SurvivalMedicineBlog

surviving without the doctor

When There Is No Dentist Indian Toothache Plant to the Rescue

toothache plant
Did you know that there is actually an analgesic in the plant world that, at least to me, reminds me of lidocaine? YES, there really is! It is known as ‘the toothache plant’ or Indian Toothache Plant. For those of you who are latin name inclined it is known as Spilanthes flower (Spilanthes oleracea and Spilanthes acmella).

I had the unfortunate adventure in 2 cracked teeth just a short while ago and thought I would give this a try, after all, what did I have to loose? So off to the garden I went, picked 2 flower heads and chewed them. Ehhh…oh they worked on numbing my lips, tongue and gums but the tooth? Not so much, not to mention chewing the toothache flowers made me drool like a fool…seriously. Copious amounts of saliva. And the ‘action’ so to speak lasts about 10-15 minutes (at least for me, but I was in serious pain). So you have been warned. Not wanting to give up I next tried chewing the flower heads up thoroughly, then chomped right down on them where the teeth hurt and swished the salvia a bit in my mouth…got closer, that definitely lessened the tooth pain for a few minutes but not enough for me to sit there and keep doing it. So next, I went to my tincture/extract I had just made up 2 weeks before out of the leaves and flower heads. Typically I do NOT like to use an extract/tincture that is less than 6 weeks old, but this was an emergency. So I shook up the jar containing the plant material and alcohol and then drew out about 2ml of the extract/tincture and in the mouth it went…swish, swish, swish…RELIEF. I couldn’t believe it! Not to mention it took away the pain that I get from TMJ. Wow…but again, I must warn you, lots of spit. I swished that extract around for about 3 minutes before I couldn’t stand it anymore. And the complete numbing/tingling effects lasted about 10-15 minutes again, BUT when the effects completely wore off there was LESS pain that before I started, cut by about ½ I would say. Yes, the tooth still hurt, but I could live with it. So of and on over the next few days (along with a couple of other things I have up my sleeve for teeth/gum problems) I used that extract. And within a few days I noticed a few things: a) a great lessening of tooth pain to the point I can now actually CHEW my food without causing pain during or afterwards b) most surprisingly, the pain in jaw is GONE and according to my husband I am NOT grinding my teeth at night. Now, my tooth is still cracked and if I am not paying attention I will give myself the occasional twinge of pain when biting down (because I still clinch my teeth when stressed out) but no dentist trip for me, not this go around.

MEDICINAL USE:
Toothache,throat problems,and paralysis of the tongue.
Rash.
Dysentery.
Laxative.
Rheumatism,scabies,and psoriasis.
Malaria
Wounds of all sorts

HOW TO USE:
The pungent flower-heads and leaves are chewed to take care of toothache, throat problems and paralysis of the tongue.
To get rid of the itching owing to rash,the leaves of the plant are rubbed over the affected parts.
The plant is washed properly and boiled. After it cools down,both the water and the plant material are consumed for getting rid of dysentery. (tea/eat)
The decoction of the root is used as a laxative.
The decoction of the leaves is used as a bath in rheumatism, or as a lotion for scabies, ringworm and psoriasis.
Tincture/extract used for toothaches, mouth ulcers, gum disease, canker sores etc.
You may also gargle with either the tea or the tincture for throat issues or just as a general ‘healthy’ mouth routine.

PARTS USED:
The whole plant.

DOSE:
As recommended above. There is no known ‘toxic’dose.

Spilanthol is the active chemical in the toothache plant with effective local anesthetic action. This action works surprisingly fast. If you have a toothache and rub a leaf on the gum area of the toothache, the area tingles and then goes numb within a few seconds. Or the leaf, after chewing to release the juice, is tucked in the mouth between the gums and cheek for toothache. It is also used for sore gums, teething babies, and mouth ulcers. The numbness lasts for a short period of time, and acts to desensitize the area and diminish the pain. Rub on as often as needed to relieve pain or discomfort. But the tincture or decoction is BEST for a true toothache/cavity.

The leaves can be rubbed on cuts, hard to heal sores and acne. Also, this plant has a natural antibiotic action, which adds to the healing effect. Try the leaves on cold sores (or a couple of drops of tincture). I did try this out too (why not?) and found the chewed up leaves/flower heads had a very numbing effect on the area where topically applied especially after warming the skin up with a hot, moist towel for a few minutes.

For people who suffer with thrush, candida, frequent viruses, fungal and auto-immune diseases, eating the leaves in salads or sandwiches, can be of real benefit. Or take a cup of tea daily.

While the most common and widespread medicinal use for Acmella oleracea is to treat toothaches, throat and gum infections it is also bacteriostatic, meaning it helps to fight tooth decay. A mouth rinse of spilanthes extract can be used daily to promote gum health, and chewing as little as a single bud of the plant can numb the mouth and reduce the pain of toothache for up to 20 minutes depending on the sensitivity of the person. The most promising research into the use of spilanthes is in its antibacterial properties. So far, in vitro testing has shown that the plant’s extract has strong effect against E.coli, pseudomonas, salmonella, klebsiella pneumonae and staphylococcus albus, as well as inhibiting the growth of candida albicans.

