Archive for October, 2014


ebola10There is no cure nor treatment for Ebola. There is only prevention, strengthening our immune system and supportive (palliative) care. While our country has some of the best healthcare available in the world there are other ways that you dear reader can help yourself in the event of the unthinkable…an outbreak of Ebola and what YOU can do before and during an outbreak.

First, let me clear, I am not a licensed health care professional, just someone who is very passionate about alternative therapies. I have managed to live to the rip old age of 42 with very little help from the medical community in dealing with illnesses. I have managed to keep my 5 children out of the doctors office also, none of them have seen a doctor for anything except one case where a school official forced me into getting an ‘all clear’ note from a doctor during a strep outbreak. So with this in mind, let me share with you what you can do for yourself to support your health in the event of an outbreak of ebola.

AS ALWAYS: SEEK PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL CARE WHEN INDICATED. MY ARTICLES ARE NOT INTENDED TO BE USED AS TREATMENTS OR CURES, BUT ARE FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. I REFERENCE EXCELLENT PROFESSIONAL ADVICE GIVEN BY TRAINED PROFESSIONALS.

First things first, prevention is going to be KEY as is the case in type of viral or bacterial ‘outbreak’ within a given population or community. Since we have no vaccine for Ebola at this time we have to fall back onto the basics.

Frequent hand washing with soap and hot water. Hand sanitizers do NOT WORK against many viruses though rubbing alcohol will.
Not touching the eyes, nose or mouth (easiest pathway for germs/viruses/bacteria to enter)
Sanitizing surfaces with bleach or rubbing alcohol.
Avoiding contact with those who may potentially have Ebola (Isolation).

Seems simple right? Well, tomorrow I really want you to practice these preventative measures and then keep on going. It takes time to get into infection control practice.

Next, we want to help your immune system to be at its peak. Ways of doing so can be found here.

Okay, got that down. Now what specifically can YOU do to help your body fight off a potential viral infection? There are a few herbs that are known to help support the body in this matter. Boneset and Goldenseal are the two best for this. Use either one daily. You can find more information on viruses and how to protect yourself from them here in my discussion on Entero Virus 68.

Now, let us say you have done all this, taken all the precautions you can possibly take to keep yourself and your immune system healthy. You hear on the news that an Ebola case has been confirmed within 300 miles of your area. Now what?

Time to REALLY practice your ‘staying healthy protocols’. But there are other things to add to this. If you are a normal healthy person with no pre-existing conditions you could also begin to add either Kola Nut tincture or Japanesse Knotweed tincture. Both of these have highly active compounds that viruses of all sorts do not like. A recent paper was presented in St.Louis, Missouri speaking about and Kola Nut extract Ebola. Sam Coffman over at the Herbal Medic speaks about Japanesse Knotweed and Ebola. I would like to make 2 notes here. Kola Nut contains natural caffeine and would not be suggested for those with high blood pressure or anyone sensitive to caffeine. Japanesse Knotweed must be used sparingly as overuse can cause bowel bleeding in some individuals and must NOT be used in individuals prone to bleeding or suspected of having Ebola. For more information on viruses, herbs and tinctures please visit here.

Homeopathy also offers supportive measures. When dealing with homeopathy less is MORE! According to Dr. Vickie Menear, M.D. and homeopath, found that the remedy that most closely fit the symptoms of the 1914 “flu” virus, Crolatus horridus, also fits the Ebola virus nearly 95% symptom-wise! So what does this mean to you? If Ebola is in your area or near you, you can use Crolatus Horridus 30c to help support your immune system against Ebola.

How?

Homeopathy is a proven and safe method for supporting the body and helping the body to come back into a normal state of health. Used as a preventative this is what you do according to Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na):

ONE DOSE of Crolatus Horridus 30c DAILY IF NEAR BY or potentially exposed to the Ebola virus. (of course all other safety measures should be taken IF you have knowingly been exposed or come into contact with an infected individual)
Stop taking once threat is over!!!
this means in your local area and ONLY in an epidemic/pandemic situation…otherwise follow the advice below.

