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    SELCO: What You MUST Know About SHTF Medicine

    May 17th, 2018
    The Organic Prepper
    Comments (30)
    Read by 7,168 people

    This article was originally published by Selco at The Organic Prepper

    SHTF medicine was one of the most valuable skills that I used when my country collapsed. I plan to use that medical knowledge again if times get bad, for me and my family, or simply for other people, as a help or skill for trade.

    When the SHTF, people used what was available for treating their medical condition. Results differed.

    All different kind of medical problems suddenly happened when the SHTF.

    SHTF medicine for chronic conditions

    Preppers usually think about injuries and wounds when they imagine real collapse, but tend to forget the spectrum of existing chronic medical conditions) that a lot of people cope with. Those conditions will not disappear when the SHTF, so if your father or spouse has a high blood pressure condition that probably means you will be more likely to deal with high blood pressure complications when SHTF than to treat gunshot wounds.

    It does not mean you do not have to know wound treatment, it means you HAVE to know how to deal with high blood pressure.

    So it makes sense to watch for already existing medical conditions within your family and to be ready to help with that when the SHTF.

    Depending on the level of your knowledge and other circumstances, this can mean learning about natural remedies for episodes of high blood pressure (garlic, for example) or choosing to have huge stashes of meds for high blood pressure, oral or in the form of injections, or learning how to control it with dietary changes, etc.

    Best is a combination of all of the above-mentioned skills and techniques.

    A frequent mistake is to “lean” on just one technique, skill, or philosophy.

    And that is exactly thing that is often seen in survival movement. Natural-herbal medicine.

    Natural medicine doesn’t always work.

    I knew several people who had knowledge about herbal medicine during hard times in the war. It was a valuable skill, simply because real medicines (drugs) were hard to find.

    So they treated people with their own “medicines”.  Most of them actually “sold ” those medicines. Some of them actually gave it as a present. (Of course, they always expected something in return. Rarely people do anything for free, which was pretty understandable at that time.)

    Some of that it worked, but more of it did not work. It was a situation where you took it or left it, and to take it usually meant some hope.

    Not to mention, a big number of scams occurred with that medicines.

    You need to understand that the range of medical condition that was happening at that time was pretty wide. Because the medical system was completely out, you could see anything.

    The important thing here is to understand that natural remedies might work in some conditions, while in others they are completely useless because of many reasons. (Too slow, too weak, lack of proper diet, a lot of stress…)

    I remember treating more than once wounds with a mixture of herbs and other natural remedies like honey, pine needles, and similar.

    And you know what was the result?

    If the wound got severely infected, the person lost part of their body or even their life.

    It was simple like that.

    I have seen cases of pneumonia treated with natural remedies from men who had generational knowledge about natural remedies. And yes, sometimes they did have success but often they did not have success.

    It was a desperate time. I saw people being treated after being not conscious for days, burning from fever with homemade hot balms, and prayers from 8 men next to their bed, but still they died.

    Do not get me wrong, people may die from pneumonia in the most modern societies with advanced medical care,  but here we are talking about common sense and layers.

    There is a reason why we are using antibiotics to fight serious infections and not natural remedies.

    Yes, part of that reason is the greed of big pharmaceuticals companies, I do agree with that. But antibiotics are needed to fight the most serious infections.

    So, if you put all of your money on natural remedies, you need to consider again your prepping philosophy.

    Natural remedies have their place as an important skill for SHTF, but as an addition to conventional medical knowledge, stash, and skills. Or, in a worst-case scenario, for use when it is the only way to treat illnesses or injuries.

    What makes sense vs. what is fancy

    When SHTF you will have to solve problems (including medical issues) in the quickest, most efficient way.

    There are few reasons for that:

    • You’ll have other problems. Most probably that medical issue is not gonna be your only problem. Most probably you will have many other problems concerning resources, safety, and security. You’ll be under stress, physically and mentally.
    • There is no time for mistakes. People feel confident in some things today. It is like that because you have the most advanced medical system usually just a phone call away from you. In other words, NOW if you have some kind of small incision, yes, of course, you’re gonna try to solve it with natural remedies, herbs, natural ingredient ointments, or whatever. It is like that because if you messed up and see that your cure is not working, you can sit in your car and go to the emergency room for professional help. Guess what: When the SHTF, if you mess up, you are f***ed.

