Herbal Remedies

Herbal Medicine Kit: Bites, Stings and Splinters

The end of last year we started a series by our friend and Doing the Stuff Network member Kat Yorba called Go-to Herbal Medicine Kit. With herbs and weeds growing crazy this time of the year, I thought it was time to pick it back up and keep learning about herbal remedies. Here’s part 4…

For a refresher, you can check out the previous posts below:

herbal-medicine-kit

by Kat Yorba

Today we begin a 3 part look at Bites, Stings and Splinters.  In the process we will look at many different herbs, essential oils and clays as well as make various herbal preparations.

Ready to get started?? Here we go:

Bites, Stings & Splinters…Oh MY!

OUCH!

One yellow jacket did this damage!

One yellow jacket did this damage!

Summer brings many pleasures…sunshine, long days, playing in the water and…MOSQUITOES!

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

 Insect Bite Oil Recipe – Printable!

Click HERE to print

One more recipe for you…courtesy of Frugally Sustainable!

(This is a more advanced recipe for later use) 

Itch Relief Stick

Itch Relief Stick

Ingredients  

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

-1 ounce (approx. 2 tablespoons) Shea butter

-1 ounce (approx. 2 tablespoons) cocoa butter

-1 ounce (approx 2 tablespoons) beeswax

-1 teaspoon Neem oil

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

Method

1. Infuse your oil with the herbs.

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

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

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

Notes

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

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

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

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

Echinacea

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

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

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

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

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

Also known as

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

Constituents

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

Parts Used

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

Typical Preparations

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

Precautions

Use with caution if you are allergic to ragweed.

*Courtesy of Mountain Rose Herbs

Lavender

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

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

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

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

Also known as

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

Constituents

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

Parts Used

Flowers.

Typical Preparations

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

*Courtesy of Mountain Rose Herbs

Bentonite Clay

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blessings to you and yours,

Kat

———————————————

About Kat Yorba: Hi, I’m Kat. I’m a wife, mother, friend, massage therapist, writer, gardener, and child of God. I LOVE coffee, chocolate, essential oils, good books, cats, motorcycles, guns, drag racing and living in the USA! Learning to be more self-reliant & self-sufficient in a semi-homemade, homesteading way! Connect with Kat on her blog, Simply Living SimplyFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Google+.

Kat’s Printable Resources:

Herbal Medicine Kit-Bites, Stings, Splinters part 1

Link for Insect Bite Oil

Herbal Medicine Kit-Bites, Stings, Splinters part 2

Poultice Link

Link to Echinacea Tincture

Herbal Medicine Kit-Bites, Stings, Splinters part 3

Link to Ant Bite/Nettle Remedy

Link to Yellowdock Tincture

Link to Yellowdock Syrup

P.S. – You can also keep up with the Stuff we’re Doing on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, and our Facebook page… and over at the Doing the Stuff Network on PinterestGoogle +, and Facebook.

P.P.S – If you find value in our blog, Dirt Road Girl and I would appreciate your vote on Top Prepper Sites! You can vote daily by clicking here or on the image below. Check out all the other value-adding sites while you’re there…

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Copyright: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form, in part or whole, for non-commercial use with a link back to this site crediting the author. All links in articles must remain intact as originally posted in order to be republished. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information.

 

Categories: Herbal Remedies, Homeopathy, Natural Health, Preparedness, Self-reliance, Wildcrafting | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

27 Survival Uses for Common Mullein Besides Cowboy Toilet Paper

by Todd Walker

Part of our Self-Reliant Summer series

Ever been caught in the woods with nature calling you to a squatty position? If you forgot the Charmin, you’d still be a happy camper with Cowboy Toilet Paper (AKA – Common Mullein). It’s velvety soft leaves have wrangled many a woodsman and camper from certain disaster over a cat hole.

27 Survival Uses for Common Man Mullein Besides Cowboy Toilet Paper

The fuzzy leaf of this botanical wonder may cause skin irritation (contact dermatitis). That’s not a bad thing if you happen to be a Quaker in the new world. Since Quaker women weren’t allowed to wear make up, these resourceful ladies rubbed the hairy leaves on their cheeks for a homemade blush to attract suitors. Hence the name Quaker’s Rouge.

If employed as Cowboy TP or camper’s wash cloth, wipe with the flow of the hairs not against. Use caution with sensitive behinds. If a rash occurs, plantain is usually close by.

Common Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) is easy to identify making it a safe gateway herb to wildcrafting and medicinal plants. The leafs, stalk, and root are safe for medicinal purposes.

First year plants grow as a rosette with large, wooly, hairy, velvety leaves. The silver-green foliage gives the plant an artificial waxed appearance. They grow in well-drained disturbed soil by roadways, abandoned fields, waste places, and even gravel, rocky soil in full sun.

10 Survival Uses for Mullein Besides Cowboy Toilet Paper

First year growth

Second year growth can reach heights over ten feet.

10 Survival Uses for Mullein Besides Cowboy Toilet Paper

Forgot my tripod. This is my first EVER selfie! I’m 5’10” tall for comparison.

10 Survival Uses for Mullein Besides Cowboy Toilet Paper

Mullein flowers showing off their five yellow flowers

You may know this European weed transplant by other common names such as flannel flower, Quaker’s rouge, bunny’s ear, candle wick, great mullein, torchwort, miner’s candle, poor man’s blanket, hag’s taper, ice leaf, or Cowboy Toilet Paper. Whatever name you use, mullein has been a valuable mulituse tool for self-reliance for thousands of years.

Here’s why…

Properties of Mullein

Understanding the properties of herbs allows you to get the most out of  your herbal medicine chest. Here’s the plant’s medicinal profile:

  • Analgesic – pain relief
  • Anticatarrhal – reduces inflammation of the mucous membranes (lungs, sinus, etc.)
  • Antispasmodic – suppresses involuntary muscle spasms
  • Antitussive – relieve or prevent coughs
  • Astringent – contraction of body tissue, typically on skin
  • Demulcent – forms a soothing film over mucous membranes
  • Diuretic – increases urine production
  • Expectorant – aid in the clearance of mucus from the airways, lungs, bronchi, and trachea
  • Mucilant – coat and protect mucous membranes
  • Vulnerary – promotes healing of wounds, cuts, and abrasions

For more information on medicinal properties of herbs, check out Bk2natuR’s Herbal Dictionary and other natural goodness!

An additional awesome herbal/wildcrafting resource can be found at Common Sense Homesteading. Laurie, a blogging friend of mine, has a great series called Weekly Weeder with 48 posts on using your weeds for culinary and medicinal purposes. I highly recommend her stuff!

As you can see, Common Mullein has many more uses than emergency roadside TP. Take a look…

Medicine

  • Mullein tea (expectorant) helps facilitate lung function and removes congestion and mucus from the respiratory tract. Dried leaves may also be used as a smoke inhalation.

A dehydrator speeds up the drying process. Set your dehydrator on its lowest heat and process until dry. I set this batch on 95º for about 18 hours for crispy leaves.

[Side note: Even though out Excalibur uses little electricity, I want to build a solar dehydrator. If you have successfully built your own, please contact me. Thanks!]

