Using Red Clover in Tinctures and Teas for Women’s Health

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ReadyNutrition Gals (that’s right, Gals, just for you!), here we are going to focus on an herbal supplement that is seasonally dependent…. that’s right, you guessed it…and falling due to harvest at this time. The herb we’re talking about here is Red Clover, with the scientific name of Trifolium pretense. From a naturopathic perspective, the flower buds, dried or fresh are used to make the herbal preparation.

Red Clover to Naturally Help Women’s Needs

Ladies, this drug is important primarily for you. The Isoflavones in Red Clover have a wide variety of effects that you need to consider. In women suffering from menopause, studies have shown that these isoflavones from Red Clover improve arterial functions termed arterial compliance. Isoflavones also have a protective effect on the lumbar spine of women.

Another component of the flower is Biochanin A, and this is a compound that is found within Red Clover extract that has a chemoprotective effect and inhibits carcinogen formation in cells. Carcinogens are cancer-causing substances. It also has estrogenic effects. The extract decreased bone mineral density loss and losses in the mineral content in the lumbar spine for women who undertook a 12-month treatment.
Women who took Red Clover extract who suffered from hot flashes in post menopause had those flashes reduced by 44%. This was determined after a 12-week study. In addition, Red Clover can also be used for respiratory conditions and coughs, particularly pertussis, also known as whooping cough.

The extract comes usually as pills, capsules, or a liquid extract, the latter being the most commonly found form. The reason it is a summer-dependent drug is that after the summer ends, Red Clover should not be harvested, as it becomes toxic around late August to early September, depending on your geographic locale of residence. Contraindications include if you are using anticoagulants (that prevent blood clotting), contraceptives, estrogen/progesterone therapy (due to the potential for potentiation, or an increase in the effects of the already prescribed drugs), and Tamoxifen (Tamiflu), as it will decrease the effectiveness.

How to Use Red Clover

It can also be prepared at home as a tincture in a 1:1 liquid extract utilizing 25% ethanol (also known as grain alcohol).


For Red Clover Tincture:

  1. Pick blossoms in the early morning.
  2. Wash and place blossoms into a jar and pour alcohol over the blossoms, ensuring all are covered.
  3. Seal your jar and place your clover tincture in a dark cabinet.
  4. Store tincture in dark place and allow to sit for 6 weeks and shake 2 times a day.

The daily dosage is 4 grams of the extract, usually taken as an infusion (a tea) in three divided dosages. Sometimes those using Red Clover will have an allergic reaction to it. Consult with your family doctor prior to utilizing it as described within this article.


Red Clover Tea:

  • Add the dry red clover flowers into the hot water and allow to steep for 15 minutes.
  • Drink 3 times a day.

When harvesting it on your own for a tincture, remember to leave a good amount of the plants intact in order that they may reproduce more for the next season. A good rule of thumb is to leave 30% to grow in nature. When you wildcraft your herbs, it is best to place them (the flower heads in this case) in paper bags, so as not to have any leeching from plastic sandwich/Ziploc bags. This will help to wilt the flowers to release their curative properties. In this case, sandwich bags used to “brown bag” lunches for school (do they even do that anymore?) are more than adequate.

So, ladies, try to incorporate Red Clover into your supplies for those conditions outlined. Some things are just made with women in mind, and it appears that the Red Clover was designed in such a way. We’d love to hear your thoughts, comments, and experiences with this herb. Keep fighting that good fight! JJ out!

 

Please note that red clover is not recommended for use by pregnant women, or those struggling with estrogen dominance conditions. As well, those with breast or ovarian cancer and liver problems should not use this herb. Not for use with contraceptive pills or for those on blood thinners.

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Why Fighting Free Radicals with Holistic Foods is Essential to Long-Term Health

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Free radicals refer to substances that affect the homeostasis of your body.  Homeostasis is where the body maintains balance and a normal working order.  The free radical is a grouping of atoms that can be influenced by certain forces (such as radiation or oxidation) that “wander” and then become attached to another molecule and alter the molecule’s makeup.

The molecule is then altered in function, as well.  Oxidation is the primary method that free radicals are brought into play.  Oxidation does occur normally in the human body.  Oxidation is a slow process that leads to cellular death.  Scientists believe that the overall effect of damage brought on by free radicals in combination with oxidation is what causes human beings to age.

Harry Pettit writing for Mailonline published an article on 3/23/17 entitled Would YOU choose to live forever?  Age-reversing pill that NASA wants to give to astronauts on Mars will begin human trials within six months.”  The article bears reading because it presents some interesting information on DNA instructions inherent within the body’s cells and how this experimental pill may be used to throw that into high gear.

Ozone, Carbon dioxide, Lead, Carbon monoxide, radiation…these toxins in the body cause the formation of these uncontrolled and dangerous free radicals that lead to oxidation and other problems with tissues and organs.

So, how do we fight free radicals?

With good nutrition, rest, and exercise for one.  Another way is with Ginseng and Vitamin E.  I wrote an article on the many benefits of using Ginseng, and we’re really being specific here.  There are two major types that have beneficial effects: Panax ginseng (the Asian ginseng found in China and Korea), and Eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian ginseng: closely related with almost identical effects).

Both types of ginseng are adaptogens, meaning they have a broad range of beneficial effects physically and chemically in the human body while being nonspecific.  That last word means they are not for an ailment; however, they have wide-ranging effects that will help with virtually any malady in the human body.  Injuries, diseases, and stress are a few of the maladies that ginseng will help with.  Ginseng will help to reduce toxic effects on the body and return it to homeostasis.  Ginseng reduces oxidation and the formation of free radicals.

Vitamin E is the second wonder-food that fights those free radicals.  The cells contain mitochondria (the cell’s “powerhouse,” where the ATP, or Adenosine Triphosphate is manufactured), and organelles (structures that maintain the function and homeostasis of the cell).  These two areas/parts of the cell are where most oxidation takes place at the cellular level.  Guess what?  Vitamin E is bound up in the cellular membrane of the cells and is a natural antioxidant.  Vitamin E is also the chief antioxidant found in the body.  For a source, you need to find d-alpha tocopherol (that’s Vitamin E as supplied in food).

Be advised, you need d-alpha (the natural form of Vitamin E) and not dl-alpha tocopherol, as this latter is the synthetic form of it with only about 50% of the potency of naturally-derived Vitamin E.  Your dosage can be between 1,000 and 1,500 IU per day.  For the ginseng, it can be 1,000 to 2,000 mg, dependent on the type and the manufacturer.

Foods that are high in antioxidants can fight free radicals and should be incorporated into your diet. Whole foods, in particular, have been consistently found to be protective because of the bioactive compounds contained therein, which are linked to a reduction in the risk of major killers, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. The antioxidant and anticancer activity of plant foods is derived from the additive or synergistic effects of each of these compounds in combination.

So, there we have it: some holistic foods that may give you a whole new lease on things.  Use this material here as a primer, and check out Ginseng and the Vitamin E.  There are a lot of benefits to using both of them, and the fact that oxidation is being equated with aging means you can get a “head start” before that experimental pill comes out and perhaps slow down the aging process.  Do your research on each and stay in that good fight!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

20 Medicinal Herbs That I Have in My Prepper Garden

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“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” –  Hippocrates


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So, many of you may be asking my I want to go to all the trouble and grow herbs and roots for natural healing. You can read about seven reasons why I started a medicinal garden, but in short, I wanted options at my disposal. From a preparedness standpoint, I know that infection and illness could be very prevalent in the aftermath of a disaster and accessibility to medical care will be difficult to find. As well, with the massive over-prescribing of antibiotics in our modern healthcare industry, today’s crop of antibiotics has become less effective. Let’s be honest, bacteria has a 4 billion year head start in the evolution and has been adapting to environmental changes since the beginning of time. The time will come when antibiotics will be moot in terms of its effectiveness.

I love natural remedies solely for their simplicity and worry-free use. It is difficult to overuse natural remedies, but more importantly, they have been used for centuries. While researching which medicinal plants I wanted in my garden, I made sure that many of them were hardy perennials that could perform multiple medicinal duties. I don’t have a lot of space where my herbal garden is, so the plants had to be exceptional. These 20 herbs made the cut and I couldn’t be more pleased with my choices.

Ready Nutrition writer and herbalist, Jeremiah Johnson has written extensively on how to cultivate a medicinal garden to use in a long-term emergency. His favorite medicinals are what he refers to as the 3 G’s: garlic, ginger, and ginseng. You can read his article on the subject.

  1. Angelica – This herb is one that everyone should be growing in their garden. It’s great for children, adults and the elderly. It has antibacterial properties, astringent properties can be used externally as a medicinal gargle for sore throats and mouths and as a medicinal poultice for broken bones, swellings, itching, and rheumatism. It is also known for strengthening the heart. A powder made from the dried root can be used for athlete’s foot, as well as an insecticide and pesticide.
  2. Calendula – Also known as pot marigold, this pretty yellow flower is believed to be one of “the greatest healing agent for all wounds.” It naturally cleanses wounds and promotes rapid healing. It slows bleeding in some cases. Marigold was also used as a toothache and headache preventative in the 1500’s in England. It is an excellent herb to have on hand for skin issues such as eczema, skin inflammations, soothing varicose veins, soothing chapped hands and can be used to reduce body scars. Commonly made into oil by soaking fresh or slightly dried plant parts in one’s choice of base oil, it can be applied topically to relieve all sorts of fungal infections.
  3. Catnip – Your cats may be drawn to this herb, but it has plenty of medicinal uses and a wonderful herb to have in the herbal medical cabinet. Most notably, it has sedative effects and helps calm the nervous system. Making a tea from this herb before bedtime will help settle the body. It also has anti-fever properties, as well as antibacterial effects. The compound can also be used to repel common insect pests such as mosquitoes and cockroaches. When nepetalactone is distilled, it is more effective than DEET than repelling mosquitoes. As a matter of fact, it is up to 10 times more effective in accordance with laboratory experiments conducted by isolating the compound via steam distillation. Read more about using this herb here.
  4. Chamomile – This herb is also most recognized by its sedative effects, but has more to offer than just that.  The flowers can be strained out of the tea and placed into a warm compress to use on ear infections. Tea compresses and tea rinses can be used to gently treat eye problems. It also has the power to assist in comforting the effects of indigestion, morning sickness, nervousness, neuralgia, painful periods and assists as a sleeping agent.
  5. Comfrey – I just added comfrey to my garden this year. Not only does it have medicinal values, but can be used as a nutritional supplement to livestock and used as a fertilizer because it is high in potassium. To make a liquid fertilizer: chop off the top of a comfrey plant and throw the leaves in a bucket. Cover with water and let them rot into green liquid… then water whatever needs a boost. Medicinally speaking, comfrey is also known as “one of nature’s greatest medicinal herbs.” It helps heal wounds and mend broken bones, and even helps to bring fevers down. Nutritionally, it is a good source of vitamin C and calcium.
  6. Echinacea – Although the root is most widely used for its medicinal purposes, truly the entire plant can be used. This herb strengthens the body’s ability to resist infection and stimulates the production of white blood cells.  Echinacea stimulates the body in non-chronic illness such as colds, bronchitis, sore throats, abscesses and for recurrences of yeast infections. Echinacea can also be taken as an anti-inflammatory for arthritis. A gargling solution can also be made with the tea to use with a sore throat.  For cases that are not strep throat related: add 10-16 drops of water or to sage or ginger tea and use as a gargling agent.  If a person is fighting strep throat: every two hours, gargle with the above-mentioned teas to which add a drop full of echinacea extract.
  7. Garlic – This is simply a must-have in your garden. Its medicinal uses are too extensive to list but can be read in more detail here. In short, it is effective in preventing the common cold, reducing recovery time, and reducing symptom duration. An infused oil can be made from garlic to treat wounds and ear infections. And, I need not mention all of its culinary uses.
  8. Ginger – the medicinal value of this root is amazing. In fact, recent studies have revealed that ginger may be stronger than chemo in fighting cancer. It’s truly a remarkable medicinal to have in your garden. Here are 8 more benefits of ginger.
  9. Ginseng – This herbal powerhouse assists with nervous disorders, helps alleviate symptoms related to cardiovascular and blood disorders, is beneficial for diabetics as it reduces the amount of blood sugar in patients with mild to moderate diabetes, inhibits the formation of tumors and helps as a cancer preventative, and helps to minimize the effects of X-rays and radiation produced by radiation therapy as well as negative effects caused by free radicals are minimized and reduced by the adaptogens in ginseng.  Read more here.
  10. Lemon balm – This is one of my favorite herbs. This herb is great for adding a light lemon flavor to dishes, but I love it for its sedative qualities. If you have problems sleeping, this is a great herb to take before bedtime. The aromatic properties help with alertness and can sharpen memory. It is also a good herb for diabetics to use as it helps regulate blood sugar. The antioxidant properties present in this herb are also beneficial.
  11. Lavender – This is a great multipurpose herb to grow. Not only is it a calming aromatic, but it has antiseptic properties, assists with burns, can be used as a stress reliever, good for depression, aids skin health and beauty. Here are 15 more ways to use lavender medicinally.
  12. Peppermint – This aromatic herb is great for digestive aid, and dispels headaches. Peppermint tea will also assist in overcoming muscle spasms and cramps. Due to the camphor present in peppermint, if peppermint is applied to a wet washcloth it can externally relieve pain. This herb also hep clear sinus infections.  Apply a large, warm peppermint pack to the sinus area.
  13. Onion – Onions might not be at the top of your healthy snack list, but you should make efforts to include them regularly in your diet nonetheless. They help to fight insulin resistance, have anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and antibacterial uses, and are powerful antioxidants. They even help to relieve congestions. A time-tested effective cough syrup can also be made from onions. Read more about onion’s health benefits.
  14. Oregano – This little herb works as a savory culinary herb and a potent medicinal herb, as well. Most importantly, it is a powerful antibiotic and has been proven to be more effective in neutralizing germs than some chemical antibiotics. It has been effective against germs like Staphylococcus aureus, E. coli, Yersinia enterocolitis and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. An extract of its essential oil can be made to treat fungal infections and skin issues like dandruff, dermatitis, psoriasis and eczema. Carvacrol and thymol, the powerful enzymes in oregano, help to combat fungal and bacterial infections.
  15. Rose hip – Not only are roses beautiful, but they can assist in boosting our immunity, as well. Rose hips are high in vitamin C and if rosehips are made into a syrup it also”provides a welcome boost of vitamin D, something that should be welcomed when our exposure to sunlight is minimal and our vitamin D manufacture is at its lowest. Vitamin A is naturally present in the rose hips so pregnant women should seek medical advice before taking rose hip syrup.”
  16. Rosemary – This highly aromatic plant is used today in any number of organic products to help alleviate bone and muscle soreness, reduce anxiety and promote well-being.
  17. Sage – It’s anti-inflammatory properties also make this an effective herb. This herb can also be used in aiding anxiety, nervous disorders, used as an astringent. There are aromatherapy qualities to this herb and have been known to lift depression. Rubbing the sage leaves across the teeth can be used to effectively clean the teeth and assist in bad breath. American Indians used this herb as a fever reducer.  Sage has antiseptic properties and the leaves can be chewed to cleanse the system of impurities or made into a tea. Sage has also been known to assist with hot flashes associated with menopause. If a person has stomach troubles, cold sage tea can be used to alleviate the symptoms. Sage can also be used to treat the flu.  Using the tea before and during any type of epidemics and to hasten healing during a flu attack. Sage leaves can be wrapped around a wound like a band-aid to help heal the wound faster.
  18. Thyme – I have multiple thyme plants in my garden and allow them to creep over rocks in my garden. Thyme can help alleviate gastric problems such as wind, colic and bad breath, helps with bronchial disorders, shortness of breath and symptoms related to colds. If it also effective in fighting sore throat and post nasal drip. If a person has whooping cough, make a syrup of thyme tea and honey to help treat the disease. Thyme can also be used to treat a fever.
  19. Toothache plant – My medicinal garden wouldn’t be complete without some dental aides too. The toothache plant has a powerful numbing effect and works great for inflammation of the gums, lips, and mucous membranes of the mouth, and it can be used as toothpaste. It can also be used to alleviate those with asthma and allergies. It also is a powerful antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory. The toothache plant also contains B-Sitostenone it also lowers blood sugar. Other notable qualities are that it lowers blood pressure, chronic fatigue and is a natural pain reliever to all parts of the body.
  20. Yarrow – This plant was a favorite among Native American tribes who would use it to control bleeding, heal wounds and infections. It can also be effective in cleaning wounds and to control bleeding caused by puncture wounds, lacerations, and abrasions.

Don’t feel handcuffed to using only these herbs in your garden. Think about what future health issues you may have to deal with and plan(t) for them. Even tobacco has its medicinal uses. There are also medicinal weeds that you may want to locate in your yard and cultivate for the future.

Once you get your medicinal garden going, start experimenting with making your own medicinal pantry. Here are some ideas:

In the future, I plan on adding mullein, plantain, marshmallow and some cayenne peppers. What medicinals are you growing in your garden? Share them in the comments section to help our community!

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

7 Reasons Why You Should Have a Medicinal Garden

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Growing medicinal plants are a great way to ensure garden sustainability and more notably, have access to natural medicine when you need it most. When I introduced more herbs in my garden, I noticed it had a profound impact on the vegetables and fruits I was growing. It also encouraged beneficial insects and birds to visit my garden and this helped cut down on plants being eaten.

Because of this observation, I changed my focus from solely growing to eat and, instead, worked to create a welcoming growing environment. Not only were my plants healthier, but I had access to natural herbs to use for making extracts and poultices. The following are reasons I feel gardeners should adopt adding medicinal herbs to the garden.

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6 Reasons Why You Should Have a Medicinal Garden

  1. Have access to multiple forms of natural medicine for future needs. When you have fresh cut herbs to use for natural medicine, you have access to the freshest forms of their healing properties. For example, what if you cut your hand and did not have a bandage. Did you know that the sage leaf can be wrapped around a wound and used as a natural band-aid? Or, if the bleeding from that cut was so bad that it wouldn’t stop. Did you know that a few shakes of some cayenne pepper can help control the bleed? Or, if you have a severe bruise, make a poultice. It’s one of the easiest and fastest ways to use herbal medicine.
  2. Calm your senses with medicinal teas. Herbs like lavender, lemon balm, chamomile, catnip, and peppermint have a natural sedative quality to them to help calm your spirits or help you sleep better at night. Taking a handful of leaves and adding them to a cup of hot water will create a soothing cup of herbal tea. Here are some great herbal tea remedies to start with.
  3. Many medicinal plants and herbs are perennials and will come back year after year. The more established the plants are, the more they will produce each year. This will save you money in the long run! I bought a small oregano plant three years ago and it is the size of a small shrub. I have so much oregano now that I can use it for culinary uses and experiment with making my own tinctures and astringents. As well, my echinacea has produced so many “baby” plants that I have dug them up and transferred them to another part of my property where I am creating another medicinal garden.
  4. Feed your livestock! Livestock can also benefit from growing herbs in the garden.  Not only can they be added for additional nutrition, but you can use herbs to make natural cleansing shampoos and even clean wounds. Some herbs I feed my animals are oregano, comfrey, lavender, mint, and sage.  Note: not all herbs are healthy for your livestock, so do research to find out which ones are good for your animals.
  5. Another added benefit of having a thriving medicinal garden is that bees love it! This promotes bee sustainability and a healthier garden, as well. The blossoms put out by the flowers and herbs will attract bees that will, in turn, happily pollinate your vegetable and fruits. Consider planting some of these beneficial flowers in addition to herbs:
    • Asters (Aster/Callistephus)
    • Sunflowers (Helianthus/Tithonia)
    • Salvia (Salvia/Farinacea-Strata/Splendens)
    • Bee balm (Monarda)
    • Hyssop (Agastache)
    • Mint (Mentha)
    • Cleome / Spider flower (Cleome)
    • Thyme (Thymus)
    • Poppy (Papaver/Eschscholzia)
    • California poppies (Eschscholzia)
    • Bachelor’s buttons (Centaurea)
    • Lavender (Lavandula)
  6. Regrow from cuttings on your windowsill. Herbs like rosemary, lavender, mint, cilantro, oregano, marjoram, basil, sage, lemon balm, and thyme are perfect for starting in a glass or canning jar. Simply add water and set in indirect sunlight – it’s that simple! Read more here.
  7. Herbs can be great companion plants for the vegetable garden. Don’t feel handcuffed to only growing vegetables, but herbs can be planted nearby to do double duty as companion plants. Companion planting can also help control the insect balance in your garden and repel some of the more unwanted guests like mosquitoes. Some favorite companion herbs are pairing basil with tomatoes, chamomile near cucumbers, garlic planted near apple, pear and peach trees, roses, cucumbers, peas, lettuce or celery. Read more about which herbs are great companions here.

