Sunday, February 12, 2017

Ruminations on Survival Medicine from the mountain top.

Having had several days of feeling lousy up here by myself, the issue of taking care of yourself has been much in my mind.  It's one thing when your spouse is home to take care of you, it's a whole different ball game when you have to drag yourself out to feed the chickens while you're sick.

I keep medical supplies here, and for the flu there isn't much you can do anyway except take something like TheraFlu. But these past few days have certainly reminded me that a person needs to be able to "hold in place" and still have on hand what you need for health purposes. It's entirely possible that we may have some disruption in our transportation system with all the turmoil going on now. That means no trucks. Up here, that means no supplies after a few days.

Here are some books on "do it yourself" medicine that might make a nice addition to your reference library at home. I have some of them, and others I am trying to decide whether the investment is worthwhile. They can get pricey.

I thought I had this book, but when I checked the shelves, I couldn't find it.  Possibly I lent it out and just don't remember doing so.  But I can say this about it.  The people who wrote it run a survivalist web page concerned primarily with the medical aspects of self sufficiency.  It's pricey, about $45.00 unless you can find a used copy or one on sale.

Here's the link to their web page if anyone wants to look at it:

The Doom and Bloom Website

I don't have this book, but I am considering buying it.  Some years back, I worked at the local state park on a "seniors" program. Some days I worked down at the boat docks, but usually up in the camp store. I wound up spending a lot more than I ever earned at that place.  The new Park Ranger decided to quit selling camping equipment and sell gourmet chocolate and expensive jewelry instead. That wasn't a very good decision, but they put all the camping equipment on clearance and I bought all of it that could conceivably be of any use to me.  I mean, I bought all of  the tarps, rope, fire starters, dehydrated trail food, compasses, parachute cord, etc they had.  At the same time, he put all the books on sale to get rid of them, and I bought a really nice guide to plants of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which ones were good for what, and how to identify them. Not that it's done me a lot of good, but I have it if I need it. This book would probably be in the same category. And there's no telling if any of these plants even grow up here.

I know enough about first aid to get by.  There's also this, one of the people who will be coming here to live (she's a local) is an ER nurse. But times change and you can never be sure that people who say they are coming will.  I don't care a hoot about first aid because I learned enough of that in the service, but I am interested in medical treatment. I don't have this book, and I don't like the "Prepper" moniker. I don't think I'll buy this one.

Don't know a thing about this one.  I need to read the Amazon reviews. I hate Amazon but I'm a pragmatist when I need to be.  I'm putting it up here now in case someone out there actually has read the book and can tell me if it's a waste of money or a must have.

This book has been around forever. It's even on the internet somewhere or other in pdf form. I saw it in pdf but didn't print it as I had the book. I'm pretty sure it's on Amazon for the Kindle too. It's a basic book but worth having. Dental problems can do you in if you can't just toodle on to the dentist. This past year, I went through a major dental upgrade for all four of us in the family, and got everybody 100% squared away. This involved cleaning of course, but also two root canals, several fillings, and  an extraction and implant.  I am continually uneasy about the social situation, and if things go badly I don't want to be worrying about someone's teeth.  Still, this book is a resource for that very eventuality.

This is a companion volume to the dentist book.  I have it, and it's worth the money.  There are a lot of different versions and issues out there so be sure you get a current one, if you decide to buy it.

I have several English friends  One of them is a lady whose family has relocated to the country and is rebuilding a cottage dating back to 1856. I'm sure a lot of you read her blog.  She was starting out in canning, and I was able to get her a copy of Ball's Canning Guide. She sent me a very useful book that I did not even know existed, in return.  It listed every medicine under the sun, told you what it was for, how to use it, and what not to use it with.

I buy an updated copy every now and then, but having one in the house would be very helpful if things go badly and you have to use the medicines you've stored to treat family and friends.

These books come in every size and shape, and in a wide range of prices. But truly, they could be worth their weight in gold some day. Most of us have stashed away essential medicines, but I know from treating our animals here  that sometimes, you may have to decide which antibiotic to use, and why. 

There are a lot of web pages that deal with using "time expired" medicine. Somewhere I have a very detailed article on it, written by a pharmaceutical specialist. If I can find it, I'll try to post it. But for now, here's a link to one article on the subject.

