Home remedies

Clay, the easy, natural & free cure for a spider bite

The night before I’m to give a presentation (that would be Saturday) I feel an aching, then swelling, then itching in the center of my foot. I itch. It grows. I ice. It grows. I whine. It continues to grow. By midnight, I’m losing my mind–actually, that had already begun when I used calendula ointment and then arnica gel (both purchased at the local health food store, and have been using both since I was a teen). Both actually worked to a degree, but I can’t tell you definitely which one was the best, since I was in a mad rush of solutions, and slathered both on, one after another. I also tried a few other natural treatments I found on the bastion of all information, WebMD.

The next morning I wake, don on my nylons and heels and get going. Mid-presentation, I’m talking about overcoming and I stop, raise my foot and give an object lesson.

“Like now,” I say, retelling my spider bite story. “All I want to do is itch the center of my swollen foot but I’ve made it through nearly fifty minutes.” I get head nods of affirmation (which makes me feel good and strong), but afterward, a woman whom I know to be naturopath comes up to me and says this:

“Don’t lance it.” (in the presentation, I’d said my husband, Rog, has a singular solution for everything from a bad relationship to a zip and spider bites. “Lance it!” he always suggests.

“Lancing will make it worse,” she says, grateful I ignored him (just this once). “Do you have mud?”

“Mud, as in, in my backyard?” She affirms the very same. “About ten acres of it.”


This is a spider bite taken from this helpful article

“Go put wet mud on your spider bite. Clay draws out the venom.”

Sure enough, I got home, walk ten feet, get a handful of dirt, add water and apply. It was only a matter of minutes before my foot felt better. The swelling reduced, the itching stopped almost immediately. Today (Monday) I woke with barely an evidential point of the bite. By 3 this afternoon, it’s completely healed. No itching, soreness or residual effects.

I’m glad I used the calendula (good for itching) and arnica (which is normally for pain), because I’m sure they both tempered the issue. But the mud? That was the ticket.

*sorry, no pictures. I wasn’t thinking clearly. it was the spider bite:-

Chocolate addicts, UTIs and a fix

Not a sexy topic to be sure, but lets face it. When one consumes massive amounts of sugar, but it by mainlining (alcohol) or the slower but no less effective chewing kind (candy or the less adulterated kind, like processed bread that eventually turns into sugar), one needs a fast, effective solution for the sugar-induced UTI (urinary tract infection) that is the consequence of short-term joy.

I have found that I can cope with nearly anything my UT (urinary tract) throws at me to stop my evil ways. I first went to sugar rehab while in college, when I was in the dorm room shower and saw blood coming from (down there). I was nearly in tears I was in so much pain, the ejection of pure acid out my peep-hole enough to make me beg for three more calculus classes. Worse, my mother comes out to take me to the doctor, and he asks if I got it by having sex. (I was an undefiled virgin if you must know), which he soon attested to in front of my mother (whew!).

He then probed the causes. I wasn’t overweight (under actually) and had kept off the “freshman 15” by drinking 3 64 oz diet cokes a day. Hmm. Yes. I bought into the zero calorie marketing hype. LIttle did I know that the man-made acids were not conducive to a function UT. BTW, if you are thinking that women alone are afflicted by this–no. Men have all the joys of UTIs along with the she-counterparts.

“No more sodas,” intoned the doctor. He didn’t need to tell me. I’d so destroyed my insides that 10 years later I learned the lining of my walls had been permanently damaged. And by permanently, what that means is that if I have 3 gulps of soda–any kind–I will get a UTI (more commonly identified as a bladder infection) within 15 minutes. UGH.

To keep this short and to get you to a solution, keep two things in mind: reactive and preventative. The former is: I’m in pain, or I’ve just had a few too many choc bars, desserts or whatever and by the time I get home I’m going to be screaming. For these instances, you need to keep several tabs of Probiotics in your wallet, purse or pocket. These little gems are the equivalent of a urinary tract napalm explosion. (I’ve found this brand in particular works best). I’m talking scorched earth in 15 minutes. Unless you have gone to CA (Chocoholics Anonymous) you must use these white magic pills as your sponsor.

