When the health insurance runs out.

When the health insurance runs out.

When people think of SHTF they think of the Evil Red Horde or Zombies overrunning the country. Economy tanks or an asteroid strikes the earth.

Today. The real SHTF is losing a job or losing your health insurance. Show of hands who have had one or both happen. For most young people losing health insurance is not SHTF. You get much over 40 and it sure as hell is. If you or a spouse of family member have a long term health issue its SHTF. So after the panic phase happens what do you do?

Well this is going to rub people the wrong way. My advice is APPLY FOR MEDICAID.

There. Ive said it. One of the top evil phrases has been uttered.

Government Assistance.

And a lot will say , “Im to stinking proud to ask the government for help”. Or, “Thats why we are trying to be self sufficient so we do not need the government in our biz.” And I think the same way. To a point.

Most of y’all know me. I teach alternative medicine. I teach folks how to make do with what they have. Why would I say apply for Medicaid?

To fill the gaps that what I teach leaves for as long as possible. I can teach how to control hypertension, type 2 diabetes, I even have stuff of COPD and asthma. I can set a broken bone, close a wound so well you’d think a plastics doc did it. Even if SHTF some surgical repairs. But the list of what I can’t fix is a long as my leg. Im not a doctor. Taught a bunch of them. But there are a lot of things that still need modern 21st century medicine. Especially some of the special meds some folks need.

But you want go know the real reason I say apply for state Medicaid?


So you do not need to use your preps unnecessarily.

There is a difference between needing a hand up up and expecting a hand out. The vast majority of preppers are just that sort of person.

Now that we have the hard part out of the way lets chat about what we can do. Think of it as good training for the real SHTF.

First. Inventory your critical medications. DO. NOT. RATION. LIFE SAVING DRUGS.


Asthma or respiratory drugs

Cardiac drugs. IE. Anti arrhythmia drugs. Heart failure meds.

Psychoactive drugs

Blood pressure medications

Blood thinners. (Stroke preventing drugs)

The list goes on. Just think of drugs that help keep you alive.

Inventory them. See how much you have. Normally when you lose a job your insurance ends at the end of the calendar month your job ended. Say you leave 7 October. Your insurance will end 31 October. Use that time to call your doctor’s. Explain your situation and try to get 90 day refills on all the drugs you can. This will make a huge difference in your health. Both physical and mental.



Now that you hopefully have your scripts under control, let talk about preventive measures.

Type 2 diabetes. Everyone and their uncle will you how to control it with only diet. And for a lot of people that works. But some need more help to get an A1C under 7.5. Most folks take Metformin or Glucophage. Some take the newer “designer” type 2 drugs.


Berberine. For type 2 diabetics and SOME type 1’s it is very effective. Some have even removed metformin and use berberine. Exclusively. Word of advice. Before changing any life saving medication or even any medication please consult your doctor and consult a knowledgeable herbalist. Randomly trying out herbs to replace drugs with now knowledge is dangerous.



Hypertension. Hypertension is a major killer in the US. It is silent and deadly and often times unnoticed. But once detected it can be treated.

First off if you are over weight, start trying to lose weight. That helps a bunch. Diet helps, some say drop your sodium level. Im not a dietitian so I will not recommends specific diet. Just eat one that is sensible, healthy and sustaining.

There are a bunch of herbs that help with hypertension. My top favorites are Celery, cats claw cayenne. Celery is an ancient drug. It has been used in China For thousands of years. There is no one chemical that has been isolated from celery that has been identified as T One. One study is it works as a diuretic. That does help to lower blood pressure.

