Month One:  Focus on Wound Care

Buy a Book: 

Survival medicine book.

At the beginning of the month, check out from your library or reserve through interlibrary loan:

Doom and Bloom Survival Medicine Handbook (beginner)

**101 Ways to Save on Health Care (Beginner)  If you have none of these books, this is my top choice, not because it’s more comprehensive than Doom and Bloom but because so much of it applies to NOW, rather than an emergency situation.  About half the book concerns self-care — or what to do *before* going to the doctor, and at what point you should if your home care hasn’t worked.  It’s written by a primary care doctor, so you know the information is sound.  And for $10, it’s a great price.  My library system carries it.

When There Is No Doctor (Beginner — not to be confused with WHERE There Is No Doctor)

Improvised Medicine (intermediate)  This is a fabulous book, and one I think every person who is preparing for an austere medical situation should have.  There is information suitable for the beginner to advanced practitioner.  However, if you are a beginner, I wouldn’t buy this on the first go through.  It is expensive compared to the other books ($45), and only about 15-20% would be applicable to someone with no or little medical training.  Because of this, I would buy 101 Ways or Doom and Bloom as my first choice, and this one later.

Village Medical Manual (2 volume set)  This is written to the educated lay person who has little medical training.  Thorough and comprehensive, buy it from here   I hesitate to label this beginner or intermediate.  It is written for the lay person, but it assumes a well-educated lay person.  If you struggled with high school, then this may not be the book for you.

From the website:

  With Village Medical Manual, Dr. Vanderkooi has targeted a frequently neglected category of medical caregivers: people who are well-educated in disciplines other than medicine living in rural areas of developing countries. These reluctant healers are frustrated by the unfamiliar jargon of books written for physicians and the lack of depth of health guides written for indigenous people. Through thorough research, extensive experience, common sense, logical arguments of contents, well-defined procedural plans and the use of everyday words, Dr. Vanderkooi has hit her mark very well.”
Neva Abbott, M.D., M.P.H.
Former Director of International Health
Wycliffe Bible Translators

Special Operations Medical Manual (intermediate/advanced)  Great book, but definitely not for a beginner.  You need medical training for this to be useful.

Another one to research is Armageddon Medicine (approx $80 from but I don’t see it on WorldCat (Beginner)  It is written by the same doctor who wrote 101 Ways.

After reviewing the books, decide which would be most useful to you and purchase.  Check prices through Amazon, Alabris, ABEbooks,  BetterWorldBooks, and Barnes and Noble.

After reviewing what you can, purchase the one that most applies to you and your current knowledge



herbs to make an antiseptic/closing wound powder (People’s Paste from Be Your Own “Doctor” recommended in Month 2)

comfrey root
slippery elm
bayberry root

cayenne  or turmeric (read about cayenne here and turmeric here)
astragalus (immune support)

Buy in powdered form, or buy whole herb and powder at home (it lasts longer, but you will need a grain mill to grind it easily).
To do: 

schedule doctor and dental checkups for each member

Make People’s Paste (recipe modified from Be Your Own “Doctor”, recommended in Month 2 — this is not the recipe generally found online)

1 part comfrey root powder
1 part slippery elm powder
1 part myrrh powder
1/2 part bayberry root powder
1/4 part juniper powder  (all parts of the plant are antiseptic.  Use the berries or needles)

Per Herbal Antibiotics (Buhner, 2012), garlic is not an effective antibiotic in clinical practice, but juniper is.  Because of this, I’ve replaced the garlic in the original recipe with juniper.


Non-mercury thermometer

optional: empty 0 or 00 gel capsules, and capsule machine.  Available from MountainRoseHerbs if you can’t find it elsewhere.  Easily make your own herbal capsules with this.

Basic (everyone should have these).  Bandaids, gauze, medical tape, telfa (non-stick) pads, dressings, Coban.

Coban is a stretchy “tape” that won’t stick to skin but does to itself.  It can be expensive to buy for humans, but Vet Wrap is easily available and inexpensive from farm supply stores.  And it comes in pretty colors 😀  It is especially useful for securing dressings to areas that tape doesn’t like to hold, like arms, elbows, etc.  Be careful not to stretch it so tight that circulation is cut off (easy to do).

Ace bandages.  Also good for securing dressings to difficult areas, like road rash on the arms when a child falls off a bike.  For homemade version, see here

Menstrual pads for large wounds (try to get unscented); Sam’s Club sells urinary incontinence pads in bulk and I’ve wondered if they would be as good.  Or a stock of lint-free, white cotton fabric/towels, such as flour sack dish towels.  I currently use these for diapers — they wash and dry easily, are very absorbent when folded, and can withstand boiling to disinfect if need be.  You could also watch for plain white muslin to go on sale at the fabric store and pick up a good amount.  Normal price is about $2/yard where I am; with a 40% or 50% off coupon, it’s an excellent deal.

Steri-strips or butterfly closures (or use a thin strip of duct tape.  Snip an area in the middle, not all the way through, to fold over to make a thinner area mid-strip so the adhesive isn’t on the wound.  Apply like butterfly strips)

Sutures, surgical staples

Wound cleansing supplies — antibacterial soap, hibiclens, clean water

Israeli combat dressing, QuikClot

For the Fish — (we mustn’t forget to keep our beloved tropical fish healthy)  I shop at

Cephalexin  Look here for info


About Marjorie Lang

I am co-creator of Wildwood Curriculum and passionate about making a Charlotte Mason homeschool accessible to everyone, regardless of religious or cultural beliefs. Follow me at
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