The Zika Virus – Get Medical Guidance You Can Trust

Joe Alton, MD, a.k.a. Dr. Bones has addressed the subject of the Zika virus with medical guidance you can trust in The Zika Virus Handbook. His wife, Amy Alton, ARNP, a.k.a. Nurse Amy, tells us about it in the following piece, which first appeared at and is reproduced here with permission.


The Zika Virus Handbook


Warm weather is on the way, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that we can expect more cases of Zika virus in the United States this summer. Indeed, the Aedes mosquito which transmits the virus seems to have expanded its range to include 30 U.S. states, up from 12 in the last survey. The Aedes mosquito (Aedes is Greek for “unpleasant”) is now found as far north as New York.

Until now, Zika cases have all be traced to those who have traveled to the epidemic zone in South and Central America, with a number also identified in Puerto Rico and other Caribbean countries. The CDC, however, believes that there will be locally-transmitted clusters of Zika in various areas in the U.S.

We keep a close eye on pandemic diseases, and it looks like Zika virus is the one to watch out for this year. As such, we have researched everything that the average citizen should know about it: How to identify it, how to prevent it, and what the treatment options are.

As an obstetrician in a previous life, Joe Alton, MD is especially interested in a disease that can affect, sometimes disastrously, newborn babies. But it does more than that; Zika has been associated with nervous system disorders, like Guillain-Barre syndrome, that can cause, sometimes permanent, paralysis.


High Resolution Front Cover_6093961

He’s put it all down on paper in his new book “The Zika Virus Handbook”. Like his 2014 book on Ebola virus, the book has everything you need to know about the infection, and it’s all written in plain English.

The Zika Virus Handbook” explains all you need to know about the epidemic in a calm, no-nonsense fashion. The book gives a solid plan of action that can be easily followed in a concise guide. All this from a physician that has decades of experience as an obstetrician, and whose mission is to put a medically prepared person in every family for any disaster. In fact, it’s the only book on Zika written by a physician that’s spent his life caring for pregnancies and who is well-known in the field of disaster and epidemic preparedness.

The book also outlines other pandemic diseases, past and present, and discusses way to control the Aedes mosquito, which transmits the disease through its bite.

Like many pandemic diseases, many controversial theories abound about why Zika has become a threat, and you’ll find these and commentary on their plausibility in “The Zika Virus Handbook“.

There’s no need to panic about Zika virus. The CDC stops short of predicting an epidemic in the U.S. But it’s affected 64 countries so far, and it only makes sense to learn about any disease that could affect your family’s health.

You can find the book at, and be sure to keep an eye on Joe Alton, MD’s website at for regular updates.

Amy Alton, ARNP



Together Joe and Amy Alton have written the best selling book, The Survival Medicine Handbook. In addition to The Zika Virus Handbook, Joe Alton has also written The Ebola Survival Handbook. Order any of these books by clicking on its title where you see it linked in this post.


Why The Doomsday Book of Medicine is a Must-Have Resource

Ralph La Guardia, M.D., has written The Doomsday Book of Medicine, a must-have resource. He prompts you and me to think about some serious questions. As he puts it…

“What are you and your family going to do after a collapse of society when there are no doctors and medications available, and the pharmacies and hospitals have been looted? You can prepare for every disaster scenario, but if you are not able to treat medical emergencies and injuries that arise, how long will you last?”

Dr. La Guardia is this week’s DestinySurvival Radio guest. You’ll appreciate his desire to put you and me on the path to good health now and survival for the future.


The Teacher

He’s a doctor, but I’ll refer to him as a teacher here because tteaching you and me is what he does in his book.

By the way, he said I could call him by his first name in our chat, so I’ll refer to him as Ralph below.

To know how and why this book came about, you need to know a little something about the author.

