March 2, 2015

Dual Purpose Aromatherapy Bath Salts: Respiratory & Pain Relief

Dual Purpose Aromatherapy Bath Salts | Respiratory Infections and Arthritis Pain Relief | www.HerbalPrepper.comI’m a huge fan of transdermal magnesium (magnesium supplementation through the skin). Magnesium is necessary for over 300 functions in the body. Most people are horribly deficient in magnesium since our soil, and therefore our food, has been largely depleted of magnesium due to industrial-scale farming practices. You can read about the benefits and how to make bath salts and foot soaks here, in a previous article of mine.

Dual-Purpose Bath Salts

Beyond just being an affordable and effective way to supplement with magnesium, epsom salts and and baking soda make an excellent medium for essential oils. The steam from either a tub or a foot basin rises, making it a good method for using essential oils for respiratory complaints. Soaking in a tub, however, is also a perfect way to soothe sore muscles an joints.

The following oil blend does dual-duty for both respiratory complaints and for muscle and joint pain.  The blend is listed for 100 drops, which is enough to scent 16 ounces of product at a 1% dilution. That is all you need. You could double it, but I personally find that far too strong, especially once those oils hit the warm water of the tub and rise up in the steam.

Thyme to Breathe

  • Peppermint oil, 15 drops
  • Thyme essential oil, 30 drops
  • Rosemary essential oil, 30 drops
  • Cedarwood essential oil, 25 drops

Each of these oils help to clear congestion. Thyme especially is known for its antimicrobial properties, both antiviral and antibacterial, and it’s ability to help clear stubborn respiratory infections. Peppermint and rosemary both help to open congested sinus passages. Rosemary and cedarwood both help chase away the aches and pains of infections like the flu, which come with body aches.

However, each of these essential oils are great for joint and muscle pain. I’ve used this blend not just in bath salts, but also in salves and lotions for clients with both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. The scents are balanced between top, middle, and base notes, as well as between woodsy and medicinal aromas.

Aromatherapy Bath Salts |

Using the Salts

While the magnesium is always a welcome addition to a bath, the real purpose of soaking in these salts is for the aromatherapy benefits. If it were primarily for the magnesium, you would need 2 cups of epsom salts or magnesium flakes for the entire tub and 1 cup for a proper foot soak.

Since the oils are the primary reason to use these, and the salt is simply the vehicle to get the essential  oils well dispersed into the bath, anywhere from a few tablespoons to a 1/2 of a cup would be appropriate (the same for a foot soak).  Otherwise, the oils can be too overpowering.

Keep soaking time to about 10 minutes. Longer than that, and the exposure to the essential oils can be too much. Once in my very early herbal and aromatherapy studies,  I decided to take a bath with rosemary essential oil because I had the flu. I must have poured an entire once ounce bottle into that tub. So incredibly naive! I spent nearly a half hour in the water and oil vapors, thinking, like many newbies, that more is better. The result was that I became dizzy, had a killer headache and nausea, and got the chills (difficulty regulating body temperature).

This blend, however, makes a more balanced and effective soak with far less essential oil being used and less time in the tub.  I would not use this blend with very small children unless I had no other choice. These oils could be highly irritating to the very sensitive skin and senses of a child. As an adult, using only a few tablespoons or up to a 1/2 cup of the salts diluted into a tub, this isn’t an issue.

The magnesium is always a help to body aches of all types, and helps relax the body for better sleep. Supposedly, baking soda can “detox” the body, but I have yet to see any satisfactory studies comparing before and after results of bloodwork to demonstrate this detoxing function. Is it great to deodorize stinky feet in a foot soak? Yes. Does it help stabilize the aroma of the oils? Yes. Does it help soften the water to make it easier on the skin? Yes. For these reasons, I include baking soda. You could, however, eliminate it and use just epsom salt or magnesium flakes.

Aromatherapy Bath Salts | Pink Salt |

Storing the Bath Salts

Storing bulk epsom salt is easy. Just do not open the container, and it should last indefinitely. If moisture gets to it, even just a humid day, the salt can turn into a solid block. It isn’t spoiled, but you’re going to have a heck of a time using it.

