6 Wild Healing Plants You Should Use

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6 Wild Healing Plants You Should Use Nature offers a multitude of solutions to recover, without side effects from some of the most problematic illnesses we can think of. There are medicinal plants that have been used in alternative medicine since the dawn of time. With more than two hundred medicinal plants found in North …

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A Collection Of Cool Things To Do With Stinging Nettles

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A Collection Of Cool Things To Do With Stinging Nettles Stinging nettles have been around from the beginning of time, they hurt us a kid but these green wild plants can actually be very useful in the kitchen. Here is something that I have just found out today! Stinging nettles actually have a similar flavor to that …

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Five Best Toothache Remedies

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featured_barberry_japanese_toothache

syzygium_aromaticum_-_ko%cc%88hler-s_medizinal-pflanzen-030As is generally the case with any illness, we want to consider the cause of the illness as well as the most urgent manifest symptoms.  There are many possible causes of toothache.  Let us consider for this article one that is undoubtedly a major cause – infection.  Obviously, if infection is causing a toothache, we want to address the infection with antimicrobial agents.  Most of our toothache remedies have some antimicrobial properties.  Barberry (Berberis spp.) will be discussed in this article, though it represents others of the group that are also quite useful and most better-known; such as Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis), Oregon Grape Root (Mahonia spp.), and Goldthread (Coptis spp.).  Spilanthes is also a stellar antimicrobial.  It will be discussed here additionally because it has numbing and sialagogue properties – a perfect toothache herb.  Another classic remedy that must be mentioned is Clove (Syzygium aromaticum), usually used as essential (distilled) oil.  Sesame (Sesamum indicum) oil, or another cooking oil, can be used in a remedy called oil-pulling.  And the fifth remedy is the technique of shiatsu (acupressure).

By Nathaniel Whitmore a Contributing Author to SHTFBlog and SurvivalCache

There are many additional remedies that can be found outside in various ecosystems.  It is well worth getting to know your local forests and camping areas in case the need arises to find a toothache remedy.  Toothache is some of the worst pain I have experienced.  It can keep a person awake at night and feeling very miserable.  If you are in the woods or otherwise away from medical care or even your home medicine cabinet, there will likely be many herbal remedies found at hand among the plant life. 

Trees in particular offer many toothache remedies.  Prickly Ash in certain areas is a helpful remedy.  More wide-spread are the conifers.  Pines, Spruce, Fir, and others produce resins that can be very helpful.  Myrrh is another tree resin well-known for treating toothache.  Willlows and Poplars as well are well-known pain relieving herbs.  Among the herbaceous plants there are things like the Mints, Yarrow, and other aromatic and/or antimicrobial plants.  A study in toothache remedies, however abundant they are, might best start with the five classic remedies mentioned above.

Barberry

japanese_barberryJapanese Barberry (Berberis thunbergii) is a common and hated invasive in my area.  Though not in every patch of woods, it is widespread and in many areas has taken over to the point that the growth of other vegetation is dramatically suppressed and walking is difficult to near impossible.  There are many other species as well.  Oregon Grape Root was formerly considered a member of the genus, but is now Mahonia.  The constituent credited for the antibiotic and other medicinal effects, as well as the yellow color of the roots and bark, is called “berberine” after these plants.  Goldenseal and Coptis (our native Goldthread as well as Huang Lian of Chinese herbal medicine and others – another name is Canker Root, which indicates use in mouth infections) are perhaps better known, but I focus on Barberry because it is invasive.  Barberry is also of interest as a wild edible.  The fruits are not highly sought after, but they are edible.  …

Toothache Plant

toothache_plantToothache plant is also commonly known by its genus name Spilanthes and by the name Eyeball Plant, for the flowerhead which lacks rays.  It is largely a tropical plant, where it often grows as a perennial.  In my part of the world, we grow Spilanthes as an annual.  I think of it as a quick-growing Echinacea analogue, as Echinacea takes several seasons to mature.  Like Echinacea, or Cone Flower, Toothache Plant produces a distinct tingling as well as an increased flow of saliva.  

If you are lucky enough to have fresh Toothache Plant growing (or smart enough to have planted it), simply pick a flower-head and chew it, or at least bite into it once or twice before stuffing it between your gum and cheek (or maybe under the tongue) near the troubled tooth.  

If you do grow Toothache Plant you can tincture it by chopping and soaking the plant (or just the flower heads) in high-proof alcohol.  After about four weeks (one moon cycle) you can strain the liquid off (perhaps by pouring through and then ringing out through cheesecloth) and store in a tightly sealed jar.  If dispensed from a one or two ounce bottle with a dropper lid, it is easy to drop from a few drops to half the dropper directly onto the trouble area.

Related: Survival Eating

The tingling effects from Toothache plant are quite immediate and strong in effect.  In fact, it can be overwhelming.  If you place too much tincture in your mouth or chew a bit too much of a flower-head, you might find your mouth producing almost more saliva than you can swallow.  Here-in lies some of the benefit, however.  Spilanthes helps to move the saliva and lymph and “wash out” the sick fluids around the tooth. Additionally, Toothache Plant is a distinct antimicrobial.  It quickly helps to resolve the infection that is at the root of the pain.   

Clove

cloveEven the Hagakure“The Book of the Samurai” mentions the protective and healing powers of clove.  Still today Clove is revered for its medicinal uses, and is known as a primary remedy for tooth pain.  Aromatherapists, herb shops, and distributors of essential oils have promoted especially the essential oil of Clove for toothache, and it is indeed a convenient remedy.  The distilled oil is liquid and usually sold in small bottles with a dropper.  Simply place a drop or two on your finger to apply or apply directly from the dropper onto the trouble area.  Clove is quite spicy and warming and will cause the tissue to burn.  Don’t use so much as to cause excessive irritation.  This burning sensation and warming of the tissue is in part what distracts one from the pain.  There is a numbing quality as well, and Clove has antimicrobial properties.

Clove essential oil can be mixed with other essential oils, like Tea Tree (Melaleuca).  Tea Tree is a wonderful antiseptic, though I am not real fond of putting it in my mouth.  It’s antiseptic properties are undeniable and for this reason I usually have some around, particularly for tick bites but also as a general antiseptic for cuts and the like.  Since you should have some around in your first-aid kit (I keep it in my truck, home, cabin, and even motorcycle saddlebags), it is well worth considering as a toothache remedy, especially mixed with Clove.

Clove oil or combination of oils can be mixed in with the oil used for oil pulling, described below.  It is also used in sword oils, for tending to the shinken or katana (sword).  So, depending on what type of survival situation you are preparing for, there are many possible reasons to have Clove oil around.  It can also be useful for digestive, respiratory, and circulatory problems, headaches, and in the treatment of injury.

Read Also: Eating All Your Veggies

Powdered Clove can easily be used by placing a pinch in the troubled area.  It can also be infused into oils, though you would want to allow more time for the oil to extract the medicine from the powder than when using the essential oil.  Even more time should be allowed if using whole Cloves.  Quite likely, you will want to grind them if you have only whole Cloves.  For storage purposes, whole Cloves might be prefered to the powder because of their longer shelf-life.  

Oil Pulling

oil_sesameOil pulling consists of swishing oil, such as Sesame oil, through the teeth and around the mouth in order to absorb the impurities of the mouth and gums.  Any oil will do.  Simply swish until your saliva has thoroughly been mixed with the oil and then some, about 15 to 20 minutes.  Then spit it out.  Repeat for acute toothaches.  Practice daily to avoid toothaches or for minor ones. Sesame oil is a commonly used oil, partially because Sesame has been used to strengthen the bones and teeth.  Of course today using Coconut oil is very popular.  In many areas Olive oil will be the most available.  Grapeseed oil is good too.  For an active infection, you can consider adding small amounts of clove oil, tea tree oil, or other antimicrobial oils.

Shiatsu

Shiatsu (Japanese for “finger pressure”), or acupressure, is also very good for toothache.  There are some points locally – some in the jaw for any toothache, and of course some might be of particular focus according to which tooth is affected.  There are also some points around the base of the skull, neck, and shoulders that help, partially by releasing the tension that often accompanies, and contributes to, tooth pain.  There are also distal points that are located elsewhere on the body.

A primary distal point for toothache is between the thumb knuckle and metatarsal bone of the index finger.  There is more-or-less a muscular mound that when pressed will usually be quite sore.  The point and general area can be pressed or massaged.  

Most of the other relevant points can be  simply felt out by massaging the area of the jaw, occiput, neck, and shoulders.  Especially the joint of the jaw, the muscle there, and the area around the teeth should be palpated for soreness and pressed or massaged.  Likewise, the base of the skull, the neck (especially the muscles and along the spine), and the tops of the shoulders should be rubbed and palpated.  There is one point in particular worth mentioning (the rest have to be saved for an article specifically on the subject).  It can be found by working one’s fingers along the base of the skull.  Although everyone is built a little different, there is usually a soft, and sore, spot between a mound behind the ear and a mound at the back of the neck.  By treating this point with pressure or massage it is possible to relax the whole neck, jaw, and shoulders and bring great relief to the pain.

Photos Courtesy of:

Anna Hesser
Sara Rall
mwms1916
Lynda_2008
Nattu
Yukoinsunshine

Interested in writing for us? Send a sample of your work and an introductory statement to joel@survivalcache.com. Please use subject line: ‘Write for SurvivalCache/SHTFBlog’. If you’re a good fit, we’ll publish your work and compensate you accordingly.

Five Best DIY Toothache Remedies

Click here to view the original post.

featured_barberry_japanese_toothache

syzygium_aromaticum_-_ko%cc%88hler-s_medizinal-pflanzen-030As is generally the case with any illness, we want to consider the cause of the illness as well as the most urgent manifest symptoms.  There are many possible causes of toothache.  Let us consider for this article one that is undoubtedly a major cause – infection.  Obviously, if infection is causing a toothache, we want to address the infection with antimicrobial agents.  Most of our DIY toothache remedies have some antimicrobial properties.  Barberry (Berberis spp.) will be discussed in this article, though it represents others of the group that are also quite useful and most better-known; such as Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis), Oregon Grape Root (Mahonia spp.), and Goldthread (Coptis spp.).  Spilanthes is also a stellar antimicrobial.  It will be discussed here additionally because it has numbing and sialagogue properties – a perfect toothache herb.  Another classic remedy that must be mentioned is Clove (Syzygium aromaticum), usually used as essential (distilled) oil.  Sesame (Sesamum indicum) oil, or another cooking oil, can be used in a remedy called oil-pulling.  And the fifth remedy is the technique of shiatsu (acupressure).

