Fighting Infections with Herbs Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live” Audio in player below! During last “Ask Cat” episode, we had a question regarding infections of the blood. It has been a while since I did a show just on infections, so that’s what this week’s show is all about. Bacterial infections are getting more difficult … Continue reading Fighting Infections with Herbs
The Best OTC Painkillers to Stock Up On: Behind the Brands Do you know what’s in the painkillers in your cabinet? Despite all the brands on the shelf, most over the counter painkillers boil down to five ingredients. Some of them don’t even vary in dosage size. Besides the fancy pill designs and different colored …
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2. Eucalyptus oil
3. Billy goat plum/Kakadu plum
4. Desert mushrooms
5. Emu bush
Survival Medicine with Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy! Forrest & Kyle “The Prepping Academy” Audio in player below! Special guest Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy. That’s right, from “The Doom and Bloom Survival Medicine Hour.” Together they have written “The Survival Medicine Handbook.” Dr. Alton also has a New York Times Bestseller “The Ebola Survival … Continue reading Survival Medicine with Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy
Herbal Cold and Congestion Remedies The time to prepare your herbal remedies is not in the depths of the winter. Depending on what remedies you are looking to use in the fall and winter season. Spring is really the best time to consider your remedies preparations. If you are truly looking for a sustainable process …
Dysentery in a Survival Setting This powerful article from Amy and Joe Alton, who are two super powers in the survival and prepper world, discusses dysentery at length. My favorite medical articles in the prepper and survival niche are those that take one disease and break it down. This article does just that. It does …
23 Survival Uses for Honey After learning about a meager government stipend offered to beekeepers and reading an article like this I feel like bees might be the next best thing to keep. An article like this one really opens your eyes to what is possible with honey. We all know some wild and mind-bending fact about …
How Cherokees Used Trees for Food, Medicine, and Craft There are those articles that stir ideas, that offer small smatterings of information often prefaced with a bold title. These articles are very important to the content of the community. This article is not that type. This is a well crafted and thoughtful article filled with …
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It was brought to the Americas by European settlers and is now considered to be naturalized to North America. The settlers, in fact, had good reason to carry it with them: It has a long list of medicinal qualities.
It is mullein, which grows all over the forests of North America and is also known by several other names: flannel leaf, bunny ears, beggar’s blanket, Quaker rouge, hag’s taper, donkey ears and tinder plant.
Traditional folk medicine praised mullein as a remedy for asthma, bronchitis and tuberculosis. The plant is also said to be a natural painkiller and a cure for earaches and headaches. It also can act as an expectorant and decongestant. As a result, for centuries the plant’s leaves and its flowers have been made into teas and tinctures, and ingested. They even smoked it (which isn’t ideal for health).
Mullein is known to affect the respiratory and lymphatic systems. A study performed at Clemson University in 2002 found that the plant also has strong antibacterial properties. Its high mucilage content is likely responsible for its medicinal properties. Astringent tannins and saponins, which help protect the plant when it is injured in nature, give the plant its soothing effect on the respiratory system. It also contains high levels of iron, magnesium, potassium and vitamin C.
Even though mullein has been used for centuries, the Western medical community disputes the actual effectiveness of this plant, claiming “a lack of therapeutic validation.” However, the herb has been evaluated and approved by the German (and government-funded) Commission E, which was established to evaluate and approve of substances that were traditionally used in folk medicine — such as mullein.
Mullein is a biennial plant, meaning that it takes two years for it to reach maturity. It is preferable to harvest the flowers and leaves in the plant’s second year of growth. Both the honey-scented flowers of the plant and its soft, fuzzy leaves are used to treat ailments. The flowers are usually extracted in oil and also used to make tea, while, the dried leaves are typically reserved for making steam tents, poultice application and smoking. 
Across the centuries, people have used mullein as toilet paper, bandages, torches and to pad in the soles of their shoes. It should be a staple herb in every herbal medicine cabinet.
Mullein is a relatively safe herb to consume, its primary side-effect being it can cause contact dermatitis or irritate the throat when consumed, due to the fine velvety hairs that cover its leaves. It also has been known to interact with antidiabetic drugs and prescription diuretics in a negative way. The seeds of some species of mullein contain high amounts of coumarin and rotenone, which can be toxic if consumed in large quantities. The seeds of the mullein plant should never be consumed under any circumstance.
Have you ever foraged for or eaten mullein? Do you use it for health? Share your tips in the section below:
 Nutritional Herbology by Mark Pedersen (pg. 124)
 Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs (pg. 270)
 Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West by Michael Moore (pg. 112)
 Rodale’s 21st Century Herbal by Michael J. Balick (pg. 300)
 Edible and Medicinal Plants of the West by Gregory L. Tilford (pg. 102)
If you are like me, you probably had mom or grandma say to you, “Oh, honey, you don’t need a doctor or drugs. You just need a little old-fashioned medicine!” She then would promptly give me something that sounded a bit strange, but she often was right. It would fix the problem.
If this was your experience, then you were taking what is often called folk remedies, home remedies, or as my grandmother called it, old-fashioned medicine.
Prior to doctors and before most people could afford to go to one, people had no choice but to rely on these types of “cures.” The truth is that most people never expected an outright “cure” — they were hoping for relief of symptoms while they waited for their body to heal.
Unfortunately, with no knowledge of medicine, people had no way to know exactly what they were consuming, how they would react to it, or worse, whether the “cure” might kill them! This lack of knowledge allowed many a shyster to sell the infamous “Snake Oil” to a great many people.
Today, we have the knowledge of the world at our fingertips. This doesn’t mean that old-fashioned medicine is outdated, however. For many of us, we prefer to keep things simple and if we ever should find ourselves back in a situation where there are no doctors, then this kind of information is good to have.
Let’s take a look at some of the best folk remedies that really do work!
1. For bee stings …
This is another painful encounter that almost everyone will experience. Yes, the pain will subside on its own, but you can remove the stinger, the swelling and itching with tobacco. Plain tobacco (unroll a cigarette) mixed with a bit of water, then placed on the sting, will draw out most of the poison, as well as the stinger, in about 20 minutes. I actually had my father use this method on me when I was about 10 years old, and I have to say that it sounded strange, but it really did work!
2. For nausea and upset stomachs …
Who the heck hasn’t had a bout of either one of these? Or both?! Stomach problems are super-common, and everyone wants relief ASAP! You can do that by keeping either dried or fresh peppermint on hand. My grandmother always had some in her backyard, or she used dried leaves from the pantry. She placed a half-dozen leaves in a cup filled with boiling water, added a teaspoon of honey for sweetness, and drank a cup or two every time she had a tummy ache or indigestion. She also gave it to me as a child, and I still remember how soothing it was.
3. For the common cold …
How can a simple little virus make us feel so terrible? I don’t know, but I know how you can clear up those stuffed-up sinuses and feel better – good-old chicken and onion soup! Or you could use garlic in place of onion. You also can drink garlic tea (if you’re brave) to open up your sinuses and get you on your feet! Yes, you will have to repeat this several times a day for several days, but I will take feeling better even for a short period of time over and over, compared to just being sick as a dog for days.
4. Urinary tract infections …
What would you do if there were no doctors or antibiotics? Let me tell you how they did it in the olden days: They used baking soda and water! At the very first sign, mix one-fourth teaspoon or so of plain baking soda in 1 cup (8 ounces) of water. Drink this every morning until the symptoms subside.
5. For sore throats, sore gums, mouth ulcers …
These are all common-yet-painful problems almost everyone in life will face. The good news is that they are all aided by something everyone in the world has right in their kitchen: salt. A simple mouthwash of warm water with a pinch of salt works wonders.
Let’s also talk about some of the home remedies people have used over time that absolutely DO NOT work:
- Cold baths and/or drinking cold water will not fix “most diseases,” as a 1740 doctor used to say.
- Eating boiled carrots for two weeks does not cure asthma.
- Holding a live puppy on the belly will not stop vomiting (but it might make you feel better emotionally).
- Eating a pinch of castile soap each morning will not cure jaundice.
Some of these ideas seem funny to us in our modern age of medicine, but who knows? Perhaps 300 years from now, people will be snickering at our era, saying “How could they have thought that?”
Do you know of other folk remedies that still work? Share your memories and tips in the section below:
Flu to systemic allergic reactions, I will discuss common, yet potentially deadly medical conditions and Top 7 Medicines that can protect you from getting sick WTSHTF.
Poultices and Salves Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live” Audio in player below! Herbal poultices and salves are essential elements in your herbal first aid kit. In this episode, I will walk you through how to make both poultices and salves. Poultices and salves are both topical applications and ideal for all sorts of injuries. Sprains, … Continue reading Poultices and Salves
You’re a suburban homesteader. You know how to raise your own food, protect your land, hunt for your protein, fix just about everything around your home and work with your neighbors to make your world that much better. But, do you know how to deal with any acute medical emergencies that show up? Scott Finazzo’s
Medicine Growing Your Own Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live” Audio in player below! It’s almost spring, and that means it’s that time of year to get planting your medicinal herb garden. The question is, what herbs are the most important herbs to grow? In this episode of Herbal Prepper Live, we will cover a wide variety … Continue reading Medicine Growing Your Own!
Ditch Medicine Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live” Audio in player below! This episode is all about “ditch medicine”. Ditch medicine makes due with what you have on hand. The idea is to stay alive (or keep someone else alive) with whatever is available, until you reach help or help finds you. Sometimes this includes herbs, … Continue reading Ditch Medicine with The Herbal Prepper!
The issue of pharmaceuticals showing up in public water systems is gaining more and more attention in the media, and for good reason—because it’s there! While it isn’t entirely clear what these drugs are doing to your endocrine system, it isn’t positive. Moreover, your exposure to trace pharmaceuticals is probably greater than you imagine. Consider these news articles:
- A New York legislator, Patrick Burke, is proposing a local law that would require big pharma to cover the cost of disposing unused medications appropriately.
- Study: Trace pharmaceuticals, chemicals may be harming fish in Minnesota
- Scientists trace cancer-causing chemical in drinking water back to methadone
- Study finds traces of drugs in drinking water in 24 major U.S. regions
- New study found more drugs in our drinking water than anybody knew
I could go on citing more and more articles on the subject, but what’s the point? These are all legitimate news sources, not quack “fake news” and conspiracy theory sites. The issue is real. Do your own research and you will quickly see for yourself. Believe it or not, you are exposed to trace chemicals from the improper disposal of pharmaceuticals.
By Danger Dave, a contributing author to SHTFBlog & SurvivalCache
But what exactly are “trace pharmaceuticals”? Denver Water states:
Trace pharmaceuticals are sometimes called microconstituents or emerging contaminants. They are products that enter the water supply through animal-based agricultural runoff or from human sources. A high percentage of pharmaceuticals in wastewater enter the water supply when people dispose of medicines in the sink or toilet. Most, if not all, pharmaceutical products — whether used in animals or in humans — are used in doses at which some amounts are passed through the user and back into water systems.
New York Legislator Burke (from the first article) said, “I heard someone make sort of a glib joke the other day that they’re feeling depressed, so instead of going to the pharmacy they’re just going to drink a cup of tap water.” Funny, but no laughing matter.
From Prescription to Drinking Water
How is it that when we turn on the tap water we get a refreshing glass of… drug-tainted water? Well, what do people do with unused and expired drugs? Chances are they get dumped in the toilet and flushed. The water system is a circular system. It all comes back around. What is more, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that the flushing of drugs is only part of the problem.
“The main way drug residues enter water systems is by people taking medicines and then naturally passing them through their bodies,” says Raanan Bloom, Ph.D., an environmental assessment expert at FDA. “Many drugs are not completely absorbed or metabolized by the body and can enter the environment after passing through wastewater treatment plants.”
So drugs are getting into the water system simply by the fact people are taking drugs and then using the bathroom as they always do.
Drugs in our water is no easy problem to solve, and it’s the reason the FDA, in partnership with the DEA and community organizations, developed community-based drug “take-back” programs. (Click here to find a take-back program in your area.)
Everyone agrees that trace amounts of drugs are in the water. As we established, this is not “alternative facts” or theory. It is undeniable. What is not clear is to what extent it may cause harm to individuals consuming the water. According to WebMD, while scientists do not know the extent of the threat to our health, of particular concern is the presence of synthetic hormones, because “hormones work at very low concentrations in the human body.” They go on to say, “We know that kids, including babies and toddlers, as well as fetuses, are more susceptible to environmental exposures because their bodies are still developing and their exposure on a pound-per-pound basis is higher. And they lack the detoxification system adults have. So it is not unreasonable to expect they would be at a higher risk.”
Soooo… if it is of particular concern for kids, and the science is still out on the effects their presence in water has on adults, I am inclined to err on the side of safety.
So there is no denying the research and concern. Drugs in drinking water is very real. While solutions for preventing the drugs from entering the water system prove somewhat elusive, there are concrete ways to get trace pharmaceuticals out of your water.
“Boil it,” you say? Nope. Boiling it does not solve the problem. “Then bottled water,” you argue. Not likely. Twenty-five percent of bottled water comes from the tap. Your best bet at addressing the problem? Filtering it between when it leaves the tap to when it reaches your mouth.
Preppers are familiar with a few of the common water filtration available to them because they have purchased them as insurance against an environmental or man-made catastrophe to allow them access to safe drinking water. But why wait until catastrophe strikes to use them when those very filters could be used right now to clean your drinking water for safe(er) consumption? If you own the products already, why not use them on a daily basis now? If you don’t own the products, consider getting one, for the sake of your family’s health. A few that we recommend for prepping purposes also remove trace pharmaceuticals:
- Black Berkey Filters
- Epic’s Filtration Pitcher
From my view, any “prepper” product that can get used now is a must get. It makes far more sense to purchase these products before products that will sit on a shelf for a “just in case” situation that may not come.
Lastly, you can do your part to help combat drugs entering the water supply by following the drug disposal guidelines from the FDA found here.
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Wintertime is a wonderful season — full of holidays, resolutions and relaxation. However, it is also the time of the year when our immune systems are the most vulnerable.
Of course, it is best to prevent illnesses, but it’s just as important to be ready if an illness does strike. That means you need a well-stocked medicine cabinet. Here are 17 natural treatments you should stockpile:
Vitamins and Supplements
1. Vitamin C. This should be taken daily, as vitamin C is critical for boosting the immune systems, for preventing illnesses, and for fighting infections.
2. Vitamin B. It serves as a pick-me-up and helps the body generate energy. It is good to have on hand to combat fatigue.
3. Calcium and magnesium. Many of us suffer from a lack of essential nutrients, and calcium and magnesium are two important ones the body needs. Take a daily supplement if you do not get enough in your diet. Both of these are good for relieving cramps and for relaxing.
4. Cod liver oil. Cod liver oil is considered a superfood, a crucial omega 3 fatty acid, and is extremely high in vitamins A and D. Take it daily, but especially when you feel a cold or the flu coming on. It is also a healthy fat to help lower bad cholesterol levels.
Herbs and Tea
5. Mullein. This is an herb that is useful for treating a sore or scratchy throat. It can help to ease coughs, too. One good way to use mullein is to boil it and then inhale the steam. It can contribute to clearing congestion and blocked airways.
6. Chamomile. Chamomile tea is great for soothing an upset stomach, easing anxiety and tension, and for treating insomnia.
7. Peppermint. Peppermint tea can fight fatigue, ease nausea, battle congestion, open airways, and promote overall well-being.
8. Ginger. Ginger is a natural antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory qualities. Furthermore, it is good for heart health. It can boost your immune system, aid in indigestion, fight bacterial and fungal infections, and even help with the symptoms of diabetes. Ginger root is excellent as a tea, or it can be added to your food.
9. Turmeric root. Most people use fresh turmeric root to treat aches and pains, as it is a natural pain reliever and aids in blood circulation. You can add it to your food recipes, or drink it as a tea. Be aware that turmeric can be hard to absorb, so add black pepper or coconut oil to your recipes to aid in absorption. Here is a fresh, turmeric root tea recipe.
10. Tea tree essential oil. Tea tree essential oil is a natural antiseptic and is antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal. Use it in a vaporizer to purify the air in your home and to kill germs. Furthermore, you can add it to a spray bottle with water and spray all the surfaces in your home to disinfect them.
As a first-aid treatment, swipe cuts to prevent an infection. Tea tree oil is also a good treatment for acne and fungal conditions such as athlete’s foot.
11. Lavender essential oil. Lavender essential oil is an all-around healing agent. It treats cuts and wounds, rashes, insect bites and acne.
Since lavender is anti-inflammatory and analgesic, it is perfect for treating aches and pains and even headaches. Mix it with a carrier oil such as sweet almond oil and massage it into the affected areas.
Lavender is a calming oil and can help with deep relaxation. It’s a natural anxiety and depression remedy. It can treat insomnia, too. To use lavender essential oil, vaporize it in a diffuser, add several drops to a hot bath, or use it as a massage oil to receive all of its incredible benefits.
12. Rosemary essential oil. Rosemary is a natural warming oil and is anti-inflammatory. It is great for relieving fatigued, overworked, aching muscles. Use it in a carrier oil to create a soothing massage oil.
Rosemary essential oil also has stimulant properties which, when inhaled, can help to wake up the senses and help with concentration. Furthermore, it’s a natural stress-reliever. To use rosemary essential oil, vaporize it in a diffuser, use it in a hot bath, or create a massage blend.
13. Eucalyptus essential oil. Eucalyptus essential oil is a natural decongestant, so it’s perfect for treating colds and the flu. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, so it can ease aches and pains. Use it in a diffuser or steam inhalation to help clear the senses. Alternatively, use eucalyptus oil with a carrier oil as a chest or muscle rub.
14. Peppermint essential oil. Peppermint essential oil is good for treating nausea, for fighting fatigue, for relieving congestion, and as a warming oil. To acquire the benefits of peppermint oil directly, drop several drops on a tissue and deeply inhale. This oil is also good when used in steam inhalation, a bath, as a warming, massage rub, and in a room diffuser.
First-Aid Natural Treatments
15. Honey. It is a natural healer and an antioxidant. In first-aid, honey can act as a band-aid. It will protect the wound, prevent infection and begin the healing process.
Honey is also good for preventing and treating colds, relieving coughs and sore throats, and for easing nausea. You can add honey to your tea to help lower your cholesterol.
16. Activated charcoal. This is a good remedy for treating gas and upset stomachs. It is also great for fighting food poisoning.
17. Epsom salts. Epsom salts are good in baths when you are sick. They can help to lower a fever and reduce bodily aches and pains. They also can help to reduce tension and anxiety. If you have a headache, try to lightly inhale Epsom salts to help relieve it.
What would you add to our list? Share your stockpiling tips in the section below:
Prevent Migraine Headaches Using B Vitamin Riboflavin Migraines are debilitating for everyone who suffers from them, and to those who are isolated or otherwise unable to access medications that provide relief they can be devastating. In the event that you are suffering from a migraine and you cannot afford to be out of commission, it …
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Sustainable Practical Medicine! Sam Coffman “The Herbal Medic” Most preppers spend some time thinking about medicine after a social collapse, and stocking up on pharmaceutical supplies, as they should. Food, water and medicine are the first three resources that are fought over after every disaster, large or small. However, pharmaceutical supplies are limited and also … Continue reading Sustainable Practical Medicine!
Over the counter medications are well worth stocking. Many of them were originally prescription medications and some still are but in larger strengths. Most preppers are on a budget, so take advantage of coupons and store sales to stock up. Keep in mind that all medications should be stored in cool, dark, and dry locations to maximize their effectiveness.
These over the counter medications can be used to treat many conditions including: headache, fever, sore throats, dehydration, ear ache, menstrual cramps, heartburn, arthritis, ulcers, diarrhea, allergies, hives, congestion, dizziness, mild anxiety, nausea, vomiting, poison ivy, athlete’s foot, ringworm, eczema, insomnia, backache, gout, diaper rash, yeast infections, and many more common illnesses.
I recommend that you keep an eye on the OTC meds most commonly used in your household and stock up on those first. If you come across a bargain on one OTC or another but your family would rarely use it, buy it anyway. Family health conditions change and it might come in handy for barter. Also, go ahead and buy disolving tablets and liquid forms of the medications you use most often, if you have kids or grandkids.
Also highly recommended is a dependable medical reference book to guide you with medicine choices, side effects, and dosage amounts. The last thing you will need in a crisis is for a loved one, or yourself, to have a severe reaction due to a OTC medicine. The Pill Book is a reliable reference book, and I favor this book for information about medical care when there is no doctor available and you have to be your family’s medic.
15 Over the counter medications
1. Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil)
Ibuprofen can be used to treat pain and inflammation, including headaches, earaches, sore throats, sinus pain, stiff neck, muscle strains, menstrual cramps, arthritis and back pain. It is useful for reducing fevers, but is not good for most stomach pains.
2. Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
Acetaminophen is used for many of the same conditions as Ibuprofen, however it will not reduce inflammation. It can be rotated on a 3-hour basis with Ibuprofen when pain is severe. Combined with ibuprofen it will work similar to codeine to reduce more severe pain. This should only be done on the advice of a Doctor.
3. Aspirin, 325mg
In addition to Ibuprofen and acetaminophen you should stock Aspirin. Aspirin has been used since the late 19th century as a pain-reliever, fever reducer, and anti-inflammatory. However it also has the ability to thin blood. So it can be used to treat people who need anti-coagulants or have heart problems. Read this article, How Aspirin and Willow Bark are Similar, for more information.
4. Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
An inexpensive antihistamine, diphenhydramine is primarily used for drainage due to respiratory infections and nasal allergies, in both adults and children. It is also indicated for allergies, hives and itching, including itchy rashes such as poison ivy. This will make some people sleepy.
5. Loratadine (Claritin, Alavert)
This is an antihistamine that is useful for treating allergies. It does not make people sleepy. Stock dissolving tablets for children and the elderly.
6. Loperamide (Imodium)
A very effective over the counter medication for diarrhea. It has been said that a single Imodium, throw into a swimming pool, could turn the water to cement, but this is not true! Stock it in both adult and children’s strengths.
7. Pseudoephedrine (Sudafed)
Pseudoephedrine is effective at relieving congestion in both the upper and lower respiratory tract due to infections, allergies, chemical irritations, and mild asthma or bronchitis. Not recommended for children under 6.
8. Meclizine (Bonine, Dramamine)
This antiemetic drug is available in both over the counter medications and by prescription. It relieves nausea, vomiting, motion sickness, and vertigo-like dizziness. I use the over the counter form for vertigo and it helps.
9. Ranitidine (Zantac) Omeprazole 20-40mg (Prilosec) Cimetidine 200-800mg (Tagamet)
All of these over the counter medications are available for the treatment of heartburn, ulcers, and other acid-reducing conditions. Ranitidine is inexpensive and well tolerated. If you find yourself experiencing stomach pains from prolonged use of a pain reliever, these medicines can help protect your stomach.
10. Hydrocortisone cream
The 1% version of hydrocortisone is the strongest over the counter steroid cream available. It is safe for use in both adults and children in treating inflamed and/or itchy rashes such as eczema, poison ivy, diaper rash, and other minor genital irritations.
11. Triple Antibiotic Ointment (Neosporin, Bacitracin, Bactroban)
Triple antibiotic ointment is normally applied at the site of injuries to prevent infections. It should be noted that triple antibiotic ointment won’t cure a deep infections.
12. Clotrimazole (Lotrimin), Miconazole (Monistat)
These antifungal medications can be used to treat Athlete’s feet (tinea pedis), vaginal infections (monilia), ringworm , and jock itch (tinea cruris).
13. Mucinex (Also known as Glyceryl Guaiacolate or formerly Guaifenesin)
This is a drug, which reduces the thickness of mucus secretions. In respiratory infections it helps your body to expel phlegm. It is available in liquid or tablet form.
14. Calamine lotion
This is useful for the treatment of poison ivy or oak. These conditions may become much more common after a disaster, due to spending more time outdoors.
15. Gatorade powder
While this would not normally be listed with over the counter medications, it can be effective for rehydration.
The above over the counter medications will let you treat many different conditions and not cost you an arm and a leg. Watch the sales and buy generics whenever you can. Remember I am not a doctor and am not giving you medical advice, use these medications as directed on the packaging or as advised by your doctor.
This article updated by Noah, 11/27/16.
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Herbal Steams for Cold and Flu Season Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live” Listen in player below! This week, I’m talking about herbal steams for the cold and flu season. Cold and flu season is roughly October through May, with a peak in February. I talk about herbal medicine for respiratory infections periodically throughout the season. Herbal … Continue reading Herbal Steams for Cold and Flu Season
Todd’s Note: I recently posted an article on Prepper Website about Appendicitis. That article was the inspiration for Anonymousmedic to share his experience with appendicitis and Turmeric. The author does state that you shouldn’t self medicate. I would add that we are not doctors, we are not providing advice and this topic needs more study and research for a post collapse scenario.
This article was originally posted on Your Preparedness Story. -TS
About a year ago I stumbled across an article about Turmeric on wakeup-world.com. The benefit that intrigued me most was for Depression, something I have suffered from since I was 12. I started having, what I thought was an allergic reaction to Prozac. It turns out I was having Serotonin Toxicity. I had a severe rash, my right knee was stiff and hurt, I had bouts of fever and chills, if you are taking any psycho-tropic meds and have these symptoms research Serotonin Toxicity. I stopped taking the Prozac and started taking Turmeric, and took it for a while. I can’t remember how long but I was taking it in March and had been for a couple weeks.
Friday morning about 3am I awoke to the worst gas pain I had ever had. I fought through that for a few hours and finally that turned into epigastric pain, middle of the stomach just below the sternum. Epigastric pain can be a sign of a heart attack. I’m 40, fat and a Paramedic, it finally hits me. I could be having a heart attack. I call my cronies to come check me out, ECG and BP are good. I decide to tough it out a while longer.
Later in the day the pain eases and I go to bed, wake up with a fever, take some turmeric and the fever breaks. Saturday morning I wake up and have some pain in my right side. I’ve been a Paramedic 15 years, my wife is an RN of over 20 years, my pain does not fit appendicitis, kidney stones, gall bladder, nothing we can think of.
Saturday morning about 6am I still have pain in my right side, not real bad but it should not be there. To the ER we go, after a CT scan it’s my appendix and it is ruptured, off to surgery. Post surgery my surgeon talks to us and says my appendix was rotted, and there was a pocket of infection and all this had probably started 10 days prior.
Anyone who knows anything about medicine knows I should have been dead! 10 days of Appendicitis without any antibiotics, I should have been septic, (blood poison), and dead by now. Turmeric is supposed to have many benefits including antibacterial properties. I should have died without treatment. I’m not saying you should self medicate if you suspect you have appendicitis. I just know my story, for what it may be worth to you.
As for the depression, I am currently taking Curcumin which is the substance in Turmeric that is supposed to be so beneficial. I’m not doing summer salts but not severely depressed either and winter is well on it’s way. I can also say I have not had any headaches in a longtime. I recommend doing your own research about Turmeric/Curcumin.
