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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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When Seconds Count: 5 Items for Quick-Action Response January 12, 2017

1FIRST RESPONSE KITS

Picture This:

  1. You just hit a deer on the road about halfway between work and home on your 30-mile one-way commute. As you tried to avoid him, you swerved and hit a patch of ice and went off of an embankment.  Ramming a tree, you went unconscious.  You came to only to find a large laceration about 4” long running across your forehead
  1. You are just about to leave work when suddenly the entire building shakes. You’re up on the fifth floor, and a ceiling joist gives way, and half of the 6th floor of your workplace is now also on the fifth floor.  Even worse: you’re pinned under a beam and a big piece of jagged wood has gone right into your thigh.
  1. You’re in a very packed and congested shopping mall and suddenly, two guys with masks turn the corner with AK-47’s yelling in Arabic, firing their weapons in all directions. One of the bullets ricochets and hit you in the calf.

ReadyNutrition Readers, hopefully you are never in one of the examples…and really hopefully, not the same guy or gal in all three of them (that would really be bad luck, wouldn’t it?).  The point is that weird things, such as auto accidents, earthquakes, or terrorist Jihadists assaulting Chic-fil-A happen virtually all the time, now.  You may be just the innocent bystander or unwilling participant mentioned in one of these tragedies.  We hope that isn’t the case.

But if it is?  You had better be as ready as you can.  Let’s talk about some things that could give you a winning edge that you may be able to tote around on your person, either in your pockets or in a small bag.  We’re going to address some common problems that these unlucky individuals are facing in each of these scenarios.

Bad wounds – laceration, impaled wood, and a bullet.  All are serious, and each of them will require immediate medical attention.  The problem is you may not have the time to wait until trained personnel reach you, and (in the case of a SHTF event) they may never reach you.  But maybe you have these, for starters:

  1. Outdoor Wound Care Kit: with Celox, made by Total Resources, Int’l, accessible via totalresourcesintl.com.  The Celox clots the blood within 60 seconds.  The whole kit is about $8.00 at Wal-Mart.  Great for bullet wounds and lacerations…. think “Stop Gap,” and stop that bleeding, while you’re sealing up the gaps.
  2. The Army Field Dressing: Seriously, this one is a good one that you really need to pick up.  It’s listed as Dressing, First Aid, Field, Camouflaged, 4” x 6 ¼ to 7 ¼ inches NSN 6510-00-159-4883.  It has its own “tails” to tie it off and bind up that wound.
  3.  Fish Mox Forte: Fish Amoxicillin, comes in 500 mg capsules of 100 per bottle at about $40 per bottle. Good to throw a course of antibiotics on immediately when faced with a dirty wound.
  4. Electrolyte Stamina Power Pak: This electrolyte made by Trace Minerals Research is a type of ORS (Oral Rehydration Solution) that you mix with about 6 ounces of water. Provides all of your electrolytes, such as Sodium, Potassium, and Magnesium.  If you’re conscious, you can drink fluids with any of the above examples, and if so, these packets will give you a super-helping of electrolytes, as well as other essential minerals you need.
  5. St. John’s Wort: available at Wal-Mart under Spring Valley Brand, 300 mg capsules with 150 capsules per bottle, at about $8.00 apiece. St. John’s Wort is great for dealing with depression and stress.  It is also a powerful antibiotic that is effective against bacteria and viruses.  Take some according to the directions on the package.

To summarize, these are a few things you can tote around with you in a jacket or cargo pocket that will give you an immediate edge when a situation arises that calls for you to work on it immediately.  Spread it out and make kits as such for your family.  Remember: when something happens to them and you’re working on the problem, use their stuff…your stuff is for you, and if you “go down,” they can go to it and treat your problem…with your supplies.  Stay ready and rock steady!

A little bit of that prep beforehand goes a long way.  Familiarize yourself with it and all of the capabilities at your disposal.  A pile of supplies that you don’t know how to use is just a pile of supplies.  Keep fighting that good fight, drink coffee, make pemmican with my recipe, and have a good one!  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 January 12th, 2017
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How to Avoid a Sprained Ankle December 16, 2016

 

In an emergency situation, it is imperative that you are healthy and strong enough to remain alert, prepared, and most of all, mobile. You have no way of knowing if your home base will be compromised or not and/or if a natural disaster or other circumstance will have you on the run. Something as seemingly innocuous as a sprained ankle can mean the difference between making a getaway or getting stuck.

History Repeats Itself

Many people will tell you that they have suffered from a sprained or twisted ankle at some point in their lifetime. However, more than half of those people who have done so never seek professional medical treatment because it is “just a sprain” and they don’t see how a doctor can help them. This is risky because the majority of ankle sprains will occur again at some point later in life. A sprained ankle that does not receive the appropriate physical therapy during and after healing often results in a weaker joint. This can lead to a myriad of issues, including problems maintaining proper balance, developing a slight limp or altered gait, and having a joint that is unstable and more likely to twist or collapse again. In very serious cases, a sprained ankle left untreated can result in a lifetime of pain and immobility.

Bad Advice Following a Sprain

There is a lot of really bad advice out there about what to do following a sprained ankle. The worst of all is the adage to “walk it off” or ignore a sprain. You must immediately stop doing whatever exercise or activity caused the sprain and take all weight off of the ankle. The moments following a sprain are the most critical when inflammation and swelling put the joint at risk. If possible, head to the ER for a medical consultation, especially if the pain is severe and lasts for more than a few days. Although in most cases, an X-ray or M.R.I. is not needed to make an accurate diagnosis, you need to rule out the possibility of a more severe injury. A doctor can give you a plan for therapy to strengthen and heal the joint.

Prevention is the Best Plan

Your best bet is to not get an ankle injury in the first place. This means wearing appropriate shoes for your activity, protecting your joints, and making sure that the ground surfaces you are using are level and clear of all debris. A majority of ankle sprains occur not during intensive sports or activities, but in everyday walking situations. Don’t put your health at risk for fashion trends—keep your shoes low-heeled with sufficient tread. Hold onto handrails when walking up or down stairs, and limit walking in icy or very wet conditions if possible.

The stronger your ankles are, the more you can avoid getting an ankle injury in the first place. The muscles around your joint help to protect and stabilize, so building up those muscles with the following exercises can be very beneficial.

Three Exercised that Strengthen the Ankle

Ankle Alphabet

Sit on the ground with your knees up and your legs bent in front of you. Cross one leg over the other and “trace” the shape of each letter of the alphabet with your ankle. This will feel very easy at first but by the end of the alphabet, you might have trouble remaining steady or completing the shapes. This means it’s working! Switch to the other leg and repeat.

Calf Raises

This exercise is the single most important strengthening exercise you can do to build up the muscles around your ankles. Simply stand with your feet apart, and shift weight off of your heels and onto your toes (like you are on tiptoe with both feet). Do 25 reps and work your way up to 50 (do not exceed 50 reps without consulting your doctor first–you want to build strength but not over-fatigue the muscles, which can lead to injury)

Tree Pose

This balancing yoga pose is simply standing on one leg with the other one bent and placed on the knee. Beginners might have trouble getting the bent leg up to knee height, so simply lifting it off the floor will suffice. This is a balancing pose that requires core strength, so beginners might also want to have a wall or rail nearby in case they begin to fall. Your body will shake as it stabilizes itself—this is a sign that the muscles are working.

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published December 16th, 2016
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