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Castor oil

The Real Reason I Love Castor Oil Packs

When I was 20 years old, I was unstoppable. Nothing could stand in my way. Not even the minor car accident (in which a drunk driver rear-ended my car and I ended up with “just” a whiplash). Not even the excruciating pain in my neck which lasted years.

20 years later, “suddenly”, with no apparent reason, I could not move my arm. Only after visiting a chiropractor, who showed and explained me how big is the damage I have caused to my neck and spine, just from neglecting the injury, I realized what I have done. If I would only stop and do one of the things I know now (even just resting or applying a castor oil pack) the whole picture may have been different.

After few visits, I felt much better and pain was gone. Still unstoppable at that time, I then understood that this was just the beginning of my healing journey. Fixing a damage that has been accumulated in 20 years is not possible in a week. And this was my “Stop sign”. Up to that point, the easiest way for me to handle these “stop signs” was to ignore them. However, opening my eyes to view this sign, made me realize that this is my own responsibility to attend my own health. This is my own responsibility to find the time to give attention to my body or seek professional help to guide me how.

This has become a life journey, and as it keeps unfolding, I am fascinated by all the unstoppable souls who are crossing my way, seeking my friendly or my professional advice, and one thing keeps repeating over and over again:

Applying a castor oil pack has brought many of these souls to a very deep state of realization that a change needs to take place. Witnessing this phenomenon, either in my office or hearing from those who I suggested to apply the packs, brought me to the belief that deep state of relaxation has the amazing power to change lives – physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

Castor oil, a very thick oil derived from the castor bean (Ricinus communis) seed, has been praised for many benefits. Among them: Enhancing relaxation, Decreasing inflammation, Increasing circulation of blood and lymph thus enhancing the immune system, Improving elimination of toxic substances, Promoting tissue healing, Decreasing pain, Lubricating ligaments, Improving digestion, Easing many conditions including uterine fibroid, non-malignant ovarian cysts, endometriosis,  headaches, migraines, constipation, intestinal disorders, gallbladder/liver conditions, and probably many more.

A castor oil pack can be done in many ways. The way that works best for me is simply applying the oil on the belly, covering with a hand-towel, topping with a hot water bottle and laying down for at least one hour.

When applying the castor oil pack on the belly, the oil lubricates and stimulates all the tissues, organs and systems in this region. Along with that, the heat draws the blood vessels up closer to the skin as they vasodilate, and oil is being absorbed into the blood circulation as well, thus distributed through the whole body.

Lubricating and stimulating organs as the small intestine, bladder, colon, liver, uterus, which are part of systems that are inhibited when body is under stress (when the autonomic nervous system functions at its sympathetic / fight-or-flight state), signals the nervous system to shift to the relaxed state (parasympathetic state). This may cause a confusion for the person experiencing it, since many of us may have not “visited” the parasympathetic system for a very long time. We are trapped in the fight-or-flight loop and do not know how to find the moment to breath and recover.

Shifting to the parasympathetic system creates a space, allowing to view life in a clear and focused perspective. It allows me to be more centered into my own body, realizing that so many things are happening inside, while I keep myself very busy outside. This deep relaxation opens my mind to ask the real questions, which I have been avoiding for a long time:

  • Am I so busy working for others that I cannot find an hour for myself to walk outdoors or to engage in some movement?
  • Am I so busy running after everyone’s needs (my spouse, my kids, my cat, my dog, my friends, my neighbors, my, my, my, my, my…. Oh my) that I don’t have an hour to seek a professional guidance resolving my own issues?
  • Am I so busy being busy that I cannot find an hour to understand what relaxation really means?

 

In my eyes, a castor oil pack can be a major life changer. Such a simple action with such a powerful result. Even if at this moment, I am not able to answer all these questions, I have planted the seed, so when time is right – I will be ready to take the ownership over my life and start my journey.

 

And this is the real reason I love castor oil and I would keep telling everyone again and again and again that they should try a castor oil pack….

 

***Anat Shlagman is a Traditional Naturopath specializing in Relaxation, utilizing a unique tailored session, combined of Reflexology, Castor oil pack, Abdominal massage and Energy work, designed to bring the autonomic nervous system to its parasympathetic state.

 

Some sources

The Edgar Cayce ARE – http://www.edgarcayce.org/are/holistic-health.aspx?id=9467&terms=castor

The oil that heals – A physician’s successes with castor oil treatments – William A. McGarey, MD

Herbs of grace – Farida Sharan

 

Blog, Workshops

Who Are You Not To Be?

