Herbalism for the Zombie Apocalypse


Episode I

I am an everyday woman amidst this crazy zombie world. I like knitting gun cozies in my spare time, hunting zombies with my dog, and brewing healing teas to support my family. I rely on herbs, mostly the ones I can find rather than ones I grow, to care for my family. I never went to school for this; life shifted so suddenly and there I was, facing a horde of zombies like the rest of us survivors and needing to learn on the job, so to speak.

I’ve tried a lot, succeeded and failed along the way, and managed to amass a wealth of know how it seems I ought to share with the world. I reckon it’s up to those of us who’ve been living amidst the undead to share our knowledge as best we can, and if I know anything, it’s how to survive the zombie apocalypse while staying healthy and reasonably balanced even when those around me are falling to pieces. So long as I can, I promise to share my experiences and practices with you, but I don’t promise to take responsibility for how they might work or not work for you. If the zombies have taught me anything, it’s that we’re each responsible for our own healthcare and survival. Just because an herb has worked for me doesn’t mean it’ll work for you or the zombies you face. Still, when you’re faced with a zombie crisis, it’s better to try something rather than flail about in a panic. Maybe that something will be a tip you picked up here.

With all that said, the first herbal practice I want to share with you is one that’s saved my skin, literally. Just a few months into the Apocalypse, I was flaying one of the undead for fish bait. We were living near a terrific salmon stream at the time, and my hubby had discovered quite by accident that the local salmon relished dried zombie…and happily seemed immune to the virus. So, there I was, gloved as an extra precaution and cutting away when my hound sounded the alarm. The knife slipped, and I managed to slice off a pea-sized strip of my thumbright at the first joint.

Thankfully, we were not too far from an abandoned suburban yard. Comfrey and yarrow grew in abundance in one of the yards there. After checking to see what Harvey was on about and seeing it was just a stray and bedraggled cat, I made my way over to the yard and picked a handful of yarrow and a couple of the younger comfrey leaves. I spied an overgrown lavender as well, so I picked a stem of leaves. Flowers of the lavender would have been better, but the plant wasn’t yet in bloom. If it had been available, I would have totally gone for lavender essential oil, or better yet, tea tree essential oil. Times being as they were, I went for what was easily available. Comfrey, I’d once heard, is a terrific skin healer. It’s so good at causing new skin to grow that you’ve got to be careful to ensure you haven’t got any infection in the wound before you apply it. That’s where the yarrow and lavender came in handy. Yarrow does an amazing job of drawing stuff out, both debris and germs, and lavender is a good and generally safe antiseptic.

As I was in the field alone with a bloody, and by that time seriously painful wound that was bleeding pretty heavily, I chewed a mess of yarrow, comfrey, and lavender into a juicy paste and carefully packed it onto my wound. I wrapped the second comfrey leaf around my thumb and tied it in place herbs and all with some strands of dried, overgrown grass. I gathered more comfrey, yarrow and lavender to cut up later as a poultice when I changed my bandage and made my way home. Inside of three weeks, my skin had covered the cut well enough, and within six weeks it was fully healed. Sure, there was a scar, but now, five years later, even that has been slowly healing away. And the nerve damage around the wound has mostly healed itself. I attribute all of that to comfrey with the capable help of lavender and yarrow.

If you face a deep cut, whether or not you can get to one of those roving healthcare tents or better yet one of the few remaining crisis centers, apply a goodly poultice of comfrey, yarrow and lavender straight away to slow the bleeding, draw out any germs or debris from the wound, and help the body to move into healing without delay. It may well save your skin, too.

May you be well,

Zombie Hunter C.

Publisher’s Disclaimer: This column is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locals or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

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