LEARNING

Learning At The Potter's Wheel is a collection of articles on home, family, marriage, parenting, natural medicine and herbs. . . along with a few other items of interest. Have fun sorting through my junk drawer of assorted thoughts and ramblings.

AT THE POTTER'S WHEEL

The Potter has persisted in giving me treasures I don't always understand or appreciate. Patiently, He is teaching me to trust that all I really need to know is that I am in HIS hands. . .

The Woman Who Willed A Miracle


Movie Review
The Woman
Who Willed a Miracle

(Click on the title above for a link
to used copies available at Amazon.com)

I’m no movie critic, but if my opinion counts for anything and if you do occasionally watch movies, you will want to watch The Woman Who Willed a Miracle. You’ll have to work to find a copy. It’s one of those after-school special, made for TV movies from 1983, but copies can be had.

Mine arrived in the mail not too long ago. I half-expected it to be a poorly written dramatization of a true story. I didn’t expect to have much in common with the mother as she was an adoptive mother who agreed to raise a child with multiple physical and developmental difficulties. I noticed that the movie won 4 Emmy Awards. Still skeptical, I inserted the cassette and watched Cloris Leachmen (she portrayed May Lemke) blow all of my misconceptions away.

May and Joe Lemke have already raised their family and are nearing retirement when they get a message from the nearby hospital asking if they will take a blind infant to raise. The hospital doesn’t expect the infant to live beyond the week. They know that May is a former nanny and trained in nursing. The Lemkes agree to open their hearts and home to a little boy who looks like a hopeless case to everyone else.

May and Joe trust that the heart knows things that the intellect of men cannot conceive. Their unreserved faithfulness, investing their time, energies and resources into a child that – from outward appearances – cannot perceive or return their love is nothing less than amazing.

I won’t give away too much of the story, but I will share with you some of the scenes that most spoke to me:

  • When the infant is given to May, the nurse insists on relating the doctors’ findings and prognosis BEFORE this mother is given a chance to even get to know the 6 month old. While she is still reeling from the baby’s appearance and unresponsiveness, this new mother gathers her wits enough to inform the nurse that, “No one comes to May’s house to die!”
  • The scenes from the first 24 hours in their home. Painstakingly this mother places nourishment on the baby’s tongue, massages his throat and teaches him how to move his muscles to swallow. This was before infant G.I. tubes and this exhausting vigil was what saved Leslie’s life. He would have starved if she had not taught him how to eat. I remember a similar time when Z-man was first born.
  • Well-meaning neighbors, friends and doctors do their best to convince May not to waste her energies on this ‘hopeless’ case. May and her husband Joe selflessly continue to give of themselves even when no one else is willing to look for evidence of progress. They are constantly finding ways to stimulate Leslie mentally and physically.
  • Joe’s protectiveness of May and his devotion to his son are both understated and inspiring. Despite exhaustion and no reason to hope for progress, Joe is unflinching in his support and help to give this child every reason to succeed.
  • Leslie’s response when May asks him, “What is love?” I won’t spoil it by telling you. Just keep a tissue ready.

Of course, you’ll not be able to watch the movie without wondering what happened to the family. I can tell you that May and Joe have both passed. Even though May suffered with Alzheimer’s at the last, neither she nor Joe was placed in a care facility. They died (Joe before May) in the care of loving family. Leslie lives with Mary, May & Joe’s youngest daughter. He has never been institutionalized.

You can follow these links
for more information on Leslie Lemke:

Wisconsin Medical Society

Wisconsin Christian News
read more “The Woman Who Willed A Miracle”



Don't Tug On Superman's Cape

Sub Title: When a Question Isn’t a Question

Disclaimer: Duke has read and given his approval for me to post the following. ;-)

I’ve been learning about how to be a wife all of my life. When I was a very young woman, I pretty much knew it all. Now, as a much older woman, I don’t know nearly so much as I should, and I’ve learned enough to realize that.

For me, the greatest measure of my success as a wife has been how well I’ve been able to know my man. You might think this is a simple task. But I didn’t marry a simple man. Sometimes, when you have two people who are trying so hard, life begins to resemble a comedy.

