Taking Charge of Our Own Health

This guest post by Frugal Prepper

I have been interested in my family’s health for a long time and am careful to provide good nutrition, limit sugar and processed foods and concentrate mainly on good wholesome homemade foods, although we also greatly enjoy desserts and treats.J When one of us gets sick, we do not run to the doctor, but I do research instead and then treat whatever the condition is with natural methods if at all possible. We DO go to the Dr if necessary, but not for little things. I have planned for some health issues and keep several things on hand to treat things that crop up more often like sore throats, colds, flu, sore muscles, sprains, minor cuts or burns or other ailments. This has worked well and we tend to be very healthy and do not get sick often, thankfully.

Several years ago, one of my sons was born with medical problems which threw us very completely into the medical community and while we were very thankful for what doctors/medicine could do, we also saw many of the limitations. Our son had a trach and a heart problem and his failure to thrive and near starvation diagnosis was painful to hear and it was horrible to watch the deterioration of his health. The doctors did what they could, but eventually when not sure what else to do, said that “he will outgrow it and get better”, but he didn’t and we watched him get worse and fought to keep him alive. It was severely exhausting to be the main caregiver with all that was involved and to keep up with our 2 year old son at the same time. Our son’s dire condition and my continued exhaustion and a stress fracture led us to pursue a nutrition doctor who tested my son and I and put us on an intense program of vitamins and nutrition. This greatly increased my interest in our health as I saw gradual improvements in both of us. Thus began my hunger to learn more and more about how I could influence our health and not just accept whatever illness came along. By the way, as our son stopped losing weight so fast, a doctor told me, “See, I told you he would outgrow it”. I never let on that we had spent hundreds and thousands of dollars on vitamin therapy to get him to that point.

Through the years as he grew, I did lots of research and we continued with the nutrition doctors as we could afford it and we were able to supplement his medical care with great results. He had dozens and dozens of surgeries and it was a rough time. Thankfully, he was able to go the last 6 years with NO SURGERIES and NO medication which was a record for him, as he had normally had many surgeries each year and medications for before, during or after surgery. During these last 6 years we have done lots of nutrition and he has responded wonderfully and even has his own lawn business now at 21. What a blessing. We haven’t gone to nutrition doctors for a long time, so it is even more important that we know how to use the plants and nutrition that God has provided for us.

Recently, he had to have another surgery to remove some metal rods in his back that were causing problems and since he is stronger than ever before and in better health, he did well even though it was a big surgery and he has a long incision with 64 staples in his back. His doctor was great and the nurses were nice and helpful, but this hospital experience was different than other ones. Our experience has been that when a person is released from the hospital, they must ride a wheelchair to the front of the hospital to be picked up and are escorted by hospital personnel – it is hospital policy. Well, this time, when he was released, he was not wheeled down (not complaining, just saying), nor was he walked down. When he was released and paperwork signed, the nurse left his room and we were just to leave on our own and he walked all the way to the parking garage. It was also strange because he had just had major back surgery 2 days earlier and had only that morning been able to walk without holding onto the IV pole. He was expected to be in the hospital for 3-4 days, but was rather suddenly released after only 2 days. There were also other oddities that made it seem that things are changing, and not for the better, in hospital care. Another person that we know is currently in a hospital after major trauma in an accident and their family is reporting that the hospital is no longer allowed to set a schedule to give out pain meds, but that pain meds are only to be given when the patient requests them as long as it is after the right amount of time. We suspect that Obamacare is already affecting medical care and that will only get worse. We have read articles where medical personnel advise not going to the hospital unless you can’t help it.

I think that we dare not leave our health only in the hands of the “professionals”. It is vitally important that we know how to treat our own health – at least in minor things. Our experience over the years has been that drugs are easily given to treat conditions and when the drug causes a side effect, then another drug is given to help that problem and so on. We faced that with multiple drugs and side effects and didn’t know where to turn as our son’s body reacted to the drugs, but he had to take them. I determined to learn all that I could and thankfully, we had a couple of doctors years ago who were glad to answer my many questions and help me to understand my son’s many problems and aid me in my research. They actually encouraged my study and complimented us on the care we were giving to our son. Several medical people commented that they were sure that our son would not have done nearly so well if we hadn’t done the things we were doing.

