Tag Archives: prepping

Creating your own firestarters – Oathkeepers Preparedness Class

Learning different techniques to get that heat and/or cooking first started can be a matter of life and death. Here are a few tricks for fire-starters to get you started on some survival knowledge. These work great too in your own fireplace, wood stove, manual pellet stoves or your outdoor fire pit. (We use a few of these at our house too!) Many are great to keep in your camping and 72 hour bags as well.

We also get a chance to show you a simple and effective room heater to use ONLY in an emergency (we have heated up our greenhouse in the dead of winter with it until we got a Chiminea to help with the colder norther Arizona winters.)

Having reliable DIY fire starters nearby will spare you from many headaches down the road.

 Posted by Ryan Lisson – January 9, 2015   

http://www.wideopenspaces.com/make-easy-diy-fire-starters-home-woods/

It doesn’t matter if you’re in the great outdoors, your fenced-in backyard, or sitting next to your cozy living room fireplace, a quality DIY fire starter is just nice to have. As a rule of thumb, you should know how to start a fire without one. (You do, don’t you?) If not, you should learn soon as it’s just ahead of tying knots when it comes to necessary outdoor skills.

But there are situations when you’re short on time, or the kindling is a little damp, or you just plain want an easy way out (no judgment here). Or perhaps you don’t get outdoors much and don’t want to embarrass yourself by committing all kinds of camping blunders.

Worry no more. These DIY fire starters are simple to construct, cheap to make, and will save you time and frustration in the long run. Plus, they make great gifts as well!

Materials

First, you’ll need to collect some materials. Luckily, nearly every item needed for these DIY fire starters is easily found within or around your home. Odd leftover bits of candle wax, crayon stubs, paraffin wax, shredded paper, toilet paper/paper towel tubes, dryer lint, paper/fiber egg cartons, small paper cups, sawdust, pine cones, and string are some solid choices, but feel free to experiment! You’ll need an old coffee can or glass jar to melt the waxes, and do so by placing in a pot of boiling water (double boiler system).

Pine Cones

Simply gather up as many open pine cones in your yard as you can and allow them to dry well. Tie a string around the middle and thread it up to the top. Melt paraffin wax with some chunks of old crayons or candles (for color) and dip the pine cone into the hot wax. Allow to dry on wax paper. When ready, simply light the string like a wick, and watch the pine cone go!

Woodchip Cups

If you do any woodwork or cut your own firewood, you’ll likely have large amounts of sawdust, shavings, or chips laying around. Gather some up and let it dry out well. Fill some paper cups (or muffin cups in a muffin tin) with the shavings almost to the top. Pour the wax over the mixture and let harden.

Shredded Paper

You can follow the same recipe as the wood chip fire starter above. Just gather up some shredded paper (most homes and offices have plenty of this available) and fill the muffin cups as before. Pour wax over it and let harden. Then light the shreds of paper or the muffin cup itself to start it.

Toilet Paper Tube

Obviously you could cut up a paper towel roll as well for this fire starter idea, but simply stuff dryer lint or other flammable materials into the tube. Make sure it’s full but not packed, as you need air space to let oxygen in. You can add wax or petroleum jelly as well, but it works quite well as is.

Cardboard Strips

We all have too much corrugated cardboard coming through our house. Instead of recycling or burning it, do both! Cut strips about two inches wide by three or four inches long. Dip them in melted wax, leaving a small portion undipped. The corrugation leaves channels for air flow, and these light very easily.

Other ideas?

Don’t limit yourself to just these examples. There are many other creative ways to make your own DIY fire starter. You could use birch bark, dried conifer twigs, cotton balls, etc. Or you could even combine some of these ideas together, such as putting a pinecone into an egg shell container, and covering with wax and sawdust.

As long as it lights easily and burns for a few minutes, you’ve succeeded.

The Uber Match- http://www.practicalprimitive.com/skillofthemonth/ubermatch.html  

(As featured in the September 2011 issue of Practically Seeking)

The ability to get a fire going can be the difference between life and death. That is why I always have multiple means of creating one at my disposal.

The Uber Match is simple to make, and when done correctly is reliable, along with being highly water and wind  resistant. Why you would NOT have a couple of these in ANY outdoor kit I cannot fathom!

Though traditionally made using strike anywhere matches (yes, you can still find them in this post 9-11 world) they can also be made using strike-on-the-box varieties — just make sure you have the box striker as well or you are screwed.
An Uber Match will burn for 5-7 minutes easily, produces a much larger flame than a standard match and gives off far more heat.

A major trick to making sure your Uber Matches will really work well is to allow a little bit of space between the matches and just below the match head.

Now onward with the process!

Step-by-step Instructions on How to Make an Uber Match:

  1. Take out 4 matches, preferably of the strike-anywhere variety. (These are the ones that have a white tip on the red match-head.)

 

  1. Completely unroll a regular cotton ball, and then split it in half, length-wise. (One cotton ball makes two Uber Matches.)

 

  1. Melt paraffin wax (our preferred wax for this and available at your grocery or hardware store) or any other type of wax (old candles, crayons, beeswax, etc) in a small container over low heat. An old tuna can works great for this and will sit easily on the stove burner.

