Tag Archives: antibacterial

NO-SEE-UM’s WAR REVISITED – Compendium of Recommendations

A while back, I wrote on “no-see-ums”whatever that is that bites you and you can’t see it, but you start itching like crazy — not bedbugs, not mosquitos, not fleas, not lice(those you can see)  – and it only happens, usually, in specific places.  The big symptom of “no-see-ums” is uncontrolled itching – you can scratch yourself bloody before you even notice you’re doing it.  

No-see-ums can make you wonder if you’re losing your mind – you may find yourself scratching yourself raw before you even realize you’re doing it, while others, even in the same room, may not recognize the issue.  If you think you are getting bitten, you are getting bitten. It is not in your mind, even though you can’t see what is biting you (I believe that no-see-ums can be in one part of a room but not in another, and that some people in the room may be more susceptible to them than others: case in point: I teach in a private adult education facility, and, sometimes, I will be scratching myself to pieces and no one else will be affected, while, at other times, several other people will complain that they feel they have been bitten by something). 

A number of people have written their comments, or their requests for help, or, even, sometimes things they have found useful, so I’m going to reprise the topic, and list what I have found useful, as well as ideas I’ve gotten from readers who have told me what has worked for me.

A couple of ways to double-check, if you want to prove to  yourself that it is nothing else:

  1. Are you getting this reaction all the time? If so, could it be that you are allergic to something you are eating? Figure out what you have eaten in the past 2 hours before the “attack”, and eliminate that from your diet for a day or two and see if the itching stops.
  2. Do you get this reaction in specific places, but not in others?  If so, you’ve got no-see-ums in the place where you’re having the reaction.  (If you have it anyplace at all, then go back to #1)
  3. Do people doubt what you say about getting bitten in a specific place where they have not been? Do people disbelieve you just because it is not happening to them?  These are both signs that there are some no-see-ums where you are when you experience the itching.  (They seem to be place-specific, and, even in one room, they might be in one spot, but not 10 feet away)

Now, if you do believe that you have a no-see-ums issue, you can take some evasive action:
FOUR THIEVES OIL OR VINEGAR – this antiseptic/anti-viral formula really works for taking out the itch. The vinegar recipe takes a while to make, but you can but it on food (so you might develop an immunity – I haven’t personally explored that idea), but the problem is that you will smell like vinegar.  The oil recipes smell kind of nice (people often ask me what fragrance I’m wearing), and you can carry them with you and apply the oil as soon as you notice you’re itching – it might sting a bit at first, but it will take the itch away, and it has antibiotic properties, so, if you’ve already drawn blood, it will protect against infection.  This is one remedy I swear by – I always carry a little bottle of Four Thieves oil with me.

LAVENDER OIL – This is an antiseptic essential oil which will help with the itch and does seem to stop the bites from coming. I carry it with me always, as it is a good emergency remedy, and, if I have nothing better, I use it for no-see-ums. It works reasonably well for me and smells very nice, as well. I don’t think it works as well as other remedies for spraying a space, though.

BABY OIL – Someone suggested this one, and, although baby oil is not organic or anything close to natural, I will still go with it because it seems to repel the no-see-ums — if you slather it all over your skin, you get a moisturizer and you don’t get bitten.  It works as a repellent, and it doesn’t worry people too much if you drag it out and start rubbing it all over your arms (where I usually get hit)

LEMON GRASS/LEMON GRASS ESSENTIAL OIL  – A reader suggested planting lemon grass around one’s home to prevent entry – this reader felt that the lemon grass all around the home kept the no-see-ums from coming in.  I live in a New York City apartment (I haven’t had no-see-ums here, but…), and I work in a New York City office building (no way to plant lemon grass there), but I have found some apartment-friendly/public space-acceptable solutions: 

  • At home, you can burn dried lemon grass as incense, or you can add organic lemon grass essential oil to water and spray it in areas where  no-see-ums seem to get you, or else all over the place.  
  • At work, you can surreptitiously spray the lemon grass/water mix around where you feel you’re getting bitten (it smells nice, and, since, or course, you are using organic lemon grass essential oil, no one should complain, because it is good for lots of things, including bad smells in your workspace)
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ESSENTIAL OILS FOR HEADACHES

