The Survival Mom » Staying Healthy http://thesurvivalmom.com Helping moms worry less & enjoy life! Tue, 27 Jan 2015 08:00:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1 Sea Salt – An Indispensable Commodity for Uncertain Times http://thesurvivalmom.com/sea-salt-an-indispensable-commodity-for-uncertain-times/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/sea-salt-an-indispensable-commodity-for-uncertain-times/#comments Fri, 16 Jan 2015 08:00:31 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=4150 When we think about setting aside emergency supplies, most of us would agree that preserved food and purified water are the essentials and everything else is secondary to these. Some might even choose to incorporate things like a manual grain Read More

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You have food and water, but did you know you might be missing a critical supply? Sea salt is far more than just a flavoring when you cook. I via The Survival MomWhen we think about setting aside emergency supplies, most of us would agree that preserved food and purified water are the essentials and everything else is secondary to these. Some might even choose to incorporate things like a manual grain mill, a water purifier, a food dehydrator, a solar cook stove and so on.

But who would ever consider something as simple and humble as salt as an indispensable necessity and commodity in the tumultuous days ahead? I would even go so far as to say if sea salt is not a part of your survival provisions, it’s time to tuck away this invaluable, hidden treasure.

In fact, salt was once valued as a form of currency – it was that scarce, and considered a luxury of few. The ancient Greeks used salt to trade for slaves and Roman soldiers were paid in “salt money” or “salarium argentum” where we derive the English word, “salary”. Homer called it “Divine”. Jesus calls His followers (which I’m honored to say I am) the “salt of the earth”.

Wars have been fought and whole settlements turned into cities and nations over the pursuit of salt. Just as gold and silver have once again gained ground in this present economic meltdown, so also will sea salt be a valuable and tradable commodity, literally “worth its weight in gold.” It will be a supreme bartering tool.

Preserving Food with Sea Salt

Sea salt has a unique ability of drawing out the flavor in food like no other seasoning, but this is secondary to yet another one of its amazing values. Salt has long been known for its ability to preserve foods. In the event of societal and economic collapse, refrigeration may be a thing of the past. Unless you plan to consume what you pick immediately, depend on your air dehydrator or live off your food storage, you will need salt for preserving food.

During harvest time, there should be plenty of fresh food (assuming you thought ahead to plant a garden), but the long harsh winters will inevitably come and preserving food will be a crucial issue. Even hunting for game, chances are you will not be able to consume it all in one sitting – salt preservation will be key. And without power, your pressure canner or electric dehydrator will not get you very far, so salt can be the perfect alternate route.

Health Benefits

With salt’s same ability to retard spoilage, “mineral dense sea salt” also aids in disinfecting and healing wounds. A simple salt paste or soaking a wound in a salt/water solution several times a day should achieve positive results. Sea salt also rejuvenates the skin keeping a more youthful appearance while aiding in the healing of acne, psoriasis, eczema and other skin related problems.

Ever wonder why your skin felt so tight, free and clear of irritation or blemishes after spending a day at the beach? Sea salt has miracle healing properties that are often overlooked. In fact, the Blue Lagoon in Iceland is world renown for its hot salt springs that people flock to with skin conditions. Dead Sea salts are another sought after skin commodity.

Which kind of sea salt?

But might I be quick to add that not just any salt will suffice when it comes to you and your loved ones, especially typical table salt (sodium chloride) and in some cases, certain brands of sea salt. Salt that is processed for vast human consumption – while meeting the public’s demand for a product that is cheap and convenient – sacrifices a lot of health benefits.

Table salt has been stripped of all but two of its 84 trace minerals through a chemical process, dried at extreme temperatures, and oftentimes – for the sake of appearance – anti-caking, free-flowing, or conditioning agents are added along with iodine. But buyer beware of even some brands of so-called sea salt: It may be mechanically harvested from dirt or concrete basins and piped through metal conduits; artificially processed; heated to extreme temperatures to break the molecular structure; stripped of its essential minerals and further adulterated by chemical additives.[i] In essence, many highly acclaimed “sea salts” are no different than plain ole table salt.

So where do you find pure, unadulterated salt? This graph shows some of the best brands compared with some of the more popular (and less expensive) brands.

Dense with vital trace minerals along with its light grey hue from the pure clay sole it’s harvested from, Celtic Sea Salt® is unmistakable in old world flavor and nutritious. (And taste may mean everything with a bland diet of survival foods!)

Extracted from the natural evaporation of the sea and wind alone, the ocean brine is channeled from the sea to the pristine shallow clay ponds, surrounded by vegetation. It provides a natural habitat for the salt while the salt farmer gathers the dazzling white crystals with a long, shovel-like tool, then collects it daily by hand.[ii]

Other Benefits

Celtic Sea Salt can be a simple addition to any food storage plan that just makes sense. It not only stores indefinitely, it provides so many hidden health benefits to mention in this article, but here are just a few:

Supplying well over 80 (24 of which are essential to life) minerals needed for proper metabolic functions and the assimilation of necessary nutrients in the body, natural sea salt is also an excellent immune booster and helps keep the body alkaline.

