Survival Pain Relief After A Disaster

This weekend is Memorial Day weekend.  I’m so thankful to all of you who served our country, and thankful to those of you who lost friends and loved ones in the service of our country.  We’re doing something special for Memorial Day that I’ll tell you about in a minute, but first…

One of the most symbolic items of Memorial Day is the red poppy, which was made famous by the poem, “In Flanders Fields,” written by Canadian Lt. Col. John McCrae in 1915 during WWI.

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Near the end of that poem, McCrae says, “If ye break faith with us who die, we shall not sleep, though poppies grow in Flanders fields.” A few years later, in 1918, a YWCA war worker named Moina Michael started handing out red poppies on Memorial day with a note attached that said, “We shall keep the faith.” The practice caught hold and continues to this day by people who want to “keep the faith with those who have died.”

There’s another side to the poppy. Certain varieties of poppies produce opium, which contains morphine and codeine for pain and noscapine for coughing. Morphine in particular has allowed countless soldiers over hundreds of years to die peacefully without pain on the battlefield and has allowed the safe and relatively comfortable transportation of countless other seriously wounded soldiers from the front lines to advanced medical facilities. Ironically, the red poppy from Flanders field contains no opium.

In war and in survival situations, pain occurs frequently. Pain control is something that you need to address when you’re preparing for short, medium, and long term disruptions in the supply chain and/or breakdowns in civil order.

It’s not just a matter of getting rid of pain for the sake of comfort. Excessive pain can cause shock. Excessive pain can prevent sleep and recovery. Excessive pain causes the body to burn excess hormones, brain chemicals, and blood sugar. Excessive pain can cause thrashing which can cause additional injuries and prevent medics from being able to work on patients. In other words, no matter how tough a person is, sometimes it’s better to treat pain than trying to “tough” your way through it.

This becomes an issue on an individual level because medical facilities and first responders are taxed during normal times and operate with a just-in-time inventory…much like grocery stores. In other words, they have a limited amount of supplies, like pain medication, and will run quickly out if not restocked frequently.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to get yourself and your family ready in case you need pain medication and there is none available.

While not effortless, one very effective method of pain control is to go through natural birthing training like Bradley Natural Childbirth or HypnoBabies. Both train you (male or female) how to calm your mind and body down while experiencing pain. One of the drills that you do with this is to practice relaxing while someone is pinching different nerve centers/pressure points. I’ve used the concepts to deal with cavities without pain medication and my wife got to where I could really dig into pressure points without causing her to flinch or exhibit a pain response.  We have gone through both classes, but if you’re not pregnant, I think you could get all of the benefit by getting the books, CDs, and/or DVDs.

Another possible technique is to chew on chlorophyll pearls (liquid capsules). Some people are allergic to chlorophyll and it can cause a severe reaction.  If you’re not, here’s a story that will give you an idea of the potential.

A lady that I know recently had shoulder surgery. Her job requires that she work with her hands and she couldn’t afford to take any more time off than necessary. In order to keep the pain under control, she was having to take the maximum dose of percocet as often as she could.

On the advice of a friend, she popped a couple chlorophyll pearls in her mouth, bit down until they popped, and her pain disappeared within a few short minutes.

For burns, of course, the aloe plant is one that many people have gotten instant pain relief from at some point in their lives.

Another option that you could consider is buying poppy seeds that are of a variety that produces opium. My understanding is that they are legal to grow, but you should check in your local area before planting any.

In the past, I’ve received a surprising amount of angry emails when I’ve talked about opium. I haven’t figured out if it was because the writers had past drug problems, if they thought I was promoting recreational use, (I’m not) or if it’s something else. In any case, I think that the topic of pain management is important enough to discuss, and since opium is one of the most effective home-grown pain controllers available, it’s worth discussing.

A quick note…if you do grow poppies that produce opium, don’t harvest any of the opium. You will lose all your possessions and go to really, REALLY bad federal prison if you attempt to harvest opium when there are functioning law enforcement entities, but in a Mad Max scenario, a renewable supply of pain medication could save a lot of lives. (Really…don’t screw around with this.)