However, standard prophylaxis protocol maybe used in the event that it is in your REGION (about a 300 mile radius)

According to Miranda Castro (a trained homeopath):
OK, in brief here are my thoughts about using homeopathic remedies as preventatives.
1. The beauty of homeopathy is that less Is more. More is not more. In fact, more can be a bad, bad thing.
2. If you take too much of a remedy – whether you need it or not – and, if you are sensitive in general and/or if you are sensitive to the remedy in particular – you can get symptoms you never had before. They don’t usually last long but they can be a pain. Literally. It’s how we test our medicines.
3. Don’t give the children unnecessary medications. Including homeopathic medicines.
4. Use homeopathic preventatives only in an epidemic. And only if the epidemic is really and truly in your area.
5. The safest preventatives are the ones with a proven track record. Some are nosodes (Pertussin for Whooping Cough, Morbillinum for Measles and so on). Some are not – the genus epidemics is the very best preventative of all (homeopathically) – the remedy that is helping the most in any epidemic.
6. Stick with a 30C potency (unless you are under the guidance of a homeopathic practitioner who has made other recommendations). 30C is strong but gentle and has a proven track record. No need to go higher.
7. You only need to give a single dose every 3-4 weeks – that’s how long the effects of a preventative typically last.

REMEMBER: do NOT take more of any alternative method/remedy than recommended, especially homeopathic…you will make yourself ‘prove’ it (make yourself sick!)

So with this advice in mind, stay safe, be prepared and take good care of yourself and those you love. In a later post I will talk about how to support yourself in case you contract Ebola in spite your best efforts until you can get to professional medical care.

survivingshtfmom

boarder1Our southern boarder… remember that thing? It is where illegals, murders, rapists, human traffickers and terrorists are crossing EVERYDAY. Hundreds if not thousands everyday and while the media is largely ignoring this issue right now because of Ebola and ISIL (and I use term that deliberately). But it is all interconnected.

The fact that thousands of children have been scattered across country into our communities with little health screening is now a mute point. We are seeing a larger than normal outbreak of scabbies, hand-foot and mouth disease (which is in the same family as the entero virus 68 and polio). And while I cannot in good conscious say that the epidemic outbreak of EV-D68 and the mysterious polio like disease that is killing American Children is directly related to illegal immigration, I do feel illegal immigration is playing a role.

While the Liberals and main stream media had kept the focus on ‘the children’ (if a 15 year old or older counts as a ‘child’) there is a HUGE issue being ignored and buried by MSM of the drug cartels and MS13 members crossing into our country also. Not only that, but these guys are bringing in sex slaves to work the lucrative sex trade circuit here in the US via Europe and the southern boarder. These guys don’t play, they KILL as life is cheap on the other side of the boarder and in many parts of Africa, be it man, woman or child. Just ask the ranchers and others who live along the boarder and in the southwestern states what they have to deal with and what they see. You don’t leave the house in even broad daylight without a firearm if you value your life in certain areas.

Did I forget to mention the threat of extremists crossing over too?

Now we have General Kelly telling us that our southern boarder is an excellent way for Ebola to cross into our country and while at the moment an unlikely event, the threat is real because our southern boarder security is almost non-existent and our airports might as well have a welcome mat out. The sex trafficking of Africans is a booming business in Central America and Europe. So is human trafficking. And guess where the money is? America, Brazil, Argentina, England and Spain. And there is no ‘time’ off for not feeling good.

How would it work? Someone from Africa gets lured into the sex trade with promises of money or a job who is infected and doesn’t know it OR someone in a desperate attempt to get away from the uncontrolled infection in Africa gets the money together to migrate illegally if they can’t obtain the necessary legal documents to immigrate to the US. Once Ebola (or some other highly contagious disease) begins to develop in a Latin American country, panic will set in and we will see another massive migration of people as we saw earlier this year with ‘the children’ and we all know how that worked out.
Kelly passed on a story from a border checkpoint in Costa Rica — told to him by an American embassy official — in which five or six men from Liberia were waiting to cross into Nicaragua.
The group had flown into Trinidad and then traveled to Costa Rica hoping to travel up the Central American isthmus and into the U.S.
Given the length of the journey, “they could have been in New York City well within the incubation period for Ebola,” Kelly said.
We have a very porous immigration policy with Puerto Rica too (they are considered ‘Americans’) where infectious disease runs rampant with the high rates of prostitution and drug use. And lest we forgot the Carribean nations…the outcome of this country’s current immigration and national security policies spells disaster. We must control entry into our country. Its bad folks, really bad down there at our southern boarder. Our country is target #1 for immigration both legal and illegal and its just a matter of which time bomb blows up first.

