Category: Alternative Medicine


homeopathy

Homeopathic Remedies for Fevers and Coughs

What is Homeopathy?
Homeopathy is basicly the use of almost untraceable amounts of animal, plant and mineral substances that help to stimulate the body to heal itself. Homeopathic remedies that ‘heal’ are basicly the substance that would induce the ‘symptoms’. It is based upon the belief that like cures like.
The basis of homeopathy rests with matching the specific symptoms (physically, mentally and emotionally) of the illness or injury with those of the given remedy. If a remedy does not work, you can safely assume that the chosen remedy did not closely match the symptoms. In order to ‘choose’ the correct remedy you will want to ask a series of questions before choosing a remedy. You will want to choose the one that most FITS the description of the remedy. You may not have all the ‘symptoms’ that correspond to a homeopathic remedy, but you want the one that has the MAJORITY of the ‘symptoms’ for the remedy. In order to ‘choose’ the correct remedy you will want to ask a series of questions before choosing a remedy. You will want to choose the one that most FITS the description of the remedy. You may not have all the ‘symptoms’ that correspond to a homeopathic remedy, but you want the one that has the MAJORITY of the ‘symptoms’ for the remedy.

Homeopathy can be a very safe and effective way to handle many health challenges. It is fairly inexpensive and very easy to use. You can some on ebay and amazon but personally I like to order from abchomeopathy online.

General Guidelines for How Much to Take.

For the majority of colds and flues, you will give a 30c potency. As a rule, I will use 3-5 pellets or tablets, wait 15 minutes to see if condition improve and/or symptoms subside noticeably. If not, I wait another 15 minutes and then give another dose of 3-5 pellets/tablets. Again, wait to see if improvement happens. If still no improvement, I will give one more time. If no improvement then another remedy is indicated.

IF you see improvement do not give another ‘dose’ of the remedy until symptoms begin to return or become worse again, then give another dose. This will be an ‘as needed’ approach.
Once a person begins to feel much better drop back to only 3 pellets, 2-3 times daily until healed and then one ‘dose’ of 3 pellets daily for 2 more days.

Please keep in mind that there are many remedies for coughs, colds and fevers but typically you will find only 1 or 2 that WORK WELL in that particular person and for that particular illness. Not all colds, coughs and flues are the same!

Fevers: A fever is the body’s attempt to fight infection. In most cases, the fever is
actually helping the body kill the bacteria or virus that is causing the infection. Generally, fevers of 103 degrees or lower are safe; the exceptions are newborns younger than six weeks, those with chronic illness or immune system compromised conditions, and people who tend to have convulsions with fever. If you or your child has a fever and meet any of the exception seek immediate medical help.

Questions to ask yourself or the person you are trying to help to find the ‘right’ remedy for a fever. You may not have to ask all the questions  but this is the list:

How do you feel?
Tell me what’s bothering you.
Tell me more.
Anything else?
What makes it worse?
What makes it better?
When do you notice the fever the most?
How did the fever start?
Are you hot or cold or both?
Do you want to wrap up?
Do you want warm or cool air?
Where in your body do you feel the fever? Heat or cold there?
Do you want warm or cool drinks?
What emotions do you feel prior to and since getting sick?
How quickly did it come on?

Having gathered as much information as possible next look at the remedies below single out the ones that immediately match the answers given. Then look at each remedy selected and choose the ONE that most resembles the ‘symptoms’ (answers) and use that one.

Fever remedies:

Aconite: first stage of colds and coughs, sudden onset, develops after exposure to cold
air or wind, often with high fever, often with restlessness or fear, chill from drafts, heat
comes on during sleep, very thirsty, pupils contracted
Worse: night or after falling asleep, warm room, touch, fright, noise, light
Better: motion helps the chill but in general sitting still helps, open air

Arsenicum:
chill from 12-2 a.m., periodic (fever comes and goes,) heat of face with
chilled body, thirsty for constant small sips, head feels better from cold, but rest of body
wants warmth, very chilly, increased appetite after chills, restless, fearful, worried
Worse: cold drinks, worry
Better: warm drinks

Belladonna:
sudden, intense fever, chill beginning at 3 p.m., dry, burning heat without
chills, face and body burning hot, face red or redness anywhere on body, hands and
feet icy cold, right-sided symptoms, craving lemonade, but generally little thirst, twitching
face or body during fever (main remedy for convulsions/epilepsy after becoming
heated), throbbing, bursting headache, pupils dilated, can go into delirium and
hallucination
Worse: 3 p.m., sun, light, noise, jarring, drafts, motion,
Better: light covering, bending backward, leaning head against something

Bryonia: slowly developing high fever and painful inflammation, great thirst for large
amounts, left frontal headache, face pale during chill, deep red during heat, irriatable,
wants to be left along, wants to go home, anxiety about finances, very aggravated by
motion, touch
Worse: motion, anger, cold, wet weather, eating
Better: open air, lying still

Chamomilla:
common children’s remedy, especially during teething, perspiration with
chills, heat only in back or front of body, shuddering with heat, one cheek red and hot,
other pale, excitement, irritability, nothing makes them happy, want things then throw
them away, desires to be held, but it doesn’t always comfort
Worse: 9 a.m. or 9 p.m. or in bed at night, teething, warm covering or uncovering, anger
Better: being carried, sweating, heat, fasting

China:
famous remedy for fevers from malaria or fevers that come and go, thirst with
chills, headache with heat, skin sensitive to touch during fever, weakness or fatigue after
prolonged fever, worse after diarrhea or loss of vital fluids, most sensitive and irritable
during fever, anxiety before chills, sensitive to light, noise, odors, spaced out during chill
Worse: motion, open air, drafts, uncovering, touch
Better: hard pressure, warmth

Eupatorium Perfoliatum: fever with severe pain, especially bone pains, chill
beginning in back or hands, thirsty before or during chill, vomiting bile, craves cold things
during fever, warm things during chill, yawning and stretching before chill
Worse: morning from 6-9 a.m., cold air, motion, smell or sight of food
Better: vomiting bile, conversation, sweating, lying on face

Ferrum Phosphoricum: fever with few other symptoms, early stages of fever, fever
after head injury, headache and flushed face, inflammatory states
Worse: right side, night
Better: lying down, cold applications

Gelsemium: fever with weakness and trembling, chill running up and down back, chill
begins in hands or feet, face flushed dark red, eyelids heavy, blurry vision, worse
anticipating something, especially a test
Worse: fright or excitement, spring, humid weather,
Better: profuse urination, sweating, shaking,

Hepar Sulph: fever with suppurating glands, chills without heat after, can’t get warm
enough, needs all parts covered, fever blisters about mouth, voice hoarse
Worse: uncovering, evening and night, cold, dry air, winter, touch
Better: covering, heat

