home remedies

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By Daisy Luther – The Organic Prepper

If you are a flu shot avoider, like I am, you probably aren’t crazy about the drug store flu remedies. Here’s a flu survival guide loaded with natural strategies and kitchen remedies in case one or more of your family members gets sick.

Despite your best efforts at prevention, sometimes the flu just happens.  If you work with the public or have children in school – or heck, even go to the store from time to time – you and your family will be exposed. Sometimes those viruses are simply tougher than your immune system. The flu is going wild right now and is widespread in 36 states, according to a report by the CDC. The current strain is H3N2.

Here’s an arsenal of strategies if someone gets sick.

Note: I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV.  These home remedies are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for medical attention from a professional.

Containing the Illness

When someone in your home is sick, one of your first goals is not to pass the illness on to other family members. The other priority is treating the sick people in the house with remedies that strengthen them rather than weaken them.

It’s important to make an effort to contain the illness. Despite your best efforts, it may not work, but it’s worth a try.

I’d like to note that antibacterial products are highly controversial. It’s my belief that the problem is the overuse of antibacterial products that causes the issues.  I believe that if used judiciously, they can be very effective aids in preventing the spread of an illness.

Try these techniques to help contain the contagion.

  • Isolate the family member as much as possible. Obviously, this doesn’t work well if the sick person is a young child.
  • Immediately wash cutlery and dishes used by the sick family member in very hot water containing a couple of drops of bleach.  Then, wash the items again with your regular, non-toxic dish soap.
  • Wipe items handled by the sick person with antibacterial wipes (I keep Clorox wipes on hand for this purpose.)  Things like the telephone, the television remote, the computer keyboard, door handles, faucets, taps, and the toilet flush should be wiped before someone else touches them. The sick person can help by wiping things after they’ve touched them.
  • Household members should wash their hands frequently, particularly before eating, before and during food preparation, and after using the bathroom (yes, I know this should be standard, but I’m repeating it anyway)
  • If you must touch items that the sick person has used, immediately wash your hands afterward.
  • Wash all linens and clothing that the sick person has been in contact with using hot water and color safe bleach.
  • If the weather permits, open the windows for at least an hour per day to air out the rooms of the house where the sick person spends time.

Treating the Flu

I generally avoid the pharmaceutical solutions because I choose not to use them.  One day, we could be in a situation where relief is no longer available a few minutes away at our local pharmacies or department store.  It’s important to learn now how to relieve unpleasant symptoms using simple home methods.  This will help you to select the most useful items for your stockpile while allowing you to become more comfortable with using natural solutions.

We always stock everything we might need to fight off a bout of illness, whether it’s the flu, the common cold, or some other type of sickness. We keep on hand chicken or turkey soup (home-canned is the most nutritious), rice and pasta, tea, honey, juice, elderberry extract, and ginger-ale. These provide both comfort and essential nutrients to help family members recover more quickly, and if the adults happen to be sick, no one has to venture out when they feel terrible in order to buy the necessary items.

Aside from that, we keep a well-stocked cabinet of home remedies. Forget heading to the petri dish that is your local pharmacy and don’t worry that you’ll require exotic ingredients gathered in Tibet on the night before the full moon by a left-handed virgin.  Many of these items can be found right in your kitchen – there are lots of things you probably already have that help reduce the misery to a tolerable level without the risk of nasty side effects!

Elderberry Syrup

First, I want to reinforce one recommendation that isn’t a standard addition to most kitchens.  If you purchase one thing to fight off the flu, make it elderberry syrup or extract. Medicinal use of the elderberry goes all the way back to Hippocrates.  Around the globe, folk medicine is full of recipes containing elderberries.

Recent research has shown some very significant results with the use of elderberry when treating the flu.  For anyone concerned about the possibility of a serious pandemic in the future, elderberry is a vital addition to your home pharmacy. The only elderberry extract that is tested and scientifically endorsed is Sambucol Original, which you can get here.

Elderberry may also help reduce the symptoms of cold and flu and shorten the duration of the flu by as much as three days, according to UMMC. The product used in one study was Sambucol, a combination of elderberries and vitamin C, so it wasn’t clear if it was the elderberry alone, or the combination, that had the effect. In a study released by Retroscreen Virology in 2006, a British medical institute associated with Queen Mary College at the University of London, researchers determined that Sambucol was at least 99 percent effective against the avian flu virus H5N1 and significantly neutralized the ability of the virus to infect cells in culture. Source

Elderberry syrup or extract can be mixed with hot water to make a tea.  It can also be added to sparkling water and served cold for a refreshing drink that will soothe a scratchy throat.  Learn more about the benefits of elderberry extract HERE.

Honey

Specifically, you want to stock up on raw honey, rather than pasteurized.  When honey is heated during the pasteurization process many of its health benefits are either lost or diminished.  If you don’t have raw honey, use what you have, but when shopping, look specifically for unheated honey.

Honey is antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral.  This means that before you know the source of an illness (virus, fungus or bacteria) you can still begin to treat the problem.

