NATURAL FIRST AID & HOME TREATMENTS
It is always wise to be prepared to handle emergencies as best we can. Having certain things on hand and knowing how to use them can make a huge difference in the outcome.
Caution! If you are pregnant, nursing or on prescription medications, be cautious about the medicinal herbs that you take internally. The following ideas are suggestions only and should not be taken as medical advice.
ACHES & PAINS: Usually caused by inflammation, toxicity, flu, viruses, injury, overwork, etc.
Bath Soaks: Try taking a bath in 1 cup Epsom salt and 1-3 Tb. Powdered ginger. Soak for at least 45 minutes. Stay hydrated. You will sweat out lots of toxins. The skin is the largest assimilation and elimination organ. Massage your skin with a washcloth, lufa sponge, or bath brush. Use only chemical free bath products: soaps, shampoos, hair rinses, shaving gel, and bath tub cleaners. You don’t want to absorb chemicals when you are trying to cleanse the toxins that cause pain and inflammation. Other good bath herbs are cloves, cinnamon, peppermint, lavender, rosemary, chamomile, sage, hops, eucalyptus and lemon peel or slices.
Make an herbal tea by gently simmering the herbs for 15-20 minutes, strain and add to bath. You can also add a few drops of peppermint, clove, or lavender oil to the bath. You can also wrap herbs in a piece of cotton cloth or a tight mesh bag and hang it under the tap as the water runs over it, and then put it in the hot water to infuse the bath with the herbs’ medicinal properties.
Lymphatic Massage: When toxins build up in the tissues and cause pain, the lymphatic system needs to be stimulated to remove the pollutants and get oxygen and nutrients into the cells. The lymphatic system is activated either through exercise (movement) or massage. If an individual is not exercising, you can use massage to invigorate the lymphatic flow. Lightly brush the area where there is pain with your hand to stimulate lymphatic flow several times a day. If the area is to tender to touch, brush the energy field just above the skin. If there is swelling, brush in the direction needed to drain the tissues back toward the heart. For instance, for swelling in the ankles, brush towards the heart.
Herbal Massage: Apply some form of natural, organic anti-inflammatory herbal cream, massage oil, or salve to the affected area. Make your own or read the label before buying. Remember chemicals and drugs applied to the skin will leave a toxic residue with side effects. Massage gently to stimulate circulation and healing. Use a variety of strokes: gentle brushing, circular massage, pressure point holding (just hold tight where it hurts, but not so tight you cut of circulation), kneading (like bread dough), gentle pinching, and scratching that feels good. Kinetic stimulation is vital to healing.
Hot and Cold Treatment: Cover painful area of the body with small towels soaked in hot water and then rung out. Be careful to not burn the skin. Cover the wet towels with a dry towel to hold in heat and leave on for at least five minutes. Keep warm and bundled up. Then remove the hot towels and replace them with a towel soaked in cold water and rung out. Cover with a dry towel and blankets if needed. Leave on for at least five minutes. Repeat the treatment alternating between hot and cold. This dilates the blood vessels, then constricts them creating a pumping action that improves circulation and lymphatic decongestion. Stay hydrated during this process.
Pain Relief: Instead of using chemicals and drugs to cut off the pain signals to the brain, we use natural plant remedies to heal the painful condition. White willow bark is a natural pain killer and anti-inflammatory herb without the side effects of drugs. For severe pain we take the powder in capsules or make a tea of 1 tsp. white willow bark to 1 cup of boiling water.
Herbal Teas for Health and Wholeness: To make tea, I put the herb in a glass jar, pour boiling water over it, put a tight lid on, and let it steep for at least 20 minutes, before straining and drinking. Detoxifying the liver can often help alleviate pain and inflammation. Burdock and dandelion are wonderful liver detoxifiers. Make a tea out of 1 tsp each dandelion and burdock roots in 3 cups water.
Steep in covered jar for 20+ minutes. Sip throughout the day. Teas can be taken cold, lukewarm or hot. Body temperature fluids are absorbed the easiest.
