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Herbal Medicine for Preppers

Herbal Medicine for Preppers

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Published by Rodney Langley

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Published by: Rodney Langley on May 26, 2011
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Herbal Medicine for Preppers, by Chris S.Being able to take care of our own medical conditions is very important. Sometimes we can't get to adoctor, can't afford it or perhaps there will be a breakdown and there are no doctors available. I'vefound it invaluable to know what to do on my own when out on backpacking trips and an injury orsickness shows up.In cases like this having a good knowledge of herbal medicine and having a few things on hand canmean the difference between agony and wellness or even life and death. I've used herbal medicinefor over 20 years for livestock and pets as well as friends and family members. Having childrenaround has provided plenty of opportunity for using herbs whether it's a scrape that's bleeding oraccidentally eating something poisonous from the cupboard, not to mention a few colds, headaches,bruises and broken bones.Living on a farm with livestock has also been an education. In the years I have used herbs I havenever had to call in the veterinarian, everything encountered has been treatable with herbs andthere have been many notable successes to prove the effectiveness.This is a basic overview of the herbs and formulas I use regularly. It's not intended to be a completecourse in herbal medicine. I do not have all the answers, I just have a small amount of experiencethat may help someone someday. These are basics, I have used many things that work wonderfullybut I find myself grabbing these basic things most often and am sure that if I had these few herbs onhand I wouldn't be completely helpless, in fact, I feel incredibly rich. With that said, here's thefavorites from my herbal medicine bag.Fresh GarlicOne of the few herbs that I use almost exclusively fresh. Freezes well too. One of my favoriteantibiotics, illnesses and parasites just can't bear to stick around when you are taking lots of garlic.For ear infections I make a garlic oil by soaking crushed fresh garlic cloves in olive oil, leaving in awarm place for 24-36 hours. Applied by dropper into the ears and held in place with cotton this hasalways worked for my family. Garlic works through the combination of chemicals in the plant thatwhen combined work effectively. The goal is to combine them, and this is best done with fresh garlic.As distasteful as it may be the most effective way to use garlic internally is to chew up whole freshcloves. Swallowing them (chopped to a manageable size) is a close second. Garlic products like pillsand powders are okay but I prefer fresh. Garlic taken internally is a must as well to help fightinfection.Fresh OnionsFor a bad bruise there's nothing better. Simply slice a thin piece of onion to cover the bruise and tapeit on the bruised area as soon after the injury as possible. I've used this many times when one of thechildren runs in crying after being smashed up and with the onion slice in place they are soon outrunning around like nothing had happened, no bruise. For tender skin I will put a little olive oil on thearea before the onion as this helps keep strong onions from burning the skin.Powdered CharcoalDo not be caught without a good supply of finely powdered charcoal. Fifty pounds would not be toomuch, it's free so there's no reason not to have plenty. You can buy activated charcoal for someabsurd amount of money in small containers but the stuff you can make yourself works just fine, I'vesaved many of my livestock that managed to eat something poisonous with it. Powdered charcoal hasa mechanical action, it's not some miracle thing, it just has microscopic pores that somehow absorbimmense amounts of poisons and hold it fast. I use it internally and externally. Internally for anyingested poison, for instance, when my dog eats the rat poison, or externally for things like snakebiteor spider bite. For cases of blood poisoning I clean the wound and keep a charcoal poultice on thearea 24 hours a day until the red line is gone. This has worked well for everyone I have used it on.Making charcoal is easy, simply make a nice hot fire with clean hardwood, willow is very good butmost any other non resinous hardwood will work fine. Don't use old barn boards or treated lumber.Once the wood chunks are red coals use tongs or something as effective to place the coals in anairtight and fireproof container, a metal can with a tight lid works good. Leave this filled with thecoals and sealed as well as practical in the fire, adding more wood to keep the fire burning fairlywell. The coals will not turn to ashes in the can because there is no air for them to burn. After thefire has died down, usually an hour or so, I take them out and let cool. Once cool I grind it all up topowder in a blender. The finer the powder the better. Be forewarned, this makes a terrific mess.CayenneMy number one herb. Stops bleeding, heart attacks (almost instantly) and shock. A couple of pinchesof cayenne powder in a glass of water will almost always stop a bloody nose, you have to drink thecayenne water though. I've had kids balk, thinking it will burn, it won't. I've tried it too many timesand I know there's no burning.Raspberry LeavesI keep some raspberry leaves on hand, especially when I travel, if I feel like I might be getting a coldor flu I have a few cups of strong raspberry leaf tea and usually this takes care of things.
