The Survival Mom » Staying Healthy http://thesurvivalmom.com Helping moms worry less & enjoy life! Sat, 28 Feb 2015 08:00:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 The Colloidal Silver Option for Your Best Health http://thesurvivalmom.com/colloidal-silver/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/colloidal-silver/#comments Sat, 28 Feb 2015 08:00:29 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=21343 I’m a registered nurse in the Midwest. I believe in traditional medicine but have become very interested in alternative medicine in case of a TEOTWAWKI event and have been learning more about colloidal silver. If a man-made or natural disaster Read More

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Info about colloidal silver and its benefits. www.TheSurvivalMom.comI’m a registered nurse in the Midwest. I believe in traditional medicine but have become very interested in alternative medicine in case of a TEOTWAWKI event and have been learning more about colloidal silver.

If a man-made or natural disaster occurs, it’s best to learn how to take care of yourself and family, especially if help won’t be readily available. I’m always thinking about the “What ifs?

I became concerned with encountering Ebola patients, as were many other nurses. How could we protect ourselves? Seasoned professionals with the latest and greatest Hazmat suits following WHO policy were still contracting Ebola.

One day, an RN from the Emergency Room was talking to me about the same concerns. She gave me a bottle of commercially made Colloidal Silver (CS) to take, saying it helps fight viruses and bacteria. Not only was she taking it, most of the ER staff was, too! I became intrigued by this, and wanted to know more about it, especially before taking it.

How I learned about colloidal silver

I read the history of how silver was the main antibiotic before the days of Penicillin. People purified their barrels of water by dropping pure silver coins in them. Wealthy people fed their children with sterling silverware, and seemed to have less food borne illness and sickness than the rest of the population. However, some of these people did have a skin discoloration from the combination of salt on the food reacting with the silver utensils. Their skin had a silvery-bluish caste to it. Hence, the term, “bluebloods”.

I began thinking back to the days when I was a student nurse. I had to go to the hospitals for “Clinicals” for hands on experience. One of my rotations was in the Labor & Delivery department. One of the things we did for newborns was to put Silver Nitrate drops in their eyes after birth. It helped prevent blindness from certain bacteria that could be present in the birth canal. (It is actually required by law in most states).

Another rotation brought me to the Med-Surg dept, where I had a patient with terrible bedsores. I had to apply “Silvadene”, a silver based antibiotic ointment, to the open areas that had become infected. Each day, we would measure the wound to see if it was getting larger or smaller in diameter. There are also some hospitals that use special endotracheal tubes and urinary catheters with a silver coating to prevent infection. The patients on ventilators using these tubes had fewer cases of VAP, or ventilator acquired pneumonia.

Dr. Joe Alton, aka “Dr. Bones” recommends colloidal silver foot washes for athletes foot, and the PurifiCup uses nano-silver technology to help purify water.

Other studies I read showed colloidal silver inhibits viral growth, or can slow it down. Sometimes it eradicates it. Bacteria can’t utilize oxygen when a silver ion imbeds itself in the cell wall. So, the bacteria die. Some people take a teaspoon of colloidal silver per day, internally, to prevent illness. Some people take it only when they are sick.

Proper dosage of colloidal silver

 

There are people who have developed a condition called argyria, from taking too much. Remember, everything in moderation! If one teaspoon of 10 ppm (parts per million) is recommended, don’t drink a pint.

Consider the pros and cons of antibiotic use. There are a myriad of side effects, allergic reactions, and the possibility of drug resistant bacteria developing from the overuse of antibiotics. That’s a big problem these days.

So, all things considered, I began taking it myself. I take a teaspoon 2-3 times per week now, as does my husband. He works on airplanes that have passengers from foreign countries known to have Ebola. Even if colloidal silver doesn’t kill Ebola, but, simply slows down viral replication, I can give my body a fighting chance develop its own immunity.


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When we were almost out of our colloidal silver, I began to check out the prices to order it online. Wow, pretty expensive. So, I thought to myself, why not try to make it at home?

Homemade colloidal silver

My husband and I both put this “machine” together. He loves going to Radio Shack anyhow, so he volunteered to get some of the parts. Here is our supply list for making your own Colloidal Silver:

 Instructions

  1. Fill mason jar about 2/3 full with distilled water.
  2. Connect the 3 9-volt batteries in series to each other. When I set this up, it will looks like a pyramid — see photo below.
  3. Connect the snap connector to the empty positive terminal.
  4. Connect another snap connector to the empty negative terminal.
  5. Connect one alligator clip to the positive wire.
  6. Connect one alligator clip to the negative wire.
  7. Add one silver bar to each of the opposite ends of the alligator clips.
  8. Slowly place into distilled water in mason jar, and clip it on with a clothespin.
  9. Place the second silver bar in the distilled water and clip on.
  10. Make sure only the silver is touching the liquid.
  11. Do not let the silver bars touch each other.