Sprinkle honey with powdered cinnamon and take a teaspoon 3 times per day as soon as you start to feel a little tickle in your throat.  This can often prevent the illness from taking hold.

Instead of reaching for the cough syrup, try a teaspoon of honey before bedtime to soothe your cough.  Honey taken this way is also very soothing to sore, inflamed throats. Learn more about the benefits of raw honey HERE.

Hot Peppers

Not everyone can tolerate spicy food, particularly when they are sick. However, if you can, there is no better way to clear your sinuses.

Capsaicin is the natural compound that is found in hot peppers – it’s what gives them their heat.  The capsaicin can help thin mucus, causing your nose to run, and thus clearing your nasal passages.  You can get a similar effect from freshly cut onions.

A spicy bowl of chili or a fiery Asian stir-fry could be just what the doctor ordered for sinus relief.

Green Tea

Green tea is the perfect beverage for someone suffering from the flu. A cup of green tea that has been steeped for 3-5 minutes is loaded with immunity-boosting antioxidants.  You want your immune system functioning at top performance your cells to fight off the germs which are making you sick.

Any hot beverage will help warm up someone suffering from chills, and you can sweeten it with honey (mentioned above) to make the drink even more powerful. As well, it’s important to keep hydrated when you have the flu and tea (of any type) will provide you with needed fluids.

Mint

Mint tea is the classic herbal tea. Mint is an ingredient in many different commercial tea blends and is much-loved for its refreshing fragrance.  There are all different kinds of mint tea available.  The most common are peppermint, spearmint and wintergreen.  They all contain menthol, a volatile oil.  Menthol is the component that gives mint that “cooling” sensation.  Mint tea is anti-spasmodic and has muscle relaxant properties that can help reduce vomiting. Mint tea is very multipurpose.

Mint tea is recommended in the following situations:

  • Reduce congestion in a cold or flu sufferer
  • Reduce pain and bloating from gas
  • Reduce cramping from diarrhea
  • Act as a mild expectorant for a chest cold or bronchitis
  • Induce sweating, the body’s natural cooling mechanism. This is a natural way to reduce a fever
  • Relieve nausea without vomiting

Garlic and Onions

Both garlic and onions contain the compound allicin, a powerful flu fighter.  Allicin has strong anti-viral and anti-bacterial characteristics.  It is most likely the high content of garlic and onions in homemade chicken soup that gives it the reputation of a “bowl of penicillin”.  In the 18th century in France, peasants drank wine with crushed garlic in it to ward off the Black Plague.

Similarly to the hot peppers, mentioned above, a fragrant soup loaded with these two ingredients can help to clear nasal passages making it easier to breathe.

If you don’t eat meat, you can make a powerful veggie-laden broth from garlic, onion, carrots, ginger, and hot peppers.

Yogurt

Yogurt can’t be tolerated in all episodes of stomach and intestinal upsets.  However, yogurt with active cultures is said to rebalance the “good flora” in your stomach and intestinal tract, making it especially valuable for treating diarrhea.  Regular consumption of yogurt can actually prevent stomach viruses in the first place by making your digestive tract inhospitable to viruses.

Eucalyptus

If you have an essential oil diffuser, try eucalyptus oil to help open up congested airways. If you don’t have a diffuser, add a few drops into a steamy bathtub. Some people say this also helps to relieve a bad cough.

Black Tea

Black tea is rich in tannins, which have been a longtime home treatment for diarrhea.  You can sweeten your tea but leave out the milk until you’re feeling better.

 

Ginger Root

Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory with a long history in traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of nausea, motion sickness, and morning sickness.

Ginger can be found in the form of tea, the root itself or in tablets.  Keep in mind, though, if you are vomiting already, ginger, especially in the form of tea, can make the experience far more unpleasant because of worsened esophageal reflux.

Ginger tea can be taken twice per day if you have flu symptoms such as headache, sore throat, congestion, and chills.  Make the tea by steeping 2 tbsp of fresh ginger in a cup of hot water.  It’s not recommended to exceed 4 grams of ginger per day – components in the herb can cause irritation of the mouth, heartburn, and diarrhea if taken in excess.

When purchasing ginger tablets, read the ingredients carefully.  Gravol makes a “Natural Source” ginger chewable pill containing certified organic ginger.  I was really excited because you can find that in even the tiniest pharmacy.  However, upon closer inspection, the ingredients listed “aspartame”.  Ummm. NO, I won’t add a proven neurotoxin to my organic herbal remedy, thanks.

Several companies offer a ginger tablet remedy.  However, if you go over to the vitamin section, quite frequently you can find Ginger Root.  Buying it from the vitamin section, without the glossy anti-nausea advertising, can save you a hefty amount. I checked at my local pharmacy today and 90 Ginger Root capsules (500 mg) were the same price as the bottle of 20 “All-Natural Ginger” anti-nausea tablets.  Both were $8.99.  As well, the one in the supplement section had no additional ingredients aside from the gelatin capsule that encased the powder. Ginger pills are about $7 on Amazon, which is where I now get mine. You can also get a 3-pack of organic ginger pills for $30.

