July 4, 2016
On a podcast that aired back in April of 2016—admittedly dated a few years but still highly relevant—entitled “Why Athletes Get Sick, How To Biohack Survival, How Often Do You Need To Workout & More!,” I explained what would be in my ultimate survival “herbal first aid kit” if I had to make a so-called bug-out bag if I were faced with a zombie apocalypse, a forest fire near my home, a quick hunting or camping trip, or any other situation in which I needed quick, light first aid supplies that would keep me healthy and spry on the fly (including, I suppose, needing to steer clear of election and politics-related looting or general social turmoil—not that that could ever happen).
But when it comes to creating an apocalyptic herbal first aid kit, I really only scratched the surface in that particular podcast, and so for today's article, I tag-teamed some ideas for you with a friend of mine: a complete herbal ninja, nutritional therapist, massage therapist, and author, Danielle Brooks.
Using this guide will allow you to kill a hangover, treat a wound, or fight an infection using potent natural remedies. It also just may motivate you to finally toss out the liver-damaging Ibuprofen and Advil, forego the sleep-destroying antihistamines like Nyquil and Benadryl, and have an optional alternative to gut-disrupting antibiotics (which do indeed have a time and place in a survival scenario).
Feel free to bookmark this article, send it to your e-reader, print it…whatever. This “herbal first aid kit” list is a very handy and important guide that you can refer to for years to come for just about every kind of ailment that exists, whether you're out in the wilderness or simply have the sniffles at home.
The Zombie Apocalypse
Hey, it could totally happen.
And when it does, you want to be prepared.
That means having first aid supplies on hand you can count on that will, not only support your symptoms and bring you relief, but also heals wounds, prevent infection, boost your immune system, relieve pain—and of course, relieve gas and bloating. There is nothing more annoying than being stuck in a bomb shelter with someone who has gas.
Many of the herbs discussed in this article can be prepared and used in a number of ways. To familiarize yourself, here is a list of the preparations you'll discover in this article:
- Teas: Bring 1 pint of water to a boil and pour over 1 ounce of herb. For flowers and leaves, steep for 10 minutes; for barks or berries, steep for 20 minutes; for roots, steep for 30 minutes. Can be served hot or cold.
- Dried/Encapsulated: Easy, long shelf life, taste, some properties enhanced by drying.
- Syrup: Boil one quart of water with 2 ounces of herb down to 1 pint; then add 2 ounces of honey or maple syrup.
- Tinctures: Never lose potency, alcohol-based, but not potent enough to really get a response. Realistic dose is ½ ounce per day.
- Oils: Easy and quick to prepare.
- Salves: Convenient, remain solid at room temperature, store well.
- Poultice: A soft, moist mass of material containing herbs applied to the body to relieve soreness and inflammation. Easy and gives immediate relief.
So to that end (no pun intended), let’s get started and give you a tour of your new apocalyptic herbal first aid kit.
By the way, the information you're about to read is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be substituted for the advice provided by your doctor or other health care professional. If you rely upon any information in this article or use any of the recipes or products without obtaining the advice of a physician or other health care professional, you do so at your own risk. The nutritional and other information in this article is not intended to be, and does not constitute, health care or medical advice.
First Aid Supplies For Digestion
-Gas and Bloating
Bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea… How can you possibly escape an onslaught of zombies when all you want to do is run, bowels clenched, in pursuit of the nearest toilet?
Gas happens most often when digestion is compromised and food sits in your gut and begins to ferment. (Sounds sexy, right?). Stress, decreased production of hydrochloric acid or digestive enzymes, eating too much, and not chewing your food thoroughly are all things that may contribute to gas and bloating. In these situations, you'll want to reach for carminative or bitter herbs that stimulate stagnant digestion.
- Carminatives: For that feeling when food is just sitting in your gut. Take a ½ teaspoon of any of the following seeds in the parsley family—anise, cumin, fennel, or cardamom—and chew them coarsely, then swallow with water for relief within 30 minutes. Dill is milder and can be used with children. Seeds are fabulous to have on hand in case you need to grow your own food and keep your family’s digestion strong at the same time.
- Ginger Tea: 1 tablespoon minced ginger, 1 tablespoon organic orange peel, and 3 tablespoons fennel. Pour 24 ounces of boiling water over mixture and steep for 10-20 minutes. This can be poured over ice for a refreshing summer beverage.