Stay safe, be prepared…
Survivingshtfmom

Resources used:
http://www.defenseone.com/threats/2014/07/top-general-says-mexico-border-security-now-existential-threat-us/87958/

http://news.usni.org/2014/10/07/southcom-commander-ebola-outbreak-central-america-haiti-nightmare-scenario

http://www.consultancyafrica.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=373:human-trafficking-in-west-africa-a-multi-sectoral-issue&catid=59:discussion-papers&Itemid=280

http://insider.foxnews.com/2014/10/10/are-isis-terrorists-sneaking-united-states-through-mexican-border

ebola deputyAs we continue to monitor the growing concerns of Ebola here in the US, a second potential case is now under observation in the very hospital that Mr.Duncan, the Liberian national who knowing came to US carrying Ebola died in. This second potential case occurred on the same day that patient zero died.

As of 3pm today the patient taken from a Frisco care clinic to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Oct. 8 exhibiting possible Ebola symptoms has tested negative for Ebola, according to the Texas Department of Health and Human Services.

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas said in a statement Thursday that Micahel Monning remains in good condition one day after he was taken by ambulance to the hospital.
The hospital says Monning does not have a fever, vomiting or diarrhea. Results of further testing are expected later Thursday.

Officials had said earlier that Monning was hospitalized out of an “abundance of caution” after falling ill Wednesday.

Monning went to an urgent care clinic in Fisco, a northern suburb of Dallas, and was exhibiting enough symptoms of Ebola to trigger a preliminary screening, Frisco fire Chief Mark Piland said. He did not specify the symptoms.

Although I personally watched the news conference wherein Chief Piland did state that Monning had 4 symptoms typical of early bola.

First symptoms are the sudden onset of fever fatigue, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhea, rash, symptoms of impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding (e.g. oozing from the gums, blood in the stools). Laboratory findings include low white blood cell and platelet counts and elevated liver enzymes. (WHO)

I would personally questions what symptoms Monnig had that would trigger a preliminary screening and further testing especially given that just 5 days ago, a man and his daughter who were from Liberia were held on a plane coming into Newark International after the man was vomiting and showing signs of ebola. It only took health officials several hours to confirm that he did NOT have Ebola.

And now, as of 3pm today, October 9th, Texas Health officials are saying Monnig who entered the apartment without any protective gear does not have Ebola. However, according to the city of Frisco communications office, CareNow administrators have decided to close tonight and remain closed until the morning of Oct. 10 while the facility undergoes deep cleaning.

The CDC still ascertains that the ONLY way to contract Ebola is with direct contact with infected bodily fluids. However, just a few days ago on October 6th the World Health Organization put out an update bulletin about Ebola transmission.

“The Ebola virus is transmitted among humans through close and direct physical contact with infected bodily fluids, the most infectious being blood, feces and vomit.
The Ebola virus has also been detected in breast milk, urine and semen. In a convalescent male, the virus can persist in semen for at least 70 days; one study suggests persistence for more than 90 days.
Saliva and tears may also carry some risk. However, the studies implicating these additional bodily fluids were extremely limited in sample size and the science is inconclusive. In studies of saliva, the virus was found most frequently in patients at a severe stage of illness. The whole live virus has never been isolated from sweat.

The Ebola virus can also be transmitted indirectly, by contact with previously contaminated surfaces and objects. The risk of transmission from these surfaces is low and can be reduced even further by appropriate cleaning and disinfection procedures.”

It is also stated in their bulletin that:

“Theoretically, wet and bigger droplets from a heavily infected individual, who has respiratory symptoms caused by other conditions or who vomits violently, could transmit the virus – over a short distance – to another nearby person.
This could happen when virus-laden heavy droplets are directly propelled, by coughing or sneezing (which does not mean airborne transmission) onto the mucus membranes or skin with cuts or abrasions of another person.”

So far, according to reports, none of the family member who had direct contact with Duncan have come down with symptoms of Ebola. But their time is not yet up.

What is most concerning to me is that officials from the CDC continue to deny what the WHO says about transmission of Ebola, and the CDC’s comments that we will see more cases of Ebola in this country.

