8 Health Benefits Of Tomatoes You Probably Didn’t Know

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8 Health Benefits Of Tomatoes You Probably Didn’t Know

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They are the pride of summer gardeners and the mainstay of many Italian dishes. They also add texture and flavor to sandwiches. People all over the world love tomatoes. In fact, contrary to what you might expect, China reigns as the top tomato producer with 34 tons each year.

Believed to have originated in Mexico, the tomato is the fruit of the plant with the botanical name Lycopersicon esculentum. Although they are most frequently recognized for their bright red color, tomatoes can come in yellow, orange, pink, green, purple, brown and even black. They also vary greatly in size and shape, from the large beefsteak to the tiny cherry size.

Although they are technically a fruit, tomatoes are often prepared and served as a vegetable. They have a slightly bitter and acidic taste that becomes rich and warm when cooked. However you choose to consume them, tomatoes are one of the world’s healthiest foods.

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Here are seven health benefits tomatoes can provide.

1. Heart and blood health – Tomatoes are rich in potassium, which helps maintain your body’s nervous system and which is associated with a reduced risk of stroke. They’re also rich in iron, which is important for healthy blood. In addition, tomatoes are abundant sources of Vitamin K, which is necessary for blood clotting and for bleeding control.

The folic acid in tomatoes helps regulate your body’s homocysteine levels, which help lower your risk of heart disease.

The lycopene in tomatoes also offers protection against cardiovascular diseases. The regular consumption of tomatoes has been linked with lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and of lower levels of triglycerides in the blood.

Consuming a tomato daily also reduces your risk of developing hypertension, or high blood pressure. As a vasodilator, potassium helps reduce the tension in blood vessels and arteries, helping to improve circulation and lowering the stress on the heart.

2. Vision – The rich content of Vitamin A in tomatoes contributes to eye health. As a powerful antioxidant, Vitamin A helps prevent night blindness and macular degeneration.

The lycopene, lutein and beta-carotene in tomatoes help protect your eyes from developing cataracts.

3. Digestion — Tomatoes are loaded with fiber and water, both of which can help you have regular bowel movements. Eating tomatoes helps prevent jaundice and works to remove toxins from the body.

4. Diabetes — The high fiber content of tomatoes is beneficial for people who have diabetes. A Journal of the American Medical Association study found that people who consumed tomatoes on a daily basis had a reduced risk of the oxidative stress associated with Type 2 diabetes.

Other research indicates that people with Type 1 diabetes who eat high-fiber diets have lower blood glucose levels, and people with Type 2 diabetes may experience improved blood sugar and insulin levels.

8 Health Benefits Of Tomatoes You Probably Didn’t Know

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5. Skin – Eating tomatoes regularly also may help your skin. Vitamin C consumption is associated with protection from exposure to potential damage from sunlight, pollution and smoke. Your skin, hair and nails are all reliant on vitamin C to remain strong and healthy.

6. Urinary system – Because of the antioxidants they contain and their high-water content, tomatoes can help prevent urinary tract infections. The regular consumption of tomatoes also can help maintain a healthy gallbladder.

7. Cancer – A single tomato can provide you with 40 percent of your daily Vitamin C requirement. As a natural antioxidant, Vitamin C may help protect against certain forms of cancer. In addition, the lycopene in tomatoes may help prevent prostate cancer, stomach cancer, cervical cancer and pharynx and esophageal cancers.

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The high presence of vitamin A in tomatoes can offer some protection against lung cancer. Additionally, tomatoes contain coumaric acid and chlorogenic acid, which can help protect the body from carcinogens produced from second-hand cigarette smoke.

8. Bone health — Tomatoes contain calcium and Vitamin K, both of which contribute to strong bones and bone tissue.

Of course, there always can be a case of too much of a good thing. People who have gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) may experience heartburn and regurgitation after eating tomatoes, largely due to their high acidic content.

Also, tomatoes, especially cherry tomatoes, are high on the list of foods that frequently are sprayed with chemicals by non-organic farmers. Because of that, the Environmental Working Group suggests that you purchase organic tomatoes or grow your own tomatoes organically.

Are you wondering how you can add more tomatoes to your family’s diet? Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Make a Caprese salad with fresh tomato slices, mozzarella cheese and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Top with fresh basil.
  • Spread smashed tomatoes on sandwiches instead of butter or mayo.
  • Scramble chopped tomatoes into eggs or use them to top an omelet.
  • Roast tomatoes in the oven along with potatoes or veggies.
  • Make your own fresh tomato sauce.
  • Stir-fry tomatoes on the stove.
  • Add sliced tomatoes to a grilled cheese sandwich.
  • Add fresh tomatoes to your next smoothie instead of water.

Have you discovered other ways tomatoes can benefit your health? Share your tips in the section below:

 

7 Disease-Fighting Foods Hidden In Your Kitchen

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7 Disease-Fighting Foods Hidden In Your Kitchen

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One of the biggest culprits of disease is foods that are cheap and bad for you – full of sugar, salt and fats.

The key to eating healthy is to look past the processed food and reach for organic, disease-fighting foods instead. You may already have these foods hidden right in your kitchen.

Once you learn which foods actually fight disease as opposed to cause disease, you can combine them into nutritious meals.

1. Garlic and onions

Garlic and onions are from the same plant family and offer heart and immune system support. Garlic has more than 70 phytochemicals which can decrease high blood pressure as much as 30 points. Phytochemicals also prevent cancer. Garlic can help prevent colorectal, ovarian and other cancers.

Onions are high in quercetin, a flavonoid and an antioxidant that fights free radicals, prevents blood clots, and promotes blood health.

Furthermore, both garlic and onions can help reduce allergies.

2. Beans

Beans are one of the most affordable, nutritious foods that you can purchase. They are high in isoflavone, which improves prostate and bone health, prevents heart disease, and can ease the symptoms of menopause.

Beans also are high in protein and low in fat. It’s easy to add beans to soups, salads and pasta dishes. You can use pureed beans to make sauces and dips, and even substitute beans for red meat in certain dishes.

It’s best to use dried beans and not canned beans, which can have salt and harmful preservatives added.

3. Cinnamon

Cinnamon can lower blood sugar and blood pressure, and boost the immune system. The high level of antioxidants found in cinnamon can activate insulin sensors in cells and fight free radicals. Cinnamon also has anti-inflammatory properties and reduces the risk of heart disease.

Additionally, cinnamon is shown to kill E. coli bacteria that grows in some foods.

It’s easy to add a teaspoon of cinnamon to a lot of your meals, your breakfast foods, and even your coffee or tea.

4. Ginger

Ginger is a spice that is found in most spice cabinets. Gingerol is the compound found in ginger that has many medicinal properties. A lot of people don’t realize that ginger is a potent anti-inflammatory and can help to ease aches and pains. Furthermore, ginger can contribute to lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

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Studies have also shown that ginger can help boost the immune system and fight viruses, such as the flu.

You can use ginger bought as a spice, but a more potent form is fresh ginger root. You can buy ginger root and crush it yourself. Ginger can be added to many dishes, and ginger tea is a popular way to get the daily health benefits of this herb.

5. The mint family

7 Disease-Fighting Foods Hidden In Your Kitchen

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There are hundreds of plants included in the mint family, and you probably already have some of these in your kitchen. Oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme, and of course, peppermint are all classified as a mint.

These herbs have lots of health benefits. Some advantages include aiding in digestion and preventing indigestion and nausea, reducing aches and pains (especially headaches and pain from arthritis), combating respiratory disorders and helping to relieve coughs and congestion, fighting fatigue, and even reducing the feelings of depression.

It’s easy to add herbs from the mint family to your daily meals or steep them in a tea. Consider growing your own in a windowsill herb garden!

6. Citrus fruits

Citrus fruits are full of antioxidants and contain more than 200 cancer-fighting properties. They can prevent numerous diseases such as heart disease and even skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Citrus also contains cholesterol-lowering fibers and inflammation-reducing flavonoids.

Citrus fruits are not only high in antioxidants, but are high in fiber, vitamin C and A, calcium, folate and potassium.

It’s easy to buy organically grown citrus fruits or to grow your own. Either eat them as-is or include them in your daily meals. Fruits are a great addition to any breakfast food and also will give you much-needed energy for the day!

7. Turmeric

Turmeric is another common spice found in most kitchens. Unfortunately, many people only associate it with certain dishes. This habit should change, because turmeric has a multitude of health benefits.

Turmeric contains bioactive compounds called curcuminoids, with the most potent being curcumin. It is a very strong antioxidant which fights diseases and is an anti-inflammatory to reduce bodily aches and pains.

Furthermore, turmeric is shown to boost brain function and also can reduce your risk of heart disease and other cancers.

New studies show that turmeric even fights anxiety and depression.

It’s easy to get your daily dose of turmeric if you add it to your food or steep it in a tea. Buy fresh turmeric root for the best results.

Final Thoughts

You don’t have to go far to find disease-fighting foods! The key to unlocking the health benefits is to add them to your daily meals or steep them in a tea.

Sources

https://draxe.com/quercetin/

https://www.sciencedaily.com/terms/isoflavone.htm

https://authoritynutrition.com/10-proven-benefits-of-cinnamon/

https://authoritynutrition.com/11-proven-benefits-of-ginger/

https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/health-benefits-of-mint.html

http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/health-benefits-citrus-fruits-7925.html

https://authoritynutrition.com/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-turmeric/

8 Medicinal Herbs Our Ancestors Grew In Their ‘Home Apothecary’

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8 Medicinal Herbs Our Ancestors Grew In Their ‘Home Apothecary’

Herbs are an important part of most home gardens, especially on a homestead. When life was a little harder than it is today and doctors were few and far between, homesteaders would turn to their herb garden in times of sickness.

Below are eight of the most useful herbs our ancestors Grew. Grow them to create your own in-home apothecary.

Basil. Certainly one of the most common herbs grown in the home garden, basil is also praised for its antibacterial properties. The fluid in basil leaves can help eliminate the risk of infection when applied as a poultice to minor wounds. Boiling the leaves in water along with sea salt and cloves can create a tea to fight off influenza. Boiling basil leaves with honey and ginger can create a tea that fights colds, coughs, bronchitis and the inflammation associated with asthma.

Parsley. Although most people use parsley as a garnish, it is an incredibly powerful medicinal herb, as well. Parsley contains a number of volatile compounds that inhibit the growth of tumors. It also is rich in vitamin C, and it has been shown to be useful in reducing the effects of rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. Additionally, it is rich in anti-oxidants and has been used to treat urinary tract infections, kidney stones, constipation, indigestion, anemia and high blood pressure.

8 Medicinal Herbs Our Ancestors Grew In Their ‘Home Apothecary’

Oregano. Image source: Pixabay.com

Oregano. This popular herb contains powerful antiviral and antibacterial qualities. Currently, oregano oil is being studied in both its liquid and vapor form for its ability to kill listeria and hospital strains of MRSA. Oregano also is being studied for its ability to slow tumor growth in breast cancer patients and as a potential control method for type-2 diabetes.

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Valerian. Although less common than some of the other herbs, valerian root is incredibly effective at treating sleep disorders. The name itself is derived from the Latin valere — to be in health. Valerian is especially useful in calming an overly stimulated nervous system (i.e. it’s good for fighting stress).

8 Medicinal Herbs Our Ancestors Grew In Their ‘Home Apothecary’

Oregano. Image source: Pixabay.com

Lavender. Lavender oil is very effective in the treatment of minor fungal infections. Lavender oil is astringent in nature and is well-known for its anti-bacterial qualities. The scent of lavender lessens anxiety and promotes a sense of calm and well-being. Strangely enough, lavender oil has also been shown to promote hair growth when used regularly for prolonged periods of time, although caution is advised for long-term topical use, since some undesirable side effects have been noted (including a slowing down of the central nervous system).

Mint. Mint is an incredibly versatile herb. In addition to its many culinary uses, mint tea is also used to treat indigestion or inflammation of the gut caused by illness. It offers relief from nausea due to motion sickness. Mint oil can be used to alleviate headaches, and it lessens the severity of migraines. The aromatic properties of the oil can be used to clear up congestion caused by colds and the flu. The antiseptic properties of mint oil are useful for the treatment of insect bites, small cuts, minor burns and as an acne treatment.

Chamomile. German and Roman chamomile have been used for centuries for their anti-inflammatory properties. Chamomile tea can be used to sooth gastrointestinal problems, such as heart burn, diverticular disorders and spasms of the stomach and intestine. It is useful as a mild sedative, and it helps alleviate insomnia. Chamomile salves are used in the treatment of hemorrhoids and minor wounds. Chamomile has also been shown to be effective in combating morning sickness, teething symptoms in young children and colic.

Dill. The seeds and leaves are the most useful portions of the dill plant. For centuries, people have turned to dill for the treatment of diarrhea, excess gas and dysentery. Dill also has been studied for its ability to promote good bone density, reducing the symptoms associated with arthritis and fighting off bacterial infections throughout the body. Dill promotes good oral health and is effective at removing free radicals from the body.

*This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or cure any particular health condition. Please consult with a qualified health professional first.

What herbs would you add to our list? Share your own list in the section below:

Arnica: The Secret Native American Pain Reliever

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Arnica: The Secret Native American Pain Reliever

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There are many herbs in the world that can be useful when used appropriately. Misuse however, can lead to illness and even death. Arnica is such a plant.

When used appropriately, arnica can be a powerful medicinal. However, it also can cause severe liver damage if used under the wrong circumstances. For example, arnica should not be used internally. Ingestion can lead to gastroenteritis or cardiac arrest due to helanin poisoning. When it comes to wild harvesting and the preparation of medicinal plants, it is always a good idea to bring along a high quality guide book for identification and to work under the supervision of a more seasoned guide and mentor.

Now that we discussed that little piece of wisdom, I think it’s safe to move our conversation into all the ways that arnica is special.

Arnica is a perennial aster that is part of the sunflower family. There are more than 30 species of arnica. Of these 30 known species, two are most commonly discussed for medicinal use — one that is endemic to Europe and another that makes its home along the mountainous regions of the United States and Canada.

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The European arnica is known as Arnica montana, and the North American counterpart is Arnica chamissonis. Arnica cardifolia (heart leaf arnica), another sub-species of North America, can be found as far east as Ontario and Michigan. They are all fairly similar in appearance. Other than its value for medicinal purposes, arnica is also an exceptionally beautiful wildflower. Even if you never use it as a remedy, it is still worth admiring for its brilliant golden hue, delicate bright green leaves and its ability to spread into dense clusters within the dappled sun of a western confer forest.

Arnica’s Uses Throughout History

Arnica: The Secret Native American Pain Reliever

Image source: Pixabay.com

Arnica has been used as a medicinal herb in Europe and North America for hundreds of years. Several Native American tribes used the roots to prepare a tea that would aid in the alleviation of back pain. Some of the first recorded European folk remedies date back to the early 16th century. Arnica was used as a preparation for black eyes, sprains and minor contusions. Although ingestion has been shown to cause severe liver damage, topical applications have proven to be effective at aiding the healing process for strained muscles and minor injuries. When used as a tincture or as a compress, arnica is known for its ability to stimulate blood flow. This helps to reduce pain, alleviate swelling and it aids in the healing of bruises and hematomas. Arnica also increases the rate of tissue regeneration.

The most commonly collected parts of the arnica plant are the flowers. Arnica typically blooms between June and August, depending on the altitude and availability of water. Blossoms should be gathered when fully open and can be used immediately for fresh use or dried for later use. The best temperature for drying arnica blossoms is between 70 and 95 degree Fahrenheit. Once dried, blossoms should be stored in a clean glass container away from direct sunlight. It is best to use the blossoms within 12-18 months of harvest.

Arnica blossoms can be used in the preparation of salves and tinctures. Ingestion of arnica can be fatal, and the overuse of concentrated essential oils is to be avoided. Some homeopathic preparations have been approved for internal use but should not be attempted without proper guidance.

Arnica cannot tolerate trampling or excessive foot traffic. For this reason, it is advised that wild crafters should be mindful of the delicate nature of arnica and not over-harvest it. The good news is that Arnica is relatively easy to propagate.

Arnica thrives in soils with an acidity of 6-7 pH and can tolerate full sun to partial shade. If enough water is available, it also can thrive in poor soils with high acidity. For these reasons, it can be an ideal plant to work into a home garden. The easiest way to propagate arnica is by collecting seed or by dividing the roots. The best time for division is during early spring. Seeds can be started indoors and transplanted out at any time. Some species of arnica are hardy to cold weather, while others are better suited to a milder zone 6 climate. The best place to plant arnica is in your herb garden, but it also can be used as a seasonal bedding plant (although its bloom time is relatively short-lived).

In closing, if you are not familiar with arnica, it is definitely a plant of value worth knowing. By protecting the wild and scenic places in this world, we also protect one of our greatest aesthetic and medicinal resources — our native herbs and flowers.

*This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or cure any particular health condition. Please consult with a qualified health professional first.

Have you ever planted and used arnica? Share your tips in the section below:

8 Health Benefits Of Spinach You Likely Didn’t Know

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8 Health Benefits Of Spinach You Likely Didn't Know

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If you could eat something that could boost your eye health, strengthen your bones, increase your body’s healing processes and aid your digestion, would you eat it? What about if that same food was easy to grow or inexpensive to purchase — and easy to add to soups, salads and main dishes?

That food is spinach, a known superfood long before the term “superfood” was ever coined. In fact, the leafy green vegetable has been used for centuries to promote health and well-being.

Persians cultivated spinach thousands of years ago. Historians believe the plant made its way east to China about 1,500 years ago and then to Europe a few centuries years later where it quickly became a staple as a side dish vegetable and as an ingredient in numerous dishes.

The comic book character Popeye’s secret weapon, spinach is an excellent source of many minerals and vitamins. Let’s look at some of the many “kitchen cures” it offers.

1. Eyes

You know about how eating carrots can benefit your eyes, but you may not know that consuming spinach is just as helpful, if not more so.

The carotenoids and antioxidants found in spinach can protect your eyes from age-related macular degeneration, as well as from cataracts and glaucoma.

2. Heart

Atherosclerosis is a life-threatening condition caused by hardening of the arteries. Lutein, which is a pigment in spinach, reduces the risk of atherosclerosis and, as a result, can help decrease the chance of heart attack and stroke. Lutein works to reduce fat deposits in the body’s blood vessels.

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The mineral folate, which is plentiful in spinach, also helps to reduce high blood pressure and the inflammation of blood vessels.

3. Bones

One cup of boiled spinach produces 41 calories and offers twice the recommended daily serving of Vitamin K.

This high concentration of vitamin K can help you maintain bone density and prevent bone fractures. Other minerals found in spinach, including manganese, magnesium, copper, zinc and phosphorus, also help build strong bones, teeth and nails.

4. Healing

8 Health Benefits Of Spinach You Likely Didn't Know

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One serving of spinach contains 56 percent of the recommended daily amount of Vitamin A. Vitamin A helps boost the body’s natural healing process, including cellular and collagen development.

5. Digestion

Eating spinach helps protect the mucus lining of the stomach, which helps prevent ulcers, and this protection helps flush toxins from the colon.

6. Pregnancy

Spinach is a great food for expectant mothers to eat. The folate found in spinach helps the fetus develop properly. Studies show that birth defects, such as cleft palate or spina bifida, may be due to a folate deficiency. The high amount of Vitamin A contained in spinach also helps aid the unborn baby’s lung development.

7. The Brain

The potassium, folate and other antioxidants found in spinach also may provide neurological benefits. For example, the journal Neurology reports that folate consumption may be linked with Alzheimer’s disease prevention. Potassium helps increase blood flow to the brain, which may improve cognition and concentration.

8. Muscles

According to the Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, an antioxidant found in spinach, called C0-Q10, helps strengthen muscles, especially heart muscles. C0-Q10 may help treat cardiovascular diseases and coronary heart disease.

One potential drawback of consuming a lot of spinach is its oxalic acid content. Oxalic acid blocks the body’s absorption of calcium and iron, and some people who eat large quantities of raw spinach may experience symptoms of gout, arthritis and rheumatism. High levels of oxalic acid also can lead to kidney stones and gallstones in some individuals.

One way around the potential problem with oxalic acid is to pair spinach with a food that is high in Vitamin C, such as oranges.

In addition, boiling spinach greatly reduces its amount of oxalic acid, and unlike other vegetables, spinach retains its nutritional after it is cooked.

If you are looking to add spinach to your shopping list, here is one other important thing to keep in mind. Go organic, since pesticides on the leaves are difficult to wash off. Or, grow your own spinach.

Finally, here are some ways to add this powerful superfood into your family’s meals:

  • Add spinach to your favorite soup or stew.
  • Toss a handful of spinach into a fruit smoothie before blending.
  • Chop and stir spinach into your pasta sauce.
  • Top lasagna or your macaroni and cheese with finely chopped spinach.
  • Place a leaf or two of spinach on your sandwich instead of lettuce.
  • Make a quesadilla with spinach and cheese.
  • Use spinach as a pizza topping.
  • Add it to your omelet or scrambled eggs.

Do you have any spinach-growing tips? What is your favorite superfood? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Sources:

Cicero, Karen. Giant book of kitchen counter cures. Jerry Baker publisher, 2001. Print.

https://www.udc.edu/docs/causes/online/Spinach%2014.pdf

https://snaped.fns.usda.gov/seasonal-produce-guide/spinach

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=43

GROW: Staying Healthy and Free—Even In Old Age! (Video 3)

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You’ve seen this, I’m sure:

The connection between health and freedom?

With good health, we have the freedom to pursue hobbies … spend active days with family and friends … travel … and continue the everyday activities we, perhaps, take for granted in our younger years.

Yet as most people get older, they let health slip away, instead of vigorously pursuing it. And with it, their freedom slips away, too.

But what if I told you:

Health can continue into your 80s and 90s.

And that decline *isn’t* a given in your senior years. But instead, health is something you can actively continue to pursue—and as a result, hang on to that freedom.

In my fourth video chapter of Grow: All True Wealth Comes From the Ground, I explore 2 secrets to staying healthy and making your coming years the best ones yet.

Click PLAY to watch the video now:

In the video, I also talk secrets to staying healthy, including:

  • A SIMPLE Test to Determine Longevity
  • Why Exercise Doesn’t Equal Fitness
  • The Absolute BEST Way to Incorporate Movement Into Daily Life

After you watch it, would you leave me a comment?

I’d love to know:

How do you add movement to your life?

What movements make you feel best?

I can’t thank you enough.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

The post GROW: Staying Healthy and Free—Even In Old Age! (Video 3) appeared first on The Grow Network.

All-Natural Secrets To A Better Night’s Sleep

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All-Natural Secrets To A Better Night’s Sleep

Sleep problems affect 70 million Americans every day—one out of five of us. Are you one of them?

You may have tried things like warm milk or chamomile tea with honey before bed, only to lie awake wondering when it was going to kick in. Or maybe you’ve mentioned insomnia to your doctor, and he handed you a prescription for something you’ve seen on TV. Most of these sleep medications are only intended for short-term use (two weeks or less), and some are actually addictive.

Sleep is one of the best things for your overall health. Long-term poor or insufficient sleep can affect:

  • Weight
  • Chronic pain
  • Depression
  • Mental acuity
  • Impaired cognition
  • Driving
  • Emotional balance (crankiness, bad judgment, etc.)
  • Hormone production/fertility
  • Immunity
  • Premature aging
  • Behavioral difficulties in children

Computers, smartphones, tablets and even your Wi-Fi can disrupt your sleep with an EMF (electromagnetic field), especially if they’re charging next to your bed. Turn these off at night, or move them at least three feet away from the sleeping area—including children’s rooms. Use a regular alarm clock, also three feet away, with a gentle but effective alarm to wake you up in the morning.

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Making your room completely dark (or as close as you can get) will help normalize your circadian rhythm and start the production of melatonin. A slightly cooler temperature—around 69 Fahrenheit—is optimal. Even a small bit of light—from outside, from a phone, or from anywhere else can disrupt your sleep and stop the normal flow of melatonin.

Regular exercise also helps, but not at night–unless it’s a relaxing yoga or other type of stretching. Avoiding big meals and caffeine too late at night allows your system to relax and sleep. But if you’re still having trouble sleeping, or you’re waking up at night, natural sleep aids are non-addictive and readily available.

  • Melatonin. This hormone controls your sleep and is produced by the pineal gland. Pill dosages range from 3mg to 10mg, so you’d have to try some and find out how it affects you. Too much can lead to headaches, nausea and other side effects, so start with a small dose and raise it as needed. Take it one hour before bedtime, unless it’s a “quick release” pill. Melatonin is best for short-term use.
  • Valerian root. One of the most common natural sleep aids available. The plant is native to Europe and parts of Asia, and is consumed either as a tea or in capsules. Valerian root promotes deep sleep and calmness, and increases GABA levels.
  • GABA, or gamma-aminobutyric acid. This amino acid works in the central nervous system to tamp down the brain’s nerve activity. Low levels of GABA interfere with deep sleep, causing you to wake up frequently. GABA is sometimes combined with 5-HTP to promote sleep.
  • L-Tryptophan. Yes, this essential amino acid in turkey also helps with sleep on its own. Available as a supplement, 500 mg nightly helps maintain serotonin and 5-HTP levels and promotes sleep.
  • L-Theanine. This green tea extract is an amino acid that’s also available in pill form. It promotes calmness both day and night, resulting in a deeper sleep. Recommended dose is 50 to 200 mg.
  • Magnesium. A deficiency of this multipurpose mineral can cause insomnia. Taking 200 to 400 mg of magnesium citrate before bed removes calcium from the muscles and relaxes cramped muscles. You also can soak in Epsom salts or rub magnesium oil on your skin to absorb it quickly.
  • Lavender. A small pouch of dried lavender placed under your pillow, or in a sleep mask, can help you relax and fall asleep. Lavender spray on bedding also works.

Try only one of these supplements at a time, and when you have time to sleep (i.e., weekends, a day off). You don’t want to be late for work because something knocked you out! Once you determine if it works, you’ll know if you can take it regularly.

Sources:

Magnesium makes me sleep, Dr. Carolyn Dean, 12/26/2012

Nightcaps, sleeping drugs and magnesium, Dr. Carolyn Dean, 2/18/2010

Sleeping with the enemy, Dr. Carolyn Dean, 08/16/2010

8 Natural Remedies That May Help You Sleep, Mercola.com, 01/06/2009

What Happens in Your Body When You’re Sleep Deprived?, Mercola.com, March 03, 2016

How Much Melatonin Should You Really Be Taking? Sleep.org (The National Sleep Foundation)

Why I chose Magnesium over Melatonin, Sylvie McCracken, HollywoodHomestead.com, December 2013.

7 Natural Sleep Aids that Really Work, DrAxe.com

Harness The Power Of Nature’s Most Remarkable Healer: Vinegar

The 5 Best Herbs To Stop Spring Allergies

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The 5 Best Herbs To Stop Spring Allergies

Butterbur. Image source: Pixabay.com

If you are one of the millions of people who suffer from springtime allergies — sometimes called hay fever — then you already know that finding the perfect solution means finding ways to treat those annoying symptoms, rather than actually “curing” the problem.

Our ancestors used herbal remedies for thousands of years before the first commercially made anti-histamines were available.

I’m fortunate in that I have no known allergies to anything. My husband, though, is not so fortunate. But he did find a solution that seems to work remarkably well after following the recommendation of an old-timer who grew up in our area. (I’ll fill you in on that at the end of this article.)

Here are five herbs that are known to help bring relief from those springtime allergies:

1. Stinging nettle

If you have ever touched one of these plants (and I have), then you are probably thinking this idea is crazy, but I’m not suggesting that you eat fresh leaves! This plant, besides being rich in vitamin K and beta carotene, has been shown in studies to help relieve allergy symptoms almost as well as the usual prescription medications. You should start taking freeze dried supplements a few months prior to allergy season arrives in your area for best results.

2. Butterbur

Like stinging nettle, butterbur has been used for ages to help relieve allergy symptoms. This little plant opens airways to improve breathing due to its ability to inhibit leukotrine, which causes swelling of our airways. Butterbur also is said to work as well as drugs like Zyrtec, but without making you feel sleepy. Consume butterbur supplements a few months before hay fever strikes.

3. Tinospora cordifolia

Tinospora cordifolia.

Tinospora cordifolia.

Also known as guduchi or moonseed, this plant, native to India, has been used to treat hay fever symptoms for perhaps thousands of years in its homeland.

Discover The Unbelievable Healing Power Of Medicinal Clay!

The heart-shaped leaves of this plant have been reported to stop sneezing, itching, runny nose and watery eyes. The supplement is usually sold as a tablet and unlike other herbal supplements, you can take it just a week or so, or even when symptoms start, to find quick relief.

4. Ginkgo biloba

Although you might think of this as the energy herb, consuming this supplement also has been shown to help manage allergy symptoms. Ginkgo biloba works as a natural anti-inflammatory and also contains several antihistamines, which makes it a natural when it comes to stopping those allergy symptoms.

5. Reishi mushrooms

Sometimes called the mushroom of immortality for its numerous health benefits, Reishi mushrooms have been used as medicine by the Chinese and Japanese since ancient times. These mushrooms act as natural antihistamines due to the high level of compounds called lanostan, which inhibits the release of certain chemicals in the body. Reishi isn’t the type of mushroom you want to eat with a meal, however, as it is very woody and hard. The recommendation for allergy relief is to consume a supplement with 1,000 mgs three times each day.

Now, let me tell you what actually worked for my husband. I did not include it in the list because, technically, it’s not an herb.

I live in a secluded part of the mountains, among wonderful pine trees, oak trees and tons of wildflowers. While they don’t bother me, they certainly do bother my husband. An old-timer who has lived here all his life told him that he used to have allergies when he was young. However, he was given local honey when he was a youngster and he never had a problem with allergies again.

It seems as if everyone here raises bees, so getting local honey isn’t a problem. My husband took one tablespoon of raw honey from the local beekeepers here every single day. (He switched providers every time he finished a jar to ensure he would get a good mixture of wildflower honey.) It probably took a year, but one spring, he noticed that he hardly sneezed and had no other reaction to the pollen.

I’m not a doctor, but it only makes sense that this worked because he allowed his body to get small doses of the pollen and, over time, he developed an immunity or resistance to it.

I’m certain that if we travel and he encounters pollen from other plants that aren’t indigenous to our part of the world, his symptoms will return. However, for now, isn’t this a sweet little trick to stop allergies where you live?

What advice do you have for stopping springtime allergies? Share your tips in the section below:

3 Medicinal Mushrooms Anyone Can Find

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3 Medicinal Mushrooms Anyone Can Find

Poplar Mushrooms. Image source: Flickr / Wendell Smith / Creative Commons

An old Croatian proverb went like this: “All mushrooms are edible, some only once.” The meaning: Yes, many mushrooms are delicious and nutritious, but many also are quite poisonous.

If you are not an experienced and competent collector and cannot positively identify look-alike species, I strongly suggest purchasing a field guide that will help you with this, and consider asking a veteran mushroom hunter to help.

Still, the world has 38,000 different species of mushrooms that hold medicinal qualities.

Yep, 38,000.

Researchers have found their compounds potentially effective against all sorts of maladies — from chronic fatigue syndrome to cancer. In the environmental arena, researchers are studying them for their ability to absorb toxic substances.

Many mushrooms also happen to be really delicious.

Here are just three that you are likely to find on your property and some of the information you can use to determine their use in your personal life.

1. Hiratake (Oyster Mushroom)

(Pleurotus Ostreatus)

Where it is grown: Grows wildly in temperate and sub-tropical forests and is responsible for the decomposition of deciduous trees like the beech.

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Medicinal properties: The Hiratake mushroom contains statins that are known to lower the bad type of cholesterol, LDL. The statin compounds are present in the fruited body as well as the mycelium network of the mushroom.

Cultivating: Can be done simply and inexpensively by inoculating a medium of brown rice and then harvesting the fruit bodies or mycelium. Asian countries cultivate it primarily by putting layers of hay into plastic bags, the mushroom spores being placed in between the layers.

Table fare: The oyster mushroom is a common companion in Asian and Indian dishes and makes a good addition to various soups and stews.

Weird but true: Aside from being able to decompose trees, this particular species of mushroom can purportedly decompose disposable diapers and absorb petrochemicals and PCBs.

Its usefulness in waste and toxin remediation is currently being researched by several organizations. Dried, it also makes a high R-value insulator for the homestead.

2. Chestnut Mushroom (Poplar Mushroom)

(Agrocybe Aegerita)

Where it is grown: This mushroom grows naturally all over the world wherever deciduous trees are found. It is particularly fond of Poplars, where it causes holes in the tree, hence the name “Poplar mushroom.”

Medicinal properties: The mushroom contains compounds that are scavengers of free radicals. There also have been studies linking the mushroom’s active compounds to a slowing down of osteoporosis advancement.

Cultivating: Inoculating hardwood chips, sawdust or hardwood logs with the spores. It is known to be one of the easiest mushrooms to cultivate commercially.

Table fare: This mushroom is both meaty and delicious — raw or cooked. But as part of a genus that contains more than 100 different species, some quite poisonous, it is best left to an experienced collector who can differentiate it from its more unpleasant relatives. Having said that, it has a strong, earthy flavor and makes a tremendous contribution to the flavor of sauces, stews and casseroles.

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Weird but true: The ancient Greeks collected these mushrooms and believed that they “popped” out as a result of lightning strikes. Many morel hunters hold this very same superstition.

3 Medicinal Mushrooms Anyone Can Find

Morel. Image source: Flickr / Creative Commons

3. Morel Mushroom

(Morchella Esculenta)

Where it is grown: It is commonly found in the temperate Northern Hemisphere, including North America, Pakistan and China.

Medicinal properties: Particularly high in iron and B-complex vitamins, it is a wonderful addition to the medicine cabinet. This mushroom is also known for its immune-boosting properties.

Cultivating: Although several attempts have been made to commercially grown these ghosts of the woods, none has been successful. Best case is to scatter the trimmings from wild harvested mushrooms in your nearby wooded area and hope for some volunteers. This is usually quite sporadic and takes years to establish.

Table fare: The morel is the most highly prized of all mushrooms for its deeply earthy, meaty flavor. The French cherish its flavors and feature it in many highly refined dishes. For the rest of the world, they are delicious cut in half, dredged in flour, and sautéed in butter until crispy. Delicious!

Weird but true: The morel took center stage for many mushroom conspiracy theorists. An entrepreneur and mycologist was once purported to have found a way to commercially cultivate the mushroom in large scale. Just as he was about to sell his method to a popular pizza chain (of all things), he mysteriously died, prompting many to believe that he was murdered in an attempt to keep his secret from becoming public.

What is your favorite mushroom to forage for and eat? Share your tips in the section below:

5 Fatal Foods Americans Eat Every Single Day (Are YOU Eating No. 3?)

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5 Fatal Foods Americans Eat Every Single Day (Are YOU Eating No. 3?)

Image source: Max Pixel

Many people falsely believe they are eating a healthy diet. How can you blame them when we’re constantly bombarded with such misleading labels as “sugar-free,” “organic” and even “all-natural”?

It’s time to take a stand against false advertising and unhealthy foods — and learn what is truly healthy and what is not.

To help you, we have compiled a list of the most commonly misconceived healthy foods that are actually fatal to your health.

Let’s examine foods you should never eat.

1. Foods with artificial sweeteners

The term “sugar-free” is one of the most misleading terms in the food industry. Yes, it’s a good thing to lower your sugar intake, but not when you are ingesting artificial sweeteners, such as saccharin and aspartame.

5 Fatal Foods Americans Eat Every Single Day (Are YOU Eating No. 3?)In fact, recent studies have found that saccharin and aspartame cause greater weight gain than sugar by stimulating your appetite and increasing your cravings for carbs.

Aspartame is the worst. It hides behind names such as Equal and NutraSweet. Aspartame accounts for 75 percent of adverse food reactions that are reported each year to the FDA, according to Mercola. Some of these responses include seizures, joint pain, rashes, insomnia, irritability, anxiety attacks and headaches.

2. Farm-raised fish

Farmed-raised fish, such as tilapia and Atlantic salmon, are advertised as being healthier than wild caught fish but, in fact, are worse because of environmental pollutants.

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Researchers found that dioxin levels in farmed-raised salmon to be 11 times higher than in wild salmon. Dioxins are highly toxic compounds that can cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interfere with hormones and also cause cancer.

Persistent organic pollutants, or POP, also are found in farmed-raised fish. Persistent organic pollutants are toxic chemicals that negatively affect human health and the environment.

3. Microwave popcorn

Microwave popcorn is passed off as healthy – but is far from it. This is because to keep the bag “microwavable,” and to prevent the grease from seeping through, it is lined with perfluorochemicals, such as perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), both which are linked to cancer, infertility, thyroid disease, increased cholesterol and immune system problems. As the bag heats up, these chemicals leach into the popcorn.

5 Fatal Foods Americans Eat Every Single Day (Are YOU Eating No. 3?)The second problem with microwave popcorn is diacetyl, which is a fake butter flavoring compound and is linked to lung disease when inhaled in large amounts.

The healthy solution to enjoying popped corn is making it the old-fashioned way and popping it on the stove (or using an air popper). Coconut oil is a good choice for popping stovestop popcorn.

4. BPA: food out of plastic bottles and containers

Canned fruits and veggies are considered to be healthy, right? Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Many leading brands of canned foods and food or water packaged in plastic containers contain BPA.

BPA, or bisphenol A, is found in polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. Polycarbonate plastics are used to manufacture some plastic water bottles, and epoxy resins are used to coat the inside of metal products, such as food cans and bottle tops.

Research has shown that BPA can seep into beverages and food from containers that are manufactured with BPA. Contact with BPA is a hazard because it’s a toxic chemical and can cause high blood pressure, reproductive abnormalities, a heightened risk of breast and prostate cancers, neurological problems, heart disease, diabetes and other severe health problems. Plus, it can affect the prostate glands of fetuses, infants and children.

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To reduce your exposure to BPA, do the following:

  • Buy only BPA-free products. Look for BPA-free labeling.
  • Reduce your use of canned foods, since many containers are lined with BPA. Eat more fresh fruits and veggies, instead.
  • Avoid heating and dishwashing polycarbonate plastics, because plastic breaks down over time and allows BPA to leach into food.
  • Use glass, stainless steel or ceramic containers instead of plastic to store food and to heat food.
  • Buy food in glass jars as opposed to canned food or plastic containers.

5. Vegetable oils and margarine

Vegetable oils and margarine are top causes of inflammation and – contrary to what we’ve been told – are not healthy. Most vegetable oils go through the process of refining, bleaching and degumming, which involves high temperatures and chemicals of questionable safety.

This combination has been linked to cancer, diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, obesity, liver problems, skin reactions, digestive disorders and an impaired immune system.

In fact, canola oil is one of the worst oils to ingest because it must deodorized, which causes normally healthy fatty acids to turn into trans-fat. The amount of trans fat contained in this oil is actually unknown and varies by batch. According to Guy Crosby, associate professor of nutrition at Harvard, all vegetable oils contain trans fat.

“This process produces the bland taste that consumers want” he wrote.

What would you add to our list? How do you avoid fatal foods? Share your health tips in the section below:

3 Simple, Healing Salve Recipes Your Great-Grandparents Used

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3 Simple, Healing Salve Recipes Your Great-Grandparents Used

Using herbal remedies to heal your ailments is a crucial aspect of living a self-sufficient lifestyle. Instead of purchasing balms premade at the store, you can use items you grow or create on your homestead to heal your body. Salves can replace store-bought creams (such as Neosporin) in your medicine cabinet.

What is a Salve?

If you have used any form of ointments, you already have a general idea about salves. They are a homemade ointment or cream, created to protect and heal our bodies and skin. Salves were used for centuries by our ancestors, great-grandparents and grandparents for cuts, burns, blisters and many other ailments. They often were called “drawing salves,” intended to draw out infections, splinters and toxins from spider or snakebites.

The process used to create herbal salves hasn’t changed much in the last few centuries, even if we do have essential oils more readily available than ever before. Old salve recipes called for herbal-infused oils. It involves simmering herbs in any melted oil for a long period before straining out the herbs.

All salves also require an element that creates the creamy consistency needed so you can spread it over the ailment. Beeswax is the most common choice, a benefit for those who have beehives. Shea butter and honey are also used in recipes. The creation of an herbal salve is easy and typically only requires a few minutes of commitment!

Let’s examine three easy salves you can make at home.

1. The perfect all-purpose salve

Everyone needs to have an all-purpose salve available at all times. I make a large batch because, with three kids, we use a lot of it! You will use coconut oil, olive oil, and beeswax to create it, but you can use more coconut oil and beeswax if you have no olive oil. It is a great choice as a homemade diaper rash cream that is cloth diaper safe.

  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup beeswax
  • 1/3 cup calendula flowers
  • 15 drops of melaleuca essential oil
  • 15 drops of lavender oil

If you have older children or are simply using this salve for yourself, you can increase a number of essential oil drops.

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Instructions:

  1. Use a double boiler to melt the coconut oil and olive oil together.
  2. Add in the calendula flowers to the melted oils and allow to simmer for a minimum of two hours. This infuses the oil with the healing properties of the flowers. Make sure to stir during this process.
  3. After simmering, strain through a filter.
  4. Put the infused oil back into a pan and melt the beeswax.
  5. Remove from heat and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before adding in the drops of essential oils.
  6. Pour or ladle the salve into glass jars. Allow to cool and harden for 24 hours. This recipe makes one cup of salve, but it is easy to increase the recipe.

2. Burn salve

3 Simple, Healing Salve Recipes Your Great-Grandparents Used

Image source: Pixabay.com

Burns can happen to anyone, but if you live an off-the-grid lifestyle, you have a higher chance. It is always smart to keep a jar or two of burn salve nearby. I find that it is one of the most common salves I use, even if it’s only because I spilled morning coffee on my hand.

  • ½ cup raw honey
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ¼ cup aloe Vera
  • 10 to 15 drops lavender essential oil

You also could add ingredients such as comfrey, which aids the healing process! This salve doesn’t require many steps. If your coconut oil is solid, melt it over a double boiler. Then, add in the raw honey and aloe Vera. Let the oils cool for 15 minutes before adding the essential oils.

3. Sore muscles salve

When you spend all day working hard, you can expect a few aches and pains. After a day of work, apply a layer of a sore muscle salve to help relax your body. I have tried some different salves, and this recipe is the most loved choice of all.

  • ½ cup arnica flowers
  • ½ cup comfrey leaf
  • ½ cup St. John’s Wort
  • 2 cups of coconut oil
  • 3 ounces of beeswax

Instructions:

  1. Put the oil into a double boiler and melt over medium to low heat.
  2. Once melted, add the herbs and allow to infuse for 12 hours. If you don’t want to keep adding water to the pot, you can use a slow cooker on low.
  3. After infusion, strain the oil through a cheesecloth or filter. You could repeat the process with new herbs for extra-strength salve.
  4. Put the infused oil into a pot with the beeswax and slowly melt over the heat. Once melted, pour into individual glass jars and allow them to harden.

What is your favorite salve? Share your health tips in the section below:

The Miracle Backyard ‘Weed’ That Heals Wounds, Reduces Fevers … And Doubles As Toilet Paper

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The Miracle Backyard ‘Weed’ That Heals Wounds, Reduces Fevers … And Doubles As Toilet Paper

Image source: Max Pixel

 

Having a backup plan for emergencies is essential, and this medicinal plant replaces many staples in the first-aid kit — in addition to some other sanitary necessities.

Commonly used to create textural interest in border flower gardens, wooly lamb’s ear is an adaptable perennial that is quick to spread to other areas of the homestead and is often labeled a weed in backyards across the country.

Each silvery-green leaf is covered with a light fuzz that is extremely soft. Pale violet flowers bloom late in the season, though they hold little to no medicinal value. (They do make a nice addition to floral arrangements, though).

Starting your own patch of wooly lamb’s ear is relatively easy. It can be started from seed in seedling pots or small containers, and can continue to grow to maturity in containers, provided they are thinned out regularly and are stored in a sheltered area over the harshest winter month.

In a garden or raised bed, plant seedlings 12 inches apart in a partly shady spot. Lamb’s ear prefers six to eight hours of sunlight. It is hardy, tolerating most well-drained soils, but is prone to wilting in the hottest days of the year. Equally important, the plant is drought-tolerant and deer-resistant. It will easily spread to the surrounding areas and should be regularly thinned.

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Wooly lamb’s ear is harvested at various stages of development, which should be based on its intended purpose. Plucked from the ground, leaves can be used immediately or stored in the refrigerator or other cool container for a few days at the most. In most cases, leaves of any size are fine to use. At the end of the long-growing season, leaves can be dried for use in the winter months.

The Miracle Backyard ‘Weed’ That Heals Wounds, Reduces Fevers … And Doubles As Toilet Paper

Image source: Wikipedia

Wooly lamb’s ear has historically been used for a wide variety of purposes.

The soft, fuzzy leaf of the wooly lamb’s ear plant is an excellent substitute for a bandage. Hunters and soldiers refer to the plant as “woundwort” and have used the leaves as field dressing for years with great success. Each leaf is antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory, thus reducing the risk of infection.

Furthermore, it readily absorbs blood and assists in the blood-clotting process. It is also safe to use on children and most livestock. These leaves are often used in conjunction with comfrey leaves to dress wounds.

Because of its unique texture and absorbent nature, in addition to its anti-bacterial properties, lamb’s ear makes a great emergency substitute for several personal hygiene products. When the stockpile runs out, wooly lamb’s ear leaves can be used as toilet paper. In the past, the leaves also were used for feminine hygiene needs, including use as an aid following childbirth.

A crushed or bruised leaf will release a clear juice that relieves insect bites, spider bites and bee and wasp stings. When applied to the affected area, the juice will reduce swelling and inflammation and calm the itch from the bite or sting. The juice is also useful for treating inflammatory conditions such as hemorrhoids.

Steeping the leaves creates an antibacterial, antiseptic wash that can be used to bathe wounds. Additionally, wooly lamb’s ear is useful for soaking traditional bandages to reduce pain, swelling and inflammation. A mild or diluted wash can be used as an eye wash that is useful for treating pinkeye and sties.

Harvest young, tender leaves for drying. Consuming tea made from dried, young wooly lamb’s ear leaves reduces pain and fevers. It speeds the recovery of sore throats and mouth sores as well as slows diarrhea. Historically, tea made from wooly lamb’s ear was used to strengthen weakened heart conditions and also thought to stop internal bleeding.

How do you use wooly lamb’s ear? Share your thoughts in the section below:

GROW: What Toxins Are Hiding in Your Home… Making You Sick? (Video 2)

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Is your shampoo killing you?

How about your carpet?

Most people would be shocked to learn of the number of common household items that are making them sick … or worse.

That’s why my second chapter-turned-video of Grow: All True Wealth Comes From the Ground explores the toxins that are all around us…

…and what we can do to avoid them!

Click PLAY to watch the video now:

In this video, you’ll learn:

  • The 2 Physical Causes of ALL Disease and Illness
  • EVERYDAY Ways Toxins Are Getting Into Your Body
  • Why the USDA and FDA Are Turning a Blind Eye to the Contamination of Our Commercial Food Supply
  • More Than a Dozen Steps You Can Take to Help PREVENT Toxicity in Your Home and Body

After you watch the video, I would SO appreciate it if you would leave me a comment to let me know your experiences with toxicity.

Have toxins made you sick?

How do you keep toxins out of your home and body?

Thank you again for taking the time to watch this video!

Your experiences and the wisdom you have gleaned from them are so valuable—and very well might end up in Grow: All True Wealth Comes From the Ground!

(If you missed them, watch the FIRST VIDEO and SECOND VIDEO in the series here (#1) and here (#2).

The post GROW: What Toxins Are Hiding in Your Home… Making You Sick? (Video 2) appeared first on The Grow Network.

6 Dangers Of A Low-Fat Diet Your Doctor Won’t Tell You

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6 Dangers Of A Low-Fat Diet Your Doctor Won’t Tell You

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In the first half of the 20th century, America saw a sudden increase in heart disease. The medical community was baffled and the public wanted answers, and the “diet-heart hypothesis” or the “lipid hypothesis” was born. This subsequently changed how we view all-natural fat, including meat and dairy products.

Here are six things to consider before you begin to follow the government recommended policy of eating a low-fat diet:

1. It’s just a theory!

The theory of eating a low-fat diet to prevent heart disease was thought up by Ancel Keys, a man who had no training in nutritional science, epidemiology or cardiology.[1] It is important to remember, though, that it is just a theory—never proven by hard fact. But he did not follow his own low-fat diet recommendations. History shows us that despite great opposition, his theory became national policy without any evidence or research to support it.

2. Biased-based research

All the research to support the idea of a diet low in saturated fat, low in cholesterol and high in polyunsaturated fat was funded by large food corporations (Pillsbury, Quaker Oats, Swift & Co., Frito-Lay, General Mills, Heinz, etc.)[2] — companies that were wanting to patent their own new “food products.” They also wanted to be able to label their products with the recommendations of the American Heart Association. As George Mann, someone who dedicated his life and research to oppose Keys, put it, “for a generation, research on heart-disease has been more political than scientific.”[3]

3. Consuming vegetable oil increases your risk of cancer

6 Dangers Of A Low-Fat Diet Your Doctor Won’t Tell You

Image source: Flickr / Creative Commons

Research has proven that eating a diet high in vegetable oil INCREASES your risk of cancer.[4] In studies, cancer rates have been consistently higher in the low-saturated-fat groups than the high-saturated-fat groups.

‘Miracle Oil Maker’ Lets You Make Fresh Nut Oils Within Minutes!

