8 OTC Items That Could Save Your Life

(Psst: The FTC wants me to remind you that this website contains affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase from a link you click on, I might receive a small commission. This does not increase the price you'll pay for that item nor does it decrease the awesomeness of the item. ~ Daisy)

Author of A Year Without the Grocery Store  and its Companion Workbook

In preparation for an emergency situation in the medical realm, there are some fairly inexpensive OTC items that could potentially save your life during an SHTF situation. Now I am NOT a doctor, and I don’t play one on TV.  I’m just a mom who has used each of these remedies to affect my family’s health for the better.

While life can perhaps seem hard from time to time, the truth is that we have it pretty easy right now.  We have electricity to run our homes.  We have air conditioning to keep us cool in the summer.  In the winter we have furnaces which keep us nice and snug.  We have (relatively) clean water piped directly into our houses, and the waste is drained directly away.  We have food in our refrigerators and a grocery store just down the street (or highway) to which we can go if we need more food.  We have access to medical professionals if we become sick or injured.  These are all wonderful things!

But what if all of those were taken away?  What if we no longer had electricity, running water, air conditioning, and/or easy access to food or medical care?  If we had to go it alone life would be H-A-R-D. And medical problems would be even harder.

Let’s dive right into these OTC items that are potentially lifesaving.

Activated charcoal


Activated charcoal history goes all the way back to 3750 BC in Egypt.  The Egyptians used it to help create bronze.  By 1500 BC, the Egyptians used it to treat the stench of putrefying skin wounds (without realizing that it would help the wound itself). They also used it internally to treat intestinal ailments.  Later, around 400 BC, the Phoenicians realized that it had antiseptic properties.  They would char the inside of their water barrels for long sea voyages to keep the water inside those barrels pure.  By AD 50 Hippocrates and Pliny the Elder started using it as medicine.   After that, it was lost as a remedy for almost 1700 years.  Between 1700 and 1800, it was ‘rediscovered’ and used as a medicine again.  It became popular to use it in poultices, treatments for ulcers, and nosebleeds.

Just last century, however, activated charcoal used to be used in hospitals to treat overdoses, accidental or otherwise.  Vets still use it when animals ingest something potentially dangerous.  While activated charcoal is available today even in drugstores such as Walgreens or CVS.  Their brands are capsulized but contain fillers and even colors. I would recommend purchasing it in bulk from Amazon.

I’ve used activated charcoal successfully both internally and externally for myself, my husband, and even for my children.  If there’s ever a situation where the SHTF, having something to counteract poisons on hand is more than valuable.

For external use, we mixed activated charcoal with enough filtered water to create a paste that is not so wet that it will run and refuse to stay in place, but not so dry that the charcoal powder won’t be effective.  You want to keep the paste damp so covering it with a plastic wrap or something else that will hold the moisture (using medical tape to tape the sides down) in could greatly help.

Emergen C


I can imagine some of you might be thinking, “Emergen C, Really?”  Let me tell you a little story.  This past winter was a hard one in our area of central Illinois.  It was cold and SNOWY for a long time – all the way into mid-April and even a bit into late April.

My husband and I were taking Emergen C regularly, not because we felt sick, but because we wanted to bolster our immune systems.  We continued this throughout the winter and stayed healthy all winter while others around us fell to various illnesses.  When April arrived, starting with my youngest child, each of my children (who weren’t taking Emergen C regularly) came down with a really bad cold, or at least what we thought was a cold.  But for my oldest daughter, it got worse and worse.

We don’t go to the doctor often, but I ended up taking three of my five children to the doctor with this ‘cold’.  On our way home from the doctor (our doctor is 1 hour and 15 minutes away), my oldest daughter told me that her hands and then her arms were going numb.  Then she told me she knew she was moving her arms, but she couldn’t feel it.  We took her into the ER and it turns out that she had Influenza B.  They gave her two bags of fluids and sent her home.  It took her three weeks to recover from the flu.  We almost ended back in the ER with her again.

My husband and I both got the flu, but for me, it lasted one day.  For my husband, it lasted about 4-8 hours.  We were the ones taking Emergen C regularly.  It hit us, but not nearly as hard as it did the kids who hadn’t been taking it.  I highly recommend stocking it to bolster your immune system.  You can get it in drinkable or chewable form.