 

  1. While your wax is melting, take one of your matches and, starting just below the tip (make sure you can see a short bit of the match stick) wrap around the stick one complete turn with the cotton. Take your second match place it up against the first, then wrap the cotton once completely around the two together.

  

  1. Add your third and then fourth matches in the same manner, wrapping the cotton around all three, then all four matches, creating a square, not a line. This way of wrapping creates necessary air space between the matches to allow for easy ignition. (Remember fire requires fuel, heat and oxygen to establish combustion.)

   

  1. After all 4 matches have been wrapped together continue to wrap the remaining cotton around all 4 sticks until you have completely covered the match sticks all the way down to the bottom. Strive to make the wrap nice and even all the way down, as if you were wrapping a mummy for Halloween.

  

  1. Roll the now completely wrapped matches tightly between your fingers to really squeeze down the cotton wrapping.

 

  1. Give the BASE of your Uber Match a quick dip in the melted wax and allow to cool and harden slightly. (For the sake of domestic relations, lay down a piece of aluminum foil for a cooling station — wax can be very difficult to remove from counters, stove tops and plates!)

  

  1. Once the base is cool enough to handle, give the top of your matches a quick dip in the wax far enough that the entire Uber Match is now completely coated in wax. Set it aside and allow to cool. When the wax is cool enough to handle but still warm enough to mold, use your fingers to press the wax-covered cotton into the matches and shape each Uber Match to a nice smooth cylinder.

  

  1. After the wax has hardened on all your Uber Matches, place several into an old pill bottle (along with the box striker if you have been forced to use strike-on-box types) and put this in with your camping gear/emergency kit/GO Bag. Allow the remaining wax to cool in the tuna can and it will be ready to melt again for your next set of matches!

  

  1. These Uber Matches will strike even when wet. And be careful, they have a much bigger flame than a regular match!

  

 

 

 

 

How Do I Make Vaseline Cotton Ball Fire Starters?

http://www.ramblinjim.com/articles/using-vaseline-cotton-balls-as-a-fire-starter/

To make your fire starters, you just need two ingredients — petroleum jelly and cotton balls. Any brand of petroleum jelly will work, just make sure it’s 100% pure petroleum jelly. You’ll need a lot of it, so get it in bulk. For the cotton balls, get jumbo-sized cotton balls and check the package to be sure they’re 100% cotton. Artificial fibers won’t take a spark.

Rubbing the Vaseline into a cotton ball is messy work. The fibers of the cotton ball tend to pull apart and the Vaseline gets everywhere. The cleanest, easiest method I’ve found is to put a scoop of Vaseline into a snack-sized Ziploc bag, toss some cotton balls in, zip it up, then knead the Vaseline into the cotton balls.

You want to get as much Vaseline in the cotton ball as you can without completely saturating the cotton ball. It’s very important to have some dry fibers available in the middle to take the flame, especially if you use a firesteel or magnesium rod.

 

How to Make Lint Fire Starters

https://www.thebalance.com/how-to-make-lint-fire-starters-1388857

 By Erin Huffstetler  Updated July 05, 2016

Forget about paying for fire starters. You can make all the fire starters you need for free.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: 15 minutes or less

What You Need

  • Dryer lint
  • Cardboard egg cartons
  • candle wax (old candles work great)

Here’s How

  1. Fill each cup of the egg carton with dryer lint.
  2. Melt the wax in a double boiler.
  3. Pour the wax over top of the lint.
  4. Allow the wax to cool and harden. Then, cut the egg carton up to create 12 fire starters.

To use: Simply place a fire starter in your fireplace (or firepit) with your kindling and light. The wax will keep the starter going long enough to ignite your kindling.

Tips

  1. Be sure to cover your work surface, before you start.
  2. You can use saw dust from non-pressure-treated wood in place of the dryer lint, or broken crayons in place of the candle wax. There’s plenty of room to improvise.
  3. Fire starters make great gifts. Make a bunch, and you’ll be all set for Christmas.

 

 

Tea Light Personal Space Heater

http://simplydixon.com/2014/01/06/tea-light-heater/

Jeremy January 6, 2014 do it yourselfhome

This may sound like one of those “free” energy things, and I’ll admit that I was a bit skeptical about this working until this morning. After spending a morning next to this thing, I can now say that this tea light candle heater actually works. You have to be near it to get warmer or have a small space to heat, but it works…really.

What is it?

Basically it is 4 tea light candles, placed in a foil lined bread dish, covered up with one terracotta pot and that covered up with a larger terracotta pot.

How well does it work?

I have a relatively large space in my completely unheated basement office, but if i put it next to where i’m sitting I can definitely feel the heat.

Why it works

The inner pot gets really warm, even hot to the touch, so I imagine that the two pot system helps keep some of the heat contained so it can slowly let it radiate from the pot instead of letting the candles heat dissipate quickly in the cold air. I’m sure there are many others who know a lot more about the inner workings of this type of a heating method.

How I made mine

  • 1 glass bread dish (metal would probably work better if we had one)
  • Line the dish with aluminum foil (I figure it would help reflect the heat back at the pots)
  • 4 tea light candles placed in the center of the dish (you can get100 of them from amazon for $8.95)
  • one smaller clay pot, set on the dish (must be large enough to rest on the top of the dish to create airflow for the candles)
  • a larger clay pot set on top of the whole thing but resting on the top of the bread dish.