The seeds themselves are cheap, legal, and you probably actually eat them a few times a month (think ‘poppy seed bread’) and you can buy them MANY places, including local nurseries, and You want to search for one particular variety, called “Papaver somniferum.” There are SEVERAL really pretty color options within that variety.

Here are the varieties that are available on Amazon > Papaver Somniferum <

As you can probably imagine, a LOT of the literature surrounding poppies come from the “drug culture”, “hippie culture”, and “far-out culture.” That being said, one book that you might want to get is, “Opium for the Masses.” You can find it on Amazon at

Again, I am not advocating illegal drug use, harvesting, or processing…Several of my friends and some close relatives are in law enforcement and they risk their lives fighting illegal drug use. I’m simply including this as something for you to consider if you are concerned about a long-term complete breakdown in civil order. In fact, one rule of thumb that you could follow is that you shouldn’t harvest or process the sap from the poppy unless things have broken down so completely that you feel comfortable asking local law enforcement to guard your garden and come over to help you harvest.

Do you have any other natural pain cures or herbal medicines that you plant? Do you plant them in your yard, or somewhere else? Please share your thoughts and experiences by commenting below

This weekend, in recognition of Memorial day, we’re donating 10% of all sales to the following charities:

10% of net sales from former Force Recon Marine, Chris Graham’s course will go to the Brothers In Arms Foundation.

10% of net sales from retired Navy SEAL, Larry Yatch’s and will go to the family of Chris Kyle.  (Larry was Chris’ CO in Cadillac Platoon during Chris’ first deployment)

And 10% of net sales from all of our other products will go to Special Operations Warrior Foundation and the Shadow Warriors Project…again, because they help our friends and brothers in arms.

Insight State-Based Shooting, 1 Hole Group, Home Study Program


About David Morris

David Morris is the creator of the Survive In Place Urban Survival Course, the Fastest Way To Prepare Course, Urban Survival Playing Cards, Tactical Firearms Training Secrets, and other books, courses, and articles on preparedness, survival, firearms, and other tactical topics. He lives with his wife, 2 boys, and 2 dogs.


  1. Blue Valerian, Skull cap, Melatonin and vitamin B6 all help you to sleep a long deep sleep without a hangover the next day. Tea tree oil works as a topical antiseptic, topical noninflammatory and as an antibiotic. I mix honey, Tea Tree Oil and Coconut oil and use the mixture to help heal wounds, cure athletes feet and such rashes. Never I repeat never get Tea Tree Oil in your eye and don’t use on mucus membranes. Keep peppermint on hand to help with hear burn, headaches and sore throat. Bees wax can be used mixed with many things to help heal skin from burn, abrasions and even bruising. Read learn then collect and practice using these items to help your self and others in times of need. Use two year old black berry canes to boil making a tea that will help with dysentery. Add the spice Turmeric to cook with for long time benefits like putting off Alzheimer’s. Cook with onions, garlic and Turmeric to promote good health.

  2. Frankie says:

    Turmeric or the component curcumin is a great anti-inflammatory pain reliever….works by blocking lots of biochemicals like Cox-2 that causes inflammation…..

    Oil of Clove for toothaches …..

    Peppermint mint oil for tummy aches….ginger too….

    Essential oils like lavender and others help with pain…get a book on essential oils as a reference and get therapeutic grade essential oils like the brand DoTerra that can be taken internally….

    Herbs, oils, plants; pain killers are everywhere in this world…God put a remedy here on earth for every ailment….seek and ‘ye shall find…

    Just do the research and be safe….and enjoy the benefits of natural healing agents…

  3. Frankie says:

    Hops, yes the stuff in beer, is a pain killer…that along with Valerian works well…GABA, 5HTP and other neurotransmitter precursors also help…..

  4. Hey Dave,

    The link you posted:

    appears to be broken.

  5. Two things – lavender oil for wasp stings, especially if you really react to them, like I do. It will take the pain and swelling away immediately. The other, if there’s nothing else to rely on, try EFT or Emotional Freedom Technique. Google it and find a good source where you can learn it. Some people have found extraordinary relief using this method. It can help with so many other issues too.

