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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!

So I have a friend who is moving toward more gluten & corn-free options, and asked what I do about breakfast. It’s more non-traditional as American food, but according to our acupuncturist, the Chinese might see it as quasai-normal 🙂 I kinda like that thought, because I see the Eastern cultures as closer to the Ancient Hebrew mindset– Near East is closer to Far East than Western, I think. Higher-protein breakfasts are great for setting our blood sugar level at a good, solid, steady outset for the day. Here’s a breakfast for a cold winter morning, usually left-over from dinner the night before, so I’ll include the gist of that as well:

Dinner:

I start w/ the rice first– for our family, I make a huge batch– about 4 cups– soak it in warm water w/ a couple of drops of Apple Cider Vinegar and a heaping Tbsp of Real Salt for most of the day, or overnight, depending on when I remember to start it. Soaking it first helps to make it more digestible, and to improve the protein and mineral content of grains. Most ancient cultures did it as a regular practice. We’ve just gotten away from it in our instant gratification “now” society. ‘Gotta remember to cover it– especially in the summer: the fruit flies love ACV. Bake in a covered dish at 350 ’till the water’s all soaked up.  You might have a preferred method for your rice– this is just easy for me: a giant bowl w/ a cookie sheet over the top to hold the steam in.

1-2 Chickens, depending on the size of the family & appetites, in an oven-friendly pot / dish that just fits– not too much bigger.

Wash chicken thoroughly, place in the pot, and salt liberally– with Real Salt (not the bleached stuff: the docs are right: the bleached stuff might kill you LOL! I eat all the Real Salt I want, though– tastes good, and my body loves it!)

Add a fist-full of thyme, a fist-full of onion powder, and about a heaping Tbsp of garlic powder per chicken. I use ‘way more seasonings than I’ve ever seen recipes call for– at the encouragement of my Chinese MD’s wife– a nutritionist: she says there’s as much nutrition in the seasonings as in the food–, and in honor of the Scripture in TaNaK where Isaac wants his “savory meat” when he’s gettin’ old. I figure if good seasonings can help an elderly guy digest meat, then maybe it’s good for all of our digestion? Works for me & my guts, anyhow!

Genesis 27: 3“Now then, please take your gear, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me; 4and prepare a savory dish for me such as I love, and bring it to me that I may eat, so that my soul may bless you before I die.”

Drizzle with olive oil, and add a sprinkling of water to moisten the herbs, and about an inch or so of water in the bottom of the dish. Cover w/ a lid… I use a cookie sheet over the top sometimes ’cause I don’t always have a matching lid.

Bake at 350… I bake most everything at 350– don’t have to think so much– you can try other temperatures if you like, and see if your chicken gets done faster than mine. Sometimes, if I’m in a hurry, I’ll bake it a bit hotter, and it seems to do just fine, as long as I have a lid on it. Might take an hour or so… I never time anything– just when the juices run clear, and there’s no pink left anywhere inside.  When the seasonings start to smell strong, it’s not quite done yet, but soon 🙂

While that’s baking, I chop carrots, kale, comfrey, broccoli, onions, kohlrabi, pak choi, spinach, chard, beet greens … whatever veggies I happen to have on-hand, and start ’em steaming– longer for softer veggies; shorter for crunchier ones. I like to have at least one brassica (the broccoli family) for anti-cancer and blood sugar-balancing properties all in one 🙂 Save the water that they were steamed in: good for adding vitamins & minerals to the stew for tomorrow morning.

When everyone’s done eating, I de-bone what’s left of the chicken, and put all the bits of meat into a pot. If the veggies went over well, I leave them as they are, and toss them in, too. If they didn’t go over so well, I run ’em through the blender w/ just a bit of steaming water, and maybe some of that broth from the bottom of the chicken pan: just enough liquid to get ’em to puree nicely. The kiddos generally love their veggies best in stew.

