Prepping for Pandemic Flu: Part II

by M.D. Creekmore on April 19, 2013 · 131 comments

This guest post by Bam Bam  and entry in our non-fiction writing contest.

Pandemic Survival Flu

Pandemic Survival Flu

This is the second part of a two-part series on H7N9 (you can read part one here). The first part provided background information on the new bird flu. Most significantly, H7N9 is mutating rapidly. Authorities in China are watching carefully to see if the virus mutates into a form that can easily spread from person to person. What can you do to protect yourself and your family? There are some common sense steps you can take. These steps include: (1) social distancing, (2) proper hand washing, (3) use of hand sanitizers, (4) cleanliness and sanitization, (5) the effectiveness of elderberry tincture, and (6) building a makeshift isolation chamber.

Social Distancing

Scientists across the world are working on a vaccine for H7N9. Until a vaccine becomes widely available to the general public, the best way to protect your family is social distancing. [1] For a strain of the flu to become a pandemic, it must gain the capacity to spread easily from person to person. The best policy for keeping your family safe in a pandemic is to close the gate—don’t allow anyone in or out. That’s what many families did back when the Spanish Flu hit. No one went in or out.

Back then, however, folks routinely had everything on hand they needed to survive; they were self-sufficient. According to census data, more than 90 percent of American families back then lived on small family farms. Each family had chickens and pigs, and perhaps a milk cow. Folks put up food from the harvest to get their families through the winter and to guard against a bad harvest.

If we do start seeing reports of H7N9 in the U.S.—in cities like Los Angeles, New York and Chicago—start thinking about self-sufficiency. Make sure you have enough food, water, medicine, and hygiene and cleaning supplies on hand to last at least six months. (I personally feel more comfortable with having 18 months of supplies laid in.) By then a vaccine will likely be available. (Note: The CDC began work on a vaccine April 4, three days after Chinese authorities released the genetic profile of the virus.)

What if you do need to go into public? To answer this question, we need to see how the flu is spread during a pandemic.

People with flu can spread it to others up to about 6 feet away. Most experts think that flu viruses are spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Less often, a person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth or nose. [2]

To protect yourself, wear an N-95 respirator mask. Be advised that there is a difference between a surgical mask and a respirator mask. [3] A surgical mask prevents you from spreading the flu; a respirator mask helps stop you from exposure to droplets made when infected people sneeze, cough or talk.

There is quite a bit of controversy over whether respirator masks work. Much of the controversy rests on the observation that the flu virus is small enough to pass through the fibers in the respirator mask. While it is true that the flu virus is tiny enough to pass through the fibers in a respirator mask, the flu virus does not exist in nature as an isolate; the flu virus is found in droplets and the droplet cannot pass through the fibers of the respirator mask.

If you are interested in seeing the latest technology in facemasks, check out the new BioMask by Medline. This is what the company says about its product:

BioMask is the first-ever FDA-cleared antiviral medical face mask that is shown to inactivate 99.99 percent of laboratory-tested flu viruses on five minutes contact, including imminent pandemic and seasonal strains of influenza (flu) viruses, such as H1N1, Avian flu, Swine flu and H3N2, this year’s dominant flu strain in the United States. Traditional facemasks act only as an air filter and do nothing to neutralize the harmful germs that remain active on the mask itself. [4]

Note that you can also catch the flu by touching surfaces infected with the virus. According to a report entitled Pandemic Influenza published by the Australian government’s Department of Health and Ageing, the flu virus can survive on some hard surfaces for up to two days. [5] You may wish to wear surgical gloves. And remember not to touch your mouth or nose.

There is some debate on whether eye protection is necessary. Here is a statement by OSHA.

Eye protection generally is not recommended to prevent influenza infection although there are limited examples where strains of influenza have caused eye infection (conjunctivitis). At the time of a pandemic, health officials will assess whether risk of conjunctival infection or transmission exists for the specific pandemic viral strain.

Personally, I would feel better with a whole face shield like this one.

Proper Hand Washing

Okay. It will likely be a difficult decision when to “close the gate”, so to speak. At what point do you tell your boss you can only work from home? At what point do you pull the children out of school? These are questions each of us must answer for ourselves. (Having a six-month reserve of cash to pay the mortgage and the electric bill will help in making these decisions, as will a deep pantry.)

In the meantime, another step you can take to keep your family safe is proper handwashing. This may seem obvious. But most Americans do not wash their hands correctly. And studies have shown that Americans do not improve their handwashing during cold and flu season.

According to Bradley Corporation’s research, “Americans don’t wash their hands as often as they should, don’t wash their hands for a long enough amount of time and don’t increase their handwashing during the cold and flu season.” [6]

The Bradley Study focused on handwashing after using a pubic restroom. According the study, 62 percent of respondents report simply rinsing their hands after using a public restroom. The top three reasons cited:

1.Use of hand sanitizer instead of washing hands.
2.There was no soap available in the restroom.
3.There were no paper towels available in the restroom.

This is troublesome, the CDC notes, because although hand sanitizer is beneficial, washing your hands with soap and water (for a full 20 seconds) is the most effective way to reduce the number of germs, including the virus that causes the flu.

Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to reduce the number of germs on them. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in some situations, but sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs. [7]

Washing your hands does not kill the flu virus; it simply allows the virus to slide off your hands into the sink.

Please click here to watch the CDC video on how to wash your hands.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHISh559oho

Hand Sanitizers

The FDA has raised concerns that American consumers place too much confidence in commercial hand sanitizers. The fact is, the FDA says, there are currently no hand sanitizer products on the market that kill the flu virus. Check the label on that bottle of hand sanitizer. Such products may only claim to “help reduce bacteria and viruses that potentially can cause disease.” [8]

How is it that such products can claim to “kill 99.9 percent of the germs”? Here’s the answer I found from about.com:

The manufacturers of the products test the products on inanimate surfaces hence they are able to derive the claims of 99.9 percent of bacteria killed. If the products were fully tested on hands, there would no doubt be different results. Since there is inherent complexity in the human hand, testing hands would definitely be more difficult. Using surfaces with controlled variables is an easier way to obtain some type of consistency in the results. But as we are all aware, everyday life is not as consistent.

This is why the FDA recommends that hand sanitizers not be use in place of proper hand washing. Nonetheless, the CDC recommends the use of hand sanitizer if handwashing facilities are not available.

This conclusion is supported by research. According to one study, [9] use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers may play a role in preventing illness.

A multifactorial intervention emphasizing alcohol-based hand sanitizer use in the home reduced transmission of GI illnesses within families with children in child care. Hand sanitizers and multifaceted educational messages may have a role in improving hand-hygiene practices within the home setting. [9]

The “multifaceted educational messages” involved proper hand washing and the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer when handwashing facilities were not available.

Cleanliness and Proper Sanitation

If you look on the shelves at the grocery stores, there are all kinds of antibacterial products—antibacterial soap, antibacterial cleaners and so forth. This is a marketing gimmick. According to a Columbia University study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, products containing ingredients that are labeled “anti-bacterial” are no more effective than similar products without the antibacterial ingredients. [10]

In the study, inner-city households were randomly assigned to one of two groups: the group that received products containing antibacterial products or the group that received identically packaged products containing no antibacterial products. Incidence of infectious disease was recorded over a period of one year. Researchers found no significant difference in rates of infectious disease between the two groups. Here is the conclusion these researchers draw.

Our findings do not support the conclusion that use of antibacterial products reduces the risk for primarily viral infections in households of healthy persons. However, this does not preclude their potential contribution in reducing bacterial symptoms or their potential usefulness in specific instances, such as when household members are immunosuppressed or have skin or gastrointestinal infections. This suggests that manufacturers and care providers need to educate consumers about the appropriate use and limitations of household antibacterial products. Additional research is indicated to better understand potential health benefits associated with increased use of cleaning products, regardless of whether the products contain antibacterial ingredients.

Which products are effective in combating the flu virus? I have to tell you when I researched this question I was schooled by the CDC. First, there’s a difference between cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing.

Cleaning removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces or objects. Cleaning works by using soap (or detergent) and water to physically remove germs from surfaces. This process does not necessarily kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.

Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces or objects. Disinfecting works by using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces or objects. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.