Why does this need to happen? Also of concern at this time is that as more ‘suspected’ cases are found not to be Ebola is that we as Americans could be lulled into a false sense of ‘security’ that our government and health officials are ‘containing’ it. I would question if false positives are a potential threat. I would also question why decontamination is needed at schools and at the care clinic where Monnig was seen IF what officials are saying to us are true. Just my personal thoughts. Over abundance of caution or ‘preparation’? While I am not trying to strike fear into the heart of anyone, I am just asking questions that need answers before we see another case here in the US.

Stay safe, be prepared
Survivingshtfmom

entero 2Note: this is for informational purposes only. Always seek qualified professional medical care in the event of serious illnesses.

Our country is in fact in the midst of an epidemic called Entero Virus 68 and there are a few children who are dying, becoming very sick and experiencing varying degrees of paralysis. Mostly those with already weakened immune systems or with pre-existing conditions.

I want you to stop and think about something…the children who are getting very sick look remarkably like polio patients. Since the first noticeable out break in California last year (following a campaign to vaccinate everyone against whooping cough) the CDC and doctors have been acting like this is no big deal. But I would say it is. I would suggest that polio has mutated. Can’t prove it, but the duck is sure quacking. And given the population that this ‘entero virus 68’ is hitting I would also further suggest that vaccination of our children could very well be a precluder to this mutation. I am not suggesting not vaccinating, that is between you and your doctor, I am just making note of this.

Per Dr. Dorothy Shepherd:
“Are the inoculations against the various infectious diseases 100 per cent foolproof? Do they not in some cases lead to serum or vaccine disease? Is it not a fact that they often produce severe reactions? Indeed, they have been known to lead to fatal consequences. Have I been more unfortunate than the average homeopathic physician in seeing the negative or disease-producing effects of orthodox prophylaxis? Indeed I was not biased either in the beginning. I was extremely interested in prevention of such diseases as diphtheria and measles and the rest. It was a great disappointment to me to observe the frequent severe reactions in the wake of immunization against diphtheria, and later on the uncertain effects of inoculations against measles, whooping cough, and scarlet fever.
“Now some of my fears of the dangers inherent in the modern methods of inoculations have been proved to be well rounded and correct. Some impartial medical observers in Australia have found that the incidence of poliomyelitis, the modern infantile paralysis, has vastly increased since whooping cough and diphtheria inoculations have become more popular, and that the incubation period of infantile paralysis corresponds closely to, and follows exactly on the correct day after the inoculation has been made (my emphasis) It might have been coincidence, if it had only happened in one or two cases, but unfortunately it has happened in more than 5 per cent of the cases.
It was noticed hereafter that an enormous amount of sickness followed immediately after the immunization. It temporarily reduced resistance to any infection, and they went down with influenza, German measles, whooping cough, and the sickness rate among the nurses was higher during the six months following diphtheria immunization than in any period in the history of the hospital.
On Poliomyelitis
Infantile paralysis is one of the modern varieties of a disease which has come to the forefront during the last fifty to sixty years; gradually it has become more frequent and more virulent.

You can see the entire article here.

A direct quote from Dr. Humphries’ presentation, taken from the Centre for Disease Control website:
“CDC estimation of morbidity and mortality after infection of polio virus…95% infected have no symptoms…4-8% have minor symptoms such as fever, fatigue, nauseas, headache, flu-like symptoms, stiffness of neck and back, pain in the limbs which resolves completely…fewer than 1%(of the 4-8 %) result in permanent paralysis of the limbs, usually the legs and only 5-10% of that 1% die when it affects the respiratory muscles…what other vaccine targeted illness do you know of that is 95% -98 % asymptomatic. (taken directly from here)

With this said, homeopathy offers a way to help the body help itself against various diseases that we now vaccinate against. It is cheap and proven very effective. While homeopathic prophylaxis is now widely accepted in the veterinary community, we in the US are still eating up ‘professional conventional wisdom’ on the necessary need for vaccinations. Yes, they have saved lives, but mother nature has nothing better to do than figure out how to live. We are seeing this with antibiotics right now.

