Prepping With Herbs – Tips for Better Health Now and After the Grid Goes Down

by Champ Ferguson

This is an entry in our non-fiction writing contest

My wife and I have for some time been researching and attempting to approach the issue of medicine in our preparedness. There are several websites that are dedicated to grid down medicine from a preparedness mindset. The information and instruction many of these sites offer are just as important as your water, food, and safety preps. There is the option of ordering medicines in powder form that are produced for exotic fish. No prescription required and available in bulk. This is a great source of antibiotics. I know of doctors who are aware of the dangers that we face in society today that will write prescriptions (non-pain meds) with an extra refill for their patients to put back. If you are one of these people that think this is unethical and illegal, you just go ahead and sign up for Obamacare and wait for the government to come and rescue you and everything will be okay.

The above-mentioned ideas are great and should be implemented into your preps. The encouraging thing that my family faced in looking into medicines is that everyone in our household is currently healthy and not required to take any medication on a regular basis. Those that rely on medicines have to deal with a different set of circumstances. We were also curious about the regular over the counter preventative medicines that we sometimes consume. Medicines for basic ailments such as colds, flu, sore throat, headache, etc… Yes we could just purchase some of these medicines and stock them, but we wanted to get away from anything mass produced by a pharmaceutical company. We are not anti-doctor, but we do avoid any doctors who just want to subscribe multiple pills to take when we get sick. It reminds me of the woman with the issue of blood in Luke 8:43 … which had spent all her living upon physicians neither could be healed of any.

Over time we began to educate ourselves in the use of herbs. The first step was to incorporate herbs into our diet. The easiest method was to begin cooking with herbs. Dried as well as fresh herbs are readily available in most grocery stores, but once again you must deal with the question of; have they been sprayed with anything? There are a multitude of mom and pop health food stores in this great land. There are also the larger chain health food stores as well. You may not live close to either one of these, which makes it difficult to get good herbs. Our remedy to increase the availability of herbs was to grow our own. That sounds easy enough. Most people who have decided to use fresh herbs usually have a garden. All you need to do is put some seeds in the dirt and eureka! I suppose our vision of herbs wasn’t on a large enough scale. The raised beds I made close to the house were productive. They were not productive enough to provide us with the amount of herbs necessary for everyday use.

My very studious wife located several options of ordering dried herbs online and was able to join a local co-op that had bulk deliveries once a month. This helped alleviate the lack of local availability and our insufficiently sized raised beds. She also discovered that many of the websites which she found also offered various packaged mixtures of herbs. We purchased some herbal tea as a trial. Growing up in the south, I love sweet tea. Any other tea is just not tea. Green tea, hot tea, raspberry tea, and unsweetened tea was/is viewed as an abomination. I was reluctant at first, but the first time I was all stopped up and miserable I let my guard down and gave in. I did make my ancestors proud by demanding that my wife add a little honey to make it somewhat sweet. I must admit I began requesting the herbal tea even when I wasn’t sick. These hot teas were made from a wide variety of herbs. We have yet to try to mix our own herbs for use in teas. The prepackaged options are available in bulk and quite affordable, so we have decided to continue to purchase those.

We then learned through some friends about infusing oils and herbs into a salve. Most of the salves that we make are available to buy in completed form, but making your own can be a fun project with the kids and even empowering. There are bundles of all the ingredients needed to make the process easier for beginners. The first salve we made was a green salve that is used for just about anything and everything. We use it on open wounds, rashes, and even bug bites. Our chickens even get their legs treated with the green salve. There is also a burn cream that works wonders for minor sunburns and even 2nd degree burns. We have recently found a deep tissue salve that is similar to the popular Icy Hot. This salve will help heal pulled or sore muscles, jammed joints, or injured ligaments. There are various different oils that can be used in salves along with the endless variations of herbs that can be used.

