This is a guest post submitted by Conrad Novak. Contrad is a proud father of two children. His journey as a prepper began when Hurricane Katrina hit and he lost his job due to the 2008 economic crisis. That made him realize that everything can change for the worst in a very short time. This experience was the detonator for him to pursue learning and becoming better prepared to face the kind of unexpected disasters that may occur at any point in our lives. You can read more of his content at SurvivorsFortress.com
Why Learning Natural Medicine is so beneficial (Especially if you are a prepper)
Whether you are a prepper or not, being able to apply quick, cheap medical care at the drop of a hat can be a lifesaving skill. Even if you are simply trying to live off-grid, the benefits of natural medicine are numerous. To be honest, even someone living near a fully stocked and easily accessible pharmacy can find benefit from the use of natural medicine as an alternative in a variety of situations.
In fact, we compiled 7 of the best reasons why learning natural medicine is so beneficial–especially if you are a prepper. Keep in mind, natural medicine includes more than herbs and other plant-based remedies. They range from the practical to the more abstract, but ultimately, every reason on this list is a good justification for learning natural medicine–even if you simply use it as a supplement.
This may not be the best reason–medically speaking–but as people who have to consider the cost of everything in our lives, it will ultimately be a solid reason for most people. Even over the counter medicines can get fairly pricey–especially when you end up using them for minor inconveniences. Instead of constantly purchasing over the counter medicines and using them for every symptom, a far more cost-effective alternative is to use natural medicine when the issue is not that serious.
Beyond the pills that you would otherwise consume, the other forms of natural medicine can provide just as much in terms of financial windfalls. For instance, physical therapy can be an exceedingly expensive form of treatment that insurance will not always cover. Thankfully, there are numerous types of holistic movement therapies that pretty much accomplish the same thing. That said, it is important to keep the severity of the injury or rehab process in mind. Still, there are plenty of instances when natural medicine can be used for minor to even moderate biomechanical dysfunction.
Regardless of how you acquire the knowledge or supplementary remedies, natural medicine is generally far cheaper than seeking out professional advice or processed medications. That said, you should never allow the cost of treatment to dissuade you from seeking proper medical care when it is called for. However, in our overmedicated society, it is important to properly delineate what truly calls for medical care and what you can accomplish on your own.
Like cost, this may not necessarily have the best argument in favor for it from an objective perspective, but we are subjective beings who value things differently. If you live off grid, and especially if you are a prepper, then you likely have a strong independent streak. This independence is rewarded with a sense of pride whenever you are able to accomplish any task without the aid or assistance of modern day conveniences and social safety nets.
In this regard, natural medicine is right up this niche’s alley as you do not have to rely on trained professionals to prescribe an herbal or bodywork remedy for what ails you. That said, the element of true self-sufficiency that natural medicine can provide requires a legitimate investment of time and energy to supplement traditional medicine to the point that you rarely, if ever, need to fall back on it in cases of dire emergency.
To be able to use natural medicine as a true alternative to a large percentage of the instances when you might otherwise take an over the counter medicine or seek a trained professional requires a strong grasp of how the different systems in the body work–often on a chemical or microbiological level. Still, if you do put in the time and effort necessary to become proficient at this level–whether you have been formally trained or not–is definitely a point of pride for many people who value independence and self-sufficiency above most other factors.
While this reason presents a legitimate benefit of natural medicine, it is not without its own caveats. That said, the ability to provide immediate care cannot be underestimated in any situation, regardless of your personal preferences, situation, or predilections. It is already fairly well-known that the most effective measures of treatment for any ailment or injury hinge on the ability to provide relief at a moment’s notice.
This issue is further amplified for preppers or those who choose to live off grid. This is because it might not always be possible to seek immediate professional medical attention, even if it is definitely called for. If you live off grid or are simply staying at your bug out location, there is a good chance that the nearest hospital is miles away from your location. If all you have is a cold or sinus infection, this is not much of an issue.
However, if your injury is more serious, like a broken bone, the speed with which you can have a medical professional reset the bone and clean and suture any wounds will go a long way in expediting whatever recovery you may have. For preppers, this quality is even more important considering that the premise of their lifestyle is predicated on the idea that hospitals and other medically trained professionals may either be in short supply or absent altogether. In this instance, the immediacy of care that natural medicine can provide is not merely meant to serve as a supplement but a complete alternative.
While natural medicine can provide for a wide range of benefits when a situation turns dire, it can also be used for more long-term benefits as well. Many of the natural remedies that you might use to treat a symptom of a disease likely have other effects associated with them as well. Granted, this falls back on knowing about the body in a general way as well as the specifics of the various herbs and bodywork techniques in question, but it still provides opportunity to improve your overall quality of life assuming you put in the time and effort.
There is likely little better evidence of this than bodywork and motion therapy. Whether you choose yoga, Tai Chi, or any other type of low-impact “exercise,” the truth remains the same: these techniques are ancient–often spanning millennia–and are generally intended to help prevent injury or dysfunction more than they are designed to treat it. While different motion therapies can aid in the rehabilitation of more serious injuries, they will also function to keep you healthier even if applied outside of a rehabilitation context.