Ready Nutrition writer and herbalist, Jeremiah Johnson has written extensively on how to cultivate a medicinal garden to use in a long-term emergency. His favorite medicinals are what he refers to as the 3 G’s: garlic, ginger, and ginseng. You can read his article on the subject.

To better understand natural medicine and using herbals for health, I strongly recommend you read more on the subject. The following books come highly recommended:

Herbal Antibiotics: Natural Alternatives for Treating Drug-Resistant Bacteria,” by Stephen Harrod Buhner.

Prepper’s Natural Medicine: Life-Saving Herbs, Essential Oils and Natural Remedies for When There is No Doctor, by Cat Ellis (Herbal Prepper)

This is not a new gardening concept, yet is still not widely used. When you are planting your garden, consider adding a few herbs and watch the benefits grow before your eyes.

 

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How Pine Pollen Can Be Used as a Super Food

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ReadyNutriton Guys and Gals, this piece is designed to make you aware of the many benefits of pine pollen.  That’s right, it’s a superfood that can be put to many uses, and we’re actually coming up on the time that it can be harvested in the wild.  Raw pine pollen is good for a lot of different things, especially exercise and physical training.  Let’s outline some of the qualities of it and cite some references for your perusal.

Pine Pollen is a Powerhouse of Nutrients

Pine pollen is, technically, the male “sperm” cells of the pine tree, and is analogous to a plant-formulated testosterone.  Don’t smirk, ladies: in this form, it is very beneficial for you as well.  Studies prove that low testosterone levels in both genders (yes, women also have a minute quantity of it in their bodies) cause cholesterol levels (the “bad” form of it) to increase.  Low levels also cause losses of bone and tissue that translate into aging prematurely, and also significant weight gain (fat), sexual problems, and cardiovascular problems.

With men, in particular, low testosterone levels lead to a higher probability of cancer.  Pine pollen can fight all of these with its components of Phyto-androgens, which are the sexual hormones found in human beings but produced in plants.  This is really neat stuff because the pine pollen gives you androstenedione, testosterone, DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), and androsterone.  Sift through the archives and you’ll find some articles I wrote on DHEA and testosterone that go into detail.

Some of the ailments that raw pine pollen can fight off are high cholesterol, chronic fatigue, and diabetes.    These conditions have been dramatically improved by the regular addition of pine pollen to the diet.  Although these Phyto-androgens are almost identical to the ones produced by the human body, there is still a slight difference, and this is beneficial: the difference enables the body to continue producing its normal levels of the androgens without being affected by the addition of the pine pollen.

It can be taken in the form of powder or tincture, and with either case mixed with a beverage.  The tincture is the more easily-consumed out of the two forms.  Here are a few websites to help you in your quest for further information:

http://www.rawforestfoods.com/questions.html
http://rawfoodhealthwatch.com/pine-pollen/
http://www.righthealth.com/topic/Pine_Pollen…

The pine pollen is also made up of about 35% protein and contains 7 essential amino acids.  To refresh your memory from the articles I have written previously, essential amino acids are those necessary to the body that are not produced within the body, i.e., we must obtain them from food.  Here they are, with the 7 essentials being underlined:

  • Alanine 17mg
  • Arginine 30mg
  • Aspartic acid 33mg
  • Cysteine 3mg
  • Glutamic acid 47mg
  • Glycine 21mg
  • Histidine 6mg
  • Isoleucine 16mg
  • Leucine 25mg
  • Lysine 24mg
  • Phenylalanine 17mg
  • Proline 26mg
  • Serine 16mg
  • Threonine 15mg
  • Tryptophan 4mg
  • Tyrosine 11mg
  • Valine 19mg

The recommended amount to consume is ½ to 1 tsp per day.  Pine pollen is also chock full of vitamins and minerals, as well as acids and a ton of substances that normally we buy in bunches, such as resveratrol and MSM.  These substances are all right there in the pine pollen.  I have seen many places to order it online, and your finer health food stores will (at the bare minimum) be able to order it for you.  As with all things, consult with your physician prior to using any of the information or materials mentioned in this article.  JJ out!

 

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

SHTF Dental Care: These Are the Supplies You Need To Survive a Post-Collapse Dental Emergency

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As far as preppers are concerned, the majority of you guys and gals have already probably stored up about a half a pallet of toothbrushes and toothpaste for shtf dental emergencies.  Yes?  No?  Well, in any event we’re going to cover some field-expedient methods to clean up the teeth.  The reason for this is that it’s hard enough in a normal environment to keep those teeth cleaned and healthy.  In a grid down collapse, there will be no dentist and there are going to be a lot of problems that will affect the teeth and gums, so the more you know about oral hygiene now, the better.

Firstly, it is in your best interest to pick up the reference guide entitled, Where There is No Dentist,” by Murray Dickson.  It will be money well-spent, as it covers all of the different procedures to follow for abscesses, tooth extraction, and other “niceties” of oral care when you will not find a dentist, as the title suggests.  A manual such as this is just what your preparedness library needs.

Alternatives to Toothpaste

That being mentioned, what about things such as toothpaste and floss?  Well, many of your aromatic mints can be crushed up and used as toothpaste, such as spearmint and peppermint.  Follow this up with baking soda, and you’ll find a good clean set of teeth after brushing.  Charcoal powder is also an excellent dental cleanser, as well, a strong salt water solution will also be of use.  Cloves, in particular are good for swollen or abscessed gums, and clove oil itself can be used as a topical analgesic with excellent results and can easily be made.


To Make Clove Oil: Dried cloves can also be chopped up to be placed in a jar with 50% ethyl alcohol.  Make sure you cover over the pile of chopped cloves by about ¼ inch.  Tightly close the jar, and shake it vigorously several hundred times a day, once in the morning and once at night.


Keep the clove mixture in a cool, dark place, and after two weeks, you’ll have your solution.  Cloves contain eugenol, which is both an anesthetic and an antimicrobial.  Don’t drink it.  Use it as an oral rinse: a more effective one than most supermarket-brand mouthwashes.  It can also help to prevent and to aid with swollen gums.

Keep this rule in mind: The main causes for tooth problems are poor nutrition and then poor hygiene. 

This does pose a problem, and there are certain foods that can do a number on your teeth. This will be a challenge for you to be able to find not just food, but healthy and nutritious food after a collapse.  Vitamin C is necessary to prevent scurvy, a disease of the gums that eventually leads to tooth loss if unchecked.  Protein deficiencies are also a big problem that can cause teeth to loosen and gums to rot.  Clean water is very important, not just for the care of the teeth, but also to prevent any microorganisms from entering an already unhealthy oral cavity post SHTF.  Boil the water for at least 3 to 5 minutes after you have strained and filtered it in every way that you can.

How to Make Your Own Toothbrushes and Floss

Toothbrushes can be fashioned out of sticks with the diameter of a pencil.  Notch the ends and then hammer the end, spreading out the wood and softening it somewhat.  With these you’ll have to be a little more careful, as there not your “Oral-B” store-bought toothbrushes.  Floss can be made from cotton or nylon thread that you can wax beforehand to strengthen it somewhat.  Just take the start of your thread and press your thumb on top of it, crushing/pressing it into the wax, and then just pull the thread through.  Do this several times to give it a light wax coating that smooths out the thread through the teeth and strengthens the fibers.

Above all else, make sure you have some post-collapse dental supplies. Anything that you can pick up before the disaster is a plus, and you may wish to practice with several of these techniques to find out which are the best for you personally.  The reason is that everyone’s mouth is different, and genetically many are predisposed to having either teeth without a long lifespan or other problems.  As well, have an understanding of how to mitigate dental pain should something arise in a disaster. Prior to taking any actions here, consult with your friendly, certified, government-approved dentist for his or her friendly approval.  Take care of those teeth, and stock up on stuff you need…before the SHTF.  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Natural First Aid: 5 Items To Put In Your Emergency Medical Kit Today

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 When the SHTF and a medical situation does occur simultaneously, things can go to absolute turmoil very quickly. Most medical situations that will arise during this time may not be considered life threatening, but can quickly become one if not appropriately treated. For instance, a simple cut that makes contact with tainted water (a very typical scenario following floods and hurricanes) can quickly become infected. That said, as preppers we need to prepare for medical emergencies and not only learn basic first aid, but also know how to use natural alternatives to care for the wounds themselves.

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5 Items To Put In Your Emergency Medical Kit Today

1. Books

One cannot become proficient at something without study and application. Going as far as to take medical courses in community colleges, local county extension offices, local fire departments, and with veterans groups, along with other civic clubs and organizations can give you a great edge on acquiring knowledge on medical emergencies and how to treat them. It should go without saying, but stock up on medical manuals like:

2. Kitchen Staples

Since most of us have limited shelf space, it is only logical to find shelf stable foods and products that will perform multiple jobs for us. And some of your kitchen staples can do just that – including medical care. For instance, did you know you can make an antiseptic (first discovered during World War I) made of a diluted solution of baking soda and bleach? It’s called Dakin’s Solution and has been proven to kill most bacteria and viruses.

3. Honey

As well, honey has become a poster child for an alternative to antibiotics. In fact, numerous studies have shown that certain kinds of honey can fight multiple species of bacteria, fungi, and superbugs, making it a viable alternative to antibiotics.

As Ready Nutrition writer, Jeremiah Johnson recently wrote, “Honey is also good for wounds/abrasions/cuts of the mouth, as it is a demulcent that soothes abraded tissues, and it also is a medium that microbes do not live in.  Who doesn’t remember the time-honored honey and lemon mixture for a sore throat?  The thing of it is: it works, and if it works it should be employed. Read more on how to use honey to treat wounds.

4. Medicinal Herbs

Having access to health-inducing herbs is another essential for wound care. Herbs such as oregano, garlic, lavender and thyme can help protect a wound from infection and promote healing. Along those lines, writer, Jeremiah Johnson recommends every prepper have the Three G’s: Ginger, Garlic and Ginseng in their natural medicine cabinet. Further, knowing which herbs can be used for natural pain killers is also paramount in your medical preparedness knowledge. Some pain reducing herbs to add to your herbal first-aid kit are:

  • Aloe (Aloe vera)
  • Calendula (Calendula officinalis)
  • Comfrey (Symphytum officinale)
  • Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica)
  • Tea (Camellia sinensis)
  • Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

Common pantry items can also be used to help bleeding wounds clot. Many have found that cayenne pepper is an effective alternative and natural version of QuikClot. Cayenne pepper contains an active ingredient, called capsaicin, which has analgesic (pain relieving) properties and various other medicinal uses.

5. Essential Oils

In an extended disaster, bacterial infections and viruses are likely to be one of the reasons that people will die. Historically, essential oils  have been used as a natural therapy to relieve symptoms when modern-day medicine was not available. The most amazing aspect of essential oils lies in their ability to effectively kill bad bacteria while leaving good bacteria alone! Rather than targeting one symptom, as Western medicine does, it targets multiple symptoms. There are two types of essential oils you should stock up on for SHTF planning:

Antibacterial – Due to the increase of antibacterial resistant illnesses, many are turning to essential oils such as basil, cassia, cinnamon, clove, cypress, eucalyptus, geranium, lavender, lemon, marjoram, melaleuca, myrrh, orange, oregano, peppermint, rosemary, tea tree and thyme.

Antiviral – Oils that have been studied to help control viral infections include: basil, cassia, cinnamon, eucalyptus, frankincense, lemon, lemongrass, marjoram, Melaleuca, myrrh, oregano, and thyme.

I started out with a simple beginner’s essential oil kit and have found it of great use! Some more popular ways of using essential oils are aromatherapy, herbal soaks, compresses, tinctures and salves.

Things can go awry very quickly when a medical emergency occurs during a disaster. Having resources to turn to, skills to treat wounds, along with items you have around you can be lifesaving.

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Better Than Botox: Study Backs Up Benefits of Niacin for Better Skin

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Skincare products make up a staggering $20 billion dollar a year industry in America alone. It seems that there is always some new miracle lotion or cream on the market that promises drastic results. Scientists and doctors devote huge amounts of time to developing these products because they are so lucrative. Every so often an ingredient really does have an amazing effect on skin. Niacin and niacinamide (a form of the vitamin B3) is one such ingredient, with plenty of studies and research to back up the benefits.

What is Niacin?

You’ve probably heard of niacin before, but perhaps in a nutritional context. Niacin is found in milk, eggs, green leafy vegetables, beans, cereals, yeast, and in some types of fish. It’s required by the body in order to properly metabolize fats and sugars and in the maintenance of cells and a lack of niacin can lead to indigestion, fatigue, depression, and a serious deficiency called Pellagra. Though niacin is found in food, research has shown that to achieve increased benefits for the skin, it takes more than what we typically receive in our diets.

Benefits of Niacin on the Skin

For skincare, niacin is best used topically. When used in creams, lotions, or sprays directly on the skin, it leads to increased cell turnover, wrinkle reduction, boosts moisture, protects against certain forms of skin cancer, and treats a wide variety of other skin issues including:

  • Rosacea
  • Acne
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Flaking
  • Peeling
  • Inflammation

Risks or Side Effects

One thing to be aware of is the “Niacin Flush” when using products containing niacin. Tingling and redness is very common immediately upon application to the skin, often resulting in a deep red flush and warmth on the cheeks of some individuals who use it. Niacin is a vasodilator (it expands the vessels to bring blood and nutrients to the surface of the skin) so the flush is actually one indication that the vitamin is working its magic on you. The redness and tingling typically only last for a few minutes, but for this reason, many people may choose to apply niacin-based skincare products at night. Being sufficiently hydrated can also prevent or lessen the niacin flush. For many people, the tingling sensation and redness will lessen over extended weeks of use. Some individuals may find they never get the flush at all.

Where to Find Niacin

Because it is water-soluble and stable in the presence of heat and light, niacin works well for topical use in a variety of different types of skincare products. It is now being formulated in a variety of serums, creams, sprays and lotions, but unfortunately, like most products, a majority of the cost to the consumer is not for the ingredients themselves but for the marketing and packaging. Instead of spending a lot of money on pre-formulated products, niacin can be purchased in bulk online or from your local vitamin shop.

There are several DIY products you can make on your own to save quite a lot of money. See the video below for information about how to make a naicinamide face spray for incorporation into your beauty routine.

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Natural Medicine: How to Make and Apply an Herbal Poultice

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poutlice1


“The fruit of it shall be for eating and leaf of it for healing…” (Ezekiel 47:12)


5 years ago, I came down with a bad upper respiratory infection. I was taking over the counter medicines, but none seemed to work and I was worried about secondary infections. My wife grandmother suggested I make a mustard plaster (poultice) for my chest. She told me that was what her mother did when she was a child. If it would help me with my chest congestion, I’d try anything. You know what? After a few applications, it worked!

We live in an amazing world where everything is provided for, all that is needed is to learn and understand how to use it. In our pursuit to live a more simplistic lifestyle, it is paramount to understand the vast world of herbs. Some of our favorite herbs can be lifesaving and easily grown in our backyard.

One of the easiest and fastest ways to use herbal medicine is by making a poultice. Poultices are one of the safest ways to use herbal remedies directly on the skin. The overall benefit of using this herbal remedy is the direct contact the body will receive from the herb or plant. While poultices are not as concentrated as essential oils or tinctures but they are an effective way of treating insect bites, burns, sore muscles, and sprains. They also assist is in drawing out infections and are great to help with blood poisoning, swollen glands, cysts, boils, pimples, internal injuries and even tumors. As well, poultices can be used to loosen chest congestion, aiding in expectoration of phlegm.

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What is Needed to Make an Herbal Poultice

poultice2

How To Make a Poultice

Familiarize yourself with natural herbs that grow nearby so that you can later forage for these when needed. For instance, plantain is a common green weed that is often found in lawns. If you know how to recognize it, you can use its extensive medicinal qualities. If you are foraging for herbs, make sure the area hasn’t been sprayed with any type of chemical. The most basic poultice applies the herbs to the skin, either directly or folded into a piece of cotton fabric.

In that same vein, this website states that herbal teas and extracts can also be used. “Compresses can be made using teas or extracts. A cloth dipped in arnica can be applied to unbroken skin to relieve bruising and sprains. Hot castor oils packs are unparalleled for rheumatic joints or congested muscles. Cool sage tea soothes abrasions and vinegar compresses are healing for sprains, sore throat, swollen glands, and aching muscles. Lastly, witch hazel is known to reduce the inflammation in varicose veins and hemorrhoids.”

Some popular herbs to have on hand are:

  • Aloe vera
  • Chamomile
  • Calendula
  • Comfrey 
  • Echinacea
  • Elderberry
  • Golden Seal
  • Lavender
  • Marsh mallow
  • Mullein
  • Nettle
  • Oats
  • Plantain
  • St. Johns Wort
  • Thyme
  • Yarrow

Applying a Poultice

*If you are using fresh herbs or vegetables, mash or grate them and mix with boiling water to form a paste. If you plan on using dried herbs or clay, just add enough boiling water to form a thick paste.

Using both hot and cold poultices will create different reactions from the skin:

Applying a hot herbal poultice relax spasms and relieve pain. They also draw blood to the skin’s surface and increase circulation. The heat also pull impurities to the surface and relieves congestion (like my grandmother’s mustard plaster) to affected areas. To prolong the heat of the poultice, cover with a towel to keep. You can also apply a hot water bottle or heating pad over the poultice. Replace the poultice as it cools down and repeat as needed (for up to an hour at a time). As well, herbs can be added into a large muslin bag and added to the bath.

Applying a cold poultice or compress reduces inflammation and swelling and soothes excess heat that occurs from sunburns, bruises, strains, sprains, swollen glands and mastitis.

Fomentation is an external application of alternating hot and cold poultices to help capillaries dilate and constrict. This manipulation of the blood flow is one of the best and safest mechanisms for removing congestion and obstruction out the system. Apply a cold (kept cold using ice cubes) compress and leave on for 2-3 minutes. Next, apply a hot compress for 2-3 minutes. Alternate between hot and cold for at least 20 minutes. Alternating hot and cold compresses are also particularly useful for sprains to speed healing and repair. Herbs such as elder leaf, ginger, comfrey or horsetail could be of use here.

Note: A good rule with compresses and poultices is that if it feels uncomfortable then remove it immediately. Anything that is too hot or causing irritation or itching is best removed and allowed to cool or discarded. You can also make compresses with a few drops of essential oil dispersed in warm or cold water in place of teas or tinctures.

Best Types of Herbal Poultices

  1. Wound Healing Poultice – This combination of herbs help to reduce inflammation, sooth irritation, disinfect wounds, stop bleeding and heal tissue. Adding a tablespoon each of dried plantain leaf, Calendula flowers, thyme leaf and yarrow and adding to an empty tea bag will help soothe and heal. This poultice can be made ahead of time and even used on hiking or camping trips. Simply, place the herbs into the tea bag and seal the bag by stapling the ends together. Add tea bags to a plastic container and store in a cool dark place or in first aid kit. To use as a poultice place the bag in hot or warm water and soak for 1- 2 minutes and then apply to the affected area. You can then wrap the area with either a bandage or clear plastic to keep it moist and in place. Healing Antiseptic Wash: The same herbs mentioned above can be used to make a strong antiseptic wash as well. Place the bag in boiling water  and steep for 20 – 30 minutes.  Allow the liquid to sit until it is cool enough to apply to the skin. Remove the bag and reserve the liquid. Once the liquid is cool enough to apply to the skin it can be used to wash and disinfect the affected area.
  2.  Grandma’s Mustard Plaster – Break up congestion in the sinuses or chest. Use 4 tablespoons of flour, 1 tablespoon dry mustard, lukewarm water and a hand towel to make this poultice. Make a paste with ingredients and add to one half of a hand towel. Fold in half and apply to chest area for 20 minutes. Thoroughly wash off after you are finished applying. Repeat steps to back of chest for 20 minutes and wash off when finished. Take note: mustard can burn the skin. Before using, cover the skin with olive oil and then make sure to remove and check frequently and move the compress around to prevent burning.
  3. Poultice for Muscle Strains or Broken Bones – Comfrey reduces swelling and heal wounds and is an excellent herb to use in speeding the healing process of sprains, strains and broken bones. St. John’s wort relieves nerve and muscle pain. To make poultice: crush a handful of comfrey leaves and pour enough boiling water in small bowl to cover leaves. Using a mortar and pestle, mash into a pulp and allow to cool off. Once cool, with a spoon spread the pulp directly on the affected area. Cover with gauze and bandage to hold poultice in place. Leave on for several hours.
  4. Poultice for Insect Bites – Powdered clay including red, green or white clay is an essential component of a natural first aid kit and can help draw out toxins to the surface of the skin from spider bites, mosquito bites, or bee stings. It also relieves swelling from bites. Simply fill a 2-4 ounce container of dry clay, and then moisten with small amounts of water until a paste like consistency is achieved. The paste can be applied to bites, stings, boils, or acne. This poultice can also be used to remove stubborn splinters. Chickweed and lemon balm are also good herbs to use as a poultice for insect bites.
  5. Poultice for Boils  Onions possess antiseptic properties that act as an antimicrobial and irritant to draw blood and “heat” to the boil. Cut a thick slice of onion and place it over the boil. Wrap the area with a cloth. Change the poultice every three to four hours until the boil comes to a head and drains. You can also use a slippery elm and thyme poultice to draw out boils and heal the skin. Here’s what to do: Mash a handful of thyme leaves and cover with boiling water and allow to cool. Pour off excess water and mix in 2 tablespoons of slippery elm powder. Apply directly to the boil or enclose the pulp in gauze. Leave in place for several hours.

