I thought Poke Berries were poisonous to eat? My Daddy told me never to eat them.
The seeds are poisonous but very small, very hard and nearly impossible to break open with one’s teeth …. So not really an issue when swallowing whole berries where seeds just pass thru… That being said, poke is strong medicine, definitely to be started off in small quantities … I would recommend reading over Susun’s article on Poke for more info on this: http://herbshealing.com/herbal_ezine/May08/wisewoman.htm
If you're ready to go deeper with your herbal studies, join Susun on her new Mentorship website. Get new content weekly such as the expanded herbal ezine, replays of teleseminars, videos, audio of Susuns past lectures, many articles by Susun, and even personal one on one mentorship from Susun. www.wisewomanmentor.com
Using infused herbal oils is an easy and pleasurable way to keep your breasts healthy, prevent and reverse cysts, dissolve troublesome lumps, and repair abnormal cells.Breast skin is thin and absorbent, and breast tissue contains a great deal of fat, which readily absorbs infused herbal oils. The healing and cancer-preventing actions of herbs easily migrate into olive oil—creating a simple, effective product for maintaining breast health.
Add beeswax to any herbal oil and you have an ointment. The antiseptic, softening, moisturizing, and healing properties of beeswax intensify the healing actions of the herbs and carry them deeper into the breast tissues.
Whether you want to maintain breast health—or have had a diagnosis of cancer—infused herbal oils and ointments are soothing, safe, and effective allies.
Wonderfully fragrant infused oils can be made from all kinds of evergreen needles. (See page 298.) Evergreen oils are superb for regular breast self-massage, especially for those troubled with painful or lumpy breasts. Evergreens, including the renowned yew, contain compounds clinically proven to kill cancer cells.
The most powerful in this respect are arbor vitae (Thuja occidentalis) and cedar (Juniperus virginia). But all evergreens contain antiseptic, antifungal, antiviral, and anti-tumor oils. I make my infused evergreen oil from white pine (Pinus strobus), the most common evergreen in my area; friends use spruce, cedar, and hemlock.
Infused evergreen oils are generally non irritating (a few women report sensitivity to spruce needle oil), but essential oils of evergreens can cause a rash. Essential oil of the evergreen tea tree (Melaleuca species) has been poured into cancers that have ulcerated, causing some to go into remission. This is dangerous and may be painful; I strongly advise you to seek counsel before you use tea tree, or any essential oil, in this way.
Olive oil (Olea europea)
The oil pressed from the fruits (olives) and seeds (pits) of these magnificent, long-lived trees is neither an infused oil nor an essential oil. It is my favorite oil for eating, cooking, and using as a base for infusing herbs. Virgin or extra virgin oils are great for eating, but have a rich smell which is overpowering in an infused oil or ointment.
As a base for infused oils, I use the less expensive (and less aromatic) pomace oil—made by pressing the ground pits after the olives have been squeezed dry. No matter what type you use, fancy or plain, olive oil will no doubt uphold its ancient and venerable reputation for healing and nourishing skin and scalp.
Plantain leaf oil (Plantago lancelota, P. majus)
With its brilliant color and its solid reputation as a breast cancer preventive, plantain oil/ointment is another favorite for breast self massage. Frequent applications of the jewel-green oil—as many as ten times a day—have been used successfully by women to reverse in situ cancer cells in the breasts. Plantain oil is very easy to make at home. (The aroma of the finished oil reminds me of salami.) Plantain ointment is the first first aid I reach for when I itch, when I get a sting, when I need to heal torn muscles, when I want to draw out thorns, splinters, or infection, and when I need to relieve pain and swelling.
Poke root oil (Phytolacca americana)
That strange-looking weed with the drooping black berries that towers over gardens and roadsides throughout much of eastern North America is pokeweed—an old favorite of wise women dealing with breast lumps and breast cancer. If I felt a suspicious lump, I’d reach for poke root oil. It reduces congestion, relieves swelling, and literally dissolves growths in the breasts.
Jethro Kloss, author of the classic herbal Back to Eden, used freshly grated raw poke root poultices to burn away breast cancer. Caution: Fresh poke placed directly on the skin is strong enough to damage healthy tissues as well as cancerous ones.
