Sunday, June 26, 2011

The healing power of home remedies

I have always loved home remedies. I have learned they are very effective, and have kept me out of the doctor's office many times. I'm not one who likes to frequent the doctor much. Maybe because I have had such bad experiences. In my experiences, most have not been able to help me. They either don't know how to treat me, or they just push some drug to treat the symptom. I'm not saying I'm anti-doctor, but I have had learned that with most things I have had to figure things out on my own. These are just a few of the many reasons why I seek out home remedies often.

I am so thankful for what God has created in natural to help us. There are so many remedies that are simple, inexpensive and helpful! Here are some of the home remedies we use....

Garlic oil for earaches--The stuff is amazing. Every time Evie has started getting an ear infection, we put this stuff in her ears. Within a few hours the pain stops. We keep doing it for a few days, 2-3 times a day. I bought the stuff from the health food store, but I have since learned that you can make your own. I'm going to try this.

Ear candling--You get these at a health food store. I was a complete skeptic on this at first. Evie was really plugged up in her ears from bad sinus problems, I was willing to try anything. I did the ear candling every day for 3 days. We got out some nasty junk, and Evie felt great. It worked wonders!

Vicks treatment--This isn't super natural, but works amazing. Whenever I have had a cold settle in my chest, I will do this and it will leave my chest area. It also works great for sinus pressure and clogged up noses. I put a glob of Vicks in a bowl, then pour boiling water over the glob. I stir it quickly, then make a tent with a towel over the bowl and my head. I breathe in the vapors, which can be really strong (close your eyes). Breathe alternately through your nose and mouth deeply. When I have had bad congestion in my chest, I do this 3-4 times a day. I was on my way to having bronchitis several times, and this home remedy really did the trick. Do it before things get really bad though. You don't want to wait until you already have bronchitis, or it probably won't work.

Emprizone--this isn't exactly a home remedy, but works wonders. It is a natural product from a company called Mannatech (you can google it). It is a gel, and it works wonders on poison ivy. Before we found this, every year my hubby would get poison ivy. From the time we first met, he got it every year. Every year it would get so bad that he would have to get a steroid shot and be on steroids for 2 weeks. We tried every natural remedy imaginable, but nothing worked. When I found this product, it was amazing. He put it on several times a day, and the poison ivy dried up. The tube is expensive. It is about $50.00 with shipping, but lasts a very long time. Plus, if we went the medical route, with our $20.00 co-pay, then having to pay for the steroid pills, it ends up being almost $50.00 anyways.

Chamomile tea--a strong cup works very well for stomach aches. It also works for anxiety, but from what I understand, you aren't supposed to use it daily because it can cause allergies.

Apple Cider Vinegar--For dandruff, this stuff works! And it is cheap! I used to have such trouble with an itchy scalp. Now, once a week, I pour about 1/2 cup of cider vinegar into a cup with 4 cups water. Then I pour it over my hair in the shower after I have gotten it wet. I will leave it on for about 5 minutes (this helps get rid of buildup too), then I will shampoo as normal.

Homemade Pedialyte--Whenever Evie got sick with the stomach flu, I was always concerned about dehydration. I would always go out and buy that yucky stuff from the store that costs a lot and was loaded with sugar and food coloring. I have since learned you can make it on your own for very cheap, and you can use raw honey in place of sugar. I have used this on my pets as well when they have gotten dehydrated (I use sugar though for them, as I'm not sure if honey is okay for pets). I remember doing this with both Dolly and Daisy, and pulled them through after they got sick.

Okay, today a new home remedy was tried. I woke up this morning with pink eye. Oh fun. I have had it before, so I know all the symptoms. Awhile back, I had gotten pink eye, and gotten on the drops from the doctor. It got so bad that I had to go back and get super strong steroid drops that felt like needles were being stuck in your eye every time you used the drops. I had to do that 3x a day. I have never been so miserable. Today I decided to try the honey trick. You put 1-2 drops of honey in your eye. Make sure it is raw, unpasterized honey. You don't want the heated stuff from the store. I get my honey locally anyways, so we always have it on hand. I put a small glob on my finger (which I washed really well first) and then put it in my lower eye lid and closed my eye. Boy oh boy did it burn. Evie watched as tears streamed down my face. I was completely amazed though. In 20 minutes, the redness and pain were gone! I had read that it was instantaneous, but I didn't believe it! I thought I was going to have to miss church this morning, but my eye ended up fine! I read that if it comes back, just do the trick again. Honey is full of antibiotic properties. That is why it works. You can also apply honey to wounds.

Well, I hope you all weren't bored to tears by this blog post. I find home remedies really fascinating, and a way to save lots of money and hassle.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Wild Kingdom

Yes, I am a terrible blogger. With so much going on, I haven't sat down to blog. For living in a subdivision, we have had a spring filled with animals! It has been quite the adventure, and one giant science experiment for homeschooling :). First came the ducks. We had this pair, who we named George and Gracie, hanging around our yard, and swimming in our pond. Our pond is about the size of a large bathtub, so Jeff kept joking that it was their own personal hot tub. They would let us get really close to them, and they weren't afraid of us. They were so cute.

Next came the chipmunks. Though absolutely cute beyond all reason, they were monsters this year. Normally we just have one that hangs around, and lives under our pond (it burrows a hole). It never really caused damage. This year, he or she must have brought friends and relatives. I looked out my window, about 2 feet from my garden, and this is what I saw coming out of a hole....

These cute little guys ended up dining on whatever they could. Thankfully our garden is fenced, but they burrowed under. We bought a live trap, and so far we have caught 10! We take them a few miles down the road in the country, and drop them off at an abandoned house in the field. That way they can still be a family, but not have my garden and plants as a smorgasboard.

Next came birds. Evie was fascinated by this baby robin. The nest had held 6 eggs, but something got to them. We think it was the chipmunks. We read that chipmunks will eat bird eggs. If a cat had got to it, the nest would have been on the ground. Evie spent her days video taping and taking pictures of this baby bird, who she named Birdie. She got to watch Birdie go from this....

To this....

Sadly, Birdie fell out of the nest about 3 days ago. We put her back, but she jumped out. Her parents came for 3 days and fed her on the ground. Today, Evie was watching her try to fly, and she fell as she was trying and broke her neck :(. Evie came running in the house screaming, and has been pretty sad today. It is hard to try and explain why things like that happen.

One of the coolest things we have been able to see is an Oriole nest. It is in our Sycamore tree, way up, and Evie noticed it first. She kept hearing this loud cheeping sound, and she looked up and saw the nest. Both the male and female come to feed them, and I have been video taping it because I had never seen an Oriole nest before. Here is the daddy feeding them..

He is such a bright beautiful orange. I wish I had a better camera to take pictures of them. If you click on the pictures, you can see it more closely.

This has been a hard year for strawberries this year. I planted 50 plants, and only 20 of them made it. On Monday, we bought 5 flats of strawberries from an Amish farmer, and I put 28 packages in the freezer. I kept a flat for eating, and for making jam. I made jam yesterday.

Tuesday, we got our chickens for the year. We always get them from an Amish farmer, and they are always so good. We bought 20 chickens, and came home and cut them up. We do this with Jeff's parents, who also got 20 chickens. It was a long day, but it is so great to have a freezer full of chicken!

I have lots of garden pictures, and more updates, but I need to end this now so I can go weed the garden!