Posts Tagged With: 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…

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: Herbal Remedies, Homeopathy, Natural Health, Preparedness, Self-reliance, Wildcrafting | Tags: , , | 6 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-gatherer 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 Big Pharma. 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 insect, tick, 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 plantain 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. Sherpa Plantain Salve
  2. Astringent Tincture
  3. Plantain Oil from Susan Weed
  4. Topical Salves
  5. 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 of Self-Reliance,

Todd

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

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, Camping, Doing the Stuff, First Aid, Herbal Remedies, Homeopathy, Natural Health, Self-reliance, Wildcrafting | Tags: , , , , | 21 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!

Related articles

Categories: Herbal Remedies, Natural Health | Tags: , , | 13 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: , , , , | 25 Comments

A Board Game That Could Save Your Life

As a teacher, the importance of play in learning cannot be overstated. Sadly, we’re not allowed to have fun in government schooling anymore. Interest-led learning is out – Procrustean bed style schooling is practiced.

The Crunchy Mama’s review of Wildcraft! reverses the notion that learning is boring. Whether you’re into survival and preparedness or not, this board game is a great way to introduce kids and adults to the world of wild food foraging. It might even save you one day!

—————–

Wildcraft! board game — an excellent and fun introduction to wild edibles and medicinal plants

BY THECRUNCHYMAMACHRONICLES ON JULY 12, 2013

Good day, friends!  I want to share with you today my review of a board game that introduces children and adults to wild edible and medicinal plants.  The board game is called Wildcraft! An Herbal Adventure Game created by Kimberly Gallagher with herbalist John Gallagher and artist Beatriz Mendoza.  I purchased this game 2 months ago and I receive no monetary benefit by recommending this product to you.

I wanted to write this post because my family is wild about Wildcraft!  I don’t have to twist my children’s arms to play it — they ask us to play it and they have shared their enthusiasm for the game with others (such as Nana and cousins).  Actually, my two oldest realized that they can play without mommy or daddy and play it at least once a week on their own.

Of course, their enthusiasm is not the top reason that I take the time to write this post for you.  The subject of the game, wild edible and medicinal plants, and this terrific approach to learning them is the top reason.  I have written several posts on wild edibles (1234) because I am enthusiastic about fresh, local, nutritious and free food; I desire to share my first-hand knowledge of wild edibles with you because I believe that you might share or acquire my enthusiasm for wild edibles.  I use herbs for health and specific ailments and have done so for the past 6 years or so but I would not call myself an herbalist or herb expert.  Of course, I always want to learn more and I pick up herbal knowledge here and there, as needed.

As with other things of importance in life, I want to teach my children about wild edible and medicinal plants.  My oldest (who is 8 years old as of this writing) can identify quite a few wild edibles and he, like his mother, loves to share with others his wild edible knowledge :)  Wildcraft! board game is a great way to reinforce the things that we have already learned as well as to learn even more.

I’ve created a 3-minute video to introduce you to the game.  It’s here:

<iframe width=”640″ height=”360″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/IZHKXeD1x2A?feature=player_embedded&#8221; frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>

My middle son (age 6) really enjoys the game for the “adventure” of the game, the matching aspect, the cooperation aspect, and, like the Gallagher’s children as explained here, the shortcuts and slides of the game.  I love the fact that they are learning the names and pictures of useful wild plants.  For families who have no or little previous experience with using wild plants, it gives an introduction to the concept that nature provides plants to help us stay healthy, to heal our wounds and ailments and to meet our nutritional needs.  Unfortunately, many children and adults in our “fast food and drug store” culture have never been exposed to those ideas.  For various reasons, many people from that culture decide to pursue a more natural path for their health and well-being.  This game is a terrific help for newbies to learn some of the wild edible and medicinal plants that nature provides.

While I do really love the game, there is one thing that I was disappointed in.  The game does not teach any specifics on how the plants can be used to cure ailments or to fulfill hunger.  One of the top things about eating wild edibles is learning which part of the plant you can eat, at what stage in development you can eat it, and how to properly prepare it (i.e. does it need to be boiled in 3 changes of water?).  Some plants have edible and toxic parts so it is vital that you know those things.  It’s the same with medicinal plants.  You must know which part is safe to use, how to prepare the part, how to use the part (i.e. is it safe to ingest or can it only be applied externally?), and how much to use.  The creators do acknowledge this and have provided a lot of freebies (e-books including a cookbook and a 10-video beginning herbal lesson series) to help you learn how to use the plants to meet your health needs.  I personally went through the 10-video herbal lesson, learned from it and enjoyed it.

