Practical Self Reliance: 50+ Ways to Use Yarrow

An earlier post on elderflower mentioned its use in combination with yarrow and mint to fight fevers. Yarrow grows prolifically in our garden, filling in the edges and between rows. In damp conditions, it makes for a pretty soft ground cover — enough so that the kids want a yarrow yard. In this post from Practical Self Reliance, Ashley Adamant discusses many more uses for yarrow – 50+ Ways to Use Yarrow.

Yarrow is a common wild herb that’s useful in both the kitchen and medicine cabinet.  This list of yarrow uses covers everything from biscuits and beer to salves, soaps, and tinctures.

Yarrow uses

Yarrow’s always seemed magical to me, and I remember lounging in my room as a teenager, reading through 16th-century herbals and dreaming of the day I’d spot it in real life.  (Yes really, that’s actually how I spent my free time as a teenager.  I know, I’m such a nerd.)

The problem is, while yarrow grows ALMOST everywhere, I happened to grow up in one of the very few places outside of yarrow’s range…the Mojave Desert.  Now on my homestead in Vermont, it grows in every untended nook and cranny.  We’ll see our first yarrow blooms in early summer, and it’ll keep right on producing through fall, meaning I have a virtually unlimited supply of yarrow (even leaving plenty for the bees).

Yarrow Identification

Though yarrow is incredibly common, so are its look-alikes.  Once you’ve actually spotted yarrow, you’ll agree that the look-alikes aren’t really all that close.  There are lots of low growing herbs with white flower clusters, but yarrow really stands out in a crowd.

Start with the flowers.  They’re white, but not really.  If you were looking at paint samples, they’d have the name “Victorian white” or some other fancy title, because in reality, they’re a muted off white color.

Yarrow leaves are also distinctive, and there’s a reason its species name is “millefolium” or thousands of leaves.  The leaves are feathery, as opposed to the more distinct leaves of Queen Anne’s Lace and other white flowering herbs.

Identifying Yarrow by the feathery leaves and distinct white flower clusters

Make sure you’re 100% certain on your identification, as there are white-flowering plants within its range that are deadly toxic (namely, Water Hemlock).  To my eye, they don’t look anything alike, but as an optimistic teenager desperate to find yarrow in some stray ditch…I may well have made that mistake.

Read this guide to Yarrow Identification for more information.

Benefits of Yarrow

So why is yarrow so magical?  Many reasons!

A wide geographic distribution means yarrow made it into the traditional pharmacopeias in Asia, Europe and the new world.  Yarrow is used in everything from food and drink, to salves and tinctures, to ritual divination and ceremony.

This quick list will give you some ideas, but is by no means comprehensive:

  • Stops Bleeding
  • Skin Toner & Astringent
  • Bitter Tonic
  • Treats Cold and Flu
  • Lowers Blood Pressure
  • Improves Circulation
  • Induces Sweating
  • Reduces Fever

Be aware that while it’s generally considered safe, individual reactions are always possible.  It’s also contraindicated for pregnant women, as it can induce menstrual flow and possibly increase the risk of miscarriage.

Recipes for Cooking with Yarrow

While yarrow is perhaps best known for its uses as a medicinal, both internally and externally, it’s also a tasty culinary herb.  It’s not the only one of course, and many culinary herbs (thyme, sage, rosemary, and more) are potent medicinals, taken in the right dosage at the right time.

These yarrow recipes incorporate a small amount of yarrow, just enough to flavor the dish without reaching a “medicinal” dosage.

Recipes for Yarrow Beverages

Believe it or not, hops are actually a relatively recent brewing ingredient.  Before hops became common in beer, herbal beers, or gruits, were all the rage.  Yarrow was one of the most common brewing ingredients, and it was known to create an extremely intoxicating brew.

While hops are a sedative, that dulls the senses and slows the sex drive, yarrow based brews do just the opposite.  There’s a reason yarrow beers (and meads) were popular historically because they lifted you up and sent you home ready to put a few buns in the oven (if you catch my drift).

Our own homemade yarrow beer

Our own homemade yarrow beer

If you’re interested in learning to brew with herbs, specifically yarrow, I’d highly recommend the book Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers, which takes you through literally thousands of years of herbal brewing tradition (with recipes for each herb discussed).

The Wildcrafting Brewer likewise includes recipes for yarrow brews and approaches the subject more from a foraging perspective (rather than a historical one).

While the traditions have but been forgotten, a few brewers keep the traditions alive.  Here are a few yarrow beverage recipes to wet your whistle, both alcoholic and non.

Harvesting Flowering Tops for Yarrow Tincture

Harvesting Flowering Tops

Yarrow Uses for First Aid

My most common use of yarrow is as a first-aid treatment for bleeding.  Yarrow tincture in a spray bottle is a powerful astringent, and I’ve watched it pucker closed wounds in seconds.

I always keep a small spray bottle on hand just in case, and it’s worked wonders on all manner of small (but persistent) topical injuries.  It’s also made into styptic powder and DIY quick clot, for similar purposes.

Homemade Yarrow Tincture (Alcohol extract of yarrow)

Over the longer term, something like a yarrow salve is wonderful for treating injuries and promoting healing.  It’s also commonly employed as an itch remedy topically.

Making a yarrow salve is no different than making any herbal healing salve, and it comes together quickly with just a few ingredients.

Yarrow has been used for millenia to stop bleeding and treat minor wounds. A healing salve helps preserve the herb, and ensures that it's on hand when needed.

Yarrow has been used for millennia to stop bleeding and treat minor wounds. A healing salve helps preserve the herb, and ensures that it’s on hand when needed.

More yarrow uses for first aid:

Yarrow Herbal Remedies

Beyond yarrows use as a topical first aid remedy, it’s also commonly used in preventative remedies and internal medicine…

 

Continue reading at Practical Self Reliance.

Doom and Bloom: Suture Basics For The Off-Grid Medic: Needles

Continuing their earlier article on suturing, the Altons at Doom and Bloom Medical followup with an article devoted to suture needles in Suture Basics For The Off-Grid Medic: Needles.

Basic diagram of a suture (by medscape.com)

In my recent article “Suture Basics For The Off-Grid Medic “,  I gave some thoughts on suture materials, especially as they apply to closing skin lacerations. Your skin is your armor, and anything that breaches it can cause a life-threatening infection.

Although the decision to close a wound should never be automatic, simple skin lacerations can often be cleaned and closed successfully by the off-grid medic. Sutures are just one of a number of ways to accomplish this goal and allow acceleration of the healing process. Today, we’ll discuss the qualities of suture needles.

(Note: This article is for educational purposes only. If the medical system in your area is intact, seek it out to treat lacerations or other medical issues!)

Suture needles are made of a corrosion-resistant stainless steel alloy that is sometimes coated with silicone to permit easier tissue penetration.

Basic diagram of a suture (medscape.com )

A suture needle has three sections: the point, the midportion or body, and the swage. The swage is the “end” of the needle and is where the thread is attached. The midportion is usually curved at an arc, and the point is, well, pointy.

SWAGING

Before about 1920, suture needles had “eyes” and string was separate; the surgeon had to thread the eye of the needle. Since then, sutures became a single continuous unit. This process of connecting suture needle and string is called “swaging”.

Swaging dealt with a number of disadvantages associated with using separate needles and thread. In the old method, two lengths of string were formed on either side of the eye. Passage of a double strand of suture through tissue led to more tissue trauma and, perhaps, a higher risk of infection. Also, the suture string was more likely to become unthreaded or frayed.

THE IDEAL SUTURE NEEDLE

Suture needles perform based on a number of qualities, including strength and sharpness. The strength of a needle refers to its resistance to deformation during use, limiting the amount of trauma to tissue. Sharpness measures the ease of penetration into tissue and is dependent on factors involving not only the point, but the shape of the body of the needle.

