domestic duties · health · herbs · preparedness · religion · self-reliance

Doctoring During the Depression Era

Plants are people too!

 

One of my favorite jobs over the years has been that of an in-home-care-giver. In-home-care-givers are trained and certified, then sent to homes of people who need help but are not ready, for whatever reason to move to a nursing home. Some folks would be described as having different degrees of mental and physical handicaps, some were just old or infirm. Most often I was sent to the home of an extremely old person who was able to be at home but who couldn’t do all the daily living tasks without help. That’s where I came in.  Most ya’all know what it takes to care for others. Lots of dishes, laundry, helping with personal hygiene, you know. My favorite part was when the oldster cracked open the stories of their youth. Damn! What a worlds worth of information!

I loved my clients, but of course, you can end up with your favorites. One of my favorites was a 98 year old lady who loved to look over her high school year book. 1920’s year book! Even back then the football jock got the girl. Sometimes the girl had to leave high school or there was what she described as a “shotgun” wedding. In this area, she whispered that there are lot of Italian folks and German folks they hate each other. I remember a girl who was Italian and a boy who was German, she told me one day. They were in love and wanted to marry, but their fathers forbade it.

I took care of 90 year old Jewish dear. OMG, I loved Louie. He lived in a senior apartment complex, he was on the 3rd floor. Dear Louie would sometimes wait until I was busy making the bed or doing dishes. He would silently put on his hat and coat and sneak out the apartment door. I would find him shuffling for the elevator at a top speed of escargot.

“Where ya going, Louie?”

“I’m am going to take my Cadillac for a drive.”

“No, not today, sweetheart.” I said as I turned him around and headed him back to the apartment.

Louie owned a Newspaper in a fairly large city during the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. He and I talked for hours about the history as he saw it through his paper. Also, he talked a lot about his Jewish faith. Fascinating! If people would only listen to each other, we would discover that we are all really quite alike. I learned so much from Louie.

Most recently, there was Mr. D who is a 90 year old senior with a really cool sense of humor and an excellent story telling skills. One day he wanted to make some cookies, so while we were busy making cookies for his freezer, Mr. D and I were discussing what life was like when he was a kid. As old people love to talk about “life in the old days,” he told me a story of an incident that could have turned out very tragically if not for an observant old time country Doctor.

As a youngster of the 1930s Mr. D was left pretty much on his own after his assigned daily chores had been completed. At 12 years of age his mother had no worries about Mr. D and his buddies playing down by the pond several blocks past the old feed mill most every day. She knew basically where they were and when they became hungry, she was sure the boys would miraculously appear at the kitchen table.
Today Mr. D and several neighborhood boys had been fishing down at the pond when Mr. D suddenly found a fish hook lodged in his wrist. One of the boys whipped his pole to send his line with wormed hook out to the center of the pond. The flying hook didn’t make it far before piercing the skin of Mr. Ds wrist, the barb of the fish hook securely embedded into the muscle.
He worked for quite some time to dislodge the fish hook, using his jack knife to help with the task. The boys all gathered around to watch with fascination as blood dripped from his wrist. Finally, he got the nasty fish hook out of his wrist and cleaned up the blood with a little pond water and the boys resumed fishing until almost dark.

A few days later, Mr. D had walked several blocks to the towns only mercantile/ general store to purchase some things for his mother. With his arms loaded he was waiting at the corner to allow a car to pass before he could cross the street when it stopped directly in front of him. The driver was the village Doctor on his way to check on a patient. (In those days the Doctor drove to his patients homes for their care. I still remember as a child of the 1950’s a Doctor visiting our house to check on my sister who had recently had her tonsils removed.) The good doctor rolled down his window and asked Mr. D if he and his load would like a lift home since the doctor was headed in his direction and would drive right by his house.
Mr. D climbed into the front seat next to the doctor and set his packages on the floor in front of him. It was about then the good doctor noticed the green line running up the inside of Mr. Ds arm. He asked what had happened to create such a nasty infection?
Mr. D had the doctors undivided attention so he spilled his story on him. After which, the good doctor told Mr. D to have his mother make a poultice of ground flax seed and warm water and wrap it around his wrist until the infection and gangrene was gone. The Doctor pulled up to the curb, stopped the car and dropped the boy off in front of his house. Waving good bye, he drove off to his next appointment.

Mr. D showed his arm to his mother and told her what the doctor had said. She immediately went to work. She made a paste from the ground flax seed using a little warm water as instructed. Next she placed it directly on Mr. Ds infected arm, then wrapped it securely with a clean linen cloth. It was changed again before bed and the again the next day. Within three days the infection and the green line running up Mr. Ds arm had been healed by the flax seed meal. And so, Mr. D is still with us today.

Why whole plant Material heals?horehound

Plants are chemically complex. The chemical elements of which plants are constructed—principally carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur, etc.—are the same as for all other life forms animals, fungi, bacteria and even viruses. Only the details of the molecules into which they are assembled differs. This underlying similarity, plants produce a vast array of chemical compounds with unique properties which they use to cope with their environment. Pigments are used by plants to absorb or detect light. Perhaps the most celebrated compounds from plants are those with pharmacological activity, such as salicylic acid from which aspirin is made, morphine, and digoxin. Drug companies spend billions of dollars each year researching plant compounds for potential medicinal benefits.
When pharmaceutical drug makers isolate and concentrated an element from a plant they strip away all the complimenting molecules. All the plants chemicals work in synergy. When you take away one element and concentrate it, it is now possible to become a dangerous drug, poisonous. It is why pharmaceutical drugs are monitored and controlled.

So. . . .

Active compounds found in the plant such as chlorophyll are close to human blood. (Chlorophyll~~Chlorophyll is a chlorin pigment, which is structurally similar to and produced through the same metabolic pathway as other porphyrin pigments such as heme. At the center of the chlorin ring is a magnesium ion. This was discovered in 1906, and was the first time that magnesium had been detected in living tissue.)
The correct structure of hemin (heme) is part of the hemoglobin. ( hemoglobin is the red coloring of blood, the pigment, when combined with protein forms hemoglobin) Chlorophyll molecules closely resemble hemin. One of the major differences between chlorophyll and hemin is that chlorophyll contains magnesium while hemin molecule contains iron for the central atom. Owing to the close molecule resemblance between chlorophyll and hemoglobin is that chlorophyll and its derivatives is nature’s blood-building element for all plant eaters and humans.
Magnesium in plant chlorophyll picks up the blue light from the sun, add in plant carbs and proteins, which all contribute to turn the plant blood green. Iron plus proteins makes human and animal blood red. That’s why I say;

Plants are people too!!