  6. John Creamer says:

    Don’t forget DMSO for a topical rub on. Works wonders for me, been using for several years now. I order it from the web. Just look for DMSO it’ll come up. Read the info available before doing anything else. Was first used as a liniment for horses but works good on humans also.

  7. I hope someone suffering with chronic pain will see this. I have two suggestions that I can personally recommend for chronic pain relief.

    During a previous life I fell from the top of a semi-truck loaded two pallets high with lumber that we had to chain down. I lost grip of the chain and over the side I went doing major damage to my hips and back and was lucky to learn to walk again a few years later. Since then, until very recently, I have not known one day without pain that sometimes was literally unbearable. I’ve probably tried every form of pain relief, including every narcotic known to man, and at times nothing cut the pain.

    Years later I found out about “acupuncture”, which originally was a regular part of Asian medicine. It uses a type of needles in certain “trigger points” that indeed relieve pain very nicely. Along this same line is “acupressure”, which anyone with some time and determination can learn. I happen to know a person can get books on acupressure at the library. This would be a wonderful skill to have in a SHTF situation. Think about the discomfort you might be able to relieve and the bartering that might bring you when needed.

    There is also a product called “Voltern Gel”, which is a cream pain relief product in a tube. It is a prescription only product but works quickly and very well. If you can get a doctor to prescribe this stuff my suggestion is to try and keep some for daily use and every so often put a tube of this in your “bug in/bug out” supplies.

    I’ve known plenty of chronic pain in my time so I hope these suggestions help someone out there needing some relief.

    One more suggestion, not pain related, that could prove invaluable in a SHTF situation. Each person will have to decide if they are comfortable with this or not though. If anyone’s medical care is through an HMO type situation there will be a date on meds indicating when to reorder those meds. DO NOT wait until all the present meds are gone before reordering the prescription, reorder as soon as the date indicates you can do so. The few pills left from the previous week/month can be put back for a SHTF situation. Yes, there is an expiration date on all meds, usually one year, but quite often meds in pill form actually last much longer. This DOES NOT include narcotics though. Just a suggestion I got online and I indeed do this with my own meds.

  8. Gulfcoast Gal says:

    Don’t forget salt water for sore throat gargle or as an oral rinse for gum infections.

    Ammonia for bug bites & also for bringing someone out of a faint. Therefore, a “Bite-Stick” serves two purposes in First Aid kit.


  9. Old Farmer says:

    Read the book Opium for the Masses. It answers a lot of questions. Another good ref is How To Grow and Harvest Opium : .Knowledge is power! Having the info is not illegal. By the way, there is a small amount of Opium in poppy seeds. Ask anyone who has ever been urine tested for drugs. Also, every variety of Poppy produces opium, some better than others. If you grew marijuana in your front yard, the law would be all over you. Millions of homes have Poppies growing in plain sight. Raw opium, that processed from plants grown in ones yard, can not easily cause on to OD. You would have to ingest or smoke massive quantities. Read the book and do the research. You will find that pain medication and pain management is not difficult with just basic training. After the crisis is not a good time to start your research.

  10. SpecOpsWarrior says:

    Something most people don’t realize is that physical exercise can actually ease pain and can ease anxiety and put you in a better mood so you can deal with the pain more effectively. When you are in pain the last thing that you want to do is go out and exercise but it does help and the more you do it the better you feel. A doctor at the VA told me this and it was really tough at first but after the first couple of days I started to feel less pain and now I went from taking pain meds every 4 hours around the clock to only needing them about 3 days a week now. You don’t have to run marathons or anything, just getting up and around, maybe a slow walk around the block to start with.

  11. Crushed garlic used to be called “poor man’s penicilin” or “Russian Penicilin” because of it’s ability to discourage wound infections. Garlic is easy to grow most everywhere in the U.S. and can also be used in cooking and canning. It is also known to stimulate the immune system. Koreans have eaten it raw for centuries to discourage mosquito bites. I guess it “sours the milk”, so to speak.

