And on the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither, nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing. (Genesis 1:29)
Hanging from the rafters of Le Petit-Courty, like an upside down garden, Francisca dried plants, roots, and bark, ready for immediate use to treat whatever ailed the Cathillon family or the people of Vacquenoux.
Francesca’s Home Remedies
This time of year, those of us who live in cold winter climates deal with dry itchy skin as an unpleasant fact. The residents of Le Petit-Courty did not enjoy a forced air heated environment, nor did they bathe every day, or even every week for that matter. As a result, they probably did not suffer with dry skin.
The combination of heated dry air plus the drying effects of bathing wreaks havoc on our skin. There are many ways to help with these dry skin issues.
Turn down the heat. Heat makes your blood vessels dilate, so keeping your house cooler has an anesthetic effect. For the same reason, when you bathe, use warm, not hot water, and follow each bath with moisture to hold the water, not the oil, into your skin. To maximize the effects, apply the moisturizer while your skin is still damp.
Expensive moisturizers and creams are not necessary to keep skin supple. Petroleum jelly or baby oil is just as effective. Actually, any kitchen oil, sunflower, peanut, or canola oil will help with dry skin. Keep it in the shower and apply before drying. If your skin is overly sensitive, get rid of that soap, go to your pantry, and get the oatmeal. Tie some steel cut oats in a cloth, dunk it in water, and use like a scrunchy.
Add moisture to your air. If you have a wood burner, place a pan of water on the top, just be sure to keep children away to avoid accidents. A small humidifier by the bed will also help.
On rare occasions, dry skin may result from a vitamin deficiency, and boosting intake of Vitamin A and C, the group B vitamins, and Zinc may help. Severely dry skin may be a signal of thyroid disorder or lymphoma, however, and a doctor should evaluate any scaling, or wrinkling.
Tkac, Debora. The Doctors Book of Home Remedies: Thousands of Tips and Techniques Anyone Can Use to Heal Everyday Health Problems. Emmaus, PA: Rodale, 1990. Print.
Reader’s Digest Foods That Harm Foods That Heal. Surry Hills, NSW Reader’s Digest, 1997 Print.