Monday, March 28, 2016

Plantain Sticks



Back in 2010 I gave instructions on how to make Plantain Oil. I'm going to give those instructions again because I want to update a few things. But since then I started using that oil to make Plantain Sticks. That allows me to have them handy in my purse all the time. They really come in handy!

Once we were at the zoo and my daughter collided with a bee. It stung her right at the bottom of her lower eye lid and it immediately began to swell. We were heading home anyway, but by the time we got to the exit, which was only a couple of minutes, it was swelling quite a bit and I was worried it would swell shut. So we stopped and I grabbed the Plantain stick out of my purse. I carefully applied a tiny bit to the sting being careful not to get it IN her eye. Then we walked about 2 more minutes to our van. I turned to look at her and it was gone. You could still see the red spot, but the swelling was gone and she felt better.

I have a daughter who seems to be allergic to mosquitoes. They love her and bite her often and she swells up with huge bumps with each bite. Plantain brings them down to normal bug bites for her. They've also helped us endure fire ant stings and spider bites. I used the oil one night to draw out a deep splinter and it brought it to the surface by morning.

So if you want to buy Plantain Sticks from me, you can email me at GodMadeMeds@gmail.com. They're $1 each plus shipping. But even better is to make them yourself. If this is popular I'll figure out how to do a cart and you can just order, but for now, email me.

The first step is to obtain Plantain. You can buy it dried at Bulk Herb Store, but it's kinda pricey. And if you have weeds in your yard, you likely have some out there. This is a great article on how to identify it. and that link should open in a new window so you won't lose these instructions.

After you find fresh plantain, rinse it off if it's muddy and pat it dry. Then set it on a towel or paper towels and put it in a window or somewhere to dry for a couple of days. This is important. I made the oil with fresh plantain once and it just got moldy. So once it's dry, put it in a clean jar and cover it with oil. It will float, but you want the oil to be about an inch higher than the plantain was before it started to float. So if you just want a little, you don't need much plantain, but make a lot. I haven't seen it go bad yet if I used dry herbs and it's great stuff. Shake it up every day for about 3 weeks, strain and label. I don't bother straining it until I need it.

To make the Plantain Sticks, you'll want to have empty tubes and beeswax handy. Use 7 parts plantain oil with 1 part beeswax and melt them together in a pot.  Test it by letting a bit harden on a spoon. If it's too soft, add more beeswax. If it's too hard, add more oil. When you get it how you want it, use a pipette to pour it into the tubes. Let it harden and label it. I found that it takes about 1/2 tsp beeswax and 3 1/2 tsp oil to make 2 tubes.

I found a similar product on iHerb. It's not in a tube but in a tub and I haven't used it. It's the same ingredients. I think it would work, just messier. The sticks don't require touching it to apply it. If you purchase it from there please use my link as it contains my referral code and I earn a bit. It's like I get a little coupon the next time I check out and that makes me smile.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Days 6-9

Magnesium alone was not working. I have some thoughts on why not, but it just wasn't working.

I gained a total of 3 pounds last week. That's not the direction I wanted to go. I would gain weight every other day and then not lose it in between.

Every other day I was grinding my teeth. It was weird. I'd get so excited that I hadn't done it all day, then the next day I would.

I was desperately tired every single day.

Migraines. Two in the last week. Not good.

And every other day I was constipated. Sorry. Just sharing my experience, but no further details here.

Do you notice the trend? Every other day I felt okay (never great) and then I'd feel awful. I only shower every other day. I used to shower daily, but my hair can only handle every other day or it gets really, really dried out. I used to take a bath on the in between days, but frankly, I can't squeeze it into my schedule anymore. And until I started this whole experiment, it was never a problem. Not only was body odor an issue for me on the off days, it was a problem within minutes of stepping out of the shower. So I think my skin wasn't absorbing the magnesium as well in between. Probably the shower opened my pores better or something.

It was either sacrifice my time and fit in two showers a day (I use the magnesium twice a day), hoping that it would help with all the problems I was having, or try something else.

