When we think of having survival skills, typically people look to medicinal knowledge as being ideal, but the knowledge of herbs is far more important than medicinal knowledge. Here’s why..
The world in a fallen state simply cannot reproduce enough medicine to serve everyone which means there will be shortages. Medicine only treats symptoms and does not cure. In fact, medicine has sometimes dangerous side effects that could actually worsen your health instead of improve it.
Herbs are your weeds, they grow very readily and very quickly – they spread and you can find them just about everywhere. I’ve always thought it amazing that God would create herbs in such a manner. I think it speaks volumes of God’s love that herbs do grow in this manner. They were planted here for us.
Having the ability to distinguish friend from foe in the plant world will be very crucial, but knowing how to use the herb in treatment and application also equally important. These skills will be much sought after during an apocalyptic time as it will be crucial to your very existence and survival to maintain your health.
Consider your enemies. Disease and sickness are the number one killers (next to people) during any disaster. Living conditions will be horribly compromised which will only contribute to disease and sickness. Food and clean water will be scarce. Because food and clean water will be scarce, your body will start to wear down quickly without the necessary nutrients it needs to survive. You can go a long time without food, but you won’t last a week without clean water especially in dryer, hotter climates. Unless you are a doomsday prepper and have built up your food and water stock to live on for some time, this could be a problem.
Lucky for you, there’s plants. Plants not only get their nutrients from the ground which you then receive by eating the plant, but they also absorb water from the ground.
You will have to be careful here- you don’t want to consume or use radioactive plants or herbs. Make sure the soil has not been tainted with chemicals and educate yourself on identifying toxic plants. You do not want to collect water on a toxic plant and you do not want to accidentally ingest a toxic plant. Use your best judgement when scavenging. If you’re like me, you’ll want to stockpile herbs and water ahead of time.
How to Extract Water from Plants
You can extract water from a plant’s stem if it’s fleshy by cutting and squeezing it into your mouth. Depending on the size of the stem, you may not get a whole lot. Succulent plants such as Aloe Vera store water in their leaves and similar to a cactus can be wrapped in a cloth and squished to extract water.
Plant roots may also provide water. You can cut a plant’s root into short pieces and smash to a pulp till the moisture runs out, collect the water, and filter it through a cloth to filter out the dirt.
Moss collects water. This can be squeezed out and filtered to produce drink.
If you’re out in the desert, a cactus is great source of water and food. Slicing off a piece of the cactus (avoiding the central core because it is stringy), you are able to eat the cactus meat. And as I noted earlier, you can also wrap the meat in a cloth to squish it and extract water. If you’ve got a cholla cactus, you can eat the berries!
This is the Cholla Cactus >
Also known as the “Teddy Bear” Cactus.
Plants can transpire (sweat) water out through their leaves that you can collect to drink. Plants will transpire in sunlight if they’ve accumulated too much water in the stem.
- Select a plant with large, green leaves that receives a lot of sunlight because the sunlight will help the plant to transpire.
- Hang a bag or can, etc. – you can get creative – that can collect water and not leak with some sturdy and strong rope away from the ground. If you have to use plastic than you can use that. I’m opposed to using plastic only because plastic heated up by the sun allows plastic particles to release into the water. This is poisonous and you really don’t want to drink this, but if you have to – you have to.
- Shake the branch off to get rid of bugs or debris and wrap the bag around the leaves.
- Tie this off and make sure to hang it lower than the branch because you want it to collect water and not leak out.
- To obtain enough water, you will want to tie off several bags to branches. This process will take about 3-4 hours in sun to get a decent amount of drinkable water (about 1/3 of a cup).
If you have no bags, you can try and collect morning dew (if it’s heavy) from plants. You can do this by tying rags, tufts of fine grass, or moss around your ankles and walking through the dew-covered grass before sunrise. Wring out the rags, grass tufts, or moss that absorbed the dew and Voila! You now have water. Repeat the process if need be.