We, as Preppers, expect for something “bad” to happen that will change life as we know it and we are preparing in many ways for that. One way that I am preparing is to continue to learn and use what I have learned to aid our health. I have learned how to do many medical things from changing a trach, inserting an ng feeding tube, then caring for a g tube (stomach feeding tube) and even how to insert a new one, which is not something lay people are normally ever taught to do. I don’t expect to need that knowledge again, but it is helpful to know that I CAN do it if I have to. There is so much that I cannot do; however. I can’t do surgeries (although I did a minor surgery once!) and I do not know how to suture, although I do hope to learn how to suture a cut. No, I do not know how to do many of the things that doctors and nurses can do and I will not learn many of them, BUT, I can learn a lot about the human body and how to treat it.

I have a growing knowledge of herbs and their uses. It is very easy to make herbal tinctures – and they are so useful for all kinds of things. Elderberry tincture works great for flu and I have a combination tincture that works great for kidney problems, another one to strengthen the liver, another one to get rid of parasites, another to help digestion and so on. It is also easy to make herbal salves and they work great. A supply of herbs to use for teas is a great addition to your preps, as well as some helpful herb books. There are many nutrition books that will give ideas for treating ailments – using vitamins, foods, herbs and other things. These are very valuable when you have a problem to deal with and don’t know what to do. I like to have actual books since there could be a time that my computer will not be available, plus I am a person who just LIKES a hard copy that I can highlight or take notes in. I also like to have a variety of them since sometimes a problem comes up that is not addressed in every book.

An example is that many health problems come from digestive problems – like constipation. Toxins can build in the intestinal tract and make a person sick, so that is a good thing to know about and know how to treat naturally. Treatments can include vitamins, herbal teas, poultices, extra fluids, coffee enema, etc. By the way, a coffee enema has been a wonderful way to quickly bring down a fever by getting rid of the toxins causing the fever and shortening the sickness. Also, there are so many wonderful recipes for making things like homemade toothpaste that can actually benefit the teeth and make them stronger. Earaches can come quickly and are very painful. Do you know what to do? Are you dependent on having to go to the doctor to have it treated? What if you can’t? What will you do? There are wonderful eardrops available that can help stop the infection, especially if started early rather than when the infection has gotten worse. You can even make eardrops of common household items and it is a great knowledge to have if you need it. I have made eardrops from onions in a desperate time and they did work. Massage is also important for things like ear infections since many times the drainage gets plugged up and infection sets in. Massage along the ear, neck, and collarbone is simple to do and can help to get things moving again. There is no magic in any of this, but so many things can be very helpful. We also use a detox bath to help our health and put things like baking soda, ginger, cayenne pepper, Epsom salts, essential oils in it, depending on what we are detoxing.

Kefir is easy to make if you can get starter grains from someone or buy them off of the internet. Then just let it sit in a jar of milk for a day or 2 on the counter and it forms wonderfully healthy probiotics. We make smoothies with it most days and add fruits and veggies to it. Essential oils can be used to help with nasal congestion, cleansing a room of sick odors, getting rid of bacteria and more. They last a long time and a supply of these could be invaluable. Growing a few herbs is easy and many of them are perennial, meaning that after planting them once, they just keep coming back, so are there when you need them. Drying herbs is simple and it is pleasant to have the smell of them in the house, not to mention knowing that you have them if you need them. Another good thing is to know what is native to your area that you could harvest if you needed to – herbs like plantain (considered a weed) are great to help with stings and they are found in most of the U.S. There are many things that can be used wherever you live and it is a good idea to figure out what a few of them are and know how to use them.

Does a person have to do EVERYthing there is? NO, even adding a few bits of knowledge and ability could greatly increase your chances of staying healthy, especially in bad times. It is MUCH easier to work to STAY healthy than it is to try to GET healthy after a health crisis. If things do get bad, we will endure many stresses that we do not normally face and it is hard to predict how our bodies will react. I have given you a few ideas of things that can be done to help our own health, but there are LOTS more. Whether you use any of my ideas or find some of your own, adding one or more to what you already do can increase your ability to care for your own and your family’s health. I know that I want to keep on learning and using what I learn. God bless you as you prepare for whatever the future holds.



  1. patientmomma says:

    Thanks for the article! Would you share your kidney and liver tincture recipes?

  2. mom of three says:

    Did you find these recipe’s in a book? Can you give us the name? I’m glad your son survived it sound’s like you had a very exhausting and productive 21 year’s..

  3. Chuck Findlay says:

    I think through the implantation of Obama-care we are seeing medical decisions made by bean-counters (that have no medical knowledge, therefore are in effect practicing medicine with no medical degree) that are based on lowering cost and not on what is good for the patient.