By Nathaniel Whitmore a Contributing Author to SHTFBlog and SurvivalCache

There are many additional DIY remedies that can be found outside in various ecosystems.  It is well worth getting to know your local forests and camping areas in case the need arises to find a toothache remedy.  Toothache is some of the worst pain I have experienced.  It can keep a person awake at night and feeling very miserable.  If you are in the woods or otherwise away from medical care or even your home medicine cabinet, there will likely be many herbal remedies found at hand among the plant life. 

Trees in particular offer many toothache remedies.  Prickly Ash in certain areas is a helpful remedy.  More wide-spread are the conifers.  Pines, Spruce, Fir, and others produce resins that can be very helpful.  Myrrh is another tree resin well-known for treating toothache.  Willlows and Poplars as well are well-known pain relieving herbs.  Among the herbaceous plants there are things like the Mints, Yarrow, and other aromatic and/or antimicrobial plants.  A study in toothache remedies, however abundant they are, might best start with the five classic remedies mentioned above.

Barberry

japanese_barberryJapanese Barberry (Berberis thunbergii) is a common and hated invasive in my area.  Though not in every patch of woods, it is widespread and in many areas has taken over to the point that the growth of other vegetation is dramatically suppressed and walking is difficult to near impossible.  There are many other species as well.  Oregon Grape Root was formerly considered a member of the genus, but is now Mahonia.  The constituent credited for the antibiotic and other medicinal effects, as well as the yellow color of the roots and bark, is called “berberine” after these plants.  Goldenseal and Coptis (our native Goldthread as well as Huang Lian of Chinese herbal medicine and others – another name is Canker Root, which indicates use in mouth infections) are perhaps better known, but I focus on Barberry because it is invasive.  Barberry is also of interest as a wild edible.  The fruits are not highly sought after, but they are edible.  …

Toothache Plant

toothache_plantToothache plant is also commonly known by its genus name Spilanthes and by the name Eyeball Plant, for the flowerhead which lacks rays.  It is largely a tropical plant, where it often grows as a perennial.  In my part of the world, we grow Spilanthes as an annual.  I think of it as a quick-growing Echinacea analogue, as Echinacea takes several seasons to mature.  Like Echinacea, or Cone Flower, Toothache Plant produces a distinct tingling as well as an increased flow of saliva.  

If you are lucky enough to have fresh Toothache Plant growing (or smart enough to have planted it), simply pick a flower-head and chew it, or at least bite into it once or twice before stuffing it between your gum and cheek (or maybe under the tongue) near the troubled tooth.  

If you do grow Toothache Plant you can tincture it by chopping and soaking the plant (or just the flower heads) in high-proof alcohol.  After about four weeks (one moon cycle) you can strain the liquid off (perhaps by pouring through and then ringing out through cheesecloth) and store in a tightly sealed jar.  If dispensed from a one or two ounce bottle with a dropper lid, it is easy to drop from a few drops to half the dropper directly onto the trouble area.

Related: Survival Eating

The tingling effects from Toothache plant are quite immediate and strong in effect.  In fact, it can be overwhelming.  If you place too much tincture in your mouth or chew a bit too much of a flower-head, you might find your mouth producing almost more saliva than you can swallow.  Here-in lies some of the benefit, however.  Spilanthes helps to move the saliva and lymph and “wash out” the sick fluids around the tooth. Additionally, Toothache Plant is a distinct antimicrobial.  It quickly helps to resolve the infection that is at the root of the pain.   

Clove

cloveEven the Hagakure“The Book of the Samurai” mentions the protective and healing powers of clove.  Still today Clove is revered for its medicinal uses, and is known as a primary remedy for tooth pain.  Aromatherapists, herb shops, and distributors of essential oils have promoted especially the essential oil of Clove for toothache, and it is indeed a convenient remedy.  The distilled oil is liquid and usually sold in small bottles with a dropper.  Simply place a drop or two on your finger to apply or apply directly from the dropper onto the trouble area.  Clove is quite spicy and warming and will cause the tissue to burn.  Don’t use so much as to cause excessive irritation.  This burning sensation and warming of the tissue is in part what distracts one from the pain.  There is a numbing quality as well, and Clove has antimicrobial properties.

Clove essential oil can be mixed with other essential oils, like Tea Tree (Melaleuca).  Tea Tree is a wonderful antiseptic, though I am not real fond of putting it in my mouth.  It’s antiseptic properties are undeniable and for this reason I usually have some around, particularly for tick bites but also as a general antiseptic for cuts and the like.  Since you should have some around in your first-aid kit (I keep it in my truck, home, cabin, and even motorcycle saddlebags), it is well worth considering as a toothache remedy, especially mixed with Clove.

Clove oil or combination of oils can be mixed in with the oil used for oil pulling, described below.  It is also used in sword oils, for tending to the shinken or katana (sword).  So, depending on what type of survival situation you are preparing for, there are many possible reasons to have Clove oil around.  It can also be useful for digestive, respiratory, and circulatory problems, headaches, and in the treatment of injury.

Read Also: Eating All Your Veggies

Powdered Clove can easily be used by placing a pinch in the troubled area.  It can also be infused into oils, though you would want to allow more time for the oil to extract the medicine from the powder than when using the essential oil.  Even more time should be allowed if using whole Cloves.  Quite likely, you will want to grind them if you have only whole Cloves.  For storage purposes, whole Cloves might be prefered to the powder because of their longer shelf-life.  

Oil Pulling

oil_sesameOil pulling consists of swishing oil, such as Sesame oil, through the teeth and around the mouth in order to absorb the impurities of the mouth and gums.  Any oil will do.  Simply swish until your saliva has thoroughly been mixed with the oil and then some, about 15 to 20 minutes.  Then spit it out.  Repeat for acute toothaches.  Practice daily to avoid toothaches or for minor ones. Sesame oil is a commonly used oil, partially because Sesame has been used to strengthen the bones and teeth.  Of course today using Coconut oil is very popular.  In many areas Olive oil will be the most available.  Grapeseed oil is good too.  For an active infection, you can consider adding small amounts of clove oil, tea tree oil, or other antimicrobial oils.

Shiatsu

Shiatsu (Japanese for “finger pressure”), or acupressure, is also very good for toothache.  There are some points locally – some in the jaw for any toothache, and of course some might be of particular focus according to which tooth is affected.  There are also some points around the base of the skull, neck, and shoulders that help, partially by releasing the tension that often accompanies, and contributes to, tooth pain.  There are also distal points that are located elsewhere on the body.

A primary distal point for toothache is between the thumb knuckle and metatarsal bone of the index finger.  There is more-or-less a muscular mound that when pressed will usually be quite sore.  The point and general area can be pressed or massaged.  

Most of the other relevant points can be  simply felt out by massaging the area of the jaw, occiput, neck, and shoulders.  Especially the joint of the jaw, the muscle there, and the area around the teeth should be palpated for soreness and pressed or massaged.  Likewise, the base of the skull, the neck (especially the muscles and along the spine), and the tops of the shoulders should be rubbed and palpated.  There is one point in particular worth mentioning (the rest have to be saved for an article specifically on the subject).  It can be found by working one’s fingers along the base of the skull.  Although everyone is built a little different, there is usually a soft, and sore, spot between a mound behind the ear and a mound at the back of the neck.  By treating this point with pressure or massage it is possible to relax the whole neck, jaw, and shoulders and bring great relief to the pain.

This post is for informational purposes only.  Please consult your local physician if you have a real medical issue such as a toothache. The author is not a medical professional and does not make any claim to be one.

Photos Courtesy of:

Anna Hesser
Sara Rall
mwms1916
Lynda_2008
Nattu
Yukoinsunshine

Interested in writing for us? Send a sample of your work and an introductory statement to joel@survivalcache.com. Please use subject line: ‘Write for SurvivalCache/SHTFBlog’. If you’re a good fit, we’ll publish your work and compensate you accordingly.

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For the love of Garlic

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Garlic contained many vital nutrients including vitamins, amino acids, and enzymes. On top of that garlic is also delicious and very healthy, for internal and external use.

Garlic contains the amino acid Allicin, that gives Garlic that potent smell from the sulfur compounds. Allicin is one of the primary components of garlic that gives it its healthy benefits.

Eating garlic raw is more beneficial than cooking garlic, if you can get past the taste. When garlic is cut or chewed and allowed exposure to the air for at least 5 to 10 minutes, the compound Allicin to fully activated. However when garlic is cooked the Allicin is inactivated and not able to produce.

Garlic contains high amounts of antioxidants
Garlic helps lower your cholesterol
Garlic is antibacterial
Garlic is antifungal
Garlic helps thin the blood
Garlic boost your immune system
Study suggests that garlic may help prevent blood clots
Garlic help lower your blood pressure
Garlic helps with joint pain, and osteoporosis
Garlic help prevents some cancer

images

Garlic is both immune boosting and antimicrobial meaning it can fight viral and bacterial infections. The best way to use garlic is to put it into your diet either cooked or eaten raw, garlic benefits are numerous.

Garlic used for many conditions related to the heart and blood system. Garlic has also been used to prevent certain cancers: rectal, stomach, breast, prostate, and bladder.
Garlic has also used for earaches, menstrual disorders, hepatitis, shortness of breath, liver disease, fighting numerous infections, and many skin conditions (ringworm, jock itch, athlete’s foot)
Other uses for garlic include fighting fevers, coughs, headaches, stomachache, sinus congestion, gout, joint pain, hemorrhoids, asthma, bronchitis, and a host of other treatments.

