July 28, 2014

Dental Preparedness

Dental Preparedness

I don’t like the dentist. I know, I know, most people don’t! But I dislike the sadist…err dentist so much that the thought of writing this article has given me the heebie-jeebies for some time. However, a recent dental problem resulting in a toothache spurred me to write this.
 

Prevention

Brush, floss, yada, yada, yada. All kidding aside, this is absolutely one area where an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This being a preparedness related article, here are some tips to help you be prepared for a future where going to the dentist isn’t an option.

Toothpaste has a 1-2 year shelf life, so we could effectively keep a year’s supply on hand, rotating and restocking as it is used. Toothbrushes obviously don’t have an expiration date, but should be rotated every few months. Dental floss is another item that has no expiration date, nor do the dental flossers. Dental floss is an item I put in each BOB. It can be used for floss, cordage, snares and anything else lightweight rope could be used for.

Baking soda is an item with an infinite shelf life that can be used as toothpaste. Simply put some in a smallish container, add water and stir into a paste…mmm tasty (sarcasm). Hydrogen peroxide is an item that, according to the ADA (American Dental Association), is used in many commercial tooth whiteners.
 
Dental Pain When the Stuff Hits the Fan

To me there is no pain like a toothache. It can make me miserable like almost nothing else! We’re lucky to live in a time where we get care fairly quickly to help us if we have dental pain. Imagine having to use an ice skate to remove your own tooth (a reference to the move Castaway)! Seriously, what would you do if, for some reason, you had a toothache and couldn’t get to the dentist? Here are some suggestions.

There are several over the counter numbing agents one could use and I personally think they are a must have.
 

Natural Tooth Ache Remedies

Here are three links that I think are worth sharing, all containing natural remedies. Because what works well for one person, might not for another, I think it is wise to have a few of these on hand. Many of the ingredients listed in these two articles can be used for other purposes as well.

20+ Toothache Remedies For Pain Relief

12 Home Remedies for Toothaches

 
Worst Case

What if the problem is worse than a tooth ache and you can’t get to the dentist? There are a few things that you can do now to prepare for this. The Hesperian Foundation offers a book called Where there is No Dentist. You can download a free PDF copy or purchase a book for $17.00. Amazon has used copies a little cheaper, but I think supporting the Hesperian Foundation is worth the extra dollar or two.

This book is fantastic! Like all Hesperian books, it is meant to educate villagers in third world countries with no formal education or training. Topics range from learning and teaching about teeth and gums, treating and diagnosing different dental problems like toothaches, loose teeth, cavities, cementing fillings and removal of teeth (without an ice skate). It has illustrations on almost every page to help explain the different topics.

There are a few supplies that you could stock now that could be of great use in a dental emergency. From Duluth Trading Company: Duluth Trading Company Dr. Click’s Kit: Dental Tools with 101 Uses. As the title suggests, this kit has many other uses besides dental tools, one being a great lock picking set. One of the Prepared Christian sponsors, Camping Survival, carries Dr. Stahl’s Emergency Dental Kit. as well.
 

Final Thoughts

Sure, we should be brushing and flossing now, but like I said at the beginning, to me there is no pain like a toothache. Dental preparedness requires some forethought and preparations to make sure we can take care of dental emergencies should they ever occur when we cannot get to a dentist.

 
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Living Ready Pocket Manual: First Aid

Living Ready Pocket Manual First Aid

Today I am going to talk to you about Dr. James Hubbard’s (AKA The Survival Doctor ) new book, Living Ready Pocket Manual: First Aid, which is being released today. I received an advanced copy and am really impressed with it. This isn’t the typical first aid book that just explains how to stop bleeding, how to do CPR or how to address burns. This book is clearly written by a person, in this case a doctor, who is a prepper. Dr. Hubbard covers the usual topics you would expect but he also covers how to disinfect water, bone and joint injuries, how to treat gunshot wounds and bites from a variety of animals and insects.

The main thing I like about this book is how he covers the supplies you should have in your first aid kit. He not only lists the item and quantity he thinks you should have but also gives notes on the item, and also lists alternative items. For instance, he lists cotton balls; in the notes he says that cotton balls are great for packing a nosebleed, and that adding petroleum jelly will make for easier insertion. He adds that cotton balls with petroleum jelly make great fire starters as well! For alternatives he lists tampons or strips of cloth for nasal packing.

He does list some items that are fairly advanced, and I asked him about this. You can read his response in the Q and A section.

I like that he lists multiple ways that items can be used with alternatives because many of us who don’t have the training might not think of using duct tape or super glue to close small cuts.

Dr. Hubbard does a fantastic job of explaining symptoms, as well as how to treat a wide variety of wounds, bites, burns, illnesses and reactions. Like any book, the information does you little good after or during an emergency. I highly recommend getting some basic training and reading books like this one now. That way you have the information and can use the book as a reference during treatment if needed.
 
I had the chance to ask Dr. Hubbard a few questions, here they are.

Chris: What would you say are the top five medical emergencies the average person should know how to treat?

Dr. Hubbard: Good question. They may vary according to the situation you’re most likely to be in—for instance, a car accident, a flood, a snowstorm, a camping trip, or just hanging around the house. And, of course, there are situations where expert help is a 911 call away and times when it’s not. Here are five pretty common problems no matter the situation.

First, a cut. The immediate lifesaving treatment here is to know how to stop the bleeding. Everything else can wait.

Second, a burn. Know that the first thing to do is cool it. Then what to do afterward.
Then there are sprains and broken bones. Many times it’s impossible to tell the difference, but the initial treatment is the same.

For head trauma, you need to know the danger signs of a really bad trauma and how to properly move someone if they’re not fully conscious and you can’t rule out a concurrent neck injury.
Finally, chest pain. Know the warning signs of a heart attack, and know CPR and how to use an automatic external defibrillator—AED.

I’d like to add that the odds for which type of emergency will happen can depend on what diseases you or the people you’re around might have, such as diabetes, heart disease, seizures, etc.

Chris: I really like how you laid out the first aid supplies; listing the amount and the alternatives. If someone is just starting to build their first aid kit, what are the most important items to purchase?

Dr. Hubbard: Forgo anything fancy and make sure you get items you know how to use. Some of the basics would be gauze, tapes, Band-Aids, antibiotic ointment, hydrocortisone ointment, scissors, a lighter or matches, and safety pins. There are so many things you can do with a few safety pins. And, of course you know I’d say a good medical manual. Equipment that you don’t know how to use is useless.

Chris: Some of the items you listed are a little more advanced than someone with basic first aid knowledge. Something I have thought about was having more advanced gear on hand, in hopes there might be someone with advanced medical training who just needs more gear. What are your thoughts?