The same can be said for herbal remedies. For instance, these herbal remedies all carry with them some form of antibiotic property. While the specific antibiotic effect may differ a bit from substance to substance, one thing that they all share in common is that they provide additional health benefits beyond their use to treat acute symptoms.
For instance, while the antibiotic property of Turmeric is effective for treating some types of infections, the spice inherently helps prevent the progress of early congestive heart failure. This means pretty much anyone can benefit from consuming Turmeric, even if they currently are not suffering from an infection or other affliction which Turmeric might be used to treat.
One of the seemingly unlikely issues that natural medicine can alleviate is legality. By this, we do not mean that natural medicine is more legal than illicit drugs. That is true for pretty much every type of legitimate medication. In this instance, we are referring to the numerous ways that perfectly legal medications can be used illegally–even if you do not have any intention of abusing the substance in question or selling it to other people.
That said, did you know if a friend gives you a low dosage pain medication for a sore back or some other malady that they are committing a crime? While it is unlikely a swat team will be sent to squash out all instances of one friend providing some minor and temporary relief to another friend, the fact still remains that this is illegal. That said, this issue can definitely resurface in a completely different situation that is far more likely to result in potentially severe legal issues.
We are, of course, talking about a traffic stop. All too often we do not consider a speeding ticket or failure to use a blinker as an instance when we might be charged with a far more serious crime. However, let us say that your friend not only gave you one dose of pain medication but offered you a couple more to get you through the next few days until you could see a trained professional. If you are stopped by a police officer, the fact that you do not have a prescription for that medication will generally lead to an arrest for some level of drug offense.
This benefit can serve you well regardless of where you live. While preppers may have a bug out shelter waiting for the time when disaster drives them from their home to a secure location, those living off the grid will find this reason to learn natural medicine a great benefit regardless. Ultimately, acquiring the materials required for natural medicine are simply easier than getting many forms of medication. Of course, like many instances on this list, they do require a bit of preparation for those benefits to be reaped.
And reaped they shall be, as one of the best ways to obtain external substances which would otherwise be used for natural medicine is to grow them yourselves. Most of the herbs used in natural medicine remedies are fairly hearty and can be grown in a wide range of situations. Even those that might be a bit more particular in regards to temperature and moisture can still be easily grown either indoors or in a greenhouse. Either way, once you have a robust and diverse herbal garden, acquiring the materials for herbal remedies is as simple as picking them from your garden.
Depending on your location, there is actually a fairly good chance that numerous herbs which can be used for herbal remedies actually grow wild. In this case, you do not even need to go through the hassle of growing these plants and can instead simply rely on foraging. That said, this route will generally require a bit more time, effort, and education–which is all preparatory in nature–but it still provides the same benefit.
One of the biggest reasons that many people choose to abstain from using medications, whether they are prescription or over the counter, is that they do not want to have to deal with side effects. For instance, many allergy medications have a tendency to make you sleepy or give you dry mouth. However, more pronounced and potentially chronic side effects, like restless leg syndrome, can still be caused by medications that you would purchase over the counter.
When looking at prescription medications, the issue of side effects is even more pronounced. All too often a commercial for a prescription medication will end with a rapid-fire list of all the different side effects that can result in taking the medication–as prescribed. When the side effects can result in the failure of various organs, it is only natural for a person to question whether taking the medication is worth it in the first place.
Natural medicine, on the other hand, generally does not have these issues. In fact, most of the potential problems that can arise from herbal remedies in particular center around allergic reactions. However, you either should know what you are and are not allergic to, to begin with, or you can figure it out relatively easily with a single trip to your general practitioner. Regardless, the fact that herbs are often consumed by multitudes of people across the world without issue is a solid vote of confidence that you likely have little to worry about incorporating them into your life.
Ultimately, natural medicine is not a panacea that will fix all of your problems and alleviate the need for ever having to seek a medically trained professional ever again. That said, there are many instances in our lives where we might feel some mild discomfort or moderate symptoms from one condition or another. In this instance, natural medicine can serve as an effective alternative to processed medications.
Beyond medications, natural medicine can also provide plenty of benefit towards soft tissue issues like pulled muscles and other biomechanical dysfunction. When combined with a healthy lifestyle in general, the various types of natural medicine can also help improve your overall health. Whether you intend to use it as a means of moving away from a ubiquitous use of traditional medicine or not, there are a whole host of reasons why learning natural medicine is so beneficial–especially if you are a prepper.
Conrad Novak is a proud father of two children. His journey as a prepper began when Hurricane Katrina hit and he lost his job due to the 2008 economic crisis. That made him realize that everything can change for the worst in a very short time. This experience was the detonator for him to pursue learning and becoming better prepared to face the kind of unexpected disasters that may occur at any point in our lives. You can read more of his content at SurvivorsFortress.com