Dr Michele Sayball N.D. Talks About Tamanu

Plant Name: Tamanu Tree

Latin: Calophyllum inophyllum

Parts used: nut of the tree’s fruit are cold pressed into oil

Actions: Topical analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant

Uses: Acne, psoriasis, especially large scale psoriasis, with friction massage of sciatica and rheumatic joints, sunburn or wounds, stretch marks, postpartum perineum, diaper rash, healing damaged skin and rejuvinating dry hair.

Constituents: slightly acidic pH rich in Oleic and LInoleic fatty acids; volcanic terrain provides rich minerals for this plant

Identification: It grows up to three meters tall, with its cracked, black bark symbolic of its use for healing cracked or dis-eased skin. and elliptical, shiny leaves. Twice annually in its tropical climate, the Tamanu tree produces fragrant, white, fragrant blooms. From these flowers come clusters of green skinned spherical fruit that turns yellow and then brown as it dries, then naturally falls off the branch. The dried fruit is collected and its inner nut is left out to dry for two months out in the sun. It is cold pressed to extract only a few drops of oil per nut. This process of cold pressing gives the oil it’s best value, as it retains all the good nutrients. An entire tree to produces only 5 liters of Tamanu oil two times annually.

Uses in Ethnobotanical history:

Healers of Southeast Asia; Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Malaysia, South India, Sri Lanka, and the Melanesian and Polynesian islands have used this amazing herbal medicine for treating aging skin, for oily skin, acute acne and acne scarring, scars and stretch marks, eczema, psoriasis, age spots, wounds and topical ulcers, burns and sunburn, as an anti-inflammatory friction massage for sciatica, muscular pain, rheumatism, and neuralgia.


Dr Michele Sayball became an herbalist, mother, midwife and naturopathic physician, in that order.  She specializes in chronic diseases and works at the Sophia Health Institute in WA.
Michele Sayball, ND, CPM, LM, LMP

You may not believe that these 7 tips work for increasing energy

As a small business owner and mother of 4, I often do not get enough sleep. I know, I know, I should go to sleep earlier and manage my time more efficiently. There are many times however, that it just doesn’t happen. I know many of you can relate to this. Here are some of the ways I get through those days, when really I would simply love to crawl back into bed but just have too much to do.


1 I drink brightened water throughout the day. Water brightened with things like a squeeze of fresh lemon,  a spoonful (or teabag) of hibiscus with ginger, or a few leaves of fresh mint, help keep me hydrated and happy.


2 I stretch the back of my legs and my back. Forward bends, lunges stretching the back of the calves and so on,  help release muscle tension that can cause fatigue. Spending as little as 3-5 minutes, two times per day can bring a significant release within a day or two of taking on this little habit.  That small ache that you weren’t even aware of can cause significant fatigue. Anything you do to help release it, can really bring an increase in energy throughout the day.


3  I try to remember to tell someone I love them. The heart is a major source of energy in the body, consciously tapping into it brings me strength and vibrance. 🙂


4 I try to avoid eating large quantities of grain, they use a lot of energy to digest and tend to make me feel weighed down and tired. Eating small amounts of grain, like 1/4 to 1/2 cup at a time combined with protein sources and lots of non starchy veggies (ie leafy greens) and fruit helps me keep going when I am tired. Also I can munch on red bell peppers and apples or green beans all day long just to stay awake while working at the computer and I am not going to get into trouble with weight gain.


5 I try to remember that today could be my last. I got this advice from a Navy Seal veteran, and I see it as a deep wisdom. Choosing to be grateful for today, is energizing, strengthening and brings me courage and patience when I need it.


6 I sometimes stop in the middle of working and just do as many push ups as I can. This kind of little physical sprint gets the adrenals going and can buy me an hour or two of productivity when I feel like I am toast.


7 Sometimes I just give in to sweet surrender. In other words, sometimes I can find a way to close my eyes for 15 minutes for a power nap or even an hour in the middle of it all. Although I may wake up groggy, I am much more able to handle the rest of the day than if I had not had that sleep.


8 Of course, this list would not be complete without an uplifting Minty Cocoa lip balm application recommendation or some Citrus Grove Ultra Healing Body Butter shmeared on the hands and deeply inhaled.


Ok, so that’s my list. Anyone else have other tricks for keeping going when sleep is not plentiful in your life? Let us know!

Thanks and be well,


Ora’s Amazing Herbal, because herbs are amazing

Lice Prevention

Autumn is almost here, and while the fall brings so many lovely associations of crisp weather, pumpkin spice everything, and approaching holidays, there is another association with back-to-school that is less pleasant, and on the minds of many parents: lice. These pests are unfortunately easily transferred among students in close classroom environments, and apparently, a new breed of “super lice” have become resistant to the over the counter pesticide treatments that are usually recommended. These lice have spread through 42 states, and it is certainly easier to avoid them than get rid of them, but how?