Dr. Hubbard: That’s a great idea. In fact, if you know someone like that around, ask what they’d advise you to have. I’d say, some scalpels, suture and a suture holder. It would be nice to have syringes with needles, IV fluids—with tubing and catheters or butterfly needles to start the IV—injectable antibiotics, and lidocaine, but all of those require prescriptions. And, like in the question about common emergencies, if someone has a specific disease, there might be specific supplies that you’d need.

Chris: Once someone has taken a basic first aid, CPR and AED class, what would you recommend for the next level of training?

Dr. Hubbard: The basic, hands-on courses go a long way. Be sure to take a refresher course every few years. Next, you could check with your local fire department about what training is available if you volunteer. And, early this year, I’m going to have available several multimedia courses I’m really excited about. Just stay tuned to my blog.

Chris: One of the big events that most concerns me is a pandemic. I believe that imposing a self-quarantine is one of the best defenses. How can we know when the time is right to impose a self-quarantine? If we go too early, as many did during H1N1, we risk taking sick days and pulling kids from school. If we do it too late, we run the risk of exposing ourselves while we wait.

Dr. Hubbard: Well, you could check the CDC.gov website which could tell you their statistics on how widespread the disease is and how fast it’s spreading. And just be aware of what’s going on around you. One more thing would be to check any local websites you trust.

Every few years there’s a flu scare, but most don’t become pandemics. However, there have actually been about five flu pandemics over the last 100 years. The last was in 2009 to ’10—H1N1. And, of course, there’s always a chance of other new viruses that are even more dangerous.

If you have the luxury, I’d suggest staying in as much as you can any time a lot of people around you start getting sick or you start hearing reliable news that something bad is going around. Keep your kids home from school a day or two. Either the scare will blow over quickly and they can catch up, or you’ll find enough facts to keep them, and you, in longer.
 
Closing

I have a few first aid books and am glad this one is in the collection. I’ve followed Dr. Hubbard for a while, and am not surprised at all by the high quality of this book. If you are wondering what supplies you should have at home, in your BOB, or are in the marked for a solid book on first aid, I recommend looking into this one for sure!

 
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Herbal Medicine Kit – Bites, Stings, Splinters Parts 2 and 3

Here are parts two and three of Herbal Medicine Kit – Bites, Stings & Splinters written by Kat Yorba, of Simply Living Simply.

 

herbannerbitestings2 Herbal Medicine Kit   Bites, Stings & Splinters Part 2
“The air was fragrant with a thousand trodden aromatic herbs, with fields of lavender, and with the brightest roses blushing in tufts all over the meadows…”~William Cullen Bryant

Herbal Medicine Kit – Bites, Stings & Splinters Part 2

Bites, Stings & Splinters….continued!

We have already looked at the milder forms of Bites or Stings…our very industrious Ants and annoying Mosquitoes…now we take it up a notch with Bees; whom we love for what they do for us and provide for us (honey), and Spiders…well…we will just say some are beneficial and some are very beautiful and leave..it..at..that!

For the more severe stings and bites of Bees, Wasps, Spiders and also ticks we are going to be making a Poultice of Lavender, Echinacea and Bentonite Clay. You could also add a little Tea Tree to the mix as well.

Here are the ingredients in the Poultice and what affect each has:

Bentonite Clay: Pulls the poisonous material from the bit or sting to the skins surface and keeps it from spreading.
Echinacea: Dramatically reduces any allergic response that might occur.
Lavender: Stops the itching and reduces the swelling.
Tea Tree: If you include this essential oil it will aid in the antibacterial properties of your poultice.

And here is your recipe:

Bite and Sting Poultice

Bite and Sting Poultice Tips

*Remember that applying a poultice is only the first step in treating bites and stings that might cause an allergic reaction. Give anyone who I susceptible to these reactions half a teaspoon of Echinacea Tincture every ten minutes.

*Often times an allergic response will begin then retreat as the herbs take effect.

*REMEMBER that allergic reactions can have serious consequences. If you know that someone is highly allergic to a bite or sting, do NOT depend solely on herbal first-aid. Immediate medical attention is required.

*Wheezing, swelling, and hives are all indicators of serious and possibly even fatal consequences of an allergic reaction that require IMMEDIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION!

And here is another recipe

Echinacea Tincture Recipe

You will need this to make your Bite & Sting Poultice

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Recap: Today we learned a bit more about Bites and Stings, a recipe for Bite & Sting Poultice, the How To’s of making and using a Poultice, and a recipe for Echinacea Tincture.

Looking ahead: Next post we will be the last in our series about Bites and stings, we will be making a recipe for Ant Bite/Nettle Remedy, Insect Repellent and learning about the Yellowdock plant and a variety of Essential Oils including Citronella, Eucalyptus, Pennyroyal, Cedar and Rose Geranium.

Reminder:
Have on hand these Essential Oils and the Yellowdock, containers for all your remedies, Vodka or Everclear and Baking soda.

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Herbal Medicine Kit – Bites, Stings, Splinters Part 3

“When daisies pied, and violets blue, and lady-smocks all silver white. And Cuckoo-buds of yellow hue, do paint the meadows with delight.” ~William Shakespeare, 1595

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Today we continue our 4 part look at Bites, Stings and Splinters with Part 3. We will be looking at how to treat Splinters, looking more in-depth at the herb Yellow dock, and working on a couple more recipes!

Splinter

You cringed, didn’t you??!! We all do, splinters or burrs may be small, but they are NOT fun at all! The easiest of all remedies is a Plantain Poultice. Do not pass go…do not collect $200.

Just make and apply a Plantain Poultice and your good to go!!

Ant Bites & Nettle Stings…

How many times have you been out walking in the meadow or field or alongside the roadway, perhaps even out harvesting herbs or medicinal plants and you brush up against…you guessed it…NETTLES!!

Now, we love Nettles for their medicinal uses. But we don’t like the effect they have on us unawares!

Nettles

And what about our lovely Ants, how much do we love them? Not when they get into our house and cupboards and food and certainly not when they bite us!

The pain that arises from being stung by Nettles or bitten by Ants is caused by formic acid. This acid can be neutralized by a poultice of yellow dock leaf tincture and baking soda. Yellow dock has long been popular in treating formic acid stings.

“Nettle in, dock out, dock rub, nettle out!”

Ant Bite/Nettle Remedy

Ant Bite/Nettle Remedy

Yellow Dock Tincture

You Will need this tincture to make the Ant Bite/Nettle Remedy

Yellowdock Tincture

Yellow Dock

Yellowdock

Description:
Yellow dock is a perennial herb belonging to the Polygonaceae family, commonly referred to as the knotweed family. This family also includes rhubarb, buckwheat, and sorrel. Mature yellow dock stands no more than 4 feet tall and is reddish brown in colour. Its common name refers to the yellow taproot rather than the flowers or leaves. Its other common name, curly dock, refers to the willowy, undulating leaves. The leaves are grouped around a central point at the base of the stem. Plants produce light green floppy flowers between early spring and late autumn. The flowers are arranged in loose clumps along a stalk above the leaves.