Salt

A gargle made from salt water can relieve a sore throat.  As well, it can stop a budding infection in its tracks.  Mix 1 tablespoon of salt with a cup of water and gargle.

Recipe: Homemade Cough Syrup

homemade cough syrup

I always keep a jar of this homemade cough syrup in my refrigerator.  It tastes so good that I don’t have to ask my kids twice to take it. You can give a tablespoon as needed right from the jar, or you can also stir a few tablespoons of the syrup into hot water for a homemade “Neo-Citran”-style hot drink without all the nasty chemicals.

Ingredients

  • 2 lemons, scrubbed and thinly sliced
  • 6 tbsp of grated ginger root
  • Honey as needed

Directions

  1. In a glass jar, layer the lemon slices and grated ginger until the jar is full.
  2. Pour honey into the jar, using the blade of a kitchen knife to move the lemon and ginger around and make room for it.
  3. Store it in the fridge for at least 2 weeks before using it.  Then, take 1-2 tsp 3 times per day, as needed, for coughs or sore throats.

What are your favorite home remedies?

It would be impossible to make the list comprehensive!  Do you have some home cold and flu remedies that you have used successfully?  Please share them in the comments!

Additional resources:

This article first appeared at The Organic PrepperThe Flu Survival Guide: Kitchen Remedies and Natural Strategies to Battle the Bug

About the author:

Daisy is a coffee-swigging, gun-toting, homeschooling blogger who writes about current events, preparedness, frugality, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, The Organic Prepper. Daisy is the publisher of The Cheapskate’s Guide to the Galaxy, a monthly frugality newsletter, and she curates all the most important news links on her aggregate site, PreppersDailyNews.com.

She is the best-selling author of 4 books and lives in the mountains of Virginia with her two daughters and an ever-growing menagerie.
You can find Daisy on
FacebookPinterest, and Twitter.

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By Daisy Luther – The Organic Prepper

It’s that stuffy head, runny nose, nasty cold time of year.  Viruses run amok when the temperatures drop, so it’s the season to catch a cold.  As the old saying goes, a cold lasts a week, but 7 days if you treat it. You can’t do a whole lot to “cure” a cold, but there are quite a few ways to help make the symptoms more tolerable (and these natural cold remedies do not include a trip to the pharmacy).

Why pharmaceutical cold remedies should not be your first choice

While many people run to the drugstore at the first sign of a sniffle, it’s important to remember that sometimes the side effects can be worse than the symptoms you’re trying to treat.

Antihistamines

Antihistamines are supposed to stop the watering eyes, runny noses and scratchy throats but result in severe drowsiness for most people.  Other common side effects are dizziness, headaches, dry mouth, dry eyes, and fatigue.

Decongestants (like pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine) allege to reduce sinus congestion, but can also dangerously increase heart rates and blood pressure in some people.  Other side effects are Restlessness, insomnia, tremors, and anxiety.

Phenylpropanolamine (PPA), another common ingredient in cold and flu medicines, can increase the risk of hemorrhagic stroke, especially in women ages 19-45.

For people who take  monoamine oxidase inhibitors or SSRI antidepressants, the above medication types can cause lethal interactions.

OTC Cough Medicine

Dextromethorphan, the most common active ingredient in over-the-counter cough medicine, can be deadly if the recommended dosage is exceeded.  As well, it is one of the most abused OTCs for those seeking a quick “high”.  Common side effects of dextromethorphan are drowsiness, nausea, confusion, and dizziness.  Expectorants and suppressants can cause either constipation or diarrhea.

Medicated Nasal Sprays

Over the counter medicated nasal sprays work quickly to open the nasal passages, but if they are used for more than 3-5 days in a row, they can result in more congestion than you had in the first place due to the “rebound effect” or rhinitis medicamentosa.  When this occurs, the swelling of the nasal passages can become permanent, requiring surgical intervention.

A collection of natural cold remedies

You can get relief without diving into the chemicals. Following, find links to DIY home remedies that you can make yourself, as well as links to homeopathic and herbal pre-made remedies.

We keep these remedies on hand, as well as the ingredients for making them. Viruses are normally short-lived at our home, or at least the intense part of the sickness.