Article: Using Old Drugs for Survival

And then, there's the issue of using drugs sold at feed stores and farmers depots, marketed for animals, on people.

It's  true that the drugs come from the same factories, are the same drugs, do the same things. But I guarantee you some people will not want to use them. That's fine.  I'm not marketing anything. But unless you have a friendly doctor who will write you prescriptions for your stash (and 99.9 percent of them won't) then you have to do something. I'm putting this link in here for information purposes. We can talk about everything in the Survivalist lifestyle, but everybody has to make their own choices.

I have an issue of Ballistic Magazine that has the best chart I have ever seen on perscription medicines, what they do, when to use them.  I tried to do a spreadsheet that I could post, but it was a Herculean effort, there was too much information. I'll dig the issue out of my files, and post the issue number. It would be worth buying as a back issue, just for that one chart.

So.  If anyone comes across other good sources of information on this topic, be it books or articles on the web, please let me know.  I haven't been overly worried about it for awhile. Felt like my stores of medicine and my current references were enough. And , after all, if my nurse materializes while the cities burn and  the trucks stop running, I should be ok anyway.  But I don't like to put all my eggs in one basket.

Thought for the Day:



  1. I found the drug information in the back of Where There Is No Doctor to be he most valuable part of the book. It is literally the sort of info you want if you're scrounging through the shattered ruins of your local Walgreens pharmacy or a flipped over ambulance...Brand name, generic name, recommended dosage, etc. Very useful.

    eBay has a surprisingly good amount of medical gear and supplies on there. I buy cases of bandaids, guaze, etc, and you can get some pretty hard-to-find stuff too like pressure dressings, splints, evacuation sleds, etc, etc.

    There are several books out there on what vet meds to use, etc. If you read the labels, and compare the pills in your Phys. Desktop Ref., you'll see they're identical. In those circumstances I've no problem taking vet meds.

    I'd be curious to see that list you tried to spreadsheet.

  2. Zero, I'm wondering if I have the most recent edition. I don't remember that. But the odds are, the information is in the copy I have and I just didn't imprint on it. I'm going to check and if I don't have a copy with that information, I'll get one. One bad thing about that book is there are so many editions floating around and some of them are boot legged.

    I would be willing to lend you my copy of the magazine. You can't scan it, because it's one of those oversized magazines with pages that go over the edge of the scanner, and the print goes into the places where the pages come together, so it won't fit flat on the scanner. I'd be happy to send it out and see if you can figure some way to reproduce it. At the very least, you could read the article.
    Let me know. I will probably go into town tomorrow to go to the feed store and could mail it then.

    1. Hi Harry, photograph it in 4 sections, make sure it over laps. They is what they used to do with microfiche. Then you could publish it is small parts on here as pictures.

    2. Sol, I just have a cheesy little printer with a scanning function. I can't do much with it.

      But I sent the magazine to Commander Zero today, and he is going to try to scan it. If he can I will post it.

      If he can't, I guess I could see if they will sell me the back issue on Kindle, and then I could just do a cut and paste.

      When you say photograph it in four parts, you mean take digital pictures? How would you put it back together so it overlaps? You must use some special program to do that, right?

  3. The one book that I have actually used in the field is "Wilderness Medicine: Beyond First Aid" by William Forgey, M.D.

    I haven't really taken a serious look at pet meds before, probably because I have a good supply of antibiotics from Mexico, they have worked well for us in the past and they are cheap.

    I'm interested to learn what information is on that chart of yours. --Troy

    1. I pulled the magazine and will be sending it to Zero, he thinks he might be able to put the information in a format that I could post.

      Aren't you nervous about taking medicine from Mexico? I'd be afraid it would just be dust or something..... Did you go down there to buy them or can you get them on line? You can email me about it if you would

  4. harry,
    flip through your books and when you decide on the herbs, wild or domesticated, buy the seeds and make plantings here and there around the place.
    don't dig too much or the cats will think it is there for their bathroom pleasure.
    when you get to a px buy a lot of everclear straight alcohol and make tinctures. easiest way.
    put uses on label and store in dark cupboard.
    great to have on hand.
    rabbit tobacco , pseudognaphalium obtusifolium, grows in your area. told it is biennial, so start some every year. deers said to love it so plant where dogs repel deer.
    i love it. helped my digestion and heard it is great for asthma and other breathing problems. can be used as tincture, tea, or smoked in your pipe.
    also said to repel bugs.

    look up 'darryl patton'.
    he is a herbalist, from your area, i think.

    better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.