The infused oil is also effective and far safer. A generous amount is gently applied to the lump, covered with a flannel cloth and then with a hot water bottle (no heating pads), and left on for as long as you’re comfortable. This is repeated at least twice a day. Poke root oil is too powerful for regular preventive care. Caution: Poke oil can cause a rash on sensitive skin. Ingestion of poke oil can cause severe intestinal distress.
Poke root tincture can be used instead of poke root oil. The properties are quite similar, though the oil is absorbed better and may be considerably more effective.
Red Clover blossom oil (Trifolium pratense)
The infused oil of red clover blossoms is a remarkable skin softener. It melts away lumps, counters cancer, and helps the lymph system reabsorb unneeded cells. Combine it with internal use of red clover blossom infusion for an even better chance of eliminating abnormal cells and preventing breast cancer recurrence. It’s gentle enough for regular use in breast self massage.
St. Joan’s Wort blossom oil (Hypericum perforatum)
The vermillion red oil of the flowers or flowering tops of St. Joan’s (St. John’s) wort is mild enough to be used regularly to promote breast health, yet powerful enough to seem positively miraculous as it repairs damage to the skin and nerves of the breasts. I consider it an indispensable ally for all women. In addition to using it for breast massage, I favor it for assistance in healing the armpit and breast area after surgery, reducing skin damage from radiation, and relieving nerve and muscle pain. Its antiviral powers pass through the skin and into nerve endings, preventing and checking a wide variety of skin problems, including virulent hospital-bred infections such as shingles.
I find St. Joan’s wort oil an exceptionally useful ally for women dealing with nerve damage caused by removal of axillary lymph nodes. Frequent applications restore sensation, promote good lymphatic circulation, help prevent lymphedema, and offer prompt and long-lasting relief from pain.
Women who apply St. Joan’s wort oil before and after radiation treatments report that their skin stays healthy and flexible even after dozens of treatments. In addition to preventing radiation burns, this oil prevents sunburn, too. It’s the only sunscreen I use to protect my skin, which gets plently of sun. And it’s a superior healer of sunburn, as well.
St. Joan’s wort oil is an invaluable ally for those with sciatica pain, leg and foot cramps, ba ck pain, neckaches, arthritis pain, bursitis, or any other ache. I use it externally (along with 25 drops of the tincture internally) as often as every 10 to15 minutes when dealing with the acute phase of a cramped, spasmed muscle. For long-term pain, I use oil and tincture as frequently as needed, sometimes as often as ten times a day.
St. Joan’s wort oil is also the best remedy I’ve found to relieve the pain and promote rapid healing of nerves and skin troubled by shingles, cold sores, mouth and anal fissures, genital herpes, and chicken pox. Hourly applications of oil, plus 25 drops of tincture taken internally at the same time, is not excessive in the initial, acute stages of these problems. As symptoms abate, I use fewer applications. In chronic conditions, I use the oil and tincture four times a day. Used as a scalp oil during chemotherapy, St. Joan’s wort encourages rapid regrowth of healthy hair.
Yarrow flower oil (Achillea millefolium)
Yarrow flowers and leaves infused in oil make a sparkling green oil that promotes fluid flow in the breasts and inhibits bacterial growth. Women have noted that consistent use of yarrow oil seems to prevent the growth of new blood vessels that cancerous tumors need for growth. Yarrow is also a wonderful ally for relieving swollen, tender breasts and nipples. As it may irritate the skin slightly, I use yarrow only as needed.
Yarrow is a plant imbued with a reputation for psychic powers and energy healing. The aroma of the oil is said to give power to the heart and strength to the vulnerable. Sleep with yarrow, and you’ll have a dream of the future.
Yellow Dock root oil (Rumex crispus, R. obtusifolia)
This dark yellow, orange, or burnt-sienna-colored oil is a classic remedy against all hard swellings, tumors, growths, and scabby eruptions. It softens tissues and helps the body reabsorb lumps. The ointment excels as an ally for those dealing with skin ulcers (bed sores), burns from radiation, or mouth sores from chemotherapy. Yellow dock has been known to resolve worrisome nipple discharges. Yellow dock oil does not recommend itself for regular use; I reserve it for occasional intense use.