  1. Try a DIY Healing Vapor Rub. This one is simple to make, and if you keep some basic essential oils on hand, you most likely have everything you need already to whip this up. (I made this for my daughter recently and it was very soothing.)
  2. A fragrant, steaming cup of herbal tea can make everything better. This article discusses the herbal teas you should have in your home arsenal, including several that will help soothe cold symptoms.
  3. Breathe Free by Rootology contains a combination of 13 herbal  extracts, tested for purity and strength. This remedy reduces congestion, alleviates sinus pressure, and  relieves a runny nose.
  4. Add a Eucalyptus Shower Bomb to a steamy shower. The moist, scented air will help the sufferer breathe more easily.
  5. This Honey, Lemon, and Ginger cough syrup will not only relieve cough symptoms but also help to boost your immunity.
  6. Fire cider is a traditional remedy that has been used for centuries. Unfortunately, it usually takes a few weeks to be ready. This easy recipe provides instant gratification (and relief).
  7. Speaking of your immune system, this immune-boosting smoothie will help make your system powerful enough to fight off illness before it happens, or to battle a cold effectively if you already have one.
  8. This is a guide to the different herbs you can use to make your own cough syrup based on your specific symptoms.
  9. Studies show that when zinc comes into contact with the rhinovirus (the virus that causes colds)it can prevent replication, shortening the amount of time that the sufferer is ill. One study recommends one lozenge every two hours. Lozenges and syrups, as opposed to capsules, are the recommended treatment.
  10. Nothing tastes better when you’re sick than soup made with homemade chicken or turkey broth. I can broth to be pulled out when the bugs strike our house. Here’s the recipe we use for the basis of our homemade soup. (Hint: the more garlic you add, the more healing power your soup will have.)
  11. Taking large doses of Vitamin C is a fairly common practice, and studies show that it can be effective in reducing the duration of cold symptoms. This website offers several different Vitamin C protocols you can try. Be sure to only use a high-quality Vitamin C supplement when you are using it therapeutically.
  12. Elderberry extract is often used for colds, but studies show it is more effective in treating the flu. Sometimes it can be difficult to determine whether your illness is caused by a cold virus or a flu virus, and elderberry does have antiviral properties, so taking it certainly won’t hurt you. Sambucol is the only standardized elderberry extract that has been used in studies. You can purchase it here or make your own syrup.

What is your favorite natural cold remedy?

What do you do when a bad cold strikes a member of your family? Is there anything special you always stock up on to treat them and relieve symptoms? What always makes you feel better?

This article first appeared at The Organic Prepper: 12 Natural Cold Remedies to Help You Feel Better

About the author:

Daisy Luther lives on a small organic homestead in Northern California.  She is the author of The Organic Canner,  The Pantry Primer: A Prepper’s Guide to Whole Food on a Half-Price Budget, and The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide: Harvest, Treat, and Store Your Most Vital Resource. On her website, The Organic Prepper, Daisy uses her background in alternative journalism to provide a unique perspective on health and preparedness, and offers a path of rational anarchy against a system that will leave us broke, unhealthy, and enslaved if we comply.  Daisy’s articles are widely republished throughout alternative media. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest,  and Twitter,.

By Daisy Luther – The Organic Prepper

The season to be sick is upon us, and you may be looking for a natural cold and flu remedy to relieve congestion. You won’t believe how easy it is to make an all-natural shower bomb without any of the toxic ingredients in the store-bought products. It’s also a fraction of the cost to make your own – Amazon sells the same thing at $12 plus shipping for a package of 5 tablets.

If you have a fork and a muffin tin (or even a cookie sheet), you have all of the tools you need to make your own shower bombs. You aren’t limited to making these to treat congestion, either. With a different set of essential oils, you can make any fragrance you want to turn your shower into a posh spa experience.

About essential oils

I have a love-hate relationship with essential oils. I’ve always used them to scent my homemade products because it seems ridiculous to go to all the work of making a lovely non-toxic product and then add a petroleum or chemical fragrance to it. The hate part comes in with all of these multi-level marketing companies that endorse some pretty terrifying and unsafe medicinal uses for essential oils. For example, they should never be applied undiluted directly on your skin and it’s very questionable to ingest them. Please use great care and be certain the person you are taking advice from has actually had some training other than a three-day weekend convention geared to teach people how to sell oils.

Because we’re breaking free from shopping at the stores, I decided it was time to take the plunge and find an essential oil company that I have faith in. I’m very happy with Spark Naturals. The quality is high, there’s no big push for me to get others to sell them, and the website contains no outrageous claims or unsafe advice.  These are the oils I recommend to you as well. (Use the coupon code DAISY for your orders and get 10% off, every single time.)

To make your own cold-relief shower bombs, you need the following:

  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • 2 tbsp of salt
  • Essential oils of choice ( I used a combination of eucalyptus and peppermint)
  • 1/3 cup of lemon juice
  • Water as needed
  • Muffin tin ( a mini muffin tin would make the best looking end product)

How to Make a Shower Bomb

1.) Using a glass mixing bowl, stir baking soda and salt with a fork.

shower bomb dry ingredients

2.) Add the lemon juice a little at a time.  It will get fizzy when the acid reacts with the baking soda.

3.) Stir again with the fork.

4.) Add water a few tablespoons-full at a time until you have a consistency that looks like biscuit dough – moist and crumbly, like in the photo below.  It has to be moist enough that it will stick together.

shower bomb dough

5.) Lightly oil your muffin tin or cookie sheet so your dough doesn’t stick. I use a less expensive vegetable oil for this, but you could use coconut or almond oil if you want to.

6.) Roll the dough (I use about a tablespoon at a time) in your hands, then add the ball of dough to your muffin tin or cookie sheet.

