Archives for posts with tag: medicine



Ah, she’s awake and smiling. I plant a kiss on the top of her head.
 Giggles. More smiles. She coos and “converses” with me.

I watch her play. “Plop!” She looks over the bassinet and on the floor.

“Uh-oh”. I pick up her bottle. She’s still learning to hold it on her own.

More conversation. Squeals. “Singing”. Lovely.

Earlier, we were going through the process of clearing her nasal congestion…

With warm running in the sink, I let her play, watching her fascination as she tries to catch the water flowing through her long fingers.

I take the top off the nasal spray (natural product, of course). I show it to her; then I spray it towards the mirror so she can see it. She smiles. Reaches for it. I hold her as she holds the bottle. Let her “spray” it. Gently, I place the nozzle in each nostril. 1-2-3 squirts each one. She blinks with each one. Water runs continuously during this time, her reward-playing with it after I’m finished. We repeat this again with the bulb syringe. Touch. Feel. Hold. Squeeze. I fill the syringe with water, hold it up, let her watch the water flow out and down the sink. I hold her hand, she holds the syringe, she watches in the mirror as she places it near her nose. She squeezes, her eyes blinking, inhaling, as the air blows out. She smiles and coos. She watches me in the mirror as I clear her passages. Again, she enjoys her reward. We finish with a warm compress to her face, say “Bye-Bye” to her dirty tissues vanishing into the toilet, and clean the nozzle and syringe. She watches. I let her hold, spray, squeeze, before everything is put away.

She plays for awhile, then it’s back to sleep. Her sleep is quiet, and her breathing is easy.



For all who work in the healthcare profession:

God bless you. You made the decision to serve humanity in the medical field. The years of school, many hours of study, learning twice as much principles, philosophies, methods, etc. of medicine in such a short period of time, large student loans to repay-you sacrificed.

God protect you. Emergency rooms are full, sometimes overflowing with patients. For the many hours on your feet, sometimes eating a hot meal gone cold, patiently dealing with irritated, at times unreasonable, sick patients and upset family members-you’re there.

You’re human. You’re not perfect. You make mistakes. You’re not God.

I praise God for you, and I pray for you. My life is in your hands when I’m sick and in pain, and sometimes what I do on my own doesn’t work. I make it my business to lift you up before God-the original physician, healer, creator, and restorer of my body, of my health. You are his co-laborer, so I ask him to give you wisdom, strength, compassion, and faith. I love, appreciate you, and the care you give!


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The Red Clover tea hit the spot. I put a quarter slice of lemon in it. No sugar. Straight.

I look over my purchases from the health food mart: quinoa, red clover tea, and red raspberry tea-organic. There’s other herbal teas in the pantry, but I want to stock my winter chest for whatever ails me. Nothing to worry about, except to make sure none of it goes to waste. Irish Moss (really weird, gelatin-like). Mauby Bark (I don’t know about this one). Cerisse (good for anemia-supposedly). All of it from the West Indian mart. Pau d’Arco, Ginger, Hibiscus. Twinlab’s Alvita tea line, Lipton line.

The Peppermint tea was first to go. I love the combination of Ginger-Peppermint. Fresh gingerroot I adore, and make that into a tea as well. Molasses. The unprocessed kind. It’s not bad as a tea; with lemon, it’s good. Definitely strong in flavor and smell, but my West Indian acquaintance tells me it’s a great blood builder. OK. I’ll bite. I can always use it when I’m baking pies.

Now, it’s time to surf the net for information on my new finds. I trust what I see on the different web sites (I go through at least 5, 10 is best), on what the herbs are, each one’s use, how to make the tea, and most important to me-the cautions, contraindications, side effects, etc. I appreciate what I learn from my Island friends, but I always check out the whole story with herbs. They’re like medicine, and I approach them with great respect.

The red raspberry, and peppermint-maybe the hibiscus-I alternate each day, using a different one as a beverage. I love it.

