SurvivalMedicineBlog

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Four Ways to Kill the Ebola Virus and Other Viruses Too!

no ebolaIts germ season and with the growing concerns over Ebola spreading within the United States I thought it might be wise to discuss PREVENTION verses what to do ‘if’ as prevention is obviously our first line of defense.

Soap and hot water are our obvious first bet as always. Several times a day. But I know and understand that this isn’t always possible so alternatives to keeping our hands as germ free as possible are next in line. I will speak directly to viruses (and this includes Ebola) as not all alternatives are good for bacterial disinfection.

According to the MSDS and The Canadian Centers for Disease Control there are basically 4 ways to kill ‘enveloped’ viruses such as the flu, ebola and many ‘stomach bugs’ that are emerging right now.

Phenolic compounds which are found in many of our everyday items we use such as: They can be toxic at certain levels, though hospitals still use phenolic compounds to clean floors, bed railings and tables. You will know you have a sanitizing phenolic compound if you see the ‘phenol’ in any part of the ingredients. A few that I found were: ortho-phenylphenol, ortho-benzyl-para-chlorophenol, ortho-phenylphenol, para-tertiary-amylpheno.
Typically phenolic sanitizers will need to be left to dry for at least 10 minutes (typical time to work to ‘inactive’ a virus) Do NOT get on the skin or inhale the vapors (such as in air ‘sanitizers’). You should also not use these products containing phenolic compounds around babies or young children nor on surfaces where food may touch.

Ethyl or Isopropal alcohols. These are found in hand sanitizers and common rubbing alcohol…but here is the catch. NOT ALL hand sanitizers have their main ingredient as ethyl alcohol. Remember the big scare about children eating hand sanitizer and getting sick? Some of the more popular brands changed their formulations and do NOT have ethyl alcohol as its active ingredient. So be sure you look at the ingredient list on the hand sanitizer you buy and make SURE it says Ethyl alcohol. And it must be at least 62% but no more than 70%.
As for rubbing alcohol, you can use this on surfaces, your hands or body. But here is the catch: it has to be 60 to 70 percent isopropyl alcohol. If any higher it will not as effective. Science has shown that to kill enveloped viruses such as Ebola, MRSA, and Influenza you must have water to penetrate the virus. They love water! So, the more water the rubbing alcohol is diluted in the better the kill rate. Optimal is 60-70 percent of isopropyl rubbing alcohol. Do NOT ingest any of type of ethyl or rubbing alcohol.

Next, and most prolific in disinfectants and used in hospitals are the Ammonium Chlorides. Look for cleaning, disinfecting/sanitizing products with the words ammonium chloride in the ingredients as these will kill any enveloped virus…ebola, flu, HIV, etc. It can be found in sanitizing wipes, many surface cleaners and in fact, is the main chemical used by hair stylists for disinfecting there clippers and scissors. Goes by the brand name Hydrocide which is readily available to the public. Clorox wipes contain ammonium chloride. NOTE OF CAUTION. If you are going to use a product with ammonium chloride you allow to air dry. Do not wipe dry. Also, if you will be using on surfaces where you cook, after allowing to air dry it is advised to use plain water to wipe afterwards (10 to 15 minutes after using product) so that you do not eat this as it can build up in the body and cause a toxic reaction. Same goes for the aerosolized versions you find in disinfectant sprays…don’t breath it in.

Bleach is next on killing all sorts of viruses and bacteria and is a traditional stand by. However, I would not use on the skin as allergic reactions can occur and contact dermatitis can occur over repeated exposure to bleach. A 10% solution will work for hard, non-porous surfaces. Do NOT use on rubber as over time it will break it down.

Finally, we come to good old fashioned vinegar. According to the MSDS vinegar even at 3% dilution will kill ebola, influenza and many other enveloped viruses. Yes, that is SCIENCE. Often times you will see vinegar in homemade cleaning solutions. But personally I would just use it straight and it is safe for SKIN too!

As a note: you may also use a 50/50 combination of hydrogen peroxide and vinegar for cleaning hard surfaces as a disinfectant. This also has been shown to kill many viruses including ebola.

Stay safe, be prepared and get the knowledge to be panic free!

Survivingshtfmom

http://www.cdc.gov/hicpac/disinfection_sterilization/9_0pceticacidhydropoxide.html#a1

http://www.msdsonline.com/resources/msds-resources/free-safety-data-sheet-index/ebola-virus.aspx

http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/lab-bio/res/psds-ftss/ebola-eng.php

http://www.bccdc.ca/NR/rdonlyres/EAA94ACF-02A9-4CF0-BE47-3F5817A25669/0/InfectionControl_GF_DisinfectntSelectnGuidelines_nov0503.pdf

October 18, 2014 Posted by | Infectious Disease, Self-Help | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Food and Herbs To Strengthen The Immune System During Ebola Crisis or Anytime

ebola10Our immune system is what keeps us from getting sick and it is our own personal defense weapon (so to speak). Keeping the immune system in top shape, especially during viral season or during a time of crisis is actually pretty easy and can be done through a variety of methods. Our diet, being touched (yes touched in a positive way) stress reduction, getting enough sleep, and two specific herbs for the immune system plus herbs and foods that fight stress called adaptogens. An article on stress and the immune system can be found here.

Research has constantly noted that the healthier the immune system, the less likely you are to be infected and if infected, the less severe the infection will be. This has been proven time and time again amongst those living with HIV/AIDS, Lyme disease and even people who ‘catch’ the flu.

Our dietary habits become job #1 when we start talking about strengthening our immune system. Sugar, especially processed sugar actually depresses our immune system. And this includes all those artificial ones. Alcohol, drug use, processed foods also are of concern limit these as much as possible.

From top down lets talk about some of THE best supportive foods for the immune system.

Yogurt. People who consume REAL yogurt or Kefir without all the artificial ingredients (and no, not the low fat stuff either!) on a regular basis report few sick days. How? The body’s white blood cell count increases greatly and the GI tract (where many infections take hold of first) remains very healthy due to its bacterial community being strong. Suggested 2wo 6-ounce servings a day.

Oats and barley. Studies have shown that animals (and we are animals ehmm) that eat a mix of oats and barley regularly have fewer infections, including influenza. Suggested at least one in your three daily servings of whole grains.

Garlic. Regular intake of garlic boost the immune functioning. Studies have shown that people eating or taking garlic had a much higher rate of staying healthy than those who didn’t. Suggested two raw cloves a day and add crushed garlic to your cooking several times a week.


Selenium-rich foods. These foods help to clear infections FROM the body. In descending order of how much is found, highest to lower.

Brazil nuts
Fish:
Suggested at least two servings a week.
Tuna
Cod
Halibut
Sardines
Flounder
Salmon
Poultry:
Chicken
Turkey
Sunflower Seeds

Shellfish:
Oysters
Mussels
Shrimp
Clams
Scallops
Meat:
Suggested a 3-ounce serving of lean beef provides about 30 percent of the Daily Value (DV) for zinc. That’s often enough to make the difference between deficient and sufficient. Not a beef person? Try zinc-rich oysters, fortified cereals, pork, poultry, yogurt, or milk.
Liver
Beef
Lamb
Pork
Eggs
Mushrooms
Whole grains
Wheat germ
Onions
Garlic
Asparagus
Broccoli
Tomatoes.

Remember how mom used to make Chicken Soup when you got sick? Well, it does work.

Black tea increases interferon levels which is what the immune system needs. Suggested several cups daily. To get up to five times more antioxidants from your tea bags, bob them up and down while you brew.

Zinc-containing foods…zinc plays an important role in the immune system. Zinc enhances many actions of the immune system including T cells. Higher amounts can be found in these foods:
Oysters
Wheat germ
Liver
Seeds
Sesame
Pumpkin
Squash
Watermelon
Roast beef
Dark chocolate
Cocoa
Lamb
Peanuts
Garlic
Chickpeas
Mushrooms
Ginger
Broccoli (and other braccea’s)
Red bell pepper
Oregano

So you can see that indeed you are what you eat. Simple dietary changes can make a big difference in your immune system and how well your body can fight off invaders.

And there are two specific herbs that very specifically reduce the cytokine cascade (known as an immune system response storm which can in and of itself be harmful) that many viruses cause and also just happen to cause the right immune system response to reduce viral invasion within the body.

#1 Astragalus
You can eat this root as food, take as a tincture, water extract, tea, or powder. Best way to use this herb is to cook with it or using as a tea as heat releases the best immune system boosters/viral fighters.