- Liquid Bitters: These are great when you know you are in stress and digestion may be compromised, or when you know you have sluggish digestion. Liquid bitters promote upper GI secretions and stimulate digestion. One of my go-to bitters formulas is Bitters No. 9, a blend of nine bitter herbs and essential oils, all known to help activate bitter receptors and to be able to support bile flow and healthy digestion. You can save 10% with code GREENFIELD10. I'm also a fan of the company Urban Moonshine for bitters that can conveniently be added as tasty additions to cocktails, since we all know we'd like to have a drink in a zombie apocalypse scenario.
Or, you can make your own:
Digestive Bitters Recipe
- ½ cup dried organic Dandelion Root
- ¼ cup organic Ginger Root
- ¼ cup organic Orange Peel
- ½ cup organic Fennel Seed
- 100 proof vodka (Another handy ingredient to have in the bunker/safe room)
Finely chop dandelion root, ginger root, and orange peel. Put all herbs into a clean mason jar. Pour vodka over the herb mixture and fill to the very top of the jar. Be sure your herb mixture is completely covered. Label your jar with the name of the herbs, the date, the alcohol strength, and the parts used. Allow to extract for 6 to 8 weeks, shaking the jar often. Strain the herb with cheesecloth and squeeze any remaining liquid in the herbs back into the extract. Bottle the liquid in amber dropper bottles and label.
Dose: To promote healthy digestion, enjoy ¼ teaspoon (or approximately one full dropper) before and after meals.
Constipation is the result of sluggish digestion from stress or a lack of water, fiber, or movement. The herbs mentioned for gas and bloating can also be used to stimulate digestion and ease constipation. In addition, water, fiber, and movement can also work wonders; but if you need the big guns, the following will surely help to get things moving:
- Triphala: Two capsules twice daily for chronic support (Tri-berry combination: amalaki, haritaki, and bibhitaki). It cleanses, stimulates, and tonifies the GI tract.
- Bitters, as mentioned, have a strong laxative and stimulating effect and can be taken for constipation.
- Prunes (Always handy to have in your dried food stores).
Diarrhea is simply your body’s way of getting rid of something bad, or the result of certain digestive disorders you'll read about below. There are two forms, acute and chronic.
Acute diarrhea is your body’s way of getting rid of something. (It is usually a good idea not to stop it unless it becomes excessive.) Usually the result of a bacterial, viral, or parasitic infection, food poising can also cause diarrhea. Diarrhea causes your body to lose vital amounts of fluids, which makes dehydration is a concern. So, be sure to drink plenty of fluids.
Here is a super-hydrating electrolyte replacement beverage for just such occasions:
Electrolyte Lemonade Recipe
- 2 tablespoons Grade B or Dark Maple Syrup
- 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed Organic Lemon Juice
- Organic Cayenne Pepper to taste
- 8 ounces hot or cold water depending on your intention and mood
Combine all ingredients and enjoy. Recipe can be tripled to make a large batch to keep in the fridge. Can be poured over ice on a hot day as an electrolyte replacement beverage or made using boiling water to break up mucus and replace electrolyte loss from sickness or excessive diarrhea.
Chronic diarrhea may be related to digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, or untreated bacterial, viral, or parasitic infections. Food allergies and sensitivities may also play a role in chronic diarrhea. Chronic diarrhea may cause an excessive and dangerous loss of vital fluids. In these cases, stopping the diarrhea can be a lifesaver.
- Carob Powder: Start with 1 tablespoon mixed in water. Increase dose gradually until diarrhea stops for immediate relief. Active ingredients are pectin (water-soluble substance that aids digestion) and tannins, which are carbohydrates and plant pigments that have antioxidant and antibacterial properties. Additionally, the tannins retain water and act as a binding agent resulting in firmer stools.
- Goldenseal: Antimicrobial (endangered herb; please use responsibly) Depending on the person and condition, use up to 6 grams/day.
- Garlic: Bombard intestines with it.
- Charcoal: Draws stuff to it and draws it out of the body.
- Probiotics: These help your body win the battle of the bugs.
- Astringents: Astringents are fabulous for healing the gut, they are used by herbalists to tighten and tone gut tissues and support “leaky” gut or tissues that weep with inflammation: Turmeric, blackberry root and leaf, black and green tea, and witch hazel are handy astringents to have on hand.
To relieve symptoms of acid reflux, indigestion, or upset stomach, try the following:
- Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice (DGL): Chew 1-2 tablets to coat tummy and soothe acid symptoms. More can be taken to relieve symptoms if needed. DGL powder can be made into a paste (swish in mouth for three minutes and spit) to treat mouth ulcers.