Just as suture thread has ideal characteristics, the effective suture needle would be:

  • Made of high-quality stainless steel
  • The smallest diameter possible
  • Stable in the grasp of the needle holder
  • Capable of running suture material through tissue with minimal trauma
  • Sharp enough to penetrate tissue with minimal resistance
  • Sterile and corrosion-resistant to prevent introduction of microorganisms or foreign materials into the wound
  • Rigid enough to go through tissue, but flexible enough to bend before breaking

Not all suture needles meet the above criteria, but will suffice for the basic needs of the medic.

NEEDLE TYPES

There are a number of different needle types variations at the point, body, and swaged end:

Common needle types with cross sections at midportion and point (ethicon.com)

Cutting Needles: The shape of the suture needle on cross-section may vary dependent on the particular need. The point of this shape to have more cutting edges. On cross section, it appears triangular. These needles are effective in penetrating thick, firm tissue, like skin.

There are two common types of cutting needles. “conventional” and “reverse”. Conventional cutting needles have the third edge of the “triangle” on the inner surface of the needle. Reverse cutting needles have the third edge of the triangle on the outer surface of the needle’s arc. The reverse edge is even stronger and able to penetrate tendons and other tough tissues, while decreasing the amount of trauma during the procedure.

Tapered Needles: These needles are round on cross-section and can pass through tissue by stretching more than cutting. A sharp tip at the point becomes round, oval, or square shape as you approach the swage. The taper-point needle minimizes trauma in delicate and easily-penetrated tissues such as organs or intestinal lining.

Blunt Needles: These don’t come to a sharp point, but are rounded at the end. These are best used for suturing liver, kidney, and other delicate organ tissue without causing excessive bleeding.

BODY SHAPES

Suture comes in many shapes, but 3/8 circle and 1/2 circle are most commonly used for learning

The body of a needle is important for interaction with the needle holder instrument and the ability to easily transfer penetrating force to the skin. A needle must be stable in the jaws of the needle holder to give maximum control and prevent bending.

The midportion comprises most of the needle’s length and is commonly curved into a 3/8 circle arc for skin or 1/2 circle for close spaces. Of course, other curvatures are available. Straight needles may be used if dealing with easy-to-reach tissues such as certain types of skin closures.

Next time, we’ll discuss the instruments you’ll use when closing a laceration with sutures.

The Medic Shack: Less Than Lethal Rounds. Are They?

Chuck at The Medic Shack has an article about Less Than Lethal Rounds, what damage they do and how to treat the wounds in the field. If you’re particularly squeamish to wound pictures, there are a couple of photos in the article which may disturb you.

Last time we were here, we talked about Chemical Defense. The week we move to things that can make a hole in you. This week its all about Less than lethal rounds.

What is the Rubber Bullet

The so called rubber bullet is not non lethal. It is a less lethal bullet. It has and will cause death if not used correctly or with malice.

A rubber bullet (LL round) is normally blunt to a flat tip. When it hits think of getting hit with a golf ball at close range. It will hurt like hell. Also it will cause massive bruising around the area of impact.

 

 

If fired at close range it will penetrate and act like a low velocity pistol bullet. It’s wound channel is wide and can cause severe damage to tissue, tendons, nerves and blood vessels.

If a person is taking blood thinners rubber bullets can cause severe bleeding under the skin which can be dangerous.

In 2016 a study was performed on the damage caused by rubber bullets. The results were eye opening to say the least. All images in this section are taken from the study

Pattern of rubber bullet injuries in the lower limbs: A report from Kashmir 

One thing noticed was when a LL round was fired at close range its wound channel was much larger than the bullet diameter. It was found that on impact a large portion of these rounds skewed sideways and a few tumbled a few times after impact…

As seen in the above image the wound is oblong, not round as one would expect. This tissue damage is seen though the wound channel.

Should You Remove a Rubber Bullet? Disclaimer

Before we go any further…

Use of the information on this site is AT YOUR OWN RISK, intended solely for self-help, in times of emergency, when medical help is not available, and does not create a doctor-patient relationship. We here can not diagnose, prescribe medication or treatments. We are not doctors, NP’s or PA’s

The information on this site is meant to be used only during times when improvisational, last-ditch efforts are all that is possible. When writing posts, the author often assumes that if anyone uses the advice, the person will have no access to regular medical equipment or supplies. This author always assumes that the person will not have access to professional medical care. DO NOT USE THIS INFORMATION WHEN YOU CAN GET MORE TRADITIONAL OR PROFESSIONAL CARE.

First off, see the disclaimer above. /\

Problems with Removing a Rubber Bullet

With that out of the way, the big question is, “Do I or Do I NOT remove the rubber bullet?”

Blindly probing around in a wound is dangerous. You can cause extreme bleeding by dissecting and/or damaging a blood vessel, such as an artery or a large vein. This can cause your patient to bleed out. It doesn’t take long.

You can also cause permanent and crippling damage to the person.

In the modern world when a bullet is removed, we take X-rays and CT scans. Ultrasound is also used to guide the surgeon to the object. It is NOT the toss the Bowie Knife on the fire and take a slug of whiskey and start digging.

Even in the worst of times I would usually clean the wound and then pack and dress it and let the docs with a MD degree or who came out of Ft. Sam Houston take out the bullet.

BUT…….

An old friend and mentor of mine who passed away about 15 years ago from pancreatic cancer taught me a lot about surgery. He told me that the best surgical instrument ever made was the index finger. He also said that the sharpest object one should ever put in the human body is, you guessed it, your index finger.

There were (and will be) times when a DUSTOFF was unable to come, or it was not in our best interests to go to a civilian hospital. If it was not in a dangerous area, I would remove one. Notice, I said I would remove one. I was trained in the best facility on the planet for combat medicine. The United States Army Medical Department and School, Fort Sam Houston Texas. as a 91B40.

However that is something that is too involved to cover safely and responsibly in a blog post. You really want to learn? Let’s get a class together and I’ll do a live, in person one. It is dangerous to do. And, without the proper training, you’d be a menace to your patient.

What we will go over is the first aid needed to treat these in the field and let the professionals do the fixing.

Treating a Rubber Round Injury In the Field

In a SHTF situation, the treatment of this is flushing the wound with copious amounts of saline. Water can be used, but an isotonic saline solutionis much more effectiveand a bit less painful than water. As a combat medic, I would flush a wound like this with a mixture of 500cc ( ½ quart) of saline and 30 cc ( 1 ounce) of Betadine. Using a 60 cc syringe or a turkey baster style bulb syringe

This is from a advanced class I taught on gunshot wounds, showing how I flushed the wound track in the tissue, (pork shoulder).

 

Let’s look at some real life wounds from the Kashmir report, linked to above…

LL rounds are NASTY. They HURT, and a lot of people after being shot with one refuse advanced medical care.

So lets talk about GSW care, MINUS the removal.

First you will need a REAL first aid kit. No not the 5.99 one from Walmart. A true blow out kit. These are a 1 time use kit that has only the items you need to stop the bleeding of a GSW (Gun Shot Wound).

This Kit, Everlit Emergency Trauma Kit is a decent kit.  It has everything you need to treat a variety of traumas. This stuff is not cheap. The trauma kit with chest seal will set you back  70 bucks or so. And, it is a one time use.

Yes, there are cheaper. And, there are much more expensive. This set up is a mid-range kit that fills your needs. You will see kits with many different style of tourniquets. This one comes with the industry standard. the Combat Action Tourniquet (CAT). In my opinion there is none better.

Train with Your Kit

So you have this kit. Pop Quiz Medic. What do you do with it?