It works synergistically with vitamins and other minerals for their bioavailability to the body. (Bioavailability: the extent to which a nutrient or medication can be used by the body.) For instance, we know that calcium needs both magnesium and Vitamin D3 to be absorbed; sodium and potassium need each other in the proper proportions to help maintain normal blood pressure and water distribution.

Since natural sea salt contains a balance of minerals including sodium and potassium, the body is able to safely eliminate any excess sodium without the complications of typical table salt. This is a huge benefit for those who have to monitor their salt intake.

“Sea water contains minerals such as ionized sodium, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and selenium, plus many trace elements such as copper, iron, zinc, manganese, and chromium. The human body uses the minerals & trace elements in sea salt to create electrolytes, maintaining the “internal ocean” which is vital to the proper functioning of every system in the body.”

In an age of degenerative diseases and in the difficult times that may lie ahead, no doubt sea salt is and will be worth its weight in gold, in more ways than one. Not only essential for health and vitality, sea salt clearly carries a vast array of benefits.

A Final Note

The familiar round grocery store container of salt is always ground the same. That’s not true of the many varieties of sea salt. It can be anywhere from chunks the size of landscaping rocks to finely ground, which is what most Americans are used to seeing. The website Sea Salt has a lot more specific information on types, coarseness, history, etc. of sea salt.


[i] De Langre, Jacques, Seasalt’s Hidden Powers, Asheville: Happiness Press 1994, page 3

[ii] De Langre, Jacques, Seasalt’s Hidden Powers, Asheville: Happiness Press 1994, page 1

Copyrighted © 2010

Guest Post By Roxanne Griswold, Ready Made Resources

This article has been updated from the original posted on May 26, 2010.

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Survival of the Fittest: Herbs for Peak Fitness http://thesurvivalmom.com/adaptogens/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/adaptogens/#comments Wed, 14 Jan 2015 08:10:21 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=20495 There is a whole category of plants that can increase the human body’s ability to adapt and respond positively to stress. These botanicals are called adaptogens, and deserve a place in herbal preparedness plans and gardens for their ability to Read More

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The use of adaptogens, a category of herbs, may help increase your endurance, improve memory, and boost immunity. | via www.TheSurvivalMom.comThere is a whole category of plants that can increase the human body’s ability to adapt and respond positively to stress. These botanicals are called adaptogens, and deserve a place in herbal preparedness plans and gardens for their ability to promote healthy immunity and help your body excel during times of mental and physical challenges.

Benefits of Adaptogens

Although the reality of these plants often falls far short of their fad status and the overblown advertising campaigns of companies that tout them as wonder pills and panaceas, they definitely have much to offer. Studies featuring adaptogen herbs point to an increase in endurance (such as through increased oxygen uptake or utilization); better memory and mental acuity; and shorter duration of or incidences of illnesses such as colds.

In Medical Herbalism, David Hoffman FNIMH, AHG, states that adaptogens “increase general capacity to withstand stressful situations, and hence guard against disease caused by overstress”. He explains that by moderating the stress response in terms of how the body regulates glucose, adaptogens help the body respond more quickly but less drastically; allow blood glucose to stay elevated longer to allow a more sustained peak; and allow the body to back off from the peak more gradually. This has the effect of smoothing out how our bodies respond to stress. Adaptogens also seem to act on key endocrine and immune functions within the body, which relate to stress hormones and our ability to ward off illness.

Four Herbal Adaptogens

Many herbs fall into the category of adaptogens, but rhodiola, eleuthero, ginseng, and ashwaghanda are four of the most readily available and well known.

Rhodiola

Rhodiola rosea

This Russian herb is considered by many to be excellent for stamina, stress, and mental acuity. A favorite of athletes, it can also be used to better adapt to altitude changes and when recovering from head injuries. Several studies have been done on this herb and how it can benefit mood disorders.

Eleuthero

Eleutherococcus senticosis

Eleuthero may improve overall energy, stamina, and immunity, and is well tolerated by most people. Sometimes called Siberian ginseng, it’s not related to the true ginsengs but has many of the same benefits.

Ginseng

Panax quinquefolius and Panax ginseng

Probably the best well known of the adaptogens, Ginseng is excellent for stress, immunity, blood sugar stability, and healthy blood pressure. It’s important to note that the common name “ginseng” can refer to two herbs. In traditional herbalism, asian ginseng (panax ginseng) has a reputation of being the most stimulating of all the adaptogens, and was typically reserved for use by older men. American ginseng (panax quinquefolius) is less stimulating and tolerated well by a wider age range of both sexes. However, American ginseng is in danger of over-harvesting in the wild, so be sure to purchase this herb from a reputable, sustainable company such as Gaia Herbs, Herbpharm, or Mountain Rose.