We had one of those days a while back. Duke had been working overtime, covering for other workers who were out sick. Of course, he doesn’t have but two settings (wide open and off), so by the time he gets home, he’s running on fumes and at some point, his tank is empty.

On this particular day, he arrived home tired but happy (still on fumes). We flirted with each other and laughed like we usually do. At supper, Duke and the boys lingered around the table, finishing up and visiting. I excused myself to the office to finish some paperwork. Duke finished his meal and was putting his dish away when the request for an apple arrived from the middle child.

We had one apple in the house and some more in storage. Duke called over to me, “Can we get an apple?”

Now, we switch to what happened in my female brain. I knew that Duke wasn’t asking me for my permission to get an apple. I assumed he was asking me either, (A) “Do we have enough apples between now and payday to bring in more from storage?” (B) “Have the kids had too much fiber, and will a whole apple give them diarrhea?” or (C) Both. I went with “C.” I recalled that we had fed some apples to guests AND that the boys had eaten plenty of fiber (including a nice plate of greens at supper). Additionally, the boys are used to having just ½ of an apple for a serving. So, knowing how tired Duke was from his long day and taking into consideration all of the above, I said, “No, they can just split the one there and each have ½.

As soon as the words left my mouth, I could tell from Duke’s expression that I had misread the entire situation. Looking back, Duke was just tired and wanting to be the good guy. The boys were wearing their biggest brown eyed expressions. Duke wanted to reassure himself that he was the hero they believe him to be, so he was creating an opportunity for me to affirm his decision. He wasn’t asking a question, really. He was saying, ‘Hey, I’m great and the kids love asking me for stuff. Isn’t that great?’ However, what came out of his mouth was “Can we get another apple?” My response was to what he said, not to what he meant and to his request for affirmation he got the answer, “No, they can just split the one there and each have ½ an apple.”

So to Duke’s ‘Isn’t this great?’ my ‘No’ was a blow. I was still clueless at this point, but could tell by the cloud that descended that I had suddenly fallen from favor. While I was still trying to figure out what had happened, Duke replied, “Only HALF!?” He gestured to the starving children at his side (they had just eaten big plates of roast beef, rice and collard greens), “Why can’t they just have a WHOLE apple?”

Still thinking of silly things like digestion and stocks in the pantry, I unwittingly replied, “Well, they usually only eat half. They just had a pretty big supper. Half should be enough.

Okay, so that’s two strikes. He’s lobbing me easy ones that I should be able to knock out of the park, and I’m focused on the bleachers (If you knew Duke you’d be proud to see how well I’m able to insert baseball analogies into every part of life).

The clincher to this was that Duke assumed that I was well aware of what he was trying to do (I wasn’t). He’s standing there, trying to be the hero his boys believe him to be (without the cape or the tights), and I’m just killing the moment by not being his adoring wife. Instead, I’m in literal land and answering the question that I heard. I’ve effectively put my foot out and tripped him as he was trying to leap another tall building.

So, Duke does what any self-respecting super-hero would do and he rallies his people. He becomes a defender of the downtrodden (a well-fed downtrodden) and stands up to the villain (me) with a scowl and words of a frustrated hero. Even at that moment, I still didn’t get it. I’m asking things like, “Why are you so mad? They’re YOUR apples. Get them if you want them. If you didn’t want my opinion, why’d you ask?”

Well, if you are going to start using logic when faced with emotions, I should tell you that you may as well save everyone concerned a lot of trouble and just quit.

That’s what I did. I could see that my responses were NOT appreciated and that my Duke was just too tired and worn out to bother explaining it to me. They got the apples. Their hero was still their hero. They went to bed.

I’ve been reading up on chaste conversation and realized that I really NEEDED to know what a chaste response would have been. I prayed and asked God to help me discern when a question wasn’t a question and how I could have/should have responded.

At some point, I began to see that the whole thing wasn’t about apples after all (DUH!). I also realized that the one thing Duke hates more than not being allowed to be a hero is having to admit that he might possibly have contributed to the confusion (I know, it would be a stretch).

I decided use humor to smooth things over. In his lunch box, along with his regular lunch, I crammed as many apples as I could. I expected him to come home chuckling.