And in 1968, vegetable oil was shown to double the rate of cancerous tumor growth in rats.[5]

4. The healthiest people in the world eat a lot of saturated fat

The Japanese and the Swiss, ranked one and in the world for health, vitality and longevity, have two of the fattiest diets in the world. The Japanese are often praised for their health, but the idea that they eat a low-fat diet is simply a myth. Although they do not consume much dairy fat, the amount of other animal fat they consume is significant.[6]

5. Saturated fat protects you from harmful viruses and bacteria

Saturated fats, such as lard, tallow, butter, coconut oil and cocoa butter, have proven antimicrobial qualities.[7] They help protect cells from harmful viruses and bacteria. Saturated fat also is one of the main building blocks of cells. When saturated fat is replaced with vegetable oil, cells become more prone to disease and cancer.[8]

6. Breast milk is extremely high in both cholesterol and saturated fat

Breast milk contains one of the highest sources of cholesterol on the planet. More than 50 percent of the calories found in breast milk are saturated fat. Commercial formula does not replicate the nutrients found in a mother’s milk. They are made low in fat and cholesterol, by recommendation of the American Heart Association. Sadly, a study published in Pediatrics has linked children who are failing to thrive with their consumption of a low-fat diet.[9]

Policy is often put into place for convenience and money, not your well-being. It’s always important to educate yourself, especially when it comes to your health. Don’t take someone’s word for it. In an age where information is so abundant, seek out the truth!

*This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or cure any particular health condition. Please first consult with a qualified health professional.

Do you agree or disagree? Share your thoughts in the section below:

[1] NINA TEICHOLZ, Big Fat Surprise, 2014,  pg. 49

[2] TEICHOLZ, Big Fat Surprise, 2014,  pg 91

[3] TEICHOLZ, Big Fat Surprise, 2014,  pg. 71

[4] TEICHOLZ, Big Fat Surprise, 2014,  pg 94

[5] TEICHOLZ, Big Fat Surprise, 2014,  pg. 94

[6] https://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/know-your-fats/the-skinny-on-fats/

7 FALLON, SALLY, AND MARY G ENIG, PHD, “Diet and Heart Disease—Not What You Think,” Consumers’ Research, July 1996, 15-19

8 https://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/know-your-fats/the-skinny-on-fats/

[9] SMITH, M M, AND F LIFSHITZ, Pediatrics, Mar 1994

Chamomile: The Tension-Relieving Herb You Can Easily Grow Indoors

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Chamomile: The Tension-Relieving Herb You Can Easily Grow Indoors

Image source: Pixabay.com

Chamomile, a common herb used in teas, can calm muscle spasms, relieve menstrual cramps, ease nerves, soothe an upset stomach, promote healthy skin and even help you sleep.

Even better: It is a beautiful, flowering herb that can easily be grown outdoors and indoors.

There are two kinds of chamomile: Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) and German chamomile (Matricaria recutita). Both kinds have similar health properties and produce white and yellow daisy-like flowers. The steps for growing either variety of chamomile are the same, and the only difference is how the plants grow. Roman chamomile is a perineal and a low-growing plant, flowering close to the ground and can act as a ground cover. German chamomile is an annual seeding plant and grows to be one to two feet tall.

Looking For Non-GMO Chamomile Seeds? Get Them From A Company You Can Trust!

Either variety of chamomile thrives well outdoors in a garden or flower bed, and indoors in a pot. Growing chamomile indoors provides a lovely, fragrantly sweet house plant that can be harvested for teas, tinctures and salves.

Growing And Harvesting Chamomile Indoors

1. Planting chamomile seeds

  • Obtain chamomile seeds from your previous plants, at a local nursery, or online.
  • Select a pot and make sure the pot is large enough to support an adult plant. A suitable pot should be at least about 12 inches (30 centimeters) in diameter and have good drainage.
  • You can sow the seeds directly in the potting soil, in the pot you intend to use, about two inches apart.
  • Chamomile seeds need light to germinate. Therefore, lightly moisten the potting soil and lightly press the seeds into the soil so that they are still visible.
  • After planting, keep the soil lightly moistened to dry. You can even mist the seeds with a spray bottle. Do not overwater.

2. Control the growing environment

  • Place the pot near a south-facing window that gets at least four hours of sunlight per day.
  • Chamomile seeds germinate best at temperatures of 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius).
  • If your house is too cold, you can place them near your heat source.
  • Keep the soil moist to dry during the germination process, as well. Again, you can mist them with a spray bottle.
  • The seeds should sprout in about two weeks.
Chamomile: The Tension-Relieving Herb You Can Easily Grow Indoors

Image source: Pixabay.com

3. Caring for indoor chamomile plants

  • Keep your plants near a south-facing window.
  • Water about once a week, ensuring the soil remains moist, but do not allow it to become swampy.
  • Don’t over fertilize your plant. Chamomile does well with little fussing. Too much fertilizer will result in fewer and weak-flavored flowers.
  • Remember that chamomile plants are actually drought-tolerant.
  • After two to three months, the plants should be ready for harvesting.

4. Harvesting chamomile plants

  • Once the flowers start to bloom, you can begin to harvest them. However, ensure that the flower’s petals are filled out and flatly positioned around the yellow center, as this is when they are most potent. If they are still curled around the center, or have spaces between them, it is too early for harvest.
  • Harvest during the day, while the flowers are fully open.
  • Pick the flowers that are drooping
  • The best way to harvest the chamomile flower is to only remove the flower itself. To do this easily, place two fingers around the underneath of the flower, and gently pull to pop off the flower.

5. Dry the chamomile flowers

  • The easiest way to dry out chamomile flowers is to just let them air dry. If you have a dehydrator for herbs, you can use that, as well.
  • Air drying can take a few days, so be patient. I find it easier to pick a couple of flowers per day and let them dry out, so that way you can always have a fresh supply of dried chamomile.
  • Once the flowers are completely dried, place them in an airtight container. Keep them as whole flowers, and do not crush them. Pre-crushing or crumbling the flowers will result in them losing their flavor.
  • It is OK to crush them right before you use them, which can release more flavor.
  • Your chamomile flowers can last a year in storage, as long as the container is airtight, and as long as they do not get damp or wet.

Homemade Chamomile Tea Recipe

Many people swear by chamomile tea to help calm their nerves, to relieve tension and to help them sleep better. It has a fresh, light and delightful taste, especially when it is made with homegrown flowers.

Step One: The trick with chamomile tea is that the more flowers you use, the stronger the tea will be. Over-steeping the tea does not make it stronger, and can cause bitterness.

Step Two: You can crumble your flowers for steeping. This can help to release the flavor even more. Use a tea strainer, or a cloth tea bag for steeping.

Step Three: Boil water in a tea kettle and let the chamomile steep for five to seven minutes, then remove the flowers.

Step Four: Pour the tea into a cup and add pure honey to taste if you like. Enjoy!

Have you ever grown chamomile indoors? Share your tips in the section below:

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Your Ancestors Didn’t Eat The Same Type Of Wheat That You Do (And They Were Healthier)

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Your Ancestors Didn't Eat The Same Type Of Wheat (And They Were Healthier)

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You’ve likely heard the term “gluten-free” a lot in the last few years. For the millions who are allergic to modern hybrid wheat, gluten-free is not a fad, but a godsend.

Whole wheat is a good alternative, right? It could be, but it’s not the same thing. If you have gluten intolerance or celiac disease, you already know the difference. Whole wheat isn’t the answer, since it’s also hybridized.

You may be thinking, “But my grandmother ate wheat all the time. I grew up eating wheat, so what’s the problem?” The wheat we have now isn’t the same wheat our ancestors grew and ate. Modern dwarf wheat is hybridized — cross-bred and altered at the cellular level to grow faster, bigger and stronger. Modern wheat is also frequently sprayed with toxic chemicals, adding to allergy problems.

Enter einkorn, the original ancient grain.

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Einkorn is the primitive “ancestor” to the commonly used modern dwarf wheat. The term “einkorn” refers to either the wild grass version (Triticum boeoticum) or the domesticated version (Triticum monococcum.)

Einkorn was one of the first grains planted and harvested by humans, dating back 10,000 years. It’s the “wheat from the Bible,” grown in countries with agriculture until science began hybridizing wheat. The modernization of wheat increases harvest size, resistance to disease and hardiness against weather and pests. Modernization has been successful, but there have been consequences. Cases of gluten intolerance and other ills from modern dwarf wheat have skyrocketed, with no other obvious explanation. Einkorn’s 14 chromosomes to modern wheat’s 42 chromosomes increases the gluten content exponentially, making it harder to digest.

Your Ancestors Didn't Eat The Same Type Of Wheat (And They Were Healthier)

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Einkorn is not entirely gluten-free, but is considerably lower in gluten than our modern hybridized wheat. It contains a different type of gluten, and many gluten-sensitive people can consume it without a reaction. Einkorn has the highest amount of protein of all currently available grains, boasting 15 percent less starch and 30 percent more protein than modern wheat.

Most commercial breads contain bromides as well as added starch for lighter, fluffier bread. These two substances can cause increased digestive issues. The blood sugar “spike” that occurs after eating commercial wheat (including whole wheat) is absent in foods with einkorn. Einkorn is also more nutritious than whole wheat, and tastes better.

In 2009, Carla discovered that her daughter had wheat allergies, and she went looking for answers. She found einkorn in Italy and began growing and using it. Her daughter’s health quickly improved, and she immediately began research and development.

Carla, with her husband Rodolfo, founded the company Jovial Foods, and even wrote a cookbook (Einkorn: Recipes For Nature’s Original Wheat.) Today, einkorn is available as bagged flour or berries, which can be ground into a flour as needed for baking or other uses.

Einkorn can’t replace regular wheat flour on a cup-for-cup with einkorn. Jovial Foods’ website offers tips for using it.

If you’re interested in trying einkorn, then have a small amount of something made with it before digging into three or four slices of homemade einkorn bread. There’s no guarantee you won’t have an allergic reaction, so be cautious. (Einkorn isn’t safe for people with celiac disease.) A quick search online, or on Pinterest, will give you hundreds of einkorn recipes for breads, pancakes, rolls, cookies, pizza dough and even a chocolate cake.

If you’ve given up wheat but miss your favorite things, consider trying einkorn. Better breads, pizzas, muffins, cakes and other treats could be on your table again soon.

Have you ever eaten einkorn? Share your tips in the section below:  

Sources:

Is Einkorn Gluten Free? Einkorn.com

Einkorn, JovialFoods.com

The History Of Einkorn, Nature’s First And Oldest Wheat, Einkorn.com

Types of Wheat: Nutritional Content & Health Benefits Comparison, Einkorn.com

Einkorn Flour, The Superior Ancient Grain Compared to Whole Wheat, DrAxe.com

How To Make Einkorn Bread, LiveSimply.me, 8/30/2016

11 Charts That Show Everything That’s Wrong With Our Diet, Mercola.com, 02/24/2014

5 Ways Einkorn is different than wheat flour, Katie Kimball, Kitchenstewardship.com

The 4 Reasons Why I’m Switching To Einkorn Wheat, The Healthy Home Economist, 3/22/2017

https://jovialfoods.com/about-us/our-story/

Baking with Einkorn, Jovial Foods website

Einkorn Chocolate Cake, A Modern Homestead

Einkorn Wheat, Wikipedia.org

Stinging Nettles: The Delicious Spring Edible ‘Weed’ That Is Easily Tamed

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Stinging Nettles: The Delicious Spring Edible ‘Weed’ That Is Easily Tamed

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Stinging nettles are a common forest plant found in Northern regions around the globe. They prefer rich soil near the edges of streams, lakes, springs and other sources of cool, clean water. Although they can be a nuisance for any person tromping through the woods in shorts, stinging nettles are an incredibly versatile and important wild edible.

Most people in our society no longer view nettles as a plant of value, but for early homesteaders and Native f of the nettle was used for treating joint pain and inflammation. Clearly, stinging nettle is a plant with multiple purposes.

So how does one find, harvest and utilize nettles? First, it is important to properly identify this plant in the wild. Nettles are characterized by the following features:

  • Nettles grow in dense clusters or groves near water and begin to emerge shortly after snowmelt in the spring.
  • Young nettle leaves have a heart-shaped appearance and may exhibit a purplish tint.
  • Leaves are opposing in orientation along the stem, and range between two and five inches in length, with serrated edges and a pointed tip.
  • Veins of the nettle leaves are indented.
  • Nettles have small, glassy hairs on the underside of their leaves and along their stems.
  • At maturity, nettles can be more than five-feet tall.

Remember to collect nettles only from pristine environments, away from roads or any source of pollution and contamination. The tastiest portion of stinging nettles is the new leaves at the growing tip. Whenever possible, harvest nettles during the early part of the spring after they have first emerged from the soil. Look for plants that have eight leaves or less.

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Stinging Nettles: The Delicious Spring Edible ‘Weed’ That Is Easily Tamed

Image source: Pixabay.com

It is OK to harvest leaves from older plants, but they won’t be as tender or as sweet. To harvest nettles, it is best to wear a pair of gloves and a long-sleeved shirt. While holding the topmost leaf, clip the stem just below the first whorl of leaves, either with scissors or garden clippers. The stems tend to be fibrous. Avoid cutting too much stem material. In the case of more mature plants, you will want to strip the leaves away from the stem altogether. Nettles can be stored loosely in a plastic bag in the fridge for several days before use. To preserve the quality of the nettles, do not rinse until just prior to processing.

The sting of the nettle plant comes from a combination of formic acid, histamine and several other chemical compounds that the plant uses as a defense mechanism against browsing herbivores. The modified hairs on the underside of the leaves and along the stem are used to inject this stinging solution into the skin. Nettles will lose their ability to sting when they are properly prepared.

When you are ready to eat your nettles, blanch them in hot water for five minutes and drain. (The blanching water makes a great tea or can be used a base for a vegetable stock, so don’t throw it out). The nettles now have lost their “sting” and can be used in place of spinach for most recipes, including lasagna or pasta sauce. Use stinging nettles in place of basil for pesto (freeze any extra in small glass jars) or as the base for a creamy spring soup. If you have acccidentally over-harvested, try drying your extra stinging nettles in a food dehydrator. The dried nettles make an excellent tea and can be crumbled and used as a flavoring herb for soups and sauces during the winter months.

Regardless of how you use them, stinging nettles are sure to become a household favorite. Their sweet flavor practically screams “springtime.” As a homesteader, I can no longer imagine life without them as part of our pantry.

Do you harvest and eat nettles? Share your nettles tips in the section below:

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WWII Pilots Said It Boosted Vision. And Native Americans Insisted It Cured Heart Problems.

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WWII Pilots Said It Boosted Vision. And Native Americans Insisted It Cured Heart Problems.

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It’s related to and often confused for blueberries, and has a time-honored role in both folk and herbal medicine.

It is the bilberry, a delicious blue fruit that can be distinguished from blueberries by looking at the flesh. The flesh of the bilberry is dark and juicy, while the flesh of the blueberry is white or pale green.

The pigment throughout the berry is what makes the medicinal qualities in the bilberry more potent than that of the blueberry. These plants are difficult to cultivate and are most often hunted and wild-harvested in the forests of Europe, northern Asia and North America.

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Scientifically known as Vaccinium myrtillus, the bilberry is also commonly called a “huckleberry” or a “whortleberry.” Its most popular name, “bilberry,” comes from the Danish word bollebar, which means “dark berry.”[1] The wild plants are so common in Europe that much of the world’s supply is gathered in the mountains from Scandinavia to the Balkans. It is harvested in midsummer and found in woodlands and meadows. The berry is common in European cuisine — made into syrups, jams and desserts.

History of its Use

WWII Pilots Said It Boosted Vision. And Native Americans Insisted It Cured Heart Problems.Native Americans traditionally ate the fruit of the “big huckleberry,” and used its roots as a treatment for heart ailments and arthritis. In Europe, the bilberry has been used medically for nearly 1,000 years to prevent scurvy due to its high vitamin C content. [2] However, it was German physician H. Bock who first described bilberry’s medical properties, in 1539.[3] The berry continued to gain popularity and by the 17th century a mixture of honey and bilberries, called “rob,” was being prescribed in England to treat diarrhea.

During World War II, pilots for the British Royal Air Force found — rather accidentally — that eating bilberry jam before a night mission improved their night vision. The practice became standard for both British and American pilots flying at night for the rest of the war.[4] According to Nutritional Herbology, taking bilberry to improve night vision “…is so effective that a single dose is said to improve one’s night vision within hours.”[5]

Medicinal Properties & Uses

Since the night vision claims by the RAF pilots, extensive research in Europe has discovered that the fruit is high in bitter compounds, called flavonoids. These flavonoids or anthocyanosides are contained in the pigment of the bilberry’s skin and flesh and are responsible for the berry’s high antioxidant properties. It’s these flavonoids that are believed to help promote healthy brain and eye function. They also protect against heart disease, free radicals and inflammation.[6] The bitter compounds inhibit collagen destruction and are a standard ingredient in anti-aging remedies.

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Bilberry is known to affect the structural and circulatory systems.[7] Its tannins and flavonoids are responsible for its anti-inflammatory, antithrombotic and antispasmodic properties. Consuming the berry also helps decrease capillary permeability. This makes the berry a common choice among the sufferers of varicose veins, poor circulation, macular degeneration and glaucoma. It works so well and has so many uses that bilberry is among the most popular non-prescription “drugs” in Europe.

The berry is sweet and tastes similar to a blueberry and is high in zinc, Vitamins C and A, phosphorus, manganese and iron.

The fruit is usually consumed encapsulated or added, as a powder, to smoothies. The dried berries can be made into a tea and administered as a treatment for diarrhea.

Have you ever eaten bilberry? Share your thoughts in the section below:

[1] Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs (pg. 16)

[2] 21st Century Herbal by Michael J. Balick (pg. 296)

[3] Guide to Medicinal herbs by Johnson, Foster, Low Dog & Kiefer (pg. 103)

[4] http://www.encyclopedia.com/sports-and-everyday-life/food-and-drink/food-and-cooking/bilberry

[5] Nutritional Herbology by Mark Pedersen (pg. 46)

[6] Guide to Medicinal herbs by Johnson, Foster, Low Dog & Kiefer (pg. 105)

[7] Nutritional Herbology by Mark Pedersen (pg. 46)

Green Potatoes DO Kill: 5 Old Wives’ Tales That Are Actually True

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Green Potatoes DO Kill: 5 Old Wives’ Tales That Are Actually True

For centuries, grandmothers everywhere have given us advice on what is good to eat, what isn’t good to eat, when it will rain, and even what sex your baby will be.

In the same way that your grandmother passed on to you the family’s best biscuit recipe ever (and we don’t doubt that it is excellent), some well-meaning advice also gets passed down from generation to generation with no questions asked.

Often, such advice is quickly discounted, but – believe it or not – some of these old “wives’ tales” are true.

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Let’s take a look at five strange, but true, old wives’ tales.

1. Green potatoes kill

This is true; however, you would have to eat two very large potatoes. Of course, this all depends on body size and age, as well as the “dose.” Green potatoes contain the nerve toxin solanine. There are terrible tales of people who have eaten these green little tubers and died. Even just a few bites from a green potato is enough to make most people vomit, but you have to ask yourself: Why would anyone eat a green potato anyway?

2. An apple a day

Everyone knows this old saying. An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? While apples are super-nutritious, full of vitamin C, pectin and fiber, we can’t go so far as saying that eating an apple each day will prevent things like diabetes, arthritis or cancer. However, a study in 2013 did find that if people over the age of 50 ate just one apple every day, they could help prevent heart attack and stroke.

3. Persimmon seeds and snow

Another old wives’ tale says that you can take a persimmon seed and cut it in half, and the shape you see inside the seed will tell you the kind of winter you are going to have. If you see a spoon shape, then there will be lots of wet, heavy snow. If you see a knife, there will be plenty of cutting, cold wind. A fork means a mild winter with only light, powdery snow.

This sounds a little crazy, but a study done in Jefferson County, Mo., found that this old wives’ tale has been correct 14 out of 18 years.

4. Hair of the dog

So you really went all out at that party and became close friends with Jack Daniels. You are paying for it this morning, however, and would give anything to stop that headache. One old wives’ tale says that “a little hair of the dog” that bit you (a shot or two of the same alcohol you were drinking) is a quick “cure.”

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Although most doctors say this is a bad idea – you’re simply prolonging your hangover – one prominent writer — Adam Rogers, the author of Proof: The Science of Booze — says there is a bit of science behind why it works. Still, he discourages it.

“The people who admit to using hair of the dog as a treatment for their hangovers … turn out to be the ones more likely to have an alcohol dependency later in life,” he told WVTF.

Doctors say the best cure is to sleep.

5. Baby boy or girl?

There are as many old wives’ tales about how to tell if you are carrying a boy or girl as there are blades of grass! One of them, however, appears to be true.

Deliveries that are fairly quick appear to be, more often than not, girls. Long labor times, or hard labor, usually mean it’s a boy.

One study found that, while boys are not necessarily bigger or heavier than girls, their heads are generally larger, resulting in a longer and more difficult labor.

Final Thoughts

Old wives’ tales reminds me of a story I once read where a woman was making her grandmother’s famous pot roast recipe. The recipe started off by saying that you needed to cut the end off one side. The woman began to wonder why this was. Was it meant to make the piece juicier? To allow the sauce to permeate the meat better? She called her mother and asked why she should cut the end off the meat. Her mother didn’t know, so the woman called her grandmother.  “Oh, that,” her grandmother said, “it’s because I used MY grandmother’s roasting pan and it was very small, so we had to cut the end off the roast so it would fit.”

What old wives’ tales would you add to our list? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Antibiotics In Our Water Supply: The Hidden Threat

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There’s no denying it. The looming threat of drug-resistant bacteria is turning into a very real problem. In fact, antibiotic resistance is quickly becoming one of the greatest global health challenges of the 21st century, and a big reason for concern might be right in your tap water.

Every day, pharmaceutical drugs are contaminating water sources like groundwater, lakes, bays, and rivers, and sewage treatment plants are finding it hard to keep up. In fact, they are struggling with the impossibility of filtering out chemicals they were never designed to deal with in the first place.

You’re wrong if you think the problem won’t affect you.

Researchers have discovered that traces of pharmaceutical drugs can be found in the drinking water of over 40 million Americans,[i] meaning that millions of people are exposed to unregulated levels of antibiotics every day, and far too few have any idea what the sinister consequences can be.

The Spread of Antibiotic Resistance

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention[ii], every year an estimated 23,000 people in the United States are killed by infections that modern medicine should be able to vanquish — but it can’t. These infections are caused by drug-resistant bacteria; microbes that have been exposed to antibiotics so many times throughout previous generations that they have evolved traits that let them withstand the antibiotics designed to kill them.

The development of resistance in bacteria is a natural process and an example of “survival of the fittest” that happens to every living species that produces offspring with variable traits.

Yet the overuse and misuse of antibiotics has given bacteria more opportunities to evolve and develop antibiotic resistance.[iii] While there are many factors to blame, a big part of the problem comes from the ways that antibiotics enter the water system.

Antibiotics’ Growing Threat to Water Systems

Antibiotics transformed the world of medicine, but decades of widespread use have come at a high cost for the environment.

Since their discovery, millions of metric tons of antibiotics have been produced, used, and disposed of, and many of these drugs wind up in the water system. Unsettlingly, a nationwide study by the U.S. Geological Survey in 2000 [iv] found that 80 percent of the rivers and streams they tested had detectable levels of pharmaceuticals like antibiotics and antidepressants.

The future impact of pharmaceutical drugs on natural ecosystems is still unknown, but initial research has shown that hormone disruption, antibiotic resistance, and the development of female genitalia in male fish is already occurring. Pharmaceuticals are also messing with the gender rates of fish species, and in some places the ratio of female to male fish exceeds 10 to one.[v]

The effects for fish and amphibians is clear, but what the long-term impacts for humans exposed to this tainted water is still unknown.

How Are They Getting in the Water?

Considering the sheer number of antibiotics manufactured around the world every year, it’s no wonder that a large percentage of them wind up in water. Antibiotics wash into the general water supply from agriculture, medicine cabinet purges and even wastewater treatment plants ill-suited for dealing with them.

Antibiotics wash into the general water supply from agriculture, medicine cabinet purges and even wastewater treatment plants ill-suited for dealing with them.

(1) Antibiotic Overuse in Agriculture

Antibiotics agriculture

Whether they are necessary or not, the meat industry is notorious for over-prescribing antibiotics to livestock.

In many cases, daily servings of antibiotics are used to achieve more rapid growth rates, and a good portion of the two trillion pounds of animal manure produced in livestock production sites across the country is tainted with growth hormones and antibiotics. Because only a small amount of this manure is properly disposed of, trace amounts of antibiotics often leach into the groundwater supply or get swept into rivers and streams after rainstorms. In many cases, these levels are high enough to pose a risk.

Recent reports[vi] found that water tested near a factory farm in Nebraska had more than four times the recommended amount of trenbolone, a hormone that’s used to add weight to cattle and has been found to change the testosterone levels in fish.

(2) Disposing Medications Down the Drain

Over 60 percent[vii] of Americans are currently taking prescription drugs, and finding ways to properly dispose of expired or unwanted medications is a common problem. Many homes have medicine cabinets filled with unused and expired medication, and most of these won’t be disposed of safely.

Instead, less than 2 percent of unwanted medications are returned to the pharmacies where they came from and roughly 35 percent of medications are simply flushed down the toilet.[viii]

Nursing homes and other health care institutions are also part of the problem. While hospitals often have on-site pharmacies that are willing to take back unused drugs, many nursing homes are known to quietly flush away old medications, especially after a patient dies.

Even more worrying, some chemicals still get into the water system when medications are used exactly as intended. Human bodies only metabolize a small fraction of the drugs they take in, meaning that a good portion of the active ingredients are excreted through urine and feces or sweated out.[ix] This means that when you relieve yourself or take a shower, traces of the chemicals from your medication may wind up in the water system.

(3) Wastewater Treatment Plants

Processing antibiotic-tainted water through wastewater treatment plants doesn’t necessarily mean they’re removed from the water supply.

Deep inside the holding tanks of untreated sewage sludge, diverse communities of bacteria have time to proliferate. This muddy mixture often contains an alarming concentration of antibiotics that were either flushed down or expelled through human waste which interacts with nearby bacteria and destroys all but the most drug-resistant varieties, therefore speeding up the evolutionary process of antibiotic resistance.

Even more sinister, the soupy sludge created in wastewater treatment plants give bacteria plenty of time to mingle together, and occasionally different varieties will swap strands of DNA with each other in a process called horizontal gene transfer.[x]

This means that nonresistant bacteria can pick up resistant genes from other microbes and quickly evolve into superbugs that can’t be treated with any known antibiotics.

This means that nonresistant bacteria can pick up resistant genes from other microbes and quickly evolve into superbugs that can’t be treated with any known antibiotics.

Worst of all, these ever-evolving strains of bacteria and antibiotic drugs rarely stay contained in wastewater treatment plants.

Traditionally, treatment plants have focused on removing organic material and nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen from water, and pharmaceuticals are a relatively new concern for them to deal with. While a major portion of dangerous chemicals are removed from the water system by the treatment process, facilities aren’t required to use filters for pharmaceutical chemicals.

While a major portion of dangerous chemicals are removed from the water system by the treatment process, facilities aren’t required to use filters for pharmaceutical chemicals.[xi] The laws regulating clean up procedures haven’t kept up with the influx of antibiotics on the market today, and few treatment plants are equipped to properly pull them out of the water.

Even when all but trace amounts of a pharmaceutical are removed from water, it can still be biologically active.

Research has shown that 10 percent of ibuprofen and naproxen in wastewater treatment plants is discharged out again, and even when it is properly filtered out, the medications simply become heavily concentrated in sludge instead. Because some of this sludge may eventually be released back into the environment for use as fertilizer (possibly even for food crops), the problem doesn’t go away.[xii] [xiii]

In light of these concerns, wastewater treatment plants are pursuing better ways to remove all traces of pharmaceuticals from sewage. The range of potential techniques include relying on medication-munching microbes[xiv] and treating water with ozone.[xv] However, these treatment options are still more advanced than what most plants can handle, are extremely expensive, and still can’t completely remove every trace of pharmaceuticals from treated water.

5 Ways to Reduce Pharmaceuticals  & Antibiotics in the Water System

In many ways, the best way to keep water systems safe from antibiotics is to prevent them from getting there in the first place. If you follow these suggestions, you’ll be able to prevent your share of antibiotics from tainting the water system and ensure this shared resource stays a little cleaner everyone.

  1. Limit Bulk Medication Purchases: It might be cost effective to buy your medication in bulk, but the odds are good you won’t have a chance to use it all before it expires. Buy only what you know you’ll need, and you’ll lessen the odds of ending up with big bottles of pills that need to be disposed of.
  2. Don’t Flush Medications Down the Drain: At bare minimum, don’t be guilty of putting your medications directly into the water system. Though the FDA recommends that some narcotic medications should be flushed to prevent overdoses or dangerous recreational use, there are usually drug take-back programs that will properly dispose of your medications for you.[xvi]
  3. Take Advantage of Drug Take-back Programs: In 2010, a federal law[xvii] made it easier than ever to dispose of unwanted drugs, so check out your local area for information about drug take-back days that you can be part of.
  4. Throw Away Meds Responsibly: Though decomposing in a landfill is arguably better for medications than spreading though the water system, chemicals can still leak out of the landfill and into groundwater. To carefully dispose of your meds, remove them from packaging place them in a watertight plastic bag and mix in a small amount of water so that the medication will dissolve.
  5. Start Using “Kitchen Medicine” To Treat Common Illnesses (i.e. 100% Natural Herbal Remedies):  Instead of rushing to the doctor for another prescription every time you’re sick, start learning to treat common illnesses and injuries at home with natural remedies.  And skip the pharmaceuticals entirely!

Ways to Remove Pharmaceuticals & Antibiotics from Your Water

If you’re looking for a way to make your own water safer to drink, the solution isn’t to subsist on bottled water instead. Studies have found that almost a quarter of bottled water comes directly from municipal sources, meaning most brands aren’t any safer than the water from your tap.[xviii]

Home filtration systems might not work either, and the process of oxidizing chemicals might even make your water more toxic. The exceptions are reverse osmosis and activated charcoal systems that can remove many (but not all) pharmaceutical drugs.[xix]

In Summary

At this point, scientists are only just beginning to understand the effects of pharmaceuticals on the natural world.

While they will continue to investigate the consequences of widespread antibiotic use, the evidence is clear that keeping antibiotics out of the water system is extremely important.

By educating yourself on the impacts of antibiotics in water and the ways they wind up there in the first place, you can start to take the necessary steps to keep you, your community, and the entire world safer from the threat of antibiotic resistance.

Natural antibiotic home remedy

Sources

[i] Scientific American: External Medicine: Discarded Drugs May Contaminate 40 Million Americans’ Drinking Water

[ii] Center for Disease Control: Antibiotic/Antimicrobial Resistance

[iii] European Medicines Agency: Antimicrobial Resistance

[iv] The Associated Press: Pharmaceuticals Found in Drinking Water

[v] Emerging Wastewater Contaminant Metformin Causes Intersex and Reduced Fecundity in Fish

[vi] Identification of Metabolites of Trenbolone Acetate in Androgenic Runoff from a Beef Feedlot

[vii] Rx for America: Nearly 6 in 10 Adults Take Prescription Drugs, Study Says

[viii] Harvard Health: Drugs in the Water

[ix] Drugs can Pass Through Human Body Almost Intact: New Concerns for Antibiotic Resistance

[x] Antimicrobial Resistance Learning Site: Horizontal Gene Transfer

[xi] Scientific American: Only Half of Drugs Removed by Sewage Treatment

[xii] Cleaning Up the Breeding Ground for Antimicrobial Resistance

[xiii] Crops Absorb Livestock Antibiotics, Studies Show

[xiv] In a Tiny NY village, Bacteria Do a Big Job on Drugs in Wastewater

[xv] The Scientist: Drugging the Environment

[xvi] US Food and Drug Association: Disposal of Unused Medicine: What You Need To Know

[xvii] Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010

[xviii] The Truth About Tap

[xix] Harvard Health: Drugs in the Water

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5 Old-Fashioned Toothache Remedies That Really Do Work!

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5 Old-Fashioned Toothache Remedies That Really Do Work!

I don’t know about you, but I really (really) hate going to the dentist. Unfortunately, this means that I often wait until I’ve made the problem worse with my procrastination. I know I should go regularly, but I always seem to find a reason to put it off.

You have to admire our ancestors, though. Imagine having a toothache with no dentist (or money for a dentist) in sight. How did they live with it?

Most times, people used herbs to relieve toothache pain until they could find a dentist or until they could find someone to pull the tooth! Other types of mouth pain, such as sores from ill-fitting dentures or canker sores, were made bearable through pain-relieving and healing herbs.

Although most of these remedies have been forgotten due to over-the-counter pain relievers and better dental care, there might come a time when we wish we knew what these herbs were.

Let’s take a look at the top 5 herbs that work to relieve mouth pain or a toothache.

1. Cloves

This is perhaps the oldest and best-known remedy for relieving toothache pain and helping gums to heal. My dentist actually has a little homemade concoction that his grandfather used to make to help with these problems. He won’t tell me everything that’s in it, but I can taste cloves and I must say that this stuff really worked to heal a stubborn sore on my gum!

Need All-Natural Pain Relief With No Nasty Side Effect?

The active ingredient, eugenol, is in the oil of the clove. In fact, many dental items you buy today contain oil of cloves. Cloves have antimicrobial compounds, as well as a numbing effect, which makes them perfect for tooth or gum pain. Crush a couple of cloves and place it where the pain is for 10 or 15 minutes.

2. Cabbage

This common food once had an uncommon use — as a dental pain reliever! When applied topically, it is said to help heal mouth sores quickly, as well as numb the pain. Cabbage leaves were softened with a rolling pin, and then rolled up like a tortilla and placed where the pain was. This very old-fashioned remedy calls for using 4 to 6 leaves a day.

3. The toothache plant (Acmella oleracea)

5 Old-Fashioned Toothache Remedies That Really Do Work!

Toothache Plant. Image source: Wikipedia

This little plant works so well, its medicinal use has become its name! Other names include buzz buttons or sechuan buttons. The flowers of this plant have a super-numbing effect in the mouth, even more so than cloves. If you look at the flowers, they do remind you of a tooth with a red “sore” spot in the middle! The remedy calls for using just the fresh flower and holding it on the painful area.

4. Onions

Onions seem to appear on every medicinal herb list, don’t they? Some people claim that onion juice is so effective at relieving pain that it’s better than ibuprofen. I don’t know if that is true or not, but the remedy is that you cut a large piece of onion (apparently yellow onions are best for this, as they are the strongest) and place it between the teeth, as close to the painful area as you can.

Beet Powder: The Ancient Secret To Renewed Energy And Stamina

Now slowly bite the onion, but only until you feel the juice come out. The idea is to get as much of the juice from the onion as possible. So bite slowly, turn the onion piece a bit, and then repeat until the pain is gone.

5. Sage and vodka

This old remedy came to America via German immigrants. Since sage has antibiotic and anti-inflammatory compounds, this remedy makes sense. Two teaspoons of dried crushed sage leaves were put in a small glass container, along with one teaspoon of salt and about one-fourth cup of vodka. This mixture should sit for five minutes before using. Mix this solution gently, and then take a sip and swish it around, biting the mushy sage leaves. Then spit. Don’t drink this or you will most likely end up vomiting. Repeat two or three times, and then throw out any leftover. This needs to be repeated three times a day with a fresh mixture, as it supposedly goes “stale” after just 15 to 20 minutes.

What all-natural methods do you use to relieve mouth and tooth pain? Share your tips in the section below:

Antibiotic-Free Meat: A Buying Guide

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Finally, a straightforward guide to help you buy antibiotic-free meat.   If you’re not raising your own livestock, here’s how you can be sure there are no antibiotics in your meat… 

Today, the steak on your plate was raised from a baby calf to butchering weight at speeds that would astound your ancestors.

“Bigger, faster, cheaper” is the mantra of the commercial meat industry, and one key to their success has been the widespread use of antibiotics.

Livestock fed a steady diet of growth-promoting antibiotics can put on weight at impressive rates, but recently scientists are sounding the alarm about the consequences of feeding these powerful medications to essentially healthy animals.

Concerned with the rising risk of antibiotic resistance, many scientists believe that feeding significant doses of antibiotics to livestock has dire rammifications for both human health and modern medicine. The risk of creating superbugs (microbes so powerful that known antibiotics can’t keep them in check) is too real to ignore, and warnings are coming out that unless we begin to take antibiotic resistance more seriously.

The risk of creating superbugs (microbes so powerful that known antibiotics can’t keep them in check) is too real to ignore, and warnings are coming out that unless we begin to take antibiotic resistance more seriously, modern medicine may lose its effectiveness in the next hundred years.[i]

The stakes are high, so take the time to educate yourself about the use of antibiotics for livestock to learn what’s really happening to the animals that become your dinner.

The Mixed Blessing of Antibiotics

buying antibiotic-free meat

Antibiotics are medicines that destroy bacteria, making them useful for controlling, treating and even preventing disease and infections.

In the decades since their discovery, antibiotics have saved millions of lives because simple cuts are no longer a death threat, and invasive surgeries and once unthinkable organ transplants are now routine.

Unfortunately, almost eighty years of global antibiotic use is starting to reveal some downsides.

Because antibiotics work by killing off entire populations of bacteria within your body, they essentially destroy all bacteria within range. However, bacteria are living organisms that have random genetic variances that equip a few out of millions to survive the onslaught of specific antibiotics. These surviving bacteria then become the ones that propagate, and consequently spread their resistant genes.

Over time, entire populations of bacteria become resistant to multiple forms of antibiotics, which makes them SUPERBUGS.

Because they are resistant to most common antibiotics, superbugs are incredibly difficult to control. They are responsible for an estimated 700,000 deaths annually, and that number is expected to rise to over 10 million by 2050.

For this reason, the World Health Organization recently listed antibiotic resistance as a major global threat for the 21st century.[ii]

Out Of Control:  Superbugs and the Meat Industry

sourcing antibiotic-free beef

The root of the problem of antibiotic resistance comes from an overuse of antibiotics themselves, and one of the ways that antibiotics are used carelessly is with livestock.[iii]

While humans need a prescription to gain access to antibiotics, farmers aren’t under the same requirements for their animals and can administer them with minimal regulation. In 2011, almost 30 million pounds of antibiotics were used for animal production, which was almost four times the amount used by the national human population.[iv]

Why are so many antibiotics given to animals?

In past decades livestock producers began to use them as a preventative measure to keep their animals healthy against infectious disease, something that became increasingly important as factory farms kept animals in tight living conditions.

They later found that small daily doses of certain antibiotics made animals grow bigger and faster, often gaining as much as 3 percent more weight than otherwise possible.[v]

Consumers may like cheap meat, but feeding excessive amounts of antibiotics to animals has some dire consequences for human health.

The growing threat of antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria from the overuse of these drugs can compromise the effectiveness of treatments for humans, putting the reliability of life-saving drugs at risk for the people that need them most.

China and Colistin: An Example of Bacteria Gone Bad

Antibiotics meat China

To understand the true threat of antibiotic resistance, you only need to travel over to China to get a glimpse of what the damage can be.

Recent reports have shown that Chinese strains of E. coli (a diverse, often dangerous strain of bacteria) is showing resistance to an old form of antibiotic called colistin.[vi] Discovered in the 1950s, colistin fell out of favor when antibiotics with fewer side effects were discovered. However, as preferable meditations continued to be compromised by antibiotic resistance, colistin use became widespread again. Unfortunately, even this trusted antibiotic is becoming vulnerable to E. coli superbugs.

The growing problem with colistin resistance is traced back to the Chinese meat industry, where over 8000 tons of it are given to pigs and chickens every year to enhance their growth.

Strains of resistant E. coli have been found in meat, livestock and even people around the world, and the threat is real that the colistin resistant gene in E. coli could spread to other dangerous bacteria as well. The danger doesn’t just stay near farms, either.

Manure tainted with drug-resistant bacteria often infects nearby water systems.

And flies often carry the bacteria to cities far away, sometimes even to already vulnerable hospital patients.[vii]

Sick From Tainted Meat: 

Modern medicine losing its potency has dire consequences for everyone on the planet, and the effects for your health should be a top concern.

Widespread antibiotic resistance in livestock means that dangerous pathogens aren’t always killed off before meat makes it to your plate. A 2001 report from the New England Journal of Medicine found that 20 percent of ground meat in supermarkets contained salmonella, and 84 percent of that salmonella was resistant to one or more antibiotics.

Antibiotics meat ecoli

A 2001 report from the New England Journal of Medicine found that 20 percent of ground meat in supermarkets contained salmonella, and 84 percent of that salmonella was resistant to one or more antibiotics.[viii] The situation is similar for poultry. Consumer Reports tests of chicken from 2006 and 2012 revealed that over two-thirds of their samples were contaminated with salmonella, 60 percent of which was resistant to forms of antibiotics.[ix]

Though the meat industry believes these statistics aren’t concerning, because people thoroughly cook their meat before eating it, partially raw meat, unwashed cutting boards, or thawing meat juice that leaks onto other foods in the refrigerator are all ways that pathogens can spread.[x]

More Drug-Resistant Diseases

Humans and animals swap diseases all the time. A full two-thirds of human diseases first began in animals, and drug resistance that starts with animals can also jump the species boundary.[xi]

Evidence is now growing that resistant bacteria from antibiotic treated farm animals can spread to the humans that eat them. This means that ingesting drug-resistant bacteria in meat that wasn’t fully cooked might make you ill with a disease that antibiotics are powerless to treat.[xii]

antibiotic-free meat: antibiotics in agriculture

The problem is only growing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found that over two million Americans become sick with drug-resistant bacteria every year, and more than 23,000 end up dying.[xiii]

The connection between the increased use of antibiotics for meat production and the loss of effectiveness of human medicine is becoming better understood, and the evidence is clear that feeding unregulated amounts of antibiotics to livestock is only going to harm human health in the long run.

The threat of looming antibiotic resistance is real, but those in authority aren’t always acting in the public interest. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council,[xiv] the FDA has buried research findings that revealed 18 types of antibiotics currently used on livestock that carry a high risk of increasing the levels of antibiotic-resistant bacteria for diseases that affect humans.

Even worse, many of these medications don’t reach the FDA’s own safety standards, yet they are used widely on livestock across the country.

Best Ways to Source Antibiotic-Free Meat:

In recent years, consumer outrage against antibiotics has created positive changes in the food industry.

Three of the largest chicken producers in America (Tyson, Perdue and Foster Farms) recently stated that they intend to reduce the amount of antibiotics fed to their healthy birds.

Large corporations like McDonald’s,[xv] Wendy’s and Popeyes are also taking a stand against fluoroquinolones (a family of synthetic antibiotics) and are refusing to buy birds that have been treated with them.[xvi]

However, there’s still no way to know for sure if these brands are sticking to their promises and keeping antibiotics out of their products.

Antibiotics chicken meat

If you want to reject antibiotics in your meat, you’ll need reliable ways to source antibiotic-free alternatives.

(Assuming you’re not ready to start raising your own livestock, which is what we ultimately recommend.)

Reading The Labels:

Antibiotic free meat

To ensure that the meat you eat doesn’t contain trace amounts of dangerous bacteria, you need to familiarize yourself with the following methods of identification.

  • Country of Origin: Depending on where your meat is sourced from, it might automatically be safe from antibiotics. Since 2006, European Union has banned farmers from using antibiotics to promote growth and instead regulates their use to treating disease only.[xvii]
  • USDA Organic: When organically-raised animals become sick, they are treated with antibiotics and sent to a conventional production system where they are no longer labeled as organic. This means that any meat product with the label USDA Organic is guaranteed to be free of antibiotics, both for promoting growth and for treating illness.[xviii]
  • ‘Raised Without Antibiotics’, ‘No Antibiotics Administered’ and Similar Variations: These labels signify that the meat in question came from animals raised without antibiotics, often in conditions comparable to organic (but uncertified). For extra reliability, look for labels accompanied by a “USDA Process Verified” shield, which ensures that the company in question paid to have their claims verified.

Labels to Avoid When Buying Antibiotic-Free Meat

There’s lots of money to be made selling shady meat, which is why healthy sounding labels that are actually meaningless abound in the supermarket. If you really want to source meat that’s free from antibiotics, be sure to avoid these convincing, yet empty, claims.

  • Antibiotic-Free: The USDA has never legally authorized the use of the term “antibiotic-free”, so if you see it on packaging it has no legal meaning.
  • Natural: The USDA meaning of natural is very loose, and only implies that the final product is minimally processed and doesn’t contain added colors or artificial ingredients. Antibiotics are fully allowed in “natural” meat, making the term meaningless if you’re trying to avoid them.
  • No Antibiotic Residues: Though this isn’t a USDA-approved claim, it’s often used on labels to refer to the fact that antibiotics were not used for the last days or weeks of the animal’s life so that traces of the chemicals would have time to naturally work themselves out. However, the label “No Antibiotic Residues” usually implies that the animal was fed significant amounts of antibiotics earlier in life.
  • No Antibiotic Growth Promotants: Not only is this claim not approved by the USDA, it’s also intentionally misleading. Animals that aren’t given antibiotics to aid their growth levels might still get them regularly to stay healthy in their crowded cages, meaning their exposure levels are far higher than the label implies.[xix]

The growing threat of antibiotic resistance is likely to only get worse.

To cut out the biggest source of antibiotic use and keep the planet safe, do what you can to buy antibiotic-free meat.  Better yet, raise your own livestock.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that the continuation of modern medicine might someday depend on it.

antibiotic resistance

Sources

[i] The Biggest Threat to Modern Medicine- Antibiotic Resistance

[ii] World Health Organization: What to Do About Resistant Bacteria in the Food Chain

[iii] STAT- The Livestock Industry is Key in the Race to Fight Antibiotic Resistance

[iv] Consumers Union: The Overuse of Antibiotics in Food Animals Threatens Public Health

[v] Frontline: Modern Meat

[vi] Flies are Spreading Antibiotic Resistance From Farms to People

[vii] Flies are Spreading Antibiotic Resistance From Farms to People

[viii] The Isolation of Antibiotic-Resistant Salmonella from Retail Ground Meats

[ix] Consumer Reports: The High Cost of Cheap Chicken

[x] Superbug Resistant to Last Resort Antibiotic Arises in China

[xi] 13 Animal-to-Human Diseases Kill 2.2 Million People Each Year

[xii] Frontline: Modern Meat

[xiii] Center for Disease Control: Antibiotic/Antimicrobial Resistance

[xiv] NRDC Petitions FDA: Agency’s Weak Attempt to Curb Antibiotic Abuse in the Livestock Industry is Failing

[xv] McDonald’s Now Serving Chicken Raised Without Antibiotics-Mostly

[xvi] Frontline: Modern Meat

[xvii] European Commission: Ban on Antibiotics as Growth Promoters in Animal Feed Enters into Effect

[xviii] USDA: Organic

[xix] Consumer Reports: Antibiotics in the Meat Industry

The post Antibiotic-Free Meat: A Buying Guide appeared first on The Grow Network.

15 Natural Antibiotic Alternatives

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Are you looking for natural antibiotic alternatives that will fight off the nasty bugs without destroying your immune system in the process?

I recently released “The Miracle of Garlic” (you can get a free copy here), which explains how garlic can be used to fight common infections.

But garlic isn’t the only natural antibiotic available…

… So I’ve put together this list of 15 natural antibiotic alternatives you can try if you need to boost your immune function, eliminate infection, or recover from an illness.

Each of these holds a wallop punch against dangerous bacteria without knocking out your stomach, nervous system, or the good bacteria that help your immune system fight off infections naturally.

15 Natural Antibiotic Alternatives:
Before You Take MORE Antibiotics, Why Not Try These? 

And hey, if you’ve used any of these to prevent or treat a common illness or infection, I’d love to hear your story!

Tell me about it in the comments below…

Natural Antibiotic Alternative #1 – Garlic

Natural antibiotic alternative garlic

Ahh, garlic. That pungent-smelling, mouth-watering clove of antibiotic goodness is my #1 favorite antibiotic alternative.

Spicy, bacteria fighting, and perfect for when I want my own personal space. 😉

(If you want to learn how I take garlic to fight infection without SMELLING like garlic, be sure to grab your free copy of “The Miracle of Garlic.”)

It’s been shown beneficial for a wide range of infections and illnesses, including:

  • Common colds
  • Flus
  • Fungal skin infections
  • STDs (including genital warts)
  • Lyme Disease
  • Pneumonia
  • Candidiasis
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Yeast infections
  • Intestinal parasites
  • Meningitis
  • Herpes

It has even shown promise for destroying three “nightmare superbugs”:

Robin Cherry writes, “Garlic is a broad-spectrum antibiotic, meaning it’s effective against a wide range of disease-causing bacteria…  Garlic shows promise against two of the three most dangerous bacterial infections (christened nightmare superbugs by the CDC):

Antibiotic resistant gonorrhea and MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, commonly found in hospitals where there has the potential to weaken those whose immune systems are already compromised).” (pp 31-32)

It can help prevent food poisoning by killing E. coli and salmonella.

And it is also shown to boost immunity, helping fight off bacterial infections.

There are many reasons we call garlic “miraculous.”

Natural Antibiotic Alternative #2 – Goldenseal

Natural antibiotic alternative goldenseal root

Goldenseal is a perennial herb, also called “orange root,” native to the eastern United States and southeastern Canada.

The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine lists goldenseal as “one of the most effective of the herbal antimicrobial agents” (475).

Vaginal and bladder infections are destroyed by goldenseal.

A common winter infection—sinus infections—are treatable with goldenseal.

Goldenseal contains “berberine,” which has “been shown to inhibit the adherence of bacteria to human cells, so they cannot infect the cells” (p 959).

It is also thought to be effective in treating strep throat, diarrhea, gum disease, and pneumonia.

Natural Antibiotic Alternative #3 – Licorice

Natural antibiotic alternative licorice root

The Licorice root is a super-powered natural antibiotic.

Steven Orr, in The New American Herbal, says licorice root contains “glycyrrhizic acid,” which has been shown “to treat and soothe respiratory problems like bronchitis, usually in the form of cough drops and syrup, and also arthritis” (p 225).

It is even being studied to measure its ability to treat “hepatitis, cirrhosis, herpes, and flu” (p 225).

But the most impressive attribute of licorice is that glycyrrhizic acid in licorice root is showing promise for treating the deadliest illnesses of our time: HIV-1 and SARS-related coronavirus.

