Herbal medicine has been around for centuries and although people are encouraged to buy modern medicine, this ancient healing knowledge is still widely practiced. Medicinal herbs will still be here, long after the collapse of modern society and we should all learn how to take advantage of these healing herbs.
In many parts of the world, medicinal herbs are widely used because people cannot afford the wonder drugs and the knowledge of using healing herbs is passed on from one generation to another. Even our grandparents used to rely on medicinal herbs when medical aid was not available and history showed us how the pioneers managed to survive by using all sorts of wild herbs as medicine substitute.
Preppers and off-gridders should learn about medicinal herbs because someday, this could be all that is left. You never know when you will be cut off from modern medical care and you should at least have an idea of what your options are. I’m a big supporter of foraging and I encourage people to learn about this ancient survival skill and to build an herbal library.
One should learn about the edible plants available in his region, about all the medicinal herbs and herbal formulations that promote good health and provide healing aid. There are many great books on herbal medicine available online and you shouldn’t hesitate buying them for your SHTF library.
Although it is quite difficult to write in a single article a comprehensive list of every useful medicinal herb that you should have, I thought it would be best to list the top 10 medicinal herbs that every prepper should grow.
For my top 10 list of medicinal herbs I’ve listed the following:
- Aloe Vera
- Cayenne Pepper
These plants can be grown in your garden, but with a little practice, you can also find some of them in the wild.
Aloe Vera is a versatile healing plant that can be used for treating a person both externally and internally. Externally, it can be used to treat burns of every kind and it helps soothe the damaged skin. The juice for this plant can be used to treat sunburns and generally, it can be used to help soothe the pain of all types of skin conditions such as bug bites or dry skin caused by eczema. Internally, the Aloe Vera juice can help treat a variety of digestive problems, constipation and colitis. Consuming the juice will help develop an appetite, therefore it is indicated for those in recuperation who have a poor appetite.
Besides being a wonderful spice that will help you fight food fatigue, cayenne pepper is also a good source of vitamin C. It has a variety of medicinal properties that have been tested since the Ancient times and it is a plant that should be found in every garden. Besides stopping bleeding, Cayenne can be used to treat colds, tonsillitis and sore throat or even Athlete’s foot. It is among my top 10 medicinal herbs because it has many other benefits such as pest deterrent and it can even be used as self-defense method if turned into a homemade pepper spray.
Recommended reading: Cayenne pepper growing and its benefits
This plant is a great digestive aid and has many healing benefits. The leaves can be made into teas or added to meals raw. These are plants that you can grow in your garden without difficulty and require little maintenance on the long run. You can use peppermint to alleviate muscle spasms and cramps after a long day of hiking or you can use it to get rid of nasty headaches. Used in compresses it can help to relieve pain and clear sinus infections.
Dandelions can be found all across North America and they are plants seen as weed by many gardeners. Many survivalists are used to consume the leaves and roots of this plant, although many of them agree that the leaves are quite bitter and it takes some time to get used to their specific taste. You can also make tea from the leaves as it is known to cleanse the liver and improve liver function if consumed regularly. It is a plant that can be used by diabetics and it is proven to normalize blood sugar levels. It can calm various gastric disorders and some even use it to alleviate the symptoms of gout.
Garlic, this wonder food, is both a vegetable and an herb. It has been used in medicinal remedies for thousands of years, since the ancient Greek and Roman times. It has antibiotic properties and it can be used to cure the flu, but also to treat earaches and toothaches. This is a plant very useful for preppers and off-gridders and besides all its healing attributes; garlic can be used as flea deterrent and even as fish bait.
Recommended article: Garlic growing and its benefits
This perennial, evergreen subshrub has a variety of uses and it is widely used by many people as tea, to alleviate depression. It has a long history of medicinal and culinary use and some people are using it as a means of cleaning teeth and dealing with bad breath. Extracts of sage can enhance cognitive performance and it has the similar effect of the caffeine found in tea and coffee. It was used by the pioneers as an external poultice to help wounds heal faster. Sage essential oil used in a warm bath can help reduce fever.
This evergreen herb has many culinary and medicinal uses and it is known that Ancient Egyptians used thyme for embalming. It is a common healing herb used for treating gastric symptoms such as colic and bad breath. It can also help alleviate sore throats, nasal drips or it can be used as a fever reduction agent. Made into essential oil, thyme can be used to medicate bandages and this herb was used for healing wounds before the advent of modern antibiotics. It has antiseptic properties and this is why it can be found in many alcohol-free hand sanitizers.
Rosemary is a plant with an important role in the history of the Mediterranean people since it was used both as a cooking ingredient and a healing herb. Rosemary can be used as tonic, astringent, diaphoretic and stimulant. Rosemary essential oil is used in hair lotions and it is proven to clean the hair and stimulate hair-bulbs to prevent premature baldness. Taken warm, rosemary tea is a good remedy for removing headache, colic, colds and nervous diseases. Rosemary tea was used in French hospital to treat depression and rosemary bushes were burned to disinfect the air. It can also be used to repel insects and poisonous animals and it can protect your clothes from moths and other insects.
Recommended article: Rosemary growing and its benefits
It is known that chamomile is one of the medicinal herbs that have mild sedative effect and can help those suffering from sleeping disorders. People in Europe are using Chamomile in warm compresses to treat ear and eye infections. Chamomile tea will help with indigestion and morning sickness. When applied topically, Chamomile can help calm the inflammation associated with hemorrhoids. Since Chamomile has anti-inflammatory effects, it can be used to create all sorts of homemade cosmetics. This plant also contains flavonoids and coumarins which are considered muscle relaxants.
These purple coneflowers can be found in eastern and central North America in prairies and open wooded areas. Echinacea is considered a powerful herb in folk medicine and it is one of the medicinal herbs that were used by our grandparents to treat or prevent the common cold. It is a plant that helps strengthen the immune system and its anti-inflammatory effects are useful for alleviating arthritis pains. Other uses include anxiety, low white blood cell count, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), rheumatoid arthritis, migraines, acid indigestion and dizziness.
The above list is just a small summary of what these powerful medicinal herbs can do to keep you in good health. If you want to benefit from their use in times of emergency or if you just want to create your own home-grown pharmacy, you should research furthermore all the beneficial effects of these plants. Make sure you research about how these medicinal herbs can be combined to provide a more effective remedy as compared to the effects of the individual herbs.
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