Ashwaghanda

Withania somnifera

A calming herb, ashwaghanda is the best choice of the bunch for anyone concerned about the stimulating effects of some adaptogens. Among many other benefits this herb is suited for anxiety, hyper or hypo immunity issues, increasing stamina, encouraging healthy blood sugar and blood pressure, and boosting immunity.

How to Use Adaptogens

Unlike most herbs, adaptogens are usually taken every day, or almost every day, for longer periods of time. Some herbalists favor using them daily for a minimum of three months and then taking a break for a week or two; other herbalists might suggest using them indefinitely for as long as desired while allowing one or two days off per week.

These herbs can be purchased as capsules or alcohol extracts. For these, be sure to follow the suggested directions on the package. For preparedness purposes, though, it’s important to know how to make a tea (technically a decoction) with the roots. Not only is purchasing the roots from a reputable source far cheaper than using prepackaged supplements, but it puts confidently using plants grown in one’s own garden within the realm of possibility for the prepper.

In general, one teaspoon of the dried roots can be prepared in 8 oz of water and taken up to three times a day. Some people may find that these herbs make it difficult to sleep if taken too close to bedtime- in that case, take them in the morning only. They are best taken on an empty stomach, an hour or so before breakfast and in between meals.

To prepare a decoction, bring 1-2 cups of water to boil in a  small covered saucepan. Add the dried roots, and allow them to simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to steep, covered, for a minimum of thirty minutes and then strain out the roots before drinking the tea. A small amount of honey can be added as a sweetener (raw, local honey is beneficial for allergies, so why not?).

Consulting with your doctor before beginning to take a new herb is always a good idea. Adaptogens may occasionally raise blood pressure in some individuals, or cause feelings of jitteriness; they may not be tolerated well by individuals with anxiety disorders or people who are manic or bipolar. However, adaptogens are usually very safe and have positive benefits for most people.

Listen to this Related Podcast

The Survival Mom interviews David Zulberg, author of The 5 Skinny Habits.

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Get ready for the cold & flu season with these all-natural recipes — 20 of them! http://thesurvivalmom.com/get-ready-for-the-cold-flu-season-with-these-all-natural-recipes/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/get-ready-for-the-cold-flu-season-with-these-all-natural-recipes/#comments Mon, 05 Jan 2015 09:11:34 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=10180 Before we know it, the season of colds and sniffles and coughs will be upon us. One of my readers shared with me these three recipes, and I wanted to pass them along to you before you’re faced with a Read More

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Get ready for cold & flu season with these 20 all-natural remedies. | via www.TheSurvivalMom.comBefore we know it, the season of colds and sniffles and coughs will be upon us. One of my readers shared with me these three recipes, and I wanted to pass them along to you before you’re faced with a sick family and have no choice but to make a mad dash to the drugstore.

These recipes require natural ingredients such as essential oils, coconut oil, and herbs. They’re very simple to make and will provide an all-natural alternative to whatever the drugstore sells, and I’m a big fan of Nyquil!  Another reason to make these is just to learn how to make your own salves and oil mixtures — a great skill for any Survival Mom.

By the way, I tried to track down the original source of the first two recipes but couldn’t find them online. If you know of the source, please let me know so I can give proper credit.

Homemade Liquid Vapor Rub

1 oz. coconut oil

1 oz. olive oil

6 drops tea tree essential oil

4 drops eucalyptus essential oil

4 drops lavender essential oil

Warm the coconut oil until liquid. Combine all ingredients. Let sit at room temperature or in the refrigerator until solidified.

 

Essential Oil Vapor Rub

10 drops eucalyptus essential oil

10 drops peppermint essential oil

3 drops thyme essential oil

1/8 c. olive oil

Combine all the oils and mix well. To use, rub oil mixture over the throat and chest, then cover up to help increase the warming effect. This is very effective when done right at bedtime as it helps relieve congestion and helps you fall asleep more easily.

 

Congestion Rub

1/2 c. dried lavender (antiseptic  healing, topically healing, pain relieving)

1/4 c. dried mullein leaves (helps break up congestion)

1/4 c. dried peppermint (cooling and provides pain relief)

1/4 c. fresh grated ginger (breaks up congestion)

3/4 c. coconut oil

3/4 c. olive oil

3 T. beeswax pellets

For complete instructions, visit Nourishing Simplicity.

And here’s 17 more!

