My Top Five Favorite Plants

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Nature is amazing, I love plants. Not only does just looking at them produce a calming effect, they are beneficial to us in every way. From food, to medicine, glue and rope, plants give us everything we need. These are my top five favorite plants because they are amazing, easy to grow or find and have many uses which are especially valid in TEOTWAWKI. Here are my favorite plants found in the wild, and in the garden, and the reasons why.

1. Garlic
 Garlic is great for two reasons, it is a food and a medicine. All parts are edible except for the skin and woody stalk among the cloves. It is the easiest thing to grow and cheap to do so as one clove produces one head. In the garden, it also is said to repel rabbits and moles.
The health benefits are numerous to using garlic as it is reputed to have antibacterial, antimicrobial, diuretic, antifungal, and antiviral properties. Not only is it flavorful, but beneficial in the prevention and treatment of many common ailments.

There are many miracles in the world to be celebrated and, for me, garlic is the most deserving.”  - Leo Buscaglia

Here are some uses for garlic:
 -insect repellent when ingested in larger amounts or when rubbed on topically, treatment for bee and wasp stings
-high blood pressure treatment/ management
-remedy sore throats, cold hands and feet, earache, tight headaches
-treat fungal skin infections like thrush
-treat and prevent bacterial and viral infections, urinary tract infections, bronchial and lung infections
-treatment for pinworms, roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms, warts
-reduce nasal congestion, coughs, respiratory problems
-boost resistance to candida infections
-flu, cold, stye, prevention
-effective against a wide range of pathogenic bacteria, influenza, meningitis
-boost immunity, circulation
-poultice for aches, pains, sprains
-help with poor digestion, help regulate blood sugar
-prevent scurvy, prevent gangrene
-boost testosterone with a high protein diet (suggested in a study with rats)
-enhance thiamine absorption
-garlic juice used as an adhesive when mending glass, porcelain
-natural antibiotic, 1 milligram of allicin is the estimated equivalent of 15 standard units of penicillin
-inhibit clotting

2. Cayenne Pepper
We love our food spicy. Cayenne is the easiest 'go to' to spice it up a little, or a lot. Again I'm a fan of multi purpose and cayenne is not only a staple in the kitchen but a great thing to have in a medical kit, and as personal protection. Cayenne contains capsaicin, vitamin A, B6, C, E, riboflavin, potassium, and manganese.
"If you master only one herb in your life, master cayenne pepper. It is more powerful than any other." - Dr. Schulze
"In 35 years of practice, and working with the people and teaching, I have never on house calls lost one heart attack patient and the reason is, whenever I go in--if they are still breathing--I pour down them a cup of cayenne tea (a teaspoon of cayenne in a cup of hot water, and within minutes they are up and around)." - Dr. Christopher
Uses:
-aphrodisiac in males
-ant repellent
-topical anti-inflammatory for joint pain, back pain, arthritis, and nerve pain (Do not use on broken skin)
-remedy cold hands and feet
-soothe chilblains with ointment containing cayenne
-prevent gas when used in meals
-stop a heart attack with cayenne tea, 1 tsp cayenne dissolved in 1 cup hot water
-ease dyspepsia symptoms
-rebuild tissue in the stomach and peristalic action in the intestines
-aids elimination and assimilation
-aids the body in creating hydrochloric acid
-boost circulation, increase heart action, arrest shock symptoms
-lower blood pressure
-overcome fatigue, restore stamina, vigor
-stop hemmoraging
-improve itching of psoriasis
-fight pancreatic cancer
-headache relief
-pepper spray main ingredient...cayenne

3. Dandelion
I used to hate seeing all those yellow flowers infiltrating my green lawn, now it almost pains me to mow them down. Dandelions are higher in beta carotene than carrots and higher in iron and calcium than spinach. They contain the vitamins B1, B2, B5, B6, B12, C, E, P, and D, biotin, bitter glycosides, inositol, terpenoids, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc.
"Suppose your doctor tells you, on your next visit, that he has just discovered a miracle drug which, when eaten as a part of your daily diet or taken as a beverage, could, depending on the peculiarities of your body chemistry: prevent or cure liver diseases, such as hepatitis or jaundice; act as a tonic and gentle diuretic to purify your blood, cleanse your system, dissolve kidney stones, and otherwise improve gastro-intestinal health; assist in weight reduction; cleanse your skin and eliminate acne; improve your bowel function, working equally well to relieve both constipation and diarrhea; prevent or lower high blood pressure; prevent or cure anemia; lower your serum cholesterol by as much as half; eliminate or drastically reduce acid indigestion and gas buildup by cutting the heaviness of fatty foods; prevent or cure various forms of cancer; prevent or control diabetes mellitus; and, at the same time, have no negative side effects and selectively act on only what ails you. If he gave you a prescription for this miracle medicine, would you use it religiously at first to solve whatever the problem is and then consistently for preventative body maintenance?"-Peter Gail
Uses:
-plentiful emergency food
-used to make dandelion wine
-coffee substitute, gotta love that
-strengthen the entire body, especially the liver and gallbladder
-promote the flow of bile, reduces inflammation in the bile duct, helps eliminate gallstones
-reduces liver swelling, and jaundice
-help indigestion caused by insufficient bile
-gentle diuretic
-good for pancreas, bladder, spleen, stomach and intestines
-helps with mature onset diabetes, hypoglycemia
-encourages production of hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes
-milky sap removes warts, pimples, moles, callouses, sores
-sap soothes bee stings
-help with hypertension
-aids in night vision
-detoxification agent
-therapeutic benefits in the treatment of persistent constipation, acne, eczema, psoriasis
-aids in the treatment of gout, arthritic conditions and osteoarthritis
-recommended for weight loss
-prevent or cure anemia
-appetite stimulant
-use the white juice in the flower stems as glue.

4. Cattail
 Cattails are beautiful, and one of the most useful plants I have have ever encountered. It contains beta carotene, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, potassium, phosphorous, vitamin C, protein, unsaturated fats and calories. From food, to rafts to insect repellent, this plant seems to do it all.
" Although now relatively unused in the United States, where four species thrive, cattails are deliciously edible both raw and cooked from their starchy roots to their cornlike spikes, making them prime emergency foods." from 'Survival Wisdom and Know-How Everything You Need to Know to Subsist in the Wilderness'.
Uses:
-soothes wounds, sores, boils, inflammations, burns and carbuncles
-excellent food source
-weaving material for mats, backs of chairs,
-great stuffing for pillows, great insulation
-used internally to quell diarrhea, kill and expel worms, also used for gonorrhea
-fluff used as tinder
-stalks are great for use as an emergency raft  
-pounded, soaked leaves make good improvised cordage
-used in construction of thatch roofing
-burn as insect repellent
-use brown head of stalk dipped in animal fat as a torch
-pollen is hemostatic and astringent, used to control bleeding
-sticky substance at the base of the green leaf is antiseptic

5. Nettles
Nettles have a bad name due to their special stinging defenses, I find that handy in terms of defense. No one in their right mind would tramp through a nettle patch just to see what's on the other side. Nettles contain very high levels of minerals, especially calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, silica, iodine, silicon, sodium, and sulphur. They also contain chlorophyll, tannen, vitamin C, beta carotene, B complex vitamins, and are high in protein. Yes, they can sting, but the sting is easily remedied with jewelweed, plantain, or dock.
"Sitting here writing this book, I frequently sip on warm nettle tea. It's one of my favorites. It does not taste like a normal tea- not bitter, spicy, minty, or lemony. It's more like a strong stock of a rich, deep, green plant essence, and it's one of the most nourishing drinks of all."- Steve Brill with Evelyn Dean in 'Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild (and Not So Wild) Places'.
Uses:
-food and tea (always cook nettles)
-ward off iron deficiency anemia
-effective in treating allergies and hay fever
-expectorant, recommended for asthma, mucus of the lungs, and chronic coughs
-tincture used for flu, colds, bronchitis, and pneumonia
-infusion is a safe diuretic
-recommended for weight loss
-tea compress good for wounds, cuts, stings, and burns
-used internally to stop excessive menstruation, bleeding from hemmorages, bloody coughs, nosebleeds, and bloody urine
-helps blood clot
-helps treat gout, glandular diseases, poor circulation, diarrhea, dysentery, worms and hemorrhoids
-makes your hair brighter, thicker, shinier
-makes your skin clearer and healthier
-good for eczema and other skin conditions
-cleansing and antiseptic properties
-stems used for weaving, cordage, cloth and paper making

NOTICE: Please be cautious when attempting to prevent, treat or cure any health issues. Be sure to talk to your Doctor before considering any type of health related changes. Also it is important to note that although these suggested uses are easily found in books and on the internet, some may not work for you. Each body is different and some react in adverse ways. Always be sure you know what you are doing before trying any of these ideas. Some of these plants may have 'look a likes' that at best, won't do what you expect, at worst, will kill you.

Sources:
The Doctors Book Of Home Remedies II
Reader's Digest Curing Everyday Ailments the Natural Way
Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild (and Not So Wild) Places
Survival Wisdom and Know-How
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garlic
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cayenne_pepper
http://www.shirleys-wellness-cafe.com/cayenne.htm
http://www.herbs2000.com/herbs/herbs_dandelion.htm
http://www.leaflady.org/health_benefits_of_dandelions.htm
http://www.the-ultralight-site.com/dandelion.html
http://ghostprepper.blogspot.ca/2011/11/onahwe-ta-preppers-pal.html
http://www.gwenshealinggarden.ca/Quotes.Garlic.htm

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This page contains a single entry by Jim Rawles published on April 10, 2012 3:22 AM.

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