It’s an antibiotic, antiviral, and delicious! 😉

It is even used to treat conditions like eczema, asthma, and Lyme Disease.

(See The Herbal Drugstore, The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (3rd Edition), and Herbal Antivirals for more about licorice root). 

Natural Antibiotic Alternative #4 – Echinacea

Echinacea has a particular scent that instantly opens up your airways. That’s how you know it is effective for colds, sinus infections, strep-throat and other respiratory issues.

The purple coneflower is pretty to grow in your garden and can be made into a tea, extract, juice, powder, or cream for treating a number of infections.

“There have been more than 300 scientific investigations on the immune-enhancing effects of Echinacea—one of the most popular herbs in the treatment of the common cold” (The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, p 437).

Paired with goldenseal, Echinacea helps knock out strep throat. It has also been used to treat a range of problems “from skin wounds to dizziness” (Mayo Clinic Book of Alternative Medicine, p 53).

The Herbal Drugstore lists treating Lyme Disease and vaginal infections among its uses.

Natural Antibiotic Alternative #5 – Aloe Vera

Natural antibiotic alternative aloe vera

Perhaps you’ve already experienced the skin-soothing wonder of aloe vera gel.

But beyond its ability to soothe damaged skin, aloe vera has been shown effective in the treatment of gum disease, hypertension, angioedema (rapid swelling from trauma or allergies), asthma, Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis, diabetes, peptic ulcer, and other skin issues, such as psoriasis, Seborrheic Dermatitis, plaques from the shingles virus, and cuts and scrapes.

It’s ability to “inhibit the production of reactive oxygen metabolites and inflammatory mediators by human colon epithelial cells” makes it effective in treating the symptoms of Crohn’s Disease—a particularly uncomfortable and often untreatable disease (The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, p 467).

It can also help relieve asthma symptoms in sufferers who are not dependent on corticosteroids.

(See The New American Herbal and The Herbal Drugstore for more about the antibiotic properties of aloe vera.) 

Natural Antibiotic Alternative #6 – Coconut Oil

I use coconut oil as lotion. It heals dry and broken skin and gets rid of harmful bacteria in the process. Coconut oil (and coconut milk) is a common ingredient in homemade toothpaste, lotion, shampoo, and other beauty-related products.

Coconut Oil.com says: “The antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties of the medium chain fatty acids/triglyucerides (MTCs) found in coconut oil have been known to researchers since the 1960s.

Research has shown that microorganisms that are activated include bacteria, yeast, fungi, and enveloped viruses.”

Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which can form into monolaurin in your body. Monolaurin helps attack some of the nastiest forms of bacteria.

Oil-pulling is becoming a common practice, and for good reason. Chew up a tablespoon of coconut oil and swish in your mouth like mouthwash for a while to remove bacteria, clean and whiten your teeth, prevent gum disease, and repair cavities.

Natural Antibiotic Alternative #7 – Tea Tree Oil

Natural antibiotic alternative tea tree oil

Tea tree oil is a well-known acne treatment.

“Tea tree oil possesses significant antiseptic properties and is regarded by many as an ideal skin disinfectant” (The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, p 250).

But did you know it’s also good for healing skin infections, relieving itchiness from rashes, soothing sun burns, treating warts, healing insect bites, treating psoriasis, and much more.

Plus, Tea Tree oil is also good for clearing vaginal infections (vaginitis) and can help treat chronic candidiasis (see The Herbal Drugstore).Be careful, though, using tea tree oil around house cats. Cats’ livers cannot process tea tree oil and if it comes into contact with their skin, it can have dangerous—even fatal—side effects.

Be careful, though, using tea tree oil around house cats. Cats’ livers cannot process tea tree oil and if it comes into contact with their skin, it can have dangerous—even fatal—side effects.

Natural Antibiotic Alternative #8 – Cayenne Pepper

Natural antibiotic alternative cayenne pepper

If you like spicy food and suffer from asthma, joint and muscle pain, diabetes, psoriasis, or have a cut/scrape, you’re in luck. Cayenne pepper is good for treating all of those issues.

“The bright red fruit of the plant contains an ingredient called capsaicin, which has been found to deplete nerve cells of a chemical that helps transmit pain messages” (Mayo Clinic Book of Alternative Medicine, p 51).

Capsaicin is also shown to block “the small nerve fibers that transmit the pain” people with diabetes suffer from. “Topically applied capsaicin has been shown to be of considerable benefit in relieving the pain of diabetic neuropathy” (The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, p 541).

Capsaicin in cayenne pepper is also effective in getting rid of inflammation, which can help treat psoriasis, and helps to desensitize “airway mucosa to various mechanical and chemical irritants,” which makes it effective in preventing asthma attacks” (The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, p 335).

Natural Antibiotic Alternative #9 – Turmeric

Natural antibiotic alternative turmeric

This bright orange spice, commonly used in Indian cuisine, is good for just about everything you can think of that would normally require a trip to the hospital and the consumption of harmful antibiotics.

“Research shows turmeric reduces liver toxicity, boosts the gallbladder’s performance, helps metabolize fat and reduce bad cholesterol, and may slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease” (The New American Herbal, p 319).

Turmeric’s active ingredient, curcumin, has been shown to treat osteoarthritis, psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease, gallstones, and has even shown promise in treating HIV/AIDS.

Curcumin has been “shown to inhibit HIV integrase, the enzyme that integrates a double-stranded DNA copy of the RNA genome, synthesized by reverse transcriptase into a host chromosome” (The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, p 260).

It is an effective anti-inflammatory, which makes it effective in treating psoriasis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and sports injuries.

Add it to recipes, make it into tea, or brush your teeth with a combination of turmeric and coconut oil to whiten and fortify your teeth.  You can also add honey and hot water to help soothe symptoms of the common cold (particularly inflammation in your lymph nodes).

Natural Antibiotic Alternative #10 – Apple Cider Vinegar

Natural antibiotic alternative apple cider vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar contains malic acid, an antibiotic substance. “It’s a virtual infusion of amino acids, vitamins, and minerals” (The Most Effective Natural Cures on Earth, 297).

According to Joan Wilen and Lydia Wilen, authors of Healing Remedies, Apple cider vinegar can treat a whole host of problems: arthritis, first-degree burns, sore throat, laryngitis, cough, fatigue, aches and pains, dry hair/scalp, rough skin, headaches, shingles virus, indigestion, itchy skin, sprains, cold sores, urinary tract infection, etc. Anything skin or respiratory tract related can be treated or improved with apple cider vinegar.

Drink apple cider vinegar with hot water, lemon, and honey to break up mucus and infection in your sinuses and relieve a sore throat. Break up that infected mucus and blow it out and away.

Apple cider vinegar is also shown to “improve insulin sensitivity in insulin-resistant subjects,” which means it is an effective treatment for diabetes. “This makes apple cider vinegar a powerful natural weapon, along with cinnamon and chromium, in the fight to control blood sugar and help get carbohydrate metabolism on track” (The Most Effective Natural Cures on Earth, 298).

Be aware that apple cider vinegar can have some adverse effects if you take certain medications.

Natural Antibiotic Alternative #11 – Ginger

Natural antibiotic alternative ginger root

Upset stomach?  Stomach flu? Drink some ginger tea.

But that’s not all ginger is good for!

“Research conducted at RMG Biosciences of Baltimore showed that extracts of ginger and galangal, a member of the ginger family, helped inhibit the manufacture of inflammatory brain chemicals, and in turn slowed down the progression of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s” (The Home Reference to Holistic Health & Healing, p 88).

It has also been shown “effective in reducing the symptoms of knee osteoarthritis” (150).

Green MedInfo.com references dozens of scientific studies and says, “At least one study that compares the effects of ginger and antibiotics on Staphylococcus aureua and S. pyreus infections shows that ginger extract may be superior…Ginger has been shown to have an antibacterial effect on respiratory and periodontal infections.”

The Herbal Drugstore lists the following as treatable with ginger: angina, arthritis, bursitis and tendonitis, cervical dysplasia, colds and flu, ear infections, flatulence, headache, heart disease, hives, indigestion, intermittent claudication, intestinal parasites, morning sickness, motion sickness, nausea, Raynaud’s phenomenon, sinus infections, sports injuries, and stroke. 

In addition, ginger has antiviral benefits, which means it is able to treat “viral infections including colds, influenza, hepatitis, herpes, yellow fever, measles, chicken pox, and enterovirus” (Herbal Antivirals, p 172).

Natural Antibiotic Alternative #12 – Grapefruit Seed Extract

Natural antibiotic alternative grapefruit seed extract

Need to treat a nasty wart? Grapefruit seed extract (GSE) is your natural remedy.

The Herbal Drugstore lists acne, canker sores, cuts and scrapes, diarrhea, ear infections, and fungal skin infections as treatable by grapefruit seed extract.

Grapefruit seed extract is a powerful antibiotic: “In one study, drops of concentrated grapefruit-seed extract were tested for antibacterial properties against a number of gram-positive and gram-negative organisms.  The researchers concluded that GSE was comparable to ‘proven topical antibacterials. Although the GSE appeared to have a somewhat greater inhibitory effect on gram-positive organisms than on gram-negative organisms, its comparative effectiveness against a wide range of bacterial biotypes is significant.’”  (The Healthy Home Economist)

Grapefruit seed extract can also help combat fatigue.

Natural Antibiotic Alternative #13 – Oregano Oil

Natural antibiotic alternative oregano oil

Oregano oil has been shown effective in treating tonsillitis and other bacterial infections. Dr. Axe calls it “the ultimate natural antibiotic.”

In essential oil form, oregano oil is particularly effective: “Essential oil components are fundamentally different [from antibiotics]. Their nonselective activity makes it practically impossible for microorganisms to develop resistance. Microorganisms may be able to resist the attack on one of their targets, but this leases all the other targets of the essential oil still vulnerable” (The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils, 47).

Oregano oil contains carvacrol and thymol, which both “have powerful anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties” (Dr. Axe).

Hundreds of studies on PubMed have proven carvacrol able to treat bacterial infections, fungal infections, parasites, viruses, inflammation, candida, allergies, and tumors. It has also been shown to kill E. Coli bacteria, cancer cells, and five other types of harmful bacteria.

Use oregano oil to treat foot or nail fungus, parasites and infections, and sinus infections.

Be careful about applying oregano oil directly to your skin as it may cause irritation. 

Natural Antibiotic Alternative #14 – Honey

Natural antibiotic alternative honey

We’ve read the studies that claim bacteria can protect each other and resist antibiotics, but honey breaks up bacteria as it kills it, making it impossible for bacteria to evolve into resistant strains.

Healing Remedies lists honey as a key component in treating hay fever, asthma, cuts and scratches, sore throat, laryngitis, tonsillitis, cough, Emphysema, cataracts, fatigue, athletes foot, leg cramps, headaches, heart conditions, indigestion, acne, sores and lesions, skin problems, sleep disorders, stress, tension, and anxiety, teeth, gum, and mouth issues, and ulcers.

Eating local honey can also help alleviate allergies to local pollen, as the pollen is used to make the honey. Ingesting it can help you become immune to the pollen in the air.

Natural Antibiotic Alternative #15 – Cinnamon

Cinnamon is one natural antibiotic we should always have on hand, particularly when traveling and have an increased potential of contracting bacterial infections:

“The antibacterial effects of Cinnamon Bark oil make it one of the best options when a person encounters violent bacterial infections of the intestinal tract, especially while traveling in unfamiliar territory!” (The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils, p 73).

The Herbal Drugstore claims that the cinnamon spice is antifungal and “inhibit fungi that commonly infect the skin. It is also a key ingredient in natural cough syrup.

Use cinnamon bark oil and cinnamon leaf oil as a powerful anti-infectious blend. Cinnamon is also helpful to reduce or prevent intestinal issues.

So there you have it, 15 natural antibiotic alternatives.

Use these instead of the dangerous prescription chemicals that can damage your body and produce resistant bacteria “superbugs.”

Comment with your experiences using natural antibiotics, and do share this list with friends!

References:

American Family Physician. “Health Effects of Garlic.” Accessed Marcy 24, 2017. http://www.aafp.org/afp/2005/0701/p103.html.

Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S., Jonny. The Most Effective Natural Cures on Earth: The Surprising, Unbiased Truth about What Treatments Work and Why. Fair Winds Press, 2008.

Buhner, Stephen Harrod. Herbal Antivirals: Natural Remedies for Emerging & Resistant Viral Infections. Massachusetts: Storey Publishing, 2013.

Cherry, Robin. Garlic: An Edible Biography. Boston: Roost Books, 2014.

Coconut Oil. “Coconut Oil Offers Hope for Antibiotic-Resistant Germs.” Accessed on March 24, 2017. http://coconutoil.com/coconut-oil-offers-hope-for-antibiotic-resistant-germs/.

Dr. Axe. “Oregano Oil Benefits Superior to Prescription Antibiotics.” Accessed on March 24, 2017. https://draxe.com/oregano-oil-benefits-superior-prescription-antibiotics/.

Food Matters. “Discover Why Honey is Still The Best Antibiotic.” Accessed on March 24, 2017. http://www.foodmatters.com/article/discover-why-honey-is-still-the-best-antibiotic.

Green Med info. “Ginger’s Many Evidence-Based Health Benefits Revealed.” Accessed on March 24, 2017. http://www.greenmedinfo.com/node/83545.

Health Care Above All. “This is The Most Powerful Natural Antibiotic Ever—Kills Any Infections in the Body.” Accessed on March 24, 2017. http://www.healthcareaboveall.com/this-is-the-most-powerful-natural-antibiotic-ever-kills-any-infections-in-the-body-1/.

Mars, Brigitte, and Chrystle Fiedler. The Home Reference to Holistic Health & Healing. Massachusetts: Fair Winds Press, 2015.

Mayo Clinic Book of Alternative Medicine: Integrating the best of natural therapies with conventional medicine. 2nd ed. New York: Time Inc., 2010.

Murray, N.D., Michael T. and Joseph Pizzorno, N.D. The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. 3rd Edition. New York: Atria, 2012.

Orr, Stephen. The New American Herbal. New York: Clarkson Potter/Publishers, 2014.

Schnaubelt, Ph.D., Kurt. The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils: The Science of Advanced Aromatherapy. Healing Arts Press, Vermont: 2011.

The Healthy Home Economist. “The 11 Best Natural Antibiotics and How to Use Them.” Accessed on March 24, 2017. http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/how-to-use-best-natural-antibiotics/.

White, MD, Linda B. and Steven Foster. The Herbal Drugstore: The Best Natural Alternatives to Over-the-Counter and Prescription Medicines! Rodale Inc., 2000.

Wilen, Joan and Lydia Wilen. Healing Remedies. New York: Ballantine Books, 2008.

The post 15 Natural Antibiotic Alternatives appeared first on The Grow Network.

The Growing Threat of Antibiotic Resistance

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The growing threat of antibiotic resistance and “superbugs” is an issue I’ve been raising the red flag about for just over two years.

And I know many of you already understand the threat is real.

But it can be hard to explain to friends and colleagues who I’ve noticed often roll their eyes and assume I must be exaggerating.

The antibiotic apocalypse?  The end of modern medicine? 

“Impossible” is the reaction I often get.

So for those of you, like me, who are trying to educate friends and family on the gravity of the situation, I’ve put together this “news reel” highlighting some of the biggest headlines from a variety of sources over the last 18 months.

(You can add any links I’ve missed in the comments below!)

And be sure to share this page with friends and family.

In The News:  Antibiotic Resistance
Over The Last 18 Months


Peer Into The Post-Apocalyptic Future of Antimicrobial Resistance
– WIRED, March 18, 2017

QUOTE:  “The Review on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) determined that, left unchecked, in the next 35 years antimicrobial resistance could kill 300,000,000 people worldwide and stunt global economic output by $100 trillion.  

There are no other diseases we currently know of except pandemic influenza that could make that claim. In fact, if the current trend is not altered, antimicrobial resistance could become the world’s single greatest killer, surpassing heart disease or cancer.”


Superbug Drug Launched to Fight Growing Threat of Antibiotic Resistance
– Independent UK, March 14, 2017

QUOTE: “Doctors are ‘running out of options’ for treating common infections caused by bacteria which mutate to resist regular antibiotics, said microbiologist Matthew Dryden. ‘Resistance is increasing, almost exponentially. It’s a problem facing every emergency department in this country,’ he told The Independent.”


New Drugs Alone Won’t Defeat Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria
– Health Line March 14, 2017

QUOTE: Bacterium have been on Earth longer than humans and have shown an incredible ability to adapt to their surroundings, they said.  ‘‘We can’t count on drug development to keep us one step ahead,’ said Norman. ‘We need to be humble about this.”


 UFU Takes Action on Antibiotic Resistance
– Ulster Farmers Union, March 14, 2017

QUOTE: The immediate concern is to prolong the effectiveness of current antibiotics. We want to see strategies implemented that will secure these vital medicines for the future,” said Mr Doupe.”


Curing The ‘Addiction’ Of Antibiotic Resistance
– Huffington Post Canada, Mar 13, 2017

QUOTE: “Letting the public know they are enabling microbial addicts when they overuse, misuse, and abuse antibiotics may lead to a change of mindset. People may even think twice about asking for an antibiotic at the doctor’s office or perhaps not purchase meat from animals raised on antibiotics.”


 The Science of Healthy Microbiomes to Address the Threat of Antibiotic Resistance and Weight Gain
– News-Medical.net, March 13, 2017

QUOTE: “According to Margaret Chan, former WHO Director General, “a post-antibiotic era means, in effect, an end to modern medicine as we know itThings as common as strep throat or a child’s scratched knee could once again kill.”


Deadly Fungal Infection that Doctors Have Been Fearing Now Reported in U.S.
– The Washington Post, March 10, 2017

QUOTE: “‘These pathogens are increasing, they’re new, they’re scary and they’re very difficult to combat,’ said Anne Schuchat, CDC’s acting director, during a briefing in Washington this week about the growing danger from antimicrobial resistance.”


GOP Health Care Bill Would Cut CDC Fund to Fight Killer Diseases
– NBC News, March 8, 2017

QUOTE: “‘We don’t have a lot of time,’ Schuchat said. ‘Resistance is a problem now, because it is a threat to modern medicine itself.’ Bugs are evolving into forms that cannot be treated with any drugs, and no new classes of drugs are on the horizon.”


 Antibiotic/Antimicrobial Resistance
– Center for Disease Control, March 8, 2017

 QUOTE: “However, these drugs have been used so widely and for so long that the infectious organisms the antibiotics are designed to kill have adapted to them, making the drugs less effective.

 Each year in the United States, at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these infections.” 


This Scientist Sent A Superbug To Space To Help Life On Earth
– Huffington Post, March 7, 2017

QUOTE: “MRSA’s ability to mutate rapidly and unpredictably means it outpaces scientists’ ability to develop drugs that kill it. In turn, MRSA kills more Americans each year than AIDS – many of them children.



 Warning Over Highly-Contagious Superbug Sweeping the Nation
– Edinburgh News, March 7, 2017

QUOTE: “The team of investigators discovered a new variant of the well-known gene that causes resistance to polymyxin – currently the toughest antibiotic in our arsenal against bacteria.

The new multidrug-resistant bacteria, which carries the gene variant, was found on a patient with salmonella and could easily be passed on in bacteria.  More troubling, the gene was found in a healthy individual during a routine medical, suggesting that other healthy carriers may be spreading the resistance unknowingly.”


 ALERT: Air Pollution Could Promote Antibiotic-Resistant Respiratory Infections
– Nature World News, March 6, 2017

QUOTE: “The researchers found that black carbon, a major component of air pollution, alters the way how the bacteria grow and from communities. These changes could influence survival rate of the bacteria on the lining of respiratory tracts and how well they could hide or combat the body’s immune system.”


The Superbug Dirty Dozen
– The Wall Street Journal, March 5, 2017

QUOTE: The World Health Organization published a medical most-wanted list this week on 12 dangerous ‘superbugs,’ and the warning spotlights the growing threat of bacteria that can resist all or nearly all antibiotics. Ominously, deadly microbes are outpacing science’s capacity to develop new human defenses.”


How to Solve a Problem like Antibiotic Resistance
– Science Daily, March 3, 2017

QUOTE: “‘If bacteria continue developing resistance to multiple antibiotics at the present rate, at the same time as the antibiotic pipeline continues to dry up, there could be catastrophic costs to healthcare and society globally,” said senior co-author on one of the articles, Dr Tony Velkov, an Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Career Development Fellow from Monash University, Victoria, Australia.”


 Diesel Fumes Making Lung Diseases More Antibiotic Resistant
– Wakefield Express, March 3, 2017

QUOTE: “This has implications for the treatment of infectious diseases, which are known to be increased in areas with high levels of air pollution.  And they warned high pollution in major cities and urban areas will have a serious impact on people’s health unless efforts are made to clean up this toxic smog.”


Hospital Room Floors May Harbor ‘Superbugs’
– WebMD, March 2, 2017

QUOTE: “In their study, the team took samples from the floors of 159 patient rooms in five Cleveland-area hospitals and found that many were contaminated with infection-causing bacteria, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), and Clostridium difficile.” 


Battling Superbugs with Big Data
– Live Mint, March 2, 2017

QUOTE: “New virtual marketplaces have made the entire drug distribution process an opportunity for unchecked financial gains by irresponsible actors. The lack of awareness among patients regarding the appropriate use of antibiotics has led to self-medication and non-adherence to the prescribed course of antibiotics, further intensifying the problem.”


 Antibiotic Resistance Could Lead to Pneumonia and TB Returning to Ireland
– Irish Mirror, March 2, 2017

 QUOTE: “Antibiotic resistance has been directly linked to outbreaks of superbugs such as MRSA and Clostridium difficile.”


 Bacteria Can Protect Each Other: a New Challenge in Antibiotic Resistance
– Libotech Europe, March 1, 2017

QUOTE: “This study may explain why physicians sometimes encounter antibiotic-susceptible bacteria in patients that did not respond to antibiotics. It also highlights the necessity of administering antibiotics with caution. Now we know that healthy microbes in our organism can develop resistance mechanisms they could use to protect pathogens in future infections.


 Penicillin: Miracle Drug Turns Into Weak Antibacterial Due To Superbugs
– The Science Times, March 1, 2017

QUOTE: “However due to drug misuse and improper compliance of antibiotic use: resistant bacteria, antibiotic resistant or “superbug” has emerged. Science Daily defined antibiotic resistance as the ability of any microorganism to tolerate or withstand the effect of anti-infective drugs. Improper diagnosis, unnecessary prescriptions, and use of antibiotics in livestock are also few of the contributing factors.”



UTIs Are Becoming Untreatable With the Rise of Antibiotic Resistance
– PBS, March 1, 2017

QUOTE: “Almost half of all women will acquire a urinary tract infection (UTI) at least once in their lifetime. Normally, antibiotics are highly effective in treating UTIs. But without antibiotics, the infection can spread into the kidneys or the bloodstream, causing severe illness. 

Now, a new list released by the World Health Organization indicates that E. coli, a leading cause of UTIs, is becoming resistant to some antibiotics.”


 WHO Stresses Urgent Need for R&D for Drug-Resistant TB Alongside Newly-Prioritized Antibiotic-Resistant Pathogens
– World Health Organization, February 28, 2017

QUOTE: “The MDR-TB public health crisis continues: there were an estimated 580 000 cases and 250 000 related deaths in 2015. Only 125 000 were started on treatment, and just half of those people were cured.”


 WHO Superbug List: Enemy No. 1 Is Bug That Plagues Soldiers
– NBC News, February 28, 2017

QUOTE: “The list also includes carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae or CRE — the germs that former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Thomas Frieden called ‘“nightmare bacteria.’ “Certainly Acinetobacter are something that we have seen in our returning military service people,” said Dr. Helen Boucher of the Infectious Diseases Society of America.”


Air Pollution Alters Staphylococcus Aureus and Streptococcus Pneumoniae Biofilms,  Antibiotic Tolerance and Colonization
– Wiley Online Library, February 28, 2017

 QUOTE: “Our results show that black carbon impacts bacterial colonisation in vivo. In a mouse nasopharyngeal colonisation model, black carbon caused S. pneumoniae to spread from the nasopharynx to the lungs, which is essential for subsequent infection.”


Superbug to Make Stomach Ulcers ‘Trickier’
– News.com Australia, February 28, 2017

QUOTE: “The relatively simple treatment of a common yet potentially deadly stomach condition, made possible because of two Australian Nobel laureates, is under threat by a ‘high priority’ superbug.  Helicobacter Pylori (H.pylori) was on Tuesday listed by the World Health Organisation as one of 12 bacterium posing the greatest threat to human health because of their resistance to antibiotics.”


Deadly, Drug-Resistant ‘Superbugs’ Pose Huge Threat, W.H.O. Says
– The New York Times, February 27, 2017

QUOTE: “We are fast running out of treatment options,” said Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny, the W.H.O. assistant director general who released the list. “If we leave it to market forces alone, the new antibiotics we most urgently need are not going to be developed in time.”


Deadly Superbugs Found on Phones, Laptops and ATMs
– Newstalk, February 26, 2017

QUOTE: “Results detected traces of the deadly superbug MRSA on the hot water dispenser in a public canteen, on toilet doors, waste bin lids and on the screens and covers of mobile phones. Faecal matter was also found on toilet door handles.”


FDA Bans Chemicals Linked to Antibiotic Resistance From Soap
– Salon, February 25, 2017

QUOTE: “Not only does research suggest that antimicrobial products are ineffective at reducing microbes on the product, but several studies also suggest they may be causing an increase in antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic-resistant infections, such as MRSA, cause an estimated 23,000 deaths every year in the United States.”


Hospital Superbugs Cases Soar After Thousands of NHS Cleaners are Axed in ‘Theresa May’s Funding Squeeze’ ­
– Mirror UK, February 25, 2017

QUOTE: “A new Oxford University study has found the risk of MRSA infection is 50% higher in hospitals which outsource cleaning.”


Dangerous Antibiotic-Resistant Infections on the Rise for Children in the U.S., Study Finds
– Washington Post, February 25, 2017

QUOTE: “‘Antibiotic resistance increasingly threatens our ability to treat our children’s infections,’ said Sharon Meropol, the study’s lead author and an assistant professor of pediatrics, epidemiology and biostatistics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.



First Systematic Study of Deadly, Antibiotic-Resistant Fungus Reported
– Science Daily, February 24, 2017

QUOTE: “The deadly fungus, Candida auris, which has been found in hospitals, is resistant to entire classes of antimicrobial drugs, limiting treatment options for those infected. Microbiologists have provided previously uninvestigated details pertaining to C. auris drug resistance and growth patterns.”


Scientists Are Creating a Genetic Chainsaw to Hack Superbug DNA to Bits
– Gizmodo, February 24, 2017

QUOTE: “‘What we’re trying to do is kill bacteria,’ Rodolphe Barrangou, a molecular biologist at North Carolina State University, told Gizmodo. ‘It’s like a Pac-Man that’s going to chew up DNA rather than make a clean cut. It chews it up beyond repair. It’s lethal.’”


Study Tracks How Superbugs Splash Out of Hospital Sink Drains
– NBC News, February 24, 2017

QUOTE: “Antibiotic-resistant superbug bacteria grow up hospital drains and can splash out into sinks and onto counters, researchers reported Friday.   Their experiment helps explain just how such germs cause outbreaks of disease in hospitals. And it also demonstrates just how hard it will be to prevent this kind of spread, because the bacteria are especially difficult to kill when they are growing in pipes.”


Superbug Concerns Keep Spreading
– Lifezette, February 24, 2017

QUOTE: “Disease and safety experts from the European Union warned this week that superbug bacteria found in people, animals, and food across the E.U. pose an ‘alarming’ threat to public and animal health. The reason: a growing resistance to widely used antibiotics.”


Rise in Resistant Infections in Children, Longer Hospital Stays
– United Press International, February 23, 2017

QUOTE: “Over the eight-year study period, antibiotic-resistant infections increased from 0.2 percent in 2007 to 1.5 in 2015, a more than 700 percent increase, according to researchers.  Researchers found children with Enterobacteriaceae infections resistant to multiple antibiotics had 20 percent longer hospital stays than patients that did not have antibiotic-resistant infections.”


 EU WARNING: Evolved Superbug Found in Humans Poses ‘Alarming Threat’ to Public Health
– Express Europe, February 22, 2017

QUOTE: “‘We have put substantial efforts to stop its rise, but this is not enough. We must be quicker, stronger and act on several fronts.’  Resistance to ‘carbapenem’ antibiotics was also detected for the first time in animals and food – albeit at low levels.”


Incidence and Outcomes of Infections Caused by Multidrug-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae in Children, 2007–2015
– Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, Published February 22, 2017 

QUOTE: “Infections with Gram-negative enteric bacilli are becoming increasingly difficult to treat; considering the global burden of these antimicrobial-resistant organisms, interventions to curtail or even reverse this trend are needed urgently.”


‘Alarming’ Superbugs a Risk to People, Animals and Food, EU Warns
– Reuters, February 22, 2017

QUOTE: “‘Antimicrobial resistance is an alarming threat putting human and animal health in danger,’ said Vytenis Andriukaitis, the EU’s health and food safety commissioner.  ‘We have put substantial efforts to stop its rise, but this is not enough. We must be quicker, stronger and act on several fronts.’”


Genetic Mutations That Drive Antibiotic Resistance in Bacteria
– Science Daily, February 21, 2017   

QUOTE: “The rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is challenging clinicians, with some infections already resistant to nearly all available drugs. A 2013 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that such infections kill at least 23,000 people each year in the United States alone.”


How Travel Helps Antibiotic Resistance Spread Around The World
–  Huffington Post Canada, February 20, 2017

QUOTE: “While the target of the symptoms may be eliminated, the use of antibiotics may allow for colonization of the gastrointestinal tract with antibiotic resistant bacteria. As a result, the traveler unexpectedly may end up being an importer of a public health threat.”


 Superbugs Rampant in China’s Poultry Products, Study Shows
– South China Morning Post, February 18, 2017

QUOTE: “The researchers traced the spread of the bacteria from slaughterhouse to hatcheries. The highest detection rate was recorded in chicken farms, where 97 per cent of samples were contaminated. Professor Timothy Walsh of Cardiff University, a lead scientist for the study, said people in China should watch what they eat.”


 Online Pharmacies Are Breeding Grounds For Antibiotic Resistance
– Vocativ, February 17, 2017

QUOTE: “But even if the antibiotics are used correctly and taken at the right dose for the right amount of time, there’s still the more basic question of how many users should be taking these antibiotics at all, as every unnecessary antibiotic treatment chips away at the drugs’ effectiveness.”


British Scientists Discover how Deadly Bacteria Survive a Last-Line Antibiotic
– Labiotech Europe, February 16, 2017

QUOTE: “Scientists from the Queen’s University in Belfast and the University of Queensland in Australia have finally identified the precise molecular mechanism by which this organism resists colistin, a last-line antibiotic used to treat MDR infections. This discovery could help researchers find new ways to fight deadly infections by antibiotic-resistant bacteria.”


Stopping the Superbug Spread
– World Health.net, February 13, 2017

QUOTE: “Overuse of antibiotic drugs let bacteria build resistance thus becoming superbugs. In the United States, patients in hospitals have a 1 in 7 chance of getting sick with a superbug, and half of outpatient antibiotic prescriptions are deemed unnecessary. Every year, two million people become sick with antibiotic resistant bacteria. One of the top drug-resistant bacteria causes diarrhea and is called C. difficile and its existence is the result of antibiotic overuse. This infection will kill over 15000 people every year.”


 The Microbes Fight Back: Antibiotic Resistance
– The Royal Society of Chemistry, GB, February 11, 2017

QUOTE: “This book does highlight that microbial resistance is a global challenge and that we have a long way to go before we can, as US Surgeon General William H Stewart once said, ‘close the book on infectious diseases and declare the war against pestilence won’.”



Common Weed Could Help Fight Deadly Superbug, Study Finds
– The Washington Post, February 10, 2017

QUOTE: “Researchers from Emory University and the University of Iowa found that extracts from the Brazilian peppertree, which traditional healers in the Amazon have used for hundreds of years to treat skin and soft-tissue infections, have the power to stop methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections in mice. The study was published in Nature’s Scientific Reports.”


Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Found in Flies
– PBS, February 9, 2017

QUOTE: “Flies at poultry farms in China were loaded with bacteria containing genes for antibiotic resistance, the team discovered. The same team also found E. coli containing mcr-1, a gene that imparts resistance to colistin, an antibiotic of last resort, in 1% of hospital patients in two of China’s large cities, neither of which have a history of using colistin to treat humans.”


Antibiotic Tolerance Facilitates the Evolution of Resistance
– Science Magazine, February 9, 2017

QUOTE: “We found that in all cases tolerance preceded resistance. A mathematical population-genetics model showed how tolerance boosts the chances for resistance mutations to spread in the population. Thus, tolerance mutations pave the way for the rapid subsequent evolution of resistance. Preventing the evolution of tolerance may offer a new strategy for delaying the emergence of resistance.”


Flies Are Spreading Antibiotic Resistance from Farms to People
– New Scientist, February 6, 2017

QUOTE: “‘Their ability to contaminate the environment has immense public health concerns,’ the team concludes. It may be why hospital patients who lived far away from farms were not less likely to have a resistant infection during summer, says Walsh. ‘In the summer flies will carry those bacteria everywhere.’”


Exactly How Bad is Antibiotic Resistance Right Now? A Woman in the US Recently Died from a Superbug that no Antibiotics Could Treat
– Popular Science, February 3, 2017

QUOTE: “People in the United States have been infected by pan-resistant bacteria before. ‘It’s not the first time that there has been an untreatable bacterial infection in the US,’ says James Hughes, co-director of the Emory Antibiotic Resistance Center in Atlanta. ‘This particular case…is an extreme example of how bad it can get.’” 


Report: Antibiotic Resistance Rising in Europe
– Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, University of Minnesota, February 1, 2017

QUOTE: “According to the report, more than half of the E coli isolates reported to EARS-Net in 2015 were resistant to at least one class of the antimicrobials tested, while more than a third of the K pneumoniae isolates showed resistance to at least one antimicrobial drug.”


Rare E. coli ‘Superbug’ Found in LA County Patient Marks a First for California
– LA Daily News, January 31, 2017

QUOTE: “But the concern is that the “superbug,” known as mcr-1, has shown to be resistant to an antibiotic known as colistin, which is deemed one of the few “last resort” antibiotics “used to treat infections caused by certain multi-drug resistant organisms,” according to the alert.”


The Unconstrained Evolution of Fast and Efficient Antibiotic-Resistant Bacterial Genomes
– Springer Nature, January 30, 2017

QUOTE: “Evolutionary trajectories are constrained by trade-offs when mutations that benefit one life history trait incur fitness costs in other traits. As resistance to tetracycline antibiotics by increased efflux can be associated with an increase in length of the Escherichia coli chromosome of 10% or more, we sought costs of resistance associated with doxycycline.”


Bacteria with Antibiotic Resistance Mutations Reproduce Faster than Non-mutated Bacteria
– Natural Science News, January 30, 2017

QUOTE: “Antibiotic resistance is a growing problem that can be incredibly harmful to people with bacterial infections. When bacteria develop a resistance to modern drugs, doctors are left with fewer options for treating their patients. In some cases, bacteria become immune to all common antibiotics and these strains are a serious public health risk. Scientists have frequently studied the evolution of antibiotic resistance in an attempt to solve the problem.”


Antibiotic Resistance on the Rise: Superbug Infections Found in Chinese Hospitals
– Salon, January 27, 2017

QUOTE: “People infected with these resistant strains can usually be treated with current antibiotics, but doctors warn that as these bacteria — which are already untreatable with last-resort drugs — acquire resistance to current drugs, the infections may become impossible to treat.”


We Told You So: Antibiotic Resistance & The Food Supply
– American Free Press, January 27, 2016

QUOTE: “Valentine quoted the Union of Concerned Scientists, who issued a stern warning: ‘Tetracycline, penicillin, erythromycin, and other antimicrobials that are important in human use are used extensively in the absence of disease for nontherapeutic purposes in today’s livestock production. Cattle, swine, and poultry are routinely given antimicrobials throughout much of their lives.’”


 The Attack Of The Superbugs
– Vocativ, January 27, 2017

QUOTE: “Samples from one of her infected wounds had tested positive for a bacteria called Klebsiella pneumoniae that was at least partly resistant to all 14 available antibiotics the hospital had in stock. The CDC, brought in for more testing, additionally found her passenger was truly resistant to at least a whopping 26 antibiotics found in the U.S., including the aptly-called ‘last resort’ drugs colistin and tigecycline.”


Antibiotic Overuse Behind ‘Superbug’ Outbreak
– WebMD, January 25, 2017

QUOTE: “Overuse of fluoroquinolones enabled antibiotic-resistant C. difficile to thrive because non-resistant bugs in the gut were killed off by the antibiotics. This left the way clear for rapid growth of antibiotic-resistant C. difficile, the researchers explained.”


 A Deadly Superbug Appears To Be Invading America’s Hospitals
– STAT, January 23, 2017

QUOTE: “Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has dubbed CREs ‘nightmare bacteria.’ That’s because they are resistant to many, and sometimes most, antibiotics, including carbapenems, an important class of last-resort drugs. 

They also have the capacity to transfer resistance genes from one family to the next — for instance from E. coli bacteria to Klebsiella pneumoniae. Think of it as gangs in a neighborhood teaching each other all their worst tricks.”


Dangerous Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Are Spreading
– Consumer Reports, January 19, 2017

QUOTE: “‘Our healthcare facilities are our first—and possibly our only—line of defense,’ says McGiffert. ‘This research underscores how critically important it is for them to take concrete steps now to contain these deadly superbugs before they spread more widely.’”



Think Antibiotic-Resistant ‘Super-Bugs’ are Only a Distant Threat? Think Again.
– Public Radio International, January 17, 2017

QUOTE: “‘I think this is the harbinger of future badness to come,’ said Dr. James Johnson, a professor of infectious diseases medicine at the University of Minnesota and a specialist at the Minnesota VA Medical Center.

Other scientists are saying this case is yet another sign that researchers and governments need to take antibiotic resistance seriously. It was reported Thursday in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a journal published by the CDC.”


Drug-Resistant Superbug May be More Widespread Than Previously Known
 – CNN, January 17, 2017

QUOTE: “In fact, transmission of these bacteria person-to-person may be occurring without symptoms, say the researchers, from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Broad Institute.”


A Superbug That Resisted 26 Antibiotics
– NPR, January 17, 2017

QUOTE: “Then, if CRE or other resistant infections are diagnosed, the hospital can set up appropriate precautions, like isolating the patient, and immediately start lab tests to try to find an effective antibiotic.

 But in this case, there was no effective antibiotic. ‘And we’re going to see more of these, from a drip, drip, drip of cases to a steady drizzle to a rainstorm,’ predicts Johnson. ‘It’s scary, but it’s good to get scared if that motivates action.’”


Resistance to the Antibiotic of Last Resort Is Silently Spreading
– The Atlantic, January 12, 2017

QUOTE: “To be clear, these E. coli with mcr-1 found in China were still susceptible to antibiotics other than colistin, but if a bacterium with genes that make it resistant to every other drug then picks up mcr-1, you get the nightmare scenario: a pan-resistant bacteria. These drug- resistant infections usually happen in people who are already sick or have weakened immune systems.”


How Do Multidrug-Resistant Bacteria Survive Antibiotics Without Resistance Genes?
– Contagion Live, December 30, 2016

QUOTE: “As multidrug-resistant bacterial pathogens continue to vex healthcare settings around the world, researchers work to understand the adaptations that make these superbugs so resistant. Now, in one new study, a team of scientists have identified how bacteria are able to evade the effects of antibiotic drugs.”


Bill Gates: World Faces Decade at Risk from Antibiotic-Resistant Bugs
– The Guardian, December 30, 2016 

QUOTE: “‘I cross my fingers all the time that some epidemic like a big flu doesn’t come along in the next 10 years,’ Gates told a special edition of Radio 4’s Today programme guest-edited by Dame Sally Davies, the chief medical officer for England.”


Antibiotic Resistance just Became More Complex
– Phys.org, December 27, 2017

QUOTE: “Bacteria that are susceptible to antibiotics can survive when enough resistant cells around them are expressing an antibiotic-deactivating factor. This new take on how the microbial context can compromise antibiotic therapy was published by a team of microbiologists from the University of Groningen microbiologists, together with colleagues from San Diego, in the journal PLOS Biology on 27 December.”


 How Hospitals, Nursing Homes Keep Lethal ‘Superbug’ Outbreaks Secret
– Reuters, December 22, 2016 

QUOTE: “The outbreak and the way it was handled expose what a Reuters investigation found to be dangerous flaws in U.S. efforts to control the spread of superbug infections. An examination of cases across the country reveals a system that protects the healthcare facilities where superbugs thrive, while leaving patients, their families and the broader public ignorant of potentially deadly threats.”


NARMS—Combating Antibiotic Resistance with Surveillance
– Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Last Updated December 16, 2016

QUOTE: “Any use of antibiotics can lead to resistance. However, when animals are given antibiotics for growth promotion or increased feed efficiency, bacteria are exposed to low doses of these drugs over a long period of time. This type of exposure to antibiotics may lead to the survival and growth of resistant bacteria. This is inappropriate antibiotic use.”


Antibiotic Resistance Will Hit a Terrible Tipping Point in 2017
– New Scientist, December 14, 2016

QUOTE: “This will mean more resistant bacteria, which could be a big threat. The livestock industry has long played down any risk to human health caused by using antibiotics in farming, but the danger is now accepted, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).”


Superbugs Killing Twice as Many People as Government Says
– The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, December 11, 2016

QUOTE: “The growth in infections that are resistant to antibiotics (also known as anti-microbial resistance, or AMR) is one of the biggest health crises facing the world today. Scientists have warned the world is on the cusp of a “post-antibiotic era” – where everyday infections will become untreatable and potentially fatal – unless concerted global action is taken.”


Why Drug-Resistance Genes Are Showing Up In Smog
– Time Magazine, December 8, 2016

QUOTE: “Not only did Larsson and his colleagues find evidence that genes linked to antibiotic resistance can be present in the air, but they also found a high amount of the genes in areas where there’s a lot of pollution from antibiotic manufacturing. Waste from manufacturing plants can end up in water sources, as Larsson has found in other research.”


Phages Carry Antibiotic Resistance Genes
– The Scientist, December 8, 2016

QUOTE: “The study makes ‘a pretty strong case that antibiotic resistance genes really do exist in the virome,’ said Andrew Singer of the UK Natural Environmental Research Council’s Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, who was not involved in the work.”


New Kind of Antibiotic Resistance Shows Up on a Hog Farm
– Scientific American, December 7, 2016

QUOTE: “No one is sure where these resistance genes came from or how they got to the farm but researchers have ideas. “The most logical source would be a hospital, where carbapenems are frequently used and CRE are not uncommon,” Wittum says. Farm workers might, for instance, carry CRE home from a hospital visit and then deposit the bacteria on farm equipment.”


 Antibiotic Resistant Infections Kill 23,000 Americans Each Year, Sicken 2 Million
– EcoWatch December 6, 2016

QUOTE: “‘Livestock use of antibiotics is contributing to a public health crisis of antibiotic resistance,’ said Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) senior health officer and physician David Wallinga, MD. ‘It’s you, me and the people we love who will suffer the consequences when the medications we rely on to treat common illnesses no longer work.’”



Rare Superbug Gene Discovered on U.S. Pig Farm
– NBC News, December 6, 2016

QUOTE: “Carbapenems are considered an antibiotic of last resort, so germs that resist their effects are very difficult to kill. Worse, this superbug gene is carried on an easily swapped bit of genetic material called a plasmid, and the researchers found it in several different species of bacteria on the farm.”


Superbug Infections Must be Listed on Death Certificate Under Proposed Bill
– LA Times, December 5, 2016

QUOTE: “Currently many deaths from infections acquired in hospitals and nursing homes are not publicly recorded, leaving health officials to guess at their toll.  Today we have to estimate the number of deaths from infections and we have no idea if that is accurate,’ said Hill (D-San Mateo). ‘We’re shooting in the dark.’”


Fear, Then Skepticism, Over Antibiotic-Resistant Genes in Beijing Smog
– The New York Times, December 2, 2016

QUOTE: “Though fears of airborne bacteria were unfounded, there is a growing health problem of antibiotic resistance. Antibiotics are heavily overprescribed in China, doctors and researchers say.”


How Drug-Resistant Bacteria Travel from the Farm to Your Table
– Scientific American, December 1, 2016

QUOTE: “Bacteria are everywhere, but they are more everywhere on livestock farms because everybody is literally walking around in poop. (Even though I was covered in plastic the whole time I toured Schoettmer’s farm, I reeked when I checked into my hotel room hours later.) And like germs in an elementary school, the bacteria in this excrement get shared widely—they get burrowed under the fingernails of visitors who scratch the animals’ heads, and they contaminate the hands of farm employees. (I never saw anyone wearing gloves.)”


Antibiotic-Resistant Superbugs on Hong Kong MTR Trains, Study Reveals
– Post Magazine, November 25, 2016

QUOTE: “The bacteria were found on the hands of students who took trains on the various MTR lines.  The findings come amid growing global concern about the spread of superbugs resistant to most forms of antibiotic – drugs used in humans to treat a wide range of illnesses and prevent infection during childbirth, surgery and organ transplants and also used widely in agriculture. China is the world’s biggest user and producer of antibiotics.”


Antibiotic Resistance Grows as Last-Line Drugs Fail
– Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, November 21, 2016

QUOTE: “’Antibiotic resistance in Klebsiella pneumoniae is of increasing concern in Europe,’ added ECDC acting director, Andrea Ammon, M.D. ‘More than one-third of the isolates reported to ECDC for 2015 were resistant to at least one of the antibiotic groups under surveillance, and combined resistance to multiple antibiotic groups was common. Moreover, the emergence of K. pneumoniae infections with combined resistance to carbapenems and colistin is worrisome and an important warning that options for treatment are now even more limited than in the past.’”


Traces of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Have Been Found in Polluted City Air
– Science Alert, November 21, 2016

QUOTE: “Scientists are now cautioning that city smog might be spreading the genetic material that makes viruses untreatable, and at this stage, it’s not clear how much damage this could do in the world’s most polluted cities.”


Plasmids Shown to Play Key Role in Spread of Antibiotic Resistance
– Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, November 9, 2016

QUOTE: “According to Dr. MacLean, the spread of resistance genes in bacterial populations is driven by simple, Darwinian selection. During antibiotic treatment, bacteria with resistance genes have a higher reproductive rate than sensitive bacteria, and, as a result, the use of antibiotics causes the spread of resistance genes.”


13 Cases of ‘Superbug’ Fungal Infection in U.S.
– Chicago Tribune, November 7, 2016

QUOTE: “Candida auris fungal infection is emerging as a health threat worldwide, and it appears to spread in hospitals and other health care facilities, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”


Research Project to Combat Superbugs, Antibiotic Resistance
– Weill Cornell Medicine, October 22, 2016

QUOTE: “’Most of the infections in these patients are from gut bacteria,’ said Dr. Satlin, an assistant professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine. ‘This project will allow us to understand how genes that confer resistance to important antibiotics spread among gut bacteria and proliferate in the setting of antibiotic exposures. A better understanding of resistance in the gut microbiome of these patients, and the effect that antibiotics have, could lead to new strategies for preventing and treating infections in this vulnerable patient population.’”


Superbugs: How Antibiotic-Resistant Bugs are Killing Mankind
– Wall Street Daily, October 19, 2016

QUOTE: “The experiment illustrates ‘the process of accumulating successive mutations’ that allows the bacteria ‘normally sensitive to an antibiotic’ to ‘evolve resistance to extremely high concentrations in a short period of time.’”


Lobby Group Links Antibiotic Resistance to ‘Dirty’ Drug Factories, and Aurobindo is a Culprit
– Fierce Pharma, October 19, 2016

QUOTE: “A hard-hitting report by campaigning organization Changing Markets says direct sampling of water from manufacturing sites operated by Aurobindo, Orchid Pharma and Asiatic Drugs and Pharmaceuticals has–for the first time–uncovered drug-resistant bacteria.”


Editorial: What We Don’t Know About Superbugs Could Kill Us
– LA Times, October 12, 2016

QUOTE: “Lest anyone think that the senator is merely headline chasing, Hill joined the drug-resistant infection fight long before it became such a global concern. In 2015, he authored Senate Bill 27, the nation’s toughest law to curb antibiotic use in agriculture. More than 70% of the antibiotics designed for human care are used in agriculture, where they historically have been used prophylactically for growth promotion and disease prevention. When the law goes into effect in 2018, it will allow antibiotic use on livestock only to control and treat infections.”


Mystery of Bacteria’s Antibiotic Resistance Unraveled
– Science Daily, October 7, 2016

QUOTE: “’Antibiotic resistance is one of the major problems in modern medicine,’ said Adbelwahab. ‘Our studies have shown how this enzyme deactivates rifampicin. We now have a blueprint to inhibit this enzyme and prevent antibiotic resistance.’”


Society and Superbugs: Losing ‘One of the Most Serious Infectious Disease Threats of Our Time’
– CNBC, October 2, 2016

QUOTE: “’This is really a frightening situation,’ Dr. Beth Bell of the CDC told CNBC’s ‘On The Money’ in a recent interview, ‘and really one of the most serious infectious disease threats of our time.’”



No One Knows How Many Patients are Dying from Superbug Infections in California Hospitals
– LA Times, October 2, 2016

QUOTE: “An epidemic of hospital-acquired infections is going unreported, scientists have found. 

University of Michigan researchers reported in a 2014 study that infections – both those acquired inside and outside hospitals – would replace heart disease and cancer as the leading causes of death in hospitals if the count was performed by looking at patients’ medical billing records, which show what they were being treated for, rather than death certificates.”


Soaring Levels of Antibiotic Resistance Found in Supermarket Chickens
– The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, September 27, 2016

QUOTE: “Across the 283 samples tested by the FSA, 5% showed resistance to multiple antibiotics, meaning treatment options would be very limited. Given that 900 million chickens were produced in the UK in 2014, millions could be carrying multi-drug-resistant bacteria, the report warns.”