- Slippery Elm Bark: One to six tablespoons/day before or between meals as needed.
- Marshmallow Root: One to six tablespoons/day before or between meals as needed.
- Mullein Leaf: One teaspoon per cup of water as tea.
- Celery Juice: Six to eight ounces before bed.
Things that may contribute to acid reflux-like symptoms are stress (running from zombies will certainly activate your flight or fight response), decreased production of hydrochloric acid or digestive enzymes, eating too much, your lower esophageal sphincter not closing tightly, and for some people, certain foods such as coffee, tomatoes, and peppers. H Pylori or other infections may also be an underlying problem.
What to do?
For starters, try eating less, chewing your food more, and remaining as relaxed and stress-free as possible. If that fails, try the following:
- Bitters: ¼ teaspoon or 1 dropper full to stimulate digestion and promote gastric emptying.
- Turmeric: Dependent on person and condition, 3 capsules of Kion Flex or between 1-3 tablespoons of powder per day for its astringent, healing, nutritive, and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Goldenseal: Depending on the person and condition, up to 6 grams/day for its antimicrobial properties
- Licorice, Marshmallow, Slippery Elm, Mullein Leaf to soothe and heal tissues.
- Fennel Tea to soothe and heal tissues
Let’s say you’ve been drinking too much of that 100 proof vodka you use for your tinctures and your liver starts kicking and screaming, you start getting a muffin top, and your partners in the shelter notice your face is starting to turn a little yellow with jaundice. The first thing you will need to do is put down the vodka. I know, it’s an apocalypse, but if you really want to live (which is why you built the bomb shelter in the first place) it is a good idea to treat your liver with kindness. Then, reach for the following:
- Milk Thistle Seeds: Protect and repair liver. 1 teaspoon seeds/cup as tea.
- Dandelion Root: 1 teaspoon root/cup as tea.
- Beets: Beets really work well. In fact, they work so well that they will eliminate the itchy nastiness of hemorrhoids within two weeks by eating a small portion daily. (Hemorrhoids are a symptom of a congested liver.)
- Dandelion Greens, A common weed to most, dandelion is a nutrient-dense edible herb. Every time I see a dandelion plant, I think to myself, “Look at those tasty bitter greens! Yum!”
First Aid Supplies For Musculoskeletal Conditions
The following remedies are fantastic to have on hand for when you pull a muscle while running for your life.
-Muscle Pain and Stiffness (Overexertion, Bruises, and Swelling)
- Comfrey Salve: Great for sprains, wounds, burns, arthritis, and contusions. Comfrey salves relieve pain, swelling, support muscle, cartilage, and bone.
- Ginger Root Salve: Warming, use for occasional sore muscles. Can be massaged into the tissue or applied topically.
- Arnica Flower Salve: Analgesic (relieves pain), can help treat physical trauma, bruises, strains, and occasional muscle pain. Use immediately after strenuous exertion or injury to prevent, relieve, and reduce swelling, bruises, and pain.
- Cayenne Pepper Salve: A warming salve, good for occasional sore muscles, alleviates pain and itching. Do not use on open sores or cuts or you might find yourself screaming your face off. (Remember, zombies find their way by sound.)
- Turmeric or fish oil for internal use.
First Aid Supplies For Cuts, Scrapes, and Wounds
It goes without saying that, in a post-apocalyptic zombie-controlled world, you may wind up with a few minor abrasions that will need tending to ASAP in order for you to quickly bounce back and succeed in your next escape from the walking dead. Try these herbal first aid kit staples:
- Calendula Flower Salve: Antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, demulcent, vulnerary (heals wounds). Useful for a wide variety of skin irritations and conditions, including wounds, insect bites, rashes, scrapes, abrasions, cuts, and much more. Suitable for sensitive skin and babies. For topical use.
- Chamomile Flower Salve: Antiseptic analgesic. Minor abrasions, cuts, scrapes, and wounds applied topically.
- Goldenseal Myrrh Salve: Antiseptic. Useful for treating minor wounds and skin conditions topically.
- Oregon Grape Root Salve: Antimicrobial, astringent, vulnerary herb that contains berberine (berberine kills yeast and bacteria). Effective topically as a skin disinfectant for minor wounds.
- Thyme Salve: Antiseptic. Used topically for cuts, scrapes.
-Burns and Sunburns
- Chickweed Salve: Antipruritic (anti-itch) emollient (softens skin). Soothing, helps topically with skin conditions, minor burns, insect bites, and other skin irritations.
