SurvivalMedicineBlog

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Cold? Flu? Pt. 5 Keepin’ It Simple with Herbs

ACHOO!  Herbs for Colds and Flu!

 © Kelli Armes, Herbalist

 

The best medicine is preventive medicine, but if/when you do come down with a cold or flu you may want to know about some herbs that could be helpful! These are herbs you may want to consider planting in your garden or allow to grow wild if they already grow near you! (Cold and Flu are different dis-eases, but since everyone lumps them in together, I will try to address both here)

Prevention:

2 ounces of sugar will suppress your immune system for 4 hours! Stay away from sugar(s) if you can.

Get plenty of rest!  Sleep deprivation can weaken your immune system! Eat real food! (not food like substances).

Stress: Keep your stress levels down and add adaptogenic herbs if you are in a high stress lifestyle.

Cold Verses Flu:

It is important to remember that a cold is (in most cases) a benign harmless infection, but Influenza is a potential fatal disease! It is responsible for deaths in the US especially among those with compromised immune system.  It is important to know the difference so you can deal with them properly (if a person is going downhill and has the flu you may need to get medical attention!) Common cold can be caused by several different viruses, while the flu is cause by the Influenza virus.

Treatments:

Hot Teas and Soups!  It is not an ole wives tale, hot tea, and soups are good for you when you are feeling chilled!   Inhale your hot tea fumes while you sip! Eat hot soups (chicken soup is the folk remedy for a cold or flu! )

During a fever it is best to have warm or room temperature liquids (avoid any sugary drinks like juices, pop, etc.)  drink herbal teas, have soups, room temperature Filtered water avoid heavy foods.  Fast on foods (continue with liquids) failure to fast will lengthen recovery time. Keep your ‘patient’ in bed and do not overmedicate them simply support the body in doing what it needs to do!

I recommend against taking cold medicine.  Cold medicine can actually prolong the cold by suppressing the antibodies and can actually (according to studies) make your cold worse (it can drive it deeper into your system)

Steam inhalations are great at the onset of a cold or flu (or prevention) you can add a little rosemary essential oil, eucalyptus, Peppermint oil, Juniper essential oil or thyme essential oil (use small amounts of an essential oil and only those you know you tolerate).  Vaporizer is a great item to have on hand.

Flu-Rest is essential (going back to work too soon if you feel better, can make you susceptible to worsening symptoms or even possibly getting pneumonia).

Neti pot- use a salt solution to rinse the nasal passages to kill microorganism (you can add a few drops of ethically wildcrafted Goldenseal to your neti pot). Breathing in a little vinegar in warm water can also help.

Wet sock therapy is great for colds or bronchitis (not recommended when you have a fever, diabetes, or poor circulation)

Peppermint (Mentha x Piperita)  Very easy plant to grow (propagates by rhizomes)  Used for fevers, colds, flu, digestive upset.  Antibacterial, anti-tussive. Chop up stem and leaf and in a cup of water and use as a steam inhalation.  A little peppermint essential oil in vinegar makes a great disinfectant. Generally Leaf is used.

Energetics: spicy, bitter, and slightly cool

Dosage: Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water on a heaped tsp of the dried herb and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Drink as desired.

Tincture: Take 1-2ml 3 times a day.

Boneset (Eupatorium Perfoliatum). The name comes from ‘break bone fever’ a mosquito borne illness. Also was used for malaria, cholera, typhoid (any illness that produced a fever). This herb was used during the 1918 Spanish Flu and was very effective. The flower is the part used. Great for viral infections (combines well with elder) colds, flu, bronchitis, and pneumonia.  Great for lingering viral infections.

Energetics: Bitter, pungent, astringent, cold and dry

 

Dosage: For an infusion, use 1-2 teaspoons of dried leaves per cup of boiling water. Steep 10-20 minutes. Drink up to 3 cups a day. Add sugar or honey and lemon to improve taste.

For tinctures, use 1/2 to 1 teaspoon up to 3 times a day. Should not be given to children under age 2. Use small doses in tea (1-3 ounces at a time every few hours until desired effect).

 

 

Elder (Sambucus Nigra): Berries and flowers are used.  Some herbalists use the flowers and berries interchangeably, and some use the berry syrup for preventive (colds and flu) and other viral infections. Flowers  are great for flu treatment, fevers lung and sinus issues. Studies have shown that elder has stopped mutating flu virus and show to kill the virus.

Energetics: bitter, drying, cool, slightly sweet

Dosages: For children (1-6 years of age) 1 teaspoon (5ml) per day and can be increased to 1.5-2 teaspoons (10ml) per day, for use during winter months. For adults the recommended dose is 2 teaspoons (10ml) per day. Other forms can be dosed as follows: Dried flowers can be used as an infusion for adults, 3 to 5 grams, three times daily. Liquid Extract, for adults, use 1:1 in 25% alcohol, (3 to 5 ml) three times daily

 

 

Yarrow (Achillea Millefolium) A weed growing freely in this area, touted at the ‘smart blood herb’ because it knows when to stop bleeding, yet can also help break up blood like in bruises.  it is also used to treat fevers and help them to be more productive, circulation issues, hypertension, diarrhea and female issues.

Energetics: bitter, spicy, neutral

Dosages: 1 teaspoon infused as a tea three times daily. Tincture: 1-2 ml three times daily

 

Thyme (Thymus Vulgaris). Antibacterial, antiviral, great for lung congestion, coughs, flu, COPD, bronchitis, and allergic rhinitis.  Great to coughs especially in tea form where you can get the aromatics of the plant. Do not use the kind in your spice cabinet, they are generally very old. Get a supply from an herb store.