After 10 minutes or so, you will notice tiny bubbles coming from the positive anode on the silver bar. The negative anode will become darkened. I let it work its magic for 1-3 hours, but every 30 minutes, I check it with a TDS meter until I a reading of 10-15 PPM. Then, it’s done. (The time can vary depending on how fresh the batteries are).

At this point, the colloidal silver  liquid still looks clear, but it can also change to a pale yellow, dark yellow, or cloudy liquid. I’ve noticed the PPM will decrease by as much as half over the course of a week, but after that, it tends to stabilize. I also filter it through a coffee filter to eliminate any dust or contaminants that may have fallen into the mason jar during processing.

DIY Colloidal Silver Machine

Silver bar immersed in distilled water for DIY colloidal silver  machine.

A close-up of the silver bar immersed in distilled water.

The DIY colloidal silver machine hooked up and operating.To check for a true colloidal silver result, shoot a beam of light through the solution. I use a red laser type beam. The light will look like a thin line which gradually gets wider as it reaches the other side of the jar. It’s called the Tyndall effect. If you have that, you have a true colloidal silver solution.

Once my solution is finished, I put it in a dark glass bottle. I just save old vanilla extract bottles, or even a small Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup bottle would do if you don’t have small, dark bottles.

Disclaimer: Making my own colloidal silver and taking regular doses is what I do for myself. I’m not a medical professional, and in no way can I recommend this to anyone. I’ve written this for your information and entertainment only. Before taking colloidal silver, consult your medical practioner to make sure it is safe for you and doesn’t interfere with any of your medications or current health issues.

Resources mentioned in this article:

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Take Heart in the Face of Adversity: Hawthorn health benefits http://thesurvivalmom.com/hawthorn-health-benefits/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/hawthorn-health-benefits/#comments Wed, 18 Feb 2015 08:00:07 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=21415 Hawthorn, a small, thorny shrub or tree in the rose family, is a valuable herb to have around the homestead or in the herbal supplies pantry. Hawthorn health benefits have been known for many, many years. Several different types of hawthorn Read More

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Hawthorn, the herb, has many health benefits. | www.TheSurvivalMom.comHawthorn, a small, thorny shrub or tree in the rose family, is a valuable herb to have around the homestead or in the herbal supplies pantry. Hawthorn health benefits have been known for many, many years. Several different types of hawthorn can be used interchangeably, but the most common varieties of the Crataegus spp. in use are C. monogyna, C. oxycantha, and C. laevigata.

Hawthorn is a very versatile herb. In addition to the fresh  berries’ use as a food source, the dried berries, leaves, and flowers find a place in the prepared herbalist’s tool box as extracts, teas, and capsules.

Hawthorn health benefits

There are two reasons that I personally keep hawthorn in my herbal preps kit. Both reasons have to do with hawthorn’s influence on the circulatory system. Hawthorn is traditionally recognized for its importance in re-establishing a healthy balance between strength of the heartbeat and blood pressure. In the late 1800s/early 1900s, this was used to benefit people who developed heart conditions, but it is equally applicable for use after or in conjunction with appropriate medical care for trauma, shock, or loss of blood.

Hawthorn has also developed an excellent reputation as a nervine, an herb that supports the nervous systems and healthy range of the emotional state. Thus, its second place in my herbal preps kit — as a beneficial herb for the emotional fall-out of a sudden emergency or unexpected event like an accident or loss of a loved one. Because of its affinity for the circulation, hawthorn can be supportive when we are feeling discouraged and need to “take heart” after an unsettling event.

Hawthorn as a Tonic/ Restorative

Hawthorn is one of the best herbs for heart health. It gently builds the health of the heart muscle, and is one of the premier cardiac tonics- helping to strengthen,  tonify and restore balance.


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Traditionally, hawthorn was used for any heart related imbalance, whether that was high blood pressure, or low blood pressure, or even  high cholesterol, heart failure, or angina. Because it benefits the overall circulation, hawthorn is a good herb to turn to when we have chronically cold hands and feet, or when there are age related heart problems in the elderly. It can even be used when recovering from an injury, to make sure there is good circulation to support the healing process.

Hawthorn and Emotional Support

Besides being useful when we feel the need to  “take heart,” hawthorn is beneficial when we find ourselves in restless, irritable moods,  possibly with trouble focusing. It’s safe for children, and can be used alone or in combination with other nervine herbs and appropriate support to help settle and calm kids who are struggling with hyperactivity. It can be a very comforting herb for those people struggling with long term illness and the feelings of hopelessness that can arise from a long convalescence.

