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.

Getting Prepared: A Primer for Beginners Series, part 11


Emergency medical supplies and prescription drugs of are the utmost importance, right up there with food, water and shelter.

One of the predictions made about when SHTF is what can be called the circles of death.  The first round of deaths will be due to the event itself.  These people will die of injuries sustained during the event immediately or some time shortly after due to infections or other contracted diseases.  Included in this group are also people in nursing homes and hospitals who may be left to fend for themselves.

Getting Prepared and MedicineThe second circle will be old and infirm people who need more medicines, care and support than a normal healthy person.  This circle includes older persons who rely on heart medications, statin drugs, diabetic medications and other life prolonging medications.  Second circle members will die in their homes because their oxygen bottles ran out.   This group will also consist of people who could not find enough food and water.

The third circle will include people who have found themselves exposed to the environment rather than living in their comfy prepper homes.  This exposure will allow extra risks of infections for even the slightest cuts.  They will be prey to any and all manner of parasites that find people inhabitable.  In many regions of the country, wild animals will also find humans to be tasty.

If you make it through the first three circles, you should be congratulated.

You were prepared, or someone took pity on you.  However you made it to this point, you will agree that being prepared with as many prescription OTC drugs and meditations as possible has made it possible for you to survive the event.

Most people can stock OTC drugs because they are relatively cheap and easy to get.  Simply buy a bottle of this or that pain killer, a tube of antibiotic ointment, and assorted bandages.  The prescription meds are a different story.  They run in price any where from $50.00 to $500.00.

You can buy a year’s supply, or pretty much any quantity of non-narcotic drugs as long as you have a prescription that says how many to dispense and the money to pay for it.  Insurance companies now require prescriptions to be refilled on a monthly basis and no sooner.  They don’t care if you have to come home from Europe to get your medications before you run out and die.

With all this information in hand, you should of course fill your prescriptions according to the monthly plan of your insurance company.

But, you should also grab your list of most commonly prescribed medications and make notes as you ask for a price list from your pharmacy, and the other three down the street.

The cash price is usually higher than the price pharmacies charge the insurance company.  Compare the price lists and list which products you will purchase from which pharmacies.  To hep save money on medicines join the pharmacy’s loyalty programs if available and apply those points to the price of prescription and OTC medicines.  Look on manufacturer websites for coupons for the drugs you need.  They can be as much as $50 off per month.  Lastly, talk to the pharmacist.  They may give you discounts for bulk cash purchases.  This should be enough information to begin planning and budgeting to acquire the medications your family will need for the duration of the event.