10 Survival Uses for Mullein Besides Cowboy Toilet Paper

One of five trays of 1st year mullein leaves

10 Survival Uses for Mullein Besides Cowboy Toilet Paper

‘Toby’ the pig helping me make some mullein tea with a backyard bushcraft setup

  • Oil infusion of the yellow flowers for ear aches

How to make Mullein-Flower Oil Infusion

A.) Locate a group of blooming mullein plants (June-September) and harvest the yellow flowers. You’ll need enough to fill a small jam or jelly jar half to three-quarters full. I ended up with about half a jar of flowers. This is tedious and time-consuming. Allow the blooms to dry for an hour or so to remove some of the water content.

10 Survival Uses for Mullein Besides Cowboy Toilet Paper

Flowers harvested from 6 or 7 mullein stalks

B.) Fill the jar with olive oil or any oil you like and screw the lid tightly. Steep the infusion in a warm, sunny spot for about 2 to 4 weeks. Shake the infusion once a day – if you remember.

10 Survival Uses for Mullein Besides Cowboy Toilet Paper

Sunny spot for steeping

C.) Pour the infused oil through a strainer (cheese cloth or bandana) into another container for storage. Label, date, and store in a cool dark cabinet. For ear aches or wax build up, place a few (2-3) drops into the ear a couple of times daily until the problem clears up.

 Garden/Permaculture

  • Improves soil as a nitrogen fixer and heals the worst soil conditions
  • Feeds bees and other pollinators
  • Compost material
  • Some birds enjoy the seeds
  • Rotenone, found in mullein, is synthesized for insecticide
  • Goats won’t eat it so mullein is a good way to add some green to goat-ravaged land

Bushcraft and Self-Reliance

  • Mullein leaves can be used inside shoes as a cushion and warmth
  • Blanket mullein is one alias outdoor enthusiasts should keep in mind for emergency blanket
  • Saponins in the seeds are said to be useful for stunning fish for easy collection – use only in a true survival scenario
  • Dried leaves and seed pods make an excellent tinder for fire starting
  • Dip a dried seed head stalk in tallow, bees-wax, or pine sap for a long-burning torch (torchwort, miner’s torch)
  • The stalk can be used to create a friction fire – bow or hand drill style

Creek Stewart at Willow Haven Outdoor has a great video demonstrating the friction fire technique using mullein below:

Common Mullein is the common man/woman multi-tool of herbal self-reliance. Ah, a new alias… Common Man Mullein!

DISCLAIMER: This information is offered for educational purposes only. Do your own due diligence before foraging wild edibles and medicinal plants of any kind.

Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,

Todd

P.S. – You can also keep up with the Stuff we’re Doing on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, and our Facebook page… and over at the Doing the Stuff Network on PinterestGoogle +, and Facebook.

P.P.S – If you find value in our blog, Dirt Road Girl and I would appreciate your vote on Top Prepper Sites! You can vote daily by clicking here or on the image below. Check out all the other value-adding sites while you’re there…

Thanks for Sharing the Stuff!

Copyright: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form, in part or whole, for non-commercial use with a link back to this site crediting the author. All links in articles must remain intact as originally posted in order to be republished. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information.

Categories: Bushcraft, Doing the Stuff, Herbal Remedies, Medical, Natural Health, Self-reliance, Survival, Wildcrafting | Tags: , , , , | 23 Comments

10 Reasons to Add Plantain to Your SHTF Medicine Chest

by Todd Walker

10 Reasons to Add Plantain to Your SHTF Medicine Chest

No matter how domesticated we’ve become, at our genetic core, our hunter-gather within longs to be unleashed. In our quest to express our primal genes, we encounter Nature’s revenge from stings, bites, cuts and injury. The fear and misery that follows is enough to keep one indoors and isolated from our natural environment.

If you only learn to identify and use one medicinal herb, I’d like to recommend plantain. Over-the-counter medicines won’t always be available. In North America, this plant is prolific.

Plantain (not the fruit) can be found most any place there’s soil and sunshine. On the trail, in the backyard, and growing in sidewalk cracks, this pesky plant is sprayed, pulled, and hated by millions hellbent on preserving pristine lawns.

I first discovered plantain’s effectiveness on tick bites years ago. It is now my go-to remedy. My skin reacts wildly to stinging/biting insects and poisonous plants. You’d think I would avoid the woods but I can’t. The rewards outweigh the risks many times over!

The good news is that nature provides an antidote – in abundance – which works better than store-bought chemical stuff!

Picking Plantain

There are over 200 varieties of plantain around the world. The roots, leaves, flowers and seeds can be used both internally and externally. The two commonly found in North America that I use are…

Scientific namePlantago major

Broad leaf plantain

Broad leaf plantain without the stalks and spikes formed. It’s too early for them to grow the spikes I guess. The spots on the leaves are dirt from a recent rain.

Common name: Common plantain, broad -leaf plantain, snakeweed, and White Man’s Foot. The last nickname came about as the english and europeans brought seeds over to North America because of its healing properties. Native American’s are said to have coined this name since everywhere the white settlers stepped, plantain seemed to sprout.

Scientific name: Plantago lanceolata

Common name: Lance leaf, snake plantain, ribwort plantain, black plantain, narrow-leaf plantain, and long plantain.

This narrow-leaf variety is more plentiful in my area

This narrow-leaf variety is more plentiful in my area

Narrow -leaf plantain with the head and stalk

Narrow -leaf plantain with the head and stalk

The long stems on the narrow-leaf plantain have seed heads at the tip. As a kid, we would pick these stems, wrap the end around the head and ‘shot’ them like a sling shot of sorts. I know, we were easily entertained.

For more identification info, here are a few links that may help: Broad-Leaf Plantain and Narrow-Leaf Plantain.

Properties of Plantain

I’m not a herbalist or expert feral food forager. After all…

it’s the things that you learn after you know it all that really matter!

I’m not giving medical advice here. This is simply my first-hand experience of Doing the Stuff with this wicked-good weed.

Understanding the properties of this plant broadens its medicinal application. My main use of this plant has been for stings/bites and skin conditions. However, with a little research and digging, I’ve discovered many uses for this common weed.

NOTE: Traditional uses of plantain and other herbal remedies may not have been proven effective through scientific studies or approved by the FDA. But you probably know how I feel about the Food and Drug Administration – use their advice (and herbal remedies) at your own risk after doing your own due diligence.

There’s no money to be made in herbal meds by the FEDs. Commercial pharmaceutical companies can’t monopolize a weed. Just a thought!

#1 Alterative (Cleansing) Uses

An Alterative herb cleans the blood and organs that help eliminate waste products from your body.

  • Blood poisoning – I witnessed red lines from an infected tick bite disappear with a plantain poultice.
  • Improve liver function

#2 Anti-inflammatory Uses

  • Reduces swelling from bites, stings, and sprains. Approved in Germany for topical treatment.
  • Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
  • Peptic ulcers
  • Inflamed digestive tract

#3 Demulcent (Soothing) Uses

  • Mucilage (husks of plantain seeds – Psyllium harvesting tutorial) forms a soothing film over irritated and inflamed membranes.
  • Cough suppressant
  • Bronchitis and other upper respiratory conditions
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Sore muscles – apply warmed, bruised leaves to sore or sprained area

#4 Diuretic (promotes production of urine) Uses

  • Kidney problems – taken as a tea throughout the day
  • Bladder problems
  • Bed wetting
  • Water retention

#5 Refrigerant (Cooling) Uses

  • Burns – apply a bruised whole leaf to burned area. An excellent substitute when aloe is unavailable!
  • Sun burn – make plantain tea and spray on burned area.
  • Scalds and mild ulcers
  • Abcess on gums and teeth
  • Laryngitis
  • Lung infections – even pneumonia
  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Hemorrhoids – heals and sooth via plantain tea and salves
  • Diaper rash and cradle cap – apply plantain oil or slave infusion to affected area

#6 Styptic (stop bleeding) Uses

  • Chew into spit poultice or crush in a mortar and pestle and apply to minor topical wounds.