Hawthorn: Other Historical Uses

Hawthorn has another very interesting use, as a digestive aid! Problems with bloating, especially when  food seems to “sit” in the stomach and leads to discomfort after eating, are the traditional domain of hawthorn. If diarrhea occurs alongside bloating, hawthorn may be an appropriate herb to offer some comfort.

Safety and Serving Size

If you buy a prepackaged hawthorn supplement, be sure to follow the instructions on the label. If you are using bulk or homemade preparations, the following guidelines can be used:

  • Extract: 15-30 drops (roughly ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon if a dropper isn’t available) may be used 1-3x per day.
  • Tea (sometimes called an infusion): 1 or two teaspoons of the dried leaves, flowers, and/or berries per 8 oz of water. one or two cups may be enjoyed daily. Drinking large amounts of tea from the berries can give some people diarrhea, but it’s not a problem for most people at normal amounts.

With such a versatile range of health benefits, hawthorn is definitely one of the top herbs to include in herbal preparedness supplies. It is generally considered to be a very safe botanical, and can be used by almost anyone- including children. However, make sure to check with your doctor if you take medications or have pre-existing health conditions.

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Prepping with Type 1 Diabetes http://thesurvivalmom.com/prepping-type-1-diabetes/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/prepping-type-1-diabetes/#comments Mon, 16 Feb 2015 16:52:56 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=21417 Type 1 diabetes — also called Juvenile Diabetes — shook our prepping plans to their foundations. While I was stockpiling food, learning to make cheese, and writing the occasional post for the Survival Mom, my 9 year-old daughter’s body was Read More

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Many preppers have health challenges. Here are tips for those with Type 1 diabetes. | via www.TheSurvivalMom.comType 1 diabetes — also called Juvenile Diabetes — shook our prepping plans to their foundations. While I was stockpiling food, learning to make cheese, and writing the occasional post for the Survival Mom, my 9 year-old daughter’s body was attacking itself and she was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.

Just a short time later I found myself trying to find answers for prepping with Type 1 Diabetes.

A T1D diagnosis is a life sentence of finger pokes and insulin administration. And because it’s genetic, we now know our other children are at risk.

What’s a survival mom to do? I didn’t even wait for the shock to wear off before I took to the internet seeking advice from the preparedness community…and was extremely disappointed with the meager information available. (I’ve included the links to those I found even a little bit helpful to save you time.) Even expert Mormon preppers who have so much information and resources had little to offer.

NOTE: This post is specific to Type 1 Diabetes, NOT Type 2. Please keep the differences in mind when you post comments and suggestions. Finding ways to prepare for a serious disease like this is scary. Suggestions that simple adjustments, like changing the food we have stored, as if we wouldn’t have already done that if it would resolve the issue, are more hurtful than helpful.

*Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, attorney, engineer, moralist, spiritual adviser, survivalist, or millionaire. Use the attached links and their information at your own risk. I’ve simply put together what’s on the net and what I’ve personally experienced. The rest is up to you.

Some Background

For clarity’s sake, please understand that T1D is very different from Type 2 Diabetes. The bodies of Type 2 patients still make insulin, but their bodies have trouble using it to get carbohydrate energy from the blood into the cells for use. Diet, exercise, and some drugs can help them do that.

NONE OF THAT HELPS TYPE 1 PATIENTS.

The body of a Type 1 patient makes no insulin, the vehicle that unlocks cells so that energy can enter and be metabolized. The immune system has attacked the pancreas and shut down the good guys that make insulin. No diet, exercise, or drugs on the market will turn those cells on again. And that was my initial frustration.

Lots of good-hearted folks had tips for keeping blood sugar down, but those suggestions will lead to starvation and/or death for a kid who can’t get energy from any type of food. Remember Atkins and low-carb diets? It’s the same idea. When the body can’t get energy from carbohydrates, it burns the body’s fat reserves. When that’s depleted, the body uses muscle for energy. A kid who eats bowls and bowls of pasta but can’t use any of its energy will still burn fat and muscles until there’s nothing left. Having supplies and insulin at all times is essential to survival.

Getting Started: Short-term Emergency Preparedness

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in 2013 advised diabetics to keep a filled medical bag after Superstorm Sandy hit in October 2012. Doctors were concerned that, gasp!, some of their diabetic patients weren’t prepared to go a couple of weeks without visiting a regular pharmacy! One woman didn’t have a regular pharmacy for 5 months following Sandy.

