Don’t forget to pack some spices!

When you’re packing up to pack out, you’ll of course be bringing along food, water, weapons and some form of first aid right? Don’t forget to make a stop in the kitchen to pick up a few handy dandy spices! Aside from keeping your food from being bland, there are many herbs that will double as first aid. I find this to be of particular interest since one of the main issues with the collapse of society as we know it is the loss of pharmaceuticals. I’d like to make sure that everyone can tend to scrapes, wounds, burns, and illness without having to depend on a run in to the city drugstore – if there’s even one available?

Now before I begin…… as I have had to do before, I must make a DISCLAIMER. Some herbs are easily mixed up with others, hard to identify, and have not been evaluated by the FDA. Some conditions you suffer from will require a doctor, and I am NOT a doctor. I’m simply passing on some folklore….. so unless you are facing a zombie attack, don’t try any of this at home. 😉

That being out there, remember that the very best tool you can use out there on your own is common sense. The next best tool is practice. Perhaps (though I’m not telling you to try this at home) before someone has lost a finger is a good time to make sure this stuff will work for you. Start small… for instance a paper cut, or a tummy ache.

So, you’re looking at your spices, and thinking which ones should I take? Let’s start simple. Salt. What can that blood pressure raising white granule do for you in the SHTF scenario? Sore throats, toothaches, postnasal drip, bee stings, mosquito bites, painful gums, poison ivy, and poison oak are some of the ailments for which salt has been prescribed. Allergy issues, but you’re out of your favorite antihistamine? Irrigating saline through your sinuses can help! Not to mention, salt adds a nice little zip to your veggies, and can cure meat so it stays edible longer, so hands down, salt is a winner!

So what next? Pepper. A natural companion to salt in the culinary field, is also another great choice for packing out. Peppercorns contain an impressive list of plant derived chemical compounds that are known to have disease preventing and health promoting properties. Peppercorns have been used therapeutically in dentistry as an antiseptic for tooth-decay and gum swellings. It is commonly used to treat digestive problems, to eradicate parasitic worms, and most importantly when trying to hide from the zombies…. it can be used to treat that embarrassing flatulence. Black pepper has been prepared in the form of pills as a remedy for cholera and syphilis, sometimes combined with other substances. Externally it has been applied in paste form to boils and to treat hair loss and some skin diseases. Oil of pepper is reputed to alleviate itching. A mixture of sesame oil and powdered black pepper is described as an application for areas affected by paralysis. A mixture of black pepper and honey is regarded as a remedy for night blindness. In comatose patients black pepper has been given by inhalation. It is also believed to be useful in hepatitis, urinary and reproductive disorders.

Beyond salt and pepper, there are so many other spices that I could never begin to cover them all. As a quick over view, cayenne pepper can clot/ help stop your bleeding, Some go so far as to recommend putting cayenne under the tongue if a heart attack or stroke is suspected, although once again, herbal emergency care is no substitute for evaluated and care provided by a trained health professional. Ginger is excellent for alleviating nausea, and can be used on wounds. Mint can ease headaches, and macks a tummy soother as a tea. The Egyptians made garlic beer to treat infections. Today we use it to lower cholesterol, as an antibiotic, to rid the body of excess mucus (the sulphur compounds in garlic break up mucus), and to stop platelets in blood from sticking together and creating blockages. Garlic has been used effectively against fungal, yeast, bacterial, and viral infections. Cardamom is given for fatigue and fever. Cloves main action is that of an anodyne (topical pain reliever). Fennel is used to allay hunger pain, ease indigestion and as a diuretic.

So…… spices may have seemed like they were some crazy extra to throw in to make your food taste better, (which is a big help when eating very plain/ lack luster survival food) but you flavor lovers out there can also double as the first aid crew when the going gets tough.

Remember that when this runs out…..

This will still be an option.

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