SurvivalMedicineBlog

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

ACHOO!  Herbs for Colds and Flu!

 © Kelli Armes, Herbalist

 

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

Prevention:

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

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

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

Cold Verses Flu:

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

Treatments:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Energetics: spicy, bitter, and slightly cool

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

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

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

Energetics: Bitter, pungent, astringent, cold and dry

 

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

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

 

 

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

Energetics: bitter, drying, cool, slightly sweet

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

 

 

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

Energetics: bitter, spicy, neutral

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

 

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

Energetics: Spicy and warm

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

Dehydration

Dehydration can happen anytime, to anyone. Simply put, dehydration is the sudden loss of fluids from the body which isn’t replaced as quickly as it is lost. The most vulnerable amongst us is the elderly and the very young. Often it happens during the summer time (from plain old not replenishing fluids) but it can also happen when we are sick, loosing fluids due to vomiting or diarrhea, blood loss, malnutrition or running a temperature and sweating. Often overlooked is frequent urination (as a cause of) due to Moreover, frequent urination due to diabetes, excessive alcohol consumption or prolonged intake of medicines like diuretics, antipsychotics, blood pressure medications. Those who are these medications should take special precautions to avoid dehydration.

Anytime we do not have enough fluids in our body (or do not replace them fast enough) dehydration occurs. Dehydration can occur very quickly in young children and infants so anytime a young child or infant is sick, please do not wait before symptoms appear…take action immediately to PREVENT dehydration. For adults, prevent is rather easy, drink before you become thirsty.

The Signs and Symptoms of Dehydration

Symptoms of dehydration usually begin with thirst and progress to more alarming manifestations as the need for water becomes more dire. The initial signs and symptoms of mild dehydration in adults appear when the body has lost about 2% of it’s total fluid. These mild dehydration symptoms are often (but not limited to):

  • Thirst
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Dry Skin
  • SkinFlushing
  • Dark Colored Urine (or strong smelling)
  • Dry Mouth
  • fatigue or Weakness
  • Chills
  • Head Rushes

If the dehydration is allowed to continue unabated, when the total fluid loss reaches 5% the following effects of dehydration are normally experienced:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased respiration
  • Decreased sweating
  • Decreased urination
  • Increased body temperature
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Muscle cramps
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Tingling of the limbs

When the body reaches 10% fluid loss emergency help is needed IMMEDIATELY! 10% fluid loss and above is often fatal! Symptoms of severe dehydration include:

  • Muscle spasms
  • Vomiting
  • Racing pulse
  • Shriveled skin
  • Dim vision
  • Painful urination
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Seizures
  • Chest and Abdominal pain
  • unconsciousness

With children and infants it may be hard to spot and includes all of the above PLUS:

  • Fussiness and irritability
  • Lethargic or ‘lifeless’
  • Hard to wake up
  • Very little energy
  • Sunken eyes
  • Dry nose or mouth
  • Decreased or no urination (dry diaper)
  • Glassy eyes
  • Difficulty focusing or paying attention
  • Sunken ‘soft spot’
  • Tearless crying

Prevention is key with dehydration. If you are working outside or playing outside when it is hot, or you have no air conditioning, or you or someone you knows becomes sick for whatever reason there are some very simple things that you can do to prevent dehydration or treat it before it becomes life-threatening:

PUSH THE FLUIDS! An electrolyte drink or one of the ‘home’ remedies is best to use to prevent dehydration. If someone is sick or is vomiting or has diarrhea a good rule of thumb is one cup of fluids to each ‘throw up’ or ‘loose stool’. It is okay if they/you throw it back up, not all of it ‘comes back up’.

Simple electrolyte drink (for adults and children over age 3, see further down for infants and young children’s formula)

½ tsp of table salt

¼ tsp of a salt substitute or potassium chloride

½ tsp of baking soda

2 tbsp of sugar

Add the salt, salt substitute, baking soda and sugar to 1 quart of boiling water. Allow the water to cool before giving. You may add one package of unsweetened kool-aid to flavor this (not the kind where you just add water!).

Infants and Young Child Re-hydration Solution at the bottom!