Put together a supply bag 

A bag that holds basic supplies for the diabetic is a smart first-step. The JDRF checklist might be helpful in packing that first bag. After some experimentation, I keep a tiny first aid box filled with pen needles in our everyday carry bag. And while you’re in the travel aisle, grab a tiny pill holder with a screw-on lid for sharps disposal. Mine can hold 3 used pen needles, enough to dose for each meal without worrying where to put used needles.

Carry snacks for emergencies

We keep a high-sugar snack for emergencies, as well as no-carb snacks that can curb hunger in the everyday carry bag. A case of water bottles in the trunk makes sense, too, as diabetics need to drink continuously. We keep even more snacks in a lunch bag in the car, along with 5 more days’ of supplies in case we wind up stranded somewhere.

Stocking up on Insulin and supplies

The problem with stocking up on diabetic supplies  is that they are expensive and insurance companies make it difficult to buy more than is needed for a short period of time. As with most prescriptions, many insurance companies will only pay for 1-3 months of refills at a time, and will only allow refills once supplies dwindle to a few days’ worth of reserves. That’s cutting it way too close for this prepared mama. If you’re new to diabetes or to prepping and have been worried about this, take heart. I’ve done some of the legwork for you.

If you are getting prescriptions one month at a time at a local pharmacy, you may be able to get a few extra days of supplies every month by going on the first day you can get a refill. That will leave you with  about six days of supplies at home. Over time, that can add up. However, many insurance companies are now requiring patients with “chronic conditions” to order their supplies through the mail after the first three months. Mail ordered supplies are sent automatically and make it virtually impossible to stock up in this way.

TIP: Read these tips for diabetics from Survival Mom readers.

Most states require a prescription to purchase insulin, making stockpiling trickier for Americans. It may be possible to buy insulin from other countries, and you may have wondered about the legality of buying insulin from Canada if you are an American. Since there is recent legislation on the table to make it legal for US citizens, this is good information to keep in mind if it does become legal in the future.

Another way to add to your stash of insulin may work if your loved one uses a pump but is very active. With a doctor’s approval, they might consider switching to a pen for at least part of the year. Some high school wrestlers with T1D are on a pump most of the year but switch to insulin injection pens during wrestling season for safety. Because there’s some overlap in refills, they will end up with a few extra pens tucked away as backup. Switching to pens for the summer might make sense if your self-conscious preteen is swimming, boating, canoeing, and cruising the pool. It might even be necessary if their pump can’t be immersed and they will be around water for longer than they can go without it.

How much insulin should you store? From my experience with food storage, I recommend you use the same guidelines as you would for food. If your canned tomatoes keep for a year, store a year’s worth and rotate. Refrigerated insulin will keep for up to two years, or 30 days once opened and kept at room temperature.


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While it is prudent to follow the “store what you use and use what you store” philosophy, pump users might want to skip down to the “Grid-down” section before putting all their insulin “eggs” in the “pump supplies” basket. Either way, request that all your prescription supplies automatically refill as soon as your insurance company will allow. If you can choose a couple of days a week to reduce carb intake and thus reduce insulin use, autofill can eventually get you a little bit of cushion.

Stocking up on Testing Supplies

Stocking up on diabetes testing supplies is easy, compared to stockpiling insulin.

It is simple to buy diabetes test strips, pen needles, etc. from Canada at a fraction of the cost. Price check all your options to get the lowest combined price, and be sure to take shipping into consideration. Remember to check eBay and Amazon as well. We found both to be only slightly less expensive than the pharmacy, but you can luck into great deals on eBay.

Diabetic specialty websites like Glucomart carry hit-or-miss supplies and run daily updates. You have to check back pretty often, or use your email address to request notification when the products you need are in stock.

Testing on-the-go is much easier with alcohol swabs. I pick up a 2-pack (400 total) for less than $4 every time I go to the store. Even in bulk, I can’t find them cheaper than at Walmart. At home, we use a giant bottle of alcohol and cotton balls, available at dollar stores everywhere.

While I personally haven’t tried it, you may also be able to find unopened testing supplies at an estate sale, just as you might find other non-prescription medical supplies such bed pans, surgical gloves, or dressings. In estate sales, you might even find a new or lightly-used testing machine to go along with the supplies.

With second-hand supplies in particular (estate sales and eBay), be certain to check the expiration date, and (obviously) that they are compatible with your machine. They may be cheap because they are close to their expiration date. Use those right away and save the ones with later expiration dates.

Stocking up on Other Essentials

Vitamins

Immune support is crucial for T1D patients. In fact, contracting a common cold or flu virus is often what pushes an overactive immune system into overdrive and coincides with T1D onset. Endocrine changes due to illness wreak havoc on blood glucose levels. Avoid sickness and support immunity whenever possible.