    Remember – when SHTF, a small problem can lead to a very big problem really fast.

    Medical preparedness is all about levels.

    The first SHTF medicine knowledge that you need is systematic understanding of medical conditions in terms of severity and probability.

    Just like all other prepper topics, there is no sense to start preparing from the end of the spectrum or to cover what is unlikely while completely forgetting the basics.

    For a very fundamental start it is good to look into hygiene, infection, existing chronic medical conditions (yours or in your family-group), and wound treatment (emergency and prolonged).

    Just these few topics will take months of time, especially since you will try to implement natural remedy knowledge together with medical knowledge.

    Again, do not get me wrong. Knowledge about natural remedies was very important and valuable, and I believe we all need to know the basics. But do not throw away what modern medicine can offer you just because you have some opinions that natural is the only way.

    What I point out very often is the fact that if something is illegal today (like administration of injections, healing with antibiotics, or whatever) from the point of medical legality it doesn’t mean you are not allowed to research the hell out of it and to learn everything possible. When the SHTF, nobody is gonna care about licenses. Knowledge and skills are gonna be more important.

    A lot of knowledge is out there and FREE.  You can learn a lot through that.

    In the end, for us, natural medicine was very important and valuable because a majority of folks did not have a better choice.

    About the Author

    Selco survived the Balkan war of the 90s in a city under siege, without electricity, running water, or food distribution. In his online works, he gives an inside view of the reality of survival under the harshest conditions. He reviews what works and what doesn’t, tells you the hard lessons he learned, and shares how he prepares today. He never stopped learning about survival and preparedness since the war. Regardless what happens, chances are you will never experience extreme situations like Selco did. But you have the chance to learn from him and how he faced death for months. Real survival is not romantic or idealistic. It is brutal, hard and unfair. Let Selco take you into that world. Read more of Selco’s articles here: And take advantage of a deep and profound insight into his knowledge and advice by signing up for the outstanding and unrivaled online course. More details here:

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    Author: Selco
    Views: Read by 7,168 people
    Date: May 17th, 2018

    Copyright Information: This content has been contributed to SHTFplan by a third-party or has been republished with permission from the author. Please contact the author directly for republishing information.


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    1. Eisenkreutz says:



      NOW IT’S 6.5 HOURS













    2. Eisenkreutz says:






    3. BillNute says:

      Currently looking on Chewy at amoxicillin, cephalaxin, cipro, penicillin and erythromycin. Which ones are most important/best? Quantities?

      • fishandmud says:

        Until you figure out what you are doing, just get a couple of the basics. All of the cillins are great but different ones are for different problems. The cillins last 20+ years with proper storage. All of the cyclines become toxic within 3 months after expiration date. When you become more confident, buy more meds and a few stronger ones. I suggest a few good prescription pill books and every time you or a friend gets sick, write down what and how much you took.

        Next thing, DON’T forget colloidal silver. GREAT STUFF. Then add natural remedies.

        To minimize your question, penicillin saved the world. DO NOT store an antibiotic until you know what to do with it. Use the wrong stuff, too much or too little, you are just as dead.

        Good Luck

      • buttcrackofdoom says:

        drugsdotcom looks like a good place to start. i have drug books stored somewhere, i think merk mite be one…search nurses drug manuals.

    4. The problem with treating high blood pressure is that it is a symptom of one or more underlying conditions. Most physicians prescribe medications to lower blood pressure and label the high blood pressure as “essential” meaning that they don’t know the cause(s). They’ll usually tell you to lose weight and sometimes to lower your sodium intake. In a SHTF situation where food is scarce, losing weight is easy but it doesn’t always lower the blood pressure.

      • Bill, I researched all these and discovered they mostly cover the same conditions.
        Now one or two may cover the bad s**t when it happens, but what are the odds you will need them for that..
        Here, a beginning:

        ht tps://

        And Brian, I just read on Natural Health that the culprit sugar is far worse than salt for BP.

