Alternative Medicine in a Survival Situation

(UPDATED: 9/13/2016)

One of the major concerns with survival preparation is being able to sustain without needed medications for an extended period of time. If you find yourself in a situation where you do not have access to necessary pharmaceuticals it is easy to become panicked and overwhelmed. The good news is that there are alternatives to traditional meds that can be just as effective and even less toxic to your body than the traditional drugs your doctor has prescribed. There are several items that are good to keep around for everything from minor abrasions and burns, to stopping excessive bleeding and even reducing physical and emotional trauma. In this article I will share with you what I believe to be imperative alternative medicines to have around in any emergency situation as well as some alternatives to traditional medication.

If you have been prescribed medication for your heart, diabetes, epilepsy or any other disease which requires daily medication, the best recommendation would be to go to your doctor and tell them you are going on an extended vacation and would like to request a 2-3 month supply of all your meds. This will ensure that you have what you need to sustain your health in the event of an emergency. However if this is not an option for you there are several other ways to prepare for the unexpected by keeping certain crisis herbs and other supplements on hand that can be just as effective as the ones you’re currently taking.

Here is a list of the main items I recommend to keep in your medicinal stockpile:

1. Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar contains all the important minerals, like potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphor, sulfur and iron. It is a powerful antibacterial agent and can be used to treat countless ailments. Apply the vinegar to bug bites, stings or burns to draw out the poison and reduce swelling and pain. Taken orally, it can help with acid reflux, digestion problems and it is very effective in detoxification of the organs, blood and digestive tract. Below I have listed the conditions I consider to be the most relevant in a crisis situation.

*** Be sure to get the organic brand that includes the “mother” as the pasteurized brand does not contain the same vitamins, minerals and enzymes responsible for the reported benefits.


Diabetes – The effect of vinegar on blood glucose levels is perhaps the best-researched and the most promising of apple cider vinegar’s possible health benefits. Several studies have found that vinegar may help lower glucose levels. For instance, one 2007 study of 11 people with type 2 diabetes found that taking two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bed led to lower blood sugar levels in the morning by 4%-6%.

High blood pressure
– The potassium in apple cider vinegar can be beneficial to both the heart and blood pressure by helping to make the blood thinner, resulting in a reduction of high blood pressure. Drink 2 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar in a glass of distilled water (free of chemicals and inorganic materials) and add a tablespoon of honey to make the taste more palatable.

Arthritis – Arthritis can be a debilitating disease as it can cause severe pain in joints and muscles surrounding the joints. It has been said that arthritis is caused by toxins in the bloodstream depositing themselves in the joints and becoming enlarged over time as more and more toxins enter the body. These stony deposits can cause crippling and painful joint problems as time goes by. Drinking apple cider vinegar every day helps to break down and clear out these toxic pockets in the joints and has been known to have extremely positive affects in reducing pain and swelling when used by individuals suffering from this condition. In addition to drinking vinegar with water every day, you can also soak the arthritic area in a hot solution of vinegar and water (half a cup of vinegar to three cups of water).

Product Recommendations: Bragg is the only brand I use.

*** Apple Cider Vinegar should not be used by those with allergies to yeast and/or yeast products.

2. Organic Pressed Coconut Oil: The health benefits of coconut oil are seemingly endless. It has been used for thousands of years for everything from hair, skin and dental care, kidney, digestion and metabolism problems, it has even been said to prevent cancer and reduce stress. Coconut oil has antimicrobial, antifungal, antibacterial and antioxidant properties all of which we know are very beneficial in disease prevention and treatment.


Heart Diseases – There is a misconception spread among many people that coconut oil is not good for the heart. This is because it contains a large quantity of saturated fats. However coconut oil is in fact extremely beneficial for the heart. It contains about 50% lauric acid, which helps in preventing various heart problems including heart burn, high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. The saturated fats present in coconut oil are not harmful as it happens in case of other vegetable oils. It also reduces the incidence of injury in arteries and therefore helps in preventing atherosclerosis.

Immune System Support – Coconut oil contains certain acids that are known for helping to build a strong immune system when ingested into the human body. Those acids are reported to help in preventing and combating such autoimmune diseases as herpes and HIV and even reduces the likelihood of contracting the common flu. When the oil is spread onto the skin it acts as a barrier blocking out harmful toxins and other chemicals that are absorbed through the skin.

Infections: Coconut oil is very effective against a variety of infections due to its antifungal, antiviral, and antiseptic properties. According to the Coconut Research Center, coconut oil kills viruses that cause influenza, measles, hepatitis, herpes, SARS, etc. It also kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and gonorrhea, etc. Coconut oil is also effective on fungi and yeast that cause candidas, ringworm, athlete’s foot, thrush, diaper rash, etc.

*** Coconut oil should not be used by those who are allergic to coconut and/or coconut products.

Product Recommendations: Only buy organic coconut oil.

3. Colloidal Silver: Colloidal Silver is a liquid suspension of microscopic particles of silver. It has been found to kill numerous infectious bacteria and was widely used as an antibiotic prior to the 1930’s. Colloidal silver has been approved by the EPA as a disinfectant for hospitals and medical centers. Have you ever heard the saying “born with a silver spoon in his mouth”? This phrase was born as a result of the wealthy having their children suck on a silver spoon to prevent them from contracting the plague. Farmers used silver pails to store their dairy milk because the antibacterial properties of the silver helped to prevent bacteria growth.


