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One of the things that routinely come up when you are thinking about stocking your pantry are items that you can’t eat but might need. There are a lot of chemicals or items that have numerous uses and could replace products you have right now. Baking Soda is one of the items that have a ton of uses that you might not have thought of before.

I found this list below of 51 uses for baking soda that you can use to augment all sorts of chemicals you might be buying right now. If the grid goes down, a lot of those chemicals for normal everyday tasks like cleaning, personal care, deodorizing can be done with Baking soda.  Now, is this something you want in a bug out bag? Probably not, but having items like baking soda, vinegar and bleach should get their own spot on your prepping priority list.


Personal Care


A paste made from baking soda and a 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution can be used as an alternative to commercial non-fluoride toothpaste. You can also just dip your toothbrush with toothpaste into baking soda for an extra boost.


Put one teaspoon in half a glass of water, swish, spit and rinse. Odors are neutralized, not just covered up.


Soak oral appliances, like retainers, mouthpieces, and dentures, in a solution of 2 teaspoons baking soda dissolved in a glass or small bowl of warm water. The baking soda loosens food particles and neutralizes odor to keep appliances fresh. You can also brush appliances clean using baking soda.


Give yourself an invigorating facial and body scrub. Make a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. Rub in a gentle circular motion to exfoliate the skin. Rinse clean. This is gentle enough for daily use. (for a stronger exfoliant, try one of these great 5 homemade sugar scrubs.)


Pat baking soda onto your underarms to neutralize body odor.


Baking soda is a safe and effective antacid to relieve heartburn, sour stomach and/or acid indigestion. Refer to baking soda package for instructions.


For insect bites, make a paste out of baking soda and water, and apply as a salve onto the affected skin. To ease the itch, shake some baking soda into your hand and rub it into damp skin after bath or shower. For specific tips on bee stings, see bee stings: prevention and treatment.



Skip harsh soaps and gently scrub away ground-in dirt and neutralize odors on hands with a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water, or 3 parts baking soda to gentle liquid hand soap. Then rinse clean.


Vinegar is amazing for your hair, but baking soda has its place in the shower too. Sprinkle a small amount of baking soda into your palm along with your favorite shampoo. Shampoo as usual and rinse thoroughly–baking soda helps remove the residue that styling products leave behind so your hair is cleaner and more manageable.


For lustrous hair with more shine, keep brushes and combs clean. Remove natural oil build-up and hair product residue by soaking combs and brushes in a solution of 1 teaspoon of baking soda in a small basin of warm water. Rinse and allow to dry.


Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to your bath to neutralize acids on the skin and help wash away oil and perspiration, it also makes your skin feel very soft. Epsom salts are pretty miraculous for the bath too.


Dissolve 3 tablespoons of baking soda in a tub of warm water and soak feet. Gently scrub. You can also make a spa soak for your feet.



For safe, effective cleaning of bathroom tubs, tile and sinks–even fiberglass and glossy tiles–sprinkle baking soda lightly on a clean damp sponge and scrub as usual. Rinse thoroughly and wipe dry. For extra cleaning power, make a paste with baking soda, coarse salt, and liquid dish soap—let it sit then scour off.


Add 2 heaping tablespoons baking soda (along with your regular dish detergent) to the dishwater to help cut grease and foods left on dishes, pots, and pans. For cooked-on foods, let them soak in the baking soda and detergent with water first, then use dry baking soda on a clean damp sponge or cloth as a scratchless scouring powder.


Soak stale-smelling sponges in a strong baking soda solution to get rid of the mess (4 tablespoons of baking soda dissolved in 1 quart of warm water). For more thorough disinfecting, use the microwave.


Baking soda on a clean damp sponge cleans gently inside and outside the microwave and never leaves a harsh chemical smell. Rinse well with water.


Use a baking soda paste made with 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. Rub onto the silver with a clean cloth or sponge. Rinse thoroughly and dry for shining sterling and silver-plate serving pieces.


Remove coffee and tea stains and eliminate bitter off-tastes by washing mugs and coffee makers in a solution of 1/4 cup baking soda in 1 quart of warm water. For stubborn stains, try soaking overnight in the baking soda solution and detergent or scrubbing with baking soda on a clean damp sponge.


Sprinkle baking soda onto the bottom of the oven. Spray with water to dampen the baking soda. Let sit overnight. In the morning, scrub, scoop the baking soda and grime out with a sponge, or vacuum, and rinse.


Remove dirt and grime (without unwanted scratch marks) from no wax and tile floors using 1/2 cup baking soda in a bucket of warm water–mop and rinse clean for a sparkling floor. For scuff marks, use baking soda on a clean damp sponge, then rinse.


You can make a homemade lemon furniture polish, or you can clean and remove marks (even crayons) from walls and painted furniture by applying baking soda to a damp sponge and rubbing lightly. Wipe off with a clean, dry cloth.


Clean and deodorize your vinyl shower curtain by sprinkling baking soda directly on a clean damp sponge or brush. Scrub the shower curtain and rinse clean. Hang it up to dry.


Give your laundry a boost by adding 1/2 cup of baking soda to your laundry to make liquid detergent work harder. A better balance of ph in the wash gets clothes cleaner, fresher and brighter.


Baby skin requires the most gentle of cleansers, which are increasingly available, but odor and stain fighters are often harsh. For tough stains add 1/2 cup of baking soda to your liquid laundry detergent or a 1/2 cup in the rinse cycle for deodorization.


Dissolve 1/2 cup of baking soda in 2 quarts of water and soak diapers thoroughly.


Use a baking soda solution (4 tablespoons baking soda in 1-quart warm water) to clean and deodorize smelly sports equipment. Sprinkle baking soda into golf bags and gym bags to deodorize, clean golf irons (without scratching them!) with a baking soda paste (3 parts baking soda to 1 part water) and a brush. Rinse thoroughly.


Use baking soda to clean up light-duty oil and grease spills on your garage floor or in your driveway. Sprinkle baking soda on the spot and scrub with a wet brush.


Baking soda can be used to neutralize battery acid corrosion on cars, mowers, etc. Because its a mild alkali. Be sure to disconnect the battery terminals before cleaning. Make a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water, apply with a damp cloth to scrub corrosion from the battery terminal. After cleaning and re-connecting the terminals, wipe them with petroleum jelly to prevent future corrosion. Please be careful when working around a battery–they contain a strong acid.


Use baking soda to clean your car lights, chrome, windows, tires, vinyl seats, and floor mats without worrying about unwanted scratch marks. Use a baking soda solution of 1/4 cup baking soda in 1 quart of warm water. Apply with a sponge or soft cloth to remove road grime, tree sap, bugs, and tar. For stubborn stains, use baking soda sprinkled on a damp sponge or soft brush.




Place an open box (with baking soda) in the back of the fridge to neutralize odors.


Sprinkle the cutting board with baking soda, scrub, rinse. For how to more thoroughly clean your cutting board.


Sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of your trashcan to keep stinky trash smells at bay.


Sprinkle baking soda on top as you add to the container. Also, clean your recyclable container periodically by sprinkling baking soda on a damp sponge. Wipe clean and rinse.


To deodorize your sink and tub drains, and keep lingering odors from resurfacing, pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain while running warm tap water–it will neutralize both acid and basic odors for a fresh drain. (this a good way to dispose of baking soda that is being retired from your refrigerator.)


Use baking soda to deodorize before you run the dishwasher and then as a gentle cleanser in the wash cycle.


To deodorize your disposal, and keep lingering odors from resurfacing, pour baking soda down the drain while running warm tap water. Baking soda will neutralize both acid and basic odors for a fresh drain.


Between uses, place a spill-proof box of baking soda in everyone’s lunch box to absorb lingering odors.


Liberally sprinkle baking soda on the carpet. Let set overnight, or as long as possible (the longer it sets the better it works). Sweep up the larger amounts of baking soda, and vacuum up the rest. (note that your vacuum cleaner bag will get full and heavy.)


By using the method above for carpets, you will also deodorize your vacuum cleaner.


Place a box on the shelf to keep the closet smelling fresh.


Odors settle into car upholstery and carpet, so each time you step in and sit down, they are released into the air all over again. Eliminate these odors by sprinkling baking soda directly on fabric car seats and carpets. Wait 15 minutes (or longer for strong odors) and vacuum up the baking soda.