Therapeutic and Traditional Uses, Benefits and Claims of Yellow Dock:

It is the taproot of yellow dock that is most commonly used in herbal remedies as it is rich in many compounds known to have cleansing and calming qualities as well as minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium and phosphorous. The root is dug up in autumn, chopped and then dehydrated for storage.

Yellow dock contains a number of anthraquinones, including emodins, which are known for their laxative action. Though small doses of yellow dock can be used as an herbal remedy for diarrhea, higher doses actually cause diarrhea. The herb acts to stimulate peristalsis, and increase mucous production and secretion of water in the colon, alleviating the discomforts associated with constipation.

This herb also has diuretic properties, which makes it a natural remedy for water retention, inflammation of the bladder and urinary stones.

Both the laxative and the diuretic properties of yellow dock make this herb a natural cleanser. The toxins are flushed out of the system through the urine and stool. Yellow dock has been used to cleanse the circulatory system, liver, spleen, kidneys and bladder. It is often blended with other cleansing herbs, such as burdock, red clover, or dandelion, to flush the body of toxins and clear the path to healing the primary inflictions such as acne, boils, eczema, psoriasis and fungal infections.

When prepared as a poultice, yellow dock has a calming effect and is used as a natural remedy for boils and burns as well as skin problems such as weeping eczema, psoriasis, nettle rash, boils and abscesses. It has even been used as an herbal remedy in the treatment of syphilis and other venereal diseases with skin outbreaks as it alleviates itching and inflammation.

Yellow dock has been used extensively to resolve issues associated with menstruation. It is a traditional remedy for menstrual pain and heavy bleeding and has also been known to be helpful for unbalanced menstrual cycles.

The root of yellow dock is rich in iron and often used as an herbal remedy for anemia. The laxative effect of this medicinal herb also reduces issues of constipation often associated with iron supplements.

Yellow dock, like many other Rumex species, contains the antibacterial compound, rumicin. This makes this herb a natural remedy for treating bacterial infections of Escherichia, Salmonella, Staphylococcus, and Bacillus.

Glycosides found in yellow dock can help stimulate the liver, which helps heal poor absorption of nutrients and increases bile production which has further detoxifying effects.

Yellow dock is an herbal treatment for the relief of symptoms associated with upper respiratory disorders such as emphysema, asthma, and bronchitis.

The list of illnesses that yellow dock has been used to treat is extensive. Besides what has already been described, this medicinal herb has been used in the treatment of anthrax, anorexia, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, common cold, cramps, depression, fever, general weakness or loss of strength, headaches, hepatitis, high cholesterol, leprosy, malaria, menopause, mental stupor, mouth sores, oral hygiene, ring worm, and tuberculosis.

Dosage and Administration:
Dosage is critical as always as it can mean the difference between a natural remedy for diarrhea and severe vomiting, or worse. The root is generally taken as tea up to three times daily. One to two teaspoons of dried root in approximately two cups of water is steeped for ten minutes. The root can also be found as a tincture with the recommended dosage up to 2 tsp, three times daily.

Another good recipe using Yellow Dock

Yellow Dock Syrup

Potential Side Effects of Yellow Dock:
As with all herbal remedies, allergic reactions to yellow dock are possible. If there are signs of allergic reaction, stop treatment and seek medical advice. Yellow dock should not be taken in conjunction with medication for controlling calcium in the blood as excess use can lead to calcium deficiency in the blood. As it has diuretic effects, it should not be take with other diuretics. Nor should it be taken if there are pre-existing kidney or liver problems as it may only aggravate conditions.

Yellow dock, like any herbal laxative, should not be taken in combination with Lasix or any other brand name furosemide used for treatment of congestive heart failure and edema as it can cause potassium depletion. In high dosage, yellow dock can cause vomiting and lead to peristalsis and acute intestinal pain and if eaten in excess, even death.

A medical practitioner should be consulted immediately if any of the following symptoms are experienced after treatment with yellow dock: intestinal pain, vomiting, nausea, confusion, fatigue, seizures, and mouth numbness

The oxalates found in the leaves of this medicinal herb can cause kidney stones and gout if consumed in large quantities, though oxalate levels in the root are safe. Yellow dock should not be used without medical supervision if pregnant or breast-feeding and should not be given to children.

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Recap: Today was the third in our series of Bites, Stings, and Splinters. We took an in-depth look at the herb Yellow Dock, and made three recipes with Yellow Dock; Tincture, Ant Bite/Nettle Remedy and a Yellow Dock Syrup.

Looking ahead: Next post we will be the last in our series about Bites, Stings and Splinters. We will making Insect Repellent and learning about a variety of Essential Oils including Citronella, Eucalyptus, Pennyroyal, Cedar and Rose Geranium.

Reminder: Have on hand these Essential Oils and the Yellowdock, containers for all your remedies, Vodka or Everclear and Baking soda.

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Disclaimer

Nothing in this post is to be construed as medical advice, simply a sharing of things that have worked for me & my family. If you have any symptoms of serious illness, taking medication, pregnant or nursing, or have never worked with herbal materials before, please consider consulting a medical professional before use. I am unable to offer advise for your particular medical situation; please ask your doctor, nurse practitioner or naturopath for further guidance. The statements made here have not been approved by the Food & Drug Administration. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. This notice is required by the Federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act.

 
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Herbal Medicine Kit 101

Herbal remedies aren’t something I know much about but it’s a topic I am interested in. My friend Kat from Simply Living Simply has written a series of articles on the subject that I thought I would share from time to time with you. Today’s article, originally written by Kat, is called Simply Living Simply, and can be found at that link below.
 

Why Go Herbal?

As Homesteaders, Preppers and people that just want to eat and feel right….we have learned that “Whole” foods are best for us.  If we nod our heads in agreement with that statement, then why do we continue to use man-made chemical pills, syrups and drugs when we get sick?

 The best course of action in my opinion would be the “whole” route…granted the road less traveled, but getting busier everyday!  Your bodies were created to break-down, metabolize and use effectively whole foods, plants, spices and the like….so, let’s look at several reasons why it would be good for us to “Go Herbal!”

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Herbs are nature made…so they are really and truly natural.

We know what’s in them; they have a very small ingredient list!

Very inexpensive to grow, harvest, create and use.

They work!

