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

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

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

Alternatives to Toothpaste

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


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


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

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

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

How to Make Your Own Toothbrushes and Floss

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

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

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

23 Survival Uses for Honey

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23 Survival Uses for Honey After learning about a meager government stipend offered to beekeepers and reading an article like this I feel like bees might be the next best thing to keep. An article like this one really opens your eyes to what is possible with honey. We all know some wild and mind-bending fact about …

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Natural Medicine: How to Make and Apply an Herbal Poultice

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poutlice1


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


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

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

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

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What is Needed to Make an Herbal Poultice

poultice2

How To Make a Poultice

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

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

Some popular herbs to have on hand are:

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

Applying a Poultice

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best Types of Herbal Poultices

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

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

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

The Prepper's Blueprint

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Popular Hollywood Hallucinogenic Plant Could Have Dangerous Side Effects

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hollywood-drugReadyNutrition Readers, this article holds some important information and advice for anyone considering using naturopathic or holistic supplements in their diet.  As a certified Master Herbalist, in no way, shape, or form do I wish my words to be construed as “knocking” herbs and herbal supplements.  There is an article that recently surfaced, however, that bears mentioning, as it presents a substance in a light that is not objective.  The article is entitled Hallucinogenic Plant Ayahuasca Gains Foothold in the U.S.,” by Veronique Dupont of AFP, released on 12/25/16.

Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) is a constituent of the plant, and it is illegal in the U.S., which makes study of it very difficult.  It is said to produce euphoric and hallucinogenic effects, and is claimed to have therapeutic use in helping addiction, trauma, and depression.  Scientists have looked upon it with wariness, as the South American herb has negative effects when mixed with other medications or when used by people with preexisting medical conditions.  The herb is, however, gaining popularity, and people are trying to use it under the protective blanket of its use in “religious rituals and ceremony.”  Here is an excerpt from the article; please take note of the “distinguished” individuals who (according to the article) recommend using Ayahuasca:

“Thousands are flocking to sample the elixir and swear by its therapeutic properties, despite warnings from scientists and users that ayahuasca can be dangerous and even prove fatal, especially when mixed with other drugs.  Ayahuasca’s proponents, who include celebrities such as Sting, Paul Simon, Tori Amos and Lindsey Lohan, say the plant offers a spiritual experience like no other. Many also say it has allowed them to overcome traumas that no other conventional therapy can tackle.”

Really, guys and gals, Lindsey Lohan?  Sting?  The point that I am making (and I am a trained Master Herbalist) is that scientific research and good laboratory work provide true and useful information that should not be ignored just for the sake of bucking the “Big Pharma” train.  Seriously, if you want good information, weigh any herbal supplement against lab data and scientific research provided for you.  In the past, I have mentioned such reference materials as Medical Herbalism” by David Hoffman (a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine), as well as the PDR for Herbal Medicine,” a compendium gathered by hundreds of Medical Doctors and Herbalists.  I have also mentioned traditional medical references, such as Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary.

These reference materials in no way detract from the principles of herbalism and naturopathic aids: rather, they reinforce them with research, study, and in-depth chemical analyses that are possible only in a laboratory setting.  They give dosages, contraindications, and specifics about the herbs that enable a person to arm themselves with knowledge that could prevent an illness or injury.  Part of your survival supplies is the knowledge to employ them.  Nothing could hold more true than with herbs and herbal supplements.

Most laypersons aren’t particularly fond of scientists and chemists; however, these people studied hard to win approval in their profession…with real and valuable information in their curriculums.  It is my firm belief that traditional medicine and herbalism need to support and complement one another, as they are interrelated, with the latter discipline being the older of the two.  Although there are plenty of laws that are not good, they are not the majority: there is common sense in stopping at a red light, common sense in being required to put a tarp over a dump truck loaded with gravel, and common sense with keeping a snarling dog on a leash and maybe muzzled.  Common sense and the observance of it help keep people safe.  If they “forget,” then the law is their guideline.  Without laws people really would eat one another.

In this light, many times some of these exotic herbs have been used for innocuous or innocent purposes with well-meaning, and through no fault of their own, people have gotten hurt or worse.  The reason for this is they didn’t really know the herb or know what they were doing in the first place.  The scientific research on lesser-known substances should be trusted and further researched before attempting to utilize these herbs, as well as consent and approval of a physician…an individual trained in chemistry and biology with years of practical experience in medicine and (we hope) a professional who places patient care first and foremost.

So, to summarize, learn about herbs and herbalism as much as you can when an obscure or “new” thing comes to light.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and your prevention lies within your references and the professionals you have at your disposal to question regarding your supplements.  There is no shame in asking questions, and it is just as important to know about your supplements and how to use them as it is to have a full supply.  Be safe, and have a Happy New Year!

