Posts Tagged With: Home Remedies

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: , , | 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

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: , , , , , | 3 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

Medicinal Moonshine to cure coughs

 I’m always interested in home remedies to keep me away from doctors. I pick plantain from our yard and school yard when it pops up to use for insect bites and other ailments. For sore throats I use is raw apple cider vinegar, honey, and water. James over at Survival Punk shares a home remedy for a stubborn cough that uses three of my favorite ingredients – medicinally, of course. Check it out…

Medicinal Moonshine to cure coughs

For this article I wish I had a gypsy wagon for selling snake oil from. Crazy James’ Snake Oil Wagon of Wonder. Maybe a new business venture for me if this Survivalpunk thing doesn’t pan out. So I got over the stomach virus thing and a few days after I started having a sore throat and a horrible cough. I felt really bad for a few days, achy, tired, runny nose, the works. I thought I might have caught the flu going around. Actually I might have or maybe bronchitis, I’m not sure I don’t go to the doctor and I’m not a doctor, I don’t even play one on the internet. All I know is five days later I’m still coughing and it sucks. One of my good friends who knows a lot more about both herbal remedies and a lot more about moonshine told me to take some to get rid of my lingering cough. Well I’m never one to turn down a chance for booze so this is what I did for my cough.

The recipe my friend gave me, after I already made this one, is as follows:

  • One Shot of Moonshine
  • A spoon full of Honey
  • A squeeze of Lemon juice

I might try that when I wake up but right now I’m drinking another recipe. I knew she had said to combine Moonshine, Honey and Lemon and Googled that while waiting for her to text me back with her recipe. I came across a whole slew of Moonshine remedies on this site. What I followed was his Pleasant-tasting syrup for a nagging cough, and a nagging cough was exactly what I have. The recipe looked super easy so let’s make some Moonshine cough syrup.

Ingredients

Ingredients

You will need three things to make this cough syrup. Moonshine, Honey and a lemon. I love short shopping lists. If you can get real Moonshine or make it then that’s the best. I was in a pinch and even living in Tennessee couldn’t get any quickly. The local liquor stores now sale moonshine. It is not as strong as the real stuff but close enough for me. For the honey I suggest going local if you can. I bought the most local stuff I could get with the cone still in it. For the lemon just get one, unless your Florida Hillbilly you probably don’t have them growing in your backyard.

Read the rest of the recipe here

Categories: Homeopathy, Medical, Natural Health, Self-reliance | Tags: , , , , , | 5 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

Sherpa’s 3 Friday Links: Meat Chickens, Liberty Classroom, and Herbal Honey

by Todd Walker

Here’s what I found interesting this week.

Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens for Meat (H/T to Resilient News I think 🙂 – if not, here’s a link for you) A great article on selecting birds that aren’t chicken coop potatoes. It’s a long article over at Mother Earth News filled with useful advice and practical know-how, Gail Damerow’s trusted “Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens” will steer you through every chicken situation, from hatching chicks to collecting and storing eggs.

Liberty Classroom I’ve signed up for Tom Woods’s Liberty Classroom as a Christmas gift to myself. I’m learning history and economics my teachers never taught me in all my schooling years. For $100 bucks you can get a real education – not the watered down revisionist history taught in government schools. NOTE: The cost of this college level material is cheaper than the price of a quick trip to the supermarket. Learn real history and economics in your car. Ask questions of the experts. Become a ferocious debater.

Herbal Honey, Herbal Syrup and Cough Drops With a name like Susun S. Weed, she can’t help but be an herbal expert. Her article appears over at Nature Skills. Susun S. Weed is a world-renowned herbalist, teacher, wise woman practitioner and author of many books including Healing Wise.

Hope y’all have a great weekend. Keep doing the stuff!

Categories: Herbal Remedies, Homeopathy, Homesteading, Life-Liberty-Happiness, Natural Health, Preparedness, Real Food | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Elderberry Extract: Nature’s “Tamiflu”

Don’t want to pump your body with mercury and other poisons via the ineffective flu shot? Try this natural medicine.

by Daisy Luther

January 21, 2013

The most important weapon against influenza that you can add to your herbal arsenal is elderberry extract.

