Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Grama's Home Made Liniment

     Liniment (or embrocation), from the Latin linere, to anoint, is a medicated topical preparation for application to the skin. Preparations of this type are also called balm. Liniments are of a similar viscosity to lotions (being significantly less viscous than an ointment or cream) but unlike a lotion a liniment is applied with friction; that is, a liniment is always rubbed in.[1][2]
Liniments are typically sold to relieve pain and stiffness, such as from sore muscles or from arthritis. These liniments typically are formulated from alcoholacetone, or similar quickly evaporating solvents and contain counterirritant aromatic chemical compounds such as methyl salicilatebenzoin resin, or capsaicinOpodeldoc is a sort of liniment invented by the physician Paracelsus.
     As I posted last Friday, I took a fall.  I bounced, but as we all grow older we realize, we do not bounce back as quickly as we did when we were younger.  The bleeding stopped quickly.  The area of impact was red but tight in to the abrasion.  The knee literally shook in riot against the fact that I did not sit quietly and cry.  I got up and carried on, but for a few minutes the knee tried to get me to sit down.  Later I iced the knee and rested.

     Saturday, I woke up sore.  I expected it.  After 24 hours of icing the knee, I switched to heat.  It's always worse the day after when the shock has worn off and the bruising comes to the surface.    This time, it was not so bad the day after.  The swelling acted like a splint.  Sunday, I was kicking myself in the back side.  I returned to ice and acetaminophen.  I had to get up and work Monday.  Sunday night I went to bed with an ice pack strapped to me knee and two of those menthol laced back pain patches stuck on my upper leg.   

For the prepper thinking always about the time when there is no electricity, I tell you I was very grateful for ice.  I was also grateful for menthol but, I knew there was a liniment recipe in the family that could be made from ingredients I have, I just couldn't remember the fourth ingredient.

     With the acetaminophen, the back patches and the knee brace, I was able to go to work.  Going up stairs was a real chore.  I made each trip count and I went up baby stepping.  By the time I got home, I was sore.  I was sore where I had hurt myself and I was sore where I didn't.  When you are pained and strained you rely on other muscle groups to pull you through.  Those muscles were tired of bearing up to save the injured knee.  I called my mom.  

     I told her I forgot the fourth ingredient in Grama's liniment.  I knew about the ammonia and the wintergreen and I wasn't real sure how much oil to use, but I totally forgot the fourth ingredient. As soon as the word came out of her mouth, I was flooded with memories of Grama's liniment.  It is to be shaken well before using.  It is to be patted on to the skin and you are NOT supposed to wrap it tight or bandage the area for an hour.  She said wear loose clothes and never get it near your eyes.  

     Naturally, I looked up liniment and you can see the WIKI definition above.  Gram didn't use any of that stuff, and trust me her recipe was a coveted family secret.  She made it and gave it as a gift, but never with ingredients listed.  So, for you and you alone, here is Grama's liniment recipe:

Spirit of turpentine.
Olive oil, extra virgin

Mix equal parts of turpentine, ammonia and oil in a jar that has a tight fitting lid.  Add a capful or about ten drops of Wintergreen essential oil.  
                         LABEL the bottle CLEARLY.  

     I smell like a roll of Wint-o-green LifeSavers.  Every muscle that was begging for attention is hot and happy.  


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