Herbs for pain and inflammation: white willow bark, agrimony, St. John’s Wort, feverfew, clove powder or oil diluted with water or a carrier oil, and applied to the inflamed area.
Herbs for stress: ginseng, skullcap, valerian, oats, chamomile, motherwort, passion flower, St. John’s Wort, lemon balm.
Essential oils for stress and pain: clove oil diluted with a carrier oil, clary sage, lavender, marjoram, chamomile, peppermint.
Bleeding: Serious bleeding requires quick action, so it helps to be prepared ahead of time and know where you put things. If you live in the country like us, the nearest medical facility may be quite a ways away. We keep small bottles of cayenne pepper powder in our vehicles, garage, and first aid kits, including in vehicles and with our chainsaw and wood cutting equipment. If applied pressure doesn’t stop the bleeding of a wound, dump cayenne powder directly into the wound and then reapply a compression bandage. Elevate the bleeding area above the heart, hold tight and don’t let go until the bleeding stops. The only time cayenne didn’t completely stop the bleeding for our family was when my son severed two arteries in his head. The cayenne kept the bleeding down to a drip while we drove three hours out of the wilderness to get him to the hospital. You can take cayenne internally in tincture form or capsules.
I try to get vitamin K into the individual who is bleeding. We have fresh herbs growing in pots inside our home year around including: basil, parsley, and sage. Green veggies and herbs are high in chlorophyll and vitamin K. Get some greens into the person bleeding if they are awake and able to ingest liquids or foods. Wheat grass juice, barley green, spirulina, alfalfa, dandelion, kelp, watercress, raspberry leaves, rose hips, kale, dried nettles, or other greens are excellent for rebuilding blood. If you don’t have fresh herbs, keep some green powder on hand for emergencies. You can put greens in a blender with apple or pineapple juice, blend and have them drink the green liquid. This works well for nosebleeds.
For internal bleeding, or placental bleeding, we use shepherds purse. This is a fast acting herb that slows down hemorrhages, giving you time to seek the medical help you need. Herbs infused into tinctures are the fastest way to get them into the body in an emergency. Alcohol tinctures are absorbed directly into the blood stream. It is helpful to have a tincture of cayenne and shepherd’s purse on hand. The medicinal properties in tinctures last for years.
The cell salt Ferrum Phosphoricum (Ferrum Phos) is a homeopathic iron that is required for red blood cell formation. It helps with acute and chronic bleeding.
Plants high in iron: alfalfa, burdock, cayenne, chlorophyll, dandelion, dulse, kelp, mullein, nettle, parsley, pokeweed rhubarb, rose hips, strawberries, yarrow, and yellow dock.
Burns: Keep a live aloe vera plant in your home. We have treated some severe burns over the years, and there is nothing like fresh aloe leaves. The faster you can get them on the burn the better. Cut the spiny edges off the leaves and filet them open. Lay the gelatinous side of the leaf against the burn. Scrape off extra gel onto the burn from additional leaves. Make sure you cover the entire burn with aloe. Bandages will absorb the gel, so cover the area with either the aloe leaves or another type of leaf such as organic cabbage, kale, comfrey, plantain, grape leaves, or edible greens like leaf lettuce. We don’t use chemicals on burns. Aloe vera gel in a bottle is helpful, but many brands don’t have live enzymes, or they contain other ingredients, preservative, fillers or chemicals, so they don’t have the tremendous healing effect that fresh aloe has.
Homemade bandages for burns, wounds, sprains, etc.: After applying the aloe gel and wrapping the burn with leaves, hold the leaves in place with a clean cotton bandage. You can make homemade bandages by tearing up old sheets that have been washed and sanitized in a hot dryer or oven. I always keep clean cotton bandage material of all sizes in Ziploc bags in my first aid kits, ready to use. It’s helpful to have squares of different sizes and long strips for wrapping wounds, with safety pins. Ace bandages work well too, but 100% cotton breathes better and allows the wound to heal faster.