Lycopodium: chill in afternoon especially 4-8 p.m., forehead furrowed during fever, eye
pain during heat, anxious, wants someone in same room but doesn’t want to interact
Worse: in bed, after sleep
Better: rising from bed, warm drinks, motion, urinating
Mercurious: night-time fevers with sweats and weakness, sensitive to both head and
cold, runny nose, salivation on pillow at night, metallic taste in mouth, urine odorous
Worse: rising from bed, too warm or too cold, sweating, lying on right, changing weather
Better: moderate temperature, rest, morning

Natrum Muriaticum:
fever or chill 10-11 a.m., begins in fingers or toes, severe
headache, especially on right side, especially after grief, complains little, reserved,
craves salty things
Worse: 10-11 a.m., heat of sun, exertion
Better: open air

Nux vomica:
fever with violent heat and chills, after overeating or drinking, headache in
back of head, very irritable
Worse: uncovering at all, turning in bed, open air,
Better: lying very still, warm drinks, heat

Pulsatilla: patternless, constantly changing, clingy, no thirst, wants open air or open
window, tearing in eyes, fever with desire to urinate with nothing passed, numb hands or
feet with chill
Worse: 2-4 p.m., warm room, turning in bed
Better: cold bathing, motion, open air

Rhus-tox: fever with aching, stiffness, restlessness, thirst for small quantities, desire to
stretch, heat on left side, chill on right side or heat on back side of body,
Worse: cold, damp air or weather, getting wet
Better: warmth, warming up body with movement

Next up are the coughs and colds.
Again, we begin with questions-
Questions to ask:
How do you feel?
Tell me what’s bothering you.
Tell me more.
What does the cough feel like?
Anything else?
What makes it worse?
What makes it better?
What body position aggravates the cough?
What body position helps the cough?
What foods do you want?
Do you want warm or cold drinks?
How does swallowing feel (swallowing solids, liquids, empty swallowing?)
What emotions do you feel prior to and since getting sick?
What external things bother you? (light? sound? dust? touching throat? odor?
etc)
What kind of weather were you in prior to the cough?
What activities aggravate the cough? (breathing? moving? eructation? talking?
sneezing etc.)
What other conditions accompany the cough? (chills? sleepiness? fever?
diarrhea? etc)
What type of cough is it? (barking? deep? distressing? dry? paroxysmal?
suffocative? whistling? etc.)

Having gathered as much information as possible next look at the remedies below single out the ones that immediately match the answers given. Then look at each remedy selected and choose the ONE that most resembles the ‘symptoms’ (answers) and use that one.

Aconite: first stage of colds and coughs, develops after exposure to cold air or wind,
often with high fever, often with restlessness or fear
Worse: night or after falling asleep, breathing in, lying on either side
Better: lying on back

Allium cepa:
cough from colds or allergies, often with lots of watery discharge from
nose that irritates skin and watery discharge from eyes that is not irritating, cough is
painful, may grasp the larynx with pain at each cough
Worse: evening, warm room
Better: open air

Antimonium-tartaricum: noisy, rattling, loose cough – sounds like chest filled with
mucous but cough too weak to expel mucous, especially in elderly or young children,
person may be irritable or not want to be touched, main remedy for pertussis (whooping
cough)
Worse: night, especially 10 p.m. to midnight, becoming irritated, lying
Better: sitting, bending head backwards

Arnica: pertussis remedy, painful, racking cough, person fears each cough, holds chest,
weeping with pain of cough, nose can bleed with cough or burst eye vessels, holds chest
wit each cough, thick, sticky, yellow, can be bloody mucous
Worse: pain
Better: lying with head low or outstretched

Bryonia: severely painful cough felt in whole head and chest, dry cough with each
movement or deep breath, afraid of breathing in
Worse: eating or swallowing, overheating, lying with head low, ascending, raising arms,
bending head backward
Better: open air

Belladonna:
Sudden high fever, cough in paroxysms (many at a time), bursting
headache with each cough, bright red face
Worse: motion, deep breath, dust, touching larynx, yawning, bright light, noise, night
Better: less stimulus – resting in dark

Causticum: irritating, tickling cough, difficult to expectorate, but keeps coughing
deeper to try and get it up. Can have cough at any hour, but vanishing during the day is
a strong indication for Causticum. There may be urinary leakage with the cough.
Worse: Drafts or cold air, becoming heated at night, lying, bending head forward,
talking, bathing
Better: Cold drinks, rainy weather

Coccus Cacti: Paroxysmal (many at a time), tickling cough at 6 or 7 a.m. or 11:30 p.m.,
cough can be dry or produce ropes of thick mucous
Worse: becoming heated, warm rooms, warm drinks or food., lying, rinsing mouth, winter,
in alcoholics
Better: Cold or open air, cold drinks, cold food

Drosera: hard, deep, violent, paroxysmal cough, irritated airways, tickling and dry
throat, suffocative cough, can press the pit of stomach to start cough, but cough so
painful must hold chest, can have bloody expectoration
Worse: being enclosed
Better: sitting up, walking slowly

Hepar Sulph: dry or productive cough, mucous is thick and yellow if present, cough
dry at night, loose in morning, cough all night long, chilly, wants to be covered
Worse: chill
Better: warmth, expectoration

Ipecac: very dry cough, asthma, irritated or tickling cough in paroxysms, choking or
gagging with cough, frequent vomiting with cough
Worse: night, esp. 7 p.m., deep breathing in, esp. morning in bed, eating, warm room
Better: after expectoration, cold drinks

Kali-Carbonicum: cough at night, esp. 2-4 a.m., dry, tickling cough, bronchitis,
productive cough (sputum comes up), stitching pains in chest with cough, may be
vomiting
Worse: 2-4 a.m., on first going to sleep, cold air or draft, lying, exertion, deep inspiration,
warm food.
Better: Sitting upright or bent forward

Lachesis: cough from allergy, severe infections or heart problems, sensation of crumb
or obstruction in larynx, any attempt to talk causes cough
Worse: all night, disturbing sleep, wakes with cough as soon as falls asleep or in morning
on waking, stuffy room, lying on left, drinking
Better: open air, after expectoration

Mercury: paroxysms of cough at night and from warmth of bed, dry at night, yellowgreen
expectoration during day, tickling behind upper part of sternum, sounds and feels
like chest very dry, hoarseness, diarrhea, salivation, with running nose or nasal
congestion, can’t get temperature right, too hot or too cold
Worse: night, talking, sweating, drafts, artificial light
Better: rest, morning, moderate temperature

Phosphorus: every cold ends in cough and chest infection, dry, tickling cough, painful
cough, burning in chest with cough, headache during cough, must squeeze chest with
pain of cough, exhaustion, trembling from cough, can vomit with cough
Worse: cold air, talking, nervous, entrance of stranger, strong odors, morning in bed and
at night when falling asleep or waking from sleep, lying on back
Better: cold drinks, eating refreshing things, soda, fruit, sleep, dark

