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By Kellene Bishop

Photo c/o thespiceguys.net

Photo c/o thespiceguys.net

Someone mentioned to me this morning that they wish they had a farm.  I personally have been wishing that I had a space for a real garden.  I have recently embraced the use of square foot gardening and one thing I decided to do this year in my garden that has me practically giddy is planting herbs in the space that I normally have planted flowers.  I have to tell you, I’m thrilled with the results.  I never fully knew about the ease and magic of growing your own herbs!  I can’t believe I’ve been paying $3 to $8 for a bottle of herbs that are easily grown in my “flower” garden!  Let’s start at the beginning.

Most herbs love moist, sunny areas.  They like to be fertilized with Miracle-Gro or Osmocote about once every two week (whereas most garden items like being fertilized every week).  Herbs can be grown EASILY in the ground or in a pot or even in your home in the window sill or under a grow light.  While I’ve notoriously killed a lot of plants I’ve attempted to grow in the past, you can rest assured that I haven’t killed a single herb yet.  (Hint—that means that they’re easy to grow.)

Harvest the herb as it grows.  So long as you leave a few leaves remaining on your plant, feel free to pluck away. Oregano and basil respond to this particularly well as they tend to get more and more bushy as you pluck. 

You don’t have to eat them all as you grow them.  Isn’t that great?  You can EASILY dry them yourself simply by laying them out on a paper towel after you’ve cleaned them.  Then put them in a jar (I use the Foodsaver to seal the jar) and PRESTO!  You’ve got your own “expensive” bottle of herbs.  (Remember, you can keep getting into your bottle and simply reseal it each time with your Foodsaver.)

Photo c/o myrecipes.com

Photo c/o myrecipes.com

I LOVE how my “flower garden” smells.  Rosemary, basil, dill, oregano.  Yummy!  Fresh chopped basil on fresh chopped tomatoes with chunks of soft mozzarella, ground black pepper and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar is one of my absolute favorite dishes.  While I love using the fresh herbs, I’ve also surprisingly enjoyed the herbs that I’ve dried myself as well.  I love how my spaghetti sauce turns out with my dried oregano.  Fresh rosemary on tuna or lamb is delectable.  Sage… oh. I’m getting hungry just telling you about all of these! 

Russian sage goes wild fairly quickly.  But it has a beautiful purple blossom that accompanies it, so let it run wild, harvest it, and enjoy.  The Chinese actually think we Americans are crazy for drinking our expensive teas while they enjoy the simple effectiveness of sage tea and its health benefits.  Sage tea is good for settling a nervous stomach, relaxing, calming indigestion.  It’s also excellent for the health of your liver and kidneys, halts bleeding wounds when applied as a salve, and is a fever reducer as well as a great tonic for your hair.  Be sure you don’t boil sage tea.  Just steep it.

For those of you who love saffron rice but hate paying an arm and a leg for the saffron, you can substitute the yellow marigold blooms!  I like to plant a few marigolds among my herbs to help with the health of the garden and keep away pests.  Wow, a substitute for saffron AND a pest repellent?!  Don’t ya just LOVE the miracles of nature sometimes?  As a side bar, you can also substitute turmeric for saffron, but it’s a bit overpowering in taste, so I don’t care to use it.

Now let’s look at just how far we can go with growing herbs in our emergency preparedness.  As you know, there are a lot of herbs (especially teas) that are used for medicinal purposes.  Horehound and catnip are a couple of those and they are so easy to grow, dry, and then jar. 

Photo c/o herbal-supplement-resource.com

Photo c/o herbal-supplement-resource.com

Catnip is great for infections, including chicken pox or measles.  It’s also useful for cold and flu, even bronchitis or asthma and has long been used in years past to relax colicky babies.  Other common uses have been for headaches, menstrual cramping, sinusitis, constipation, stomach flu, croup, burns, insect bites, and cuts. 

Horehound tea is ideal as a mild laxative, cough suppressant, cleansing for wounds, and gastrointestinal disturbances.  (Note, just as ingesting large quantities of Nyquil aren’t good for your heart, ingesting LARGE quantities of horehound may cause an irregular heartbeat so don’t go overboard.)

Ultimately, growing my own herbs doesn’t feel like “gardening.”  There’s very little weeding and a speedy sense of gratification.  There really is ease and magic in growing your own herbs, not to mention the extensive money savings.  Growing my own herbs is one more of my preparedness tasks that I love doing that will bless the lives of those I love in the event of a crisis.

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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This blog has moved. Please visit us at www.preparednesspro.com.

