Natural Health and Healing – in the Real World

Health and Healing


I had not one, but two situations this week where most people would run to the doctor for a once-over or an antibiotic. I ran to my pantry.

Now, I’m not telling you to avoid doctors. Don’t go getting any crazy ideas, sweetness. If you’re not comfortable dealing with a situation on your own… don’t. Simple as that. You can’t blame me if you do something less than intelligent. Use your noggin.  In the two situations I’ve dealt with this week, I felt completely equipped to handle them without a trip to a doctor. If something had gone awry, we would have jumped in the car and been off to a medical professional.

My son went off to a church camp with his youth group last week. He had a blast. 5 days after he came home, he approached me before bed and told me that he got a blister on the bottom of his foot while at camp, and that it wasn’t getting better. It hurt. He peeled off his sweaty pre-teen sock (ew!) and showed me his foot.

What I saw was an angry, red, oozing blister with red fingers of infection crawling up the side of his foot. Uh-oh. Now, why this kid didn’t say anything before this thing was infected is beyond me, but we deal with things as they come, right?

We cleaned it up (and out) as well as we could. Then I reached for my Usnea tincture.

Usnea is a lichen that grows in trees all over our wooded property. We harvest it only from fallen branches or from pieces that have been blown to the forest floor. It’s tinctured for 3-4 months, with the first 30 days receiving a gentle heat from a seed starting mat. It’s a very, very powerful antiviral and antibacterial. It has been documented in a lab to be able to kill MRSA and staph. Good enough for me.

I gave him 3 drops of tincture under the tongue, and applied some tincture topically over the entire bottom and side of his foot. Off to bed he went. The next morning, the angry red fingers of infection radiating out from the blister were greatly diminished – about half as long and much less dark. The inflammation around the blister was much improved and he said the pain was almost gone. Lather, rinse, repeat. 3 drops under the tongue, and topically over the entire area. We did it again that night.

Yesterday morning he came downstairs. All of the redness and all signs of infection are gone. All pain is gone. Almost all of the inflammation is gone. The blister is healing. Usnea, y’all. It’s a tincture you need to keep on hand.

Because Mom Life can’t be *too* easy, my toddler daughter also started complaining about her ear yesterday morning. I have an otoscope, so I took a peek in her ears. Sure enough, the ear she was complaining about was red and inflamed. Well, shoot.

Now, just a little Holistic Housewife Mom Tip, here… if someone is complaining about their ear hurting, all you need is garlic and some olive oil. That’s exactly what I grabbed. Mince a clove of garlic, put it in a small bowl and cover it with olive oil. We’re talking amounts like 1/2t. of garlic and 1 T. of olive oil. Just a little bit. Gently warm the oil briefly. Ideally, stovetop is best, but frankly it’s hard to warm things in such small amounts in a pan without overdoing it (or maybe that’s just me). You can totally pop that little bowl in the microwave for about 25 seconds. Let the mixture cool to just barely above room temperature – about body temperature. Strain out the garlic.  Put a few drops in the affected ear, and put a bit of cotton in. Do this a few times per day. Also, yes, you’ll reek of garlic.

This morning my daughter’s ear is fine, and a peek with the otoscope shows a perfectly healthy eardrum with no signs of redness, fluid build up, or inflammation. In 12 years, I’ve never had my garlic and olive oil fail me. In fact, every single time it’s been 48 hours or less and the person is right as rain again.

So there you have it – holistic healing in the real world. You can deal with these things at home. You can keep yourself and your family healthy. All you need is a bit of knowledge and a few basic supplies.

Until next time!






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