Preppers and survivalists have embraced nature for helping with medical ailments. They realize the healing properties that the earth has given us, and if a catastrophic event occurs, they know that nature will be all they have to help them survive. Pharmacies won’t be around and neither will doctors, so knowing which plants treat which ailments is highly beneficial.
Some plants can be highly toxic, so knowing the difference between safe and poisonous plants and berries can be a matter of life and death.
Here are 14 Plants That You Should Know About
- Lemon Balm
Sounds delicious, doesn’t it? Well, it is when you crush the leaves and add to your lemonade. However, it’s more than tasty, it is great for treating cold sores, even better than prescription medicine, according to Germany’s version of the FDA, The Commission E. Just crush the leaves and place them over your cold sore.
When you find blackberries in nature, you’ve found a refreshing treat, but don’t throw away the leaves. They have astringent properties that make a great mouthwash. Heat water to boiling and pour over the leaves. Allow to steep 5 to 10 minutes. You can drink it as tea or use it as mouthwash, but use the same day as you make it and toss any leftovers.
Comfrey is a pretty flower that is lilac in color, but it’s roots make a perfect topical treatment for bruises, burns, arthritis, and sprains. This plant is not edible and can damage the liver due to it’s pyrrolizidine alkaloid properties.
Lavender is a fragrance we all love, but insects hate it. This makes it the perfect insect repellent. It is also helpful in treating bug bites, rashes, itching, burns, and swelling. Just crush the leaves and apply to the area. You can also soak the leaves in olive oil for 6 to 8 weeks and use the oil whenever you have any skin irritation. Pregnant and nursing women should not ingest lavender and neither should small children.
For skin problems, such as rashes, acne or eczema, Burdock is the way to go. Boil the leaves and roots to purify and eat them. Or you can add the dried root to alcohol, and swallow 10 to 20 drops per day to purify your blood and your body.
It has been said that Greek God Achilles kept yarrow on him when in battle to treat wounds. It is one of the best herbs for the treatment of cuts, helping to fight infection and stop bleeding. It’s antiseptic properties combined with it’s ability to help blood clot, make it popular as a wound herb.
The bark and leaves of the Weeping Willow were medicine centuries ago, and you can still use them to treat ulcers, abscesses, boils, and carbuncles. Found in North America, they thrive in moist areas. To make an astringent, boil a handful of the green leaves for ten minutes in 8 ounces of water, then soak a cloth in the liquid and apply to affected area. For diarrhea, scrape bark off twigs and soak for ten minutes in one cup of hot water. Every couple of hours sip some of this bitter tasting liquid until you’re feeling more bound up.
Many recognize the dandelion, and they get a bad reputation for being a gardening nuisance, but for those those with digestion issues, dandelion is a welcome medicine. Just add a tablespoon of the dried dandelion root to a cup of hot water and drink three times a day to aid in digestion. For diuretic purposes, dry the leaves and add one to two tablespoons of them to a cup of boiling water. Drink three times per day.
- Black Walnut
Black walnuts grow in a green husk and it is that husk that can be the elixir you need to kill parasites. After drying the husk, add one tablespoon of it to a cup of hot water. It tastes bad, but sip on it throughout the day for seven days. It also works as an antiseptic for small wounds and cuts, working just like iodine and staining the skin the same way too.
Treat wounds with Eldeberry, or use it like the Germans who take it internally for the common cold or the flu. it is said that the berries and the flower work to clear nasal congestion and the sinuses by shrinking swollen mucous membranes. Elder also has antiviral, antiinflammatory, and anticancer properties. It is best to eat the berries in a jam or wine. When raw, the berries are mildly toxic and can also interact with certain medications such as those for diabetes, as well as laxatives, chemotherapy drugs, medications that suppress the immune system, and theophylline.
The bark of birch works well as an analgesic when there are enough salicylates in it. You can make a great tasting tea by scraping the bark off sweet birch twigs and then boiling about 1/4 to 1/2 of a teaspoon of the bark in water for 10 minutes. Drink 5 times a day for treating pain. Be careful, because too much can upset your stomach and cause nausea or ringing in the ears. 240 mg a day is highly effective for alleviating pain, but if you experience the above symptoms, lower the dose.
Got a case of poison ivy, poison oak, or sumac? If you can spot some jewelweed within 30 to 45 minutes of coming into contact with the offender, you may have no reaction at all. Quickly, create a paste by crushing the stalk and then rub it over the area affected by the poison. Leave on for two minutes then wash off with cool water. If you use the jewelweed paste after 45 minutes, it will help with the itching by cooling it. Use it as a wash instead of leaving it to sit.
Most of us have seen commercials for the use echinacea supplements to ward of the common cold or at least shorten the duration, when taken at the first sign. When in the wild, you can use the leaf and the dried root to make a tea and accomplish the same thing as the supplements, but only better. It can also be used to treat a yeast infection, with the chance of a recurrent infection being only 16% compared to econaole sold at the pharmacy which has a 60.5% rate of infection recurring.
A common weed found on most lawns in the country, the leaves can alleviate bug bites and stings when ground into a paste and rubbed onto the affected area. It works to neutralize venom found in wasps, bees, scorpions and other insects, but is not that effective for snake bites. When the paste dries out, replace with more.