Posts Tagged With: honey

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

Bee Lining: Simply Math Could Save Your Life

Bees Like John (The Baptist), by Mike The Bee Shepherd

Source: Survival Blog

 In a true TEOTWAWKI situation, many people will naturally resort to hunting and fishing to procure food. The increased hunting pressure will make many animals nocturnal and quickly deplete the populations of wild game. There is, however, one overlooked source of food that flies completely under the radar by even the most seasoned survivalists.  It tastes delicious, lasts forever,  replenishes itself to be harvested again and again, is a phenomenal barter item,  and can be found in every state in America.  I am talking about wild honey! The Bible says that this is the food that sustained John the Baptist during his time in the wilderness and that’s all the endorsement I need.
Allow me to give you a quick primer on honey.  Honey has roughly 1,376 calories per pound. It is not uncommon for a healthy colony of bees to produce 60 to 80 pounds of surplus honey in a good season. That equates to 60-80 days of life sustainment for one person from one hive.  Honey has an indefinite shelf life. Honey found in the tombs of Egyptian kings was found to be perfectly edible. Honey also has multiple uses. Besides its obvious value as a food item, honey can be fermented to make mead (honey wine) which can be further distilled to make ethanol fuel.   Honey also has antibacterial qualities since it contains trace amounts of hydrogen peroxide and it was reportedly used by Roman Soldiers to pack sword wounds.  Honey can and will crystallize over time since it is a super saturated solution but you can easily restore it back to liquid form by gently heating it. Did I mention that Winnie the Pooh loves the stuff?

I think it’s safe to say that John the Baptist didn’t get his honey from the local food co-op or Piggly Wiggly. Our ancestors didn’t have the luxury of buying bees from the Internet and having them shipped in a tidy box via UPS, instead they used an ancient technique known as “bee lining”.  Locusts may not travel in a straight line but fortunately for us, the honey bee generally does.  It is this straight-line behavior that we can utilize to lead us back to the proverbial “honey-hole”.  There are numerous techniques for bee lining and although I doubt John the Baptist used trigonometry to locate his wild bees, we can.  Do you remember the days back in high school when you were plodding with contempt through trigonometry homework and thinking to yourself “I will never use this”?  Personally, I would rather have watched paint dry as I was never very adept at math. I don’t think I could count all my protruding body parts and get the same number twice. I am now man enough to admit that I was wrong.  A little simple math can reveal the bee’s secret location.

Bees predominantly forage when the weather is nice so do not waste your time trying to do this in the rain. It takes honey to make honey! You need to start with a sweet solution of sugar or honey and water (dissolved 1:1).  Put this solution on a small piece of sponge in the center of a bowl.  Set the bowl with sugar baited sponge in an open area and wait. The wind will carry the scent to foraging bees.  The first time a honey bee takes her fill, she will fly up in ever widening circles trying to remember the landmarks so she can lead her sisters back to the source.  It helps them if you wear brightly colored clothes as they will use you as a landmark. The exception to this is the color red as bees cannot see the color red. You can get a very rough estimate of the distance to the hive by timing the round trip time between the first bees departure to its return. 3-5 minutes is generally indicative of a quarter-mile, 5-10 minutes a half-mile, and 15 minutes or more indicates a distance of at least one mile. Once the bee communicates the source of food to the hive, the whole family will join in and you should see an ever increasing volume of bees visiting your bowl. Take out a compass and note the direction that the bees are flying in between the dish and the hive. Shoot an azimuth and note the azimuth (in degrees) on a map. Write a line from your current position out a few miles indicating the bee’s current flight path. (We will call this line SIDE “A”) The hive is obviously somewhere along this line. Once you have 15 or 20 bees in your bowl you can place a cover on the bowl thus capturing the bees. Take your captured bees and walk 50 yards in a line that is exactly perpendicular to the bee’s line of flight. (It is very important that you are exactly 50 yards as this will figure into our equation later)  Jotting this line down on the same map as the bee’s azimuth would now form an “L” with your new position now being at the bottom right edge of the “L”. (We will call this bottom line SIDE “B”).  Now do your best to release just a few bees at a time from your new position and again shoot an azimuth with your compass.  Writing this line down on the map should now give you a right triangle with the right angle being in the base of the “L”. This last line SIDE “C” is the hypotenuse of our right triangle. The angle that you need to figure out is in the bottom inside right corner of your triangle (where you are now standing). We will call this angle “a”.  You can use a protractor on the map to determine this angle (angle “a”).  Once we have the bottom right inside angle of our triangle, we need to do a little math to determine where our new line (SIDE “C”) intersects with our very first line (SIDE “A”). This intersection will be the exact location of the hive.  The formula to figure this is:
SIDE “C”= SIDE “B” / cosine (angle “a”)
So let’s say that we used our protractor on the map and determined that SIDE “C” made a 47 degree angle with SIDE “B”. This means that angle “a” is 47 degrees. We also know that SIDE “B” equals 50 yards.
SIDE “C” = 50 yards / cos (47)
SIDE “C” = 73 yards

