What Should I Do?

The Keys to Transitioning Healthcare: Empowerment, Education, & Prevention

Wednesday, December 1, 2010, 1:53 AM

A few months ago, I developed red spots on my face and neck that were kind of itchy.  After another day or so, the spots had progressed down my torso and onto my thighs, so I decided to go to a doctor.  Although I have health insurance, at the time I did not have a primary care physician, so seeing a doctor quickly proved to be difficult.  Most everyone I called told me to go the emergency room, a ridiculously expensive suggestion, given that my situation was certainly not a life-threatening emergency.  I finally got an appointment with a nurse practitioner at a local clinic.  She hurriedly looked at the red spots, pronounced that I had hives, and immediately decided to give me a steroid injection and to prescribe a week-long dose of Prednisone.  There was no discussion of reasoning for her prescription, likely symptom progression, or treatment options.

I know that steroids significantly impact my body through increased anxiety, difficulty sleeping, and suppressed immune response, and I was about to leave on a month long trip, so I really didn’t want any of these side effects.  I slowed her down long enough to get her to tell me what I could expect if I didn’t take the shot or the Prednisone.  She told me the hives would likely progress through the rest of my body, enter my lungs and then cause difficulty breathing, and that I definitely needed both the injection and the Prednisone.  By this point, I internally questioned her judgment due to her extreme prognosis and lack of willingness to engage with me, so I accepted the shot and decided to mull over whether or not to fill the Prednisone prescription.  That afternoon I spoke with a friend of mine who is an MD (I should have called him first), and he said that I likely would not need the Prednisone and that I should see how it goes for a couple of days.  I did not need the Prednisone and the hives disappeared in a week or so.

So why am I sharing this story? In my opinion, health care remains one of the thorniest problems that we face, because even with relatively abundant cheap oil, our current system serves us poorly.  My experience illustrates several shortcomings of our current system:

  • Those without health insurance are severely limited in their ability to receive prompt, quality care when they need it.  They often wait until they have a life threatening emergency to seek care, because only then will medical professionals see them without first considering their ability to pay. This pattern disempowers the client to address early stage health issues and puts a tremendous financial strain on the system through avoidable emergency room visits.
  • Many people with health insurance have limited flexibility in health care choices due to the system’s constraints.  They can only see certain doctors, and they can experience significant delays if they need to see a specialist.
  • Primary health care providers working within the system can spend only a short time with their clients, limiting their ability to take holistic data about the client (diet, lifestyle, etc), explain diagnoses, and offer options. My MD friend told me that on average a client talks for about 29 seconds before the doctor interrupts. How could the practitioner possibly know enough after 29 seconds to make a good decision?!
  • The system focuses providers towards offering pharmaceutical solutions to health challenges.  Many pharmaceuticals have significant unwanted effects.  I know if I had taken the Prednisone, I would have needed to rebuild my digestive and immune systems afterwards.  Doctors often do not tell clients about such side effects and do not suggest how to restore systemic health after taking a strong drug.  Pharmaceuticals are often synthetic substances that our body must digest and eliminate by way of the kidneys and/or the liver, straining these organ systems.  Additionally, because of their strength, they often impact more than just the intended target.  When we take an antibiotic, for example, the antibiotic kills beneficial bacteria in our gut, creating unwanted gastrointestinal problems.
  • Health care providers often over-prescribe pharmaceuticals because they feel they must address the worst-case scenario.  If my nurse practitioner had time to follow up with me built into her clinic’s practice, she might not have prescribed the Prednisone.  However, she at no time suggested any other option other than her initial one.

I bet my story resonates with many CM readers.  In my opinion, great medical professionals are hamstrung from offering quality care due to time constraints and lack of “billable” options.  This reality will worsen as budget cuts drain funds from government-sponsored healthcare plans.

Underlying all of this, of course, is cost.  Due to Obama’s proposed health care reform bill my insurance may become unaffordable for me.  I may resort to paying the new fine ($750/year) for not carrying health insurance.   In my opinion this fine amounts to another tax, since I suspect very few people will be able to purchase health insurance under the new plan, doing absolutely nothing to increase health care access in this country.  Unless we work for the government or a large corporation, we are unlikely to have health insurance. 

Given that it costs about $1 billion to develop a drug and only 2 of 10 marketed drugs ever return sales revenues that exceed their initial R&D costs, those costs have to be recovered somehow.  I believe it is quite unlikely that this instrumentation and these pharmaceuticals, which all require quite energy-intensive resources and manufacturing processes, will actually still be available as energy resources decline. 

As I said in the beginning, I believe transitioning healthcare remains one of the most difficult challenges we face as things unravel.  The complexity of our current healthcare delivery model and our personal disempowerment and significant reliance on outside experts and pharmaceuticals creates quite a tangle, with difficulty finding a good thread to pull. 

Given the world’s current economic situation, I believe we must begin our healthcare transition by recognizing that our current system is not financially sustainable and that therefore entitlement programs, like state-sponsored healthcare, will eventually disappear as our debt laden governments collapse under their own weight.  We are not entitled to government healthcare any more than we are entitled to cheap oil.  We have lived in an era of remarkable energy abundance, and that era is now ending. 