Herbal medicine is people’s medicine. Herbal medicine is the primary medicine of most people on this planet, right now. It’s not something old and dusty. It’s not a bunch of doctors and chemists figuring out how to use herbs like drugs. Herbal medicine is a 3-year-old picking plantain and putting it on a skinned knee or an insect bite. Herbal medicine is the medicine of women and children. It is the medicine of the earth. It’s medicine that’s free. It’s not something that must be studied before it can help you. Start with one plant. Approach herbal medicine directly, hands on, in the back yard with your children.
You can be your own herbalist, if you keep it simple. First, divide herbs into four categories: nourishing, tonifying, stimulating/sedating, and potentially poisonous. Use nourishing herbs daily, tonifying herbs regularly, stimulating/sedating rarely, and potentially poisonous herbs almost never.
Nourishing herbs are nutritive plants such as kale, garlic, dandelion greens, rolled oats, plantain seeds, blueberries, and edible weeds - the powerhouses of nutrition. Nourishing plants can be used in any quantity for any length of time.
Nutritive herbs are rich in minerals and vitamins. One hundred grams of dandelion (about ½ cup of greens) has 14,000 IU of vitamin A.
Tonifying herbs are like exercise; they include such plants as burdock, dandelion root, yellow dock, motherwort, ginseng, astragalus, chaste berry, schisandra. One of the benefits of exercise, of tonification, is that it helps us when we’re stressed. You’re not necessarily going to feel better if you exercise once for ten minutes. But, if you exercise for ten minutes every day, after several months, you will notice changes.
What’s confusing is the difference between tonifying and stimulating herbs. When we take tonics, we feel better and have more energy. When we take stimulating herbs, we also feel better and have more energy, but only when we are stimulating ourselves. There are immediate uncomfortable effects when we lack our stimulant, but no decrease in health if we stop taking the tonic. Ginger and cinnamon certainly have their uses. But they don’t build health.
Over the long run, stimulants erode our health. Nourishing ultimately gives us more energy, though it will take a few days to feel it, whereas the effects of stimulants are immediate. My apprentices drink two or more cups of nourishing herbal infusion daily. And after ten days, their skin is nicer, they have more energy and stamina, they stop craving sweets, and they feel a lot better over all.
With nourishing and tonifying herbs in our daily lives, we have solid energy that adds to health instead of subtracting from it. Instead of raiding my storehouse with stimulants, I build my reserves with nourishing herbal infusions.
I recommend that people drink nourishing herbal infusions on a daily basis. Everything will follow from there.
I consider dark chocolate an important health food.
Stimulating/sedating herbs are some of the most widely used of all herbs. They include coffee, tea, cinnamon, ginger, hops, kava kava,licorice, passion flower, skullcap, valerian, willow, and wintergreen. They are best used when there is a specific need: A pre-diabetic might choose to take a teaspoonful of cinnamon daily. Ginger compresses are great, and I enjoy it in my food, occasionally. The point with these herbs is to avoid daily use.
The last category is potentially poisonous herbs, ones we only in extreme situations, to ward off death. I include goldenseal, poke root, cayenne, rue, sweet clover, and wormwood in this category.
Goldenseal is a broad spectrum antibacterial. It kills more gut flora than antibiotics. It negatively impacts kidney, liver, and gut function. In forty years as an herbalist, I have used it only once: externally. It is overused, to the detriment of people's health, and to the near extinction of the plant itself.
In "Healing Wise" I discuss different medical traditions; The Wise Woman Tradition, the Heroic Tradition and the Scientific Tradition. They overlap, but, in general, the Heroic Tradition is called alternative medicine. It dates back to ancient Greece and the idea that there are four "humors." Disease occurs due to disruption of the humors. George Washington got the flu. The best healers of the day, who were heroic healers, puked him. He didn’t get better, so they purged him. He got worse, so they bled him. He got worse. They puked, purged, and bled him again. He died.
