Spring Chores and Father's Day

by Jennifer L Fockler

Spring Chores and Father's Day, Jennifer L. Fockler, L.Ac. in Chicago, IL

Spring cleaning and a home refresh are a common theme this time of year. It feels really good to open the windows and do a deep clean or finally fix those small home repairs.

I like to fix what I can around my house and I can be pretty handy. A few weekends ago, I was fixing the water filter system on my fridge. This obviously involved moving a heavy appliance. I got her done, but wrenched my shoulder and burned the inside of my wrist on a hot lightbulb.

This got me thinking about my first aid kit at home. I reach for herbs and other natural pain relievers first and it’s a safe and very effective way to treat burns, bruises, sore muscles and almost any kind of trauma.

For burns, I run cool water over the area right away. This is NOT ice or ice cold water, its water that is in the middle of the dial between hot and cold. Then I apply a thin layer of burn cream called Ching Wan Hung. I reapply as often as needed. This effectively takes away the pain and helps it heal more quickly. This will work for mild to moderate burns. Obviously, if your burn is very severe and over a large area, go to the emergency room.

For sore muscles, and any ache or pain, I love to use topical applications like Kwan Loong Oil, pain patches like Quali Patch, and heat. For my shoulder, I put a heating pad on it for 20 or 30 minutes, then I apply my topical after. The patches are perfect for wearing under clothes and are slim and almost odorless, so they are easy to take with you or stash in the office.

Of course, there are many more products and herbal items that I like to use for pain and minor injuries. This includes some standard herbal formulas, especially for stomach upsets like diarhhea or constipation, allergies, insomnia, etc.

Ask me about some of this at your next appointment or shoot me an email. I’m happy to help!

In honor of Father’s Day, I want to share with you the amazing benefits of rhubarb. It’s one of those strange and delicious plants that has a bit of a cult following here in the Midwest. It’s actually the stem of this giant leaf that is used like a sour stone fruit. My Dad had a giant rhubarb plant in our garden when I was a kid and although it was too sour for my young taste buds, my grown-up self enjoys the tartness.

There are a lot of great recipes for pies, cakes, jams, etc. It’s a great early summer crop and the plant will keep producing all season long. Pro tip—sometimes you need to peel the stems because it can get stringy when cooked down. This is easy to do, but be careful about the juice splatter, it’s a deep reddish/purple and will end up in the strangest places.

In Chinese Herbal Medicine, the root, called Da Huang, is used to clear heat through the bowels. So, its mainly used for constipation, but also where there is a fever, edema, hemorrhoids, and abdominal pain. Its favorite herbal substance to be paired with is Mang Xiao, or Epsom Salts and these two are used for constipation with hard and dry stool and abdominal pain. As with any purgative, use caution and stay hydrated. 

Too many Polish sausages at the ball park? Too many tacos from the Pilsen fest? If your digestive system gets wonky in the summer, acupuncture is a very effective and fast fix. Shoot me an email or book an appointment here.