Cover the bottom of the pan with baking soda, then fill as usual with litter. To freshen between changes, sprinkle baking soda on top of the litter after a thorough cleaning.


Eliminate odors from your pets bedding by sprinkling liberally with baking soda, wait 15 minutes (or longer for stronger odors), then vacuum up.


Keep odors from spreading in smelly sneakers by shaking baking soda into them when not in use. Shake out before wearing. When they’re no longer wearable, make sure to donate your old sneakers.


Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to the rinse cycle for fresher sheets and towels.


Gym clothes of other odoriferous clothing can be neutralized with a 1/2 cup of baking soda in the rinse cycle.


Keep favorite cuddly toys fresh with a dry shower of baking soda. Sprinkle baking soda on and let it sit for 15 minutes before brushing off.


Baking soda is a must-have for your next camping trip. Its a dish washer, pot scrubber, hand cleanser, deodorant, toothpaste, fire extinguisher, and many other uses.


Baking soda can help in the initial handling of minor grease or electrical kitchen fires because when baking soda is heated, it gives off carbon dioxide, which helps to smother the flames. For small cooking fires (frying pans, broilers, ovens, grills), turn off the gas or electricity if you can safely do so. Stand back and throw handfuls of baking soda at the base of the flame to help put out the fire–and call the fire department just to be safe. (and, you should have a fire extinguisher on hand anyway).

Regular use of baking soda in your drains can help keep your septic system flowing freely. One cup of baking soda per week will help maintain a favorable ph in your septic tank.
Baking soda is the food safe way to clean dirt and residue off fresh fruit and vegetables. Just sprinkle a little on a clean damp sponge, scrub and rinse.Ok, so there are my 51 suggestions (with a little help from the arm & hammer baking soda site, thank you).

Do you have any tips or tricks that I missed? Please share in the comments.

This has a ton of uses that you might not have thought of before.

The rosemary plant is one of the most popular medicinal plants in the world, as well as a healing herb with a very long history of use in places including Italy and Greece, dating as far back as at least 500 BC.

According to an article published in Nutrition Today:

The genus name Rosmarinus is derived from the Latin “Dew of the Sea” and has traditionally been associated with remembrance, love, and fidelity… For centuries, this plant has been an ingredient in folk medicines with associated claims for relief of such diverse symptoms and conditions as dysmenorrhea, mental decline, epilepsy, pain relief, and infertility.

Recent research has shown that whether consumed as an essential oil, tea or seasoning, rosemary benefits can include promoting digestive health, mental clarity, hair and skin health, relaxation and more.

What Is Rosemary?

Rosemary is a herb that grows on the evergreen shrub known as Salvia rosmarinus (formerly Rosmarinus officinalis). The rosemary plant is native to the Mediterranean region and has been used in cooking and herbal/folklore medicine for thousands of years.

Today it grows across Asia, America and Europe.

How is rosemary used? It’s most often used for culinary purposes, including adding earthiness and other flavors to recipes. Additionally, it has many therapeutic and household uses, including making herbal teas, candles, perfumes, hair care products and more.

This herb has a strong smell and taste, and it is also packed with antioxidants, volatile oils and other protective phytochemical compounds. Rosemary’s taste is described as warm and somewhat bitter.

It’s in the same plant family as mint (the Lamiaceae family, which consists of more than 7,000 species), yet doesn’t have the same distinct menthol flavor.

The rosemary plant is also the source of concentrated rosemary essential oil, which is used to help relieve conditions including pain, inflammation, gastrointestinal pains, anxiety and respiratory issues. The essential oil of rosemary has been found to contain many protective compounds, including:

  • cineole
  • camphor
  • α-pinene
  • borneol
  • rosmarinic acid
  • rosmanol
  • carnosol
  • carnosic acid

Rosemary Benefits

What is rosemary good for? Aside from having a pleasant fragrance and taste, this herb is a good source of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds, as well as essential nutrients including iron, calcium, and vitamins A, C, and B6.

Here are some of the top rosemary benefits and uses:

1. Provides Antioxidants

Because of its rich supply of antioxidants and bioactive chemicals (including phenolic diterpenes, such as carnosol and caffeoyl derivatives), consuming rosemary can help fight oxidative stress and support the immune system. It’s also known to promote healthy circulation and to defend against inflammation, which can lead to pain.

Another way that rosemary’s antioxidants can be beneficial is due to the ability to promote skin health by fighting free radical damage that leads to signs of aging.

2. Can Help Lift Your Mood and Boost Alertness

Like some other herbs in the mint family, rosemary’s smell is considered a “cognitive stimulant” and can help make you feel more awake and focused. Some studies have also shown that compounds within rosemary/rosemary oil have neuro-protective effects and the ability to improve memory and cognitive performance by preventing the breakdown of acetylcholine, a chemical in the brain that contributes to concentration and memory retention.

Additionally, the uplifting and energizing aroma of rosemary has been linked to improved moods, reduces drowsiness and reduced stress levels, including due to its ability to decrease release of the “stress hormone” cortisol. This is the reason you’ll find rosemary in some candles, home sprays, aromatherapy oils, etc.

3. May Help Stimulate Hair Growth

Rosemary (most often in the form of rosemary oil) is found in some hair care products intended to help promote hair growth and a healthy scalp, since it can fight against dandruff and skin irritation that causes dryness. It may also decrease the effects of testosterone on hair follicles, which can lead to hair loss and balding/thinning.

4. Helps Relieve Indigestion

This herb, whether cooked with or steeped in herbal tea, has long been a natural remedy for digestive issues, including loss of appetite, heart burn/acid reflux, gas, bloating and abdominal pains. It seems capable of stimulating the release of digestive fluids including bile, which assists in digestion and can support normal nutrient absorption.

5. Has Natural Antimicrobial Properties

Within rosemary there are compounds that can help defend against proliferation of certain types of harmful bacteria, including those that contribute to infections. Rosemary extracts are even used as food preservatives in some cases because they can help stop bacteria from growing.

The smell of rosemary also acts as a natural bug repellent and may help prevent certain insect bites, including from ticks and other bugs that can spread illnesses and viruses.

6. Can Help Promote Metabolic Health

Rosemary has been associated with metabolic benefits including helping to treat high blood sugar and poor insulin sensitivity. While it likely won’t be enough to prevent diabetes on its own, it’s recommended for people who wish to improve their high blood sugar levels.

How to Use (Recipes)

The rosemary plant is used extensively as a culinary spice around the world. Here are some examples:

  • It’s made into herbal tea to promote digestive health and relaxation.
  • It helps season meats in the cuisines of Europe and the Middle East.
  • It’s often found in marinades for lamb, pork, turkey and chicken dishes.
  • Rosemary leaves are added to soups and beverages in India for their flavor and nutrient content.
  • Whether dried or fresh, it’s added to stews, casseroles, fish, potatoes, salads, pastas, and breads in many European countries.
  • The Spruce Eats recommends also pairing it with grains, mushrooms, onions, peas and spinach.

Can you eat fresh rosemary? Yes, although it’s typically cooked with or steeped to make herbal tea.

If you have fresh sprigs of rosemary, you can prepare the herb by first rinsing it with water and then removing the sprigs from the woody stems before chopping them finely. Another option is to use whole sprigs, which can be added to stews and meat dishes, then removed before serving.

Dried herbs can last for many months when stored in a sealed container. To store fresh rosemary, wrap the sprigs in a damp paper towel, and put them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

How do you make rosemary tea? Can you drink rosemary tea every day?

  1. To make rosemary herbal tea, combine 1 teaspoon of chopped herbs (preferably fresh) with 8 ounces of water.
  2. Steep the herbs for 5 minutes or longer, depending on the strength you’re looking for.
  3. You can also add other herbs and flavor enhancers, including lavender, thyme, parsley, lemon juice or raw honey.
  4. Consuming about 1–2 cups daily is safe for most, although use caution if you take any medications (see below).

Can you consume rosemary oil?

This essential oil should not be taken internally, but it is safe for most people to use topically on the skin or to inhale via aromatherapy. Avoiding putting it on open wounds, and get your doctor’s opinion about using it if you’re pregnant.

Where does rosemary grow best? It grows best in full sun (at least six hours daily of sunlight) in locations with well-drained soil, whether it’s a garden bed or large pot.

It’s a perennial herb and will grow back for several years, most often from the spring through fall. It’s somewhat drought-resistant and can also withstand slight freezing temps.