Gonorrhea Outbreak in Hawaii Shows Increased Antibiotic Resistance
– CNN, September 22, 2016

QUOTE: “’Since 2005, we have seen four isolated cases that showed resistance to both drugs. But the Hawaii cases are the first cluster we have seen with reduced susceptibility to both drugs,’ said Paul Fulton Jr., a spokesman for the CDC.”


CDC: Drug-Resistant Gonorrhea Growing U.S. Threat
– WebMD, September 21, 2016

QUOTE: “Data published by the CDC earlier this year showed evidence of emerging azithromycin resistance in gonorrhea samples found across the nation, but those infections were still susceptible to ceftriaxone.”


‘Superbug’ MRSA May be Spreading Through Tainted Poultry
– Washington Post, September 21, 2016

QUOTE: “Until now, researchers have known that livestock can carry the bacteria, putting farmers, farmworkers, veterinarians and others who work directly with animals at greater risk. MRSA bacteria have also been shown to be present in foods, including pork, beef and dairy, although outbreaks from food contamination have been rare.”


Drug-Resistant Superbugs Are a ‘Fundamental Threat’, WHO Says
– NBC News, September 21, 2016

QUOTE: “And while antibiotics can be miracle drugs, they’ve been abused and overused so much that they are often useless against bacteria that evolve much, much faster than humanity can invent new weapons.”


How do Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Get Into the Environment?
– The Conversation, September 21, 2016

QUOTE: “People carry all kinds of bacteria, potentially even resistant bacteria, in and on their bodies. People can shed these bacteria in communal spaces such as locker rooms or even beaches, but a major concern is their presence in human sewage. Resistant bacteria enter our aging sewer infrastructure and may eventually end up in the environment through sewage spills. This can expose people to hard-to-treat infections, and creates the potential for genes conferring resistance to be spread to other bacteria in environmental habitats.”


Antibiotic Resistance—The Tab Comes Due
– The Hill, September 21, 2016

QUOTE: “Such a scenario threatens to return modern medicine to the pre-penicillin era in which Dr. Fleming practiced. In those times, a simple laceration could mean death, and modern procedures like organ transplantation, coronary bypass surgery, and prosthetic joint replacements were the fantastic stuff of scientific fiction.”


Antibiotic Resistance Could Kill More People than Cancer
– AgMag, September 21, 2016

QUOTE: “‘Poultry, cattle, and swine raised with antibiotics harbor significant populations of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which are transmitted to humans through direct contact with the animals and through their meat, eggs, and milk,’  the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy said in a recent report.”


The Age Of The Superbug Is Already Here
– Huffington Post, September 20, 2016

QUOTE: “‘Antibiotics have been victims of their own success,’ he said. ‘It’s really sad how we’ve misused them in human medicine and animal husbandry. We’ve deceived ourselves, thinking that this ‘magic’ medicine would always be around.’”


Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria and the World’s Peril
– Scientific American, September 19, 2016

QUOTE: “Antibiotics kill bacteria, and as anybody who has been on a long course of the drugs to treat an ailment knows, the medicine is indiscriminate, knocking off not only invaders like the bugs that cause pneumonia and ear infections, but also those that prevent stomach aches and constipation in response to ingestion of food. Human overuse or misuse of antibiotics has bred the emergence of Superbugs that are not only resistant to the drugs, but may be able to surge in numbers within a person’s gut, for example, leading to dangerous imbalances in bacterial populations that then cause diabetes, some types of heart disease, depression and an enormous range of common diseases.”


Chemicals in Indoor Dust Tied to Antibiotic Resistance
– Reuters, September 16, 2016

QUOTE: “For instance, dust samples with higher amounts of triclosan also had higher levels of a gene that’s been implicated in bacterial resistance to multiple drugs. While they found only very small amounts of triclosan – less than many household products contain – the connection suggests a need to investigate how these chemicals in dust may contribute to antibiotic resistance, the researchers conclude.”


A New Video from the Harvard Medical School Shows the Terrifying Reality of Antibiotic resistance
– Business Insider, September 13, 2016

QUOTE: “So the same bugs that at first had a hard time fighting off even just the lowest dose of the antibiotic had in just a little over a week, found a way to make themselves 1,000 times as strong. It’s a worrying sign, since developing new antibiotics to tackle mutant bugs is incredibly tricky, and resistance can develop before a drug even gets approved.”


The Surprising History of the War on Superbugs—And What it Means for the World Today
– STAT News, September 12, 2016

QUOTE: “Yet organizing a fight against antibiotic resistance proved much harder than against ineffective or dangerous drugs. For one thing, the goal was fuzzier. The World Health Organization organized meetings about antibiotic resistance as early as the 1950s, but they fizzled out. The experts who came to the meetings got bogged down in arguments over how to measure resistance and what level to consider a threat to public health.”


Antimicrobial Chemicals Are Associated with Elevated Antibiotic Resistance Genes in the Indoor Dust Microbiome
– American Chemical Society, September 7, 2016

QUOTE: “Antibiotic resistance is increasingly widespread, largely due to human influence. Here, we explore the relationship between antibiotic resistance genes and the antimicrobial chemicals triclosan, triclocarban, and methyl-, ethyl-, propyl-, and butylparaben in the dust microbiome.”



Superbug Explosion Triggers U.N. General Assembly Meeting
– Nature America, September 7, 2016

QUOTE: “Colistin-resistant Escherichia coli has surfaced in more than 30 countries, including in a patient in the U.S. One strain of E. coli in the U.S. has actually proved resistant to both carbapenem and colistin (but fortunately that strain appears to be susceptible to some other antibiotics). ‘The fact we are so concerned about colistin resistance is a sign of how desperate we are,’ says Lance Price, a microbiologist and director of the Antibiotic Resistance Action Center at The George Washington University. ‘It’s a shitty drug. It’s toxic and doctors don’t like to use it, but now they have to use it because it’s the only thing that treats some of these drug-resistant infections.’”


One in Four Supermarket Chicken Samples Contain Antibiotic-Resistant E. coli
– The Guardian, September 5, 2016

QUOTE: “The study, commissioned by the campaign group Save Our Antibiotics, also found 51% of E coli from pork and poultry samples were resistant to the antibiotic trimethoprim, which is used to treat more than half of lower urinary tract infections.”


Growing Antibiotic Resistance Forces Updates to Recommended Treatment for Sexually Transmitted Infections
– World Health Organization, August 30, 2016

QUOTE: “Chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis are all caused by bacteria and are generally curable with antibiotics. However, these STIs often go undiagnosed and are becoming more difficult to treat, with some antibiotics now failing as a result of misuse and overuse. It is estimated that, each year, 131 million people are infected with chlamydia, 78 million with gonorrhoea, and 5.6 million with syphilis.”


Birth in a Time of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria
– World Health Organization, August 29, 2016

QUOTE: “According to current estimates, more than 200 000 newborns die each year from infections that do not respond to available drugs. And studies using data from larger hospitals – where microbes are more likely to develop antibiotic resistance – estimate that about 40% of infections in newborns resist standard treatments.”


Antibiotic Resistance in Pets an Increasing Problem
– Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, University of Minnesota, August 28, 2016

QUOTE: “Of greater concern to Weese are increasingly drug-resistant gram-negative bacteria like E coli and Salmonella, which can cause severe illness in humans. These pathogens could live in the guts of pets and be shed in feces, providing a possible avenue of transmission between pets and humans. ‘There’s a bigger unknown factor with the gram-negatives, so I’m a little more concerned about them,’” he says.


Antimicrobial Resistance: Clear and Present Danger
– The Hindu, August 10, 2016

QUOTE: “A March 2016 paper on ‘Antibiotic Resistance in India: Drivers and Opportunities for Action’ in PLOS Medicine makes a convincing case for action against resistance: ‘Antibiotic resistance is a global public health threat, but nowhere is it as stark as in India. The crude infectious disease mortality rate in India today is 416.75 per 100,000 persons… twice the rate in the U.S. (200) when antibiotics were introduced.’”


Antibiotic Resistance Reaches Brazil
– The Scientist, August 8, 2016

QUOTE: “For the first time in Brazil, a person has tested positive for carrying bacteria with the antibiotic-resistance gene mcr-1, which blocks the drug colistin. As researchers reported today (August 8) in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, the bacterial plasmid resembled antibiotic-resistant strains present on other continents.”


Drug-Resistant Gonorrhea Cases Up Fourfold in U.S.
– WebMD, July 24, 2016

QUOTE: “‘The confluence of emerging drug resistance and very limited alternative options for treatment creates a perfect storm for future gonorrhea treatment failure in the U.S.,’ said Dr. Jonathan Mermin, who directs the CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and Tuberculosis Prevention.”


Gonorrhea May Soon Be Resistant to all Antibiotics
– Scientific American, July 15, 2016

QUOTE: “The drugs, azithromycin and ceftriaxone, are used in combination to treat gonorrhea, a strategy experts hope will prolong the period during which these critical drugs will work. 

But a nationwide surveillance program showed rises in the percentage of gonorrhea samples that were resistant to one or the other drug in 2014. In the case of azithromycin, there was a fourfold rise in the portion of samples that were resistant.”


A ‘Slow Catastrophe’ Unfolds as the Golden Age of Antibiotics Comes to an End
– LA Times, July 11 2016

QUOTE: “More ominously, the gene’s presence on a plasmid — a tiny mobile loop of DNA that can be readily snapped off and attached to other bacteria — suggested that it could readily jump to other E. coli bacteria, or to entirely different forms of disease-causing organisms. That would make them impervious to colistin as well.”


How Quickly Antibiotic Resistance can Spread
– LA Times, July 11 2016

QUOTE: “‘They found it everywhere,’ Hanage said. ‘The cat was not just out of the bag; it had gotten out of the bag, made its way into the hamster cage, and was eating the hamsters.’

Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 9,000 U.S. patients per year are infected with carbapenem-resistant bacteria, causing 600 deaths annually.”


Why Antibiotic use on Farms Helps Fuel Antibiotic-Resistant Diseases
– LA Times, July 11, 2016

QUOTE: “It’s likely no accident, scientists say, that the first discovery of bacteria carrying the colistin-resistant mcr-1 gene occurred in China. Colistin is not generally used on American farms, but China is one the world’s largest producers of colistin, and its farmers are among the world’s heaviest users of the antibiotic.”


Tourists Pick up Antibiotic-Resistance Genes in just Two Days
– New Scientist, June 24, 2016

QUOTE: “Within two days of reaching India, for instance, two travellers had picked up qnrB, a gene that makes bacteria resistant to quinolone, one of the world’s most important antibiotics. The travellers’ gut flora retained the new genes for at least one month after they had returned home.

The type of drug resistance acquired depended on the destination, says Wolffs. In India, for example, widespread resistance to quinolones is well documented, not least because so much of the antibiotic is manufactured and overprescribed there.”


Antibiotic Resistance in Humans and Animals
– National Academy of Sciences, June 22, 2016

QUOTE: “The complete failure of our society to address this concern in the United States is profoundly disappointing and alarming to providers who increasingly struggle to care for patients infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Apologists abound. Excuses are rampant. As alluded to by the British report, “more science” is the often-heard refrain. Those who espouse the need for yet further study before action can be taken typically have close links to farms that continue to use antibiotics. Yet we are past the scientific tipping point.”


What The New Superbug Means For The Fight Against Antibiotic Resistance
– Huffington Post, June 3, 2016

QUOTE: “Bacteria that are resistant to multiple antibiotics are the sort of thing that ‘[keeps] us awake at night,’ said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious-disease specialist and professor of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine who was not involved in the woman’s case.”



The Superbug that Doctors have been Dreading just Reached the U.S.
– The Washington Post, May 27, 2016

QUOTE: “The antibiotic-resistant strain was found last month in the urine of a 49-year-old Pennsylvania woman. Defense Department researchers determined that she carried a strain of E. coli resistant to the antibiotic colistin, according to a study published Thursday in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a publication of the American Society for Microbiology. The authors wrote that the discovery ‘heralds the emergence of a truly pan-drug resistant bacteria.’”


Here’s Why Doctors Are So Worried About the New Superbug
– NBC News, May 27, 2016

QUOTE: “Bacteria develop resistance to drugs quickly. By the time the first antibiotic, penicillin, was introduced in 1943, staphylococcus germs had developed resistance. It only took nine years for a strain of tetracycline-resistant Shigella to evolve after that drug hit the market in 1950. MRSA turned up two years after methicillin’s development in 1960.”


Nightmare Superbug: What is it? And should you worry?
– The Washington Post, May 27, 2016

QUOTE: “If this becomes more common and the gene gets into more bacteria that are already more resistant to other kinds of antibiotics, that’s a concern. If it gets into the health-care system, like nursing homes, acute care hospitals, where people probably don’t have good immunity or ability to fight infections, that’s the long-term concern. Then you are more vulnerable and affected than the average healthy person.”


Infection Raises Specter of Superbugs Resistant to All Antibiotics
– The New York Times, May 26, 2016

QUOTE: “‘Think of a puzzle,’ said Dr. Beth Bell, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. ‘You need lots of different pieces to get a result that is resistant to everything. This is the last piece of that puzzle, unfortunately, in the United States. We have that genetic element that would allow for bacteria that are resistant to every antibiotic.’”


“Stop Treating Antibiotics like Sweets”: The Threat We Face from Antibiotic Resistance
– New Statesman, May 23, 2016

QUOTE: “Many medical procedures are dependent on the effectiveness of drugs such as antibiotics: treatments for cancer patients and antibiotic prophylaxis during surgeries, for example. All could be under threat by increased resistance. The continuing rise of resistant superbugs and the impotence of antibiotics would pose ‘as big a risk as terrorism’. A post-antibiotic world would spell dystopia.”


How to Stop Superbugs from Killing 10 Million People a Year
– CNN, May 23, 2016

QUOTE: “Superbugs are bacteria that are resistant to the antimicrobial drugs typically used to kill them. They are estimated to cause 700,000 deaths every year.  If no action is taken, these numbers are expected to rise dramatically, causing more deaths than cancer by 2050. This would mean common procedures such as giving birth, treating wounds and undergoing surgery could become fatal due to a lack of effective antibiotics.”


Global Antibiotics ‘Revolution’ Needed
– BBC, May 19, 2016

QUOTE: “The review said the economic case for action ‘was clear’ and could be paid for using a small cut of the current health budgets of countries or through extra taxes on pharmaceutical companies not investing in antibiotic research.

Lord Jim O’Neill, the economist who led the global review, said: ‘We need to inform in different ways, all over the world, why it’s crucial we stop treating our antibiotics like sweets.’”


Prevalence of Inappropriate Antibiotic Prescriptions Among US Ambulatory Care Visits, 2010–2011
– The Jama Network, May 3, 2016

QUOTE: “Therefore, a 15% reduction in overall antibiotic use would be necessary to meet the White House National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria goal of reducing inappropriate antibiotic use in the outpatient setting by 50% by 2020.12 This estimate of inappropriate outpatient antibiotic prescriptions can be used to inform antibiotic stewardship programs in ambulatory care by public health and health care delivery systems in the next 5 years.”


Antimicrobial Resistance:  Tackling a crisis for the health and wealth of nations.
– Review on Antimicrobial Existence, December 2014

QUOTE: “Although in modern, well-funded healthcare systems, obtaining access to second and third-line treatments may often not be an issue, mortality rates for patients with infections caused by resistant bacteria are significantly higher, as are their costs of treatment. And we are seeing in parts of European increasing number of patients in intensive care units, haematology units and transplant units who have pan-resistant infections, meaning there is no effective treatment available.”


 

 

The post The Growing Threat of Antibiotic Resistance appeared first on The Grow Network.

The Peruvian ‘Miracle’ Vegetable You Can Grow In Your Own Backyard

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The Peruvian ‘Miracle’ Vegetable You Can Grow In Your Own Backyard

If you’ve never heard of the magical Peruvian plant called maca, you’re not alone. A little-known plant from the Brassicacea family, maca is primarily known for increasing libido and fertility, but offers so much more.

Sometimes called the “Peruvian ginseng,” maca’s root is a superfood offering a myriad of health benefits beyond the known aphrodisiac effects.

Maca (Lepidium meyenii) is a staple in diets of people in the mountains of Peru. A root vegetable similar to turnips, this bulb vegetable is ground into a powder. There are yellow, red and black varieties of maca. Most maca is sold as a combination of the red, black and yellow type, but single-color varieties are also available.

Maca grows best in a very high altitude that’s unfriendly to other types of agriculture. This plant also can be grown in a home garden with plenty of water and enough space to grow on its own. After drying the roots, you can harvest the seeds and plant it yourself, ensuring your own supply. Maca can survive dry conditions, flooding, bad soil and very cold temperatures.

Why should you grow maca? Some of maca’s documented benefits include:

  1. Improved menstrual issues, including pain, cycle regulation and flow.
  2. Decreased hot flashes and other symptoms in menopausal women.
  3. A boost in iodine for proper thyroid function.
  4. Corrected hormone balance for both men and women.
  5. Reduced depression and anxiety.
  6. Controlling stress.
  7. Improved immunity.
  8. Improved sleep.
  9. Better skin health.
  10. Helping hair grow.
  11. A boost in iron for red blood cells.
  12. Increased energy, stamina, focus and mental clarity without caffeine.
  13. More lean muscle.
  14. Antioxidants, including glutathione and superoxide dismutase (SOD).

Maca has been cultivated for more than 3,000 years in the Andes. It’s rich in most of the amino acids, free fatty acids, carbohydrates, plant protein, fiber, sugars, minerals and other important nutrients that improve health and well-being beyond the standard multivitamin.

Beet Powder: The Ancient Secret To Renewed Energy And Stamina

It’s important to note that maca is a food, not a supplement. Maca is available in bulk as a powder, or in capsules. Taste can vary by brand and variety; some will have a mild taste, but others may have a “dirt” taste. Maca is best taken in capsules, although some fans like the taste. Devotees of this root plant don’t care what it tastes like once they’ve experienced the incredible benefits. Mixing maca into smoothies, coffee, tea, chai or other drinks makes it easier to take and kills the “dirt” taste, if there is one.

Gelatinized maca is available for those with sensitive stomachs or digestive issues. The harvested maca root is heated above 160 degrees Fahrenheit, dissolving the starch molecules and making digestion easier. The downside is that maca’s enzymes and glucosinolates are dissolved, but its remaining nutrients become concentrated. The result is called a “4:1 product,” meaning that it takes 4 kilograms of raw maca to create 1 kilogram of powdered gelatinized maca. While raw maca is considered best, gelatinized maca is a better choice for some who may experience side effects from the raw form.

Start with a low dose to find out how your body reacts to maca, and increase slowly to get your body used to taking it.

Maca just may be the health boost you’ve been wanting.

Have you ever tried maca or grown it? Share your tips in the section below:

Sources:

What is Maca? TheMacaTeam.com

Maca Nutrition Facts, TheMacaTeam.com

http://www.offthegridnews.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=75198&action=edit#

Maca Is Good for More Than Your Mojo, Mercola.com, 03/13/2017

Maca May Help Improve Your Reproductive Health, Mercola.com

Top 5 Maca Root Benefits & Nutrition, DrAxe.com

Maca Root Buttocks, TheMacaTeam.com

Harness The Power Of Nature’s Most Remarkable Healer: Vinegar

Cancer-Fighting Superfoods You Should Eat EVERY DAY

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Cancer-Fighting Superfoods You Should Eat EVERY DAY

Image source: Pixabay.com

Not all health conditions are avoidable, but certain lifestyle choices can increase your risk of illness, including diseases such as cancer. These lifestyle choices include smoking, lack of exercise, drinking too much alcohol, and eating an unhealthy diet.

Certain foods, often called “superfoods,” have cancer-fighting properties. These superfoods are comprised of antioxidants, healthy fats, a high content of vitamins and minerals, and fiber – elements that are known to have cancer-fighting properties:

There is no single food that will fight cancer alone. The key is to eat a healthy, balanced diet.

So, are you ready to discover foods that can help prevent cancer? Here is what your doctor would tell you:

1. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables

Consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables can help lower your risk for many types of cancer. This is true because plant-based foods are rich in nutrients which boost your immune system.

  • Fruits and veggies are high in antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium and beta-carotene. These powerful vitamins can defend against cancer and aid the cells in your body with functioning optimally.
  • Diets high in fruit may lessen the risk of lung cancer and stomach cancer, among others.
  • Veggies high in carotenoids, such as Brussels sprouts, carrots and squash, may decrease the risk of mouth, lung, larynx and pharynx cancers.
  • Berries, oranges, bell peppers, dark leafy greens and peas — along with other foods high in vitamin C, such as broccoli and papaya — can fight cancer cells due to their high level of antioxidants.
  • Foods high in lycopene, such as guava, watermelon and tomatoes can lessen the risk of prostate cancer.

2. Eat foods high in fiber

Foods high in fiber keep your digestive tract clean and healthy.

Just 30 Grams Of This Survival Superfood Provides More Nutrition Than An Entire Meal!

Cancer-Fighting Superfoods You Should Eat EVERY DAY

Image source: Pixabay.com

Fiber aids in keeping foods moving through your digestive tract, and clears out cancer-causing toxins before they can cause much harm. Fiber is found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

  • There is no fiber in dairy, sugar, meat or “white” foods such as pastries, white rice and white bread.
  • As you eat more fiber, drink plenty of water because fiber absorbs water.
  • Eat whole grains such as whole wheat bread and brown rice, instead of white breads and rice.
  • If you need a snack, popcorn has more fiber and is healthier than chips.
  • Bananas, pears and apples are high in fiber, as well as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
  • Baked potatoes, including the skin, are high in fiber.
  • Substitute beans, soy and legumes for meat, which are high in fiber.

3. Eat foods with cancer-fighting fats

Eating a diet high in “bad fats” can increase your risk of cancer. However, there are healthy fats that can fight cancer cells. The trick is to choose foods with the healthy fats.

Healthy fats that can help fight cancer

Healthy fats are unsaturated fats that are found naturally from sources such as fish, olive oil, avocados and nuts. Furthermore, focus on omega-3 fatty acids that support brain health and heart health, and that battle inflammation. Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include tuna, flaxseeds and salmon.

  • Eat fish at least two times per week. Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids include black cod, herring, sardines and salmon.
  • Cook with high-quality olive oil (but don’t let it smoke, which can decrease its nutritional value).
  • Add nuts, seeds and avocados to your meals as much as possible.
  • Eat more flaxseed, or try flaxseed oil, as well.

Unhealthy fats that can raise cancer risk

The most destructive type of fats are saturated fat and trans fat. While some saturated fats — from eggs and dairy — may have health benefits, unhealthy saturated fats from processed foods, fried foods and fast foods might escalate cancer risk.

  • Avoid fast foods that are high in trans fats and saturated fats.
  • Limit consumption of packaged and processed foods.
  • Avoid vegetable oils that are made with the use of high heat and toxins.
  • Watch sweets. Not only can they contain unhealthy fats, but are mostly full of empty calories with no nutritional value.

Final Thoughts

Remember to exercise to keep your body and mind healthy! A healthier body is a natural immune system boost, and can fight off illnesses and diseases much better than a fatigued, out-of-shape body. A healthy mind supports good mental health and a positive outlook that also can aid in fighting off illnesses and diseases.

What foods would you add to our list? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Discover The Secret To Saving Thousands At The Grocery Store. Read More Here.

5 Forgotten Things Your Grandma Did With Apple Cider Vinegar

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5 Forgotten Things Your Grandma Did With Apple Cider Vinegar

Image source: Flickr / Creative Commons

 

While in today’s world apple cider vinegar is mostly overlooked, to my grandmother, it was more of that “good old-fashioned medicine.”

She raised children during the Great Depression, which made her not only tough as heck, but a bit strange about some things. She saw little use for doctors most of the time and thought just about everything could be cured with folk remedies like apple cider vinegar.

I remember on most mornings my grandmother would drink hot water with a good dose of ACV in it before she had her morning coffee. Honestly, I don’t know how she managed it, but I suppose she had become accustomed to it. She claimed that it cured her stomach problems, although I’m not sure if she actually had any or if the ACV prevented her from having any!

I bet many of you remember your grandmother using ACV in various ways, too.

“The Big Book Of Off The Grid Secrets” — Every Homesteader Needs A Copy!

Let’s take a look at the top 5 ways that our ancestors put apple cider vinegar to work.

1. Dandruff cure

Many people believed that mixing equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water would stop dandruff. While I was unable to find any studies to back up this claim, there are thousands of testimonials online which say that it works. When you consider that the main compound in ACV is acetic acid, which can kill bacteria and fungus, it doesn’t seem that far-fetched that rinsing your hair with ACV after shampooing could work to eliminate, or at least reduce, dandruff.

2. Toenail fungus

5 Forgotten Things Your Grandma Did With Apple Cider Vinegar

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The story is that, if you soak your feet every single night in ACV, then it will kill toenail fungus in “a few weeks.” Again, I could find no studies proving this is true, but the amounts of online testimonials is overwhelming. The length of time is questionable (how long is a “few” weeks?) However, there is no denying that this has worked for thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of people.

3. Mother nature’s skin conditioner

While I don’t remember my grandmother doing this, I know my mother did. She wouldn’t dream of paying for an expensive astringent or cleaning product for her face, but she used a diluted mixture of apple cider vinegar and water. She used it just like an astringent, applying it with a cotton ball, and then she used her favorite face cream — every night. I have to admit that my mother had beautiful clear skin and did not suffer from age spots or an excessive amount of wrinkles. Whether it was due to the ACV or good genes, I’m not sure, but I do know that she recommended it whenever someone complimented her skin.

4. “Good for what ails you”

I was fortunate that my mother never forced me to drink ACV, although she often encouraged me to drink it every time I caught a cold or had a fever. As I got older, I remember telling her that ACV would not work against a cold because it was caused by a virus. Her reply was always the same: “It’s good for what ails you. And if nothing ails you, it’s good for you anyway!” My mother always drank some with hot water, just like my grandmother, every time she got sick.

5. Heartburn and other digestive issues

ACV has long been a recommendation for digestive problems. As I mentioned, my grandmother drank it for this purpose. My husband tells me that his father used it on salads or vegetables at dinner to help prevent heartburn, and if that was insufficient, he took a swig right from the bottle. Wow! I don’t know how he could manage that, but men were tough in the olden days! I could not find any data to back up this very old and trusted folk remedy; however, hundreds of thousands of people can’t be wrong, can they?

Did your grandmother or other relative use ACV? Tell us how in the section below:  

Harness The Power Of Nature’s Most Remarkable Healer: Vinegar

The Heal-Everything Herb That Doubles As Bandages … And Toilet Paper

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The Heal-Everything Herb That Also Doubles As Toilet Paper

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It was brought to the Americas by European settlers and is now considered to be naturalized to North America. The settlers, in fact, had good reason to carry it with them: It has a long list of medicinal qualities.

It is mullein, which grows all over the forests of North America and is also known by several other names: flannel leaf, bunny ears, beggar’s blanket, Quaker rouge, hag’s taper, donkey ears and tinder plant.

Traditional folk medicine praised mullein as a remedy for asthma, bronchitis and tuberculosis. The plant is also said to be a natural painkiller and a cure for earaches and headaches. It also can act as an expectorant and decongestant. As a result, for centuries the plant’s leaves and its flowers have been made into teas and tinctures, and ingested. They even smoked it (which isn’t ideal for health).

Need All-Natural Pain Relief With No Nasty Side Effect?

Mullein is known to affect the respiratory and lymphatic systems. A study performed at Clemson University in 2002 found that the plant also has strong antibacterial properties.[1] Its high mucilage content is likely responsible for its medicinal properties. Astringent tannins and saponins, which help protect the plant when it is injured in nature, give the plant its soothing effect on the respiratory system. It also contains high levels of iron, magnesium, potassium and vitamin C.[2]

The Heal-Everything Herb That Also Doubles As Toilet Paper

Image source: Wikimedia

Even though mullein has been used for centuries, the Western medical community disputes the actual effectiveness of this plant, claiming “a lack of therapeutic validation.”[3] However, the herb has been evaluated and approved by the German (and government-funded) Commission E, which was established to evaluate and approve of substances that were traditionally used in folk medicine — such as mullein.

Mullein is a biennial plant, meaning that it takes two years for it to reach maturity. It is preferable to harvest the flowers and leaves in the plant’s second year of growth.[4] Both the honey-scented flowers of the plant and its soft, fuzzy leaves are used to treat ailments. The flowers are usually extracted in oil and also used to make tea, while, the dried leaves are typically reserved for making steam tents, poultice application and smoking. [5]

Across the centuries, people have used mullein as toilet paper, bandages, torches and to pad in the soles of their shoes. It should be a staple herb in every herbal medicine cabinet.

Mullein is a relatively safe herb to consume, its primary side-effect being it can cause contact dermatitis or irritate the throat when consumed, due to the fine velvety hairs that cover its leaves. It also has been known to interact with antidiabetic drugs and prescription diuretics in a negative way.[6] The seeds of some species of mullein contain high amounts of coumarin and rotenone, which can be toxic if consumed in large quantities. The seeds of the mullein plant should never be consumed under any circumstance.[7]

Have you ever foraged for or eaten mullein? Do you use it for health? Share your tips in the section below:

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12241986

[2] Nutritional Herbology by Mark Pedersen (pg. 124)

[3] Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs (pg. 270)

[4] Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West by Michael Moore (pg. 112)

[5] Rodale’s 21st Century Herbal by Michael J. Balick (pg. 300)

[6] http://www.encyclopedia.com/plants-and-animals/plants/plants/mullein

[7] Edible and Medicinal Plants of the West by Gregory L. Tilford (pg. 102)

hydrogen peroxide report

7 Things Your Doctor’s Not Telling You About Coconut Oil

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7 Things Your Doctor’s Not Telling You About Coconut Oil

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Do you notice more coconut oil in your grocery, discount or health food store? Coconut oil is everywhere, and in everything, from food to beauty products, as more people discover its benefits.

Health-conscious people have known about coconut oil for many years. As its popularity increases, so has its availability. Common in the Philippines, where it’s grown and produced, this simple oil is nothing short of miraculous because of the many things it can do. After harvesting, the white coconut “meat” is removed, dried and pressed to remove the oil.

Coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acid (MCFA), which has long been thought to clog arteries, although newer studies are showing just the opposite. MCFA digests differently than long-chain fatty acids, starting in the digestive system. They’re sent directly to the liver, where they are turned into ketone bodies (water-soluble molecules) used for energy in your kidneys, brain and muscles. But you likely won’t hear this from your doctor.

Just 30 Grams Of This Survival Superfood Provides More Nutrition Than An Entire Meal!

If you’ve never tried coconut oil, (and you’re not allergic) here are seven reasons why you should:

Coconut oil. . .

1. Is better for cooking. Hydrogen molecules are added to soy or other “vegetable” oils to extend shelf life. This type of oil can turn trans-fat when you cook with it. Coconut oil has a naturally long shelf life without preservatives, withstands higher cooking temperatures and can be used in place of butter or olive oil. It’s liquid above 76 degrees Fahrenheit, and solidifies at lower temperatures.

2. Has natural anti-fungal properties. If you suffer with heartburn, acid reflux, bloating or other digestive issues, you may have an overgrowth of Candida albicans, or yeast overgrowth in your gut. Coconut oil’s lauric acid fights back. Taken daily, the oil’s acids help reduce and eliminate “bad” bacteria in the gut and allow healing.

3. Helps with weight loss and energy. Coconut oil’s MCFA helps the body metabolize fat, which is used for energy. These acids also keep your blood sugar stabilized and prevent cravings for salty or sweet junk food. Fat also provides better satiety longer, which keeps you from eating what you shouldn’t.

7 Things Your Doctor’s Not Telling You About Coconut Oil

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4. Can help with hair repair and re-growth. The small molecules of the medium-chain fatty acid are able to penetrate the hair shaft better than other oils.

Fast, All-Natural Pain Relief With No Nasty Side Effects!

Coconut oil prevents frizzing much better than silicone- or alcohol-based products, which can dry your hair. A very small amount hand-rubbed onto towel-dried hair before drying and styling works well to stop frizz and give a healthy shine.

5. Has been shown to improve cognitive functioning in Alzheimer’s patients. Ketones supply the brain with energy, and coconut oils create an alternate source. There are numerous stories of diagnosed Alzheimer’s patients who started taking coconut oil daily and saw improvements.

6. Is a natural moisturizer. Your skin is your biggest organ and will absorb anything you put on it—including chemicals in your toiletries. Coconut oil is easily absorbed into your skin with no toxic chemicals. Use a small amount on your hands, feet, or any place you need a little extra moisture.

7. Can help improve dental care. Oil-pulling,” or simply swishing coconut oil around in your mouth, coats your teeth and helps remove plaque, stains and odor. It’s primarily an Ayurvedic medicine practice, but is gaining attention (and fans) here in the US. Oil-pulling also helps with bleeding gums and heart health by helping to remove oral bacteria that can migrate into the heart.

Do you need any more reasons to try coconut oil?

*This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or cure any particular health condition. Please consult with a qualified health professional first about this method.

Are you a fan of coconut oil? Share your uses for it in the section below:

Sources:

https://draxe.com/coconut-oil-benefits/

https://draxe.com/oil-pulling-coconut-oil/

http://coconutoil.com/coconut-oil-reverses-alzheimers-in-45-year-old-woman/

http://www.well-beingsecrets.com/health-benefits-of-coconut-oil/

http://www.well-beingsecrets.com/how-to-use-coconut-oil-for-hair/

http://www.well-beingsecrets.com/coconut-oil-for-weight-loss/

http://coconutoil.com/study-coconut-oil-improves-memory-and-brain-function/

http://articles.mercola.com/health-benefits-coconut-oil.aspx

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/10/22/coconut-oil-and-saturated-fats-can-make-you-healthy.aspx

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/09/26/coconut-oil-benefits.aspx

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/08/22/mct-oil-health-benefits.aspx

http://articles.mercola.com/coconut-oil-for-hair.aspx

No, Garlic Is Not Healthiest When It’s Raw. (Ferment It! Here’s How.)

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You’re Consuming Garlic All Wrong. (Ferment It! Here’s How.)

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If you’re trying to take advantage of all garlic has to offer, you have to eat it raw.

Garlic contains a property called alliin, which turns into something called allicin once it’s been crushed and exposed to air. Allicin is responsible for all of garlic’s amazing features and its distinctive smell. However, allicin has a very short life span. It is most potent 10 minutes after a clove has been crushed and almost completely gone after 30 minutes. Even though it makes food taste wonderful, cooking destroys nearly all of the health benefits in a clove of garlic.

But even in its raw state, our bodies cannot digest and process all of garlic’s nutrients. However, lacto-fermented garlic far surpasses the nutritional value of fresh garlic. In other words, if we want to experience all of the health benefits in a clove of garlic, we can maximize it through consuming fermented garlic.

The antioxidant activity of fermented garlic is much higher than that of fresh. The fermentation process also produces high levels of hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide, something our bodies produce naturally, eliminates harmful bacteria, viruses and fungi. As a result, fermented garlic is one of nature’s most powerful antibiotics. Plus, because of the fermentation, it also contains good probiotics. Fermented garlic really is a superfood!

Fast, All-Natural Pain Relief With No Nasty Side Effects!

So how do you make fermented garlic? Let’s take a look:

1. Peel enough cloves of garlic to fill a one-quart jar about three-quarters of the way full. This typically takes 9 to 12 heads of garlic.

2. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of sea salt.

3. Fill the jar with filtered water, leaving one inch of space at the top of the jar.

4. Cover with an air-tight lid. Let it sit on a countertop at approximately 75 degrees Fahrenheit, out of direct sunlight, for at least 10 days. For best results, let it culture for up to 6 weeks. Don’t open the jar until you’re ready for it to be done. When you open the jar it should smell fresh and garlicky!

As the garlic ferments it will bubble and expand, filling the extra space at the top of the jar. After a day or two, sometimes it is necessary to “burp” the jar. Don’t remove the lid; just loosen it a little, let some of the pressure out and tighten it again. This usually only needs to be done once.

Most people enjoy eating the cloves of garlic whole, as the taste of fermented garlic is salty and milder than fresh garlic. Alternatively, you can substitute fermented garlic in recipes that call for fresh, such as hummus, salsa, guacamole and homemade salad dressings.

If you really are struggling with the idea of eating a clove of garlic, you can crush a clove of garlic shove it into an empty gelatin capsule and swallow it quickly before the capsule starts to dissolve.

If some of your cloves turn purple, blue or green, don’t fret, it’s natural. The sulfur compounds in the garlic can react with the copper that is found in most drinking water. These cloves of garlic are still safe to consume.

Do not consume if you notice mold growing or if it has an aroma other than the wonderful smell of garlic.

A jar of fermented garlic should last for up to one year once it’s placed in the refrigerator and if it does not become contaminated. Always use a clean utensil when removing garlic from the brine.

*This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or cure any particular health condition. Please consult with a qualified health professional first about this method.

Have you ever made fermented garlic? Share any tips or questions in the section below:

Harness The Power Of Nature’s Most Remarkable Healer: Vinegar

The Natural Blood Pressure ‘Medicine’ Your Doctor Hasn’t Told You About

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The Natural Blood Pressure ‘Medicine’ Your Doctor Hasn't Told You About

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If you’ve been told that you have “high blood pressure,” aka, “hypertension,” you’re not alone. The CDC says that more than 75 million people in the U.S. alone have it. There are many reasons why you may have it, and most allopathic doctors will automatically write a prescription to lower your blood pressure. But do you really want a prescription, with side effects? Or worse, another one?

Blood pressure is the force exerted on the blood vessels when the heart pumps blood throughout your system. Pressure goes up and down all day, depending on your activity. But when it stays up, it’s “high.” The CDC considers pressure that’s 120/80 to be “pre-hypertension.” The first number, “systolic,” is over 120 bpm, and the second number, or “diastolic,” is over 80 bpm.

Hypertension has no obvious symptoms, so monitoring blood pressure is important. It’s called the “silent killer,” because there is no warning. Hypertension can cause chest pain and decrease blood flow to the heart, causing heart attacks and heart failure. Strokes and chronic kidney disease are also a risk. You may not know about it until it’s too late.

So, What Can You Do?

Lifestyle changes, like quitting smoking, reducing caffeine intake, eating better and exercising are a good start, but might not be enough. In that scenario, you’ll likely be told that a prescription is your only solution.

Fast, All-Natural Pain Relief With No Nasty Side Effects!

Patients spend an average of $733 yearly on blood pressure medications to lower blood pressure, totaling over $42 billion. Magnesium, a mineral, is readily available at drug stores, health food stores and even some big box stores (Walmart, Target.) Magnesium is also in nuts, seeds, greens and whole grains. If you don’t eat enough of these foods, supplementation is easy.

Why Magnesium?

Heart attack patients receive a high dose of magnesium in the ER, because the heart can’t function well without it. Hypertension is one of many symptoms of magnesium deficiency, along with cardiac arrhythmia, cardiovascular disease (CVD) and sudden cardiac death. Proper levels of magnesium relax the smooth muscle tissue in your blood vessels, allowing freer blood flow and keeping your blood pressure normal.

Stress, bad diets and other factors can burn up your magnesium levels faster than normal. If your magnesium level is depleted and you’re not supplementing, hypertension may be your first indicator that you’re deficient. Other symptoms will follow.

Low magnesium is critical in the elderly. If you’re a woman taking calcium without magnesium, calcium can build up in the heart, brain and other places, causing blockages. Magnesium metabolizes calcium. If you’re under an unusual amount of stress, you’re burning up your magnesium reserves even faster.

Magnesium is relatively inexpensive and is available in organic form. At Vitacost.com, a 240-count bottle of 400 mg tablets costs about $14. A liquid version called ReMag is more expensive, but doesn’t have the laxative effect that pills might. You can also soak in it — get some “Epsom salts.” A foot bath or tub soak with Epsom salts is an easy way to increase magnesium.

Sound expensive? Think of it this way: how much would blood pressure meds cost, even with your co-pay? How much would a heart attack or stroke cost, if you survive it?

Avoid taking all of your magnesium at one time, such as first thing in the morning, since it can cause diarrhea. Split-dosing your magnesium into morning and evening doses is safer to avoid the potential laxative effect.

If you’re looking for a better way to control your blood pressure, consider magnesium. It’s is an underrated mineral, but it’s also one of the most important to improve and keep your overall health. For high blood pressure patients, it can mean the difference between surviving a heart attack and not even having one.

*This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or cure any particular health condition. Please consult with a qualified health professional first about this method.

Have you ever taken magnesium for blood pressure? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Harness The Power Of Nature’s Most Remarkable Healer: Vinegar

Sources:

Magnesium, Arrythmias & Hypertension, CarolynDean.com, April 11, 2013

Magnesium for Broken Heart Syndrome, CarolynDean.com, January 8, 2016

The Magnesium Miracle, CarolynDean.com, undated

Magnesium—An Essential Mineral for Heart Health, Mercola.com, July 25, 2016

Magnesium Benefits Your Blood Pressure, Mercola.com, June 11, 2009

Treatment and Drugs for High Blood Pressure, Mayo Clinic website (undated)

The Cost of High Blood Pressure, The Piper Report, May 13, 2013

5 Odd, Old-Time ‘Folk Remedies’ That Really DO WORK

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5 Old-Time, All-Natural ‘Folk Remedies’ That Really DO WORK

If you are like me, you probably had mom or grandma say to you, “Oh, honey, you don’t need a doctor or drugs. You just need a little old-fashioned medicine!” She then would promptly give me something that sounded a bit strange, but she often was right. It would fix the problem.

If this was your experience, then you were taking what is often called folk remedies, home remedies, or as my grandmother called it, old-fashioned medicine.

Prior to doctors and before most people could afford to go to one, people had no choice but to rely on these types of “cures.” The truth is that most people never expected an outright “cure” — they were hoping for relief of symptoms while they waited for their body to heal.

Unfortunately, with no knowledge of medicine, people had no way to know exactly what they were consuming, how they would react to it, or worse, whether the “cure” might kill them! This lack of knowledge allowed many a shyster to sell the infamous “Snake Oil” to a great many people.

Today, we have the knowledge of the world at our fingertips. This doesn’t mean that old-fashioned medicine is outdated, however. For many of us, we prefer to keep things simple and if we ever should find ourselves back in a situation where there are no doctors, then this kind of information is good to have.

Fast, All-Natural Pain Relief With No Nasty Side Effects!

Let’s take a look at some of the best folk remedies that really do work!

1. For bee stings …

This is another painful encounter that almost everyone will experience. Yes, the pain will subside on its own, but you can remove the stinger, the swelling and itching with tobacco. Plain tobacco (unroll a cigarette) mixed with a bit of water, then placed on the sting, will draw out most of the poison, as well as the stinger, in about 20 minutes. I actually had my father use this method on me when I was about 10 years old, and I have to say that it sounded strange, but it really did work!

2. For nausea and upset stomachs …

Who the heck hasn’t had a bout of either one of these? Or both?! Stomach problems are super-common, and everyone wants relief ASAP! You can do that by keeping either dried or fresh peppermint on hand. My grandmother always had some in her backyard, or she used dried leaves from the pantry. She placed a half-dozen leaves in a cup filled with boiling water, added a teaspoon of honey for sweetness, and drank a cup or two every time she had a tummy ache or indigestion. She also gave it to me as a child, and I still remember how soothing it was.

3. For the common cold …

How can a simple little virus make us feel so terrible? I don’t know, but I know how you can clear up those stuffed-up sinuses and feel better – good-old chicken and onion soup! Or you could use garlic in place of onion. You also can drink garlic tea (if you’re brave) to open up your sinuses and get you on your feet! Yes, you will have to repeat this several times a day for several days, but I will take feeling better even for a short period of time over and over, compared to just being sick as a dog for days.

4. Urinary tract infections …

What would you do if there were no doctors or antibiotics? Let me tell you how they did it in the olden days: They used baking soda and water! At the very first sign, mix one-fourth teaspoon or so of plain baking soda in 1 cup (8 ounces) of water. Drink this every morning until the symptoms subside.

5. For sore throats, sore gums, mouth ulcers …

These are all common-yet-painful problems almost everyone in life will face. The good news is that they are all aided by something everyone in the world has right in their kitchen: salt. A simple mouthwash of warm water with a pinch of salt works wonders.

Let’s also talk about some of the home remedies people have used over time that absolutely DO NOT work:

  • Cold baths and/or drinking cold water will not fix “most diseases,” as a 1740 doctor used to say.
  • Eating boiled carrots for two weeks does not cure asthma.
  • Holding a live puppy on the belly will not stop vomiting (but it might make you feel better emotionally).
  • Eating a pinch of castile soap each morning will not cure jaundice.

Some of these ideas seem funny to us in our modern age of medicine, but who knows? Perhaps 300 years from now, people will be snickering at our era, saying “How could they have thought that?”

Do you know of other folk remedies that still work? Share your memories and tips in the section below:

Harness The Power Of Nature’s Most Remarkable Healer: Vinegar

How To Know If Your Store-Bought Aloe Vera Gel Is Fake

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How To Know If Your Store-Bought Aloe Vera Is Fake

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Why buy bottled Aloe vera Gel when you can grow your own plants? This is the question that most people ask when they first hear of bottled Aloe vera gel. Why would I buy it when I can grow my own? Well, there are several reasons why it is just plain convenient to buy Aloe vera gel:

1. You use a lot of Aloe and can’t grow and cultivate enough plants to supply your needs.

Some of us use a lot of Aloe vera, and if you are one of these people, you can understand my reasoning here. Personally, I use Aloe several times a day as part of my routine. Also, I use Aloe vera in a lot of homemade recipes. Add in the family members who also use aloe, and you can imagine how hard it would be to grow and cultivate enough Aloe for all of our daily needs.

2. You live in a climate where it is impossible to grow Aloe outdoors, year-round.

For those of you who live in year-round, warm weather, it is entirely possible to continuously grow your own supply of Aloe vera in an outdoor garden.

Learn How To Make Powerful Herbal Medicines, Right in Your Kitchen!

However, not all of us are fortunate enough to live in such a climate, and without a greenhouse, Aloe vera plants will not survive harsh winters.

3. You don’t have a yard, garden or greenhouse, or enough space inside to grow enough.

Many homes have limited space for potted plants and windows to supply the natural sunlight. Therefore, buying bottled Aloe vera gel is a lifesaver!

4. You just don’t have a green thumb!

Hey, not everyone loves to garden or has that green thumb to keep potted plants thriving! Aloe vera gel is the perfect solution for those who prefer not to grow it on their own!

5. There is not enough time!

Not everyone has hours to spend in the garden every day! With the hustle and bustle of daily life, jobs and family, maintaining a large garden of Aloe vera is unthinkable to some.

6. Life circumstances do not allow you to grow your own Aloe.

Maybe you don’t have the mobility anymore or have become ill. Bottled Aloe vera gel is a convenience for many people who cannot garden.

Aloe Basics

How To Know If Your Store-Bought Aloe Vera Is Fake

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Aloe is a succulent plant with no stem, just fleshy leaves containing special sacs filled with a healing juice. Cold-pressed, fresh from the plant, this juice — or gel — can be applied to burns, cuts, wounds and sunburn with rapid anti-inflammatory and skin-healing results. In addition to these benefits, Aloe vera gel can be used for a number of other things:

  • Soothes insect bites.
  • Fades
  • Moisturizes the skin.
  • Replaces face and body creams (check out the homemade Aloe skin mousse recipe listed below).
  • Mixes well with essential oils (use as a carrier).
  • Calms and heals rashes.
  • Works as a hair gel and hair conditioner.
  • Reduces dandruff.
  • Prevents scarring or fades existing
  • Brightens skin.
  • Relieves and heals blisters.
  • Reverses the signs of aging.
  • Removes make-up and cleans pores.
  • Lightens stretch marks.
  • Prevents pimples.
  • Fights athlete’s
  • Sanitizes
  • Soothes and relieves
  • Contributes to healthy nail growth.

It is essential to pay attention to the ingredients before purchasing Aloe vera gel. Many companies claim that their gel is 100 percent pure, but that is misleading. Some will add water, color or alcohol. Others will add unnatural preservatives. In general, if there are more than six ingredients, more than likely the gel is not all-natural.

Discover The Unbelievable Healing Power Of Medicinal Clay!

It is important to understand that any bottled Aloe vera gel will need to contain a small amount of natural preservatives. Without any preservatives, the gel will have a short shelf life and begin to grow bacteria and go bad. Because of this, the brand of bottled Aloe vera gel that you purchase should say 95-99.75 percent pure Aloe vera. Do your research and make sure that all the ingredients are natural or natural-occurring.

Homemade Aloe Gel Skin Mousse

This is an easy-to-make skin mousse formula that is super-nourishing and healing for your skin!

This is what you will need:

  • A glass jar which can hold up to 20ml/4 tsp of the finished mousse.
  • 3 ½ flat tsp of Aloe vera gel (all together).
  • 1 tsp jojoba carrier oil.
  • Small mixing spoon.
  • Essential oils of your choice.

Add 3 flat teaspoons of Aloe vera gel and 1 teaspoon of jojoba oil to the jar and mix well. The oil and gel will start to combine and thicken. At this point, add another ½ tsp Aloe vera gel to the jar and keep stirring. The mixture will suddenly go smooth and slack, taking on an opaque, pale cream color. This will be enough for about 10 applications to the face. Adjust the recipe to make a larger portion for a body mousse.

You can use the mousse unfragranced, as is, or if you prefer, you can blend in 8-10 drops of essential oils to treat a particular health condition or to add fragrance to your skin mousse.

Do you use Aloe vera? What advice would you add? Share your tips in the section below:  

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6 Immune-Boosting Foods People Ate Before There Were Antibiotics

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6 Immune-Boosting Foods People Ate Before There Were Antibiotics

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In the not-so-distant past, antibiotics and antibacterial wipes, lotions and hand sanitizers had not been invented, so one had to rely on your immune system and foods to fight off any type of virus or bacterial infection.