How can we respond individually?  I believe we can empower ourselves by taking the following steps:

  • Conduct a healthcare assessment for you and your family members.  Make a list of each medical, dental, mental, and/or vision condition present and what medicines and medical devices you and your family rely on, including over-the-counter medications.  Include your vision needs.
  • Educate yourself thoroughly about any chronic conditions you or your family members have and any pharmaceuticals you depend on.  Understand any side effects and drug interactions that may be present.  Create a family library of information in printed form that you can use as a reference.  If you have trouble understanding any of the information you collect, find a healthcare professional willing to help you.
  • Assess and educate yourself about alternatives to the pharmaceuticals that you use regularly and for any ongoing medical care.  Herbal medicine is the oldest form of medicine and was widely used in the United States until technology began to dominate the pharmaceutical industry in the nineteenth century.  Until then, every family knew how to treat basic illnesses with herbs.  Just like growing some of our own food, I believe we will have to be responsible for our basic medical care.  We must reclaim this knowledge.
  • When possible, work with practitioners who take the time to develop a relationship with you and listen to your concerns.  They exist even within the mainstream structure.  I had a wonderful primary care physician who somehow remembered all of the details of my life even though I only saw her once or twice a year.
  • Undergo any recommended medical, vision, or dental procedures now that you may have been putting off.  Costs are quite likely to rise and availability may become an issue.
  • Stock up on any items that you can reasonably store.  Pharmaceuticals have limited shelf life before efficacy declines.  Be wary of low-cost pharmaceuticals from unknown sources.  They can be counterfeit.
  • Take a CPR/first aid course, and then buy a well-stocked first aid kit for your home and your car. 
  • Connect with the healthcare professionals in your extended family, and if possible, enlist them in this process.  The more, the merrier.

I believe prevention will become even more important as access to health care deteriorates.  As an herbalist, I recommend the following: 

  • Improve your diet.  Food is the fuel we burn.  If we eat food of little nutritional value, our bodies will eventually break down, leading to chronic illnesses that decrease quality of life and will become more difficult to address as resources disappear.  Reduce the amount of processed foods you eat by learning to cook with basic ingredients.  Eat more meals at home where you can choose your ingredients.  More than 2,000 years ago, Hippocrates said:  "Our food should be our medicine.  Our medicine should be our food."  This still applies.
  • Reduce your toxicity intake.  Moderate your cigarette, drug, and alcohol consumption.  Incorporate organic food to the extent you can afford to.  I prefer the taste of organic fruits and vegetables, and they are healthier for the environment.  Assess the cleanliness of the cosmetics that you use and switch to cleaner products.  Stop drinking water from plastic water bottles.  Replace your TeflonTM cookware.  Use glass dishes in the microwave instead of plastic, and better yet, stop using the microwave altogether.  Filter your tap water unless you know exactly where it comes from.
  • Assess the cleanliness of your home environment.  We all bear a certain toxicity burden due to the environment we live in.  While some exposures are out of our control, we can control our immediate environment.  Keep your home environment clean to reduce exposure to molds and dust.  Unlike products made from natural materials, many new plastic products emit odors that are from volatile organic materials.  Choose a cloth tablecloth over a plastic one, for example.  Reduce exposure to secondhand smoke by negotiating with the smoker in your household to smoke outside.
  • Research your family’s medical history to understand if you and your family members have a genetic predisposition to certain medical conditions.  Learn what can prevent and exacerbate those conditions, and make the appropriate adjustments in lifestyle.
  • Take good care of your teeth.  No one likes dental procedures, anyway.
  • Incorporate more physical activity into your life.  Notice I did not say exercise.  For some people, exercise works.  They love it.  I find moving for the sake of moving to be utter drudgery, so I try to find ways to incorporate activity into my life like walking or biking instead of jumping in the car.  Frequent gardening gets my body moving, creates food security, and results in healthy, yummy food. Take the stairs instead of the elevator when you are in a multi-story building.  Carry your groceries instead of using a cart.  If you use a cart, take it all the way back to the store rather than leaving it near your car.  The little changes add up.

I recognize that many of my suggestions represent significant lifestyle changes.  I also recognize that some of my suggestions involve incurring costs that you may not otherwise have incurred right now.  Very few of us have the means to prepare for collapse as thoroughly as we would like.  Consider these suggestions a smorgasbord.  Take what you like and leave the rest behind.  Set goals and prioritize them, then do what you can in baby steps.  Or start with the suggestion you are most drawn to, and once you are done with it, look at the list again and see what calls you next.  I have found that, especially with dietary changes, making small incremental changes increases the likelihood that the changes become part of a new lifestyle rather than a burden.  I have included a resource list at the end of this article to get you started on your journey. 

Since I believe that we have to significantly localize our healthcare system, I also offer some suggestions for what we can do in community:

  • Create a directory of local health care providers, both allopathic and alternative, for acute and chronic care across all demographics.  Does your community have stable emergency room services?  Do you have elder care offerings?  Creating this directory will help your community assess its current health care resources and identify missing pieces.
  • Create networking opportunities for diverse providers and educate them about what is coming.  This can be tricky, of course, and you may be surprised by who wakes up right away and who in your community already knows what we are facing.  Talk about how you might offer services in new ways as the old structures disintegrate.
  • Investigate integrative health care offerings in your area.
  • Find healthcare professionals in your area who have worked in third world countries.  Interview them to learn about offering health care with limited resources.  This information may provide clues about how to create resilience in your community health care system.

Although these suggestions are meaningful, they do not begin to fully address the healthcare challenges we are facing.  Together with a couple of colleagues, I have struggled locally for a year trying to decide where to begin as we launch our Transition Healthcare group.  I now believe that the destination is far less important than actually beginning the journey somewhere, and I trust that additional options and wisdom will unfold along the way. 

I really want to hear your experiences with preparing to meet your healthcare needs in the face of the crash.  Let’s have a dialogue about it.

