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Survival Skills: Alternative Medicine

Cynthia is a gardening enthusiast. She has a green thumb and always plants a variety of items for harvesting during gardening season.

Alternative medicine in a survival scenario is perhaps one of the most important elements to survival—aside from clean drinking water and food, of course. Becoming sick in a survival scenario means no access to a doctor or emergency room. How will you treat yourself, assuming you were not lucky enough to have a doctor in your survival team? Finding a way to treat even common illnesses will be a must.

Nature offers us an abundance of natural options that can cure many illnesses through their medicinal properties. Some plants and herbs can even help heal a broken bone. If you are preparing for survival learning some basic plants medicinal properties can potentially save your life. If you have access to a holistic society or doctor in your area you can learn some valuable information from them. Apothecary shops are another place you can learn some very valuable information about alternative medicines, as well.

Diving into alternative medicine should be done with caution. With the medicinal properties of many herbs comes the need for exact dosages.

Alternative Medicine

Creating alternative medicine options is actually very simple. Providing you have a working knowledge of the herbs and plants needed and what ailments they treat.

Creating alternative medicine options is actually very simple. Providing you have a working knowledge of the herbs and plants needed and what ailments they treat.

Alternative Antibiotics

I am sure we have all come across fish mox as an alternative antibiotic for humans in a survival setting. While you can, stock up on fish mox and start a stockpile. You can just as easily source these medicinal plants instead:

  • Elderberry (sambucus) - Elderberry can also be used as a preventative during cold and flu season. In many cases, a dose of Elderberry syrup everyday can prevent the flu. Even though you may still get sick, daily dosing with Elderberry syrup can clear it up in just a few days.
  • Colloidal Silver - A highly effective natural antibiotic that will have you back on your feet in no time. It also kills bacteria and successfully treats fungal infections.
  • Goldenseal - A powerful medicinal for combatting strep throat. It will keep the bacteria from adhering to the cell walls while treating the infection, allowing for a speedy recovery. Goldenseal can negatively interact with certain medications.
  • Honeysuckle - Another powerful natural antibiotic that will swiftly treat common ailments. Drinking honeysuckle tea will help build a resistance to many bacteria. Certain species of honeysuckle are toxic so please know your species before you attempt this remedy.
  • Tea Tree Oil - While it should never be ingested, Tea Tree Oil has a powerful antibiotic property. An infected cut or other abrasion can easily be healed with a topical treatment.
  • Plantain - Plantain is among my favorite choices for alternative medicines. It contains antibiotic and antifungal properties. It can be eaten in a salad, prepared in a tincture, or used in many other practical applications. Plantain is a powerhouse of alternative medicine.

With so many alternative medicines available for antibiotic uses, there is no need to waste money on fish mox. Honeysuckle grows wild all over North America. Many of these medicinal choices are readily available outside, or can easily be purchased. With a small set-up you can create your own colloidal silver with ease.

Many items readily available in your kitchen, or yard can be used as alternative options to treat illness and injuries.

Many items readily available in your kitchen, or yard can be used as alternative options to treat illness and injuries.

Alternative Medicine for Stomach Issues

Not all ailments need to be treated with alternative antibiotics. Stomach issues can be treated with flowers and herbs. From nausea to gastritis there are alternatives for a wealth of stomach troubles. If you find yourself suffering a stomach issue in a survival setting here are the best options for a speedy recovery:

  • Ginger - A fairly common cooking spice that works wonders with nausea. Ginger can be easily grown without taking up very much space. Ginger is also very good for the digestive tract and effectively treats gas and bloating.
  • Dandelion - Preparing a cup of tea will help ease bloating and gas. Dandelion is also an effective treatment for loss of appetite, gallstones, intestinal gas, as well as just a general upset stomach. Many believe it will effectively treat ulcers, as well.
  • Cinnamon - Cinnamon is an effective treatment for gastrointestinal issues and urinary tract infections. Though the taste of adding a spoonful to water is a bit off-putting, it will have you feeling better in no time.
  • Slippery Elm - Effectively treats diarrhea. Also takes care of heartburn and acid reflux.
  • Blackberry - Specifically the leaves of a blackberry bramble when steeped into a tea are very effective at treating diarrhea.
  • Elderberry - If your upset stomach is related to the flu or a virus, Elderberry is an effective treatment. Commonly taken in syrup form and tinctures.
Using items in your first aid kit will treat the physical aspect of an injury. What will you use to treat the swelling and/or inflammation?

Using items in your first aid kit will treat the physical aspect of an injury. What will you use to treat the swelling and/or inflammation?

Alternative Treatments for Injuries

As much as we may try to be careful, injuries will happen. In a survival setting we need to be diligent in taking care of our injuries as soon as possible. Putting treatment off can seriously interfere with daily tasks—and potentially lead to infection or other serious issues. Even what seems like a small injury could potentially lead to compartment syndrome, which is a more serious condition that just bumps and bruises. In severe cases, compartment syndrome can lead to renal failure and death.

In survival mode we will typically not have access to a doctor. Finding alternative treatments for swelling, inflammation, and circulation is a must. Here are several options that will treat injuries:

  • Comfrey - Can be used to help heal broken bones. A poultice is also effective at treating sprains, pulled muscles, and ligaments.
  • Plantain - An effective anti-inflammatory. Reduces swelling and offers all-natural pain relief. Many other medicinal uses and applications.
  • Turmeric - An effective anti-inflammatory that can be made into a paste and applied to the affected area. It will, however, stain your skin a yellow color.
  • Cayenne - Cayenne is a very powerful anti-inflammatory. Often used to make salves and muscle rubs for aches and pains.
  • Clove - Clove can be steeped into a tea; drinking this tea will aid with swelling and inflammation (or you could bake something with it if you prefer).
  • Garlic - Another great treatment option for inflammation and swelling. You can eat a clove raw—or roast it to mellow the flavor.
  • Mobicosa - An all natural treatment for inflammation and pain that reduces swelling and stimulates regeneration of tissues.

There are many herbs and spices that will aid with swelling and inflammation. Make them alternative options for healing injuries should you find yourself in a survival situation.

Arm Yourself With Knowledge

There are so many natural options to alternative medicine. It is important that you familiarize yourself with alternative medicine practices prior to finding yourself smack dab in the middle of a survival setting. Learning what you need to know now can possibly save your life later. When you're talking illness and injury, learning on the fly could be a worst-case scenario.

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Apothecary shops, holistic doctors, and books will be a great way to learn more about alternative medicine. Having a working understanding of alternative medicine options is absolutely a survival skill. Knowing what to use and when to use it can save your life—or the life of a loved one—in a survival setting. Arming yourself with knowledge today increases your chances of survival in the future.

Alternative Medicine

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2016 Cynthia Hoover


Cynthia Hoover (author) from Newton, West Virginia on October 14, 2016:

N.Natarajan that is awesome information! I love learning about alternative medicine practices in other areas. I have a basic understanding of Ayurveda, and it is a holistic approach that focuses on balance between the mind, body, and spirit, correct? Even here in the United States, Pharma medicine is extremely expensive, despite having insurance to cover part of it. A friend recently went to fill a new prescription for a BP medicine, and it was 1,500 USD a month (more than double the average house payment here)!

N.Natarajan on October 14, 2016:

In Kerala, a southern state of India majority use Ayurveda system of medicine that is not chemical products. Pharma medicine are several fold expensive that herbal remedies. Indian hones use many other homegrown medicines for several problems including diabetics, bp etc.

Cynthia Hoover (author) from Newton, West Virginia on September 25, 2016:

Jodah, Thank you! I use many of these for our family. Elderberry syrup is an amazing alternative and (when I have it) I take a dose a day, and so does my son. We never get a cold or flu when we do. When my supply runs thin, we always seem to catch something. I must admit I am quick to suggest alternative medicine to friends and extended family members, though some look at me like I must be crazy!

Readmikenow I absolutely have more luck with alternative treatments versus over the counter or prescription medications. Goldenrod is an awesome choice! Very rarely do I actually have to go into a doctor for a prescription since I began studying alternative medicines.

Readmikenow on September 25, 2016:

Very good article. I have had success with my allergies this year by drinking golden rod tea. There is a special way you make it, but it has done better for me than over-the-counter medications.

John Hansen from Australia (Gondwana Land) on September 25, 2016:

Very good info here, Cynthia. We regularly use some of these like cinnamon, garlic, ginger and tumeric and in fact grow comfrey. There is such a big business in pharmaceutical drugs that the general public are not told the benefits of many of the alternative medicines and how easy they are to access.

Cynthia Hoover (author) from Newton, West Virginia on September 24, 2016:

Ken Burgess thank you for the comment! I'm amazed at the wealth of options available for alternative medicines. The more I learn the more I wonder how we ended up with the current pharecuetal industry, when so many natural options are right outside!

Ken Burgess from Florida on September 24, 2016:

Good stuff, I am interested in trying out some of these options to see how effective they are for me.

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