Thursday, December 31, 2015

Setkheni-itw's Headache Oil

For my first recipe I'm sharing something I developed in the past few nights in an attempt to relieve headaches caused by giving up soda while also attempting to reduce my NSAID usage.  I'm still using NSAIDs, but only very occasionally, so I think it's mostly successful.

Ingredients (Normal Strength)
  • 1 ounce base oil
  • 5 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  • 5 drops peppermint or spearmint essential oil
  • 5 drops wintergreen essential oil
  • 3 drops lavender essential oil
  • Optional: small chips or beads of a pain-relieving gemstone, like amethyst or aventurine

Mix all ingredients in an amber or cobalt dropper bottle.  At the first sign of a headache, put a drop or two each on your temples, behind your ears, and along your back hairline.  Massage in.  You can experiment with where you think it helps more (I put it on the edge between the top of my ear and my face as well as on my shoulders and neck).

The main pain relieving agents in this are the eucalyptus and mint oils.  You can experiment with the strength of this oil by adding more of these ingredients until you get the coolness that works for you.

Depending on the type of headache, you may need some extra help to actually eliminate it (whether by a natural technique like massage or a conventional medication), but in such cases this does help reduce mine until the other methods kick in.

-- ☥ Setkheni-itw

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A Witch Remembers

This blog is a personal journey back to natural medicine after many years of relying almost entirely on pharmaceuticals.  In the years since I originally abandoned my natural health sensibilities--excepting, perhaps, nutrition--I've never felt more chronically unwell.  I have stomach problems from multiple rounds of painkillers, ultimately leading to back pain.  I went on three rounds of antibiotics in the past year, including one that was entirely unnecessary, meant to be taken as a continuing medication for a non-serious condition, which left me feeling so ill I had to stop taking it before I had any of the positive effects it promised.

It would be really unfair, though, to represent my chronic unwellness as a side-effect of pharmaceuticals.  I would credit much more of this problem to my poor eating habits, addiction to soda, sedentary lifestyle, and other factors like that.  The few things directly caused by pharmaceuticals are not nearly as bad as the effects from these lifestyle factors.  Still, there are no pharmaceuticals that can really help me with these things, either.

But most importantly?  I've found that, now that I'm a grown man living with health insurance, the United States healthcare system is more corrupt and disgusting than I ever imagined, even when I was a young anarchist, anti-vaxxer, and genuine medical conspiracy theorist.  I don't believe anymore that pharmaceuticals or conventional medicine are bad.  These are excellent and effective, but almost entirely inaccessible for a lot of people, even with insurance.  This is due to a clusterfuck of factors including Catholic and other Christian monopolies on hospitals (leading to huge deficits in care, especially reproductive health care), disturbing and unethical billing practices like billing people multiple times through multiple companies for one visit, erratic prices that seem to have nothing to do with the value of the treatment, gouging of the uninsured, and--just putting it out there--the fact that we have to goddamn pay for any of this anyway.

I still use some prescriptions--blood pressure medication and transgender hormone therapy--but for the most part, unless it's necessary, I stay away from pharmaceuticals and conventional healthcare for that reason.  It's not just the overuse, it's that I can't afford to pump thousands of dollars more into medical care that has failed to actually help me 3/4 of the time.

Natural medicine isn't the only thing I deal with here, either.  This blog is meant to document a number of personal goals I have for throughout the new year and beyond.  These include:
  • Releasing my addictions regarding food and soda through a more natural diet.
  • Reducing my ecological footprint by foraging, producing, and preparing my own food.
  • Trying to make the world a better place through social and ecological justice activism.
  • Better grounding the type of Witchcraft and Paganism I practice into the framework of a deep-earth-based religion.
  • Growing skills that may be necessary as certain aspects of society degrade.
I am what I like to call an optimistic pessimist.  Aside from the chronic unwellness, I'm a generally privileged and upwardly-moving individual.  But I can't see where the world is headed and not be fundamentally pessimistic, either.  I remember a while ago reading about a group of Pagans who are basically apocalyptic... they believe that there is no way to turn things around and not wreck the planet, so their practice has turned to harm reduction, preparing for the ecological end-times, and begging forgiveness for fucking things up that much.

I don't know that I believe such a thing will happen in my lifetime, but with each new exposé revealing that global climate change is even worse than previously thought, with each murder by police, with each war started, and so on and so forth, I become less and less optimistic for humanity as it is.  So my lifestyle is, in effect, me trying like hell to do what I can do prevent the end of the world as we know it, while creating a personal contingency plan... just in case.  I guess I'm kind of a mental prepper, of sorts.  I don't stock my basement with packaged goods bought on sale for the end times, but I do know how to hunt, gather food, and treat water.  And I'm perfectly happy to share that knowledge and that journey with you.

What can you expect from this blog?  A lot of recipes, probably, for body products and medicines as well as food.  My trials and errors when it comes to my various attempts at food preparation and production, including gardening, fermenting, and campfire cooking.  Various issues both good and bad I have as an active member of the local Pagan community, including social and political ramblings.  And knowledge from over twenty years of Pagan practice, too.  In addition to, let's be honest, whatever else I feel like putting here!

Anyway, I feel like this is a good enough introduction for now, so I'll leave it at that.  Happy trails!

-- ☥ Setkheni-itw