Why Your Medicinal Herb Kit Should Have Yarrow

Click here to view the original post.

‘Tis the season to gather up some yarrow. Yes, Ready Nutrition Readers! Let’s delve into it and see what this article’s herbal focus has to offer. Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is an aromatic perennial herb found primarily in Western North America. If you can’t find it in your home state, you can easily obtain it in a store selling herbs or naturopathic supplements.

If you can find it in your state, you’re in luck! You’ll be able to gather it for free. Yarrow is a multipurpose medicinal herb and has been used for many thousands of years. Yarrow can be used to treat:

  • burns
  • boils
  • blisters
  • ear infections
  • sores
  • bug bites

Yarrow treatments can be made in the form of a tea and then wiped on as an astringent or applying the leaves directly to the afflicted area.

Taken internally as a tea, it can be used against fever, diarrhea, and colds. The herb should not be used in people subject to excessive clotting in the blood, or with pregnant women and nursing mothers. The really great value in yarrow, however, is not with all of these, but with its styptic properties: it stops bleeding.

It derives its name from the Greek warrior-hero Achilles, who it was said stopped bleeding of fellow warriors and saved many lives with the application of this plant to the wound. Yarrow contains an alkaloid that is named achilleine that has been proven in lab experiments to reduce clotting time in blood.

The leaves resemble ferns. When it is in the flower, the flowers are small and white-petaled with a yellow center that grows in clusters. So, here’s what you do:

Gather your herb, taking care to not take everything from a given area…leave the hardiest plants to propagate and replenish the area. You can string them together in the manner of a “bouquet” of about 3 to 5 plants, either tied off or rubber-banded together. It’s the leaves you’re after. Take these bunches, and hang them in the sun from a wire coat hanger.

In this manner, it’s easy to string about 4 to 5 bundles on a coat hanger. Then just wait to dry the herb, and “screed” the leaves or pluck them off and store them in a jar, plastic bag, or whatever you choose. Voila! Instant first-aid quick clot right from the ground! Learn to spot it, harvest it, and use it. This is not to say abandon the quick clot or any of your first-aid gear. On the contrary: this supplements that gear. It is also excellent training for the time when there may not be a happy Wal-Mart or other smiling, overpriced survival store to buy happy quick clot.

Tote some of this with you and learn to use it as both a first-aid measure for bleeding, and do some research on the other items it covers. In this manner, you well round yourself and improve your capabilities in the field. Practice makes perfect, and you should always study to improve your knowledge and skills for yourself and others.  JJ out!

 

 

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Sting Salves: 5 Ways to Treat Different Types of Bug Bites

Click here to view the original post.

Some bug bites are a mere irritation, while others can be painful or even dangerous. Fortunately, first aid strategies can help mitigate the issues associated with common types of bug bites. Here’s what you need to know.

Mosquito Bites

Perhaps the most common type of bite to be afflicted with, mosquito bites are characterized by a red, itchy bump. This occurs when the insect inserts a proboscis into your skin to feed on blood; in response, the body releases a histamine response that causes the itchy inflammation. For that reason, an over-the-counter antihistamine cream provides the fastest relief. You can also try soaking a green tea bag and placing it over the affected area, or taking an oatmeal bath.

Bee and Wasp Stings

If you’ve been stung by a bee or wasp, the first step is to look for the stinger. This can be easily removed by scraping the skin with a credit card in the affected area. Then, treat symptoms like inflammation and burning by first cleaning the skin with mild soap and water, then taking an NSAID like Advil. Seek immediate medical attention for signs of an allergic reaction, such as trouble breathing or swelling of the throat or tongue. Before summer rolls around, consider consulting a company like Allstate Pest Control to check your property for bee or wasp nests.

Fire Ant Bites

As its name suggests, this insect’s bites cause painful burning, followed by itching and blistering. Calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream can usually soothe these symptoms. Be aware of signs of infection, such as a fever or increased pain in the area of the bites.

Spider Bite

Depending on the type of spider, symptoms can vary from small, pimple-like bumps to chest pain, nausea, and vomiting, according to Real Simple. When you have a spider bite, apply ice every 20 minutes for 72 hours to slow the spread of venom throughout the body. Over-the-counter pain medications can help with discomfort. Seek medical attention if you have severe pain, nausea, or any other unusual symptoms.

Tick Bite

If you’ve been bitten by a tick, you may notice redness, itching, or burning as well as the tick still present on your skin. In some cases, the insect can be as small as 1 millimeter. Remove the tick with tweezers as carefully as possible to avoid crushing the insect, which can make illness more likely to spread. A bulls-eye shaped rash or flu-like symptoms can be a sign of a serious disease, such as Lyme or Rocky Mountain spotted fever, so seek immediate medical attention.

When spending time in a wooded area this summer, protect yourself from bug bites by using a repellent spray and avoiding scented lotions and skin products.

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.

Making a Tincture of Plantain

Click here to view the original post.

Plantain (the weed, not the small banana) has been used for centuries as a medicinal herb.  Native Americans and Europeans have used it to treat a variety of medical issues including skin wounds, insect and spider bites, snake bites, and indigestion.  It is said to even help with acne and blood clotting.  Overall, this prolific weed has some powerful medicinal uses.  I’ve just recently discovered it, but I’m already impressed with it as a treatment for bug bites.

With all of this new information I have, I ran into a problem.  As it gets hot here in Texas, the Plantain is starting to dry up and crumble away.  I researched ways to preserve some of it.  Dehydration is an option, but I’m certain a lot of the medicinal qualities would evaporate away.  It looks like the best option to save the qualities I want is by making a tincture.  Tinctures are liquid extracts, usually made with ethanol.  I just happened to have a stash of moonshine at a pretty serious concentration, probably close to 180 proof (90%).  A bit of Google research turns up that tinctures are simple to make.

The basics are to add plant matter to the alcohol, let it sit a while, then strain the plant matter out with a filter or cheesecloth.  The alcohol will absorb the herbal goodness.

Raw Plantain Leaves

 

Rinsed and Chopped Leaves

 

Leaves in a Pint Mason Jar

 

Adding the Alcohol

 

Leaves Steeping

The leaves will steep in the alcohol for a week or two to do its work.  After this time, I will strain the plant matter out and save the liquid.  This liquid is the tincture.   This batch will net me around 9 or 10 ounces.  Once it is done, I will put it in a dropper bottle and test it out on the numerous bug bites I receive here on the homestead.  I’m really hoping it can offer some relief from all the chiggers that seem to find my legs delectable.  Stay tuned for an update in a couple of weeks on the final product and the relief it might offer.