Dr. Ralph La Guardia has been in private practice in Connecticut for over 25 years . He is triple specialized in Internal Medicine , Bariatrics and Geriatrics . In addition to which he practices Integrative Medicine , which is the combination of the best of traditional western medicine with alternative and complementary medical techniques. He has a special interest in nutrition and sustainable gardening and permaculture , which he practices on his Connecticut farm.

Dr. La Guardia also has a strong interest in minerals , trace elements , amino acids and their application in medical practice . He has developed a unique method of treating his patients combining all those elements that has proven to be quite effective.

Dr. La Guardia’s other passion is survival medicine and what has now become known as ” Prepping”. He wrote ” The Doomsday Book of Medicine to answer a void in the survival books that were out there. [More about that in our conversation.]

Out of his frustration grew this over 900 page book which supplies you with the skills to treat everything from a simple fever to snakebites and broken bones.

Dr. La Guardia has learned much on his own because things like nutrition and permaculture are out of the realm of conventional medicine. You’ll see from his book and our conversation that he’s not afraid to delve into areas of study which some would consider controversial or “out there.” I applaud his curiosity and interest in so many subjects.


The Doomsday Book of Medicine


The Tome

The Doomsday Book of Medicine is a resource I believe you’ll want to include in your survival library. Put it with any other books on survival medicine to be sure you’ve got the subject covered. It’s a large book covering a variety of topics related to integrative medicine for survival, nutrition, and gardening.

Explanations are thorough, but easy to read. You won’t get bogged down in technical jargon.

This book is quite long at just over 900 pages. You’ll get overwhelmed if you try reading it straight through. It’s practically an encyclopedia. Plenty of photos and diagrams are scattered throughout the book.

Unfortunately, there’s no index, and one is sorely needed. However, each chapter has its own table of contents. Headings throughout the chapters will help you find your way around.

Five parts make up the book. In the beginning chapters you’ll find essentials for good health, which includes guidance on the basics of good health practices, gardening, and nutrition.

The next part includes info on “tools” and items you should stock up on. Topics covered include…

  • Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate)
  • DMSO
  • Epsom Salt, Alkaline Minerals, Alkaline Water and the Health Benefits of an Alkaline Diet
  • Honey
  • Potassium Iodide and Radiation Exposure
  • Vinegar and its Many Medicinal Uses
  • Wood Ash, Lye, Soap and Activated Charcoal
The largest portion of the book is devoted to health issues. A sampling of topics includes…
  • Fever
  • Concussions, Head Trauma, Strokes and Seizures
  • Headache
  • The Eye
  • The Ear
  • The Nose
  • Oral Hygiene and Dental Care
  • Skin Problems
  • Bites
  • Burns
  • Wound Care
  • Constipation, Diarrhea and its Treatment, and Nausea and Vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • Arthritis, Joint Pain, Muscle Aches, Ligament and Tendon Injuries
  • Orthopedic Injuries–Broken Bones and Joint Injuries
  • Asthma, Allergies and Breathing Problems
  • Colds, Flu and Respiratory Tract Infections
  • Diabetes
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Anxiety and Depression
The remainder of the book contains sections with info on supplies and equipment to have as well as the bibliography.

Ralph practices integrative medicine, which combines methods and products from alternative medicine with conventional medicine. It entails more than herbs and essential oils. Remedies, techniques and innovations you may not have heard of are featured in the book.

Some of the things he covers are controversial, but his aim is to give you information. You can take things from there.

For example, if you’ve heard of squalene, you may have seen it mentioned in conjunction with vaccines as a harmful component. But did you know it is beneficial when found in amaranth oil?

The book’s first chapter deals with the problem of over use of antibiotics and proposes several solutions.

Permaculture is promoted unashamedly. I appreciate the mention of Azomite, mycorrhizal fungi and biochar for soil building. Each of these items feeds to soil, which in turn feeds plants. He quotes the idea that poor soil means poor food.

Quite a bit of space is devoted to good nutrition. You’ll find recommendations for supplements to stock up on.