6.)  If you want, you can go all Martha Stewart and try to make them look perfect, pressing them down into the cups of the muffin tin or using a cookie cutter. I am not Martha Stewart and prefer to say that mine look “homespun.” That’s code for I-didn’t-press-them-down-neatly-or-use-a-cookie-cutter.

shower bomb muffin tin

7.) Bake them for 10-20 minutes at 350 degrees. When they come out, they’ll look sort of like cookies, which prompted my daughter to rename them “shower cookies.” Cookies are better than bombs, right?

8.) Gently remove them from the muffin tin with a spoon and place them on a plate to cool.

shower bomb cookies

9.) While they’re cooling, add 3 drops of Eucalyptus oil and 1 drop of Peppermint oil to each shower bomb.

10.) Leave them out overnight to cool and harden.

Place the dried shower bombs in a canning jar.  The longer they sit in the jar, the stronger and more soothing they’ll become.

If they are crumbly, don’t worry – they’ll still work just fine. Try adding a bit more liquid the next time you make them. In fact, if they crumble too much, use a fork to turn them into a powder and scoop out about 2 tbsp. into a little dish to place in your steamy shower.

Shower bomb recipe

How to Use a Eucalyptus Shower Bomb

To use a shower bomb, simply toss it onto the floor of your nice hot shower. The steam will create a fragrant vapor that will clear your sinuses and provide some natural relief for congestions.  If you’d prefer a bath, you can add this to your bathwater instead – it’s just baking soda, salt, and oils, after all.

What’s your favorite natural cold and flu remedy to alleviate congestion? Please share it in the comments below.

Resources:

Spark Naturals essential oils (Coupon code: DAISY will get you 10% off your order)

Eucalyptus essential oil

Peppermint essential oil

Mini-muffin tin

Salus ready-made eucalyptus shower bombs

This article first appeared at The Organic Prepper: Natural Cold and Flu Remedy: Eucalyptus Shower Bombs

About the author:

Daisy Luther lives on a small organic homestead in Northern California.  She is the author of The Organic Canner,  The Pantry Primer: A Prepper’s Guide to Whole Food on a Half-Price Budget, and The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide: Harvest, Treat, and Store Your Most Vital Resource. On her website, The Organic Prepper, Daisy uses her background in alternative journalism to provide a unique perspective on health and preparedness, and offers a path of rational anarchy against a system that will leave us broke, unhealthy, and enslaved if we comply.  Daisy’s articles are widely republished throughout alternative media. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest,  and Twitter,.

By Daisy Luther – The Organic Prepper

Gastrointestinal upsets have been sweeping the country this spring.

First, there was an outbreak of drug-resistant shigellosis. This bacterial infection is also known as “Montezuma’s revenge” or “traveler’s diarrhea.”  It usually affects people visiting Third World destinations and is caused by drinking water that hasn’t been properly purified. This version has hit Americans in California, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, and 90% of the cases have not responded to the normal treatment of an antibiotic called Cipro.  The symptoms are watery or bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever and fatigue.  While it will eventually go away without treatment, most of the time doctors prescribe antibiotics to speed recovery.

While it will eventually go away without treatment, most of the time doctors prescribe antibiotics to speed recovery. It’s very important to note that in cases of shigellosis, anti-diarrheal medications should not be administered. They can actually lengthen the amount of time a person is ill. They slow down the expulsion of the bacteria from the intestines and can worsen the infection.  Because the severe diarrhea flushes out the bacteria, the illness is self-limiting.  Patients should be kept well-hydrated while the illness runs its course.

Some of the cases in the US are related to foreign travel, but many have been tracked back to…well, poverty.  People living in shelters, rooms with shared baths, and children who attend daycare are among the populations most likely to become ill with shigellosis. As our economy continues to decline, we can expect more and more cases of illness like this. Consider impoverished areas like metro Detroit, where running water has been cut off for many residents who couldn’t afford to pay their bills. It’s not a stretch of the imagination to predict that we’re going to see an uptick in sanitation-related illnesses.

As well, an uptick in viral stomach upsets has been reported in the past few weeks. Diagnosed cases of the norovirus (commonly known as “the stomach flu”) have been increasing in different regions of the US, including Southern Idaho and the Detroit area.

Shop Amazon for Holistic Stomach Remedies

How can you prevent the spread of gastrointestinal problems at home?

There are few things more unpleasant than a stomach bug.  Symptoms like crippling nausea, stomach and intestinal cramps, and frantic rushes to the bathroom are sheer misery.

If the symptoms are especially severe or continue for more than 48 hours, the standard advice is to seek medical attention.

