Castor Oil Fomentation

Upon developing a large cyst in my side, and after months and months of confusing pain, I have decided to try my hand at Fomentations.

I found the application and usage in The Herbal Medicine-Maker’s Handbook: a Home Manual, and have thoroughly enjoyed the information this handbook provides. Studying Herbalism is the path I plan to follow to finish my education in this next coming year, and I am very excited to begin. I’ve looked at three different schools, come up with a plan and even received a sample lesson from Sage Mountain. Their course would be printed booklets, and I feel that will really help me to educate myself, as well as the support from my teachers and family.

Having used them for a few weeks now, Castor Oil Fomentations are worthwhile if repeatedly applied over time. 3 days on, four days off, and I have used a poultice in between to combat a swollen sciatic nerve that gives me grief.

I keep my fomentation in a jar in the fridge, and when I warm it in the oven, I add Lavender Essential Oil, Lemon Essential Oil, and Roman Chamomile Essential Oil so I can enjoy an aromatic aspect to the experience. Castor Oil smells like a weird pasta on it’s own, to me anyway. It is very sticky, and it gets on just about everything. (Wear gloves)

I’ll usually light some candles, burn a little oil in my oil burner, and lay under a heating blanket with my fomentation on for about an hour, to an hour and a half, depending on how warm the fomentation is when I start – I have been warming it for 45 minutes with good results.

Followed by a shower with a mild soap and some baking soda, I can fall asleep easily with peace of mind.

I am not certain if this alternative method of managing pain could reduce the size of the cyst, but it has drastically changed the level of pain I have experienced. Paired with a change in medication, diet, and overall outlook – I am very optimistic and thankful to have discovered this method of pain management, if not treatment.

and here we go…

We will begin this journey with a sourdough starter, as I would imagine most sourdough bread endeavors start. It is Saturday, and I have just put my starter on top of my refrigerator thanks to the instructions provided by King Arthur Flour.

I will continue to feed it every day for a week, and by next Saturday I should have a healthy starter, that I can put in the fridge, and make bread from whenever I desire.

wp-1467494840496.jpg

(this is me hoping it is covered loosely enough)

Whole Wheat Flour, loving thoughts, and water. That was easy enough.

http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/sourdough-starter-recipe

an update, some insight.

I started making soap not too long ago, with the help of my roommate and my mom, we created something out of nothing and it turned out beautifully. I have started an Etsy shop to sell these soaps, as well as crocheted washcloths and other crochet creations under the name Mossy Moonbeams.

As of yesterday, my soaps are being sold at Atlantis Eclectic Boutique in Little Five Points. I am looking forward to seeing how they sell, and what our customers think of our original soaps and unique designs.

I was determined, and in a whirlwind I started a business and I am very excited to see where it will take me.

(Pictured here is our Seed of Life soap, directly below that is our Leafy Green Soap, and then our Honeycomb Hand Soap. Our crocheted washcloths in various sizes, and a larger crocheted dishcloth I am considering selling in the shop)

Recently I decided to try my hand at sewing, I have been curious for a few years as to what it would be like to embark on that journey, and have only recently decided to pursue it. I am hopeful that a sewing machine will make itself present in my life soon, and I can begin my journey with that!

20160602_131807.jpg

wp-1465067508516.jpg

A few days ago, I used Turmeric and dyed my sisters crop top – it turned out fantastically vibrant and I am very excited about it! Natural dyeing is something I have had my eye on thanks to the wonderful creations of Rebecca Desnos & her new book on the subject..

Rebecca Desnos – Botanical Colour at your Fingertips

(I am currently accepting donations of avocados because I need at least fifteen stones/skins to start)

I am healing slowly, steadily, and surely. I have had ups, and downs, but things are moving smoothly along and for that I am thankful.

We have a vibrant garden growing in the backyard, the cats are all happy and healthy. Things are looking up. I am excited to complete the projects I have going right now, they are special to me and I think they’ll really mean a lot to the people that they are for.

It’s 1:11 on a Saturday Morning

and I’m sitting in the middle of my bedroom floor on my yoga mat, with my laptop.

Occasionally, in years past, you’d find me like this. Exploring before I began my practice, or just relaxing with my laptop afterwards. Attempting my former, beginners yoga video playlist on YouTube, realizing I’d taken a lot of helpful stretches out of my favorite routine, and taking into account that I can’t do it anymore led me here.  

