Healing Herbs

This is a story about a healing journey. 


Last year was a difficult year for me. The spring was rushed and full trying to get ready for traveling, over the summer i was gone working hard abroad through a bad cold, followed by a very difficult hike over the alps. When i returned, the autumn was full of cleaning up the giant mess my family made while i was gone.  At the end, I found myself feeling so tired and ill. I had no reserves of energy left, i had dark circles under my eyes, and I looked as old and haggard as i felt.

It’s distressing to suddenly be phjysically falling apart, to not have the energy to do what needs to be done. I wasn’t even sure if i could recover, on top of everything else. I had these lurking fears that i was just old now, maybe I had spent all my life energy and this was just old age setting in.

Whenever i hear someone complaining about a health problem, i always ask them what they’ve tried to do about it, and in almost all cases the only things they’ve done are a few things their doctor prescribed that either didn’t actually work or made things worse.

 Sometimes these individuals are suffering quite a lot, and are on the brink of very invasive treatments and surgeries, or chronically take strong medications with side effects, yet they have no interest in studying up on their problems, making changes to an obviously damaging lifestyle, or trying anything their doctor hasn’t suggested.

Well,  i thought to myself, maybe i am incurably old and tired, but I won’t just give up like that and wallow in some kind of problem!

My biggest problem in this case was a total lack of energy. REST is number one remedy for healing all kinds of illnesses and injury. It allows the body to reset and focus energy on healing.

 But i couldn’t rest.  I felt plagued by anxiety, and when i had time to sleep, i couldn’t. And then awake i was so tired i made mistakes and felt anxious about not being able to do what i needed to. It was a vicious cycle and i felt myself being pulled down into fatigue and exhaustion.

As just resting wasn’t helping, i went to the herbs.

I use herbs in different ways. Some i use like a nourishing food supplement by making strong infusions.  After being fed very cheap, empty food while traveling, I felt like i could use more minerals.  I began drinking herbal infusions every day from chickweed, nettles, raspberry, burdock root, dandelion root, bilberry leaf, red clover, fennel seed, fenugreek, and oatstraw. I made a half gallon jar of one kind of herb and drank about a quart per day.  Then i would move on to the next herb. Fennel seed and fenugreek i drank every day. This, along with having lots of broth and pork liver made me feel stronger.

I had gotten some tick bites in Europe. One in three ticks carry Lyme and other co-infections in the alps,  so i also started taking a round of strong herbs that prevent Lyme. This is the other way i use herbs, the strong herbs, for an intense biochemical effect. This helped a lot.

 After a month or so of trying herbs I went to see the 5-element acupuncturist that I’ve seen since i was 14. He was a little concerned about my state of health. I was very depleted, and the fire energy was overheating the water element,  causing the anxiety. That afternoon i went home and slept for hours and all through the night. It was a wonderful reset and tipped the balance for me towards health again.

I realized i had to start getting better sleep or i wouldn’t recover. So I stopped the Lyme herbs,  which had begun to feel wrong somehow, and started drinking quarts of chamomile, passion flower, and lemon balm in rotation just before bed. This helped me relax and sleep peacefully the first half of the night.

 At the suggesting of a friend, i started taking an adrenal supplement made from dried bovine adrenals.  This gave me more energy during the day, which helped the anxiety.  In the rotation of the nutritional herbal infusions, i added a combination of ginger and ashwaganda. These made me feel great on the days i drank it.


Also when i milked the goats i would mix the very fresh milk with turmeric, cinnamon, and black pepper. (Fresh goat milk is a folk remedy – it  must be drunk within 15 minutes to still contain the “essence of the goat”). These all made me feel better during the day, but i still wasn’t able to sleep through the night completely without waking up restless and anxious, distracted by what i had to get done, or just thinking about life. 

