Lord knows I love a warm bath with Epsom salts. The local dollar stores sell them in milk carton boxes, but wholesale supply stores have them in BIG plastic bins. As far as I’m concerned, I’d like to find them in a 50 gallon drum.
I’m big on soaking in the bath tub. Our tub is one of the sacred places in the house, where music, candle light, bubbles – are all a part of the experience. There was a time when I sent many a dollar on fancy creme baths, bubble baths, bath salts for our tub haven. But then I was introduced to the therapeutic uses of Epsom salts, and all the (expensive) fancy bath treatments went out the window.
Once I started keeping Epsom Salts in the house and learning more about them, I began to find all kinds of uses for them.
Epsom salts are made of the mineral magnesium sulfate — a sedative for the nervous system. When magnesium sulfate is absorbed through the skin, such as in a bath, it draws toxins from the body, sedates the nervous system, reduces swelling, relaxes muscles, is a natural emollient, exfoliator, and much more.
Studies say that 68% of Americans are deficient in magnesium. A lack of magnesium—which helps regulate the activity of more than 300 enzymes in the body—can contribute to high blood pressure, hyperactivity, heart problems and other health issues.
So, soaking in that salt bath not only sedates and relaxes, but it also tackles an American deficiency. What else can this salt do?
IN THE TUB
Add 2 cups Epsom salt to a warm bath, and soak for relaxation, detoxification, sore muscles. Epsom salt soaks will reduce the swelling of sprains and bruises.
To lessen the appearance of bruises, make a compress by soaking a washcloth in cold water mixed with Epsom salt – use two tablespoons per cup – then apply to the skin.
Epsom salt increases osmotic pressure on the skin, which draws foreign bodies toward the surface. to remove splinters, dissolve one cup of Epsom salt in a tub of water and soak the affected area.
For mosquito bites, bee stings, mild sunburn and poison ivy, make compresses by soaking a cotton washcloth in cold water that has been mixed with Epsom salt (2 tablespoons per cup), then apply to the skin.
Mix salt and warm water, gargle to relieve a sore throat.
House plants love the minerals in Epsom salt, feed them monthly by mixing in two tablespoons Epsom salt per gallon of water.
Pumpkins love Epsom salts. As do other veggies and plants. Spray your peppers at bloom time. Combine 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt with a gallon of water. Ten days later, repeat the foliar spray again.Tomatoes can benefit from Epsom salt every 2 weeks. Apply 1 tablespoon diluted in water per foot of plant height per plant.
Want a more lush lawn? For lawns, use 3 pounds of Epsom salt for every 1,250 square feet. Apply with a spreader or dilute the Epsom salt in water and use a sprayer.
Kill poison ivy! Mix three pounds of salt with a gallon of soapy water (use a gentle dish soap) and apply to leaves and stems with a sprayer, avoiding any plant life that you want to keep.
Shower scrub: Mix equal parts Epsom Salts with dishwashing liquid, then dab it onto the offending area and start scrubbing. The Epsom salts work with the detergent to scrub and dissolve the grime.
Pour salt mixed with hot water down the kitchen sink regularly to deodorize and keep grease from building up.
Cast-iron skillets can be cleaned with a good sprinkling of salt and paper towels.
Use salt in the final laundry rinse to prevent clothes from freezing if you use an outdoor clothes line in the winter.
Epsom salt is a great exfoliator. Massage handfuls of Epsom salt over your wet skin, starting with your feet and continuing up towards the face. To clean your face at night, mix a half-teaspoon of Epsom salt with your regular cleansing cream. Just massage into skin and rinse with cold water.
For big, bouncy hair, give it a volumizing mask by mixing one part hair conditioner to one part Epsom salt and work the mixture through your locks. Leave on for 20 minutes, rinse and style as usual.
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So many uses – and there are more that I have not listed here! So, next time you visit the dollar stores, see if you can find the Epsom salts – usually on the bottom shelf in the health and beauty section. Or, if you want to but a larger amount at one time – see Amazon listing below.
Over the past ten years, as I have learned more about natural remedies and homeopathic alternatives, I have come to depend on a few - what I call – my first aid basics. One of the things I always keep around the house is activated charcoal. It was one of the first natural healing treatments I was introduced to, and one that I have kept handy ever since.