Well, that didn’t exactly happen. He came home with that cloud still over his head. Of course, I wasn’t helping things by saying things like, “Why are you still mad?” To which he responded, “I’m not mad at you!”

That’s when God started answering my prayers to understand what had really happened. Along with that realization another thought occurred to me. Duke had made me the villain. If he apologized and/or admitted to playing a part in the misunderstanding, he would lose his super-hero status, hand that over to me and become the villain (in his own eyes, not mine). It appeared that Duke had gotten himself out on a limb and couldn’t figure out a way of giving up his position and reconciling without losing face.

I meditated on that as I got ready to go to the grocery store. I prayed as I went asking God to help me know how to respond. Then I saw them. Beautiful, silk tea roses were on sale at the grocery store. It had been a long time since Duke had gotten me flowers. Well, why not? I grabbed the colors I liked and headed for the checkout.

When we got home, Duke was sitting up in the living room chair half-dozing. Tired as he was, he should have laid down to rest, but he waited up to help me unload the groceries. We got them nearly all put away, and I pointed out the flowers.

“What are those for?” he asked. “Well,” I responded, ”I knew you would want me to have them, so I got them. They’re very pretty. Thank you!” He looked a bit confused and said, “You’re welcome.” Then I caught his eye and paused, “I know you feel bad about everything,” I said, “I accept your apology.”

FINALLY, I got it right! It was like a weight lifted. He gave me a great big bear hug and whispered sweet, mushy stuff to me. That man even made me cry with his sweetness.

I pulled away and asked, “Remember when we were just getting to know each other? You used to say that you just weren’t good enough. You said that over and over until one day I responded, ‘Well, then you’ll just have to improve!’” He nodded. “Well,” I said, “I have something to add to that. . . . . . GO!”

Duke chuckled. The cloud lifted, and I learned a little more about my man.

read more “Don't Tug On Superman's Cape”



Provisions of Providence

Isaiah 55:1,2
Ho, every one that thirsteth,
come ye to the waters,
and he that hath no money;
come ye, buy, and eat;
yea, come, buy wine and milk without money
and without price.
Wherefore do ye spend money
for that which is not bread?
and your labour for that which satisfieth not?
hearken diligently unto me,
and eat ye that which is good,
and let your soul delight itself in fatness.

Duke handed me the paperwork to do our taxes last week. Thankfully our finances are not very complex, so it’s mostly a matter of finding an extended window of time that allows me to think without distractions. THAT’s the part that can get complicated!

I tallied up our income for the year and then I double checked the figure. This just couldn’t be right. Don’t get me wrong. I knew things were tight. Duke hadn’t worked as many hours last year as previous and things weren’t luxurious . . . but the figure I was looking at stunned me. We had managed to pay our bills and eat regularly on nearly 15% LESS income than in the previous year!

For me, it was really exciting. This meant that we were able to enjoy more of Duke and more family time and we didn’t really miss the money. It wasn’t planned. We did eat more beans, brown rice, and tortillas than we did before, but WOW, 15% LESS annual income! I couldn’t stop laughing for joy.

It just really drove home the point for me that God knows how to take care of us in ways that no paycheck ever could.

This isn’t the first time God has done something like that. He uses the most unexpected methods. . .

There was the time when we needed money for Z-man’s therapy. It was going to cost thousands of dollars for the year in addition to travel expenses. We didn’t have the money.

The first year, we received an unexpected windfall from a canceled retirement fund in just the right amount to cover the year and the initial evaluation.

The second year, we got a box in the mail from my sister. While she was on the phone, she told us to open the box. Inside, we found some t-shirts: “Oh! Don’t look at those, keep going,” she urged. A little lower down, we found some newspaper clippings about a ‘benefit’ garage sale. From the clippings, it appeared that several families had donated items. My sister had organized a fundraiser, unasked. Families we didn’t know had donated so much stuff that it filled my sister’s yard AND her neighbor’s. A sign company even donated a HUGE banner to stretch over the area. Sis said that some people didn’t even want to buy anything. They just stopped their cars and made donations.

Then my sister told me to open the envelope. Inside was just enough money to cover another year’s worth of treatment, including travel expenses for one trip. We just wept and cried in thanksgiving. The t-shirts were ones that the volunteers had worn. They had Z-man’s picture on them.

