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Emergency Wound Care: When All You Have is in Your Pantry February 14, 2017

Without access to hospitals and emergency medical care during off-grid emergencies, a simply infection from wounds can become life-threatening. Having knowledge of alternative medical treatments using natural wound therapies could save a life.

 

Years ago, the Mrs. and I made a major move.  We had a specific timetable to adhere to, and as we were moving ourselves, efficiency was the word that exemplified our overall goals.  About an hour before we were going to batten down the hatches and hit the road, she slipped and slammed her shin on the edge of the moving van’s bumper: a combination of a laceration and abrasion, as well as potential for a broken bone.

What to do on something such as this?  Well, we certainly had enough antibiotics and (if it was broken) the hospital was close by.  She/we decided on some ice, a bandage, and (so as not to go into our antibiotics) herbal aids.  Oregano is one of the best herbs to have on hand for natural medicine and an astringent can  be made from oregano tincture to wipe down the abrasion.


Oregano Tincture

  • Add handfuls of oregano flower and leaves to a pint-size jar and cover them with 80-proof alcohol, such as vodka.
  • Allow the jar to sit for 3-6 weeks out of sunlight.
  • Strain the mixture and transfer to a tincture bottle, or proceed to make a double-strength infusion.

For oral dosage: The standard adult dose is 1/2 to 1 teaspoon up to three times a day, as needed. Children usually get 1/4 to 1/3 of the adult dose.

To make astringent: Add 1 tablespoon oregano tincture to 1 cup of distilled water.

Learn more ways to disinfect wounds using pantry staples


Wound Care Made with Sugar and Honey

Once we applied the astringent to the wound, we made up a sugar formula that was common during the Napoleonic era:

  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of honey

Mix sugar and honey together and pack the laceration with it, spreading it liberally upon the abrasion and dressing it.

Monitor and change dressing daily.


Why Sugar and Honey Is Great For Natural Wound Care

We’re talking about plain white sugar, here: the same kind vilified for the diet is actually very beneficial with regard to wound therapy.  The sugar promotes tissue repair, while fostering an antimicrobial, anaerobic environment regarding the wound.  The sugar can be mixed with honey or glycerin (honey is cheaper and easier to get a hold of).  On some kind of laceration, you can pack it with the mixture after cleaning out the laceration with clean water and/or a mild astringent (such as the one I first mentioned).

The dressing needs to be changed once every day, and the packed laceration monitored for signs of swelling and tenderness.  Also, put fresh mixture to cover the overall wound, and then redress it with a fresh dressing and bandage.  The sugar will also reduce the amount of scarring and enable the wound to heal at a faster rate.

Sugar can also be used as an Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS), in combination with table salt.  Take a one-quart bottle (remember how I advised to save those empty Gatorade and Power-Ade bottles, the 32-ouncers?  This is why.), and fill it up with water, leaving a little space.  Put ½ cup of your sugar into it, and about ½ tsp of salt.  Voila!  You have effectively made your own field-expedient “Gatorade,” minus the potassium.  The reason this is good is that the sugar will provide quick sugar to the bloodstream, while the salt will help to replace what you have either lost from sweating or from trauma.

Your sugars and honeys (yes, honey is a form of sugar) can be used to sweeten up a tincture that you might have to take in water.  If you have ever had Lomatium (Lomatium dissectum), it is one of the worst-tasting substances you can imagine.  We adults can grin and bear it, but when you’re administering a tincture to a kid, it is a big help to make it taste not quite so bad.

Honey For Wound Care

Honey is also good for wounds/abrasions/cuts of the mouth, as it is a demulcent that soothes abraded tissues, and it also is a medium that microbes do not live in.  Who doesn’t remember the time-honored honey and lemon mixture for a sore throat?  The thing of it is: it works, and if it works it should be employed.  For the wound-packing mixture I advised above?  Honey is the medium that keeps the sugar from falling out of the wound and congeals it to keep the dressing viable longer.

The reason these should be kept in mind: when the SHTF they are easily found.  You’re much more likely to find either of these two (sugar and/or honey) in a gas station or convenience store out in the middle of nowhere than a Cephalosporin such as Keflex (Cephalexin, if you prefer) for a soft tissue injury.  That’s what this is all about: winning with the weapons you have and tailor-making things you can rely on.  Practice with them sometime for something minor.  You’ll see results and build confidence in what you do.  That’s the way!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published February 14th, 2017
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6 Rules You Need To Follow When Dehydrating Foods February 9, 2017

6 rules of dehydrating
In the book, The Prepper’s Cookbook, I emphasize how easy it is to bulk up your emergency food pantry by dehydrating food you have around you. With a meager $50 investment into a food dehydrator, you can:

  • dry vegetables for soup mixes
  • dry fruits for snacking
  • make jerky
  • fruit or vegetable leather
  • noodles
  • and even make crafts

Before you go crazy dehydrating, keep in mind that there are a few rules to follow to ensure food longevity, freshness and prevention of discoloration.

