Nikkis Nature

A Place For Sharing Holistic and Healing Insights


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Medicinal Application of Essential Oil: My Cistus Story

When I took a medicinal aromatherapist certification course from a lovely local herbalist, I learned a lot about essential oils that I had never known before, despite having been involved in holistic and alternative health care for some time.  One important thing I learned was that even the essential oils on the shelf in the nice health food stores are not pure-  they very often contain preservatives or have been procured using a chemical process.  I also learned that you actually take more of the active constituents from the oil in when you apply it directly to your skin than if you were to ingest it orally.  (I don’t recommend doing this without consulting with a trained pro, btw!)  Because of this direct transmission of the oil into the skin and then the bloodstream, it is common practice for essential oil companies to mark the bottles with warnings saying not to apply directly to the skin, to use a carrier oil, etc.  The real truth is that pure plant essences are incredibly supportive to us when used in an educated, loving and respectful manner.  They can support our medical, emotional and spiritual growth in many ways, directly applied.  This said, you do need to know what you can safely do with each oil, and how to do it.

In any case, during this course I learned that the oil called Cistus, or Rock Rose (doesn’t smell like rose) can be good for getting rid of skin tags and even some skin cancers.  Well, I had a skin tag on my neck for a few years that made me a little self conscious at times-  especially if going for a massage.  I decided to try treating it with the cistus essence.  When my order arrived, I opened the tiny tiny bottle of very expensive plant essence and nothing came out.  This absolute is so thick that you have to take off the dropper top and use the wand to get some oil out of the bottle.  I began doing this and putting a dab on my super attractive skin tag (don’t you hate the term, even??) once a day, each evening before going to sleep.  I didn’t cover it or anything,  just swiped the stuff on and went to bed.  After about a week I noticed that the skin around the tag was getting rashy, so I started being more careful about not getting any on the surrounding skin. If I showered at night and went to treat patients in the morning without showering, sometimes an occasional patient would notice its scent, and I was told “you smell like the woods!”  I take that as a high compliment.  Now, the stuff isn’t that easy to apply because it is so sticky.  I thought of calling up my herbalist friend and asking her if the reason it works is that it is so sticky that you are practically ripping the thing off just trying to apply the oil… but I didn’t.  I chuckled to myself and kept on with the treatment.  Well, at about the four week mark I looked in the mirror one day and noticed that my lovable little skin tag had turned black.  Hesitantly, I reached up and felt it and it felt kind of crispy… and I don’t know what possessed me but I twisted it a little and it didn’t hurt at all to do, so I twisted it a little more, and off it fell.  I don’t even know where it went, but what was left on my neck was absolutely nothing!  There was no scab, no leftovers, not even a reddened area.  Just fully healed, smooth skin was all that was there at the previous site of attachment.  I was thrilled.

Now I am using that same tiny bottle to treat a skin tag under my husband’s arm… and a questionable looking precancerous thing on the top of his bald skull.  The skull area has started to dry up and get smaller already after only a few days of application.  Anyway, I love my pure, unadulterated essences!  Feel free to message me or converse here if you have questions about this or the use of plant essences for any other issues.  If I don’t have the answer I have plenty of resources to get you more information.  Have a lovely, plant-filled day!!!