Our latest trial has been herbal tinctures. A tincture is basically a liquid infused with herbs. There are various methods of making tinctures. The main difference is the base liquid that is used. The most common bases are vegetable glycerin, vinegar, and alcohol. The vegetable glycerin tincture has to be cooked with the herbs in a crockpot for several days. This method wasn’t one that we chose for several reasons. The first was having a crockpot that would be dedicated to that use. The other reason for us not choosing the glycerin base was that the cooking process can lessen the healing properties of certain herbs. The vinegar and alcohol base tinctures have to be mixed with the herbs and placed in a dark cool place for 3-6 weeks. Once the herbs are infused in the vinegar, the tincture has to be kept refrigerated. Since refrigeration is required; the vinegar base tincture will lose potency and therefore not last as long. The alcohol base requires no refrigeration and will also draw more of the healing nutrients from certain herbs. With all of these factors to consider, we chose to do the alcohol base. We are totally against the social consumption of alcohol due to effects of alcohol in the lives of our parents and the consistent warnings of the effects of consuming alcohol in scripture. So the decision to use the alcohol based tincture was made with much prayer and contemplation. There are various methods to remove the alcohol from the tincture if your conscience will not allow you to use it, but please realize the amount is miniscule when taking the tincture properly.

Our first tincture was a prepackaged winter tincture for colds and flu. It was a mixture of leaves and roots of Olive, Echinacea, Garlic, Elderberries, Yarrow, Astragalus, and others. We used 100 proof vodka as the base. I am not aware if the brand of alcohol will affect the tincture so the brand was insignificant to us, but it is recommended that it be at least 80 proof. The herbs were placed in a large jar with the vodka and placed in our cellar for six weeks. After that time, the liquid was strained and placed into smaller glass bottles. The size of the prepackaged herbs determines the amount of base to be used. If I remember correctly we used a half-gallon bottle of vodka. As you can imagine a half gallon makes a lot of medicine. We had to have several smaller bottles to put the tincture in. We ordered the dark glass medicine bottles with the dropper caps. It was timely because all four of us had a mild variation of the bug that was going around at the time. We each took a teaspoon of the tincture twice a day along with some other immune boosting remedies and we actually survived. It didn’t taste good by any stretch of the imagination, but then again it isn’t supposed to. I would just use the tincture in a small amount of water, while our children ended up taking the tincture with Orange Juice, no pulp.

The misconception people have about all medicines is that they are supposed to work instantly. Pharmaceuticals will address the symptoms and make one feel like they are no longer sick while the body is still actively fighting the virus, illness, infection, etc… Natural medicines work differently in that they provide your body the nutrients needed to fight the sickness while not really addressing the symptoms. God created our bodies to heal themselves and they will do just that in most cases. God also created the plants that we are supposed to consume to provide our bodies the necessary ingredients to aid in the healing process.

We next made a tincture that can be taken as a preventative or to aid in recovery during a battle with sickness. It had herbs such as Nettle, Peppermint, Echinacea, Elderberries, Eleuthero, and Rosehips. To answer the eminent question; No, I do not know what most of these herbs are nor could I spot them in the wild or without using the labels in the health food store for that matter. That is the next step in our ongoing lessons. In the meantime, these herbs will also be purchased premixed. We have acquired several books on herbs with pictures to identify them and the properties each herb possesses. There are also several recipes in the books that we have acquired. The use of herbs is and will continue to be a process.

With our mindset of self-sufficiency before a collapse, these tinctures are right up our alley. By using these natural remedies now we are allowing our immune systems to work as they are supposed to and build up strength instead of pumping man-made chemicals into our bodies and nullifying our immune systems. Most people will argue that they have to take a pill for this, another pill for that, and probably a pill to offset the first two pills. Remember that most manmade medicines are copied from a naturally occurring medicine. There are plenty of natural remedies for blood pressure, blood sugar, hypertension, heart problems, gout, migraines, high cholesterol, etc… Why not try to get off some the prescribed drugs now before you are forced to? Our plan is to stock the ingredients to make our own medicines, and hopefully, reach a point where we will be able to grow and/or forage for some ingredients. Everyone who preps needs to add medicines to their thought process. Hopefully, it is evident that the natural medicines are in every way better than the manufactured ones.

