Natural medicine is something you will invariably hear about as you get involved in the prepping community. We, as a general society, have become very dependent on conventional medicine – doctors, hospitals, pharmacists, etc. If a SHTF scenario ever happens, we’ll need to be able to take care of ourselves both from a conventional medicine standpoint and a traditional medicine, or natural medicine standpoint. Cat Ellis’ latest offering, Prepper’s Natural Medicine, walks you through the unnecessarily intimidating world of natural medicine.
Cat has created Prepper’s Natural Medicine in a very concise, direct manner. Each chapter listed below is presented in an intelligent chronological manner which builds on the information already presented. The chapters in the book are:
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Chapter 1 – Introduction
Cat uses this chapter to introduce herself and her background. She also spends a significant amount of time talking about why we should use natural medicine, the benefits of using natural medicine in a SHTF scenario and, most importantly, her version of natural medicine.
Chapter 2 – Stocking The Home Apothecary
This is where Cat starts to get into the nuts and bolts of natural medicine. She takes the time to describe all the different items you will need to start in the natural medicine movement including formula ingredients such as herbs, alcohol, vinegar, glycerin, raw honey, beeswax, propolis, mushrooms, oils and fats, bentonite clay, kaolin clay, activated charcoal, salts and essential oils. Don’t worry – you don’t need to have all of these things to get started! Cat just does a great job of outlining everything you may need! In addition to these ingredients, she also discusses containers and other equipment you may need to start working with natural medicine.
Chapter 3 – Basic Skills
Very simply put, this is the ‘how to’ section of the book. Cat goes through all the different ways you can create natural medicine and walks through the general directions for the creation of each. The methods discussed include:
- Tisanes – Infusions and Decoctions, as well as Blending Herbs for Tisanes
- Herbal Wines
- Glycerin and Glycerites
- Infused Honey
- Infused Oils (both cold and warm infusions)
- Lotions and Creams
She also discusses topics such as fresh vs dried herbs as well as the effect of alcohol percentage in tinctures.
Chapter 4 – Materia Medica
“Materia Medica” is a Latin medical term for the body of collected knowledge about the therapeutic properties of any substance used for healing. This section is the meat and potatoes part of the book. There over sixty-five pages of information on fifty individual herbs and plants which are used in natural medicine. Common material such as cayenne, comfrey, garlic, ginger, lemon balm, sage, thyme and valerian are discussed as well as lesser known items such as Chinese skullcap, hyssop, ma huang and sida.
Cat discusses the Parts Used, Actions, Preparations, Dose, Uses and Contraindications for each item. The information discussed here is incredibly in-depth and useful.
Chapter 5 – Herbal First Aid Kit
As you might expect from the title, this chapter walks you through building a first aid kit which consists of natural solutions. Cat talks about how each person’s first aid kit will differ, but she does spend some time walking through different items she recommends everyone have including ingredients required and the directions on how to construct them. She includes natural medicine solutions for some common situations including infection, inflammation, burn care, constipation, earaches, nausea/vomiting, sore throats, sprains, stress and wound wash (among others).
Chapter 6 – Everyday Natural Medicine
In addition, to the remedies mentioned in Chapter 5, Cat spends a significant amount of time in this chapter talking about preventative, as opposed to reactionary, natural medicine solutions. You would use the solutions in this chapter if you have a chronic situation or know that you require a longer term solution.
Appendices & Indexes
There a multiple different tables and lists that summarize different natural medicine solutions as well as herbs that are used in different situations. In addition, there are lots of links to external information sources. Definitely a treasure trove of information.
Why I Liked Prepper’s Natural Medicine
Plain and simple, Cat Ellis takes a very daunting, ambiguous topic and brings it down to a simple presentation that just makes sense. I’ve not only been able to understand her writing but have started to implement some of her suggestions and can attest to the fact that her directions are complete.
In my opinion, that’s the best part of this book – the level of knowledge that is presented in a clear, concise manner.
What I Didn’t Like
I don’t want to be that guy, but there was not much to not like about this book. It reads as an information book and is definitely more of an educational tool than a theoretical or opinion-lead work.
Overall Thoughts On Prepper’s Natural Medicine
I think Prepper’s Natural Medicine by Cat Ellis is a solid addition to your long-term survival library. The natural medicine information provided is straight-forward and no-nonsense. In addition, the presentation is put together in a chronologically intelligent way. You can build on the information as it is presented to you. The book, in its non-digital form, will be a great possession to have in your survival kit.