At the ripe old age of 84, my own Dad lived in one of those secured senior complexes too. But one day he took a swan dive out of the tub while taking a shower and laid on the cold tile floor for a 4 hours because he couldn’t get himself up alone. Someone finally came along to check on him and called an ambulance, then called me. During my 3 week stay with Dad while he recovered, I got to know some of the other seniors on his floor.

One 90+ year old lady had a number tattooed on her forearm. She had been in a Nazi camp as a child. Some of the stories she told me would make the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Some of her stories she actually lived, some stories she heard from other survivors. old women playing cards 1(Her story and that of others who lived before or without electricity can be found in my book, How to Survive and Thrive When the Power is Out.) 

Plants and plant medicine would have been pivotal in their survival, as it was during the last great economic depression. You know? Plants and old people, uh. Who would have ever thought?

health · herbs · homesteading · preparedness · self-reliance · Thinking ahead

Planning Your Medicinal Herb Garden

When the Catalogs begin to arrive. . .

 

They start showing up in the mailbox right after Thanksgiving, sometimes even earlier. Those tempting little paper beasts that draw you in and bewitch you into spending your designated Christmas dollars with them. Dreary winter dreaming, you sit down at the kitchen table with your favorite cup of warmth and plan your artful garden for sunny springtime.

Blessed are those that have the will to resist the colorful pictures full of sunshine fields with pink, red and yellow flowers and the enticing, crisp, fresh, moist, mouth-watering vegetables expertly laid out for the camera. They evoke memories and the smell of freshly turned soil, moist, rich,  soft between your toes, comes flooding into your brain. This my dear friends is a gardeners high. Promises of a clean canvas in which to begin a new spring time painting. This is my art!

Oh, I’m sorry, back to reality. I kind of lost myself in this dreamy state. It happens this time of year. The holidays are over now and there is a lull between the beginning of the new year and the first shoots of green in spring. This is the perfect time to plan, arrange and perfect your new medicinal herbal garden.

The first question you should ask yourself; What are my familys’ health needs?  What culinary herbs would I like to have in my backyard grocery store/pharmacy? What does my location have to offer my chosen herbs?

What is in my garden from last year and why? (zone 4, 100+ miles north of the 45th parallel)

The soil base at our place is mostly acidic, dry, and gravely. There are pockets of loamy acidic, moist, piney places and if you really get lucky, you might stumble across a loamy neutral Ph soil patch but they are rare.

Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)  TP  The medicinal parts are the oil extracted by distillation. The whole plant can be used. Harvested before flowering, the taste and smelllemon balm is lemon-like, later becoming astringent to balm-like and warming.

Using lemon balm at home; gather early in the day when the sun has dried the dew from the leaves, wash and dry quickly in a just barely warm oven. Lemon balm is one of my favorites for tea, it imparts a wonderful lemon flavor and aroma in any preparation. As an herbal medicine it has mild sedative and carminative properties. Can be used in antibacterial and antiviral herbal medicinal preparations, most often however, it is used for nervous complaints, womans’ issues and headaches. Lemon balm imparts a cheerful therapy.

Be sure to plant this one close to walk ways. When you brush up against lemon balm a  lemony aroma waifs to gladden the senses.

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) P  The root is used from this herb. It’s flowers are fragrant, the plant usually reaches 5 feet tall. The root/ rhizome smells bad when dried, sort of like dirty socks. Hydrolysis of the components in the root from isovaleric acid is what is responsible for the offensivevalerian-root- oder.

Valerian likes low-lying, sandy, humus soil that is well supplied with lime in a damp area. (The valerian I planted several years ago made a daring escape from the patch I had carefully designated for it and it now growing wild in dry places that it shouldn’t be growing. It truly has a mind of its own and has proven very adaptable.) The root is harvested in September and are carefully dug, washed, chopped and dried.

The biochemical components of valerian root reduces the time it takes to drift off to sleep. Improvements in sleep quality were demonstrated in a well constructed, randomized, placebo-controlled, multi-centered study involving 121 patients.

Valerian is used for restlessness, sleeping disorders based on nervous conditions, mental strain, lack of concentration, and states of anxiety. Caution; Valerian has an additive effect when used in combination with barbiturates and benzodiazepines. Otherwise, there are no known hazards using valerian.

Your choice of administration; works well as a tea with other herbs, tincture, extracts, external use in baths, powdered and used in capsules for a sleep aid 30 minutes before bedtime.

Hops (Humulus lupulus) TP   Hops are green viney crawling plants that can reach 30 feet long. Usually they are grown on a string straight up a pole or trellis. Hops are the ingredient that gives beer that slightly bitter after taste and calm, sleeping feeling.

AT harvest time, the entire plant is cut at about ground level. The flowers are plucked off andhops-cone quickly dried, packaged and popped into the freezer to preserve their potency.

Hops work best with other herbs in preparations of extract, tincture or tea to promote a restful sleep. Also, used in folk medicine to treat nervous tension headache, nerve pain and inflammation.

Rose (Rosaceae supp.) P  Rose by any other name is still a rose. Only we are looking for the variety that produces rosehips. Some hybrids have been bred out to not produce the hips. Know which one you are growing. Roses and their hips are a wonderful addition to any herb garden. Roses in the wild, those growing at the forests edge, also produce beautiful orange to red hips loaded with vitamin C.

Roses are the work horse of the garden attracting  bees, butterflies and other bugs to help with pollination. They are wonderful and are simply delightful for the senses, producing a healthful potent fruit. Petals are gathered in full bloom and dried at a low temperature or in the shade. You definitely will be dodging bees and other bugs for your petals.