To make an tincture/water extract:
5 ounces of astragalus root (powder or shredded root)
12.5 ounces of water

Place the astragalus and water into a pot…bring to a boil. As soon as it boils put a lid on the pot and get off the heat, setting it aside to steep overnight. The next day put ALL of this into a jar and place the lid on the jar. Put aside for the next two weeks and if you remember, shake it once in a while. After two weeks, strain the powder or root out and then add 12.5 ounces of pure grain alcohol to the steeped water so it stays good for up to one year in a cool dark place. Shake well before using.

You can then pour this tincture/extract into smaller bottles for ease of use. Per Stephen Bhuner:
30-60 drops up to 4 times daily as a tonic
In chronic illness conditions take 1 tsp 4 times daily
As a preventative from viral infections 1 tsp 4-6 times daily
IF SICK take 1 tsp about every 3 hrs

To make a tea to drink through out the day put about 3 ounces of astragalus into 1 quart of hot water and allow to steep for approximately 3 hours, strain and drink. Any leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator for a few days.

Powder form: (which can be mixed into food, water or capsules)
Chronic conditions: 1 tablespoon 3 times per day
If sick, 2 tablespoons 3 times per day

From the book Herbal Defense you can make this broth using astragalus:
Ingredients:
3 cups water or vegetable broth
1 ounce astragalus
1 bulb (5-10 cloves) garlic
Salt/pepper to taste

Combine water/broth, astragalus, garlic and simmer for several hours until garlic is soft. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Consume all the broth if you feel something coming on or take a cup or two through out the week to prevent infection. Consume the cooked garlic separately or leave in the broth.

You can even use the powder when making barley, rice or anything else, the point is that you can use this herb in your cooking to kick up the immune system a notch.

Please note: those with auto-immune diseases may be sensitive to this herb. Those with late stage Lyme disease should avoid as it may make it worse.

Cordyceps is an herb that is used as a food. It is indicated that one should consume 3 to 9 grams per day. For preventative measures/strengthening 6 grams a day. If actively sick then 12 grams per day. Please keep in mind that most OTC capsules are 500 to 1,000 mg measurements. So if you get 500mg you will need to take 12 capsules to get 6 grams. 1000 mg capsules you will need to take 6 to get 6 grams.

So, eat healthy and reduce your stress. Food and herbs for your immune system are readily available to you, some directly help and others support. A few simple changes now might just keep you healthy!

As always, please keep in mind that I am not a professional healthcare provider, I am just very passionate about helping others help themselves and all information is taken directly from professional resources.

Stay safe and be prepared.
Survivingshtfmom

References:

http://www.health.harvard.edu/flu-resource-center/how-to-boost-your-immune-system.htm

http://www.organicgardening.com/living/9-foods-boost-immune-system

Herbal Antivirals by Stephen Harrod Buhner

October 15, 2014 Posted by | Herbs, Infectious Disease, Self-Help | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Homeopathy and Herbs During Ebola Threat Pt.1

ebola10There is no cure nor treatment for Ebola. There is only prevention, strengthening our immune system and supportive (palliative) care. While our country has some of the best healthcare available in the world there are other ways that you dear reader can help yourself in the event of the unthinkable…an outbreak of Ebola and what YOU can do before and during an outbreak.

First, let me clear, I am not a licensed health care professional, just someone who is very passionate about alternative therapies. I have managed to live to the rip old age of 42 with very little help from the medical community in dealing with illnesses. I have managed to keep my 5 children out of the doctors office also, none of them have seen a doctor for anything except one case where a school official forced me into getting an ‘all clear’ note from a doctor during a strep outbreak. So with this in mind, let me share with you what you can do for yourself to support your health in the event of an outbreak of ebola.

AS ALWAYS: SEEK PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL CARE WHEN INDICATED. MY ARTICLES ARE NOT INTENDED TO BE USED AS TREATMENTS OR CURES, BUT ARE FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. I REFERENCE EXCELLENT PROFESSIONAL ADVICE GIVEN BY TRAINED PROFESSIONALS.

First things first, prevention is going to be KEY as is the case in type of viral or bacterial ‘outbreak’ within a given population or community. Since we have no vaccine for Ebola at this time we have to fall back onto the basics.

Frequent hand washing with soap and hot water. Hand sanitizers do NOT WORK against many viruses though rubbing alcohol will.
Not touching the eyes, nose or mouth (easiest pathway for germs/viruses/bacteria to enter)
Sanitizing surfaces with bleach or rubbing alcohol.
Avoiding contact with those who may potentially have Ebola (Isolation).

Seems simple right? Well, tomorrow I really want you to practice these preventative measures and then keep on going. It takes time to get into infection control practice.

Next, we want to help your immune system to be at its peak. Ways of doing so can be found here.

Okay, got that down. Now what specifically can YOU do to help your body fight off a potential viral infection? There are a few herbs that are known to help support the body in this matter. Boneset and Goldenseal are the two best for this. Use either one daily. You can find more information on viruses and how to protect yourself from them here in my discussion on Entero Virus 68.

Now, let us say you have done all this, taken all the precautions you can possibly take to keep yourself and your immune system healthy. You hear on the news that an Ebola case has been confirmed within 300 miles of your area. Now what?

Time to REALLY practice your ‘staying healthy protocols’. But there are other things to add to this. If you are a normal healthy person with no pre-existing conditions you could also begin to add either Kola Nut tincture or Japanesse Knotweed tincture. Both of these have highly active compounds that viruses of all sorts do not like. A recent paper was presented in St.Louis, Missouri speaking about Kola Nut extract and Ebola. Sam Coffman over at the Herbal Medic speaks about Japanesse Knotweed and Ebola. I would like to make 2 notes here. Kola Nut contains natural caffeine and would not be suggested for those with high blood pressure or anyone sensitive to caffeine. Japanesse Knotweed must be used sparingly as overuse can cause bowel bleeding in some individuals and must NOT be used in individuals prone to bleeding or suspected of having Ebola. For more information on viruses, herbs and tinctures please visit here.

Homeopathy also offers supportive measures. When dealing with homeopathy less is MORE! According to Dr. Vickie Menear, M.D. and homeopath, found that the remedy that most closely fit the symptoms of the 1914 “flu” virus, Crolatus horridus, also fits the Ebola virus nearly 95% symptom-wise! So what does this mean to you? If Ebola is in your area or near you, you can use Crolatus Horridus 30c to help support your immune system against Ebola.

How?

Homeopathy is a proven and safe method for supporting the body and helping the body to come back into a normal state of health. Used as a preventative this is what you do according to Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na):

ONE DOSE of Crolatus Horridus 30c DAILY IF NEAR BY or potentially exposed to the Ebola virus. (of course all other safety measures should be taken IF you have knowingly been exposed or come into contact with an infected individual)
Stop taking once threat is over!!!
this means in your local area and ONLY in an epidemic/pandemic situation…otherwise follow the advice below.

However, standard prophylaxis protocol maybe used in the event that it is in your REGION (about a 300 mile radius)

According to Miranda Castro (a trained homeopath):
OK, in brief here are my thoughts about using homeopathic remedies as preventatives.
1. The beauty of homeopathy is that less Is more. More is not more. In fact, more can be a bad, bad thing.
2. If you take too much of a remedy – whether you need it or not – and, if you are sensitive in general and/or if you are sensitive to the remedy in particular – you can get symptoms you never had before. They don’t usually last long but they can be a pain. Literally. It’s how we test our medicines.
3. Don’t give the children unnecessary medications. Including homeopathic medicines.
4. Use homeopathic preventatives only in an epidemic. And only if the epidemic is really and truly in your area.
5. The safest preventatives are the ones with a proven track record. Some are nosodes (Pertussin for Whooping Cough, Morbillinum for Measles and so on). Some are not – the genus epidemics is the very best preventative of all (homeopathically) – the remedy that is helping the most in any epidemic.
6. Stick with a 30C potency (unless you are under the guidance of a homeopathic practitioner who has made other recommendations). 30C is strong but gentle and has a proven track record. No need to go higher.
7. You only need to give a single dose every 3-4 weeks – that’s how long the effects of a preventative typically last.

REMEMBER: do NOT take more of any alternative method/remedy than recommended, especially homeopathic…you will make yourself ‘prove’ it (make yourself sick!)

So with this advice in mind, stay safe, be prepared and take good care of yourself and those you love. In a later post I will talk about how to support yourself in case you contract Ebola in spite your best efforts until you can get to professional medical care.

survivingshtfmom

October 13, 2014 Posted by | Herbs, Homeopathics, Infectious Disease, Medical Conditions, Self-Help | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Entero Virus 68…has Polio Mutated?

entero 2Note: this is for informational purposes only. Always seek qualified professional medical care in the event of serious illnesses.