We ask ourselves: “who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?”
Actually, who are you not to be?

-Marianne Williamson

 

Many hesitate to ask me for an advice fearing that I would force them to make a change. The truth is that when I tell you to do something, you would probably choose to cover your ears and not hear me. This is why I stopped talking and started teaching. Not teaching how to make a change, but teaching how to listen to your body and understand the messages its sending.

Now, when your body is telling you to do something, and you are able to understand what it’s telling you, it is harder for you to ignore – You have to listen.

Should you choose to make a change when you know what your body is telling you? It’s your own call! I have nothing to do with it…Except offering you tools which can help you be in your own body and take action for your own health.

These tools are offered through my workshops and sessions, which are both designed for everyone – flowing at each one’s pace. I believe that minor (almost invisible) changes are much more powerful than major ones. Tiny steps will eventually lead to a meaningful shift. There are no magic answers out there. Everything is inside each one of us. Our body knows what to do, but needs the space and environment to do it. The effort in creating this environment should be individual and not outsourced to someone else.

Taking our health in our hands is the best way to reach vitality, and it is something all of us can do. This is why I am inviting you to join me, as new dates are posted for my workshops in September and October:

Thursday 9/1311:00 amCastor oil Party and Forgiveness Meditation

Wednesday 9/266:00 pmSweet Twist – Cacao Treats

Monday 10/156:00 pmTea Party – Holistic Care with Herbs

Tuesday 10/236:00 pmWhole Body Care – Self Reflexology

 

My workshops are designed to be different than usual expectations: They are small, up to 6 participants. They will take place even with one registered participant – if you made the commitment, I will not be the one to break it. And they will probably bring new enlightenment about your own health.

I plan to offer all my workshops throughout the year, however if you would like to have any of them sooner (or any other that you may think of), let me know and we will figure something out – can be at my location or at yours.

Hope to see you!!

Anat

Blog, Salves and Oils

How I fell In Love With St. John’s Wort

In summer 2014 we traveled to Israel to visit our family. It was one of the roughest experiences we have ever encountered, as it was war time. Known as Operation Protective Edge (and/or Operation Strong Cliff and/or Mivtza Tzuk Eitan), The 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict was not a welcoming party for us.

We arrived at 2 am from the airport to my parents house, in Beer Sheva, a city which was under a constant heavy rocket fire. The kids regarded it as a game: every few minutes, when siren went off, they ran along with their nieces to the sheltered room, waiting for the “boom” sound and afterwards exiting the shelter to continue to play their games. This is how the night went on and then the day, as the siren goes off very freequent.

But when the next night has arrived, we needed to go to sleep, and then we realized that it will not be so simple. Kids started to show anxiety signs, fearing they will not be able to wake up if siren goes off. Also, hearing “boom” sounds all around was not helping either. Energy work, calming words, cuddling and any other way we tried to calm them down had no influence. It seemed as we will never sleep again.

Luckily, I remembered bringing with me special gifts to give to our family and friends to help them relax. I infused vinegar with st. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) and put it in small spray jars to keep in the pocket and spray straight into mouth as needed.

In my despair, I took one spray bottle and spritzed into my kids mouths. Lo and behold!! In less than 30 seconds the kids were sound a sleep. I could not believe my eyes! They completely dropped dead and slept through the night (and woke up when siren went off…).
That summer, no one got any special gifts from me… we have used all these spray bottles constantly through the whole month of the war, and I personally kept using them for more than a year after that.

Two years later, I have noticed a change in my vision, and could not use my glasses any more. At the vision test, the eye doctor told me that there was a dramatic shift and I do not need glasses any more. From -1.5 (for the past 20 years) it shifted to 0 (!). These news were so incredible and I regarded them as a result of my lifestyle: eating real foods, often castor oil packs, daily Epsom salts baths, regular massages, regular chiropractic care, yoga, meditation, drinking herbal teas and using home-made herbal products on my skin, and probably many more..

So, I decided to try working on my hearing issues, as I suffered from some tinnitus/ringing in the ear since my army service.  To my deepest amazement, I realized that for the past year or even more, I did not have any ringing in my ears. Whoa. This made me think about other changes that I made in my life in the past year or two in conjunction with my healthier life style.

Talking with Jim McDonald, a local wonderful herbalist in White Lake MI, he said that st. John’s Wort is known for its abilities to heal nerve damage, many times unnoticeable until long time after healing took place.

At that moment, I fell in love with st. John’s Wort!