Rose hips appear when the petals begin to fall off later in the season. They are gathered after they turn red, however, I like to gather them after the first light frost. Rose hips seem easier to work with and a touch sweeter after the frost, in my humble opinion.

Rose petals generally, are used in skin preparations, but will make a wonderfully fragrant tea too. My favorite use for them is in wild rose and red clover jelly. I sell this at craft fairs with rave reviews and many return customers.

Here’s a great article on rose hips–  https://www.thespruce.com/what-are-rose-hips-and-what-do-they-do-1403046

Elderberry (Sambucus Nigra) P  These tiny gems are one of my favorite plants. Domestic grown plants are readily available from seed catalogs and the berries are slightly larger than wild grown plants. I find elderberries occasionally growing wild along roadsides in damp areas. The domestic variety seems to like regular garden soil and will spread and take over the area in just a few short years if left unchecked.elderberries

The berries can give you a tummy ache if you eat too many, so they should be cooked before ingestion. The flowers are great in tea for colds and flu due to the fact that they promote sweating. The flowers are great in preparations for coughs and bronchitis too.

Elderberries make a delicious syrup for use during or just before the onset of colds and flu. They can be used in jams, jellies and pies, also. http://foodfacts.mercola.com/elderberries.html

Echinacea (Echinacea species) P Some people call these beautiful immune enhancers, coneflowers. They take two years to produce a flower head and it is best to wait that long to harvest the roots. Echinacea activity is directed towards the nonspecific cellular immune system. The herb exerts anti-inflammatory immunostimulating, antibacterial, and wound healing actions. Most often this herb is used for colds, flu and upper echinacearespiratory infections.

Other uses; Fevers, urinary infections, inflammation of the mouth and pharynx, wounds and burns. Native Americans used this herb for headaches, measles, coughs, stomach aches, gonorrhea and snake bits.

Dried roots can be ground and put into capsules or used with other herbs as a tea.

Hyssop (hyssopus officinalis) P This is one of those plants equal to your kittys’ catnip only for humans. You just feel like rolling around in it. Bees and butterflies love it too. They will swarm your garden where hyssop is growing, which is great for other plant dependent on pollinators.

The fresh and dried leaves and flower tips are used to make herbal medicines. Extracts of the leaves are antimicrobial, antiviral (herpes simplex) and the herb is mildly hyssopspasmolytic (relieves spasms of smooth muscles). Preparations of hyssop herb are used for gentle circulation, for diseases of the respiratory tract, colds, chest and lung ailments.

Tincture extract preparations are used most often as well a tea, however, hyssop has been found effective when ground and put into capsules also.

Caution; Hyssop is another one of those plants that will take over your garden if left unchecked.

Peppermint (Mentha piperita) Aggressive Perennial Peppermint is so versatile and delightful. It is hard to kill out once established so be careful where you plant this guy. He loves cool moist garden soil and will take over an area in a matter of a few years with over and underground runners. (Spearmint, too. If it has a square stem, it most likely is related to the Lamiaceae, belonging to the mint and balm family.) https://www.britannica.com/topic/list-of-plants-in-the-family-Lamiaceae-2035853

Peppermint leaves for our purposes, are gathered just before flowering, washed andpeppermint hung in a warm, shaded room to dry. It can be harvested a couple of times during the growing season.

Peppermint is generally used in a tea for upset stomach and digestion issues, however, it has been used for thousands of years as an anti spasm for the smooth muscles of the gastrointestinal tract. Other benefits from peppermint include a carminative, antibacterial, insecticidal and a secretolytic agent (breaks up secretions); it also has a cooling effect on the skin and works well in ointments.

In folk medicine, peppermint is utilized for nausea, vomiting, morning sickness, respiratory infections, dysmenorrhea (pain caused during menstruation) and colds.

Other uses for peppermint; cough and bronchitis, fevers and cold symptoms, inflammation of the mouth and pharynx, liver and gallbladder complaints and a general tendency toward infections.

White Horehound (Marrubium vulgare) TP The medicinal parts of this plant are the above ground leaves and flowers. Gathered and dried quickly in June to August, it has a slightly bitter, hot taste.

The bitter effects act as a gastric juice stimulant which can help to reverse loss of appetite in cases of chronic illness. In horehoundfolk medicine horehound is used internally for acute and chronic bronchitis, whooping-cough, asthma, tuberculosis, respiratory infections and jaundice. Also, it has been used for painful menstruation and as a laxative in higher doses. You may find horehound candy around town, it is useful for throat problems and upper respiratory infections.

Other herbs that have earned their  place in my herbal medicine garden are;

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) TP Mostly known for its culinary uses, thyme earns a reward for being a bronchial antispasmodic, an expectorant and an antibacterial agent. Thyme is one of the ingredients in products such as Listerine.

Garden Sage and  Ceremonial White Sage (Salvia supp.) TP You will find garden sage  in your poultry seasonings but it also makes a wonderful tea. Used for internal gastric disorders such as loss of appetite, bloating, flatulence, diarrhea, and often used as a gargle for bleeding gums and laryngitis. White Sage is normally found in the southwestern U.S. and does not grow naturally up here in Michigans Upper Peninsula so it is grown in pots and brought into the house in the fall.

Basil (Ocimum basillicum) A People are often surprised to learn this culinary has antimicrobial properties, particularly found in oil of basil. This guy deserves a special place in the home herbal medical garden, especially if you get a bee sting. Simply crush a few basil leaves and place on the sting for pain relief. In Chinese medicine basil herb is used for disturbances of renal function, gum ulcers and as a hemostyptic both before and after birth.

Calendula (Calendula officinalis) A Pot marigold- Delightfully bright yellow, orange and orange-red flowers harvested in about July. Calendula flowers are antimicrobial and  shown to have potent anti-HIV activity. Surprisingly, these beauties have been also shown in studies to be anti-inflammatory and have significant wound healing powers when used as an ointment. Best used for frost-bite, burns to the skin and poorly healing wounds.

Around our homestead we find a pharmacopeia of wild healing wonders. Red clover, red and black raspberry leaves, ginseng, goldenseal, golden rod, Astragalus, mullein, plantain and many more.

Having listed last years garden herbs and herbs found nearby, we can now decide what we would like to grow in the new season. This will become your home herbal medicine cupboard to help keep your family and neighbors healthy and treat their injuries.