Among other things, Ralph promotes fermented foods, such as yogurt and kefir, as well as freshly sprouted beans and seeds.

Tips and gems of wisdom appear throughout the book, such as in the chapter on baking soda. You can do much more with it than make toothpaste. You might say it has uses that range from top to bottom–everything from help for migraine headaches to being used in an enema.

One of the many reasons he promotes honey is that it doesn’t spoil. It’s a great antibacterial remedy.

The chapters on vinegar and activated charcoal are just two of the chapters loaded with tips and tricks you may not have heard of. Do you know how to make your own vinegar? How about making your own activated charcoal? What about soap and toothpaste?

Discover why fever is your friend. Do you know when it isn’t your friend and what to do about it?

Some of his suggestions and tips occur in odd places. For example, ideas about games and toys for children are tucked away in the chapter on burns. Thoughts on leadership for a survival group appear in the chapter on orthopedic injuries.

A wide variety of ailments is covered. Digestive issues, constipation and diarrhea are just a few. Those with diabetes and high blood pressure will appreciate the variety of coping methods and solutions proposed.

I’m glad he includes a chapter on anxiety and depression. We’ll certainly have to cope with that in times of great stress.

A little of the information in the chapter on Ebola is outdated, since this horrible disease never became the threat it looked like it would. But the bulk of the chapter contains useful information, which we might need in the future.

Near the end of the book is an extensive, alphabetized list of items recommended for your survival medicine chest. There’s an explanatory comment about each item. Each one is mentioned elsewhere in the main text.

A brief comment accompanies several of the entries in the bibliography as well.

Ralph is well informed on his subject matter. It’s clear he’s widely read.

He’s also opinionated and not shy about expressing where he stands. For example, you’ll get a glimpse of his political views in the introduction. Occasional wisecracks are scattered randomly throughout the book. The jabs mentioning President Obama will one day become outdated.

Whether you agree with his political views or not, don’t let them discourage you from getting this book. The knowledge it contains is too valuable.


The Talk

My conversation with Ralph was easy for me because he did so much of the talking. It’s fine with me when knowledgeable guests can do that. He packed a lot into our conversation, so buckle in as you listen, and hold on.

The economy and the threat of an EMP are a couple of major concerns. The government isn’t looking out for us, so we must be prepared to face whatever comes.

That means being proactive about good health if we’re to survive in times of difficulty.

Feeling dissatisfied with other books on prepping, Ralph decided to teach you and me what he considers to be essential solutions by writing The Doomsday Book of Medicine.

Ralph describes what you can find in each part of his book. A consideral part of it is concerned with building the immune system. Disease comes into play when the immune system fails or doesn’t get what it needs to stay healthy.

Could the increase in ADD, autism, cancer, and even transgender issues be the result of poor soils, poor nutrition and environmental toxins? Hear what Ralph says in our chat.

Would you believe everything he has written about in the book are items that don’t require a prescription?

You shouldn’t have to have another book (or books) beside you as you read this book, so he kept things as simple and clear as he could make them. While not wanting to be patronizing, he assumes you and I don’t have much knowledge of anatomy. Therefore, he includes descriptions and diagrams in the book about such things as the eye, nose and foot.

We also talked about the fact that many of us will die in time of disaster or in a postapocalyptic scenario. No matter how much medical knowledge we have, or how many supplies we have on hand, situations will arise when none of that is enough. We must learn to face that.

Our conversation is a microcosm of what’s in the book. If you like what you hear, you’ll appreciate The Doomsday Book of Medicine.


The Taste

With all I’ve written above, you’ve only gotten a taste of what his book is about. I encourage you to get more of a taste by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for March 24, 2016. (Right click to download.) Get The Doomsday Book of Medicine by clicking on its title wherever you see it linked in this post.

Dr. La Guardia can be reached at the book’s website, which gives a table of contents of the book as well, and that’s at:

As I’ve already noted, The Doomsday Book of Medicine is one resource you should definitely have in your survival library. You’ll be glad for all the knowledge it gives you, especially if it means your survival.