Salts, even epsom salt (which is really magnesium, not sodium), are not conducive to growing bacteria or other organisms. Still, its not 100% guaranteed that it won’t. Keep your bath salts dry. Use a spoon or scoop to add them to the bath to prevent water and micro-organisms from contaminating your mixed bath salts from your hands.


Go ahead and test these out.  Try a few tablespoons in a foot basin or in the tub. Pay attention to how you feel (are you sore, holding tension, congested, scattered, and so on) before and after.

February 25, 2015

Tuberculosis Gone Wild

Tuberculosis Gone Wild | Is Totally Drug Resistant Tuberculosis the Next Great Pandemic? | Herbs for Tuberculosis |

Will Tuberculosis be the next great pandemic?

If so, antibiotic resistance will be the reason for it. We now have drug resistant, multi-drug resistant, extremely multi-drug resistant, and totally drug resistant tuberculosis strains. Tuberculosis, also known as consumption or “The White Plague”, kills over 500,000 people each year, yet gets little to no media coverage.

Tuberculosis is an infection caused by primarily by a bacteria, Mycobacterium tuberculosis. When a person becomes sick, the illness caused by the mycobacterium is called tuberculosis, also called TB.  The bacteria settles deep into the lungs where macrophages typically consume the bacteria and the person does not become ill.  However, in 10% of people, this immune response is insufficient. Of these 10%, 5% will become sick right away with an active infection, while the other 5% have what is known as latent tuberculosis. Latent TB is an infection that just sits, not growing or progressing or causing symptoms until some future time. This could be weeks later, months later, or even years later.

How to Prepare for Tuberculosis Pandemic

In today’s episode, I disuss how to recognize tuberculosis when there is no diagnostic testing available, such as would be the case post-SHTF. Normally, this is done by an x-ray, but an understanding of the symptoms will have to suffice for most people.  Something that I didn’t get to mention during the podcast due to time contraints was the use of percussion to determine the presence of tubercles in the lungs. This is an older practice that x-ray technology rendered passé. However, during the 1800’s, physicians could tap on a person’s chest, and detect the existence, size, and placement of tubercles with great accuracy just by the hollow or dull sounds produced. This is just like tapping on a wall looking for a stud.

Other points discussed are setting up a sick room, what are the most important considerations in reducing the spread of tuberculosis, and what role herbs can play in caring for Tuberculosis sufferers when antibiotic drugs no longer work or are not available. Besides these points, always remember to wash your hands frequently, avoid touching the face (tougher than you think!), not to share food/drink, and have the sick person cover their mouth when coughing. Good hygiene goes a very long way to stoping the spread of tuberculosis whether or not it is resistant to antibiotic drugs.

Here is the video I referenced in today’s podcast.

Herbal Resources for Tuberculosis when No Help Is Available

Cryptolepis buchanani, which I mentioned in the podcast, is a widely used herb in the Ayruvedic tradition, and a systemic antibiotic herb suggested in Buhner’s book, Herbal Antibiotics. Unfortunately, there are no sources for seeds or seedlings here in the US. It is available as a dried herb from Raksa Thai Herbs on eBay and as a tincture from Woodland Essence. It is also available on Amazon in both capsules and as a tincture. For more information on cryptolepis and the tubercolisis protocol mentioned in this episode, please read Herbal Antibiotics. This is something I consider required reading for herbalists and preppers.

Three good sources for the rest of the herbs mentioned in this episode, and for many of the less common medicinal herbs are Horizon Herbs, Sand Mountain Herbs, and Richters Herbs.  Be sure to listen to next week’s episode on medicinal herb gardening. This is a very important and overlooked topic in prepping. Yet, medicinal herb garden planning is an essential part of preparing for pandemics with the potential to last for years, such as Totally Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis.

For more information on how to make tinctures and other herbal skills for emergency preparedness, be sure to check out my soon-to-be-released book, Prepper’s Natural Medicine. It is now available for pre-order on Amazon!

