Posts tagged: medicine

Preserving Oral Hygiene In A SHTF Scenario

Preserving Oral Hygiene In A SHTF Scenario

Oral hygiene is of upmost importance, and we’re familiarized with the toothbrush and toothpaste from an early age. Keeping your teeth clean on a daily basis is vital for preserving oral hygiene. But despite the rigors and norms of the modern consumerist society we live in, there are many other ways of keeping your teeth clan and healthy. And they work best in a TEOTWAWKI scenario, when the products we’re used to won’t just be available anymore. You’ll need to improvise, but luckily there are many substitutes for the traditional methods and products. And despite what many people believe, teeth aren’t made of glass. Cleaning them with something else other than toothpaste won’t damage them in any way. There are plenty of raw foods that known to have a cleaning effect on the teeth (apples, pears, carrots); provided they are hard enough (soft and ripe won’t do), they’ll do wonders for your teeth and gums, preventing even gingivitis and canker sores. Here are some of the best replacements for modern teeth cleaning methods.

BAKING SODA

Baking soda is probably the most famous alternative when it comes to cleaning the teeth. The baking soda’s natural properties lets it neutralize acids that are harmful for the enamel, kills off bacteria that is responsible for plaque build-up and as far as aesthetics go, it’s an excellent stain remover. It’s used dates as far back as antiquity, as even Hippocrates himself had a mouthwash recipe based on baking soda, vinegar and alum. Alongside baking soda, there are many oils you can throw into the mix for added beneficial effects: cinnamon oil (has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties), peppermint oil (has antibacterial effect, it freshens the breath and it clears up the sinuses), clove oil (fights off bacteria and has painkilling properties) etc. These oils work in more ways than one. If you have swollen gums, you can dip a piece of clean cloth of gauze in any of these and a place over the affected area; for best results, let the gum-pack sit overnight.

SALT

Salt is the ingredient that no serious prepper should go without. And believe it or not, it even serves a purpose in the field of oral hygiene. Salt brushing can be used even today, in moderation of course; salt can whiten and brighten one’s teeth. It has mild cleaning properties and it can be used daily; you can also make a salt based mouthwash that you can use for disinfection purposes, against bad breath, tartar, plaque and even boost the healing process. Salt can be used raw or mixed with baking soda (30% salt, 70% baking soda); you can even add sage to the mix, if you happen to have some at your disposal. Mouth wash is even easier to make; just add salt to potable water and there you have it.

OXYGENTATED WATER (HYDROGEN PEROXIDE 3%)

The product has been proven to be very effective against gingivitis, canker sores and harmful bacteria. It should be diluted with water before usage, because it’s a bit to abrasive on the teeth. Just mix equal parts of water and hydrogen peroxide 3% and you get a very affective mouth wash. However, you should never swallow the mixture. Before brushing your teeth, swish it around in your mouth and spit it out, but don’t keep it in for longer than 20 seconds. After you’re done, you can wash the toothbrush with the oxygenated water-based concoction, to destroy residual bacteria.

PRIMITIVE TOOTHBRUSHES (aka. CHEW STICKS)

Chewing on sticks and branches is a primitive teeth-cleaning method, that’s still used today among tribal societies. It might seem a bit rough, but it works. The method consists in chewing down on little twigs and branches and splitting them into several small brands. When you’re done chewing and the twig gets spread enough, you can used it to clean your teeth similar to a toothbrush. Some plants are more efficient than others, thanks to their healing properties. Some of the best and most spread DIY toothbrushes can be made out of oak, juniper, eucalyptus and the neem tree. Their rich in tannins that are extremely helpful in cleansing and curing gum-related afflictions and oils that stimulate blood flow.

There you have it, some of the best methods to help you keep your oral hygiene even in the toughest conditions imaginable. When your toothpaste and mouthwash reserves run low, you’ll need to consider replacing them and fast. No matter how bad things get, overlooking oral hygiene is not an option.

The Best Natural Antiseptics You Can Use In A Survival Scenario

The Best Natural Antiseptics You Can Use In A Survival Scenario

When SHTF and the whole world falls apart, surviving each day at a time will be the key issue, as I have stated so many times before. Apart from staying safe and getting the right resources as far and food and water goes, keeping healthy will be just as important. I’ve advised you time and time again on being vigilant and avoid accidents at all costs, as have I advised you on keeping the right supplies in your personal survival medical kit.

But as far as medical supplies go, they’ll run out eventually. And vigilance just won’t be enough to stop accidents from happening entirely. When it comes down to it, you’ll need to improvise, and fast. No matter what type of accidents we’re talking about, be it a minor one (a bruise, a cut, bug bites etc.) or a more serious injury (burns, fractures etc.), a real important part of the treatment is avoiding infection. For such occasions you’ll need to have antiseptics in hand.

They are substances (that come in liquid, powder or ointment form) and get applied locally to help prevent infection, sepsis (harmful bacteria and toxins) and even putrefaction. Medical kits usually have Betadine (aka. Povidone-iodine), which is one of the best medical products when it comes to fighting off infection. But if you don’t happen to have any, there is still plenty of substitutes you can you use. Let’s have a look at what they are.

