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This is a good idea, here's my contribution:

As a kid I was very prone to getting poison ivy and have managed to pass that on to my oldest boy, luckily there's a simple cure that has always worked for me and that's a plant called jewel weed. It grows right along side poison ivy so be careful when you go after it. There's 2 different ways to use it but I can only attest to this way. Pull the plant out of the ground roots and all spray the roots off with a hose to remove the dirt and then boil the whole plant in water (I've always let it boil for at least a half hour), the water will turn about the color of tea. You can then soak a washcloth in the liquid after it cools and place it on the affected area for an hour or so, no more itch after that and the rash will disappear within a couple of days. For large breakouts (my son must roll around in the stuff) make a lot of this liquid up and fill up a tub with it then soak for an hour. This stuff works great, I make some up every summer and put it in quart ziploc bags and freeze it so I don't have to go find it when he gets in the poison ivy. This may also work on poison oak and sumac but I've never tried it. They say if you know you've touched poison ivy you can grab a jewel weed plant and rub it over the poison ivy contact area and it will neutralize the ivy oils but I've never tried it.

Here's a link with some pictures of the plant:


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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I like to stock things with multiple uses, I'm sure most of you know a lot of what I'm about to post. But for those of you that dont...

Benefits of Honey
1. Prevent cancer and heart disease:
Honey contains flavonoids, antioxidants which help reduce the risk of some cancers and heart disease.

2. Reduce ulcers and other gastrointestinal disorders.
Recent research shows that honey treatment may help disorders such as ulcers and bacterial gastroenteritis. This may be related to the 3rd benefit…

3. Anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-fungal:
"All honey is antibacterial, because the bees add an enzyme that makes hydrogen peroxide," said Peter Molan, director of the Honey Research Unit at the University of Waikato in New Zealand.

4. Increase athletic performance.
Ancient Olympic athletes would eat honey and dried figs to enhance their performance. This has now been verified with modern studies, showing that it is superior in maintaining glycogen levels and improving recovery time than other sweeteners.

5. Reduce cough and throat irritation:
Honey helps with coughs, particularly buckwheat honey. In a study of 110 children, a single dose of buckwheat honey was just as effective as a single dose of dextromethorphan in relieving nocturnal cough and allowing proper sleep.

6. Balance the 5 elements:
Honey has been used in ayurvedic medicine in India for at least 4000 years and is considered to affect all three of the body's primitive material imbalances positively. It is also said to be useful useful in improving eyesight, weight loss, curing impotence and premature ejaculation, urinary tract disorders, bronchial asthma, diarrhea, and nausea.

Honey is referred as "Yogavahi" since it has a quality of penetrating the deepest tissues of the body. When honey is used with other herbal preparations, it enhances the medicinal qualities of those preparations and also helps them to reach the deeper tissues.

7. Blood sugar regulation:
Even though honey contains simple sugars, it is NOT the same as white sugar or artificial sweeteners. Its exact combination of fructose and glucose actually helps the body regulate blood sugar levels. Some honeys have a low hypoglycemic index, so they don't jolt your blood sugar.

8. Heal wounds and burns:
External application of honey has been shown to be as effective as conventional treatment with silver sulfadiazene. It is speculated that the drying effect of the simple sugars and honey's anti-bacterial nature combine to create this effect.

9. Probiotic:
Some varieties of honey possess large amounts of friendly bacteria. This includes up to 6 species of lactobacilli and 4 species of bifidobacteria. This may explain many of the "mysterious therapeutic properties of honey."

10. Beautiful skin:
Its anti-bacterial qualities are particularly useful for the skin, and, when used with the other ingredients, can also be moisturizing and nourishing!

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
A little further detail on the uses of