 

 

Oathkeepers Presentation – Prepper 101 – month supply of food

With all of the research that our family does on being prepared and in lines with sharing that information with others, we came across a GREAT article – ADDED BELOW! 

For a demonstration of the the foods, we pulled and brought the amount of foods that they listed below. It all stacked neatly in our farm’s garden cart. 

Prepping 101 – Food Preps: 30 Days Worth Of Food

By Pat H http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2013/02/16/prepper-101-food-preps-30-days-worth-of-food/

When you start to consider prepping, one of the first things you need to start prepping for is food. Simply put, food is one essential you need to live and your family must have a supply of food on hand regardless what the day or your situation is. Because of our just in time supply chain model, most grocery stores do not have more than 3 days’ worth of food stocked. In any type of emergency or disaster situation, the store shelves are cleaned quickly. You do not want to be one of those people who realize you have nothing in the house for dinner and a major snow storm, hurricane or  other event is imminent. You will go to the grocery store and find bare shelves like they did during hurricane Sandy. This happens in every instance where people could face the possibility of going hungry. The stores are cleaned out and the larger your city, the quicker the shelves are bare.

Not only will there be no food on the shelves, but the shelves could stay that way for a long time. What if the roads are impassable? What if there is some supply disruption. You could be out of food for a long time and this should never happen. You eat every day and so does everyone else. Running out of food should not be an option for your family at least for a reasonable amount of time.

FEMA recommends 3 days’ worth of foodand water to last most common emergencies and I would say 30 days is a better goal to shoot for. If you have a month of food stored in your house you can worry about other things like getting back to your family if you are away from home or not going out in the first place to fight the lines of panicked people who waited until the last-minute.

Storing food can be complicated and costly but it is possible to start with a very simple list of itemsthat you can purchase from your local grocery store or big-box chain like Wal-Mart, Costco or Sam’s Club. I have compiled a simple list of common foods that you can go get today that will allow you to feed a family of 4 for 30 days. If you have more or less people or giants in your family tree then you would need to adjust accordingly.

Basic Foods

I shop at Costco or Sam’s, but you can get all of these at your friendly neighborhood grocery store. You may have to adjust the quantities. I like Costco and Sam’s because I can buy larger containers and have to worry about fewer items, but you can also use Amazon.com. At a store, you can also throw these into your cart and nobody is going to look at you like you are a deviant. If anyone does ask you what you are doing, just tell them you are having a big Chicken Stew or some other neighborhood type of event.

  • Rice– First off, buy a 50lb. bag of rice. These contain 504 servings and I don’t know too many people who won’t eat rice. It is simple to cook and stores for years if you keep it cool and dry. This bag at Sam’s costs about $19 now.
  • Beans– Next buy a bag of dry beans. This will check off the Beans part of your Beans, Bullets and Band-Aids list. A good size bag is about $5 and makes 126 servings. Buy two if you think your family would like them.
  • Canned meat– Cans are great for fruits and vegetables and anyone can find something they will eat. For canned meat, I recommend tuna or chicken because it tastes a heck of a lot better than Spam and you can easily mix that into your rice. For the meat you will need approximately 35 cans. Each can has about 3 servings and this will be the most costly, but they last over a year usually and your family probably eats chicken or tuna on a semi-regular basis anyway so restocking this should be simple.
  • Canned Vegetables– you will need about 40 cans of vegetables and again this can be whatever your family will eat. Expect to pay around a dollar each so $40 for veggies to last your family a month.
  • Canned Fruit– again, simple fruits that your family will eat. These can even be fruit cocktail if that is the safest thing. At Costco they have the #10 cans of fruit like pears or apple slices and each of these has 25 servings. 5 of these will cost about $25 and give your family their daily dose of fruit.
  • Oatmeal– Good old-fashioned oatmeal is simple to cook and store. A normal container has 30 servings each so purchase about 4 of these and your family won’t starve for breakfast. At $2 each that is about $8 for breakfast for a month for a family of four. Could you exchange Pop-tarts? Maybe, but I find oatmeal more filling and less likely to be snacked on.
  • Honey– Honey is a miracle food really as it will never go bad if you keep it dry and cool. Honey will last you forever and Sam’s has large containers that hold 108 servings. You can use this in place of sugar to satisfy the sweet tooth. Honey even has medicinal properties and you can use this to add some flavor to your oatmeal for breakfast.
  • Salt– Same as honey, salt will never go bad if you keep it dry and helps the flavor of anything. You can buy a big box of salt for around $1 and that will last your whole family a month easily.
  • Vitamins– I recommend getting some good multivitamins to augment your nutrition in the case of a disaster or emergency. Granted, rice and beans aren’t the best and you won’t be getting as many nutrients from canned fruit and vegetables so the vitamins help to fill in the gaps and keep you healthy. One big bottle costs about $8. You will need to get a kids version too if you have children small enough that they can’t or won’t swallow a big multivitamin.