My son, who loves sports and weightlifting,  really wanted me to try creatine. He made a smoothie for me and mixed some in.  To my surprise, it totally cured my anxiety that day.  We drove all the way to Ocala to look at a fixer-upper car he wanted to buy.  He drove the whole way, along I-75 the first time and struggling with how to use the turn signals and changing lanes in all kinds of traffic, which would usually have given me a heart attack! Instead i felt so calm i couldn’t believe it. So i started taking creatine here and there and felt like it also helped.

The final piece was iodine. I started taking Lugol’s iodine 3 years ago after i weaned my youngest child at age 5. I was also at that time feeling very depleted after 13 years of nursing or being pregnant or both. I hadn’t lost the weight from my last pregnancy and was also having similar anxiety/ sleep issues. I was heavy and the extra weight made my feet hurt so badly it would keep me awake. In a few months i lost 35 pounds (and i didn’t even change my eating habits), my hair suddenly grew in much thicker, and i felt much better.

This past year i had been so busy i stopped taking iodine drops.  And in Europe we had to eat so much wheat bread, which i think might affect my thyroid.  So i started taking it again,  but this time i took a much higher dose. I originally took up to 5 drops of 2% Lugol’s iodine, this time i took 12 drops. Ethan recommended this to me.  He’s been experimenting with taking iodine for several years. I couldn’t believe how long and peacefully i could sleep with the iodine at that dose.

I take 12 drops just before bed. It doesn’t knock me out like sleeping medicine would. Instead, i just feel like melting into the covers and i sleep solid for 10-12 hours and dream wonderful dreams. If i do get woken up,  i feel tired but not groggy having to trudge to the bathroom with Clo or something, but i fall right back asleep until morning. I’ve tried not taking it and will wake up restless during the night.

Recently over Christmas we were struck down with a nasty flu Mirin brought home from school. It was five days of intense fever. The way i usually treat flu – high doses of vitamin C and Scutellaria, Isatis, and Licorice tinctures – was not effective in this case. Instead Angelica tincture helped the most, along with lots of resting.

One thing i think that gets ignored is how healing a fever can be. When i had recovered, i noticed i no longer have the hollow dark circles under my eyes! I find myself singing while I’m washing dishes, and just feeling happy again for no reason. Life isn’t stressing me out,  and it makes you feel glad to be alive when you feel good. I feel like i can deal with people and life again.

I know this is a long story, and maybe a little tedious,  but i wanted to share what can happen when you imagine the possibility of healing and when you take your health into your own hands. 

I could have just covered up my fatigue with caffeine,  and taken medication for the anxiety. I could have done nothing and maybe i would have gotten better anyway, or maybe i would have developed a more serious health problem. I think back to myself a few months ago,  feeling exhausted and hollow, dragging myself around in a fog and struggling with depression (it’s depressing to feel awful all the time). I feel like a completely different person now.

To end i want to give thanks to the herbs and unseen good things that bring healing, the seven directions and the ancestors that empower healing work, and the spark of courage to seek healing and believe in what is possible.

21 Comments Add yours

  1. nyla blair says:

    thank you for this informative and inspiring story !

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fresh goats milk Yummm. I haven’t tried iodine before, I will definitely look into that one. So glad you are looking after yourself. Love all the photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! You are in Australia, aren’t you? Do you have goats? My favorite goat book is by Pat Colby who was Australian.

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  3. Yes Aussie I am. We used to have goats, had to sell as family was a little too hectic but, kids grown up now & I have built a new pen just have to build a shelter now & wait for rain. I have the same book its great isn’t it, a every goat owners must have.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s incredibly useful! Understandable about the goats. They can be a pain.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Elena says:

    Good for you for not giving up! I take herbs too. The only thing to note though is if you are taking prescription medicine, you need to check that it doesn’t interfere with the herb, or visa versa. Many herbs are very potent, and combinations of herbs and minerals are more potent still.

    On a different note, your cat looks just like our Tom! Down to the ginger spot next to the nose!! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love ginger kitties! Yes, definitely! I’ve found herbs to be more effective with far less risks and side effects, so i don’t take prescription medicine, but definitely good to keep in mind for those that do.

