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  • Why You Should Use Essential Oils in Emergencies

    |3 COMMENT(S)

    A friend of mine carries 10 essential oils in her purse for emergencies. When she travels, she takes a dozen or more.

    Emergency Essentials now sells essential oils. Here are a few that could be useful in a first aid kit.



    Essential Oils LavenderOne day this summer, when my special needs daughter had lost her temper and was screaming on the ground in a full-blown meltdown, Cherylee, another friend who knows essential oils, suggested I try lavender essential oil.

    Lavender was a logical suggestion. Although the evidence is limited, some clinical studies suggest patients waiting for surgery seemed calmer if they inhaled lavender through aromatherapy than those who used other calming methods, according to a 2014 literature review in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

    It may also be good for skin.

    Cherylee said she used some this summer when her daughter went outside without sunscreen. She believes it helped soothe her daughter’s skin irritation.

    “I use it on all my kids’ little scrapes and burns,” 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.

    Also, watch out for products labeled “lavender scented.” They don’t contain real lavender.



    Bottle of Peppermint essential oils

    Peppermint oil is one of the oldest European medicinal herbs. Its main active ingredient is menthol – that nasty-tasting ingredient in mouthwash and throat lozenges. It’s been used for many years as a traditional medicine to treat stomach pain.

    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.

    Cherylee uses peppermint to help her muscles cool off after a workout. She also uses it for occasional head pain.

    For tension headaches, patients in a study cited by WebMD applied 10% peppermint oil in ethanol solution across their forehead and temples then repeated the process after 15 and 30 minutes.

    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.


    Tea tree (Melaleuca)

    Melaleuca Essential OilsCherylee said tea tree oil has “limitless applications.”

    The chemicals in tea tree may have antifungal properties. One study mentioned in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found a 10 percent tea tree oil cream worked about as well as over the counter athlete’s foot cream (tolnaftate 1%) to relieve symptoms of athlete’s foot. It didn’t cure the infection, though. Researchers found a 100 percent tea tree solution used twice daily for six months decreased toenail fungus in 60 percent of patients.

    “I’ve used this for occasional ear irritation, for minor skin irritation,” Cherylee said.

    Don’t take tea tree oil by mouth. It’s likely unsafe, according to the Mayo Clinic. It can also be mildly irritating to skin and cause an allergic skin reaction in some people.



    Frankincense Essential OilsFrankincense is Cherylee’s favorite oil for emergencies.

    “I’d use this any day over any oil. When in doubt, I use it,” she said. “It will help the body take care of itself at any level.”

    Even though frankincense has been in use for thousands of years, we still don’t have that much information about it or how it works, according to WebMD.

    It’s made from hardened sap of a type of tree from the genus Boswellia. When tested in labs, components from sap extracts might have anti-inflammatory properties, according to an overview in the Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

    Cherylee also feels frankincense, when mixed with other essential oils, helps enhance their effects.

    Since there’s not that much known about frankincense, WebMD recommends you always follow package directions and talk to a health care professional before using it.


    Essential OilsThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration identifies three ways to use essential oils for the body: internally as a dietary supplement, topically and aromatically.

    Elementa Essentials, the company that makes the oil sold on this site, does not recommend using any of its products internally without a doctor’s approval.

    It advises caution for any type of application if you’re pregnant, on medication or have sensitive skin.

    Don’t apply undiluted essential oils directly to your skin. Put 3-10 drops in an ounce of vegetable oil or lotion. Oils need to be as pure as possible.

    Cherylee dilutes her essential oils in fractionated coconut oil, a coconut oil from which one type of fat has been removed.

    “It’s not oily and it help(s) the skin absorb the essential oil better,” she wrote.

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

    However you use essential oils, be careful and consult an expert first.

    “Treat essential oils with the same care that you treat medicines,” said an article in AromaWeb.


    - Melissa


    Essential Oils Blog Banner



    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.

    Trinkley KENahata MC, “Medication management of irritable bowel syndrome.” Digestion. 2014;89(4):253-67. doi: 10.1159/000362405. Epub 2014 Jul 2.

    Stea, Susanna, Beraudi, Alina, and De Pasquale, Dalila, “Essential Oils for Complementary Treatment of Surgical Patients: State of the Art,” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 726341, 6 pages

    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 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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