The old ways of doing things should not be disregarded. There is a reason our ancestors used these herbs and why the herbal ingredients continue to be shared. In a time when we are becoming resistant to modern medicines due to overuse, it would be advantageous to start turning back to these old remedies.

We’d love to hear what your favorite poultices are! Share them with the Ready Nutrition Community below.

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Why Your Sleep Needs Change With the Seasons

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 ReadyNutrition Readers, the holidays are in full swing.  As such, there is a mountain of tasks to be accomplished: the ever-present workday, the kids going to school, doctor’s appointments, travel plans, and continuous shopping and planning for the holidays.  As most of you are well aware, we’re in the winter months where the days and the daylight periods are shorter.  December 25 is the shortest day of the year, and for the most part we have darkness for about 14 hours or more.  Whether we realize it or not, this affects us in an extremely negative manner that sometimes calls for a little bit of naturopathic help to get us through it.

Bodies Slow Down in Winter

In the winter months (as is the case for most mammals, of which human beings are classified), the metabolism slows down.  In man’s past, the summer and fall were the times to gather in the winter supplies, such as food and fuel.  Even though man does not hibernate, with the advent of increasing periods of darkness he does slow down.  The amount of work (especially outdoors) that can be accomplished during the wintertime is significantly lessened or abated completely.

In addition to this, man still requires a high caloric intake and a greater need to stay warm during the winter.  We were designed to not continue so frenetically through the winter months.  Yet in these modern times we do.  We are continuously bathed in artificial light and follow after man-made patterns and rhythms, not the natural circadian rhythms that have governed man’s existence for millennia.  In this artificial environment, it is small wonder that people have a hard time keeping up the pace of their existence.

What happens is that with the advent of darkness, your body naturally produces chemical messengers that tell it that the time to rest approaches.  The problem is that most people work a 9 to 12 -hour workday, and now (in the winter months) they leave the house when it is dark and return home when it is dark.  The tasks do not stop.  The treadmill is ever-present and we seem to never be able to leave it.  As a consequence of the pressures of work and holiday requirements, many people are operating with a disturbed rhythm and (this time of the year) experience sleeplessness and/or difficulty in getting a good night’s rest.  There are some natural foods available to help you in this time of the year.

Get a Better Night’s Sleep with Natural Remedies

Valerian root (Valeriana officinalis) is a really great herb that helps you to relax and obtain the rest that you need.  It is classified as a nervine in herbalism; that is, it directly affects the nerves and helps a person to relax.  It isn’t an herb that “puts” you to sleep; rather, it enables you to rest and enter your sleep-period more effectively.  It is extremely affordable: a bottle of it is available in Wal-Mart for about $5.  The brand I suggest is Spring Valley, with 100 capsules, a serving being 3 capsules that give you 500 mg of the Valerian.

There are no contraindications, except is will make you drowsy. Also, if you are using any kind of tranquilizers, sedatives, or anything that is considered a depressant (remember, cold medicines have alcohol in them a lot of times), the Valerian can potentiate it, adding to its effects.  It should not be taken by pregnant women or nursing mothers. It is best taken about half an hour before bedtime; don’t take it if you have to drive anywhere: make sure you’re home first.

Another aid is Melatonin, which is a hormone that is produced by the pineal gland in the human body.  It is a hormone that functions as a sedative and is used to treat sleep disorders and other things such as jet lag.  Melatonin is also available at Wal-Mart in 5 mg tablets with 120 tablets per bottle that costs about $6 on average.  It is contraindicated with both pregnant women and nursing mothers, and should not be taken by anyone with autoimmune disorders or depression.  Once again, you don’t want to be driving or operating any kind of machinery or heavy equipment, as it will bring on drowsiness.  Melatonin needs about an hour to kick in before you retire for the evening.

I’m recommending these two because it may not be as convenient to wait for Chamomile tea (which is not as strong as either Valerian or Melatonin) to steep, as you may not have the time for it.  Before you start using either one of them, consult with your family physician and ask for his or her approval.  Pleasant dreams!

 

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

There’s Toxic Air In Your Home and This Is How to Get Rid of It Naturally

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 Did you know that poor air quality in the home can cause a condition called “Sick Building Syndrome”? This is caused by an accumulation of toxic gases known as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) which are released from common household goods, including everything from your cleaners to appliances and even the food you eat.

In addition to being carcinogenic and neurotoxic, long-term exposure to VOCs can lead to other serious health implications including, respiratory dysfunction, genetic abnormalities, and dermatitis. It begs the question, what are we subjecting ourselves to, doesn’t it?

NASA’s Clean Air Study reports how certain houseplants help to filter and remove toxins from the air. Houseplants have long been known to clean the air in small spaces, but some of these plants are more beneficial—and prettier to look at—than others. For those of you who prefer the bright colors of flowering plants, the following list shows the best beauties for filtering the air in your home.

5 Indoor Plants That Will Improve Air Quality

Succulents

Everyone loves the ease in caring for succulents and some of these create delicate flowers too. Here’s a quick fact: when photosynthesis stops at night, most plants absorb oxygen and release carbon dioxide? But, there are a few plants – like orchids, succulents and epiphytic bromeliads that will take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen at night time. Meaning, these would be ideal plants to have in bedrooms to keep the oxygen flowing at night.

Flamingo Lilly

AKA Flamingo Flowers, these are durable and fairly easy to grow in low light, low water situations. They can thrive for many years under ideal conditions but are hearty enough to maintain growth for up to two years in even the most adverse situations (i.e., this is a perfect flowering plant for those lacking a green thumb!) . They have large, deep green, heart-shaped leaves and produce long lasting, bright red or hot pink flowers.

The Flamingo Lilly is great at removing the toxins formaldehyde (found in many paper products), xylene (found in tobacco smoke and vehicle exhaust), and ammonia (found in cleaning products) from the air.

*Beware that the Flamingo Lilly (like a lot of flowering plants) is toxic to dogs and cats, so be sure to keep them away from your family pets.

Barberton Daisy

The Barberton daisy is available in many colors ranging from white to bright red. The hybrids sold in garden centers typically produce two or more single stemmed stalks with a single flower sprouting from each one. These flowers are up to four inches wide and are quite impressive to look at. The Barberton Daisy can be grown indoors in medium-levels of sunlight, with moist soil. They can flower at any time of the year and each flower blooms for approximately six weeks.

Barberton Daisies filter out trichloroethylene (found in ink, paint, rubber products, lacquers and varnishes), formaldehyde, and xylene.

Peace Lilly

The Peace Lilly is easy to care for and gives a telltale droop when it is in need of water. They flourish in shade and low light and you can expect your Peace Lilly to bloom with dozens of striking white flowers in the springtime.

Peace Lillies are extremely effective at filtering multiple toxins from the air. They work on trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, xylene, benzene (used in plastics, detergents, dyes, and glue), and carbon monoxide. If you can only have one flowering plant in your home, the Peace Lilly might be a good bet.

*Like the Flamingo Lilly, this one is toxic to pets as well, so beware.

Florist Chrysanthemum

The Florist Chrysanthemum requires bright light and moist, high-quality soil, so it needs a bit more care and upkeep than the other flowers listed here so far. But with the proper maintenance and right kind of soil, the Florist Chrysanthemum will produce lots of big, beautiful blooms (typically in the red and pink color family, though occasionally you will see bright purples and yellows) that will last for up to 8 weeks.

Like the Peace Lilly, the Florist Chrysnthemum filters out multiple toxins including trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, xylene, and benzene (used in plastics, detergents, dyes, and glue).

*This plant is also mildly poisonous to dogs and cats (if the stems are ingested they will cause stomach upset and disorientation) so again, use caution.

If you feel that your home suffers from poor air quality or quite possibly sick building syndrome, start adding some indoor plants to frequented rooms and see if your health improves.

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How To Make Essential Oils at Home

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 Essential oils have been used for centuries to heal and treat ailments. There are essential oils for medical care, essential oils that can help to naturally clean your home or even make natural repellents. There are essential oils that can soothe symptoms to cold and flu viruses, or you even make your own beauty creams and lotions. In most cases, purchasing essential oils is simple and fairly inexpensive; however, certain oils can be pricey or difficult to come by in some regions, and there is always the chance that you might find yourself in a situation without traditional purchasing options. With a little know-how and some trial and error, you can make your own essential oils at home.

Choosing the Correct Source Biomass

Keep in mind that the process of making your own essential oils is somewhat involved and requires pounds and pounds of the intended biomass (i.e. flower petals, leaves, or other plant material) in order to produce a significant amount of oil. For this reason, some types of oils are better suited to make at home than others. Mint tends to overrun gardens in great hoards, and it is a plant that is strong and resilient, which makes it a good choice for use as an essential oil. If you find yourself with rotting citrus fruit all over your yard, you might want to consider making a lemon or orange extract from the peels. Both mint and citrus oils have multiple uses (you can add them to cleansers, use them in beauty routines, and incorporate them with other oils for use in aromatherapies, or use them to treat medical issues or prevent infection).

Because the elements that are present in the original biomass becomes condensed into the essential oil, you must make certain no pesticides or poisons have been used in the cultivation of your biomass source plant. You need to know exactly where the plant was grown and how it has been cared for before using it as a source material. This likely means using something that grows on your property or on the property of a trusted friend. You might consider setting up a biomass swap with a like-minded person who has different plant material options on their premises.

The Extraction Process

There are many methods for making essential oils. Most of them are complicated and some of them require expensive equipment or a lot of technical training. The following video below details the extraction process, which is the simplest option for making essential oils at home.

Gather up your pesticide-free plant biomass, a glass jar with a lid, vodka, a porcelain-coated strainer, cheesecloth, a dropper and a small storage container. Now you are ready to begin. Understand that this process will take many days or even weeks to achieve the quantity and potency of the essential oil you desire. Though extraction is the easiest home method, it still requires research, time and a concerted effort. If your first attempts do not yield the results you had hoped for, give it another shot. It may take a few tries to get the hang of it, but it is certainly worth the effort.

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

5 Life-Saving Health Benefits of Turmeric

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turmericTurmeric, also known as Curcumin, is a medicinal plant that has been used to remedy a number of diseases for over 4,000 years. Commonly used as a spice in Southeast Asia, the turmeric root is growing in popularity internationally due to recent discoveries of its healing potential. With over 9,000 papers published on the life-saving benefits of turmeric, health advocates are now recognizing the immense medicinal benefits derived from this plant.

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Here are five reasons why you should include turmeric in your diet:

1. Inhibits the Growth of Cancer Cells

A recent study found that pancreatic cancer (PC) cell growth was inhibited with the introduction of curcumin to cancer cells. In the study, there was observed suppressed cell growth, cell cycle arrest and induced cell apoptosis, meaning programmed PC cell death. This means that turmeric taken daily could prove to be an effective measure to prevent cancer or mitigate the growth of cancer.

2. Very Good Source of Vitamin B6

Turmeric is a great source for vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), as well as Iron, Potassium and Manganese. B6 assists in the process of generating usable energy for the body out of food and helps to fight infection. Adding turmeric to your daily diet will ensure that you do not suffer a deficiency of vitamin B6, which can lead to anemia, dermatitis or a number of other maladies.

3. Potent Anti-diabetic Properties

An April 2015 study showed that turmeric powder exhibited potent anti-diabetic, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. All three properties would be helpful in alleviating complications associated with diabetes, such as for anti-hyperglycemic therapy. It was also shown to impede molecular complications of type 2 diabetes milletus.

Curcumin extract was found to be effective in preventing type 2 diabetes in prediabetic patients. Following 9 months of treatment of a prediabetic population, 16.4% of test subjects in the placebo group were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, but nobody in the curcumin-treated group was found to have type 2 diabetes. Those suffering from type 2 diabetes and those who are prediabetic should consider adding turmeric to meals to relieve their symptoms.

4. Treatment for Depression

A study published just this month suggests that curcumin may be helpful in treating depression. When given active drug treatments comprising variant doses of curcumin and combined curcumin/saffron, patients with major depressive disorder experienced an effective reduction in depressive and anxiolytic symptoms.

Curcumin has also been found to enhance nerve growth in the the sciatic nerves in mice, which may be the reason it is said to enhance nerve growth in the frontal cortex and hippocampal areas of the brain. This could be one of the mechanisms contributing to a reduction of depression among patients. Patients may experience relief from depression with the addition of turmeric in their daily intake.

5. Improves Vascular Endothelial Function

A study comparing the benefits of exercise to those derived from turmeric found significant improvement to vascular endothelial function, suggesting that daily curcumin ingestion may help to prevent against cardiovascular disease. The curcumin group showed a slightly greater improvement when compared with the exercise group. It would be best to combine daily endurance exercise with turmeric ingestion to obtain the maximum improvement of endothelial function in order to effectively protect against heart disease.

If you are interested in preventing cancer and diabetes, improving cardiovascular function, relieving depression and ensuring that you are not deficient in vitamin B6, then you should certainly consider adding turmeric to your diet today.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Natural Medicine: How to Make Your Own Tinctures, Part 1

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 ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, we’re going to delve in the exciting and fascinating world of herbal tinctures.  There are many reasons for making tinctures.  The foremost are:

They are simple and relatively inexpensive, and they are an excellent way for you to preserve the naturopathic herbs that you wish for your supplies on a day-to-day basis and for when the SHTF.  We’re going to give you the basic fundamentals here that you need to get started.

Basic Terminology

Let’s cover a few basic terms you’ll need to keep in mind:

Menstruum – a solvent, in this case with tinctures, alcohol and water that you use to extract the soluble and viable components and constituents of an herb.

Marc – taken from the French marcher, as “to trample,” this is the solid and insoluble matter remaining after you extract an herb’s soluble components.

Tinctures – primarily alcohol or water/alcohol solutions that are created from dried or fresh plants, although they can also be made from vinegar, wine, or glycerin as a base.  Glycerin is a special case, though, as the solutions you make are referred to as glycerites or glycerates, as they have properties that vary from a standard tincture that we’ll cover in Part 2.  The USP (United States Pharmacopoeia) only recognizes tinctures with either alcohol and water or alcohol alone.

Herb Ratios

Now you’re going to need some ratios for herbs.  The International Protocol adopted in Brussels, Belgium in 1902 established these ratios of herbs to menstrua, that is to say, the amount of herb and the amount of menstruum (solvent) for it:

  1. Tinctures of dried plants represent the activity of 20 grams (g) of dried herb in each 100 cc of tincture.  This yields a 20% or 1:5 weight volume (w/v) tincture.
  1. Tinctures of dried toxic or intense plants hold the activity of 10 g of dried herb in each 100 cc of tincture. This is referred to as a 10% or 1:10 w/v tincture.
  1. Tinctures of fresh plants represent the activity of 50 g of fresh herb in each 100 cc (a 50% or 1:2 w/v tincture). The menstruum used in this case is undiluted ethyl alcohol, as with grain alcohol (190 proof).  Note: “proof” when you divide the number by 2 yields your percentage/concentration of alcohol, in this case 95%.

Example: What this means is that if you tincture a dried Dandelion tincture and take 100 cc (the ccs are equivalent to milliliters, or ml) at a 1:5 ratio, you will receive the same actions as if you ate 20 grams (g) of the dried dandelion.

The weight (the weight of the herb) to the volume (of the menstruum) is the w/v method you should be using.  This by far is your most accurate method for delivery of the component parts of the herb.

When tincturing fresh herbs, you want to macerate (chop) them into small pieces.  For dried herbs, you want to grind them into a moderately coarse powder (mcp).

We’re going to give you what you need to get started, and in the second part we’ll cover the finer parts of dosage calculation and adjustments of the menstruum.  For right now, we’re going to use that straight-up 190 proof grain alcohol as your solvent to create the tincture solution.  JJ uses this for most of his creations, bringing us to other reasons to tincture:

  • Tinctures will usually preserve the med the longest in your herbal solutions, on average at least 3 years…the longest preservation method there is available from your own hands.
  • Tinctures with high alcohol contents (you can look up a chart on the Internet) do not freeze, or freeze at ridiculously-low temperatures, such as 75 degrees below zero. With that 95% alcohol content in the grain alcohol, your tincture will not freeze, thereby saving your bottle and saving you a tincture and a lot of grief.

Making the Tincture

Here are the steps to tincturing your herb:

  1. Chop your fresh herb/grind your dried herb.
  2. Place it into a large jar that can be sealed up tightly, filling it to the top with fresh, and ¾ full with the dry.
  3. Add your menstruum. With the fresh, all the way to the top.  With the dried, about ¼” above the top of the herb.
  4. Clean off your rim and lid of the jar, and then put on your lid, and tighten it securely.
  5. Agitate/shake your jar (JJ does it 100 times in the morning, 100 times before beddy-bye), never unsealing the lid…and do this for 14 days. You need to keep this jar in a cool, dry place where no light hits it…in a cupboard will do nicely. Do not open the jar before the 14 days are done!
  6. After the 14 days, decant your liquid carefully into a brown or blue bottle or bottles. Take your marc and press it (a coffee filter works for this…double ‘em up if needed) and pour the liquid from this into your tincture bottle(s).
  7. Filter the liquid if desired (JJ does not: get all of that good, agitated residue…it’ll help)
  8. Bottle your newly-made tincture, cap it tightly, and label it.

Your label should include who made it (that’s you!), the date it was completed, and

Exactly what herb (common name and scientific name), as well as the ratio and what the menstruum is made from.  You can utilize the w/v method to accurately learn how much herb you’re placing in your jar prior to agitation, as well as the volume of liquid menstruum to come up with your ratio in accordance with what was mentioned in the w/v paragraph above.

That’ll get you started!  You need to research your herbs thoroughly prior to conducting your exercises.  Here are 30 of the most popular herbs to start with. There are many variables, and yes, you need to learn as many of them as you can, especially contraindications and potentially poisonous substances.  Next time we’ll cover some dosage calculation and the finer points of crafting yourself a good supply of herbal aids.  Until next time, keep shaking those jars and keep them in the dark!  JJ out!

 

 

Disclaimer: Please keep in mind this article is for informational purposes only, and does not diagnose, treat, prescribe, or advise any actions or undertakings regarding illness or injury.  Only your physician is qualified and certified to make such decisions.  Consult him or her prior to taking any actions with the information presented here.

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

FDA Bans 40% of Antibacterial Soaps Due to Presence of “Dangerous Chemicals”

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 Step into any grocery store and you’ll see shelves upon shelves of antibacterial soaps. Dishwashing liquid, hand soaps, wipes, and gels with this distinction have become extremely common in the United States, with many people using these products several times a day. Marketers have long been capitalizing on our fear of germs to make a buck, but it turns out you’re far better off not using those products, many of which contain chemicals that were banned by the FDA this week. The FDA says that the risks outweigh the benefits, and that serious harm may come from continued and prolonged use of these soaps.