Energetics: Spicy and warm

Dosages: Infusion: Pour a cup of boiling water on 2 tsp of the dried herb and let infuse for 10 minutes. Drink 3 times a day. Tincture: take 2-4ml 3 times a day.

 

Flu remedy recipe:   1 part peppermint; 1 part yarrow; 1 part boneset; 1 part elder flower; Mix equal part tinctures and take 1-2 ml 3 times daily.

Note: I like to start with small dosages, and if they work I do not use the ‘recommended dosage’, it is your choice, use your judgment, but remember more is not always better, sometimes less is more! None of the information is designed to diagnose treat, or cure any disease. Always seek medical attention when needed!

 

Thanks to the people I have studied with (formally or informally) for this giving me the knowledge to write this article (for their wisdom, knowledge and kindness). They are (in no particular order): Demetria Clark, Paul Bergner, David Winston, Kiva Rose, Jim McDonald, Susun Weed and www.herbmentor.com ( Recipe and dosages from herbalpedia).   There are a lot of herbs/Alternative things you can use, but these plants are the ones I chose because most of these plants grow wild in my area or are easily cultivated! The above information has been gleaned from listening to seminars, Audio courses, taking formal courses. conferences, Webinars, and my own personal research and experiences.  Thanks!

Kelli Armes aka Maw-Maw Kelli!  I can be contacted at kelliarmes@gmail.com or on Facebook Maw-Maw Kelli (Herb classes and More)!

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December 12, 2011 Posted by | Guidelines, Herbs, Medical Conditions, Self-Help | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Cold? Flu? Allergies? Pt.2 Prevent

Cold, flu, ear infections, coughs, upper respiratory infections strike millions of human beings every year and send many of those same people piling into the doctors office. In a TEOTWAWKI situation, grid down or SHTF situation (or even not having health insurance) what will you do? What would you do to help someone you loved? I have put together a list of ‘things’ you can do to prevent and treat these common health challenges that will become more prevalent as time wears on due to higher rates of unemployment, homelessness, and stress (yes, stress! Stress has a DIRECT impact on your immune system), its not that being unemployed, homeless or stressed out makes you sick, it just means that some of the most basic ‘healthy’ ways become secondary to survival…sanitation, access to medicines and doctors, living in close quarters, eating less than desirably to maintain health. A lower standard of living than what we have seen in the past few decades will result in higher incidences of colds, flues, and the like. It happens…be prepared! Some are very basic concepts and some get more detailed and may take planning on your part to ‘be ready’ ‘just in case’ but all have value in our survival.

First things first…wash your hands! Soap is cheap…and the last time I looked water was readily available. This is a drop dead imperative and may save your life…you hands touch everything and are most likely to ‘give’ us whatever it is that we ‘catch’. Soap and water, at least 30 seconds of rubbing and then rinse off your hands in (preferably) hot/warm water until the soap is gone. In a pinch, bottled water will work. This is your first line of defense against ‘catching’ something. Second best is using an alcohol based hand sanitizer, but be aware of this: while they can be very effective, they don’t get everything like soap and water can and in fact, don’t kill some of the more virulent viruses and bacteria out there. And in a pinch, use a baby wipe or one of those Clorox type bathroom cleaner wipes. Doing something is better than nothing in this case.

On the same note: keep your hands by your side…germs are great at getting into your system through the eyes, nose and mouth. Be conscious about rubbing your eyes, your nose or any other part of the face. Don’t give those germs an opportunity.

Eat your apples, squashes and other fall foods. There is no ‘true’ science behind what I am about to say except to say that many of the vitamins and minerals found in foods that are harvested in the ‘fall’ of the year help you fight off infections, colds and flues. There is a distinct and intrinsic knowledge in mother nature. Vitamins A and D are big helpers in keeping your immune system healthy…which brings me to my next suggestion…

Take your vitamin D supplement…again, another ‘non-scientific’ preventive, but empirical (meaning observed) evidence suggests that those who are out in the sun as much as possible during the summer, spring and fall and then take vitamin D in the winter are less likely to get sick with a cold, cough or flu. Lack of Vitamin D has been implicated as ‘causal’ in individuals who are ‘sick’ all the time.

Cook with and eat your garlic and onions and apple cider vinegar and honey. All 4 of these have shown anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral activity. Its easy to incorporate garlic and onions into your cooking on a daily basis and while ‘fresh’ is best, dried will help too.

An old folk remedy is to make a cup of tea and add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon of honey and drink once a day or every other day to keep the doctor away. Sounds gross, yes, but there are many, self included, who swear by it. Personally I buy the apple cider vinegar that has the mother tincture in it…works ‘better’ it seems.

Now lets get into herbal immune stimulants/supporters that are known in the herbal world as ‘tonics’ that can be taken regularly to prevent coughs, cold, sinus infections and upper respiratory problems.

Burdock, Cayenne, Dandelion, Garlic, Ginseng, Nettles, Yellow Dock, Astragulus. Use burdock root daily during the cold/flu season along with nettles, ginseng and dandelions. A tea made of these taken daily will help to keep the nasty bugs away from you. Pick one, pick all but a cup of tea will keep you out of harms way.

Use Echinacea when you are definitely around others who are sick…be advised though, overtime, Echinacea will stop ‘stimulating’ your immune system and be less effective in preventing. It is often recommended to use Echinacea for 10 days and then take a 4 day break before using again. I personally recommend to drink a cup of tea or using the tincture for 3 days on 3 days off or every other day for prevention. Astragulus is similar to Echinacea…use the same way for prevention.

Ginseng can be taken daily to help pump up your immune system.