The price is $37.00.  For some, that price might seem a bit high for “just a game”.  I certainly  understand.  For our one-income family, it was money well-spent.  We will continue to enjoy playing this game, learning better and better how wild edible and medicinal plants can help us.  And we will continue to learn the deeper learning material offered as freebies including a monthly herbal newsletter.

If you are on the fence about spending that much on a game, here is some great news — they guarantee that you will love Wildcraft! or they will refund your money AND you can keep the game!

Even if you do not have children in your life, as long as you have another person who is also interested in learning wild edible and medicinal plants, I highly recommend that you get and play the game together and, of course, learn and start using the plants in your cooking and for your minor ailments.  Of course, if you are on prescription drugs, you should consult with your physician to make sure that the herbs that you are interested in incorporating into your “medicine chest” will not cause you problems.

Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, they are sold out of the game.  Their website indicates that they will have more by the fall (2013) and that you can enter your email address to be notified when the game is again in stock and available for purchase.  The space to enter your email address is at the bottom of the webpage.

If you have purchased this game, I’d love to hear what you think of the game!

Thanks for taking the time to read this post.  If you like what you’ve read, please consider subscribing via email or by following me on Twitter or YouTube (where I upload videos more often than I post on my blog).

Author bio: The Crunchy Mama is a libertarian unschooling mama to three sons, married to her husband since 1998.  They live on their Midwestern homestead of 2 ½ acres with chickens, ducks, dogs and an ever-growing organic vegetable garden.  She is an avid wild food eater.  In general, she’d rather be outside enjoying creation. If you’d like, you can connect with The Crunchy Mama on Twitter @thecrunchymama, YouTube, or on her blog Crunchy Mama’s Urban Homestead.

 

Categories: Herbal Remedies, Real Food, Survival Skills, Wildcrafting | Tags: , , , , , | 5 Comments

Healing Broth: Fungus, Seaweed, Sage and Sea Salt

Why should a man die who has sage in his garden?
Old English proverb

Today’s article was originally published at Eatkamloops by Caroline Cooper, one of our valued contributors at Survival Sherpa, and reprinted with her permission. 

Healthy Household: Healing Broth: Part I

fungus mushroom broth Healthy Household: Healing Broth: Part I

Here is my personal blend of fungus, seaweed, sage and sea salt. Have fun and create your own blend to help balance your unique endocrine needs.

“Cur moriatur homo cui Salvia crescit in horto?”
Why should a man die who has sage in his garden?

Old English proverb

Food can be medicine. Special broths can have a healing effect when drunk on a regular basis. Here is just one healing broth that will be especially good for peri-menopausal and menopausal women. Healing broths can be a good substitute for caffeine containing beverages which can become troublesome as a woman ages.

This powdered broth can be brought on a road trip or stored as in an emergency food. You can drink the broth by itself or simmer it in some bone broth.

3 parts dried wild-crafted fungus, powdered (choose from list below)
3 parts dried organic sage, ground (optional)
1-2 part sea salt, ground
1 part seaweed, powdered (chosen from list below)

Grind each individual ingredient by itself and in small amounts. Use a Vitamix machine, coffee grinder or food processor. The finer the grind the better the powder will dissolve in hot water or bone broth.

Store broth powder in a glass jar. Remember to date and label the jar with your chosen ingredients and the amounts used. Don’t be afraid to try different combinations. Actually, this is a good idea because you will get a better range of micro-nutrients.

Use one or two teaspoons in each cup of hot water or bone broth. Add more salt if you like a salty broth. Don’t be afraid to use sea salt to taste. If you are wondering if salt is safe to consume please read these two essays: The Salt of the Earth by Sally Fallon Morell and Salt and Our Health by Dr Morton Satin.