DIY “Sick Day” Playdough Recipe

Fire Cider: DIY Cold and Flu Remedy

Flu Busting Gummy Bears

Flu-Fighting Soup

“Golden Milk” For Cold, Flus, Depression, and More

Herbal Home Remedy for Congestion

Home Remedies for Stomach Bugs

Homemade Citrus Electrolyte Drink

Homemade Elderberry Syrup

Honey and Cinnamon for Colds

How to Prevent the Flu Naturally

Immune Boosting Herbs in Finger Gelatin

Knockout Home Remedy for Sore Throat, Cold, and Sinus Infection

Pineapple Juice is 5 Times More Effective Than Cough Syrup

Treating High Fevers With Egg Whites

Wellness Juice Shots

Wet Sock Treatment

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5 things I learned from lice http://thesurvivalmom.com/5-things-about-lice/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/5-things-about-lice/#comments Tue, 30 Dec 2014 17:30:11 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=20205 Lice – they’re something every parent hopes they never have to deal with. To have bugs crawling around and laying eggs in your hair or your child’s hair can send shivers up anyone’s spine and fill you with dread. But, Read More

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5 things I learned about lice. It's better to be prepared for these critters! | via www.TheSurvivalMom.com

Lice – they’re something every parent hopes they never have to deal with. To have bugs crawling around and laying eggs in your hair or your child’s hair can send shivers up anyone’s spine and fill you with dread. But, it can happen to anyone and it might be a little easier to handle if you’re prepared.

It happened to our family, and I wasn’t prepared at all!

I learned 5 things about lice, and quick!

One of my daughters had an itchy scalp and we checked her two days in a row and only found dandruff. We had gone to children’s museums and dance class that week. She goes to public school, but we hadn’t had a lice notice for quite a while. Then, on the third day, we checked her head and there they were – lice. I parted her hair and could see the bugs moving around.

I feel prepared for tornadoes, power outages and being stuck in my car, but I was not prepared for this. I inwardly panicked. I had not done any research and felt like I needed to know everything right away and get rid of these things fast. My husband and I checked the Internet, consulted some friends with experience and ran to the store. We quickly got a game plan together and started working.

Let me tell you this up fron. Lice are a lot of work. You will find yourself doing many things “just in case,” because the last thing you want is for the bugs to spread to the other children (or you) – or come back and re-infest.

(Stop scratching your head – I know you are.)

We may have gone overboard, but we treated everyone’s head in the family, looked through everyone’s hair, washed all the bedding and clothing, vacuumed everything, and put any toys with fabric or throw pillows in bags and tucked them away for the duration – two weeks – to avoid re-infestation.

And, that was just day one. Every day for two weeks involved checking and coming through hair, vacuuming and washing bedding and clothing. It took 2 hours each day to comb through our daughter’s hair.

We learned that lice die after 48 hours if they are not on a person’s head. They can’t jump or fly. The eggs need to be close to the scalp for heat to incubate. They are mostly spread by head-to-head contact, and rarely by sharing clothing and hairbrushes. They do no discriminate based on personal hygiene or home cleanliness. And, thank goodness, pets cannot spread lice.

We celebrated when it was all over. So, here’s what I learned:

  1. Have the treatment and comb on hand

Spend some time now and research about lice and treatments. Know beforehand if you are going to use the medicated shampoo, essential oils or another option and have it on hand, along with a metal fine-tooth comb for lice removal. It will let you avoid taking someone with lice to the store for those items and you can start treatment sooner.

  1. Children take their cue from their parents

Our children stayed calm during the whole craziness of the discovery and first day because we did (at least on the surface). We did stress to them the importance of following our directions so it didn’tspread. They saw how much work it was and were expected to help out a little extra. Since we took the time to explain it to them, there wasn’t much complaining.

  1. Have trash bags and extra bedding

We had a supply of trash bags on hand that we could put things in and it came in handy – not just for the toys, but also for bedding that we washed but didn’t want to use again until it was all over. We also had extra bedding on hand for the days where the wash wasn’t quite done by the children’s bedtime.

  1. Make sure to have a good heat source (washer/dryer/water)

Heat kills lice. You need to have a way to have hot water and air to kill them.

  1. Be prepared to spend a lot of time

It took two hours alone to comb through hair and every day there was a new list of chores to do – change bedding, vacuum carpet, furniture and mattresses – on top of the normal daily chores for a family of six. When it was all over, it took a day or two to put everything back in its place, too.

We are fortunate that we caught it in the early stages and it only affected one member of our family. We were done with the ordeal in 13 days. We still check all their hair every once in a while … just in case.

For more details on lice, visit the CDC Web site. Photos are courtesy of the CDC.

Have you thought about lice so you’re prepared if it should happen? Have you experienced lice and have any tips to share?

