We’ve published plenty of articles about how to grow a survival garden and waxed lyrically about the best herbs for bruises but, we’ve barely scraped the surface of what medicinal plants can do for you if, or when, the SHTF. This is where The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies comes to the rescue.
If you want to survive in a world where drug stores are a thing of the past and pharmaceutical companies have lost their stranglehold on modern medicine, you need to know a bit more than just whether comfrey prefers full sun or partial cover.
The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies is a survivalist’s bible detailing which medicinal herbs treat which symptoms and health issues. (You can find it on Amazon (it has a rating of 4.7/5 with over 5700 ratings!) or read more on The Lost Book’s website)
It can tell you whether a salve or a poultice would be most effective if you got bitten by a rattlesnake or stung by a bullet ant, or if the type of herb you’re using is better taken internally or is more suited to external use.
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Containing detailed information about the properties of plants, how to make plant remedies, and which traditional medicines can be used in a health crisis, this invaluable resource is every survivalist’s first-aid bible.
What Is The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies?
Drawing on 20 years of experience, Dr. Nicole Apelian’s knowledge of herbs is second to none.
Following on from her 2019 publication, A Reference Guide to Surviving Nature: Outdoor Preparation and Remedies, The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies provides a more comprehensive overview of traditional health cures and how they can combat severe diseases.
The book opens with a table of contents that lists hundreds of health conditions and the various herbal remedies available to treat them.
Not only do the authors include a wide range of herbal medicines, but they also explore other potential treatments.
Although a health professional may balk at the idea of using bleach to treat eczema, The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies explores the possibility, advising on the process, dilution, and frequency of use.
Find out why you should never leave home without a packet of activated charcoal (where to buy), how to use woolly lamb’s ear as a wound dressing, and why a little bit of turmeric goes a long way.
There are also sections on emergency care and poisoning that will be of particular interest to any self-respecting survivalist and outdoor adventurer.
I got the digital version, which I got a local store to print out and bind for me. Now that I’ve had a chance to read right through it, I wish I had the actual book instead. However great it is to have it printed out in A4, it would be much easier to store and take with me in the field in actual paperback form!
Contents of The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies
Medicinal Herbal Reference Guide
- Bones (inc. breaks, osteoarthritis, and osteoporosis)
- Cancer (inc. prevention and treatment)
- Kids (inc. bedwetting, colic, croup, and teething pain)
- Digestive and intestinal problems (inc. pain, bloating, constipation, food poisoning, Crohn’s disease, and much more)
- Drug addiction (inc. alcohol, nicotine, and opiates)
- Ears (inc. aches, infections, swimmer’s ear, and more)
- Eyes (inflammation, glaucoma, sties, and more)
- Feminine issues (inc. breastfeeding, childbirth, endometriosis, fertility, menopause, menstrual cycle, and much more)
- Glands (adrenal fatigue, thyroid, spleen, and more)
- Heart and circulatory system (inc. anemia, blood pressure, cholesterol, heart attack, varicose veins, and more)
- Immune system (allergies, autoimmune diseases, lupus, MS, and more)
- Infectious diseases (inc chickenpox, colds, flu, malaria, dengue fever, E. coli, fungal infections, herpes, and much more)
- Liver, gallbladder, and spleen (inc. fatty liver, detoxification, hepatitis B, jaundice, and more)
- Male issues (inc. hormones, impotence, prostate, and more)
- Mouth (inc. cavities, cold sores, toothache, bleeding, etc.)
- Muscles and joints (inc. arthritis, joint pain, sprains, rheumatism, carpal tunnel, and more)
- Nervous system (Alzheimer’s, anxiety, depression, dementia, headaches, insomnia, and much more)
- Respiratory (asthma, cough, pleurisy, bronchitis, congestion, whooping cough, and more)
- Skin (cuts, acne, boils, bruises, burns, eczema, frostbite, hives, infections, insect bits, and much more)
- Whole body (altitude sickness, anti-oxidants, detox, fatigue, gout, anti-inflammatories, endurance, etc.)
- Emergency care (internal and external bleeding, fever, snake bites, spider bites)
How to Harvest the Healing Power From Plants
- How to harvest herbs and how to dry them
- Making powdered herbs and capsules
- How to make infusions (hot and cold), teas, dedoctions, and oil infusions
- Detailed steps to salve-making
- How to make tinctures, extracts, and double-extractions
- Medicinal syrups, poultices, and an awesome field poultice recipe.
- A detailed guide to how Nicole manages Multiple Sclerosis
This is an overview of more than 180 plants and mushrooms, with 2-4 color photos of each plant to help you identify them.