1. Mouthwash

You might have run out of Betadine, but if you still have some mouthwash lying around, you should be set. If you have a mouthwash that is set on fighting plaque and gingivitis, it should be able to do the same with any sort of pathogens that tend to build up on an open wound. Most of the products in this category have substances like zinc chloride, cetylpyridinium chloride, chlorhexidine (available by prescription) etc., that are nothing else but antiseptic agents. If it’s set to fight off germs in your mouth, it should do the same for cuts, bruises and flesh wounds.

2. Lemon juice

For those of you that have a high tolerance to pain, you can use lemon juice, or even better, lime juice to disinfect and clean open wounds. But be advised that the stinging sensation will be intense. Not only will lemon juice kill off potentially harmful bacterial agents, but it will also stops the bleeding. The juice is effective against pathogens thanks to its acidic properties that act like an alcohol-based disinfectant: it kills of germs, it cleans the wound and it dries up the area all in one swoop. If you can stand the pain, it’ll be worth it. But be advised, excessive use can damage healthy cells as well.

3. Garlic

Garlic is known to be one of the most potent natural antiseptics across many cultures throughout the world. But in order for it to work, the wound needs to have stopped bleeding. Once the bleeding stops, clean the afflicted area with water and gently dry it off with a clean piece of cloth. The garlic can be crushed and applied directly or you can make a concoction by adding red wine. Let it sit for 3 – 4 hours and apply to the wound. However, garlic can be damaging to the skin, so don’t leave it more than 25 minutes at a time.

4. Potatoes

I bet not many of you knew that potatoes have a natural ability of healing open wounds. Well, they do. And it’s all based on their ability to attract and draw out all sorts of infections. The first thing you’ll need to do is to shred a potato or two and spread them over a thin, clean cloth. Add this to the wound and let it sit for 5 hours at a time. When changing your potato bandage with a fresh one, you’ll need to clean the wound with some salt-water. Potatoes will keep the inflammation to a minimum and will keep pathogens at bay.

5. Chamomile

Chamomile is an ancient cure for so many ailments, that its notoriety has lasted through the ages. The plant’s dried flowers contain high levels of flavonoids and terpenoids that make it one of the most curative plants to have been discovered. If chamomile-based ointments or medicine isn’t available, you can easy get some tea bags or simply find fresh flowers, dry them and make them into tea. Once the tea is done, get a clean cloth and soak it in. Drain the excess liquid and apply directly on the wound; if you have chamomile tea bags, even better, as they’ll contain plant parts which will speed up the healing process even more.

6. Cayenne pepper

The Cayenne pepper works amazingly as open-wound treatment. Not only does it have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, but it also stops the bleeding in a heartbeat, as it makes the blood clot way fast than normal. The bleeding of a superficial wound should cease in about 15 seconds after the pepper was added; if the wound is more severe, drink the concoction made up of 8oz water + 1oz cayenne pepper daily. This will help you cause.

7. Pine sap + needles

The pine sap is considered as one of the most easily procured natural antiseptics there are. If you happen to have some pinesin you vicinity, getting some sap will be child’s play. Look on the body of the tree for lumpy formations. They or sap pockets witch you can easily pop or stick with your knife. Once the sap is out, simply take it and spread it over the wound. If you wish to strengthen the effect of the sap, you can grab some pine needles to snack on. They are edible and also have mild antiseptic properties.

8. Cactus bandages

This is the best option for all you desert-dwellers out there. The prickly pear cactus (Oputia sp.) has flat round pads, which have excellent antiseptic and astringent properties. Grab a pad and either split it in half or peel it. Place it directly over the wound, but assure yourself you have removed those pesky needles first. You can let it sit, even secure it with a gauze. The cactus will speed up the healing process.

Whether you’ll need to resort to such improvisations or not, is hard to tell. But if it ever comes down to it, at least you won’t have to endure a slow and painful death caused by infection. Nature is lending us a hand every here and there, just keep your eyes open.

By My Family Survival Plan

How To Treat A Burn Victim In A Survival Scenario

How To Treat A Burn Victim In A Survival Scenario

The danger of getting burned is ever-present in our day to day lives. Whether we’re talking about a minor burn caused by carelessness or a severe degree burn caused by an unfortunate event, it’s important to know how to react in such a situation. Most of us have already dealt with burning injuries at least once in their lifetime, so the sensation and the gravity of the matter is known to most people. We’re not lacking in the health department in this day and age; there’s plenty of doctors and clinics out there that are able and equipped to deal with burn victims. Even if they’re not immediately available, medicine is widely available and many people already have their stock set aside for darker days. But what happens in TEOTWAWKI situation, when medical care and supplies won’t simply be available anymore? In this case, it’s important to know how to treat a burn victim and to improvise as best as we can in order to save one’s life.