Grab the Israeli bandage from the kit, or this 6 inch Israeli compression bandage. Open it and practice putting it on.

The kits come with a CAT tourniquet, and it is reusable. But, having 2 is better (remember, 2 is 1 and 1 is none). Here’s an extra CAT Tourniquet.  Practice putting one on…

 

Doom and Bloom: Suture Basics for the Off Grid Medic

The Altons at Doom and Bloom Medical have an article on Some Suture Basics for the Off-Grid Medic. More photos at article.

suture basics

Many animals, (insects, spiders, shrimp, crabs) have an exoskeleton as a protective covering. Humans have their skeleton on the inside, so we depend on the largest organ of the body, our skin, instead.

Skin represents the armor that protects the body from invasion by debris and microbes. A breach in that armor increases the chance of infection that may spread throughout (called “sepsis”) and become life-threatening.

As such, there are circumstances where a break in the skin should be closed with materials known as sutures. The decision to close skin should not be automatic and depends on many factors (discussed in previous articles on this site). Once that decision is made, however, the correct choice of suture material impacts the strength and effectiveness of the healing process.

THE IDEAL SUTURE

All wound closure methods have their advantages and disadvantages. Your choice should depend on the careful evaluation of the wound, as well as an understanding of the properties of a given suture material.

The optimal suture should be:

·           Sterile

·           Easy to use

·           Strong enough to hold wound edges together

·           Able to retain strength for the time needed to heal

·           Unlikely to cause infection, tissue reaction, or significant scarring

·           Reliable in its everyday use with every type of wound

It’s difficult to find a single suture type that meets all of the above criteria, but there are many that will do if chosen properly.

TISSUE HEALING

The time needed for healing should impact the choice of suture materials. The interval it takes for a tissue to no longer require support from sutures will vary depending on tissue type:

Days: Muscle, subcutaneous tissue like fat, and skin

Subcutaneous tissue is sometimes called the “hypoderm”. It’s connected to the deep layer of skin (the “dermis”). The skin and muscle in many areas of the body are separated by a layer of subcutaneous fat. Fat will appear as yellowish globules below the whitish dermis.

Weeks to Months:  Fascia or tendons

Fascia is connective tissue beneath the skin that attaches, covers, stabilizes, and compartmentalizes muscles and other internal organs. A tendon is connective tissue attaching a muscle to a bone.

CATEGORIZING SUTURE DIAMETERS

Around a century ago, the average suture consisted of a needle through which a separate string was threaded. This method was used for thousands of years until the process of swaging was invented. A swaged suture has the thread built into the blunt end of the needle, making surgical sutures a single unit for the first time.

In the United States and many other countries, a standard classification of sutures has been in place since the 1930s.  This classification identifies stitches by type of material and size of the “thread”.

The first manufactured sutures were given sizes from #1 (thinnest) to #6 (thickest). #4 suture would approximate the string on a tennis racquet.

As technology advanced, even thinner sutures were produced that were titled beginning at 0 (pronounced “oh”). Just like double-ought buckshot is bigger than triple-ought, 2-0 (pronounced “two-oh”) suture is thicker than 3-0 (pronounced “three-oh”). If you are doing microsurgery, you’re going down all the way to 8-0, 9-0, or 10-0. Size 7-0 is about the diameter of a human hair.

The suture thread used should be the smallest size which will give adequate tensile strength to keep skin together. Finer sutures have less tissue reaction but are more difficult to handle for the inexperienced. The off-grid medic should consider using somewhat thicker sutures that can be more easily handled.

ABSORBABLE SUTURES

Absorbable chromic gut suture

In addition to diameters, sutures are classified as absorbable and non-absorbable.  An absorbable suture is one that will break down spontaneously over time (but not before the tissue has mostly healed).

Absorbable sutures have the advantage of not requiring removal.  They can be used in a number of deep layers, such as muscle, fat, organs, etc.  A classic example of this is “catgut”, actually made from the intestines of cows or sheep. Since these sutures are made from multiple fibers, they remain extremely strong in the first few days of healing.

plain “catgut”

Catgut is usually found in “plain” and “chromic” varieties. Plain gut absorbs very quickly but has a tendency to cause tissue inflammation. When dipped in a chromic salt solution, catgut retains tensile strength in the body longer and causes less of a reaction, while still remaining absorbable.

Gut sutures are used today to close tissue that heals rapidly, such as vaginal lacerations from childbirth or in the oral cavity.

Newer absorbables are synthetic. These include:

  • PDS (polydiaxonone)
  • Monocryl (poliglecaprone 25)
  • Vicryl (polyglactin)
  • Maxon (polyglyconate)
  • Dexon (polyglycolic acid)

These sutures retain their tensile strength for varying lengths of time. They cause less tissue inflammation due to an absorption process different than that of gut.

Vicryl sutures are used for approximating muscle or fat layers, as well as lower layers of skin. Maxon and Monocryl can also be used for soft tissue as well as for cosmetic procedures where visible sutures aren’t desired. PDS is used to stitch muscle and fascia tissue.

Besides the classic synthetic sutures, new subtypes such as Vicryl Rapide, Vicryl Plus and PDS II exist. These may take less or more time to dissolve than the originals.

(Aside: Every physician has their own preference for sutures that relate to their experience, schooling, and other factors. For example, it is considered old-fashioned by many to use stitches for closing surgical incisions on skin, as most close skin wounds with staples. A randomized, clinical trial, however, found that women who had C-sections with dissolvable stitches were 57% less likely to have wound complications than those whose wounds were closed with staples. I used this method (known as a “subcuticular” closure) with good results for 20 years.)

NONABSORBABLE SUTURES

Nonabsorbable sutures are those that stay in the body indefinitely or, at least, for a very long time. Normally. They are best used in skin closures or situations that require prolonged tensile strength.

Nonabsorbable sutures can be used in deep layers in certain situations. They cause less tissue reaction, although a small remnant may be felt where the body’s immune system walled it off (known as a “granuloma” or “encapsulation”).

Nonabsorbable sutures can be separated into synthetic single-stranded monofilaments and braided natural or synthetic multifilaments.

Single-stranded monofilaments include Ethilon (nylon) and Prolene (polypropylene). Braided natural multifilaments include braided surgical silk or cotton. Ethibond is the most commonly-used synthetic multifilament.

Nylon monofilament suture

Monofilaments like Nylon are slightly less likely to harbor bacteria, whereas braided multifilaments have tiny nooks and crannies which may serve as hideouts for microbes. The difference in infection rate is very small, however.

Monofilaments also glide more easily through tissue, but may require more knots to stay in place than a braided multifilament like silk. While multifilamentous thread tends to come out straight, monofilaments retain the same S-shape in which they were packaged. This is more an annoyance for the inexperienced than anything else.

Braided surgical silk suture

Braided surgical silk is easier to handle than nylon, especially for novices, and is often used for teaching purposes. 2-0 and 3-0 are sizes considered too thick by many surgeons, but are useful for teaching aspiring off-grid medics to learn surgical knot-tying. Although scarring may be more noticeable, this is a secondary issue in survival scenarios.

The off-grid medic must know skills ordinarily not taught to the average citizen. Wound closure is one of these skills, but must be combined with a working knowledge of when closure is appropriate and when it isn’t. We’ll discuss these issues in future articles.

The Medic Shack: Triage

Chuck at The Medic Shack has an article introducing people to the concept of Triage.

Triage. An introduction to combat medicine.

Welcome to the next level of preparedness. Trauma. Trauma can come from many sources. A slip with an knife in the kitchen. A smashed thumb in the workshop. A terrible cut from a chainsaw. Being at the wrong place at the wrong time and caught up in a riot. Now add in those same injuries, but multiply times 10. You now have a MCE. Pick the scenario. It can happen. Learning how to prioritize, delegate, investigate, assess and treat are skills anyone can learn.