Vitamin D is also shown to assist with glucose control. It’s equally important for our other children to get vitamin D, as a deficiency is linked to increased risk of developing the disease for those with family history.

Low-carb alternatives

In an emergency, you may want to reduce carbohydrate intake to make insulin stockpiles last longer. Our medical team says kids need a MINIMUM of 130 carbs per day for growth and development. Basing insulin stockpiles on current needs should give you some wiggle room.

Maybe now is the time to learn to cook with almond flour or develop a taste for coconut milk. (Both are shelf-stable, by the way!) We already had a HUGE stockpile of beans, rice, noodles, and other starchy foods that could be a nightmare for glucose control. Energy rich, but nutrient sparse.

We still have and use those foods, but we’re replacing some of them with alternatives that make sugar control a little easier. Brown rice has a shorter shelf life, but more nutrients and the complex carbs are much slower to enter the blood. Similarly, a packet of Splenda or Stevia might make lots of ho-hum dishes more palatable, the way sugar does for the rest of us.

As a replacement for milk, Peak powdered milk  has 8 carbs per cup, versus 12 for regular powdered milk and fresh 2% milk. LC milk powder has only 1 carb per cup, but it requires mixing with water and heavy cream. Canned coconut cream doesn’t work, as the consistency is too solid. Table cream yields a better result.

Rationing diabetic supplies

Lancets

I’ve read comments from diabetics who still change a lancet after every finger prick, and from those who guesstimate it gets changed every couple of months. I was not able to find a link to specific guidelines, but the American Association of Diabetes Educators acknowledges that reusable lancets for a single patient are perfectly safe. The recommendation at the time of your initial diagnosis may have changed. Our medical team insisted a once-a-day change had been studied and was proven safe, provided the skin is cleansed with alcohol before each finger prick (as of December of 2014).

Pen needles or syringes

This scares the heck out of me. The Journal of the American Medical Association indicates that it would be okay to reuse syringes or pen needles without complications. I don’t think I’d do it in normal times, but in dire circumstances it’s nice to know about the AMA’s approval. The article specifically talks about 3-4 uses per needle, which would equal a once-a-day change.

Off-Grid Considerations

Loss of electricity could prevent recharging your meter. Any number of solar phone chargers with USB plugs can be used as a backup option. Plus, you’ll have it to charge your phone!

When stockpiling, strongly consider the possibility that electronic equipment may fail due to a natural or man-made EMP event. Pump users should consider stocking insulin pens for backup, as an EMP could fry the pump’s circuitry. Pens are not vulnerable to EMP. We purchased an identical meter (half price on eBay!) and stashed it, unopened, in a Faraday cage as a backup.

If monitors are inoperable despite all these preparations, another backup option exists, urine test strips for glucose. They are less accurate than blood glucose meters since it takes much more sugar to register on a urine strip. These were used in the U.S. through the 1970s and 1980s, we just don’t have much of a market for them here anymore.

However, patients in third world countries without electricity use them, so they could be a viable alternative in a grid-down emergency. We plan to periodically compare the urine test results to the meter reading just to see how they compare.

Refrigerating insulin is key to prolonging its shelf life. Consider a solar refrigerator, or build a solar panel strong enough to run a small, dorm-room-size refrigerator.

The Frio Insulin Cooling Case is a water activated product designed to keep insulin cool during travel that has been getting some attention on the web. I haven’t tried it yet, but may post an update. With exposure to air, the bag keeps insulin room temperature, which is much better than hot, but it doesn’t even come close to refrigeration temperature.

Another option is a refrigerator that runs on 12 volt (as well as 110), apparently designed for campers and long-haul truckers. Since they can run off of car batteries, you just need to add a few extra car batteries to your preps – hardly an exotic item! If you make sure they are the kind your family cars need, you are even prepared for one more every-day disaster. If you have other ideas, I hope you’ll add a comment below.

In a grid-down scenario, Dr. Bones of “Doom and Bloom” fame gives some options for preventing ketoacidosis here.  If you’ve stockpiled enough supplies, you shouldn’t have to worry about that for a long while.

First Steps

If you’re new to prepping or T1D, I know this is really overwhelming. Take some deep breaths and then some baby steps. Figure out what your child or grandchild needs to get through a single day, calculate, and start. Just, start. Don’t worry that you are starting with “the wrong thing.” You will need it all, eventually.

A good initial goal is to have a 3-month supply of EVERYTHING, but if that is overwhelming, you can start even smaller. Get the testing supplies since they are relatively easy, or one extra week or month of insulin. Research some backup options and get those next. But start…somewhere. Anywhere! Don’t let yourself get paralyzed to the point that you do nothing.