Other helpful products for burns: sea buckthorn oil, lavender essential oil, calendula gel, witch hazel tea, fresh mint leaves crushed and applied to the area. Vitamin E oil promotes the healing of burns and wounds. Taken internally it helps to prevent scarring. You can also apply it directly to the skin. Zinc is a vital nutrient for cell division and protein synthesis, which occurs during the healing of damaged tissues. Taking zinc can speed the healing process.
Skin Spritzer: You can make an herbal skin spray by making an herbal tea of calendula, witch hazel, and St. John’s Wort. Cool the tea and add aloe gel or juice, lavender or sea buckthorn oil. Put it in a spray bottle and gently mist the wound.
Drawing out slivers, infection, and healing deep wounds, gashes, and scrapes: Years ago my midwife showed me how to make a wonderful formula called “people paste”. We mix equal parts, comfrey root powder, slippery elm powder, myrrh powder and goldenseal powder with raw honey. I usually use less goldenseal powder because it is so costly, unless I’m dealing with a severe infection. All of the ingredients are anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, antiseptic natural healers. The powders mixed into the honey make a thick paste. The midwives chill the paste, roll it in wax paper so that it takes on the shape of a tampon, store them in airtight bags in the freezer, then take them out one at a time to use internally for healing torn or damaged tissues after childbirth. The same paste makes an excellent wound healer, not only pulling out infection, but speeding up healing, and diminishing scarring. It even draws out little slivers that you can’t dig out. If you're treating regular wounds, you don't have to freeze the paste, like you would for a vaginal bolus.
When the raw honey heats up against the skin, it will soften up and can drip, so bandage it well. Clean the wound and reapply daily until new skin covers the area. I cover the people paste with a leaf (see burns) before wrapping it with cotton cloth. If you make extra people paste, store it in a glass jar with a lid. The honey will solidify and even crystallize over time. If the paste gets too hard, just add more fresh honey, mix well and then apply to the skin. People paste can be left unrefrigerated without ever going bad. It will get hard and dry as the honey crystallizes. It is best stored as a mixed powder and added to honey as needed. I have never had a wound get infected using people paste. You can pack a deep gash with it and the tissues will knit back together. I’ve seen the ends of fingers that were sliced off, and then reapplied with people paste, regrow without any loss of sensation and use.
POULTICES & PACKS
Rashes, itching, stings, bites: A rash indicates that there is a poison in the tissues that needs to be drawn out as quickly as possible. The longer is stays in the skin, the further it can travel through the blood stream. I always carry a bottle of lavender essential oil in my purse for quick relief from stings, bites, sunburn, boils, allergic reactions, rashes, etc.
My youngest son used to have terrible reactions to yellow jacket stings. If I get lavender oil on the sting within a couple of minutes, the pain leaves and he has no swelling and difficulty breathing, like he used to years ago.
If you don’t have lavender essential oil, there are other natural ways to draw out the poisons, but they don’t alleviate the pain as quickly.
Both wide and narrow leaf plantain (as shown in this photo above) grows all over the United States and can be found quite readily where weed killers haven’t been sprayed. It is a powerful herb for pulling out poisons, infections, stings, and the toxins from allergic reactions. If you don’t have a way to mash the leaves, then chew them until the leaves are oozing green juice, and apply them to the skin where needed as an herbal poultice. We’ve found plantain in city fields, and in wilderness areas. It is good to get the juice in your mouth, as well as on the affected site. I leave a few leaves whole to cover the herbal poultice, before wrapping it with a sterile cotton cloth. Leave poultices on the skin for a few hours, clean, and then apply new crushed fresh leaves. Let the infected area air out every few hours, then continue with herbal poultices until the swelling, rash, or infection is gone. If you are camping or hiking, keep an eye out for plantain. Rub it on the skin for insect bites.
I’ve successfully treated septicemia, and staff infections acquired during surgery using herbal poultices of wheat grass, plantain, slippery elm and comfrey leaf. Layers of yellow puss were pulled out of deep inner tissues and had to be cleaned off the surface of the skin every time the poultice was changed. Herbal poultices draw out infection without causing pain and trauma.