This beautiful plant, with almost magical touch, has so much to offer! Among its many benefits, these are the main ones I use st. John’s wort for, sometimes externally as an oil or a salve, and other times internally as a tincture or a tea:

*****For internal use,  if you take any medication, ALWAYS check with your doctor for interactions, especially for depression or muscle relaxant meds*******

  1. Pain is one the most popular issues that I am using it in my practice. Either internally or externally. Sciatica, joint pain, facial nerve pain, bruises, sprains and more.  You can add some meadow sweet, kava kava or solomon seal to the salve and it would be awesome. According to Jim McDonald, adding Mullein root can enhance st. John’s action when dealing with spinal issues. I love to add cayenne and turmeric to my pain salve, just to help carry the st. John’s wort deeper into the body.
  2. Nerve damage or Nerve injury – st. John’s wort has the ability to restore nerve damage. Diabetic neuropathy can be relived, injuries to nerves can be restored, burns and traumas to the skin can benefit from applying it and so many more conditions.
  3. Anxiety – my own experience had brought me to offer the tincture to those who suffer from anxiety. Just carry a small spray bottle with the tincture, either alcohol based or apple cider vinegar based, to spritz when needed.
    It has been a life saver for many.
  4. Liver and digestive – st John’s Wort can help the liver detoxify. As a bitter and aromatic it affects the digestive system and aids it to function better. For these purposes I love to use it as tea.
  5. Antimicrobial properties – Awesome for infections of wounds, bites, staph bacteria…
  6. Stagnant depression – As an aromatic plant, it can help in situations where we feel stuck. Add some lemon balm and make a tea that will help you ease out of the perception of reaching a “dead-end”.

 

St. John’s Wort is a remarkable herb. Even though the oil will probably stain your cloths, I am sure you will keep rubbing it on your injured area until you are healed.
Prepare yourself to fall in love with this amazing herb…

 

 

Sources:
Jim Mcdonald – http://www.herbcraft.org/
Herbs with Rosalee – https://www.herbalremediesadvice.org/st-johns-wort-health-benefits.html
Kiva Rose – http://kivasenchantments.com/gifts-of-the-solstice-native-st-johns-wort.html
James Green – The Male Herbal
David Hoffmann – New Holistic Herbal

Blog

Having Trouble Falling Asleep or Stay Sleeping?

Sleeping is a very important pillar of naturopathy. Sleep enhances our memory, focus, immune system and so much beyond. According to Harvard University: “When we miss sleep in order to keep up with our 24/7 world, we pay a price with our ability to learn, our health and safety, and our quality of life”

Over thinking, over worrying, and living with anxieties may prevent us from either falling asleep or getting a good night sleep to feel rested in the morning.
When we have sleeping issues – our nervous system needs some nourishing attention. We have to be mindful that when nervous system compromises, all other systems compromise as well (digestive, immune, hormonal, reproductive…).
There are many ways to calm the nervous system, but I will share here only one:

Using Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) either as a tincture or as tea, is a very effective gentle way to calm the nervous system. I love the tea version as a great ending to a hectic day – sitting and enjoying a hot cup of tea. Yes, sitting is a huge part of enhancing relaxation… and with it’s great taste, even kids enjoy drinking Lemon balm tea.

Lemon balm tea can be made with fresh or dried herb – simply pour boiling water onto the leaves (usually 1 tsp herbs for 1 cup of water, but you can always increase or decrease the amount of this herb).

As a member of the mint family, lemon balm is awesome with relaxing the digestive system as well as the nervous system. It has antispasmodic qualities soothing both systems. In my experience, drinking it before going to sleep will relax you so much that the only thing you will be able to do afterwards is fall into your bed. I would not recommend serving it to your guests… I did it once, and had my guest falling asleep for 20 minutes on my couch..

The nice thing about lemon balm (and herbs in general) is that it is not causing you to be tired, but it shows you how tired you are, and actually forces you to take an action about it. Trusting that taking breaks from our life missions will actually help us complete these tasks much faster and more efficiently.

Combining this tea with an application of a castor oil pack, when going to sleep, will bring the nervous system to a very deep state of relaxation, which will allow the whole body to recover through the night.
***There is no way I will miss an opportunity to bring up castor oil – The most amazing natural remedy ever!! I have been using it for the past 7 years profoundly, and all my sessions include a castor oil application, of course… Cannot emphasize enough how wonderful these packs are!! email me if you need instructions.***

It may take your nervous system few days to adjust and trust your nourishing efforts, and therefore, you may want to set a routine of daily drinking the tea and applying the castor pack for at least a week or two. Watch for minor changes. Don’t look for the extreme. Look for these little, subtle shifts, that may actually save your life in the long run. For example, watch your reactions to the events around you . watch your mood. watch your thoughts before you go to sleep. Has anything change? are you less reactive? are you happier? are you feeling lighter? are you more focused in your actions? are you thinking more clearly? Small steps, but what a difference they make!