 

All of the list above will feed the average family of 4 for right at 30 days and makes a great start to your food preparations. The meat was the most expensive part but the bill comes to around $500 give or take but this will vary by where you live. Should you stop there? No, but this is just a good starting point and you should expand from here. I would keep all of these items in your pantry along with your regular groceries and rotate these to keep the contents fresh.

What Next?

Once you have 30 days of groceries in your pantry I would recommend looking into storing larger quantities in Mylar bags or purchasing freeze-dried foods and bulk grains to augment your supplies. You would also need to plan for basic necessities like hygiene (hello toilet paper!) and different food items.

What else should you have? I would recommend several large candles (very cheap at WalMart) or a propane powered lantern, matches or lighters, batteries for flashlights a good first aid kit, radio and plenty of water. You should also add bullion cubes and spices in to make the meals more palatable. Is this going to be as good as some toaster strudel or 3-egg omelets from your chickens in the morning? No, but this list above will keep your family alive.

Water is another post, but for a month you will need 120 gallons at a minimum. Storing this isn’t as easy as groceries but there are lots of options.

This should get you started on your food preps and you can build on from here. Let me know if you have other ideas I missed.

 

Common Herbs and Their Medicinal Uses

I was able to share this information with the Chino Valley Oathkeepers.

Click this button to download this information for the handout.

Common Herbs and Their Medicinal Uses

We have a pretty extensive vegetable and herb garden on our homestead. We have fruit trees, a vegetable garden, a berry walk as well as our herb garden. Each herb can have multiple purposes, besides just “tasting good” in your meals.  

We get all of the following planted and / or reseeded each year to make sure that we have them on hand.  Here is information from many different website sources. (We put links to do more research at the end of each herb plant section too)

Our herb garden includes the following:

  • Basil
  • Cilantro
  • Chamomile
  • Lavender
  • Lemon Balm
  • Lemongrass
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Western Yarrow

 

BASIL:  natural anti-inflammatory with mild antiseptic functions. Also used for flatulence, lack off appetite, nausea and cuts and scrapes.  We eat a lot of basil at our house. It grows well in our aquaponics system and in a pot on our back patio. Pesto is a sauce that we make often using basil.

Treatments Using Basil

  1. Healing: Sharpen memory, use as a nerve tonic, and remove phlegm from your bronchial tubes. Repeat up to once an hour. Leaves can strengthen the stomach and induce perfuse sweating. The seeds can be used to rid the body of excess mucus.
  2. Fevers: Basil leaves are used for quenching fevers, especially those related to malaria and other infectious, eruptive fevers common to tropical areas. Boiling leaves with some cardamom in about two quarts of water, then mixed with sugar and milk, brings down temperature. An extract of basil leaves in fresh water should be given every 2 to 3 hours; between doses you can give sips of cold water. This method is especially effective for reducing fevers in children.
  3. Coughs: Basil is an important ingredient in cough syrups and expectorants. It can also relieve mucus in asthma and bronchitis. Chewing on basil leaves can relieve colds and flu symptoms.
  4. Sore Throat: Water boiled with basil leaves can be taken as a tonic or used as a gargle when you have a sore throat.
  5. Respiratory Disorders: Boiling basil leaves with honey and ginger is useful for treating asthma, bronchitis, cough, cold, and influenza. Boiling the leaves, cloves, and sea salt in some water will give rapid relief of influenza. These combinations should be boiled in about two quarts of water until only half the water remains before they are taken.
  6. Kidney Stones: Basil can be used to strengthen your kidneys. In cases of stones in your kidney, the juice of basil leaves mixed with honey and taken daily for 6 months will expel them through the urinary tract.
  7. Heart Problems: Basil can be used to strengthen those weakened by heart disease. It can also reduce your cholesterol.
  8. Children’s Illnesses: Pediatric complaints like colds, coughs, fever, diarrhea, and vomiting have been know to respond to treatment with the juice of basil leaves. Also if the rash associated with chicken pox is delayed, basil leaves with saffron will bring them to the surface more quickly.
  9. Stress: Basil leaves can be used as an anti-stress agent. Chewing 12 basil leaves twice a day can prevent stress. It will purify the blood and help prevent many other common ailments.
  10. Mouth Infections: Chewing a few leaves twice daily can cure infections and ulcerations of the mouth.
  11. Insect Bites: Basil can be used preventatively and as a curative. A teaspoonful of the basil leaf juice taken every few hours is preventative. Rubbing the bites with juice can relieve the itching and swelling. Also a paste of the root is effective for treating the bites of insects and leeches.
  12. Skin Disorders: Basil juice applied directly to the effected area is good for ringworm and other common skin ailments. Some naturopaths have used it successfully in the treatment of leucoderma (patches of white or light-colored skin).
  13. Tooth Problems: Dry basil leaves in the sun and grind into powder for a tooth cleansing powder. You can also mix with mustard oil to make herbal toothpaste. Both of these methods will counter bad breath and can be used to massage the gums, treat pyorrhea, and other dental health problems.
  14. Headaches: Basil is a good headache remedy. Boil leaves in half a quart of water, cooking until half the liquid remains. Take a couple of teaspoons an hour with water to relieve your pain and swelling. You can also make a paste of basil leaves pounded with sandalwood to apply to your forehead to relieve headache and provide coolness in general.
  15. Eye Disorders: Basil juice is a good for night-blindness and sore eyes. Two drops of black basil juice in each eye at bedtimes each day is soothing.