That was the best medicine of the day. Today, we think of the humors as toxins, and people continue puke, purge, and poke, only now, we call it "cleansing." My experience has shown me that cleansing does no good and can cause great harm. The Heroic Tradition prefers stimulating, sedating, and potentially poisonous herbs; and they generally use complicated mixtures of herbs. They want to be the heroes. The problem with these very potent herbs, however, is that they must be given in very accurate doses. This is the beginning of the pharmaceutical industry. The active poisons were extracted from plants, and crude plant drugs became "safe" pharmaceutical drugs.
That is the Scientific Tradition, which tells us that our bodies are machines and they need to be fixed. In the Scientific Tradition, health is a measurement. We eat by the numbers. The advantage to treating bodies as machines is that it allows us to deal withintractable problems. My sweetheart’s grandfather died of a heart attack at 57. His father had his first heart attack at 57, survived that one, and died of a second one at 59. My sweetheart, at 59, had a triple bypass, not a heart attack. Now, you might say, “Well, couldn’t you have done something to prevent that, Susun?” No. Very, very high cholesterol runs in his family. But consider this: The surgeon said to him, afterwards, “Your heart was getting about a third of the blood it needed; it ought to have been damaged or even dead. But you have one of the healthiest hearts I've ever seen. What's up?” He's been drinking nourishing herbal infusions for 20 years. He doesn't eat any vegetable/seed oils, doesn’t take supplements, does do yoga, and leads a vigorous, healthy life.
My friend, Ellen, was hit by a tractor trailer, which ran a red light. Her neck was broken in three places. She was picked up by a helicopter and taken to a major medical center, where they took a piece of her thigh bone and fused it into her neck. She can walk -not well, but she can walk. I couldn’t have done that with comfrey, love, or my drum. But two weeks later, everybody in the hospital wanted to know what we were doing because Ellen was healing so rapidly. That's comfrey, love, and my drum. I’m one of the people who coined the term, "integrated medicine." I want all three traditions to be recognized for their strengths and weaknesses, so each person can have the health care that is best suited to them and their situation.
The third tradition is the oldest tradition of them all and the tradition that I speak for: the Wise Woman Tradition. In the Scientific Tradition (linear) we fix the broken machine; in the Heroic Tradition (circular) we cleanse the filthy temple. In the Wise Woman Tradition (spiralic), we nourish the unique wholeness of each individual. Nourishment certainly has to do with what we eat, but it is more. Everything we take in - sights, sounds, thoughts, stories, smells, everything - becomes part of us. Many people who eat well are on a diet of junk food when it comes to what they take in other than food. No, I don't watch television.
When you read about herbal medicine, for instance, or see a doctor or healer, you could ask yourself: "Which tradition is this writer or healer working with?”. The Scientific Tradition says herbs are dangerous; they are crude drugs, drugs with green coats. Drugs have been made from herbs; but that doesn’t mean all herbs are drug-like. The Heroic Tradition says herbs - like cayenne, goldenseal, and lobelia - cleanse. I teach my students that cleansing, in terms of a living body, really means damage and destroy. In the Wise Woman Tradition, we start from the understanding that we are created in perfection. We do not fall from that perfection, but we fall from our belief in that perfection. The Heroic Tradition encourages us to berate ourselves, to believe that any health problem is our own fault. There is power in those beliefs, but little healing, to my mind. To me, healing is wholing. To heal is to make someone more, not less. I strive not to take away, but to add, and let what isn't needed go as it will, and it will.
We recognize our wholeness/health/holiness when we accept ourselves exactly as we are, with love and compassion. In the Wise Woman Tradition, we nourish what we want to be, rather than rejecting what we don’t want. We trust our bodies, we trust the earth, we trust our gut feelings.
Cholesterol’s connection to heart attacks has never been proven. And we have virtually no idea what healthy cholesterol is in a post-menopausal woman. Remember, my sweetheart: incredibly high cholesterol but never had a heart attack. Inflammation has been shown, over and over, to lead to heart attacks. You may want to consider reducing inflammation instead of cholesterol. One of the best ways to do that is to stop eating oils pressed from seeds, and to start eating olive oil, organic butter, and the natural fats from organically-raised, pastured animals.
Canola oil, flax oil, hemp oil, evening primrose oil, soy oil, sesame oil, almond oil, corn oil - all considered healthy, but examples of the oils I avoid when I want to avoid inflammation. And inflammation underlies and supports heart attack, joint pain, dementia, cancer.
