Have you experienced Reiki or Hands on Healing?

Reiki

‘Hands on Healing’ is a natural and ancient form of healing. In its simplest form we instinctively put our hands on what hurts, ie a headache, sore knee, stomach ache etc.

Reiki is a simple and natural form of Hands on Healing. Anyone can do it, anywhere, at any time, and on anyone (with permission) or anything. You can use it on yourself when you are feeling out of sorts – nervous, stressed, uncomfortable – and it will energize, calm and restore a balance.

One of the first things you notice while receiving Reiki Healing is how peaceful and relaxing this gentle healing art is. Some people fall asleep during a Reiki treatment. Others notice a deeply relaxed, but aware state similar to that of meditation.

A Reiki Master was asked what she feels when she is giving Reiki. Love she replied. This is not a philosophical concept but real hands on love.

We are alive because vital life force energy is flowing through us. Life force flows within the physical body through pathways called chakras, and meridians and nadis. It also flows around us in a field of energy called the aura. Life force nourishes the organs and cells of the body, supporting them in their functions. When this flow of life force is disrupted, it causes diminished function in one or more of the organs and tissues of the physical body. Reiki can help restore the free flow of life force energy within our body.

Reiki can be used to unblock accumulated toxic energy. The body can accumulate toxins when we are out of balance and harmony with life. Thoughts are energy too and if our thoughts are at odds with our essential essence we become out of balance, out of ease with our core and that of the universe. And as a result we create dis ease.

Reiki is a technique for directing, balancing and restoring Life force energy. Restoring balance, harmony and energy flow. If we are out of balance, out of ease, we are in a state of dis ease.

An exercise to try:
This is an exercise to increase sensitivity in the hands. Take three deep slow breaths in to the count of four and then out to the count of 8. Be at ease, your hands at ease, your body at ease, your mind quietly at ease.
Place your hands in prayer position in front of your heart. Let your palms separate a few centimeters, and feel the energy that starts to build up between the two hands. Let you palms separate further apart while still feeling the energy. Then place your left hand over the heart area and your right hand over the solar plexus (just below the sternum) and feel the energy connect with your body.

Another exercise is to:
Gently focus your attention on the center of the palm of your hands. Rub your two palms together and Notice the energy building there. Notice any sensations of warmth, tingling or energy movement. Stop and place your hands on a sore or problem area of your body. Or alternately place one hand on your solar plexus and one over your heart – this is very calming. Notice the energy coming from your hands and entering your body or quietly spreading from your hands.

Did you feel warmth, tingling, energy moving, anything?

Everyone has the ability to do Reiki. It is a natural innate quality within us all. Attunements can help open the pathways for the energy to flow, but so can intention and practice. There is no substitute for an intention to help and practice. Even after going to a Reiki Master and receiving the attunement, you are sent home to practice every day for the next 21 days. It is thought that it takes 21 days to create new pathways in the brain and create a new pattern/habit.

Reiki enhances whatever it touches. It is a natural, powerful system that unlocks the inner flow of vital energy.

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Let Food be thy Medicine

Let-Food-be-thy-MedicineFor thousands of years people were aware of the healing qualities of the foods around them. That is until the last 100 years, where food production has been taken over, hijacked by the ‘Food for Profits’ industries.

Food that is artificially grown, harvested too early, stored too long and heavily sprayed with dubious products has a much harder time sharing any health giving qualities than a fresh, naturally gown, and unadulterated food.

The following are some everyday foods and some of the healing powers they can contribute to our health and well-being.

Apples
There is truth behind the old saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”.

• Lowers blood cholesterol
• Lowers blood pressure
• Stabilizes blood sugar
• Dampens appetite
• Juice kills infectious viruses
• Prevents constipation
• Prevents tooth decay
• Helps diarrhea

Bananas
Bananas were first grown in India 4000 years ago, where they were known to help heal peptic and duodenal ulcers, as well as gastritis.

• Prevents and heals ulcers
• Lowers blood pressure
• Lowers blood cholesterol
• Helps alleviate PMS

Blue Berries
Scientists have found that Blueberries are full of anthocyanosides, which kill E-coli bacteria.

