Buy a Book:
Herbal Antibiotics, 2nd edition by Stephen Buhner (2012) or Herbal Antivirals by same, due out Sept 24, 2013 according to Amazon.
There are 2 editions of Herbal Antibiotics, the first one published in the 1990s. Get the 2nd edition. It is much, much better.
a used PDR (Physician’s Desk Reference) a few years old is fine or a Nursing Drug Handbook (used also. My version is 2004)
Note: With the books bought in the first 3 months, you should be prepared to handle most any issues that will come up in your family, both in everyday situations and in more austere ones.
(read Herbal Antibiotics before deciding which of the herbs you’d like to buy. These are the ones I personally want and don’t have local access to)
echninacea angustifolia *not* purpurea (immune booster)
cryptolepis sanguinolenta (systemic antibiotic herb)
sweet annie (artemisia annua) — systemic antibiotic herb
oil of oregano (oregano essential oil) – several of my friends use a drop under the tongue to quickly get over an illness. Honestly, I have no idea if it works, but I’m going to try it. Approx $10 for 1/2 oz from Mountain Rose Herbs
I also like to use grapefruit seed extract in a neti pot to help clear up sinus infections
Supplies and Over the Counter:
burn salve (a bit on the expensive side. Can also use raw honey)
nitrile gloves — don’t use latex, as allergies can develop
antibiotic ointment (many sources recommend not buying triple antibiotic ointment, as the neomycin can cause skin irritation)
isolation gowns, or large trash bags (see page 36 Improvised Medicine, available on Amazon’s Look Inside)
a good stethoscope, if you are more than a rank beginner. A good stethoscope is used to check blood pressure, listen to lung sounds, heart beat, abdominal sounds. The best stethoscope for the price, imho, is the UltraScope. Check it out here for $41. This is the brand I used when I was nursing, and I could hear better with it than a Littman. A bonus is they have a fabulous warranty. Mine is 7 or 8 years old and I want to replace the tubing that’s faded and get an extra set of ear pieces to have on hand. It will cost me only $10 to make it like new again, and that’s merely to pay shipping. When I lost one of the earpieces a few years ago, the company sent me a new set free of charge.
To Do: create forms for medical record keeping–
assessment and progress notes (keep a record of what the injured area looks like, or what the complaint is. Also write down what you do to help heal, and make notes with the date as it improves or worsens. Doctors don’t rely on their memories, and neither should you.) Just a simple notebook page with the patient’s name at the top, and the date, is fine. You can make it like a journal entry, or be more specific and use SOAP (subjective findings, objective findings, assessment and plan. Here is a good introduction) Whatever you do, use abbreviations and terminology that you understand and will understand next month. Don’t use TID if you can never remember if it means Twice per Day or Three times per Day
Medication Administration Record (MAR) — write down what medication or herb you are giving, the dosage, and how often it should/can be administered. Write down also what time you give the dose. You can also use this for dressing changes. I’ll go further into this in a later post, but every time we get sick I make up a simple MAR to remind myself when the next dose of herbs/meds is due, and to remember when I gave the last dose. Otherwise I’m stuck thinking “did I give that noon dose of Tylenol, or was that at 2:30?”
abscess, incision, and drainage videos (youtube)
read p 80-89 in Where There Is No Doctor — cleaning wounds, wound care, how to recognize infection, and when and how to close a wound
video on how to remove mask, gown, and gloves to reduce contamination (youtube)
For the Fish — (we mustn’t forget to keep our beloved tropical fish healthy)