 

JJ

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Why Your Sleep Needs Change With the Seasons

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

Bodies Slow Down in Winter

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

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

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

Get a Better Night’s Sleep with Natural Remedies

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

22 Natural Sore Throat Remedies to Help Soothe the Pain

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22 Natural Sore Throat Remedies to Help Soothe the Pain My son suffers from sore throats a lot during the winter. I hate seeing him in pain and I hate to keep stuffing store bought medicine down his throat because I know it contains crap that shouldn’t be given to animals never mind humans. With …

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

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

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

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

5 Indoor Plants That Will Improve Air Quality

Succulents

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

Flamingo Lilly

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

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

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

Barberton Daisy

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

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

Peace Lilly

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

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

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

Florist Chrysanthemum

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

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

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

4 Ways to Cut the Duration of Your Cold

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cold-and-fluAt our house, back to school means back to kids bringing home germs. When the leaves start turning, I start reaching for my cough drops, feeling that all too familiar tickle in my throat. If I can, I try to drink tons of water, wash my hands like crazy, and keep the bug from taking hold. But once I know I’m past the point of no return, the following things can help cut the duration of my cold and get me back to my busy life.

Do you know how to tell the difference between a cold and a flu virus?

Sleep Helps You Heal

You probably know this already: one of you body’s first ways of signaling that all is not right internally is to make you very tired and sluggish. Don’t fight this feeling! Take a day or two off of work, if need be. Sleeping early and often during a cold can significantly cut the duration and intensity of a common cold. Sleeping allows your body to rest and recuperate—taking 10 hours of rest now could save you days down the line. Chances are you’ll pass out right away, but if you have trouble getting good sleep (particularly if your cold symptoms include coughing and congestion) put yourself in a dark, cool room with a white noise machine and a high-quality humidifier.

Avoid catchall cold medications that are high in alcohol. Even though these drugs might seem like they’re helping you pass out, what you need is good quality, REM sleep. Alcohol can disrupt your natural, restorative sleep patterns and leave you feeling groggy. If you’re certain you need some assistance with sleeping, some people swear by melatonin as a natural sleep aid.

Exercise (Even If You Don’t Feel Like It)

So, you’ve succumbed to a cold, you’ve slept a solid 8 hours and you’re still feeling under the weather. You should definitely skip your workout today, right? Wrong! Even though the LAST thing you probably feel like doing is slogging through your exercise routine, you don’t want to flake out altogether. Movement and respiration actually speed up the healing process (doctors believe working out causes immune cells to respond to and attack viruses at a faster rate). But instead of doing your normal intensity workout, try doing light cardio such as walking or even speed walking. Listen to your body—if it feels like you can do more, push yourself a little. If you fell like you want to die, dial it back. And of course, it’s not polite to spread germs at the gym, so taking a walk outdoors or at least avoiding a community treadmill is much appreciated.

Give Zinc a Chance

Zinc, which helps boost the immune system, can shorten the duration of the common cold by nearly 50 percent. Studies have not been able to show exactly how Zinc fights the common cold, but research shows that it does work. Zinc has antiviral properties and provides relief from some common cold symptoms such as sore throat. Zinc in lozenge form is the most convenient to use while you have a cold, and it’s available online or at most drugstores.

Studies show that Zinc supplements could also help keep your immune system strong while you’re healthy, potentially staving off more colds. You might think about incorporating these supplements into your everyday vitamin routine.

Remember, Time Heals All

Though it can sometimes feel like your cold will last forever, remember that even if none of the above seems to be helping, your cold will eventually go away. If your symptoms persist for more than 10 days or seem to be intensifying, you should visit your doctor to get a professional assessment.

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How To Make Essential Oils at Home

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

Choosing the Correct Source Biomass

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

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

The Extraction Process

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Why You Should Consider Eating Peppers with Every Meal

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pepperPeppers are great for flavoring food, but did you know that consuming spicy peppers on a regular basis may substantially extend your life? It was once thought that hot peppers were damaging to the intestines and that they might possibly cause ulcers. However, in defiance of this common misunderstanding, spicy foods have been shown to reduce the risk of ulcers by the gradual eradication of the ulcer-causing bacteria, “Helicobacter Pylori,” effectively balancing gut flora in the digestive tract.

A 2015 Chinese health study suggests that consumption of peppers shows promise for increasing longevity. The study found that “the habitual consumption of spicy foods was inversely associated with total and certain cause specific mortality.” From 2004-2008, there were 487,375 participants in this study, ages 30-79, enrolled in the China Kadoorie Biobank, excluding those with a history of cancer, heart disease or stroke.

A median follow-up after 7.2 years found 11,820 deaths among men and 8,404 deaths among women. The study controlled for varying family medical history, education, age, diabetes, smoking and other variables. It was found that consumption of primarily chili peppers less than once a week  resulted in a 10 percent reduction of overall risk for death. When spicy food intake was increased to six or seven times a week, the reduction of risk went up to 14 percent.

Peppers of all sorts are particularly good sources of Vitamins A, C, K and B6 as well as Potassium and Manganese. As if these properties were not enough to make the case that you should eat more peppers, there seems to be immense benefits found in the properties that contribute to the spicy nature of peppers.

Three properties that are of interest to research scientists are:

  • Capsaicin: Found in cayenne and chili peppers, capsaicin is often cited as assisting with weight loss because it has been shown to boost metabolism by raising body temperature and effectively lowering appetite. Capsaicin also has been found to help protect against heart disease by lowering total cholesterol levels in rats given capsaicin supplements.
  • Dihydrocapsiate (DCT): A similar substance to capsaicin, often found in mild or sweet chili peppers, and sometimes called “CH-19” peppers, DCT in capsule form acts similarly to capsaicin in the body, without the associated burning sensation.
  • Piperine: Found in dried black pepper, piperine may prevent new fat cells from forming. However, more investigation is required in human subjects to understand this mechanism. Consumption of piperine can also increase the bioavailability of circumin, an anti-cancerous chemical found in turmeric root, by as much as 2000%. This means that circumin absorption is particularly efficient when piperine is consumed simultaneously.