Some of the varieties most often grown as culinary herbs include blue boy, Spice Islands and white rosemary.

Drug Interactions, Risks and Side Effects

When rosemary is consumed in usual culinary amounts, or as an approved food additive, is considered generally safe, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. When consumed in high amounts, especially as an essential oil or extract, it can potentially cause some side effects, such as an upset stomach, vomiting, spasms or changes in blood pressure, although these reactions are rare.

Rosemary essential oil has been recognized by the FDA as generally recognized as safe for its intended use as a food additive. Rosemary extracts have been used for more than 20 years in the food industry as both a flavoring agent and preservative, but it’s possible for some people to experience allergic reactions to rosemary in rare cases.

If you’re allergic to other herbs in the mint family, avoid consuming rosemary, and be careful about applying products that contain rosemary essential oil.

Rosemary has the potential to alter urination, blood clotting and blood pressure levels, which means it can potentially interact with certain medications and should be avoided in these cases. Speak with your doctor before adding large amounts or rosemary or this essential oil to your diet if you take these drugs:

  • Anticoagulants/blood thinners
  • ACE inhibitors for high blood pressure
  • Diuretics
  • Lithium for mental health disorders


  • Rosemary is an herb that’s native to the Mediterranean that has long been popular in folk medicine. It can be cooked with, used in herbal tea or used to make essential oil that has many therapeutic applications.
  • Rosemary benefits include helping provide antioxidants and other nutrients; improve your mood, focus and memory; promote hair growth; relieve inflammation and pain; and defend against growth of some bacteria and insect bites.
  • Ideas for rosemary recipes include making herbal tea or adding some to roasted turkey or chicken.

Benefits can include promoting digestive health, mental clarity, hair and skin health, relaxation and more.

Arthritis is one of the most common problems that affect the bones and joints in the human body. A huge number of people develops some sort of arthritis at some point in their lives, and the numbers are staggering: 54 million Americans have it, out of which 300,000 are babies and children. And once you develop the condition, it tends to get worse if you don’t take care of it.

Common symptoms of arthritis:

  • joint pain
  • decreased mobility
  • discomfort.

These symptoms can compound and obviously reduce the quality of your life.

RELATED – Do I Have Arthritis?

The best way to manage arthritis is to never get it in the first place. But if you have it, there are ways that you can manage the symptoms of arthritis. To do this, make sure that you keep your joints and bones in good health. Some of the supplements that we’ll mention in this article will help you prevent arthritis if you don’t already have it.

If you don’t want to jump to the pharmacy and buy some pharmaceutical medications, then make sure that you read this list. These are some of the best natural remedies that you can find for helping manage the symptoms of arthritis.

1. Cold Treatments

Using some form of cold treatment is one of the best ways to overcome the discomfort of arthritis. There are a number of ways that you can do cold treatments, the most common and effective being the use of a simple ice pack.

Applying an ice pack to your skin helps to reduce the swelling and inflammation of your joints. This will also help to numb the area so you won’t be able to feel any pain.

You’ll want to avoid doing cold treatments too often. Make sure you wait at least half an hour before reapplying and hold the ice pack down for about 15 minutes each time. You can find ice packs in many pharmacies.

2. Hot Treatments

Hot treatments work in a different method than cold treatments. They help to relax the area and increase the rate at which blood flows. This can help to encourage mobility and reduce discomfort.

You can use a hot water bottle for this, or a microwave heat pack. Make sure you don’t get them so hot that you burn your skin!

Hot water bottles and heat packs can be found at most pharmacies. You’ll want to spend some time in between each application of the hot compress, about 30 minutes.

You can also find relief from symptoms by taking a hot bath, a hot shower, or even soaking in a hot tub for a few minutes.

3. Magnets

There are a number of interesting ways that magnets can be useful for physical therapy. Many studies have been done that have revealed that magnets can be useful for helping to improve the symptoms of people suffering from osteoarthritis.

The exact mechanism isn’t clear, but magnet therapy has been useful for helping to reduce joint pain and improve mobility. However, there isn’t any clinical evidence that proves that it can be useful for fighting rheumatoid arthritis.

You can get magnetic therapy products from natural health food stores or natural pharmacies. These can come in the form of bracelets, necklaces, pads, or discs that you can easily attach and reattach to the area of discomfort.

4. Acupuncture

Acupuncture might not be the easiest form of treatment to get at home, but it’s certainly a natural remedy that should not be overlooked. Acupuncture can be useful for helping to treat anything from mental problems, like depression, to physical issues like arthritis.

Acupuncture works by stimulating certain energy meridians in the body. These can influence our biology and our physical response to certain stimuli. By interacting with these meridians by inserting small needles into the body, acupuncture practitioners can help to promote or prevent certain things from happening in the body.

Acupuncture has been proven to be particularly useful for helping to reduce markers of inflammation, which are often very high in people suffering from arthritis. Some acupuncture therapists will be more suited to help with arthritis than others.

5. Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy has been suggested to help reduce the discomfort associated with aromatherapy, and in people that don’t experience immediate physical benefit, it will almost certainly help to improve mood and promote relaxation.

There are a number of essential oils that can be useful for aromatherapy. Some of the most popular ones for helping to manage physical ailments include lavender oil and eucalyptus oil. These can be smelled directly out of their container, but it’s often wise to use an essential oil diffuser.

Essential oil diffusers use a gradual increase in heat to vaporize the essential oils into the air. This allows you to breathe them slowly over the course of a day and experience their soothing benefits.

6. Breathing Exercises

Meditation and breathing exercises have been proven to be incredibly useful for helping to manage the symptoms of all sorts of ailments, both physical and mental. Breathing properly has been shown to reduce markers of inflammation, stress, and other problems associated with diseases like arthritis.

One of the simplest ways to begin a healthy breathing exercise is to just take slow, deep breaths from your belly and count them. Inhale slowly for a count of one, pause for a half second, and then exhale for a count of one. This will be one solid breath.

Doing this for ten minutes a day can be immensely useful in helping to regulate stress and inflammation. People who meditate and do breathing exercises show significant improvement over pretty much any physical condition that they suffer from.

7. Gentle Exercise

While you might not feel up to moving a lot when you’re suffering from arthritis, it’s actually very important to make sure that you get enough movement into your daily routine. Doing so helps keeps your muscles and joints primed so you’re less likely to experience inflammation and pain when you do have to move.

Make sure you talk to a medical professional before deciding on what type of exercise routine to embark on. Aerobics can often be difficult for people suffering from arthritis of the feet and legs, but aerobic exercise gets the heart pumping and can be great for improving overall health.

Gentle exercises, like balancing, yoga, and range-of-motion exercises can all be immensely useful for helping people manage the symptoms of arthritis.

8. Massages

Massages are one of the best ways to help people manage arthritis. There are many reasons that the technique of massage has been used for so many centuries.

Massages are great for helping to fight pain, reduce swelling and tension, and improving range of motion. Massages are generally used on muscles, but they can be very useful for helping to prevent discomfort

9. Pau d’Arco

Pau d’arco is one of many South American plants that is revered for its medicinal benefits. In particular, this plant is highly effective at fighting inflammation and the related symptoms. It can be used to help remedy arthritis.

Pau d’arco is found in some health food stores. It can be bought in the form of supplements, but some prefer to make tea. The tea is nice because you can make it as strong as you want, but it’s not always as easy to find pau d’arco bark.

10. Turmeric

Turmeric is widely known for being one of the most powerful and widely used medicinal herbs on the planet. Not only is it great for flavoring curries, but it can help to heal a huge number of ailments – including inflammation.

Since arthritis is known for causing inflammation and pain in the joints and bones, using turmeric can be instrumental in helping you manage its symptoms. Turmeric is much stronger when you are using it with black pepper because the piperine found in the pepper helps to facilitate its absorption.

You can also find supplements containing nothing but the main active ingredient in turmeric, known as curcumin. Curcumin supplements are often prepackaged with black pepper to maximize absorption. These can be found in health food stores, as can raw turmeric root. Turmeric powder can be found in most grocery stores.

11. Meditation

Meditation is a simple practice that can have far-reaching effects on both your physical and mental health. There is some evidence that it can be used for helping people treat the pain associated with chronic conditions like arthritis. It can also help to eliminate the stress associated with these problems which can make them worse.