As the blurb of the book mentions:
The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies has color pictures of over 181 healing plants, lichens, and mushrooms of North America (2-4 pictures/plant for easy identification).
Inside, you’ll also discover 550 powerful natural remedies made from them for every one of your daily needs. Many of these remedies had been used by our forefathers for hundreds of years, while others come from Dr. Nicole’s extensive natural practice.
Each plant has a short introduction, how to identify them, their edible uses, and their medicinal properties. It includes guidance on what they can be useful for, as well as recipes for many of them, like sauerkraut, soothing calendula salve, California Poppy infusion, and chamomile liqueur.
It has a whole section on trees and shrubs as well – as you may have read in our Salad Grows on Trees article, many trees have exceptionally useful properties!
Turns out, you do make friends with salad…
Mushrooms and lichens have their own section, with instructions on extracting them.
Some mushrooms included are:
- Lion’s Mane
- Lungwort Lichen
- Turkey Tail
- Usnea Lichen (a.k.a. Old Man’s Beard), of which Nicole mentions: “If I had to pick only one medicine to have available to me, this would be the one.”
I particularly love the section on water-loving plants!
If you have a dam or pond full of duckweed, as I do, you’ll learn that duckweed can actually be eaten as a vegetable and is an excellent source of protein! It’s anti-bacterial and anti-fungal and its juice is said to help absorb toxins.
The book ends with a section on household remedies, like activated charcoal, bleach, boric acid, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, Epsom salts, and much more.
You’ll learn how to make Warming Ginger Cayenne Massage Oil for muscle pains and sore joints, as well as things like Boric Acid Eye Wash, a treatment for jock itch, tonic to boost your immune system, and cold and flu prevention remedies.
Good Things About The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies
With her co-author, Claude Davis, Nicole Apelian encourages us to become more independent and self-reliant by increasing their readers’ awareness of the following things.
1. Teaches You How to Identify Healing Plants
A full-color picture accompanies each detailed herbal plant description, making them easier to identify and eliminating any possible confusion.
Thanks to this book, I’ve just realized that the plant I perceived as a nuisance weed is actually the powerful herb, Anise Hyssop. I now plan on harvesting it and adding it to my bath to alleviate the sore muscles I’ve developed trimming my goats’ hooves.
2. Shows You How to Prepare Natural Remedies
While I consider myself something of an expert when it comes to making oils and balms, and can just about cobble together a herbal poultice and brew a decent cup of echinacea tea, when it comes to tinctures, plant extracts, and distillations, I’m at a complete loss.
At least I was before I read The Lost Book of Natural Remedies which gives detailed information on how to prepare herbal plants to treat a variety of health conditions.
For survival situations, a pre-prepared tincture is liable to be your best bet as it is absorbed into the body faster than any other form of natural remedy and can last for long periods without decomposing or becoming contaminated.
Knowing how to make a quick field poultice or bandage with herbs will also stand you in good stead for the end of the world as we know it, enabling you to treat traumatic wounds and prevent infection.
3. Advises You on Safe Dosages
We are often complacent about dosage when using herbal cures, assuming that, because they’re natural, they are somehow less potent or potentially dangerous.
Any herbal remedy program, however, needs to combine health protection with treatment.
Thorn Apple leaves, for instance, have, according to Apelian, “long been smoked in cigarette or pipe form, mixed with tobacco, for the treatment of asthma,” even though an overdose could cause “delirium and hallucinations and even death.”
Subsequently, a tincture is a safer way to access this plant’s health benefits.
4. Not Just Plants – Mushrooms Too
In addition to herbs and backyard plants, Apelian explores the world of mycelium, giving detailed descriptions of each mushroom, its appearance, and its potential benefits for health.
I’ve since discovered a proliferation of Turkey Tail mushrooms growing wild in a forest nearby and am now gearing myself up to using the double extraction process to access its properties.
I’m hoping it will help alleviate some of the inflammation I experience due to a degenerative back condition.
One Of The Lost Book Of Herbal Remedies’ Many Highlights
If you’re heading out into the wilderness, either for fun or because you’re running for your life, Apelian’s field poultice recipe is invaluable.
Using commonly found remedial plants, this poultice relieves pain, stops bleeding, reduces inflammation, and draws out toxins, making it an effective treatment for snake bites as well as wounds and injuries.
According to this informative book, to make up a field poultice, you could use Plantain only or mix it with Mullein that will “enhance the effects of the plantain.” Mullein will also add its own health benefits which include pain relief and accelerated wound healing.
Yarrow can also be added to your poultice to stop bleeding and for its anti-bacterial properties.
Things I Liked Less About This Book
The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies includes over 180 plants, mushrooms, and trees. That’s an awesome number of plants.
With that amount of information, however, comes a downside.