Resources
  • Beers, M. H., “The Merck Manual of Medical Information,” http://www.merck.com/mmhe/index.html.  Also in print.  This great resource describes medical conditions in language most people can understand.
  • Chevalier, A., (1996), “The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants,” Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd.  This book, full of color photos of the plants, provides an excellent resource for those new to herbalism.
  • Doyle, G.S., (2010), “Where There Is No Doctor: Preventive and Emergency Healthcare in Uncertain Times," Process Publishers.
  • Free or Low Cost Clinic Finder - http://www.pparx.org/en/prescription_assistance_programs/free_clinic_finder
  • Hoffmann, D., (2003), “Holistic Herbal,” Thorsons. This book discusses in detail each body system and associated medical conditions and also offers a traditional herbal describing usages of many herbs as well as medicine making instructions.
  • The Mayo Clinic - http://www.mayoclinic.com/ - online information about medical conditions, tests & procedures, and drugs
  • Medline Plus, http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/medlineplus.html - online information about medical conditions and drugs.
  • Pitchford, P., (2003), “Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions & Modern Nutrition,” North Atlantic Books.
  • Spratto, G., (2009), “The Nurses Drug Handbook,” Delmar Cengage Learning - somewhat technical but quite useful book listing each drug, its indications and contraindications, possible side effects, and drug interactions.
  • Partnership for Prescription Assistance, http://www.pparx.org/en/about_us. A resource to help qualifying patients get free or low cost prescription medicines.
  • Post Peak Medicine, http://www.postpeakmedicine.com/ - A website that describes potential responses to peak oil by medical specialty.
  • “Rx List: the Internet Drug Index”, http://www.rxlist.com/script/main/hp.asp - online information about pharmaceuticals.
  • Skin Deep: Cosmetics Safety Database, http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/index.php?nothanks=1. This website assesses cosmetic products for ingredient safety.

All information and materials presented here is for informational and educational purposes only. Please consult a qualified healthcare professional before undertaking or changing any treatment. 




This What Should I Do? blog series is intended to surface knowledge and perspective useful to preparing for a future defined by Peak Oil.  The content is written by PeakProsperity.com readers and is based in their own experiences in putting into practice many of the ideas exchanged on this site.  If there are topics you'd like to see featured here, or if you have interest in contributing a post in a relevant area of your expertise, please indicate so in our What Should I Do? series feedback forum.

If you have not yet seen the other articles in this series, you can find them here:

This series is a companion to this site's free What Should I Do? Guide, which provides guidance from Chris and the PeakProsperity.com staff on specific strategies, products, and services that individuals should consider in their preparations.

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34 Comments

bklement's picture
bklement
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 26 2009
Posts: 108
Re: The Keys to Transitioning Healthcare: Empowerment, ...

I'm not a doctor and could easily be wrong in this, but I've gotten poison ivy in 8 of the last 9 years and the treatment is similar.  My understanding is that the shot (guessing cortisone) is by far the higher steriod dose of the two, so much so that the reason its a shot and not taken orally is that the dose is strong enough to cause vomitting or realated problems.  The prednisone is the much less damaging and weaker of the two and prescribed to help prevent you coming back and needing a second shot (insurance if you will).  So the cortisone shot would need you to rebuild your immune system afterwards as well, but that is the reason that it works.  I've had to go back numerous times to the doctor because they prescribed too small of a dose and it was ineffective.  Lately when I go in I pretty much need to tell the doctor what I need for a prescription.

I would love to find a herbal remedy to get rid of poison ivy that works but as yet I haven't found one.

robie robinson's picture
robie robinson
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 25 2009
Posts: 612
Re: The Keys to Transitioning Healthcare: Empowerment, ...

Get a goat, they love it.

robie

hmcgov's picture
hmcgov
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 25 2010
Posts: 13
Re: The Keys to Transitioning Healthcare: Empowerment, ...

This story absolutely resonates with me. One thing that I try to keep in mind is that we must be our own healthcare advocates. I think most healthcare practitioners do the best they can within our broken system, but there is no one making sure all the dots get connected along the path to recovery. The internet is a huge asset in this respect, so research your problem. Also know that your doctor has probably been allotted less than 5 minutes to see you, so ask questions wisely.

Around 100,000 people die due to medical errors each year. Here's a graph showing you are more likely to die from a medical error than from getting drunk as a skunk. This is not meant to encourage drunken behavior ;)

EndGamePlayer's picture
EndGamePlayer
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 2 2008
Posts: 546
Re: Non- Healthcare: Empowerment, ...

I think of "modern" health care as "Illness" care. Most "educated physicians are taught with books written by big pharma.

Here's my brief experience-

I found out in 2000 I have Grave's disease. The doctor ordered radio-active iodine as the "cure", in which case I would have to be on synthyroid the rest of my life. When I simply stated "I'll think about it" - the doctor became irrate and started yelling at me that it "was the standard" treatment. I said I wanted to read up on it while he continued his rant. He later had to take a "sensitivity" course. . =)

Hyper-thyroidism runs in families. An older brother of mine did take the radio-active iodine and it has not turned to the ideal situation as he gained over 50LBs in months.  And I came to find that in order for a facility to handle radio-active materials, they need a license costing them over $250K a yr. This means they need to have a certain number of patients treated and paid for to cover the minimum costs. Health care IS A BUSINESS. They aslo have a permenant patient as my brother is now also Type 2 diabetic. . .which he is happy about since he "feels" he is getting the best treatment available for his "conditions".

I now live on tapazole that costs me about $75 a year after finding a doctor who uses "European" type of treatments. I also found diet makes a huge difference and have been working with another fmaily member to reverse herType 1 diabetes with Raw Food Dieting. Our preliminary results on raw food diets for her have already reduced her insulin intake by 50% and we plan on designing her garden space around this diet. 

My experience can go on indefinately as we had custody of a child with a disability. I have learned that when she walks in the door of a clinic, dollar signs light up in a doctor's eyes - (KA-CHiNG!) and I can not express how many un-neccessary treatments she has been given over the last 12 years - from $12K surgeries to long-term facilities making over $8K a MONTH! when all she needs is occational supervision. 

In all you under-take - care for your health first by eating healthy food & getting exercise. Then question every treatment before engaging in it or your health may end sooner than you expect.

EGP

Full Moon's picture
Full Moon
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 14 2008
Posts: 1258
Re: The Keys to Transitioning Healthcare: Empowerment, ...

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/i/ivypoi17.html   Google poison ivy tinctures or remedies. 

jkrimer's picture
jkrimer
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 8 2008
Posts: 7
Re: The Keys to Transitioning Healthcare: Empowerment, ...