Science has shown that the flower heads contain up to 1.25% of spilanthol, an antiseptic alkaloid which is effective at very low concentrations against blood parasites. It also enhances the immune system. Spilanthes extract has been discovered to aid in saliva stimulation for people suffering from dry mouth. A decoction or infusion of the leaves and flowers is a traditional remedy for stammering, toothache, stomatitis, and throat complaints.

Acmella oleracea extract is reported to reduce muscle tension when applied topically (hmmm, muscle relaxer for suffers of TMJ).

Sound interesting? Does to me and I know for a fact that it works for mouth and jaw pain. While typically found in Africa and other Southern areas such as Brazil, I was very fortunate to have been able to obtain 4 small plants this year for my garden as I am a lover of exotic plants and ‘weeds’. And it GREW like wild fire and, as I found out, it is pretty cold hardy too…still alive after a few nights of around 30 degrees though not looking so great. I did collect the seed heads for growing next year. I have also heard that people have grown this plant as an indoor one, making fresh plant material and flower heads available year around am trying that right now. And after my experience with the Toothache Plant, I put this plant at the top of my list of things to grow and think you should too. Great painkiller that is all natural with no known contradictions in its use.
While the toothache plant wasn’t and isn’t my only weapon of choice right now, it will be my ‘go to’ from here on out.

There are other herbs and homeopathics that really help with gum and tooth problems but this one plant is a must have. More to come on self-help when there is no dentist!

Stay safe and be prepared
survivingshtfmom

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November 7, 2014 Posted by | Baby/Infant, Herbs, Medical Conditions, Self-Help | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

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

Snake Bite! What to do BEFORE Help Arrives or Just in Case

snakeSnakebites…ewww…those slithery things that make up nightmares (think Snakes on A Plane) but anyway, shiver. I live out in rattlesnake country (along with copperheads and water moccasins…joy) and on top of that, average response time to a 911 call for help can be anywhere from 10 minutes to 45 minute, and that is under good circumstances. And a hospital? At least ½ hour away…paramedics don’t have anti-venom… So, being the person I am when I first moved out to the country I did my homework on how to handle a potentially unpleasant snake bite until I can get professional help. Copperhead bites are rarely fatal, but the timber rattlesnake and water moccasin snakes can cause all sorts of problems including anaphylactic shock. If you ever are bitten by a snake, seek help immediately!

Please note: I am not a ‘trained’ medical professional. All information I provide is for informational purposes only and not intended to treat nor diagnose. ALWAYS get professional help as soon as possible!

Short story time: Last year my dog Maggie, a Pitbull was barking furiously, I go out to investigate and what did I hear? That good ole’ rattle sound…that is a sound you will NEVER forget…thank goodness the snake was on one side of the wooden fence and she on the other. The year before that I was pleasantly surprised (sarcasm included and dripping) by a timber rattler sunning itself on the bottom step of my side porch…needless to say I used the backdoor instead.

Earlier this year my husband and I were out fishing early one morning…yep, guess what we almost stepped all over? And guess what I was wearing for shoes? Never mind, its embarrassing but what can I say? Wake me up at 5 am to go fishing and I probably ain’t smart enough yet But there was a nice copperhead hanging out in the vegetation. I went home that day and bought a good pair of snake boots…never leave home without them now. I have also had the pleasure of scaring a copperhead who was sunning itself near my wood pile, half under it… (I burn wood for the winter)…so I know what is in my yard!

Anyway, my point is that I live in snake country, they are here and I can only do so much to protect me and mine from them (and lest I forget, we have about 6 different types of other snakes who would leave a nasty bruise, one is a nice King Snake that likes to hang out across the garden path, huge thing! But he doesn’t even blink at us nor a dog for that matter we walk back and forth and around him all day long, I am thinking of naming him).

Prevention becomes your biggest friend in avoiding a snake bite.

If you live in snake country and do a lot of outdoor activities, get some snake boots, even for the kids. Barring that, there are other ways to ‘pad’ your lower leg and they do make some sort of snake protection that ties on to your leg.

Wear heavy leather work gloves when working outside. Something is better than nothing.
Pay attention to your surroundings, most especially what is UNDER your feet or where you are sticking your hand.

Don’t try to pick up a snake with your hands (my one daughter is infamous for picking up any and every living thing she finds outside…needless to say she no longer does it to snakes nor spiders after a bit of ‘home schooling’)

Try and keep brush piles gone from around your home and where your kids play.

VaCreepinOutdoors has written and excellent blog about keeping yourself safe from snakes in the great outdoors. You can find that here.

Snake Bites
Snake venom acts as a hemotoxin, damaging blood vessels, or a neurotoxin, affecting the nervous system. Rattle snake, copperhead and water moccasin venom is considered hemotoxic; whereas the coral snakes’ venom is more neurotoxic. Nevertheless, snake venom can affect one or more body systems.
Bites from a rattle snake can causes immediate and extremely painful swelling at the site. This is very characteristic of this group. It can involve the destruction of blood vessels resulting in abnormal coagulation or blood flow. The tissue around the site becomes bruised in a few hours and can become necrotic with time, turning purplish-blue.