Prepper's Natural Medicine | Cat Ellis |

February 13, 2015

Fighting Fungal Infections with Herbs

Fighting Fungal Infections with Herbs and Essential Oils | Antifungal Herbs | candida | tinea |

Learn to fight fungal infections with herbs and essential oils! If you have ever had Athlete’s foot, ringworm, or a yeast infection, you know how miserable fungal infections are. Can you imagine how awful it would be to get a fungal infection and not have access to a pharmacy? To compound the problem, some fungi are developing resistance to anti-fungal medications much like bacteria is resisting antibiotics.

Common Fungal Infections When There Is No Doctor

Some infections, such as fungal lung infections and fungal meningitis, can be serious or fatal. Thankfully, most fungal infections are not serious. In this episode, I discuss tinea infections (Athlete’s foot, toe nail fungus, jock itch, ringworm) and candida infections (yeast infection, thrush, eye infection).

Certain conditions can increase your risk of getting a fungal infection. Being overweight, diabetic, pregnant, on hormonal birth control, having a compromised immune system, working in a humid environment, or having recently been on prescription antibiotic medication can all increase your risk of getting a fungal infection.

As uncomfortable as they can be, we are lucky that there are many herbal and natural remedies for fungal infections. In this episode, I give my top picks, and ideas for how to use them (tincture, salves, powders), but get creative with it. That’s part of the fun of working with herbs!

My top picks include:

  • Herbs to stimulate the immune system
  • Herbs to manage blood sugar and liver
  • Probiotics from lacto-fermented foods
    • Yogurt
    • Kefir
    • Sauerkraut
  • Anti-fungal herbs
  • Anti-fungal carriers
    • Coconut oil
    • Aloe vera gel

Many essential oils are anti-fungal. My top choice, however, is tea tree, but peppermint and lavender are good choices as well. Remember that while tea tree is often said to be safe enough to apply “neat” (without dilution) on the skin, if you are applying it to a fungal infection, you are applying it to compromised skin. Dilution helps prevent unnecessary irritation.

For more on fungal and other infections, check out my new book, Prepper’s Natural Medicine, now available for pre-order on Amazon. Official release date is April 14, 2015. Reserve your copy now!

Prepper's Natural Medicine | Cat Ellis |

February 10, 2015

How to Make Aromatherapy Magnesium Bath Salts

How to Make Aromatherapy Magnesium Bath Salts | www.HerbalPrepper.comWhat are Aromatherapay Magnesium Bath Salts?

Bath salts aren’t just for spa treatmnts. Epsom “salt” is actually a form of magnesium (Magnesium sulphate). Pink Himalayan salt and Dead Sea salt contain a range of minerals beyond sodium, and one of those minerals is magnesium. And odds are, you’re probably deficient in it.

Magnesium Deficiency

Table salt is generally a poor quality salt that has had its minerals stripped from it while being processed into something white and appealing to the eye. Iodine is then typcally added, but the magnesium is gone.

Not only is the magnesium gone from our salt, it’s also largely gone from our soil. Modern farming practices demand the addition of fertilizers, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. The problem with this is that both phosphorus and potassium lower the magnesium in the soil. Other issues involve rain and runoff which have washed away magnesium. If its not in the soil, it’s not in the food. If it’s not in the food, it’s not in you.

The problem with this is that magnesium is involved with over 300 functions in the body. Without adequate magnesium, you will eventually develop problems. Some of the more common complaints a magnesium deficiency can cause include:

  • Anxiety
  • Constipation
  • Diabetes
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Hyperactivity
  • Hypertension
  • Metabolic Syndrome
  • Migraines
  • Muscle cramping
  • Obesity
  • Sleep disruptions
  • Thyroid disorder

This is just a handful of conditions that magnesium deficiency can lead to. For a more thorough examination of how magnesium deficiency impacts the body, a good resource is a book by Mark Sircus, Transdermal Magnesium Therapy: A New Modality for the Maintenance of Health. This book goes much deeper into how magnesium deficiency plays a role in each of the above mentioned conditions. I was most surprised to read about the connection between magnesium, pancreatic function, and diabetes, both types 1 and 2.

Of course, just because you have one of these conditions, doesn’t mean it is automatically due to a magnesium deficiency. It just means it is something to consider. I would even say to consider it strongly, due to the depletion of magnesium from our normal food sources.

