Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Bacterial Vaginosis (BV), Yeast Infections, and Vaginal Health

Bacterial vaginosis is simply the result of an imbalance of bacteria in the vagina. It officially counts as inflammation (in one of the most uncomfortable places), and causes symptoms such as:

* Vaginal discharge (gray, green, etc.)
* Unpleasant (fishy) odor
* Pain
* Redness
* Swelling
* Itching
* Burning sensation when urinating

In conclusion, it SUCKS.

Vaginal chemistry is pretty complex and depends on hormonal and bacterial balance. Stress leads to an excess of stress hormones such as adrenaline (short term) and cortisol (long term).

Of course, we all operate at our highest level when we are not under threat or constant stress. Women are especially prone to stress side effects. These include:

* Worse PMS
* Vaginal dryness
* Vaginal discharge
* Fertility problems
* Menstruation irregularity

And...

* Bacterial vaginosis

But back to chemistry.

As everyone who has every watched a yogurt commercial knows, good bacteria must be present to resist harmful bacteria. Hormones and pH levels affect bacteria, and may even kill good bacteria while allowing harmful bacteria to flourish.

One interesting factor in pH is sex.

Semen is on the alkaline end of the pH scale, while the vagina depends on an acidic pH. Acid kills sperm. Fabulous. This is why women often find themselves with unpleasant symptoms after intercourse. Fuck.

There are some wonderful natural remedies for rebalancing pH and restoring vaginal health.

* Boric acid suppositories (with or without tea tree oil)
* Cranberry
* Vitamin C
* Probiotics
* Garlic
* Yogurt

Take care of yourselves, Ladies. Simple preventative measures like taking extra supplements or using a boric acid suppository after sex or when you notice the first hint of trouble can make all the difference. Be proactive when it comes to your health, because your vagina goes with you everywhere...




Friday, March 9, 2018

Boric Acid Vaginal Suppositories FAQs

Is boric acid safe to use vaginally?

Yes, it is safe to use pharmaceutical grade boric acid tablets as suppositories.

Why is boric acid safe when inserted vaginally but toxic when ingested?

In the stomach, boric acid is absorbed to a greater extent and distributed throughout the body. This process is not the same in the vagina, where the absorption is to a lesser degree and the compound is contained.

Can I have sex while using boric acid?


NO. It would act as an irritant and could potentially cause a rash for both partners. 

Can I use boric acid while pregnant?
NO. NO. NO.

How do you prepare the capsules?


These are made by hand, by us in our apothecary. Everything is sanitized - jars, workspaces, containers, etc- we wear gloves, and everything is stored separately from all of the other herbal items we make. These are made by mixing the boric acid with the tea tree at a therapeutic ratio, then the mixture is encapsulated, and then bottled and labeled.

What is the difference between boric acid with tea tree versus regular?

The regular boric acid powder is very effective without the tea tree essential oil. Some people opt for the tea tree option because it also has antiviral, antiseptic, and astringent properties that can also help with bacterial issues such as UTIs. This may also offer a broader scope of relief. pH imbalance in the vagina can lead to several different problems, not just yeast infections.

What is the usual length of treatment?

Treatment can be up to two weeks, but use precaution after more than a week. Skin irritation could result, and your body may respond better to a different treatment. However, many women report relief from symptoms as quickly as 48 hours.

What is BV (bacterial vaginosis)?

BV is a bacterial infection in the vagina, caused by an imbalance in healthy bacteria. This problem is a common occurrence after a course of antibiotics, since antibiotics wipe out both good and bad bacteria.

I'm experiencing watery discharge the day after using boric acid. Is that normal? 

Yes, that is a common side-effect. The boric acid does not really absorb into the vagina.

Is bleeding normal during treatment? 

No. If you notice any bleeding from the vagina that is not period-related, stop treatment immediately.

Can I use boric acid while I'm on my period?

No. Wait until you stop menstruating to use boric acid.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Boric Acid...and Your Vagina?

"You put what up there?"

I thought I had heard her wrong. But no.

"Boric acid."

"I'm sorry - acid. Up there?"

Apparently it works. Go figure.

"So you're telling me that something that could kill you if you swallowed it...can work wonders in your...vagina?"

Monica assured me again and again, but I still thought she was a little cracked. Maybe this is what happens to Etsy nuts, I thought, they start to go off the deep end. Maybe there's a support group (she) I should be going to...

Then I started to research this phenomenon.

