Friday, February 24, 2012

My Hair is Going Wild

I experiment on myself a lot. Maybe some people would prefer to just read something in a book and be done with it. But herbs have a funny way of making an unforgettable impression on you when you've had a close encounter, even if it's of the throwing up variety. I'm not in the habit of testing poisonous substances on myself, and I don't really see that as a thing I'd like to pick up in the future. But I do like to see how I react to certain herbs in different doses, and if I hear something tastes really, really gross if eaten raw, I eat it. I'd like to think the Food Network would find this a great show idea. Me eating valerian straight out of the woods, then passing out to sleep for three days, for instance. Or not.

Lately, I've been doing research for an ebook on hair remedies. I thought I was all up to speed on this topic. As another experiment on myself four years ago, I decided to give up shampoo and blog about it. Turns out that one worked so well I still haven't shampood. Perhaps you think that's disgusting, but now I think shampoo is disgusting. I'd never pay $20 for a bottle of goop at the hairdresser's. My hair would be oily by evening, and I've gotten used to never, ever having greasy hair. Sounds like it goes against the grain, doesn't it?

I've been plowing away with my same old hair washing routine for the past four years, and I've learned to use various herbal rinses in the process. My hair coloring regime is henna and lemon juice, and I just learned to layer my own hair. With scissors, not sharp herbs.

But what I found surprising is that when I pull all my herbal hair remedies together and research until I'm blue in the face, there's just not that much out there. The same remedies turn up again and again, which may point to the fact that the few that exist work so well that no one ever bothered to come up with something else, but I don't think so. Now I'm digging through old pharmaceutical formularies and books dating back a few hundred years and coming up with remedies such as taping a piece of of amber to your ear to get rid of inner ear problems. (Anyone heard of an earring?) Or tying a bit of black string around your child's neck to stop coughing during the night. Perhaps their lack of oxygen would account for that cure.

Thankfully, there are lots of hidden gems among advice to give our children regular doses of cocaine or morphine. It's amazing how many natural cures have been in existence for hundreds of years without having had the benefit of scientific explanations. But now we know why so many of these things actually work. And there are countless remedies that we still have no reasonable explanation for their efficacy, yet they accomplish their wonders all the same.

My search for good hair remedies continues on, as do personal experiments on my own head. (Hair samples in the way of layering leftovers have become valued.) I still may have to create some of my very own remedies, but in the meantime I'm having a lot of fun just digging through all these old texts discovering other things I might want to test on myself. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have the hiccups and need to stick a penny between my toes.

Check out my Herbs Gone Wild series for Kindle here.

2 comments:

  1. I would love to get a print copy of Herbs Gone Wild but all I find are ebook editions - is it in print and if not, why not?? Some of us detest books you can't hold and keep!

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  2. Hi jscw! Thanks for the question! My books are not in print. I'm an indie author who self publishes,and the cost to print is astronomical. As an ebook author, I can write about what I love and make a living, whereas self pubbing print books would put me in debt pretty quickly.

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