How to Supplement with Magnesium

Magnesium is available as an oral supplement, which is often a decent option. However, a number of factors can interfere with the digestive process and magnesium absorbtion, including stress, excess calcium in the body,  Excess magnesium will end up excreted and make the movement quite soft.

Transdermal magnesium bypasses the intestine altogether. Magnesium, usually through Epsom salt or other magnesium-rich salt, is absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream. This can be achieved a number of ways:

  • Magnesium “oil”
    A concentrated solution of magnesium flakes or salts in water. This concentrated salt water is then sprayed onto the skin. It can leave the skin feeling tight, as if you have been to the beach without rinsing of the salt water. It can also leave a white film. This can simply be wiped off.
  • Magnesium lotion/cream
    Magnesium oil is substituted for the water phase, or part of a water phase in a lotion recipe. This is often more comfortable than magnesium oil, but also a more diluted dose.
  • Soaking
    Magnesium flakes, Epsom salts, Dead Sea salts, pink Himalayan salts, or any magnesium-rich salt is added to a bath or foot soak.

How Much Magnesium Do I need?

The current government recommendations for magnesium are listed in this chart below, which was part of an article on magnesium from the National Institutes of Health , Office of Dietary Supplements.

NIH Magnesium Fact Sheet | Daily Recommended Magnesium |


However, if you have been deficient in magnesium for a while, it would take a very long time to begin to buid up your levels again taking only the recommended daily amounts. At the same time, you don’t want to overdue it either. So, how do you find your personal, ideal dose of magnesium? This is done through bowel tolerance.

As mentioned above, unabsorbed magnesium will be eliminated and soft stools are the result. If you are taking magnesium orally, this may mean you have reached your personal ideal amount, or it may mean that your body is not absorbing magnesium and other nutrients effeciently which could happen for any number of reasons. With transdermal magnesium, absorption problems are taken out of the equation.

Supplementing with magnesium to bowel tolerance means that one would increase their intake of magnesium until they began to have soft stools, then back off a little until stools were comfortable and normal (remember, magnesium deficiency is a cause of constipation). You can read more about magnesium and bowel tolerance in this article from the American Chiropractice Association on magnesium, magnesium deficiency, and magnesium supplementation. The article also suggests a range of 600mg-800mg of supplemental magnesium to rebuild magnesium stores in the body.

Types of “Salts”

Making bath salts is incredibly easy. In fact, you don’t need to “make” anything at all. Just add 2 cups of epsom salts to a bath, or 1 cup of epsom salts to a foot soak, and soak for ten minutes to thirty minutes. Congratulations, you’ve given yourself an easy, super-affordable dose of magnesium! And when I say affordable, I’m talking about $0.30 – $0.50 per cup of epsom salts. I get mine at our local wholesale club in 10lb buckets. They are easy to store, and I include this as part of my long term preps. However, we can improve upon just than plain epsom salts.

There are many salts out there, and they each bring something different to the table. Epsom salts are magnesium sulphate. Just as the body needs magnesium, it also needs sulphate. Sulphate is necessary for joint health, help prevent toxins in the intestines from migrating into the bloodstream, and essential for proper proction of pancreatic, digestive enzymes.

Magnesium chloride, on the other hand, has the benefit of being more easily absorbed. This is also the form that Mark Sircus, Doctor of Oriental Medicine (ODM) recommends in his book mentioned above on Transdermal Magnesium Therapy. He specifically recommends magnesium from a company, Ancient Minerals.

I have made bath salts and foot soaks using just the Ancient Minerals magnesium flakes, as well as using only epsom salts. I did this to see if there was really a noticeable difference in the effects. Being completely honest, I did find the Ancient Minerals to be marginally more effective. Whether or not this will justify the significantly higher increased cost, that’s up to you. Pesonally, I reserve those flakes to make my magnesium oil and magnesium lotion.

I have purchased Ancient Minerals magnesium flakes to make my own magnesium oil, various types of magnesium lotions, and made many bath salt recipes with them. The company does claim that their brand of magnesium oil works better than using their flakes to make a DIY magnesium oil, but I personally cannot tell the difference.