On a walk-about you will find other herbs growing wild, such as;

Red Clover– coughs, whooping-cough, upper respiratory and skin healing, wounds.

Raspberry leaves– help facilitate child-birth, gastrointestinal tract and blood purifying.

Common plantain– for wounds, to draw tissue together, help stop bleeding.

Coltsfoot- best used in smoking preparations to help cure smoking addiction.

Horsetail– Urinary tract infections, kidney and bladder stones, silicic acid.

Stinging Nettle– diuretic, anti-inflammatory, nutritive, prostate complaints

St. John’s wort– wounds, depression, tuberculosis, anti inflammatory

Marshmallow, Mullein, Willow, Birch, Burdock, and many, many more. . .

To find your special plants and seeds,        https://strictlymedicinalseeds.com/

I love these guys.

Stay tuned for this coming years additions. I am so excited about trying these new herbs! Here’s a hint; Meadowsweet- Heather- Uva Ursi- Skullcap and a several more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

health · herbs · medical formulas · preparedness · self-reliance · Thinking ahead

Herbs, oils and the Plague

What is the plague and why should I be concerned?

Urgent update:

This video released late Saturday 11-4-2017  by Dave Hodges The Common Sense Show

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IhvonLNGxc

Unless you have been out in your wilderness yurt or living in a cave somewhere with no internet access, you have been hearing people talk about the plague. I’m sorry if you hadn’t heard, I don’t mean to be the one to give you one more thing to worry yourself into sleepless nights about.  I do understand your frustration. But listen up. . .

Knowledge is the key here. Knowing what you are dealing with and how to protect yourself is paramount.

Copied from WHO website;

Plague is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis, a zoonotic bacteria, usually found in small mammals and their fleas. It is transmitted between animals through fleas. Humans can be infected through:
*the bite of infected vector fleas
*unprotected contact with infectious bodily fluids or contaminated materials
*the inhalation of respiratory droplets/small particles from a patient with pneumonic plague.
Plague is a very severe disease in people, particularly in its septicaemic (systemic infection caused by circulating bacteria in bloodstream) and pneumonic forms, with a case-fatality ratio of 30% to 100% if left untreated. The pneumonic form is invariably fatal unless treated early. It is especially contagious and can trigger severe epidemics through person-to-person contact via droplets in the air.
From 2010 to 2015, there were 3248 cases reported worldwide, including 584 deaths.

Historically, plague was responsible for widespread pandemics with high mortality. It was known as the “Black Death” during the fourteenth century, causing more than 50 million deaths in Europe. Nowadays, plague is easily treated with antibiotics and the use of standard precautions to prevent acquiring infection.

https://prepforthat.com/pneumonic-plague-warning-in-nine-countries/

According to the link above, it is the pneumonic form of plague now circulating in nine countries with a weeks worth of incubation time. Yes, it’s over there, but what if a nice young  guy is infected from over there, he doesn’t yet have symptoms and this nice guy climbs on that proverbial plane and lands in New York, or LAX or any other highly populated airport? Well, I guess you know it won’t take long before it wanders up your alley. I’m 100% sure you would not want your child, your wife or your neighbor inadvertently coming in contact with Americas ground zero. Also, do you remember recently, a couple of western states in the U.S. had several cases of Bubonic plague from contaminated critters who came in contact with youngsters and hikers?

So, what’s this pneumonic plague look like?

Again, from the WHO website;

People infected with plague usually develop acute febrile disease with other non-specific systemic symptoms after an incubation period of one to seven days, such as sudden onset of fever, chills, head and body aches, and weakness, vomiting and nausea.

Pneumonic plague, or lung-based plague, is the most virulent form of plague. Incubation can be as short as 24 hours. Any person with pneumonic plague may transmit the disease via droplets to other humans. Untreated pneumonic plague, if not diagnosed and treated early, can be fatal. However, recovery rates are high if detected and treated in time (within 24 hours of onset of symptoms.)

Transmission

From the CDC;

Flea bites. Plague bacteria are most often transmitted by the bite of an infected flea. During plague epizootics, many rodents die, causing hungry fleas to seek other sources of blood. People and animals that visit places where rodents have recently died from plague are at risk of being infected from flea bites. Dogs and cats may also bring plague-infected fleas into the home. Flea bite exposure may result in primary bubonic plague or septicemic plague.
Contact with contaminated fluid or tissue. Humans can become infected when handling tissue or body fluids of a plague-infected animal. For example, a hunter skinning a rabbit or other infected animal without using proper precautions could become infected with plague bacteria. This form of exposure most commonly results in bubonic plague or septicemic plague.
Infectious droplets. When a person has plague pneumonia, they may cough droplets containing the plague bacteria into air. If these bacteria-containing droplets are breathed in by another person they can cause pneumonic plague. Typically this requires direct and close contact with the person with pneumonic plague. Transmission of these droplets is the only way that plague can spread between people. This type of spread has not been documented in the United States since  1924, but still occurs with some frequency in developing countries. Cats are particularly susceptible to plague, and can be infected by eating infected rodents. Sick cats pose a risk of transmitting infectious plague droplets to their owners or to veterinarians. Several cases of human plague have occurred in the United States in recent decades as a result of contact with infected cats.

What can we do to protect our families and pets?

Starting with your pets, they are closer to the ground and their warm fur attract fleas;

A good homemade recipe;

Diatomaceous earth, dried NEEM and dried yarrow in equal portions, mix together in a mason jar, shake vigorously. Sprinkle about the yard and entrances to help keep fleas at bay. Remember squirrels, chipmunks and mice all are harbingers of fleas too. Make sure to use food grade diatomaceous earth, however, as Fido and Kitty may lay where you sprinkled. Fleas, snails, ants etc. generally won’t venture into anything diatomaceous earth related because Diatomaceous earth consists of fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of hard-shelled protest (a group of unicellular critters). They are rock like and powder easily but are extremely sharp to bugs, ripping open their hide.

Also, I read on a veterinarian website, you can give your dog a teaspoonful of quality coconut oil daily to keep fleas off your furry family member. They like it too.