Mindfulness meditation is proven to help people manage pain. People who also suffer from a mental health condition like depression are most likely to experience benefits from meditation.

A simple meditation is to simply count your breaths. Slowly inhale, pause for a second, and then slowly exhale. This will be for a count of one. Do this at least ten times and you will notice that your stress levels will decrease drastically.

12. Yoga

Yoga can be considered another form of meditation, and its benefits can be just as far-reaching. Many people associate yoga with the physical, but it’s actually a practice that benefits the mind just as much as the body.

This means that yoga can help you manage the physical discomfort associated with arthritis as well as help you manage any stress that comes along with the condition. There are a number of online courses that can teach you how to do yoga, and there is probably a local yoga center somewhere in your local area.

13. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are one of the most beneficial nutrients that you can take for fighting inflammation. They are found in all sorts of food, like fish, avocados, and various vegetable oils. They are also available in supplement form and can be found at pharmacies, grocery stores, and natural health food stores.

Fish oil supplements, which are one of the most effective sources of omega-3 fatty acids, have actually been proven to help fight the stiffness and discomfort associated with arthritis.

14. Devil’s Claw

Devil’s claw is a fairly potent medicinal herb that can be used for treating a wide number of ailments that affect the bones, muscles, and arteries. It is known to help fight stiffness and inflammation, and can, therefore, be useful for helping people manage arthritis.

Devil’s claw can be found in some supplements and most natural health food stores will carry it. It can be made into a tea if you’re able to find the loose leaf variety.

15. Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo biloba is a fairly powerful herb that’s been used for a number of different applications, both mental and physical. It has been shown to help improve cognitive abilities by enhancing blood flow throughout the body and brain, and also for helping to manage the physical symptoms of ailments like arthritis.

Ginkgo biloba can be found in supplement form and the leaves can also be purchased from health food stores and made into tea. Ginkgo biloba works great in conjunction with other herbs, like turmeric and devil’s claw.

16. Stinging Nettle

Stinging nettle is a plant that most of us know best because we’ve tried to avoid it at all costs in the forest. However, the plant has a number of important benefits and can be used to help treat problems like gout and arthritis.

One study that was done in Germany revealed that an extract of stinging nettle contains a powerful anti-inflammatory compound. This compound helped to prevent the body from producing cytokines that caused inflammation in chronic joint diseases like arthritis.

17. Bromelain

Bromelain is a powerful enzyme that’s found in the pineapple plant. It’s used in both its original form and in extracted form for its medicinal benefits, which can include helping to manage the inflammation associated with various problems.

Extracts of bromelain can be found in some health food stores, and pineapple on its own can be useful for treating smaller cases of inflammation.

18. Boswellia

Boswellia is a powerful herb that’s been popular in Ayurvedic medicine for hundreds of years. It functions well as an anti-inflammatory compound and can be found in many health food stores. It remains one of the most effective herbal remedies in the Ayurvedic medicinal regime for helping treat arthritis.

It helps to prevent the loss of cartilage in the body, and can also prevent the autoimmune process from occurring when it is not necessary. Extracts of this substance have been proven to help reduce the pain of osteoarthritis while enhancing physical functioning.

Boswellia can be found in some health food stores and pharmacies. Some sell it as Indian frankincense or frankincense resin. It can also be purchased online quite easily.


RELATED – BONE ON BONE. Here’s what that means…

19. Thunder God Vine

Thunder god vine is a folk remedy for a number of problems. Its most popular uses include treating menstrual problems, as well as treating chronic inflammatory conditions like arthritis.

Thunder god vine has become quite popular in recent years and is available in many health food stores. Some supplement companies have also begun marketing the product to pharmacies. If you’re able to find the loose leaf tea, you can make it into your own tea.

20. Chili Peppers

Despite being associated with a burning sensation that many people find uncomfortable, chili peppers are actually great for our health. They contain a substance known as capsaicin, which has a number of medicinal benefits.

One thing that capsaicin is known for is helping to fight inflammation. It can be used topically in the form of a cream – just make sure not to get any in your eyes. It’s good to get pre-made creams because the amount of capsaicin is often regulated so the cream won’t cause any discomfort.

However, if you are familiar with hot peppers, you can probably make your own cream or oil by diluting it properly so it doesn’t irritate the skin.

Another thing that capsaicin does is train the body not to produce substance P. Substance P is a hormone that’s released when the body experiences pain. When we eat hot peppers regularly, we create a bit of a tolerance to substance P,

Chili peppers are easily found in various places. Many grocery stores stock jalapenos, and some stock spicier peppers like habaneros and Thai chili peppers.

21. Avocado-soybean Unsaponifiables

Avocado-soybean unsaponifiables, also known as ASU, is an extract made from avocado oil and soybean oil. It has a number of useful medicinal benefits, one of which is preventing the body from producing chemicals related to inflammation.

It has also been shown to prevent the body’s synovial cells from degenerating. Synovial cells are what retains the synovial fluid in the joints, which is necessary for cushioning our motions. Protecting this fluid can allow your joints to remain strong and healthy for longer.

ASU can be found in some health food stores,  pharmacies and online.

22. Cat’s Claw

The second claw herb in this article, cat’s claw is another useful medicine for helping to treat arthritis. It works in a similar manner as some drugs that are used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, by preventing the tumor necrosis factor, or TNF.

TNF is a form of cytokine that’s responsible for causing inflammatory reactions. Reducing this cytokine can be very useful for helping to prevent the pain associated with arthritis.

Cat’s claw can be found in supplement form or in its loose form in many health food stores. Supplements and tinctures are readily available at pharmacies.

23. Omega-6 Fatty Acids

We’ve already mentioned that omega-3 fatty acids are great for helping to fight inflammation, but they’re not the only essential fatty acids that are useful for this. Omega-6 fatty acids, such as gamma linoleic acid.

Once consumed by the body, gamma linoleic acid is metabolized into various anti-inflammatory compounds. It has been proven to help people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis by decreasing pain and stiffness while increasing mobility.

Omega-6 fatty acids can be found in various supplements and should be consumed alongside omega-3 fatty acids. It’s important to maintain a balance between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. If this balance is upset, numerous health problems can occur.

24. Ginger

Ginger is one of the most versatile medicinal foods. It can be useful for treating digestive issues, improving the health of our blood, fighting bacteria and yes – helping to manage arthritis.

It works by helping to fight inflammation. Gingerol, the active compound found in ginger, has been shown to function in a similar manner as various NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like aspirin. This means that it can be highly effective for helping to manage arthritis.

Ginger can be found at any grocery store. However, getting an organic variety will provide you with more powerful benefits. Check your local health food or natural food store. Ginger extracts and supplements are also available at the pharmacy for those who don’t like the flavor.

25. Pine Bark Extract

Pine bark extract is made from the bark of a tree that grows in France. It contains a number of compounds that are known to be effective anti-inflammatory agents, such as procyanidin.

Studies have revealed that this compound is great for helping to manage the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Patients reported more than a 40% decrease in their pain and a 25% reduction in the stiffness of their joints.

Capsules and extracts of pine bark extract can be found in many health food stores and also acquired online.

26. Rose Hips

Rose hips are incredibly powerful medicinal plants. They can be found anywhere that roses grow, and in many cases can be picked right off the plant and made into medicine.

Among other things, rose hips are known to be useful for helping to fight inflammation. There is a standardized extract of rosehip powder that delivers a highly effective amount of the active compounds in rose hips.

The study linked to above evaluated 287 people. They were given rose hip treatments and they experienced significant anti-inflammatory effects that were comparable to NSAIDs like ibuprofen. However, rose hips caused none of the dangerous side effects that these drugs are known for.

Aside from being found on rose bushes, rose hips can also be found in supplement form in many health food stores and pharmacies.

27. Green Lipped Mussel Extract

Despite the somewhat unpleasant name, green lipped mussel extract can be very useful for helping to treat arthritis. The extract comes from a particular mussel that grows in New Zealand, and there are multiple medicinal benefits to using this extract.

One of the reasons that they’re good for helping to fight arthritis is because they contain omega-3 fatty acids. They also contain several other nutrients that are useful for helping people manage symptoms of arthritis.

Green lipped mussel extract has been proven to help many different forms of arthritis, including rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. It’s not the most common supplement, but can be found in some health food stores and certainly purchased online.

28. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is one of the most beneficial herbs for a number of different problems. It’s useful for helping to reduce the discomfort associated with external and internal wounds.