# 7 Anti-toxic Uses

  • Plantain contains Aucubin which is a powerful anti-toxin
  • Anti-venomous for snake, insect, and bug bites. Get medical attention where available if you are ever snake bit or allergic to insect stings!

#8 Astringent (drawing) Uses

  • Splinters
  • Poisonous bites and stings
  • Eczema
  • Boils
  • Glass shards
  • Poison ivy – relieves itching and helps dry the rash
  • Acne
  • Stinging nettles
  • Gout

#9 Laxative

  • Relieves constipation
  • But also works on diarrhea

#10 Antimicrobial (antibiotic) Uses

Plantain packs high amounts of beneficial chemicals for health and healing. Vitamins A, C, K, and calcium are abundant in this ‘weed’. The chemical mix of tannin, sorbitol, aucubin, acids (eg, benzoic, caffeic, chlorogenic, cinnamic, p-coumaric, fumaric, salicylic, ursolic, vanillic, ascorbic), alkaloids (boschniakine) and amino acids (eg, alanine, asparagine, histidine, lysine).

  • Athlete’s Foot
  • Bacterial infections
  • Anti-cancer effects – no human studies have been performed but has been shown to reduce tumors in rats.

Note: This information should be verified by YOU before using plantain medicinally. In no way is this information intended to overlook the advice of medical personnel. If you are taking other medications, please consult your physician before using plantain for self-healing. While plantain has no known toxicity, be aware that there are documented adverse effects in pregnant women. 

Further scientific studies on plantain’s usefulness can be found here.

Medicinal Recipes

Plantain decoctions, salves, teas, tinctures, poultices and infusions can be made with simple recipes. Here are few you can check out:

  1. Astringent Tincture
  2. Plantain Oil from Susan Weed
  3. Topical Salves
  4. Internal Herb Methods

Plantain is a prolific ‘weed’ that tops the list in my herbal medicine chest! What’s your top healing herb?

Keep Doing the Stuff,

Todd

P.S. – You can also keep up with the Stuff we’re Doing on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, and our Facebook page… and over at the Doing the Stuff Network on PinterestGoogle +, and Facebook.

Thanks for sharing the stuff!

P.P.S – If you find value in our blog, Dirt Road Girl and I would appreciate your vote on the Top Prepper Sites! You can vote daily by clicking here or on the image below. Check out all the other value-adding sites while you’re there…

Copyright Information: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form, in part or whole, for non-commercial use with a link back to this site crediting the author. All links in articles must remain intact as originally posted in order to be republished. If you are interested a rare third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information.

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Bushcraft, Doing the Stuff, First Aid, Herbal Remedies, Natural Health | Tags: , , , , | 14 Comments

Product Review: Seneca Herbal Black Salve

by Todd Walker

I was made aware that the ground I walked upon, was the very medicine of the Earth. ~ Kevin W. Luce

We often get comments and emails from folks wanting to advertise their product(s) on our site. Since we don’t allow advertising, if the product seems to be something that would add value and be useful to our readers, I’ll give it a try – and an honest review.

For instance, after our first post in our Herbal Medicine Kit series, Ben left a comment asking me to review an all-natural healing and drawing salve his family makes. I agreed, and I’m glad I did.

A few days later I received a jar and their brochure.

review_seneca_herbal_black_slave
After three weeks of using Seneca Herbal Black Salve, I’m pleased with the results!

History of Seneca Herbal Black Salve

The brochure states:

The salve was developed by Myrtle Peterson (also known in the Seneca language as ‘Gayanose’) while she was studying herbal medicines in Olean, New York. Myrtle was a Seneca Native American know for being a Hawk Clan Mother, member of the Seneca Government, and on of the authors of the Seneca Dictionary. Myrtle was also a renowned herbalist, authoring various books and pamphlets on local herbs and their uses.

Made completely from natural herbs, the salve can be used for:

  • Healing open sores and skin ulcers caused from Diabetes, Sebaceuos Dermatitis, and other conditions.
  • Soothing skin rashes caused from diapers allergic reactions, and plants (poison ivy!).
  • Healing minor cuts and burns.
  • Helping with eczema and scaly skin diseases.
  • Drawing irritants our of the skin, such as slivers, metal shavings, and glass particles.

Directions for Use

  1. Apply a generous amount of salve on affected area.
  2. Cover with gauze or bandage.
  3. Change dressing 2-4 times per day (or as needed) until area is completely healed.

CAUTION: For external use only. When using this product, avoid contact with eyes. Keep out of reach of children. Do not eat. If swallowed, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center immediately.

In 2001 I was diagnosed with skin lupus (cutaneous lupus erythematosus). Thankfully, only my skin is affected – not like the systemic type. Exposure to the sun’s UVB and UVA ultraviolet rays is what triggers flare ups on my skin. This sucketh since I love and spend lots of time outdoors!

The area most affected is my neck.

Over the years I’ve used a prescription salve to treat the rash which is often misdiagnosed as rosacea, psoriasis, or eczema. In an attempt to avoid prescription medications, I’ve tried many natural remedies – coconut oil, tallow, and bees-wax concoction – to help the condition. Eventually the red “butterfly” rash will turn white and flaky and cause scaring if not treated early.

Testing the Black Salve

I tested the salve on two conditions: skin lupus and tick bites.

Lupus test: A few of the lupus spots on my neck had started transitioning to the white, flaky phase. Instead of applying a generous amount as recommended, I began applying a thin layer on the rash. Just enough to cover the area. I didn’t want to walk around with a bandage on my neck.

Over the last three weeks, the Seneca Herbal Black salve has worked to stop the flare ups on my neck and head. It hasn’t cured the condition. But I’ve never had any other natural product work this well. It even appears to help with the previous scaring the rash left in past years.

Tick bite: Another source of skin irritation for me is insect bites – tick bites in particular. No matter how many prevention measures I take, these pesky bugs seem to find me. I’ve been dealing with three bites for two months now.

When bitten, I remove the tick and apply crushed plantain immediately. This takes care of the stinging and itching for a day or two. But the bite takes a long time to completely heal. I guess it goes with the territory of having my skin condition. I’ve had bites take 6 to 8 months to go away completely.

They itch, I scratch, and the cycle continues. So I tried the Black Salve on a bite on my leg as recommended in the pamphlet. After 24 hours, the welt had reduced in size and no longer itched!

I applied another round of salve on the area for two additional days. This bite stopped itching for the first time in two months.

For maintenance purposes, I spread a dab on the ‘butterfly’ rash on my neck daily. Now I’m able to shave the area with ease. The rash is no longer raised and inflamed.

The prescription cream works to a certain degree but I hate to use the chemicals in the tube. For me, the Seneca Herbal Black Salve has become my go-to ointment for my skin.