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5 Post-Emergency Herbs: The Calming Cuppa http://thesurvivalmom.com/calming-herbal-teas/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/calming-herbal-teas/#comments Tue, 16 Dec 2014 08:00:49 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=19842 Five Herbs for Emotional Support Post Emergency The experience of dealing with an emergency situation can leave you feeling shaken, drained, and upset. Stopping long enough to go through the familiar motions of making a cup of tea can give Read More

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In an emergency, adrenaline fuels us but doesn't just disappear when it ends. In an emergency these 5 herbs can help calm the jitters. | www.TheSurvivalMom.comFive Herbs for Emotional Support Post Emergency

The experience of dealing with an emergency situation can leave you feeling shaken, drained, and upset. Stopping long enough to go through the familiar motions of making a cup of tea can give you a focal point to counter feelings of being scatterbrained and disorganized, but not just any tea will do.

Earl grey, green tea, and other teas made with camellia sinensis (the tea most people are familiar with) could add to your jitters because they contain caffeine.  Turning to herbs that are traditionally considered to be calming and beneficial for the nervous system is a much better idea.

For best results, make sure to purchase your post-emergency herbs in organic, loose-leaf form from a reputable herb merchant. Steer clear of herbal teas that come in ready to use tea bags unless they come from a small company which specializes in strictly herbal teas. Studies have shown that mass marketed brands may contain filler plants, or be adulterated with heavy metals, pesticides, and herbicides.

Rose

Although most people think of perfume and potpourri when they think of roses, the petals from red roses are also an important botanical for herbalists. Traditionally, rose petal tea is considered to be very soothing for the nervous system. Modern herbalists often turn to it for helping balance the emotions - especially its ability to provide an uplifting and calming influence. Rose petals pair well with a sprinkle of cinnamon, cloves, or nutmeg and sweetened with honey for a pleasant, exotic flavor.

Linden

Linden blossoms, which come from the tree Tilia cordata, make a popular, traditional tea in Europe and in Latin American folk medicine that is reputed to be ideal during times of nervousness, anxiety, and insomnia. Linden has a sweet, pleasant flavor that make it a favorite for many people.

Chamomile

Beloved plant of adults and children everywhere, chamomile is another traditional herb to turn to when one feels fussy and out of sorts. Chamomile can be especially helpful if there is an upset stomach from anxiety or nervousness.There are two kinds of chamomile- matricaria recutita (german chamomile) and chamaemelum nobile (roman chamomile). German chamomile is more common in the herb trade in the United States, but both types are traditionally used in much the same way.

Hops

Most widely known as one of the key flavorings in beer, hops (humulus lupulus) has a long record of use as a traditional calming herb and sleep aid. Hops tea has a bitter flavor, but adding a little honey, which sweetens and deepens the flavor, can make it much more pleasant. The German Commission E, an advisory board that focuses on the medicinal use of traditional herbal remedies in Germany, approved the use of hops for restlessness and anxiety.

Valerian

During WWI and WWII, valeriana officinalis was used in Britain for “shell shock” (what is now more appropriately recognized as a stress response to combat situations), and also given to civilians stressed by constant air-raids. Traditional herbalists viewed this herb as having a potent sedative effect on the central nervous system, and often employed it for cases of epilepsy, severe anxiety, and nerve related pain.

It is interesting to note that not everyone responds to valerian in the same way. Valerian may make some people feel more awake and alert rather than sleepy. If you have pets, be aware that some cats enjoy valerian as much as they do catnip, so they may take an interest in your tea!

* Please remember that although herbs are natural and generally wholesome, these herbs may react with prescriptions for anxiety, high blood pressure, or depression. Be sure to check with your doctor before using herbs if you are on prescription medications. If you are hypotensive, these herbs may not be a good fit for you. Be sure to check with your doctor.

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Sex after the apocalypse? When there is no birth control … http://thesurvivalmom.com/sex-apocalypse-no-birth-control/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/sex-apocalypse-no-birth-control/#comments Fri, 12 Dec 2014 08:00:07 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=19612 So, you think you have everything that you need in your preps? Think about this … After the apocalypse (or whatever scenario happens) and things settle, you might start getting comfortable with your food, water, and security. Then, you might Read More

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nfp

So, you think you have everything that you need in your preps? Think about this …

After the apocalypse (or whatever scenario happens) and things settle, you might start getting comfortable with your food, water, and security. Then, you might start thinking about cuddling up together in the evenings … but wait – your birth control method is gone and it’s not like you can run to the drugstore.

Yes, there is one sure-fire way to avoid a pregnancy, but years of abstinence when you have no birth control could be very boring.

And there are potential scenarios where getting pregnant would not be ideal – radioactivity, a police state, low food supply – but even a bad economy can make couples not want to have a baby to support right then.

No Birth Control? Try Natural Family Planning

That’s where a book (Taking Charge of Your Fertility), a chart, and a basal thermometer might come in handy. Even if you choose not to learn about the science of fertility right now, having these three items among your preps gives you the chance to learn about it later.