Epsom salts


Epsom salts are amazing things.  When I was hospitalized several years ago with a skin infection, one of the things that we did (even in the hospital – which rarely uses natural remedies) to encourage my body to rid itself of the infection was Epsom salt baths.  This, in conjunction with my IV meds, helped my body start ridding itself of the infection.

Even if you don’t have an infection, using Epsom salt baths regularly help your body detox from chemicals and other harmful substances.  This will help your body to remain stronger especially during stressful situations.

Epsom salts can also be made into an electrolyte drink.  This past April we got hit with the flu in our house – though we didn’t know at the time that it was the flu.  One of my daughters got so severely dehydrated because of the flu that she was incredibly dizzy and started losing feeling in her hands and arms.  We headed into the ER because we didn’t know what was going on.  We were told she had  the flu and she was given two bags of IV fluids which perked her up.  If we had understood what was going on and had had her drinking an electrolyte drink, we could have avoided this all together.

I found a super simple recipe for making your own electrolyte drink here:  http://theplantedrunner.com/homemade-hydration-diy-nuun-electrolyte-replacement/

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/16 teaspoon Morton’s Lite Salt
  • 1/16 teaspoon epsom salt
  • optional flavor such as juice, tea, stevia, or water enhancer

Directions:

Mix into 12-16 ounces of water, flavored water, or other healthy cold beverage.

372.5 mg sodium 87.5 mg potassium 30 mg magnesium

Cinnamon


According to the Diabetes Federation, more than 425 MILLION people worldwide have diabetes.  Managing the disease when you have access to all of the medical facilities and medicines is hard enough.  If you know someone who has diabetes, there may be some good news for helping manage their diabetes in a post SHTF world.

I’m not a doctor and am NOT making medical assertions, but I want to point you to some articles and studies.  Some studies like this one have shown that cinnamon may lower blood glucose levels.  It does this by lowering insulin resistance and increasing insulin sensitivity.

There are two types of cinnamon out there that people can get their hands on generally Ceylon and Cassia.  Both are cinnamon and both have been shown to help lower blood sugar levels; however, cinnamon contains a component known as coumarin.  Too much coumarin can damage your liver.  Cassia cinnamon contains much more coumarin than Ceylon cinnamon does.  If you plan on using cinnamon in a post SHTF world, make sure you’re stocking Ceylon cinnamon.

Do your own research on the situation.  I found this article to be particularly helpful.

Oscillococcinum


Yeah, I don’t pronounce it well.  I generally pronounce it “O – sil- i -something”  Technically it’s pronounced “O-sill-o-kahks-see-num.”

Who cares how it’s pronounced, WHAT is it?  It’s a homeopathic remedy which helps lessen the duration and severity of flu symptoms.

Karen, it’s just FLU, you might be thinking.  Well, besides my story above about my daughter, this year’s flu killed 172 children.  This was one of the highest death tolls since the federal health authorities started gathering data on children’s deaths from flu in 2004.  The third week of January, of those who died, 1 out of 10 died of the flu or it’s resulting co-infections and the flu rate  kept climbing.

Knowing how many people died from the flu this year and how many more people were affected by it, having something around like Oscillococcinum would be an incredible help!  In our family alone, I had five people out of seven down with it at the same time.  That’s okay if we have modern conveniences, but if it’s a SHTF situation, when it’s all hands on deck just to provide for daily needs, having five out of seven down could mean the whole family’s downfall.

So Oscillococcinum to the rescue.  According to Boiron’s own site:  “Oscillococcinum works rapidly, with 63 percent of patients showing “complete resolution” or “clear improvement” at 48 hours.*1 In a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, the recovery rate within 48 hours of treatment was significantly greater in the group that received the active drug than in the placebo group.”

Children two years old and older can take it.  It works best when taken early on in symptoms.  Having taken it myself this year and having administered it to children ages 6-16, I can tell you that the taste is actually quite pleasant.  None of my children complained about it and my youngest one asked for it regularly.  This is usually an indication that it tastes good.

It’s simple to use.  You empty a vial of it under your tongue and let it dissolve.  You do want to try to avoid eating or drinking anything 15 minutes before you take it or fifteen minutes after you take it. If you can’t find it locally, it’s available on Amazon.

