by Champ Ferguson
This is an entry in our non-fiction writing contest
My wife and I have for some time been researching and attempting to approach the issue of medicine in our preparedness. There are several websites that are dedicated to grid down medicine from a preparedness mindset. The information and instruction many of these sites offer are just as important as your water, food, and safety preps. There is the option of ordering medicines in powder form that are produced for exotic fish. No prescription required and available in bulk. This is a great source of antibiotics. I know of doctors who are aware of the dangers that we face in society today that will write prescriptions (non-pain meds) with an extra refill for their patients to put back. If you are one of these people that think this is unethical and illegal, you just go ahead and sign up for Obamacare and wait for the government to come and rescue you and everything will be okay.
The above-mentioned ideas are great and should be implemented into your preps. The encouraging thing that my family faced in looking into medicines is that everyone in our household is currently healthy and not required to take any medication on a regular basis. Those that rely on medicines have to deal with a different set of circumstances. We were also curious about the regular over the counter preventative medicines that we sometimes consume. Medicines for basic ailments such as colds, flu, sore throat, headache, etc… Yes we could just purchase some of these medicines and stock them, but we wanted to get away from anything mass produced by a pharmaceutical company. We are not anti-doctor, but we do avoid any doctors who just want to subscribe multiple pills to take when we get sick. It reminds me of the woman with the issue of blood in Luke 8:43 … which had spent all her living upon physicians neither could be healed of any.
Over time we began to educate ourselves in the use of herbs. The first step was to incorporate herbs into our diet. The easiest method was to begin cooking with herbs. Dried as well as fresh herbs are readily available in most grocery stores, but once again you must deal with the question of; have they been sprayed with anything? There are a multitude of mom and pop health food stores in this great land. There are also the larger chain health food stores as well. You may not live close to either one of these, which makes it difficult to get good herbs. Our remedy to increase the availability of herbs was to grow our own. That sounds easy enough. Most people who have decided to use fresh herbs usually have a garden. All you need to do is put some seeds in the dirt and eureka! I suppose our vision of herbs wasn’t on a large enough scale. The raised beds I made close to the house were productive. They were not productive enough to provide us with the amount of herbs necessary for everyday use.
My very studious wife located several options of ordering dried herbs online and was able to join a local co-op that had bulk deliveries once a month. This helped alleviate the lack of local availability and our insufficiently sized raised beds. She also discovered that many of the websites which she found also offered various packaged mixtures of herbs. We purchased some herbal tea as a trial. Growing up in the south, I love sweet tea. Any other tea is just not tea. Green tea, hot tea, raspberry tea, and unsweetened tea was/is viewed as an abomination. I was reluctant at first, but the first time I was all stopped up and miserable I let my guard down and gave in. I did make my ancestors proud by demanding that my wife add a little honey to make it somewhat sweet. I must admit I began requesting the herbal tea even when I wasn’t sick. These hot teas were made from a wide variety of herbs. We have yet to try to mix our own herbs for use in teas. The prepackaged options are available in bulk and quite affordable, so we have decided to continue to purchase those.
We then learned through some friends about infusing oils and herbs into a salve. Most of the salves that we make are available to buy in completed form, but making your own can be a fun project with the kids and even empowering. There are bundles of all the ingredients needed to make the process easier for beginners. The first salve we made was a green salve that is used for just about anything and everything. We use it on open wounds, rashes, and even bug bites. Our chickens even get their legs treated with the green salve. There is also a burn cream that works wonders for minor sunburns and even 2nd degree burns. We have recently found a deep tissue salve that is similar to the popular Icy Hot. This salve will help heal pulled or sore muscles, jammed joints, or injured ligaments. There are various different oils that can be used in salves along with the endless variations of herbs that can be used.
Our latest trial has been herbal tinctures. A tincture is basically a liquid infused with herbs. There are various methods of making tinctures. The main difference is the base liquid that is used. The most common bases are vegetable glycerin, vinegar, and alcohol. The vegetable glycerin tincture has to be cooked with the herbs in a crockpot for several days. This method wasn’t one that we chose for several reasons. The first was having a crockpot that would be dedicated to that use. The other reason for us not choosing the glycerin base was that the cooking process can lessen the healing properties of certain herbs. The vinegar and alcohol base tinctures have to be mixed with the herbs and placed in a dark cool place for 3-6 weeks. Once the herbs are infused in the vinegar, the tincture has to be kept refrigerated. Since refrigeration is required; the vinegar base tincture will lose potency and therefore not last as long. The alcohol base requires no refrigeration and will also draw more of the healing nutrients from certain herbs. With all of these factors to consider, we chose to do the alcohol base. We are totally against the social consumption of alcohol due to effects of alcohol in the lives of our parents and the consistent warnings of the effects of consuming alcohol in scripture. So the decision to use the alcohol based tincture was made with much prayer and contemplation. There are various methods to remove the alcohol from the tincture if your conscience will not allow you to use it, but please realize the amount is miniscule when taking the tincture properly.
Our first tincture was a prepackaged winter tincture for colds and flu. It was a mixture of leaves and roots of Olive, Echinacea, Garlic, Elderberries, Yarrow, Astragalus, and others. We used 100 proof vodka as the base. I am not aware if the brand of alcohol will affect the tincture so the brand was insignificant to us, but it is recommended that it be at least 80 proof. The herbs were placed in a large jar with the vodka and placed in our cellar for six weeks. After that time, the liquid was strained and placed into smaller glass bottles. The size of the prepackaged herbs determines the amount of base to be used. If I remember correctly we used a half-gallon bottle of vodka. As you can imagine a half gallon makes a lot of medicine. We had to have several smaller bottles to put the tincture in. We ordered the dark glass medicine bottles with the dropper caps. It was timely because all four of us had a mild variation of the bug that was going around at the time. We each took a teaspoon of the tincture twice a day along with some other immune boosting remedies and we actually survived. It didn’t taste good by any stretch of the imagination, but then again it isn’t supposed to. I would just use the tincture in a small amount of water, while our children ended up taking the tincture with Orange Juice, no pulp.
The misconception people have about all medicines is that they are supposed to work instantly. Pharmaceuticals will address the symptoms and make one feel like they are no longer sick while the body is still actively fighting the virus, illness, infection, etc… Natural medicines work differently in that they provide your body the nutrients needed to fight the sickness while not really addressing the symptoms. God created our bodies to heal themselves and they will do just that in most cases. God also created the plants that we are supposed to consume to provide our bodies the necessary ingredients to aid in the healing process.
We next made a tincture that can be taken as a preventative or to aid in recovery during a battle with sickness. It had herbs such as Nettle, Peppermint, Echinacea, Elderberries, Eleuthero, and Rosehips. To answer the eminent question; No, I do not know what most of these herbs are nor could I spot them in the wild or without using the labels in the health food store for that matter. That is the next step in our ongoing lessons. In the meantime, these herbs will also be purchased premixed. We have acquired several books on herbs with pictures to identify them and the properties each herb possesses. There are also several recipes in the books that we have acquired. The use of herbs is and will continue to be a process.
With our mindset of self-sufficiency before a collapse, these tinctures are right up our alley. By using these natural remedies now we are allowing our immune systems to work as they are supposed to and build up strength instead of pumping man-made chemicals into our bodies and nullifying our immune systems. Most people will argue that they have to take a pill for this, another pill for that, and probably a pill to offset the first two pills. Remember that most manmade medicines are copied from a naturally occurring medicine. There are plenty of natural remedies for blood pressure, blood sugar, hypertension, heart problems, gout, migraines, high cholesterol, etc… Why not try to get off some the prescribed drugs now before you are forced to? Our plan is to stock the ingredients to make our own medicines, and hopefully, reach a point where we will be able to grow and/or forage for some ingredients. Everyone who preps needs to add medicines to their thought process. Hopefully, it is evident that the natural medicines are in every way better than the manufactured ones.
Research it, plan it, then do it. Even if nothing happens, which is highly unlikely, you will be healthier and happier.
DISCLAIMER: THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. If you have a health issue and need medical advice go see a doctor.
Prizes For This Round (Ends April 12, 2016) In Our Non-Fiction Writing Contest Include…
- First place winner will receive – A gift certificate for $150 off of rifle ammo at Lucky Gunner, an Urban Survival Kit a $109 value courtesy of TEOTWAWKI supplies, a WonderMix Deluxe Kitchen Mixer a $299 value courtesy of Kodiak Health and a LifeStraw Mission Filter a $109 value courtesy of EarthEasy, and a 4″ Heavy Duty WaterBoy Well Bucket a $106 value and a WaterBoy Tripod Kit courtesy of Well WaterBoy Products for a total prize value of over $867.
- Second Place Winner will receive – 30 Day Food Storage All-in-One Pail a $119 value courtesy of Augason Farms.com and Berkey Light with 2 (9″) Berkey Earth Elements a $157 value courtesy of LPC Survival, for a total prize value of $276.
- Third place winner will receive – International MRE Meals Supply a $72.00 value, a LifeStraw Portable Water Filter a $19 value, Yoder’s Fully Cooked Canned Bacon a $15 value all courtesy of CampingSurvival and one copy of each of my books “The Prepper’s Primer” and a copy of “The Prepared Prepper’s Cookbook“ for a total prize value of $137.