by Robert S. Bell, D.A. Hom. Copyright 2011 RSBell Media
In the old, artificial economy, industries were spawned to poison and eradicate weeds. Weeds were considered a nuisance in the days of our irrational and dysfunctional belief that a nice green lawn was worth any price, even intoxicating the planet and the people on it. As the old economy crumbles under the weightlessness of Ben Bernanke’s “Federal Reserve Note” quantitative easing, we once again come to realize, as our ancestors already knew, the things of real value were always right beneath our feet.
Survival depends upon our ability to not only regain the knowledge of nutritional and medicinal plants and weeds, but to begin cultivating them now so that we are ready before disaster hits. I shall endeavor to spotlight a few that grow readily in North America, as well as expound on homeopathic adjuncts or counterparts for readiness. In the event that you cannot access or grow your own medicinal weeds, homeopathic medicine* is relatively inexpensive – and a comprehensive remedy kit can last 100 years or more!
You can be sure that you will run out of Tums, Rolaids, Prevacid and Prilosec. While I would argue against their use even in the current economy – what happens when you are faced with digestive upset and other uncomfortable disturbances of the gastrointestinal tract?
How about peppermint? This medicinal and edible herb has been used for thousands of years for its curative impact on the digestive system. Mint is a hearty perennial that grows in nearly any condition, and whose oils are also anti-fungal, regenerative and can be used to ward off insects as well. Here are some additional qualities, properties and nutritional content:
Peppermint – mentha piperita – increases stomach acids aiding digestion. Indigestion, nausea, headache. Slightly anesthetizes mucous membranes. Peppermint oil can be used topically for bug bites, breathe in vapors for congestion. Leaves, flowering tops, oil. Phytochemicals – acetic acid, alpha-carotene, alpha-pinene, azulene, beta-carotene, beta-ionene, betaine, cafeic acid, carvacrol, carvone, chlorogenic acid, coumarin, eugenol, hesperetin, limonene, linalool, luteolin, menthol, 1,8-cineole, p-coumaric acid, pectin, rosmarinic acid, rutin tannin, thymol, vanillin. Nutrients – calcium, choline, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, vitamins B1, B2, B3, E.
Additional homeopathic medicines are essential to have on hand and can be even more specific in the treatment of gastrointestinal distress. At the top of the list I would include Antimonium crudum (Black Sulphide of Antimony), especially if accompanied by a coated tongue. If nausea and vomiting are present, homeopathic Ipecac is a life-saver. For any stomach pain, use Nux vomica (Poison Nut); however, if it is accompanied by exhaustion, reach for Arsenicum album (Arsenious Acid). If there is abdominal pain with gas, the remedy is Iris versicolor (Blue Flag). Should there be evidence of hypoglycemia, choose Lycopodium (Club Moss). If the flatulence is extreme, please consider (at least for the sake of those around you) Pulsatilla (Wind Flower), Baptisia (Wild Indigo) and Cinchona (Peruvian Bark).
The most common abuse of nature occurs in lawn care anytime someone uses an herbicide to get rid of one the most powerful detoxifying herbs readily available around nearly every home in North America. It’s the Dandelion! This herb is so hardy, you have to try to kill it. It is an excellent tonic for the liver and kidneys, can be eaten raw in a salad, juiced, extracted or made into a tea. Here is what else it does:
Dandelion – Taraxacum officinale – Diuretic, cleanses the liver and blood increases bile production. Reduce serum cholesterol and uric acid. Improves kidneys, spleen, pancreas. Leaves eaten raw or steamed/boiled. Flowers, roots and tops can also be used. Phytochemicals – Beta-carotene, beta-sitosterol, cafeic acid, cryptoxanthin, lutein, mannitol, p-coumaric acid, saponin, stigmasterol. Nutrients – calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, vitamins B1, B2, B3, C.
Detoxification is one of the most important categories of medicines needed in any survivalist’s medicine kit. If you can’t grow it (really?), then there are a number of excellent homeopathic medicines very easy to carry along wherever you go. The most versatile is Bryonia alba (Wild Hops) because of its broad action on the liver and its detoxification capacity. Although Nux vomica was previously mentioned in the digestion category, it is also a powerful liver polychrest (many uses), along with Chelidonium (Celandine). Homeopathic Dandelion (Taraxacum) also works well for the liver and kidneys simultaneously.
Although there are many possibilities to choose from in the category of wound care, one of the most maligned and most versatile is Comfrey. Also known as bone-set and knit-bone, it may be one of the most important herbs you can grow for survival, especially in promoting recovery from severe wounds, including bone breaks. Comfrey is a robust plant coming from the borage family and grows perennially Comfrey is often used as a vegetable, a tea, a healing herb, as feed for critters, a compost activator, and a soil conditioner. It is slightly toxic, so I do not recommend it for ingestion unless it is converted to homeopathic medicine, although you can learn to use it safely in either form. Here are some more detailed properties/qualities/nutrients:
Comfrey – Symphytum officinale – Topical wound care, skin conditions as a poultice. Bites and stings, bedsores, burns, skin ulcers, bleeding hemorrhoids, sunburn, nosebleeds, psoriasis. Not recommended for internal use, can cause liver damage. Use leaves, roots. Phytochemicals – Allantoin, beta-carotene, caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, rosmarinic acid, sitosterol, stigmasterol. Nutrients – calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium selenium, zinc, vitamins B1, B2, B3, C.