Seriously Mr. Martenson, move to Canada. If you don't have a family doctor (because you just moved to a new city), you could go to a walk in clinic and be seen in 15 minutes. Yes free (if you have a health card)

If you don't like his or her assessment, you can ask for a second or just go to another walk in clinic, which in Toronto exists approximately every 1km. Do a yellow pages search and see for yourself.

bklement's picture
bklement
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 26 2009
Posts: 108
Re: The Keys to Transitioning Healthcare: Empowerment, ...

Full Moon wrote:

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/i/ivypoi17.html   Google poison ivy tinctures or remedies. 

I've tried numerous herbal remedies(though I've never tried using posion ivy to fix something else, but I would definately fear any such use for myself) but haven't found any that worked for me yet.  I usually try a new one each time I get it before it gets bad enough that I have to go in to the doctor.

EndGamePlayer's picture
EndGamePlayer
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 2 2008
Posts: 546
Re: The Keys to Transitioning Healthcare: Empowerment, ...

Hi jkrimer-

The article wasn't written by Dr Martenson. And, from what I hear from Canadians - they can be made to wait for hours. The point of the article is to be pro-active in your health (as well as your ilness). Its good advice wherever in the world you live.

And, the more I research my own health and how to maintain it, the more I find the term "raw food" and healthy eating coming up - this is not witchcraft . . . rather crafty wisdom.

I started looking into cancer when my faithful companion died of canine cancer a few years ago. That's when I found the Gerson.org site and have seen numberous sites which also claim the same raw and healthy food lifestyle, not just to maintain health but when caught early, raw foods can heal many conditions. Movies like "Food Matters" are being shown around the country to help people understand how important un-adulterated food is to health. "Miracle" foods like Xango and such abound because they provide the body with nutrition in a basic form so people claim to feel better. I now grow fresh food for my self, my family and my animals. Its worth the effort as I get a lot of pleasure from watching my hens clean the orchard of bugs or see my goats grazing happlily in the raspberry patch.

Which brings about the other aspect of good health - keep stress down to a low scream. You'll never get rid of all of it but learning to manage it is paramount for good health. When has a doctor ever ask you- "what's stressing you and causing this illness?" They don't because they do not treat people - they treat illnesses and get paid for it. (Not that getting paid is bad - but people have faith that a doctor knows something special.)

I (IMHO) see many changes coming in the future of health care - like it being about health more than illness one day. I also see a move away from the pill to using more electronics for healing, therapy and stress as well as herbals.  The days of the "family doctor" are over (big pharm saw to that) and the new edge on "medicine" is staying healthy.

Here's to your good health!  EGP

suziegruber's picture
suziegruber
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 3 2008
Posts: 141
Re: The Keys to Transitioning Healthcare: Empowerment, ...

Bklement,

Oh I hear you about the poison ivy.  I am very senstive to poison oak which is quite abundant where I live.  I use a couple of herbal rememdies when I get it and I have found both effective personally.  One option is that I make a poultice out of fresh mugwort and put that on the affected area for about 20 minutes.  I repeat this application whenever the itch gets intolerable.  Alternatively, I use a myrrh, goldenseal, cayenne liniment.  You can find the recipe here:

http://www.ehow.com/way_5201740_liniment-recipe.html

You can also find this and other useful herbal recipes in Rosemary Gladstar's wonderful book "Family Herbal."  You can get good quality dried herbs here at www.mountainroseherbs.com.  You can get great quality fresh and dried organically grown herbs at http://www.sonomaherbs.org/herbalexchange.html.

I turn to the liniment when i get poison oak in multiple places on my body.  If it turns systemic, then I also will turn to allopathic medicine.  No fun!

--Suzie

joemanc's picture
joemanc
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 16 2008
Posts: 834
Re: The Keys to Transitioning Healthcare: Empowerment, ...

robie robinson wrote:

Get a goat, they love it.

My dad has killed poison ivy with boiling water. It takes a few times but it works.

Re: Diet - I've read The China Study. It preaches a Vegan diet and backs it up with quite a bit of scientific data. While I tried to go Vegan after reading the book, it's been too difficult to do. I have lost quite a bit of weight though, way more than I expected to lose, but I feel great. Ultimately, I believe a diet with a lot less dairy and meat products and more plants is a healthier diet anyways.

Re: Pharmaceuticals...just my .02...I don't mean to sound a conspiracy theory, but I've started to come to the conclusion that drug companies don't want to find a cure for diseases, after all, that would put them out of business. I rarely, if ever, take any medicines, drugs, flu shots, etc.

What I do take is a natural solution called Miracle Mineral Solution, or MMS. My long time friend and personal chiropractor told me about this. He used it to cure his Lyme disease. I used to have colds that would linger for as much as 2 weeks. Since I started taking MMS 2 years ago, my colds have been very infrequent and very, very short lived.

ao's picture
ao
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 4 2009
Posts: 2220
Re: The Keys to Transitioning Healthcare: Empowerment, ...

bklement wrote:

I'm not a doctor and could easily be wrong in this, but I've gotten poison ivy in 8 of the last 9 years and the treatment is similar.  My understanding is that the shot (guessing cortisone) is by far the higher steriod dose of the two, so much so that the reason its a shot and not taken orally is that the dose is strong enough to cause vomitting or realated problems.  The prednisone is the much less damaging and weaker of the two and prescribed to help prevent you coming back and needing a second shot (insurance if you will).  So the cortisone shot would need you to rebuild your immune system afterwards as well, but that is the reason that it works.  I've had to go back numerous times to the doctor because they prescribed too small of a dose and it was ineffective.  Lately when I go in I pretty much need to tell the doctor what I need for a prescription.

I would love to find a herbal remedy to get rid of poison ivy that works but as yet I haven't found one.