Sanitizing lowers the number of germs on surfaces or objects to a safe level, as judged by public health standards or requirements. This process works by either cleaning or disinfecting surfaces or objects to lower the risk of spreading infection. [11]

The flu virus is relatively fragile outside the human body. According to the CDC, the flu virus can live for hours after being deposited on a surface. The EPA is tasked with approving disinfectants, and evaluating whether a disinfectant is effective against the Influenza A virus. There are 500 cleaning products on the market that have been cleared by the EPA to kill Influenza A. [12] These products kill the flu virus on nonporous surfaces; the catch is that the product must remain on the surface for a period of five minutes to be effective. If an EPA approved product is not available, the CDC recommends using a solution of chlorine bleach. Add 1 tablespoon bleach to 1 quart of water or for a larger supply ¼ cup bleach to 1 gallon of water. To be effective, the solution should be applied to the surface with a cloth and allowed to stand for 3-5 minutes. Note: if you use Clorox wipes, you need to use enough wipes to keep the surface wet for 3-5 minutes.

The bottom line here is that expensive “antibacterial” cleaning products are unnecessary. In a report published in PLOS: One, researchers draw the following conclusion:

During an influenza pandemic, the majority of people who develop symptoms will stay at home, where informal lay care will most often be provided by relatives. It is therefore crucial to gather specific information about how the virus is shed around the home and how transmission may be reduced by the adoption of appropriate hygiene measures, including cleaning of surfaces likely to be contaminated by virus. This is especially important in households containing young children as the latter are well known for their poor respiratory etiquette and higher virus shedding. Whilst numerous commercial virucidal agents are currently available, they may become scarce during a pandemic and are not available in low-resource settings. The purpose of this work was to assess a representative selection of simple, household cleaning agents and commercially available wipes which might be readily utilised to reduce the amount of virus spread around the home. We find that dilute solutions of washing up detergent, bleach or vinegar provide suitable means of disinfecting surfaces of influenza A virus. [13]

This quotation brings up a very important point. If someone in your family gets sick, you will very likely be caring for that person at home. The hospital is the last place I would want to be in a pandemic.

Including Elderberry Tincture in your Flu Kit

Okay. Next question: What if, despite your best efforts, someone in your household comes down with H7N9? What should you have in your flu kit? We have already talked about respirator masks, surgical gloves, eye protection and sanitization supplies like bleach, Lysol, trash bags, (lots, and lots and lots of trash bags). I will assume that you already have at least a six-month supply of hygiene supplies—e.g., toothpaste, soap, toilet paper and feminine hygiene products.

To this list, I would add a six-month supply of prescription medicine. You may have to pay for this out of pocket. But if cases of H7N9 start popping up in the U.S. and you explain your preparedness concerns to your doctor, I am sure he (or she) will write you scripts for six months.

You will also need a supply of over-the-counter medicines. These medicines will not help you recover faster; but they will make you feel better. Here I would recommend that you include fever reducers, antihistamines, decongestants, anti-diarrheal medicine, cough medicines and electrolyte replenishment products.

I also recommend that you add elderberry tincture and the supplies necessary to make elderberry syrup. To make elderberry tincture, you will need some elderberries (Sambucus nigra) and some 100-proof vodka. A trusted source of elderberries is Mountain Rose Herbs. However, they are out of stock. I ordered mine here.  Note: When using herbs for medicinal purposes, I recommend that you spend a few extra dollars and purchase organic product.

The recipe I followed said to fill a quart-sized canning jar one third of the way full with the dehydrated elderberries. Then fill with100 proof vodka. Place in a cool, dark place for two weeks. Gently shake the jar once a day. After two weeks, strain the mixture through cheesecloth to remove the berries and place in a clean jar. Label and store as you would any other medicine. To use elderberry tincture, place 2-3 teaspoons in a cup of hot tea. (A cup of steaming hot ginger tea with raw honey and a bit of lemon works great.)

Here’s a list of ingredients you will need to make elderberry syrup: 1 cup dried elderberries, a large piece of fresh ginger, 6 whole Chinese star anise, 4 whole cinnamon sticks, 18 whole cloves, 13 cups water and 4 cups raw honey. For step-by-step instructions, click here. http://www.thehungrymouse.com/2013/03/07/how-to-make-elderberry-syrup/

Let us turn now to the scientific evidence supporting the use of elderberries in the treatment of Influenza A. In a study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine Research, Zakay-Rones et al., examine the efficacy and safety of elderberry extract in the treatment of Influenza A and B. Here is the abstract to their article.

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. These findings need to be confirmed in a larger study. [14]

Another widely cited study is Kong (2009), published in the Online Journal of Pharmacology and PharmacoKinetics. [15] This is a pilot, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Elderberry extract (tincture) was standardized into a slow-dissolve lozenge. Sixty-four patients who had three or more flu symptoms for no more than 24 hours were randomly assigned either the experimental group or the control group. The experimental group received 4 doses of 175 mg lozenges; the control group received identically packaged lozenges without elderberry extract.

The experimental group (treated with elderberry extract) showed significant improvement in their symptoms; the control group’s symptoms were either unchanged or had worsened. After 24 hours of the onset of treatment, the experimental group showed significant improvement in severity of symptoms; the control group showed either no improvement or their symptoms became more severe. After 48 hours, 28 percent of patients in the control reported no symptoms, 60 percent showed relief from one or more symptoms, and the remaining symptoms were mild, and the rest reported improvement but only mind improvement. In contrast, none of the patients in the control group were void of all symptoms, 16 percent showed improvement in one or two symptoms, the rest of the patients in the control group showed either no improvement or their symptoms worsened.

These results are corroborated by (Thom 2002).

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 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. [16]

Thom (2002) identifies the active ingredient in elderberry extract. “It’s likely that antioxidants called flavonoids — which are contained in the extract — stimulate the immune system,” writes Thom. “Also, other compounds in elderberry, called anthocyanins, have an anti-inflammatory effect; this could explain the effect on aches, pains, and fever.” [16]

In yet another study published in the European Cytokine Network, Sambucol, a commercially produced elderberry extract, was claimed to be effective against ten different strains of Influenza virus. “In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study, Sambucol reduced the duration of flu symptoms to 3-4 days. Convalescent phase serum showed a higher antibody level to influenza virus in the Sambucol group, than in the control group.” [17]

Let me make a further point. Elderberry tincture is superior to Tamiflu. You can order some elderberries online and keep them in storage until needed. You can find 100-proof vodka at any liquor store. You need a prescription to get Tamiflu. The doctor’s office (or the pharmacy) is the last place I would want to be during a flu pandemic. Moreover, to be effective, Tamiflu must be started within 48 hours of the onset of flu symptoms. [18] How many people go to the doctor within the first 48 hours of the onset of flu symptoms? We must also acknowledge that during a pandemic, frontline medicines such as Tamiflu may not be available. (I might add that Tamiflu is $100+.)

Building a Make-shift Isolation Room

My dh and I have already had a discussion about pandemic flu. What would we do if his daughter showed up with symptoms? What would we do if my mother showed up with symptoms? There’s no way we could turn them away to die on the streets. We would take them in and put them in isolation. Hence, we need to build an isolation room.

We plan on keeping sick family members in the guest bathroom, which has a window for ventilation. It has a tiled floor so all surfaces can be cleaned with bleach. The room will need to be cleaned and sanitized daily while the sick person is recovering. We will use the hallway as an anteroom. The bathroom and the anteroom will be sealed off top to bottom with plastic sheeting secured with duct tape. Anyone who enters the sick room will first enter the anteroom to put on eye protection, a respirator mask, surgical gloves and a lawn sized garbage bag. When the person exits the sick room into the anteroom, the person will remove the protective clothing (eye protection, mask, gloves and trash bag) and put the protective clothing in another trash bag. The outside of the trash bag will be sprayed with disinfectant.

Nothing can come out of the sick room unless first processed in the anteroom. Nothing comes out of the anteroom without being bagged and sprayed with disinfectant or soaked in a 20 percent bleach solution for five minutes. All trash will be taken to the curb immediately or burned, if country services are no longer available. As soon as trash is taken to its assigned location, the person will utilize proper handwashing techniques. The caregiver will then shower with a soap solution containing shower gel, aloe and 90 percent alcohol. For additional information on building an isolation room, see [19].

Conclusion

I certainly hope I never experience pandemic flu in my lifetime. But I read the news. Right now it is 8:30 p.m. Tuesday evening. As I write, there are 77 confirmed cases of H7N9. Only two patients have recovered, a four-year-old boy and a seven-year-old girl. There have been 16 deaths. The remaining patients are in critical condition. This point is worth emphasizing: out of 77 patients, only two have recovered.

The latest news is that 40 percent of those infected had no clear contact with poultry. The discovery of the asymptomatic boy in Beijing who tested positive is troublesome; there may be significant numbers of carriers in the population. We do not have a clear handle on what kind of animal we are dealing with.

How worried should you be? At this point, I think it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the new flu. Fill in the holes in your preps. Nothing I have recommended here is terribly expensive. If this does progress into something more troublesome, you will begin to see reports online about “family clusters”. A significant increase in the number of family clusters is a sign the virus has mutated into something that can be spread person-to-person. Next, you will begin to see reports of cases outside China. You should begin to worry if the State Department begins issuing travel restrictions. You should begin to worry if cases start popping up in the United States.