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Herbalist’s View on New “Vet Med” Regulations Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live” Listen in player below! Do you rely on so-called “vet meds”? The FDA has recently stepped in to regulate these medications, specifically antibiotics. The hope here is to slow down the advance of antibiotic resistance. In this episode, I share my thoughts on … Continue reading Herbalist’s View on New “Vet Med” Regulations
There are certain mistakes I see made over and over again among those in the preparedness community. Most of them are understandable. We live in a society where we have a plethora of resources and support available to us, and breaking out of that mindset and thinking of how to be truly self-sufficient is hard, even for those of us who are trying.
But if we are going to survive a major natural or man-made disaster, we’ve got to be ready to make it on our own. That means having both the knowledge and the supplies to do everything we need, for ourselves.
One area that is commonly overlooked is the area of medicine. Oh, we all have first-aid kits, and I’ve even seen some pretty good ones around. But that’s not the same as medical preparedness.
Let me enumerate some of the problems:
- Medical facilities and personnel becoming overwhelmed with the large number of people who get injured in the crisis and its aftermath.
- Lack of transportation making it difficult to get injured or sick personnel to medical facilities.
- Modern medical doctors and facilities not having electricity. Many hospitals only have about 48 hours of fuel for their generators.
- Breakdown of the supply chain, making resupply of even the most basic medical supplies iffy at best.
With all of this in mind, it’s clear that we need to be ready to take care of our own medical needs. That means much more than just having a little first-aid kit on hand. First of all, most first-aid kits can’t take care of a serious injury. And even those that can will quickly get depleted.
Here are a few of the top items you’ll need to stockpile, and stockpile well.
1. Bandages of all kinds (in bulk)
Injuries are common and will be even more common in a survival situation. When medical care is difficult to come by, any injury is serious. Injuries create openings in the skin by which bacteria and other pathogens can enter.
So, it’s important to clean, disinfect and protect even the smallest of injuries.
- For smaller injuries, cloth adhesive bandages are great. They stick better than the plastic kind, so they protect you better. That makes them worth the extra money they cost.
- For large injuries, one of the best bandages you can have is a sanitary napkin. They are sterile, and designed to absorb a large quantity of blood. They are also much cheaper than other sterile bandages.
- The new “cohesive” medical tape is much better than other types, in that it sticks to itself, rather than the patient. So, when you take it off, you won’t be pulling any hair out and causing the patient any extra pain.
Bandages really should be changed every 24 hours, or faster if they become blood soaked. So it’s easy to see how you could go through a lot of bandages quickly. It’s not unreasonable to think in terms of a few hundred of each size.
2. Gauze (in bulk)
Gauze is great for larger injuries, for times when you have to soak up blood or for cleaning off a wound. You can buy it in several forms, but probably the most common and most universally useful is in four-inch squares. These come in both sterile and non-sterile varieties.
When bandaging a wound, you need to use sterile dressings directly on the wound. But the second layer doesn’t have to be sterile. So, if you have a bleeding wound, you can use those four-inch non-sterile gauze pads on top of a sterile one, and save a lot of money.
Stretchable gauze is also useful, especially in cases where you need to protect the skin, but not necessarily soak up a lot of blood. Skin rashes are such a case. Once you medicate the rash, you should cover it for protection. Stretchable gauze is an easy way to do this. It can also be used in place of medical tape, although it doesn’t work quite as well.
3. Antiseptic cream, alcohol and hydrogen peroxide (lots of it)
Any wound needs to be cleaned and disinfected. The first step is to flush it with a sterile solution to remove debris. This could be clean drinking water. If it’s safe enough to drink, it’s safe enough for cleaning out a wound, too. But after that, something that will kill bacteria and other germs must be used.
Many people clean the wound with alcohol or hydrogen peroxide and then apply an antiseptic cream. This is ideal, as it provides the maximum protection. You really can’t be too careful where the possibility of infection exists.
4. Clotting agent
Clotting agents, like Quikclot or Celox, help to get wounds to stop bleeding and scab over quicker. This can be very useful in a situation where a wound is bleeding quickly. The more blood a person loses, the longer it takes them to heal. So, using a clotting agent helps to reduce their recovery time. It also can prevent them from bleeding out and dying.
These clotting agents are available either in a granulated powder that is sprinkled on the wound or embedded in bandages of various types (including a sponge). Either will work. The powder is useful for smaller wounds, but larger wounds require the bandages with the clotting agent included.
5. Personal protection equipment
It is important to do everything possible to prevent the spreading of infection and disease. For this reason, medical staff wear masks, gloves and eye protection. Well, if you’re going to be treating patients, you’ll need the same. Non-sterile gloves, which are sufficient for everything short of surgery, come in boxes of 100, in a variety of sizes. Buying them like that helps ensure that you’ll have them when you need them.
The most common place for pathogens to enter the body is the face. You have more naturally occurring openings in your skin, there in your face, than anywhere else in your body. That makes it necessary to protect your face from splashing blood and the droplets of sneezes. A medical face mask and simple plastic goggles is sufficient for this.
Gaping wounds need more than a bandage; they need the skin brought back together and held there for healing. In a hospital, they accomplish this with stitches. You can do the same, although it’s recommended to practice beforehand, as sewing up someone’s body is different than sewing on a button.
But there’s an easier way — adhesive sutures. 3M’s Steri-Strips and butterfly bandages both work well for this. While both are good, the Steri-Strips come in a package of five, which makes them much easier to work with.
7. Elastic bandages
Elastic bandages are useful for a host of things, especially dealing with broken or sprained limbs. Keep an assortment of sizes on hand, so that you have the right size for every need.
In order to be able to splint broken limbs, you’ll need something to use with the elastic bandages. In a pinch, sticks will work. But a Sam Splint is even better. This is a sheet of foam rubber-coated soft aluminum sheet, four inches wide. You can form it to fit the limb, and then attach it in place with the elastic bandages. Properly done, this will work almost as good as a cast.
8. Pain relievers
There are several different over-the-counter pain relievers available; if you consume mainstream medicine, stock them all. Different ones work differently with different people. That’s why ibuprofen might work well for one person, but not for another. You should have as a minimum:
- Ibuprofen (Advil)
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- Naproxen (Aleve)
While it would be nice to have some stronger pain relievers on hand, those all require a prescription. If you have a good enough relationship with your doctor, you might be able to get some; but if not, you can’t even buy it in Mexico.
Antibiotics are another thing you usually need a prescription to buy. That’s mostly to protect people from misusing them. So if you do stock any, make sure you have written information on how to use them properly, specifically information on dosage and which one to use for which ailments.
Many homesteaders buy veterinary grades of antibiotics, for which you don’t need a prescription. They usually come out of the exact same factories from which human antibiotics come. Another way is to buy them in Mexico, if you happen to be traveling that way. In Mexico, you can buy them in any pharmacy.
10. Over-the-counter medicines
Finally, stock up on all of the common over-the-counter medicines you use. Remember, you won’t be able to get them during a disaster, and even though they don’t actually cure most things, they do alleviate the symptoms, making it much easier to carry on and do the things you need to be doing. Specifically, you should have:
- Antihistamine (Benadryl) — for runny nose.
- Decongestant — for stuffed up nose or sinus headache.
- Loperamide (Imodium) — anti-diarrheal.
- Meclizine (Dramamine) — helps prevent nausea and vomiting.
- Hydrocortisone cream — to help alleviate itching, such as from poison ivy.
- Omeprazole (Zantac) — for heartburn
- Clotrimazole (Lotrimin cream) — for fungal infections on the skin
When the next crisis hits — or the next snowstorm or flood – don’t be left wishing you had the right medical supplies on hand. Stock up now.
What would you add to our list? Share your tips in the section below:
Temperatures are plunging and winter is only a few weeks away, which means that for homesteaders who live in the coldest parts of the country, it’s time to stockpile necessities for frigid weather.
Wood and food are always on that list, but what about medicine?
On this week’s edition of Off The Grid Radio we talk to Dr. Joe Alton, the co-author of the popular book “The Survival Medicine Handbook” who is perhaps best known as “Dr. Bones” from the survival “Doom and Bloom” website.
Dr. Alton tells us how to stockpile medicine and even antibiotics for winter – the legal way – and he also reveals:
- Which over-the-counter and alternative medicines are best to stockpile for the common cold.
- Why he believes many people are fighting fevers the wrong way.
- What he thinks about Zicam, vitamin C and other supplements that supposedly prevent colds.
- How Neti pots are often used incorrectly – a mistake that can cause major health problems.
Finally, Dr. Alton gives us his best advice on staying healthy this winter – including whether that regiment should include hand sanitizer.
If you want to stay healthy all winter long, then don’t miss this week’s show!
Prior to the invention of penicillin in the 1940s, colloidal silver was often prescribed to treat various bacterial infections and was taken as an internal antidote. This was a prescription largely up to the doctor’s discretion, but without the potent antibiotics that emerged from penicillin it was a tough fight for anyone with an infection.
There have been hundreds of clinical studies that can be found on Pubmed.com that support the idea of silver plating on surgical instruments, catheters and joint implants to inhibit and prevent the growth of bacteria. Unfortunately, you’ll find little in the clinical archives on the health benefits of colloidal silver. There could be a few reasons for this, but the primary reason is probably that there’s no motivation for anyone to study an outdated treatment dating back to the 1940s.
There is evidence in some clinical studies that the external use of colloidal silver will inhibit or prevent the growth of bacteria. This was actually the most common use in the pre-penicillin days, and the eventual development of the “tricins” such as bacitracin, mycitracin and other topical treatments found in triple antibiotic ointments like Neosporin.
This external colloidal silver treatment often involved permeating a bandage with the colloidal silver liquid and applying it to the wound, burn and in some cases in the eyes of infants to prevent eye infections. If I have a bad cut or wound and no topical antibiotics, I would use colloidal silver without hesitation given its history assuming it was pure. And that’s the catch.
What is Pure Colloidal Silver?
There are currently three types of silver in a water suspension sold as colloidal silver, but only one is pure colloidal silver (and is also the safest). It’s very expensive and hard to find in the swamp of claims and competing products on the Internet, but if you find the real deal, it could offer you some degree of true health benefits.
Unfortunately, many companies producing a silver suspension variation are calling their product “colloidal silver” when it is not. Here are the facts and the science:
1. True colloidal silver. True colloidal silver is the least prevalent type of colloidal silver and is often hard to find. This is due to the complexity of its manufacturing and the high cost associated. The majority of the silver content is in the form of true silver particles. One of the ways to determine if you have a pure colloidal silver product is to hold the bottle up to the light. It should not be clear. It should be cloudy or dark due to the silver particles in suspension. These particles in suspension are the colloids — and thus the name.
This is the type of colloidal silver that was used pre-penicillin and still used today in certain topical applications.
Significantly, true colloidal silver does not cause argyria. This is a condition that results from the over-consumption of some forms of silver particles that turns the skin blue.
2. Ionic silver solutions. This is where the fiction begins. Ionic silver solutions are not true colloidal silver but are often labeled that way. This type of silver suspension represents the vast majority of products called colloidal silver on the market. It is easy and cheap to manufacture, and you can even make it at home. Unfortunately, it has the least benefits for any condition and was never used in the past nor supported by any clinical studies to date as a viable topical treatment.
It is, in fact, a silver solution of dissolved silver particles or silver ions infused into the water through an electrolysis process. This product is often clear and not a true silver colloid. It is also the type of silver that has been associated with argyria, but you would have to consume gallons of the stuff on a daily basis, unless the concentration was extreme.
3. Silver protein. This form of silver in suspension combines silver particles with a gelatin, protein binder. It’s the easiest to make because it only involves the addition of silver protein powder sold by various chemical companies to water. It is also labeled in many instances as colloidal silver, but it’s not.
The best indicator of a silver protein product is to shake the bottle. If it foams, it’s a silver protein. This product was also never used by practicing physicians, and the product can actually deteriorate due to the gelatins in suspension.
If you want to consider colloidal silver as a medical solution, you should find the true colloidal silver. It has an established history, is still used in some instances as a topical treatment, is benign in the sense that it does not cause conditions like argyria, but it’s expensive and it leaves one big question: What are the health benefits?
The Health Benefits of Colloidal Silver
The greatest debate about colloidal silver is its efficacy as an internally ingested medicine. Critics argue that there is no scientific evidence that silver in the bloodstream has any place or benefit and that there is no clinical evidence that colloidal silver cures any internal condition. But that begs some questions based on some of the convincing clinical evidence.
- Hundreds of studies on Pubmed.com indicate that a silver coating on certain instruments and implants used for highly invasive procedures inhibit the growth of bacteria.
- Doctors and hospitals sometimes still use colloidal silver as it was used in the past on dressings for wounds, burns and other external injuries.
- Recent studies indicate that ulcers in the stomach and some intestinal conditions are the result of bacteria, so why wouldn’t true colloidal silver offer benefits as it moves through the intestinal tract?
- Many bladder infections are the result of bacteria. Why wouldn’t true colloidal silver help to inhibit its growth and spread?
The Problem May Be the Hype
It’s unfortunate, but the colloidal silver debate has been clouded with products that are not true colloidal silver and compromised by health benefits that are both over-promised and at some times, simply false.
There is no form of colloidal silver, including true colloidal silver, that can cure cancer or AIDS/HIV. Even the most powerful mainstream medicines and antibiotics fail on those fronts.
The fact that many silver products in suspension call themselves “colloidal silver” when they are, in fact, ionic silver or protein silver also clouds the category and the credibility of the product. This has not only drawn the attention of governing bodies from the FDA to state attorneys general, but has diminished credibility of the category as a brand in the mind of many people who might consider this as a serious, medical solution.
True colloidal silver was and still is a viable and proven treatment for various bacterial infections, particularly external wounds, burns and abrasions. It may also inhibit the growth of bacteria inside the body, particularly in the stomach, intestinal tract and the urinary system. As always, consult with your physician before taking it or treating any condition.
These are the facts. Beware of the fiction.
*This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or cure any particular health condition. Please consult with a qualified health professional first.
Have you ever used colloidal silver? If so, how? Share your tips on its use in the section below:
Pliny the Younger, the author and politicians of the late 2nd century – meaning it likely was used during the time of Christ.
Raw vinegar is full of antioxidants and is a natural probiotic, but it’s also been shown to sooth sore throats, improve digestion, reduce cholesterol, help guard against cancer and maintain a healthy weight. As a natural antibiotic, it can help clear out your throat and digestive system of harmful pathogens, allowing you get better faster. Raw cider vinegar has also been shown to help the body absorb nutrients from the foods you eat.
Raw honey is a nutrient powerhouse, full of antioxidants, minerals and enzymes that promote health and wellness. It’s used throughout the world for its antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties, as well as an immune system booster. Research shows that it can be just as effective as commercial cough syrup in treating coughs and sore throats. Taken regularly, raw honey can act as an allergy shot to reduce your sensitivity to pollen and allergens in your environment over time.
The herbs used in oxymel vary based on your goals, but in general, they’re often herbs designed to improve your immune response, or address a respiratory condition such as cough, cold, flu or sore throat. Whichever herbs you choose, do your homework, and make sure they reflect your needs, and the needs of your family; great choices include sage, thyme, rosemary, oregano, mint, Echinacea, ginger, elecampane, fennel, garlic, mullein, hyssop, wild cherry bark and horseradish. Sweeter nutrient-rich and health-promoting fruits are sometimes included, as well, including elderberries or sea berries.
One famous version, referred to as “fire cider,” is made with ginger, garlic, cayenne and horseradish. Other times, elderberry, ginger and Echinacea are combined for immune support. Another mixture is a cough syrup/respiratory blend that includes wild cherry bark, elecampane root, rose hips, ginger, slippery elm bark and peppermint.
Pre-mixed remedies sell in health food stores and online for as much as $5 per ounce, but can be mixed at home for pennies and a little patience. Recipes vary widely, but a common formula includes 1 part dried herbs steeped in 2 parts honey and 2 parts vinegar. Leave in a cool dark place for at least a month, and then strain. Feel free to use more honey if your tastes require a sweeter version to overcome the herb flavors you’ve chosen, or if you simply have trouble with vinegar. Likewise, recipes with up to 5 parts vinegar and 1 part honey are also acceptable for those who like a little extra zing in their medicine.
Some people choose to steep the honey with the herb in one jar, and then the vinegar with the herb in a separate jar, only mixing them at the end. That way, they can have an infused honey and an infused vinegar which also have a variety of uses, and they don’t have to commit all of the infusion to being an oxymel mixture.
While they’re generally pleasant to use on their own as a medicine by simply taking them on a spoon as you would a cough syrup, they can also be incorporated into meals to turn your food into medicine. Oxymel is a great way to enjoy sweetness without negative effects on your blood sugar. Raw vinegar has also been shown to balance blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity in diabetics, which will help to balance out the effects of the honey on your system. With that in mind, these medicines make a great addition to cold sparkling water to make a medicinal spritzer, or when used to top a salad as a sweet and tangy dressing. Recipes using sweet herbs (such as elderberry) make excellent pancake syrups or yogurt/dessert toppings.
However you choose to take your oxymel, know that you’re participating in a medicinal tradition that goes back millennia, and taking your health into your own hands by crafting your own homemade medicine.
Have you ever made or used oxymel? What advice would you add? Share it in the section below:
No matter where you live, your home is at risk for some kind of natural disaster. Whether you’re on the earthquake-prone west coast or right in the heart of tornado alley, it’s crucial to learn how to prepare your home and family for possible disaster. Disaster preparedness is crucial when it comes to taking care of your family. Here are a few ways to ensure your entire family stays safe in the event of a weather emergency:
- Make a family emergency preparedness plan.
Not only is it important to sit your family down and discuss exactly what to do in the event of an emergency, it never hurts to have a tangible copy to refer to in the moment. Natural disasters are hectic and panic has a way of making you forget what you’re supposed to do, so having a reference is always a good idea. Create an emergency preparedness plan with your family that covers all the potential disasters for your area. Where should your kids take cover in the event of an earthquake? Does your spouse know where the emergency flashlights are? Do you have a designated emergency contact your children can reach out to if you’re unavailable when disaster strikes? Keep hard copies for emergency reference, but make it a constant conversation to refresh everyone’s memories.
- Take special considerations for children.
You’ll want to make sure your kids understand the gravity of a true emergency and the importance of acting quickly and appropriately. If you live in the country, your kids should know that the second they hear tornado sirens while in the backyard playing, they can’t waste a single second in dashing to the basement. If you live in the city, talk about “safety spots” near their school — like a trusted friend or family member’s house — they can go in case getting home amid the chaos simply isn’t possible. Make sure they understand that their safety should never be compromised under any circumstances; not even to save your garden from ferocious hurricane winds.
- Buy a few medical books.
You never know what injuries may occur, so stock up on some emergency medical books — don’t rely on a smartphone’s access to the internet or a tablet having enough charge to pull up the information. A few books on basic first aid, sterilization, and emergency care, as well as any applicable pet emergency care literature should be enough to keep you prepared. This is especially important if you live in a secluded, rural area and rescue crews may take longer to reach you in an emergency. One of the best medical books you can add to your household is “The Survival Medicine Handbook” by Dr Joe Alton and Nurse Amy Alton. Also known as Dr.Bones and Nurse Amy they focus on teaching people how to deal with emergencies in laymen terms so we all get it.
- Prepare your pets.
Ideally, your pet is micro-chipped with up-to-date information, but never underestimate the power of his collar and ID tags; these items can be a major help to getting him back if he runs away or becomes lost in a crisis. Keep in mind that even if you live in a residential suburb where most people know your pet, he could wander farther than you expect and without tags, a rescuer may assume he’s a stray. You should also make sure his leash and carrier are somewhere easily accessible should you need to evacuate the house in a hurry.
- Practice, practice, practice.
Practice safety drills in your home on a regular basis. Switch up the times of day and situations in which you alert your family to a practice emergency, including during meals and smack dab in the middle of game night. Go over what to do in situations away from home so that even if you’re somewhere unfamiliar on vacation, everyone will know what to do should emergency strike.
When it comes to floods, hurricanes, blizzards, and all of their havoc-wreaking cousins, there’s no such thing as “too prepared”!
Once upon a time, more than two-thirds of all Americans lived in rural towns or extensive farms. Indoor plumbing was unheard of, homes were heated with wood and lit by kerosene or oil lamps, work was hard and diseases were plenty.
Should we find ourselves back in these precarious times – or we simply prefer natural remedies — we might find it beneficial to know what types of herbs, medicines and common practices were the tool of the trade for the 19th century doctor.
Keep in mind that there were no vaccines, no lab tests and no antibiotics. Hospitals were located in large cities and surgery was reserved for extreme cases. Doctors traveled for miles on horseback to treat their patients, and payment was generally a hot meal and a place to sleep, and perhaps a hog or some chickens for the doctor to keep or sell as he liked.
Almost all treatments were done right in the home, or outdoors where the light was good. There certainly were times when the doctor knew that his patient would not survive, but he tried his best, knowing that if nothing else, the family would feel better, believing that they had done all they could.
Let’s take a look inside that black bag of medicine and find out what doctors used pre-pharmaceutical times.
Treatments and Research
If you were fortunate, your doctor was up to date with the medical research of the times, such as books by University of New York doctor William Thomson. Otherwise, your local doctor might have relied on Buchan’s Domestic Medicine, which relied on herbal treatments.
With no antibiotics and very little understanding of how diseases worked, gargles, “tonics,” hot baths or steam baths were often recommended. Doctors tended to treat the symptoms, rather than the disease, due to lack of knowledge.
Doctors understood very little about bacteria, but they were aware that there were tiny organisms that could be seen under a microscope. These could be transferred from one patient to another. So while they may not have fully understood how they worked, doctors began working with “disinfectants” in the later part of the 1800s. Common disinfectants were chlorine, lime, sulfur and charcoal.
Common Herbal Treatments
Without the use of any real working drugs, doctors relied heavily on herbal remedies. Many doctors continued to add to their skills by learning from medicine men of the indigenous people, as well as from women who often passed their knowledge on from generation to generation and the slaves brought from Africa, who also contributed their knowledge of healing herbs and plants.
Fortunately, doctors had many pain relievers available to them at this time, including aspirin (which they made from the bark of willow trees). There were fever reducers made from the feverfew plant, as well from meadowsweet.
Camphor was known to ease itchy skin. It was also commonly used to prevent infection by washing the wound with a solution made from camphor, or soaking bandages in the solution, then wrapping the wound.
Opium was known to stop diarrhea almost instantly, and cathartics were from a wide variety of plants, such as milkweed or bloodroot.
Most of these types of medicines were used to make the patient as comfortable as possible, while nature took its course and the patient could heal on his own.
Other treatments including apple pectin, which was mixed in juice to stop arthritis, and honey, which was used as a face wash and a treatment for most insect stings.
Tea and compresses made from cloths soaked in tea were often used to wash everything from hair to burns to wounds.
Some treatments are still used today, such as baking soda to brush the teeth or ease indigestion. Castor oil was used for everything from a general health tonic to a chest compress for coughs and colds. Salt was used as a gargle for sore throats. It worked then and still works today.
Herbs and ‘Female’ Problems
It was very common in the 1800s for women to treat other women with herbs and remedies that have been passed down for generations. Midwives were often called upon to deliver babies as well as to help with what was called “female problems.”
Teas made from motherwort were often used to “calm the nerves.” This is a mild sedative and it works remarkably well.
Painful menstruation was often treated with a tea of red raspberry leaves. This was also the same treatment for infertility. Excessive bleeding was treated with shepherd’s purse. Labor pains were treated with blue cohosh while menopause was treated with black cohosh.
Women suffering from fainting spells were often given a large tablespoon of vinegar. Bladder infections were cured with calendula tea, and chamomile tea was used for just about everything that ailed women, from menopause to insomnia.
Treatments We’d Rather Forget
You can’t talk about the history of medicine without speaking about some of the items and practices that will make you shudder today.
Mercury was used for almost 500 years as a common elixir that was supposed to rejuvenate the body. It was also a popular “cure” in the 19th century for sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis. While mercury probably did kill off the infection, it generally killed the patient as well, most likely from kidney or liver damage.
In fact, let’s not forget that during most of the 1800s, there were no laws in place as to who could call themselves a doctor. Massachusetts passed the first license laws in 1819 but then repealed them in 1835. It wasn’t really until after the civil war that states got serious about licensing doctors.
Tuberculosis (called consumption in those times) was a terrible condition with no cure. Most doctors simply recommended bed rest and to move to a drier climate.
Other treatments, such as those for colic, didn’t need the doctor anyway.
A common “remedy” for colic was to close all the windows and doors to the baby’s room, and have daddy smoke his cigar or pipe right outside the door. (Can’t help but wonder how that one worked!)
Cures for colds and the flu were varied, but included drinking rabbit dung tea. We don’t suggest trying that one, no matter how dire the situation!
What old-time remedies would you add to this list? Share your tips in the section below:
Charred wood, otherwise known as charcoal, is the perfect natural solution for a myriad of issues that arise on the homestead. Yes, grilling is more flavorful when done over a properly maintained charcoal grill, but there are many other practical uses for charcoal. Whether made yourself or purchased elsewhere, a supply of charcoal ought to be kept on hand at all times.
Charcoal is made by quickly eliminating a wood fire’s supply of oxygen. This creates a very porous material which allows it to absorb toxins, impurities and other organic materials, which means these unwanted materials stick to the entire surface area of the charcoal. It is this property that renders it useful in so many homestead situations. To better expose and develop these pores, the charcoal is treated with argon and nitrogen after it has cooled, and then it is heated again. This activates, or opens the face of, the charcoal, creating a larger surface area, thus increasing its effectiveness.
Below are just a few of the many ways activated charcoal can be put to good use on the homestead.
(Note: The charcoal used for grilling is not safe to consume or for the uses listed here. Grilling or “barbecue” charcoal is processed differently.)
1. Medicinal uses
Those of us who prefer natural remedies turn to charcoal for its ability to adsorb toxins, especially when dealing with serious food poisoning episodes or simple insect bites or stings. Available in capsule form, charcoal taken internally will soak up toxins, bringing relief to the victim. For bites, stings and other skin rashes, poultice or thick paste of activated carbon and purified water will draw the poison out of the skin and eliminate the burning or itching that often accompanies it. It also can be used as a digestive aid, as it will reduce bloating by trapping excessive gas and removing it from the digestive tract.
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2. Cleansing agent
Ever feel like there are some things that you can never get clean? Activated charcoal can be added to handcrafted soaps for additional cleaning power. A note of caution, however: Cleaners containing charcoal may stain light-colored surfaces, such as white porcelain sinks.
The soap may not be the most appealing to the eye, but it will trap dirt and excess oil, leaving everything feeling cleaner. Even your teeth will benefit from exposure to charcoal. Brushing with a tooth-powder containing active carbon will reduce the yellow and brown staining commonly found on some teeth, as well as pulling impurities out of the enamel overall, creating healthier teeth.
