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Everybody’s running around with two fingers up– if they aren’t busy lifting just one finger at the driver that just cut ’em off. Even so, that driver really just wants peace. We want to know that we’re going to get to work on time, that rent will be paid, that our electricity won’t be shut off, and that we’ll be able to put gas in that car so we can do it again tomorrow. (I use “we” loosely, here– different folks have different struggles) At the core of our beings, we want to feel “secure,” knowing that we’re protected from hunger, cold, and loneliness.  We want peace.
What’s funny is that our language doesn’t tell us what peace is just by looking at the word. It’s kind of a nebulous “good thing” out there somewhere that nobody seems to have (unless they happen to smell like weed, and even then, it’s only for as long as the high lasts).

Shabbat Shalom!

Shabbat Shalom!

A few thousand years ago, and still today in some places, the word for peace was a real, concrete picture of that nebulous thing we all want. Originally, the Scriptural, Hebrew word was “Shalom,” spelled “Shin-Lamed-Vav-Mem.” (second word in the pic)

The Shin is the picture of the two front Teeth. Lamed is a picture of the Shepherd’s Staff. Vav is the Tent Peg, and Mem is Water. The Teeth is an image of protection and defense. The Shepherd’s Staff provides guidance and direction, pointing the way out for the sheep to find everything they need. The Tent Peg is the picture of securing or “nailing down.” Water is our source of life. Shalom is defined in Jeff Benner’s Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible , word #2845, “Complete: Made whole or complete by adding or subtracting. ‘To be in a state of wholeness. Also to restore or make right through payment or restitution. ‘A state of being whole, complete, or full. Also an offering of restitution or payment. ‘A greeting as a desire for completeness to another.”
Shalom is “The protection of the Shepherd, nailing down the water.” We are at peace when we are protected and provided for by our Creator, and when we are made “complete.” In order to be “complete,” we need air, water, food, and shelter. Without land to grow food on, we are incomplete, and the land is incomplete without the humble people who care for it, watching over it with sensitivity to see that seeds sprout in it. Finding those humble people gives the rest of that picture of completeness– we’re no longer lonely 🙂

*Originally posted January 28, 2010 on my old blogsite

Life hurts. Whether you’ve been in a car wreck, in an abusive relationship, through emotional trauma, took a few too many hits in sporting events, poisoned yourself with city air pollution, toxic houses, pharmaceutical medications, or what-have-you, it hurts like the dickens.
There are a lot of traumatic events I’ve been spared, and I’m SO thankful for that!
I have experienced all of the above, and, due to the amount of toxins I’ve been exposed to, I can’t use pharmaceutical medications AT ALL anymore– they only make me feel worse now.
SO– there’s a bright side to all of that 😀
I don’t have to live in incessant pain!
I have a list of natural tools that I keep in my medicine cabinet that keep my body nice and happy and healing– without drugs.
Top of that list is Arnica. It’s a beautiful little flower Designed to work great as a homeopathic remedy for trauma of all kinds.
I use potencies as follows:
For minor boo-boo’s, 30X or 6C… or let the kid shake it off– no biggie.
For something that’s ‘gonna leave a mark, 30C
For something that’s ‘gonna leave a mark for a week or more, 200C
For something that’s likely to send us to the ER if it doesn’t look better fast (or if we just got out of the ER), 1M. So far, we’ve been well-blessed, and the Arnica 1M has worked beautifully on every major injury we’ve had, and, with 4 kids, we haven’t been there in about 8 years. The 1M is also good if  having flash-backs or insomnia or other psychological repercussions from trauma, or if the trauma is very old– great for that broken bone or torn ligament that never felt right again after it “healed.”
It’s a homeopathic medicine, which means it doesn’t operate on a substance basis, but rather on patterns left over in the water into which it was dissolved. That means two things:
A. It doesn’t interact with any kind of medication, which is great for people who are dependent on pharmaceutical medications.
B. We can’t use coffee or strong mint or tea tree oil or camphor or other strong smells when you use it, we can’t touch the medicine itself before you put it in our mouth, and we can’t store it at high temperatures or near electrical equipment or magnets. Any of these things can render the medicine ineffective– it messes up those patterns.
Arnica also comes in topical, gel form to put on bruises & help them to heal faster– a friend says it’s great for if you’re headed to Jamaica for your honeymoon and just banged your leg on the car door. I haven’t used it for that  specifically, but I have watched bruises disappear much more quickly than I’d expected using it… or sometimes not appear at all, if I got it on there fast enough 🙂
The key with this remedy is to take AS NEEDED. We use the LOWEST effective potency, and only take it when the symptoms come up. If the pain is getting better, we don’t take any more. If it starts to get worse or hits a stand-still at healing, we take another dose.
It’s the perfect “shell-shocked soldier” remedy. If I had my way, 1M Arnica would be standard-issue at the VA… But who am I?

Arnica isn’t the only tool in my basket, but it has been a vital one. For more on things that have been helpful for me personally, see my other posts. Arnica also doesn’t fit everyone’s trauma picture. Some people are better served by Aconitum or another remedy. Finding the remedy picture that fits the symptoms set is crucial. There are thousands of different homeopathic remedies made from natural substances, each of which has a unique “personality” for helping “fine tune” different aspects of health that can be “knocked off-course.” I’ve loved “fine tuning” in my own home to find the beautiful people inside those “rough spots” in life.

As with all of my “non-medical, non-advice”, I’m no doctor or pharmacist, which means that I’m not licensed to treat, cure, prevent, heal, or otherwise mitigate any disease. It also means that nobody paid off the FDA to approve the stuff I use. So do your own research, and find what works for you 🙂

For folks interested in more info on the history of homeopathic medicine, here’s a link to more info:
http://www.homeopathic.com/Articles/History

I love this “non-recipe” for breakfast because it’s not soup, and I get to have dessert first 🙂 I don’t do it every day, but it’s a nice treat… or dessert 😉  It’s also high in protein & minerals & EFA’s, and my fingernails, hair, and skin LOVE it!

I take a large-ish pumpkin… or mid-sized, depending on your patch… I don’t know. About the size of a basketball. Cut it in half, scoop out the insides, and either feed the seeds to the chickens, save for next year’s seed, or roast, Real Salt, and eat ’em yourself (great anti-parasitic properties in pumpkin seeds 😉

Bake the two halves in the oven at (like everything I do) 350 degrees ’till they’re soft and scoop-able. Scoop out all the insides, and blend w/ just enough water to puree. When all the insides are smooth, pour it into a crock pot, and simmer overnight with a bit more water, some Real Salt, and a liberal dose of cinnamon, alspice, ginger, cloves… whatever you like. I use about 1/2 cup spices (mostly cinnamon, with lesser amounts of the other spices) per crockpot-full. Mine’s biggish– maybe 6 quarts?

In the morning, Add a can, maybe two, of Organic Coconut milk (the non-organic stuff tastes like metal to me), and about 1/2 cup of beef gelatin, well- dissolved in a cup of hot water. Stir all that together, and let it simmer another hour or so. Wait ’till it cools off a bit, but not cold, and pour it into a large mixing bowl (or scoop it out until you’re comfortable pouring the last bits). Stir in about 2 cups of honey, and pour into baking dishes, greased with coconut oil. Let it set up in the fridge for a bit, and you have a high-protein, high-mineral, relatively low-glycemic treat!