Don't have time to explain more ... just one word ... jewelweed.

http://www.hbci.com/~wenonah/hydro/jewelwed.htm

Dogs_In_A_Pile's picture
Dogs_In_A_Pile
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 4 2009
Posts: 2485
Re: The Keys to Transitioning Healthcare: Empowerment, ...

ao wrote:

bklement wrote:

I'm not a doctor and could easily be wrong in this, but I've gotten poison ivy in 8 of the last 9 years and the treatment is similar.  My understanding is that the shot (guessing cortisone) is by far the higher steriod dose of the two, so much so that the reason its a shot and not taken orally is that the dose is strong enough to cause vomitting or realated problems.  The prednisone is the much less damaging and weaker of the two and prescribed to help prevent you coming back and needing a second shot (insurance if you will).  So the cortisone shot would need you to rebuild your immune system afterwards as well, but that is the reason that it works.  I've had to go back numerous times to the doctor because they prescribed too small of a dose and it was ineffective.  Lately when I go in I pretty much need to tell the doctor what I need for a prescription.

I would love to find a herbal remedy to get rid of poison ivy that works but as yet I haven't found one.

Don't have time to explain more ... just one word ... jewelweed.

http://www.hbci.com/~wenonah/hydro/jewelwed.htm

I second ao's call on jewelweed.  Once you can identify it, you'll find it grows almost everywhere the soil is moist, especially near creek beds.  I got tangled up in a stinging nettle patch when I was a kid, and my grandmother used jewelweed to ease the pain and itch by rubbing the liquid from cut stalks on my arms and hand.

You can also make an easy treatment by boiling chopped leaves until it reduces to a dark orange liquid.  Strain the liquid and freeze it in an ice cube tray (I think they still make those things).  If you get poison ivy, poison sumac or poison oak, take one of the cubes and rub it on the affected area. 

JRB's picture
JRB
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: May 17 2009
Posts: 149
Re: The Keys to Transitioning Healthcare: Empowerment, ...

Dogs_In_A_Pile wrote:

ao wrote:

bklement wrote:

I'm not a doctor and could easily be wrong in this, but I've gotten poison ivy in 8 of the last 9 years and the treatment is similar.  My understanding is that the shot (guessing cortisone) is by far the higher steriod dose of the two, so much so that the reason its a shot and not taken orally is that the dose is strong enough to cause vomitting or realated problems.  The prednisone is the much less damaging and weaker of the two and prescribed to help prevent you coming back and needing a second shot (insurance if you will).  So the cortisone shot would need you to rebuild your immune system afterwards as well, but that is the reason that it works.  I've had to go back numerous times to the doctor because they prescribed too small of a dose and it was ineffective.  Lately when I go in I pretty much need to tell the doctor what I need for a prescription.

I would love to find a herbal remedy to get rid of poison ivy that works but as yet I haven't found one.

Don't have time to explain more ... just one word ... jewelweed.

http://www.hbci.com/~wenonah/hydro/jewelwed.htm

I second ao's call on jewelweed.  Once you can identify it, you'll find it grows almost everywhere the soil is moist, especially near creek beds.  I got tangled up in a stinging nettle patch when I was a kid, and my grandmother used jewelweed to ease the pain and itch by rubbing the liquid from cut stalks on my arms and hand.

You can also make an easy treatment by boiling chopped leaves until it reduces to a dark orange liquid.  Strain the liquid and freeze it in an ice cube tray (I think they still make those things).  If you get poison ivy, poison sumac or poison oak, take one of the cubes and rub it on the affected area. 

I'll third the jewelweed cure.  Best in the late spring when it is very succulent.  Crush the stems and rub the juice on the rash.  Making the tea works well at other times.  I would include the stems in the pot.

The old fellow that sold us our land did the good new/bad news thing.  Land has a lot of poison ivy, but a good growth of jewelweed in the ditch by the road.  Works for me.  I think I have seen a commercial preparation based on jewelweed as well.

- Jim

Nate's picture
Nate
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: May 6 2009
Posts: 460
Re: The Keys to Transitioning Healthcare: Empowerment, ...

4th on jewelweed.  I was the botanical expert in our boy scout troop, and always kept an eye out for jewelweed populations.  Also noticed a high correlation of poision ivy and jewelweed growing in close proximity.

Nate

ao's picture
ao
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 4 2009
Posts: 2220
Re: The Keys to Transitioning Healthcare: Empowerment, ...

joemanc wrote:

What I do take is a natural solution called Miracle Mineral Solution, or MMS. My long time friend and personal chiropractor told me about this. He used it to cure his Lyme disease.

joemanc,

I don't want to rain on your parade but when a remedy is promoted in the following manner,

"The answer to AIDS, hepatitis A,B and C, malaria, herpes, TB, most cancer and many more of mankind's worse diseases has been found."

I'm a bit suspicious. to say the least.

I've been involved in holistic/complementary/alternative health for well over 30 years and I'm very open minded but not so open minded that my brains leak out.  Can you provide some published studies as to its efficacy rather than anecdotal and hearsay "evidence" of alleged "research"? 

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Re: The Keys to Transitioning Healthcare: Empowerment, ...

I have read that  to drink the milk, from the goat that eats the poison ivy, works  as well as anything  .

DIAP  ... check out what you can do with some of those hot Cayenne peppers you have on hand .  I Sure would not hesitate to give this a whirl if need arises .  Got a batch of the tincture going now . 

http://www.naturalnews.com/030566_cayenne_pepper_heart_attack.html

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Re: The Keys to Transitioning Healthcare: Empowerment, ...

Good Article 

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Re: The Keys to Transitioning Healthcare: Empowerment, ...

ao wrote:

joemanc wrote:

What I do take is a natural solution called Miracle Mineral Solution, or MMS. My long time friend and personal chiropractor told me about this. He used it to cure his Lyme disease.

joemanc,

I don't want to rain on your parade but when a remedy is promoted in the following manner,

"The answer to AIDS, hepatitis A,B and C, malaria, herpes, TB, most cancer and many more of mankind's worse diseases has been found."

I'm a bit suspicious. to say the least.

I've been involved in holistic/complementary/alternative health for well over 30 years and I'm very open minded but not so open minded that my brains leak out.  Can you provide some published studies as to its efficacy rather than anecdotal and hearsay "evidence" of alleged "research"? 

