Activated Charcoal For Stomach Viruses And More

Activated charcoal is a fine, black powder that is odorless, tasteless, and nontoxic.  It works by trapping toxins and chemicals in its millions of tiny pores. The porous surface of this charcoal has a negative electric charge that causes positive charged toxins and gas to bond with it.

While I have used activated charcoal in my family, I’m NOT a doctor.  Always consult YOUR doctor before trying anything new.

Obliterate Stomach Bugs And MORE using Activated Charcoal

Activated Charcoal For Stomach Bugs

As soon as signs of a stomach bug show up or someone near you gets it, take *this post contains affiliate links 2 capsules with a full glass of water as often as every 2 hours, up to 16 capsules in a 24 hour period.  (see specific directions on the package you purchase)

When using activated charcoal internally, it is crucial to make sure to stay extra hydrated.  You’ll need the extra water for the charcoal to flush out the toxins, and to avoid constipation.

Activated charcoal comes in both bags and capsules.  Because I have a great worry of a bag of charcoal somehow finding it’s way all over my house, I choose the capsules.

Pro Tip:  Be aware that if you are on medications,  the activated charcoal can intercept the medication. Consult your doctor!  Also,  activated charcoal will bind to your supplements.

(source)

 Children

While kids 4 and up can use 1 capsule of  charcoal in a cup of purple grape juice to help prevent stomach viruses from taking their toll, always consult your doctor FIRST.  (source)

 Overdose Or Poisoning

First, call poison control, the local emergency room, or doctor’s office and follow their directions.  But if you are in a situation where you can’t make that call the dosage for acute poisoning is as follows (source)

 Gas And Bloating

Activated charcoal works to bind the gas-causing byproducts in foods that cause discomfort.  Take 500 milligrams one hour prior to a typical gas-producing meal, with a full glass of water. Follow your meal with another glass of  of water immediately to help get the charcoal into your system, where it can bind with gas-producing elements.  (source)

Relieve Bites And Bee Stings

Being  such a great all-around detoxifier, applying a paste of activated charcoal and a bit of water and a drop of both Lavender and Copaiba essential oils to a bug bite or bee sting may offer relief. Reapply as needed.

Pro tip:  Looking for another way to reap the benefits of activated charcoal?  Check our SUPER EASY DIY soap recipe here!

How does your family fight off stomach viruses?

**  I am NOT a doctor, NOR do I play one on the internet.  I am simply sharing what has worked for my family.  YOU need to check with your doctor about using activated charcoal before giving it to your family.

Survive Hypothermia: Prepper’s Checklist

I live in a state that (usually) sees a lot of snow, especially in the mountains.  Knowing how to survive hypothermia is knowledge every family living in a cold climate should master.  Let’s talk about how to diagnose, treat, and prevent hypothermia.

What Is Hypothermia?

Hypothermia occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can produce heat, causing a dangerously low body temperature.  Normal body temperature is approximately 98.6 F (37 C)  Hypothermia occurs as your body temperature falls below 95 F (35 C), preventing your body from functionally normally.

Hypothermia can be  caused by exposure to cold weather or immersion in cold water.  You survive hypothermia by warming the body back up to normal temperatures.

Symptoms of Hypothermia

The first symptom of hypothermia is often shivering, as your body attempts to warm itself.

Other signs include:

* Mumbling   ( The ‘umbles’ include mumbling, stumbling, grumbling or irritation)

* Slow and shallow breathing

* A weak pulse

* Lack of coordination

*The desire to sleep

*Confusion

*Loss of consciousness

Because hypothermia often comes on so slowly, a person often has no idea of their condition.  The confused thinking that hypothermia causes  hinders a person’s ability to actually realize they are in danger.

How To Survive Hypothermia

How To Survive Hypothermia

The first step in surviving hypothermia begins with preparedness before the event.  You survive hypothermia by having a plan in place, just in case.   This includes making sure you have the right gear with you when hiking, skiing, camping or traveling in winter weather.

This post contains affiliate links.

Remove yourself from the cold.   If possible get yourself out of any wet clothes.

Curl into the HELP position inside of a sleeping bag, blankets or an emergency bevy bag to reduce heat loss. (I love *this post contains affiliate links this brand and have them in all of our bug out bags. )   Hold your knees to your chest to help warm  the trunk of your body.  If you are with others, huddle together.

Chemical heat packs are a must to help prevent and address hypothermia.   Place a heat pack on major arteries to warm your blood, such as by the neck, under armpits and in the groin.  Slowly warming the body’s core is most important, the extremities can wait.

Prevention of Hypothermia

Wear the right clothing, including clothing that will prevent body heat loss from your head, face and neck and hands.

Wear layers of loose fitting layers of lightweight clothing.  You want your outer layer to be tightly woven, and water resistant.

Stay as dry as possible.  Get out of wet clothing as soon as possible.  Pay special attention to keeping your feet dry, by having an extra pair of *this post contains affiliate links wool socks in your pack.