          Word of warning on garlic

Check with your doctor to see if it affects any of your medications.
Do not take garlic if you have bleeding disorders, stomach or digestive problems, low blood pressure or getting ready for surgery.
Women who are breast-feeding may want to stay away from garlic as it may change the flavor of the milk they produce.
Possibly unsafe when applying garlic to your skin may cause skin irritation and some people.
Birth control pills, taking garlic along with birth-control pills may decrease the effectiveness.
Liver medications, check with your doctor.
Medications for blood clotting, check with your doctor
Heart medications, check with your doctor

Whether store-bought or harvested from the wild, garlic is a wonderful herb for us to explore and use. The culinary uses and the health benefits are astounding. I implore you to add garlic to your healthful herbs, and learn more on its benefits and uses, on your own.

And hey, it also fight against vampires!

Written by Rich, for aroundthecabin.com

The post For the love of Garlic appeared first on WWW.AROUNDTHECABIN.COM.

Herbs for Seasonal Cleanse

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A lot of people ask about removing toxins from their bodies or a body cleanse. One of the best things you can to to help your body out is to eat foods and herbs, that are in season.

Here in the United States, we are lucky enough to receive foods from all over the world. Food is shipped in from the southern hemisphere and Europe, from Asia and the Middle East. What I try to eat is food that has been grown local, raised local, or harvested locally.

So my suggestion is to eat local and eat what is in season.

Most people also need to concentrate on drinking more water. Drinking more water helps increase blood volume, and helps to get the lymphatic fluids throughout the body moving. This will help wash your cells and clean fluids, that have built up, and aid in the removal of waste from the body. Basically, a “super flush” going on through your body.

We also want to focus on the gallbladder and the liver cleansing both of them.

Herbs that we can use to clean up the gallbladder and liver are:
artichokes
burdock
dandelions
turmeric
yellow dock
peppermint
milk thistle

These herbs are common throughout most United States and available for most of the year. There are more out there but these are the basics.

Using these herbs in teas, and leave or roots in foods, will help your body to get your blood flowing and your digestive juices moving.

Here we should also mention that you need to have your bowels moving at least once a day. Also check with your doctor before taking any of these herbs if you’re not already taking them, to check that they do not cause problems with any of your medications. (safety first)

If after all this you are still having problems check with your local natural foods store, and/or Dr. They may have a mild laxative formula that will aid you.

Written by Rich, for aroundthecabin.com

The post Herbs for Seasonal Cleanse appeared first on WWW.AROUNDTHECABIN.COM.

How To Survive Eating Wild Winter Edibles

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how-to-survive-eating-wild-winter-edibles

Recently, we’ve been asked a question about what types of foods are good sources of carbohydrates in the winter.

The reader was specifically worried about his son, who is going on a military survival retreat in Maine and can’t afford to lose the 20 pounds that the program has warned him that he will likely lose. His question was about sources of carbohydrates.

My son will be sent to Maine in the winter for a 3 week military survival course. Others who have experienced this say that the participants will lose an average of 20 pounds during that time. He can ill afford to lose 20 pounds, so I was wondering if you knew a good source for carbs that can be found in abundance in the winter? I think he is fairly good at locating small game for protein. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!
Best regards,

Everett

Though there are many great wild sources of carbohydrates to eat in Maine, I’ve had a problem finding exact nutritional values of wild plants. Go figure. Since the main goal is preventing weight loss, we’re looking for plants that can be found in a great enough quantity to thrive, versus simply survive.

Therefore, we need plants that are both high in calories and found in enough quantity to make a substantial meal. The first part was easy, the second part, not so much. So, I’ll share what I’ve found.

Cattails

It turns out that these plants are considered a pest by many because they grow so prolifically in marshy areas and around ponds.

Fortunately for somebody foraging, cattails are a great source of carbohydrates and nutrients year-round. In the winter time, the best parts of the plant to eat are the rhizomes, or roots, and the corms, the little shoots that are the beginnings of next year’s plants.

You probably won’t be able to just rip the cattail out of the mud; you’re likely going to have to dig for it a bit. Just run your hand down the stalk of the cattail and into the mud. Feel for the roots, then follow them down a bit and PULL!

Don’t stop with just one plant; grab several at a time because they’re not that heavy and you can carry them or store them in camp. No need to get wet more than once if you don’t have to.

Now, you’re going to notice little shoots around the base of the plant, which are older corms and are the beginnings of next year’s plant.

You’ll also find little pod-like pieces on the rhizomes and around the bottom of the stalks. These are less mature corms and are also edible. You can eat both types of corms raw. Just peel off the outer fibrous part and eat the delicate interior.

The rhizomes are going to look sort of hairy. Wash them as well as you can, then peel them just like you would a potato. Your goal is to extract the starch from the rhizome and there are a couple of ways to do this.

You can break up the rhizome and then put it in a small bowl of water and squeeze the rhizome pieces in the water until the starch is remove. The water turns a milky white. Let the water settle for a couple of hours and the heavy, starchy flour will settle to the bottom. Pour off the water and spread the flour out to dry.

The second way is to use your knife to squeeze the starch out onto a rock. Just lay the rhizome flat and slide your knife down the rhizome, sort of like you’re squeezing toothpaste from a tube. The starchy paste will collect on the rock.

Either way, you can let the paste dry and smash it with a mortar and pestle into a flour, or you can toss it in the pan and toast it as-is, toss it into a soup along with the corms, or you can eat it raw.

Of course, you can always make a bread with it by mixing it with other ingredients, but in a survival situation, you’re probably not going to have access to yeast and all that good stuff.

rose-hips

Rose Hips

These pretty berry-like plants not only add a pop of color to the winter landscape, they’re also a good source of nutrition and can be found in enough quantity to be worth the effort. Rose hips are the fruits of the rose plant and are usually red or orange but can also be dark-colored. Just open them up, pop out the seed, and eat the flesh.

One cup of rosehips has 206 calories, 49g of carbs, and 31g of fiber. It also provides 110% of your RDV of vitamin A, 901% of your RDV of vitamin C, and more than 20% of your RDV of calcium and magnesium. Eat more rose hips!

Pine

They’re not just for Christmas anymore! Pine trees provide a couple of different sources of food. If you’ve ever eaten pesto, you’ve eaten pine nuts, which are found in pinecones. There is some work involved for the amount of food that you get, but there’s also a tremendous amount of calories and nutrition in them.

Just one cup of pine nuts has 909 calories, 92 grams of fat, 23% of your RDV of potassium and 84% of your RDA of magnesium. They’re also a good source of fiber, so that you have a slower digestion process. You’ll feel full longer.

All pine trees have edible nuts tucked into the pine cones, but only about 20 species produce seeds that are large enough to warrant the effort. Still, in a survival situation, something is better than nothing. Fortunately, there are often many different types of pine trees in the same area, so if you don’t get decent-sized nuts from one, try another.

Wild Berries and Fruits

Even if there’s snow, it’s still possible to dig through the snow to get to fruits, and if you’re lucky, you may even find some grapes or berries, especially cranberries in Maine, above the snow.

One of the advantages of having thumbs is that you can dig through the snow a bit if you find a bush to see if there are berries buried. Apples are another great resource that you can find under the snow.

Yes, they’ll be frozen, but they’re delicious, nutritious, and packed with carbs. They also drop late, so it’s probable that they were frozen before they rotted. Other fruits to keep an eye out for include peaches and pears.

Grass and Grains

Believe it or not, most (99%) of all grasses in the US are edible. They’re often tough for your body to digest, but they’re better than nothing. This includes wheat, oats, and wild meadow varieties. The best part to eat in the winter is the starchy base and the seed heads.

1% of the seeds are toxic and need to be cooked before being eaten, and if seeds are blackish or purple, avoid them because that’s a sign of poisonous fungus. Eat them if they’re green or brown.

I often consult a man very close to me when I have questions such as these, because he’s actually been there, done that as part of his army survivalist training. He made it all the way through the training and has described in great detail (and to my dismay) exactly what a bug feels like when you eat it. He says the trick is this – crunch (chew), crunch, crunch, crunch, swallow!

Aside from his advice about how to eat a bug with minimal “biting back”, he also says that the most crucial step to survival is knowing the plants, animals, and insects of your area. Know what’s edible and what’s not, and most importantly, know what will kill you if you eat it.

If you have a problem with being too thin, it’s important to realize that your body uses more than just carbohydrates for energy – it can also use protein and fat. The bottom line is that your weight isn’t dependent upon eating carbs. It’s a matter of calories in versus calories out. It doesn’t matter if those calories are in the form of carbs, fat, or protein.

There will likely be some energy dips while you’re transitioning from carbs to protein, so if you’re planning to use protein as your main source of energy during a retreat, you may want to do that before you leave. In real life, of course, you won’t have that luxury, but until then, do what you can to survive the survival training.

forgetISIS

This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.

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Winter Wild Edible Mushrooms

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Winter Wild Edible Mushrooms Knowing how to forage wild mushrooms is hard skill to learn. If you are not 100% certain it is edible, I wouldn’t risk eating it. Just because you see animals eating them doesn’t mean it will be safe for human consumption. That being said, mushrooms offer us a lot of nutrition …

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Paw Paw Pudding

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Ivy and Jon head to the kitchen with a basket of ripe paw paws! This exotic North American fruit is native to nearly every state east of the Mississippi, but we have yet to find them in any recipes from the 18th century. So what do they do with no recipe to follow? They improvise!

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Backyard Edible Or Toxin? Learn The Difference.

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Knowing how to forage and select edible plants from your yard and surrounding areas is a vital skill for a survivalist, but it’s not necessarily an easy one to master. That’s because, though many backyard edible and highly nutritious plants grow all around us, some have poisonous look alikes.

Mistake poison hemlock for wild carrots, for example, and you may find yourself on your deathbed, which will not be the first time that’s happened to someone. Most places try to keep poison hemlock under control, since it’s also toxic to animals, but other common foraging mistakes are easy to make.

Here are a few essential things you need to know about plants when you hunt for a meal in the underbrush.