If you’re interested in ordering for yourself, family, or herbal medicine kit, contact Ben’s family business in Jamestown, NY:

Phone: 716-640-7453

Website: Seneca Salve

Email: sales@senecasalve.com

As I stated earlier, we don’t allow advertising on our site. We do promote products that we’ve personally tested and would recommend to our readers. We have no financial interest in this family run company.

However, I did receive a free jar to try. And I’m so glad I did. I’ll be ordering more. The 2 ounce container sells for $19.95. In three weeks of daily use, I’ve used about a third of the jar.

They also sell a salve for animal use. If it’s anything like the salve I used, it would come in handy on pets and larger animals on your homestead.

If you try it, I’d be interested in hearing your results!

Keep doing the stuff!

Todd

P.S. ~ As always, if anything from this site adds value to your life, please pass it on. You can also connect with us on TwitterPinterest, and our new Facebook pageThanks for sharing the stuff!

Copyright Information: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form, in part or whole, with a link back to this site crediting the author. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information. Thanks for sharing the stuff!

Categories: Herbal Remedies | Tags: , | 4 Comments

Herbal Medicine Kit: Preparations for External Use

Part 3 of our Go-to Herbal Medicine Kit series.

by Kat Yorba

What is Paradise? But a Garden, an Orchard of Trees and Herbs, full of pleasure, and nothing there but delights. ~William Lawson, 1618.

Spa of Colonial Williamsburg Herbal Experience

Image credit

Welcome Back….

…to another posting of the Herbal Medicine Kit!

Today we will be looking at the various external Herbal Preparations!

Only about 6 in all and then at the end of this post I will be sharing basic, foundational Recipes for many of the Herbal Preparations.  These recipes you can build upon and customize for your specific uses.

Here we go…

Preparations for External Use

Aromatic Waters

Scented waters are used to treat many different skin issues ranging from acne to even burns.  Because there is much dilution of the essential oils used, aromatic waters can be applied directly to the skin without an issue.  They can also be taken internally and they are wonderful to use for herbal compresses.  Having a few on hand is a good thing!

Body Oils

Body oils are made from herbs or essential oils, combined with your oil of choice for your specific condition or use.

Tummy rubs are a great way to use herb infused body oils…especially for children who just will not take that nasty tasting herb!

If you add heat-producing herbs such as cinnamon, clove or cayenne to your oil you have a fabulous liniment for rubbing sore muscles and joints.  I use this after a very long day massaging!  Body oils can also be an excellent basis for making creams and lotions!

Compress

Compresses are quick but very effective for many uses:

  • Headaches
  • Bleeding
  • Bruises
  • Muscle Cramps of all kinds
  • Sore Throats
  • To Increase blood flow for circulatory issues

Compresses are easy, remember?!  Soak a soft cloth in any of the following:

  • Strong Herbal Tea
  • Diluted Tincture or Glycerite
  • Essential Oils
  • Aromatic Water

Wring out the cloth and apply to the skin.  Then sit or lay down for a period of time.  While you’re at it, enjoy a cup of Herbal Tea!

Castor Oil Pack

Same as a Herbal Compress above but soaked in Castor Oil which has been warmed.  The cloth is placed on the skin and a warm hot water bottle or hot pack is placed on top.

Herbal Baths

In my opinion, Herbal Baths should be on the front line when it comes to combating illness or stress!!  Lets look at all the components of an Herbal Bath:

  • Herbs; single or a combination
  • Aromatherapy; herbs and/or essential oils
  • Hyrdrotherapy; Hot or Cold and sometimes both

All of these components are extremely helpful in combating illness and stressful situations in life.  Heat from the water relaxes tight and sore muscles and a cold bath will help in the reduction of inflammation and swelling.  The very act of sitting in a bath and doing nothing while allowing warm waters to relax your body and aromatherapy to fill your senses helps your body to let go of stress.  Stress as we know, is one of the most common factors in promoting disease and illness.  Baths nip that in the bud!

Variations on full baths may include foot or hand baths with the additions of essential oils!  Pure bliss if you have been on your feet working all day or working with your hands all day long.

Poultice

Poultices are similar to Compresses, however the actual Herbs or Clays are applied directly TO the skin.  Then the poultice is wrapped with a cloth or bandage.

Usually the herb is pounded or blended (and yes, even chewed) into a sticky paste then spread on the afflicted area and topped off with a bandage.

Clay Poultices use clays, dried/powdered herbs, essential oil and are usually moistened with Herbal Tinctures or a strongly brewed Herbal Tea.

Salve

A Salve is basically a thick herbal oil.  Olive oil is the most common oil base but others can be used as well such as Coconut oil.  Salves are used for many conditions such as:

  • Skin issues
  • Minor bruises
  • Cuts, scrapes
  • Rashes, eczema
  • Swelling
  • Minor Burns

Note: We will be making several of these during the Herbal Medicine Kit Course

The Basic Recipes

These are basic, generic recipes that will guide you as you formulate your own Herbal Medicine Kit.  Feel free to modify, customize and create as you learn and grow in your Herbal walk.

Tincture Formula

1 ounce dried or powdered herbs

5 ounces Vodka or Everclear

Chop herbs, place in clean jar…do not pack too tightly.

It is important for the Vodka to saturate them.  Cover with just enough liquid so they are completely submerged.  Put on a tight lid and store for 2 weeks.  A dark place is fine, shake contents twice daily.  If you used powdered herbs stir with spoon twice daily.

After 2 weeks strain out the herb pulp, compost, and store in a clean bottle in a cool, dark place.  Tinctures will keep for 6 years or longer.

Glycerite Formula

1 ounce herbs

6 ounces glycerin

4 ounces distilled water

Chop herbs, place in clean jar…do not pack too tightly.

Combine glycerin and water; pour over herbs.  Put a tight lid on and store at room temperature.  Shake contents every day to distribute the mixture.  After 2 weeks strain out the herb pulp, compost, and store in a clean bottle in a cool place out of direct sunlight.  Glycerites will keep for at least 2 years.

Herbal Vinegar Formula

1 ounce fresh or dried herbs

5 ounces vinegar, any kind

Chop herbs, place in clean glass jar, not tightly.  Pour just enough vinegar over to cover herbs.  Put a tight lid on it.  If you lid is metal cover with plastic wrap first so the Vinegar does not cause corrosion.  Keep at room temperature.  After 2 weeks strain out the herbal pulp, compost, and bottle in a pretty glass jar.  Herbal Vinegars last for years.

Herbal Pills

Dried or powdered Herbs of Choice

Empty Capsules

Capsule machine

**I will give several recipes for Herbal Pills as this course progresses.

Simply grind or powder your herbs, put into capsules and take as directed!

Body Oil

2 ounces dried herbs

1 pint Oil

Chop herbs, place in clean glass jar, cover with your oil of choice.

Now you need to heat your oil/herb mixture:

5 hours at 180 degrees with either a double boiler on the stove top, oven, electric turkey cooker or Crock-pot-on the lowest temperature or even on warm (my personal favorite).

When done, strain out the herbal pulp, compost, and bottle in a clean glass jar.  Stored in a cool place the herbal oil will keep several months.  Stored in the refrigerator it will keep even longer.

Body oil can be thickened by adding Beeswax, Shea Butter and heating slightly.

Body Oil with Essential Oils

4 ounces Oil of choice

½ tsp (50 drops) Essential Oils

Combine ingredients and your done.

