Editor’s Note: This article seemed too time sensitive and too important in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. It will run again in full with some great imagery in our Summer 2020 Issue, which comes out in June.
By Dana Jefferson, C.Ht., Ph.D. and Tracy Lake, MH, RYT-200, VAT
Many of us have lived through all the hype with Y2K and the end of the Mayan calendar. Some of us have prepared for hurricanes that never made landfall. If you’re a planner by nature, then you’ve probably at least made the bread and milk run before predictions of a major snowfall. Dana and her husband (lovingly referred to as Dr. Prepper) became serious about making preparations when Dana’s role in state government saw how earnestly the federal government was taking the threat of a pandemic during the H1N1 scare. While this virus infected over 700 million individuals worldwide, the mortality rate was relatively low. Living in Delaware at the time and seeing the plans to potentially quarantine cities, Dana and Ed moved to rural Pennsylvania. Since that time, the pandemic world has been quiet except for a few threats like the Zika virus. Now, we are seeing the threat of the coronavirus which will hopefully be a fleeting memory by the time this article is published. However, the next pandemic threat is just a moment away. Are you ready in case of quarantine or in case medicines and remedies of all types are hard to obtain?
When reports of the coronavirus began, Dana and Ed were shopping in Altoona and decided to get a few surgical masks to have on hand while in the “big city”. It took stops at four different shops before they could find any. All had sold out, and the shop where they did find some only had two boxes left. This began the deliberation about what we might need to have on hand just in case. Dana’s good friend, Barbara Bason, is a homeopathic practitioner in Delaware so Dana shot her a quick email about what basic homeopathic remedies would be great to have in anyone’s medicine cabinet. Barbara quickly sent back an email with some great basic suggestions. Dana discovered at that time that some of her favorite sources of homeopathic supplies were already out of many single remedies. This was another wake-up call to have your medicine toolkit prepared and ready in case of need. During the same period, Dana asked another good friend, Tracy Lake, an herbalist practitioner in Huntingdon, PA, to develop a similar toolkit of basic herbal remedies to always have in your medicine cabinet. It should be noted that both lists are for emergency preparation and are not in lieu of working directly with your homeopathic or herbal practitioner for what will work best for you personally. These suggestions are also not to replace standard medical treatment, but with an understanding that there may be times when traditional and even alternative medical care may not be easily available.
Let’s start with Barbara’s homeopathic list understanding that this was her quick jotting down of items to share with a friend and with Barbara’s permission to share with others. Dana told Barbara that it was wonderful to have a homeopath in the family. Now you can benefit by becoming part of the extended family!
Arnica ointment or cream
Sting Stop- great for insect bites and stings, sun burn, cold sores and more- has a few homeopathic remedies in the gel
Arnica 30 c – shock from injury, blunt trauma and swelling and bruising, after surgery, concussion, for stroke while waiting for conventional care, sprained ankles, after dental trauma
Aconite 30c- shock -from trauma with exceptional fear and anxiety, like after a car accident, for heart attack while waiting for conventional care, colds that come on suddenly after exposure to really cold weather
Hypericum 30c – for injury to nerves like fingers and toes or falls on tailbone, blows to the spine, for cuts to fingers,
Ledum30c- for puncture wounds from bites or objects and any other, for sprains after Arnica has helped and you need more help, for bruises that turn yellow green and purple
Bryonia30c- sprains and strains that are worse -any movement after Arnica has stopped working, for colds that go to the chest, some influenza cases
Gelsemium30c- for colds that come on slowly where person is very fatigued wants to stay prone, has droopy eyes, one of best flu remedies with fever and great fatigue, and chills
Urtica urens 6 c- best remedy for burns – can take the pellets on tongue and also dissolve one in water and put on burned skin.
Arsenicum- food poisoning from bad water, meat, etc. with vomiting, diarrhea, and anxiety
-Oscillococcinum can be used within the first 48 hours after flu symptoms start or if you are sure you have been exposed to the flu. One dose is all that is recommended and only in the first 48 hours is it helpful.
-Apis30c – for insect stings and even helps with anaphylaxis
Herbal: Echinacea tincture or capsules are good to take when you feel like you may be coming down with a cold – take at the highest dose suggested.
Colloidal silver liquid- for any inflammation and if feel like coming down with a cold- take internally at highest recommended dose and can be used topically for wounds even in the eye and good for dogs as well.