Pulsatilla:
cough from allergy or asthma, loose rattling with green, juicy
expectoration, dry cough evening, loose morning, can have tearing with cough or
urinary leakage
Worse: evening or night in bed, becoming cold, warm room, smoky room, warm drinks,
exertion, lying, measles, before menses or if menses suppressed by pill
Better: open or cool air, gentle walking, sitting, deep breath, lying propped on pillows

Rumex: intense tickling with cough, covers mouth in cold because it causes cough
Worse: 11 p.m. morning, cold air, entering or leaving warm room, undressing, uncovering,
bending head backwards, pressing on pit of throat
Better: turning on right side

Spongia: dry, hacking, barking cough from allergy, asthma or infection, suffocative
cough, can turn blue, burning in throat, chest, larynx with cough
Worse: around midnight, both day and night, cold, dry air, cold drinks
Better: warm food or drinks, eating or drinking, sucking on hard candy or cough drops,
sitting, bending head forward

Squilla:
sudden, violent, dry, paroxysmal cough with headache, copious sputum, but
only in morning, may pass stool, urine or have tears with cough, sore chest and abdomen
with cough, urge to blow nose after cough
Worse: taking deep breath, cold drinks
Better: expectoration, sitting up

Please keep in mind that I, Laura Macklem, survivingshtfmom, am NOT a medical professional…I am passing along information that I personally use that may or may not help you. If in doubt, please seek professional medical advice, especially in the event of a medical emergency. I am an advocate of self-care, not harm.

virus681Enterovirus 68. It is here in the US and although considered ‘rare’, it would seem that it is currently reaching epidemic proportions if reports are true of hundreds of children across the country being admitted to hospitals for severe respiratory complications. According to the CDC, only Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky and Missouri having confirmed cases. However, it is of such concern, that yesterday, September the 11th, 2014 that the New Kent County Public Schools in Virginia where I live (which is a rural area outside of Richmond, Virginia) felt the need to call all school age parents and issue a statement regarding enterovirus 68. The message was to let parents know that ‘they’ were monitoring the situation, to teach children not to touch their eyes, nose or mouth, wash hands repeatedly, do not share cups or toys or clothing and to keep home any child who was sick. The school system also referred parents to the CDC website for more information on the enterovirus 68.

About EV-D68

Typically, EV-D68 causes upper respiratory illness, such as low-grade fever, cough, runny nose, sneezing and body/muscle aches. Infected individuals generally recover on their own without incident by treating symptoms. However, some individuals, especially those with weakened immune systems or underlying medical conditions, such as asthma, may experience severe complications and require hospitalization with supportive therapy. This is what the CDC says about EV-D68. Although one documented case in Indiana the child had no such underlying medical conditions and yet was hospitalized.

However, many parents with children infected with EV-D68 report severe upper respiratory distress within hours of coming down with what seems to be a cold/flu. Including high grade fevers uncontrollable with Tylenol/ibuprophen, extreme headaches, neck pain, rashes and vomiting, blisters in the mouth, limpness of limbs and ultimately the inability to breath (shortness of breath, wheezing).
My own doctor called it a very, very bad ‘cold’

How do you contract enterovirus 68?

According to the CDC: Since EV-D68 causes respiratory illness, the virus can be found in an infected person’s respiratory secretions, such as saliva, nasal mucus, or sputum. EV-D68 likely spreads from person to person when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or touches contaminated surfaces.

Prevention according to the CDC includes:
Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after changing diapers.
Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick.
Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.
According to the CDC there is no treatment, vaccine or ‘cure’ for enterovirus 68 (which is in the same category of viruses that cause polio and hand/foot/mouth disease) only ‘palliative’ care, ie, managing the symptoms and keeping people comfortable.
Okay, so we now have that out of the way…as a mom of several school age children and an alternative health care advocate/practioner and prepper, I have some thoughts on ‘prevention’ and ultimately managing this ‘rare’ virus that seems to be sweeping across this country so quickly.

The basic question is what can YOU do to keep you and yours safe without going overboard and setting up a clean room to enter and leave through. We are NOT talking about a biohazard level 4 after all. However, getting sick is not fun and the following is what I will doing to hopefully prevent my children and myself from getting this virus:

First and foremost, goldenseal tincture used once a day, daily for the duration of the cold and flu season. I personally make my own goldenseal tincture and use it regularly whenever someone gets a cough, cold or the flu given that this herbs nature is to work on viruses first and foremost in the mucus member body systems (eyes, mouth, sinuses, stomach, intestinal tract). There is no danger in using this herb preventively and maybe used in children 6 months and up. The tincture works best and the best part is that a small amount, when properly prepared will go a long way! Goldenseal is safe for pregnant and nursing women also.
Another herb worth noting is Devils Club (Oplopanax horridum or Fatsia horrida) though I would tend to reserve this herb for the first sign of cough or cold and not so much as a preventative.

Please be sure that when you buy any herb in tincture form you buy from a reputable source. The best would be to buy from an herbalist who makes their own tinctures (ie a private person). Next best a nationally known company. An herbalist who makes their own tinctures will have the strongest available tinctures. Unfortunately, due to FDA regulations and other national and state ‘authorities’ large companies engaged in herbal products often are required to dilute their tinctures down to the point that in many cases you have to use twice the amount of tincture recommended below to get the desired results.

How much to use and how?

The BEST way to use a tincture is to place the desired amount directly under the tongue and hold it in the mouth for as long as possible without swallowing!! Yes, it tastes nasty, but no one said medicine tasted great. If necessary, it is fine to dilute the tincture in a small amount of water or juice and sip very slowly, again, not swallowing immediately.

As a general rule of thumb for tinctures:

Adults: 60 drops
Children:
Younger than 3 months — 2 drops
3 to 6 months — 3 drops
6 to 9 months — 4 drops
9 to 12 months — 5 drops
12 to 18 months — 7 drops
18 to 24 months — 8 drops
2 to 3 years — 10 drops
3 to 4 years — 12 drops
4 to 6 years — 15 drops
6 to 9 years — 24 drops
9 to 12 years — 30 drops

In some cases if you do not want alcohol in your tincture or cannot tolerate it you may be able to make your own glycerin tincture at home or, to rid the tincture of alcohol, boil water, place the tincture in the bottom of the cup and pour boiling water over it. It is up to you, personally I just use as is as I have found it more potent this way.

There are herbs that are great for the respiratory system that you can buy bulk and put into a large pot of simmering water that will also help to disinfect the whole house without you going crazy cleaning.
They include:

Inula (not recommended if anyone in the house has asthma or other medical conditions involving the lungs)
Mullein
Thyme
Ginger

At the very least your house will smell great!

If you like teas then try a daily cup of Astragulus it is excellent for strengthening the lungs and helping the immune system stay strong.