Choose your Fungus:

  1. Maitake has a complex immune stimulating effect and is reported to help the liver clear viral and environmental contamination. Maitake helps the body better absorb nutrients like zinc and copper.
  2. Shiitake has a rich, smoky flavor and is loaded with nutrients, essential amino acids and a highly potent antioxidant, l-ergothioneine. Shiitake contains lentinan which is reported to have a anti-tumor effect.

Choose your Seaweed:

It is reported that seaweed being naturally very high in iodine can improve a woman’s progesterone to estradiol ratios, decreasing estrogen dominance, by increases your free Triiodothyronine (T3).

Here is how different seaweeds can be used to help balance endocrine function. Choose your seaweed with these guidelines in mind or just use your favorite seaweed.

  1. Arame (Eisenia bycyclis) was traditionally used to reduce fibrocystic breasts, uterine fibroids, excessive bleeding and ovarian cysts. This seaweed can reduce acne and excessive facial hair common to Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).
  2. Bladderwrack (Fucus vesiculosus) is an excellent adrenal adaptogen. It appears that the seaweed helps lengthen, short menstrual cycles, and relieves symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) by supporting progesterone production when a woman is estrogen dominant. The seaweed is reported to help with osteoarthritis and inflammatory joint conditions.
  3. Dulse (Palmaria palmata), is very rich in iodine and iron. This seaweed can help with constipation and cyclic mastalgia. It is reported to have an antiviral action against the herpes virus.
  4. Irish Moss (Chondrus crispus) is traditional used for low sex drive. It is reported to support Triiodothyronine (T3) levels which is involved with the conversion of high-density lipoproteins into progesterone pathway and not into the cortisol pathway.
  5. Kelp (Ascophyllum nodosum) like all brown seaweeds is rich in alginate and can chelate radioactive materials and heavy metals from the body. The plant is very high in iodine and can help normalize adrenal, pituitary and thyroid health. It is reported to be a blood purifier and can relieve arthritic stiffness.
  6. Wakame (Alaria esculenta) can help with constipation and lower blood pressure. It is reported to have an antiviral effect against cytomegalovirus and herpes virus.

For more recipes please see Healthy Household: Staying Clean Safely and Saving Money.

P.S.

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Categories: Herbal Remedies, Natural Health, Real Food | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Survival Properties of Garlic and Apple Cider Vinegar

Guest post by 

Garlic is one of the earth’s greatest health tonics and does indeed have scientifically-proven medicinal properties. It contains a substance called Allicin, which has anti-bacterial properties that are equivalent to a weak penicillin. It is a natural antibiotic and is useful in treating everything from allergies to tonsillitis. Garlic contains many sulfur compounds which detoxify the body, boost the immune system, lower blood pressure and improve circulation. Garlic has also demonstrated anti-cancer, antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-oxidant effects. Garlic has powerful anti-viral properties.

 

Photo credit

Garlic can stimulate the production of glutathione, an amino acid which is known to be a very potent antioxidant and de-toxifier and the smooth muscle relaxant adenosine, also found in the herb, will lower blood pressure.

Today people use garlic to help prevent atherosclerosis (plaque build up in the arteries causing blockage and possibly leading to heart attack or stroke), reduce colds, coughs, and bronchitis.

Survival Properties:Garlic is a great antibiotic and also has powerful antiviral properties making it a good choice all year to combat colds, flu, ear infections, and maintain a healthy circulatory system.

Latin Name: **Allium sativum
**Common Names: **Allium, Garlic, Rustic Treacle, Stinking Rose

Properties: antibiotic, antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiseptic, anti-viral, expectorant, fungicide, antihistamine

Uses: Lowers blood pressure and LDL Cholesterol. Prevents atherosclerotic buildup. Lowers or helps to regulate blood sugar. Helps to prevent blood clots from forming, thus reducing the possibility of strokes and thromboses. Removes heavy metals such as lead and mercury from the body. Reduces yeast infections. Relief from rheumatism. Protects against heart disease and strokes. Wounds, ulcers, skin infections, flu,

“Garlic Acid Tincture Recipe”

Apple Cider/Garlic Tincture Recipe
Ingredients:
4 cloves of fresh Pressed Garlic
6 oz. Raw unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar

1 clean glass jar

Potato Ricer and or cheesecloth

Directions:
Mix both together in a glass jar for 2-4 weeks the longer the stronger shaking daily.
Strain garlic and squeeze well in a cheesecloth and or potato ricer put 1/4 of raw pressed garlic back in jar and bottle. The raw garlic will help maintain the potency level at optimal

1. Place 4 oz. of Cider vinegar in a jar add minced or pressed garlic cloves.

2.Cover and shake daily for a min of 2 weeks, longer will give you a stronger and more potent tincture.

