Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Herbs, Skills and Compassion

For some women its shoes. For others its hats or purses. A friend of mine goes nuts about fabric (which has been known to ring my bell) and stockpiles it like a squirrel on speed (yes Staci I'm talking about you!). But one of the two loves of my online, and offline foraging life is herbs. I admit a sad obsession for checking the UPS and USPS tracking services when expecting a delivery, multiple times in a short period (heaven forbid if I have to wait over a weekend!)
Well once again I've gotten to experience the giddy-ness of meeting my UPS lady and her delivery my way.  There was no chance of me even trying to wipe the stupid grin off my face, as I had the last components of my Vital Herbs formula, calcium formula (which we have been without for some time), and Peoples Paste formula from the Be Your Own Doctor book which I recently reviewed, as well as some Lavender oil which I had been waiting for them to restock since before the baby was born.  SQUEEEEEAAAALLLL! :-D
      I firmly believe that information is our all around best defense in any kind of situation that would require preparedness. When the economy finally does collapse (there is no IF about it) and we are in dire straights, a person better be able to have some form of tangible, or trade-able commodity (since the average joe doesn't keep a chest full of silver coins under the bed) to use for barter and securing a place in the new and emerging social structure of the day. Having valuable information and skills will add to your community and your personal security.
      For instance, my herbal knowledge could be the deciding factor between my acquiring some essential necessity that my family needs that I have no access to. In fact an herbal healing knowledge puts the ball in my court as for placing the trade value on items. How much would it be worth to the person who has no money to afford tylenol (were it available) for a child's fever, to have my skills and and know-how as what needs to be done? What about the man who can't afford to be off work because of a potentially threatening injury or infection? What would you pay to stave off a case of MRSA in the event of no locally available (yet ineffective) antibiotics that a doctor would prescribe to you? Pneumonia? Flu? Diabetes? Heart problems? What is your health and the health of your loved ones really worth to you?
      Back in the day doctors were well off, not necessarily for the money they made, but because of the security. No cash? Well how 'bout a couple of chickens, milk for a month, repair of an item like a wheel? So although my husband tolerates my OCD habit of collecting herbs, it very well may save our family and help us to live with a better quality of life than those around us. It also puts us at an advantage for physical security to some degree. In a community that has fallen apart, they won't kill the person that has the life saving medical knowledge first! Or possibly divert a less than pleasant outcome because I helped a person when they were sick.
      Mostly though these types of scenarios that play through my mind, prove to me again and again the value of skills and knowledge. Book knowledge is good- but hands on is better. Sure it may be awesome to be able to know that I can order these herbs and fix a multitude of problems with the right know how, but what if there were no postal services? What could I use that grew locally?  This is exactly why it is imperative that you as a conscientious person need to develop skills that are valuable to your community. You not only ensure a stable and valued position in that community, but also have something that could be marketable in a bartering system as well.
      This also leads me to say that preparedness should also involve thought for 'the other guy'. My friend Staci relayed a thought to me a while ago, that I thought really defined the reason for the Christians motivation to be prepared. How can a Christian do as Christ commanded, and give to those who are less fortunate and show compassion, mercy, and generosity, when we ourselves are wondering and scrambling to have our own needs met? How could we be a blessing to others when we ourselves are so needy because of our unpreparedness?
      This concept brings me to the place of picking up an extra bottle of peroxide, or rubbing alcohol. It could mean buying another package of toilet paper, or even a few extra bags of beans for a charity box. What about coffee or band aids or diapers, things we ourselves don't even use? The compassion factor would find a nice home in your security plans as well as putting things of bartering value on your shelf that you yourself wouldn't have to depend on for your own survival. It won't do you any good to trade off that last box of powdered milk if your family depends on it for survival- a back up plan would be necessary.
      So I guess there are a few thoughts to stimulate your own thinking about value, skills and the aspect of our Christian duty to bless others. So go find your giddy spot and make it work for you and your families benefit. And if you need to, re prioritize your life and your thinking as to what that might be for you. Yarn may not bring me added security (sanity yes, but not so much security) herbs are a better option for upping our community value, increasing a needed skill, and opportunity for practicing Christ-like compassion towards my neighbor. If you don't have a skill that covers these areas- find one. Become proficient at it. Share it. Then find another. It could save your life some day. And that some day could be sooner than you think.


  1. i have found a new book that you may enjoy- a handbook if native american herbs by alma r. hutchens. I have enjoyed the book and have been able to help a few people.

  2. So glad to find your blog. This is awesome. You have so many great ideas. I have an herb obsession too. What a great way to store for your health. - Pam at