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  • Why You Should Use Essential Oils in Emergencies

    When Laurie Klem, of Goodland, Kan., leaves home, she carries 10 essential oils in her purse for emergencies. When she travels, she takes a dozen or more.

    Essential OilsKlem, who has been using essential oils for 19 years and teaches classes about them, said they have come in handy. One day her husband was having pain in his rotator cuff, the muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint. She had peppermint oil that she carries for headaches.

    “I took three drops and spent a couple of minutes massaging it in,” she said. After a few minutes, his pain subsided.

    “He said, ‘Wow, I had no idea just straight peppermint worked that well.’ ”

    Now you can find essential oils here at Emergency Essentials.

    Here are a few that Klem keeps in her purse as a first aid kit.

     

    Lavender

    Essential Oils - Lavender“[Lavender] is at the top of the list as good for anything relating to the skin,” Klem said.

    A few years ago, she accidentally overturned a pot of boiling water on her arm.

    “I doused it with lavender oil,” she said. She feels multiple lavender oil treatments were the reason she has no scars on her arm.

    She also said it helps her relax. After all, many bath products contain lavender.

    “Lavender with Epsom salts (in a bath) is great for unwinding at the end of the day,” she said.

    A few cautions: Lavender essential oil can cause irritation if applied directly to the skin and is poisonous if swallowed, according to Homesteading, a 2009 book edited by Abigail Gehring.

    Elementa Essentials, our brand of essential oils, recommends cutting most essential oils by putting 3-10 drops in an ounce of vegetable oil or lotion before applying it to skin.

    Klem said lavender oil is the one of the most common “faked” products on the market and recommended avoiding products with the word “scented” on their labels.

    “It’s not coming from the actual plant,” she said. “Scented equals fake.”

     

    Peppermint

    Essential Oils - Peppermint

    Klem uses peppermint essential oil for headaches, stomach aches, and muscle pain, as well as a decongestant.

    She used to dilute it and rub it on her children’s knees when they had growing pains. She joked that when she’d rub the oil on one of her children’s joints, “the next thing you know, everybody has growing pains.”

    A drop could also help soothe stomach pain. Klem believes a daily concoction of peppermint oil and lemon oil in water, in combination with a careful diet and healthy sleep habits, has kept her husband’s acid reflux under control.

    Peppermint oil has some of the most reliable evidence suggesting it could be effective for treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome, according to a 2014 review in the journal Digestion.

    Don’t use too much, though. Peppermint oil is considered fairly safe in small doses but can have side effects of allergic reaction and heartburn, according to Homesteading.

     

    Lemon oil

    Essential Oils - Lemon“I hardly ever drink water without lemon oil,” Klem said. “When I’m traveling, especially, I always add it because it will help to neutralize impurities in the water.”

    Lemon oil is a natural cleanser. It contains d-limonene, a compound found in citrus peels that can help reduce some types of cell damage, according to a 2015 study in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology. D-limonene is used all over the place, from cooking to cleaning to cosmetics.

    D-limonene is safe but has a slight possibility of skin irritation when used in large amounts in cosmetics according to a 2013 study in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health.

     

    Melaleuca

    Essential Oils - MelaleucaMelaleuca – or tea tree – is one of Klem’s “go-to” oils.

    It could have antibacterial and antifungal properties, she said, so her family uses it to treat cuts and athlete’s foot. Klem’s family runs a bison ranch, and she uses it to treat wounds on livestock.

    Elementa Essentials suggests using it in small amounts to clean skin and nails. Its strong smell might also work as an insect repellent.

     

    Rosemary

    essential oils - rosemary

    Klem finds rosemary a useful multipurpose oil.

    She puts it on her temples or forehead to help her concentrate. She also uses it for colds, dandruff, healthy hair, and headaches. When she has a migraine she applies it all around her scalp along the hairline. She says it could help heal a yeast infection, but recommends it only after consultation with an expert.

    Not all uses for rosemary may be entirely effective. Like this “Lotion for the Cure and Prevention of Baldness,” from a Victorian-era advice book, Enquire Within Upon Everything: Eau-de-Cologne, two ounces; tincture of cantharides, two drachms; oil of rosemary, oil of nutmeg, and oil of lavender, each ten drops. To be rubbed on the bald part of the head every night.