For cats try equal parts of vinegar and catnip tea. Put into a spray bottle and spray your cat generously. A few drops of Cedarwood essential oil added to the spray bottle helps too.

Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum! Vacuum everything pet related.

http://products.mercola.com/healthypets/pest-repellents/

Protecting your family

I’m sure you have heard this story by now, but if not, stay tuned.

Black Death, pandemic that ravaged Europe between 1347 and 1351, taking a proportionately greater toll of life than any other known epidemic or war up to that time.

There were recurrences of the plague in 1361–63, 1369–71, 1374–75, 1390, and 1400. Modern research has suggested that, over that period of time, plague was introduced into Europe multiple times, coming along trade routes in waves from Central Asia as a result of climate fluctuations that affected populations of rodents infested with plague-carrying fleas.

During one of the major infestations in Europe,  a group of thieves and grave robbers were apprehended by the constables while the thieves were busy robbing a dying victim. It seems the robbers were entering homes of the dead and dying, stealing anything and everything of value. As evidenced from their stash back at their hideout, they had been at it for quite some time.

“Such an immoral crime!” the Honorable Judge screams.  “However, we are willing to make a concession for a more lenient punishment in this case, if you confess your secret to resisting illness to your person while committing these heinous crimes.”

And so they did. These fellows had developed an essential oil formula that stayed off the plague along with many other bacterial and viral human diseases. By rubbing this mixture of essential oils on their hands, feet and stomach the disease couldn’t/ wouldn’t  infect them.

The recipe has been preserved and passed down from generation to generation because it works.

To make this fantastic formula at home;

Put all the oils in a small brown glass bottle and shake to mix.

Clove essential oil (syzgium aromaticum)                                        200 drops or 1/2 ounce

Lemon essential oil (Citrus limon)                                                     175 drops

Cinnamon Bark essential oil (cinnamoomun verum)                    100 drops

Eucalyptus essential oil (Eucalyptus radiate)                                    75 drops

Rosemary essential oil (Rosimarinus officinalis)                              50 drops

The blend of therapeutic-grade essential oils called Thieves oil for obvious reasons, was tested at Weber State University for its potent antimicrobial properties. This particular combination of essential oils was found to have a 99.96% kill rate against airborne bacteria. The oils are highly antiviral, antiseptic, antibacterial, anti infectious which helps protect the body against flu, colds, sinusitis, bronchitis, pneumonia and more.

Just apply a few drops of this mixture to the bottom of your feet or stomach and rub into the skin. Modern day diffuser jewelry offer day-to-day protection in a fashionable way. The aroma of thieves oils is quite pleasing, almost like a cinnamon bun.

Other options would be to put a few drops into a small spray bottle with a little water and alcohol and mist the air in your home and car. Thieves oil works great in an electric essential oil diffuser for a whole room disinfectant.

The potency of this oil, when sprayed around the ankles keeps most ticks and fleas from going near your legs. Of course, you could attract someone looking for that delicious smelling cinnamon bun.

The internet is awash with Thieves oil for sale. Look for one that has no extra fillers or dilution. Amazon, Do Terra and Young living are good sources too.

Hopes this eases your mind a little, when these things or when the SHTF happens you are not helpless. Now you know. Survival favors the prepared.

 

health · herbs · medical formulas · preparedness · self-reliance · Thinking ahead

The Incredible, Edible, Goldenrod

When It finally happens;

For post-disaster radiation damage or severe case of UV sun exposure, this yellow darling can’t be beat. Goldenrod (Solidago spp.) was one of the first plants to make a come back around the devastated grounds near Chernobyl in the late 80’s, early 1990’s. In my area Goldenrod thrives in sandy or dry soils, along thicket borders, in open wooded areas or running wild in open fields on sunny rolling hillsides. Most everyone I know sees only an invasive weed, but we know better.

There are some 125 species of Goldenrods that grow in this country. All are native, most are found in the East.  A few Goldenrods have adapted to marshes, sandy beaches, deserts, and mountain areas. Most of this family of daisies are between 2 and 4 feet tall.100_2904

Now, let me set the record straight right off the bat. Goldenrod does not cause hay fever. Their pollen is too heavy to be carried by the wind.  A lighter colored, (greenish) Ragweed which blooms at the same time is the culprit for running noses and itchy eyes.

September is prime gathering time here in the Upper Peninsula when the blooms are beautifully yellow, fragrant and loaded with bees, butterflies, and bugs. To harvest, cut it about 18 inches long and bring to the house. Hang it upside down in a well ventilated room to dry or if you are in a hurry, place clean goldenrod on a cookie sheet and put in a gas oven and let the pilot light do the work. It is ready for storage or tincture when the leaves are dry and crispy.  Read more;  https://www.tasteofhome.com/article/how-to-dry- herbs/

This beautiful golden plant is so misunderstood by the general public and often ignored in the herbal community because it is just so abundant.  Here at Handy Granny’s place, we use the leaves and flowers for teas, tinctures, or alcohol extract. Warm sweet goldenrod tea helps the body rid itself of mucus troubles such as Rhinitis and Sinusitis and slows or relieves  Menorrhagia (heavy menstrual bleeding.) Oh, did I mention, it makes a warm golden color when used for died fabrics and wools too.

Goldenrod, leaves and flowers make an aromatic beverage on it’s own but it also helps improve the flavor of nasty tasting remedies and other medicinal preparations. Chop the dried goldenrod flower, stem and leaves into pretty small pieces, place 1 tsp. into your tea strainer and put into your favorite cup. Pour boiled water into the cup over the herb and let steep for about 5 minutes. Remove the herb and drink. You can take 1 or 2 cups a day until any of the above mentioned symptoms are relieved, or just because you like it mixed with other herbs.

This is a very good herb to use for UTI’s, edema, acute anuria and kidney-related skin disorders. It works well in formulas for all sorts of kidney and bladder conditions.

I will tell you for sure, that goldenrod will be in my post disaster first aid kit as a tincture and for use as a tea.

