Written By: Steven Horne
Because of my concerns about the world situation and what is happening in America in particular, I’m going to be focusing a lot of attention on emergency preparedness. I’ve hosted a free webinar: Now is the Time to Get Prepared and posted a short video called Personal Visions, which explains spiritual experiences that lead me to become an herbalist and be interested in emergency preparedness. Both of these can be found on my herbaleducation YouTube channel.
I have posted an article about creating an herbal first aid kit, but I want to add some more specifics about preparations that I think we should be making. So, in this blog I’m going to talk about getting prepared to be able to fight infections in emergencies.
Our Weakening Immune Systems
There has been a sharp rise in respiratory illness recently. Historically, I’ve had respiratory problems and I’ve noticed I’m starting to experience them again and I’m having to work hard to get my lungs healthy again. I think this is largely because our immune systems are getting weaker.
We are always surrounded by microbes, whose job is to break down dead/diseased organic matter and recycle it back into the soil. I believe when our bodies are healthy, they are naturally resistant to these microbes. When they become weakened, microbes move in to destroy weakened tissues.
There are multiple reasons why the tissues become weak and susceptible to infection. One of the most obvious is injury. We see this when the skin becomes damaged. Microbes that are normal present on the skin are harmless, but the broken skin provides a site for them to enter and start multiplying if the wound isn’t kept clean. But injury isn’t the only way tissue becomes damaged and susceptible to infection.
Without adequate vitamin C, zinc, selenium, vitamin A, vitamin D3, iodine and other nutrients, the body has a harder time protecting itself against infectious organisms. So, the generally poor level of nutrients in modern diets is part of what is weakening our immune systems. If we want to be healthy, we should eat the healthiest, most natural foods we can find. However, due to the depletion of our soils, I don’t believe this is enough anymore. We need extra nutrients in the form of nutritional supplements—a high quality vitamin and mineral supplement at least. I’m currently using Mega-Chel as mine, one of the supplements I’ll be talking about in my upcoming online Hidden Gems class.
The Assault of Environmental Toxins
But, lack of nutrients is not the only think that is weakening our immunity. Environmental toxins are the other big culprit. This was the topic of my workshop at the NSP National Convention in Dallas, Texas.
These toxins are everywhere and difficult to avoid. They include GMO crops and the glycophosphate weed killers, which are disrupting our gut flora.
Another problem is fluoride, which is in water and foods made with water, but is also found in certain drugs like SSRIs and in non-stick cookware is also a problem. Fluoride, along with chlorine and bromides displaces iodine and weakens our brains, thyroid, cardiovascular system and immune system.
Geoengineering, which is responsible for persistent contrails (also known as chemtrails) is putting nanoparticles of aluminum, stronium and barium into our air. These particles enter the lungs and weaken the immune system, making us more prone to respiratory infections. The list goes on and on, but the point is that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to avoid these toxins.
If our country undergoes a serious economic collapse, a major war or some other nation-wide disaster, our already troubled medical care system will be extremely taxed to take care of people’s health problems. One of the things we could experience is a major epidemic of disease, which could include one of the growing number of antibiotic resistant infections. This is one of the situations I think we should be prepared to deal with as herbalists.
But before I talk about things to store or prepare for, we need to think in terms of prevention right now. Not only do we need to pay attention to adequate nutrition and good health habits but we need to do things to consciously detox our bodies to resist the pollutants we’re exposed to. I’ll do more blogs on this subject later, but doing a good cleansing program several times a year, as well as avoiding as many toxins as we can is critical to being prepared.
I’ve never thought of this until recently, but considering the fact that food shortages would increase nutritional deficiencies, I think I’m going to add some vitamin and mineral supplements to my storage supplies. Having the ability to get extra stores of critical nutrients would aid us in staying healthy in difficult times, when we need our health the most. Besides some kind of multi, extra vitamin A and D3, vitamin C, zinc and other immune boosting nutrients would be helpful.
I also think it would be wise to store Silver Shield as it would be very helpful for disinfecting water and preventing disease, but it would also be a very valuable remedy to have in case of an epidemic, especial a viral epidemic or an epidemic of antibiotic resistant bacteria. However, for a serious infection you will need quite a lot. I’d plan on having at least 80 ounces of Silver Shield per family member. This is because you will want to give someone at least 4-8 ounces of Silver Shield each day for at least 10 days to combat a serious infection.
I’d also keep Silver Shield gel as a hand sanitizer and a treatment for preventing wounds from becoming infected. In an emergency, having something to prevent wounds from becoming septic would be critical to survival. You can squeeze the stuff directly into a wound, something I wouldn’t hesitate to do. So, I’d have one or two tubes of the stuff for each family member.
I love raw garlic for infection, too, but it’s hard to store because it’s a living plant. You could grow it in a garden, of course, but I think having some of NSP’s High Potency Garlic would be helpful, too. Again, I’d have one or two bottles for each family member and would use it along with the silver if the infections were respiratory in nature. I’d also keep at least one bottle per family member of AL-J (for damp climates) or Cordyceps or Chinese Lung Support (for dry climates). I’d also have 2-4 ounces of lobelia extract (tincture) for each family member, especially if anyone has respiratory problems.
I also think having a collection of antiseptic essential oils (tea tree, thyme, eucalyptus, pine, oregano, etc. would be helpful. I keep some of these essential oils in my first aid kits. These can be diffused into the air to inhibit the spread of infection or diluted with vegetable oil and massaged topically over areas where there are infections. The oils penetrate rapidly through the skin. In an emergency, I’d also consider internal use, but I’d dilute the essential oils 20 to 1 in olive oil (20 parts olive oil and one part essential oil) and use only 1-2 drops, twice daily for a maximum of ten days.
The above suggestions would help people make it through the initial stages of any major disaster that started some sort of epidemic. It’s impossible, however, to store enough supplies for a longer emergency. For more long term problems, you need to learn how to identify and use local disinfectant herbs. Some of the plants to consider as infection fighters include garden herbs like thyme, oregano and rosemary, trees like pine, juniper and arborvitae and the berberine-containing plants like Oregon grape and barberry. Many of these are common ornamental trees and shrubs in most communities. If you’d like to learn more about this, consider enrolling in my field botany class.
I’ve been interested in emergency preparedness my whole life, but I feel right now is the time to get prepared. There are many signs of serious problems facing our country and the world, and I believe that as herbalists we need to be prepared not only to help ourselves and our families, but to help our neighbors and communities in the times ahead.