Baking Soda

1. Use it as an antacid.

2. Use it as underarm deodorant by applying it with a powder puff.

3. Mix half a teaspoon with peroxide paste and use it as toothpaste.

4. Use it as a face and body scrub.

5. Add a cup to bathwater to soften your skin.

6. Relieve skin itch from insect bites and pain from sunburn.

7. Remove strong odors from your hands by rubbing them with baking soda and water.

8. Put two tablespoons in your baby's bathwater to help relieve diaper rash.

9. Apply it on rashes, insect bites, and poison ivy irritations.

10. Take a baking soda bath to relieve skin irritations.

11. Heartburn? Take a teaspoon of baking soda mixed with one-half glass of water.

12. Freshen your mouth by gargling half a teaspoon of baking soda mixed water.

14. Use it to relieve bee stings.

15. Use it to relieve windburns.

16. Apply it on jellyfish sting to draw out the venom.

17. Unblock stuffy nose by adding a teaspoon of baking soda to your vaporizer.

18. Keep cut flowers fresh longer by adding a teaspoon to the water in the vase.

19. Put out small fires on rugs, upholstery, clothing, and wood.

20. Put an open container of baking soda in the fridge to absorb the odors.

21. Sprinkle it on your ashtrays to reduce bad odor and prevent smoldering.

22. Sprinkle it on your slippers, boots, shoes, and socks to eliminate foul odor.

23. Turn baking soda into modeling clay by combining it with one and 1/4 cups of water and one cup of cornstarch.

24. After feeding your baby, wipe his shirt with a moist cloth sprinkled with baking soda to remove the odor.

25. Wipe your windshield with it to repel rain.

26. Improve the smell of dishrags by soaking them in baking soda and water.

27. Suck it in with your vacuum cleaner to remove the odor.

28. Freshen the air by mixing baking soda with your favorite perfumed bath salts. Put the mixture in small sachet bags.

29. Restore stiff brushes by boiling them in a solution of 1/2 gallon of water, 1/4 cup of vinegar, and a cup of baking soda.

30. Put it under sinks and along basement windows to repel cockroaches and ants.

31. Scatter baking soda around flowerbeds to prevent rabbits from eating your veggies.

32. Sweeten your tomatoes by sprinkling baking soda on the soil around your tomato plants.

33. Sprinkle it onto your cat's litter box to absorb the bad odor.

34. Sprinkle it on your pet's comb or brush to deodorize their fur and skin.

35. Use it as a substitute for baking powder by mixing with it with cream of tartar or vinegar.

36. Wash fruits and vegetables with it.

37. When boiling a chicken, add a teaspoon of baking soda to the water. Feathers will come off easier, and the flesh will be clean and white.

38. Soak dried beans to a baking soda solution to make them more digestible.

39. Remove the distinctive taste of wild game by soaking it in a baking soda solution.

40. Make a sports drink by mixing it with boiled water, salt, and Kool-Aid.

41. Remove the fishy smell from your fillets by soaking the raw fish in a baking soda solution for an hour inside the fridge.

42. Make fluffier omelets by adding half a teaspoon of baking soda for every three eggs used.

43. Reduce the acid content of your tomato-based recipes by sprinkling them with a pinch of baking soda.

44. Add a cup to the toilet, leave it for an hour, and then flush. It will clean the toilet and absorb the odor.

45. Use it to scrub sinks, showers, plastic and porcelain tubs

46. Spray it on walls, mirrors, and countertops.

47. Add a spoonful to your dishwasher to make scrubbing dishes easier.

48. Remove grease from pots and pans.

49. Dry clean carpets and upholstered furniture by sprinkling baking soda over the fabric and gently brushing it. Leave it for an hour or overnight, then vacuum.

50. Boost your laundry detergent's cleaning power by sprinkling a handful on dirty clothes.

51. Combine it with water to make a paste for polishing stainless steel and chrome.

52. Remove scratches and crayon marks from vinyl floors and walls.

53. Clean your shoes with it.

54. Clean garbage cans with it.

55. Use it to wash diapers.

56. Clean the fridge with it.

57. Soak brushes and combs in a baking soda solution.

58. Mix it with water to wash food and drink containers.

59. Put three tablespoons of baking soda to a quart of warm water, then use the mixture to wash marble-topped furniture.

60. Absorb it with a damp sponge, then clean Formica countertops with the sponge.

61. Use it to get rid of stale odors from cooling containers and thermos bottles.

62. Run your coffee maker with a baking soda solution, then rinse.

63. Combine with hot water to clean baby bottles.

64. Sprinkle it on barbecue grills, then rinse it off.

65. Scatter it on your greasy garage floor, scrub the floor, and rinse.

66. Remove burned-on food from a pan by soaking it in a baking soda solution for 10 minutes before washing.

67. Clean your ashtrays with a baking soda solution.

68. Keep your drains clean by putting four tablespoons of baking soda in them each week. Flush it down with hot water.

69. Clean your shower curtains by soaking them in baking soda and water.

70. Put it on a small brush to rub canvas handbags clean.

71. Use it to remove melted plastic bread wrapper from a toaster. Sprinkle baking soda on a damp rug, then use the rug to clean the toaster.