Natural Remedies For Dehydration and Prevention:

Prevention: (good for any reason)

  • Avoid junk food, fatty foods, fruit juices, apricots, peas, pears, peaches, plums, prunes, etc.
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol and carbonated beverages
  • Eat yogurt, buttermilk, mint, apple, pomegrant, papya, bananas, carrots, potatos
  • Drink a mixture of 1 tsp mint juice (make an infusion), ½ tsp ginger juice (infusion) and 1 tsp of honey

Treatments for dehydration:

  • Refer to the above for prevention
  • Drink ½ tsp dry ginger in 1 cup buttermilk 3-4 times a day
  • Drink the Simple Electrolyte Drink (this especially important if you are in a moderate to severe dehydration stage and can’t get to a doctor).
  • Add three to four drops of peppermint essential oil to glass of water. Drink this mixture for immediate relief from dehydration.(only when it is just starting)
  • Yogurt is the best food for dehydration, thus consume at least one bowl of yogurt in day. You may even add some chopped basil leaves with pinch of black pepper for yummy taste.
  • Mix ripe banana with two teaspoonful of honey. Consume this mixture to beat excessive weakness due to dehydration. You may eat this mixture two times in a day.
  • Stew 1 apple with 1/8 tsp of nutmeg powder and 1 tsp of sugar for children to eat.
  • Drink a mixture of one teaspoon each of sugar and lime juice, and a pinch of salt in a pint of water. Drink this throughout the day from time to time to heal the problem.
  • Drink water mixed with apple juice or orange juice.
  • Sipping some pickle juice and then drink water before going out in the sun.
  • Eat fresh fruits and vegetables with high water content such as watermelons, strawberries, raisins, cucumbers, tomatoes and other similar foods.

Small infants and very young children:.

Note: Formula for Infant/Young children ORS (Oral Rehydration Solution) is different and is found below:

 1 Liter Oral Rehydration Solution for Infants and Young Children:

1 tsp salt

8 tsp sugar

 

Heat 1 liter (5 cups) of water to a boil and then add the salt and sugar to the water, stirring until dissolved. Serve once it has cooled.

 

Homemade Cereal-based ORS:

 

½ to 1 cup precooked baby rice cereal or 1 ½ tbsp of sugar

2 cups water

½ tsp salt

Mix well the rice cereal (or sugar) water and salt together until the mixture thickens but is not too thick to drink.

Give the mixture often by spoon and as much as the baby will accept (every minute if possible)

  • Use the Oral Re-Hydration Infant Solution and not the adult version!
  • Keep giving liquids slowly until the child’s urine becomes clear in color.
  • If the child is vomiting, give small amounts of solution at frequent intervals — try a spoonful or so every few minutes, for instance. If your child can’t keep this down, wait 30 to 60 minutes and try again.
  • Room temperature fluids are best.
  • If breast feeding…continue to breast-feed. Don’t stop breast-feeding when your baby is sick, but offer your baby an oral rehydration solution in a bottle as well.
  • For babies that drink formula, try switching to one that’s lactose-free until diarrhea improves — lactose can be difficult to digest during diarrhea, making diarrhea worse.
  • Infants who are bottle-fed should continue to drink formula diluted to half strength. (in cases of vomiting and diarrhea)

Young children should not drink soda, juices, or sports drinks such as Gatorade. They do not contain the right amount of glucose, sodium, chloride, and potassium to properly balance the electrolyte levels.

  

the above was taken in whole from: http://www.cdphe.state.co.us/epr/public/h1n1/homehealthcare/Preventing%20and%20Treating%20Dehydration.pdf

Please NOTE: that for young children the re-hydration drink formula is DIFFERENT than the adult/older child formula.

 

The above are ways that you may help yourself either prevent or take care of dehydration at home. It cannot be stressed enough that prevention is the best way to go, but just in case you find yourself having to deal with dehydration you now have the information and knowledge is power.

If you find yourself experiencing any symptoms beyond that of mild dehydration please seek professional medical care immediately. Do not attempt to treat severe dehydration yourself unless it is absolutely impossible to get proper medical treatment.

*All information has been taken from the internet or professional reference books.