Here’s another thought…do you have a wood stove? or a way to put a pot of water on and heat so that it releases steam? Using any herb that has anti-bacterial or anti-viral properties you can create within a house a hostile environment by simply adding some herbs to the kettle or pot of water and boiling on simmer so that steam and the oils in the herbs are released into the air and you thus breath them in helping to prevent infections from occuring…this also humidifies the air which helps the mucous membranes maintain their proper balance during the winter time. This is important because as the mucous membranes dry out, it causes ‘cracks’ which allow germs to penetrate into the body and get a foothold into the body more easily.

Also, many times post-nasal drip (which can cause an unrelenting cough) is caused by the membranes being too dry (dry air). Some of my own favorite herbs to use in humidifying the air:

Eclampane/Inula Thyme Cloves Chamomile Peppermint Cinnamon Rosemary Lavender Almost any herb can be placed into a kettle or pot to make what I will call health steam which not only humidifies the air, but the steam also carries tiny droplets of the oils from these plants which are then breathed in or settle on surfaces thus helping to make the environment you live in hostile to germs.

Next, get your sleep! A healthy immune system begins with getting enough rest.

Take your elderberry syrup…this is an old fashion way to help bolster your immune system. I would personally recommend 1 tsp every other day for preventative measures. Best part is that it can also be used as food!

You may also go one step further in helping yourself and your loved ones to avoid catching the flu by taking a homeopathic remedy specifically designed to fight the flu before you get it. There are several variants on the market today. The trick is this, don’t follow the directions on the box! If you buy the most popular brand take 3-4 pellets ONCE A WEEK. There are others that are tablets, take one tablet once a week. IT WORKS! If you are exposed to someone who has the flu or a cold take 3 times in one day to prevent infection. DO NOT take repeatedly if you do not show symptoms! This will cause symptoms to appear…it is called ‘proving’.

And finally, if all else fails and you do get sick…remember this…stay home!

Most germs spread passively, either from a hand or through water droplets (a nice way of saying someone coughed or sneezed without covering their mouth/nose when doing so) they are opportunistic in their nature…so IF you are sick, stay home, don’t go grocery shopping, don’t be running around do non-essential ‘errands’ and if at ALL possible, call in sick to work. In the right situations germs will spread like wild fire and while I get and understand that you need that ‘paycheck’ think about those around you…don’t you get irritated with that mom or dad who takes their kid to childcare or the babysitter who is sick and make everyone else (including staff) sick? How many time have you personally gotten irritated with the co-worker who is hacking away? Or even still, you have to take off work because you child brought something home from school and is running a wild temperature because another parent thoughtlessly sent their child to school sick. Remember these things the next time YOU get sick, in a pandemic or major outbreak of disease, not just including respiratory problems, it is thoughtlessness that will get you and others killed or sick.

In Part 3 I will discuss various options to help yourself if you do ‘catch’ something.

December 2, 2011 Posted by | Herbs, Medical Conditions, Self-Help | Leave a comment

Of Ticks and Their Bite

Tick Bites- Prevention of the Bite and Preventing Infections

We have all heard that tick bites can ‘give’ you Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and other not so nice pathogens that can cause a range of physical symptoms that are generally unpleasant. In fact, there is are ‘new’ emerging illnesses called Babesiosis and another one called STARI (Southern Tick-Associated Rash) that are becoming more and more prevalent. The first one is primarily seen in the Northeast corridor and spreading into the Mid-West (like Lyme Disease) and STARI is spreading in the Southern regions. And as in many cases preventing tick bites is your best bet against the diseases that they carry (some of which are very hard to diagnosis and often mimic other types of infections since their symptoms can be very vague). You may scroll down to the very bottom of this blog to see the diseases that ticks carry.

Prevention Tips:

Keep grass cut low and free from brush/leaf litter

Keep bushes, trees and grass away from the house or your sitting area

Discourage deer and choosing planting that are deer resistant

Use some sort of chemical control…now, I do not advocate using chemicals, but that is my choice. There several good organic pesticides on the market that do not harm people or animals, you can also use drying agents such as Diatomaceo Earth on yards, trees and shrubs. There are a lot of choices out there so check around.

If out in the woods, wear light colored clothing, long sleeves and pants. Keep your shirt tucked in and preferably keep your pant legs tucked into your socks also. Alternately you may use a rubber band around the ankle on the outside of your pants.

Use a repellant… there are several types of repellents available, most containing DEET.

Again, I do not like to use chemicals as they tend to build up in your body and can cause immune and neurological system distress. There are some alternatives that work:

Use rubbing alcohol on your bare skin…rub it generously all over your bare skin and let dry completely before heading out. Ticks and other nasty insects do not like it (including mosquitoes) Reapply if you get sweaty for a period of time.

Use mentho (Vicks) vapor rub on your pant legs…again, they don’t like this.

Use one of the following essential oil repellants (may use on animals too except for cats!):

Spray bottle with ¼ c water

20 drops Eucalyptus oil

15 drops Tea tree oil

15 drops of peppermint oil

OR

½ cup water

40 drops rose geranium oil

15 cedarwood oil

 

A good all around insect repellant that can also be used in the yard, on counter-tops and animals:

2 pts lemon eucalyptus

1 pt cedarwood

1 pt clove

2 pts citronella

1 pt lemongrass

3 pts rosemary

3 pts peppermint

You may use this by the drop (1 drop equals 1 part) or teaspoon or tablespoon…depending on how much you want to make…it is good for skin, clothing, fur, general purpose insect repellant.

Typically I will make a large batch of this and use 10ml (2 tablespoons about) to 8 ounces of water in a sprayer. Make sure to shake and then spray.

Alternately I also make a 10% dilution with patichouli oil in a homemade soap for bathing and using in the shower. While this isn’t as effective as using a repellant, I have found that the ticks will crawl on me but not bite too often.

You may also use a good Neem oil shampoo/body wash (dogs, people, etc. NO CATS!)