72. Use it to clean your retainers and dentures.

73. Make a thick paste of baking soda and water, and used it to scrub enameled cast iron and stainless steel.

74. Mix four tablespoons of baking soda with a quart of warm water, and use it to clean the inside part of an oven.

75. Use it to unclog gas stoves.

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Uses for Cat Litter in a Prepper World

Storing kitty litter is not for just the feline lovers. In fact, cat litter has some very practical uses in the prepper world and may come in handy in emergency situations.

The main ingredient that makes cat litter absorb so well is bentonite clay. This natural material usually forms from the weathering of volcanic ash, most often in the presence of water. According to Wikipedia, bentonite can also be used as a desiccant due to its adsorption properties. Bentonite desiccants have been successfully used to protect pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and diagnostic products from moisture degradation and extend shelf life. In fact, in the most common package environments, Bentonite Desiccants offer a higher adsorption capacity than silica gel desiccants. Bentonite complies with the FDA for contact with food and drugs

When purchasing cat litter to be used for preparedness matters, ensure that you choose the non-clumping, unscented clay litter where the active ingredient is bentonite to help you acheive the best results.

Read these tips on ways to incorporate cat litter into your preps to help protect, reduce odors, stains, and help your garden grow.

1.Use it in your vehicles - Having a bag of cat litter in your emergency vehicles can help the car gain traction if it happens to get stuck in the snow. Sprinkle a small amount on the ground before you get out of your car for foot traction in icy conditions. Further, sprinkling it around icy high frequented areas can also make sidewalks, steps and driveways more safe. This would be a great natural alternative to salt during the winter.

2.Use it in your sanitation kit - This absorbent material assists in absorbing liquids and smells when using a portable toilet.

3.Reduces mold and it's smell - Cat litter may be used to absorb small amounts of water that leak into a basement after a heavy rain or to help remove musty odors. It can also be used in your storage closet, tent or any other area of the home to prevent the musty smell of mold. Store clothing, linens, books, papers, camping equipment etc. with 1/2 - 1 cup of kitty litter tied up in a sock or pantyhose to prevent mustiness and mold.

4. Evict moles and rodents - Moles and rodents loathe the smell of kitty litter. Pour some into the entrance of one of their tunnels and watch the exodus! This would be a great item to have to protect your long-term food storage from rodent infestations.

5.Controls algae in ponds- For fish pond owners, this method works wonderfully to get rid of algae in ponds. Use about one pound of cat litter for 2000 gallons of circulating pond water. It is said that the water may turn muddy at first but it will clear up in 24 hours. Again, ensure that you have purchased unscented kitty litter where the active ingredient is bentonite.

6.Eliminates odors - Put cat box filler into ashtrays, smelly shoes, at the bottom of trash cans, etc to reduce odors.

7.Reduces oil spots - To lessen staining from fresh oil or grease spots on driveways, sprinkle on clean cat box filler, wait a few minutes, and sweep off. Dispose in the same manner you would dispose of used oil. You may have to apply a second sprinkling. Use a soft brick to grind the cat box filler into the oil. You don't have to bear down too hard, just maintain a steady circular motion to achieve the best results. When the filler is reduced to a fine powder and remains light in color, you will have removed all but the final residue that clings to the voids in the surface. This light-colored residue will lighten further the longer it is exposed to the sun. Be sure to dispose of oil-soaked cat box filler as local laws require for disposal of used oil.

8. Great in the garden - Mix an equal part of soil and clean cat box filler, proceed to plant your flowers, shrubs or vegetables. Your soil will remain moist providing for better root development. The litter will retain the humidity at root level. It can be used safely on any type of plant.

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Homemade Natural Laundry Detergent Recipe

Making your own homemade laundry soap, I've done this...and stopped. But need to do it again. I'd make a 5 gallon bucket at a time...saved me a ton of money...

