If you have read many of my posts you already know that I believe that part of emergency preparedness should include the medicinal use of herbs. I don't think this will work if you only stash a book at the back of your preparedness storage and leave it there.
Medical care is very difficult to come by in most emergencies, especially long term ones. If you are serious about tasking care of yourself and your loved ones during a time when regular medical care is not available, you must read about it, collect the herbs and seeds, know how to grow them and how to use them. This is not something that can happen overnight.
You do not need to think about performing brain surgery in your spare time to practice some home medical care with herbs. If you learn what herbs will take care of common ailments and how to prepare the herbs for use, that will be a big step toward your preparedness.
One way that you can get in practice is to handle small illnesses that you would ordinarily go to the local drugstore for. You can also make some of your own toiletries and cosmetics. Many of the skills required for toiletries and cosmetics are the same ones you will need to take care of illness when you can't get medical care.
I have already posted on the use of oats for many digestive problems. In some of these posts I also mentioned that oat grass is very good for animals and is the first thing they look for when they are not feeling well. I grow oat grass and have it available for my cats whenever they want it. They usually eat it daily.
When my cats or I are having more trouble with stomach or almost any kind of digestive upset including diarrhea, I use old fashioned rolled oats ground to a fine powder. It is eaten raw.
When I use it myself, I just lick the tip of a finger and dip it into the oat powder and lick it off. It is best to slowly swallow it with a lot of saliva. Pause a little between fingertips full of the oat powder. This lets it go slowly and gently into your system. I usually experience relief within a few minutes, often much less than twenty minutes.
When I give the oat powder to my cats I either take a small pinch between finger and thumb and drop it on the cat's tongue or pull out their lower lip and drop it in there. Once your cat sees how much better they feel from eating oat powder, they will usually lick it off of you hand when you offer it to them. My older one does this and meows for it when he feels bad.
I just got a new thing that is wonderful for grinding oat powder. It is a little ceramic bowl with ridges cut into the inside of the bowl. It comes with a pestle that is made of very dense wood. I ground oat powder in it for my cat. It really grinds it fast. It is much faster than other methods that I have used.
If you are serious about taking care of your medical needs in an emergency you need to have a way to grind up your herbs and other things like oats. You need to be able to do it without electricity. That means it may be a good idea to have something like this item I just described, or a mortar and pestle.
You can find something similar in Mexican food stores. It is usually made from granite and looks like a large mortar and pestle. They occasionally carry a larger version that is used for grinding grain.
I have ground stuff on the sidewalk or curb with a rock or used two rocks from the beach. You can do the same thing, but if that is your plan, it would be a good idea to go get it and put it with your preparedness supplies as soon as possible.
You might even want to start using it now. There is a little bit of a learning curve on grinding things in a mortar and pestle. It would probably not be good to take a couple of days to grind up something to treat an illness during an emergency.
Somebody I know did this for digestive problems. It actually took that long to grind up oats. Once you know how, it can be done in a few minutes. The practice now could be very valuable in an emergency.