Applying them with out emotion is a different beast altogether. It is doable. One of the hardest things to master in triage is seeing the injuries, and not getting personal with them. Another is being able to itemize the injuries, almost coldly and place them in the order of severity, and the order of treatment.

This is a HUGE deviation from the basic first aid that we talk about. With the fast moving changes sweeping the country and the world, Cat from The Herbal Prepper and I decided that we need to change up some of our topics and delve into more advanced lifesaving.

A word of warning and disclaimer. We are not doctors. We can not diagnose, prescribe or treat injury nor illness outside of a SHTF situations. This blog post is for informational use only. Pagan Preparedness, nor the owners, operators, instructors or author’s claim any responsibility for people using this information in any manner.

Glossary of terms

MOI= Method Of Injury

LOC=Level Of Consciousness

LOR = Loss of Resistance

MCE Mass Casualty Event

Triage= The process of sorting people based on their need for immediate medical treatment as compared to their chance of benefiting from such care.

The military triage flow sheet.

This is the method I used as a combat medic. There are terms here that people may be uncomfortable with. Items like balancing resources that you have now, to what you may have to what benefit it will give the patient, AND what loss/benefit of the expending those supplies will have on the group

Triage Decision Flowchart

Triage Decision Flowchart, showing the five steps in the triage process.

Step 1: Remove GREEN patients. Get help, you can’t do it all yourself

ASSESS:

2: MOI

3: LOC

4: Breathing.

 

Always remember. There are many more patients than rescuers.

Triage is designed to separate patients into categories according to their injuries, level of consciousness , and yes even if they are alive. It is important to do the examination quickly but be very complete with it. Lives depend on it. This is one the things that gives us medics bad dreams. At the triage station you may have to make a decision on if someone lives or dies.

The triage that we’ll go over here, is slightly different than what one will see in the local emergency room. The basics are the same, but the application of a hostile or dangerous environment adds a new level of difficulty,

An example of the difference between combat and civilian triage is the Boston Marathon bombing. The civilian medics on site risked their lives and rushed to the aid of the victims. And treated them where they fell. There also was a detachment of Army Medics to support the Army team running. They risked their lives and rushed to the aid of the victims AND SNATCHED THEM UP AND BROUGHT THEM TO SAFETY BEFORE TREATING THEM. The civilian medics triage and treated on site. Military medics, train to if at all possible get the victim to a safe or at least safer area before triage or treating…(continues)

Human Path: Making your own Herbal Medic First Aid Kit – Online Course, Aug. 2020

The Human Path is hosting an eight hour, online course on Making your own Herbal Medic First Aid Kit Aug. 3 – 16, 2020 for $100 ($65 if you register by July 13).

Making your own Herbal Medic First Aid Kit

Building your own first aid kit can be a daunting task – trying to find the best pack to hold your gear, keep the weight manageable and have all the equipment you need in one place..

It even becomes more complicated when you want to add herbal remedies to your first aid kit.

Do you know the essential equipment you must have in your kit?

Do you know the best type of packs to use for small, medium and large first aid kits?

What are the most important herbal first aid preparations to include in every kit and why?

Do you know how to improvise bandages, splits, packs and kitchen first aid herbs?

This is an 8-hour course that includes lectures, videos and resources on:

FIRST AID KIT CONTAINERS

  •  The top three items every kit MUST haves
  • Improvisation – making a great herbal first aid kit from containers EVERY household has
  • How a kit opens and why this is important
  • Compartmentalizing: containers within containers
  • Sizing and weight
  • Car kits, work kits, go bags and mini (every day carry) kits

ESSENTIAL TRAUMA FIRST AID SUPPLIES

  • Necessary bandaging equipment from minor to life-threatening
  • Wound & burn management
  • Sharps from A to Z
  • Hydration, nutrition and recovery
  • First aid improvisation: using materials on hand for your kit (and in emergencies when you have no kit)

MUST-HAVE HERBAL PREPARATIONS

  • Infection control for respiratory, UTI, Gut and Skin
  • Nervines/Adaptogens for anxiety and trauma
  • Immune supportive herbs for medical emergencies
  • Venomous bites and stings
  • Salves and powders (which to use, when and contraindications)
  • Working with herbs you probably have in your kitchen

The Herbal Medic First Aid Kit Course will include eight hours of video lectures, resources for supplies and materials, slideshows and handouts.  Students will also receive access to ‘The Top 25 herbs for the end of the world’ pdf and the ‘Building Your Own Herbal First Aid Guide’ pdf for download. 

In addition, students will be mailed two full-size glossy 11”x17” posters:  “First Aid Kit Essentials” and “Herbs for Emergency First Aid”. One of these posters includes an organized and visual layout to help you understand what to pack in your first aid kit and how to organize it, whether you know nothing about first aid or you are a medical doctor. The other poster includes an organized structure that will help you pick the most essential herbs you need for your kit, with over 50 herbs spanning multiple health care issues from acute to chronic!

This incredible online course will open on August 3rd with 60 days access. All course materials can be downloaded for personal future reference and use, and the posters will ship out on receipt of tuition.

Dates: The online classroom access will open on August 3rd, 2020, with materials made available for download.

Live Session TBA.

Registration will remain open until August 16th, 2020.

Location: This is an online class – you do not have to be in our area to participate! You only need access to the internet to take this class.

Click here for the class info and registration page.

Columbia Safety Holding Classes Again

Medical skills trainer Columbia Safety of Kennewick, WA is holding classes again. You can check out their calendar of classes here. Retired St. Louis police captain David Dorn was murdered earlier this week, shot by looters breaking into a friend of Dorn’s pawn shop. Some of the incident had been posted as video to Facebook. I watched a good portion of the video. He was conscious and while he was verbally encouraged to stay alive, he didn’t appear to have received any first aid. While I don’t know if rapid first aid would have saved his life, it is a good reminder that 20% of people who have died from traumatic injuries could have survived with quick bleeding control. Please take a Stop the Bleed or first aid course!

Some courses coming up:

Red Cross Adult and Pediatric FA/CPR/AED – Sat, June 13, 9:00am – 3:30pm

Stop The Bleed – Mon, June 15, 6pm – 9pm

Red Cross Adult FA/CPR/AED Hybrid – Tue, June 23, 1:00pm – 2:30pm

Stop The Bleed – Wed, July 15, 6pm – 9pm

Doom and Bloom: Fever

The Altons at Doom and Bloom Medical have an article up on fever – what is it? Why does it happen? What should you do about it?

  • COVID-19 is running rampant throughout the globe. Contagious and sometimes deadly, it’s likely to cause severe illness in millions and ruin economies before it’s done.

    You probably know the classic symptoms: Fever (also known as “pyrexia“) occurs in 88 percent of cases, followed by a dry cough. One in five or six go on to develop pneumonia. Of these, a percentage will succumb to the disease. You should know about these symptoms and others associated with COVID-19 and other infections. Today we’ll discuss fevers.

    Why do we get fevers when we’re sick? There seems to be a body of evidence that suggests a higher body temperature kills many viruses and bacteria that do just fine at a normal temperature (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit). Fever is a weapon against disease-causing organisms.

    What constitutes a fever? An elevated body temperature, of course, but how high? In medical school, I learned that it wasn’t a fever until you hit about 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. This equals 38 degrees Celsius. In older people, the immune system is often too weak to mount that high a temperature. Any elderly person at 99.6 or so should be considered as “febrile” (having a fever).