 

The Right Rhubarb

Rhubarb is very familiar, even among urban dwellers, because many people put it in strawberry pies and jams. What many may not know is that people typically eat only the stems.

That’s not just because the stem tastes better than other parts of the plant, but also because rhubarb contains oxalic acid, a toxin that’s most prevalent in the leaves.

You wouldn’t normally have to worry about the amount of oxalic acid in rhubarb, even in the denser leaves, but when food is scarce, steady consumption of the leaves, even at moderate levels, would cause illness.

About 11 pounds of leaves can be fatal for a 145-pound person and far less than that could provoke serious illness.

 

You Say Tomato

Tomatoes come in many shapes and sizes, and in color may be anywhere from green to purple, depending on the variety and ripeness. But you should be familiar with their toxic copycat, horse nettle.

Like many of the members of the nightshade family, horse nettles are poisonous to humans. Though they’re not likely to kill you, horse nettles can lead to stomach problems and heart and respiratory issues when consumed, so skip those maybe-tomatoes in favor of a plant you’re more certain is safe to eat.

 

Berry Beware

Berries are among the most dangerous — and the trickiest — potential edibles out there, partly because there are so many kinds of them. Sure, even little kids know they should avoid the red berries on their neighbor’s bushes, but what about beautiful purple pokeberries?

Pokeberries grow from a remarkably bright pink stem, which sets them apart, but seen in isolation, they closely resemble blueberries. However, just a handful of pokeberries can kill a child, and since we often eat delicious berries by the bushel, even adults can too easily swallow a lot of this tempting fruit.

The same goes for wild cherries, an appealing but toxic version of a summer favorite. In general, beware of berries, especially if you haven’t picked them yourself.

 

Roasted Over Fire

Chestnuts! What a lovely tradition: a meaty nut roasted during the holidays and shared with family. While these nuts have a special place in the compendium of Americana, the same isn’t the case for buckeye.

The best way to distinguish poisonous buckeyes from other nuts is by cracking them all the way open. Buckeyes cause confusion primarily when foragers aren’t sufficiently skeptical.

From the outside they look like chestnuts, which is to say shiny, and from the inside they look more like walnuts or pecans, with a lot of texture. If the nut doesn’t match one you know all the way through, toss it; it’s probably a buckeye.

It’s essential to practice foraging when you’re not in a crisis situation; that is, when you have the leisure time to do some research on the plants involved. Learn about what grows near your home, and commit what you learn to memory.

Some of the worst mistakes come from assuming a familiar plant grows nearby, when only its lookalike is common to your region.

 

 

 

 

The post Backyard Edible Or Toxin? Learn The Difference. appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Backyard Bounty: How To Eat The Wild Plants In Your Yard

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Weeding your garden may seem like a chore, but did you know that those weeds can offer a Backyard Bounty. Weeds are a fantastic addition to your diet. Those pesky dandelions can add some delicious notes to a salad! Plants like Miner’s lettuce, Purslane, and plantain are all just a few of the edible greens you may find springing up among your regularly-planted veggies, herbs, and fruits. The infographic below covers the basics of identifying, preparing, and consuming wild greens, along with which ones are safe to eat, and which ones to watch out for.

Backyard Bounty


Source: Fix.com Blog

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Growing Elderberries for Preventive Medicine, Food, Tea and Wine

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Growing Elderberries for Preventive Medicine, Food, Tea and Wine July through October is elderberry harvesting time, depending of course on your zone. Called a bush, that’s actually a tree and yet in the honeysuckle family (!!), elderberries can grow in most areas of the US and Canada. Start looking for them along roadsides and hugging wooded perimeters, …

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Survival Mom DIY: Make Coffee from Chicory Root

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make coffee from chicory root

Here’s my story of how I discovered a simple, common weed can be used to make coffee from chicory!

For several years, I’ve noticed a beautiful blue wildflower lining the road during the summer. It starts out looking like a weed, but when it blooms, the flower is the color of a Tanzanite gemstone. I’ve noticed that it also grows well along sidewalks, in gravel, or any other harsh environment you can think of. The plant is a dark green and is about 12-24 inches high. The bluish flower petals are flat at the ends, and slightly “fringed”. The leaves closest to the ground look exactly like dandelion. If you are looking for it on a sunny day, they are easy to see. But, on an overcast day or late afternoon, the flowers close up, and it’s harder to spot.

I decided to take some photos and find out what it was.

To my surprise, I found out it was chicory. I  remembered hearing that it can be used to make a beverage similar to coffee, but wanted to learn more about it. I also wondered  if it had any medicinal properties.

wild chicoryAccording to Peterson Field Guide to Medicinal Plants & Herbs, the root can be mixed with water to make a diuretic or laxative. It’s used homeopathically for liver and gallbladder ailments, it can lower blood sugar, and has a slight sedative effect. Chicory root extracts have been shown to be antibacterial, and its tinctures have an anti-inflammatory effect. You can learn how to make your own tinctures fairly easily.

Next, I wanted to find out what parts of the plant were edible and how to use it to make “coffee”. I learned that its root must be dried and roasted before making a hot beverage. Its’ leaves are good for both salad and cooked greens. The white underground leaves are great as a salad green in the spring, and the outer green leaves can be boiled for 5-10 minutes and eaten. I decided to go dig up some roots and try roasting them for coffee.

chicory root

Make coffee from chicory

I found plenty of chicory right around my house and along my street. I thought I could just pull them out of the ground but I was wrong.

It’s had been dry for the last week and we have a lot of clay soil, so I went and got a shovel. Once I started digging, I found some of the roots are very long. Many broke off as I tried to pry them up with my shovel, but I got a decent sized batch quickly.

I soaked them for a short time, then scrubbed the roots clean, and chopped off the rest of the plant. I put those parts in my garden to add to the compost, which is an ongoing project. I patted the roots dry, and sliced them up. I did have to get a heavier chopping knife because some of the roots have a center that is like wood. The really tough stuff, I just added to my garden, and the rest I put on a cookie sheet.

I thought I’d try roasting it slow and low. I turned my oven on to 250 degrees and watched it for a half hour or so. It seemed to dry out but not really “roast” the pieces. So, I turned up the heat to 350 degrees, and about 20-30 minutes later, a wonderful smell came from the oven. The root pieces were turning brown and smelled like chocolate, caramel and coffee, all in one. The darker it got, the better it smelled. Once I thought the chicory root was dark enough, I turned down the oven to 300 degrees, so it wouldn’t burn but just roast a little bit more. I would say the total time was about and hour and a half. I took the roasted root pieces out of the oven and let them cool to room temperature.

I toground chicoryok out my blender, and used the “chop” setting to grind up the roots. I checked on them after several seconds and found it was still too coarse, but once again, the smell was incredible. I think the blades created enough heat to warm the grounds and send the smell wafting up in the air. I knew I needed a finer grind, so I set the blender to “liquify”, and that worked much better. I ended up with a finer grind that almost had the appearance of cigarette tobacco.

I was finally ready to brew a cup of chicory coffee! I added 2 teaspoons into my coffee filter and add enough water to the pot for one cup of coffee. I watched it brew, and it looks dark , just like regular coffee. By the way, in a power outage, a French Press is highly recommended for every coffee lover. You can get one for less than $30, and it’s worth every penny.

Now, the taste test. First, I tried it black. It tastes just like a strong black coffee (too much chicory?) but with a definite mocha, possibly caramel flavor. I may have used too much chicory, so next time I’ll use 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons per cup when I brew.

Schicory coffeeince I don’t normally drink black coffee, I added a tiny bit of stevia (here’s Survival Mom’s preferred brand) and some Coffee Mate to this aromatic concoction. Oh, my, GOSH!!!!! This is like a fabulous cup of coffee from a pricey coffee house. I really thought it wouldn’t be this good. I can’t wait to go out and gather more chicory root! If SHTF, this will be priceless. There is no caffeine in this drink, so you can have a warm beverage, late at night. I had no idea how easy it would be to make coffee from chicory.

I highly recommend foraging for this wonderful and amazing plant. I can’t believe we’ve lost so much knowledge over the years about living off the land. We all should learn foraging skills. This coffee alternative is  free, abundant, delicious, and a great barter item. Better yet, just try it now to enjoy, but save some for yourself for later!

make coffee from chicory

Goldenrod

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Goldenrod (the Solidago genus, Asteracea family) is a great plant to know.

Distinguishing Features: Long wood like stems with spiky tooth like parts which are widely-spaced, yellow flowers that grow in thick clusters.

Leaves: There can be wide variations in characteristics, but generally, goldenrod leaves are about 4 inches long and about ¾ of an inch wide, tapering to a point at the tip and narrowing at the base, with no leaf stem and small teeth around the edges. Three veins run parallel from near the base of the leaf.. The underside of the leaf is hairy, especially along the veins and the upper side has a rough texture.

Height: Most Goldenrod plants average 4 feet in height.

Habitat: There is no shortage of Goldenrod in September and October. This yellow plant can be found in moist locations, forests, fields, roadsides, compost piles, cultivated fields, and orchards throughout Canada, the U.S., and across the world.

Goldenrod is a perennial plant that is well-known for its healing properties.

The properties of goldenrod are similar to many other herbs: antifungal, diuretic, diaphoretic, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, astringent, antiseptic, and carminative. However, the actions of goldenrod to the kidneys, urinary track, skin, allergies, and cardiovascular system are impressive.

Goldenrod is often unfairly blamed for causing hay fever in humans. The pollen causing these allergy problems is mainly produced by Ragweed (Ambrosia sp.), blooming at the same time as the goldenrod but wind-pollinated. Goldenrod pollen is too heavy and sticky to be blown far from the flowers, and is thus mainly pollinated by insects. Frequent handling of goldenrod and other flowers, however, can cause allergic reactions.

Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking goldenrod if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use..

Allergy to ragweed and related plants: Goldenrod may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to the Asteraceae/Compositae family. Members of this family include ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and many others. If you have allergies, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking goldenrod.

