I was at the gun show in Albuquerque this weekend, We had a great turn out for our table and met a LOT of good folks. This is the first time I have really tried to sell the herbal side of The Medic Shack. Unsurprisingly it was very well received.
But I had one MD that was of the opinion that it had no place in medicine. And a EMT-P that at first thought there as no need then changed her mind.
The biggest obstacle to herbal first aid is not the herbs and plant material but the knowledge of the practitioner . And more importantly the mind set of the patient.
The statement that the MD. made to me was “If the plants and herbs did not work in the 17th century, what makes you think it will work in the 21st?” And he has a valid point. What makes me think they will work any different today than 2 centuries ago? It’s pretty easy. Knowledge. In the middle ages up to the late 17th early 18th century we really did not know about the real functions of the body, nor anything about bacteria or viruses. If it wasn’t a visible injury, IE, Sword cut Arrow in the chest. Missing fingers, Illness was sometime attributed to variations of heat and cold (we still do that today) Curses and evil spirits. The worse thing that a lot of healers didn’t do was wash their hands. Another advantage we have over our predecessors is we have modern chemistry and biology. An example of that is “I believe that Elderberry helps with cold and flu viruses and bacteria but I do not know how it works# Today we know that it does, How it does it. AND what type of bugs it kills.
http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6882/11/16 This study not only supports that black elderberry inhibits growth of both influenza A and B viruses, but also against against three Gram-positive bacteria and one Gram-negative bacteria that cause upper respiratory infections: Streptococcus pyogenes and group C and G Streptococci, and the Gram-negative bacterium Branhamella catarrhalis, respectively. Those 4 bacteria and two viruses are the primary cause of upper respiratory infections. Today we know HOW works.
This study http://www.jle.com/en/revues/ecn/e-docs/the_effect_of_sambucol_a_black_elderberry_based_natural_product_on_the_production_of_human_cytokines_i._inflammatory_cytokines_90261/article.phtml Tells us that it effects the the production of cytokines. A part of the immune system. So enough of the biology lessons. Dose herbal medicine belong in modern first aid and trauma medicine? My opinion is a resounding YES. Modern western medicines are not a sustainable product. Today there are wide and wild shortages of basic medications. For example Sodium Chloride (Normal Saline) Ampicillin Vancomycin Lopressor are all on shortage this month. And thing are normal .Fortunately for the prepper that takes the time to learn herbal medicine can replace those drugs that are short. And when things are not normal, that knowledge is invaluable. Adding the herbal medicine to your kit get quite a few steps ahead of the average prepper. By adding a few simple items to your kit you are much more prepared for any thing that may be thrown in your path. Some of mine are in liquid or oil state.
Arnica, I keep as an infused oil based salve I use it for sprains strains and bruises.
Oregon Grape Root . I use this as a wound wash. It is very effective to use to clean out cuts and scrapes and also to wash a wound prior to closing.
Yarrow. Natures bandage. Crushed yarrow placed on a cleaned wound will help accelerate healing. Cayenne. I have two forms of it. Powder where it is used to help slow bleeding and on patients with hypertension helps to lower the blood pressure.. And a salve of it as a muscle rub.
Comfrey. I keep for bites stings and the brush with poison Ivy. It is the one that comes close too the universal outdoor first aid kit.
Raw honey. This is my go to for topical antibiotic and burn ointment. The reason I use this instead of Aloe Vera is my kit stays in my bag all the time and is only taken out when I need. Aloe has a limited life after being cut. This is just a short list.