Sure, you can download Part I of his book here. There's plenty of evidence from the field on what he has cured in that free part of the book.

I do agree, his website comes across as "suspicious" to the average person. But it's not as if Mr. Humble has millions of dollars in research money like drug companies do to make his website and books look professional. His time is better spent in the field curing people.

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Re: The Keys to Transitioning Healthcare: Empowerment, ...

Thanks all.  I'll give the jewelweed a try, I've tried a cayenne receipe in the past to no avail.  I think part of my isssue is that I've had it so many times now that it goes systemic quite quickly.

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Re: The Keys to Transitioning Healthcare: Empowerment, ...

Full Moon wrote:

I have read that  to drink the milk, from the goat that eats the poison ivy, works  as well as anything  .

DIAP  ... check out what you can do with some of those hot Cayenne peppers you have on hand .  I Sure would not hesitate to give this a whirl if need arises .  Got a batch of the tincture going now . 

http://www.naturalnews.com/030566_cayenne_pepper_heart_attack.html

FM -

Any idea if it's the SHU level of the pepper or the combo of the heat rating and something specific to a cayenne pepper?

If it's just the heat unit rating I'm figuring a dose of Dogs' Habanero Tea would be sufficient to raise the dead - in the event the cayenne tea didn't work.  Laughing

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Local Honey

This has come up from time to time, but now is as good a time as any to bring it up.

Does anyone out there have any experiences with local honey and allergies? 

I used to get bad sinus infections triggered by the spring pine pollen bloom like clockwork.  We were at our local Farmer's Market a few years ago and one of the farmers told us that local honey was effective against minor allergies.  I wrote that off as a sales pitch.  (It worked, I bought the honey anyway).  A couple of months later, Cat and I went to a beekeeping class taught by a friend of ours - she insisted that a tablespoon of local honey would prevent allergies.

Well, if Doris the Master Beekeeper says something like that, I am inclined to listen.  Doris is 86 and would put most people I know to shame.  She mows her daughter's 18 acre farm every 10 days - for fun and because it gives her "a couple of hours to think and enjoy the outdoors".  As I am wont to do, I digress........

Anyway, I started snorking down a tablespoon of local honey each morning and haven't had a sinus infection in three years. 

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Re: Local Honey

Dogs_In_A_Pile wrote:

This has come up from time to time, but now is as good a time as any to bring it up.

Does anyone out there have any experiences with local honey and allergies?

I used to get bad sinus infections triggered by the spring pine pollen bloom like clockwork.  We were at our local Farmer's Market a few years ago and one of the farmers told us that local honey was effective against minor allergies.  I wrote that off as a sales pitch.  (It worked, I bought the honey anyway).  A couple of months later, Cat and I went to a beekeeping class taught by a friend of ours - she insisted that a tablespoon of local honey would prevent allergies.

Well, if Doris the Master Beekeeper says something like that, I am inclined to listen.  Doris is 86 and would put most people I know to shame.  She mows her daughter's 18 acre farm every 10 days - for fun and because it gives her "a couple of hours to think and enjoy the outdoors".  As I am wont to do, I digress........

Anyway, I started snorking down a tablespoon of local honey each morning and haven't had a sinus infection in three years.

Raw, unfiltered, local honey is the key.  It contains bacteria local to your community and greatly enhances the immune system.  Raw milk has also helped my wife and son who both suffered greatly from seasonal allergies and my son who was asthmatic hasn't suffered from asthma ever since we started him on raw milk.

Richard

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Re: The Keys to Transitioning Healthcare: Empowerment, ...

DIAP ,

 The honey works well  for my families allergies .   I started a hive  so we have it  when the SHTF  ...

We use the honey to heal burns , scrapes , wounds .  

BUT it does not work for Mold or feather allergies .   There has got to be something else out there to build up immunities to these ...  I have just not found them yet  .  However when mine get into this kind of sinus infection I use the Colloidal Silver to kill the infection .  I have a local gal that makes it and only charges $25 a pint .   Way better than $20  for two oz . that I used to order .    You have to use it for ten days on ten days off if I remember right  to make sure the bacteria is all killed .

OH Yess  I believe that habanero tea would do the trick !

I just think it is totally Amazing the health benefits in the nature around us .   It makes you so appreciate the wonders of it all .

I do suggest to anyone who has been in the military and shot with sooo many immunizations to consider Footbath detox .    There are are a few out there I like the EB one  but there are cheaper versions .    It helps clear the  lymph's , heavy metals, virus ,  kidneys , liver .   When you get these detoxing your body can work better at healing itself .  Just an Opinion .. I do not sell them or anything . I am amazed at the  gunk that comes out of my feet each time I do it .  Made me quit dying my hair and drink more water . 

FM

Got to go shake my  new batches  of Cayenne Tincture , sea weed tincture and  the cranberry tincture .  Wish I would have snagged some dandelion root  this summer .  I may have to go out of state to  stock up on the vodka  or the  Church deacons will be worrying and paying me a visit LOL .

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Re: The Keys to Transitioning Healthcare: Empowerment, ...

joemanc, r u kidding me!!! MMS.    Your a funny guy, are u getting a kickback?    Your probably Jim Humble himself?

Stick with the healthy eating, there are no magic potions.

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Re: The Keys to Transitioning Healthcare: Empowerment, ...

Full Moon wrote:

I do suggest to anyone who has been in the military and shot with sooo many immunizations to consider Footbath detox .    There are are a few out there I like the EB one  but there are cheaper versions .    It helps clear the  lymph's , heavy metals, virus ,  kidneys , liver .   When you get these detoxing your body can work better at healing itself .  Just an Opinion .. I do not sell them or anything . I am amazed at the  gunk that comes out of my feet each time I do it .  Made me quit dying my hair and drink more water . 