Next up, homeopathic prevention. In past cold/flu season I have always had a homeopathic for the flu at hand to take one dose weekly when no known exposure has occurred or if know/likely once a day. Boiron Oscillococcinum is the traditional remedy for the flu. I am not sure how much this may or may not help, but it is cheap and only 5 pellets need to be taken. At best, it may help at worst you might not get the seasonal flu.
I also found a homeopathic called LUNG LIQUESCENCE,RESPIRATORY DETOX FORMULA that supports the lungs in getting rid of viruses and mucus that I am incorporating into our routine. It should be taken the same way.

I would be remiss not to discuss essential oils under prevention. My favorite is the following:

A blend of specific essential oils including clove, lemon, cinnamon, rosemary and Eucalyptus Radiata. Frankly, just a few drops in honey (or on a piece of bread) will work at keeping you healthy. You may also put this blend into an ultrasonic diffuser to spread the germ fighting virus killing essential oil particles around you home or workplace. Word of note: do NOT put this blend into water and use to disinfect anything besides metal as many of these essentials oils will break down plastics and paint and may harm stone surfaces also.

Now lets talk FOOD! Yes, food…food as medicine! Onion and garlic are two of nature’s BEST anti-virals available to everyone! I use a lot of these two ‘herbs’ in my own cooking. However, you can make teas or tinctures out them. There are a million and one ways that can be found online to do this. I also include onions and garlic in my homemade anti-sick honey syrup (do not give honey to children under the age of 1).

Take a clean quart sized jar and thinly slice up the following into about ½ inch sized pieces:
2 fresh lemons (including the rind)
2 medium sized onions
Fresh ginger root (I typically get a piece about the size of my hand)
4 tablespoons of minced garlic.
I put all of this into the jar and then cover with honey to the top. Be sure you stir the honey down to the bottom. Typically it takes just over 1 pound of honey.
Next, grab that crock pot! Place the jar (with lid on) into the middle of it and add enough water to almost fill the crock pot. Place the lid on it (most likely will not close, but the idea is to retain as much of the heat as possible) and then turn onto to low and allow it steep/warm up this way at least 16 hours or up to two days. Stir occasionally. The food ‘material’ will separate from the honey…that is okay, that is why you stir it and once done, it will be A LOT easier to get the pieces of food out before use. To use your anti-sick honey infusion, I use 1 tablespoon of honey stirred into one cup of hot water and drink slowly.

Another great ‘preventative’ is to cleanse your sinus cavities using a nettie pot or even simple saline solution daily before going to bed. This will help clean out any nasty germmies lurking around in your nose and sinuses and the added benefit is that you will help keep them from drying out during the winter preventing sinus headaches and sinus infections.

This is all I have for prevention at this time. In my next article I will be talking about what do IF you get that dreaded cough/flu called enterovirus 68.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns, do not hesitate to contact me at laura@iempoweredhealing.com

Per law I am required to tell you that I am not a medical professional and all information above is based upon my private experience and documented research by medical professionals online. Always seek professional medical assistance if you are unsure.

Soo…there ain’t Brown Recluse Spider in Virginia eh??? Or so ‘they’ say according to ‘their’ maps. I personally know better from about 20 years ago when I was bit one time on the shoulder doing new construction work and then about 6 years ago when I was bit not once, not twice but THREE times on my calf.
Never saw one though up front and personal until yesterday afternoon…looky what I saw on my ‘screen’ to my workshop only 3 foot away from me:

Yep, that’s a Brown Recluse spider, born, breed and hiding out waiting for me to walk through the ‘screen’ (which is actually a sheer curtain I hang up at the shed door).

Here is ‘map’ where they are most commonly found:
map recluse

The below information is taken directly from an OSHA Fact Sheet (link at end)

The brown recluse belongs to a group of spiders commonly known as violin spiders or fiddlebacks. The characteristic fiddle-shaped pattern is located on the top of the leg attachment region (cephalothorax). Because they are secluded and withdrawn, as their name implies, the brown recluse avoids open spaces. Brown recluse spiders are dangerous and they can bite and inject toxic venom.
Identification
• Body size: 1/4 to 3/4 inch
(6.4-19.1mm)
• Color: Golden brown
• A dark violin/fiddle shape
(see top photo) is located on
the top of the leg attachment
region (cephalothorax) with
the neck of the violin/fiddle
pointing backward toward
the abdomen.
• Unlike most spiders that
have 8 eyes, the brown
recluse has 6 eyes. The eyes,
arranged in pairs – one pair
in front and a pair on either
side – can be readily seen
under low magnification.
Habitat
The Brown Recluse Spider
builds small retreat webs
behind objects of any type.
Symptoms
• The severity of the bite may
vary. Symptoms may vary
from none to very severe.
• The bite generally becomes
reddened within several hours.
• There is often a systemic reaction
within 24-36 hours characterized
by restlessness,fever,
chills, nausea, weakness
and joint pain.
• Tissue at the site of the bite
and the surrounding area dies
and eventually sheds.
Protection
• Wear a long-sleeved shirt, hat,
gloves, and boots when handling
stored boxes, firewood,
lumber and rocks, etc.
• Inspect and shake out clothing
and shoes before getting
dressed.
• Use insect repellants, such as
DEET or Picaridin, on clothing
and footwear.
Treatment
• Clean the bite area with soap
and water.
• Apply ice to the bite area to
slow absorption of the venom.
• Elevate and immobilize the
bitten extremity.
• Capture the spider, if at all possible,
for identification purposes.
• Seek medical attention.

https://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/data…Facts/brown_recluse_spider.pdf‎

Here is something that they don’t tell you: most of the time you won’t even KNOW you have been bitten, let alone actually SEE the sucker that bit you. I know the times I have been bitten I didn’t even think about a brown recluse bite until after the tissue in the area started necrotizing and the fist time it got so big (the necrotized area) that it was the size of half dollar and I wound up at the ER for something else and the nurse saw it (the wound) and freaked. The next time I was bit I thought they were bug bites until they began ‘pitting’ (necrotizing) and I immediately remember the first time I was bit by a recluse.

And medical attention? They give you Keflex and send you home and tell you ride out the WEEKS that it will take your body to fight the venom and heal…yeah, no joke…nothing to do except prevent and ‘infection’ and keep the wound clean…seriously..
And in a shtf situation or you can’t afford to go to the doctor just to be patted on the head and handed an antibiotic for hundreds of dollars, what are you going to do?

The ‘treatment’ advice above is great general ‘bite’ advice…but personally here is how I have always taken care of brown recluse bites (for some reason I am a recluse magnet) with EXCELLENT results:

BERGAMOT ESSENTIAL OIL DROPS STRAIGHT ON THE BITE
4-6 times a day

Seriously, that it…the first bite since it was so large I used hydrogen peroxide to clean out the dead tissue…let it dry out and then applied the bergamot essential oil, but the wound healed within 10 days and I used no antibiotics…minimal scaring too.

