This past Friday I had to undergo the unfortunate event of getting my wisdom teeth removed. I enjoy living healthfully and that usually means delicious meals and plenty of physical activity. So when something comes along that hinders both of those things, I get a little stir crazy. My activity has been minimal and my diet has consisted of soup and mashed potatoes. Not exactly exciting. I’ve also been put on an anti-biotic to stop the likelihood of infection (I cringe as I type that). Que in the herbs! In this case, the pharmaceuticals are serving a purpose. So it’s time for me to mesh the two worlds of western medicine and natural/ holistic medicine into a beautiful friendship. Yup, I said it and it is possible!
The first thing I decide to add in (on day 2 because day 1 consisted of me on the couch and nothing else) is an herbal tea infusion. I used nettles for optimal nourishment for the whole body, hibiscus flower which is packed full of Vitamin C to help my immune system, and yarrow to reduce pain and speed up the healing process*. The tea tastes perfectly fresh and tangy and drinking it cold soothes my wounds.
*Tea recipe: 2pts nettle, 1 pt hibiscus, ½ pt yarrow
We love using a french press for tea!
Swelling is also a typical side effect when it comes to wisdom teeth removal, or any surgery for that matter. The first 24 hours calls for strictly ice. But after that you can use a warm wash cloth on the outside of your face. I decided to up the effectiveness of this by adding lavender essential oil. The lavender is an amazing anti-inflammatory to help with swelling as well as an analgesic to sooth pain. I just used a medium sized bowl and filled it with hot water. I added 5-6 drops of lavender essential oil, dunk wash cloth in and ring out excess water. Alternate sides of the mouth ever y 15 to 20 minutes.
With all of this down time something huge has risen from the depths of my soul. I need to slow down. To embrace self-care. My life is a constant influx of activity and every time I am forced to stop, I realize how much I need the silence, the stillness. Unfortunately I tend to look past this fact until I can’t ignore it, like right now when I am recovering from surgery. So on top of the herbal care and getting enough fluids and nutrients, is the simple gesture of self-care. I am learning to listen to my body. If I am craving to move my body and feel the sun on my skin, I can step outside for a gentle walk. The point is to be mindful, to take the focus from what’s going on around me and switch it to what is going on inside me so that I can heal in the right way. I am choosing to embrace all that there is to learn from this lesson. I now leave you all as I prepare a relaxing bath of Epsom salt and essential oils of eucalyptus, lavender, and rose. To open, heal, and soften. May you all find the capacity to heal in a way that is filled with love and self-care.