Monday, October 3, 2011

Establishing a Family Medicine Cabinet

There are many “home Remedies” which can be used to prevent or assist in treating illnesses and sickness. These may be used as a preventative or for relief of symptoms from the common cold to the flu to stomach aches and other simple annoyances.

Part of being self-sufficient is learning how to treat symptoms and provide relief from aches and pains without having to rely on a doctor for every little thing. Being prepared to take care of our family in an emergency is paramount to being successfully prepared for whatever kind of emergency may arise. Do you have a medicine chest that is filled with things that help your family’s personal needs?

I’m not talking about drugs or necessarily prescription medicines I am talking about home remedies or other substances that will help you treat minor sickness or the symptoms that arise from being sick or even injured. Such things might include a good quality Vitamin C, Kelp for radiation protection, Digestive Enzymes, Emergen-C packets, Air Bourne, decongestants, melatonin as a sleep aid on occasion, peppermint oil for sinus problems and many others. Take stock and see what really helps you when you don’t feel well. It’s important to experiment and find some things that work for you.

Let me give you an example; for years our family struggled with pneumonia or other lung infections and were forced to be treated by a medical professional. Now there are some things we do to prevent sicknesses from getting to that point and treat the symptoms ourselves. I have mentioned before how rubbing oregano oil rubbed on the chest over the lungs causes the lungs to expel any mucus and reduces the chances of pneumonia. Peppermint oil dabbed on the sinuses helps to prevent excess sinus drainage and relieve sinus pressure. There are many other home remedies which we have tried; some worked and some didn’t. Regardless, we know what basic things we need to have on hand to do our best to stay healthy. Because we have family members who are allergic to penicillin and other antibiotics, we don’t rely on that as a basic treatment for illness.

This doesn’t mean you will never have to have the help of a Doctor, but it is reassuring to be able to treat the small things ourselves without having to run to the doctor for every little thing.

I want to share a story told by the Paratus Family about their experiences with onions. This was inspiring to me to read of how they were able to treat emergency situations on their own. This is good information to know and retain for similar Emergencies. Here is their story:

“We love onions. We love to sauté them, dice them and use them in onion rings. We like them fresh, we like them dried and we like them in powdered form. But, the humble onion is far more than a tasty addition to your evening meal. An onion can be the difference between a major reaction to a bee sting and a harmless little red bump. An onion can loosen congestion and be the main ingredient in a soothing balm for a hacking cough. Dried onions are the most powerful anti-histamine known.

Many years ago, when our son was a little tyke, he was toddling around the perimeter of our garden as my husband and I were pulling weeds. Suddenly, he fell to the ground, screaming, while yellow jackets, from an underground nest, stung him repeatedly. His dad sprinted, plucked up our son and kept running.

When we got our little boy into the house, he was a mess. He had been stung 17 times on his head alone. Angry red welts dotted his tummy and back and he had more than a few stings on his arms and legs. Wasting no time, we slathered his head with Benadryl cream and then started cutting onions. Over every welt, we placed an onion piece, slimy side down and taped it into place. It took almost an entire onion to place one on every sting, and he looked like something out of a horror show. We watched him very closely for signs of anaphylaxis, but his breathing remained clear. Within 10 minutes, our little boy quit crying, said it didn't hurt, and returned to playing.

After the onions had been in place for about an hour, we tenderly removed each onion piece. Where angry welts had been, there was nothing. No swelling, no redness - nothing. The onions had drawn all of the poison out of our son’s body. We were hooked.

The onion's drawing power is not limited to venom. It works for infections and slivers alike. Onion is also a particularly effective expectorant. Back in the day, onion poultices were used to treat pneumonia and Typhoid fever, with relatively good success.

Our recent illness (Whopping Cough) has caused me to further investigate the onion's medicinal attributes. Before we were aware that we had Pertussis, a friend suggested that I make "Onion Syrup" to help alleviate the cough. Already a great fan of onions, I didn't hesitate to give it a try. The syrup, while effective on the cough in the beginning, wasn't enough to keep the Whooping Cough at bay (apparently, you shouldn't use an expectorant with Pertussis). The short time that we did use, I was very impressed. The kids actually like it (mostly) and it did encourage a very productive cough.

In addition to the onion syrup, I made an onion poultice to use on our son. He was having a really hard time getting goop up with his cough, so I thought he would be a good one to experiment on. Within 15 minutes of putting a poultice on him, he was sitting up expelling large green chunks. He was immediately clearer and slept without coughing for almost 7 hours. The onion poultice was unequivocally an effective expectorant.

As we see the rise in health care costs and the very real potential for limited access to modern medicine, learning to use what we have may well one of our best preparedness assets.”

Onion Syrup (for coughs)
1 C Chopped Onion (fresh)
1/4 C Lemon Juice
1 tsp. Ginger Root (optional - fresh is best, but I used powdered)
Enough honey to cover
Place onion, lemon juice and ginger (a friend used garlic too - I think it was a wonderful addition). Cover with honey. Stir to remove the air bubbles and cover. Let sit overnight or 8 hours.
The honey will suck the juices out of the onion. After sitting overnight, strain out the onion solids (or you can munch on them if you prefer). Dosage: Child (7 - 11 years) 1 tsp. every 3-4 hours & Adult 1 T. Every 3 - 4 hours

Onion Poultice
Cut onion up in rings.
Sauté in cast iron skillet, with a little olive oil, until transparent (not caramelized)
Add enough flour or cornmeal to make a thick paste
Using a clean piece of cloth, cover your patient’s chest with two layers of cloth.
Spread moderately cooled (just cool enough not to burn) onions over the chest.
Cover with another layer of cloth.
Place warm (not hot, to burn) hot water bottle over the poultice.
Let sit until poultice cools.
Repeat if necessary.

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