The Scientific Tradition, says "measure and fix." For optimal health follow an anti-inflammatory diet - the first step is to remove seed oils from your diet. Then, reduce and remove stimulants – coffee, black pepper, cayenne, ginger, cinnamon, soda pop. Third, reduce and remove all sources of high-fructose corn syrup. Meanwhile, introduce optimally nutritive foods: nourishing herbal infusions, plain yogurt, fermented vegetables, whole grains, miso, seaweed. Give yourself at least a year to make these changes. You are already perfect; and you can create a greater perfection as you nourish yourself.
Slippery elm is wonderful herbal ally. I make lozenges by mixing slippery elm bark powder with a little honey. I stir until it clumps up, adding more honey if needed. It's just right when it's like pie dough. Using my hands, I make balls the size of hazelnut or bigger, and roll them in more powdered slippery elm so they don’t stick to each other. I store them in a small metal tin; and don't leave home without it. Slippery elm is so safe that you can dissolve a ball in your mouth as often as you want, any time you feel any distress. If you’re working with an ongoing condition, at least two a day is good. Slippery elm restores the lining of the intestines, prevents any agents within the body from disturbing the intestines, and neutralizes any poisons that are present in or around the intestines.
A great ally that you could grow is comfrey. There is some controversy about the use of comfrey root, so I restrict myself to the leaf. Also, I'm careful to use garden comfrey, which is less problematic. To make a nourishing herbal infusion with comfrey, weigh out one ounce of dried leaves and put that in a quartcanning jar. Fill it to the top with boiling water. Screw a tight lid on it and let it steep for at least 4 hours - or up to 9 hours at cool room temperature. Strain the herb out, squeezing it well. The liquid is what we drink; I put the spent herb in the compost. Comfrey leaf infusion can be drunk hot, with a spoonful of honey, or over ice. You can also heat it up and pour it over a mint tea bag. Comfrey gives the lining of the lungs and the intestines flexible strength and health.
Comfrey leaf infusion is good for people who have quit smoking, or even if they are still smoking. Comfrey leaf infusion is also a tremendous ally to bone flexibility and strength. It also heals and strengthens tendons and ligaments. Remember comfrey: it contains proteins that create short-term memory cells.
Teas and infusions are generally safe; tinctures are more concentrated and thus less safe, and capsules are the least safe of all. In fact, herbs in capsules are the most likely to create horrible side-effects. I tell my students to completely avoid herbs in capsules.
Let’s go back to our four categories – nourishing herbs contain vitamins and minerals, proteins and nutritive factors that are easily soluble in water and vinegar, but not alcohol. Stimulating/sedating and potentially poisonous herbs contain active ingredients that are more soluble in alcohol than in water. Thus, infusions and vinegars are nutritive, while tinctures are more drug-like.
An infusion is a large amount of dried herb brewed for a long time. A tea is a small amount of fresh or dried herb brewed for a short time. To make an infusion: Buy dried herbs in bulk - my favorites for nourishing infusions are stinging nettle, oatstraw, red clover, linden, and comfrey leaf - and place one ounce of dried herb in a quart canning jar; fill with boiling water; screw on a tight lid; steep for at least 4 hours; strain; drink the liquid hot or cold; refrigerate what's left and consume it within 36 hours.
A quart of nettle infusion can have 2000mg of calcium; and we could easily consume that in a day. A dropperful of nettle tincture would contain, at the most, 3-5mg of calcium.
The definition of a tincture is an alcohol extract. The active principles in plants - alkaloids, glycosides, volatile oils, and resins - generally dissolve poorly in water. Tinctures can make a plant act more like a drug, and allow finer control over the dose.
Legal Disclaimer: This content is not intended to replace conventional medical treatment. Any suggestions made and all herbs listed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, condition or symptom. Personal directions and use should be provided by a clinical herbalist or other qualified healthcare practitioner with a specific formula for you. All material herein is provided for general information purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or consultation. Contact a reputable healthcare practitioner if you are in need of medical care. Exercise self-empowerment by seeking a second opinion.