The reasons to include fresh, spicy peppers in your daily intake are many. Regardless, not everyone is attracted to the burning sensation from consumption of these peppers. For those who want to avoid this and still yield benefits, you have two options. One method would be to sautée the pepper for a minute or so prior to eating. The heat will cause the spice to lose its potency and will be substantially less spicy. Remember to wash your hands immediately after making any skin contact with hot peppers to keep from causing irritation to your skin, or you could simply wear gloves and avoid contact altogether. Another approach would be to build a tolerance by consuming small bits of a spicy peppers on a daily basis. Gradually, you will find that you are able to handle more of the pepper as you make a consistent

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

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

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

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

Basic Terminology

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

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

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

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

Herb Ratios

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Making the Tincture

Here are the steps to tincturing your herb:

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

4 Reasons Why Drinking Coffee Is Great For Your Health

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coffee healthReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, this piece is to laud the many wondrous benefits of coffee.  Really, I love it without all of the benefits that we’re going to mention, and drink it by the gallon.  There are a few studies that came out about coffee that I think you’ll find interesting; therefore, there’s a little in this article for everyone.  Let me take a sip of my coffee, now, and then we’ll continue.

Ahh, that’s good!  Now, coffee beans happen to be the seeds of Coffea arabica, a cash-crop harvested in Central and South America, Africa, and Asia.  The beans are harvested nine months after the plant is in its flowering stage.  Then they are dried, either by the sun for about a month, or with machines.

Why many say this beverage is unhealthy is all the “extras” you put in your java. Cream, artificial sweeteners add extra calories and fat to coffee. If you drink it without any of these, then you receive the most health benefits.

Coffee Has Naturopathic Tendencies

As a naturopathic aid, coffee has quite a few uses.  It can be used to treat nonspecific, acute diarrhea.  This is diarrhea that isn’t long term, and could come from a number of different stressors, most of them not disease-related, such as severe fatigue and overwork, or a sudden change in diet.  Caffeine (the main constituent of coffee) is also a diuretic, which means it causes urination.  For this reason, it isn’t used in diarrhea caused by diseases of the stomach and intestines, as it will help with the diarrhea but cause you to lose water through excessive urination.

Coffee Provides Mental Alertness Seconds After Drinking

The caffeine restores mental alertness, and these stimulating effects occur within just a few minutes after ingesting it, in this case with your cup of coffee.  Although we’re primarily concerned here with it as a drink, caffeine as well as ground coffee is available in other forms, such as tablets and as an ingredient in a mixture.  It takes a lot to overdose, and the lethal dose for an adult is 150 to 200 mg of caffeine per kg of body weight.  To place this into perspective, if you weighed about 120 lbs., you would have to drink about 75 cups of coffee before you checked into the big Starbuck’s in the sky.

Drinking Coffee Helps To Lower Health Hazards

An article by Maggie Fox entitled Study Finds More Evidence Coffee Can Be a Life-Saver,” explains some little-known benefits of drinking coffee.  The study comes from Harvard University’s School of Public Health, in which it explains that coffee can actually help you live longer.  Frank Hu, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology helped run the study, and he and his colleagues found that coffee consumption helps with diabetes, cardiovascular problems, feelings of depression/suicide, and can lead to an overall lowering of mortality risk.  The study found that having 3 to 5 cups per day can lower the risks associated with these health hazards.

Coffee Is Full Of Antioxidants

Coffee happens to be the Number 1 source of antioxidants in the American diet.  Antioxidants are chemical compounds that offset the damage by free radicals to your cells that occurs on a daily basis.  The studies went on to tell how inflammations in your body’s system and resistance to insulin is diminished in diabetic patients by several ingredients in coffee, such as quinides, lignans, and magnesium, among others.

The reason the study is very reliable is this: it was taken from a sampling of 200,000 doctors and nurses over a period of a decade that tabulated their habits.

Statistically speaking, those are pretty good numbers, when you consider the persons being sampled are in a high-stress, high-pressure work environment.  This is not to say that coffee is for everyone, but the really good news about the coffee intake is this:

The beneficial effects were with (regular) caffeinated coffee as well as (“unleaded”) decaffeinated coffee.

In addition to the points made above, you can make your coffee even healthier by adding these superfoods to your favorite brew. It must be mentioned that your coffee grounds can do wonders for your garden. Here are 14 genius ways to use coffee grounds.

The Final Say-So

The final say-so rests with your happy, smiling, family doctor.  Obtain his smiling permission before undertaking any regimen of therapy suggested in the referenced article or using any information in this one.  If coffee is something you normally enjoy (such as I’m enjoying this very moment), then this article should have given you some food for thought that is positive reinforcement to “our” indulgence in coffee.  So, bottom’s up, and keep up the prepping and learning!