Many parents try to buy organic food and avoid unnecessary chemical exposure, so why would we want to apply even stronger prescription strength pesticides to our child’s scalp? Everything applied to the skin is absorbed into the bloodstream in varying degrees, just like any topical pharmaceutical. That makes it very important to consider what we apply to our skin all the time, but especially when looking to eliminate a pest like lice. It can be tempting to use the strongest chemical available just to get rid of the nuisance, but we have to consider the effect on our children’s health. That is where essential oils can play an extremely helpful role!

Pure essential oils are carefully distilled and contain the plant’s strongest, most therapeutic properties. They can be effective even when harsher treatments are not, and since they are non-toxic and health promoting, using them preventatively is a great option to prevent lice from ever having a chance to become a problem!

Some oils that are known to help repel lice are:
Cedar Leaf (aka Thuja)
Tea Tree (aka Melaleuca)
(Any combination of these oils should be effective, but using all of them together even more so.)

Since essential oils are very concentrated plant extracts, it is important to purchase high quality oils from a reputable source, and use care when applying them to children. Usually it is suggested to dilute essential oils with a carrier, such as a salve or oil before applying. One great option is to combine one drop of each oil per teaspoon of carrier in a jar. Mix well, and rub a dab between your hands before massaging into the scalp. This will nourish dry hair and promote a healthy scalp as well! Another way to use the oils is to combine 10 drops of each in an 8oz spray bottle with water. Shake before spraying on a small amount while covering eyes, then smooth over the hair. With either preparation, if any irritation occurs, stop using. The oils may be too strong, in which case, dilute with more carrier. When preventing lice it is also recommended to keep long hair tied back in a bun.





Caitlin Eisner Fisch is a writer, personal chef, and independent distributor with Young Living essential oils. You can learn more about oils, and order through http://babystepseo.com/u/thejoyofcaitlin

Contact her at thejoyofcaitlin.oils@gmail.com with any questions, or check out her homeschooling journey on Instagram @thejoyofcaitlin and her essential oil journey @thejoyofcaitlin.oils

Natural Hemorrhoid Treatments

At Ora’s Amazing Herbal we have had a few “happy accidents” over the years. Touchy skin salve being so Amazing as a natural hemorrhoid treatment is one of them. This guest blogger, has some fun tips on how to get to the bottom of the situation. (Did she really just say that?!) – Ora

Moms, Let’s Talk About Hemorrhoids

I’ve got three kids, all born in the painful-pushing- split me open-oh g-d it burns way. I like to think that I have three hemorrhoids to match. Not being able to see down there I don’t know for sure, but I do know that motherhood for me has involved a nearly obsessive interest in what I eat and making sure it comes out ok. While my college diet was probably contributory (pizza, cereal and fro yo anyone?) the strain on my body from carrying an additional 50-40- 30lbs around, let alone the strain of pushing out 7lbs at a go, has given me my new lifetime companions.

It’s COMPLETELY normal. Especially for moms. And it’s not as bad as it could be. There’s homeopathy that can help (Hamamelis or Nux Vomica to start), there’s the Squatty Potty (check out the faux-mercial with the unicorn, hilarious) and there’s yoga poses like downward dog that loosen up the region and shift the weight off of your nether parts. Tucks pads are a drugstore standard and are slightly better than baby wipes when it comes to cleaning yourself, since the astringent witch hazel cools and shrinks the inflamed vessels.

Keeping a diet with vegetable fiber, plenty of water and not too much dairy is the easiest way to stay comfortable. But sometimes pizza and wine are in order. And sometimes we just eat way too much matzoh. Whatever the reason, Ora’s Amazing Herbal Touchy Skin Salve is, well, amazing, when it comes to reducing symptoms. The special herbal formula soothes the hemorrhoids themselves, relieves inflammation and generally lubricates the region for less mess and less discomfort.

All natural. All good. Because herbs are amazing. (Thanks for that little plug Ruthie-Ora)

Ruthie Pearlman is a doula, homeopath and mother of three. When she’s not pretending to homestead in Maine she’s shaking it on the dance floor in New Jersey. Check out her Facebook page “Homeopathy For Moms.”

lice!! superlice!! eeeew!!!

lice!! superlice!! eeeew!!!

Spoiler alert! This post is about lice, which are gross. As a mother of 4, I have indeed encountered many very gross things, but few are more gross than lice. One thing more gross than lice though, is the over the counter neurotoxic chemical lice treatments that are sold in most pharmacies. If you are a sensitive person like I am, (or maybe like any child whose neurological system is still developing) and have had lice a time or two, you know, that the way you feel after using that stuff is something to be avoided. Also, it is all over the internet, that there are now resistant lice or superlice. This new type of, um, louse, is not killed by the usual run of the mill neurotoxin. Oh, no this one is stronger.
So we have two choices, we use stronger chemicals and re-enact the arms race in an effort to kill the critters, or we go the old fashioned route.