Fluid retention (edema) due to heart or kidney conditions: “Irrigation therapy,” during which goldenrod is taken with large amounts of fluids to increase urine flow, should not be attempted in people with fluid retention due to heart or kidney disease.

High Blood Pressure: There is a concern that goldenrod might make the body accumulate more sodium, and this can make high blood pressure worse.

Urinary Tract Infection (UTIs): Herbal “irrigation therapy” may not work against infections and may require the addition of germ-killing medications. “Irrigation therapy” should be monitored closely. Don’t depend on it for clearing up an infection.

Water pills (Diuretic drugs) interacts with GOLDENROD
Goldenrod seems to work like “water pills” by causing the body to lose water. Taking goldenrod along with other “water pills” might cause the body to lose too much water. Losing too much water can cause you to be dizzy and your blood pressure to go too low.
Some “water pills” include chlorothiazide (Diuril), chlorthalidone (Thalitone), furosemide (Lasix), hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ, Hydrodiuril, Microzide), and others.

Dosage: The appropriate dose of goldenrod depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for goldenrod. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician before using.

0960goldenrodtop

Preparations: goldenrod include tea, tincture, infused oils, poultice, and powder.

Goldenrod tonics are easy to make. Harvest any goldenrod by cutting the top third of the plant in full flower on a sunny fall day. Or, respectfully pull the entire plant, roots and all, in the late autumn or early winter. Then follow the simple directions below. Note: You can use any size jar when making a vinegar or a tincture, so long as you fill it full.

To dry flowering goldenrod: Bundle 2-3 stalks together and hang upside down in a cool, shady room until thoroughly dry. When the stalks snap crisply, store the dried herb in brown paper bags. One or two large handfuls of crushed leaves and flowers, steeped in a quart of boiling water for thirty minutes makes a tea that can be used hot, with honey, to counter allergies (especially pollen allergies), fevers, sore throats, coughs, colds and the flu; or taken cold to relieve colic in babies, and gas in adults. Dried mint and/or yarrow are tasty, and useful, additions when making goldenrod flower tea.

To dry goldenrod roots: Rinse dirt off the roots, then cut away all the stalks, leaves and dead flowers. If possible, hang your roots over a wood stove to dry; if not, place them on racks and put them in a warm place to dry until brittle. Store in glass jars. Depending on the difficulty you are addressing, goldenrod root tea may be made with large or small amounts of the roots brewed or decocted in boiling water. Or the roots may be powdered, alone or mixed with flowers, and applied to hard-to-heal wounds and sore joints.

To make a goldenrod vinegar: Chop the goldenrod coarsely, filling a jar with chopped flowers, leaves, stalks (and roots if you have them); then fill the jar to the top with room-temperature, pasteurized, apple cider vinegar. Cap it tightly with a plastic lid. (Metal lids will be eroded by the action of the vinegar. If you must use one, protect it with several layers of plastic between it and the vinegar.) Be sure to label your vinegar with the date and contents. Your goldenrod vinegar will be ready to use in six weeks to improve mineral balance, help prevent kidney stones, eliminate flatulence, and improve immune functioning.

To make a goldenrod tincture: Chop the goldenrod coarsely, filling a jar with chopped flowers, leaves, stalks (and roots if you have them); then add 100 proof vodka, filling the jar to the very top. Cap tightly and label. Your goldenrod tincture will be ready to use in six weeks, by the dropper full, as an anti-inflammatory, a sweat-inducing cold cure, and an astringent digestive aid. Medical herbalists use large doses (up to 4 droppers full at a time) of goldenrod tincture several times daily to treat kidney problems — including nephritis, hemorrhage, kidney stones, and inability to void — and prostate problems, including frequent urination.

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Burdock Root

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Burdock root is a medicinal herb and food that has powerful anti-tumor, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties. Burdock root is one of the top recommended herbal remedies for cancer due to the belief that it can stop cancer cells from metastasizing and it is one of the star ingredients of the famous natural cancer remedy known as Essiac tea.

It is also highly beneficial for colds, flu, sore throats, bronchial congestion, ulcers, gallstones, anemia, kidney stones, chicken pox, gout, measles, strep throat, urinary tract infections, bladder infections, hepatitis, and enlarged prostates. Burdock root is an essential blood purifier and detoxifying herb as it can neutralize and safely eliminate poisons and toxins from the body.

Burdock is one of the most important herbs for treating chronic skin problems such as acne, psoriasis, eczema, and shingles. It can also help to stimulate metabolism, re-grow hair, strengthen nails, and aid in edema and weight loss. Burdock root is an effective painkiller that can help alleviate symptoms of inflammation that affect auto-immune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, bursitis, lupus, and diabetes.

Fresh burdock can be juiced with celery, kale, and apple or used in recipes similarly to carrots. It is often steamed or added to soups and stews. It has a subtly sweet and earthy flavor that works well with potatoes, mushrooms, and onions. Dried burdock root is often used as a medicinal tea.

Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1-2 teaspoons of dried burdock root and let steep for at least 10 minutes or more, sweeten with honey if desired. Burdock root can be readily found in a cream, salve, tincture, extract, and capsule form. It’s potent healing abilities has made it a vital herb for your natural medicine cabinet.

From our friend at: http://www.medicalmedium.com/blog/burdock-root

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Purslane Or Spurge?

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PURSLANE
• Excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids (better than fish oil!)
• An excellent source of Vitamin A, one of the highest among green leafy vegetables
• A rich source of vitamin C, and some B-complex vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine and carotenoids
• A rich source of dietary minerals, such as iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and manganese.
• Decreasing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
• Autoimmune diseases such as lupus.
• Maintaining heart health.
• Lowering cholesterol.
• Regulating blood pressure.
• Enriching brain health.
• As an anti-depressant.
• Boosting the immune system
• Inflammatory bowel disease.
• Rheumatoid arthritis.
___________________________________________

SPURGE

IF THERE IS A WHITE SAP, IT IS NOT PURSLANE!

  • Nothing eats it.
  • The sap is possibly toxic enough to cause blindness if it gets in the eyes.
  • It is an annual that doesn’t germinate readily until warmer weather, so pre-emergents are often applied too soon to stop it. (Most pre-emergents work only for 8-10 weeks and are spread in early spring.)
  • Each plant can produce a full crop of several thousand seeds in 5 weeks.
  • The flowers are so non-descript as to be thought absent, so it is easy to accidentally miss flowering and let it go to seed.
  • There are 12 weed species of spurge that are all very similar, varying as little as having a tiny spot on the leaves (Spotted spurge is what I found the most photos of, but was not what was in my yard.)

    The sap of this plant is a mild skin irritant and can cause a rash in some people. The sap is poisonous and considered carcinogenic.

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Clover and Cyanide

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Question…Why don’t the bugs eat the clover in my yard?

Ok …here we go…

Under ordinary conditions, cyanide is safely bonded to sugar molecules that are sequestered in secure pockets inside each plant cell. The enzyme that separates the cyanide from its sugar lies outside that pocket. When an insect chews the clover leaves, the cyanide-sugars and enzymes mix—like bending and shaking a plastic glow stick—and this releases the poisonous cyanide concoction.

THAT is the answer..

I know, I know,(here it comes)… BUT WAIT, YOUR SAYING WE CAN EAT IT?… Yes, you can.

Cyanide is a naturally occurring chemical, generally considered to be poisonous if consumed in large enough amounts. According to the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry the following foods naturally contain cyanide:

almonds
millet sprouts
lima beans
soy
spinach
bamboo shoots
cassava
tapioca

Additionally cyanide is found in most any fruits that have a pit, or core, like cherries, apricots, and apples. The site reports that no foods are consumed in large enough quantities to be toxic. Cyanide can also be produced by certain bacteria, fungi, algae, and as a by-product of industrial manufacturing and waste. If industry is producing cyanide in your area it may enter local water supplies. If this water is used to grow plants in your area, those plants will also absorb the additional cyanide, so take note of the water and industry in your area. The same risk, thankfully, does not exist for fish in cyanide polluted waters as they do not absorb the cyanide. In general, it is import not to stress too much over cyanide in foods.

*** Small amounts of cyanide may even be good for you by helping to lower blood pressure.

In small doses, cyanide in the body can be changed into thiocyanate, which is less harmful and is excreted in urine. In the body, cyanide in small amounts can also combine with another chemical to form vitamin B12, which helps maintain healthy nerve and red blood cells.

In large doses, the body’s ability to change cyanide into thiocyanate is overwhelmed. Large doses of cyanide prevent cells from using oxygen and eventually these cells die. The heart, respiratory system and central nervous system are most susceptible to cyanide poisoning. (NOT good)

BACK to White Clover..
With all this in mind, clover can be good for you. It is high in protein, has beta carotene, vitamin C, most of the B vitamins, biotin, choline, inositol, and bioflavonoids.

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Plantain edible weed

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Plantain (Plantago major) is a weed commonly found in the wild and (much to suburbanites’ dismay) the lawns of almost everyone living in temperate climates. It is traditionally used to treat minor cuts and a wide range of skin disorders, including dandruff, eczema, sunburn, and bug bites.

This herb is also said to be good for soothing inflamed bronchial passages and sore throat. European research supports the use of plantain as a treatment for bronchitis, sore throat, and cold symptoms.

Studies have demonstrated that the juice of the plantain plant is both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. Plantain contains allantoin, an anti-inflammatory phytochemical that kills germs, speeds wound healing, and stimulates the growth of new skin cells (many commercial cosmetic creams and lotions list allantoin as an active ingredient).

The best thing about the herb plantain is that it is easy to find and easy to use (there are over 200 species!). Unless you live in the desert or the tundra, there’s a good chance you have plantain growing right in your own backyard. It is readily identified by the green, nubby spikes, which stick up out of a cluster of round leaves.

To soothe bug bites, eczema, poison ivy, or other minor skin irritations, rub fresh plantain leaves on the affected area. You can also make a soothing poultice of fresh, mashed leaves and a little cool water (this one feels good on sunburns). Plantain is also available as a supplement in liquid extract and capsule form at most health food stores—the usual dosage is 1 teaspoon of liquid extract three times a day, or up to 6,000 milligrams in capsules per day for treatment of bronchial symptoms.