• Cures diarrhea
• Kills infectious viruses
• Helps lower blood cholesterol
• Improves blood pressure
• Helps with weight control
• Blocks damage to blood vessels

Broccoli & Cauliflower
The crucifer family of vegetables are known for their cancer fighting properties, ie indoles, dithiolthiones, carotenoids & glucosinolates.

• Lowers risk of cancer
• Protects against anemia and gum disease
• Helps maintain strong bones and teeth

Cabbage
Cabbage has been used to treat scurvy, gout, rheumatism, gangrene, asthma, tuberculosis, eye and gum disease, ulcers and cancer. It also helps purify the blood and is a great tonic especially when made into sauerkraut with the added bonus of enzymes and probiotics.

• Lowers risk of cancer, especially of the colon
• Prevents and heals ulcers ( especially the juice)
• Stimulates the immune system
• Helps kill bacteria and viruses

Onion
Onion has been used as a healing remedy for thousands of years. One of nature’s miracle healing foods, used for the heart, as a diuretic, blood pressure reducer, heart tonic . . .

• Lowers cholesterol
• Thins the blood and slows down blood clotting
• Controls blood sugar
• Destroys bacteria
• Clears bronchial congestion
• Blocks cancer

Garlic
Known around the world for its health giving healing properties garlic has been used to treat headaches, hypertension, rheumatism, asthma, hemorrhoids, ulcers, tumors, typhus, cholera, yeast infection, whooping cough, stings or bites, through the centuries.

• Fights infection
• Contains cancer preventative chemicals
• Thins the blood
• Reduces blood pressure and cholesterol
• Stimulates the immune system
• Prevents and relieves chronic bronchitis
• Acts as an expectorant and decongestant

Ginger

Read the post about the Therapeutic uses for Ginger here.

• Soothe digestive disturbances
• Alleviate nausea (great in early pregnancy)
• Prevents motion sickness
• Reduce fever
• Thins the blood
• Calm coughing and respiratory troubles
• Stimulates the circulatory system
• Helps relieve muscle aches and pain
• Can help get rid of dandruff
• Emerging evidence shows it helps lower cholesterol
• Japanese research has found Ginger is effective in lowering blood pressure and cancer risk”

Honey
Honey is another food that was used extensively in ancient medicine and scientists today confirm its amazing antibiotic abilities, which is why I put it in some of my First Aid Creams.

• Kills bacteria and disinfects wounds and sores
• Relieves diarrhea
• Sooths sore throats
• Calms the nerves, induces sleep
• Alleviates asthma

Oats
I have used oat milk baths to soothe nappy rash, eczema or any other sore or itchy rash or redness. I also put it in some of my First Aid Creams for its age old soothing and healing properties.

• Lowers blood cholesterol
• Regulates blood sugar
• Acts as a laxative
• Soothes contact dermatitis and eczema
• Helps promote weight loss
• Helps prevent cancer

Used mindfully, Food really can be our Medicine!

Source: Natures Healing Foods by Karen Davis

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The Wonderful World of Edible & Medicinal Weeds – Chickweed

ChickweedChickweed (Stellaria media – means little stars)

In the early 1900’s Chickweed was sold as a superfood in grocery stores throughout Europe, until people realized it was the same precious plant that was growing ‘everywhere’! This wonderful weed pops up in lawns, pastures, waste areas and anywhere there is moist soil and shady areas. Just like Plantain, Chickweed naturalized itself wherever the white man has settled, becoming another of the commonest and most useful weeds.

As an Edible Weed this Super-green is filled with vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B12, C & D + Iron, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, phosphorus, manganese, Selenium, Zinc, Gamma-linolenic-acid, Oleic-acid, Flavonoids, Bioflavonoids, phytonutrients, and saponins.

I was so excited to find some of this wonderful weed growing round the shaded side of the house. There are some bonuses to not mowing lawns! And Mmmm it is so delicious. If you are just starting out eating some of our wonderfully wild weeds this is a good one to start with as it has a deliciously crunchy mild flavor raw and tastes like spinach when it is cooked. I like to eat it as a salad green or make pesto with it, but it can also used in soups and stews as well or stir-fried.