This article is not going to go into the nitty-gritty details of how to use natural family planning (NFP), but will try to convince you to start learning about it. There are many methods out there and it’s worth finding out which one is right for you. (These include symptom-thermal, ovulation, Billings, Creighton, and Marquette.)

Here are several reasons you should start learning about natural family planning:

  1. Enjoy married life after …

This very personal reason needs no further explanation.

  1. Nothing to buy

If you were not able to refill your birth control prescription or buy any other birth control methods, you could use a NFP method instead.

  1. Learn the science of fertility

If knowledge is power, knowing the science of fertility would give you a lot of power in your own life.

  1. Practice makes perfect

It takes some time to get any NFP method down pat and the sooner you learn about it, the sooner you can feel comfortable with it.

  1. Marketable skill

Once you learn how to use one or more NFP methods, you can teach others.

Resources

Here are some links to some resources (some are religious in nature, but they have good information):

Taking Charge of Your Fertility

Creighton Model

Marquette Model

Couple to Couple League

Natural Family Planning International

What do you think? Are you convinced that it is worth learning about natural family planning now, while you still have other (back-up) options available?

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Dem Bones: First Aid and Herbal Response for Fractures http://thesurvivalmom.com/dem-bones-first-aid-herbal-response-fractures/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/dem-bones-first-aid-herbal-response-fractures/#comments Sat, 22 Nov 2014 14:16:43 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=19435 Bone fractures are definitely emergencies that require standard first aid followed by professional medical care from a doctor. However, there are several ways herbs can be utilized as whole body support after emergency medical care has been given. Before we Read More

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Dem BonesBone fractures are definitely emergencies that require standard first aid followed by professional medical care from a doctor.

However, there are several ways herbs can be utilized as whole body support after emergency medical care has been given. Before we get started on the herbal side of things, let’s take a look at standard fracture first aid as a refresher.

Fracture First Aid

Always keep up to date on your first aid certifications with an organization like the Red Cross, when possible. It gives you hands on training that will be helpful in this type of emergency. Another great idea is to keep a first aid handbook easily accessible, so that you have a checklist to follow as you wait for professionals to arrive. Still, fracture first aid is usually straight forward.

Do:

  1. Stop any bleeding
  2. Immobilize
  3. Apply ice
  4. Be careful of shock

Don’t:

  1. Try to push any protruding bones back in if they have broken the skin
  2. Try to straighten a crooked limb.
  3. Move the person at all if the injury affects the back or neck. Instead, wait for help to arrive and keep the injured person still.

Once a doctor takes care of the fractures, herbs can be used for after-care as an adjunct to your doctor’s instructions. Be sure to get the all clear first, and then herbs traditionally used for pain, healing, and providing extra minerals for the diet can all be incorporated.

Pain

Bone healing is an inherently inflammatory process. In this case, inflammation is a good thing. NSAID drugs (like over the counter pain relievers) actually inhibit the exact processes the body is trying to use to repair bone. This means that they may help with pain, but using them may extend the overall healing time.

Some traditional herbal alternatives include St. John’s Wort, Jamaican Dogwood, California Poppy, and Valerian. Extract form is often the best form these herbs, rather than a tea. The extract is more convenient and can be taken in a little juice or other beverage to disguise the strong, unpleasant tastes of these herbs. Poppy and Valerian both also offer the advantage of being nervine herbs traditionally used to settle the nerves and promote sleep.

Don’t use St. John’s Wort if you are taking prescription drugs. This herb is notorious for interfering with medications.

Healing

Healing a fracture requires good nutrition. Not only does healing utilize more calories than normal, the body will also need extra protein. Bone is around 70% minerals in total composition, so making sure to get enough calcium and other minerals is another big nutritional factor.

Herbs for Minerals:

  • Horsetail
  • Nettles
  • Oatstraw
  • Dandelion

These herbs can be prepared as teas and steeped overnight to be extra strong. In this case, sipping on them over the course of the day is a better approach than drinking them all in one go.

Comfrey

Comfrey is another herb traditionally used for healing fractures. There is a modern debate about whether or not comfrey should be used internally, but it can still be used topically.

If the fracture requires a cast, it’s best to wait until the cast comes off before beginning to apply a comfrey compress or poultice. A simple compress can be made by preparing a strong tea of comfrey leaves, soaking a clean flannel cloth in the tea, and then applying the cloth to the affected area. Once the cloth cools, it can either be dipped into the tea and reapplied or washed to use again later.

Poultices work in much the same way, but the fresh or dried leaves are mashed with just enough water to form a paste, spread directly onto the skin, and held in place with a cloth. Poultices are usually changed out every four hours.

Wilderness First Aid

If you like to hike or camp, live remotely, or are otherwise often not near medical help, you might want to consider taking Wilderness First Aid. If you can’t find a provider with a quick Google search, you might contact the local Boy Scout Council (even if you aren’t even remotely affiliated). They should be able to help you find a good resource for it because they require leaders trained in it for certain types of outings.

