Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Garlic Oil for the Ear

I had a brief period of knowing the hell that is Earaches.  When Core was about 5 and started school for the first time, she went through a 5 month bout of every thing.  She sneezed, coughed, snorted and snotted consistently for those 5 months.  Everyone said it would get better as her immunity built up but it only seemed to get worse.  In the end, her ears would end up taking the cake in the painful, never ending illness game.  I came to realize that a child with a cold and ear ache should never be given dairy.  It causes so much excess mucous that just seems to join the party and make things even drippier.  We swore of dairy until we found a raw source and even then tried to tone it down during cold season.  This Ear Oil was my knight in shining armor when the aching started and the night grew long with the moaning of a 5 year old.  You can buy some at your local Health food store. We have had success with Wally's Ear Oil in a pinch but it is cheaper and easier at 4 am to make your own.  There are two different ways to make this but I favor the raw method.  I want the plant to be as alive as possible and feel that it is tricky to make sure you don't cook the garlic in warmed oil.  So in the interest of "making ahead" I will show you how to make it the long way. Which is 5 hours to a few days, depending on your needs.  In truth, you can use it once the oil starts to smell garlicy.  Another thing I want to stress is to try and use organic garlic, healthier plants making better medicine. 

Garlic Ear Oil
10 cloves garlic smashed with skins on
enough oil to cover the cloves

Place the garlic and oil in a sterilized jar and cover, shaking every once in a while to mix it about.  After a few days the garlic has given up all its goodness and can be strained out.  If you need it sooner you can press the garlic and add the oil and allow it to sit until you need it.  Strain it through a coffee filter to ensure no bits get in the ear. Upon you next coherent moment, make more oil that can sit for longer so it is ready for you at 3 am.  Keep in a dark jar with dropper in the fridge(long term) or cool cupboard(short term).

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Preparing for Winter

I seem to always wait until the last minute to make the remedies that get us through cold and flu season.  I will have the dried elderberries sitting on the shelf, the calendula flowers in a jar looking pretty, and the astragalus root hanging around in the pantry but they never seem to meet their partners in healing until the first sniffles have started.  This is not the way to do it.  The garlic ear oil is always more potent when it has been steeping for a while and the ginger syrup takes a few days to prepare so it is certainly not a quick remedy. These remedies are the backbone of our healing and I am determined to have them ready and waiting for their debut in saving my sanity.  So I have decided that once a week I will offer my methods for creating these remedies and that way will have a fully stocked medicine cabinet come winter.  My first remedy is the ever useful lemon honey throat soother.  I never have lemons around in the winter when I need them most so I heard a tip for making this syrup to last indefinitely.  My late night, screaming child, sore throat savior that will hopefully be as amazing to you as it has been to me:

Lemon Honey Throat Soother
1-2 organic lemon washed
1 c (raw if possible) honey

Place a sliced lemon, peel and all, into a jar and cover with honey.  Place in the refrigerator until needed.  Take a spoonful of the honey and add boiled water or just warm water and serve.

The best trick about this syrup is to add any extra slices of lemon you have or a lemon that is about to be compost and the last spoonfuls of honey to the jar whenever you have them.  This creates a never ending supply of the syrup that is my savior.  Over time the peels and pith start to break down into a marmalade consistency and you are going to have to fight the urge to smear it on your toast.  Or if you are like us and go through at least 5 lbs. a month and a few bags of lemons then you have no need to worry about running out.  Make it now and be ready for the first sign of a sniffle.