“This hippy crunchy yoga kale muncher AP mom wants me to just leave my kids’ hair full of bugs in the name of organic world granola balance?” You exclaim?!.
Well my answer to you, is “Hell no! Get rid of those nasty bugs and do it quick!”
With all this resistant lice appearing, it is good to know that the natural or “alternative” treatments for lice, are still equally effective on these new lice, because they rely mostly on physical, mechanical methods rather than attempting the standard strategy of poisoning the bugs to death.

Sometimes being a crunchy hippy mom, you get to say “I told you so, and then give some very useful advice. When these times come, forgive me, but I enjoy it. And today, you too will benefit from my eat more kale t-shirt wearingness.
Here is my highly effective lice treatment strategy that I have developed over my years of formal biology focused education, many hours of internet searching, consulting with experts and then personal experience.

What you will need:

1 Time and patience, there is no way around this. Perhaps a good book or device of some sort to keep your child distracted and not moving.

2 A good lice comb, and you need to use it alot. Here is a link to the one I have found effective. The regular store ones don’t work, I don’t know why they sell them.

2 Apple cider vinegar (ACV from here on). No, I am not a no poo, just wash your hair with ACV advocate, but it does kill lice and possibly the eggs, so it is a useful tool in this situation.

3 In the case of long hair, you need a good silky conditioner to help with combing without pulling.

4 Crisco. Yup, I said Crisco, not coconut oil or mango butter or salve or colostrum. Crisco. *This is the only time I will ever recommend this product for any use ever. It works because it stays put, doesn’t drip around like every other butter I have ever tried, and is thick enough to suffocate the buggers.

5 Dish soap.

6 A head covering you can sleep in and don’t care if it gets ruined. A thick cotton beret, a shower cap, whatever.

7 A pillow case in the same category. It could get Crisco stains on it.

Ok, here is what to do.

1 Check for lice/eggs. Even if I just see little red bumps around the base of the neck or around the ears or the crown of the head, I do a treatment. Why wait till it gets really bad.

2 Wash bedding. I like to put the pillows just in the dryer, the washer ruins them.
3 Soak brushes in ACV. Remember, the dryer heat is what really kills them.

3 Wet hair, saturate in ACV, let sit for about 10 minutes, but even just a few minutes can do the job. Depending on the kids and their, um, compliance level, leave it in as long as you can. Do NOT let it get in their eyes. It hurts very badly. Rinse out.

4 Saturate in conditioner and use the lice comb. Start from one side and go all the way across the head. Make sure you get all peripheral areas like behind ears and base of neck. Rinse out.

5 Blow dry air.

6 Saturate hair in Crisco, paying special attention to the roots. Think hair dye. Thats how thorough it should be in the hair. Saturated. Put hair in a hair band or rubber band or something to keep it up. Cover hair. Leave on overnight and as long as possible after that. Wash it out. Our shampoo hasn’t been strong enough, we have had to use dish soap.

7 Comb thoroughly with lice comb, I like to use salve to help get the comb through (see #8)

8 I like to rub some of my All Purpose Salve into the roots before combing and then put the hair up into a tight braid for the day. I use do this for two reasons. Firstly, lice like clean and not oily hair, it is easier to bind eggs to so keeping roots oiled is a good idea. Second, because this salve has essential oils rosemary, tea tree, and cedar leaf that lice don’t like. You can really use any solid oil at room temperature oil with these essential oils though. Using a liquid oil is too irritating and causes the kids to scratch. This is not what we want. When there is broken skin, there is risk of infection so itching is the enemy. Also, the ACV can sting broken skin.

After this treatment, I comb daily for a week with conditioner. Twice daily if possible.
I also repeat this treatment a week later, and depending how grossed out I am, possibly two weeks later.
I also change pillow cases a lot more often, and soak brushes in ACV weekly.

Even after you treat effectively, sometimes irritation and itchiness can persist to a few days while the scalp heals. Sometimes it is worth asking a school nurse or doing a google search to find a professional lice checker with a magnifier and a good light to confirm that you got them all. I found one locally who charged $15 to just do a good check.

p.s. When ever I hear that lice is going around, which it tends to do about twice a year, I salve or oil my kids hair, and keep it up. I also just comb weekly with conditioner during these times, as a preventative.

There, that wasn’t so bad was it? Ok fine, it was. What can I say, lice are gross and horrible, but as least your kids’ neurons and synapses are unharmed and your home is now nit free. Congratulations and your welcome.