July 18, 2011 Posted by | Baby/Infant, Guidelines, Medical Conditions, Self-Help | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Herbalbiotics – Natures Antibiotics

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best Uses:

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

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

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

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

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

Infected gums and related mouth infections.

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

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

Ear infections due to bacteria

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do NOT use Goldenseal if PREGNANT.

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

Overuse can harm the gastrointestinal tract. Follow instructions carefully.

USE CAUTIOUSLY IN DIABETICS as it may lower blood sugar levels

 

Usnea-

Best Uses:

Athlete’s Foot

Bronchitis/ Pneumonia/Colds

Bacterial Infections

Burns

Flu

Fungus Infections

Mastitis

Ring Worm

Sinus Infections

TB

Vaginal Infections

UTI

Strep and Staph Infections

Can help those with suppressed immune system:

chronic fatigue, herpes, HIV, lupus

Anthrax of the Skin possible inhalation and gastro help too

 

How to Use/Applications:

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

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

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

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

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

 

Uva-ursi, Bearberry

Best Uses of:

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

Kidney stones

Kidney and Bladder Infections

Gonorrhea

Gout (Uric Acid problems)

Some action for all mucous membrane infections.

 

How to Use/Applications:

REMEDIAL TEA-Two step process-

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

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

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

INFUSION-

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

MAY INDUCE MILD NAUSEA IN SOME PEOPLE

AVOID USE IN THOSE WITH CHRONIC KIDNEY INFLAMMATION!!

AVOID USE DURING PREGNANCY

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

Garlic –

Best Uses-

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

Shows great promise against MRSA and other drug resistant bacteria.

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

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

Acinetobacter calcoaceticus

Aspergillus flavus

Aspergillus fumigatus

Aspergillus parasiticus

Aspergillusniger

Bacillus cereus

Candida albicans

Candida lipolytica

Cryptococcus neoformans

Cryptosporidium

Debaryomyces hansenii

Escherichia coli

Hansenula anomala

Herpes simplex virus type 1

Herpes simplex virus type 2

Histoplasma capsulatum

Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV)

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)

Human rhinovirus type 2

Influenza B

Kloeckera apiculata

Lodderomyces elongisporus

Parainfluenza virus type 3

Vaccinia virus

Vesicular stomatitis virus

Micrococcus luteus

Mycobacterium phlei

Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Paracoccidioides brasiliensis

Pneumocystis carinii

Proteus vulgaris

Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Rhodotorula rubra

Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Salmonella typhimurium

Salmonella typhimurium

Shigella dysenteriae

Shigella flexneri

Staphylococcus aureus

Streptococcus faecalis

Torulopsis glabrata

Toxoplasma gondii

Vibrio parahaemolyticus

How to Use/Applications:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some conditions that can be effectively treated with garlic:

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

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

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

Bronchitis            Use raw garlic in one of the forms listed above

Candida infection        Use both internal and external applications if appropriate

Common Cold         Take internally

Diarrhea and Dysentery    Take internally

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

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

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

Influenza            Take internally at the first threat of exposure.

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

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

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

DO NOT USE GARLIC POST SURGERY

USE CAUTIOUSLY IN DIABETICS as it may lower blood sugar levels

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

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

 

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

Best Uses-

Cuts/Scrapes

Burns

Insect bites

Yeast infections (as a douche)

Eczema and psoriasis

Fungal infections

Other wounds of the skin

Conjunctivitis (as a lotion)

Super Bugs (MRSA comes to mind)

 

How to Use/Applications:

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

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

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

Calendula-

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

Best Uses:

Minor wounds

Burns

Bruises

Reduce Scarring

Sore Throats

Diaper Rash

Low level internal infections

Ulcers (both internal and external)

 

How to Use/Applications:

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

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

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

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

DO NOT USE IF PREGNANT OR HAVE HAY FEVER

 

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

 

Remember-

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

As reference:

 