Whether you are concerned with the seasonal flu or the potential of a deadly strain of influenza becoming pandemic, elderberry extract is a vital addition to your vault of flu remedies.

Unlike the highly touted flu shot, black elderberry has actually been conclusively proven to be effective.  It is one of the few natural remedies that has been written up in the medical journals.  The studies I’m listing here are based on black elderberry extract (Sambucus nigra L) – name brand Sambucol.

According to PubMed:

Sambucus nigra L. products – Sambucol – are based on a standardized black elderberry extract. They are natural remedies with antiviral properties, especially against different strains of influenza virus. Sambucol was shown to be effective in vitro against 10 strains of influenza virus. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study, Sambucol reduced the duration of flu symptoms to 3-4 days.

The Journal of International Medical Research concurs that elderberry extract is a proven treatment, referencing a different study:

Elderberry has been used in folk medicine for centuries to treat influenza, colds and sinusitis, and has been reported to have antiviral activity against influenza and herpes simplex. We investigated the efficacy and safety of oral elderberry syrup for treating influenza A and B infections. Sixty patients (aged 18 – 54 years) suffering from influenza-like symptoms for 48 h or less were enrolled in this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study during the influenza season of 1999 – 2000 in Norway. Patients received 15 ml of elderberry or placebo syrup four times a day for 5 days, and recorded their symptoms using a visual analogue scale. Symptoms were relieved on average 4 days  earlier and use of rescue medication was significantly less in  those receiving elderberry extract compared with placebo. Elderberry extract seems to offer an efficient, safe and cost-effective treatment for influenza.

 An Ancient Panacea

The medicinal use of the elderberry is nothing new.  Mentioned in ancient medicinal texts, the humble black elderberry has been used as a multi-purpose treatment for centuries.  In 400 BC, Hippocrates referred to the elderberry bush as his “medicine chest” because of its varied uses, and it was mentioned several times in the writings of Pliny the Elder when he recorded  the practices of the ancient Romans.

To learn more about the historical uses of all components of the elderberry bush, check out this detailed article on Botanical.com.

 How It Works

Scientists have isolated the active compound in the elderberry.  It is called Antivirin and is found in proteins of the black elderberry.  The compound prevents the flu virus from invading the membranes of  healthy cells.

The main flavonoids present in elderberries are the anthocyanins cyanidin 3-glucoside and cyanidin 3-sambubioside,  and are detectable in plasma after oral intake of elderberry extract. A possible mechanism of action of elderberry extract in the treatment of influenza is that the flavonoids stimulate the immune system by enhancing production of cytokines by monocytes.  In addition, elderberry has been shown to inhibit the  haemagglutination of the influenza virus and thus prevent the adhesion of the virus to the cell receptors.  Anthocyanins also have an antiinflammatory effect comparable to that of acetylsalicylic acid;  this could explain the pronounced effect on aches, pain and fever seen in the group treated with elderberry syrup. (source)

 

Avian Flu

This is especially important with something like the Avian flu, which, according to the CDC, has a mortality rate of 60% in the 600 cases reported worldwide.   At this point the Avian flu is rarely transmissible to, or between, humans.  The fear is that a mutation of the virus could change that, instigating a deadly pandemic.  (Alarmingly, the Avian virus has been successfully mutated by scientists, causing public outcry that this “research” could be weaponized in the future, but that’s a different article.)

Since the first avian influenza outbreak, in 1997, there has been concern that the influenza A (H5N1) virus might either mutate and adapt to allow efficient transmission during the infection of mammals or reassort its gene segments with human influenza viruses during the coinfection of a single host, resulting in a new virus that would be both highly lethal and transmissible from person to person. Such events are believed to have preceded the influenza pandemics of 1918, 1957, and 1968. Several lines of evidence indicate that the currently circulating influenza A (H5N1) viruses have in fact evolved to more virulent forms since 1997, with a higher mortality among human cases, different antigenic properties, a different internal gene constellation,and an expanded host range.  (source)

According to a study by Zacay-Rones in 1995, black elderberry was proven to be effective against the Avian flu, specifically Panama B strain.

