How did Grandma get so smart?

I find it interesting, how so many things in seem to come around full circle.  Do any of you have grandmas or maybe great-grandmas who always seemed to know a few home remedies to treat a variety of ailments?  My own grandmother didn’t have a huge store of herbal knowledge, but something she always had me drink when I had an upset stomach was ginger ale.  She’d give me a few saltines to nibble on too.  For many years, I associated ginger ale and saltine crackers with being sick, so I never had it at any other time.  Even through all the years growing up and well into adulthood, when ‘modern medicine’ was the way to go (throw out Grandma’s wisdom, in other words), I still turned to ginger ale and saltine crackers when I was sick, especially if I was nauseous.

Out with the old, in with the new.  Out with grandma’s remedies, in with pills and antibiotics.  I never knew WHY she gave me ginger ale, only that she did and it often helped.  Well, now that we’ve got resistant super bugs from antibiotic resistant bacteria – thanks to overuse – a multitude of side effects from drugs and drug interactions, we’re taking another look at grandma and her home remedies.  Turns out grandma was pretty darn smart.  Scientists are learning more and more about the wonderful healing properties of plants.  For example, ginger is a wonderful her to use to quell motion sickness, most any type of nausea, aid digestion, pretty much help your gut.  Fresh ginger wasn’t readily available when I was a kid, but ginger ale was in every grocery store. So it seems our society is coming back around to re-examining the wisdom of grandma’s home remedies, passed down through the generations.

That’s just one simple example.  Did you have a smart grandma too?  What kinds of home remedies did she use?  Do you use any of them now?  I still drink ginger ale, and gave it to my kids when they were sick.  My husband has been sick this past week and guess what I picked up at the store on my way home from work?  You guessed it – ginger ale.

Luckily, I’ve got access to fresh ginger and have been learning new ways to use it medicinally.  Here’s a super easy recipe for infusing ginger into honey.  It works great and tastes great in herbal tea (any tea actually).


Just take a hunk of fresh ginger (it should be firm and smooth), peel it, then either grate or dice finely, or process in a food processor with a teaspoon or so of water.  Put that into a small saucepan, and just barely cover with raw, organic honey.  Heat on low for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the ginger is soft and the honey has a pungent ginger-ness to it.  You can either strain the mixture through a metal sieve to remove the ginger (by the way you then eat the little bits of ginger for a zingy treat), or you can put it all together in a clean screw top jar and pop into the fridge.  It’ll last for quite a long time, certainly enough to get you through cold and flu season.  Add a spoonful to your tea, by itself, however you normally use honey at your house.  It’s very soothing on an irritated throat.  It’s also good to have when you’re healthy!  Think of it as a good boost for your system, like a vitamin.  Lots of nutrients in ginger, so use it in your cooking, your drinks, in all kinds of ways.  You can even add some to brandy.


Hot Flashes and Hair Loss

Supposedly, hot flashes (of menopause) and hair loss are unrelated, according to my gynecologist anyway.  I don’t usually get those sudden spikes in body temperature where I break out in a sweat in a few seconds flat.  But, ever since approaching peri-menopause and then just menopause, my body runs hot.  Like, if you hold your hand about 3 or 4 inches above my head, you can feel heat.  My husband describes me as his personal radiator.  I ooze heat, especially at night when I’d love to go to sleep.  My husband can hardly be found under his cocoon of blankets, while I’m kicking off the sheets searching for a cooling breath of air from my always-on ceiling fan.

In my 30s I started noticing some hair loss.  At first I attributed it to surgery and effects from anesthesia; next I thought stress, then I started noticing how hot I always seemed.  Everyone around me wore sweaters and jackets whilst I paraded around in t-shirts.  By my 40s I had changed my wardrobe to accommodate the ever present heat.  I realized “the change” was heading my way.  I also noticed more hair loss.  I went to a dermatologist.  I tried Rogaine.  But the hair loss continued.  Also, it’s tough to put chemicals on your head when you advocate a more natural approach to body care.

So here’s my personal theory: I am literally burning the hair out of my head.  Think about it – how could a mere hair follicle withstand that kind of constant heat emanating from my body, especially the top of my head?  Talk about opening your pores!  Who needs to visit a sauna?  Not this lady.  The mere thought might risk spontaneous combustion!

It’s funny how you start paying attention to every female head of hair that passes by, when you’re losing your own.  I wonder if men experience this angst, those who go bald.  And speaking of bald, how far will my hair loss go, could I actually go bald?  If I do, how will I handle it?  I’m already reaching the limits of my hair styling finesse to hide how thin it is.  There are the hair fiber fillers and some of them work pretty well, but they are expensive and not really practical all of the time.  I’ve talked to a couple of other women who are having hair loss issues.  One of them now wears a wig and encouraged me to do the same.  I’ve thought about it but you know what my problem with that is, don’t you?  I couldn’t stand the heat!! The way I radiate heat, I’d be afraid that I’d sweat to death underneath a wig.  And isn’t it true if you run hot already, the last thing you want to do is to make yourself MORE HOT, and not in a sexy way!

