Tag Archives: lavender

The Sting

Whilst pouring half cup of petrol, which cost me almost a thousand pounds, into my car on Monday, I was stung by a wasp which was hiding on the petrol pump nozzle.  If I get stung many times I get rather wheezy, but a single sting from a sleepy wasp simply caused me to embark on a protracted bout of loud and compound swearing.  There are quite of lot of sleepy bees and wasps around at the moment, so keep your eyes peeled.

It is always a good idea to keep a bite and sting remedy to hand in the house and, if you have family members who react badly, keep a packet of antihistamines in the medicine cabinet just in case.
 However, as I was at a service station in the middle of Corby (God help me – I swear I heard the distant twang of a banjo), I ran to the cafe and demanded vinegar.  The helpful and sympathetic assistant poured vinegar onto a napkin and wrapped it round my finger.  The relief was surprisingly quick.

If you can’t remember whether stings should be treated with acid or alkali, this works for me.
Bees    = Bicarbonate
Vasps  = Vinegar

REMEMBER:  Some people are highly allergic to stings.  If you see any of the following signs, see a doctor immediately:

*  wheezing
*  swollen face or hands
*  nausea or vomiting
*  dizziness
* shock or loss of consciousness

Wasp and Hornet Stings –Vinegar

Wasp and Hornet venoms are powerful alkalines.  Use an acid such as vinegar to neutralize them.  It can be applied via a piece of cloth or bandaging.  Make sure to keep the sting(s) soaked for at least 30 minutes.  Some vinegar will absorb thorough the skin, and it should greatly help eliminate the discomfort.

Bee Stings – Bicarbonate of Soda

In the case of bee stings, baking soda will help to neutralize their acidic venoms.  Make a paste by mixing a tablespoon of bicarb with water.  Leave this paste on the sting site(s) for at least 30 minutes.  Some of the dissolved baking soda will leech through the skin to help to neutralize the venom.

ESSENTIAL OILS: – Lavender and Chamomile

Add two drops of lavender to a tablespoon of cool boiled water and clean the site using cotton wool.
Then put four drops of chamomile onto a piece of cold, damp cloth and apply as a compress to further reduce the inflammation.

In the event of an attack by giant killer bees, have a word with the Director and suggest he changes the plot to something fluffy.  Killer bees are So Seventies.


Filed under Natural Home Medicines

Natural Home Remedies: Part 3 -Pets: Cuts & Grazes in cats and dogs

It’s not just humans who can benefit from a more natural approach to health, and medicines from vets can be horrifically expensive.

My cat, as I have mentioned previously, becomes a psychotic killer when exposed to fresh air and the beauty of open fields, reverting to a velvety, snuggling, purring thing of beauty the minute she steps into the hallway.  Last week she came home having clearly been in a fight.  We discussed it.  She brought me a dismembered vole to say sorry.

Cat bites are really horrible and they will usually attempt to bite each other in places that they can’t lick clean, the back of the neck and the topside of the base of the tail being favourite targets. If you suspect your cat of being in a fight, always check it’s tail, as a bite can quickly turn into an abscess which, if left untreated could result in an amputated tail.  Hey presto! One Manx cat you haven’t bargained for.

If your cat has a cut or graze, mix 1 drop of Thyme essential oil with ¼ pint / 150ml of cool, boiled water.  Using clean cotton wool, bathe the area with the thyme water until it looks clean. 

If you can see the beginnings of an abscess apply 1 drop of neat tea tree oil onto it to bring it to a head.  If the cat can reach, it will ingest the oil which will also help the healing process.  Keep doing this daily until it bursts.  When it does, mix 1 drop lavender oil with 1 tablespoon cool boiled water and bathe the area a couple of times a day to keep it clean, bacteria free and to promote healing.

The same remedies apply to dogs, but you will need to increase the quantities:
A cat-sized dog can be treated as above
A medium sized dog eg. Spaniel use 2 drops thyme to ¼ pint / 150ml cool boiled water
A large sized dog eg. German Shepherd use 3 drops thyme to ¼ pint / 150ml cool boiled water
A giant sized dog eg. Great Dane use 4 drops thyme to ¼ pint / 150ml cool boiled water

The area can then be kept clean with the lavender and water as you need it.