History of the Idea of Homeopathic Prophylaxis
The idea of using a medicine, prescribed homeopathically, for the prevention of disease was present from the very beginning of homeopathy. To my knowledge, the first presentation of this concept was by Samuel Hahnemann in an article, entitled Cause and Prevention of the Asiatic Cholera, which was published in 1831.(1) In this article, Hahnemann suggested a list of remedies (camphora, veratrum, bryonia, rhus toxicodendron, cuprum) that would be of most use in the cholera outbreak that was raging at that time. He was able, from an understanding of the principles of homeopathy and a knowledge of the medicines, to give this guidance even though he, himself, had little experience with the current outbreak of the disease. His followers quickly put these suggestions to the test with remarkable results. In no little way, this predictive ability of Hahnemann’s, in a time of great uncertainty in the use of medicines, was tremendously effective in convincing doctors of the efficacy of homeopathic medicine. To be able to have effective treatment in the face of an epidemic puts aside, at one stroke, the idea of indefinite, imaginary, or placebo effects from use of the medicine.
Later, Boenninghausen, one of Hahnemann’s most able and early students, describes his discovery of the similarity between smallpox (in people) and malanders (in horses).(2) He noticed that when smallpox would appear in an area, the horses would also show the disease of malanders — that these two diseases appeared together. So, because Thuya was considered to be the specific remedy for this problem in horses, Boenninghausen tried it in smallpox in people and found it to be very effective in treatment. He carried this one step further, giving the remedy to members of the same household of the patient ill with smallpox and found it prevented the disease with every person it was used.(3)
It is with this in mind that I would suggest and offer the homeopathic remedy Lathyrus sativa as a prophylaxis (preventative) for this epidemic of ‘entero virus 68’ as it fits the presentation of what we are being told is ‘entero virus 68’. See more information here.

How to do use this homeopathic remedy to help yourself in the middle of this growing epidemic?

According to Miranda Castro (a trained homeopath):

OK, in brief here are my thoughts about using homeopathic remedies as preventatives.

1. The beauty of homeopathy is that less Is more. More is not more. In fact, more can be a bad, bad thing.

2. If you take too much of a remedy – whether you need it or not – and, if you are sensitive in general and/or if you are sensitive to the remedy in particular – you can get symptoms you never had before. They don’t usually last long but they can be a pain. Literally. It’s how we test our medicines.

3. Don’t give the children unnecessary medications. Including homeopathic medicines.

4. Use homeopathic preventatives only in an epidemic. And only if the epidemic is really and truly in your area.

5. The safest preventatives are the ones with a proven track record. Some are nosodes (Pertussin for Whooping Cough, Morbillinum for Measles and so on). Some are not – the genus epidemics is the very best preventative of all (homeopathically) – the remedy that is helping the most in any epidemic. Lathyrus sativus is the one that has a proven track record in polio.

6. Stick with a 30C potency (unless you are under the guidance of a homeopathic practitioner who has made other recommendations). 30C is strong but gentle and has a proven track record. No need to go higher.

7. You only need to give a single dose every 3-4 weeks – that’s how long the effects of a preventative typically last.

8. Give an additional single dose if in direct contact with someone with the disease.
9. The beauty of homeopathy is that less is more

So basically, you will ONLY use lathyrus sativus IF your community has confirmed cases of ‘entero virus 68’.
ONE DOSE (consisting of 3-5 pellets) every 3 weeks. NO MORE THAN THAT
Take an extra dose IF you come into direct contact with a KNOWN/CONFIRMED case.
Stop taking once the threat is gone.

It is that simple.

If you would like more information on how to support yourself in this time of infectious diseases please visit survivalmedicineblog. I have listed 2 great articles on how to support the immune system and what to do to take care of yourself.

Entero Virus 68
Coughs, Colds and Flues

And of course, always use traditional means of prevention: hand washing, keeping your immune system strong, not touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

AS ALWAYS: SEEK PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL CARE WHEN INDICATED. MY ARTICLES ARE NOT INTENDED TO BE USED AS TREATMENTS OR CURES, BUT ARE FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. I REFERENCE EXCELLENT PROFESSIONAL ADVICE GIVEN BY TRAINED PROFESSIONALS.

Be safe and be prepared.
survivingshtfmom

20141007_6Green beans…these are so easy to grow and are often prolific producers. So how can you preserve them? Canning and freezing are our favorite ways.