  12. Hello David, excellent article. For the past year I had been dealing with gallbladder issues to where I would be in quite a bit of pain for 3-5hrs and would deal with it by jumping or pacing or running/jogging inside the house and this escalated until I ended up in the emergency room this last Valentines day because the pain became to great to deal with. Of coarse after discussing my pain with the physicians they gave me morphine which helped. After my trip to the emergency room I really gave a lot of thought to how or what somebody would or should take in the event of a trauma or other serious pain related issue when the medical services community was either out of service or overwhelmed because of either a natural or man made disaster. You article and the readers comments have shed lots of light on this subject.

  13. For pain – I do use white willow bark & valerian. Arnica is also good, both taken orally or used as a cream or liquid. I like the kind that dissolves i your mouth. It is taken often in small amounts & has been very effective when taken this way. (My first experience was after a tough hike aggravated a lower back injury. I took a little every time I work up at night – a few times. By morning, the pain was gone.) I also use valerian root & a product from the health food store called “Sore No More” (there are both warming & cooling formulas)

    For asthma – I use lobelia tincture – just rub it on my chest. Rarely, I put a drop or two under my tongue – settles the asthma well. It can be used often. It is available in capsules, but one must be aware that it is also a purgative; it you’ve been eating junky food, it will get rid of it for you in short order – but you will feel like a million bucks for days after – lol. Yes, it did happen to me once. Orally, it is good for pain due to muscle spasms. You can also rub the tincture on the affect area for leg cramps, back spasms, even menstrual cramps. My husband won’t ski or backpack without it b/c he is prone to leg cramps. Use is as a preventative before bed for that. too.

  14. Large amounts of garlic will kill bacterical infections.

    • Honeysuckle flower tea is supposed to be anti-viral. I wonder if Honeysuckle Honey is, too. Any thoughts?

  15. I enjoyed this article about pain reduction. It was very interesting. I especially enjoyed the information about honey being a natural antibiotic by Donna K. Please continue to post other pain remedies as they become available.

  16. I was a welder and on the occasions where I received flash burns to my eyes I would cut a potato in half and put the halves onto my eyes. The potato would draw the radiation out of the eyes and would be better the next day.

  17. David….I woke up in 97 with the worst headache of my life and it has never gone away. I have already been taking Morphine and now up to three times a day for the pain, but I still hurt sometimes so bad I can’t hardly think. I have tried everything and the diagnoses is Arthritis of the Nervous System. Makes sense to me, I hurt everywhere else too. My Dr. is afraid to give me more, he is afraid it could kill me, it seems like that is happening anyhow. Before, If the pain was to really spike, I used to use Stadol, it would put me out for a while, at least I did not know I was hurting then, but thanks to the FDA, it has been removed from the market. I messed up my lower back and had to have surgery to repair the damage to relieve a pinched sciatic nerve down my left leg. The nerve is unpinched now, but I am in so much pain from both situations I can’t walk due to lower back pain now. And yes, I have put on weight like crazy, so I know that don’t help either. My Dr. tells me the next step up the pain control latter is Methadone, and that is also the most potent and last pain killer there is. What is the Natural alternative to that medication? I am 55 and have been in and out of the hospital all my life for surgeries, trauma related injuries, and broken bones. I am now disabled and house bound, I live in fear of hurting myself again everyday. I am so Thankful to know about today’s Newsletter information, but I have been given so much Morphine in my life the Doc says I am nearly immune to it. I have been very concerned what I would do if I could not find it naturally in a survival situation, it is a CDS listed substance and they don’t just pass it out? It helps probably more than I think it does, but less and less it seems as time goes by. Why would any MORON want to use it for recreational purposed. I am also an old cop, the first thing affected from Alcohol to Drugs is your Sense of Reasoning, but the stuff does not seem to bother me that much. I prefer not to drive at all, and am very careful not to hurt myself just in any way. That is as long as no body bothers my wife in front of me. I’m also a preachers kid and used to have a pretty good pop in both hands. I taught weapons retention and weapons removal, so I don’t carry one, I figure to use theirs. After a long stay in the hospital afterwards everything will be back to normal. I don’t think this old body can take another major hit, but you never know. If we could get the “Original Americans” knowledge, before we white people showed up in their country on all of this stuff, we might not need Doctors at all, they didn’t seem to need them. Thank You, for this excellent Newsletter today, and the others.