Last night I started Fo Ti Root. I plan to take it at night and Eleuthero Root in the morning. I found it interesting that I prayed first and asked my Physician about what to do and this was the answer I got. Then I saw on my bottle that many people will alternate Fo Ti with Ginseng. Eleuthero is also known as Siberian Ginseng. I don't know if that's what they mean, but anyway, I'm going to do what I felt I was told to do. And I will continue the magnesium, trying to get a shower or bath daily.

So far today: no tooth grinding, no weight gain (no loss either, darnit), only needed a 10 minute nap, and no longer constipated.

Also I feel smart. So I tested myself and played a couple of rounds of Sudoku on the easy level. Over the past week my times were getting slower and slower. Up to like 8 minutes or so to finish a game. Today I got my new high. I completed an easy level game in 1 min and 40 seconds! WooHoo!

Overall, I feel better than I've felt in the last 3 weeks since I stopped taking the Tyrosine.




Saturday, September 14, 2013

Magnesium, Days 4 and 5

Day 4: I woke with a kink in my neck. That happens when I've been sleep deprived and then get a good night's sleep. I just don't move or something and my neck gets stiff. It was mild and went away early in the day, but then I felt like I was coming down with the cold the rest of the family has had. I had a mild sore throat, headache in the back of my eyes/front of my head, and just felt achy all over. I took some GSE and extra vitamin D and made it through.

The one thing noticeable yesterday (Day 4) was that I was not grinding my teeth as hard. I do this thing where I play music on my teeth. I've done it as long as I can remember. If there's a song in my head I kinda click my teeth in time to the music or clench my back teeth left then right in time to the music. I never realized that was grinding my teeth until a dentist told me I do. Anyway, at times I will clench pretty tightly. Yesterday I noticed that I was just moving my jaw back and forth to the song in my head more out of habit than a need to clench my teeth. I wasn't really biting. Today I haven't at all. Even when I chewed gum, it was mild chewing, not hard clenching. I don't know if that will make sense to anyone but me, but the point is, there is improvement. This tells me I am absorbing some magnesium.

Day 5: Still losing lots of hair. And my weight is varying more widely. I had a low and an all-time high all in one day. (I'm not counting my pregnancy weights.) I'm not happy with this today. My hair was just beginning to grow back after the miscarriage in July. I have all these little half-inch hairs where I'd lost my hair. This is making me nervous. I need to pray about this because I'm really wanting to either get back on Tyrosine or try the Fo-Ti herb I'd recently bought. It's supposed to help hair re-grow. And this weight gain. Ugh. There was a time in my life where I would have just figured, "Oh well, I'll lose it later." But those days seem to be gone. Nowadays I seem to gain, hold steady, gain, hold steady. And the gaining definitely correlates with the hair loss, fuzzy memory, and low energy I get when I'm off the Tyrosine. But I still have energy, except the middle of the day when nothing can keep me awake.

As far as the fuzzy memory goes, it's kind of an all around slowness in my head sometimes. I haven't noticed that getting worse in the last few days, but I did notice in the last couple weeks my Sudoku times have been slower. ;)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Magnesium Day 3

Last night I slept better. More like how I did before I stopped the Tyrosine. Today I had a few moments of sadness-for-no-reason, but they were just moments and passed quickly. My hair is still falling out in the shower more than it used to. Then this afternoon I had heart palpitations. I have had them in the past either when I first get pregnant (definitely not it right now) or when I have missed tyrosine then restarted it. So that seemed to be a good sign to me.

Also, while shopping with the kids today I noticed I was really calm. I had noticed I had been losing patience more in the last week or two, but hadn't attributed it to anything really. I just didn't like how grumpy I was. So I don't know if it's the magnesium or not, but I had read that it helps calm nerves and is good for ADHD. I don't know that you could say I have ADHD, but calm and patient is good when shopping with your 7 youngest children.

Oh, and I've gained another pound. :( My weight fluctuates about 3 pounds a day, but my low was up one and my high was up one. Not a lot, but I'm eating less due to a decreased appetite.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

This nasty cold going around

There is a nasty cold going around. You get a fever, really runny nose, headache, sore throat, stomach ache, or all of the above. It's hard to know if you have it since this time of year many of those same symptoms hit all the ragweed allergy sufferers. But if it's the cold, we've found some herbs that are helping.