Having a rechargeable hand warmer in your pack is also a good idea.

Be careful not to overexert yourself, causing yourself to sweat a lot.  Wet clothing and cold sweat will cause you to lose body heat faster.

Always make sure someone knows where you are going and when you are expected to be back.  This way emergency responders will know where to look if there is trouble.

Hypothermia Survival At Home

You may be surprised to discover that the risk of hypothermia during winter power outages is high, especially  if you are not prepared.  If you have access to health care don’t take any risks and get to a hospital immediately.  If your only choice is to stay at home, here are some ideas to help mitigate the risks.

Store wool blankets or cold weather sleeping bags.

Have a way to heat water for soup or warm drinks to keep yourself both hydrated and warm.

Store chemical packs.

Consider investing in a quality indoor radiant  heater.

Pro Tip: Learn more ways to protect your family in severe winter weather.

Preparation Is Key To Hypothermia Survival

I can remember being worried each time winter grew near.  How would I protect my family from severe winter weather if we lost power or had to leave due to an emergency in a snow storm.  Taking the time to make a plan, and actually supply that plan in the form of emergency kits, is one of the best things I’ve ever done.    I hope you’ll do the same.

Lavender Charcoal Soap DIY Homemade Soap Recipe

Lavender Charcoal Soap is the perfect blend of a few of my favorite things. Charcoal is terrific for oily skin, with the ability to pull both oil and dirt from pores.   Because the charcoal can be drying for some skin types, I’ve chosen to add a bit of shea butter to a goat milk base,  to help balance this bar.

Lavender Charcoal Soap DIY Recipe

Supplies:

*this post contains affiliate links

2 1/2 pounds of white Goat Milk Melt & Pour Soap.  I chose goat milk melt and pour soap for it’s extra skin softening abilities.

Activated Charcoal.  I prefer to use the capsules.  I have a fear of an open bag of charcoal being overturned somewhere in my house.  (shiver) But if you rather go with the loose stuff, I like this brand.

Young Living Lavender Essential Oils  I choose to use only Young Living Essential Oils.  You can go here to learn more about my favorite oils! 

Shea Butter (optional)  I chose refine shea butter because unrefined comes with a scent that is hard to cover.

Silicone Soap Mold

Small Spray Bottle of Alcohol

Heat-safe glass measuring cup

Thermometer (optional)

Scale (optional)

Ingredients To Make Lavender Charcoal Soap

Let’s Get Started Making Lavender Charcoal Soap!

Set aside 2 pounds of the goat milk melt and pour soap.

Cut 1/2 pound of the goat milk melt and pour soap into 1/2 inch cubes and place in heat safe glass measuring cup.

Melt the 1/2 pound of melt and pour and  1/4 teaspoon shea butter in the microwave for 30 seconds, stir, and repeat until soap is completely melted.

Allow to cool for a minute and then add 5-10 drops of Lavender Essential Oil.

Make Your Own DIY Lavender Charcoal Soap

Slowly add in 5 capsules of charcoal(opening each capsule and adding the charcoal, and disposing of the actual capsule)  and stir until it is entirely incorporated into the soap.  The soap should be black.  If it isn’t dark enough for your liking, add in another capsule.

Pour this now melted black soap into two of your soap molds in different thicknesses. (You can put it back in the microwave for a few seconds if it’s set up too much.)  Spritz with alcohol to get rid of the bubbles.  Allow to set up and dry.

Lavender Charcoal Soap

Pop out the soap and then cut it into different sizes of rectangles and squares.  You’ll need to make sure that your sizes fit into your molds.

You can use a small kitchen knife to free hand the heart inside of your square, or you can use a fondant cutter in the shape of a heart.

Give Your Black Soap Shapes Time To Dry

I  recommend allowing your shapes to dry for at least a few hours to over night before continuing on with the recipe.  This will help your black shapes not to melt into your melted white base.  However,  if you are in a hurry, we can proceed now.

Creating The Soap Design For Your Lavender Charcoal Soap

Place your black shapes into each mold in the design of your choosing.  Having some shapes placed horizontally  and some shapes  vertically (going UP the sides of your mold)  will give more visual interest to your soap.

Press the shapes in so that no air is between the shape and your mold.

Melt The 2 Pounds Of Melt And Pour Soap You Set Aside

 

Take the 2 pounds of goat milk soap and cut it into half inch cubes.  Add 1 teaspoons of shea butter.   Microwave in 30 second bursts, stir, and repeat until your base is melted.  Allow your soap to cool for a minute and then add in 25 drops of Lavender Essential Oil.

Pay Attention To The Temperature Of Your White Soap

Pouring HOT white soap over your black shapes will melt your black soap pieces.

You’ll need to pour the soap at a temperature that won’t melt your black soap.  That means your white soap needs to be about 125-130 degrees, or liquid enough to pour, but not hot enough to melt.