More information located at: http://www.offthegridnews.com/alternative-health/medicinal-uses-and-health-benefits-of-basil

CILANTRO: a rich source of vitamin K, this herb strengthens bones and helps prevent the onset of bone diseases.

Some of the many known health uses include…

  • Rich in flavonoids and phytonutrients, which are known for their antioxidant properties and help fight free radicals
  • Chock full of minerals like iron and magnesium. Both essential nutrients
  • Effective against indigestion and helps settle the stomach
  • Because it’s a natural anti-inflammatory, it may help to ease the symptoms of arthritis
  • Cilantro seeds can help to lower cholesterol and control blood sugar levels, Lowers bad cholesterol and raises good cholesterol
  • Helps prevent and treat nausea
  • Excellent source of dietary fiber

Folk Medicine and Traditional Uses…

Iranians have used it to treat insomnia and anxiety. In India they make it into a drink. The seeds are boiled in water, then cooled and drunk as a diuretic.

– See more at: http://www.bespokespices.com/benefits-of-cilantro.html

GERMAN or ROMAN CHAMOMILE:  used for infusions, teas and salves, treats indigestion, anxiety and skin inflammations.  As a tea, it serves as a mild sedative to help with sleep.

  • Used as a tea Chamomile flowers are used internally for many common physical symptoms, including menstrua: l cramps, stomach cramps, indigestion, flatulence, diarrhea, fever, colds, congestion, headaches, insomnia, nausea, vomiting, stress, nervousness, and poor digestion. 
  • For babies, it is helpful with symptoms of colic and teething pain. 
  • Externally, Chamomile flowers can be ground into a paste (grind with mortar & pestle and add some water or unsweetened tea – add oatmeal slowly as needed for consistency) and used to treat skin irritations such as ulcers, infections, rashes, and burns. 
  • The flowers can also be used in a bath to ease the pain of hemorrhoids and cystitis, and the essential Oil can be applied to combat neuralgia and eczema.  To prepare a bath, put a handful of flowers in a mesh bag or a knee high stocking, hang it on the tap using string or whatever, and run the bath water over it
  • Lastly, Chamomile flowers can be used in a steam inhaler for respiratory and allergic problems such as asthma, hay fever, and sinusitis.

More information: http://gardensablaze.com/HerbChamomileMed.htm

LAVENDER:  A tea made from lavender has many uses with one of the foremost being its ability to have a calming effect on a person’s mind and body. To that end, lavender can promote a sense of well-being and alleviate stress. It is also useful for dealing with various gastrointestinal issues such as upset stomachs and flatulence.

Because it is a strong antiseptic, lavender tea, when applied topically, can help heal cuts, wounds and sores. It can also be used to mitigate bad breath.

  • restlessness,
  • insomnia,
  • nervousness,
  • depression.
  • meteorism (abdominal swelling from gas in the intestinal or peritoneal cavity),
  • loss of appetite, 
  • vomiting,
  • nausea,
  • intestinal gas (flatulence),
  • upset stomach.

More information on lavender: http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-838-LAVENDER.aspx?activeIngredientId=838&activeIngredientName=LAVENDER

Lavender can also be used in cooking and make a tasty shortbread cookie.

Lavender Shortbread Cookies

From our site: http://krisandlarry.com/2014/07/29/essential-oil-tuesday-lavender-shortbread-cookies/

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened to room-temperature
  • 1 tablespoon dried lavender flowers
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups flour (We substituted a gluten-free flour blend for ours) – plus extra for rolling.
  • Lavender Essential Oil (about 3 drops) – Optional

Directions: 

  1. In your blender or food processor, pulse blend together the sugar and the dried lavender flowers until flowers are smaller and the mixture is fine.
  2. In a mixer, combine the flour and the sugar mixture.
  3. Add butter and 3 drops of PURE essential oil. (You may add a few drops of red and blue food colors if you want to make them purple… we don’t use dyes so this wasn’t an option for us.)
  4. Mix until well blended.
  5. Roll dough out to about .25 in thick and cut with a cookie cutter.
  6. Place on cookie sheet and bake.
  7. Remove to cooling rack.

Bake at 325 for 15 minutes – Makes about 2 dozen cookies depending on the size of your cutter

LEMON BALM: reduces stress and anxiety, promotes sleep, improves appetite, and ease pain and discomfort from indigestion. In the past, lemon balm was steeped in wine to lift the spirits, help heal wounds, and treat venomous insect bites and stings.

As with many other herbs in your healing garden, lemon balm promotes relaxation and a sense of calm.

  • Insomnia treatment
  • Digestive aid
  • Anxiety
  • Indigestion and heartburn
  • Wound treatment
  • Headaches
  • Fever reducer
  • Decreased congestion
  • Cold sores
  • Nervousness

Read more: http://naturalsociety.com/medicinal-uses-of-lemon-balm-grow-own-medicine/  

 

LEMON GRASS: Lemongrass is a plant. The leaves and the oil are used to make medicine. Lemongrass is used for treating digestive tract spasms, stomachache, high blood pressure, convulsions, pain, vomiting, cough, achy joints (rheumatism), fever, the common cold, and exhaustion. It is also used to kill germs and as a mild astringent.

