Isn't this curious? I posted this last week but the text is missing! Hmmm. This went with a post on an herbal weight control blend I made last week. I drank one cup around 4:30 in the afternoon and was unable to sleep when I went to bed around 9:00. I don't know if it was related becausce since then, I've had a couple of cups but while I was at work. I can't say I've noticed any difference although I did have soup and salad the first day and nothing more. Of course, that could easily be because I was focused on losing weight and not that I wasn't hungry! The taste is okay but not something I'd want to drink every day. In fact, I've only had it three days so I'm not very committed to this tea. I'll keep trying. In the meantime, you probably want to know what's in it: 2 tablespoons of Peppermint, 1 tablespoon each of Cleavers, Dandelion, Chaparral, Echinacea, Licorice root, Oregon Grape root, Wild Yam and Gentian and a dash of Cayenne powder. I use a tablespoon per cup.
Since my blog last week, something is working for Thumper, since the boil is almost gone. Whew! I continued to use Chamomile to soothe and that seems to have been the key.
In the meantime, my friend has a Shar Pei that has come down with Shar Pei Fever many times over the years but no vet seemed to want to diagnose it as such. This time, however, one did and recommended a pharmaceutical drug that would cost her about $390 per month and (here's the kicker) her dog would need to take it the rest of his life. That's great if you're independently wealthy but doesn't work for most of us. She asked me if I could help in any way.
I ran off some articles on the causes of Shar Pei Fever and what it does systemically. It seems, essentially, that proteins are unable to be processed fully by the body and lodge in the liver and/or kidneys. If this happens enough times, the dog gets amyloidosis and eventually dies. Since I work with doctors, we had a discussion about what I might do to help prevent amyloidosis and/or flush the organs. Armed with that information, I came home and created a blend for her to put in his food or water. It has 2 parts (tablespoons) Chamomile (anti-inflammatory), 1 1/2 parts Slippery Elm (demulcent to digestive tract), 1 part Dandelion (immune system booster), 1 part Burdock root (kidney cleanser), 1 part Cleavers (urinary tract cleanser and blood purifier), 1 part Cornsilk (liver cleanser), 1/2 part Parsley root (urinary tract cleanser), 1/2 part Echinacea root (immune system booster) and 1/2 part Uva Ursi (urinary tract cleanser). I decocted the roots and then added the leaves to steep for a total of about 25 minutes in 16 ounces of water and then strained it all into a container for her to use. We're going to give him 2 tablespoons twice a day for a week and then switch to a monthly schedule of 3 weeks on and 1 week off where she gives him 1 tablespoon 2x daily. I'll keep you posted.
Taking an herbal studies course can be challenging. So far I've invested in 6 herbal books (in addition to my training materials). I'm learning, yes, but not fast enough to please myself. I'm often left with so many questions and although I know answers will come with time, what if I make some drastic mistake in the meantime? Take, for instance, my cat Thumper. He developed a boil under his ear back in June. I took him to the vet who said she wasn't really worried about it and that it would probably go away on its own with time but that if it didn't, I should think about bringing him back in if it was still there in about 4 months.
So I came home and decided to try my hand at treating it with herbs. I make a blend of Comfrey Root, Echinacea Root, Plantain Leaf and Goldenseal Root. I then warmed it, dipped some cheesecloth in it and managed to get him to hold still for a couple of minutes. I did this once a day for about 4 days and it went down but not away.
Then I went to an aromatherapy conference where an herbalist was one of the vendors. He suggested Castor Oil with 2 parts Plantain and one part Witch Hazel Bark. I got back to discover that the boil had grown again so I thought it was a perfect time to try this new blend. I tried it for about 3 days but was a little concerned that the oil was only further plugging up the pores.
Then I got a suggestion from another herbalist that I shouldn't use oil; I should use Plantain as a poultice - or perhaps a combination of Marshmallow and Slippery Elm. She said he also needed to be treated internally as a boil arises from some sort of internal infection.
In the meantime, I had a chance to speak to my vet who is holistically-minded but doesn't usually treat with herbs. He said boils do not arise from an internal infection and I should try Turmeric as a warm compress but that heat was key.
So I put some Turmeric in water, heated it up and applied it. Darned if it didn't work. Well, actually, I don't know that. The boil was definitely open and raw when I got home from work the next day but could easily have been because he scratched it open.
Okay now what? The boil is open but it's red, raw and oozing blood. I'm afraid the vet would cost a small fortune (which I don't have until next paycheck) and that they'd want to try to put him in a collar. We had to try that once before and he became violent, throwing himselt around and slamming into walls and furniture. Not a good thing to watch.
So today I turned to something soothing - Chamomile and just applied a warm compress. I also have a tube of A&D ointment and although it's not herbal, I"m desperate to see some improvement before I can afford to take him to the vet.
My dilemma is that I can't tell if this is a case of "it gets worse just before it gets better" or if it's just worse! It scares me and also makes me lose confidence in my abilities to help herbally.
One advantage of working in hospice is that I get to play with all the therapy dogs. This is Asher, a Corgi.