 

Beyond relaxation, lemon balm has also antiviral qualities, and it is amazing with cold sores. Lemon balm can both lessen the severity and speed the healing of an acute attack and, when taken regularly, can prevent future outbreaks (from Rosalee de la Foret’s Website). I love to use it in my lip balm, as a preventive and as a lip healer.
As a mint, it would be also great for fevers and coughs as well.

 

Lemon balm is such a marvelous plant. It is regarded as a safe herb for kids and adults. There are some warning about its use with those who have hypothyroid issues, so, if you do have hypothyroid worries, you may want to consult your physician. Also, if you are taking any medication, you may want to consult your physician for any interactions as well.

With its great tasting, even if you have no issues with your sleep, you may still wish to try a lemon balm tea.
Sleep tight!!

 

Sources:

Healthy Sleep – Harvard University

Herbs with Rosalee

Rosmary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health

Body into Balance by Maria Noel Groves

Blog

Immune Building, Liver Supporting, Heart Opening Tea

For a long while now, I have been making this “house specialty” tea. Everyone who sees me holding it asks what’s inside, and all those who join me for tea love it as much as I do. So, here is my secret recipe for this immune building, liver supporting, heart opening tea:

Organic blueberry (I use frozen)
Organic elder flowers (I use dried)
Organic orange peel (I use dried)
Organic hibiscus flowers (I use dried)
Organic rose buds and petals (I use dried)

Add all in a cup and pour boiling water. Let sit for 20 min and enjoy. The longer it sits, the deeper color and taste it gets. You can strain it, but I like to eat everything in there…..

Quantities? Depends on what you need on the specific day you drink your tea:

Was your day too bitter and you need more sweetness in your life – add more bluberries.

Are you grumpy and scolding everyone around? Add more orange peel for your liver.

Was your heart broken? Add more rose

Do you feel that you are getting under the weather? Add more hibiscus and elder flowers

Play with it, change, add, mix other things – make it your own and it will heal you…
Enjoy!!

**And if you want to taste my version of this tea (and probably another tea made with the wonderful herbs blooming right now outside) join us at the open house Sat June 2nd from 1-4 pm.

Blog

The Best Chocolate Ever

Chocolate is one of my favorite foods. As a bitter, it boosts my digestive system. As a sweetner, it warms my heart.
But not all chocolates are the same. Not all dark chocolates are made of quality ingredients. One major ingredient you want to see is cacao (not “cocoa”), as the cacao is minimally processed and still contains all the minerals and vitamins*.
So to be on the safe side – I make my own. And this is the way I do it**:

1. In a double broiler heat cacao butter until it’s melted. Quantity – as much as your heart tells you..
2. Add slowly cacao powder and taste after each spoon until you get a chocolate taste (cacao butter smells like chocolate, but has no taste)
3. Add slowly raw honey, and taste after each spoon until you like the taste (don’t over do it..)
4. Add few drops of vanilla tincture.
5. Mix all and spread on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Let it cool and harden.
6. Cut to pieces, and keep whatever left in a closed jar.

Enjoy!

 

My chocolate will be served at the
Franklin Holistic Medical
Grand Opening Celebration

SATURDAY JUNE 2ND 1-4 PM
Join us and tag along your family and friends..
*Cacao (Theobroma cacao) is a Boost of Minerals like magnesium, iron, chromium, anandamide, and theobromine; Nutrients like manganese, zinc, copper, PEA-phenethylamine, serotonin, Sulphur, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, lignin and chromium; amino acids like arginine and tryptophan; Anti-oxidants like oligomeric procyanidins, resveratrol, polyphenols, catechins, epicatechins (and more antioxidants than red wine, blueberries, acai, pomegranates and goji beans-combined); Vitamins like A, C, E, B1, B2, B5 and B6.
**I assume all ingredients to be organic.
Sources:
Body into Balance – Maria Noel Groves
Real Food – Nina Planck
David Wofle – 9 reasons why chocolate is good for you – https://www.davidwolfe.com/9-reasons-chocolate-healthy/
Good Stuff Cacao – http://www.goodstuffcacao.com/why/