  • Lemongrass is an herb with a plethora of uses medicinally, from being a stomach soother to being an effective insect repellant and fungicide.  A limited study done at the University of Wisconsin revealed that some people taking prepared Lemongrass capsules (140 mg) daily for three months experienced a significant reduction in cholesterol levels, and that their cholesterol levels returned to their previous highs when they stopped taking the preparation. Obviously, this indicates that Lemongrass may help reduce cholesterol in certain individuals. 
  • Make aTea and drink 1-4 cups per day to relieve congestion, coughing, bladder disorders, headaches, fever, stomach aches, digestive problems, diarrhea, gas, bowel spasms, vomiting, flu symptoms, as a mild sedative, and to promote perspiration – and as a possible cholesterol lowering agent.  Rather than discarding the tea bags, use them externally for the problems described below.  An Oil can also be made, 3-6 drops of which can be put on a sugar cube for the same purposes as above. The leaves can also be dried and made into a powder for use in Capsules.  Please see the link below for more details.
  • Externally, anOil can be made with Lemongrass to be applied at 10 drops or so directly to the affected area in cases of  athlete’s foot, cuts, scrapes, lower back pain, sciatica, sprains, tendonitis, neuralgia, circulatory problems, and rheumatism.  It can also be tried on the face to help clear up acne and clean skin pores, and the fresh leaves can be crushed and rubbed on the skin as an on-the-spot outdoor insect repellent.
  • Use Lemongrass in the bath for a soothing aromatherapy experience by placing a mesh bag with a handful of leaves under the running bath water, then letting the bag soak in the water with you as you bathe.  Very relaxing. 
  • Lemongrass is safe for use in moderation, but should be avoided by young children, pregnant women, and people with kidney or liver disease.

More Information at: http://www.gardensablaze.com/HerbLemonGrassMed.htm

OREGANO:  Oregano has been used as a culinary and medicinal herb for thousands of years. It has a beneficial effect upon the digestive and respiratory systems and is also used to promote menstruation.

  • It should not be used medicinally by pregnant women though it is perfectly safe in small amounts for culinary purposes. The leaves and flowering stems are strongly antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, cholagogue, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, stimulant, stomachic and mildly tonic. The plant is taken internally in the treatment of colds, influenza, mild feverish illnesses, indigestion, stomach upsets and painful menstruation.

 

  • It is strongly sedative and should not be taken in large doses, though mild teas have a soothing effect and aid restful sleep. It should not be prescribed for pregnant women.

 

  • Externally, oregano is used to treat bronchitis, asthma, arthritis and muscular pain. The plant can be used fresh or dried – harvest the whole plant (but not the roots) in late summer to dry and store for winter use.

 

  • Oregano is often used in the form of an essential oil that is distilled from the flowering plant. A few drops of the essential oil, put on cotton wool and placed in the hollow of an aching tooth, frequently relieves the pain of toothache.

 

  • This plant is one of the best natural antiseptics because of its high thymol content. The essential oil is used in aromatherapy to treat the same kinds of complaints that the herb is used for.

More information on Oregano: http://www.naturalmedicinalherbs.net/herbs/o/origanum-vulgare=oregano.php

PARSLEY:  When brewed as a tea, parsley can help supplement iron in a person’s diet, particularly for those who are anemic. Drinking parsley tea also boosts energy and overall circulation of the body, and helps battle fatigue from lack of iron.  Other uses?  Parsley tea  fights gas and flatulence in the belly, kidney infections, and bladder infections.  It can also be an effective diuretic. Helps prevent tumor formation and breast cancer.

  • natural cure for bladder problems, prostate or kidney.
  • Parsley root is a diuretic that has been used for various forms of dropsy (abnormal accumulation of fluid in body tissues or a body cavity), congestion of abdominal viscera, etc.
  • Some herbalists recommend parsley as a natural remedy for fever.
  • Parsley has a beneficial effect on blood circulation and helps to eliminate toxins from the body.
  • Parsley also stimulates blood flow in the pelvic area and uterus. Parsley seeds can be used as a tea to eliminate menstrual problems. It gives good results in the treatment of amenorrhoea and dysmenorrhoea.
  • Parsley leaves have antiseptic effect, purifying the digestive system, urinary tract, bladder, uterus.
  • According to some studies, parsley juice, taken every morning before breakfast is the remedy for gonorrhea and all urinary tract infections. Parsley tea gives a drink effective against rheumatism.
  • It stimulates digestion. Finally, parsley freshens breath and successfully conceals the smell of garlic.

More info on Parsley: http://www.all-natural-cure.com/parsley.htm

 

PEPPERMINT: Peppermint has a long tradition of medicinal use. Archaeological evidence places its use far back as ten thousand years ago. It is commonly used to soothe or treat symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, indigestion, irritable bowel, and bloating and more.
The leaves and stems contain menthol which in addition to use medicinally, is used as a flavoring in food, and a fragrance in cosmetics.  The plant is prolific, growing well in moist, shaded areas as well as in sunnier locations.  The roots emit runners that can quickly overtake the garden so most gardeners prefer to plant peppermint in pots.