As any woman who has ever had a yeast infection knows, a yeast infection can ruin your day. It's hard to sit calmly through a meeting or answer phones in a pleasant voice when dealing with symptoms like:

* Itching

* Burning

* Irritation

* Thick white discharge

* Vaginal odor

* Redness

* Swelling

* Painful urination (and intercourse)

Yeast is found naturally in the vagina. Like most things, though, moderation is key. The pH balance of the environment either keeps the yeast population in check, or lets it grow wildly out of control.

What's the difference between good yeast and bad?

* Healthy = single-cell fungus
* Harmful = branches of yeast cells (mycelia)

Factors that increase the risk of yeast infections include:

* Diabetes
* Stress
* Fatigue
* Anemia
* Allergies
* HIV
* Immunodeficiency
* Chemo / radiation
* Antibiotics
* Steroids
* Menstruation
* Bubble bath
* Lack of ventilation
* Over-use of sprays, douching, tampons, liners, etc.

Boric acid is a derivative of the element Boron, and is found naturally in minerals, hot springs, and volcanic water. It is acidic in nature and has been used for over 100 years in treating yeast infections and vaginosis, among other feminine perils.

Boric acid (which comes as a white powder that looks suspiciously like cocaine), is:

* Antiviral

* Antifungal

* Antiseptic (antibacterial)

BA suppositories (another new term for me) are inserted into the vagina, where the gelatin capsule dissolves while the boric acid restores the environment to a healthy pH status.

Suggested use:

1 tablet (600 mg) before bed for 2-10 days.

Many women have told us that their symptoms cleared up in as little as two days.

Doctors usually prescribe medications or creams such as Metronidazole, Clotrimazole, Miconazole, or Ticonazole. Problem is, these treatments have a bad habit of not working after a while.  Antibiotics also have the unhelpful side effect of wiping out all the good bacteria with the bad. Good bacteria fights the bad stuff, so your yeast infection might be gone, but something just as good will come take its place.

Somehow, BA just knows what to do.

If you're bored, you can take a fun little quiz to test your knowledge on yeast infections.

To learn more, the Pacific Gynecology Specialists Seattle have some great information about Boric Acid and its uses.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. The Balm Lady disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.


For purchase options, go to The Balm Lady's shop on Etsy. 

Monday, January 15, 2018

FAQ Working with the Elemental Guides

Premise: As a Shamanic Practitioner, I will from time to time, call on the Elements to help me with Healing, or with moving or influencing energy. How I use / call on Elementals is / can be different than how any other practitioner / Witch / Shaman / etc uses them. 

Reminders: 

Our Earth is comprised of all elements - Earth, Water, Fire, and Air / Wind. Everything on Earth is derived from elements as well - the Human body is 70% water, after all.

When working with the Elements (Elementals), you must always remember that Elements have the power to shift - water turns to ice, fire to ash, etc.

.::Here is are a few questions usually asked regarding how to work with Elementals::.

1. Where do I find an Elemental?
They are everywhere. A flame on your candle, water in your sink, ice in your freezer, dirt in your flower box, air that you breathe.

2. How do I begin working with an Elemental?
-Believe in them and their existence
-Open your heart and show love to all living creatures
-Care for animals, plants, and flowers and surround yourself in their energy everyday
-Care for the environment
-Be a good person and show love and gratitude (elementals mirror our behavior)
-Communicate with them - ask how you can help them and watch for their signs
-Ask them to help you in your life

3. What can I ask the Elemental to do or help me with?
You can ask Elementals to help you in anyway - starting a project, opening communication, releasing stagnant energy, purifying objects, etc. All Elementals can be helpful, but each has their area of specialty. 

Earth - Grounding / centering, building stability, prosperity, material possessions, abundance, build solid foundations in business, relationships, the home. Use also for creating peace, growing plants, money magic, growing family,  & fertility.

Water - healing, purification, psychic awareness and protection. Water is the realm of peace, tranquility, but can also be used to create FAST change when needed. Helps with increasing emotions, dispelling dear, and blocking psychic attacks.

Fire - energy, success, courage, transformation, leadership, strength, passion, love, sex, romance, banishing, creating new beginnings, destroy the old to make way for new, & obtain your desires.

Air -clear thinking, new ideas, new beginnings, clear communication, change, and solutions to problems, new thoughts, reason, intellect, knowledge, freedom, memory, and awareness.

