Tag Archive: preparedness


no ebola

Its germ season and with the growing concerns over Ebola spreading within the United States I thought it might be wise to discuss PREVENTION verses what to do ‘if’ as prevention is obviously our first line of defense.

Soap and hot water are our obvious first bet as always. Several times a day. But I know and understand that this isn’t always possible so alternatives to keeping our hands as germ free as possible are next in line. I will speak directly to viruses (and this includes Ebola) as not all alternatives are good for bacterial disinfection.

According to the MSDS and The Canadian Centers for Disease Control there are basically 4 ways to kill ‘enveloped’ viruses such as the flu, ebola and many ‘stomach bugs’ that are emerging right now.

Phenolic compounds which are found in many of our everyday items we use such as: They can be toxic at certain levels, though hospitals still use phenolic compounds to clean floors, bed railings and tables. You will know you have a sanitizing phenolic compound if you see the ‘phenol’ in any part of the ingredients. A few that I found were: ortho-phenylphenol, ortho-benzyl-para-chlorophenol, ortho-phenylphenol, para-tertiary-amylpheno.
Typically phenolic sanitizers will need to be left to dry for at least 10 minutes (typical time to work to ‘inactive’ a virus) Do NOT get on the skin or inhale the vapors (such as in air ‘sanitizers’). You should also not use these products containing phenolic compounds around babies or young children nor on surfaces where food may touch.

Ethyl or Isopropal alcohols
. These are found in hand sanitizers and common rubbing alcohol…but here is the catch. NOT ALL hand sanitizers have their main ingredient as ethyl alcohol. Remember the big scare about children eating hand sanitizer and getting sick? Some of the more popular brands changed their formulations and do NOT have ethyl alcohol as its active ingredient. So be sure you look at the ingredient list on the hand sanitizer you buy and make SURE it says Ethyl alcohol. And it must be at least 62% but no more than 70%.
As for rubbing alcohol, you can use this on surfaces, your hands or body. But here is the catch: it has to be 60 to 70 percent isopropyl alcohol. If any higher it will not as effective. Science has shown that to kill enveloped viruses such as Ebola, MRSA, and Influenza you must have water to penetrate the virus. They love water! So, the more water the rubbing alcohol is diluted in the better the kill rate. Optimal is 60-70 percent of isopropyl rubbing alcohol. Do NOT ingest any of type of ethyl or rubbing alcohol.

Next, and most prolific in disinfectants and used in hospitals are the Ammonium Chlorides. Look for cleaning, disinfecting/sanitizing products with the words ammonium chloride in the ingredients as these will kill any enveloped virus…ebola, flu, HIV, etc. It can be found in sanitizing wipes, many surface cleaners and in fact, is the main chemical used by hair stylists for disinfecting there clippers and scissors. Goes by the brand name Hydrocide which is readily available to the public. Clorox wipes contain ammonium chloride. NOTE OF CAUTION. If you are going to use a product with ammonium chloride you allow to air dry. Do not wipe dry. Also, if you will be using on surfaces where you cook, after allowing to air dry it is advised to use plain water to wipe afterwards (10 to 15 minutes after using product) so that you do not eat this as it can build up in the body and cause a toxic reaction. Same goes for the aerosolized versions you find in disinfectant sprays…don’t breath it in.

Bleach is next on killing all sorts of viruses and bacteria and is a traditional stand by. However, I would not use on the skin as allergic reactions can occur and contact dermatitis can occur over repeated exposure to bleach. A 10% solution will work for hard, non-porous surfaces. Do NOT use on rubber as over time it will break it down.

Finally, we come to good old fashioned vinegar. According to the MSDS vinegar even at 3% dilution will kill ebola, influenza and many other enveloped viruses. Yes, that is SCIENCE. Often times you will see vinegar in homemade cleaning solutions. But personally I would just use it straight and it is safe for SKIN too!

As a note: you may also use a 50/50 combination of hydrogen peroxide and vinegar for cleaning hard surfaces as a disinfectant. This also has been shown to kill many viruses including ebola.

Stay safe, be prepared and get the knowledge to be panic free!

Survivingshtfmom

http://www.cdc.gov/hicpac/disinfection_sterilization/9_0pceticacidhydropoxide.html#a1

http://www.msdsonline.com/resources/msds-resources/free-safety-data-sheet-index/ebola-virus.aspx

http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/lab-bio/res/psds-ftss/ebola-eng.php

http://www.bccdc.ca/NR/rdonlyres/EAA94ACF-02A9-4CF0-BE47-3F5817A25669/0/InfectionControl_GF_DisinfectntSelectnGuidelines_nov0503.pdf

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20141020_5Need a great way to keep real butter safe? Can IT! Yes, you can can butter, safely, effectively and it’s a great way to save freezer space and/or refrigerator space plus put some up just in case the hard times hit.