A stomach virus is incredibly contagious.  If a family member is suffering from the symptoms of a stomach virus, practice the following precautions to attempt to contain it:

  • Isolate the family member as much as possible
  • Wash cutlery and dishes used by the sick family member in water containing a couple of drops of bleach.  Wash again with your regular, non-toxic dish soap.
  • Wipe items handled by the sick person with antibacterial wipes (I keep Clorox wipes on hand for this purpose.)  Things like the telephone, the television remote, door handles, faucets and the toilet flush should be wiped before someone else touches them.
  • Household members should wash their hands frequently, particularly before eating and after using the bathroom (yes, I know this should be standard, but I’m repeating it anyway)

Vomiting and diarrhea can be the body’s natural defense against invaders.  It can be the digestive system’s way of ridding itself of toxins and viruses. However, excessive vomiting and diarrhea can cause dehydration, sometimes severe.  It’s very important to keep the sufferer hydrated with ice chips and clear fluids. You can find some recipes for homemade oral rehydration solutions HERE.  These recipes are a good basis for creating a solution using items that you have in your pantry. You add a few of these trace mineral supplement drops to your beverage of choice, as well.

Once the person is able to eat, try offering gentle, easily digested foods.  The “BRAT” diet consists of bananas, rice, applesauce, and  toast. Other options are saltine crackers, pretzels, mashed potatoes, pasta and clear soups.

If after 12 hours, if the patient is still unable to keep down liquids, medical attention should be sought.  The time shortens for younger patients. If an infant isn’t urinating at least every two hours his little body is trying to hold onto liquids because he is dehydrated – you should seek immediate medical assistance in this case.

Treating the Symptoms

As far as treatment of the actual cause of the illness is concerned, there isn’t a lot that can be done. The illness has to run its course. Most of the time, treating the symptoms and avoiding dehydration is all that can be done.

There are all sorts of options for treating the symptoms of gastro-intestinal upset, both traditional and chemical. The links below are to resources for acquiring the remedies.

6 Natural Remedies

Treating the symptoms doesn’t necessarily require a trip to the pharmacy. Just like treatments for the seasonal flu, many good remedies can be found, already in your kitchen.   If you don’t already have these items on hand, they are excellent, multi-purpose additions to your stockpile.  Before using these or any other herbal supplements, perform due diligence in confirming potential interactions with any other drugs or supplements that person may be taking.  Medical advice should be sought for pregnant women, children, or those with a compromised immune system before home remedies are administered.

Some of these plants can be easily grown in a variety of climates, providing a constantly replenishing supply. From a preparedness perspective, the ability to grow your own remedies cannot be over-emphasized.

Always opt for organic herbal remedies, to exclude the possibility of pesticides or chemical preservatives or additives. If you’re already ill, you need to use the purest, best quality products you can get your hands on. Your body has enough work to do, fighting off the bacteria or virus causing your illness.

1.) Ginger

Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory with a long history in traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of nausea, motion sickness and morning sickness.

Ginger can be found in the form of tea, the root itself or in capsules.  Keep in mind, though, if you are vomiting already, ginger, especially in the form of tea, can make the experience far more unpleasant because of worsened esophageal reflux.

When purchasing ginger tablets, read the ingredients carefully.  Gravol makes a “Natural Source” ginger chewable pill containing certified organic ginger.  I was really excited because you can find that in even the tiniest pharmacy.  However, upon closer inspection, the ingredients listed “aspartame” .  Ummm. NO, I won’t add a proven neurotoxin to my organic herbal remedy, thanks.

Several companies offer a ginger tablet remedy.  However, if you go over to the vitamin section, quite frequently you can find Ginger Root.  Buying it from the vitamin section, without the glossy anti-nausea advertising, can save you a hefty amount. I checked at my local pharmacy today and 90 Ginger Root capsules (500 mg) were the same price as the bottle of 20 “All-Natural Ginger” anti-nausea tablets.  Both were $8.99.  As well, the one in the supplement section had no additional ingredients aside from the gelatin capsule that encased the powder.

2.) Chamomile

Chamomile has anti-spasmodic properties.  This makes a cup of chamomile tea a soothing treatment for a stomach upset that includes abdominal cramping, bloating, and gas.  It has a mild pleasant taste with a hint of “apple” flavor.

3.) Mint

There are all different kinds of mint tea available.  The most common are peppermint, spearmint, and wintergreen.  They all contain menthol, a volatile oil.  Menthol is the component that gives mint that “cooling” sensation.  Mint tea is anti-spasmodic, so will aid in relieving gas, cramping and bloating. Additionally, menthol has muscle relaxant properties that can help reduce vomiting.

Candy containing real peppermint oil can easily be carried in your purse for a mildly soothing effect.

Some people that suffer from acid reflux find that mint worsens the condition.

4.) Yogurt

Yogurt can’t be tolerated in all episodes of stomach and intestinal upsets.  However, yogurt with active cultures can help to rebalance the “good flora” in your stomach and intestinal tract, making it especially valuable for treating diarrhea.  Regular consumption of yogurt can actually prevent stomach viruses in the first place by making your digestive tract inhospitable to viruses.

5.) Black Tea

Black tea is rich in tannins, which have been a longtime home treatment for diarrhea.  You can sweeten your tea but leave out the milk until you’re feeling better.

6.) Goldenseal

Goldenseal capsules or extract can also be used in the treatment of diarrhea.   Goldenseal kills certain bacteria, like e coli, which can cause diarrhea.