The symptoms of snake bites may vary from being mild to acute. Symptoms of snake bites are conditional on the species of snake, the amount of venom injected as well as the age of the victim, normally all such victims are likely to experience the following conditions after a snake bite:

Blood loss from the wound or bruise caused by snake bite
Burning sensation of the skin around the affected area
Cloudy or confusing vision
Seizures or spasm
Diarrhea or dysentery
Lightheadedness or dizziness
Too much perspiration
Unconsciousness
Marks of snakes fangs on the skin
Rise in body temperature or fever
Enhanced thirst or feeling thirsty despite intake of sufficient fluids
Lack of muscle coordination
Queasiness and vomiting
Fast pulse rate
Debility or general feeling of weakness
Lack of sensation (numbness) and tingling
Death of tissues in the affected area
Acute pain
Swelling at the place of the snake bite
Systemic poisoning includes excessive salivation, vomiting which can lead to hypotension and shock. These symptoms can happen very quickly and if severe, can lead to death on average at about 48 hours. Get help!
It is very important to remember that in children symptoms can become life threatening very quickly. Please make sure you know CPR!

First aid

It is very important for anyone who lives in ‘snake’ country or who camps/hikes/fishes in snake country to know the basics of first aid ‘just in case’ a bite happens. Knowing what to do BEFORE you can get to professional help (which could be hours away) may save your life or someone else’s:

First things first…get a plan, have a plan and be prepared it helps with the first ‘do’:

Stay CALM! It is important that the bite victim remains as calm as possible. If you are bit getting anxious and upset will send your heart rate up which increases circulation. Not to mention how adrenaline works on the body which may cause you or them to do something no so smart. Aconite 30c works best at this point.

Limit the movement of the person who has been bit as much as possible. Again, this is to slow down the venom movement in the blood stream.

DO NOT raise the bite wound above the heart, keep it as low as possible from the heart even if its squirting blood out (this is actually a good thing as venom will come out with the blood)

The wound should be treated like all other wounds. A Sawyer Extractor® for venom extraction is a proven method for reducing the venom from entering the system. This is actually the ONLY approved device approved for extracting venom of all types including bees, wasps and snakes.

Get rid of all rings or other items that may cause constriction since the area around the snake bite will swell.

Remember, the area of the snake bite will gradually swell and become discolored if the snake that bit the victim is venomous.

If you can, keep an eye on the vital signs of the victim, including pulse rate, pace of breathing, body temperature and blood pressure.

If you begin to see signs of shock in the bite victim, have them lay down.

Seek immediate medical help. It is important not to waste any moment after a person has been bitten by a snake.

What NOT TO DO:

Never apply a tourniquet or strap near the area where the snake has sunk its teeth.

Don’t make the victim become over-exerted. Carry the victim to a safer place, if it is deemed necessary.

Avoid applying any type of cold compresses to the affected area.

Don’t incise the area of the snake bite with a razor, knife or any other sharp object.

Never try to suck the snake venom out of the victim’s body with your mouth.

Don’t give anything to the snake bite victim to eat or drink.

Don’t elevate the affected area above the level of the person’s heart for it may increase the flow of venom to the heart.

Don’t give the victim any medication, either painkillers or stimulants, these could mask serious symptoms that a doctor/trained professional will need to see in order to asses the bite victim.

So now what? What can you do YOURSELF while you wait for help or are trying to get to help? There are a few that can be used to help you, your furry friend or two legged friend until you can get professional help:

Get and USE A Sawyer Extractor® for venom extraction, follow direction on the package.

Wash and clean the wound as best as possible and keep it as clean as possible. Personally I keep Tea Tree Essential Oil on hand to use after traditional cleansing. Use Tea Tree Essential Oil on and around the wound (about 6 inches diameter). I also keep helichrysum essential oil on hand for wounds.

If you have it handy, use Bromelain (which is a dietary supplement easily found at many stores with a good selections of vitamins) 1000mg as soon as possible after the bite. If need be use 1000mg per hour until you can get help. The snake venom molecule (and most snake and insect bite venoms) are composed of three-dimensional, nearly 100% pure, protein. The strongest known natural solvents for protein molecules are bromelain and papain. Bromelain can be used after you have been released from the hospital too…500mg 8 times a day.
(http://phoenix.about.com/cs/desert/a/snakebite_4.htm)

Goldenseal capsules or tincture. 1 tsp immediately after bite and then 20 drops (or 500mg if using powder) 6 times a day. Until you can get help or after returning home.

Echinacea. This famous natural herb stimulates the immune system. It is mentioned as a snake bite remedy in many older herb books. 1000 mg immediately if using powder or 1 tsp of tincture. Take every 20-30 minutes until you reach help (or until you see swelling and bruising subsiding) after that…8 times a day for 10 days (past 10 days Echinacea is no longer effective).

Yellow dock can be used to alleviate symptoms until you can get professional help. Drink a cup of yellow dock tea or take 2 capsules of yellow dock every hour until the symptoms are gone.
(http://medicinalherbinfo.org/diseases/Snakebite.html)

Soak and wash wound in activated charcoal until you can get help or until signs are gone. There have been some people who have taken activated charcoal by mouth as directed on the bottle to help also. Activated Charcoal should also be taken by mouth, in the quantity of approx. 2 Tbsp. every 2 hours, for 3 doses, and 1 tsp. every hour for 24 hours. Each dose should be followed by 2 glasses of water.
(http://articles.herballegacy.com/snake-bites/)

Black Cohosh (aka Snake Root) applied as a salve or paste to the wound until you can reach help. May also be used as a tincture to help with pain (especially ‘cramping’ like pains).