The next I was bitten I immediately applied the bergamot essential oil straight on the bites and while the skin discolored the necrotization only got to be about the size of eraser head and then healed within 4 days…
And that is all I DID…and now, living out the woods almost any bite that I know for sure isn’t a tick bite or mosquito or fly bite (ugh, May Flies and these little orange flying things around here), out comes the bergamot and I forget about it…no issues…

One strong word of caution: this is just what I do and I am not advocating that YOU do this…use your head and if you can see your doctor, especially if you become very sick…just use your head please… I believe that prevention is key in avoiding the doctor and what I have written is what works for ME. You may want to try it yourself or keep a bottle of the bergamot essential oil in your bug out bag or if you go camping just to ‘prevent’ infection, etc. especially if you are not sure of what bit you (since normally you won’t feel the bite from this spider). Everyone will react different and I am writing about what works for me and hopefully you will never need this ‘emergency’ advice from one prepper to another. But it might be worth the small investment of a few dollars just in case…save the antibiotics for something really bad!

Other notes: when self treating when professional medical help is not immediately available I like to use the rule of thumb…treat aggressively and often and don’t IGNORE anything. Don’t down play something new or unusual…

And one last thing: All citrus essential oils are oils that make the skin photosensitive…meaning, if you use the oil on your skin and go into the sun with that area where the essential oil was used…it can cause a bad BURN. So keep it covered….

One more thing to go into the woods with!

You may find more information on this subject at:

Survivalmedicineblog.com

This is a ‘come over’ from my survivalmedicineblog.com site- sorry for the repeat facebook fans 🙂 but I thought it would bear a reappearance on this one too!

Many preppers and survivalists focus on the beans and bullets aspect of being prepared. They often just say ‘get a good first aid kit’ and call it good. Some go so far as to say get medical equipment and stockpile antibiotics, there are many ideas about what a ‘good’ kit is and list upon lists of what you will need in the event you are ‘forced’ to go it alone in taking care of your own healthcare needs…and then their is the camp that goes so far as to get the training or finds doctors and nurses to include in their ‘group’ But let’s face it, the fact is this: most of us wouldn’t know what the heck to do with most modern medical supplies or medicine or how to propperly use anything beyond a basic bandaid…even if we could our hands on more than the basic band aid and topical cream. Training can be expensive and/or inconvient and hard to come by and sometimes, doing things we have no idea about is more dangerous than doing nothing at all. And most doctors and nurses I know (including my own family) are not preparedness fans let alone self-help types, they rely upon the system and just can’t grasp the idea that being prepared beyond 3-7 days is something worth while. Yes, there are professionals out there who ‘believe’ but again, let’s face it, most don’t.

I am all for having a good first aid kit and modern medical supplies that I am comfortable using, I am also a big one on avoiding doctors and modern medical intervention whenever possible (and my family is FULL of doctors and nurses!)  A lot of my attitude, admittedly, comes from years of not having medical insurance and not exactly being made of money. I was ‘forced’ into finding alternatives in caring for my health needs and just how much I can indeed handle myself.  Over the years, I have become pretty well versed on caring for myself, family and friends and have found that alternatives such as herbalism, homeopathy and essential oils can, when used correctly be just as effective if not more so than modern medicine. I fully recognize that there are limitations to these alternatives and when necessary seek out modern medical intervention, but I have also come to recognize that many of our most basic healthcare needs can be met at home and through the use of alternatives.

There are basic ‘rules of the road’ to taking care of yourself and family that are actually easy to follow if you dare to try it. It’s a mind set mostly, and I hope that you something useful from them that will help you get ready for whatever may come-

Simple rules of the road for taking control of your health needs:

Sanitation/Hygiene– this should be a no-brainer but many infections are spread through bad hygiene habits. Keep your hands clean (either the hand sanitizers or good hand washing with soap and water…and if all else fails, use a baby wipe!) Keep all food handling and prep areas clean. If someone is sick, keep them isolated. I can’t tell you how many times my kids have come home from school sick or I have gotten sick because someone came to school or work sick when they should have stayed home. Make sure you are as clean as possible with your own body and if you get a cut or scrape…clean it asap! Same goes for bites and other wounds…simple, through cleaning of wounds, bites, hands and surfaces goes a long, long way to preventing infections and make sure after helping someone who does have an infection that you wash your hand BEFORE AND AFTER helping them…and by the way…keep your hand out of your mouth, nose and eyes. And for goodness sakes, after using the bathroom or changing a diaper or cleaning up vomit, clean up! Basic stuff folks, but extremely important to prevent infections and disease and in a situation where you are mostly or completely on your own, this ‘simple’ mindset/action could be a life saver.

Be Vigilant and Pay Attention– this is another no-brainer, but I know that many of us get so caught up in what is going on around us that we simply don’t pay attention to our bodies or our children’s behavior (most children will not ‘complain’ or the complaint is very vague). Pay attention to how you feel physically…if you feel warm (without a good reason) or there is pain somewhere, take the time to check it out. If your children are whiny for no reason take the time to find out why. If you child is listless or flushed, take the time to figure out why. If you are tired for no ‘reason’ take the time to figure out why. If there is a little red around a wound or any heat around an area, take the time to take care of it. My point is this, in many instances the body lets you know one way or the other that something is up and the sooner you pay attention to your body and what it is trying to tell you, the better off you will be and the sooner you can do something about it. Time is of the Essence- this goes hand in hand with being vigilant and paying attention…the faster you start doing something about the issue, the less likely it will turn into a life threatening situation. This also goes to preventing things from happening…don’t put off doing what you need to do toady in order to help yourself, from taking care of that cut to fixing that fence or filling up the gas tank…be prepared! Don’t let it go ‘until’, in a SHTF situation, letting it ‘go’ might get you dead…help could be forever in coming, far away or non-existent, so get on it immediately. And one last thing on this subject of being vigilant and paying attention- keep your eye on what is going on around you health wise…lots of coughing? fevers? there might be a time that you being watchful and mindful of your ‘health’ surroundings could save your life (think pandemic) or at the very least, keep you from getting sick yourself.

Have the Knowledge and Experience Beforehand to Help Yourself– it does no good if you stock up on supplies, medicines, herbals, homeopathics and books if you don’t know how to use them, aren’t comfortable using them and don’t know where to find the information in those books that you have spent so much money on when you need it…take the time now to try simple remedies and simple self-medicating/self-help techniques so that you are familiar with them and comfortable in handling a non-emergency situation on your own. After all, if it doesn’t work, you still have plan B…intervention of your doctor (at least for now).  Trying to learn and practice self-help under stressful situations is a disaster waiting to happen. Do it NOW so that you feel confident and sure of yourself…but also note this… Its all well and good to think, ‘well, if the SHTF I will just grow my own medicine’ or ‘I have the book on that! I will be okay!’…many herbal plants need to be grown for several years before they can used. Did you know the best time to harvest? To plant? How to identify them in the wild? Dosage? How to actually use them? Tinctures take 6 weeks or more to make and teas are used for one thing, decoctions for another and tinctures…well, they can be used in a million and one ways…also, will you even try to make your own? Or stock up on pre-made remedies and plants? homeopathic remedies can actually produce symptoms (called a proving) if they are not the correct remedy and some essential oils (just like herbs) can interact with pharmaceuticals, and some essential oils are caustic when used undiluted on the skin or membranes and some oils are best used without dilution…do you know what to do in case an oil gets in your eye or someplace else it doesn’t belong? How to store the herbs, homeopathics and oils? see, you need the knowledge, practice and experience now, before you really need it, so that in a bad situation you are ready to take care of yourself without undue stress. Doctors and nurses trained for years, why not you? Self-care is learned through practice, practice, practice and not just reading about it once.