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      1. Elena says:

        Not every illness can be treated with herbs that we know of. I use both – man-made and natural remedies. For me, herbs supplement my prescription meds, and I found no natural remedies to tackle the problem. I believe it is best not to discount anything but to use what works regardless of which school of medicine it comes from. Herbs have side effects too. Herbs can also kill. Little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and we lost so much knowledge of herbal medicine when we got obsessed with our man-made chemicals. All I am saying is that herbs are serious medicines and should be used with caution. But you seem to know your stuff! Good for you!

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      2. Like what kinds of illnesses? I’m curious, i can’t think of any. Herbs alone are not necessarily the answer to everything – minerals and vitamins are sometimes the only thing that can really change an illness pattern. I use copper and sulfur against parasites for my animals because herbs alone are not effective, but the chemical wormers are also not necessarily effective, are extremely toxic and kill beneficial creatures once excreted into the environment.

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      3. Elena says:

        For example pancreas failure. When no enzymes are being produced, you have to take enzymes with food to get it digested. Another example is diabetes. There is no herb that will give you insulin. I know about vitamins and minerals, I take those too, following my doctor’s recommendations – very helpful. Really improves my energy levels and eye sight. But when I was experimenting with high dosages on my own, I got liver failure – you have to know what you are doing. The liver recovered, but I am not willing to experiment blindly any more.

        As for the animal wormers – you are right there, they are toxic. They are essentially poison. As is copper and sulfur. The same mechanism of action: give a well-measured dose to the animal, not strong enough to harm the animal itself yet sufficient to harm the parasites. But of course copper and sulfur are far less polluting.

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      4. No,  no herbs OR pharmaceuticals can cure those conditions as far as i know! Those are sort of like having to have a prosthetic organ, rather than the kind of illness i was thinking of.  Yes,  it’s quite hard when the body is degraded to the point of chemical dependence.

        Diabetes is complicated as there are different kinds,  some autoimmune, and at a cell level,  but i would certainly not give up. I would try to figure out why my organs were not working properly. And here is where i ask you,  “What have you tried?”

        What were you taking that induced liver failure? I think it’s so important at any time to tune in to messages from the body.

        And actually, the copper and sulfur don’t kill the parasites. The herbs i also give them kill the parasites, but parasites will not live and thrive in an animal with proper copper and sulfur levels. When these are kept up, their body environment doesn’t allow parasites to thrive. Parasites simply won’t live in an animal with proper copper levels, just like fly strike flies won’t attack sheep with good sulfur levels.

         It is nourishment medicine, not toxic medicine that we are entrenched in. ALL trace minerals can be toxic, but if you don’t have enough, you absolutely will die, and just having insufficient levels makes you vulnerable to problems. It’s the trace mineral paradox.

        Supplementing the animals actually increases copper levels in our deficient soil, so it is improving the land rather than poisoning it.  I feed copper with dolomite, as the magnesium prevents it from being toxic.

         

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      5. Elena says:

        Yes, it is all about concentration, isn’t it? The same thing in small amounts is good for you but it turns poisonous at a high amount. I think my problem with the liver was caused by overdosing vitamins A and E. You know they can kill in high dosages, as well as when you lack them. My liver appeared to be far more sensitive to them than “standard”, so what was considered a high but safe dose, appeared to be an overdose for me. The same goes for herbs. I have arthritis, so I tried turmeric. Again, my liver started to fail very quickly – and now I know why I don’t like curry! But I found Boswellia Serrata and it is doing the trick. The problem with experimentation is that you need to be strong enough to survive until you find the right herb or mineral, and you need to be able to take a few blows when things go wrong. Not everyone has this luxury.

