The New Survivalist
Disaster Preparedness and Self-Reliance

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Chapter 9:
Health Care


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First Aid

First Aid supplies, including a large well-stocked first aid kit, are an essential part of any survival stash. But knowing how to use them is even more important. Even without the proper supplies the materials can often be improvised if you know what to do.

After a disaster your community's emergency responders will probably be overwhelmed. It could take hours or even days before they can get to you. Every adult in your family should learn the basics of First Aid, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), the Heimlich Maneuver (for choking) and what to do for bleeding, burns, fractures, etc.

It is important to have a first aid manual on hand but that isn't enough. If someone is bleeding profusely you will not have time to check the index and read the section on bleeding. You must know what to do beforehand. At the very least you should read and study a good first aid manual to learn the basics. But it would be much better to take a first aid class. Before you run out and buy a first aid book, realize that your first aid class will probably include an excellent manual that you will be able to keep.

First aid is a "hands on" activity and so it is extremely helpful to have practical experience, which you will receive in any good first aid class. The American Red Cross teaches an excellent class that is available in every community. It is inexpensive and involves only two or three sessions of a few hours each. They even have lifelike mechanical mannequins on which you can practice CPR. This hands on practice is invaluable and something that you won't get from any book. After taking the Red Cross class and checking out on the mannequin you can get certified in CPR and emergency procedures.

First aid supplies

Disaster preparedness is not just about stocking up on emergency supplies. Even more important is the knowledge that you stash in your head. Knowledge of first aid is one of the most important steps that you will take.

Beyond First Aid

First aid by definition is that care rendered to a victim before professional medical care arrives. First aid classes are structured with the assumption that an ambulance will soon be along with paramedics who will take over, or that the victim will be taken to the emergency room of a hospital where professionals will be waiting. But people who have lived through disasters know that it doesn't always work out that way. As we have seen, after a disaster, emergency responders are usually overwhelmed. Depending on the extent of the emergency it may take a considerable amount of time before you can get professional medical care. This is where knowledge of backwoods medicine could prove essential.

Your first aid class will include a good first aid manual but it will not include a manual for backwoods medicine. Fortunately there have been some excellent books written on the subject by experienced medical doctors. The Additional Resources section at the end of this web site lists some that I recommend. If your disaster preparedness plans include contingencies for prolonged emergencies in which medical care may be unavailable for quite some time, then I recommend that you purchase one of these books. Read it through once to become familiar with the basics, and then keep it with your emergency stash for future reference.

Natural Health Care

First aid and backwoods medicine are both for the care of injuries and emergencies. But there is another important part of medicine that is often neglected by the conventional medical establishment, and that is preventative medicine. Even when conventional medicine gives lip service to prevention, what they are usually talking about is actually early detection (e.g., breast exams, prostate exams, blood pressure screenings, etc.) There is a huge difference between prevention and early detection. The latter assumes that you already have the malady, so there was really no prevention at all!

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." —Benjamin Franklin

Common sense tells us that it is better to prevent a disease than to wait until it has a foothold and then attempt to cure it. For one thing, by the time a cure is needed it may be too late, for many diseases are incurable. Furthermore, attempts at a cure are usually much more difficult, costly and dangerous.

To learn about preventative health care you will need to look outside the conventional medical establishment. There are many good books on the subject, including some that I have listed in Additional Resources. I also recommend an online course called Natural Health School which is located at You can complete the entire course online for free. (You do not need to pay the voluntary fee unless you want the certificate of completion.) The course is centered around nutritional products, but it also includes a large amount of basic information about how the body works—information which I recommend for all lay people. It is very important that you have a basic understanding of the anatomy and physiology of the human body. Many doctor visits and unnecessary treatments can be prevented with this simple empowering knowledge. The more you know the less dependent you will be on organized medicine and the better prepared you will be to take care of yourself and others during a prolonged emergency, when organized medicine may be unavailable.


We can all understand the importance of disease prevention. But how much more important is prevention during a prolonged emergency, when medical care may be difficult or impossible to come by? Good nutrition is one of the most important steps that we can take to prevent disease.

Some of the stores that you have already stashed away for an emergency may be located in a place where you have given little thought. Your body was designed by nature to store certain supplies that can be drawn upon during an emergency. We all know (to the chagrin of many) that the body stores calories, in the form of fat, that it can draw upon when food is scarce. I am not recommending that you increase your fat reserves, unless of course you are underweight, (in which case you certainly should.) But what many don't realize is that the body also stores important nutrients, including vitamins and minerals, that it can draw upon when our diets are deficient.