    Your temperature is a fluid statistic, however. In the morning, it is lower than it is in the late afternoon or evening, sometimes by a degree or more. The temperature also varies dependent on the method used to measure it.

    Old-style glass thermometer

    In the past, people used mercury thermometers. These were made of glass and required no battery, a useful item long-term off the grid. Unfortunately, they could break, causing cuts and dispersing mercury (a toxic substance).

    Today’s thermometers are electronic and non-toxic. There are various types on the market that use the mouth, armpit, rectum, ear, and forehead. Compared to the standard normal oral temperature of 98.6 degrees, you can expect:

    • A normal armpit reading to be one half to one degree lower (97.6)
    • A normal rectal temperature to be one half to one degree higher (99.6)
    • A normal temperature using an ear thermometer to be one half to one degree higher (99.6)
    • A normal forehead scanner (such as those used in many airports) temperature to be one half to one degree lower (97.6)

    So, if a person’s temperature is 100.4 F orally, it could be 99.4 in the armpit or forehead and 101.4 in the rectum or ear. Rectal temps are thought to be most accurate, while armpit temperatures are thought to be least accurate.

    Note: An oral thermometer reading may be inaccurate if you ate or drank something recently. A precise value may not be obtainable for 15-30 minutes afterwards.

    The ability to use the thermometer properly is an important factor. This isn’t difficult for adults that read the instructions, but a fussy, sick toddler may not cooperate. In this case, a rectal temperature reading may be the most accurate.

    Many use the ear thermometer. This is also known as a tympanic thermometer, named after the tympanic membrane or “eardrum”. Tympanic temperature readings average about the same as rectal. To be accurate, take the temperature in both ears and use the highest reading. The reading may be artificially elevated if you have been laying on your side with your ear on a pillow. As well, it’s said that those with a very short, curved ear canal may not have reliable results. This is a tough one to tell unless you ask your doctor to take a look during an exam.

    “Forehead” thermometers actually scan the temperature of the temporal artery. This item is superior to forehead strips, which are better at measuring skin temperature than body temperature. Be aware that they can be expensive.

    Here’s advice from Seattle Children’s hospital on how to properly use each type of thermometer…

Click here to read the entire article at Doom and Bloom.

The Herbal Prepper: Respiratory Relief Tea

Who’s up for a healing, herbal tea when you start feeling a bit Ill? Certainly me, for one. Cat Ellis, The Herbal Prepper, has a nice, lengthy post on making an herbal tea for the remedy of cold/flu/respiratory issues – Respiratory Relief Tea.

This tea is one of my favorite cold and flu season remedies. I make it every year, tweaking it a little bit each time. I make this in large batches in September in anticipation for cold and flu season.

Around the house, I nicknamed it, “herbal tussin tea”. I wrote one version of my tea blend here. In my book, Prepper’s Natural Medicine, I list is as “Respiratory Infection Tea”. Since it addresses common, respiratory symptoms, and not any specific infection, I’ve renamed it, “Respiratory Relief Tea”.

I have also updated this recipe to allow for more effective tea-making techniques. It blends cold infusion, hot infusion, and decoction preparations.

Want the Lazy Version?

If you want an easier method with fewer steps, check out my easier version here. It’s less of a potent remedy, but it has fewer steps and is still effective.

Relief for Common Respiratory Complaints

The herbs in this tea are a blend of expectorant, decongestant, diaphoretic, analgesic, immunostimulant and demulcent herbs. This will support your body as it heals from a respiratory infection by:

  • Making coughing more productive and easier.
  • Supporting natural immune response.
  • Soothing irritated mucosal tissues.

Methods Used

This preparation is a bit more involved than my previously published respiratory tea recipes. Once you get the hang of it, it’s really not that hard.

This tea utilizes three different water extraction methods:

  1. Cold Infusion
  2. Decoction
  3. Hot Infusion

Cold infusions are made by steeping herbs in room temperature water for 4 to 8 hours. I tend to make them in mason jars, filling the jar 1/4 of the way. Then I fill the with water and secure the lid.

I use tend to use wide mouth jars for ease of filling and emptying the jars. I also use left-over lids from canning, or these reusable, plastic lids.

Decoctions are made by simmering hard plant material, such as roots and bark. To 4 cups of water, add between 1/2 and 1 cup of herbs, depending upon your needs and how concentrated you want your end product. Add the herbs to a pot of cold water, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes, and the water will have reduced by half. Strain, and the resulting liquid is your decoction.

Hot infusions are made by steeping delicate plant parts, such as leaves and flowers, in hot water. I use anywhere from 1 tablespoon up to 4 tablespoons per 1 cup (8oz) of water, depending upon how strong I want the end result.

Measurements

I have listed the ingredients by volume, not by weight. For example, I measure by cup, not by ounces. So, 1 cup equals 1 part.

If you want a smaller batch, use a 1/2 cup or a even 1/4 cup to represent your measurement of “1 part”, and maintain the ratios throughout.

Weighing everything would be more precise, but I haven’t found weighing everything out to exact amounts to matter much with this tea.

How to Make Respiratory Relief Tea

Follow the instructions below on how to make the Cold Infusion Phase, the Decoction Phase, and the Hot Infusion Phase.

Here are the steps to combine the phases:

  1. Make the cold infusion phase first.
  2. Use the resulting liquid as the water for your decoction.
  3. Strain out the herbs and reserve the liquid.
  4. Reheat the decoction (the liquid) if needed to just before boiling.
  5. Add the herbs for the hot infusion, turn off the heat, and cover.
  6. Allow herbs to steep covered for at least 15 minutes.

This takes a bit of time from beginning to end. I suggest making it in larger batches, once a day, and reheat just before consuming.

Honey is a perfect addition to this tea, as it helps to both sweeten the tea and to relax coughing. If you are diabetic and cannot have honey, you can sweeten your tea with something like this monkfruit-based syrup.

Respiratory Relief Tea- Cold Infusion Phase

Ingredients

  • 3 parts slippery elm
  • 1 part marshmallow root
  • 4 parts room temperature water

Directions

  • Combine slippery elm bark and marshmallow root
  • Cover with the water, and allow to steep at room temperature between 4-8 hours.
  • Strain, reserve liquid and discard the plant material.
  • Store cold infusion in refrigerator for up to 2 days if needed.
  • Use this as the water for the decoction phase

There are concerns with slippery elm, as it is an endangered wild plant. If you can, buy organic. That should ensure that it came from a managed population, not from a wild population that might have been overharvested. Otherwise, feel free to substitute Siberian elm instead, or just use 100% marshmallow root.

A quart mason jar will allow for 1 cup of plant material and 4 cups of water. This is the correct ration of plant material to water, and the jars have easy-to-read measurements on the side of each jar.

Use cut and sifted instead of powdered forms. Powdered slippery elm and marshmallow will be much more difficult to strain out. It’s a mess. Ask me how I know…(continues)

Click here to read the entire article in full glory at The Herbal Prepper.

Related:

Wholefully: 5 Cold-Busting Herbal Tea Blends

Learning Herbs: Hyssop Oxymel: A Cold, Flu and Bronchitis Home Remedy

Doom and Bloom: Medical Improvisations – DIY Techniques for Survival First Aid & Hygiene

The Altons at Doom and Bloom Medical have an article published in OffGrid magazine by Recoil, issue 36 – Medical Improvisations – DIY Techniques for Survival First Aid & Hygiene

We live in a world where established safety measures, if followed, prevent a lot of injuries. Unfortunately, they’ll never prevent all injuries. There were an estimated 45 million incidents of trauma in the U.S. last year that required an emergency room visit. Car wrecks, outdoor injuries, industrial accidents, and other mishaps contribute to a whole lot of hurt in good times. That leaves us to wonder: How would this change in bad times?