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YarrowYarrow works like the raspberry leaf, I like the taste better. Adding a little honey to a cup of yarrowtea makes a really nice drink and it's really good for you too.GingerI like ginger tincture for motion sickness but the powder is good for adding to a hot bath. A hot gingerbath taken when sick really helps and increases the circulation quickly to help the body cleansetoxins and fight infection. Good for frostbite, colds, flu etc. Just beware, it's rather aggressive ondelicate skin and can burn. If taking a ginger bath you would do well to cover delicate areas withVaseline.Slippery ElmThank God for Slippery Elm bark! It has so many uses, for people that can't keep food down a slipperyelm gruel (powder mixed with enough water to make something like oatmeal) will usually stay downand is extremely nourishing, you can live for a long time on nothing but slippery elm bark and water.For deep wounds, large gashes or bullet wounds packing the wound and area with slippery elm barkpowder mixed with water to make a paste will heal things up nicely. Don't remove, just keep addingand keep moist by covering with a bandage and some plastic. You can moisten the dressing withcomfrey tea for even better effect. I also like adding a little marshmallow root powder and/orcomfrey root powder to the slippery elm for a stronger effect. Often this will heal so well there willbe no scar, I have proven this on myself but it's hard to convince people because there's no scar toshow how bad the injury was.ComfreyOne of God's healing gifts. I plant comfrey everywhere because I never want to be without it. Theleaf and roots have the same properties but the root is stronger. I've used it on cuts, burns, brokenbones, sprains, etc. Comfrey is also a highly nutritious feed for livestock and will help build strongbones. I feed it to my horses.AlfalfaHighly nutritious. When there's been a lot of bleeding I give lots of alfalfa to help build back up. Itdoes thin the blood a little so wait until after the bleeding stops!KelpExtremely nutritious, high in all kinds of minerals the body needs for health and for growing. I feed itto my livestock and there's a very noticeable improvement in their health and energy. When food isscarce or poor quality I'll be supplementing with kelp and alfalfa. A side benefit is that kelp isextremely high in usable iodine and works well as an inexpensive substitute for potassium iodideduring a nuclear incident.Yellow DockHigh in iron and highly nutritious. I use it when I need a blood builder or for anemia.BeetsHigh in iron and other blood building nutrients. For cases where a blood transfusion is needed butunavailable a daily dose of beet juice, carrot juice, wheat grass juice, alfalfa juice, comfrey juice,bee pollen and slippery elm will often work instead to help the person recover without thetransfusion.MarshmallowI would venture to guess that in a time where the access to good medical care is unavailable and lifeperhaps is more dangerous with more chance of gunshot wounds or stepping on a nail, gangrene willbe more common than it is now and we will be glad to know what to do with it. Doctors usually cutoff parts of the body afflicted with gangrene, I have a better solution. Soak the area in a very strongtea of marshmallow 12 hours a day until all traces of gangrene are gone. For instance, if a leg or footwere affected I would use a steel barrel (clean) over a fire to make an immense batch of marshmallow tea. Keeping it warm, soak in the barrel as long as it takes, usually not much more thana few days. If you can't get that much marshmallow you can use hollyhocks, which are from the samefamily. Another use for marshmallow is as a milk replacer substitute. When I was many years youngerI raised three orphan lambs on a milk replacer made of slippery elm and marshmallow powder mixedwith warm water until it would just barely go through the bottle nipple and a trace of kelp. When itwas available I would add as much goat milk as I could in place of the water but it wasn't always onhand. The lambs grew into some of my finest animals and won many trophies at the fairs.NettlesHigh in nutrients, good for when the food supplies are poor. Also great for allergies believe it or not.ChaparralWhen I need a strong blood cleanser I reach for the chaparral. Not only does it help purify the blood
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but it cleanses the liver as well as fights internal parasites and is an antibiotic. For regular bodymaintenance when conditions are less than we could wish for or for helping with infections.
CayenneIf I could only grab one thing cayenne would be it. For stopping bleeding there's not much that willwork better. For bleeding I like to use the tincture internally and powder topically at the same timebut you can use a teaspoon or more of the powder in a glass of water internally if you don't havetincture. Cayenne evens out and stabilizes the blood pressure and once you have used it will beamazed at how well the bleeding stops, from nose bleeds to large gashes it works great and doesn'tburn like most people think it would. Also there's nothing better for shock, a real stout doseinternally for someone that is in shock will really help them pull through. Also works for heartattacks, while I've never had one myself if I thought I might be having one I would drink a half bottleof cayenne tincture immediately, then take more throughout the day. I have heard from people withexperience that this works but I hope I never have to try it out.LobeliaIf I had to pick only two tinctures that I could take with me the easy choice would be cayenne andlobelia. Lobelia is a lifesaver, and I mean that literally. In large doses (tablespoons) it causesvomiting, which can be useful in cases of poisoning. In smaller doses ( 5-10 drops) it stops spasms,such as cramps, seizures, involuntary muscle contractions. It's also very effective at opening thebronchial tubes so when a child has croup or bronchitis I reach for the lobelia tincture.Raspberry Leaf Helps with making childbirth go much easier, at least that's what I've been told by the women thathave used it, being a guy I haven't tried it myself. Also works great for anything I would use yarrowfor.YarrowI use yarrow constantly. Colds, flu, stomachache, headache. You name it, I grab the yarrow. GingerAbout ten minutes after I get in a small airplane I am beginning to turn green and dizzy. Motionsickness is no fun but when I have a bottle of ginger in my pocket I don't worry.ElderberryCold? Flu? Along with garlic Elderberry works great. Alone it works great too but I like using garlicwith it. Shepherds Purse Here's a great one for putting a stop to excessive bleeding/hemorrhaging.Good in childbirth for instance.Red CloverA strong blood cleanser and blood thinner. Works good to help remove toxins in the blood, justremember your blood will not clot as well as usual. I made the mistake one time of castrating a bullcalf that had been grazing on a rich clover pasture. He bled like a faucet.Black WalnutAn extremely effective fungicide and vermifuge that I use for keeping my livestock free of internalparasites and problem fungus. I've used it just as effectively on people. Is also is a very effective darkbrown stain so don't be surprised if when you use it, for instance on fungus on your feet, you havebrown skin for a while.Parsley RootUrinary tract problems? Anyone that has experienced this will appreciate parsley root.Yellow DockHas a good quality Iron, easily used by the body. With a lot of bleeding for instance you might be gladto get a little boost to your iron levels to help recover. Also good when you feel tired all the time.Echinacea I use to turbocharge the immune system. Works good for things like spider bites too. Onewarning, I don't suggest using more than two weeks at a time because the effectiveness wears off.UsneaUsnea is a parasitic plant that grows on trees in wet climates. Being an extremely powerful antibioticit's one very useful tincture to keep on hand and in your BOB. In my experience it's more powerfulthan penicillin, cheaper too if you collect it yourself and make the tincture. Years ago I had a sheepwith a retained afterbirth that had become infected. This usually results in death, and being one of my favorite ewes I reacted, probably overdoing things a bit but the ewe was completely recoveredthe next morning. First I manually cleaned out the afterbirth, then gave her via syringe and tube alarge dose of raspberry leaf tincture to help her body clean out what I could not. Then I gave herseveral large syringes full of usnea tincture made with vodka. This resulted in the first intoxicatedsheep I have ever met. Despite the obvious overdose she quickly recovered and the infection (whichwas serious by the time I found her) was gone.Catnip and Fennel MixtureEspecially with a baby around, this can be a real favorite. A baby with colic or indigestion, screaminghalf the night can be a real miserable proposition for both baby and family and if life isn't normal thiscould happen more often due to various upsets. A few drops of catnip and fennel tincture (or tea if you prefer, works well, just not as easy to carry in your pocket) has always worked for my family.
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