 

JJ

 

coffee health

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

5 Common Medications That May be Disturbing Your Sleep

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We all know how critical sleep is in our lives and we’ve all suffered from the occasional restless night. You’re probably aware that caffeine and alcohol can affect your ability to get a good night’s sleep, but there are also several other medications you might not be aware of that can lead to sleep disturbances. When it comes to fitful sleep and bad dreams, the monster may be in your medicine cabinet!

5 Common Medicines That Cause Sleeplessness

  • Cipro: This commonly prescribed antibiotic (full name ciprofloxacin) belongs to the category of fluoroquinolones, which are used to treat urinary tract infections and gastroenteritis. Cipro is extremely effective as an antibiotic, but it has also been linked to vivid, violent dreams in adults and agitated sleep walking in young children.
  • Smoking-cessation drugs (Chantix, nicotine patches, Zyban): Many people are not aware that medications meant to help them quit smoking can cause disturbances in sleep. Stressful, seemingly endless dreams as well as frequent waking has been reported by those using these medications.
  • Glucosamine and Chondroitin: These are highly regarded dietary supplements used for relieving pain in the joints, as well as improving joint function and lessening inflammation. Both components are found naturally in the human body and have been proven to be beneficial for those suffering from arthritis; however, people who take this supplement at night often note difficulty falling and staying asleep. Other complaints include muscle cramps and sleep talking.
  • ACE Inhibitors: are used to treat high blood pressure, congestive heart failure and other conditions. ACE inhibitors relax blood vessels and keep blood pressure low. Some people who take these drugs develop a dry, hacking cough that can disrupt sleep. These medications can also cause potassium to build up in the body, which leads to muscle cramps and diarrhea—two things that may have you up out of bed frequently.
  • High Doses of B Vitamins: B vitamins such as niacin (aka B3) are often used to help you sleep; however, when taken in large quantities (daily doses higher than 5,000 mg) the opposite can occur. People taking higher doses reported insomnia, vivid, disturbing dreams, and frequent waking overnight.

Natural Remedies Could be the Answer

Prolonged bouts of sleeplessness can have an impact on your health. Sleep deprivation carries numerous health and safety implications, and some are serious:

  • Poor work performance
  • Car accidents
  • Relationship problems
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Mood problems like anger and depression
  • Increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, hypertension, cancer, and increased mortality

Any sudden and persistent disruption in your sleep should be discussed with your doctor, but a little analyzing of your medicine chest can arm you with more information before your visit. Alternatively, consider some natural ways to improve your quality of sleep. For instance, natural herbs and essential oils have proven to have a positive effect on restfulness. As well, banana tea have been making the headlines lately as a popular way to catch some zzz’s. If you plan on using these natural remedies, check with your healthcare provider to ensure these natural remedies are safe to take with your medications.

It’s easy to forget that the supplements and medications we take, even infrequently, can impact our sleep cycles. In some cases your doctor may be able to provide an alternative medication or supplement, or they may be able to tweak the dosage or time of day when the medication is administered to give you benefits without disrupting your sleep.

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Top 10 Inexpensive Food Items That Can PREVENT Nearly Every Disease and Disorder Known to Mankind

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Natural medicine

By S. D. Wells – Natural News

(NaturalNews) Nothing’s more true than the old adage, “An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.” Not only does that ounce of prevention save you the nightmare of being sick, probably missing work and most likely accumulating medical bills, but that same “ounce” of prevention may only literally weigh an ounce and cost less than 15 bucks.

In America, people have been brainwashed by the medical industrial complex into believing that food can’t prevent or cure anything, but just the opposite is true. In fact, there’s a natural cure for every health ill under the sun, and the secret “recipe” involves taking a couple of 5 dollar bills out of your purse or wallet, buying the item, opening the package and putting the remedy in your mouth. It’s a super simple process that seems too easy, and that’s exactly why so many people fail to have the faith required to actually walk the walk, so they won’t have to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars at doctor’s offices and hospitals – those dreadful places where health problems often get much, much worse.

Continue reading at Natural News: Top 10 Inexpensive Food Items That Can PREVENT Nearly Every Disease and Disorder Known to Mankind

Filed under: Food

Hives: Natural Remedies to Ease An Itchy Situation

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

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

Understanding How Hives Occur

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

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

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

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

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

Naturopathic Aids to Alleviate Symptoms

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

JJ

 

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

 

Additional Resources:

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

30 Most Popular Herbs for Natural Medicine

Off Grid Antibiotics: For When There is No Medicine

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

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

5 Ways Coconut Oil Can Bring Out Your Natural Beauty

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

6 Ways to Achieve Natural Beauty with Coconut Oil

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

 Eye Cream and Nighttime Moisturizer

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

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

Shaving cream

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

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

Bath oil

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

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

Hair mask

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

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

Makeup remover

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

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

Lip balm

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

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

8 Essential Oil Alternatives To Over-The-Counter Drugs

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8 Essential Oil Alternatives To Over-The-Counter Drugs

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Natural essential oils have been used throughout time for healing, as well as for treating many physical and mental ailments.