Too many of us take these important medicines for granted. My maternal grandfather nearly died from a simple cut on his hand. It became infected and soon involved his entire arm. The doctor tried his best, but was unable to stop the infection. The doctor finally asked my grandmother if she was willing to try an “experimental” — yes, he really called it that — drug called penicillin. Thankfully, my grandfather wasn’t allergic, and he was up and around in a few days.

What would we do, though, if we suddenly went back in time 100 years and were unable to find antibiotics, anti-virals, or other types of germ-fighting medicine? You got it! We would be back to relying on our immune system.

Beet Powder: The Ancient Secret To Renewed Energy And Stamina

Let’s take a look at six of the top immune-building foods and herbs.

Top 3 Food Sources

We want to provide the immune system with all of the vitamins, minerals and essentials that it needs to do its job properly.

1. Foods rich in iron

Too little iron can weaken the immune system. So eat foods that are rich in iron, such as meat, poultry, seafood, nuts, seeds, fish and dried fruits.

2. Foods rich in Vitamin C

Especially when combined with iron-rich foods which help the body absorb iron, vitamin C is a well-known immune system supporter! Think beyond the typical oranges and grapefruits; bell peppers have more vitamin C than an orange! You also can consume dark leafy greens, broccoli, berries, snap peas, and papaya alongside that morning glass of juice.

3. Garlic

6 Immune-Boosting Foods People Ate Before There Were Antibiotics

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While you won’t win the most kissable prize, garlic has been used for centuries to fight off upper respiratory infections. Garlic improves the body’s immune system by allowing it to fight off those annoying viruses. Fresh garlic works better than supplements, so add garlic to everything and feel the burn!

Top 3 Herbs

By now almost everyone has heard of Echinacea and goldenrod, but what if you needed other choices? Check out these three little-known herbs that have been used for centuries to help support the immune system function.

1. Ginger

Try growing and storing ginger at home so that you always have access to this super anti-nausea and immune-supporting root. Ginger can help the body defend itself against opportunistic infection. Ginger is also super anti-inflammatory, which means faster healing when you do get sick.

2. Cat’s claw

This is the herb with the funny name, but there is no denying that cat’s claw has huge effects on the immune system. The root and bark are the parts most often used in tea form. They contain compounds that trigger the immune system and help to improve the ability of white blood cells to fight off pathogens. This herb is also a powerful anti-inflammatory, similar to ginger.

3. Astragalus

This herb has been used in Chinese medicine for untold centuries. Astragalus helps the immune system by increasing the immune cells in the bone marrow and lymph tissues. The root of Astragalus is commonly cooked in soups or stews to help soften it. You also can take this as a capsule.

What would you add to the list? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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7 Heal-Anything Medicinal Plants You Can Grow Indoors

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7 Heal-Anything Medicinal Plants You Can Grow Indoors

Marigold. Image source: Pixabay.com

There is absolutely nothing like having fresh medicinal plants that you can pick and use right on the spot, when you need them.

Plus, you can dry them, and then use a mortise and pestle to grind them and encapsulate your own medicinal plants. You know they were never sprayed with pesticides. And you know all about the nutrients that were fed to them.

You can grow them in decorative planters in the kitchen if you have the lighting for it.

Many people set up a multi-tiered rack that allows planter pots to be set at a forward-facing angle. This allows you to put the back of it against a wall, and the plants grow at a forward-facing angle.

Other people like to use wire hangers and hang the pots from a wall in rows or a pattern. If you’re going to do this, then test the strength of your wall.

If you have a sunroom or a sunroom-like area, these make great growing spaces, too.

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Here are seven of the best medicinal plants you can grow indoors:

1. St John’s Wort. This plant will grow year-round with a grow light in the morning or evening to extend the growing hours of the day. If you find that it’s not flowering, then it may need longer hours of light.

7 Heal-Anything Medicinal Plants You Can Grow Indoors

St. John’s Wort. Image source: Pixabay.com

It’s a great-looking plant with attractive yellow flowers and can really brighten up a home.

Benefits:

  • May be as effective as some prescription medication for treating depression1.
  • Helps alleviate the symptoms of PMS and menopause2.
  • May help with the symptoms of ADD (attention deficit disorder)2.

2. Thyme. This is a hearty plant that can be used in cooking, as it’s one of the most popular herbs around. It’s hearty, grows pretty easily and doesn’t require much care at all.

Benefits:

  • Thyme has been shown to aid in the relief of chest and respiratory problems, including coughs, bronchitis and chest congestion3.
  • Thyme has been shown to have a strong antimicrobial activity, neutralizing such bacteria and fungi as Staphalococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli and Shigella sonnei4.

3. Sage. Its genus name, Salvia, means “to heal.” As long as you give it light, adequate water and good soil, you almost can’t kill it. Sage is one of the herbs that makes everyone look like they’ve got a green thumb.

7 Heal-Anything Medicinal Plants You Can Grow Indoors

Sage. Image source: Pixabay.com

Benefits:

  • May lessen the symptoms of Alzheimer’s 5.
  • Has been shown to lower both blood glucose and cholesterol5.

4. Parsley. Too many people think of parsley as a garnish on their plate. But parsley is one of the best green foods around.

It grows rather easily, and you shouldn’t have a problem so long as you keep its soil damp.

Benefits:

  • Can help with bad breath6.
  • Can help detoxify the brain of ammonia, thereby reducing the feelings of a hangover.
  • May be a potent anticancer agent and has been shown to be chemo-protective7.

5. Marigold. A truly unique and beautiful flowing medicinal, marigold will grow with only just a little bit of TLC needed.

Benefits:

  • The flowers have long been touted to posses near legendary anti-inflammatory properties that have shown to fight eczema and allergic reactions.
  • Relieves pain of arthritis.
  • Can be made into tinctures and ointments that have shown to sooth rashes, bed sores, diaper rash, sun burns and other types of burns.

6. Lavender. This is one of the most fragrant medicinal plants you can grow in your home. Lavender is a little more work to grow inside and it needs a little more space.

Benefits:

  • Put lavender in your pillow to have a restful sleep and avoid insomnia8.
  • Helps with nervousness, headache, stomach nerves, restlessness and stress8.
7 Heal-Anything Medicinal Plants You Can Grow Indoors

Image source: Pixabay.com

7. Echinacea. Here you have the granddaddy of all medicinal plants. It grows easily, as long as you give it a grow light.

Benefits:

  • Several studies show that Echinacea helps boost the immune10.
  • Echinacea has shown to be very promising in treating most any kind of infection, from sinusitis to vaginal yeast infections to ear infections10.
  • Shows promise in treating colon cancer and athlete’s foot10.

What plants would you add to the list? Share your tips in the section below:

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hydrogen peroxide report

Sources:

  1. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/stjohnswort/sjw-and-depression.htm
  2. https://draxe.com/st-johns-wort-uses/
  3. Kelm MA, Nair MG, Strasburg GM, DeWitt DL. Antioxidant and cyclooxygenase inhibitory phenolic compounds from Ocimum sanctum Linn. Phytomedicine 2000 Mar;7(1):7-13. 2000. PMID:12240.
  4. Bagamboula CF, Uyttendaeleand M, Debevere J. Inhibitory effect of thyme and basil essential oils, carvacrol, thymol, estragol, linalool and p-cymene towards Shigella sonnei and S. flexneri. Food Microbio 2004 Feb;21 (1):33-42. 2004.
  5. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/266480.php
  6. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/health-benefits-of-parsley.html
  7. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf00013a020
  8. http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/lavender
  9. http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/echinacea

Does Chicken Soup REALLY Heal Colds? (And If So, What’s The Best Recipe?)

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Does Chicken Soup REALLY Heal Colds? (And If So, What’s The Best Recipe?)

Image source: Pixabay.com

When my kids don’t feel well, one of the only things they will eat is chicken soup – my homemade chicken soup.

But do they want the soup because it represents a strong comfort food they have known all of their lives, or is there something more?

The answer is yes, and the old wives’ tale is right. Chicken soup really is good for you.

Dr. Stephen Rennard and his team of researchers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha conducted a series of tests to study the health benefits of chicken soup.

“Everyone’s heard this from their mother and grandmother in many cultures,” Rennard said. “We found chicken soup might have some anti-inflammatory value.”

After examining blood samples from study volunteers, the researchers found that homemade chicken soup reduced the movement of a type of white blood cells, called neutrophils, which help defend against infection. By inhibiting movement of these cells in the body, chicken soup can help reduce upper respiratory cold symptoms, Rennard theorized.

“Researchers suspect the reduction in movement of neutrophils may reduce activity in the upper respiratory tract that can cause symptoms associated with a cold,” the University of Nebraska said in a press release.

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The study used a soup made by Rennard’s wife, Barbara. (The recipe is below.) But is also compared results of the homemade soup with several commercial brands of chicken soup and found similar results. The brands tested included Progresso chicken noodle, Knorr chicken noodle, Campbell’s Home Cookin’ chicken vegetable, Lipton Cup-a-Soup chicken noodle and Campbell’s Healthy Request chicken noodle.

Although they were not able to pinpoint exactly what ingredients made the soup so effective against cold symptoms, the research suggested that it is the combination of chicken and vegetables that does the trick.

Does Chicken Soup REALLY Heal Colds? (And If So, What’s The Best Recipe?) An earlier study conducted by researchers at Mount Sinai in Miami found that consuming chicken soup helped sick study volunteers to breath better and to have less mucus. The 1978 report, which, like the 2000 Rennard study was published in the medical journal Chest, found that chicken soup boosts the function of cilia — the microscopic hair-like projections that help prevent germs from entering the body.

Given the nickname “Jewish penicillin,” chicken soup has been a mainstay for generations of mothers and grandmothers from many cultures who seek to comfort their families.

Some scientists theorize that chicken soup has anti-inflammatory properties and that the soup provides the fluids needed to flush out viral infections in the upper respiratory tract.

Staying well-hydrated is a key part of recovering from a cold or the flu. Research suggests then chicken soup may provide better hydration than either water or commercial electrolyte drinks. Here are other reasons chicken soup heals:

  • Chicken soup usually contains salt, which in a broth can help soothe your throat much in the same way that gargling with warm salt water can.
  • The soup’s warm liquid can help clear the sinuses with its steam.
  • Chicken provides lean protein to give your body strength when you are sick.
  • The vegetables in chicken soup can help heal the body. Carrots contain beta-carotene and celery contains vitamin C, both of which help boost the body’s immune system and help fight infection. Onions help reduce inflammation and can act as an anti-histamine.

Convinced? Here is the recipe for the soup used in the study:

Ingredients

  • 1 5- to 6-pound stewing hen or baking chicken
  • 1 package of chicken wings
  • 3 large onions
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 3 parsnips
  • 2 turnips
  • 11 to 12 large carrots
  • 5 to 6 celery stems
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Clean the chicken, put it in a large pot and cover it with cold water. Bring the water to boil.
  2. Add the chicken wings, onions, sweet potato, parsnips, turnips and carrots. Boil about 1 and a half hours. Remove fat from the surface as it accumulates.
  3. Add the parsley and celery. Cook the mixture about 45 min. longer.
  4. Remove the chicken. The chicken is not used further for the soup. (The meat makes excellent chicken parmesan.)
  5. Put the vegetables in a food processor until they are chopped fine or pass through a strainer. Both were performed in the present study.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.

(Note: This soup freezes well.)

Matzo balls were prepared according to the recipe on the back of the box of matzo meal (Manischewitz).

What is your favorite chicken soup recipe? Do you eat chicken soup when you are sick? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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15 Incredible Things You Can Do With Tea Tree Oil

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15 Incredible Things You Can Do With Tea Tree Oil

Image source: Wikipedia

 

The tea tree, or Melaleuca alternifolia, is native to Australia and produces one of the most popular essential oils, tea tree essential oil.

Captain James Cook and his sailors stumbled upon the tree in the 18th century, and discovered that the leaves of the tree — when brewed as a tea — could combat scurvy. The tree soon after became known as the “tea tree.”

Of course, the indigenous people of Australia, the Aborigines, were already aware of the tree’s healing powers and used the leaves of the tree to battle respiratory problems and to relieve headaches.

Tea tree essential oil has antimicrobial, antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties. The aroma of the essential oil is fresh, pungent and medicinal, with sweeter, woody notes as it evaporates.

Let’s take a look at 15 uses for this incredible essential oil.

1. Fight viral infections and airborne germs

Since tea tree essential oil is antiviral and antibacterial, it is good for fighting germs that cause the flu and other sicknesses. There are several ways you can use the oil, including as a massage blend and in an air diffuser to purify the air.

Recipe for an antiviral massage blend:

  • 4 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 2 drops black pepper essential oil
  • 4 drops bergamot essential oil
  • 4 tsp of a carrier oil such as sweet almond oil

To boost your immune system and fight off illnesses, massage the blend onto your skin at least once per day.

2. Heal wounds

Tea tree essential oil is ideal for treating wounds and preventing an infection from setting in.

To treat wounds and insect bites:

  • Place 2 drops of tea tree essential oil on a cotton ball and swipe over the wound or insect bite.

It is OK to use tea tree essential oil, without a carrier oil, for treating wounds. But if you have sensitive skin, add a drop of a carrier oil to the tea tree oil before wiping the wound.

3. Disinfect surfaces in your home and car

Tea tree essential oil is a potent surface cleaner and germ killer. Simply spray and wipe a solution with tea tree essential oil over all surfaces of your home and car. Don’t forget about door knobs, cabinet knobs, light switches, remotes, computer keyboards, mouses, and kitchen and bathroom fixtures. Furthermore, using a cleaning solution with tea tree essential oil for wiping down the interior of your car can prevent the spread of illness-causing germs.

Germ-killing cleaning solution:

  • 15 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 15 drops lemon essential oil
  • 4 oz. white vinegar
  • 8 oz. distilled water
  • Mix in a spray bottle

4. Treat acne

Tea tree essential oil is considered one of the most effective, natural, acne treatments available. In fact, it can be as effective as peroxide for acne-prone skin, and does not have the harsh side-effects such as drying and peeling.

Homemade face blend for acne-prone skin:

  • 4 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 4 drops lemon essential oil
  • 4 drops geranium essential oil
  • 4 tsp jojoba carrier oil

Place several drops of the blend onto a cotton swab and wipe over your face with it in an upward motion. Allow the oils to absorb into your skin.

5. Remedy a dry scalp

Tea tree is beneficial for the health of your skin, and this includes the scalp. It can prevent dry, flaking skin, dandruff, and even can be used to treat lice.

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Add tea tree directly to your shampoo and conditioner, or try this homemade remedy:

 Tea tree scalp treatment:

  • 4 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 4 drops lavender essential oil
  • 2 drops cedarwood essential oil
  • 4 tsp coconut oil

Massage the blend into your hair and scalp and leave it in for about 30 minutes, and then shampoo it out.

6. Fight toenail fungus, ringworm and athlete’s foot

15 Incredible Things You Can Do With Tea Tree Oil

Image source: Pixabay.com

Tea tree essential oil has the ability to kill parasites and fungus. Use it neat, or undiluted, right on the infected areas. If you have sensitive skin, add a carrier oil.

Fungus-killing solution:

  • 5 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 5 drops oil of oregano
  • 4 tsp of a carrier oil

7. Remove warts

Tea tree essential oil can naturally remove unwanted warts. Just apply several drops of tea tree essential oil several times a day to the wart. Be patient, as it can take up to 30 days to completely remove the wart.

8. Kill mold

Mold grows in damp places and can quickly become an infestation. To kill mold, place a diffuser in the area, such as your bathroom or garage, and diffuse tea tree oil into the air. Or, you can use a spray bottle with tea tree essential oil and water. Spray the solution on shower curtains, window sills, dishwashers, laundry machines, and anywhere else you might notice mold growing.

9. Prevent body odor (deodorant)

Because of its antimicrobial properties, tea tree essential oil can naturally control body odor.

Natural deodorant recipe:

  • 15 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 1/3 cup baking soda
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • 5 tbsp coconut oil
  • Add lavender essential oil for scent if you

Mix together the baking soda and cornstarch in a bowl, and then add liquefied coconut oil, your essential oils and blend. Store the blend in an airtight container and use it daily.

10. Make homemade toothpaste and mouthwash

Because tea tree essential oil is antibacterial, it will kill germs in the mouth. It can prevent tooth decay, bleeding gums and bad breath.

Toothpaste and mouthwash recipe:

  • 15 drops tea tree essential oil
  • ½ cup baking soda
  • 5 tbsp liquified coconut oil
  • Mix together and keep in an airtight container.

You can use the blend as toothpaste or allow it to melt in your mouth as a mouthwash. Be sure to spit it out. Never swallow tea tree essential oil.

11. Treat eczema and psoriasis

Tea tree can treat any kind of skin inflammation and is a natural healing agent, so it’s ideal for relieving the symptoms of eczema and psoriasis.

Eczema and psoriasis remedy:

  • 5 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 5 drops lavender essential oil
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • Rub into the affected area as needed.

12. Relieve a sore throat

15 Incredible Things You Can Do With Tea Tree Oil

Image source: Pixabay.com

Because tea tree essential oil can help with the inflammation of the mucous membranes, it can effectively be used to help relieve a sore throat. Add one drop of tea tree essential oil to enough warm water with which to gargle. Make sure to spit out the mixture and not to swallow it.

13. Fight colds (expectorant)

Tea tree essential oil can help clear airways and a stuffed-up nose. It can also help to ease a headache.

Head cold remedy massage rub:

  • 5 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 5 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  • 4 tsp sweet almond oil
  • Rub into the chest area and on the temples.

14. Repell insects

Pests hate the smell of tea tree essential oil, and it is useful for repelling most of them.

Natural bug and pest spray:

  • 20 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 5 drops citronella essential oil
  • 16 oz distilled water

Using a spray bottle, spray the blend around doorways, windows and cracks to keep pests out of your home. You also can spray the combination on your clothes to ward off insects when you go outdoors. To use on your skin, add several drops of a carrier oil to help with the absorption.

15. Sanitize hands

Try this blend to make an all-natural hand sanitizer that is not rough on your hands:

Natural hand sanitizer recipe:

  • 30 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil
  • 10 drops clove essential oil
  • 1 tbsp witch hazel
  • 8 oz. aloe vera gel

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and then store it in an airtight container. Carry a small amount around with you in a travel-sized squeeze bottle.

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Lard: Your Great-Grandmother’s Secret To Better Skin, Naturally

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Lard: Your Great-Grandmother’s Secret To Better Skin, Naturally

Image source: Epic Provisions

 

Before the birth of the industrial cosmetic industry, people found other ways to improve their skin. Perhaps they realized that after continually handling meat in the kitchen, the skin on their hands was softer and smoother. Or perhaps they were just feeling adventurous with the leftover biscuit grease.

Either way, people for centuries – especially women — have been using lard as a facial cream. Lard is pork fat that has been rendered down to a liquid. Not only does it act as an exceptional barrier for locking in moisture, but it is also high in the vitamins that help keep skin healthy.

While the idea of rubbing pork fat on your cheeks might seem off-putting, think about this: Nearly all commercial skincare products are already made with some sort of animal fat. And massaging lard into your skin isn’t the same as rubbing bacon on your face. In fact, lard is incredibly gentle on skin, since it is so close to human skin in its chemical makeup.

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So before you call that 1-800 number to purchase a $50 bottle of Anti-Aging, Acne-Erasing Wonder Cream, give lard a chance. This humble pork product has been proven to:

  • Reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Tone and firm for a more youthful look.
  • Even out color and reduce redness associated with rosacea.
  • Reduce dryness associated with conditions like eczema (or winter weather).
  • Even out texture for a smoother, softer feel.
  • Improve acne and reduce pores.

If you are truly looking for a healthy and sustainable fix for your skincare woes, lard has the power to do everything that bank-breaking bottle of Lancôme does, and for the same price you could buy about 20 gallons of it!

Here’s Why it Works

When it comes to cellular makeup, pig lard is incredibly close to human skin. It has a similar pH and is made up of saturated and monounsaturated fats. One fact that skincare experts know: Oil dissolves oil. Since lard is so similar to our own skin oils, it’s a match made in heaven. As a cleanser, lard is a gentle and natural way to rid your face of that nasty sebum buildup and the daily dirt in your pores.

Pigs are extremely efficient at processing sunlight and storing it as Vitamin D in their fat. Fortunately for us, we get to enjoy our four-footed friends’ hard work when we rub that fat on our faces. Vitamin D helps to minimize dark spots and lines, reduce acne, and promote collagen production. This D-rich lard comes from pastured hogs that have been exposed to sunlight, so be sure to keep this in mind if you purchase your lard. Lard is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin E and Vitamin A.

There’s only one ingredient in lard: lard. Think about that next time your read your lotion label. If you can’t pronounce the words on the label, then you probably shouldn’t be putting it on or in your body.

Though convenient, most store-bought lard is hydrogenated and may contain preservatives. If you are going for a completely natural lard fix and you can’t render your own lard, then the best place to go is to your local butcher or farmer’s market. And for about $1 you can enjoy healthy, radiant skin for months. I haven’t seen a deal that good on any late-night infomercials.

How to Use it

Night is the time for our bodies to rest and restore. After your nightly washing routine, towel dry your face and dab a tiny bit of lard onto your cheeks and forehead. Massage it in well all over your face and neck. In the morning, wipe it away with a warm cloth.

Though some notice an instant improvement in their skin’s look and feel, for many this isn’t a simple overnight fix. My advice to you: Be patient! Going to bed smelling just a bit like a sausage may be discouraging (unless you really love sausage), but the end result will be well worth it. Those who have taken on the lard challenge have noticed a reduction in the signs of aging, improvement in skin elasticity, more even skin texture and color, fewer occurrences of acne, and softer skin.

If you’re tired of spending an arm and a leg on expensive chemical night creams or if you’ve simply tried everything without positive results, then I encourage you to give this age-old all-natural porcine remedy a try.

Have you ever used lard as a lotion or skin-softener? Share your tips in the section below:  

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8 Antiviral, Antibacterial Essential Oils That Are Healthier Than Lysol

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8 Antiviral, Antibacterial Essential Oils That Are Healthier Than Lysol

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Who doesn’t want to rid their home of infectious bacteria and viruses? Many people purchase chemical-laced cleaners to try and accomplish this daunting task, but in doing so they may be doing more harm than good. Chemical cleaners are not naturally antibacterial nor antiviral and can actually cause resistant strains of viruses to develop. Furthermore, harsh chemicals create fumes which can be toxic, especially for children and pets.

Instead, you can eliminate bacteria and viruses with natural essential oils. Here are eight of the best:

1. Tea tree

Tea tree essential oil is incredibly useful for killing topical and airborne bacteria and viruses. Furthermore, tea tree is a natural antiseptic and anti-fungal oil which can kill mold. It is ideal to use tea tree to treat fungus infections, to eliminate the growth of mold, and to destroy viruses and bacteria.

To create an even more potent formula, combine it with eucalyptus essential oil. This mixture is known to kill E. coli and to fight staff infections.

2. Peppermint

Peppermint has antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties and is an ingredient in massage and chest rubs used to reduce the symptoms of the common cold. In test tubes, peppermint essential oil kills many types of fungi, viruses and bacteria.

With all of its antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties, peppermint essential oil is an excellent way to boost your immune system, as well. It comprises compounds such as camphor, carvacrol and menthol which are resistant to many perilous strains of bacteria such as E. coli, staph infections and salmonella.

Furthermore, peppermint is a great essential oil for purifying the air in your home. It is effective at killing germs and has a fresh, minty scent which is uplifting and refreshing.

3. Lemon

Since lemon essential oil has antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties, it makes an excellent cleaner. Lemon essential oil can be used for disinfecting metal surfaces, dishes, clothes and even the body.

To make a homemade, all-purpose cleaner, add lemon essential oil to white or cider vinegar for a green and very efficient cleaner.

Disinfect your clothes after being ill by adding several drops of lemon essential oil to your laundry wash cycle.

4. Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus essential oil has a strong camphor content and scent which gives it potent germicide properties. These properties make eucalyptus essential oil ideal for fighting infections, bacteria and viruses.

Furthermore, eucalyptus essential oil’s germicidal quality makes it an antiseptic, which means it is suitable to treat burns, cuts, wounds, ulcers, abrasions and sores.

Mix eucalyptus essential oil with tree tea essential oil to make the ultimate germicide cleaning solution for your home.

5. Lemongrass

Lemon has a rich history as an antibacterial cleanser. However, lemongrass is sweeter, gentler and not as sour-smelling. Even though lemongrass essential oil does not smell as strong, it is still a potent antibacterial essential oil.

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The antimicrobial properties of lemongrass essential oil impede the development of bacteria when used as a massage rub. It can aid in destroying such bacterial infections as malaria, typhoid, food poisoning, urinary tract infections, body odor and various skin conditions.

Lemongrass is also antiseptic in nature and is useful for treating wounds and preventing them from becoming septic. As a potent fungicide, lemongrass essential oil is ideal for treating fungal infections of the skin.

6. Lavender

8 Antiviral, Antibacterial Essential Oils That Are Healthier Than Lysol

Image source: Pixabay.com

Don’t be fooled by this wonderfully smelling essential oil! The name “lavender” is derived from the Latin name Lavare, which translates to “wash.”

Lavender essential oil is an authoritative antibacterial oil which can boost your immune system and resist diseases and viruses.

Because of its antiseptic and antibacterial properties, lavender essential oil is useful in treating various skin ailments such as psoriasis, acne and other inflammatory conditions of the skin, as well as stopping infection in cuts, wounds and burns.

7. Cinnamon

Cinnamon essential oil is an extremely potent antibacterial essential oil. Since cinnamon essential oil contains cinnamaldehyde, it is used widely for treatment of various ailments and has been reported to kill germs such as viruses and bacteria.

8. Oregano

Oregano essential oil is a potent essential oil which not only causes noteworthy damage to the strains of bacteria, but it also helps to minimalize the bacteria’s ability to generate toxins which can be severely hazardous to human health.

If you have an ingestible form of oil of oregano, then place several drops under your tongue as soon as you feel the symptoms of a cold or the flu coming on. It will begin to fight the infection immediately.

Ways to Use Essential Oils to Fight Viruses, Bacteria and Germs

  • Topically: To use any of the mentioned essential oils, or a blend of your choice, add about 8 drops of essential oil per 4 teaspoons of a carrier oil. You can use this massage mixture as a chest and body rub when you feel a cold or the flu coming on. Not only will it help to diminish any symptoms that you might have, but it also will attack the bacteria and viruses which are causing your infection and sickness.
  • A cleanser: To kill germs on surfaces, add 25 drops of essential oils in an 8-ounce spray bottle with distilled water and spray and wipe down all surfaces in your home, office and car. Also, use essential oils in your mopping solutions to cleanse your floors.
  • Air purification: To purify germs and viruses from the air, diffuse about 8-10 drops of essential oils in a room diffuser.

What is your favorite antibacterial and antiviral essential oil? Share your tips in the section below:

If You Like All-Natural Home Remedies, You Need To Read Everything That Hydrogen Peroxide Can Do. Find Out More Here.

5 Home Remedies That Kept Our Ancestors Healthy Year-Round

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5 Home Remedies That Kept Our Ancestors Healthy Year-Round

The story of America in the 1700s and 1800s includes immigrants and settlers who came here from all over the world, bringing their traditional clothing, ideas, inventions, food, and, of course, their home remedies.

Immigrants tend to get absorbed into the fabric of America, which means that their home remedies can sometimes get lost in the shuffle.

Today, we are going to take a look at five nearly forgotten home remedies that our ancestors consumed to stay healthy before they had access to doctors, prescription medications or vaccinations.

1. Garlic and onions

While some ideas fall by the wayside (such as placing a cut onion in the room to “absorb” viruses) others stick around because they really work. One such remedy was a big plate of fried onion and garlic. The substances in these foods have been proven by today’s scientific studies to contain anti-viral and anti-microbial compounds, which can not only help to shorten the duration of a cold or flu, but can keep you healthy and prevent you from becoming sick.

2. Honey and lemon

While we still use this, we have acquired different reasons for using it. Today, we think of honey and lemon — usually put in tea – as a way to relieve coughs, sore throats, and stuffy noses. It does a great job in this area, but for our ancestors; they used honey and lemon to stop allergy symptoms of hay fever.

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Since you would naturally purchase honey that came from local bees, which used local flowering plants, it only makes sense that consuming a tablespoon of it would eventually provide your body with an immune reaction. I actually did try this on my husband and I have to say that it works remarkably well! Rather than taking an anti-allergy pill every day during the spring and fall, he now only takes one two or three times a year.

3. Jacob’s ladder

These beautiful plants, with their blue/purple flowers, were sometimes called Greek Valerian. While this plant used to be a staple in the 1800s, it is almost unheard of today. (Even though the alternative name has the word “valerian” in it, this plant is actually no relation to the valerian we use today.) Our ancestors used this plant, generally in a tea form using the flowers, to help prevent what our forefathers would call “nervous complaints.” This has been used for everything from headaches to heart palpitations and “women’s hysteria.” To our ancestors, women’s hysteria was just about any complaint a woman might have, such as mood swings, cramps or hot flashes.

4. Ginger

Like honey and lemon, ginger was often used for something else other than what we use it for today. While our ancestors realized that ginger could help with nausea, many consumed ginger (either chewing pieces of it or drinking it as a tea) to help prevent them from becoming chilled, and therefore susceptible to illness, or to prevent colic and indigestion.

5. Lady’s slipper

Lady’s slipper is a beautiful flowering plant related to orchids. Sometimes called moccasin flower or Venus shoe, this plant was very well-known to the Native people of North America, who used it as a preventative and curative for intestinal worms. While in this modern era intestinal worms are almost unheard of, these parasites used to be very, very common. Flowers were made into a tea that was drunk regularly to prevent worm infestation. The dried and then remoistened root was also used by several tribes to stop skin irritations and even to stop toothache pain.

What home remedies would you add to this list? Share your tips in the section below:

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5 Simple Steps To Make Your Own Oil Of Oregano

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5 Simple Steps To Make Your Own Oil Of Oregano

Image source: Pixabay

 

The ancient Romans and Greeks had a great appreciation for oregano, due largely to its many medicinal uses. Furthermore, the name “oregano” comes from the Greek words “ganos” and “oros,” which means joy and mountain. Therefore, oregano means “joy of the mountain!”

Oil of oregano has antioxidant, antiseptic, antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory qualities, and is a carminative, which means it lessens gas formation in the stomach. Furthermore, it is also a cholagogue, enabling bile to be released more easily and aiding in the digestion of fats.

Extracting oil from oregano involves a distinct distillation process. However, there is an easy way to make your own homemade, oil of oregano. Here’s a simple recipe:

What You Will Need

  • Oregano leaves, crushed or chopped
  • Grape seed oil, olive oil or almond oil
  • 2 sanitized jars with twist lids

What To Do

  1. Boil water in a saucepan. Let it reach a rolling boil, and then turn off the flame.
  2. Put your oregano leaves into a jar and then pour the oil of your choice over the leaves.
  3. Place the jar into hot water and allow it sit for 5-10 minutes. This process heats up the oil and allows the oregano to release its natural oils.
  4. Take the jar from the hot water and put it on a sunny windowsill for 1-2 weeks. Shake up the mixture every couple of days.
  5. After it sits for 2 weeks, strain the oil from the leaves into a second, sanitized jar. Store the oil in a cool and dark place.

To preserve homemade oil of oregano, add a couple drops of grapefruit oil. (If you decide to not make your own homemade oil of oregano, then make sure to use a quality, therapeutic grade essential oil.)

Uses For Oil Of Oregano

1. Respiratory illnesses

Many European respiratory remedies contain oregano as an important ingredient. It is used both externally and internally to treat asthma, bronchitis, colds and the flu.

It reduces inflammation caused by allergens. It also acts as a mild sedative, lessening the body’s reaction to the allergens.

Simply massage oil of oregano onto your chest to help relieve these ailments.

2. Skin ailments

People who suffer from eczema, psoriasis, candidiasis and rosacea can benefit greatly from oil of oregano. Remember, however, that oregano is a natural warming oil, so blend it well with jojoba, coconut or olive carrier oils and make sure to test it on affected areas lightly at first.

3. Fungal infections

Because of its antifungal properties, it is good for treating any fungal infections such as athlete’s foot and nail fungus. Again, remember that it is a natural warming oil, so dilute it properly and test it first.

4. Menstrual pain

Oil of oregano has been conventionally used to relieve menstrual issues such as amenorrhea and painful periods known as dysmenorrhea. Because oregano is an emmenagogue, it inspires blood flow to the pelvic region and encourages uterine contractions, enabling easier menstrual flow.

Learn How To Make Powerful Herbal Medicines, Right in Your Kitchen!

Image source: Pixabay.com

Image source: Pixabay.com

Drink ginger tea mixed with 2-3 drops of your homemade oil of oregano if you have scanty or painful periods. Furthermore, you can add several drops of oil of oregano to chamomile tea to intensify its effectiveness.

To gain relief from menstrual cramps, massage a blend of six drops of oil of oregano and a teaspoon of coconut oil onto the lower abdomen.

5. Cardiovascular diseases

The antioxidant properties of oil of oregano can possibly guard your blood vessels and heart from free radical harm.

6. Arthritis and muscle pain

Because of its anti-inflammatory properties and its natural warmth, it is a wonderful oil for relieving aches and pains due to inflammation.

Simply use your homemade oil of oregano or mix a therapeutic grade essential oil with a carrier oil and massage it onto the affected area.

7. Animal conditions

  • Skin conditions and external parasites. You can apply the oil of oregano to areas where the pets have lost fur due to ringworm infections, mange or hotspots. Animals tolerate oil of oregano well when it’s used diluted with carrier oils. Blend a teaspoon of oil of oregano with a gallon of tepid water and use it as a rinse after bathing your dog. This will aid in flea and skin parasite control.
  • Treat arthritis in dogs. You can try adding several drops of oil of oregano to cod liver oil or moist dog food to make it taste better for your dog. Be sure to only use a drop or Don’t give it to cats; they have a problem metabolizing it.
  • Replace antibiotics for chickens. Antibiotics are traditionally blended with poultry feed to keep the chickens strong and healthy and to aid them in gaining weight faster. Moreover, many organic farmers have now rejected antibiotics and turned oil of oregano as a replacement.
  • Get rid of intestinal worms in dogs. Adding oil of oregano to moist dog food or cod liver oil will help kill internal parasites. Be sure to only add a drop or two.

8. Natural insect repellent

Oil of oregano can be used to get rid of head lice. Furthermore, you can successfully control household pests with this pungent oil.

Place 25 drops each of oil of oregano and lemon essential oil in a spray bottle and fill it up with distilled water. Shake it well. Spray the blend on surfaces and wipe it dry. Furthermore, you can drop several drops of oil of oregano on cotton balls and place them inside drawers and cabinets.

Oil of oregano is also a welcomed addition to any garden. Insects and pests hate the aroma. Blend oil of oregano and water and spray it on the plants in your garden.

Do you know of other uses for oil of oregano? Share your tips in the section below:

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Stockpiling The Medicine Cabinet For Winter: 17 Things You Better Be Storing

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Stockpiling The Medicine Cabinet For Winter: 17 Things You Better Have

Image source: Pinterest (Justa Girl)

Wintertime is a wonderful season — full of holidays, resolutions and relaxation. However, it is also the time of the year when our immune systems are the most vulnerable.

Of course, it is best to prevent illnesses, but it’s just as important to be ready if an illness does strike. That means you need a well-stocked medicine cabinet. Here are 17 natural treatments you should stockpile:

Vitamins and Supplements

1. Vitamin C. This should be taken daily, as vitamin C is critical for boosting the immune systems, for preventing illnesses, and for fighting infections.

2. Vitamin B. It serves as a pick-me-up and helps the body generate energy. It is good to have on hand to combat fatigue.

3. Calcium and magnesium. Many of us suffer from a lack of essential nutrients, and calcium and magnesium are two important ones the body needs. Take a daily supplement if you do not get enough in your diet. Both of these are good for relieving cramps and for relaxing.

4. Cod liver oil. Cod liver oil is considered a superfood, a crucial omega 3 fatty acid, and is extremely high in vitamins A and D. Take it daily, but especially when you feel a cold or the flu coming on. It is also a healthy fat to help lower bad cholesterol levels.

Herbs and Tea

5. Mullein. This is an herb that is useful for treating a sore or scratchy throat. It can help to ease coughs, too. One good way to use mullein is to boil it and then inhale the steam. It can contribute to clearing congestion and blocked airways.

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6. Chamomile. Chamomile tea is great for soothing an upset stomach, easing anxiety and tension, and for treating insomnia.

7. Peppermint. Peppermint tea can fight fatigue, ease nausea, battle congestion, open airways, and promote overall well-being.

8.  Ginger. Ginger is a natural antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory qualities. Furthermore, it is good for heart health. It can boost your immune system, aid in indigestion, fight bacterial and fungal infections, and even help with the symptoms of diabetes. Ginger root is excellent as a tea, or it can be added to your food.

9. Turmeric root. Most people use fresh turmeric root to treat aches and pains, as it is a natural pain reliever and aids in blood circulation. You can add it to your food recipes, or drink it as a tea. Be aware that turmeric can be hard to absorb, so add black pepper or coconut oil to your recipes to aid in absorption. Here is a fresh, turmeric root tea recipe.

Essential Oils

10. Tea tree essential oil. Tea tree essential oil is a natural antiseptic and is antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal. Use it in a vaporizer to purify the air in your home and to kill germs. Furthermore, you can add it to a spray bottle with water and spray all the surfaces in your home to disinfect them.

As a first-aid treatment, swipe cuts to prevent an infection. Tea tree oil is also a good treatment for acne and fungal conditions such as athlete’s foot.

11. Lavender essential oil. Lavender essential oil is an all-around healing agent. It treats cuts and wounds, rashes, insect bites and acne.

Stockpiling The Medicine Cabinet For Winter: 17 Things You Better Store

Image source: Pixabay.com

Since lavender is anti-inflammatory and analgesic, it is perfect for treating aches and pains and even headaches. Mix it with a carrier oil such as sweet almond oil and massage it into the affected areas.

Lavender is a calming oil and can help with deep relaxation. It’s a natural anxiety and depression remedy. It can treat insomnia, too. To use lavender essential oil, vaporize it in a diffuser, add several drops to a hot bath, or use it as a massage oil to receive all of its incredible benefits.

12. Rosemary essential oil. Rosemary is a natural warming oil and is anti-inflammatory. It is great for relieving fatigued, overworked, aching muscles. Use it in a carrier oil to create a soothing massage oil.

Rosemary essential oil also has stimulant properties which, when inhaled, can help to wake up the senses and help with concentration. Furthermore, it’s a natural stress-reliever. To use rosemary essential oil, vaporize it in a diffuser, use it in a hot bath, or create a massage blend.

13. Eucalyptus essential oil. Eucalyptus essential oil is a natural decongestant, so it’s perfect for treating colds and the flu. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, so it can ease aches and pains. Use it in a diffuser or steam inhalation to help clear the senses. Alternatively, use eucalyptus oil with a carrier oil as a chest or muscle rub.

14. Peppermint essential oil. Peppermint essential oil is good for treating nausea, for fighting fatigue, for relieving congestion, and as a warming oil. To acquire the benefits of peppermint oil directly, drop several drops on a tissue and deeply inhale. This oil is also good when used in steam inhalation, a bath, as a warming, massage rub, and in a room diffuser.

First-Aid Natural Treatments

15. Honey. It is a natural healer and an antioxidant. In first-aid, honey can act as a band-aid. It will protect the wound, prevent infection and begin the healing process.

Honey is also good for preventing and treating colds, relieving coughs and sore throats, and for easing nausea. You can add honey to your tea to help lower your cholesterol.

16. Activated charcoal. This is a good remedy for treating gas and upset stomachs. It is also great for fighting food poisoning.

17. Epsom salts. Epsom salts are good in baths when you are sick. They can help to lower a fever and reduce bodily aches and pains. They also can help to reduce tension and anxiety. If you have a headache, try to lightly inhale Epsom salts to help relieve it.

What would you add to our list? Share your stockpiling tips in the section below:

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5 Headache-Curing Herbs Your Ancestors Used

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5 Headache-Curing Herbs Your Ancestors Used

Butterbur. Image source: Pixabay.com

Everyone gets a headache every now and then. Whether it is a tension headache from an overly demanding boss or a very painful rebound headache, there is only one thing most of us can think of: how to get rid of it quickly!

You might be wondering what our ancestors used before the invention of those over-the-counter pain killers. Herbs were among the most popular remedies and they worked remarkably well.

Here are the top 5 herbs that have been used for ages to stop headaches, before pharmacies, before pills, and certainly before your boss was born!

1. Willow

The bark from willow trees has a long history of pain relief, and not just for headaches. Extracts from white willow bark was used by the pioneers in the 1800s, but the Native people of America used it well before that. Willow bark contains a compound, salicin, which your body will convert into salicylic acid, known to you and I as aspirin.

2. Ginger

Yep, that same spice you probably have in your kitchen cabinet is well-known for stopping headaches (and nausea, too). Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory, so it works on several different levels.

Fast, All-Natural Pain Relief With No Nasty Side Effects!

It can be purchased in capsule form, but the quickest way to relieve headaches — and the one our ancestors used — was to put a half dozen thin slices of fresh ginger root in two cups of water and boil it as a tea. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes and drink after it has cooled a bit.

3. Feverfew

This ancient herb, best known for reducing fevers, is a terrific choice for migraines as it not only reduces pain but is known to help alleviate nausea and sensitivity to light. The leaves and flowers contain a compound that cause the blood vessels to dilate.

4. Butterbur

The name of this herb always reminds me of butter beans, but it’s actually a very old folk remedy for not only headaches and migraines, but for other types of pain. For those who suffer from regular migraines, taking butterbur regularly has been shown in some studies to reduce the number of migraines by as much as 50 percent and the severity of pain by as much as 80 percent when compared to the placebo group. [1]

5. Peppermint and rosemary

While you have certainly consumed both of these herbs, you probably have not considered putting them together. It’s time to change that! Rosemary mixed with peppermint (and some recipes call for a bit of lavender also) makes a terrific “brain tonic” that will relieve headache pain, ease tension (which is the cause behind most headaches), and improve blood circulation. A tea of fresh peppermint leaves with a sprig of fresh rosemary is an old folk remedy for headaches that seems to withstand the test of time.

What would you add to our list? Share your tips in the section below:

[1] http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1526-4610.2005.05044.x/abstract

Harness The Power Of Nature’s Most Remarkable Healer: Vinegar

The 1800s Pain-Relief Plant That Doctors Used

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The 1800s Pain-Relief Plant That Doctors Used

Every time we are afflicted with a headache, hangnail or even the common cold, most of us simply pop down to the local drugstore and pick up an over-the-counter remedy. But chemical-induced drugs aren’t always best for us, and we also should consider: What if the drugstore is closed – or we can’t make it there – next time?

Trust our ancestors to have the answers. While we can’t really ask the pioneers what they used, they left records of their commonly used herbs and home remedies to guide us.

One herb that has been all but forgotten in today’s modern age is feverfew. This plant was very valuable to the Native American tribes as well as to the 1800s-era pioneers.

Fast, All-Natural Pain Relief With No Nasty Side Effects!

Let’s take a look at how it was used and how you might be able to grow your own for an unlimited supply.

What is Feverfew?

Feverfew (tanacetum parthenium) is a perennial flowering herb that is sometimes called “bachelor’s buttons.” In certain areas, it can grow 24 inches tall and equally as wide. It also is one of the oldest herbs known to man. While no one is sure when it started being used, it was first mentioned during the first century by Greek physician Pedanius Dioscorides.

Feverfew can cause allergic reactions, so it is best to try a small amount first. It is related to chrysanthanims, so if you are allergic to those, steer clear!

Also, even though this plant is pretty to look at, do not put fresh leaves or flowers in your mouth, as it has a natural irritant. While it may not actually harm you, it can cause a burning sensation and even mouth sores.

How Did Our Ancestors Use It?

This plant has a pretty impressive background in that not only has it been used for centuries, but modern research has backed up quite a few of these folk remedy uses.

The name, obviously, implies that it can reduce fevers, and that is perhaps what it is best known for. However, it can be used for much more.

Feverfew is a terrific way to stop migraine headaches (when consumed at the onset) as well as other types of headaches and muscle tension. It is also a general pain reliever.

It is a natural anti-inflammatory herb, which makes it perfect for healing and reducing the pain of twisted ankles, arthritis and even menstrual cramps. In the case of arthritis and cramps, one needs to consume it on a regular basis. Women should start consuming feverfew a week before their cycle is to start and continue until the second day of their period.

The 1800s Pain-Relief Plant That Doctors Used

Image source: Pixabay.com

Prior to the discovery of willow bark and aspirin, it was feverfew that midwives and doctors turned to for pain relief, fever reducing, and most types of muscle cramps.

Like chamomile, feverfew will calm most muscle spasms, which makes it not only a good pain reliever for general muscle pain due to overuse, but it causes the muscles to relax.

How To Use It

As mentioned earlier, don’t put fresh leaves or flowers in your mouth. You can certainly buy feverfew capsules, but why not grow your own?

New ‘Survival Herb Bank’ Gives You Access to God’s Amazing Medicine Chest

Feverfew leaves and flowers can be washed and then used in either a tea or a tincture form. Many people find that two or three cups of tea each day works best to stop pain, inflammation and persistent headaches.

Grow It Yourself

This pretty flowering plant is hardy to zone 5. Don’t cover the seeds completely with soil, as they must have sunlight to sprout; sprinkle lightly with water each day until they sprout. You can thin them to 15 inches apart when they are about five inches tall.

They aren’t fussy plants, but they do need sunlight, so try to find a spot where they get a  minimum of six hours each day. Harvest and dry the flowers and leaves as they grow. It will reseed itself if you allow a few plants to go to seed. Any remaining plants should be cut to the ground with the first frost. It will grow back again in the spring and generally produces flowers between July and October.

Good to Know

Doctors in the days of the pioneers used to suggest feverfew for “women who are a bit giddy in the head.” They didn’t mean giddy the way we do today, but rather for those who suffer from what we today call migraines.

In the Middle Ages, feverfew was believed to clean the air of germs and stop rabies.

Bugs of all kinds do not like this plant — including bees!

Have you ever grown or used feverfew? Share your tips in the section below:

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Immune-Boosting ‘Miracle Herbs’ Your Ancestors Used

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Immune-Boosting ‘Miracle Herbs’ Your Ancestors Used

Artist: Harold Anderson

Before there were flu shots, vaccinations and antibiotics, our ancestors had no alternative other than to rely on herbs for healing, treatment and prevention.

This isn’t to say that herbs are ineffective, although modern medicine has pushed many of them to the wayside. The truth is that many modern medicines have their base in herbal compounds.

Unfortunately, much of the knowledge regarding herbs and how to use them has been forgotten by the general population. Ask anyone under the age of 50 if they know what plant or tree aspirin comes from, and chances are that they won’t know.

Learn How To Make Powerful Herbal Medicines, Right in Your Kitchen!

Here are five herbs our ancestors used – and perhaps you should, too.

1. Echinacea

Although you might have heard of a few studies supposedly refuting this herb’s effectiveness, there are far more positive studies than negative ones. The indigenous people of America used this herb to stay healthy. It is commonly taken in the form of a tea; the normal dose is two to three cups each day if you are ill, but one cup per day for “maintenance.” This beautiful flowering herb is easily grown just about anywhere. Dry the leaves and flowers for year-round use.

2. American ginseng

Don’t confuse this with Chinese ginseng. The scientific name of this plant is Panax quinquefolius, and modern research shows that this tonic herb not only supports a healthy immune system, but it can help to prevent upper respiratory infections, too.

3. Garlic

Immune-Boosting ‘Miracle Herbs’ Your Ancestors Used

Image source: Pixabay.com

This herb might not win you a “most kissable” award, but there is no denying that it has powerful healing- and immune-supporting compounds. Long before the discovery of antibiotics, garlic was the treatment of choice for internal infections and was used for everything from bronchitis to dysentery. Remember that garlic has to be cut or crushed to release its active ingredients. An old-fashioned cold remedy was to crush a large clove of garlic and mix it into a tablespoon of honey. This was consumed three or more times per day when a person was sick and once per day to keep the cooties away.

4. Astragalus

A member of the pea family, this herb has been found to improve the immune system by stimulating the body to make more immune cells in both lymph tissue and bone marrow. The leaves are used to make tea, and fresh roots are sliced into soups. This is another easy-to-grow plant that you might want to consider adding to your herb garden.

5. Oregano

Your probably have some of this in your kitchen right now! Oregano is actually one of the most potent herbs for improving the immune system and can help the body boost its white blood cell count.

Immune-Boosting ‘Miracle Herbs’ Your Ancestors Used

Image source: Pixabay.com

If you enjoy the taste, you can make oregano tea. Of course, you can always make more Italian food and add oregano to just about anything you are cooking.

A very old cold and flu remedy was to make a tonic with sage, thyme and oregano in a pot of water and drink three or more cups per day.

While we are on the subject, let’s take a minute to discuss things that some people believe will work to cure or prevent infections or viruses … but won’t.

  • Cutting an onion and leaving it in a room to “absorb” viruses won’t do anything more than give you a pretty awful-smelling room.
  • Burning wormwood shavings or any other type of incense doesn’t work, either. It is thought that the smoke will remove viruses and bacteria from the air, and while it might smell pretty, smoke will only irritate the respiratory tract.
  • Once, when I was young and suffering from a cold, my grandmother had me soak my feet in hot water, then put on a pair of wet socks and wear them overnight. I’m not sure what the idea was behind this one, but trust me, it does not work. It only makes for a long and miserable night with no sleep!

Of course, there are other ways to boost your immune system. Exercise (but not to excess), regular sleep, a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, and low stress are all vital components for proper immune system function.

What are your favorite herbs to boost the immune system? Share your suggestions in the section below:

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How I Healed An Open Wound Without Stitches

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How I Healed An Open Wound Without Stitches

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While working on my master herbalist degree, my German shepherd mixed breed dog named Ginger ended up with a tumor on her leg. The tumor grew to the size of an orange and was located in the middle of her leg, on the side. An x-ray showed that the tumor was not connected to the bone — a good sign because it had not invaded the bone tissue. It was localized.