Healing Salves

1 C. Body Oil

¾ ounce Beeswax

8 Drops Essential oils

Combine Body oil and beeswax, heat mixture just enough to melt the wax.  Add essential oils, stir and then pour into clean glass jars.  Let cool.  Stored at room temperature this salve will keep for 6 months.

Herbal Compress

5 Drops Essential Oils

Small bowl of water

Soft Cloth

Add essential oil to water. Soak cloth in water and wring out.  Fold cloth and apply to afflicted area.

Skin Healing Poultice

1 handful of herbs

4 ounces of water

Blend ingredients in blender into a thick slurry.  Spread on wound, holding the poultice in place by wrapping gauze around it.  Leave poultice on wound for 20 minutes to one hour.

Looking Forward

Next week we will be learning about Herbal Preparations for Bites, Stings and Splinters.  This will include in-depth information on Echinacea Root, Lavender and Bentonite Clay.

Preparations we will cover will be an Oil, Poultice and a Tincture!

Shopping List

Lavender Essential Oil

Echinacea Root

Bentonite Clay

Have on hand distilled water

High proof Vodka or Everclear for Tincture

Small Glass Bottle with dropper for storing your oil preparation

*Check last weeks postings Resource List if needed for your supplies

Blessings to you and yours,

Kat Yorba

Kat Yorba

About Kat Yorba: I am a “red-neck country wife” to one wonderfully amazing man, mother to many outrageous children, daughter of the ONE Glorious God. Learning to be more self-reliant & self-sufficient in a semi-homemade, homesteading way! Connect with Kat on her blog, Simply Living SimplyFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Google+.

Go-to Herbal Medicine Kit series

In case you missed any posts in this series….

Part 1: Go Herbal: Putting Together Your Go-To Herbal Medicine Kit

Part 2: Herbal Medicine Kit: Preparations for Internal Use

Copyright Information: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form, in part or whole, with a link back to this site crediting the author. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information. Thanks for sharing the stuff!

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Categories: Herbal Remedies, Natural Health | Tags: , , | 11 Comments

Herbal Medicine Kit: Preparations for Internal Use

Part 2 in our Herbal Medicine Kit series. See the other posts in this series at the end of this article.

by Kat Yorba

Kat Yorba

Kat Yorba

Herbs: “Trees, shrubs, mushrooms lichens and fruits & vegetables that have medicinal properties…or ALL medicinal and cosmetic plants as herbs.”

Welcome Back

There are countless different herbs and as many different combinations of herbs that are used for our good health and healing.  Thankfully, there are only a few basic and different types of preparations that are used in treating illnesses and wounds.

These preparations take dried or fresh herbs and transform them into life giving medicine that can be taken internally in the form of teas, capsules and the like, or applied topically such as salves, oils, bath salts and compresses.

Sometimes you will use both methods of preparation for a single herb with differing expected outcomes such as using St. John’s wort to make capsules and also a salve.  The nature of your ailment will ultimately determine your preparation.

Ingredients for your various preparations can be obtained from a variety of sources:

  • Your own kitchen/back yard
  • Harvesting from the wild
  • Your whole foods market
  • Your local Herb Store
  • Online Herbal Supply Companies (links will be provided for who I use)
  • Recycle & Re-use containers

For most of your preparations the supplies you will need on hand are quite basic and once you purchase or acquire them, you can get a lot of use for quite a long time out of them!

  • Quart Mason Jars, Pint Jars, Recycle sauce & salsa jars**
  • Amber or Blue 2 oz. bottles with droppers
  • Labels
  • Strainer OR Cheesecloth
  • Herbs (of course)
  • Liquid of Choice (Alcohol, Glycerin)
  • Beeswax, Olive Oil, Shea Butter, Almond oil, Apricot Oil, Oils of your preference, clays
  • Cheesecloth or Muslin for compresses
  • Capsules (capsule maker-inexpensive, will provide links)
  • Honey, Vinegar
  • Re-fillable tea bags OR Tea Spoon/ball

Image source

Now lets look at various basic Preparations for Internal Use…

Preparations for Internal Use

Glycerites

Glycerites provide an alcohol-free alternative to the popular tincture in which the herbs properties are extracted with alcohol.  Glycerine is used to create a Glycerite…the Glycerine extracts the herbs medicinal properties instead of alcohol.  Glycerin has a syrupy consistency and is sweet, but does not affect the blood sugar like honey/sugar can.

There are two types of Glycerin; one derived from animal fat, a by-product of soap making and the other is derived from vegetable oil.  Animal fat Glycerin is sold in Pharmacies, vegetable oil Glycerin can be found at Natural Food Stores.  Be careful, there is also a petroleum Glycerin becoming more and more available!

Average dosage for Glycerite: 30 drops or ¼ tsp. to ½ dropper-full.

Dosage should be diluted in water, tea or juice as irritation may develop.  Glycerites are not as potent as tinctures and are more expensive than teas.

They are easy to prepare and make other preparations from such as syrups.

Capsules/Pills

Capsules or pills release their herbal contents in the stomach as they dissolve.  They provide an easy way to take herbs without the bitter aftertaste.

They are slower acting and generally less potent than tinctures.  But armed with a variety of intake can be an excellent addition to your arsenal come cold/flu or allergy season.  Hit illness with all fronts, I say!

Pills are more convenient when feeling really, really ill as they do not require preparation such as teas would.  They are also easily portable to work or school so you would be able to keep up with your remedies on the go.

After purchasing empty capsules and a capsule maker, your Herbal Capsule selection is only limited by your creativity…not your herbal/whole food store of choice’s availability!

The typical capsule is comparable to half a cup of tea or 1/6th of an ounce of herbs.

Syrups

A syrup is a tincture, liquid extract, glycerite or sometimes even a very strong tea.  All are normally sweetened with sugar, honey or glycerin.  I prefer honey for the added benefits honey brings to the table, however if you have issues with your blood sugar glycerin would be an excellent choice for you.  Also any preparation made with honey should NOT be given to children under the age of 2)

Syrups make ideal cough syrups as it coats and soothes the throat.

Syrups herbal content can be lower due to dilution, the average dosage is 1 TBSP.

Teas

Teas are the simplest and least expensive way to prepare herbs.  A cup of tea only costs a few pennies.  The typical dosage is usually 1 tsp per Cup and 1 C. 3-4 times a day.  That’s roughly 6-10 cents a day!  Some tea remedies are fever reducing teas and work only when taken as a hot tea because of the heat promoting sweat.  Tea does have certain advantages…forcing you to be still, quiet and relax for the few minutes your are partaking of it’s health benefits.  But it can also be a hard cup to swallow when the herbs that will help you are strong, bitter and foul smelling!

Methods:

Infusion:

Pouring hot water over herbs and allowing to steep for 5-10 minutes either in cup or kettle.  Flower and leaves are the usual herbal ingredients.

Decoction:

Gently simmering herbs in a pot of water for 15-30 minutes. Roots and bark are the usual herbal ingredients here.  Keep heat low and cover with lead to keep all of the essential oils in the tea.

Cold Infusion:

Soaking herbs in cold water for 8 hours or more. Delicate fragrant herbs are used in this infusion.  In this manner they do not lose their essential oils.

