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Faster Healing with Honey

Nature’s Burn Unit

Nighthawk Bear

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Honey, Burn Remedy, Natural Remedies
Illustrated by my daughter

Did you know that you can reduce the time it takes to heal from a minor burn by almost 5 days? It’s true, and we’re going to discuss one of the best ways I’ve found to treat minor burns and abrasions for myself and my family. I’m going to show you how to use honey to heal burns in half the time.

 “Out of the eater, something to eat; out of the strong, something sweet.” -Samson: Judges 14:14

My uncle was the first person to show me this simple remedy. He had a collection of honey from all around the world from Iraq to Wyoming. Being the only honey connoisseur I know, I feel fortunate he shared with me such a simple way to care for a common injury. I don’t always trust THE experts, but I do trust MY experts. Before we get to how honey is used to heal burns, I’ll touch briefly on some history and lay out a guideline for knowing if a burn is too severe to treat at home. It is best that you only treat things that you’re capable of safely managing. 

Early Writings

The earliest writing I could find that referred to using honey as medicine is from roughly 4000 years ago. There was an ancient tablet found in Nippur, Sumeria (an area about 700+ miles east of the Nile River). It says in part, “grind to a powder, river dust and …(unreadable) then knead it in water and honey and let plain oil and hot cedar oil be spread over it.”  This remedy is assumed to have been for some form of injury. However, it is entirely possible that this was also an early recipe for the first gluten free cracker. 

Another ancient document referencing honey is known as the ‘Ebers Papyrus’ (1550bc). In this document, honey is mentioned more frequently than any other ingredient for various medicinal concoctions when treating wounds. Honey has apparently been known to have antimicrobial properties for thousands of years. I can almost hear Hippocrates saying: “told ya so,” while Galen’s gladiatorial patients mutter: “muth be nithe”.

3 Levels of Burns

Before we get ahead of ourselves, it’s necessary to circle back around and refresh our memories on the basic types of burns. This is to ensure that we’re clear on what I mean by treating “minor” burns. Severity is determined by both how deep the burn goes, and how much surface area is covered by the burn.

In the diagram (left) and you’ll see the three levels of burn severity. First degree on the left, and third degree (or “full thickness burn”) on the right. If the burn goes through the first two layers and into the hypodermis, it’s considered a full thickness, or a 3rd degree burn.

Partial thickness burns are generally limited to the first and second degree. Once the burn goes through the full thickness of the skin (3rd degree), the chances of serious infection go up. That is why it’s critical to seek trained help for these burns.

3rd degree burns are serious and need to be properly “debrided” or scrubbed. Scrubbing a burn is incredibly painful and should only be done after adequate training. Remember that just because a burn is only partial thickness doesn’t mean it isn’t severe. It is critical to be clear about the amount of area on the body that is burned. So as not to bore you, let’s just assume we’re talking about an area smaller than the size of your palm.

I am not going to address burns located on the groin, near/on the eyes, mouth, or nose. If you or someone you know gets a burn in any of the areas I just mentioned, immediately seek trained medical help.

Note: If a burn goes all the way around a body part (circumferential burn) or covers a significant portion of the body, or if the burn is electrical or chemical in nature, IMMEDIATELY SEEK EMERGENCY MEDICAL HELP.

With that out of the way, we’ll get on to how you can treat those minor burns safely and even reduce the amount of time it takes to heal. 

“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food”

Attributed to Hippocrates (AKA Hippocrates II) c.460-c.370bc
A greek physician during classical greece

Putting Honey To Work

I first used honey on a rug burn years ago at the prompting of my uncle. It worked like a charm. I applied this easy trick on an egg sized area on my forehead. My uncle was gracious enough to supply me a dab of honey and within 2 days the abrasion was fully healed and the scab painlessly fell away on its own. Within 5 days, the pinkness of the new skin was gone entirely. There wasn’t even a hint of scarring. I only applied honey to the wound during the first 2 days. This is considerably fast healing. Studies conducted in certified medical burn units have also tested honey on major burns with promising results. Thanks to honey, doctors now know how to heal burns in half the time.

I don’t always trust THE experts, but I do trust MY experts.

A study in 2008 mentioned in the UK’s NHS website, 1st and 2nd degree burns healed an average of 4.68 days FASTER than the typical burn treatments used at the time. It is noted that there was no increased risk of infection or skin disorders from using quality honey. I always recommend using raw, organic honey.