Read more;  

https://jonbarron.org/herbal-library/herbs/goldenrod

http://www.susunweed.com/Article_Glorious-Goldenrod.htm

http://www.pixiespocket.com/2013/10/lets-talk-about-goldenrod.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

health · herbs · homesteading · self-reliance

Killing Us Slowly

gloomy drive

 ” It is unfortunate that Americans are digging their graves with their knives and forks. The refined carbohydrates and processed food diet that many people live on leads to the development of degenerative illnesses as we age. . . ”  Dr. Joel Fuhrman, author of Fasting and Eating for Health 

In the winter months, those living in the darker, snow covered Northern Hemisphere tend to live on heavier, more calorie dense foods. These foods help keep the body warm and lack of sunshine takes the driver seat for our cravings. Lack of activity, sunshine and heavy foods lends itself to fat and sludge build up. But you knew this.

The heart pumps the blood and moves oxygen throughout the body. The blood filters through many organs to clean the unwanted waste material but the lymph nodes have no automatic pumping action. In order to work properly your lymph system  needs movement to clean  stagnant material that has been laying waste all winter. Exercise is the ideal mechanism for clearing out the gook, too bad most of us simply sit in front of the boob tube after work.

Our ancient ancestors recorded health conditions pointing to lymph system sludge thousands years before modern western medicine took over all our diagnoses and symptoms treatment. In many ways, the medicines and treatments from the past were far advanced from our pill and poison treatment of today.

Now please, don’t misunderstand. We have the best hospitals in the world for emergency care. Recently, my husband broke his 60 year old finger. I drove him to the ER of our local hospital where the Doctors and Nurses patched him up. They are wonderful people, everyone of them dedicated and pleasant.

While I waited in the lobby for the 3 hours it took for them to look after my hubby, I had time to look around. We live in a small community, the whole county only has roughly 30,000 people. During my wait, two ambulances came screaming in and at least 50 sick people paraded in and out of the waiting room. Most of them older people and parents with little children being seen at the adjoining walk-in-clinic.

I asked an attendant if it was this busy just because it was spring? She said, “No, it has been like this for awhile now. The clinic saw 63 patients just yesterday.”  Then I asked, if it was because of Obamacare? She stopped dead in her tracks, turned and just like a deer in the headlights, stared at me.  “Oh, uh maybe.” She whispered.

I came away from that experience with the inherent impression that  in this area at least, more and more older people are sicker and depleted. And that today young parents haven’t the first clue how to take care of their kids childhood illnesses. These kids seem to be less vibrant and defiantly nutrient deficient . Parents were feeding these toddlers, chips and candy from a vending machine to keep them manageable. One young mother was totally frustrated because the Doctor didn’t want to give her an anti-biotic for her child’s upper respiratory virus.  To placate her, the exasperated attending physician wrote her the prescription she wanted. But I digress. . .

When we arrived at the pharmacy to fill his prescription, there was a line and a wait for at  least another hour. So, this was my great awakening. Humanity is ill!

“The man is not sick because he has an illness, the man is ill because he is sick.”  Old Chinese Proverb

Having lead you down that depressing path, at the least I can do is redeem myself with an offering.

   Vis Medicatrix Naturae

“The Healing Power of Nature”

Springtime is the Moon of many gifts—Naa-yu

The influence on the human physiology is energetic, an inner strength and a will to fight physical ills. The perfect time for clearing out the old.  Following the natural rhythms of mother earth, the lymph system is eager to clean house. Tonics are the first line of natural cleaners.  There are several actually but I will give you some starter herbs and a couple of recipes here, it is up to you to do the rest.

A tonic uses herbs to restore and strengthen the entire system. Some herbs will help push or pull toxins from the body. Other herbs will produce and restore a normal tone to our fragile innards. General tonics are ones that braces and refreshes the whole system, such as dip in a cold pond.

Some of my favorite spring tonic herbs are;

Dandelion flowers— roots are used in the fall. The dandelion has two particularly important uses: to promote the formation of bile and to remove excess water from the body. By acting to remove poisons from the body, it acts as a tonic and a stimulant as well.

Red Clover— “Red clover is one od God’s blessings to man.” Quoted from Jethro Kloss  Red clover is a wonderful blood purifier.

Stinging Nettle– The entire plant is used as a pectoral, diuretic, astringent, tonic, stypic. A stypic in this use arrests hemorrhage and bleeding.

Mint— This includes peppermint, spearmint and Bee balm. These are used as a stimulant, meaning it increases the activity or efficiency of a system or organ.

Parsley –When fresh parsley is used it acts as a diuretic, gentle laxative, expectorant and contains loads of vitamin C.

Licorice root–Used as a laxative, tonic, and expectorant. Also, excellent for clearing out congestion from the lungs and chest.

Hyssop — Hyssop is recorded as being used in the Bible for cleansing the body. David knew the benefits to be derived from it’s use. Promotes sweating, slightly laxative.

Astragalus —mild diuretic, anti-inflammatory, immune stimulant and also has anti-viral properties.

Chickweed — chickweed is a nourishing tonic herb for improving overall energy levels.

Cleavers — is a rich source of chlorophyll and is one of the premier spring tonic herbs used in promoting lymphatic drainage and blood purification. This herb is a strong diuretic.

 

To make a single herb tonic;

Dandelion flower tonic– pick and clean on ounce of dandelion blossoms at full bloom. Place the blossom/flowers in a glass jar and pour a pint of boiled water over the blossoms. Let steep for about 10 minutes, strain and sweeten. Drink everyday until the blossoms are gone. Be sure to pick young dandelion leaves for your salads as they are loaded with vitamins and minerals.

Red Clover tea–  pick and clean about two cups of red clover blossoms. Add two thin sticks of cinnamon, chopped and one teaspoonful of dried, grated orange rind. Put all ingredients into glass jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake to mix. Take out one teaspoonful and put into a cup. Pour boiled water over the mixture and let steep 10 minutes, strain. Sweeten with honey.

The best multi-herb tonic for spring cleaning—

Using several of the above herbs in equal parts and place into a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake to mix. Take a teaspoon from the mixture and put into a cup. Pour boiled water over the herbs and steep 10 minutes. Strain and sweeten with honey.

According to Dr. Sherry Rogers, “Each person has a point at which his barrel of toxic chemicals overflows. At that point he has symptoms. . . .” From her book Detoxify or Die.