I covered many homeopathic remedies for wound care in my article on gunshot wounds previously. They include Arnica (Leopard’s Bane) for bruising and other tissue trauma, Ledum (Marsh-Tea) for puncture wounds, Hypericum (St. John’s-wort) for nerve damage and injury, and Hepar sulphurius calcareum (Calcium Sulphide) for infection.
Whether in civilization or working the land in survivalist fashion, there is always a need for general tonifying herbs. Tonics act on many areas of the body simultaneously to improve function and metabolism. Nettle can grow almost anywhere as long as they have sufficient moisture. Wearing gloves is crucial when harvesting nettle, as the tiny hairs produce a temporary but irritating sting if contacted. Nettle is an excellent herb to help you manage allergies – especially since you will not be able to go to the drugstore for Claritin or Allegra.
Nettle – Urtica dioica – General tonic, pain reliever, diuretic, expectorant, anti-inflammatory. Allergies, kidney disorders, anemia. Flowers, leaves, roots. Take care harvesting it. Phytochemicals – Acetic acid, betaine, beta-carotene, caffeic acid, ferulic acid, lecithin, lycopene, p-coumaric acid, scopoletin. Nutrients – calcium, copper, fatty acids, folate, iron, magnesium, phosphorus. potassium, selenium, sulfur, zinc, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, C, E.
In homeopathy, there are a number of remedies that have a tonic action on the body including Eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian Ginseng) and Arsenicum album, which has a powerful action on the adrenal glands.
The Purple coneflower grows wild and easily throughout North America and may be one the most important herbal immune adjuncts that the natural world has to offer. It is simple to grind into an herb, make an extract or brew as a tea.
Echinacea – Fights inflammation, bacterial and viral infection, stimulates some white blood cells, boosts immune system and lymphatic drainage. Allergies, flu, colds. Use leaves, roots. Phytochemicals – alpha-pinene, apigenin, arabinogalactan, beta-carotene, beta-sitosterol, betaine, borneol, caffeic acid, caryophyllene, chlorogenic acid, cichoric acid, cynarin, echinacoside, ferulic acid, kaempferol, luteolin, quercetin, rutin, stigmasterol, vanillin, verbascoside. Nutrients – calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, vitamins B1, B2, B3, C. ***Those allergic to ragweeds should use with caution. Stimulates the immune system so those with autoimmune disorders should not use for prolonged periods.
Additional homeopathic medicines for your consideration include Phosphorus, which is essential for adult fever and Belladonna for kid’s fevers.
NERVOUS SYSTEM HEALTH
One of the greatest benefits of a societal reset is the collapse of synthetic pharmaceutical alteration of brain chemistry by modern psychiatry. It’s time to return to the brain tonics of old, especially Skullcap. The Native-Americans even used skullcap as a mild sedative.
Skullcap – Scutellaria laterfolia – Aids sleep, circulation, relieves muscle cramps, spasms, pain. Aids anxiety, nervous disorders, headache, cardiovascular health. Use leaves, roots. Phytochemicals – beta-carotene, lignin, tannins. Nutrients – calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, vitamins B1, B2, B3, C. ***not for children under 6.
Additional options in the homeopathic realm include Gelsemium (Yellow Jasmine) which is excellent in times of extreme duress, stress and fear. When stressed in the presence of toxins, use Nux vomica as well.
CONNECTIVE TISSUE STRENGTH
Disorders of the connective tissue include arthritis, cardiovascular and neurological disease. Keeping your connective tissue strong is also a critical way to prevent cancer from spreading throughout the body. No herb contains as much of the mineral Silicon (the key deficiency in such disorders) than Horsetail. Please note that when growing Horsetails, they should never be allowed to dry out.
Horsetail – Equisetum arvense – diuretic, anti-inflammatory,.promotes healthy skin, bone, hair and nails. Historically used for arthritis, gout, cardiovascular disease, gallbladder disorders, bronchial and lung problems. Topically used in a poultice to curb bleeding and assist healing of wounds. Use stems. Phytochemicals – beta-carotene, beta-sitosterol, caffeic acid, campesterol, equisetonin, ferulic acid, gallic acid, isoquercitrin, isoquercitroside, kaempferol, luteolin, naringenin, p-coumaric acid, tannic acid, vanillic acid. Nutrients – calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, silicon, zinc, vitamins, B1, B2, B3, C.
Homeopathic medicine is also wonderful for connective tissue disorders. Your kit should include Rhus toxicodendron (Poison Ivy) and Silicea (Silica).
*Whenever I refer to a homeopathic medicine/remedy in this article, people are inclined to ask for what potency I recommend. The critical factor is the right remedy, not the right potency, so whatever is available – use it! My preferences follow: 10x, 12x, 15x, 6c, 12c, 6x, 30x or 30c.
1) If you feel intimidated by Latin-named homeopathic medicines, pre-formulated complexes are available with indications for conditions already labeled, including a full “Peace of Mind” Emergency Preparation Kit. They are available from King Bio (kingbio.com) at 1-800-543-3245.
2) “Prescription for Nutritional Healing” – Phyllis and James Balch, MD