Paracelsus in 1530 described Chickweed as ‘The elixir of life . . .one of the supreme healers’.

It is being recognized more and more that a lot of chronic health problems are caused by or at least exacerbated by inflammation, including joint pain, digestive upsets, blood vessel disease, memory problems, and even some cancers. Regular use of chickweed can take the heat out of inflammation, both internally and externally.

Chickweed soothes, cools, and removes bacteria. Women with “hot” bladders or cystitis adore chickweed fresh or as a tea, for its soothing and healing effects. It is also great to sip on the tea if you have a cold or flu.

Medicinal tea: To 1 tbs. dried herb, or 2 if it is fresh, add 2 cups boiling water and steep for at least 20 min. A little honey can be added to the tea for flavour if needed. Drink ½ – 1 cup, 2 to 4 times daily.

Chickweed contains soapy substances, called saponins that dissolve and break down unwanted matter, including disease-causing bacteria, cysts, benign tumors, thickened mucus in the respiratory and digestive systems, and excess fat cells. Yes, it even helps break down fat cells, assisting with weight loss!

A poultice of stems and leaves enclosed in muslin is often used to ease arthritis, joint pains, eczema, burns, itching, stings and other skin irritations, as well as for carbuncles, abscess or ulcers. Or you can bathe the affected area with Chickweed tea.

Another easy way to enjoy the amazing topical healing ability of Chickweed is in ‘Christie’s Miracle Balm’, a natural anti-septic healing cream.

This magical plant is also a back yard barometer, with it’s leaves folding up when it’s going to rain. The leaves also fold up at night. So Cute!  By the way, it is called chickweed because chickens love it.

Chickweed-flower

Chickweed is a bright green creeping plant, low to the ground with little white starry flowers. A very special key to identify Chickweed is to look for a very fine line of hairs that run up the stems and change sides of the stem at each leaf node. This is a unique signature of this special healer as are the little white starry flowers. It also has no milky sap in the stem. The leaves are egg-shaped, about 1/2 inch long and 1/4 inch broad, with a short point, pale green and quite smooth.

So, grab your scissors, and harvest some Chickweed for dinner tonight. You’ll make a new friend who can really help your everyday health and well-being, and not only when times are tough.

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The Magic of Plantain

Plantain

Broad Leaf Plantain

Plantain is one of the most abundant and widely spread medicinal herbs in the world today. Both broadleaf plantain (Plantago major) and ribwort or narrow leaf plantain (Plantago lanceolate) are common weeds that many people can easily recognize.

Plantain has been a significant healing herb throughout history, and was used by many cultures the world over. The Saxons considered it one of their nine sacred herbs. In Gaelic plantain is known as “the healing plant” due to its amazing healing qualities.

Plantain is highly nutritious as it contains seven flavonoids, beta-carotene, mucilage, dietary fibre, fatty acids linoleic and oleic, protein, and carbohydrates. It also contains vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C and K, as well as calcium, chromium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, silica, sulphur and zinc.

It was used as food as far back as 4,000 years ago in Europe and there is some indication that this plant was even cultivated. As people left Europe to explore and settle in other parts of the world they took many seeds with them, including plantain.

The young leaves can be eaten raw in salads while they are tender but once they mature they are best boiled in stews, steamed or made into a tea. All parts of the plant, including the seeds, are edible.

Medicinal uses

The leaves, shredded, bruised/crushed or chewed, are a traditional treatment for insect and animal bites as their antibacterial and antimicrobial action helps prevent infection, while the anti-inflammatory, anti-toxic properties help to relieve pain, burning, and itching. Plantain is useful for nearly all skin complaints and even arthritis.

Plantain tea can be used as a mouthwash to help heal and prevent sores in the mouth, as an expectorant, or to ease a sore throat.

It quickly staunches blood flow (both internally and externally), and encourages the repair of damaged tissue – due to it’s allantoin content, often replacing comfrey in treating bruises and broken bones. Pick some leaves, crush them and place them on the cut, holding in place with a bandage/clingwrap or similar.