Canning fresh green beans is easy…but VaCreepinOutdoors and myself, we love to can them like our grandmothers did. With BACON! Yes, you can safely can green beans with bacon. My grandmother died when I was 8 years old. One legacy she left was a TON of canned fruits and veggies. My family got some of them and some were pressure canned green beans with bacon. Sadly, I opened and ate the last remaining jar of these about 8 years ago. I am now 42 🙂 and they were still delicious!!! VaCreepin remembers his mom’s and grandmothers canned beans too..so this article is in their memory and we hope you will give this a try and make it a tradition in your family too!

What you will need:

1 quart mason jar (or 2 pints) per pound of green beans.
Green Beans
Diced Onions (I like to add raw onions for flavor, 1 medium sized one per 3 lbs)
Minced Garlic (again, for flavor, add to taste)
Bacon (I use 1lb per 3 lbs of green beans, use as little or as much as you wish)
Pressure Cooker
Colander and Large Pot or Bowl.
A little bit of vinegar and a small rag.

Getting your canning supplies ready to go as usual. With the new lids available now, all you need to do is wash them. No boiling necessary to get the gummy going (in fact, keeping them simmering will degrade the gummy part causing lid failure). Often I will just put the lids and rings into a pot of water, bring to a boil for just a minute or two and then turn down to barely warm just to keep the water warm enough that I can put a finger into the water without hurting myself.
A trick I learned with the jars…heat the oven to 250 degrees to keep them ‘hot/warm’. Put the jars onto a cookie sheet and put into the oven while prepping the beans and bacon mixture.
Get the pressure cooker water going too. I put 3 inches in and bring to a boil while prepping the beans and bacon mix.

Next, we prep the beans and bacon/onions/garlic.

Typically VaCreepinOutdoors will cut the beans up as I fry up the bacon/onion/garlic mixture. The beans should be cut into about 1 inch lengths. Then rinse.
We DO NOT parboil them because that causes the beans to become mushy after canning. Raw packing is the best method for green beans so they don’t overcook. Remember, you are cooking them when you pressure cook them and then cooking again after opening. No mushy beans here!
20141007_1

Place the beans into a large bowl or stock pot.

For the bacon, I cut the strips into 1 inch or so pieces, put into a frying pan, add diced onions and the garlic and fry the bacon until its just done/cooked. Drain the fat and then add to the beans that are already in the pot.
20141007_2

Mix the beans and bacon mixture WELL.
20141007_3

Get your preheated jars out and STUFF THOSE JARS FULL of the bean/bacon mix. If you don’t pack them in tightly you will wind up with more water than beans. I use a pestle or something else to pack the beans/bacon down into the jars. Pack leaving ½ inch head space.
20141007_4

Now for the best part: no hot water needed…I just take the packed jar over to the sink and fill with water up to the ½ inch mark.

Because we have used bacon in this canning recipe, you will need to put a small amount of vinegar onto the rag. Wipe the rim and where the ring screws down onto. Vinegar cuts the potential grease and cleans the rim very well.

Place the lids and rings on the jars as usual. Finger tight!
20141007_5

Place into your pressure canner and follow the manufactures instructions from there.

You will can quartz at 10 lbs for 25 mintues and pints at 10 lbs for 15.

Yum! These are huge hit and a blast from the past that everyone loves!

Of course you could use ham or something else if you wish, add your own seasonings, whatever…I have canned green beans just using the regular seasonings I would use in cooking too.

Have fun and enjoy!
Survivingshtfmom and VaCreepinOutdoors

stressimmuneWe have one great defensive team to protect ourselves in this world full of germs, viruses and bacteria our immune system. We are born with it and while not perfect, it keeps us alive in most cases if we ‘catch’ something and it has a great memory for prior foreign invaders.

Our immune system is what keeps us from having to live a sterile environment and it’s in our best interest to keep our immune system strong so that when some invaders comes a knockin’ we have a fighting chance to live. I would hazard to guess that most people don’t even THINK about their immune system and what would happen if it went bye-bye or was seriously compromised. Day in and day out we go about our lives full of stress and surrounded by germs. So, in this day and age when we typically don’t eat right, sit around a lot and stress out about everything and ding our immune systems with literally hundreds of different chemicals everyday what can we do to support our immune system? Fight STRESS!!!