Activated charcoal is more useful for cleaning than just being an additional ingredient in plain soap, though. Most water filters contain some form of charcoal, and a good water filter is necessary for any water system.
3. Compost amendment
Adding charcoal to your compost pile benefits your vegetable and flower gardens by allowing you to create your own homegrown time-release fertilizer. The charcoal releases nutrients adsorbed from the compost pile into the garden as it breaks down in the soil over time. It has been shown that this method of mixing charcoal into the compost pile or barrel before incorporating the compost into the garden elevates the pH levels and increases the number of beneficial microbes found in the soil. However, avoid putting charcoal directly into the garden.
4. Feed additive
Digestive issues suffered by your livestock can be gently treated with doses of activated charcoal. For some, charcoal is now a regular addition to all livestock feed as a part of preventive care. Adding powdered charcoal to the feed has been shown to increase productivity of milk for cows and goats, increase laying for poultry and even reduce the fly population in key livestock areas.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or cure any particular health condition. Please consult with a qualified health professional first.
Do you know of other uses for charcoal? Share your tips in the section below:
The Practice Pandemic! James Walton “I Am Liberty” It seems like everywhere I turn I see something about ZIKA. The Z virus. I keep waiting to see the news story that the first Zika victim has risen from the grave and started to eat people. Its a weird disease that just came out of nowhere … Continue reading The Practice Pandemic!
You’ll think you have plenty of medical supplies for SHTF, until you have to start using them! Not too long ago, my wife cut her finger pretty good. We went through a lot of gauze and bandages, changing that cut out twice a day. I was shocked by how fast the gauze, tape and pads I had, started to get depleted. And this was just a little cut! What if it was worse and I couldn’t access medical supplies easily?
Medical prep has always been one of my concerns and focuses. I believe that the other survival topics are a little bit more manageable. Don’t get me wrong, in a true SHTF, it’s going to suck. But I mean there are more people out there who know a little about gardening, water purification, cooking with little, cooking on an open fire, etc… In our modern society, we have left medical stuff up to professional doctors and hospitals who go through a lot of training.
But if doctors are not easily available, then what? You’ll be responsible! Can you imagine seeing your child or grandchild hurting and not be able to do anything to help? Like I said earlier, this was one of my main concerns starting out in preparedness.
I’ve said it before, one of the first sites I ever hit was Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy’s, Doom and Bloom. They are Medical Professionals who understand the need to prep. They approach their articles and videos from the possibility that help isn’t coming! Scary!
Like many of the preppers out there, I downloaded everything I could on medical preparedness. I found When There is No Doctor and When There is No Dentist. But like Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy point out, all of these materials leave the reader with the notion that professional medical services need to be sought after a patient has be stabilized. None of the literature I found dealt with medical issues from the perspective that finding a medical professional isn’t an option. Until Dr. Bones (Dr. Joe Alton, M.D.) and Nurse Amy (Amy Alton, ARNP) wrote one!
Dr. Bone sand Nurse Amy recently released the 3rd Edition of their very popular book, The Survival Medicine Handbook. The 3rd edition has had been expanded and every subject is covered in more detail. Also, every section has been updated too!
The book covers a ton of medical situations, see the pics below. But there are also a few chapters that are very helpful that will come in handy to anyone wanting to take responsibility for medical preparedness, for themselves and their family.
One chapter discusses and lists a ton of medical supplies that the average person isn’t thinking about. Since Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy are both REAL medical professionals, I trust they know what is going to be necessary when it comes to medical supplies. The chapter is broken down into kit sizes: IFAK or Personal Kits, The Family Kit, Natural Remedy Supplies and The Field Hospital.
One whole section in the book covers medications, from Over the Counter to Natural Relief to Stockpiling, it’s all there! You also don’t want to miss the very important chapter on Antibiotics.
And like I mentioned in my previous review, you won’t want to miss the chapter on Essential Oils and Herbal Teas. There is a lot of information that is very valuable!
Checkout the Table of Contents below…
No one…let me repeat, No Prepper should be without this book! I believe it is one of the most important prep items you can have!
You can purchase the new 3rd Edition of The Survival Medicine Handbook on Amazon.
Check Out these other Medical Related Articles:
- Medical Preparedness & Future Career Choices
- Do Preppers Know the Future of Medicine? 5 Ways to Prepare Now!
- Physician Heal Thyself!
- WARNING: Doctors & Data O.M.G.osh!
Anyone interested in living off the land or wishing to prepare themselves for a crisis would be wise to study some of their local plants.
Native people had an extensive knowledge of which plants, and which parts of the selected plant, were valuable for certain health problems.
In this article, we are going to look at some of the little-known medicinal plants that were used by the Navajo nation. Even though they lived in what we would consider desert or areas filled with nothing but “scrub brush,” the Navajo found some of the best and most powerful medicinal plants in their region.
Remedies for Headaches, Coughs, Fevers, Mouth Problems
1. Lichens – Pulled from rocks or trees, these were chewed to stop mouth pain, canker sores, and sore or swollen gums.
2. Purple loco weed (oxytropis) – The leaves are crushed and boiled, then the steam inhaled to open up airway passages and ease breathing.
3. Desert thistle – Used to stop the chills and/or fevers. Commonly given in tea form.
4. White horehound – This was used as a tea for coughs and sore throats.
5. Snake weed – Despite the name, this was not used for snake bites, but for headaches. Unlike other plants, this one was used externally by placing wet leaves on the forehead. Some people refer to this as broom weed or broom snakeweed.
Remedies for Diarrhea, Stomach, or Digestive Problems
6. Indian paintbrush (castilleja) – Used for most common stomach problems, including stomach aches, cramps and indigestion. Many tribes referred to this as the prairie fire plant. The flowers are very sweet and tasty, although other parts are not edible.
7. Indian hemp (Apocynum cannabinum) – While this relative to cannabis cannot be consumed, the roots were boiled to make a tea to treat intestinal worms and stop dysentery.
8. Antelope sage – The root of this plant was brewed into tea to stop general stomach pain and cramps.
9. Sand verbena – Sometimes called desert verbena, the leaves and flowers were consumed in tea form to stop stomach cramps, as well as to make a general, soothing tonic.
Remedies for Women
10. Greasewood – A tea made from the leaves of this plant was thought to make childbirth quicker and easier for the mother.
11. Silkweed – Consumed as a tea, this plant is a general tonic used after giving birth.
12. Bushy bird’s beak – Flowers and leaves were often brewed as tea to stop or shorten the menstrual cycle.
Remedies for Skin Issues and Wounds
13. Artemisia – This plant is used for burns, boils and other types of skin wounds.
14. Spurge – While spurge can be eaten, it was also used as medicine. Spurge was ground into a paste and rubbed on the skin to stop acne or other types of skin problems.
15. Green briar – The leaves of this bush were beaten into a paste, and then applied to sores, burns or open wounds. Fresh leaves were then wrapped over the poultice and used as a type of bandage.
16. Orange agoseris – Leaves and flowers were pounded into a paste and applied to most wounds to stop infection and speed healing. Most common uses were for serious injuries, such as knife or arrow damage.
17. Blue corn – Corn played a vital part in the life of most Navajo. Besides being consumed as food and used in ceremonies, blue corn was used to cleanse and purify the skin. Ground blue corn, which is more coarse than yellow or white corn, was a natural exfoliator, which encourages the growth of new skin by removing dead skin cells.
General Tonics, Antiseptics and Other Remedies
18. Sage or sagebrush – While this plant tends to give many people hay fever, for the Navajo, the leaves and flowers were made into a tea, which served many purposes. This tea was used as a treatment for diarrhea, as an eye wash, as an antiseptic for disinfecting wounds, and as a hair wash. People once said, “Those who drink sage tea never grow old.” This is because rinsing hair with a strong sage tea acts as a dye, keeping the hair black.
19. Hawkweed – This plant is a close relative of dandelions, so it is no wonder that the Navajo used it as a natural diuretic. All parts of this plant are edible and can be eaten; however, it is most commonly consumed in a tea form.
20. Red juniper – The inner bark of this type of juniper was rubbed onto the hair and scalp, stopping most kinds of dandruff and itchiness.
21. Yucca – Also known as soap weed, the leaves of the yucca plant were pounded into a thick paste, and then rubbed on the hair and scalp. This acts as a natural type of shampoo, removing grease and dirt from the hair.
22. Horseweed – This was a general, all-around good tonic that was used for many ailments, including stopping diarrhea, and as a diuretic and astringent.
23. Yellowtop – The gray green leaves of this plant were the most common remedy given for spider and other insect bites.
24. Green gentian – Commonly given to calm the nerves or for emotional distress.
Many plants were used in combination with one another. It was thought that by mixing plants, it would cure multiples problems at one time, or that if one ingredient was ineffective, another would certainly work.
Most times, there were one or two “specialists” who knew which plants should be used for what, and which combinations could be used. This was generally the Shaman, who oversaw most health problems, and a female elder, who was generally called upon to take care of “female” problems and assist in childbirth.
The Navajo and other native people spent hundreds if not thousands of years researching plants. Please use extreme caution and be certain that you know not only the exact species you are choosing, but how it might affect you.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or cure any particular health condition. Please consult with a qualified health professional first.
What is your favorite off-grid medicinal plant? Share your medicinal tips in the section below:
The modern back-to-basics food movement has led many people to rediscover plants used for centuries in the past.
One particularly useful plant that grows in abundance around the country is the versatile chokecherry. Due to their quick and abundant growth, along with their tart berries, chokecherries have been planted in tree rows for wind protection, for wildlife habitat and for erosion control. Today they grow in a variety of climates and regions around the country. Odds are you may not be far from this useful berry.
The many uses of chokecherry were not lost on pioneers, Native Americans, and other people who lived off the land. Lewis and Clark even ate them on their journey. These valuable plants were cherished and visited often when they were ripe.
If you happen to discover chokecherries in your neighborhood, here are four ways you can put them to work:
These dark purple, red, or almost black berries are high in fiber and Vitamin K. Today, chokecherries are most often used in jellies, vinegar, syrups and juice. They can be easily processed, but do require the removal of the leaves, stems and pits. Each of these parts of the plant contain hydrocyanic acid, posing a significantly higher risk to livestock than people, as animals are more likely to consume large quantities of the leaves. However, there have been a few reported instances of children dying after consuming too many seeds.
Native people across America routinely smashed the fruits, dried them thoroughly in the sun, and added them to a pemmican mixture. Even though the seeds were consumed by Native people, they lost their toxicity after drying. Anyone interested in this primitive process is advised to spend time with an expert on the subject and learn more about removing the toxins. Chokecherries are not a dangerous plant, and with more modern techniques you can easily and safely enjoy these bountiful fruits in a variety of ways.
2. Archery equipment.
Portions of the tree that develop acceptable girth can be tillered to make quality hunting bows. In fact, these bows are reputed to be some of the finest bow-making materials by many modern bowyers. A good hunting wood is hard to find, since it must have two important attributes. First, the wood must have the ability to withstand tension forces on the back of the bow. Also, at the same time the back in under tension forces, the belly of the bow is being compressed. Finding a wood capable of both forces is not easy, and chokecherry fits the bill nicely.
In addition to the ability to be made into bows, the young straight shoots can be cut and made into arrows. Similar to the wood needed to make bows, arrows need a wood with particular properties. The two biggest attributes wood need to be made into arrows are straightness and spine. Spine refers to the wood’s ability to bend upon the shot and then straighten out as it flies downrange. Finding a wood with just the right amount of spine is not always easy. It takes quite a bit of experience and know-how to construct bows and arrows, but even a novice who understands the basic concepts can create bows and arrows that serve their purpose marginally well.
If you’ve ever picked chokecherries, then you can attest to the potential for creating a dye with the fruit. The dye from chokecherry juice can be used to identify dye-wooden objects like arrows or bows, and cloth projects, as well. Although the dye will not keep you alive in a survival situation, it can definitely come in handy for projects down the road. To make a dye, simply collect an adequate amount of berries and fill a container.
With the collected berries in the container, you need to pulp the fruit and create a mashed mix of juice and berries. Any item placed in this mixture will take on the beautiful pinkish red color of the dye. For lighter stains, leave the product in for shorter periods, and for deeper and darker stains leave it in the dye for longer.
True to form, the versatile chokecherry has a variety of medicinal uses, as well. In the past, dried berries were used to treat a variety of bowel conditions, from diarrhea to loss of appetite. It was also given in some form to people suffering from ulcers and other conditions of a weak stomach. Additionally, the bark is reported to be an outstanding remedy for respiratory ailments, such as a bad cough. As with using any plant medicinally, folks interested in this practice are encouraged to consult an expert in the subject.
If you plan on heading out to harvest some of the bounty chokecherries offer up, then make sure to take the time to learn how to correctly identify the plant. There is a toxic lookalike called common buckthorn. Once you learn a few rules to follow and how to identify a chokecherry, don’t be afraid to enjoy all the versatility it has to offer. Whether you are looking for a nutritious treat, a beautiful deep dye, archery gear, or to sooth a medical ailment, the chokecherry offers up a gift.
What other uses have you discovered? What advice would you add? Share it in the section below:
This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or cure any particular health condition. Please consult with a qualified health professional first.
How to Set Up an Emergency Community Clinic Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live” What would you do if our modern medical system were compromised and local medical facilities were no longer operational? Once again, I will be joined by Survival Instructor, Chuck Hudson, to take an in-depth look at the realities of setting up an … Continue reading How to Set Up an Emergency Community Clinic!
Preserve your medicinal herbs the right way! Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live” Learn how to properly preserve your medicinal herbs on this week’s episode of Herbal Prepper Live. Just like food storage, your herbs can be preserved and stored for later use. But, if you don’t choose the right preservation method for the right herb … Continue reading Preserve your medicinal herbs the right way!
Success and Survival Medicine! Tom “Galt Strike” Have you ever been interested in the medical industry? Have you ever wanted to become a Doctor or a Nurse? Or maybe you want to write a book and don’t know where to start, or maybe even develop your own board game. So what do all of these … Continue reading Success and Survival Medicine!
It sounds like something out of a Cold War era movie. Boxes of medical supplies stacked high in government warehouses to help citizens in the event of a public health emergency.
However, this huge stockpile is very real. It is called the Strategic National Stockpile, and according to the CDC website, “Once Federal and local authorities agree that the SNS is needed, medicines will be delivered to any state in the U.S. in time for them to be effective. Each state has plans to receive and distribute SNS medicine and medical supplies to local communities as quickly as possible.”
For security reasons, the location and the number of warehouses that comprise the SNS are classified information – as is much of what is in them. “If everybody knows exactly what we have, then you know exactly what you can do to us that we can’t fix,” Greg Burel, director of the program told National Public Radio in a recent interview. “And we just don’t want that to happen.”
The SNS started in 1999 with an approximate $50 million budget. Since then, it has built an inventory in multiple warehouses that is valued at just over $7 billion. “If you envision, say, a Super Walmart and stick two of those side by side and take out all the drop ceiling, that’s about the same kind of space that we would occupy in one of these storage locations,” Burel said.
The SNS extensive inventory includes massive amounts of small pox vaccines, antivirals in case of deadly flu pandemic, medicines to treat radiation burns and sickness, chemical agent antidotes, wound care supplies, antibiotics and IV fluids.
NPR science writer Nell Greenfieldboyce recently visited an SNS. She was told she was the first reporter ever to visit the secret warehouses, and she had to sign a confidentiality agreement not to describe the location or the exterior of the facility.
A locked section of the warehouse stocks painkillers than can be addictive. A giant freezer is filled with medicines that need to be kept frozen. Greenfieldboyce described a humming sound that comes from the rows of ventilators that are charged once a month and sent out for maintenance once a year.
With an annual budget of more than half a billion dollars, the SNS is charged with deciding what to purchase for the stockpile. In order to do so, officials must determine which threats are realistic and which are not.
“That’s where we have a huge, complex bureaucracy trying to sort through that,” Irwin Redlener, director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University, told Greenfieldboyce.
The government recently hired a firm called Gryphon Scientific to analyze how well the stockpile could respond to a range of health disaster scenarios.
Although he said he could not be specific on results of the study, Gryphon Scientific’s Rocco Casagrande told the NPR reporter, “One thing we can say is that across the variety of threats that we examined, the Strategic National Stockpile has the adequate amount of materials in it and by and large the right type of thing.”
However, he pointed out that the studies were based upon a single type of attack at a time or a single type of weapon.
The brief shelf life of some of the newer medicines is a problem for the SNS. “These are often very powerful, very exciting and useful new medicines, but they are also very expensive and they expire after a couple years,” explained Dr. Tara O’Toole, a former Homeland Security official who is now at In-Q-Tel, a nonprofit that helps bring technological innovation to the U. S. intelligence community.
Another problem is the time it would take to get the medicines from the warehouses to the people who need them in the event of real emergency. “It is not going to be easy or simple to put medicines in the hand of everybody who wants it,” O’Toole told NPR.
The warehouse Greenfieldboyce visited contains 130 shipping containers, but who will be on the receiving end of these shipping containers during an actual emergency?
“While they do have plans for emergencies, and lists of volunteers, they’re volunteers,” said Paul Petersen, director of emergency preparedness for Tennessee. “And they’re not guaranteed to show up in the time of need.”
Local public health officials have had severe budget cuts and are underfunded, Petersen told NPR. “Over and over, I heard worries about this part of the stockpile system.”
O’Toole said, “We have drastically decreased the level of state public health resources in the last decade. We’ve lost 50,000 state and local health officials. That’s a huge hit.” She commented that emergency drills would be helpful, adding, “The notion that this is all going to be top down, that the feds are in charge and the feds will deliver, is wrong.”
Meanwhile, the secret warehouses continue to stockpile supplies. “We have the capability, if something bad happens, that we can intervene in a positive way, but then we don’t ever want to have to do that. So it’s kind of a strange place,” Burel told NPR.
“But we would be foolish not to prepare for those events that we could predict might happen.”
What is your reaction to this story? Share it in the section below:
Natural essential oils have been used throughout time for healing, as well as for treating many physical and mental ailments.
Essential oils are non-toxic, natural substances which are easily eliminated from the body. Prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, on the other hand, are synthetic substances which the body is not designed to metabolize and eliminate. Because our organs do not know how to break down these man-made compounds, the synthetic toxins pass through our kidneys, liver and spleen, and can end up in waste-holding areas such as fatty tissues, and even the brain. Perhaps most alarming, after attaching themselves to these tissues they can disrupt normal body functions for years afterward.
Here is a list of common health ailments that can be treated with natural essential oils instead of OTC drugs, along with a few recipes to try:
1. Colds, coughs, allergies, congestion and sinusitis
Peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils ─ Both have decongestant, expectorant and antiviral properties.
Angelica, thyme, camphor, bay, myrrh and spruce essential oils ─ All of these oils help relieve sinus congestion when inhaled.
Laurel leaf essential oil ─ This natural oil is known to help strengthen the body’s resistance to viruses by building up the immune system and boosting the respiratory system.
Try a mixture of 10 drops of any of these oils and 4 tsp of a carrier oil of your choice. Rub it into the chest area so that the molecules can be inhaled.
Add any of these oils or a mixture of them into a bowl of steaming water. Wrap a towel around your head and inhale the molecules released by the steam.
Jojoba oil ─ Otherwise known as a carrier oil, jojoba is known to balance oily skin and clear acne. You can use it alone or try blending it with other essential oils. Try this recipe:
- 4 drops lemon essential oil
- 4 drops frankincense essential oil
- 2 drops ylang ylang essential oil
- 4 tsp jojoba oil
Tea tree essential oil ─ A potent antiseptic that kills bacteria which cause acne. It is also useful for eliminating blackheads. Tea tree oil can be used alone by applying it to a cotton swab and wiping it over the face in an upwards motion. It will pull up dirt while killing bacteria that clogs pores. You can also try this mixture:
- 4 drops tea tree essential oil
- 4 drops lemon essential oil
- 4 drops geranium essential oil
- 4 tsp jojoba oil
3. Athlete’s foot
Lavender essential oil ─ Lavender has antiseptic and healing properties.
Tea tree essential oil ─ Tea tree is antifungal.
Geranium or birch essential oil ─ Both have anti-inflammatory and soothing properties.
Lemongrass essential oil ─ Lemongrass oil is deodorizing and drying.
Athlete’s foot recipe: Mix 2 drops of each of the above listed essential oils with 4 tsp of a carrier oil. The properties of these oils will fight the fungus that causes athlete’s foot and aid with anti-inflammatory conditions while healing, soothing, deodorizing and drying your feet.
4. Backache and other muscle pain
Helichrysum essential oil ─ Helichrysum has anti-inflammatory and analgesic qualities which decrease muscle pain by lowering swelling, inflammation and improving circulation.
- 10 drops helichrysum essential oil
- 4 tsp sweet almond carrier oil
- Massage the blend into the back or any other body area that is experiencing pain.
Rosemary essential oil ─ Rosemary has a high-camphor content which makes this a great warming oil for aching muscles. It also has soothing and stimulating properties that relax muscles and encourage circulation of blood flow within them.
- 4 drops rosemary essential oil
- 4 drops black pepper essential oil
- 2 drops vetiver essential oil
- 4 tsp sweet almond oil or a carrier oil of your choice.
5. Burns and cuts
Lavender and tea tree essential oils ─ Both have soothing, healing and antiseptic properties and can be applied undiluted to burned skin or abrasions immediately.
Chamomile essential oil, geranium essential oil, marigold essential oil and rose essential oil ─ These essential oils also have soothing and healing properties which are ideal for treating burns and cuts.
Try a blend of 10 drops of any of these essential oils, and …
4 tsp pure aloe gel to help sooth and heal burns and cuts, as well as to prevent infection.
6. Rashes, eczema, psoriasis, or dry, itchy skin
Try a mixture of 10 drops of any of these oils along with 4 tsp of castor oil or coconut oil and rub it into the affected area.
Chamomile, bergamot and violet essential oils ─ All of these oils have soothing and anti-inflammatory properties which are suitable for treating inflamed skin.
Lavender, geranium and myrrh essential oils ─ These oils have healing properties which help heal damaged skin.
Marigold essential oil ─ Treats itchy skin.
Sandalwood essential oil ─ Treats extra dry skin.
Lavender, Violet, Ambrette, Rose, Chamomile and Helichrysum essential oils ─ All of these oils have analgesic and relaxing properties.
Frankincense, Clary Sage and Thyme essential oils─ These oils are known to relieve tension.
Mix 10 drops of any of these oils along with sweet almond carrier oil and rub the blend into your temples and the back of your neck.
8. Indigestion, upset stomach, nausea or morning sickness
Peppermint essential oil ─ Peppermint oil is very helpful as an aid in digestion. Peppermint oil is also an excellent tonic for those who have a low appetite, and it helps to treat motion sickness, nausea and upset stomachs.
Inhale peppermint oil straight from the bottle or until the symptoms depart.
Place a few drops on a tissue and inhale. You can carry the tissue around with you.
Add 10 drops to 4 tsp sweet almond oil and massage the blend into your stomach or chest area.
Look for approved ingestible peppermint oil and add to your tea or water bottle.
If you are looking to use natural remedies, detoxify your organs and tissues, and help to restore you body’s natural functions, try using natural essential oils instead of OTC drugs.
What essential oils would you add to the list? Share your tips in the section below:
This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or cure any particular health condition. Please consult with a qualified health professional to determine which treatments are right for you and any individual health condition(s) that you may have.
In a case that has garnered worldwide attention, a Canadian man, David Stephan, will spend four months in jail because he treated his son with a natural remedy instead of taking him to the hospital.
Stephan’s wife, Collet, avoided jail time but she faces three months of strict house arrest, and can only leave home to go to church or medical appointments.
David received a stricter sentence by the judge in late June because he did not call 911 when his 19-month-old son, Ezekiel, stopped breathing in 2012, said Justice Rodney Jerke, the judge in the case. The boy, who had viral meningitis, died at the hospital.
The Stephans were able to avoid the three to four-and-a-half year prison sentence prosecutors had requested for “denying the necessities of life” to a child.
“Mr. Stephan’s post-conviction actions demonstrate a complete lack of remorse,” Jerke told a court in Lethbridge, Alberta. “To this day he refuses to admit his actions had any impact.”
Jerke accused the Stephans of being willfully blind by trying to treat Ezekiel with a natural remedy of hot peppers, garlic, onions and horse radish, The Canadian Press reported. The Stephans thought the boy had the flu, and they said he was improving until he stopped breathing. The justice also was upset with David for calling his father for help instead of 911.
“Any reasonable and prudent person would have taken action,” Jerke said. “This is far beyond a child that has the sniffles.”
The fathers asked for leniency, saying their other three children need a dad “who’ll help raise them up.”
Doctors Protest Parents
Jerke described the Stephans as “caring and attentive parents” in court.
“My children are everything to me and I’m everything to my children,” Collet told the court. “I am incredibly sorry I did not take him to the hospital.”
Around 70 people showed up to support the Stephans at the courthouse in Lethbridge when they were sentenced, The Canadian Press reported. The supporters shouted “we love you” to the couple as they passed.
A small group of counter-protestors, including several medical doctors, showed up to protest against the Stephans.
“You cannot impose your personal views on your children in a way that endangers their life,” Dr. Kirsten Jones, one of the protestors, told the news outlet. “Those children have a right to grow up to become independently thinking adults and to form their own moral judgments at that time.”
Strangely enough, Jerke ordered the Stephans to post an unedited copy of his verdict to her personal Facebook page, and to a Facebook page run by supporters, Prayers for Ezekiel.
The father has alleged that a slow response from Alberta Health Services may have contributed to Ezekiel’s death.
“We took it upon ourselves to meet the dispatched ambulance halfway on the highway,” he said in a statement to the press. “It took approx. 40 minutes from the initial 911 call before he was in the care of the attending EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians). When EMT finally arrived, the ambulance was not equipped with the correct intubation equipment for our son, who could not breathe on his own.”
Did the parents deserve their sentence? Share your thoughts in the section below:
Are you thinking about learning herbalism as a readiness skill to better help yourself and loved ones during an emergency? Let me be the first to tell you that getting a solid herbal education can be tough, but it’s incredibly rewarding. There’s a lot of information to cover, and many different approaches to teaching and practicing herbalism. There are also many different ways to learn herbalism: you can enroll in a local herb school, take online classes, or gather resources to teach yourself. But as a prepper, how do you sort through all of the options and determine what’s right for you?
Herbalism is largely unregulated in the United States. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean that you, as a consumer shopping for an herbal education, need to weigh your options and do your research. And if you’re also a prepper, it’s important to feel confident that your teachers have done their research and had extensive experience, and that the course materials will cover topics that are relevant to preparedness and survival.