Our country is in fact in the midst of an epidemic called Entero Virus 68 and there are a few children who are dying, becoming very sick and experiencing varying degrees of paralysis. Mostly those with already weakened immune systems or with pre-existing conditions.

I want you to stop and think about something…the children who are getting very sick look remarkably like polio patients. Since the first noticeable out break in California last year (following a campaign to vaccinate everyone against whooping cough) the CDC and doctors have been acting like this is no big deal. But I would say it is. I would suggest that polio has mutated. Can’t prove it, but the duck is sure quacking. And given the population that this ‘entero virus 68’ is hitting I would also further suggest that vaccination of our children could very well be a precluder to this mutation. I am not suggesting not vaccinating, that is between you and your doctor, I am just making note of this.

Per Dr. Dorothy Shepherd:
“Are the inoculations against the various infectious diseases 100 per cent foolproof? Do they not in some cases lead to serum or vaccine disease? Is it not a fact that they often produce severe reactions? Indeed, they have been known to lead to fatal consequences. Have I been more unfortunate than the average homeopathic physician in seeing the negative or disease-producing effects of orthodox prophylaxis? Indeed I was not biased either in the beginning. I was extremely interested in prevention of such diseases as diphtheria and measles and the rest. It was a great disappointment to me to observe the frequent severe reactions in the wake of immunization against diphtheria, and later on the uncertain effects of inoculations against measles, whooping cough, and scarlet fever.
“Now some of my fears of the dangers inherent in the modern methods of inoculations have been proved to be well rounded and correct. Some impartial medical observers in Australia have found that the incidence of poliomyelitis, the modern infantile paralysis, has vastly increased since whooping cough and diphtheria inoculations have become more popular, and that the incubation period of infantile paralysis corresponds closely to, and follows exactly on the correct day after the inoculation has been made (my emphasis) It might have been coincidence, if it had only happened in one or two cases, but unfortunately it has happened in more than 5 per cent of the cases.
It was noticed hereafter that an enormous amount of sickness followed immediately after the immunization. It temporarily reduced resistance to any infection, and they went down with influenza, German measles, whooping cough, and the sickness rate among the nurses was higher during the six months following diphtheria immunization than in any period in the history of the hospital.
On Poliomyelitis
Infantile paralysis is one of the modern varieties of a disease which has come to the forefront during the last fifty to sixty years; gradually it has become more frequent and more virulent.

You can see the entire article here.

A direct quote from Dr. Humphries’ presentation, taken from the Centre for Disease Control website:
“CDC estimation of morbidity and mortality after infection of polio virus…95% infected have no symptoms…4-8% have minor symptoms such as fever, fatigue, nauseas, headache, flu-like symptoms, stiffness of neck and back, pain in the limbs which resolves completely…fewer than 1%(of the 4-8 %) result in permanent paralysis of the limbs, usually the legs and only 5-10% of that 1% die when it affects the respiratory muscles…what other vaccine targeted illness do you know of that is 95% -98 % asymptomatic. (taken directly from here)

With this said, homeopathy offers a way to help the body help itself against various diseases that we now vaccinate against. It is cheap and proven very effective. While homeopathic prophylaxis is now widely accepted in the veterinary community, we in the US are still eating up ‘professional conventional wisdom’ on the necessary need for vaccinations. Yes, they have saved lives, but mother nature has nothing better to do than figure out how to live. We are seeing this with antibiotics right now.

History of the Idea of Homeopathic Prophylaxis
The idea of using a medicine, prescribed homeopathically, for the prevention of disease was present from the very beginning of homeopathy. To my knowledge, the first presentation of this concept was by Samuel Hahnemann in an article, entitled Cause and Prevention of the Asiatic Cholera, which was published in 1831.(1) In this article, Hahnemann suggested a list of remedies (camphora, veratrum, bryonia, rhus toxicodendron, cuprum) that would be of most use in the cholera outbreak that was raging at that time. He was able, from an understanding of the principles of homeopathy and a knowledge of the medicines, to give this guidance even though he, himself, had little experience with the current outbreak of the disease. His followers quickly put these suggestions to the test with remarkable results. In no little way, this predictive ability of Hahnemann’s, in a time of great uncertainty in the use of medicines, was tremendously effective in convincing doctors of the efficacy of homeopathic medicine. To be able to have effective treatment in the face of an epidemic puts aside, at one stroke, the idea of indefinite, imaginary, or placebo effects from use of the medicine.
Later, Boenninghausen, one of Hahnemann’s most able and early students, describes his discovery of the similarity between smallpox (in people) and malanders (in horses).(2) He noticed that when smallpox would appear in an area, the horses would also show the disease of malanders — that these two diseases appeared together. So, because Thuya was considered to be the specific remedy for this problem in horses, Boenninghausen tried it in smallpox in people and found it to be very effective in treatment. He carried this one step further, giving the remedy to members of the same household of the patient ill with smallpox and found it prevented the disease with every person it was used.(3)
It is with this in mind that I would suggest and offer the homeopathic remedy Lathyrus sativa as a prophylaxis (preventative) for this epidemic of ‘entero virus 68’ as it fits the presentation of what we are being told is ‘entero virus 68’. See more information here.

How to do use this homeopathic remedy to help yourself in the middle of this growing epidemic?

According to Miranda Castro (a trained homeopath):

OK, in brief here are my thoughts about using homeopathic remedies as preventatives.

1. The beauty of homeopathy is that less Is more. More is not more. In fact, more can be a bad, bad thing.

2. If you take too much of a remedy – whether you need it or not – and, if you are sensitive in general and/or if you are sensitive to the remedy in particular – you can get symptoms you never had before. They don’t usually last long but they can be a pain. Literally. It’s how we test our medicines.

3. Don’t give the children unnecessary medications. Including homeopathic medicines.

4. Use homeopathic preventatives only in an epidemic. And only if the epidemic is really and truly in your area.

5. The safest preventatives are the ones with a proven track record. Some are nosodes (Pertussin for Whooping Cough, Morbillinum for Measles and so on). Some are not – the genus epidemics is the very best preventative of all (homeopathically) – the remedy that is helping the most in any epidemic. Lathyrus sativus is the one that has a proven track record in polio.

6. Stick with a 30C potency (unless you are under the guidance of a homeopathic practitioner who has made other recommendations). 30C is strong but gentle and has a proven track record. No need to go higher.

7. You only need to give a single dose every 3-4 weeks – that’s how long the effects of a preventative typically last.

8. Give an additional single dose if in direct contact with someone with the disease.
9. The beauty of homeopathy is that less is more

So basically, you will ONLY use lathyrus sativus IF your community has confirmed cases of ‘entero virus 68’.
ONE DOSE (consisting of 3-5 pellets) every 3 weeks. NO MORE THAN THAT
Take an extra dose IF you come into direct contact with a KNOWN/CONFIRMED case.
Stop taking once the threat is gone.

It is that simple.

If you would like more information on how to support yourself in this time of infectious diseases please visit survivalmedicineblog. I have listed 2 great articles on how to support the immune system and what to do to take care of yourself.

Entero Virus 68
Coughs, Colds and Flues

And of course, always use traditional means of prevention: hand washing, keeping your immune system strong, not touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

AS ALWAYS: SEEK PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL CARE WHEN INDICATED. MY ARTICLES ARE NOT INTENDED TO BE USED AS TREATMENTS OR CURES, BUT ARE FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. I REFERENCE EXCELLENT PROFESSIONAL ADVICE GIVEN BY TRAINED PROFESSIONALS.

Be safe and be prepared.
survivingshtfmom

October 13, 2014 Posted by | Herbs, Homeopathics, Infectious Disease | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stress and Infectious Diseases: STOP THE STRESS!!!

stressimmuneWe have one great defensive team to protect ourselves in this world full of germs, viruses and bacteria our immune system. We are born with it and while not perfect, it keeps us alive in most cases if we ‘catch’ something and it has a great memory for prior foreign invaders.

Our immune system is what keeps us from having to live a sterile environment and it’s in our best interest to keep our immune system strong so that when some invaders comes a knockin’ we have a fighting chance to live. I would hazard to guess that most people don’t even THINK about their immune system and what would happen if it went bye-bye or was seriously compromised. Day in and day out we go about our lives full of stress and surrounded by germs. So, in this day and age when we typically don’t eat right, sit around a lot and stress out about everything and ding our immune systems with literally hundreds of different chemicals everyday what can we do to support our immune system? Fight STRESS!!!