Now, if you are a thinking person (which all my readers are) you are going to take the smart, proactive, never get caught with my privates-on-fire situation, right? Right. Those people will do the following:

every day, once a day, take 2 cranberry gelcaps, (for UT health) 3 alka greens (for PH balance and alkalinity, which do a whole lot more for you than can possibly be explained in this blog) and finally, you will take an alkidophilus. I did this all best preventative solutionthrough Europe this last summer and not once in weeks did I have issue. And trust me, I should have been wailing through 15 different countries I was easting so much sugar and chocolate.

Now, the above two situations are normal–but sometimes, I’m in critical, life or death pain–and by this I mean I wake up in the middle of the night. Here’s what I do. I load up on all of the above and power all four items down with as much water as I can possibly keep inside me. Sometimes I have to take a hot bath- but that’s probably more for mental help that I’m so stupid as to get myself in a college-age predicament yet again.

Tip: buy the cranberry, probiotic at Costco– great brands and inexpensive. the others I get on line through amazon.

Dark circle remedies and wisdom, a natural combo

A few things on my mind.

Dark circles. Did you know that this is easily solved by using hemorrhoid crème and witch hazel pads? Conjures gross images of pustules on the butt, I know. But seriously, I was told this by a dermatologist friend who said it’s the most effect, cheapest and best kept secret. I used it. Works. Husband uses both all the time (one or two swipes under the eyes and walla). (put this in the tips and tricks section of this blog. I sometimes forget it’s there myself). Other home remedies exist as well.

Wisdom never retires. That’s my own phrase. I was interviewing a guy that used to run half of the country for the largest consulting firm in the world. He’s been “out of the game” for 11 years and didn’t know if he had much to contribute to my latest book. I told him that “wisdom never retires,” and then asked him what he defined as ‘retired.’

“I sit on the board of X company, and advise Y company, and I sit on the board of the Seattle Art Museum…” and then he listed off two other mentoring jobs and I told him “stop.”

“That’s what I’m talking about. Successful people don’t retire. They don’t just wake up one day and stop contributing. They keep going.”

Another gem of his? When we were talking about community service, he said too many people “sign up on a list and don’t contribute.” He went on to say that contributed means being involved to the degree that it’s making a difference in people’s lives. “Will they look back on you and say ‘that person made a difference in my life?’

“If they can’t say you made a difference in my life, then you haven’t contributed.”

Tears from a man

It takes a lot to bring a strong man to tears, but it does happen. For first time readers, here has been what I lovingly call my “two weeks of Job,” which you have to know first.

Married 15 years, I figure I’ll start ice skating hockey to “become closer to my husband,” who plays hockey. I do well for the first two lessons (training with Rog’s trainer, a former NHL guy, who I have mentioned before). I fall, all 140 pounds of me crunches my left ankle inward, which, by the way, I hit the week before in martial arts class (I’m one belt away from my black belt), thereby cranking a previous wound.

Fast forward three days. The house is in an uproar, I’m laid up in bed, kids are not getting fed (well, they are, but I’m not sure Top Ramin counts as real food). A week in, no laundry. Dirty underwear abounds. Rog won’t allow my friends to come over and help, but on day 10, I call the calvary and food starts showing up at our doorstep (I gave out our gate code and arranged for the drop-offs when Rog was picking up the girls from school). Still no laundry. Day 12. I’m off the drugs, and as a consequence, have headaches that make me puke, then I can’t keep food down, my internal PH goes to pot, and I get mouth ulcers on my tongue that then spread to the roof of my mouth (think canker sores on steroids). A want to die. I call my swami.

“Drink water with lemon juice and take alka green.” I do. For all those with canker sores, when the acid in the stomach goes nuts, it erupts in sores in the mouth. Lemons restore the alkalinity in the body- the # source of such. In 24 hours, I’m better. 2 weeks yesterday. Rog has a meltdown in the car

“I’m not loved,” to which I responded “Of course you’re not. You’re being mean to all of us and you’re making us miserable.” Then two weeks of pent up frustration on both of our parts comes down to this:

“I always though that my job was to take care of the family financially, and I’ve done that. But I can’t do anything about your foot–and I was the cause of it— and with Porsche’s hair falling out again–my little girl…” and here he lost it. Tears from a man who never cries, and in the middle of a mall no less.