Essential oils are non-toxic, natural substances which are easily eliminated from the body. Prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, on the other hand, are synthetic substances which the body is not designed to metabolize and eliminate. Because our organs do not know how to break down these man-made compounds, the synthetic toxins pass through our kidneys, liver and spleen, and can end up in waste-holding areas such as fatty tissues, and even the brain. Perhaps most alarming, after attaching themselves to these tissues they can disrupt normal body functions for years afterward.

Here is a list of common health ailments that can be treated with natural essential oils instead of OTC drugs, along with a few recipes to try:

1. Colds, coughs, allergies, congestion and sinusitis

Peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils ─ Both have decongestant, expectorant and antiviral properties.

Angelica, thyme, camphor, bay, myrrh and spruce essential oils ─ All of these oils help relieve sinus congestion when inhaled.

Laurel leaf essential oil ─ This natural oil is known to help strengthen the body’s resistance to viruses by building up the immune system and boosting the respiratory system.

Try a mixture of 10 drops of any of these oils and 4 tsp of a carrier oil of your choice. Rub it into the chest area so that the molecules can be inhaled.

Learn How To Make Powerful Herbal Medicines, Right in Your Kitchen!

Add any of these oils or a mixture of them into a bowl of steaming water. Wrap a towel around your head and inhale the molecules released by the steam.

 2. Acne

Jojoba oil ─ Otherwise known as a carrier oil, jojoba is known to balance oily skin and clear acne. You can use it alone or try blending it with other essential oils. Try this recipe:

  • 4 drops lemon essential oil
  • 4 drops frankincense essential oil
  • 2 drops ylang ylang essential oil
  • 4 tsp jojoba oil

Tea tree essential oil ─ A potent antiseptic that kills bacteria which cause acne. It is also useful for eliminating blackheads. Tea tree oil can be used alone by applying it to a cotton swab and wiping it over the face in an upwards motion. It will pull up dirt while killing bacteria that clogs pores. You can also try this mixture:

  • 4 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 4 drops lemon essential oil
  • 4 drops geranium essential oil
  • 4 tsp jojoba oil

3. Athlete’s foot

Lavender essential oil ─ Lavender has antiseptic and healing properties.

8 Essential Oil Alternatives To Over-The-Counter Drugs

Image source: Pixabay.com

Tea tree essential oil ─ Tea tree is antifungal.

Geranium or birch essential oil ─ Both have anti-inflammatory and soothing properties.

Lemongrass essential oil ─ Lemongrass oil is deodorizing and drying.

Athlete’s foot recipe: Mix 2 drops of each of the above listed essential oils with 4 tsp of a carrier oil. The properties of these oils will fight the fungus that causes athlete’s foot and aid with anti-inflammatory conditions while healing, soothing, deodorizing and drying your feet.

4. Backache and other muscle pain

Helichrysum essential oil ─ Helichrysum has anti-inflammatory and analgesic qualities which decrease muscle pain by lowering swelling, inflammation and improving circulation.

  • 10 drops helichrysum essential oil
  • 4 tsp sweet almond carrier oil
  • Massage the blend into the back or any other body area that is experiencing pain.

Rosemary essential oil ─ Rosemary has a high-camphor content which makes this a great warming oil for aching muscles. It also has soothing and stimulating properties that relax muscles and encourage circulation of blood flow within them.

  • 4 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 4 drops black pepper essential oil
  • 2 drops vetiver essential oil
  • 4 tsp sweet almond oil or a carrier oil of your choice.

5. Burns and cuts

Lavender and tea tree essential oils ─ Both have soothing, healing and antiseptic properties and can be applied undiluted to burned skin or abrasions immediately.

Chamomile essential oil, geranium essential oil, marigold essential oil and rose essential oil ─ These essential oils also have soothing and healing properties which are ideal for treating burns and cuts.

Try a blend of 10 drops of any of these essential oils, and …

4 tsp pure aloe gel to help sooth and heal burns and cuts, as well as to prevent infection.

6. Rashes, eczema, psoriasis, or dry, itchy skin

Try a mixture of 10 drops of any of these oils along with 4 tsp of castor oil or coconut oil and rub it into the affected area.

Fast, All-Natural Pain Relief With No Nasty Side Effects!

Chamomile, bergamot and violet essential oils ─ All of these oils have soothing and anti-inflammatory properties which are suitable for treating inflamed skin.

Lavender, geranium and myrrh essential oils ─ These oils have healing properties which help heal damaged skin.

Marigold essential oil ─ Treats itchy skin.

Sandalwood essential oil ─ Treats extra dry skin.

7. Headache

8 Essential Oil Alternatives To Over-The-Counter Drugs

Image source: Pixabay.com

Lavender, Violet, Ambrette, Rose, Chamomile and Helichrysum essential oils ─ All of these oils have analgesic and relaxing properties.

Frankincense, Clary Sage and Thyme essential oils─ These oils are known to relieve tension.

Mix 10 drops of any of these oils along with sweet almond carrier oil and rub the blend into your temples and the back of your neck.

8. Indigestion, upset stomach, nausea or morning sickness

Peppermint essential oil ─ Peppermint oil is very helpful as an aid in digestion. Peppermint oil is also an excellent tonic for those who have a low appetite, and it helps to treat motion sickness, nausea and upset stomachs.

Inhale peppermint oil straight from the bottle or until the symptoms depart.

Place a few drops on a tissue and inhale. You can carry the tissue around with you.