Alcohol and peroxide


There is a controversy raging as to whether or not you should use alcohol or peroxide to clean wounds.  One camp says that it’s okay to use because you’re killing the bad germs.  The other camp wags their finger and says, yes, but you’re also killing good bacteria and healthy cells.

For my family, generally, we don’t use alcohol or peroxide on our skin because I do believe that these kill both the good and bad bacteria on our skin.  That being said, there is a place and a time to use these especially in a SHTF situation.  If a small cut gets infected and you don’t have access to antibiotics or to medical help of any kind using either or both of these to take care of festering wounds is much better than the alternative.

If you are having dental issues.  Peroxide can also useful.  It can be diluted and squirted into the mouth before being spat out.  You would need to immediately rinse the mouth out with filtered or distilled water.  WebMD has a section on using Peroxide for dental issues.

Vitamins


What’s the best way to get well?  The answer is incredibly simple!  Don’t get sick in the first place.  Yes, I know that sounds over simplified, but it is true.  One way to keep your body healthy is to make sure that you are taking vitamins especially if your nutrition is lacking because of holes in your food storage.

I’m not going to endorse one company over another, but what I will tell you is that vitamins and minerals taken in LIQUID form are absorbed SO MUCH better than their pill form counter parts.  According to LiveStrong, liquid vitamins are better absorbed by between 78-95% better!  Besides that, they don’t have to be digested.  Liquid vitamins can be absorbed directly into your bloodstream.

Probiotics


Did you know that your gut is your second brain?  It is.  There is even a diet out there which has been shown to help people with autism, depression, anxiety, ADHD and autoimmune diseases.  How does the diet go about it?  It targets the gut.

There is overwhelming evidence out there that anxiety and depression are often linked to gut conditions.  You can find articles and studies on it here, here, and here just for starters.  There are also other studies linking gut health to overall health.

So if the SHTF one of the most important things you can do is to feed your gut good bacteria, but how do to you do this?  Well, many quality probiotics require refrigeration.  I have seen decent probiotics that do not require refrigeration including a brand called Bio-Kult.

But unless you are using these and replacing them, even the quality of those could degrade, so what can be done?

The best source of a good probiotic is to learn how to ferment foods yourself.  I’m not talking about that slimy and gunky kind of sauerkraut that you find at the store (sorry for those of you who like it).  I’m talking about crunchy, salty tasting pickles or sauerkraut.  Home fermentation is SO EASY to do!  Get yourself a fermenting crock, weights, and lid and learn now!

What About You?


Do you use any of these OTC items on a regular basis now?  Have you attempted to use any of these on yourself or your family before?  Are there other items that you’d add to the list?  I’d love to hear.  Let us know in the comments section.

8 OTC Items That Could Save Your Life
Karen Morris

Karen Morris

Karen Morris has survived some life-changing events, like the Ferguson riots, an armed standoff with a knife-wielding man during my family’s time at a local homeschool chess club, and an F-4 tornado, Each of these events taught her a new level of self-sufficiency and preparedness. From there, her journey to self-sufficiency started with food storage and grew beyond her wildest imaginings. Find out more about Karen Morris: Her books:  A Year Without the Grocery Store and A Year Without the Grocery Store Companion Workbook Her website: AYearWithouttheGroceryStore.com

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  • Daisy, I use powdered Vitamin C that I buy from a place called Lucky Vitamin because they usually have the best prices on vitamins and alternative sweeteners. It’s quite a bit cheaper than buying the pills and, because I have pretty bad acid reflux, I mix it with baking soda which neutralizes the acidity of the vitamin C, neutralizes my stomach acid and also helps replenish electrolytes. Of course, it’s nowhere near as tasty as Emergen-C, but it is a heckofalot cheaper.

    • I think that’s awesome, Woody! You know your body better than anyone else could. You know what works for you and what doesn’t. I personally chose to use Emergen-C because it also adds extra vitamins and minerals that help bolster the immune system. It’s not just vitamin C. That being said, I’m really glad that you found something that works really well for you! You are right, Emergen-C is expensive even at Costco, where we purchase it. Swanson also has a great vitamin C powder that’s a little less pricey.