The next year, I was starting to get really run down physically and otherwise. The intense therapies were demanding. Learning new ways to prepare new foods was time-consuming. We were in another universe than our old friends. Family couldn’t relate to what we were going through, and it was just too hard to explain.

Days were filled with endless tasks and the work was never done. There wasn’t time or strength or energy left over for any kind of socializing, so we didn’t even try. We just laughed when local parents’ groups sent invitations for parents’ night out. Spending more energy to move the family from point A to point B coupled with the stress of handing our kids over to be watched by strangers was simply not an option. I NEEDED to get out. I NEEDED time with my husband, but Duke was buried in work, and from his perspective I was doing just fine.

The truth was that we were both drowning in the endless fight to awaken the neurological connections in our child’s mind. Duke was wearing himself out with overtime. I was just surviving.

It was one of those times in our lives when we couldn’t have told you what we needed if you had asked. We didn’t know ourselves.

But God knew.

He laid it on the heart of a woman in Texas to pay for half of our air fare to travel to Texas and visit family. This was no small feat as the trip would require me to plan our meals and send our foods ahead. We would stay with family.

Duke agreed. The arrangements were made. At the last minute, Duke nearly changed his mind. Thankfully, the tickets were non-refundable.

We spent two wonderful weeks in Texas. We were able to see San Antonio and Austin (in all of its wonderful weirdness :-) ). We thanked that woman for her incredible gift, but I don’t think she will ever know how she helped (by God’s direction) pull us back out of some very black days. It is one of our most cherished memories.

That’s how God has worked again and again in our lives. These are just a few of the stories. I don’t share except to brag on God and to remind you that this same Jesus loves you as well. For those who imagine that serving God brings great monetary wealth, I just laugh and think how short-sighted that perspective is. God does MUCH more than we could ever ask or think.

Ephesians 3:19,21
Now unto him that is able
to do exceeding abundantly
above all that we ask or think,
according to the power that worketh in us,
Unto him be glory
in the church by Christ Jesus
throughout all ages,
world without end.
Amen.

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TORTILLA PIZZA!

Somewhere between the ideal of completely pure, toxin-free foods and practical living, I stand in my kitchen and try to figure out how to make the ingredients we can afford into nutritious, good-tasting meals. I have found that the greatest hurdle isn’t necessarily finances. (We actually spend less now on food than we did when our family was smaller.) My greatest hurdle has been learning to set aside all of the reasons I thought I couldn’t change our food choices. When I did this, I was able to get creative. Instead, I count the things that I DO have and determine to work within those guidelines.

That’s how I came up with Tortilla Pizzas.

My family has the potential to be world-champion junk food junkies. My husband was a confirmed bachelor before we met and didn’t have much of a concept of food other than what came out of a box, bag or fast food outlet. Thankfully, he grew up around some immigrant Italian families and had actually tasted ‘from scratch’ foods in childhood – so there were memories of pure food tastes that I could revive.

My family wanted pizza. I didn’t want to subject our systems to the chemicals in the dough and every other ingredient on top of it. I also wanted to have an easy meal that didn't involve hours of preparation or planning. Here’s what I came up with:

TORTILLA PIZZA
Ingredients:

  • 1 package of Ezekiel 4:9, 12” Sprouted Grain Tortillas (These come 6 to a package. I could have made my own, but purchasing these saves me valuable time and provides me with a quality product. We are also trying to avoid large sources of gluten.)
  • 1 package of raw cheese (We find ours at the local health food store which retails product from a licensed, organic raw dairy)
  • Organic vegetables sliced thin: onions, green peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, etc.
  • Organic herbs & seasoning: Oregano, basil, sea salt, etc.

The major portion of time will be spent slicing the veggies thin and grating the cheese. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit while you do this. Once these tasks are done, you only have to layer the ingredients. I like to place parchment paper on a cookie sheet or pizza pan and assemble the pizzas on the pan.

I usually start with a thin layer of cheese and follow this with an assortment of veggies, seasonings and then a final layer of cheese. I have found organic pepperoni, but it really isn’t necessary. The cheese provides plenty of protein along with the tortilla. Also, I don’t brush the tortillas with olive oil as this is too much oil for our taste, but it isn’t a bad option if you prefer.