It stops itching from insects, stinging nettle, and it can help to draw out poisons from snake bites. (Although always seek medical help if you have been bitten by a poisonous snake.) Because it draws toxins from the body with its astringent nature, plantain may be crushed (or chewed) and placed as a poultice directly over the site of bee stings, bug bites, acne, splinters, or rashes. Bandage the area and allow the plantain to work its magic for 4-12 hours. Not only does it have the ability to draw out infection, but splinters as well.

An infusion or strong tea of plantain leaf (dried or fresh) sprayed on a sunburn will cool the burn and relieve the pain. An even more powerful remedy can be made by steeping plantain leaf (fresh or dried) in apple cider vinegar for a few weeks and then strain. The infused vinegar will sooth itching, burning and pain on the skin very quickly.

Narrow Leaf Plantain

Plantain is also a diuretic so it is useful for bladder and kidney problems and it helps reduce water retention. It is also helpful for UTIs, Bladder infections, kidney infections or infections of any kind.

Plantain is renowned for its healing effect on the digestive system. This is especially useful for anyone who has been damaged by antibiotics, food allergies, IBS or other digestive disorders. Both leaves and seeds specifically target the digestive system for healing. The leaves may be steeped as tea, or added to soups. The seeds – a type of psyllium – can be ground or soaked for bulk mucilage.

Because plantain is a gentle expectorant and high in silica, it can be helpful for lung problems such as pleurisy, pneumonia, coughs, and colds.
Taking Plantain tea or tincture can help balance hormones, easing the unpleasant symptoms of Menopause and menstrual problems; hot flushes, mood swings and emotional highs and lows soon become a thing of the past.

It has been found that plantain is a superb eliminator of heavy metal toxins from the body. Broadleaf Plantain can help you eliminate the heavy metal toxicity caused by mercury amalgam fillings, and is much cheaper than having a dentist remove the fillings.

Plantain, one of the most widespread “weeds” in the world, is a first-choice remedy for many ailments. It is safe and effective, integrating the best of Nature’s Magic.

It is due to these absolutely wonderful qualities and more, that it is a prominent ingredient in three of my first aid creams – Stay Cool, Mum’s Magic Touch and Christie’s Miracle Cream. I have found it to be an amazing healing herb with many uses. I remember watching one of my milking goats, who got mastitis, picking all the plantain out of the paddock and just eating those. She knew instinctively what to do to heal herself.

To enjoy plantain’s healing properties year ’round, it’s easy to make your own plantain oil (click here for instructions). This oil will last you through the winter when plantain dies back. You can also dry the leaves or infuse vinegar (OACV) with the plantain leaves, for later use.

 

BL Plantain.Shared on: Simply Natural Saturdays, Small Footprint Friday, Natural Living Monday

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Therapeutic Uses for Ginger

Ginger-grated1If you thought ginger was just used as a flavoring in Chinese cooking and ginger ale, think again. The recorded history of Ginger goes back 5000 years where Indians and ancient Chinese considered it a tonic root for all ailments.

In the Middle Ages trade in spices like ginger could be associated with one’s wealth and power. The historical reverence for and use of ginger is simply staggering, with Chinese pharmacopeias claiming long term use of fresh ginger and writings of the Koran describing ginger as a beverage of the holiest heavenly spirits.

Ginger was also valued as an aphrodisiac, undoubtedly due to its widespread use as a systemic tonic, hormone balancer, energy enhancer, and agent for improving the digestion and circulation. Virtually every culture has recorded the virtues of ginger as a digestive aid. Confucius wrote as far back as 500 B.C. of never being without ginger when he ate. The Japanese soothed spinal and joint pain with it. The Chinese found it helpful with tooth aches, symptoms of a cold, flu and hangover. . .

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Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a warming spice that comes from the same family as cardamom and turmeric.

Modern scientific studies have revealed ginger’s numerous therapeutic qualities, which include analgesic, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antifungal, expectorant, anti-clotting and hypotensive.

The following are some general health benefits attributed to the use of Ginger:

Reducing pain – Ginger is an extremely potent analgesic, acting as an all-natural painkiller without the harmful side effects. It is also effective in alleviating tired, sore muscles and joints. A warm ginger tea soak can lessen swelling and puffiness, or rubbing ginger oil or liniment on an affected area can help reduce pain. Ginger ingested twice daily has been shown to improve the pain and swelling of the joints in arthritic patients and improves their range of motion.