All of those left-overs (except for the rice) go into the pot in the fridge for breakfast the next day, except for the bones– those get boiled overnight– outdoors. The moisture in the air and the formaldehyde in our floors don’t mix well w/ my joints, so making bone broth is an outdoor event. Strain the broth, stir into the stew, & re-heat in the am, and pour over the rice as though it were mashed ‘taters– you know, with the well in the middle… or just mix it all up.  If you like, you can re-heat the rice, but I usually leave it cold to take a bit of the heat out of the stew for the kids– otherwise they just ask for icecubes anyway 🙂

Standard Disclaimer:

I’m  no doc, and don’t pretend to be one. I am therefore not legally licensed to diagnose, cure, treat, prevent, or otherwise mitigate any disease, and neither is the stuff I generally choose for healing… but then, I’ve not been educated indoctrinated by boards with big pharma reps on them, either ;-)   so do your own research and find what works for you :-)

We have such convenient methods of poisoning ourselves now-a-days! We can walk downtown and breathe in an array of chemicals from car fumes to cigarette smoke to somebody’s dryer sheet to cheap perfume. On top of all this, we are encouraged at every turn to attempt to sustain ourselves (failing miserably) on miscellaneous toxins marketed to us as “food.”
Cheese slices that come pre-sliced in packages usually aren’t food: reading the label, you’ll find hydrogenated oil (something akin to biodiesel). Those cookies that come with an expiration date of a few years down the road: if it won’t mold, it won’t break down in your body, either. Hot dogs… EEEW!!!! It’s the left-over nasty after the real meat was used up, and mixed with chemicals and miscellaneous additives to make us imagine it were edible!
So… we get to the doctor’s office a few decades later, and find out that we’re headed toward a pretty miserable existence if we don’t change some things… as a friend so eloquently put it, “been taking the easy way.. can’t go there anymore. time to cook..”
Good plan 🙂 Home-made takes more time, but well-worth it! Real, hormone-free cheese from your neighbor’s cow isn’t so bad– it’s the processed stuff in the little plastic wrappers that gets you; home-made cookies aren’t horrible– especially if they’re made with honey or date powder in stead of sugar, and whole-grain, organic spelt flour in stead of bleached wheat (yes, they can still taste like cookies… they can also turn out seriously wrong– Hubby can attest to that a few years ago). Roast a real turkey or a real chicken, and use 10 times the herbs that the recipes call for, and Real Salt in stead of bleached salt– more flavor than any chemical-laden frank, and SO good for us!
A “non-recipes” for folks who want to experiment:

Here’s fudge that calls for coconut oil– the same medium-chain fatty acids found in breastmilk– great stuff all-around: helps heal damaged spots nicely.
I mix up more-or-less equal parts coacoa powder, warm coconut oil, and honey, with a drop or two of apple cider vinegar and a pinch of Real Salt; pour it into a pie plate, and stick it in the fridge. An hour later, we cut it into thin slices, and have fudge!
One child can’t have the coacoa powder, so he gets the same recipe, but with tahini or almond butter substituted for the coacoa.

Sweet stuff, with all the antioxidant goodness and none of the chemicals or cane sugar.

The heart isn’t just about pumping blood… Visit this picture into the Ancient Hebrew mind– the perspective into which TaNaK was bithed… Don’t forget to come back, now!

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The toxins we experience in our daily world don’t just mess with the physical health. I’ve experienced the emotional / mental toxicity resultant from physical toxins. When we read Scripture in English, we’re reading an entirely different story sometimes. Looking at the Ancient Hebrew perspective of these body parts that we deal with is an extraordinary adventure in the mind-spirit-body connections. Our hearts, guts, kidneys, and other vital organs are vitally important not only to our physical well-being, but also to our spiritual health. Toxifying these vital organs toxifies our attitudes, emotions, and “gut instincts.” The flip side: Detoxing can not only heal us physically, but can be extraordinary in healing our spirit, outlook, philosophy, and “heart.”

Stop back by for more excerpts from my book-in-progress!

Standard Disclaimer:

I’m  no doc, and don’t pretend to be one. I am therefore not legally licensed to diagnose, cure, treat, prevent, or otherwise mitigate any disease, and neither is the stuff I generally choose for healing… but then, I’ve not been educated indoctrinated by boards with big pharma reps on them, either ;-)   so do your own research and find what works for you :-)

Excerpt from the book I’m writing:

Tastes Better With Salt

So there’s this health-nutty thing where folks say to steer clear of salt. Well… the bleached stuff, yes! Absolutely! Nasty-tasting stuff, and you can tell by looking at it that there are no trace minerals left by the time it makes it to your grocer.

