Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Natural remedies for common viral and fungal foot complaints

We've moved! Visit this blog post in its new location: http://www.thebarefootdragonfly.com/natural-remedies-for-common-viral-and-fungal-foot-complaints/

Monday, May 30, 2011

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Thank goodness for Dandy Blend!

I'm quitting coffee. At first I denied my need for a morning cup of Joe. Then when I realized I couldn't honestly make it to 10am without caffeine I realized my problem: I'm a coffee addict. I love coffee - the taste, the aroma. But sometime in the last half year it became a habit, something I did not because I enjoyed the cup, but needed it. Blech!

In my efforts to boycott Starbucks until I have this daily addiction under control I've tried just about every kind of tea known to womankind: black, white, green, roasted twigs, herbal, red bush. You name it. After a friend posted an amazing sounding iced coffee description on Facebook I had had it with the hot beverages and went straight to the cabinet for the box of Dandy Blend. It doesn't smell or taste like coffee but it is my favorite coffee substitute. I made a tall glass of iced dandy and it was gooood! Here's the recipe.

Iced Dandy Blend
1 pouch instant Dandy Blend
handful ice
sweetener (I prefer honey or raw sugar)
light cream (you can also use a non-dairy creamer like soy or coconut)
hot water
cold water
splash of vanilla extract (only if using light cream and not a flavored creamer)

Dissolve Dandy Blend and sweetener in a small amount of hot (not boiling) water. Stir in creamer, ice and cold water until glass is full. Sip and enjoy!

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Lilac Extract Experiment

Here in the Greater Boston area we're in early-to-peak lilac season and it is heavenly! Shades of lilacs in milky white, blue-purple and rich burgundy can be spotted in many front and side yards. They are popular along the fence lines for extra privacy in the summer. But their short spring season is a delight to the nose and the eyes.

As a recent graduate of a clinical aromatherapy program I thought to myself, "surely these must have some kind of therapeutic application?" A quick scour of the internet gave me a recipe from the wisdom of Jeanne Rose, famous aromatherapist and herbalist who has written several volumes on plant subjects. My inner mad scientist was sparked at once and I collected several stalks of lilac and a bottle of alcohol.

I used a 1.5 liter jar and loosely filled it with fresh picked lilac blossoms (trimming leaves and the woody stems). Then I placed a clean stone (I run mine through the dishwasher in a lingerie bag but stones can also be boiled gently in a pot of water on the cooktop), on top of the blossoms to weight them down. I poured a liter of vodka over the flowers, sealed the jar and labeled it with the date.

Here in Massachusetts it is nearly impossible to obtain higher octane alcohols, I've been told it is due to abuse by the very young drinking population. It doesn't make it easy for those of us who wish to preserve plant materials for cosmetic or oral use. I would have preferred something like Everclear brand as that is what I used when I actively made herbal tinctures back in New Mexico. However, in a pinch (since I'm not driving to Providence or New Hampshire before lilac season is through), my experience is that vodka is a reasonable substitute.

I'll post a follow-up, even if I'm left with a jar of toxic sludge, in the coming weeks. I plan to replenish the pot with fresh lavender blossoms as long as I can find them! If you're near Stoneham and want to donate some stalks to my cause I'd be happy to hear from you! :-)

"The spring is fresh and fearless
And every leaf is new,
The world is brimmed with moonlight,
The lilac brimmed with dew.

Here in the moving shadows
I catch my breath and sing --
My heart is fresh and fearless
And over-brimmed with spring."
- Sara Teasdale, May Night, 1920

Winner Announcement from the Strive to Thrive Health & Wellness Fair!

We had a special raffle drawing at our booth on April 30th at the Strive to Thrive Health & Wellness Fair. We've used the Random Number Machine (http://www.random.org/) to choose our winners based on their completed entries at the fair. Without further ado, here they are:

1.)Patricia Marano is the first prize winner - she has won the Total Reflexology boxed kit by Kevin and Barbara Kunz.
2.)Cari Conserva is our second prize winner - she has won the Foot Reflexology socks.
3.)Juanita Baxter is our third prize winner - she has won the Redmond Bath Salts.