 

The easiest way to acquire a peppermint plant?  Find a friend or neighbor that is growing peppermint to break off a stem.  Place it is a glass of water and in a very short period of times, roots will form and you will have your own peppermint start. (We always have peppermint plants available on our homestead. So if you would like a cutting, let us know!!

 

  • common cold,
  • cough,
  • inflammationof the mouth and throat, 
  • sinusinfections,
  • respiratory infections.
  • digestive problems
  • heartburn,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • morning sickness,
  • irritable bowel syndrome(IBS), 
  • crampsof the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract and bile ducts,
  • upset stomach,
  • diarrhea,
  • bacterial overgrowth of the small intestine,
  • gas
  • Oil can be used to reduce fevers and to help with allergy symptoms

 

  • Some people also use peppermint for menstrual problems,liver and gallbladder complaints, preventing spasms during endoscopy procedures, and as a stimulant.
  • Peppermint oilis applied to the skin for headache, muscle pain, nerve pain, toothache, inflammation of the mouth, joint conditions, itchiness, allergic rash, bacterial and viral infections, relaxing the colon during barium enemas, and for repelling mosquitoes.Some people inhale peppermint oil for treating symptoms of cough and colds, and as a painkiller.
    In foods and beverages, peppermint is a common flavoring agent.

More information on Peppermint: http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-705-PEPPERMINT.aspx?activeIngredientId=705&activeIngredientName=PEPPERMINT

 

ROSEMARY: Boosts brain power and cognitive function. The needles of the delightfully fragrant rosemary plant can be used in a tea to treat digestive problems.  The same tea can also be used as an expectorant and as a relaxing beverage that is helpful for headaches.  Other healing uses include improving memory, relieving muscle pain and spasms, stimulating hair growth, and supporting the circulatory and nervous systems.

 

  Reducing anxiety, elevating mood

  Boosting memory

  Brain protection

  Calming effects

  Pain relief

  Headache relief

  Protects against DNA damage

  Arthritis treatment, anti-inflammatory

  Skin tonic

  Hair tonic

  Digestion soother

  Immune booster

  Improving circulation

  Detoxifying the liver

  Cancer prevention (due to containing carnosol, a compound found to have anti-cancer properties)

 

Read more about rosemary: http://naturalsociety.com/rosemary-benefits-health-growing-own-medicine

SAGE:  Did you know that the genus name for sage is “salvia” which means “to heal”? In the first century C.E. Greek physician Dioscorides reported that sage stopped bleeding of wounds and cleaned ulcers and sores. He also recommended sage juice in warm water for hoarseness and cough. In modern times, a sage tea is used to sooth mouth, throat and gum inflammations.  This is because sage has excellent antibacterial and astringent properties.

 

  • Diaphoretic,
  • carminative,
  • stimulant, diurectic,
  • antispasmodic,
  • antidiarrheic,
  • expectorant,
  • tonic,
  • aromatic,
  • nervine,
  • vermifuge,
  • diuretic,
  • stomachic,
  • antiseptic,
  • anithydrotic,
  • astringent,
  • promotes estrogen,
  • antigalactagogue (decreases secretion of milk),
  • uterine stimulant,
  • reduces blood sugar levels


Additional Information on Sage: http://medicinalherbinfo.org/herbs/Sage.html

THYME:  Back during medieval times, thyme was given to knights before going in to battle.  The purpose was to infuse this manly man with vigor and courage.

These days, thyme used to relieve coughs, congestion, indigestion and gas.  This perennial is rich in thymol, a strong antiseptic, making thyme highly desirable in the treatment of wounds and even fungus infections.  Thyme is a perennial that does well, even in cooler, Pacific Northwest climates.

Down through the centuries it has been used for various ailments, from melancholia to epileptic seizures. In ancient times thyme was one of the first herbs sued as incense. It was often mixed with equal parts of lavender and sprinkled on the floors of churches in the Middle Ages to eliminate any unwanted odors. In ancient Egypt, thyme was one of the ingredients used in the mummification process. It has also been used as a perfume among some ancient cultures.

 

In recent years it has been prescribed by herbalists for intestinal worms, gastrointestinal ailments, bronchial problems, lack of appetite, diarrhea, menstrual cramps, the common cold, and laryngitis. In Germany it is used to treat whooping cough and emphysema.