I will note, this works for REAL BUTTER ONLY. Do not use ‘butter’ that isn’t real, the result will be a mess.

What you will need:
REAL BUTTER
Water Bath Canner
Pint or ½ Pint Canning Jars
Pot to melt butter in.
Vinegar
Small Towel

Prior to beginning melting your butter, be sure your lids are clean. DO NOT simmer your lids continuously, the lids you find now on store shelves do NOT require this and in fact you face seal failure if you keep them simmering. I will place my lids into a pot of water being to a boil and the minute they ‘boil’ I take them off the heat and set aside. They stay warm, but this doesn’t harm the new ‘rubber’ on the lids.
Wash your jars and place onto a cookie tray the whole thing goes into a 250 degree oven (this keeps them ‘clean’ as the temperature kills any bacteria or gremmies). This will also help to keep water out of your jars and will help to ensure a good seal on the jar with the new lids.

I started out with 3 lbs of butter in sticks. Unwrapped each one and then sliced up into my pot.
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Melt all the way down.
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While doing this I brought my canning water (water bath canner) up to a boil (2 inches of water in it).
After melting the butter all the way down get the jars out of the oven. Then pour the melted butter into ½ pint jars (if I have no refrigeration I figured the smaller size would be best for keeping it once opened) leaving ½ inch head space.
Put a bit of vinegar onto your small towel to wipe the jar lip and screw on area clean. Be sure to do this step. I use vinegar as it works best on ‘fats’ to cut it/clean it.
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Put your lids and rings on as usual.
Place all jars into the water bath canner.
Once it comes back to a boil, place the lid on it.

For ½ pint jars you will process for 20 minutes.
Pint jars require 30 minutes
Quartz will require 45 minutes.

After processing take out and cool as you normally would.
On a towel with the jars covered to make the cooling process slow.
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And here is the TRICK for getting great results with canning your own butter:
After a couple of hours of sitting, come back and SHAKE each jar well about every 10 to 20 minutes until set solid.

And you are done!

Here is the finished project:
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stay safe, enjoy and be prepared!
survivingshtfmom

immune systemOur immune system is what keeps us from getting sick and it is our own personal defense weapon (so to speak). Keeping the immune system in top shape, especially during viral season or during a time of crisis is actually pretty easy and can be done through a variety of methods. Our diet, being touched (yes touched in a positive way) stress reduction, getting enough sleep, and two specific herbs for the immune system plus herbs and foods that fight stress called adaptogens. An article on stress and the immune system can be found here.

Research has constantly noted that the healthier the immune system, the less likely you are to be infected and if infected, the less severe the infection will be. This has been proven time and time again amongst those living with HIV/AIDS, Lyme disease and even people who ‘catch’ the flu.

Our dietary habits become job #1 when we start talking about strengthening our immune system. Sugar, especially processed sugar actually depresses our immune system. And this includes all those artificial ones. Alcohol, drug use, processed foods also are of concern limit these as much as possible.

From top down lets talk about some of THE best supportive foods for the immune system.

Yogurt. People who consume REAL yogurt or Kefir without all the artificial ingredients (and no, not the low fat stuff either!) on a regular basis report few sick days. How? The body’s white blood cell count increases greatly and the GI tract (where many infections take hold of first) remains very healthy due to its bacterial community being strong. Suggested 2wo 6-ounce servings a day.

Oats and barley. Studies have shown that animals (and we are animals ehmm) that eat a mix of oats and barley regularly have fewer infections, including influenza. Suggested at least one in your three daily servings of whole grains.

Garlic. Regular intake of garlic boost the immune functioning. Studies have shown that people eating or taking garlic had a much higher rate of staying healthy than those who didn’t. Suggested two raw cloves a day and add crushed garlic to your cooking several times a week.


Selenium-rich foods. These foods help to clear infections FROM the body. In descending order of how much is found, highest to lower.