FM -

I heard about these Fott bath things a couple of years ago, didn't pay it much mind.  You are the second person I've heard recently who has mentioned these Foot Bath Detox things so I googled.  Here's what I found - and strictly from a chemistry standpoint - this article makes sense to me.

http://www.chem1.com/CQ/FootBathBunk.html

http://www.wikihow.com/Test-a-Detox-Foot-Bath

Any Chem Es out there who want to weigh in?  Or folks who have an opinion on the Foot Bath Detox?  Even my music fest hippie buddies kind of chuckled when I brought it up the first time I heard about it.  Some were adamant that it worked, others just laughed and said it was a cleverly marketed waste of money.  I'm not casting aspersions on the Foot bath thing, but..........electrocuting your feet?????  Let's just say my skeptic alarms are going off.

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Re: The Keys to Transitioning Healthcare: Empowerment, ...

PeekHydrowCarban wrote:

Your a funny guy, are u getting a kickback?

I am in fact getting a kickback...and I'm using it to buy gold and silver. Money mouth

Have you read his entire book? Have you watched his video? Have you searched the internet to hear the stories from people who have taken MMS?

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Re: The Keys to Transitioning Healthcare: Empowerment, ...

Dogs_In_A_Pile wrote:

Or folks who have an opinion on the Foot Bath Detox?  Even my music fest hippie buddies kind of chuckled when I brought it up the first time I heard about it.  Some were adamant that it worked, others just laughed and said it was a cleverly marketed waste of money.  I'm not casting aspersions on the Foot bath thing, but..........electrocuting your feet?????  Let's just say my skeptic alarms are going off.

I've checked it out in the past and strongly suggest passing on this one.

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Re: The Keys to Transitioning Healthcare: Empowerment, ...

joemanc wrote:

Sure, you can download Part I of his book here. There's plenty of evidence from the field on what he has cured in that free part of the book.

I do agree, his website comes across as "suspicious" to the average person. But it's not as if Mr. Humble has millions of dollars in research money like drug companies do to make his website and books look professional. His time is better spent in the field curing people.

joemanc,

I'm not interested in his book for substantiation purposes since it's obviously subjective.  I'm interested in controlled, double blind, peer reviewed, etc. research.  It doesn't take a lot of money.  I got a grant as a poor undergraduate to conduct fairly basic research.  With all due respect, when someone makes a statement that he doesn't have the money and his time is better spent in the field curing people, that's one of the oldest claims in the book for a quack to make.  Not making accusations, just sayin'.    

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Re: Local Honey

Dogs_In_A_Pile wrote:

This has come up from time to time, but now is as good a time as any to bring it up.

Does anyone out there have any experiences with local honey and allergies? 

I used to get bad sinus infections triggered by the spring pine pollen bloom like clockwork.  We were at our local Farmer's Market a few years ago and one of the farmers told us that local honey was effective against minor allergies.  I wrote that off as a sales pitch.  (It worked, I bought the honey anyway).  A couple of months later, Cat and I went to a beekeeping class taught by a friend of ours - she insisted that a tablespoon of local honey would prevent allergies.Anyway, I started snorking down a tablespoon of local honey each morning and haven't had a sinus infection in three years. 

This makes perfect sense to me. Your local honey is contaminated with small quantities of local pollens where the proteins are possibly partially digested by the bees yet some allergenic determinants remain. Thus you are getting small doses of the allergens to which you are sensitive, which will train your immune system to forgo its usual systemic reaction. This is exactly the treatment that allergists use.

Naturally it won't work for other allergies, like mold or dust mites. 

Full Moon wrote:

DIAP ,

 The honey works well  for my families allergies .   I started a hive  so we have it  when the SHTF  ...

We use the honey to heal burns , scrapes , wounds .  

BUT it does not work for Mold or feather allergiesUT  . 

Sugar or honey aids would healing because it produces extremely high local osmotic pressure with serum so that any bacteria are killed and unable to infect the wound.

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Re: The Keys to Transitioning Healthcare: Empowerment, ...

Next time you experience a skin condition like that, try a topical application of Tea Tree Oil. And de-stress.

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Re: The Keys to Transitioning Healthcare: Empowerment, ...

For an honest analysis and examination of well-known and peer-reviewed studies (some honest, some paid-for, and why/who paid for them) regarding our food supplies, the FDA, conventional wisdom and medicine, and the evolution of human nutrition, check out the Weston Price Foundation here: http://www.westonaprice.org/

Do a search on any ailment, and read what they have to say.

There are a million "natural" and "holistic" remedies out there. But this site attempts to evaluate what has <i>actually</i> worked over the last few millenium for the human body.

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Re: The Keys to Transitioning Healthcare: Empowerment, ...

One thing everyone should do if they haven't is establish yourself as a patient in a primary care office.   Get the recommendations of friends or other doctors and become a patient of a practice.  Even if you are not in acute distress go in for a physical just to start the relationship.  Doctors and their staff's are absolutely overwhelmed with work (yes there is a physician shortage, and particularly a shortage of good physicians) and they are overwhelmed with the rapid changes in the healthcare arena.  This is why "new" patients have trouble getting "urgent" services.  Doctors have enough to do to care for their existing patients,  they are seldom going to work in a stranger.  "Urgent Care" offices are good if they are around but there is nothing better than having an established relationship with a doc and his/her staff locally.  Be pleasant with them, smile, and be greatful for their concern.  Remember the names of the office assitants and the nurses.  Say hello to them in the community.  Some doctors are already not accepting new patients with plans that have just reduced their reimbursements.  If you establish yourself as a patient now before further  fee cuts happen you are not likely to be "cut of" from the practice.  Doctors have a real hard time turning away established patients but they can be expected to limit access for new patients with the lowest paying plans.

And remember, "healthcare is a right you can be fined for."

Eye

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Re: The Keys to Transitioning Healthcare: Empowerment, ...

Great post and well needed.  Below is a old post called "medical preparedness" from nearly 2 yrs ago.  Hope folks find it helpful again. 

mooselick7 wrote:

I'm sorry I can't resist saying something here. 