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

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

http://herbs2000.com

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

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

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

Self-Care Preparedness Pt.1

Many preppers and survivalists focus on the beans and bullets aspect of being prepared. They often just say ‘get a good first aid kit’ and call it good. Some go so far as to say get medical equipment and stockpile antibiotics, there are many ideas about what a ‘good’ kit is and list upon lists of what you will need in the event you are ‘forced’ to go it alone in taking care of your own healthcare needs…and then their is the camp that goes so far as to get the training or finds doctors and nurses to include in their ‘group’ But let’s face it, the fact is this: most of us wouldn’t know what the heck to do with most modern medical supplies or medicine or how to propperly use anything beyond a basic bandaid…even if we could our hands on more than the basic band aid and topical cream. Training can be expensive and/or inconvient and hard to come by and sometimes, doing things we have no idea about is more dangerous than doing nothing at all. Most doctors and nurses I know (including my own family) are not preparedness fans let alone self-help types, instead, they rely upon the system and just can’t grasp the idea that being prepared beyond 3-7 days is something worth while. Yes, there are professionals out there who ‘believe’ but again, let’s face it, most don’t.

I am all for having a good first aid kit and modern medical supplies that I am comfortable using, I am also a big one on avoiding doctors and modern medical intervention whenever possible (and my family is FULL of doctors and nurses!)  A lot of my attitude, admittedly, comes from years of not having medical insurance and not exactly being made of money. I was ‘forced’ into finding alternatives in caring for my health needs and just how much I can indeed handle myself.  Over the years, I have become pretty well versed on caring for myself, family and friends and have found that alternatives such as herbalism, homeopathy and essential oils can, when used correctly be just as effective if not more so than modern medicine. I fully recognize that there are limitations to these alternatives and when necessary seek out modern medical intervention, but I have also come to recognize that many of our most basic healthcare needs can be met at home and through the use of alternatives.

There are basic ‘rules of the road’ to taking care of yourself and family that are actually easy to follow if you dare to try it. It’s a mind set mostly, and I hope that you something useful from them that will help you get ready for whatever may come-

Simple rules of the road for taking control of your health needs:

Sanitation/Hygiene– this should be a no-brainer but many infections are spread through bad hygiene habits. Keep your hands clean (either the hand sanitizers or good hand washing with soap and water…and if all else fails, use a baby wipe!) Keep all food handling and prep areas clean. If someone is sick, keep them isolated. I can’t tell you how many times my kids have come home from school sick or I have gotten sick because someone came to school or work sick when they should have stayed home. Make sure you are as clean as possible with your own body and if you get a cut or scrape…clean it asap! Same goes for bites and other wounds…simple, through cleaning of wounds, bites, hands and surfaces goes a long, long way to preventing infections and make sure after helping someone who does have an infection that you wash your hand BEFORE AND AFTER helping them…and by the way…keep your hand out of your mouth, nose and eyes. And for goodness sakes, after using the bathroom or changing a diaper or cleaning up vomit, clean up! Basic stuff folks, but extremely important to prevent infections and disease and in a situation where you are mostly or completely on your own, this ‘simple’ mindset/action could be a life saver.

Be Vigilant and Pay Attention– this is another no-brainer, but I know that many of us get so caught up in what is going on around us that we simply don’t pay attention to our bodies or our children’s behavior (most children will not ‘complain’ or the complaint is very vague). Pay attention to how you feel physically…if you feel warm (without a good reason) or there is pain somewhere, take the time to check it out. If your children are whiny for no reason take the time to find out why. If you child is listless or flushed, take the time to figure out why. If you are tired for no ‘reason’ take the time to figure out why. If there is a little red around a wound or any heat around an area, take the time to take care of it. My point is this, in many instances the body lets you know one way or the other that something is up and the sooner you pay attention to your body and what it is trying to tell you, the better off you will be and the sooner you can do something about it. Time is of the Essence- this goes hand in hand with being vigilant and paying attention…the faster you start doing something about the issue, the less likely it will turn into a life threatening situation. This also goes to preventing things from happening…don’t put off doing what you need to do toady in order to help yourself, from taking care of that cut to fixing that fence or filling up the gas tank…be prepared! Don’t let it go ‘until’, in a SHTF situation, letting it ‘go’ might get you dead…help could be forever in coming, far away or non-existent, so get on it immediately. And one last thing on this subject of being vigilant and paying attention- keep your eye on what is going on around you health wise…lots of coughing? fevers? there might be a time that you being watchful and mindful of your ‘health’ surroundings could save your life (think pandemic) or at the very least, keep you from getting sick yourself.