POST #48
I found this information on 877MyJuicer.com

BEST ESSENTIAL OILS FOR HEADACHES
 Lavender: this gentle, sweet-scented essential oil will help you relax, alleviating tension that brings on headaches. It’s also a favorite oil for use at night – sprinkle a few drops on your pillowcase for sweet dreams.
Peppermint: rich in menthol, this minty oil helps with tension and sinus headaches. It’s stimulating and energizing, so use it during the daytime.
Roman Chamomile: relaxing, anti-inflammatory, and sedative, Roman Chamomile essential oil is another great choice for before-bedtime headaches. Pair with a cup of chamomile tea, perhaps?
Eucalyptus: relieve a pounding sinus headache with eucalyptus essential oil, which is said to act as an anti-inflammatory agent.

TECHNIQUES
Massage
When you’re suffering from a headache, it can feel great to massage a few drops of these essential oils into your temples, your forehead, and the back of your neck. Just make sure to dilute the essential oils with a “carrier oil” (a mild, fairly unscented oil such as grapeseed, jojoba, sweet almond, or olive oil), as essential oils are very powerful. Mix 10-12 drops of your chosen oil (6-8 drops if using eucalyptus or peppermint) into one ounce of carrier oil. Gently massage away the headache.
Inhalation
Put 1-3 drops of your chosen oil onto a cotton ball. If this is your first time using the oil, use one drop to make sure it doesn’t aggravate the headache. Hold the cotton ball beneath or near your nose and inhale steadily. Try to release all the tension in your neck and temples.

I add:
I always carry lavender oil with me.  It is good for headaches, for bad smells (I rub it on the end of my nose, and, if the bad smell emanates from some person in the room, I just leave the bottle open in front of me).  Lavender is also an antibiotic, so if I get a paper-cut or any other open-skin injury, I drag out the bottle and apply some.  My flu remedy involves lavender and clove oils, but if I am away from home and clove oil, I’ll put about 3 drops of lavender oil in a cup of hot water and drink that if I feel a cold or the flu coming on).

20 THINGS TO DO WITH ALOE

POST #47

This is useful interesting information from MYJUICER.COM

  1. Soothe sunburn! Pure aloe feels cool and comforting against fried skin.
  2. Rub a bit on minor itches like mosquito bites.
  3. Mix one part aloe and one part water in a spray bottle to use as a facial mist or general skin-soother when you’re hot and sticky from the sun…
  4. …or spray onto your hair to moisturize and refresh your ‘do.
  5. Suffering from seborrheic dermatitis or psoriasis? Aloe applications may help – give it a try!
  6. Instead of shaving cream (full of nasty chemicals), use aloe gel on your skin before reaching for the razor…
  7. …and if you’re suffering from razorburn, apply aloe after shaving, too.
  8. Use it to tame frizzy hair before styling. Think of it as a 100% natural smoothing serum (it’s the smoothing ingredient in conditioners and defrizzers that don’t use silicone!)
  9. Looking for an oil-free moisturizer for sensitive or acne-prone skin? You can use straight aloe on your face instead of schlepping to the drugstore.
  10. Put it on bruises…
  11. …rashes…
  12. …canker sores…
  13.  …Athlete’s foot…
  14. …blisters…
  15. …and pimples! Dab a little aloe on your acne and leave it on overnight.
  16. Make a tightening facial mask by mixing aloe gel with a few spoonfuls of oats and something moisturizing (honey, your favorite oil, or a few drops of essential oils, for example.) Leave on for 15-20 minutes.
  17. Exfoliate by mixing a few teaspoons of sugar with the juice of half a lemon. Scrap in the insides of one aloe leaf. Rub over your face in gentle circular motions and rinse.
  18. Drink aloe juice (available in most grocery stores) to help with indigestion, constipation, and mild gastrointestinal complaints.
  19. Splash some aloe juice into your green smoothie and enjoy the benefits.
  20. Put on a cowboy hat, mix yourself a Southwestern-style cocktail, and toast to the amazing powers of this succulent little plant!