  • Thyme has antiseptic qualities that make it useful for a mouthwash and to combat tooth decay. Its antiseptic qualities also make it useful in cases of anemia, bronchial ailments, and intestinal problems, as well as a skin cleanser. It has been known for anti-fungal properties that can be used to treat athlete’s foot and has anti-parasitic properties that are useful against lice, scabies, and crabs. It has shown useful for colic, excess gas, sore throats, and as a hangover remedy. Thyme also proves beneficial as an expectorant to loosen and expel mucous.
  • Make a poultice by mashing the leaves into a paste for use on skin inflammations and sores. Using thyme for an anti-fungal or parasitic agent can be done by mixing four ounces of fresh thyme to a pint of vodka or fresh vinegar with “the mother” still in the container (the mother is the vinegar starter). Crush the thyme leaves slightly and let sit 12 hours or overnight. Or buy the essential oil and use it sparingly. Apply to the affected area.
  • For gastric issues or bronchitis, make a tea of 1 teaspoon leaves to each cup of boiling water and steep 10-15 minutes. Use only once a day. Add small amounts of honey to sweeten, if desired.
  • Infusions of thyme have also been useful in soothing and healing muscle spasms and skin irritations. Thyme also contains a compound that is helpful in preventing blood clots.
  • Aromatherapy of the essential oil of thyme has been used to boost the mind, body, and spirit. Vapors of thyme’s essential oil have been effective for treating respiratory infections. Thyme oil or infusion can be added to bath water to aid bronchial problems and sooth rheumatism.
  • Burning thyme can repel insects and a dilution of thyme oil can be used externally as a deodorant and antiseptic that will prevent mildew. An ointment made with thyme has been used to treat warts. And some have said that it is useful to help new mothers to expel the afterbirth. Thyme ointment can be made from its leaves to sooth the discomfort associated with gout and killing worms internally.
  • Thyme has many helpful actions. It has been used as an antiseptic, anodyne, disinfectant, antitussive, anti-inflammatory, rubefacient, demulcent, apertif, carminative, diaphoretic, depurative, digestive, diuretic, expectorant, fungicide, nervine, pectoral, sedative, stimulant, and vermifuge.
  • The leaves and stems are the most common parts of the plant that are used.

More Info on Thyme: http://www.offthegridnews.com/alternative-health/medicinal-uses-of-thyme/

WESTERN YARROW: Yarrow’s most widespread function is to stop bleeding, which it is still used for today. It is said that Achilles used the plant to arrest the bleeding of his soldiers’ wounds—thus the name of the genus, Achillea, was derived. Seasoned hikers are usually aware of the blood-clotting and antimicrobial benefits of applying yarrow to their cuts. Yarrow may be applied directly, or used in a salve or poultice for minor cuts and wounds.

Yarrow has also been used as a remedy for cold and early fever, due to its diaphoretic properties. A tea may be prepared by steeping 1 teaspoon of dried yarrow in 1 cup of boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes. Drink 3 cups per day. (Because it has a sour flavor in tea, we add peppermint into the tea as well.)

The herb has also gained notoriety for its anti-inflammatory abilities. Thus it has been used for a number of conditions, from intestinal and female reproductive tract inflammations to hemorrhoids. Aside from these major applications, yarrow was used for a hodgepodge of maladies, including baldness, urinary tract infections, hypertension, and dysentery. It was even an ingredient in salads and beer over the years.

Information on Yarrow: http://www.motherearthliving.com/health-and-wellness/common-yarrow-uses.aspx

How to Make an Herbal Tea

(GREAT INFORMATION ON Herbs and herbal tea!) http://thepaleomama.com/2014/03/10-healing-herbs-for-survival-garden/

The process of making a pot of herbal tea is in itself healing.  Perhaps that has something to do with the proactive effort involved in doing something positive for one’s own self and well-being.  And luckily, brewing an herbal tea is easy.

To make an herbal tea, first bring some cool water to a boil.  While waiting for the water to boil, fetch a non-mental container that will be used to brew the tea.  A quart mason jar works nicely for this purpose.  You do not want to use a metal container since the metal may interfere with the purity and taste of the tea.

Add 2 tablespoons of fresh (or 1 tablespoon of dried herb or crushed seed) to the empty pot or jar for each cup of water.  Then, and this is the important part, add an extra 2 tablespoons of fresh (or 1 tablespoon of dried) herbs “for the pot.”  So, for example, if you are making 2 cups of hot tea, you would use 6 tablespoons of fresh herbs or 3 tablespoons of dried herbs.

Pour the boiling water over the herbs and let them steep, covered, for about 5 minutes give or take.  There is no  exact time since everyone’s strength preference is difference.  When ready, strain the herbs and pour the tea into a cup.  At this point you may want to garnish your heavenly – and healing – cup of tea with honey, citrus fruits or addition herb sprigs.

For iced tea, increase the quantity of herbs in the basic recipe by 1 1/2 to allow for dilution from the melting ice.

Dill Pickled Carrots

Dill Pickled Carrots - www.krisandlarry.comMy kids are GAGA for anything pickled… They will go through a gallon sized pickle jar in one afternoon. (EEEWWW I can’t stand pickles!) Pickled Carrots are one of their favorites… and such a sweet special treat for them. We buy carrots in 25 pound bags at our house (they love eating them as afternoon snacks)

 

  • 4 cups distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns per jar
  • 30 large carrots, sliced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and sliced in half for each jar
  • 1 teaspoon dill (We use dried from our garden) per jar

I like the tall 1-1/2 pint jars for my pickles and for my pickled carrots.

  1. In a medium saucepan, mix distilled white vinegar, white sugar, and salt,  Bring the mixture to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  2. Place the carrots in sterile containers. Top carrots with onions, peppercorn, garlic and dill.
  3. Cover with the vinegar solution.
  4. Water bath seal your jars for 20 minutes
  5. Marinate carrots 12 hours or overnight before serving.