Until then, get your preps in order and pray for the folks in Boston.

References

[1] http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/12/11/06-0255_article.htm

[2] http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/spread.htm

[3] http://www.osha.gov/Publications/influenza_pandemic.html#mask_respirator_difference

[4] http://www.medline.com/media-room/press-releases/2013/01/first-of-its-kind-face-mask-adds-layer-of-protection-as-flu-sweeps-nation

[5] http://www.health.gov.au/fluandyou

[6] http://www.bradleycorp.com/handwashing

[7] http://www.cdc.gov/features/handwashing/

[8] [8] http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/news/20110421/fda-hand-sanitizers-make-false-claims

[9] http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/116/3/587.full?ijkey=9d14c8668481bd5d8ecd3328375d3170c667a8bb

[10] http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=717252

[11] http://www.cdc.gov/flu/school/cleaning.htm

[12] http://www.epa.gov/oppad001/influenza-a-product-list.pdf

[13] http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0008987

[14] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15080016

[15] http://omicron-pharma.com/pdfs/ElderberryClinicalOJPK_Published.pdf

[16] http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/news/20031222/elderberry-fights-flu-symptoms

[17] http://www.jle.com/en/revues/bio_rech/ecn/e-docs/00/01/60/95/article.phtml

[18] http://www.tamiflu.com/hcp/management/hcp_flu_diagnosis.jsp

[19] http://www.alpharubicon.com/basicnbc/isolationroomsentropy.htm

M.D. Creekmore recommends “How to Survive the Coming Plagues” by Ragnar Benson.

This contest will end on April 22 2013  – prizes include:

Well what are you waiting for – email your entries today. But please read the rules that are listed below first…  H7N9: The Next Pandemic Flu?

131 comments

Survivor April 19, 2013 at 11:10 am

Outstanding information!! Thank you so much for the work you put in to help us out!!
Elderberries grow wild in many parts of the country. My Mom and Dad would pick a bunch and make several gallons of wine. I’m told it tasted real good..IDK, I can’t drink alcohol, makes me sick to my stomache – lucky me?
My stepson and I found a huge elderberry patch up in the national forest. It’s so remote they have to pump sunshine back there. He’s my herbalist healer and just smiled when we found them.
Bad thing about elderberries is they are so small. The individual berry is about 1/8″, but there are huge clusters of them. Mom and Dad just boiled them down, stems and all, and strained off the juice. You can get several pounds of elderberries off one big bush. http://www.wildmanstevebrill.com/Plants.Folder/Elderberry.html has some pictures and advice.

Encourager April 19, 2013 at 5:09 pm

I agree, great article Bam Bam!
@Survivor – I use a big-tooth comb and knock the elderberries off into a bucket. The stems can give the juice a much more bitter taste. Of course, everything, including you, will be stained purple!!

My dh fav jelly is elderberry jelly.

Bam Bam April 19, 2013 at 5:18 pm

I watched a video of a woman making elderberry tincture from fresh elderberries. She put them in the freezer until she was ready to use them. The berries came off no trouble.

Becky April 19, 2013 at 6:05 pm

BamBam;
I freeze my blackberries so I can make jam later in the year. When I bring them home ,I do not wash them. Very gently layer them inside a plastic storage bag on a cookie sheet so the berries make a single layer. When frozen I remove the cookie sheet and put the bags where I want in my freezer. My dh gets these berries(frozen)out all year long for his cereal, oatmeal, crm of wheat, or making smoothie.

Survivor April 20, 2013 at 7:13 am

I gotta tell a funny story about blackberries..
We were raised poor so to supplement our groceries my brother and I were sent out to pick a gallon of blackberries every day during the berry season. Well, the first day was a bear but we finally got a gallon picked between playing, fighting and just a few minutes swimming in the creek.
As Mom had instructed, we placed the berries in the kitchen sink so she could look them over before freezing. Next day we didn’t feel much like picking berries so we took the berries out of the freezer and thawed them out. That evening when Mom got home from work she inspected those berries and we put them in the freezer. We did that to those same berries for the entire 10 day picking season.
Eventually Mom decided we needed a blackberry cobbler to reward us for our hard work. She got everything ready and plunged her scoop down into those ‘fresh picked’ berries, she hit ice. Then she inspected the freezer and found no berries. She was hotter’n two rats humping in a wool sock! Dad…well, I ain’t never seen my Pa that angry. I think he was more angry at himself for trusting two pre-teen boys to work without supervision and that we got over on him!!
The only thing that saved my butt skin that afternoon was that my Grandpa was there when the discovery was made. He got tickled because we thought of that, told my parents how clever that was and that, although we needed punished, not to whoop us.
That’s a family story that always get told at reunions!!

R-Me April 20, 2013 at 9:04 am

Thanks for sharing,, I got quite a chuckle from that It made my day!

Natalia April 30, 2013 at 2:47 pm

Lesson for parents. Inspect what you expect! (Supervise.) Very funny. :D

Michele April 19, 2013 at 11:11 am

Bam Bam,

Do I remember correctly that you live in Florida? If so, do you have any soursop or graviola trees growing hear you? If so, can I talk youinto harvesting some of the leaves and stems for me and mailing them to me. I would gladly pay you for both postage and your time.

Bam Bam April 19, 2013 at 11:12 am

Michele,

I have never heard of these trees. I will do some research and see if we have them here. Florida is a large state with four growing zones.

Michele April 19, 2013 at 12:21 pm

I just sent MD a email and asked him to forward to you. The tree is tropical. My research into it says it will grow in Florida.

Of course, that doesn’t mean it grows in your area of Floirida, nor if it somehow grows wild in Florida, and I’m encouraging you to become a thief to get me some leaves.

I won’t encourage that, because if you own a gun you may eventually become a felon just by the fact that you own one, and I’m a fairly firm believer in trying to be as law-abiding as I can, free room and board behind bars has never been one of my cherished dreams.

Bam Bam April 19, 2013 at 3:08 pm

Michele,

I will email you when M.D. sends your email. I did email my adopted son who lives in Miami and took a college class on plant identification.

Bam Bam April 19, 2013 at 1:11 pm

Michele,

I checked these out. I don’t live far enough South for these.

Divergal (S Fla) April 19, 2013 at 10:20 pm

I live much farther south that Bam Bam. I printed out some pictures and if I see one I’ll send you leaves and stems…. no promises because they dont look familiar but Ill keep an eye out.

Bam Bam April 19, 2013 at 10:28 pm

Divergal,

If you find any of the fruit, I would sure love some seeds. This tree sounds really interesting.

Divergal (S Fla) April 21, 2013 at 12:57 am

i thought the same thing Bam Bam, no luck yet though.

GregJ April 19, 2013 at 11:40 am

Very good, comprehensive articles. The only question I have is what is the incubation period for the H7N9 virus? What worries me is if people are infected with this virus, but symptoms don’t display for maybe 7 days after, you are going to be very vulnerable for that period of time, and could easily become infected before you even knew it was in the area.

Bam Bam April 19, 2013 at 11:47 am

Greg,

They are not sure yet but they think the incubation time is 5-7 days. They have not yet located the source of the virus, though they think it’s wild water fowl. The problem is that they’ve tested thousands of birds, both wild birds and poultry, and only found positive cases here and there. There’s a couple of things Chinese authorities haven’t released yet: (1) what test are they using to get a positive test, both on birds and on humans and how reliable is that test? and (2) who is doing the testing–if the people collecting the samples are not well trained, the tests are meaningless.

BTW, this morning Russia advised its citizens against traveling to China.

Bam Bam April 19, 2013 at 11:49 am

Also new today: The CDC has told U.S. hospitals to be on the look out for H7N9 and to report any suspicious cases immediately.

Bam Bam April 19, 2013 at 11:51 am

Here is the latest info from Info Wars:

Quote:

As the Chinese government openly begins to speculate about the possibility of human-to-human transmission of the H7N9 bird flu strain, an international team of experts, including some from the World Health Organization, have been deployed to investigate the disease in the country.

If true, the development would quickly raise concerns of the disease outbreak leading to a pandemic. Flu experts have long warned once a particularly deadly strain of the flu, as H7N9 appears to be – it has killed 17 of the 87 people it has infected – becomes transmissible between humans, it can quickly spread.

The World Health Organization has said some of those who have contracted the virus have had “no history of contact with poultry,” and the state-run China Daily newspaper says a boy in Shanghai may have caught the disease from his brother.