My Own Herbal Education
My first “official” herbal school experience left me frustrated that my instructor relied mainly on industry street cred and charisma. Most of the information in that course was good, but there were no references to external research ANYWHERE in the course. The more I studied, the more this made me uncomfortable. I had read widely on my own prior to enrolling, so I had a sense of what was reliable and what wasn’t, but it was still a very frustrating experience. Also, my main focus at the time was on working with clients more than preparedness, but the course didn’t really even cover as much of that as was implied. Very frustrating!
After several more years of self directed study, I found an herb school that focused on herbalism in remote settings and for community emergency preparedness. This school (The Human Path) has been a great fit for me, because it has allowed me to fully develop my interest in emergency herbalism, and even offers clinical outreach programs in remote settings that will allow me to gain more experience with my intake and evaluation skills while actively making a difference in communities. Founder of The Human Path, Sam Coffman, wrote this article on The Survival Mom blog.
Around the same time, I also began working for an herb school (The Herbal Academy) that offers online programs (from beginner level to family herbalists to clinical professionals) that are created collaboratively. Because of the school’s emphasis on collaboration, the courses reflect the wisdom and perspectives of many experienced herbalists rather than a single person. Click on this ad to learn what this course is all about. I highly recommend their courses.
Where should YOU learn herbalism?
There are many more options available now than there were even a few years ago. Take advantage of that! Spend some time researching different schools. You might even be lucky enough to have a local herb school nearby so that you can learn in a classroom setting, which can make learning skills like plant identification and applying your knowledge (via student clinical programs) much easier.
Nowadays, many herb schools are even accessible online (and yes, this is great. Trust me- I mailed my lessons in via snail mail at the first school!). There are several advantages to taking online courses:
- It’s easier to reach instructors,
- Easier to participate in virtual classroom settings like webinars and chats.
- Online, you can quickly research questions you might have.
- It’s easier to be in touch with current and former students, so you can get their reviews and insights into a particular course before you enroll (always a good idea!).
You should understand, though, that there’s no formal syllabus that all herb schools are required to follow, or any accreditation process that they must undergo (at least in the United States), so where you go to learn herbalism will depend largely on your goals. You will need to take a look at the founder’s philosophy, whether or not the lessons are backed with adequate research materials, and whether the training offered at the school is a match for your needs.
Generally speaking, steer clear of programs that claim to make you a “master herbalist.” The phrase is just hype. There is no meaningful standard by which to judge the qualification. “Certified herbalist” is the same way. Just as there is no accrediting body specifically for herb schools, there’s also no regulatory body that grants titles for herbalists. A school can, however, give you a certificate of completion for successfully passing their exams.
Herb schools will typically fall into one or the other of these categories based on the focus of their programs. Keep these in mind as you sort through which schools might be a good fit for your needs:
- Tradition-focuses on a historical subset of herbalism (such as Ayurveda from India)
- Career- focuses on developing skills and advanced theory needed in a modern clinical setting
- Family Herbalist- focuses on everyday use of herbs in a family/home setting
- Survivalist- focuses on herbalism in remote or survival settings
- New age- focuses on intuitive herbalism, shamanism, or spiritual aspects of herbalism
For preparedness purposes, a course with a survival school is a wise investment, but you shouldn’t overlook a solid foundation with a school focused on home herbalism, either. A good home herbalism course will usually teach you how to make many different types of herbal preparations and give you plenty of information that you can apply for everyday health needs.
An herb school may also divide their programs into different tracks based on specific skills or skill levels, such as beginner, intermediate, or advanced, so take your time investigating the schools that interest you. Even if you don’t think every course they offer is a good fit for what you want, there may be a specific track or set of courses that’s exactly what you’re looking for. Here are three school directories you can peruse to get a feel for some of the options available:
Here are three school directories you can peruse to get a feel for some of the options available:
How to Learn Herbalism on Your Own
It’s also possible to be a self taught herbalist. This approach requires careful research and the dedication to seek out many professional perspectives, and no, reading internet forums for different opinions and ideas doesn’t count! There are a few things you can do to make your self-guided herbal preparedness studies more fruitful:
- Invest in a solid herbal textbook like Medical Herbalism by David Hoffman, or Principles and Practices of Phytotherapy by Kerry Bone. Read it, cover to cover, and take notes. This will give you a very good introduction to herbalism from the more scientific side. (This is what I did after my first, not-so-successful experience, and it was worth every penny).
- Get a few herbal recipe books that teach you how to make herbal extracts, teas, and other preparations. James Green’s The Herbal Medicine Maker’s Handbook, Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health or Homegrown Remedies by Anne McIntyre are all excellent resources. Work through the book and teach yourself to make the different types of products.
- Make a list of the types of health problems you know you will need to address, personally, and research them. Start looking up (and using, with your doctor’s permission) herbal alternatives.
- Create herbal components for your first aid kits. Here is more information about that.
- Part of the beauty of having herbalism as a survival skill is that herbs are renewable- you can grow them yourself! Select a few new herbs each year and add them to your garden. Many are lovely to look at and can be added to urban and suburban landscaping, or grown on a balcony or patio in containers. Herbs can be difficult to grow from seed, but many do very well if grown from cuttings or root division. You’ll need to learn the specific needs of each plant as you go.
- Foraging is much less reliable as a supply tactic than many people think it is. Plants may not be available when you need them, or it may be hard to find certain ones in your area. If you want to learn to forage, you will need field guides specific to your area and lots of time to learn plant identification. You will also need to learn the individual timetable of each plant- when it blooms and when to harvest- and what specific parts are used. You’ll also need to tend your foraging plots so that (hopefully) there will be even more of the plants available the next year because you took the time to spread seed or otherwise help the plants regenerate. It’s best to focus on one or two really abundant “weeds” at a time and add more as you hone your skills.
- Wilderness First Aid- if at all possible, take a course in wilderness first aid to supplement your herbal studies.
- One prepper and herbalist, Cat Ellis, offers this book written from a prepper perspective, all about various herbal and natural remedies.
All of this goes to show that there are many, many different herbal schools to choose from, and that whether or not you enroll with a school or strike out on your own, you should be a very active participant in your education. Ask questions, read widely, create herbal products to use at home, and really participate in what you are learning! Herbalism is so much more than “book learning” and you will have the best results later by learning to incorporate herbs into your current lifestyle now as well as how to utilize them in a remote or disaster setting.
Learn more about herbalism right here on The Survival Mom blog
How to Survive with Hypothyroidism after SHTF Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live” There’s a quiet epidemic growing around the globe. People are developing hypothyroidism, which is an under-active thyroid. There is also an overwhelming predominance of a specific type of hypothyroidism called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. So much so, that both are nearly interchangeable terms. Right now, in … Continue reading Surviving with Hypothyroidism after SHTF!
Herbs for Seasonal Allergies Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live” It’s springtime, the air smells of flowers and cut grass. The sun is out, and there is a gentle breeze. People are outside, enjoying their backyards, gardening, and cooking out on the grill. On the weekends, perhaps they are out camping or hiking. That is, unless … Continue reading Herbs for Seasonal Allergies!
How to Make Herbal Tinctures Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live” Join me this Mother’s Day, 5/8/16, as I demystify the process of how to make herbal tinctures. Tincture-making is one of the most important herbal skills you need to have under your belt. Herbal tinctures, also called herbal extracts, provide a thorough extraction of the … Continue reading How to Make Herbal Tinctures!
It must have been a long process of trial and error. How do you figure out that a plant or tree can have medicinal benefits? Obviously, some Native Americans, as well as many other ancient cultures from China to the Incas and Aztecs, found solace and relief from plants that surrounded them.
Significantly, many of those natural cures were derived from trees. Typically, it was the inner bark of the trees or the xylem that provided the most potent mix of natural elements with curative properties. However, there are some exceptions, such as the needles of pines and the berries from Juniper trees.
We’re going to explore five common trees in North America that continue to be used for various medicinal purposes. They are:
- White pine
- White willow
- Slippery elm
We’ll also review what type of preparation was used and how to prepare it for home use. A word of caution is related to allergies and dosage. Home preparation of natural cures is not always an exact science. Just as important, different people respond to these natural treatments in different ways, depending on their body weight and predisposition to allergies. In all cases, you should first consult your doctor. Take a low dose of any natural preparation you make, such as a teaspoon or less, to assess your body’s response. You should also avoid giving these natural treatments to young children.
Bark and needles of pine were available year-round and used regardless of weather or season. However, warmer months often provided the best concentration of ingredients due to the fact that the sap was still flowing in the xylem of the trees.
An infusion was the most common preparation technique. It’s essentially a tea made by soaking the inner bark or crushed pine needles in very hot, but not boiling water. Boiling water can break down some of the beneficial compounds. The steeping time was usually 5 to 20 minutes. The longer the steep the more concentrated the ingredients, so take good notes if you choose to make your own preparations to determine tolerable dosages.
Poultices were also used frequently to treat external afflictions. This involves an infusion or crushed ingredients that are saturated into a piece of cloth and applied to the skin where the pain or affliction is located.
As we’ve already noted, time of year in addition to the general health and age of the tree can also affect concentration of ingredients, so you may have to take that into account as well.
1. White pine
While the inner bark is often used as an infusion, the young shoots, twigs, pitch and needles of white pine were also used by Native Americans to treat a variety of conditions both internally and externally.
The pitch or pine sap was used as a poultice on a hot cloth and applied to the chest to treat coughs and pneumonia. Pitch applied directly to the skin was used to draw out boils, abscesses and splinters. It also was used as a poultice for wounds or sores.
An infusion of the crushed pine needles, often combined with the inner bark and young shoots, was used to treat colds, fever, heartburn, croup, laryngitis, bronchitis and coughs.
The scent of the white pine itself has aroma therapy properties, especially when applied externally to the chest or throat as a poultice for cough or sore throats.
2. White willow
We’ve covered the health benefits of willow bark in the past, but the medicinal value is so significant it makes sense to revisit the benefits. All willow trees have a chemical element called “salicin” in the inner, xylem bark. White willow has the highest concentrations. A German chemist synthesized this element in the 1800s and developed a tablet with both pain-relieving and fever-reducing properties. The chemist’s last name was “Bayer,” and the tablet he invented was called “aspirin.”
Native Americans would steep the xylem from the inner bark of the white willow in very hot water and drink it as a pain reliever and to reduce fever. One of the side benefits of this infusion for some people is that it does not thin the blood like regular aspirin. This has value for people on blood thinners, people with naturally thin blood due to genetics or diet, and people afflicted with hemophilia.
3. Slippery elm
Slippery Elm preparations were made from the inner bark and in some instances, the leaves. Once again, an infusion was made by Native Americans, often with a combination of inner bark and crushed leaves and used to treat digestive disorders, gastrointestinal conditions, gout, arthritis, stomach aches and sore throat. It also was used as a mouthwash or gargle to treat sore throat, mouth ulcers and toothache. As an external treatment it was used as a wash or poultice to treat skin conditions, hemorrhoids and insect bites.
As a poultice the infusion is poured into a piece of fabric and applied to the skin. It is said to have significant benefits for pain reduction, inflammation of wounds, boils, burns and skin ulcers. One recipe calls for five tablespoons of ground inner bark infused in a very hot cup of water and strained to make the basic infusion that can be either sipped or used as a wash or poultice. Here again, take a little at a time to assess its concentration and your reaction to the compound if you choose to use it as an herbal remedy.
The Juniper is an evergreen that grows around the world. The small, round bluish berries are the primary flavor ingredient in gin. When the berries are fully ripe in late summer, Native Americans would eat them off the tree to treat kidney, bladder and urinary tract conditions, digestive disorders, gum disease, diarrhea, gout and arthritis, and rheumatic conditions.
There are some cautions to keep in mind. It’s believed that Juniper berries can cause miscarriage in pregnant women, and high doses can irritate the urinary tract. It also shouldn’t be given to children, considering their low body weight and the potential for even the smallest dosage to be too high.
5. Poplar buds
Poplar trees are ubiquitous across North America, and in the spring Native Americans used the poplar buds as a topical treatment for muscle soreness and headaches when applied to the brow as a poultice. The buds were usually ground, and the sticky result was applied to the skin, around painful joints or bruises or anywhere else localized pain occurred, including insect bites. It is not intended for internal use but as a topical treatment only.
The key ingredient in poplar buds that makes them effective as a topical pain reliever has a familiar name: salicin. This is the same chemical found in willow bark and used as the base ingredient in aspirin.
What advice would you add? What trees would you put on the list? Share your tips in the section below:
History is amazing — not the dull, dry history you may have experienced in school, but the history of how people lived their day-to-day lives. We are so accustomed to our modern conveniences that we often have no idea how our ancestors did things. We look back through the years, and are often mystified about how they even survived.
Some of the things that medical science proposed in the past are laughable today. Take head bumps, for example. There was actually a time when the cutting edge of medical diagnosis, in some quarters, was reading the bumps on a person’s head. This was supposed to tell about chronic health problems that the person suffered. We can place that alongside “bleeding” a patient to release the evil spirits from their body, and bury the two of them in medical history.
Modern medicine has years of medical research behind it. While it is not yet perfect, the ability of our medical community to deal with trauma, sickness and chronic health issues is much greater than that of a few short generations ago. Treatments for diseases that were previously known as killers are available now, and emergency room techniques to save lives have progressed exponentially.
All of that is enough to make us wonder how our ancestors even survived. Looking back in history — say to the pioneering days — one has to wonder how the people dealt with sickness, disease and injury, especially when you consider that most towns didn’t have a doctor. Yes, many died, but many more lived, and lived through things that we wouldn’t think they could have survived.
The conventional wisdom today is that people in the 1800s lived far shorter lives, but that is mostly not true. The average life expectancy has grown because of lowering infant mortality rates. In other words, for people who did survive childbirth, many lived to old age – 70s, 80s and even 90s.
The very fact that they survived tells us that we study what they did. We may yet see a day when all the fancy pharmaceuticals and medical laboratories are gone. Should that happen, the health techniques that our ancestors used may very well be the only thing left to us.
So, what did they do? Let’s take a look.
1. They ate healthier
When you talk about “American food” in other countries, the first thing any of them think of is McDonalds, Burger King and Coca-Cola, perhaps adding Starbucks to that list. This is the food that we are known for. Most of what we consume is either fast food, junk food or otherwise unhealthy food.
Our bodies need an incredible number of different nutrients to maintain health. Theoretically, we are supposed to receive those nutrients from what we eat. But donuts, greasy burgers and a side order of fries don’t supply those nutrients. Some people try to make up for this by taking vitamin supplements, but there’s a real question about how well those supplements absorb into the body. Some brands don’t dissolve properly and merely add to the waste our bodies process.
While the diet our pioneering ancestors enjoyed wasn’t as varied as our own, it was a whole lot healthier. Essentially, they ate meat, beans, vegetables and bread. Fruit was considered a delicacy, and things like sweets were extremely rare. Their favorite drink was fresh spring water — not sugar dissolved in carbonated water.
Not only did they eat a healthier diet, but the foods they ate were healthier than today’s equivalent. Cattle and hogs weren’t fattened up to the extent they are today, before slaughtering. Often they were grass-fed. But many pioneers ate game meat, which has always been leaner and lower in cholesterol. Even chickens were healthier, as they free ranged and fed off a more varied diet. The ground hadn’t been overworked, and so the vegetables that they ate had a higher mineral content, improving their nutritional value.
Nobody overate in the Old West. There just wasn’t enough extra food to even think of overeating. Besides, they burned a whole lot more calories wrestling steers or plowing with a horse-drawn plow, than we do punching keys on a computer.
2. They performed physical work
Our bodies need a certain amount of physical work to maintain health. Yet, except for those who go to the gym regularly to work out – or do hard labor on the job — few of us get that physical work.
Many of our chronic diseases were all but unknown in pioneering days. The physical work that people performed on a daily basis was enough to help their bodies regulate the critical balance of these key health indicators.
Even today, the best advice for a diabetic, whose blood sugar is high, is to take a walk. That allows their body to burn off some of that excess sugar, reducing their sugar level to normal. Yet most of us expect the doctor to fix our problems with medicine, rather than having to do anything to takes us out of our comfortable chairs.
3. They were leaner and more muscular
The combination of diet and exercise affected their bodies greatly. More than anything, if we were to look back in history, we would see a people who were leaner and more muscular than we are today. This came from a combination of hard physical work and diet.
Even housework was harder back then. Women had to have the physical strength to wring out clothes by hand, carry a dead animal to the kitchen to slaughter it, and draw their own water from the well. Most jobs that men performed required much more strength than what we have today. In fact, the average worker today probably couldn’t make it through a day of work back in pioneering days.
We face a chronic nationwide obesity crisis, something that could not have existed back then. Oh, there were very fat people, but they were rare. Their lifestyle just didn’t offer much opportunity to store energy as fat. You were much more likely to find fat people in the settled areas of the east and west coasts, where there were more people who worked in sedate offices and stores.
4. They had more knowledge of natural medicine
Humans are very adaptable creatures. When we don’t have one thing we need, we tend to try and find something to use as a substitute. Our ancestors did this with medicine. Since they didn’t have all our modern medicines, they used what they had … what nature gave them.
Actually, many of our modern medicines are substitutes for what nature supplies. All medicines start in nature. Pharmacies, though, didn’t exist in the Old West. The only medicines around were in the doctor’s office (if there was a doctor) or the general store. So, people did what their ancestors had done and used what nature provided. In many cases, those medicines were just as good or even better than the ones we have today.
It wasn’t just doctors who had knowledge of herbal medicine; most people had at least some. It was not uncommon for a woman to grow medicinal herbs in her garden or for a cowboy to pick up plants along the way, when they had a toothache or upset stomach. Herbal medicine was as much a part of life as anything else.
What would you add to this list? Share your insights in the section below:
Ask Cat- Herbal Q&A
Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live”
Here’s how this works. You bring your questions and concerns. I will bring my 20+ years of working with herbs. I will do my best to answer your questions. If I don’t know the answer, odds are, I know where to find it. It might even become the topic for a future show.
Have you been worried about being cut off from medications post-disaster? Not sure what to stock up on for your family? Then send me your questions, or join me live during the broadcast!
How to submit a question
To get your questions answered, there are three things you can do:
1. Send me an email with “Ask Cat” in the subject line. Please send your email to firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Be live in the chat room during the live broadcast on 4/10/16. Write your question in the chat room.
3. Call into the show during the live broadcast. The number to do so is 347-202-0228.
Please be aware that I can’t do a full herbal consultation in just a couple of minutes. Also, I’m not a doctor, and I can’t diagnose or prescribe anything. What I can do is answer your questions about herbal remedies for common ailments, as well as point you in the right direction to look for more information.
This type of Q&A always leads to interesting discussions about plants, about health, and our ability to look after our own health care when there may not be any doctors on hand. If you’ve been wondering what to grow, where to get seeds, or how to respond with herbal first aid, you won’t want to miss this show. This episode is all about you. What do you want to know?
Visit Herbal Prepper Website: HERE!
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My great-grandmother was an Ojibway Indian. They’re a tribe from Canada, and their Native American cousins were the Cherokee. She and my great grandfather were highly self-sufficient, as she often used herbs and plants from nature for a variety of reasons.
There was a time in our history when a pharmacy was defined by nature. Over generations, Native Americans discovered cures and treatments for various ailments by accident and tradition. Most herbs were used as an infusion in a tea, but some were pulverized and applied directly to the skin. Here are seven “forgotten ones” that may be growing in your backyard or a meadow near you:
Sage grows wild across many parts of the Great Plains and the southwest. It’s commonly used in cooking and is actually the dominant flavor note in dishes like bread stuffing and poultry. It also has medicinal qualities.
Native Americans made an infusion of tea from sage leaves to treat indigestion and sore throats, coughs and fever. An extract made by crushing the leaves also can heal the skin as a treatment for burns and chafing. It has powerful antibacterial and astringent properties, as well.
Yarrow was commonly used by Native Americans to stop bleeding. The feathery nature of the plant, plus its chemical properties, encourage clotting. It also has anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory benefits and was sometimes taken as a tea to relieve indigestion.
3. Black cohosh
You don’t hear a lot about black cohosh, but its roots were often used as a cough remedy by Native Americans. It also was referred to as the woman’s friend for its estrogenic properties and its ability to relive arthritis and menstrual cramps. It was typically brewed as a dark tea.
As the name implies, this herb relieves fever. It also was used as a pain reliever for headaches, including migraines. It has a mild tranquilizing effect. The leaves or flowers were typically chewed rather than infused because it makes for a particularly bitter tea. It has anti-inflammatory benefits and was sometimes taken to relieve arthritis.
Contrary to popular belief, goldenrod does not induce allergies anywhere close to the degree of its reputation. It’s an indigenous plant that grows across North America, and its flowers and leaves were often infused in a tea to treat urinary tract infections and as a general anti-inflammatory treatment. It also was used as a tea to treat upper respiratory inflammation and congestion.
The common plantain plant grows everywhere from urban front yards to natural meadows. Its flat leaves and central, green seed-stalk make it easy to find. It makes a good natural salad, although the mature leaves are a bit bitter.
It’s a good source of vitamin K, which is a natural blood thinner and it may be why Native Americans used it as a topical and oral treatment for snake bites. Personally, I’d get to the hospital as fast as possible after a snake bite, but when there were no hospitals this seemed to be a treatment of choice. In fact, Native Americans referred to it as “snakeweed.”
7. Rose hips
There is no other wild plant that possesses more vitamin C than rose hips. They’re the end result of flowering wild roses and usually are small red buds about one-fourth an inch in diameter. Native Americans figured out the healing properties of rose hips as a boost to the immune system. We have no idea how they figured this out, but over generations some things become apparent.
They can be chewed raw or dried, ground in a tea, or incorporated into other food. I’ve chewed them raw, and in my opinion they taste terrible. I’d strongly recommend chopping them and adding them to something else.
Final Thoughts: Be Careful Out There
I’ve instructed many classes and field excursions on the subject of natural food and medicines. Always make sure you know what you’re eating or about to ingest. There are more plants that are poisonous than are good for you. Take the time to do some research and always start with small portions of anything.
What plants would you add to this list? Share your advice in the section below:
Doomsday Book of Medicine!
James Walton “I Am Liberty”
Imagine a world without doctors, a brutal world that could exist in our near future or in the distant. For a second however envision a person you love with a life threatening injury. Are you prepared to deal with that? Are you prepared to save someone you love? No medicine and no doctors what are your options? There are a lot of great books out there about survival medicine or apocalyptic first aid. I have read some. Have you ever read one that featured so much preventative medicine? I have a gem for you on this episode of I AM Liberty. We are lucky enough to have a phenomenal guest.
On this show we are talking to author Ralph La Guardia M.D on the show to discuss his new release The DoomsdayBook of Medicine. His book is addresses the scenario of dealing with illness and injury in the event that there are no doctors. What are you capable of? This book goes into great depth about how to become a one man healing machine. The book doesn’t only cover first aid but it expounds on great topics like vitamins and your nutrition. There is another great chapter on fermentation and fermented foods.
I was thrilled when I got my hands on this book and found it not to be that run of the mill Army training manual about how to put on a tourniquet. It’s chock full preventative medicine, which is crucial in today’s world. We are going to have a great guest that will be open to questioning. I am sure if you call in with a question he will have no problem sending a copy of this great book. Don’t miss this episode of I AM liberty where we have a solid guest like Ralph La Guardia and his book The Doomsday Book of Medicine.
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Dr. Bones + Nurse Amy: Authors & Medical Preparedness Experts
Bobby Akart “Prepping for Tomorrow”
On this week’s episode of the Prepping for Tomorrow program with Author Bobby Akart, Joe Alton, also known as Dr. Bones, and his wife Amy, also known as Nurse Amy will be my special guests.
Joe Alton is a medical doctor and his wife Amy is an advanced registered nurse practitioner and a certified nurse midwife. They are medical preparedness experts and the authors of the #1 Amazon Bestseller in Survival Skills, Disaster Relief, and Safety/First aid, The Survival Medicine Handbook, a guide for when medical help is NOT on the way. Their Ebola Survival Handbook made it to the NY Times bestseller list in the all-important Health category on Amazon.
Besides their books, the Altons produce a weekly podcast called the Survival Medicine Hour and a YouTube channel named drbonespodcast. The Altons are contributors to several homesteading and survival magazines like Survivor’s Edge, American Survival Guide, Backwoods Home, Survival Quarterly, and others.
Their website at www.doomandbloom.net has over 700 posts on medical preparedness and is one of the top ten survival sites on the internet. The Altons have designed an entire line of medical kits to deal with issues you might encounter after a catastrophe. In addition to all this, their newest creation is the Doom and Bloom SURVIVAL! Board game, a great way to get the whole family involved in the survival mindset.
The Altons are popular speakers throughout the country in their role as survival medicine experts. Their mission: To place a medically self-reliant caregiver in every family or mutual assistance group before a disaster occurs. We’ll discuss the differences between survival medicine and modern emergency medicine.
Visit Bobby Ahart website HERE!
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Listen to this broadcast or download “Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy” in player below!
Long before penicillin and other antibiotics, herbal remedies were a standard prescription for a variety of ailments. Here, I’m going to discuss some of the most well-known herbal medicines and highlight the ones you can grow in your own backyard or as potted plants in your home. I’ll also cover basic preparations, administrations and conditions.
The availability of herbs in your garden can vary depending on the seasons, but most can be grown as potted plants on a kitchen windowsill or anywhere in the house where you have regular sunshine. You also can dry herbs or preserve them, but make sure you refrigerate or process any herb that you store as a paste or solution for any period of time.
The herbs we have listed here are in no particular order related to effectiveness. (It’s not like there’s one “super herb” that works for everything.) Their effectiveness varies. Some offer immediate relief, while others need to be taken regularly over a period of time to present results.
You should always check with your doctor before using herbal remedies, especially if you are taking prescription medications. Some herbs diminish or contradict the effectiveness of some pharmaceuticals.
Here’s what you should have in your herbal medicine chest:
Garlic is a natural blood thinner and stimulates circulation. It has been shown to reduce blood pressure when used regularly, and has both antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. It can be eaten as an ingredient in a meal, chewed raw if you can stand it, or roasted and spread on bread like butter. It’s a perennial plant, and the bulbs can be easily divided and replanted to deliver a steady supply. It also grows easily as a houseplant and the flowers are actually quite sweet smelling.
Peppermint is used as a remedy for sore throat and congestion when taken as a tea (you can steep both fresh and dried leaves in hot water). It also can relieve canker sores as a tea or a gargle. When pulverized and spread on the skin, it can soothe muscle aches. It also relieves indigestion and cramping. It’s a perennial but be careful; it truly spreads like a weed. If you don’t have a large and distant patch of property for a peppermint patch, it’s best raised as a potted plant, even outdoors. If it flowers, trim the blooms or the leaves will become bitter.
Calendula is sometimes referred to as a pot marigold. Historically, it has been used as an antiseptic and anti-fungal treatment both internally and especially externally as a wound-healing and skin-soothing agent. When made into a paste, it was often used as a diaper cream and remedy for other skin irritations. It’s a self-seeding annual that grows well as a potted plant indoors. The yellow/orange petals are the primary source of healing agents.