If you are treating a severe infection, make sure you give immune boosting herbs internally, like goldenseal, echinacea, Oregon Grape root, etc. Greens, like wheat grass juice, chlorophyll, barley green, and herbal green drinks improve the blood and help with all kinds of infections.
If you have nothing else available, grate potatoes or cabbage and apply to the affected area as a drawing poultice.
Oatmeal Baths: Make a tea of 1 cup oats and ½ gallon water. Strain and add to bath to relieve itching.
Clay Packs: Spread clay mixed with water to form a paste over the affected area. Wrap, leave on several hours or overnight. Wash well and air out. We've used clay packs for poison ivy, along with Thuja essential oil.
Poisoning: There are several natural products I keep on hand to remove poisons and toxins from the body. Activated charcoal can be taken internally or applied externally to draw out poisons. Mix it with a little water and drink it down, or spread it like a paste over the affected area. It will absorb the poisons and pass them out of your body through your stools or skin. Stools may be black when it passes. For external use, mix with water and apply to an infected area to extract poisons. We make a black charcoal and clay soap especially for drawing out poisons.
We use zeolite powder to remove heavy metals, chemicals, and toxins from our bodies. We mix 1 tsp. zeolite in a little water and drink it, once a day for a week out of every month.
Bentonite clay and Pascalite clay are other natural ways to draw poisons out of the body. If it is in powder form, mix with water and drink. You can use these same treatments on animals. Bentonite clay is usually a sodium bentonite, while Pascalite is a type of calcium bentonite.
Plantain is a weed that pulls poisons and toxins out of the body. We crush the leaves and form them into a poultice to apply to the skin.
We run the leaves through a food processor, or pile them on a cutting board and mash them with a meat tenderizer, or chew them up, or run them through a baby food grinder, and then apply them to the affected area. Next we wrap the poultice with a sterile 100% cotton cloth. We also juice the leaves with pure water or juice and drink to cleanse from internal poisons.
Tinctures: Herbs can be preserved in alcohol, apple cider vinegar or vegetable glycerin. Glycerin-based tinctures are great for children because they taste good. Wash and chop fresh or dried herbs, or grind them in a coffee grinder or food processor. Put the herbs in a jar and cover them with glycerin, leaving 1-3 inches of liquid above the herbs. Soak for 4-6 weeks. Shake the tincture often and add more glycerin if necessary. Strain and store in small amber-colored dropper bottles marked with the ingredients and the date. At the first sign of sickness, begin treating with your own tinctures. Elderberry, Echinacea, Goldenseal, St. John’s Wort, Oregon Grape, Bayberry make wonderful immune system boosters.
To make alcohol based tinctures, I use organic Vodka instead of glycerin. Follow the same procedure as the glycerine method. When it’s time to administer the tincture, you can dissipate the alcohol by putting the tincture in a small amount of hot water and letting it sit for a few minutes. Alcohol tinctures are good for emergencies when you need to get herbs into someone very rapidly. Alcohol can bypass the digestion and be absorbed directly into the blood.
SPRAINS, BREAKS, BANDAGES
Sprains, breaks: We try to immobilize the damaged area and reduce swelling. We use ice packs to pull out inflammation as well as elevating the damaged area. It’s helpful to keep ace bandages on hand, splint material, and cotton bandage material (sterilized old sheets). For areas of the body that are difficult to immobilize, I keep a can of spray foam that carpenters use to seal up house cracks to make temporary splints that can be shaped to the body contour. I make sure the area is covered with a cloth or old sock so no foam actually touches the skin. Don’t breathe the fumes. Spray the foam to form two sides of a splint. Use a disposable glove to sculpt the foam to the shape of the body part being splinted. It hardens rapidly. Wrap the sides of the splint together using a cloth or ace bandage. This is a good way to immobilize an injury until you can get medical help.