It is a little strange to realize and accept that fact. I was able to heal my tight hamstrings and gain flexibility back once before, I will do it again. This time it will just be a new experience. My hamstrings are very tight, but I will slowly loosen them and strengthen them. It is all in the spirit of drawing the health that I know is present, from my body.

I love my body, I may not hear it every time it tries to communicate with me, but we are working together and that is something I am thankful for. This beautiful vessel lives in pain, the least I can do is try to nurture and nourish it. As well as try to heal it, and take care of it every day.

In the evenings, some weeks when I know it will serve me well, I use a coconut foot balm, and put on my aloe socks before I go to sleep. That little bit of pampering adds a special caring touch to my nighttime routine. I try to fit in acts of self love and care when I can.

Having a daily yoga practice was a part my identity that I would love to have back, and I plan on working towards it! For now, I will continue to honor my health, what little I have left, and try to nourish my soul in the process.

~~~

On another, but very prominent note.. This “Functional Abdominal Pain” (I use quotations because I  still find humor in the fact that it was classified as ‘functional’) is something I experience on a daily basis, it has been very present this week and tonight it became a larger issue. Strength has shielded me in this misfortune, and I pray I will find rest and comfort, in whatever form, this evening. It could be as simple as just the right combination of blankets and pillows to support me tonight as I fall asleep. It does not take a lot, and it is truly the little things that add up into beautiful bountiful blessings.

some thoughts from a year ago…

When I first “got sick”, I had a very hard time standing on my own.

It was always difficult to hold things, even just a water bottle. Goodness knows it got harder when I tried to put water in it, little things like that put a lot of pressure on my legs. It took months before I could do it comfortably, and forget that it was ever an issue at all.

Until tonight, when I tried to add water to a pot so I could make pasta, I was having issues standing comfortably, not only that, but I couldn’t hold the pot without shaking – it hurt to hold it, it weighed more than I wanted to endure holding.

I am very grateful for my health, these past few days I have been trying to take Prednisone for my lower back as my sacroiliac area had become uncomfortably inflamed. I was unable to take the prednisone without having awful, terrible side effects and have since stopped the treatment.. I will find another option to help my pain. For now, I will use what helped before I attempted the steroids.

My roommate has been a saint this whole weekend, the medication really took a toll on my physical body, as well as my mental health. He stood by me through it all, and made sure I ate when I acted like a pissed off, and grumpy toddler, and especially through my blood sugar crashes. It was a trying weekend for us both.

I have been working in my garden a few times each day, planting and replanting all of my mint this weekend got me through some of the stressful parts of my steroid treatments. It all looks so beautiful, I am excited to share my harvest of lavender, and I am looking forward to using the sage plants as they grow bigger.

I am currently looking into getting my GED, as well as continuing my studies through herbalism courses. For now, I suspect that studying something I am interested in, and can take at my own pace would be the best course of action for the foreseeable future while I heal.

I learned how to make soap about a month ago, and began a cold process curing period, while perfecting a few hot process recipes. I am planning on opening up an Etsy store soon, and am really enjoying the process of looking into things like creating business cards and expanding my reach through social media.

Things are looking up – I am healing, and I am grateful.

Time takes time, I’m getting there.

Tooth Powder

This morning, I was a different woman. As I scrolled through Instagram, I found a post that an apothecary had made regarding a product they sell – Tooth Powder. My first reaction was “Who uses Tooth Powder?!”

The answer? Me.

I remembered discovering the development of multiple cavities in my mouth, after mentioning it to my mother, saying I should probably go see a dentist, I started looking at different home-healing remedies that I could use to help in the meantime. After seeing Tooth Powder online earlier today, I started researching information on how to help cavities, and this is what I found:

Oil Pulling

Where you take a tablespoon of Coconut Oil and swish it in your mouth for 20 minutes in the morning and at night. Once, there was a time when I oil pulled as a regular ritual, unfortunately I stopped a few months ago.

& Tooth Powder!

I looked up different ones, different methods, different benefits of all of the recipes involved and settled on Wellness Mama’s “Remineralizing Tooth Powder”

After a trip to Whole Foods, I set out to make this sweet little jar of tooth repair. (Which was perfect because I’d been looking for an excuse to buy jars – Hello Euphoria Gifts!)

wp-1458351652141.jpg

