As life would have it, I am approaching the weekend with the remnants of severe cold; something I have not had to deal with in years. I can’t even remember that last time that the combination of sniffles, coughing, and congestion affected me in this manner.
To be honest, I believe this is the result of burning the candle at both ends as a result of a family crisis and quick trip to Seattle. Ten hours in a vehicle is way to long when squeezed into a 14 hour period. This had me thinking about the impact of stress to our overall health as a topic to explore a bit deeper over the next months.
As someone who prefers natural remedies to OTC drugs, at the first sign of a scratchy throat I fired up the diffuser with Shield (a thieves-like essential oil blend) and hit my stash of remedial salves. That led to a big oops. I had inadvertently left my pre-made salve concoctions in Arizona.
That is not to say I was not prepared, however. I had a few jars of pre-made Simple Salve and also jars of Defense, Restore and Base Salves from Spark Naturals. With that head start, in minutes I was able to create a Cold and Flu Bomb salve before getting back to the business of resting coupled with sips of Elderberry tea.
Creating Custom Salves on the Fly Using Simple Salve or Base Salve
Since creating a Cold and Flu Bomb for immediate use was my goal, I am going to share that recipe with you. Who said colds do not occur in the spring and summer?
The same technique described below applies to any custom salve you want to make on the fly. For example, I use the same process when creating a Lemongrass Salve (30 drops Lemongrass EO to 1/2 ounce Simple Salve or Base Salve).
Cold and Flu Bomb Salve #2
1/2 ounce Defense Salve
10 drops Melaleuca Oil
10 drops Oregano Oil
Scoop 1/2 ounce of the the desired salve into a smaller jar. Personally, I like to fill a 1 ounce jar half way so that there is plenty of head space.
Either warm the salve in the microwave until it liquefies or, alternately, set it in a pot of simmering water to melt. If using the water method, be mindful that you do not want to get even a single spec of water into the salve. When I use this method, I set the jar of salve in a Pyrex cup first. Then I set the Pyrex cup in the water.
After the salve is melted, add the oils. You can stir the oils with a stick (such as a chopstick) but I find it easier to cap the jar and give it a good shake. Now you know what the head space was all about.
Apply your cold and flu bomb on the bottoms of your feet and optionally to your chest area three or four times a day.
Note: This is a strong, 10% dilution and what I use for everything except Miracle Healing Salve. For children you are going to want to further dilute the salve, starting with as low as 2 or 3 drops of each oil.
You can use this same method for making your DIY Vapor Rub or, if you have some Revive on hand, use that on your chest to help ease congestion.
Additional Reading: DIY Healing Vapor Rub for Coughs & Congestion
Here is the way I look at it. As much as I both enjoy saving money by making my own salves, sometimes it is good to have some of the pre-made variety available, just in case. A good analogy is scratch cooking versus cooking from canned goods. Sometimes we just have to take the easy way out.
For those of you that need a reminder, here is the original recipe for the Cold and Flu Bomb in a roller ball formulation.
Additional Reading: DIY Simple Salve: An All Purpose, All Natural Ointment and Carrier Oil
Spark Naturals Memorial Day Sale
If you are interested in learning more about the oils, blends, kits, and salves from Spark Naturals, this weekend they are having their biggest Memorial Day Sale ever.
Through May 30th, all Essential Oils, Blends, Kits, Salves, Diffusers, Books, & E-Spa will be marked 15% off. Add an additional 10% off with coupon code BACKDOORSURVIVAL and we are looking at almost 25% off. Plus, through the end of the month, shipping is free.
Regardless of which oils you prefer, please do learn to make your own custom salves. I have found that they are the easiest way to use essential oils other than in a diffuser. Plus, once a salve is made, you do not need to worry about drops, spills, or heaven forbid, breakage.
Backdoor Survival Mail Bag & Reader Tips
Earlier this year, Frances shared some tips for dealing with a water shortage and especially with the issue of laundry. It is true. Sometimes we wash and do laundry daily simply because that is the way we have always done it.
