Wellness Ally Blog


With this blog I bring you my best thinking on all aspects of physical and emotional wellness. I invite you to explore my time-tested trove of Natural Remedies for everything from the common cold to a sludgy gall bladder (coming soon!). Motivating photos and useful tips await you in the Wellness Walks section. Your long search for thoughtful humor is rewarded in Cartoon Wisdom. Deep Wellness essays offer the fruits of my most extensive inquiry into personal evolution and neuroplasticity—the capacity of the brain to change itself.  In Essential Articles I link to only those wellness-related articles I believe will be of exceptional value to my readers.

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One Salve to Heal Them All

Wouldn’t it be great if you could make your own salve for healing gashes, abrasions, lesions and the occasional inexplicable skin condition—a salve that can minimize or eliminate scarring? Rest easy, DIY health seeker, for your answer lies on this very page.

Wellness Ally Healing Salve is easy to make with simple ingredients, stores well, and is remarkably inexpensive. Mix up a batch today and you’ll have it ready the next time life throws a curveball at you or someone in your care. But first, for the sake of a good story, let me tell you how I happened upon this discovery.

In the early 1990s, I became very ill with Lyme and autoimmune disease. Though my bones and joints were hardest hit, my skin was also affected in dramatic fashion. I had creeping rashes that covered 70% of my body, rashes that itched so badly I resorted to cortisone shots in the ER, and rashes that targeted specific areas—big red circles around my eyes was one particularly striking look. But the most bizarre symptom occurred on the pads of my fingertips when the flesh split open in dermal ravines that exposed the meat of my fingers for weeks on end — even buttoning my jeans was painful! Dermatologists marveled, thought it was some kind of psoriasis, but had no effective remedy. In desperation I turned to Irene, a dowser in San Francisco who’d been recommended by a friend.

I was living in tick-infested rural Arkansas at the time, and though we only knew each other through phone consults, Irene and her pendulum helped me more than most doctors I’ve worked with. It was she who suggested I use a salve of Lanolin and Shea butter on my finger splits. “Worth a shot,” says I, and made the experiment. As soon as I felt my flesh begin to rupture, I’d apply the salve and cover it with a bandage. Changing the bandage and applying fresh salve daily, my fingers would heal up in just a few days. It felt well-nigh miraculous. And within 4-6 months my fingers stopped doing the splits altogether. Did the salve stop the phenomenon from recurring? I can’t know for sure. But it unquestionably resolved the symptom whenever it appeared. Oh, and it hasn’t been back in 20 years…

Luckily, you needn’t suffer anything as garish as I did to benefit from this salve. Use it to speed the healing of scrapes and abrasions, soothe extremely dry skin, remedy cracks in the corners of your mouth, and repair the tiny tears in the crease of your toes that feel like paper cuts.

Success Stories

One of my clients with Hepatitis C had lesions all over his legs from interferon treatments. Nothing he tried could get rid of them—except my healing salve.

Another client freaked out while bicycling when a bee got caught in her hair. She did a face plant onto pavement, chipped her two front teeth, and sustained a big gash on her upper lip. When I saw her about a week after the accident I thought, “Oh my God, she’s going to be disfigured for life!” I gave her a batch of the salve to apply several times a day. A month later, I had to get into good light to see what side of her mouth had been injured; the scar was that faint.

A Few Caveats

• If you are allergic to wool, anything containing lanolin is not the salve for you.

• If your skin is especially sensitive, or if you have a reactive immune system, please test lanolin alone on a small patch of skin before you do anything else. Some people are allergic to lanolin — make sure you’re not one of them.

• This salve is NOT for use on poison oak/ivy rashes, or on wounds that may be infected.

Still with me? OK, let’s do it. You can make a basic batch by simply blending together equal portions of lanolin and shea butter. Or, with the addition of a few ingredients, you can make my Super Formula which has even greater healing properties. Note that the two success stories mentioned above were achieved using the Super Formula.