The first thing we’ll need to asses in a burning accident is how much of the overall body surface has been affected by the burn. People that have less than 20% of their body’s surface affected by 2nd and 3rd  burns are not facing direct life threats (although the danger of infection and complications is still present); 1st degree burns do not pose a life threat, as the skin is not significantly affected. But those who have suffered. This is easily calculated by using the rule of nines, according to whom the surfaces on the human adult body are as follows: head = 9%, chest (front) = 9%, abdomen (front) = 9%, upper/mid/lower back & buttocks = 18%, arms (each) = 9%, palm (each) = 1%, groin = 1%, legs (each) = 18% (front = 9% + back = 9%).  For children, the numbers are as follows: head = 18%, chest (front) = 9%, abdomen (front and back) = 9%, upper/mid/lower back & buttocks = 18%, arms (each) = 9%, palm (each) = 1%, groin = 1%, legs (each) = 14% (front = 7% + back = 7%).

After the affected surface area has been determined, it’s imperative to understand what degree of burn you’re dealing with. As an international convention, burns are split into three distinctive categories:

1st degree burns or mild burns are what happens in the best case scenario. The injury is superficial and the skin is not completely affected. A good example of a 1st degree burn is a nasty case of sunburn. It requires a lesser form of treatment and it’s not life-threatening

2nd degree burns are much more serious and pose a greater threat to general health. They are far more painful as the affliction penetrates far deeper into the skin. If this is the case, it’s recommended you seek medical help, if available.

3rd degree burns are the most severe types imaginable. Because the injury goes so deep into the skin, the pain receptors can be completely destroyed, so they victim might not feel pain at all. If the affected area gets swollen, turns leathery or black, you’re dealing with a 3rd degree burn; as a mentioned before, pain is no longer an indicator. This is an emergency, and you should seek professional help if it’s available, if not, turn to your medical kit.

Before you start applying a treatment, you’ll need to determine the nature of the burn. Various types of burns require different treatments. These are some of the most common causes when it comes to burn injuries and how you should deal with them:

If the victim has been subjected to a flame source, the first step is to take the person away from the fire source and to extinguish his clothes if they’re on fire. Water is the best choice, as this will not only put out the fire, but it will also wash away any remaining pieces of charred clothing. Cold water will cool the burned areas and sooth the pain. Next, remove the clothes, gently tap with a dry and clean piece of cloth and apply any treatment available.

Treating electrical burn victims requires a different approach. In this case, the insides are just as damaged (if not more) than the outside. Electrical current takes a toll mostly on the heart, so before treating burns, check the patient’s vital signs first. You might need to perform CPR before anything else. Once the victim is stabilized, you can proceed to treating the burns.

Chemical burns are also a hazard to take into consideration. Treating skin that’s been exposed to corrosive substances requires a lot of patience. The burned area should be washed with water for about 30 minutes before proceeding to apply any type of ointment. If the area is not cleaned perfectly, the remaining substances will continue to destroy skin cells. After the area has been cleaned, you should double check that the ointment you’re about to apply won’t react with the chemical residue found in the burn.

If medical help is not available and if your personal survival medical kit is depleted, worry not. Luckily you can still improvise burn treatments out of everyday household items. Here are some of the things found around the house that can do wonders in case you’re dealing with burns:

  1. Honey is a fantastic first aid solution when it comes to treating burns. It can also work as a permanent solution, provided you’re in a survival scenario and you happen to have some honey lying around. You should cover the affected surface in honey completely. Next cover the area in a plastic warp. Honey will prevent bacteria from reaching the wound and keep the risk of infection to a minimum. Check the wound daily and apply as much honey as you can spare.
  2. Vinegar can also be used for cleaning the burned area, as it can be used as an antiseptic. Because it’s an acid, the vinegar will sting and add to the burning sensation, but in the process it will clean and sanitize the burned area, killing of any unwanted pathogens that might lead to severe infection. Diluted vinegar is the way to go.
  3. Baking soda works perfectly for treating a burned area. Just add water, turn it into a paste and apply it gently over the burned area. The baking soda will help reduce the swelling and the pain sensation. You can add it to any type of burns EXCEPT chemical burns. It may give an unwanted reaction with the chemical that caused the burn, so avoid using it in this case.

Aiding a burn victim in no easy task, and you should take it seriously. Educate yourself in the field before taking on such a task, as the wrong move might have unwanted consequences. There are many popular treatments that do not give great result, quite the opposite. Burns should be cleaned with cold water, but never ice water. You might have been told at some point to press something cold next to a burn, but you strongly advise you not to. The surface you might be pressing into the burned area might be carrying pathogens that will cause infection. Also egg whites and oil do not work either, so don’t bother. If your hands and fingers have been burned, remove rings and jewelry asap, because burned areas tend to get swollen. Nasty burns will most likely result in enormous blisters; do not pop them! They’re helping the healing process. Popping them may result in infection, pain and permanent trauma.

NOte – this is an informational article and not to be seen as medical advice nor substitute for consultation with a medical professional, nor a recommendation to self-diagnose or self-treat.

WordPress Themes