4. Lemon Balm
A member of the mint family, lemon balm is known for its antispasmodic effects on the stomach, as a remedy for irritable bowel syndrome, and for its relaxing effects on the nervous system. It’s also a topical skin reliever and in one study done by the NYU Medical Center, it was found to relieve and diminish the effects of herpes simplex. It makes an excellent tea – served hot or cold – when steeped in hot water. It’s a perennial but does not spread like its mint cousins and can easily be grown as a potted plant.
A member of the pine family, rosemary has long been used as both a culinary and medicinal herb. Its primary benefit, according to the Georgetown University Medical Center, is its stimulant properties related to circulation and oxygenation to the brain. Some people see this as an alternative to the stimulant properties of coffee. It’s a perennial in southern climates but must be potted and taken indoors in northern latitudes in North America. Keep it well-watered and replant outdoors in late spring.
Mullein is an ancient herb used by the Romans for coughs and colds. It is usually taken as an infusion or tea from the steeped flowers. Some pharmaceutical companies also add a mullein extract to their cough formulas. It is a perennial plant and often grows wild. It’s easy to spot in a meadow or field because its stalk stands six feet tall above the grass and weeds. The tall stalk and flowers are the parts of the plant you harvest.
There are a lot of opinions about natural sedatives and natural anti-depressants like St. John’s Wort. One that is often underappreciated is chamomile. The National Institute of Health reports that chamomile is one of the best herbs for treating colic, nervous stress, infections and stomach disorders in children. It’s an annual plant but reseeds prolifically. The small flowers are the prime ingredient often infused in a tea.
There are many other herbal remedies, from gingko to ginseng. All can be grown in your yard and garden. The key is to know you have options.
What would you add to this list? Share your advice in the section below:
Plants vs. Pests
Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live”
Learn how to use plants to repel venomous and disease-bearing pests, such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas and spiders. These creepy-crawly, biting bugs, can mean anything from a minor itch to death. And while there are a number of natural remedies for many kinds of bug bites, it would be even better not to get bit in the first place.
In order to avoid getting bitten by one of these pests, most people reach for the common, toxic bug repellents, such as DEET. DEET is known for its effectiveness. The only problem is that DEET can lead to health problems. This might be a mild skin irritation. But for children, DEET can spell more serious, neurological risks. DEET must be diluted for use with adults, and even more so with children. Plus, it is not to be used at all by infants under 2 months old.
Where does this leave us when we are faced with the risks of mosquito-borne illnesses like the Zika virus? What about West Nile Virus, Eastern or Western Equine Encephalitis, or dengue? And what about the diseases carried by ticks and fleas. That covers everything from Lyme to plague. And let’s not forget about spiders, many of which seek shelter in firewood piles, and are attracted to the heat of a warm cabin during cold spring nights.
Do we just douse ourselves and our homes with questionable chemicals? Sometimes, DEET and such products are absolutely appropriate. They are certainly effective. But, what if we are in a TEOTWAWKI situation and supplies run out?
Join me to learn all about plants and essential oils shown to repel common pests that can make you sick. Some can be just as effective or even more effective than DEET as repelling pests. Plus, non-chemical ideas for pest control for infants who shouldn’t be exposed to any of these options.
Herbal Prepper Website: http://www.herbalprepper.com/
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Herbal Alternatives to Over-the-Counter Drugs
As you more than likely know, some over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs consist of synthetic chemicals that damage the body and only mask the symptoms of the underlying problem or disease. But there’s a great alternative that is simple to do and much less expensive. Making herbal remedies like tinctures and salves is one of the easiest crafts to learn, in my opinion.
The most difficult part is acquiring the knowledge about which herbs are used to remedy different conditions, and then learning to identify each of those herbs. There is a plant available in nature to heal every ailment that man has.
Learning about Herbal Remedies
I personally have been learning this art for years for my own family. So I decided to replace my family’s over-the-counter medications with herbal remedies. I was able to find a good substitute for each medicine, and I got them all ready in only about a year.
Tincturing herbs is not hard but it does take some time. Soaking takes about six weeks for leaf and at least eight weeks for seeds, roots, and barks. Soaking time may vary from person to person, and from plant to plant. These are just the general guidelines that I use. Topical salves for wounds are also very easy to make.
Herbs for the Immune System and Stomach
I have become an avid maker of elderberry products for my family – kids love it! Elderberry is a great immune stimulant. If someone in your family has a cold, elderberry syrup can be used every few hours to shorten the duration of the cold.
Ginger syrup is also easy to make, and it’s great to have on hand for tummy troubles. I like to use it in cooking as well, in stir fries and Indian dishes when I want that sweet ginger flavor enhanced and intensified.
Herbs for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen (Tylenol™, Anacin™, etc.) is overused in this country, and it can be very harmful to the body – especially the liver. I make an anti-inflammatory tincture using turmeric and wild yam that is an excellent alternative to acetaminophen. With this combination, you can even just encapsulate the dried herbs, and swallow the capsule to relieve your pain.
For bruises, aches, and pains, arnica is a great anti-inflammatory and pain reliever. You just apply it topically as an ointment, cream, or salve. Arnica is especially good for muscle pain.
Making An Herbal Tincture at Home
When tincturing herbs, I recommend using potato vodka – unless someone in the family has issues with alcohol, or you are going to give the tinctures to children on a regular basis. In those cases, I would recommend using glycerin. Generally, I feel that alcohol-based tinctures are more effective than glycerin-based tinctures.
To make a tincture, fill any size mason jar half way full with your desired herb or a combination of herbs. Fill the jar the rest of the way with vodka or glycerin. Allow the jar to sit for the appropriate length of time (can vary depending on the herbs and solvent used, and by application). As I mentioned, my rule of thumb is 6 weeks for leaf, 8 weeks or longer for roots or barks. I use a cool, dark cabinet; and I give them a turn over to mix the herbs at least once a week – more if I remember.
Remember to label each bottle with the contents and the date you started it, otherwise it is easy to forget – especially when you have multiple batches tincturing at once.
After soaking time has elapsed I strain the herb from the liquid, placing the herbs in my compost and placing the tincture in amber bottles with droppers. Again, remember to label each bottle with the contents and date.
Here are some examples of herbs that my family uses in this way on a regular basis, meaning daily:
• Astragulus/Ashwaghanda: This is a great adaptogenic herb combination, helping the body cope with everyday stresses.
• Nettle: Great for inflammation, building red blood cells, and allergies.
• Hawthorne: Great for the heart, by regulating blood pressure; both high and low.
• Hops: Sleep
• Kava Kava: Anxiety
• Valerian Root: Anxiety
• Horsetail: Strengthens hair and teeth
• Black Walnut, Wormwood and Cloves: This is used for parasites.
Making an Herbal Salve at Home
Salves are also necessary remedies that are easy to make. Goldenseal is an excellent alternative to Neosporin™ and I find it is a superior product as well. Calendula is great for dry skin, wounds and rashes. Arnica, mentioned above, is great for pain. St. John’s wort is good for minor injuries and burns. And Sassafras for poison ivy. The possibilities are endless.
Making salves is very simple. Start by constructing a double boiler on the stove top. Place coconut oil, sesame oil – or some oil that benefits the skin and is a good carrier oil for the desired herbs – into the double boiler, and add the herbs. Simmer slowly for 30-60 minutes; the longer the better, but do not burn or scorch the oil or the herbs. When this is complete, strain the herbs through a cheese cloth, retaining the oil infusion and discarding the herbs for compost.
Using the double boiler once again, shave beeswax into the bowl and place over low heat. Add your herbal oil infusion to the beeswax and stir to combine completely as the beeswax is melting. Once combined, you are ready to pour your salve into storage containers. I prefer glass jars to metal tins; it is just too messy for me to attempt to get salve in such a shallow dish.
There are many YouTube videos explaining how to make salves in a myriad of ways. This is just the easiest for me and it works well too. Creating new types of salves is fun and allows you to get your creative juices flowing. This type of procedure works well for lip balms too.
Herbs and Over-the-Counter Medicines
Herbs are a gift that should be cherished, respected, and utilized by all of us. Every herb has a use, and learning what those uses are has been a beautiful experience for me. It is empowering to be able to heal oneself.
I have found alternatives to every over-the-counter medicine my family used, and I believe that the natural herbal remedies are far safer for me and my family. Herbs are a gift from Nature, and we can feel as if we are being gifted everyday of our lives if we choose to see this fact. I choose to, and I hope that you do too. Stay Healthy Friends!
Thanks to Bonnie Spiker for participating in the [Grow] Network Writing Contest.
We’re still getting the list of prizes lined up for the Spring 2016 Writing Contest. We awarded over $2,097 in prizes for the Fall Writing Contest, including all of the following:
– A 21.5 quart pressure canner from All American, a $382 value
– A Survival Still emergency water purification still, a $288 value
– 1 free 1 year membership in the [Grow] Network Core Community, a $239 value
– A Worm Factory 360 vermicomposting system from Nature’s Footprint, a $128 value
– 2 large heirloom seed collections from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, valued at $103 each
– A Metro-Grower Elite sub-irrigation growing container from Nature’s Footprint, a $69 value
– 2 copies of the complete Home Grown Food Summit, valued at $67 each
– 3 free 3 month memberships in the [Grow] Network Core Community, valued at $59 each
– 4 copies of the Grow Your Own Groceries DVD video set, valued at $43 each
– A Bug Out Seed Kit from the Sustainable Seed Company, a $46 value
– 4 copies of the Alternatives To Dentists DVD video, valued at $33 each
– 4 copies of the Greenhouse of the Future DVD and eBook, valued at $31 each
Steps to Health Freedom!
Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live”
Health Freedom almost made it into the US Consititution. Over two centuries ago, we were warned, “Unless we put medical freedom into the Constitution, the time will come when medicine will organize into an undercover dictatorship to restrict the art of healing to one class of Men and deny equal privileges to others; the Constitution of the Republic should make a Special privilege for medical freedoms as well as religious freedom.” This warning came from Founding Father Dr. Benjamin Rush, MD
It seems that Dr. Rush’s prediction has come true. We currently live in the Age of Regulation, and the regulation is not to protect the consumer. Between the FDA, the USDA, and the EPA, government has partnered with both Industry and professional associations to protect certain interests. These interests are they kinds that can pad the pockets of the agencies. Consumers and small businesses, especially cottage industries, are not invited to the party. And this doesn’t even touch on how these same agencies control the quality of our food, water, and air- all factors in our health.
We are left hoping to get a doctor we like, and maybe even hoping to see our doctor for more than 3 minutes when we’re sick. Then again, unless we are independently wealthy, and can afford Massage Therapy, Acupuncture, Midwifery, a custom herbal protocol, and other alternative or complementary care, we only have one choice for health care. Many of these beneficial therapies are not covered by insurance, and yet, their practitioners still deserve to be compensated for their expertise.
But, what if these practitioners were no longer available because regulations ran them into the ground? What can you do to learn some of these skills without breaking the budget? What steps do you need to take to break out of this Sick Care System? This episode will give you the steps to Health Freedom.
Herbal Prepper Website: http://www.herbalprepper.com/
Join us for Herbal Prepper Live “LIVE SHOW” every Sunday 7:00/Et 6:00Ct 4:00/Pt Go To Listen and Chat
Listen to this broadcast or download “Steps to Health Freedom” in player below!
Imodium’s Survival Applications: Why Carry It Everywhere Ever heard of Imodium? It’s an anti-diarrhea medication that we happen to think you should carry absolutely everywhere. In fact, it’s something that we do carry every single day – no matter where we are or where we go. Over the counter medications like this one, that are …
The post Imodium’s Survival Applications: Why Carry It Everywhere appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.
Riots, EMP threats, NASA’s megadrought, clashes between religious fanatics, the U.S. debt increasing and the coming elections – all of these situations point to the same thing: the world may go down south at any time. I’m not saying they will – I hope they won’t – but are we really crazy for prepping for them?
Our minds are running in overdrive about prepping while the Government’s telling us everything is fine and we don’t need to worry. Sometimes they call us crazy… even though preppers are some of the nicest and friendliest people you’ll ever meet.
I wrote this piece to give you tips on how to prepare without appearing crazy or freaked out about what’s to come. You’ll find my prepping suggestions reasonable. Acting on them will make you feel safer and I can almost guarantee you’ll sleep sounder knowing you’re ready for what might come.
Seven Reasonable Prepping Tips
#1. Get Into Shape
Bad situations bring out the worst in people. When push comes to shove, people will start thinking they have more of a right to something than you and you may need to fight one or more thugs one on one. You may need to jump, crawl, climb and run to save your life. You may need to pull or carry an injured loved one to safety. All of these require strength, flexibility, speed and stamina.
Fortunately, it’s easy to improve all of them. The easiest thing you can do is just walk more! I, for one, love walking and I always find excuses to leave my car in the garage and run errands on foot. Jogging, hiking and going to the gym will all improve your fitness levels and work your muscles. I suggest you focus on tactical fitness exercises such as sit-ups, push-ups, pull-ups, jumping jacks and so on. Remember, prepping is just as much about gaining skills as it is gathering gear.
#2. Get Out Of Debt
I don’t know if an economic collapse will come before the next major natural disaster or if it’s going to be the other way around. What I do know is that, in case of either one, you don’t want to be owing money to banks or to anyone else.
We’ve always said that you should start of prepping by paying off your debts right now even if that means more effort or not eating out every day. You know what they say, the more you sweat, the less you bleed…
#3. Move Out Of The City
What usually happens during riots is that the downtown area of a city turns into a battlefield. That’s the last place you want to live because you can’t get in, you can’t get out meaning you might get stuck inside for days, even weeks. Even worse, you might get yourself injured trying to get home.
Try to find cheaper housing in the suburbs. You’ll have to be careful about the location, though, to avoid high-crime neighborhoods. You want to be safe before and after a riot, not just during, when those low-income rioters who also live in the suburbs decide to take justice into their own hands. You’ll also want a quick way out of the city if need be.
Fortunately, you needn’t go further than this website to learn about life in the suburbs.
#4. Start Stockpiling
No, you don’t have to fill an entire room with toilet paper. You should, however, have a pantry full of foods with a long shelf life such as canned veggies, jams, peanut butter and honey. All you need to do is buy a little more food than usual with each time you go to the supermarket. Make sure you’re paying attention to nutritional content of your stored food as well. A healthy you is a stronger you.
Buy the things you like to eat so you can easily incorporate them in your diet. Food rotation is important because you don’t want to end up with a spoiled pantry. Of course, you can get other things in bulk such as the aforementioned toilet paper, floss, soap and other hygiene products. You should never run out of any of them – catastrophe or not.
#5. Find New Hobbies and Passions
Hiking, camping, fishing, woodworking, gardening, crafts – these can all make you better prepared without anyone suspecting the real reason why you’re doing them. If you thought about finding a new hobby, maybe now’s the time.
Who says you have to start a hobby on your own? You can do many of these things with your kids (and bond with them) or with your spouse (and possibly bring back the romance into your marriage). Hobbies are great bonding opportunities. Who knows, maybe one of them will turn into a passion.
#6. Prepping Your Car
Engine oil, transmission fluid, a toolbox, a spare tire, a shovel, these are things every driver should have in an emergency. To go the extra mile, why not add water and even a few snacks in your trunk? Not just for SHTF events but also in case you get stuck in traffic for longer periods of time. Add an AM/FM radio and a few blankets, too. If you’re stuck in heavy snow for hours, you don’t want to use fuel and your car’s battery to stay warm and hear the latest news.
Last but not least, make sure you have a good first aid kit. Not the basic one that came with the car, of course. You can make your own from scratch to make sure you have everything you need. Keep an eye open for sales on first aid equipment and you should be able to do this step on the cheap. For example, I bought some Ibuprofen last night and they had a “buy one get one free” promotion. Now, I can keep the extra pack with the other in my bug out bag or I can add it to my car’s survival kit.
#7. Start a Medicine Cabinet
Keeping in mind that I’m not a doctor and that you should only use my advice for information purposes only, I want you to build on the previous idea of assembling a custom first aid kit. You can take it even further by buying things such as:
- Bandages (triangular, 2×2, 4×4, H bandages etc.)
- Nitrile Gloves
- Burn and Trauma Dressings
- Sam Splint
- Instant Cold Packs
- Dental Kits (dental care is going to be tough in a post-collapse world)
- …and more.
Note: You shouldn’t store your medicine in your bathroom. Keep them in a dark, cool place because the heat and moisture from your shower will decrease their shelf life.
Truth be told, I could write another five articles with all the basic prepping actions you could take and not look crazy. This one should give you a great head start in tackling all sorts of scenarios, including a natural disaster, riots or an economic collapse.
Oral hygiene is of upmost importance, and we’re familiarized with the toothbrush and toothpaste from an early age. Keeping your teeth clean on a daily basis is vital for preserving oral hygiene. But despite the rigors and norms of the modern consumerist society we live in, there are many other ways of keeping your teeth clan and healthy. And they work best in a TEOTWAWKI scenario, when the products we’re used to won’t just be available anymore. You’ll need to improvise, but luckily there are many substitutes for the traditional methods and products. And despite what many people believe, teeth aren’t made of glass. Cleaning them with something else other than toothpaste won’t damage them in any way. There are plenty of raw foods that known to have a cleaning effect on the teeth (apples, pears, carrots); provided they are hard enough (soft and ripe won’t do), they’ll do wonders for your teeth and gums, preventing even gingivitis and canker sores. Here are some of the best replacements for modern teeth cleaning methods.
Baking soda is probably the most famous alternative when it comes to cleaning the teeth. The baking soda’s natural properties lets it neutralize acids that are harmful for the enamel, kills off bacteria that is responsible for plaque build-up and as far as aesthetics go, it’s an excellent stain remover. It’s used dates as far back as antiquity, as even Hippocrates himself had a mouthwash recipe based on baking soda, vinegar and alum. Alongside baking soda, there are many oils you can throw into the mix for added beneficial effects: cinnamon oil (has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties), peppermint oil (has antibacterial effect, it freshens the breath and it clears up the sinuses), clove oil (fights off bacteria and has painkilling properties) etc. These oils work in more ways than one. If you have swollen gums, you can dip a piece of clean cloth of gauze in any of these and a place over the affected area; for best results, let the gum-pack sit overnight.
Salt is the ingredient that no serious prepper should go without. And believe it or not, it even serves a purpose in the field of oral hygiene. Salt brushing can be used even today, in moderation of course; salt can whiten and brighten one’s teeth. It has mild cleaning properties and it can be used daily; you can also make a salt based mouthwash that you can use for disinfection purposes, against bad breath, tartar, plaque and even boost the healing process. Salt can be used raw or mixed with baking soda (30% salt, 70% baking soda); you can even add sage to the mix, if you happen to have some at your disposal. Mouth wash is even easier to make; just add salt to potable water and there you have it.
OXYGENTATED WATER (HYDROGEN PEROXIDE 3%)
The product has been proven to be very effective against gingivitis, canker sores and harmful bacteria. It should be diluted with water before usage, because it’s a bit to abrasive on the teeth. Just mix equal parts of water and hydrogen peroxide 3% and you get a very affective mouth wash. However, you should never swallow the mixture. Before brushing your teeth, swish it around in your mouth and spit it out, but don’t keep it in for longer than 20 seconds. After you’re done, you can wash the toothbrush with the oxygenated water-based concoction, to destroy residual bacteria.
PRIMITIVE TOOTHBRUSHES (aka. CHEW STICKS)
Chewing on sticks and branches is a primitive teeth-cleaning method, that’s still used today among tribal societies. It might seem a bit rough, but it works. The method consists in chewing down on little twigs and branches and splitting them into several small brands. When you’re done chewing and the twig gets spread enough, you can used it to clean your teeth similar to a toothbrush. Some plants are more efficient than others, thanks to their healing properties. Some of the best and most spread DIY toothbrushes can be made out of oak, juniper, eucalyptus and the neem tree. Their rich in tannins that are extremely helpful in cleansing and curing gum-related afflictions and oils that stimulate blood flow.
There you have it, some of the best methods to help you keep your oral hygiene even in the toughest conditions imaginable. When your toothpaste and mouthwash reserves run low, you’ll need to consider replacing them and fast. No matter how bad things get, overlooking oral hygiene is not an option.
By Alec Deacon
When finally SHTF and the whole world falls apart, surviving each day at a time will be the key issue, as I have stated so many times before. Apart from staying safe and getting the right resources as far and food and water goes, keeping healthy will be just as important. I’ve advised you time and time again on being vigilant and avoid accidents at all costs, as have I advised you on keeping the right supplies in your personal survival medical kit. But as far as medical supplies go, they’ll run out eventually. And vigilance just won’t be enough to stop accidents from happening entirely. When it comes down to it, you’ll need to improvise, and fast. No matter what type of accidents we’re talking about, be it a minor one (a bruise, a cut, bug bites etc.) or a more serious injury (burns, fractures etc.), a real important part of the treatment is avoiding infection. For such occasions you’ll need to have antiseptics in hand. They are substances (that come in liquid, powder or ointment form) and get applied locally to help prevent infection, sepsis (harmful bacteria and toxins) and even putrefaction. Medical kits usually have Betadine (aka. Povidone-iodine), which is one of the best medical products when it comes to fighting off infection. But if you don’t happen to have any, there is still plenty of substitutes you can you use. Let’s have a look at what they are.
You might have run out of Betadine, but if you still have some mouthwash lying around, you should be set. If you have a mouthwash that is set on fighting plaque and gingivitis, it should be able to do the same with any sort of pathogens that tend to build up on an open wound. Most of the products in this category have substances like zinc chloride, cetylpyridinium chloride, chlorhexidine (available by prescription) etc., that are nothing else but antiseptic agents. If it’s set to fight off germs in your mouth, it should do the same for cuts, bruises and flesh wounds.
2. Lemon juice
For those of you that have a high tolerance to pain, you can use lemon juice, or even better, lime juice to disinfect and clean open wounds. But be advised that the stinging sensation will be intense. Not only will lemon juice kill off potentially harmful bacterial agents, but it will also stops the bleeding. The juice is effective against pathogens thanks to its acidic properties that act like an alcohol-based disinfectant: it kills of germs, it cleans the wound and it dries up the area all in one swoop. If you can stand the pain, it’ll be worth it. But be advised, excessive use can damage healthy cells as well.
Garlic is known to be one of the most potent natural antiseptics across many cultures throughout the world. But in order for it to work, the wound needs to have stopped bleeding. Once the bleeding stops, clean the afflicted area with water and gently dry it off with a clean piece of cloth. The garlic can be crushed and applied directly or you can make a concoction by adding red wine. Let it sit for 3 – 4 hours and apply to the wound. However, garlic can be damaging to the skin, so don’t leave it more than 25 minutes at a time.
I bet not many of you knew that potatoes have a natural ability of healing open wounds. Well, they do. And it’s all based on their ability to attract and draw out all sorts of infections. The first thing you’ll need to do is to shred a potato or two and spread them over a thin, clean cloth. Add this to the wound and let it sit for 5 hours at a time. When changing your potato bandage with a fresh one, you’ll need to clean the wound with some salt-water. Potatoes will keep the inflammation to a minimum and will keep pathogens at bay.
Chamomile is an ancient cure for so many ailments, that its notoriety has lasted through the ages. The plant’s dried flowers contain high levels of flavonoids and terpenoids that make it one of the most curative plants to have been discovered. If chamomile-based ointments or medicine isn’t available, you can easy get some tea bags or simply find fresh flowers, dry them and make them into tea. Once the tea is done, get a clean cloth and soak it in. Drain the excess liquid and apply directly on the wound; if you have chamomile tea bags, even better, as they’ll contain plant parts which will speed up the healing process even more.
6. Cayenne pepper
The Cayenne pepper works amazingly as open-wound treatment. Not only does it have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, but it also stops the bleeding in a heartbeat, as it makes the blood clot way fast than normal. The bleeding of a superficial wound should cease in about 15 seconds after the pepper was added; if the wound is more severe, drink the concoction made up of 8oz water + 1oz cayenne pepper daily. This will help you cause.
7. Pine sap + needles
The pine sap is considered as one of the most easily procured natural antiseptics there are. If you happen to have some pinesin you vicinity, getting some sap will be child’s play. Look on the body of the tree for lumpy formations. They or sap pockets witch you can easily pop or stick with your knife. Once the sap is out, simply take it and spread it over the wound. If you wish to strengthen the effect of the sap, you can grab some pine needles to snack on. They are edible and also have mild antiseptic properties.
8. Cactus bandages
This is the best option for all you desert-dwellers out there. The prickly pear cactus (Oputia sp.) has flat round pads, which have excellent antiseptic and astringent properties. Grab a pad and either split it in half or peel it. Place it directly over the wound, but assure yourself you have removed those pesky needles first. You can let it sit, even secure it with a gauze. The cactus will speed up the healing process.
Whether you’ll need to resort to such improvisations or not, is hard to tell. But if it ever comes down to it, at least you won’t have to endure a slow and painful death caused by infection. Nature is lending us a hand every here and there, just keep your eyes open.
By Alec Deacon
The post The Best Natural Antiseptics You Can Use In A Survival Scenario appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.
The danger of getting burned is ever-present in our day to day lives. Whether we’re talking about a minor burn caused by carelessness or a severe degree burn caused by an unfortunate event, it’s important to know how to react in such a situation. Most of us have already dealt with burning injuries at least once in their lifetime, so the sensation and the gravity of the matter is known to most people. We’re not lacking in the health department in this day and age; there’s plenty of doctors and clinics out there that are able and equipped to deal with burn victims. Even if they’re not immediately available, medicine is widely available and many people already have their stock set aside for darker days. But what happens in TEOTWAWKI situation, when medical care and supplies won’t simply be available anymore? In this case, it’s important to know how to treat a burn victim and to improvise as best as we can in order to save one’s life.
The first thing we’ll need to asses in a burning accident is how much of the overall body surface has been affected by the burn. People that have less than 20% of their body’s surface affected by 2nd and 3rd burns are not facing direct life threats (although the danger of infection and complications is still present); 1st degree burns do not pose a life threat, as the skin is not significantly affected. But those who have suffered. This is easily calculated by using the rule of nines, according to whom the surfaces on the human adult body are as follows: head = 9%, chest (front) = 9%, abdomen (front) = 9%, upper/mid/lower back & buttocks = 18%, arms (each) = 9%, palm (each) = 1%, groin = 1%, legs (each) = 18% (front = 9% + back = 9%). For children, the numbers are as follows: head = 18%, chest (front) = 9%, abdomen (front and back) = 9%, upper/mid/lower back & buttocks = 18%, arms (each) = 9%, palm (each) = 1%, groin = 1%, legs (each) = 14% (front = 7% + back = 7%).