Congratulations ladies! We appreciate everyone who came out to the fair and dropped by our booth, it was nice to see so many smiling faces last weekend!

Prizes will be available at the office for the next two weeks, please call or email to arrange a pickup time. Items not collected within this time frame will be donated.

The Barefoot Dragonfly
489 Main Street
Stoneham, MA 02180

Friday, April 29, 2011

Aromatherapy Case Study: Pain

A 50 year old female came in with the complaint of acute dental pain after a recent visit to her dentist. On a scale of 0 to 10 with zero being "none" and ten being "unbearable" she rated her pain a "10."

We used a low dilution of Piper nigrum essential oil, which is obtained from the black peppercorns, and applied it topically to the jawline. Within a half hour this client reported her pain was a "2" and before she had left the office she announced "it's gone!"

Schedule an aromatherapy consult with Amy Kreydin at The Barefoot Dragonfly today!

Photo by Dora Mitsonia

Thursday, February 17, 2011

CSA Testimonial

I received an email from a former CSA family that opted not to do the winter farm share with Heavens Harvest Farm. They can't wait to do the Spring Share again! :-)

What we learned from doing the CSA:
a) pushed us to eat healthier
I thought that we’d just buy more veggies at Calareso’s once we stopped for the winter.
It didn’t happen. We fell back onto our old ways. Plus they have the most common of veggies and nothing more.

b) pushed us to learn to cook new things
We played iron chef. We based our meals on what we had to use up. Not gee, what do we feel like eating.
And I spent more time looking up something new to do with these veggies.
We definitely tried veggies that we had never heard of before and many that we had heard of but had never eaten.

c) pushed us to cook
Since we needed to use up this stuff, we did less eating out and takeout
It is harder to be lazy and just pick something up or go out when you know you have food that if you don’t use will go to waste.

The Spring Season begins in mid-March so hurry and save your spot with the farm!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Three Types of Stress

There are three classes of stress: Acute, Episodic and Chronic.

1. Acute Stress - is a stressor that is affecting you right now and is short term; examples - someone cuts you off in traffic, or the recovery from childbirth.
2. Episodic Stress - often described as a week, month or year of personal disaster; example - a health problem (you or a loved one) that feels like riding a roller coaster of stress, or a series of stresses like: the washer broke, the car's in the shop, Grandma's flight was canceled, and someone in the family passed away. One stressful episode after another.
3. Chronic Stress - this is a type of stress that can go on for years; example - someone with chronic pain, someone in a bad relationship, someone living in poverty, a dysfunctional family, etc.

Schedule an appointment at The Barefoot Dragonfly

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Farewell to an awesome North Shore parenting store

We got the news yesterday that Salem's beloved Crunchy Granola Baby had closed its doors forever. For the last 4+ years CGB has been my go-to place for gifts when new nieces and nephews were on their way in my family. The Barefoot Dragonfly has eco- and kid-friendly toys from CGB and I've even been a guest speaker several times for parenting groups to demo some simple self-help Reflexology for babies and toddlers.

It is hard to see some businesses struggling in the slower economy and the historic storms we've had this winter hasn't helped. If people can't get to your shop or studio they can't buy products or services!

So how can you help? Websites like the 3/50 Project has garnered national attention and offers some good tips on keeping your hard earned money in the local community.

Best wishes Jennie, and a huge thank you for the heart and soul you put into CGB that served the North of Boston community!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Essential Oil of Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus globulus is an invigorating and cooling essential oil. Eucalyptus is a well known oil and can commonly be found in chest rubs and liniments for cold and flu season and in bathhouses around the globe.

This is a great oil to have around during cold and flu season! It helps to ease congestion and has antiviral and antibacterial properties. I like to add some to a spritz bottle to take with me to the dry sauna at the gym for some deep breathing.

It is also great in a steam: put 2-4 drops in a salad bowl of hot water, drape a towel over your head, close your eyes and inhale!

The Barefoot Dragonfly has Eucalyptus globulus available for purchase at the office. You can arrange to pick up a bottle by appointment or grab one after your next session!

8ml. bottle is $6.16 (tax included)