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I am sure there are many more very good reasons but this is an awesome start!  Let’s take a peek at #2 for a minute: The ingredient list….have you looked at that cough syrup you take, lately?  I have been dealing with allergies this season quite badly…and instinctively reached for a leading name brand allergy syrup to relieve my symptoms.  But lucky for me, I have been on this reading labels kick so I did!  Wow…take a look:

 ”Diphenydramine HCI, anhydrous citric acid, D&C red #33, FD&C red #40, flavors, glycerin, monoammonium glycyrrhizinate, poloxamer 407, purified water, sodium benzoate, sodium chloride, sodium citrate, sucrose.”

 

 Some of the ingredients I actually know like glycerin and purified water, but the ones I cannot pronounce I am quite sure I don’t want in my body!!

The foundations of your Herbal Medicine Kit

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The Herbal Medicine Kit – Your Basic First Aid

So let’s create an Herbal Medicine Kit that you can have in your home for any minor medical emergency and everyday aches, pains and illnesses.  The beauty of this kit is YOU make it; so you know what’s in and YOU customize it for you and your family!  This also means YOU can decide how far you want to go in deploying your Herbal Medicine Kit; bit by bit or cold turkey!

 Herbal Medicine Kit 101 will deal with just the basics to get us all started.  But look for future postings for information and recipes for specific ailments, and issues that come with the changing seasons.  These postings will help you expand your Herbal Medicine Kit and create a very personalized kit just for you and yours!

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What’s In the Herbal Medicine Kit?

Thought you would never ask.  Here’s a run down for you:

Dried Herbs

Herbs we will look at and use in-depth:

                                                                                                 Arnica

Lavender

Tea Tree

St. Johns Wort

Yarrow

Astragalus Root

Baptisia Root

Echinacea Root

Comfrey

Calendula

Yellowdock

Grindelia

Goldenseal

Oregon Grape Root

 

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Essential Oils

Essential Oils we will look at and use in-depth:

Lavender

Peppermint

Eucalyptus

Cinnamon

Clove

Marjoram

Chamomile

Lemon

Tea Tree

Citronella

Pennyroyal

Cedar

Rose Geranium

 

Oils, Tinctures, Salves & More!

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What products will I make?

Aloe Burn Spray

Arnica Tincture

Herbal Compresses

Herbal Healing Salves

Herbal Liniment

Homemade Aloe Vera Gel

Insect Bite Oil & Repellant

Lavender Smelling Salts

Antiseptic Spray

Poison Oak, Ivy & Sumac Past

Ant Bite Remedy

St. John’s Strain & Sprain Oil

Wound Healing Tincture

Yarrow Tincture

 

Here is the first article in a series Kat wrote called:

Herbal Medicine Kit Bite, Stings & Splinters, Part 1

 

 “Here’s flowers for you; Hot lavender, mints, savoury, marjoram; The marigold, that goes to bed wi’ the sun,

And with him rises weeping…”

~William Shakespeare, 1611.

 

Welcome Back…

 …to another posting of the Herbal Medicine Kit.  Today we begin a 3 part look at Bites, Stings and Splinters.  In the process we will look at many different herbs, essential oils and clays as well as make various herbal preparations.

 Ready to get started?? Here we go:

 

Bites, Stings & Splinters…Oh MY!

 

 Summer brings many pleasures…sunshine, long days, playing in the water and…MOSQUITOE’S!

If those pesky mosquitoes keep you from enjoying your summer fun…fear not, mother nature is here!  Minor bites from mosquitoes and other insects respond very quickly to a wonderfully easy to prepare herbal oil.

 

 Insect Bite Oil Recipe – Printable!

Click HERE to print

 One more recipe for you…courtesy of Frugally Sustainable!

(This is a more advanced recipe for later use)

 

Itch Relief Stick

Ingredients  

-1 ounce (approx. 2 tablespoons) olive oil infused with calendula flowers, chickweed, nettle leaf, lemon balm leaf, plantain leaf, and goldenseal root

-1 ounce (approx. 2 tablespoons) Shea butter

-1 ounce (approx. 2 tablespoons) cocoa butter

-1 ounce (approx 2 tablespoons) beeswax

-1 teaspoon Neem oil

-2 teaspoons essential oil blend (You can use a blend of clove, lavender, rosemary, peppermint, tea tree and/or ginger)

Method

1. Infuse your oil with the herbs.

2. In a double boiler, or small pot, over very low heat slowly melt the olive oil, butters, beeswax, and neem oil.

3. Once melted remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before adding the essential oils.

4. Pour mixture into a clean roll-up or lip balm tube and allow it to cool on the counter overnight.

Notes

-This Homemade Itch Relief Stick contains herbs that have been well-known for their strong antihistamine, analgesic, and antibacterial properties. Not only will this stick stop the itch, but it may reduce the risk for infection!

-The butters act as skin protectors to provide instant relief of itchiness and pain due to all sorts of insect bites and stings.

-This recipe makes quite a bit — approximately 4 ounces of product — so go in with a friend or two and share resources!

 

 Let’s talk about some herbs and essential oils for a bit, to prepare us for our next posts recipe.

 

Echinacea

 Echinacea is native to North America, with most of the research on this King of Immunity Herbs being done in Germany…and it’s early use gleaned from native healers.  Now it is the herb of choice being one of the handful of medicinal herbs that are well known by the general public. 

There are several species of Echinacea that can be used: E. angustifolia, E. purpurea, and E. pallida.  All 3 species can be used and are interchangeable, however E. angustifolia lasts longer after its been dried. 

We mainly harvest the root, but it’s common to see medicine made from the aerial portions of the plant as well.  To harvest the roots and obtain the most medicinal qualities, harvest them in the fall after the plants have been growing for at least 2-3 years.  The aerial portions can be harvested in the summer not matter the age of the plant.  Remember when harvesting the aerial portions to leave enough of the

Plant for it to gather enough energy for next years growth. 

Without a doubt, Echinacea is one of the most popular herbs today.  With over 300 echinacea products being sold worldwide.  Nearly 400 studies have shown that Echinacea can be used to improve the immune system in numerous ways.  These include increasing activity of three of the immune systems workhorses-T-cells, Interferon and Natural Killer Cells.  Echinacea also destroys many types of viruses and bacteria.  Echinacea even makes cells stronger and more resistant to invasion. 

Also known as

Echinacea purpurea, Echinacea pallida, Echinacea angustifolia, Coneflower, Snakeroot, Purple Coneflower, and Blacksamson.

Constituents

The complex sugars of the herb are its immune stimulants. Polysaccharides and Echinaceoside.

Parts Used

The root, leaves, stems and flowers, of Echinacea purpurea, Echinacea angustifolia, or Echinacea pallida.

Typical Preparations

The above-ground parts of the plant are used to make fresh juice, infusions (warm-water teas), and tinctures. The roots are used in either cut or powdered form for capsules, fluid extracts, teas, and tinctures.