Once you have a 3 month supply, move on to a 6-month supply. When that is done, consider how you’ll maximize your insulin without electricity. Then keep adding to your supply. And don’t forget to rotate!

Final Thoughts

I KNOW prepping for Type 1 Diabetes is expensive because I share your pain in paying for it. I know building a stockpile probably means buying supplies outright without help from your insurance company—probably while you’re still paying off that hospital bill from the initial diagnosis. Trust me, I know it’s overwhelming.

Normally I would say to do what you can as you are able to do it. But for your diabetic loved one, this is truly a life-or-death proposition. A 5-year supply of food does your loved one no good when his 4-week insulin supply runs out. So in this situation, I say do what you have to do. Tap into your savings account. Sell some of your silver stash. If I had to, I’d consider allowing myself a little credit card debt.

I can’t think of any earthly consideration more important than the welfare of my children. They rely on me, and now I have a T1D kiddo who relies on insulin, meters, lancets, and test strips for SURVIVAL. I refuse to let her down.

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Headache prevention: A basic tutorial http://thesurvivalmom.com/headache-prevention-a-basic-tutorial/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/headache-prevention-a-basic-tutorial/#comments Thu, 05 Feb 2015 16:00:24 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=12308 In a survival situation, you can bet that you’ll be dealing with a lot of headaches, both metaphorical and physical.  If you ever had to deal with a severe headache, you know how it can affect your work efficiency. In Read More

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Learn about headache prevention with this tutorial. | via www.TheSurvivalMom.comIn a survival situation, you can bet that you’ll be dealing with a lot of headaches, both metaphorical and physical.  If you ever had to deal with a severe headache, you know how it can affect your work efficiency. In hard times, you’ll have to be at 110% efficiency just performing the activities of daily survival and headache prevention is important to consider.

Headaches, and especially migraines, can be debilitating. There are many different types of headaches, and knowing what type you are suffering from will help determine your treatment options.

The basic two classifications of headaches are “primary” and “secondary”.  A primary headache occurs for unknown reasons, while a secondary headache is caused by an underlying disease process.

Primary headaches include:

  • Migraines
  • Tension Headaches
  • Cluster Headaches
  • Facial headaches (also called “trigeminal”)
  • Headaches caused by exertion of some sort

Primary headaches are usually not life-threatening, although they can certainly be debilitating. Headache prevention strategies can usually alleviate the pain and often eliminate the headache itself.

Secondary headaches are more dangerous due to their cause, not the symptoms. These include headaches due to:

  • Neck or head injury
  • Hematoma (blood collection in or near the brain)
  • Complication of surgery to the area
  • Abnormal blood vessel formations
  • Tumors
  • Seizure disorders
  • Central nervous system infections, like meningitis
  • Abnormal spinal fluid pressure

Symptoms that give a hint that something serious may be going on include:

1.  A new or different type of headache

2.  Headaches in the elderly

3.  Sudden onset headaches

4.  Visual loss or abnormalities

5.  Mental confusion

6.  Inability or difficulty to move a part of the body

7.  Being woken up suddenly from sleep by sudden pain

8.  Pain that worsens with movement of the head

9. Jaw pain that resolves when chewing is finished

10. Neck stiffness

11. Fever

Preventing primary headaches

This article will focus on the prevention of primary headaches.  We will discuss identification of the different types and treatment in the near future. Remember our disclaimer: If modern medicine exists, seek help from qualified professionals.

Prevention should be the primary goal of the survival medic, as it saves headaches, literally and figuratively, for you and your patient later on. There are many possible actions you can take to help prevent a headache. Some may work for you, but each person is a unique individual. Even following all prevention measures could fail to work for some.

Number one on the prevention list is stress reduction, but perhaps it should be at the top of everyone’s to-do list anyway! Stress is a powerful negative energy and the wreckage it plays with our bodies will probably never be fully understood. Don’t focus on what you can’t control. Plan and act now to change the things you can.

Re-appraise negative events, as there may be a silver lining somewhere in that black cloud.  Re-interpret what happened in a way that might be less negative. Those who can do this have a better sense of physical and mental well-being, according to a study performed by Columbia University.

Learn relaxation techniques for when the world is pressing down upon your shoulders like a giant elephant and you want to scream like a crazy person (although screaming for a few seconds can be a release of stress, just don’t do it in front of the TSA!).