For many injuries we apply an herbal poultice and change it every 4-6 hours for the first day or two and then twice a day as it heals. Make sure to give the injury time to air out and dry between poultices. To reduce swelling, we apply ice, or anti-inflammatory herbs, and essential oils, like peppermint, to cool things down. If the skin is not broken, but bruised or sprained we apply arnica ointment or salve. For inflammation we take 1-2 Tb. of turmeric powder per day to assist healing.
Diatomaceous Earth is very high in silica, a vital mineral needed to repair the collagen matrix and heal damaged tissue. We put 1 tsp. to 1 Tb. in a little water, mix and drink. Unsweetened gelatin provides nutrients to heal damaged tissues. Horsetail is also very high in silica for knitting bones and tissues back together. It can be made into a tea, tincture or capsules. Bach flower essence Rescue Remedy is the tiny bottle in the middle. We put a few drops in a small amount of water and sip, or put a couple drops under the tongue to treat for shock. Seek medical attention for severe injuries.
We massage essential oils onto the sprain such as rosemary, lavender, or peppermint. It helps to apply a poultice or herbal compress of comfrey leaf to the affected area. Comfrey is also known as “knitbone” because it contains a substance called allantoin, which stimulates connective tissue growth.
Parasites (lice, scabies, worms, invading insects): Put 5 drops thyme essential oil in a non-chemical shampoo or soap and wash hair and body. Thyme oil can be added to laundry, put in a spray bottle to treat couches and bedding. Treat for two weeks. You can also mix tea tree and lavender oils with ½ cup of olive oil, massage into scalp, cover with shower cap, leave on overnight. Put tea tree or thyme oil on a fine tooth comb and carefully comb eggs out of hair. Repeat for 7 or more days. Repeat every two weeks if needed until the problem is gone.
Probiotic microorganisms help to protect us from all kinds of tiny invaders. It is important to keep your body covered with beneficial microbes to ward off the unhealthy ones. If you make your own Kombucha tea, try fermenting it for 60 days and then using it to treat your scalp and hair.
Pumpkin seeds, garlic and onions are natural de-wormers. You can eat them or make a tea from them, strain and put the liquid in an enema to kill intestinal worms.
I give my goats poplar leaves, wormwood, couch grass, horseradish, and walnut hulls to eat for natural de-worming. I don't want chemicals in our goat milk and kefir. Diatomaceous Earth in their ears helps with ear mites, and dusted on their backs, helps with flies. These same herbs work well for people and other animals. You can make them into a tea, tincture, or encapsulate the powdered herbs.
We put diatomaceous earth around our house to keep invading insects away. This amazing ancient sea bed fossil protects humans, nourishing us with high forms of silica, while breaking down the keratin shells of parasitic insects. It can be bought in bulk from Azure Standard.
Headaches: Most are caused by food allergies, toxicity, spinal or cervical injuries, dehydration, eye strain, toothache, muscle tension, stress, liver congestion, constipation, or hormonal imbalances. Instead of numbing the pain with chemicals and drugs, try healing your body with natural herbs, oils, and massage.
In scientific tests, lavender and peppermint essential oils rubbed into the forehead and temples and on the back of the neck relieved pain as effectively as acetaminophen. Make a headache rub of 1 Tb. organic virgin olive oil, 10 drops of lavender essential oil and 10 drops of peppermint essential oil, and 1/8 tsp. vitamin E oil. Scullcap and lavender are antispasmodics that relax the nervous system. You can make a tea of skullcap, lavender, peppermint, and chamomile. 1 Tb. of combined herbs per cup of water. Some headaches feel better when cold is applied, some hot.
Feverfew (as shown in this picture below) taken in small amounts daily can prevent migraines. The fresh whole leaves work best. Feverfew is easy to grow, and produces beautiful small white flowers.
Rosemary tea helps heal some headaches. Ginkgo and ginger have both been proven to help with headaches. White willow bark is a natural pain reliever without causing the side effects of chemical pain killers. White willow bark powder can be put in capsules and easily swallowed. For children, make a white willow bark glycerin tincture.
