Top 10 medicinal plants for survival

By Tomi Stojanovic
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Top 10 medicinal plants for survival

Tomi Stojanovic
 
 
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Warding off against infections, diseases, and physical injuries seem pretty easy nowadays. With modern medication and new technologies, things are a lot easier for us. But, have you ever wondered how it was before the medications of today, and how people took care of their injuries and infections? Well, the answer is in the plants that carry many strong medicinal properties. In fact, if you look, there are probably few medicinal plants around you somewhere.

There are many herbs in the wild that can benefit you in survival situation
There are many herbs in the wild that can benefit you in survival situation

If you ever find yourself in a survival situation, a medicinal plant can be a lifesaver. But, you have to know how to identify the right plant and how to prepare and administer it. Here we’ll review a few medicinal plants that commonly grow in North America, and tell you about their medicinal properties and visual characteristics.

Blackberry leaves

Leaves from blackberry are great for diarrhea treatments
Leaves from blackberry are great for diarrhea treatments

You probably would agree that blackberries are remarkably delicious, but there is a lot more in them than their taste. The leaves of the blackberries contain high medicinal properties and are one of the best natural diarrhea treatments. Just mix few ounces of a fresh leaf with a hot water, blend it together like you would a tea, and drink up.

Dandelions

This flower can be found basically everywhere
This flower can be found basically everywhere

Dandelions are probably the most common plants we can spot around us in the city. But while they might be annoying weed around us, they can be pretty useful in a survival situation. Dandelions roots can serve as a liver stimulant, and can also improve the digestion in our body. Take a bowl of hot water and mix a tablespoon of the root before consuming.

Elderberry

Elderberry plant
Elderberry plant

This well-known plant is one of the most versatile on this list. It’s also one of the most efficient plants for treating an open wound when applied directly on the skin. You can take it orally to treat respiratory problems and common colds. Reducing swelling and sinus infections inside the mucous membranes can be done by ingesting it nasally. The best thing about elderberry is that you can make a tasty jam and have a great medicinal stockpile at the same time. Make sure you boil them 15 to 20 minutes before consuming since raw elderberries are a little toxic.

Lemon balm

It’s best to consume lemon balm like a tea
It’s best to consume lemon balm like a tea

If you want to make you lemonade tastier, just add some lemon balm leaves. But, more importantly, lemon balm tea can be used as a cold sore remedy. The effect of it is so high that many current medications for cold sores include lemon balm as one of the main ingredients.

Yarrow

Have an opend wound? Yarrow is here to help you.
Have an opend wound? Yarrow is here to help you.

Any medicinal garden contains this perennial herb. The yarrow leaves are an excellent plant for treating open wounds and abrasion of the skin. It can stop bleeding and protect you against infections. Just mix crushed dry leaves with a little water and apply directly to the wounded area.

Birch bark

Birch bark is excellent painkiller
Birch bark is excellent painkiller

If you’re looking for a natural painkiller, his plant is the one for you. It is quite an effective painkiller and works as a delicious natural tea as well. The recommended daily dose of birch bark is not more than 120 milligrams since higher dosage than that can potentially cause stomachache and nausea. So, be careful. The best way to prepare it is by mixing a small dose of it in water and boiling it for few minutes. You will get a delicious tea and an excellent painkiller.

Burdock

Burdock plant
Burdock plant

Originally native to the Eastern Hemisphere, many years ago the burdock was introduced to North America and it has thrived ever since. It can be identified by its purple leaf stocks that are longer than the leaves, surrounded by purple and white flower heads with stiff prickles. When consumed, the roots and leaves can help to purify the blood in your body. Before eating the leaves and roots, make sure you first boil them. The boiling water will cleanse the plant and remove the bitter taste of the plant.

Echinacea

These beautiful flowers are very helpful
These beautiful flowers are very helpful

Echinacea is a native plant to central and eastern North America. It can be easily be recognized by its tall stems, sometimes exceeding 4 feet in height, pink or purple flowers, and central brown cone. Historically, the Native Americans used the leaves and roots of this plant to treat the common cold for hundreds of years. All you need to do is to mix them in hot water and drink the cure as a tea.

Lavender

Not only it smells great, it’s also used to heal skin burns
Not only it smells great, it’s also used to heal skin burns

Mostly known as a fragrance nowadays, throughout history this plant has been used as a treatment for bug bites and skin burns. Just crush a few leaves and apply them directly to your skin. You can also use it as a medicinal oil. Fill up a jar with lavender leaves and combine them with some olive oil. Leave the mixture to soak for two months, and you’ll have a fresh, natural oil for treating skin issues. Make sure it’s not used by small children or pregnant women.

Plantain

Greater Plantain – Author: Simon – CC BY 2.0
Greater Plantain – Author: Simon – CC BY 2.0

Originally native to Asia and Europe, this oval-shaped plant with dense, spiked stamens and green flowers is now thriving in North America, where it was introduced many years ago. It can be found in many yards in lawns throughout the United States. The plantain is known as one of the best treatments for wasp, bee, and scorpion stings. Mix some crushed leaves with water to form a paste. Apply it directly to the stung area and wait for it to dry off. You will instantly feel the pain relief from the sting.

Hopefully, you’ll find this small list of the many different medicinal plants out there as helpful. Make sure you have a little book of medicinal plants in your survival kit so that you can identify and know how to use plants in an actual survival situation. Who knows, maybe a small weed or a herb will save your life one day.

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