    5. MJBN says:

      Good advice from someone who actually lived thru years of SHTF. Maybe this sites local experts can chime in and tell us how it really is. Where are you Heartless, Tharsheblows, DeplorableBraveheart and others? You guys are so tough and smart and all knowing and experienced. We really need you guys to tell how Selco is all wrong. We need your wisdom. POS

    6. The most overlooked “medicine” is breath (air).
      The second most important “medicine” is water.
      The next most important “medicine” is elimination
      by urinating, sweating, defecation.

      Life is stressful but you don’t have to resist it. By embracing whatever situation you’re in, the better off you are. This is not to imply being resigned to suffering without dealing with the cause.

      Love is “medicine”.


      • fishandmud says:

        Cleanliness is next to godliness. The Hawaiians use to go to the hot springs 5 times a day and were never sick. The white man said you are bathing too much so they went once a day. Before you know it they were dying. Learn how to make soap and stay clean. You will not be as sick as dirty people.

        Good luck.

        • Nailbanger says:

          Had a lot to do with moving away from the traditional Hawaiian diet that included lots of raw and cooked seafood and native plants, the whitemans diet screwed over the Hawaiians

    7. Thomas Labs

      Fish antibiotics

      Get some stocked up.

      The fish will thank you.

      • If you use antibiotics rebuild your gut with fermented foods. Store sauerkraut, kimchee, etc.


        • Good advice.

          We make and “can” our own sauerkraut and pickles and ferment our own wine.

          Some more good advice to restore gut bacteria…we buy raw milk from the neighbor Amish dairy farmer. It’s funny, he’s certified organic so he can get top dollar for his milk when he sells it to the producers, but he charges us $3.00 a gallon. I like it because I can separate the cream from the top and use it to make home made ice cream or butter…good stuff.

      • Doc2 says:

        Don’t get any tetracycline. Old tetracycline can cause Fanconi syndrome ( kidney failure). For cholera use erythromycin.

        • hillbilly SC says:

          Hey Doc,

          I thought I read awhile back, that the tetracycline’s had been reformulated back a decade or so ago, and that as it ages now, it does not break down and become toxic as when it was first introduced onto the market.

          I maybe wrong, was just wondering if you have any information on it?

          Thanks, y’all play nice now. 🙂

          • hillbilly SC says:

            Fanconi’s syndrome is characterized by renal glycosuria, phosphaturia, aminoaciduria, and acidosis with or without proteinuria and rickets. It is associated with the ingestion of outdated or degraded tetracycline. Additionally, previous formulations of tetracycline contained citric acid which may contribute to metabolic acidosis; however, current formulations of the drug do not. Patients generally require hospitalization with intravenous medication to correct the accompanying metabolic abnormalities. Most cases resolve over time after discontinuation of tetracycline without permanent sequelae. Patients should be instructed to discard any unused portions of tetracycline at the end of therapy and to never use tetracycline remaining from a previous prescription.

            I guess that reformulation did not fix it toxicity issue.
            As Doc2 said. Don’t get it. 🙁

            Live another day folks.

    8. Nailbanger says:

      When TSHTF
      I have exactly as long as my asthma medication lasts to live period

      • Angry beaver says:

        I have asthma as well I have run out from time to time. Not cool. Elephant on your chest. I know a few trucks to help.
        Try eucalyptus oil 1 drop in a bowl of steaming water towel over your head.
        Hot coffee strong as you can handle it
        If you can inhale as much as you can and force as much out as you can. Other then that people like us are screwed.
        Myself I take Advair and stick up on emergency inhalers.
        I tell my dr I loose them or run out. They are good so long as the tank doesn’t loose pressure, if it does cool it off anheat it with a lighter. Ya ya it’s risky but as any asmatic knows ( who gives a shit we wanna breath)

        • Ketchupondemand says:

          Check out a training device called Expand-a-Lung.
          Price has come down a lot I believe.
          I use one for water sports.

          As for the article, other than garlic, which most of us know the medical benefits of, there was not much worth reading.
          For a start, and this is old school, look at the book Back to Eden for some real natural/herbal cures. Keep in mind it was written around the ’40’s. Probably still the best source of herbal treatments.
          About the only other thing in the article worth something is that some holistic treatments don’t work. Some do, but not all. Back to Eden.

