Posted in Natural Treatments, tagged Banana, Essential oil, Insect repellent, Itch, Lavender, Lavender oil, Mosquito, Pacific Northwest, Sodium bicarbonate on March 31, 2012 |
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A female mosquito of the Culicidae family (Culiseta longiareolata). Size: about 10mm length Location: Lisbon region, Portugal Türkçe: Culiseta longiareolata türü dişi bir sivrisinek. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
We had the craziest weather today, it was sunny and it rained, then the sky got dark and we had an amazing thunder and lightning storm, then the hail came… our swollen creek is running so fast it should join the Olympic swimming team. The signs of summer are just not showing. Sure it’s spring in the Pacific Northwest, rain is the normal, but I have a nice reminder of summer on my leg and it’s not a tan. Apparently when I was standing in the rain talking to my neighbor the other night, I was being feasted on by mosquitoes! I noticed my leg itched, scratched it to find a huge welt. The suckers got me 6 different times on the same leg! Ugh. Isn’t it too early for mosquitoes?
I noticed that my jar of homemade lavender oil was sitting on the counter. So itchy and scratchy I decided to turn that into some mosquito repellent. We have a lavender bush and so does my best friend, with our flowers and the ones she gave me I put them into a mason jar then covered them with oil and let them sit. After they sat for several months, I strained them out of the oil then packed the jar full again of another batch of flowers and put the oil back on top. So essentially I soaked the oil twice. I’ve been using that lavender oil as my repellent for the last couple years, I’ve just kept it in the fridge and applied it when I needed it. Lavender oil works amazingly for mosquitoes, but you have to apply more often than you would the chemical types. So I wanted the power punch this year, I mean if they are out already and eating me alive like it’s June then I think we’ll need some good defenses this year. I went online and found that lemon and eucalyptus oil was the best oils to ward off mosquitoes, so I just happened to have a little bottle of essential oils. So I put some lemon eucalyptus oil in my lavender. Then I made a salve out of it. I wrote a previous blog about making salves here.
So I have my defenses for the year. But that doesn’t take care of my current problem, how much they itch! So I did a little looking and found some interesting ideas. I took these ideas from this site.
- Rub the bite with soap.
- Apply an ice pack to the bite.
- Mix baking soda with enough water to make a paste and apply to the bite.
- Apply lavender and tea tree oils with a swab.
- Rub a piece of freshly cut onion on the bite.
- A dab of toothpaste is soothing, too.
I’ve done baking soda on bee stings, the onion just sounds like it would sting like crazy, and I don’t use conventional toothpaste… The one thing the author suggests before the points above was to rub a banana skin on them. We have tons of bananas around and so I was itching enough, and the results were pretty fabulous actually. The banana skin took away the itch 100%. I am not sure how long it lasts but I’m willing to reapply. However a banana peel at work probably wouldn’t work, I think there I’d stick with some essential oils which could be easily applied in the restroom. Happy mosquito season folks, hope they are not going crazy on you like they are on me.
Deutsch: eine Bananenschale English: banana peel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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I don’t wear traditional deodorant anymore, nor does Hubby. No, I’m not a stinky hippie. In fact I work in a doctor’s office and have to be professional here. Yes, there are a lot of stinky hippies in Portland, I am just not one of them. Somewhere in the pages of Natural Cures They Don’t Want You To Know About, he talks about the dangers of traditional deodorants. From aluminum, to putting dangerous chemicals right on top of two major lymph glands (Remember your lymph system doesn’t move on its own, you have to do it…so many people are putting this stuff on, it’s getting into their body and then remaining stagnant because they aren’t moving their lymph system). A simple google of “dangers of deodorants” or even on naturalnews.com and you will have tons of reading.
There is such a taboo to deodorant. We are taught that we MUST have this product, because then the boys or girls won’t like you if you smell. I remember being SO embarrassed if I forgot my deodorant one day. Gasp! In fact I have quite active sweat glands under my arm pits. When I was growing up I was embarrassed about that as well. No one told me it was normal for my body and that I should just embrace it, so I bought the high-powered deodorant and I can’t help think what I am paying for now, because I used that then….