Remember: Only use food safe containers to collect water. Please don’t use anything that’s had chemicals in it. You don’t want to poison yourself getting water. Always strain the water through a clean fabric, like a t-shirt, to filter out impurities.
If you can find a clean flowing stream or clean groundwater – drink that. In a stream, drink the water farthest up the stream that is flowing. Never drink still water. Rocks act as natural filters so they clean the water and sitting water, because it’s not moving, can quickly become a cesspool for bacteria. The earth naturally filters rain water into the ground so groundwater is drinkable as long as the earth has not been contaminated.
EDIBLE PLANTS IN THE WILD
Besides those vegetables that we know of – asparagus, cabbage, lettuce, squash, carrots, broccoli, etc. – there are many other edible plants out there that are not that well known to most.
- Clovers – these are everywhere and they are edible and while they taste better boiled, you can eat these raw. Clover blossoms may also be eaten raw, but don’t taste the best!
- Chicory – the entire plant can be eaten from flowers and leaves to the roots. The leaves and flowers can be eaten raw, but I’d recommend boiling the roots.
- Dandelion – like the chicory, the entire plant can be eaten from the flowers and leaves to the roots. It is chock full of nutrients. Eat the leaves before they mature as they become bitter afterwards. Boiling removes the bitter taste however. The flowers may be eaten raw. I recommend boiling the roots before consuming and drinking the water afterwards as dandelion tea is very good for the liver.
- Purslane – you can eat the leaves of this plant raw or boiled. The plant has a sour taste so to remove this, you may want to boil it first.
- Garlic Mustard – this plant gets its name from its smell – it smells like garlic and it tastes like garlic. The greens from this plant are very high in nutrients. The whole plant is edible from leaves, roots, stems, and roots. Leaves turn bitter when the weather gets hot so boil these to take out the bitterness. I recommend boiling the roots and stems as well. Leaves and flowers may be eaten raw.
Sorrel’s – Sheep and Wood – both of these are used medicinally as well, but are also edible. They are rich in nutrients. Top image is wood sorrel and bottom is sheep sorrel.
- Chewing on wood sorrel eliminates thirst and eating the plant cures mouth sores. You can eat the leaves raw for both.
- Boil the roots of wood sorrel for a potato tasting snack.
- Sheep sorrel should not be eaten in large quantities as it contains oxalates and only eat the leaves of this plant raw. All parts of the sheep sorrel may be used medicinally however.
- Sheep sorrel roots make an excellent tea and is one of the ingredients found in Essiac Tea – a cancer fighting tea.
- Sheep sorrel is known to break down and reduce tumors. Used as a poultice, it even has an expelling effect on cysts.
- Like the wood sorrel, sheep sorrel can be used for treating mouth and throat ulcers, digestive disorders, hemorrhoids, loss of appetite, fevers, scurvy, and infections.
- The juice extracted from the fresh plant is used to treat urinary and kidney disease.
- Sheep sorrel can be applied externally as a topical wash for skin problems such as itchy rashes including poison ivy and hives.
“All parts of sheep sorrel (leaves, flowers, roots, and stems) are used medicinally. The leaves and stems should be harvested in the spring or summer before the flowers form. The roots are harvested in the fall. Small quantities of the leaves of sheep sorrel may be eaten in salads or boiled as a green vegetable. Sheep sorrel is also available in tincture, capsule, or tea form. The leaves are brewed as a tea to treat fever, inflammation, and scurvy. A tea made from the roots is used for diarrhea and excessive menstrual bleeding.” [THE GALE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE, pp. 1570-1571]”
Chervil – also known as cow’s parsley. Leaves, seeds, and the flowers are all edible – raw or boiled. Roots may be boiled for a nice tonic.
Young leaves are milder and taste better so you will want to consume before the leaves mature, however boiling will reduce the bitterness. I recommend eating the flowers raw as boiling reduces the flavor and these have a nice anise taste to them.
