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Don’t Underestimate the Power of Natural Remedies

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Natural Remedies

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I’ve always been a proponent of using a common-sense approach to treating ailments and illnesses.  Some medications work very well, whereas others can end up creating more problems than they treat.  On the other hand, there are also many natural remedies that can end up doing the same thing.  However, when there is a choice available, I tend to go the natural route simply because I know that they have been used for ages, and generally-speaking, produce minimal risk.

Sleep Aid

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An all-natural sleep aid product that I tried out a couple of years ago was what really turned my attention to natural remedies.  It contained ingredients that were all herbal, plus a good deal of L-tryptophan, or the compound found in turkeys that makes us sleepy.  Combined, this product knocked me out within minutes, and I didn’t wake up with that groggy-feeling that I get from other sleep-aids, and these are non-habit forming.

Consequently, I started to look at other natural remedies as ways to help alleviate the symptoms of a wide-range of ailments.  There are thousands of “cures” and recipes out there, and it took a bit of trial-and-error and experimentation before I was able to find ones that really work.  That’s an important lesson to take away from natural remedies:  Some work better than others, some are safer than others and some are not worth the hassle to prepare, particularly when a suitable pharmaceutical is available that has minimal side-effects.

Survival Medicine Cabinet

medicine-cabinet

One of the benefits of this quest that I’ve been on is that I can prepare remedies ahead of time and store them for use under normal circumstances as well as during a crisis.  While It’s true that you can stock up on medicines from the store, these natural remedies are more sustainable.  This partly because many of the ingredients can be grown at home, and the ones that need to be ordered can be prepared and stored over the long-term in many cases. 

Consequently, my survival medicine cabinet has a blend of natural as well as over-the-counter remedies.  I also have some recipes that I can whip up together from ingredients that I have laying around in order to make remedies on the spot as well.  At the end of the day, I feel better-equipped and prepared if a SHTF situation comes my way, and access to medication and remedies may be a challenge.

Plan Ahead

The trick with herbal remedies is that it takes some practice, planning and experimentation in order to whittle down the list to ones that really work.  Consequently, if you’re interested in delving into the more natural side of things when it comes to treating ailments, now is the time to get started.  There’s a lot to learn, a lot of ways to adapt, and unfortunately, you don’t get to know the effectiveness of some of these remedies until they are used when someone isn’t feeling well.

I guess the point that I’m making is that there’s no time like the present in terms of learning, testing and finally using remedies that can really work.  Try to choose ones that can be made from resources that you’ll have on hand during a period of prolonged self-sufficiency, and look for recipes that can be stored over the long-term as well. 

At the end of the day, natural remedies generally not only alleviate symptoms, but they can produce benefits for the body as well.  Pharmaceuticals, on the other hand, are generally designed to treat symptoms but not provide any real health benefits.  Consequently, going natural is a better option all around as long as it’s safe and practical to do so.  However, there’s nothing wrong with having some commercial products on hand when all you need is a quick solution for a minor problem as well.  The key is to be practical and find the right blend of medicines and remedies that work best for you and your family.

What are some of your favorite remedies?  Feel free to share some ideas that can help us all to find remedies that can be healthier and just as effective as pharmaceutical products. 

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Important Things to Consider When Canning With Sugar Substitutes

Important Things to Consider When Canning With Sugar Substitutes

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Sugar substitutes are not the same as sugar.  They don’t contain the same properties and compounds that aid in the preservation process, and swapping out sugar for an artificial sweetener can lead to a wide-range of problems.  Sugar substitutes can cause bacteria, mold or other organisms to grow in certain products while they are being stored.  This can lead to premature spoilage, waste and disappointment if you ever need to rely on those items during a crisis.  Let’s take a closer look at how to incorporate artificial sweeteners into your stockpile without putting parts of your food supply at risk.

Why Sugar is Important

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Certain recipes rely on the chemical reactions between compounds in sugar and the foods in order to aid in the preservation process.  Other recipes call for pectin, which needs to interact with sugar in order to work properly.  Some recipes need sugar for fermentation.  Consequently, sugar plays an important role in stabilizing foods so they are safe in long-term storage in addition to being a sweetener. 

If you can’t use sugar for health reasons or dietary preferences, make sure that you find alternative recipes that don’t require sugar.  Avoid using substitutes unless the recipe specifically indicates that it is safe to do so.

Sugar-Free Pectin

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Another option is to use a special pectin that doesn’t require sugar to work properly.  This will allow you to either eliminate sugar altogether or substitute it with something else if it is safe.  No-sugar pectin can sometimes be found in stores, especially ones that specialize in selling natural-foods, and products are readily available online.  However, it’s important to find recipes that allow for this swap in order to avoid problems down the line as well.

General Guidelines

As a general rule of thumb, sugar can be substituted as long as it is not being used as a preservation agent.  Consequently, if it is just being used for sweetening then you should be okay.  For example, you can often use substitutes for making canning syrup for fruits since they already contain a significant amount of sugar. 

Another common misconception is that sugar can be substituted in jam or jelly products that don’t contain pectin.  Since sugar plays an integral role in the preservation process, these products shouldn’t be stored at room temperature over the long-term.  If you want to make homemade jams or jellies without pectin or sugar, the safe thing to do is prepare a small batch that can be refrigerated or frozen and consumed within a week or two.

Add Sweetener Afterward

Try to find alternative recipes that don’t require sugar and prepare them accordingly. You can add sugar to taste later as needed once you’re ready to consume the product.  Not only will this reduce potential risks associated with using artificial sweeteners, but you will also end up with healthier items in your stockpile as well. 

Remember that the goal is to establish a safe, stable and reliable source of food in your emergency stockpile.  This is why it’s so important to select the right recipes and avoid making substitutions that may impact the quality of the finished product, and sugar is no exception.

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