Considering how long I’ve worked with natural medicine, you might imagine that it’s all old news to me. But, the truth is I still feel a sense of wonder and excitement when something works the way it’s supposed to. And often the simplest things make a huge difference.
Somehow, it seems many of us have given over to the notion that “real” medicine lies in capsules and scalpels, wrapped in white coats and big words. That it’s something which someone else does to us, and not something we can take into our own hands.
But real health, the kind where you feel connected and whole, results from deepening your relationship to your body, your heart and to nature on an everyday level. Some of the simplest rituals and practices have rich and profound impacts. And just the very act of taking that opportunity to slow down for a moment and connect with yourself results in some of the most incredible health benefits.
Here are some of my favorite simple, inexpensive and pleasurable home treatments that you can easily incorporate to improve your well-being.
1) Castor oil packs--For just about anything and everything
Once considered primarily as a treatment for detoxifying the liver, some health practitioners
(including the great Edgar Cayce) consider this inexpensive home remedy to be a cure-all for whatever ails ya.
Castor oil packs have been shown to massively uptune your entire immune system.
But we also use them to encourage weight loss and detox, to shrink or minimize uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, acne and abdominal scars, and to support health in autoimmune disorders, leaky gut syndrome and IBS.
Castor oil costs about $10/bottle and will last you practically forever. You’ll also need an unbleached piece of flannel and a hot water bottle.
I like Heritage Store Castor Oil, which you can find here, along with a flannel pack here. Some people prefer a castor oil roll-on (click here), which is far less messy and does the trick just as well. One note: you will need an account to order these products from my distribution company and you’ll get a nice 15% discount from me to boot. Sign up here.
Try it at home: Apply a thin layer of castor oil over your belly from just below the ribs to above the pubic bone. Cover your abdomen with an unbleached natural flannel and place a hot water bottle on top. Curl up with a good book for 40 minutes or so while the weight and warmth of the water bottle help the castor oil to penetrate your abdomen. I admit that I have been known to fall asleep like this!
2) Dry skin brushing--for clear skin, breast health, shedding water-weight and immune-system health.
Your lymphatic circulation depends on You. While your blood has your heart to move it
through your body, the lymphatic fluid has no dedicated pump to circulate it. Dry-brushing encourages lymph fluid movement and drainage.
Try it at home: Buy a natural loofah or sponge or a medium-soft natural bristle brush. Hold the brush in your dominant hand and begin brushing in small circles on dry skin. First brush from outside of one arm up to the shoulder then from the palm of the hand up the inside of the arm to the armpit.
Repeat on the other side. Then do the same process with each foot and leg, first the top of each foot and leg, then the back side. Brush from the pubic bone up to the heart, brush from your heels, up the back of your legs and to your shoulders.
Do this at night before bed. Always brush towards the heart. This directs the lymph fluid to move towards your lymph glands to be cleansed and renewed.
You can buy a nice dry-brush that has a strap which fits over your hand here.
3) Warming sock treatment--for headaches and insomnia.
This practice treats headaches, migraines, insomnia, night sweats, & the dreaded waking at 3 AM with anxiety. This practice will improve the quality of your sleep!
Try it at home: Take a pair of cotton socks, run them under cold water and wring them out.
Put the cool, damp socks on. Yes, really. Put them on. Your body does the warming.
Then put a pair of wool socks on over and go to bed. If you’re not used to wearing socks to bed this will feel strange at first. But once you try it you’ll learn to love it.
Make it easy!
Each of these rituals can become a habit. Pick the most appealing one and try committing to it every day for a week. Once you get into the habit, you might find you won’t want to go without it! (I recommend giving each one of these home treatments at least 7 days in a row).