Have the Knowledge and Experience Beforehand to Help Yourself– it does no good if you stock up on supplies, medicines, herbals, homeopathics and books if you don’t know how to use them, aren’t comfortable using them and don’t know where to find the information in those books that you have spent so much money on when you need it…take the time now to try simple remedies and simple self-medicating/self-help techniques so that you are familiar with them and comfortable in handling a non-emergency situation on your own. After all, if it doesn’t work, you still have plan B…intervention of your doctor (at least for now).  Trying to learn and practice self-help under stressful situations is a disaster waiting to happen. Do it NOW so that you feel confident and sure of yourself…but also note this… Its all well and good to think, ‘well, if the SHTF I will just grow my own medicine’ or ‘I have the book on that! I will be okay!’…many herbal plants need to be grown for several years before they can used. Did you know the best time to harvest? To plant? How to identify them in the wild? Dosage? How to actually use them? Tinctures take 6 weeks or more to make and teas are used for one thing, decoctions for another and tinctures…well, they can be used in a million and one ways…also, will you even try to make your own? Or stock up on pre-made remedies and plants? homeopathic remedies can actually produce symptoms (called a proving) if they are not the correct remedy and some essential oils (just like herbs) can interact with pharmaceuticals, and some essential oils are caustic when used undiluted on the skin or membranes and some oils are best used without dilution…do you know what to do in case an oil gets in your eye or someplace else it doesn’t belong? How to store the herbs, homeopathics and oils? see, you need the knowledge, practice and experience now, before you really need it, so that in a bad situation you are ready to take care of yourself without undue stress. Doctors and nurses trained for years, why not you? Self-care is learned through practice, practice, practice and not just reading about it once.

Be Persistent and Committed! I will be the first to admit that much of the self-help outside of modern medicine is tedious and time consuming and it is definitely not like having to remember to pop a pill once a day and it may not necessary repress symptoms while it is solving the issue at hand. It takes time, effort and a commitment to helping yourself get better without outside intervention in order to make it ‘work’. Often, self-reliance in taking care of your own healthcare matters means doing more than ‘taking’ something. It takes a willingness to take care of yourself and that may mean not doing it all, nor expecting a miracle to happen over night. It may mean that you have to stop what you are doing that seems so important at that moment and doing several things in order to stop a problem before it becomes a problem. Even modern docs now recognize that lifestyle changes, eating habits and exercise patterns are better at preventing many health problems than taking a pill and that just ‘taking’ something often doesn’t ‘cure’ the problem. Be patient, follow instructions to the T, including how much (more is definitely NOT better) and how often to do or take something. Just like most modern medicines that we use today, if not taken correctly it can either harm or not help at all…both of which are not good. Commitment yourself to being self-reliant, learning and being persistent and you will be in good shape for what may come.

Do Not Get Overwhelmed– for many who were raised to be dependant upon the system for their every need in their well-being, it can be scary to break away and become more self-reliant in taking care of their own needs. It can be a daunting task when you first begin to investigate or even begin to take care of yourself and healthcare needs. But by taking it one-step at a time, one thing at a time, one need at a time, and making ‘easy does it’ a part of your mindset you will soon be amazed at just how much you can be in control of your healthcare needs.

Just like most other aspects of being prepared and prepped, you don’t have to do it all at one time and remember, you are not alone…ask for help and make friends who know more than you about it and just do it, make it apart of your preparedness lifestyle and in the end, even if it doesn’t hit the fan and the world suddenly does an about face and everything comes up roses, you will be better for taking control of your own health and well-being.

And lastly, recognize that sometimes you won’t be able to take care of yourself and you might need to ask for help.

PS…if you have a life threatening illness already, by all means necessary, try to stock up on your medication and supplies that you need to take care of yourself…sometimes there is a need for modern medicine…but I also encourage you to do a bit of research and see what else might help you to reduce your dependence upon modern meds. NEVER ever stop taking your medication and switch over to an alternative without the help of your doctor…I love my alternatives but am wise enough to know their limitations.

God bless

July 12, 2011 Posted by | Attitude, Guidelines, Self-Help | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Spider Bites

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

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