        The problem with Western civilization is that we lead unhealthy lives while we are young, we deplete and damage our bodies until there’s a crisis and immediate action is required. And then it is too late for herbs or experimentation. I don’t have diabetes or pancreatic failure but these are very common conditions these days. Along with many others, you catch my drift. But also many infectious diseases cannot be cured with herbs that we know of, although herbs can often suppress the infection. Examples: heliobacter pilori, cholera, malaria, ebola, dysentery… May be not common in the West but oh so common and deadly elsewhere.

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      6. I would argue that the same infectious diseases that herbs don’t treat, neither do pharmaceuticals. The pharmaceuticals are generally very chemically simple, have bad things mixed in, and are very often plant or fungus chemicals to begin with, though stripped of their natural forms and co- factors, and in a form practically designed for microorganisms to build up a resistance.

        Interesting story- a friend of mine was once a biomedical researcher at university of Florida but quit and grows medicinal mushrooms after many years of cancer drug development research in which he fought the industry, as they insisted on the drugs being intentionally formulated with severe side effects so they could sell drugs to treat them. Sorry, but I’ll take my herbs and minerals!

        There also isn’t a pharmaceutical cure for degenerating yourself to the point of death – it’s like how herbs aren’t going to make an arm grow back or anything, but neither is a drug.

        I don’t quite understand your point as even water is also fatal when over-consumed. Anything, really, can kill you. Death, unfortunately, is a side effect of being alive, so i don’t target herbs in particular, lol.

        I agree on the damaging lifestyle. It’s so important these days to protect yourself from our toxic environment and know how. I see it as a modern version of people a century or more ago who died from drinking contaminated water, and it was very hard to convince the experts of the day that this was what was killing everyone. Here we have people spraying their homes with neurotoxins, etc, and everyone wondering what the matter is, and trying to normalize serious problems we should be paying attention to. A biochemist friend said he read good research that the paraffin wax put in virtually all store bought fruits and vegetables had the strongest biochemical effect of creating diabetes at a cell level than anything else. So even if you eat “healthy” fruits and vegetables, you are still consuming something very bad on the peels! Not to mention just air and water pollution.

        Also, all the people i know with diabetes to a one eat absolute sugary crap and rely on drugs to keep them alive. What if they ate real food, a high fat diet, drank herbal infusions, used NAET therapy and CBD oil for autoimmune issues, corrected gut flora imbalances, detoxified,etc? Maybe the damage was permanent, but they would still be a heck of a lot healthier than drinking soda and eating donuts all the time!

        Based on my experience, i have never had a pharmaceutical work better than an herb, mineral, or nutrition. You sort have to learn how to use them, and always try new things! We had this interesting experience when my daughter (who had never, ever in her life had a pharmaceutical drug ) at age 11 got very bad poison ivy on her face. Her eyes were nearly swollen shut, so she begged me to try benadryl. It gave her every single bad reaction practically – vision disturbances, panic attacks, severe hand cramps, and nothing happened to stop her face swelling. After she got it out of her system we used Jewel Weed. It actually worked and had zero side effects.. I have plenty of stories like this one. Everyone should do as they like, but j haven’t had any luck at all with those kinds of drugs!

        Other than sodium ascorbate for infections, i also don’t use any very concentrated vitamins, or herbs in capsules. It’s actually very hard to “overdose”, on eating herbs or food sources of vitamins because it makes you feel so ill. They are not addictive, so your natural “that’s enough” sensation kicks in.

        I’m curious if you took a natural source or synthetic source of vitamin A. I think it would be quite hard to kill yourself with cod liver oil, as it’s hard enough to take as it is!

        Definitely support that liver! The liver is sooooo important. Have you tried dandelion root or eating beef liver as a protomorphogen? As an organ, it’s primary purpose is to create enzymes, so really important. Plus it actually regulates blood flow in your body and stores blood. Detoxifying is only a side project for the liver.