I am not a doctor, but when it comes to health - been there done that.  I grew up with chronic asthma, eczema and allergies - went to many, many doctors over the years - did allergy shots, steroids, creams and a plethora of drugs - had the top shelf medical care from Mayo clinic among others.   Diagnosed with Hodkin's in my early 20's successfully treated with radiation and several surgeries.  It has been in remission for 20 years.  At the time, I was diagnosed I was running marathons, not eating red meat, lots of vegetables/grains, fish and fowl.  Over the years, my immune system has been weak - got sick probably around 10 weeks a year.  Had hypothyroidism - probably from the radiation treatments to my neck.  Within the last year, I was diagnosed as a Type 1 Diabetic but have since been re-assessed as a Type 2 diabetic.  

As an engineer and naturally curious guy, the questions that I always asked was: 1) Why me?  2) What factors - genetic/enviromental/nutritional are at work here and, besides drugs, what can I do about it?  I owe my life to conventional medicine - no doubt about it - but with all due respect, with very few exceptions, they fall short because they protect and preserve their paradigms fiercely. 

Here are some examples: 

Asthma - Treated from early childhood with inhalers, humidifiers, oxygen tents, home filtration systems, the family moving to another area, exersise and occasional oral steroids. First, I went on an elimination diet per this book  http://www.amazon.com/Food-Allergies-Intolerance-Identification-Treatment/dp/0892818751/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1232644089&sr=8-1   And found that wheat, corn, soy and milk were profoundly affecting me. That cured about 75% of the symptoms. 

Then, I started a daily meditation practice taught by this fella:  http://www.shinzen.org.  To make a long story VERY short, at my 1st retreat, I had a full blown asthma attack that no amount of inhalers, etc could calm down.  He showed me how to meditate thru it and how to fix it for good.  Now, I have been asthma drug free for 5 years.

Allergies/cancer/Immune system - The elimination diet and meditation helped a lot here but something was still missing.  I was using herbs and homeopathics but it wasnt really helping entirely.  

I really started burrowing into this problem when my daughter was born and had the same immune system problems.  Okay, now I knew it was genetic but why?  Why didnt evolution had cull this line out a long time ago?   The final straw was when my daughter was allergic to the milk/soy based crap formulas, her mother was not producing enough milk and we had to find a nutritional formula fast!  That led me to the Price-Pottinger Foundation and later to the Weston A Price Foundation http://www.westonaprice.org   This is a fasinating group founded on the works of a dentist who studied traditional diets all over the world and the effects of the switch to the modern diet in the 1920s.  Trust me - they are completely out of any mainstream paradigms - and you will get the thousand mile stare when you talk to conventional doctors about it.  But, it makes sense - we have only had alleopathic care since the late 1800s.  The Lewis and Clark expedition relied on mercury based laxatives and blood letting to treat people. How did we survive as a species with no medical care? Answer:our ancestors had it figured out.

The answer can be found with the Weston A Price group. I have been following their guidelines for 10 years and my overall vigor has improved immensely.  I hardly ever get sick.  My skin is healthier.  I am stronger and more physically capable than when I had 10% body fat and was running 30-50 mile weeks.  Daily, I either work out or work in the garden.  Twice a year I throw on a 40 lb backpack and either hike or backcountry ski for a week or two.   At 43 yr old, I can keep up with the younger members of a martial arts club which I attend four times a week. 

Diabetes:  About one year ago to the day, I had all kinds of symptoms that I thought were some kind of flu.  I was still active as described above.  Anyway, I went to the clinic - got chewed out by the doctors for not treating my diabetes (which I had absolutely no idea I had) and they sent me home with an appointment to a specialist, a brochure from the American Diabetes Association and a blood sugar checker.   Went to the internist and he diagnosed as Type I.  They showed me how to use insulin etc, said to follow the ADA diet and asked me to come back in 2 weeks to check my progress.  The next day I went to a naturopathic doctor who told me to buy this book and follow it: http://www.amazon.com/Dr-Bernsteins-Diabetes-Solution-Achieving/dp/03161...   Berstein, who was previously an engineer and is now an MD, explains reasons why we have diabetes and how to treat it with alternative methods.

During that next two weeks, I did not take the insulin as prescribed - all I did was cut out milk, fruits and grains from the Weston A Price diet guidelines.  Two weeks later I went back to the internist.  My sugars had gone from 350 to 125 in two weeks without insulin and only one inexpensive drug for insulin resistance.  If I HAD followed the ADA diet, I would be dependent on insulin.  In the past year, I have lost 33 lb and my sugars are normal at 80 to 95.  There is also a Canadian film called My Big Fat Diet that conveys the same results for an entire town.  http://www.cbc.ca/thelens/bigfatdiet/

So, this is a VERY long winded narrative (and I have many more success stories) but my point is that the medical community has their blind spots.  It takes some work but you can reduce your dependence on the medical system, if you keep an open mind, try some things and at the end of the day, be HEALTHIER with very little help from the medical system.  Think for yourself and figure it out....

Update:  Two years later, at 45 yr old, Im still going strong!  Built a 22 x 48 ft greenhouse by myself.  Expanded the garden. Just earned a black belt in taekwondo and am up to a green belt in judo. 

Still eating low carb but can cheat occasionally without spiking my blood sugar.  Asthma gone.  Allergies receding but flare up occasionally - I started using Sinus Buster available at Walmart - a herbal nasal spray with nettle and cayenne pepper extract - YOWSER - it works but the cure is marginally better than the disease. 

If you do take prescription drugs, I suggest googling "$10 prescription drug list" to find generic drugs available at major chain stores on the cheap.  For instances, here is Walmarts - http://i.walmartimages.com/i/if/hmp/fusion/customer_list.pdf

Life is good.  Do your own research and know one knows your body better than you - trust yourself.

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Re: The Keys to Transitioning Healthcare: Empowerment, ...

Life is good.  Do your own research and know one knows your body better than you - trust yourself.

Excellent! Worth Repeating! 

And physical activity + no TV is my preventative medicine and makes my life enormously positive each day;  if you aren't there yet I challenge you to try it!

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