.

To get the joke in the title you would have had to watch a lot of television in 1994.

Take a Contrast Shower To Kick a Cold In the Butt!

Whether you feel a sore throat or cold coming on, or have been fighting one for weeks, try taking contrast showers to boost your immune system. Here’s what to do: shower hot for 3-5 minutes and then switch to 30 seconds cold. Then repeat 5-7 times. The heat will dilate all vessels, sending your immune fighters out closer to the surface. The cold water will then contract vessels and bring the fighters in. This acts as a natural pump causing lots of fighters to be circulated around the body quickly, thus increasing the chance of more specific fighters hitting the target areas. Always finish with cold, but never allow yourself to get a chill. Contrast showers also boost metabolism if you are looking to lose weight,  can help clear the skin, and dump toxins.

Quick tip: cold water is less of a shock to the body if it hits your head first. Each cold repetition will become easier as you go along.

OMG, Cabbage! Quit Blowing My Mind With VeggieTales!!!

Cabbage is great for reducing swelling around areas of:

  • Bursitis
  • Cysts
  • Superficial ulcerations
  • Mastitis

Simply slice off the spine, and remove some leaves. Steam until soft and once cool, gently squish (a rolling pin works well) to break out the juices. Since the leaves naturally fit around the body they can be apply directly to the affected area, and then secured in place by tying a towel. Keep on for at least 20 minutes; more repeats = more benefits.

Warning: I thought it would be cool to make my girlfriend a cabbage bra. She didn’t have mastitis, but dropped a cup size. Now she won’t speak to me.

You Had Me At Potato…

Just like the carrot, a potato can be used as a beneficial poultice. Grate and wrap in a damp tea, paper, or thin towel (or use without wrapping) an apply to affected area for a minimum of 20 minutes (more repeats = more results) in the case of:

  • Sprains
  • Skin and Eye Inflammations
  • Burns (the lesser burn that you don’t go to the emergency room for)
  • Eczema

Caution: potatoes will stain purple or black. Do not apply heat to this poultice.

The Wonders of Castor Oil

Three of the many uses for castor oil:

1. Improving Digestion  2. Detoxifying the liver,  3. Reducing pain and inflammation (e.g. joint pain).

Here’s what to do:

Take two strips of organic cotton flannel free of any flame retardants, and place some plastic cut out from an old shopping bag between them. Pour a line of castor oil on one of the strips of flannel and place oil-side onto the liver, gut, or site of pain and inflammation. Use a towel to tie around or hold firm with hands to secure for 20 minutes or longer. For fans of Chinese medicine, the prime time for liver detox is 6-8pm as lymphocytes peak 7 hours after treatment, which is “Liver-Time” in Asian med (1-3am).

The molecular weight of castor oil is 298 Da, which means it can be absorbed topically, as it is less than 500 Da. Enjoy!