A to Z of natural living. Letter B.

Hey lovely people, I thought it would be a great idea to do an A to Z of natural living, including remedies, ailments, healthy tips and idea, alternative therapies etc, I think this could be fun and I want you to feel free to add your own in the comments.

Today I bring you the letter B.

letter_B

Backache:

Backache affects so many people now, from sitting in offices most of the day to car journeys, sitting down a lot can increase the lack of moveable muscles in the back and the core is not properly supported. Not being aligned properly, having one leg shorter than the other, throwing you out of balance or an injury can cause back ache too. Sometimes stress and inflammation can make the problem worse.

You can be checked out by a professional to be diagnosed if you wish, herbalism is effective but takes secondary place to treatments such as physiotherapy, acupuncture, osteopathy or chiropractic in the case of back ache.

You can also give up gluten for a week and see if the ache subsides, turning your mattress regularly and making sure you have a decent mattress to begin with can also help. I know they are extensive, but it is worth paying for because we spend on average 25 years sleeping!

Devil’s claw is usually prescribed for backache by herbalists because it is a highly effective anti inflammatory and has an analgesic effect on non-sciatic back pain as shown in research. Native to southern Africa, devil’s claw (Harpagophytum procumbens) gets its name from the tiny hooks that cover its fruit. Historically, devil’s claw has been used to treat pain, liver and kidney problems, fever, and malaria. It has also been used in ointments to heal sores, boils, and other skin problems. People with stomach ulcers, duodenal ulcers, or gallstones should not take devil’s claw.

Thyme tea or blackcurrant leaves as a tea can help, put 5gm of dried leaves into a litre of boiling water, leave to infuse for 5 mins and drink 2-3 cups a day. (don’t mix the leaves)

20 drops of stinging nettle tincture in water, 3 times a day after meals is also good.

A bath with nutmeg oil in can relive pain or juniper or rosemary oil in a massage can work wonders. (avoid rosemary oil when pregnant).

Avoid being overweight, wear good shoes, avoid lifting heavy weights but look into some gentle muscle-building excercise to build your core muscles. Child pose (see below) is also good for lower back ache

 Bloating:

Gas in your stomach can cause bloating, wind and trumping! it feels really swollen and full and can give you pretty nasty pains. the relief only comes from trumping but sometimes it is trapped and you suffer. We have found peppermint oil to be really effective, mixed with a carrier oil such as almond, you need a few drops and massage this all over your tummy, start on the right hand side and move your hand across to the left and push downwards towards your groin, this get the gas moving in your tubes, you can also try child pose in yoga.

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Try and slow down when eating food, chew properly too. try not to drink fizzy drinks especially when eating. Certain foods can increase gas, we all know about baked beans, but did you know onions, garlic, peas, cabbage, chickpeas, sugary food, raw veg or fruit can produce more gas than other foods.

It can also be the result of excessive bacterial activity in the colon, you would need to get a test done to see about this from a nutritionist or specialist. Have a look at parasite cleanses too.

Certain plants are great for aiding digestion and are antispasmodic. You can make a tea from bitter fennel, crush 1/2 tsp seeds into a cup of boiling water, infuse for 10 mins, strain and drink 3 times a day, you can also give this to infants 2-3 tsps 3 times a day.

You can do the same with coriander seeds, 10-30g of crushed seed into 1 litre of boiling water for 10 mins, strain and drink 1 cup after each meal.

Peppermint tea is wonderful too and cleanses your palate after eating, you can make tea your self with dried leaves or I recommend Pukka three mint tea, out of all the brands I have tried, this is the nicest flavour.

mintBreastfeeding problems:

Breastfeeding problems can be caused by a lack of milk, cracked nipples (I had this and oh my god it’s painful, try to use nipple shields before it becomes too painful to feed), mastitis or engorgement of the breast. Cabbage leaves are meant to be good for mastitis but they can dry up your milk production. When I suffered from big lumps filled with pus on my breasts (hormone imbalance, stress related, sweat lumps) and mastitis at the same time, I tried all sorts of remedies, what worked best for me was a combination of Echinacea tincture 3 times a day, swallowing a clove of garlic daily and a fresh aloe vera leaf, cut with the gel onto the sore, in a matter of hours the lump had formed a head and the pus came out (gross I know but true).

Pop over to wellness mama’s page for some amazing natural remedies or mastitis.

If in doubt or to get diagnosed seek advice from a professional herbalist and a breast support councillor.

To improve milk flow, anise tincture is very good or infuse a tsp of cumin seeds into 250ml of boiling water for 2-3 mins, strain and drink 1/2 cup before main meals.

Externally you can try marigold flower heads as a poultice, put 5g of marigold flower heads into 1 litre of boiling water, leave to infuse for 5 mins, soak a cloth in the infused water and apply to your breasts 3-4 times a day.

Have a look at this interesting article on positioning your baby in a different way to make feeding easier. Also check out this brilliant video with tips on how to breastfeed from mamanatural.com

Burns

If you burn yourself when cooking (not a severe 2nd degree burn or something that requires a trip to the hospital) put your hand etc under the cold tap and make a paste with bicarb and cold water and put in onto the burnt area, leave it to dry and then when it crumbles off, you won’t blister and the red mark will disappear in an hour or two.

For sunburn or other skin rashes you can make a bathsoak up from oats and lavender oil, pop them in a muslin square or sock and pop them under the running water of the hot tap whilst you run a bath, when you are in the bath, squeeze the bag or sock onto your skin and a gorgeous gloopy cream comes out which is so healing and good for your skin.

Aloe vera is also brilliant at soothing burns, you really need to have a plant in your home to hand though. Witch hazel, St johns wort, Sea buckthorn and marigold are also good to sooth sunburn. Find out from your herbalist the best way to use them.

Bach Flower Remedies

A system of treatment based on the belief that all physical and other health problems originate from the emotions. Visit the Bach website here.

Bowen Technique

A non-invasive treatment developed by Tom Bowen in the 1950s which stimulates energy flow and helps the body to self heal and restore harmony. Find out more about the Bowen technique here.

Have a brilliant, blessed and beautiful week.

 

 

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