Top 5 Herbal Plants For Survival
Guest Article by: Gary Johnston
Every prepper should have a knowledge of foraging in a SHTF situation - here are the Top 5 Herbal Plants For Survival that are both common and abundant that you can use to help if traditional medicine is hard to come by.
There are many plants in the United Kingdom that have healing abilities. Whilst some of them require good plant knowledge, there are plenty that are common and easy to identify.
Found along woodland rides, hedgerows, verges and waste ground, burdock is not only a good source of carbohydrates (via its root), but it also has useful herbal properties.
Made into a poultice, burdock is a good treatment for bruises and boils. Making a poultice is straightforward, use steam to soften the whole leaf and then apply it to the affected area as hot as you can tolerate. Leave it in place until it cools down.
The leaves are also a good treatment for minor burns, again as a poultice. This time crush the leaves first and then apply. Leave the poultice in place until the pain subsides.
Dandelion (Taraxicum officinale)
Found in a wide variety of grassy places, dandelions are easily recognisable, although they do look similar to hawkweeds and cat’s ears so take care to get the right plant.
All parts of dandelion are edible, but the leaves can be a little bitter. It’s high in vitamins A, B, C & D and minerals, especially potassium and makes a good detoxifier.
As dandelions are bitter, eating them triggers signals to the digestive system which in turn aids digestion. It causes the gall bladder to contract and release bile, stimulating the liver to produce more. It’s also good for constipation and fluid retention. Be aware that dandelion is a diuretic (it’s likely to make you wee a lot!).
Plantain (Plantago major)
Growing on lawns and tracks, the crushed leaf is fantastic for insect bites & stings, allergic rashes, cuts & wounds, infected cuts, and mouth ulcers.
Whilst most of us are familiar with the healing properties of dock leaves, plantain is much more effective.
Plantain tea can be used to treat a surprising range of ailments, including haemorrhoids and irritable bowel syndrome.
The seeds can be eaten raw or cooked and are high in vitamin B, as well as being a treatment for constipation.
Yarrow (Acillea millefolium)
A member of the daisy family growing in hedgerows and verges, yarrow is a great addition to any herbal first aid kit.
It has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-thrombotic and diuretic properties as well as being a useful treatment for colds and flu.
Yarrow makes an excellent first aid poultice for deep cuts and wounds (apparently it was used by soldiers in the Trojan war).
Taken as a tea, yarrow is good for colds & flus and high blood pressure; it tones varicose veins and can prevent blood clots.
Selfheal (Prunella vulgaris)
Although particularly fond of chalky soil, selfheal can be found all over the UK in fields as well as woods. It is a good all-rounder.
Take selfheal tea for your general well-being, but it is also effective in the treatment of fevers, flu and other viral infections as well as mouth ulcers.
The Top 5 Herbal Plants For Survival shown above are just a few of the many plants that can help you fight off infection and disease in the wild.
It is definitely worth studying these and becoming familiar with the exact plants mentioned.
- Always remember, if you’re not 100% confident with your identification, don’t take any chances.
These are just some of the plants that we show people on our Herbal Remedies courses where we study positive identification of plants.
A very big 'thank you' to Gary for taking time and providing us with this fascinating article.
Gary is one of the founders of Jack Raven Bushcraft over in Kent and they are one of the foremost survival and bushcraft centres in the UK. offering courses and training on all aspects of wild living.
They run a full schedule of bushcraft, survival and woodland training for everyone.
So If you want to find out more about the courses currently being run, I highly recommend popping over to their website to find out everything on offer:
Gary Johnston, founder of Jack Raven Bushcraft
Happy Prepping Folks.