Tag Archive: self-care


natural remedies

There is no ‘cure’ for EV-D68. There is no vaccine. Prevention is your best option. However, we all know how children are and I hate to say it, adults too. We forget to not touch our faces (rubbing the eyes). We forget to wash our hands and well, sanitizing everything in our world is just not practical. So, what does one do IF you suspect you or your child comes down with a suspected case of EV-D68? Or even the common cold?

First things first…Be mindful of your body and how you are feeling and especially with children, be watchful for first ‘signs’…sniffling, not as hungry, perhaps grouchy. You know yourself and your child best and your best bet is to be proactive in ‘catching’ onto something ‘not right’. The faster you start taking care of your child or yourself the faster you get better!

STAY HOME! You do not want to be out and about giving it to others nor do you want your already struggling immune system to pick up something else. I know, I know, its hard to find a babysitter. You can’t take off work. I know all the excuses. However, think about this. YOU OR YOUR CHILD got it because SOMEONE ELSE DID NOT STAY HOME.

And I hate to say this, but everytime you cough, cover your mouth. If you feel a sneeze coming on, do us all a favor and either use your hand or inside your elbow to stop the droplets. Use tissues whenever possible and wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after every cough/sneeze.

Next…its time to review home ‘preventions’ except this time you will be amping it up on how often to take.

Goldenseal tincture at the first sign of a cold or sinus problem is where I would start. Take 3-6 times DAILY depending upon severity. It will not hurt you.

Next, get that astragulus tea going and if you can get it, Buchu Leaf tea. Both are very beneficial for the lungs and sinuses. 3-6 cups daily.

SYMPTOM DEPENDANT HELP
Any and all may or may not include a fever which is a separate challenge. Generally the rule of thumb is that without a fever you do NOT have an ‘infection’ which is WHY if any drainage, sneezing or coughing begins you want to get on top of it pronto! Do not let that bug get a hold and allow it to turn into an ‘infection’.

Coughing: try to determine what type of cough it is.
Sinus coughs are going to most likely ‘start’. This is when the sinus drainage runs down the back of the throat and our reflex is to ‘cough’.
Herbs and food:
Horseradish root helps to dry sinuses up and reduce sinus swelling to allow easier nose breathing. Yes, its ‘hot’ but mix it up in some food and eat up!
Elderberry syrup or tea.
Ginger tea.
Peppermint tea.

Essential Oils:
Essential oils can be used topically for relief from runny noses that cause that ‘cough’ that drive so many of us nuts. Essential oils can also be used to help with other types of coughing and they are particularly good ‘killing’ viruses and bacteria to boot. Typically I recommend using ‘straight’ or ‘neat’ unless it’s a child and then I would dilute 50/50. 1 drop of essential oil to one drop of almond oil or even vegetable oil and apply directly under the nose…none of these should be used on someone with asthma, they WILL aggravate
Adults ONLY:
Eucalyptus
Peppermint
Children ages 6-16
Eucalyptus 50/50
Peppermint 50/50
I will not recommend using essential oils on children younger than 6 because I am not there to personally watch for a reaction and many cases of asthma are not known until later in childhood.

OTC Drugs for Coughs:
I do not like to give people anything over the counter for sinus drainage or coughing as it can have what is called a ‘rebound’ effect, meaning that taking the OTC that ‘dries’ up sinus drainage causes even MORE drainage. Drainage is the bodies way of getting rid of something ‘unwanted’ in the sinuses. Simply drying it up doesn’t do anything but suppress symptoms and may in fact prolong or make it worse. But this is up to you.

Chestal coughing: this is the type of ‘cough’ that you really know when you have a cold and if not helped quickly can quickly turn into bronchitis due to secondary bacterial infection. Once this starts the goal is to loosen the mucus/phlegm in the chest/body so that coughing is productive (gets it up and out). Again, you really don’t want to suppress a cough as it’s the body’s way of getting mucous up and out. However, I will say this, if coughing is very persistent or almost constant, you will want to reduce (not suppress) the cough.

A wet cough sounds ‘chesty’ and phlegmy.

A dry cough:
is less likely to produce phlegm (mucus)
can sound irritated, harsh, barking, or whooping

Herbs for chest coughs:
White Horehound
White horehound is used as an expectorant to loosen congestion in the chest and relieve a dry cough. In addition, it is an anti-inflammatory used to relieve bronchitis and coughing related to asthma. It relieves pain during coughing and soothes the digestive tract. This can be found as a ‘candy’, tincture or tea. My suggestion is to use the ‘candy’ in children and a tea for adults if the coughing is not too bad. Otherwise, go directly to the tincture form.

