Monday, August 17, 2015

School Time for Mom, too

Herbal medicine is the medicine of the home. It is used most effectively for the myriad non-emergency health problems that arise in everyday life:
  • simple first-aid situations
  • the bumps and bruises of life
  • headaches
  • colds and fevers and flu
  • coughs
  • aches and pains
  • chronic illnesses
But more important than “curing” illnesses, plants play a great role in preventing them. Rich in nutrients, herbs are the supreme preventing medicine, bolstering our  body’s ability to fight off pathogens that cause illness.

 Rosemary Gladstar nailed it square on. As a mom, I am always tending a cut, a bruise or blister, a fever, an upset stomach, name it. There are children here, as well as livestock. I am not a 'technically' a veterinarian, nor am I a papered medical physician. I am a MOM, and that means I am always expanding my 'medical knowledge base' to best tend to the medical needs of my family and my homestead. It's very poor judgement ot run off to a doctor for every little bit of upset and issue that arises. First off, the expense, even with insurance, is ridiculous. Secondly, it's a sad fact that antibiotics are extremely over-used in this country, for everything from a runny nose to a stuffy head to a backache.
As a society, we have effectively created our own doom by not using common sense (and even commonly used, proven methods of treatments of countless generations before us). We have an upset stomach, we run to the doctor. We have headache, we grab Tylenol. We have a minor cut, we run to the ER.  Of course these ailments need to be addressed, and sometimes they need the more skilled hands of medical facility and perhaps even prescription medicines. But we have sealed our fate by running to a doctor for everything under the sun and getting antibiotics prescribed "as a precaution" to be on the safe side.
That "safe side" is killing us in the form of "superbugs" that are resistant to those too-commonly prescribed medicines. What was once easily treated, is now mutated and out of control from our over-use of antibiotics.

No, I am not telling you to forget your doctor and treat yourself. Nor am I suggesting you grab a book and start learning a few self-medicating tips and techniques. I am not a doctor, I have no licensed medical knowledge, I do not diagnose or treat anything outside my own personal family

But, soapbox chatter aside, m.y post is about Back to School...for Mom. I am taking my herbal information to another level and getting a better, more thorough understanding of alternative medicines and treatment methods for myself and my family.
For a (very long) time now I've been one to grab something other than regular OTCs for my family. We have long been an alternative medicine family here. From the basics of herbal teas to using essential oils now, I am always reading on ways to rid ourselves of that WalMart pharmacy aisle. My knowledge has always come from friends who have used herbs longer than I have, countless blog posts and online articles from sources I enjoy, from herbal publications, and from scores of reference books I've collected. There is so much to learn, and it's been wonderful having the Internet available to follow trails of learning from documentation to medical study and so forth.


This season it's my turn to go back to school as it were, from home, with the use of online courses from reputable herbal medicine mentors. I started last week taking an online course from the Herbal Academy of New Emgland  and just getting into my first set of lessons, I'm learning things I didn't know in all these years. And I'm really enjoying it.
                     Back to our Roots

So much so, that as soon as I saw that ChristianHerbal had a series of 'classes' online in their webinar, I signed up for those as well! I've been smoking my printer all day grabbing the great articles, ebooks, and more offered with their webinar. So many in fact, I need to rethink my organization of them :-)  
 I may even need a bigger desk.
Or maybe even a whole dedicated mommy school room.

Oh pooh sticks, I may just have to take a trip to OfficeMax and get some supplies...binders, post-it notes, highlighters, pretty dividers and folders...

I'm excited. The possibilities of all I could absorb and put into practical use here for my family are huge. What do you think? Do you love learning about herbs and alternatives to traditional medicines? Have you taken any specialized classes, maybe at a local herb shop, or online? Do you have any favorite resources, reference books, bloggers, or websites? I'd love to connect with other moms who are taking back the knowledge of the generations before us to tend and maintain their health and the health of their families and homesteads!


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately I have not. I hope to find time to study. I do have lots of books on hand, but we are pretty healthy here, so I hav'nt had a need outside of a cold. We like to use echanacia goldenseal, and airborne. Seems to work well to shorten the duration. A few years ago I got whooping cough. It was soooo miserable. There was nothing that worked except an herbal cough drop in my mouth 24/7. With that I still coughed, but it was a little better. Even the strongest prescription cough syrup did not touch it. What would you do for whooping cough? Diane W.

small farm girl said...

