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The above is a picture of my cornflower water. It’s in an eye cup. It’s a concentrated concoction, which I froze to preserve (rather than add more ingredients), and will dilute for an eye bath.
The weather has been insane! First, an earthquake, then high winds, 85-degree-plus weather and dry, Dry, DRY! Ugh! Awful for the eyes. So, I broke out my cornflower water.
I let it defrost right in the sanitized* eye cup, then add pure water to dilute. I Drop my head forward on to the to the top of the cup and flip my head back. A suction forms around the orbital bone, while I open and close my eyes, move them left to right, and up and down to flush them thoroughly. Soooo Sooooooothing. Nice and cool and moist. No stinging whatsoever. I’ve used this more and more often since we now have “fire season” all year long. But, the whole “global warming/climate change” hippie stuff is just Chicken Little hyperbole, right? Right. Tell that to my Eyes, Baby –heck, my ears and throat too! Sometimes, I’ll even get a bit mucousy and my ears get uncommonly dirty and cakey…yuk, I know.
I’ve also used the cornflower water when I’ve had long days on the computer, straining, or been doing a lot of reading.
I got my cornflowers from MRH. I like to make the infusion strong and freeze in small portions; then dilute it with water as needed.
As far as commercial eye washes, I will use Similisan’s eye drops. The cornflower water is more soothing, and works better.
Also been employing my Neti Pot! Honestly, in the past two years, the strange weather patterns have given me just as strange effects. (Off topic here, but I believe that future wars are going to be waged over water. I don’t think that’s too far off.) It’s when this dry weather comes. California, in my lifetime, has never been a “dry”-climate state; though, as now, we are experiencing a drought (I think we’ve been in a drought for decades…) It’s always been fairly mild, and I’ve rarely gotten dry eyes; though, occasionally, on smoggy days, I’ve had itching and redness. Three years ago, I never needed to Neti Luckily, I have no allergies, or I imagine I’d be Nettiing daily.
Himalania Salt — the only time you’ll see salt on this blog
I like to use the Pink Himalania Salt. (Yea, I know, fancy-shmancy overpriced…) But it seems to be the best choice. Iodized or table salt is certainly not for use with the Neti or anything else except maybe an abrasive cleanser!
Photo of Helichrysum Italicum, from WikiPedia Commons
Also due to this strange weather, I’ve occasionally awakened with puffy-ish eyes — and, weirdly, they are either dry or water-filled. Does that suck, or what? I mean, I haven’t’ consumed salt in 5 years, and to awaken “puffy” is like the old days of eating too much Americanized Chinese food the previous night — no fair! Anyway, I just add a couple drops of Helichrysum essential oil to a good-quality carrier oil (I prefer rose hip seed oil) or combo of oils, and spread lightly under my eyes (not in the eyes!) and it does the job, and moisturizes too. Helichrysum means “sun gold” in Greek. It is also known as “Immortelle,” and “Everlasting.” I have the hydrosol, as well, which is a fantastic toner for the face. One of its benefits is to reduce swelling and inflammation; and it is supposed to have rejuvenative properties (don’t they all?) I have read that it’s good for dark circles — over time — but I cannot attest to that; helps with rosacea, supposedly; lots of claims with this one — good for scars; and legend has it that it holds the key to eternal youth (Oh, yes! Haha), etc. It’s potent; so only a couple drops of oil are needed, and especially on the face and delicate eye area. If my eyes are holding water, the helichrysum will make them weep and reduce the swelling. Of course a tea bag — green or black — a slice of raw potato or cucumber over the (closed) eyes will work too .
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Sun dried Tomatoes
I like to sun dry my own, home-grown tomatoes! Unfortunately, I haven’t had enough space the past several years to do so — on the scale a tomato lover like me needs, any way . VeganBarbie mentioned she’s going to be canning her homegrown this summer in her garden — I’m jealous! BUT, I have been growing them in pots, however, which still yields incredible tomatoes — and cherry/pear/etc. sweet tomatoes, too. They are always better tasting than any store bought.
I was purchasing Trader Joe’s brand of organic sun dried tomatoes; however, they told me a couple days ago (when I accidentally picked up 4 packages which had expired. For shame, T.J.’s!) that they are discontinuing them. Why?!! They were pretty good, being organic, for the price. Very disappointing. My only alternative — if I want organic, salt-free/oil-free/preservative-free/any-other-junk-free — is to buy from the bulk bin, which I’d rather not. There is rarely, if ever an expiry date or date of packaging, and people often stick their hands in those bins. Anyway, sometimes I can find “Just Tomatoes,” but those are more expensive than they ought to be. They are not “sun dried,” which, isn’t TOO big a deal, if you need some; but, again, for the price? I expect
Goldmine Naturals, Organic Sun Dried Tomatoes
I often recommend Goldmine Natural Foods for their outstanding products — all very good quality, and fresh (Their beans and nuts are delicious). I had never tried their sundried tomatoes. So, on the hunt, after being rejected by T.J.’s , I finally found a package at a local market in my area. As you see in the above picture, they are gorgeous. What struck me when I opened the package was the fragrance: It was sweet and floral — interestingly so! I’ve had sweet, fruity; I’ve had acidic, rich, deep-flavored; Etc. – but floral?
So I soaked them and made my pasta sauce for Raw “Spaghetti”; and, while blending, the fragrance got more intense. The taste? Delicious, but different! It’s hard to describe, but these actually tasted floral. It was as if I had blended some sweet peas with them or something. I’m kind of on the fence with these for pasta…It was an excellent sauce, but the flowery taste — while utterly delicious — is not what I’m used to with pasta; on the other foot, it IS a garden pasta, using zucchini as noodles, so, why not? Ha! I think I may just need to adjust the sauce for pasta. These would be delicious for my Thousand Island Dressing. I really like these and recommend them; but keep in mind my observations. Of course, these may have been from a particular batch. Growing conditions, soil, etc., effect different produce; so, perhaps future purchases will be different. If you try them, I’d like to know your experience and if you also got a floral bunch. It was certainly different.
I needed to place an order from Jaffe Bros., aka, “Organic Fruits and Nuts; so decided to order their organic, sun dried toms. I’ll let ya know how they fare . ********* UPDATE : I will *never* buy from Jaffe again: lousy tomatoes, followed by the worst, rudest service I’ve ever encountered. Very sad, too, since I was a good customer…
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* You can also use the oven method or canning method. Always do thorough research before using any essential oil, herb, or other “natural remedy.”
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Happy Inauguration Day, President Barack Obama!
This is certainly one day to celebrate in America
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Don’t forget this Friday is the final act of, “Oh, The Places You’ll Go! Part IV” by Argent