SHINGLES & FOUR THIEVES OIL

Yesterday morning, I suddenly realized that I had a “nifty” full-blown case of shingles… again!  (I don’t want to sound like I am bragging, but this is my 15th occurrence of shingles.  I say this because most physicians will tell you that you can only get it once.  My dermatologist told me, when I mentioned my experience, that it is, in fact, possible to get shingles more than once.   So… if you have had it more than once, don’t feel discouraged when they laugh in your face… if you have had it once, you are an expert and can recognize it if it ever comes back.  Stick to your guns.  I only wish I had been seriously documenting all these occurrences. I could probably get listed on some list of medical freaks, and, perhaps, even be paid for being studied by people who want to know how I can do this so well– I mean, I am really good at shingles).

Anyway, at first, I feared I had a skin cancer (a sore which would not heal), or worse, some kind of  breast cancer (this sore was on my breast and there was a long line of red on either end of it).  Washing it with my hand, I felt the tell-tale “bubbles”, and knew it was shingles again.  (This occurrence is really annoying because I cannot wear a bra.  I have to wear a tight-ish t-shirt under a baggy blouse or sweater)  

I went to the dermatologist’s office without calling to make an appointment and begged to have him see me, citing shingles as a life-threatening emergency.    When the doctor saw me, he immediately agreed with my diagnosis, but he refused to give me the Zovirax cream, saying that it wasn’t very good (I’m sorry, but I am an expert at what works for my shingles!  I want Zovirax!)  He gave me pills which affect me just about the way “walking chemo” affects people who have that – no energy,  disorientation, etc.  I’m taking it anyway, but I still have THE PAIN.  

I got out my bottle of Four Thieves Oil and spread it all over the shingle lesion.  Woo-hoo!  Major agony (although not as bad as the agony of non-stop shingles pain).  The sting of the Four Thieves Oil lasted about 1 minute, and then there was no pain at all. I almost forgot about the shingles.  

The relief lasts about 4 hours, so I need to tote the bottle with me and re-apply, but, at least, I can be in control (who wants people to be watching them stroking the side of their boob all the time)

FOUR THIEVES – more

POST #43
I’m doing the “Master Cleanse” or “Lemonade Diet” for the next couple of weeks.   What made me decide to do it was the itching.  I mean, I get this “morning itch” where I can scratch myself raw.  Sometimes, it would show up at other times.   The doctors don’t have an explanation (We all finally figured out that it WAS NOT bedbugs) .  I quit going to yoga class because I couldn’t control the scratching, and I felt I was distracting people. I took to telling people that I had a blood disorder.  Suddenly (DUH!), I decided to do a Master Cleanse, because that always clears up everything that I have (when I will do it).  I figure it is a good thing to do, no matter what. Like, if I am dying of some weird disease, we will be able to identify it faster (I did Master Cleanse before I had my colonoscopy because I did not want to take all the chemical stuff they told me to take before the colonoscopy — the dcctor and the physician’s assistant both actually asked me what I had done to be so clean).  

Right now, I am really tired of allergies and the “morning itch” so it’s time to go Master Cleanse.  I’m on Day 3, and the morning itch is not so bad, but it is still agonizing.  I don’t want to do chemical (allopathic medicine) interventions if I can avoid it while I am doing a fast.

Suddenly, I’ve remembered Four Thieves Oil It helped with “abominable itch” a while back.  Surely it will help this time.  It smells relatively nice, as well – people will just ask me what perfume I am wearing (it’s spicy).  It is working!

I’m happy.

Now, as I’m sitting here, after making up the new recipe, I’m noticing that my nose is not stuffed or dripping from the allergy I’ve been suffering.  I did not wash my hands after I finished making up the recipe, so they have Four Thieves Oil on them (even though they do not feel oily. Sneezing,  I got the Four Thieves Oil on my nose when I held the tissue to my nose.  Ooh la la! I may actually have an allergy remedy going on here. I’ll carry this bottle in my bag tomorrow for itching and for allergy stuff)

MORE FOUR THIEVES OIL news

I’m still using my Four Thieves Oil recipe (which makes me smell, I think, like some kind of Christmas candy (actually Lush has a solid perfume called Potion which seems to complement it nicely — although I am using enough Four Thieves that I don’t really need other fragrance)

Okay, so, here I am living in what seems to be the Capital of Bedbugs — I know — eeeuuuwww!  New York City has ’em in hotels, fancy homes, and, of course, nice middle class places like mine. Bedbugs keep being in the news, as well as in our beds here.  Nobody seems to know what to do about them, short of move away, which is not an option for me.