 So how do you apply it?

Nature’s Burn Unit

Step I

I start every medical intervention with washing my hands when possible.

Step II

It’s important to clean the wound you’re treating as well, whether it be a burn or a cut, scrape, or laceration. 

 Gently wash (avoid using soaps with essential oils just yet, sometimes that can sting quite ferociously). I keep a bottle of betadine wound wash under my bathroom sink and in my medic bag. After washing, dab dry (do not rub) the burn area with a clean, dry cloth.

Step III

Next, simply dip your finger in the honey and gently spread it directly onto the burn. 

Step IV

Apply a bandage large enough to cover the affected area. If it’s a bit larger than a bandaid, you can lay any form of clean dry gauze on top of the honey. Next, tape it to the skin. You can also wrap rolled gauze around the area if you know how to properly do this without cutting off circulation. Take extra care to really secure the bandage if you’re treating a child who’ll be rolling around in the grass minutes after you’re done. 

Repeat Steps I-IV Daily

I recommend changing the gauze about once a day. You can wash/re-applying honey in the same manner until the burn is fully healed.

Don’t use “honey sauce” packets from KFC. That is NOT real honey. Make us proud and use organic honey. This ancient method is a safe alternative to antibiotic ointments. And as a bonus, you get considerably faster healing times. In a pinch, this is a safe way to keep a wound clean and to help your body heal itself naturally.

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to share this article to your favorite social media platforms. If you have any natural remedies you’d like to share, we’d love to hear about them! You can submit a completed brief step by step article to wellness@beartariatimes.com. For more articles on Wellness click the link here!

Wellness

I’ve Tried Everything!

When people have been stuck on an issue for some time they can come to an obvious conclusion…

Tom Barnett

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When people have been stuck on an issue for some time they can come to an obvious conclusion – that they’ve tried everything.  No doubt they’ve tried a lot, but there can be a fine line between resting on a sob story and being diligently open to answers.  I’ve come across a lot of people who have struggled with health for many years and are now closed off to anything new, because they’ve ‘tried everything.’  Sometimes, those things they’ve ‘tried’ they didn’t do right.  Perhaps their unconscious hampered them, because it loves the hard luck story. Sure we can be dismayed if we put forth an honest effort or intention and we come up with nothing, but it’s important to remain true to our dream or goal.

  • People run stories in their minds.  Some stories are about hard luck.
  • Part of the human condition is to pass blame.  If we had nothing standing in our way, we’d have to take full responsibility for ourselves.  
  • There is an old saying (well, it’s from Star Wars): “Do or do not, there is no try.”
  • Sometimes we don’t actually want to heal or succeed, we want it to look like we did everything possible, but fell short.  
  • No one ever solved a problem by focusing on the problem.  They focused on the solution. Without a guiding star, an overarching dream that compels us, we will never move forward.  If we spend our time focusing on and obsessing over our problems, ‘trying everything,’ we will continue to ‘try everything.’

The following premise applies to everything in life:

Be dedicated to the process, but unattached to the outcome.

How do we achieve this?

  • Acknowledge where we are.
  • Observe it, with no emotional attachment.
  • Determine our overarching dream.
  • Figure out what’s wrong.
  • Make a plan of action.
  • Forget about what’s wrong.
  • Dedicate to the process, forget about the outcome.
  • Work diligently and joyfully toward the dream, with the intention of serving a higher purpose, not ourselves.

The old expression ‘journey over destination,’ rings especially true.  The point of life isn’t to ‘have’ everything we ‘want,’ but what we learn, and how we grow.  If we lie to ourselves (‘try everything’) we will be fraught with frustration, anger, sadness, despair.  If we are honest in our thoughts, motives and actions, we will always be fulfilled, no matter the circumstances.  We usually end up with what we wanted anyway, because we gave up wanting.

When we want something, we can affirm our lack of it, and push it away from us.

People make ‘getting better’ (from a health condition), losing weight, making more money or finding a partner their raison d’etre.  They focus only on having what they want, with no reason to have it.  Want more money?  Great!  Why? What are you going to put into the world, in order to have that in return?   What are you going to do with that once you have it?  If you don’t know, you probably won’t have it.  You’ll ‘try everything’ in order to get there, but never get there.  Want to lose weight, cure a parasite or yeast infection or recover from chronic fatigue?  Great!  Why?  What are you going to do with that health once you have it?  If you don’t know, you won’t have it.  What are you going to put into the world in order to receive it?  Nothing?  You don’t have the energy to output?  The world owes you something?  Well then, enjoy ‘trying everything.’