If you wish to contact Susun with questions or comments, please email her or write her as follows:
Susun Weed PO Box 64 Woodstock, NY 12498
LEARN HOW TO PREVENT ILLNESS AND HEAL YOURSELF safely and easily the Wise Woman Way. Women's health forum, FREE women’s forum, weblog, and email group. Topics include menopause, breast health, childbearing, fertility, disease prevention, nutritional advice, and cancer prevention. Visit the Wise Woman Web.
Susun is one of America's best-known authorities on herbal medicine and natural approaches to women's health. Her four best-selling books are recommended by expert herbalists and well-known physicians and are used and cherished by millions of women around the world. To learn more, visit her websites The Wise Woman Center and Ash Tree Publishing.
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Emu oil is one of the best topical treatments for hair loss. It has constantly produced positive results for men and women experiencing hair loss of all types. Some have even reported small amounts of new growth within weeks.
What is it?
Emu oil is produced from the native Australian bird, the Emu. The oil has been used for many years by Aboriginal Australians for many different purposes including to soothe dry and burnt skin and to treat other skin problems. The oil comes from the thick padding of fat on the back of the emu.
Almost 100% of the oil, when rendered correctly, is made up of triglycerides. For this reason, it is much more permeable on the skin, as compared to other oils. Which means, that besides it's other beneficial properties, the oil can be used as a carrier for other hair growth medicinal substances.
Properties of Emu Oil for Hair Loss
We've already discussed the important property of permeability. Another interesting property of the oil, which makes it key for hair loss, is that it is an anti-inflammatory. It has been accepted that hair loss is probably in large part due to an inflammatory process. Anything that decreases inflammation on the scalp, in theory, should help stop hair loss. Research on the anti-inflammatory property of emu oil is ongoing.
There is a lot of evidence supporting the anti-inflammatory ability of the oil as it is also has been successfully used to ease pain resulting from arthritis, reduce muscle pain related to sports injuries, and reduce bruising.
Even more significantly, emu oil has been shown to inhibit 5-alpha-reductase, the enzyme that metabolizes testosterone into DHT. DHT is known to attack hair follicles and leads to balding. This pathway is thought to be the reason for male pattern balding, and probably plays a role in some female alopecia. The take away here: stop 5-alpha-reductase, stop DHT, and you will probably be helping to stop some kinds of hair loss.
Unlike other types of oils, emu oil will not irritate your scalp or your skin. It is also non comedogenic, which is why many women are also able to use it on the face as a moisturizer and to combat wrinkles. Additionally, women have noted that they thicker skin after use (which coincidentally tends to be thinner in those suffering from hair loss).
List of the Beneficial Properties of Emu Oil for Hair Loss - Anti-inflammatory - Anti-bacterial - Anti-fungal - Highly permeable - Hypo-allergenic - No side effects - No odor or staining - Non-comedogenic - Speeds wound healing
Where's The Proof?
Well to be perfectly honest, we don't have "proof"... but we definitely have evidence. There have been many clinical studies that support the above-mentioned properties. We'll review one couple below but for more information you can visit website of The American Emu Association. There you'll find several white papers available for review.
Dr. Michael Holick, MD, Ph.D. conducted a study at Boston University school of Medicine, which looked at hair growth in shaved mice. The double blind study topically applied the oil to shaved mice, and use corn oil as the control.
Dr. Holick found that where emu oil was applied, DNA synthesis (growth activity) increased by as much as twenty percent. He also found that the dormant hair follicles had been "woken up and began growing hair." It seems that in the emu oil was responsible for stimulating the hair follicles on these mice.
What Kind of Emu Oil Should You Buy
Not all oils are the same. You want to buy the most potent and effective oil. This means that the oil must be processed correctly, or else the product can be almost useless. Here are some tips you should keep in mind when you are considering which emu oil you should buy:
- Make sure that you buy oil that has not been contaminated by hormones, blood, or emu meat. You can do this by purchasing from a company that ensures that the bird has been handled properly.
- One of the most important things about emu oil is that is entirely made up of trans fatty acids. If the oil has been incorrectly processed (under high heat), the trans fatty acids will not be produced.
- Solvents, degummers, sodium hydroxides, should not be used in processing the oil. Top quality oils will not have been refined with these as they can remove other important substances.