Stress…stress can kill you and that isn’t a joke…according to Paige Bierma, M.A
“Some kinds of stress — very short-term, that last only a matter of minutes — actually redistribute cells in the bloodstream in a way that could be helpful,” says Suzanne Segerstrom, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Kentucky who has conducted studies on stress and the immune system. “But once stress starts to last a matter of days, there are changes in the immune system that aren’t so helpful. And the longer that stress lasts, the more potentially harmful those changes are.”
The fight-or-flight response (short-term stress) goes something like this: When a villager in Africa sees a lion charging at him, for example, the brain sends a signal to the adrenal gland to create hormones called cortisol and adrenaline, which have many different effects on the body, from increasing heart rate and breathing to dilating blood vessels so that blood can flow quickly to the muscles in the legs. Besides helping him run away, this type of acute stress also boosts the immune response for three to five days (presumably to help him heal after the lion takes a swipe at him).
When humans experience stress, our bodies react the same way that animals’ bodies do. Once the lion is gone, a zebra or gazelle’s stress level will return to normal, but humans have more trouble getting back to our routines after a stressful event, whether it’s a car accident or a divorce. We’ll think about it, dream about it, and worry about it for a long time, and that sets us up for long-term problems, says Robert M. Sapolsky, a Stanford University stress expert and author of Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers.
Over time, continually activating the stress response may interfere with the immune system. How this affects your disease risk, Sapolsky suggests, depends partly on your risk factors and your lifestyle, including your degree of social support.

Infectious disease and stress:
A number of vaccine studies have also found that the immune system of highly stressed individuals have sluggish responses to challenges. In one study, published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine, a pneumonia vaccine was administered to 52 older adults, including 11 people caring for spouses with dementia. After just six months, the levels of antibodies produced against pneumonia in the caregivers had dropped off, while the non-caregivers’ levels remained stable. A similar study in which 32 caregivers were given the flu shot also found that caregivers received less protection from the vaccine than did a control group of non-caregivers.
If you’re stressed out, you’re more likely to get sick — at least it seems that way. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine actually found that higher psychological stress levels resulted in a higher likelihood of catching the common cold. The researchers accounted for many variables — including the season; alcohol use; quality of diet, exercise, and sleep; and levels of antibodies before exposure to the virus — and concluded that higher stress was to blame for lowered immunity and higher infection rates.
In the meantime, there is enough evidence to convince us that we should find healthy ways to keep our stress levels down, which is advice we got from our grandmothers: Eat right, exercise, and get enough sleep.
“Stress is inevitable,” Spiegel says. “The trick is to learn to manage it, to find some aspect of our stress and do something about it. Don’t think in terms of ‘all or nothing’ but in terms of ‘more or less.’ “

An immune system that is continually ‘working, working, working’ never gets a chance to recover so when challenged by an invader it cannot mount an adequate defense.
Learn to manage your stress!

Stressful events are a fact of life and they can be even little ones like too much noise or activity going on around you. You can learn to identify what stresses you and how to take care of yourself physically and emotionally in the face of stressful situations. Learn to UNWIND in a healthy way.

Stress management strategies include:

Eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise and plenty of sleep
Practicing relaxation techniques or learning to meditate
Fostering healthy friendships
Having a sense of humor
Seeking professional counseling when needed
Learn to say no! Set yourself realistic expectations and learn how to say “no” when your workload or social and family commitments get too much.
Learn to switch off. Leaving the office for the day? Then it’s time to switch off your work brain as well as your mobile phone. Unless you need to be on call for work, there’s rarely anything that can’t be solved the next day with renewed perspective.
Breathe! When we’re stressed, we tend to shallow breathe. Try to take deeper breaths into your diaphragm.

But hey! There is good news on the stress/immune system relation using herbs called adaptogens and these can be included into your healthy diet as herbal supplements. According to Frank M. Painter, D.C.:
The body expends a great amount of energy keeping itself in a heightened state of readiness. When weakened by prolonged stress–be it caused by lack of sleep, poor diet, chemical toxins in the environment or mental assaults–the body’s ability to maintain homeostasis can be compromised, and illness can result. Adaptogenic herbs have traditionally helped prevent the imbalances that can result from stress and have therefore prevented or minimized disease. At the core of an adaptogen’s scope of actions is the ability to help the body cope more effectively with stress. Specifically, adaptogens recharge the adrenal glands, which are the body’s nominal mechanism for responding to stress and emotional changes. The adrenals, which cover the upper surface of each kidney, synthesize and store dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine. These compounds are responsible for the changes that occur during the fight-or-flight reaction.

Well known adaptogenic herbs are:

Ginseng
Suma
Ashwaganda
Astragalus
Schisandra
Jiaogulan

And while mushrooms are not technically herbs Reishi, shiitake, maitake mushrooms have been shown to have adaptogen properties also.

Homeopathy can also play a role in reducing stress levels when needed and be apart of an overall stress reduction program:
According to Claire Zarb LCPH it’s advisable to start with a 30c potency and take every hour or so when the feelings of stress are at their peak.

Argentum Nitricum
Ideal for treating anxiety, caused by the anticipation of a big event, such as an exam, party or public speaking event. Dizziness and diarrhea may also be experienced, especially in the morning. People who need this remedy are often enthusiastic and suggestible, with a tendency towards being quite impulsive. They often crave sweets which usually make their symptoms worse.
Gelsemium
When a dull, heavy, but restless, weariness dominates you, think of Gelsemium. A dose before an exam or interview can keep your mind from drawing a blank. Heavy fatigue with muscular weakness means it’s great for flu, restless colds, diarrhea and dull, pressing headaches. This can be a very steadying remedy, especially to quiet, often low-spirited people who dread public speaking.
Nux Vomica
This remedy’s reputation is based on its ability to treat modern day complaints of indigestion, intoxication, and stress. Nux Vomica acts to neutralize both the effect of stress on the mind, and excess intake of food, alcohol and drugs on the digestive system. Nux Vomica offers comfort when travel, hangovers, busy schedules, overwork, or late night meals cause digestive and mental distress. Ideal if you’re a ‘workaholic’ who is easily irritable and tired.
Lycopodium
Ideal for nerves and indecision and especially good if you worry a lot and battle with self-confidence (too much and too little!). Digestively, it applies to acidity, gas, bloating, colic and constipation. There may be a fear of change, irritability, obstinacy, stage fright and exam nerves.

And don’t forget the Food!

According to Michael Ozner, MD, the top 10 stress fighting foods are:
1. Spinach contains magnesium, which helps improve your body’s response to stress and may prevent migraine headaches.
2. Asparagus is a good source of folic acid, which produces serotonin and helps stabilize mood.
3. Beef helps stabilize mood by supplying zinc, iron, and B vitamins.
4. Dairy products such as milk and cottage cheese provide protein and calcium.
5. Nuts and seeds are good stress-fighting snacks. In addition to containing vitamin B12, magnesium, and zinc, almonds also provide vitamin E, which, like vitamin C, fights stress-related free radicals that cause heart disease. Walnuts and pistachios are known to lower blood pressure. Sunflower seeds include folate, which helps produce dopamine, a pleasure-inducing brain chemical.
6. Fruits such as oranges and blueberries contain vitamin C, which fights cancer-causing free radicals. Blueberries also counteract the effect of hormones such as cortisol, and bananas provide potassium, which lowers blood pressure.
7. Fish containing omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, can boost serotonin levels and limit the production of anxiety hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol.
8. Avocados are a good source of monounsaturated fat and potassium, which lower blood pressure.
9. Milk, including skim milk, is high in antioxidants and vitamins B2 and B12 and also provides protein and calcium, which can reduce muscle spasms and tension and soothe PMS.
10. Crispy rice cereal or corn flakes aren’t necessarily low in sugar; however, they offer B vitamins and folic acid, which reduce stress. Have a bowl of whole-grain cereal with milk for a stress-fighting breakfast.
Four foods to avoid:
1. Caffeine, found in coffee, tea, soda, and chocolate, can cause anxiety and raise stress hormone levels.
2. Sugar causes spikes in blood glucose levels and increases insulin. This affects your adrenal glands, which regulate stress hormones and help the thyroid regulate body weight.
3. Trans fatty acids such as hydrogenated vegetable oil are found in many baked goods and can hinder the immune system and increase the risk of heart disease.
4. Alcohol puts more sugar in the body, and excessive consumption can damage the adrenal glands.
While stress is just one factor in keeping the immune system healthy you can see that there are ways of helping the body to defend itself against stress and boost our body’s resiliency against stress. So get moving, eat ‘right’ and get your SLEEP and don’t forget to add homeopathy and herbs into your life to LIVE! Your immune system will love you!