    • Hypnosis works for pain control, not just for painless childbirth. It should only be used if the cause of the pain is diagnosed. You don’t want to turn off the “check engine” light until you determine what’s wrong with the car.

    • Sam Williams says:

      We have devolved into pharmakea and poisoned foods. The biggest fear big government, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and giant agriculture have is that we will discover we can be better off without them.
      Have you tried the Paleo lifestyle? It is an attempt to reduce poisins in our diet.

  18. AutumnGal says:

    I’m puzzled with your intent to grow poppies and “make some bread” yet you say “don’t harvest them”… I sure don’t want to go to a very bad fed prison or any other kind, for that matter 🙂 However, I am very interested in natural health care on ALL levels since taking the man made chemicals are not an option for me. I experience life threatening side effects from them.
    I’ve heard but haven’t needed to try it; Applying an onion slice on a bruise such as Susie’s gr-mother and the potato. My Mom used a potato poltice all the time I was growing up. She scraped a potato, to dreate a mushy portion and applied it as a poltice for any type infected areas Will also romove (draw) a splinter out without damaging the surrounding area.

  19. Donna K. says:

    Honey is a natural antibiotic. Use it as you would any antibiotic cream … on a cut, on a scrape … it will promote healing and help to prevent infection.

    • My mother was a nurse, in England, during WWII. They relied heavily on whisky, honey & lemon. I suspect, in a pinch, tea or rose hips could replace the lemon. I had “chronic Bronchaitus” as a kid and lived on WHL toddys and WHL cough syrup. I’m still here…

      • Keep in mind that alcohol is incredibly inefficient as a pain medicine…both for chronic pain and for accute pain. It causes dehydration, taxes internal organs, and requires too close (in my opinion) to the lethal dose to be effective for surgery or extreme accute pain.

      • Mom and Grandma would mix up Whiskey, Honey and Lemon for sore throat. I still use the same cure. If nothing else, it does relieve a cough for a while.

  20. anyone have any natural remedies for common allergies?
    that would be handy in an emergency

    • george w says:

      sev eral cultures use something called a “netti-pot”. you place a small amount of warm water with some sea- salt in it; it is then used to rinse your nasal cavaties.not only does this help with allergies, but helps a great deal before and after flying and during cold season to help prevent them.

      • I have allergies and try to use my netti pot on a daily basis. It makes a HUGE difference for me.

      • Neti pots are very useful, but you must be careful what water you use. Surprise! The water from your spigot is not sterile and in many cases actually may contain live organisms. These are not things you want to introduce to your nasal passages! I boil my neti pot water with the “salt/baking soda” addition in the microwave using a glass container and then add the boiled solution to my neti pot while it is still very hot to help sanitize the neti pot too. (My neti pot is plastic so I don’t boil the solution in it.) Bottled water is not sterile either so boiling is your best bet.

    • Mint. I carry Spearmint Gum, the stronger the better, for my asthma attacks. I’m allergic to the stuff in the “inhalers”. Peppermint works too, I just don’t like it. The Menthal is the active ingredient, but some people are very allergic to menthal, so use caution.

      Baking Soda & water paste works for bee stings and most rashes. (Calamine is better for Poison Ivy & Poison Oak, & it’s cheap)

    • Dave,

      I’m no doctor, and hopefully a doctor can correct or clarify what I’m about to say.

      My understanding and experience is that the body’s histamine response (allergies) is additive. As an example, I’m incredibly allergic to cats. If I am around cats at the same time that something I’m allergic to is blooming, and I’ve wrestled in the yard with my sons after I’ve eaten lots of white bread and had refined sugar, my response to the cats is almost immediate puffy, teary eyes and a tight throat.

      If, on the other hand, I’ve been eating good, using my neti pot, sleeping good, exercising (stress under control) then the response to the cat is mild discomfort.

      All of that to say, if you get rid of as many factors that you CAN control, you won’t have as big of an allergic response to the factors that you can’t control..