After the affected surface area has been determined, it’s imperative to understand what degree of burn you’re dealing with. As an international convention, burns are split into three distinctive categories:
1st degree burns or mild burns are what happens in the best case scenario. The injury is superficial and the skin is not completely affected. A good example of a 1st degree burn is a nasty case of sunburn. It requires a lesser form of treatment and it’s not life-threatening
2nd degree burns are much more serious and pose a greater threat to general health. They are far more painful as the affliction penetrates far deeper into the skin. If this is the case, it’s recommended you seek medical help, if available.
3rd degree burns are the most severe types imaginable. Because the injury goes so deep into the skin, the pain receptors can be completely destroyed, so they victim might not feel pain at all. If the affected area gets swollen, turns leathery or black, you’re dealing with a 3rd degree burn; as a mentioned before, pain is no longer an indicator. This is an emergency, and you should seek professional help if it’s available, if not, turn to your medical kit.
Before you start applying a treatment, you’ll need to determine the nature of the burn. Various types of burns require different treatments. These are some of the most common causes when it comes to burn injuries and how you should deal with them:
If the victim has been subjected to a flame source, the first step is to take the person away from the fire source and to extinguish his clothes if they’re on fire. Water is the best choice, as this will not only put out the fire, but it will also wash away any remaining pieces of charred clothing. Cold water will cool the burned areas and sooth the pain. Next, remove the clothes, gently tap with a dry and clean piece of cloth and apply any treatment available.
Treating electrical burn victims requires a different approach. In this case, the insides are just as damaged (if not more) than the outside. Electrical current takes a toll mostly on the heart, so before treating burns, check the patient’s vital signs first. You might need to perform CPR before anything else. Once the victim is stabilized, you can proceed to treating the burns.
Chemical burns are also a hazard to take into consideration. Treating skin that’s been exposed to corrosive substances requires a lot of patience. The burned area should be washed with water for about 30 minutes before proceeding to apply any type of ointment. If the area is not cleaned perfectly, the remaining substances will continue to destroy skin cells. After the area has been cleaned, you should double check that the ointment you’re about to apply won’t react with the chemical residue found in the burn.
If medical help is not available and if your personal survival medical kit is depleted, worry not. Luckily you can still improvise burn treatments out of everyday household items. Here are some of the things found around the house that can do wonders in case you’re dealing with burns:
- Honey is a fantastic first aid solution when it comes to treating burns. It can also work as a permanent solution, provided you’re in a survival scenario and you happen to have some honey lying around. You should cover the affected surface in honey completely. Next cover the area in a plastic warp. Honey will prevent bacteria from reaching the wound and keep the risk of infection to a minimum. Check the wound daily and apply as much honey as you can spare.
- Vinegar can also be used for cleaning the burned area, as it can be used as an antiseptic. Because it’s an acid, the vinegar will sting and add to the burning sensation, but in the process it will clean and sanitize the burned area, killing of any unwanted pathogens that might lead to severe infection. Diluted vinegar is the way to go.
- Baking soda works perfectly for treating a burned area. Just add water, turn it into a paste and apply it gently over the burned area. The baking soda will help reduce the swelling and the pain sensation. You can add it to any type of burns EXCEPT chemical burns. It may give an unwanted reaction with the chemical that caused the burn, so avoid using it in this case.
Aiding a burn victim in no easy task, and you should take it seriously. Educate yourself in the field before taking on such a task, as the wrong move might have unwanted consequences. There are many popular treatments that do not give great result, quite the opposite. Burns should be cleaned with cold water, but never ice water. You might have been told at some point to press something cold next to a burn, but you strongly advise you not to. The surface you might be pressing into the burned area might be carrying pathogens that will cause infection. Also egg whites and oil do not work either, so don’t bother. If your hands and fingers have been burned, remove rings and jewelry asap, because burned areas tend to get swollen. Nasty burns will most likely result in enormous blisters; do not pop them! They’re helping the healing process. Popping them may result in infection, pain and permanent trauma.
By Alec Deacon
Broken bones, fractures and joint injuries are a common thing that happen on a daily basis. We’re only one phone call away from receiving immediate medical assistance if in need. It’s not a life threatening situation in the 21st century, unless there are immediate complications. But what if we happen to brake a hand or a leg in a TEOTWAWKI scenario, where medical assistance will cease to be a commodity and when our very survival will depend on our mobility and full functionality? In case this happens, all is not lost, there are procedures to follow that will get as out of harm’s way. But if the treatment is to be successful, you’ll need to do everything by the book. The first thing to do is to make sure that the injured person’s life is not threatened in any way; once he’s out of harm’s way you can start treating the injury. Once his vital signs have been checked and you’ve concluded that he has been completely stabilized, you can start treating the fracture.
First and foremost, you’ll need to make sure that what you’re dealing with is a fracture and not something else. Most commonly fractures bear the following signs and symptoms: the inability to use or bear weight on the affected body part, severe pain, swelling, deformity, discoloration etc. In some cases, the ones that suffer the injury might even hear a loud cracking noise. In extreme cases, the fracture is so bad that the bone will pierce the flesh. Apart from bone fractures there are other injuries that are easier to treat and not as severe, but can be just as debilitating if left untreated, like muscle strained ligaments and joint dislocations. Fractures can be very tricky and should be approached with care. Many complications can arise (damaged blood vessels, torn muscles, damaged nerves), so minimal and gentle manipulation is imperative. If the affected area becomes swollen, pale, numb and the patient succumbs to shock, it’s probably that an important blood vessel has been damaged, causing internal bleeding. In this case, you should put on hold the fracture treatment and stop the hemorrhaging instead. The best method of dealing with broken bones is splinting. Many people would advise that the splint should be applied without traction, in the position found, but this would be completely impractical, as the bone should be placed in an anatomically correct position in order to prevent severe pain and loss of function (partial or even complete). So it’s ok to manipulate the fracture gently.
You’ll need two forked branches that are strong enough, so you’ll need them to be at least 2 inches in diameter. One should measure the exact distance from the armpit to 12 inches past his broken leg, while the other should measure the distance from the groin to 12 inches past the broken leg. Next you’ll need to pad the splints. The ends that go past the leg (that measure 12 inches past the leg) will get a 2 inch in diameter branch placed in between them. Now the two splints should be tied together accordingly with the splinting guidelines with anything you can get your hands on: cloth, vines, rope etc. With the same material (provided it’s strong enough), tie a wrap around the ankle; the free ends will get tied to the cross member. Finally, add a twisting stick at the free end of the ankle wrap; twisting the wrap will provide traction. Continue twisting until the broken leg is in line with the healthy leg.
Splinting a foot will require a piece of long and tough cardboard or plastic. This piece of material should be bent lengthwise so that you get three identical (more or less) segments. You can add cloth or padding on the inner side to add comfort. Place the splint under the foot and the leg, so that it reaches halfway to the knee, yet it goes enough under the foot to immobilize the ankle; once this is done, add some cloth between the ankle and splint. Fold the cardboard around the leg and secure it with some tape. Now do the same as you did with the ankle for all the empty spaces between the leg and the splint: add cloth. You can reduce swelling and discomfort with ice, but don’t keep it on for longer than 20 minutes.
Once the arm is adjusted in its natural position, you should apply the splints. You can use any material as long as it’s hard enough (strong cardboard, sticks, wood etc.) and long enough, so they extend passed the wrist and the elbow. Before the splints go on, wrap the arm in a clean and soft cloth, for comfort more than anything. Once the arm is wrapped, you can wrap the splints as well. The splints should be applied equally when it comes to length; for forearm fractures the splints should go beyond the wrist, while in the case of upper arm fractures, they should extend beyond the elbow. The cloth that holds the splints together should be at least 5 inches before and after the fracture. Don’t tie the bonds too firmly; if you can slip two fingers in, it’s perfect. In order to keep the arm secure and in place, tie a piece of cloth around the neck of the patient and slip the fractured hand in it. The hand should be centered on the sling and it should be at a flat and horizontal position. If the elbow is at a 90 degree angle, you’ve done an excellent job.
Securing a broken hand in place will be a bit trickier, as you’ll need a material that is strong and rigid enough to hold the hand in place, yet flexible enough to fold. It should extend from the wrist to the end of the fingers. The hand should be straight and relaxed, with its fingers slightly opened. Place some cloth in the palm of the hand and place the first splint under the wrist, so it extends to the end of the fingers. The splint should be folded up and around the wrist. Tie it together and add tape for extra security. Once you’re done, stuff the open spaces with cloth to increase comfort and firmness.
If you ever find yourself in the posture of treating broken bones or fractures, remember the first thing to do is to keep calm and act with caution. You’ll need to be very aware and have enough knowledge in the matter. You can educate yourself further in anatomy of the limbs and learn a few knots that will secure your splints in place. You can practice these techniques and even take up courses for first aid, so you won’t have to do it for the first time in a SHTF situation.
By Alec Deacon
Everybody who has been following my writings or has some clue about who I am and what I “preach”, will have an idea of how much I advocate safety before anything else. I’ve talked many times before about the importance of having the right stuff and a personalized medical kit for and emergency situations, be it for TEOTWAWKI or simply for everyday life situations. But even though you might plan things in advance, the outcome of a situation can change unexpectedly. You might find yourself in need of medical assistance and have no professional products at your disposal. This is where you’ll need to improvise and fast. Open wounds and cuts are some of the most common injuries that usually occur. Find out how to stop excessive bleeding because will be imperative to reduce health risks as much as possible. Luckily there are plenty of methods to reduce hemorrhaging that don’t require special bandages and other products that are usually found in a professional medical kit. Here are some of the best methods to get the job done.
Applying direct pressure on the wound
Stopping the heavy blood flow by applying a piece of cloth (or pretty much anything else that can stop the blood flow) directly on the gush will be your first instinct. And you wouldn’t be wrong. Any type of cloth or cloth-like material will do. In some cases, if the situation is desperate enough, you can even apply direct pressure with your hand. Using a sterile cloth would be preferable sure, but in a life-threatening scenario pathogens are the least of your worries. Infections are risk factor beyond the shadow of a doubt, but it will take some time (days, even weeks) to set in and become a real problem. But blood drains really fast, especially if the wound is deep enough. You can die in a matter of minutes, considering the average adult male has a volemy (total blood volume) of about 5l, while the average female has 4,5l. So if SHTF, stopping the blood loss is top on the priority list.
Using pressure points
If applying direct pressure on the open wound fails and the blood loss can’t be stopped, you’ll need to take the technique a step further and resort to applying pressure on the nearest artery. The key is to press the artery against the bone in order to reduce blood flow; the main idea is to compress the artery that correlates the heart with the open wound. If you do the technique right, the blood transported from the heart to the affected area will be stopped in its tracks, hence the bleeding will cease. There are many pressure points on the human body for stopping massive hemorrhaging but the main two are the brachial artery (the primary pressure points for the arms) and the femoral artery (the primary pressure point for the arms). The brachial artery is placed a few inches below the armpit area, on the inside of the upper arm, somewhere in between the biceps and triceps muscles. Feel for the pulse; once you’ve got it, apply pressure with 3 fingers. The femoral artery is located on the inside of the thigh, in the groin area; it’s pretty deep in, so you’ll need to use a bit of force to actually apply enough pressure to stop the bleeding. Once the bleeding has stopped, do not apply pressure on the artery for longer than 3 – 5 minutes.
Applying a tourniquet
This method is probably the most efficient method in stopping heavy blood flow, but it should be used as a last resort only, as it can cause irreparable damage. It reduces the blood loss entirely, but it also prevents the oxygenation of the affected area and of all the living tissue below the pressure point. This could cause permanent damage or even the loss of the limb in question, so apply the tourniquet only if there is no other option available. You can improvise a tourniquet out of pretty much everything, whether it’s a belt, a hose or a folded piece of cloth (never wires or thin ropes). The contraption should be placed between the heart and the open wound, more precisely a few inches above the gush. Just make a simple knot, push a stick through it and tighten firmly by twisting. Loosen the tourniquet every 20 minutes to check if the bleeding stops. Once the hemorrhaging stops, apply direct pressure on the wound and ice packs (if available).
Once again, Mother Nature comes to save the day. If you find yourself in a desperate situation, you’ll be glad to know there are plenty of plants you can grow (and find) that will do wonders for excessive and periodical bleeding. Once you’ve treated and open wound, you can always use prepare a mixture of concoction to fix the problem from “the inside” as well. Here are some of the most important and easy to use plant
Cayenne Pepper (Capsicum minimum) – this pepper is recommended for external use; dry them up and grind them in a thinpowder, that you can use on open wounds to stop the bleeding
Plantain (Plantago sp.) – it’s mostly used against superficial cuts; you can use the leaves to make salves, juices or even tea
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) – it’s an excellent astringent and aids blood clotting; you can make a tea from both leaves and flower heads (fresh or dry)
Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) – as far as internal use goes, the witch hazel can be brewed into a tea that does wonders for internal bleeding, especially for the stomach and bowels
You should be very vigilant when treating a deep open wound. It’s preferable to have a professional medical kit at your disposal, but if for some reason or another you won’t, at least you know the alternatives. Respect these techniques, and if there’s ever the need for it, you’ll save lives.
By Alec Deacon
The post How To Stop Excessive Bleeding In A Survival Situation appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.
Sore throats are a fairly common problem during the winter months. Sore throats are often brought on by sudden changes in weather, mucus drainage, or as a symptom of a common cold. The pain and inflammation that accompany a sore throat can be very irritating, and can even get in the way of your daily routine; especially if your job involves speaking to others or talking on the phone.
A sore throat can be a symptom of a serious illness. But getting a sore throat doesn’t necessarily mean you need to rush in to see a doctor right away.
Jeffrey Linder, M.D., is an internist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in Boston. He did an interview with Time Magazine’s Health.com about some common recommendations for soothing a sore throat. According to Dr. Linder, “Staying hydrated is very important, especially when you’re sick and your throat is irritated or inflamed. You should be drinking enough fluid so that your urine is light yellow or clear. This keeps your mucous membranes moist and better able to combat bacteria and irritants like allergens, and makes your body better able to fight back against other cold symptoms.”
Let Your Beverage be Your Medicine
There are several medicinal drinks that you can use to keep yourself hydrated, while medicating your sore throat at the same time. You can nip your cold in the bud and prevent high fevers by hydrating with these natural juices and teas that can save your day with their high concentrations of antioxidants and other beneficial compounds.
To emphasize hydration, you can dilute fruit and vegetable juices with cold water and ice. To emphasize the medicinal qualities of the juices and teas listed below, don’t dilute these juices and drink them as they are.
#1 – Ginger Juice
Ginger is full of minerals and antioxidants. The antibacterial properties of ginger can help to treat a number of infections in the throat. Consume a half cup of ginger juice at the first sign of an itchy throat. A combination of ginger and honey can work wonders and can help to cure a sore throat in no time at all.
#2 – Garlic Juice
Having natural antibacterial and antibiotic properties, garlic juice has proven to be an effective solution for people who catch cold easily. Take two teaspoons of garlic juice in a glass of warm water and it can heal your sore throat without the need of any medications.
#3 – Licorice Root Tea
Known for its naturally sweet and mild flavor, licorice root is another great herbal remedy for a sore throat. According to herbwisdom.com, licorice root “soothes soreness in the throat and fights viruses that cause respiratory illnesses and and overproduction of mucus.” Licorice root is also widely used in treating stomach ulcers, as compounds in the root are useful for lowering stomach acid levels – relieving heartburn and indigestion, and even acting as a mild laxative.
#4 – Pineapple Juice
Did you ever think that pineapple juice could help you when you are suffering from a sore throat? In addition to providing a good source of vitamin C and manganese, pineapple juice contains bromelain, a combination of protein-digesting enzymes that is only found in pineapples. Researchers at the University of Maryland Medical Center are looking into bromelain as a potential treatment for many conditions including viral and bacterial infections – although UMMC advises taking bromelain as a supplement to get a higher concentration of the enzymes.
#5 – Watermelon Juice
Watermelon is more than 90% water, so it’s great for keeping yourself hydrated. It’s also a good source of vitamins C and A. And watermelon is a traditional cure for sore throats in Chinese herbal medicine. A glass of cool, sweet watermelon juice can cool your sore throat and help to bring relief.
When to Seek Medical Care
The CDC published recommendations about when you should seek medical care for a sore throat. They encourage you to get assistance if you or your child exhibit any of the following symptoms:
• Sore throat that lasts longer than 1 week
• Difficulty swallowing or breathing
• Excessive drooling (young children)
• Temperature higher than 100.4 °F
• Pus on the back of the throat
• Joint pain
• Hoarseness lasting longer than 2 weeks
• Blood in saliva or phlegm
• Dehydration (symptoms include a dry, sticky mouth; sleepiness or tiredness; thirst; decreased urination or fewer wet diapers; few or no tears when crying; muscle weakness; headache; dizziness or lightheadedness)
• Recurring sore throats
• 10 Ways to Soothe a Sore Throat – http://time.com/3772261/soothe-sore-throat/
• Ginger & Honey for a Sore Throat – http://www.livestrong.com/article/265676-ginger-honey-for-a-sore-throat/
• Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza Glabra) – http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-licorice-root.html
• Fresh Pineapple Juice & Bromelain – http://www.livestrong.com/article/486718-fresh-pineapple-juice-bromelain/
• Lu, Henry C. Chinese Natural Cures. New York, Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc. Copyright 1986.
Chewing gum / bubble gum is a pop-culture element so rooted into modern society that it’s impossible for our generations (the gum-chewing, bubble-blowing generations) to envision it otherwise. As kids, we used to go for the sweet flavored types, the ones that came into a multitude of colors or flavors. As adults, if we lost our sweet tooth along the way, we changed directions when it comes to chewing gum. We mostly go for the minty ones, which are great for oral hygiene. No matter your age or social status, for some reason or another, at some point in space and time, you’ll find yourself the benefits of chewing gum.
You might think that the product in question is a characteristic of modern 20th and 21st century society, but that’s far from truth. The “ancestor” of chewing gum originated in antiquity, and it can’t be attributed to a single civilization. The Greeks were chewing on mastic tree sap, the Egyptians had a mixture of sap and spices (cinnamon, frankincense, myrrh etc.) and the Mayans and Aztecs chewed Sapodilla tree sap. The habit of chewing gum (or its various alternatives) stood the test of time because, apart from flavor and texture, chewing has its benefits.
Enhances memory capacity and overall concentration
It has been demonstrated that chewing gum can do wonders for both the memory and the ability to concentrate. There are caffeine-based chewing gums that are best suited for the job, but any sort of gum will do well too. An NBC report has shown that chewing is in direct correlation with memory enhancement and improved test scores, due to the increase of physiological activities like blood flow, blood pressure and heart rate. The increase of blood flow in the brain means higher oxygenation, which makes for better brain functions. Because chewing increases mental alertness, is also highly recommended for kids with learning problems or mental disabilities. Mental alertness is always beneficial, especially in a survival situation where you’ll need to be aware of everything that goes on around you, to make fast decisions and act quickly as your survival depends on every step you take.
Relieves stress and boosts morale
According to his scientific study, chewing gum is a very powerful nerve tonic, because it helps calm down the nerves and alleviates negative moods. It’s exactly for this reason why chewing gum is included and distributed amongst the soldiers that find themselves in a war zone. Chewing gum helps reduces the levels of cortisol , which is a hormone secreted by the adrenal gland as a response to high levels of stress or to low levels of glucose in the blood stream. Increased levels of cortisol can be beneficial on short-term periods, but on longer periods of time they can be detrimental to cognitive functions and can even lower the immune system recovery. Because chewing gum contains small amounts of sugar, it can also serve as a small reserve of energy. Having a pack of your favourit gum on you will not only supply you with that tiny bit of energy, but it can also increase your morale and distress your jaw muscles and lower anxiety. So leave some room in your survival kit for a couple of packs of gum.
Suppresses hunger, thirst and aids digestion
The military (and trained combatants in general) use chewing gum as a means of suppressing hunger when the opportunity of eating is not available. The same principle can easily be applied in a survival situation, especially if SHTF and you find yourself a bit short on food supplies. The Zoft Gum is a very potent appetite suppressant and you can get 5 packs for about $10. Believe it or not, not only is there a gum to fight of hunger, but there’s also one that can quench thirst. The Quench Gum was primarily made for athletes in order to keep them hydrated as much as possible during periods of physical effort. It’s packed with 5mg of potassium (K) and electrolytes. The Quench Gum is available on the market in costs about $9 – $10. Chewing gum can be very supportive when it comes do digestion. Chewing constantly will increase the levels of saliva, which in turn will boost the quantity of digestive acids in the stomach. This is achieved with the aid of xylitol, which is found in most chewing gums.
Chewing gum based life hacks
- Bait – you can use chewing gum as fish bait, just chew it a little and place it on the hook; it’s very efficient against catfish and it can also lure crabs if you place it on the crab line.
- Radiator patch – this is a good temporary solution for a leaky radiator; it should hold long enough for you to reach a mechanic
- “Magnet” – it can be very useful if you’re trying to retrieve small objects from an nearly unreachable place; just place some gum on the end of a stick or a piece of string and you’ll be able to recover that lost ring or keys in no time
- Window fixer – if you have a lose window pane, don’t worry too much about it; get a stick of ordinary chewing gum, chew on it a little and simply place it as putty
- Repeal bugs – extra minty gum will repeal mealworms and other bugs from getting into your flower; of course, provided you previously placed a small piece of gum in there first
You’ve probably been chewing gum for some years know, without knowing the benefits that ordinary chewing gum had to offer. Now you know, as the wonders of chewing gum are irrefutable. No matter who you are or where you’re at, always have a pack of gum on you; you can never tell how and when it will save the day.
By Alec Deacon
The post The Benefits Of Chewing Gum In A Survival Situation appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.
You Can Grow Your Own Medicinal Herbs
Some people believe that using medicinal herbs is a hip new way to stay out of the doctor’s office. It might be hip, but it ain’t new. Medicinal Herbs is the world’s oldest healing system, dating back at least 60,000 years. (That was the Paleolithic Era.)
People have been practicing herbal medicine throughout the centuries that followed, well before there were doctors and nurses. As recently as a couple decades ago, many of those medical professionals scoffed at medicinal herbs, but now they see real value in them. Medicinal Herbs can’t replace conventional medicine, especially in life-threatening situations. If I’m lying in a ditch with a broken leg, I don’t want somebody sprinkling arnica or comfrey over me. I want to be rushed to a hospital and have my leg set and casted.
Herbs have been proven to be affordable and highly effective at dealing with the prevention and treatment of day-to-day, non-emergency health issues including headaches, colds, coughs, aches, bruises and many more ailments.
Why use herbs for medicinal purposes? Here are seven reasons:
- They work. For as long as humans have existed, herbal remedies have proven effective. Many of today’s pharmaceutical drugs have their roots in plants, demonstrating that people who have been using them for their healing properties have been on the right path all along.
- They’re inexpensive. Herbal supplements are almost always less costly than pharmaceutical drugs. And you can save even more money when you grow and harvest your own herbs and create your own infusions, decoctions, salves and tinctures.
- They’re easy to grow. Anyone with an interest in – and space for – a garden can grow medicinal herbs. You don’t need a botany or horticulture degree to enjoy growing and harvesting plants that provide health benefits.
- They’re tasty. Some people drink medicinal herb teas made from plants purely for their great taste. The healing properties that these teas possess are an added benefit to them.
- They’re safe. Side effects caused by herbs are much less common than with pharmaceutical drugs.
- They promote self-reliance. Herbs give people the chance to practice effective preventive medicine, and then treat minor ailments and injuries, without visiting a physician.
- They help you help others. Once people learn about herbal remedies and experience first-hand how they’re being helped by them, they can pass that information along to family, friends, neighbors and co-workers.
So, which herbs should be used for which conditions, and what’s the best way to use those herbs?
Here are 10 of my favorites.
- Chamomile – This herb is said to be effective in controlling nervousness, insomnia, nausea, asthma, earache, fevers, headaches, hay fever and arthritis. It also works on indigestion, gas, heartburn, upper respiratory irritation, diarrhea and teething pain in babies. In addition, Chamomile can be used as a salve for burns and skin irritation.
- Echinacea – Studies suggest this herb sparks the immune system, reduces inflammation, relieves pain, and has hormonal, antioxidant and antiviral effects. It’s recommended to treat urinary tract infections, vaginal yeast infections, athlete’s foot, burns, boils, ulcers and hay fever. Echinacea has been called an essential immune-enhancing herb.
- Lemon Balm – Effective against depression, anxiety and stress, it also serves as a decongestant to aid with colds, sore throats and flu, and as a muscle relaxer to help with menstrual cramps. Lemon Balm is used by those who suffer from allergies and shingles. When the leaf is rubbed into the skin, it is a natural insect repellent.
- Hyssop – This herb is used for infections and upper respiratory ailments. It’s brewed into a tea to help fight colds, bronchitis, sinusitis, asthma, influenza, tonsillitis, laryngitis and coughs. Users report that it helps with wheezing and shortness of breath. Hyssop has a regulating effect on blood pressure.
- Cayenne Pepper – This herb is a circulatory stimulant to strengthen heart and blood vessels while lowering cholesterol. It is said to aid in weight loss; regulate blood sugar; reduce sore throats, colds, fevers and flues; dull pain; and serve as a laxative. As a topical cream, Cayenne Pepper can help with bursitis, arthritis, muscle and joint pain, and shingles.
- Borage – This herb is credited with treating ailments such as respiratory viruses, colds, flu, sore throat, dry cough, asthma, bronchitis, stress and menopausal symptoms. It is reported to help with arthritis, rheumatism, joint pain and bowel diseases. Borage is also good for skin problems and aids with depression while reducing cholesterol and blood pressure.
- Anise – It has been suggested to use Anise as a diuretic and/or a laxative. It has been used to treat menstrual cramps and to prevent the formation of gas in the gastrointestinal tract. It’s said to reduce pain and make one’s breath fresher. The oil from the Anise plant has been utilized as an insecticide against head lice and mites.
- Nettle – Containing antihistamines and anti-inflammatory properties, Nettle tea opens nasal and bronchial passages. It’s been used to deal with asthma, bronchitis and pneumonia. It’s also been effective in reducing blood pressure; helping maintain kidney and liver function; aiding swollen prostate glands; and topically treating wounds, rashes, bites and stings.
- Yarrow – This herb is reported to stop bleeding when you chew the leaves, or crush the leaves and flowers before pressing them against the wound. It’s said to be helpful for poor circulation, asthma, congestion and depression. Topically, Yarrow can be used for wounds, rashes, scrapes, nosebleeds, hemorrhoids, poison ivy, toothaches and varicose veins.
- Catnip – Used in capsules, teas and tinctures, this herb has been found to be a remedy for upset stomach, diarrhea, gas, nausea, stomach cramps, indigestion and hiccups. Catnip leaves contain antioxidant vitamins, making it helpful for treating colds. It can be used in a compress for toothache and tonsillitis, and topically for skin sores and hemorrhoids.