Almost forgot. There’s Sorrel. My introduction to this sweet drink was at a social a few years ago. The two I had this past holiday season: one was a little sweet, not much ginger. The other sorrel drink was heavily spiced with ginger, and loaded with sugar (straight sugar high, broke out in a sweat). That’s OK, they were both good. I can’t wait to have more of it. I just love the way this drink tastes.

It’s bedtime. Finish my tea.


One of my favorites websites I like to refer people to, when they ask where they can get reliable information on herbs is

I love this site because you get current, scientific-based, clinical studies on herbs and their use. The herbal monographs are priceless. The photographs of the herbs are beautiful. Popular, “hot” herbs with their information can be viewed.

I looked up the herbal profile for elderberry.It was listed as European Elder Berry. In this profile, I found the clinical overview, with the Latin and family names. In this case, Sambucus nigra is elderberry’s Latin name, and it belongs to the Caprifoliaceae family. The overview follows, giving the history of the berry and its historical use. The primary  and other potential uses are next, and list the common symptoms which call for elderberry-flu, colds, and fever (it produces sweating in this condition). The other potential uses section lists it as a diuretic. Then there’s the pharmacological actions, dosage and administration, crude and standardized preparations sections. My favorite sections are the contraindications, adverse effects, and clinical review. I advocate responsible herbal use under the supervision of an appropriate holistic practitioner or health care professional.

I have a healthy respect for herbs and their use, having worked the retail side of the natural healing industry. I also respect modern medicine. A lot of our medicines find their foundations in herbs, such as Digitalis (made from foxglove, a naturally poisonous plant, but yields medicinal properties). Because of this understanding of herbs, I do not take herbs without regard to how it affects my body and mind. I tell my physician when I take herbs-or anything else for that matter. If I decide to use an herb or herbal combination, I check it out-thoroughly-before using it. It is a must to understand how herbs operate inside you, especially if medical condition(s) exist that warrant prescriptions.

How many times I’ve told individuals to let their doctor know what they’re thinking about doing, I could not tell you. Sooner or later, they run into a problem with the medication the physician has prescribed for them, because he or she does not know about their patient’s herbal use. Unknown herbal use becomes a serious matter when surgery is considered for your condition. The attitude that it doesn’t hurt, won’t hurt, not to tell the health care professionals has its natural consequences.

 I am glad that alternative and complementary medicine is now in the mainstream. I am happy to see people (maybe not the majority, but most), are proactive about their health matters. Sites like herbalgram make it easy to take care of yourself.Image

Sometimes, when I have been sick, I have gotten helpful “home remedies” from friends like:


Cayenne, taken straight in a teaspoon, will help with hoarseness and sore throat.

Ginger, chopped, and gently boiled, will help break up a cold.

Coconut water eases an upset stomach, helps mild diarrhea, and is better than Gatorade.

Fennel, anise, thyme, coriander aid digestion.

And more.

I don’t have make any claims to back any of these home remedies. All of the above, and others, I have tried at one time or another, to help me when I was sick. Some worked, some didn’t. Others-I have my doubts. But my family, friends, associates, etc. live by them. I have a healthy skepticism about using home remedies, because the medicines we use work well for those times when we’re struggling more than is comfortable with the cold or flu. Especially for children, I would take the prescription route, and let these ingredients play their role in soups and teas. 

I used to use garlic, loads of it, in every dish I made. I also used large amounts of the same when I had the flu, and could not afford to buy the medicine. Well I later learned, that garlic thins your blood. It is a natural blood thinner. For the condition I had, all that garlic was not the best thing for me. So now I use it sparingly in cooking, generously when sick-only at the beginning of my cold-and not the entire length of my illness. I like to call it sane or sensible home cure.

Experimenting with new culinary spices gives wonderful flavor to old dishes, so I don’t have to use fat, oil, salt, sugar, and black pepper. Maybe those spices do not work for me in sickness, but I know they help me in my overall health.Image