“This plant has poisonous look-alikes, such as hemlock (Conium maculatum or Cicuta spp.) and fool’s parsley (Aethusa cynapium). One of the distinguishing features between them being that wild chervil has stout, pale green furrowed and slightly hairy stems. In contrast fools’ parsley has thin, hairless ribbed and hollow stems.” – Healing Weeds
REMEMBER WHEN CONSUMING RAW PLANTS AND WHEN BOILING THEM: They should be used totally fresh or totally dried, not wilted and never moldy. In fact, moldy clover is how they discovered the “blood thinner” coumadin, right after it killed a bunch of cows.
And make sure you are picking plants from soil that has not been contaminated with sewer, chemicals, pesticides, radiation, or other harmful toxins and use clean water. Boiling water kills the bacteria in the water, but it doesn’t take out any harmful particles so always strain water before use through a cloth and make sure to obtain water from upstream where it is flowing through rocks (this helps filter the water).
Do not obtain water that is from a lake or a source that is stagnant, near a sewer, or near factories, especially power plants.
The World in a Fallen State
We’ve already seen some events like I’ve listed below take place around the world. The whole world hasn’t had one single cataclysmic event, yet, but parts of the world have and some experts suggest worse is coming and it will be worldwide. Consider these predictions for an apocalyptic event:
- EMP (electromagnetic pulse)
- Nuclear warfare
- Economic Collapse
- Volcanic eruptions
- Rapture of the Church
- Day of the Lord
Of course the impacts of these would have to be felt worldwide in order to be apocalyptic. These are just to name a few, but just the ones I’ve named here are not only very possible, but experts believe we are completely overdue for some of these.
For example, there are experts who believe a pandemic is just over the horizon and some experts also forecast future cataclysmic natural disasters not only occurring in the future, but that these natural disasters are going to progressively get worse every year. Just Google, “future natural disasters predictions” and you’ll find a ton of information if you’re interested.
The Bible also clearly indicates a worldwide disastrous event, known as the Day of the Lord, which will occur during the middle of the tribulation period when the skies are darkened and the moon becomes blood red. So the question is not a matter of ‘if’ it happens, but ‘when’ it happens. I don’t plan on being here for that because the Rapture of the Church will occur prior to this, but if you do not know Jesus Christ as your Saviour – you should probably get right with Him now or prepare yourself now. Bad times are going to fall upon the Earth – The Time of Jacob’s Trouble. So bad that Jesus said in Matthew 22:24, “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.”
So how does knowing about herbs help me during times of trouble?
Herbal knowledge will be very important during a cataclysmic event. This is a skillset that will make you valuable to others because not many people will have the ability or know-how to identify or heal with herbs.
Unlike physical items, this is not something a person can steal from you either so it is something you can carry with you and use at all times. It will make you so valuable, it may save your life.
Herbs were treated like gold and used as currency in biblical times and I believe they will be treated like this again.
Even if the world doesn’t come to a standstill in your lifetime, knowing how to use herbs will save you money now and in the future. You can avoid expensive healthcare costs like doctor appointments, prescription drugs, and hospital bills. You can avoid illnesses caused by these prescription drugs, and have the security and peace of mind knowing you can keep you and your family safe and healthy when sickness creeps in.
The Herbal Academy is a great start to begin your journey in Herbs! They offer exemplary courses including an Introductory course that will get you comfortable and knowledgeable in the basics. I encourage you to begin your herbal journey Here.
There are some great herbal online stores to shop for bulk, organic herbs if you wish to stock up.
Herbs you should always keep on hand during cold, winter months:
- Echinacea (good for viral and bacterial infections)
- Catnip (good for cold and flu, fever reducer)
- Thyme (good for croup, lung infections, loosens phlegm in the lungs and helps the body to expel it)
Shop for Bulk Herbs, Extracts, and more: Starwest Botanicals Inc.
Shop for Herbal Supplements: Global Healing Center
Shop for Bulk Herbs and Supplements: Health Ranger Store This store also carries a wide range of products from prepper necessities such as survival kits and survival multi-tools as well as health, beauty, and fitness products and appliances.
Here’s to Your Survival. Be Well 🙂