     

    Health Defense

    essential oils

    Health Defense is an oil blend sold here, and contains orange peel, cloves, cinnamon bark, lemon peel, rosemary and eucalyptus leaf. Klem said she uses a similar oil blend more than all of her other essential oils combined. She says her family members apply it or spray it in their throats at the first exposure to illness.

    “When winter starts, I try to have ten bottles of the stuff around,” she said.

    We suggest rubbing it onto wrists, misting it into the air and dabbing it in spots near food storage, door entryways, and campsites.

     

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says essential oils may be used in three different ways: internally as a dietary supplement, topically and aromatically.

    Elementa Essentials does not recommend using any of its products internally without a doctor’s approval. The same caveat applies if you’re pregnant, on medication, or have sensitive skin.

    It’s not a great idea to apply undiluted essential oils directly to your skin. Elementa Essentials recommends you put 3-10 drops in an ounce of vegetable oil or lotion. Klem said she sometimes dilutes with almond oil because it is thinner oil with smaller molecules that absorb more quickly into the bloodstream. Since children’s bodies respond more quickly to medicines, she prefers coconut oil for them because its molecules are larger and take longer to get into the bloodstream. She also uses olive oil, with an absorption rate between the other two oils.

    Aromatically means using a diffuser to spray a diluted oil mixture into a room. Diffusers are available at many online retailers, Klem said.

    No matter how she dispenses it, she uses very little oil at a time because it’s so potent.

    “All you need is one drop most of the time, for most things,” she said.

     

    - Melissa

     

    Do you use essential oils for emergencies? Is it something you would consider? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

     

    Essential Oils Blog Banner

     

    Other Sources

    Interview with Laurie Klem, 8/19/15

    Gehring, Abigail R. (2009-11-01). Homesteading: A Backyard Guide to Growing Your Own Food, Canning, Keeping Chickens, Generating Your Own Energy, Crafting, Herbal Medicine, and More (Back to Basics Guides) (Kindle Locations 2-3). Skyhorse Publishing. Kindle Edition.

    Enquire Within Upon Everything: The Great Victorian Domestic Standby (Kindle Locations 8689-8691). Public Domain Books. Kindle Edition.

    Posted In: Emergency Kits Tagged With: rosemary, lemon, lavender, peppermint, melaleuca, essential oils, health, emergency kit

  • Skills Grandpa Knew (And You Should, Too)

    |3 COMMENT(S)

    Being a city slicker has its advantages. Basically, we can get anything we need thanks to convenient shops and local utility companies. Food, clothes, car parts - and let's not forget electricity and natural gas - all come to us without very much work on our part. But what would happen if the world decided to bug out on us, and we were left to our own natural instincts? Would you still be able to provide for yourself – and your family – if the grid went down, an EMP went off, or something of the like?

    Back in the day, people weren’t as reliant on the corporate world to get them what they needed. People had skills, and their skills were necessary to their livelihood. In an article from Off Grid Quest, the author suggests that “if we were to have a breakdown in society, those skills which we never bothered to learn would become essential.”

    So what are those essential skills? I thought you’d never ask. Here are five skills that would do us all well to know, whether we have a societal breakdown or not.

     

    1. Gardening

    You need food. That’s going to be one of the realizations you have if all the store shelves are empty with no sign of extra stock arriving. That’s where a vegetable garden comes in handy.

    Old Timey Skills - GardeningGardening is a skill that may be a lot more difficult than most people think. It took the author of the aforementioned article “three years to get more than just herbs and a smattering of produce out of [the garden].” You could be in for some very hungry seasons if you put off learning how to garden until you absolutely need it. Fortunately, the Internet knows everything, so if you need help, you’re sure to find loads of information at your fingertips (such as this article by gardeners.com). And, if you need seeds that will store for a number of years, check out our garden and heirloom seeds here.

     

    1. Raising Animals For Food

    Old Timey Skills - Raising AnimalsJust like growing a garden, raising animals involves more than you may even realize. Cats and dogs are one thing, but cows, rabbits, chickens, and other delicious animals require the ability to take care of their illnesses yourself. Vets may not always be an option, so knowing how to care for your creatures is imperative. Other factors can include learning how to butcher and prepare the food that your animals sacrificed for you. Butchers might not be a readily available resource, so knowing how to properly prepare your critters could very well be a good skill to have.