Inflammation – Inflammation is the body’s natural healing response to illness or injury. Inflammation subsides as the body heals. However, in some conditions, including arthritis, diverticulosis, gallbladder inflammation, and heart disease, the inflammation does not go away. It becomes chronic and leads to many other problems. Ginger is particularly useful in treating chronic inflammation because it partially inhibits two important enzymes that play a role in inflammation gone awry — cyclooxygenase (COX) and 5-lipoxygenase (LOX).

A strong ginger tea is a great remedy for aches and pains, as one of its active compounds, gingerol, possesses great anti-inflammatory and anti-histaminic properties. Ginger tea can ease inflammation of the joints, which is commonly referred to as rheumatoid arthritis

Cancer – The anti-carcinogenic effects of ginger have been shown to be so potent, that in the case of ovarian cancer cells, it is capable of causing cancerous cell death due to the combination of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, in effect having anti-tumor properties in the process.

Nausea – Gingers healing properties come from it’s volatile oils (gingerols and shogaols). These oils cause more digestive enzymes to be produced, which helps with the whole digestive process and neutralizes the acids that can cause nausea, cramps and even diarrhea. It also decreases bacterial infections in the stomach. As a stomach-calming agent, ginger can also reduce gas, bloating, and indigestion. It is also a valuable deterrent to intestinal worms, particularly roundworms.

Improved cardiovascular health – Ginger contains chromium, magnesium and zinc which help to improve blood flow. Ginger also prevents platelets from clumping together in the bloodstream. This serves to thin the blood and reduce your risk of atherosclerosis and blood clots.

Reduced risk of stroke – Consuming a little bit ginger a day can help reduce potential risk of a stroke by inhibiting fatty deposits in the arteries.

Colds & Respiratory Problems – Ginger can ease the effects of a cold by acting as a decongestant to release phlegm. The volatile oils and vitamins in ginger provide antiviral properties that help in the prevention and fast recovery from colds, sore throat, sinusitis and flu. Ginger is also effective in helping to relieve asthma symptoms. Packed with antioxidants, ginger can help improve the immune system.

Ginger may even improve some cases of constant severe dizziness and vertigo. It may also be useful for some migraine headaches.

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Some therapeutic ways to use Ginger:

Tea – Ginger tea is easy to make. I often use the tatty ends after grating ginger and any dried up bits of ‘fresh ginger’, to make into a tea. Ginger tea boosts the digestive system, helps with peripheral circulation, helps to lower BP, is anti-inflammatory, lowers pain of arthritis and sore muscles, and helps battle a bad cough and throat irritation.
Put 3 – 6 thin slices of fresh ginger root in a tea pot and fill with boiling water. Slowly sip at it throughout the day. Or alternately put dried, powdered ginger into a teapot (1/4 teaspoon per cup of boiling water) and fill with boiling water. Sweeten with honey if desired. Or serve with a slice of lemon.
The dose for children is ¼ cup every two to three hours. Adults can sip away all day drinking 3 cups during the course of the day.

Ginger-Tea

Infused Oil – Slice thinly or grate fresh ginger into a jar, cover it with good quality olive, coconut, sesame or almond oil. Or put about a teaspoon or two of dried, powdered ginger in about a cup of oil. Shake well and allow to infuse for about six weeks in a cool, dark place. Shake every couple days or as often as you remember. Then strain the oil through a cheese cloth and store in a sterilized jar with a tight lid. This will keep at least a year if stored properly and good quality oil is used.
Ginger root oil can be rubbed onto achy joints to help relieve some of the pains associated with arthritic conditions and general muscular discomfort. Another use is placing 2 to 3 drops on a piece of cotton or cotton ball and placing in an aching ear for several hours.

Salve
If you find using the oil a bit messy, you can turn it into a slave by adding wax to it. Combine together 2 tablespoons of the oil and a teaspoon of beeswax in a heat proof small jar. Put the jar in a pan with a few inches of water in the bottom – to act vaguely as a double boiler. Slowly heat the water until the beeswax melts. Stir and pour into a small jar or tin. Allow to set then cap and store in a cool, dark cabinet. Apply as needed.