Could Your Survival Garden Make You Sick?

“Backwoods Home Magazine” for March/April 2016 (Issue #158) includes an article on how you can keep your survival garden from making you sick.

Maybe you’ve never had a problem. You’ve been gardening for years, even decades, and nobody in your family has ever caught a foodborne illness from what you’ve grown or canned.

Besides, that stuff only happens with large farming operations who sell to grocery stores and chain restaurants. Right?

But before you think such a thing couldn’t happen, consider the topics the article covers. Pay attention especially if you grow for a local farmers market.

  • Sources of contamination
  • Good agricultural practices
  • Manure
  • Compost
  • Go vertical and mulch
  • Wildlife
  • Water
  • Harvesting
  • Storage and transport
  • Keep good records
Check out the following exerpt, then read the complete article by clicking on the llink below.


Prevent foodborne illness with safe gardening methods

By Donna Insco

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website, “CDC estimates that each year roughly 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases.” According to the CDC, produce was implicated in nearly half of the reported cases from 1998 to 2008.

The reports are troubling. In 2006, a multi-state Escherichia coli (E. coli) outbreak in spinach sickened more than 200 people and led to the deaths of at least three. Celery was implicated in a Listeria outbreak in 2010. In 2011, 147 people in 28 states contracted Listeria from whole cantaloupes from Colorado.

Read the whole article here:

Excerpt used with permission of Backwoods Home Magazine. 1-800-835-2418.

When you’re looking for gardening seeds and supplies, check out the Survival Gardening page in the Prep Mart.


Prepping for a Pandemic – How Ready Are You?

What’s the difference between an epidemic and a pandemic? What are the greatest threats we face? Should we bug in or bug out in the event of an outbreak?

Cat Ellis has written Prepping for a Pandemic to give us answers. She’s my guest on this week’s DestinySurvival Radio. Below are highlights of her book and our conversation.


The Herbal Prepper

I’ve interview Cat before, but if you’re not familiar with who she is, here’s some background.


Cat Ellis is a practicing herbalist and dedicated prepper. Her love of herbs began in the 1990s when herbs helped her recover from the flu. Cat now sees clients and teaches herbal medicine through her private practice. She is also a massage therapist, certified in MotherMassage™, and a member of the American Herbalists Guild.

Economic pressures and a desire for greater freedoms sparked Cat’s interest in survivalism and homesteading in 2008. She describes prepping as having “hundreds of practical hobbies,” like gardening, canning, and self-defense. For Cat, being prepared brings both peace of mind and personal satisfaction.

Cat’s love of herbal medicine merged with her love of prepping, resulting in her website, She is the author of Prepper’s Natural Medicine and Prepping for a Pandemic, and her articles have been published in PREPARE magazine.

Cat has also ventured into the world of broadcasting, with two weekly, live, Internet radio shows. Cat hosts her own show, Herbal Prepper Live, on the Prepper Broadcasting Network, as well as cohosting The Medic Shack, on The Survival Circle Radio Network.

Cat Ellis lives on the New England coast with her beekeeper husband and homeschools her children.

If you’ve heard my previous conversations with Cat, you know she gives thorough answers and anticipates questions people may have. Be ready to jot down a few notes as you listen.


Prepping for a Pandemic


Outbreak and Breakdown

This is not light reading. Certain sections of the book are downright frightening. You’ll have nightmares if you read it before bedtime.

Cat’s approach is straightforward with no nonsense. This is a subject that calls for serious contemplation as you decide what you’ll do to be prepared for a pandemic.

The foreword is by another DestinySurvival Radio guest, Tess Pennington, author of The Prepper’s Blueprint.

In Cat’s preface she discusses the interaction she’s had with her audience. It’s what brought the book into being. I appreciate her responsiveness to the needs of the people she serves.