    1. Deb, thanks for the good advice. We have discussed growing an herb garden here. We have an arborium, currently just being used to store tools and equipment, that would do nicely.

      You are quite right, once you need something it's often too late to get it.

  5. go to

    go to

    for info on use of osage orange, especially for cancer.
    note that the sap can be irritating.
    you may have some trees on your property already.
    freeze the 'oranges' and store for need.

  6. Hey Harry,


    I read the on the previous post about the news reporter and cameraman that were almost 'dunked in the muck' for getting in the way of progress. I figure I could poke a little fun at the media with the reply below.

    I'm not really worried about medical stuff when the 'poo, poop hits the fan, because I plan on cannibalizing members of the media for spare body parts. The media has become increasing worthless thanks to the internet and amateur alt-right media on youtube and other online news sources.
    I figure most reporters are young and healthy. I can find myself with quite a few options for upgrades and replacement of worn out joints, bad eyes and other parts. You know that would make a good horror book. 'Frankenstien Survivalist'

    1. I don't think there are many fans of the media out there now who are not leftists. Be careful, if you eat a media person you could easily contract food poisoning and die. I don't think even buzzards could eat that foul crew without risk.

      I was just watching a PBS show about the Anasazi, and it's weird how cannibalism almost always shows up in terminal societies when the stress level gets very high. Pretty soon the BLM will be eating people using that parameter. I wonder, will they want the dark meat or the white meat?

    2. Hey Harry,


      that last line made me lmao:)

    3. Cannibals are discriminating diners. I read a lot about the Anasazi Indians, and their unexplained disappearance. One thing the archaeologists know for sure, when the Anasazi culture broke down, violence and cannibalism were rampant. But the cannibals only ate the good stuff like brains, bone marrow, and fleshy parts. Haute Cuisine. Num Num !

  7. i always have some medicine with me for emergency like fever, cold. Nice to see the collection of books...

    1. I keep a good supply up here on the mountain. You never know when the availability of medicine will go away. I tend to buy books like that, scan through them, then hope I won't ever need them. I should force myself to sit down and read through the things.

  8. a few for your herb garden, my Gran used to swear by lavender, it needs really well drained soil, plant it and neglect it, she used to say. its good not only for sleep but also a fever.

    When we were off colour and said we were hot or had a headache for breakfast she would make a sandwich of feverfew. And off we had to go to school. Feverfew will burn your mouth if not bound in the sandwich. The flowers are also very pretty and look like fried eggs. Both plants you could have in your garden and no one would know you have them for medicinal purpose. Obviously check if they are compatible with any medication you take, but a bath in lavender sprigs to help with a fever probably wont affect you, but better be safe than sorry.

    Sage is great for ladies of a certain age, it helps with night sweats.

    Salves can be made from camomile, my gran used to grow loads of it, but I cant seem to get it to take like she did. but then she swore by giving it and the fern plant the dregs from the tea pot. Where I put it in the ground and leave it, type of thing

    Tea made with peppermint, parsley stalks and fennel tops or seeds, will help with trapped wind and stomach ache.

    I cant remember what else she used to give us. But we didnt see the Dr a lot.

    There is also a cheap version of hibiscrub

    (I incuded the link incase it is called something else over there)

    we buy that from the feed and grain store, its marketed as a vets scrub. It costs £2 for 500ml. It is the same thing but less than a 1/4 of the price. The vet said to use it to bath dogs feet if irritated or cuts or cracks in their paws. I dont see a reason a human couldnt use it.

    Kirsty will know more about if tablets are out of date. I hope she sees this post and comments. I might be scared to use them if I wasnt informed so that is something to look up for my own knowledge.

