Have you ever considered what you might do in the event that there was no pharmacy available to you? What would happen if people were suddenly denied access to medical care? Are you concerned about the increasing prevalence of microorganisms that are resistant to treatment? Do you have a contingency plan in place?
With the help of this article I’m sure you’ll be able to survive any of the above scenarios.
Natural remedies can be found almost anywhere; in fact, they can be seen growing through sidewalk cracks and taking over empty spaces.
If our current systems collapse, having a medicinal herb garden and some simple things stashed away will provide you and your family with a plethora of effective medicines and valuable barter items.
This article teaches the basics of making natural medicines, goes into detail about the medicinal properties of three different herbs that are useful in natural medicine.
WHY USE NATURAL MEDICINE?
If you’re a prepper, you know the importance of planning ahead of time and having backups for sensitive systems.
You understand the value of planting a garden, storing food, and saving seeds for the following year.
If your utilities go down, you have several options for heating and powering your home. You are prepared for practically anything, even a layoff, terrible weather, economic collapse, and possibly an electromagnetic pulse (EMP).
Also Read: How to Survive an Electromagnetic Pulse
The medical aspect of readiness, on the other hand, does not often receive the attention it deserves. What if you are sick or wounded and there is no expert medical help available?
While there are numerous reasons to use natural medicine, preppers have specific concerns that make natural medicine especially valuable.
Here are my top 3 reasons why preparedness enthusiasts should learn about natural medicine:
- 1 Natural medication is effective.
- 2 Everyone has access to natural medicine.
- 3 Learning natural medicine is simple.
NATURAL MEDICINE IS EFFECTIVE
Simply put, the most crucial reason to utilize natural medicine is that it works. It is used all around the world because it works and has worked for thousands of years. There are mountains of studies demonstrating the success of herbs and alternative therapies available for review at www.PubMed.gov, many of which are free.
NATURAL MEDICINE IS FOR EVERYONE.
Natural medicine is available to everyone. There is no licensing board, and certification courses are completely optional. You can learn herbalism on your own or join a course. You do not need anyone’s permission to practice or learn natural medicine.
EASY TO LEARN NATURAL MEDICINE
Natural medicine production processes are beautifully easy, especially when compared to pharmaceutical manufacturing needs. I don’t know any preppers who can create Tamiflu in their kitchens, but I do know several who make flu-fighting elderberry syrup in their homes.
To be clear, there is a lot to understand about natural medicine in order to practice it safely and efficiently.
There are no easy fixes, and learning never ends. People study for many years, putting in countless hours.
However, for the starting herbalist, learning the fundamental procedures is a simple and joyful process that promises lasting benefits.
The Latin phrase for a reference guide listing the ingredients of medicine and their therapeutic effects is “materia medica.” The word is most commonly applied to natural medicine materials such as herbs, trees, minerals, fungus, and bee products. The handbook includes information on the qualities, preparation, and precautions of a substance.
The materia medica listed below will give you with the particular information required to create strong natural treatments. I’ve included the herb’s common and scientific names, the plant parts utilized, the herb’s activities, tincture ratios and percentages, contraindications, and some brief observations regarding the optimal usage.
Scientific name: Vaccinium myrtillus
Parts Used: Fruit, leaves.
Actions: Anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-edema, astringent, vasoprotective.
Preparations: Fresh, fermented, or dried fruit (dried at below 100°F to protect the anthocyanins); dried tincture (1:2 in 40% alcohol).
Dose: 30 to 60 drops of tincture, 3 to 6 times daily; in food, as much as desired.
Uses: Bilberry, often confused with blueberry because of its blue color, is known for helping vision and fighting urinary tract infections (UTIs).
Bilberry’s vasoprotective qualities are especially helpful to the capillaries. More blood and more oxygen in the capillaries means more blood and oxygen get to the eyes, thus promoting eye health and presumably better vision.
Because certain diseases interfere with circulation, bilberry offers some protection from diabetic and hypertensive retinopathies. Bilberry is also a good choice for vascular issues like Reynaud’s disease, and venous insufficiency (poor circulation) in the legs.
Bilberry’s vasoprotective and astringent properties make it an excellent choice for hemorrhoids. Its astringent nature makes bilberry a decent option for diarrhea relief and dyspepsia. Bilberry is also related to cranberry and contains the same anthocyanins credited with bringing relief from UTIs.
The anthocyanins also give bilberry some impressive wound-healing properties. Applied topically, bilberry is according to Kerry Bone, more effective than even the herb gotu kola at cell regeneration in wound healing.
Bilberry is not known to have any contraindications for pregnancy, and is often included in midwifery practices for common prenatal complaints, such as poor circulation, indigestion, hemorrhoids, and UTIs. Bilberry powder is well tolerated by infants with acute dyspepsia (indigestion).
Contraindications: Safe for long-term use. It may dry up lactation, although evidence is thin to support the warning. Possible interaction with anti-platelet drugs when taken in exceptionally large doses.
Scientific name: Calendula officinalis
Parts Used: Flowers.
Actions: Antifungal, anti-inflammatory, diaphoretic, febrifuge, vulnerary.
Preparations: Fresh tincture (1:2 in 95% alcohol); dried tincture (1:5 in 75% alcohol); infused oil; tisane.
Dose: Topically applied in tincture as needed; topically in infused oil or made into salve or lotion as needed; 2 or 3 cups of tisane daily.
Uses: Calendula is used as a tincture or a tisane for throat and oral ailments. It is an important addition to mouthwashes and rinses for mouth sores and sore throats.
In a compress, calendula can help bring down a fever. It also makes a soothing compress for the eyes, especially to relieve conjunctivitis.
However, calendula is most known for its skin-protective properties. It is excellent for all antifungal creams, especially those intended for diaper rash. Calendula is great in any salve for bug bites, scratches, itchiness, scrapes, and burns.
Sometimes, no matter how often you change a baby’s diaper, those little tushies still end up with diaper rash. Although my son had no issues with this, my daughter did. No amount of vigilance would completely prevent a diaper rash. The only relief she got was from calendula cream so thick that it was almost a paste. This potent, antifungal cream took a lot of tweaking to get just right. It can easily be adapted for other fungal infections.
Calendula tincture can be dropped directly on wounds to promote healing.
Contraindications: No known contraindications. You may feel nauseated if you ingest very large amounts of calendula, far beyond what I have recommended here.
Scientific name: Galium aparine
Parts Used: Aerial parts.
Actions: Astringent, depurative, diuretic, hypotensive, lymphatic tonic.
Preparations: Fresh tincture (1:2 in 95% alcohol); dried tincture, preferred over fresh (1:5 in 50% alcohol); preserved juice (3:1 in 95% alcohol); cold infusion from dried herb; topically as an infused oil from dried herb; poultice.
Dose: 30 to 60 drops of dried tincture, 3 or 4 times daily; 2 to 3 cups of cold infusion.
Uses: Cleavers is known as a spring tonic. Use it to support herbal cleansing protocols, ridding the lymphatic system of metabolic waste through urination. Cleavers cools the urinary tract, assists clearing urinary tract infections, breaks up gravel, and may calm kidney inflammation. This herb is useful any time there are swollen glands.
The cleavers plant is almost entirely water (the water content is about 90%). Drying the plant takes a long time, and heat destroys its properties. Try to use fans to air-dry cleavers rather than heat. It will still take 2 to 3 days, and perhaps longer in humid conditions.
It is better to make the tincture from the dried plant than the fresh. The fresh material will result in a lot of water in the tincture. If you have 95% grain alcohol for your tincture making, you should be fine. If not, use the dried plant material with something like 40% vodka. The risk here is that if you use the fresh plant with the lower percentage alcohols, you may not have enough alcohol in the tincture to prevent spoilage.
The preserved juice or freshly crushed plant makes a cooling and soothing poultice for all types of skin problems, including bites, poison ivy, poison oak, burns, and scrapes. You can make a soothing salve from oil infused with cleavers.
Contraindications: Cleavers contains the anticoagulant coumarin, and theoretically it could thin the blood and lower blood pressure. I have not been able to find any reports of complications. Still, theoretically, you could risk a serious bleed if taking along with being on a prescription blood thinner.
We’ve covered a lot of information in a small space. But this is hardly an exhaustive work and does not begin to cover all the wonderful herbs in existence. However, it should provide you with the information you need to make remedies using some common herbs easily found in nature. Be prepared and be well!