Be Persistent and Committed! I will be the first to admit that much of the self-help outside of modern medicine is tedious and time consuming and it is definitely not like having to remember to pop a pill once a day and it may not necessary repress symptoms while it is solving the issue at hand. It takes time, effort and a commitment to helping yourself get better without outside intervention in order to make it ‘work’. Often, self-reliance in taking care of your own healthcare matters means doing more than ‘taking’ something. It takes a willingness to take care of yourself and that may mean not doing it all, nor expecting a miracle to happen over night. It may mean that you have to stop what you are doing that seems so important at that moment and doing several things in order to stop a problem before it becomes a problem. Even modern docs now recognize that lifestyle changes, eating habits and exercise patterns are better at preventing many health problems than taking a pill and that just ‘taking’ something often doesn’t ‘cure’ the problem. Be patient, follow instructions to the T, including how much (more is definitely NOT better) and how often to do or take something. Just like most modern medicines that we use today, if not taken correctly it can either harm or not help at all…both of which are not good. Commitment yourself to being self-reliant, learning and being persistent and you will be in good shape for what may come.

Do Not Get Overwhelmed– for many who were raised to be dependant upon the system for their every need in their well-being, it can be scary to break away and become more self-reliant in taking care of their own needs. It can be a daunting task when you first begin to investigate or even begin to take care of yourself and healthcare needs. But by taking it one-step at a time, one thing at a time, one need at a time, and making ‘easy does it’ a part of your mindset you will soon be amazed at just how much you can be in control of your healthcare needs.

Just like most other aspects of being prepared and prepped, you don’t have to do it all at one time and remember, you are not alone…ask for help and make friends who know more than you about it and just do it, make it apart of your preparedness lifestyle and in the end, even if it doesn’t hit the fan and the world suddenly does an about face and everything comes up roses, you will be better for taking control of your own health and well-being.

And lastly, recognize that sometimes you won’t be able to take care of yourself and you might need to ask for help.

PS…if you have a life threatening illness already, by all means necessary, try to stock up on your medication and supplies that you need to take care of yourself…sometimes there is a need for modern medicine…but I also encourage you to do a bit of research and see what else might help you to reduce your dependence upon modern meds. NEVER ever stop taking your medication and switch over to an alternative without the help of your doctor…I love my alternatives but am wise enough to know their limitations.

God bless

Water is essential to human life…heck, all ‘life’. It is needed for even the most mundane things that we do in life..cooking, cleaning, brush our teeth, flushing the toliet. We use water all the time and it is extremely important to have on hand for emergency or SHTF use…Where I live in the woods of Virginia it seems like everytime a storm comes through the power goes out…no joke…no power, no water (I have a well and electric pump and haven’t gotten around to solving this situation since its expensive to do so)…and this means no bathing, no drinking, no flushing of toliets…not to mention no coffee in the morning, but that’s for another time, either way its not fun and this happens even with no emergency. But it has brought to my attention just how much my family depends upon water and how much we use it…

While I know there is a ton of information out there on water and how much to store it is so important that I feel it necessary to repeat it here for your ready pleasure or perhaps, this ‘getting ready’ for what ever may come is all new to you, either way…it bears repeating:

A normally active person needs to drink at least two quarts of water each day. Hot environments can double that amount. Children, nursing mothers and ill people will need even more. You will also need water for food preparation and hygiene. Store a total of at least one gallon per person, per day. You should store at least a one month supply of water for each member of your family.

If supplies run low, never ration drinking water. Drink the amount you need today, and try to find more for tomorrow. You can minimize the amount of water your body needs by reducing activity and staying cool. However, do reduce the using of water for other things in order to conserve.

Amount of Emergency Water to Store

Whereas a quart of water or other fluid daily will sustain life, according to the Department of Defense and the Office of Civil Defense, it is recommended that a gallon of water per day per person be stored for food preparation and drinking. A gallon provides added comfort and accommodates increased fluid needs at higher altitudes or warm climates. An additional one-half to 1 gallon per day is recommended for bathing and hygiene, and to wash dishes.

So this brings us to almost 2 gallons of water per day per person in order to be ‘comfortable’. Bathing is ‘wash pan’ bathing, not a shower or bath.

How much water should I store?

 The rule of thumb is to store at least one gallon per person per day for at least 3 days (for earthquake preparedness). That’s 2 quarts for drinking and 2 quarts for food preparation and sanitation. A family of four should store a minimum of 12 gallons of water.

Personally, I recommend at least a 30 day supply to fit all of your needs…drinking, cooking, cleaning, hygienic purposes. So, that is about 60 gallons per person to get you to 30 days.

Use the following guidelines when storing water:

1. Store drinking water in carefully cleaned, non-corrosive, tightly covered containers.

2. Store containers in a cool dark place. DO NOT store in direct sunlight. Polyethylene plastics (prepackaged milk and water bottles) are somewhat permeable to hydrocarbon vapors. Keep away from stored gasoline, kerosene, pesticides, or similar substances.

3. Stored tap water should be rotated every 6 months. Prepackaged bottled water should be rotated once a year. Check the pull date on the container. Be sure it didn’t sit on the store’s shelf for a year before you purchased it. Self Serve Bottled Water should be rotated once a year, as long as the water treatment process includes ozonation.

4. Rotate your stored water with the water you use on a regular basis. This practice helps insure you don’t have water stored longer than one year.

Containers That Can be Used for Water Storage

Food-grade plastic or glass containers are suitable for storing water. One-, three- and five-gallon water containers can be purchased from most outdoor or hardware stores. Any plastic or glass container that previously held food or beverages such as 2-liter soda bottles or water, juice, punch or milk jugs, also may be used. Stainless steel can be used to store water which has not been or will not be treated with chlorine; chlorine is corrosive to most metals.

55 gal drums, designed specifically for water storage can be difficult to transport, if the need arises, but are of a tremendous value in an emergency .When looking for additional food grade containers, the bottom will be stamped with HDPE (High Density PolyEthylene) and coded with the recycle symbol and a “2″ inside. HDPE containers are FDA-approved for food. Containers without these designations aren’t OK because of possible chemical interactions between the water and the plastic.