Add 10 drops to 4 tsp sweet almond oil and massage the blend into your stomach or chest area.

Look for approved ingestible peppermint oil and add to your tea or water bottle.

If you are looking to use natural remedies, detoxify your organs and tissues, and help to restore you body’s natural functions, try using natural essential oils instead of OTC drugs.

What essential oils would you add to the list? Share your tips in the section below:

This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or cure any particular health condition. Please consult with a qualified health professional to determine which treatments are right for you and any individual health condition(s) that you may have.

If You Like All-Natural Home Remedies, You Need To Read Everything That Hydrogen Peroxide Can Do. Find Out More Here.

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

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

Choosing your perfect potion

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

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

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

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

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

Making your mixture

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

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

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

A few warnings about essential oils

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Contemplating the Kombucha Craze

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

What is kombucha?

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

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

Can you catch a buzz?

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

Is it a miracle elixir?

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

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

Bottoms up!

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

5 Natural Remedies to Soothe Poison Ivy Rashes

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

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

Tea tree oil

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

Aloe vera

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

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

Jewelweed 

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

Witch hazel

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

Oatmeal bath

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

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

The Prepper's Blueprint

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Every Natural Medicine Chest Should Have These 3 Herbs

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

Most Common Ailments To Have Natural Medicine For

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

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

The Three G’s

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

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

How To Make Infused Garlic Oil:

– 5 cloves of garlic

– 4 ounces of olive oil

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Aromatherapy: An Introduction on How Aromas Can Heal

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 ReadyNutrition Readers, this article covers some basics about aromatherapy and its uses as a practical tool in your bag of preparedness.  Indeed, holistic and naturopathic methods and supplements are becoming more well-known by the day.  Aromatherapy has its place within the overall discipline of naturopathic medicine.  Let’s cover some basics, then, to start you on your path to researching what works for you and your family.

Aromatherapy is not a new concept nor is it a new discipline.  It is not “mumbo-jumbo” or pagan ritualistic Spiritism.  As a matter of fact, if you need references to dispel such an inaccurate concept, read “The Song of Solomon” in the Torah/Old Testament.  Read its references to myrrh, aloes, lilies, the rose, and other aromatic flowers and herbs to prove such.  That is not to say that oils and scents were not used by nations for purposes less than “above board,” however, the scope of this article is not didactic in nature.  We are addressing aromatherapy from a naturopathic and scientifically-based standpoint as a holistic discipline.

Aromatherapy is based on the concept that healing can occur with the introduction of therapeutic aromas as passively or actively inhaled. Essential oils are volatile, odorous oils extracted from plants; “volatility” here meaning that with the introduction of air, they evaporate easily and quickly.  Essential oils contain alcohols, aldehydes, esters, ketones, and terpenes.  The plant’s leaf structure contains chloroplasts, and it is here that odoriferous materials are obtained.

In the chloroplasts, the odors combine with glucose, and the resultant mixture is glucosides.  These then are passed throughout the entire plant in the manner that red blood cells circulate throughout the human body.  Steam distillation is the preferred and most effective method for extraction.  The concentrations of essences vary as per the plants themselves.  Roses, for example, have a very low concentration of essence, and a ton of petals (2,000 lbs.) may be needed just to produce a 16 fluid ounce bottle of oil.  That, ladies and gentlemen, is a lot of roses!

In the year 1527, a book was printed entitled “Banckes’ Herbal” by Richard Banckes, with the collaboration of Anthony Askham, a physician.  It entailed many practical remedies used with herbs and aromatics, with rose oil being one used to treat liver problems.  In the middle ages, aromatherapy saw widespread use and practice, although the true science behind microbes and microscopy was as yet unknown and undiscovered.

Smells and aromas are very important to us as a species.  Smell is an extension of taste.  Do you know that retching around rotten meat is a protective mechanism of your olfactory (sense of smell) processes?  There are certain chemicals in rotten meat that cause the gagging (and sometimes vomiting) when a person is exposed to the sickeningly nauseating smell of rotting flesh.  This protective response is…you guessed it…your olfactory processes warning you not to eat it…that it is unsafe.

Massage, skin care, and aromatic baths are just a few of the uses to employ essential oils.  Aromatherapy may be applied externally or internally, depending on the type of herb used, the malady it is used for, and the concentration of the essential oil.  Many essential oils applied externally have a deep penetrating effect on the skin’s tissues and act on the organ systems closest to the topical (external skin) application.  It is not a thing to be taken lightly: you can seriously hurt or injure yourself if you do not know the herb type and its concentration (strength) as an essential oil.  Consult with an Herbalist or an Aromatherapist for potential use of essential oils, and before using them consult with your family physician to see that it meets with his or her approval.

There are many reference materials out there to choose from.  One of the difficulties with aromatherapy is that it isn’t as easily quantified as the more conventional herbalism as practiced by Herbalists.  The healing that occurs with the uses of essential oils is as different for people as people themselves differ.  The modalities and paradigms are different, as well.  The Russians and Germans are light years ahead of the United States, with extensive publications available on multi-tiered and in-depth research they conducted.  As mentioned earlier, this is just an intro to give you some food for thought and consider picking up a book on aromatherapy.