Now, magnesium is not sodium, which is often what we think of as salt. Magnesium, or more specifically, Epsom salts,  may have become known as “salt” due to its appearance when mined. A couple of actual salts that containThen there are Dead Sea salts and Himalayan salts. These salts also have a high magnesium content, as well as other minerals which help the body. Sea salt generally has magnesium, but I save it mostly for cooking. My prefered cooking salt is this Celtic sea salt, which I often blend with crushed nettle seeds (I use a pepper mill to crush them), sage, and thyme.

Vanilla Bath Salts | How to Make Aromatherapy Magnesium Bath Salts | Transdermal Magnesium |

Vanilla Lavender Scented Magnesium Bath Salts I make to calm my kids when over stimulated.

How to Make Aromatherapy Magnesium Bath Salts

Here is my base formula for 2 cups of aromatherapy bath salts:

  • 1 and 1/4 cups of Epsom Salts (possibly cheaper at your local pharmacy)
  • 1/2 cup Dead Sea salts
  • 1/4 cup of Baking Soda
  • 40-100 drops of essential oils (depends on individual oils and desired strength of scent)
  • Store in an airtight container

This blend seems to give me the best of all worlds- lots of magnesium and sulphate to help with achey joints and sore muscles, plus plenty of minerals and more magnesium from the Dead Sea salts. The baking soda is added because it softens the skin and is a fabulous deodorizer. This is especialy helpful on callused, potentially odiferous, feet. Try to use this up relatively soon. The more opportunities it has to be exposed to air and moister, the greater the likelihood it will cake up.

Optional: 1/8 of a cup of citric acid. The reaction between the baking soda, citric acid, and water makes for a fizzy action. I mention this because I do this for my kids. Unfortuantely, you would need to use it within 6 months of opening the citric acid packaging. Exposure to air will cause it to lose its potency within 6 months. If this is something you want to have on hand, make absolutely sure that it is packed air tight and stays that way. Also, if you add citric acid, make absolutely sure that no moisture (and therefore, air) gets into your salt blend. Otherwise, it may fizz in the package, and not in your bath.

Optional: Substitute 1/4 to 1/2 cup of Himalayan salts to give a natural pink color.

Optional: Add herbs to the salts, like lavender buds, peppermint leave, calendula petals, etc. This is truly a personal choice, but I don’t bother with this myself. While the salts dissolve into the water, the herbs, while pretty, could clog up the drain. You could add the salts to a sachet or muslin bag first, and then put the bag into the water. I still find that too much fuss for me compared to the ease of using essential oils. I would, however, add herbs if our supply were cut off from essential oils.

Essential Oil Options: To this base, add essential oils depending on your needs. There are infinite combinations of oils, so please don’t let this limit you. However, please use caution with essential oils. I will do a post just on essential oil safety. But, in general, do not use with infants. Stick to gentle oils with children. Do not ingest essential oils. While I won’t say there’s never an appropriate time for it, only that those times are quite rare. Essential oil use during pregnancy is controversial, but it is unlikely that a couple of drops (not at the concentrations suggested above) of something mild, like lavender, in a tub would do harm.

How to Make a Peppermint and Tea Tree Foot Soak

To use, fill a basin with enough water to cover your feet. The water should be very warm, but not burning, much like a comfortable bath. Pour the scented salts in, and allow the feet to soak in the water for 10-30 minutes. Excellent or tired feet or potential fungal infection. If a fungal infection is suspected, follow up with a calendula and tea tree lotion, or other antifungal herbal formula.

How to Make a Joint Soothing Magnesium Bath

To use, draw a very warm bath, but not so hot it would burn the skin. Wait until right before you get into the tub to add the salts so the essential oils do not evaporate before you can enjoy them.

Hopefully, this gave you lots of ideas on how to create your own magnesium bath salts. This is a very affordable way to care for your overall health.

If you liked these recipes, check out my new book, Prepper’s Natural Medicine, now available for pre-order on Amazon. Official release date is April 14, 2015. Reserve your copy now!

