Archive for the ‘Healthy Alternatives’

Germ Fighting Arsenal11.10.18

Wintertime is upon us and with it comes a plethora of infectious germs that seem to spread more easily due to spending more time indoors. From airborne germs to fomites (surfaces that spread germs), colds, the flu, stomach bugs, etc. seem to gain the advantage during winter months. Is there anything that can be done about it?

Absolutely!!

I have methods that I have successfully used for many years now. I’ve worked in retail, office settings, a medical office, and currently with K-12 students in the public school system. I have been exposed to plenty of germs. These methods have worked well for me.

The number one prevention method should be the most obvious one – wash your hands regularly. If you have been out and about touching things, don’t touch your face unless you have clean hands. Be aware of surfaces that are likely to be contaminated with germs, such as doorknobs, railings, grocery cart handles, gas pumps, etc. Avoid touching them if you can. If not, wash your hands! For more details, you can purchase my published book here.

Vitamin C is a well-known immunity booster. Taking vitamin C or any of the many immunity-boosting supplements on the market today, especially when you know you’ve been exposed to something, is another great prevention method.

Essential oils are antimicrobial. This means that they kill both viruses and bacteria. They can be diffused into the air, used topically or, if they are medical grade, some can be taken orally. OnGuard by doTerra is a good one for either diffusing or taking orally, although the cinnamon does make it a little hot.

Colloidal silver is also antimicrobial. It can be taken orally and is also effective for eye infections if sprayed into the eye. It is not recommended to make your own colloidal silver or take excessive amounts because there is a minute possibility of it turning your skin blue. However, if used as directed, you shouldn’t have any problems. It can be purchased at your local health-food store or online.

If you know you have been exposed to something or you feel like you are coming down with something, the above methods are generally effective in either preventing illness altogether or keeping it minimal. The worst I’ve personally experienced in recent years is having a scratchy, raw throat for a day or two and I do not get flu shots. Individual results will vary to some degree.

As always, be well and stay well.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Germ Fighting Life, Germ Fighting Products, Getting Sick, Grocery Shopping, Healthy Alternatives, Public Placeswith No Comments →

Back to School Precautions08.22.18

It is back to school time! If your kids haven’t already gone back to school, they will very soon (unless you home school). It seems like no matter how many times I tell my kids to be careful about what they touch and to wash their hands regularly, the last couple of years they have brought home colds within the first week of school. Personally, I hate getting sick and I hate it when someone in the house is sick. This school year, I will also be working in the school system with kids of all ages so I have to be extra careful myself. Here are my customary precautions:

  • hand sanitizer (you can see how to make your own here)
  • colloidal silver (antimicrobial)
  • Airborne (or other supplement to boost your immune system)
  • your favorite essential oil to diffuse (antimicrobial)
  • water bottle (fountains don’t usually get cleaned)

 

Posted in Germ Fighting Life, Germ Fighting Products, Getting Sick, Healthy Alternatives, Public Placeswith No Comments →

Homemade Hand Sanitizer07.20.18

For the past six months I have been working in a medical office where there are a lot of germ-contaminated sick people. I use hand sanitizer constantly. Fortunately, I will be leaving that job soon. I also worked in retail while I was getting my college degree and used a lot of hand sanitizer combined with handling receipt tape that has BPA in it. It has kept me from catching colds or the flu, but that’s a lot of alcohol on my skin and a lot of exposure to BPA.

Here’s what the NTP (National Toxicology Program has to say about BPA (Bisphenol A is a chemical widely used to make polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins):

“The NTP has “some concern“ for BPA’s effects on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland in fetuses, infants, and children at current exposure levels. The NTP has “minimal concern“ for effects on the mammary gland and an earlier age for puberty in females, fetuses, infants, and children at current exposure levels.” Source: https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/materials/bisphenol_a_bpa_508.pdf

A Newsweek article states “hand sanitizers (as well as other cosmetic products like hand lotions) contain chemicals the make the skin more permeable to various substances, including BPA, says study author and University of Missouri researcher Frederick vom Saal. The study found that hand sanitizers could increase the absorption of BPA into the body by a factor of 100 or more.” Source: https://www.newsweek.com/hand-sanitizer-speed-absorption-bpa-receipts-279232

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are generally considered safe. However, since alcohol is drying to the skin, most hand sanitizers include some type of moisturizer. Continuously using it like I do makes my hands feel sticky. I do wash my hands at the sink as much as possible but I can’t do that after every patient, transaction, or clipboard.

I have accepted an Americorps VISTA Public School Partnership position that I start next month. I will be working with kids in public schools. I anticipate using a lot of hand sanitizer during my year of service in this position, but I am also looking forward to getting some valuable experience in the education part of my bachelor’s degree.

The solution: Homemade hand sanitizer

I have found two recipes for hand sanitizer that have safe and effective ingredients which can easily be found at a local health food store or online.

