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

November 7, 2014 Posted by | Baby/Infant, Herbs, Medical Conditions, 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

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