If you’ve read my bio, you’ll know I’m a practicing Herbalist with a degree in Natural Healing majoring in Herbology (I think the degree part is in there). I’ve been an Herbalist for over 22 years, so this is what I’m most confident writing about.
In my first or second post, I’d suggested you have at least 3 months of your family’s medications on hand and to have, basically, a “first aid kit” on hand. What happens when those are gone? Some prescription medications are or were based on plant phytochemicals, meaning basically the compounds in all plants. For example, Valium, a sedative, comes from Valerian Root (and that stuff stinks like a gym locker!) only that chemical isn’t as concentrated in the root and there are other compounds in the root that work with that single compound. I am not comfortable suggesting herbs, roots, flowers, leaves or tree barks that you can use to replace your prescriptions with, I do not need or want that liability. Only you know what you’re taking and what area you live in because what grows around me in Iowa may not grow around you in your state. Get on your state’s Dept of Natural Resources’ website and see what’s in your area. Some plants that are pretty common throughout the U.S. are: Plantain, called Door Yard Weed; Red or White Clover; Dandelion; and Violets. I use plantain to stop bleeding, the white milky sap from the stem of a dandelion flower has healed blisters on my hands overnight and I just made an extract of violet leaves for when I’m bloated.
Some words of caution on foraging. First, do NOT read one book on foraging or even two and think you’re an expert. I’ve been working with herbs for decades, have dozens of books and don’t feel confident to go looking for more than a few plants. Find someone in your area who knows what they’re doing and ask them to teach you. There are thousands of beneficial plants out there, but there are also many look a likes that are deadly. Secondly, do not gather anything from roadside ditches, parks or other areas where they may have been sprayed, in or near large cities or airports because plants from these areas are drenched in poisons of one kind or another. And, do not gather anything from private property without getting permission first and finding out if its been sprayed with weed killer. Be smart, be safe. Just getting a good book on herbal remedies is a good start, you can buy herbs locally if there’s a health food store in your city or you can get them online from places The Next Millennium or Frontier Co-Op. I worked at The Next Millennium and still shop there and I have a wholesale acct at Frontier, both places have outstanding quality herbs at good prices.
Ok, that’s more than enough info for now!