Plants that are used to repel ticks and other noxious insects:

Pennyroyal

Tansy

Chrysanthemums  

With prevention addressed we now turn to what to do after being outside (even on the golf course!)

Find and Remove Ticks from Your Body

Bathe or shower as soon as possible after coming indoors (preferably within two hours) to wash off and more easily find ticks that are crawling on you. And use a soft scrub brush or body poof to remove the next to impossible to see deer tick that you may not see.

Conduct a full-body tick check using a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body upon return from tick-infested areas. Parents should check their children for ticks under the arms, in and around the ears, inside the belly button, behind the knees, between the legs, around the waist, and especially in their hair.

Examine gear and pets. Ticks can ride into the home on clothing and shoes and pets, then attach to a person later, so carefully examine pets, coats, and day packs. Tumble clothes in a dryer on high heat for an hour to kill remaining ticks.

Next, what to do if you find a tick:

How to remove a tick

Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.

Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with clean tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.

After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.

Time is of the essence in removing the tick to prevent a tick-borne disease! It takes a tick at LEAST 36 hours of being attached BEFORE it can pass along any pathogens in its gut/mouth!  Always check yourself and remove immediately. There is ‘folklore’ about applying fingernail polish and petroleum jelly, etc. in order to suffocate the tick making it back out on its own. The only thing that I have seen work within seconds is dabbing the tick with Wintergreen essential oil…ticks hate this oil and it is toxic to them! However, those who use products such as Ben Gay or are on an aspirin regimen should avoid wintergreen oil…sometimes the old fashion way is best…grab and remove!

Prevent Infection from Tick-borne Pathogens Yourself!

I highly recommend a proactive approach if you live in an area prone to ticks such as rural areas or if you work, hunt, play in the great outdoors…eat your garlic…garlic is a well-known ‘natural’ anti-viral/antibiotic that also helps to boost your immune system. Get plenty of the B vitamins…creepy crawlies and flying creepies do not like the smell of the B vitamins and won’t hang around to eat you.

If you ARE bitten, use an herbalbiotic for 7 days to help prevent problems (see article on herbalbiotics). Preferably use Usnea or Goldenseal along with Echinacea.

Also, for the next 7 days use Burdock root to help cleanse the blood, either tincture, pill or infusion (strong tea). Follow instructions provided on the labeling of what you purchase.

Alternately you may also use the homeopathic nosode for Ticks, especially recommended if you live in a high risk area where cases are being reported – The Tick Nosode may be bought from here Tick Nosode

How to use this nosode: 10 drops per day before a meal and after at least 20 minutes of something being in the mouth.

To help antidote the bite, take the homeopathic Ledum 30C 3-5 pellets 3 times a day for 1 day and then begin the Tick Nosode. Do NOT take both at the sametime. Take the Ledum first and then follow up with the nosode.

A blend known as 4 Thieves Essential Oil applied to the bite site several times a day for 3 days may help prevent tick-borne diseases.

There are specific essential oil blends to use if you know what type of tick bit you, contact a professional clinical aromatherapist for this information.

Be sure to watch for secondary infections from a tick bite. As with any type of wound that breaks the skin a secondary infection may occur. Use appropriate caution to ensure the bite area heals correctly. Again, I highly recommend using 4 Thieves essential oil or a similar antibiotic essential oil blend or another topical antibiotic…even honey! But the 4 Theives oil blend seems to help heal it up fast and stop the itching associated with the poison the tick injects to numb the area (to which many people are allergic and often causes the redness and itching long after the tick is gone).

 

With this said, your best defense to preventing an acquired tick-born pathogen is using some sort of repellant and removing them promptly. Remember, the tick must be attached at LEAST 36 hrs before it can begin to transmit an infection. Catch them as soon as possible and take some simple preventative measures to boost your immune system or a prophylactic herbalbiotic and you should be just fine!

 

To what ticks may be in your area please visit the following CDC page:

http://www.cdc.gov/ticks/geographic_distribution.html

 

A list of tick borne diseases:

Tickborne Diseases of theU.S.

(You may follow the links for more information on the disease itself)

Anaplasmosis is transmitted to humans by tick bites primarily from the blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis) in the northeastern and upper midwesternU.S. and the western blacklegged tick (Ixodes pacificus) along the Pacific coast.

Babesiosis is transmitted by the blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis) and is found primarily in the easternU.S.

Ehrlichiosis is transmitted to humans by the lone star tick (Ambylomma americanum), found primarily in the southcentral and easternU.S.

Lyme disease is transmitted by the blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis) in the northeasternU.S. and upper Midwestern U.S. and the western blacklegged tick (Ixodes pacificus) along the Pacific coast.

Rickettsia parkeri Rickettsiosis is transmitted to humans by theGulfCoast tick (Amblyomma maculatum).

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) is transmitted by the American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis),RockyMountain wood tick (Dermacentor andersoni), and the brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sangunineus) in theU.S. The brown dog tick and other tick species are associated with RMSF in Central andSouth America.

STARI (Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness) is transmitted via bites from the lone star tick (Ambylomma americanum), found in the southeastern and easternU.S.

Tickborne relapsing fever (TBRF) is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected soft ticks. TBRF has been reported in 15 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming and is associated with sleeping in rustic cabins and vacation homes.

Tularemia is transmitted to humans by the dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis), the wood tick (Dermacentor andersoni), and the lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum). Tularemia occurs throughout theU.S.

364D Rickettsiosis (Rickettsia phillipi, proposed) is transmitted to humans by thePacificCoast tick (Dermacentor occidentalis ticks). This is a new disease that has been found inCalifornia.

