As my husband excitedly plans how to care for our family if disaster strikes and how to live on bare minimal amounts of food, I am preparing my heart for caring for my family during hard times. I know that my job is maintaining the emotional presence of my family during the hard times that we may face. These are things that we can all inexpensively incorporate into our lives now and reap the benefits from. I am also happy to tell you that these are things that you can use around your house every day, and will also bring enjoyment and healthy to your daily lives.
Diatomaceous Earth - This organic mineral dust has so many uses. We have used it for long term food storage such as wheat berries, corn and oats (and anything else you would like bugs to stay out of). We sprinkle this through all of our goods before storing (no need to rinse them before using). Not only is it an effective insecticide for plants and food, but can also be used for filtration, absorbing spills, blood clotting activator, bed bug killer and heat resistant material. It is widely used in the farming community and natural health community as an organic de-wormer (for pets, sprinkle on food or mix into water). We take a heaping spoonful at least twice a day in water and drink, our children take it as well. Parasites are a problem for humans as well, and if not treated, nutrient absorption is not as effective. This is the cheapest way to treat this problem. There is no "proper dosage", as it is completely harmless. A 50 pound bag is available for around $50 at a farm supply store. Note: Buy only "food grade" Diatomaceous Earth. We use this for all of our pets, our chicken coop, and sprinkled on our chickens to kill lice, mites and fleas. Sprinkled around garden plots to keep bugs out (make sure not to get on flowering buds of vegetables, as it will kill bees.) For the ladies, it is also used as a great clay mask to absorb oil from skin. Wear a mask when transferring it, so that you do not breath in the dust.
Iodine - I could write a whole paper on why we should all have iodine supplements. It can be used to protect thyroid glands from radiation. (See the SurvivalBlog archives.)
For survival use - It is a widely used antiseptic that when painted on the skin prior to surgery kills 90 percent of bacteria within 90 seconds. Another great use is as an antiseptic in drinking water. The thyroid gland needs this to make thyroid hormones that regulate metabolism and for development of the brain and body. (There are many studies available that show the health rates and lower cancer rates of the people of Japan, who eat seaweed which is high in iodine.) The health benefits are numerous.
We used to get iodine from our food sources, but because our cows don’t eat grass anymore and our soils are depleted, many of us are lacking this mineral. Even if you do get sufficient intake of this, chlorine and fluoride in our water inhibits absorption. It is a prescribed drug (per the FDA), so when you go to purchase it, it will be labeled “Not for internal consumption.” To test your body's need for iodine, you place a drop on your wrist or foot, if it absorbs within four hours, your body is in need of iodine. (You will want to slowly build up [with an incrementally larger area of skin covered], over months so as not to disrupt your thyroid), if the mark stays close to eight hours, then you are sufficient in iodine. Your body will soak it up if you need it. We do this a one time a week to check our levels. There are many health problems associated with not having enough iodine. I would encourage you to do your research on this topic, especially if you have hypothyroid issues. Since taking iodine, I have had an increase in energy, lost weight and had more balanced hormones. My body was definitely lacking. Caution: Too much iodine can be more detrimental as too little, so use it sparingly! If you are leery of using this [via skin absorption], then take sea kelp supplements or eat more seaweed. It is still needed for water purification, radiation protection and wound care. I would recommend Lugol's 2% Iodine Solution. Check with a doctor first if you are on prescriptions or have other health concerns.
Melatonin - when the heart rate stays increased from stress, the body slows its production of melatonin which regulates sleep. It instead produces chemicals such as adrenaline to keep your body awake. We are packing melatonin because we know that in tough situations we may not be able to sleep. Especially if we are taking shifts that our bodies are not used to sleeping because we are on lookout duty. Sleep is crucial we all know, but we know how cranky we get without it, so this is preventative to keeping others around us happy as well! This is something simple and will come in handy!
Natural Stress Relievers
As a trained naturalist, I would like to share with you ways in which you can keep your families moods elevated the way that God intended, without a prescription for Prozac. As a wife and mother I have taken my calling from God to care for my family. Through planning for hard times I have found myself stumbling for answers and on my knees praying that God gives me the wisdom to keep them safe, and to somehow find happiness amidst the storms in life that may come.
I have read much mentioned that I should be packing puzzles and games to keep my family busy and their mind off of what will happen during times of disaster. I would like to not just keep there minds off of what is going on, But help them face it and cope with it so that they may find true meaning and happiness and know that all is well no matter what we find ourselves facing.
I know that many of you have prepared for hard times and have everything ready to go. But have you taken time to think about how shocking this will be, even though you KNOW it is coming? How will your body react? How will you explain this to small children?
Number one: Stress is not good for the body. How will you counteract it?
Have a box packed with essential oils and spray bottles ready to mix: (I buy mine from Wholesalesuppliesplus.com They have great prices and great products.)
Lavender - treats anxiety, depression, fatigue, anti-bacterial, anti-viral properties, eczema, wounds, nervous disorders, head lice, joint and muscle pain, skin ailments. Research confirms that when lavender is inhaled it produces calming and sedative effects and also assists in pain management. Lavender has been widely used in past wars on the battlefields when traditional medicines were scarce!
Tea tree oil - a natural mood and healthy hormone stimulant, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-septic, balsamic (boosts absorption of nutrients,) cicatrisant (heals wounds more quickly,) expectorant (helps expel congestion from the body during cold or bronchitis) and anti-fungal, insecticide. Another great thing about tea tree is that it is sudorific which means that it helps the body rid itself of harmful toxins. Besides infections, another cause of illness is accumulation of toxins in the body.
Peppermint oil - known as the “worlds oldest medicine,” it is a must in your emergency kit. It treats indigestion (including morning sickness and motion sickness and IBS), respiratory problems, headache, nausea, fever, stomach and bowel spasms and pain. It contains nutrients including iron, manganese, magnesium, calcium, folate, omega-3 fatty acids, copper, Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Its also used for dental care, respiratory and digestive problems (anti-spasmodic), stress reducer, has been used to treat UTIs, relieves pain, helps blood circulate, helps reduce fever, removes dead skin and excess oil, kills lice and removes dandruff and helps build up the immune system.
Ylang ylang - used to reduce frustration and soothe the nerves, a known aphrodisiac, reduces insomnia and helps combat anxiety and depression. Also known to stimulate hair growth and equalize sebum production in the skin.
Our family has developed a blend of essential oils that we always spray in our homes. People always tell me that they love the smell of our house and think of us when they smell lavender. I take this scent with us wherever we go. I do this because growing up as a child my dad was a truck driver on the road for weeks. There were eight of us kids, and we all fought over his pillow when he wa away from home because that was the smell of our dad. I want my kids to know the smell of their home, the smell of safety and love….to bring back feelings of peace. I will send bottles of this with them when they leave home someday.
Bug spray blend- mix with one half pint of Witch Hazel in spray bottle and enjoy. Keep out of eyes!
1/2 teaspoon citronella essential oil
1/2 teaspoon eucalyptus essential oil
1/2 teaspoon lavender essential oil
Have a massage therapy kit, with alcohol for sanitizing, a foot washing kit, lotion, and small cards with massage instructions. This will help relieve headaches, tension, promote healthy digestion, to relax back tension (after working all day chopping wood, and how to relieve a cramped muscle). I have used and experienced myself with massage therapy and would encourage everyone to pick up or print off some simple massage techniques. Even doing hand and foot massages during high stress times will protect your body from the increase in harmful hormones during the stress response and actually help the body heal. Do some research on the benefits of massage therapy!