Survival Herbs: What Would YOU Choose?

in Natural Medicine23 days ago

I want to say coriander, parsley, and three sorts of basil, you know, if it was a desert island situation and I was ensuring I had a good herb garden to help my general health and culinary dreams of baked fish I'd caught with my bare hands diving into crystal blue water and drinking tulsi tea as the sun goes down. But I don't think it's that kind of challenge (read about Natural Medicine's November challenge on HIVE here - there's three to choose from AND a bonus manly man plant based food challenge!) - I think it's more a running away from zombies challenge. Heart beating fast, maybe a deep cut or two from leap frogging a barbed wire fence to get away from the horde that's cornered you in an alley, and then you've got that damn cold that you got off that family you holed up in the supermarket before you escaped by crawling into the air vents and breaking out onto the roof.

Okay, whatever the scenario, choosing three herbs is really super tough. If it's a bug out situation, I've likely got a bug out bag with antibiotics and a decent first aid kit, or one of the first things I've been smart enough to do is break into the local pharmacy and get the hard stuff whilst everyone's in the supermarket holding tight onto 24 packs of toilet paper. I've likely pierced the brains of the pharmacist zombie with shards of glass I've broken off the smashed sunglasses cabinet, and been stuffing my backpack with painkillers, asthma medication, antiobiotics, valium and anything hard I can get my hands on. Plus, lots of magnesium, because my muscles are sore from running and tonight I'll have a bad case of restless legs.

But yeah, I'll probably pick up those quality, expensive, top shelf herbs they keep in the naturopath's cabinet (we have resident naturopaths in some pharmacies in Australia which is pretty cool) and grabbed the herbs I know will support me and I can't seem to live without. Plus, I'll be supplementing my diet with plants I forage on the way - elderberries, dandelions, nettles and plantain are common, depending on the time of year, and I'd hope to find mushrooms too, maybe kill a kangaroo or two. That is, if the marsupials haven't turned into the walking furry dead. If you've ever heard a koala at night, you'd know how frightening that would be.

Anyway. Back to my choices. What would you choose?



I've written about this herb before. In fact, I'm super excited to be growing it in my garden - the seeds have popped up in the green house and I hope to plant and establish a few plants (alongside mullein, St John's Wort, tulsi and a few other herbs I've been meaning to grow for years). Ashwagandha is a powerful adaptogen, helping your body cope with stress. It's been used for thousands of years for energy, concentration and reduce cortisol levels. Damn if I'm not going to need that when zombies are hot on my heels. Seriously though, I drink it in my morning brew as well, along with reishi and cocoa, and in my opinion it's better than coffee - less jittery and sustains me well. I'm more alert and less stressed when I am taking it regularly. Some studies say it helps with muscle strength too. Perfet when I'm wielding tree branches to fight off zombie kangaroos. If I'm cheatting in this 'three herb' challenge, I'd also grab St John's Wort from the shelf because it's good for depression and anxiety. Better than prozac. Damn I hate choosing just three things.


Okay, this is where things get even trickier. I don't WANT to choose three. And I know I don't want to add plantain to this list (great for cuts, insect bites, and even teas for hayfever and stomach upsets or anything to do with internal bleeding, including UTI's) because I'm going to be able to forage it easily. But if I'm bugging out fast and rummaging through my collection of dried herbs, I'd probably grab yarrow. It's a stypic - that is, it helps with bleeding. You can just crush it or use the powder, or maybe make a salve. It's used as a painkiller and is great for deep cuts as well. You can also use it for fevers and for colds and flus, and it helps fight bacterial infections. If you're interested, read more about yarrow online - it's truly a beautiful healing plant. It's less common wild here in Australia, so I'd choose that and hope to find plantain on the way.

Tea Tree

I'm Australian, so it's a no brainer to throw in this essential oil in my bag. A big bottle of it. It's so good that they used it as part of soldier's first aid kits in WW1 (or maybe WW2 - I'm going off memory here, but you get the point) for fungal infections. It's brilliant for that, and for an antiseptic and antibacterial. It's also good for asthma - you put it in hot water and throw a towel over your head to trap the steam and inhale. Trust me, you want this in your kit. I travel everywhere with it - we have a bottle in both bathrooms and in the Landrover.

And when you aren't looking to see if I've only got three, I'm going to throw in some lavender. And some echinacea. White willow bark. Chamomile. Garlic of course. Calendula. Oh, I just realised I totally cheated on this challenge. I've totally used up my quota, haven't I? Oops.

With Love,


Really great post here! I think it would be so hard to narrow it down to three herbs to take lol. I love your choices though, I think I’ll have to get the wife into taking ashwaganda, we’ve known about it for a long time as it pops up in a bunch of the remedies we use but we also think we read that it’s good for adrenal function. She’s got adrenal fatigue and it’s a challenge every couple weeks, she’s going through cycles of exhaustion. We’ve started to go to a naturopathic doctor but thankfully the blood work is done, now we get to see what she thinks this week. Hopefully she can help us on the right path or at least give us some information as to what we could do to get rid of the damn thing.

Yarrow sounds like a great one to have, I think that plantain and others are quite abundant in many places around the world so it would make sense to keep something on hand that’s harder to get outside!

I’ll be writing a post about an annoying condition that I got a few years ago that thankfully hadn’t bothered me until two weeks or so ago. I was upset that the stupid thing flared up again but tea tree oil really kicked its ass so I was pumped! The stuff is unreal, I think we’ve got 4 or 5 bottles of it around the house lol

I wrote it in another comment but I think we will be buying a few books on what local plants are around and what we can use for natural remedies as physical books not technology related. I have been watching some podcasts lately and there’s a lot of risks happening in the earth and universe that could destroy our technology completely. It’s a bit doomsday but in those scenarios having something on paper will be critical for the survival of lots!

 22 days ago 


Oh!! I had adrenal fatigue @cmplxty and I have to be careful. One thing I learnt is SUPPORT YOUR LIVER. What happens is my adrenals overfunction and my liver underfunctions - so I get all my good energy from adrenals not liver. So lots of leafy greens and I cut out sugar and coffee. Withuania, or ashwanghwa, was loved by my naturopath so much she put it in ALL MY BLENDS. And lots of magnesium too - more than you think, or as much as her stomach will handle, morning and night. Of course, listen to the naturopath and don't take my advice as gospel, as everyone is different, but that's my story anyway. I also used licorice, kava kava, rhodiola in the herbal blends she gave me too. It really helped. Oh and lots of vitamin B.

Learning about your local plants will be imperative if things collapse the way most of us think they will. And even if they don't, you would be able to supplement your diet and medicine cabinet with fresh herbs!

Thank you! I appreciate the tips, I don't know if we've read much about the livers aspect of it but my wife totally was getting all of her energy from her adrenals! She can't eat the leafy greens as it doesn't agree with her stomach (battling diverticulitis [thankfully diverticulosis, the non-inflamed/infected kind presently] ontop of all of it, fantastic right? lol). We will absolutely see if we can make some adjustments to focus on the liver and see how she responds. She has days where she feels incredible and other days where she feels awful. I have suspected that the sugar has been a pretty significant suspect, she enjoys a decaffeinated Starbucks drink a few times a week but the things are loaded with awful sugars. I think when she had to be really strict on her diverticulitis diet she wasn't getting the exhaustion as bad as lately but she didn't drink any of the stuff she has been now.

Thankfully magnesium has been something she has been taking here and there but I will see if we can narrow down her supplement regimen. It varies as she feels differently but I'd love to see it get consistent if we could make it. We have the appointment with the N.D. tomorrow, looking forward to her opinions! She claims she specializes in allergies and gut health, so really hoping for some solid advice.

!ENGAGE 25 back at ya :D

Thank you for your engagement on this post, you have recieved ENGAGE tokens.

Thank you for your engagement on this post, you have recieved ENGAGE tokens.

Awesome choice of herbs and more awesome yet is how this post is such a fun way to educate on plant medicine, this challenge should be done in schools all over the world. Simply wonderful 😍

 22 days ago 

Thanks so much!!! It was @alchemage's idea and lots of fun to write! I hope you can join in - there's actually a choice of topics this week. Hope you are well gorgeous man.

It's less common wild here in Australia, so I'd choose that and hope to find plantain on the way.

This kind of question makes you realise how it's a good idea to learn as much as you can about the local flora.

I was thinking oregano for antibiotic purposes. I'm also currently treating hubby for possible early stage skin cancer with it and it's doing a good job there.

That's not good if your husband has early stages of skin cancer. I actually wrote about my recent battle with it and the best thing that helped me was organic apple cider vinegar, with the mother of course, and organic crushed eggplant. Use a mortar and pestle, crush the eggplant and stick it in the fridge for 3 days to mix them keep it in the fridge and soak a cotton ball with it and keep it on it. Where's the possible lesion? Hopefully it's an easier spot than mine, the side of my head! Really hard to keep the cotton ball on unless I hold it lol. Then there's also frankincense which is another great one but more expensive than the easy eggplant one.

Here's my post on it!

Oil of oregano is definitely a fantastic thing to have around! We've got two bottles in our cabinet for when things pop up and you need it to help your body.

I was actually just thinking the other day that I'm going to look to buy a good old fashioned paper book on the local flora around us and another one of herbal remedies with hopefully pictures of what they look like. If things get serious, our reliance on technology is too great, I think!

Yes, I read your post on it and it was good to read about more options. His was a bit different to yours, a raised, slightly off colour area, but he's had a mole on his stomach go crusty before, similar. That came good with the oregano oil pretty quickly and the mole is even smaller and paler than it used to be. That's why I decided to try it again for the area on his head. He's bald and doesn't always protect himself properly from the sun. Can't count how often he's burnt his noggin! Incidentally, the oregano oil will also speed up the healing of sunburn, but it stings!

It's actually not easy to get him taking certain things, so the least uncomfortable the better. He even tried to stop me putting the oil on before he was due to go out, for fear it would make his head shiny. I've made it with coconut oil, though, so it absorbs quite quickly. I wouldn't get it on him if I didn't do it on the fly, some days.

How did you find the ACV on your skin? Was it uncomfortable at all?

 22 days ago 

He must wear a hat, the silly man! Does he not know the sun is hotter in Australia! I think Marike also wrote about eggplant, seems so strange but I've also read other things about it too. Haha, funny he's worried about a shiny head - I bet you say it's the least of his worries! Slip slop slap, Mini Hubby!

He does wear a hat on the really hot days if he's out all day, but I'm reminding him to cover up even on the cooler days. You know what they can be like, though. Think they're invulnerable until they aren't.

I love your rooftop scenario! I could never choose just three, but I know cilantro would be one of them. I'll have to give this some thought.

 22 days ago 

Hahah not everyone gets my love of zombies and how they'll always work my way into a survival post!

I still have a lot to learn, but it's a matter of research. At least with plants that are abundant in certain places.

 22 days ago 

Oh yes, you should research for the challenge! I'd be interested to know what plants are survival plants in Venuzuela!

This is a tough one, but you picked some great ones, I am a huge fan of Ashwagandha too and it'll really help when the zombies come after us lol. I am going to have to really think about it. There are so many amazing herbs out there. xxxxxxxx