I instructed a friend to “rope off the tumor” with a rubber band, tightening the band every day while I was gone on a business trip. She did, and this starved the tumor. When I returned, the tumor looked lifeless and was essentially hanging by a band of tissue.  Ginger then bit it off.

Now I was faced with an open wound. It was large — the entire surface area of an orange. Veterinarians would say that a skin graft was needed to cover the entire area.

I made up an herbal formula with anti-infection herbs and herbs that helped regrow and restore tissue. The herbs I used included cat’s claw, Echinacea, goldenseal, slippery elm and comfrey. The formula was mixed with a little water and then added directly to the wound. After seeing some pus, I changed the strategy to adding the herbs in Ginger’s food and she gladly gobbled them up three times daily.

Learn How To Make Powerful Herbal Medicines, Right in Your Kitchen!

Every two days, there was a visible closing of the wound circumferentially by about one-fourth an inch. Ginger’s body was healing itself, and the herbs were stimulating the healing, just as they were meant to do.

How I Healed An Open Wound Without Stitches

Slipper elm tree. Photo by Milo Pyne / Flickr / Creative Commons / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The wound finally healed up completely, knitting itself perfectly without any stitches. All the hair grew back, as well, and there was no sign of ever being any type of trauma. Ginger had complete feeling in the area where the wound had been, and she lived another four years, dying at the age of 16.

Which Two Herbs Regenerate Tissue?

The two herbs that help regenerate the skin and tissues are slippery elm and comfrey. In herbal school, our teacher, Dr. Christopher, told stories of how he used these herbs. One slippery elm story was of a little girl who suffered from a completely shattered pelvis.

The girl could not move because of excruciating pain, and back in the 1950s, the roads in Utah were not as well-established as they are now. Many of them were made of rock and gravel and would have caused a lot of jarring to a broken bone. Fractured bones are very susceptible to vibration and the little girl would have suffered a lot of pain during the trip both to and from the hospital. Thus, the family called Dr. Christopher to come out for a house call.

He mixed slippery elm with a little water to make a paste and packed it into the wound after cleaning it; he then covered it. Then the family was instructed to continue packing the moistened herb into the area every day. The body used the nutrients in the slippery elm to rebuild the entire pelvis. It mended perfectly and when the little girl was x-rayed, there was no sign of any fracture at all.

Slippery elm is an herb that is always used by herbalists to provide abundant nutrients and phytonutrients and help reconstruct tissue. Comfrey may be used topically.

Wounds heal when the body has all the right nutrients at the time of the wound. My story of Ginger is a paradigm change for a lot of people. We’ve all been taught that stitches are essential to heal up gaping wounds, and in some cases skin grafts are critical. During a disaster or survival situation, though, stitches and skin grafts may not be accessible. Now you have an alternative way to heal wounds.

*This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or cure any particular health condition. Please first consult with a qualified health professional.

Have you ever tried healing a wound without stitches? Share your tips in the section below:

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All-Natural Antibacterial Gel You Can Quickly Make At Home

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All-Natural Antibacterial Gel You Can Quickly Make At Home

Image source: Pixabay.com

As the cold weather sets in, we find ourselves taking extra precautions to ensure we are not the next victim of the cold and flu viruses spreading around our communities.

Perhaps we increase our vitamin intake or even obsessively wash our hands. And while those are easy to do around our homestead, many of us reach for an antibacterial gel or foam when we are traveling about. But that’s probably not the best idea.

The Problem With Store-Bought Antibacterial Gel

Each spring our local elementary hosts a science fair that invariably includes one project investigating the effectiveness of antibacterial gel versus traditional hand washing. A quick glance at the petri dishes confirms that traditional hot soapy water does the job just fine. Even the FDA has banned certain ingredients in commercially manufactured antibacterial soaps and alcohol-based gels. One controversial component now banned in soaps by the FDA is triclosan, which has been linked to thyroid problems and increasing resistant strains of bacteria. Manufacturers have until the fall of 2017 to reformulate their antibacterial soaps; however, antibacterial gels are exempt from this ruling.

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Nature, though, has provided all we need to combat viruses and bacteria that we encounter in the normal course of life. From medicinal plants grown in our herb gardens to essential oils curated from the best sources, creating our own antibacterial gels and sprays to use when we are away from home, or when we need an extra layer of protection after coming in contact with those suffering from illness, is a simple process and requires few ingredients.

Here are several ways to do it …

The Best All-Natural Ingredients To Use

Grown in containers, rosemary is useful as a seasoning and as a garnish for savory dishes, but it has several medicinal qualities, as well. Rosemary is antibacterial and anti-viral. Preparing an infusion of fresh rosemary creates a non-toxic alternative to commercially produced antibacterial gels. Using a one-to-eight ratio of fresh rosemary to distilled water in a stainless steel pan, bring the water to a simmer, and then cover and remove from heat. Let the rosemary steep for 20 minutes. The infused water, when cooled, can be transferred into a spray bottle for convenient applications. It also can be added to foaming solutions of castile soap, adding a layer of antibacterial protection.

All-Natural Antibacterial Gel You Can Quickly Make At Home

Image source: Wikimedia

Wooly lamb’s ear is not typically thought of as anything more than a textured addition to landscapes, but it has amazing antibacterial, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties and is useful in the treatment of bruising and cuts and abrasions, in addition to reducing fevers and swelling due to insect bites and bee stings. As with the rosemary infusion, an infusion of wooly lamb’s ear makes a quick and effective antibacterial on-the-go spray.

If time permits, create your own extract using a one-to-three ratio of chopped wooly lamb’s ear and vodka. Let steep for four to six weeks in a cool, dark area, gently shaking every few days. Use a few drops of this extract combined with rubbing alcohol or witch hazel in a spray bottle for a concentrated antibacterial spray.

New ‘Survival Herb Bank’ Gives You Access to God’s Amazing Medicine Chest

The use of essential oils has certainly experienced a revival in recent years, and as a result they have become much more readily available to the average consumer. Many oils are antibacterial in nature and most contain additional properties that are beneficial to our overall health. In addition to the benefits gained from using essential oils, we also help diminish the growth of resistant strains of bacteria. That’s because the use of naturally occurring antibacterial extracts, oils or the like does not lead to the creation of superbugs or resistant bacteria.

Perhaps the most commonly known essential oil is tea tree oil (melaleuca oil), which is a medicinal powerhouse. Antibacterial, anti-viral and antiseptic, tea tree oil is an excellent addition to any antibacterial gel or spray formula.

Start an antibacterial gel formula with Aloe Vera, adding a small amount of witch hazel at a ratio of one-to-eight, and essential oils; a popular antibacterial combination is lavender and tea tree oil. Rosemary oil added to this formula will act as a natural preservative.

To any essential oil blend, a few drops of vitamin E oil will not only act as a natural preservative but also will moisturize your hands.

Do you make your own antibacterial gel? If so, share your tips in the section below:

hydrogen peroxide report

The 9 Best Essential Oils To Stockpile For Cold & Flu Season

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The 9 Best Essential Oils To Stockpile For Cold & Flu Season

Image source: Pixabay.com

It’s the time of year when the winter season bestows upon us its magical charms and beauty. Crystalized, winter landscapes lend to frosted-over ponds ripened for ice skating. Ice-capped mountains call upon the adventurous skier. And the snow-covered trees of the forest sound out for the hunters of the season.

For many homesteaders, spending time in the outdoors during winter is a way of life. Unfortunately, so is coming down with colds, and maybe even worse, the flu.

That means it’s time to stockpile essential oils for the cold and flu season. Did you know that there are more than 200 types of viruses that cause the common cold?

Essential oils have many antimicrobial, antiviral, astringent, disinfectant and antiseptic properties that can kill the cold and flu viruses before they even have a chance to set in. But with proper preventive measures, and with the right combinations of essential oils, you can stop cold and flu viruses in their tracks.

If you do end up coming down with a bug, essential oils have powerful healing properties.

Methods Of Using Essential Oils

There are several methods of using essential oils for prevention of colds and flu relief. They are:

  • Diffuser/humidifier aromatherapy
  • Spray bottle disinfecting blends
  • Massage aromatherapy
  • Bath aromatherapy
  • Steam inhalation
  • Hot and cold compresses

I will go over the methods as I come to the remedy sections for each essential oil.

9 Essential Oils You Should Stockpile

1. Oregano essential oil

Oregano can immediately relieve your cold and flu symptoms. It has antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, digestive and anti-allergenic properties.

Remedies

I never recommend taking essential oils internally, but oil of oregano can be bought as an ingestible form. Make sure you stockpile with ingestible oil of oregano and as soon as you feel the symptoms of a cold coming on, place several drops under your tongue and let it sit for about 30 seconds before swallowing. This method of sublingual administration is a powerful way to absorb oregano essential oil quickly into your system.

Or, try this massage or diffuser blend:

  • 3 drops oregano essential oil.
  • 2 drops rosemary essential oil.
  • 2 drops eucalyptus essential oil.
  • 1 drop peppermint essential

Use the blend in your diffuser or humidifier to help relieve your symptoms. Or, add four teaspoons of a carrier oil and massage the blend onto your chest area or where you have inflammation or bodily aches or pains.

2. Eucalyptus essential oil and …

3. Tea tree essential oil

Eucalyptus essential oil encompasses about 67 percent eucalyptol. This makes this essential oil a powerful remedy for relieving stuffed-up noses and chesty coughs, as well as to ease breathing. (Do not take eucalyptus essential oil orally, as it can be toxic.)

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Tea tree essential oil has antiseptic, antiviral, antimicrobial properties and is a natural germ killer and disinfectant.

Remedies

Methods for preventing airborne infection from spreading:

  • 4 drops eucalyptus essential oil.
  • 4 drops tea tree essential oil.
  • Use the blend in a diffuser or a humidifier to kill airborne viruses and germs.
  • Or, drop it into a 16-ounce spray bottle with water and spray all surfaces in the household, including light switches, door knobs, remotes, computer keyboards, cabinet knobs, etc.
  • You even can add some pine essential oil and mop your floors and clean your bathroom with this blend.

Chest rub to relieve chesty coughs:

  • 4 drops eucalyptus essential oil.
  • 4 drops cedarwood essential oil.
  • 2 drops tea tree essential oil.
  • 4 tsp carrier oil.
  • Massage the blend into your chest, day and night.

To relieve bodily aches and pains:

  • 3 drops eucalyptus essential oil.
  • 3 drops ginger essential oil.
  • 3 drops rosemary essential oil.
  • 1 drop tea tree essential oil.
  • 4 tsp carrier oil.
  • Massage into your body to reduce aches and pains, as needed.

Or,

  • Use as a hot or cold compress to place on the body.
  • To do this, you can warm up a dampened, cloth towel in the microwave and add a few drops of this blend, or chill a dampened, cloth towel in the refrigerator or freezer and add several drops of the blend.

4. Lemon essential oil

The 9 Best Essential Oils To Stockpile For Cold & Flu Season

Image source: Pixabay.com

Lemon is considered a cure-all fruit. It’s a natural healer and antiseptic, is great for reducing fevers, is a natural diuretic, and can fight off fatigue.

Remedies:

The great thing about lemon essential oil is that it is found right in the peel of the fruit. Therefore, you can boil lemon peels in a pot of water, let it cool, and drink it. The powerful, lemon-infused water will act as a natural diuretic, fight off fatigue, lower your fever, while at the same time, heal your body.

For an additional bonus, as the lemon peels boil, they also release essential oils into the air, which purifies your home.

Virus-fighting blend. Diffuse:

  • 5 drops lemon essential oil.
  • 3 drops lavender essential
  • 3 drops turmeric essential oil.
  • Or, 4 tsp carrier oil for massage blends.

5. Lavender essential oil

I’m sure you have heard of the powerful and wonderful healing powers of lavender essential oil. Lavender not only heals your body, aids in insomnia and takes away aches and pains, but it is also an anxiety-reducer.

Remedies:

Hot bath blend to relieve aches and pains and reduce anxiety:

  • 3 drops lavender essential oil.
  • 2 drops rosemary essential oil.
  • 2 drops black pepper essential oil.

Sleep aid and decongestant:

  • 4 drops lavender essential oil.
  • 3 drops chamomile essential oil.
  • 3 drops cedarwood essential oil.
  • Or, add 4 tsp carrier oil to create massage blends.

 6. Peppermint essential oil

Peppermint essential oil can help to progress concentration and battle fatigue. It’s perfect for soothing an upset stomach and relieving nausea.

Because of its potent concentration of menthol, using peppermint essential oil for cold and flu relief is ideal because menthol is valuable for relieving symptoms such as congestion and stuffed-up noses.

Furthermore, peppermint essential oil has a mild, warming effect,which is perfect for making sore and tense muscles feel better.

Remedies:

To ease an upset stomach and stop nausea:

  • Inhale peppermint oil from a tissue

A warming massage blend for aches and pains:

  • 4 drops peppermint essential oil.
  • 3 drops nutmeg essential oil.
  • 4 drops rosemary essential oil.
  • 4 tsp carrier oil for a massage blend.

Steam inhalation blend to relieve congestion, clogged airways and headaches:

  • 4 drops peppermint essential oil.
  • 6 drops eucalyptus essential oil.
  • For a headache, add 2 drops lavender essential oil.
  • Boil hot water and pour into a bowl. Drape a towel over your head. Lean over the bowl and wrap the towel around the bowl while it is still draped over your head. This will contain the steam. Inhale deeply until the oils have dispersed from the water.

7. Rosemary essential oil and …

8. Frankincense essential oil and …

9. Cedarwood essential oil

All three of these essential oils have powerful healing, pain-relieving and other beneficial properties. You can substitute them into any of the above recipes.

What would you add to our list? What is your favorite essential oil? Share your tips in the section below:

If You Like All-Natural Home Remedies, You Need To Read Everything That Hydrogen Peroxide Can Do. Find Out More Here.

5 Cold-Killing Spices Hiding In Your Kitchen Cabinet

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5 Cold-Killing Spices Hiding In Your Kitchen Cabinet

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As winter blasts the U.S., the local pharmacy is dispensing various chemical cocktails aimed at curbing the symptoms associated with the common cold and seasonal flu virus. The pharmaceutical companies certainly benefit during the cold winter months, but their relief is costly — and not guaranteed. In fact, some medications often produce side-effects that are just as bad or worse than the original symptoms.

So, what natural options are available? The answer may be as simple as a glance in your spice cabinet.

Good nutrition is essential for a healthy life. As the adage states, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” A well-thought-out diet, full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, will bolster your immune system. Whether sprinkled on as a garnish, used to create a flavorful broth or sauce, or even steeped in a tea, this list of cold- and flu-fighting spices can keep you healthy and happy this winter.

1. Turmeric

Dress up your farm-fresh eggs, create a tangy dip, or spice up a side of rice with a dash of turmeric. Produced from the roasted rhizomes of the turmeric plant, turmeric powder stimulates the immune system, reduces inflammation, balances blood sugar levels and aids the digestive system, all of which are important aspects of fighting off the common cold or seasonal flu.

2. Clove, nutmeg and cinnamon

This trio is most often associated with baking fall and winter “goodies,” and with warm, soothing drinks; however, they also work well together to aid the body in resisting infectious illnesses prevalent during the holiday season. These spices are antibacterial, antiviral, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory agents. The addition of nutmeg also has the added benefit of being an anti-depressant, which is helpful to calm the wintertime blues and relieve insomnia, although caution should be used by only including small amounts of nutmeg to any recipe.

3. Ginger

5 Cold-Killing Spices Hiding In Your Kitchen Cabinet

Ginger. Image source: Pixabay.com

Although ginger is used with the popular fall spices listed above, it also works to aid the digestive tract — relieving nausea, reducing bloating and gas, and overall working to relax the digestive tract to promote healing. Ginger also provides extra support for the immune system and further relieves inflammation due to irritation or infection.

4. Oregano

Not to be limited to Italian dishes, oregano can be sprinkled on eggs, salads and meats, enhancing your immune system by acting as a powerful antioxidant. It contains multiple vitamins and minerals, giving it helpful antibacterial and antiviral properties. Oregano also provides relief from inflammation, particularly in the upper respiratory tract, which is more vulnerable due to the drier air found in the colder climates.

5. Thyme

Well known in ancient times for its medicinal properties, thyme is most effective against respiratory infections and intestinal distress. It boosts liver function, increases immune function and clears the sinuses — the breeding ground of many respiratory infections.

For many of us, these spices are staples in our cabinet, only to be pulled out for special recipes and not considered based on their medicinal properties. Yet by incorporating them into our regular diets, we can increase our chances of staying healthy during the winter months.

What is your favorite spice for health? Share your tips in the section below:

How To Make an Herbal Cough Syrup Recipe

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How To Make an Herbal Cough Syrup Recipe I prefer to support the body in fighting the infection rather than take something that bypasses this natural process. If we were in a SHTF situation, we may not have access to normal over the counter medicine to soothe a sore throat or a nasty cough. That’s …

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The post How To Make an Herbal Cough Syrup Recipe appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

8 Herbal Teas That Will Keep You Healthy All Winter Long

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8 Herbal Teas That Will Keep You Healthy All Winter

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Herbal teas are not only full of flavor, but they also have many wonderful health benefits.

Herbs can aid in sleeping, control blood pressure, reduce anxiety, support the immune system, and provide antioxidants. They also can help the metabolism and give you an energy boost.

You either can purchase tea bags and combine them in your teapot, buy pre-blended teas, or use freshly dried herbs and create your own herbal tea blends.

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Here is a list of eight herbal teas, with their benefits.  

1. Chamomile tea

  • Natural stress reliever, Those who drink chamomile tea on a daily basis tend to have less stress and be less anxious than those who do not drink it.
  • Prevent sickness. The antibacterial properties of chamomile tea may aid in the prevention of colds while defending against bacterial-related illness, as well. If you get a cold and have a sore throat, chamomile tea is also good for relieving sore throat symptoms.
  • Diabetes. Recent studies show that chamomile can help those suffering from diabetes.
  • Stomach ache. Chamomile sooths the muscles and lining of the intestines. It can help with poor digestion and even with those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Natural sleep aid. It can aid in getting a great night’s sleep if you drink a cup before bedtime.

 2. Peppermint tea

  • Digestion. Peppermint is great for digestion and can aid in indigestion.
  • Nausea. It helps to relax the stomach muscles and can even ease bloating.
  • Breath freshener. Peppermint gives your breath a great smell!
  • Congestion and fever. If you have congestion from a cold, peppermint tea can help to relieve it. Furthermore, it is even said to help reduce a fever.
  • Natural source of energy. Just the smell of peppermint is a stimulant, awaking the senses and helping you focus.

 3. Valerian root tea

  • Relaxation and sleep aid. Valerian root has deep relaxing qualities. Hence, valerian helps to calm the mind.
  • Stress and anxiety reducer. Teas containing valerian contribute to reducing stress and anxiety.
  • Sleep aid. Herbal teas made with valerian are a relaxing, bedtime treat!
Image source: Pixabay.com

Image source: Pixabay.com

4. Cinnamon tea

  • Colds and the flu. Cinnamon tea is a great herbal remedy for the flu and helps prevent colds and the flu because it’s naturally antibacterial, antifungal and anti-viral. It’s also great for soothing sore throats.
  • Immune system support. Cinnamon is a great source of antioxidants, which help to boost your immune system.
  • Pain reliever. It increases blood circulation, which is good for easing pain.
  • Warming up. Whenever you have the chills, give cinnamon a shot!

 5. Hibiscus tea

  • Great source of vitamin C. Out of all the herbal teas, hibiscus flowers contain a super-high level of vitamin C and antioxidants.
  • Immune system support. Hibiscus tea is perfect for boosting the immune system and fighting free radicals. Drink hibiscus tea every day to stave off colds.
  • Anxiety reducer. Hibiscus tea also is a calming agent, so it is good for relieving anxiety.
  • Insomnia. Drinking a cup before bed can help you to relax and fall asleep easier.

6. Lemongrass tea

  • Natural healing power. Drink it all winter long!
  • Stress and anxiety reliever. Lemongrass is known for calming daily stresses and anxieties.
  • Blood circulation. This herb can dilate blood vessels, which improves blood circulation.
  • Blood pressure. If you drink lemongrass tea on a regular basis, it is good for maintaining a stable blood pressure.

7. Ginger tea

  • Coughs and colds. Ginger is a common herb found in most households. People began infusing ginger into teas to help treat colds and coughs. Furthermore, ginger can treat congestion.
  • Nausea. Ginger is good for treating nausea, morning sickness and motion sickness.
  • Can fight Alzheimer’s. Research shows that ginger can help slow down the loss of brain cells, which typically leads to Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Gas. Drink a cup of ginger tea before you go to sleep to let it work its magic overnight. It clears out your digestive system and neutralizes the problem from inside.
  • Weight loss. Ginger speeds up the metabolism, leading to calorie-burning. Furthermore, it can help keep you feeling full for longer.
  • Blood sugar levels. Ginger can help keep blood glucose levels in check.
  • Stay focused and on task. Think of ginger as an all-natural alternative to products like 5 Hour Energy.
  • Tired muscles. Studies show people who eat ginger or drink ginger tea experience a significant reduction in muscle pain.

8. Clove tea

  • Colds. Clove is antimicrobial, antiviral and antibacterial. Hence, it is good for treating viruses and for preventing colds.
  • Pain reliever. Clove is anti-inflammatory and has analgesic properties, so it can help to treat aches and pains. Clove is great for a sore throat and for tonsillitis, as well.

Final Thoughts

Try a mixture of these herbal teas to make the perfect blend for your daily health boost. Furthermore, mixing these teas creates awesome flavors and aromas. On a cold winter day, herbal teas are the perfect drink.

What are your favorite herbal teas? Share your herbal tea tips in the section below:

Harness The Power Of Nature’s Most Remarkable Healer: Vinegar

Castor Oil: The Old-Timer’s ‘Cure-All’ That Should Be In Every Stockpile

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Castor Oil: Why Grandma’s Miracle ‘Cure-All’ Should Be In Every Stockpile

If you have ever watched old cartoons or movies, you may have seen more than one reference to castor oil. The scene usually involves someone’s grandmother pushing a huge spoonful of castor oil down a sick person’s throat — with funny faces ensuing due to its horrible taste.

How did castor oil get its start? Does it really do anything for the body? And does it actually taste that terrible?

Let’s take a look at that old-fashioned cure-all.

What Is Castor Oil?

Castor oil is extracted from the seeds, sometimes called “beans,” of castor plants. These seeds are unique in that they contain a fatty acid triglyceride, most of which is ricinoleic acid. Although this type of fatty acid is found in other types of plants, such as cottonseed, it is only found in minute quantities. Castor oil is about 90 percent ricinoleic acid.

It’s important to remember that eating the seeds themselves will cause death. Depending on your size, as few as five seeds are considered a fatal dose. There is no anecdote. The oil, though, has no trace of the poison (called ricin) in it.

Native to India, this plant has been mentioned in written history since ancient times, and was used very regularly by our ancestors for a wide variety of health problems.

How Did Our Ancestors Use Castor Oil?

The fact that there were few actual physicians — coupled with the hard truth that there were not very many pharmaceutical drugs 150 to 200 years ago — left our ancestors with very few choices. Anything from Mother Nature was pressed into service in hopes that it would at least provide relief from symptoms while the body healed, or that it might actually do something to cure the problem.

One thing that is well-known about castor oil is that it is an irritant to the colon. So, why would someone take it? Simple: It cured constipation within hours. Many a grandmother was concerned with her family’s bowel movements, which is why just about any kind of tummy ache or nausea usually resulted in a big tablespoon of castor oil “just to be sure.”

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Indigestion and dysentery were very common in pioneer times, often due to poor food quality or cleanliness. Again, it was castor oil to the rescue.

Castor oil also has an interesting property in that it doesn’t freeze. That made it valuable to keep around in the winter months, as it could be used to oil sticky or frozen machinery parts.

Image source: Wikimedia

Image source: Wikimedia

This oil has a stimulating effect on the body. New mothers who had a difficult time producing enough milk for their baby were often told to rub castor oil on the breasts to increase milk flow. This same remedy was also suggested for sore breasts and blocked milk ducts. If a baby was late in coming, a few tablespoons of castor oil were the general recommendation to induce labor. Although there is no scientific evidence to back this up, there are plenty of personal stories which relate that folk remedy actually worked.

Midwives and other women also suggested that rubbing castor oil on the abdomen each morning and night would relieve menstrual cramps.

Castor oil is also known for improving skin health. Pioneer women used it for everything from preventing stretch marks to healing diaper rash, as well as other types of skin problems, including killing lice, preventing hair loss, and stopping dandruff. Since castor oil does contain antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal compounds, it is very likely that this can work quite well.

One pioneer woman left some advice for those preparing to travel out West: “No one should travel without medicine, for they are sure to suffer from a complaint. Every family should have a quart of the best rum, a quart of castor oil, and a large vial of peppermint essence.”

Growing Your Own Castor Plant

Castor plants (Ricinus communis) are beautiful, with leaves as large as a dinner plate. However, they are difficult to grow in areas that receive snow or hard frosts. New seeds would need to be nurtured every year. In the South and West, castor plants can grow to be small trees, approximately 15 to 20 feet high.

The seeds are safe to handle, but, again, not to eat. If you have toddlers, this is probably not the plant for you.

Otherwise, castor plants grow nicely in full sun in average or compost rich soil. They appear to need very little care and are quite beautiful.

Making your own castor oil is a bit complicated. The seeds need to be dried, then hulled. The hulled seeds are then boiled to remove the ricin. After boiling, the seeds are then pressed to extract the oil. This is extremely labor intensive, so you might want to consider simply stocking up on a good supply since it is, currently, rather inexpensive and, unlike other oils, does not go rancid when stored out of sunlight.

Other Uses … Oil Lamps?

Thomas Jefferson placed castor plants around his property in hopes that it would kill the gophers and moles that plagued his garden. It didn’t work. The oil does repel moles, but not the plant itself. Jefferson suggested this remedy to George Washington. Jefferson, it is said, loved to invite Washington to visit his garden, where he somehow managed to nurse one plant to a staggering 22 feet in height.

In a pinch, castor oil works great in oil lamps. It burns very cleanly and was used for this purpose by the ancient Egyptians.

It was also called “Palma Christe” in ancient times, as the large leaves were said to look like Christ’s hands. It is possible that after people found out about its medicinal qualities, they believed the plant was sent from God.

*This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or cure any particular health condition. Please consult with a qualified health professional first about this method.

Have you ever used castor oil? What advice would you add? Share your tips in the section below:

Harness The Power Of Nature’s Most Remarkable Healer: Vinegar

The 4-Ingredient Elderberry Syrup That Destroys The Cold & Flu

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The 4-Ingredient Elderberry Syrup That Destroys The Cold & Flu

Image source: TheDabblist / Creative Commons license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

There are several varieties of elderberry grown throughout the world, but the medicinal herb we want for its powerful cold- and flu-fighting powers is European black elderberry, or Sambucus nigra L.

Elder is a shrub that originates in Europe, Asia and Africa, and it has dark black berries and small white flowers. Medicinal uses of the elder plant go back centuries. Remnants of the plant have been found in stone age sites, and the plant was referenced in writings by Pliny the Elder and Hippocrates.

Almost all parts of the elder plant were used in ancient times. The wood was used for making instruments. The flowers and berries were used for medicine.

Of course, elderberry can be grown and harvested in your own yard. If you choose to do this, make sure the elderberry plant you grow is the correct type. The varieties native to the United States are not the same as black elderberries that are used in herbal remedies. If you do not have your own elderberry plant, you can buy the dried elderberries and use them to make your own herbal medicines.

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Elderberries are high in vitamins A, B and C and have antioxidant, antiviral and other healthy properties.

A Word of Caution

Elderberries contain seeds that contain a toxic chemical, but cooking the berries removes the toxicity. Elderberries can be prepared in many ways, including in teas, syrups and tinctures. One of the great benefits of most elderberry preparations is that they are safe for children as well as for adults.

Medicinal Recipes

This winter, why not make your own elderberry medicine? Following are two recipes that can help keep your family healthy.

Elderberry Syrup Recipe

Elderberry is easily made into a syrup that can be used not only as a medicine but also on pancakes and ice cream. This syrup can last several months when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. In addition to water, it contains only four ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups cold water
  • 2 cups dried elderberries
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger root or dried ginger root
  • Raw local honey

Directions

  1. Put the berries, herbs and cold water in a pot and boil.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer the mixture for about 45 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and mash the berries.
  4. Allow mixture to cool and strain the liquid with cheesecloth, making sure to squeeze out all of the juice.
  5. Measure the liquid and add an equal amount of honey.
  6. Gently heat the mixture until the honey and juice are combined. Do not let it boil.

Dosage

The 4-Ingredient Elderberry Syrup That Destroys The Cold & Flu

Image source: Pixabay.com

For children, take ½ teaspoon to 1 teaspoon per day. For adults, take ½ tablespoon to 1 tablespoon per day. If you have a cold or the flu, take the normal dosage every three hours for the duration of your illness.

Elderberry Gummies

These gummies are fantastic and are great for children who don’t want to take medicine when they are sick. The little gummies are sweet and tart and are like eating a fruit snack or fun candy. They also can be taken daily to boost your immune system.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup elderberry syrup
  • ½ cup hot water
  • ¼ cup gelatin
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil for greasing your pan
  • Glass pan or silicone molds

Directions

  1. Grease molds or pan with coconut oil.
  2. Put ¼ cup elderberry syrup and gelatin in a 2 cup measuring cup and whisk together.
  3. Add ½ cup hot, but not boiling, water, and whisk until smooth.
  4. Add the remaining elderberry syrup and stir until completely smooth.
  5. Pour gelatin mixture into your molds.
  6. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or until they are completely set.
  7. Remove them from the molds and store in an airtight container.

Dosage

Eat one gummy daily to boost your immune system. If you have a cold or the flu, eat one every 4-5 hours throughout the day.

If you have chronic health problems or are taking any medications, please consult with your doctor before using herbal medicines.

Have you ever used elderberry? What advice would you add? Share it in the section below: 

*This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or cure any particular health condition. Please consult with a qualified health professional first about this method.

References:

Bond, Carol. History of Elder. Retrieved from http://www.herballegacy.com/Bond_History.html. Retrieved on Nov. 21, 2016.

De la Forêt, Rosalee. “Elderberry Gummy Bear Recipe.” Retrieved from http://learningherbs.com/remedies-recipes/gummy-bear-recipe/. Retrieved on Nov. 21, 2016.

“Does Black Elderberry Syrup Really Fight Cold and Flu Viruses?” Retrieved from http://www.homemadehints.com/black-elderberry-syrup-extract-benefits/. Retrieved on Nov. 21, 2016.

“Flu-Busting Gummy Bears.” Retrieved from http://wellnessmama.com/4599/flu-busting-gummy-bears/. Retrieved on Nov. 21, 2016.

“How to Make Elderberry Syrup.” Retrieved from http://mountainroseblog.com/elderberry-syrup-recipe/. Retrieved on Nov. 21, 2016.

Harness The Power Of Nature’s Most Remarkable Healer: Vinegar

The All-Natural ‘Flu Shot’ The Pioneers Used

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The All-Natural ‘Flu Shot’ The Pioneers Used

Image source: Pixabay.com

 

Chances are that you have used camphor numerous times in your life — but didn’t even know it. It is used in over-the-counter medicines and even some food products, but long before that it was used by our ancestors, who took advantage of the dried leaves, bark and wood to heal everything from coughs to minor cuts.

Let’s take a look at camphor and how it was used — and whether you can grow a beautiful camphor tree of your own.

The Many Uses For Camphor

Today, camphor is obtained by distilling the leaves of the camphor tree. However, the pioneers did not have the equipment for this endeavor, and so they relied on wood which was brought to Europe via Asia, where the trees originate. The white, waxy-looking substance is found in the wood of these trees, much like resin on pine trees.

Camphor wood or oil from the wood was prized as a medicine and rightly so, which explains why the pioneers often had either the oil or some wood packed in their “medicine bag.”

This strong-smelling compound is a natural antibacterial, antiseptic and disinfectant, although the pioneers were not aware of this, per se. However, they did know that it kept away many illnesses. The pioneer “flu shot” consisted of a cake of camphor tied in a burlap or flannel bag and hung around the necks of children or the elderly.

Fast, All-Natural Pain Relief With No Nasty Side Effects!

The first chest rub was described by a doctor named Henry Hughes, who lived in Utah during the early 1800s. He said that a mixture of olive oil and camphor could be rubbed on the back and chest to relieve coughs and loosen phlegm.

Camphor is also a mild anesthetic and offers a “cooling” sensation, similar to menthol. This makes it a first choice for minor burns, cuts or other skin problems.

The All-Natural ‘Flu Shot’ The Pioneers Used

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Let’s not forget that ugly little critters like lice or scabies were fairly common in those times. Our ancestors knew that camphor oil, mixed in bath water, helped to kill these annoyances. Even a small branch with leaves, tied to your hat or shirt, will deter most insects, including mosquitoes.

(Note: Although pioneers consumed camphor for heartburn and other internal problems, it is toxic and can be fatal. As little as two grams can be lethal. Never consume camphor internally.)

Growing Your Own Camphor Tree

Camphor trees (Cinnamomum camphora) are magnificent — if you have the space for them. They can live to be 1,000 years old and the wood cannot be harvested for camphor until they are at least 50 years of age. The leaves, however, can be used right away, with most companies harvesting leaves three times a year.

These can be huge trees, growing up to 150 feet high, 300 feet in width, with trucks that can span 15 feet. Most never get this tall, but the possibility is there, so be certain you have the space for such an immense tree.

They prefer acidic soil and are native to China, Japan and Korea, but thrive in the Pacific Coast and Gulf Coast areas of the U.S. Once established, these trees are very drought-resistant, but once planted, you will not be able to “transplant” it elsewhere. The root system is very sensitive and grows far out from the trunk.

The long root system makes these terrific trees for windbreaks and they almost never break, even in heavy storms. They are very attractive to bees and butterflies, but not most insects, such as biting flies or mosquitoes.

Hardy in USDA planting zones 8a to 11, once established they need almost no care and require little water.

Camphor trees were planted in Florida as early as 1875. Some people consider these trees an invasive species, as birds that eat the seeds can spread these trees far and wide. Many of the original trees planted 141 years ago are still alive and well.

One of the main ingredients in the infamous Tiger Balm is camphor oil. The oil is also used in gum and candy, and the smoke from heated camphor is what gives Szechuan smoked duck its unique flavor.

Camphor trees can be remarkably vigorous, and several specimens actually survived the atomic bombing of Nagasaki in 1945. The sire was designated a natural monument in 1969.

Do you use camphor? Have you ever owned a camphor tree? Share your tips on camphor use in the section below:

hydrogen peroxide report

Home Remedy For A Heart Attack?

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Home Remedy For A Heart Attack?

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As a Girl Scout, I took first-aid classes and practiced CPR on the inflatable dummies. We were taught that CPR had the ability to bring someone back to life after a heart attack. It does, and I never thought I’d need anything else to save a life.

One May afternoon while working with my father in his accounting office, he clutched his chest and turned blue in the face. He started falling, and I grabbed him and eased him down to the floor.

His eyes were quickly glazed over, and he lay there without moving. And as much as I tried to remember the exact procedure for CPR, I couldn’t recall anything beyond compressions on the chest and air blown into his mouth when the nose was pinched and the head was in a good position to do so.

The color came back into his face but quickly faded. I reached for the phone and called 911. They sent out an ambulance and carted him off to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

I was grateful he hadn’t had anything more than momentary pain. And as I watched the response of my mother, brothers and sisters to my dad’s heart attack, I realized that the pain of someone having a heart attack wasn’t only restricted to the actual patient. The whole family suffered.

Fast, All-Natural Pain Relief With No Nasty Side Effects!

It didn’t take me a long time to decide to find a home remedy for a heart attack. People had to be saved from this grief, sadness and heart-brokenness.

Years later, I became a student at The School of Natural Healing in Springville, Utah, and found the answer.

Dr. John Christopher was the founder of this school, and although he himself had passed on, his family continued his legacy and kept teaching people from all walks of life what to do to improve their health. They learned how to eat right and how to nurse themselves back to health via herbs and diet.

“If an organ isn’t functioning correctly, you have to either detoxify it, nourish it or both,” he was known to say. And the heart was no different than any other organ. It needed its own nourishment and it needed to be detoxified. There were very specific herbs God had put on the earth that would heal the heart.

As students, we needed to find out what those herbs were, learn how to use them, and what type of dosage to use for different situations.

The Herb That Gave the Heart Another Chance

Home Remedy For A Heart Attack?

Image source: Pixabay.com

One of the heart–nourishing herbs is cayenne pepper. This is the only herb that has its potency measured around the world in how strong it is. Sure, other herbs may be standardized for an active ingredient, but cayenne is measured in terms of its British thermal units or heat units. The hotter (spicier) the variety of cayenne is, the higher its heat unit rating. You’ll find cayenne peppers rated from about 25,000 to 35,000 heat units all the way up to over 100,000 heat units.

“If the heart stops beating, use your cayenne tincture,” Dr. Christopher often said. Cayenne comes in powder and liquid form and when you use the liquid form, it may easily be dropped underneath the tongue, where it is immediately absorbed into the bloodstream.

“How long does it take to work?” people would ask.

“In about a heart beat,” he replied.

Thus, the procedure was to use a cayenne tincture 35,000-40,000 heat units strong, and release a few drops underneath the tongue of the heart attack victim. Then look for signs of life again.

Dr. Christopher would then continue teaching class, telling stories of patients (and his students’ stories) who had suffered a heart attack and were brought back immediately to life with this method.

The cayenne will stimulate circulation and provide the electrical energy needed to jumpstart the heart. Cayenne also works for arrhythmias and angina pain.

What are the limitations of this method? Well, if there’s a massive coronary artery blowout, the patient is dead instantly – as in the case of my dad – and cayenne most likely won’t work. But if the heart attack is not as serious, then cayenne pepper just might work.

The next question always asked is this: Why aren’t they using this method in ambulances? I can’t speak for the policies and procedures that other health professionals have to follow for heart attack patients. However, every system of healing has its own way of doing things. Cayenne pepper simply doesn’t fit into other system of healings.

*This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or cure any particular health condition. Please consult with a qualified health professional first about this method.

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DIY: A Heal-Anything, Indoor Herbal Tea Garden

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DIY: A Heal-Anything, Indoor Herbal Tea Garden

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What could be better than curling up with a nice hot cup of herbal tea when the weather turns brisk? I’ll tell you what – curling up with a nice hot cup of tea that you cultivated and prepared yourself! While growing the actual tea plant (Camellia sinensis) is typically best left to those who live in zone 8 or warmer, there are many herbal plants that make wonderful non-caffeinated beverages that are easy to grow – even indoors.

Herbal teas – technically called tisanes – are not only delicious and soothing, but many of them also have a number of health benefits. (More on that in a moment.)

Growing and blending your own herbal teas is also a wonderful way to express your creativity using various parts (leaves, flowers and buds) of different herbs. Herbs may be used fresh or dried – and homemade herbal teas also can make a great gift.

Need Non-GMO Herb Seeds? The Best Deals Are Right Here …

While the herbs discussed below may be grown either outdoors or indoors, growing your own indoor herbal tea garden has the advantage of allowing you access to fresh herbs during the coldest months of the year – which is often the time we crave a nice hot relaxing beverage the most!

Starting Your Indoor Herbal Tea Garden

Begin by deciding which types of herbs you wish to grow. Below are just a few of the different herbs that you may want to consider growing:

1. Lavender – easy to grow on a sunny windowsill, lavender is well-known for its beautiful fragrance. It has a spicy floral flavor and has a calming effect.

2. Chamomile – these tiny, white flowers are wonderful as a sleep aid and help calm an upset stomach. They will give a slight apple scent to your homemade teas.

3. Mint – mint tea is excellent for soothing an upset stomach or even helping with menstrual cramps. It will give your tea a refreshing and peppery flavor.

4. Bergamot – the herb that gives Earl Grey tea its distinctive flavor, this plant produces purple flowers with a citrus taste. It is also easy to grow indoors since it can do well in either full side or partial shade.

DIY: A Heal-Anything, Indoor Herbal Tea Garden

Image source: Pixabay.com

5. Rosemary – while you may think of this herb as one to flavor savory dishes with, it can also be used in herbal teas. Rosemary has been used as a medicinal plant for thousands of years as has been proven to be effective in aiding indigestion and recently has shown promise in boosting brain function.

6. Lemon verbena – this plant can do well indoors, assuming it has very good drainage. Lemon verbena is said to be excellent in helping with weight management, reducing inflammation and clearing up congestion.

7. Anise – If you enjoy the taste of black licorice, you will definitely want to include anise (not star anise) in your indoor tea garden. The licorice flavor comes from seeds produced in the plant’s white flowers. Anise tea may be used as a home remedy for digestive problems, such as nausea and indigestion.

8. Marjoram – this plant has a slightly fruity and sour flavor that can add an interesting dynamic to your tea. It is good for various digestive complaints, such as intestinal gas and poor appetite.

9. Stevia – if you like a bit of sweetness to your tea but are trying to cut down on your sugar intake, you will want to include stevia in your herb garden. Stevia adds a punch of sweetness to your brew without the extra calories and is considered safe for diabetics.

For each herb that you plant, you also will want to select the appropriate size of container. If you are starting your plants from seed, you must choose a well-balanced soil and keep containers in a warm place until they germinate. As a general rule, you will want to ensure that each plant receives at least six hours of sunlight a day, so be sure to keep them near a windowsill or other suitable spot. Grow lights also are an option.

Harvesting Your Herbs

Herbs may be harvested at any time, but many people find that the flavor is at its fullest when the plant is in bud. To make your herbal teas, you may use the plant’s leaves, buds or petals. A tisane may be made from a single type of herb, or you may flex your creative muscles and experiment with blends.

Preparing Your Herbal Tea

Herbal teas may be made with fresh or dry herbs. If using fresh herbs, harvest the parts of the plant that you wish to use and then crush them between your fingers. Doing so will help to release both flavor and scent. Using a strainer or tea ball, place 2 teaspoons of fresh herbs into 8 ounces of hot water and let steep for 3-5 minutes.

If you wish to use dried herbs, harvest your herbs and either hang them to dry or dry them in a dehydrator before storing in an airtight container. When you are ready to make your tea, steep 1 teaspoon in 8 ounces of hot water for 3-5 minutes.

If you love growing your own food, and you also enjoy herbal teas and experimenting with different flavors, then why not combine those interests and start your very own indoor herbal tea garden this winter?

What advice would you add on growing herbs indoors? Share your tips in the section below:  

Are You Making These Common, Avoidable Gardening Mistakes? Read More Here.

It Cures Insomnia & Anxiety … And Even Can Be Grown Indoors

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It Cures Insomnia & Anxiety … And Can Be Grown Indoors

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Passion flower was discovered in 1569 in Peru by Spanish explorers, who prepared teas from the leaves of the plant and soon realized its relaxing and sedative properties. The word spread of this incredible plant, and it soon became popular throughout the world.

Today, passion flower is grown and harvested in most countries for its medicinal remedies. It is useful for treating sleeping problems, nervousness and anxiety, as well as for relieving symptoms of menopause.

How To Grow Passion Flower Indoors

There are several varieties of passion flower, but we recommend Passiflora incarnata, which is a hearty climber with large, purple flowers.

  1. Obtain fresh passion flower seeds and scuff them lightly on one side with sandpaper. Doing this will aid in their germination.
  2. Place the seeds in a container and cover with warm water.
  3. Place the container on a heat source, such as a heating pad. You want to ensure that the water maintains a lukewarm temperature.
  4. Let the seeds soak for about two days.
  5. Several of the seeds will begin to float. These seeds are no good, and you can remove and discard them.
  6. Remove the good seeds and place them on a surface where they can air dry.
  7. Passion flower grows well in a poor, but moist soil, so many cultivators use loam, which is a mixture of sand, silt and clay. Learn how to create loamy soil here. If you can’t use loamy soil, any soil will do; just make sure that it is consistently moist and irrigated.
  8. Start with several six-inch pots. Fill the pots with your soil, leaving one inch of space at the top.
  9. Place three seeds in the center of the pot, leaving one-fourth of an inch of space, separating each seed from the others.
  10. Press the seeds one-half an inch into the soil, but don’t cover them.
  11. Cover the pots with plastic wrap or a see-through bag and place them back onto the heating pad – at a low temperature.
  12. The seeds could take anywhere from two weeks to two months to sprout. Have patience!
  13. Keep the soil moist throughout this process.
  14. After the seeds sprout, you can remove the pots from the heating pad. Now, place them in a window with full sunlight.
  15. In the summer, irrigate the soil as needed, keeping it moist.
  16. In the winter, allow the top of the soil to dry between waterings slightly.
  17. Transplant the plants to larger pots as needed.

How to Care for Indoor Passion Flower

Passion flower is a rambunctious climber, and its tendrils will wrap around anything that they touch. Therefore, you want to provide an indoor tressel or climbing source.

The Best Source For Long-Lasting Heirloom Seeds Is Right Here …

Keep the plant trimmed, and guide the vine to grow around your climbing structure to keep it from getting out of control. Remove any dried leaves or flowers.

You will know fruit is ripe when it is soft and ready to fall off of the vine.

It Cures Insomnia & Anxiety … And Can Be Grown Indoors

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Keep the vine in full sunlight, if possible. However, if the sunlight is too hot so that it is drying out the plant, passion flower will tolerate partial sunlight.

How to Harvest Passion Flower

  • Take the leaves (and stems if you want to use them) from the plant and dry them in a single layer.
  • You can dry them on a drying screen or in a dehydrator.
  • Put the dried leaves and stems into an airtight container.
  • Store them in a dry, dark and cool location.

How to Use Passion Flower Medicinally

Passion Flower Tea Recipe

As a relaxing tea, passion flower can be brewed alone, or it blends well with chamomile, St. John’s wort, lemon balm and valerian. The color of the tea will be a light, pale green. It is good as a hot or iced tea.

  • One tbsp. dried leaves and stems. (Some people use the dried flower, as well.)
  • One cup of boiling water.
  • Pour the boiling water onto the passion flower stems and leaves, as well as any other herbs you plan on using, and let it steep for about 10 minutes.
  • If you desire a sweet taste, add natural honey.

Passion Flower Salad

The flowers are edible and can be a great, tasty addition to any salad. The flowers also have a calming effect, and eating a daily salad with passion flowers can help to reduce anxiety.

Passion Flower Tincture or Extract:

If you don’t like to drink tea, passion flower can be made into a tincture to add to water or juice.

Seamazing: The Low-Cost Way To Re-mineralize Your Soil

You can sip on it throughout the day to help relieve anxiety or take 30-44 drops at bedtime to help aid with sleep.

  • Fill up a clear jar with chopped-up, dried stems and leaves.
  • Pour in 100 proof vodka, making sure the herb is completely saturated.
  • Shake the jar daily.
  • Let it sit for two weeks, and then strain out the leaves and stems.
  • Keep the batch in a dark colored jar, in a dark place.
  • Keep some in a dropper bottle so that you can easily measure out the drops.
  • Add 30-44 drops into a water bottle or to the juice of your choice, up to three times a day. Sip on this to reduce daily anxiety.
  • Directly ingest 30-44 drops at bedtime for a stronger effect.

Passion Fruit Jam

If your indoor vine grows fruit, you can make homemade passion fruit jam!

It Cures Insomnia & Anxiety … And Can Be Grown Indoors

Image source: Wikimedia

Ingredients

  • Six passion fruits
  • Two cups of water and one-fourth cup of water
  • Two and one-third cups of sugar
  • Half a lime

Directions

  1. First, cut each passion fruit in half.
  2. Cut out the pulp and seeds. (You will need about one and one-third cup of pulp.)
  3. Cover the pulp and put it in the refrigerator.
  4. Take half of the skins, and add to a bowl with the two cups of water.
  5. Let the skins soak for 24 hours in the refrigerator.
  6. The next day, boil the skin/water mix that is still in the bowl.
  7. Boil for 12 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.
  8. Peel the outer skin off of the shells.
  9. Mash the softened, skinless shells into a pulp and add the one-fourth cup of water and blend.
  10. Add the shell pulp, the saved pulp from the day before and the sugar into a stainless steel pot. Squeeze in the juice from half of a fresh lime.
  11. Boil the mix for about 15 minutes.
  12. Let it cool off a little and transfer the mix to clear jars. Let it cool completely before sealing.
  13. Enjoy! This is a nice and thick jam, having the texture close to a marmalade.

Passion flower is a delightful herb plant to grow indoors. And unlike other herbal plants, passion flower really puts on a show with its large, beautiful blooms.

What advice would you add on growing and using passion flower? Share your tips in the section below:

Are You Making These Common, Avoidable Gardening Mistakes? Read More Here.

4 Simple, All-Natural Steps To Rebuilding Your Gums (That Don’t Involve The Dentist)

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4 All-Natural Steps To Rebuilding Your Gums (That Don't Involve The Dentist)

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It’s common for people these days to have issues with their gums. Many people have been told that their gums are “withering away” or thinning, and even have tooth loss as a result. One young woman I spoke with in the past few months was only in her 20s, and yet her dentist told her she would need three implants and would eventually lose all of her teeth.

Others have periodontal disease and can’t seem to make any progress. They do what the dentist and hygienist says, and yet their mouth never improves.

The teeth weren’t constructed in such a way that missing a day or more of brushing or flossing would be the entire cause of these gum diseases. Instead, you have to look at what is happening in the entire body. The gums are made from tissues synthesized in the body from all the appropriate building materials – protein, silica, vitamin C, copper, zinc and other nutrients.

In the past 12 years, I’ve had many patients in my nutritional practice that have had gum issues. Once the overall nutrition is upgraded, the gum problems disappear. This gives evidence to the idea that when you provide everything the body needs to heal, the gums heal. And the beauty of this strategy is that not only will the gums heal, but so will other areas of the body. Your body loves to heal many things simultaneously.

Diatomaceous Earth: The Most Versatile ‘Stuff’ You Can Own!