Stay safe, be prepared!
survivingshtfmom

October 4, 2014 Posted by | Herbs, Homeopathics, Infectious Disease, Self-Help | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Natural Home Self Care for Enterovirus 68 ED-V68 Coughs and Colds

natural remedies

There is no ‘cure’ for EV-D68. There is no vaccine. Prevention is your best option. However, we all know how children are and I hate to say it, adults too. We forget to not touch our faces (rubbing the eyes). We forget to wash our hands and well, sanitizing everything in our world is just not practical. So, what does one do IF you suspect you or your child comes down with a suspected case of EV-D68? Or even the common cold?

First things first…Be mindful of your body and how you are feeling and especially with children, be watchful for first ‘signs’…sniffling, not as hungry, perhaps grouchy. You know yourself and your child best and your best bet is to be proactive in ‘catching’ onto something ‘not right’. The faster you start taking care of your child or yourself the faster you get better!

STAY HOME! You do not want to be out and about giving it to others nor do you want your already struggling immune system to pick up something else. I know, I know, its hard to find a babysitter. You can’t take off work. I know all the excuses. However, think about this. YOU OR YOUR CHILD got it because SOMEONE ELSE DID NOT STAY HOME.

And I hate to say this, but everytime you cough, cover your mouth. If you feel a sneeze coming on, do us all a favor and either use your hand or inside your elbow to stop the droplets. Use tissues whenever possible and wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after every cough/sneeze.

Next…its time to review home ‘preventions’ except this time you will be amping it up on how often to take.

Goldenseal tincture at the first sign of a cold or sinus problem is where I would start. Take 3-6 times DAILY depending upon severity. It will not hurt you.

Next, get that astragulus tea going and if you can get it, Buchu Leaf tea. Both are very beneficial for the lungs and sinuses. 3-6 cups daily.

SYMPTOM DEPENDANT HELP
Any and all may or may not include a fever which is a separate challenge. Generally the rule of thumb is that without a fever you do NOT have an ‘infection’ which is WHY if any drainage, sneezing or coughing begins you want to get on top of it pronto! Do not let that bug get a hold and allow it to turn into an ‘infection’.

Coughing: try to determine what type of cough it is.
Sinus coughs are going to most likely ‘start’. This is when the sinus drainage runs down the back of the throat and our reflex is to ‘cough’.
Herbs and food:
Horseradish root helps to dry sinuses up and reduce sinus swelling to allow easier nose breathing. Yes, its ‘hot’ but mix it up in some food and eat up!
Elderberry syrup or tea.
Ginger tea.
Peppermint tea.

Essential Oils:
Essential oils can be used topically for relief from runny noses that cause that ‘cough’ that drive so many of us nuts. Essential oils can also be used to help with other types of coughing and they are particularly good ‘killing’ viruses and bacteria to boot. Typically I recommend using ‘straight’ or ‘neat’ unless it’s a child and then I would dilute 50/50. 1 drop of essential oil to one drop of almond oil or even vegetable oil and apply directly under the nose…none of these should be used on someone with asthma, they WILL aggravate
Adults ONLY:
Eucalyptus
Peppermint
Children ages 6-16
Eucalyptus 50/50
Peppermint 50/50
I will not recommend using essential oils on children younger than 6 because I am not there to personally watch for a reaction and many cases of asthma are not known until later in childhood.

OTC Drugs for Coughs:
I do not like to give people anything over the counter for sinus drainage or coughing as it can have what is called a ‘rebound’ effect, meaning that taking the OTC that ‘dries’ up sinus drainage causes even MORE drainage. Drainage is the bodies way of getting rid of something ‘unwanted’ in the sinuses. Simply drying it up doesn’t do anything but suppress symptoms and may in fact prolong or make it worse. But this is up to you.

Chestal coughing: this is the type of ‘cough’ that you really know when you have a cold and if not helped quickly can quickly turn into bronchitis due to secondary bacterial infection. Once this starts the goal is to loosen the mucus/phlegm in the chest/body so that coughing is productive (gets it up and out). Again, you really don’t want to suppress a cough as it’s the body’s way of getting mucous up and out. However, I will say this, if coughing is very persistent or almost constant, you will want to reduce (not suppress) the cough.

A wet cough sounds ‘chesty’ and phlegmy.

A dry cough:
is less likely to produce phlegm (mucus)
can sound irritated, harsh, barking, or whooping

Herbs for chest coughs:
White Horehound
White horehound is used as an expectorant to loosen congestion in the chest and relieve a dry cough. In addition, it is an anti-inflammatory used to relieve bronchitis and coughing related to asthma. It relieves pain during coughing and soothes the digestive tract. This can be found as a ‘candy’, tincture or tea. My suggestion is to use the ‘candy’ in children and a tea for adults if the coughing is not too bad. Otherwise, go directly to the tincture form.

Marshmallow is a proven mucus thinner and expectorant. This maybe used as a tincture, tea or syrup. This can be combined white horehound for helping to reduce phlegm.

Anise works well on very hard spasmodic coughs or a dry, irritating cough. Use 3-6 times daily as a tincture.

Wild cherry bark is a powerful cough suppressant and is used for dry, nervous coughs or coughing associated with a sore throat. Combine in syrup form with, garlic, onion, and slippery elm for a powerful combination.

If a cough reaches potential bronchitis stage then use Hyssops which is best combined with mullein, plantain, or white horehound. And should be used primarily as a tincture since it does not taste very good.

If you STRONGLY suspect that you or your child has ED-V68 then I highly recommend Devil’s Club. It is an excellent ‘go to’ for a cough that seems deep or bronchial in nature especially with a fever. It is also useful for pneumonia and is highly anti-viral in nature. Traditionally it is used as a strong tea though it is excellent as a tincture.
Boneset via strong tea 4-5 times daily would be indicated also given this is viral in nature.

Homeopathic Cough and Cold Remedies: I like to use homeopathic cough and/or cold/mucous remedies and have a complete single remedy recommendation listed here.

However, there are several very good commercially available combinations and these are what I personally use. Note on how to use homeopathic tablets. They are taken under the tongue or slightly chewed and then allow to melt. Typically with the ones listed below I recommend 3 tablets. You should see results within 15 minutes (lessening of symptoms). Personally I repeat as needed as often as needed. So if symptoms lessen, take again once symptoms begin to return. That may be every 15 minutes…take as NEEDED. You will find yourself increasing the time in between usually within a few doses. IF you notice that symptoms are not getting better after 3 doses (ie you take it 3 times spaced 15 minutes apart) then you need a different remedy.

There is ONE homeopathic single remedy that stands out though for ED-V68 and that is Aconite: first stage of colds and coughs with sudden onset, develops after exposure to cold
air or wind, often with high fever, often with restlessness or fear, chill from drafts, heat
comes on during sleep, very thirsty, pupils contracted
Worse: night or after falling asleep, warm room, touch, fright, noise, light
Better: motion helps the chill but in general sitting still helps, open air

Heel’s Bhi Mucus Relief (formly known as ‘Bronchitis’)
As a side note, I can personally attest to the effectiveness of this homeopathic as I developed severe bronchitis in January of 2014 to the point of not being able to catch my breath. This was the ONLY thing that allowed me to get better!
Boericke and Tafel – Bronchitis and Asthma Aide 100 tabs

If you are experiencing coughing/colds not as severe as bronchitis then I recommend the following homeopathic syrup:

Boiron Chestal for Cough Syrup, Honey
Yes, it is in honey so not suitable for those under 1 year of age. They make 2 types, one for adults and one for children. Save the money and just buy the larger size for adults…they are the exact samething. You may take this as needed.
There are other homeopathic cough and cold syrups available, but this is the one I find to be the most effective. Do NOT waste your money on Boiron’s cough/cold tablets. I have found that they do NOT work well.

Fever and Pain:
Frankly at this point and time I would stick with the OTC such as Tylenol and Ibuprophen since they will work the best and more quickly. However, in the single homeopathic remedy worksheet found here, you will find single remedies for fever. Please note, homeopathics do work well for fevers also, however, you must keep a close watch on children for when the temperature begins to return. Children have a hard time handling temperature ‘spikes’ and can have seizures if their temperature suddenly climbs very quickly.
I will also say that I typically do NOT try to reduce a fever unless it gets above 103 degrees. Yes, you have to monitor and be sure dehydration does not occur, but a fever is the bodies natural response to killing germs, bacteria and viruses as many of them cannot handle the ‘heat’ (pun intended).

Herbs for fevers:
Most effective is Yarrow which can even reduce even very high fevers. Tea or tincture.
Holy Balsi aka Tulsi leaves as a strong tea drink three to four times a day.
Boneset via strong tea 4-5 times daily.

Herbs for pain relief associated with coughs/colds/viral infections:
Ginger root as a tea (and btw ginger root found at the store will grow at home!)
Boneset via strong tea 4-5 times daily.