Research it, plan it, then do it. Even if nothing happens, which is highly unlikely, you will be healthier and happier.

DISCLAIMER: THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. If you have a health issue and need medical advice go see a doctor.

Prizes For This Round (Ends April 12, 2016) In Our Non-Fiction Writing Contest Include…

  1. First place winner will receive –   A gift certificate for $150 off of  rifle ammo at Lucky Gunner, an Urban Survival Kit a $109 value courtesy of  TEOTWAWKI supplies, a WonderMix Deluxe Kitchen Mixer a $299 value courtesy of Kodiak Health and a LifeStraw Mission Filter a $109 value courtesy of EarthEasy, and a 4″ Heavy Duty WaterBoy Well Bucket a $106 value and a WaterBoy Tripod Kit courtesy of Well WaterBoy Products for a total prize value of over $867.
  2. Second Place Winner will receive – 30 Day Food Storage All-in-One Pail a $119 value courtesy of Augason Farms.com and Berkey Light with 2 (9″) Berkey Earth Elements a $157 value courtesy of LPC Survival, for a total prize value of $276.
  3. Third place winner will receive –  International MRE Meals Supply a $72.00 value, a LifeStraw Portable Water Filter a $19 value, Yoder’s Fully Cooked Canned Bacon a $15 value all courtesy of CampingSurvival and one copy of each of my books “The Prepper’s Primer” and a copy of “The Prepared Prepper’s Cookbook“ for a total prize value of $137.

Help for Insomnia – Natural Remedies to Sleep BETTER!

Top Expert: Zika is Biowarfare

All About Zika Virus

by Joe Alton, MD, co-author of The Survival Medicine Handbook
asian-tiger-mosquito
One of the scenarios we write about is the “Pandemic”. Although we have had success curing many illnesses with antibiotics, we are still struggling with outbreaks of viral diseases. In 2014, thousands died in West Africa during the Ebola epidemic. In 2015, Chikungunya virus crossed the Atlantic into the Western Hemisphere and infected a million people. This year, Zika virus is the latest pandemic, and the first to generate travel warnings specifically for women that are pregnant or of childbearing age.
A little-known virus of equatorial Africa and Asia, the Zika virus has “jumped the pond” and is wreaking havoc in South America, especially among pregnant women and their newborns. Like its predecessors, it’s a mosquito-borne virus. Citizens of the Americas have little immunity against it.
Most people experience mild flu-like symptoms, but an infected during a pregnancy can yield a newborn with brain damage. In late 2015, it was mainly a Brazilian problem. A congenital abnormality (once called a “birth defect”) called microcephaly started appearing among newborns. Microcephaly presents as an abnormally small head and is associated with mental handicaps; if severe, it may be incompatible with life.
Brazil is a large country with a youthful population; in an average year, it sees about 150 cases of microcephaly. Since the arrival of Zika virus in May 2015, there have been 3,500. Now, cases of the virus are being reported in the United States from Virginia to Arkansas to Hawaii (mostly in returning travelers from South America). In total, 25 countries so far are reporting evidence of the virus.
spanish flu ward
EPIDEMICS VS. PANDEMICS
Infectious disease can be endemic, epidemic, or pandemic:
–An Epidemic infectious disease is a community-wide outbreak of an illness that is not always present in an area. Influenza, EnterovirusD68, and Ebola are examples.
–An Endemic infectious disease is one that is normally found and expected in a certain area. Malaria is endemic in many tropical countries.
–A Pandemic occurs when an infectious disease crosses various borders and runs rampant throughout a large region, or even the whole world. The Spanish Flu of 1918 is the classic example.
Zika has had outbreaks in Africa, Asia, and now, South America. Cases have been reported in Denmark and Sweden as well.
WHAT IS ZIKA VIRUS?
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Zika virus is a member of the Flavivirus family, which contains a number of well-known diseases such as yellow fever, chikungunya, and West Nile virus. Like the others, Zika virus is carried by Aedes mosquitoes, which are the main agent of transmission (human to human transmission can also occur); unlike the others, the virus affects the unborn.
Symptoms of the virus include headache, rash, fever, and conjunctivitis (pink eye). The grand majority of infected people have no signs of the infection whatsoever. This is ominous for a pregnancy, as the mother doesn’t even know she was at risk.
TREATMENT AND PREVENTION OF ZIKA VIRUS
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There is no vaccine or treatment available that is effective against Zika virus. Prevention, however, is simple: Don’t travel to the countries where widespread outbreaks are occurring. If you have to go, use sunscreen, long pants and sleeves, plus mosquito repellant or netting. Standing water near your location in affected areas should be drained.
Mosquito control efforts are underway in Brazil and other countries at risk. Besides the usual sprays with pesticides, you might be surprised to know that GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are playing a part.
A male “Franken-mosquito” called OX513A has a gene that kills his offspring. Female mosquitoes only mate once during their lives, so this might have a significant effect. Brazil claims more than a 90% decrease in the population after release. OX513A was also used in the Florida Keys in 2012 (over protests) to combat an outbreak of another Flavivirus, Dengue Fever.