19 Dangerous Chemicals 

All in all there were 19 chemicals that the FDA said must be removed from soap products within one year. About 40 percent of all soaps on the market contain triclosan (mainly used in liquid soaps) and triclocarban (mainly used in bar/solid soaps) two of the primary chemicals the FDA has banned for human use. Public health experts agree that this ruling is a long time coming; for years they have expressed concern that antibacterial soaps promote drug-resistant infections and potentially cause problems in the hormonal development of children. These compounds build up in the bloodstream; they are present in breast milk and in newborn babies, as well as in dust and soil samples taken from in and around households that frequently use them.

These chemicals are endocrine disruptors, meaning they can affect critical hormone functions along with brain activity, the immune system, and reproductive systems. These chemicals are so disruptive to children’s hormones that they can lead to early puberty, infertility, obesity, and even cancer. Studies also show that triclosan and triclocarban impair learning and brain development in young children, and prolonged exposure in vitro can cause major issues in fetal development. Concerns were first expressed about the use of these chemicals in 1976, but it’s taken this long for the FDA to make a move. This has consumers and health experts asking, why the delay?

Antibacterial Boom

The antibacterial market makes a staggering billion dollars a year. The United States is particularly preoccupied with cleanliness, and millions of Americans choose antibacterial soaps over “regular” soap because they believe they will keep their families safer and healthier. But after 40 years of lawsuits and extensive scientific studies, the FDA has finally made a sensible decision about the matter.

What to Use Instead

Health experts agree that using regular soap and water is safer for your family. Castille soap can be used as a base and adding essential oils like tea tree and coconut oil can give the soap anti-bacterial or anti-microbial properties without risking your safety.

It will take some time for the FDA to properly take action—in the meantime, go through your house and remove any items that may contain triclosan or triclocarban. Any soap marked “anti-bacterial” should be discarded. If you’ve been a devout user of antibacterial soaps, don’t panic. Realize that up to 75% of the population already has traces of these chemicals in their system. It will take many years to eradicate and correct the damage these chemicals may have done (once antibacterial soaps get washed down the sink, they can seep into the water supply—this is a huge ongoing issue that will eventually need to be addressed on a much larger scale). In the meantime, try to change your thinking about cleanliness and understand that soap doesn’t need to be marked antibacterial to be effective. Also beware that these chemicals may also be present in products, including mouthwash, laundry detergent, fabrics and baby pacifiers. Check ingredient labels and use your best judgment.

 

 

 

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Incredible Edible Dandelion: Using This Weed to the Fullest

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Hey there, ReadyNutrition Readers!  We’re going to give you guys and gals a bit of information pertaining to Taraxacum officinale, also known as the Dandelion.  Last year I conducted a book review on the work “Eat the Weeds,” and out of the edible weeds, none exemplifies quality vs. misunderstanding as the common dandelion.  Most consider them a nuisance; however, they really are a treasure-trove if you know how to use them.

The dandelion is a perennial, and it contains a wealth of vitamins and nutrients, as well as naturopathic applications that are astounding.  The dandelion is edible in its entirety, which is really good to know from a survival perspective.  They also grow upon a taproot, an important consideration as they will grow back if harvested from the surface and the root is left alone.

Natural Medicine

From a naturopathic perspective, dandelion tinctures and teas can be used to help the liver and gall bladder, and the root can be tinctured and used as a diuretic, especially good for women with excessive water weight caused during the normal course of menses.

NUTRITION INFORMATION   Taken from USDA SR-21   

Source

Here are just a few segments of the breakdown (nutritionally) from dandelion.

Dandelion, 1 cup, chopped (55g)

  • Protein 1.5 g                                    
  • Vitamin A   5588 IU  (112%RDA)                           
  • Vitamin C  19.3 mg (32%RDA)
  • Vitamin E  1.9 mg (9%RDA)                      
  • Vitamin K  428 mcg  (535%RDA)

Other ingredients include Iron, Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, and Zinc.  All from the dandelion!  When you’re tincturing, you should try to harvest the roots in October/November.  This period of time is when the concentration of its natural constituents is at its height.  Dandelion is an excellent diuretic and is good to take when sweating and flushing the system are needed, such as during the time of fever or cold.  Just remember to replace the fluid taken out of your system by the dandelion.

Edibles

The herb can also be dried and preserved, reconstituted in soups, stews, or salads with minimal losses of its vitamins and nutrients.  Concentration and focus should be placed on gathering it, as it provides vitamin C and A in large quantities, and these vitamins will be scarce in times of collapse or shortage.

After rinsing the dandelion off in cold water, you can chop them up and eat them in your salads.  There is also another way that I personally prefer to eat them.  Parboil them lightly, just to take out the crisp without making them go completely limp or wilted.  Then drain them off in a colander.  Next, throw them in a frying pan with about ¼ cup of olive oil, and sauté, adding fresh chopped cloves of garlic.  It comes out with the taste and consistency of spinach.  Throw a little bit of butter and salt on it, and it is delicious.

Ben Charles Harris’ book mentioned earlier gives more weeds and “nuisance” plants for you to cook and make salads from.  Why not supplement your diet with quality food while cutting your grocery bill for fresh vegetables at the same time?  Dandelions actually help the soil by aerating it and allowing some space between for the growth of helpful microorganisms and other “helpers” such as worms and beetles that help to condition the soil.

In addition, honeybees are heavily dependent upon the pollen produced from countless fields of dandelion.  If you plan on making any honey, it would be wise to preserve the fields full of them as a food source for your bees as well as for you and your family.  So, with these words, I encourage you to go out into your backyard and reacquaint yourself with the dandelion.  With so many gifts to offer, it would be wise to take advantage of them.  Just as with anything else, sometimes a gold mine is right in front of you, and you just need to recognize it for what it is.  Dandelions are just that.  Happy salad-gathering, and let us know about your adventures and any recipes you may have for us!  JJ out!

 

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Synergistic Effects of Meditation + Exercise on Depression

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meditateYou’ve definitely heard of endorphins, the feel-good hormones that are released during physical activity. And you’ve probably heard about the head-clearing benefits of meditation, how being mindful can help to combat stress and anxiety. But what you may not have heard about is how combining these two activities (exercise + meditation) has an effect greater than the sum of each part. A new study shows that MAP training (mental and physical training combined) allows for increased results from both types of activities. These findings could drastically improve the quality of life for people with mild to moderate depression. Some even say the results are so good that certain individuals may find MAP training as beneficial as drug therapy.

Sitting Before You Sweat

Professional athletes have long known that meditation can improve performance. Sports rely heavily on mindfulness, the moment-by-moment awareness of a person’s feelings, thoughts, and physical sensations. Legendary Bulls coach Phil Jackson told Oprah in a 2013 interview, “As much as we pump iron and we run to build our strength up, we build our mental strength up so we can focus … and so we can be in concert with one another in times of need.” It turns out that even the most casual exerciser can experience improved performance after meditation.

Depression and anxiety are often fraught with ruminating thoughts—feelings of worry or anxiety that a person can’t see to get out from under. Both meditation and exercise can help with breaking these thought patterns, but when used in conjunction, the results are magnified.

In the aforementioned study, subjects (half with depression and half without) were taught a form of meditation called focused attention. This is a simple, entry-level form that involves counting your breaths up to 10 and then counting backwards. Participants engaged in this for 20 minutes and then moved on to a walking type of meditation for 10 minutes. After the 30 minutes of meditation, they participated in the aerobic exercise of their choice for 30 minutes. Not only did participants find that they could keep doing their aerobic activity for linger than they thought, they found the exercises easier to complete and felt positive about the process.

Synergistic Results

Subjects completed this hour-long routine twice a week for 8 weeks and were tested at various points along the way. The mental health results were significant: of those with depression, a 40 percent reduction in anxiety was reported. Those subjects said they felt free from anxious thoughts and felt more positive about their lives in general. These benefits peaked immediately following the exercise, but the gains were measurable even on the days when the MAP training was not done. The non-depressed subjects also noted a significant increase in their mood, concentration and attention.

No Reason Not to Try MAP

This study focused only on the mental health and well being of the subjects, but we of course know that exercise provides numerous physical health benefits as well (from endurance, improved heart rates, to the burning of calories). At only a 2-hour a week commitment, there’s really no reason NOT to try a MAP program, whether you want to improve your symptoms of depression or just improve your outlook (and your body).

Have you incorporated meditation into your workout? Comment and let us know!

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Hives: Natural Remedies to Ease An Itchy Situation

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hives1A friend of mine, Steve, recently asked me, “What is the best way to deal with rashes from poison ivy?”  I told him that the best way is to stay out of the poison ivy.  Not only was he not satisfied with my answer, but also he asked me to do an article on skin rashes and such.  Readers, this one goes out as a dedication to Steve, and if you guys and gals can’t take the initial advice I gave to him, perhaps this information will help you in your hiking and backpacking adventures!

The topic of discussion for this article is hives, and we will present some facts about hives and some measures that may help those afflicted by them.  Hives are known in medical terminology as urticaria.   Defined as such, urticaria consists of multiple, swollen, raised areas of the skin that itch for up to 24 hours, caused by allergens and the body’s immunoglobulin response to those actions. Hives can strike anyone, for multiple causes and reasons.  To really understand how hives work, we have to understand the body’s histamine response.

Understanding How Hives Occur

hivesHistamine itself is a substance that is made from an amino acid, and it causes enlargement of blood vessels and a marked rise in the digestive acid production in the stomach, along with mucous production and bronchial constriction.  Histamine is released from mast cells that are large cells that serve to produce inflammatory responses that are governed by immunoglobulin E.  The mast cells and their mediators produce what is known as a type I hypersensitivity reaction (also known as an immediate hypersensitivity reaction) that lead to the sign-symptom of hives.  Poison ivy (in my friend, Steve’s case) is one of the causes for a type I reaction.

Regarding these explanations, urticaria (hives) is the result, not the cause, of the allergic reaction; however, they pose the problem, albeit short-term.  The actual causes are too numerous to count and can simply be expressed as being anything.  Such a statement means that depending on the individual immunoglobulin response (that is unique per each individual), there is no one thing (generally) to affect all humans.  When a person examines their recent activities leading up to the reaction, it is possible through process of elimination to find the actual cause.  In Steve’s case, he knew that he had been in the poison ivy and didn’t need to narrow down the search so much.

The histamine response is akin to a jigsaw puzzle in terms of illustration of function, albeit an oversimplification.  With an allergic reaction, the offending particle that causes it binds to a tissue receptor site.  This site is the source of the production of the process regarding the immunoglobulin.  The resultant irritation (the hives) stems from histamine production and the irritation of the affected tissue.

There are drugs that block these receptor-sites involved in producing histamine (basically the substance triggering the allergic response); these sites are known as H-1 (histamine) receptors.  The allergen (offending irritant) triggers the histamine production.  What the medications do is function as a tailor-made jigsaw puzzle piece.  They “fit” into the receptor site and block the production of histamine, thereby either preventing or minimizing the allergic response, and thus eliminating or lessening the hives.  Such drugs are known as antihistamines.

The greatest rule to follow is to avoid any known allergens and particles that cause such problems.  One common medication that lowers the allergic reaction is benadryl (diphenhydramine HCl); it functions by blocking the production of histamine as outlined.  Benadryl is available over-the-counter, and it is useful in many applications, such as bee stings and insect bites to severe allergic reactions.

Naturopathic Aids to Alleviate Symptoms

Naturopathic aids are not so readily identifiable to lower the allergic response; the focus of concentration must be placed more on palliative-supportive measures than preventing the reaction.  As mentioned earlier, the reactions are case-by-case and specific to the individual afflicted.  The first step is to know the things that trigger allergies…. for you, and in this manner you can avoid contact with them.  Pollen-allergic individuals (in this vein) surely know it is not beneficial to walk through a field of Canadian Goldenrod.  Once again, knowing yourself and exercising good common sense are the keys to good preventative health care.

Lavender (in the form of an infusion or a bath) is an excellent natural product to help soothe and cool afflicted skin.  Remember, this is a supportive measure: it does not deal with the root of the problem.  If you are experiencing hives, you need to determine the source of the irritation.  Ask questions of yourself.

Are you being exposed to dust, soot, smoke, or particulate matter that may be irritating your skin?  Are you eating different foods or using different sources for those meals?  Are you using any medications that you normally do not use?  Have you changed dry cleaners or laundry detergents recently?  If you’ve been outdoors camping or bivouacking in the woods, what plants were you near?  Are you allergic to any of them?

Number One: take action to identify the cause of the irritation (the hives).

Number Two: remove the irritant(s) or yourself from the source of the environment causing the allergic reaction

Number Three: seek professional medical help if the hives persist.

Hyssop is another cleansing herb that can be used externally to help with anything of an infective and antimicrobial nature.  Make a decoction with it and use it as an astringent/body wash.  The washing is most important (except, of course, if your water supply is the source of the irritation).  The latter condition is known as aquagenic urticaria, in essence hives that are produced by ordinary water in contact with the skin. Washing (in most other cases) will remove the irritants from the skin and allow the hypersensitivity reactions to abate.

Remember, most urticaria lasts for 24 hours; this is a good measuring guideline for you.  If it runs longer than this, it would be a good idea to visit your family doctor.  Be prepared to give the doctor a rundown on your activities and where you slept (sleeping bag, tent, or “roughing” it under the stars on pine boughs).  Knowing these basic first aid and skin care measures can help you in your excursions.  Another thing to keep in mind: autumn brings on changes in the plants, pollen, and humidity in the air; seasonal changes and weather fluctuations can cause things that would not normally be harmful to act as allergens on you.  Above all things, be safe, and enjoy the rest of the summer and your outdoor adventures!

 

JJ

 

The information in this article is for informational purposes only and is not meant to nor does it treat, diagnose, prescribe, or recommend any action or information outlined herein.  Consult with your family physician or health-care practitioner prior to taking any steps outlined here.

 

Additional Resources:

Natural Treatment Options and Strategies for the Great Outdoors: Allergies and Hay Fever

30 Most Popular Herbs for Natural Medicine

Off Grid Antibiotics: For When There is No Medicine

Garlic: A Natural Medicine for the Prepper’s Medicine Chest

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

5 Ways Coconut Oil Can Bring Out Your Natural Beauty

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coconutCoconut oil is everywhere—you’ve probably read about its uses in lifestyle magazines, in recipes and in holistic medicine articles. You might already know that coconut oil is an antifungal great for curing athlete’s foot and for use in treating head lice, but what you might not be aware of is how many of your most expensive luxury products can be completely replaced with this miracle oil. The Beauty Industry spends billions in advertising dollars to promote products they want you to believe are specially formulated and scientifically proven. In fact, coconut oil is not only an affordable alternative, it’s better for your health and safety than most chemical-laden beauty products.

6 Ways to Achieve Natural Beauty with Coconut Oil

Not all coconut oils are created equally. Since you’re putting this directly on your skin, you want to look for an organic coconut oil like this one that will nourish and protect. Make sure your coconut oil comes from a reputable source. Don’t accept anything that is not organic and non-GMO, and make sure that it is cold-pressed and unrefined. Refined coconut oil may have been bleached or deodorized and processed with chemicals, while unrefined, cold-pressed coconut oil (also called virgin oil) is mechanically pressed immediately after picking, without any additives. Remember that what you put on your body goes in your body!

 Eye Cream and Nighttime Moisturizer

Because it is quick-absorbing and rich, virgin organic coconut oil is an excellent deep moisturizer for dry, delicate skin.

Simply use your ring finger to smooth around your eyes after your cleansing routine. It might be too heavy to spread over your entire face, but feel free to dab a little over those rough patches on your cheeks and forehead. It’s also a great lip balm!

Shaving cream

Drugstore shaving cream can be irritating and drying to skin. Coconut oil is much more hydrating and won’t clog your razor the way some shaving creams can.

To use, wet the area to be shaved, rub coconut oil over the area in circles, and shave as usual.

Bath oil

 Adding coconut oil directly to your bath is better than bubbles or bath salts. Skip bubble bath and salts, and try adding coconut oil to your bath.

Since coconut oil is a solid at room temperature, simply run hot water over the jar for a few minutes to melt it down. Add a few tablespoons to soak up the moisture.

Hair mask

Coconut oil is one of the few oils molecularly small enough to be absorbed by the hair shaft. Many of the expensive hair masks and leave-in conditioners for sale merely sit on top of the hair and coat it. This can lead to buildup over time and dull, lank hair. Coconut oil actually infuses your strands and repairs damage.

To use, at night, wet the hair and comb a few tablespoons of coconut oil from root to tips. Wrap your hair in plastic or use a shower cap. Get some beauty sleep. In the morning, you may have to wash your hair twice to remove the excess oil, but what you’ll have afterwards is manageable, shiny hair that feels silky and soft.

Makeup remover

Makeup removers are often expensive and they sometimes have harsh chemicals that can burn or sting your eyes. It makes no sense that something meant to remove eye makeup can be dangerous to your sight! Coconut oil is a non-irritating alternative.

To use, apply a small amount to your face with your fingers. Massage the coconut oil on the makeup you’d like to remove, then wipe off with a light-colored cloth (so you can see when all of the makeup is off).

Lip balm

Your lips are one of the most exposed areas of the body. With only a thin layer of skin to protect them, the cold, dry air can wreak havoc. When every ounce of moisture counts, we have to take steps to protect them.

To make an easy lip balm, check out this recipe for step-by-step instructions.

Is it safe to say that coconut could be the miracle beauty we have all been looking for? Bring out your natural beauty and start using these coconut oil products today!

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Are Bat Houses the Solution to Controlling the Spread of Zika?

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 Where I live in New York, aid against mosquitos is coming from an unlikely source: bats. This isn’t only because mosquitos are annoying–we now know these pests are spreading the Zika virus, along with West Nile, and who knows what additional blood-borne diseases may come to light in the future. But dousing large areas with pesticides is potentially damaging to humans and plant life, so the Long Island town of North Hempstead is turning to their local bat friends to help control the mosquitos.  By building bat houses that offer safety and shelter, Long Island residents are encouraging growth in bat populations while naturally limiting the spread of diseases.

Bats have gotten a bad rep, but of the nine species based in New York State, none of those are blood drinkers. Less than half of one percent of them have rabies and they are shy animals who avoid contact with humans whenever possible. Bats are more effective than even the most potent pesticide—a single bat can eat more than 1,000 mosquitos per hour, and many species hunt for 6-8 hours per day. North Hempstead has been building bat houses since 2007, but with West Nile and now Zika, they have redoubled their efforts recently.

Make Your Own Bat House

Learn about the bats of your region by doing some research. If bats live in your area, you can support your bat population by building or buying a simple bat house or bat box to offer shelter to these helpful creatures. This kit or this pre-built model will come in handy if you want something effortless. A bat house is simply a wooden box with an entrance mounted somewhere high up, away from predators. Bats like the dark, so you’ll want to stain both the inside and outside of the box. They like heat as well, so make sure your box is in direct sunlight for at least 8 hours of the day. Mounting on a building or a high pole is ideal, since bats tend to avoid trees (too many predators hang out in trees, there’s too much shade, and bent branches disrupt the bat’s flight patterns upon exiting). Make sure there is a nearby water source. You can attract bats to your property with bat scent.

An Outdoor Bat is a Happy Bat

Bats can get hurt or even killed if they end up indoors. Keep them from accidentally getting into your house by ensuring that window screens are not ripped or torn (some bats can fit through even a tiny tear in a screen) and that doors stay closed when not in use.

If a bat does get inside your house, don’t panic. Remember that they are gentle creatures that are afraid of humans.  Place a soft cloth in a shoebox and gently scoop the bat into the box (you might want to wear an oven mitt to avoid touching the bat with your bare hand—this protects you from bat germs and the bat from your germs as well). The bat will cling to the cloth and you can place then place it into the bat house (or at the base of the bat house if it is hung too high to reach) and the bat will crawl off and up into the house (bats can’t take flight directly from the ground but they are good climbers).

If you think your bat population is growing too rapidly, you can get in touch with the humane society in your area and they can help relocate some of the bats. You can also reach out to friends or family who may be dealing with mosquito issues and spread some bat love their direction!

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Mix and Match: Using Essential Oils to Create Personalized Insect Repellent

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 If you’re one of the unlucky ones who get eaten alive by bugs during the summer months, you’ve probably spent a small fortune on stinky, chemical-laden insect repellents. A custom blended essential oil is a great way to save money, avoid harsh reactions to unknown ingredients or known allergens, and customize for the particular pests in your area.

Choosing your perfect potion

You may want to focus your insect repellent oil blend based upon your geographical region.

Mosquitos hate citronella, lemon, thyme, clove, eucalyptus, peppermint, catnip, basil, lemongrass, geranium, and lavender.