Becky April 24, 2013 at 6:18 pm

BamBam;
The H7N9 made it on Fox news at lunch time(PST), it appears you had a jump on this story by three weeks(or more).
Spoke with my ds before she left for her shift at the hospital today. They have been made aware of it, but not up to the standards you set for the pack. I told her I had your article to read, and she needed to start getting items together. My biggest concern is she a phlebotomist, they call her in when they can not get a “stick”. For those who do not under stand that terminology. She has the talent to draw blood from those who are the hardest to retrieve blood from, usually preemie babies to late stage cancer patients. Which puts her right in the middle of this, an being the type of person we were raised to be, she will be at the hospital doing her job for the patients welfare.

george April 19, 2013 at 12:28 pm

Wow these two articles have a ton of info. I think a pandemic is one of the more likely shtf events to happen and most of us are not really prepped for it or knowledgable of what can happen or what to do if it does happen. Looks like i need to get some preps together and just maybe make an isolation kit to put in a toolbox next to my med kits.

Printing these two articles for the binder right now
BIG GIANT THANKS Bam Bam!!!

Not to blow opsec and don’t know if you have mentioned it already but do your work in the medical or public health field??

Bam Bam April 19, 2013 at 12:52 pm

George,

My job would totally blow my OPSEC. But I do have a background in the sciences.

Linda April 19, 2013 at 12:33 pm

Good job ! Do keep in mind that influenza can cause chest congestion which in the elderly and infirm can lead to pneumonia. In a grid-down situation pneumonia can be a killer. Make sure you include in your influenza supplies some non-prescription expectorant (such as Mucinex) to break-up chest congestion and any household members in the at-risk group should get an annual pneumonia shot. You may want to stock some antibiotics (for pneumonia not influenza) from a veterinary supply house. The Doom and Bloom Survival Medicine Handbook (pg. 371) recommends Amoxicillin (aquarium version: fish-mox, fish-mox forte and aqua mox) as being comparable to the version used on humans for treatment of pneumonia. As with any prescription medication, if used improperly antibiotics can cause more harm than good, so if a pandemic strikes and you are in a grid-down situation unable to get to an emergency room and having to nurse very ill people in your home, do consult by telephone or e-mail with a medical professional before embarking on a course of antibiotic treatment for a family member.

Bam Bam April 19, 2013 at 12:51 pm

Linda,

Mucinex and Amoxicillin–both important. I will keep track of everyone’s suggestions and write up a list with everyone’s suggestions. That will probably be more readily digestible.

Sw't Tater April 19, 2013 at 4:56 pm

. In the case of a grid down, or shelter in place event I and many others will be on their own. Persons that have phone service and are willing to answer questions will be swamped. Develop protocols NOW!
I addressed this in article that MD has not posted yet.!
If you do not currently have a person you can call to answer questions, then that is something you need to do. I had an event a few weeks ago that resulted in a large hematoma. I DO have a medical background. I knew what to look for in hematoma vs blood clot.. My Dr’s office was closed. I tried to get info from two offices, they wanted me to make an ER visit Did not want to listen any symptom or question.. I called Cardiac nurse, to make sure that injury had not developed thrombosis…End result, I treated it as if I had a blood clot, rested on heating pad and took asprin on schedule. ( being sure I had no positive Homan’s sign.)…Know that IF you don’t tolerate asprin well..some persons develop urinary bleeding after a “normal” daily dose…that VIVACTIV, contains vitamin K, and will stop the associated urinary bleeding and back pain. It only takes 2 and begins to work quicker than you can get to see a Dr in ER.
There are many antiviral substances in nature. Look up sweetgum, and see video’s on making tincture from those…as well. remember the rule of three’s.. Do search, You tube, The southern herbalist, Darryl Patton..lots of info on those video’s!
Others are….Oil of oregano, garlic..
After a round of Oil of Oregano..3-4 drops,three or 4 times a day, for 7-10 days., for persistent cough after my “allergy progressed thru..pneumonia and pleuracy, my Lyme has subsided and energy is coming up..

Bam Bam April 19, 2013 at 6:41 pm

Sw’t Tater,

I can’t wait to read your article. The more I research the more I see that drug companies rip off things in nature and patent them to make a lot of money. Then they use their money to prevent people from talking about herbal treatments.

Sw't Tater April 20, 2013 at 12:36 am

I sent in an article on preventing illness. MD has had other things to put in…it’ll be timely whenever, and if he decides. I wrote it after the CRE info came out.
I have been doing some searching on several things, If you want specifics I’ll get a list together this week. Send me an e-mail. You live in the south, be sure to get the rabbit tobacco. It works! Natural enzymes and probiotics must be in it galore.

Sw't Tater April 19, 2013 at 5:07 pm

Rabbit tobacco tea acts like mucinex..loosens congestion making cough more productive. Rabbit tobacco smoke relieves acute asthma attack in DH, as quick as albuterol rescue inhailer.

Becky April 19, 2013 at 6:12 pm

Sw’t Tater;
Where in the world would I find Rabbit Tobacco Tea? I need it for my hd, he has to use an inhaler. We will not able to keep 6 to 18 months on hand I will need a back up for him.

Sw't Tater April 20, 2013 at 1:05 am

Where are you? I have some. send me an e-mail, ..and Wild Pantry has it listed. the Other name is Everlasting. For asthma, it needs to be smoked, it opens the lungs up, you would need the leaves, it could be put in a pipe. He needs to use it some to be sure it will work for him, and he will use it. I use the tea for chest congestion, diarrhea, IBS, or other enzyme , digestion problems- for these uses I use the plant stem, leaves, roots and all. We are the same way, we don’t require rescue inhaler often, but when you need it, it is not optional!

Becky April 20, 2013 at 2:20 pm

Sw’t Tater
We live in very Northern CA, for now. You can reach me my email address, I will have MD send it to you. Thank you for responding so quickly.

Bam Bam April 19, 2013 at 2:04 pm

This just in:

Chinese authorities are now saying there is no SUSTAINED person-to-person transmission. In other words, the disease is spreading person-to-person but not that easily. Here’s the latest:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2013/04/19/bird-flu-h7n9.html?cmp=rss

Bam Bam April 19, 2013 at 2:20 pm

We should worry when the head of the WHO says, “there’s no reason to panic or be overly concerned.”

Sw't Tater April 19, 2013 at 5:03 pm

Good job, Bam Bam!

Raylene April 19, 2013 at 2:26 pm

It is extremely important to note that, in the event that there is a vaccine available, you should not let down your guard. It is documented that flu vaccines have varying levels of protection. Most notably low in the elderly and the young. Even if you are one of the lucky ones, it does NOT mean that the virus magically floats around you. You can still harbor it and pass it on regardless of if you get sick.

Secondly, A little side story. I have a SIL who is a germaphobic. When the last “pandemic” went around she put on so much hand sanitizer that her hands got burned by it and cracked. Obviously, this is counterproductive as she created entry points for infection in her hands. Soap and water is far superior.

Sw't Tater April 19, 2013 at 5:02 pm

If a vaccine is available what Kind of other germs will they incorporate into it? How much mercury and enbalming fluid will it contain.
Think VERY carefully if you have nerve damage!.
.Do you need MORE nerve damage?(that is a definite side effect of mercury and enbalming fluid!)
Elderberries and sweetgum does not produce nerve damage, neither does the alcohol used to make tinctures and extracts, in the amount needed for each dose.

Bam Bam April 19, 2013 at 5:08 pm

Sw’t Tater,

Tell me what you do with sweet gum. I have those growing all over the place in the woods behind my house.

Mother Earth April 19, 2013 at 5:47 pm

Bam Bam, if you go to the eattheweeds website you can read up on how to use the tree parts for influenza protection. I have a tree in my front yard I will be using.

Also, have you looked at soap making that would have ingredients for ani-bacterials to use instead of hand sanitizer at home? I know tree tea does but I’m wondering what else.

Bam Bam April 19, 2013 at 6:14 pm

Mother Earth,

This is the coolest website ever. Thank you. I am really having a paradigm shift in my thinking. I was at my doctor’s office yesterday to get some blood work done. I asked my doctor about Tamiflu and he said it wasn’t very effective. Why on earth would the federal government be so heavily invested in Tamiflu (recommending that states have enough on hand to treat 20 percent of their population) when it is not terribly effective and terribly expensive? We would all save a lot of money if people used elderberry tincture instead.

Mother Earth April 19, 2013 at 6:28 pm

I think the gov needs to tell us something to keep panic in check. There are many who don’t believe in natural remedies and go to the doctors expecting a prescription for what ails them, hence the over use of antibiotics. That’s my two cents on the subject.