Prepper's Natural Medicine | Cat Ellis |

Ditch Medicine: Interview with Chuck Hudson

Ditch Medicine | Interview with Chuck Hudson of The Medic Shack | Using what is available to stay alive |

What is Ditch Medicine?

This episode is all about “ditch medicine”. Ditch medicine makes due with what you have on hand. The idea is to stay alive (or keep someone else alive) with whatever is available, until you reach help or help finds you. Sometimes this includes herbs, sometimes this includes pharmaceuticals, and sometimes, it might even involve plain old dirt.

To listen to this episode, visit the Herbal Prepper Live archives at Prepper Broadcasting.

Survival Instructor, Chuck Hudson

To get a better idea of what ditch medicine is all about, and how it can benefit preppers and survivalists, I’m bringing on a guest who knows all about it. Chuck Hudson, my co-host on The Medic Shack, is a former combat medic, EMT, firearms instructor who teaches emergency skills and “Battlefield Medic” courses in the southwest.

Chuck promotes knowing how to use both biomedicine and herbal medicine to prepare for the unexpected crisis. His classes incorporate advanced first aid, emergency medical procedures (such as suturing and starting an IV), many standard supplies from biomedicine. The key is knowing how to adapt and doing so quickly.

Tune in to hear about common injuries and health emergencies during civil unrest from someone who has seen it, and treated it, first hand. Chuck has seen what happens to a city devastated by war and societal upheaval. If you are concerned about the economy, the real unemployment rate, the tension in our cities, or the rising costs of food, his experience can help you strengthen your medical and defensive preparedness.

This episode will help you prioritize your response to medical emergencies when you job is to get an injured or ill person to safety. Our discussion will include how to care for wounds, burns, infections, sprains, and other injuries in a crisis situation, using whatever is on hand. Whether you store herbs or fish antibiotics, this episode should get you thinking about medical options and alternatives for the worst of times.

To listen to this episode, visit the Herbal Prepper Live archives at Prepper Broadcasting.

If you want even more “outside the box” ideas for staying healthy during a crisis, check out my new book, Prepper’s Natural Medicine, now available for pre-order on Amazon. Official release date is April 14, 2015. Reserve your copy now!

Prepper's Natural Medicine | Cat Ellis |

Survival Fitness: Fitness for Civil Unrest

Survival Fitness | Are you fit enough to survive civil unrest? | how to get fit for SHTF |

By Kevin Stabinsky (USAG Fort McPherson) (United States Army) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

To listen to tonight’s show live at 7pm ET and 4pm PT, please visit Prepper Broadcasting.

To listen after the live broadcast, please visit my archived episodes page (scroll to the bottom)

Are you fit enough to survive civil unrest if we were to see it in the US?

Survival Fitness

Times of civil unrest are truly tests of survival of the fittest. Most of us don’t like to acknowledge this, because fitness hasn’t been a top priority in a while. Perhaps we’re older and have some aches and pains. Or, perhaps we are already juggling kids, spouse, a job, aging parents, and all of our other prepping activities- when is there even time to think about fitness, let alone work out?

In this episode, we’re going to be talking with my friend, “Lute”. Once a marine, always a marine, Lute has also been a private civilian contractor, provided close security, and taught classes in self-defense, tactical movement, and long-distance marksmanship. Lute is also a power lifter with a mission to help others get more fit, and incorporate fitness into their emergency preps.

The Realities of Civil Unrest

Tonight, we will be discussing some of the realities civil unrest can bring, and what type of physical endurance the average person will need to survive in such a situation. This isn’t about how much weight can you lift in the gym, but can you walk or hike for hours? How far? Can you do so with a pack on your back? What about if you were traveling with a child? Could you carry them in order to keep moving? Can you run when necessary? Can you physically defend yourself?

No matter what your current level of fitness may be, there are steps you can take to improve your fitness level incrementally. There are free programs like Couch to 5K (C25K) and low cost online services like Live Exercise take away all time, access, fitness level, and expense excuses. Drawing upon Lute’s real life experiences working in places in the midst of civil unrest, tonight’s show should be both a wake up call and inspiration to make the changes necessary to be fit for survival.