Tips For Getting A Good Nights Sleep…

Today we present another article in our non-fiction writing contest –Denise H

Consider “sleep” …What is sleep? What good is it? Why is it important? How can I help myself to get adequate amounts? Am I doing the things for me to get the restorative rest I require? Are there relatively safe things I can do, to assist when I have a wakeful night? What am I doing to sabotage healthy sleep habits?

These are the things I have been struggling with for some time. I had many things that break the rule of good restorative sleep. Some of those things were beyond my control. Since my responsibilities have changed, I no longer have an excuse for sitting up late, drinking coffee late at night, and remaining awake until zero-dark thirty! Now is the time, for me to make changes to reduce the stress, and restore my health. This is a journey, and mine is not complete, but I am making headway and you can as well.

I found have found several tips that have begun to help me. Evaluate your life and see if they could help you.

In general, I found if a sleep issue is still bothering you, after one month, you should see a Dr./ PCP. It could be a symptom (of an illness) OR a side effect of a medication. A occasional night of “late wakefulness” is not something to stress over, but adds to your over-all stress and health issue flares.

Proper sleep is necessary for our health and safety, and for the sanity of those who care for us.

There are many things that can interfere with restful sleep…including the medical issues of restless leg syndrome and sleep apnea. If you believe you have one of these things, go get it treated to start things off.. and apply these tips to help set you up for sleep success.

TIPS: In no particular order……General… with specific notes.

1. MAKE SLEEP A PRIORITY. How?

  • Set a specific time for sleep and wakefulness.
  • Go to a quiet place for meditation,and/or quiet reading with reduced light stimulation. Turn the lit clock dial away, turn off/ block the light from all electronics.Reduce electronics at least one hour before bedtime.The light at night prevents the body’s natural release/production of Melatonin that regulates sleep cycles.
  • Avoid all stressful things just before sleep.
  • When you awake, get out in the bright light as soon as possible. The bright light stimulates the melatonin production which regulates sleep cycles.
  • Get a quality mattress and pillow. Put good covers on mattress, box springs and pillow to reduce allergens.
  • Limit bed sharing to your spouse…not children or fur children.

2. CONTROL DIET. What? How? When?

  • Limit caffeine, allow at least 6 hours before bedtime…
  • Reduce sugars and chocolate during this time , too
  • Stop most liquid intake at least three hours before bed…if it goes in, it will come out even if it is in the middle of your sleep time.
  • Generally, Night meal should be lightest, with less spices, for ease of digestion.
  • Reduce alcohol use. Even tho you may be initially sleepy after ingestion,it can disturb your ability to remain asleep.
  • Seek natural foods or fluids to enhance your sleep cycle.