Tinctures

Tinctures are a concentrated liquid for of herbal medicine.  A tincture is easy to carry with you, easily to take and needs no refrigeration.  It will keep for years as well.  With tinctures it is easier to take those strong tasting and smelling herbal preparations especially when you need large doses.

Average dosage: 30 drops, ¼ tsp or half a dropper-full.

The liquid medium of choice for tinctures is alcohol which draws out very important properties from the herbs.  It also extracts compounds which are not water-soluble.  Making a tincture requires no heat which means that precious essential oils are retained.

Tinctures are more costly than tea…about 35-40 cents a dose, or a couple bucks a day.  But there is something to be said for convenience!

If alcohol is a concern for you then you can eliminate much of the alcohol by dropping a dose of the tincture into a cup of hot boiling water or tea.  The alcohol will evaporate behind.

Vinegars

Herbal Vinegars are prepared like Tinctures, using vinegar to infuse the herbs instead of alcohol.

Most Herbal Vinegars are made for culinary use, however an herbal vinegar is easy to make and can be used as an additional weapon in your arsenal when combating illness such as sore throat…use as a gargle!  It can also be used quite effectively externally as a hair rinse or skin wash for fungal infections or even perhaps as a douche for yeast and other infections.

Typical dosage: 1-2 tsp.

That concludes our look at Preparations for Internal Use.  Next post we will cover Preparations for External Use and give you a shopping list for your first recipes!

Here are resource links that may help you in gathering ingredients for upcoming preparations…

Resources for Ingredients On-Line

Mountain Rose Herbs

Herbs, Essential Oils, Packaging, Equipment,

Bulk products such as clays.

From Nature With Love

Same as Mountain Rose

Capsule Connection

I suggest 00 size which is smaller, this is what I purchased…0 is a bigger capsule, okay if you are used to taking larger pills.  You can find various capsule machines and empty capsules on Amazon when doing a search…this is just a suggestion.

The Bulk Herb Store

Same as Mountain Rose and FNWL

StarWest Botanicals

Starwest Botanicals is your on-line supply source for bulk herbs and natural products. Dried herbs, organic herbs, bulk spices, loose leaf organic teas, organic essential oils and aromatherapy supplies are part of the nearly 3000 natural products to choose from at Starwest Botanicals.

About Kat Yorba: I am a “red-neck country wife” to one wonderfully amazing man, mother to many outrageous children, daughter of the ONE Glorious God. Learning to be more self-reliant & self-sufficient in a semi-homemade, homesteading way! Connect with Kat on her blog, Simply Living SimplyFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Google+.

Go-to Herbal Medicine Kit series

Part 1: Go Herbal: Putting Together Your Go-To Herbal Medicine Kit

Copyright Information: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely, in part or whole, with a link back to this site crediting the author. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information.

Thanks for sharing the stuff!

 

Categories: Doing the Stuff, First Aid, Herbal Remedies, Homeopathy, Medical | Tags: , , | 9 Comments

Go Herbal: Putting Together Your Go-To Herbal Medicine Kit

I’m excited to introduce Kat Yorba to the Sherpa family of contributing authors! She will be adding value in the herbal medicine realm – an area I’m weak in but have always wanted to tighten up.

This is her first installment and introduction to a series called Herbal Medicine Kit. Please welcome Kat and check out her bio at the end of this article!

Why Go Herbal?

by Kat Yorba

Kat Yorba

Kat Yorba

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

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

  • Herbs are nature made…so they are really and truly natural.
  • We know what’s in them; they have a very small ingredient list!
  • Very inexpensive to grow, harvest, create and use.
  • They work!

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

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

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

Go Herbal: Putting Together Your Go-To Herbal Medicine Kit

Barrel of medicine

Your “Go-to” Herbal Medicine Kit!

The Herbal Medicine Kit 101 – Your Basic First Aid

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

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

What’s In the Herbal Medicine Kit?

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

Dried Herbs

Herbs we will look at and use in-depth:

Arnica

Lavender

Tea Tree

St. Johns Wort

Yarrow

Astragalus Root

Baptisia Root

Echinacea Root

Comfrey

Calendula

Yellowdock

Grindelia

Goldenseal

Oregon Grape Root

Essential Oils

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

Lavender

Peppermint

Eucalyptus

Cinnamon

Clove

Marjoram

Chamomile

Lemon

Tea Tree

Citronella

Pennyroyal

Cedar

Rose Geranium

What products will I make?

Aloe Burn Spray

Arnica Tincture

Herbal Compresses

Herbal Healing Salves

Herbal Liniment

Homemade Aloe Vera Gel

Insect Bite Oil & Repellant

Lavender Smelling Salts

Antiseptic Spray

Poison Oak, Ivy & Sumac Past

Ant Bite Remedy

St. John’s Strain & Sprain Oil

Wound Healing Tincture

Yarrow Tincture

Looking Forward

Once a week, Herbal Medicine Kit will be updated with new information ranging from detailed info on each of the herbs and essential oils listed, recipes for the products listed above and fun trivia and pics thrown in for good measure!  I hope you look forward to traveling down the Herbal Road with me…as much as I do!

As we both become more and more familiar with herbs and gain greater knowledge of them I feel confident that we will all find ourselves turning to herbs first in most first aid and everyday illness situations.  I hope you will enjoy and find useful the tutorials (printable too), in-depth descriptions of plants, tips, tricks and recipes that will be a part of this series.

I look forward to learning with you!

About Kat Yorba: I am a “red-neck country wife” to one wonderfully amazing man, mother to many outrageous children, daughter of the ONE Glorious God. Learning to be more self-reliant & self-sufficient in a semi-homemade, homesteading way! Connect with Kat on her blog, Simply Living Simply, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.

 

Categories: First Aid, Herbal Remedies, Homeopathy, Natural Health | Tags: , , , , | 19 Comments

21 Home Remedies for a Toothache

[Editor's note] I’ve put off getting my bottom wisdom teeth pulled for about 20 years. I had my top two removed 10 years back and had planned to remove the bottom as they look like the x-ray below.

They get sore occasionally. Nothing too bad. DRG will tell you I put up with pain to avoid doctors and pharmaceuticals. I need to schedule an appointment for this ‘elective’ surgery before it becomes emergency surgery at a most inopportune time. Until then, these home remedies will get me through.  

Today’s post first appeared on Survival Life and is republished here with the author’s permission. Check out Joe’s bio at the end of the article.  

By 

impacted teeth x ray

This week I had to write my article a little ahead of time as I will be out of the office for a few days.

I went for an annual cleaning at my dentist and a routine X-ray showed that my lower wisdom teeth had turned sideways and were now completely impacted.

I had put it off long enough and it was finally time to schedule in to get them removed.  I was lucky this time that they hadn’t caused me any pain and have not started to damage my other teeth, but I really started to think and I realized one very important thing…

You can’t schedule a toothache and it never fails that a major toothache hits when it’s late at night and your dentist’s office is closed, or you’re somewhere remote and getting to a dentist any time soon is just not an option.

Anyone who has ever had the misfortune of a toothache knows that it is not just your mouth that hurts.

A toothache can be felt in just about every part of your body.  I have had a few so bad that they made me sick to my stomach from the pain alone.

Although in most cases only a doctor can cure the source of the problem, this list of treatments & pain relief remedies should get you through until you can visit the dentist.

