I like things that work. I like powerful experiences. I'm kind of an intense person, I guess.
Shortly before I started crossfitting, I'd run two marathons in one year. That's a little bit intense, right?
Years earlier, I'd started learning about the power and effectiveness of Herbal healing, as I discussed in my blog last week..
When I was in my 20s, I started studying herbs in order to be prepared to treat myself in case of emergencies, financial or otherwise. I was funny back then. For a while, I wore a fanny pack full of tinctures and other remedies around with me everywhere I went. [I know, cool, right? Lol]
Anyway, I was constantly reading about using herbs to treat emergency-type situations. So I never really got into gentle tonic remedies. Not really my style. I wanted to fix problems, like yesterday if possible, today at the latest.
One herbal remedy from the old days that I still dust off from time to time is called Herbal Snuff. It's a remedy for sinus infections and it is not for the faint of heart. But it works, usually on the first try.
The other day I heard on the internet that my friend Carly was having a sinus infection...I texted her, “I have something that will cure your sinus infection in one dose. But it's kind of intense.”
“I want it,” Carly texted back.
'It's like an intense, spicy little salad for the inside of your schnoz.'
Carly is a crossfitter, she's pretty intense in the athletics department. I knew she could handle this, but once I explained what I had in mind, would she still be game? It turns out, she's pretty damn daring and didn't run out of my apartment when I described what was coming next.
Herbal snuff contains four ingredients: Bayberry Root Bark, Goldenseal Root, Garlic, and Cayenne...and you put them up your nose. Bayberry root bark is an astringent, it dries up the tissues up inside and will helps them to be less swollen. Goldenseal root kills bad microbes. So does Garlic.
Cayenne is the magical ingredient that calls in the cavalry by drawing extra circulation to the area. Soon there will be more white blood cells around with their healing powers, and added circulation will bring extra nutrition and remove wastes. These herbs all support the healing process.
The herbs are dried and finely powdered. You make a two little piles of it the size of your pinkie fingernail, you make a little straw out of a post-it note, and you snort it as hard and as far up your nose as you possibly can. It's an experience like no other.
It's terribly uncomfortable, that is true. But I like to think about it like I'm feeding the inside of my nose a spicy little salad.
[Disclaimer: Although I am a Registered Nurse, I'm not a Doctor and I'm absolutely not prescribing this remedy to you, Friends on the Internet. Definitely ask your doctor first before you do anything. Do a some additional research on your own. And don't ever do anything you don't want to do. Period.]
If an area of your body is hurting or infected, you need to feed it something powerful to bring the body's full attention to that spot. Herbal Snuff does just that, but very few are willing. This is because the last thing you want near your nose when you're feeling full and raw and tender inside is Cayenne Pepper that's why! It's crazy.
“Here's the thing,” I told Carly finally, “Once you do the first nostril, don't wait or stop or think, just do the other side right away. The longer you wait to do the second nostril, the harder it will be to make yourself do what you need to do.”
Her eyes widened, indicating an emotion approaching alarm.
I continued, “And once you get it inside your nose, you're gonna want to blow it out right away. Don't,” I advised. “The longer you can keep it inside the better it will work. Let's go for 5 minutes.”
“Ok,” Carly nodded in my direction. “”Show me how it's done.”
Well I had told her I would keep her company on this journey, so I pulled the plate with my little piles of snuff on it towards me. I took a deep breath and let it all the way out. This was not going to be pleasant.
Fast forward 30 seconds. Carly and I are standing in my kitchen...jumping from one foot to another. Our eyes were tearing. Our hands formed random fists. Feet stomped. Curses were exclaimed by both of us quite loudly.
What a terrible idea.
Fast forward 1 minute. Still reeling from the feeling of cayenne all up inside our sinuses... Woo wee!
Nothing brings the present moment into focus sharper than some herbal snuff.
Every time I do the snuff it's an intense experience. I can only imagine what it's like to do it with a sinus infection (I've never had one, lol), but the snuff feels … intense... on healthy tissues too.
Not unlike some CrossFit workouts, 5 minutes seemed like 7 million hours. Then it was time to blow our noses. It burned coming out. Oh what a terrible idea that was.
More cursing and nose blowing and wiping away of tears.
“How am I ever going to be able to drive myself home?” Carly said at one point. We laughed and then the endorphins really started to kick in.
One minute later: The tears slowed down and stopped. It felt warm inside my nostrils and there was a bitterness in the back of my throat as the herbs made their way all the way inside me.
Five minutes later we were chatting about something or other. We'd calmed down and nearly entirely recovered. I gave Carly a little extra snuff in case she wanted to do a second dose later on. She drove off with a friendly wave.
I'm not in the herbal snuff business. Lol. No customers. Most people you meet are like Carly's husband who said, “F&%# that!” when Carly suggested they try some snuff together later that day.
But this is why I cram so many strong natural herbs into the herbal self-care products I make today. I want to make them as effective as I possibly can. This is also why salves are so great : each person can vary the intensity of their own experience based on how much salve they apply.
When I make a product, I don't want there to be any doubt about whether it works or not. To my mind, the question is not Does it work?; the question is How fast do you start to feel it working?
Effectiveness. This is why I crossfit. And this is why I make herbal products to fix crossfitter's problems and meet their self-care needs. I'm not here to mess around.