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

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.

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.)


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.

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; 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;







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


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, 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.





















health · herbs · homesteading · medical formulas · self-reliance

Home Made Herbal Beverages

fall harvest of herbs 9-2015 003

Freeze watch for this county is no longer in effect. Freeze warning is now in effect until 9 AM tomorrow morning. “But it is only September!” I protest rather loudly.

There is just nothing humanly possible that can be done about it, so I run myself ragged today harvesting all that I can from the garden and herb beds. The squash and pumpkins are just starting to ripen with many more coming on. Pepper plants loaded with blossoms and bees dancing from one flower to the next choreographed like a fine ballet.
“What a shame. A garden full of beautiful plants so close to being fully mature, simply wasted.” Again I protest, a little softer this time.
“I so enjoyed stepping out the back door and doing my grocery shopping for the evening meal among the well manicured rows of colorful produce. “In the early morning hours of twilight, without forte or celebration, all the hard work and joy of this years garden comes to an end. It is truly a sad moment.” I think to myself.

You know, I should be used to it by now. We only have about a 112 day window to grow our vegetables in the center of Michigans’ Upper Peninsula. The maples are already about 70% color right now, with brilliant orange, yellow and reds. Falling leaves cover my car. An occasional bird, not from this area, stops by the feeder for a quick bite on his way south. I just heard a group of coyotes yipping from off in the distance. I feel helpless as I know old man Frost has his hands around the throat of my living garden.  I’m already missing the intoxicating pine fragrance delivered to our senses by summers soft warm evening breeze. Nothing says relaxing like leaning back in your favorite chair out on the deck and taking in a spectacular sunset, all while sipping your favorite iced tea. It’s simply hard to give up.

Which finally brings me to the point of this post, home made herbal tea and other drinks. As I scurry around gathering everything that I can, herbal combinations for our winter beverages play repeatedly in my brain. God, in all his infinite wisdom, gave us such wonderful natural flavors and prominently placed taste buds to distinguish them. And you can’t beat the cost, free!

Long before we moved to the U.P. we lived in farm country in Northern Indiana where many sects of Amish live and farm. Amish women shared their herb tea recipes freely, so I learned much from my Amish sisters. There are herbal switchels, teas, special drinks and medical teas, just to name a few. One is only limited by ones imagination.

How to Make an Herbal Tea

Herbal tea is an acquired taste. We are conditioned from birth to food additives and sweeteners that when given a naturally sweetened beverage, it is often distasteful at first. However, there is a personal reward when a natural tea product eventually becomes preferred. You know you are doing the body good.

Start with filtered water. I prefer distilled water. Some times you can find a quality bottled water that will suit you. Using city tap water that is often chlorinated, or/and fluoridated will corrupt the flavor of your natural drink. Select your tea (bag or bulk) and load it into your favorite cup. Heat the water until almost a boil and pour over your tea. Cover the cup for a few minutes and let steep from 3 to 10 minutes depending on what your tea requires.

The picture below is a mesh tea ball for use with bulk tea.

mesh tea ball

Let’s start you out with one of my favorites

Evening relaxer (for kicking back on the deck and watching the sunset)

1 part peppermint leaves
1/2 part chamomile leaves and flowers
1/2 part licorice root
1/4 part hops
1/4 valerian root

Mix all the herbs in a larger mason jar. Take one teaspoon full and put into a cup with hot water. Steep for about 3 minutes and enjoy.

Summer time herbade

1/2 cup lemon balm
1/2 cup peppermint, minced
1/2 lemon juice or rhubarb juice (they taste the same when used in beverages and cooking)
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup honey or sugar

Combine all the ingredients with another 1/2 of water and let stand for an hour. The lemon balm and mint can be whirled briefly in a blender, with water.
This can be strained, and diluted with ice water. For something different, add gingerale instead of water.

Hay-time Switchel (Switchel originated in Nova Scotia, it is a tangy, flavorful beverage rich in minerals and is good for the digestion)

1/2 cup Braggs apple cider vinegar
1/4 molasses
1/2 cup honey or brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 oatmeal, optional
Add all the ingredients and fill to 2 quarts with water. Mix well and refrigerate overnight. Serve cold or with ice.

Kids better-than-koolaid beverage

I really, really hated all the sugar and food colorings in those tiny packages of Kool-Aid from the late 70’s when my own kids were little. So I made my own.

Start with about 2 quarts of raspberries. Heat up about 2 quarts of water to near boiling. Pour the water over the raspberries and set aside for a few hours. Next mash the berries and strain. Add a little sugar, honey or Stevia to taste and chill. There are no artificial ingredients in this drink. Whats more is that this mixture will make excellent popsicles.

If fresh raspberries are unavailable, the next best thing is to purchase raspberry zinger tea at the grocery store. Make two quarts of it following package directions. Add a little sweetener and chill.

Well, I’m sad to say the Ice Man cometh. We had our killing frost over night.First Frost-Freeze of 2015 003
So I’m out to dig roots next. My list gets longer every year. This year I’m collecting;
Burdock root (to use in my tinctures. Works wonder on staph infections, impetigo, and obstinate ulcerations of the skin.)