Prepping for a Pandemic is well organized. Before dealing with what she considers to be the seven greatest pandemic threats, Cat describes how she determined her point system of threat levels and the diseases contained in each one.

Chapters describe the diseases and how we can prepare for them. As you might expect, solutions given include natural remedies. Chapters cover…

  • A Learning Moment: 2014’s Deadly Ebola Outbreak
  • Pandemic Preparation 101: Overview, Terminology, General Pandemic Concerns
  • Threat Level I: Influenza, Tuberculosis, & Staphylococcus Aureas
  • Threat Level II: Coronaviruses, Viral Hemorrhagic Fever
  • Threat Level III: Terrorism / Human Error (Smallpox, Plague), the Surprise
  • The Watch List: Diseases Likely to Spread Postdisaster (Measles, Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, HIV)
  • Pandemic Preparation 201: Actionable Steps


Definitions – An epidemic is a significant disease outbreak. It’s confined to a certain area, unlike an epidemic, which crosses borders and may travel the world. Not all pandemics are deadly, but there’s certainly the potential.

Ebola – Chapter 1 lays out fascinating background info about the 2014 Ebola outbreak in Africa. According to Cat, it’s not over yet. It may not be as bad as it was, but we’re not hearing about it.

Information Deficit? – How much can we trust the government and media to tell us what’s going on if a pandemic does break out? Will they sensationalize? Or will they cover up to quell panic?

Cause Question – I asked Cat whether the cause of an outbreak matters. Or is it more important to identify the illness and its proper treatment? The bottom line is, the more information we have, the better.

The Big Boys – Influenza, tuberculosis and MRSA are at the top of the threat list. While the media gets us hyped up about Ebola, they overlook something as common and deadly as influenza.

Viruses, like influenza, are tricky. They mutate frequently, making treating them so difficult. It’s why flu shots aren’t that effective some years.

Tuberculosis is a growing threat because of its increasing resistance to drugs. Plus, a large part of the world’s population has it or has had it.

The prospect of an MRSA outbreak is frightening. This is another drug resistant disease.

Before and After – Some diseases could be the cause of disaster, while some will cause problems in the wake of calamity. Chapter 6 tells us of such ailments to be on the lookout for.

Other Than Antibiotics – During our conversation Cat described a few herbs and essential oils with antimicrobial properties which can be used in place of antibiotics. Some work systemically, while others work locally in or on the body.

Keep it Clean – To protect ourselves and to keep disease from spreading, we must practice good hygiene and cleanliness. It’s necessary now to make preparations for being able to do this. Cat gives plenty of tips to help us.

She discusses Pool Shock (calcium hypochlorate) and substitutions for bleach. It would be a good idea for you and me to make our own soap as well. Being able to disinfect water will be crucial, too. And definitely don’t overlook the need for proper waste disposal.

Stay hydrated – This is critical when we become ill. In the book you’ll find info on that, including oral rehydration therapy.

Hospital Hell – Going to the hospital may not be your best option, since hospitals could be full to overflowing. They may also be sites where violence breaks out.

If the power grid goes down, one of the effects will be the loss of pharmacies and medical facilities. That will make it difficult or impossible to get medications and to test for diseases, including HIV.

Stay or Go? – In the event of a pandemic, you must consider whether and when to bug out. Should you stay in place? Should you practice a self imposed quarantine? Or should you get out of Dodge to avoid trouble?

Action Steps – Though there are plenty of recommendations throughout the book for things you should do, chapter 7 lays out several. I’ll touch on a few.

You’ll find a list of supplies for a pandemic preparedness medical kit.

Be sure to designate someone in your family or group to be the medic. Often it’s problems other than the disease of the pandemic
which need attention. Do you or someone in your group know basics, such as taking a pulse or a blood pressure reading?

Figure out how you’ll do what you can to avoid an outbreak. Here’s one factor to keep in mind. The greater the population density, the greater the risk of illness. People in cities will get sick more readily than those in the country.