Stress…stress can kill you and that isn’t a joke…according to Paige Bierma, M.A
“Some kinds of stress — very short-term, that last only a matter of minutes — actually redistribute cells in the bloodstream in a way that could be helpful,” says Suzanne Segerstrom, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Kentucky who has conducted studies on stress and the immune system. “But once stress starts to last a matter of days, there are changes in the immune system that aren’t so helpful. And the longer that stress lasts, the more potentially harmful those changes are.”
The fight-or-flight response (short-term stress) goes something like this: When a villager in Africa sees a lion charging at him, for example, the brain sends a signal to the adrenal gland to create hormones called cortisol and adrenaline, which have many different effects on the body, from increasing heart rate and breathing to dilating blood vessels so that blood can flow quickly to the muscles in the legs. Besides helping him run away, this type of acute stress also boosts the immune response for three to five days (presumably to help him heal after the lion takes a swipe at him).
When humans experience stress, our bodies react the same way that animals’ bodies do. Once the lion is gone, a zebra or gazelle’s stress level will return to normal, but humans have more trouble getting back to our routines after a stressful event, whether it’s a car accident or a divorce. We’ll think about it, dream about it, and worry about it for a long time, and that sets us up for long-term problems, says Robert M. Sapolsky, a Stanford University stress expert and author of Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers.
Over time, continually activating the stress response may interfere with the immune system. How this affects your disease risk, Sapolsky suggests, depends partly on your risk factors and your lifestyle, including your degree of social support.

Infectious disease and stress:
A number of vaccine studies have also found that the immune system of highly stressed individuals have sluggish responses to challenges. In one study, published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine, a pneumonia vaccine was administered to 52 older adults, including 11 people caring for spouses with dementia. After just six months, the levels of antibodies produced against pneumonia in the caregivers had dropped off, while the non-caregivers’ levels remained stable. A similar study in which 32 caregivers were given the flu shot also found that caregivers received less protection from the vaccine than did a control group of non-caregivers.
If you’re stressed out, you’re more likely to get sick — at least it seems that way. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine actually found that higher psychological stress levels resulted in a higher likelihood of catching the common cold. The researchers accounted for many variables — including the season; alcohol use; quality of diet, exercise, and sleep; and levels of antibodies before exposure to the virus — and concluded that higher stress was to blame for lowered immunity and higher infection rates.
In the meantime, there is enough evidence to convince us that we should find healthy ways to keep our stress levels down, which is advice we got from our grandmothers: Eat right, exercise, and get enough sleep.
“Stress is inevitable,” Spiegel says. “The trick is to learn to manage it, to find some aspect of our stress and do something about it. Don’t think in terms of ‘all or nothing’ but in terms of ‘more or less.’ ”

An immune system that is continually ‘working, working, working’ never gets a chance to recover so when challenged by an invader it cannot mount an adequate defense.
Learn to manage your stress!

Stressful events are a fact of life and they can be even little ones like too much noise or activity going on around you. You can learn to identify what stresses you and how to take care of yourself physically and emotionally in the face of stressful situations. Learn to UNWIND in a healthy way.

Stress management strategies include:
Eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise and plenty of sleep
Practicing relaxation techniques or learning to meditate
Fostering healthy friendships
Having a sense of humor
Seeking professional counseling when needed
Learn to say no! Set yourself realistic expectations and learn how to say “no” when your workload or social and family commitments get too much.
Learn to switch off. Leaving the office for the day? Then it’s time to switch off your work brain as well as your mobile phone. Unless you need to be on call for work, there’s rarely anything that can’t be solved the next day with renewed perspective.
Breathe! When we’re stressed, we tend to shallow breathe. Try to take deeper breaths into your diaphragm.

But hey! There is good news on the stress/immune system relation using herbs called adaptogens and these can be included into your healthy diet as herbal supplements. According to Frank M. Painter, D.C.:
The body expends a great amount of energy keeping itself in a heightened state of readiness. When weakened by prolonged stress–be it caused by lack of sleep, poor diet, chemical toxins in the environment or mental assaults–the body’s ability to maintain homeostasis can be compromised, and illness can result. Adaptogenic herbs have traditionally helped prevent the imbalances that can result from stress and have therefore prevented or minimized disease. At the core of an adaptogen’s scope of actions is the ability to help the body cope more effectively with stress. Specifically, adaptogens recharge the adrenal glands, which are the body’s nominal mechanism for responding to stress and emotional changes. The adrenals, which cover the upper surface of each kidney, synthesize and store dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine. These compounds are responsible for the changes that occur during the fight-or-flight reaction.

