If At Once You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again

IMG_1917 (2)It has been a big week. I returned from my holiday in Idaho and Bayfield, Wisconsin and got right back in to the swing of things. I had my obligatory two days of dental hygiene and then one day of family and friends and yesterday, Friday, I had to stay home and clean house and prepare for company.

It was also a week of difficult decisions the biggest one of which (yes, big) was deciding to re-open my Krisinsight group on Facebook. This is a big decision because it is a time consumer like no other one thing I do but I found I was missing the interaction with people and the sharing of the latest health information.

Also some folks who perhaps only checked out Krisinsight once in a while were feeling that they might have done something wrong and I had deleted them from the group. That was absolutely not the case, no one was ever deleted, every opinion was and is important and valued. Alas, and with some hesitation (but not much), Krisinsight on Facebook was reborn.

Success: The accomplishment of one’s goals

I really enjoy experimentation as most readers well know and I have to admit that some succeed, some fail and some have an indeterminate conclusion. Recently I have run some very unscientific trials and I feel like I have reached some conclusions that I can share. This doesn’t mean I recommend them for you just that I feel I can share the outcome of my testing and its results on my body.

How to stop the cramping

You are undoubtedly aware that I have some muscle soreness from time to time (back and hip issues are better this week) and I have tried a plethora of things to appease these nasty aches and pains including C1/C2 chiropractic adjustment. In addition and even more irritating I was plagued by muscle cramping for quite a while and I just know I do not have to accept this as normal. I decided, with the input of various people on Krisinsight, to try some products to alleviate the cramping in my feet and calves and the restless leg feeling at night that makes me want to stretch my legs constantly.

I tried the following products: ReMag Solution (thanks Bonnie Scott for this recommendation), MagMind (magnesium threonate recommended by Mercola and Life Extension) and Ionic Fizz (research buddy Chloe uses this product and has for a long time). The winning combination is Ionic Fizz Mag Plus and MagMind. Try as I might I could not get the ReMag combined with MagMind to take away the cramping and it left a sour taste in my mouth as if I had acid reflux.

Ionic Fizz uses Magnesium Carbonate which is not highly touted as the best magnesium but since starting it, sometimes twice a day (because it makes my Celtic Sea Salt more palatable), along with MagMind (magnesium threonate crosses the blood brain barrier) I have no more issues. It is not scientific but it is working for me where other potions weren’t quite taking the cramp away.

Bugged by mosquitoes?

Another success story was my test of a product I have had around the house for a year or two, Botanical Outdoor Gel by Neem Tree Farms. We, in Minnesota, are having a bumper year for mosquitoes thanks to our record rainfall in the last two months. I have a vegetable garden, two poodles and 13 acres of land all of which cause me to be outside at the worst times of day for the biting buggers.

The other day I found my Neem Gel and the thought came to mind that I should give a try again. There are three less than ideal issues with the Neem Tree Farm product. None of which should stop you from trying it if bugs are a problem at your house:

  1. I am not too fond of the smell of neem (but it isn’t horrible, or so Chloe said) and it’s not as bad as the malodorous Off.
  2. I am also not crazy about the chemicals that are in it but they are minimal and they are not DEET.
  3. I also don’t like the lotion form because you always have to spread it instead of spray it.

Those negatives aside after I applied it I went out to my garden at dawn, the absolute worst time of day for said mosquitoes at my house. I started hoeing the Earth thus stirring them up a bit and one came up to my arm, sniffed it and darted off in the other direction. Okay, okay I am not sure it physically sniffed my arm but it did come close enough to be put off by the smell and it did fly away, never touching down on my mosquito feeding station. We tried it on Odin last weekend in Bayfield, WI and they eschewed him as well and that was at dusk near the great lake Superior. I have used it when walking the poodle boys near my mosquito breeding ground, otherwise known as the drainage ditch, with success as well. Sometimes I can still hear them enter my ear space (that area that is close enough to hear them buzzing) but they do not light on my skin and they do not stick their proboscis in my skin.

Water, water everywhere

You all know I am a dental hygienist by training and education. I like a lot of alternative or whole body approaches to taking care of one’s body including teeth and gums. However, in the past month I have rediscovered an old dental health instrument, the Water-Pik. I actually have had one for sometime but I primarily use it for irrigating my ears (I tend to get a lot of waxy build-up and at the gentlest pulse it really does help keep that to a minimum). Only occasionally I have used it for my teeth and gums. Well no more is it only an occasional treat for my mouth, I am using it every day.

I tested this years ago and was impressed by its cleansing capabilities but then it fell by the wayside and ended up stuck in the back of a cupboard, lonely and forgotten unless a doctor complained about my ear wax. Anyway, sadness for its previous demise aside, I started using it again about a month ago in the following way:

  1.  I brushed my teeth for two minutes with my Braun Oral-B. I flossed with a floss that I like Radius Cranberry Floss with Natural Xylitol and then I got my Water-Pik out filled it with warmish water and added about 2 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide (you could use Listerine but I hate that nasty stuff).
  2. I put it on a fairly good pulse toward the top of the settings (for removing ear wax it must never be above the second line) and pulsed that water around all my teeth pointing the jet of water toward the sulcus of the gingival tissue (the area where teeth meet gums). I was in disbelief at the amount of debris flushed out. I had brushed and flossed and still the days detritus was falling in to the sink in amazing amounts given my thorough dental hygiene.

