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Thursday, May 20, 2010


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Thermoregulation is a skill that is valuable to have in an outdoor situation. Thermoregulation is the ability to keep body temperature within certain boundaries, even when the ambient temperature is very different.

A first step towards thermoregulation is to remain calm. A panicked person will have an increased heart rate and the urge to move quickly. The reason to avoid this is because heavy activity will cause the body to perspire and lose valuable water. Additionally, sweat will dampen clothing. Wet clothing will speed hypothermia after sunset, when temperatures begin to fall. This is a consideration EVEN IF you are in the middle of the summer season because evening temperatures can rapidly decline. Perspiration dampened clothing can contribute to skin irritation and blisters.

Knowing how to heed your body’s signals regarding thermoregulation is a life-saving skill. If you begin to perspire, loosen and remove outer garments. This will help keep clothing and skin dry. Watch members of your group and encourage them to remove layers also. If you find that the temperatures are very warm, a dampened cloth across your neck is one method that will help you avoid heat exhaustion.

Avoid working at full capacity as this will create a greater need for drinkable water to replace the hydration you have lost. Work at 60% of your capacity – the point just before you break into a sweat. In a survival situation, it is better to learn the art of steady, plodding activity that brings gradual results, rather than racing to finish each task.

Using this method, construct a shelter, make a fire and prepare for nightfall. When the temperatures drop, re-apply the extra clothing that was not needed during the day.

The following video by Spencer Two Dogs discusses Thermoregulation.


Thursday, May 6, 2010


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Dandelion can be used liberally as it is non-poisonous. The roots, leaves and blooms of the plant are edible. Dandelion supports a healthy urinary tract, kidneys and liver function. When harvesting, be careful to select plants that have not been exposed to toxins or chemicals. For more information, click here.

This plant is traditionally used to support healthy liver function. Dandelion is rich in vitamin C and is useful in the treatment and prevention of scurvy. It is also useful in the treatment of skin eruptions and warts. The milky white juice that flows from the stalk can be applied directly to spots on the skin as a treatment.

Dandelion is useful in the treatment of excess fluid buildup in soft tissues. Because it replaces the nutrients lost as water passes from the body, there is not the mineral depletion associated with pharmaceutical diuretics. Dandelion is also consumed as a treatment for lung disease that is marked with wasting of the body.

Classified as a bitter herb, Dandelion is useful in the treatment of acid stomach or heartburn brought on by a lack of muscle tone. It works as a mild laxative in habitual constipation. A decoction or extract of Dandelion administered three or four times a day can help with an irritated stomach. It has a good effect in increasing the appetite and promoting digestion.

Pour 1 pint of boiling water over 1 ounce of Dandelion and allow to steep for 10 minutes.
Strain and sweeten with honey. Drink several glasses in the course of the day. The use of this tea is efficacious in the treatment of nausea and edema.

This method of herbal preparation involves gently simmering an herb until the water is reduced to a specific amount.

Version 1
Place 1 pint of the sliced root in 20 parts of water and gently boil for 15 minutes. When cooled, strain the liquid and sweeten with honey. A small teacupful may be taken once or twice a day.

Version 2
Simmer 2 ounces of the herb or root in 1 quart of water until the volume is reduced to a pint.
Take this in 6 ounce doses every three hours for scurvy (caused by too little vitamin C), scrofula (lymph gland tuberculosis usually of the neck), eczema and all eruptions on the surface of the body.

Version 3
Decoction for jaundice in young children:
1 ounce Dandelion root
½ ounce of each of Ginger root, Caraway seed & Cinnamon bark
¼ ounce Senna leaves
Gently boil in 3 pints of water until reduced in volume to 1 1/2 pint. Strain. Dissolve ¾ cup honey into the hot liquid and bring to a boil again. Skim all the impurities that come to the surface when clear. Allow to cool. Give frequently in teaspoonful doses.

Version 4
Decoction for Gall Stones
1 ounce each of: Dandelion root, Parsley root, and Balm herb
One half ounce each of Ginger root and Liquorice root
Place in 2 quarts of water and gently simmer down to 1 quart
Strain. Drink six ounces every two hours.
Collect Dandelion plants (including roots and tops) from a pesticide and herbicide free zone.
Good-quality dried Dandelion may be substituted. It is best to collect more than you think you'll need because the plant does wilt during preparation. Clean the plants according to instructions found here.

Slice the roots thinly. Fill a quarter to two-thirds of a canning jar with dandelion root. Pour just enough boiling water over the herbs to cover. Then fill the rest of the jar with 100-proof vodka. Seal the jar tightly and shake to mix thoroughly.

Set the jar in a warm sunny area. The sun will not harm the tincture. Shake the jar twice daily. The tincture will be ready in two weeks. Strain the liquid through a clean cotton cloth or coffee filter. Squeeze the solid matter to express all of the liquid. Pour the tincture into a dark amber glass bottle, filling to close to the top to eliminate air exposure during storage. Cap tightly. Store in a cool, dark cabinet until needed.

Take a spoonful of the tincture every day to help with health issues.

Some individuals include the dandelion leaf as well as the root in the tincture. A tincture made from the leaves may be taken three times daily by placing 10 to 15 drops in a spoonful of water.

This article is not meant to be taken as medical advice. The information provided is for the enrichment of the reader and is not offered as a substitute for the care of a health professional. The reader assumes all liability and should use common sense and discretion when utilizing this information.

Kay is . . .

a perpetual student of things I find interesting and (I hope) helpful to others. Feel free to use and apply all information with a healthy dose of common sense. :-)

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