I found that I wanted more detail on the plants. I know that it would make a huge book of 180 plants went into more detail, but I love diving right into a particular plant.
My favorite herbal medicine book in the whole wide world, How Can I Use Herbs In My Daily Life (here it is on Amazon, but it’s hardly ever available – and here it is on their website), lists the specific properties of each plant, including constituents and actions, and the vitamins and minerals they contain.
Over the years, I’ve learned the benefits of constituents like bitters, tannins, and resins, and the issues the different actions are useful for (like analgesic, digestive, tonic, nervine, etc.) and I missed that info in this book.
I guess it’s not as “scientific” as I’m used to?
I like to see research and studies backing up information, and couldn’t find any in The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies. I know a lot of remedies are passed down from generation to generation – and there are often no funds for specific research into herbs.
But, when there are statements like “Research shows that ashwagandha has anti-tumor effects”, I suppose I like to read that specific research so a reference to where we might find this research would’ve been great.
I’m probably nitpicking, and as I mentioned, it would be nearly impossible to go into that much detail for 180+ plants. In the end, it’s a very valuable field guide that has a great amount of info that help you out of the poop if you need it.
There is also plenty of info in there for your daily life, boosting your immune system, improving endurance levels, etc. I think you’ll get a lot of valuable information out of this book, and it’s worth the money.
One last thing…
I also wanted more recipes. But then, I always want more recipes.
Specific recipes for specific issues are the one most useful thing you can learn. Even though there are quite a few in this book, and some (the Field Poultice, in particular) do go into detail about how to make them and the different herbs you can use, it doesn’t include this for all the herbs.
Taking Ashwagandha again, as an example.
The book does list that root extracts, leaf extracts, and tinctures are effective, and that powders can be added to food or drinks, though they have a strong taste. It mentions that adding honey can improve the flavor.
How to Maintain Your Health Status When the SHTF
When the SHTF, chances are, all those sources are going to dry up, leaving you without the benefits of modern medicine.
The Lost Book Of Herbal Remedies gives tips on what plants and herbs can help you live a healthier life, as well as those you can use to stop a virus from spreading, an infection from taking hold, or a life-threatening illness from getting out of control.
Say you’re surviving alone in a forest somewhere a daily dose of Echinacea could help keep you alive by boosting your immune system and fending off nasty viruses.
If you happen to eat something that doesn’t agree with you, ginger could help curb the feelings of nausea, potentially saving you from dehydration and other complications.
Perhaps you’ve got a photographic memory and can commit the contents of this medicine guidebook to memory but, if not, make sure you leave space for a copy in your bug-out bag.
About the Authors of The Lost Book of Remedies
The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies is written by Nicole Apelian and Claude Davis, whom you might know from Ask a Prepper (a pretty awesome website with info for SHTF and living a self-sufficient lifestyle).
Nicole explains her story in the video on The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies’ website. She suffers from MS and her story is truly inspirational – well worth a watch! She went from being in a wheelchair and having to have people help her with the most basic parts of life – to living in the wilderness by herself and living a fulfilled, healthy life.
All with the help of herbs.
She explains that many of the common weeds you find in your own backyard contain incredibly powerful substances to help us live a healthy life, pain-free.
Claude is probably best known for his website, Ask a Prepper. He’s an old-fashioned guy, fascinated by the old days.
Claude and his family live in a log cabin he built himself, they cook outside, make their own clothes – living what they believe in. He firmly believes that the teachings of our forebears can prepare us for anything life might throw at us.
The goal of The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies, for him, is “to save the most powerful remedies that we’ve lost to history, and to separate the true cures from the bogus ones that had no effect.”
Should You Buy The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies?
My final verdict is YES, I’m glad I bought it.
The photos make it easy to identify the plants you can use for specific purposes, and it has a good amount of information for over 180 plants, which makes it quite unique.
The section on making your own tinctures, salves, dedoctions, and other remedies is very useful, and it includes some great recipes you can use for specific issues or for general, day-to-day health.
Whether you’re sick of popping ineffective pills, bankrupt from costlier treatments, sick of consulting with health professionals, or simply interested in living a healthier lifestyle, The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies is a useful guide.
Packed with potentially life-saving information, this book warrants a space in every prepper’s bug-out bag and every homesteader’s bookshelf.
The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies contains invaluable information about how to replace pharmaceuticals with medicinal plants to successfully treat a variety of health issues while offering advice on preventative medicines as well as cures.
With detailed descriptions of each plant, step-by-step tutorials on everything from drying herbs to transforming them into a potent essential oil, and tips on what to apply and when the Lost Book of Herbal Remedies transforms the natural world into an instant first aid kit.