First aid and medical supplies are a cornerstone of any zombie survival plan. Without care, even minor injuries and infections can become dangerous, even life-threatening. Herbal medicine is humanity’s oldest form of medicine and is perfectly suited for survival outside of civilization. Nature provides us with a great many tools for caring for ourselves. A well stocked herbal first aid kit, and the knowledge to use it properly, can be an invaluable addition to any zombie planner’s preparations.
First, we’ll address 5 herbal products that any survivor would want to have on hand. These herbs, oils, and extracts are chosen because of their shelf life, versatility, and potency. They can all be stored for extended periods of time, treat a wide variety of health issues, and are small and light enough to carry without strain.
Essential oil of Oregano (Origanum vulgare) is a potent anti-septic. A single drop on a bandage can prevent infection in an open wound. Diluted in water it makes an excellent mouthwash or hand sanitizer. Taken internally, Oregano oil will combat bacteria and viruses, supporting your immune system whenever an infection is present. Essential oils have an excellent shelf life, and are used in very small quantities. A single 1oz bottle of Oregano oil takes up minimal space in a bag or pack, and can provide hundreds of doses.
Echinacea Goldenseal Tincture
Tinctures are extracts of herbs in an alcohol base, providing a long shelf life and excellent bio-availability. The combination of Echinacea and Goldenseal creates a powerful immune-supporting and bacteria fighting blend. Take internally to fight fevers and infections of all varieties, or use topically to sterilize injuries or implements.
Osha root (Ligusticum porteri) creates a powerful action on the lungs, clearing up coughs and bronchial infections. Osha can also be used to reduce the effects of altitude sickness, and improve oxygenation of the blood. Topically, the tincture can be applied to spider and insect bites, including the dangerous brown recluse. Combined with the next herb on our list, Osha can even benefit aerobic endurance.
Guarana powder (Paullinia cupana) is a strong source of natural caffeine. Traveling long distances or staying awake for extended periods of time can drain a person of valuable energy-leaving them vulnerable. As a natural stimulant, Guarana can provide a critical boost when you need it most. Guarana powder, when kept dry, will maintain its potency for a very long time.
Even with the boost from Guarana, survivors will eventually need to sleep, but stress and adrenaline can make this a challenge. Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) tincture is a famous natural sleep aid and muscle relaxant, soothing to agitated minds and strained, sore, muscles.
In addition to a basic supply of herbal preparations, many valuable medicinal and edible herbs are available in the wild. Please note, that consuming wild plants can be quite hazardous, unless you can be absolutely certain of the identity of the plant. This list contains some common and easily identified herbs with excellent nutritional and medicinal benefits. However, this information cannot replace proper experience and knowledge when identifying wild plants.
The first of our wild medicinal herbs is the Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), one of the most under appreciated plants in our society. The leaves and roots are completely edible, packed with vitamins and minerals, beneficial to the liver, and quite palatable. You have likely eaten Dandelion greens before, possibly without realizing, as it is a common salad green in restaurant and grocery store spring mixes. The flowers can be used to flavor beverages, including homemade wine.
Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) is a very common ground cover in the United States. It grows wild in yards, and is planted as a nitrogen-fixer in agricultural fields. The tea of Red Clover can be used to cool the body temperature in hot weather, or to break a fever. Add to your Dandelion greens for some protein rich variety to your wild crafted salad or tea.
Cuts, scrapes, and possibly more serious wound, will inevitably occur in a survival situation. The two most important first aid steps are to stop the bleeding, and prevent infection. Yarrow flowers (Achillea millefolium) applied directly to a wound will slow and stop bleeding. Then follow with an anti-septics from the first part of the list. Yarrow tea can dry up fluid retention and mucus inside the body during colds and flus. That same Yarrow tea can be sprayed on the skin as an insect repellent. Yarrow is not as easily identified as Dandelion and Red Clover, due to its similarity to poison Hemlock, but an experienced herbalist or woodsman can learn to spot the difference.
Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) is common sight along highways and in fields. The flowers can be made into an excellent expectorant tea, and can help to break up coughs and sinus congestion. This tall plant can also be dried, soaked with a small amount of oil, and used as a torch to carry fire or light the way. Do not eat mullein, as the plant material is irritating to the skin, mouth, and intestines. The large leaves can be used as “toilet paper”
Black Elderberry ( Sambucus nigra) is the fruit of the Elder shrub, which can grow well over ten feet in the wild. In addition to a source of nutrition, Elderberry is a valuable immune system support. Eat the berries, or cook them down into a syrup to concentrate their immune boosting properties. Elderberries make a rich and flavorful fruit base for wine. The flowers can also be used to make a restorative tea. An important caution: do not eat or steep the leaves! Elder leaves, especially young leaves, contain alkaloids which can cause nausea, dizziness, and other symptoms.
Without the benefits of modern civilization, survivors of a zombie attack will be forced to turn once again to the natural foods and medicines they find around them. Fortunately, these plant medicines can be easily acquired in many areas, and can have powerful healing proper for those who know how to use them. Learn your local plants, and you will never be deprived of food or medicine, even in the most dire of zombie-related crises. Good luck out there!
Written by Sean Fay
If you want to know more about these herbs and more please visit:
Phoenix Herb Company
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