Antibiotic – Before antibiotics came into use many people suffered and died after contracting even minor infections. It’s troublesome to think that the same might happen again if we were to loose access to these life saving drugs in an emergency situation. You will be relieved to know that colloidal silver has antibiotic properties that are second to none and keeping this powerful liquid on hand to use in times of crises can ease anxiety over contracting infections. A traditional antibiotic can kill maybe a dozen strains of bacteria and is usually directed towards a specific type of bacteria which leads to the development antibiotic resistant strains or “superbugs”. Colloidal silver kills approximately 650 different strains of bacteria, inhibits their growth instantly on contact and does not attempt to single out specific bacteria, thus resistant strains fail to develop. Silver has been touted as “the best all-around germ killer we have”.

***Those with allergies to silver should not use this product.

Product Recommendations: Some people make this at home but with the sensitive nature of silver ingestion I highly recommend you buy it through a reputable company with stringent testing procedures.

4. Garlic: Raw garlic could quite possibly be the best herb to have available in an emergency situation. Its antibacterial properties are second to none when it comes to fighting infections. It can be applied topically to kill infection at the site as well as ingested internally to fight bacteria from the inside out. Here we will list some of the uses for garlic that would be most helpful where traditional treatment is not available.


Toothaches – Crushed raw garlic applied directly to the problem tooth and surrounding gum areas has been said to kill infection on contact. It will be a little painful at first because the potency of raw garlic tends to burn a little (especially on sensitive skin such as gums) but you’re essentially trading a little bit of pain now for a lot of relief later. If you can stand the burn, it’s well worth it to resolve pain and infection and prevent the possible loss of a tooth later in the even that no dentist is available for an extended period of time.

Earaches – To relieve pain from an earache, simply pierce a liquid garlic capsule and let a couple drops drip into your ear. Lay down on your side for about 5 minutes to let the liquid make it’s way into the ear canal. The pain and infection should subside within hours.

Respiratory Problems – Place a couple of cloves of raw garlic into a sock or other breathable sac, either lay down with garlic sac close to your head or tie it around your neck. This method has been reported to help relieve asthma attacks and allergies. Another method is to chop the garlic and place into a bowl or pot of extremely hot water. Sit over the steamy garlic water with a towel on your head to help the steam enter your nasal passages. This method helps to clear up sinus infections and easy sinus pressure as well as to ridding the lungs of infection and respiratory irritation.

Product Recommendations: Only buy organic garlic.

5. Cayenne Pepper: Cayenne pepper is an herb derived from the chili pepper. Although most of us think of cayenne pepper as a cooking spice, uses of the herb reach far beyond the kitchen. It is considered one of the best crisis herbs available as its many life saving properties work instantly, making it an invaluable herb to have on hand for emergencies.


Heart attacks – If the victim is still breathing have them drink a cup of cayenne tea (a teaspoon of cayenne in a cup of hot water) and it has been reported stop the attack dead in its tracks.

Hemorrhaging – Cayenne is an extremely effective pain killer or anesthetic and can be applied directly to even the deepest cuts or wounds to stop bleeding, fight infection and promote healing. Although you will experience discomfort at the onset, prolonged exposure deadens the nerves to pain.

Convulsions – Traumatic experiences whether physical or emotional can send some adults and children into a state of shock and sometimes even trigger convulsions. Cayenne pepper can help offset these detrimental effects if not eliminate them completely.

*** Cayenne used in combination with caffeine has been reported to cause discomfort among some people.

Product Recommendations: Take pills for daily health and keep the powder on hand as well to stop bleeding in emergency situations.

We can not provide you with medical advice, dosage information, potential drug/herb reactions, or assistance with questions relating to injury, illness, etc. We are not licensed practitioners, pharmacists, or researchers. We are legally restricted from answering your health related questions. The information contained on this website has not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The information provided by Survival Spot is not presented with the intention of diagnosing any disease or condition or prescribing any treatment. It is offered as information only, for use in the maintenance and promotion of good health in cooperation with a licensed medical practitioner.

***This article was contributed by Chrystle Poss a.k.a. “Survival Girl”, Survival Spot Blog Owner/Editor and devoted Prepper. She has been writing articles on survival and emergency preparedness since 2006. You can find her work on various websites and publications.***

Additional Resources:

Top 10 Survival Movies

120 Useful Books for Your Survival Library

Cody Lundin Interview – When All Hell Breaks Loose

Collapse Documentary (2010)

11 Survival TV Shows Worth Watching

4 Responses

  1. Maria @ Frugal Homesteading

    Great post. I think it’s very important to know basic natural remedies and herbal medicines. There are many herbs that are as effective or more so than conventional antibiotics. We also have coconut oil on hand and use it as a dietary supplement.

  2. Paul Daemon

    yes its essential to know about herbal medicines

  3. Janis

    I have used cayenne to stop bleeding for decades. It works every time and I’ve used it on some pretty bad cuts.

    • Survival Spot

      Great feedback thanks Janis for your input. I’ve had people question me on it multiple times so it’s good to hear real life stories such as this.


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