Valerian root (Usually made into a tincture but works well when used as a tea or decoction. Valerian is used as a sedative and helps to induce sleep. The herb also can reduce stress, nervousness, and irritability.)

Comfrey root (Made into a tincture, also, helps to speed healing of cuts, ulcerations, bruises, broken bones, pulled muscles and ligaments and sprains.)

Horseradish root (A horseradish tincture acts to open sinus passages. Combined with other tinctures, Horseradish is useful in treating upper respiratory complaints, sinus infections and the common cold. It also works wonders fro treating urinary tract infections, rheumatism and gout.)

Echinacea root (This one I dry, it can be used in a tincture form, but I like it in a tea. Echinacea is wonderful for giving a boost to the immune system. It helps increase the overall resistance to disease. Works great as an anti-inflammatory treatment for infected wounds. Beware, it is rare but allergic reactions have been recorded with the use of this herb.)

Well, that ‘s it for now, I need to go get started. Got lots to do today! Talk to ya again soon.

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

The Doctor of the Future Will Give No Medicine

“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.”

I recently sought help from a Naturopath for a digestion problem which not only aggravated my stomach and caused constipation. Of course, the body being a closed system, the constipation left me almost bedridden at times with great headaches. I was up for something different as my regular physician had me go through 5 different expensive tests and couldn’t find anything that was causing my complaint.

I found a Naturopathic doctor in a neighboring state but had to wait 3 full months for the appointment because so many others had the same idea as me. She was that full. This dear doctor actually, spends time with each patient because she is not under the 6 minute rule per patient of Obamacare.
My Naturopathic doctor has helped me tremendously using ancient Chinese acupuncture and a combination of herbal mixes to gently nudge the body into a healing mode.  While these methods are working their magic my Naturopathic Doctor teaches me the proper care of the body.  It is now up to the me to see to it that I do the work necessary to heal my complaints.  It’s a joint effort that allows me control of my own health. I like that.

My complaint seems trivial compared to others with life threatening illnesses and diseases. In the state of Michigan and Wisconsin she is not allowed to diagnose your condition but simply suggest a course of action, she is an educator. True Naturopathic healthcare has been terribly propagandized, often being ostracized by people who don’t know what a Naturopath really does and by western medicine in general fearful that western medicine is failing the general public and pharmaceutical companies could loose $$$$.
A Naturopathic Doctor is a doctor first and foremost.  Years of doctor studies at accredited schools and residency at a hospital or other medical facility they choose to leave the cut it out, burn it out, pharmaceutical kingdom and point their studies toward other avenues. A study of Naturopathy has it’s own extensive requirements, much like someone choosing to move into the chiropractic practice.   My particular Naturopath has hospital privileges at our community hospital and while under her care she ordered up a blood test for me. We suspected along with my digestion problem that my thyroid may be out of whack. (Turned out she was right, my numbers were a little on the pale side. The link is a profile of my Naturopath and her accomplishments and credits ;  I’m sure she wouldn’t mind)

I really didn’t know what to expect from a Doctor that offers you a natural healing alternative when I first made the choice to go see her. I came away with an understanding that the body wants to be healthy, it is designed to be healthy.  I already knew the drugs you get from your pharmacist are poisons to the body and very rarely cure anything. They generally mask the very symptoms that are the body’s signal of something wrong, and often create another set of problems. Severally ill patients in a conventional medicine are prescribed pills and treatments which cause a set of conditions that often require more pills to offset the agony directly caused by the first round of medication. Then the patient dies, leaving an opening for the next severely ill patsy. Before you send me a nasty comment, think about the last person that you knew that had cancer. This dear person received drugs, more drugs, and possible some surgery, right? After a course of treatment dear person is said to be cancer free! Only, 5, 6, or 7 years later the cancer returns with a vengeance. Another course of drugs, which cause a reaction which more drugs are given. Then dear person dies anyway. What a win, win for the pharmaceutical and cancer centers. Next! Dear patient is never told that drugs and Chemo deplete the body of all nutrients while killing the immune system which now needs to be replenished.

My naturopath assisted and encouraged me in helping my body’s own healing. I now feel great! Also, I personally discovered that when you give the body the proper stuff, the human body will miraculously take care of the rest. It has been designed to be healthy.  We know this, all of us, but the western medical octopus has too much to loose. In my humble opinion and to my knowledge, only in rare cases do pharmaceutical drugs make a difference or actually cure an illness, the exception, maybe being antibiotics for infectious diseases.

6 principles of Naturopathy
The man is not sick because he has and illness, the man has an illness because he is sick. An Old Chinese Proverb


Another healing tool that I am currently investigating is the Rife machine. Many years ago and man by the name of Royal Raymond RifeRoyal Rife discovered he could kill bacteria with sound frequencies.  The earths vibrational frequency is 7.83 hz or it used to be. Some are measuring a sight increase in earths resonance. There are a boat load of people who swear the Rife generator has healed their illness and others  who claim “Quack” status. As far as I’m concerned, the jury is still out.

The claimed physic Sylvia Brown wrote in one of her books that in the future our healthcare would be provided by natural wellness centers because of the circumstances that will change on the earth and in the human condition. I think we are leaning that way right now.