Precautions

Use with caution if you are allergic to ragweed.

*Courtesy of Mountain Rose Herbs

 

Lavender

Lavender was widely used in ancient Egypt for its fragrance, and it was also a favorite in the homes of Greeks and Romans.  Even its name is derived from the Latin, lavare, meaning “to wash”, because it was used in scented baths. 

In Arab medicine, Lavender was used as an expectorant and antispasmodic, while European folk medicine regarded it as essential for healing wounds and as a worm remedy for children.  

This fragrant plant is also famous for its wonderful aroma, which is used much in the perfume industry.  It is also widely used medicinally and is a staple of aromatherapy to promote relaxation.

Lavender has been used for centuries as a tonic to ease conditions of the nervous system.  It is a relaxant that calms nerves, relieves fatigue, depression, migraine and tension headaches, nervous exhaustion, irritability and excitement.

Also known as

Lavandula (spp- intermedia, pendunculata, officinalis and angustifolia) English lavender, Broad-leaf Lavender, Grande Lavander and True Lavender

Constituents

Essential oil containing borneol, camphor, geraniol, and linalool, also coumarins, caryophyllene, tannins, and other antioxidant compounds.

Parts Used

Flowers.

Typical Preparations

Teas, tinctures, and added to baked goods. Cosmetically it has a multitude of uses and can be included in ointments for pain and burn relief.

*Courtesy of Mountain Rose Herbs

 

Bentonite Clay

What is it? Bentonite, also referred to as Montmorillonite, is one of the most effective and powerful healing clays. Bentonite can be used externally as a clay poultice, mud pack or in the bath and, in skin care recipes. A good quality Bentonite should be a grey/cream color and anything bordering “pure white” is suspect. It has a very fine, velveteen feel and is odorless and non-staining. The type of bentonite offered by Mountain Rose herbs is a Sodium Bentonite.

How does it work? Bentonite is very unusual in the fact that once it becomes hydrated, the electrical and molecular components of the clay rapidly change and produce an “electrical charge”. To state it another way… “Bentonite is a swelling clay. When it becomes mixed with water it rapidly swells open like a highly porous sponge.

Where does it come from? Bentonite clay is sedimentary clay composed of weathered and aged volcanic ash. The largest and most active deposits come from Wyoming and Montana. (Mountain Rose Herbs stocks a Wyoming variety).

How is it manufactured? Bentonite is usually quarry mined from deposits that can range anywhere from 100 feet to several thousand feet. This depends on the health and vitality of the land it is processed from and how far a producer will go to find the right clay with the proper characteristics and consistency. From here it is mined from the earth and brought out into the sun to remove excess water and moisture and, to make it easier to work with. After the initial drying begins the final transformation. It gets processed (ground) with huge hydraulic crushers and it then goes through the final process of micronization, or “fine granulating”. This is usually done with the assistance of sophisticated and expensive granulators. Upon completion of this final process it gets inspected by a quality control team and is sent off for consumer use.

Recap:  Today we learned a bit about Bites and Stings, how to make an Insect Bite Oil and another wonderful recipe by Frugally Sustainable for later use!  We also learned about Echinacea, Lavender and Bentonite Clay.  Information provided is of general nature, there is much…much more out there to learn!

Looking ahead:  Next post we will be learning further about Bites and stings, learning what a Poultice is and how to make one, learning what a Tincture is and how to make one. 

Reminder:  Have on hand Echinacea root and Vodka/Everclear, Lavender Essential Oil, Bentonite Clay, containers for all your remedies.

  Disclaimer

Nothing in this post is to be construed as medical advice, simply a sharing of things that have worked for me & my family.  If you have any symptoms of serious illness, taking medication, pregnant or nursing, or have never worked with herbal materials before, please consider consulting a medical professional before use. I am unable to offer advise for your particular medical situation; please ask your doctor, nurse practitioner or naturopath for further guidance. The statements made here have not been approved by the Food & Drug Administration.  These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.  This notice is required by the Federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act.

 

Flu and Pandemic Preps to Buy Now

We’re turning the corner on summer with fall and winter not far off. The colder seasons bring with them a host of illnesses, including the flu. I have covered “How a True Pandemic May Look” previously. In it, I point out that the H1N1 pandemic wasn’t a true pandemic. The WHO lowered the mortality and morbidity rate. If we see a pandemic the likes of the 1918 pandemic, it will spread farther and faster and, in my opinion, have more of an impact on our society than the earlier pandemics have.

For this reason, I highly recommend that you consider purchasing the items I will list below. They may not keep you and your loved ones from becoming infected but they will offer a lot more protection.
 
 

Flu and Pandemic Preps to Buy Now

Hibiclens

I had an MRSA scare a few years ago. I saw an Infectious Disease Specialist, who introduced me to Hibiclens. Hibiclens can be used for hand washing, surgical site prep, skin wound, general cleanser and surgical scrubbing.

You can read more about it on the clinical information page. Part of the information you will find there is the following:

“Hibiclens kills germs on contact and continues to lower skin microbial counts with repeated use. Its 4.0% chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) bonds with the skin to create a germ-killing field that keeps killing long after washing/scrubbing.”

In fact later in the clinical information we’re told:

“Hibiclens (4.0% CHG) is the most effective antimicrobial wash providing the longest protection – up to six hours per use1 – that is not neutralized by blood or other organic material.2”

I believe we purchased ours from Amazon but you might be able to find it cheaper elsewhere. There are several sizes but, in my way of thinking, if there is a pandemic, the chances of me being able to order another bottle quickly isn’t high, so I might as well buy a gallon.

I like Hibiclens over any of the hand sanitizers for a few reasons. First, Hibiclens is more than just a hand cleaner. Second, it doesn’t just kill things on contact. It protects for up to six hours after use. Hibiclens is also used to treat MRSA, so it may well be useful against whatever nastiness we see in the future.
 
 
Surgical N-95 NIOSH-certified mask

I covered this mask pretty thoroughly in “The N95 Face Mask”. Not all n95 masks are created equal. The kind you find at the home improvement stores are most likely not Surgical N-95 NIOSH-certified masks. Will they work as well? I honestly don’t know, but if OSHA is suggesting that the people who will be in direct contact with the illness wear the Surgical N-95 NIOSH-certified mask, then I tend to think there is a difference.

As I mention in the article, the N95 masks aren’t really tested against a pandemic because we haven’t had a true pandemic since before the masks were created. While it might not help, it’s not going to hurt. You could give it to the ill to keep their sputum from flying when they cough or sneeze, as well as have the healthy wear them as a precaution.
 
 
Latex Free Gloves

One of the major ways viruses are transmuted is through touching something infected and then touching our faces. These gloves are cheap enough that I can’t see a reason not to have them as a preparation. I would recommend using them in conjunction with Hibiclens to reduce your risk even further.