6 Rules You Need To Follow When Dehydrating Foods

  1. You can dehydrate any fruit or vegetable, regardless of quality or ripeness. If something is too ripe and soft, you can always puree it and dry the puree. Although using the best quality fruits and veggies will result in the best quality dried goods, remember that the goal here is preservation, not perfection. So don’t be afraid to dehydrate the bruised, overripe, and slightly damaged goods. Just make sure not to put mold in the dehydrator as it can spread and infect the rest of the foods.
  2. Some food items can be air-dried. Herbs and other green leafy food sources, in particular, do not necessarily need a dehydrator. They can be set out of the way and air-dried.
  3. Some foods need to be blanched. Blanching certain foods like onions, mushrooms and tomatoes ahead of time will limit discoloration and the risk of food-borne illnesses. This isn’t necessary, but it certainly helps in the longevity of your dried foods.
  4. Cook potatoes thoroughly for further enjoyment. Potatoes, beans and other root vegetables should be cooked thoroughly and then dehydrated. I’ve made a pot of beans and dehydrated them for soups. I have also made dehydrated potato flakes to use in my prepper pantry.
  5. Don’t dehydrate foods from different families at the same time. If you are dehydrating foods from different family groups, the flavors can cross over. For instance, if you are dehydrating tomatoes and peppers, note that the tomatoes will end up being spicy. As well, any Brassica should be dehydrated on its own, otherwise the sulfur taste will permeate into the other foods. The only exception is dehydrating fruits. Fruits can be mixed together, but mixing them with strong-tasting or smelling vegetables is not recommended.
  6. Be consistent with your cut size and spacing. Try to keep the slices of food the same thickness to encourage even drying times. As well, try not to allow the food to touch one another or overlap (green leafy vegetables are ok though). Otherwise, it can block the airflow and prevent drying.

Rehydrating Your Dried Food Sources

Rehydrating your dehydrated foods requires nothing more than the food to be introduced to a liquid. Get creative with the liquid that you use like juices, canning liquids, etc. Many preppers have found that rehydrating foods in liquids other than water gives the food a richer taste. For instance, soaking fruit in fruit juice makes rehydrated fruit taste sweeter or soaking textured vegetable protien (TVP) in meat stock helps give it a richer flavor.

Dehydrating foods is an excellent way to make use of food you have around you. Typically, at my home when the fruit bowl is overlooked, I will dehydrate fruits and create a healthy snack that the kids can’t resist. I also have made dried soups with the extra vegetables in the refrigerator.

 

For more information read, Drying Fruits and Vegetables by the University of Georgia

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published February 9th, 2017
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Homesteading Basics: How To Dehydrate Herbs for Long-Term Storage January 30, 2017

dehydrating herbs for storage
Herbs are one of the first plants we put in our garden. There is nothing like fresh culinary herbs to intensify the flavors of food. As well, herbs are hardy garden plants that don’t have to be watered as much as vegetables and can serve more than one purpose by being used as natural medicine. For instance, did you know that a sage leaf can be used instead of a band-aid because it has natural healing qualities? Some of these popular culinary herbs are oregano, thymne and sage and can grow year-round in many parts of the country.

To enjoy these herbs year round, many choose to dehydrate them when they are at the peak in freshness and combine them to make their own spices and even homemade tea blends. Can you imagine how much money you could save at the grocery store by implementing this into your pantry?

How To Dehydrate Herbs for Long-Term Storage

Dehydrating herbs and other leafy greens is one of the easiest items to dry for long-term use. All you really need is a constant stream of air. You don’t necessary have to own a dehydrator because herbs can dry naturally from the air, but it does help with even drying.

Here are some steps to get started:

  1.  Prep herbs for drying. Wash and place herbs evenly on a drying rack and ensure that enough space is make for proper air flow.
  2. Set temperature and time according to the directions on your dehydrator.
  3. Ensure that herbs are 95% dehydrated for long-term storage.

Here are some great spice mixes to start adding to your pantry!

Cajun Seasoning

  • 1/3 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper

Chili Powder

  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

French Herb Mix

  • 3 tablespoons marjoram
  • 3 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 3 tablespoons savory
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seed

Chili Powder

  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

Storing Dehydrated Herbs

Herbs can be dehydrated to store for longer periods, but storage is important for any preserved food, and dehydrated foods are no exception. Store either in heavy duty zippered bags in a metal container, or store in dry, sterile, glass jars. For long term storage, I recommend using Mylar bags.

As I stated previously, before storing, you want to ensure that your food is 95% or more dehydrated because the more moisture your food has the more likely molds and microorganisms can grow. Like all emergency food sources, ensure that you keep your dehydrated food away from natural elements.

“Best Used By” Guidelines for Dehydrated Food 

  • Spices – 1-2 years
  • Vegetables/Fruits – Up to 12 months
  • Meats – Best at 1-2 months, but can be stored for 6 months.

We are all looking for frugal ways to bulk up our preparedness pantries. Using herbs is a great way to do that. Some of our favorite herbs we love to grow in our garden can be utilized to make long-term herbal seasonings to use year round. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to start dehydrating!

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published January 30th, 2017
Comments Off on Homesteading Basics: How To Dehydrate Herbs for Long-Term Storage