Below is a step-by-step strategy for healing your gums that I use with many patients. Obviously it is not specific to every case, so results are variable depending on what’s happening in your mouth. However, most people will be able to see rapid improvement quickly.

1. Cut the sugar

Stop eating sugary foods and beverages laced with corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup. Sugar directly damages your teeth, causing cavities. It alters your body pH so that minerals are pulled out from tissues like the gums just to keep the pH constant in the blood. It’s your choice: Either you want healthy teeth and gums or you want sugar.

2. Eat enough protein

If you’re on a low-protein diet for any reason other than a medical reason, consider what you are doing to your body. Protein is a requirement for life. If you provide enough of it, your body can start to repair itself. If you don’t provide enough, little by little your body’s protein stores will be depleted. Since the gums aren’t high priority, you can expect their structure to fall sooner before other tissues in your body.

How much is enough protein? Take your body weight in pounds and divide by two. This gives you the number of grams needed per day. Then, divide the protein amount by three to know how many grams you will need at each meal. Here’s an example: Mary weighs 140 pounds. 140/2 = 70 grams of protein needed for the day. 70/3 = 23.33 grams of protein per meal.

3. Take your vitamin C supplements.

A minimum of 1,000 milligrams per day is helpful. In many cases, 2,000 milligrams daily is better. Vitamin C is especially important to prevent bleeding at the gum line.

4. Use diatomaceous earth (DE) as a dietary supplement.

This is a source of dietary silica, which rebuilds gums fast. Get the USDA food & chemical grade version of this, which does not contain any insecticides or other chemicals. The food and chemical grade DE is not the same as the pool grade DE, which is toxic. Always remember food and chemical grade.

Take one heaping tablespoon twice daily and also do a mouth rinse with one teaspoon of DE and water twice daily. You’ll notice a difference quickly. In each tooth are approximately three miles of tubules that rebuild your teeth. The DE goes directly into the tubules and starts rebuilding the teeth from the inside out while it’s also working directly on your gums.

Healing your gums is as simple as rebuilding them. All you have to do is get started.

What advice would you add? Share it in the section below:

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Love Cheese But Have High Cholesterol? We’ve Got GREAT News

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Love Cheese & Have High Cholesterol? We've Got GREAT News

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If you are trying to eat a healthier diet, you probably think you need to cut back on high-fat cheese. Right?

Well, maybe you can have your cheese and it eat. too.

According to a new study by the University of Copenhagen, high-fat cheese consumption may actually be good for you.

After studying the results of a 12-week study of 139 adults, researchers found that high-fat cheese may boost our levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the “good” cholesterol that helps protects against metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. HDL is critical to a solid cholesterol ratio.

The researchers divided study participants into three groups. One group consumed a total of 80 grams of regular high-fat cheese every day for 12 weeks, and another group consumed a total of 80 grams of lower-fat cheese each day. Instead of eating cheese, the third group of study participants ate 90 grams of bread and jam.

Beet Powder: The Ancient Secret To Renewed Energy And Stamina

Researchers, who published their results in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, discovered that the group that ate the high-fat cheese was the only one to see an increase in “good” HDL levels. None of the groups experienced a change in “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.

Love Cheese But Have High Cholesterol? We've Got GREAT News

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Other factors such as insulin, triglycerides, glucose, blood pressure and waist measurements did not vary significantly between the three study groups.

In addition to the positive cholesterol link, eating high-fat cheese offers other positive benefits. Cheese provides high levels of calcium, protein and vitamin D.

Cheese also offers vitamin A, B12, riboflavin, zinc and phosphorus, and it contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a fat that researchers think may have anti-cancer and heart-protective properties.

Eating cheese also may be good for your teeth. A 2008 study from Turkey that was published in the journal Caries found that people who ate a one-third ounce serving of cheese after rinsing their mouths with a sugar solution had a decrease in mouth acidity, which decreases the risk of cavities. Other studies have found similar results.

Can eating cheese offer protection against certain cancers? A Swedish study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found a connection between the daily consumption of at least two ounces of cheese and a reduced risk of colorectal cancer in women.

On average, cheese has about 100 calories per ounce and itoften contains high sodium levels, so moderation is the key to eating high-fat cheese and maintaining a healthy weight. In fact, the popular Mediterranean diet allows for small to moderate amounts of cheese. Cheese is also part of the heart-heathy DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet.

So, think in terms of a slice of cheese on a sandwich, not a pile of cheese on a taco, and yes – if researchers are right — you can have your cheese and eat it, too.

What is your reaction? Share it in the section below:

Sources:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/food-and-drink/news/high-fat-cheese-the-secret-to-a-healthy-life/

http://www.berkeleywellness.com/healthy-eating/nutrition/slideshow/cheese-bad-your-health

https://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-matters-magazine/nutrition/cheese

Harness The Power Of Nature’s Most Remarkable Healer: Vinegar

11 ‘Powerhouse’ Essential Oils That Combat The Cold & Flu

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11 ‘Powerhouse’ Essential Oils That Combat The Cold & Flu

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Farmers are hard at work bringing in this year’s harvest, and in many parts of the country, deciduous leaves are boasting a myriad of beautiful colors. We love much of what autumn offers, but these days also bring with them some of our least favorite things: viruses, mainly colds and flus.

Cold and flu season is quickly approaching. The cool, dry air of fall keeps the mucous membranes dry, leaving them vulnerable to invading viruses. In addition, most of us spend a lot more time indoors during the fall and winter months, providing additional opportunity for viruses to spread.

There are many ways to prevent cold and flu viruses from affecting you. First, frequent hand washing is a must. Making a conscience effort to keep your hands away from your face is also a great way to lessen the chance of you contracting one of the many viruses out there. Second, make it a habit to get a good night’s rest. Sleep deprivation has a negative impact on how effective your immune system is in resisting harmful bacteria and viruses.

Another line of defense can be made with judicious use of essential oils. Using essential oils as cleaning agents, topically, or through a diffuser can not only kill viruses, but also can strengthen your immune system to more effectively fight off seasonal illnesses. An alternative way to reap the benefits of using essential oils while on the go is to use an oil diffusing pendant. These pendants may be made from porous stone, or unglazed clay, allowing them to absorb oils that are then slowly released throughout the day. Other pendants are essentially lockets that include a mesh cover and felt swatch to absorb the oils. Either method will allow you to use essential oils effectively while working on the homestead or traveling around town.

Learn How To Make Powerful Herbal Medicines, Right in Your Kitchen!

Not sure what to buy or use this fall and winter? Below are 11 suggested essential oils to help you stay healthy this season.

Tea tree oil is anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-microbial, making it an important part of many preventative measures. The frequent cleaning of door handles and light switches alone with a cleaning solution that includes tea tree oil will greatly reduce the possibility of spreading germs to others. Tea tree oil used in a diffuser will combat pollutants in the air, while topical applications will reduce cold symptoms by relieving congestion.

A blend of lemon eucalyptus oil and balsam fir oil will fight viruses, bacteria and fungus and is also effective when used topically with a carrier oil or when diffused. Additionally, it relieves fatigue, muscle and joint pain commonly associated with flu-like symptoms when used as part of a warm soak.

Cinnamon, clove, lavender and sweet orange oils combine to create a seasonal smell that is an anti-virus powerhouse. Use this blend in a diffuser to clean the air in your home.

Lemon oil alone is a wonderful agent for boosting one’s immunity by naturally increasing the production of white blood cells. Use lemon as a single oil or combine it with clove bud oil and pine oil for a potent blend that fights infections.

Peppermint oil, coupled with eucalyptus oil, provides an extra layer of defense against common viruses. These oils continue to work well for those who are suffering with cold and flu symptoms by relieving nausea, congestion and fever-induced pain.

‘Miracle Oil Maker’ Lets You Make Fresh Nut Oils Within Minutes!

A blend found in writings from hundreds of years ago, thieves is a popular blend that provides antiviral, antibacterial and antiseptic qualities when used in several different ways. This blend of eucalyptus, clove, lemon, cinnamon bark and rosemary can be used as a disinfectant around the house and to clear the air of pollutants. It also can be used topically to support immune function and fight infections.

Please be aware that as with any substance, you may build up a tolerance if used topically for prolonged periods of time. It is best to switch up the types of oils you use, or alternate a blend with a single oil, every seven to 10 days for maximum effectiveness. For topical applications, a few drops applied to the soles of the feet before bedtime, three to four times a week, is a good baseline.

*This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or cure any particular health condition. Please consult with a qualified health professional first.

What oils would you have place on the list? What advice would you add? Share your tips in the section below:  

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10 Low-Cost, Easy Ways To Cleanse Your Liver

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10 Low-Cost, Easy Ways To Cleanse Your Liver

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Cleansing your liver is truly one of the keys to staying youthful into your old age. When your body is detoxified, your cells can maintain all the functions in the body they must perform.

When you think about it, it’s pretty amazing how your cells can literally keep working for 90, 100 or even 110 years. All you have to do is give them what they need (nutrients) and keep the toxins out of the cells.

You’ve probably already heard about the concept of cleansing your liver. Here are some basic facts, just for a few quick reminders:

  • If you’re constipated, it makes no sense to start cleansing your liver. Your liver is an internal organ with no route to the outside. Thus, if your colon is clogged, a backup of the toxins will occur. Trying to cleanse the liver at this time will only create detox symptoms such as headaches, skin bumps and acne, fatigue, muscle aches and pains, and the feeling that you aren’t well.
  • Drink more water when you are cleansing any organ. Ultimately, you want one ounce of water for every pound of body weight when you are seriously detoxifying your body. However, drinking one ounce of water for every two pounds of body weight is acceptable.
  • You can continue your vitamin and mineral routine while you are cleansing your liver.
  • Cleanse your liver for six weeks, six days a week and one day off. This gives your body the idea that it must detoxify itself without your help on the seventh day.

Now let’s examine 10 different ways you can detoxify your liver.

1. Drink a cup of milk thistle tea twice daily. Use 1 teaspoon of the herb in 1 cup of boiling water.

Beet Powder: The Ancient Secret To Renewed Energy And Stamina

2. Drink a cup of chanca piedra (Phyllanthus niruri) tea twice daily. Make a decoction of this tea with 2 tablespoons of the herb added to 2 quarts of distilled water in a pot. Cover the pot, and simmer on very low heat. Allow the tea to reduce to 1 quart or half the initial volume. Then drink one cup, twice daily.

3. Sit in an infrared sauna for 25 to 35 minutes daily for 30 days. This will force toxins and heavy metals out through your skin, which then allows your liver to detoxify itself better.

4. Change the water you drink to distilled water, including in your cooking. Distilled water is devoid of minerals. Minerals need to be detoxified by the kidneys, and drinking distilled water saves your body a step of detoxification. Meanwhile, it’s pulling toxins to itself, which takes the strain off the liver. Thus, the liver can then do a better job.

5. Use an herbal liver cleanse formula. Follow the instructions on the label, and continue it for six full weeks.

10 Low-Cost, Easy Ways To Cleanse Your Liver

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6. Eat organic fruits and vegetables. You might think that this is too expensive to do, but there is a trick to it if you can’t go 100 percent organic. Visit the Environmental Working Group website at EWG.org and search for the Dirty Dozen. This is a list of 12 of the fruits and vegetables with the most pesticides and chemicals. These 12 must be organic in your diet.

Next, look up the Clean Fifteen list. This is a list of 15 different fruits and vegetables that are pretty clean of pesticides and chemicals. Purchase these in their non-organic form if you can’t afford the organic versions.

The reason why these help your liver cleanse itself is because fruits and vegetables contain hundreds of phytonutrients that do all the liver cleansing work for you. It’s an automatic process.

In fact, in one study, children who were found to have high levels of pesticides in their blood were given organic fruits and vegetables for three days. When re-tested, the pesticides were no longer found in their blood.

7. Begin juicing. Most vegetable and fruit juices will begin an automatic detoxification of the entire body, including the liver. Your goal is 10 ounces, minimum, per day.

8. Eliminate all high fructose beverages from your diet. The high fructose overwhelms the liver and then contributes to the creation of fatty liver. But if you eliminate them all, your liver starts detoxifying and repairing itself.

9. Make vegetable juice. Try carrot-apple-beet juice (4 carrots, 1 apple, ½ beet). Sip slowly over a few hours.

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10 Low-Cost, Easy Ways To Cleanse Your Liver

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10. Eat salads made of the cruciferous vegetables. These veggies – cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts – are specific in how they act in the body and go straight for the liver to aid its detoxification. Three times a week is enough for this method.

You can do several of the “lesser methods” on the list simultaneously and not have to worry about overwhelming your liver. Or you can do the most effective liver cleanse, which is an herbal formula specifically designed to cleanse your liver.

Here are a couple of examples of what you could do daily to continually cleanse your liver:

Method 1: Fresh juice, 10 ounces + distilled water + milk thistle/chanca piedra tea

Method 2: Infrared sauna, carrot-apple-beet juice (8 ounces), organic veggies and fruits, salad of cruciferous veggies three times a week

Do a liver cleanse bout three times a year for best results. You will see a big difference in how you look, act, smell and feel!

*This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or cure any particular health condition. Please consult with a qualified health professional first.

What advice would you add? Share it in the section below:

Harness The Power Of Nature’s Most Remarkable Healer: Vinegar

The Ancient Edible Plant That Combats Dandruff, Heals Wounds, And Provides Energy, Too

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The Ancient Edible Plant That Combats Dandruff, Heals Wounds, And Provides Energy

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The burdock plant has a long history of use in many countries, including in the United States. Burdock (Arctium lappa) has been valued for its ability to ease skin problems, scalp issues, and especially for targeting lung, liver and stomach problems.

This plant is mentioned in written history as far back as the 1600s and is also discussed in the 1869 book Physio-Medical Dispensatory.

It is always a good idea to have a basic understanding of plants and how they can be used to help us. Burdock is a terrific one to learn about, as it can be used not only for medicine, but the roots are sometimes used as food.

The truth, though, is that the entire plant can be eaten.

Burdock roots are actually quite popular in Japan, where they are skinned and then cut into thin rounds and used in soups or stir fry. Young, tender leaves are eaten in the same way that lettuce is, and in salads or sandwiches.

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The root of this plant has a diuretic action, which is believed to help the body remove waste.

The leaves and root can be used to make a tea to help cleanse wounds. Additionally, many people say that drinking the tea helps to give them more energy.

Skin issues, such as rashes, insect bites or wounds, can be washed with a strong tea made from either the leaves or the roots. Some native tribes used the wet leaves as a type of bandage to promote healing.

Our pioneering ancestors often used burdock leaves and/or root as a means of clearing up lung problems, such as colds, congestion, or from the flu. Boiling the plant and breathing in the steam was common. This mixture would then be allowed to cool a bit, strained, and consumed as a tea.

Burdock tea is also thought to help stop dandruff and relieve itchy scalps, and to give a beautiful shine to the hair.

A typical tea was made by boiling approximately 1 tablespoon of dried leaves and/or roots in 2 cups of water for 20 minutes. Sometimes, the entire plant was simply removed from the ground, the dirt washed off, and placed in boiling water.

Grow Burdock at Home!

The Ancient Edible Plant That Combats Dandruff, Heals Wounds, And Provides Energy

Image source: Pixabay.com

This plant is native to just about every state in the U.S., but if you want to be certain that you are getting some organic, premium burdock, why not grow some of your own? Drying the leaves and root is very easy and it lasts for years if stored properly.

Burdock seedlings really like compost, but the truth is that it grows just about everywhere. For the biggest, longest roots possible, be certain that the ground is free from rocks or very hard-packed dirt. Some roots can grow as long as four feet, so choose loose soil. Keep the plants watered when they become too dry. Burdock needs little care once you get started.

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If you want bigger roots, then keep the flowers and burrs picked off and prune some of the larger leaves. Young, tender leaves taste a great deal like spinach!

Roots should be ready for harvest about 100 days after germination. You can peel them and eat them raw or cooked.

An Interesting Note

Burdock was once considered to be sacred to Thor by the early Celtic people. Since it was Thor who ruled over summertime storms, the plant was often collected during midsummer and placed on house gables as protection from lightening.

While burdock won’t protect you from lightening, it is certainly good to know that this source of food and medicine is readily available should you need it.

Have you ever used burdock? What advice would you add? Share it in the section below:  

Harness The Power Of Nature’s Most Remarkable Healer: Vinegar

The 16 Fake, Sneaky Names Food Companies Use For MSG

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The 16 Fake Names Big Food Uses For MSG

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At first, I thought the headaches and dizziness I was getting were related to stress. I had recently graduated from college, moved to a new city and started a new job.

After a while, though, I began to notice a pattern. I typically got the symptoms after eating from a salad buffet or after having certain Chinese foods.

I did some research and discovered I was reacting to monosodium glutamate (MSG). Since that time, I have paid close attention to ingredient labels and restaurant menu descriptions that contain MSG.

However, keeping MSG out of my diet – and now my family’s diet – is much trickier than I initially thought. MSG still is in many of the foods found on our supermarket shelves and on our restaurant menus. The dangerous food additive is used in soups, meats, salad dressings, canned goods, frozen entrees and even crackers.

What is MSG?

Monosodium glutamate first hit the American food market in the 1960s as a seasoning and “meat tenderizing” powder called “Accent.”

Kikunae Ikeda, a Japanese scientist who identified the natural flavor enhancing substance found in seaweed, learned how to mass produce MSG back in 1908. MSG is the “sodium salt of the common amino acid glutamic acid,” according to the definition by the FDA, which acknowledges it can cause “headaches, numbness, flushing, tingling, palpitations, and drowsiness.”

MSG, which itself has no taste, uses umami, one of the five basic tastes, to make food taste savory. Many people find foods with MSG have a more robust flavor and a fresher taste than foods that do not have it.

The use of MSG became widespread in America after the U.S. military began using it to improve the taste of soldier’s rations.

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In 1959, the USDA gave MSG its “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS) label that it still has today. Not more than a decade later, however, cases of what became known as “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome” began to develop. Symptoms of this disorder, which were linked to the consumption of Chinese food, include headaches, dizziness, tingling, numbness, burning in the face and neck and other areas, nausea, chest pain, rapid heartbeat and weakness.

The 16 Fake Names Food Companies Use For MSG

Image source: Wikimedia

Today, the Mayo Clinic reports that research has not confirmed a direct link between MSG and the reactions that are now known as “MSG symptom complex” and that only a small percentage of the population has a problem with MSG.

Although MSG still has the GRAS rating, it does require manufacturers to list MSG as an ingredient on their products.

Manufacturers have gotten around this requirement, however, by calling MSG something else. Here are some of the names they use to disguise MSG:

  1. glutamic acid
  2. monopotassium glutamate or simply “glutamate”
  3. yeast extract or yeast nutrient
  4. hydrolyzed proteins (hydrolyzed vegetable protein, animal protein or plant protein)
  5. soy protein isolate and soy protein concentrate
  6. whey protein (whey protein concentrate and whey protein isolate)
  7. autolyzed plant protein
  8. hydrolyzed oat flour
  9. textured protein
  10. caseinate (sodium caseinate and calcium caseinate)
  11. natural flavorings or simply “flavoring”
  12. ultra-pasteurized
  13. enzyme modified
  14. carrageenan
  15. maltodextrin or malt extract
  16. protein fortified

Some manufacturers even hide MSG under the catch-all “bouillon” term.

With so many different names for one harmful ingredient, a good idea is to make a list of these secret names and then take it with you when you go grocery shopping. If you are like me, you soon will recognize the food products that contain MSG and pass them right on by.

What advice would you add on avoiding MSG? Share your tips in the section below:

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Goji Berries: The Cancer-Fighting Chinese Superfood You Can Grow At Home

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Goji berries, native to China, are a booming food fad that can benefit homesteaders looking for an easy-to-grow berry that packs a huge health punch.

Growing goji berries is fairly simple. You will need to purchase a bare root plant or seeds from sources like online nurseries. To speed up your harvest, get a bare root goji beery plant so that you can get its fruits sooner rather than later. Use a mix of soil with a tinge of sand. Choose a pot that will fit your plant; the crown of the plant should be just at the top of the hole when placed in soil. Pat down the soil around the plant, and then water. Apply some mulch around the plant to keep in the moisture. To care for the plant, simply keep it moist by watering and applying more soil, as needed.

Not only are goji berries a simple plant to care for, but they also spread like weeds, once established.

 

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From one plant you can expect a return of many other plants. This will allow you to have more plants to sell, transplant or keep for extra goji berries.

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Pruning is essential after the plant is one-year-old. Trim off all of the lower branches, up to 15 inches from the soil. Also, fertilizer is not needed because the nitrogen will kill the goji berry plant.

Health Benefits of Goji Berries

Goji berries have been used in China for centuries for energy and long life. China, in fact, produces most of the world’s commercially sold goji berries. Other health benefits include:

  • Fighting cancer — They have huge levels of carotenoids, which battle cancer.
  • Eye care – Goji berries can help stop macular degeneration thanks to high levels of antioxidants.
  • Healthy skin – The beta-carotene in the berries boosts skin health.
  • Regulating blood sugar. These berries can control the amount of sugar released into the blood, making them very beneficial for persons with diabetes.

Goji berries are an amazing food that can boost your health and add money to your wallet. What’s not to like?

This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or cure any particular health condition. Please consult with a qualified health professional first.

What advice would you add on rowing goji berries? Share it in the section below:

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The 6 Most Versatile Essential Oils You Can Own (You Already Have No. 2, Right?)

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The 6 Most Versatile Essential Oils You Can Own (You Already Have No. 2, Right?)

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As an essential oil practitioner, there are several oils that I use more often than others. This is because these essential oils are extremely versatile, with each having multiple uses.

Here is a list of what I consider the six most versatile essential oils you can buy. Stored property, they can last several years.

1. Tea tree.

Tea tree essential oil is native to Australia and has a hot, spicy, nutmeg-like, medicinal aroma.

Tea tree was named by Captain Cook’s crew, who brewed the small, dark leaves as a tea. Its astounding healing properties were used by the Aborigines. During World War II, medics recognized its powerful germicidal and antiseptic effects.

Tea tree is a powerful antiseptic and kills bacteria, fungi and viruses. It is great for treating cuts, burns, chicken pox, acne, cold sores, halitosis (bad breath), insect stings, blisters, head lice and rashes. It is useful in fighting fungal and yeast infections, as well.

For household uses, tea tree can be utilized as an anti-microbial laundry freshener, insect repellent, mold remover, natural deodorant, foot deodorizer and general cleaner.

2. Lavender.

Lavender essential oil is native to Europe and Australia and has a fresh, sweet, herbaceous and floral scent.

Lavender has been used for many centuries but became popular with the Romans, who used it to scent baths and for healing.

It is used frequently in soaps, perfumes and potpourri.

Lavender essential oil has both stimulating and relaxing properties, as it calms, invigorates, refreshes and lifts the spirits. It has powerful antiseptic, analgesic and healing effects, as well.

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In aromatherapy, it is great for treating depression, stress, anxiety and insomnia. Try using it in an oil diffuser or in a hot bath.

In massage therapy, it is perfect for reducing aches and pains, including headaches. It has been used to reduce labor pains for centuries. It is ideal for healing burns, cuts, rashes, and also is used to treat dermatitis, acne and scars.

3. Peppermint.

Peppermint grows worldwide and is part of the mint family, and has a fresh, minty and menthol aroma.

The 6 Most Versatile Essential Oils You Can Own (You Already Have No. 2, Right?)

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Mint was prized in Japan and China for centuries and has been found in Egyptian tombs dating back to 1000 BC. Traditionally, people drank it as a tea or chewed the leaves to cure complaints of the stomach or to calm nerves.

Peppermint is invigorating, stimulating, refreshing, cooling and clears the head.

Peppermint essential oil is perfect for treating general aches and pains, headaches and muscular pains, since it is an analgesic and has a warming quality.

It is also good for mental fatigue, symptoms of a cold, morning sickness, indigestion, travel sickness, varicose veins, sunburn, insect bites, nausea, indigestion, PMS and menopausal hot flashes.

Use peppermint oil as a massage blend, in baths, in an oil diffuser or as a compress. A few drops on a tissue can clear your head, whether you’re suffering from a cold or mental fatigue, and also can relieve symptoms of nausea and headaches.

4. Rosemary.

Rosemary is grown in England, the Mediterranean, China and California for cultivation purposes. The oil has a fresh, green, woody and slightly minty smell.

Rosemary is ideal as an antiseptic and astringent. It is a natural analgesic and warming oil. Furthermore, it is invigorating but calming and is a great cleansing oil.

Rosemary essential oil is perfect for treating aches, pains and headaches because of its analgesic properties, and it warms the body. It also aids in increased blood circulation and reducing fluid retention. Furthermore, it is good for anxiety, nervousness, breathing problems, coughs, fatigue and as a mental pick-me-up.

Use rosemary essential oil in massage blends, hot baths and oil diffusers — or simply inhale from a tissue. It can also be used as a natural insect repellent and is safe for the garden, as well.

5. Oregano.

Oregano is an herb that is grown worldwide. Oil of oregano has a warm, sweet and spicy aroma.

It has been used since ancient times. Hippocrates wrote extensively about oregano, praising its healing properties. The ancient Greeks used oregano oil for the treatment of wounds, headaches, the common cold, insect bites and snake bites.

Oregano oil is an antimicrobial which inhibits the growth of bacteria and fungi. It also has anti-viral, antiseptic, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Oregano essential oil has many uses. They include relief in muscle soreness, prevention of sickness, fighting infection and treating congestion or colds. It also battles psoriasis, eczema, nail fungus, ringworm, acne, athlete’s foot, dandruff, arthritis, skin tags and warts.

The oil can be blended to use as a hand sanitizer, natural insect repellent, mouthwash, laundry detergent or as a natural household cleaner.

6. Helichrysum.

Helichrysum is native to the Mediterranean region, where it has been used medically for thousands of years. The oil has a strong, straw-like scent with a honey undertone.

Helichrysum has a lot of full-body benefits due to its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant properties. It is also known as a natural antibiotic and analgesic.

It relieves aches, pains, headaches, symptoms of arthritis — and is anti-inflammatory. It also is a skin antibiotic and is anti-fungal. Furthermore, the oil aids in sunburn relief, acne treatment, hemorrhoid relief, liver stimulation and works to detoxify. It is a natural immune system booster, too.

Helichrysum essential oil is expensive, so it is OK to buy it already blended with a carrier oil. Once blended, the best way to use this essential oil is to massage it right onto the affected area.

As always, make sure your oils are 100 percent pure and diluted properly!

These are my most-used oils. However, I also use ─ and you might want to check out ─ lemon, geranium, clove, clary sage, thyme, frankincense, basil, bergamot, eucalyptus and wintergreen essential oils. All of these oils have tons of healthy and practical uses, as well!

What are your favorite versatile essential oils? Share your advice in the section below:        

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The ‘Miracle Berry’ That Kept People Healthy Prior To Vaccines

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The ‘Miracle Berry’ That Kept People Healthy Prior To Vaccines

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The common cold and the flu have been around for a long time. Today, people use preventative measures as well as over-the-counter remedies to stay healthy, but what did our ancestors do before pharmacies and modern medicines were commonplace?

One of the most commonly used flu and cold remedies was elderberries. In fact, it’s still used in medicines today. You can buy elderberry-based cough syrups, which have been proven to reduce the severity of the common cold or flu, in your local pharmacy.

How Can Elderberries Help?

Elderberries (Sambucus nigra), which are native to a few parts of Europe and the US, come from a flower bush that produces small, black/purple fruits, similar to mulberries. They taste something like a strong blackberry.

Please note that the leaves of elderberry bushes can be poisonous, so don’t eat them or use them for tea. Elderberries need to be cooked prior to use or they can cause intense vomiting and diarrhea.

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Numerous studies back up claims that elderberries contain anti-viral compounds, which prevent you from becoming infected in the first place – and shorten the duration and severity of the illness when you do get sick.

Grow Your Own

Order an elderberry bush from a reputable nursery and be certain you are getting Sambucus nigra.

One of the great things about elderberry bushes is that they are very easy to grow. They tolerate poor soil and very wet soil. However, one thing that elderberry bushes love is water. If you have hot, dry summers, you will need to give these little beauties water on a weekly basis.

The ‘Miracle Berry’ That Kept People Healthy Prior To Vaccines

Image source: Flickr

If you want to plant more than one, put them about 3 feet apart, in rows about 12 feet apart. You should plant at least two bushes (for cross-pollination). For best results, do nothing to the plants for the first two years. Do not prune them and do not remove the berries. Just let them be their own wild selves for a short time, and then you can prune them and use the berries as you wish. Prune in the early spring and remove dead branches.

They will just give a few berries their very first year, but by the second year, you will have plenty. Berries ripen somewhere between the middle of August and the middle of September, which gives you just enough time to mix up some elderberry syrup!

How to Make Your Own Elderberry Syrup

Of course, people use elderberries for things other than cold medicine. There are recipes for elderberry wine, elderberry “marshmallows” and even elderberry pie. Today, however, we are going to look at a quick and easy way to make elderberry syrup.

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There are probably as many recipes for this syrup as there are for meatloaf. This one is very basic and simple, but gets the job done. Tastes pretty good, too!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of dried elderberries or 1.5 cups of fresh berries
  • 5 cups of water
  • 2 tablespoons of ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon of clove powder
  • 1 cup of honey
  • 16-ounce glass container with lid (Mason jars are a good choice)

Instructions:

  • In a medium-sized pot, add all ingredients except for the honey
  • Bring to a boil, and then cover.
  • Reduce heat to simmer
  • Allow to simmer for 45 minutes or until the liquid is reduced to about half
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool until lukewarm
  • Mash the berries a bit, and then strain from pot into a bowl
  • Add honey and mix well
  • Pour into container of your choice

A standard dose is 1 teaspoon for children 12 and under every 3 to 4 hours. Adults can take 1 tablespoon every 3 to 4 hours.

Some people recommend giving children 1 teaspoon each day (and adults 1 tablespoon) during the flu season for preventative measures, but this is a matter of choice, as there are no studies showing this will prevent you from catching a cold or flu. That being said, it certainly wouldn’t hurt anything if you decided to try it!

This syrup is best when stored in the refrigerator and will last for several months. You can also freeze it in ice cube trays, and then seal them in plastic bags for later use. Elderberries also can be frozen if you want to make fresh batches during the winter months.

Have you ever consumed elderberries to boost your health? What advice would you add? Share your tips in the section below:

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10 Common Kitchen Spices That Have REMARKABLE Healing Powers

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10 Common Kitchen Spices That Have REMARKABLE Healing Powers

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Did you know you have a medicine cabinet of sorts right inside your kitchen? Many of the spices and herbs you have in your pantry can do more than just add flavor and color to your cooking. They also can benefit your health.

For centuries, traditional health practitioners have used spices and herbs to help people heal from all sorts of ailments and to help them maintain their wellbeing. Many herbs and spices contain as much or more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants as fruits and vegetables.

Here is our list of 10 healing spices that you likely already have in your pantry:

1. Basil. Fragrant basil, which is a great addition to many dishes, has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. The volatile oils in basil can help relieve stomach and digestive upsets.

Research by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology found that basil contains high amounts of beta-caryophyllene (BCP), which may be useful for treating inflammatory bowel disease and arthritis. A study by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society also found that basil is useful in reducing swelling.

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There are many varieties of basil available, including lemon basil, holy basil and Christmas basil.

2. Cloves. You can use ground or whole cloves to treat inflammation in the body caused by anything from the common cold to a toothache.

Cloves, which have anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, also may be useful in controlling insulin levels for diabetics.

3. Cayenne pepper. Made from tropical chili peppers, cayenne pepper contains alkaloid capsaicin, which blocks the chemicals that send pain messages to the brain. Capsaicin also works to rev up the body’s metabolism and may boost calorie and fat burning in certain individuals.

Cayenne can relieve indigestion, gas and nausea. Since it thins phlegm and eases the body’s passageways from the lungs, cayenne also is useful in treating coughs and colds.

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people with diabetes who ate a meal with liberal amounts of cayenne required less insulin to reduce their body’s blood sugar.

4. Rosemary. As a super anti-oxidant, rosemary contains 19 chemicals with antibacterial properties that help fight infection. Often used by herbalists to treat asthma and allergies, rosemary contains volatile oils that can reduce the nasal constriction caused by histamine.

Researchers from Kansas State University found that rosemary can help your skin and aid your memory retention.

5. Turmeric. A favorite ingredient in curries, turmeric is the spice that gives many Indian dishes their yellow color. The chemical responsible for turmeric’s color, called curcumin, may protect the body from certain forms of cancer, such as prostrate and colon cancer and melanoma.

10 Common Kitchen Spices That Have REMARKABLE Healing Powers

Image source: Pixabay.com

Research has linked turmeric consumption with reduced inflammation in certain chronic conditions, such as psoriasis, and it is useful in treating colds and respiratory problems.

6. Sage. Sage is a natural mood-enhancer and memory booster. Sage also boosts the action of insulin and reduces blood sugar in the body, so it is helpful for diabetics.

Preliminary research suggests that sage may be useful in treating Alzheimer’s disease, since it prevents a key enzyme from destroying acetylcholine, which is a brain chemical involved in memory retention and cognitive learning. In another study, college students who took sage extract performed significantly better on memory tests than students who did not consume sage before the test.

7. Ginger. Ginger has been used by natural medical practitioners in many cultures for centuries to reduce stomach upset and to quell nausea.

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As an anti-inflammatory, ginger also is useful in reducing the pain of arthritis and of osteoarthritis pain of the knee. Ginger root’s healing compounds, including gingerols, also help ease headache pain.

8. Cinnamon. This tasty spice is an antioxidant powerhouse that can help stabilize blood sugar levels in diabetics and pre-diabetics.

Just a half teaspoon serving of cinnamon a day can reduce triglycerides and total cholesterol levels by 12 to 30 percent, according to research studies. Cinnamon also can help prevent blood clots.

9. Thyme. Thyme contains thymol, a germ-killing oil that can protect against gum disease, infections, ulcers and certain forms of cancer.

In addition, thyme extracts can soothe the coughing and throat irritation caused by the common cold or bronchitis.

10. Oregano. Often used in Italian recipes, oregano contains four compounds that soothe coughs and colds and 19 different chemicals that contain antibacterial properties.

Oregano consumption can improve the digestive tract, and research shows that it may help lower blood pressure, as well.

You may be wondering how long your spices will stay fresh in your pantry. As a general rule, herbs lose their potency and flavor over time. Whole spices will stay fresh for about four years. Ground spices will stay fresh for two to three years, and dried herbs will be potent for up to three years.

What is your favorite healing spice? Share your tips in the section below:

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Colloidal Silver: What The Companies That Sell It Don’t Tell You

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Colloidal Silver: What The Companies That Sell It Don’t Tell You

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Prior to the invention of penicillin in the 1940s, colloidal silver was often prescribed to treat various bacterial infections and was taken as an internal antidote. This was a prescription largely up to the doctor’s discretion, but without the potent antibiotics that emerged from penicillin it was a tough fight for anyone with an infection.

There have been hundreds of clinical studies that can be found on Pubmed.com that support the idea of silver plating on surgical instruments, catheters and joint implants to inhibit and prevent the growth of bacteria. Unfortunately, you’ll find little in the clinical archives on the health benefits of colloidal silver. There could be a few reasons for this, but the primary reason is probably that there’s no motivation for anyone to study an outdated treatment dating back to the 1940s.

There is evidence in some clinical studies that the external use of colloidal silver will inhibit or prevent the growth of bacteria. This was actually the most common use in the pre-penicillin days, and the eventual development of the “tricins” such as bacitracin, mycitracin and other topical treatments found in triple antibiotic ointments like Neosporin.

This external colloidal silver treatment often involved permeating a bandage with the colloidal silver liquid and applying it to the wound, burn and in some cases in the eyes of infants to prevent eye infections. If I have a bad cut or wound and no topical antibiotics, I would use colloidal silver without hesitation given its history assuming it was pure. And that’s the catch.

What is Pure Colloidal Silver?

There are currently three types of silver in a water suspension sold as colloidal silver, but only one is pure colloidal silver (and is also the safest). It’s very expensive and hard to find in the swamp of claims and competing products on the Internet, but if you find the real deal, it could offer you some degree of true health benefits.

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Unfortunately, many companies producing a silver suspension variation are calling their product “colloidal silver” when it is not. Here are the facts and the science:

1. True colloidal silver. True colloidal silver is the least prevalent type of colloidal silver and is often hard to find. This is due to the complexity of its manufacturing and the high cost associated. The majority of the silver content is in the form of true silver particles. One of the ways to determine if you have a pure colloidal silver product is to hold the bottle up to the light. It should not be clear. It should be cloudy or dark due to the silver particles in suspension. These particles in suspension are the colloids — and thus the name.

This is the type of colloidal silver that was used pre-penicillin and still used today in certain topical applications.

Significantly, true colloidal silver does not cause argyria. This is a condition that results from the over-consumption of some forms of silver particles that turns the skin blue.

2. Ionic silver solutions. This is where the fiction begins. Ionic silver solutions are not true colloidal silver but are often labeled that way. This type of silver suspension represents the vast majority of products called colloidal silver on the market. It is easy and cheap to manufacture, and you can even make it at home. Unfortunately, it has the least benefits for any condition and was never used in the past nor supported by any clinical studies to date as a viable topical treatment.

It is, in fact, a silver solution of dissolved silver particles or silver ions infused into the water through an electrolysis process. This product is often clear and not a true silver colloid. It is also the type of silver that has been associated with argyria, but you would have to consume gallons of the stuff on a daily basis, unless the concentration was extreme.

3. Silver protein. This form of silver in suspension combines silver particles with a gelatin, protein binder. It’s the easiest to make because it only involves the addition of silver protein powder sold by various chemical companies to water. It is also labeled in many instances as colloidal silver, but it’s not.

The best indicator of a silver protein product is to shake the bottle. If it foams, it’s a silver protein. This product was also never used by practicing physicians, and the product can actually deteriorate due to the gelatins in suspension.

If you want to consider colloidal silver as a medical solution, you should find the true colloidal silver. It has an established history, is still used in some instances as a topical treatment, is benign in the sense that it does not cause conditions like argyria, but it’s expensive and it leaves one big question: What are the health benefits?

The Health Benefits of Colloidal Silver

Colloidal Silver: What The Companies That Sell It Don’t Tell YouThe greatest debate about colloidal silver is its efficacy as an internally ingested medicine. Critics argue that there is no scientific evidence that silver in the bloodstream has any place or benefit and that there is no clinical evidence that colloidal silver cures any internal condition. But that begs some questions based on some of the convincing clinical evidence.

  • Hundreds of studies on Pubmed.com indicate that a silver coating on certain instruments and implants used for highly invasive procedures inhibit the growth of bacteria.
  • Doctors and hospitals sometimes still use colloidal silver as it was used in the past on dressings for wounds, burns and other external injuries.
  • Recent studies indicate that ulcers in the stomach and some intestinal conditions are the result of bacteria, so why wouldn’t true colloidal silver offer benefits as it moves through the intestinal tract?
  • Many bladder infections are the result of bacteria. Why wouldn’t true colloidal silver help to inhibit its growth and spread?

The Problem May Be the Hype

It’s unfortunate, but the colloidal silver debate has been clouded with products that are not true colloidal silver and compromised by health benefits that are both over-promised and at some times, simply false.

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There is no form of colloidal silver, including true colloidal silver, that can cure cancer or AIDS/HIV. Even the most powerful mainstream medicines and antibiotics fail on those fronts.

The fact that many silver products in suspension call themselves “colloidal silver” when they are, in fact, ionic silver or protein silver also clouds the category and the credibility of the product. This has not only drawn the attention of governing bodies from the FDA to state attorneys general, but has diminished credibility of the category as a brand in the mind of many people who might consider this as a serious, medical solution.

True colloidal silver was and still is a viable and proven treatment for various bacterial infections, particularly external wounds, burns and abrasions. It may also inhibit the growth of bacteria inside the body, particularly in the stomach, intestinal tract and the urinary system. As always, consult with your physician before taking it or treating any condition.

These are the facts. Beware of the fiction.

*This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or cure any particular health condition. Please consult with a qualified health professional first.

Have you ever used colloidal silver? If so, how? Share your tips on its use in the section below:

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3 Edible Fall Weeds That Are Super-Easy To Find (And Well Worth The Effort)

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3 Edible Fall Weeds That Are Super-Easy To Find (And Worth The Effort)

Watercress.

 

Autumn is here and vegetable gardening is winding down for the season, but there are no shortages for people who enjoy foraging for edible weeds. In fact, if you look close enough, you may find many nutrient-rich, flavorful weeds growing in your own back yard.

Edible weeds grow in abundance in most areas, and you may be surprised at how tasty they can be, but there are certain caveats to keep in mind before you toss those edible weeds into your salad bowl.

  • Never eat a wild plant unless you’re absolutely sure it’s safe. Many poisonous plants look dangerously similar to familiar, common plants. Although websites and books are a tremendous help, the safest course of action is to check with a native plant expert in your area. Most cities have local native plant societies, and members are usually glad to share their knowledge with newbies.
  • Even if you’ve identified a plant with the help of an expert, it pays to be careful, as experts are human and capable of making mistakes. Begin by sampling a tiny bit of the plant. If you have any type of reaction, think twice about eating more.
  • Never eat plants growing along roadways or other areas where herbicides have been sprayed. Similarly, forage for weeds from clean water sources — never from areas where water runs off from agricultural or industrial areas. Always wash the plant thoroughly.

Now that you know the basics of foraging safely, here are three delicious edible weeds to keep on your radar this autumn.

1. Watercress

Found in every corner of the United States and most areas of Canada nearly any time of year, watercress is a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals. Look for creeping and/or floating plants in shallow ponds and along creeks. To harvest watercress, twist the plant just above the water level. Don’t worry about picking the underwater part of the plant, which tends to be bitter and tough. Leave it in place so it can continue to grow.

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Watercress leaves consist of three to five small, oval-shaped leaflets, sometimes with a hint of red. Don’t confuse the plant with poisonous water hemlock, which is taller and has pointier leaves, often with a greenish-yellow tinge. Again, confirm your find with an expert.

It doesn’t take long to gather a basket of watercress, which you can use any number of ways. Salads are obvious (and delicious), but watercress also makes good pesto and adds flavor and nutrition when sprinkled on pizza, or added to soups and sandwiches.

2. Wood sorrel

3 Edible Fall Weeds That Are Super-Easy To Find (And Worth The Effort)

Wood sorrel. Image source: Pixabay.com

Nearly all parts of this little woodland plant are edible and ready to harvest from spring through autumn, including the heart-shaped leaves, flowers, seedpods, stems and roots. Also known as wild shamrock, wood sorrel is usually easy to find in shady, wooded areas. Although wood sorrel is easy to mistake for clover, this isn’t a dangerous foraging error because clover isn’t toxic.

Wood sorrel is good in salads, tossed into juice or smoothies or sautéed in a little butter or olive oil. If you’re adventurous, the roots taste a little like garden-variety potatoes. Discard the lower stems, which tend to be stringy and tough.

3. Garlic mustard

3 Edible Fall Weeds That Are Super-Easy To Find (And Worth The Effort)

Garlic mustard. Image source: Pixabay.com

Garlic mustard is an invasive weed that is unwelcome in the garden, but in spite of its annoying qualities, all parts of the plant are edible. While most parts are typically harvested in spring, the gnarled taproots can be used year-round. Garlic mustard is a real pain, so you’ll be doing a favor by removing as much as you can use, and then some.

This plant is easy to identify by its deeply scalloped, fan- or kidney-shaped leaves. If you aren’t sure what to do with the roots, keep in mind that they are very similar in flavor to horseradish, with a distinctive, pungent flavor – not a great surprise as both are members of the mustard family.

To make wild horseradish, begin by trimming the greens and tough, woody parts from the roots. Wash and dry the roots, and then grind them in a food processor until they are finely chopped. Blend the ground roots with a little apple cider vinegar and sea salt. For a change of pace, add a beet root, which imparts a bright color and a sweeter, less bitter flavor.

What are your favorite fall weeds to harvest? Share your advice in the section below:

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The 3-Ingredient Ancient Home Remedy Used During The Time Of Christ

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The 3-Ingredient Ancient Home Remedy Used During The Time Of Christ

Pliny the Younger, the author and politicians of the late 2nd century – meaning it likely was used during the time of Christ.

Raw vinegar is full of antioxidants and is a natural probiotic, but it’s also been shown to sooth sore throats, improve digestion, reduce cholesterol, help guard against cancer and maintain a healthy weight. As a natural antibiotic, it can help clear out your throat and digestive system of harmful pathogens, allowing you get better faster. Raw cider vinegar has also been shown to help the body absorb nutrients from the foods you eat.

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The 3-Ingredient Ancient Home Remedy Used During The Time Of Christ

Image source: Pixabay.com

Raw honey is a nutrient powerhouse, full of antioxidants, minerals and enzymes that promote health and wellness. It’s used throughout the world for its antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties, as well as an immune system booster. Research shows that it can be just as effective as commercial cough syrup in treating coughs and sore throats. Taken regularly, raw honey can act as an allergy shot to reduce your sensitivity to pollen and allergens in your environment over time.

The herbs used in oxymel vary based on your goals, but in general, they’re often herbs designed to improve your immune response, or address a respiratory condition such as cough, cold, flu or sore throat. Whichever herbs you choose, do your homework, and make sure they reflect your needs, and the needs of your family; great choices include sage, thyme, rosemary, oregano, mint, Echinacea, ginger, elecampane, fennel, garlic, mullein, hyssop, wild cherry bark and horseradish.  Sweeter nutrient-rich and health-promoting fruits are sometimes included, as well, including elderberries or sea berries.

One famous version, referred to as “fire cider,” is made with ginger, garlic, cayenne and horseradish. Other times, elderberry, ginger and Echinacea are combined for immune support. Another mixture is a cough syrup/respiratory blend that includes wild cherry bark, elecampane root, rose hips, ginger, slippery elm bark and peppermint.

Pre-mixed remedies sell in health food stores and online for as much as $5 per ounce, but can be mixed at home for pennies and a little patience. Recipes vary widely, but a common formula includes 1 part dried herbs steeped in 2 parts honey and 2 parts vinegar. Leave in a cool dark place for at least a month, and then strain. Feel free to use more honey if your tastes require a sweeter version to overcome the herb flavors you’ve chosen, or if you simply have trouble with vinegar.  Likewise, recipes with up to 5 parts vinegar and 1 part honey are also acceptable for those who like a little extra zing in their medicine.

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Some people choose to steep the honey with the herb in one jar, and then the vinegar with the herb in a separate jar, only mixing them at the end. That way, they can have an infused honey and an infused vinegar which also have a variety of uses, and they don’t have to commit all of the infusion to being an oxymel mixture.

While they’re generally pleasant to use on their own as a medicine by simply taking them on a spoon as you would a cough syrup, they can also be incorporated into meals to turn your food into medicine. Oxymel is a great way to enjoy sweetness without negative effects on your blood sugar. Raw vinegar has also been shown to balance blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity in diabetics, which will help to balance out the effects of the honey on your system. With that in mind, these medicines make a great addition to cold sparkling water to make a medicinal spritzer, or when used to top a salad as a sweet and tangy dressing. Recipes using sweet herbs (such as elderberry) make excellent pancake syrups or yogurt/dessert toppings.

However you choose to take your oxymel, know that you’re participating in a medicinal tradition that goes back millennia, and taking your health into your own hands by crafting your own homemade medicine.

Have you ever made or used oxymel? What advice would you add? Share it in the section below:

Harness The Power Of Nature’s Most Remarkable Healer: Vinegar

5 Natural Remedies For Ragweed-Induced Fall Allergies

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5 Natural Remedies For Ragweed-Induced Fall Allergies

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Many people find the cooler days of autumn to be a welcome relief from summer’s heat. But for those who suffer from season allergies – particularly allergies to ragweed – the advent of fall can mean simply exchanging one type of misery for another.

It is estimated that between 40 and 60 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies[i] and nearly 75 percent of those people have allergic reactions to ragweed.[ii] Other pollens that are more rampant during the fall include curly dock, sagebush, pigweed and sheep sorrel.

An entire industry revolves around providing relief for sufferers of seasonal allergies. Take a walk through any drugstore this time of year and you’re bound to find large displays of antihistamines and decongestants. And while these medications can relieve symptoms, not everyone wants to reach for a pill. Besides that, some people have problems with side-effects of these drugs, such as drowsiness, dry eyes and mouth, insomnia and abdominal distress.

The good news is that there are natural remedies for fall allergies:

1. Neti pot

Some people cringe at the thought of pouring warmish salt water in one nostril and letting it drain out the other – and granted, it does take some practice of holding your head at just the right angle so that the water doesn’t go down your throat. But Neti Pots have been around for thousands of years, and the science behind them is sound.

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When you use a neti pot, you are gently flushing allergens out of your nasal passages so that your body’s natural defenses are able to work more effectively. (It’s like cleaning a filter.)

2. Quercetin

Quercetin is a plant compound that can help relieve seasonal allergy symptoms by stabilizing mast cells and inhibiting the release of histamine. This bioflavonoid can be found in a number of foods such as onions, tomatoes, apples, citrus fruits and parsley. However, to effectively be used as a treatment for allergies, it usually must be taken in the form of a supplement.

A word of caution: You should consult your doctor before taking quercetin. Also, people with liver disease should avoid this supplement.

3. Stinging nettle

5 Natural Remedies For Ragweed-Induced Fall Allergies

A common type of ragweed. Image source: Wikipedia.

Stinging nettle can be taken by allergy sufferers either in a tea or in an herbal supplement. It contains antihistamine and anti-inflammatory compounds. In some studies of stinging nettle and its ability to relieve allergy symptoms, as many as 57 percent of the participants found the plant to be as effective as over-the-counter allergy remedies.

It has been suggested that stinging nettle works best when patients begin taking it before hay fever season begins.[iii] If you decide to forage for and harvest your own stinging nettle, be sure to wear gloves to protect your skin from coming into contact with the herb’s stinging hairs.