It is my sincerest wish that you find this information useful. Many of the above suggestions will work for the common cold, upper respiratory infections of all sorts and maybe helpful with the flu also.

Survivingshtfmom-
Laura Macklem

PS…I am not a professional medical doctor, I just enjoy sharing knowledge and hope to empower you to take care of yourself. As always, do not hesitate to consult professional medical practioners in the event you feel its necessary.

September 19, 2014 Posted by | Herbs, Infectious Disease | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Enterovirus 68 ED-V68 Alternative Prevention Essential Oils, Herbs and Homeopathy

virus2Enterovirus 68. It is here in the US and although considered ‘rare’, it would seem that it is currently reaching epidemic proportions if reports are true of hundreds of children across the country being admitted to hospitals for severe respiratory complications. According to the CDC, only Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky and Missouri having confirmed cases. However, it is of such concern, that yesterday, September the 11th, 2014 that the New Kent County Public Schools in Virginia where I live (which is a rural area outside of Richmond, Virginia) felt the need to call all school age parents and issue a statement regarding enterovirus 68. The message was to let parents know that ‘they’ were monitoring the situation, to teach children not to touch their eyes, nose or mouth, wash hands repeatedly, do not share cups or toys or clothing and to keep home any child who was sick. The school system also referred parents to the CDC website for more information on the enterovirus 68.

About EV-D68

Typically, EV-D68 causes upper respiratory illness, such as low-grade fever, cough, runny nose, sneezing and body/muscle aches. Infected individuals generally recover on their own without incident by treating symptoms. However, some individuals, especially those with weakened immune systems or underlying medical conditions, such as asthma, may experience severe complications and require hospitalization with supportive therapy. This is what the CDC says about EV-D68. Although one documented case in Indiana the child had no such underlying medical conditions and yet was hospitalized.

However, many parents with children infected with EV-D68 report severe upper respiratory distress within hours of coming down with what seems to be a cold/flu. Including high grade fevers uncontrollable with Tylenol/ibuprophen, extreme headaches, neck pain, rashes and vomiting, blisters in the mouth, limpness of limbs and ultimately the inability to breath (shortness of breath, wheezing).

How do you contract enterovirus 68?

According to the CDC: Since EV-D68 causes respiratory illness, the virus can be found in an infected person’s respiratory secretions, such as saliva, nasal mucus, or sputum. EV-D68 likely spreads from person to person when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or touches contaminated surfaces.

Prevention according to the CDC includes:
Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after changing diapers.
Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick.
Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.
According to the CDC there is no treatment, vaccine or ‘cure’ for enterovirus 68 (which is in the same category of viruses that cause polio and hand/foot/mouth disease) only ‘palliative’ care, ie, managing the symptoms and keeping people comfortable.
Okay, so we now have that out of the way…as a mom of several school age children and an alternative health care advocate/practioner and prepper, I have some thoughts on ‘prevention’ and ultimately managing this ‘rare’ virus that seems to be sweeping across this country so quickly.

The basic question is what can YOU do to keep you and yours safe without going overboard and setting up a clean room to enter and leave through. We are NOT talking about a biohazard level 4 after all. However, getting sick is not fun and the following is what I will doing to hopefully prevent my children and myself from getting this virus:

First and foremost, goldenseal tincture used once a day, daily for the duration of the cold and flu season. I personally make my own goldenseal tincture and use it regularly whenever someone gets a cough, cold or the flu given that this herbs nature is to work on viruses first and foremost in the mucus member body systems (eyes, mouth, sinuses, stomach, intestinal tract). There is no danger in using this herb preventively and maybe used in children 6 months and up. The tincture works best and the best part is that a small amount, when properly prepared will go a long way! Goldenseal is safe for pregnant and nursing women also.
Another herb worth noting is Devils Club (Oplopanax horridum or Fatsia horrida) though I would tend to reserve this herb for the first sign of cough or cold and not so much as a preventative.

Please be sure that when you buy any herb in tincture form you buy from a reputable source. The best would be to buy from an herbalist who makes their own tinctures (ie a private person). Next best a nationally known company. An herbalist who makes their own tinctures will have the strongest available tinctures. Unfortunately, due to FDA regulations and other national and state ‘authorities’ large companies engaged in herbal products often are required to dilute their tinctures down to the point that in many cases you have to use twice the amount of tincture recommended below to get the desired results.

How much to use and how?

The BEST way to use a tincture is to place the desired amount directly under the tongue and hold it in the mouth for as long as possible without swallowing!! Yes, it tastes nasty, but no one said medicine tasted great. If necessary, it is fine to dilute the tincture in a small amount of water or juice and sip very slowly, again, not swallowing immediately.

As a general rule of thumb for tinctures:

Adults: 60 drops
Children:
Younger than 3 months — 2 drops
3 to 6 months — 3 drops
6 to 9 months — 4 drops
9 to 12 months — 5 drops
12 to 18 months — 7 drops
18 to 24 months — 8 drops
2 to 3 years — 10 drops
3 to 4 years — 12 drops
4 to 6 years — 15 drops
6 to 9 years — 24 drops
9 to 12 years — 30 drops

In some cases if you do not want alcohol in your tincture or cannot tolerate it you may be able to make your own glycerin tincture at home or, to rid the tincture of alcohol, boil water, place the tincture in the bottom of the cup and pour boiling water over it. It is up to you, personally I just use as is as I have found it more potent this way.

There are herbs that are great for the respiratory system that you can buy bulk and put into a large pot of simmering water that will also help to disinfect the whole house without you going crazy cleaning.
They include:

Inula (not recommended if anyone in the house has asthma or other medical conditions involving the lungs)
Mullein
Thyme
Ginger

At the very least your house will smell great!

Next up, homeopathic prevention. In past cold/flu season I have always had a homeopathic for the flu at hand to take one dose weekly when no known exposure has occurred or if know/likely once a day. Boiron Oscillococcinum is the traditional remedy for the flu. I am not sure how much this may or may not help, but it is cheap and only 5 pellets need to be taken. At best, it may help at worst you might not get the seasonal flu.
I also found a homeopathic called LUNG LIQUESCENCE,RESPIRATORY DETOX FORMULA that supports the lungs in getting rid of viruses and mucus that I am incorporating into our routine. It should be taken the same way.

I would be remiss not to discuss essential oils under prevention. My favorite is the following:

A blend of specific essential oils including clove, lemon, cinnamon, rosemary and Eucalyptus Radiata. Frankly, just a few drops in honey (or on a piece of bread) will work at keeping you healthy. You may also put this blend into an ultrasonic diffuser to spread the germ fighting virus killing essential oil particles around you home or workplace. Word of note: do NOT put this blend into water and use to disinfect anything besides metal as many of these essentials oils will break down plastics and paint and may harm stone surfaces also.

Now lets talk FOOD! Yes, food…food as medicine! Onion and garlic are two of nature’s BEST anti-virals available to everyone! I use a lot of these two ‘herbs’ in my own cooking. However, you can make teas or tinctures out them. There are a million and one ways that can be found online to do this. I also include onions and garlic in my homemade anti-sick honey syrup (do not give honey to children under the age of 1).

Take a clean quart sized jar and thinly slice up the following into about ½ inch sized pieces:
2 fresh lemons (including the rind)
2 medium sized onions
Fresh ginger root (I typically get a piece about the size of my hand)
4 tablespoons of minced garlic.
I put all of this into the jar and then cover with honey to the top. Be sure you stir the honey down to the bottom. Typically it takes just over 1 pound of honey.
Next, grab that crock pot! Place the jar (with lid on) into the middle of it and add enough water to almost fill the crock pot. Place the lid on it (most likely will not close, but the idea is to retain as much of the heat as possible) and then turn onto to low and allow it steep/warm up this way at least 16 hours or up to two days. Stir occasionally. The food ‘material’ will separate from the honey…that is okay, that is why you stir it and once done, it will be A LOT easier to get the pieces of food out before use. To use your anti-sick honey infusion, I use 1 tablespoon of honey stirred into one cup of hot water and drink slowly.

This is all I have for prevention at this time. In my next article I will be talking about what do IF you get that dreaded cough/flu called enterovirus 68.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns, do not hesitate to contact me at laura@iempoweredhealing.com

Per law I am required to tell you that I am not a medical professional and all information above is based upon my private experience and documented research by medical professionals online. Always seek professional medical assistance if you are unsure.

September 12, 2014 Posted by | Essential Oils, Guidelines, Herbs, Homeopathics, Infectious Disease, Self-Help | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Modern Prevention Tips on Infectious Disease Pt2

Infectious Disease Prevention Pt2

 

In part one of this series on Infectious Diseases it was explained what infectious diseases were…in this article, the basics of prevention will be discussed.