Our wild bees are approximately 73 yards from our current position at the point where our last azimuth intersects with our first azimuth.  Now we can bring our bowl to that spot and use our ears and eyes to look for the entrance to the hive. Many old time bee liners claim to hear the hive before they see it.  Now finding the cosine of an angle usually requires a scientific calculator (solar powered scientific calculators are available for five or six dollars). To make life easier, I have created a lookup table that automatically converts the degrees of angle “a” into the exact distance to the hive so no cosine calculation is necessary. This table will only be accurate if you walk exactly 50 yards (150 feet) to form SIDE “B”. I have printed a small version of this table and laminated it to keep in my wallet. The table follows:

 

Once we find our bees we need to don our protective gear. It might be a good time to mention that this should not to be done by anyone with bee sting allergies and I always carry two Epi-Pens with me just in case. A simple Tyvek painter’s suit sold for a few dollars at Home Depot will provide protection that is comparable to most commercial bee suits. Be sure to get the suit with the built in hood. Purchase some nitrile gloves as they are more puncture resistant than either latex or vinyl and are the choice of medical professionals to prevent needle sticks. A simple mosquito head net worn over a ball cap completes the outfit. Many beekeepers remove hives with no protective gear whatsoever but this is not recommended for the novice.  Tie some dry grass together tightly and light it on fire. Extinguish the flames so that it makes smoke. Fan this smoke into the hive entrance. This will trick the bees into thinking their home is on fire and they will immediately gorge themselves with honey in preparation of seeking a new home. This causes the bees to become very docile. Would you want to get into a fistfight after eating Thanksgiving dinner?  At this point, you may need to enlarge the access hole to reach the comb. It is preferable to only remove a portion of the honey and to do it without destroying the colony so that we can come back for more later. Remember that the bees need honey to survive throughout the winter and without sufficient stocks, they will die. This is the equivalent to shooting your cash cow.

Take the honey comb back to process the honey. You can eat it right in the comb or you can employ the crush and strain method. Whichever you do, do it indoors otherwise you will create a swarm of bees all looking to rob your honey.  Crush the comb and strain it through a paint strainer or cheese cloth. Make sure that at least three quarters of your honeycomb is capped. The bees cap the comb once they have the moisture content down to 18% or less. The uncapped portion is still nectar but with a much higher moisture content. Uncapped nectar can be eaten if done right away but it does not store as it will ferment from the natural yeasts that are present. The wax can then be utilized to make everything from candles to lip balm (again, outside the scope of this article).

Some people see the face of God in the clouds.  I see Him in the bees.  They are an amazing gift to us and they have been sustaining man for thousands of years.  God’s Manna from heaven was reputed to have honey in it and the best land was referred to “the land of milk and honey”.  When you realize that one out of every three bites of food you eat is a byproduct of honey bee pollination, you get a picture for how important they are to our sustainment.  Mr. Rawles, please forgive the unabashed plug but if you are interested in learning more about honey bees or about purchasing wild honey you can visit my web site, The Bee Shepherds.

Categories: Barter, Food Storage, Homesteading, Preparedness, Primal Skills, Self-reliance, SHTF, Survival Skills, TEOTWAWKI | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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