One of the things I did before I started radiation therapy was make my own lotion, or as I called it, my Boobricant. The cream the medical profession recommended was a moisturizer. Much to my surprise it wasn’t loaded with toxins and it turns out it was a pretty decent product. However, it also wasn’t loaded with anything else to heal the skin and this elixir crafting witch wanted some healing properties for her freshly scarred tata.
I’ve been making my own deodorant for years, along with a number of other items for sore muscles, congestion from colds, bath salts, and even a line of non-toxic dog care products that I sell, PawFu (www.pawfu.ca) I had everything I needed at home already and whipped up my first batch. It contained:
- 1/4 cup shea butter
- 1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil
- 1/4 cup aloe vera gel (yes, even though they tell you not to use this)
- Lavender essential oil (a few drops; good quality)
- Calendula flower (I used a good quality CO2 extracted paste; about a 1/16 teaspoon)
Add shea butter, coconut oil and aloe vera gel into a glass jar. Fill a medium sized pot half way with water, add the jar with its contents and bring it to a slow rolling boil on the stove until the items melt inside the jar. Remove from heat, add lavender and calendula. While still in liquid form, pour into a glass container that you can easily stick your fingers into or an applicator (i.e. tongue depresser) to reach. Chill in the fridge overnight or let set on the counter. BOOM! Boobricant.
I applied this underneath the product that was recommended by the medical team about 3 times a day with my bedtime dose being a really big blob. Mid way through the three week mark of treatment, my skin was still in near-perfect condition (I took pictures). It started to react in week 4, looking like a mild sunburn and the worst of it was 10 days after treatment in the reactionary period where it looked like a bright sunburn (I have very fair skin). After the reactionary period it took less than 2 weeks for my skin to heal completely.
This lotion is greasy and shea butter can be grainy but I didn’t give a rat’s ass. I was after it for maximum healing benefits and it worked like a mo fo. I told my oncologist about it who said “well, whatever you’re doing is working, so keep it up”. Other women I spoke with were not as lucky as I was with their skin but they were only using what was recommended. Obviously, if my skin was reacting negatively I would have stopped.
I know there are a few things that the conventional medicine world tells us about plant based products and why we shouldn’t use them for specific things, but I did my research and chose not to listen to their advice on this piece. I was told that aloe wasn’t recommended because it dries your skin from the inside out, and that there wasn’t any science that proved it was helpful for it. Just because there hasn’t been scientific research completed, does not mean it is ineffective. There is a lot of wisdom in holistic medicine and I’m a strong believer in incorporating these therapies with conventional practices to maximize results. It blows my mind when we get so caught up in ego that we completely refute one or the other. History, ancient wisdom AND actual science and technology? For the love of Pete and all things holy! We have all of it available to us – let’s use it! Applying the aloe gel in my topical boobricant worked for me, and a clinical study was not necessary for me to recognize that.
Lavender is another controversial topic. Look up lavender and estrogenic activity and you’ll find all kinds of conflicting information. I found this published study that concluded lavender and tea tree oils had estrogenic activities, but one look at it with a discerning eye and there are so many other possibilities for what could have caused an increase in estrogenic activity. What other ingredients were in the product? What was happening in the environment? How is this even classified as science? No wonder people are skeptical. I found another study that concluded that lavender did not have estrogenic potential. No wonder people are confused.
As with most of the decisions I make, I chose to trust my instincts with the application of logic. When it comes to lavender, here’s what I know for sure:
- Lavender is an incredible healer for skin conditions. Chapped lips, burns, cuts, scrapes – it’s amazing. Diluted of course – straight up burns like a bee-atch.
- Toxicity (if it even is toxic which I don’t believe it to be) is in the dose. A small amount diluted in a much larger base applied over a 4-6 week period is not toxic. I’m more concerned about the cancer causing glyphosate sprayed on our food supply than lavender essential oil.
Plants are awesome and while I would never depend solely on their wisdom and medicine for treating something as serious as breast cancer, I absolutely embrace their magic as a complementary treatment. They help heal our planet by cleaning water and air. They heal us through smell and nutrition and share their protective properties with us. There’s even research that displays how trees and plants talk to each other. They freaking communicate with each other! There is wisdom and brilliance within the plant kingdom that our bodies resonate with. Sure, some of them like a poisonous hemlock will kill you, so maybe don’t eat those. When used appropriately with respect and knowledge of the plant and the conditions being treated or possible contraindications, there’s a whole world of awesome in the plant world that is happy to be of assistance to us.