Once assembled, you place the tortilla pizza into your oven for 7 minutes. In that amount of time, the tomato slices will have softened and turned to a type of sauce, the tortilla crust will be crisp and the cheese will be bubbly and melted. Remove from the oven and slice with a pizza cutter. Another benefit to these is that the ‘slices’ are just the right size for little hands at the table.

Two or three are enough to feed my family of four for a lunch. If they’ve been out playing and really built up an appetite, you may find that they will eat more. Recently, we had a visitor and had been outdoors. I assembled all 6 tortillas into pizzas which were promptly consumed by 5 people. I think I might have gotten 4 little wedges.

This would also do nicely as party favors or for a social where the guests assemble their own and pop their creations into a toaster oven.

Enjoy!

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MYRRH

ALSO KNOWN AS:
Commiphora myrrha

PARTS USED
The gum resin and oil are used from stems

PHYTOCHEMICALS
& NUTRIENTS

Acetic acid, acetates of potassa, ash, benzoates, beta-sitosterol, campesterol, cinnamaldehyde, cuminaldehyde, dipentene, eugenol, gum, limonene, malates, m-cresol, polysaccharides, resin (myrrhin), salts, sulphates, triterpenoids, triterpene acids, volatile oil. Essential oil containing myrrholic acid, sesquiterpenes, furano sesquiterpenes, and heerabolene, a sesquiterpenene.

The tree Commiphora myrrha has ducts in its bark. Tissue between the ducts breaks down and forms cavities. These cavities and remaining ducts fill with a granular secretion known as Myrrh. This is harvested by wounding the bark and collecting the freely discharged sap. It flows as a pale yellow liquid, hardening to a reddish-brown mass. These masses, called tears, are about the average size of a walnut.

HISTORY
Myrrh has been used historically as an ingredient in incense, perfumes, skin applications and in the holy oil of the Jews and the Kyphi of the Egyptians for embalming and fumigations.

The Greek word for myrrh is μύρον, which became synonymous with the word for "perfume". At one time in Ancient Rome, myrrh cost five times as much as frankincense, although frankincense was more popular. Romans practiced cremation and Myrrh was burned in ancient Roman funerals to mask the smell.

Myrrh was so highly regarded in ancient times that it was often worth more than its weight in gold.

Genesis 37:25
. . . behold, a company of Ishmeelites came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh. . .

Myrrh has been used both as an embalming ointment and as penitential incense in funerals, cremations and other religious ceremonies. This is likely due to its mention as the primary ingredient in the anointing oil God commanded Moses to make.

Exodus 30:23, Take thou also unto thee principal spices, of pure myrrh five hundred shekels . . .

AROMATIC
Proverbs 7:17

I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.

With its high volatile oil content, Myrrh is a pungent and aromatic herb. As a constituent of perfumes and incense, Myrrh provides an earthy element to the overall smell.

Myrrh kills bacteria which cause odors making it a deodorizer.

As incense, Myrrh produces a smoke that has a heavy, bitter scent, tinged with a hint of vanilla. Myrrh expands when burned instead of melting or liquefying.

AIRWAYS AND MUCUS MEMBRANES
Song of Solomon 3:6
Who is this that cometh out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all powders of the merchant?

An anti-catarrhal, Myrrh helps remove deposits of thickened phlegm and mucus secretions from tissues. Its expectorant properties help remove mucus from air passages, including inflamed bronchial tubes in the lungs. Myrrh increases the functional activity of the mucus tissues and thereby is helpful when treating breathing disorders. One of the ways Myrrh does this is by toning and stimulating the remaining healthy tissue while easing inflammation.

Myrrh is valuable in detoxification as it helps remove mucus and prevent microorganisms from breaking down organic matter (especially protein, tissues) that results in a foul smelling ooze (known as putrefaction). In this way, it fights infection and promotes cell and tissue regeneration.

In tincture form, it can be taken internally to treat a variety of respiratory complaints: Asthma, bronchial complaints, sinusitis, colds, flu, sore throats, etc. are eased with the use of Myrrh.

