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Thread: Wild medicine knowledge

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    Default Wild medicine knowledge

    I have been really working on the basic knowledge of woods medicinals and have become very comfortable in that knowledge. I have concentrated on medicinals that are not limited by season if possible and have done my best to collect and store those that are seasonal. I have successfully made poultices, tinctures, liniments as well as teas for the basic ailments both at home and in the field. How many of us are out there working on this? If you aren't, do you have a particular reason you aren't? Just wondering.....


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    It's definitely something I want to learn more about. Unfortunately, there are only 24 hours in a day. All I've managed to do so far is get a couple of books on foraging and glance through them. My plan is to do some thorough reading this winter. My biggest struggle is with proper plant ID, it's hard to take a plant and try to figure out what it is with nothing but a couple of books and tiny pictures to guide you! I usually end up with several options of what a plant could be, which is not helpful. I guess I do use one or two herbal remedies already - chamomile being my favorite, but that's from store-bought

    What resources would you recommend for learning more about the subject?

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    Senior Member RandyRhoads's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MamaBear View Post
    It's definitely something I want to learn more about. Unfortunately, there are only 24 hours in a day.
    Well said.


    It probably will be a while for me despite how much that stuff fascinates me. Seems like something that should be taken on only after perfecting the big four.

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    I do not. We've been able to narrow down and extract those basic ingredients that perform specific functions in plants as well as create a host of medicines that can't be found in nature. I find homeopathy in general and self medicating specifically to be two areas I shy away from.

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    I don't have any other recommendations other than Petersons wild edibles. I have found it to be very accurate in description and how to prepare the items. Yes, a person must be very confident in using the herb in question, but I have not personally had any bad experiences in using them. I using any wild medicinal always use in small amounts until you get to understand exactly how they work. I question in general was how far can we go in a SHTF scenario if we don't have access to basic medications? Headaches and pain relief is going to be a problem for a long run. The vast majority of OTC remedies are natural herbal based medicines that we can concoct for our selves if the knowledge is there. I figure if you need a full chem lab to make it, your probably done anyway. The problem with storing medications is the expiration factor, when they expire they can become useless or even dangerous to use. Any input is welcomed.

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    You should have an extra 30 day supply of any critical medication. I don't agree that "the vast majority" of OTC are natural herbal based meds. Quite the opposite if your concern is headache and pain relief as you stated. I don't worry about a long run in a SHTF scenario. I prep for weather and a few man made issues like chemical accidents so the duration would be short term. That's just me.

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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    When natural high blood pressure is identified....that works, would be a major goal of mine....makes all the other possibilities a plus, but hard to keep track of.

    I do have an interest, but haven't had a need, other than a few basic plants....willow bark for pain, mud pack or raw potato for some spider and bug bites.

    This can become a vocation if done correctly, time of year, preparation of, part of plants, how used...etc.
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    I looked heavily into learning about natural medicine craft a decade or so ago. I had some awesome resources too - a neighbour was one of Canada's most renowned herbalists and I lived just 6kms from an Algonquin Native reserve with many active native crafters.

    But it didn't take long to realize that the payoff - strictly medically speaking - just wasn't there. 1st, it's difficult to identify, find and harvest the medicinal ingredients in the first place.
    2nd, it's often very difficult and time consuming to cure/prepare them in the required manner.
    3rd, their safe dosages usually provide a poultice, cream or tea that is far less effective than an over the counter drug... some of them provide such mild benefits that you're farther ahead to just ignore the pain/discomfort and let your body heal itself.
    And 4th, if you try to push things too far and super-concentrate most natural medicines to the point that they actually could nullify intense pain, or perform as a powerful antibiotic... they become lethal and you've just created a whole new problem.

    It's a very interesting field, full of rich history, volumes of knowledge and plenty of opportunity for practical application and experimentation. But as a primary focus for "prepping"... well, it just sucks up too much time with too little pay-offs for most folks.

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    I should add that I have a strong belief in natural remedies... just that I'd prefer to let someone else do the work of creating, testing and producing them. lol

    I've seen Western medicine fail in fatal, disastrous and far more frequent ways than I've seen Natural/Traditional/Eastern medicines fail.

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    Perhaps that's because far more people use traditional medicines? Just a thought. Don't know one way or the other.

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    There is a lot of misinformation out there about herbal remedies/natural medicine. There can also be a certain stigma attached to it due to the fact that some eccentric individuals make outlandish claims that get lumped in with the more scientific work done by dedicated low-key individuals.

    I personally believe that herbal medicine is an invaluable long-term survival skill. There are many very effective over the counter medications out there, and in a survival situation I wouldn't hesitate to use them, but in a SHTF scenario, those medications would be very hard to come by after personal supplies run out. Even a relatively mild disruption of infrastructure could deny access to western medicine to many, many people.

    That being said, there are only 24 hours in a day and herbal medicine is thinking in long terms. I would recommend at least learning how to make a few simple home remedies such as topical antiseptic salves (cottonwood, plantain etc.) or long term care salves (comfrey, which they used to call 'knit-bone' back in the days of sword wounds!). If you cannot devote even that much time to herbal medicine, then get to know someone who has. More women seem to be drawn to it than men (its not considered a very 'macho' skill).

    Herbal medicine also has a lot of overlap with edible plant foraging. And wild edible plants are never a bad thing to know.
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    Junior Member Lauriegall's Avatar
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    This is the topic that brought me to this forum. A recent discussion with family members brought to mind that some of those family members would not last long once the supply of prescription medications was depleted. For those that require medications for survival long term, once supply is no longer available after shtf, I would think learning how to locate, identify and process or extract from plants or animals the specific medicinal properties for common life-threatening ailments would become a priority. It would also be interesting to know which common illnesses/maladies exist for which herbal/natural remedies would not be possible to locate, identify, extract or process. Please note, I prefer to leave medicine to the professionals, but when medical professionals and the medicines we have come to depend on are no longer available, I hope to have a plan for survival. For my family, thyroid replacement hormones would top the list. I do not believe that there are any dietary remedies to revive an irradiated thyroid. TIA for your comments.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lauriegall View Post
    This is the topic that brought me to this forum. A recent discussion with family members brought to mind that some of those family members would not last long once the supply of prescription medications was depleted. For those that require medications for survival long term, once supply is no longer available after shtf, I would think learning how to locate, identify and process or extract from plants or animals the specific medicinal properties for common life-threatening ailments would become a priority. It would also be interesting to know which common illnesses/maladies exist for which herbal/natural remedies would not be possible to locate, identify, extract or process. Please note, I prefer to leave medicine to the professionals, but when medical professionals and the medicines we have come to depend on are no longer available, I hope to have a plan for survival. For my family, thyroid replacement hormones would top the list. I do not believe that there are any dietary remedies to revive an irradiated thyroid. TIA for your comments.
    A year ago, my MIL had her thyroid removed, and I did some research. There's lots of info out there for thyroid replacements and some inexpensive, over-the-counter stuff that can be stockpiled. We have a farm with cows and pigs, so I guess worse comes to worse I can harvest those thyroids for her. Still don't know how much time that would buy her. Here's part one of a five part series in Armageddon Medicine that you might find helpful. Actually, I have found the whole site helpful. http://armageddonmedicine.net/?p=768

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