Sw't Tater April 20, 2013 at 1:17 am

That’s the problem! Everyone wants big government to save them, instead of depending on the knowledge of all who have gone before us. Use Pharma if needed, but treat and prevent everything you can with home remedies. germs don’t easily, quickly build resistance to the complete plant enzymes/compounds, but to the incomplete ones man synthesizes.

Sw't Tater April 20, 2013 at 1:11 am

Right now the new leaves, fill a jar with them and cover with Pga to make a tincture. after tincture is made strain to take out leaves. I don’t know dose yet. can use the seeds out of the gum balls that fall in the fall. sweetgum-Best order of use.. seeds,both male and female, ball pod, new leaves.. got info off the southern herbalist video’s off u tube.!

Lantana April 20, 2013 at 9:27 am

What’s pga, Sw’t Tater?

Hunker-Down April 19, 2013 at 3:27 pm

Bam Bam

Thank you for all your work and sharing It with us.

M.D.

Thank you for posting Bam Bam’s articles in such a timely manner.

The two of you working together has resulted in something that HHS, FEMA, FDA, Homeland Security, big pharma , et all are totally incompetent in presenting to the public in time for us to prepare. They are hamstrung by their bureaucracy, profit motive and the political correctness of their handlers.

You guys rock!

M.D. Creekmore April 19, 2013 at 6:34 pm

Hunker-Down,

Thank you… With what is going on in China right now we though the info could be useful soon…

Bam Bam April 19, 2013 at 6:48 pm

H-D,

The public isn’t smart enough to understand this material, nor do they have the desire to educate themselves and make preparations. If the feds released this information to the general public, some would panic and others would simply ignore it. I remember when Hurricane Floyd was heading toward Florida as a Cat. 5. Most folks did nothing to prepare.

TG April 19, 2013 at 3:29 pm

Bam bam, thanks for the wonderful info. I am doing some research into some things people can make for themselves,just in case. I have also gotten off my but and actually made some tinctures.
And just a note, the elderberry syrup only lasts about 2 weeks or so in thefridge.

Bam Bam April 19, 2013 at 5:11 pm

TG,

I would love to hear about your research. I am completely sold on herbal medicine. My dh has been using raw local honey since Easter and this is the first time he hasn’t been bothered with allergies or sinus problems in years. He is off all his drugs. He started to come down with some kind of bug–the stomach flu has been going around. I gave him some (not quite ready) elderberry tincture and he was fine the next day. Several friends who had had the bug recently took a weekend to recover.

TG April 19, 2013 at 6:56 pm

Bam bam, I will write up something when I am done. I know a lot of remedies but am looking up the studies to go with them. A lot easier said then done when you dont understand all the medical jargon. And in a lot of the studies they try to isolate one compound of the plant instead of the entire thing.
I may just right up the remedies I know and dierect everyone to their own research. Lol.

Bam Bam April 19, 2013 at 8:19 pm

TG,

When you get done writing up your article, maybe have M.D. email it to me. I am really good at the research part.

TG April 20, 2013 at 3:06 am

Bam bam, that would be great. I would love any help I can get with the research.

Bam Bam April 20, 2013 at 7:32 am

TG,

I have asked M.D. to forward my email to you.

TG April 20, 2013 at 3:38 pm

Bam Bam, thanks. Give me a couple of days and I will forward what I have your way.
MD, do I need to send you my email or can uou get it from me posting here?

Encourager April 19, 2013 at 5:17 pm

TG have you ever frozen the syrup and then thawed it for use?

Mother Earth April 19, 2013 at 5:49 pm

I freeze my syrup in batches when I make it and its fine from what I can tell.

Becky April 19, 2013 at 6:19 pm

Thank you, I was just about ready to ask–Have you every canned it via pressure cooker? If no, have you used a vacuum seal machine to remove the o2 from the jar an kept it in the dark for viability?

Mother Earth April 19, 2013 at 6:40 pm

I have not canned it. I only make about a pint at a time and freeze it in little containers. I just keep dried elderberries in my stash of herbs.

Bam Bam April 19, 2013 at 8:23 pm

What is the advantage of elderberry syrup over elderberry tincture? The tincture lasts at room temperature for at least a year. And you can add it to tea with lemon and honey. Why make the syrup that has to be refrigerated and lasts only two weeks?

TG April 19, 2013 at 9:29 pm

Bam bam, I wouldnt say one is better than the other. It really depends on what would work best for you. Some people cant handle the alcohol in the tincture, others (especially babies under a year old) cant have the honey in the syrup. The tincture would be easier to take with you if you have to go to work or something, the syrup can help ease a sore throught and cough. So they both have their uses. Again it depends on what would work best for your situation.

TG April 19, 2013 at 9:30 pm

Throat, not throught. Sorry about that.

Mother Earth April 19, 2013 at 10:02 pm

Exactly, the syrup is non alcohol so the little ones can take it and it has honey which is healthy. Just a matter of preference.

TG April 19, 2013 at 6:59 pm

Encourager, I havent tried freezing it, but I dont see why it wouldnt work. I would freeze it in doses in an icecube tray and bag it from there. I will have to try that for the little ones, it might make it easier for them to take because they like icepops better than medicine.

Suburban Housewife April 19, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Excellent – awesome – important article!! Thank you so much! I absolutely hate medical stuff. When people start talking about illness, symptoms and med my eyes glaze over and my brain goes to Tahiti. Definitely something I am trying to work on.

You made this so easy to digest and understand. And I love all of your documentation – thank you again.

TG April 19, 2013 at 7:01 pm

Suburban housewife, I am with you there in Tahiti. Lol.

Keith April 19, 2013 at 4:38 pm

Excellent data, well researched. Well Done! Thanks for all the effort – this is important.

Bam Bam April 19, 2013 at 5:15 pm

Keith,

Thanks I spent a lot of time researching this. H7N9 could fizzle out. It could stagnate like H5N1. Or could reach pandemic status like H1N1. We just don’t know at this point.

Lantana April 19, 2013 at 6:02 pm

Bam Bam, if this were to progress, what’s your gut feel on how the fact that we’re heading into late spring/summertime here would factor in?

Bam Bam April 19, 2013 at 6:21 pm

Lantana,

We don’t know enough right now to make a determination. But I can say that a pandemic flu is unlike the seasonal flu. If H7N9 retains its CFR, it probably will not matter what season it is. Most likely, there are at least dozens more carriers who have not yet been detected. If this is so, then the CFR will decrease. Here’s the question: will H7N9 remain as lethal if/when it acquires the capacity to spread easily among humans?

Lantana April 19, 2013 at 6:29 pm

CFR?

Lantana April 19, 2013 at 6:40 pm

Oh, I see it in your comment below–case fatality report . . .

Bam Bam April 19, 2013 at 8:25 pm

Oops–case fatality rate–the number of people infected who die. With H7N9 it is disturbing that only three people out of 91 have recovered enough to leave the hospital.

Encourager April 19, 2013 at 5:06 pm

Check health food stores that carry Frontier products to buy the dried organic Elderberries. I can get them through my food buying club for $10.70, 1 # bag. You may pay some markup at the health food store, but if you buy the entire bag they should give you a discount.

Two bags are on my list for my next Frontier order.

Bam Bam April 19, 2013 at 5:13 pm

Encourager,

Dang. I think I paid way too much for the elderberries. Live and learn. What food buying club do you use? I would be interested in checking them out if they are national.

Encourager April 19, 2013 at 5:22 pm

We have a large group of families that make up our food buying club. We order every month from United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI). They are all over the USA. I called UNFI and asked for the names of food buying clubs and food co-ops in our area when I was having mucho trouble with the club I was using (have since gone to another with no problems). They gave me a list of contacts in my area. Find contact # at http://www.unfi.com.

Most of the food from UNFI is organic or natural foods.

We also order about 4-6 times a year directly from Frontier. We pay just over wholesale prices.

Bam Bam April 19, 2013 at 6:02 pm

This is one of the most important papers published on H7N9. It’s a bit technical but the authors point out the similarities between H7N9 in China and H7N7 that hit the Netherlands in 2003. They also point out that H7N9 has only one amino acid that allow the virus to attach to a mammalian host. Right now the virus is more dangerous than H5N1 in terms of its CFR (case fatality report). If the virus continues to adapt to its human hosts and acquires several amino acids at the HA cleavage site . . . then we know it’s time to shut the gate.

Here’s the link:

http://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs11434-013-5873-4.pdf

Brenda April 19, 2013 at 6:17 pm

BamBam,
Thanks for all of the info. I have never been one to be overly concerned with the flu but all of my grandchildren seem to be extra susceptible to it. I will definitely be getting prepared for it.

Becky April 19, 2013 at 6:31 pm

BamBam;
Since you have an “insight” to epidemics, I will trust your research any day of the week. My ds works in the field of phlebotomy, since she is in a large hospital I worry that she could/can be infected without anyone knowing until…oh, guess what you have xyz. I am sharing this research with the other members of my family who work in the medical field.
Great article………….thank you.