Cayenne . Cayenne works as a vasodilation agent. It works as a rapid vasodialator and has shown some success as an extended one. Its major disadvantage is it burns. Even in capsule form it can cause stomach discomfort. Most often , ummm on the way out. Most all of the hotter chile peppers will work the same as Cayenne. Its the capsicum that is the active ingredient. The key is the heat range of pepper that does the work. Cayenne is the easiest to acquire





Cat’s Claw, Una de Gato, Uncaria tomentosa

Cats claw has also been used in Chinese medicine for the treatment of hypertension for centuries. It is relative newcomer to hypertension in the west. Some recent studies show that in rodents it acts on the

calcium channels. WARNING MEDICAL EDUCATION AHEAD. Calcium channel blockers work by “blocking” calcium from entering the cells of the heart and vessels which lowers the blood pressure by relaxing the arterial wall muscles.

This feature makes cats claw one of my top drugs since in works in a fashion that a medical doctor can make use of. One note. The cats claw we are discussing here is NOT the cats claw that grows in the desert southwest. The biggest drawback to cats claw is it only grows in South America. That makes it a limited item if things go bad. Buy in bulk and preserve it.




Pain control. Right now the United States is in an opioid war. OK now that that is out of the way. Pain control is a touchy subject. But thankfully the herbal side can help as well as the pharmaceutical industry. There are a lot of choices, but we’ll just touch on a couple here. California poppy, devils claw, marijuana and of course willow bark. Oh for our southwest desert rats prickly poppy.

On facebook and twitter, you’ll see ads for “Backyard Morphine ” and other such drivel. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DO NOT CLICK ON THE ADS. Most are just ads to subscribe to books or magazines. You can get much better and more accurate info from many other sources


California Poppy. This is a relative to the Oriental or Afghan poppy. But its has essentially zero opiates in it. It is a very efficient and effective plant for helping to control pain. Used correctly it is a very safe plant to use.




Devils Claw. This is a plant native to the Kalahari desert. It contains a chemical called Harpagosides. Harpagosides have been shown to possess anti-inflammatory properties. And for most people inflammation means pain. Over a fairly safe drug, but it does have some side effects. Namely GI problems including bleeding, it can lower blood sugar so diabetics need to be wary. Pregnant women should not take it as it can cause uterine contractions. There are others listed also. Devils claw is in my home herbal stash but I limit its use. Not because of side effects but because it only grows Africa, If things go bad the supply is cut off. As with Cats Claw, buy in bulk and preserve i





Willow Bark. Willow bark contains the chemical salicin. The base ingredient of aspirin. A well recognized NSAID . As a general rule all the precautions that apply to aspirin apply to willow bark. Now some may or may not experience the same. Willow is a wonderful plant and grows everywhere. Some ask, “Willow trees do not grow here” . True there are a few areas that willows do not grow well or die back or are eaten during the year. Any of the poplar species contain salicin. Birch, poplar, alder, cottonwood to name a few.


  Prickly Poppy. Native to the desert southwest prickly poppy is an effective pain reliever with much of the same properties as California Poppy. It does have more risks. First the sap is acidic and can cause burns to sensitive skin. I’ve used it for treatment of warts and skin tags. The seeds are a strong expectorant in higher dose a effective emetic. In low doses they are an effective sedative. Caution using with children. It is a very effective plant. But it must be used with caution and training.






Finally marijuana. Once again we step into touchy territory. It is a controversial plant. But its uses and benefits far out weigh its risks. This news letter is not about the political nor moral . Or even the legal attributes of the drug. That is a task for the reader. I’ll just talk about the facts of it.

The are dozens if not hundreds of ingredients in cannabis. But the two primary are THC and CBD. Both are effective at reliving pain, but CBD does better without the psychotropic effects. There are way to many uses and formulas to list here. That is a topic by its self.

My preferred method of administration is tincture. This is done cold and does not activate the THC. This leaves a alcohol based tincture that works well at relieving mild to moderate pain with. I have had great success in using it as a salve as long as it is kept below the Decarboxylation temperature of 220 degrees F.

Losing health insurance is a stone cold B with and Itch. We are going though it currently. And lets not even talk about the dental aspects of things. But it can be overcome. Swallow the pride. Apply for state Medicaid. You paid in to it for long enough. And most importantly, keep calm, make plans and network with others and get educated on what you can do to bridge the gap.

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