Sunday, December 14, 2014

Peppermint Power and Other Stories

Peppermint Trifle
You all know I write often on the power of natural herbal remedies, and recently I've gleaned even more evidence of their efficacy. I'll start with an old story however, a family legend to illustrate the power of humble peppermint.

One day, about a century ago, my great-grandparents were young parents caring for their first child, my great aunt Faye. Faye was a newborn and that awful day was discovered in her cradle still alive but not breathing. Grandma and Grandpa called the doctor, Dr. Flood, in a panic. His solution was that they should start running toward town (they lived on a cherry farm on Lake Michigan outside of town) and he would start running toward the farm. I have questions about this. My grandparents got a car later, but why didn't they have a horse and carriage? Or just a horse? Why didn't Dr. Flood have a horse? Maybe it would have taken too long to saddle up. Every second was at stake since baby Faye wasn't breathing. At any rate, they snatched up Faye and ran toward town and thankfully met Dr. Flood fairly soon. Dr. Flood, on meeting them, took a vial of peppermint oil from his bag, opened Faye's mouth, and placed a drop on her tongue. Faye gasped... and started breathing! And she was fine! She grew up and got married and had children and lived well into her 90s. All because of powerful peppermint! That's an absolutely true story. It's been passed down through the family ever since. My great-grandparents went on to have nine more children, eight of whom lived to adulthood, including my grandmother. You can find the recipe for the trifle shown above, which uses Young Living peppermint oil, on my Facebook page, Naturally Amanda.

We tend to forget, I think, that not long ago at all herbs WERE medicine. There weren't any other drugs. Natural remedies haven't lost their usefulness, but we have mostly forgotten how to use them.

Our dog's goopy eye

Our Sheltie, Ilse, has been suffering from a goopy eye recently. When Ilse was a puppy she was stung in the eye by a yellow jacket. The sting tore her lens and she had to have it fixed via laser eye surgery. Ilse has allergies we well, and the affected eye often gets irritated and infected. I've gotten concerned about the amount of times we have her on antibiotics for her eye. It doesn't seem to reduce the frequency of the attacks and the cost of taking her to the vet every time is really painful. I decided to see if I could find a natural eye wash that would help.  Looking on Pinterest I found a wonderful site with all kinds of natural remedies for animals called the Ottawa Valley Dog Whisperer: I used the eye wash recipe with water, chamomile tea, and aloe vera juice. You can buy aloe vera juice but I squeezed some fresh from our house plant. I bathed Ilse's eye and administered as an eye drop three times a day for a week.

Chamomile Eye Wash

The second step for treating the animal is to feed them immune boosting treats. I cooked up some homemade dog food using chicken livers, spinach, and oregano. Chicken livers are very high in Vitamin A, essential for the immune system. This recipe will work for humans as an immunity booster as well, if you can get your family to eat it!

Immune Boosting Dog Food

1lb chicken livers with their blood/juice
2 cups spinach
1 cup fresh oregano
1-2 TBSP bacon fat
3-5 drops Young Living oregano oil

Melt bacon fat in a saucepan and cook down spinach and oregano until both are soft and reduced. Add chicken livers in their juice. If there is not enough liquid add filtered water to cover all. Bring to a boil and then simmer until the livers are cooked through and beginning to fall apart, about 20 minutes. When cool stir in the oregano oil. You can replace your dog's commercial food with this mixture or just add some to its regular food as a supplement. Make as needed for at least one week.

After a week, Ilse is fine.

After a week of treatment Ilse's eye is much better. She is camera shy, so I couldn't get a really good photo of her eye, but here she is running and playing with our other dog. I should also say, these dogs aren't spring chickens. Our Sheltie is 13 and our Spitz is 12. I think you can really see the benefit of good wholesome nutrition  for animals as well as people!

You might remember our Spitz had a terrible infection last year which I was able to heal with oregano and oregano oil. You can find that story here:

Recently I've been reading some Internet posts warning that only oil of oregano is antibacterial and garden variety oregano won't work. Don't you believe that! There are different varieties of oregano and the wild kind is typically used to distill oregano oil. The essential oil is more concentrated, but garden variety oregano is still a powerful natural antibiotic. I grow it all over our garden and add it to as many recipes as I can. I also keep oregano oil on hand as a medicine cabinet staple, just in case we are ever out of oregano when we need some. Oregano oil has a strong bitter flavor, and it stings a bit. I know this because I have a cough I can't get rid of and I've been drinking oregano oil in water. I have a really hard time sticking with it because of the flavor. So, you will probably want to add the minimum to your dog food and gradually increase it to make sure they'll tolerate it. You can order Young Living Oregano Oil from me. Young Living also makes a collection of oils especially for pets' health called Animal Scents. Go to and type in my number 2256091 to order or become a member yourself. Don't forget to like my Facebook page, Naturally Amanda, for many different wellness tips and recipes as well.

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