Natural Care and Herbs for Hypothyroidism

Herbs for Hypothyroidism | www.herbalprepper.comOne of the most popular questions I’ve been asked lately is, “Are there any herbs for hypothyroidism?” This episode of Herbal Prepper covers how to care for hypothyroidism naturally. Today, I discuss what hypothyrodism is, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis,  autoimmune disease, and dietary choices and stress management, plus natural and herbal support.

Hypothyroidism is a condition when the thyroid doesn’t produce enough hormones. Thyroid hormones regulate the body’s metabolism, which controls everything from weight gain/loss, hair growth/loss, even sleep disruptions.

Could you have hypothyroidism? Some of the common symptoms include:

  • unexplained weight gain
  • irregular cycles
  • very dry skin
  • fatigue
  • hair loss
  • brittle nails
  • decreased body temperature
  • muscle and joint aches
  • irritability
  • depression
  • sensitivity to cold
  • hyperlipidemia (elevated triglycerides and cholesterol)

Hypothyrodism used to be caused primarily by a deficiency in iodine. However, since iodine was added to table salt, that hasn’t been the case. The most common type of hypothyroidism is an autoimmune disease known as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. While there is no official cause for autoimmune disease, I highly suspect that the intestinal wall becomes damaged, perhaps by candida, and the bits of food that migrate through the intestine trigger antibody production which then attack the body.

Today, I get into:

  • What protein mimics the thyroid gland at the molecular level.
  • How to avoid goitrogens in your diet.
  • Nutrients that help support the hormonal pathways.
  • Foods that interfere with hormone receptor sites.
  • The natural source of thyroid hormones for when there is no pharmacy.

The show wraps up with a list of herbs that can help with the inflammation that often accompanies autoimmune diseases, options for quality iodine sources like black walnut tincture and bladderwrack (and other sea vegetables).

Another group of herbs that help here are adaptogens. The thyroid is easily impacted by stress, and adaptogens help mitigate this stress and adrenal fatigue. My top picks are eleuthero root, astragalus, rhodiola, ginseng or codonopsis, and ashwaghanda.

For natural thyroid hormones, several companies offer bovine thyroid which has been freeze-dried and encapsulated. My top choice is Thyroid Boost from Health Naturally. This combines both freeze-dried, bovine thyroid gland with herbs that support thyroid function. It is also at the more affordable price range, so it’s cost-effective to do so.

For more ideas on how to care for your health when there is no doctor or pharmacy available, check out my book, Prepper’s Natural Medicine, now available for pre-order. Official release date: April 14, 2015!

Live Interview with Karen Lynn Thompson

Live Interview Karen Lynn Thompson of Li'l Suburban Homestead | www, | Herbal Prepper Live on Prepper Broadcasting

This episode, we are talking with Karen Lynn Thompson and her husband, “The Viking”, from Li’l Suburban Homestead. Homesteader, beekeeper, and fellow Prepper Broadcasting podcaster, Karen Lynn is owner of Lil’ Suburban Homestead and has been featured by From Scratch Magazine, Prepare Magazine, just to name a few. She is a Co-Host at the From The Farm Blog Hop and The Simple Saturdays Blog Hop, and has a live streaming show every other Monday at 8pm Eastern on Around The Cabin.

Interview with Karen Lynn Thompson | Li'l Suburban Homestead | Herbal Prepper Live on Prepper Broadcasting | www.HerbalPrepper.comI absolutely love Karen’s upbeat outlook and how fully she has embraced her suburban homestead lifestyle. From her website, and in her own words:

Welcome to Lil’ Suburban Homestead where innovation and homesteading meet! Every week we will bring to you the newest and most helpful articles to help you with creative D.I.Y. ideas, the best recipes using fresh organic food to what extent you can, ideas to help you live a more frugal lifestyle and so much more! Come join us on our journey with our beekeeping articles, chicken mama ramblings, and our fun loving lifestyle in Coastal, NC! The Viking my husband the love of my life and I are a team and have been pursuing a sustainable lifestyle for years! So glad you are stopping in for a visit!