Now to my favorites because they are easy to take with you into the woods, cheap and last a long time!

If you choose to use homeopathics give every 10 minutes and then back off as symptoms subside. 5 pellets every 10 minutes, then every 20, then every 30 minutes, etc. until you can get professional help. With homeopathy, you are looking at signs and symptoms someone is displaying or MIGHT and then giving the appropriate remedy. If after 3 doses of a given remedy you do not see improvement, then choose another one.

Aconite is beneficial in any situation that causes emotional trauma or hysteria. This remedy is also beneficial for any responder that is in a panicked. THIS IS THE FIRST REMEDY TO GIVE. I carry this with me everywhere!

Apis is useful in reducing an allergic reaction from the insect poisoning and snake venom. It may be used to help reduce the likelihood of anaphylaxis shock or used if the animal is having difficulty breathing.

Arnica is used first for any trauma. It will help minimize the symptoms of shock and the soft tissue damage from the bite.

Crotalus hordius, a homeopath remedy derived from the rattlesnake venom, has shown benefits with doses at 15 minute intervals. Poor circulation and hemorrhaging may be occurring at the bite site.

Hypericum could be used when the bite results in extreme pain especially nerve related pain. Rattle snake bites are known to be very painful and Hypericum just might help.

Lachesis, derived from the Bushmaster snake, is used for bite wounds that turn purplish-blue. There venom results in poor circulation with dark blood that does not coagulate easily. It may help prevent septic (shock) complications.

Ledum is best known for any puncture wounds. It should be given first, after Arnica, for any punctures that might cause infection or pain. The wound area may twitch and feel cold but not always. There may be great swelling and inflammation.

There are a number of other homeopathic remedies to help combat the affects of a poisonous snake bite that should be considered. Belladonna would be useful if the animal or person is restless or delirious with dilated pupils. A sudden, high fever may occur due to the toxins in the system.

Cedron is another rattlesnake remedy.

For any snake bite I would give one dose of Aconite to help them calm down (heck, I would take a dose myself!) Then if I had it on hand while waiting for help or getting to help I would give one dose of arnica, then every 15 minutes rotating, hypericum, then cedron then ledum. Personally I always carry Crotalus hordius…use every 15 minutes until you reach help. And ONE dose of Lachesis 1M.
I understand this seems like a lot to carry with you but I promise, its not! The tubes are very small and light weight and can be used for many other health challenges, not just snake bites!

According to Dr.Eileen Nauman, DHM, DHom(UK) in her book ‘Poisons that Heal’ pg. 83
Snakebite
On the way to the emergency room:
If the skin around the bite becomes purple-red or purplish looking; seepage of dark blood, Lachesis 30c every 5 minutes
Rapid swelling and and bleeding under the skin around the bite, discolored flesh, and the person is extremely sensitive to be jarred or moved: Crolatus Horridus 30c every 5 minutes
Shallow breathing, band around the head sensation, face congested looking with a pale nose and mouth, vomiting, weak pulse (systemic poisoning)Carbolic Acid 6c

She also recommends for ANYONE who is outside a lot or hikes/camps a lot to keep Lachesis 1M in their first aid kit just in case of snakebite. Take one dose every 10 minutes until you reach help.

Being prepared in an emergency could save your life. As someone who lives in area with 3 types of poisonous snakes, spends quite a bit of time outdoors and is far away from help, I like to have a back up plan and this is it until I can reach help.

Hope this helps you prepare! Be safe and be aware that is always your first line of defense…but just in case…
survivingshtfmom

September 30, 2014 Posted by | Essential Oils, Herbs, Homeopathics, Medical Conditions, Self-Help | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 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

Hypothermia…What is it?

hypothermiaWith another winter storm coming in across the southern and eastern United States, I thought it would be a good idea to share with you the signs and symptoms of hypothermia which can be deadly if not treated promptly.
The snow and ice predicted over the coming days may leave you stuck in a car, with no power or have you outside trying to clear the wintry mess up or just going outside to play.

A must read and print off:

All information below was taken from the Mayo Clinic Website:

Definition:
Hypothermia is a medical emergency that occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can produce heat, causing a dangerously low body temperature. Normal body temperature is around 98.6 F (37 C). Hypothermia (hi-po-THUR-me-uh) occurs as your body temperature passes below 95 F (35 C).
When your body temperature drops, your heart, nervous system and other organs can’t work correctly. Left untreated, hypothermia can eventually lead to complete failure of your heart and respiratory system and to death.
Hypothermia is most often caused by exposure to cold weather or immersion in a cold body of water. Primary treatments for hypothermia are methods to warm the body back to a normal temperature.
Shivering is your body’s automatic defense against cold temperature — an attempt to warm itself. Constant shivering is a key sign of hypothermia. Signs and symptoms of moderate to severe hypothermia include:
• Shivering
• Clumsiness or lack of coordination
• Slurred speech or mumbling
• Stumbling
• Confusion or difficulty thinking
• Poor decision making, such as trying to remove warm clothes
• Drowsiness or very low energy
• Apathy or lack of concern about one’s condition
• Progressive loss of consciousness
• Weak pulse
• Slow, shallow breathing
A person with hypothermia usually isn’t aware of his or her condition, because the symptoms often begin gradually and because the confused thinking associated with hypothermia prevents self-awareness.