3. UN-WIND … after your routine day.

  • Take time for meditation/ evaluation.. soon after you get home, then put your work away…
  • Do some kind of exercise, change it up!
  • Enjoy your companions, whether 2 or four-footed
  • Avoid afternoon naps, in any case limit to 20 min max.

4. SET A SOOTHING BEDTIME routine…It could include..

  • Reading time
  • a favorite calming tea with a light snack
  • Cuddle (or more,) time with your sweetie
  • Special night-time routine with your child
  • A calming bath
  • Reduce outside noises. This can be done by turning off a dripping faucet, or wearing ear plugs.
  • Use white noise, if sleep still and issue.. wind machine, low calming music …whatever YOu find calming

NOTE: Of course , bedtime medications and regular nutrition for management of medical conditions are exempted from this rule. Some persons must eat at night to maintain blood sugar levels, or to maintain hydration in the case of extreme small capacitys. If you are in trouble see your DR. These are general guidelines, garnered through observation and assimilation of varied materials.

POSSIBLE SLEEP SOLUTIONS.. Common remedies for the occasional night of late wakefulness.

List ..in no particular order, some with rationale

A. FOODS

  1. Certain foods…that boost tryptophan/ one of sleep hormones… like turkey.
  2. Foods high in carbs, like whole grain crackers…
  3. Foods high in B6… wheat grain, sunflower seeds, Bananas
  4. Foods high in Magnesium and calcium
  5. Herbal teas: There are some commercially prepared..Two of those are called Sleepytime and Sleepytime extra. common ingredients are chamomile, passion-flower and/or Valerian.

These are all avilable as separate herbs,but use them with caution. …IF you are unsure of your response to them.. ex…Valerian works well for some people with no adverse effects, but I have a poor tolerance to it…it produces sleep very well, for too long with me!! The amount in the Sleepytime extra is minimal, because I do well with it.

If you are in doubt, Here is MY solution, brew it for a shorter time,(3-5 min.) in whole cup of water. Drink half, for the first serving..if still awake after an hour, drink the rest..

B.NATURAL SUPPLEMENTS

  1. These include but are not limited to Valerian,chamomile, passion-flower, holy basil, L-Theanine, 5 HTP. Chamomile tea is also very soothing to the intestines, so is a good choice, when I just feel yucky.
  2. A warm bath with Epsom salts could have a profound effect as it is high in magnesium. Magnesium and Calcium supplements assist in all kinds of muscle issues that often make us, just uncomfortable enough, to not be able to go over into dreamland.
  3. Vitamin supplements with vitamin D3, B- supplements and specifically Niacin.. these should be taken routinely during the morning, especially the Vitamin B, as a dose can provide an energy boost. Gastric acids destroy much of the dietary B vitamins, so sublinguals are preferred method.
  4. There are OTC herbals and sleep supplements to boost your sleep routine into a set pattern…they are many and varied…if you do not get satisfaction from one, there are many..Do your due diligence.

C. AROMATHERAPY Aromatherapy is very simple, and inexpensive. It is practiced by placing a soothing fragrance on a cotton ball, sniffing it a couple of times and laying it near your pillow. Some common products used for this are Lavender, Clary sage and Roman Chamomile oil.

D. MEDICATIONS There are OTC meds for the occasional night, if nothing else has worked Pharma has given us anti-histamine and they do make most people sleepy, Benadryl is in most of the OTC sleep preparations. When these are not effective it is time to see a Medical professional. .. to check for underlying conditions and medication side effects. It could take some time and trying many products to find one that you tolerate. Do not despair, there is something that can help you to find a night of peaceful rest.

E. OTHERS. There are several other things that can be done for sleeplessness. Many of these I have explored briefly. I will mention them briefly, with and without comments.

Meditation.. Calm thoughts, dwelling on meditative readings such as the Word of God..can take you away from the cares of the world and direct attention to things most important in life.This would include Prayer.