Thyme, Tea Tree and Lavender are heavy duty anti bacterial agents and they are also antiseptic, antiviral and antifungal. 
Lavender is a cictrizant (ie. it promotes healing) and it is calming to animals and humans alike.  
Thyme is particularly effective for the treatment of wounds and sores and acts as a stimulant to the immune system
Tea Tree helps to soothe inflammation and is effective at treating shock.

Remember.  If you are in any doubt about your pet’s health, be sensible and consult your vet first.


Filed under Animals, Natural Home Medicines

In which the Wartime Housewife is a little Run Down

I’m sorry to say that the Wartime Housewife is not always very good at taking her own advice and has become a little run down.  I know this because in the last week, I have had three sties on my eyelids (which I have never had before), a permanently sore throat and I have fallen asleep on the sofa every evening, which I never normally do. 

I seem to remember a naval manual for dealing with a shipwreck which read “Number 1.  Do not get yourself into this situation” (or somesuch teeth-gnashingly self-righteous statement).  Of course we should all look after ourselves because we are very important, both to ourselves and to those who rely on us.  We should go to bed early, always have breakfast, drink lots of water, don’t drink too much alcohol, watch our fat and carbohydrate, take regular exercise and don’t get cross.

But no matter how hard we try, life has a nasty habit of sticking its grubby fingers up in a most un-gentlemanly way and we fall by the wayside.  Coupled with that, what would life be without, wine, chocolate, Badger Beers, late nights, the odd scrap and the occasional Marlboro red? 

The Wartime Housewife insists upon courtesy at all times, but the other day, when interrupted in the queue at The Pictures by a young woman asking if I wanted to enter a prize draw to win a week at a Butlin’s Holiday Camp, I am ashamed to report that, without drawing breath, I replied “Do You Know? I would rather sit in a bath of acid” and walked away.  It was rude and unforgivable, but Do You Know, I felt just that tiny, tiny bit better?  However, my swollen, suppurating eyes are clearly God’s way of telling me to count to ten.

In case any of my dear followers are in the same boat, here are a couple of home remedies for those who have fallen by the wayside.

Just for interest, the official name for a stye is a ‘hordeolum’, which sounds suspiciously like a bedding plant to me…

Not my eye

Not my eye


What you need
1 medium sized bowl
2 drops Lavender essential oil
2 drops Chamomile essential oil
1 clean flannel

Wash your hands very thoroughly.
Pour some boiling water into the bowl and leave it until it is hot enough to put your hands in.
Put in 2 drops of lavender and 2 drops of chamomile essential oil and stir well
Put the flannel into the water in readiness
If possible, find the eyelash sticking out of the pustule and try to pull it out
If you can’t do this, pull your eyelid out with one hand and apply pressure to the pustule with the other.  The pus should come out quite easily.
Even if it doesn’t, wring out the flannel and immediately apply it to your closed eye
When the flannel has cooled, put it back in the hot water, wring it out and apply again
Keep doing this until the water has cooled.  Put it in the fridge.
When the water is cold, wring out the flannel and apply it to your closed eye
Do this for about 10 minutes, then put the bowl back in the fridge.
After an hour, do it again
Keep repeating this process until you go to bed.  EARLY.

My sties went completely within 36 hours.

Neither is this my throat

Neither is this my throat



What you need:
1 small bottle or jam jar – very clean
3 tblspn cider vinegar
1 tblspn honey
3 drops ginger essential oil
5 drops lemon essential oil
2 drops thyme essential oil

Blend well and mix 1 (one) tablespoonful of the mixture into a tumbler of warm water and gargle energetically.  Do not swallow.
Put the remaining mixture into the jam jar and seal tightly.
Repeat ever two hours


Put a few drops of grapefruit essential oil somewhere near your head ie. behind your ears or on your collar.  Grapefruit is a brain stimulant and will help to get you going.  Try sprinkling a few drops around the boardroom before a potentially dull meeting – it works wonders!  It is also a powerful antiseptic.  If you can’t get grapefruit, lemon oil is a reasonable substitute.