It’s true. Man has penis, and that means provider and caretaker. But he can’t do a darn thing about our daughter, who will lose all her hair now, and as I type this, she is with her father and getting @200 shots on her head (and they can’t put her to sleep) in an effort to keep the hair follicles open until the hair starts to grow back. Nor can Rog do a thing for me. 2 weeks down, 6 to go. It’s hard, I get that. Personally, I’d rather have my hair fall out than be an invalid. The house is a wreck. The kids are unhappy. Rog and I are miserable. Alas.

“It’s only hair,” I remind Rog, “and it’s starting to grow back. She’s not deaf and she’s not blind. She has her limbs.”  Then Rog tells me that my confidence gives him confidence, and for one of the few times in our marriage, I’m reminded that he actually has breaks in his aura of assurance. It never occurs to me that he has the spikes of humanity that afflict the rest of us.

Following some sushi, we both feel better, having purged the mental and emotional constipation that has afflicted us for the last fourteen days. Last night, around six, he made the first dinner- beef stroganoff. Sure, it took him nearly two hours, and he doused it with a bit too much ground mustard, but I must say, we got fed (and thanks to the lemon juice, I could eat it), and it was good. He laughed, and as I looked at my husband, who also happens to be my good friend, I thought it was a glorious sound, and that the tears he shed in the mall (of all places) were worth it.

An uncommon, common cold

Thousands of colds exist. The wet-eyed running kind with clear discharge from the nose cold I got as a kid (where the moisture went from one eye to the other, causing a niagra-falls-type event on the afflicted eye. Then there is the come-on-suddenly, wet-sounding runny nose with glassy eyes, such as my daughter just had a few days ago, and then there is a dry throat, compacted nose-cold that came on slowly, as I got last night.

Runny eyes? Good bet its
a Pulsatilla cold

For those three colds, three different natural remedies exist. Don’t bother with the doctor or spend lots of money on a homogenous fix-all. The results address the issue in 15 minutes when its the right one, and without the after effects of an over-the-counter nasal spray that includes the stuffed up, runny-nose coming right back as if nothing had ever happened.

Common Cold #1. The Pulsatilla cold. My favorite as a child (or rather, the bain of my existence).
Symptoms. Runny eyes, one at a time. Nose clogged, one at a time, clear discharge from nose.

Common Cold #2. The Aconitum. This is identified as comes-on-suddenly, out of nowhere, as in, one hour you are fine and the next you have a cold. Wet sounding nasal passages, clear color, glassy eyes.
Common Cold #3. The Kali Bic. This comes on slowly, over a period of hours, as I experienced yesterday. First I had a sniffle, but no discharge (I hate the word, don’t you?). I kept drinking more and more water, but nothing helped. My sniffles just sort-of dripped on my throat. I was fine when I went to bad, other than my throat had become more sore.

Fast Results– 15 minutes is fast, and when the symptoms are gone in an hour, it’s divine. My daughters showed improvement (her eyes cleared up) in about 20 min, and her runny nose was gone in about 1.5 hours. For myself, this am, after I called my homeopathic swami, the Kali Bic worked so fast that within about 10 min the pain in my throat was gone and now, 2 hours later, my nose is 100% cleared up, so much so that I ate the left over chocolate pudding from last night!

The key: Just because the symptoms are gone doesn’t mean you can stop taking the remedy. You still have the badness inside you, and it has to get out. That’s why doctors prescribe taking antibiotics for a period of time. Homeopathy works the same way. This is the schedule:

Take one pill every 2 hours until the symptoms clear.
Once clear (usually that day) take 3x a day for 3 days
Then 2x a day for 2 days
Then 1x a day for 1 day

Stop the vomiting and pooping: homemade pedialyte

There I was, crouched in the shower, suffering from vomiting seizures the likes that had not been seen in…well…since my last dog died, all due to the fact that my 8-month old puppy Daisy had to be put down, and Rog dares peek his head around the corner.