Make Tea Not War

I love autumn but I hate all the warm, cold, warm, cold, warm, cold confusion. It just wreaks havoc on our immune systems in this house. We have one kid with a cough, one kid with the sniffles, one who is exhausted and one who is, well he is a teenager. Finally today I declared war on seasonal change! And by war I mean I made tea. Here is what I made.
All quantities are eyeball estimates of volume and not weight. The highly complex reason for this is that I am a busy woman and eyeballing is just fine for this. Don’t judge my imprecision! How much measuring do you do when you make tea?

2 oz broken up cinnamon sticks
6 oz hibiscus flowers
4 oz elderberry flowers
4 oz rosehip

Dump it all into a quart size mason jar and shake till well mixed. It will be about half empty. You can add more herbs to fill it if you want, I just like having space to easily blend.
Scoop about an ounce into a quart size mason jar, add boiling water to fill.
Allow to steep until some child comes in complaining or coughing or asking for a tissue.
This may be 8 minutes or 8 hours, both are fine. One is stronger than the other but both have major benefit.
Strain out the infusion. Add water if it is too strong. And raw local honey if you must get it sweetened in order to attain .. compliance, as they call it. It should be yummy so they chug it and ask for more, but too much sugar (yes even honey counts) is not good for the immune system. You know your audience, make your decision for them.
I also sometimes add a cup of the strong (~ 8 hour) infusion to a pitcher of water and put it on the table for dinner, it is always gone by the end of the meal.
Enjoy! Be well!

Happy Yom Kippur

Reality is not my forte. Never has been.

Keeping my heart open in reality takes too much work, too much courage. As a young child I would go into the trees behind our house and play with imaginary friends instead of the real ones I had.

As an elementary school kid I would go ride my bike and feel the wind in my hair, instead of doing my homework.

As a teenager I would, well, avoid reality whenever I could.

As an adult, I focus on things that are not important such as their messy room, how it takes them too long to respond when I am talking, and how they forgot to do their laundry.

I focus on goals I am not accomplishing in each moment such as feeding all the hungry children of the world and housing all the homeless.
I waste precious time escaping reality on Facebook and watching movies on Netflix when I could be spending time with the people I deeply love, giving them all my heart.

My mind is visibly elsewhere during Minecraft explanations, origami demonstrations and D & D .. whatever they are called.
I am busy trying to brush their hair and make them eat broccoli when they are just wanting a hug and a book read to them.
I am planning the open design kitchen my husband will build me instead of the amazing way he sits with the children to help them focus on their homework every school night.



All these things do want to get done, but in each moment, I want to be in that moment, not the next or the one before. What is it they say about having one foot in the present and the other in the future.. something happens to the present, ahem.

I want to walk with my heart in the lead, not with my mind spinning.
This is the work for me this coming year. Writing it here makes it true, yes?

This Yom Kippur, I will praying for more time to do this work and correct this tendency as much as I can. I will be praying for one more year to give them hugs, sit down to dinner, and maybe even pretend to love Minecraft. I will be praying for one more year and the wisdom to appreciate it and to treat it as the gift that it truly is.

May it be a beautiful year of peace, health, love and light for all of us.

5 Things Not To do When Getting Your Kids Ready For Overnight Camp

How can a made bed possibly bring so many emotions?
Deep breath, smile. Ok,.. as promised..

Getting Kids Ready For Sleepaway Camp For The First Time

1 Do not start 2 days before they leave for camp.
2 Unless you function best under ridiculous pressure, do not start a week and a half before you launch 8 new products on your herbal skincare line.
3 Do not do the laundry and pack their stuff on a really beautiful day when you would rather have everyone outside.
4 Do not think about all the little things the camp doesn’t know about your kid like how he forgets to drink water and will never put on a jacket unless you tell him to. It doesn’t mean he isn’t cold, it just means he is busy with more interesting thoughts.
5 Do not let them see you cry, it is good, they are blessed to have such a wonderful place to go to. Be grateful and let go.

5 Ways For Moms To Make Their Face More Beautiful In Summer

1 Every time you make your kids drink water, drink water. Hydration is key.

2 Every time you make your kids eat some fruit and veggies, eat some fruits and veggies. Your skin will thank you for the nutrients.

3 Every time you get your kids in to bed to make sure they get a good night sleep, get yourself into bed for a good night sleep. Say goodbye to having tired looking face.

4 Yeah right, ok fine, go for a nice brisk walk. Increasing your blood flow brings better color and tone to your skin.

5 When you put a sunhat on your kid, put a sunhat on yourself. Protecting your skin from the sun is important, but sunscreen has its drawbacks and limitations. A hat and sunglasses are a great idea for helping prevent dun damage.

6 When you look at your kid and smile and tell him/her “I love you so much”, go find a mirror and repeat.