D-mannose- this supplement is wonderful!!! Take as soon as any symptoms of UTI or if prone to UTI take it daily. It prevents UTI. Way more effective than cranberry juice.
Now that you have your basic homeopathic remedies ready and available, it’s time to prepare your herbal toolkit. The following section is written by Tracy as her go to list she’s sharing with her friends and you, her extended family. You will see that some of the same items are listed by both Barbara and Tracy so you may want to prioritize those items. Again, this is for general information, so please talk to your doctor to see if these herbs are appropriate given your health conditions, allergies, or medications. Note: Mullein, garlic, and clove should be made as infusions and sit for several weeks before being strained and used. A pro tip is to label them with a date and about three weeks before the preparation expires, start your new batch so you don’t end up with a gap.
Bleeding: Yarrow powder to stanch bleeding. Could use cayenne instead, but my preference is yarrow powder.
Bruises and sprains–Arnica (for external use only!)
Burns: Aloe Vera, peel the leaf and apply the gel externally.
Constipation: Psyllium seed, Senna (this one works quickly and is less “gentle”)
Cough and congestion: Thyme
Diarrhea: chamomile, psyllium seeds (yes this helps here by absorbing water and giving bulk to the stool; It helps for constipation by adding fiber.)
Digestive issues: Chamomile, ginger, fennel, oregano, or your favorite mint…peppermint, spearmint, etc.
Earache: mullein, garlic, or a blend of the two. This can be purchased as an oil (This is NOT an essential oil, but an infused oil). You can also purchase the herbs and create the infusion yourself.
Fever: White willow bark. It contains salicylic acid, an active ingredient in aspirin. It can increase bleeding, so do not use if bleeding is present.
Headache: White willow bark. It contains salicylic acid-See section on Fever. You can also use one of the teas listed for stress as the calming effect is usually helpful for a headache. Using a lavender eye mask can help alleviate the discomfort for some people.
Pain: White willow bark. It contains salicylic acid-See section on Fever.
Sore throat: Zinc or slippery elm lozenges
Stress: chamomile, valerian, and spearmint. I would also have dried lavender flowers to use in the bath or place in an eye mask to aid in relaxation. Depending on the availability of water, Epsom salts are great to help with relaxation. The magnesium is absorbed by the body and soothes aching muscles as well as supporting the nervous system. The warm water helps with that as well. If a bath is not available to you, magnesium is available in pump containers as well. I have used that for years and find it helpful.
Toothache: Ground clove or clove infused oil. Either can be placed on the gum near the tooth.
Wounds: Comfrey (not to be used on puncture wounds) or Calendula. These would be applied externally to speed wound healing. Colloidal silver-I like the spray for external use. Marshmallow Root: Helps nourish tissue and keeps it from necrotizing. Use this externally on a wound, perhaps combining it with calendula. You can steep calendula and use the tea to flush a wound as well.
I keep colloidal silver on hand in both a spray and a bottle. It has antibacterial properties. Echinacea is antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and provides support to the immune system. I use this if I feel a cold developing. Don’t forget to stock up on culinary herbs. They will increase the flavor in foods and help you resist the urge to add extra salt or sugar as flavor enhancers. That will also keep you from quickly depleting your salt and sugar supply. Culinary herbs are also sources of vitamins and minerals.
If you would like a reasonable supply of these herbs instead of bulk amounts, consider checking with your local herbalist rather than buying online. An herbal consultation can also be helpful in ensuring that you have back-up herbs for emergencies when you are not able to get your regular prescriptions.
There are some essential oils such as tea tree oil, frankincense, and lavender, among others, which are great to have on hand as well. Be sure to talk to and procure them from a representative of a reputable company if using as part of your medical toolkit. If you do not know of an essential oil representative in your area, your herbalist, hypnotherapist, or other complimentary health care provider may be able to make a referral.
Be prepared with supplies, but also prepare yourself. Eat healthy, get your required amount of sleep, stay away from toxicity (including toxic people) and spend time energetically pulling up all the nutrients and healing properties of Mother Earth. As they say, “An ounce of preparation is worth a pound of cure.” Your preparation may be just what you, your family, and your pets need to weather any emergency.
(c) 2020, Therapeutic Thymes, LLC