Well known adaptogenic herbs are:

Ginseng
Suma
Ashwaganda
Astragalus
Schisandra
Jiaogulan

And while mushrooms are not technically herbs Reishi, shiitake, maitake mushrooms have been shown to have adaptogen properties also.

Homeopathy can also play a role in reducing stress levels when needed and be apart of an overall stress reduction program:
According to Claire Zarb LCPH, it’s advisable to start with a 30c potency and take every hour or so when the feelings of stress are at their peak.

Argentum Nitricum
Ideal for treating anxiety, caused by the anticipation of a big event, such as an exam, party or public speaking event. Dizziness and diarrhea may also be experienced, especially in the morning. People who need this remedy are often enthusiastic and suggestible, with a tendency towards being quite impulsive. They often crave sweets which usually make their symptoms worse.
Gelsemium
When a dull, heavy, but restless, weariness dominates you, think of Gelsemium. A dose before an exam or interview can keep your mind from drawing a blank. Heavy fatigue with muscular weakness means it’s great for flu, restless colds, diarrhea and dull, pressing headaches. This can be a very steadying remedy, especially to quiet, often low-spirited people who dread public speaking.
Nux Vomica
This remedy’s reputation is based on its ability to treat modern day complaints of indigestion, intoxication, and stress. Nux Vomica acts to neutralize both the effect of stress on the mind, and excess intake of food, alcohol and drugs on the digestive system. Nux Vomica offers comfort when travel, hangovers, busy schedules, overwork, or late night meals cause digestive and mental distress. Ideal if you’re a ‘workaholic’ who is easily irritable and tired.
Lycopodium
Ideal for nerves and indecision and especially good if you worry a lot and battle with self-confidence (too much and too little!). Digestively, it applies to acidity, gas, bloating, colic and constipation. There may be a fear of change, irritability, obstinacy, stage fright and exam nerves.

And don’t forget the Food!
According to Michael Ozner, MD, the top 10 stress fighting foods are:
1. Spinach contains magnesium, which helps improve your body’s response to stress and may prevent migraine headaches.
2. Asparagus is a good source of folic acid, which produces serotonin and helps stabilize mood.
3. Beef helps stabilize mood by supplying zinc, iron, and B vitamins.
4. Dairy products such as milk and cottage cheese provide protein and calcium.
5. Nuts and seeds are good stress-fighting snacks. In addition to containing vitamin B12, magnesium, and zinc, almonds also provide vitamin E, which, like vitamin C, fights stress-related free radicals that cause heart disease. Walnuts and pistachios are known to lower blood pressure. Sunflower seeds include folate, which helps produce dopamine, a pleasure-inducing brain chemical.
6. Fruits such as oranges and blueberries contain vitamin C, which fights cancer-causing free radicals. Blueberries also counteract the effect of hormones such as cortisol, and bananas provide potassium, which lowers blood pressure.
7. Fish containing omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, can boost serotonin levels and limit the production of anxiety hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol.
8. Avocados are a good source of monounsaturated fat and potassium, which lower blood pressure.
9. Milk, including skim milk, is high in antioxidants and vitamins B2 and B12 and also provides protein and calcium, which can reduce muscle spasms and tension and soothe PMS.
10. Crispy rice cereal or corn flakes aren’t necessarily low in sugar; however, they offer B vitamins and folic acid, which reduce stress. Have a bowl of whole-grain cereal with milk for a stress-fighting breakfast.
Four foods to avoid:
1. Caffeine, found in coffee, tea, soda, and chocolate, can cause anxiety and raise stress hormone levels.
2. Sugar causes spikes in blood glucose levels and increases insulin. This affects your adrenal glands, which regulate stress hormones and help the thyroid regulate body weight.
3. Trans fatty acids such as hydrogenated vegetable oil are found in many baked goods and can hinder the immune system and increase the risk of heart disease.
4. Alcohol puts more sugar in the body, and excessive consumption can damage the adrenal glands.
While stress is just one factor in keeping the immune system healthy you can see that there are ways of helping the body to defend itself against stress and boost our body’s resiliency against stress. So get moving, eat ‘right’ and get your SLEEP and don’t forget to add homeopathy and herbs into your life to LIVE! Your immune system will love you!

Stay safe, be prepared!
survivingshtfmom