In a blackout scenario, diseases of all types will flourish, and our immunity will be compromised by starvation and inadequate nutrition. Our only chance for survival will mean our mastering of prevention, not our waging war on infections.
We will still get infections, and we will have to deal with the ones we contract, but in the meantime a strategy that will best serve us is prevention.
This is what I had in mind when I started my research on how to slowly replace all the drugs me and my family depend on, with natural solutions that I would find no matter what happens around me.
And my research was not only focused on finding cures, but also ways of preventing disease by boosting your immune system. If you check the list of some of the most powerful nutrients to boost your immune system, Iodine stands from the crowd.
Looks like iodine is vital for normal growth and development of the body. Did you know that around 60% of the iodine in the human body is stored in the thyroid gland? Its health benefits play a very important role in the normal functioning of the thyroid gland, which secretes thyroid hormones that control the base metabolic rate of the body. In fact, without it, thyroid hormones could not even be synthesized.
Iodine controls the functioning of thyroid glands, which, in turn, has a significant influence on the metabolic processes in the body. It helps in the optimum utilization of calories, thereby preventing their storage as excess fat. Other benefits include the removal of toxins from the body and assisting the system in utilizing minerals like calcium and silicon.
How did iodine make its comeback? Well, it was not an accident.
It is the same old sad story; the wonderful microbial life and fertility of our soils get progressively depleted of all of their minerals and trace elements as they get poisoned with concentrated chemical fertilizers and pesticides of all sorts. Soil farmed in this manner is lifeless and dead. Unfortunately except for organic farms this describes the vast majority of farms in the United States today.
Soil treated with those toxins cannot form humic acids and fulvic acid and consequently cannot process inorganic minerals into organic minerals and trace elements which your body can easily absorb.
The humus content of the soil, which took millions of years to develop, is destroyed in a few decades, and along with it the fertility and productivity of the soil. Foods are grown that look okay but are nutritionally depleted and empty, and are lacking the fulvic acid from the soil that is so important in facilitating the human body to absorb all the nutrients it so desperately needs to function properly.
Consequently each successive generation of fruits and vegetables grown in these dead soils results in less and less mineral and trace element content. This is compounded by our modern methods of cooking and processing food, resulting in foods that are devoid of enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and most trace elements, but overflowing with high fructose corn syrup and other forms of sugar and soaked in innumerable types of toxins.
This doesn’t even take into account the potential environmental disaster of GMO foods, and international corporations like Monsanto and their almost total control of seeds and the resulting means of food production. Seed companies are now selling hybrid seeds that produce plants that are sterile and cannot reproduce themselves like open-pollinated seeds can. Farmers around the world are jumping on this hybrid seed bandwagon due to the promise of increasing yields, along with pest and pesticide resistance, as well as larger-sized vegetables.
However, this is done at the expense of the loss of several thousand years of local plant breeding that has developed local plants, known as landraces, which are perfectly matched to the local environment as well as the local insects, soils, and weather patterns. These plants contain DNA that has many different traits and characteristics that we do not want to squander and lose forever. Once lost, these varieties of plants will be gone forever.
As a Prepper, you have to have a seed vault of heirloom seeds that are open-pollinated and thus will produce viable seed themselves for your next season. Seed germination and gathering, along with the ability to breed plants to improve size, taste, and other characteristics, is essential for any serious Prepper or survival group.
There is no doubt that we will have to grow our own food; we have to learn to do so using organic techniques in healthy soil rich in all the minerals and trace elements that we require for good health. In the bibliography of my extended research there are many books on this subject that will help teach how to do so.
One fabulous source for open-pollinated heirloom varieties of fruits and vegetables is the Seed Savers Exchange. This was started in 1975 by Kent Whealy and his wife, Diane, who just wanted to save some varieties of vegetables that they ate as children that they noticed were disappearing. Gardeners of all races and ethnicities had come from all over the world to the United States, bringing with them jars of seeds from their “old countries”. These seeds were grown in backyards all over the country, but were being lost by the thousands before the Seed Savers Exchange became reality.
This idea has grown into a thick catalogue of thousands of varieties of any fruit and vegetable you could imagine, and has resulted in the salvaging of an innumerable number of these plants that otherwise would have gone extinct. I highly recommend joining it and making a contribution if you have any unusual varieties. For a Prepper it is a wonderful source of seeds at reasonable prices; currently the catalogue has over 12, 000 varieties of vegetables, herbs, and other plants. As a couple they have probably contributed more to saving the genetic diversity of our planet than any group or government.
Scientific American had a revealing article in April 2011 on the changes in nutritional content of some of the foods we grow. From 1975 to 1997 the average calcium content in twelve fresh vegetables dropped 27 percent, iron levels 37 percent, vitamin A levels declined 21 percent and vitamin C levels dropped 30 percent!
- Wheat has half the protein content of one hundred years ago.
- We would have to eat eight of today’s oranges to get the vitamin C content of one orange our grandparents ate.
- The calcium content of broccoli would require you to eat three heads of today’s broccoli to get the same amount as one head în 1950.
Alarming reports detailing the decline in nutritional content of our foods go as far back as 1935 when the Department of Agriculture began sounding the alarm, and things have gotten markedly worse since those bygone days.
The quarter of the American population that eats the least fruit and vegetables has twice the cancer rate as the group that eats the most; that alone is a startling statistic.
A consequence of all of this is a drastic decline in the iodine content of soils, dropping as much as 50 percent in the last thirty years. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that over 2.2 billion people worldwide are at risk for iodine deficiency.
Iodine is essential for proper functioning of the thyroid gland, which in turn controls your metabolism and many other functions. Iodine, however, is not only essential for the thyroid but also is found in the thymus, breast, salivary glands, pancreas, brain, cerebrospinal fluid (the fluid that your brain and spinal cord float in), stomach, and skin.
A woman’s thyroid gland is twice the size of a man’s and hence she will need more iodine, especially during pregnancy and breast feeding.
The developing fetus’s brain is dependent on adequate iodine (along with essential fatty acids), without which the child will be born mentally deficient (before the current political correctness was imposed on all of us by the Democratic party, in a time when speech used to be free and not censored, these children were called cretins. Try that now and see what happens to you!). Some of the non-thyroid side effects of iodine deficiency are easily traceable to its source in the body. In the salivary glands, dry mouth. In the brain, cretinism and slow mental development and slow brain functioning. In the skin, dry skin and a lack of sweating. In muscles and joints, fibromyalgia-type complaints of aches and pains. Iodine deficiency is also the cause of many of the cysts that develop in patients’ breasts (fibrocystic breast disease) and other body organs.
Iodine is essential to those parts of the body named above, but also its deficiency has been implicated in a large number of conditions and diseases such as ADHD, miscarriages, Multiple Sclerosis (M.S.) and Alzheimer’s disease as well as Parkinson’s disease and a large number of other neurological disorders.
Another major issue with getting enough iodine is a problem with competition with other halogens like fluorine, chlorine, and bromine. All of these halogens are adjacent to iodine on the periodic table of elements, and have similar structure and hence compete with iodine. With all the fluoride currently being placed in our drinking water, and all the bromine used for fire retardation and other chemical uses, this has caused a major problem.
Bromine is also added to commercial breads and baked goods.
Standard laboratory tests will not pick up bromine or fluorine replacement of iodine in thyroid hormones and these hormones will be reported at levels which are wrong because they are inactive due to their replacement of iodine.
Thyroid hormone without iodine that contains bromine or fluorine cannot function and is useless to the body’s needs.
Lugol’s solution, which is a liquid form of iodine and iodide combined, is very useful when one or two drops are placed in a small glass of water daily. Use this solution to rinse out your mouth once a day and then swallow it. This will provide enough iodine to your body and help displace any flouride or bromide that might have replaced iodine in your thyroid and other tissues.
Note: Too much iodine in a diet supposedly can lead to hypothyroidism or a slow thyroid. That being said, the Japanese have the highest intake of iodine of any population in the world, and do not have an epidemic of hypothyroidism, so as far as I am concerned, high iodine intakes have no serious adverse consequences and many benefits.
Another wonderful source for iodine is Nascent Iodine.
Nascent Iodine comes as a liquid, it is iodine in its atomic or most basic form. Nascent Iodine is the form that is most readily recognized by the body and most easily absorbed. It has a high electromagnetic charge on its surface and this makes it more readily absorbed by our bodies. Because of this easy absorption, Nascent Iodine helps displace bromine, chlorine, and fluorine and also prevents their uptake, thereby helping to detoxify the body.
Nascent Iodine also stimulates the thyroid to produce more thyroid hormone such as T3 and T4. Nascent is the form that was used by dentists and doctors in the pre-antibiotic era to treat infections în the mouth, topically on the skin, and internally as well. Nascent Iodine is also the best form to protect yourself from radiation exposure due to its rapid absorption in a readily usable and recognized form to the body.
Nascent Iodine also has the following benefits:
- Supports and boosts the immune system
- Helps regulate metabolism
- Boosts energy levels (especially if you have an iodine deficiency, which many of us do)
- Maintain detoxification systems and help flush the body of toxins
- Fight off infections by its antiseptic properties
The usual dose of Nascent Iodine is from one to ten drops daily depending on your situation. Keep in mind that each drop of Nascent Iodine contains approximately 400 mcg (micrograms) of iodine. I take four to five drops daily to maintain good thyroid health. It can either be taken orally mixed with fruit juice or water, or the drops can be administered directly under your tongue. I personally like it in a small glass of cold water, I also swish it around my mouth to clean my mouth of any pathogens before I swallow it. You might as well disinfect your mouth while you are at it; there is no downside to that and lots of benefits as far as prevention of tooth decay, which in a survival situation without a dentist might prove to be very important.
Many diseases gain entry into our bodies through our mouths and thus the importance of good oral hygiene, so why not use an iodine water mix to cleanse and disinfect your mouth while at same time providing yourself with a steady flow of life-sustaining iodine?In a survival situation iodine is essential to have readily available, especially if there is a nuclear event of any type (see the section on Potassium Iodide supplementation for full details).
Iodine is also essential to have due to its ability to disinfect water. After treating water with iodine you should let it stand for half an hour; this will allow enough time to kill off all the viruses and bacteria. If the water is cold (less than 68 degrees F) then you will have to give it four hours to be sure it is sterilized.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, cold intolerance (you always feel cold), constipation, hair loss, bags under your eyes, and if severe enough, the thyroid gland will swell (goiter). A goiter is evident when looking at a person you will see a swollen area at the front base of their neck, below their larynx or Adam’s apple.
There are other more far-reaching effects of hypothyroidism including stopping of ovulation and infertility in women, increased risk of other cancers including prostate, endometrial, breast, and ovarian.
As a Prepper, iodine is one of the most useful items to have on hand; it is relatively inexpensive, and I also recommend you stockpile a good supply of potassium iodide for any radioactive exposure from a nuclear event as well as other forms of iodine such as Nascent Iodine for daily use, etc.
Other sources of iodine are mostly from sea vegetables like kelp, seafood, and shellfish.
Note: the iodine content of iodized salt cannot be used as a source of iodine, since the amount you would need to raise your iodine levels in your blood would be fatal.
Symptoms of Iodine Deficiency
A deficiency of iodine can have serious effects on the body. The symptoms of its deficiency include the following:
- Depression and frustration
- Mental retardation
- Poor perception levels
- Abnormal weight gain
- Decreased fertility
- Coarse skin
- Chances of stillbirth in expectant mothers