Over-the-Counter Chemical Medications

In our home, chemical treatments are always a last resort.  However, I keep them on hand in my preparedness supplies in the event that natural remedies aren’t strong enough and medical care is unavailable.

Anti-diarrheals

The most common type of anti-diarrheal is the compound Loperamide Hydrochloride (found in Immodium). It works by  slowing the propulsion of intestinal contents by the intestinal muscles.

The most common side effects of loperamide are: stomach pain, bloating, nausea, vomiting, constipation, dry mouth, sleepiness, fatigue and dehydration. According to the National Library of Medicine, loperamide hydrochloride can actually paralyze the intestines in a condition called paralytic ileus. This means that the intestines no longer participate in digestion and do not push the stool along for excretion.

Many natural practitioners feel that diarrhea should not be stopped – that the body is naturally ridding itself of viruses or toxins. As well, overuse of anti-diarrheals can result in a constipation so severe that medical intervention becomes necessary.

Anti-Nauseants

Anti-nauseants are also called anti-emetics.  The most popular brands contain  dimenhydrinate (found in Dramamine and Gravol).

According to the Alberta Health Services website, the medication (sold under the brand name Gravol in Canada) can have a number of side effects.  There has also been a noted problem with abuse of medications containing dimenhydriante, so those medications have been relegated to “behind the counter”.

At recommended doses, Gravol can cause drowsiness, dizziness and blurred vision. It can impair your concentration and motor coordination. For these reasons, you should use Gravol with caution if driving or doing other things that require you to be fully alert. It can be especially dangerous to combine it with alcohol and other depressant drugs.  Dry mouth, excitation and nervousness
(especially in children) are other side effects.   At lower doses, you can experience feelings of well-being and euphoria. At higher doses you can hallucinate. Taking Gravol with alcohol, codeine and other depressant drugs intensifies these effects. Large doses can cause sluggishness, paranoia, agitation, memory loss, increased blood pressure and heart rate, and difficulty swallowing and speaking.

***

There isn’t really any way to “cure” a stomach virus – the illness must simply run its course.  The best things you can do are rest, keep hydrated, and treat the symptoms to keep them at a tolerable level.

Do you have any treatments for upset stomachs that you’ve found effective?  Please share them in the comments below.

This article first appeared at The Organic Prepper: 6 Natural Remedies for Vomiting and Diarrhea

About the author:

Daisy Luther  lives in a small village in the Pacific Northwestern area of the United States.  She is the author of The Organic Canner,  The Pantry Primer: How to Build a One Year Food Supply in Three Months, and the soon-to-be-released The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide: Harvest, Treat, and Store Your Most Vital Resource. On her website, The Organic Prepper, Daisy uses her background in alternative journalism to provide a unique perspective on health and preparedness, and offers a path of rational anarchy against a system that will leave us broke, unhealthy, and enslaved if we comply.  Daisy’s articles are widely republished throughout alternative media. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest,  and Twitter,.

jars and bottles of homemade cures for pain

By  – SurvivoPedia

Some things are annoying or painful but don’t necessarily warrant a trip to the doctor’s office. It could also be that, because of some disaster caused by man or nature, you CAN’T get to a doctor. In either case, home cures will save you money and make you more comfortable without the expense or inconvenience of a doctor’s visit, even if such a thing is possible.

Here are 15 common types of pain and some suggestions to help you cure them at home. We’ve also included some links so that you can read some more about each tip if you’d like.

Bunions

A bunion is a bony hump that forms at the base of your big toe. Your big toe turn in more toward your other toes than it used to. When this happens, a bunion forms on your metatarsal bone. It’s painful because you put most of your weight on it every time that you take a step and it may be red and irritated, too.

Bunions often run in the family and are frequently caused by years of walking in tight shoes such as high heels and may be triggered by the flu, gout, tonsillitis, poor nutrition or metabolism, or rheumatic infection.

Since a bunion is actually a buildup of salt, the following recipe is designed to break that up.

  1. Place 10oz of water and a bay leaf in a small pan and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and allow to cool refrigerated overnight.
  3. Drink the next morning.
  4. Repeat for 3 days in a row, then take seven days off and repeat.

You should start to notice relief in about 10 days and your bunions should be gone in two months.

Note: You’ll notice more frequent urination; that’s normal. Increase your water intake if you don’t drink as much as you should.

To make a tincture to relieve external pain, crush 10 bay leaves in 96% isopropyl alcohol and let it steep for a week. Strain and apply to your bunion after a warm soak or shower.

bunion drawing

via Health And Healthy Living.

Mole Removal

Most moles aren’t a health problem but they’re often a source of aesthetic angst. This method of getting rid of moles involves honey, which is rich in nutrients and minerals and has antibiotic, antifungal and antibacterial properties.

  1. Wash area around mole well.
  2. Apply a dab of honey directly to the mole.
  3. Cover with a Band-aid.
  4. Repeat twice daily until you start to see results. It may take a while depending on the mole.