Clean used containers and lids with hot soapy water. Once the containers have been thoroughly cleaned, rinse them with water and sanitize the containers and lids by rinsing them with a solution of 1 tablespoon chlorine bleach per gallon of water. Leave the containers wet for two minutes, then rinse them again with water. Remember to remove the paper or plastic lid liners before washing the lids. It is very difficult to effectively remove all residue from many containers, so carefully clean hard-to-reach places like the handles of milk jugs. To sanitize stainless steel containers, place the container in boiling water for 10 minutes. Never use containers that previously held chemicals.

Do I Need to Treat Water?

Once you properly clean containers, fill them with potable, or safe, drinking water. All public water supplies are already treated and should be free of harmful bacteria. However, as an additional precaution, it is recommended that you add 5-7 drops, about 1/8 teaspoon, of chlorine bleach per gallon of water stored. This precaution protects you against any lingering organisms in storage containers that may have been inadvertently missed during the cleaning process. For a quart of water use only 2 drops.

 NOTE: Bleach has an expiration DATE! Be sure to rotate it OR keep pool shock on hand for disinfecting your water.

Where to Store Water

Clearly label all water containers “drinking water” with the current date. Store the water in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Do not store it near gasoline, kerosene, pesticides or similar substances.

When potable water is properly stored, it should have an indefinite shelf life; however, it’s a good idea to use and replace the stored water every 6 – 12 months. Rotating water this way provides you with an opportunity to experiment and check the amount of stored water against what you require. It also serves as an additional precaution against bacteria or viruses growing in containers which may not have been thoroughly or properly cleaned and sanitized.

If you have freezer space, storing some water in the freezer is a good idea. If you lose electricity, the frozen water will help keep foods in your freezer frozen until the power is restored. Make sure you leave 2 to 3 inches of space in containers because water expands as it freezes.

Emergency Sources of Water

In an emergency, if you have not previously stored water and commercial or public sources of water are not available, drain water from your plumbing system. Unless you are advised that the public water supply has been contaminated and is not safe, open the drain valve at the bottom of the water heater and salvage the water stored in the heater. A typical water heater holds 30-60 gallons of water. Discard the first few gallons if they contain rust or sediment. Let the water heater cool before draining it from the heater so it does not scald you. Turn off the electricity or gas to the water heater to prevent the heater from operating without water. Once water has been drained into clean, sanitized containers, add 5-7 drops of chlorine bleach* per gallon of water, and stir or shake the solution to mix it. Let it set 30 minutes before use.

Emergency Outdoor Water Sources

If you need to find water outside your home, you can use these sources. Be sure to treat the water first. Additional sources include:

Rainwater Streams, rivers and other moving bodies of water Ponds and lakes Natural springs Avoid water with floating material, an odor or dark color. Use saltwater only if you distill it first. You should not drink flood water.

Hidden Water Sources in Your Home

If a disaster catches you without a stored supply of clean water, you can use the water in your hot-water tank, pipes and ice cubes. As a last resort, you can use water in the reservoir tank of your toilet (not the bowl).

Do you know the location of your incoming water valve? You’ll need to shut it off to stop contaminated water from entering your home if you hear reports of broken water or sewage lines.

To use the water in your pipes, let air into the plumbing by turning on the faucet in your house at the highest level. A small amount of water will trickle out. Then obtain water from the lowest faucet in the house.

To use the water in your hot-water tank, be sure the electricity or gas is off, and open the drain at the bottom of the tank. Start the water flowing by turning off the water intake valve and turning on a hot-water faucet. Do not turn on the gas or electricity when the tank is empty.

Using Swimming Pool Water

You should always view your pool as “backup” water; keep the water treated; you never know when it will be needed! The maintenance of the free chlorine residual will prevent establishment of any microorganisms. The maintenance level should be kept about 3-5ppm free chlorine. If other stored water stocks are not available, remove the necessary pool water and boil it or just treat with chlorine to the normal 5ppm. It is best to err on the side of caution.

Covering the pool at all times when not in use is a very good idea. Try to keep the cover clean and wash the area you put it on when removing it from the pool.

I personally do have a pool but don’t count it in my ‘drinkable’ water, category, but do include in my water storage program simply because it can be used for other things such as washing clothes, flushing toilets (septic only), and other uses of water that don’t involve consuming it after cleaning it (but for flushing who cares what is in it!)

If you MUST use pool water for drinking then purify it first, which may mean filtering, boiling and then adding a disinfectant depending on the condition of the pool water.

When and How to Treat Water for Storage

In an emergency, if you do not have water that you know is safe, it’s possible to purify water for drinking. Start with the cleanest water you can find and treat with one of the following methods:

Boiling and chlorinating: Water can be purified by boiling. Boiling times may vary from state to state, depending on altitude. InColorado, the water is safe to use once after it has been boiled for three to five minutes and has cooled. If you plan to store boiled water, pour it into clean, sanitized containers and let it cool to room temperature. Then add 5-7 drops, or 1/8 teaspoon, of chlorine bleach* per gallon of water (1/2 teaspoon per 5 gallons). Stir or shake the solution to mix it. Cap the containers and store them in a cool, dry place.

Filtering and chlorinating: You can filter water if you have a commercial or backpack filter that filters to 1 micron. These are available in sporting good stores and are recommended for use when back-packing. They are not recommended to clean large volumes of water. Filtering eliminates parasites such as giardia and cryptosporidium, but it may not eliminate all bacteria and viruses. Therefore, it’s recommended that 5-7 drops (1/8 teaspoon) of chlorine bleach* be added per gallon of filtered water (1/2 teaspoon for 5 gallons). Stir or shake the solution to mix it. Wait 30 minutes before using the water, or cap the containers and store them in a cool, dry place.

How to Disinfect Water Using Calcium Hypochlorite (or pool shock)

Using granular calcium hypochlorite to disinfect water is a two step process.

To make a stock of chlorine solution (do not drink this!) dissolve 1 heaping teaspoon (about one-quarter of an ounce) of high-test (78%) granular calcium hypochlorite for each two gallons (eight liters) of water.

To disinfect water add one part of the chlorine solution to 100 parts water to be treated.

Let the mixture sit for at least one-half hour before drinking.

Be sure to obtain the dry granular calcium hypochlorite since once it is made into a liquid solution it will begin to degrade and eventually become useless as a disinfecting agent. This also means you should make your treated drinking water in small batches, for example enough for a few weeks at a time at most.

Calcium hypochlorite will store for a long period of time and remain effective as a chemical drinking water treatment.

*Use liquid household bleach that contains 5.25 percent hypochlorite. Do not use bleaches with fresheners or scents as they may not be safe to consume. The above treatment methods use a two-step approach so less bleach is needed, yet giardia and cryptosporidium are destroyed through boiling or eliminated by filtering. Chlorine may not be effective against these parasites. Since adding too much chlorine to water can be harmful, it’s important to be as accurate as possible when measuring.