3. After 2 weeks or more strain garlic from cider vinegar and press the juices from the garlic with a cheesecloth or place the socked chopped garlic wrapped in a cheesecloth and press it in a potato ricer and squeeze the juices back into the cider vinegar them replace the chopped garlic back into the vinegar and bottle.

Use 1/2 teaspoon or 1 full eyedropper into a 6 oz. glass of WARM filtered water for cold and flu and even Bronchitis or as a daily healthy Tonic this is great for the circulatory system.This is good for cold and flu and as a natural anti-viral antidote a great travel aid and first aid companion.
Do Not Use if pregnant or breast-feeding.

“Garlic for ear infections”

Take 1/4 cup of olive oil and 2 cloves of pressed garlic mix well, microwave or heat for 2 minutes let get down to a warm state, put 2 drops in affected ear followed by a sterile piece of cotton. By morning you should feel more than relief if not well altogether.

Follow me on Twitter for the latest on our journey to self-reliance, preparedness, and resilient living: @SurvivalSherpa

Categories: Herbal Remedies, Homeopathy, Medical, Natural Health | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Using the Humble Onion for Colds and Coughs

Many times we get comments from our ‘Commentistas’ that are so value-adding that I have to share them in a blog post. The Herbal Survivalist constantly adds value to the readers of this site and the followers at The Herbal Survivalist Spot. Here’s a homemade cough and cold syrup recipe that she shared this morning using onions! One of my favorite eats.

onions

Homemade Cough and Cold Syrup with Onion and Honey

by The Herbal Survivalist

It comes from a book I mentioned briefly before called 10 Essential Herbs by Lalitha Thomas. This is a rare (I believe because it’s out of print) book from 1996 that my mother-in-law stumbled upon somewhere. It’s very interesting because Lalitha is not a “certified” anything when it comes to herbs, but it’s clear as you read through the book that they are very much a part of her daily life and that her own personal study and use of herbs is extensive. Personally, I’m very happy to read a book by someone who doesn’t have letters after her name but has devoted much of her life to learning a craft, and Lalitha is incredibly skilled at communicating how to use herbs in a down-to-earth way for anyone who is just learning. I love this book in particular because it focuses on 10 easily acquired herbs (cloves, chaparral, cayenne, comfrey, ginger, garlic, onion, peppermint, slippery elm and yarrow) and shows you how to treat almost anything with only these 10 herbs. Amazing!

This recipe I’m sharing comes from her chapter on Onion, which I confess I had sort of skipped over at first to read the other chapters on more “interesting and useful” herbs. The laugh is on me, because when I finally got around to reading about the humble onion, I was astounded at how useful it is! I made this recipe in 20 minutes yesterday while puttering around the kitchen making other things and Abbie and I have been using it since then. It seems to be keeping her coughing to a minimum, as well as helping to ease my sore throat and minimizing my stuffiness. I feel like it’s helping to decongest my sinuses, which is such a relief, even if it means I’m going through tissue by the boatload.

Ingredients:
1 cup freshly chopped onion

About 1/2 cup raw honey

Plus any of the following (optional):
1 tsp. Cloves (whole or powdered)- specifically good for pain relief

1-2 Tbsp. Comfrey or Slippery Elm (dried or powdered)- Comfrey is particularly good for healing, and Slippery Elm has more of a reputation for soothing and coating the throat

1-2 Tbsp. fresh chopped Ginger root OR 1 tsp. Ginger powder- Ginger increases warmth, circulation (important for healing) and the overall effectiveness of the syrup

**You can include all of these optional herbs, but at a maximum of 2 Tbsp. extra herbs total

Directions
Put chopped onions and any herbs of choice into a small stainless steel or glass pot (not alumnimum). Add enough honey to cover the onions ( for me, this seemed to be about 1/2 a cup, though I didn’t measure exactly).

