wild foods feast, part 1: intro + dandelion!

i’ve been devoting a lot of time and energy lately to the natural motherhood series, and while i’m going to be continuing that as normal, i wanted to branch out and offer something that would appeal to the un-pregnant majority (a complete assumption) of my readership.  i was thinking about what i could add to my current series, which include the wheel of the year, natural motherhood, and herbal preparations, and my husband ingeniously suggested a series on wild edibles.  yum yum! Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

natural motherhood, part 6: herbal baby care

i know that some of you out there love the super-informative posts, but i also know that there are a lot of folks who really love the project-y d.i.y. stuff—-this post is for both of you but will be a special treat to the latter.  (i’m right there with you, hands-on people!) for this entry, i wanted to take a good long look at all of the stuff we put on our babies (creams, ointments, lotions, oils, soaps, powders, balms…..oh my!) breaking everything down into the good, the bad, and the ugly.  a walk down any baby care aisle in the grocery store bombards us with all this crap (yes, most of it is crap), but because “that’s what you put on babies,” that’s what we all buy.  if you’re at all concerned about what goes into your baby, you should pay mind to what goes on her as well—pores, after all, are like little gateways to the bloodstream. Read the rest of this entry »

natural motherhood, part 5: breast care

i googled “natural breast care” tonight—just to see what would pop up.  to my great disappointment, seven of the nine links were for breast augmentation or “enhancement.”  i cringed and peeked through one eye as i changed it to an image search—while i was glad to see as many pictures of breast self-exams as  i did pictures of blown-out self-tanned porn-star racks, i was horrified by the wide selection of machines that apparently use intense and prolonged suction for the purpose of “growing” larger breasts for you.  oh, and there were the creams for larger breasts, the contorting bras (watch how your pulled-around back fat can be made into more side-boob!), and the scary mixes of unnamed “herbal supplements” just shipped in from china—and all this from searching natural breast care.  what’s wrong with us? Read the rest of this entry »

natural motherhood, part 4: downstairs maintenance

whether you’re planning on getting pregnant, are already pregnant, or have just given birth, it is essential to do your research on “downstairs maintenance.”  odds are pretty much in favor of your having to deal with at least one of these issues, and (although we’ve gotten better about it) women tend not to have as many frank discussions as we should when it comes to our lady parts.  actually, this post branches out a little further than “lady parts”–the uterus and vagina are not the only bits of anatomy affected by pregnancy, labor, and delivery.  you’ve also got to talk about your bowels, your bladder, your vulva, and your rectum.  how many of you cringed when you read that last sentence? lol. see what i mean?  we don’t talk about this stuff enough. Read the rest of this entry »

natural motherhood, part 3: the big, bad list of “no-nos”

you knew this was coming, right?  amidst talk of all the wonderful new things you get to do (be goddess-controller of the air conditioning, add frivolous things to grocery lists, stop sucking in your gut for the first time since you were eight) is the dreaded list of “thou shalt nots.”  now, i’m not a doctor, so my word isn’t law here (funny how we assume that five extra years in college=always right!) but i do have some good source material and a lot of common sense.  i’m a teacher and a researcher by trade, and birth is my subject of choice.  just sayin’……this isn’t THE list; it’s the herbwife’s list.  amend as you see fit.  ask for second (and third, and fourth) opinions.  also, don’t assume that doing a few of these things a few times=sure trouble.  repetition increases risk with any harmful substance.  plenty of women have had beautiful, healthy babies after doing a whole slew of these things—-these are just guidelines for giving yourself and your baby the best chance at health. Read the rest of this entry »

natural motherhood, part 2: iron, calcium, and folate

as i began my foray into the world of alternative medicine, i made  the mistake that many (if not most) people make.  i adopted the heroic tradition’s view of the body as a dirty temple–one that must be punished and purified.  go into any health food store and you’ll see aisles of pills and potions meant to purge you from every end.  you’ll see bowel cleanses that work by irritating  your colon so badly that its only recourse is to pull precious water from your cells and flush out all contents.  you’ll see testimonials of people marveling at the horrible things that their bodies pushed out. Read the rest of this entry »

natural motherhood, part 1: easing morning sickness

because many women today don’t track their menstrual cycles, and because some women have very irregular cycles, morning sickness can sometimes be the first sign of pregnancy.   this rather unwelcome herald of otherwise great news was a major focus of the pharmaceutical industry in its 1950s infancy.  anyone familiar with the drug thalidomide (sold as thalomid), given to women in the 1950s to assuage morning sickness, remembers that it was taken off the market a few years later after it was found to cause terrible birth defects.  most notably, “thalidomide babies” were born with phocomelia—they suffered from craniofacial deformities and were often born with missing or underformed arms and legs.  more than 10,000 cases of thalidomide-related phocomelia were reported, and an astounding 50% of these infants died. Read the rest of this entry »

safe and natural vitamin c serum

of all the products that we slather on ourselves day in and day out, those geared toward defying age, gravity, wrinklage, sundamage, and basically time in general are the ones that seem to be loaded with the most unidentifiable chemical ingredients.  have an age-defying cosmetic product?  turn it over and read the label.  does it contain propylparaben (a known endocrine disruptor and environmental pollutant)?  how about triethanolamine (a known respiratory and immune system toxicant that’s also damaging to the eyes and other sensory organs)?  and butylparaben (a neurotoxin that influences gene expression)?  or what about my particular favorite, “fragrance” (a common component that is not required by law to disclose its ingredients at all)? Read the rest of this entry »

eco-minded moontime, part 4: organic cotton tampons

hola friends!  the grand experiment marches on into its fourth installment!  this month, i’m reviewing organic cotton tampons.  if you’re unfamiliar with my project, please check out my general post on eco-minded moontime, my post on cloth pads, and my post on menstrual cups to see what i’ve been up to.  i’m acting as a menstrual guinea pig of sorts, reviewing all of the safe and effective alternatives to mainstream feminine products.  as always, the discussion will be frank, so put on your big girl (or big boy) panties, and let’s soldier on! (right after we enjoy this trippy but hilarious menstruation animation!) Read the rest of this entry »

eco-minded moontime, part 3: cups

greetings ladies and gents!  thank you for waiting patiently while i graded research papers and journals and daily work (etc., etc.) for my english 101 classes!  i’ve been blog-starved, but as the school year has finally come to a close, i have four and a half weeks of unfettered blogging ahead!  today’s entry is the third part in a series that i’m doing on eco-minded menstrual products.  my first entry was a more general statement of purpose for my whole project, and last time i reviewed cloth pads, so check out both of those entries if you haven’t already. Read the rest of this entry »

« Older entries