Back to Eden , The Authentic Kloss Family-Jethro Kloss

Power Foods, Stephanie Beling, M.D.

When There is No Medicine, Janet Noakes, B.S. Nutrition Education

Making Plant Medicine, Richo Cech

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

health · herbs · homesteading · self-reliance

Green Blood

 

Mr. D is a 90 year old senior with a really cool sense of humor and an excellent story telling skills. Today while we were making cookies for his freezer, Mr. D and I were discussing what life was like when he was a kid. As old people love to talk about “life in the old days,” he told me a story of an incident that could have turned out very tragically if not for an observant old time country Doctor.

As a youngster of the 1930s Mr. D was left pretty much on his own after his chores had been completed. At 12 years of age his mother had no worries about Mr. D and his buddies playing down by the pond several blocks past the old feed mill most every day. She knew basically where they were and when they became hungry, she was sure they would miraculously appear at the kitchen table.

Today the boys had been fishing down at the pond when Mr. D suddenly found a fish hook lodged in his wrist. One of the other boys whipped his pole to send his wormed hook out to the center of the pond. It didn’t make it that far before piercing the skin of Mr. Ds wrist, the barb of the fish hook securely embedded into the muscle.

He worked for quite some time to dislodge the fish hook, using his jack knife to help with the task. The boys all gathered around to watch with fascination as blood dripped from his wrist. Finally, he got the nasty fish hook out of his wrist and cleaned up the blood  with a little pond water and the boys resumed fishing until almost dark.

A few days later, Mr. D had walked several blocks to the towns only mercantile/ general store to purchase some things for his mother. With his arms loaded he was waiting at the corner to allow a car to pass before he could cross the street when it stopped in front of him. The driver was the village Doctor on his way to check on a patient. The good doctor rolled down his window and asked Mr. D if he and his load would like a lift home since the doctor was headed in his direction.

Mr. D climbed into the front seat next to the doctor and set his packages on the floor in front of him. It was about then the good doctor noticed the green line running up the inside of Mr. Ds arm. He asked what had happened to create such a nasty infection?

Mr. D had the doctors undivided attention so he spilled his story on him. After which, the good doctor told Mr. D to have his mother make a poultice of ground flax seed and wrap it around his wrist until the infection and gangrene was gone, and dropped the boy off in front of his house. Waving good bye, he drove off to his next appointment.

Mr. D showed his arm to his mother and told her what the doctor had said. She immediately went to work. She made a paste from the ground flax seed using a little water. Next she placed it directly on Mr. Ds infected arm, then wrapped it securely with a clean linen cloth. It was changed again before bed and the again the next day. Within three days the infection and the green line running up Mr. Ds arm had been healed by the flax seed meal. And so, Mr. D is still with us today.

Why whole plant Material heals?

Plants are chemically complex. The chemical elements of which plants are constructed—principally carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur, etc.—are the same as for all other life forms animals, fungi, bacteria and even viruses. Only the details of the molecules into which they are assembled differs. This underlying similarity, plants produce a vast array of chemical compounds with unique properties which they use to cope with their environment. Pigments are used by plants to absorb or detect light. Perhaps the most celebrated compounds from plants are those with pharmacological activity, such as salicylic acid from which aspirin is made, morphine, and digoxin. Drug companies spend billions of dollars each year researching plant compounds for potential medicinal benefits.

When pharmaceutical drug makers isolate and concentrated an element from a plant they strip away all the complimenting molecules. All the plants chemicals work in synergy. When you take away one element and concentrate it, it is now possible to become a dangerous drug, poisonous. It is why pharmaceutical drugs are monitored and controlled.

So. . . .

Active compounds found in the plant such as chlorophyll are close to human blood. (Chlorophyll~~Chlorophyll is a chlorin pigment, which is structurally similar to and produced through the same metabolic pathway as other porphyrin pigments such as heme. At the center of the chlorin ring is a magnesium ion. This was discovered in 1906, and was the first time that magnesium had been detected in living tissue.)

The correct structure of hemin (heme) is part of the hemoglobin. ( hemoglobin is the red coloring of blood, the pigment, when combined with protein forms hemoglobin) Chlorophyll molecules closely resemble hemin. One of the major differences between chlorophyll and hemin is that chlorophyll contains magnesium while hemin molecule contains iron for the central atom. Owing to the close molecule resemblance between chlorophyll and hemoglobin is that chlorophyll and its derivatives is nature’s blood-building element for all plant eaters and humans.

Magnesium in plant chlorophyll picks up the blue light from the sun, add in plant carbs and proteins, which all contribute to turn the plant blood green. Iron plus proteins makes human and animal blood red. That’s why I say;

Plants are people too!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

health · herbs · homesteading · self-reliance

Natures Laws for Helping and Healing

thN6FBKBSZ 

As the scene opens, you and your immediate family have survived  *the end of the world as we knew it* situation. The electricity has been out for the better part of a month and someone you care about has taken ill. It is way too dangerous to venture far from your hiding place, there is no way to find a health care provider this far from town. Are you prepared to handle what you need to do?

Maybe I can help.

Natures Laws

The first law is to “Do no harm.” Primum non nocere

All healing practices and it’s practitioners hold this law as sacred.  M.Ds, O.D.s, Dentists, Naturopaths, Herbalists, EMTs, Nutritionists and dieticians and even Shamans are bound by this very simple phrase.

This phrase is a promise “to abstain for doing harm.” It reminds the health care provider that they must consider the possible harm that any intervention might do. Another way to consider it;  given an existing health condition or complaint, it may be better to not do something or even do nothing at all, than to risk causing more harm. Abiding by this first law of nature is not as easy as one might think. People, given our very nature, want to help, to do something.

Your family physician and related healthcare practitioners  most likely took part in this updated oath to receive their shingle.

             Hippocratic Oath — Modern Version

I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:

I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.

I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures which are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.

I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.

I will not be ashamed to say “I know not,” nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient’s recovery.

I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.

I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.

I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.

I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.

If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.

Written in 1964 by Louis Lasagna, Academic Dean of the School of Medicine at Tufts University, and used in many medical schools today.

