Gaye Levy lives and teaches the principles of a sustainable, self-reliant and stylish lifestyle through her website at BackdoorSurvival.com, an online preparedness and ‘survival’ blog that provides lifestyle tools, tips and thoughts to guide you through the back door of life in the 21st century. With an emphasis on prepping for the worse while working toward the best, she writes about and shares practical, thoughtful and inspirational tools for survival in uncertain times.

Connect with Gaye at BackdoorSurvival.com and Facebook.com/theSurvivalWoman

25 Ways to Use Oregano Essential Oil for Health and Wellness

By Gaye Levy

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

Five years ago, if someone were to mention the use of oregano essential oil for health and wellness purposes I would have looked at them cross-eyed. Although well versed in the benefits of essential oils, for one reason or another, oregano essential oil was nowhere to be found on my radar. Although I grow oregano in my yard and use it in pasta dishes and on pizza, I had never considered it to have healing qualities.

Moving forward in time, as I began to toss out conventional over-the-counter remedies, I discovered that Oregano essential oil has some amazing qualities. Not only that, it is inexpensive and can be effectively used in so many ways that like lavender, it should be called the Swiss army knife of essential oils.

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Make Your Own Healing “Boo-Boo” Stick for First Aid

20th October 2015

By Gaye Levy

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

Lately it seems that I can not get through the day without banging my shins against something, getting bit by an insect, burning myself while reaching into the oven, or having a dry skin itch-attack then scratching my skin raw. Nothing major, mind you, but I do look like I have been through a war zone.

In the old days, my solution to treating these surface wounds has been to reach for the Neosporin and slather it all over the place. In the new days, meaning now, I ditch the petroleum based ointment in favor of a more natural remedy.

What I have come up with is my own version of a first aid stick, something I call my “Healing Boo-Boo Stick”, which I’m going to share with you today.

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Information Overload? Ways to Rekindle Your Quest for Truth

By Gaye Levy

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

In recent months I have found myself shrugging in disgust as I browse the web and read the latest news headlines. I mumble the words I used to say in the old days, “par for the course”, as I find myself actually becoming complacent while reading the latest stories of government excess, corporate shenanigans, sneaky banksters and Wall Street crooks.

Sometimes I feel as though I am sitting on a deck chair of the Titanic, slowing watching the ship go down. Our elected leaders are out of control and it can feel like, any day now, our society is going to go to heck in a hand basket. I exaggerate a bit but not by much. My perception is that much of what I read is the same news I was reading three years ago. The only difference is that it has been repackaged, rehashed and refreshed. The cast of characters may have changed a bit but the same tactics of oppression and submission have not.

And the point is…?

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Essential Oils 101 – How to Apply Essential Oils for Health and Wellness

By Gaye Levy

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

With Rebecca Schiffhauer*

Although I have been writing about essential oils for quite some time now, I still get emails asking how to get started and, more specifically, how to use them. So today I call upon Backdoor Survival contributing author Rebecca Schiffhauer to help explain how to apply essential oils to derive health and wellness benefits for those who are just getting started on the EO journey.

For me, I became interested in aromatherapy in the early ’90s and studied everything I could get my hands on to learn about the therapeutic values and applications of essential oils. Taking things one step further, it was a simple recipe from Valerie Worwood’s book The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy that really clinched the deal. I was having some serious issues with the tendons in my wrist, and I used her healing formula that included lavender, rosemary, and peppermint oils to relieve my pain and suffering.

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9 Things To Do to Prepare for Hard Times Ahead

27th March 2015

By Gaye Levy

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

Most Prepper types that I know appear to have a common trait: they are good at evaluating risks then moving to mitigate those risks in a nimble manner. What that means, in somewhat plainer English, is they have the ability to evaluate a situations, make a plan, learn from it, and ultimately act in a responsible manner.

Along those lines, more recently I have done some personal analysis and put more focus on what I call “hard times ahead”. With my disaster preps more or less in order, I want to ensure that my own household will get through a period of difficulty when, for instance, there is not enough food, work, or money to go around.

A couple of years I shared 7 Tips to Prepare for Hard Times. Today, with even more concern about an eminent financial collapse, I suggest 9 more tips to prepare for hard times ahead.

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Birch Essential Oil for Arthritis, Muscle and Joint Pain (with Salve Recipe!)

By Gaye Levy

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

Once you move beyond the basic, everyday essential oils that we all know and love, it becomes time to explore some of the oils that solve specific ailments. In my own exploration of essential oils, a specific ailment high on my list was relief from muscle and joint pain.

The oil of choice? Birch essential oil. Not only is Birch effective against common, everyday aches and pains, but it is outstanding (if not superior) in providing relief from arthritis joint pain and those deep, spasmodic cramps that only seem to visit in the dead of night.

What is Birch Oil?

Not surprisingly, Birch essential oil comes from the bark of birch trees. Sometimes referred to as Sweet Birch Oil, its scientific name is Betula Lenta. What makes it special is that 100% pure Birch essential oil contains both salicylic acid and methyl salicylate. Both have a cortisone-like quality that reduces discomfort in the muscles, bones, and joints and in addition, are recognized as germicides and bactericides in the world of modern medicine.

Continue Reading – Birch Essential Oil for Arthritis, Muscle and Joint Pain (with Salve Recipe!)

13 Ways To Roll With The Punches

21st November 2014

By Gaye Levy

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

The great recession of the 21st century has been marching forward for seven plus years. For many, these have not been easy times. For the the enlightened, these seven years have been troubling and extremely stressful. As questionable government controls are mandated and insidious corporate shenanigans and corruption are uncovered, that stressful edge is likely to get steeper over time for many of us, with no end in sight.

In this type of environment, it is easy to become frustrated and immune to taking steps to effect change. Instead, many go about their day, afraid of rocking the boat or too fearful to even think about the consequences of a major breakdown, crisis or natural disaster. Even those who have prepared, stockpiled food and water and learned survival skills (such as fire building, sheltering and emergency medicine) wonder whether we will make it through if/when the SHTF.

There is an idiom that is commonly used to describe one’s ability to deal with difficult and stressful situations. It is called “Rolling with the Punches” and it means accepting whatever happens from outside your control, dealing with it, and moving on in a healthy and productive manner. It means having the skills to deal with difficult and unexpected situations, no matter what.

Learning to roll with the punches is a survival skill that can be honed and polished, ready to serve you when you’re faced with tough life situation. Today I will share 13 ways to roll with the punches, or put another way, 13 tips for learning how to endure when the SHTF and the world around you seems to be falling apart.

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Overcoming Fear in Today’s Uncertain World

10th November 2014

By Gaye Levy

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

Every afternoon as I sit down with an extra large cup of espresso, I ponder something to write about next. In that last three years, I have written over 570 articles. A lot the articles have been about prepping and self sufficiency but a large number have also been about more touchy-feely topics as I talk about life and getting by during hard times.

Today is one of those days, as I muse about coping skills as they relate to the fear of ‘the worst’. I don’t know about you, but as hard as I try to stay above it all, there are days when the burden of truth and knowledge is all too much and a teeny tiny bit of fear sets in.

What Do You Fear?

Let’s be honest with ourselves. Fear is something that every human and most animals will experience at some time or another. It is that feeling of anxiety we get when the outcome of something threatens our well-being and safety.

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The Old-Fashioned, Old Fogey Rules of Sustainability

27th October 2014

By Gaye Levy

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

There is a tendency in all of us to compare the old to the new. This is especially true in the preparedness community where in anticipation of potential hard times ahead, we look to our parents and grandparents for ideas for living a self-reliant and sustainable life. I have been thinking about that a lot lately, even to the extent that I have considered sewing up some long skirts and pioneer-style aprons that will hold up to a week or two of wear without laundering. Seriously.

Anyway, the following piece has been circulating for a while. I thought it was worth bringing back since it describes a time not so long ago when the term “green” referred to the color of your grass or the money in your pocket. As I was reading these words, it occurred to me that many of these old-fangled ways of doing things fall right in line with what each of us would be required to do in a crisis or emergency, or find ourselves with limited sources of power and food, few goods available on the shelves, and a cost of living so high that there was little left for discretionary spending.

Perhaps it is time to redefine “green” and “sustainable” using old-fashioned terms.

Here are the Old-Fashioned, Old Fogey Rules of Sustainability (author unknown).

Continue Reading – The Old-Fashioned, Old Fogey Rules of Sustainability

Overcoming Fear in Today’s Uncertain World

By Gaye Levy

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

Every afternoon as I sit down with an extra large cup of espresso, I ponder something to write about next. In that last three years, I have written over 570 articles. A lot the articles have been about prepping and self sufficiency but a large number have also been about more touchy-feely topics as I talk about life and getting by during hard times.

Today is one of those days, as I muse about coping skills as they relate to the fear of ‘the worst’. I don’t know about you, but as hard as I try to stay above it all, there are days when the burden of truth and knowledge is all too much and a teeny tiny bit of fear sets in.

What Do You Fear?

Let’s be honest with ourselves. Fear is something that every human and most animals will experience at some time or another. It is that feeling of anxiety we get when the outcome of something threatens our well-being and safety.

Continue Reading – Overcoming Fear in Today’s Uncertain World

Using Nature’s Remedies for Health and Wellness

30th September 2014

By Gaye Levy

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

Although I have always had an interest in using natural products for health and wellness, the elimination of toxic chemicals and drugs from my medicine cabinet was a slow process. It was not until I began to embrace preparedness and self-reliance that I took the time to learn about using nature’s remedies for health and wellness purposes.

And then, like a proverbial light going of in a dark room, I got it. I mean I really got it. Drawers full of OTC remedies and ointments were dumped into a box along with bottles of pharmaceutical drugs that I had hung on to “just in case”.

Although I have been using natural remedies and DIY salves exclusively for almost a year, things really came to a head recently when my root canal was canceled after I ingested a brew of lemon juice, turmeric, and cayenne pepper that I named “Dee’s Cocktail”. Imagine my utter surprise when my dentist grinned at me, canceled the procedure for lack of need, and encouraged me to continue using “nature’s antibiotics” – including turmeric, cayenne, cinnamon, and oregano!

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20 All Purpose Remedies Using Essential Oils

By Gaye Levy

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

The use of essential oils for wellness and healing seems to be catching everyone’s attention these days. This is true not only in the prepping and homesteading world, but in the mainstream world of traditional medicine as well.

While it is easy to recommend using essential oils for whatever ails you, the question of which essential oil to use for a specific ailment can be elusive. Let’s face it. Sometimes you have a little problem that you want to solve right now, without resorting to a ton of research.

I am going to make it easy for you. With the assistance of author Rebecca Schiffhauer, I have compiled a go-to list of 20 great ways to use essential oils to solve everyday ailments not only for you, but your pets and children as well.

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