A standardized elderberry extract, Sambucol (SAM), reduced hemagglutination and inhibited replication of human influenza viruses type A/Shangdong 9/93 (H3N2), A/Beijing 32/92 (H3N2), A/Texas 36/91 (H1N1), A/Singapore 6/86 (H1N1), type B/Panama 45/90, B/Yamagata 16/88, B/Ann Arbor 1/86, and of animal strains from Northern European swine and turkeys, A/Sw/Ger 2/81, A/Tur/Ger 3/91, and A/Sw/Ger 8533/91 in Madin-Darby canine kidney cells. A placebo-controlled, double blind study was carried out on a group of individuals living in an agricultural community (kibbutz) during an outbreak of influenza B/Panama in 1993. Fever, feeling of improvement, and complete cure were recorded during 6 days. Sera obtained in the acute and convalescent phases were tested for the presence of antibodies to influenza A, B, respiratory syncytial, and adenoviruses. Convalescent phase serologies showed higher mean and mean geometric hemagglutination inhibition (HI) titers to influenza B in the group treated with SAM than in the control group. A significant improvement of the symptoms, including fever, was seen in 93.3% of the cases in the SAM-treated group within 2 days, whereas in the control group 91.7% of the patients showed an improvement within 6 days (p < 0.001). A complete cure was achieved within 2 to 3 days in nearly 90% of the SAM-treated group and within at least 6 days in the placebo group (p < 0.001). No satisfactory medication to cure influenza type A and B is available. Considering the efficacy of the extract in vitro on all strains of influenza virus tested, the clinical results, its low cost, and absence of side-effects, this preparation could offer a possibility for safe treatment for influenza A and B. (source)

Effectiveness

Sambucol has been shown to reduce the symptoms and the duration of flu sufferers.  It has been tested on both Influenza A and Influenza B strains.  In one study it was noted that subjects taking Sambucol instead of a placebo took fewer over the counter medications to relieve symptoms like fever, aches and congestion.

Thom’s findings were presented at the 15th Annual Conference on Antiviral Research in 2002. The study has been accepted for publication in the Journal of International Medical Research.

The study involved 60 patients who had been suffering with flu symptoms for 48 hours or less; 90% were infected with the A strain of the virus, 10% were infected with type B. Half the group took 15 milliliters of Sambucol or and the other group took a placebo four times a day for five days.

Patients in the Sambucol group had “pronounced improvements” in flu symptoms after three days: Nearly 90% of patients had complete cure within two to three days. Also, the Sambucol group had no drowsiness, the downside of many flu treatments.

The placebo group didn’t recover until at least day six; they also took more painkillers and nasal sprays. (source)

Sambucol will not prevent the flu, but will shorten the duration and severity of the flu.

How to Take Elderberry Extract

In the Israeli study, mentioned above, each day  children were given 1/2 tablespoon of Sambucol extract four times per day, and adults were given 1 tablespoons four times per day.  It’s important to note that the only form of elderberry extract that has been used in studies is Sambucol, which is based on a standardized black elderberry extract.

(NOTE:  I’m not affiliated with the company Sambucol in any way.  I am recommending this product because our family uses it, it is standardized and it is the product used in all of the studies referenced in this article.  I receive no commission or payment of any type from this company.)

There are a few different ways you can take the pleasant tasting liquid:

  • Right out of the spoon
  • Mixed with hot water and honey for a tea
  • Mixed with sparkling water and served over ice for a refreshing “soda pop”-like beverage

 Store your elderberry extract in a cool dry place – we keep our bottle in the refrigerator.

Unlike chemical medications, there have been no reported side effects from Sambucol.  Although you should always check with your physician before taking this or any other remedy.  It is safe for children over 2 and the elderly.  No studies have been done regarding the safety of Sambucol during pregnancy or breastfeeding.  There are no reported contraindications for those taking other medications, or those who suffer from asthma or high blood pressure.

Research is ongoing regarding the use of Sambucol for the treatment of allergies, cancer, inflammatory disorders and HIV.