The first one is a spray hand sanitizer that I found at https://wholefully.com/homemade-hand-sanitizer/. The recipe is as follows:

  1. 2 ounce spray bottle
  2. 5 drops vitamin E oil (optional, this makes for soft hands!)
  3. 2 tablespoons witch hazel with aloe vera or vodka
  4. 5 drops lemon essential oil
  5. 5 drops orange essential oil
  6. 5 drops tea tree essential oil
  7. Distilled (or at least filtered, boiled, and cooled) water

I am currently on my third bottle of this in about three weeks. I went with witch hazel over vodka. The tea tree essential oil overpowers the citrus scent but it is also a powerful antiseptic. I use this at work and my hands aren’t sticky at all. I also spray it in my work space if a sick person comes around. I re-purposed an empty, dark-colored glass bottle that once had colloidal silver in it and it works perfectly! If you visit the link above, they also provide a printable label that can be put on the bottle.

The second hand sanitizer recipe can be found at https://www.diynatural.com/homemade-hand-sanitizer/ and the recipe is:

  • 5-10 drops lavender essential oil
  • 30 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 1 Tablespoon witch hazel extract or high-proof vodka
  • 8 ounces 100% pure aloe vera gel
  • ¼ teaspoon Vitamin E oil – a natural preservative to increase shelf life (It will also help soften hands!)

I have yet to try this recipe but I plan to! I like that both of these recipes use tea tree oil. It is my favorite essential oil because it kills MRSA.

Posted in Germ Fighting Life, Germ Fighting Products, Healthy Alternatives, MRSA, Public Placeswith 1 Comment →

Zombie-Like Plague – Fact or Science Fiction?06.06.18

Over the years, there have been many books, TV shows and movies that depict pandemic-proportion plagues that practically destroy the human race by turning people into zombie-like creatures. For example, in The Maze Runner (books and movies), by James Dashner, a man-made biological weaponized virus is released that turns people into zombie-like “cranks.” The virus becomes airborne and there’s no stopping it. Even building a wall around a city doesn’t keep it out. The human race’s only hope is a group of people who are naturally immune.

There are other films such as I Am Legend, Contagion, Outbreak, etc. that portray pandemic-level destruction of the human race. There are TV shows including iZombie, The Walking Dead, Z Nation, etc. The question of the day is: “Are these works of fiction or a glimpse of future possibilities?”

According to the CDC, there have been three major pandemic-level plagues in recorded history:

“The Justinian Plague

The first recorded pandemic, the Justinian Plague, was named after the 6th century Byzantine emperor Justinian I. The Justinian Plague began in 541 AD and was followed by frequent outbreaks over the next two hundred years that eventually killed over 25 million people (Rosen, 2007) and affected much of the Mediterranean basin–virtually all of the known world at that time.

“Black Death” or the Great Plague

The second pandemic, widely known as the “Black Death” or the Great Plague, originated in China in 1334 and spread along the great trade routes to Constantinople and then to Europe, where it claimed an estimated 60% of the European population (Benedictow, 2008). Entire towns were wiped out. Some contemporary historians report that on occasion, there were not enough survivors remaining to bury the dead (Gross, 1995). Despite the vast devastation caused by this pandemic, however, massive labor shortages due to high mortality rates sped up the development of many economic, social, and technical modernizations (Benedictow, 2008). It has even been considered a factor in the emergence of the Renaissance in the late 14th century.

Modern Plague

The third pandemic, the Modern Plague, began in China in the 1860s and appeared in Hong Kong by 1894. Over the next 20 years, it spread to port cities around the world by rats on steamships. The pandemic caused approximately 10 million deaths (Khan, 2004). During this last pandemic, scientists identified the causative agent as a bacterium and determined that plague is spread by infectious flea bites. Rat-associated plague was soon brought under control in most urban areas, but the infection easily spread to local populations of ground squirrels and other small mammals in the Americas, Africa, and Asia. These new species of carriers have allowed plague to become endemic in many rural areas, including the western U.S.

However, as a bacterial disease, plague can be treated with antibiotics, and can be prevented from spreading by prompt identification, treatment and management of human cases. Applications of effective insecticides to control the flea vectors also provide assistance in controlling plague.”

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/plague/history/index.html

Will There Be More?

Considering the current existence of superbugs that are resistant to antibiotics and weaponized biological agents, it is likely that another pandemic will happen in the, hopefully distant, future. This post isn’t meant to be about gloom and doom. There are things that can be done now to protect yourself. Start by forming good hygiene habits, particularly hand-washing. Be aware of what you touch and don’t spread germs to your face or open wounds. Learn as much as you can about antimicrobial substances, such as essential oils, colloidal silver, vinegar, honey, etc. (there will be future posts with more details). There is no guarantee that these will be effective against every virus or bacteria in existence but it certainly isn’t going to hurt to have the knowledge. You never know, maybe you’ll need it someday. Meanwhile, have fun reading, watching TV, and going to movies!

 

Posted in Germ Fighting Life, Getting Sick, Healthy Alternatives, Public Placeswith 1 Comment →

  • You Avatar