I have found one spray which is supposed to work (although they did not tell me how long it is supposed to take!!!!!)  Meanwhile, since Four Thieves has done everything else I asked it to do, I thought that, perhaps, if I rubbed it all over my skin, it might deter bites…. I left some skin bare as a test. It does seem to have worked pretty well, actually… any part that had not had copious amounts of Four Thieves rubbed in just before bedtime got a bite (good! only three new bites!!!!)  So…. if it happens to you…. try it.

Four Thieves  is working so well for me that, if I get shingles again, I may try it (although I imagine it will be excruciating to apply it and wait for it to calm down, it does calm down even the most excruciating itch that cannot bear to be touched or even have fabric on it)

I’m thinking of spraying it on the bed to see what happens. How much can it hurt (okay, I might get a craving for Christmas candy in the middle of the night)

FOUR THIEVES: vinegar & oil recipes

I waited patiently, and then, when I really needed it, I got what I had asked for.

Four Thieves is some nifty stuff. I am using the oil with good results to date. The Four Thieves vinegar is very good, as well.

FOUR THIEVES VINEGAR: ANTIVIRAL GERMICIDE Possible Alternative for Flu Shots

Herbal lore has it that, while the Plague was raging in France, a rash of burglaries of plague victims’ homes was discovered. No effort was made, however, to apprehend the thieves, as it was assumed that they would soon succumb to the contagion in the homes they had robbed..

The thieves carried on their crime spree for some time, and people began to wonder why they had not become ill and die. It was then that the authorities began to pursue them… to discover the secret of their immunity to the Plague.

Once the burglars had been apprehended, they struck a bargain with the authorities, that they should be set free in exchange for revealing the secret to their immunity to the Plague.

It was then that the four thieves revealed the herbal disinfectant formula that rendered them immune to the Plague.

Current theorists suggest that this formula, now called “Four Thieves Vinegar”, may offer protection against fearsome possible threats, such as the flu, smallpox, and biological weapons, which concern us today, as all of its ingredients are either strong anti-bacterial agents, or have potent anti-viral properties.

FOUR THIEVES VINEGAR

1 part lavender, dried
1 part sage, dried
1 part thyme, dried
1 part lemon balm (melissa), dried
1 part hyssop, dried
1 part peppermint, dried
1 handful garlic cloves
Raw (unpasteurized), organic apple cider vinegar

• In a glass jar, place all dry ingredients.
• Add raw (unpasteurized), organic apple cider vinegar to cover
• Place jar in a cool place and let sit, at room temperature, for six weeks.
• Strain off herbs and garlic, and decant to a glass bottle or jar with a tight fitting lid.

HOW TO USE FOUR THIEVES VINEGAR
• Take a teaspoonful several times daily.
• Add to salads either directly or in a salad dressing.
• For personal protection, add a teaspoonful to bath water.
• Use as a topical spray for disinfecting surfaces and/or skin

ALTERNATIVE FOUR THIEVES VINEGAR
wormwood
meadowsweet
juniper berries
rosemary
camphor
sage
cinnamon
cloves
white wine vinegar

FOUR THIEVES OIL
1 part eucalyptus
1 part rosemary
1 part cinnamon
1 part clove
1 part lemon
Carrier oil (olive, jojoba, or your choice)
Mix

I put 50 drops of each oil in a 2 oz. bottle and then top it off with jojoba oil (I like jojoba oil because it seems to never go rancid).

An alternative recipe:

200 drops Clove Bud Oil
175 drops Lemon Oil
100 drops Cinnamon Oil
75 drops Eucalyptus Oil
50 drops Rosemary

Mix with jojoba oil.

APPLICATIONS:

• Apply 1-2 drops of Four Thieves on the bottoms of the feet and on the nape of the neck.
• Apply under the arms and on the chest.
• Diffuse for 20 minutes or less at work or at home.

A PERSONAL NOTE:

I have used Four Thieves for the itch that accompanied a nasty rash that doctors could not diagnose (where is House when you need him?)… I originally applied the Four Thieves oil because I was worried about possible infection after scratching myself bloody in my sleep. The Four Thieves smarted quite a bit when I first applied it, but, then, miraculously, the itch subsided and allowed me to have a life. Although the rash did not disappear, it did diminish markedly every time I applied the oil.