Aloe vera gel can be useful for helping to treat the discomfort associated with swollen joints. You can find aloe vera gel in many places, including the grocery store, the pharmacy, and natural health food stores.

29. Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus oil is another essential oil that’s very useful for helping people manage the symptoms of arthritis. Eucalyptus and the essential oil contain a number of compounds known as tannins. These are known to be helpful in fighting inflammation and discomfort from swollen joints.

Eucalyptus leaves can be made into a paste or a salve and applied directly to joints. However, eucalyptus leaves are not the easiest to find unless you live in an area where the tree grows. Eucalyptus oil, however, is available in most natural health stores and anywhere that aromatherapy products can be found.

You can swab eucalyptus oil onto your swollen joints with a cotton ball and you’ll probably experience some improvement. You can also inhale the scent of the oil for mild anti-inflammatory effects.

30. Green Tea

Green tea is one of the healthiest drinks in the world. Studies have revealed that people who live in areas where more the most green tea is drunk have significantly longer lifespans than people who live in areas where few people drink green tea.

One of the reasons that green tea is so powerful is because it helps to reduce inflammation in the body. This can help to fight symptoms of arthritis and can also be useful for helping to prevent the emergence of chronic inflammatory conditions that can lead to disease.

Green tea can be found in most grocery stores. Organic, loose leaf green tea can be found in tea shops and natural health food stores. Green tea extracts and capsules can be found in many pharmacies and natural health food stores.

31. Willow Bark

Willow bark is one of the oldest and most reliable folk remedies for treating arthritis. It’s been used for thousands of years – people in Ancient Greece used willow bark to help manage the discomfort associated with inflammatory conditions.

Modern studies have proven that this herb is great for helping people manage symptoms of osteoarthritis. It shows particular promise helping people treat inflammation in the knees, the back, the hips, and the neck.

Willow bark teas can be found in tea shops and natural health food stores. Powders, capsules, and tablets can be found in pharmacies and natural health food stores.

It’s important to make sure that you know how much you’re taking. This is one of the reasons that standardized capsules are popular – an overdose of willow bark can lead to rashes and can actually cause inflammation. It’s also important not to take it if you’re allergic to NSAIDs like aspirin.

In Conclusion

Arthritis is an irritating condition, and it can lower the quality of a person’s life. However, there are a number of natural remedies that can be useful for helping to manage the symptoms.

These natural remedies are a lot safer than many over-the-counter or prescribed anti-inflammatory medications, and they treat the problem in a much more holistic manner. Hopefully, this information has helped you understand your arthritis better and will help you improve your condition!

And once you develop the condition, it tends to get worse if you don’t take care of it.

As preppers we stock up on supplies that we think we will need in an emergency. The order of priority for these items is usually tied to what our bodies need to survive. We can only live for 3 days (on average) without water so we make plans to purchase storage containers and water filtration systems to cover that base. We next need food, so we stock our pantries full of store-bought and freeze-dried food for a situation where the grocery store is either unreachable or out of food. Security and shelter round out the list of initial survival concepts you want to take care of but what else is there?

There are so many aspects to preparedness, but one of the more important ones to consider is medicine. If the grid goes down, the pharmacy will be in the same boat as that grocery store. If you are still able to purchase items (grid up), they may be sold out with no reasonable hope of resupply. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you need simply medical supplies to treat illness or injury and aren’t able to procure them for your family. Thinking about your families’ health from an injury standpoint isn’t as sexy as buying a good SHTF weapon, but knowing which medicine to stock up on for an emergency will allow you to plan for disruptions and possibly keep your family more healthy when they need it the most.


What are important types of medicine to stock up on?

This list certainly won’t take the place of a hospital pharmacy and it surely won’t give you the skills you need to treat every injury, but even the most basic of medical supplies and a little knowledge could help you out. When shopping for medicines or thinking about first aid, I consider what types of injuries you could encounter in a disaster.

Disasters both natural and man-made bring death, disease and injuries. The medicines you need to stock up on should take some of these into consideration while not addressing every conceivable ailment under the sun. To achieve a basic level of preparedness I would recommend having the following items on hand.

Pain Medication / Fever Reducer

By pain medication I am referring to over the counter pain relievers. This can help with anything from headaches, sore muscles from too much exercise after SHTF or injuries. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is good for relieving pain and fever. It is generally less irritating to the stomach and is safer for children but can be toxic to the liver if you take too much of it.

Aspirin, Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) are examples of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These reduce inflammation caused by injury, arthritis or fever. They can also assist with pain associated with menstruation.

Children shouldn’t be given aspirin as it has been shown to cause Reye’s syndrome and can cause other bad effects. For pain medication I would have at least a bottle or two of your favorite pain reliever. For smaller children who might take liquid or chewable tablets I would stock up on that also. You don’t want your child to experience a fever without having medicine to bring that fever down if needed. The medicines above can be useful for both reducing inflammation, relieving pain and reducing fevers. I personally like aspirin for headaches but we do have large bottles of the other two on hand as well.


One of our readers put this as his top 4 or 5 items to have in his bug out bag and I can understand the rationale. The last thing you need to worry about in a bug out scenario is pulling over every twenty minutes or trying to find a safe place to let it all out. Diarrhea besides being messy as all get out can dehydrate a person quickly. Dehydration leads to weakness, irritability and confusion. Not the state you want to find yourself in an emergency.

There are two main types of medicines that help stop diarrhea, thickening mixtures (psyllium) absorb water and gives number 2 a little more volume. Antispasmodic products slow the spasms of your lower intestine. Loperamide is the active ingredient in products like Imodium and Pepto Diarrheal control. I have also seen loperamide hydrochloride in pill form in dozens of first aid kits. Fortunately, I have never had to use them but have them just in case. Better safe than sorry.


Sooner or later someone you know will need something a little stronger than a clean bandage. Antibiotics are used in the treatment of bacterial infections. A cut from a rusty piece of metal when the grid is up isn’t life threatening. Without something to fight the infection in a grid down world, a bacterial infection could spell death. Antibiotics do not work on viruses though, so they won’t help you out with every illness.

How do you know when to use antibiotics?

The answer depends on what is causing your infection. The following are some basic guidelines from Familydoctor.org:

  • Colds and flu. Viruses cause these illnesses. They can’t be cured with antibiotics.
  • Cough or bronchitis. Viruses almost always cause these. However, if you have a problem with your lungs or an illness that lasts a long time, bacteria may actually be the cause. Your doctor may decide to try using an antibiotic.
  • Sore throat. Most sore throats are caused by viruses and don’t need antibiotics. However, strep throat is caused by bacteria. Your doctor can determine if you have strep throat and can prescribe an antibiotic.
  • Ear infections. There are several types of ear infections. Antibiotics are used for some (but not all) ear infections.
  • Sinus infections. Antibiotics are often used to treat sinus infections. However, a runny nose and yellow or green mucus do not necessarily mean you need an antibiotic.  Read more about treating sinusitis.


Obtaining extra antibiotics could be difficult without a willing doctor or an active prescription. A common alternative to pharmacy antibiotics is fish antibiotics. Largely made with the same compounds, fish antibiotics are available without a prescription.

Colloidal Silver

Colloidal silver isn’t loved by the medical or scientific establishment, but that doesn’t mean it does not work. Colloidal Silver or CS as it is referred to by some is said to be an excellent antibiotic with the side benefit of being able to be made with simple materials by anyone. You should research for yourself whether or not this is a prepper supply you want to store and there are well documented cases of people who have abused this. I have some in my medicine cabinet.