Hypnosis, can be done alone, with training..I used this for childbirth with success.It can be applied to what ever area of your life you choose.I was trained, for that purpose by a licensed psychologist. Had not considered to put that to use for this until studying this subject.

Light Therapy… Light in the morning, when too low, affects sleep hormones that are released at night . Lack of proper light in early evening can have a similar result. A sleep log and weather/light log can be kept to help a health care professional work you through needs. There are broad spectrum light bulbs that help some people through seasonal disorders. Those same bulbs are not expensive and could help here too if appropriate.

Acupuncture.. I have not and AM not exploring needles in any form, but it has a history of working for some people and for some things…I just am not desperate enough!

Traditional Indian and Chinese Medicine practices, i know nothing about these, but they care for large populations of people with basic herbs and compounds and have for many centuries, so I am not knocking them.

Common sense notes, and thoughts…

  • I try to limit my use of even herbals to no more than two nights a week. The rest of the time I use the other methods to limit my sleep disruptions.
  • Try to go to bed with a clear mind, this is one of the benefits for doing what you can where you are and leaving the rest to a loving Creator.
  • Most common sleep issues can be addressed without medications. In general, they can create a bigger monster and produce their own side effects
  • If you are having sleep issues.. frequently.. a health check is in order to determine any underlying issues and treat them.

Note: Nothing in this article should be perceived or taken as “medical advice”, this information is presented here for informational purposes only. If you have any reacquiring sleep issues please consult a certified medical professional for treatment.

Prizes For This Round (Ends December 21 2015) In Our Non Fiction Writing Contest Include…

  1. First place winner will receive –   A gift certificate for $150 off of  any bulk ammo at Lucky Gunner, three bottles of Fish Cillin – Ampicillin 250mg (100 Count) courtesy of Camping Survival, and a WonderMill Electric Grain Mill courtesy of  Chef Brad Revolution.
  2. Second Place Winner will receive – 30 Day Food Storage All-in-One Pail courtesy of Augason Farms.com.
  3. Third place winner will receive –  A copy of my book “31 Days to Survival” and a copy of “Dirt Cheap Survival Retreat“.

Please read the rules that are listed below BEFORE emailing me your entry… my email address can be found here – please include “writing contest entry” in the subject line.

Straight Talk About Expiration Dates

by Joe Alton, MD of www.doomandbloom.net, Co-author, The Survival Medicine Handbook

Antibiotics

Years ago, I wrote an article about the truth relating to expiration dates on medications. Lately, I’ve seen some confusing information on the internet that tells you how dangerous they are while telling you that, in a survival scenario, you should probably use them. So I think it’s time to set the record straight with regards to expiration dates on medications.

Before I start, I want to tell you that my focus is medical preparedness for major disasters and long-term survival. That means a strategy of putting together stockpiles of supplies that might save a life in times of trouble. In normal times, when you can just call your doctor for a fresh prescription, seek modern care by qualified professionals.

Now, what you need to know. Expiration dates were first mandated in the us in 1979. They are the last day that a drug company will guarantee 100% potency of a medicine. These medicines do not, by and large, become toxic after the expiration date. I promise you that you will not grow a horn in the middle of your forehead if you take a pill the week after it expires.

In many cases, drugs in pill, powder, or capsule form will be 100% potent for years after their expiration date. How do I know this? FEMA, the federal emergency management agency, and the Department of Defense stockpiles millions of doses of medications used in emergency settings. In the past, When those drugs expired, they were discarded.

This gets to be pretty expensive, so a study was performed called the shelf life extension program, something I first wrote about years ago. This program found that most medications, as long as they are in pill or capsule form, were still effective after their expiration dates, sometimes for years. As such, I recommended not throwing them away but, instead, making them part of your survival medical storage.

This, by the way, was not the case for medicines in liquid form. They lost potency quickly after their expiration dates, so are not useful for long-term survival settings.