Compress
A compress or poultice, is helpful for painful joints, muscle sprains, chest or lung congestion or stomach aches. Make a tea, soak a piece of flannel or washcloth for about 5 minutes, wring out and immediately place on the painful area. Cover with brown paper or plastic sheeting, then a towel, then a heating pad or hot water bottle, then another towel. Leave on for 20 minutes. Repeat if needed.

Liniment
A ginger liniment is warming and can increase blood circulation and help when you’re feeling stiff and achy. To make a liniment follow the same procedure as with the infused oil except instead of oil use Apple Cider Vinegar. ACV has it’s own healing properties to add to the liniment. Re-bottle the liniment in a dark colored bottle. Make sure to clearly label that this is for external use only and keep out of reach of children. Rub this on strained muscles and areas of arthritic pain. Add a few drops of an essential oil like Eucalyptus or Lavender for added therapeutic benefit and fragrance.

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Comfrey Infused Oil

Comfrey-OilHerb infused oils are very straight forward and easy to make. The oil you choose to make your infusion in will depend on what you want to do with your infused oil and personal preference. The most commonly used oils are: olive, coconut, sweet almond, avocado, grape seed, sunflower, or a blend of two or more of the oils.  I used a good quality, organic olive oil, mostly due to the stability of the oil and it’s resistance to oxidation and rancidity.

Either fresh or dried herbs can be infused into the oil. Dried herbs can make a very potent medicinal oil, that has the potential to last longer due to the lack of moisture. Fresh herbs can place your oil at greater risk of spoilage due to bacterial/fungal growth from the moisture content of the fresh plant. Some form of preservative may need to be added.

Infusing oils allows the fat soluble components of the plant to be extracted and is more suitable for some herbs than others.

 There are basically two main ways to infuse oils:

1.     Cold infusion – where you put the herb in a clear glass jar and pour the oil in to cover the plant material. Put a lid on and shake the jar, before placing the jar in a warm or sunny spot such as a window sill – sunlight encourages the plant to release it’s goodies into the oil. Leave for 2 – 6 weeks to infuse.

2.     Hot infusion –  which is what I did with my comfrey leaves.

First I went out to the garden and picked a bunch of comfrey leaves off my well-grown plant. I bought them back to the kitchen and sliced them reasonably finely and placed them in a glass bowl. Then I poured in my olive oil.

I put some water to about a third of the way up the saucepan and put it on a low heat on the stove. I  then put the bowl of comfrey and oil in the saucepan. The glass bowl doesn’t touch the bottom of the pan and it acts as a double boiler.

Comfry-emailNote: Keep an eye on the pot and add water if too much evaporates, as you don’t want it to boil dry.

 Due to the bulk of the fresh leaves the oil can’t be seen until after it has been heated, and the leaves condense.

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 After allowing the water in the saucepan to simmer for 2 – 3 hours, I removed the bowl from the heat and allowed it to cool. Then I poured the oil  mixture into a seive lined with two layers of cheese cloth and let it drain.

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 After it had drained I gently squeezed it to get all the oil out and then discarded the herb mix.

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 Now the infused oil is ready to be poured through a funnel into a clean dark glass bottle, sealed and labeled.

For a more potent infused oil, repeat the process once or twice more into the same oil. Also, younger leaves are more potent than the old ones.

“ A standard recipe, calculated by weight is, twice as much fresh herb as dry herb, ie if 100grams of dry herb is asked for then 200grams of fresh herb is the equivalent. 300ml of oil would be used in this example as a standard guideline. “

You can add some essential oils to your infused oil mix, to add to the medicinal qualities, while also adding to the fragrance!

Comfrey-BalmMedicinal herb infused oils can be used as they are, or as a massage oil, or turned into a lotion or liniment. They are also used in the making of salves, balms or creams.

If a culinary herb has been infused, it would now be ready to be used in cooking.

Comfrey Oil or Balm aids in the repairing of damaged tissue, has anti-inflammatory properties, promotes the healing of bruises and sprains and is said to help relieve Psoriasis.

Have you made a Healing Oil, Balm or Cream?  Do you infuse oils for cooking?

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