Turn the pot on low heat and slowly simmer. The honey will soften and become liquidy, and you want to keep the temperature very low while allowing the herbs to steep in the honey. It’s best to keep a lid on to help keep all of the medicinal properties of the herbs in the syrup, and just take the lid off to give it a quick stir every few minutes to ensure it doesn’t burn at all (though the temp. should be low enough to prevent this).

Give it 20 minutes of simmering, then remove it from the heat. Strain the onions and herbs out and store the remaining honey (which might have flecks of herb in it and this is fine) in a small glass jar with a lid and keep it in the fridge.

The syrup can be used as often as needed, up to every half hour. Here are the dosages:

1 tsp. for a younger child

1 Tbsp. for anyone 10 years and older

While we’re on the topic of using onions medicinally, I thought I should mention another use I learn yesterday. A commenter said that when her children are sick, she puts chopped onions in a small bag around their neck when they go to bed and in the morning, they wake up well. First I had ever heard of it, but I’ve heard stranger things. Wouldn’t you know it that later yesterday, as I was reading about onion in the book, I read that breathing the fumes of an onion will help with congestion from a cold or other illness!

Since both Johanna and I have been plugged up lately (her more at night, me all the time) I decided to chop a large onion into chunks and put it in a bowl on the night table near where we both sleep. I couldn’t quite bring myself to actually put it in bed with me, but I could still smell it, for sure! Well, last night was the best sleep I have had in a few nights and the first time that I woke up without feeling all plugged up! Three cheers for the onion!

Adult recipe additions

These additions are to be used by only an adult 80lbs or over
Herbs to add:
Cumin 1/4 tsp nutrition
Cayenne 1/8 tsp for heat diaphoretic
Slippery elm bark powder 1/2 tsp nutrition demuculant
Thyme 1/4 tsp strengthen immune system

After straining onions and syrup take warm onions in a press or potato ricer and press juices out into the honey. This is the consent rate. The good stuff.

For more great tips and helpful herbal remedies, The Herbal Survivalist provides free info and recipes at The Herbalist Survivalist Spot. Also consider ordering her e-book “Herbal Survival and First Aid” here

As always, thanks for stopping by – and follow me on Twitter if you’d like: @SurvivalSherpa.

 

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

Slippery Elm Bark and its wonders

A week ago I came down with 24 hour stomach bug with a 102 fever – the day before DRG and I had planned to leave on our mini-vacation. Fortunately it was only a 24 hour bug. The fever broke the next morning and we set sail. The effects of the bug had me pulling over several times for ‘rest stops’ since I had to ‘go’ 6 times on what would have been a 5 hour trip.

That was probably too much info. However, the article below is another example of how nature provides so many avenues for healing our bodies – not only when pharma drugs aren’t available, but in place of the local pharmacy.

Source: Totally Organic

The Wonders of Slippery Elm
 
 
 
 

Traditional Use
Slippery elm was one of the most useful medicinal plants of the American wilderness. Native Americans from the Missouri River Valley used a tea of the fresh inner bark to make a soothing laxative. Among the Creek, a poultice of the bark was a toothache remedy. The Osage and other groups applied bark poultices to extract thorns and gunshot balls. Surgeons during the American Revolution used bark poultices as their primary treatment for gunshot wounds, and a soldier, separated from his company, survived for ten days in the wilderness on slippery elm and sassafras barks. During the War of 1812, when food was scarce, British soldiers fed their horses on slippery elm bark. Nineteenth-century physicians recommended slippery elm broth as a wholesome and nutritious food for infants and invalids, and the tea has long been the herbal treatment of choice for acute stomach ulcers and colitis.

 

How to make a “moc” chocolate milk drink with slippery Elm.

 

The Recipe:
Take 10 oz. Hot Milk
2 tblspns Slippery Elm Bark Powder
1 tspn spoon honey
This can be added to fruit juices and create a freshness / earthy flavor. It adds a healthiness to a good quality fruit juice or add it to a freshly juiced juice e.g. apple celery carrot  or sprinkles some throughout your cereals hot or cold. Watch the difference!!!
So why is it so Great !!!
Slippery Elm was also used by native americans to remove the gamey taste out of their meats. It was also used to gel certain kinds of foods. this is because slippery Elm will absorb almost 20 times its volume and becomes like a liquid oatmeal ( this is also known as a gruel).

