Blog

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

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

Raffle Sneak-Peek at our Open House

Our Open House is approaching quickly and we will be raffling few interesting items. This is a sneak-peek to 2 of them:

Castor Pack Starter Kit
Including a kettle, hot water bottle, castor oil, towels, instructions and a box to hold them all

You all know how much I love castor oil and this kit will supply you all that you need to go home and make your own castor oil pack. You can even use the kettle to make your favorite tea…

33358121_10156382693653633_6211632585399861248_n
Raffle – Castor Pack Starter Kit

 

Book:
Super Nutrition for Babies

written by Dr. Katherine Erlich, owner of Franklin Holistic Medical 

Dr. Erlich’s book has helped many kids grow up healthy and happy, and as one of the owners of Franklin Holistic Medical, she will meet and talk with you at the open house.

33308736_10156382694048633_1589771020649103360_n
Super Nutrition for Babies

 

Looking forward to see you!!!

Saturday June 2nd, 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/