    • shirley says:

      Yes! I have found in healthbooks that honey made from bees in your area will help you get over pollen allergies for that area. Farmers who have bee hives wil somethimes sell their honey alongside the road. I found this in many books of Natural Medicine. I never tried this, but I did try something else about 4 years ago that worked so well that when I read abouth the honey, I didn’t need it. I was allergic to many pollen of trees and flowers, and grass. My mother had this and all my brothers and sister, 4 siblings, had this. I would sometimes have terrible headaches from my allergies. I brought NasalCrom. Read the instructions. Took it to my Dr. and asked what he thought about this. To my surprise, he knew about it. It is over the counter, but he said he heard good things about it. He also said that he heard it was a little expensive ( it was $15 at that time) so, if I would like, he would write a prescription for me for it. He said it was the very same ingredients, but it might work out better for me through my insurance. I tried the over the counter, since I already bought it. I followed the directions explicitly. It worked! I am now only allergic to dust, and not as bad as before. I still smell things perfectly. No more headaches. Once in a great while, I sneeze mutiple times, maybe from dust. I only had to spray my nose 3-4 times every day through the allergy season, at the same time so I wouldn’t miss any sprays. I think it took 3 and 1/2 bottles. Well Worth It! Let me know if you have any questions. Good Luck! PS: I really hope you get this–please let me know.

  21. shirley says:

    David, I heard on the TV news that before the big tornadoes rips through your building, there is a tremendous popping of the ears. I thought of putting chewing gum in my “Tornado First Aid Kit”, things in a Plastic Bin in my Safe Room, for this. I just read in my email from Dr. Mercola that Chlorophyl is good for radioactivity. I guess it “neutralizes” it. Would Chlorophyl gum work? Could you, please, find out for us. Also, how much, for how many days? Thanks.

  22. shirley says:

    I have heard from reputable people that Cherries help with pain. (Look it up in any Natural Medicine Book) I know there is copper in cherries and that they can also help older people, say over 70, with oxygen getting in their blood. If your body doesn’t get oxygen through the blood circulation, you get very tired, no energy, all the time. Some older people are going through a lot of blood transfussions these days, under their Doctor’s orders, for this medical reason. Grow a Cherry tree. A dwarf one if you don’t have a great deal of room for the roots. See a professional at a Nursery. You can can cherries, or freeze them if our freezers are still working. With summer upon us, look up a community school or the Extension connected with a University, to sign up for a class to learn canning.

    • Don’t forget dehydration. If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can pit the cherries by cutting in half, drop halves in ascorbic acid solution (in & out quickly), and spread on a white sheet on a sunny day (direct sun, early in the morning.) Let dry. It’s best to cover lightly with cheesecloth to discourage 6-legged “moochers”. (NOT plastic, as it holds in moisture.) Check every couple of hours. If not dry by dusk, roll the sheet up (takes 2 people) and put out again the next day.

  23. Honey is great for hay fever, and is also a bactericide for wounds, I have read.

    Another thing most people don’t hear about is hydrogen peroxide as a disinfectant. I also use it as a food preservative. I can open a can of crab meat, put it in a sealed plastic container with a tablespoon of h2o2, and use it occasionally for over a month, it’s still good. When you cook, the hydrogen peroxide decomposes into water and oxygen.

    Also, colloidal silver can easily be made with flashlight batteries, and will preserve milk, I tested for 3 days, still good.

    • HAPPYCLASPER says:

      For Hayfeaver LOCAL Honeycomb or Cappings Chewed 1 to 3 each day if not avable 2teaspoons of honey at each meal.For burns relieves pain & prevents Blistering,Bed Wetting give 1teaspoonful at bed time,Also help s with pain from old age
      I noticed that my joint pain is relieved after I sting myself (inflected @ Joint)
      Just a Dumb Bee Keeper

  24. SpecOpsWarrior says:

    There are a lot of really good ideas here,,, thanks. I have chronic pain in my legs and chest from wounds received and need opiate pain meds on occasion. I have built up a couple of months worth of extra meds if I should need it, however, I am going to look into growing a batch of poppy for long term survival situations. Tylenol and Ibuprofen work suprisingly well if you know relaxation techniques and can get you through some pretty tough pain. I have heard that honeybee venom works for some people and it might be worth looking into. I think having some form of pain medication should be in every kit because the situations that are going to cause sociatial breakdown are going to also have injuries, and like the article said, being able to treat severe pain effectively could be lifesaving, be it you or your family or others.

