“If one way be better than another, that you may be sure is nature’s way.” Aristotle
Since I was a teen-ager, I’ve been interested in a natural way of life – unprocessed food, natural skin and body care, as few synthetics in my life as possible. I’m not super fanatical about it, but I lean in a natural, healthy direction whenever possible.
This year I found myself very hesitant to purchase any kind of spray or poison when we found a small army of ants making their way into our home. It just didn’t seem right. I keep a fairly large supply of essential oils from plants around the house for soapmaking and cleaning and natural fragrance. I have read that peppermint oil is a good squirrel repellant to use around bird feeders, so I decided to try using it on cotton balls around the entrances to our home in an attempt to repel the ants.
The effect was immediate and remarkable – I watched as the ants coming in the front door got near the peppermint scent and turned right around and headed out the door! The scent is pleasant and long-lasting, so there really isn’t anything negative about it. It doesn’t kill anything; it just keeps them away, and hopefully they won’t discover it is really harmless and decide to come in anyway!
Another “natural” remedy I tried this week is tea tree oil. I have read that it has been used to treat bacterial and fungal skin infections, so when my little finger, which I cut pretty badly on glass about a week ago, began to feel hot and look red and a bit swollen this week, I decided to try soaking it in water with a few drops of tea tree oil and lavender oil in it. Within an hour, the finger looked normal again, but I soaked it again the next day just in case.
I probably wouldn’t recommend that for a severe infection, but I caught this quickly as I noticed a change in the feeling of the finger. I’m not a big advocate of antibiotic skin creams. I feel they are overused, as oral antibiotics are, and could lead to the problem of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, so I rarely use them. Bacteria supposedly do not become immune to the effects of tea tree oil, and, as far as I know, there are no harmful effects. I probably wouldn’t use it long term or full strength.
Long ago, people knew about the many wonderful uses of plants, and I think we need to rethink our reliance on the “latest and greatest” chemical or drug for our bodies, our homes, and our land. It’s great to have a potent chemical weapon against disease or insects, etc. when really necessary, but we can use our wisdom and the wisdom of the earth in the daily care of our homes and families.