Assemble Ingredients:

Pure Lanolin
Pure Shea Butter
Vitamin A Capsule * (from fish oil, not synthetic)
Vitamin D Capsule * (from fish oil, not synthetic)
Vitamin E Capsule (ideally from non-GMO sunflower oil)
Optional: Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

I’ve linked above to the products I use at iherb.com.  Use my code there—MED 420—and get $5 off your first purchase. If you can ferret out better deals elsewhere, go for it!

Assemble Equipment:

A sewing needle, pin or safety pin
Rubbing alcohol
2 small glass jars like those used for cosmetics, a 1-ounce and 4-ounce size
A small spoon, spatula and/or butter knife for blending

Start with the lanolin and shea butter at room temperature so they’ll be easier to blend. Mix equal portions of these two main ingredients in the 4-ounce jar until there are thoroughly blended. Add some coconut oil to the mix to make your skin even happier. Once all your ingredients are blended, scoop a dollop of the salve into the 1-ounce jar. Tighten the lid on the larger jar—your base salve—and store it in the refrigerator.

Sterilize your sharp, pointy implement with rubbing alcohol. Then use it to pierce one each of the vitamin capsules. Squeeze the oil out of each capsule into the 1-ounce jar and blend thoroughly. The principle is to have the vitamins as fresh—and hence effective—as possible, which is why I only make small batches with all the vitamins. Keep the final vitamin-infused batch in the fridge. Know that, in your hour of need, it will be there to hasten your recovery.

* Keep the Vitamin A and D on hand as they are essential elements of my Wellness Ally Cold & Flu Prevention and Recovery Protocol

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Enjoy Poppy Season on the Wellness Trail

Some people get high on poppies. Other people’s poppies get high. Ten feet high to be precise, here in Tilden Park in the Berkeley hills on one of my favorite Wellness Walks.  Known colloquially as the fried egg poppy, for …  Continue reading

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Choosing How We Move Through Life

There is so much in life over which we have no control.  In truth, no matter how responsible we are, and how well we care for ourselves and our families, life will rear up to challenge us from time to …  Continue reading

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Whiten and Nourish your Teeth Naturally

Do your teeth stain easily? Are you afraid to eat blueberries because they’ll give your smile a dingy purple hue that lasts for hours? Say hello to your new best friend: Vitamin C That’s right, forget about drugstore concoctions and …  Continue reading

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It’s Halloween on the Wellness Trail!

Seasons in the Bay Area may not differ as dramatically as they do back East (nod to the current nor’easter/hurricane combo), but each has its own distinct personality.  And here in the Berkeley hills Autumn marks the beginning of mushroom …  Continue reading

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Make This Mistake on a Wellness Walk and You’ll Miss Out

Over the many years that I’ve been enjoying Wellness Walks from California beaches to Ozark mountain trails, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend. Ever more people are tuning out nature and tuning in to whatever it is they simply must hear …  Continue reading

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The Safe and Skin-Nourishing Sunscreen Alternative

Now that you’re aware of the known dangers and potential risks of sunscreen use, you may well be freaking out. Understandably so!  While excess sun exposure can certainly cause skin cancer, commercial sunscreens compromise our health in equally insidious ways. …  Continue reading

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How is your Sunscreen like Asbestos?

If the dog days of summer have you doubling down on sunscreen, do your health a favor and get informed before you slather up. The other day a fellow swimmer floored me with this confession: “I’m terrified of the sun,” …  Continue reading

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How is Your Brain Like a Drug Addict’s?

Do you ever joke about being addicted to Facebook or your iPhone? Unfortunately, this is no laughing matter according to numerous studies demonstrating dramatic changes in the brains of heavy Internet and smart phone users. And by “heavy” they mean …  Continue reading

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Don’t Let a Minor Inconvenience like Surgery Keep You from Your Wellness Path

On June 6, I had surgery to repair several ruptured extensor tendons in my left hand. Two days later I was enjoying an hour-long urban Wellness Walk in the Berkeley hills. I tell you this not to brag (OK, there’s …  Continue reading

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