Here is a list of other general headache/migraine prevention suggestions:

1. Avoid allergens

2. Drink lots of water

3. Don’t skip meals

4. Reduce caffeine

5. Reduce salt intake

6. Get at least 8 hours of sleep

7. Increase potassium

8. Limit sweets

9. Try a gluten-free diet

10. Limit alcohol intake

11. Avoid smoke and environmental pollution

12. Take a multi-vitamin supplement, such as  vitamin B complex

13. Take a magnesium supplement of 200-300mg twice a day

14. Eat or take fish oil 3-4 grams per day with meals, or increase Omega-3 rich foods

15. Try ginkgo extract at 120/mg total, divided into 2-3 doses per day

16. Try dried feverfew leaves 125mg daily

Common food triggers

Let’s discuss some of the above in further detail. If you are aware of any food or environmental allergens, avoid them as much as possible. Common headache food triggers are:

  • Dairy products
  • Chocolate
  • Eggs
  • Wheat (consider a gluten-free diet)
  • MSG
  • Peanuts
  • Vinegar
  • Citrus fruits
  • Tomatoes
  • Red meat
  • Shellfish
  • Alcohol

Make it a daily habit to drink lots of water. Dehydration can cause headaches and increasing your fluid intake may prevent or could alleviate the pain. In a disaster or collapse situation, water will become Number One. Make sure you have identified your sources of water and know how to perform filtration, purification and sterilization methods.

Another issue in times of trouble may be adequate nutritional intake. For now, make sure you are eating healthy protein-rich foods to maintain a normal weight for your height and age. If you are trying to lose weight, eating small portions of this kind of food may help reduce headaches and also the issues of dizziness and mood swings. Severe caloric restriction can cause headaches, so don’t skip meals.

Caffeine is a trigger for some individuals on the extreme ends of the spectrum. If you like your daily 3 cups or more of coffee and suddenly stop, you could trigger a headache. On the other hand if your diet is very low in caffeine and you ingest it, this could trigger a headache. (Note: If you are  reducing caffeine intake, take it slowly and don’t just go cold turkey).

Water retention, or swelling caused by either excessive salt intake or even hormonal imbalances may cause headaches. Try to reduce your salt intake and increase water intake to help flush out the salt. Some medical conditions, however, cause swelling that is not corrected by reducing salt intake and too much fluid intake can be harmful. Knowing your body, your health status and how to keep yourself healthy is vital, especially if there may be a time when your doctor is NOT around.

Potassium is the nemesis of sodium, raise one and the other gets lowered. Since sodium retains water, potassium helps your body regulate the water levels to a normal state. Eat natural sources of potassium, such as bananas, carrots, asparagus, grapes, cauliflower, potatoes, etc. Some practitioners may recommend potassium supplements for their patients; always follow medical advice if you have a special condition.

Sugar can be troublesome for some individuals. There is a saying that we crave the foods that are the worst for us. If you notice an increase in headaches related to your sweet treats intake, try a couple of weeks without them and see what happens. It can’t hurt you to decrease your sugar intake, so give it a try. You will likely discover that the less sugar you have in your diet, the less you crave it.

Here is a subject that warrants much more discussion but isn’t the topic of this article, gluten-free diets. Much has been written about the ill effects of wheat in our common American diet. The list is too long to review here, but I will tell you the wheat we are eating today is nothing like our distant ancestors ate. Some say it is absolute poison to our bodies and is related to all kinds of serious health issues, let alone that it could be causing chronic headaches. Again, it can’t hurt you to eliminate gluten from your diet for a few weeks; just make sure you are eating healthily otherwise.

Many people are sensitive or even have allergies to alcohol. Most of us know what happens if you consume too much alcohol in a short period of time. A hangover usually involves a painful, head-pounding headache. Make sure you avoid alcohol if it gives you headaches; reduce your intake if too much triggers one. Drinking water, eating some protein and resting in a dark room can help a hangover. I’m sure a lot of our readers have some great hangover remedies to suggest.

Just as second-hand smoke or smoking can cause a headache, don’t forget about environmental pollution. If you are traveling to a town where the pollution or pollen count is high try to stay indoors and get an air filter system if possible. Some hotels have air-purification units they will place in your room. I have a small one in our bedroom for use during sleep to lower the dust and pollen count.

We have discussed the benefits of healthy eating, but sometimes our diets just don’t meet our daily vitamin requirements. A supplement of a multivitamin may help you meet you body’s needs. Especially helpful to prevent recurring headaches may be vitamin B-complex. Magnesium supplements have been shown to help prevent headaches in some people as well.

Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil, leafy greens or supplements are vital for numerous normal body functions, such as controlling blood clotting and building cell membranes in the brain.  Because our bodies cannot make omega-3 fats, we must get them through other means. A study has suggested that Omega-3 supplements can reduce the frequency, severity and duration of headaches. There have been numerous additional health benefits linked to Omega-3 increased intake.