Please keep in mind that your first line of defense against hypothermia is prevention:
Before you or your children step out into cold air, remember the advice that follows with the simple acronym COLD — cover, overexertion, layers, dry:
• Cover. Wear a hat or other protective covering to prevent body heat from escaping from your head, face and neck. Cover your hands with mittens instead of gloves. Mittens are more effective than gloves because mittens keep your fingers in closer contact with one another.
• Overexertion. Avoid activities that would cause you to sweat a lot. The combination of wet clothing and cold weather can cause you to lose body heat more quickly.
• Layers. Wear loose fitting, layered, lightweight clothing. Outer clothing made of tightly woven, water-repellent material is best for wind protection. Wool, silk or polypropylene inner layers hold body heat better than cotton does.
• Dry. Stay as dry as possible. Get out of wet clothing as soon as possible. Be especially careful to keep your hands and feet dry, as it’s easy for snow to get into mittens and boots.
Keeping children safe outdoors
The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests the following tips to help prevent hypothermia when children are outside in the winter:
• Dress infants and young children in one more layer than an adult would wear in the same conditions.
• Limit the amount of time children spend outside in the cold.
• Have children come inside frequently to warm themselves.
Winter car safety
Whenever you’re traveling during bad weather, be sure someone knows where you’re headed, and at what time you’re expected to arrive. That way, if you get into trouble on your way, emergency responders will know where to look for your car. It’s also a good idea to keep emergency supplies in your car in case you get stranded. Supplies may include several blankets, matches, candles, a first-aid kit, dry or canned food, and a can opener. Travel with a cellphone if possible. If you’re stranded, put everything you need in the car with you, huddle together and stay covered. Run the car for 10 minutes each hour to warm it up. Make sure a window is slightly open and the exhaust pipe isn’t covered with snow while the engine is running.
Drinking alcohol
Take the following precautions to avoid alcohol-related risks of hypothermia.
Don’t drink alcohol:
• If you’re going to be outside in cold weather
• If you’re boating
• Before going to bed on cold nights
Cold-water safety
Water doesn’t have to be extremely cold to cause hypothermia. Any water that’s colder than normal body temperature causes heat loss. The following tips may increase your survival time in cold water, if you accidentally fall in:
• Wear a life jacket. If you plan to ride in a watercraft, wear a life jacket. A life jacket can help you stay alive longer in cold water by enabling you to float without using energy and by providing some insulation. Keep a whistle attached to your life jacket to signal for help.
• Get out of the water if possible. Get out of the water as much as possible, such as climbing onto a capsized boat or grabbing onto a floating object.
• Don’t attempt to swim unless you’re close to safety. Unless a boat, another person or a life jacket is close by, stay put. Swimming will use up energy and may shorten survival time.
• Position your body to minimize heat loss. Use a body position known as the heat escape lessening position (HELP) to reduce heat loss while you wait for assistance. Hold your knees to your chest to protect the trunk of your body. If you’re wearing a life jacket that turns your face down in this position, bring your legs tightly together, your arms to your sides and your head back.
• Huddle with others. If you’ve fallen into cold water with other people, keep warm by facing each other in a tight circle.
• Don’t remove your clothing. While you’re in the water, don’t remove clothing. Buckle, button and zip up your clothes. Cover your head if possible. The layer of water between your clothing and your body will help insulate you. Remove clothing only after you’re safely out of the water and can take measures to get dry and warm.

Hypothermia not necessarily related to the outdoors
Hypothermia isn’t always the result of exposure to extremely cold outdoor temperatures. An older person may develop mild hypothermia after prolonged exposure to indoor temperatures that would be tolerable to a younger or healthier adult — for example, temperatures in a poorly heated home or in an air-conditioned home.
Symptoms of mild hypothermia not related to extreme cold exposure are nearly identical to those of more severe hypothermia, but may be much less obvious. Signs and symptoms of mild hypothermia may include:
• Shivering
• Faster breathing
• Trouble speaking
• Confusion
• Lack of coordination
• Fatigue
• Increased heart rate
• High blood pressure
Hypothermia in infants
Typical signs of hypothermia in an infant include:
• Bright red, cold skin
• Very low energy
When to see a doctor
Call 911 or your local emergency number if you see someone with signs of hypothermia or if you suspect a person has had unprotected or prolonged exposure to cold weather or water. If possible take the person inside, remove wet clothing, and cover him or her in layers of blankets.
How hypothermia happens:
Hypothermia occurs when your body loses heat faster than it produces it. The most common causes of hypothermia are exposure to cold-weather conditions or cold water. But prolonged exposure to any environment colder than your body can lead to hypothermia if you aren’t dressed appropriately or can’t control the conditions. Specific conditions leading to hypothermia can include:
• Wearing clothes that aren’t warm enough for weather conditions
• Staying out in the cold too long
• Unable to get out of wet clothes or move to a warm, dry location
• Accidental falls in water, as in a boating accident
• Inadequate heating in the home, especially for older people and infants
• Air conditioning that is too cold, especially for older people and infants
How your body loses heat
The mechanisms of heat loss from your body include the following:
• Radiated heat. Most heat loss is due to heat radiated from unprotected surfaces of your body.
• Direct contact. If you’re in direct contact with something very cold, such as cold water or the cold ground, heat is conducted away from your body. Because water is very good at transferring heat from your body, body heat is lost much faster in cold water than in cold air. Similarly, heat loss from your body is much faster if your clothes are wet, as when you’re caught out in the rain.
• Wind. Wind removes body heat by carrying away the thin layer of warm air at the surface of your skin. A wind chill factor is important in causing heat loss.