 

Basic Hygiene and safe food handling procedures will prevent or stop most if not all of these viruses, bacteria, parasites and protozoa. We are fortunate to currently live in a time when sanitation and personal hygiene are easy and affordable for many people. More will be discussed at a later time on hygiene and sanitation in undesirable or ‘unmodern’ situations and suggestions will be given on the how to part ‘just in case’.

Hygiene
Hygiene is the science that deals with the promotion and preservation of health by reducing harmful levels of germs through cleanliness and sterilization. The two most common hygienic practices are: 1) washing hands and food preparation areas with soap, and 2) cooking food and boiling drinking water. Washing with soap removes oils and breaks up dirt particles so they may be washed away, whereas cooking and boiling kill harmful organisms that cannot be removed by washing. You can prevent diseases caused by viruses, bacteria, and parasites by keeping a clean environment and by handling food in a sanitary manner. Most intestinal parasites are transmitted by contact with feces from an infected person or pet. These are some of the most important sanitation practices to help you maintain your health:

  • Wash your hands before cooking or eating.
  • Wash your hands after using the bathroom, changing a child’s diapers, shaking hands, handling money, touching door handles, elevator buttons, light switches, handrails in public places, and handling pets.
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose, mouth, or any food after touching any contaminated surfaces until after you have washed your  hands. Wear gloves to prevent contamination. On average, according to the CDC, human beings will touch their eyes, mouth, face, nose or ears at LEAST 3,000 times a day.
  • Do not share personal items such as a tooth brush, hair brush/comb, toe nail clippers or even towels.
  • Keep cutting boards and food preparation areas clean  by washing them with soap and water and allowing them to dry thoroughly.
  • Cook meats and seafood. Cooking to a temperature of  180°F (82°C) will kill disease-causing organisms. Use a meat thermometer when cooking roasts or whole turkeys to be sure food is cooked to a safe temperature.
  • Keep raw food away from cooked food. Avoid cross-contamination by using separate plates for the cooked and the raw      food.
  • Drink purified water and use purified water for washing hands and cleaning food preparation areas. Water can be purified by boiling for a few minutes or by chemical treatments such as chlorination.
  • Keep food refrigerated to delay spoilage. Low temperatures slow down reproduction of bacteria.
  • Don’t let cooked food sit at room temperature too long. Food should be promptly packed in shallow containers so it can chill quickly, and put in the refrigerator. Keeping food refrigerated at or below 4°C/40°F slows down bacterial growth.
  • Vegetables that are eaten raw, such as carrots, lettuce, tomatoes, etc., should be washed thoroughly. The vinegar in some salad dressings will also kill many types of bacteria.
  • Wash fruits that are cut, such as melons, to avoid  transferring any dirt or contamination from the outside of the fruit to  the inside during cutting.
  • Do not eat spoiled food, or any food that has an unpleasant smell or taste. You cannot always see, smell or taste harmful organisms. When in doubt, throw out old food rather than risk getting sick.
  • Breathe clean air. Avoid smoky, dusty, musty environments, or confined places where people are coughing or sneezing.  Wearing a surgical face mask can reduce the chances of contracting or spreading diseases caused by infectious organisms carried in the droplets  from coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid insect bites by using window screens, mosquito netting, insect repellents, and by being indoors between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active. Many viral, bacterial, and protozoan diseases are transmitted by insect bites from mosquitoes, flies, fleas, and ticks. Diseases transmitted by mosquitoes include Dengue Fever, Malaria, Rift Valley Fever, Yellow Fever, and various types of viral encephalitis such as West Nile virus. Keep your yard clean and devoid of places (or at least make it hard for them to breed in your yard) where they can breed…it goes without saying, empty that pot that is holding water and keep the grass cut short.
  • Avoid walking barefoot on soil or swimming in water contaminated by feces. Hookworm and schistosomiasis infections start when the larvae penetrate the skin. It is possible to get parasites from cats and dogs. Test your pets for parasites regularly and dispose of their feces in a sanitary manner.
  • To prevent wart infections and athlete’s foot, avoid walking barefoot in public areas such as showers or communal changing rooms. Avoid sharing shoes and socks.
  • Brush and floss your teeth every day before going to bed to prevent gum diseases and dental decay.
  • Many diseases are transferred by close contact with an infected individual. Be very selective in your intimate personal relationships, and avoid touching any sores, feces, or body fluids from a sick person. If you must come in contact with someone who maybe sick, wear gloves or wash your hands and wear a face mask if you have to.
  • Keep the kitchen and bathroom areas clean at all times.
  • If you are having symptoms such as a cough, runny nose, tearing eyes, diarrhea, vomiting or are running a temperature…STAY  HOME and avoid as much contact with others as possible to prevent spreading a possible infectious disease…this goes for keeping children home as well unless you know for sure its ‘just allergies’.
  • Stay away from those displaying symptoms if at all possible.
  • Maintain a healthy immune system by eating a proper diet, exercising and low stress levels.
  • Take all prescriptions as prescribed, from heart medication, to antibiotics. A body that is well regulated tends to be able to fight infection better than one that is not.
  • Stay out of the doctors office unless absolutely necessary…doctors can’t help you with a cold and they can’t help with an inner ear infection, only time can. Unless you are experiencing symptoms beyond your control with an OTC, homeopathy or herbs, stay out of the doctors office…many people go in for ‘routine’ yet unnecessary reasons and bring something else home with them…and if you do have to go…insist the doctor and nurses wash their hands when they come in and don’t hesitate to ask about their ‘cleanliness policies’.
  • Reduce situations in which you may come into contact with large numbers of people when there is a high chance of the flu, a      warning has been put out about a possible infectious threat or be sure to take measures to keep yourself safe.

July 27, 2012 Posted by | Guidelines, Infectious Disease | Leave a comment

Infectious Disease…What is It? Pt.1

What are Infectious Diseases?

In a grid up situation or in otherwords when life is ‘normal’ many of take for granted modern sanitation and personal hygeine which is the best way to prevent infectious diseases. But even now, right in our own ‘normal’ world we see outbreaks of infectious disease due to improper handling of food, unsanitary conditions (and this will get worse as the economy deterriorates and more and more people are unable to afford food let alone wash hands and not have close contact with others) and lack of personal hygeine. So while the below information may seem to be a no brainer right now, I feel it is worth going over the basics before going into ‘alternatives’ to modern prevention techniques.

Below is taken directly from http://www.scientificpsychic.com/health/hygiene.html

Diseases can be classified as genetic, metabolic, or infectious. Genetic diseases are caused by genetic defects inherited from the parents. Sickle cell anemia and cystic fibrosis are two examples of genetic diseases. Metabolic diseases are those that may develop from the failure of normal bodily functions, but may also be inherited. Diabetes mellitus, for example, is a metabolic disease characterized by high blood sugar level resulting from insufficient insulin secretion by the pancreas. Obesity is a major contributing factor to adult-onset diabetes. Infectious diseases or communicable diseases are caused by bacteria, viruses, and parasites that use our body as a host for reproduction. Tuberculosis, malaria, and AIDS are responsible for approximately half of all deaths caused by infectious diseases worldwide.

  • Viruses are      pieces of nucleic acid (DNA or RNA)      wrapped in a thin coat of protein that replicate only within the cells of      living hosts.
  • Bacteria are      one-cell microorganisms with a simple cellular organization whose nucleus      lacks a membrane.
  • Parasites may be      protozoa, yeasts, or multicellular organisms such as fungi or worms that      live in or on a host to obtain nourishment without providing any benefit      to the host.

Viruses
Viruses penetrate the cell walls of body tissues bringing a payload of DNA or RNA that starts replicating the virus inside the infected cells. When the cell dies, multiple copies of the virus are released and continue to infect other cells. The human body sometimes is able to build antibodies that prevent the replication of the virus to stop the infection. Vaccines consist of weakened viruses that stimulate the body’s defenses to fight infection by the natural viruses. Here is a list of diseases caused by viruses:

  • Common Cold is caused by a rhinovirus
  • Influenza (Flu) –
  • Dengue fever is transmitted by bites from mosquitoes      mainly in Southeast Asia and South America
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is caused      by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). It is transmitted by sexual      contact with an infected person or by sharing needles or syringes for drug      injection.
  • Hepatitis (inflammation of the liver, jaundice)
  • Herpes (cold sores, and genital herpes)
  • Rabies (transmitted by bites from infected bats,      raccoons, dogs)
  • Pertusis (whooping cough) causes fever and severe      coughing, transmitted through droplets.
  • Polio (may cause paralysis)
  • Smallpox
  • Mumps
  • Yellow Fever is a viral hemorrhagic fever      transmitted by infected mosquitoes.
  • Measles or rubella
  • Warts caused by a virus may be treated at home with      solutions and patches containing salicylic acid over several weeks, or in      the doctor’s office by freezing.