Many headaches are caused from stress, tension and overwork. Try taking a ginger, Epsom salt bath. For headaches around the eyes or in the sinuses, eyebright helps, as does Echinacea and thyme.
For headaches caused from liver congestion, try dandelion, yellow dock, and burdock root. Lemon balm, St. John’s Wort, skullcap, ginseng, chamomile, hops and valerian help reduce tension, depression and anxiety.
Many headaches can be helped by massaging the face, temples, ears, neck, and scalp and even the hands and feet, where many reflex points are. Touch (kinetic stimulation) is one of our most powerful healing tools.
COLDS & FLU
Infection, Colds, Flu: There are several herbs that are excellent infection fighters: Garlic, Goldenseal, Echinacea, Oregon grape root, myrrh, St. John’s Wort, Barberry and Pau d’ arco. They can be taken in capsules, tea, tinctures or applied externally. You can buy powdered herbs by the pound and fill gelatin caps yourself to cut costs. Create cooperative buying groups with others and buy in bulk to cut the costs even more. Other herbs that are very helpful for flu and infections: licorice root, bayberry, ginger, white pine bark, usnea, pacific yew, thyme, fenugreek, basil, lemon balm, yarrow, marshmallow, plantain, skullcap, lobelia, etc. Herbs help boost the immune system, protecting against viruses, bacteria, fungus, and chemical toxicity. They don't kill off the beneficial bacteria and yeasts in your body that protect you the way drugs do.
If you are pregnant or nursing, you should not take some of these herbs.
Vinegar is featured all by itself because it has so many different uses in natural health care.
Vinegar (organic apple cider, Kombucha, wine, or rice vinegars) Be cautious about using white vinegar or malt vinegars in or on the human body; they tend to be chemically processed. Our favorite vinegars to use medicinally in and on the body are homemade apple cider vinegars, Kombucha vinegar, or Braggs raw apple cider vinegar. We make our own raw vinegar by culturing Kombucha scobys for 30+ days. Cloudy raw vinegars are the most nutritious; they still have the mother culture in them and are loaded with enzymes. The more vinegar is processed the less nutritious it becomes.
Raw organic apple cider vinegar is one of nature’s most perfect foods. It is loaded with potassium, which helps prevent and treat hair loss, brittle teeth and nails, headaches, sinusitis, runny nose, toxic waste, inflamed and arthritic conditions, constipation, indigestion, heartburn, diarrhea, high blood pressure, chronic fatigue, eczema, mild food poisoning, and sore eyes. It extracts calcium from fruits and vegetables to help maintain strong and healthy bones.
Raw apple cider vinegar is easily assimilated into the body, and can be easily added to drinking water, foods, dressings, herbal infusions and more. Taking 1-2 tsps. of apple cider vinegar before meals has helped many people improve digestion and assimilation of nutrients. For people with blood sugar problems, it can dramatically reduce insulin and glucose spikes in the blood.
Alkalize your acidity: Apple Cider Vinegar is a wonderful way to reduce acidity in the body, whether you are dealing with an acid stomach or acid urine. Add a teaspoon of organic vinegar to a cup of water and sip it. This helps some women who have morning sickness. Room temperature water is more easily assimilated than ice water. If you have a sour stomach, try taking a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a cup of water at least 30 minutes before eating.
Urinary tract infections are helped immensely by alkalizing the body. You can soak herbs like uva ursi, juniper berries, parsley, dandelion, marshmallow and chamomile in apple cider vinegar for approximately six weeks, put a barrier between the metal lid and the vinegar mix such as wax paper, plastic wrap, or use a plastic lid, shake often, strain the herbs, and then add a teaspoon of this infusion to drinking water several times a day.
Acid Scalp: Most scalp problems (dandruff, itching, excessive oil) can be helped by making your scalp more alkaline. Chemicals in shampoos, conditioners and hair treatments can create an acid condition on the scalp and hair. Topical hair treatments are absorbed into the head. To return your body to a balanced PH it is very helpful to use vinegar with herbs to detoxify the chemicals, heal the damaged cellular tissue, and bring back the luster and richness of the cells, hair follicles, and shafts.