I took a small jar and mixed 4 Tablespoons of Bentonite Clay, and 3 Tablespoons of Calcium Powder.

wp-1458351705522.jpg

I bought these Calcium Citrate supplement capsules at Whole Foods, and used 6 caps to make each of the tablespoons. Then I added the Baking Soda, and put two tablespoons of finely chopped peppermint into my Nutri-Bullet. Unfortunately, I didn’t think to grind them by hand, and ended up adding them to the mixture as they were after I had blended them, still a little on the larger side. If I am to do this again, I would plan on using peppermint essential oil.

wp-1458351683932.jpg

wp-1458351701722.jpg

After adding all the ingredients, I put it in a little jar and went off to my bathroom to test it. It tasted of cloves, even though I only used a teaspoon. Overall, it worked very well! I did have to rinse my mouth a little bit afterwards, thanks to the peppermint. I plan on using it three times this week, as well as oil pulling everyday, and I am hoping to see results in the health of my mouth. Obviously, it will not happen overnight, but I am hopeful that if I am to continue a regimen over time that it will benefit me in the long run!

wp-1458351680581.jpg

wp-1458351708542.jpg

Inspiration :

Remineralizing Tooth Powder Recipe

This is a nocturnal account

Occasionally, I’ll wonder what in my “karmic pattern” could have led me here. I wonder what I could have done differently. Granted, I will never say what I should or would have done if I had known, there were signs that this outcome could have been a possibility, but no one would have seen it coming, known to have looked for it, it could not have been prevented, it just is. I know I would not have changed anything had I known it was coming. Possibly, danced just a little more. Alas, that is not how things are able to move.

I can look back and see things I wish I could have changed, they were all uncomfortable, embarrassing moments of growth. Fortunately, they are not so anxiety-inducing that I am   immobilized by them now. There was a time where the emotions that came with the thought of those situations, they were much stronger than they are now. I suppose that is how it all will become in due time, I look forward to that.

I fell asleep tonight around 10:00, after getting off the phone with a friend. Sleeping until around 1, I realized upon turning on my phone that I missed the opportunity to return a call to another friend. I write this in the hopes that he reads it and knows that it was not intentional.

I took my medicine, laid around for a while, meditated, put some art up, and now I am here. Listening to the Avett Brothers, I am sure that this is yet another moment leading to another, that I will wake up tomorrow refreshed and ready to enjoy a sun filled Saturday. Visiting with friends, trying out a new pair of shoes, enjoying life while it is present in front of me. I truly need to get out of my head for a while.

I was able to accomplish this multiple times this week, only to ground myself with thoughts that are far too tired out. Experiences that have no place in my current life, I would imagine that the people around me would agree. I am accepting that this was yet another winter of depression, I will grow from it in the spring and emerge from my cocoon like a beautiful masterpiece and a work in progress simultaneously – I have grown and learned, that is all I asked for.

I hope I am able to submerge myself into my experiences, I have been able to do it in the past but I am hopeful I might be able to be present in the coming days. I am very much an adventurer, a dreamer, on to the next thing faster than I’ve put my feet on the ground. It is as if I fear the fleeting, chasing it before it ever leaves. A lover of the promise in temporary, and yet a warrior for the coming, all the same.

Earlier today, I sat in the car and wondered if my body might just be itching for confrontation, I wanted to fight, one could say in that moment I needed it. Not for any true reason, mind you, I think it is simply that it is still going through what I would say is a withdrawal from a life I no longer live. I have been very discontented with my current state of being, the house has been dirty, I have been unable and unwilling to clean it, and I have felt far too depressed to move forward. There are a myriad of reasons why this could be, but in the end, do any of them matter?

Yes, in 6 months when I read this, I will wonder what I might be referencing, what in my life could be plaguing me so awfully? I refuse to leave myself any clues currently, because quite frankly, I don’t need any “easter eggs” left in my writings to remind me of where I was. I know where I am, I know where I have been, unless my memory starts to elude me, I do not need to leave myself such answers.

I opened up a journal yesterday, I was fearful to read it’s previous entries because I knew that I wrote in it when I was truly perturbed and unable to cope with certain situations. I just wanted to write, and that is where I did it. Mind you, I sat outside in the sun for hours, I needed council, I wanted nourishment. Upon remembering my strange relationship with ants, as they crawled up and down my legs, through my toes and over my feet – the pages of my journal turned and I was greeted with very positive affirmations about myself, the wind stirred again and there were more positive pages to be read.

