So, I’m a prepper. Yeah, I’m one of THOSE guys; a wild and crazy (fill in the blank of your choice thoughts about us) conspiracy theory type. I’m pretty much a practical prepper though, and my area of expertise is concerned with all of the medications our society indulges in at the moment. My heartfelt concern is if we see a sudden collapse of the current system, from whatever means, there is going to be a huge deficit of vitally important medications. I firmly believe our Creator has provided many things in nature, if we just discover them or learn about them.
Let me throw a for instance in here. Many folks take some kind of medication for depression, anxiety or seizures in our culture. I did a whole lot of research and found a local tree that the Chinese have used for centuries with similar ailments and it has spread throughout the area I live. WaaLa! All I need to do is stock enough medicinal 80 to 100 proof drinking type alcohol to make the medicine.
Problem solved? Maybe, maybe not. What if? (That’s a phrase us preppers use A LOT)!
What if I don’t have the alcohol to soak the Mimosa (He Huan Pi) bark and blooms in? I’ll have to make more alcohol. So, to make alcohol I need sugar, yeast and a still.
Got it, got it and got it. Now what? I’m ready, right?
No, I need something to heat the still. Rocket stove, got it, now I can use sticks from the woods to fire up the rocket stove to heat the still to make the alcohol high octane enough to make medicine. Whew! Now I’m prepared.
No, not really. That tree bark needs to soak in the alcohol for six weeks or more before you start sharing it with people that need it. I need to start making medicine on day one after the collapse. Right, like I won’t have anything else to do.
Come on man, think, what you gonna do. Well, I could lean back on my stacks of beans and rice and clean my guns. That won’t help. Prep man, prep. I need to store meds now to last until I get some wild crafted meds made. That’s it. Okay, that’s the plan.
I said all that to ask this; have you thought far enough ahead that you could last 3 months without replenishing your medication supply. I worked in the shelters in Shreveport, Louisiana after the Hurricane Katrina aftermath wiped out so many homes in New Orleans. Our particular shelter received the folks that were being rescued in the flooded parts and had been there for days before help came. Those poor folks left their flooded home with nothing, no meds, no clothes, no necessities we are so accustomed to driving down to the store and buying when we need them.
What would you do if something that real happened right where you are, right now? Would you have enough water, food and medicine to last until things got more towards what we call normal?
Okay, back to the practical plant medicine thing. Do you know the difference between a plant and a weed? It’s simple really. Are you ready for it?
So many perceive weeds as unwanted or undesired residents they want gone. (Caution: More Examples Ahead) Let’s take the lowly dandelion for instance. A nuisance in those manicured landscapes and lush St. Augustine lawns, but a medicine chest to those that know it and love it.
There’s tons of material online about its many benefits. Google ’10 Things You Might Not Know About Dandelions’ to pique your interest.
They were important enough to make room for them on the Mayflower on its voyage to the new world. Some say that’s how they got here in the first place since they’re not native to North America. They are transplanted, like most of the rest of us.
Another for instance is the insidious and invasive purslane (portulaca oleracea). This ‘weed’ (said with a derogatory slur) is a native of India but if it was an army would be declared victorious in conquering the land. It’s probably growing up out of a crack in a sidewalk near you.
This dude, with its fleshy little leaves, is low in calories and fat, but high in gobs of vitamins and minerals. Pound for pound it is one of the most nutritious plants on the continent. It could provide you with all the vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids you need if you could get over the perception that it’s just a weed.
Call me a crazy prepper, that’s ok, really. I do know that whether you are preparing for 3 days without electricity, life in general or for the end of the world as we know it, the greatest preparation of all is a prepared mind.
That brain up there in your head can store so much info, it could dramatically determine whether you survive, or don’t. That’s not only true in the preparations, but for all of life. Please (pause for dramatic effect), stop and smell the roses people, and learn that rose hips could save you from the scorn of scurvy and a lot of anguish. Being prepared for life is a lot about perception. I hope you consider changing yours about one thing today.
Wayne Dyer said it so well, “change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.”
Note: This article was an entry in our October – December 2014 writing contest. Click here to find out about our current writing contest.