What has really helped my family is to combine licorice, ginger and echinacea with whatever other herbs I'm using to make tea and drink lots of it. Even the kids who don't like the taste of those particular herbs are saying it did help a lot.

Licorice is good for sore throats and coughs and is a natural antibiotic. Ginger helps all sorts of tummy aches. And Echinacea boosts your immune system and helps with the stuffiness. It will make your nose run which is good if you want to avoid the sinus headache and earaches that could go along with the stuffiness.  Be prepared with lots of tissues!

Thyroid, Progesterone, or Magnesium Deficiency?

I was diagnosed with a thyroid deficiency years ago. I've been using natural supplements that always worked, but in the last year I have had 2 miscarriages and an increase in symptoms and decided it was time to get help. I haven't been able to find a doctor willing to help me, so I went back to trying to do this myself based on symptoms. Then I realized that wasn't working so I turned to God and begged Him to help me understand WHY I have thyroid problems. I eat a fairly healthy diet. I don't have a formal exercise program, but with lots of little kids, I definitely stay active. I've never been one to just treat symptoms. I want to know why the problem exists and try to get to the root of it to fix it.

As soon as I started asking God why, I started to hear about low progesterone and hormone imbalances everywhere I turned. I heard about Poly cystic Ovarian Syndrome and while I haven't been diagnosed with it as far as I know, I realized that I have the symptoms and that doctors I have seen have treated me accordingly. So I was becoming more convinced, as I kept getting this information shoved in my face at every turn, that I had an estrogen/progesterone imbalance. The fact that I've had these symptoms forever and still managed to have 12 healthy babies is just more evidence of a God who does what He wants. My children are His creation in spite of my health. Anyway, finally I saw that there is a link between hormone imbalance and thyroid deficiency. The hormone imbalance could very possibly be causing the thyroid to not function properly. I'm sorry I cannot give resources. I was just searching for my own purposes and didn't save them.

So then I asked God WHY again. Why do I have low progesterone? What would cause this? Then I see an article about magnesium. I was drawn to it and then couldn't read fast enough. To make a really long story less long, I'll summarize that a magnesium deficiency can cause a hormone imbalance. Aha! I know from reading studies about tooth grinding that I have a magnesium deficiency. 100% of tooth grinders can be helped by taking magnesium supplements, but their grinding starts right back up when they stop the supplements. And apparently some people are genetically pre-wired to not absorb magnesium well. I knew that I don't absorb it well. When I take magnesium tablets I end up with diarrhea. Sometimes it's worth it because my migraines will go away from taking magnesium. And I can't have chocolate because it decreases magnesium absorption leading to all sorts of problems like heavy periods and migraines. But I try to eat lots of foods with magnesium and it just doesn't help. It turns out our soil is depleted AND the way most things are grown today they don't absorb as much magnesium from the soil anyway. So my diet wasn't going to help me. It was going to take ridiculously large amounts of the right foods to fix it.

But then I learned about magnesium oil. You just spray it on and your skin won't absorb more than you need.

So I will be experimenting and sharing how it works out for me.

My Magnesium Experiment, First Post--Day 2

I am going to be experimenting and thought I would journal how it's going here.

About 19 years ago I had a blood test done by a doctor who did things all naturally. He told me 1, my iron level was toxically high and to never take iron again and 2, my thyroid was low and to take l-Tyrosine, an amino acid. So I have followed his advice and it has worked.

The iron thing has been difficult at times. During pregnancies my hemoglobin level would get low and every midwife I've ever seen has insisted I needed to take iron supplements. It was iron supplements that got me into trouble in the first place. I took the Floradix brand that is supposed to be so great. My hemoglobin level stayed low with each finger prick and my midwife had me increase up to 3 capsules a day. She told me to continue this while nursing. When my baby was 9 weeks old I saw the doctor. In later pregnancies, my midwives would tell me to take an iron supplement.  I refused, but did increase protein, B vitamins and water (these will also increase your hemoglobin level). This always worked and I had levels the midwife was comfortable with without increasing heavy metals in my blood. This is completely a side issue on this post, but one I felt important to share.