  • Benadryl or the generic equivalent is a must have for any prepper’s OTC medicine supply. Can literally be a life saver if it’s the only anti-allergy medicine you have. Also useful for turning Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen into their sleep versions (check the ingredients on Advil PM or Tylenol PM – it’s the regular medicine plus Benadryl!)
    And while they may not be a life-saver, I stock plenty of OTC pain relievers: Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, and Naproxen Sodium. Very helpful for fevers, muscle aches and the like which could be very useful if I’m doing unaccustomed physical activity post event….

    • My focus really was just on things that can save your life. I actually totally understand why Benedryl could be added though, because if you have an allergic reaction to something and nothing else to counteract it, Benedryl would be better than nothing.

      As far s the other OTCs I absolutely agree. I just don’t see them as literally life-saving.

      • For my husband, it would be lifesaving since he has already gone into anaphylactic shock from bee stings
        and the epi-pen he now carries will have a short shelf life after it is not available.
        He now also carries liquid Benedryl so it will absorb faster as it must keep hounding the effects of the stings..

        • I used to keep bees and enjoyed quite a number of stings. I use an antacid like Pepcid with the liquid Benadryl, they work together to minimize the reaction to the sting.

    • Though I personally don’t want the liver problems that come from acetaminophen or the kidney problems that come with ibuprofen, I stock plenty of Aspirin and caffeine to boost it. The fifty milligram gel caps of diphenhydramine (Benadryl) can be helpful to stave off dangerous allergic reactions, especially if you can’t get to an epipen. Tastes NASTY but it’s rapidly absorbable in liquid form.

  • I didn’t realize there were 2 kinds of cinnamon. I will definitely look into getting the Ceylon cinnamon. Thanks Karen a great article………

    • I knew there were 2 kinds of cinnamon, but not aware of the coumadin content. Unfortunately, when I went to check which kind I had (quite a bit, since I do make up capsules for my husband’s type 2 diabetes) it doesn’t say. The label says only “Saigon cinnamon.” So at a guess, it’s the less desirable version…

    • Thanks. I learned a lot doing my research for it. Learning about the two kinds of cinnamon was definitely one of them!

  • Anti-diarrheal meds are an essential. Diarrheal illnesses are a killer world-wide, and very common whenever water sources are compromised.

    • Thanks for the reminder. I stock that plus Zinc tablets since they can help children to get over diarrhea. Also, it’s good to have the fixings for oral rehydration solution. While not technical an OTC med, it can save someone who is dehydrated.
      Recipe I use:

      0.5 liter clean water
      1 tablespoon sugar
      1/8 teaspoon baking soda
      1/16 teaspoon of salt (table salt is fine)
      1/16 teaspoon of salt substitute (Potassium Chloride)

      When mixed into water this needs to be used within 24 hours. When kept dry and separate the ingredients will last years (salt and sugar are good forever, but baking soda has a shelf life.)

    • From experience, Barley soup, just barley, is good for diarrheal. Add more foods slowly as you improve, with plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Green bananas helps also.

  • Having just had a mini personal-SHTF week when my 40 year old husband had a heart attack on Monday, I would add baby aspirin! Even at the ER, with modern medicines, tests, equipment, etc. the ER doctors were putting baby aspirin under his tongue what felt like every minute when they were trying to interrupt the blockage. I would recommend having a bunch (just make sure it’s chewable – those are faster acting in an emergency because they get into your blood stream quicker). Having regular aspirin is also good as a longer-term preventative.

    • Rebecca, how is your husband doing? Has he had his stent put in yet? And you are ABSOLUTELY right. Baby aspirin should most definitely be added to the list!

      • He is recovering! He ended up with 3 stents total, and is off work a couple weeks. His body feels pretty good, but he is concerned about going back to his labor-intensive job 🙁

  • you should know that coumarin is used by prescription as a blood thinner. that is, it helps prevent clots that cause heart attacks, strokes and pulmonary embolisms, in persons at risk for them. i’m sure there is a way to calculate how much coumarin is in cinnamon, to safely avoid the potential problem or even, perhaps, as an emergency substitute for coumarin.

    • Coumarin is not a prescription blood thinner. I know as I was prescribed coumadin after a dangerous blood clot. Do not get them mixed up!

  • In addition, Apple Cider Vinegar for general health, Garlic, Goldenrod and other herbs, Honey for wounds (glue for small cuts) has a good shelve life, Sambucas Elderberry for colds, I read Oregano Oil is good, Kimchi or most fermented food I agree is good for the other brain, or their connection the Vagus nerve. (The spinal cord is also the Brain.)

    • ah, I’m still trying to keep my posts short … but, from having a partially separated Achilles Heel I learned Turmeric (Cumin) amongst other benefits aids to bring nutrition to the Synovial Fluid Sacs that have few blood vessels, to improve healing damaged cartilage, ie. tendons to bone tissue. The knees would be a prime example as they carry seventy percent of the body weight and you’re need them to avoid metal, lead, in the SHTF. (Develop your leg Quad muscles to divert weight around the knees).

      Good circulation amounts to good health.

  • Homeopathic ‘medicin’ but no Tylenol or benadryl? Generally speaking you should run from ALL advice a person like this gives…

    • In general Tylenol or Benadryl won’t save your life. Since saving your/my life was the focus of this article, I didn’t think they should be included.

    • That’s incredibly rude, Stan. Not the way we do things around here. You can disagree, but please do so civilly.

  • I agree wholeheartedly with everything in this article except for Oscillococcinum. As it is a homeopathic remedy, it does not really contain any active ingredient unless you believe that molecules leave an “imprint” on pure water when shaken together with it. A little research about homeopathic “remedies” will reveal more than I have space to post here. That said, the human mind is a wonderful thing, and the placebo effect can be quite powerful. I’m curious about the methods of that double blind study you mention because I can’t find any validity to homeopathy unless I read websites of people who sell the “remedies.”

    As for everything else in the article, yes, I’ve noticed great things about all the other things you’ve mentioned. I’m not quite so sure about the activated charcoal but it does have benefit with ingested toxins. Great information!

    • I’m going to take issue here with something that the author hasa said a couple of times now, which is that Benadryl can’t save your life. No offense Karen, but you are misinformed on this point. Diphenhydramine (the active ingredient) can and will alleviate the symptoms of anaphylaxis enough to make it survivable.

      Case in point– Four and a half weeks ago, one of our soon to be ex neighbors decided to start producing huge clouds of a particular chemical smoke I have a violent anaphylactic response to. In other words, a fatal allergy. Benadryl is the only reason I am still alive. Redbranch was here for the whole thing and can attest to it.

      We don’t stock epipens because of the ridiculous price, which places them out of our reach financially. However, 200 to 300 mg of diphenhydramine sublingual can and will alleviate the symptoms of anaphylaxis enough to make it survivable instead of fatal. Yes, it’s an off-label use. When SHTF, who cares, as long as it saves your life, or your loved one’s life.

      The best form to purchase is , as Redbranch mentioned earlier, liquigels, although I prefer to stock the 50 mg sleep aid liquigels, as opposed to just the 25 mg dye free allergy liquigels of diphenhydramine sold as Benadryl. At , or preferably before onset of symptoms, crack two of the liquigels between your teeth, and let it absorb throught he tissues of your mouth for 30 seconds or so before swallowing. If symptoms continue, tke two more, every three minutes up to 200 to 300 mg, and seek medical help.

      One of the reason Redbranch and I knew to use diphenhydramine this way is because of medtech certifications I once carried.

      OH, and Redbranch, dear? Please add Activated Charcoal to the next Amazon list. The stuff really does work for a great many things…Arigato!

      • Liquid-gels are faster acting, but pay attention to the expiration dates on the bottles. Liquid medicine doesn’t have anywhere near the same shelf-life of the pills. I have only been stocking the pills, but with your reminder that when dealing with anaphylaxis that speed is of the essence, I’ll start getting a small stash of liquid gels and rotate them out often.

      • I purchase charcoal tablets (not caps), they are great for both humans and dogs! We use them for “digestive upsets” when our dog gets too gassy (as in leave the room!)

  • Hi Karen – What are your thoughts about adding iostat, potassium iodide, or kelp. Do you stock any of those for a nuclear emergency? From what I read they can definitely safe your life by flushing radiation out of the thyroid. Great Article!

    • Minor quibble – Iostat and Potassium Iodide or iodate help preserve the thyroid by saturating it with normal iodine. Once the thyroid has absorbed radioactive iodine then more iodine can’t flush out the bad stuff. So you need to take your iodine before exposure or as soon after as possible to reduce the chance for thyroid damage.

      • @dmwalsh568

        You are correct! Thanks for pointing that out. 🙂 Still seem good to have on hand in case of a nuclear emergency. Of course it would depend on the situation if it helps.

  • I would like to ad that hydrogen peroxide dose not need to be spat out immediately after using it. Peroxide is H202. Twp parts hydrogen,two parts oxygen. Water is H2O which has one less part oxygen. I use Peroxide several times a day as mouth wash . Peroxide will foam as long as there are bacteria present. While some people may be more sensitive,I don’t believe there is any concern for toxicity or harm.It is very useful for toothache as it kills the bacteria and can stop a toothache right now.While commercial grade peroxide is 3% and it is not pure. There is an additive to keep it stable.Food grade peroxide can be diluted and used also and it can be swallowed due to lack of stabilizer that can be toxic.I would never be without peroxide or iodine.Cleaning a wound with peroxide then following with a good coat of iodine will stop amlost any chance of infection . The other thing I would not be without is lavender oil. It will stop a burn in it’s tracks. Takes the pain away immediately and protects from infection and blisterling.

  • Do you know that ascillococcinum can be useful to avoid gastroenteritis ? Take it at first symptom, 1 each half hour during 2 hours. You may avoid sichness, or at least dicrease it.

  • after having read the comments about this article i have to point out how dogmatic people can be. either in dismissing homeopathic or alternative remedies to allopathic medicine. the truth is that much of the “scientific” studies of allopathic remedies/procedures are flawed and there is no money in doing the same studies for alternative practices. so what are we left with?
    we are left with the basic dictum that you have to do what’s best for you. i had to learn that the hard way when i had a health problem over 20 years ago. modern medicine let me down. big time. but alternative medicine didn’t fair much better. i did figure out how to live a normal life but it left me with a sense that one size does not fit all. and you have to keep at it till you figure it out FOR YOURSELF.

    so if you don’t believe in a certain health practice keep it to yourself if you can. it might not work for you today because you have done the “research” but one day, you might find yourself changing your mind.
    and for gosh’s sake stan, be polite.

    • I totally agree that a dogmatic adherence to traditional allopathic medicine is not a good way to go. I’m completely with you there. There are many forms of alternative medicine that do work, such as certain vitamin therapies, certain approaches to herbalism, meditation techniques, etc.

      However, I will not ever support homeopathic therapies for the reason that they too were originally invented purely for profit, they are complete and unmitigated snake oil, and there is no way they could have other than a placebo effect. If anyone doubts that, there are many good resources that explain the history and theory behind them. Also folks often get naturopathy and homeopathy mixed up, which is a mistake.

      I fully support evidence based medicine which does include allopathy, but also a wide range of other treatments. In the shared desire for politeness and rational discussion, which is one of the things I have always valued about this blog, I will simply close by including this description of homeopathic “remedies” which sums up my issues with the practice, and leave it at that.

      Homeopathy is a system of alternative medicine developed in 1796 by Samuel Hahnemann, based on his doctrine of like cures like , a claim that a substance that causes the symptoms of a disease in healthy people would cure similar symptoms in sick people. Homeopathy is a pseudoscience – a belief that is incorrectly presented as scientific. Large-scale studies have found homeopathy to be no more effective than a placebo, indicating that any positive effects that follow treatment are only due to the placebo effect, normal recovery from illness, or regression toward the mean.

      Hahnemann believed the underlying causes of disease were phenomena that he termed miasms, and that homeopathic preparations addressed these. The preparations are manufactured using a process of homeopathic dilution, in which a chosen substance is repeatedly diluted in alcohol or distilled water, each time with the containing vessel being struck against an elastic material, commonly a leather-bound book. Dilution typically continues well past the point where no molecules of the original substance remain.

      Homeopathy is not a plausible system of treatment, as its dogmas about how drugs, illness, the human body, liquids and solutions operate are contradicted by a wide range of discoveries across biology, psychology, physics and chemistry made in the two centuries since its invention. Although some clinical trials produce positive results,] multiple systematic reviews have indicated that this is because of chance, flawed research methods, and reporting bias. Homeopathic practice has been criticized as unethical because it discourages the use of effective treatments.

      • your reply, while being polite, is still very dogmatic.

        it’s more of a “i agree with you but…..”

        you feel the need to “set the record straight about homeopathy”

        in response i would say that john d. rockefeller, the man who, more than any other human, gave us the modern pharmaceutical medical industry, and who sold snake oil in his youth , only used homeopaths.

  • Good list. I would add GSE [grapefruit seed extract]. It’s cheap. It has a million uses. Full strength it can clean kitchen countertops / toliets. Taken in water, in can calm and reset any stomach that is out of whack. I never leave home without it. Truly a miracle substance.

    Also, Slippery Elm Bark is a true lifesaver. A must have for food poisoning [never more than two servings is ever needed], and stopping extreme diarrhea . Very cheap and easy to consume. Just don’t ever breath in the powder, it will stick your throat shut. I learned that the hard and scary way.

  • Your comment on the peroxide reminded me of when I worked in the ER, We usually diluted the peroxide with saline solution at a 1 to 1 ratio. It got me to thinking. If I bought a 100.000 gallons of peroxide and a 100,000 gallons of saline solution I could mix them up and re-bottle it. I could then sell it at double the price and call it “ER strength”.

  • For influenza I recommend SAMBUCOL (also OTC), a black elderberry extract that is one of the only natural remedies I have seen that has proven evidence in fighting influenza A & B in blind scientific studies. I have never used ocillicocinum, but I am wary of only taking the manufacturers word for how well it works.

    You can do a quick web search for “elderberry and influenza” and bring up a number of randomized blind & double blind studies, mostly regarding the commercial variety of elderberry extract called Sambucol. You could, also, make your own syrup from black elderberries (not rocket surgery).

    Incidentally, chokecherries have almost identical amounts of the active ingredient in elderberry which I have used in a pinch. They grow locally around where I live and I usually bottle a few jars of chokecherry syrup every year anyway.

    Thanks for the great write up. And look into black elderberries!

  • I definitely agree with Vitamin C being a prepper’s must have. I get mine from the Nutricelebrity website.
    I get the tablets. They last longer. I have also purchased in powder form, and just cut an ice-cream soft plastic spoon to make it squarish and mix with water and drink it. Lifesaver.
    The other big item I can’t go without is Baking Soda. I wash and brush teeth with it. Fungus killer like no other. I thank God for it.

  • I found a single serve size bottle/single of a Kosher wine has helped me clear up diabetic sores if you catch them early on.

  • Hi! Just one more tip about peroxide – never pour it in an open wound! That actually causes the wound to heal slower and destroys the skin cells trying to heal the wound. The best course of action is to clean AROUND the wound with a Q-tip! This still protects the wound from the bad bacteria on our skin infecting the wound, and protects the wound from skin degradation! The best cleaning of the actual wound is just warm water and gentle soap. 🙂 (Pharmacist!!)

  • lots of interesting and helpful information..
    for years i’ve taken advil for pain and very grateful for it.
    but if i take advil pm the benedryl in it causes my temp to rise and i get twitchy/restless.
    so is there something else that would help me as benedryl does for so many?

  • I too think a probiotic is very important. I was using an expensive one at a cost of $30 for a one month supply. It worked great but after looking at the ingredients…duh!…I discovered
    that all I was taking was chicory. I bought a 12oz bag of 100% pure chicory, on-line, from Community Coffee. I added it to my ground coffee, three parts coffee to one part chicory. Not only does my coffee taste divine but I’m getting my probiotic at a much lower price

  • There’s a few important ones you’ve missed:
    1) antidiarrheals (such as Imodium or Pepto Bismal) more people die preventable deaths (especially those aged 0-5) from diarrhea in developing countries than from any other cause. Antidiarrheals are an absolute necessity in a SHTF scenario.
    2) ASA/Advil/Tylenol (or generic equivalent) handy for pain but essential for treating fevers.
    3) tablets/liquid to treat your water such as chlorine
    4) a rectal bulb/syringe- in the event that medical treatment is not available, the only other route available to most is the rectum. A rectal bulb/syringe is handy for administering fluids and or medications for those unable to tolerate oral administration. It can also be used for administering enemas to treat constipation.

  • You Need More Than Food to Survive
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