Let’s face it, people get injured and sick whether or not there’s a rescue helicopter on the horizon. Broken bones, bleeding, sprains, and other issues will need to be treated.

If the modern emergency system breaks down, is overloaded, or simply too far away, someone in the family or group will become the highest medical asset left. Certified or not, they’ll be the end of the line with regards to the medical well-being of their people. Without equipment and know-how, deaths will occur that could’ve been prevented with a good medical kit and knowledge of basic first aid.

People prepare for the worst by accumulating food, water, personal protection items, and more. The wisest of them also stockpile a good supply of medical equipment and medicines as well. In a short-term event, those with training and equipment will save many lives. But what happens when the medic bag is empty?

All is not lost. Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention. The resourceful will make do with found objects. A variety of items on the trail or in abandoned buildings can serve as medical supplies. All it takes is an instinct to explore, a good eye, and some imagination.

Before we begin, it should be mentioned that the medical improvisations below are stopgap measures for dire situations when traditional medical resources and treatment are not available — unfortunately, the current Coronavirus / COVID-19 outbreak may be one such circumstance, if it continues to worsen. Improvised methods are rarely as successful as modern technology and equipment (if used properly). Having said that, some of the strategies below might just save lives in times of trouble.

WATER BOTTLES AS FILTERS

You can last quite a while without food, but only about three days without water. Even when there’s a water source nearby, you can’t see the microscopic organisms that make you sick. In survival settings, more lives may be lost by diseases due to contaminated water than bullet wounds.

With a clear plastic PET (polyethelene terephthalate) bottle, you can make water safer. It shouldn’t be hard to find; approximately 500 billion are produced every year. Unless you have a purpose-built water filter like the Sawyer Mini or LifeStraw, you’ll need containers to: 1) filter out particulates that make the water cloudy, and 2) destroy disease-causing microbes in the water.

To improvise a filter, you’ll need the following items that you might find by scavenging, or in your medical kit…

 

Practical Self Reliance: 20+ Immune Boosting Herbs

Ashley Adamant at Practical Self Reliance has compiled a list of twenty immune-boosting herbs and mushroom to help stave off illness.

Natural immune-boosting herbs work to support a healthy immune system, ideally preventing illness or speeding recovery.  Staying healthy starts well before flu season, and all of these herbs for the immune system can play a helpful role.

Immune Boosting Herbs

Immune-boosting herbs are a big part of my families’ wellness routine, and we need all the help we can get with a doorknob licking toddler and extra snuggly preschooler in the house.

Even before children, natural immune boosters were a regular part of our lives.  I worked in a hospital, and my husband flew cross country regularly for work.  While handwashing and other preventative measures are obviously the first step, sometimes you need a bit of extra help when you’re surrounded by sick people on a day to day basis.

Just recently, I found myself making a batch of our favorite herbal immune booster…elderberry syrup.  I’d harvested fresh elderberries in our garden that we’d grown from cuttings, and I started looking around for other herbs for the immune system to add into the mix.  A short walk around the garden and nearby woods and I’d picked more than 20 different immune-boosting herbs, flowers, roots, mushrooms, and lichen.

Add in a stop at the spice cabinet for immune-boosting spices like ginger, black pepper and garlic and I had quite the spread to choose from…

(Note: I am not a clinical herbalist or healthcare provider.  This is based on my own experience and research, but I encourage you to verify it with other sources.  Please consult a healthcare provider before beginning any health regimen, herbal or otherwise.) 

Herbs for the Immune System

Herbs for the immune system generally fall into three categories:

  • Immune Stimulants ~ Generally used for a short period of time, immune stimulants are best used on a short term basis.  The best time is right as you’re starting to get sick, or anytime you’ve been exposed to an illness.  Those times when someone coughs right on you, or you’re about to go on a long flight where there may be extra pathogens in the recirculated air.  Examples include Echinacea and usnea lichen.
  • Herbal Immunomodulators (or Immune Tonics) ~ Often used over a long period of time, immunomodulators are tonics for the immune system.  They’re not meant to be overtly healing during acute illness, but rather to help balance your system and promote a healthy immune response.  Examples include tulsi (holy basil) and reishi mushrooms.
  • Anti-Microbial Herbs ~ While they may not directly impact the immune system, they’re helpful in treating illness and maintaining health.  While prescription antibiotics have their place, minor illnesses (or injuries) can be treated with anti-microbial herbs instead.  Some are specifically antifungal (for topical issues) while others are more generally antimicrobial.  These disserve an article in their own right, and I’ll cover them briefly at the end.

While these three classes of herbs are somewhat different from each other, the terminology often gets mixed, even in peer-reviewed scientific journals.  Some, in fact, fall in multiple categories.  The main thing to keep in mind is that not all herbs are for long term use and not all herbs for the immune system will have a direct impact if you’re already sick…(continued)

Click here to read the entire article at Practical Self Reliance.

Medic Shack: Basics of Herbal Medicine Webinar,

The Medic Shack usually teaches The Basics of Herbal Medicine as a live, in-person class, but because of the pandemic is moving the class on-line. It will tentatively start on March 28th and go for 2 or 3 weekends.

 I have some irons in the fire, and one of them was a local class on the basics of herbal medicine. This was going to be at our house in Summerville SC. We can do up to 6 or so folks at a time. Well with this virus and everything all Topsy turvey, we’re going to do it on line over a few days.

This will be a live webinar, with a study guide and suggested equipment. This is not a herbal certification course like my bud Cat Ellis teaches. This is a get your feet wet on making tinctures, tisanes and  decoctions, What you should treat and what should be left to the pros. Going to do a tentative start date of the weekend of the 28th of March. We can knock this our in 2 or 3 weekends. I’ll take as long as needed to make sure everyone’s questions are answered. We haven’t worked out the cost for the class, but it will be a lot less expensive than the in person one would be. Hope to see you folks there!

This may be the safest way to have classes…

Topics to be covered:images

• Herbal theory
• Introduction to making Tinctures and Herbal teas
• Colloidal silver• Pain control
• Herbal clot accelerators,
• Bites, burns and Skin irritations
• Respiratory and Allergens
• Equipment and safety considerations
• Anti-microbial and Anti-viral

Webinar announcement page

Webinar Signup page

The Medic Shack: COVID-19

Chuck at The Medic Shack shares his thoughts and preparations for the COVID-19 virus sweeping the world.

The Coronavirus, Covid-19 is rampaging around the country. People are dying in America.

Okay. Got your attention now? The above statement is true. It is NOT as bad as it sounds. As of 3-4-2020 11 people have died from Covid-19.  But its the delivery of the sentence that makes it menacing.

The Covid 19 virus is spreading. We are having community acquired illnesses happening We have confirmed deaths in the US from it. We have people panicking over it. People are scared and are grasping at straws of hope from some real unsavory news sources. I do not have the answers people want. Hell I’m no doctor nor epidemiologist. What I am, is a person who has seen disease break out in the 3rd world and here in the US. That has treated people as a US Army Medic, Paramedic and instructor.

So lets get to what we do know.

Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that can cause a range of symptoms including a runny nose, cough, sore throat and fever. Some are mild, such as the common cold, while others are more likely to lead to pneumonia. They’re usually spread through direct contact with an infected person. Other well-known coronaviruses include SARS and MERS

COVID-19 is similar to other respiratory illnesses and symptoms include a fever, dry cough, sore throat and headache. There may also be aches and pains, fatigue and, in some cases, vomiting and diarrhea.

While most cases are mild, some individuals may experience more severe symptoms such as shortness of breath and difficulty breathing, and may experience pneumonia in both lungs. Those with health issues or underlying conditions may also have a harder time recovering. The incubation period is still up in the air. From as little as 2 days to as much as 21. The “happy” medium is about 14 days.