Have a warm bath into which you have added 10 drops of lavender and 5 drops of chamomile essential oil.  Turn down the lights and soak. 
Make a lovely mug of Ovaltine or Horlicks and sip it in bed whilst reading something light and unchallenging.  This way, if you feel sleepy, you can simply snuggle down and nod off.

If you wake up in the night, don’t immediately start fretting about not being asleep.  Get up, make yourself a warm drink, go to the loo, go back to bed and read or listen to the radio.  Television is too stimulating and the programmes that are on in the middle of the night will probably encourage you to gamble, which will really give you something to worry about.

Herbal preparations such as Kalms and Natrasleep are unexpectedly effective.

Sleep 29.08.09

This, however, is my bedtime drink


Filed under Family and Friends, Natural Home Medicines, Nutrition & Sensible Eating

Natural Home Remedies: Part 1

In which The Wartime Housewife Nurse Natural rememdies 1 - 24.08.09explains the medicinal
uses of essential oils, specifically Lavender, Eucalyptus,
Tea Tree and Peppermint.

I had been planning to include articles on the use of natural remedies sometime next month, but following a trip to Hardwick Hall, which had the most exquisite herb garden, I feel moved to start straight away.

I would recommend keeping a few bottles of essential oil in the medicine box at all times.  These are the concentrated essences of plants obtained by predominantly by distillation, and these are available from all good health food shops and quite a lot of chemists these days.  Just make sure that they are 100% pure and if you are in any doubt as to their use, consult your chemist or a qualified practitioner. The Wartime Housewife is a qualified Massage Therapist but I am not teaching you to be professionals. These are home remedies so use your common sense.

Lavender:  This is the all round good egg of the natural pharmacy.  It is antiseptic, antifungal, antibiotic and antiviral.  It promotes healing particularly for burns and it also helps to reduce scarring, it’s calming, helps reduce headaches and promotes deep sleep.

Burns and scalds – put a drop or two directly onto the burn every day until it heals.  Remember, if the burn is over 2″, consult a doctor.

Cuts and grazes – clean the wound and the area round it with 5 drops in a small bowl of warm water.  Then put one drop neat onto the wound.

Sleep – 10 drops in the bath water will help to promote quiet sleep, also add one drop to the pillow or sheet.  For babies, put 1 drop in the bath water and 1 drop on the cot sheet.

Mild shock – if you’ve had an minor accident or injury, a drop or two of lavender oil either onto the skin or on to clothes near the head is very beneficial in alleviating distress and has a very calming effect in adults and children.

Tea Tree:  Another powerful  antiseptic and a very effective antifungal.  Use for any fungal infections such as athletes foot by putting 10 drops in the bath or a foot bath.  For an ointment use 5 drops mixed thoroughly with zinc and castor oil cream or put 2 drops on a cotton wool ball and smear it on the affected area.  An emergency treatment for vaginal thrush is to mix very thoroughly one drop of oil in 1 tablespoon of zinc and castor oil cream and apply ½ a teaspoon of the cream to the end of a tampon, use a little to rub gently on external areas.  This cream also works for the gentleman’s area.

Peppermint: This is excellent for the digestion, is also antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and very cooling.

Indigestion, flatulence, diarrhoea – 2 drops in a pint of hot water.  Sip this slowly until it is all gone.  If it is not relieved in an hour or so, do it again. (the vapour will initially make your eyes water a bit – keep them closed)

Tired feet – put 4 drops in a bowl of lukewarm water and soak your feet

Bad breath – mix 4 drops in a tablespoon of brandy, gin or vodka.  Add to a small tumbler of warm water and use as a mouthwash.

Eucalyptus:  this is well known for it’s usefulness with colds, coughs and sinus problems but is also a useful cradle cap remedy, insect repellent and deodorant.

Colds, stuffy noses:  Put 5 drops in a bowl of very hot water and inhale deeply for at least 10 minutes, making sure that you keep you eyes closed.  Put a drop on your handkerchief or tissues as well.

Cradle Cap:  mix 2 drops in a tablespoon of olive oil and rub very gently into the affected area, taking care to avoid the soft fontanelle at the front of the head.


Filed under Natural Home Medicines