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Fighting It Off

Happy New Year everyone!  Even though we’re in a brand new year we are still battling our way through the same cold and flu season as we were last week.  I thought I’d chime in with a few more tidbits about natural cold care.  First off is garlic, garlic, garlic!  Fresh garlic is one of the best antivirals going, it’s cheap and flavorful in lots of foods.  The trick is to use it fresh and make sure you squash it or put it through a press before eating it.  I’m not saying to eat the garlic plain, although you can feel free to do so.  I don’t usually cook the garlic so that I don’t alter any of its natural awesomeness, but I’ll throw raw pressed garlic in salads, soups, on sandwiches, tuna melts, in with my hummus, you name it.  Another easily accessible kitchen remedy for this time of year is cayenne powder.  Cayenne is a natural decongestant and digestive stimulant and like the garlic, can be added to the top of many meals to help move those cold symptoms along.  You can even put a bit of cayenne powder in a cup of water and gargle with it to help with sore throat and mucous if you don’t mind that amount of spiciness.  You hear lots about echinacea, and that is because it rocks!  Now, if you’ve already got a cold going and you take it, it doesn’t seem to speed the purging of the symptoms much.  The trick is start taking it when other people in your family are sick, or when you have a day where you just feel off or run down.  Echinacea is great to cut the cold off at the start by giving your immune system a little boost.  You have to walk a fine line though-  you can’t take it consistently throughout the whole season or its effects will wane for you.  You want to take it for at most a 10-14 day period when run down or sick, and then stop altogether.  Lastly I’ll remind you of the super easy aromatherapy remedies for colds.  Holding your congested head over a bowl of steaming water with a few drops of eucalyptus oil in it will help with sinus movement and clearing and aid respiration.  You can do this in a hot bathtub as well.  You can also use a variety of combinations of essential oils in the tub or in diffusers that are cleansing, antiviral and antibacterial in nature.  Some examples are thyme, rosemary, tea tree, eucalyptus, lavender and peppermint.  Citrus oils like lemon or sweet orange are cleansing and reviving as well and can be blended with some of the harsher oils mentioned above to make the aroma more inviting.  (Thyme oil smells yucky to me and rosemary oil makes me want focaccia bread.)  I will actually be listing some of my own healing oil blends through my etsy shop soon.  These remedies are simple and well known, but people forget to use them and go right to the drug store line-up.  If you or someone in your family is sick, give some of these a try!  They are comforting to use and will affect your mood for the better as well.  Start the new year off right and stay healthy, all!


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Natural Home Remedies

This topic crops up all the time, but there is a reason for that.  When you hear about ideas or recipes for natural home remedies, often you don’t have the ingredients on hand to make them, or the affliction is not applicable to you at the time.  Then, when the day rolls around that you could have really used that home fix, you’ve not only forgotten the recipe, you may have forgotten altogether that doing something yourself was an option beyond the usual pharmacy or doctor visit.  For this reason, home remedy ideas should be discussed often so that a wide variety of topics come up and the image of you trying natural cures at home stays fresh in your mind.  I’ve been reading homeopathic works and have been enrolled in an herbalism program this past year, so I’m going to start sharing some of the easier remedies with you here.  Make sure you ask questions because there are lots of other problems I have ideas for that probably won’t get mentioned right off the bat.

Here’s a simple one:  I read a detailed account written by a homeopathic doctor about treating beestings.  He said you only need to cut open a regular onion and place it on the sting.  Apparently it not only takes the pain away quickly, but helps the sting to stop swelling and heal, even in cases where the patient has a terrible allergic response.  Now I’m not saying to go throwing out epi-pens and such, but this is so easy and doable that it is definitely worth remembering and trying.

An area where we buy a lot of medicine and take a lot of trips to the doctor pertains to our children’s cough and cold symptoms.    First off, there are lots of herbal teas on the market that are made specially for kids, so if you can warm your child up to the idea of trying tea in small doses, you will have more options available to you right there.  There is a nice child’s “Throat Coat” tea that is in the health food section of most regular grocery stores, and keep in mind also that kids over 5 can start to use honey as well.  Elderberry syrup is perfectly safe for kids and is a great alternative to the cough syrups you buy at the pharmacy.  It tastes pretty good and less medicinal, and is available at health food stores or through online suppliers like mountainroseherbs.com.  Slippery elm lozenges are also totally safe, and the Thayer’s brand that are sold in stores are natural and taste good.  They are not a choking hazard like a regular hard candy type of lozenge;  you chew it as you would a sweet tart.    Also for childrens congestion, doctors are always recommending steamy showers and baths-  it’s completely safe to put 8-10 drops of eucalyptus essential oil in the tub when you do this-  it helps open and clear sinuses and has some antiseptic properties as well.

Here is another simple fix for burns:  a drop or two of lavender essential oil, neat, on the area will soothe the pain and have it healed in no time.  Burns that are third degree or that cover a large area need medical care right away of course, but if you’ve had those irritating little oven or stovetop burns to the hand or wrist like I have, the lavender oil is perfect.  You don’t want to smear straight up lavender oil all over your shoulders if you get a sunburn, however, as it would be too strong for that application.  You can, however, add a few drops of lavender to your bottle of aloe gel, and then smear that on.  You will have a relaxing scent and an antiseptic touch to your normal soothing aloe!

Please speak up and offer your remedies here as well-  this realm of folk medicine relies on people passing information from one to the next.  Also, if you try a home remedy chime in and let us know if worked or not, and what you thought of it.  Thanks and good health to all!