Wilderness First Aid is, among other things, one of if not the only place a person who is NOT an EMT or medical professional can receive training so that they can determine if a person with a back or neck injury can be moved. They also train you in how to splint a broken bone with whatever you have on hand, and how to transport people who are injured. All of that might be very handy if you are with someone who falls and fractures an arm or leg a mile from the trailhead, at the bottom of the great sledding hill everyone loves (the one with no cell service), or when a car slides on the ice or an oil slick and goes into a ditch.

Even if you prefer an herbal approach to managing your health, it’s important to realize that herbs cannot miraculously set a fracture- it’s important to have the break seen by a medical professional who can realign the bones and set the stage for the body to do it’s thing!

The post Dem Bones: First Aid and Herbal Response for Fractures by Agatha Noveille appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

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Here’s a honey of a post! 17 things you probably didn’t know about honey, but should! http://thesurvivalmom.com/heres-a-honey-of-a-post-17-things-you-probably-didnt-know-about-honey-but-should/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/heres-a-honey-of-a-post-17-things-you-probably-didnt-know-about-honey-but-should/#comments Mon, 17 Nov 2014 15:41:06 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=10755 Not all honey is created equal. Or, more accurately, not all honey on the grocery store shelves is equal. Some international honey has been treated and no longer has the health benefits discussed here. If you can possibly buy from Read More

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honey facts

Here are 17 facts about honey.

Not all honey is created equal. Or, more accurately, not all honey on the grocery store shelves is equal. Some international honey has been treated and no longer has the health benefits discussed here. If you can possibly buy from a local farmer, farmer’s market, or a reputable local company, it really is the healthiest choice.

Honey and Baking

1. Never refrigerate honey.

2. Slightly warmed honey is easier to measure out and mix.

3. One 12-ounce honey bear is equal to one cup.

4. It never spoils, making it a real food storage winner. If it crystallizes or becomes granular, place the open container in a bowl of hot water until it liquifies again.

5. To replace sugar with honey in a recipe, substitute 2/3 to 3/4 cup of honey per cup of sugar, and decrease the amount of liquids by 1/4 cup per cup of  honey used.  Stir the mixture very thoroughly. Lower the baking temperature by 25 degrees. Watch the baking time carefully since foods brown more quickly when honey is used.

Health Benefits of Honey

6. Honey contains antioxidants, which help protect against cellular damage.

7. Use honey on wounds, including burns, to help them heal faster. Honey is a natural antibiotic.

8. Manuka honey is the preferred variety for first aid treatment.

9. It can be used as a treatment for chapped lips!

10. A good rehydration beverage combines 1/2 c. honey, 1/2 t. salt, 2 c. orange juice, and 5 1/2 c. water. Use lukewarm water to help the honey dissolve faster, then cool.

11. Adding a little local honey (produced within 50 miles) to your kids diets may help prevent some allergies. The bees have been collecting pollen from plants in your specific area, the same pollen that is the culprit behind many allergies. Tiny doses of this pollen has the same effect as allergy shots, helping the body build immunity against pollen. (Note: filtered honey has had the pollen removed, so do not expect the same benefits from filtered honey.)

Odd Bits and Pieces

12. Bees have been known to produce blue and green honey.

13. It can be purchased in a crystal form. When rehydrated, it can be used as liquid honey.

14. Honey should be stored in closed containers because it absorbs moisture from the air, which can cause it to ferment.

15. An African bird called the Honeyguide locates and feeds on wild honey. The Honeyguide becomes very chatty when it finds a beehive, making it possible for people to retrieve honey themselves.

16. Ancient Egyptians used honey as a form of money and fed it to their sacred animals.

17. Honeybees are the only animal that actually produce food for humans! Just one reason to learn about beekeeping and becoming a beekeeper! Pay back the favor!

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Healthy Eye Care: Q & A With an Optometrist http://thesurvivalmom.com/healthy-eye-care/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/healthy-eye-care/#comments Fri, 07 Nov 2014 08:00:25 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=19152 Chances are you have considered how you’d fare without modern medicine in a disaster situation and have stashed away bandages, topical antibiotics, over-the-counter medications, herbal remedies, and other supplies “just in case.” Have you considered the health and optimal function Read More

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healthy eye care

Chances are you have considered how you’d fare without modern medicine in a disaster situation and have stashed away bandages, topical antibiotics, over-the-counter medications, herbal remedies, and other supplies “just in case.”

Have you considered the health and optimal function of your eyes?  In a survival situation where keeping clean is more difficult (no electricity, no running water, etc.), eye infections could become more common—especially among children.  I don’t want to take any chances with their eyesight.  I’m not a doctor, so I asked the best optometrist I know: my sister.  Here’s her advice for healthy eye care tips.

