Bruises Be Gone!

By: Angela

What is a bruise?

A bruise, also called a contusion , happens when a part of the body is struck and the muscle fibers and connective tissue underneath are crushed but the skin doesn’t break. When this occurs, blood from the ruptured capillaries (small blood vessels) near the skin’s surface escapes by leaking out under the skin. With no place to go, the blood gets trapped, forming a red or purplish mark that’s tender to the touch — a bruise. Bruises can happen for many reasons, but most are the result of bumping and banging into something. Fortunately, as anyone who’s ever sported a nice purple shiner knows, the mark isn’t permanent.

This month, we’ll show you how to treat bruises so they go away fast!

How can I get rid of bruises faster?

As soon as you bang an area of your body into something (or it bangs into you), try these helpful tips.

  • Elevate the area of the body you’ve hurt to keep blood from pooling under the skin.
  • Immediately apply a cold compress to the bruising area. If you are at home, grab a bag of frozen veggies from the fridge and apply it to the wounded area. Keep a cold pack on the bruise for at least 20 minutes, three times a day until the bruise disappears.
  • In addition to elevation, and cold compresses, apply my “Bruise Be Gone” oil to the affected area twice daily. This blend of natural essential oils will aid in blood circulation and skin rejuvenation.

“Bruise Be Gone” Oil Recipe

In a 1/2 oz. amber glass bottle, mix the following:

30 drops Cypress Essential Oil

10 drops Rosemary Essential Oil

10 drops Lavender Essential Oil

Fill the rest of the bottle with natural Apricot Kernel Oil

Directions: Shake well and apply twice daily to bruised skin.

All of the oil recipe ingredients are available at Earth Lore in Plymouth, MI, along with a handy selection of books for making your own additional herbal body products.  While you’re here, check out Earth lore’s new stock of Yogi brand teas, herbal soaps, and bath salts. Thank you for your continued patronage.

Danburite – Clearing the Path

Danburite

Danburite Crystal

This universe that we live in is a constant state of change.  Try as we might (and we do try), there is nothing that can be done to stop this ever-persistent push forward along our respective paths.  Indeed, what could we gain by staying in place anyway?

Sometimes changes – even positive ones – can be a great source of stress and uncertainty.  This month, we’ll discuss danburite and its role in smoothing the way ahead in uncertain times.

Danburite exhibits several properties that can be invaluable for those facing large changes or decisions.  It can help awaken your inner guidance – the part of you who knows the way ahead and how best to apprehend it.  When held, it also assists in releasing the past, on both the emotional and karmic levels.

Danburite also enhances patience, and can reveal the positive aspects of the situation we find ourselves in.

Clearing the Path with Danburite

  • 1 Piece Danburite
  • At least 3 small strips (3 or 4-inch squares will be fine) of fabric from old clothing (it’s important that they belong to you)
  • A bowl of water
  • A pinch of salt
  • A sharpie (or anything that will write on fabric)

As with most practices, we recommend cleansing the area and your materials with white sage smoke before beginning.

  1. Find a quiet, peaceful place to sit without distraction.
  2. Lay your materials out in front of you
  3. On the first strip of fabric, write the name of what you would like to leave behind.  Avoid using people’s names – aim for things like “confusion” or “unhappiness”.  You may write more than one of these.
  4. On the second strip, write the name of something you would like to keep to help with your journey.  Again, avoid people’s names.  Try something like “patience” or “determination”.  Only write one of these.
  5. Finally, on the third strip, write the name of your goal.
  6. Place all of the strips in the bowl of water, and put the danburite crystal on top to keep them underwater.  The crystal charges the water, which in turn charges the strips of intentioned cloth.
  7. Sprinkle the salt into the water in a spiral pattern, starting at the center and circling outward.
  8. Take the bowl and leave it in a safe place outdoors.
  9. When 24 hours have passed, take the wet cloth strips out of the bowl.
  10. Bury the strip(s) that represent things to be left behind.  Hang from a tree or bush the one representing that which helps you in your journey.  Place the one symbolizing your goal in your clothing drawer.  Do not rinse or wash it further.
  11. The water should be poured down the drain, or into another source of running water.

Earth Lore, as always, handles all of the materials mentioned in this practice (except your old clothing).

Natural Laundry Part II, Soapnuts

Sapindus mukorossi, aka soapnuts, are now available at Earth Lore. These little guys are part of the lychee family, and also known as soapberries or washnuts. There are several varieties, native to different parts of the world. Ours come from northern India and the Himalayas.

Leathery nuts, or drupes, contain saponins, a key ingredient for soap making. For thousands of years,  Asian natives and native Americans have used them for washing and various aspects of folk-lore. Soapnuts are also used in many ayurvedic preparations, such as cleansers and shampoos. According to ayurveda, cleansers made from the nut are especially beneficial to those suffering from psoriasis or eczema. They are even said to lighten or remove freckles.  There is an insecticidal property to the soap nut, making it popular in repelling lice and bedbugs.

When using them for washing, consider whether your water is hard or soft, size of the washer, size of load,  how soiled the load is,  and the temperature of the load.  For an average load of laundry using warm or hot water,  use three or four nuts.  If using cold water,  hard water, or for heavily soiled loads use one or two extra.  Place nuts in a tied muslin bag  and remove pouch if rinsing in warm water.  If you rinse in cold, just leave them in the drum.  Reuse this pouch for up to four loads of laundry.  When it’s time for a new pouch the nuts will turn gray, mushy, and no longer feel soapy.  Please compost old soapnuts in the garden.  For hard water, you can add 1/4 cup coarse sea salt or baking soda to the wash cycle.

Alternatively, make a liquid soap.  Boil 12-15 nuts with six cups of water for thirty minutes.  When  boiled down you should have four cups of liquid left.  If there’s less than that, add extra water to make it four cups or simply leave it concentrated for use as hand wash or shampoo.  When the solution cools, strain out the nuts and store in an airtight jar.  Use two to three tablespoons per load.  Make small batches,  nature doesn’t make things that last forever.  I saw a wonderful idea online to freeze the cooled solution in ice-cube trays, simply use two or three ice cubes per load! If you decide to freeze, be sure to label the tray so no one gets a surprise in their drink.  Add essential oils like orange, lemon, lavender, or eucalyptus to the rinse cycle for fragrant linens.

Laundry is not the only use for soap nuts.  Use the liquid mixture as mosquito repellent, all-purpose cleaner, steam cleaning spot treatment, pet wash and repellent, or houseplant wash.  I urge all who try soapnuts to experiment and research others experiences. Happy washing!

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