Prescription Medicines, Supplements, or Home Grown Herbal?

Guaiacum has many medicinal uses.As preppers, it’s important to know how to be prepared for a world changing event when it comes to medicinal needs.  The price of medicines that save life for diseases such as asthma, cancer, and heart disease is extreme.  Since the U.S. does not regulate the price of medicines, there is no limit.  Insurance companies don’t pay the same price for medicines as individuals.  If individuals paid the same as insurance companies, more people would have access to medicines.  For preppers, that’s a sticky wicket.

Nutritional and herbal supplements as well as over the counter medicines are much cheaper than many prescription medicines, but sometimes are not as effective.  Even so, some of them are as much as $30.00 per month or more.  For instance, people with certain lung diseases have to take guaifenesin (guaiphenesin).  The over the counter price per month is higher than most co-pays for higher priced prescription drugs that have similar effects.  In the past, this medicine was by prescription only and the price was lower.  A few years ago it was converted to OTC medicine and the price was raised significantly.  Even the store brands are expensive.  $30 is enough to buy a week’s worth of milk, bread, eggs and cheese for a family of four.

The only answer to this dilemma is research.  Do your homework.  It’s worth the effort.  Look for clinical studies and papers on the subject you are researching. Research not only herbal medicines and nutritional supplements, but also research the prescription drugs you or a family member needs.  Find out what they are made from and how they are made.  You won’t be able to learn everything but you can learn interesting and useful facts.

Guaifenesin, for example, is the drug manufacturer name for a medicinal plant used by native Americans since before Guaiacum plant grows in Jamaica and Hawaii.1533 a.d.  It comes from the guaiacum (guajacum) tree of subtropical and tropical regions. It has multiple uses, but only for one use is it marketed.  It wasn’t until drug companies found a way to put it in a syrup and pill that prescriptions were required.

Once you have the information you need, you will know which of the medicinal plants you can grow in your region and which you can not.  Since guaiacum will not do well in growing zones one through seven, and zone eight could be ify, perhaps stocking up on  guaifenesin is a better alternative for cooler climate zones.

Preparing for the long term medical needs of your family is most important.  If family members are not healthy, are unable to provide assistance during a time of great need, and are slowly dying, the situation for them, and those who watch them suffer is bleak.

Now get busy.  Do your homework.  Take good notes.  There might be a test.