“You need anything?” He’s in more misery than I am, because you see, men hate to be helpless. I’ve come to believe that a man would rather lose his hee-haw truck or get a medication-free root canal than watch his wife be in pain.

“Yes,” I croaked. “Pedialyte.”

This is my magic recovery drink, the only thing my stomach will retain after a spout of vomiting. In this case, it was about 6 hours on an off, through to dry-heaves and blood. Not good. When Rog tells me we are out, I block out his words and they become one with the falling water.

Sometime later, he comes back in (I hadn’t noticed he’d left) and asks me to look up. I see a gallon jug full of water that looks yellowish-orange.

“I made my homebrew pedialyte,” he proudly announces, with the hope-infused voice that expresses his sincere desire that all my grief over losing the second dog in less than a year will dissipate when I drink his concoction. “I got it off the World Health Organization site,” he continued.

Later, when I have a glass of ice (I must have ice to crunch on this stuff) I take a sip. It wasn’t bad. In fact, it lacked the “syrupy” nature of the real thing, and I got it down a lot easier because it wasn’t so sweet. When I tell Rog this, he is clearly pleased with his efforts (the survivalist-in-training that he thinks he is), and he tells me that another recipe exists that is even more bare bones “for people who really are in the desert).

Ok then. For all you folks who will get sick, are sick or just believe in experimenting, here’s the recipe. I couldn’t actually find it off the WHO site, but Rog told me what was in it, so I went to several recipe sites. Rog said he substituted the packet of Cool-aid with 1/4 cup orange juice. walla! If only the grief could go away as easy as the vomiting.


4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 packet Sugar-Free Kool-Aid (optional)- sub with 1/4 cup orange juice


Mix all until disolved.

Store in the refrigerator. Throw away any remaining after 1 week. You can also freeze some in ice cubes to use later, or keep drinks cold.

Use instead of juice or milk for diarrhea, vomiting, and fever. Children under 3 months old should go directly to the doctor if they have any of these symptoms.


The ‘death city,’ hot flashes and acupuncture

What kind of state can boast the city with the most rainfall in the United States (thanks Twilight) and yet the highest rate of cancer? Strange enough, lore has it that the cancer rate is off the charts due to the fact that we get so little sun, that when the bright stuff shines through, people run out half-naked, lathered up in oil with a factor of negative in order to increase the chances of a quick tan. The burns turn cancerous. The few smart ones that avoid the sun ironically suffer from multiple sclerosis. Seattle also has the highest rate of the MS on the Earth, not just the US. The combination has earned this fair city what Seattle-natives call the death city. Nice.

And while I’m there, I’m going to Bora Bora
on a yacht.

MS was not a part of my vocabulary until two of my good friends, both in their early 40’s, were diagnosed with the degenerative, incurrable disease this last year. $10,000 a month in a medications. Their insurance will cover 60%, leaving them a $4K bill every month, out of pocket. That sucks the wind right out of a families’ finance –12,000 in WA alone.

This led me to the auction dinner I attended two nights ago (another finance-sucking topic). Going to an auction is like getting dressed up for a flight. You are entering an environment full of complete strangers whom you will likely never see again, and thus, are endowed with an unnatural sense of freedom, both in terms of discussing topics that would take years to explore in any other sane environment.

Friday night proved to be no exception. It wasn’t long before the topics had covered employment (sales and real estate by our immediate companions), children (they were both divorced, with children and dating), activities (she travels alone and he is a helicopter pilot in his free time) and the similarities to us: both men avoid water and cruises like the plague, she and think golf is akin to watching moss grow.

And what could be more airplane-like than talking about female “issues.”

“A year ago I started having hot flashes,” she tells me, out of the blue. She said she’s 44, and her date just gave a smile, as though he’d heard this before. Call me kooky, but no man smiles when the phrase hot flashes is said. “Here’s the secret. Go to an acupuncturist. The needles in my ears made me want to scream, but before she did it, the woman said ‘me give you needles,’ the woman told me. ‘you have no more hot flashes.'” Sure enough, that was it. “It’s been a year and a half. Not a single hot flash.”