Bam Bam April 19, 2013 at 8:28 pm

Becky,

I would be interested to hear what they have to say. Typically in a hospital setting they take incredible precautions. Folks with a medical background know how to protect themselves.

Rider of Rohan April 19, 2013 at 6:42 pm

Well, now, you saved the best for last, Bam Bam. Great article loaded with information. I just ordered 100 N95 respirators, a box of 500 gloves, and all the elderberry syrup I could afford. I have some NBC suits and plenty of trash bags, but I don’t think I have enough food and water. And I don’t think my water filter works against viruses. It’s a Katadyn, does anyone know? Thanks, Bam.

TG April 19, 2013 at 7:06 pm

Rider, I am not sure, and others here are more knowledgeable about this than me, but I have read somewhere that there isnt a water filter out there that can actually filter viruses.

Sw't Tater April 20, 2013 at 1:38 am

olive leaf extract, oil of Oregano, both are antiviral.as well…

Bam Bam April 19, 2013 at 8:33 pm

Rider,

You can make the elderberry syrup very inexpensively. What is the shelf life on the store bought stuff? I need to order more N95 masks. I think I only have 25 in stock. I have slowly been working on our pandemic supplies since last year when H5N1 came out.

Why would you worry about viruses in your water supply? This is not an issue I’ve given much thought to.

Rider of Rohan April 20, 2013 at 3:34 pm

Bam Bam, the shelf life of the store bought stuff is 2015, and do get plenty of masks just in case you have to get out, which you will. As far as water is concerned, when we have to get out and go looking for water, it would be nice to know that we could use it. In some instances when water systems are neglected, virus particles that can make you sick get in the system. And any outdoor water that is not secure or has runoff could be virus contaminated.

Bam Bam April 20, 2013 at 5:17 pm

Rider,

Where did you order your respirators from? I have two boxes but I know I need more than that. And if/when H7N9 hits the U.S., stores will be sold out overnight.

MentalMatt April 19, 2013 at 7:47 pm

This was an excellent article, I’ll will be making the tincture here asap

khbostic April 19, 2013 at 8:01 pm

Well,I say I put out apx 3.7 million bucks in 4,5,6 leaf clovers and talisman sets over the past 23 yrs as a charity fundraiser.Coupled to those were Health and Longlife Resource pages,apx 10 pgs of generalized nostrums.
Included in there was antivirals such as Whey protein powder,L-Lysine,L Cysteine, http://www.Swansonvitamins.com has a great product called Immune Specifics,which includes elderberry Extract,Beta Glucans,Larch Ext,Purified Immunoglobulin,etc.,60 caps for apx 8 bucks+ S/H apx 4.95 any sized order.They re strong so you could open caps and take 1/2 for a dose ,like 2 to 4 times daily.
Over at http://www.herbalhealer.com theres a place apx 2/3 down where it says breaking news /theres archives of health news stories there to read.A few say taking 1000 to 2000 IU of Vitamin D3 daily is 800% better than getting the vaccine.As we get older ,the vaccine gets less and less effective.
I posted a lot on the Universal Life Church forum on this topic,being “legally ordained “thru them,and having worked as a psych attendant nurse at state facilities a few yrs.I served in the Hospital/Clinical division of a State Hospital apx a yr back in 1977 to 1978,while working on my 2 yr para professional Mental Health Social Work Degree.
Getting more handicapped myself,and not having much luck with conventional medicine,Ive studied alternative /complementary medicine on the side these past 35 yrs.,and put some of the ” grtst hits of alt meds “in my health and long life resource pgs.,incl what I just mentioned.Apx 1/2 of nurses start getting some auto immune problems when their bodies try to fight off stuff floating around hospitals,incl MS type symptoms,for wich the vitamin D3 at 1000 to 2000 IU s a day may halt the progression of MS and other Neuro troubles,but the D3 is a immune system stimulant ,has some steroidal properties but safer,and can make the difference between life and death,and its apx 6 bucks a bottle at swansonvitamins.com ,too.
DHEA and Pregnenolone are used by those over the age of 35,the problem with them is getting dose adjusted,and caffiene and any other stimulants are not to be used with them,as the are potentiated=magnified effects,which when wearing off produces a brainstem headache,relieved with nsaids,and another dose of DHEA or pregnenolone,which both have potent anti viral as well as multiple life extension effects /benefits.I tried DHEA at age 35,having read up on it,got arthritis type symptoms from taking recommended dose of 25 mg.When I opened the cap and took a quarter cap dose ,those untowards side effects of arthritis symptoms went away.Once again,swanson vitamins carries these.Dr Julian Whittaker puts out the countries largest circulating health newsletter called health and healing says he couldnt imagine practicing medicine without pregnenolone and DHEA in his practice.He had a weekly AM radio show on alt medicine such as this in Washington DC a no of yrs.,as well as a clinic in CA.DHEA is the biggest natural hormone in our bodies,and the body uses it as building blocks for producing most other hormones in our bodies.Pregnenolone was used everywhere prednisone is used as a anti inflammatory,before prednisone was discovered,but it doesn t have the horrendous side effects of prednisone type steroids.Prednisone helps the memory as a great side effect,better than most any other substance,and once digested,becomes DHEA at 1/2 the dose ingested.So ,25 mg pregnenolone becomes 12 1/2 mg of dhea,plus it helps the memory better than the DHEA ,so I prefer it to the DHEA.The older we get the more we ll need it ,as our bodies produce less and less as we age…

Sw't Tater April 20, 2013 at 1:34 am

you need to break this up and put it in simple language without so many parallels. ..I know there is a lot of good info here, but it’s running together presented like this. Maybe you should write it out in an article and submit it.

Encourager April 20, 2013 at 2:55 pm

I sure had a hard time trying to figure out what you were saying. But what I did understand is mighty interesting. Could you please repost with a few breaks between ideas?

khbostic April 19, 2013 at 8:29 pm

Dr Whittaker said in ancillary materials that come withna 2 yr subscription to his health newsletter,that even if people were positive for HIV,if they kept their DHEA levels up by taking it,they could live a relatively normal /asymptomatic life.It just keeps all kinds of viruses in check.HPV,Herpes stuff,Epstein Barr/chonic fatigue,HIV.
I mentioned going to http://www.herbalhealer.com and clic on where it says breaking news for archived news /health stories.In there it says 18 % of all cancers are now believed to be caused by viruses.It also says taking the vitamin D3 at 1000 IU to 2000 IU a day can reduce risks of cancer up to 50%.Also reduces risks of auto immune disorders across the board incl diabetes and neuro disorders incl Multiple Sclerosis.Works on all flu viruses as well as other viruses too,better than the flu vaccine,and there was some opinions that the vaccines may increase autism and attention deficit /learning disorders,making the vitamin D3 therapy clarly superior.Hypericin is Saint Johns Wort Extract,is a anti depressant with side benefits of being also anti viral,and 25% superior to prescription tri cyclic anti depressants,without horrendous side effects of some of the prescription stuff available from health food store type outlets such as swansonvitamins.com,I don t get any money from mentioning these resources,but feel theyre quality resources for referral.
The monastaries used St Johns Wort for Cleansing wounds in the middle ages,boiling it up and cleaning wounds,before they had anti biotics.Natural observation showed using St Johns Wort gave a more sunny disposition,maybe they used it as a tea as well for internal cleansing.Research recent years shows its also anti viral in its properties,a side benefit,and now,its used mainly as a anti depressant..