To improve your scalp, try soaking herbs like calendula, plantain, comfrey, and witch hazel in a jar of organic vinegar. Fill your jar with 1/2 herbs and the rest vinegar. Let this infusion sit for 6 weeks, shaking often, (don’t expose the vinegar to metal) and then strain through a strainer, cheesecloth or porous natural fabric. Squeeze out all liquid. You can dilute this mixture with water. Essential oils added to the rinse improve the smell and medicinal properties. After shampooing with a non-chemical shampoo, rinse your hair with the herbal vinegar. Leave on for 5-20 minutes before rinsing. Massage it into your scalp. This same mixture can be put in a spray bottle and misted on skin sores, sunburn, dry skin, rashes, and candida to maintain proper acid balance, soften skin, and ease itchiness.
Sunburn: Add a cup of vinegar to cool bath water to ease sunburn. Apple cider vinegar is an astringent that can soothe sunburn pain. You can also add black tea to the bath.
Foot Soaks: To a small basin of bath temperature water add 1 cup apple cider vinegar, ½ cup sea salt, or Epsom salt, and 2 lemons juiced. Options: add essential oils such as lavender or peppermint instead of the lemons. To dissolve corns, callouses and warts, try soaking affected area in the foot soak solution, then follow it up by applying full strength vinegar to a soaked gauze bandage and leaving it on overnight. The next morning apply a fresh soaked bandage to leave on during the day. Use a pumice stone to remove decaying tissues.
Bath Soaks: Add 1 cup of vinegar to bath to help detoxify the body and balance PH. You can also mix 50/50 vinegar and warm water in a spray bottle and spray skin during the shower. Let sit a few minutes before rinsing.
Fever: If a fever goes up to 102 degrees, or lasts for several days, dehydration can occur. To lower a fever you can bathe in lukewarm water with 1/3-1 cup of apple cider vinegar added to the bath water. Or put apple cider vinegar in a pan of water and soak the feet. Don’t let the sick individual get chilled.
Sore Throats: Mix 1 tsp. vinegar in 4 oz. water. Gargle three mouthfuls of this mixture every hour and then spit. Soak a rag in vinegar and apply to the neck and throat area. Cover with a hot water bottle or hot towel and heat the area. This also works well applied to the chest for congestion.
Yeast Infections: Mix a cup of water with 1/8 cup raw apple cider vinegar or Kombucha vinegar and wipe vaginal area or infected area with this solution.
Blood builder: Soak dried or fresh yellow dock root, red clover blossoms, and nettle leaves in a quart of apple cider vinegar. Shake every day for approximately 2 weeks to one month. Strain herbs. Take a teaspoon or more of this tincture as needed, or add to water and drink, or put on salads and vegetable dishes. Vinegar extracts alkaloids, vitamins, and minerals from plants, without assimilating the plant acids. Vinegar tinctures help balance the body’s PH (acid/alkaline balance). If you are taking the vinegar tincture internally, you can add honey to make it more palatable. Store apple cider tinctures in a cool dark place.
Varicose Veins: Herbs such as oatstraw, nettle, parsley, witch hazel, comfrey, yarrow, mullein, and oak bark can be soaked in apple cider vinegar for approximately six weeks, shaken often, strained and then added to drinking water or applied directly to the varicosities to strengthen the capillaries, tighten tissues, reduce swelling and relieve pain. This infusion can be used in a sitz bath to relieve hemorrhoids, or jock itch.
Thrush: to discourage the spread of thrush, wipe the affected area with apple cider vinegar diluted with water, or a vinegar infusion made from any of the following herbs: comfrey, goldenseal, St. John’s Wort, Oregon Grape root and apple cider vinegar.
Mouthwash: 1 tsp. vinegar added to a glass of water kills bacteria, fights plague and tartar, promotes healing, freshens breath and helps prevent gum disease.
