Mint rust and basil mildew

The mint plant in the garden that’s been let to grow wild, plus two that were re-potted, had yellow marks all over it. I figured it might be over watering, and pulled off the worst leaves while I researched it. Turns out it is a horrible fungus called mint rust, that spreads to other herbs, contaminates soil,etc. Some sites suggest that there is no treatment, total scorched earth policy, toss the plants and soil, etc. Others say there are fungicides that might help. I do think that MOST of my soil is likely contaminated by a lot of different fungi, so I need to figure something out. I can’t just dig up the whole yard.

In the meantime, I’ve checked out other plants. The basil has yellow spots on it too, and yes it can jump to basil. The marks look a little bit different on it, though, so I plucked a few leaves and did some research. My dad used to be a landscaper/gardener and he looked at the leaves and think’s it might be aphids. I used a non organic insecticide on it, because I want to be sure it’s aphids and not a fungal infection. If it’s bugs, the plant will recover. If it’s fungus I will throw it out and go over the garden frequently to prevent the spread as much as possible.

In a few days, when it is less overcast, and the area isn’t so wet, I am going to use a neem and other natural products spray on the whole garden. It’s an organic/natural spray that is supposed to treat aphids, fungi and other issues. The sprinklers over watered today as usual so I shut them down until I can redirect the flow into buckets and make a ground level drip that doesn’t get on the leaves. I also need to let the area dry out two or three days before I spray them down with Neem, because that adds water too. Then I will let it rest a few more days, and just manually check over everything to make sure all the plants are as happy as can be.

In the meantime, I will keep researching sites to get more opinions about what to do if my entire yard is suffering from a lot of fungal infections.

This fashion accessory cured her lifelong migraines. Would you be brave enough to do it?

As you might suspect, I keep up with quite a few forums on Homesteading and Prepping. Yesterday the topic came up, “How do I get rid of headaches and migraines, naturally?” Some of these answers might not surprise you, but I bet the last one will.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical professional, nor an herbalist. Please don’t take this information as gospel. Feel free to research more on your own and ask specialists what they think.

Scented Oils: Whether home made or store bought, oils can be inhaled via a diffuser, or applied topically. So don’t EAT it, please. If you don’t have a diffuser, add a few drops to a pot of boiling water and try breathing that in. (Carefully!)

  • Lavender: Helps with headaches and migraines. Breathe in the vapors, or apply topically.
  • Basil: Completely edible, basil oil applied topically is a muscle relaxer, stress sometimes being what’s causing your headaches.
  • Peppermint: Best inhaled, this eye opener increases blood flow, which can help mental clarity, headaches, even nausea. It’s also been said to boost energy levels.

Avoid Certain Foods:

  • MSG (often in bacon or hotdogs, as well as Chinese food)
  • Tyramine (found in red wine and pickled foods)
  • Dairy, chocolate, bananas, onions, citrus fruits, even peanut butter can all bring on headaches for people. When it comes to diet, it’s best to listen to your own body.

Conversely, omega-3s, which can be taken in pill form, are also found in flax seed. Omega-3’s help with a number of things, including stress, depression and headaches. Avocados have omega-3s but if they’re a food that causes problems for you, try one of the other methods. CoQ10, magnesium and riboflavin are said to help prevent migraines in the first place.

Recently I’ve learned that wild lettuce, often used in a tea form, can be taken for insomnia, anxiety, and pain. Not sure if that includes headaches or not, but figured I would list it, anyhow.

Massage. If you’re blessed enough to have a masseuse on hand, try having them massage not only your shoulders and neck but your scalp and temples too.  No one around? This is something you can even do yourself. You know, when you’re lying in a dark room wishing vile things on people who don’t currently have your migraine.

Feverfew and butterbur, both of which I recommend purchasing at a health food store unless you know what you’re doing, are commonly used to treat migraines. They, along with the magnesium and other supplements, should probably be run by your doctor or pharmacist in case of possible drug interactions.

An ice pack on the back of your neck, or more specifically in the occipital area of your skull, is what’s worked best for me, historically. If it’s going to work, it tends work fairly fast. It’s also probably pretty safe.

Ready for the surprising one? Getting your ear pierced! But not just any piercing. This one goes through the cartilage in the center of your ear and is called a daith. Working similarly to acupuncture (which hey you can try that, too, if there’s one near you) the existence of this piercing has been shown to significantly reduce frequency of migraines. Tempted to go get this, myself! Please note that this is NOT recommended by physicians and all evidence supporting it is anecdotal. No scientific studies have yet tested if this makes headaches better or worse. Maybe it’s the placebo effect, but at least it looks cool!