Bacteria
Bacteria are one-celled organisms that do not have membranes binding their nuclear material (prokaryotes). This feature distinguishes them from protozoa which have a more complex cellular structure and a distinct nucleus (eukaryotes). Not all bacteria cause diseases. Bacteria are present in some fermented foods. Yogurt, for example, has Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus bacteria. The human mouth and intestines harbor over 400 different types of bacteria that produce some vitamins and ferment fiber to produce short-chain fatty acids. Bacteria that cause diseases are called “pathogenic” bacteria.Antibiotics, like penicillin, are substances that are toxic to the bacteria, but relatively harmless to people. They have been very useful in combating disease, but their increased use has produced antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Bacteria are classified by their shape and the color that they take when stained. A bacillus is elongated like a sausage, a coccus is round, and a spirochete is helical (spiral) in shape. Hans Christian Gram (1853-1938) developed a staining technique that colors some bacteria deep blue (Gram positive), whereas others take on a red color (Gram negative). Here is a list of common bacteria and some of their attributes:

  • Staphylococcus – normally found on the skin, but can      cause boils and pimples.
    Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is responsible      for many
    serious infections that are sometimes fatal.
  • Escherichia coli – normal inhabitant of the colon,      hence called “coliform” bacteria
    E. coli O157:H7 is a virulent strain that produces toxins that
    can cause diarrhea, abdominal pain, and even kidney failure.
  • Chlamydia – a sexually transmitted disease (STD)      caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis.
    Over one million cases of chlamydia were reported in the United States      in 2006.
  • Salmonella – frequent cause of food poisoning
  • Vibrio cholerae – causes cholera, an infection of      the small intestine characterized by watery diarrhea
  • Treponema pallidum – a spiral-shaped (spirochete)      bacteria that causes syphilis
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae – a Gram-negative coccus that      causes gonorrhea, one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases
  • Borrelia – a spirochete transmitted by ticks that      causes Lyme disease (borreliosis).
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis – the cause of      tuberculosis
  • Yersinia pestis – causes bubonic plague, transferred      by flea bites
  • Bacillus anthracis – the organism that causes      anthrax, characterized by black lesions.
  • Rickettsia – a motile, Gram-negative bacterium that      replicates only within the cytoplasm of cells and causes diseases such as      typhus, rickettsialpox, and Rocky       Mountain spotted      fever. It is transmitted by the bites of insects such as ticks, fleas, and      lice.

Parasites
Parasites may be protozoa, fungi, or multi-cellular organisms. Many parasites have complex life cycles that insure their proliferation and survival.

Protozoa
As mentioned above, protozoa have a more complex organization than bacteria. Some protozoa form cysts that protect them from harsh conditions and enable them to live outside of a host for a long time. Some diseases caused by protozoans are:

  • Malaria (transmitted by mosquitos) is most prevalent      in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Leishmaniasis (transmitted by sandflies which are      about one-third the size of mosquitoes)
  • African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness      transmitted by the tsetse fly)
  • Amoebic dysentery – infection of the intestine      caused by an ameba (Entamoeba histolytica), which causes severe      diarrhea.
  • Coccidiosis – intestinal infection that causes      bloody diarrhea.
  • Cryptosporidiosis – parasitic disease of the      intestine caused by Cryptosporidium.
  • Giardial enteritis – an infection of the small      intestine caused by Giardia lamblia.
  • Toxoplasmosis – a systemic parasitic infection      transmitted by eating undercooked meat or contamination by cat feces.

Fungi
Fungi include one-celled yeasts slightly bigger than bacteria, and multi-celled mushrooms and molds. Fungi do not have chlorophyll to make their own food, so they get their nutrition as parasites or by breaking down remains of dead plants or animals. Some fungi are poisonous (e.g., Amanita mushrooms), but some have beneficial uses. For example,Penicillium notatum produces the antibiotic penicillin and Saccharomyces cerevisiaeis the yeast used to make bread rise and to brew beer. Fungal diseases are called mycoses and include:

  • Aspergillosis – infection of sinuses and lungs
  • Blastomycosis – skin and pulmonary infections
  • Candidiasis – cutaneous and vaginal infections. Candida      albicans is the most common cause of vaginal yeast infections.
  • Coccidioidomycosis – may cause cough, chest pain,      shortness of breath
  • Cryptococcosis – may be transmitted in pigeon      droppings

Multicellular parasites
Multicellular parasites include various kinds of worms and fungi that cause diseases such as:

  • Ascariasis (roundworms)
  • Hookworm
  • Lymphatic filariasis or elephantiasis (transmitted      by mosquitos)
  • Pinworm
  • Schistosomiasis (liver or blood flukes)
  • Tapeworm
  • Trichinosis – a disease caused by consumption of      poorly cooked meat that contains cysts of Trichinella spiralis.
  • Tinea corporis, tinea pedis (ringworm, athlete’s      foot)

Intestinal parasites are commonly transmitted by eating food contaminated with feces or by eating raw or undercooked meat and seafood. In many parts of the world, manure or feces are used for fertilizing crops, and this is how vegetables and drinking water can become contaminated with the eggs or larvae of parasitic organisms. It is estimated that the human pinworm affects approximately 50% of the children in the United States. Pinworms lay their eggs around the anus and cause itching. The natural instinct to scratch, in combination with habits like thumb sucking and poor hand-washing, spreads the parasites. Tapeworms and roundworms can infect the body when their eggs or larvae are swallowed by eating raw or undercooked meats (pork) or seafood (ceviche, salmon roe, sashimi, sushi, cold-smoked fish). Protozoan parasites are frequently present in raw oysters.

Hookworms (Necator and Ancylostoma) are generally contracted by walking barefoot on soil contaminated by feces from infected animals or persons, or by swimming or wading in contaminated water. Hookworm larvae are capable of penetrating the skin in a few seconds. Once inside the body, they migrate to the lungs via the capillaries, and then cross into the air sacs of the lungs. They are eventually coughed up and swallowed. In the intestines, they feed on blood and reproduce. The females lay eggs that are passed in the feces to repeat the cycle.

Fungi and molds cause a variety of skin diseases such as athlete’s foot, jock itch, and ringworm, but they can also cause pulmonary and internal infections such as aspergillosis, and candidiasis (yeast infection). The dermatophyte Trichophyton rubrum is a fungus that frequently causes chronic infections of the skin and nails. Tinea capitis is a fungal infection of the scalp that causes severe itching, dandruff, and bald patches.Tinea corporis, commonly known as ringworm, is an infection of the skin found on the body, such as the trunk and limbs. Tinea pedis is a superficial fungal infection affecting the feet, often called athlete’s foot. This type of fungal infection typically is found in the skin between the toes, and is characterized by itching, blisters, cracking, and scaling.Tinea cruris, also known as jock itch, is a fungal infection of the skin of the groin area. Fungal infections are aggravated by sweating, restrictive garments, not washing and drying the body carefully on a daily basis, and by not changing into clean clothing frequently enough.

Ringworm and other fungus skin infections can be treated with a variety of non-prescription antifungal ointments, powders, or sprays containing tolnaftate, clotrimazole, undecylenic acid, terbinafine hydrochloride, salicylic acid, etc. White vinegar (5% acetic acid) is a common home remedy for fungal skin infections such as ringworm and athlete’s foot; it is applied with a cotton ball in the morning and in the evening, but it produces a burning sensation on broken skin. To prevent re-infection, the fungi that cause skin infections should be eliminated from environmental surfaces like bathtubs and toilet seats by washing the surfaces with diluted household chlorine bleach, which is a solution containing typically 5.25% sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl). Fungi on towels, sheets, socks, underwear, and other clothing can also be killed by adding bleach during the wash cycle, although this may fade some fabrics. In the case of athlete’s foot, shoes should also be treated with antifungal foot powder. For tinea capitis infections, pillows, pillow cases, combs, hats, and hair brushes must be disinfected. Chlorine bleach should not be used on the skin because it is extremely caustic and will cause chemical burns. Wear rubber gloves when handling bleach.

Basic Hygiene and safe food handling procedures will prevent or stop most if not all of these viruses, bacteria, parasites and protozoa. We are fortunate to currently live in a time when sanitation and personal hygiene are easy and affordable for many people. More will be discussed at a later time on hygiene and sanitation in undesirable or ‘unmodern’ situations.

Part 2 will discuss the typical ways to prevent or combat infectious diseases in the modern world.

July 27, 2012 Posted by | Guidelines, Infectious Disease | , , , | 1 Comment