It is important to note: If you have a toothache, there is a reason for it and it’s best to have it taken care of by a professional as soon as possible, rather than having it treated at home in hopes that the underlying issue will go away on its own. If it’s infected (if your gum area is swollen), don’t delay in getting professional medical care.

Directions: Apply the below remedies directly to both the problem tooth and surrounding gums unless otherwise directed.

For items that direct you to chew, or for liquids that are to be swished around inside mouth, direct the liquid on and around the sore tooth as much as possible.

Do not swallow liquids. Rinse your mouth and spit them out when done.

  1. Salt Water: Mix a heaping tablespoon full of salt in a small glass of warm water; swirl around inside your mouth for as long as you can, spit out. Repeat as needed.
  2. Hydrogen Peroxide: Swoosh a bit of hydrogen peroxide. If the taste is too horrid for you, try diluting with a bit of water.
  3. Alcohol: Swoosh a bit of whiskey, scotch, brandy or vodka. A strong mouthwash that contains alcohol will do the trick too.
  4. Vanilla Extract: Saturate a cotton ball with vanilla and hold in place. Can also use a cotton swab dipped in extract.
    Other extracts that have the same effect are:
    Almond Extract
    Peppermint Extract
    & Lemon Extract
  5. Tea Tree Oil: Just a drop or two will do the trick. You can also add some to a cotton swab and hold in place or add a few drops of tea tree oil to a small glass of lukewarm to warm water and rinse your mouth with it.
  6. Oil Of Oregano: Mix a few drops with a bit of olive oil, then saturate a cotton ball with mixture. Can replace the olive oil with lukewarm water if preferred.
  7. Apple Cider Vinegar: Soak a cotton ball with apple cider vinegar (ACV) and hold it in place. Can also try regular household vinegar.
  8. Ginger Root: Take a fresh piece of ginger and chew it a bit.
  9. Garlic: Take a clove of garlic, smash it and apply (settle it inside cheek). You can also mash some garlic with salt.
  10. Peppermint Leaves: Chew on fresh peppermint leaves. You can also dried leaves, just hold them in place.
  11. Potato: Cut a fresh piece of potato (raw, skin off) and hold in place. Can also pound a piece of raw potato, mix in a bit of salt and use the mash.
  12. Lime: Cut a slice or wedge of lime and apply, bite into it if you can to release some of the juice.
  13. Onion: Slice a piece of fresh onion and hold it inside your mouth. The onion needs to be freshly cut (so it provides a bit of onion juice).
  14. Plantain: Chew up a fresh plantain leaf. If you’re too sore to chew, use the other side of your mouth. Once the leaf is macerated a bit apply it to the problem area and hold in place.
  15. Cucumber: Slice a fresh piece of cucumber and hold it over the sore area. If refrigerated, you might want to bring the cucumber to room temperature before using (if sensitive to cold) otherwise a cool piece can be soothing.You can also mash a piece with a bit of salt and pack it around the sore tooth.
  16. Cayenne Pepper: Make a paste with cayenne pepper and water.
  17. Black Pepper: You can use this full strength or make a mix of pepper and salt.
  18. Baking Soda: Take a cotton swab and moisten it with a bit of water, dip it in baking soda (coat the swab really well with baking soda) then apply. You can also make a mouth rinse by mixing a heaping spoonful of baking soda in a small glass of lukewarm to warm water, dissolve the soda then swish the mixture in your mouth.
  19. Cloves: This is remedy from the old timers (my great grandparents), rest a clove against the sore area until pain goes away. You can also use a drop or two of clove oil (BE CAREFUL: too much can be toxic) or make a thick paste of ground cloves and water or ground cloves and olive oil.
  20. Tea: Make a fresh cup of tea then take the used tea bag (still warm) and stick it in your mouth. Careful not to tear the bag. The tannins that are naturally in tea leaves can help numb things.
  21. Ice Pack: Cover an ice pack with a face cloth or towel then hold over your cheek where the problem is. This will help numb things. Make sure that you have some type of cloth between your skin and the ice, otherwise you can severely damage your skin.If that doesn’t work, try the opposite–a hot compress (making sure that it is not so hot as to scald your skin).

Tips

  • If the pain is unbearable and there’s no dentist available, call your local hospital’s emergency room–chances are they have a dentist on call that can treat you (for a fee of course).
  • Try gently brushing your teeth and flossing–this might bring some relief.
  • One old-time remedy that you should not follow is to place an aspirin against the sore tooth.  You will have just as much if not more of an effect by swallowing the aspirin.Aspirin is actually an acid (acetylsalicylic acid to be exact) and placing it directly against your gums or teeth will cause corrosion of your teeth and acid burns on your gums.
  • If the side of your face is in severe pain and it feels like you’re going to lose your mind (I’ve been there, done that)–it could be a sinus infection or an allergy that affects your sinuses rather than a problem tooth (even though it definitely feels like it).Try taking a decongestant or if that is not available, a shower set on the hottest setting may help clear your sinus cavities.This might help relieve things until you get to a doctor. Chances are a prescription antibiotic is what you’ll need to clear up the sinus infection.

    If it is a sinus infection please don’t wait to get it taken care of!  I have permanent damage to my left eardrum from a sinus infection that became so congested it literally burst my eardrum as a pressure relief valve.

Have I missed any of your tried-and-true methods to relieve tooth and gum pain?

Please share it below in the comments section.

Please be aware: These are notes I have collected in my personal life over the years, in my own research as well as tips gathered from my grandparents and great grandparents.

They are not by any means professional medical advice and a trained dentist should always be contacted as soon as possible.

P.S. If you have a toothache it may be in your best interest  to go on a soft food diet until you get to the dentist.

Click here to see what I ate for days after my surgery that has earned a permanent spot in my pantry.

About ‘Above Average’ Joe: 

I am the managing editor of Survivallife.com I am just an average guy with an exceptional passion for learning. I am excited to share the things I learn with you but I am most interested in learning from you. Survival Life is more than just one man. It is a growing and living community of individuals; all with the desire to be prepared to survive and thrive no matter what this world throws at us. I look forward to growing with you! Feel free to follow me on facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest

Categories: Herbal Remedies, Homeopathy, Medical, Preparedness | Tags: , | 16 Comments

Once Bitten Twice Shy: Taking the Sting Out of Yellow Jackets

by Todd Walker

I’m typing this post with a very swollen left hand.

I’ve always reacted badly to insect bites. While putting up a wooden fence for a friend yesterday, I disturbed a yellow jacket nest in a bed of ivy. One power-packing bugger hit my in the knee. I killed it and ran about 10 feet away. Then one hit my left hand. I hightailed it away from the area. Fortunately, I only ended up with two stings.

One yellow jacket sting to my left hand and one on my right knee - pictured below.

One yellow jacket sting to my left hand and one on my right knee – pictured below.

wasp sting kneeKnowing my reaction to wasp stings, I started walking the yard to find my favorite remedy, plantain leaves. I quickly chewed a few to activate the goodness and applied the greenery on my bites. The plantain immediately worked to relieve the stinging. The painful sting was not my biggest concern. The swelling and reaction worried me.

The Band Aid I used to hold the plantain on my knee lasted all of 3 minutes before coming off. Sweat and Band Aids don’t mix well. I used medical tape from my first aid kit to secure the natural remedy to my hand. I put my gloves on and went back to work.