Some people might want to take things a step further and buy more personal protective equipment (PPE), such as disposable gowns and the like and I can’t see any problems with that.

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Prepepping with a chronic illness : Tips to help you cope and prepare

This article was written by Red C.J. and originally posted here, on The Survivalist Blog.net I am reposting it with permission from M.D. Creekmore.

 

My prepping challenge is preparing with post-disaster chronic illness or chronic pain, and this is for the many others with chronic illness(es) or their loved ones. My situation is far from unique, as one-third to one-half of Americans live with chronic illness or chronic pain. Millions of us live with high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s or dementia, heart disease, depression, arthritis, osteoporosis, pulmonary disease such as COPD, diabetes, cancer or stroke. So how can we prepare to survive in a post-disaster world?

First, a bio: At age 36, I started seeing chiropractors regularly for spinal problems. At age 40, a rheumatologist diagnosed me with fibromyalgia, and daily pain medicines began a year later. My pain gradually affected almost every aspect of my life. After living with daily pain for 5-8 years, it became like my shadow; I could not escape it.

In a grid-down situation, I fear that I would not be able to be productive and perhaps be seen as a liability for my family and community. In a post-disaster setting, without the support of the medical system, my productivity would be very limited. Will there be a place or role in a post-disaster world for a person who is disabled, or unable to function physically or mentally? The fictional stories I’ve read describe local social settings in which everyone can work and contribute, even the elderly. What would happen to those who could not work or contribute only minimally?

I read about others preparing to bug out by carrying a 50 lb. backpack and shudder, as that’s physically impossible for me, given my degenerative spinal problems. Thus I’ll be hunkering down with family at home, rather than suffering on the road. Your decision to bug out or stay home depends on your situation.

I learned to be ACTIVE in maintaining my health. I exercise 5-6 days per week, because exercise releases endorphins that are natural pain relievers, and because exercise improves my sleep level. Exercise is recommended for some kinds of chronic pain. I watch my diet and have lost over 15 lbs. this year. I read about my chronic conditions, and change my lifestyle when appropriate. Become as active as possible to maintain or improve your health.

My regular treatments include electronic stimulation, chiropractic adjustments, and massage therapy. In a post-disaster situation, I hope to trade or barter for massages and chiropractic treatments, but realize that electronic stimulation may not be available at my chiropractor’s office where I receive it. Planning to barter means stocking things that others will need in a post-disaster scene.

 

Medical preparations I’ve made:

Having been taking daily meds for years, I learned to get refills early, to prevent any days without meds. So I’d order my prescription refills 2-3 days early, before it expired. Gradually, I discovered I could get refills 4-5 days earlier. Doing this every month for about 7-8 months would result in an extra month’s worth of pills. Than another 7-8 months resulted in a 2nd extra bottle. I have a 3rd bottle of a few meds I’ve been on for years. I did not feel a need to tell my doctor or pharmacist. This method of collecting extra prescription meds has worked well with our health insurance from a major insurance company. It does, of course, require extra copays, and attention paid to securely storing them at room temperature.

This method is limited to long-term meds. A word of caution: If your doctor has reason to suspect you of drug abuse or meds shopping, then this strategy will fail. My wife is the only one who knows of my extra meds, because I don’t want our home to become a target for meds theft. Only my current meds would be seen in our bedroom; the extras are hidden in a secure place.

We have a supply of low-cost Over-the-counter (OTC) stuff like Capzasin, Stopain, Salonpas pads, 024 Pain Neutralizer (see www.024zone.com) and Epsom salt for my chronic pain.

Dry mouth is a common problem for us who take meds. Our food stocks include a supply of cough drops, hard candy butterscotches for the dry mouth caused by my pain meds. Oralbalance Biotene (www.biotene.com) and OraHealth XyliMelts (www.OraHealth.com) are OTC products for dry mouth.

Electronic stimulation and electronic therapy are proven to reduce fibromyalgia pain and stiffness, as well as other muscular pain or tension. I have extra 9-volt batteries for my electronic alpha-stim unit (see www.alpha-stim-com), plus rechargeable batteries and 2 small solar rechargers.

I purchased a Duracell Powerpack 600 for my cpap, to use when the electrical grid fails; testing it showed that it provided electric power for one and a half nights for just my cpap.

 

Future medical preps:

-Get a solar unit to recharge my Duracell Powerpack 600 for my cpap. We’re live in an area that gets lots of sunshine. Beyond that, an extra power pack & solar unit to recharge would provide enough power to run my cpap for 3 nights.

-Growing herbs for my health conditions is a possibility I need to research more. In my experience, herbs are not enough for my pain level, but they may be better than nothing after my meds run out.

Despite all these medical preparations, I realize that my life will be much harder if a disaster results in long-term loss of electricity and the medical system, given my physical limits and dependence on the U.S. medical system

I may never need to use my medical preps. But if and when needed, my medical preps are there to cushion the hardships of a post-disaster, grid-down situation. If you or your loved one lives with chronic pain or chronic illness, I sincerely hope a few of these ideas will help your medical preparations.

Since the specific medical problems you or your loved one faces may be different from mine, customize your prepping for your specific illness(es). May God bless and may His Spirit guide you.

 

Two New Deadly Viruses to Be Aware of

Yahoo news has an article called “2 new viruses could both spark global outbreaks” that details two new deadly viruses. One is a coronavirus related to SARS, about which they had the following to say:

“The coronavirus related to SARS spread to France, where one patient who probably caught the disease in Dubai infected his hospital roommate. Officials are now trying to track down everyone who went on a tour group holiday to Dubai with the first patient as well as all contacts of the second patient. Since it was first spotted last year, the new coronavirus has infected 34 people, killing 18 of them. Nearly all had some connection to the Middle East.”

Here is what they had to say about the other virus:

“At the same time, a new bird flu strain, H7N9, has been infecting people in China since at least March, causing 32 deaths out of 131 known cases.”

Some of what I find concerning is that, as of the time of this writing, there are some theories but it is unknown how the virus is transmitted. The thing I find most alarming is the high mortality rate of each. The coronavirus is killing 50% of those infected and the H7N9 bird flu variant is killing roughly 25%.

The article goes on to say:

“WHO, which is closely monitoring the viruses, says both have the potential to cause a pandemic — a global epidemic — if they evolve into a form easily spread between people. Here’s a crash course in what we know so far about them:”

f you think back a few years to the H1N1 or swine flu, you might remember it was classified as a pandemic. However, the morbidity (infection rate) and mortality (death rate) were lowered to classify it as one. H1N1 had a mortality rate of 9.6%. It did, however, have a much higher morbidity rate than either of the two new viruses.