If your soap is too hot to put your finger in, it’s too hot to pour.  If you soap is lumpy when you go to pour it, it has set too long.

Pour ONLY enough soap to cover the bottom of the mold, but NOT the shapes of your charcoal lavender soap.   Basically, you don’t want to be able to see the bottom of the mold.

Lavender Charcoal Melt and Pour Soap

Then, press down the black pieces to create a seal so that as you continue to pour, the white soap doesn’t flow under you black pieces.

Next, spritz your soap with a bit of alcohol to remove any bubbles, and continue to fill your mold with your white goat milk soap.  Fill it to the top of your mold, because as your soap sets, it will shrink down some.

Allow to completely set up and become hard before popping your Lavender Charcoal Soap out of the mold!

Charcoal Lavender Glycerin Melt and Pour Soap DIY Recipe

Ta-Da!  You’ve Made Lavender Charcoal Soap!

To celebrate your success, why don’t you draw up and warm bath and take your soap for a test drive!

Getting Started With Young Living Essential Oils

If you are looking to get started with essential oils you can purchase a Young Living Premium Starter kit that includes the Lavender Essential Oil I used in making my Lavender Charcoal Soap.   You can learn more about Young Living Essential Oils and my Top Ten Essential Oils for Preppers here.

Young Living Premium Starter Kit

Frugal Laundry Hacks: Wool Dryer Balls

Laundry can be the bane of a Mom’s existence.  No sooner than you think you’ve got it all caught up, the piles have reproduced.  Again.  I’ve been looking for frugal laundry hacks to reduce the cost of doing laundry, as well as the time involved in getting clothes clean.  As an added bonus, I’ve been able to reduce my family’s exposure to chemical laden dryer sheets.  Pretty important considering my youngest son’s complex medical considerations.

Frugal Laundry Hacks with Young Living Essentail Oils

What Is A Wool Dryer Ball?

*this post contains affiliate links: Wool dryer balls are balls of wool that have been ‘felted’.  The woolen balls have had their fibers disrupted, usually by being placed in hot water, agitated, and then dried.   I use and prefer these.

How Do Wool Dryer Balls Work?

Wool dryer balls work by separating clothes so that warm air circulates better.  The felted wool gently rubs against garment fibers, softening clothes naturally.  They fluff by separating clothes that would otherwise clump together.  This is especially helpful when doing comforters, towels and heavy jeans.

Save Time and Money

Wool dryer balls allow clothes to dry faster, thus reducing your energy costs, and time between loads.
It costs approximately 45 cents to dry a load of laundry in an electric dryer, based on a 5,600-watt dryer, 40-minute run-time, and a 12-cent-per-​kilowatt-hour rate.  And that is just ONE load!  Wool dryer balls can cut that time by as much as 20%, simply by improving the air flow in your dryer.

 Reusable Frugal Laundry Hacks

A dryer sheet is meant to be used once and tossed.  Wool dryer balls can be used for a 1,000+ loads!    These are the brand I use and love.

Frugal Laundry Hacks: Wool Dryer Balls

Are These Safe For Cloth Diapers?

Yes!  Dryer sheets and liquid fabric softener leave a coating of chemicals behind on your items.  This is how you get that soft feeling.  Unfortunately, that thin coating affects how absorbent the cloth diapers will be.  The same holds true for towels.

I Want My Clothes To Smell Good.

The best part of my frugal laundry hacks is that it’s easy to custom create scents for each load of laundry! NATURAL scents with essential oils.

Frugal Laundry Hacks with Young Living Essentail Oils

Here are a few of my favorites!  Add each oil to a separate wool dryer ball.  Use 4 dryer balls for a medium load.  6 wool dryer balls for larger loads.  Put 4-5 drops of an essential oil on each dryer ball. You can usually get 3-4 loads of of laundry out of the dryer ball before you need to add more essential oil.

Stress Away + Peppermint
Purification + Lemon
Lemon + Peppermint
Lavender + Lemon + Peppermint
Thieves + Peppermint

Man, I could go on forever here.  But I think you get the idea, be creative and come up with your OWN best laundry day scents!  Can you imagine a laundry day that makes you feel good because of the uplifting blends you are using?

Of course, I’ve made the choice to use Young Living Essential Oils in my home.  I’m amazed at all I received in my Young Living Premium Starter Kit!

More Frugal Laundry Hacks

1. Make sure your laundry loads are full.  The less you run your washer and dryer the more money you save.

2. Save energy and money by washing more loads in cold water.

3. Try using half of your regular laundry detergent. Changes are you won’t be able to tell a difference.

4. Empty your dryer lint trap after every load.  Clean the outside dryer vent a few times a year.

5. Do your laundry at night when electricity providers often offer cheaper rates.

6. Take your laundry out of the dryer before it is completely dry, and allow it to hang dry the rest of the way.

Pro Tip:  Looking for more ways to hack your life easier?  You’ll want to read our posts here and here.