There have been no toxic reactions reported with the use of plantain. Be sure to follow the directions on commercial preparations—consuming extremely large amounts could cause diarrhea, skin rash, or other allergic reaction.

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Questions And Answers Episode 105

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James and Mike A Day In THe Woods Autoimmune Diseases

James and Mike

http://www.survivalpunk.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/episode105.mp3

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Questions And Answers

 

Join us this week as we tackle your questions and answers. Some of the topics include supplementing your camping food with wild edibles. Cooking with grubs, frying grasshoppers.

Matt calls in wanting to know how to stay cool in the summer without air conditioning. We go deep on this question. With tons of info on how to keep cool during the hot months. Shading your house, reflecting the sun back and using the ChiliPAD to stay cool.

 

Topics

  • Supplementing wild edibles
  • Keeping cool in the summer
  • I would love to know yours and mike’s edc.
  • What is your ideal apocalyptic scenario?
  • Why do you prep?
  • What’s your ideal survival firearm?
  • Is technology a help or a hindrance for survival?
  • What are you bug out bag must haves?
  • Please describe the differences and similarities of B.O.B., get home bag, car emergency kit, edc…
  • What would you personally do in a mass shooting scenario?
  • What are your first aid kit must haves?
  • What hand tools do you recommend everyone should have for a grid down scenario?
  • What are some effective diy home security preps both low and high tech?
  • Is there an episode this week?

Links

Bannock Recipe

ChiliPad

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Want to hear yourself on the podcast? Call in with your questions at (615) 657-9104 and leave us a voice mail. 

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A Yummy Collection Of Dandelion Recipes To Try Out

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A Yummy Collection Of Dandelion Recipes To Try Out Dandelions won’t be around for much longer so take advantage of the free food that is most likely growing in your garden RIGHT NOW! I have been eating dandelions for years and years, My poor garden is running low on them now. There are a lot of …

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Survival Secrets From Your Garden: How to Use Roses

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SVP roses for survivalThey’re beautiful, they smell great, and they’re the chosen gift for everything from saying, “I love you”, to “I’m  sorry”.

Roses are probably the best known of all flowers, but there is much more to them than just a pretty face. They’re a great plant to grow for survival. Read the article so see how many survival uses they have!

Plant Roses as a Defensive Measure

As you know, every rose has its thorns! In this case, that’s a great thing. If given a plain fence to jump over, or a hedge of thorny roses, raiders are going to choose the easy path.

Also, roses provide great cover. You can plant trellises of them around your garden and people will assume that you have a flower garden and be less likely to sneak in to take a peek around. You basically have an edible defense system!

Both rose petals and rose hips, the little berries that show up on the rose bush in the spring, are edible. It’s likely that you’ve heard of rose hip tea but you probably never thought of popping a petal into your mouth. Before we get into some of the great ways to use roses, let’s set some guidelines.

You’ll want to grow roses that are great for creating cover and for use in recipes, so choose carefully. Heirlooms are great, but base your decision on roses that suit your needs for flavor, scent, and defense.

Find Roses that Smell Good

Likely, if you like the way a rose smells, you’ll like the way it tastes. Some roses, such as red roses, tea roses, or endless blooming roses have very little flavor or smell but yellows, whites, and pinks usually have pleasing scents and tastes.

rosa damascenaAnd the most renowned for its scent is Rosa Damascena, which has been brought from Central Asia a thousand years ago.

These roses were traditionally used for making jelly, oil, and cosmetics.

The tip of the rose petal where it joins the base of the flower is often bitter, so you may want to avoid eating those.

Make sure that your roses aren’t coated in fertilizers or herbicides. That would obviously be bad.

The best time to pick your rose petals are in midmorning after the dew has dried up but before the heat of the day has settled in. You can store them in the fridge for up to a week.

Rose Petal Vinegar

This may not exactly be the first thing that you think of when you hear the word “roses”, but rose petal vinegar is relatively easy to make and has some pretty amazing health benefits.

To start, consider the benefits of the base. You can use any type of vinegar that you’d like but apple cider vinegar has a ton of health benefits too, so you’ll get more bang for your buck using it.

Internally, rose petal vinegar is purported to be good for stopping bleeding, discharging phlegm, and relieving PMS, hot flashes and inflammation. It’s also calming and good for relieving depression and mental and physical fatigue.

Externally, it’s good for toning and refreshing your skin, evening skin tone, relieving skin conditions and blemishes, and preventing or reducing wrinkles. Gargle it for relief of a sore throat. Rose vinegar is good for soothing sunburn and relieving the itch of bug bites.

Oh, and it makes a delicious salad dressing! Depending on your preferences, there are many ways to work this into recipes. To make rose vinegar, simply follow these steps:

  • place 3 ounces of rose petals in a jar,
  • cover with 16 ounces of organic ACV (or whichever vinegar you prefer),
  • cover, then let it sit for at least 5 days.

The longer you let it sit, the better. Store in a cool, dark place and it will last 6 months or more.

Rose Petal Oil

Many of the benefits of rose vinegar are found in rose petal oil, but without the smell of vinegar. The thing about making essential oils is that it typically requires a distillation process which is a bit complicated for a beginner. Instead, you can make an infusion by using an oil base.

Good oils to start with include olive, coconut, jojoba, and almond so just go with what you prefer. Use roses that have just begun to open and pick the petals midmorning.

To make the oil:

  • Pick 1/4 cup rose petals and place them in a plastic storage bag. Use a small mallet or can to gently bruise them to release the oil.
  • Place the bruised petals in a small jar and add 1/2 cup oil to them. Seal the jar up and let it set overnight. Strain the petals from the oil and add another 1/4 cup crushed petals and repeat the process until the oil is scented strongly enough to suit you.

Health benefits include nervous system rejuvenation, relief of depression or anxiety, inflammation relief, fever reduction, and antiseptic qualities.

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Rose petals and rose petal oil are great ingredients to include in your soap.

It’s wonderfully relaxing when used in a relaxing bath and it makes you smell great, too.

You can either place the petals directly into the soap, which also makes it pretty, or you can use the oil that you made before.

Rose Petal Syrup

This syrup is delicious to use with everything from pancakes to tea, and it’s easy to make, too. The color and flavor of the rose will determine the flavor and color of the syrup so choose a rose petal that you love. Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rose petals, tightly packed
  • 3 cups water
  • 4 cups sugar

Directions:

Put the rose petals and water in a wide, deep pan and let it sit overnight. In the morning, add the sugar to the water and cook the mixture at a simmer until it thickens to syrup consistency. Allow to cool. Strain the rose petals out and pour the syrup into a bottle with a snug lid.

Rose Jelly

Ahh…one of the most delicate signs that spring has arrived is the blooming roses in the yard. That brings to mind my grandma’s rose jelly. She always left a few of the petals in the jelly to make it pretty.

In other words, canning is very effective as a means of storage and, when canned properly, fruits and even flowers will last for a decade or longer.

You want to use really fragrant roses for this, and the color will, of course, determine the color of the jelly. Choose roses that are almost fully open but not fading.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pints tightly packed, cleaned rose petals
  • 14 oz. granulated sugar
  • 3.5 oz. super fine sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 pint water
  • 2.5 fluid oz. liquid pectin

Directions:

Combine both sugars and the water in a large pan. Heat it until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the petals and allow to cool. Let the petals steep in the syrup for 3-4 hours. While you’re waiting, sterilize your jars and get your seals and rings ready.

Strain the petals from the liquid. Add the lemon juice (the color will sharpen), then return to heat. Bring to a slow boil and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add the pectin. If you’d like to add a few petals back in for aesthetic reasons, now would be the time. Return to a boil and boil slowly for another 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and allow to rest for a couple of minutes. Pour your brand new rose jelly into your jars and clean the rims. Add the seals and rings and allow to cool.

rose jellyRose jelly makes an absolutely beautiful gift as well as a delicious addition to breakfast!

Scenting Pillows

As we’ve already discussed, roses have a calming, mentally boosting effect that makes them great for scenting pillows. My grandmother used to store rose blossoms in her towel closets and may sometimes even throw a few into the dryer as she dried the pillowcases.

This is only the beginning of a very long list of great uses for rose petals. You can make rose tea, rose honey, and even rose shampoo or just hair rinse. Hopefully, I’ll be writing more on this soon!

If you have any good rose-related tips or recipes you’d like to share, please do so in the comments section below.

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This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.

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42 Wild Flowers You Can Eat

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If you have a large supply of survival food, you probably won’t have to resort to eating flowers for nourishment. So what’s the point of this article? The point is the big “if” at the beginning of this paragraph. There could come a time when you have to […]

The post 42 Wild Flowers You Can Eat appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

11 Toxic Wild Plants That Look Like Food

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11 Toxic Wild Plants That Look Like Food This article is exactly why I do what I do. I search the internet for hours and hours a day to hand pick the best survival, homesteading and self -reliance DIY information I can find. This article is a prime example. Being a “prepper” I always pride …

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Foraging for Edible Wild Plants

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

I believe it is of great value and importance to know about the wild edible plants in your vicinity and how foraging for edible plants can benefit you. You may need this information if one were to be lost or stranded in the woodlands for some time.

The post Foraging for Edible Wild Plants appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

How To Eat Daylilies And A Few Recipes

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How To Eat Daylilies And A Few Recipes I never knew that you could eat daylilies until recently. I feel like I have missed out on so much free food that was just growing in my backyard. Daylilies are a common garden plant that have “gone wild.” They’re found throughout most parts of the United States …

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10 Spring Edibles To Look For In Your Backyard

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spring ediblesAre you tired of cold temperatures? Can’t you stand the freezing anymore? Hold your horses, spring is almost here! And with it so are a lot of plants that will invade your garden. But don’t hurry to get rid of them! Some pack a lot of nutritional properties as well as medicinal benefits. So let’s take a look at 10 of them.