The downsides to a Water-Pik are minimal. The water if you aren’t careful will shoot everywhere, so you need to have good control of the pik itself. It is rather large, so you need counter space but I think those are the only downsides I can think of and I highly recommend it for anyone who is serious about their dental hygiene (or who seriously wants to impress their dental hygienist).

Incomplete but worth a try

The eyes have it

Another product I have been using for two or three months is an eye drop by Life Extension, Brite Eyes lll. These eye drops contain a lubricant for dry eyes but also Carnosine in an acetylated form which has shown the potential to help prevent and treat cataracts.

I am not aware of any cataract formation on my eyeballs but I do have floaters (that appear when I look at a blue sky) and in reading the reviews at iHerb.com people felt that the eye drops did decrease the number and size of floaters. Others did give positive reviews to its ability to treat cataract formation as confirmed by their eye care specialist. The way I look at it I have dry eyes and a lubricant is a good thing, so these drops cannot hurt.

I am having trouble actually ascertaining whether it is helping. I mean how does someone count the floaters and their shape? It is damn near impossible but I feel the floaters are less intrusive and the big particles seem to have disappeared. The ones that are left are more filament like. I really want to try them on my Sidney as his eyes are getting that characteristic blue color but they are a bit expensive and he really doesn’t like me putting drops in his eyes.

Sadly, one failure

The No-Poo, boo-boo

There is one failed experiment to report, well really two but they both are No-Poo options for washing your hair. I was really fond of the No-Poo option for washing my hair. I am not saying they were colossal failures but after trying it for 9 months I finally did seek out some suitable commercial shampoos and conditioners.

I used the baking soda and vinegar rinse for many months. I added essential oils to my vinegar rinse which actually made my hair and scalp smell really nice, so that gets a thumbs up. I enjoyed the massage of rubbing baking soda and water in to my scalp and it did clean my hair, leaving it shiny. I also tried a honey-poo mixture and I liked it as well.

The real trouble was that my nearly waist length hair was not easy to wash this way, so I avoided washing it anymore than once a week. My scalp did itch a lot although I never noticed dandruff or flaking. Worst of all though was that I seemed to lose a lot of hair in those months of being Poo-less. I have no reasonable explanation for this but the hair would pile up in my sink and I laid a silver trail everywhere I walked. Alas, I finally conceded defeat while we were at the cabin where showering takes on a whole new meaning (outdoor shower with a fabulous view of the mountains that surround us but still outdoors).

On a shopping expedition to Ketchum, ID I found the Atkinson’s there carried Andalou hair products. Knowing I just couldn’t wash my hair with baking soda and rinse with vinegar in the back of beyond nor not wash my hair for an entire week I reluctantly bought Andalou’s gluten-free products for my hair. That week I washed my hair three times and just let it air dry as I soaked in the mountain sun and formed all kinds of Vitamin D on my naked skin. My hair after returning to commercial shampoos is soft, there is much less fall-out and the itchy scalp has disappeared.

I am not saying the No-Poo option is bad but long-term it wasn’t the best for my hair. I did read a month or more ago that the baking soda and vinegar rinse does not maintain a proper acid balance for your scalp, so perhaps that was a problem. Waist length hair is a problem for washing no matter what you wash it with and silver hair is frizzier and coarser, so that ‘s a problem.

I’m not over it yet, I still like the idea that baking soda, vinegar and raw honey are the only real products one needs in the house for cleaning almost anything but for now Andalou is in my shower and my hair is glistening.


Some things come, and some things go and I thought it would be fun to report on both this week. I cannot say with certainty that I won’t continue to do some of the things that seem not to have worked. After all, in the case of No-Poo there might be a time when all you have is baking soda and vinegar and I will always have those in the house. I still have some ReMag, so I will use it up. I am almost out of the Neem Tree Farm Botanical Gel and just for the fun of it I ordered Mercola’s bug spray to see what I think of that. I know it will smell better (it has vanillin in the mixture and smells good enough to eat) but as I recall it isn’t as effective. We shall see. Yup, in many walks of life, we shall see and I will let you know how it goes ’cause that’s what Krisinsight is all about.




3 responses to this post.

  1. I just bought the neem mosquito spray! I’m always looking for natural alternatives…though most of them do smell awful! I also bought some of their salve and am hoping for miraculous results on a recalcitrant scar. Thanks for the tip!


    • Posted by Kris on 8:53 at Sunday, July 28, 2013

      Let me know what you think of the Neem spray Ema. I decided to try Mercola’s bug spray just to compare the two. Mercola’s spray smells good enough to eat (vanilla), so the smell is better. I used it like I had the Neem and was not bugged by one mosquito in the shady area where I walk my dogs. That said, our mosquito population has declined precipitously despite standing water and weather that should have promoted an increase of activity, so now I am unsure whether Mercola’s spray works just as well as the Neem or our mosquitoes are taking a break. The testing goes on and on. LOL


  2. Hi Kris~ What a fun post to read. Thanks for posting the results of your experiments. So excited to try the Neem gel – I am a mosquito magnet! I have been looking at the Andalou at the natural foods store so your recommendation may just make me finally try it 🙂


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