5 Generations OHara_MacDonald_Sanders_Rempel_Shaw

GRAND REMEDIES are those passed-down potions and practices that result in natural health and healing at the hands of the 'ancient ones', the grandmothers. Sometimes we learn these health-giving protocols directly from our own grandmothers, and sometimes we learn them sideways from others' grandmothers. However we pick them up, they are usually unbelievably simple, soothing, natural, and imbued with grandmotherly love. I believe the love might just be the key to their healing qualities.

Here is a sampling of the grand remedies that this natural gran gravitates towards. Some of them I use on a daily basis (eg., aromatherapy) while others I might pull out of a bag in an emergency situation. As I have mentioned previously, I am not a scientist or a "medical practitioner" so I recommend that you pay heed to your own wisdom and that of the professional care-givers you esteem.

Pure Essential Oils-- Aromatherapy

I was greatly blessed to have grown up in the much-maligned hinterlands in a time when there was little pollution (or perhaps, little-known pollution?) and a wealth of trees and wild plants in the natural woodlands, grasslands, and even in the (unsprayed)ditches along the unpaved highways. My Dad showed me that I could chew the hardening resin from the Spruce Tree if I had a real hankering for Wrigley's gum. My Mom transplanted minor meadows of wild prairie lilies and columbine, and violets grew profusely out around the old pit toilet. The winters were frigid and long, and the Springs were a time of rejoicing. In all, there was a lot of wonderful, healthy fragrances that emanated from the trees and plants. The fragrances spoke of the 'essential oils' that ran through the plants and trees like their lifeblood. These same essential oils, when grown organically or wildcrafted, and properly distilled without noxious solvents, have amazing healing properties and actually oxygenate the blood of those-- people or animals-- who inhale or apply them to their skin.

Pure Essential oils are truly grand remedies-- some of the most highly concentrated natural plant extracts known, demonstrating a variety of antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and hormone-balancing effects. Pure essential oils can be as much as 1000X times more concentrated than highly valued natural herbs, with the consequent amazing effects, and synergy when blended.

For this natural gran, the key to achieving a sense of real helpfulness when dealing with my grandbabies' rashes or tummy aches is to know that I am using something that is God-given in its purity and natural efficacy and that it has not been 'extended' or adulterated with chemicals. You can read how I feel about parabens and other unnatural additives and petrochemical pollutants. I don't want my grandbabies to remember me as anyone but the person who wanted the very best for them.

Before using essential oils, it is important to understand some of the science and safety guidelines, particularly when applying to small children and infants.

Some of my favorite oils for use with small children include Lavender, Chamomile Roman, Lemon, and Geranium. Personally, I feel more comfortable using a carrier oil, such as Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil, rather than applying any of the essential oils "neat" to small children, even in minute quantities. These oils are very powerful, and certain oils should NEVER be used with infants. A good, well respected aromatherapy reference will guide you, as will someone who is accredited in the field.

Along with my interest and love for working with essential oils, is a newly developing interest in another of the grand remedies: massage, particularly as it relates to infants. My daughter-in-law has become quite proficient at it as well. Why we didn't do this with our colicky infants I have no idea, except that perhaps we were just too conformed to the more traditional 'A-Canadian-Mother-and-Child' model of our era with its proscription against too much holding and 'coddling' of infants. Anyone who has had the great privilege of having either the Raindrop Technique (with pure essential oils dropped like rain upon their spine) or effleurage with essential oils knows the great relief of emotional and physical pain and tension that is possible. Why would it be any different with children and babies? (Again, pay attention to the strictest safety guidelines and the use of ONLY pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils in very minimal quantities).

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