1. Dandelion

dandelion

There is no way to miss it and it’s sure to be in your garden. Some people consider it invasive, while others are allergic to it because it contains inulin, but dandelion is still one of the most common spring edibles.

Pick the leaves for use in salads, soups, and tea. Use the flowers to make the sweetest dandelion honey (actually it’s a syrup, but the resemblance is so obvious that it doesn’t even need to be explained). Don’t ignore the root: it’s used as a coffee substitute if roasted, and also for medicine. Dandelion is also used for treating liver disorders, urinary disorders, muscle aches and other types of pains, and even for skin care.

Dandelion can be helpful for diabetics by lowering blood sugar, but using it along with your treatment requires special attention as it could be dangerous.

2. Chickweed

chickweed

Although it’s pretty difficult to get rid of it, due to its heavy seed sets, after reading this you might not want to anymore. Chickweed has several other related plants, but since those lack nutritional benefits, it’s important to be able to tell them apart. Chickweed is the only one that has fine hairs on only one side of its stem, in a single band and on its sepals, as opposed to its relatives who have the stem entirely covered in fine hairs.

Now that you know how to recognize it, let’s see how it will help you. Chickweed is a nutritious leafy green, usually used raw, in salads. Its leaves and flowers are also used in cooked goods such as stews and soups. It has a high content of iron, so it’s recommended in iron-deficiency anemia. It has also been used as a remedy for skin diseases, bronchitis, rheumatic, arthritis and menstrual pain. Fresh chickweed leaves are also turned into a tea that’s recommended for obesity, but also in spring cleanses to detox your body.

3. Garlic Mustard

garlic-mustard

Thought of as an invasive plant, this little garden gem is edible from roots to flowers. You just have to pay attention to when you eat each part of it. Roots are at their best in spring and autumn, when they can be harvested and turned into a spicy mustard. The leaves get bitter in the summer, so they’re perfect in cooler periods and can add a lot of flavor to any salad or pesto. Flowers are a great addition to your salads. The fruits and seeds are used as well in order to add flavor and season dishes.

Garlic mustard has also been used for medicinal purposes as a disinfectant and a diuretic, as well as in order to help wounds heal.

4. Wild Garlic

wild garlic

This wild relative of chive packs a lot of flavor in its edible leaves, which can be used raw in salads or cooked in soups and pesto. However, the stems, bulb and flowers are also edible. The plant is also used to prepare herbed cheese, plus, when used as a fodder for cows, they will give milk with a slight garlic aroma that will make for a very tasty butter.

5. Field Mustard

field mustard

This wild mustard is so widespread all around the world that you would have to live in the desert in order not to have it grow somewhere near you. The leaves are edible and mostly used in salads, as they have a cabbage-like flavor, though they are coarser and some find them indigestible. The roots are also edible, most of the time they’re cooked, but some like them grated in salads, as they resemble radish in flavor.

The field mustard is said to be helpful in different types of cancer, when used in decoctions (root, stem and leaves), as powder obtained from leaves or as salve obtained from leaves against skin cancer.

6. Violets

violet

These pretty little flowers are not just adorable in spring bouquets, but also a good food source that easily grows in your garden. The leaves have a mild flavor and can be eaten raw or cooked, while the flowers are flavored and a bit tart and are mostly used as food decoration. The flowers are also used in poultry stuffing and essence of violet flower is used to flavor deserts such as soufflés and creams.

7. Lesser Celandine

lesser celandine

You’ll find it especially on wet sandy soils, in both shaded woodlands, and open areas. It’s a great source of Vitamin C, but use it before it flowers and make sure to dry it or cook it before eating it as it contains a toxic compound that is destroyed by heat.

The plant was used to treat hemorrhoids (raw leaves ointment), scurvy (due to its Vitamin C content), while dried leaves are used in teas for their antispasmodic and analgesic properties.

8. Stinging Nettle

stinging-nettle

If you allow it, stinging nettle will grow everywhere in your garden, but since it’s a great nutritious and medicinal plant, don’t hurry to get rid of it! It packs a lot of great stuff such as vitamins A and C, iron, potassium and calcium, but you should cook it first to remove the stinging chemicals. You should also harvest it before its flowering and seed-setting season, because after this stage it contains substances that irritate the urinary tract.

It’s usually eaten in soups, purees, and polenta, or used in pesto, and it’s also used in tea to treat afflictions in the kidneys and the urinary tract, gastrointestinal tract, locomotor and cardiovascular system, on the skin, for hemorrhages, influenza, rheumatism, and gout. It is thought to help with lactation and raw leaves are applied locally to provoke inflammation in order to treat rheumatism.

9. Lungwort

longwort

This plant has been cultivated as a medicinal plant for hundreds of years, so if you see it sprout it your garden you should make good use of it. Its leaves can be eaten raw in salads or cooked, but it’s mostly used in teas or tinctures for its medicinal properties.

It’s proved to be efficient in treating chest diseases and asthma. It is also useful in stomach and intestinal ailments, kidney and urinary tract conditions, as well as wounds when applied to the skin, tuberculosis, etc.

10. Lemon Balm

lemon balm

Lemon balm flowers can be eaten raw and the leaves are edible both raw and cooked. It’s also used in flavoring ice cream and teas and it goes great in fruit dishes as well as in fish dishes.

Lemon Balm leaves have been prescribed for internal (as tea) or external (essential oil) treatments of gastrointestinal tract, nervous system, liver, and bile disorders.

These are 10 of the most common spring plants that you can always use for their nutritional and health benefits. If you think of any other plant that didn’t make it to our list, please use the comments section below to share it with us!

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This article has been written by Brenda E. Walsh for Survivopedia.

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Cool Survival Tips

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Cool Survival Tips

No one wants to imagine something going wrong during exciting travel or vacations, but it’s an unfortunate fact that sometimes accidents happen and we find ourselves caught with limited resources in the wilderness for a few days. These events don’t have to be catastrophic, though, and with a little foreknowledge, you can face up to any challenge. Here are ten cool survival tips we found that anyone can do!

*Here is a link to a broader list of essential survival tips

 

Finding Kindling

  • To start a fire, you need kindling – logs and branches will not start to burn easily on their own. Kindling in the wild, however, is not hard to find at all. Dry pine needles make excellent kindling, as well as the wispy seeds from a thistle plant. Some fungi that grows on fallen dead trees can also be fibrous and easy to burn. For this, look for Coal Fungus (like little black lumps of coal) or Horse’s Hoof Fungus (named for it’s shape and similarity in appearance to a horse’s hoof). These can be used to help start your fire, providing warmth, light, signal, and a way to cook.

 

Keeping Warm with Foliage

  • Warmth is important – hypothermia can be deadly. If you find yourself lost during the cooler months, you can help insulate yourself by stuffing dry – must be dry, this is important! – leaves between layers of clothing. You can do the same between your bedroll and the ground – or your body and the ground, if you don’t have a sleeping bag – to keep off the cold ground through the night.

 

Finding Water

  • Water is one of the most important needs you have, and you’re not always lucky enough to get lost beside safe, flowing water. It is possible to find water – especially after a rainstorm – that is safe to drink by squeezing out moss. It won’t taste amazing, but it will be fresh, and will keep you hydrated. Another option, early in the morning, is to tie fabric – like a shirt that is mostly clean – to your ankles and walk through dew-covered grass. The fabric will collect the dew, which you can squeeze to store and drink.

 

Daytime Signal Fire

  • Obviously one of the biggest goals when lost is to be rescued. Fires tend to have less visibility during the day. However, with green branches – that is, branches that still have green leaves on them, or are green in the stem when you break them from the tree – can help increase the daytime visibility of your signal fire by producing a lot of smoke. Green branches smoke more than brown ones because of the water content contained within. A second perk of smoke from green branches – the smoke can help keep some of the bugs away.

 

Finding Food

  • Food, while not as important as water or shelter, is still a need, especially if you find yourself having to travel long distances. There are a few wild resources available, however, that can provide some sustenance. The dandelion, for example – it grows in a large number of places, and the entire plant is edible. It can be eaten just like a salad.
  • Acorns can be eaten, but should be boiled first – acorns produce tannin, and when boiled, the tannin leeches into the water. This water – a sort of tannin tea – can be drunk to help ease stomach troubles (such as diarrhea) but should be used in moderation.
  • “Berries” are often a quick go-to, but some are poisonous, even deadly. There is a rule of thumb to remember – “White and yellow, kill a fellow. Purple and blue, good for you. Red… could be good, could be dead.” While not completely foolproof, it provides an easy-to-remember guideline.

 

Cattails – Nature’s Walmart

  • If you can find Cattails, you are doing great! These beauties are known as “Nature’s Walmart,” because of the multiple uses provided through the entire plant. The woody tip is filled with fibers that can be used for kindling, and the stalk and roots are edible.

 

Tinfoil and Cleaning

  • If you have to get lost, getting lost with tinfoil is the way to go. Tinfoil has many uses, but the one we’re going to cover here is one that many people don’t think about – keeping cookware clean. This is important because it helps prevent mold growth – which can be very dangerous. A small balled-up piece of tinfoil can be used as a scouring pad to clean any cookware or dishes. without wasting precious water. With this, your cookware or containers can be used for as long as you need them while lost, without having to worry as much about mold-caused illness.

 

Counting Daylight Hours

  • Traveling at night can be particularly dangerous, but there’s a way to find an estimate of how many hours of daylight remain. Hold your hand sideways, flat, with your palm facing towards your face and your thumb tucked in, the base of your pinky at the horizon line. Each finger represents about one hour – if the bottom of the sun is touching the top of your hand, there are roughly four hours left.

 

Directions with Analog Watches

  • You don’t always have a compass along when you wind up in a scenario where you need one. Most everyone knows the simple direction-telling “Sun sets in the West and rises in the East.” If you need slightly more specific directions or are having trouble locating where you are, there’s a way to create a makeshift compass using an analog watch – specific to which hemisphere you find yourself in. In the Northern Hemisphere: Hold the watch face up, parallel to the ground, with the hour hand facing the sun. It doesn’t matter what time it is, as long as the hour hand faces the sun. Halfway between the hour hand and 12 marks South – directly opposite is North. It will be the smaller of the two angles – the direction with the shortest distance between the hour hand and 12. The Southern Hemisphere is almost identical, except it’s 12 that you will be facing towards the sun, with the point between 12 and the hour hand being North.