- No preservatives should be added. As mentioned earlier emu oil is an antibacterial- so preservatives should not be necessary.
Donna Palmer is especially interested in helping women affected by all types of alopecia re-grow their hair naturally. For more information on how to stop hair loss in women, please visit http://howtostophairlossforwomen.com.
I believe we need to find more natural methods to care for our lawns and gardens.
Instead of putting down toxic lawn chemicals, it's time to start thinking of our residential landscapes for their potential medicinal, and nutritional, values.
When I see a yellow “pesticide-treated area” flag warning children and pets to stay off a lawn, I have to believe that what has been put down can’t be good for me either. So I have sought out alternatives that don’t pose danger to anything but invasive plants.
Take white vinegar. It’s a product I’ve used to eradicate seedlings that grow between the bricks in my front walkway. Spraying vinegar directly onto the plant leaves and stems breaks down the cellulose, inhibiting photosynthesis, so plants cannot survive. It takes multiple applications and must be renewed after each rainfall, but it causes minimal harm to the bricks or me.....Read the rest of the article at DailyRecord.com
I came upon your sight while desperately searching for some answers on strangers touching children...here's what happened just a few hours ago and both myself and my husband cannot seem to shake this weird feeling:
We were on the train with our children (we live in NYC) and as we were exiting the train at our stop, this old woman that was sitting across from us, touched our children quickly on their arms before we got off of the train. This really upset me because I do not know what her intentions were. She did it quickly and without warning - and it seemed as though it was something she HAD to do before we got off. When I looked at her, she had this smile on her face...I can't understand why she touched each of our children as quick as she could. Was this a spell on our children?
Please provide your guidance.
Children have a special magic, some adults know this, most have forgotten.
Old people are often especially aware of the magic of children, and they often will want to be near children and or come into contact with them.
In a normal society, old people would be integrated into the family, having ongoing contact with younger generations, while the children would have ongoing contact with older generations.
These days, we send our kids away to college, and when they graduate, they move to wherever the job is available. They have children and the cycle continues. When the parents become grandparents, often they are so far away that they and their grandchildren do not get to spend time together…
In the not too distant past, the entire family would live together….many generations under one roof…while adults went out to work, the older family members would stay home with the children and care for them, there would be a wonderful exchange of love and knowledge, older people passing down the traditions and lore, the younger people giving love and caring to their elders.
Now, old people grow old alone….and kids are sent off to daycare and then school to spend most of their time with strangers. Parents work extra hard to pay for the childcare, best schools, and of course college…and the cycle continues.
My intuition tells me that this woman touched your children to get some of their magic, and the smile you saw was a bit of that magic that had rubbed off of the kids to her. Fear not, your children have an unlimited supply of magic, which will only be taken away over the years as they are made to comply with societal norms, work requirements, and the isolation our society demands…..in interest of work, productivity, corporate interests, monetary gain, and commercialism.
I was not there, so can’t say for sure, but this is my impression…
Your children will follow your lead….so envision that situation how you want it to be, not based on fear.
I live in the Catskills, but was raised in NYC. I have a small child, and am very careful with her, so I appreciate your protectiveness and it can be scary raising kids in such a populated area….although, I can tell you that most people are good and kind and mean well, even in the city….
Hope this helps,
If I may add a little insight into this as well. My husband is first generation Mexican American and was raised in "Little Mexico" in South Side Chicago. He also has been in the restaurant industry with predominately Hispanics.
I've also worked in an Arabic restaurant and been friends with the owner/staff most of my life. In both of these cultures they consider it very important to gently touch a child to break any "fascination" or bewitchment they may have inadvertently put on the child. They do this because it is normal for an adult to wish they had the magic and joy of being a child again. They believe, if they touch the child, it prevents the evil eye and any jealousy, well intended or not, from causing the child harm.
When I had my daughter, I had to get over the homogenized American ideal that we do not touch others as I had dozens of Mexican and Arabic friends touching the baby to break the "fascination". It's harmless and brings good luck and it's a lot better than my Greek relatives who spit on the baby to ward off evil! :) My daughter has never been ill, so the touching is not transferring germs, and I think it is a wonderful touchstone to the cultures we are so quick to forget.