Ever since I was a child, I intuitively understood the restorative powers of the earth's gifts -- I feel like we're all born that way. I remember concocting "magic healing potions" in my backyard that were made from flower petals and herbs growing in our garden -- usually with some mud or pebbles thrown in for good, messy measure. As I got older, I studied the healing properties of the earth's gifts: herbs, oils, and flower essences. For a few years during my 20s, I ran a small, side business selling natural care products such as soaps, salves, teas, and lip balms. This passion has now become integrated into my family's everyday care, and is one of the ways I tend to my own self-care. Here I'll share a brief overview of my favorite remedies, along with links (Amazon affiliate and otherwise) for where to find some of them. Important Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor, and this is not medical advice. I am solely sharing which remedies and rituals I personally use for self-care and healing. Always consult with your doctor before beginning any natural remedy.
I delight in the delicious aromatherapy essential oils provide. In the morning or when I'm needing to be more alert, I like citrus, minty, and green scents, such as grapefruit, ginger, peppermint, and rosemary. When I need to wind down and relax, I love lavender, rose, and ylang ylang. The quality oils from DoTerra are my absolute fav. You can purchase any of them here. Lately, my favorite oil is DoTerra's Balance blend, which feels very earthy and grounding to me. I enjoy sprinkling it into the bottom of my shower to create a makeshift steam room. I use oils in a warm mist humidifier in the wintertime, like DoTerra's On Guard oil for immune support and Breathe oil for respiratory health. I also use various oils throughout the year in a diffuser in my therapy office, and my clients comment on how much they enjoy the subtle scents in the room.
I love to use dried herbs, though it's important to consult a doctor or naturopath before doing so, as they are quite powerful. I enjoy drinking herbal teas (peppermint, chamomile, fennel...) I also like to make herbal bath soaks, sometimes with eucalyptus or peppermint or lavender, mixed with ground oatmeal or epsom salts, tied up in a cheesecloth and placed into warm bath water. I also love to create with herbs by making things such as lavender wands, sachets, and dream pillows. (<-- Links to "how to" posts from my former art blog for families.) Bundling and then burning dried herbs (aka: smudging) is another favorite way I use herbs for self-care -- favorite smudging herbs of mine are sage and cedar. More on this piece in next week's post -- stay tuned! One of my favorite blogs for creative uses for herbs is 5 Orange Potatoes.
I discovered Bach flower remedies during graduate school, and I have used them ever since. The Bach company puts out a list of how their remedies can help support different emotional states. They also list them by remedy, detailing the healing properties of each. Generally, flower remedies are administered by putting a few drops in your water bottle and drinking the essence, and some types, like their famous Rescue Remedy, come in a spray bottle so the essence can be spritzed into the mouth. An artful way I like to use my flower essences is to add them to my watercolor water or to my paints when making art, to energetically infuse my image with... well, healing flower power. While flower essences are very subtle, they are also powerful -- again, always consult your physician before use.