  25. Just an idea if planning on growing Papaver Somniferum. In Maine possession of the seeds is legal, however just growing this is considered possession of a narcotic drug (a felony). I checked our state website and found this out, might be worth a quick check online first.
    Stay Safe!

  26. MITCH M. says:


    • The Amazon links that I provided are for poppy seeds that are intended to be planted. If I were to venture a guess, I’d guess that the seeds that you’ve been buying have been sterilized so that there is less chance of germination during storage of the seeds and storage of dishes/items made with the seeds.

  27. I had a doctor operate on my spine several years ago. He left me in chronic pain. another doctor has tried to repair damage done 3 times to no avail. Been wondering what to do when pain meds are no longer available thanks I will check this out Don

  28. The only “poppies” I seem to be able to grow, are “California poppies”… and only the “wild” variety (fancy cultivars don’t even sprout, as far as I can tell). I’ve tried to grow “bread seed” poppies and a couple other varieties of P. somniferum (mainly for the dried pods they produce), but had no luck. No luck with the “Flander’s Field ” poppies, either. I’m in San Diego– USDA Zone 10+/Sunset Zone 23– does anybody have any “how to grow” suggestions?

    • Do you have a lot of birds where you plant the seeds? I had a problem with nothing coming up when I planted certain seeds. Then I got a realistic looking rubber snake (like the boys used to like to play with) and put it in the garden – then, everything came up!!

  29. Check out wild lettuce (lactuca virosa). Historically its been considered an alternate to opium, both the seeds and the leaves.

  30. I have two books which I purchased from the Southwest Indian Foundation titled “A Handbook of Native American Herbs” by Alma R. Hutchins which describes different herbs and where and how to harvest wild plants and their best uses and “Secrets of Native American Herbal Remedies” by Anthony J. Cicchoke, D.C. Ph.D. Both books are pretty good as far as they go, but I think combined with the Petersons field guide they might even be better, because neither book has very good pictures or descriptions of the plants themselves. The second book I mentioned has good resources as to how to prepare plants for medicinal purposes.

  31. Celery is supposed to be great for headaches.
    The native Americans used a willow branch tea for pain.
    The aloe plant is amazing for cutting a piece slicing it open and laying it on a closing wound or burn, wrap and leave on over night.
    My grandma from NC, had an infected cut on the tip of her thumb, took a potatoe and cut it in half, cored out a place to slide it over her thumb and wrapped it, slept with it and in the morning took it off. The starchy potatoe had pulled all the infection out and it was healing.
    Crazy glue is great in an emergency to close a cut– cauterizes and stitches so to speak, it is caustic and sterile.
    Slim tampons work wonders for a bloody nose that won’t quit, or for a deep puncture wound, they swell and close up the bleed (I know I know…but my dad showed me that one).
    The knot on a pine tree sometimes contains a cyst of sorts that a Native American dress a wound on my dad’s hand that wouldn’t heal, he opened the cyst and folded it over the wound so that the sap stuck into the wound and wrapped it, two days later, wrap came off and it was healed over.
    My dad has also used dried rose hip tea every winter for years. The Native Americans showed it to the settlers to use to ward off scurvey (vitamin C deprivation).

    One last point, I had my three kids in the mid eighties, the height of natural childbirth. My son weighed in at 11 lbs 4 oz. No drugs. They weren’t offered. I had gone thru the Lamaze classes and basically didn’t have a choice. I have since used that breathing for other encounters like a biopsy when the novacaine didn’t work, a broken hand that couldn’t be addressed for several hours…etc. Its basically a way to take control of the physical with the mental. You put yourself in control and do not let go for any reason. Mental toughness and an assurance that you can handle it go further than a lot of meds will ever get you.

    Last, the best medicine besides your own brain, to me would be benedryl. I keep that on hand for anything/everything.
    Of course, everyone should do their own research, know what they can or can’t take based on current meds and medical history. Check with your pharmacist or doctor about any med interactions. Google, Mayo clinic website, all great places to start.