Something I learned from Paul Chek is the importance of establishing a dream.  If you don’t know what your dream is, think of your nightmare or worst case scenario, and go in the opposite direction of that.  A tip: all ancient texts speak of giving to give, not giving to get.  The action is the same, but the intention, and result (karma), are night and day.

Tom.

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Lifestyle

Tending the Mind Garden Part 1:

You can’t spell Winter without Win

Nighthawk Bear

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No winter lasts forever, no spring skips its turn”

Hal Borland

I have no idea who Hal Borland is but I’m sure he’d be proud his quote finally made it into The Beartaria Times.

I’m feeling very motivated and uplifted as winter comes to a close, and would like to share some of that with you. For context, I’ll get you caught up on just a little bit of what’s been going on in my life this last year. This is going to be a 2 maybe 3 part series about cultivating an anti-fragile mentality starting at the very ground level where all tricks begin: The mind. I’ll share some methods you can use to help get your thoughts and spirit in order. The journey may be difficult, but your attitude will turn that into a win every time. My intention is that you find at least one or two golden nuggets from this and can apply them immediately to your life.

The One Man Board Room

I have recently started a profitable local small business with no money in the middle of winter in Wyoming. It’s a handyman business and is something many handy Bears who require money or a different job could start. As my unemployment money ran out and my savings dwindled, the pucker factor was high. Without hesitating, I created a rough business plan on the fly, and began making a website and setting up the business back end. This included social media pages, logo design, payment processing, and so on.

The business launched in December 2020. I had done minimal market research but was certain my skills with home repairs and remodeling were in demand in my area. Almost immediately I felt the doubts and fears weighing heavily on me. As the last of my savings dwindled, I was considering how many squirrels I could convince my girlfriend to eat. Squirrels are free, organic, and have a largely vegan diet which I’m sure any health conscious homeless people can appreciate. Thankfully it hasn’t come to that yet. With this stress pushed to the back of my mind I kept leaning into the tasks I needed to get done. Just one step forward, and then the next. I am reminded of my time in some of the more difficult military schools I’ve attended. You must win in your mind first in order to survive the harsh training. Any negative thought that rises must be dealt with quickly.

Note: Negativity is the energy you put on a situation or problem that needs to be addressed. For example: If you’re feeling crushed or weighed down emotionally when you get a flat tire, YOU respond with that energy and YOU need to learn to shift out of feeling bad (i.e. afraid, worried, despair) when problems pop up. Instead, you must cultivate the ability to keep a good attitude when dealing with problems. Having a sense of humor about it, and making a decision carefully but QUICKLY to solve the problem are a must.

Keep Your Mind Fertile

Just as the height of my anxiety kicked in, I reached out to Heaven in gratitude and really began to relax and let go. This happened almost in a flash. I felt the fear fall away and then the phone started to ring and jobs started to come to me. I leaned further on my faith and became increasingly grateful for the abundance that God has already blessed me with and will continue to bless me with in the future. It was important for me to keep my mind “fertile” with gratitude and a winning attitude. I felt like God had realigned my spirit with the path he has laid out for me. You must seek the Creator and humble yourself to His will for this to work for you long term.

This spiritual “re-centering” came at the exact time it was supposed to. It always does.

I am always grateful for the times the Heavenly Father has graciously given me clear help and inspiration. The point I want to drive home is that for you to win, you have to be active on the field. It’s much like when your car breaks down in the middle of the road and a kind stranger shows up suddenly and starts pushing your car. When that happens, the right thing to do is get out and help push while taking the wheel and guiding the car to safety. Like the kind stranger, God will do His part, and you should do your best to help even if it’s just as a gesture of gratitude.

Two are better than One

“Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.

Psalm 31: 10-12

One key element that I know Creator God brought into my life exactly when He knew I would need it, was the calm, positive presence of my girlfriend (Blonde Genius Bear). Having a good partner who understands this battle of the mind is such a blessing.

When life throws hot oil at you, make fried chicken!

Nighthawk Bear (while attacking a castle, no doubt)

For those of you in relationships, it’s a good idea to really take this to heart and help coach one another when you’re undergoing a rigorous time of growth. Like a spotter in the gym, your significant other is there to help you shoulder the weight and keep moving. It’s really beautiful to experience. I wish this for all of you.

