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Saturday, August 12, 2017

Baltic Amber Necklaces - Holistic or Hype?

Chances are, you or someone you know has jumped on the amber necklace train. The question is, do they actually work or is it the placebo effect? Well, today, I am doing my best to answer that question.

The science behind the medicinal use of Baltic amber is grounded in succinic acid. Baltic amber has the highest concentrations of succinic acid found in nature. This acid is released by your body heat and absorbed by your skin as a natural pain reliever. It is referred to as an antispasmodic and anti-fever by homeopathic doctors. You can find more information on succinic acid here.

Common medicinal uses for Baltic amber are relief from teething, headaches, inflammation of throat, ears, and stomach, rashes, stomach aches, earaches, fevers, colds, arthritis, carpal tunnel, and fighting infections and respiratory diseases.

I can personally attest to the effectiveness of Baltic amber for teething as well as aches and pains. I have used an amber teething necklace for my daughter ever since she started teething. There has always been a night and day difference between the days she wears it and the days she doesn't. I think its safe to say that toddlers are immune to the placebo effect.

I know so many families that have had wonderful results with these necklaces. It is important to note that when buying, make sure to get a certified authentic Baltic amber necklace, bracelet, etc. You'll want to use a reputable dealer and they generally run about $25 for a child's necklace, although the price can vary greatly.

Do you use Baltic amber? Please share pics on Twitter using #alacuisinellc or comment below.

***This information is not intended to diagnose or treat and illness or disease. Please consult your (preferably homeopathic) medical practitioner before starting any new health regimen. As with most natural remedies, this information has not been approved by the FDA.***

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Beauty Berry - Nature's Insect Repellant

Beauty Berry is a relatively hardy shrub located in the southeastern woods. It has purple berries that ripen in the fall. This bush was traditionally used by farmers who would use the branches to protect their horses. They would put the branches in between the saddles and the horses' backs and as the oils were released, the horses were protected.

It has since been used for ages on humans as well. Simply crushing the leaves by hand releases the natural oils. The oils can then be applied to the skin giving protection from harmful insects.

In 2006, the US Department of Agriculture's Natural Products Utilization Research Unit in Oxford, MS concluded that the extract matches DEET in effectiveness against mosquitoes, ticks, fire ants, and more for three hours at a time. Science, it seems, caught up with what people already knew.

Have you ever used beauty berry as an insect repellent? Did you know about beauty berry? Please share your experiences on Twitter using #alacuisinellc.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Lammas - the Turning Point of the Year

Lammas is a special holiday (aren't they all), that is shared by many belief systems and paths. It is generally celebrated on August 1st, although some start the celebration the day before.

Lammas is centered on the beginning of the wheat harvest with loaves of bread from the first harvest being baked and blessed for the celebration. It is also the time when Summer metaphorically dies in preparation for Winter. You can read a very basic description of Lammas here.

This time is looked upon as a time of reflection and new beginnings. The first chills of the change in seasons can sometimes be felt. It is bittersweet. Focusing on the future while acknowledging the past is a wonderful way to celebrate this beautiful time of the year.

Traditionally, several cultures will make corn dollys during this celebration in preparation for Spring. It represents the promise of future seed for the next harvest and is typically a shape made of wheat fibers that is filled with seeds from this first harvest. This can be an exceptionally fun activity when there are children present!

Corn Dolly

Corn Husks
Wheat or seeded pieces of grain
Rope to secure
(Plant fibers can be used in place of rope)

1. Choose the final shape intended, this could be the shape of a person, wheel, or anything that speaks to you. It can be as large or as small as you want.

2. Create the shape, securing pieces as needed with fibers or rope.

3. Fill with additional seeds (optional). You can also add papers with prayer requests into your dolly if you feel led to do so.

4. Feel free to display your Lammas Dolly during your celebration and even for a few days after. Then, safely store it until Spring, where I will have a fun activity suggestion for you to do with it!

Have you ever heard of Lammas? Do you celebrate it? If not, do you plan to now? I would love to see pictures of your Lammas celebrations, so please share on Twitter using #alacuisinellc