    1. Sol, that's a really good comment, and I appreciate your taking the time to post it. I am sure a lot of other people will too. I will see if I can find those things. I don't really know where to look, except that there are two nurserys in this county and maybe they sell them. Some herbs are for sale at the Home Depot hardware and builder supply, but I don't think any of those you named are.

      It was Kirsty who sent me the really good book on medicine. She is so busy right now she doesn't post much, but maybe she will see this one.

  9. I have a number of books like these. I also like to keep around a bunch on making medicinal tinctures. I do actually take them when sick. The dandelion in particular is excellent for stomach aches (although it tastes like death - it's pretty much the worst taste I've ever encountered and if it didn't work so good I wouldn't touch it). The fire cider is good for helping fight colds, as is the echinacea tincture I made. I think it's good to make this stuff and test it now, to see if it actually works.

    1. Lisa, I am going to get my wife going on the herbs when she comes back from visiting the kids. I will help set up the herb garden in the arborium, and she can run it. We will try to grow the things you, Sol, Deborah, and some of the other ladies have recommended.

      I keep a lot of pills up here, but I honestly believe that the holistic medicines are better, if you know what you are doing. I have a sister in law who is a doctor, and she thinks there's a lot of validity to "home remedies." Just because something didn't come from Pfizer doesn't mean it won't work. I've neglected this aspect of survivalism over the years. Mainly, I think, because I'm not really into gardening and all and it wasn't "fun" like guns were. But now that my wife is retired and home (sometimes) we are more prepared to work on this.

  10. i was in lowes the other day and their book section was full of survival books, subsistence gardening, and off grid cabin books. is prepping going mainstream? there was a good one on plant recognition i may pick up next trip. go figure. get well soon.

    1. I'll be damned. There's a Lowes not far from here. I fact, I was down that way today. I never go there, but next time I am in that town I will go check it out. I buy most of my stuff off the net but it would be nice to be able to thumb through a book before I spent twenty or thirty bucks on it.

      I have one good one on plant recognition for my area, but I have never really used it.... I should, just so I know what's available. Maybe when spring comes the dogs and I will take the book and go out into the woods to see what we can find. Probably a bear or wild hogs will get us.....

    2. better yet, get the bear and wild hogs first. then check out the flora. i really need to get on that as well. farming,though raised farming, is no longer my strong suite so i better learn foraging. my gg gramdma was a native cherokee. she took me on walkabouts when i was little but sadly she died before i could get old enough to soak up her knowledge. so much knowledge lost. thousands of years worth.

    3. RR, I've tried to study the Cherokee and how they survived up in these bleak mountains come the winter, but have never really found any decent sources. I even searched the Georgia University system data base, GALILEO, and came up dry.

      We are trying to get more in tune with growing our own food . My wife and I did some raised bed gardening that was not wildly successful last summer, but we hope to do better, on a larger scale, this time around.

  11. I'll have to check out the medical books! I've been sick with asthma crap for a few months. I finally caved today to see a specialist. I hated doing that. I feel like I took 7 steps back in time. I used to see an allergy specialist when I was a kid.

    Antibiotics didn't cover whatever I have, so I know whatever I was sick with is now asthma.

    There is one thing that does help besides the occasional puff of the inhaler - I made a blend of things that reduces inflammation. It so works! 2 cups of water to boil, add 1 and 1/2 chopped yellow onion, 1/2 cup local honey, 3/4 cup ginger diced, 2 garlic cloves diced, 2 big spoons full of turmeric, and 1 Tablespoon cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil again, turn the heat down to low, and cover it until it boils out 1/2 the water. You can see it because of the yellow tumeric. Let cool, and blend. OMG 2 spoons full in hot water does wonders. It doesn't taste bad either. Sounds like it would. It tastes similar to a tea. It will help any virus, or other crap breathing problem.

    1. That sounds pretty rough! "Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble!"

      Have you ever tried rubbing some Vick's Salve under your nose when you get congested. I do, and it helps me.

      Do you think I could make a small batch of the recipe you use, and then put it in a bottle and put it in the ice box, then use it when I need it? Or does it have to be fresh out of the pot?

  12. alissa, for asthma breathe the smoke from rabbit tobacco.

    1. Where would you get rabbit tobacco? Sounds like an herb or weed but I have not heard of it around here. Must not grow in Appalachia.