I have covered pandemic in other articles, so I’ll not rehash it all, but just link to it. First, in “How a True Pandemic May Look”, I explain what we can expect if a true pandemic, similar to those we have seen in history, sets in. In “Review of After Armageddon”, I review a History Channel show that explores what life may look like during and after a pandemic-like event.

Lastly, I covered “The N95 Face Mask”. There are many who push the N95 as a means to limit exposure to contagions. As I explain in that article, health professionals use a variation of the N95 called NIOSH certified. Keep in mind that health professionals use these as a precaution and do not know for sure if it will stop the spread, as they have not been tested against a pandemic.

If you want to keep up-to-date with these or other virus outbreaks, you can do so at WHO Disease Outbreak News (DONs).

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Stopping Blood Loss

bandage
 
One of the most dangerous medical conditions in an emergency is uncontrolled bleeding.  Having the knowledge to stop bleeding is something each of us should have.  It can take minutes for an ambulance to get to the scene when times are normal.  In a large scale emergency or a survival situation, you may not be able to wait for the ambulance.  If it were not for the emergency first aid given to people who lost limbs and had other horrific injuries, there would have been many more than three tragic deaths in Boston.
 
 
Perfect Circumstances
 
In perfect circumstances, you would try to reduce or stop the bleeding until the ambulance arrives and you would have access to a well-stocked first aid kit.  You would also be able to wash your hands and put on gloves to avoid contact with the blood and spread of infection to the patient.
 
 
Basic Training

I think everyone should have some basic first aid training.  The Red Cross offers First Aid, CPR and AED trainingOur community education offers classes for a small fee as well. American Academy of CPR & First Aid, Inc. is a web based company that offers several first aid and CPR related classes online.

Basic first aid to stop bleeding; if possible have the person lie down and elevate the legs as well as the site of the bleeding.

If possible, flush the wound to remove any obvious dirt or debris.  Don’t try to remove any large debris or more deeply embedded things. 

Apply pressure to the wound, using clean bandages if you have them.  If you find yourself in a place where you don’t have many clean bandages, make do with what you have; use your hands if nothing else is available.

Do NOT remove the bandage to check on the wound!  If the bandage gets soaked through, add another to it and continue to apply pressure.

Arterial bleeding might not stop with applied pressure.  In that case, you can apply pressure to the closest pressure point.  The pressure point in the arm is on the inside of the arm, just above the elbow and below the arm pit.  Pressure points for the leg are behind the knee and in the groin.  Press the pressure point with your fingers flat, pushing against the bone.  Keep applying pressure directly on the wound with your other hand.

Tourniquets have a sort of bad rap, as complications from them can lead to tissue damage or even a loss of limb.  They should only be used when arterial bleeding cannot be stopped with direct pressure and as a last resort.   A proper tourniquet should be 1”-2” wide.  Any narrower and you may cause more damage or even cause a new cut.  The wider the tourniquet the more pressure needed to stop bleeding.  Here is a guide to applying a tourniquet.
 
 
Supplies

The average first aid kit is great for stopping small amounts of blood but won’t be very effective against severe bleeding.  You can add some items to beef up your first aid kit that will make it much more effective.  Members of the Preparedness Club get a 10% discount at First Aid Products.com and they carry almost everything I am going to list. Rolls of gauze and 4″ x 4″ bandages are great for stopping bleeding, as are feminine hygiene products.
 
Quikclot Sport Pack and CELOX

These two products are hemostatic agents that are very effective at stopping blood loss.  There was some controversy when they first came out, as they sometimes caused tissue damage in the process.  They have since improved greatly and are in use at hospitals and clinics.  In fact, I cut my leg pretty badly a few years ago.  I applied a bandage and used an ace wrap as a pressure bandage.  When I got to the clinic for stitches, the bleeding started again as soon as the bandages were removed.  They used Qwik Clot to stop the bleeding and then stitched me up.  Trudee underwent heart catheter ablation at a local hospital last year.  When they pulled the catheters out, Qwik Clot was used to stop the bleeding.

Both companies sell a variety of products.  I personally bought these Quikclot Sport Pack pads but another type might fit your needs better.
 
Israeli Battle Dressing

This is a type of patented pressure dressing that can be used for stopping bleeding, splinting or as a tourniquet if needed.  Using it is hard to explain, hence the video below.  I have purchased these as well and will be making a trauma kit for the vehicles and one for the house, as an add-on for the primary first aid kit.
 

 

Other Sources of Information

Here are some articles from two sites I subscribe to, with more information on stopping blood loss.

 

Doom and Bloom

Wound Care in the Wilderness

To Bleed Or Not To Bleed…

Treating The Hemorrhagic Wound
 
 
The Survival Doctor

Skin Lacerations: How to Treat a Cut, Scrape, Gash, Stab Wound

How to Tell How Bad a Wound Is

Arteries Vs. Veins: How to Tell the Difference and Stop the Bleeding

When to Get Stitches

Video: How to Repair a Cut With Duct
 
 
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Diet Pop Might be Artificially Sweetened Poison

This article is about preparedness but in a roundabout way.  It’s about changes I’ve made in order to be healthier and better prepared, physically, for my future.  I’m sharing in hopes that it might help some of you.  I’m also hoping you will share with me and others some of the things you have done.  I’m not going to talk about working out or getting in shape.  It’s not that I’m against it but as I mention in Preparing for Physical Limitations , I care more about functional fitness.

A little background is probably in order; I have always been a pop/soda/coke drinker.  I used to drink regular and then switched to diet ten years ago to lose some weight.  My grandmother is a type2 Diabetic, as is my father.  This gave me a 75% chance of becoming a type2 Diabetic as well.  Five years ago I was told I had become just that.

I went through a whirlwind of changes.  Meds were added but I was bound and determined to eventually control my Diabetes with diet and exercise.  Over the last five years, I have tweaked my diet and have eaten healthier than I ever have and healthier than most people I know.  I started working out and took a real world martial arts class called “Haganah”.  I’ve had a few health issues related to my back and left leg that have limited my physical activity the last couple of years.

Through it all, my weight was pretty constant and my A1C, which is the test that measures ones’ glucose level, was always on the high end.  My doctor, however, was never very concerned and added another med to control the blood sugars, saying the higher numbers could be a reaction to the pain I was having in my back and leg.  This is possible, as all kinds of stress can raise glucose levels, but it just didn’t sit right.

I went through a week or two where I was eating a very healthy diabetic diet and my numbers were even higher than usual.  I made an appointment with a diabetic educator at my clinic and brought a food log to prove I was eating a very healthy diet.  There was no reason for my blood sugar to be as high as it was. She agreed and added yet one more med, bringing the total meds to three, to control my ever climbing blood sugars.  This helped some, but they were still a bit higher than they should have been.