These findings led the government to put out extensions of expiration dates for certain drugs as needed, such as the 5 year extension given the anti-viral drug tamiflu during the 2009 swine flu epidemic.

Despite this, you’ll see quotes, often from academic types, that medications are dangerous when expired and should be tossed. These opinions are fine in normal times, but if you’re reading this article, you’re probably a member of the preparedness community or at least interested in the subject. You might even be the person that would be medically responsible in situations when the rescue helicopter is heading the other way.

Good, you’re exactly who I want to talk to. you may one day have to make a decision in a true disaster setting about whether or not to use an expired medication.

Let’s say a loved one is fading from an infection. Something bad has happened and you’re off the grid with little or no hope of getting to modern medical care. You have an expired bottle of antibiotics. What are you going to do? Someone you love is dying. Are you going to use the expired drug or not? Exactly.

Of course, medicines should be stored in cool, dry, dark conditions. Their potency will fade twice as fast if stored at 90 degrees as if stored at 50 degrees. Freezing them, however, is rarely helpful. Even if stored in suboptimal conditions, a capsule or tablet that hasn’t changed color or consistency is probably still worth keeping for austere settings.

Sometimes, In a true disaster, the issues that will facing the medically responsible will be very basic. What’s the problem? Do I have medicine that will treat it? Could this medicine, although it has expired, possibly save a life? When it comes down to it, can you really choose to not use it to prevent a death because it may possibly have side effects or not be quite as strong as it was?

I say: In this situation, don’t withhold a drug because some professors said it wasn’t a good idea to use it. Believe me, they weren’t seriously considering a time when an expired medication might be the only option you have left.

Let’s hope it never gets to that point, but preparing for the worst, while hoping for the best isn’t a bad strategy to deal with the uncertain future.

3 Things You MUST Know – Prepper Medicine

Blood and guts!!!!

by BCTruck

M.D. Adds: Medical preparedness is an important but often overlooked survival prep, please get all of the training that you can now. Take every class that you have time for. Start out with a basic first-aid and CPR class, then expand into EMT and nursing classes. You should have at least one EMT or nurse in your survival group (two or more is even better). I also recommend Survival MD for your medical library.

Using Antibiotics Wisely

By JOE ALTON, MD, OF WWW.DOOMANDBLOOM.NET

Antibiotics are essential tools for medical success in long-term survival, but the government, the food industry, some physicians, and even some patients are fostering widespread resistance to many of the standard drugs. More than 2 million diagnosed cases of antibiotic resistance were reported in the United States in 2013, leading to 23,000 deaths and costing 30 billion dollars. When bacteria display resistance, infections last longer and cause more severe illness, possibly fatal. Health costs skyrocket as patient need more doctor visits, extended hospital stays, and more expensive (and toxic) drugs.

As a physician, I was often asked by patients in my practice for antibiotic prescriptions for certain ailments, some of which these medications really weren’t useful for. Antibiotics deal mostly with bacteria, and many respiratory and other infections are caused by other disease-causing organisms such as viruses. I was always very cautious when it came to prescribing these medications, and as a caregiver, you should be also.

This doesn’t mean that I think that antibiotics aren’t useful, especially in survival scenarios. In situations where modern medical care isn’t available, they will prevent many avoidable deaths. You should have a good supply of these drugs in your storage.

If you use antibiotics for every minor ailment that comes along, you will run out very quickly and may contribute to an epidemic of antibiotic resistance caused by overuse. In survival, the medic is also a quartermaster of sorts: You will want to wisely dispense that limited and, yes, precious supply of life-saving drugs. If an event has really occurred that has taken away modern medical access, it probably also took away the manufacture of pharmaceuticals. You must walk a fine line between observant patient management (doing nothing) and aggressive management (doing everything).

Liberal use of antibiotics is a poor strategy for a few reasons:

Overuse can foster the spread of resistant bacteria, in the salmonella outbreak in turkeys in 2011, millions of pounds of antibiotic-laden turkey meat were discarded after 100 people were sent to the hospital with severe diarrheal disease.