Grapefruit, juniper, rose geranium, thyme, and oregano are your best bets for repelling ticks.

Citronella, tea tree oil, lemongrass, lavender, orange and pine work best to deter fleas.

If you’re dealing with multiple bugs, feel free to choose an oil that works double duty. Go by what smells good to you and do a little trial and error to see which scents smell the best together and which seem to be the most effective.

Making your mixture

  • Once you’ve decided which oils to use, fill a clean 4 oz spray bottle with 2 ounces of boiled or distilled water.
  • Add an ounce of witch hazel or vodka (vodka has also been proven to be an effective insect repellent on its own)
  • Next use a dropper to add a total of 50 to 75 drops of any combination of the essential oils you’ve chosen.

This recipe will make a standard-strength mixture—simply add a few drop more or less to tweak until you get the strength you prefer. Even if you need a very strong formulation, be sure to keep the percentage of oils under 15% of the total volume for safety. Leave a little bit of room in the bottle so you can shake the mixture before every application (separation of oils is normal and to be expected—shake before every use for best results). Adding a little bit of jojoba or coconut oil can turn your bug spray into a skin moisturizer as well.

Keep a bottle in your diaper bag, your purse, out on your patio and/or in your car. If, for some reason, you forget to spray on your mixture or you already have bug bites, a drop or two of lavender or tea tree oil directly on the bite will relieve itching and speed up the healing process.

A few warnings about essential oils

Make sure your oils come from a reputable source and be aware about what products you’re already wearing on your skin, as some interactions can occur. It’s also always a good idea to test for skin sensitivity and allergic reactions before dousing yourself with any new oils. Children and pregnant or nursing women can have serious adverse reactions to certain oils so use caution. This natural bug spray is perfect for spritzing your dog around the collar, but avoid putting essential oils on your feline friends, as many of them can be poisonous to cats.

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Overcome Your Coffee Addiction With This Healthy Alternative

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  Yerba Mate (yer-bah mah-tay) is my new saving grace. I love coffee as much as the next person, but recently I noticed I was having trouble sleeping at night on the days I drank it. I was also getting the jitters after my second or third cup, even though I wasn’t feeling fully awake. I have small children, so the idea of giving up caffeine entirely is unfathomable, but tea never really gets me going and energy drinks (especially those with mythical creatures in their titles) make my heart race and my palms sweat.

What is Yerba Mate?

I first heard of Yerba Mate from a friend of mine who visited Paraguay, where everyone from university students to the elderly to children have been known to sip it (this is the brand she saw people drink the most often and is consequently what I now drink). Yerba Mate is made from the leaves of a South American holly tree that grows in the rainforest. It has approximately the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee (around 75 mg) but the way the body processes it is very different. While it has energizing properties, Yerba Mate doesn’t result in the same jittery quality caffeine sometimes does. People tend to drink it all day long, not only in the morning, and it’s been said to actually aid in sleep. In Central and South American cultures people often drink from traditional gourds, but I found a travel gourd that is super cute and works just as well (and you won’t get strange looks from your coworkers when you show up to work with a hollowed-out coconut). You suck Yerba Mate through a metal straw with a filter (called a bombilla) but you can also run it through a coffee machine or use a tea ball or French press and get basically the same effects.

Energy without the Jitters

As soon as I switched from coffee to Yerba Mate I noticed an immediate difference in my ability to concentrate. Besides that, I didn’t have the anxiety I sometimes get from coffee. I’m not going to lie, the taste is very different—closer to a very strong, almost oaky, black tea—but I drink coffee for the pick-me-up, not the flavor. On the first day that I switched, I opened a very long, tedious document I was to copyedit. It usually takes me well into my second cup of coffee to get into the flow with this type of work, but before I had finished one gourd of Mate, I was in the zone. I drank two gourds full over 4 hours and easily completed my assignment. I didn’t drink any more Mate that day because I didn’t need it.

Sweet Dreams

I’ve never been the type to drink coffee after noon, but even still, I was finding it difficult to turn off my brain at night to sleep. Once I switched to Yerba Mate I had no problems sleeping—in fact, these days I’m often able to sleep when my baby takes his nap—something I always try to do but find difficult. In addition, I’ve begun having vivid, cinematic dreams, both during naps and at night. I’m also able to remember these dreams after I wake up, which is unusual for me.

Other Benefits

Besides simply being a great, energizing drink, Yerba Mate contains several antioxidants, 24 vitamins and minerals, and 15 amino acids. Because it is lower in tannins, it is not as acidic as coffee, so people with stomach issues might find it easier to tolerate.

It’s been about 6 weeks and I’m still extremely happy with my switch to Yerba Mate. I still drink the occasional cup of coffee just for the ritual of it—plus I like to work in coffee shops and I have to buy something to “rent” my table—but these days I choose decaf instead of regular.

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

3 Toilet Paper Alternatives That Will Get You Through The Collapse

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toilet paper wikimediaIn modern America, going without toilet paper for even a single day is unfathomable. The thought of it is cringe-worthy to most people. That’s why any time a major storm is about to hit, and everyone rushes to the store to buy up supplies, one of the first items to run out is toilet paper.

However, for any situation that results in the break down of society and lasts more than a couple of weeks, stocking up on toilet paper is not a viable option. The average family of four goes through about 240 rolls of toilet paper per year. So unless you have a large home, keeping anywhere near that much toilet paper is only going to take up precious space that would be better used for essential survival supplies.

As sacrilegious as it may sound, toilet paper is not essential to your survival. In fact, it’s only been in common usage around the developed world for over a century. Many of the alternatives that humans have been using for thousands of years are, shall we say, unpleasant. However, a few of these old school methods are bit more palatable, and much more sustainable, such as:

Reusable Cloth

In the past, it was typical for the wealthy to use strips of wool, hemp, or cotton to clean up after a bathroom visit, while the poor were stuck using, hay, moss, or even stones. The most obvious advantage to using these fabrics, is that they can be cleaned and reused. But more than that, they’re also more comfortable and provide a thicker barrier for your hand.

From a prepping perspective though, there is one downside to this idea. Cleaning these reusable wipes would require a considerable amount of water. Unless you have a well on your property or live near a river or creek that flows year round, reusable wipes are not economical. If on the other hand you do live somewhere that has a natural source of water, you do have another viable alternative to toilet paper…

Another alternative would be to repurpose old bits of cloth that have been tattered or torn. This gives the cloth a new purpose and can help you conserve your preps. Many old-timers have been collecting these strips of cloth and saving them in their “rag bag.”

Water

One of the most common methods of cleaning your rear throughout the world, is to simply rinse it with water. In India, the vast majority of the population will simply rely on a splash of water or a hose, while the Japanese and the Europeans use bidets. Since you’re preparing for a situation where running water may be out of the question, you’d have to rely on the Indian method of scooping water out of a bucket and repeatedly splashing it on your behind. Not exactly sophisticated, but it is somewhat effective. At the very least it could help prolong what toilet paper supplies you do have.

Leaves

For thousands of years humans have been using leaves in lieu of toilet paper, and in most parts of the US, you’ll find leafy plants that can provide one of the best alternatives to toilet paper almost year round.  Unless you live in the heart of a city where plants need to be constantly maintained and watered to survive, you won’t have any trouble finding trees and bushes that provide an abundance of leaves after any prolonged collapse.

That of course means that, unlike the other two toilet paper alternatives, this one won’t suck up your water supplies. Leaves are clean, abundant, disposable, and quite effective. The most common plants that are used as a toiletry include Mullein, Corn Lilly, Thimbleberry, Large Leaf Aster, and Wooly Lambs Ear. However, pretty much anything that doesn’t cause rashes and isn’t abrasive, will work. If you do happen to use the wrong leaf, here are 5 natural remedies to soothe rashes.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Oregano: A True Herbal Goldmine for the Natural Medicine Chest

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 What do Chef Tell, Chef Boyardee (he was really a real chef), and Chef Paul Prudhomme have in common?  They all used oregano.  Seriously, Guys and Gals, oregano is a really awesome herb and one of the most popular to have for medicinal use.  Not only does it taste great on pizza and in spaghetti sauce, but it has some really astounding qualities that you should be aware of.  It is a true boon in your arsenal for day-to-day ailments and also when things head south and you need to find natural alternatives to medicines.  Inexpensive and easily-grown, it needs to become part of your field medical chest of herbs to use in regular situations or when the world takes a dive.

Oregano (Origanum vulgare) is a woody perennial plant.  It grows to a height of approximately 3 feet.  The parts of the plant that serve in a naturopathic capacity are the extracted oils from either fresh or dried leaves (the method of extraction is usually distillation), and also the whole herb harvested during the time it flowers.  The thick stems can be dried just as effectively as the rest of the herb.  It can also be tinctured.  All of the plant with medicinal qualities are the parts that are above ground, not the root.

The volatile (easily broken down) oil’s chief constituent is carvacrol (in a percentage ranging from 40-70% of the oil.  There are other components as well, such as thymol, but we are concentrating on these two just mentioned now.  Carvacrol is antimicrobial, and the phenolic compounds make it both antibacterial and antifungal.  Sound good thus far, a health food you’re sprinkling on your pizza slice?

Oil of Oregano

The strains of bacteria that essential oil of oregano works against are Proteus vulgaris, Streptococcus faecalis (found in stool), Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, and Escherichia coli (one of the bad ones, also found in stool).  In terms of antifungal activity, essential oil of oregano is effective against Candida albicans, Aspergillus niger, and Fusarium species.

The oil also is effective against several types of parasites, such as Entamoeba hartmanni and Endolimax nana.  Most of all of these bugs and fungi can be found (whether you want to find them or not) in…you guessed it…the great outdoors.  In the case of Candida albicans, a bug that affects women, oil of oregano has positive effects that are similar to Nystatin in clearing up the problem.

The other good news is that oregano (in either dried herb form or the essential oil) are readily available over the counter and in your health food concerns locally.  You can also prepare it on your own from the dried herb, using 250 ml of boiling water.  Pour this over the herb after you have brought it to a rolling boil and then allowed it to cool for about one minute.  This enables you to use the water without boiling the herb itself, because straight boiling water will many times kill off the beneficial effects of the herb you are using, as I have mentioned in past articles.  Pour the water over 1 heaping teaspoon of the herb and allow it to steep for 10 minutes.  After straining it (I leave it in, but you can strain the herb if you desire to), you can sweeten it with honey.  As a tea this can be taken 2 to 3 times per day.

You can also use this tea as a gargle or mouthwash, as oregano is highly effective for inflammations of the mucous membranes, and also for respiratory illnesses, such as bronchitis or coughs.  There are no known health hazards or adverse side effects with its use.  The essential oils will store for years if you keep them out of the light.  I haven’t provided any dosages for these because it will be different as per the manufacturer due to the different extraction processes used and varying percentages of carvacrol and thymol, both of which are phenolic compounds.

I have personally found that the best food-grade essential oils of oregano you can take and place a few drops (depending on who makes it) in a glass of water, and take this several times a day.  It will really knock out a bacterial or a viral infection; the oil is very powerful.  Remember to protect all of your essential oils and tinctures from light, as light will cause your naturopathic aids to break down and deteriorate in quality and effectiveness.  The really good stuff I buy locally for about $20 for a 1-ounce bottle.

If you grow it yourself, water it but do not overwater it.  When you dry it you should try to dry it in an airy and well-ventilated area so the air will circulate, and keep it out of the direct sunlight.  The sun can lower the qualities of the herb, even though this method is faster.  I have found the best method is to take 2-3 stalks and hang them from rafters in a cool, dry place with good air circulation.

Oregano is really good stuff.  You also do pick up some of the benefits and qualities mentioned here by consuming it with your meals.  It is similar to garlic, in that if you like it and make it a regular part of your diet, you will be exercising good preventative care benefits just in the normal course of its use.  You’ll spend pennies on the dollar, and it cannot hurt to pick up a few packets of heirloom seeds if you do not already have them, or a good seed vault for long-term storage.  So Buon Appetito if you’re having oregano with your meals, and lay in a good supply of it.  In the long run, this affordable and safe herb can do nothing but be a benefit to your preparations and supplies.  Keep fighting the good fight, and enjoy!

 

JJ

 

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Contemplating the Kombucha Craze

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 I’ve started to notice a new beverage being offered on tap in bars and restaurants where I live in NYC. My husband, who travels to Portland, Oregon regularly for work, has noticed the same thing:  kombucha, a tea made from bacteria and yeast cultures, is now being sold alongside micro-brews and house-fermented liquors all over the country.

What is kombucha?

While kombucha has been used for centuries in Asian countries, it has only been flowing into mainstream American culture for about the last 10 years or so. In fact, it is such a popular health craze, you can buy your own starter kit and make your own versions and flavors.

Made by adding cultures of bacteria and yeast to a mixture of tea, sugar, and sometimes fruit juices, kombucha is often called a “mushroom-tea” because of the large mushroom cap that emerges during the fermentation process. Kombucha is slightly carbonated, with a mildly tart flavor. It’s very acidic and contains B vitamins, antioxidants, and sugar. A bit of sediment at the bottom of your glass is normal, as these are the beneficial bits of bacteria in the mix. It contains about 30 calories per serving, is typically served cold, and is extremely refreshing.

Can you catch a buzz?

Don’t let the fact that kombucha is now being sold in bars fool you:  there is typically very little alcohol content (usually less that 0.5 percent) that occurs during the fermentation process. Some home brewers have been known to ramp up the alcohol until it approaches that of a very weak beer, but check with your bartender or brewer to determine the exact percentage of alcohol content in the kombucha being offered.  It’s potentially a great drink for the designated driver or others who are abstaining.

Is it a miracle elixir?

Kombucha has been hailed as a miracle drink. It’s been rumored to aid in digestion, elevate the immune system, and some fans even believe it prevents cancer and cures arthritis. There have been very few studies regarding the conclusive benefits of drinking kombucha, although proponents of the drink swear they reap benefits. As with any holistic health trend, it’s probably best to exercise prudence and not expect a health overhaul. Kombucha is certainly a great alternative to sugary soda, and the fact that it’s sold in bars now means another, much healthier, offering for teetotalers.

As with all things alterna-health, it’s best not to overdo it:  the Mayo clinic has shown side effects including upset stomach and allergic reactions in those who consume very large quantities. A bigger concern is that kombucha tea is sometimes brewed in homes under nonsterile conditions, making contamination and infection an issue. Be very wary of any brewing process that involves ceramic pots—because kombucha is highly acidic, the acids in the tea can potentially leach lead and other contaminants from the ceramic glaze. If a bar is serving kombucha on tap, they will be able to fill you in on the entire in-house process so you can ensure you are drinking a high-quality, delicious tea.

Bottoms up!

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

5 Natural Remedies to Soothe Poison Ivy Rashes

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dreamstime_xs_14785335If you spend any time outdoors, you know that poison ivy can grow just about anywhere and is the bane of all outdoor enthusiasts. 85% of the population has some sort of allergic reaction to poison. In all truthfulness, it is not the plant people are allergic to, but the oil in poison ivy, poison oak and sumac. All parts of the plant contain the oil, urushiol, which causes the bubbly, itchy rash. Once the oil makes contact with your skin through direct or indirect exposure (from clothing, shoes, or your pet), a rash can occur within 12 to 72 hours. Within that time, you will quickly regret that innocent brush with nature.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for the poison ivy rash. You’re only recourse is to wait it out and try to minimize the symptoms. While doctors can prescribe steroidal creams, these can be costly. Here are some natural remedies to try instead.

Tea tree oil

This essential oil is a great all around natural skin remedy. Once the rash has stopped oozing, tea tree oil can be applied to skin every two hours to stop itching and dry the blisters and rash. Tea tree is generally safe to apply undiluted to skin, but only a few drops are needed.

Aloe vera

Aloe Vera has been used for thousands of years and is one of the few natural wonders that has been shown to reduce inflammation, swelling, and itching on the skin. This natural remedy is great for soothing poison ivy or poison oak rashes, and has been shown to reduce itching, pain, and irritation. Aloe helps retain moisture in e skin and protect it especially when the rash becomes dry and inflamed. Refrigerating the aloe vera before use will give more of a cooling effect.

You can even make this soothing itch cream with some aloe vera.

Jewelweed 

If nature created it, there is a remedy for it and jewelweed is the counteracting weed usually found alongside poison ivy. It is a succulent, a member of the impatien family. Crush it and apply to the rash. This alone is by far the best help of any of these treatments.

Witch hazel

Made from the bark of the witch hazel tree, this astringent is soothing and relieves the itch of poison ivy. Wherever you have a rash, apply witch hazel. The cooling, soothing extract will calm the rash down and promote healing. Apply with a cotton ball and discard when done.

Oatmeal bath

Adding a cup of oatmeal to a tepid bath is a wonderful way to relieve irritated skin. Ensure that the water is not too hot. Hot water can cause the blisters of the rash to burst and spread the infection. If you do not feel up for a bath, once a day, you can make a paste of cooled cooked oatmeal and leave it on the skin.

If you happen to come in contact with poison ivy, wash the area as soon as you can and hope for the best. If a rash occurs, start using some of these natural remedies to soothe the rash.

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Coconut Oil: Some Really Good Stuff!

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coconut oilWell, why not mention something that can help you out on a daily basis?  Yes, Coconut oil is some really good stuff!  Its uses and benefits are tremendous.  The books that have been written about it are too numerous to count, but we are going to skim over a few of the basics to give you some knowledge about it.  Coconut oil is taken from the meat of the mature coconut, and technically it is an edible oil.  It has a shelf life of around 6 months to a year if kept at a temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit or below, and it is not prone to any kind of rancidity or spoilage.

There are two types of it, virgin and refined.  The latter is usually used for cooking or other applications and doesn’t even remotely taste akin to a coconut.  It is the former, the virgin coconut oil that you are looking for regarding consumption.  The primary difference between the two types lies in the extraction method; although each method involves pressing, the refined also adds heat to extract the oil.  When this is done, a host of impurities come out into the oil that lead it to be further refined.

How Effective is Coconut Oil?

It is an excellent emollient and can be used very easily and safely on the skin.  When used in the care of hair, it can help the hair to retain protein/suffer less protein loss.  The oil is high in saturated fats; which doctors proclaim can lead to cardiovascular disease.  The health benefits far outweigh any claimed risks.  Coconut oil helps with digestion and immune system function, as it is anti-fungal and anti-microbial.  It is also an anti-oxidant, helping to guard the body’s cells against free radicals, that oxidize and destroy the cellular tissues and are a large component of aging.

Some of the components of coconut oil such as lauric, capric, and caprylic acids help with fighting microorganisms.  As a matter of fact, coconut oil fights yeast infections, such as Candida albicans that usually develop from unrestrained and uncontrolled growth in the human stomach.  The essential fatty acid in coconut oil counteract the harmful effects of packaged and processed foods that lead to these yeast infections found primarily in the nations of Northern Europe and North America.  These geographical areas have cold weather and damp conditions that when combined with the particular eating habits and lifestyles of peoples living in them, contributes to a rise in the incidence of yeast infections.

There is an organization known as the Coconut Research Center that has determined the effectiveness of coconut oil and its components in defeating a host of different illnesses, such as influenza, SARS, herpes, and measles, to name a few.  Coconut oil helps diabetics with the maintenance of blood sugar levels as well as being a stimulant for the release of insulin by the human pancreas.  Athletes can also take advantage of it, as it has fewer calories than comparable oils and thus can be more readily transformed into energy without a buildup of fat in the heart and blood vessels.

Where to Buy Coconut Oil

You can obtain coconut oil virtually anywhere, as it is no longer kept “in the closet” and out of the public view.  I have found that Wal-Mart puts out an organic coconut oil that is a few dollars less in price for an equal volume you might find in the health food stores.  As in all things to do with natural health, we recommend you speak to your all-knowing, certified, licensed physician prior to undertaking any regimen with coconut oil, and obtain his/her approval.

I try and take about a tablespoon of it a day.  Half in the morning goes pretty well with some steel-cut oats, and the other half I just throw in my food and let it melt in…mixing it up with my dinner.  Personally I think it sucks when eaten by itself, however, that choice is up to you.  I lift a lot of weights, and I find that it is really good for the hands to keep calluses and thicknesses from forming up on my palms.  In any event, do your research and learn more about it…life is a learning experience.  You will find the benefits far outweigh the claimed drawbacks.  Enjoy, and give us some feedback on your experiences with coconut oil.  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Herbal Antibiotics: When the SHTF, You Will Need This Book

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bookHey there, ReadyNutrition guys and gals!  I need to give you a review on a book that is a real gem for your holistic and naturopathic libraries and protocols.  The book is professionally written, with all of the technical terms and cross-references you will need, but it presents it in a smooth, easily-understood manner in the language of laymen.  The book is entitled, Herbal Antibiotics: Natural Alternatives for Treating Drug Resistant Bacteria,” by Stephen Harrod Buhner.  The author has written fourteen books pertaining to herbal medicine, and is a leading proponent of using plant medicines as our first line of defense against infections.