Frank Bates, founder of 4Patriots LLC, is a contributing writer to Patriot Headquarters, a website featuring hundreds of articles on how to be more independent and self-reliant. He also offers Food4Patriots, a supplier of emergency food suitable for long-term storage, survival and emergency preparedness.
This article first appeared on American Preppers Network and may be copied under the following creative commons license. All links and images including the CC logo must remain intact.
I have a lot of respect for Native Americans — those who populated this land before the first European white man set foot on these shores.
History rarely mentions it, but countless thousands of those Indians were killed by disease and carried in the boats of those early traders. But before that, the American Indian had a thriving culture, in tune with nature and appreciative of the beauty around them.
Of all the cultures referred to as “primitive” by supposedly civilized society, this is the culture we know the most about. Yet at the same time, we know very little about them. Sadly, history and Hollywood has not treated the Native Americans fairly, portraying them as a barbaric culture, mostly responsible for attacking white settlers and committing atrocities on them.
There are probably countless things about survival that we can learn from the American Indians. Here are several:
1. Nature Has Everything You Need
The Indians had to get everything they needed from nature, and they did. Whether it was flint to start a fire or animal skins to make clothes, they found everything they needed in the world around them. Few of us would be able to survive if we were just dumped in the wilderness with nothing. But for the Indians, that was just everyday life.
It is important to note here that the Indians were satisfied with what nature provided. While many Indian cultures used gold and silver, they were not seeking to amass wealth to themselves. They were satisfied with the lives they had, and not wanting anything more.
2. Fathers, Teach Your Children
Survival was an all-encompassing task for the Indian. One of a father’s responsibilities was to teach his sons how to survive. There wasn’t a school to which they could send their children; they had to teach them on their own. If a father was negligent in teaching his son, the son would most likely die.
The number of skills the average American Indian needed to learn was actually rather extensive. Since they had no trade centers as we know the term (although they did have trade), they had to make everything they needed. An Indian who needed a canoe had to know how to build it himself. Same for his bow, his arrows and his knife.
If you and I don’t teach our children the survival skills we are learning, we are preparing them for failure. You won’t be there forever to protect them. At some point in time, they will have to make it on their own. That will be the test of whether you’ve trained them well or not.
3. Live in Harmony with Nature
If there were ever a people who lived in harmony with their surroundings, it was the American Indian. They took what they needed from nature, but did so without destroying nature. They learned the sounds and movements of the animals and could read their signs. More than anything, they studied everything around them.
There were always tribes which were friendly to the white man. We all know the Indians taught the Pilgrims how to plant and cultivate. Had it not been for the knowledge of the Indians, and their understanding of nature, the United States would have died aborning. Their knowledge of nature was unsurpassed and became the foundation of many learned works, written by scholars who learned from them.
4. Waste Not
When American Indians killed an animal, they used every bit of it they could. They were not wasteful. You never saw an Indian village with a garbage dump beside it. Everything had its use and the Indians were amazingly clever in finding those uses. Even internal organs from the animals could be used, making containers out of them to carry water or to store medical herbs.
The Indians also understood that what they had today may not be there tomorrow. When they had food to eat, they ate well, banking up extra for the time when they would not have food. Winters were hard on them, but they made do mostly by preserving food in the summer and fall.
We see this in the westward expansion as well. The early pioneers didn’t throw anything away. An old shirt which couldn’t be repaired anymore became a rag. A burlap sack became a towel. People brought their baskets to the General Store to go shopping and they used everything they had. The waste in our modern society, especially the ideas of disposable items and planned obsolescence, simply add to our ultimate downfall.
5. Make it Yourself
Probably one of the worst things that white men did to the Indian was to teach him to be dependent on manufactured goods. While those goods were in many ways superior to what the Indians had, that dependence played a part in their ultimate downfall.
Indians made what they needed; they didn’t buy it or trade for it. If a man needed a knife, he would make one. If he needed a teepee, he had to kill enough animals to have the skins. In a culture where everything is handmade out of materials gleaned from nature, one can survive alone, without the huge infrastructure that we depend on today. We would be better off at surviving if we were able to do more for ourselves, rather than depending on others.
6. Be Aware
The Indians may have been the inventors of situational awareness. They knew when enemies were about by the reactions of the birds and squirrels. They could tell when a storm was coming. Indians would see things in the world around them that you and I would pass over, without a moment’s notice.
Living in harmony with nature requires knowing her moods and truly seeing what is happening around you. Survival makes this a requirement. Often, the only difference between the living and the dead is who sees who first. This is true for animals and it is true for humans, too.
7. Blend In
The Apache Indians were masters of guerrilla warfare. Stories have been told of Apaches who crept up on a man dozing, holding the reigns of his horse, and stealing the horse, while leaving him sitting there sleeping. How could they do this? By blending in with their surroundings and moving slowly.
The whole idea of camouflage is one that came naturally to the Indian. Their skin color and attire lent itself to hiding in the environment. They knew how to move without attracting attention and had the patience to move slow enough so as not to catch the eye.
Blending in helps us to avoid attracting attention. In a survival situation, that can be invaluable. Just avoiding being seen by others can greatly increase chances for survival. That means learning how to look like the environment around you, as well as moving as part of that environment.
8. Learn the Medicinal Value of Plants
The only medicine that the Indians had was the plants around them. While they had their medicine men who were experts in using those plants, most Indians had at least some rudimentary knowledge of herbal medicine. After all, they would be observing everything the medicine man did.
Modern medicine is an evolution of herbal medicine. In the past, doctors gathered herbs and plants which they used as medicines. Many of today’s modern medicines are merely artificial copies of things found in nature. Many of the medicines we need are there waiting for us. We just need to learn which plants to use and how to prepare them for treating our needs.
What would you add to this list? Share your thoughts on the Native Americans in the section below:
You’re bleeding! Now what?
Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live”
Uh-oh, you’re bleeding! Perhaps it was a bite, a deep slice of a knife while processing a deer, a gun shot wound, road rash, or maybe an open sore. No matter what has caused the wound, it needs to be treated quickly and correctly. Otherwise, you are risking infection, bleeding out, and possibly your life.
Bleeding out from a major artery can cause death in ten to fifteen minutes. You don’t even have time for an ambulance to arrive, never mind get to the emergency room. The S has hit the F for you. The bleeding must be stopped ASAP, the wound properly cleaned, and when appropriate, stitched up.
The question is: do you know how? To take that one step further, does anyone in your group know how to serve as your back up in case you need care? If not, this is one show you’re going to want to listen to.
While most wound victims are transported to the hospital for professional wound care. If time is of the essence, you may have to step in and be the “doctor” during an emergency. This may be necessary due to the severity of the wound, or because there is no trained medical personnel available. It is vital that you know what you are doing, because the last thing you want is to make a bad situation worse.
This episode will cover several common types of wounds that bleed, how to stop bleeding, and how to clean the wound to prevent infection. Also covered is the how, when, where, and why of closing a wound, or should that specific wound be closed at all? Plus, what do you do if in spite of your best efforts, the wound becomes infected and is spreading.
This hour of wound care discussion will look at both conventional and herbal options for wound care and bringing the bleeding to a stop. There is no reason to take any tool off the table with something as serious as an open wound. Be sure to tune in to learn how to stop bleeding in an emergency.
Join us for Herbal Prepper Live “LIVE SHOW” every Sunday 7:00/Et 6:00Ct 4:00/Pt Go To Listen and Chat
Listen to this broadcast or download “You’re bleeding! Now what?” in player below!
Labrador tea is the name given to three closely related Rhododendron species. These plants were traditionally used for many medicines as well as Labrador tea, most commonly made from , becoming a popular beverage tea. But is it safe to consume?
4.38/5 (8) Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from David Paul Smith. David discusses three medical alternatives that you should investigate further to see if their use is something that could benefit you during a SHTF event if all the traditional avenues for medical assistance are unavailable. We know […]
The post SHTF Medical Alternatives You Can Use for Treatment appeared first on The Prepper Journal.
As many of you know, we are currently working on a project to create an educational film that will empower individuals and families to safely treat infections at home, without the use of antibiotics. Members of the [Grow] Network are coming together to fund the Indiegogo campaign we created to produce this film. This is a classic example of strength in numbers, and it shows the potential a community like ours has for creating change. You can see the campaign here: Treating Infections Without Antibiotics – Indiegogo.
As we have been working on this project, we have received a huge outpouring of support. We have received messages of encouragement from concerned citizens around the globe – including scientists, medical doctors, and people who have fought off antibiotic-resistant infections in their own bodies.
I went to bed last night feeling very positive about the support that we have received. A huge outpouring of support and encouragement, and a successful campaign to empower people to take an active stance against this problem in their own homes… What could be better? Right?
Haha, that was last night – when I went to bed.
Eight hours later, I woke to some of the biggest headlines I can remember about the antibiotic-resistant threat. I was drinking my coffee and glancing through the headlines…
Here’s the first thing I noticed:
Misunderstanding of antibiotics fuels superbug threat, WHO says
This article from Reuters begins with this quote: “The rise of antibiotic resistance is a global health crisis,” from WHO Director-General Margaret Chan. She was speaking with reporters about a report the WHO just released that exposes a lack of understanding and awareness about antibiotics and antibiotic resistance around the globe. She went on to say that the problem is “reaching dangerously high levels” in all parts of the world and could lead to “the end of modern medicine as we know it.”
Talk about a timely news story… We’ve pointed to WHO claims about antibiotic resistance before, like in this post – 23,000 People Will Die This Year… And Never See Their Killer Coming.
But there’s more.
The next headline I noticed was this one:
Health Experts Are Explaining Drug-Resistant Bacteria Poorly
This article from The Atlantic leads in with the quote: “health experts invoke an ‘apocalyptic’ threat that’s bigger than terrorism or climate change.” They go on to detail an entirely different study, funded by London’s The Wellcome Trust, that focuses on the lack of understanding and awareness about antibiotics in the U.K. The author asserts that “the fault, arguably, is on us – science journalists, scientists, doctors, communicators, and everyone who’s beating the drum about this impending threat.”
Well then – that’s two big headlines about antimicrobial resistance. A good day for awareness about the problem, to be sure…. But still no real action taken as a result.
Wait, there’s more… Next, I saw this headline:
Pediatricians want farmers to use fewer antibiotics
This one is on CNN. In an open letter from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the lead author Dr. Jerome Paulson says, “We know our side is not perfect, physicians do bear some responsibility for this and there has not always been a prudent use in our practice, we are doing something on our side to help fix this.”
The article goes on to point out that in 2012, 80% (or 32.2 million pounds) of antibiotics used in the US were used on animals. And of those, 60% were the same drugs that are used to fight infections in humans. Dr. Paulson says, “We also want to make sure the government agencies and agribusiness will look at this serious issue as well and get these unnecessary antimicrobials out of the production stream.” Dr. Paulson encourages parents to buy meat with a “no antibiotics added” label, noting that he sees antibiotic-free meat much more available in the marketplace.
So, still no real action – but that’s at least a call for some action.
And those articles are just the tip of the iceberg – the internet is bustling with activity and information today about the antimicrobial-resistant threat to people all over, as the World Health Organization kicks off its first ever World Antibiotic Awareness Week. I see that similar stories are running on Fox News, Time, and many industry-specific publications in the medical and agricultural communities.
If you’ve been following along here on our growyourowngroceries.org, this problem probably isn’t news to you. We’ve had an ongoing dialog about microbial resistance for a while now, and it’s obvious that when the WHO and The Wellcome Trust did their surveys – they didn’t call up many members of the [Grow] Network. Remember this article – Microbes 2.0 – A Tiny Manifesto?
While the national news media does appear to be getting on board to help raise awareness, I’m not sure that we can count on them to create real change.
I hope I’m wrong about that.
But, I suspect the initial response will be more like finger-pointing and name-calling, as the doctors blame the farmers, the farmers blame the pharmaceuticals, and everyone blames the government.
There’s just too much money on the table to expect wholesale change to take place without some strong outside influences.
So, as always, the responsibility for creating real change will likely fall on us – you and I. What can we do?
In a nutshell – we can take the money away. Here’s how:
Vote with Your Dollars
When you buy meat, spend that extra few dollars to buy meat that has not been treated with antibiotics. Let the massive food industries know that you are aware of the problem, and you expect them to take action if they want your money.
See this report card about how several national fast food chains stack up regarding their policies on the use of antibiotics in their meat supply – (Infographic) Is Your Lunch Full of Antibiotics? A Fast Food Report Card. If a company is not transparent and responsible about their antibiotic policies – simply don’t give them any of your hard-earned money.
When possible, buy your meat from a local farmer who will stand in front of you and answer your questions about how antibiotics were used in raising that meat. There’s more information available about this in the book Holy Cows and Hog Heaven by Joel Salatin, and in this article – 4 Uncommon-Sense Guidelines for Food Safety and Nutrition.
When you go to your doctor’s office, push back when they prescribe antibiotics for minor infections that could be treated without the drugs. Every time they suggest an antibiotic, ask them what alternatives you have, and what are the likely outcomes if you don’t take the prescription. Do rely on your healthcare providers for their expert guidance, but don’t just fall in line with the course of treatment that maximizes their income stream. Insist that they give you thorough information and that they keep themselves well-informed.
If you’re considering any elective surgical procedures – get information from the hospital about antimicrobial-resistant infections other patients have experienced at that facility and for the procedure in question. If resistant infections are common at the facility, or for the specific procedure – opt out.
Learn about Your Alternatives
Learn about how to protect yourself and your family. For some infections, there are perfectly good alternatives to the industrially produced chemical antibiotics. We are not as dependent on these drugs as we are led to believe. Learn about your alternatives.
We are producing an educational video about herbal treatments – and as I write this there are 8 days left to claim a discounted copy of that video by taking part in our Indiegogo fund-raising campaign here – Indiegogo – Treating Infections Without Antibiotics.
Colloidal silver is another alternative. We’ve published some information about colloidal silver, mostly regarding its use in the yard and garden (Colloidal Silver Kills Plant Fungus, Produces Larger and Healthier Crops and A Recipe for Serious Sunburn Relief – And It’s Great for Bug Bites Too). But there’s a lot of good information available about colloidal silver and its use as an antimicrobial treatment for infections in humans too.
Lead by Example
If you are raising food animals, do it without optional antibiotics. This might go without saying for this audience. Most [Grow] Network members who are far enough along on their journeys to be raising food animals already know about the problem, and many of you are activists for change when it comes to antibiotics in the food supply. But if your veterinarian isn’t proactive about this – ask them to read about the issue and become informed. Avoid antibiotics when you can.
Fan the Flames
Help spread the word about this issue. When you see good information about the problem, forward that information to your friends and family – and through your social networks. There is strength in numbers. If one of us tells our doctor and grocer that we don’t want optional antibiotics, we are a nuisance. If 1 million of us tell our doctors and grocers that we don’t want optional antibiotics, we are a small concern. If 100 million of us do this, we are an immediate threat to the system. Spread the word and help us reach critical mass.
• Reuters – Misunderstanding of antibiotics fuels superbug threat, WHO says
• The Atlantic – Health Experts Are Explaining Drug-Resistant Bacteria Poorly
• CNN – Pediatricians want farmers to use fewer antibiotics
One of the biggest questions facing anyone who is trying to prepare for disasters is that of time. How long will the crisis last? How long will it take for society to get back to normal? This question drives everyone’s stockpiling efforts — most especially, the decision about how much to stockpile.
What do we do if the disaster and its aftermath outlast our stockpile? Wouldn’t that normally put us in the same boat as all those people who didn’t bother to stockpile anything? Once our supplies run out, we’ll be faced with the same problems that they have. It might even be worse, because they will already have used up any available resources.
That’s why more and more people are turning to homesteading. By homesteading, we’ll theoretically be self-sustaining – not needing any outside help.
The real question is, whether we can truly make ourselves self-sustaining. If we go back in U.S. history, we find that our ancestors who settled the west were at the most about 95 percent self-sufficient. They all had needs for which they had to go to town sometimes. Unless we plan for the same things that they needed their local general store for, we could fulfill that little bit of poetry that says for want of a horseshoe nail, the war was lost.
So, what are these things and what can we do about it? Let me answer the second part of that first. The obvious answer is to either create systems which don’t need to be renewed with purchased parts or to stockpile enough to last us the rest of our lives.
The first thing that most of us think of when we think of making ourselves self-sufficient is gardening. A good vegetable garden will go a long way toward providing us with something to eat. We’ve all seen stories about people who fed their families entirely off of what they grew in their backyards and we’re sure that we can do the same.
Heirloom seeds are the basic building block of that gardening. But did you know that seeds have a shelf life? The longer you keep them, the lower the germination rate. The solution to that is to use the seeds and harvest seeds from what you grow. That will give you an ongoing supply of fresh seeds.
Of course, we need more than just seeds to grow a garden. We need good soil, some way of keeping the pests under control, and water. I like keeping my garden as natural as possible, using carnivorous insects like lady bugs and the praying mantis to keep destructive bugs under control. My favorite fertilizer is a fish emulsion and I compost. By doing these things, I eliminate the need to buy fertilizers and other chemicals.
Raising animal protein is a little more complicated. We have to provide the animals with something to eat. That means either growing enough food for them or buying feed. Unless you have a lot of land to work with, it seems to me that the only livestock that is practical to raise is something that can be fed off the scraps of what you can grow in your garden, such as rabbits and chickens.
Then there’s the need to do something with all that great food you grow. As we all know, unless you live in a really warm climate, you’re not going to be growing much in the dead of winter. So, you’ll need to preserve the food. But are you prepared for several years of preserving food?
Fortunately, canning jars are reusable. But the lids for them are not, at least not usually. Some survivalists have done some experimenting and have succeeded in reusing their lids, but even if you succeed, how many times can you reuse them? That’s one of those items that you will need a mountain of, to last you through the years.
Here’s another item that few people think of – salt. Back in the pioneering days, there were still salt licks that animals used. Pioneers also would go to those salt licks and harvest salt for their use. I seriously doubt there are any left today, as most of our salt is mined underground. So what are you going to use for salt to cure or smoke meat and for your canning? Better stock up now, while you have a chance.
That pile of firewood you have in the backyard is hopefully going to be enough to get you through the winter. But what are you going to do next year? Do you have the capacity to cut and haul enough wood to heat your home for another year? Can you do that without gasoline?
Cutting firewood with a chainsaw and hauling it with a truck is bad enough. What about when you have to cut it with an axe and a saw? Do you have the tools for that? Do you have something you can haul it with that doesn’t require a gasoline engine? Unfortunately, few of us have horses so we won’t have their strength to help us.
Getting the right tools, along with a means to haul the cut wood, needs to be somewhere on your sustainability list. Otherwise, you’re going to face some really cold winters.
First-aid and Medicine
Few of us have the capability to do much about making our own first-aid supplies. Granted, any cloth can be used as a bandage, but that’s about as far as we can go. Medicines are even worse. And there’s no real way of knowing what you’re going to need, just that you’re going to need something.
I’m not sure it’s possible to stockpile enough medicine and first-aid supplies to last, but somehow we’ve got to try. At the same time, we should look for options which will allow us to get by without those supplies. Fortunately there are things in nature that will help our medical efforts.
Herbal medicine has existed far longer than modern medicine. In many ways, modern medicine is merely an offshoot of herbal. Many modern medicines are simply artificial synthesis of naturally occurring chemicals. Learning how to go back to nature on this, can give us the needed medicines when they aren’t available.
We’re so used to going to the store and buying clothes that few of us even think about making them anymore. Yet if we have growing children, we should be thinking about it. Granted, there will be clothing available for barter, at least for a while, but what about after that? Then what?
Making natural fibers into thread or yarn to make fabric and then turning that fabric into clothing is a long process, requiring special equipment and knowledge. But if the supply chain collapses and stays that way, that may be the only way of keeping ourselves and especially our children in clothes.
Spares for Critical Systems
The last item I want to mention is also the simplest on this list. That is to have spares for all your critical systems. What do I mean by critical systems? I mean anything and everything you need to have in order to survive, especially if it won’t be available in that time.
There are plenty of things we all have included in our survival strategy which are modern-day tools for survival. Take solar power, for example. That’s a great aid, allowing us to use at least some of our modern-day electronics. But what happens to your solar power system if it’s hit by an electromagnetic pulse (EMP)?
Supposedly, the panels themselves will survive, although their efficiency will be reduced by about 10 percent. But that’s not the big issue. That power won’t do a bit of good if your charge controller and your voltage inverter are dead. You better have spares stashed away in a Faraday Cage if you are expecting to use solar power after an EMP.
Obviously this list isn’t complete. I give you these ideas more to get you thinking than for any other reason. If you’re just starting out, get your basic stockpile of supplies in place first before starting on this. As you’re doing so, start thinking about long-term sustainability. How can you roll over from living off your stockpile to living in a self-sufficient way?
Take a look at each and every area of your survival plans. Do you have a sustainability plan for that item? If not, what can you do to make a change, making it possible to live many years past what your supplies will last?
What would you add to this list? Share your ideas in the section below:
Vaccination has become a real issue lately, not only in the US, but worldwide. The controversy is far from being over, as people seem to be separated into two sides when it comes to vaccination: those who approve of vaccines and those who oppose them. As a parent, choosing a side is a great responsibility, because in this clash, only one side can be ultimately right. And the overall wellbeing of your children will depend on your choice. The first advocates for vaccination you’ll come across will be your local pediatrician, but don’t let yourself persuaded that easily. He’ll have nothing else in mind than your kid’s health, no doubt about that, but keep in mind that he’s the result of a medical system that has proven to be flawed before. And more so, the vaccination standards and regulations are all directed by the AMA (the American Medical Association). The obvious question is whose best interest does the AMA hold: that of our children, or that of the pharmaceutical corporations (whose only purpose is financial profit)?
Shocking facts about vaccination that you should know
Throughout modern history, there have been several issues with many vaccines on the market. Those who claim otherwise are simply ignorant or ill-intentioned. RotaShield (the Rotavirus vaccine) falls into this category. It was removed from the market in late 1999, when it was demonstrated that there are links between bowel malfunction (obstruction, chaotic bowel twisting) and the vaccine itself. It was a great deal at the time, and the case is real as you clearly see for yourself here. The vaccine that followed (RotaTeq) was supposedly the new and improved version of the RotaShield vaccine. Although it doesn’t appear to be as destructive as its predecessor, it too seems to be causing bowel afflictions; you might find it hard to believe, but RotaTeq is still available on the market. Another famous and controversial case of vaccine malfunction has been recorded in February 2002, when GlaxoSmithKline (a preventive vaccine for Lyme Disease) has been withdrawn from the market. The manufacturer claimed poor sales, but the truth of the matter was that compelling evidence pointed out that the vaccine itself was responsible for worse cases of arthritis than the disease itself. You can read all about the untold truths about vaccines in this full report here.
In 2011, the I.O.M. (the Institute of Medicine), has submitted a report for further proof that certain vaccines can cause undeniable side effects. They’re studies have shown that the Chickenpox Vaccine can afflict children with immunodeficiency (but not only) with hepatitis, meningitis, encephalitis or pneumonia. The Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) Vaccine favors encephalitis, febrile seizures and Arthralgia (Short-term joint pain) in women and children. The HPV vaccine seems to be the cause of anaphylaxis in yeast-sensitive females and as overall side-effects, all vaccines can cause syncopes (fainting) or arm inflammation.
Dangerous chemicals and compounds found in vaccines
When it comes to purchasing processed food or sodas or whatever else intended for human consumption, the first thing you should do is to not focus the price of the product, but on the ingredients section. A vaccine is no different. You should be very aware before administering such a drug to your child. Most vaccines (if not all) that are on the market contain many substances and chemicals that can be extremely harmful to a human being. These potentially harmful components and their terrible side-effects are not given the proper attention and respect, mainly because of the marketing policies that the pharmaceutical moguls impose. Here’s a list of some commonly found chemicals in vaccines:
- Formaldehyde is a carcinogenic fluid (used primarily in embalming corpses) that can cause respiratory distress, liver damage, reproductive deformation, gastrointestinal problems and various forms of cancer. Another flaw of this chemical is that it can neutralize the virus in the vaccine, which will make the vaccine completely useless
- Thimerosal is basically mercury. Every vaccine contains about 25 mcg of Thimerosal, and according to the EPA the safe limit for humans is about 5 mcg. It’s very neurotoxic and it’s been linked to autism
- Aluminum phosphate it’s dangerous because it reacts to mercury and it increases its toxicity. Considering that every vaccine already contains about 25 mcg of mercury, the recommended dosage is exceeded from the go
- Sodium chloride inhibits growth, prevents normal muscle contraction and affects the circulatory system
- Monosodium glutamate (MSG) when injected, it becomes chemical unstable and turns into a neurotoxin; it’s been linked to brain damage in children and CNS (central nervous system) disorders
- Phenoxyethanol can disrupt the central nervous system and can gravely affect the liver or kidneys
- Glycerin is known for causing gastrointestinal damage, lung damage, liver and kidney shutdown
- Bovine cow serum causes chest pain, low blood pressure, lupus, arthritis and can damage connective tissue
These are only some of the most damaging chemicals used in vaccine. The list is much longer, be sure of that.
So before considering vaccination (for yourself or your family), do some research first. Listen to both sides and make up your mind whether the shot is worth it or not. At the end of the day, the damage cause by the “cure” can be far greater than that of the affliction you’re trying to prevent. Stay safe, stay informed and don’t be fooled by advertisements.
By Alec Deacon
The post The Untold Truths About Vaccines And Why Pharmaceutical Companies Can’t Be Trusted appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.
How to Survive the End of Modern Healthcare As We Know It
Across the United States, 23,000 people will die in the next 365 days.
And they’ll never see their killer coming.
Many of them will walk into their local hospital, expecting treatment for minor injuries like cuts or breaks… or routine procedures like colonoscopies or caesarean sections or day surgeries.
And they’ll never walk out.
Superbugs, stronger than any antibiotic we can throw at them, are spreading faster than we have the capacity to fight back. 2 million people will be infected in the United States this year alone. 23,000 will die.
And similar death tolls are being reported around the world:
25,000 in Europe this year.
With an estimated 10 million deaths per year, globally, predicted by 2050 — more than the current global death totals from cancer.
The situation has become so grim that in October 2015, the World Health Organization declared it “a global health crisis… the end of modern medicine as we know it.”
The End of Modern Medicine As We Know It
The glory days of antibiotics are over.
Since penicillin was first prescribed 73 years ago, it has saved millions of lives.
But now it’s clear, thanks to the unrestrained use of antibiotics, we’ve unwittingly helped nature breed dangerous strains of superbugs that are, quite literally, killing us.
Our medical system is being driven back to the late 1800s – a time when simple infections kill. And health experts around the globe are beginning to panic, as they’re being backed into corners by strains of superbugs now immune to all known antibiotic treatments.
