Saturday, March 24, 2012

Which one is the penicillin?

You started taking care of yourself. You instilled in your children a sense of worth regarding their health. The End Times are upon us and Gillian has a cut. She got it when she tripped while running drills in the wood. It’s not a bad cut. But you are out of anti-bacterial ointment and clean water is low.

You clean the wound, bandage it, and hope for the best. Gilly’s chances for fighting an infection on her own are pretty good. Before the sentient King Cobras from the Center of the Earth emerged to dominate the planet, she ate well, took her vitamins, played outside and got enough sleep.

What if that’s not enough? If she gets an infection, how are you going to fight it?

If you are reading this post-apocalypse, head to your local library and get in however you have to. If it’s pre-apocalypse, please wait until regular library hours. Either way, head to the research section and look at medical books. You will want to know what different antibiotics look like and how they should be used. If one is handy, talk to a pharmacist. (If it’s post-apocalypse and you have someone with any medical training – doctor, nurse, pharmacist, veterinarian – ask her to show you and your family some basic medical procedures. And thank whichever deity is yours: medical professionals are a blessing.)

Foxglove plants from Thompson & Morgan
Don’t ignore the homeopathic information. I know it’s all New Agey and that crazy lady down the street who called herself a witch despite her distinct lack of green skin, hooked nose, and wart problem went on about homeopathy if given half of what looked like a chance (from a distance; if you squinted).

Despite the woman coming off as a crackpot sometimes, she had a point. All medicine started with homeopathic remedies. While the homeopathic remedies sold in stores have little if any of the medicinal parts in them, the concept of using plants and fungi to improve one's health is sound. Certain plants and their fruits are good cleaning agents. For example, the acids in lemons and other citrus fruits are highly effective against household bacteria. Other plants can disinfect wounds and kill bacteria.

Do your research though. The cliché about a little knowledge being a dangerous thing is particularly relevant here.

Take Foxglove. Digitalis medicines, which are a type of heart medication, are made with the plant. They help to regulate heart beat. One might think that Foxglove found in the wild would do the same. One would be wrong. Unprocessed Foxglove is extremely toxic. Ingestion causes terribly unpleasant symptoms ranging from stomach distress, hallucinations, tremors, and even death.

With the right research, you can save Gilly from a painful infection and possibly deadly side effects.

How will you save Gilly? Tell us in the comments!

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  1. Well it's never a good idea to give or take in medication which you have no idea about. This is true even for mild antibiotics.

  2. There is nothing bad at all when you resort to alternative medicine as long as it has been practiced by a good volume of "believers" who have at least benefit from its wonders.