 

Symptoms of Tickborne Illness

Many tickborne diseases can have similar signs and symptoms. If you have been bitten by a tick and develop the symptoms below within a few weeks, a health care provider should evaluate the following before deciding on a course of treatment:

  • Your symptoms
  • The geographic region in which you were bitten
  • Diagnostic tests, if indicated by the symptoms and the region where you were bitten

The most common symptoms of tick-related illnesses are: (one very good reason to be PROACTIVE with herbs, essential oils or homeopathy)

  • Fever/chills: With all tickborne diseases, patients can experience fever at varying degrees and time of onset.
  • Aches and pains: Tickborne disease symptoms include headache, fatigue, and muscle aches. With Lyme disease you may also experience joint pain. The severity and time of onset of these symptoms can depend on the disease and the patient’s personal tolerance level.
  • Rash: Lyme disease, southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI), Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF), ehrlichiosis, and tularemia can result in distinctive rashes:
    • In Lyme disease, the rash may appear within 3-30 days, typically before the onset of fever. The Lyme disease rash is the first sign of infection and is usually a circular rash called erythema migrans or EM. This rash occurs in approximately 70-80% of infected persons and begins at the site of a tick bite. It may be warm, but is not usually painful. Some patients develop additional EM lesions in other areas of the body several days later.
    • The rash of (STARI) is nearly identical to that of Lyme disease, with a red, expanding “bulls eye” lesion that develops around the site of a lone star tick bite. Unlike Lyme disease, STARI has not been linked to any arthritic or neurologic symptoms.
    • The rash seen with Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) varies greatly from person to person in appearance, location, and time of onset. About 10% of people with RMSF never develop a rash. Most often, the rash begins 2-5 days after the onset of fever as small, flat, pink, non-itchy spots (macules) on the wrists, forearms, and ankles and spreads to the trunk. It sometimes involves the palms and soles. The red to purple, spotted (petechial) rash of RMSF is usually not seen until the sixth day or later after onset of symptoms and occurs in 35-60% of patients with the infection.
    • In the most common form of tularemia, a skin ulcer appears at the site where the organism entered the body. The ulcer is accompanied by swelling of regional lymph glands, usually in the armpit or groin.
    • In about 30% of patients (and up to 60% of children), ehrlichiosis can cause a rash. The appearance of the rash ranges from macular to maculopapular to petechial, and may appear after the onset of fever.

Tickborne diseases can result in mild symptoms treatable at home to severe infections requiring hospitalization. Although easily treated with antibiotics, these diseases can be difficult for physicians to diagnose. However, early recognition and treatment of the infection decreases the risk of serious complications. So see your doctor immediately if you have been bitten by a tick and experience any of the symptoms described here.

Remember, you can prevent becoming sick if you ARE bitten so be proactive and use what you have from the natural world and you should be fine.

July 15, 2011 Posted by | Essential Oils, Herbs, Self-Help | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Herbalbiotics – Natures Antibiotics

Of concern when confronting the idea of a severe SHTF situation or TEOTWAWKI is the loss of access to antibiotics. Let’s face it, without them, we are susceptible to a whole host of unpleasant to extremely uncomfortable, if not life threatening situations. There is much discussion in some circles that advocate the stockpiling of modern antibiotics, which, if you can do so legally and safely, then by all means have at it. But you will need the knowledge to know when and how to use them, what they work on and dosage information and to also be aware that some people are deathly allergic to them too (not to mention the side-effects that can come with them). On the otherhand, you can also ‘stockpile’ herbs that are antibiotical in their nature. Again, you will need to know basic usage and dosage and the nice thing about herbs is that you can seal them in mylar, freeze them, tincture them yourself or even wildcraft them going forward in the event of long-term disruption. Personally I prefer to go the herbal route as a first line of defense, finding herbs in many cases to be more effective, with little or no side-effects and definitely much cheaper. So here goes my favorite ‘list’ of herbalbiotics that I keep on hand in tincture and loose dried herb form.

While this not a complete description of the particular herbalbiotic, this will definitely give you a good idea of where to start and the basics. Next time you get a sinus infection or a cut gets infected, why not try an herbal remedy first so that you can begin to understand the power of herbs in helping beat infections.

Not all herbalbiotics are used for the same type of infection. Each herbalbioitc helps with infections of a particular nature dealing with a particular body system. Do your research and know what to use and when to use it otherwise you are wasting the herb. Also, note that with most infection it is wise to also use at the sametime a blood purifier to help remove the toxins and infection from the body…see article on Blood Purifiers (coming soon!). It is also helpful to use an immune system stimulator at the onset of any infection…see article on Immune System Stimulators (coming soon!)

And lastly- Like modern antibiotic or antivirals, use your preferred herbalbioitc for a minimum of 7 days, and preferably for 10 days, everyday. If you stop taking it as soon as you feel better, your problem may come back.

Goldenseal- (or substitute Oregon Grape Root, it is used the exact same way)

Goldenseal is one of the go-to-it, heavy hitters in the herbal world and as such, in the past few years it has been over harvested in the wild. While I include it here on the list and believe that is a very important ‘must’ have, I caution you to find a good source that is organically farm raised instead of wild collected for commercial purposes. You do not necessarily need to purchase the root either, I have found that the leave or ‘tops’ can be just as effective as the root. I encourage you, if you can, to include this in the list of herbs that you cultivate for yourself.

Best Uses:

Think mucous and membranes, infections that cause the production of copious amounts of mucous, pus or open wounds. Or any organ of the body that has a membrane such as the eye or uterus. Where ‘heat’ is present.

Sinus Infections and sinusitis where the mucous (or snot) is green or yellow and infection is suspected.

Ulcers of the skin (which is a membrane) including canker sores and herpes.

Thrush (think mucous like coating) and certain types of Strep.

Upper Respiratory Infections where there is much mucus present and coughed up.

Infected gums and related mouth infections.