OOOOOOHHHHHH!!!! I always thought about taking some of those classes. I'm very interested in the herbal medicine. I've learned a lot from you here on your blog!! I hope you post some about it.

Mrs. Dewey Smith said...

Well, first off Diane, my obligatory disclaimer...**I am not a medical professional, just a mom with an interest in alternative methods of tending to diseases. You should always use your own research and knowledge, and consult with someone trained in alternative medicines and/or traditional medicines for a proper diagnosis**

Whopping cough, or Pertussis, is highly contagious...every cough spreads bacteria droplets into the air which are then breathed in by others...and most serious in young children and elderly or those with compromised immune systems. We have had a couple outbreaks here in the Deep South, a large majority of those infected were vaccinated against WC. Remember the big outbreak in California in 2010 (as well as the outbreaks that have occurred there each year since)? 84% of those who contracted WC were children under the age of 18 who were *fully vaccinated" with the protocols of the time. That means more children with vaccination coverage were stricken with whooping cough than those with partial, or zero immunization. The "immunity" from vax is not life-long, and from the outbreak reports that showed such a high percentage of already vaccinated patients, obviously not fool-proof against catching the disease :-( Among vaccinated children the studies clearly show approximately 41% immunity among 2-7 year olds, and barely 24% among 8-12 year olds. Not exactly encouraging for a vaccination in my mind. Most of the 20 fatalities of that California outbreak were infant under the age of 3 months, too young to receive the pertussis addition of the DTAP vaccine. Over half of the children ages 6 months to 6 years who contracted WC had had 3 of the scheduled immunizations already.

That said, for my own personal family care, we monitor anything resembling a symptom. For whooping cough that includes mild respiratory symptoms, mild coughing, sneezing, runny nose (generally 1-2 weeks in duration at this stage), then coughing, tell-tale whooping after coughing, vomiting after a coughing fit, etc. Once the cough has been present for a week or two, you are pretty much on a "wait it out and ease your time" protocol.
Early diagnosis usually means antibiotics, or known exposure could mean 'preventative doses' of antibiotics, but the later stage generally means you're on your own with OTC cough meds to ease your plight, or stronger prescription cough meds. We don't take this sort of protocol...antibiotics are so overly prescribed, creating mutated strains of diseases that are no longer treatable.

Mrs. Dewey Smith said...

There isn't a great treatment to help with the cough, but there are a lot of herbs that can possibly offer some easing affects to make you comfortable for the duration.
A tea blend of 1 part licorice root,1 part valerian root,1/4 part cinnamon bark,1/4 part ginger root taken in doses of 2-3 cups daily, or in tincture form 1/2 -1 tsp 3 times daily as needed (Rosemary Gladstar)
An infusion of 1 part coltsfoot leaf,1part marsh mellow leaf and flower, 1 part mullien leaf,taken as tea, 1/2 cup dose as often as needed.
A warm, soothing bath: in 1 tsp of oil, dilute 3 drops of thyme linalol, 1 drop lavender, 1 drop of niaouli and add to bath water and stir around well.
A back and chest rub made of 1 ounce almond oil, 15 drops thyme linalol, 15 drops ravensara, 20 drops lavender blend well and use a small amount on chest and back before bedtime.
a mixture of 10 drops thyme linalol, 10 drops ravensara, 10 drop ecalyptus radiata blended well, then add 10 drops of this mixture to a small bowl of steaming water and place in bedroom to offer a steam vapor for breathing. You can put 2-3 drops on the pillow **underside only, away from the eyes**.
continued from comment above:
Expelling the accumulated mucous with each cough, staying well hydrated, set up in an isolated area away from others with limited contact, thoroughly washing hands before and after each visit (we use Thieves oil in a handwash for sanitation, and diffuse it for any illnesses in the air), keeping the patient propped upright will aid in breathing, you or any visitor wearing a facial mask to help avoid inhaling the bacteria during coughs...common sense stuff I'm sure for most folks.

Things like these are why I'm always reading and seeking more information on using herbs and other treatment alternatives in my family. I'd love to hear what anyone else had tried and found effective for their families. Not every herb works the same in every person, so the more knowledge you have, the more likely you can increse your health during these times.


Jeremiah 6:16
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

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