I've always had some weird hormone sort of problem. I've been told by several doctors that I would not be able to have children. Between doctors and health nuts I have tried lots of different things. I tried birth control pills. They didn't help and didn't fit with my beliefs so I quit those. I tried progesterone cream and it seemed to increase my symptoms. I admit I didn't give it a fair trial, but quit trying it early. I just really have a problem with the whole idea of messing with hormones. Our bodies were made to heal themselves. I wanted to know WHY I needed any hormone supplement and how can I make it so I don't. Clearly doctors don't have all the answers. They have never been able to help me. My latest doctor visit was just frustrating as they wanted to tell me that I am just old now and my eggs are as old as I am. Whatever. If that were the real problem I would not have been having problems building up since I was 14 years old.

So I went back to the only doctor who has ever been able to help me. I turned to God. I have a bunch of supplements I have been taking to help with my symptoms. One night as I reached for them, I felt God distinctly tell me NO. I pulled my hand back and asked Him, "really? What about all my problems? I'll start gaining weight again and get all fuzzy headed. My hair will fall out..." But I obeyed and asked for a sign. It would be my weight. He gave me a number. I would step on the scale next week and if it was a certain number I would know I was okay not taking these. But that number seemed way too low to be realistic.

I continued to ask each morning and night when it was time to take my supplements. I was allowed to start back on my vitamins, but not my Tyrosine. Yet as I watched my weight, it just held steady. Then the next week I stepped on the scale. The digital display did it's little dance and just as the numbers were about to show up, it danced some more and the too-low-to-believe-it number showed up. The exact number God had given me. I knew this wasn't my actual weight. It was 6 pounds lower than it had been just a few hours ago! I just stared at it for a while and realized, this was my confirmation. I was to continue to trust God and stay off the Tyrosine. From that point on I watched my symptoms re-appear. My hair got dry and started to fall out a bit more each day. My skin got dry and even flaky. My weight began to climb. And yesterday morning I realized I was depressed and paranoid. Heavy periods have been a lifelong plague for me and this time it was only 3 weeks. And really heavy and long. Horrible migraines that go along with my cycle (one when I start and another as it ends about 10 days later). This is definitely an act of trust and continual prayer.

Yesterday morning I realized I was depressed and paranoid. This has just reappeared. It was something I struggled with years ago, but had it under control with the Tyrosine. So I prayed again and told God everything is back. This can't be right to just do nothing. He responded that I'm getting it out of my system so I can give magnesium a true test. Hmm. Okay. I hoped it would hurry up and get here.

Magnesium arrived in the mail a few hours later. Perfect timing! No big surprise seeing as my Doctor doesn't make mistakes. So I sprayed it on. (I'll explain what I'm testing in another post. This one is already so long.) It kinda felt tingly, but not tingly. Like my cells were waking up. I know that sounds really weird but I don't really know how to describe it. The rest of the day I felt like my skin had a residue on it, which it did I guess. Through prayer and confirmation from my husband, I felt I was to apply it twice a day. I reapplied it at bedtime and it didn't tingle at all. The only thing I noticed all day yesterday was I was sleepy. Really really sleepy. Like when I'm pregnant, but no way am I pregnant.

So today is Day 2. I applied it this morning. The only change is that I have a headache. I'm not sure if it's related to the magnesium or to the fact that  I couldn't sleep last night. That's another symptom I've had for a couple days is that I can't fall asleep. But I got 6 full hours and did dream so that's good for me. More likely it's an end of cycle headache. But not nearly as painful as usual--yet. We'll see.

My plan is to log how I'm doing with this experiment. If it works as well as I think it will, I want people to know about it. I've got several people in mind that I think this could help--starting with my niece--but I want to test it first.

Two more symptoms I've had: I've been a tooth grinder at least since 2nd grade. I caught myself doing that this morning. And I have really thick skin on my heels. It's still thick. Not that I expected that to go away soon, but I do expect both of these symptoms to diminish. We'll see.