Sure enough, I go on line to look at the research, and walla. I read a report validating her experience.

From me to you, dear readers. One auction. Lots of extraneous information, all for that little bit of advice that I’ll bank for now, and be sure to use later in life when it’s required.

PS. no wonder her date was smiling.

Natural cure for Gout

Let’s face it. We, the people, have our freedom to vote, wear what we want and generally speaking, do and eat to our hearts desire. This latter fact can be seen even in countries that haven’t allowed capitalism and free speech to run amuck. The ever-thin Chinese are becoming heaftier, our neighbors to the south are also feeling the pinch belts that are tightening not so much from lack of economic growth (have you seen the recent numbers that Brazil has been posting?!) but from the waistline expanding beyond the last hole in the belt.

Gout in the foot

All this goodness has led to some serious badness. In my immediate circle of friends, two men suffer from Gout, a disguting, vile affliction that is by most counts, highly curable. Despite what the medical journals say, the doctors have told both men the same thing. First, they have been eating too much overall, and waayyy too much red meat for years. The second is that the added weight they are carrying around (between 50-100 pounds) has contributed to lack of movement thereby dramatically reducing the ability of the body to circulate blood. It’s not just the doctors who say this, but plenty of others.

Gout in the fingers

Crud flows downhill, and it all ends at the feet. Both developed, and have had gout now, for going on seven years. The women in their lives are appalled as you can imagine, not just for the horrid notion of having the toes touch them during the horizontal-mambo, but the reality Gout can be cured naturally. The short is that black cherry supplements are recommend and have been proven to work, although the healthcare provider quoted in this article prefers drinking the stuff. It’s not too bad either. I don’t have gout myself (thank heavens) but I’ve always just liked the tasted of black cherry.

Gout in the foot

Sorry to say, neither man has gone the natural route. Both have been taking pills for so many years that each have now developed intestinal problems, side effects of the powerful anti-gout drugs. The singular upside of the stomach pains (and ulcers) is that both have lost weight. It actually hurts them to eat. Not good. Yet the gout remains, nicely thriving underneath their expensive leather loafers.

I liked this Gout diet planner site. When I was with my friend who is the managing editor of four local papers, she was talking about a recent article a reporter had completed on the topic. “It’s one thing that keeps me from eating all that protien,” she said as she eyed the ribeye passing us by.

If you want more motivation to pass up the meat, check out these pictures. Gerrooss. I’ll be having the salad.

Natural earache cure

Welcome Italy and Brazil. A two-fer. I’ve definitely crossed over in to the romantic languages, and guess what readers? I hypothesize it was over the anger-management pill, but what do I know?

I’m going to elaborate on my Facebook post re: ear ache cure. Friday night, I was suddenly afflicted by a a pain on the inner, left part of my throat (way in the back). The onset was so immediate, I figured it would go away equally as fast. Not so. It lingered, a sharp pain hitting me every so often, but in between, the ache lingered. By 8 pm, the sensation had crept up to my left ear. At this point, a wise woman would have called her swami. Not I. I went to bed. At 3 am, I awoke, the pain intense, so I figured I could “self-diagnose.”

Now, this is a digression on the mother-of-all-sins according to the world of homeopathy. It’s like playing doctor without a degree (and no-one I know would admit to this, save my shameless husband). I know two things: 1) when an illness comes on suddenly, it’s usually Aconitum and 2) when it’s invariably 30c. Now back to the story.

When a homeopathic remedy works (meaning, it’s the right pill for the right symptom), the healing effects are immediate. Typically within 15 min. When I slept bad and finally arose at 7 am, I knew my attempt at playing doctor had failed. I called my swami.

I tell him about the throat and earache and he asks one question, “do you want to be held?” Yes! I reply. I wrote in my FB post that I’m 12 inside, but really, I should have written–who doesn’t want to be held when afflicted with an earache??

“It’s Pulsatilla 30c,” he tells me, reminding me to take it every 2 hours. I take the first pill, the illness is cured within about 30 min, and I promptly forget to take the pill for the rest of the day. Around 9 pm, both pains come back with a vengence, worse than before. Not sure why that is, although my foggy, Sunday morning memory tells me that it has something to do with address and curing the problem, not the symptom.