- Lavender Essential Oil: Analgesic, antiseptic, antimicrobial. Soothing, calming, relieves pain, has healing properties beneficial when used topically for minor wounds and numerous skin conditions.
- St. John’s Wort Salve: Antibacterial and vulnerary herb that is a profound healer of sunburns. Beneficial for burns, minor wounds, cuts, bruises, muscular pain, insect bites and stings, nerve support, scrapes, and minor burns.
-Herpes, Eczema, and Psoriasis
- Licorice Salve has shown to be beneficial for these conditions when used topically.
-Insect Bites and Stings
- Echinacea Salve: Beneficial for minor sores, wounds, insect bites, and stings.
- Plantain Leaf Salve: Antipruritic (anti-itch), antiseptic. Helps speed the recovery process. Relieves and soothes insect bites and stings, poison ivy, itching, minor sores, bruises, blisters, and damaged skin.
First Aid Supplies For Inflammation
If you happen to be a person whose first instinct is to pop a few Ibuprofen at the first sign of inflammation, I beg of you, read my article on why you should never use Ibuprofen again. Then, stock your herbal first aid kit with the following:
- Turmeric: For internal use from capsules, food, or tea, or external use as a poultice.
- Marshmallow Root: For internal use, or external use as a poultice.
- Calendula: For internal as a tea, or external use as a salve.
- Gentian Root: A very cold bitter herb for use as a tincture, tea, or capsules.
First Aid Supplies For Cold and Flu
Viruses cannot be killed by chemicals, drugs, antibiotics, or herbal compounds. The only way to fight these is to boost your body’s own immune system, and herbs are perfect for that. In the case of a zombie apocalypse, the following are essential to have in your herbal first aid kit.
Create a custom protocol using the following 3 steps:
- Boot Out the Invader
- Echinacea: Inhibits bacteria and viruses from penetrating healthy cells.
- Garlic: Antimicrobial that has an affinity for ear and cardiovascular system.
- Oregano: Inhibits viral infections, fights parasites and inflammation.
- Elderberry: Very efficient at inhibiting influenza, herpes, and bacterial infections.
- Calendula: Inhibits viruses, bacteria; inflammation, and treats infections, burns, cuts, and wounds.
- Nourish Infected Tissue
- Gentian Root: An anti-inflammatory and fever remedy that's great for sinus infections.
- Licorice Root: Prevention of influenza, relieves cough and sore throat, protects against leaky gut, reduces adrenal fatigue, relieves pain, and nourishes tissues.
- Ginger: Warms body, breaks down toxins, cleanses lymphatic system, relieves nausea, alleviates pain and inflammation, nutritive.
- Support Immune System
- Astragalus Root: A renowned immune enhancer and building tonic that boosts the immune system and inhibits viruses.
- Isatis Root: A broad-spectrum anti-microbial that has been shown to have activity against many types of bacteria and viruses and can be helpful in reducing fever and stimulating the immune system.
- Symptomatic Relief
- Wild Cherry Bark or Elderberry syrup for sore throat
- Thyme Tea: Expectorant, spasmolytic, bronchodilator, great for coughs!
You can buy your own elderberry syrup, but what fun is that? Here's a simple recipe to make your own:
Elderberry Syrup Recipe
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups Organic Dried Elderberries
- 1 teaspoon Organic Cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon Fresh-grated Organic Ginger Root
- Raw Local Honey
Combine elderberries, cinnamon, and ginger with water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow herbs to simmer for 35 minutes. Remove from heat and mash the berries into the liquid mixture. Strain the berries and herbs through a cheesecloth, squeezing out as much juice as possible. Measure the liquid and add an equal amount of honey. Gently heat the honey and juice for a few minutes until well-combined. Do not bring to a boil. Bottle in a sterilized glass.
First Aid Supplies For Allergies
As any allergy sufferer knows, allergy season is unfortunately as predictable and reliable as the sun rising and setting. Have the following on hand to combat hay fever, nasal congestion, and watery eyes.
- Nettle: Take 2 and titrate up to 10 capsules per day for immediate allergy relief. (Nettle reduces the amount of histamine the body produces in response to an allergen. Nettles are also extremely nutritive, meaning they can be eaten as food during a zombie apocalypse!)
- Celery juice for hay fever.
- Julia’s Sinus Chest Salve to relieve nasal congestion.
Nettle Soup Recipe
Warning! Wear thick protective gloves when handling nettles until after they are blanched.