khbostic April 19, 2013 at 8:47 pm

Oh,and correction on above statement:Its pregnenolone ,not prednisone, thats the best natural memory facilitator substance around and turns into DHEA once digested at 1/2 the dose taken .
Over in Germany,St Johns Wort Ext is only by prescription,very popular,while here in the States,its available without a prescription.
As far as prescription meds for the flu,the acyclovir would work instead of tamiflu,as well as other anti virals like those used on HIV/AIDs,those would work on the flu as well.
http://www.swansonvitamins.com carries the elderberry extract capsules as well as the Sambucol brand name elderberry extract syrup.Extracts are about the same strength as tinctures.
I get the lysol spray generic at wallyworld,says it kills 99.9% of everything in a minut,good to spray everywhere ,especially when someones sick.I also get pine oil and add a 1/5 cup in wash with the regular soap.People that take a 1 a day vitamin get sick about 1/2 as often as those that dont,maybe because theres 400 IU of vitamin D in that…8 oz of milk only has 100 IU of vitamin D.So a one a day is like drinking a Qt of milk a day…

khbostic April 19, 2013 at 10:16 pm

The Dhea and Pregnenolone both neutralize the stress hormone cortisol.Cortisol is the fight /flight hormone that may be good in a crisis,but the problem is that some have too much cortisol all the time.chronically.Cortisol eats up all the circulating neuro transmittors the brain runs on,like having your foot to the metal while driving a car./So,you get real poor milage=brain chemistry goes to burn out/low neuro transmittors=depressive states.Therefore ,the DHEA/Pregnenolone also have anti depressive properties as well as being anti viral,anti cancer too.
Some medical studies say the difference between nursing home and institutionalized patients,and those living independently ,on the outside ,is that of higher DHEA blood levels in the independent ones,honest.
Ive been a member off n on of the http://www.lef.com = the life extension foundation,a non profit group in hollywood florida,just north of the Miami city limits.They have 20 world class scientists and 20 world class doctors on their advisory board,as opposed to a 2nd opinion.It costs apx 82 .50 a yr in membership dues,most comes back to you in a 25 % discount on their pharmaceutical grade nutritional products,12 issues of their journal/magazine,and a treatment /protocols book thats like a 50 buck product that you also recieve free under the 82.50 membership,about the size of a yellow pages in a big city ,800 pg +/
Anyways,they say its one of the top ten things to use for life extension,and say the same things Ive said above for reference.,check out their website, http://www.lef.com ie,the Pregnenolone and or DHEA.I d recommend a membership to those with health issues and could afford it.They concentrate on natural health food store type supplements ,as well as some conventional meds,in a non technical language.

Bam Bam April 19, 2013 at 10:35 pm

Well I am going to complain about a completely unrelated issue. My dh has committed us to having dinner next Saturday with another couple. Apparently she is a vegetarian and only eats at strange places–they suggested Thai. Then we are to go over their house for conversation so we can get to know them. How very dreadful. Can someone please give me hunting stories I can tell at dinner? Someone please shoot me now. I just can’t imagine being trapped for three or four hours chit chatting about mindless crap.

TG April 19, 2013 at 11:09 pm

Dont you just love dinner dates? Ugh. Pretend to have the flu or have someone who can call with an emergency. Besides hunting, find a boring subject, research it and then drone on and on about it. Ooooo, look up all the health benefits of meat, butter, raw milk, and patured eggs.

Bam Bam April 19, 2013 at 11:56 pm

TG,

Brilliant. I can get into a conversation on whether snails feel pain when you cook them for escargot. And then I can run the line, “Well, how do you know they fee pain.” I can research the neurophysiology of snails, and drone on and on about this. Then I can compare the neurophysiology of snails to the difference in brain structure between humans and, say, dogs. The human visual system contains both rod and cone cells and this is what allows us to see in color. Dogs have significantly few cone cells and therefore can see only in black and white. Oh, yes. I see a long lecture on neurophysiology. I read the greatest book one time called The Emergence of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Brain. That will be perfect–neurophysiology and consciousness. And a discussion of whether snails are conscious. Now I want to go to a fancy restaurant so I can order snails for supper. Yum, ya got to love that garlic.

SDesmond April 21, 2013 at 7:25 pm

Bam Bam,

I always love your posts, but this one by far has had me ROFLMAO. I am very glad I still have good bladder control. Where was this post last week when I so desperately needed the idea?

I, too, live in Central Florida, just relocating from Ft Lauderdale. Can we grow pecan trees here?

Mother Earth April 19, 2013 at 11:09 pm

I feel your pain…my dh committed me to a b-day party last week. My brain hurt by the time I got home.

Lantana April 19, 2013 at 11:45 pm

Ask her which she’s more concerned about: that almost all soy grown in the U.S. is GMO, or that soy is high in phytoestrogens.

No, ask her about lentil recipes–maybe she’ll have some good ones to share, and you could use them to avoid food fatigue. She might be into sprouting, too. . . .

Thai food’s pretty tasty, Bam Bam. You might pick up a few ideas for herbs and spices to add to your pantry.

Double dog dare you to treat this as a research opportunity for your next article, “Useful Things a Prepper Can Glean from an Evening with a Vegetarian”.

Bam Bam April 20, 2013 at 12:00 am

Lantana,

I know. I have a bad attitude. My dh has already given me the contempt prior to investigation line. They are liberals but at least he has an AR-15. So they can’t be that bad. And both are very intelligent. Who knows, they could even be preppers.

Sw't Tater April 20, 2013 at 1:31 am

Maybe they are in transition toward conservative, or libertarian principals…LMI? in secret? Maybe she has some new sprouting seeds for you to try? great source of multivitamins.

Lantana April 20, 2013 at 9:19 am

Oh dear, Bam Bam, I didn’t mean to accuse you of having a bad attitude!

To the contrary, you seem to me like a smart, hard-working, practical gal with a long list of things to do/learn and not enough hours in the day. And having to make time you don’t have for pursuits that appear frivolous–isn’t that on the short list for an INTJ’s personal definition of hell?

Anyway, more questions that might lead to useful info (or at least away from Brangelina): how do vegetarians get enough calcium without dairy. . . favorite protein ideas other than rice and beans. . . how does she keep veggies interesting and on hand–gardening/sprouting, daily store runs, fermenting, special seasonings?

If they’re green, lament the amount of [cardboard/soda cans/etc.] in your recycling bin and ask for ideas for reusing/repurposing.

And here’s your ‘get out of jail free’ card: when it gets unbearable, exclaim ‘oh I almost forgot!’, pull out a bar of your soap and say ‘I make soap and thought y’all might like a bar of the ____ one’.

Then the conversation’s about how you got into it, what other scents you make, their ideas for scents, how great it was for Christmas gifts–shhhhh, this year, you’re making salves, how your friends are saying start a business. . . .

Who knows, she might just say, ‘my 500+ FB friends will love this!’ And voila–Bam Bam’s Florida Emporium of Fine Soaps and Curious Salves is up and running!

Good luck tonight (or is it next weekend?)

Bam Bam April 20, 2013 at 10:55 am

HaHa, Lantana. I did have a bad attitude. I get grumpy when I am tired. My dh is at the store getting me a gift for making me so grumpy last night. LOL I hope he brings me home a pineapple.

I will probably have a good time at dinner–he is a physician and she is a published writer.

k. fields April 20, 2013 at 5:41 am

Bam Bam,
I certainly hope your life hasn’t condensed to only being a “prepper” after just a couple years of interest! That seems more like addiction than involvement!

As you well know, there is still music (wasn’t your husband a musician?), film, literature, poetry, prose, etc., etc., etc. to discuss in intelligent conversation – in fact there’s a whole world outside of the “prepper” universe that is far from chit-chat.

And since I’m wagging my finger at you, do stop trying to figure out the best way to be as annoying as possible to folks that may, at some level, be important to your husband. Just lighten up and enjoy it.

Bam Bam April 20, 2013 at 8:35 am

LOL, K. Fields, I will behave myself.

Bam Bam April 20, 2013 at 7:50 am

Latest News (Saturday 8 a.m.)

95 cases; 18 dead

Authorities still have not located the source of the virus. Authorities suspect limited, sporadic person-to-person transmission.

khbostic April 20, 2013 at 8:53 am

I think it was 27 million died in the spanish flu pandemic after WW1.Its said to be pretty similar to the bird flu.
On the vegetarian thing,Im mostly into hamburger.Ive got a older brother that went vegetarian back when he was 17.So Ive ate vegetarian sometimes.
The Morningstar Farms brand of Grillers is good,in the frozen section,if ya add the lettuce ,tomatoes,grilled onions,with some fried tatoes on the side.
Ive eaten lots of Tex /Mex food all my life.Its suited for vegetarians with lots of fried pintoes,with chili salsa.flour tortillas,all the salad stuff on it,thats all good.Its suited for prepper cooking too from storable goods.
I prefer it with meat,but you could have it without meat or use the Texturized meat substitute which is flavored soy after the oils been squeezed out./TVP stands for texturized vegetable protein,its like 50% protein while hamburger is apx 8% protein.

khbostic April 20, 2013 at 9:32 am

PS,Im a W /male pushing 60, and divorced.I got into doing psych nursing after the doc in the Emgcy room,and orderly said I ought to go take the civil service exam for psych attendant /nurse 03,while working as a uniformed guard apx 7 mo ,at the Osteopathic Hospital.
The Osteopathic Hospital,328 beds then, was associated with Michigan State U,where they had the Med College at.I was making $ 3 .28 a hr as a guard,so it represented a step up,making 5 bucks a hr,with a side benefit pkg..
After a yr with a state hospital,I transferred to a retardation facility for a 2nd yr.,while going thru community college.I* did about 18 mo as a uniformed guard before going into the State Civil Service, mental health division,back in the late 70s.
Reagan cancelled 1/3 of those jobs in civil service when he got in,me I major ed in a public service cluster of mental health social work.,go figure…

Mama J April 20, 2013 at 2:23 pm

All I can say is…… Bam Bam you are an amazing woman.
Thank you so much for these beauifully written articles. I am getting up from this computer right now and going over my flu preps. I think a gallon or two of elderberry tincture might be just the ticket for me today.Maybe a little elderberry syrup and champayne for me as a treat while I brew it.
We had lengthy conversations on your flu article awhile back, so I don’t think I need to reiterate on all the things we agree on!
Thanks for the heads up. I had no idea this was happening. Sometimes ignoring the news is a bad thing. I can’t imagine coming home from the wilderness to find everyone sick. The horror!