So what do I use? Well it’s changed over time. At first I bought the “natural” deodorants from health food stores. Which is fine, but it is another product that you HAVE to buy and still there are things in there that I still can’t pronounce. I mean really if I can’t pronounce an ingredient then I’m pretty sure it shouldn’t come near my body, but that’s just me. Then I started trying a spray. I bought some essential oils and combined them with water for a morning spray. This was also fine, but it doesn’t last all day and it doesn’t seem to help with odor, it just masks it for a while. Then I read that people were using plain old baking soda with their essential oil spray. You spray on the essential oil mix, then add baking soda to the top (making it stick). This too was ok. If you are focused on smelling good this is a good alternative. But I took it one step further, I dropped the spray. I only use baking soda. Like I said I have active sweat glands, so I don’t usually have problems with having something for the baking soda to stick to. What I do is carry a tin of baking soda in my purse, usually when I get to work I will apply it sitting at my desk. I wipe my arm pit, dip my finger into the soda and then apply. Generally I put a few wipes on, and yes I often times have to reapply at some point of the day. But baking soda is an odor eater, don’t you put it in your fridge for that same purpose? Once applied I do not smell. Even if I have odor before applying the baking soda takes care of that, right away. It is simple, it works and all I have to remember to do is grab my purse, and refill it when I’ve used it all.
I’m not embarrassed anymore. If I sweat more than the next girl, so what…God made me that way. I don’t smell anymore and I’m healthy and I save a TON of money every year not buying the prepackaged stuff from the store. What does a box of baking soda cost? Cheap, very cheap Yay for saving money and not stinking! LOL
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Fermented foods is my new passion. I am learning a lot about it, how healthy it is for us, especially grains. Most people who have issues with eating regular wheat flour can actually tolerate sourdough because the grains have been soaked and soured, it breaks down enzymes in the flour that are generally the cause of the intolerance. I don’t seem to have issues with wheat, although I don’t know that for sure, I’ve never been tested. However it is quite the “fad” to be gluten-free. I made sourdough pizza for a friend who was gluten sensitive and he didn’t report any issues back after. Anyway, I bought a sourdough Ebook from gnowfglins.com and got started right away getting my starter going. The Ebook is awesome! I highly recommend it, it has tons of recipes, tricks, and help for your sourdough needs.
After I got my starter ready I tried all types of things, rolls, pancakes, crackers, pizza. But my favorite and the easiest is something they call Bucket Bread. Basically it’s a combination of flour, water, and sourdough starter and you make a large batch of it and put it in, you guessed it, a bucket. I use a gallon bucket that use to hold our coconut oil. My first few buckets were pretty good. I got good rise on my dough and although there were a few doughy breads, for the most part I did well. Then it stopped, I think maybe with the colder weather change. But I’ve made two buckets (which is quite a bit of flour and several breads) and the stupid dough wouldn’t rise! I’ve laughed at myself a lot calling them hockey pucks. They have been perfect chew toys for the dogs, I’m sure they got quite a jaw work out too. Hubby was always pretty generous and ate the bread anyway. One turned out like a pancake and I left it out to rise and had nice bubbles on top, I couldn’t figure it out! It was so frustrating.
Last night was the break through moment, thanks to Hubby. I had the last bit of dough in my bucket, I’ve had ZERO success with this bucket, but I had to make the dough. It was getting quite sour! So I added a bit more flour, and then hubby suggested something, he actually said use some baking soda. The light bulb went off! When I make sourdough pancakes, I add baking soda to give it fluff. What a wonderful idea! So I eyeball and dump some in. Instantly my dough started to get puffy! I did a little dance. Hubby came in later and said “did you put in baking powder?” and I said “no baking soda.” He had said soda but had meant powder, but just that little mix up gave me the ah-ha moment I needed. We were actually out of power, so I’m glad I didn’t need that. So I covered them (I made two loafs) for the first 15 minutes per the instructions, and hoped for the best. After 15 minutes I took off the covers and they were looking plump and brown. I had a fear of a doughy middle, like most of them have turned out recently so I left it in a bit longer, another 15 minutes. When I pulled them out they looked fluffy, but with that same sourdough crisp crust. One looked a little too done… so I dumped them on to the cutting board and sliced into the big one. It was fluffy!!! YAHOO!! It made my whole week actually, is that sad? Taste test with Hubby and our friend turned out great, we put some raw butter on there with some homemade peach jam, er syrup, it didn’t quite set up right. Everyone loved it and went back for more! I found my solution to my hockey puck bread, and it was so wonderful. I see lots of bread in our future.
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