In future articles we’ll cover some methods of steam distillation you can employ to make essential oils and flower essences in your home.  We’ll also give a short “Materia medica” list for you as a first-aid kit of oils you may either want to make or gather for your supplies.  History is replete with examples of how this discipline holds efficacy and a truly worthwhile place within the disciplines of holistic medicine.  It is worth looking into and conducting research on, to use as another tool in your survival kit.  Fight the good fight, study hard, and keep your eyes and ears open!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

11 Medicinal Herbs To Help You Ease Pain Naturally

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Although I think it’s a good idea to stock up on OTC medicines, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have any natural medicines as well. OTC medicine has an expiration date, but you can grow fresh medicinal herbs year after year, making them a great option for people who […]

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

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lungs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 1. Sage

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

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

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

2. Cannabis

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

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

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

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

3. Oregano

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

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

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

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

4. Eucalyptus

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

5. Mullein – Verbascum Thapsus

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

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

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

6. Peppermint – Mentha + Piperita

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

7. Plantain herb – P. Ianceolata and Plantago major

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

4 Ways the Pine Tree Can Save Your Life

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pine treeHey there, ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals!  Today we’re going to give a few pointers to possibly an overlooked resource for your survival right under your fingertips.  You guessed it: the pine tree.  There are many benefits that pine trees offer for the survival enthusiast.  They can be found virtually in any part of the country; therefore, it will benefit you to explore the resources of this bountiful plant.

Food

Pine needle tea alone contains more than 5 times the amount of vitamin C in an orange.  The way to prepare it is as follows.

Pine Needle Tea

  • 1 handful of pine needles, cut up 1/2 inch in length
  • Boiling water

Take your pine needles (a good, full handful) and cut up the needles until you have a bunch of pieces about ½ inch in length.  Then macerate them (chop them up).  Add them to boiling water, and boil for about 3 minutes.  Then take them off the burner, keeping the pot covered and allow them to steep for a good 15 to 20 minutes or until cool. One cup of it is enough to maintain the RDA for Vitamin C in an adult.

This holds true for all of the pines, however, there are 6 species that must be mentioned for toxic effects.  Avoid these for any kind of food use:  Norfolk Island Pine, Ponderosa Pine, Monterey Cypress, Lodge pole Pine, Common Juniper, and Yew.

Pine nuts can be gathered from pine cones between September and November.  They are rich in Vitamin E, pinolenic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid), and oleic acid (a monounsaturated fat that lowers LDL (the bad cholesterol, Low-density Lipoprotein).  Pine nuts are chock full of essential minerals such as manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium. The nuts also provide the B-complex group of vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine) and folates.

From a nutritional perspective, it can also be said that the pine tree can provide for some of your needs in a survival situation.  There is a layer beneath the bark called the cambium layer.  This is a layer that the tree stores all of its energy, similar to the way other plants store theirs in bulbs, roots, etc.  When you extract this cambium layer, you can obtain the carbohydrates by cutting pieces of it up into strips and chewing them.  Don’t eat them!  The fiber will pass through you akin to a lawn mower in Stephen King’s movie “Maximum Overdrive,” thereby defeating the positive gains you may realize.

Chew on those strips and allow the carbohydrates to be softened and absorbed as you such on the plant fibers.  It tastes terrible: akin to turpentine.  Then again, this is survival, and you don’t have the luxury of choice in certain circumstances. The thing that makes the pine so good a resource is that it is a perennial and an evergreen: it can be used in these outlined capacities all year round.

Here is a link you may find interesting that has several films on various uses of pine sap (resin).

Bedding and Shelter

Pine boughs are excellent material for bedding.  When layered properly, they will lock the cold out and keep your heat from being transferred into the ground (conduction).  You can also thatch the top/roof of a lean-to that will enable you to keep drier.  See video here. This is due to the semi-waxy coating on the outside of the leaves (the needles) that help in terms of water resistance.

Fuel

Fire is life in a survival situation and pine wood is an excellent source for fires. Specifically, older pine needles make excellent fire starting material, as well as the older pine cones. Fatwood is another bi-product from the resourceful pine tree. You can find high quality fatwood in forests or in your own backyard that will help to start your fire more quickly. You can also collect the sticky resin from pine trees to use to start a fire – all you need is a dime-sized amount. Pine stumps are an excellent source to look for fatwood and resin. As well, the resin can be used as a waterproofing agent to patch up tent seams, boots and mittens.

Medicine

Incidentally, I almost forgot…the tea I outlined above?  You can also bottle it up and use it as an astringent for minor cuts, wounds, abrasions, and rashes.  Pines are habitats for many different forms of wildlife, such as birds and squirrels.  In a survival situation, it would behoove you to study what pines the birds and squirrels prefer in your locality.

The pine tree can be a very valuable resource for you: for food, shelter, fire and medicine.  Be sure to mind the local laws and ordinances before you practice some of these techniques.  I highly recommend (if you have a Christmas tree) trying it with some of the needles, and experimenting with a tea for yourself, prior to discarding the tree this season.  Have a great day!