Female reproductive infections including uterine infections (or other infections that cause a mucous to occur such as yeast infections).

Diarrhea due to pathogens (bacterial infections including E.Coli)

Ear infections due to bacteria

Infections of the urinary system including the bladder and UTI’s (think membrane wall).

Also good for all types of skin ‘infections’ including psoriasis, measles and chicken pox (as a wash to prevent infection) 

How to Use/Applications: (Be sure to see “How to Make A…”)

TINCTURE –Goldenseal tincture can be used at doses of 0.5 – 2 ml 3 times daily for the treatment of any type of mucous condition, taking more than this can cause a laxative effect! The tincture should be used to treat excess nasal mucus and lung mucus; it can be used to treat gastroenteritis and diarrhea, and excess vaginal discharge and menstrual bleeding in women. May also be used in conjunction with Echinacea for preventing systemic body infections from surgery and wounds and sepsis. 
WASH –Goldenseal maybe used as a herbal wash for bathing irritant skin inflammations, including eczema/psoriasis and measles, smallpox and chickenpox or other skin inflammation issues to help prevent infection and heal the sores. A wash may also be used in preventing infections in other types of open wounds (ie cuts, scrapes, gunshot wounds). If you will be using a wash for invasive wounds, be sure to boil the water and then add the tincture, making sure that the water remains sterile/clean.
MOUTHWASH/GARGLE – Two to three ml of goldenseal tincture in ½ cup of lukewarm water for gum disease, sore throats, mouth ulcers, and mucous conditions in the mouth.
DOUCHE – Goldenseal tincture can be diluted using 2 – 3 ml water, and the solution can be used as a douche for treating excess vaginal discharges and several types of yeast infections in the vaginal area.
CAPSULES – Goldenseal herbal capsules can be used at doses of a single 200 mg (00) capsule, 3 times daily, this dosage can be used to treat excessive phlegm and gastric or different types of respiratory infections.

EARDROPS – Herbal goldenseal eardrops can be used for treating ear infections, the eardrop solution is made by mixing ten ml of the goldenseal tincture in a hundred ml of water – this solution can be dripped into the affected ear in cases of serious otitis media and in cases of blocked ears.

DRIED POWDER- The loose powder of Goldenseal may be used to treat the sores due to type I and II herpes. A small amount of powder applied directly on location of the sore and then rubbed in, 3 times daily.

Do NOT use Goldenseal if PREGNANT.

Do NOT use Goldenseal for more than 2 weeks at a time. A break of at least 2 weeks in between usage is indicated before starting use again.

Overuse can harm the gastrointestinal tract. Follow instructions carefully.

USE CAUTIOUSLY IN DIABETICS as it may lower blood sugar levels

 

Usnea-

Best Uses:

Athlete’s Foot

Bronchitis/ Pneumonia/Colds

Bacterial Infections

Burns

Flu

Fungus Infections

Mastitis

Ring Worm

Sinus Infections

TB

Vaginal Infections

UTI

Strep and Staph Infections

Can help those with suppressed immune system:

chronic fatigue, herpes, HIV, lupus

Anthrax of the Skin possible inhalation and gastro help too

 

How to Use/Applications:

TINCTURE- 2-5 ml 3 times daily. The tincture of Usnea is best used for internal problems such as colds, Lupus, Bronchitis, etc.

DOUCHE- 5ml  of tincture in 2-3 ml of water, use daily for up to 10 days.

SALVE- best to use a salve of Usnea for external infections except for burns.

WASH-either 5ml of tincture in ½ cup of warm water or make infusion as a wash for burns.

INFUSION- may make infusion for internal use…1 cup 3 times daily

 

Uva-ursi, Bearberry

Best Uses of:

This is the go-to herbalbiotic for Urinary Tract infections/problems.

Kidney stones

Kidney and Bladder Infections

Gonorrhea

Gout (Uric Acid problems)

Some action for all mucous membrane infections.

 

How to Use/Applications:

REMEDIAL TEA-Two step process-

1st: soak handful of freshly plucked leaves in some brandy, these leaves must be allowed to stay and infuse into the brandy and kept covered for a week

2nd:Boil 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped or cut bearberry leaves in 1 cup of water for 20 minutes (gently).

After this has been done (boiled and cooled) add a teaspoon of the brandy soaked bearberry infusion to each cup of tea and drink it lukewarm as and when needed. (up to 6 times daily)

INFUSION-

Soak herb overnight (12-24 hours) to reduce tannin levels.

3 tablespoons of herb goes into 1 quart boiling water. Bring to a gentle boil and then reduce heat to simmering and cover. Allow to sit covered at simmering for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and allow to sit until ‘warm’. Strain and drink one cup 3 times per day.

Tincture- 5 ml 3 times a day for no more than 10 days.

Capsules- 250-500 mg 3 times a day for no more than 10 days. 

Taking for too long of a time period may result in overdose symptoms.

 

To boost maximum benefit of Uva-ursi it is also recommended to make a mixture of baking soda and water (6-8 grams added to the water) daily. DO NOT DO THIS IF YOU ARE ON BLOOD PRESSURE MEDICATION!!

 

MAY INDUCE MILD NAUSEA IN SOME PEOPLE

AVOID USE IN THOSE WITH CHRONIC KIDNEY INFLAMMATION!!

AVOID USE DURING PREGNANCY

Avoid eating foods such as sauerkraut, the vitamin C, and fruits or fruit juices and all similar products that are rich in acids – these reduce the effectiveness of bearberry.

Garlic –

Best Uses-

Almost for anything that is considered an infection, may use as a preventative.

Shows great promise against MRSA and other drug resistant bacteria.

It is broad spectrum and as early as 1987 it was noted for its antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic, antiprotozoan and antiviral effects.