It may 14 days or longer after exposure for symptoms to appear. It also appears to be contagious during the incubation period.

What’s the difference between a cold, a flu and COVID-19?

All three are respiratory illnesses but each is caused by a different virus. The cold is caused by the rhinovirus, the flu is caused by the influenza virus, and COVID-19 is caused by the novel 2019 coronavirus. All three can lead to pneumonia if complicated by other health issues or underlying conditions

The cold, flu and COVID-19 are all spread the same way, from close person-to-person interaction, though the cold and COVID-19 can also spread through airborne particles.

COVID-19 like a bad cold and the flu does it’s worse damage on those that have co-morbidity COPD, Uncontrolled Diabetes. Hypertension. Weakened immune system, overweight with general poor health. This is targeted to some dear friends I know and love. Overworked. Over stressed. Not caring for themselves. Not enough sleep. When you get weakened by health or life, your immune system is taxed.

If you add in ANY co morbidity to that you are at a high risk of getting ANY VIRUS.

Going back to one of my favorite movies, Pop Quiz hot shot You walk into a crowded grocery store. A shopper has coronavirus. What puts you most at risk of getting infected by that person? WHAT DO YOU DO???

Experts agree they have a great deal to learn, but four factors likely play some role: how close you get; how long you are near the person; whether that person projects viral droplets on you; and how much you touch your face. Also age and health are huge factors.

A virus by itself is immobile. It can not move on its own and it is to small to be moved by wind. It needs to catch a lift. A droplet of moisture, Dust. Dander from pets or people. That is why the masks come into play. No mask outside of a Level 3 or 4 suit from Fort Meade can stop a virus. They are on the average .1 to .17 microns. The best N95 can stop only to .3 microns Your surgical mask can stop particles of about 5 microns in size. N95s are in very short supply.

So short that hospitals are having a bit of a tough time to get them. And what new masks come off the line are not heading to Amazon or Home Depot. They are heading to the CDC and your health care facilities. Unless you read our article on the N95 mask, be aware that most people do not know how to properly seal one. N95 HEPA Mask

Am I worried?

To say I am not concerned about this bug would be a lie. But also I am not bouncing like a fork dropped in a garbage disposal. It is something to keep a very close eye on. Today 4 March 2020, CNBC released this headline

Chinese scientists identify two strains of the coronavirus, indicating it’s already mutated at least once.

The headline is eye catching. But when you read into it, it is not as inflammatory as it seems. But it does raise some questions in my tin foil hat covered mind.

What can we do to protect ourselves?

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth if your hands aren’t clean.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick.
  • Clean surfaces you often touch.
  • Stay home from work, school and public areas if you’re sick.

A lot of people have been comparing this to the flu. With out getting all into Med Speak, they are similar that they are viruses. But it ends there. Look at it this way/ Both a Malamute and a Husky are dogs. They come from the same climate. The look a bit alike. After that they are totally different. They replicate in a similar manner, but the attack the body in the same manner. The Covid-19 can live for a few hours on most surfaces., It is THOUGHT not CONFIRMED that it can last up to a few days under ideal conditions.

Disinfection.

This is where the chink in the armor of COVID-19 shows. Almost any disinfectant, that is applied according to its directions, will kill it. The old Standby of bleach will do it. For surfaces that can’t take bleaching Lysol. We have also found the old fashioned concentrate Lysol in the brown bottle. That stuff will kill ANYTHING!

For those that can’t take the harsh chemicals, embrace your hippy self!

For surface disinfection Essential oil such as Lemongrass, Cinnamon, Clove, Oregano, and Thyme are good choices for their reported antiviral properties . My wife likes to make her own consisting of 10 drops lemongrass oil, 10 drops of tea tree 10 drops peppermint. 4 ounces of 100 proof vodka and 2 ounces of Colloidal Silver. She places this in a sprayer and uses it to spray it on surfaces. No wiping. Let it dry on its own.

Colloidal Silver.

Good stuff. It is NOT the miracle drug that cures warts constipation Ebola freckles bad breath and bad complexions. Used and most importantly MADE correctly it is a good thing to have on hand. We use. And no we’re not blue!

Always use .999 pure silver, DO NOT USE STERLING SILVER! There is also .9999 pure but it is expensive and unnecessary. We use 1/8″ ribbon also called “bezel”.

Make Your Own Colloidal Silver

Fill a quart jar about 1/2″ from the top with distilled water and heat to boiling. The reason for this is because distilled water, not having any minerals in it, is a poor conductor of electricity. After being heated to near boiling, it will allow for the electrolysis to take place. DO NOT USE ANY OTHER TYPE OF WATER! Now make a hook on one end of each strip of silver (like a candy cane) and hang them on the edge of the jar and into the water, about an inch apart. Clip the two wires from the generator to the silver strips making sure that the clips do not touch the water or each other and that the strips do not touch each other!

You can tell when it has begun the process, you can see a what looks like smoke coming off of one the strips. If it doesn’t appear to be doing anything in a minute or so, scoot the wires a little closer together. If that still doesn’t work, sprinkle a few grains of table salt right in between the strips and it will take right off. Will it kill Covid-19? I can not answer that here. FDA rules. But we use it at home. A Damn good write up is on The Medic Shack Colloidal Silver

Hand washing.

Sounds goofy in a way. But a lot of people do not know how to wash their hands. Correctly. Now we’re not talking the surgical scrub I do every day. Just basic hand washing.

  • We Your Hands.
  • Use soap. Antibacterial is not necessary.
  • Scrub your hands while counting to 20. Make sure to get in between your fingers and your nails
  • Rinse completely.
  • Dry with a paper towel. SHTF paper towels will be like gold. Use a clean cloth towel and hang in the sun to dry. Viruses HATE ultraviolet light. Use a separate towel for each person. Seriously.
  • Use that paper towel or towel to turn off the faucet.

There are different schools of thought on using a towel to turn off the water. In the medical field we used to be taught that from day one. Today some say it doesn’t matter. YMMV.

Water temperature. It doesn’t matter. Up until 2 weeks ago, I told one of my best friends to use warm water. ANNNND some studies have been published and they all agree it doesn’t matter. The soap and water combination works either way.

Alcohol and hand washing

Alcohol based scrubs. I mentioned earlier that we use a product called Avagard for surgical scrubs. I also said that we do a real scrub first thing in the morning and after eating or going to the bathroom. What I didn’t mention is why we do those old style washing up. The reason is right above y’all, In hand washing. The scrubs kill bacteria. To a point. They kill viruses. To a point. Hand washing doesn’t kill them. It REMOVES them. And it will remove Covid-19

That is why I cringe when I see a porta potty with that little bottle of hand sanitizer, Yes its better than nothing. It is however a false sense of security. That fecal bacterial that ends up on EVERYONE’S HANDS is still there. They are weakened, but they are not killed. Something to think about.

A friend of mine who is marrying a Marine friend of mine.  I don’t know who to be more concerned about Sigurd getting civilized, or Jessica getting Uncivilized! She wrote this piece on a Facebook group:

Jessica Kozack The Soul Purpose

There is a lot of hype going on about the Novel CoronaVirus known as Covid-19. I wanted to discuss how to protect from viruses like Covid-19 and also the flu which is also going around. I find I always feel better when I am prepared. Aromatherapy can be quite effective in treating and preventing illness along with being supportive and healing while sick. I did have the flu a month ago. It was brought home by my daughter who caught it at a school fair and she proceeded to sneeze directly into my face uncontrollably.

I knew in that moment regardless of what I used or did I would catch it so I used aromatherapy to support us and prevent us from getting any secondary infection.