Marshmallow is a proven mucus thinner and expectorant. This maybe used as a tincture, tea or syrup. This can be combined white horehound for helping to reduce phlegm.

Anise works well on very hard spasmodic coughs or a dry, irritating cough. Use 3-6 times daily as a tincture.

Wild cherry bark is a powerful cough suppressant and is used for dry, nervous coughs or coughing associated with a sore throat. Combine in syrup form with, garlic, onion, and slippery elm for a powerful combination.

If a cough reaches potential bronchitis stage then use Hyssops which is best combined with mullein, plantain, or white horehound. And should be used primarily as a tincture since it does not taste very good.

If you STRONGLY suspect that you or your child has ED-V68 then I highly recommend Devil’s Club. It is an excellent ‘go to’ for a cough that seems deep or bronchial in nature especially with a fever. It is also useful for pneumonia and is highly anti-viral in nature. Traditionally it is used as a strong tea though it is excellent as a tincture.
Boneset via strong tea 4-5 times daily would be indicated also given this is viral in nature.

Homeopathic Cough and Cold Remedies: I like to use homeopathic cough and/or cold/mucous remedies and have a complete single remedy recommendation listed here.

However, there are several very good commercially available combinations and these are what I personally use. Note on how to use homeopathic tablets. They are taken under the tongue or slightly chewed and then allow to melt. Typically with the ones listed below I recommend 3 tablets. You should see results within 15 minutes (lessening of symptoms). Personally I repeat as needed as often as needed. So if symptoms lessen, take again once symptoms begin to return. That may be every 15 minutes…take as NEEDED. You will find yourself increasing the time in between usually within a few doses. IF you notice that symptoms are not getting better after 3 doses (ie you take it 3 times spaced 15 minutes apart) then you need a different remedy.

There is ONE homeopathic single remedy that stands out though for ED-V68 and that is Aconite: first stage of colds and coughs with 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

Heel’s Bhi Mucus Relief (formly known as ‘Bronchitis’)
As a side note, I can personally attest to the effectiveness of this homeopathic as I developed severe bronchitis in January of 2014 to the point of not being able to catch my breath. This was the ONLY thing that allowed me to get better!
Boericke and Tafel – Bronchitis and Asthma Aide 100 tabs

If you are experiencing coughing/colds not as severe as bronchitis then I recommend the following homeopathic syrup:

Boiron Chestal for Cough Syrup, Honey
Yes, it is in honey so not suitable for those under 1 year of age. They make 2 types, one for adults and one for children. Save the money and just buy the larger size for adults…they are the exact samething. You may take this as needed.
There are other homeopathic cough and cold syrups available, but this is the one I find to be the most effective. Do NOT waste your money on Boiron’s cough/cold tablets. I have found that they do NOT work well.

Fever and Pain:
Frankly at this point and time I would stick with the OTC such as Tylenol and Ibuprophen since they will work the best and more quickly. However, in the single homeopathic remedy worksheet found here, you will find single remedies for fever. Please note, homeopathics do work well for fevers also, however, you must keep a close watch on children for when the temperature begins to return. Children have a hard time handling temperature ‘spikes’ and can have seizures if their temperature suddenly climbs very quickly.
I will also say that I typically do NOT try to reduce a fever unless it gets above 103 degrees. Yes, you have to monitor and be sure dehydration does not occur, but a fever is the bodies natural response to killing germs, bacteria and viruses as many of them cannot handle the ‘heat’ (pun intended).

Herbs for fevers:
Most effective is Yarrow which can even reduce even very high fevers. Tea or tincture.
Holy Balsi aka Tulsi leaves as a strong tea drink three to four times a day.
Boneset via strong tea 4-5 times daily.

Herbs for pain relief associated with coughs/colds/viral infections:
Ginger root as a tea (and btw ginger root found at the store will grow at home!)
Boneset via strong tea 4-5 times daily.

It is my sincerest wish that you find this information useful. Many of the above suggestions will work for the common cold, upper respiratory infections of all sorts and maybe helpful with the flu also.

Survivingshtfmom-
Laura Macklem

PS…I am not a professional medical doctor, I just enjoy sharing knowledge and hope to empower you to take care of yourself. As always, do not hesitate to consult professional medical practioners in the event you feel its necessary.

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