 

Getting a Spark – Cell Phone Battery Uses

  • These days, almost everyone has a cellphone, while lighters are often in shorter supply. Not everyone knows how to start a fire using other means, either, and the sticks rubbed together we see in movies is actually quite difficult. It’s possible to get a spark using your cellphone battery that can start a fire, though. Using your cellphone battery and a piece of conductive material (such as that tinfoil, or a knife) over a bed of prepared, dry kindling, you can get a blaze going. Just connect the positive and negative terminals of the battery with the conductive material, and it will do the rest.

 

No one wants to have to face survival with limited resources, or being lost in the wilderness. It’s important to be somewhat prepared though, and having knowledge can help you survive in situations where otherwise it might be difficult. Travel is fun, worthwhile, but sometimes accidents happen – that doesn’t mean that you can’t more than rise to the occasion.

 

Hi, my name is Alex and I am the owner of Authorized Boots. I am a blogger in the survival/prepper space. Recently, I have had the pleasure of posting on Survival Life.

 

The post Cool Survival Tips appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Mushroom Cultivation & Foraging

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Mushroom cultivationI love to hunt wild mushrooms in the summer and fall in Northwest Indiana. I usually go out in June through October for Pheasantback (Dryads Saddle), Oyster, Sheepshead (Maitake), Puffballs, Chicken of the Woods, and Boletes. I like having fresh ingredients that I can prepare to eat as soon as I get home. I can also sautee them and freeze them for later use.  It also gives me some exercise, sunlight, and a chance to inhale all the wonderful smells of fall leaves deep in the woods. I’ve also seen a great deal of wildlife while I’m out there. It just restores my soul.

NOTE: This article is about my own foraging and cultivating of mushrooms, but expert Dr. Mart “Merriweather” Vorderbruggen of Foraging Texas recommends being very careful foraging for mushrooms until you can take a class on identifying wild mushrooms and are an experienced forager. Even experienced foragers can sometimes mistake a poisonous mushroom for an edible one.

Health benefits of mushrooms

One of the benefits of eating mushrooms is that they have many benefits. Overall, they have antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. They are also a good source of iron, readily absorbed by the body. This is great for anemic people or vegetarians to keep up their iron levels, which plays an important role in forming red blood cells. Mushrooms containing Linoleic Acid can have an anticarcinogenic effect and and have anti-tumor properties.

Mushrooms are gluten free,  low calorie, low carbohydrate, high fiber, no cholesterol, and have compounds which may help regulate insulin production. Mushrooms are a source for calcium, which is wonderful if you are lactose intolerant, as well as vitamin D, an essential vitamin which helps the body absorb and metabolize calcium and phosphorous. (Another source for vitamin D is sunshine).

Potassium is also found in Shiitake and Maitake mushrooms. This can relax the blood vessels, leading to lower blood pressure, but beware it can increase potassium in people with poor kidney function, or on dialysis. Copper and selenuim are found in mushrooms. They are trace elements that we need for essential body functions. Do read up on individual mushrooms for specific benefits, because they vary between species.

Cultivating your own mushrooms

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If you don’t have a wooded area near you, have a hard time walking, or don’t want to get burrs and bugs on you, consider cultivating your own mushrooms by making “mushroom logs”. I really love Shiitake mushrooms, but they don’t grow wild here, so I decided to create a hospitable environment for them and grow my own.

I needed to find some fresh cut oak logs, about 4-6 inches in diameter.  My husband and I found somebody cutting down a tree after a storm, and we asked for 4 of the medium sized logs which had been cut from it. They were happy to give them to us, because they were going to pay somebody to remove it anyway.

These logs had to sit for about a month to cure them before I could use them.  One site I researched said that freshly cut logs give off some type of protective enzyme after being cut to prevent other fungi or spores from attacking them. Another site stated the moisture content needed to be reduced by 50% internally, but still moist enough to help the mycelium from the mushroom spore to grow into the wood.

In the meantime, I ordered my mushroom “plugs” with the spore on them. I ordered a bag with 100 plugs and placed them in my refrigerator until I was ready to use them. I invited a few friends over and we did this project together. The supplies we used were:

4 oak logs, about 3 feet long

Package of mushroom plugs

5/16 drill bit and drill

Beeswax

Small paintbrush

Hot plate and an old pot or a tiny crockpot

Hammer or mallet

Pallet, 2’x4′, or cement block to place logs on

I warmed up my beeswax in a small crockpot. I kept it plugged in until I was ready to use it. In each log, I drilled a hole that was just slightly deeper than the plug. Next, I gently tapped it in with a wooden mallet, then each hole was sealed with melted beeswax that was applied with a small paintbrush. This would protect my spores until they became “established”. (The weblike structure or mycelium would now grow into the wood). Eventually the beeswax will break down & the mushroom would emerge from this hole.

I drilled another hole every 6 inches until I got to the end of the log. Then, I rotated it and started drilling holes again. I had 3 rows when I was finished, and repeated this with the other 3 logs. I actually ended up with mIMG_4876ore holes than I needed, but not a big deal. Since I did this in February in my garage, I didn’t put them outside yet, due to danger of frost.

Around late April, I selected a shady spot under my deck and placed 4 cement blocks down as a base for my logs. I placed them parallel to each other, then stacked the other two across them, kind of “Lincoln Log” style, then checked to make sure none of the holes were covered during the stacking. It’s important to keep them moist, so I watered them a few times per week and in the hotter weather, placed a tarp over them.

Then, in September, voila! They began sprouting all over the wood. I was very happy to begin my mushroom harvest. Now, I can’t wait until next year! I’m sure I’ll have a few new additions to my mushroom family.

Want to learn more about foraging?

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From Past to Present

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I am grateful that my husband Mike has showed me stuff that I didn’t know and encouraged me to love the great outdoors! It was not always that way. I remembered back when we used to live up on the mountain, we had a small piece of land behind our house and I was afraid to go in the woods by myself. I just told him that later!

We didn’t have this kind of setup in the Philippines. We have a jungle over there and I have never been to it either! I grew up in the city of Manila. Yes, a city girl! I remember when I was little, my mother would bring me and my siblings to grandma’s place for the summer. I liked it there although I felt that I was stuck there for two months! :)

What I did like about that place is… grandma Matilde had plenty of tropical fruits in her backyard. That’s all the forest was for me! But wait! I was a little adventurous girl! It does not stop me from going out and explore some areas by the river and hunt for more fruits to eat. I like to climb trees, harvest and eat up the fruits!

PRESENT

So, now I’m in Canada married to a woodsman and I’m glad that I can still cultivate that curiosity of a little girl. The only thing missing is that there are no tropical fruits to harvest but something else.

They have berries and all kinds of edible plants that I had never tried before; like for example the fiddleheads. Never thought in my life that we could eat “ferns!” I do now! :)  Oh, and I love wild garlics!wild edible - fiddleheadswild edible - fiddleheads

There are still so many things to try and I am still learning some more.

Last year I had some wild mushrooms (chanterelles) brought to me by Mike & Billy and it was actually pretty good. I would like to pick some myself now that I know exactly where they are and how to identify them.

wild mushrooms chanterelles

By the way please be careful and make sure that you know enough information concerning the edible plants that you are trying. Mike showed me which good fiddlehead to pick and I always cook them, same with the mushroom. Mike has always told me that if you are sure at 99% that it’s edible don’t touch it, it’s not enough. You have to be sure 100%!

Let me share with you something that I used to do with my grandma. She had pigs back then; grandma would bring me for a walk and we would pick wild plants (weeds). We would bring that home and cook it in a tin pot on an open fire with all our leftover meals mixed with some grains and then let it cool off and feed it to the pigs.

A few memories… eating young bamboo shoots; digging some sweet potatoes; and by the way the leaves are edible and we call them “talbos,” and we still eat them in the Philippines today and many other type of leaves like “kangkong, saluyot, malunggay,” etc.

If you click on each one of these names it will show you what it looks like. I must say that I miss eating them!

I was amazed how grandma knew her wild plants and what was edible and what was not. Now I could tell you many more stories but I will save it for another time.

I was curious and wanted to learn even as a little girl and I’m glad that I payed attention! I was actually blessed with two wonderful grandmothers who knew how to cook with what is available to them. I only realize it now how I wish that I had asked them more questions!

 

 

Food at Your Feet: Wild Onions

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This is about a little adventure my wife and I had during our recent trip to West Virginia. I need to set the stage for this one. Stick with me long enough, and you’ll understand the where and why of it all.
The more I write, the more I realize the punchline isn’t the important […]

Currant Season!

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I love the wild currants, but I gotta say the picking is quite labor intensive.

It’s THAT time of year again, when the currants begin to ripen and are ready to be picked and dried for the year.  It always manages to happen when the weather gets hot, meaning any foraging trips require plenty of water, cooling clothing, and in this Ginger’s case, plenty of sunscreen.

But the effort is worth it.

I use wild currants in a lot of my baked goods, including my homemade brioche, muffins, and pancakes.  And earlier this year Dave McCallum soaked them in whiskey for our Valentine’s Day Gluten Free Foraged Cake!

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This is my brioche, mid bake, with dried currants from a nearby park.

So I think this week I’ll be taking Hunny B. out to my favorite currant picking spot to gather and dry enough berries to get us through the year.  I don’t need many, the flavor is very strong so usually less than a gallon is enough to get us through til next season.

But I’d better do it soon.  Carolina’s parents are visiting from Chile at the end of the month and love my Wild Currant Brioche.

Just remember, whenever you forage, to use proper foraging etiquette.

Oh!  I almost forgot – speaking of Chile, we’re back with new episodes on Memorial Day!  We start with a trip to Chile, with urban foraging, a live volcano, and a hike to a glacier that gets us in a little over our heads.  Don’t miss it!