Saturday, August 27, 2011

Planting Fenceposts By the Light of the (Full) Moon

I used to roll my eyes when someone suggested herbal remedies. Then I met a physician who made fun of "old wives' tales." Maybe I began to change my mind because she also seemed amazed that anyone would choose to live in Arnold's Valley, where we live. Yes, a childish response, but hey, under stress we typically turn childish, don't we? Maybe I misinterpreted her comments. Since then, she's earned a reputation for being open to alternative treatments, such as bee sting therapy.

And then came Darla. This little goat contracted an infection in her neck within 2 weeks after birth. The spot grew and grew. Darla became our in-house guest for a little while. A vet aspirated the abscess, we aspirated it, a vet removed a lymph node, and Virginia Tech vet experts also tried to remove the growth. Each time we followed treatment with a penicillin regimen. When the thing began to grow again, Karen cried, convinced she'd have to say goodbye to Darla.

Wait a minute. Let's call our friend, L, who's into herbal treatments. Maybe they work for humans, maybe they work for goats. She suggested grapefruit seed extract and oregano oil. Karen gave Darla the grapefruit seed extract (GSE) orally a few times, and rubbed the oregano oil, and sometimes the GSE, on her neck twice a day. The swelling gradually disappeared. A couple months later, Darla seems to be a normal, healthy goat -- well, above normal actually, she's a lover girl.

"Until you wrote this blog entry," says Virginia.

Hush. That's nonsense, an old wives' tale. It'd better be.

A few days ago, the lower right palm of my left hand began to hurt like crazy. I don't remember any trauma. Maybe I pricked myself when I pulled a couple thistles and some mature pokeweed. The pad of my hand swelled and during the first night throbbed badly enough to disturb my sleep, not a simple thing, I've been sleeping like a baby after all the exercise I've been getting this summer.

All right, no big deal, except my left leg way up high began bugging me a few days before the hand thing. Could they be connected, like, um, I won't mention the word that comes to mind in my family and many others these days?

Hmmm, what should I try? Tea tree oil is supposed to be good for treating insect bites. Karen rubbed some on last night, and some calendula oil this morning. Tonight the hand feels almost normal.

"Like wow," says Virginia, "as if the same thing might not have happened without the oils."

Yeah, she's right. But I think I'll rub some oil on that leg tonight.

1 comment:

  1. mary pannabecker steinerSeptember 5, 2011 at 9:57 AM

    You know, there are some perfectly good herbal remedies. The simplest is peppermint/spearmint tea for stomach upset. It works for me. Also calms my anxiety. As for the thigh, how is it? Maybe you pulled a muscle? It's far too easy for us to think of Dad when something hurts. I know how you feel.