Mother’s (well, parents) should keep several bottles of this around for the earache. The key, number 1 symptom is a child that is whiny, not much nasal discharge (if any, for most earaches aren’t accompanied by a runny nose) but wants to be held. Before you rush to the doctor, incur the charges and get your kid jacked up on an antibiotic, try this. You will know very quickly if it’s an earache or something worse that requires an MD.

A note on homepathic remedies. Similar to western medicine, remedies need to be taken in a cycle to ensure the actual cause has been addressed. Here’s the schedule:

Upon identification of issue:

  1. Take 1 pill, under the tongue, ever 2 hrs (one should see results w/in that time. If not, call the homeopath or look for another remedy).
  2. Continue to take every 2 hrs for the next two installments (e.g. 1 two hrs, then 1 two hrs later)
  3. Pull back to 1x every 4 fours for 2 days (day 2 and 3)
  4. Pull back to 1x, once a day (in the morning is ideal) for 3 days.

Does that make sense? Every few hours for day 1, 2 times a day for 2 days, then 1 time a day for 3 days. That will address the problem.

Anger management pill

Isn’t that the end of it all? A pill that reduces anger, nullifies my Danish-Swedish Elin-esque temper and curbs my appetite all in one? True ‘nuf. It’s real and it exists. It’s called Uranium Nictricum 30c, and it can be had in a dosage of 30c for 9 bucks US. Furthermore, it’s legal (we don’t live in Amsterdam after all) and all natural and organic.

Yes, of course it’s homeopathic. It’s the only way to fly.

My swami. Don’t be fooled by
the tie. In a decade, I’ve only seen him
wear either silk shirts or loud, hawaiin prints
Don’t hold it against him though. He’s got
the greatest head of hair known to man.

As She told me before, “create a section for homeopathy,” so starting with this blog, I will. I’ll also go back and retag and recategorize the other daily pains I solve with natural medicines. Heck, if I can get rid of my slug problem with my neighbors’ stale beer (does beer actually go stale? I have no idea. It all tastes stale to my uncultured mouth), then why not place something under my tongue that abates my internal vesuvious from eruption.

Here’s the deal.

“Let me tell you,” begins my Swami, his thick, Persian accent rich with wisdom. “Ever since the tsunami, the winds were blowing over Arizona. Every one of my clients in this area were having anger problems. Then nothing,” he intones, his voice drops like a whisper during mass. “Then all of a sudden, my clients from Oregon and Washington started calling me–just like you– expressing concern over anger problems.” (I would never….) “So I looked up the weather patterns and sure enough, the winds are over the northwest. Of COURSE you are going to be suffering from anger.”

This diagnosis eleased me from the undue burden of actually taking responsibility for my so-called anger, which in hindsight, I’m not even sure I experienced. I pay good money to be thusly validated.

“Take Uranium Nictricum 30c,” he suggested. Knowing this stuff isn’t always readily available in my wee-bitty town that caters to all things boxed, bottled and carbonated. “I’ll send you some.”

He did, and my now non-existent anger issues evaporated like the ever-hovering Washington clouds in mid-August. Seriously. I was no longer short-tempered, almost like a Valium-induced happy state that Rog called a “wierd sort-of mellow.” It was the anti-Sarah, a normally loud, rather hyper type of person my friends know and tolerate. Swami told me to take it every other day until I sorted myself out (yes, you read that right. Apparently, the bad mo-jo in the air can seep in to the very skin on the body and sit there, like a boil ready to burst). “It must get out,” he said in conclusion.

I waited with fear and trepidation for a Job-like experience, the house to fall on my kids, the cats to get eaten by a mountain lion, but lo, in the desert of Maple Trees that surround me, nothing untoward happened. Well, that’s not exactly true. I was so friendly, Rog got downright amorous. Time to go off the Uranium Nictricum.

PS. I was kidding about the reduction in appetite. It’s in full force. I will tell you when I get that pill:)

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