The Holiday Card Project

I decided to take a part in the Deviant Art Holiday Card Project because I think its simple idea is great. Who wouldn’t like to please those who have not enough luck, pleasure or even health? Additionally, you can do that, which also enjoys you and what you consider to be your hobby.

The word charity usually involves donating money or things needed for life, more precisely for the physical part of life. But doesn’t soul feel hungry?

At school, I learned that there is a pyramid of values, the basis of which is just physical needs – food, drink, clothing, shelter. And if these are not saturated, you probably do not care about what is on the higher floors of the pyramid – values like love, belonging or self-esteem.

Traveling and aging brought me a little different experience.  With my own eyes, I saw huge number of people who were really poor, yet they lived in love and with supporting community, and I don’t think they had the problem of respect or self-esteem.

And of course, I saw and see a lot of people, who have their basic needs more than saturated, yet they didn’t open their hearts either for love or for the support of others.

I believe that donating money helps to change the physical reality of many people, which is great. But I also believe that giving joy feeds their souls and helps them accept what cannot be changed or paid for money.

And so I put my love and positive energy into a simple drawing, hoping to send pleasure and joy even across the ocean.

Thanks to the creative people in Deviant Art for inspiration and their excellent work.

Ivana

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Cooling herbs

Why to mention cooling herbs in the winter season, when is quite cold outdoors anyway and the holidays call much more for warming spices? Well, you can need some of cooling functions even now!

First, we can easily get cold or flu which means we need to increase the immunity level and support the fight with viral disease and often always with a fever. First aid could be provided by herbal tea from the Rose hip, Echinacea and Elderflower. This combination is cooling, soothing and a bit diuretic, so it forces you to drink a lot of your medicine. Fluid exchange quickly reduces fever, antiviral components fight against viral origin, while the antioxidants prevent to spread of infection into the healthy cells. Additionally, there are anticarrhal and expectorant features that handle work with increased mucus secretion typical for this type of diseases.

But there are other kinds of inflammation you can meet and need to cool, for example various types of skin inflammations. In this case we look for different herbs and usually external application. For me, number one is always yarrow, especially the fresh one which is easily applicable directly to afflicted area. Yarrow quickly closes the wound, cleanses and protects against infection, and heals the skin surface. I like to use yarrow also in ointment.

Speaking of cooling, it means to speak about mental soothing as well. When we are exposed to massive amount of stress, then we may look for herbal ally. St.John’s wort is a good choice, especially using like infused oil for body massage. Then you will really feel total release of accumulated tension because the influence of the massage will be enhanced by healing effects of the St.John’s wort.

The range of mental soothing also includes help with poor sleep. For me, number one is hops. It will send you to the realm of sleep with rocket speed. The most effective applications are either tincture (ok, beer could be enough) or direct consumption of a dried herb, for example in capsules.

The last type of cooling or soothing for today is the release of spasm. If you have more frequent muscle spasm, you should definitely look at the magnesium consumption in your diet. In the case of internal spasm I would recommend Silverweed (Potentilla anserine) which effectively releases smooth muscle tissue and so can handle painful spasm of the organs we cannot control. Silverweed is best to use in the tea form, either solo or in blends.

There are plenty of cooling herbs for every season and my present selection was an instant idea and a small rebellion against the holiday tradition. I hope you will enjoy it anyway.

With love, Ivana