The food industry is responsible for 80% of the antibiotic use (overuse) in the U.S. This is not to treat sick livestock but to make healthy livestock grow faster and get to market sooner. According to National Geographic magazine, only 7 per cent of some 400 antibiotics given to livestock have received review by the Food and Drug Administration.

Another reason to use antibiotics sparingly is that potential allergic reactions may occur that could lead to anaphylactic shock. Frequent exposure to antibiotics increases the likelihood of developing an allergy to one or more of them.

Lastly, being trigger-happy with antibiotics may make diagnosing an illness more difficult. If you give antibiotics BEFORE you’re sure what medical problem you’re actually dealing with, you might “mask” the condition. In other words, symptoms could be temporarily improved that would have helped you know what disease your patient has. This could cost you valuable time in determining the correct treatment.

You can see that judicious use of antibiotics, under your close supervision, is necessary to fully utilize their benefits. In survival settings, discourage your group members from using these drugs without first consulting you. In normal times, seek a qualified medical professional.

Pulling Your Own Teeth Out at Home

Please; try to understand, if I’m not in top form today. For the past three days I’ve had the most aggravating toothache that keeps getting worse.

I scheduled an appointment with the dentist for later this afternoon.

I will admit being afraid of the dentist, the thought of him grinding, filling, pulling and let’s not forget those horrible shots, bleeding and that sucking thing. Almost sets me into panic mode – and it got me to thinking about dental emergencies and ways of preparing for such contingencies. Dental emergencies seldom solve themselves and without medical attention usually to get worse, possibly resulting in dire consequences.

One thing is certain dental services will always be in demand – but will you be able to afford competent care or find it when needed?

This is one instance where I think having a small gold or silver reserve is a good idea.

After an economic collapse the dollar maybe worthless or significantly devalued – but gold and silver will retain value, and that value that can be traded for dental and medical care in an emergency.

Unfortunately; no matter how prepared we are some medical emergencies cannot be dealt with without proper and professional care.

But there are steps that can be taken to better deal with minor problems or to provide care until a permanent solution can be implemented.

Preventive maintenance cannot be stressed enough. Take care of your teeth. If possible, visit a dentist at least once a year to find and take care of any potential problems.

Brush, floss and rinse – stock up on oral hygiene supplies. This can be done cheaply compared to the alternative of paying for repair of major problems, that result from poor oral hygiene.

Stocking sufficient toothpaste, brushes, rinse and floss to last a year can be done rather cheaply, this stuff would also make excellent barter goods, after a wide-spread disaster.

(Note)  It’s easy to make your own toothpaste, by mixing equal parts of baking soda and sea salt. The result tastes awful (you can add peppermint extract to improve taste) until you get used to it, but it does an excellent job of cleaning your teeth and gums. Simply moisten a toothbrush and dip it in the mixture and brush as usual.

It is a good idea to have a dental first aid kit to complement your other first aid supplies. A basic kit should consist of:

  • Temporary filling material Temparin or Cavit
  • Tweezers
  • Gauze
  • Toothbrush
  • Soft dental floss
  • Toothpaste
  • Orajel or other dental pain reliever
  • Advil, or Motrin
  • Clove Oil (pain relief)
  • Rubber gloves (some people are allergic to latex)
  • Dental wax
  • Toothpicks
  • Cotton
  • Dental Mirror
  • Hand Sanitizer

…and a copy of Where There Is No Dentist. This is a must have book – if you don’t have a hard-copy of this one then your survival library isn’t complete. Get it now.

Or if you prefer you can purchase a ready-made kit survival emergency dental care and then expand it into a more comprehensive dental care package.

How bad was your last toothache? What did you do about it? Have you prepared for this emergency?

And now I must go – I’m off to the dentist – wish me luck…

BTW this article was written for informational purposes only, if you have detail problems please seek out the advice and services of a qualified dentist…