Additional medical supplies

  • Oral re-hydration solution – To offset the effects of dehydration caused by illness or diarrhea, make your own by adding 6-8 teaspoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt to 1 liter of water. Best to boil the water, add the sugar and salt while it is still warm to dissolve completely and let cool.
  • Multi-vitamins – I know the experts say that vitamins don’t do anything for you, but I believe if your body is deprived of vitamins supplementing with a good multi vitamin is a good idea.
  • Bandages – Probably more than you would ever expect to need. Bandages on wounds need to be routinely changed and the wound cleaned (based upon injury of course, consult a medical resource book for frequency) and you can easily go through dozens with one injury.
  • Rubbing Alcohol and Hydrogen Peroxide – Both alcohol and hydrogen peroxide are useful for cleaning wounds but each have many other benefits in the prepper’s first aid kit.
  • Cough Drops – Sure there are natural alternatives to cough drops, but you can buy a few hundred for less than $10
  • Anti-itch creme – Itching sucks.
  • Honey – Natural honey can be used to treat wounds and never goes bad if you have it stored properly. Plus it tastes great on that oatmeal you have stored in your pantry too.
  • Knee Braces and Ace Bandages – A lot of injuries will simply take time to heal. A good knee brace can make getting around possible for someone with mild injuries. Ace bandages can help with sprains.
  • Any prescriptions you take regularly – An entire post could be written about obtaining supplies of life-saving medical prescriptions. The sad fact is that in a grid down world, many people who can no longer access prescriptive medicine may die. There are alternative treatments, homeopathic remedies and natural substitutes for some specific medicines, but these should all be researched thoroughly on your own. At a minimum you should have at least a one month supply of any medicine you must take. If the disaster allows you to make it to another medical provider you have some time.
  • Thermometer – Get the old-fashioned kind if you are worried about EMP, although the newer digital thermometers are really nice too.
  • Blood Pressure Cuff – Helpful in situations although requires some training on how to use one properly. Don’t forget the Stethoscope to hear the heartbeat. – Hat tip to Ty for these last three great recommendations.

When does medicine go bad?

Yes, medicine does go bad, but it may not be bad in the way you think or as quickly as you might believe. For one thing the expiration date on medicine does not mean that the medicine is bad after that date. Medicine does start to lose its effectiveness over time though so keeping your medicine up to date is the best approach to having a good supply of medicine in your home.

How quickly a particular medicine loses its potency will vary by the medicine and the conditions where it is kept. Moisture and heat are not friends to medicine so a cool dry place out of sunlight is the best location. Medicine that has changed color, texture or smell even if it has not expired shouldn’t be taken. If pills stick together or are harder or softer, show cracks or chips they likely need to be replaced.

This is really just a start at some of the most obvious medicine to stock up on but each person has their own needs. What is your plan if you can’t get to the doctor?

These are some of the most obvious medicine to stock up on but each person has their own needs.

My great granny made her eggs just like this. I loved to spend the night with her when I was little so she could make me breakfast.

She had a little cast iron skillet on a hob and she stirred and stirred and stirred until they were perfect golden little blobs floating in butter. The crunch at the first bite says it all, perfectly toasted bread goes a long way with scrambled eggs.

Watch this and then I’ll probably see you in the kitchen.

No way they could have known that over 250 years later, their recipe would be shown to over a million viewers worldwide.

In any survival situation, the most important thing is finding food.

While you may have a stockpile stored safely somewhere, it might not be accessible. Depending on the circumstances, you may find yourself having to forage for food to survive.

Foraging for food is an essential part of any survival plan. It will be vital during a crisis. Most forested areas are rich with edible plants. These plants can potentially hold you over until you can reach your safe house.

However, many wild plants can be dangerous. Some are even perfect replicas of the original. Knowing which plants are safe to eat and which are not is critical to survival.

Below are a few plants that you do not want to eat when aiming to survive in the wild.


The Survival Plants That Might Get You Killed Menispermum canadense – also known as Moonseed. This is a woody vine that grows 8’-20′ long. Stems of the young plant are green to brownish-red and slightly hairy, while older ones become hairless and woody. The smooth leaves of this plant are 6″ long and 8″ across and often bend downwards.

Clusters of white or yellowish flowers sometimes appear along the non-woody stems of these plants and may reach up to 5″ in length.

This plant blooms in late spring to early summer and lasts about two weeks.

Female flowers will develop into small berries in late summer to early fall and look similar to wild grapes.

Found throughout North America, this plant commonly grows within the region and is native to Illinois.

A low-lying vine plant, Moonseed has a high poison severity and is highly toxic to humans – causing convulsions and death when ingested. The toxic principle of this plant, Alkaloid dauricine, is found in all the plant parts.

Thankfully, this plant’s highly potent berries have a rank taste – which often deters hungry foragers.

However, because this plant’s leaves and fruit are similar to Fox Grapes- which are edible, this resemblance leads to them being confused as Fox Grapes or Wild Grapes and unknowingly consumed.

Unfortunately, Moonseed is highly poisonous and can be fatal if eaten.

While this plant’s flavor is usually enough to indicate danger, one should always examine the fruit’s seeds when foraging to ensure it is not a moonseed.

Moonseeds have a single crescent-shaped seed, while a grapes seed will be round. The tendrils of this plant are also an indication. Grapevines will have forked tendrils, where Moonseed vines lack tendrils altogether.

Signs and symptoms of Moonseed poisoning may include:

  • Confusion
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Pupil changes
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Weakness or paralysis
  • Seizures

*If Moonseed is consumed, it is suggested that you seek immediate medical attention to rid your body of the deadly toxins and treat any related symptoms.


The Survival Plants That Might Get You Killed White snakeroot plants have coarse toothed, round-based leaves with pointed tips and can reach up to 3 feet (1m) in height—clusters of flowers grown on the top of the stem throughout summer and fall.

This plant prefers shady areas and is commonly found along roadsides, in thickets, or under powerlines.

The leaves and stems of the white Snakeroot contain tremetol. This fat-soluble toxin is known to poison the livestock consuming it and passes into lactating animals’ milk.

The name of this plant was derived from the belief that this plant’s roots could cure snake bites.

It was also thought that burning this plant could revive an unconscious person. Thus it has been used medicinally for many years. However, due to its toxicity, even the medicinal use of Snakeroot is not recommended.

While consuming this plant is not often deadly to humans, it can cause ‘milk sickness’. The poisonous properties of this plant are most significant when the plant is fresh and green.

However, even dried versions of this plant have been found to contain toxins. This plant is especially toxic to animals, with death occurring when an aminal eats anywhere from 1%-10% of their body weight over a few weeks.

Signs and symptoms of Milk sickness (also known as tremetol vomiting):

  • Trembling
  • Vomiting
  • Severe intestinal pain

*Milk sickness caused by Snakeroot does not rely on personal ingestion. Milk sickness can occur when consuming animal products from an animal that has come into contact with or ingested this plant.

Pokeweed (aka wild parsnips/carrots)

The Survival Plants That Might Get You Killed Phytolacca americana, or pokeweed, is native to eastern North America and the mid-west but is scattered throughout Canada, the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Considered a pest weed by farmers, pokeweed is poisonous to humans, dogs, and livestock.

While this plant is edible in the spring season with proper preparation, it later becomes deadly.

Cultivating poisonous berries can induce vomiting, burning sensations, altered heart rate, respiratory issues, convulsions, and even death if ingested.

All parts of this plant can be toxic and pose a risk to humans if eaten. The poison, produced by the chemicals phytolaccatoxin and phytolaccigenin, is most concentrated in the roots, stems, and leaves of this plant.

However, the berries should also be avoided as they still contain enough toxicity to cause harm.

Pokeweed can be identified by its large, fleshy, white taproot that often grows 4 to 6 inches in diameter. The stems of this deadly flora can grow 3 to 7 feet tall in some areas and are typically a deep reddish-purple. Whiteish-green flowers adorn this plant and consist of  5 petal-like, rounded leaves that mimic flower petals, growing in clusters opposite leaves.

Each flower-like structure develops into 8-10 juicy berries that are flat and round in shape and small in size. The berries begin as a light shade of green, turning black or purple, and generally become heavy, drooping with maturity. Each berry contains a small, black lens-shaped seed encased in a juicy blood-colored liquid.

Native Americans used pokeweed to treat a variety of conditions in the past, and juice from the berries was often used to create red dye.

Signs and symptoms of Pokeweed poisoning include:

  • Diarrhea, sometimes hemorrhagic (bloody) diarrhea
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Convulsions
  • Seizures
  • Headache
  • Heart block
  • Rapid pulse
  • Low blood pressure
  • Slow or difficult breathing

*Other names for Pokeweed poisoning include American nightshade poisoning; Inkberry poisoning; Pigeon Berry poisoning; Pokeberry poisoning; Scoke poisoning; Virginia poke poisoning; Poke salad poisoning.


Poisoning from pokeweed requires immediate medical attention.

However, suppose you cannot get to an emergency room. In that case, you could attempt to create activated charcoal by burning wood or another dense plant fiber until everything but the carbon has been scorched away.