Read the rest here

Categories: Bushcraft, Herbal Remedies, Homeopathy, Medical, Natural Health, Wildcrafting | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

6 Cold and Flu-Fighting Recipes Your Doctor Probably Didn’t Tell You About

Thanks to Caroline Cooper (a top Sherpa contributor) for the practical advice in her article over at eatkamloops.org. Fight back smarter with these natural remedies.

Healthy Household: Comfort for Colds

by Caroline Cooper

licorice lozenges Healthy Household: Comfort for Colds

March is one of the worst months for colds and flu. Here are some strategies for avoiding colds and flu.

Tip Number One: Eat a diet of nourishing traditional foods. Avoid all processed foods and sugary snacks. Make sure your diet has plenty of healthy fats. Eat coconut oil which has anti-viral components. During the winter, eat pastured lard which is high in vitamin D. During the winter and early spring, supplement your diet with fermented cod liver oil and high vitamin butter oil. If you have a source of raw milk you only need to supplement with fermented cod liver oil. Remember to eat your garlic. Use at least one crushed or minced fresh garlic clove everyday in your food.

If you do get sick, there are a few recipes below that will help your family avoid taking pharmaceutical drugs. Remember that colds and flu come from viruses which hate heat. Fevers kill viruses. Fevers should be allowed to take their course in most cases, except in very young children or very high fevers. An out-of-control fever is a medical emergency. Use good sense and get to emergency services.

Tip Number Two: Take care of yourself early in the illness. When you first get that sense that you are getting sick try taking Aconite 30c . This is a homeopathic remedy for stopping colds and flu but only works in the very earliest stages of an emerging illness. I started using homeopathic remedies because I wanted to do something very gentle for my children when they were ill. I have found homeopathic remedies work surprisingly well with young children. I use the Helios Homeopathic First Aid Kit.

If you prefer herbs, this is the time to use oregano essential oil (Origanum vulgare) which is a good addition to your Herbal First Aid Kit. (I will talk about making your own Herbal First Aid Kit in a later posting.) This is a very strong essential oil and can be used many ways. For an emerging sore throat, try 1-2 drops in the mouth twice a day. Swish the oregano essential oil around your mouth for a few minutes and then swallow. Some people find straight essential oils too powerful and will cut it with a small amount of olive oil. This treatment is better for adults. Children don’t like the strong taste.

If you prefer herbs, this is the time to take Echinacea Extract or Angelica Extract. Extracts take three to six weeks to prepare so it would be best to make the extracts in the fall or you will have to purchase the extracts at a health food store. Many people find Echinacea Extract works very well to improve immune function. I find Angelica Extract to work better for me. We are all different so you will have to experiment to find which extract will work best for you. The extracts should be taken three times a day in hot water. Along with talking an extract, make up a Ginger Infusion or Cold Away Infusion and drink this throughout the day. If you have a really sore throat find a local supply of propolis and suck on a small piece.

Remember food should always be your first medicine. If you are feeling poorly, this is the time to make some nourishing bone broths, stews and soups. Warming drinks are very comforting. Get plenty of rest. This is the time to increase your consumption of coconut oil to a therapeutic level which is thought to be 2-3 tablespoons a day.

Tip Number Three: Have some cold supplies in your pantry, ready for use. Here are six recipes that will come in handle if someone gets sick in the household. The Ginger Infusion will work for most colds and is liked by children. Cold Away Infusion is better when you are really sick and can’t seem to shake the cold or flu. Elderberry Syrup can be taken during flu season to avoid getting sick or can be used after the cold or flu sets in. Licorice Lozenges are really nice on a sore throat. Honeyed Ginger is good for a sore throat or nausea.

angelica extract Healthy Household: Comfort for Colds

Making extracts are very easy but will take about six weeks to infuse. Start making medicines in the fall for the winter months.