Risk Factors:

A number of factors can increase the risk of developing hypothermia:
• Older age. People age 65 and older are more vulnerable to hypothermia for a number of reasons. The body’s ability to regulate temperature and to sense cold may lessen with age. Older people are also more likely to have a medical condition that affects temperature regulation. Some older adults may not be able to communicate when they are cold or may not be mobile enough to get to a warm location.
• Very young age. Children lose heat faster than adults do. Children have a larger head-to-body ratio than adults do, making them more prone to heat loss through the head. Children may also ignore the cold because they’re having too much fun to think about it. And they may not have the judgment to dress properly in cold weather or to get out of the cold when they should. Infants may have a special problem with the cold because they have less efficient mechanisms for generating heat.
• Mental problems. People with a mental illness, dementia or another condition that interferes with judgment may not dress appropriately for the weather or understand the risk of cold weather. People with dementia may wander from home or get lost easily, making them more likely to be stranded outside in cold or wet weather.
• Alcohol and drug use. Alcohol may make your body feel warm inside, but it causes your blood vessels to dilate, or expand, resulting in more rapid heat loss from the surface of your skin. The use of alcohol or recreational drugs can affect your judgment about the need to get inside or wear warm clothes in cold weather conditions. If a person is intoxicated and passes out in cold weather, he or she is likely to develop hypothermia.
• Certain medical conditions. Some health disorders affect your body’s ability to regulate body temperature. Examples include underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), poor nutrition, stroke, severe arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, trauma, spinal cord injuries, burns, disorders that affect sensation in your extremities (for example, nerve damage in the feet of people with diabetes), dehydration, and any condition that limits activity or restrains the normal flow of blood.
• Medications. A number of drugs, including certain antidepressants, antipsychotics and sedatives, can change the body’s ability to regulate its temperature.
Diagnosis:
The diagnosis of hypothermia is usually apparent based on a person’s physical signs and the conditions in which the person with hypothermia became ill or was found.
A diagnosis may not be readily apparent, however, if the symptoms are mild, as when an older person who is indoors has symptoms such as confusion, lack of coordination and speech problems. In such cases, an exam may include a temperature reading with a rectal thermometer that reads low temperatures.
Until you can obtain professional medical care:
First-aid care
• Be gentle. When you’re helping a person with hypothermia, handle him or her gently. Limit movements to only those that are necessary. Don’t massage or rub the person. Excessive, vigorous or jarring movements may trigger cardiac arrest.
• Move the person out of the cold. Move the person to a warm, dry location if possible. If you’re unable to move the person out of the cold, shield him or her from the cold and wind as much as possible.
• Remove wet clothing. If the person is wearing wet clothing, remove it. Cut away clothing if necessary to avoid excessive movement.
• Cover the person with blankets. Use layers of dry blankets or coats to warm the person. Cover the person’s head, leaving only the face exposed.
• Insulate the person’s body from the cold ground. If you’re outside, lay the person on his or her back on a blanket or other warm surface.
• Monitor breathing. A person with severe hypothermia may appear unconscious, with no apparent signs of a pulse or breathing. If the person’s breathing has stopped or appears dangerously low or shallow, begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) immediately if you’re trained.
• Share body heat. To warm the person’s body, remove your clothing and lie next to the person, making skin-to-skin contact. Then cover both of your bodies with blankets.
• Provide warm beverages. If the affected person is alert and able to swallow, provide a warm, nonalcoholic, noncaffeinated beverage to help warm the body.
• Use warm, dry compresses. Use a first-aid warm compress (a plastic fluid-filled bag that warms up when squeezed), or a makeshift compress of warm water in a plastic bottle or a dryer-warmed towel. Apply a compress only to the neck, chest wall or groin. Don’t apply a warm compress to the arms or legs. Heat applied to the arms and legs forces cold blood back toward the heart, lungs and brain, causing the core body temperature to drop. This can be fatal.
• Don’t apply direct heat. Don’t use hot water, a heating pad or a heating lamp to warm the person. The extreme heat can damage the skin or even worse, cause irregular heartbeats so severe that they can cause the heart to stop.

If you think you or someone you know is experiencing signs and symptoms of hypothermia seek medical treatment!