The book is very adamant that not only can plant medicines help to combat infections, but that using them on a daily basis is a highly effective method of building the body’s natural defenses against an infection before the illness strikes.

The herbs are broken down into several categories, as such:

Systemic Antibacterials: these herbs are taken up readily within the system and spread throughout a person’s body by way of the bloodstream to all of the cells and organs and fighting system-wide illnesses and organisms.  MRSA is an example of such a disease.

Localized Antibacterials: are herbs that are effectively confined and applied to specific regions of the body, such as the stomach or liver, or on external wounds.  An example here would be an E. coli infection that affects the digestive system.

Facilitative/Synergistic Herbs: these are plant medicines that are taken in conjunction with other herbs or pharmaceuticals that have a potentiating (increasing in effectiveness) effect.  An example in this category would be Berberine, a powerful antibacterial that is increased in effectiveness when taken in conjunction with Goldenseal and used to combat MRSA.

The cool thing about this book is that it enables you to sort what you need by disease and disease-type (gram positive or gram negative bacteria, for example), by herb, and by presenting symptoms that will enable you to categorize and positively identify an infection.  Each different herbal remedy and compound is explained, along with dosages and methods of preparation, step by step, these methods themselves being exceptional in detail and simplistic in their presentation.  Even more: the book tells you how to grow, harvest, and collect (in the wild) the different herbs listed.

The herbs are described in terms of their chemical and scientifically-revealed properties, such as wound healing, pain relief, and effects on the human immune system, for examples.  The plant chemistry and methods of employment are described in great detail.  Preparations and dosages are meticulously listed, along with all of the medical and scientific research and tabulated results from studies (with references) that substantiate their uses throughout the world.  Complete descriptions of tinctures, oils, capsules, salves, poultices, and many other vehicles for use of the medicines are provided, along with step-by-step instruction on how to prepare them.

The only thing lacking in the book, in this author’s opinion, is a good section with color photographs of the actual plants themselves.  This, however, is the norm for most herbal and naturopathic works, and as I have strongly advised in the past, the Peterson’s guides for wild medicinal herbs (the guides are done by region, such as Eastern United States), and the PDR for Herbal Medicines will be useful for identification as such.  This book by Buhner is a hands-on, no frills guide that is packed with information you can readily use, as well as the techniques with which to employ that information.

“The thing of it is,” to quote Mr. Henry Bemis of “The Twilight Zone,” is that this book will really serve you well in a SHTF, grid-down or natural disaster scenario.  Diseases such as typhus, cholera, dysentery, and others will be prevalent in such situations.  The bacterial infections will be seen in your locality; this book will help you to identify the illness and to take that definitive action to arrest the process.  The book is 467 pages and you can find it on Amazon.com for about $25…a very worthwhile investment that will serve you well for your daily routine or for when the SHTF.

So check out “Herbal Antibiotics” for your preparedness library.  Success is not only where you find it: it’s also how you make it.  This fine work is another good tool to enable you to prepare for the next flu season, and also for when times are much harder.  It is a prime example of how you can use the resources growing right in the woods near your home to craft plant medicines to serve you and your family in time of need.  Stay well, and keep fighting that good fight….and fight smart!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

7 Natural Supplements You Should Have in Case of Nuclear Fallout

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 ReadyNutrition Readers, this article is going to highlight several effective naturopathic remedies to assist in the removal of radiation from the human body.  The information can be used if you are undergoing any treatments that have radiation therapy attached to them, such as chemotherapy, and can also be taken into consideration for preparation and survival.  We have Fukushima that is an ongoing release of radiation into the Pacific Ocean, and we also have a world situation where the nations are poised on the brink of thermonuclear war. Knowing what to do when this type of disaster occurs can save your life and those around you. The most important point to go from here is to educate yourself on what happens when a nuke is dropped.

Types of Radiation Exposure

Radiation affects the tissues and leads to cancer risks with long-term exposure.  For a really good expose on it, read Cresson Kearney’s “Nuclear War Survival Skills” series of information articles that give many different ways to protect against it.  The information is free and downloadable from the internet. In this type of emergency, it is paramount that you understand the differences in radiation exposure.

Contamination – This is usually unintended contact from radioactive material such as dust or liquid. This type of exposure may be internal or external, but nevertheless, causes poisoning to the body.
Irradiation –  This is the process by which an object is exposed to radiation, but not radioactive material. This usually occurs with x-ray machines, cancer treatments and blood transfusions. That said, the exposure can originate from various sources, including natural sources. Irradiation can involve the whole body, which, if the dose is high enough, can result in systemic symptoms and radiation syndromes or a small part of the body (i.e., from radiation therapy), which can result in local effects.

What symptoms to look for with radiation poisoning:

radiation poisoning

 7 Natural Supplements that Remove Radiation From the Body

Now we’re going to outline some aids you can use. Having these essential supplements on hand will assist in helping the body prevent the absorption of radiation. As well, it is recommended that each family member have a bottle each of these natural supplements stored.

  1. Calcium and Magnesium: these minerals combat the uptake of Strontium 90 by over 90% when taken. Studies were conducted by Dr. Linus Pauling showing how the calcium blocks the uptake of this dangerous radioisotope.
  2. Zeolite Clay: also combats Strontium 90 as well as Cesium 137, another dangerous radioactive isotope. It was used effectively for victims of Chernobyl.  Zeolites attach themselves to radiation and remove it at the cellular level.  The U.S. military uses Zeolite clay to line the floors of its weapons arsenals to help protect against radiation.  The clay can be taken (ingested) internally to remove radiation.
  3. Activated Charcoal: reduces radiation by neutralizing it. The ratio of reduction is 10 grams of activated charcoal will reduce 7 grams of toxic substance.  You already are aware of how important activated charcoal is regarding water purification; now you can add this medicinal use to your preparation supplies.
  4. Bee Pollen: can drastically reduce the harmful side effects of radiation exposure. This is beneficial to those undergoing chemotherapy.  The side effects such as that of radium, x-rays and cobalt-60 radiotherapy can be buffered against with the bee pollen.  Bee pollen intake is a natural method of boosting vital functions, such as red and white blood cell and antibody production.  These functions are hampered by radiation, be it an uncontrolled release or a controlled therapy.
  5. Oils: Extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and hemp oil can remove radiation. Studies have shown that the lipids in these oils (and other oils as well) bind to toxins, as well as strengthening cellular membranes.  Various studies agree that if you have been exposed, drinking 4 ounces of oil can neutralize the toxins and help pull the radiation out of your system, as well as strengthening your cellular tissues.
  6. Chlorella: is a single-celled green algae that is extremely useful in detoxification of tissues; it can be used concurrently with the other aids mentioned for the removal of radiation from your system.
  7. Iodine tablets: use those approved specifically for a nuclear disaster/exposure to radiation. The way they work is that they are taken up by the Thyroid gland, and in essence “crowd” the gland…blocking further uptake from the deadly forms of radioactive iodine (the harmful isotopes) found in a nuclear blast/nuclear accident.

As with all things, consult with your physician prior to utilizing any of these supplements, especially the calcium and magnesium.  Many heart patients use things such as calcium channel blockers and the like.  Too much calcium or any mineral can potentially upset the delicate balance in their system.  Check with the physician to find out about any potential problems or contraindications prior to utilizing the information in this article.  The information is presented for informational purposes only, and does not intend to diagnose, treat, or prescribe any cure or action.

Even if these seven mentioned materials are not used on a daily basis, it cannot hurt you to have them in your disaster supplies.  The time to obtain such materials is, of course, before an event occurs.  Familiarize yourself with the manufacturer’s recommendations and know how to use each material.  Have a great day, and keep up the good work with your preps and supplies.  JJ out!

 

Advanced Tactical Gas Mask – Are You Ready for a Biological, Nuclear or Chemical Attack?

 

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Every Natural Medicine Chest Should Have These 3 Herbs

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natural medicineReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, the object of this article is to provide you with a quick reference guide for on-the-spot herbs you can use in your first-aid kits.  The information has a twofold purpose: 1) to provide information on three basic herbs that will run the gamut of what you need for first-aid measures in your bug-out bag, and 2) to list herbs that are readily obtainable.  Regarding item #2, one of the problems with herb supplies is that the best/optimal herb for the job is either not readily available or it isn’t practical to use it (because it has budgetary constraints or presents with a high degree of difficulty to prepare).

Most Common Ailments To Have Natural Medicine For

There are some common ailments and their causative organisms that I’m going to list.

  • Enterococcus (Post-surgical infections, blood poisoning)
  • Haemophilus influenzae (Otitis media, meningitis, sinus infections, pneumonia)
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Tuberculosis)
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae (Gonorrhea)
  • Plasmodium falciparum (Malaria)
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Pneumonia, Bacteremia)
  • Shigella dysenteriae (serious/extreme diarrhea)
  • Staphylococcus aureus (Pneumonia, post-surgical infections, bacteremia)
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae (meningitis, pneumonia)
  • Escherichia coli /E. coli (foodborne illness, with/without bloody diarrhea)
  • Salmonella spp. (severe food poisoning, extreme diarrhea)

The Three G’s

Guess what all of these guys have in common?  They can all be treated with JJ’s #1 herb

  1. Garlic (Allium sativum): absolutely the best “broad spectrum” herb there is. Massive doses of it only lead to one immediate complication of severe flatulence.  Another contraindication/caution is that garlic is a blood-thinner.  It tends to interfere with those on platelet therapy and should be discontinued prior to a scheduled surgery.  It is easy to obtain.  For ear infections or external wounds you can make an infused oil for it.

How To Make Infused Garlic Oil:

– 5 cloves of garlic

– 4 ounces of olive oil

Chop up the garlic really fine, and place it in the oil…. shake it each day and let it sit in a cool dark place for two weeks…. much the same as a tincture.  Then when needed, apply liberally.

Garlic is such a powerful herb that if you have nothing but garlic, you’re going to be doing pretty well.  It can be found in the wild and easily cultivated.  You’re going to hear flak from people about the allicin content being diminished after gathering/storage/drying, etc.  Just do the best you can.  In a long-term emergency scenario, your stored/tinctured/chopped garlic will have what you need to fight the illnesses.  Along with what has been mentioned, it is antihypertensive, reduces plaque formation with atherosclerosis, lowers risks for cancer, reduces hypertension and lipids, and helps with unstable angina.  Average daily dosage is 1 fresh garlic clove 1-2 times per day.  Average daily dose is 4 grams or 8 mg essential oil.  With commercial preparations such as capsules or tablets, consult with the packaging information as they’re produced at different strengths and concentrations.

  1. Ginger (Zingiber officinale): this is another highly-effective herb that is used with all manner of illnesses. Malaria, Shigella, Staphylococcus aureus, E. coli, strep, pneumonia, cancer fighting and Salmonella are just a few that ginger is effective against.  A primary herb against cold and flu, one of the best reasons to have it around is that it’s very safe, especially with peds (kids).  Teas, capsules, tinctures, and fresh (in your food) are some of the methods it can be employed with safety and effectiveness.  Ginger is an antitussive that is almost as strong as codeine, and it clears mucus from the system as an expectorant.  It is also an antihistamine.  It’s great for upper respiratory infections.  (Note: Garlic is good for lower respiratory tract infections….so the two go hand in hand.)

REMEMBER THIS!  Ginger is also great for burn treatment: apply the juice for an instant pain reliever, to reduce blistering and inflammation, and to prevent subsequent infections of the burned area.  You can make a tea and use this tea for burns, as well.

1 ounce/25 grams steeped for 5 minutes in 8 ounces of water.  I mentioned this in the past, and I’ll mention it again: bring your water to a boil, and then take it off-boil for 1 minute prior to steeping your herb in it…the boiling point kills off the helpful components of almost any and all herbs.  Dried root is 1 ½ ounces steeped for 10 minutes.  You can also tincture it, or obtain commercially-prepared tinctures, as well as capsules containing dried root.

  1. Ginseng: In this case, the preferred is Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus), although Asian and American ginseng can be used, the latter actually growing in the wild in North America, making that a plus.  The ginseng does the following: enhances the immune system (T-lymphocytes in particular), increases mental alertness, and (proven by hundreds of studies) increases the ability of people to hold up under stressful, severe conditions [nice to know for when the SHTF].  It enhances physical performance, and has been used by athletes with great success.  It can be taken as a tea (3-6 ounces, or 85 to 170 grams) up to 3 times per day.  It can also be found in tincture or capsule form; again, follow the instructions as per the manufacturer on commercially-prepared supplements.  Cautions for those with high blood pressure, as ginseng tends to “get the blood moving.”

So, there they are: Garlic, ginger, and ginseng.  These herbs are easy to obtain, easy to prepare, and easy to use.  The trick is to do further research and really learn about them.  In this manner, you have the knowledge to employ them more effectively, and you can use them to balance and complement one another.  They are safe, reliable supplements that you can pack dried or (when safeguarded) prepare as either oils, teas, or tinctures.  Test them out for yourselves to tailor-make your own supply to fit your needs.  Have a great day, and enjoy the “Three G’s” in your preps!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How to Prevent and Cure a Pinworm Infestation

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pinworm eggs wikimediaPinworms exist among many subjects that most people would rather not talk about. And who could blame them? In case you don’t know, pinworms are an intestinal parasite that anyone can be infected with if they happen to ingest their microscopic eggs. They live in your bowels for several weeks before emerging from your rectum at night to lay eggs, which leads to unbearable itching. That itching gets the eggs under your fingernails and bed sheets, which helps the parasite spread to new hosts.

I can already sense some of you moving your cursor to click away from this dreadful topic, but before you do, consider this: At any given time, between 10% and 15% of the population is infected with pinworms, most of them children. This isn’t some exotic parasite you pick up after visiting a developing nation. You can get them anywhere, and although children between the ages of 5 and 10 are the most susceptible (on account of their poor hygiene) anyone can get infested with pinworms. Statistically speaking, it will happen to you at some point if it hasn’t already.

So how do you get rid of these nasty critters? There are several options, the most common being over the counter medicines. Pyrantel and mebendazole are the most common treatments, and you take them the same way. You ingest one dose, which will kill the worms but not the eggs. Then you take another dose two weeks later to kill the new pinworms as they hatch. Both of these drugs have a high cure rate, and can be found in most drug stores.

Unfortunately, they’re not suitable in all cases. They’re not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women, and they may cause problems for people who are taking certain prescription drugs. They’re also known to cause nausea, headaches, vomiting, cramps, and insomnia. And in any case, they don’t work 100% of the time. That’s why you may also want to consider a few of these natural remedies:

  • Consume raw garlic on a daily basis. Unlike the over the counter drugs, this will kill the worms and the eggs.
  • A daily dose of food grade diatomaceous earth can kill the worms. It can also be applied to diapers and bed sheets to keep them from multiplying.
  • The sulfur in onions creates an environment in your digestive system that repels pinworms. Eat raw onions, or soak chopped up onions in water and drink it throughout the day.
  • Eating pumpkin seeds won’t kill the worms, but there are compounds in the seeds that will paralyze them. Rather than clinging to the intestinal walls, they will slip away during bowel movements
  • Wormwood and ground up black walnut shells are often taken together to kill many parasites, including pinworms.
  • Apple cider vinegar doesn’t kill pinworms, but it does lower the pH in your bowels. The worms can’t thrive in that environment, and will die off naturally without multiplying.
  • Cut excess sugar out of your diet. Pinworms love sugary foods, and struggle to survive without them.

Keep in mind that whatever treatment option you choose, it’s important that every member of the household is treated. These critters are highly contagious. Their eggs are light enough to go airborne, and they can stick to anything. If one person in the house has pinworms, it would be best to assume that everyone has them. And unlike the medicines you buy in the drug store, any natural treatment that doesn’t outright kill the worms should be continued for 13 weeks, which is the full lifespan of a pinworm. If you fail to follow any of these procedures, there’s a good chance that you’ll get infested with pinworms over and over again.

As you can imagine, dealing with pinworms is a major pain in the butt, figuratively and literally. Fortunately, there are ways to keep yourself from getting infected in the first place.

Cleanliness of the highest order is key. In all seriousness, if you’re OCD, you’re ahead of the curve in this case. First and foremost, everyone in your house needs to keep their fingernails trimmed at all times, especially if you have any kids. The most common way they spread is from kids scratching their behinds, and getting the eggs burrowed under their nails.

Wash your hands frequently and take a shower every morning, because the eggs are always laid overnight. Clean your bed sheets, towels, and clothes every few days, for at least for the three weeks following any treatment regimen. Dry them on high heat, which should kill the eggs.

Clean your house religiously for several weeks. Every item and surface in your home needs to be cleaned on a regular basis, because the eggs can survive for 2-3 weeks outside of the body. You might want to consider wearing a face mask while you clean to prevent the eggs from being inhaled or swallowed. The eggs typically don’t last long in the sunlight though, so keep the drapes open and let in as much sun as you can.

And finally, you should learn to stop touching your face. It’s an incredibly difficult habit to break, but like everything else listed above, it will go a long way towards keeping pinworms out of your body, and out of your life.

Additional links:

http://www.thesurvivaldoctor.com/2013/03/14/how-to-treat-pinworms/

http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/15625/1/Home-Remedies-for-Pinworms.html

http://www.findhomeremedy.com/treatment-of-wriggly-pinworms-through-natural-methods/

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

No Bones About It – Gourmet Broth is Sweeping the Nation

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broth1 

It looks like Grandma really did know best. Over the last ten years, there’s been an awakening to the importance of the old ways where natural health has become a huge part of how we live our lives. Ultimately, it has led to natural living trends and movements, like the local foods movement, farmer’s markets, farm to table eating and even the paleo diet. At the epicenter of this natural food renaissance has been a man with lofty dreams of sustainable local food sources in every grocery store in America: Chef Gabriel Claycamp.

Claycamp, a chef from some of the best restaurants in the Seattle area, wholeheartedly believes in being a part of the sustainable agriculture locavore movement which involves utilizing the whole animal in our day-to-day lives. Image that, nothing goes to waste!

A Sustainable Artisanal Broth Company

brothCurrently, he has his hands busy with another trend sweeping the nation – bone broth. In fact, Chef Gabriel Claycamp, owner of Cauldron Broths jokes, “It is funny though, this is like our ‘Ancestral Health Inheritance’, this is some old magic.” How right he is! Broth is something we all turn to as a first line of defense when we are beginning to feel under the weather. That slow simmering of bones, herbs and vegetables is just what the body needs to be invigorated with health.

But Claycamp has taken it a step further. His locally sustained business is making artisanal broth using certified organic produce and spices and is using carefully curated grass-fed beef bones, GMO-free certified humane pork bones, certified organic chicken bones, and pastured lamb bones, all from local farms in the state of Washington. In his words, “This is the stuff that culinary dreams are made of.”

 

Chef Gabriel wants to make the most delicious broth you’ve ever tasted. He says that most restaurants use a ratio of 1 pound of bones to yield one gallon of broth, but Cauldron Broths uses five pounds of bones! This will make the broth more rich and as nutritionally complete as possible. He has started a Kickstarter campaign with dreams of producing rich broths in a USDA approved kitchen by early summer in Bellingham, WA. Ideally, he plans on selling his gourmet broths to local grocery stores and restaurants, as well as have the broths made available to local hospitals so patients can have a more natural diet that improves their health. How awesome is that?!

Check out his Kickstarter page and Facebook page and help get the word out about Cauldron Broths. Chef Gabriel and his wonderful wife, Kathy are taking the local sustainable movement by storm and you can be a part of their success. Who knows, maybe a Cauldron Broths storefront will open in your neck of the woods.

 

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

7 Plants & Herbs That Heal Respiratory Infections & Soothe The Lungs

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lungs

 Hippocrates, the ancient Greek physician, was right when he pronounced, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” This has been confirmed by decades of research showing the healing power of food, as well as, inversely, its potential to cause some serious health problems. So many diseases, as well as the exponential rise in chronic disease in recent decades, can be linked to our eating habits today.