Doctors are being forced to cut out infections, amputate, and, in worst case scenarios, watch their patients die slow, agonizing deaths.
In October 2015, the World Health Organization went boldly on record, saying:
“With few replacement products in the pipeline, the world is heading towards a post-antibiotic era in which common infections will once against kill.”
– Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General, WHO
Antibiotics have been prescribed as blanket cure-alls by doctors… demanded and popped like candy by the general populace for every sniffle, ache, and pain… and wildly abused by the agriculture industry to boost profits.
And now the human race will pay the ultimate price for our heedless arrogance.
Mother Nature Always Wins
It’s survival of the fittest, a battle being waged at the microscopic level.
And right now, Mother Nature is winning.
All because bacteria, hundreds of millions of years old, evolve far too fast for medical science to keep up.
Multi-year clinical trials of new antibiotics are laughable when battling a bacterial enemy that can exponentially reproduce in as little as four minutes.
How do you fight back against a single bacteria that can multiply to one million cells in as little as seven hours? Passing along resistant traits to offspring with each new generation?
More frightening still, scientists are seeing bacteria pass resistant traits between completely unrelated strains like trading cards. (Imagine a chameleon passing its survival skills to a monkey, and vice versa — in a single generation.)
Bacteria are even arming against antibiotic threats they haven’t encountered yet!
The ongoing use and abuse of antibiotics is quite literally teaching bacteria how to thrive in the presence of new antibiotics – creating superbugs. And now, too late, health and disease control organizations from around the world are sounding the alarm. Because too many of our medical advances are wholly dependent on antibiotics to fight and prevent infection.
Lifesaving surgeries. Organ transplants. Chemotherapy.
Death rates are predicted to skyrocket. Treatment options are vanishing.
The Spreading Plague of Superbugs
Every day, you’ll find new reports of superbugs snuffing out lives.
The stories all sound eerily similar: a mom or child or friend goes to the doctor for routine medical care… becomes infected by a superbug… finds themselves fighting for their life… and, too often, loses the battle.
A few recent stories include:
“Melbourne footballer survives rare superbug which ‘ate’ his legs.”
(Oct 19, 2015; 9NEWS.com.au)
“Superbug infection greatest increase in children ages 1-5”
(Oct 20, 2015; Rush University Medical Center)
“Surge in the number of cases of terrifying hospital superbug after NHS relaxes hygiene rules”
(Sept 27, 2015; DailyMail.co.uk)
“‘Superbug’ Infection Could Cost NY Giants Player His Foot”
(Oct 13, 2015; Scientific American)
“Patient Infected With Superbug At Local Hospital Speaks Of His Ordeal”
(Sept 21, 2015; CBS Los Angeles)
“Superbug Virus 2015: CDC Warns Of New Antibiotic-Resistant Infection, An Emerging Threat”
(Oct 7, 2015; Parent Herald)
… The safety net of modern health care is clearly at risk.
Take, for example, urinary tract infections (UTIs).
Getting a UTI used to be “no big deal.” You’d get a diagnosis from your doctor, take the prescribed drug, and within 48 hours you’d be back to normal. Within a week you were usually cured.
UTIs are quickly becoming resistant to most standard antibiotic treatments. Which means they’re resulting in life-threatening kidney infections… with deadly results.
Other common superbugs that are rapidly spreading include:
• MRSA, an antibiotic-resistant form of Staph. Known to cause pneumonia and life-threatening blood infections, MRSA is easily picked up by patients in hospitals and care facilities. Controlling the spread is challenging.
• CRE (Carbapenem-resistant Enterbacteriaceae). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it kills almost 50% of hospital patients infected.
• C. diff (Clostridium difficile). It causes debilitating diarrhea, can eat through a patient’s bowels, and causes blood poisoning. C. diff spreads easily on bed rails, furniture, toilets, bedpans weight scales, medical equipment, etc.
• Shigella is a highly contagious bacteria brought back to the US by overseas travelers that’s now resistant to multiple strains of antibiotics. It easily spreads in public facilities — like pools.
• An extensively drug-resistant form of highly contagious Tuberculosis (MDR-TB) has been identified in over 100 countries, in all regions of the world.
• A drug-resistant form of Malaria is threatening to outpace global efforts to control an outbreak.
And these are just a handful of the better-known risks.
The list of superbugs with limited treatment options is growing. Quickly.
The Cavalry Isn’t Coming
And unfortunately, there’s no hero on the horizon to save us.
It’s expensive to develop new antibiotics. It takes roughly 20 years to see a return on the investment, and some of these new drugs work for as little as six months before bacteria develop a resistance.
So it should come as no surprise, fewer and fewer drug companies are investing in antibiotic research and development.
Scientists are becoming increasingly concerned and pressuring governments to “do something.” So governments are trying to incentivize drug companies to “please take another look” with cash injections. But it’s business. And the few corporations willing to take the bribes aren’t moving fast enough.
Roughly 50 new drugs were introduced in the 80s and 90s. Now, there are very few in the pipeline. And most drugs introduced since the year 2000 are modified versions of existing drugs, not new drugs.
Plus, changes aren’t happening fast enough, on a global scale, to stem the tide of growing antibiotic resistance.
As the World Health Organization has pointed out, we’re not reacting fast enough, on a global scale, to contain the spread of superbugs and antimicrobial resistance.
The bacteria spread too easily, through poor sanitation, human error, inappropriate food handling, and more.
At the most recent World Health Assembly held in Geneva (May 2015), the problem was declared:
“A profound threat to human health.”
This is, no doubt, an understatement.
Learn To Save Yourself… And The Ones You Love
So how do you protect yourself?
And prepare for the predicted post-antibiotic era?
There are a few steps you can take:
1. Avoid the unnecessary use of antibiotics.
This should go without saying… But don’t contribute to the global problem by using antibiotics if there is another treatment option available. Be proactive. Let your doctor know that you are concerned about antibacterial resistance. Encourage sparing use of prescription of drugs. Be part of the solution!
2. Avoid purchasing meat treated with antibiotics.
The overuse of antibiotics by large-scale livestock operations continues to be the largest single abuse of antibiotics worldwide. And while some will have you believe their meat, sold in stores, is free of antibiotics, this doesn’t address the issue that livestock treated with antibiotics contributes to the global problem of antibiotic resistance.
(Plus you should be aware, in August 2015, a test by Consumer Reports showed that 18% of conventionally raised ground beef, purchased at stores across the United States, was tainted with bacteria resistant to three or more classes of antibiotics.)
What’s the solution? Eat less meat. Raise your own meat. And when this isn’t practical, purchase locally where you can ask questions about the use of antibiotics.
And if you’re a vegetarian, be aware that produce grown in animal manure from farms where antibiotics are administered may be contaminated with antibiotic resistant bacteria, too.
3. Pay attention to where your food and water is coming from.
Scientists are sounding the alarm, with recent evidence that our wastewater treatment plants may be a primary breeding ground for resistant bacteria.
Antibiotics expelled from humans as well as farm run off create a survival-of-the-fittest scenario where superbugs can share resistant traits.
So pay close attention to where your food and water is coming from:
• Where is the fertilizer used on your produce sourced? Did you know that “sludge” from wastewater treatment plants is being used as fertilizer for agriculture crops?
• What’s the water source? Again, water from rivers downstream of wastewater treatment plants is shown to be contaminated with antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Wastewater treatment plants are a primary source of antibiotic release!
4. Stay away from healthcare facilities where superbugs breed.
Hospitals, doctors’ offices, care homes, and other patient intake facilities are the perfect breeding ground for superbugs. Human error and carelessness spreads bacteria within these facilities at an alarming rate.
Avoid unnecessary exposure to bacteria in these facilities!
This means not rushing into the doctor’s office at the first sign of a sniffle. Give your body’s immune system a chance to fight off the infection – without drugs.
And STAY HEALTHY. Eat clean, unprocessed, local foods. Move your body. Remember, the healthcare system that kept your parents and grandparents alive will look very different as you age.
(DISCLAIMER: Use common sense. If you’re having a serious medical emergency, a hospital visit may mean the difference between life and death.)
5. Most important…
Learn to treat yourself with herbal medicine!
With major health organizations predicting death and disease levels comparable to those in the 1800s as superbugs continue to spread around the world, we need to be prepared to look after ourselves.
This is when knowledge of herbal medicine once again becomes priceless.
Because while it’s easy for bacteria to evolve and develop a resistance to single-compound antibiotics, it’s much harder for the same bacteria to outmaneuver the more complex compounds found in herbs.
In herbals you’ll find between 200 and 2000 different compounds working together!
Plants have evolved over hundreds of millions of years with their own combinations of antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and insecticidal compounds.
So it only makes sense…
… Ancient wisdom that uses combinations of natural herbals to treat infection can, in fact, be more effective than single-compound or even multi-compound antibiotics!
And it’s for this reason, a group of us connected via The [GROW] Network are currently collaborating with some of the most knowledgeable herbalists in the United States to produce a lifesaving video series…
… To teach people without any medical training how to treat common illnesses and injuries with herbal alternatives to antibiotics.
And empower you!
So that before death comes knocking…
And before you are backed into a corner and forced to take someone you love into a superbug-plagued hospital because you didn’t know what to do…
… You’ll have learned the secrets to using Mother Nature’s natural antibiotics and remedies to confidently treat simple health concerns at home. With herbals found or grown in your own neighborhood. Or, purchased from a local herbalist.
If you’re interested, you can watch a preview of the movie here:
We’re offering a series of generous gifts as “thank yous” to people who support our early efforts via this Indiegogo release.
Sources for this article include:
Antibacterial R&D Incentives
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: HAI Prevalence Study
Cleaning up a breeding ground for antimicrobial resistance
European Medicines Agency: Antimicrobial resistance
Global Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System: Manual for Early Implementation
How Safe Is Your Ground Beef?
Insights into Antibiotic Resistance Through Metagenomic Approaches
Jim O’Neill: Why antimicrobial resistance needs to be reviewed
Just How Fast Can Bacteria Grow? It Depends. Proteomics Data Validate Model of Bacterial Growth
Multidrug-resistant Shigellosis Spreading in the United States
New Superbug Infection Spikes Worry Nursing Homes, CDC
Origins and Evolution of Antibiotic Resistance
The Coming Cost of Superbugs: 10 Million Deaths Per Year
The evolving threat of antimicrobial resistance: Options for action
The Rise of Superbugs
UTIs Are Getting Tougher To Treat
White House announces plan to fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria
WHO Director-General addresses G7 health ministers meeting on antimicrobial resistance
Turmeric has been revered in the traditional medical systems of China and India for thousands of years for its anti-inflammatory properties. Because of its benefits for a wide variety of health conditions, turmeric has recently gained popularity in the West as a potent herbal medicine, too.
The reported health benefits of turmeric are seemingly endless, primarily because it is a potent anti-inflammatory herb. Since a large proportion of many modern diseases have inflammation as part of their root cause, turmeric can serve as a powerful herbal ally.
1. Fights inflammation.
The primary anti-inflammatory component of turmeric is curcumin. Numerous studies have shown that curcumin’s ability to combat inflammation is comparable to that of anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen. However, unlike pharmaceutical drugs, curcumin does not produce the same toxic effects, such as intestinal bleeding.
2. Provides antioxidants
Turmeric contains powerful antioxidants that neutralize free radicals, which are known to cause damage to the body’s cells.
These powerful antioxidants make turmeric particularly useful for providing relief to those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, where free radicals cause inflammation in the joints and can eventually lead to joint damage.
3. Helps prevent cancer
The antioxidant properties of turmeric help to protect cells from DNA damage from free radicals. Curcumin also is believed to be capable of destroying cancer cells and stopping their spread. This is said to be a result of the herb enhancing liver function, inhibiting a protein needed for tumor formation, and reducing the blood supply to cancer cells.
By combining turmeric with other cancer-preventative foods such as cruciferous vegetables and onions, the anti-cancer potency of turmeric is multiplied.
4. Supports a healthy cardiovascular system
Due to curcumin’s antioxidant properties, it may help to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol in the body. This is especially important in supporting cardiovascular health, as oxidized cholesterol is responsible for damage to blood vessels and the formation of arterial plaque that leads to heart attack and stroke.
Turmeric is a source of vitamin B6, which helps to prevent homocysteine levels from increasing to dangerous levels in the body. Turmeric also helps the liver to clear away excess LDL cholesterol from the body.
5. Fights Alzheimer’s
- Curcumin blocks the production of a protein that destroys the myelin sheath around nerve cells.
- Curcumin’s antioxidant properties protect the brain and nerves from oxidation in the body that can lead to neurologic conditions such as Alzheimer’s.
- Curcumin binds to amyloid-B protein fragments in the brain and prevents them from clumping together to form the amyloid plaques that lead to the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Curcumin boosts the immune system and helps it to destroy amyloid plaques. In Alzheimer’s patients, such immune activity is suppressed, whereas the immune cells in a healthy person work to destroy the abnormal cells.
How to Consume Turmeric
The following are just a few suggestions for how to consume turmeric and incorporate it into your diet:
- Add to egg salad.
- Add to lentil dishes.
- Add to brown rice, along with raisins and cashews, cumin and coriander.
- Add a pinch to salad dressings.
- Use in curries, on sautéed apples, steamed cauliflower, green beans and onions.
- Add a pinch of turmeric powder and dried onion to plain yogurt to use as a veggie dip.
- Add to sautéed cruciferous vegetables and onions (that have been sautéed with a healthy oil such as olive oil or virgin coconut oil) as part of a cancer prevention lifestyle and diet.
With its many health benefits, it just makes sense to incorporate turmeric into your daily diet and lifestyle. Having a good supply of this healthy spice will ensure that you and your family can enjoy its benefits for a long time to come.
If you are ambitious enough, you can also grow your own turmeric from a fresh root.
This article is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any particular health condition. Always consult with a qualified health professional to determine if turmeric (or any other herb) is right for you and your personal health condition(s).
Do you use turmeric? What advice would you add? Share your tips in the section below:
With so many daily work, family, and personal distractions, it’s no wonder so many of us remain unconcerned and unprepared for a potential disaster to strike. But they do strike often, all around the world, and assuming you and your family will be exempt could endanger your lives.
Even though it takes thought and investment, preparing your home and your family for unexpectedly harsh conditions is well worth the sacrifice. In fact, the peace of mind alone might be worth it. If you don’t know where to get started, Modernize offers up a list of home essentials to build off of as you collect survival supplies.
Flashlights, Lanterns, and Backup Batteries
When anticipating a disaster, the last thing you should rely on is electricity. And there’s nothing more frightening than thinking of trying to keep your family safe in total darkness. Make sure flashlights and lanterns are handy in several rooms of the house, and always keep a good stock of backup batteries and bulbs. Solar flashlights are also a great addition, especially if you’re going to need to be on the move.
Hand Crank Radio
Staying tuned in to what’s going on could mean the difference between life and death. Procure a solar hand crank radio that will keep you updated on the news and weather while you keep your family locked up safe.
Solar Oven and Freezer
Nobody hopes that the aftermath of a disaster will be long-term. But it’s best to prepare for a longer time without electricity than you would like to imagine. Solar ovens are simple, effective, and can cook food in a variety of ways. Ready-to-go, just-add-water meals are very handy for a short term emergency. But a solar oven and a solar freezer to store your food stock could work in tandem to keep your family eating well in spite of the circumstances.
Coats and Boots
Being prepared for inclement weather is essential. Heavy-duty raincoats, winter coats, hiking boots, and rain boots will help keep them warm in dry in case of flooding or freezing weather. It will also help them travel more easily if traveling becomes necessary.
Aside from shelter, water is the most immediate and vital need in many emergency situations. If you are not prepared to convert unsafe water into potable water, you’re not truly prepared at all. You need to both have ways to filter water and purify it. While you’re thinking of your water needs, it never hurts to set up a rain catchment system that will allow you access to running water—though you will still need to treat rainwater to make it potable.
First Aid Supplies
A well-stocked survival first aid kit will include gloves, surgical shears, antiseptic wipes, bandages, pain relieving medication, antibiotic ointment, cotton-tipped applicators, sterile
gauze pads, a thermometer, tweezers, and several other items.
Make sure to thoroughly research and go beyond the basics for your first aid kit.
No one overlooks their kids when they plan for a disaster, but a pet isn’t always foremost on everyone’s mind. Pets need their own survival supplies including food, blankets, bowls, a leash, their own first aid supplies, and anything else you determine your individual pets’ need.
While weather disasters are more common in America these days, epidemics also pose a danger—as do unclean condition potentially caused by natural disasters. Supplies that would come in handy during a dangerous outbreak include: adhesive sealing masks with eye shields, anti-bacterial and anti-virus lotion, anti-bacterial wipes, bio hazard bags, bio hazard suits and gloves, and a supply of antibacterial soap.
Comfort and cleanliness isn’t usually the first thing on your mind in a survival situation. But if you prepare ahead, you can be more thorough about what your family needs and wants. Items like soap, toilet tissue, toothbrushes and toothpastes, feminine products, deodorant, and razors will come in handy even after just a day of relying on your survival supplies.
Reflective sleeping bags that are cushy and can withstand harsh weather could mean the difference between a safe and good night’s rest and many sleepless, anxious nights. To protect your family from hypothermia, select sleeping bags that offer heavy insulation, fully waterproof materials, and low temperature ratings.
Emergency Preparedness Guide
No matter how much you prepare yourself and your family, any type of emergency or disaster is bound to come with surprises. Instead of relying completely on your supplies and knowledge, make sure you have the educational resources anyone in your family would need to know how to deal with in difficult disaster-related circumstances.
Weapons are certainly an important aspect of a home survival kit, as are tools. Combine them into one item for optimum efficiency and ease of use. You never know when a screwdriver, pliers, or a mini saw could come in handy.
These are simply the foundational items for a home survival kit. Build off of your family’s anticipated needs and show them how to use the supplies in case of an emergency.
By Mary Saurer
Mary Sauer is a writer who has been published by Babble, Mom.me, and What to Expect. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and two young daughters.
The book The Herbal Drugstore is billed as symptoms, fight disease, and supercharge immunity– All without Drugs or Chemicals! While this is a lot to believe (especially as marketing copy) – I believe that herbal medicine does have merit. Especially when the normal drugstore is not available. You’re about to enter a completely different kind […]
The prepping population knows their stuff. Knowing your stuff is sort of the name of the game when it comes to preparing for the worst. It’s necessary to be innovative, resourceful and aware in order to be in control when life as we know it changes drastically. There are many different ways that this scenario can play out and, luckily, many prepping practices cover a lot of different possibilities. We know the basics: food storage, water, protection, shelter, etc. But what about the little tips, or prepping hacks, we’ve learned without thinking about them, little things that make prepping just a little bit easier? We all have some, and here is a list of some survival and prepping hacks I’ve come across.
1. Remember The Crisco
Crisco is an amazing and versatile product. This may not seem like a necessity to have in your storage, but there are many ways that Crisco can be used. It’s great for frying food, greasing pans, and making baked goods. It’s great for for the skin in harsh conditions, scaly skin irritants, and can prevent rashes. Other uses include keeping cockroaches away, makeshift soap, making candles, getting things out of your hair, fixing squeaky hinges, preventing diaper rash, and many others. By putting a wick in a tub of Crisco you will have a candle that will reportedly burn for 45 days. There are other alternatives for Crisco including lard or coconut oil. Crisco, however, has a longer shelf life if stored properly and combines the perks and prepping hacks of these alternatives in one product.
2. Get The Seeds
Like I said before, as preppers, we know the importance of food storage. This practice will be vitally important if we are forced to live off of what we have and aren’t able to go out and grab some groceries. It’s important to understand food longevity, creative cooking methods, and the ability to hunt. Food storage, however, shouldn’t be the only way you are preparing to eat if the worst happens. The downside to food storage is that you are forced to leave a lot behind if you are forced to relocate. The solution to this problem is one of the easiest prepping hacks: buy and store a pack of seeds. This will enable you to grow your own, fresh food source and something easy to barter with. The seeds I’d recommend because of their ease to grow are:
3. Don’t Forget The Medicine
Storing medicine is one of the first prepping hacks you should consider. The uses for medicine are an obvious necessity when prepping. It’s extremely important to have a stockpile of medicine that you need for your own specialized medical issues like insulin, inhalers or any other life-saving medication you need. This approach can be tricky for some types of medicine as some prescriptions are quite hard to refill before you’ve finished the amount you were prescribed. Some other types of medicine that are important to keep on hand are pain relievers, antidiarrheal medicines, orajel, amoxicillin, antacids, rubbing alcohol, and antibiotic ointment. Wound dressing is important as well so be sure to remember gauze. Infection can be an overlooked issue with prepping but can easily cause limb loss or death if not treated properly.
4. Bring The Baby Oil
Baby oil is another product that is easily overlooked but can be useful in a survival situation. In cold areas where you are outside in the elements a lot, baby oil can protect your exposed skin from dry or frostbitten skin. The risk for frostbite is highest for people who have reduced blood circulation. It is important for frostbite affected tissue to be removed immediately or gangrene and infection will take hold. Without the proper medication infection can cause death. Baby oil will not completely eliminate the risk of frostbite, of course, but it will help delay the effects and is one of the easiest prepping hacks to follow.
5. It’s All About The Silver
There are many different types of disaster that can happen at any moment and an economic collapse is one of those possibilities. If it ends up that the dollar no longer means anything in our society we will have to revert back to a monetary system that was in place before paper money was in place as a sort of IOU for the gold and silver it was supposed to represent. Like gold, silver can be used as a hedge against inflation, deflation or currency debasement.
6. The Multi-Purpose Pad
The pad, primarily used for feminine hygiene, is an extremely versatile tool and prepping hack. Along with compiling stockpiles of food, water, and other important supplies, pick up a package of pads for your survival stash. Pads can be used for absorbing lighter fluid to be used later and is extremely light to carry. The cotton material inside the pad can be used for water filtration or creating a wick. You can use it to stop bleeding if you have a wound or to clean a wound. They can be used with string to create a mask, shoe insoles, or an ice pack.
7. Creative Uses For Condoms
Condoms are another cheap and easy to carry item that will be great in a survival situation. Aside for their intended purpose, these great prepping hacks can hold a gallon of water which can be a lot easier than toting around a water jug to do the same. However, once you fill a condom up with water they become highly susceptible to puncture even by small or blunt objects. I’d recommend keeping them around just in case, but not as your main means for keeping water. They are also great for keeping things dry like kindling or matches. The down side to using condoms for water or keeping things dry is the lubricant on the outside, but it’s a small price to pay as an easy substitution for a water jug in a pinch or a way to keep life-saving matches dry.
Survival and Prepping Hacks Wrap Up
Whether your prepping stash includes a giant storage warehouse filled with all of the necessary belongings needed in case disaster strikes or just a small tote filled with a few necessities, hopefully you discovered a few extra hacks to think about in the case of emergency. What unique prepping or survival hacks have you discovered?
Garlic for Post-Disaster Medicine
Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live”
This week’s show is dedicated to the pungent, spicy, and strong-flavored herb, garlic. The culinary and medicinal applications of garlic should warrant it a major place in any home garden. For the prepper/survivalist making plans for healthcare when our medical system may not be available, garlic could well save your life.
Think this is an exaggeration? It’s antibiotic, antidiabetic, antifungal, antiparasitical, antirheumatic, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, expectorant, and hypotensive. Preparations including garlic, can cover a wide range of serious conditions, keeping your disaster health care prep relatively simple.
Garlic is a vulnerary, as it has a well-established history of wound care. Effective against staphylococcus and streptococcus bacteria, bringing garlic in contact with infected tissue has prevented an untold number of wounds from turning into sepsis. Garlic helps the respiratory system expel thick mucus and ease asthma symptoms. There is some evidence to suggest that it also helps to regenerate the beta cells in the pancreas, which would be critical to helping anyone with diabetes survive a disaster with no medical care.
What would you do if you were suddenly without either blood pressure medication? What if there were no more refills on Lipitor available from the pharmacy because there isn’t a pharmacy anymore? No one wants a heart attack or stroke. Ever. You especially do not want to have a heart attack or stroke when there is no doctor available. The cardiovascular benefits cannot be understated. Garlic is also a vasodilator, helping to lower blood pressure. Plus, this hot herb can help achieve a healthy cholesterol level.
Garlic is also a time-tested favorite remedy during the cold and flu season. Add it to decoctions, syrups, ferment garlic cloves in vinegar or in honey. It chases away the aches and pains of the flu, and does wonders for throat and ear infections.
There is still so much more to say about how garlic can help you stay healthy after a disaster. Do not wait until after SHTF to learn how to use garlic as medicine. As we all know, the time to learn a skill is before you actually need it. Start right now by listening to this episode of Herbal Prepper Live, to learn all about how to make garlic remedies.
Herbal Prepper Website: http://www.herbalprepper.com/
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First aid training and resources are readily available for a number of medical emergencies. These skills and resources are focused on mitigating harm and keeping someone alive long enough to get them to professional medical care. But what if there is no professional medical care available? What if it is too dangerous or will take too long to get to professional medical treatment? What do you need to know–what do you need to do–to treat someone who may never see a doctor?
Fortunately for anyone preparing for this kind of scenario, for many people in this day and age this is already a fact of life. Aid workers and missionaries in remote parts of the world, for example, may find themselves dealing with all kinds of medical conditions in places with not enough medical professionals and not enough medical supplies and equipment. Ships’ crews on the open sea are also interested in treating medical conditions that would send one to Urgent Care back on dry land. Here is a short list of some of the resources developed for such people, plus some references used by medical professionals:
No professional medical care?
Where There Is No Doctor: A Village Health Care Handbook
amazon.com Kindle FREE download
Arguably the most widely-used health care manual in the world. Practical, easily understood information on how to diagnose, treat, and prevent common diseases. Special attention is focused on nutrition, infection and disease prevention, and diagnostic techniques as primary ways to prevent and treat health problems.
Where There Is No Dentist
amazon.com FREE download
Caring for teeth and gums plus: examining patients; diagnosing common dental problems; making and using dental equipment; using local anesthetics; placing fillings; and removing teeth.
The Ship Captain’s Medical Guide
amazon.com FREE download
Contains a wide range of authoritative advice – from birth to death, from first aid, general nursing, hygiene and the prevention of disease, to the treatment of injuries and diseases. The recommended measures for prevention and treatment can be safely carried out by an intelligent layman.
The Ship’s Medicine Chest and Medical Aid at Sea
amazon.com FREE download
Information upon the occasion of an injury to any of the crew or the appearance of sickness among them, to aid in obtaining a knowledge of the act of preventing disease, to give the necessary information as to the means of obtaining hospital or dispensary relief, and to serve as a guide to the proper use of the medicine chest.
Get ready with these medical references:
Bates Guide to Physical Examination and History-Taking
CURRENT Medical Diagnosis and Treatment
The 5-Minute Clinical Consult Standard
The Merck Manual
Essential information on diagnosing and treating medical disorders.
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