Pink Eye

Q:  I have a bottle of eye drops from the last time my kid had pink eye.  How long is it good? Can I still use it? Would it be different if I had an unopened bottle?

A:  All bottled eye drops have an expiration date stamped on the bottle. Unopened bottles should be adequate for up to a year after the expiration date (same for unopened blister packs of contact lenses). If the bottle has been opened, discard after 6 months (regardless of expiration date). When inserting drops, avoid touching the tip of the bottle to skin or eyelashes as it can introduce bacteria into the bottle and cause contamination of the medication.

Q:  Can pink eye be treated with oral antibiotics, or do I have to keep some drops in my cabinet?

A:  Pink eye is best treated with antibiotic eye drops, although you could try using orals in a pinch. Pink eye actually tends to be self- limiting (it will go away on its own in time) in non-contact lens wearers, as long as you keep the eye and surrounding area clean, although antibiotics do shorten the course by several days.

Apply a warm wet cloth for 5-10 minutes to loosen debris in the lashes, then a gentle scrub of the lids/lashes with baby shampoo 2-3 times daily until the infection resolves. Cleanse from the inner corner of the eye to the outside corner. This keeps debris and bacteria out of the tear drainage ducts which are located at the inner corners of the eyes.

Debris in the Eyes

Q:  Is water really a good enough flush, or do I need to keep that expensive eye wash in my medicine cabinet? Would a bottle of saline be just as good?

A:  Saline is just as good. I would only use water as a flush if saline is not available. Even in running tap water there are bacteria that are okay for your gut, but not for your eyes. You can increase your risk of a secondary infection with a water flush. Stay away from saline intended for I.V. flushing. The pH is too high in that stuff for the eye.

Contact Lenses for healthy eye care

Q:  Can I stretch the wear of my contacts longer than the recommended period?  If I tried it, what might the consequences be?

A:  The longer you wear a contact lens, the more deposited they become. More deposits equals more risk of infection or allergic reaction to something on the lens. Also, more deposits reduces oxygen transmission of the lens material, and this can lead to complication from oxygen deprivation to the eye. All three scenarios lead to red, painful eye. In a survival situation probably best to switch to spectacle wear.

Spare Specs

I put off getting a spare set of glasses because of the expense. Heck, I put off getting a pair with my newest prescription for two years since I spend a good deal on contacts that work well each year! However, having backups are essential as a prepper.  So here’s a great website that will let you get a backup pair for each member of the family for pennies on the dollar.  I spent about $400 on the perfect pair of glasses a couple of years ago.  Last summer I took my newest Rx and bought TWO pairs of glasses for less than $40!

EyeBuyDirect* lets you browse your options for frames (I sorted by cheapest, since I didn’t care about fashion and was only buying them as a backup).  Once you’ve chosen frames you can enter all the information from your optometrist’s prescription. I didn’t ask for a copy of mine, but all the info I needed was right on the side of each box of contact lenses.

Don’t worry if you’re not sure what all the information means or where to find it. The website includes a tutorial on how to read the prescription so you get all the boxes filled in correctly.  If you really want the anti-scratch, anti-glare, or other special features you’d get at the doctor’s office, you can request them for a slightly higher cost. As with most online purchases, you must check out with a credit card or Flexible Spending Account card.

Voila!  Within a week I had two brand new pairs of glasses for 90% less than my last pair.  So no more turning your nose up at having an extra pair in your bug-out bag, purse, or glove box.  If you have rambunctious kiddos wearing glasses, this option is perfect for lots of reasons.

Let’s prepare our families to see the world clearly, and that means healthy eye care!

*Neither the author of this article nor the Survival Mom blog are affiliated with EyeBuyDirect. We just think it’s a great resource for budget-friendly eyewear!

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5 Tips for Correctly Using Hand Sanitizer (From a Nurse Who Knows) http://thesurvivalmom.com/using-hand-sanitizer/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/using-hand-sanitizer/#comments Fri, 31 Oct 2014 19:39:45 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=19117 1.  Use a large amount. More is better when using hand sanitizer. 2.  Slather the sanitizer between fingers, on front and back of hands, up to your wrists. 3.  Rub the sanitizer vigorously into your hands. 4.  Rub sanitizer under Read More

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using hand sanitizer

1.  Use a large amount. More is better when using hand sanitizer.

2.  Slather the sanitizer between fingers, on front and back of hands, up to your wrists.

3.  Rub the sanitizer vigorously into your hands.

4.  Rub sanitizer under your fingernails and beneath your rings.

5.  Continue rubbing in the sanitizer until it dries. Do not wave your hands in the air to dry them.

Anywhere you see a bottle of sanitizer, take advantage of it. ATM touchpads have been touched by how many people, just today? Who else leaned against that fast food counter? Money? Ewww, when you think about it.

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