We live in a world full of pesticides, antibiotic-laced meats, and processed foods that are manufactured to be addicting. On top of this, the birth and rise of chemical-based medicine has completely wiped out natural remedies that seem to be more effective. Chemical-based medicine, according to many, is also responsible for the massive rise in various diseases.

As Glenn A. Warner, MD, former head of the immunotherapy department of the Tumor Institute under Orliss Wildermuth, MD, writes: “We have a multi-billion dollar industry that is killing people, right and left, just for financial gain. Their idea of doing research is to see whether two doses of this poison is better than three doses of that poison.”

This is precisely why Dr. Richard Horton, the current editor-in-chief of The Lancet – considered to be one of the most well respected peer-reviewed medical journals in the world — recently  published a statement declaring that a lot of published research is in fact unreliable at best, if not completely false:

The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness. (source)

Dr. Marcia Angell, a physician and longtime Editor in Chief of The New England Medical Journal (NEMJ), which is considered to another one of the most prestigious peer-reviewed medical journals in the world, makes her view of the subject quite plain:

It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of the New England Journal of Medicine. (source)

It is highly unlikely that a doctor would prescribe you a daily dose of celery rather than pills to lower your blood pressure, despite the fact that some foods, like celery, have been shown scientifically and experimentally to have amazing results…

That being said, below is a list of 10 plants and herbs that can heal respiratory infections, boost lung health, and repair pulmonary damage.

 1. Sage

Sage is packed with essential oils which have multiple benefits. These can be unlocked by drinking sage tea, which is used to treat common respiratory and lung ailments.

Sage has thujone, camphor, terpene, and salvene, which, when inhaled in vapor form, can dispel lung disorders and clean out your sinusitis.

To do this, you can brew a strong pot of sage tea and place it into a bowl or vaporizer.

2. Cannabis

Not many people know this, but when you smoke cannabis you actually change its chemical composition in a negative way. If you are going to use it for healing purposes, it’s best to ingest it or use a vaporizer; neither of these methods result in the toxic breakdown of the therapeutic compounds that happens when burning the plant.

Study after study has shown that cannabis is one of the most effective anti-cancer plants in the world. Vaporizing it can allow the active ingredients to trigger the natural immune response that exists within the body, thus reducing the ability of infections to spread.

Vaporizing cannabis (especially with very high amounts of cannabinoids) opens up airways and sinuses, acting as a bronchodilator.

It is even a proven method for treatment and reversal of asthma.

3. Oregano

This herb contains vitamins and nutrients that are vital to the immune system.

Oregano contains compounds, like rosmarinic acid, which are natural decongestants and histamine reducers.

These have a very positive effect on the respiratory tract and nasal passage airflow.

Oil of oregano is also great and known to fight off strep throat; it is also considered to be a great alternative for common antibiotic treatments.

4. Eucalyptus

This has been used for thousands of years, and today it’s commonly used to promote respiratory health and help ease throat irritation. This is precisely why it’s a common ingredient in several cough medicines.

5. Mullein – Verbascum Thapsus

Both the flowers and the leaves of this plant have medicinal value, and they are both used to make an herbal extract that makes the lungs stronger.

Holistic and herbal practitioners often use it to clear mucus from the lungs.

Tea can be made from one teaspoon of the dried herb to one cup of boiled water.

6. Peppermint – Mentha + Piperita

Peppermint contains menthol, an ingredient that relaxes the respiratory tract and muscles, thus promoting free breathing. Peppermint oil contains many other additional compounds, like limonene and pulegone, which are great decongestants. Many therapeutic chest balms contain these ingredients.

7. Plantain herb – P. Ianceolata and Plantago major

Plantain leaf is another herb that has been used for hundreds of years to help soothe an irritated chest and coughs. It also also contains many anti-inflammatory and antitoxic compounds.  Clinical trials have found it favorable against cough, cold, and lung irritation. Plantain leaf has an added bonus in that it may help relieve a dry cough by spawning mucus production in the lungs.

CE inspires us to begin expanding our way of thinking so we can take conscious steps towards creating BIG change on the planet. CE’s Mission!

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How To Prevent Breast Cancer Through An Armpit Detox

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detoxarmpitCE

 It’s pretty crazy when you think about the fact that, if you’re a male, you have a 50 percent chance of developing cancer in your lifetime, and if you’re a female, you have about a 33 percent chance. These rates are extremely high and are expected to continue climbing, at least in part because we spend so much time trying to find a cure yet so little talking about the cause. We need to start discussing the reasons why cancer rates continue to rise exponentially and what lifestyle changes we can make to combat this disease. (source)

Cancer is caused by physical carcinogens, chemical carcinogens, and biological carcinogens, all of which we surround ourselves with on a daily basis. These “cell transformers,” in the form of food, cosmetics, health care products, and more, have become ‘normal’ for us. It’s time to start questioning the environment we choose to surround ourselves with if we want to get to the bottom of why disease is so excessive and uncontrollable.

One excellent example (out of many) is cosmetics and the other products we choose to put on our skin, like deodorant. In 2007 a study was published in the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry in which researchers tested breast samples from 17 breast-cancer patients who had undergone mastectomies. The women who used antiperspirants had deposits of aluminum in their outer breast tissue. The study pointed out that concentrations of aluminum were higher in the tissue closest to the underarm than in the central breast. (source)

This is quite alarming, as the higher incidence of tumors in the upper outer quadrant of the breast seems to support the contention that aluminum-containing antiperspirants are contributing to breast cancer, even though the identification of a mechanism of antiperspirant-induced breast cancer remains elusive.

That being said, aluminum is an experimentally demonstrated neurotoxin that has been linked to all sorts of diseases (like Alzheimer’s disease, to name one). There are numerous studies which have examined aluminum’s potential to induce toxic effects, and this is clearly established in medical literature, and has been for a long time:

It’s great stuff to build airplanes out of, it’s great stuff to build cars out of, it’s great stuff to make various things in your household out of. It’s not great to have in your body. … Aluminum was not bio-available traditionally in the world’s biota until the industrial revolution, and so, it just had no place in any biochemical reaction that was normal. And where it does occur, now, because we are increasingly surrounded by it … [is] in our food, it shows up in our water, it shows up in our air, it shows up in our medicines … so we increasingly have this compound that is not part of any normal biochemical process, on Earth, for anything, that now can only go in and do havoc, which is exactly what it does. It causes all kinds of unusual biochemical reactions in the body, including the brain. – Dr. Chris Shaw, Neuroscientist and Professor at the University of British Columbia (source)

Another study that was published in the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry in 2013 found increased levels of aluminum in non-invasively collected nipple aspirate fluids from 19 breast cancer patients. These patients were compared with 16 healthy control subjects:

In addition to emerging evidence, our results support the possible involvement of aluminum ions in oxidative and inflammatory status perturbations of breast cancer microenvironment, suggesting aluminum accumulation in breast microenvironment as a possible risk factor for oxidative/inflammatory phenotype breast cells. (source)

The study also found that aluminum content and carbonyl levels showed a significant positive linear correlation. Studies have already confirmed that plasma levels of protein carbonyls can increase the risk of breast cancer. (source)

It’s also noteworthy to mention that aluminum salts used as antiperspirants have been incriminated as contributing to breast cancer incidence in Western societies (source). Another prior study outlined how aluminum is not a physiological component of the breast, and yet it has been measured in human breast tissue as well as breast cyst fluids at levels above those found in blood serum or milk. (source)

The science is out there, and there is lots of it. When it comes to mainstream cosmetics and healthcare products, we are talking about thousands upon thousands of ingredients used that have no oversight or regulation from health authorities. If these chemicals, many of which have been listed as hazardous and toxic, are considered safe by the corporations that manufacture them, that’s good enough to get them approved. All a company has to do is vouch for itself and their products will get put on the shelves. Not many people know that about the modern day cosmetics industry.

It doesn’t take long for whatever it is we put onto our skin to enter into the bloodstream. For example, the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Manitoba, Canada, conducted a study to quantify how many sunscreen agents penetrate the skin after it is applied. The results demonstrated significant penetration of all sunscreen agents into the skin. We are talking about multiple chemicals entering multiple tissues within the body. (source)

Below is a great video about aluminum that we’ve shared before in some of our articles. It comes from Dr. Christopher Exley, a professor in Bioinorganic Chemistry at Keele University and Honorary Professor at UHI Millennium Institute. He is known as one of the world’s leading experts on aluminum toxicity.

Above is just a tidbit of information that’s out there regarding aluminum toxicity. Even the government’s national cancer institute has admitted to all of the information scientists are publishing linking certain ingredients in underarm antiperspirants or deodorants to breast cancer. Despite this fact, they claim that their own researchers are not aware of any evidence linking these products to breast cancer, which is disturbing. (source) Again, these products contain parabens (these increase the risk of breast cancer by mimicking estrogen), propylene glycol, TEA, DEA, and DC&C colours, among many other toxic chemicals. It’s no mystery why scientists are now discovering links to breast cancer.

Many antiperspirants also contain triclosan, which recently made headlines across alternative media after a study published in the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology found that the chemical encourages cancer cell growth. So, it’s not just aluminum in antiperspirants that we have to be worried about. (source) Triclosan can also pass through the skin and interfere with hormone function (endocrine disruption). Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there; a study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives from 2008 shows how scientists detected triclosan in the urine of nearly 75 percent of those tested (2,517 people age six or older). (source)

Colgate Total toothpaste contains triclosan, and they were recently outed for their use of the chemical, along with the FDA for hiding decades old documents showing it to be carcinogenic. You can read that release here, and more about that story here.

I am sharing this information as I did with sunscreen (earlier in the article) just to show the penetration of the skin aspect.

How To Prevent Breast Cancer Through An Armpit Detox

  • Sweating

Sweating has many important health benefits. One of them is that sweating is one of the best ways to expel toxins from your body. This in turn supports proper immune function and helps prevent diseases that could be related to toxic overload.

  • Mineral Water

In the video above, Dr. Exley mentions two types of mineral water to help with aluminum detox. He mentions Volvic, which is sold at various Whole Foods and Trader Joe stores, and Spritzer, which is harder to find. His main point was igh silica content mineral water.

  • Alternative Solutions

Do some research on alternative solutions. Find antiperspirants that do not contain aluminum and other harmful chemicals. You can also search for DIY deodorant recipes on the web and make your own; the most common use baking soda and coconut oil. The solutions are endless and, at least from personal experience, they work better than mainstream, chemically ridden products.

  • Holistic Solutions/Ingredients

One common way people seem to detox their armpit area is with the use of this recipe: 1 tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar, 3 drops of rosemary essential oil, 5 drops of cilantro essential oil, and one tablespoon of bentonite clay.

From here, you mix ACV and the clay in a glass bowl, then add the essential oils to the point where it looks smooth, like sour cream.

Then you spread a thin layer of this mixture on your armpit and leave it for a few minutes.

After that, rinse and repeat daily until the odor subsides. It’s also a good idea to drink plenty of water, because the body needs to flush out all of those toxins .

The best way to prevent toxic overload here is to simply be more cautious of the products you purchase and what they contain.

 

Related CE article: Are Breast Screenings The Biggest Catastrophe In Women’s Health Today?

CE inspires us to begin expanding our way of thinking so we can take conscious steps towards creating BIG change on the planet. CE’s Mission!

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

This Restorative Properties of Ginseng

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ginsengReadyNutrition Readers, this installment is going to focus on the wonders of Ginseng as a natural food supplement that can serve you in a plethora of extraordinary capacities.  To make it a part of your diet is to give yourself an arsenal of weapons usable against a variety of ailments.  We’re going to give you the basics on its physical properties and manifold uses.  As with all things, prior to using Ginseng consult with your family physician.  He or she will determine if its use is contraindicated for you according to any prescription medications or any condition he or she has diagnosed you with previously.

Ginseng has several species that hold these incredible benefits.  Panax ginseng is the species that most are familiar with.  This species is found in Europe and Asia, especially in Russia and Korea.  The supplements are labeled as either Siberian Panax ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) or Korean Panax Ginseng respectively.  There are minor differences as per the offshoots mentioned: strength of concentrations, chemical compositions, and growing season parameters.

Panax quinquefolium is the ginseng species that is native to North America and the United States.  It grows throughout the woodlands of America, yet because of harvesting all the way back to the 17th and 18th centuries, it is harder to come by than one might think.  Seven states of the U.S., along with Canada enacted legislation in 1890 limiting the times of harvest for it according to the growing season.  The legislation focused on prohibition of gathering during the spring and summer months when the plant produced its seeds.

Even in these early years, comprehensive works were compiled that chronicled the abilities of ginseng to heal various ailments.  One such work entitled “The American Indian Doctor: Dr. John Williams’ Last Legacy, A Useful Family Herbal,” emerged in 1827 that detailed the various cures by the Indian tribes and those brought from Europe and/or those learned by the settlers during the period of Western expansionalism.  In 1720 a Canadian company had formed for the express purpose of trading ginseng (the quinquefolium species), and its importance even took priority over fur trading.

To give you an idea of the scope of the trade and the amount of decimation that was visited upon the species, in the year 1862, a total of 622,761 pounds of dried roots was shipped to Canton and Hong Kong for the Chinese markets.  That amount is staggering when you realize this was the pre-industrial era.  Now we will shift our focus on some of ginseng’s properties and characteristics that made (and make) the herb such a valuable asset in your prepping herbal-medicinal stores.

Ginseng contains adaptogens, a scientific term used to describe substances that increase the body’s resistance to disease that are not accompanied by deleterious side effects.  Comprehensive studies (especially in the former Soviet Union) have proved conclusively that adaptogen-containing natural food supplements are far better for a person’s long-term health that synthetically-created substances that mimic natural plant-produced compounds.  The scientific data was compiled in the city of Vladivostok, with the Institute of Biologically Active Substances of the Siberian Department of the Academy of Sciences (former USSR) that chronicled more than 200 different species of medicinal plants.  It may interest you to know that more than 1,000 plants with curative and healing qualities grow just in Siberia.  Among those indications that ginseng has proven results are the following, and keep in mind this list is not exhaustive:

  1. Functional Nervous Disorders:  neuroses, hypochondria, nervous instability, depression.  Ginseng functions by acting as a sedative and relieving stress and anxiety associated with these (and other) nervous disorders.
  2. Cardiovascular and Blood Disorders:  hypotension, atherosclerosis, mild hypertension, and reduction in serum cholesterol levels.  Ginseng helps with these ailments by its actions in protein and fat metabolism.  In the stomach, ginseng reduces the amount of cholesterol that is retained and absorbed; this indirectly contributes to keeping the arteries and vessels clear, especially the coronary arteries.  Ginseng also contributes to the manufacture of red blood cells and their component parts, such as hemoglobin and iron uptake.
  3. Diabetes:  Especially Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus) reduces the amount of blood sugar in patients with mild to moderate diabetes.  One patient chronicled by the USSR’s studies (in the aforementioned institution) was given ginseng for four weeks, resulting in a reduction of blood sugar by approximately 40%.
  4. Cancer: It is a proven fact that cancer develops in individuals with either compromised or non-functioning resistance.  Ginseng inhibits the formation of tumors and helps as a cancer preventative (initial formation and progression) in its adaptogen and normalizing effects.  These effects help to reduce stress and imbalances in homeostasis that lead to the formation of malignant cancer cells.  Ginseng also inhibits relapses after long-term and successful chemotherapy.
  5. Radiation poisoning: the effects of X-rays and radiation produced by radiation therapy as well as negative effects caused by free radicals are minimized and reduced by the adaptogens in ginseng.  Such radiation includes background radiation, examples of which are high voltage power stations, microwave ovens, televisions, radar stations, and nuclear power facilities.

Ginseng promotes cellular metabolism by increasing DNA and RNA synthesis in cell tissue.  It also enhances ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) formation, which is an energy source used in cellular metabolism and reproduction.  As mentioned earlier, ginseng stimulates the production of red blood cells and their components.  It also aids in the body’s internal nutrient manufacturing (the way in which the body breaks down and repackages certain substances for uptake).  Ginseng increases the digestive tract’s tone, and enables more efficient protein, fat, and carbohydrate synthesis.

Regarding the category of radiation poisoning mentioned earlier, free radicals’ effects are diminished.  Radicals are groups of atoms that are involved in a chemical reaction that enter the reaction and depart it without being changed.  They are a basic component of many cell structures at the molecular level.  Free radicals are radicals that (when affected by an outside stimulus, such as radiation) are radicals that are released from a molecule.  The free radicals, in a nutshell, “wander about” and then attach themselves to other molecules; their “joining up” with the molecule then impairs that molecule’s regular function.  Many scientists believe that aging is the gradual buildup over time of free radicals.

Ginseng takes 6-7 years to cultivate.  Glycosides are the adaptogens, and Panax ginseng contains six of these (A, B, C, D, E, and F) called panaxosides.  Each of these has different actions and levels of stimulation for the body.  The daily dosage for ginseng is 1000 to 2000 mg of root per day.  It can be obtained in your larger stores, such as Wal-Mart, and also in your local health food concerns.  Follow the directions on the outside of the package (as mentioned earlier) as it comes in different concentrations and strengths.

Take an herb walk with a Master Herbalist in your local area and learn to identify it in the wild.  Seed-gathering and seed-saving can lead to your own personal cultivation of it…you just have to wait 6-7 years before you can have plants that are ready to be used medicinally.  As with all things, consult with your local laws to find what the requirements and restrictions are for wild crafting in your area.  A good supply of ginseng will go a long way in helping with many ailments and can be nothing but a golden addition to your preparatory and survival supplies.  Have a great day!

 

JJ

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Cold Sores: How to Deal with These Winter Pests

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cold soresReadyNutrition Readers, this is the season for a real pain-in-the-neck to surface seasonally, as you’re hiking and backpacking in the last days of autumn and winter is making its way around the U.S. slowly and steadily.  The dreaded cold sore surfaces, and it can make wearing a face mask or muffler pretty uncomfortable, to say the least.  Carmex and Chap-stick, along with their buddy Blistex are making their rounds.  We are going to cover a few more things that may help besides those supportive salves that may make your life a little more bearable!

The information herein details conditions of cold sores, as well as the mention of several naturopathic foods that may provide relief for sufferers.  The information presented in this article is just that: for informational purposes only.  The contents of this article and any actions herein are not meant to diagnose, treat, prescribe, or rectify any condition or malady discussed here.  For questions or concerns pertaining to this information and actions outlined, please consult your doctor or family physician for their advice and approval.

The Ugly Truth About Cold Sores

Cold sores are also known as fever blisters.  They are a form of the herpes simplex virus that occurs on the lips.  The affliction’s scientific name is herpes labialis, or herpes on the lips, where the cold sores occur.  The virus is the Herpes Simplex Virus 1, or HSV-1.  The virus itself is a human DNA virus that causes recurring eruptions that are painful and embarrassing to the patient.  Also present can be found vesicular eruptions (burst blisters, to phrase it commonly) that leak exudates that are infective and thereby can be transmissible to others.  During the cold weather months, they surface more regularly and due to a weakened immune system often accompany illnesses such as the common cold or the common flu.

After making initial contact with the skin, the virus travels in the body along the nerve fibers until reaching the sensory ganglia.  In this location the virus establishes a latent infection.  Latency means the infection is not active but is lying hidden within the tissues and cells.  There are certain stimuli that may activate the virus, such as sexual contact, exposure to UV radiation, illnesses characterized by fever, and stress/anxiety.  Such stimuli may cause the affliction to resurface and travel back to the site of original infection.

A rash with a red base, upon which can be noticed groups of tiny blisters, characteristically identifies cold sores.  Prescription medications to treat outbreaks and/or prevent recurrences are Acyclovir, Famciclovir, and Valacyclovir.  They are also effective antiviral agents and analgesics.  You will need to seek a doctor’s care to obtain them.

What To Do When Symptoms Manifest

There are some steps to be taken when confronted with HSV-1/cold sores either when you have them or are with another person who does:

  1. When the lesions do manifest themselves, avoid any skin-to-skin contact
  2. The sufferer may wish to use a soft toothbrush, as well as mouthwashes with saline or bicarbonate
  3. Oral anesthetics may be employed (over-the-counter)
  4. Consume soft foods
  5. Use lip balm with sunscreen; this helps to decrease oral lesion recurrence

Natural Ways to Alleviate Cold Sore Symptoms

There are a couple of naturopathic foods that can help to alleviate the symptoms and discomfort with cold sores.