Below is a partial list of that garlic can help fight against:

Acinetobacter calcoaceticus

Aspergillus flavus

Aspergillus fumigatus

Aspergillus parasiticus

Aspergillusniger

Bacillus cereus

Candida albicans

Candida lipolytica

Cryptococcus neoformans

Cryptosporidium

Debaryomyces hansenii

Escherichia coli

Hansenula anomala

Herpes simplex virus type 1

Herpes simplex virus type 2

Histoplasma capsulatum

Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV)

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)

Human rhinovirus type 2

Influenza B

Kloeckera apiculata

Lodderomyces elongisporus

Parainfluenza virus type 3

Vaccinia virus

Vesicular stomatitis virus

Micrococcus luteus

Mycobacterium phlei

Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Paracoccidioides brasiliensis

Pneumocystis carinii

Proteus vulgaris

Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Rhodotorula rubra

Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Salmonella typhimurium

Salmonella typhimurium

Shigella dysenteriae

Shigella flexneri

Staphylococcus aureus

Streptococcus faecalis

Torulopsis glabrata

Toxoplasma gondii

Vibrio parahaemolyticus

How to Use/Applications:

To use garlic as an antibiotic take it internally and, if appropriate, apply it directly to an infection. For internal use, try one of the following forms using 1-2 (4 grams) of cloves at a time (approximately 1-2 tsp of minced garlic) 3 times daily or in a bad or acute situation take every 3 hours until symptoms begin to subside and then extend out the time in one hour increments until you are taking every 8 hours. Or if you choose to use and store commercially prepared garlic oil 250mg 3 times daily should work also but again, you may take (if it doesn’t cause you gastro distress) every 2 hrs in the beginning for no more than 2 days. Take for at least 7 days for medicinal purposes. If using as a preventative take 1 500mg garlic oil capsule daily or 1-2 crush/minced cloves daily. If using in cooking, larger amounts will be needed in order to obtain protective and medicinal results as cooking destroys some of the constituents of the garlic that are helpful.

Garlic vinegar. 2-3 cloves crushed/minced to 1/3 cup of vinegar, strain take all 3 times daily.

Garlic honey. 2-3 cloves to 1/3 cup of honey…take use 2 tsp every 2-4 hours as needed.

(Do not use honey in children under the age of 1 and be sure you know where the honey came from!)

For external application, use caution putting crushed garlic directly against the skin, because it can cause burns. Here are some forms you can use for direct application of garlic as an antibiotic:

Blend up three cloves of garlic in a cup of water and apply as a wash. Make a larger amount of this mixture and use it as a sitz bath or foot bath for infections of the feet or pelvic area.

Crush 1 medium garlic clove, and dilute the juice with 1/3 cup of water. Use it as nose drops or a gargle.

Some conditions that can be effectively treated with garlic:

Note: Crushed garlic applied directly to the skin can cause burns, dilute!

Also, never take garlic on an empty stomach, this can cause unpleasant distress.

Bites and Stings        Apply crushed and moistened garlic directly to the bite or sting

Bronchitis            Use raw garlic in one of the forms listed above

Candida infection        Use both internal and external applications if appropriate

Common Cold         Take internally

Diarrhea and Dysentery    Take internally

Ear Infections        Soak crushed garlic in oil, and apply the oil directly to the ear.

Fungal Infections        Apply garlic oil directly, blend up garlic in warm water to make    a soak or compress. Also take internally.

Herpes            Take fresh garlic orally, and apply garlic blended in a little water directly to the sore.
Infections            Take garlic internally and apply directly to an infected wound.

Influenza            Take internally at the first threat of exposure.

Parasites            Blend three cloves in a palatable medium and take internally, three  times a day, for a total of nine cloves.

Vaginal Infection        Use a douche, with three garlic cloves blended in a quart of water. Strain through cheesecloth first to remove the solid matter. 

DO NOT USE IF ON BLOOD THINNERS garlic is an anti-coagulant. And do not use if using other herbs with blood thinning properties.

DO NOT USE GARLIC POST SURGERY

USE CAUTIOUSLY IN DIABETICS as it may lower blood sugar levels

Do not take garlic in large medicinal amounts and use acetaminophen at the sametime.

Remember that garlic is strong medicine and like modern antibiotics, it may cause upset in the intestines…be sure after treatment to eat yogurt or something that will help re-establish the GI tract flora.

 

Honey – honey is a time honored antibiotic, especially for infections of the skin!

Best Uses-

Cuts/Scrapes

Burns

Insect bites

Yeast infections (as a douche)

Eczema and psoriasis

Fungal infections

Other wounds of the skin

Conjunctivitis (as a lotion)

Super Bugs (MRSA comes to mind)

 

How to Use/Applications:

SALVE- use honey as a natural salve and apply as needed (cleaning wound in between) and cover when possible.

WASH/DOUCHE- 1 part honey to 3 parts water and dissovlve together and apply on location as needed.

LOTION- dissolve equal parts of honey and water. For using in cases of conjunctivitis apply carefully and gently and keep the eyes closed while it is on.

Calendula-

You wouldn’t think of this but Calendula is excellent for minor skin infections, kinda like Neosporin el’natural!

Best Uses:

Minor wounds

Burns

Bruises

Reduce Scarring

Sore Throats

Diaper Rash

Low level internal infections

Ulcers (both internal and external)

 

How to Use/Applications:

TEA : Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1-2 tsp. of dried calendula petals. Steep for 10 min, then strain. Drink 2-3 cups of warm tea daily.

WOUND DRESSING: Make a compress pf calendula tea (above) and apply to the affected area. (this is best method for external use)

GARGLE: Unless your doctor directs otherwise, use calendula tea as a gargle or rinse to relieve inflammation in the mouth or throat. Gargle with warm tea several times a day.