I get activated charcoal in the powdered form, but you can also purchase it in capsules. The capsules keep the process of dealing with it much cleaner, and taking oral doses is more pleasant. However, I use activated charcoal for other than oral treatments, so the powdered form is my preference.
What is it?
“Activated charcoal” is similar to common charcoal, but is made especially for use as a medicine. To make activated charcoal, manufacturers heat common charcoal in in a way that causes the charcoal to develop lots of internal spaces or “pores.” These pores help activated charcoal “trap” chemicals. Activated charcoal is 100% alkaline and is spinning with electrons making the substance highly electrical. Also called carbon, its negative ionic charge attracts positive ionic charges (of toxins and poisons) causing them to bind to it.
What’s it good for?
The main use for activated charcoal in our house is for digestive issues. Gas, bloating, diarrhea, stomach bugs, the flu, food poisoning, you name it. Activated charcoal absorbs toxins in your body as it passes though your system. It’s a great detoxifier. I have a friend who takes a tablespoon a week, just for good measure.
Frank and I use it most for stomach issues. Seems now that we’ve taken most processed foods out of our diets at home, we too often regret when we dine out. Although it may seem unpleasant to swallow a spoonful of black powder – the relief is certainly worth it.
Charcoal can also be used to help in cases where poison has been ingested. Add a teaspoon of activated charcoal to a small glass of water, stir it well, and have the person who ingested the poison to drink the glass full. DO NOT USE WITH THE FOLLOWING: cyanide, mineral acids, caustic alkalies, alcohol, or boric acid.
Activated charcoal will also absorb infection in cuts and wounds. Pour a little of the powder into a cotton cloth or paper towel, and bandage the bundle over the wound. I’ve used this method on several pet wounds.
Today doctors and medical centers use activated charcoal to: eliminate toxic by-products that cause anemia in cancer patients; disinfect and deodorize wounds; filter toxins from the blood in liver and kidney diseases; to treat poisonings and overdoses; to treat some forms of dysentery and diarrhea; to treat poisonous snake, spider and insect bites.
Mushroom poisoning, bee stings, poison ivy reactions, and many other illnesses can be helped with activated charcoal.
NOTE: Ingested charcoal may adsorb and inactivate other medications.
Although it’s rather messy, I use activated charcoal to whiten my teeth on occasion. It’s slightly gritty, and its absorbent nature pulls some stains out of the teeth. No chemical teeth whitening solution or product on the market comes close to the whitening and brightening action and power of activated charcoal.
All you have to do is put a little toothpaste on your toothbrush, then dip it in the charcoal, add just a little bit of water, and begin to brush. Your mouth will be black, and your sink may get messy, but your teeth will get a good cleansing and a good shining.
Charcoal can be used much like baking soda for absorbing odors. In fact, you can use charcoal briquettes for deodorizing large spaces. For a large room, fill baskets or brown grocery bags with charcoal briquettes to absorb dampness and odors.
In sanitary places, use activated charcoal wrapped in a paper towel or in a small open bowl. Just be sure not to spill it.
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If you just keep the activated charcoal around the house, you’ll find yourself using it more and more. Any time you think “tummy trouble” you’ll think of it, for sure.
I’m confident any natural health food store will have activated charcoal in the capsule or powdered form. Personally, I’m an online shopper, and I get my powdered form of activated charcoal at Amazon.com. Here’s the link if you wish to check it out:
Here is a list from The Purpose Fairy of 15 things which, if you give up on them, will make your life a lot easier and much, much happier.
We hold on to so many things that cause us a great deal of pain, stress and suffering – and instead of letting them all go, instead of allowing ourselves to be stress free and happy – we cling on to them. Not anymore.
I have her post bookmarked, and try to revisit and re-read it on a fairly regular basis. Check it out:
We’re about halfway through winter now – six weeks away from garden season (for us).
So, how am I doing on that Winter To Do List I published last fall? Not so bad, I guess. But it’s been amended quite a bit.
* First, I can say that tobacco is gone from this house. No snuff for Frank, no cigarettes for me. We have our eGo nicotine vaporizers, and we make our own juice, and the conversion from smoke to vapor is complete. Some people argue that we’re still addicted to nicotine, and I would agree. But this switch has still been a big step that has made noticeable differences in our lives.
(See previous post to get the basics on our vapes & where to get them locally here.)
It’s been about 3 months now since I quit smoking. Within a week, coughing and phlegm levels decreased. Over time, my senses of smell and taste really tuned back in. There aren’t ash trays and spit cups all around the house. It’s been a real improvement in our lives.
* I have also been working yoga back into my life pretty well. It’s not that hard, since my body almost screams for it after several days without these stretches.I’m in my forties now, and stiffness, kinks and little glitches are all part of the game at this point. Sciatica is a big one, arthritis in the left middle finger is a new frustration. There are stretches that can almost eliminate the symptoms of both of these ailments. And I can tell if I go too long without doing them.
I’ve tried several different routes for learning, memorizing and maintaining the practice of yoga – VHS tapes, mobile apps, different books. What I found that has helped me the most was a simple sample routine of stretches found in the appendix of the book, “New Choices in Natural Healing.”
I really love this book. One of a dozen books in my library on natural and holistic remedies, this one is like an Encyclopedia of ailments and different remedies. It includes directions for light therapy, hydrotherapy, sound therapy – and all the more ‘common’ holistic practices. New copies of this book are available on Amazon for ONE DOLLAR, and used copies are as low as A PENNY A PIECE! Worth the price in my opinion! Here’s your link to get yours:
Yoga is about stretching and breathing. Sounds fairly simple, and actually it is. People imagine body contortions with chants and humming. It doesn’t have to be that way.
When I started the yoga stretches this past fall, I was really surprised in the limited range I had. A month or two without the sunny month gardening tasks, I could not believe how rigid my muscles had become. But now, after about nine weeks of stretching just twice a week in the evenings, I can reach my toes, get my head to my knees, etc. Balance is improved, as is my sleep and my stress level. You could benefit from just sitting and deep breathing for just a few minutes each morning and evening.
On the music front, it’s down to baby steps. I was determined to learn guitar. Then the arthritis thing came on, and I decided I’d relearn the piano keyboard. Then, I realized I’d forgotten how to read music, and I had to relearn that. So now, I’m reading the instruction book for a keyboard, and I’m using a mobile app on my tablet to refresh my music reading skills.
I did manage to get about a third of the album collection converted to Mp3 before the holidays arrived, and the turntable and albums were hidden behind the presents under the Christmas tree when company arrived. I’ve been eying that project pile thinking it’s time to get back to that.
I have been singing more. Frank got a roll of speaker wire for Christmas, and reworked some of the lines running throughout the house. Now, we have Pandora all over. I can sing in the bathtub again – where I do my best performances, of course. I also copied all my new Mp3′s I made from my albums to a jump drive I have plugged into the Pioneer stereo in our little holler hopper. All those songs I forgot I knew all the words to. It’s amazing how after 15-20 years (or more) I can still automatically sing along. If only reading music had stuck as well as the lyrics of the 70′s.
I do have to say that the sewing bug has NOT kicked in this winter at all. I had in mind to make three quilts – none of which I have started. I did finish the denim quilt I started last winter and never finished, but I’ve not moved on to any new there since then. I may or may not before the garden calls me back. We’ll see.
I’ve experienced a few bursts from my Creative Writing Muse. She only visits rarely, that retched girl. But she’s popped in three times so far this winter. I’ve started a short story, a long story, and popped out a pretty good haiku the other day:
Spring is the football
Mother Nature is Lucy
And we’re Charlie Brown
The Research Writing Muse has been around quite a bit in recent weeks. I’m planning to start a medicinal herb bed this spring, dividing the perennials I have, investing in more – and incorporating an area for garlic, asparagus, and horseradish. So my mind has brought me back around to my holistic and herbal treatment books, where I often find simple, effective relief for ailments people suffer needlessly with. Alternative options that can be more affordable, more reliable, more accessible than through “American Medicine.” Sometimes I’m just overwhelmed to share the information I find.
I’m thinking, actually, of writing a series of columns. One on herbal remedies for moods and mental issues. I’m reluctant to start the print series though. I am not sure I’m up to the task of a monthly series. My column is the last thing written for each issue every month, most often shot from the hip the night before our press deadline. And, I may need more space for these installments that print will allow. They may need to be published online instead – then perhaps compiled into ebooklets….
I’m also planning some “educational posts” for this blog. One on healing with water; another on healing with sound. Ways to heal your mind, and heal your own spirit – with holistic practices.
What are your thoughts? Are you interested in holistic treatments for some all-too-common ailments? Want to learn about some interesting and under-recognized methods of healing?
“Get Organized” is always on my To Do List. I had hoped to get the craft area organized this winter – I haven’t even gone near it. I did however, reorganize my desk area, and much of my clothes closet. Frank and I have gotten much better tag-teaming the dishes, but laundry still lags far too long at the clean-but-needs-folded-and-put-away stage.
All the recent hub bub about guns brought me to clean out the gun cabinet and take inventory. At the time, I thought I’d clean everything, so I ordered a cleaning kit from an Amazon.com seller. That was a month ago – we’re still working out what has happened to it during shipping.
I suppose ordering checks and office supplies is part of organizing, but I can’t do those things yet because of a proposed E911 Address change for us. Facebook followers know much of our saga – this would be our 4th change since the whole E911 thing started. I’ll be appearing before the county commission this Tuesday to get it settled and speak my piece. (Oy.) Once that’s settled I can finish that tidbit on the to do list.
I have managed to switch the twolanelivin.com theme to a responsive design that will automatically “flex” to fit smaller screens readers may be using. The switchover was not without its glitches, nor is the site currently glitch free. The new theme mandated an upgrade to the program I use – so everything is just a littttle different than before. It will take me a while to adjust. I’m still adjusting to the new keyboard I have, after I choked on my coffee and fried the one I’ve been using for seven years…
Of course, it’s also tax time. Of course, some might say “It’s only February.” But it takes me a good bit to get all of our receipts in order. I have my own process of sorting and recording – I think to make sure I understand fully and don’t make any mistakes. I’m not the best of friends with numbers, so I have to push my connection to really process it all. I have an annual routine that helps me grasp it, understand what it all means, and then plan accordingly.
Once the taxes are done, I’m going to start work on the mobile app I originally thought we’d have launched last fall. All the planning is done, and general concepts defined — it’s just getting it all in place in the actual app, and getting it rolling. I’m super excited about this app and for what it will be for our region, but I’m also intimidated by my total lack of familiarity with apps, and my basic knowledge of coding. I’m realllllly hoping to have it test running by May. (Knock on wood.)
This year is really looking up for the magazine. We have several corporate clients interested in working with and supporting us this year, and we’re set to ride the mobile wave as it builds in West Virginia. If I can find a WordPress-knowledgeable freelancer, we may be able to take our online level even further. But, I don’t want to get too far ahead of reality here.
It’s February. What could be happening with the garden?
Well, I have several things rolling already. We have sweet potatoes in mason jars in the windows downstairs, growing sprouts already. Looks like the potato patch will be a good size this year. I also had to do a seed inventory check when the seed catalogs started to arrive. I had to assess what we need. Then, I studied three independent, organic seed catalogs – all new to me because I discovered that our typical seed source had been bought out by corporate agribusiness. I had to find new sources.
The temptation to try new things overwhelms me when I go through seed catalogs. And while I may stick to my tried and true favorites of tomato, beans, peas, cabbage and lettuces – I am prone to wander when it comes to corn, squash, and carrots. I also want to grow more things to be mixed in with the chicken feed, like Sorghum, Amaranth, and a wider variety of sunflower seed. I have ordered a seed collection of flowers just for the bees as well.
It won’t be long before we can sow lettuces and peas outside….
I haven’t wasted the winter so far, but I have not come anywhere near my high hopes for the season’s projects. Still, I can see progress never the less. But health and business seem to have overwhelmed the creative efforts at this point.
I’ll have to “work” on that.
Dave Hawkins just joined Two-Lane Livin’ as a columnist. Here’s a great video from one of his workshops posted today at NaturalNews.tv: