I know we have done several articles on medicinal plants and their uses in emergencies. If you have any ideas of utilizing these plants in the future, you need to start learning how now.
An emergency is not the time to start hunting for the plants you will need to make some of the remedies. The times of the year will have a lot to do with it, not everything is in bloom when you want it. Also just finding the leaves, berries, roots, or flowers in a strange area would be stressful.
Because of the stress of the situation and prior medical conditions, many people will die from lack of proper medications. You may have medicine stored, but you can’t store everything and probably not enough of it for the long haul. So what will you do when that runs out, you better have an alternate plan. When it comes to my family, you had better stand out of the way if I am after anything that would keep them alive. I am sure you feel the same way.
A good herbalist has dehydrated berries, leaves, roots, flowers and whatever is required to make these remedies stored and knows what plants in the area to harvest. Get the training you need now, some Junior Colleges offer courses in edible and medicinal plants and their uses. Too many of the books we see on the market are to general, find one that is specific to the area where you live.
One of the books I am going to use for a lot of these natural remedies is written by Alicia Funk & Karen Kaufman, called Living Wild. It’s on gardening, cooking and healing with native plants of the Sierra Nevada. Of course, those of you not living in the Sierra Nevada area will have to find a book for your area. Some of you may already have some of those books with all the information you need, so now is the time to dust it off and start preparing.
Here is a recipe we use for sore muscles, Arnica.
Pick the arnica flowers only and chop them into small pieces. Soak the chopped up flowers in rubbing alcohol for a week to make an extract that is for external use only. After the week is up squeeze the plant material through cheesecloth to get all the liquid out. You can then use the extract, rub the liquid onto unbroken skin for injuries, sore muscle and joint inflammation. The liquid is for external use only. You can make a medicated oil by adding 1 part herb to 5 parts oil or make a salve by adding 1 oz. beeswax to 2 cups medicated oil.
This recipe is a good example of how much time is required to cure prior to use. I would hope that you’re also thinking about medicine and natural healing right along with your water, food and shelter.
Always be sure of the identity of the plants you are using, and remember that I have had no special medical training.
As always, we appreciate your comments and suggestions.