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      7. Elena says:

        I see we disagree on pharmaceuticals. Actually, those infectious diseases I mentioned can all be cured with specific antibiotics, except ebola. But never mind – there are plenty other conditions for which we don’t have a cure. Pharmaceuticals saved my life a few times, and the lives of most of my relatives many times over. And none of us had any particularly severe side effects. So I am not prepared to just discount pharmaceuticals for no reason. I don’t think there is a need to oppose pharmaceuticals and herbs. Like you say – many pharmaceuticals are based on plants, although the vast majority of them are not, they are developed from scratch. I too worked in drug research. It does not matter. These are all chemicals that interact with our bodies. My only point from the beginning was to say that herbs should be taken seriously, that they are real medicines and should not be taken without understanding what they do.

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      8. Actually, not necessarily – antibiotic and viral resistance is creeping up on us in a big way. It is a top issue facing humanity right now. It was perhaps not a wise long-term plan to rely on these simplified chemicals that are generally excreted in the exact same form out into the environment where they come in contact with their targets in nice, dilute doses. 

        I have to wonder how “necessary” are pharma interventions just because people 1) don’t take care of themselves and 2) have no idea what to do otherwise.

         I think the form – whole plant or simplified drug – makes an enormous difference, especially with antivirals and antibiotics.

        Example: bacteria being exposed to one, or even a few antibiotics, is much, much different than them being exposed to say, the chemistry found in a yarrow plant, which contains more than 2,000 known compounds. There is too much complexity, they simply can’t get resistant to it.

        Besides, not only does yarrow kill bacteria in a wound, it stops bleeding, numbs pain, draws the flesh together, stimulates the healing process, and minimizes scarring. It was found in hospital research to be superior to any regular treatment for wound healing, especially for very deep wounds down to the bone. This is just one example of plant medicine.

        There is also a very big difference between food-like herbs and very medicinal herbs. I think also that strong herbs ought to be used with caution, as it should also be said that anything pharmaceutical should be approached with great caution and prior research for an informed decision as well, not just because it was prescribed by a doctor.  There are very bad, permanent effects from even commonly used medicines like Ibuprofen and Tylenol, whether or not people notice them.

        And I’ll share with you that to be honest, in my entire life I’ve actually have not once had an effective experience with the medical system.

         On the rare occasion I’ve gone to a doctor as an adult for something, they have invariably done very stupid, useless things i regret later, and charge hundreds or thousands of dollars for it. Literally every single time. It’s led me to wonder if the motto, ” First Do No Harm” has been successfully replaced by “A Fool And His Money Are Soon Parted,” or “Buyer Beware.”

        Herbal medicine, on the other hand and in my experience, has been real, safe, and effective medicine for us.

         So I guess we will have to agree to disagree! A big thank you for reading and commenting.  I’m glad you’ve found something you feel confident in and that works for you. Thanks for the great discussion!

        PS: Elder, actually, is active against Ebola virus.

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  5. tonytomeo says:

    I have not had much use for medicinal herbs just because I am mostly rather healthy. Weirdly though, I have found that when I am considering trying a particular herb, I find it growing at work. Some grow in landscapes. Some grow wild in the forest. Blue elderberry is native here, and when I started making jelly with it as if it were common black elderberry, my friends took notice. It had always been here, but no one had done anything with it. Now that they know, there are not enough berries to go around. It must get cooked, and makes a nice syrup. Of course, it makes great jelly too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t that funny, I’ve had that same experience with plants just “showing up” that way!

      I’ve never had blue elder. We have the regular elderberry wild here. I actually have some elder cuttings I’m trying to root right now. Its high and dry where i am, so it doesn’t grow wild. Bummer about the competition! Lol

      Liked by 1 person

      1. tonytomeo says:

        I can get around the competition by growing my own, and actually cultivating them to enhance production. I am actually pleased that people are using the elderberries. There are plenty farther out in the forests for the doves. It is interesting that you also noticed that herbs seem to show up when needed, as if they know about it, like cats or dogs showing up for someone who is sad.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Leif Price says:

    That’s a very inspiring story/blog! You’re such a strong person.
    BTW, I also take herbs for my health.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! And thanks for reading and commenting!

      Like

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