1.Grate one bar of soap with cheese grater or food processor.
2.Put grated soap in pan with 2 quarts water and gradually heat, stirring constantly until soap is completely dissolved.
3.Put 4.5 gallons of really hot tap water in a 5-gallon bucket (available for free in bakeries at grocery stores, just ask them) and stir in 1 cup of borax and 1 cup of Washing Soda until completely dissolved.
4.Pour soap mixture from pan into 5-gallon bucket. Stir well.
5.Cover and leave overnight.
6.Shake or stir until smooth and pour into gallon jugs or other containers.
7.Use 1/2 to 1 cup per load.

We actually doubled the recipe such as the amounts of borax, soap, and soda...and then used half the amount called for...

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It may seem like a waste of space but if you live in the traditional suburban home with that nice grassy front hard you may contemplate a food garden there instead, but you will invite hungry hoards if you do. Keep the veggies in the back yard and consider roses in stead. The thornier the better, the thicker the better, for the rose uses very little water and truly does a number for you in defense.

It's been a little over 3 years since I bought my home I'm in now in a less then desired area. When we bought it there was no grass out front, and I was not going to spend $400 tilling it, replacing sprinklers and planting seed. I was appalled at how much rose bushes are too. Expensive buggers. However the precious owner had four size able rose bushes on the side of the home. We sliced off some new growth stems and planted them across the front yard. We started in the areas of the windows leaving enough area for a brick enclosure there I can use to gather rain water from the roof. I probably spent $30 on some plant food and bags of fertile soil for the planting holes but now, 3 years later, I'm sure anyone trying to get to one of my front windows is going to get cut for it. It looks good. I give my wife fresh cut roses plenty and that's priceless.

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Here are three common household items that can be used in multiple ways that we can will be useful to preppers.

•Trash Bags - Large trash bags offer a magnitude of uses and can folded away and stashed away in extremely small spaces and are very light weight. They should be added to your bug out bags , vehicle kits , and your bug in and bug out locations. These large trash bags can be used for water storage, turned into make-shift rain gear, and even used as a barrier against the weather. Simply a must add to all preppers as there uses are endless.

•Aluminum Foil - This material can be used for so many things its a perfect prepper item and you can get it in a standard and heavy duty form and it last for years. It weighs next to nothing and can be folded away and stashed in smallest of locations and is extremely versatile. The heavy duty foil can be used as a heat reflector, molded into cups and pans for cooking, make-shift solar oven, some electrical repairs, and can even be used to sharpen blades. It is a must have item for preppers.

•Petroleum Jelly - Also known as Vaseline this item also offers preppers a multitude of uses and can be easily stored and packaged. It last forever and can be slipped into an array of containers for easy storage and is a must add for your bug out bag and vehicle kits. It can be used to protect skin from cold weather , seal cuts, corrosion protection, rashes, chapped lips, and more. It can also be used by preppers as fire starter if combined with other items that take a spark like cotton balls since it burns for an extended period of time.

Prepper Basics: Three must prep multiple use common household items | Preppers Information

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
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If your water source is uncertain, you should treat it first before drinking it.

With regards to simplicity and ease, there are two best-practice methods to purify water for safe drinking…

First, do your best to avoid water which is cloudy. If scooping water from a pond, etc., try not to disturb the bottom so as not to disturb and pick up dirt or other debris. If possible, filter the water before treatment if it appears cloudy. Use any cloth or filtering material to catch the contamination. If the water is very cloudy or has a dirty appearance, you can gather it in a container and let it settle for a time, and then gently pour off or scoop the water near the top which will be clearer.

The best way to purify water for drinking is to boil it for 1 minute. Once the water has reached a rolling boil, one minute will basically assure its safety. There is no need to continue boiling the water beyond that time, which will only waste your fuel.

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Kidz, you forgot the tin-foil hat. JK
Seriously though, I thought I read somewhere that it takes 1/4 teaspoon of bleach per gallon? And I just bought bleach which said it was 33% more concentrated. Actually, all the bleach jugs had that on the labels. So how much would you use per gallon in that situation? I'm so confused. All of my drinking water has reg bleach (1/4 tspn) per gal. Is that too much? How long does that water stay safe? I've used it in my garden and on house plants after 6 months (w/ the 1/4 tspn bleach/gal) and it was fine. No ill effects. Help me Obiwan Kanobi. You're my only hope.

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great thread! remember we have the luxury of asking for advice now but if we are unable to access the net for what ever reason it would be good to have these on a thumb drive.
Thanks for posting!

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