Friday, 10 September 2010

Homemade Herbal Remedy Recipes

So lately various people in my family have been suffering from either yeast infections, acne, eczema, psoriasis, cold sores and/or bad breath. I went to my trusty herbal to do some research and discovered a very interesting thing. Most of the symptoms, are related! How, you might ask? Well, to start, cold sores are a virus HSV-1 which is very contagious, and most commonly is the one people get around their lips in the winter, although it can crop up anywhere on your body. The virus is extremely common, with one in 4 people having it, but only a small unlucky percentage actually develop sores. Those people are ones with weaker immune systems, usually by younger people/children, people with other illnesses like colds, the flu etc. ,people with HIV (obviously) and oddly, people with skin reactions and disorders like eczema or psoriasis.

Well, lucky lucky me, my siblings and I got cold sores from my mom as children when she gave us kisses, and even having that weakens our immune system, and psoriasis from my dad genetically, which weakens it even more. Luckily for most of us, our immune systems are strong and we managed to scrape through adolescence with only a few sore lips and some itchy patches on our legs and arms from the psoriasis time to time. However, as we got older, we started drinking. Alcohol weakens the immune system, which in turn, equals cold sores and eczema/psoriasis cropping up. And to add to the annoyance, many of us in my family also have food allergies. Some people in my family cannot eat certain foods. Others, like one of my brothers and I can eat them usually, but sometimes bad things happen. Some common reactions to wheat, egg, soy and milk allergies are yeast infections (which causes annoying white plaque to form in the mouth), acne and eczema.

So basically they're all related! Now, the cure? Well, for starters, we can all stop eating soy, wheat, milk, and eggs, but since they are in almost everything, that's difficult. And I do love my Irish cream, and my coffee....
Stuck with this revelation, I decided to do some research from my extensive library. As I was reading the same herbs kept appearing in remedies for many of the conditions. These herbs were, tea tree, lavender, olive (oil or leaf), clove, turmeric, cayenne and rosemary.Tea tree, lavender, and rosemary are antibacterial and tea tree is great for fighting against viruses. Olive is known for it's antiviral properties and has been used to treat eczema and also cold sores. Cloves are great antibacterial agents and also supposedy good for numbing pain. Turmeric, is good for something but I forget :-) and cayenne contains capsicum which is great for fighting against viral diseases I'm not exactly sure what it does, my books says but I forgot.

So, I made three different treatments. Treatment #1 is a herbal mouthwash. I've never made one before, so this was my original recipe inspired by a recipe from an old sailor I met who used brandy with cloves and mint steeped in it. I have the feeling that he drank it as often as he gargled, but that's against the point.
1/2 pint water
1/2 pint alcohol, I used super cheap vodka since it isn't drinkable but not extremely poisonous and the only readily available alcohol I have.
10 drops tea tree essential oil (do not ingest this, swish and spit only!)
10 drops of cinnamon essential oil
15 drops of clove essential oil
10 drops of mint (I used wintergreen)

Basically put them all in a bottle and shook it. Upon using it for the first time though, a few things were wrong.
#1 It really doesn't taste that nice. Solution add 1 tbsp honey, which is antibiotic anyways and makes it sweet.
#2 The clove and cinnamon is a little spicy Solution 5 drops of cinnamon and 10 of clove and add 15 drops of mint. Result? Semi-spicy minty fresh mouthwash. If you want it to be more alcoholic to try and kill more yuckies, make it 1/4 pint water and 3/4 pints vodka. Simple! If you want to drink it, remove the tea tree oil, but I doubt it would taste very nice.....

I decided to actually use those gorgeous cobalt bottes I had
The second thing I made was a skin wash/toner for this, I boiled 700ml (almost a full wine bottleful) of water and in it I put 2 soup spoonfulls (because I don't have any measuring spoons) of olive leaf, 2 soup spoonfuls of oatgrass, 3 soup spoonfulls of lavender, 1 soup spoonfull turmeric, 5 cloves, a dash of cayenne. I left this for 48 hours to steep, then strained it, poured it into a leftover cobalt glass vodka bottle and topped up the remaining approx 50ml with alcohol (vodka again) just to keep it preserved a bit more. This actually smells really nice, and I've been using it as a toner for the last few days and my face is already clearing up!!!

The final thing I made was an antiviral/antibacterial oil to put on the dry skin patches.
For this, I used 1/3 of a cup of olive oil, 10 drops rosemary essential ol, 10 drops of tea tree, 3 drops of clove essential oil and 10 drops of lavender.

I've been using this on my foot where there is a small dry patch and within 2 days it has gotten smaller, less dry, and happily less itchy. So, overall, I say I've got success!!! Further use will show if it's my remedies or just time that's clearing them up...

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