If you live in a trailer or similar shelter with no washer or dryer, you learn to wear the same clothes more than once! It’s a big job to haul everything to the Laundromat (and an expense), so you become quite judicious about ‘making more laundry’ for no reason.
In the old days, folks made do with a pan of water to clean the ‘smelly bits’. I’d recommend one bucket of water (pour out a little to wash) with a second similar amount for rinsing. A wet washcloth can do a fair job of body cleaning. You don’t have to use everything throw-away. Give each person his/her own towel/cloth (different colors, of course). You should be able to get by a few days anyhow that way.
About the throw away dishes etc. You can assign each person and child their own ‘bag’ of utensils, including cloth napkins. Write their name on them the bag and plastic silverware (if you need to). Spoons etc. can be licked then rubbed on the cloth if you’re fussy. Forks and knives really don’t get all that dirty. Here in Great Southwest, folks used sand (in plentiful supply) for dish cleaning when water is scarce.
About the poop problem, well, now you know why there was a ‘special hut’ for that purpose! My grandmother kept a chamber pot handy under the bed when we visited even though she had indoor plumbing! Old habits die hard.
The hardest thing is probably assessing your everyday life style. We develop habits like using paper towels or napkins constantly without even thinking what would we do if there were no more?
Current Backdoor Survival Giveaways
Learn about the Aladdin Lamp, read an interview with Galen Lehman, CEO of Lehman’s, and enter a giveaway to win a complete Aladdin Lamp setup!
With all giveaways, winners are notified by email and have 48 hours to claim their prize or an alternate will be selected. Once selected, the names of winners are also displayed in the Rafflecopter on the original giveaway article. This usually happens on the Friday following the end of the giveaway.
On the Radio! Save the Date – June 2
A number of you have asked whether I had access to a live forum where you could ask me questions in real-time. The short answer is no. The longer answer is kind of, sort of.
On Thursday, June 2nd, 10AM Eastern, I will be featured on the Howell & Yarbrough show on NewsTalk 98.7 (WOKI-FM) in Knoxville, TN. We have no set agenda and listeners will be able to call in. I do believe the show will be recorded as well. Here is a link: http://www.newstalk987.com/.
And just so you know, I rarely do interviews so this is special.
All New! Online Tutorial: 13 Ways to Harness the SUN’S POWER to Save Money & Be Prepared!
Last year, a number of you participated in the “Cooking with Sun” Webinar put on by Sun Ovens International. It was such a good, informative session that I actually held the webinar twice in 2015. Well, Sun Ovens is back, but this time, the online session is a tutorial and it is specific to preppers.
Paul Munsen, the CEO of Sun Ovens International, has released this tutorial first to Backdoor Survival. How cool is that? I will be sending out an email with more details but in the meantime, if you would like to register now for this free event, click on the link below. The date is June 7th, at 7PM Central.
By the way, everyone who registers will receive a free eBook with over 600 solar cooking recipes.
Prepping Gear That I Love
Do you use carabiners? If so, you might want to check out the Qliplet. I have been using mine to hang a lanterns from a hook on my porch and also to attach both a water bottle and portable solar panel to my bug out bag. It is probably a bit of an overkill but if you have ever had a carabiner fail, you will appreciate that the Qliplet will hold up to 50 pounds.
The Final Word
I have not been doing much physical prepping of late. I have a lot of stuff already and, as I may have mentioned, these days I want to prep less with my credit card and more with my hands and brain. Those of you that have been doing this for awhile will understand.
Along those lines, an email I received today lamented “sometimes I feel I am being stupid and other times I feel as though I am not doing enough.” (If you are reading this, you know who you are.) It is natural to feel that way and I often feel the same as you so you are in good company. If it helps at all, all we have to do is take a look at the middle class eating out of garbage trucks in Venezuela, and read about superbugs becoming drug resistant to know we are doing the right thing.
So that is a wrap for me this week. Enjoy the holiday weekend and take time to remember those who served and gave their lives in order to make ours better.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
You can also vote for Backdoor Survival daily at Top Prepper Websites!
