Essential Oils, A Wednesday Night, and Thou

Let’s talk homeopathic medicine.

Hey! Hey get back here! Come on back….come on back… Trust me okay?

Alright so first of all, I should say that I always approach DIY medicine with a highly raised eyebrow. When I was in high school, I saw many a kid head off to the CHIROPRACTOR for a sinus infection. I couldn’t help but cough out “WITCH DOCTOR!” when I was told of such things. BUT many a sore throat has been soothed by my Gramp’s “hot lemonade” (which, in all honesty, is more like “hot whiskey with a twist.”) and I am also a HUGE proponent of the Neti-pot/sinu cleanse system (which is basically saline solution.) The point is, it works, just like a baking soda paste kills the pain and the itch of a bee sting, like an oatmeal bath soothes chicken pox, like chicken soup treats a cold (Recent studies show that chicken soup actually has anti-inflammatory properties, so eat up!).

However, being an asthmatic, I don’t put a whole lot of stock in all forms of homeopathy. While searching for home treatments of asthma on the internet I found suggestions that ranged from, Buy a scarf! (Cold air aggravates trippy bronchial tubes), or Try not to go outside! (What am I, one of those people hidden for years in an attic in a story written by a Bronte?…Also, I have to go to work.) to Have couple cups of coffee (Great, I’m wheezing and I’m really excited about it). So, while I will gladly home treat a cold, sprain, or even infection (depending on the severity), I’m going to hang onto my Zyrtec and Advair.

While I grew up in a house with an LPN, I also grew up in a household where my parents not so secretly wished they were pioneers, making a homestead on the prairie, fighting back bobcats, and becoming masters of animal husbandry. My mother reveled in her ability to “feed an army” and I wouldn’t be surprised if secretly, she hoped the that the 171st Ohio would come marching down the road at some point, so she could test her theory. I remember one particular summer vacation where we all hovered around a hot cauldron in the summer sun, dipping wicks into beeswax, while grudgingly posing for pictures while my mom shouted, “Aren’t we having fun!?”

But I digress.

Once while my parents were reminiscing about reading books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, I said, “You know…I feel like I would have been kind of sickly back then” and my mother said very matter of factly, “Oh, you wouldn’t have even made it this long.”

Which is probably true….but let us not dwell. I’ve accepted the fact that presumably in past lives I didn’t hang on a good long while. This time, I was thankfully born into an era of albuterol and steroids and nebulizers.

But sometimes, the home way is the only way, and push comes to shove, I’m a believer. Just don’t take away my inhaler.

So last night, around 9, when Will started to complain of a major toothache and conventional pain killers weren’t doing the trick, I went the way of the wise woman. And it worked.

First, I soaked a cotton ball in vanilla extract and had him rub it on the tooth. The alcohol content dulled the pain while I whipped up a decoction of cloves. Once I had released some of the clove oil, I handed Will a mug of the bitter concoction with a q-tip and had him soak the q-tip, and then put it as close to the source of pain as possible.

And it worked.

Now, of course he is calling the dentist this morning, and I fully expect him to go through another root canal. But at 9:00 at night, when the dentist is closed, and my home dentist’s “cocktail” (two ibuprofen, two acetominophen) is not doing the trick, you have to go to the pantry. And hopefully, you’ll find salt, cloves, and whiskey.
So, for future reference, here is Betsy’s late-nite toothache, kill the pain so you can sleep remedy:
1. First, floss and rinse with listerine, making sure that the pain isn’t coming from something lodged in your teeth. Like a tree or a rock.
2. Rinse with lukewarm salt water (helps kill infection, and clean out any wounds. Also helps with pain.)
3. Soak a cotton ball in real vanilla extract and rub on the pain (the alcohol kills the pain…temporarily. SHould be enough to get you through the next step). You can also try swishing small amounts of whiskey or vodka around the afflicted area.
4. Take cloves (I used both powdered and whole) and place them in a saucepan. The ratio is 1 tsp cloves to every cup of water. Boil and then simmer for 20 minutes. You are releasing the clove oils. Pour into a mug, and soak a toothpick in the decoction (don’t burn your mouth. Make sure the temperature is comfortable) and then rub as close to the source of the pain as possible. (Don’t drink too much liquid, or you will wash away the oil.)
5. Call your dentist as soon as you can.

After making sure my little invalid was comfortably sleeping, I whipped up some lavender linen spray, tea tree oil astringent, and some Herbal Appliance Degreaser creating a fantastic mess, and then shuffling off to bed myself.

Oh essential oils, I love thee so.


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