I started seeing a chiropractic neurologist to see if she could help with my back and leg pain.  We went over diet, physical activity, pain management and a few other things.  She said I needed to do the following: Start taking two supplements and drastically reduce the amount of diet soda/pop/coke I was drinking (she said I could have one can a day).

She asked if I was up for giving up the diet pop.  I told her I was so tired of being in pain, that if she told me to eat twigs and berries, I would.  She said she just might do that and then told me to take two natural supplements.  One was UltraGlycemX which, in my opinion, would have been the next step DOWN from twigs and berries, as far as taste goes.  This was something to mix in water twice daily.  I needed to take this while the blood sugar numbers came down and leveled off.  UltraGlycemX is a medical food that provides “Nutritional Support for Conditions Associated with Type 2 Diabetes”.

She also started me on a supplement called Protoglysen , which “provides a diverse range of botanicals to help support modulating the insulin response and support blood sugar stability”.  This is in the form of a capsule taken twice a day, and is something I will take for some time.

I had to stop drinking the diet soda/pop/coke.  She called it “poison”.  She said the chemicals, mainly the artificial sweeteners, were causing so much inflammation, which was adding to the pain and keeping any adjustment she made from doing any real good.  She said there was also a very good chance that it was the culprit for my high blood sugar levels.

She asked me to reduce the number of cans I was drinking by one or two a day, that going cold turkey might cause some nasty headaches due to the lack of caffeine, which was another thing she recommended I stop ingesting.  She said the only sweeteners I should use are Stevia or Xylitol, both being natural.  She recommended finding something to drink besides water, as many people get bored with only being able to drink water all day.

I was able to find Stevia in packets at vitamin store and even Walmart carries Stevia in the raw in packets.  We haven’t had much luck finding Xylitol.  Fair warning; Stevia can have a bitter aftertaste.  Trudee also went on the hunt for Lipton Unsweetened Decaf Iced Tea Mix and found it locally.  Another thing I found was True Lemon , which has other flavors as well.  They are an all-natural drink mix that comes in a packet you can pour into a water bottle.  Another thing I found that I enjoy very much is Sobe Lifewater.   It offers a variety of fruity drinks that are sweetened with Stevia in the form of “Pure Via”.  There are also a few soda/pop/coke companies that have started using Stevia.  Unfortunately, they are quite expensive.

I’m not going to get into the effects that Aspartame or any of the other artificial sweeteners can have, but you can find plenty of information with a quick internet search. Here are just two articles on Diet Pop; What’s So Bad About Diet Soda? And Can Diet Drinks Raise Blood Sugar Levels?

So, where has all of this gotten me?  It took me a week to get down to one Diet Dr. Pepper a day, which is what I drink now.  I stopped the UltraGlycemX a couple months after my numbers dropped down to normal ranges.  I continue to take the Protoglysen.  Remember, I said I was taking three different meds to control the diabetes and my numbers were still high?  One month after reducing to one can of Diet Dr. Pepper a day, my numbers dropped down to normal.  Roughly one month later, I saw my doctor and was taken off one Diabetes med.  I had my A1C checked and it has also dropped dramatically.  I just stopped taking a second med and my numbers haven’t risen at all.  I spoke with my doctor and he said I could stop the last med and watch the numbers closely to see if they come up.

I’m not endorsing or recommending the supplements I was put on, but if you have Type 2 Diabetes you might want to see what your doctor thinks about trying them.  I printed out information and brought it to my doctor.  He simply cautioned me to watch for potential lows, which are far more dangerous than highs.  I think the supplements had a hand in my numbers coming down, but not nearly as much as getting rid of the diet pop did.  You might be wondering why I don’t quit it completely.  It might be silly, but Diet Dr. Pepper is one of my favorite things.  I hated that I had to reduce my intake.  I look forward to my one can a day…cold dead hands.  LOL

I’m not sharing any of this for a pat on the back, but to share with you what happened when I reduced the diet soda/pop/coke.  If you drink diet pop, are a diabetic with numbers that are unusually high for no reason, or you have health issues that can’t be explained, look into the effects of the artificial sweeteners and consider reducing or stopping as much as you can.

On a side note, when my numbers were high, I hardly ever “cheated” by eating any sweets or ice cream, as I knew my numbers would skyrocket.  Since they dropped to such normal levels, I have indulged a bit and my numbers stay well within range.

 

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The Flu

Before I get to today’s article I wanted to let you know about a great sale Camping Survival is having on their paracord. with the code “overstock” at checkout. I wrote an article about all the goodness that is paracord called Paracord the King of Cordage.   If paracord is on your list of items to buy, this sale would be a great time to get it.

 

The Flu

Here we are again in the midst of Flu season and it has not yet peaked, according to Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.  In fact, current rates of flu and flu-like activity have not been this high in nearly 10 years.  Because of this, I thought I would share some things with you.  Some of you might be old pro’s at all of this, but it is a good reminder for others of us.

 

What should you do during flu season?

  • If you’re ill, please stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth
  • Disinfect frequently touched places when someone is sick.

 

What are the symptoms of the flu?

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Body aches
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Sometimes diarrhea and vomiting

 

When should you seek medical treatment?

Luckily, most people who contract the flu won’t need medical attention.  If you have a chronic illness, you should call your doctor and ask for guidance.  Some will suggest immediate treatment.  If your symptoms are bad or getting worse, call your doctor and ask for guidance as well.  The below symptoms are considered emergency warning signs.  If you or someone in your care has these, you should consider seeking medical attention immediately.

In Children

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Not waking or interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Fever with a rash
  • No tears when crying
  • Significantly fewer wet diapers than normal

In Adults

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Flu-like symptoms that improve but return with fever and worse cough

 

Are there medications available?

There are antiviral medications available that can lessen the symptoms and duration of the flu.  They are most effective when taken in the first 48 hours.  There are several over-the-counter medications to help lessen the symptoms.

There are also herbal treatments that may assist as well, here are just a few.

  • Echinacea is believed to reduce the symptoms of Cold and Flu and helps in the recovery.
  • Licorice contains antiviral compounds that release interferons, the bodys own antivirals.
  • Boneset; according to Clinical herbalist, David Hoffmann, boneset is one of the best herbs for influenza because it relieves aches, fever and mucus congestion.

 

Prepper’s and the flu

I have seen a few good articles on the flu that I would like to share.

I also have a link that you can use to track the flu in your area, the the flu near you site.

 

Closing thoughts

The whole “staying home until you’re not contagious” thing gets blown off by many people, but please do.  You’re not only infecting others, but you are putting yourself at greater risk.  The flu can really take its toll, and it can leave your weakened immune system susceptible to contracting something on top of the flu.

 

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