DIGESTION
Song of Solomon 5:1
I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse: I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey”

A stomachic and appetite stimulant, Myrrh both aids in the digestive process by stimulating gastric juices and improves the appetite. Its carminative properties enable Myrrh to ease bowel pains by removing gas, making it a good dyspepsia (abdominal pain, burning, nausea, vomiting) tonic. An alterative, Myrrh rebalances nutrition and elimination of waste, by cleaning and healing the stomach and colon. At the same time, Myrrh tones the digestive systems.

For stomach complaints, Myrrh is used in tincture form.

ANTI-PARASITIC
Myrrh is a general purpose anti-microbial. This means that it helps the body destroy or resist bacteria, fungi, AND viruses. These properties mean that Myrrh is classified as a natural anti-bacterial, anti-biotic, anti-fungal, and disinfectant. As a fungicide, Myrrh not only destroys fungi, but it also prevents and combats fungal infection.

Myrrh has been used to effectively treat parasitic infestations. It has been used to treat the microscopic organism (Treponema pallidum) which causes syphilis.

Studies have shown that Myrrh is effective in the treatment of flukes, and parasitic flatworm infections (fascioliasis). An extract consisting of 8 parts resin and 3.5 parts volatile oil of Myrrh was given in the amount of 12 mg/kg per day for 6 days. Doses were given upon rising, on an empty stomach. After 3 weeks, the eggs were no longer detectable in the participants’ fecal matter. Subsequent tests after three months showed that the condition had not reoccurred. Symptoms (including liver enzyme levels) improved with no signs of toxicity.

ANTI-SEPTIC
Psalm 45:8
All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad.

Topically, Myrrh’s anti-microbial properties make it an effective antiseptic and disinfectant. The dried resin, oil, or tincture can be used for this applicaiton.

ORAL HYGIENE
Song of Solomon 5:13
His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers: his lips like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh.

Myrrh is an effective treatment for oral cankers (ulcers) and for bacterial mouth disease (periodontitis, gingivitis, and pyorrhea). Because of its anti-septic properties, Myrrh is beneficial in the treatment of bad breath. Myrrh can be mixed with tooth powder for this application or used as a mouthwash. Its stimulant property helps relieve toothache pain.

As a mouthwash or gargle, Myrrh can improve spongy gums, ulcerated throat, in addition to canker sores. For a sore throat, Myrrh acts as an anti-inflammatory, soothing and reducing swollen tissues.

By tightening the tissues and drying fluid secretions, Myrrh offers its astringent properties to the healing process. Inflammation of the mucus linings found in the mouth, throat, sinus cavity or digestive tract is eased with this application.

Five to ten drops of a tincture of Myrrh added to a glass of pure water can be used for a gargle or rinse. Dentists sometimes use a 10% tooth powder to make a paint that they apply to the teeth. I would think that 10 parts sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to 1 part Myrrh tincture would make a good powder for daily brushing of teeth and gums.

TOPICAL
Song of Solomon 5:5
I rose up to open to my beloved; and my hands dropped with myrrh, and my fingers with sweet smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the lock.

Because Myrrh is an anti-microbial, skin disorders are greatly helped by its application. Conditions ranging from herpes simplex virus, fungal infections, ulcers, abscesses, boils, sores, wounds, weeping eczemas, bed sores, leprosy and deep cracks on hands and feet all benefit from its use. For this reason, Myrrh can be found as an ingredient in some liniments and salves formulated to heal and to relieve aches and sprains.

The insoluble residue in Myrrh tincture helps to coat the skin with soothing mucilage.

As a wash, Myrrh is both astringent and healing, helping the skin regenerate healthy cells and normalizing the damaged tissue. Herbalists classify herbs with this property as vulnerary.

For topical skin applications the undiluted tincture can be applied two to three times per day.

Because it is beneficial to the skin, Myrrh is a popular ingredient in plasters where extended application is needed. Myrrh is a rubefacient. As such, Myrrh increases blood flow and circulation to the site of application. One recipe uses equal parts (1.5 oz. each) of camphor, myrrh, and balsam of Peru added to 32 oz of an olive oil based soap (called lead plaster). The mixture is stirred while warm until cooling causes it to thicken. Plasters are placed between layers of cotton or flannel and then applied while warm.