    This is against the law for us normal folks (as Obama loves to use the “folks” word) to do and we would quickly find our-self in jail for doing it.

    As far as taking care of med problems myself, I have gotten into herbs quite heavily a few years ago and it has served me well.

    Not that I plan it, but herbal knowledge and growing herbs, stocking herbs, having herb books, being able to make herbal meds and a stock of small bottles to dispense them could make you a valuable person post SHTF. It may even provide a bit of income.

    But then you have to decide how to handle dispensing a valuable herbal med you spent a lot of time making to someone that has little to no way to pay you. You can’t use up herbs, oils, beeswax, bottles for free as they have value and must be paid for some way. Hard decisions to make with someone with no money and their kid needs the meds.

    If we do get a bad SHTF event doctors will be valued, but without a support infrastructure in place to re-stock they may be limited in what they can do. Where a herbalist with a garden that has medical herbs in it can have an ongoing supply. Not to mention books that explain how to harvest wild plants for medical use.

    Ideally a traditionally trained medical person would also learn herbal medicine, but I have found that most traditionally trained medical people have a very strong and very vocal dislike for any herbal remedy.

    It seems they are monetarily and emotionally attached to their view of what medicine is and have no desire to learn more.

    And (like I said above) while a medical person can have value in a SHTF situation, I don’t know if that will be as much of a value in a long-term event that may be years long up to including the rest of our lives.

    Mental adaptability and the willingness to learn as you go is an important survival skill and traditionally trained med people don’t seem to have it.

    This is why it’s good to learn herbal meds for yourself and to have an open mind to new knowledge.

  4. Anonamo Also says:

    Good , Job and good summary of state of our health care system…and very efficient way to address it..
    Hospitals are a business, they have minimal staff, It is cost efficient and they WILL make money/or close.
    You must stand in line, because no matter how caring the professional, they can only address one issue at a time..When Mrs C needs care at the same time as Mr X needs his medicine, someone will be waiting. If that is an airway that needs to be cleared, the PROJECTED attitude and end result is:” oh well they can wait a minute, they are old and unconscious, no one is here to tell their family or be a voice for them”.
    Personel have been reduced, Nurse can’t leave floor if only 2 on it, and if no transport personel avail, then you will have to walk out…can’t allow just anyone to push a wheelchair, someone could get hurt.
    I would add, This author needed to give care to someone she loved and stretched and learned ! That is what we all must do., to fill in the void that is becoming evident in our health care system. some more suggestions:
    Have an hour to learn,? try pluggin’ in you tube, Herbal walks, see what you can pull up . Go to the Doctors channels? Pull up Herbal info sheets , from herbal sites. Learn the difference between aseptic and sterile techniques. Learn how to debride a wound., How to acertain if wound is clean, and methods to clean those… Lots of medical info even here in the archives! There are lists by both Drs and nurses here… use your resources while you have them digital. Changing the control of the internet will change the info available on it, if not shortly, then eventually…

  5. Chuck Findlay says:

    Question for MD (or anyone with the answer) is there a way to search my name and find all my recent post?

    I at times forget what subject post I made a comment in and at times have to look through a lot of them to find my post.

    • It’s not perfect but you can go to google and paste this:
      site:http://www.thesurvivalistblog.net Chuck Findlay 2016

      That will give you most everything with your name, on this site, in the year 2016. Be sure to include “site:” before the http address so that google is limited to only search this blog and not the whole web.

  6. My son has celiac, uncommon enough 40 years ago that he nearly died. I started a long journey identifying foods he could not eat and nutrition for him (us). At that time the prognosis was he would never be normal height… 4’10” and subnormal intelligence. He is a bright and successful man. I already loved plants and gardening, and used that to ensure both nutrition and bulk calories. As corporate agriculture has taken over our food supply, I lean more on gardening. I have also used herbs for years but am rarely sick. Last time I visited my doctor, he said he thought I changed physicians and was considering sending my record to off site storage.
    I am studying local plants and their herbal properties, after all, if food isn’t shipped in neither are herbs.
    Good article and I recommend all look online for medicinal properties of what grows in your garden and the area around you. There is no one size fits all book. Research your own plants, you will be astonished.

  7. Having to rely on the VA, we have learned much about nutrition, and herbal medicines to care for our health. Big pharma, and by extension, the feds, don’t give a rat’s patoot about our health! it’s up to us. God didn’t create the herbs of the field, just to pretty up a garden space. Don’t believe what the PTB dictate what we should be taking for our health.

  8. As someone intimately acquainted with the modern medical field, both western and eastern as well as tribal approaches, I tend to agree with much of what you said. It is extremely important to be able to mix advances we have in being able to detect things that may be wrong with us using western advances, and balance them using eastern and tribal/herbal approaches when possible.
    I am definitely not someone to discount any one side entirely, rather, I am that guy. The one that looks at all sides, takes what works and discards what doesnt.

    Loved the article, thank you!

  9. I disagree with the idea that pain meds are not prescribed on schedule because of Obama. I was in the hospital this year with a pain pump that I never used. If pills had been brought to me on schedule, I might have been encouraged to take them “just in case.” However, knowing I could have pain meds in a second was good, even though my pain level, reported by me was always zero.

    I felt the pain pump gave me power, autonomy, and peace of mind.

    The doctor did prescribe pain meds as I left the hospital. I did take one that night at bedtime because of the long drive home after surgery.

    I do remember almost 50 years ago being in pain. The meds never came on time. So, 45 minutes before I was due pain meds, I called and asked for meds. I did not call because the pain was so intense right then, I just had learned to plan ahead.

  10. Medical issues can go from bad to worse in a short time if we don’t know how to deal with illness and injury. This week I was stung on the back of the calf by a couple of wasps. At first there seemed to be almost no react but when I woke up the following morning, the pain, swelling, and redness was looking quite remarkable. The entire calf muscle was an angry red color that was hot to touch. The skin was pulled so tight it looked like it might rip apart. Blisters appeared first where the stingers had entered but soon the whole area had bubbles the size of water drops. I am pretty sure that a medical doctor would have diagnosed cellulitis. I didn’t want to mess with things just in case the offending germ was the one that causes necrotizing fasciitis and made the decision to make a dr. appt the following morning. Through the evening and night I decided to try some home remedies. For several hours in the evening, I used a bandage soaked in fresh unpasturized honey from our own bees. Then, at bed time I switched to a poultice made from crushed charcoal and plain yogurt – it was looking a bit better in the morning so I decided to hold off on seeing a doctor and used Oil of Oregano and Jojoba oil mixed in equal parts – the results were swift and remarkable! The pain decreased quickly and the swelling and redness were both visibly less than the day before and the blisters were gone. After 2 more days with the oregano, the whole area is almost back to normal. My advice is listen carefully to what the herb and tincture people have to say – it may one day save your life!

  11. What about NaClO2? I encourage you to watch the full documentary here: http://www.quantumleap.is

  12. Well, folks, there is much that can be done at home and certainly many of our medications have their origins in plant life……

    but I’ll never forget the lady across the street from my boyhood home who died of cancer while being “treated” by a chiropractor.

    Truth is truth is truth. Doesn’t matter where it comes from,but you better know what IS and what ISNT.

    The reason most modern meds were made…..is that nothing else was working….

    How are you going to treat Parkinson’s disease?
    Acute menningitis?
    Cor pulmonale?
    Acute abdomen?

    There is nothing wrong with being smart and doing what you can — but when *I* personally got what looked like a rapidly advancing deep-space hand infestion — advancing rapidly between sunday morning and 11 AM service — I beat a path to an ER pronto and got a Vancomycin infusion which turned my hand around pronto—-avoiding a surgical drainage and possible loss of function (hence, career).

    1. You can’t treat a MIDDLE EAR infection with eardrops…..they don’t permeate the tympanic membrane.
    2. The liver does IMMENSE tasks…..drug & metabolite breakdown, clotting factor construction, anti-clotting factor construction, energy storage, hemoglobin excretion…..it is not enough to “strengthen” it. Even though it remains somewhat of a black box…..in my career we have advanced far, far beyond strengthening it.
    3. I would shy away from inserting anything into the rectum.
    4. Likewise, the kidneys do a TON of things we’ve learned…and if you have kidney stones or a carcinoma, I don’t think herbals are going to get rid of the stones reliably, nor prevent the metastasis of your cancer.

    Doctors are merely humans trying to help other humans. Since the late 1800’s, things have moved far from “snake oil” to real antibiotics, carefully controlled studies, efforts to find out what REALLY works. Now we have incredible gene-typing that may provide real chances for individualized cures. Diseases that once killed in hours to weeks….are now sometimes 100% curable. The Acute leukemia. Burkitt’s, n. menn. mennigitis….

    There are certainly things one can easily do to ameliorate many diseases — witness our efforts to modify diet in people with specific inborn errors of metabolism or the onset of failure of a major organ such as kidney, liver, or heart. You can make a bad situation better…..but you probably won’t cure it.

    Be very careful of “practicing medicine” on anyone other than yourself…there are legal risks there, my friend. And I sure would stock upon a boatload of antibiotics and read quality material on how to guess the most common pathogen and the likely best treatment. Infections are only ONE of the things that medicine deals with, but it is one of the easier ones to terat in an end of the world situation. Knowing what best treats staph aureus in your neck of the woods might well save your life

    • Chuck Findlay says:

      Prep doc I don’t think most of us are saying to forgo modern western Medicine. Western medicine is nothing short of wonderful for trauma issues. You have a gun shot, heart attack or something that comes on fast and hard the emergency room is where you want to be.

      But at the same time as wonderful as it is there are some problems with it.

      It to many has become just as much about revenue enhancement as it is about actual medicine and fixing issues. There is a LOT of money in long-term care, a lifetime of taking (and therefore selling) pills. You may not want to see or address this issue, but that makes it no less an issue or concern to many people.

      And yes there are many things that herbs can handle just fine and make a doctor visit less likely needed.

      I’ve had a heart attack, I have Cayenne on me at all times as there is more then enough evidence that it can stop a heart attack. I have had no heart issues, no pain at all for the last 5-years since the heart attack. I take a mix of herbs (including cayenne and hawthorn) every day. I think they greatly help. But if I did have a heart attack, after taking cayenne I would heat to the emergency room asap.

      You seem to be one of the people I mentioned in the post above that are a medical person and have a strong dislike for herbs. I’m not trying to change your mind, and I don’t really care. But even you (a medical person) should be able to see the flaws in the current medical community that many companies are part of, that puts money first.

      Just turn a TV on and EVERY commercial break they push poison that is presented as a fix-all for all kinds of problems.

      Why do I say its poison? Just listen to the bad effects they tell you it has at the end of the commercial. Many times these effects cause more severe problems (including heart attacks, strokes and even death) then they are supposed to fix.

      Something that causes heart attacks, strokes and death is poison.

      Why don’t the people in the medical field (you know hospital people, doctors, nurses, the people in these companies) clean up their own house? Because there is a lot of money to be made is my guess???

      I would suggest you promote the use of both herbs (that work for many issues) and the use of Western meds. They both have their place in our lives.

      But like I said in a post above, few Western med trained people can stand the use of herbs and in fact are very vocal in their dislike of their use. Do you think for even one second your vocal hate of herbs finds a home or takes root with people here?

  13. I Have only had 1 flue shot in my whole life. I do not plan on having any more. I did not get sick from the shot but they can not prove that it prevented me from having. Actually they told me that it is not the right shot for the flue but it may help. Good thing that I did not have to pay for the shot.

    • Anonamo Also says:

      Axelsteve, I am sure you got an adequate dose of aluminum and thimerosol(Mercury)…and both of these build up in the system…and long term effects are not good…alzheimers ect. search metal detox, there are foods you can eat that help remove these toxins from the body.

  14. Great article, congrats on your success. You earned it. A Mother’s love is the best motivator. I am a big believer in natural medicine first (healthy food, herbs, supplements, etc).

    I think you are right that hospital care is changing as well. However, sometimes we can use that to our advantage. In 2005 my husband required back surgery. They kept him in the hospital for several days so they could manage his pain. He refused the narcotics and we battled infection.
    In 2014, he had the same surgery on an out patient basis. I steriled all the linens he would need and stored in space bags, we steriled the bathroom, and had needed bandage supplies at the ready and safely stored to avoid infection.
    The doctor was amazed at how quickly and beautifully it healed.
    The hospital is a dirty place filled with disease. Happy to avoid it whenever possible.

    When my son had his collarbone pieced together with cadaver bone and titanium, he had a reaction to the anesthesia, he was seeing things that weren’t there and he screamed in pain for hours.
    Luckily I had stayed with him. The narcotics were not helping, the nurses were too busy to do much, and I finally insisted they give him some ibuprofen. He fell asleep. I checked him out the next morning (a day earlier than advised). The nurse told me I was smart to do so.
    Listen to your God given instincts people. Take care y’all.

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