I feel like I’m on a strange journey, unsure of how far it will go or how long it will last.  I know I’m not alone, but I’m definitely not liking it.  It threatens to make me feel insecure about myself, after spending many years working on my self-esteem.  Intellectually I can talk to myself all I want about what a worthy person I am.  But something as superficial as losing my hair can threaten to undo my hard-earned work on self.  Sometimes I get mad at myself, sometimes I feel sorry for myself, sometimes I try to ignore it altogether.  I haven’t quite gotten the hang of handling it gracefully yet.  So, I pray.  I try to stay positive.  I count my blessings.  I am grateful for every day.  I give thanks that my hair loss isn’t due to chemotherapy because cancer is trying to overtake my body.  And I pray to remember what is truly important in this life – love, faith, family and friends.  I give thanks to God for his abundant blessings.

I try to maintain a good sense of humor, and not take myself too seriously.  So I say that I’m just too hot to hang onto my hair, and we’ll go with that.  😉



How, or Why, did you start blogging?

Obviously, blogs have been around for quite awhile now.  In fact, some days it seems like everyone has their own blog, including my uncle, my pastor, and my youngest daughter’s newly married best friend.  I would venture a guess that there’s probably a blog somewhere about most any topic that you can think of, these days.

Given the plethora of blogs, why would I start a blog?  Should I bother?  What could I possibly have to say that hasn’t already been said?  And if I want to blog, which topics should I write about and where should I start?

To be honest, I haven’t yet answered my questions.  I only know that I feel called to help people, and that at least in some way this involves writing.  Another way I want to help people is to create essential oil blends and herbs and natural products that will help them to feel better; to lift them up physically, emotionally, and/or spiritually.

If I had known back when I first started college at 23, that I would finish my Bachelor’s degree AND a Masters’ degree, I believe that I would have become a counselor.  That would have been my first choice.  However, I wasn’t even sure that I could finish a Bachelor’s degree, so I knew I needed to choose a career where I could find employment with a Bachelor’s degree, and so I selected Education.  Education, being a teacher, is a wonderful, honorable career path, and also a helping profession.  I couldn’t imagine myself teaching elementary kids though, so I chose Secondary Education, with certifications in French and Psychology, because those were my two favorite subjects.  Nearly seven years later, I completed my Bachelor’s degree, passed my Praxis exams, and received my teaching certifications.  During those seven years, I also remarried, continued to work, gave birth to two children, separated from my (then) husband for six months, and battled a bout of Bell’s Palsy.  There were many times I didn’t think I would be able to finish.  I remember one time, when I felt like giving up, I went through and counted up all of my college credits, plotted out what I had completed and what remained, and realized I was a little more than halfway through my program.  That helped me to pull it together to give it a go for another semester.  I remember a senior graduate of Idaho State University (where I attended) being interviewed about why she went back to school to get her degree so late in life.  I don’t even remember now what her age was when she graduated but it was in her 70s.  She told the person interviewing her that she was going to be that age no matter what, so what difference did it make when she got her degree?  She wanted it, and she got it.  She fulfilled a life-long dream.  That helped to inspire me as well, to continue plugging along, sometimes one course at a time, because regardless of how old I was when I graduated I was going to be that old someday no matter what.  So I may as well get to that age with a degree in my hand.  Okay, that and I didn’t want to feel like a failure – to myself or to my family and friends.  That was also a motivator.  So, right around my 31st birthday, I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education, with certifications in French and Psychology.

I have to admit, it felt pretty damn good!

Holy cow!! I just wrote a whole bunch of stuff about me, more than I meant to in fact, and I still haven’t gotten to my question I wanted to ask of you. For those of you who blog, what prompted you to start writing, and how did you decide where to begin and what to write about?

If you’ve thought about writing/blogging but haven’t yet, or are just beginning (like I am), what holds you back or is prompting you to start?

You may (or may not) have noticed that I’ve had this website almost a year now, but I’ve only managed a few postings.  A lot of time has been spent trying to set up the website and figure out the tools, getting discouraged at times and leaving it alone for awhile, then starting back up again here and there.

What makes you write?  What makes you read others’ writings?

Essential Oils for Chronic Pain? You bet!

Here’s a great article discussing some of the essential oils that can be used in your routine to help get relief from chronic pain.

Amazing Essential Oils for Chronic Pain Relief

I use many of the oils mentioned in my Aches Away formula.

Have you tried using essential oils to help treat chronic pain issues?  If so, which have been the most helpful for you?


For the Love of GINGER

Ginger is a well known spice commonly used in the culinary world – think Gingerbread, Indian and Asian cuisines, pickled sushi ginger, Ginger Ale – but did you also know that it’s considered a “superfood” and has been used for centuries as a healing herb?
Ginger has long been used to relieve nausea, gas pains and other digestive issues, and motion sickness.
Ginger also contains high levels of gingerols, a potent anti-inflammatory compound.
Ginger has antiviral, antibacterial, antiparasitic and antioxidant properties.
Ginger is being studied for its use in fighting cancer, diabetes, bacterial and fungal infections and more.
Ginger can be used fresh, in teas, extracts or oils, and dried.
Interested? Here are some links containing detailed information on the many properties of ginger:
%d bloggers like this: