In the aftermath of a large-scale disaster, doctors and even basic medical supplies are going to be in hot demand. Of course, if you're a regular reader of APE Survival I'm sure you've got your stash of first aid gear sorted already, and are on-track to being well-prepared against a crisis.
But this may not be enough.
Supplies should form a core part of your survival planning, but in my opinion knowledge is far more important. What would happen if you were driven from your home or returned to find it raided and everything you've been stockpiling gone? Not good, right?
Today, we're going to discuss antibiotics, one of the most important assets to include in your first aid kit. Now I'm all for proper prescription medicine, and if you've got it please do take the right course of antibiotics when you're battling a disease or infection. Your health is on the line, and failing to treat it properly can lead to massive bouts of sickness, and even death. It's no joke.
But what do you use when you've got none, and there's no pharmacy to pop into around the corner?
Apple Cider Vinegar
One of the core compounds in apple cider vinegar is malic acid, which can help eliminate the germs in your system when you're recovering from a cold, and even help relieve the pain from a sore throat. But you've got to dilute it before you take it. Simply add a couple of tablespoons to a glass of water, the acidity is too high to drink it straight. Trust me, I tried it in my research for this article and it was a little rough on my throat, and it can also damage your teeth enamel.
This one is a particular favorite of mine, and one I've been using for many years. You just set the cinnamon bark simmering in a pot to extract the healing benefits into a hot cup of tea. It's been shown to drop blood sugar levels, is an effective treatment for yeast infections and also has basic antibiotic properties. I've already swapped sugar out of my morning coffee and replaced it with cinnamon, and have been feeling better every day since.
You've probably heard of this herb and its ability to battle the symptoms of the common cold, but what many people don't realize it comes from a flower that's been used by Native Americans for hundreds of years, Simply collect the entire plant, roots and all, and brew it into a hot tea for a general "cure-all," or you can squeeze out the plants juices into an open wound for its antibiotic effects before bandaging it closed.
A species of trees native to Australia, you can find these now all over the world. They're readily identifiable by the distinctive smell released from their leaves, which can be crushed and applied to an external wound as an antiseptic, or added to boiling water and the steam inhaled to fight respiratory infections. A small jar of its essential oil is a smart addition to your first aid kit.
For thousands of years garlic has been used in medicine, owing to its potent antiviral, antifungal and antibiotic properties. Plus, it's packed full of natural antioxidants which are an immune system booster, to help your body ward off any harmful bacteria. The key component is allicin, simply crush up the garlic and eat it raw, brew it in a warm cup of tea or add it to some lightly cooked food.
This one is especially great if you're eating questionable food, as the antibiotic properties of ginger make it a highly effective tool to fight off food borne pathogens. It can also help boost the healthy bacteria in your gut and can be used to settle an upset stomach. Just add a little fresh sliced ginger to your plate along with your food. Personally I am also especially partial to a hot cup of ginger tea when you've got a sore throat or you want a simple immune system booster.
You might know this one as orangeroot or yellow puccoon, it's a herb that's been long used by Native Americans for treating digestive and respiratory infections, and can help relieve the symptoms of a cold. It's most easily taken in tablet form which is simply a capsule containing the powdered roots of the plant, if you're making it yourself it's a whole lot easier to just chop and simmer the root in a pot to drink as a hot tea.
I'm a big fan of the energy boost a raw cup of blended horseradish gives me, but the benefits don't stop there. It's another immune system booster your body can use to fight off an infection, and when you take it regularly it promotes the healthy circulation of your blood. This works best taken raw, as once your stomach starts to break it down the enzymes released into your body can help fight urinary tract infections, reduce kidney stones and even relieve the symptoms of bronchitis.
Applied topically to a wound, honey is a particularly effective anti-inflammatory treatment which can reduce pain and help fight off infections. Just make sure you're using raw, organic honey for the best results. Personally, I'd also keep an eye out for Manuka Honey. It's produced in Australia and New Zealand from the pollen of the manuka tree, and has one of the best nutritional profiles and compounds to ward off an infection. Always, always go for raw honey for first aid.
Oil of Oregano
If you're looking to boost your overall wellness oregano is a herb to start eating a lot more of. It's another of natures super plants, and definitely one you want growing in your garden. Consumed raw it does do a lot of good, however to get the most benefit from the oregano's antibiotic properties use it in oil form. The oil contains highly concentrated levels of carvacrol which is a potent anti-viral compound, as well as thymol which is both an antifungal and antiseptic.
When the SHTF there's no telling just how bad it's going to get. Of course, I know you're already taking every possible precaution, and I genuinely hope you've always got a stocked first aid kit on hand to help if a loved one falls ill. But if you don't, a little knowledge can go a long way, and these natural remedies may just provide the cure you need.