Every winter I mix up a fresh batch of ear oil just in case one of us happens to come down with a case of otitis. Ear pain is miserable, and it's worth it to keep this easy remedy on hand. It's very simple to make. I include garlic, mullein, calendula and St John's wort oil in my recipe. If you're lacking all those herbs, you can make an effective ear oil with simply garlic and mullein (and even just garlic).
Herbal Ear Oil
2 TBSP chopped garlic
2 TBSP calendula (dry)
2 TBSP mullein (dry, though wilted is acceptable)
2 TBSP St John's wort oil (made ahead with fresh herb)
Put the herbs and St John's wort oil in a 250 ml jar. Add olive oil to the top of the jar (see the 2nd pic? That's not enough. The 3rd pic? That's the stuff, right there.).
Cap it. Label it. Place it in a warm, sunny spot for a minimum of 2 weeks, shaking it every day. Keep an eye that mold doesn't form in the jar. This can happen if the herbs were not dried or stored properly. If that happens, chuck it. At the end of the 2 weeks, strain it and bottle it. A dropper bottle will make it easier to dispense it.
To use, warm the oil until it's at body temperature. Test it to be sure it isn't hot....earaches are bad enough without a burn! Put 2 or 3 drops into the ear canal, treating both ears as infections can 'travel'. Use 2 to 3 times daily as needed. You may want to clean out the oil every so often with a couple drops of topical hydrogen peroxide.
Ear oil is NOT to be used for swimmer's ear or if the ear drum has been perforated. If in doubt or if the ear pain persists or worsens, see your doctor.
Yes, it's another unflattering picture, but it's real and it has significance...two things I love. I have become an early riser. I love the quiet as I sip my coffee, daydream and organize my thoughts. The hour to myself before the kids wake is such therapy! Lately, my early morning thoughts have gone toward my emotional progess. I am very much a person who fixes. There was a time I struggled ...with a saviour mentality. Hard times? World poverty? Second cousin twice removed had surgery? Emilie to the rescue! My thoughts and behaviours, trying to be everything to everyone, running ragged to solve problems as big as maternal death in the Phillipines and as small as a friend's rocky marriage left me exhausted mentally and physically. Burnout after burnout left me in shambles. So I stopped. I am able to recognize my level of energy reserves. I am able to recognize my abilities in a realistic way.
I have the desire to take care of everything and everyone, but I now have the sense to say no and feel okay with it. Saying no to some responsibilities has given me the ability to do well in others. For the New Year, choose one task that is suited to you and do it well. If you hate cooking and crowds make you anxious, don't volunteer in a soup kitchen. Let that be another's blessing. Perhaps you'd be better suited to helping the soup kitchen by doing administrative work or cleaning the hall after events. Don't fight who you are. We've all been made differently not to compete, but to compliment each other.
2019 roared in with freezing rain and a heavy snowstorm. Mid-afternoon it finally cleared up and I took my cabin-fevered self out for a snowshoe. Thankfully, I took the loop trail that keeps close to our property rather than hiking far across the fields. The moment I hit my groove and thought I'd shoe to the far fields out of sight of our house, the wind changed. I saw it coming from the far woods like a tidal wave and it hit me with ice pellets as soon as I landed in our... back yard. Winter is tempermental in our area.
I took this picture as I retraced my steps on the loop. I suppose it is fitting to look back on 2018 and learn from the successes and hardships. Where have I been? More importantly, where am I going? I have big ideas for Village Sage Herbals!