Scarlet Pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis) is used medicinally.  The dried, flowering herb sans roots is the therapeutic part of the plant.  Scarlet Pimpernel is antiviral, and the aqueous extract of the dried leaves is fungitoxic.  The methanol extract of the dried, powdered drug is antiviral, specifically to HSV-1, the organism responsible for the cold sores.  It can be administered topically as a poultice and/or internally as an infusion.  The dosage is 1.8 grams of powder taken 4 times per day.  Orally (as per infusion) take 5-10 drops or 1 tablet per day.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions if purchasing it in a health food store.

Scarlet Pimpernel can also be administered as an ointment 1-2 times per day.  Be advised that the herb is a strong diuretic, is a diarrheic, and is mildly narcotic at higher dosages.  The herb is beneficial against a variety of other influenza viruses as well.

Thuja (Thuja occidentalis) is a second herb that is effective against cold sores.  Thuja is actually a tree that grows 36-60 feet in height.  The medicinal parts are the oil extracted from the leaves and branch tips, the young dried branches, and the fresh leafy branches.  The tree is found in Eastern North America and is harvested for medicine in the spring.  Dosages must be followed strictly, due to Thuja’s tendency to cause spasms with high dosages of the essential oil, as well as convulsions, metabolic disturbances, and renal disturbances.

Thuja is used in conjunction with antibiotics to treat bacterial conditions of the skin and with Herpes simplex infections.  Thuja is a powerful antiviral, not to be taken lightly.  The use is contraindicated with pregnant women.  The official thujone (a constituent of Thuja) toxicological limit is 1.25-mg/kg body weight.  Dosages are as such:  for extracts – 1:1, 50% ethanol, or 1:10, 60% ethanol, both given 1-2 ml three times daily.  Tincture is given as 100 parts Thuja powder to 1000 parts diluted spirit of wine (EB6).

To summarize, both of these herbs are very serious.  Dosage recommendations of the manufacturer in preparations must be followed to the letter!  You can find these herbs either in commercial preparations or as the raw herb in your better health food stores.  As an adjunct to the salves, these will actually work on the offending organism, and aid you in your battle with a wintertime visit from the cold sores.  May your trips and excursions be happy and safe, and you have a great day!

 

JJ

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

When The Meds Run Out, These are The Natural Alternatives That Could Save Your Life

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herbsOne of the perks of Ready Nutrition is to read books on prepping and natural living and share which ones I like with all of you. Like many of you, I have a natural curiosity about natural medicine and practiced using essential oils and herbs to make my own salves and teas. I am by no means a master herbalist but love learning about the subject. I envy author Cat Ellis’s herbal background and believe it will serve her well during a time when there is no doctor. I was so excited when she decided to do a book on the subject and she was kind enough to let me interview her about her book, the Prepper’s Natural Medicine: Life-Saving Herbs, Essential Oils and Natural Remedies for When There is No Doctor.

1. Tell us a little bit about your book, Prepper’s Natural Medicine. 

51ieolyMzzLPrepper’s Natural Medicine is the book I wish I had when I first started learning about herbal medicine. It is written for the total beginner, with no assumptions of prior experience with herbs. However, I have a few tips and tricks that even experienced herbalists would find interesting.This book covers all of the basic skills necessary to make herbal medicine, the therapeutic properties of 50 herbs that will grow almost anywhere in the United States, plus provides formulas for how to create your own medicine. Instructions are provided in an easy to read, conversational style, much as I would speak if the reader were taking one of my classes in person. While this book would be of use to any budding herbalist, it specifically addresses concerns that preppers have, especially long term disasters where the option of getting professional medical care is off the table. For example, how would you treat a snake or spider bite? What about anaphylaxis? Hypothermia?There’s a trend to sanitize herbal medicine with claims that “herbs work gently”. And to a point that’s true. Chamomile is a gentle herb that helps with stress and winding down at the end of the day. On the other hand, some herbs are potent analgesics, antispasmodics, and antimicrobials. Some herbs can help stop bleeding both internally and externally. Others help with seizures.This book is primarily a medicine-making book using herbs for one’s primary source of medicine. It is not a gardening, foraging, or a plant ID book. If your survival plan is to stay mobile, this may not be for you. I do have thoughts for a future book to address those needs, though. If you are stocking up on food, water, ammo, silver, and other supplies, then this is the herbal book for you.

In your book, Prepper’s Natural Medicine, you emphasize the importance of having herbs as part of your preparedness plan. What would you recommend as a starting point for beginners?

I would start off with easy to grow herbs, such as comfrey and peppermint- just try getting either of those two not to grow, and herbs that do dual duty as culinary and medicinal herbs, such as cayenne, garlic, ginger, thyme, and sage. These are familiar to most people, which makes learning how to make herbal medicines less intimidating.

In the book, you mentioned that ingesting essential oils has its place. When is that?

Very rarely, and almost never. There are oils which have GRAS status, which means, “General Recognized As Safe” by the FDA as a food additive. The most common use of this is as a flavoring, whether that be in food or in cosmetics, such as lip balm or lip stick. What this normally means is a drop or two of, say, lemon essential oil in a batch of lemon squares. It is diluted across the entire recipe, and most people don’t sit down to eat the entire batch in one sitting.

However, from a therapeutic standpoint, essential oils are best inhaled or applied topically in some type of carrier, like a salve or lotion, as many are irritating to the skin to apply directly. Regular ingestion of essential oils over time leads to complications, like liver damage, and really misses the mark on how essential oil work best.

That being said, a drop of clove oil applied to a painful tooth, or peppermint oil in an enteric coated capsule for intestinal infections and cramping, or a drop of cinnamon oil added to herbal cough drops or an herbal sore throat spray, are good examples of when ingestion has its place. And, of course, in that batch of lemon squares.

My favorite chapter in the book is the herbal first aid kit. What herbs would you consider the most important and why?

It was tough to narrow it down to just the 50 herbs in the book! But, if I had to pick just 10, my choices would be:

  1. Peppermint: This one herb does so many things. Peppermint can settle the stomach, relieve congestion, soothe away a headache, help cool a person’s temperature, it has a pleasant taste, and kids readily take it.
  2. Comfrey: Two of this herb’s folknames are “knitbone” and “bruisewort”. Comfrey helps to knit tissues back together. This goes in my burn care salve, is excellent in a poultice for a sprained ankle, helps the skin to heal quickly and with minimal (if any) scarring. It works so well, that it should not be used on deep wounds, healing the upper tissue layers and trapping bacteria inside. Short term use only as a tea, though. But could be very useful for someone healing from a serious sprain or broken limb.
  3. Thyme: This is your respiratory system’s best friend. Use in teas, syrups, and most importantly, in herbal steams for any respiratory infection, either bacterial or viral. Add to bath water when you feel sick, to benefit from the steam and sooth the entire body, or use thyme’s antimicrobial properties in herbal cleaning products. Blends well with lavender for the same purposes. Thyme can be taken as a tea or syrup for sore throats and general respiratory relief.
  4. Yarrow: Easy to find growing wild, yarrow is known for its ability to stop bleeding. It is taken both internally and applied externally for this purpose. It can also help reduce fever through sweating, and is an anti-inflammatory, making it a wonderful flu herb, chasing away the aches and pains and fever associated with the flu.
  5. White willow: This tree’s bark contains a chemical called salicin. Salicin is metabolized into salicylic acid, which is the origin of aspirin. The active ingredient in aspirin is acetylsalicylic acid, a synthesized version of salicylic acid. White willow is much less irritating to the stomach than aspirin, and in my experience, is more effective and lasts longer. If you don’t have a white willow nearby, meadowsweet is a good alternative for your herbal garden.
  6. Cayenne: Cayenne contains capsaicin, which is well known for pain relief by blocking the signaling of pain from the source to the brain. Cayenne is a vasodilator, primarily of the small blood vessels and improves circulation. This is really important for people who are sedentary or diabetic. Cayenne is also anti-inflammatory, and analgesic. It is a primary ingredient in one of my oxymel (herbal vinegar sweetened with honey) recipes, which I use as an herbal decongestant.
  7. Berberine: This is actually a chemical found in various herbs, not an herb itself. Berberine has more uses than can be listed here. It’s top uses are as a local antibiotic, for blood glucose management, to strengthen the gut wall, lowering liver inflammation, and promoting healthy cholesterol and triglycerides levels. A berberine-containing herb can be used for wound powders. Berberine is excellent for throat infections as a spray, though it does have a very bitter taste. It must come in contact with the infected tissue to have an effect, so sweeten it up with honey or glycerin, then thin with water to work in a spray bottle. Some people taking berberine for its blood glucose and metabolic benefits prefer to take theirs encapsulated. Wherever you live in the United States, there is at least one herb that contains berberine that grows in your area naturally. These might include the Amur cork tree (an invasive on the east coast), Oregon grape root (Northwest), chaparral (Southwest), algerita (Texas and southwest), barberry (not a native plant, but can be grown almost anywhere), and goldenseal (endangered, but was native to east coast and midwest).
  8. Echinacea: This herb has been pigeonholed as a cold and flu herb, but it offers so much more. Echinacea is excellent for wound care, and makes a great addition to wound powders. The tincture is slightly warming and numbing, making it perfect in a spray for sore throat spray, or dental infection or wound. Echinacea is an immuno-stimulant, and it can act as a systemic antibiotic at the right dosage. Dosage is usually far more frequent than people expect, all the way up to once every hour. My preference is for Echincea angustafolia root.
  9. Garlic: Everyone needs lots and lots of garlic. This is the posterchild herb for food being medicine. Have your garlic raw, fermented in honey, or cooked, it’s all beneficial. Garlic supports immune function, is antibacterial, antifungal, and is well known for it’s heart health benefits.  If you want to stay healthy, eat a lot of garlic.
  10. Valerian: In about 10% of the population, it can have the opposite effect, but valerian helps almost everyone sleep. Valerian also helps with pain, spasms, coughing, and can be used topically for sore muscles.  Something to be aware of with valerian is that the dose is really dependent upon the individual. A very small dose may be fine for one person, and the next may need three times that amount.
  11. Mullein: This list needs a good expectorant to round out the list, and mullein is one of the best. The soft leaves from the first year plant are excellent for helping break up stuck phlegm. In the second year, the plant sends up a large stalk with yellow flowers. Pick the flowers and infuse them in olive oil for earaches.

What three points of the book do you want readers to walk away with? What tools would you recommend?

First, herbal medicine works, and works very well, even in serious cases. Herbs aren’t just for gently falling asleep after a stressful day. They can help . Second, while there is a lot to learn in order to use herbal medicine safely and effectively, it is fun learning. This process is enjoyable and empowering, and my book gets you started off on the right foot. And thirdly, the time to learn how to use herbal medicine is right now, while things are still relatively good.

In a long-term emergency, what natural medicines do you think will be needed most?

In a long term emergency without access to a doctor, pharmacy, or a hospital, we will still need to have the ability to treat both acute and chronic conditions. Acute injuries and infections are obvious, and require antimicrobials and analgesics. According to the CDC, however, 1 out of every 2 adults in the United States have a chronic illness, and that’s just based on people who actually go to the doctor for a proper diagnosis.While a lot of preppers are concerned with how to treat a bullet wound, and that’s a valid concern, far more people will require a sustainable source of medicine for heart conditions, diabetes, arthritis, mood disorders, and so on.

We will need:

Antimicrobial herbs: wounds, respiratory infections, and intestinal infections. Several I mentioned above, but I would add clove, black walnut hull, and artemesia for parasitical infections. I would also put special attention toward herbal antibiotics in the face of every-increasing antibiotic resistance. We would need both local and systemic herbal antibiotic alternatives to drugs. Herbs that come to mind as local antibiotics would be berberine herbs, garlic, juniper, burdock, and sage. Systemics are a little more scarce, but sida, bidens, and artemesias such as sweet Annie, cover a lot of ground.
Cardiovascular herbs: In addition to the cayenne, garlic, and berberine I mentioned above, as well as the yarrow to stop bleeding, I would also add bilberry, hawthorne, and motherwort.
Analgesics: In addition to the pain-relieving white willow bark, we will need additional pain relievers. Arnica is great for join pain, especially from arthritis, sprains, and repetitive motion injuries. Corydalis, California poppy, and Jamaican dogwood is a combination used for severe pain. Black cohosh and lobelia can be infused into an oil and a salve or lotion made from it for muscle spasms.
Anti-diabetics: Diabetes is one of our most common chronic illnesses in the United States. For type two, goat’s rue is the origin of the active ingredients for metformin. A three month study found berberine as effective as metformin.[1] There is some hope for type one diabetics with Gymnema sylvestre and fenugreek, as both help to regenerate the beta cells in the pancreas to help the body start to make its own insulin again. Gymnema is not available in plant or seed form in the United States, so one would have to stock up on the dried herb, and tincture it for both dosage and longer term storage.

You have a new book coming out. Can you tell us about it?

pandemicMy new book is called Prepping for a Pandemic: Life-Saving Supplies, Skills, and Plans for Surviving an Outbreak, and is available for preorder on Amazon. This book covers a whole range of issues related to pandemics, and is in direct response to emails I received from readers of my blog and my live internet radio show audience.We have had this unique opportunity to observe and learn from the Ebola crisis in West Africa. We have been witness to individuals attack clinics, what happens when medical facilities reach surge capacity, curfews and quarantines, martial law leaving people without food, had the specter of bio-terrorism lingering, and how our government and media control what the public know. The goals of individuals, staying healthy and not dying, are not the same as government concerns, which are maintaining order and suppressing panic. And, of course, we had the tragic case of Thomas Eric Duncan who brought Ebola to the United States by plane, and spread the disease to hospital staff. There is so much to learn from all this that helps us make better plans in case of an outbreak. If there is any positive side to the horrific loss of life in this unprecedented Ebola outbreak, it would be how to better prepare for pandemic threats.

In the book, I cover seven illnesses I believe are the most significant threats to trigger the next great pandemic. This includes drug-resistant bacteria, viruses which have a demonstrated history of causing pandemics, the human involvement of both terrorism and human error, and the conventional and herbal treatment approaches, if any, are provided. The book wraps up with a pro-active section on how to establish a Self Imposed Reverse Quarantine (SIRQ), with resources to learn more about pandemic preparedness.

My Thoughts on Prepper’s Natural Medicine: Life-Saving Herbs, Essential Oils and Natural Remedies for When There is No Doctor

Have you ever wondered what you would do if there were no pharmacy? In the early onset of my prepping endeavors this question plagued me. Dying from illness or infection is one of the most likely ways one can die in a long-term emergency and without the knowledge of medicinal herbs and natural medicine, you could be a world of trouble. This very question was the first sentence that Cat wrote in her book and what I loved so much about the book. From the very beginning, she cuts to the chase and gets to the heart of topic. Throughout the book (and something she mentioned in her interview with me) she listed fifty of the most useful herbs, medicinal uses and recipes to practice. She holds nothing back in this book and uses a layered medical approach to assembling a natural medicine kit.

This book teaches you the how’s, what’s and why’s about creating a natural medicinal pantry. Because Cat comes from a prepping background she uses a common sense approach to emphasize the vulnerabilities of solely storing western medicine supplies including how supplies will expire, run out and the ever-looming antibiotic resistance bacteria in the near future.

The book is easy to read, written in a friendly manner and is packed with information. If I could give this book 10 stars, I would. From start to finish, I absolutely loved it! Cat is a wealth of knowledge and I will recommend this book for years to come. As well, Cat has an equally informative website, Herbal Prepper that all of you should check out!

 

[1]    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2410097/

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

McDonald’s May Be “Facing Its Final Days”

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mcdonald's wikimediaFor seven consecutive quarters, McDonald’s franchises in the US have been hemorrhaging money, and they’ve had it coming for a long time. Even before the modern health movement really picked up about a decade ago, McDonald’s food had become synonymous with garbage, and we’ve known for a long time that their products are downright harmful to human health. And for that, fast food companies like McDonald’s are almost as reviled as the tobacco companies, so it’s not surprising to find that they are losing their customers in droves.

And rather than correcting this problem with an obvious solution, like actually improving the quality of their food, the company has turned to marketing gimmicks like providing breakfast all day or the Create Your Taste program. Predictably, this hasn’t brought health conscious customers back to their stores. All they’ve succeeded in doing is alienating their franchise owners, as well as the customers who were still brave enough to endure their atrocious food.

For instance, their ‘breakfast all day’ initiative has turned into a chaotic mess. It has increased labor needs, caused equipment failures, and has slowed down the service time for a company whose only redeeming quality was the rapid delivery of food. This may not sound relevant, but keep in mind that all of this is rooted in the fact that people just don’t like their food anymore.

They’re losing money, and instead of improving the quality of their product and their service, they just keep attempting new marketing gimmicks until something sticks. That’s a classic sign that a company is in its death throes, and coincidentally, many of their franchise owners agree.

“We are in the throes of a deep depression, and nothing is changing,” a franchise owner wrote in response to a financial survey by Nomura Group. “Probably 30% of operators are insolvent.” One owner went as far as to speculate that McDonald’s is literally “facing its final days.”

Franchisees have also been complaining about the erratic nature of McDonald’s corporate decision-making process. As Business Insider reports, “The lack of consistent leadership from Oak Brook is frightening, we continue to jump from one failed initiative to another.” They are likely referring to the company’s many marketing schemes that have been implemented recently to slow the bleeding of younger customers as they choose healthier, more local options en masse. As Anti-Media also reported in June,

“Though the chain has dominated the fast food market for decades, recent competition and health consciousness has challenged the popularity of its product. The growth of chains like Chipotle, which recently stopped using genetically modified ingredients, has reportedly diverted customers away from McDonald’s. Additionally, the company is losing a share of its young patrons while the rise of boutique burger chains such as Five Guys has put a dent in profits.

McDonald’s financial floundering has sent a clear message across the food industry. There’s a new customer in town, and he wants real food that won’t kill him. And if you can’t or won’t deliver, you’re going out of business.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Study Reveals Ginger May Be Stronger than Chemo for Fighting Cancer

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ginger root public domainWe all know that ginger is a healthy addition to any meal, and that it can reduce nausea and inflammation in the human body. It’s a food with curative powers that have been highly regarded for centuries, though science is still unlocking its secrets. Coincidentally, three researchers from the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology in India may have just stumbled upon one of those secrets, and it will likely have far-reaching implications for the cancer treatment field.

They’ve found that there is a chemical in ginger called 6-shogaol, which has an impressive effect against breast cancer cells. It also targets cancer stem cells in particular, which are largely responsible for spreading cancer throughout the body, as well spurring the growth of tumors that have been previously treated with chemo or surgery. And best of all, it is effective at doses that aren’t harmful to noncancerous cells, unlike chemotherapy.

In fact, the researchers decided to see how 6-shogaol would stack up against a traditional chemotherapy drug known as taxol. While taxol is known to inhibit ordinary cancer cells (and cause a host of awful side effects) it still struggles to eliminate cancer stem cells. The researchers tested the taxol at a concentration that was 10,000 times higher than their 6-shogaol samples, and it still wasn’t as effective at destroying cancer stem cells as the ginger chemical.

As for how 6-shogaol works in the human body, the researchers found 6 different ways that it can inhibit cancer growth.

  • It reduces the expression of CD44/CD24 cancer stem cell surface markers in breast cancer spheroids (3-dimensional cultures of cells modeling stem cell like cancer)
  • It significantly affects the cell cycle, resulting in increased cancer cell death
  • It induces programmed cell death primarily through the induction of autophagy, with apoptosis a secondary inducer
  • It inhibits breast cancer spheroid formation by altering Notch signaling pathway through γ-secretase inhibition.
  • It exhibits cytotoxicity (cell killing properties) against monolayer (1-dimensional cancer model) and spheroid cells (3-dimensional cancer model)

While the study investigated the effects 6-shogaol in the lab, it’s hard to say how well it will proliferate in the human body, if at all. Although previous studies have found that feeding ginger to mice can inhibit cancer, so there’s a good chance that you can receive 6-shogaol by consuming ginger. However, you have to find dried ginger, since it is produced by gingerol chemicals that are dehydrated.

Although the study doesn’t definitively prove how effective ginger would be in the real world, or how useful it would be against other forms of cancer, it certainly is promising. It has provided another perfect example of how mother nature has solutions to health problems that we’ve been struggling to treat with pharmaceuticals for decades. Hopefully, future research will prove that something as simple and affordable as ginger can prevent and treat some of our most devastating diseases.

If you’re interested, you can read the study in its entirety at plosone.org.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition