Posts Tagged With: Tess Pennington

Another Use for Coconut Oil: Head Lice

In my last post, I said I was posting part II of my Individual Preparedness Plan. That’s not going to happen…today. Dirt Road Girl finished her last radiation treatment yesterday – we celebrated – Woot Woot! So, I hope you enjoy today’s post from Ready Nutrition.

Tess Pennington is one in a growing number of folks in the preparedness community offering practical, common sense advice on survival and self-reliance. She runs a No-Hype Zone site.

“You’ve Got Cooties!” was originally published on her site, Ready Nutrition, and reprinted her with permission. You may also want to check out her excellent series “52 Weeks to Preparedness.”

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You’ve Got Cooties!

Tess Pennington
Ready Nutrition
October 2012

That embarrassing scourge of elementary schools everywhere, head lice are becoming more and more resistant to chemical means of getting rid of them. The expense of buying all the products can be a real financial hit, once you add in washing all your clothes in bleach, spraying the bedding and carpet with special spray and treating your child twice with a toxic remedy purchased from the drug store.

Not only is it expensive, chemically toxic and time-consuming, but there may come a day when the remedy for getting rid of lice is not as close as your nearest pharmacy.

I learned the hard way about how to get rid of head lice when a plague of them swept through my daughter’s school.  It was so bad that the school began performing twice-weekly head checks and sending children home with a note that they could not return until their heads were inspected and found to be free of lice and nits.  Seven year old girls being seven year old girls, with the hugging and hat sharing and whispering, it wasn’t long before my youngest was sent home with head lice.

I dutifully went out and purchased the toxic chemicals from my pharmacy and proceeded to treat my daughter and my house as per the directions….fast forward to the emergency room where the quickly washed-off chemical had caused a horrible burning rash and allergic reaction on her delicate scalp.

Coconut Oil Method:

It was then that I learned about more natural alternatives of ridding a head of lice. One being, coconut oil. Coating the head in a thick coat of coconut oil will suffocate the lice and kill them. An added benefit of this method is it naturally conditions and softens your hair in the process. Simply, add a generous amount of coconut oil to dry hair and place a plastic bag or shower cap over hair and allow it to penetrate hair for 30-45 minutes. Wash hair well to remove oils.

Read the rest here

Categories: Medical, Preparedness, Self-reliance | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ten unconventional additions to your emergency medical kit

Hat tip to Tess Pennington for adding this outside-the-box post over at her site Ready Nutrition.

Source: Medically Speaking

By Lizzie Bennett

Okay, I am sure you all have a medical kit to be proud of, you’ve got all the bandages, the slings, the ointments and creams, but sometimes, just sometimes, the most mundane items can make life simpler, especially if you need to move fast, or find yourself in a situation where you need to improvise, or, the stuff you have just isn’t right for the job in hand. Here are a few ideas, and examples of what to use them for.

AN OLD CREDIT CARD/ATM CARD

These are great for a good deal more than stuffing in a hole in the wall of your bank. Scraping out a sting with the edge of a plastic card is preferable to fingernails or tweezers, both of which, just by the pinching action pump the last bit of venom from the sting into the skin.

Cut into strips they are excellent splints for broken fingers, and the gaps between the strips allow for swelling. Position either side of the finger and tape into place.

Used whole they can help inflate a deflated lung caused by a sucking chest wound. Put over the hole and tape on three sides only, the card acts as a flutter valve, preventing air from entering the wound but allowing air outside of the lung but inside the chest cavity to escape as the lung inflates.

DUCT TAPE

I love duct tape, it needs to be good tape, not a cheapo one that is not very sticky. Use to secure the card to the chest as described above. It can be used to hold splints on limbs in place, to secure pressure dressings,and even to make a makeshift stretcher to carry a casualty if wrapped around two poles and stuck to itself across the gap between them. There are dozens of uses for this stuff.

A DOZEN MIXED SIZE CLEAR PLASTIC BAGS

Clear plastic bags form a great barrier between a wound and the air, preventing pathogens from getting into the body. They are great for wounds and burns on hands and feet and are carried in ambulances for this reason. Duct tape into place and the wound will stay clean until you can deal with it. This is particularly beneficial if you are near water and you want to prevent contamination.

Use as a flutter valve on large sucking chest wounds. Fix on three sides as described for the card method above.

SANITARY PADS

Sanitary pads make really good pressure dressings. Put over the wound and tape tightly down covering the whole pad with tape, extend the tape a good distance from all edges of the pad to make sure the pressure is maintained.

HALF A DOZEN STRONG TEA BAGS

Tea leaves contain tannin which has anti-inflammatory and vaso-constrictor properties. To wash out an eye make as you would tea, leave to cool and lean forward so the liquid in the container reaches the eye and open and close the eye whilst in the liquid. The tea bag can be placed on the eye afterwards, to reduce any swelling and irritation.

Tannin is a vasoconstrictor, it causes blood vessels to contract and therefore slows blood loss. It would be no use at all for anything major, but for nosebleeds, traumatic tooth extractions and minor cuts and abrasions, it works well. Put just enough boiling water on the tea bag to make it swell to its maximum size and show a little liquid leaking from it, then when it has cooled sufficiently apply it to the tooth socket, cut etc. for nose bleeds roll the bag as small as you can and plug the nostril with as much of it as you can, you can cut it in half if need be and roll so as the cut edge is on the inside of the roll. There is no worry about sterility with a nose bleed.

STRONG SMELLING VAPOUR RUB

There are times when the smells around you are almost too much to bear. Infected wounds, corpses, human waste all give off gut-wrenching odours and dabbing vapour rub under your nose helps a great deal.

I have heard occasionally that a dab under the nose of someone having an asthma attack, who does not have an inhaler with them, helps open the airways a little making breathing somewhat easier. I have no experience of this and therefore cannot vouch for it. Having said that an asthma sufferer without an inhaler will not come to any harm by trying this.

A SECTION OF BICYCLE TYRE INNER TUBE

The inner tube from a bicycle tyre is very stretchy and it makes an excellent tourniquet. It is also possible to use it as a fire starter, and it will burn even when it is pouring with rain, and it burns for a long while, often long enough to dry out a little damp tinder placed very near it.

A SUPER ABSORBANT DRYING CLOTH

These microfibre cloths are very light weight and take up almost no space. They are excellent for drying around wounds so that dressings and tapes stick more easily. As they hold a good amount of liquid, one dunked in water and lightly squeezed out is useful for giving a casualty that cannot sit properly sips of water, they just suck on the cloth.

AN EMPTY SODA BOTTLE

Cut off the top and bottom and then cut it along it’s length. This gives you a sheet of strong plastic that rolls back into a tube when you let it go. These make great splints, keeping clothing etc away from a wound or helping to immobilise a broken bone. Unroll, place around the limb and gently let it go back into its tube shape. Then, very gently, close the plastic up, one edge will slide under the other with little effort. Fix in place with a piece of tape. To store, roll it up tight and secure with a rubber band. We used this method in hospitals to stop babies and toddlers ripping off their dressings, works very well.

A PAIR OF ADULT OVER THE KNEE SOCKS

Get an adult pair of knee high socks and force them over a large, full soda bottle to stretch them. When stretched for a couple of days, roll them down the bottle so what you end up with resembles a donut, store them in this shape so that they can be rolled onto a limb rather than forced up over it causing pain and possibly more injury. They are great for holding a leg dressing in place, and make a good sling for arm injuries. Roll onto the arm, position the arm comfortably and safety pin to the patients clothing in a couple of places, beats messing about with a triangular bandage if you are in a hurry. If they have long sleeves, position the arm and pin the sleeve to the body of their clothing.

Well there you have it, a few conventional items with a few unconventional uses.

Take care

Lizzie

Categories: First Aid, Frugal Preps, Medical, Preparedness, Self-reliance, Survival | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Topical Home Remedies the Easy Way

By Tess Pennington
Source: Ready Nutrition
August 2012

What will you do when tubes of triple antibiotic cream is no longer as close as the pharmacy department of the nearest Wal-Mart?

With a little study and preparation, you’ll make your own, of course. I have a child with numerous allergies and sensitivities, so even now, with the commercial salves readily available, I prefer the peace of mind that comes from making my own topical remedies so that I know every single ingredient contained within.

Salves and balms are very simple and can be made in a few easy steps.  They have two basic components – the base and the healing herbs.

Step 1: Create a Base for Your Salve Base

  • Petroleum Jelly – I’m not a fan – if you are going to the effort of using natural non-chemical products, you might want to reconsider a base made from petroleum.
  • Beeswax (not good for people with pollen allergies). Also added to salves to harden the oils more easily. For two cups of plant based oil, use 1 1/2 ounces of beeswax. For smaller quantities of salve: one ounce of oil will need about 1/2 teaspoon of beeswax to harden the salve.
  • Lanolin
  • Plant oil (grape seed oil, coconut oil, olive oil) – these are rich in vitamin E
  • Honey (has the benefit of being a natural antibiotic)

Typically, for a larger quantity of salve, you will use around 1/2 to 1 cup of oil. Keep in mind that you want to use enough oil to cover 1 inch above the herbs while they are heated. Once you have chosen your base, then it is time to select your “herbal medicinal” ingredient or ingredients. (See below for a directory of some commonly found medicinal herbs.)

Step 2: Add the Healing Herbs or Essential Oils

If you have essential oils available you can skip the step for extracting the medicinal qualities from the herbs. Otherwise, use this process to extract the healing properties of the herbs.

  1. On a double broiler, stir the 1 cup of plant-based oil and herb or herbs on low heat for one to two hours, stirring often. Ensure the oil is covering the herb blend. The longer you cook the herbs in the oil, the stronger your mixture will be.
  2. Alternatively, use your crockpot on a low setting to extract the medicinal qualities from the herbs.  In the crock pot the process takes 3-5 hours but the mixture does not have to be tended and stirred.  It takes longer to extract the healing qualities from roots than from leaves.
  3. Using cheese cloth or an extremely fine mesh colander, strain the herbs from the oil. Place the oil back into the top of the double boiler and add beeswax to harden the salve. Stir until completely melted.
  4. Check to see if the balm has hardened sufficiently by dipping out a small amount in a spoon and allowing it to cool. If it is still runny, you need to add more beeswax.
  5. Pour the mixture into a sterile container and add essential oils or vitamin E oil (if desired), stirring well.  Store in a cool dry place.
  6. Always test a skin patch before wide use, and then, if there is no reaction, most salves can be used as needed several times per day.

Using the directions provided above many different salves can be created. Try some of the following combinations or refer to the 30 Most Popular Herbs for Natural Medicine for more examples of herbs that can be used medicinally.

  • Aloe Vera and Vitamin E – great for burns and sunburns
  • Calendula and Comfrey – soothing for rashes, burns and minor irritation
  • Aloe Vera and Vitamin E – great for burns and sunburns
  • Goldenseal, Comfrey and Echinacea – antibacterial
  • Black Walnut, Burdock, Echinacea and Tea Tree Oil – fungal infections
  • Eucalyptus oil and Camphor oil – Chest rub (like homemade Vick’s)
  • Arnica Flower – sprains, sore muscles and bruises
  • Tea tree oil and Lavender oil – antibiotic
  • Chamomile and comfrey – soothing for rashes and insect bites
  • White willow bark – mild analgesic

One day you may be looking to nature for your pharmaceuticals.  As well, consider planting the herbs (many of these are perennial) and/or locating places in your area where they grow wild. Do some research – find out what bounty nature provides in your locale and find out how the items can be used in your natural medicine cabinet.

 

For more homemade salve recipes, click here.

 

Author: Tess Pennington
Web Site: http://www.ReadyNutrition.com/

Date: August 3rd, 2012

Related Categories: Featured, Homesteading, Medical Emergencies, Natural Alternatives, Recipes

Categories: First Aid, Frugal Preps, Herbal Remedies, Homeopathy, Medical, Preparedness, Self-reliance, Survival Skills, Wildcrafting | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chia Seeds: A Tiny Powerhouse for Sustainability

I first discovered Chia seeds by reading “Born To Run” by Christopher McDougall. In this page-turner, McDougall describes a power-boosting concoction made with Chia seeds used by the Tarahumara, arguably the greatest runners in the world. Even if you’re not into distance running, I think you’ll enjoy the read.

Like Tess, I’d only ever know the seed to grow out of a Chia pet. I eat them all the time now. They are well worth finding, eating, and storing.

Read the full story below.

Tess Pennington
Ready Nutrition
April 2012

It’s hard to think about the Chia seed without getting a mental image of a Chia pet.  I always imagine the crazy looking clay sheep with wild greenery sprouting out all over it that used to sit in my college dorm windowsill.

In all actuality, the Chia seed is much more than part of a novelty planter though – it is a tiny little powerhouse that can add a lot of benefits to your long-term food storage while only taking up a small amount of space. The word “Chia” is actually the Mayan word for strength. In ancient cultures, they are considered the food of the warrior because of their nutrient density and ability to sustain running messengers for long durations without other food. 

Adding a serving of the nearly tasteless seeds to a meal can more than double the nutrition you receive! Chia seeds contain boron and Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. They are also nutritional dynamos that blow away many other sources of nutrients.  They contain:

  • 2x the protein of other seeds
  • 5x the calcium of milk
  • 2x the potassium of bananas
  • 3x the antioxidants of blueberries
  • 3x the iron of spinach

In addition, Chia seeds absorb 9-12 times their weight in water, thus helping you stay hydrated longer.

The Chia plant is part of the salvia family, but the seeds are very bland and nearly tasteless. The versatility of these are also a plus when you add them to your recipes. You can use Chia seeds either wet or dry.

To use them wet:

Soak one part seeds in nine parts water for 15 minutes.  The result will be a tasteless gel that can be added to soups, sauces, salad dressings or stews for a savory meal, or to smoothies, puddings or yogurt for dessert. Another method, is to add either ½ – 1tbls of chia seeds to your water bottle and drink throughout the day.

To use them dry:

Dry Chia seeds can be sprinkled on top of granola, yogurt or a salad for a bit of crunch.  Some people grind the seeds into a powder and add this to baked goods for a punch of protein and vital nutrients.

Chia seeds have another perk that makes them an ultimate survivor food.  Because of the insoluble fiber and the gel-like consistency that occurs when the seeds get wet, they provide a long-lasting feeling of fullness.  In a disaster situation where food may be limited, these little seeds can go a long way towards extended your supplies.  Your family will be able to eat a little less without feeling deprived because they’ll have full tummies from the seeds that you’ve added to the meal they just enjoyed!

Chia seeds can also be sprouted to add some welcome fresh greens to winter meals. The sprouts will be ready to harvest in only three days, making this a very speedy, low effort way to get some fresh veggies when the produce section of the grocery store is inaccessible.  For complete instructions on sprouting Chia seeds, click here.

Like everything else in a survival pantry, it’s best to do some experimenting when each meal is not urgently needed.  You may find that these easy-to-use seeds are a welcome and nutritious addition to your everyday meals!

Sources:

The Chia Food Cheat Sheet

Top 10 Benefits of Chia Seeds

MySeeds Chia articles

You can order Chia seeds from…..

Amazon

My Chia Seeds

Superseeds (in Canada)

Author: Tess Pennington
Web Site: http://www.ReadyNutrition.com/

Date: April 19th, 2012

Categories: Food Storage, Functional Fitness, Preparedness | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

The 4 Most Likely Ways You Can Die If the SHTF

Author: Tess Pennington
Source: Ready Nutrition
June 2011

The subject of survival in a long term disaster goes beyond having stockpiles of beans, bullets and band-aids. Those that do survive during a long term emergency will no doubt be tried and tested with a great many things. One of those trying scenarios is dealing with death.

Zombie attacks seem to be a prevalent theme for preppers to prepare for. In fact, the CDC has even posted a preparedness article on how to ward off zombie attacks. While I believe these zombies will likely take the form of substance abusers, mental patients, chronically ill or diseased, and desperate individuals whose basic needs have not been met, they will die out in the first few months of an onset of a  major disaster, and there presence will rarely be an issue in a long term situation.

In reality, a majority of those that will die during a long-term disaster will be from illnesses brought on by acute respiratory infections due to cramped living conditions, poor water conditions (or lack of), or bacterial infections from wounds. If we survive a major disaster, America would become a third world country and the aftermath of such a scenario will be similar to those living in Africa, Ethiopia and India.

Illness Due to Poor Water Conditions

Typically, any diseases that are brought on by lack of sanitation and hygiene are controllable and preventable. In a disaster where water sources are compromised, people within a 50 mile radius could be adversely impacted by illness and disease if just one person incorrectly handles water or incorrectly disposes of waste.  Contaminated water, poor sanitation and/or lack of hygeine leads to diseases such as Hepatitis A, viral gastroenteritis, cholera, Shigellosis, typhoid, Diphtheria and polio. If these diseases affect enough people, an epidemic will ensue.

Dehydration and diarrhea are also water-related matters to contend with. Those without adequate water conditions and/or are suffering from disease brought on by poor water conditions could quickly dehydrate. These types of illnesses typically affect at-risk populations such as children, the sick and the elderly. Young children in particular are at high risk for diarrhea and other food- and waterborne illnesses because of limited pre-existing immunity and behavioral factors such as frequent hand-to-mouth contact. The greatest risk to an infant with diarrhea and vomiting is dehydration. In addition, fever or increased ambient temperature increases fluid losses and speeds dehydration. Having knowledge beforehand on how to properly clean drinking water and food, and the symptomatology and treatment of these types of diseases can prevent further outbreaks from occurring.

Recommended preparedness items: water filtration systems, water purification tablets, chlorine granules, bleach, electrolyte or rehydration powders, anti-diarrea medicines.

Malnutrition

Malnutrition from either improper water conditions or from lack of nutrients is also a large killer amongst those in impoverished communities.  Medical experts say there is a symbiotic relationship between malnutrition and diarreah.  Malnutrition increases the severity of diarrhea while diarrhea can cause malnutrition. Either way, prevention for both of these health issues is key.

Those that are malnourished are more suseptible to illness and disease. Individuals who are malnourished will also be vitamin deficient and their health is likely to regress further. Those who survive from malnutrition are permanently affected by this disease and may suffer from recurring sickness, faltering growth, poor brain development, increased tooth decay, reduced strength and work capacity, and increased chance of chronic diseases in adulthood. Adult women with this condition will give birth to underweight babies.

Recommended preparedness items: dietary supplements, vitamin powders, seeds for sprouting or  seeds for fresh vegetables and fruits, survival bars, knowledge of alternative means to attain vitamins

Acute Respiratory Infections

Upper respiratory infections (URI) will also be a leading cause of death in a long term disaster. Upper respiratory infections include: colds, flu, sore throat, coughs and bronchitis can usually be cured with additional liquids, rest and nourishment. Allowing the illness to exacerbate will lead to secondary infections such as bacterial pneumonia. The germs from pneumonia are easily spread from an infected person to others by coughing or sneezing or through close contact. A major concern about respiratory infections is that there are many drug resistant strands of viruses, bacterias and diseases (including tuberculosis), that regular medicine will not cure.  In a long term disaster situation, many could perish.

To properly prepare for this type of medical situation, learn about the more prevalent viruses and bacterias in your country and how to prevent them in order to provide a healthy living environment in a long term situation.

Not only are URI’s a concern but other air-borne diseases such as tuberculosis will likely fester during a long term scenario. In regular non-SHTF times, treatment for tuberculosis requires 6-12 months of medication.  In a long term emergency, chances of surviving tuberculosis are slim. The best way to prevent tuberculosis is adequate nutrition, vitamin D and living in a properly ventilated shelter.

Survival groups that have multiple people living under one roof will only increase the likelihood of passing air-borne infections and diseases to one another. In addition, those in an at-risk group (elderly, immuno-deficient, infants) are more likely to catch illnesses.  If a survival group is sharing a home, an infirmary or sick room should be prepared for those who have fallen ill.  Isolating the person who is ill will limit exposure to the other members of the group. Adequate nutrition, water, rest, good sanitary practices and ventilation of the home is essential in curbing this.

Recommended preparedness items: decongestants, expectorants, upper respiratory medicines, antibiotics (for secondary and bacterial infections), knowledge on medicinal herbs, prepare a sick room at your survival homestead

Infections From Wounds

Open injuries have the potential for serious bacterial wound infections, including gas gangrene and tetanus, and these in turn may lead to long term disabilities, chronic wound or bone infection, and death.  Anitibiotics will be few and far between and will be more precious than gold.  Without proper medicines, antiseptic and knowledge on proper medical procedures, many will die of bacterial infections.  Learning medical skills, gaining knowledge on natural medicines and alternative medical antiseptic (i.e., Dakin’s Solution) before a disaster occurs could help people survive from wound infections. Also, ensuring the area that you treat medical emergencies is clean and as sterile as possible may also prevent bacterial infections.

Recommended preparedness items:  stock up on maxi pads for wound absorption, gauze, celox, antibiotics, suture needles and other basic first aid supplies.

Additionally, consider developing the following skills: basic first aid class, sign up for EMT classes in your community, an off-grid medical care class such as those offered by onPoint Tactical. Also, consider investing in books such as When There is No Doctor and When There is No Dentist.

Also look into making your own antiseptics utilizing alcohol distillation, such as the custom made units from LNL Protekt.

These illnesses (provided above) have impacted countries all over the world. These illness and conditions, coupled with unsanitary living conditions such as substandard sanitation, inadequate food and water supplies and poor hygiene, make disaster-affected people especially vulnerable to disease. These illnesses will affect us no matter what part of the world we live in, what socio-economic status we currently hold, and no matter how prepared we think we are.

Understanding what can happen and being prepared when it does is absolutely essential. The last thing we want to do when a serious condition arises is to panic. Preparing your supplies, developing your skills and educating the rest of your family and preparedness group on how to prevent, identify and counteract these serious conditions will provide a significant boost to your ability to survive if the worst happens.

Recommended Readings:

Patriot Nurse: 5 Diseases that Will Explode WTSHTF

Prevention and Management of Wound Infections

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Emergencies

Author: Tess Pennington
Web Site: http://www.ReadyNutrition.com/

Date: June 29th, 2011

Related Categories: Health and Safety, Potable Water, Preparedness, Vitamins and Nutrients

 

Categories: First Aid, Healthcare, Medical, Potable Water, Preparedness, Self-reliance, SHTF, TEOTWAWKI | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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