Living stress free with lavender

preparation of herbs, homeopathy, dried flowers, bannerLavender has such a variety of uses that it should be a staple in every home. The dried lavender flowers can be used to make scented sachets, relaxing eye pillows, dried flower arrangements and herbal bath balls. You can also find lavender in your tea and spices. Check the ingredient label on your favorite stress tea, and lavender could be there. Those of you who cook with the French spice blend Herbs De Provence already know how yummy lavender can taste in chicken and fish. Lavender scones and breads are popular too, although the flowers are usually finely ground when used for cooking.

For more information about cooking with lavender, check out “The Lavender Cookbook” by Sharon Shipley. Look for culinary grade lavender and organic as well.

When it comes to essential oils, lavender may be the most well known aside from tea tree oil. (Both oils are the only two that are safe to apply neat, or undiluted, on the skin.) With its reputation for relaxation, lavender is to go-to oil for people suffering from insomnia or stress. It’s a wonderful oil that can relax you and give you focus. Just one drop on the wrists or on a tissue tucked in your pillow can melt your stress away. You can also make your own linen and room spray by adding 10 drops of lavender oil to a small spray bottle along with a few drops of vodka (optional) to keep the oil dispersed. Just shake and spray to give your living areas a whole new level of calm. You could also add up to 10 drops of oil to your bath if the flowers are too messy for you. Just remember that the oil is far more potent – you only need a few drops to get its benefits. A drop on insect bites can take the itch out. Lavender also has antibacterial properties which makes this oil a wonderful addition to health and beauty products.

When looking for an essential oils, the best quality oils are gas chromatograph tested for purity and will tell where they were made. The prices of individual essential oils are different, and cheaper isn’t better in this case.

With lavender in your life and in your home, you are sure to have a blissful and relaxing day!

Nicole Noles Collins is a licensed acupuncture physician and massage therapist at Vitalichi Acupuncture in Port Charlotte, Florida. Nicole has two bachelor’s degrees – Alternative Medicine and Professional Health Sciences – as well as a master’s degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine. She has a passion for both writing and natural health. Please visit her website at www.pcacupuncture.abmp.com and like her Facebook page at Vitalichi Acupuncture. For more information, call 941-979-9793.

Arnica and the ER

My second child was a bit of a klutz when he was younger. He saw more of the ER than his big sister did, that’s for sure. So when I got a worried call from my mom while I was driving to school several years ago, I wasn’t surprised. The sidewalk had been slick with rain, and my little guy slipped on his way to the front door and had hit the concrete wall of the house – with his face. Mom said he had a nice bump on his forehead, she was icing it, and what did I want to her do? I told her to go ahead and take him to the ER just to be safe.

I was a good 45 minutes away, but I got back to town, stopped at the house to grab my arnica and met her there. By then, the bump was the size of a healthy golf ball – ouch! I gave him a dose of arnica 30C while waiting for the doc. He checked out my son for signs of concussion and he was fine, although he said the bump may hang on for a few days and to keep icing it. In the meantime, did I want him to remove the popcorn kernel from my son’s ear? (Sure, since we’re here…)

Eventually, we made it home sans popcorn and I dosed him again with arnica before bed. The next morning, I anxiously checked out my little man. No bump. I looked closer. There was the faintest of green tinges where the bump had been last night.

There’s a reason why Arnica is essential for every homeopathic first aid kit, and this is it. It not only helps with muscle aches and bruises, but its keynote (its signature and what it’s best known for) is head trauma. I was certainly a believer. Although it’s not a good idea to store homeopathic remedies in a car (especially in hot climates) or by electronic items, it’s a must-have remedy for your home first-aid kit. It’s the one remedy I fall back on and replace the most.

Nicole Noles Collins is a licensed acupuncture physician and massage therapist at Vitalichi Acupuncture in Port Charlotte, Florida. Nicole has two bachelor’s degrees – Alternative Medicine and Professional Health Sciences – as well as a master’s degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine. She has a passion for both writing and natural health. Please visit her website at www.pcacupuncture.abmp.com and like her Facebook page at Vitalichi Acupuncture. For more information, call 941-979-9793.