Unfortunately, this process can take several hours, and you need to mix the charred wood with other chemicals to create a useful substance. Thus, this may be challenging in a survival situation, and it is best to seek professional medical help.

*If you or someone you know has consumed pokeweed, call poison control, or immediately go to the nearest emergency department.

Belladonna or Deadly Nightshade

The Survival Plants That Might Get You Killed Atropa belladonna – commonly referred to as Belladonna or Deadly Nightshade– is a poisonous perennial herbaceous plant in the nightshade family.

Found in various places in Europe, Northern Africa, and Western Asia, it is also scattered throughout Canada and the United States.

This plant’s foliage and berries are extremely toxic if ingested because of the chemical (tropane alkaloids) they contain.

Bella Donna is one of the most poisonous plants known to man, and its effects can be deadly.

All parts of this plant contain tropane alkaloids. The leaves are most poisonous when the plant is budding or flowering, and the roots are most toxic at the end of the vegetation period.

However, this plant’s berries pose the greatest danger because they look delicious and have a somewhat sweet taste.

Despite its name, which means ‘beautiful lady,’ the Belladonna plant is exceptionally hazardous. Poisonous to humans and most animals, Belladonna poisoning affects the nervous system.

Symptoms may include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Red, dry skin
  • Inability to sweat
  • Muscle spasms
  • Blurred vision
  • Enlarged pupils
  • Hallucinations
  • Inability to urinate
  • Seizures
  • Convulsions
  • Death
  • Coma

Belladonna is commonly used as an ingredient in many over-the-counter medications to treat many common ailments.

For example, belladonna can be found in treatments for

  • common cold
  • fever
  • whooping cough
  • each ache
  • asthma
  • motion sickness
  • flu
  • joint and back pain
  • inflammation
  • nerve issues.

Unfortunately, belladonna can have serious side effects, especially when consumed without medical advice.

*If consumed, seek medical attention immediately. Activate charcoal is used to remove toxins from the body, and treatment of the various symptoms is often required.


The Survival Plants That Might Get You Killed Found throughout most western and eastern United States, this plant is easily mistaken for bay leaves. Unfortunately, using these leaves to spice up your emergency stew would be a bad idea.

Rhododendron and Azaleas are close relatives and cause the same types of toxicity. It is often referred to as ‘mad honey’. Because the honey found in this plant’s flowers is known to cause confusion. So eating any part of this plant is discouraged.

Poison control often receives calls in spring and early summer about children who have put the flowers or leaves in their mouths trying to eat them.

While this plant generally only causes mild mouth irritation, nausea, and vomiting have also been known to occur with ingestion. While rare, severe and life-threatening poisoning has occurred. Thus, this plant should not be consumed.

The honey of this plant holds the highest concentration of poison. The agent responsible for the poisoning properties of this plant is Grayanotoxin.

The neurotoxin, which is also known as andromedotoxin, acetylandromedol, rhodotoxin and asebotoxin, is produced within rhododendron and other plants within the Ericaceae or Heather family. Honey made from the nectar also contains grayanotoxin – or ‘mad honey.’

Mad Honey poisoning can occur anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours after ingestion and symptoms include:

  • Salivation
  • Vomiting
  • Circumoral paralysis (around or near the mouth)
  • Low blood pressure
  • Low heart-rate
  • Loss of coordination
  • Progressive muscle weakness
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of balance
  • Difficulty breathing

*Rhododendron poisoning is rarely fatal to humans, and symptoms usually last less than 24 hours. Death is much more common among animals who ingest this plant while grazing.


Treatment requires vomiting-inducing techniques and repeated use of activated charcoal. If you ingest Rhododendron, seek medical attention as soon as possible.

While obtaining plants for survival may be dangerous, you can often find danger in your own backyard as well.

Plants that commonly grow in urban areas can be just as harmful to your health as those found out in the wild.

For example, rhubarb leaves are known to be extremely poisonous, and while this plant is known to many as a tasty treat, the leaves may cause severe medical issues if consumed.

Rhubarb poisoning can cause:

  • Rhubarb leavesBreathing difficulty
  • Burning in the throat
  • Coma
  • Eye pain
  • Kidney stones
  • Nausea
  • Red-colored urine
  • Seizures
  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness

In the wild, there are many plants available for survival.

Unfortunately, there are also many that can cause damage or even death if consumed unknowingly. It is vital that you are aware of what you are eating and sure that it is safe.

Being aware of your surroundings and knowing which plants (or which parts of plants) are safe to consume may mean the difference between life and death.

Not all plants are man's best friend. Surviving also means knowledge. For example, These Survival Plants Might Get You Killed

You are in for a treat today!

This fried chicken recipe comes from Nathan Bailey’s 1736 cookbook, “Dictionarium Domesticum.”

And people love it!

This recipe calls for a marinade that is sure to surprise you.

The tartness of the marinade contrasted to the sweetness of the batter really sets this dish off.

You should really try this! This may be just the best fried chicken ever!

Warning – Do not watch this video on an empty stomach.


For those of you who want it in writing, here’s the recipe.


-Juice of two large lemons
-Add equal part of the vinegar of your choice (Malt or cider is preferred)
-1 tsp of salt
-1 tsp of pepper
-2 bay leaves
-1/4 tsp of cloves
-1/2 cup of green onions(or shallots)

Quarter the chicken, or add the individual pieces (e.g breast, thigh, leg) to the marinade.
Leave in marinade for 3 hours.


-1 1/2 cup of flour
-Add white wine until similar to pancake batter(you could use cider or water instead of wine if preferred)
-3 egg yolks(add more wine if needed)
-1 tsp of salt
-Mix until it’s even

Cooking it:

-Fill pot with the oil of your choice
-Heat oil to about 350F
-Fry until a light mahogany brown


-Add extremely dry parsley to the oil
-Fry in small batches

People say The History Channel should hire this guy and give him have his own TV show.

What do you think? But let’s talk after you eat this chicken like in 1736.

Warning - Do not watch this video on an empty stomach.

Water is obviously a critical supply you need to have in order to live. Water more than food is required if you are going to survive and we talk a lot on survival blogs about how to handle the water once you get it. If your water isn’t clean, we discuss how to filter or treat the water to make it drinkable.

We have talked about transporting water to your location or carrying water in something like your Bug Out Bag. We have additionally talked about filtering water that you collect in rain barrels, but what if you are in a survival situation and you have no source of water. Knowing how to find water is perhaps just as important as knowing how to treat water before you drink it.

Water is the most abundant resource on this planet in terms of sheer volume, but fresh drinking water is not as easy to come by. Although the earth is covered in oceans, freshwater sources are a little harder to find and as a society, we have come to rely on water treatment stations to pump the majority of what we drink. Many rural locations rely on well water, but that is also pumped from deep underground.


If you are in a survival situation it will be very unlikely that you would be able to drill a well and find a source of water. Obviously, if you are in a fixed location this is always a possibility, but for the rest of us water can be found and this post will go into both Urban and natural settings where you can find sources of water.

Water Basics

The human body needs approximately one gallon per day in average conditions for hydration and hygiene. You could of course skip a bath, but you still need a steady supply of water or you will become dehydrated. Go without water too long and you die so we want to make sure that doesn’t happen. We will mostly cover how to find water in the wild in this section, not how to treat water.

Snow and Ice – Depending on your location, you may have water all around you at certain times of the year. If you are where there is snow and ice, you can melt as much water as you need. Two things to remember with this is that heating snow for drinking water is very fuel intense so if this is your main plan for survival, expect to use a lot of wood or energy to heat that snow. Many of you have eaten snow as kids; I know I did but you can’t do this for long or else your body temperature drops as the cold water chills your inside. I saw a documentary one time where a family was hiking and became lost in a snow blizzard. The mother who was breastfeeding an infant at the time was eating snow to stay hydrated and provide milk for the baby. She died because the snow reduced her body temperature so much. Melt the snow if you are going to drink it.


Ground – How many of you have heard the hiking adage that if you are lost you want to make your way downhill, then down river as all rivers flow to a town. Bear Grylls used to say that on just about every show he was in the mountains. Well, I don’t know if all rivers do lead to a town, which would hopefully get you in contact with people who could help you, but I do know that water flows to the lowest spot. If you are in the mountains, make your way down and unless you are in a desert, you will start running into places where water runoff accumulates, forms trickles, then streams, then rivers. I think that in the wild you should have plenty of sources to find water and you can even find drinking water in a tree. Make sure that any water you drink is treated first obviously.