- Fresh Nettle Tops
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- ½ chopped Organic Onion
- ½ cup chopped Organic Shallots
- ½ cup chopped Organic Celery
- 1 pound Organic Russet Potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 4 cups organic chicken bone broth
- 2 cups Water
- 1 Organic Bay Leaf
- 1 teaspoon Organic Thyme
- 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed Organic Lemon Juice
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Prepare a large bowl of ice water. Wearing protective gloves, transfer the nettle tops into the boiling water. Blanch for 2 minutes. Strain, and then transfer the nettles into the bowl of ice water. Strain. Cut away and discard any large stems from the nettles. The nettles have now lost their stingers and can be easily handled. Set aside.
- In a large sauté pan, sauté the onions, shallots, and celery in olive oil over medium heat until softened and onions are translucent. Add potatoes, bone broth, water, bay leaf, and thyme. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 7 minutes.
- Chop the blanched nettles and add to soup pot. Add enough water to just cover the nettles and potatoes and simmer until the potatoes are soft and the nettles tender.
- Remove the bay leaf from the pot. Transfer soup to an upright blender and purée until smooth. Return the soup to the pot and bring to a simmer. Add lemon and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve!
Tip: Harvest more nettles than you need. After blanching, nettles can be frozen for future use!
First Aid Supplies For Headaches
After a long day fighting off zombies, scavenging for food, and rebuilding the world as you know it, there's a good chance you might wind up with a headache. So, when you return to your shelter, reach for the following herbs for relief:
- Feverfew: Taken fresh, in capsular form, or as tea, feverfew can clear migraines within a month. Chew on fresh leaves at the onset of headache or migraine, or mix 1 teaspoon dried feverfew with boiling water as tea.
- Lavender, rosemary, peppermint oil: Rub into temples, or inhale.
- White willow, Jamaican dogwood, valerian root teas or in capsular form.
- Julia’s Sinus Chest Salve: Rub into temples and forehead.
First Aid Supplies For Stress, Anxiety, or Shock
If you get bitten, chances are you may go into shock—which is not conducive to your immune system fighting the virus. The following can be taken in capsular form or as a tea:
Honey Kava Kava Kool-Aid Recipe
Add the kava and water to a blender and blend on high for about 30 seconds. Pour the mixture through a fine strainer or cheesecloth. Discard the pulp, add honey, and enjoy!
*Caution: Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner before using Kava Kava, in pregnancy or lactation, also if you have liver problems, or are taking any medications. Not for use by persons under 18 years of age. Excessive use, or use with products that cause drowsiness, may impair your ability to operate a vehicle, dangerous equipment, or fight zombies.
First Aid Supplies For Sleep
I don't think I need to go into why you might need help sleeping during a zombie apocalypse. Here are two simple herbs to help you fall asleep, and stay asleep:
To help you get to sleep:
- Poppy Seeds: ¼ teaspoon of ground poppy seeds steeped in warm milk before bed. Slowly increase to the dose that gives you the best sleep without morning grogginess.
To help you stay asleep:
- Nutmeg: ¼ teaspoon of ground nutmeg steeped in warm milk before bed. Slowly increase to the dose that gives you the best sleep without morning grogginess.
It is okay to use both nutmeg and poppy at the same time. Titrate the dose up until sleep is achieved with a little grogginess in the morning, and then cut back to your last previous dose.
- Activated Charcoal: Great for keeping poisons from being absorbed from the gut into the bloodstream until emergency help can be found. Or, if you consumed too much of your 100 proof vodka you use for tinctures, charcoal can also be used to absorb alcohol and prevent hangovers in cases of overindulgence. Take 2 capsules before bed or in the morning with at least 8 ounces of water.
-Gnats, Flies, & Mosquitos
- Chaparral Extract, Lemon Eucalyptus, Cedarwood, Lavender, and Rosemary essential oils are all great for repelling insects
Natural Insect Repellant
- 2 tablespoons Witch Hazel
- 2 tablespoons Grapeseed Oil
- ½ teaspoon Vodka as preservative
- 50 drops Lemon Eucalyptus Essential Oil
- 15 drops Cedarwood Essential Oil
- 20 drops Lavender Essential Oil
- 15 drops Rosemary Essential Oil
In a 3-4-ounce bottle, combine all ingredients. Shake well before using. Store in a cool, dark place when not using. Natural bug repellent will need to be reapplied every few hours for maximum effectiveness.
*Warning: Lemon eucalyptus essential oil is reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be a good natural substitution for DEET in repelling insects, but it is not recommended for use on children under 3 years. Always test essential oils on a small area to test for sensitivity or allergic reaction before using for the first time.
-Herbal Care of Teeth and Gums
This is a valuable recipe to have on hand because you probably won't have access to a grocery store, and toothpaste will become the next form of currency…giving you immense bartering leverage.
Here are some qualities of various teeth and gum care herbs:
- Warming: Pungent herbs that promote circulation in gums are cinnamon, bayberry root, and prickly ash bark.
- Astringent: Herbs that contain tannins, which tighten the gums, include white oak bark, myrrh, and turmeric.
- Detoxifying: To remove debris, use echinacea.
- Increase circulation and kill germs: Tea tree oil, peppermint, and spearmint.
- Kill germs: Frankincense.
Herbal Toothpaste Recipe
- 4 tablespoons Coconut Oil
- 5 tablespoons Aluminum-free Baking Soda
- ½ teaspoon Bentonite Clay Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Myrrh Powder
- 2 teaspoons Echinacea Herbal Tincture
- ¼ teaspoon Stevia Liquid Extract (optional)
- 30 drops Peppermint or Spearmint Essential Oil
- 15 drops Frankincense Essential Oil
- Melt coconut oil in a small pan. Cool until oil is at room temperature, yet still liquid. Add the baking soda, clay, and myrrh powder to the coconut oil. Add the remaining ingredients, and stir every few minutes until the coconut oil cools further and you get a nice thick paste. Spoon into your container of choice. Apply a small amount of toothpaste to your toothbrush and brush as normal.
(Note: If you pour the mixture into your containers while it’s still liquid, it can separate.)
So that's it! In many cases, you can kiss your average pharmaceuticals, medicines and antibiotics goodbye and opt for these natural first aid supplies instead.
To make your life a little bit easier, I tried to link to as many of the salves and oils as I could find, but in some cases, you may have to concoct your own. Below, you'll find some fairly simple instructions for making your own herbal-infused oils and salves at home.
Solar-Infused Herbal Oil
- Coarsely chop dried botanicals of your choice (leave any flowers whole).
- Place dried botanicals into a dry and sterilized glass jar. Cover with extra virgin olive oil or other oil of choice that has a stable shelf life, leaving at least 2 inches of oil above the herbs to allow the herbs to swell. Close the jar tightly and place in a sunny, warm window. Cover the jar with a bag or box so the oil is not exposed to direct sunlight.
- Shake the jar once per day, or as often as you remember. If the herbs absorb the oil, add more so they are always submerged in oil. Allow to infuse for 2-6 weeks, or until the oil takes on the color and aroma of the herb.
- Once the oil is ready, strain using cheesecloth, and bottle into dry and sterilized amber bottles for storage. Make sure to squeeze as much oil as possible from the herbs. Herbal oils will keep for approximately a year when stored properly in a cool dark place.
- 8 ounces Herbal-Infused Oil of your choice
- 1 ounce Beeswax
- Glass jars or tin containers
Place herbal infused oil and beeswax over a double boiler and gently warm over low heat until the beeswax melts. Remove from heat. Quickly pour into sterilized tins or glass jars and allow to cool completely.
Storage: Salves are best stored in a cool dry location where they will remain semi-solid and will not melt and solidify repetitively. When properly stored, salves will last for one to three years.
Note: If you prefer a firmer salve, use more beeswax, or less for a softer salve. Beeswax has emollient, protective, nourishing, soothing, and healing properties. If using coconut oil, depending on your region, you may not need beeswax unless you live in a hot or warm climate.
As I mentioned in the introduction, bookmark this article, print it, send it to your e-reader—use whatever method you'd like to keep it safe and handy for when the zombies arrive.
Hopefully, you don't have to “bug out” of your house anytime soon, though I know several folks who do plan on holing themselves away for awhile during the potential upcoming political turmoil that may occur post-election. But in case you do, I hope you have found this article handy, and that it potentially generates some ideas for you that go beyond buying out the local general store of all it's toilet paper.
Leave any questions, comments, or thoughts on these herbal first aid kit supplies below! I'd also love to hear what kind of herbal formulas and old-school, natural healing remedies you happen to keep on hand yourself. And of course, I'd be remiss not to recommend—in an act of shameless self-promotion—that you consider tossing some Kion Oil of Oregano and Kion Immune into your kit as well. Those two are pretty high up on my own personal, portable immune-supporting travel kit ingredients.