Bargain Bin: Below you will find links related to this article plus everything you need to make your own Simple Salve, an all-natural alternative to petroleum jelly that works perfectly as a base salve for essential oils.. Want to learn more? Read DIY Simple Salve: An All Purpose, All Natural Ointment and Carrier Oil.
Spark Naturals Base Salve: This is a foundation salve and is comparable to my Simple Salve. Using base salve, you can add your own oils to mix and match and concoct your own unique salves. Base salve is a bargain especially when you consider you can re-purpose the jar (worth a few dollars itself) when making your own Simple Salve down the road!
Beeswax Organic Pastilles, Yellow, 100% Pure 16 Oz: I ordered the white pastilles but have since learned that the natural yellow pastilles are better. That said, the difference may not be discernible – just be sure that what you purchase is cosmetic grade.
Coconut Oil: Coconut Oil from Tropical Traditions is my preferred coconut oil. I love it so much I purchased a 5 gallon tub. Really, I did! I find it very silky to work with and love the taste when used in cooking. Note that no refrigeration is required and although it solid at room temperature, it melts at 76 degrees. The Nutiva brand from Amazon or Costco works well too.
Kirkland Brand “Pure” Olive Oil: This is the brand I use. When I can, I purchase it at Costco but it is also available online at Amazon.
White Plastic Jar with Dome Lid 2 Oz (12 Per Bag): I chose to use these small ointment jars rather than Mason jars for my salve. I also have similar jars in the 1 ounce size and 1/2 ounce size (my favorite for mixing up various salve and essential oil concoctions).
Aromatherapy Glass Roll On Bottles, Frost Cobalt Blue-Set of 6: You are going to want some of these for your oils. I put essential oils (singly or in combination) in a roller ball with a bit of fractionated coconut oil and use it to apply e.o.s topically. Note that I prefer the cobalt blue roller ball containers but they are also available in clear. These complement the custom salves I mix up and store in these 1/2 ounce ointment jars.
Ball Jar Crystal Jelly Jars: Used with the optional plastic lids, these are perfect for your DIY Simple Salve.
Mason Jar Storage Caps Set of 8: These are fantastic! These plastic lids screw onto a mason jar and are perfect in the pantry or to cap you salves. There is both a regular and a wide mouth version. I can’t believe I have not mentioned these before!
Spark Naturals Essential Oils: One of my favorite SN products is the “Health and Wellness Kit” which includes all of my favorites plus everything you need to make my custom salves. Be sure to use the discount code BACKDOORSURVIVAL to receive a 10% discount.
NOW Foods Essential Oils: I use essential oils from Spark Naturals almost exclusively. For healing purposes, I feel they are superior. On the other hand, NOW Foods has decent essential oils at a budget price from Amazon. Here are a few to get you started: NOW Foods Rosemary Oil, NOW Foods Peppermint Oil and Now Foods Lavender Oil.
Glass Droppers, Pack of 6: I bought a package of these and loved them. When I went to re-order, I accidentally ordered plastic instead glass droppers. Learn from my mistake. The price is the same so get the glass ones.
Essential Oils Desk Reference 6th Edition: I thought long and hard before purchasing this book myself, but once I did, I was so grateful I took the leap. The information is cross referenced in many ways making it easy to find what you are looking for. When searching for a particular remedy, you may see multiple oils listed and any will work but they are presented in order of typical efficacy. The nice thing is that if you do not have #1 on hand, you can move down the list. I have found the recommendations to be spot on. one, used it, and and can recommend it.
For over 25 years Emergency Essentials has been providing the highest quality preparedness products at great prices. Plus, each month they feature sales that quite honestly are fantastic. This month note the great sale prices two of my favorites, the Mobile Washer (Hand Operated Washing Machine) now only $14.95 and the Tote-able Toilet Seat and Lid, now only $11.79.
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Which are the best oils for your survival kit? This article describes my top picks.