Tuesday, March 18, 2008

nose neti

I love visiting my friend Beck, who lives in Northern California. We served at the same church for about five years and became close friends.

Beck and I had a lot in common back in those days. We homeschooled our children. We stored up for Y2K (OK, I've publicly admitted it. If you need any dried beans or rice, let me know). We worshiped together and followed hard after Jesus.

And we became enamored with natural healing.

We actually took a class together. We met a Sally's house every week--there were usually about 10 ladies there--and we started each session by listening to a teaching by Dr. Schultz. His stuff was interesting, but after the tape ended the fun began: we got to go into Sally's kitchen and create herbal concoctions!

Sally's favorite--and most time-intensive recipe--was "superfood." The finished product(which included ingredients such as alfalfa, yeast, rose hips and garlic, to name a few) resembled the scrapings from the underside of a lawnmower, but Sally spoke about superfood in reverent tones. It could boost the immune system, improve the sex drive, supply boundless energy--and possibly even protect against biological warfare.

How could we not provide barrels of the green stuff to our families? Sally's favorite way to ingest superfood was to add a few tablespoons to her orange juice or throw it in the blender with some fruit to make a smoothie.

Knowing full well the health benefits of this super supplement, I never could quite bring myself--or my family, for that matter--to actually drink the stuff. It turned my juice green, tasted like dirt and smelled like a field of fresh mown hay.

I really enjoyed making tinctures, however. In our class, we learned that the best way to extract medicinal properties from plants was to soak them in vodka for a month, and then strain out the solid materials, leaving only a very potent liquid. We had to use vodka, Sally told us, because the higher the volume of alcohol, the stronger our tincture would be. A few drops of the finished product, added to juice or tea, could quickly be swallowed and then utilized by the body.

So I, who had previously never purchased so much as a can of beer in my life, found myself ever on the lookout for cheap vodka. In California, they sell hard liquor right in the grocery store, so I'd load up my cart with whatever brand was on sale.

One day I was standing in the check-out line at Luckys and remebered my vodka supply was running low.

"Danielle," I called to my middle child, who was reading People Magazine one check-out stand over, "can you go grab me a couple of bottles of vodka, please? They are on aisle 7. The cheap ones are on the lowest shelf."

I don't actually remember if Danielle obeyed my request. I clearly remember smart-aleck Lindsay's little dramatization, however.

"Mom, you've got to stop drinking," my oldest daughter rebuked me, shaking her head in mock disgust. Then, making sure everyone within earshot could hear, she continued her crusade: "Vodka is destroying our family!"

Yep, it was a long time before I shopped at Luckys again!

Much to my family's delight, the tincture and superfood phase eventually passed. Who wants to keep making concoctions when nobody actually takes them? But I've continued to be keenly interested in alternative health and natural healing. And so has my friend, Beck. We always have a grand time sharing our latest, greatest natural health discoveries.

When Greg and I stayed with Beck and her family a few weeks ago, I told her what I'd been learning about adrenal fatigue and its treatment. Beck told me her latest discovery was the "nose neti".

"I've never heard of it!" I told her, as she handed me a small ceramic tea-pottish thing with a long spout. "What does it do?"

"It clears and heals your sinuses," she told me, illustrating how you fill the pot with warm salt water, stick the spout in one nostril and let the water flow from the other! "We think it really helps with congestion and sinus infections."

So when I woke up this morning, nauseous from post-nasal drip and sick of my persistent sinus headache, I decided to give neti a try. I purchased a cute little pot and bag of sea salt at New Seasons and came home and did the deed.

Apart from the strange flashback of being a small child at the public pool accidently snorting water up my nose, it was kind of cool. Very soothing (although I think it scared Scout), and I think I've breathed a bit better today.

So there you go. Now you know. Don't just pop a pill or run to the doctor when your allergies flare up this season. Try the nose neti.

It's a great conversation starter, if nothing else!


mel said...

my dad ate superfood! At least that's what I remember it saying on the big white bottle. (He didn't make it himself.) It's green gunky stuff that kind of looks like the algae that grew in our pool. yeah? and he put it in all kinds of juice drinks. so gross. :)

Jenne said...

Hi there! I am a c-stone member, looking forward to getting to know you better (perhaps on a hike - no snow for me though).

I just could not resist commenting today because I used a Neti Pot today for the first time. And the eye-stinging-childhood-pool-memories came "flooding" back to me as well.

You will find a nice little contingent of natural medicine believers in our church body. It is always fun to swap stories!

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