     

    1. Hunting

    Speaking of preparing animals to eat, hunting is another useful skill that could help find food for your family when all else fails. Be it through your bow hunting skills or rifle abilities, know the tricks of the trade, including tracking and the nature of the animal you’re after.

     

    1. Basic Carpentry and Mechanics

    Old Timey Skills - MechanicsKnowing how to fix your car when it breaks down when there’s nobody else around is a good thing to know not only in a fallen society, but on long stretches of road where the next town is many miles away and traffic is few and far in between.

    Carpentry is the same way. Knowing how to go about repairing and making good, solid furniture and other things can really make a difference to your family when everything else has been taken from them.

     

    1. Canning and Food Storage

    Remember that vegetable garden you have? Knowing how to prepare and store that excess food for long-term storage will give you that extra buffer when times are tough. But don’t worry, even if you don’t have the resources to grow a garden or can your own food, we can help by providing you with delicious food that is packaged to store for up to 25 years. Check out our emergency food storage products for what will suit you and your family best.

     

    Of course, this is in the event of something extreme happening to our society that makes having these skills an essential part of our repertoire. Hopefully we won’t have to go that far. But then again, disasters are only as bad as we’re prepared for. Better to be safe than hungry, in my opinion.

     

    What are some other essential skills to know? Tell us in the comments below!

    Posted In: Additional Reading, Planning, Skills Tagged With: huntin, mechanics, carpentry, raising animals, canning, garden, skills

  • How Emergency Food Storage Can See You Through Unemployment

    |1 COMMENT(S)

    unemploymentWhen we think of building an emergency food supply, people most often think about the headline-making natural disasters that send whole communities into turmoil. Floods, fires, earthquakes, storms—these are all tragic events that can put families on the street in an instant, without food, water or shelter. These are certainly prevalent catastrophes that should motivate us to prepare, to plan, and to develop habits and lifestyles to defend ourselves and our families against the unexpected.

    But there are other disrupting calamities that often hit closer to home. They don’t make the news, but they are no less devastating than the tragic stories that do. They are the type that hit Richard and Marie.

    In 2009, Richard was at the top of his career. Working in the same industry for 25 years, and for a single company for most of that time, he'd progressed through the rungs of his profession and made a comfortable living. His wife Marie worked part-time at a local school, and he supported the three children he still had living at home.

    Canned FoodDuring those 25 years, Richard diligently paid down his mortgage. He and Marie bought cars for cash and saved a large portion of their paychecks every month. They also kept a garden, and every fall Marie spent weeks canning beans and beets, peaches and pears, and anything else she got her hands on. Their children don't remember ever buying canned food, Marie was such a prolific preserver.

    And then something unexpected happened. In the spring of that year, a company buy-out left Richard suddenly unemployed.

    Between a hefty severance package, temporary unemployment benefits, and an impressive resume, Richard wasn't overly worried. However, a job search that was meant to last weeks stretched into months, and then into years. For three years, Richard, Marie, and their three children lived on Marie's scant income.

    Throughout those difficult years, Richard and Marie's family experienced several major events that strained their already strained expenses. Richard went back to school to earn a Master's degree. A grand-baby joined the household. A grown child passed away. It’s worth noting, though, during that time, no one in the family cashed in a single food stamp. No one so much as ate a free lunch at school. And no one went hungry.

    Ground WheatRichard and Marie are living illustrations of the importance of food storage. Besides Marie's endless shelves of canned produce, the rice, beans, and other food they stored lowered their grocery bills to such a degree that they could continue to pay other bills while their income was nil. Marie ground wheat to make bread and used powdered milk to cook. They relied on oatmeal for breakfast instead of cold cereal. And the homemade jams and pickles made meals feel less like rations and more like normal fare.

    Richard and his family probably thought--along with most of us--that their food storage was primarily to serve as relief during a natural disaster. But when their most severe disaster came, without any help from Mother Nature, they were glad they'd spent those earlier years preparing.

    Family Dinner Unemployment shouldn't mean not eating well.

    So, are you ready? If not, check out these helpful articles on food storage, and get inspired!

    Posted In: Budgeting, Emergency Cooking, Food Storage, Preserving Tagged With: plan ahead, unemployment, emergency food storage, crisis

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