**You can also ask each Element(al) how they can help you in your life!

If you are are learning about Shamanism, you can journey with the Elements and they can show you ways they may be able to help as well as asking them during your journey for things like healing, purification, and assistance.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

On Perfume

Making a perfume is much more than throwing together some scents and hoping they mix well, and smell good. Think about the last time you wore perfume or cologne. What was the occasion? Why did you pick that scent? Are there some scents that you cherish and only use for special times? Do you have a signature scent?

There is a reason why we cherish scent the way we do. Our nose or olfactory membrane is the only spot in the human body where our central nervous system comes into direct contact with our environment. This means that we first perceive things through our nose. We smell the cookies baking before we see them or taste them.

Our sense of smell is first processed through the limbic lobe - the oldest part of our brain and the place where all of our emotional impulses are. This is why certain scents and odors can make us feel nostalgic - happy, sad, make us long for people, places, things. When we come into contact with a smell we have already reacted to and our minds are making a mental note of when, where, why, so that twenty years from now, when you are walking down the street and catch a whiff of a past lover's cologne, your memory is triggered to that night you had your first kiss. Or when you enter a bakery, and the smell takes you back to your grandmother's kitchen. Spice does that for me, it makes me remember my dad cooking in our family home.

Whether it's flowers in bloom, bread baking, smoke, or a wet dog, we can tell what each scent comes from without needing to see it's source of origin. Throughout our lives, our nose and sense of smell is recording everything - everything, from the mundane - burnt toast, to the intimate - your lover's cologne. There is no greater power we have that can recall memories, impressions, - all with deep emotional roots and ties within our soul. How exquisite is that?

The perfume or cologne we choose has it's place too - it's the constant smell that will frame your (and those of who you come into contact with) experiences while you are wearing it. Make sure you love it. 💖




Sunday, December 3, 2017

Acetaminophen: Killing More Than Pain

When was the last time a doctor recommended you take acetaminophen, Tylenol, Ibuprofen, or one of the common NSAIDs for pain and inflammation? This week? 

Me too.


Did your doctor mention the common side effects? Mine didn't.


Consumer Reports wrote about a recent study in Scotland where researchers found that, while we all know that overdosing on acetaminophen can be fatal, a toxic overdose can also be caused over time when people consistently take a little more than the daily maximum. 


This isn't just a problem for people who knowingly overdose or abuse drugs. Just as many people are seen in the ER due to accidental overdose. Why?


Two main reasons:


1. The FDA and the pharmaceuticals manufacturing OTC drugs don't have the same definition for a "Daily Maximum". Is it 1,000 mg, or is it 4,000 mg? Nobody seems to know.


2. Acetaminophen is used in over 600 other OTC medicines, from allergy and cold meds to sleep aids and fever reducers. It's really easy to take more than you intend to.


What are some of the most common problems acetaminophen can cause?


This particular drug is so popular because it doesn't present the same stomach damage potential that drugs like Ibuprofen do. However, Tylenol (acetaminophen) does not decrease inflammation, can be toxic even slightly over the daily max dose, and, combined with alcohol, can cause liver failure. 


Learn more about the pros and cons of 4 of the most common pain killers.


What does this have to do with herbal remedies and pain salves? 


Herbs like turmeric, cayenne pepper, arnica, frankincense, and Devil's Claw are all effective in decreasing inflammation. A knowledgeable herbalist will also tell you that you can't take frankincense internally, but it is very effective in a topical application. The others are safe and effective both internally and externally. Overdosing on herbs is nearly unheard of, both because of common sense and practicality. 


Comfrey is one of the only herbs that includes some warnings and probably shouldn't be taken internally (though not everyone agrees on this). The point is that nature's provisions are just as powerful and plentiful as those created in a lab, and oftentimes more so. 


We all have options when it comes to our health, and it's not a pills-or-pain world. You can advocate for yourself by educating yourself, not just on alternatives to western medicine but also how certain drugs will affect your body. Doctors know a lot, but they don't always know what's best for us.




Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanks Giving

My Gratitude List

  • Family & Friends & Fur Babies
  • Love
  • Healing
  • Creativity
  • Our Home
  • Hope
  • The Balm Lady's Customers 😍
  • Megan's Business Success
  • Change 
  • Beauty
  • Music
  • New Experiences
  • Silence
  • Coffee 💟
  • Sunshine
  • Laughter
  • Good Memories
  • Good books
  • Good food
This list is not complete....

Happy Thanksgiving!