Healthy, Holy and Whole

The specific things I do to help “push my car” are a pretty standard part of treating my mind, body, and soul holistically.

The word Holistic comes from the Greek word holos or “whole.” Interestingly, I believe the word “Holy” also comes from this same root. To be Holy, is to be healthy and whole. If your mind or spirit is feeling downtrodden or you can’t shake some doubts and fears (or worse), you may have a “Soul Cold” and need to detox.

I won’t fully discuss every possible part of a good soul detox otherwise you’ll be reading this until NEXT winter. So, for the sake of time, I will list a quick checklist of the basics so you can self-assess that you’re at least not actively poisoning your own spirit with the following:

Soul Detox

In holistic healing, the first step is to STOP POISONING YOURSELF. This goes for your mind and soul as well. This is a super critical part of tending your mind garden.

  • Stop watching the news, and movies/shows (Stop wasting time. It’s ok to cut loose a little bit every now and then, but if you’re watching movies every weekend, and bingeing on TV shows, you’re doing yourself and your community a disservice).
  • Repent (meaning “turn away from”) any unhealthy or dishonorable or “bad” behavior (drunkenness, unfaithfulness, the “big 10”, etc)
  • Forgive any wrongs done to you (easier said than done but this is a MUST)
  • Monitor your “self talk” for anything overtly negative and even destructive
  • Focus on gratitude (more on this later)
  • Clean up your diet one item at a time (Clean eating is a must. You don’t have to do it all right away, but begin making progress, learning about this NOW)

Changing your life is a constant process. You’re either improving, or you are sliding down hill. You never stay the same. Don’t worry if you feel behind on making these changes. Make the commitment to start now. Don’t stare too long on the past. Remember that a small changes done consistently (this is KEY) over time, will lead to monumental progress when you look back even 2 years from now. There are volumes of examples I could write on this, but this will give you the building blocks to begin your personal lifestyle shift if you need one.

Recap

You are not on your own in making your life better or overcoming challenges, but you are responsible for taking action and doing the work of moving forward. If you stay in motion, and seek the path of the Creator, you will be fine. If you stop moving forward, or get too bogged down by unhealthy influences in your mind or body (most importantly the MIND) you will stumble. That’s ok, just work on stumbling less and cleaning up your life.

Remember this (you have no excuse to feel “surprised” once you know this): Even after you feel like you’ve mastered basics, you will still reach incredibly difficult times in your life where you’ll wonder “what did I get myself into.” That’s ok, that part is called Growth. Lean into it, and focus on being grateful for your life and the blessings in it. I will write more on the actual practical application of gratitude in the near future. It’s almost as if it’s a jet fuel of sorts that will fuel your ability to recover from punches that life throws at you.

Until next time, turn that hat backwards, turn into the wind, and slap a huge grin on your face. The wind brings change. For those who have the courage to go and see what’s out there, may the change ever be in your favor.

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Wellness

Pine Tip Tea

A Favorite Seasonal Remedy for the Whole Family

Nighthawk Bear

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Pine Tip Tea, Great Bear Trail, Naturopathic, Homeopathic Remedies
Homeopathic Remedy Fresh from the Forest

As a child growing up in Wyoming, my family would go hiking and camping every summer in the Medicine Bow National Forest. One of our favorite camping spots was a place named Vedauwoo (pronounced Vee-duh-Voo). Vedauwoo is known for its strange piles of boulders. This is also a great place to find various types of evergreen bushes and trees, and even to this day I still go hiking there to forage for items I use regularly in my natural remedies.

Vedauwoo, Pine Tip Tea
Snack Break in Vedauwoo

Surrounded by all the various types of pine trees as a child, I had no idea that when I grew up I’d discover they contained one of the most fascinating natural medicines. There is an age old remedy I have discovered that has worked wonders for me and my family in repeatedly beating the common cold and flu, sometimes even in the harshest of conditions.

Field Tested Pine Remedy

During a 19-day course on POW training and wilderness survival while in the Army, I gained some valuable practical experience using these evergreen trees to treat various ailments. The chief ailment I used it for was a common cold/flu.

It was November in North Carolina, when I came down with a fairly severe cold. Staying as silent as possible in our small hide site, piled next to 5 other team mates, I must have also reached a fever since I was shivering while huddled in my 3-layer sleeping bag. Not wanting to be medically dropped from the course, and also just wanting to try ANYTHING to make me better, I began making cups of pine needle tea. This is before I was aware of what terpenes were and how they worked in breaking down mucus and other buildup in the body. All I knew was that my SERE instructor told me it had lots of Vitamin C in it.

I would take water from a stream, boil it, and add the pine needles. I also shared some rose-hips I’d found with my teammates. My cough was barely noticeable after the first night. A cough can often worsen when exposed to cold air. I was cautiously observant in case my conditioned worsened. It did not. My fever also quickly subsided after the first night. Quite surprisingly, nobody else on my team came down with any illness despite our close proximity sleeping in our cramped hide site. The hide site was literally in the nook of a hill where we piled branches and leaves over a few logs and made a makeshift cave. It blended in nicely with the surrounding landscape, but it was like sleeping in a sardine can. Nevertheless, I quickly beat the flu just in time for us to be thrown in a van with bags over our heads, headed to the more brutal part of our training. The rest of my time in that course could have been a disaster had it not been for the application of pine needle tea.

10 Years Later

Since I left the military, I have used this cold and flu treatment every year and have passed it along to my family with similar results. I decided this year to further refine my plant based medicine bag. After a brief search, I found three great tasting combinations you can try that will further boost the already reliable homeopathic treatment of Pine Tip Tea.

Just as it sounds, the tips of the pine boughs can be harvested and simmered in hot water. Although any green pine needles will make an effective tea, the new growth at the ends of the pine boughs hold the freshest and most readily available nutrients. These can be harvested throughout the year, but are perhaps most potent when gathered in the spring. If properly dried, the pine tips can be kept for over a year and still maintain their potency. Keeping the dried bits in a cool, dark, dry area like a root cellar is probably the best condition for their preservation.

Why is it so Effective?

You may also be aware of turpentine, which comes from distilled pine tree sap. There is a small amount of this age-old medicine all throughout the tips of the branches as well. The plant terpenes (after which Turpentine is named) are known to prevent infection in cuts and may even help break down lymphatic buildup in your body that lead to various other illnesses. They also help break down mucus in the body which is amazing when you have a chest cold.

Pine Tip Tea pairs nicely with many other herbal remedies including thyme (used for digestive issues as well as treating coughs), camphor (a powerful cold remedy), and even onion (same). These are all useful not only in the treatment of the symptoms of a cold or flu, but they contain the ingredients your body can use to heal itself far more rapidly than it would if you just gave it drugs. The more we examine nature based medicine, we see how man-made chemicals that are engineered by billion dollar companies really only mask the symptoms of an illness yet do very little to help the body heal itself. We will do better.

Try These Three, Tea-hee

Feel free to expand on these three simple Pine Tip Tea recipes. Your sense of smell will let you know if your body needs or wants any of the properties in the concoctions. As a bonus, these are all safe to give to children, and have been used for many centuries in both early western and native medicine. I have given this to my own daughter throughout her life with good effect. Note: I like to mince the pine a bit if using the long needles, and simmer for 10-20 minutes. You can even let it sit overnight. This is to draw out the maximum amount of nutrients from the pine tips. You can try steeping it like a normal tea as well, as I have not scientifically tested which method is better.

Boil 1 pint of fresh pure water
In the pan of water, add a handful of pine tips
Add 4 or 5 rose hips (dried or fresh, crushed or whole)
Simmer for 10 minutes
Pour into mugs and enjoy
Sweeten with raw, unfiltered honey if desired (honey is a great remedy for sore throats)
Boil 1 pint of fresh pure water
In the pan of water, add a handful of pine tips
Add a two or three finger pinch of thyme (fresh or dried) (if its crushed you can use a tea strainer to keep the pieces together if desired)
Simmer for 10 minutes
Pour into mugs and enjoy
Sweeten with raw-unfiltered honey if desired
Boil 1 pint of fresh pure water
In the pan of water, add a handful of pine tips
Add dried hibiscus flower
Pour into mugs and enjoy
Sweeten with raw-unfiltered honey if desired

Thanks for reading! If you have any natural remedies you’d like to share, we’d love to hear them and perhaps publish them as our next featured article! Submit completed articles and pictures to wellness@beartariatimes.com Check out more remedies at our Wellness page.

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