Author bio: Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor.  Her website, The Organic Prepper, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at daisy@theorganicprepper.ca

Categories: Herbal Remedies, Homeopathy, Natural Health, Preparedness, Self-reliance | Tags: , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Stomach Flu Survival

Stomach Flu Survival

January 15, 2013
by Daisy Luther

There are few things more unpleasant than the stomach flu.  That  crippling nausea, the stomach and intestinal cramps and the frantic rush to the bathroom are sheer misery.

Sometimes this type of illness is caused by a virus and at other times it isn’t a virus at all, but food poisoning.  According to Lizzie Bennett of Medically Speaking,

“A non-food stomach flu is usually caused by a virus, often a norovirus,  rotavirus  or more rarely campylobacter.  It will usually occur after contact  with someone who as been unwell  but most often is brought home by school children. People will generally feel ‘ under the weather’ and then the gastric upset starts. it often is accompanied by vomiting .
With food poisoning there is an acute onset, it occurs quite quickly after eating/drinking contaminated food and will often affect  people who have eaten the same dish or who have eaten in the same place. Only lab testing will ascertain definitively what the cause is  as the symptoms are so very similar.”

The symptoms can be relieved identically. Often, you’ll never know which was the cause.  If the symptoms are especially severe or continue for more than 48 hours, the standard advice is to seek medical attention.

A stomach virus is incredibly contagious.  If a family member is suffering from the symptoms of a stomach virus, practice the following precautions to attempt to contain it:

  • Isolate the family member as much as possible
  • Wash cutlery and dishes used by the sick family member in water containing a couple of drops of bleach.  Wash again with your regular, non-toxic dish soap.
  • Wipe items handled by the sick person with antibacterial wipes (I keep Clorox wipes on hand for this purpose.)  Things like the telephone, the television remote, door handles, faucets and the toilet flush should be wiped before someone else touches them.
  • Household members should wash their hands frequently, particularly before eating and after using the bathroom (yes, I know this should be standard, but I’m repeating it anyway)

Vomiting and diarrhea can be the body’s natural defense against invaders.  It can be the digestive system’s way of ridding itself of toxins and viruses.  However, excessive vomiting and diarrhea can cause dehydration, sometimes severe.  It’s very important to keep the sufferer hydrated with ice chips and clear fluids. You can find some recipes for homemade oral rehydration solutions HERE.  These recipes are a good basis for creating a solution using items that you have in your pantry.

Once the person is able to eat, try offering gentle, easily digested foods.  The “BRAT” diet consists of bananas, rice, applesauce and  toast.  Other options are saltine crackers, pretzels, mashed potatoes, pasta and clear soups.

If after 12 hours, if the patient is still unable to keep down liquids, medical attention should be sought.  The time shortens for younger patients. If an infant isn’t urinating at least every two hours his little body is trying to hold onto liquids because he is dehydrated – you should seek immediate medical assistance in this case.

Treating the Symptoms

There are all sorts of options for treating gastro-intestinal upset, both traditional and chemical. In our home, chemical treatments are always a last resort.

Over-the-Counter Medications

We very rarely use chemical medications, but I do keep these on hand for extremely sparing use.

Anti-diarrheals

The most common type of anti-diarrheal is the compound Loperamide Hydrochloride (found in Immodium or Kaopectate). It works by  slowing the propulsion of intestinal contents by the intestinal muscles.

The most common side effects of loperamide are: stomach pain, bloating, nausea, vomiting, constipation, dry mouth, sleepiness, fatigue and dehydration. According to the National Library of Medicine, loperamide hydrochloride can actually paralyze the intestines in a condition called paralytic ileus. This means that the intestines no longer participate in digestion and do not push the stool along for excretion.

Many natural practitioners feel that diarrhea should not be stopped – that the body is naturally ridding itself of viruses or toxins. As well, overuse of anti-diarrheals can result in a constipation so severe that medical intervention becomes necessary.

Anti-Nauseants

Anti-nauseants are also called anti-emetics.  The most popular brands contain  dimenhydrinate(found in Dramamine and Gravol).

According to the Alberta Health Services website, the medication (sold under the brand name Gravol in Canada) can have a number of side effects.  There has also been a noted problem with abuse of medications containing dimenhydriante, so those medications have been relegated to “behind the counter”.