Brazil nuts
Fish:
Suggested at least two servings a week.
Tuna
Cod
Halibut
Sardines
Flounder
Salmon
Poultry:
Chicken
Turkey
Sunflower Seeds

Shellfish:
Oysters
Mussels
Shrimp
Clams
Scallops
Meat:
Suggested a 3-ounce serving of lean beef provides about 30 percent of the Daily Value (DV) for zinc. That’s often enough to make the difference between deficient and sufficient. Not a beef person? Try zinc-rich oysters, fortified cereals, pork, poultry, yogurt, or milk.
Liver
Beef
Lamb
Pork
Eggs
Mushrooms
Whole grains
Wheat germ
Onions
Garlic
Asparagus
Broccoli
Tomatoes.

Remember how mom used to make Chicken Soup when you got sick? Well, it does work.

Black tea increases interferon levels which is what the immune system needs. Suggested several cups daily. To get up to five times more antioxidants from your tea bags, bob them up and down while you brew.

Zinc-containing foods…zinc plays an important role in the immune system. Zinc enhances many actions of the immune system including T cells. Higher amounts can be found in these foods:
Oysters
Wheat germ
Liver
Seeds
Sesame
Pumpkin
Squash
Watermelon
Roast beef
Dark chocolate
Cocoa
Lamb
Peanuts
Garlic
Chickpeas
Mushrooms
Ginger
Broccoli (and other braccea’s)
Red bell pepper
Oregano

So you can see that indeed you are what you eat. Simple dietary changes can make a big difference in your immune system and how well your body can fight off invaders.

And there are two specific herbs that very specifically reduce the cytokine cascade (known as an immune system response storm which can in and of itself be harmful) that many viruses cause and also just happen to cause the right immune system response to reduce viral invasion within the body.

#1 Astragalus
You can eat this root as food, take as a tincture, water extract, tea, or powder. Best way to use this herb is to cook with it or using as a tea as heat releases the best immune system boosters/viral fighters.

To make an tincture/water extract:
5 ounces of astragalus root (powder or shredded root)
12.5 ounces of water

Place the astragalus and water into a pot…bring to a boil. As soon as it boils put a lid on the pot and get off the heat, setting it aside to steep overnight. The next day put ALL of this into a jar and place the lid on the jar. Put aside for the next two weeks and if you remember, shake it once in a while. After two weeks, strain the powder or root out and then add 12.5 ounces of pure grain alcohol to the steeped water so it stays good for up to one year in a cool dark place. Shake well before using.

You can then pour this tincture/extract into smaller bottles for ease of use. Per Stephen Bhuner:
30-60 drops up to 4 times daily as a tonic
In chronic illness conditions take 1 tsp 4 times daily
As a preventative from viral infections 1 tsp 4-6 times daily
IF SICK take 1 tsp about every 3 hrs

To make a tea to drink through out the day put about 3 ounces of astragalus into 1 quart of hot water and allow to steep for approximately 3 hours, strain and drink. Any leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator for a few days.

Powder form: (which can be mixed into food, water or capsules)
Chronic conditions: 1 tablespoon 3 times per day
If sick, 2 tablespoons 3 times per day

From the book Herbal Defense you can make this broth using astragalus:
Ingredients:
3 cups water or vegetable broth
1 ounce astragalus
1 bulb (5-10 cloves) garlic
Salt/pepper to taste

Combine water/broth, astragalus, garlic and simmer for several hours until garlic is soft. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Consume all the broth if you feel something coming on or take a cup or two through out the week to prevent infection. Consume the cooked garlic separately or leave in the broth.

You can even use the powder when making barley, rice or anything else, the point is that you can use this herb in your cooking to kick up the immune system a notch.

Please note: those with auto-immune diseases may be sensitive to this herb. Those with late stage Lyme disease should avoid as it may make it worse.

Cordyceps is an herb that is used as a food. It is indicated that one should consume 3 to 9 grams per day. For preventative measures/strengthening 6 grams a day. If actively sick then 12 grams per day. Please keep in mind that most OTC capsules are 500 to 1,000 mg measurements. So if you get 500mg you will need to take 12 capsules to get 6 grams. 1000 mg capsules you will need to take 6 to get 6 grams.

So, eat healthy and reduce your stress. Food and herbs for your immune system are readily available to you, some directly help and others support. A few simple changes now might just keep you healthy!

As always, please keep in mind that I am not a professional healthcare provider, I am just very passionate about helping others help themselves and all information is taken directly from professional resources.

Stay safe and be prepared.
Survivingshtfmom

References:

http://www.health.harvard.edu/flu-resource-center/how-to-boost-your-immune-system.htm

http://www.organicgardening.com/living/9-foods-boost-immune-system

Herbal Antivirals by Stephen Harrod Buhner

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

busy citydeserted city
There is no cure for ebola. There is no treatment besides supportive care for ebola. But there is one sure fire way to avoid contracting ebola. Isolation.