I want to bring back the art of canning to families and the joy of sitting around the dinner table eating a wonderful dinner that everyone in one way or another got involved in. Lets face it in this day and age its not easy to accomplish these goals but I will share some ways in which I get our kids involved! My husband and I are often involved in new projects of our own making! Come join us on our journey!I hope you can learn from our ideas and share with us so we can learn from you as well.

Interview with Karen Lynn Thompson | Li'l Suburban Homestead | Herbal Prepper Live on Prepper Broadcasting | www.HerbalPrepper.comWhen Karen isn’t writing, podcasting, and sharing her knowledge base with others, she is living the life with her husband, The Viking, living our their homesteading dreams together. From chickens to herbs to bees to canning, I can’t wait to spend the hour chatting with this DIY Duo is creating that better life that so many of us are striving for. Join us for what will no doubt be a fun and informative hour!

Visit Karen’s website for all kinds of great DIY, self-reliant info here,

To listen to this episode live, visit

To listen to this episode in the archives (posted after live broadcast), visit

January 13, 2015

Rough start to 2015

FluMany of you have noticed, things here have been very quiet. The new year began for our household with the flu. Both kids had it first, and now both my husband and I have it. I have no voice above a raspy whisper, which is why there were no podcasts last week or this past weekend.

This has been a rough cold & flu season for many in the US, with the flu lingering for weeks in many households. I’ve read of people going to bed at night and passing away before morning from the flu. If you are sick with the flu this year, please do take care of yourself.

I am, however, starting to see the other side of this flu.Our household has been lucky. The kids were only sick for about a week, and it seems my husband and I are on a similar path. Personally, I credit elderberry syrup and thyme oil treatments (inhalation) for cutting the duration and severity of this flu.

It is doubtful that my voice will be strong enough for a podcast by Thursday, but I will definitely be back live on Sunday evening. All member articles will be up by the end of the week, and all member gift boxes still due to be shipped will be sent by the end of the week as well. The blog here will be updated with an article on elderberry, star anise, and other flu-busting herbal treatments.

Thanks, and take care everyone!

11 Herbs for Healthy Blood Pressure

11 Herbs for Healthy Blood Pressure | www.HerbalPrepper.comIn this live episode, I discuss what my picks are for the top ten herbs for healthy blood pressure. Hypertension is a serious condition that could lead to a heart attack, stroke, aneurysm, heart failure, kidney problems, and vision loss. Even with access to modern medical care, emergency treatment for compilations due to high blood pressure are no guarantee of survival. It’s best to nip this in the bud ASAP.

In addition to discussing herbs for a healthy blood pressure, this episode covers the various types of hypertension, causes, and potential complications of uncontrolled high blood pressure. Hypertension is often related to being overweight or obese in approximately 90% of cases. Of the remaining 10% of hypertensive cases, 5% are caused by a problem with the kidney, heart, arteries, or hormones, leaving the last 5% as having an unknown cause.

Which herbs encourage a healthy blood pressure?

The 11 herbs for healthy blood pressure that I will discuss in this broadcast are:

  • Cayenne
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Turmeric
  • Nettle
  • Hibiscus
  • Hawthorn
  • Berberine
  • Celery Seed
  • Danshen
  • Bilberry

Hypertension can remain undetected in a person until ether a blood pressure reading is taken or a severe complication manifests. If you are preparing to be your group’s health care provider post-collapse, It is crucial to include a blood pressure cuff and stethoscope in your kit in order to take blood pressures of those in your care.

It is also just as important that you train someone else to use it in order to take your blood pressure. Another option are the digital blood pressure wrist cuffs, but they are not as accurate and depend on batteries to work.

Unfortunately, it can take a while for some of the newer science to make its way into common medical practice. Much of the dietary recommendations for healthy blood pressure and cholesterol, are outdated, especially where salts and fats are concerned.

Where to Hear This Podcast

Tune in for all this and more, Sunday, 7pm EST/4pm PST on

To listen to this show live, visit Prepper Broadcasting’s Listen and Chat page.

To listen to the recording, check back after the show airs. The episode will be available from my page at Prepper Broadcasting.

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