February 11, 2014 Posted by | Guidelines, Medical Conditions, Self-Help | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Natural Ways to Combat Latent Radiation Damage

   With an ongoing issue from the Japan Earthquake/Tsunami in the early part of 2011, there have been questions raised (yet again) about the contamination of the US food supply, especially from foods coming from the western part of the US including seafood from the Pacific Ocean. While we can most certainly take the precaution of knowing where the food we eat comes from, many times, we can’t find that information out or it maybe that we simply cannot avoid buying or eating foods that have been exposed to the fallout from Fukashima. But we can help ourselves by knowing what to do and what to eat to protect ourselves.

First line of defense is to….

Stay CALM!

You don’t freak out over getting a CAT scan, MRI, X-Ray nor do you even begin to think about the food on store shelves that have been irradiated to extend shelf life or kill bacteria. Life saving medical treatments also introduce radiation into the body. Cell phones and many other everyday ‘things’ also put out radiation, so we are already dealing with radiation ‘contamination’ within our bodies and we don’t think twice about any of this. Certainly the contamination coming from Fukashima is something to be concerned about, but knowledge is power and gives us peace of mind. We will NOT be able to avoid radiation in our environment nor in our food system, but we can counter-act the damage that it may cause.

There are very simple ways to help the body remove radiation from the body. The ‘biggies’ (by the way) that we are most concerned about are Iodine-131, Cesium-137, Uranium-234 and Strontium. I have avoided mentioning kelp and seaweed because most of the ones available commercially come from areas that are heavily contaminated with the very isotopes we trying to avoid and/or protect ourselves against. But if you can find a good source that can be verified as clean, then by all means have at it.

ACE- vitamins A, C, E. These are antioxidant vitamins that protect your bodys cells from environmental damage. You may get these through supplements or through the food you eat. If you choose to use a supplement to get these vitamins, make sure that you use a natural form of vitamin E…the synthetic version is not as effective as the natural form of vitamin E.

B vitamins are essential also to helping us ‘detox’ and feel great.

Garlic – Garlic’s high sulfur content supports natural antioxidant systems like glutathione. Garlic extracts protect red blood cells from radiation damage by a glutathione-related mechanism. In mice, garlic extracts prevented radiation damage to chromosomes in vulnerable bone marrow cells.

Onions – Cysteine, present in onions, binds with and deactivates both the radioactive isotopes and toxic metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. The sulfur in cysteine helps the kidneys and liver detoxify the body.

Pectin which is present in many fruits and vegetables such as apples, carrots, citrus fruits and beans, binds to and helps eliminate from the body different radioactive isotopes.

Potassium – Cesium-137, cesium-134, potassium-40, and potassium-42 are radioactive, competitive sister elements of natural potassium, all of which are in the same chemical family. These radionuclides are absorbed by the body when there is a deficiency of natural potassium. They concentrate primarily in the reproductive organs and the muscles. Cesium-137 is common in nuclear fallout, and can often be detected in our food, soil, and water. The authors of one study described our biosphere as “contaminated with radiocesium.”

Researchers discovered that after the accident atChernobyl, iodine-131 and cesium-137 were the most prevalent radionuclides in samples of food from theUSSR and fromPoland, Hungary, and other parts ofEastern Europe. Cesium-137 is also already being used in some countries to irradiate foods as a means of extending their shelf life at the supermarket. Research by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences demonstrates that natural potassium decreases the concentration of radiocesium. Potassium carries an electrical charge and is “wed” to sodium in many of the electrical/chemical balancing chores it performs in our bodies. Adequate intake of potassium is critically important when exposure to radiation is a threat because abundant potassium in the blood stream will block rapid absorption of Cesium-137.

Begin to add potassium rich foods such as potatoes, avocado, raisins, sardines, flounder, orange juice, winter squash, banana, apricots, cantaloupe, tomato, milk, salmon, beans, sweet potato, beef liver, peaches, steak, haddock, pork, lamb, turkey, tuna, and chicken.

Herbs with high levels of potassium include sage, catnip, hops, dulse, peppermint, skullcap, kelp, and red clover. You’ll also find it in horsetail, nettles, borage, and plantain. If a nuclear event escalates in which cesium is being released, then also adding supplemental potassium is recommended. Potassium regulation is affected by magnesium.

Magnesium rich foods are Whole wheat bread, Whole grain cereals, tofu, spinach, soy milk, pumpkin and squash seeds, scallops and rockfish, raw plantain, okra, oysters, peanuts, halibut, raw broccoli and black beans.

Spirulina – a single-celled freshwater algae and an incredible source of nutrients. It provides generous amounts of Beta Carotene, Vitamin B-12, Iron and Chlorophyll. Spirulina also provides RNA, DNA and important GLA fatty acids.

Chlorophyll – A Report by Scottist in 1986 and report fromJapanshowed that increase absorption of Cadmium by Chlorella and increased excretion of Cadmium by threefold after intake of Chlorella from animal testing. Chlorella can also detoxify Uranium, Lead, Copper, PCB. Source: ” A good Health Guide: Chlorella ” by William H Lee. R. Ph.D. and Michael Rosenbaum, M.D. Guinea pigs on a diet rich in chlorophyll showed increased resistance to lethal X-rays.