OINTMENT: This can be bought in stores or prepared at home by mixing a few drops of calendula oil with skin lotion. Apply it to cuts and scrapes and when put into zinc oxide ointment works to help heal diaper rash.

DO NOT USE IF PREGNANT OR HAVE HAY FEVER

 

So, this is it folks! Get your herbs together and be prepared to help yourself in case you need it! You may be asking, where is Echinacea? I thought that was an antibiotic…well, technically it is an immune stimulator with some antibiotic and antiviral properties, but its main use is as an immune stimulator which is why you will see it paired with herbalbiotics…get’em coming both ways!

 

Remember-

Usnea and Goldenseal are the heavy hitters and very versatile in their nature. Bearberry is excellent for the urinary system and Garlic is good for broad spectrum, but there are many cautions for using it in medicinal amounts. Honey and Calendula are great for the skin. Honey and Usnea are indicated for super bugs (though garlic and goldenseal may also work).

Like modern antibiotic or antivirals, use your preferred herbalbioitc for a minimum of 7 days, and preferably for 10 days, everyday. If you stop taking it as soon as you feel better, your problem may come back.

 

An alternative to Goldenseal would be Oregon Grape Root and maybe used the same way.

 

 

 

As reference:

 

http://www.benefits-of-honey.com/antibiotic.html

http://medherb.com/Materia_Medica/Allium_sativum_-_Antibiotic_and_Immune_Properties.htm

http://herbs2000.com

http://medherb.com/Therapeutics/Immune_-_Lymphatics_and_antibiotics.htm

http://www.natural-healing-guide.com/medicinal-plants.htm

July 13, 2011 Posted by | Guidelines, Herbs, Self-Help | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Spider Bites

Over the years I have been bitten many times by various types of spiders including the Brown Recluse Spider. While many spider bites simply go away on their own and do little but itch and welt up, the spiders that have a bad bite that typically require medical attention can indeed pose a problem and in a Grid Down situation or even back country situation where medical attention can be in doubt (or even now given the sky high costs of medical attention and the many people who don’t have insurance) there are ways of dealing with these bites.
This what I personally do when bitten by a spider (or even suspect it):
First, anytime you suspect a spider bite, time is of the essence.
The faster you begin treatment the better the outcome and less likely you will need outside intervention.
Step one is to clean the wound area well this cannot be stressed enough!
Then apply the following oils:
Bergamont essential is excellent for preventing abscessing, pain, itching and infection. It is my FIRST line of defense with any type of ‘puncture’ wound including spider bites and sticking things into various body parts (that is another story). Straight oil, no dillution. A few drops on site (you may, if its not abscessed, spread the oil to completely cover the area and go just a bit outside of the puncture site. If it is abscessed, just use a dropper and throughly cover the open wound and surrounding area. Keep uncovered and keep the wound out of the sun if it is abscessed, if not keep it covered using a cotton gauze pad. Use this oil on site every 3-6 hours depending upon severity of the wound. This alone should keep things under control until the body can get rid of the poison itself. It has worked many times for me over the years, including one instance (the first time I was ever bit) where the spider bite was abscessed to the size of a half dollar. No antibiotics needed, just the oil. With the abscessed wound it took about 2 weeks to completely heal but it did with minimal scarring. Without the abscess it was done and over in about 5 days.
Alternately you may use basil oil. Use only when not abscessed and apply with lavender oil 2-3 times daily..layering the oils (meaning use first one, waiting a bit and then applying the other). Word of caution using Basil oil: some people will/can react badly to this oil. It would be wise to test yourself way before needing it. It will feel like it is ‘burning’ and the skin may become red, but this is typical and will not hurt you.
Another way is to simply use a blend of lavender, tea tree, rosemary, citronella and myrtle…equal parts…though personally I use this blend in conjunction with bergamont to prevent infection and help to draw out the poison. Though I will note it is not imparative to use this blend.
Tea Tree oil will help with swelling, infection and itching.
 
You may, if you do not like to use essential oils, make either a poultice of plantain and apply on site or oatmeal. Though personally I find the essential oils to work much, much better. But some have found that plantain works quite well for them…
Plantain leaves, crushed and poulticed. You know you have plantain on your hands if you see 5 veins on the leaf and it flower stalk sticks straight up into the air, often seen in crack in the sidewalk and disturbed ground areas…it is a common ‘weed’ and Take one tablespoon crushed leaf juice every hour, at the same time applying the bruised leaves to the wound. The dried leaves can also be used when soaked in water or herbal tea. Plantain tea can be used as a wash to bathe the area often. (this is excellent for bee/wasp stings also along with Tea Tree or Wintergreen essential oil).
Herbs that will help detox the body of the poinson more quickly are yellow root and burdock. 2 capsules of both 3 times daily, tincture form 3 times daily (I find the teas don’t work as well in emergency situations).
 
Now, infection can be a concern, so I would alternate using Echinacea and Goldenseal root (or tops). 2-3 capsules each alternating each herb every 3 hours (you may use tincture also, an adult would need 40 drops of the tincture). If I had to pick one only of these herbs I would use Goldenseal as it works best on ‘membranes’ and the lymph system.
 
Mind you, you will most likely experience swelling, burning, pain, etc. and infact the area may swell and be hot to the touch, as long as it does get much bigger than say twice the size of a silver dollar within 3 days you will be doing just fine using the alternatives. Persistance is key in treatment with alternatives. You may find that redness travels along the lymph nodes and this is normal also as it is the lymph nodes that remove the toxins, if you see if, apply the oils (excepts basil) along the redness where the lymph nodes are, but personally I have never had this happen. Be patient and persistant.
 

July 11, 2011 Posted by | Essential Oils, Herbs, Spider Bites | , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments