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To hopefully make things easier and even more awesome, I made the first post of this thread a wiki that we can ALL edit. That way we can work on it like a google document. I don't know enough to fill out the badge bits or word things right. So, edit this to make it awesome! Then, once we get it good and amazing, Paul can come and take it, massage it a bit more, and make the official Natural Medicine badge page.

Also, feel free to make comments on what your're thinking. Pick a color to write the comment in. I did mine in green--you can pick green or a different color!

Sand Badge:

Journal: Get a binder or some other sort of journal thing that you can add pages to. Get 7 sheets of paper (preferably with tabs or someway to easily locate them). Label them: Herbs, Infusions, Teas, Salves, Syrups, Poultice, and Tinctures. These can be as pretty or boring as you like. (5 Minutes)
  - photo of your pages
  - photo of your journal

Chamomile Infusion: (1 hour)
  - Make a journal page about the uses and attributes and and how to ID chamomile . Add it to the herb section. Post picture of your ID page in the book
  - Make a journal page about the uses and attributes and recipe for a chamomile infusion.
  - Make a chamomile infusion, with a picture of it being made, and of it being finished.

Calendula Salve (1.15 hour)  
  - Make a journal page about the uses and attributes and and how to ID calendula. Add it to the herb section. Post picture of your ID page in the book
  - Make a journal page about the uses and attributes and recipe for a calendula salve.
  - Make a calendula salve, with a picture of it being made, and of it being finished.

Dandelion Tincture (45 minutes)
  - Make a journal page about the uses and attributes and and how to ID dandelion. Add it to the herb section. Post picture of your ID page in the book
  - Make a journal page about the uses and attributes and recipe for a dandelion tincture.
  - Make a dandelion tincture, with a picture of it being made, and of it being finished.

Plantain Poultice (30 minutes)
  - Make a journal page about the uses and attributes and and how to ID plantain. Add it to the herb section. Post picture of your ID page in the book
  - Make a journal page about the uses and attributes and recipe for a plantain poultice.
  - Make a plantain poultice, with a picture of it being made, and of it being applied.

Ginger Tea (15 minutes)
  - Make a journal page about the uses and attributes and and how to ID ginger. Add it to the herb section. Post picture of your ID page in the book
  - Make a journal page about the uses and attributes and recipe for a ginger tea.
  - Make a ginger tea, with a picture of it being made, and of it being finished.

Rosehip Syrup: Make 1 syrup &/or gummies (45 minutes)
  - Make a journal page about the uses and attributes and and how to ID rosehips. Add it to the herb section. Post picture of your ID page in the book
  - Make a journal page about the uses and attributes and recipe for a rosehip syrup/gummies.
  - Make a rosehip syrup/gummies, with a picture of it being made, and of it being finished.


Sand Badge:

(45 minutes???) Infusion List--make one of the following infusions:
  -
  -
  -

(1 hour) - Make one of out of following salves:
  - comfrey root salve
  - calendula salve
  - arnica salve
  - cottonwood buds salve

(0.5 hour) - Vinegar Tincture List: Make two of the following vinegar tinctures:
  - dandelion tincture
  - St. John's worth
  - echinacea tincture
  - propolis tincture for wounds
what are some plants that Paul would have on his property that someone could make a tinture out of? I know he's got yarrow and comfery. What else is native to Montana?

(1 hour to 2 hours) - Harvest one plant (or two) that grow/s in your area; make sure you harvest a part of the plant that can be used to medicine e.g. root, leaves, seeds, bark etc; in order to qualify for BB, one needs to post pictures of the plant in wild or garden; pics after harvest; and pics of the proper drying, or mashing it for using fresh etc, and to describe what the harvested plant or part of the plant is going to be used for. (maybe here, to make it easier for student we can give a while list of possible plants, or not).

(5 minutes) Poultice List: make and apply a poultice. Picture of the mashed herbs, picture of the herbs on skin, and picture of how you secured them there.
  - Comfrey poultice
  - plantain poultice
  - ???

(5 minutes) Tea List: Make one cup of tea from dried herbs (use one or a mixture of the below herbs)--
  - dandelion
  - nettle
  - raspberry leaf
  - echinacia
  - mint
  - thistle
  - thyme
  - chamomile
  - ???

(1 hour)Make a thread about an ailment, it's treatment, and explain why you used that treatment.

(30 minutes???) Syrup List: Make 1 syrup &/or gummies
   - elderberry
   - rosehip syrup for sore throats
   - ginger?
   - ???

I'm thinking each of the salve/infusion/tinture should have their own badgebit page, so somoene can know the benifits to each different salve/infusion/tinture. The badge bit page should have info on (1)what the herb looks like, (2)what the herb is good for, (3) how/where/why to use the prepation

The teas could maybe be listed on one badge bit page, with the herbs listed. Aside each herb, it should say (1)what the herb looks like, (2)what the herb is good for



Straw Badge: I'm thinking we do the basic first aid stuff here, as well as more types of salves/tintures/etc

Basic First Aid Stuff:
(2 minutes) video of you doing 2 sets of CPR on a doll, showing both the adult and baby version.
(2 minutes) picture of you doing Heimlich maneuver on a doll, both adult and infant versions
(1 minute) video of you doing a complete washing of your hands
(1 minute) picture of a tourniquet on an arm or leg
anything else we can easily document?

(30 minutes) assemble a first aid kit containing: (please add or remove things that should/shouldn't be here. I took a lot from this list:https://www.motherearthliving.com/health-and-wellness/make-your-own-natural-first-aid-kit)
  -gauze
  -bandages
  - wraps
  - natural lozenge
  - elderberry syrup
  - calendula salve
  - comfrey salve
  - echinacia tinture
  - ginger tea or gummies
  - Adhesive bandage strips: Various sizes, including butterfly closure bandages.
  - Alcohol: Small plastic bottle for removing poison oak/ivy oils from the skin.
  -Cosmetic clay: With drying and drawing properties, clay is useful for healing skin rashes and insect bites. Store in a small plastic container.
  -Elastic bandage: For sprains or strains.
  - Electrolyte replacement: Powdered drink packets such as Emergen-C.
  -Moleskin: Blister treatment.
  - Scissors: Small pair for cutting bandages, adhesive tape, moleskin.
  - Thermometer: Instant-read type.
  -Tweezers: For removing ticks and splinters.
  -Waterless hand sanitizer: Travel-size bottle.

(30 minutes???) Make a natural cough-drop/lozenge

(___minutes???) Make 1 therapeutic bath 'teas' & 1 soak for muscle, joint, illness, sedative, or stress relief.

(30 minutes?) Skeeter List-- Plant 5 out of the following medicinal plants
   - comfrey
   - echinacia
   - aloe
   - chamomile
   - Calendula
   - Elderberry
   - ginger
   - turmeric
   - self-heal
   - peppermint
   - witch hazel
   - ???
   - ???
   - ???

(??? minutes?)Making 1 alcohol based tincture,
   -???
   - ???

(??? minutes?)1 glycerite tincture
   - ???
   - ???

(??? minutes?) Harvest a plant and make a oral and topical preparation from it (Teas, infusions/tisanes, decoctions, from a simple/single plant to make each of oral and topical application. )

(10 minutes) Make two more teas, each containing two+ ingredients to treat a specific ailment, and explain why you chose those two

(1 hour)Make a thread about a different ailment, it's treatment, and explain why you used that treatment.

(10 minutes) give an update two or more weeks later on your sand badge ailment, and post what--if anything--you might have done differently

(2 hours)Make two more salves from the Salves List

(1 hour) Make two more vinegar tintures from the Vinegar Tincture List

(___minutes???) Make two more syrups or gummies from the Syrup List

(___minutes???) make two more infusions from the Infusion List

I'm my really, really rough estimations are anywhere near accurate, I'm estimating about 10 hours here. We need 25 more hours of things to learn by doing!

Wood Badge:


Iron Badge:
COMMENTS:
 
gardener
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I have a feeling this might be a tough one. I'm not even really sure where to start. My hope is that by starting this thread, others will supply so many awesome ideas that it will be easy to put this one together.

I think that a big part of natural medicine is going to be identifying beneficial plants. But that sounds like foraging. Which is a different badge.

I think that food plays a big role... but that's in different badges.

Maybe ways of preparing and preserving particular medicines? Tinctures, poultices, dried blends for tea, etc.

Maybe a sauna?

Maybe some stuff about reducing toxins? But doesn't overlap too much with nest.

Please help me make this list better.
 
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How about making homemade herbal tinctures?

Drying and processing specific herbs for teas, like raspberry leaf.

Growing and drying specific roots for teas & tinctures, like valerian root.

Harvesting and drying certain flowers for teas and tinctures, like chamomile.

That's a few I can think of at the moment.

Edit: I totally missed that sentence above already mentioning tinctures, dried blends and teas. Doh!
 
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Yes, tough because there is SO much we can have in this subject.

Here’s a possible start for the sand badge, very simple things to make, and oh, so useful:

- make a 4oz jar of calendula salve

- make a 4oz jar of cottonwood buds salve

- collect and properly dry 1oz nettles for tea

Really endless possibilities...

Edited to add: am I on the right track? I could go on and on...
 
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Perhaps rather than a specific preparation, make a tea, decoction, salve out of whatever a person has available to treat a specific condition. There is more than one plant that can treat a condition, and not everyone has access to a specific plant.
 
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I feel very under qualified to spell this one out.  Maybe we need to specifically ask in the dailyish for help with this one.  

And then we should hyper focus on what should be in the sand badge.    

I think we will definitely need a list - because different things will be available at different times of the year.    Maybe two lists.   Maybe one list which is stuff that can be done in a half hour and we say "do four things from this list" and then another list of stuff that can be done in an hour and say "do three things from this list" ??

To get this started, what might be four things that can be done in about half an hour?

 
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Categories and useful plants might be a useful grouping as well. Maybe knowing three for your area and how to safely make use of.

Daily
So there are preventative tonics that are broad in their composition like yoders good health.
Fire tonic (cayenne, garlic, vinegar)

Symptom care
Pain relief - willow bark, wild lettuce, etc
Digestive distress - ginger root,
Congestion - Mullen, wild carrot
Wound care - plantain
Soothing nerves - chamomile, wild lettuce

Detox
Clay, cilantro, curly dock, and so on

And candidly, precise dosage and dilution strength might be topics to avoid for liability sake. General principle is difference between medicine and poison is dosage. So start small, if tolerated, increment up. Etc
 
Nicole Alderman
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Liv Smith wrote:Yes, tough because there is SO much we can have in this subject.

Here’s a possible start for the sand badge, very simple things to make, and oh, so useful:

- make a 4oz jar of calendula salve

- make a 4oz jar of cottonwood buds salve

- collect and properly dry 1oz nettles for tea

Really endless possibilities...

Edited to add: am I on the right track? I could go on and on...



Please go on and on! Sometimes it's really useful with these badges to see ALL of the stuff that needs to be learned, and then narrow it down to what's really important, and what are the baby steps to get there.

My natural medicine knowledge is rather limited. What comes to mind is

Salves (they're a mixture of oil, wax and herbs)
Compress (herbs all mashed up and applied under a bandaid)
Teas (made from both dried and fresh ingredients)
Tintures (these a extracts from herbs, right?)
Medicinal syrups/gummies (like elderberry jam)
Natural Toothpaste?
Natural Deodorant?

Liv (and anyone else!)  the Sand Badge should take a total of 5 hours for relatively skilled person to accomplish. The Straw Badge takes an additional 35 hours. Could you list beginner herbal stuff and how many working hours it takes to do them. For example:

Make one of the below types of salves (1 hour)
  - Comfery salve
  - cottonwood bud salve
  - ???
  - ???

If we pour out our knowlege on this stuff, and list how long it takes to make various things, then Paul can go through and pick which ones go where and how to word things the way he likes. The interesting thing about brainstorming, is that at first it seems like, "How are we going to find 5 hours of stuff to do?" And then it turns into "ACK! We've got a total of 10 hours of stuff that all seems essential. How do we narrow it down?"

...... Aren't there people who make a "natural medicine emergency bag" filled with all the tintures and salves and stuff that a person would need to deal with common first aid stuff? What about making that medicine box something that someone has accomplished by Straw Level.


The neat thing about Badge Bits, is that we learn by creating something useful.  So what are useful things that someone can create that teaches them about herbal/natural medicine?
 
Liv Smith
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Nicole Alderman wrote:

Make one of the below types of salves (1 hour)
  - Comfery salve
  - cottonwood bud salve
  - ???
  - ???



It could be like this:

Make one of the salves below (1 hour):

   - Arnica salve
   - Comfrey salve
   - Cottonwood bud salve
   - Calendula salve

Yes, it would make sense to offer a choice, as availability of the plants would differ throughout the year and location.

There are only a few ways in which plant materials can be used to make medicine, all of which have been mentioned in the above comments.

Tinctures - using alchohol to extract the useful substances out of plant
Vinegar extracts  - using vinegar
Herbal glycerites  - using glycerin (preferably vegetable glycerin) to make extracts

Teas and decoctions - are basically water extracts

Herbal syrups - mix of sugar and water extract from plant

Herbal salves and creams - are using infused herbal oils and beeswax

Poultices and compresses - plant crushed or whole that is layered on skin, and compress is a cotton cloth soaked in different oils or teas and applied on skin


For the sand badge possibly, it could be done in different ways: offer a choice of commonly available plants to make the same remedy, or offer a choice of remedies and a choice of plants.

Some plants that are most common:

Arnica
Burdock
Calendula
Comfrey
Dandelion
Echinacea
Elderberry
Fennel
Garlic
Goldenrod
Hawthorn
Lady's Mantle
Lemon balm
Mullein
Nettle
Oregano
Plaintain
Purslane
Red clover
Sage
Saint John's wort
Thyme
Yelow dock

I'll be back with some more thoughts.
 
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There are some great suggestions here.

One thing I might add is that making a tincture might not be possible for some people because of the expense of alcohol, or if someone can't use it for any other reason. Making a herbal vinegar or oxymel might be a good alternative, and also something that is good to do anyway. Fire cider is the most well known oxymel, elderberry oxymel is very good too.
 
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I can see a lot of BB's to natural medicine.

Learning about the herbs and what they do.

Learning to grow them.

Learning what part of the plant would be collected.

Learning how to preserve them.  Usually this would be drying them.

Do you start with store bought herbs?  

Just some thoughts to add to all the great comments.

 
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I think that food and attitude have an overwhelmingly large impact on human health.  As a person who eats primarily a high fat, low carbohydrate diet, I would recommend  a badge that includes the making of sauces/dressings that add a lot of flavor and are high in fat content that could be used as sauces for vegetables, salds, and meats and eggs.  Herbal flavored mayo would be great; just don't use canola/soy/corn etc. high omega 6 oils.
 
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I’m a nurse, and use herbal remedies for my own health issues and that of my family. This has ranged from descreasing my dad’s hypertension, treating a brown recluse bite on my sister, to managing Chronic Lyme for myself.

I’d say the most helpful thing for me was knowing “why” a plant was helpful. The specific enzymes and hydrocarbons. I ask the question, why IS it good for this or that. Willow is a pain reliever because it has the prodrug salicin in it, which the body converts into a pain reliever similar to aspirin. But, it doesn’t affect clotting like aspirin does, according to one study.

Also, there is a tried and true medication checklist of sorts, called the 5 rights (more like the 10 rights with all that’s been added!)
Right drug, right patient, right dose, right route, right indication.
This is basic thing all nurses check before administration of a drug. It’s a very informal thing once you know your stuff, but very helpful. For example, if I’m giving Atropine, it has different uses and different doses for each use. Make sure you have the right patient, and that they have the problem that matches the med, atropine, and the dose. If I had 0.4 mg atropine in an emergency heart incident, like I used to give it at a different job, that’s not appropriate, I need 1 mg. 1 mg would be too much for an antidote for a cholinergic effect post chemo like I do now. I would need 0.4 mg.

Also, medical journals have a TON of great, scientically proven info about these herbs. If you want a leg to stand on for legitimatacy, peer reviewed journals should be used and cited whenever possible.

So, in general, I recommend for the badge: specifics of the elements in the herb that are helpful, a list of 5 rights for each medicinal herb’s health indication, and scientific research to back it up.

That’s been my blue print and it’s worked! Lyme disease damaged my heart and gave me arthritis. But I am healthier now than ever through constant research and application.

Kelly B. RN OCN





 
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what about assignments where a list of issues are chosen and a person chooses X number to “solve” and creates an appropriate remedy for that. People might be able to do things that are relevant to them in their everyday life like if they or a friend gets the flu, they can make a remedy or if someone is stung by a bee they have a poultice or salve for it.
 
Kelly Beck
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Shannon, like a case study! 🤣 you’re giving me flashbacks to nursing school. ‘You are assigned a 31 year old male patient who came to the hospital with a chief complaint of upper right quadrant abdominal pain....’ lol! That is an excellent tool.
 
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I am a family medicine physician and I am also trained in holistic medicine.

It looks to me like most of what is being focused on here is basic herbal medicine.

Natural medicine, in my mind, encompasses more than than just herbal treatments. Just like permaculture encompasses an approach to the entire environment, I see natural medicine is dong the same thing. It involves managing the internal flora and environment in harmony with the outer surroundings. A deeper philosophy than just deciding on diagnosis and picking a treatment.
 
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I would model this after Traditional Chinese Medicine. TCM has been around for about 2000 years and doesn't require expensive lab tests to be effective. From my studies so far, treatments consist of appropriate foods, medicinal herbs, minerals, and some animal parts (although I don't recommend this as a rule - too many issues to go into here). Pressure point therapy and massage are of great value but I'm not sure this is the focus of discussion. I personally wouldn't recommend acupuncture for this application unless you want to go whole hawg with that and get good, complete training. That isn't something most people want or can afford to do.

So, focusing first on foods, herbs and minerals, and the all-important ability to treat the right ailment with the right medicine. Someone has already mentioned case studies and that is indeed crucial.

Where will you get your medicines? Not everyone can grow or forage for what they need yet that's a very valuable skill. I'd recommend starting out with some foraging for things like dandelion (one of my all time favorites), purslane, chickweed, etc. since those types of herbs are fairly prevalent. Of course the herbs have to be from soil that's not been treated or by the side of the road, so it can take some time.

Take your foraged herb (or purchased as the case may be) and make several preparations with it. For example, dandelion tops and roots have different functions. So make an infusion with the fresh tops and a decoction with the fresh roots. Then dry the roots and tops and repeat. Knowing what the herbs look like fresh and dry is important. You find out real quick that drying a whole root takes a hammer later to break it into small pieces for further use. Make a salve, a tincture, and other preparations from the same plant, which allows you to apply the herb in multiple ways (ingestion, inhalation, topical, etc). I think it's more valuable to know a few herbs or treatments well than know a little about a lot of herbs. Take garlic (yes please!). It is common and effective at treating viral, bacterial, fungal, and parasitic infections. Garlic dosage is important for these ailments so there is a lot to learn.

I would start people with basic, common, effective herbs for everyday ailments, then work up in complexity and severity. You don't want someone trying to treat an acute appendicitis with an herb tea or poultice unless you have NO other choice and understand the risk.

This is just scratching the surface though. I love the discussion and different ideas.
 
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I agree that this is going to be a *very* large forest to choose a few trees from! I've found that Kelly Beck's list, "Right drug, right patient, right dose, right route, right indication" is even more true of herbal remedies than "institutional medicine". The background knowledge of the people attempting these badges - from Paul's "I feel very under qualified to spell this one out" to Kelly's, "I’m a nurse" is another factor. Trying to both narrow things down, develop logical categories, and make sure that the "basics" start basic enough, is going to be tough.

You asked for ideas, so here are some to think about:

1. My initial thought when I saw this in the dailyish, is that you may need to consider linking these badges - or at least some of them - to growie, identification, +/- foraging badges. This linkage can be done as "prerequisites" (I'm sure we all remember those from high school - you can't do Physics 11 if you haven't done Math 11), or concurrently.
2. As with all things, getting beginners hooked by giving basic, safe introductory activities, will hopefully lead them to do ongoing, in-depth research on a broader scale. To me, that supports basic, real-life first aid. Most first aid kits I've looked at are largely inadequate. Is that going to be covered elsewhere in the program? I suspect Permies get up to many things that aren't part of many "citified" people's lives.
3. From the "1st Aide" perspective, the things my farm would use would be: wasp stings (Google "difference between wasp and bee venom" if you don't think there are people like me that need an alternative to "treating bee stings"), dirty cuts/scratches, bad bruises, and strains/sprains. Increasingly, it looks as if ticks need to be on that list. Other locations may need a very different list - snake or spider bites for example. Even *knowing* the threats in an area, could be a badge (not necessarily in this category).
4. From the "common illness" perspective, I respond well to Oil of Oregano and possibly Elderberry Syrup (which I would definitely vote for being on the list - it's expensive around here and you can order the dry berries off the internet for people outside its growing range. It's on my ToDo list to plant one.) My kids definitely had Gelsimium fevers, *not* Belladona fevers, which totally confused friends of mine interested in Homeopathy, so what is useful all comes down to the individual body.
5. Getting people to contribute ideas for 2-3 herbal books as recommended reading or owning for this badge category might also be indicated - when I got sick in January, I estimated I hadn't had a serious fever in over 20 years and that's way past the half-life for remembering important details! So maybe part of the badge should be about documenting particular recipes/dosages that they might need to refer to in a situation. I would do that automatically, but would everyone? (Label, label, LABEL) OK, I know I shouldn't yell, but it's a safety thing.....

I'll add to the list later if I think of more.
 
Nicole Alderman
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Ann Soco wrote:
It looks to me like most of what is being focused on here is basic herbal medicine.



I think the hard thing here is that most of us staff only have basic herbal knowledge, if that, so we're not really qualified to figure out the higher levels. Basic herbal knowledge falls into "sand" level. The higher levels (straw, wood and iron) take a LOT more hours and would probably encompas higher medical knowledge. We need help forming those levels by someone who actually knows stuff! We would ♥love♥ your help!

If you take a look at the roundwood wood working PEP, you can see the graduated skills, and how they build into each other. A badge should be filled with actual "artiffacts" that someone has made/done...but I don't know how to do that in herbal medicine.

The total time for each badge is about this:

  sand badge: ~5 hours
  straw badge: ~40 hours (+35 hours over sand, about 4 or 5 days)
  wood badge: ~220 hours (+180 hours over straw, about 4 to 5 weeks)
  iron badge: 1250 hours (+1030 hours over wood, about six months)
 
Kelly Beck
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Agreed, Ann, it is much bigger. I love all the scopes of people’s knowledge and experience coming for collaboration.
 
Kelly Beck
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I got thinking after a recent study showing a 41% increase in cancer risk with prolonged exposure to Round-up, and after several posts here about benefit of healthy food and the bigger scope of health: I like Shawn's idea of limiting toxic exposure. What if it will need to be a large part of medicine in the future? Permaculture already knows the benefits of this. It’s going to be people who are already aware of the problems and solutions who can educate others.

Perhaps minimizing toxic exposure and encouraging healthy diet can be incorporated in this badge. That being said, a general knowledge of what the human body needs nutritionally would be needed.

Kelly
 
Jay Angler
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Robin Katz is also right:

You don't want someone trying to treat an acute appendicitis with an herb tea or poultice unless you have NO other choice and understand the risk.

I've treated the odd thing that I would absolutely have preferred to send to a hospital, but the most notable occasion was on a cross-country ski trip by bus in a snow storm. By the time the fellow got home, got to emerg, and got his GP to show up in emerg, she took one look at the job I'd done (steri-stripping a very long but relatively shallow cut) and decided it would do more harm than good to disturb the wound. Helping people get a sense for what they can tackle safely on their own, what they've got instructions for handy, what requires a phone call, and what requires a phone call from the car while speeding out the driveway is a learning curve we need to help people get the sense of.
 
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A lot of very good ideas and suggestions here. My apologies for not being very good at posting things here.
1. Someone already suggested that keeping a journal should be part of the initial / first badge. I think this should be at the TOP of the list. Herbology is a discipline and like a habit requires repetition. Write it down, write it down, write it down. No one remembers everything forever and when dosing yourself or others 'pretty sure' of the amounts, ingredients, dose, etc. just isn't good enough. Also, the journal would provide additional documentation of the person having completed the badge requirements.
2. Restrict the badge to herbology - it is huge enough without throwing in everything else. It isn't that other branches of alternative medicine and modern/scientific medicine don't have validity because they do and maybe they will become individual badges in the future for those who discover an interest in this field. But for someone starting out, herbology can be relatively simple and, above all, accessible.
3. Which brings me to the next point - accessibility. All plants are not available everywhere - oh wait, this is permies, you all know that Yes, you can order dried herbs on the internet but is that what we want people to learn? Don't we want them to learn what plants grow where they live that can be useful? I'm not saying it has to be native, I grow all sorts of herbs that didn't originate where I live (zone 6) but there are plenty I grew up with living on the equator that I simply can't grow. So why learn their medicinal properties, make salves and tinctures with them when I have to import them via the internet? So maybe the second part of the badge (after journaling!) would be to determine what medicinal plants are (or could be) available wherever the badge earner lives and their (general) medicinal uses. Maybe this list would be the first entry in their journal? Then, if their circumstances are such they can't actually harvest said plants themselves ordering them over the internet would be an acceptable alternative.
4. Next step would be learning the various methods of preservation - all of which have already been mentioned previously in this thread. Those who have to buy herbs already dried won't have hands on experience with that process, of course, but learning to make salves, tinctures etc. would be part of this step. Oh, and gathering the materials for this step. Need a compress? Better have some pieces of clean cotton or wool material handy. Somebody already mentioned using glycerin in a salve . . . have to admit, I don't have any of that in my pantry. Is there anything else I can use? I might need this compress today, not two weeks down the road when I make the next long trip into town.

Plant identification must be in there somewhere. Practical, by actually looking at the plant, taking a sample of it and pressing it, noting where and how it grows, if at all possible. Theoretical, out of books or online if the student has absolutely no access to the real thing. Isn't the end goal of the badge to be able to say "this person knows how to use herbs for healing"?  But if they can't tell the healing plant from it's look-alike poisonous cousin, even in theory, is it a particularly useful skill?

There are so many good reference books on herbs but my favorite to recommend is Be Your Own Herbalist: Essential Herbs for Health, Beauty and Cooking by Michelle Schoffro Cook. It is a smallish paperback so easy to keep handy and she covers basic preparations and ingredients. The herbs she covers are all common ones and easy to find.

                                                                                                                                                       
                                                 

 
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James Freyr wrote:How about making homemade herbal tinctures?
Drying and processing specific herbs for teas, like raspberry leaf.
Growing and drying specific roots for teas & tinctures, like valerian root.
Harvesting and drying certain flowers for teas and tinctures, like chamomile.
That's a few I can think of at the moment.



I think you are on to something there: By separating into Teas, leaves, tinctures, poultices, cataplasm etc. we are entering natural *medicines* & remedies, which is separate from foods or other things that may overlap. I'll start:
Mustard cataplasm: One that my mom applied to me for chest congestion. It involves putting Dijon mustard on cheesecloth and laying it on someone's chest. It makes the body's blood rush to the site, lifting it from the lungs, relieving congestion. [Careful to check often and not to leave it too long as it could burn]. While it will not cure what ails you, it will make it possible to get a good night rest.

ventouses, or suction cups This one too is for chest congestion and works really quite well. Doesn't hurt a bit. It involves empty baby jars [a dozen should do], some rubbing alcohol and a piece of cotton, and a match. Have the patient laying on the belly. Swab the inside with rubbing alcohol, light the alcohol with a match and quickly apply to the person's back. The lack of oxygen in the cup snuffs the fire in a nano second and a vacuum is created that draws the blood to the surface, relieving the congestion. You may not want to do that to a very hairy person although my mom did it to my dad, [AKA the gorilla] without ever singing any hair. The suction is good enough to hold the weight of the jar if you stand.

Thyme tea: Wonderful for any lung, mouth and throat discomfort. Sipping thyme tea will relieve sore throat and will facilitate deeper breathing. Before the vaccine for whooping cough, it was THE go to treatment.
It is also a great antiseptic which was used on wounded soldiers in WW1. It will smell of Listerine because Listerine is made with Thyme among other oils. The Wiki says :Composition. The active ingredients listed on Listerine packaging are essential oils which are menthol (mint) 0.042%, thymol (thyme) 0.064%, methyl salicylate (wintergreen) 0.06%, and eucalyptol (eucalyptus) 0.092%.

Now, I hope not to make our men uncomfortable, so I'll just give you fair warning:
Yogurt In the treatment of a yeast infection: Yeast infections are caused by an imbalance in your nether regions: If the vagina environment is too basic, you will develop a yeast infection. They are super uncomfortable. They itch and when the skin goes, it is really painful to pee.
So the yogurt... Nope, you do not eat it. Fill a pear-shaped enema with plain yogurt [Not the I.V. bottle-like contraption]. Settle comfortably on the toilet and insert in vagina. Squeeze. You should feel immediate relief. Then you might want to analyse your diet and find out why your environment was out of kilter.
These are simple and do not involve doing difficult things like preparing a tincture or drying leaves. If you have some recipes, though, I'm a taker!
 
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I don't quite understand what are those badges? Search tags?
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
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Joy Oasis wrote:I don't quite understand what are those badges? Search tags?



It is for those seeking a certification in Permaculture. There are many different tasks and different levels. This is a work in progress and we value your input to figure out what some badges should be. To get one of the many badges  involves doing all the tasks that correspond to a "badge".
It is not an obligation and you can participate in any forum you wish.
The Natural Medicine badge is more difficult to square with Permaculture because it is already a specialization, IMHO. It might involve giving a recipe for 5 tinctures, or make at least 5 different teas? 5 different poultices? It may be tough to judge the efficacy, I fear. Would we have to mail a portion of the product? Who would be brave and sample it? Yet it fits well with our efforts to be self sufficient, so it is worthwhile. The question is how do we make levels like the ones that are already there in growing stuff? How do we make sure that the recipes for tinctures and poultices are not plagiarized work?
 
Nicole Alderman
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Joy Oasis wrote:I don't quite understand what are those badges? Search tags?



Let me see if I can explain. So, a badge is kind of like a boy/scout badge, in that it shows that someone has learned a specific skill to a specific degree. And, if someone completes all the "badge bits" (tasks that teach and evidence learning) for a specific badge, they get it in their signature. I tested the system by putting some in Paul's signature. This is pretty nifty, because the badge system allows someone a framework to learn a skill through, as well as to show other people that they've learned it (see the story of the proverbial person named Otis: https://permies.com/t/101848/Otis-test).

Each badge takes a specific amount of time for a relatively skilled person to accomplish. The highest level takes a total of 1250 hours to accomplish (so probably 6 months). Someone who has the highest badge would be an expert in it....which is why it's hard for Paul to figure out what that would look like for Natural Medicine, because he is NOT an expert. That's why we need help!

For Natural Medicine, there's four badges, each evidencing a higher and higher level of skill and knowledge. Here's what the badges look like:

Sand Badge--should be composed of tasks that take a total of 5 hours to complete.
Straw Badge-- +35 hours over sand (total of 40 hours), so about 4 or 5 days to complete all the tasks.
Wood Badge -- +180 hours over straw (total of 220 hours), about 4 to 5 weeks to complete all the tasks
Iron Badge -- +1030 hours over wood (total of 1250 hours) , about six months to complete all the tasks.

The tasks have to be something that people can prove that they did--pictures of making a poultice and applying it.  Pictures of making a salve, etc.

The sand and straw badges are probably pretty easy to figure out tasks for people...but how do you prove that someone has learned a expert-level of natural medicine? How do you prove that they've learned it? The neat thing about the badges is that anyone can go and look at someone else's work and see what they've done and their level of skill. Anyone can go and see my spoon and bench and see if they like my woodworking skills.

So, what are things we could have someone do to both learn--and SHOW they've learned--natural medicine skills?

Maybe we should start with the "Sand Level" and figure out what the basic building blocks of natural medicine should be, and then work up from there? What are the "baby steps" you'd want someone to learn first? A plantain poultice? A comfery salve? Making a herbal tea?

How about we start with listing how much time it takes to do these things, and how hard they are, and then we can organize them into badges/levels?

So, for example:
Comfery salve--1 hour. Beginner skill
Plaintain poultice-2 minutes. Beginner level
Tea from dried herbs--5 minutes.
Tinture--??? minutes. ??? level.
Make a thread about an ailment you diagnosed, it's treatment, and explain why you used that treatment. 1 hour? Beginner Level?
Post updates about the ailment you diagnosed, 1 week and 1 month after the fact. Intermediate Level?

What are some more?
 
Liv Smith
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Nicole Alderman wrote:

Each badge takes a specific amount of time for a relatively skilled person to accomplish. The highest level takes a total of 1250 hours to accomplish (so probably 6 months). Someone who has the highest badge would be an expert in it....which is why it's hard for Paul to figure out what that would look like for Natural Medicine, because he is NOT an expert. That's why we need help!

?



Someone with an Iron badge in Natural Medicine would be like Skeeter (Michael Pilarski).

Grows some of the medicinal plants, forages for others, makes all the potions and tinctures, sells them, knows what every plant is good for, and teaches others. ☺️

Ps: Nicole, you always make the best summaries and explanations. And posts.
 
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I make most of my own herbal preparations.
Ranging from spicey fire cidre to elderberry syrup. My favorite is herbal infused kombucha, its healing herbs and probiotics. I also enjoy making infused ghee.
I make hand and body salves with herbs and organic oils. Right now I have a hand salve with comfrey and wintergreen is a cocoa butter and lanolin base that is getting my hand and cheeks through the winter.
I used to be a massage therapist so I often make either essential oil blended oils or herb infused oils.
Some things I have been slacking on this year are making bath salt blends, I have just been tossing salt and a few drops or oil or a reusable tea cloth with herbs in the tub.
I'm hoping to become better at foraging for healing herbs like jewelweed for nettle stings and plantain for bee stings.
Does anyone here have a non medicinal, natural first aid kit? if so I'd like to know what you stock it with and how.
 
Nicole Alderman
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Liv Smith wrote:
Someone with an Iron badge in Natural Medicine would be like Skeeter (Michael Pilarski).

Grows some of the medicinal plants, forages for others, makes all the potions and tinctures, sells them, knows what every plant is good for, and teaches others. ☺️




Oooooh, Paul likes to have named lists for these badges, naming them after people famous/skilled in the badges field. We could have a "Skeeter" list! For example:

"Skeeter" List- Make two of the below salves:
  - Arnica salve
  - Comfrey salve
  - Cottonwood bud salve
  - Calendula salve

But, probably better than that, with more things. But, that's the general idea.

Ps: Nicole, you always make the best summaries and explanations. And posts.



Aww, thank you *blushes.* The teacher in me comes out a lot! I love explaining things, and I'm glad I'm able to help people!
 
Liv Smith
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Here is a possible version of the Skeeter list for the sand badge:

 2 hours - Make two out of following salves: - comfrey root salve
                                                                          - calendula salve
                                                                          - arnica salve
                                                                          - cottonwood buds salve
 1 hour - Make two of the following tinctures: - dandelion tincture
                                                                            - St. John's worth
                                                                            - echinacea tincture
                                                                            we can come up with more examples of plants or just give the student freedom pick any suitable plant. To make one tincture takes half an hour or less.


  1 hour to 2 hours - Harvest one plant (or two) that grow/s in your area; make sure you harvest a part of the plant that can be used to medicine e.g. root, leaves, seeds, bark etc; in order to qualify for BB, one needs to post pictures of the plant in wild or garden; pics after harvest; and pics of the proper drying, or mashing it for using fresh etc, and to describe what the harvested plant or part of the plant is going to be used for. (maybe here, to make it easier for student we can give a while list of possible plants, or not).

Or, we can just say one salve, one tincture, and add more plant harvesting and/or tea making, or something else.

Poultices and compresses would be great, but it' not something one usually does and stores on the shelf, it is prepared as needed. For example you have a wound, or a cut and you make a poultice and apply it on.

One other idea would be to have the student use one or more known medicinal plants in food, we could come up with ways to describe a BB.



 
Nicole Alderman
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Liv Smith wrote:Poultices and compresses would be great, but it' not something one usually does and stores on the shelf, it is prepared as needed. For example you have a wound, or a cut and you make a poultice and apply it on.  



Since other badges have things like patching a hole or sharpening a tool, I think it makes sense to do a poultice. They could always make it and take a picture and take it off if not injured...because, honestly, who wants to take pictures when injured? And, it's good to have practice applying one before it's needed, so the person knows how to wrap the bandage or secure the plantain ahead of time, right?


I'm going to try to complile some of the ideas we've had thus far in the thread, and make a mock sand badge for us to fiddle with more.

Sand Badge:

(2 hours) - Make two out of following salves:
   - comfrey root salve
   - calendula salve
   - arnica salve
   - cottonwood buds salve

(1 hour) - Make two of the following tinctures:
   - dandelion tincture
   - St. John's worth
   - echinacea tincture
what are some plants that Paul would have on his property that someone could make a tinture out of? I know he's got yarrow and comfery. What else is native to Montana?

(1 hour to 2 hours) - Harvest one plant (or two) that grow/s in your area; make sure you harvest a part of the plant that can be used to medicine e.g. root, leaves, seeds, bark etc; in order to qualify for BB, one needs to post pictures of the plant in wild or garden; pics after harvest; and pics of the proper drying, or mashing it for using fresh etc, and to describe what the harvested plant or part of the plant is going to be used for. (maybe here, to make it easier for student we can give a while list of possible plants, or not).

(5 minutes) Poultice - make and apply a poultice. Picture of the mashed herbs, picture of the herbs on skin, and picture of how you secured them there.

(5 minutes) Tea from dried herbs--

(1 hour)Make a thread about an ailment you diagnosed, it's treatment, and explain why you used that treatment.


OOOOOH! That all adds up to about 5 hours! Now the question is, is there anything we really want people to learn as basic herbal medicine? To free up more time, e could reduce the salves/tintures to doing just one, and then have people make even more different things during the sand badge.



More ideas from this page (https://learningherbs.com/remedies-recipes/herbal-travel-first-aid-kit/)

Herbal/ginger lozanges
eleberberry syrup
balms?

Husband needs the computer. Gotta go!


 
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In order to make an effective herbal salve, you must first learnhow to make a potent herb infused oil. Since there are several way to do this, I think a badge for this step should come before the salve badge. Say... make 3 different types of herbal oil infusion, choosing between the fast 'folk' method with heat, the slow folk method without heat, 'scientific' method with heat, or without; or (for those interested in including lunar cycles) incorporating the lunar cycle with either or both of the previous infusion methods.

Teas, infusions/tisanes, decoctions, from a simple/single plant to make each of oral and topical application.

Effectively blending (3 - 5) herbs to make teas, infusions/tisanes, decoctions to make complex tonics or remedies.

Making 1 alcohol based tincture, 1 glycerite tincture, & 1 vinegar based tincture.

Make 1 therapeutic bath 'teas' & 1 soak for muscle, joint, illness, sedative, or stress relief.

Make and use herbal cleaning/disinfecting products for kitchen, bath, bedrooms, floors, etc.
 
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What does the term "natural medicine" mean?

My feeling about a medicinal badge system is that the focus is on healing a living being. Now, maybe this is just not how the badges in general or this badge specifically is intended! We make a mallet, and we make a greenwood and dry wood coat hook- but it doesn't say to show that the mallot stayed together or that we hung up coats. We make a soup- it doesn't say we have to eat it and like it. Maybe it's enough to make medicines- Maybe we don't need to show that they healed anybody. In some ways, I can see that the making, on its own, is a positive and important step.

But if healing is important to the badge, it might be okay if it takes extra time to find sick people to cure. It takes time waiting for crops to grow, waiting for ground to thaw; waiting for the chance to heal people doesn't seem inconsistent. Perhaps that would even be a separate badge from "herbal remediation"- "natural nursing" might include diagnosis, treatment, and improvement of health- using any natural method that works, including herbal remedies (made by yourselves or others.)

As a parent, treating others seems natural, but is that intended for this badge, or was self-care only intended?

To me the term "medicine" in the badge name implies an illness, however I think that natural preventative maintenance might be its own valuable badge category, although maybe it's not separate from existing eating well and exercise / ergonomics kind of badges that may exist?

For natural nursing, it would be easy to start small for sand badges in subjects many people have mentioned like:
minor cuts, scrapes, bruises,
burns,
splinters,
Non-life-threatening bites and stings,
skin irritation,
foot fungus,
headache,
constipation,
dehydration,
colds and flu,
menstral cramps,
Any stuff that happens often and resolves quickly.
Initial examination could be part of a sand badge:
Examining the skin closely,
asking good questions about what happened and when,
listening to heart and lungs if needed,
asking about known allergies
For sand it might be good to have a basic demonstration of sanitization, such as:
good hand washing,
cleaning any tools,
sneeze blocking,
use of clean gloves and knowing when they are needed (for instance when touching somebody else's blood. For use of gloves, it's important there are two aspects of the skill: Gloves on hands protects the nurse, clean exterior of gloves protects the patient.)
Identification of ticks, fleas, lice, and their removal
In the US it seems like we separate out eyes and teeth but it seems like basic checking of vision, hearing, and looking at teeth and gums to identify problems might be possible sand task items.

You could go on to a slightly more challenging level:
temporary splinting,
wrapping wrists ankles or limbs in a way that helps and doesn't cut off circulation,
using wound tape to keep large gashes closed (for wounds that don't need stitching but might not heal fast without it),
a list of emergency prep knowledge such as how to identify a probably-broken bone,
when it is time to go to the ER or a doctor, (for common problems) and what is a good idea to do on the way if so (ice it, keep it elevated, bring all the fingers, etc)
knowing when something might be strep throat or otherwise considered an antibiotics or highly contagious situation.
CPR knowledge for babies / children
CPR knowledge for grownups
Swim rescue skills
Knowing how and when to use an epi-pen, and what to do after using it (get them to ER)
Checking a spine for scoliosis

As for treating serious or chronic problems, setting a bone, sewing stitches, delivering a baby; those I feel a little nervous about, because the patient might be best served by the most experienced person they can reasonably have help them, and professional equipment, but maybe a "badger" could assist a pro?

Also what are the basic skills for mental health? Maybe the ten questions list for if you think you might be depressed (have you eaten? Have you slept? Etc.) What are the basic diagnostics for when somebody needs a mental health professional? (The equivalent of a mental
ER?) Is that out of scope?

I'm thinking to myself: what health situations have a likelihood of happening to me or around me on my homestead that I might need to deal with? In a mindset of "do no harm" what can I expect to address without risking long term consequences if I fail to heal as well as a professional? (For instance, if I re-attach a skin flap wound but fail to identify nerve damage, I would regret having "helped." Even for those items I might be better than nothing, in a true emergency, but I wouldn't want to intentionally do it for the sake of the badge.)

Hopefully I am not too far off-base going into the nursing aspect of medicine. I'm sure most of you folks are far more experienced than I am in these areas. How many natural medicine badges should there be and/or what does the term mean to you?
 
Liv Smith
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Nicole Alderman wrote:


OOOOOH! That all adds up to about 5 hours! Now the question is, is there anything we really want people to learn as basic herbal medicine? To free up more time, e could reduce the salves/tintures to doing just one, and then have people make even more different things during the sand badge



For salve, Maybe we could, like Carla suggested, include herbal infused oil as first step, and making salve as the second step. And maybe keep it simple, with only one way of making the oil, the heat version.

Nicole, are you able to make the decision of what goes in the sand badge, or does it needs Paul’s ok?

I am looking forward to create some BB pages☺️.
 
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So, I tried something different! I made the first post of this page to be a wiki that EVERYONE can edit. Think of it as a Google Document, that we can all edit and work on together. There's a LOT that you know a lot more about than me, so please  edit it to make it better, fill in the time it takes to do things, remove stuff that doesn't make sense, etc.

Try to get the sand badge to about 5 hours of "working time" (so, the time it takes to assemble herbs and put them in a pot of water, and then strain them out, rather than the time it takes for the water to boil, for example), and the Straw badge to 35 hours!

 
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I feel deeply uncomfortable about this whole topic. As someone posted above, there is evidence for some herbal medicines and the cases where they can be effective. I would be very uncomfortable reaching beyond those tested and verified bounds when advocating something as critical as healthcare. Early diagnosis/correct diagnosis are critical to curing many serious illnesses.

Make a thread about an ailment you diagnosed, it's treatment, and explain why you used that treatment. 1 hour? Beginner Level?
Post updates about the ailment you diagnosed, 1 week and 1 month after the fact. Intermediate Level?



Putting diagnosis in the hands of untrained individuals is going to be harmful.

I personally know of individuals who have self-diagnosed, or ignored signs of illness and self-medicated the symptoms, rather than see relevant professionals. One turned out to have a brain tumour and nearly died as a result of delayed diagnosis.  Another had emergency heart surgery after a few months of "indigestion/heartburn". At the low level of sophistication implied in these badge bits, you are targeting people who have little relevant background knowledge of herbalism or medicine. A naive ticklist of herbal remedies feels worrying, given the above.


I also don't feel that it is particularly well aligned with "permaculture", although I get that this is intended to be "Paul's idea of permaculture" and not something that would be universally accepted. I'll try and explain, but I'm not sure it will come across clearly. The comments in the thread above feel like they are trying to replace medicine with something else, while still getting the benefits of being medicine. Got a cold? Take your syrup, instead of a lemsip. Got a burn? Here is poultice, instead of a burn dressing.  Got a broken leg? We'll splint it and give you a comfry poultice instead of an xray and a cast.  This feels more like a backlash against conventional medicine, rather than a positive step towards practical skills or actions that should be part of all permaculturists tool kits. [late edit - it has occurred to me that this may be a peculiarly american view, given the extreme cost of conventional healthcare?]

I would rather see a focus on practical emergency care, which is unequivocally useful for people doing strenuous outdoor work. Perhaps combined with what might be better termed "self care"; yoga or other stretching routines to improve mobility and reduce injury, improving sleep quality by good sleep hygiene, etc... Steps that promote wellness generally, so that people stay fit and healthy to do their work.

If I were designing an entry level BB for this it would probably consist of:
  • Pack a first aid kit, and know the proper uses of all items in it
  • Create an emergency plan for the case of critical illness and emergency
  • Create a very small number of herbal/natural products that are useful in emergency treatment situations; propolis tincture for wounds, comfry salve for healing injury, rosehip syrup for sore throats... "



  • In retrospect, having written the above, I think I would drop the word "natural" all together in favour of something more like "personal wellness". Natural in the realms of healthcare is a very very loaded phrase, and almost by definition cuts out all forms of conventional healthcare. Where does that leave the diabetic who needs regular insulin? Or someone with a heart condition who need surgery to install a stent?
     
    Michael Cox
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    Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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    And as an aside from my long rambling comment above:

    Making and using propolis tincture should be up there somewhere. It has first rate anti-microbial properties when applies to wounds. As the alcohol evaporates off it forms a thin and flexible "skin". Great for grazes or cuts in vulnerable areas that may get exposed to dirt and otherwise infected.
     
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