(Any thoughts about this oath and how it does or does not comply with Obamacare in the U.S.?)

The Second rule of Natures Laws for Helping and Healing

When it is only you, your nurturing skills, and a few herbs, Mother nature lends us a second rule;

Give the gift of time.

If the problem does not require first aid, or immediate life or death intervention allow at least three days of treatment or herbal remedy to work it’s magic. Watch, monitor and record the patients response to that treatment. (First aid, immediate treatment, and intense  emergency treatment are saved for a another post.)

Herbs have the ability to work with the chemistry of the body directing it to a slower, more natural response. If after three days of teas or treatments, there is no change in an illness or condition, change the treatment. For chronic or long on going health  issues give one month of treatment for every year of a problem. Herbal remedies help the body restore balance and nudge it towards a healing state, pharmaceutical medications, which only treat symptoms, change the problem through chemistry.

During an illness, you should limit drinks to an acid such as grape, apple or cranberry. Acidic juices thin the body fluids, which helps keep things moving. Alkaline fluids (vegetable juices) thicken body fluids thus impeding circulation. Never sweeten fruit juice with sugar.

What ever us humans have done to ourselves, plants have been the basic source of health giving properties along an unbroken line far into prehistoric times. The first Chinese herb book, dating from about 2700B.C. lists 365 individual medical plants and their uses.

Three Basic Principles

When  considering a remedy, treatment or course of action keep Dr. Pickerings three basic principles of health in mind.

  1. You are automatically healthy by design, and sick only by default.
  2. You don’t catch disease;  you *earn* it, as it stems from *crud* in the blood from being drunk with junk.
  3. You get well by what comes *out* of you, not always by what goes into you.

In  essence, health is as much based on getting rid of toxins, bacteria and  substances as it is based on optimizing nutrition.

Your instincts will be of great value when there is no one but you. Mark Twain made a statement that we can take to heart.

“The two most important days of your life are the day you  were born and the day you find out why.”

 

With the above information  in mind, let us test your awareness ;

In a previously posted article, https://handygranny.com/2015/11/23/your-skills-will-be-tested-to-their-fullest-extent/ we discussed food and water borne bacteria if you would like to refer back to it.

Returning to the * after the SHTF* scenario;   your college age son has traveled the country side making his way home after this nation  wide catastrophe.

Summer break came early this year. The power has been out for more than a week with no end in sight. School administrators say they are are running low on food for the cafeteria, most of it having already spoiled. The Dean sent a runner to tell students they are closing the school. Everyone is free to go home or where ever.

Most of your small town has left for other places or have been evacuated. The last text you received from your son before your phone went dead was that he was on his way home. You and your family stay put to wait for him.

It took him 5 days to arrive home on foot and everyone is ecstatic to see him with hugs and kisses. But your dear son is not feeling well. His symptoms are as follows;

This 20 year old young man chalks up his general malaise and nausea to the heat, his long journey and excitement of being home. He has a restless night in his own bed and in the morning he is definitely feeling flu like symptoms, but without a fever. Over the course of the morning dear son has developed severe abdominal cramps, and begins to vomit. Next comes the diarrhea. What do you suspect is going on with him?

  1. He picked up a bout of Cholera
  2. He has Typhoid
  3. He has food poisoning
  4. He now has Hepatitis A

 

Is his illness contagious?

How do you know?

What is your first course of action?

What should you have done before you welcomed him into the group?

How does natures laws apply here?

Doctors, nurses  and other healthcare professionals know the answer to these questions, but does the average worried Mom? If it were my son traveling alone across those miles I would be rejoiced to see him safe, but that is the wrong way to approach the safety of the rest of your group. Anyone, and that means everyone, needs time to be isolated and monitored before being allowed into the general group. Please don’t rely on TV programs like the “walking Dead” or “The History Channel” for direction on post apocalyptic survival.

We got lucky with dear son, he has a nasty case of food poisoning.  Food poisoning is generally not contagious.  Depending on the type of bacteria ingested from contaminated food symptoms could take from 30 minutes to as long as 4 weeks from exposure to onset of symptoms.

Given that our young man is 20 years old, he will recover on his own unaided. He should be monitored for dehydration, however, and given plenty of fresh clean water to drink. An electrolyte, such as Gatoraid, would be helpful. (Home made hydration solution similar to Pedialyte, see page 19 in “How to Survive and Thrive When the Power is Out.”)

Cholera is usually not contagious, although, handling contaminated feces can get you sick. Symptoms are similar to food poisoning characterized by watery diarrhea, but this contaminated food or water bacteria brings on symptoms abruptly.

Typhoid is communicable disease, characterized by a fever of 103 to 105 degrees, fatigue, no appetite, chills headache, muscle pain and tenderness of the abdomen. Typhoid is a member of the Salmonella bacteria family. It is transferred from person to person by direct contact of body fluids of an active typhoid person. Think typhoid Mary of history.

Hepatitis A is a viral liver infection, highly contagious. Generally, hepatitis viruses are transferred by contaminated food, water and sharing syringes and sexual behavior. General symptoms are fever, weakness, nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, drowsiness, headache, abdominal discomfort, and often jaundice.

Hepatitis infections are contagious two weeks before and one week after jaundice appears. Bathrooms should be decontaminated due to fecal matter containing the virus. Isolation is recommended. Signs and symptoms can last from 2 to 6 months.

Important Procedures

Now that we are aware of the importance of knowing a little something about post catastrophe diseases, we can use this to protect the rest of the group and from being over whelmed by following some simple procedures.

Isolation– Always isolate newcomers and those of your group showing signs of a fever–undiagnosed or suspicious rash–jaundice or abdominal pain. When in doubt, always isolate. It’s better to be safe.

Sanitation– The removal of waste material and an action to make clean  the immediate environment.

Hygiene– Is a system of principles that deals with the preservation of health. Without proper sanitation and hygiene even the healthiest, strongest, biggest fellow will have a tough time. Bacteria is the enemy during a crisis and can kill if let run unchecked.

Nutrition– An act or process of nourishing, supplying nourishment. To nourish, sustain, maintain and support.

The best time  to begin is now, before the lights go out.  A hard copy library in place  when the SHTF will be  your very best friend.