RHEUMATIC & ARTHRITIC
Mark 15:23
And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not.

When used as a treatment for rheumatism and arthritis, Myrrh helps shrink painful tissues while acting as a tonic and a stimulant. Associated painful spasms of smooth muscles are also eased with its application.

IMMUNE BOOSTER
Song of Solomon 4:6
Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense.

Myrrh stimulates the immune system by multiplying white corpuscle production up to four times. These corpuscles are used by the body to defend itself against infection.

ENDOCRINE SUPPORT
Myrrh supports function of the lymph and respiratory systems, liver, spleen, pancreas and colon. By increasing the effectiveness of insulin, Myrrh extracts improve glucose tolerance. Because extracts can lower blood glucose levels, Myrrh can interfere with existing hypo- or hyperglycemic therapies.

CARDIAC
This herb also supports and promotes the function of the heart. The standardized extract of the Indian mukul myrrh tree, can lower cholesterol and triglycerides and therefore may interfere with pre-existing therapies for high cholesterol and high triglycerides.

Myrrh is used to treat Pulmonary consumption. The symptoms of this condition are emaciation, chronic weakness, cough, ongoing fever, and purulent (puss filled) expectoration.

Myrrh also supports healthy circulation.

FEMALE
Esther 2:12
Now when every maid's turn was come to go in to king Ahasuerus, after that she had been twelve months, according to the manner of the women, (for so were the days of their purifications accomplished, to wit, six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with sweet odours, and with other things for the purifying of the women;)

Myrrh acts as a stimulant to delayed menstrual flow and activity, classifying it as an emmenagogue. Leucorrhoea (a whitish discharge) is helped by Myrrh.

Myrrh in tincture form can be applied internally for menstrual and other related problems.

This herb also is an effective treatment for chlorosis, a form of chronic anemia that primarily affects young women.

PREPARATIONS
In veterinary practice, Myrrh is used in tincture form for healing wounds.

For humans, Myrrh is used in combination several other herbs including aloe, ginseng, safflower stamens, and cinnamon. Tinctures are most often made by alcohol extraction and used both internally and externally. Because of its tonic action, Myrrh would be a good addition to herbal rejuvenative drinks.

Myrrh is almost always taken as a tincture. A common recipe is to soften the herb (macerate it) by soaking it in a liquid of 1 part myrrh with 5 parts of 90% ethyl alcohol.

Several retail formulations use Myrrh. Swedish Bitters is a digestive formulation. Fernet Branka is a popular brand of amaro produced in Milan, Italy with over 40 herbs and spices in a base of grape spirits.

Other references in Scripture:

Genesis 43:11
And their father Israel said unto them, If it must be so now, do this; take of the best fruits in the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a present, a little balm, and a little honey, spices, and myrrh, nuts, and almonds:

Song of Solomon 1:13
A bundle of myrrh is my well-beloved unto me; he shall lie all night betwixt my breasts.

Song of Solomon 4:14
Spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices:

It is noteworthy that Myrrh was mentioned in regards to its use and application in the life of Jesus three times:

At His birth:
Matthew
2:11
And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.

At His crucifixion
Mark
15:23
And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not.

At His burial
John
19:39
And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.

CAUTIONS

Myrrh is not recommended for use during pregnancy or during excessive uterine bleeding. If there is kidney trouble or stomach pain, Myrrh is not recommended. I found no studies regarding its use during lactation, but Myrrh should likely be avoided by breastfeeding mothers.

Because Myrrh extracts increase glucose tolerance, lower cholesterol and triglycerides, users should be cautious in its application if they are receiving medical therapy for these conditions. Consult your doctor before use.

PLEASE NOTE - myrrh essential oil cannot be taken internally.

When using any essential oil on or in the human body, it is VERY important to know how the product was made. Some extraction processes use a chemical solvent. Look for those that use steam distillation or alcohol extraction for safe human consumption.

As with all herbs, avoid use of plants that have been exposed to toxic chemicals or have not been certified 'chemical free.'

Disclaimer: None of this is to be considered a substitute for medical examination and/or treatment. Use what you will, but do so knowing that you must consider your own circumstance and the application of these things with sound judgment.

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