Desert – Deserts are a little trickier as they don’t normally have water on a good day. It is possible to find water though without squeezing it out of elephant dung. Deserts get rain from time to time; it’s just so infrequent that the water sinks down, runs off or evaporates before long. In deserts you can dig along creek beds for water that could be a couple of feet underground. You could also build a solar still. The video below shows how to do this.

If that isn’t an option, you could wrap a clear plastic bag over the leaves of a bush or tree to collect condensation, but I don’t believe you would get enough water to live like this and it’s much better if you are lost, to make your way out of the desert as quickly as possible.  Regardless, here is another video that shows that method as well.

Rainwater – If you can collect rainwater, I think this is probably the easiest and safest way to find water but it isn’t without its own drawbacks. First of all, it has to rain and as you know even the weather men can’t predict when that will happen with complete accuracy. Waiting on rain could take weeks and if you are thirsty, that will be too long. You also need a method to capture the rain also. You can’t just stick a gallon jug outside and expect that bad boy to be filled up. Collecting rainwater for survival requires rain, a large collection surface and a big bucket.

Providing you have these things, a relatively small amount of rainfall can allow you to collect an amazing amount of water. Our home is set up with two rain barrels and I have filled each barrel up with a single rainfall before. For situations where you have a base location you are staying in, collecting rainwater for survival makes the most sense to me.

Dew – You can also collect water from the dew in the morning, but like the solar still and the clear bag methods above, I don’t think these are realistically going to give you enough water to last a day. They may be worst case scenario options, but if you are going to survive, you need a reliable source of abundant water.

Finding Water in Urban Environments


Drain the water from your water heater in emergency situations.

One advantage of trying to find water in an urban environment as opposed to the wild is that we pipe a bazillion gallons of water into our cities every day and unless it is used, we store it in pipes and reservoirs in almost every house, shack, building and complex.

You can start in your own home. Even if the water has been shut off, you will have a lot of water still inside the walls of your house. The back of the toilets have at least a gallon and a half each. Your water heater will have 30-60 gallons. The actual pipes in your house will still have many gallons stored in them and you can access it simply by opening the tap in the highest part of your home, like the second floor and gravity will allow the water trapped in the pipes to flow out the bottom taps.

Most of us already have the home sources identified, but what about water in other locations? I wrote a post a few days back trying to point out what in my mind where the differences between looting and scavenging. At least one of our readers had strong feelings on that subject, but in this case where you need water for survival, there would be many more places that could be abandoned that could offer potential for water also.

Large manufacturing plants have water reservoirs on the roofs in some cases for their fire systems. Even if they don’t like the pipes in your home, sprinkler systems are loaded with water that could be used in an emergency. Before I get any nasty grams about this, the usual caveats apply. I am talking about a grid-down, SHTF scenario where your life depends on having a source of water and there is nobody presently using or occupying this structure. Even that isn’t clear enough… I don’t mean to break into anyone’s home and steal their water if they are home.


Sprinkler systems are much trickier than other sources and the kind you can see above your head are easier than the ones buried underground. We have other sources like water towers, fire hydrants, break room water coolers, swimming pools, hot tubs, fountains, aquarium tanks, air conditioning evaporator traps, water fire extinguishers and on and on. Essentially, there should be a lot of places to find water, but we may have to try a little harder if the world has gone to hell in a hand basket and of course all the sources should be treated first before drinking.

What not to drink

The following items shouldn’t ever be consumed as a water replacement and as much as I respect Bear Grylls, I have to agree with the second item on this list.

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Urine
  • Blood
  • Seawater

I hope that gives you some ideas for water sources if you are ever faced with survival scenario that you need to find water. I hope even more so that you never are. Maybe in your list of prepper supplies, it would be good to have a hacksaw and a pipe wrench too. You never know…

If you need more there’s always wikihow. Here’s what they have to say.

Locating water is an important skill to have if you enjoy wilderness activities such as hiking, camping, or cross-country events. Water is vital to the performance of your body. Even a single day without water can become a challenge. Dehydration can result in clouded judgement, physical weakness, vomiting, and fainting. In as few as three days the body can begin to shut down, leading to death. Knowing how to find water if you become lost or separated from regular water supplies can save your life.

1. Look for areas that have green foliage. Green areas in a desert or plains area can indicate the presence of water.[2] A line of trees or some foliage low on the ground may also hint at a creek bed or some other body of water.

2. Scout the terrain for low-lying areas. Some examples of these include valleys, depressions, or crevices. Water moves toward the lowest point possible, so these places are prime locations for finding a lake or stream.

  • Rainwater may collect in these areas.
  • If you are in a mountainous area, check for water at the foot of cliffs.
3. Detect signs of wildlife. Circling birds can sometimes indicate a water source nearby, but you might also follow animal tracks. Water is a basic need for all animals, and the tracks you follow will likely lead you, eventually, to a watering hole.[4]

4. Notice the presence of insects. Mosquitoes in particular are an indication that water is nearby, as is the presence of flies, which tend to remain about 325 feet (100 meters) from water. Generally, most insects do not stray too far from water sources.

  • Keep your eyes peeled for bees as well. Bees build hives three to five miles away from a water source.


Accessing Trapped Water

1. Collect suitable snow or ice to make water. If you are in an arctic area, or an area that receives snowfall, you should collect snow that has a bluish look to it. This will prevent you from consuming frozen water that his high in salt content, which could contribute to your dehydration.

  • Frozen water that has a higher concentration of salt will appear gray or opaque.

2. Melt the ice with a heat source and purify. There are many ways you might melt your ice into water that will quench your thirst. In extreme situations, you may have to find a container and then cuddle it, using your body heat to melt the snow. In other cases you may be able to use a match, lighter, or other heat source. Once the snow has melted, you may purify the water using several different methods, such as:

  • A water purifying tablet to cleanse the snow, now turned to water, for consumption.
  • A filtration device, like a water purifying straw, to drink your thawed snow.
  • Using your heat source to bring the melted snow to a boil. Allow it to boil for a least a minute to guarantee the water has been purified.
3. Search out water in damp sand or dirt. In an arid setting, if you spot a depression or moist patch of sand behind a sand dune, in a dried out lake, a gully, or some similar feature, you should dig down in that area to search for water. If you notice water begging to puddle at the bottom of your hole, you’re in luck.
4. Locate any water-containing plants, such as barrel or saguaro cacti. It can be helpful to brush up on your knowledge of edible and poisonous plants, but this may be an unrealistic option for your situation. Instead, you seek water in vines, cacti, and roots. Cut a notch in the plant and wait for liquid to seep out. In the case of cacti, break it open and suck moisture from its pulp, being careful not to eat any of the cactus, as it could make you sick. Generally, you should avoid drinking plant sap that is:
  • Thick
  • Colored
  • Sour or bitter
  • Sharp or unpleasant in odor


Determining the Drinkability of Water

1. Know the hazards of drinking unpurified water. Drinking water that is poisonous, contaminated with parasites or bacteria, or is tainted by human waste can cause serious health complications. This can be a threat to your survival in an emergency a wilderness experience. Illnesses associated with contaminated water include:

  • Dysentery
  • Cholera
  • Typhoid

2. Increase your chance of survival while looking for water. Sweat will make you dehydrate faster, so you should avoid activities that may make you sweat while looking for water. You should also:

  • Stay in the shade, if possible.
  • Avoid eating anything while thirsty.
  • Damp your clothes in hot conditions to cool yourself in hot climates.
  • Carry materials, like a plastic sheet, to make water collection devices.

3. Be prepared to purify the water you find. You can do this simply by bringing water to a boil over a fire, though this might not always be an option. To ensure you don’t end up drinking water potentially tainted with parasites or bacteria, you should consider:

  • Carrying water purifying tablets.
  • Purchasing a simple water filtration device, like a water purifying straw.

4. Choose water that is clear and flowing. Flowing water will not be stagnant, and stagnant water is an ideal breeding ground for many disease-carrying insects and parasites. When deciding on whether or not a source of flowing water is safe to drink, keep in mind:

  • The location of the nearest human settlement. The downstream area of rivers can easily be tainted by human activities.
  • The mouth or origin of a water source will likely be safest for drinking.

What do you think? Did we miss anything?

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