    Just my opinion. 🙂

  32. If you are subject to random federal drug tests because of your job like I am, don’t risk taking the poppy seeds. They have been known to show up as heroine on the test. When I retire, I’ll be able to eat poppyseed cakes and rolls. But until then, I don’t eat them. Why take the chance?

    • Gene,

      It’s more than just taking a chance…it used to be that you should expect to test positive if you’re eating poppy seeds. *Most* labs have raised the acceptable limits over the last 10 or so years and poppy seed eaters aren’t getting tripped up like they used to. That being said, if you can’t live without poppy seeds, know the testing procedures of the lab your company uses, disclose your penchant for poppy seeds, and find out if they allow a retest in the event of a positive test.

  33. This is something that is becoming a passion of mine. With the high price of herbs and medicinal plants at stores along with the times we are in. I want to know and harvest as much as possible of my own. Seriously considering planting my front yard in red clover next year. A pound of the blossoms last time I purchased was $30.00… don’t know if my yard will yeild a pound but I thinks it’s worth trying. It’s good for the bees and requires very little watering..

    Thanks For The Information You Share,

    • What do you use the red clover for??
      Also, we are looking into a small bee colony for our backyard, any thoughts?
      My mother said her Grandma in NC, used honey for lots of things like cuts and burns, and even a homemade lotion for her hands/feet/face and said her Grandma’s skin was gorgeous…. ever heard of any thing like that? I have looked for some recipes but none sound close to what she was describing…..
      thank you !

      • Suzanne says:

        The standard care for burns at our house consists of the homeopathic remedy Cantharis taken orally immediately after the burn occurs. The next step is to mix equal parts of cold aloe juuice (we keep a bottle in the frig at all times) and a fortified raw, organic honey (a good one to use is Y.S. Organic Bee Farms brand) and saturate the burned area in this mixture until the pain subsides. If the burn is on a digit we just keep it submerged. For other areas use a clean cloth staurated in the mix. Keep the cloth on the burn until the pain subsides. This treatment works amazingly well. Not only will it treat the pain but the honey is a natural antiseptic. We frequently use the honey by itself to heal and close up wounds. A little goes a long way. I’ve never found anything in a drug store that worked as well.

  34. Susan C. says:

    White willow contains Salicylic acid from which aspirin is made. The Native Americans used the inner bark to make a bitter tea for pain and fever reduction.The buds, leaves, and bark of willow, birch, poplars, black haw, and wintergreen are all rich in salicylates. Valerian herb is a sedative and helps ease tension associated with injury thus relieving some of the pain. Also, The roots of ginseng, angelica, wild yam, and black cohosh are rich in anti-inflammatory steroids. 20-30 drops of tincture made from the fresh or dry roots of any of these herbs helps ease sore, painful joints when rubbed on topically. Oil of clove will relieve the pain of a tooth ache when applied to the cavity.

    • I had an open hole when the blood clot fell out of a wisdom tooth extraction. The oral surgeon used a strip of cloth soaked in clove oil and packed it in the hole. The clove oil is naturally numbing and healing. Worked very well. While I was typing in my reply you posted yours along a lot of the same lines!! This too is one of my passions. I think we miss the boat with so much of that is out there in the natural as opposed to the man made. Thanks for some great info!!

      • Sandra M says:

        @Sally I too had a tooth extraction with loss of the blood clot, however the dental tech told me to try a wet, used tea bag in the open wound……it worked!! She something about the tannins in the tea and the moisture of the bag preventing the wound from “drying out” which is Excrutiating! Maybe this is only anecdotle so…..

  35. Shawn M says:

    Hi David!
    One resource I use for pain, as well as other medical situations that I think is VERY good is:
    Peterson Field Guides: Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants and Herbs. By Steven Foster and James A. Duke. This is a paperback available from Amazon that has Excellent color pictures, so its easy to see what the plants look like, Has a good description of what the plants look like, what parts are used for what, and how to prepare them to some extent. That could be a bit better, but when I see it says flowers and leaves used as a tea…. I can pretty much figure out how to make a tea…. it doesn’t say how much which is one draw back, but I guess I can work that out myself…..use the old advice….start low and work up.

    I do have several others that are more specific on that point, but this is the best one I’ve found for identifying the plants and what parts you want to use.

    Stay safe!

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