This is a tough one. The reason is, there are so many sources of pain and many many ways of treating it. For instance, having stomach cramps, a sore throat, a wound or injury, sinusitis, or a head ache from a multitude of reasons. Many times, relieving pain has more to do with treating the cause than it does taking a pain reliever. In nature, that is likely more often the case, than not. In other words, pain, in nature, is more of a fact of life then it is at home, with a drug store nearby.
If disaster strikes and you find a convenient supply of Ibuprofen and other drugs are not in reach, then you will need to know how to take care of yourself and loved ones. Part of pain relief will begin at prevention. Make sure your hands are clean before eating to prevent stomach issues. Make sure you are eating the best food you can. I suspect getting proper exercise will become the norm rather than the exception. Don’t take unnecessary risk in order to prevent injury. Don’t wander out into a 40 degree rain.
With all the prevention in the world, things are still going to happen. That is why the second and extremely important second step is not just important, but absolutely crucial. Prepare for treating medical issues. The time for preparing for medical treatment is when the supply exist.
In Michigan, there are some treatments available in the middle of January, but really, if you wait until then, you are WAY behind the 8 ball. Things like Slippery Elm for sore throats and stomach issues are available, however, identifying Slippery Elm in the dead of winter is tough. You should have harvested your supply when the leaves were on the tree to make it more identifiable. There are other plants available as well under the snow, but finding them becomes tough. Mullein for a cough is available, but tougher to find than in August. In other words, harvest medicinal plants when they are plentiful and easy to find.
Like always, I encourage further study and remind to make 100% identification a priority. Many times, plants loose some potency after drying and fresh is almost always better, but you aren’t going to find most plants fresh in the winter, so dried is the next best thing. Also, the plants I list are only suggestions of the many available. Maybe you don’t have these in your area?? Self study is a must.
Here are some that I believe should be available anywhere in Michigan and the Great Lakes Region.
The 3 following have salicylic acid in them, which, is the chemical aspirin was developed from.
Common Purple Violets: Pain relief
Willow Tree Bark (inner pinkish colored part): Pain relief
Willow Tree by Bruce Marlin
Winter Green: Pain relief
Plantain: Stomach issues, wound healing, stop bleeding, sting relief
Broad Leaf Plantain
Yarrow: Wound healing, bruise and swelling relief, stop bleeding, anxiety relief
Everlasting: Stomach relief, wound healing, stop bleeding
St. John’s Wort: Depression relief
St. John’s Wort
Chamomile: Stress and anxiety relief
Chamomile – Wiki Commons
Purple Dead Nettle: Wound healing, stop bleeding, allergy relief
Purple Dead Nettle
Mullein: Cough and Congestion relief
Mullein under the snow.
Peppermint: Stomach relief, anxiety relief
Black Berry Root: diarrhea, stomach relief
There are so many other plants that are useful that it would take a rather large book to describe them all. Not only that, the plants listed above have more healing qualities than listed above. The reason why I approached a blog on pain relief in this way, again, because for the most part, relieving pain has more to do with treating the cause than popping pain relievers. There are some pain relievers that exist in Nature, but not like in the pharmacy. Pain in nature is not exactly a bad thing anyways. Without it, you won’t know you have an issue. Relieving the pain by treating the cause, lets you know when you are healthy again. When the pain goes away, it’s because the issue that caused it, has been successfully treated.