If a disaster strikes and you or someone you know gets sick or injured, it may be difficult to get to a doctor or hospital right away. The roads may be flooded, and the hospitals’ emergency departments may be overwhelmed with patients. Knowledge of natural remedies to relieve minor illnesses and injuries is a valuable skill. Prepper’s Natural Medicine
by Cat Ellis is a great guide to get you started in learning about herbal remedies.
I found the book to be organized and well-written. The author is knowledgeable about herbal remedies and imparts a lot of technical details in an easy to understand format. Prepper’s Natural Medicine
will show you how to build your herbal first aid kit and give you recipes you can immediately start using to sooth allergies, relieve burns, ease a migraine headache and much more. Reading the book encouraged me to learn more about herbal remedies. I reached out to the author, Cat Ellis and she was happy to answer a few questions.
1. What steps did you take to learn about herbs and natural remedies?
I’ve been studying herbs for the past twenty years or so, though there’s never really a point when you stop learning more. In the beginning it was mostly from books, personal experimentation, and talking with other herbal folks with more experience. Eventually, I took an herbal certification course, plus some additional herbal courses for prenatal and women’s health. I am also a massage therapist certified in MotherMassage, and a midwifery studies under my belt as well.
2. There are a lot of herbs named in the book and readers may wonder how to go about identifying them. There may be confusion about similar looking herbs – how do you learn to identify the correct ones?
Many of the herbs can be grown in your own herbal medicine garden, so growing them from seeds from reputable seed suppliers is a great way to be certain of what plant you have. As for identifying plants in the wild for harvesting, a practice known as wildcrafting, that will require a bit more study. While my book is primarily a medicine-making book, wildcrafting is an important skill, and I’ve listed a number of resources in the back of my book to help people out. Either have someone knowledgeable in local plant life show you how to properly identify local plants, or use one of the great regional guides out there for plant identification, such as the Peterson Field Guides. Some understanding of Botany is always helpful, and a wonderful book on that is Botany In A Day by Thomas Elpel
3. What steps can an apartment prepper, who does not have a lot of space to plant herbs, take to get started in learning natural cures after reading your book?
There are many herbs that do well in pots placed in sunny windows. Add in a grow light or two, and maybe keep the temperature a little warmer in that room, and you can grow plenty of herbs like basil, cilantro, parsley, thyme, oregano, ginger, turmeric, prickly pear, aloe (which doesn’t really need as much light as one might think), just to name a few. There are also hydroponic systems for those who really want to kick their indoor gardening up a notch. Alternatively to growing your own herbs, you can buy dried herbs from multiple herbal suppliers from around the country.
4. What is the best source for acquiring medicinal herbs?
Ideally, you could grow them yourself or find them growing wild nearby. Working with the fresh plant is almost always the best option. Certain plants, such as Gymnema sylvestre, aren’t sold live in the Unites States, so the best option is to order it dried from an herbal supplier like Mountain Rose Herbs.
5. A while back I had read some controversy about the common cinnamon you find at the stores, and “real” cinnamon. What do you think about this? What is the best cinnamon to use?
Honestly, I don’t use enough of it to worry about this issue much. I use it as a flavoring and in some sore throat remedies, but cinnamon isn’t a plant I can grow here in New England. If there were a crisis and shipping were to be interrupted, then my cinnamon supply is cut off. However, ceylon cinnamon is reportedly safer in larger doses over longer periods of time, while cassia cinnamon packs more cinnamon flavor punch. However, for sore throats, blood sugar, cholesterol, and other issues cinnamon is reputed to assist, there are other plants which can be grown in most parts of the United States which can help. So, we’re looking at bitter herbs, like Oregon grape root, Amur cork tree, goldenseal, and the like. There are also demulcent herbs, like marshmallow and elm which can provide that slick, soothing feeling to a sort throat. Cinnamon is wonderful, but I in a crisis, I wouldn’t rely on it being available beyond what you can stock up on. Having a local plant that does the job is a more renewable and secure strategy.
Now for the giveaway: THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED.
The publisher, Ulysses Press is offering a giveaway copy of Prepper’s Natural Medicine. One lucky winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to win a copy of Prepper’s Natural Medicine
by Cat Ellis. We’ve made it as easy as possible to enter, with lots of opportunities to win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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