4. Butterbur

Butterbur is another herb that rivals over-the-counter drugs for effectively treating seasonal allergies. A study published in 2002 in the British Journal of Medicine found that butterbur was just as effective at relieving symptoms as was cetirizine, which is the active ingredient in Zyrtec.[iv]

Butterbur has the added advantage of not causing drowsiness – a side-effect that some patients experience when using Zyrtec.

5. Essential oils

Whether you diffuse them into your room or soak with them in a nice hot bath, there are also plenty of essential oils which may prove beneficial in combating the nasty effects of fall allergies. Peppermint and eucalyptus oils, for example, both have anti-inflammatory properties which can help to unclog stuffy noses. It is no wonder that eucalyptus oil is one of the active ingredients in Vick’s vapor rub.

Lemon oil is another useful essential oil for those who suffer from hay fever. This oil has been shown to support lymphatic symptom drainage, and when diffused into the air can kill allergy-aggravating bacteria.[v]

Lavender oil has both antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties, and is effective in treating headaches and congestion as well as in helping both the mind and body to relax.

For those with seasonal allergies, the arrival of this time of year can be dreadful. Fortunately, nature has provided a wide selection of remedies. Find the one that is right for you.

What is your favorite fall allergy relief? Share your advice in the section below:

[i] http://acaai.org/allergies/types/hay-fever-rhinitis

[ii] http://acaai.org/allergies/types/ragweed-allergy

[iii] http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/stinging-nettle

[iv] http://www.bmj.com/content/324/7330/144

[v] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23381618

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The Easy-To-Grow Herb That Fights Insomnia & Anxiety (And Is Safer Than Xanax, Too)

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The Easy-To-Grow Herb That Fights Insomnia & Anxiety (And Is Safer Than Xanax, Too)

Image source: Pixabay.com

 

Although valerian root is usually grown outdoors as part of an herb or flower garden, it is not too difficult to grow it indoors, as well. If you do have outdoor space, it is even possible to start the plant outside, and then transplant it into pots at the beginning of winter to bring inside. Valerian that is left outdoors and not cultivated for its roots will return in the spring. Valerian also reproduces runners that can be harvested or transplanted into indoor pots.

What Is Valerian Root and What Are its Benefits?

Valerian is a perennial plant that grows up to two feet tall. It has sweet-smelling, light purple, white or pink little flowers that bloom during late spring and early summer. The flowers of the plant are a common ingredient in many perfumes and can be harvested for potpourri.

The root of the plant is used medicinally and is hard-pressed into juice or is dried to create a powder. The root is light, grayish-brown in color and doesn’t have too much odor when fresh. Once dried, it has an overpowering smell that is displeasing to many people.

Although the smell may not be pleasant, valerian root is valued for its many medicinal and culinary uses. It has been used to ease nervousness, anxiety, restlessness and insomnia since the second century A.D. Scientists are not sure exactly how valerian works, but believe that it operates in much of the same way as Xanax or Valium, which increases the amount of a chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. This chemical aids in the regulation of nerve cells and produces a calming effect.

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Valerian is a popular alternative to prescription medications for sleep and anxiety problems because it is considered to be both safe and gentle. The United States Food and Drug Administration lists valerian as “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS), while Germany’s Commission E has approved valerian root as an effective mild sedative.

How to Grow Valerian Indoors

We have the choice of growing and harvesting enough of the root during the spring, summer and fall to last through the winter months, or we can grow it indoors as well, to harvest as needed.

Step 1

The Easy-To-Grow Herb That Fights Insomnia & Anxiety (And Is Safer Than Xanax, Too)

Image source: Pixabay.com

Use pre-moisturized potting mix to fill a seed tray. The easiest way to moisten a dry mix is to pour it into a bucket and add warm water until the soil is moist. You do not want it to be dripping, however. Too much wetness will prevent the seeds from germinating.

Step 2

Find high-quality valerian seeds that are fresh. Valerian seeds can be pernickety, so it is important to get this step right. You want to sprinkle the small seeds onto the top of the pre-moistened potting mix, and then press them lightly into the soil. Do not cover them, because they need sunlight to germinate.

Step 3

Use a spray bottle to lightly mist water over the top of the seeds. Cover the tray with clear plastic wrap and place it in a warm and sunny area. Don’t put the seeds directly on a windowsill, however, as the window might magnify the sun’s rays and burn the seeds. Remember that valerian seeds are finicky!

Step 4

Check the potting soil regularly and use your spray bottle when needed to keep the seeds and soil moist. Moist, but not over-saturated! The environment inside of the plastic should be warm and humid for the seeds to germinate.

Step 5

When the seeds emerge from the soil, loosen the plastic wrap. When the seeds grow to 1-2 inches tall, remove the plastic wrap entirely. You will want to replant the healthiest seedlings into new containers that are 3-4 inches in height. Now you can put these seedlings on a sunny windowsill; just keep an eye out for over drying. If you don’t have too many sunny areas inside of your home, you will have to use artificial sunlight such as a grow light.

Step 6

Keep re-potting the valerian plants as they grow into larger containers. Make sure the containers all have a good drainage system. The bottom of the plant should never be allowed to sit in water. Remember that these plants can grow to 5-6 feet tall, so make sure that you have containers large enough to support a plant of this size.

How to Harvest Valerian Root

  1. Cut the blooms of the plant to use as flower bouquets or as potpourri.
  2. It is best to harvest mature root systems after the plant has had time to grow to full size. However, valerian also produces runners that can be harvested to leave the original plant in place. You can also harvest the original plant and let the smaller ones re-grow. Many herbalists say the root is the most potent on the mature plants.
  3. Dig deep enough so that you get the entire root system out of the soil. Rinse the roots off with water.
  4. Cut the roots up into small pieces with sharp shears. Soak the pieces in a bowl.
  5. After they are thoroughly soaked, remove them from the water and sprinkle them on a drying rack. Place the cuttings in a dry and cool place, and let them dry out for at least a month. You will notice the scent of the roots become more pungent as they dry.
  6. You also can dry out the leaves of the plant to make teas.

You now have a dried valerian root herb! You can simmer the roots and leaves as a tea or use them in food. You can mix the root or leaves with other dried herbs. You also can make your own capsules to take before bed to help you sleep.

Guess what? Cats love dried valerian almost as much as catnip! You now have a healthy, homegrown treat for kitty, as well.

Have you ever grown or used valerian root? Share your tips for how to grow and use it in the section below:

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5 Common Plants That Deliver All-Natural Rash Relief (No. 4 Might Already Be In Your Garden!)

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5 Wild Plants That Deliver All-Natural Rash-Relief

Milkweed. Image source: Pixabay.com

 

As a kid, I used to run through this huge patch of poison sumac while playing. I often had rashes — sometimes so bad I couldn’t even open my eyes. In fact, I didn’t know why I was catching the rashes until I got older.

5 Wild Plants That Deliver All-Natural Rash-Relief

Jewelweed. Image source: Pixabay.com

Poison sumac, ivy or oak can ruin your week fast – especially if you don’t know how to treat it. Fear not: Nature has provided us with cures.

Let’s take a look at five all-natural treatments for rashes found in the wild:

1. Jewelweed

Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis) is a natural remedy used to neutralize the irritants from poisonous plants, bug bites, ring worms and even stinging nettle.

Jewelweed grows three to five feet tall, with oval leaves and hanging trumpet-shaped flowers. The flowers can be yellow or orange with dark red spots. I used to love poking the seed pods as a kid because they pop and the seeds seemed to explode.

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5 Wild Plants That Deliver All-Natural Rash-Relief

Mugwort. Image source: Pixabay.com

The orange variety with dark red spots works better than the yellow flowered variety. My family likes to collect the stocks of jewelweed and store them frozen in freezer bags. This makes it easy to take one out and squeeze out the jelly for application on irritated areas of the body.

2. Mugwort

Mugwort is easy to grow and is even found in some wild areas. It can neutralize the urushiol found in poisonous plants and has other healing properties, too. Just grind the fresh-picked leaves and apply to the affected area.

5 Wild Plants That Deliver All-Natural Rash-Relief

Honeysuckle. Image source: Pixabay.com

3. Honeysuckle

Honeysuckle can be blended with water (ratio: 3-1) and strained to relieve some of the discomfort associated with symptoms of poisonous plants like sumac, oak and ivy.

4. Rhubarb

We love growing rhubarb in the garden. It has so many uses, but in this application we can treat our itch. Rhubarb can give you instant relief from pain and itch caused by urushiol. To use it, just break a stem and rub the affected area up to three times a day.

5. Milkweed

This weed grows just about everywhere, and there are 140 known species. It’s named after its milky sap that’s made up of alkaloids, latex and other compounds. Applying this milky sap will help relieve the symptoms and dry up blisters associated with a poison rash.

Just use caution when identifying it, because it does have poisonous lookalikes like dogbane.

Now that you know all about plants that can relieve rashes, you are safe to take a stroll in the woods!

What plants would you add to this list? Do you have additional advice? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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1800s Medical Cures That Still Work Today

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1800s Medical Cures That Still Work Today

Once upon a time, more than two-thirds of all Americans lived in rural towns or extensive farms. Indoor plumbing was unheard of, homes were heated with wood and lit by kerosene or oil lamps, work was hard and diseases were plenty.

Should we find ourselves back in these precarious times – or we simply prefer natural remedies — we might find it beneficial to know what types of herbs, medicines and common practices were the tool of the trade for the 19th century doctor.

Keep in mind that there were no vaccines, no lab tests and no antibiotics. Hospitals were located in large cities and surgery was reserved for extreme cases. Doctors traveled for miles on horseback to treat their patients, and payment was generally a hot meal and a place to sleep, and perhaps a hog or some chickens for the doctor to keep or sell as he liked.

Almost all treatments were done right in the home, or outdoors where the light was good. There certainly were times when the doctor knew that his patient would not survive, but he tried his best, knowing that if nothing else, the family would feel better, believing that they had done all they could.

Let’s take a look inside that black bag of medicine and find out what doctors used pre-pharmaceutical times.

Treatments and Research

If you were fortunate, your doctor was up to date with the medical research of the times, such as books by University of New York doctor William Thomson. Otherwise, your local doctor might have relied on Buchan’s Domestic Medicine, which relied on herbal treatments.

With no antibiotics and very little understanding of how diseases worked, gargles, “tonics,” hot baths or steam baths were often recommended. Doctors tended to treat the symptoms, rather than the disease, due to lack of knowledge.

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Doctors understood very little about bacteria, but they were aware that there were tiny organisms that could be seen under a microscope. These could be transferred from one patient to another. So while they may not have fully understood how they worked, doctors began working with “disinfectants” in the later part of the 1800s. Common disinfectants were chlorine, lime, sulfur and charcoal.

Common Herbal Treatments

Without the use of any real working drugs, doctors relied heavily on herbal remedies. Many doctors continued to add to their skills by learning from medicine men of the indigenous people, as well as from women who often passed their knowledge on from generation to generation and the slaves brought from Africa, who also contributed their knowledge of healing herbs and plants.

Fortunately, doctors had many pain relievers available to them at this time, including aspirin (which they made from the bark of willow trees). There were fever reducers made from the feverfew plant, as well from meadowsweet.

Camphor was known to ease itchy skin. It was also commonly used to prevent infection by washing the wound with a solution made from camphor, or soaking bandages in the solution, then wrapping the wound.

1800s Medical Cures That Still Work Today

Image source: Pixabay.com

Opium was known to stop diarrhea almost instantly, and cathartics were from a wide variety of plants, such as milkweed or bloodroot.

Most of these types of medicines were used to make the patient as comfortable as possible, while nature took its course and the patient could heal on his own.

Other treatments including apple pectin, which was mixed in juice to stop arthritis, and honey, which was used as a face wash and a treatment for most insect stings.

Tea and compresses made from cloths soaked in tea were often used to wash everything from hair to burns to wounds.

Some treatments are still used today, such as baking soda to brush the teeth or ease indigestion. Castor oil was used for everything from a general health tonic to a chest compress for coughs and colds. Salt was used as a gargle for sore throats. It worked then and still works today.

Herbs and ‘Female’ Problems

It was very common in the 1800s for women to treat other women with herbs and remedies that have been passed down for generations. Midwives were often called upon to deliver babies as well as to help with what was called “female problems.”

1800s Medical Cures That Still Work Today

Image source: Pixabay.com

Teas made from motherwort were often used to “calm the nerves.” This is a mild sedative and it works remarkably well.

Painful menstruation was often treated with a tea of red raspberry leaves. This was also the same treatment for infertility. Excessive bleeding was treated with shepherd’s purse. Labor pains were treated with blue cohosh while menopause was treated with black cohosh.

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Women suffering from fainting spells were often given a large tablespoon of vinegar. Bladder infections were cured with calendula tea, and chamomile tea was used for just about everything that ailed women, from menopause to insomnia.

Treatments We’d Rather Forget

You can’t talk about the history of medicine without speaking about some of the items and practices that will make you shudder today.

Mercury was used for almost 500 years as a common elixir that was supposed to rejuvenate the body. It was also a popular “cure” in the 19th century for sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis. While mercury probably did kill off the infection, it generally killed the patient as well, most likely from kidney or liver damage.

In fact, let’s not forget that during most of the 1800s, there were no laws in place as to who could call themselves a doctor. Massachusetts passed the first license laws in 1819 but then repealed them in 1835. It wasn’t really until after the civil war that states got serious about licensing doctors.

Tuberculosis (called consumption in those times) was a terrible condition with no cure. Most doctors simply recommended bed rest and to move to a drier climate.

Other treatments, such as those for colic, didn’t need the doctor anyway.

A common “remedy” for colic was to close all the windows and doors to the baby’s room, and have daddy smoke his cigar or pipe right outside the door. (Can’t help but wonder how that one worked!)

Cures for colds and the flu were varied, but included drinking rabbit dung tea. We don’t suggest trying that one, no matter how dire the situation!

What old-time remedies would you add to this list? Share your tips in the section below:

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My Healing Protocol

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As I sit here by my wood stove on this crisp 25 degree September morning (Winter is coming fast) I am doing a little bit of celebrating. After 5 days of nearly no sleep, I was finally able to rest! I am currently a little over 8 months out from my surgery and I feel […]

The post My Healing Protocol appeared first on Trayer Wilderness.

The Ancient Essential Oil That Fights Fatigue, Pain, Arthritis And Nausea

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The Ancient Essential Oil That Fights Fatigue, Pains, Arthritis And Nausea

Image source: Pixabay.com

During a hard day of work, especially for a homesteader, peppermint essential oil can be quite useful. Beginning in the morning, it can energize your mind and help you get moving. Need a pick-me-up after lunch or later in the day? Peppermint oil can help you there, too, by reviving depleted energy you need to get your work finished. Then, after the long workday, because of peppermint oil’s warming properties, it can be used to treat sore muscles and arthritis.

Another common use for peppermint oil is that it helps reduce nausea and indigestion.

Do you feel that you sometimes have trouble focusing or concentrating? Look no further than peppermint essential oil with its revitalizing effects on the mind!

Peppermint was prized for health reason in Japan and China for centuries and has been found in Egyptian tombs dating back to 1000 BC.

Peppermint is a hybrid of spearmint and water mint, and is, by far, the most pungent mint. It’s a common herb with tough, dark stems and serrated green leaves that can be found growing almost anywhere.

Peppermint essential oil is nearly one-third menthol, which is why it invigorates and clears the head.

Learn How To Make Powerful Herbal Medicines, Right in Your Kitchen!

The essential oil has a cooling, pungent, menthol aroma, with clean, sweet top notes. In aromatherapy, it is excellent for headaches, mental fatigue, concentration, muscular pain, sunburn, insect bites, nausea, indigestion and for menopausal hot flashes.

Massages, baths, inhalation and compresses are all efficient ways to utilize the properties of peppermint essential oil. A few drops on a tissue can clear your head, whether you’re suffering from a cold or mental fatigue, and can relieve headaches or any nausea, from travel to morning sickness. Add several drops to a basin to refresh tired feet, or to a bath to relieve sore muscles. (Because of peppermint oil’s potency, use sparingly in baths at first to make sure you don’t have any adverse reactions to it, and always make sure to dilute it with a carrier oil before applying it to your skin.)

Over time, I have developed mixtures that I feel help me on a daily basis. I developed these recipes with scent in mind while creating the maximum effect of the oils’ health properties.

1. Fatigue

More people than ever complain of being tired these days. Too much work, too many demands and stresses, and too little leisure or relaxation are probably to blame. Peppermint oil is helpful in combating fatigue, as it can stimulate the body and mind in a relaxing kind of way. As stated above, you can simply inhale peppermint oil or try one of these invigorating mixtures:

Invigorating rub

  • 4 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 4 drops orange essential oil
  • 4 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 3 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 2 fl oz. sweet almond carrier oil

Energizing massage

  • 5 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 6 drops bergamot essential oil
  • 2 drops lemon essential oil
  • 2 fl oz. sweet almond carrier oil

2. Tired muscles or arthritis pain

The Ancient Essential Oil That Fights Fatigue, Pains, Arthritis And Nausea

Image source: Pixabay.com

Muscular pain affects almost everyone at some point in their lives, and many people suffer from arthritis. Peppermint oil’s warming and soothing properties can help. Try these recipes to help relax your muscles and reduce your pain.

For tight muscles

  • 4 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 3 drops lavender essential oil
  • 4 drops pine essential oil
  • 3 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  • 2 fl oz. sweet almond carrier oil

For arthritis and aching muscles

  • 5 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 5 drops lavender essential oil
  • 4 drops petitgrain essential oil
  • 2 drops basil essential oil
  • 2 fl oz. sunflower carrier oil

3. Improve focus and concentration

Peppermint essential oil can improve memory, focus and alertness. Try these blends; use them in an oil diffuser to distribute the molecules throughout the air, or as a massage oil with an added carrier oil.

For concentration

  • 6 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 6 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 2 fl oz. carrier oil for a massage blend

For improved focus

  • 6 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 6 drops myrtle essential oil
  • 2 fl oz. carrier oil for a massage blend

To improve mental clutter

  • 6 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 6 drops lemongrass essential oil
  • 2 fl oz. carrier oil for massage blends

4. Battle nausea, indigestion and stomach upsets

The only worse thing than feeling sick is actually being sick. Common triggers include a rich or spicy meal, contaminated food, a rotten smell, stress, fear, the motion of travel, pregnancy or a migraine. A little peppermint oil inhaled from a tissue can help tremendously.

New ‘Survival Herb Bank’ Gives You Access to God’s Amazing Medicine Chest

The Ancient Essential Oil That Fights Fatigue, Pains, Arthritis And Nausea

Image source: Pixabay.com

Alternatively, try one of these mixes to use with an air diffuser or add a carrier oil for a massage blend. Massage the blend into your chest and abdomen areas.

Ease nausea, travel or morning sickness

  • 5 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 5 drops grapefruit essential oil
  • 3 drops ginger essential oil
  • 2 fl oz. carrier oil for massage blends

To help abdominal pain due to indigestion or irritable bowel syndrome

  • 4 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 4 drops nutmeg essential oil
  • 4 drops ginger essential oil
  • 2 fl oz. carrier oil for massage blends

To ease general digestive problems

  • 6 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 4 drops ginger essential oil
  • 2 drops angelica root
  • 2 fl oz. carrier oil for massage blends

Do some research to find out other ways you can use peppermint essential oil. Peppermint oil also mixes well with a lot of additional essential oils for aromatherapy purposes. Choose your favorite essential oil combinations and add a few drops of peppermint oil to them to add an invigorating, but soothing, effect!

How do you use peppermint essential oil? Share your tips in the section below:

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All-Natural Fall Remedies That Smart Homesteaders Store For Winter

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6 All-Natural Remedies That Smart Homesteaders Make Each Fall

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The fall can be a busy time if you’re trying to stock a well-prepared larder. Perhaps you’ve put up or purchased enough food to get you through the winter, but have you thought about keeping your family healthy as well as fed? There are many natural medicines that are easy to make at home during autumn to keep your family healthy all winter long.

1. Herbal teas

A great place to start for the beginner, herbal teas can be as simple as looking for tasty and health-promoting recipes in your favorite reference book and mixing them ahead of time. Dried herbs can easily be purchased for your first batch, but harvesting and drying them at home is a much more cost-effective and reliable method of ensuring availability. Even if you haven’t planted an herb garden, try learning to identify and harvest wild elderberries, yarrow, rose hips, raspberry leaf and mullein as a first step. Drying can be as simple as tying them into small bundles and hanging them in a well-ventilated area out of direct sunlight. Once dry, store in Mason jars or other airtight containers in a cool, dark place.

2. Tinctures

Once you’re comfortable blending your own herbal teas, tinctures are a great next step. While there are many plant compounds that are water soluble in teas, some medicines are alcohol soluble and require a different extraction to get the full benefit. Examples of alcohol soluble herbs include most that are high in resins or naturally antibacterial alkaloids such as Echinacea, cleavers, nettle and elecampane. To make a tincture, start with a plain alcohol such as grain alcohol or vodka that is at least 50 proof (25 percent alcohol), preferably 80 proof or higher. For most herbs, a ratio of 1 part herb to 5 parts alcohol works well for extraction. Place the herbs and alcohol in a sealed jar out of direct sunlight for at least 2-3 weeks, shaking occasionally. Strain out the herb, and the tincture is ready for use.

3. Oxymel

An alcohol-free way to extract herbs that may not be water soluble is with vinegar. Oxymel is a mixture of a vinegar-extracted herb, with raw honey to both enhance the health benefits and the palatability. Ratios vary widely, but a common method takes 1 part herb, 2 parts vinegar and 2 parts honey for the mixture.

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Add all three parts to a mason jar, seal and wait 2-3 weeks before straining out the herb and bottling for use. There are many elderberry/vinegar/honey oxymels on the market today, selling for as much as $5-$10 dollars per ounce, when they can be made at home for just a few dollars per quart. Dollar for dollar, oxymel is one of the easiest and most economical natural remedies to make at home.

4. Infused oils

Following the same principle as tinctures and oxymels, infused oils extract herbal components into an oil base. Try a neutral oil such as sunflower, almond oil or light olive oil. A ratio of 1 part herb to 2-4 parts oil works well for most herbs. In the winter, herbal-infused oils can be great for treating burns, ear infections, topical fungal issues or respiratory issues when used as a chest rub.

5. Healing salves

Once you have an infused oil, a healing salve is a great way to improve the versatility of your remedy. Healing salves take infused oils and add a wax component to make them semi-solid at room temperature so that they’re easy to apply and store. Start with 8 ounces of infused oil and 1 ounce of beeswax. Slowly heat until the beeswax is melted, and then mix thoroughly. Pour into a storage container while hot. Healing salves often incorporate the use of essential oil and vitamin E oil to enhance their effectiveness, depending on the use.

6. Witch hazel extract

A commonly used astringent and topical disinfectant, witch hazel is easy to make at home. Witch hazel is a small bush/shrub that’s prevalent in the wild in the eastern half of the United States. An extract can be made from wild harvested witch hazel twigs, or if you prefer, there are many online sources to purchase dried witch hazel bark. For the most potent extract, harvest the twigs just after the plant has flowered late in the fall (October/November). Finely chop the twigs with pruning shears or scissors, cover completely with water and place on the stove on low to simmer. Most recipes slow cook the stems and bark for at least 8 hours, adding water during cooking to keep the plant material covered. Once it’s done cooking and cooled completely, it’s perishable unless alcohol is added as a preservative.  Add 1 part high proof vodka or grain alcohol for every 2 parts witch hazel extract, and store in a cool dark place indefinitely.

Which is your favorite home remedy? What advice would you add? Share your tips in the section below:

Harness The Power Of Nature’s Most Remarkable Healer: Vinegar

24 Little-Known ‘Miracle Plants’ The Navajo Used For Medicine

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24 Little-Known 'Miracle Plants' The Navajo Used For Medicine

Artist: Robert Draper

 

Anyone interested in living off the land or wishing to prepare themselves for a crisis would be wise to study some of their local plants.

Native people had an extensive knowledge of which plants, and which parts of the selected plant, were valuable for certain health problems.

In this article, we are going to look at some of the little-known medicinal plants that were used by the Navajo nation. Even though they lived in what we would consider desert or areas filled with nothing but “scrub brush,” the Navajo found some of the best and most powerful medicinal plants in their region.

Remedies for Headaches, Coughs, Fevers, Mouth Problems

1. Lichens – Pulled from rocks or trees, these were chewed to stop mouth pain, canker sores, and sore or swollen gums.

2. Purple loco weed (oxytropis) – The leaves are crushed and boiled, then the steam inhaled to open up airway passages and ease breathing.

24 Little-Known 'Miracle Plants' The Navajo Used For Medicine

Thistle. Image source: Wikimedia

3. Desert thistle – Used to stop the chills and/or fevers. Commonly given in tea form.

4. White horehound – This was used as a tea for coughs and sore throats.

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5. Snake weed – Despite the name, this was not used for snake bites, but for headaches. Unlike other plants, this one was used externally by placing wet leaves on the forehead. Some people refer to this as broom weed or broom snakeweed.

Remedies for Diarrhea, Stomach, or Digestive Problems

6. Indian paintbrush (castilleja) – Used for most common stomach problems, including stomach aches, cramps and indigestion. Many tribes referred to this as the prairie fire plant. The flowers are very sweet and tasty, although other parts are not edible.

7. Indian hemp (Apocynum cannabinum) – While this relative to cannabis cannot be consumed, the roots were boiled to make a tea to treat intestinal worms and stop dysentery.

8. Antelope sage – The root of this plant was brewed into tea to stop general stomach pain and cramps.

9. Sand verbena – Sometimes called desert verbena, the leaves and flowers were consumed in tea form to stop stomach cramps, as well as to make a general, soothing tonic.

Remedies for Women

10. Greasewood – A tea made from the leaves of this plant was thought to make childbirth quicker and easier for the mother.

24 Little-Known 'Miracle Plants' The Navajo Used For Medicine

Silkweed. Image source: Wikimedia

11. Silkweed – Consumed as a tea, this plant is a general tonic used after giving birth.

New ‘Survival Herb Bank’ Gives You Access to God’s Amazing Medicine Chest

12. Bushy bird’s beak – Flowers and leaves were often brewed as tea to stop or shorten the menstrual cycle.

Remedies for Skin Issues and Wounds

13. Artemisia – This plant is used for burns, boils and other types of skin wounds.

14. Spurge – While spurge can be eaten, it was also used as medicine. Spurge was ground into a paste and rubbed on the skin to stop acne or other types of skin problems.

15. Green briar – The leaves of this bush were beaten into a paste, and then applied to sores, burns or open wounds. Fresh leaves were then wrapped over the poultice and used as a type of bandage.

16. Orange agoseris – Leaves and flowers were pounded into a paste and applied to most wounds to stop infection and speed healing. Most common uses were for serious injuries, such as knife or arrow damage.

17. Blue corn – Corn played a vital part in the life of most Navajo. Besides being consumed as food and used in ceremonies, blue corn was used to cleanse and purify the skin. Ground blue corn, which is more coarse than yellow or white corn, was a natural exfoliator, which encourages the growth of new skin by removing dead skin cells.

General Tonics, Antiseptics and Other Remedies

18. Sage or sagebrush – While this plant tends to give many people hay fever, for the Navajo, the leaves and flowers were made into a tea, which served many purposes. This tea was used as a treatment for diarrhea, as an eye wash, as an antiseptic for disinfecting wounds, and as a hair wash. People once said, “Those who drink sage tea never grow old.” This is because rinsing hair with a strong sage tea acts as a dye, keeping the hair black.

Just 30 Grams Of This Survival Superfood Provides More Nutrition Than An Entire Meal!

24 Little-Known 'Miracle Plants' The Navajo Used For Medicine

Hawkweed. Image source: Wikimedia

19. Hawkweed – This plant is a close relative of dandelions, so it is no wonder that the Navajo used it as a natural diuretic. All parts of this plant are edible and can be eaten; however, it is most commonly consumed in a tea form.

20. Red juniper – The inner bark of this type of juniper was rubbed onto the hair and scalp, stopping most kinds of dandruff and itchiness.

21. Yucca – Also known as soap weed, the leaves of the yucca plant were pounded into a thick paste, and then rubbed on the hair and scalp. This acts as a natural type of shampoo, removing grease and dirt from the hair.

22. Horseweed – This was a general, all-around good tonic that was used for many ailments, including stopping diarrhea, and as a diuretic and astringent.

23. Yellowtop – The gray green leaves of this plant were the most common remedy given for spider and other insect bites.

24. Green gentian – Commonly given to calm the nerves or for emotional distress.

Many plants were used in combination with one another. It was thought that by mixing plants, it would cure multiples problems at one time, or that if one ingredient was ineffective, another would certainly work.

Most times, there were one or two “specialists” who knew which plants should be used for what, and which combinations could be used. This was generally the Shaman, who oversaw most health problems, and a female elder, who was generally called upon to take care of “female” problems and assist in childbirth.

The Navajo and other native people spent hundreds if not thousands of years researching plants. Please use extreme caution and be certain that you know not only the exact species you are choosing, but how it might affect you.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or cure any particular health condition. Please consult with a qualified health professional first.

What is your favorite off-grid medicinal plant? Share your medicinal tips in the section below:

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Natural, Off-Grid Cures For Spider Bites

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Natural, Off-Grid Cures For Spider Bites

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Feeling sore and chilled, I awoke to find numerous large welts on my right arm, which was slightly swollen and hot to the touch. For the next 24 hours a fever raged, peaking late afternoon at 103.2 degrees. It was obvious I was experiencing a severe reaction to multiple spider bites on my arm.

My throat began swelling and my sinuses were inflamed. To get my reaction under control, I turned to basic natural health care. Alternating topically applied essential oils with mineral salt soaks, the swelling and redness were gradually reduced. Warm herbal teas soothed my irritated throat, while an oil diffuser calmed my inflamed sinuses.

There are many different ways to treat spider bites naturally, especially if you are in a survival situation where no other health care is available*. First, if possible, identify the spider, although this may be impossible if the bite occurs while you are sleeping. All spiders are venomous, meaning that they inject venom when biting another subject, but how individuals react to the spider’s venom varies greatly. In North America, the most severe reactions are caused by the venom of a black widow spider or that of a brown recluse spider, but any type of spider venom can cause painful symptoms.

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If ice is available, apply it to the location of the bite while waiting to begin alternative treatments. Ice will decrease the amount of swelling at the site. Wrap the ice or ice pack in a thin cloth to avoid further irritating the skin surrounding the bite.

Applying a poultice or paste that draws out the venom is the next step in naturally treating a spider bite. There are many herbal poultices that are useful in natural healing. Below are a few of the best for healing venomous wounds.

Activated charcoal, or active carbon, has numerous pores that trap chemicals inside of them. When a paste of active carbon and water is applied to a spider bite, it will trap the venom and allow it to be washed away while contained in the carbon. Creating a thick paste that is applied to the affected area for up to four hours is the most effective way to use activated charcoal.

Natural, Off-Grid Cures For Spider Bites

Image source: Pixabay.com

Bentonite clay can be used in a similar manner as the active carbon. Bentonite clay, made of volcanic ash, absorbs toxins, heavy metals and other impurities when used in conjunction with a liquid. Create a poultice with plain water and bentonite clay. Apply to the location of the bite and gently bind it with a damp piece of gauze. Change the dressing every two hours.

A plantain poultice is also helpful in treating spider bites. Since plantain grows readily in most areas, it is the most likely ingredient to have available in an emergency. Whether ground in a mortar and pestle, or shredded and crushed by hand, the liquid found in the plantain leaf will draw out toxins, such as spider venom, by constricting the cells affected by the toxin. Apply the poultice to the affected area and loosely wrap the area with gauze or cover with a large bandage. Replace the plantain regularly for the greatest effect.

Used as a standalone poultice, as part of an herbal poultice, or as a medicinal wash, slippery elm is valuable in treating spider bites naturally. The inner bark can be used to create a poultice to reduce swelling and help manage pain. In times past, Native Americans would soak thin strips of the inner bark until the bark was pliable, and then they wrapped a strip of bark around wounded areas until the bark dried out again. In addition to poultices, slippery elm bark can be decocted into an antiseptic wash, useful for bathing infected bites.

The Secret To Making Powerful Herbal Medicines, Right in Your Kitchen!

A natural antibacterial agent, honey, added to any poultice or as a pack itself, will encourage the healing process to begin. Additionally, peppermint oil, when properly diluted with a carrier oil, also speeds up the healing process by increasing circulation in the area to which it is applied.

Between applications of poultices, it is helpful to soak the affected area for 10 to 15 minutes in a mineral salt bath. The mineral salts will continue to draw out the venom and soothe the affected area.

You can lessen the effects of the spider’s venom on your overall health, as well. Echinacea, taken in capsule form or as a tea, will bolster your immune system and has long been used to treat venomous snake bites; it also works well on spider bites. Keep taking Echinacea until the wound is completely healed.

*This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or cure any particular health condition. Please consult with a qualified health professional first.

What advice would you add? Share it in the section below:

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Turmeric: The Colorful Superfood That Fights Arthritis, Cholesterol And Cancer, Too

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Turmeric: The Colorful Superfood That Fights Arthritis, Cholesterol And Cancer, Too

Image source Pixabay.com

 

Did you know that foods with deep colors usually have the most nutritional benefits? Dark berries, such as blueberries, raspberries and cherries, have powerful antioxidants, for example. Another example of a powerful, colorful superfood is turmeric.

Turmeric is a rhizome, similar to ginger, that grows wild in Southeast Asia, and it is what provides curry dishes with their deep golden color. Turmeric contains curcumin, an amazing compound that can protect and repair cells and can promote healing in the human body.

According to the Journal of the American Chemical Society, turmeric has antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, anti-mutagenic, anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties.

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The flavorful spice, which is a mainstay in many Asian dishes, also is a good source of protein, dietary fiber, niacin, calcium, potassium, copper, magnesium, zinc, iron and Vitamins C, E and K.

As you might expect, turmeric has been used for centuries to treat a variety of health problems. Here are eight ways turmeric can heal:

1. Arthritis – A study published in 2012 in the journal Phytotherapy Research found that patients with rheumatoid arthritis reported an increase in flexibility and a decrease in pain after taking curcumin. Furthermore, these patients did not suffer the same side-effects as did patients taking other arthritis drugs.

2. Cancer – According to the American Cancer Society, laboratory studies have demonstrated that curcumin blocked the formation of cancer-causing enzymes in rodents.

A study conducted by the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in 2011 found that the curcumin “effectively differentiates between cancer cells and normal cells while activating cancer cell death (apoptosis).”

More studies are needed, but turmeric is being used to treat breast cancer, colon cancer and skin cancer.

3. Diabetes – A diet including turmeric may help in diabetes management.

In 2009, the journal Biochemistry and Biophysical Research Communications published an Auburn University study that showed that curcumin in turmeric is 400 times more powerful than Metformin (a common drug used to treat diabetes) in improving insulin sensitivity.

turmeric-943629_640 (1)4. Digestive ailments – Many patients with gastrointestinal problems, such as IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), experience inflammation of the intestinal lining as a side-effect of their medication.

Studies show that patients who take curcumin, however, do not complain of these side-effects.  Additionally, curcumin works to heal the gut and support the growth of beneficial bacteria.

5. Cholesterol — A study published in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research showed that curcumin lowered the high LDL cholesterol in mice. The compound also lowered C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of systemic inflammation, and triglycerides in the laboratory animals.

The Secret To Making Powerful Herbal Medicines, Right in Your Kitchen!

6. Burns – Curcumin has pain-relieving properties and has been shown to be effective in treating and managing the pain of severe burns.

A study by the Army Institute of Surgical Research recommended that curcumin should be used to treat burn patients because of its anti-inflammatory benefits and because it has fewer side-effects than conventional burn treatments.

7. Congestion – Consuming turmeric helps unclog sinus passages and promote better breathing when you have a cold.

Try stirring a half teaspoon into a glass of water and sipping it twice a day when you catch a cold. As an antibacterial and an anti-viral compound, the turmeric solution also will help ease a sore throat.

8. Aches and pain – If you experience shoulder or back pain or the pain from sciatica, turmeric may provide natural relief. Eating foods rich in turmeric may help somewhat, but you may want to check with your doctor about taking a turmeric supplement.

Although side-effects are minimal if you consume turmeric in normal household recipes, it can produce side-effects when consumed in large quantities. These side-effects may include indigestion, nausea and diarrhea. According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, large doses of turmeric may cause a worsening of symptoms for people with gallbladder trouble.

If you take regular medication, check with your doctor before adding large amounts of turmeric to your diet. Curcumin may interfere with anti-coagulants such as warfarin and clopidogrel. It also may interfere with certain non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or cure any particular health condition. Please consult with a qualified health professional first.

What advice would you add about Turmeric? How have you used it? Share your tips in the section below:

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7 ‘Miracle Healing Weeds’ That Are Growing In Your Yard (Got A Cold? Try No. 2)

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7 ‘Miracle Healing Weeds’ That Are Growing In Your Yard (Got A Cold? Try No. 2)

Mullein. Image source: Pixabay.com

Weeds are an absolute menace to most gardeners. They seem to grow 10 times as fast as the veggies you have planted, covering the entire garden and spoiling all of your plans.

But in hindsight, weeds have gotten a bad rap. In fact, the majority of the weeds you are killing are actually just as edible as the vegetables you are growing. If the weeds aren’t edible, they are likely medicinal. Think back a few centuries ago. Our ancestors lived off the land, and a lot of what they ate grew wild. They treated their illnesses, diseases, aches and pains with plants they found in the forest and on the prairie. Weeds are not all bad.

The following list includes seven weeds you should stop killing:

1. Dandelions. There isn’t a piece of land that the little yellow flowers doesn’t grow. Instead of hitting them with weed killer, pick them and eat them. The flowers and leaves are edible and are quite tasty raw or sautéed and tossed in a salad. Dandelion is rich in vitamin C, and the roots are packed with fiber, just in case you need to get things moving. It is a diuretic and can help cleanse the liver.

The Secret To Making Powerful Herbal Medicines, Right in Your Kitchen!

2. Mullein. This is a monstrous plant that tends to grow along highways or in areas with lots of sun and a rocky soil. It is a nuisance, but it is also going to be a great way to treat a cold and bronchitis. Drying and chopping the leaves and using them to make a tea can relieve chest congestion. The little yellow flowers can be plucked and infused in oil to make a soothing ear drop for an ear infection. The leaves are incredibly soft and can be used as a toilet paper substitute.

3. Plantain. This common plant loves rocky, dry soil and pops up everywhere. It is your saving grace should you get a bee sting, cut or a burn. The leaves can be macerated a bit (some people will pop the leaves in their mouth and give a couple of good chews) and applied directly to the injury.

7 ‘Miracle Healing Weeds’ That Are Growing In Your Yard (Got A Cold? Try No. 2)

Purslane. Image source: Pixabay.com

4. Purslane. This one is an absolute monster and can spread out and choke out small shoots in the garden, but it is just as edible as the other plants you are trying to grow. The leaves are high in healthy Omega-3 fatty acid and are actually a very common ingredient in stir-fry recipes all around the world. It is also very high in calcium. In a post-apocalypse situation, purslane in the diet can make up for the lack of dairy and other calcium-rich foods.

5. Red clover. It covers the lawn in the height of summer and is often attacked with horrible chemicals. It is actually more of a purple, and not red, so don’t be fooled. Stop killing the red clover and start plucking it! Grind up the clover and put it on itchy skin rashes and eczema. Boil the flowers in water to use as a cough remedy. If you can get your hands on some red clover seeds, toss the seeds into your garden plot in the fall and use it as a cover crop.

Fast, All-Natural Pain Relief With No Nasty Side Effects!

7 ‘Miracle Healing Weeds’ That Are Growing In Your Yard (Got A Cold? Try No. 2)

Oxeye daisies. Image source: Pixabay.com

6. Oxeye daisies. These are common wildflowers that cover acres of prairies and along the highways. The pretty flowers are similar to the daisies planted in flower beds, but offer a little extra something with their medicinal properties. The flowers can be used to make a tea to cure asthma and chronic coughs. Grinding up the tiny leaves and applying to bruises, sprains and swollen joints is an old-fashioned folk remedy.

7. Yarrow. This is found growing along highways and in fields. A variety of yarrow is often purposely planted in flower beds, but it isn’t the same. You want the wild stuff. It is an excellent way to stop bleeding, which is going to be very important after a disaster. The root can be put directly on a toothache to help stop pain while drawing out any infection.

Next time, when you head out to your garden or look at your lawn covered with dandelions and red clover, smile — you just hit the jackpot.

What advice would you add on using these weeds? Share it in the section below: 

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The Destructive, Silent Killer: Silicone Poisoning

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As many of you know, I am recovering from major surgery right now.   My surgery was on January 29, 2016 and for the next year to year and a half I will be detoxing and doing special treatments to regain my health.  There are many women who were not so lucky! Some of you […]

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12 Natural Ways To Rid Your Home Of Spiders (No. 6 Will Do It FAST)

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12 Natural Ways To Rid Your Home Of Spiders (No. 6 Will Do It FAST)

Image source: Pixabay.com

 

You probably have heard the statement that you are “always within a few feet of a spider.” Several Internet sources cite a 1995 article by arachnologist Norman Platnick as the origin of that statement, which is a myth.

Spiders simply do not thrive everywhere humans go, so there are plenty of times you are far away from the nearest spider. Additionally, people often mistake other bugs – including dust mites, fleas and lice – for spiders.

However, it is true that most of us frequently find spiders inside our homes. Spiders like to hang out in corners and other dark spots, behind or below furniture, in cabinets, in basements, in garages and in the cracks and crevices of our homes.

Although most spiders are not dangerous, most of us would prefer they not take up residence where we do, especially if babies or small children are in the house. Here is our list of time-tested natural ways to keep your home spider-free.

1. Clean up the clutter inside. One of the main reasons we find spiders in basements, garages and attics is because we tend to have boxes and other stuff there where they can easily hide.

Reduce the clutter and sweep up dust and debris to make these areas less attractive for spiders. Also, remove cobwebs when you see them.

2. Cut back vegetation outside. Keep shrubs and bushes trimmed away from the exterior of your home, especially near doors and windows, as they provide good places for spiders to hide.

In addition, keep woodpiles, leaf pikes and other debris away from your home. Spiders will often live in these areas and then make their way into your home if it is close by.

3. Seal cracks and holes. An effective way to keep spiders out of your home is to lock them out by sealing cracks and holes in doors, windows and siding. (This, of course, is essential for keeping other insects out, too.) Install weather stripping and secure screens.

4. Adopt a cat. Cats enjoy chasing, catching and even eating spiders. Maybe this is your opportunity to adopt a furry friend.

5. Essential oils. You can make a natural “spider spray” with water and a few drops of essential oil. Spiders detest the smell of peppermint, making it an excellent choice. Simply fill a spray bottle with water, add about eight drops of oil, shake to mix and then spray wherever spiders frequent.

Another idea is to add a couple of drops of peppermint oil to a cotton ball and place it in areas where you have seen spiders.

12 Natural Ways To Rid Your Home Of Spiders (No. 6 Will Do It FAST)

Image source: Pixabay.com

Not into the smell of peppermint? Other essential oils to try are lavender, citronella and eucalyptus.

6. Diatomaceous earth (DE). This is a natural powder-like substance that that comes from the fossilized remains of phytoplankton. Sprinkle it around the perimeter of your home to keep spiders out. It works on other insects, too.

Diatomaceous Earth: The Best Natural Way To Get Rid Of Spiders!

7. Vinegar. You may have read about amazing uses for white vinegar in your home. Here’s another one. Fill a spray bottle with a 50-50 mix of water and white vinegar and spray it in cracks, crevices and corners of your homes. It will do a great job of repelling spiders.

8. Citrus. Save your lemon, orange, grapefruit and lime peels and then place them along baseboards, in corners or along windowsills to repel spiders. You will need to replace the peels every few days for best results. You also can use essential oils in citrus scents to get rid of spiders.

9. Baking soda. Like white vinegar, baking soda is a powerhouse around the home. You can sprinkle it in corners, doorways and windowsills to keep spiders – and other bugs — at bay.

10. Chestnuts. Here is one you may never have heard before. The odor of chestnuts really bothers spiders, so you can deter spiders by placing chestnuts in trouble areas. Poke a few holes in the nut to release the scent more fully.

11. Turmeric. This fragrant spice, which is in curries and other Indian dishes, is repugnant to spiders. Mix two or three tablespoons of pure turmeric powder with water and stir to make a paste. Then apply the paste with a spoon to areas where spiders congregate. (Please note that turmeric can leave a yellow stain, so take care where you place it.)

12. Salt. Common table salt can get rid of spiders. Simply make a saltwater solution and spray it into cracks and crevices to keep the creatures from entering your home.

Most common spiders are not harmful to you, your family or your pets. However, if you are unsure if a certain spider is poisonous or not, check out the Centers for Disease Control website.

What advice would you add? How do you keep spiders and other bugs out of your home? Share it in the section below:

If You Like All-Natural Home Remedies, You Need To Read Everything That Hydrogen Peroxide Can Do. Find Out More Here.

Cupping: The Ancient Off-Grid Therapy Used By Michael Phelps

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Cupping: The Ancient Off-Grid Therapy Used By Michael Phelps

Image source: NBC screen shot.

Three of my kids swim competitively, and I can trace their interest in the sport back to when they were little kids watching Michael Phelps win gold in the 2008 Olympics. It is no surprise, then, that when we were watching Phelps win his first Rio gold medal at the 2016 Olympics, we wondered about the strange circles on his back and shoulders.

We soon learned about the ancient healing technique of cupping. Cupping, which dates back more than 2,000 years, is a form of massage therapy that has been used mostly in Middle Eastern and Asian countries, particularly China. The Greek doctor Hippocrates, known as the “Father of Modern Medicine,” recommended cupping in his guide to clinical treatment.

Today, the ancient practice has gained new popularity thanks to our Olympic team in Rio, especially Team USA swimmers and gymnasts.

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The therapy involves the placement of warmed round suction cups on sore parts of the body for five to 10 minutes. The glass or plastic cups create a partial vacuum, which works to stimulate muscles and increase blood flow. The cups also may work to reduce pain, as they pull up aching muscles.

The distinctive circular red marks, which fade way in a few days to a week, show that blood flow has increased in the affected area, practitioners say. Many therapists also recommend cupping as a way of releasing toxins from the body and of stimulating the flow of fresh lymph to a painful area. Additionally, cupping has been used to help relieve cold and flu symptoms.

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There are many different cupping techniques, including dry cupping and wet cupping, but most therapists today use sterilized cups that are steamed under pressure and then heated to temperatures of more than 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

Athletes aren’t the only ones using cupping. Actresses Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Aniston have tried it, as have singers Chris Martin and Jessica Simpson.

“There is no scientific rationale for expecting any health benefit from cupping,” the American Cancer Society reported in a statement on Aug. 8.

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However, after learning that Phelps, who has won more gold medals than any other athlete, uses the therapy, many Americans don’t seem to care about scientific evidence.

The International Cupping Therapy Association reported a 20 percent increase in purchases of cupping therapy equipment and a 50 percent increase of health practitioners wanting information on how to be certified in cupping certificates in just three days after Phelps’ debut race in Rio.

Many Internet sites sell cupping sets, including Amazon, which offers a few sets beginning at $21, and eBay, which has some sets selling for as low as only a few dollars.

Please note that people who bleed easily or who have skin ulcers or edema should avoid cupping. Pregnant women should talk with their health practitioner before trying cupping.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or cure any particular health condition. Please consult with a qualified health professional to determine which treatments are right for you and any individual health condition(s) that you may have.

Discover The Secret To Saving Thousands At The Grocery Store. Read More Here.

4 All-Natural Bandages Every Survivalist Should Know About

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4 All-Natural Bandages Every Survivalist Should Know About

Image source: Flickr

 

Bandages are a necessity in life, and when none are available, bacteria can get in, causing an infection.

But what if you are in an area where you don’t have a bandage? Thankfully, there are four simple, natural bandages that you can find and use when nothing else is available.

1. Spider web.

4 All-Natural Bandages Every Survivalist Should Know About

Image source: Pixabay.com

You may be thinking, “yuck!” Yes, it may seem gross, but spider webs are a great natural bandage to utilize. They also can be found pretty much everywhere — from a corner of your home to a tree branch. Simply find a clean one (without a spider, of course) and ball it up. There are several traits of the spider web that make it such a great bandage. For one, when you put the spider web on the wound, it will dry and harden. When you are ready to remove it, all you have to do is run it under hot water. Another great trait is that a spider web has natural anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.

2. Chicken egg.

Specifically, chicken egg membranes. This type of bandage is best suited for cuts that have a flap of skin that has been pulled up. Simply crack an egg and peel the membrane of the shell. Then put the membrane on top of the skin (with the wound closed, of course).

New ‘Survival Herb Bank’ Gives You Access to God’s Amazing Medicine Chest

The membrane will stick together, so there is no need to put anything on it to hold it on the wound. When ready to remove, all you have to do is put warm water on it and peel off.

3. Marsh woundwort.

This plant is a member of the mint family and is perfect for wounds. It naturally contains astringent which cleans cuts. It also has the ability to clot blood when applied so that the wound stops bleeding. Just pick a leaf and apply it on the wound.

4. Lamb’s ear.

Also a member of the mint family, lamb’s ear is very soft and pliable. The flexibility of the leaves allow it to be wrapped around a body part, like a finger. It also has the same healing properties as marsh woundwort. It helps clot the wound and also cleanses it.

What advice would you add? Share it in the section below:

This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or cure any particular health condition. Please consult with a qualified health professional to determine which treatments are right for you and any individual health condition(s) that you may have.

If You Like All-Natural Home Remedies, You Need To Read Everything That Hydrogen Peroxide Can Do. Find Out More Here.

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Another, “Ask Cat” episode on Herbal Prepper Live!

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Another, “Ask Cat” episode on Herbal Prepper Live! Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live” On the first Sunday of every month, I do an “Ask Cat” episode. Call in this Sunday evening with all of your natural health, herbal, and prepping questions. What kinds of questions can I ask? Ask anything related to herbal remedies, herbal … Continue reading Another, “Ask Cat” episode on Herbal Prepper Live!

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