Two herbal supplements to consider are feverfew and ginkgo in the dosages mentioned in the list above. Both of these supplements are meant to be taken as a prevention measure. (Note: Do not use feverfew during pregnancy or breast-feeding.) Clinical experience suggests a four to six week trial to determine if feverfew will help reduce the frequency, severity and duration of your headaches. Ginkgo’s effects may be related to its herbal reputation to thin the blood and “tone” blood vessel walls.

Sleep deprivation is detrimental to health and related to serious medical issues. A study at the University of North Carolina showed 58% of women showed a switch from chronic to infrequent headaches when they began a regular pattern of sleep habits. Establish a routine for sleep and stick to it if possible.

If you learn anything from this article, it is that you may have more control of headaches with some simple healthy life-style changes. In a time where there may be no medications to grab, these could help you live with less pain and allow you to be a healthier and more productive person.

Click here to listen to Nurse Amy’s complete headache tutorial.

Here’s my review of the book By Doctor Bones and Nurse Amy:

by Amy Alton, A.R.N.P., C.N.M., aka Nurse Amy of www.doomandbloom.net. Invest in their book, The Survival Medicine Handbook, in order to prepare for all types of health and medical scenarios when professional help isn’t available.

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Be a Lean, Mean Survival Mom Machine http://thesurvivalmom.com/be-a-lean-mean-survival-machine/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/be-a-lean-mean-survival-machine/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 08:00:44 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=1857 Picture this.  You’re with your kids or grand-kids in a COSTCO or Wal-Mart, when you hear gunshots and screams coming from across the store.  From the terrifying sounds you know you only have a few seconds to get to safety, Read More

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Do you need a list of reasons to become fit and in better shape? How about survival fitness? | via www.TheSurvivalMom.comPicture this.  You’re with your kids or grand-kids in a COSTCO or Wal-Mart, when you hear gunshots and screams coming from across the store.  From the terrifying sounds you know you only have a few seconds to get to safety, and an EXIT door is about thirty yards away.

Do you have the physical conditioning, stamina, otherwise known as survival fitness, to grab the kids, pick them up if necessary, and run fast enough to escape with your lives?  Or, would those extra pounds and flabby muscles slow you down to make a quick escape impossible? Are you a lean, mean Survival Mom machine?

I’m the first to admit that a quick sprint across the store would be pretty difficult for me.  I could do it, but it sure wouldn’t be impressive in terms of speed or style.  I’ve missed way too many work-outs at the gym and have enjoyed far too many meals at the drive-through lately.  I’m typical of millions of Americans, yet as someone who has preparedness as a top goal, I know that someday my survival may depend on being physically fit.

The necessity of getting shape and building up my physical strength has been a big pill for me to swallow.  I can’t tell you how much I hate exercising and every minute on the treadmill is torment.  Even so, I’ve been working on improving my physical fitness.  I’m not a runner, far from it, but I’ve been making a point of walking or bicyling as many days of the week as I can and doing a series of strength-building calisthenics (floor exercises).

Simple lean, mean Survival Mom machine tips!

When I feel like turning on the TV or plopping down with the latest Daniel Silva book, here’s what I tell myself.

  • Upper body strength will help improve my target shooting.
  • I’m setting a good example for the kids.  They love physical activity, and I want them to keep that attitude.
  • Stronger leg muscles are more attractive and much better for running from a dangerous situation.  And also for kicking bad guys in the groin.
  • As I build up my cardio-vascular system, my overall health improves, hopefully keeping me healthy for many, many years to come.  Who knows what our health care system will look like in a few years, and I’d just as soon stay healthy and limit my dependence on the medical system.
  • I am so vain it’s embarrassing.  Heck, I just want to look cuter in my jeans!

How about you?  Could you depend on your fitness level to run fast and far if your life, and the lives of your children, depended on it?  Building up our bodies to be as strong as possible and losing some of the pounds that slow us down is a survival and preparedness must.  No, it’s not an easy step, and there are hundreds of excuses to procrastinate, most of them printed on restaurant menus!  However, there’s a very powerful reason for Survival Moms to start today:  our children.


Someday your survival may depend on being physically fit.
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If you’re already in shape, let us know how you do it.  If you’re on the journey toward physical fitness and being a lean, mean survival machine, hey, we’re on it together!  I’d love to hear about  your plans for becoming the leanest and strongest Survival Mom you possibly can be!

Join the Facebook group, Skinny Survival Moms here!

Listen to this Related Podcast

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

This post was updated from the original posting on November 6, 2009.

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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?

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

The post 5 Post-Emergency Herbs: The Calming Cuppa by Agatha Noveille appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

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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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