Note: If you notice a change in the shape, size or color of any mole, you should have it checked out.

Profile of Woman Before and After Mole Removal With Honey

via Beauty Lovers.

Getting Rid of a Cough 

Continue reading at SurvivoPedia: Easy Home Cures For 15 Types Of Pain

home-remedies-for-a-cold

By Ken Jorgustin – Modern Survival Blog

A ‘common cold’ is only caught from other people; during cold season. If you are one of the millions who will get a cold this year, here are some home remedies to help your symptoms…

Vitamin C is one of the most effective natural remedies in treating a common cold because it increases the production of white blood cells, and can also help prevent the multiplication of viruses while reducing mucus and inflammation in the nasal passageways.

Continue reading at Modern Survival Blog: Home Remedies For The Common Cold

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  1. Putting toothpaste on a sting stops the pain
  2. Baking soda is an excellent antacid
  3. Eating activated charcoal will bind ingested chemicals and poisons
  4. Aloe Vera gel takes the heat out of burns
  5. Natural yogurt stops the irritation and clears vaginal thrush
  6. Natural yogurt takes the heat out of sunburn
  7. A strong magnet will draw metal to the surface of a wound
  8. Olive oil smothers head lice killing them. Repeat after 5 days
  9. Olive oil treats psoriasis and dry eczema preventing cracking
  10. Cling wrap is the ideal covering for burns
  11. Cinnamon sticks in a jar with water makes antiseptic mouthwash
  12. If a wound has glass in squeeze both sides of the wound and it will pop out
  13. White vinegar treats fungal nail infection. 1 part vinegar 2 parts water
  14. Duct tape will hold a large wound together until you can deal with it
  15. Scrape stings out with an ATM card.  Pinching it out puts more venom in
  16. Sanitary towels make excellent pressure dressings
  17. Seal a sucking chest wound with a plastic bag fixed on 3 sides over the wound
  18. Clove oil relieves toothache
  19. Strong, cooled black tea relieves conjunctivitis
  20. Parsley stops bad breath and contains  masses of vitamin C and vitamin A
  21. Eggshell is the best form of calcium supplement
  22. Olive oil loosens solid earwax
  23. Regular sugar heals wounds, just pour it in.
  24. Tampons work well to plug penetrating wounds
  25. Curved upholstery needles are good for suturing wounds
  26. Dental floss is a good substitute for suture material in emergencies
  27. Toothpaste applied to a blister or cold sore will dry them up
  28. A patch of duct tape over a wart will kill it. Change patch daily.
  29. Maggots make excellent cleaners for infected wounds
  30. Children under 16 should not be given aspirin
  31. Anyone with clotting disorders should not be given aspirin
  32. 1/4 aspirin a day helps prevent heart attacks/strokes by thinning the blood
  33. Cut toe nails straight across to prevent in growing and infection
  34. A small blob of softened candle wax will seal a tooth where a filling is lost
  35. Pleasant smells lift the spirit and enhance your mood
  36. Pregnant women should not eat foods high in vitamin A ( foetal blindness)
  37. The trace elements in homemade chicken soup does make you feel better
  38. Sniffing onions or vapour rub causes tears which washes debris from eyes
  39. Petroleum jelly seals grazes and stops bacteria entering the wound
  40. A large elastic band/ hair band makes an emergency tourniquet
  41. keep a hand/foot dressing in place with a fingerless rubber glove
  42. Hold an arm/leg dressing in place with cut off piece of panty hose
  43. Strap a broken finger with tape to an unbroken one next to it
  44. Strap two broken fingers together to immobilise them
  45. Sneeze into the crook of your arm to avoid contaminating your hands
  46. Push elevator buttons with your knuckle so your fingers stay clean
  47. If you can’t wash your clothes seal them in bags for 5 days to kill typhus lice
  48. Damp dust weekly to prevent mite infestation
  49. Clean wounds however minor as soon as possible to prevent infection
  50. Never burst blisters it lets infection in. Blister fluid is sterile.
  51. Barley water relieves cystitis. (Boil grain and drink the juice)
  52. Cranberry juice relieves cystitis
  53. If you pop an abscess use a sterile needle at the bottom to aid drainage
  54. Files spread disease. Clear all waste,  food, human and pet immediately
  55. Never give alcohol to hypothermic patients, it will cool them more
  56. Re-warm hypothermia victims with gentle heat and do it slowly
  57. Don’t rub areas you suspect to be frost bitten it causes more damage
  58. Prevent scurvy with adequate vitamin C
  59. Prevent rickets with adequate vitamin D
  60. Prevent spina bifida in babies with folic acid in pregnancy
  61. Prevent anaemia with adequate iron intake. Cast iron cookware helps
  62. Prevent bone/tooth  problems with adequate calcium
  63. Prevent pregnancy by using natural sponge as a barrier to ejaculate
  64. Natural sponge can also be a reusable feminine hygiene product

Delivered by The Daily Sheeple


Contributed by Lizzie Bennett of Medically Speaking.