Echinacea or Angelica Extract
1/2c Echinacea root (Echinacea purpurea) or Angelica root (Angelica archangelica)
2c clear Vodka or Tequila, 40% alcohol
Use a small pint-sized glass canning jar with a plastic lid. Put either the Echinacea root or Angelica root into the jar. Add the alcohol of choice and fill the jar. Label the jar with the name of the plant, percentage of alcohol, today’s day, and the decanting day. Decanting day will be in six weeks. The jar will need to be turned over every day for at least the first week. On decanting day, use a cotton cloth to squeeze out all the liquid from the roots. Some herbalists use a juicer to get all the goodness out of the plant materials and into the extract. (Due to all the woody parts, I broke part of my juicer trying this, so be careful if you try this with your juicer. For home preparation, squeezing out all the liquid is far easier. Sometimes it’s best not to copy the professionals!) Store the extract in a dark glass bottle. If available, use a dropper top for easy dispersal.

Ginger Infusion
1/2c fresh ginger (Zingiber officinale), grated finely or 1/3c dried ginger
1L boiling filtered water
local raw honey, to taste
lemon, freshly squeezed, to taste
Put fresh or dried ginger into the glass jar. Pour boiling filtered water over the ginger and fill the 1L glass canning jar to the top. Put the lid on the jar and let the infusion steep for 4 hours or overnight. Squeeze out all the juice from the plant material into the infusion. When ready to drink, gently re-heat the infusion. Do not allow the infusion to boil or you may lose some of the medicinal properties of the plants. Add freshly squeezed lemon juice and local raw honey to taste. This drink is very soothing on a sore throat.

Cold Away Infusion
1/4c Rosehips (Rosa canina) or Yarrow Leaf (Achillea millefolium)
1/4c Elder Flowers (Sambucus nigra)
1/4c Peppermint Leaf (Mentha piperita)
2L boiling filtered water
Put plant materials into 2L glass canning jar. Pour boiling filtered water over plant materials and fill the 2L glass canning jar to the top. Put the lid on the jar and let the infusion steep for four hours or overnight. Squeeze out all the juice from the plant material into the infusion. When ready to drink, gently heat up the infusion. Do not allow the infusion to boil or you may lose some of the medicinal properties of the plants. Consume as needed.

Elderberry Syrup
Take 1T of syrup everyday to avoid colds and flu. Or if ill, take 1T three times each day.
1/2c Elderberries (Sambucus nigra)
5-10 cloves (Syzygium aromaticum)
1 cinnamon stick (Cinnamomum zeylanicum)
1-2T fresh ginger (Zingiber officinale), grated finely
2c filtered water
1/2c local raw honey
Bring filtered water to a boil. Add Elderberries, cloves, cinnamon stick and ginger. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes until liquid is reduced by one half. This is known as a decoction. Squeeze out all the juice from the plant material into the decoction. Let the decoction cool before adding the local raw honey. Stir well and refrigerate. This syrup will last for months in the fridge.

Licorice Lozenges
1c Slippery Elm powder (Ulmus rubra)
1/2c Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
2c filtered water
1/4c local raw honey
Bring the filtered water to a boil and add the Licorice Root. Simmer for about 30 minutes until at least half of the water is gone. This is a decoction. Squeeze out all the juice from the plant material into the decoction. Let the decoction cool before adding the local raw honey. This avoids destroying the healing properties in the raw honey. Put the Slippery Elm powder in a bowl and add enough licorice decoction to make a soft dough. Roll out the soft dough on more Slippery Elm powder to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Cut the dough into small 1/2 inch squares. Place the lozenges in a dehydrator overnight until dry. The lozenges will last for months in a metal tin.

Honeyed Ginger
1 organic ginger root (Zingiber officinale), sliced diagonally
1c filtered water
enough local raw honey to cover ginger
1 pint glass canning jar
Slice the organic ginger diagonally. You do not have to peel the ginger if it is organic. Put ginger slices in boiling water and reduce heat to very low. Cook the ginger for about 40 minutes until the ginger becomes translucent. Reserve the ginger liquid and water down for a soothing tea. Traditionally, this honey would be cooked with the ginger, but I feel it is best to just store the ginger in enough raw local honey to cover the ginger. If you find the ginger just too spicy, very gently warm some of the honey while stirring the ginger. Gently heat for another 40 minutes. The ginger will become more and more translucent. Store in a glass jar in the fridge. The ginger flavored raw honey can also be used as a treatment for a sore throat. Just spoon it out by the teaspoon. The relief will be immediate.

 

Categories: Herbal Remedies, Homeopathy, Medical, Natural Health | Tags: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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