Easy Poultice for Insect Stings – What’s your favorite way?

I taught a class on herbal first-aid recently and we went over a variety of home remedies for simple concerns that arise with more time outside when the weather is nice — bites, stings, rashes, cuts, etc.

IMG_0795One of the topics was bee/wasp/hornet stings. Ouch!  It was interesting to hear all of the ways that people manage this at home.

My favorite is very simple and we’ve used it three times in the past year!

Before applying anything, try to remove the stinger.  Use tweezers or even scrape a credit card along the skin to dislodge it.  This will go a long way in preventing the area from continuing to be painful and irritated.

Then, make a thick paste with equal parts baking soda and clay to neutralize the area and remove toxins that cause the sting.  Seriously, that’s it!

Get a tablespoon or so of both baking soda and clay (I use kaolin), add enough water to form a paste, and apply this to the bite.  Allow to dry and just let it sit there for as long as necessary. You can reapply every 30 minutes or so to keep soothing the area.  Also, I often add a drop or two of tea tree or lavender essential oil to the paste to further help relieve the sting and calm the area.

I have a few packets of the mix leftover if you’re looking to have some on hand!

IMG_2717You can also buy your own baking soda and kaolin clay.  I recommend using Mountain Rose Herbs, especially because they have aluminum-free baking soda!

And, another trick for stings if you’re away from home – grab a leaf of the common weed Plantain (Plantago major), crush it up in your hands (or even chew it!) to release the juices and stick this wad of goopy plant material right on your sting.  It will help to relieve the sting quickly and also helps to draw out toxins.  In fact, it’s a good plant to know for any bug bites you get while outdoors (you should see me while camping, I have tend to have little wads of plantain all over!).

IMG_0622What’s your favorite way to deal with stings naturally?

Come to the next class on the farm (October 8, 2015) where we’ll be discussing herbal remedies to help with the transition to Fall. This class is sponsored by the Holistic Moms Network and it is helpful if you register.

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The most wonderful time of year….(spring!)

Each season has its highlights, but I don’t think there’s anything quite so wonderful as Spring.
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Everything has me speaking in exclamation points.

Did you HEAR the spring peepers?!?!” I bound through the house asking Mr. Light Footsteps while doing a few twirls.

“You wouldn’t BELIEVE the plants we saw on our walk today!” I exclaim as I fail to contain my enthusiasm and speak through jumps.

I doubt everyone gets quite so excited about such spring-things, but these are the finer points in life that I believe in celebrating.  Continue reading

Walking Mindfully

“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” —John Muir

IMG_0679Today I was reminded of how important it is for me to do walking meditation.

There are many ways one can train and focus the mind, but walking meditation is by far my favorite, and I think it’s also an important part of feeling more connected with the natural world. Continue reading

Lately

I think we’re finally getting close to having a rhythm again.  We are settling in to this as our home.

As everything around us blossoms and comes into fullness, so do we.

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Homestead Update – The Beginning

We’re still in the process of getting our house move-in ready, but it’s always a treat to go visit the land we’ll soon be living with.

Without any input at all there are many strawberry blossoms!

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The Flooded Forest and Unkempt Garden

Yesterday was a wonderful spring day to enjoy nature.  We took a walk along Big Creek and you can tell from all the leaves, trees, and random children’s playground equipment scattered throughout the forest that last week’s rains caused the creek to swell quite a few feet above the banks.      IMG_0067 Continue reading

Our New Homestead!

After at least 10 years of dreaming, 2 years looking at properties, and 7 months working on closing on this particular piece of land, we finally have our permaculture homestead.  These 23 acres are the land that will sustain us into the future, where we hope our dreams will blossom into fruition, and where we will grow together as a family and into our community.

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Monday’s Walk

We’re still following the rule that we must go out for a walk as long as it’s over 20 degrees.  Today we actually saw temperatures in the 30s and the sun shone at times making it a lovely day for a walk.

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6 Ways to Stay Happy Until Spring

It’s the time of year when people start counting down the days until spring.  I begin hearing a lot of complaining about the cold, the snow, and winter in general.

I understand. It definitely will be nice to feel warmth, wear sandals, and get into the car without scraping off ice.

However, we’re doing ourselves a disservice to wish away the rest of this season.  Despite how it might feel, winter will end, and there are even ways to enjoy the rest of it.  Continue reading