As we saw in the chapter on food, during a prolonged emergency our diets will change, and probably not for the better. Most likely we will be eating a less varied diet containing more foods that have been in storage. Some nutrition is lost in any stored food, and the longer it has been stored the more nutrition it will have lost. Furthermore, these dietary changes occur at a time when we are under additional stress, which is when our bodies draw upon our nutritional reserves the most.

I recommend that your emergency supplies include a good multivitamin/multimineral supplement, and perhaps a good calcium supplement as well. The calcium supplement should include the additional nutritional factors that are necessary for adequate absorption and utilization of calcium. The vitamin/mineral supplement that I use is Super Supplemental Vitamins and Minerals. Super Supplemental contains calcium, but I think it is a good idea for most people to include additional calcium. The calcium supplement I use is Calcium Magnesium. There may be another brand that you prefer. Just make sure that it is a quality product, to maximize bioavailability, and that it will store well. You should store enough to see you and your family through the longest emergency that you foresee. This should not be a problem because quality vitamins have a storage life of at least two years. They can still be used long after their expiration dates but their potency will begin to decline.

In addition to stashing vitamins and minerals, it is very important that you are regularly taking them now. Nutritionists and doctors tell us that we should be doing this anyway to maintain and protect our health, especially since our foods today are known to be deficient, due to modern processing techniques and overly worked and depleted soils. But as a survivalist you should also be regularly taking vitamins now to insure that your body's internal stores of important nutrients will always be well stocked, so that you will be ready for any emergency or disaster. This will also insure that your supplement stash will be continually rotated and will therefore remain fresh. It is extremely important that you rotate your supplements, using the oldest stock first. When you buy more supplements always put them at the back of your storage shelf pushing the older bottles toward the front of the shelf so that they will be used first.

Vitamin stash

If you choose to take the supplements that I have mentioned, during a prolonged emergency it will be adequate to take one Super Supplemental and one Calcium Magnesium each day. Take them with your largest meal of the day to insure maximum absorption. (The supplements I have chosen are highly absorbable, but this is always good advice anyway.) During normal times when there is no emergency, you should take one tablet of each supplement with every meal, or at least two tablets of each supplement every day, taken with your two largest meals of the day. This will insure that your body has the nutrition it needs to keep its stores well stocked.


"Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food." —Hypocrites (460-359 BC) The Father of Modern Medicine

Herbs have traditionally been consumed for food, flavoring, nutritional supplementation, and medicine. The two nutritional supplements I recommended above contain numerous herbs, included for their rich supply of vitamins and minerals. Herbalists or "herb doctors" also use herbs to treat disease. Herbs have been used for medicines by virtually every culture that has existed since humans have walked the earth.

A knowledge of the wild herbs that grow in your area could prove very useful during a prolonged emergency, when supplies of food and medicine are short. In the chapter on food I have already mentioned a couple of my favorite herbs, including the ubiquitous dandelion.

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Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

As we saw earlier, all parts of the dandelion can be used for food, with the young leaves being particularly good in salads or as cooked greens. Dandelion roots, roasted and ground, can serve as a coffee substitute. But did you know that many herbalists also use dandelion as a medicine? It is valued mostly for its benefits for the urinary and glandular systems and as a liver and kidney tonic. Herbalists turn to dandelion for its ability to enhance the efficiency of the body's eliminative and detoxifying functions. It is a mild laxative and diuretic. It has traditionally been used as a tonic, blood purifier, for constipation, inflammatory skin conditions, joint pain, eczema, and liver dysfunction—including liver conditions such as hepatitis and jaundice. As a tonic dandelion strengthens the kidneys and may be helpful for conditions such as water retention and high blood pressure. (Great information to know if you suffer from high blood pressure, especially if you can't get your medicine.) Dandelion does not deplete the body of potassium like many diuretics.


Considered by many to be nothing more than a troublesome weed, dandelion is a survival food that has many health benefits as well.

Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis)

Most people know it as the familiar house plant. Herbalists know aloe vera as a cooling herb that is good for treating conditions in which there is excess heat. It is commonly referred to as "burn plant" because the clear juice contained in its thick meaty leaves can serve as a treatment for minor burns including sun burns. The juice is also a great treatment for other skin irritations including wounds and rashes. It can be used for diaper rash, insect bites and stings, chicken pox itch, and for poison ivy and poison oak. It may also be of some benefit for psoriasis and eczema. Aloe vera juice can also be taken internally to treat conditions ranging from arthritis to stomach and intestinal problems including ulcers. It builds the immune system and is helpful for degenerative conditions. It absorbs bowel toxins and is useful as a laxative. To prepare aloe vera use a sharp knife to filet a leaf, removing the outer green part of the leaf from the clear gel on the inside. Shortly after it is filleted an enzyme in the leaf will begin to liquefy the gel. For internal use consume several ounces of the juice at a time. Aloe vera is also rich nutritionally and can be used as an emergency food. It must be used in moderation however due to its laxative effect. It contains 18 amino acids, some B vitamins, vitamin C, niacinamide, choline and other nutritional factors.

Aloe vera

Aloe vera is easy to grow indoors and nice to keep around as an ornamental plant that may come in handy for treating minor emergencies.

Ginger Root (Zingiber officinale)

Whereas aloe vera is a "cooling herb," ginger root is known as a "warming herb." Ginger root is of course an excellent spice to use in your kitchen. It is an aromatic stimulant that improves appetite and digestion. It has antimicrobial effects and can be used along with salt, pepper and other spices for preserving meat as jerky. But ginger's most notable feature is its ability to relieve nausea. It is more effective than Dramamine for motion sickness. It can also be used in moderation for morning sickness during pregnancy. Ginger may also be helpful in preventing the onset of migraine headaches, especially those that start with nausea or vertigo. Like aloe vera, ginger can be grown as a house plant.


To grow ginger simply break off a piece of fresh ginger root, that you will find in the produce section of your grocery store, and plant it in a large flower pot. It will soon sprout leaves. When the leaves turn brown and die off the root is ready for harvesting.

Garlic (Allium sativum)

The numerous health benefits of garlic have been known for centuries. It is both an immune stimulant and one of the most powerful antibiotics in the plant kingdom. Garlic can be taken to ward off colds and to treat infections. It's benefits for the circulatory system are equally impressive and have been well documented by medical research. Garlic is a powerful blood thinner. It reduces risk for stroke, improves heart health and helps normalize high blood pressure. If you can't get your blood thinner or high blood pressure medication during an emergency, garlic may serve as an effective substitute.

Cayenne Pepper or Capsicum (Capsicum frutescens, Capsicum annum )

Cayenne pepper is best known as the hot "red pepper" condiment. It should go without saying that it is another "warming herb." It has antimicrobial action and is therefore another good spice to use for preserving meat as jerky. Although most people are familiar with this herb, few are aware of its many health benefits. Cayenne is rich in the vitamins and minerals that help promote healing. Believe it or not cayenne is also good for stomach conditions like ulcers because it stimulates the production of the protective mucus that coats the stomach. Cayenne improves circulation to the extremities which can help diabetics with circulatory problems, including those who suffer from itching hands and feet. Cayenne can be taken internally to stop a heart attack or used on a regular basis to help prevent heart disease.

Rose Hips (Rosa)

Rose hips are the highly nutritious fruits or seed pods of roses. They are usually red in color, have a delicious flavor similar to apples and are famous for their vitamin C content. Three rose hips contain the same amount of vitamin C as one orange. They are also rich in bioflavonoids and other vitamins and minerals including A, B-complex, D, E, iron and calcium. Rose hips are recommended for pregnant women to help them prepare for labor and delivery, possibly reducing labor and recovery time. They are also used to help prevent urinary bladder infections. Rose hips support the immune system helping the body fight off colds and other illnesses. They strengthen fragile blood vessels helping people who bruise easily and those with varicose veins. Rose hips can also speed up the healing of fractures.

Rose hip

Rose hips remain on the bush throughout the winter and can provide an excellent free food when nearly all other outdoor food sources are gone. They can be eaten right off the bush or dried and stored for later consumption. Slice each rose hip in half, remove the central core of seeds and dry the remaining pulp and skins for later use. Rose hips are usually reddish in color, although the one shown in the photograph is green.

Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea, Echinacea angustifolia, Echinacea pallida)

I have always held the opinion that if you are going to plant something, it might as well be something that you can eat or use as a medicine. Decorative flowers are no exception. If I plant a flower in my yard, you can be sure that I have some practical use in mind for it. I mentioned the nutritional value of rose hips above. Another pretty flower that can serve a useful function over and above its ornamental value is echinacea. Echinacea is widely grown as an ornamental, but few are aware of its value as a medicine. Echinacea root is an immune system stimulant, which means that it can improve the efficiency of the immune system helping us prevent and recover from illnesses quicker. Recently some medical "authorities" (i.e., drug company cronies) have questioned the efficacy of echinacea root, producing research that supposedly indicated that it has little value in fighting infections. The problem with their research is they were evaluating the herb as an antibiotic. Unlike garlic, echinacea does not work directly on infective agents or germs, but rather by supporting your own immune system, enhancing your natural defenses so your body can prevent and fight off infections like it is supposed to.



Echinacea purpurea or Purple Coneflower (photograph) is a popular ornamental and wildflower that was widely used by the Plains Indians. It is native to the central and southwestern U.S. where it grows in open fields and rocky soils where there is plenty of sunlight. It is a herbaceous perennial, which means that it dies down each year only to return the following year, a big plus for those of us who don't like replanting flowers every year.

In this chapter I have presented just a small sample of the many potentially health-enhancing herbs that are available to the survivalist. It is beyond the scope of this web site to provide an extensive list of herbs and their uses. There are many excellent books on the subject including those mentioned in the Additional Resources section at the end of this web site and under "Recommended Reading" at the bottom of this page. I recommend that you acquire a field guide for the area in which you live, to help you identify the wild plants in your area. Then begin learning about the uses of the plants that are growing wild in your area starting with those in your own back yard. If you are in the habit of treating your lawn with chemical weed killers, please stop that awful habit now! Don't forget that a weed is just an herb whose virtues are unappreciated. Learn to appreciate them by learning how to use them. In addition to a good field guide to help you identify plants, I recommend that you purchase one or two herbals—books which describe herbs and their uses as medicine.

Do You Really Want "Big Brother" to Manage Your Health?

The Fed has done such a great job at managing the dollar and the economy, burdening future Americans with unsustainable debt which will insure a future standard of living far lower than that enjoyed by past generations! It is madness to think that it will be to your benefit to allow them to manager your health as well!

(Read Ron Paul's important book mentioned in my video: The Revolution: A Manifesto)


I am a licensed acupuncturist as well as a survivalist writer. Acupuncture is a small part of a greater category of traditional medicine known as Meridian Therapy. According to traditional Chinese medicine, vital energy or "chi" travels along pathways in the body known as meridians. Meridian Therapy refers to any technique aimed at restoring or optimizing health by unblocking or balancing the flow of this vital energy.

Acupuncture is but one way of unblocking or balancing the flow of energy in the body. Needleless techniques include acupressure, spinal manipulation, moxibustion, electrical stimulation, and now a new technology involving transparent holographic chips. These inexpensive "chips" are like clear stickers that you apply to the body at key acupuncture points. Holographic chips work energetically—nothing is introduced into the body, so there are no negative side effects. Three types of chips are available: for Pain, for Energy and for Sleep.

Holographic Chips use the Principles of Meridian Therapy (or Acupuncture without needles) and Put Your Health Back into Your Own Hands! Take the first step toward freeing yourself from government-managed health care by learning more about this exciting new technology at:

Click here for Holographic Chips for pain, energy or sleep!

Action Step 15: Health Care Check Lists

In Action Step 6 you created a "Get" list and a "Do" list for health care. Turn to that page now. In the "Get" column begin making a list of the items that you would like to acquire to meet your emergency health care needs, including first aid materials, reference books, etc. Continue on the back of the page if necessary. In the right column under "Do" begin making a list of the things that you would like to accomplish. This list might include taking a Red Cross First Aid class. When you acquire an item or accomplish a task check it off your list. As you think of additional items add them to your lists.

Below is a sample "GET" list of items that you may want to acquire and a sample "DO" list of things that you might want to accomplish to help you prepare for your health care needs during an emergency. Use these lists to help you formulate your own check lists:

Printer Friendly List Printer Friendly List
    Health Care "GET" Check List:
  1. [  ] Large family-sized or industrial First Aid kit
  2. [  ] First Aid manual (This will be included if you take a First Aid class.)
  3. [  ] Book on backwoods medicine
  4. [  ] Field guide to wild edible and medicinal plants for my area
  5. [  ] Book on herbal health care
  6. [  ] Book on home remedies
  7. First Aid Kit Check List:
  8. [  ] First Aid cream
  9. [  ] Calamine lotion or aloe vera gel
  10. [  ] 2% tincture of iodine
  11. [  ] Alcohol
  12. [  ] 4x4 inch sterile gauze dressing individually wrapped
  13. [  ] 3x3 inch sterile gauze dressing individually wrapped
  14. [  ] 2x2 inch sterile gauze dressing individually wrapped
  15. [  ] 2 inch wide roll of gauze bandage
  16. [  ] Roll of 2 inch wide adhesive tape
  17. [  ] Roll of 1 inch wide adhesive tape
  18. [  ] Roll of 1/2 inch wide adhesive tape
  19. [  ] Box of assorted plastic adhesive strips (e.g., Band-Aid, Curad, etc.)
  20. [  ] Roll of absorbent cotton
  21. [  ] Cotton tipped applicators
  22. [  ] 1 inch bandage
  23. [  ] 2 inch bandage
  24. [  ] 3 inch bandage
  25. [  ] 4 inch bandage
  26. [  ] 1 ounce cotton
  27. [  ] Alcohol swabs
  28. [  ] Eye wash cup
  29. [  ] Pint bottle of sterile saline solution (one level teaspoon of salt to one pint of boiled water)
  30. [  ] Tongue depressors
  31. [  ] Triangular bandage
  32. [  ] Tourniquet
  33. [  ] Instant cold pack
  34. [  ] Ice bag
  35. [  ] Hot-water bottle
  36. [  ] Oval eye pads
  37. [  ] Ammonia inhalants
  38. [  ] Scissors
  39. [  ] Tweezers
  40. [  ] Scalpel with extra blades or sharp knife
  41. [  ] Latex gloves
  42. [  ] Petroleum jelly
  43. [  ] Bottle of ipecac syrup to induce vomiting
  44. [  ] Activated charcoal capsules to absorb swallowed poisons
  45. [  ] Packet of needles
  46. [  ] Eye dropper
  47. [  ] Oral thermometer
  48. [  ] Rectal thermometer
  49. [  ] Box of wooden safety matches
  50. [  ] Flashlight
  51. [  ] First Aid instructions
  52. [  ] List of First Aid items (to help you keep your kit stocked)

    Health Care "DO" Check List:
  1. [  ] Enroll in a First Aid class
  2. [  ] Read my First Aid manual
  3. [  ] Read my backwoods medicine book
  4. [  ] Learn how to identify and use wild medicinal plants growing in my area
  5. [  ] Take the free online course: Natural Health School
  6. [  ] Learn more about taking care of my family's health needs using natural and home remedies.

Click here for Holographic Chips for pain, energy or sleep!

Continue to Chapter 10: Protection

Recommended Reading:

Thinking About Getting a Flu Shot? Watch This First!

(Parts 2 & 3 will follow automatically in the above window)

A Better Way to Protect Yourself this Flu Season

Vitamin D3 provides better protection from the flu and with no negative side effects! The effects of Vitamin D3 supplementation are many, and they are all beneficial! Better immune response and a more positive mood are just two of the healthful benefits of taking Vitamin D3 during the Winter season. During the cold and flu season, we receive much less sunlight to our bodies—the primary natural source of Vitamin D. The sun is lower in the sky and the sunlight that reaches us has to pass through the Earth's atmosphere at an acute angle, increasing the amount of atmosphere that it passes through which filters out much of its healthful benefits. Low levels of Vitamin D3 are responsible for poor immunity during the cold and flu season and are also linked to SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder, or "Winter Blues.") So this year, avoid the dangerous flu shot, whose benefits are questionable to say the least, and whose many hazards are well documented. Make Vitamin D3 supplementation your Natural Flu Protection. (For more information on the benefits of D3 including the medical research see Vitamin D and flu prevention shining a light on seasonal flu bugs.)

Where There Is No Dentist:

Hygiene Issues Just For Women:

Heavy Metal Detox

A potent herbal detoxification formula:
• Binds with and removes heavy metals from the body.
• Absorbs heavy metal ions.
• Supports the liver.
• Helps the body replenish vital minerals.

Heavy Metal Toxicity Could Be Responsible, at least in part, for Insane Public "Officials" and an Apathetic Brain-Dead "Zombie" Population

Visit The Nature's Sunshine Products Site for:

Super Supplemental Vitamins and Minerals
Nature's Spring Reverse-Osmosis
Continue to Chapter 10: Protection

Take a stand against Socialized Medicine
Natural Health School .com
by taking responsibility for your own Health Care!

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