At recommended doses, Gravol can cause drowsiness, dizziness and blurred vision. It can impair your concentration and motor coordination. For these reasons, you should use Gravol with caution if driving or doing other things that require you to be fully alert. It can be especially dangerous to combine it with alcohol and other depressant drugs.  Dry mouth, excitation and nervousness
(especially in children) are other side effects.   At lower doses, you can experience feelings of well-being and euphoria. At higher doses you can hallucinate. Taking Gravol with alcohol, codeine and other depressant drugs intensifies these effects. Large doses can cause sluggishness, paranoia, agitation, memory loss, increased blood pressure and heart rate, and difficulty swallowing and speaking.

 Natural Remedies

Treating the symptoms doesn’t necessarily require a trip to the pharmacy. Just like treatments for the seasonal flu, many good remedies can be found, already in your kitchen.   If you don’t already have these items on hand, they are excellent, multi-purpose additions to your stockpile.  Before using these or any other herbal supplements, perform due diligence in confirming potential interactions with any other drugs or supplements that person may be taking.  Some of these plants can be easily grown in a variety of climates, providing a constantly replenishing supply.

Ginger

Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory with a long history in traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of nausea, motion sickness and morning sickness.

Ginger can be found in the form of tea, the root itself or in tablets.  Keep in mind, though, if you are vomiting already, ginger, especially in the form of tea, can make the experience far more unpleasant because of worsened esophageal reflux.

When purchasing ginger tablets, read the ingredients carefully.  Gravol makes a “Natural Source” ginger chewable pill containing certified organic ginger.  I was really excited because you can find that in even the tiniest pharmacy.  However, upon closer inspection, the ingredients listed “aspartame” .  Ummm. NO, I won’t add a proven neurotoxin to my organic herbal remedy, thanks.

Several companies offer a ginger tablet remedy.  However, if you go over to the vitamin section, quite frequently you can find Ginger Root.  Buying it from the vitamin section, without the glossy anti-nausea advertising, can save you a hefty amount. I checked at my local pharmacy today and 90 Ginger Root capsules (500 mg) were the same price as the bottle of 20 “All-Natural Ginger” anti-nausea tablets.  Both were $8.99.  As well, the one in the supplement section had no additional ingredients aside from the gelatin capsule that encased the powder.

Chamomile

Chamomile has anti-spasmodic properties.  This makes a cup of chamomile tea a soothing treatment for a stomach upset that includes abdominal cramping, bloating, and gas.  It has a mild pleasant taste with a hint of “apple” flavor.

Mint

There are all different kinds of mint tea available.  The most common are peppermint, spearmint and wintergreen.  They all contain menthol, a volatile oil.  Menthol is the component that gives mint that “cooling” sensation.  Mint tea is anti-spasmodic, so will aid in relieving gas, cramping and bloating. Additionally, menthol has muscle relaxant properties that can help reduce vomiting.

Candy containing real peppermint oil can easily be carried in your purse for a mildly soothing effect.

Some people that suffer from acid reflux find that mint worsens the condition.

 Yogurt

Yogurt can’t be tolerated in all episodes of stomach and intestinal upsets.  However, yogurt with active cultures can help to rebalance the “good flora” in your stomach and intestinal tract, making it especially valuable for treating diarrhea.  Regular consumption of yogurt can actually prevent stomach viruses in the first place by making your digestive tract inhospitable to viruses.

Black Tea

Black tea is rich in tannins, which have been a longtime home treatment for diarrhea.  You can sweeten your tea but leave out the milk until you’re feeling better.

Goldenseal

Goldenseal capsules or extract can also be used in the treatment of diarrhea.   Goldenseal kills certain bacteria, like e coli, which can cause diarrhea.

*****

There isn’t really any way to “cure” a stomach virus – the illness must simply run its course.  The best things you can do are rest, keep hydrated and treat the symptoms to keep them at a tolerable level.

Do you have any treatments for upset stomachs that you’ve found effective?  Please share them in the comments below.

Author bio: Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor.  Her website, The Organic Prepper, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at daisy@theorganicprepper.ca

Categories: Healthcare, Herbal Remedies, Homeopathy, Preparedness | Tags: , , , , | 11 Comments

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