Now for the unprepared part.

I didn’t have Benadryl in my work/construction kit. Bad move, Todd! I keep antihistamine meds in all my other kits (hunting, backpacking, get home bag, etc.), but failed to pack any in my construction kit.

Had I been stung multiple times, a hospital/doctor visit would have been necessary. Dirt Road Girl gave me Benedryl when I got home that afternoon with an added dose of lecturing about my not being prepared. My wasp encounter left me uncomfortable, but could have been worse.

Tips to avoid and treat stings

1.) Avoidance –  This is the obvious choice. But sometimes you encounter them anyway. What to look for when outdoors:

Photo credit

  • Eastern Yellow Jacket – Yellowish with black bands around its body. Only 3/8 to 5/8 of an inch in length, their smooth stingers, unlike honeybee’s barbed stingers, allow them to inject painful venom in victims multiple times.
  • They build underground nests in cool, shaded areas.
  • When disturbed, their attack zone is about 15 feet from their nest. They will get in your clothes and continue their stinging assault. Steer clear if at all possible!
  • These wasps are actually valuable to have around when they’re not mad at you. Their beneficial in that they kill and eat spiders, caterpillars, and other garden pests. They forage up to one mile from their nest. 
  • They’re fond of sweet stuff. You’ll see them hovering over sweets, meats, and sugary drinks at picnics. Stay away from an area if you notice yellow jackets flying in and out of the ground. 
  • Avoid wearing brightly colored clothing, scented perfumes, and ‘girly’ smelling body soap. These strong odors and flashy colors attract wasps and bees.

If you are allergic to stinging insects, take precautions before you have a run in with these dangerous pests protecting their turf! An allergic reaction happens when your body over-defends against the venom.

2.) Treating stings

The key to reducing damage from wasp stings is to treat them as soon as possible.

Immediately after being stung, I started looking for plantain. I applied it as quickly as I could chew it. Even getting it on that soon, my hand and knee are still swollen and itchy.

For folks that are extremely allergic to the venom, I recommend seeking immediate medical attention. Serious allergic reaction symptoms include:

  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing
  • Slowed speech
  • Tightness in the throat or chest area
  • Fainting
  • Losing consciousness
  • Anaphylaxis

People have died from mass envenomation from stinging insects. If you are aware of serious allergic reactions from venom, have your doctor prescribe epinephrine (adrenaline) injecting devices and carry them it in all your kits, home, and office.

Remedies and treatments for mild reactions from stings:

  • Topical and oral antihistamines work to help reduce inflammation and itching. Scratching the itchy sting site could introduce bacteria into the skin and cause infection.
  • If you have cold presses or ice available, apply 10 minutes on and ten minutes off (repeat as necessary) to help reduce the itching and swelling.
  • Plantain – Where there is no doctor or medical treatment available, I highly recommend plantain (weed – not banana) leaves. Release the juices by chewing or crushing and apply ASAP. Plantain is a common weed found in most places.
  • Apply a clay/mud pack to the affected area. Wrap it with clean cloth or bandage and allow the pack to dry.
  • Meat tenderizer mixed with water to form a paste can be applied to neutralize the venom.
  • Along the same lines, baking soda and water can help heal the sting.
  • Activated charcoal and water will help as well.

Yellow jackets, though small in size, pack a wallop. Take precautions to avoid them, be prepared to treat nasty stings, and don’t let stinging insects keep you from enjoying the great outdoors.

Doing the stuff,

Todd

P.S.

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Categories: Bushcraft, Herbal Remedies, Medical, Preparedness | Tags: , , | 19 Comments

13 Reasons to Use this Wicked Herbal Remedy

by Todd Walker

What if wicked chickens laid deviled eggs?

That’s probably not going to happen. But then again, Monsanto hasn’t tried – yet.

Either way, here’s a wicked sounding herbal remedy that you should consider adding to your home apothecary.

Witch Hazel

Image credit

Witch hazel is a common flowering shrub found in North America. The witchy name came about by its limbs being used in divining, dowsing, or witching for water. A dowser would use a witching wand made out of a stick or branch of witch hazel to find a vein of water underneath the earth. Finding water by witching is still used today.

This practice was considered witchcraft by some religious folk. Whatever your beliefs on witches and magic, this scary sounding plant actually offers many healing qualities.

Here’s 13 of the wicked good benefits of using witch hazel:

NOTE: Witch hazel tinctures made from the plant can be ingested in small amounts. However, the witch hazel on the drug store shelves contains isopropyl alcohol and should never be used internally.

A.) Acne. The leaves, twigs, and bark of the plant are loaded with tannins which act as an astringent. When applied to the skin they help tighten and dry skin.

B.) Hemorrhoids are a pain in the arse! Witch hazel is one of the main ingredients in Preparation H because it works so well to shrink blood vessels. When the SHTF and your run out of over the counter medication, this herbal remedy will be your bottom’s new best friend.

C.) Sore throat and laryngitis. Gargle with a mixture of WH and cloves to relieve and heal sore throats. Again, NOT the drug store kind!

D.) Teething babies with diaper rash. WH will help sooth both ends of your baby.

E.) Bruises, bumps, and sprains. Soak a cloth with WH and wrap it around a bruise overnight to reduce swelling and discoloration. Test your skins reaction before applying any new herbal remedy.

F.) Bleeding. Minor internal bleeding (ulcers and gums) can be treated with WH. Some doctors prescribe WH to help stop bleeding after surgery when appropriate.

G.) Cleanse wounds and reduce inflammation. On my last tattoo, I asked the my artist what he was applying on my tat. Witch hazel. It works as an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. Use WH on minor scrapes and cuts on your body.

H.) Diarrhea from stomach flu and irritated bowel. Make a sipping tea with WH. Add some mint for taste.

I.) Itchy skin. From poison ivy to sun burn, apply witch hazel to stop the itching. Bug and spider bites respond well to WH, too.

J.) Shaving aid. WH stops razor burn. Styptic pencils contain astringents and use the same properties found in WH to stop bleeding.

K.) Fever. Apply a damp cloth with WH to the forehead or back of the neck to help break a fever. I’ve never tried this, but lots of people swear by this trick.

L.) Swimmers ear. This one I’ve tried. As a kid, my brother and I spent lots of time in the water and got swimmers ear often. Mama would stick a cotton ball soaked in WH in our affected ear(s) to wick the moisture.

M.) Dry and cracked hands. Though it removes oils, the astringent properties also seal moisture in the skin. Use it on your hands when they begin to show signs of cracking from hoeing on your homestead.

Here are two DiY recipe for witch hazel extract: The Mountain Rose Blog and New Life on a Homestead if you’re interested.

Witch hazel is one of the few remaining American medicinal plants allowed by the FDA in over the counter drugs. Our earliest American pioneers knew the effectiveness of witch hazel for all manner of ailment and illness – even without the Food and Drug Administration’s stamp of approval. And they stocked it in their home apothecaries and covered wagons.

How about you? Got any good witch hazel stories? Share them if you’d like in the comment section.

Doing the stuff,

Todd

P.S.

This information is solely for educational purposes. IT IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE.  I am not a licensed physician, just sharing information, folks. Do your own due diligence before using any herbal remedy.

 

Categories: Bushcraft, Herbal Remedies, Homeopathy, Medical, Wildcrafting | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

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