I remember those times as dark, and seeking. I did not account for them as such things. Doing what I always do, I took my circumstances, as grim as they were to my dear heart, and changed them, so that I may not recall all the details. Yes, some of them I was able to piece back together, but praise that version of myself, because I did not write in such a manner as to put myself back in to those situations.

In six months when I read this, I hope I am able to remember Pax sleeping under my arm as I write. Candles burning in my room, the sound of the fan, and the hope that tomorrow will be a better day. Fortunately for me, I will also remember tomorrow, and I will remember how I was able to make it a better day. I can only hope that I am blessed enough to be healed much more in six months, than I am right now. Grateful as I am for all the healing I have done in the last year, but March 29th will be a grim day, if I am still in my current state of being. This much I know my heart will not deny, it cannot be so.

Free Herbalism Mini-Course

I’m a member of the Herbarium, a online database filled with everything you’d want to know about herbs and remedies through the Herbal Academy of New England.

This Free Herbalism Mini-Course, offered through the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine popped up on my Facebook feed, and I thought I’d share the link with you all!

Class starts on March 23rd and runs through the first of April. It is taught through and available to you in the form of video, audio, and written assignments sent to you via email!

I’m joining in, you should too!

Signup Class Link – Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine

Check out their video on Herbal Honeys and Syrups, here!

Data Entry

Today, I completed three weeks at Peachtree Presbyterian Church doing data entry. I was only there for a few days, as there were only a stack of surveys to enter each week. Needless to say, it was a very fulfilling experience. It opened my eyes to some things I never realized were present in larger denominations, let alone the largest Presbyterian church in the country.

The staff never failed to be cheerful, I suppose it was because of the way all of their jobs fell into place, the location of their offices, but most of the people said “Hello” when you walked by, and almost everyone had a smile on their face. One of the pastors made it a point to introduce himself last week, and I am very happy he did, as it helped me put a “name to a face” when some of the surveys referenced him. He was one of my first goodbyes as I was leaving today.

I spent a few hours, for a few days, in a small cubicle with a fantastic chair and a stack of surveys that I clicked into a website. It wasn’t anything fancy, and it paid well. Unfortunately, my bank account was used by someone in Virginia yesterday, so I had to have my card cancelled for the time being, but I am sure that will bring about another new lesson, as I was planning on buying a pair of shoes with the paycheck I received from all this time spent entering surveys.

These past three weeks have been filled with educating experiences, different trials and challenges that I faced with friends, and family alike. It was definitely eye-opening, and I am glad to look back at the difference, and see that “timeline” to reference. I am looking forward to the next endeavor or adventure I am able to engage in, but for now, I think I’m going to work on cutting sugar out of my diet and adjusting to yet another new medication (for the third month, now.)

Health Update : 1

Earlier this afternoon, I walked into a building filled with offices run by Northside Hospital. It is where the office of my GI Specialist is. As I walked in, I realized I have spent almost my entire life, in and out of buildings and doctors offices all run by Northside.

I went up to the fourth floor, checked in and sat down. Mickey Mouse was on the tv for the kids, have any of you seen what he looks like these days? He is very much a stranger cartoon version of himself. I was called back to have my measurements taken and then I sat in the “Manatee Room”, Needless to say I was excited.

I waited, braided my hair, read some articles on my phone and then my doctor came in. Immediately asking “How are you doing better?”, the focus was already shifted in the right direction. He talked about how my weight had finally stabilized, after being very concerned when I dropped to an alarming 100 pounds. He said he worried about me a lot when I was so sicker, he didn’t know what to do to help and nothing was working. We continued a few medications, dropped one, added another and he sent me off with a plan, and a promise to see him mid-July.

Despite feeling dreadful these past few days, I am thankful to know that on paper, everything looks great. I am hoping to have some of my abdominal pain lessened by these new changes, and I am looking forward to not seeing another doctors office for a few months. I am almost coming up on a year under the care of this GI Specialist, a year of being sick, a year of late night hospital visits, and doctors visits. This year was spent in bed, changing everything about who I thought I was, learning about myself and my body. Despite all of these drastic changes to my health, I have grown so much and for that I am thankful.