JJ

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We will need:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

The Prepper's Blueprint

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Study Reveals Ginger May Be Stronger than Chemo for Fighting Cancer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Prepper’s Natural Medicine (Book Review)

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Natural medicine is something you will invariably hear about as you get involved in the prepping community.  We, as a general society, have become very dependent on conventional medicine – doctors, hospitals, pharmacists, etc.  If a SHTF scenario ever happens, we’ll need to be able to take care of ourselves both from a conventional medicine standpoint and a traditional medicine, or natural medicine standpoint.  Cat Ellis’ latest offering, Prepper’s Natural Medicine, walks you through the unnecessarily intimidating world of natural medicine.

Book Set-Up

Cat has created Prepper’s Natural Medicine in a very concise, direct manner.  Each chapter listed below is presented in an intelligent chronological manner which builds on the information already presented.  The chapters in the book are:

Chapter 1 – Introduction

Cat uses this chapter to introduce herself and her background.  She also spends a significant amount of time talking about why we should use natural medicine, the benefits of using natural medicine in a SHTF scenario and, most importantly, her version of natural medicine.

Chapter 2 – Stocking The Home Apothecary

This is where Cat starts to get into the nuts and bolts of natural medicine.  She takes the time to describe all the different items you will need to start in the natural medicine movement including formula ingredients such as herbs, alcohol, vinegar, glycerin, raw honey, beeswax, propolis, mushrooms, oils and fats, bentonite clay, kaolin clay, activated charcoal, salts and essential oils.  Don’t worry – you don’t need to have all of these things to get started! Cat just does a great job of outlining everything you may need!  In addition to these ingredients, she also discusses containers and other equipment you may need to start working with natural medicine.

Chapter 3 – Basic Skills

Very simply put, this is the ‘how to’ section of the book.  Cat goes through all the different ways you can create natural medicine and walks through the general directions for the creation of each.  The methods discussed include:

  • Tisanes – Infusions and Decoctions, as well as Blending Herbs for Tisanes
  • Tinctures
  • Aceta
  • Herbal Wines
  • Glycerin and Glycerites
  • Oxymels
  • Syrups
  • Elixirs
  • Infused Honey
  • Electuaries
  • Powders
  • Pastilles
  • Poultice
  • Infused Oils (both cold and warm infusions)
  • Salves
  • Lotions and Creams

She also discusses topics such as fresh vs dried herbs as well as the effect of alcohol percentage in tinctures.

Chapter 4 – Materia Medica

“Materia Medica” is a Latin medical term for the body of collected knowledge about the therapeutic properties of any substance used for healing.  This section is the meat and potatoes part of the book.  There over sixty-five pages of information on fifty individual herbs and plants which are used in natural medicine.  Common material such as cayenne, comfrey, garlic, ginger, lemon balm, sage, thyme  and valerian are discussed as well as lesser known items such as chinese skullcap, hyssop, ma huang and sida.

Cat discusses the Parts Used, Actions, Preparations, Dose, Uses and Contraindications for each item.  The information discussed here is incredibly in-depth and useful.

Chapter 5 – Herbal First Aid Kit

As you might expect from the title, this chapter walks you through building a first aid kit which consists of natural solutions.  Cat talks about how each person’s first aid kit will differ, but she does spend some time walking through different items she recommends everyone have including ingredients required and the directions on how to construct them.  She includes natural medicine solutions for some common situations including infection, inflammation, burn care, constipation, ear aches, nausea/vomiting, sore throats, sprains, stress and wound wash (among others).

Chapter 6 – Everyday Natural Medicine

In addition, to the remedies mentioned in Chapter 5, Cat spends a significant amount of time in this chapter talking about preventative, as opposed to reactionary, natural medicine solutions.  You would use the solutions in this chapter if you have a chronic situation or know that you require a longer term solution.

Appendices & Indexes

There a multiple different tables and lists that summarize different natural medicine solutions as well as herbs that are used in different situations.  In addition, there are lots of links to external information sources.  Definitely a treasure trove of information.

Why I Liked Prepper’s Natural Medicine

Plain and simple, Cat Ellis takes a very daunting, ambiguous topic and brings it down to a simple presentation that just makes sense.  I’ve not only been able to understand her writing, but have started to implement some of her suggestions and can attest to the fact that her directions are complete.

In my opinion, that’s the best part of this book – the level of knowledge that is presented in a clear, concise manner.

What I Didn’t Like

I don’t want to be that guy, but there was not much to not like about this book.  It reads as an information book and and is definitely more of an educational tool than a theoretical or opinion-lead work.

Overall Thoughts On Prepper’s Natural Medicine

I think Prepper’s Natural Medicine by Cat Ellis is a solid addition to your long-term survival library.  The natural medicine information provided is straight-forward and no-nonsense.  In addition, the presentation is put together in a chronologically intelligent way.  You can build on the information as it is presented to you.  The book, in its non-digital form, will be a great possession to have in your survival kit.

natural medicine

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Dan
Founder/Owner at Suburban Steader
I am a middle-age guy with a wife, two young kids and a couple of crazy dogs. We live on Long Island, NY and had an interesting experience with Hurricane Sandy. That experience led me towards the self-sufficiency movement and eventually led to the founding of SuburbanSteader.com. I aim to provide suburbanites with the confidence and know-how to become more self-reliant by providing content on topics such as gardening, personal health, financial responsibility, cooking, self-preparedness and self-protection.