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Five Herbs for Your Medical Kit

In survival situations, traditional drugs may not be available. Many botanicals have a long history of medicinal use, and can be used fresh or dried to address diverse issues such as open wounds or poison ivy. If you don’t grow the plants yourself, it’s important to know where they come from; this information is important to rule out any contamination from soil, water, or air pollution. Here are the top five herbs essential in a well-rounded medical kit.

This is a diverse plant that can address a multitude of ailments including ear infections and open wounds. For more serious injuries, yarrow is a must-have. Its styptic characteristics allow it to stop bleeding quickly, while its anti-bacterial properties help to decrease the chances of infection visiting the wound.

Beyond its contributions to culinary dishes, rosemary also possesses excellent antibiotic compounds to help the body fight off and/or recover from infections. Rosemary can help an individual recover from common colds, respiratory infections, and headaches. When ingested, rosemary’s antiviral properties allow it help the body limit a virus’s ability to reproduce itself, thus shortening a person’s symptoms.

Witch Hazel
Still commonly available in many stores, witch hazel can reduce inflammation and be used as an astringent. Its antiseptic qualities make it a worthwhile plant to have in any emergency kit. Both the leaves and bark of this shrub can be used to create an astringent to address a variety of conditions including acne, insect bites, hemorrhoids, sores, and swelling.

Most plants in the mint family contain varying levels of menthol, which can reduce itching associated with insect bites. In fact, many insects dislike its scent, and if fresh leaves are rubbed onto the skin, it often repels insects from approaching. Peppermint tea exists as a reliable natural remedy for nausea and vomiting as well.

Well-renowned for its ability to curb the common cold, the Echinacea plant can also create a strong antibiotic when applied externally as a tincture. Some studies also report Echinacea as helpful in addressing poisoning from spider or snake bites when mixed with bentonite clay and water.

Different herbs require different preparations, so conducting a bit of research is essential to gain the maximum benefit for each plant. While some herbal remedies only require the leaves of a plant, other remedies may require flowers or bark. All five herbs listed above are easy to grow, harvest, and prepare by oneself. And remember: when preparing salves, tinctures, or other remedies, be sure to have air-tight and clearly labeled containers.

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