Distillation Distillation involves boiling water and then collecting the vapor that condenses back to water. The condensed vapor will not include salt and other impurities. To distill, fill a pot halfway with water. Tie a cup to the handle on the pot’s lid so that the cup will hang right-side-up when the lid is upside-down (make sure the cup is not dangling into the water) and boil the water for 20 minutes. The water that drips from the lid into the cup is distilled.

Most water filtration devices are designed for use on microbiologically safe water. Don’t assume they are safe to use on contaminated water. Check with the manufacturer to be sure. If you are truly concerned about the ability to have safe water for extended periods of time be sure to get a water purifier and filtration system that will treat for microbes and other undesirable items.

Water is important!! and while it may seem ‘bulky’ to store, especially for a month per person, you can find inventative ways to do so…under the beds, in closets, garages, etc. I am lucky in that I have a pool to draw upon if things get really bad and we are looking at a long-term grid down situation so that I don’t have to store a lot of potable drinking water, but for those of you who don’t have this luxury, start storing it. Start small and managable, say enough water per person for 3 days, and then go to 7 days and keep going from there, you can do it and you will sleep better at night, I promise!

For more information on Water Storage and Purification visit:

http://www.captaindaves.com/guide/water.htm#Purification

The above was taken in whole or partially from http://www.nationalterroralert.com/safewater/

One thing that I am always on the look out for is a GREAT deal…after all, what mom who is preparing for SHTF wouldn’t be? Its more important than ever to stretch the dollar, make the most of what you have and get ready for ever increasing self-reliance. So, lo and behold, I found strawberries (organic) at the local grocery store today. On sale by the pound, many on the point of being overripe (but those are the BEST aren’t they?) and I just couldn’t help myself. Had to buy what I could reasonably manage to eat and dry in the next few days. My family loves to eat them enough that I put in about 100 bare root strawberry plants this year, but being small they only produced a handful of small (but sweet) berries this year. Made a mistake though, didn’t get everbearing plants so right now the plants are growing but no fruit for the rest of the summer…oh well, next year unless I can find some everbearing plants on eBay in a couple of weeks. Last years plants were eatten by my greenie Pitbull (the same one who over the past couple of weeks has somehow managed to get 1/2 of my very small peach crop inspite of the fence)…trial and error..yes, pitbulls like to eat plants…especially tasty ones.

Making do for now with my great deal at the store and will be drying them tonight and tomorrow to go with my growing collection of dehydrated foods. Dehydrated strawberries are a great addition to cereal and wheat berries btw. You can also rehydrate them and add to bread or blend into a smoothie at a later date..and the great thing about this is that I saved $$ Am playing around with making my own sorbet too perhaps instead of feeding my children the stuff from the store. A bit of time invested would be well worth the cost savings and knowing that the food is good.

Now for the BEST part strawberries are an excellent source of healing and help for your and your families’ body…check it out:

Eye Care: The primary reasons for almost all the problems of eyes are free radicals and deficiency of certain nutrients. With the growing age and lack of these protective nutrients, the harmful oxidants or free radicals cast heavy damage on our eyes, such as drying up of eyes, degeneration of optical nerves, Macular degeneration, vision defects and make them prone to infections too. The anti oxidants such as vitamin-C, Flavonoids, Phenolic Phytochemicals and Elagic Acid, present in strawberries can help avoid this situation to a great extent. One more factor is ocular pressure, i.e. the pressure of the eyes. Any disturbance in it is also harmful for the eyes. Here too, strawberries are helpful as they contain potassium, which help maintain right pressure.

Arthritis and Gout: The degeneration of muscles and tissues, drying up of the fluid which help mobility of the joints and accumulation of toxic substances and acids (such as uric acid) in the body are some of the ill effects of free radicals present in our body, which are primarily responsible for Arthritis and Gout. Strawberries, with their team of anti oxidants and detoxifiers, can effectively help push away such health hazards forever

Cancer: Vitamin-C, Folate and Anthocyanin, Quercetin and Kaempferol (few of the many Flavonoids in strawberries which possess excellent anti oxidant and anti carcinogenic properties) together form an excellent team to fight cancer and tumors. A daily intake of strawberries is seen to have remarkably brought down the growth of cancerous cells.

Brain Function: It is a very common observation that old people tend to lose their memory and control over their activities, limbs etc. This is because of aging of their brain and the nervous system. Actually, the free radicals, the agents very much responsible for aging, have a very adverse effect on these systems. Due to them, the brain tissues start degenerating and the nerves get weaker. Strawberries can help you out. The vitamin-C and the phytochemicals in them neutralize the effect of these oxidants and also rejuvenate the system. One more thing, strawberries are rich in iodine too, which is very helpful for proper functioning of the brain and nervous system.

High Blood Pressure: Strawberries are very good in potassium and magnesium content, both of which are very effective in lowering high blood pressure caused by sodium.

Heart Diseases: High fiber, Folate, no fats and high anti oxidants such as vitamin-C and those phytochemicals (Flavonoids) together form an ideal cardiac health pack, as they effectively reduce cholesterol. Some of the members of the vitamin-B family present in strawberries also strengthen the cardiac muscles and help better functioning of the heart.

Other Benefits: Folate is known to protect from birth-defects. Vitamin-C effectively prevents from infections and cold. The phytonutrients also have anti inflammatory properties

the above is taken from: http://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/health-benefits-of-strawberry.html

So the next time that you are in the store and see a fruit or veggie that your family loves to eat at an awesome price, why not go ahead and pick it up? Break out your dehydrator, trusty mason jars and 02 packets and save yourself a buck or two down the road and still enjoy the fruit and veggies? Actually, in my house they are munched down on by themselves dried…much better than candy (sweeter) and no mess, no fuss. And be sure to get organic strawberries to avoid high levels of pesticides that can be found in much of the ‘regular’ strawberries.

Simple way to dehydrate:

Just chunk them up (I like to make them about 1/3 of an inch in size so they don’t fall through the screen plate) and then spread evenly around the tray and let it go until nice and crunchy!

Here’s to happy eatting the fruit of summer…strawberries…and helping the health of my family on the cheap.

Just for added thought…here is the nutritional value of strawberries…

One cup of whole strawberries contains 0.96 grams of protein, 46 calories and 2.9 grams of dietary fiber.

Potassium – 220 mg
Phosphorus – 35 mg
Magnesium – 19 mg
Calcium – 23 mg
Sodium – 1 mg
Iron – 0.59 mg
Selenium 0.6 mcg
Manganese – 0.556 mg
Copper – 0.069 mg
Zinc – 0.2 mg

Vitamin A – 17 IU
Vitamin B1 (thiamine) – 0.035 mg
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) – 0.032 mg
Niacin – 0.556 mg
Folate – 35 mcg
Pantothenic Acid – 0.18 mg
Vitamin B6 – 0.068 mg
Vitamin C – 84.7 mg
Vitamin E – 0.42 mg
Vitamin K – 3.2 mcg