Bleeding: Apple cider vinegar helps blood to congeal. Bandages soaked in vinegar help stop bleeding and prevent infection. For a bloody nose, soak a cotton ball in vinegar and pack in nostril. Lean forward, breathe deep, relax, and drink a chlorophyll rich, green drink rich in vitamin K, C and rutin.
Bowels: Pour very hot water over 4 Tb. flax seeds and soak for several hours. Stir in 2 Tb. of this mixture into 8 ounces of water, and add 1 tsp. vinegar. You can sweeten with honey, stevia or pure maple syrup if desired. Drink first thing in the morning and before going to bed as needed to maintain regular bowel health.
Muscle Cramps: Take 2 tsp. vinegar, 1-2 tsp. honey, in a glass of warm water 3xdaily.
Swimmers Ear: Vinegar diluted in water can help prevent the bacteria that causes earaches and swimmers ear. Put a few drops in the ear after swimming. When dealing with the ears, we have found that it makes a world of difference if the liquid you put in the ear is already at body temperature and not cold. We put the liquid in a small glass bottle and wear it next to our body until it is warm. Hydrogen Peroxide also works well for swimmers ear and earaches.
Skin Problems: Use a full strength vinegar or 50/50 vinegar and water compress or spray bottle mister to treat shingles, chicken pox, psoriasis, poison ivy and oak, minor cuts, hives, bites and stings, lice, athlete’s foot, acne, diaper rash and dry itchy skin.
Homemade Salad Dressing: Soak any of the following herbs in apple cider vinegar for 4-6 weeks: rosemary, basil, sage, marjoram, oregano, thyme, chives, tarragon, mint, and parsley. Strain herbs and add this vinegar infusion to your favorite salad dressing or try this one. ½ cup infused vinegar, ½ tsp. raw honey, 1/3 cup organic olive oil (or a blend of safflower, sesame, flax, etc.) 1 clove garlic, blend and refrigerate.
Bone Broth: We make our own bone broth during butchering season to prevent arthritic conditions and provide vital nutrients to the body. We cover bones in water and simmer on low until all the bone marrow and cartilage factors in the joints has been absorbed into the water. Apple cider vinegar added to the water helps the bones release calcium into the water. Once the bones are hollow, we strain the broth, removing bones, tendons, and hard cartilage. Then we freeze or pressure can the broth and meat in quart jars (10 pounds pressure for 90 minutes) to be used later for gravies, soups, sandwich meat and sauces.
Our modern society tends to waste incredible amounts of food. Ribs, lower legs, and other areas that are difficult to remove meat from can be fully utilized using this method. We live on a mini-farm where butchering and bone broth making are a yearly occurrence. For instance the rib cage has a tremendous amount of meat on it that should not be wasted. The best time of year to make bone broth is at the end of the garden season. Extra veggies: garlic, onions, cabbage, fresh herbs, carrots, etc. are all great additions to bone broth. Add them after the broth has been separated from the bones. For a creamy soup broth, grate them.
Herb Preservation in Vinegar: Medicinal vinegar tinctures are another effective way of extracting and preserving herbal medicinal properties. Vinegar extracts alkaloids, vitamins, and minerals. For tonic tinctures that are taken regularly, vinegar is an excellent base. For excellent preservation, use dried herbs, no water, and 5-7% vinegar. Soak for 6 weeks before straining and storing in dark amber glass bottles. Usual dosage for a vinegar tincture is 1 teaspoon per 100 pounds of body weight. Label and date your homemade tinctures, dressings, and infusions.
Vinegar Facial Scrub: 1 Tb. fine oatmeal, corn flour, or almond meal, 1 Tb. wheat bran, 1 Tb. honey, ½ cup vinegar, ½ cup olive or grape seed oil, and 10 drops vitamin E oil. Combine ingredients and stir well to make a light creamy liquid. Every day apply approximately 1 tsp. to your wet face and massage well. Let this formula sit on the skin a couple of minutes before washing it off. Store in refrigerator in closed container or cool dark place.
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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.