 

By Kellene Bishop

 

CORRECTION Mexico Flu

Photo by AP Photo / Miguel Tovar
 
Hopefully the news as of late regarding the spread of Swine flu has you concerned to some degree of your own exposure. Or perhaps the news has at least made you aware that your emergency preparedness supplies aren’t presently sufficient for such a crisis. If you’re becoming aware of such a situation, that’s actually the best thing that can result from the news of this epidemic. Because the good news is that you can be prepared for this and other like ailments by taking some proactive steps now.  Being prepared independently to handle such a crisis as a Swine flu epidemic is critical. Believing that life will always be “normal enough” for you to plan on having access to the “anti-virus” or vaccination shortly after the time of exposure is truly a gamble of Russian roulette proportions. 

First let’s look at some supplies that you will want to have on hand for external physical benefits.

 1. Breathing mask: A great deal of flu diseases are spread airborne. As such, being sure to protect your nose and your mouth from inhaling the disease or even from spreading it should you have been exposed to it is critical. Breathing masks are much like what you see on the doctors or nurses faces during a surgery. They do not have to be a heavy plastic. (In fact, if you do end up having to wear them for an extended period of time, you’ll wish that they aren’t heavy.) Instead, you can purchase lightweight version at your bulk wholesale stores. You will need to anticipate needed one per person in your home for each day that you may have to ride out an epidemic.

 

hand-sanitizer2. Hand Sanitizer: While washing your hands with hot soap and water frequently is preferable, it’s not realistic should you have to endure a bio-crisis such as this. So be sure that you have a quality hand sanitizer on hand. Again, you want to be sure that you do not underestimate the quantity of this item to have readily accessible. Not only will it prove useful for spreading a disease, but it’s ideal for everyday use as you ride out any other type of emergency which requires you to live off of your supplies.

 3. Homeopathic Remedies: It’s important that you familiarize yourself with herbal or other types of remedies that can assist individuals who are exposed to something like the Swine flu. The more universal the remedy is, the better so that you don’t have to become a “pharmacy” of remedies. Storage space is valuable, right? I’ve researched a great deal of remedies and my first advice to you is to partake of something regularly now which truly strengthens your immune system. Use a quality nutrition supplement now in order to ensure your health later when such a disaster may affect you. I strongly recommend products such as Reliv or Essiac tea to be made a part of your daily regime now as if you wait until you’re exposed to an airborne illness such as the Swine flu to imbibe, your symptoms will be drawn out, and your body will also have to struggle with the introduction to healthy materials in addition to fighting the flu. To clarify, when you ingest a product which is effective in fighting such a virus, and strengthening your immune system, there will inevitably be some “cleansing” of your body. Cleansing toxins from your body can actually stir things up and make you a bit ill initially. So it’s important that you focus on your health now, so that if you have to step up your natural remedies, the cure doesn’t harm you, so to speak.oil-of-oregano2

 

4. In addition to these remedies to begin ingesting now, (you can also use them for crisis remedies as well) here is a list of other alternative remedies you may want to have on hand: 

Zinc Lozenges
Echinacea
Goldenseal
Oil of Oregano (a dose of two drops tastes nasty, but it will kill most any virus.)
Oscillococcinum
Gelsemium
Bryonia
Rhus Tox

5. Knowledge: Yes, it’s true. You don’t want to bet your life on the utilizations of methods that you aren’t familiar with. So obtaining the knowledge you need to properly use such alternative methods is critical. The good news is that finding the right homeopathic medicine for the flu is actually relatively straightforward because the symptoms are easy to identify and universally evident in most flu strains. (Fever, body aches, sore throat, cough, runny nose, vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy.) Additionally, you can take comfort in the fact that homeopaths have treated viral illnesses, including the flu as early as the 1918 flu pandemic. A report from the American Institute of Homeopathy in 1921 documented the dramatic success of homeopathy in the worst flu pandemic in history. The death rate of 24,000 flu cases under conventional medical care in that study was 28.2 percent, while the death rate of 26,000 cases treated with homeopathy was a nearly miraculous 1.05 percent. Similarly, many homeopathic physicians each reported treating thousands of patients with very few deaths. So get armed with the necessary knowledge, and you will truly be prepared.

Click here for more from Preparedness Pro on the Swine flu.

Preparedness Pro Note: If you would like Kellene Bishop to present an Emergency Preparedness message for your community or church group, please contact us at 801-788-4133.  Ms. Bishop is an experienced speaker and demonstrator on Emergency Preparedness topics and also has created a great “Preparedness Party” platform which makes the learning of such a topic more enjoyable for all.

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

Subscribe to Preparedness Pro today and never miss a thing!