There’s an entirely different product, though, that’s been around for thousands of years (no bleaching required), and that was prescribed for the holiest men on earth to eat: Real Sea Salt. This stuff is GREAT for re-balancing whatever’s out-of-whack in my body. When I was living in the Toxic House, I’d sometimes start blacking out, and have to sit down all of a sudden, and sometimes the black-out wouldn’t stop. I learned from my Chinese MD’s wife to drink Real Salt in water when I started to feel dizzy. After that, I’d  have my son go and fetch me a glass of water with a spoonful of Real Salt in it whenever I felt it coming on. Only a few sips would bring me back out of it, and beautifully! I’d go from “Oh, crud– I’m losing consciousness!” to “Ok, I can walk now.” in a matter of minutes.

Real SaltAside from that, some Real Salt in bathwater is great for my aches and pains and skin problems!

Leviticus 2:13

Every grain offering of yours, moreover, you shall season with salt, so that the salt of the covenant of your God shall not be lacking from your grain offering; with all your offerings you shall offer salt. “

This was Levitical law– the priests got to eat most of the offerings that the people brought in– part of how they lived, since they didn’t have their own land-inheritance. These people were instructed to eat salt with their grains.

II Kings 2:20-22

‘He said, “Bring me a new jar, and put salt in it.” So they brought it to him. He went out to the spring of water and threw salt in it and said, “Thus says the LORD, ‘I have purified these waters; there shall not be from there death or unfruitfulness any longer.’” So the waters have been purified to this day, according to the word of Elisha which he spoke. ‘

Prophets needed to drink water, and the water was bad. This was the solution… HMM… something good about pure saltwater to heal water? Aren’t we mostly made of water? Just maybe there’s something good about pure saltwater for healing us, too?

Ezekiel 43:24

You shall present them before YHWH, and the priests shall throw salt on them, and they shall offer them up as a burnt offering to the YHWH.”

Even the burnt offerings required salt.

Job 6:6

Can something tasteless be eaten without salt,
Or is there any taste in the white of an egg? “

This was Job talking– that guy who suffered through horrible misery– remember him? Even he knew you can’t eat an egg without salt!

I was also looking at these verses where YHWH is speaking to Israel:
“As for your birth, on the day you were born your navel cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water for cleansing; you were not rubbed with salt or even wrapped in cloths. “No eye looked with pity on you to do any of these things for you, to have compassion on you. Rather you were thrown out into the open field, for you were abhorred on the day you were born. ” Ezekiel 16:4-5

I didn’t understand how anyone could think of rubbing a newborn down with salt, let alone having that be something “good” that someone should have pity on the infant an do for them! Later, when I read it again, after having used the salt in baths, it made so much sense! My midwives use Real Salt and herbal teas in baths after childbirth regularly. Keeps the baby and mother from getting infections of any sort, and speeds healing time! Feels great after delivery, too! Maybe we wouldn’t need the bizarre chemical stuff they do to infants and mothers in hospitals if we’d just read this, and line it up with what works in the natural remedies?!

This nebulous “something good“ about real sea salt, the way it was before we thought to bleach it, is a path I’ve walked down a little ways. Maybe someone else can walk it farther… The gist of it, though, is that our Designer gave us taste buds that LIKE salt. There’s something good about the things we crave. That’s not to say that we can’t poison ourselves on excesses and certainly on “fake stuff” or “twisted foods”– things that have been adulterated from their original form– we can, and we have! It doesn’t change the fact that our Designer loves us, and gave us the tools to take pleasure in the things that are really good for us!

Standard Disclaimer:

I’m  no doc, and don’t pretend to be one. I am therefore not legally licensed to diagnose, cure, treat, prevent, or otherwise mitigate any disease, and neither is the stuff I generally choose for healing… but then, I’ve not been educated indoctrinated by boards with big pharma reps on them, either ;-)   so do your own research and find what works for you :-)