Both Spirulina and chlorophyll are consider ‘super foods’…meaning they are nutrient dense and highly detoxifying…great for the body no matter what.

One comment I must make about purchasing Spirulina and Chlorophyll…know where it is coming from! I would personally avoid any spirulina or chlorophyll that comes from areas already contaminated by radiation includingChina.Hawaiiwould be the safest bet for spirulina. Heck, you can ‘grow’ your own algae if you so desire!

Charcoal – Has the ability to absorb and neutralize radioactive substances and some toxic materials. Researchers report that 10 grams or 1 tablespoon of charcoal can absorb about 3 to 7 grams of materials. Taking finely powdered charcoal has been found to be one-and-a-half times as effective as the tablets. You may even put the charcoal into capsules if you so desire.

Zeolite – Zeolites have been used to decontaminate animals, particularly sheep and reindeer, which have ingested radiation following nuclear disasters such asChernobyl. Addition of zeolites to contaminated soils has shown to reduce up-take of radionuclides by plants, and hence, reduce the spreading of contamination through the food chain. (Introduction to Zeolite Science and Practice by Herman van Bekkum). Do not take any product containing zeolite if you are taking any prescription medication containing heavy metals, such as lithium, or containing platinum, which can be found in some cancer medications or Radiotherapy with chemotherapy check with your practitioner.

Medicinal mushrooms such as, Reishi, Turkey Tail, Matiake, Shitake and Chaga are all very important and well documented to enhance over-all immunity, protect against cellular changes and act as effective protectors against radiation poisoning as well as all manner of toxins that we ingest through out environment.  Eatten raw  (or in a yummy dish) or made into a tincture or syrup once or twice daily.

Rosemary –Rosmarinus officinalis – Rosmarinus has been revered for its protective qualities down through the ages. It’s now been found that two compounds in this wild Mediterranean plant, Carnosic and rosmarinic acids, naturally deter radiation poisoning.

In a study published this year in the British Journal of Radiology, February 2 edition, scientists inSpainreported finding that nothing fights radiation damage to micronuclei as well as rosemary. The fact that these compounds found in rosemary are fat soluble allows them to provide highly significant protective anti-mutagenic activity. Even the most powerful water-soluble antioxidants lack the capacity to protect against gamma ray induced damage.

In another study published in the Food and Chemical Toxicology, the generation of radiation induced cellular DNA damage to skin from free radicals was the focus. The researchers sought to demonstrate that rosmarinic acid from rosemary would act as a photo-protector both by acting as a scavenger of free radicals and as an inducer of the body’s own endogenous defense mechanisms. They found that formulation of toxic production was delayed by the use of rosmarinic acid, and the protection factor was 3.34 times greater than for other compounds studied, as measured in micronucleus testing.

Take 30 drops of rosemary tincture once to three times daily in a bit of water, depending on your level of exposure. For those primarily concerned about food exposure once a day will suffice.  Rosemary infused oil, applied to the skin will also be effective. Use dried rosemary often in your cooking, and drink rosemary teas and infusions.

Liver nourishing roots such as American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius), dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) and burdock, (Arctium lappa) are loaded with mucilaginous properties and assist with the elimination of toxins out of the body…they act as a kind of magnet, pulling these radioactive elements to them and helping you excrete them through the eliminative organs.

Additionally American Ginseng, is proven to be radioprotective; it specifically protects human DNA from damage due to radiation particle ingestion, protects human peripheral lymphocytes from radiation induced stress, prevents radiation induced illness and protects against Cesium-137 exposure. 30 drops of tincture in water, once to three times daily should be an effective dose of any of these roots. Adding them to soups and stir fries and making water-based decoctions and/or syrups are all effective ways of using them.

I found an additional resource that is well thought out and lays it all out on radiation exposure, from the ‘biggie’ event down to environmental exposure. It is a download that would be well worth printing off for future reference.

http://meditationexpert.com/RadiationDetox/

As a last thought, while what happened in Japan last year is most certainly a human and environmental disaster that we have not yet fully come to appreciate nor seen the end of yet, we do have the power to help ourselves, protect ourselves and loved ones from the ‘fall out’ of radiation from environmental sources to man-made disasters. We can’t avoid eating…and Fukashima is not the only source of radiation contamination in our food chain. It occurs naturally too, but there are ways to counter-act it and they are simple and effective and most of us are probably already doing things that help to protect ourselves against radiation damage without even thinking about it. Even afterChernobylthose who ate ‘contaminated’ foods that were high in anti-oxidants, potassium and magnesium showed less of an effect from the radiation than those who did not. In other words, they couldn’t avoid eating contaminated crops, but they still ‘pulled through’ with less ill effects and many never developed any problems at all except for those closest to the disaster with direct exposure. Pick a couple of ‘new’ things to add to your diet and sleep well tonight knowing you are protecting yourself and loved ones from radiation danger.

Information resources:

http://www.radiationdetoxification.com/

http://gailfaithedwards.wordpress.com/2011/03/16/natural-substances-to-protect-ourselves-from-radiation/

http://starcreate.hubpages.com/hub/Natural-ways-to-detox-radiation

April 5, 2012 Posted by | Guidelines, Herbs, Self-Help | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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)!

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