Bam Bam April 20, 2013 at 3:07 pm

Mama J.,

Thanks for the complement. If the rain clears up any today I might make a run to Walmart to get some OTC medicine or at least make a list of what we are running low on. The main things I am stocking are Tylenol (the generic version) and Musinex DM (again, generic version). I need to get to the market and get some more raw honey. That’s about it.

We should know a lot more by Tuesday or Wednesday. There is an international team of flu experts that flew into China late last week. The main thing is to determine the reliability of the test Chinese authorities have been using. There is probably significantly more cases out there. But they are not being reported because the symptoms are not bad enough to go to the hospital. That may actually be good news because it would mean the CFR is lower than it appears right now. But it would be bad in terms of likelihood of further mutation.

Encourager April 20, 2013 at 3:15 pm

Speaking of Musinex DM…that med is what helped us get over that nasty virus. It really cleared the lungs yet suppressed that annoying, irritating cough. When we did cough, it was productive.

However, good grief! My son picked us up a package and it was over $35 for 40 pills. $35!!!!! I have not seen the generic brand…is it cheaper?

Bam Bam April 20, 2013 at 5:28 pm

Encourager,

$18 for 200 pills. (We sound like drug dealers. LOL)

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002RL8FIE/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Encourager April 20, 2013 at 7:00 pm

Holy cow! Talk about overpaying for something!!!

Thanks Bam Bam!

Bam Bam April 20, 2013 at 7:18 pm

Encourager,

No problem. Now I wish I could find a good deal on N95 respirators.

Doris Jones April 20, 2013 at 5:21 pm

Are we allowed to vote on who gets the prize? All the entries have been great and I have gotten a lot from them. Bam Bam’s information was just excellent. I have been keeping up with this and the material, research and up-to-the-minute information was top notch. I am going to follow this. It is potentially a really horrific medical problem to be dealing with. Even the news on RT and CCTV are reporting much worse than our USA stations are showing. Thanks so much for this helpful information.
I am making a donation to this blog in the name of “Bam Bam” and out of appreciation for the work done to help us all plus I really appreciate the excellent information and suggestions. The elderberry medicine is especially helpful too. I would challenge anyone who is using Bam Bam’s information (and all the good material on this website) to donate now. Thank you!

Bam Bam April 20, 2013 at 5:31 pm

Doris,

Thank you. I could not ask for a better token of appreciation. M.D. put a lot of time and money in maintaining this blog. It is wonderful that people donate.

If anyone else is interested, here’s the donation link:

http://www.thesurvivalistblog.net/donate/

Lantana April 20, 2013 at 8:08 pm

Bam Bam, on your tincture, do you have a sense of how much 1/3 of a quart jar of elderberries weighs?

Bam Bam April 20, 2013 at 8:13 pm

Lantana,

Yes, I used 1/3 of a pound to make 1 quart.

Jessie Cross April 20, 2013 at 11:26 pm

Hey there,

Jessie from The Hungry Mouse here. Thanks for the linkback!

If you want to make a shelf stable version of my elderberry syrup, infuse the same ingredients in 12 cups of 100 proof vodka for 6 weeks. Strain and press the liquid out of the solids (discard them once you wring them dry). Will keep well, shelf stable, in a cool place for a few years. When I take elderberry this way, I do 1-2 Tablespoons/day, smaller doses more frequently when I’m sick.

Cheers,
Jessie
Jessie

Bam Bam April 21, 2013 at 4:14 pm

Jessie,

Oh, you are the person from The Hungry Mouse. I really like your website–very informative. This is a website of people looking to be prepared for things like natural disasters and pandemics.

Jessie Cross April 20, 2013 at 11:34 pm

Oh, and apologies if someone has been over this already (I’m new here ;) ), but Usnea tincture is also amazing for any kind of virus or antibiotic-resistant bug. I’m a home-grown herbalist, and have used it very successfully to treat colds, flu, and bronchitis.

Best,
Jessie

Encourager April 21, 2013 at 10:10 am

Welcome to the Wolf Pack Jessie! What is Usnea???

Bam Bam April 21, 2013 at 4:12 pm

Jessie,

Welcome to the Wolf Pack. I would recommend only using your first name to post–you don’t your neighbors knowing that you have supplies.

Bam Bam April 21, 2013 at 9:20 am

Sunday morning H7N9 figures:

Infected: 102
Dead: 21
Recovered: 3

Bam Bam April 21, 2013 at 3:42 pm

People in China are beginning to panic. Here is a very interesting article:

http://www.sacbee.com/2013/04/21/5359629/bird-flu-panic-grips-china.html

Hunker-Down April 21, 2013 at 3:51 pm

I printed your article, and ordered the masks. (Yes, prepping is keeping us poor).

I added the berries to our Amazon wish list. It has 189 items; and it’s the packs fault.

I checked out the vodka section at wally world. I cant read the small print on the bottles, most seem to be 80 proof. What 100 proof brand should we look for?

Bam Bam April 21, 2013 at 4:10 pm

H-D,

Get the cheapest 100 proof Vodka you can find. I got ABC brand. If you have a health food store near you, call and see if you can get the berries from their bulk bins–if they have bulk bins, you could buy only a cup or so. That would make enough medicine for you and your dw.

This flu is hitting older people and people with pre-existing medical conditions like hepatitis.

Bam Bam April 21, 2013 at 5:25 pm

Here is another article from CIDRAP. Most of the infects have been in men over the age of 50. According to this article, 12 out of 102 people have recovered from the disease.

http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/influenza/avianflu/news/apr2113china.html

Bam Bam April 21, 2013 at 10:00 pm

If anyone is interested in statistical information on H7N9 a graduate student in economics has crunched the numbers. This disease is killing males who are 60 years of age and individuals who have significant health problems.

http://gmggranger.wordpress.com/2013/04/17/random-analytics-influenza-ah7n9-virus-mar-apr-2013/

mindyinds April 22, 2013 at 7:50 pm

Bam Bam, deepest thanks for your research and write-ups. It’s given me impetus to get back on track with specific preps.

And note: I was vegetarian some 35 years, until about 6 months ago! The Wolfpack wisdom definitely encouraged me to finally let it go, but I had to “chew” on the idea for quite a while before I was ready. Maybe in time you can have some positive influence on this person.

Lab Tech April 23, 2013 at 1:23 pm

We used to make fun of the show Doomsday Preppers, mostly because it shows the extreme. This virus has me worried. It was such a rough flu season this year, and then the vaccine didn’t work well either. I can’t imagine what this bird flu would do. Our family has a decent pantry, but I am definitely going to keep adding to it as well as stocking up on health and cleaning supplies. Thanks for the articles. It’s nice to see educated and informed people’s suggestions.

banaras April 26, 2013 at 2:04 am

interesting article on two homeopathic remedies that were used successfully during the spanish influenza of 1918
http://www.naturalnews.com/026148_flu_homeopathy_epidemic.html

I know not everyone here believes in homeopathy, but I have big bottles of these two remedies, in case the pandemic is swine flu.

Encourager April 26, 2013 at 8:25 am

That was a very interesting article, Banaras. Thanks for posting it. I found it interesting that the author blamed the vaccinations on the high death rate, not the flu itself!

I have both Gelsemium and Bryonia in my homeopathic kit. I think I will buy extra to have on hand. I went through and stocked up heavily on many of my remedies two years ago – cost me over $200 but worth every penny.

“Ohio reported that 24,000 cases of flu treated allopathically had a mortality rate of 28.2% while 26,000 cases of flu treated homeopathically had a mortality rate of 1.05%.” Those are impressive figures! Hopefully the skeptics on this blog will be at least a bit more respectful about homeopathy.

To everyone not familiar with homeopathy ~~ homeopathy matches remedies to symptoms (‘like treats like’). So although these two remedies mentioned may work in some cases, they won’t work in all. We will have to wait and see what the explicit symptoms revealed are with this new flu before choosing a remedy. Keep that in mind.

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