      • AussieTornado says:

        Look into Opium Lettuce for asthma, i use it in dire emeegencies

      • Nailbanger and angry beaver:

        There’s an interesting former medical doctor who does a radio show out of Panama. Her name is Dr. Jennifer Daniels. Google Dr. Jennifer Daniels vitality caps dot org / Ebola or / candida.


    9. Most of the suggestions are easier to do before the SHTF occurs. They are harder to do when the SHTF has occurred. Getting more sleep is a great idea but how do you do that when you’re on your guard against your house being broken into? Following a healthy diet will make you healthier but in a SHTF situation, you eat what you have or can get. You can exercise but going for long walks may not be an option because of the risks involved. All of this points to a strategy of acting now to become as healthy as possible before SHTF hits.

    10. JJ – You’re right about sugar. it’s not just sugar but carbohydrates in general. The carbs are converted to sugar so white rice, white potatoes and high carbohydrate foods help to put on pounds. The “low-fat” labels on foods can be deceptive if they contain a lot of carbohydrates. Your body burns what carbohydrates it can and converts and stores these carbs as body fat. Same result as eating high fat foods. Some types of dietary fat are actually good for you.

    11. aljamo says:

      Many sites say that drinking 3 cups of coffee or more a day is beneficial to adult human health, while others say the opposite. I guess they mean black coffee with nothing added. Who do you believe? Anyway, I drink 2 large cups but with only one third whole chocolate milk added. 1% chocolate milk is like colored water and a waste of money.

    12. The body produces nitric oxide which causes your blood vessels to dilate which increases blood flow. This lowers blood pressure. There are two substances in your diet that enable the body to produce nitric oxide. These are nitrates and an amino acid known as l-arginine. Some foods high in nitrates are lettuce, spinach, celery, beets, arugula, radishes, and turnips. The abilty to convert l-arginine to nitric oxide declines with age so that by 40 it is gone for most people. Plant sources of l-arginine include soybeans, legumes, nuts and seeds. (Avoid food allergies). Avoid foods that contribute to plaque build-up in your arteries. Foods that help reduce plaque-up are asparagus, avocadoes, broccoli, cranberries, nuts, garlic, red wine, lemon peel and ginger & honey. All of this helps but doesn’t really replace medication. For high blood pressure, you should be under a physician’s care.

      I don’t know if this will help in a SHTF situation where you eat what you have or can get.

    13. Beaumont says:

      Like the ‘doctor’, on Cloud Atlas.

      Hospital Induced Delirium

      Possibly, noone has read, to the very end, when he says that there is ultimately no color of authority, in a survival situation. You are responsible, for your own informed consent and course of treatment, if any.

    14. NorseMan says:

      Get a good pair of leather gloves and a good pair of boots. Your hands and feet will take the brunt of abuse. Clean up any cuts with iodine and alcohol wipes – and cover them to avoid infection. You will eat crap so prepare for that. Get good water filters. Read up on gunshot wounds – and get clotting powder and everything you need to remove the bullet and patch you up.

      If you have a chronic condition that needs meds – do what you can to control it – now. If you can’t, go to multiple doctors – pay cash (no insurance!) – and get prescriptions. This won’t work for controlled drugs – those are tracked.

      Then be alert and don’t do anything stupid.

    15. Michael T says:

      Kinda reminds me of the TV show ‘Lost’ ….. ‘Gilligan’s Island’ meets ‘General Hospital’. Jack, the Doctor, was always disinfecting, stitching and vaccinating (yes, that’s right vaccinating) someone under the admonition that if the ‘patient’ didn’t let him ‘treat’ them they were sure to die. What a crock of Matza-Balls.

      You can survive without toxic pharmaceutical drugs made by sociopaths for the expressed purpose of mass genocide.

      This scenario is exactly why we all need to know about natural medicines…. ie: Chinese Medicine for example.

      If you are not terminally ill, you may want to have some food, vinegar, baking soda and a bottle of hydrogen peroxide and you’ll be fine. If you need more than that you’re doomed anyway.

    16. Anonymous says:

      Get a nebulizer and use colodial silver in it

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