1) Wash hands thoroughly and often with good old soap and water

2) Make your own hand sanitizer with Vodka, Colloidal Silver, Aloe Vera, and essential oils that are antiviral

3) Make a cleaning and disinfecting spray using vinegar and water with essential oils and cleanse surfaces, etc multiple times a day in your home, work space etc

4)Diffusers are our best weapon for killing airborne viruses and treating respiratory illnesses. I have many diffusers and I recommend using them at this time in your home to kill virus bugs and support the immune system.

Pets and Oils

**Please be mindful of your pets and children when using essential oils. They should always be diluted and diffusers should not be located directly near your pets especially with the super bug killing essential oils as they are harsher. If someone is ill and you are using a diffuser with the super bug killer it is best to keep your pets out of this room. Pets will also walk away from a diffuser if it is to strong for them. Just be mindful.**

A diffuser works best if it turns on every 15mins with a timer and diffuses for a minute. You would need to get a timer for most diffusers.

Here is my list of essential oils.

Super Bug Killer oils a little goes a long way and never use undiluted:

Lemongrass

Cinnamon

Clove

Oregano

Thyme

Expectorant and Antiviral Oils:

Ravensara

Eucalyptus

Tea Tree (multipurpose bug killer)

Oils that soothe an inflamed respiratory tract:

Cedarwood

Frankincense

Pine

Spruce

Balsam Fir

Benzoin

Oils that support secondary bacterial infections and kill bacteria:

Rosemary

Peppermint

Lavender

Lemon

**Eucalyptus, Lavender, Cedarwood, Tea Tree, Lemon , Benzoin are safer less harsh oils to use around small children and Elderly.

If I am going to be dealing with a super bug I will have the harsh oils on hand and will use them safely and responsibly. When used safely

and responsibly they actually work most effectively and typically with no contraindications or negative impact.

Do not ingest essential oils they are 75-100x stronger than the plant, fruit, herb they are derived from. If you take anything internally keep it to herbs and supplements.

Used with permission from Jessica Kozack The Soul Purpose

And in closing:

We have talked about in past blogs on some of the herbs that MAY help fight off the virus TMS Post on Coronavirus 

By staying healthy, eating right and doing your best to avoid crowded places and sick people is one of the best ways to beat this. Do your normal prepper things that we always do. DO NOT GET CAUGHT UP IN THE PANIC. Right now there is not to much to panic about. Other than your 401K taking a massive dump at the market. Right now it is almost impossible to get ibuprofen, Tylenol, basic cold and flu medicines at the local stores. There is  for some reason there is a massive run on toilet paper at Costco.

You already had all that right? If not you have read our posts on cold and flu and other posts we have made on this? Good I thought so! Don’t panic. Do not over work yourself. And don’t get yourself all worked up over something out of your control. Stay out of crowds. If you feel sick STAY HOME. A lot of conferences around the country are being canceled. For good reason. As preppers we play it smart. Don’t forget that. Play it smart

Doom and Bloom: Home Care for COVID-19 Patients – WHO Guidance

The Altons at Doom and Bloom Medical have a video up on the WHO recommendations for home care of a coronavirus infected patient who has been asked to stay at home after medical evaluation.

Coronavirus

In situations when hospitals may be overwhelmed or understaffed the WHO has released guidance for Home Care of patients with mild symptoms. All concerned patients should be first be evaluated in a medical facility before home care is initiated. These measures are meant to decrease public contacts and the spread of disease, and decrease the patient load on hospitals during epidemics and pandemics .

Learn which patients may be asked to stay home during illness and when they should be hospitalized. A link to a medical facility should be established for the entire duration of any home home care until all symptoms have cleared and the facility releases the patient and resolved. This connection will allow family members and the patient to be reassured there is contact with a medical professional for questions and concerns.

Home care takes planning and education about personal hygiene, basic infection prevention and control protocols, and how to safely care for the sick person without spreading it to other household members. Recommendations (from the World Health Organization) are detailed in this video. Also see our How To Build A Sickroom video.

Wishing you the best of health in good times and bad,

Related:

Organic Prepper: How to Prepare for Quarantine

Practical Self Reliance: Making Herbal Healing Salve

Here’s a nice beginner how-to from Ashley at Practical Self Reliance on how to make healing salves. She includes a general recipe and then several herb-specific recipes toward the end. I like to use a calendula salve for minor skin injuries which is similar to the Gardener’s Healing Salve recipe she links. I’ve only included some of the key parts of the article below, more detail is through the article links.

Herbal healing salves are simple and effective ways to enjoy the benefits of herbal medicine, and they couldn’t be easier to make at home.  Salves are semi-solid at room temperature, making them easy to transport and store.  When they come in contact with skin, the botanicals go to work, released by our own body heat for absorption through the skin.

Herbal Healing Salve<img class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-13045″ src=”https://i2.wp.com/practicalselfreliance.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Herbal-Healing-Salve.001.jpeg?resize=600%2C400&ssl=1″ alt=”Herbal Healing Salve” width=”600″ height=”400″ data-recalc-dims=”1″>

I’ll admit it, as a budding herbalist I was intimidated by making my own salves.  Homemade tinctures and infused oils are easy enough, just place herbs in a medium and wait.

It took me over a decade of herbal practice before I made my first herbal salve.  Start to finish, the whole process only lasted about 10 minutes and I had a whole counter full of homemade herbal medicines.  Why had I waited so long to try this?!?!?!

…Usually, healing salves are made with just a few ingredients.  Often just three ingredients are enough to get the job done, those being herbs, oil, and beeswax…

<img src=”https://i2.wp.com/practicalselfreliance.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Herbal-Healing-Salve.001.jpeg?fit=600%2C400&ssl=1″ class=”mv-create-image no_pin ggnoads” data-pin-nopin=”true” alt=”How to Make a Herbal Healing Salve” data-pin-media=”https://i2.wp.com/practicalselfreliance.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Herbal-Healing-Salve.001.jpeg?fit=600%2C400&ssl=1″>

Yield: About 8 Ounces

How to Make a Herbal Healing Salve

Active Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: $5 to $6 per batch

Herbal healing salves are incredibly versatile, and this semi-solid topical herbal medicine is an easy way to incorporate natural herbal remedies into your routine.

Materials

Herbal Infused Oil

  • 1 1/2 cups carrier oil (olive, almond, grapeseed, etc)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup dried herbs

Healing Salve

Tools

  • Pint Mason Jar
  • Fine Mesh Strainer
  • Double Boiler
  • (or saucepan & heatproof bowl)
  • Salve Tins
  • (or other containers)

Instructions

Herb Infused Oil

  1. Add dried herbal material to a pint mason jar. Cover completely with about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups of oil.
  2. Allow the oil to infuse at room temperature for 3 to 6 weeks before straining through a fine-mesh strainer. (Note: Some of the oil will absorb into the herbal material, so starting with slightly more than 1 cup of oil should yield about 1 cup for making a herbal salve.)

Herbal Healing Salve

  1. Measure about 1 cup of herb infused oil. Place it in a heat proof bowl (or double boiler). Add about 1 inch of water to a small saucepan and then place the bowl over the water. Turn the heat on low and gently heat the oil.
  2. Add in about 1 ounce of beeswax pistils (roughly 1 heaping tablespoon). Stir gently until melted.
  3. Remove the oil/wax mixture from the heat and pour it into containers.
  4. Allow the salve to cool to room temperature and reach a semi-solid state before using it.

Notes

The amount of beeswax used is a matter of personal preference. Feel free to use more for a firmer healing salve, or less for a softer more spreadable herbal salve…

Click here to read the entire article at Practical Self Reliance.

Related:

The Herbal Academy: How to Make Calendula Salve