With growing concerns over the ‘first’ case of diagnosed ebola in the US many are now very scared. At this point in time, an entire apartment complex is on lockdown (quarantine) voluntarily. Family members and friends (including children who went to school after coming into contact with the sick man) are in isolation. Some hospital workers, ambulance workers and now some people who were in the ER when patient zero first sought medical help, are now voluntarily in quarantine. The schools where the children attended are being treated as a biohazard as is the ambulance that the man who knowingly brought ebola to the US was taken to the hospital in. The CDC is actively looking for people he may have come into contact with right now, and the latest number of people that are of high concern is 100 (as of 10 am on October 2nd, 2014). Currently, there is someone in Hawaii that is in isolation suspected of having ebola.

While at this moment in time cases and potential cases are isolated (that are known), ebola, as we have seen in Africa, this has the potential to turn into a pandemic. Right now, the CDC says it has a contagion rate of 2. That means for everyone person who has ebola, that they will infect 2 other people. Do the math, those 2 people infect 4, 4 turns into 8 and it grows from there.

There is research out of Canada that ebola maybe airborne or very well has the great potential to become airborne. They are saying that only direct contact with someone who is infected (showing symptoms) may cause infection. However, what they are NOT saying is this: Droplets from sneezing and coughing may cause infection. How? Through what I call the ‘sneeze cloud’. We all understand how the flu is transmitted, well, same goes for ebola in this sense, except with ebola, chances are about 50/50 of living through it.

Given that the flu spreads rapidly through populations (most quickly through highly concentrated populations such as schools, work places, malls, buses etc. any place where there is a high number of people) we have the potential for ebola following the same path ways. Door knobs and handles, table surfaces, cell phones and your very own hand. Any place that sneeze/cough droplets land gives rise to the possibility of infection. And just as with the flu, someone coughing or sneezing near you (towards your direction) that sneeze cloud contains the virus. And that can be quite a distance and can linger in the air. Once your hand comes into contact with the virus you can then become infected through a cut, touching your eyes, nose or mouth. And while it has yet to be scientifically proven, it wouldn’t be too hard to see how people could become infected due to the sneeze cloud.

If one thing becomes clear, it is that our very way of life (living closely together, handshakes, riding buses, constant touching of surfaces and then our faces) sets up a potentially dangerous scenario in which the ONLY real prevention becomes ISOLATION from others. There is a reason why those who may have been exposed are being quarantined (voluntarily, though I would place bets that some due to financial concerns will break it) it is because those in charge KNOW that the only way to stop a full blown pandemic from occurring is isolation. That means not going to work, no school, no shopping, no getting together at the local bar or playground. It goes even further. But the fact remains that social isolation is the ONLY sure fire way to avoid contracting Ebola. Period, end of subject.

Think about what this means…there is a reason why the schools where the children who were potentially exposed to Ebola by patient zero were closed (and cleaned up as a biohazard area) and why those children are in quarantine. Because officials know that isolation is the only sure fire preventative.

Are you personally ready to socially isolate you and yours? There is at this time no real reason to panic. And the best cure against panic and fear is to be prepared to stay home for an extended length of time. At the very least, be prepared to stay home (quarantine) for at least one month, if not longer. But start with one month and do it now. Waiting until official word of a epidemic or pandemic is not the time to begin. Now, before it happens, when the potential threat is present is when you prepare. Do it BEFORE officials make you stay home.

Basics of preparation for a potential pandemic is not that much different from preparing for a hurricane, except you are looking at a month, if not longer.

Get your emergency supplies together.
Food, water, medical supplies, sanitation needs, personal security. You want to get as much together as possible so that you do not have to go out. Remember, the only true prevention is limiting contact with others. If you question this measure you only need to look at what is happening in Sierra Leone right now. They started with a 3 DAY lockdown and now have an indefinite ‘quarantine’ in place in areas where Ebola has hit hard in an effort to stop the spread of Ebola. People are having a hard time getting food, water and medicine. The streets are empty, business are closed. These people were not prepared for a lockdown.

The ball was dropped many times in this last week by many people who are our first line of defense against infectious diseases. This means that while ‘systems’ are in place to protect us. WE the public become the last line of defense, for ourselves, our families and our communities. Now is the time to prepare for what could quickly become a dangerous situation.

For more information on Pandemic Preparedness please visit Tess Pennington’s website, Ready Nutrition

Be safe and be prepared.
survivingshtfmom

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.