You may want to make a home-based business part of your preparedness strategy. Do you have a way to earn income in a time when your family needs to hunker down to avoid getting sick? Can you afford to pay the bills until the outbreak is through?

Cat encourages you and me to work on improving our health right now, especially if there’s a chronic condition like diabetes or high blood pressure. That’s an important step toward preparedness and survival.

Here’s an important benefit to keep in mind about prepping in general. When you’re preparing for one thing, you’re actually preparing for several eventualities. For example, we’ll need food, water and medical supplies regardless of what happens.


A Healthy Shot of Information

Hear my conversation with Cat Ellis by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for January 21, 2016. (Right click to download.)

Do further research by making use of numerous web links throughout Cat’s book and in the resource list in the back. The resource section includes Web sites, organizations, books and magazines.

Get Prepping for a Pandemic by first clicking on its title wherever you see it in this post. Place your order from the page where it’s featured.

This is one book you must have in your survival library. It could save your life. And that’s not hype.

Epidemics and pandemics are hard to predict. They’ve happened before, and they’ll happen again. It’s a matter of when, not if.
Thus, the need to get prepared now.


What Should be in Your Survival Dental Kit?

Editor’s Note: The subject of dentistry in the wake of a disaster isn’t something we hear much about. But our mouths are more important than we realize. If your tooth or mouth hurts, that will dominate how you feel.

When you’re setting aside hygiene supplies, at the very least, you should stock up on toothbrushes, toothpaste and dental floss to insure dental hygiene when a disaster comes along.

What follows is an article from Joe Alton, MD, of Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy fame. It discusses what should be in your survival dental kit. It originally appeared at and is reproduced here with permission. – John


The Survival Dental Kit



Over the years, we have written hundreds of articles on medical preparedness for short or long-term disasters. Many now include medical kits and supplies to add to survival food storage and items for personal protection. Yet, few who are otherwise medically prepared seem to devote much time to dental health. Poor dental health can cause issues that affect the work efficiency of members of your group in survival settings. When your people are not at 100% effectiveness, your chances for survival decrease.

History tells us that problems with teeth take up a significant portion of the medic’s patient load. In the Vietnam War, medical personnel noted that fully half of those who reported to daily sick call came with dental complaints. In a long-term survival situation, you certainly will find yourself as dentist as well as nurse or doctor.

Anyone who has had to perform a task while simultaneously dealing with a bad toothache can attest to the effect on the amount and quality of work done. If your teeth hurt badly, it’s unlikely that your mind can concentrate on anything other than the pain. Therefore, it only makes sense that you must learn basic dental hygiene, care, and procedures to keep your people at full work efficiency. It could easily be the difference between success and failure in a collapse.

The prepared medic will have included dental supplies in their storage, but what exactly would make sense in austere settings? You would want the kit to be portable, so dentist chairs and other heavy equipment wouldn’t be practical. You would want it to be easily distinguished from the medical kit.


different masks

We’ve mentioned that gloves for medical and dental purposes are one item that you should have in quantity. Don’t ever stick your bare hands in someone’s mouth. Buy hypoallergenic nitrile gloves instead of latex. For additional protection, masks should also be stored and worn by the medic.

We’ve researched dental items that should be in the dental kit of those that would be medically responsible in a long-term survival community. After consulting with a number of preparedness-minded dentists, we have put together what we believe will be a reasonable kit that can handle a number of dental issues. Items that would be practical for the survival “dentist” include:

• Dental floss, dental picks, toothbrushes, toothpaste or baking soda.

• Dental or orthodontic wax as used for braces. Wax can be used to splint a loose tooth to its neighbors.

• A Rubber bite block to keep the mouth open. This provides good visualization and protection from getting bitten. A large eraser would serve the purpose.

• Cotton pellets, Cotton rolls, Q tips, gauze sponges (cut into small squares).

• Compressed air cans or a bulb syringe for drying up saliva on teeth.

• Commercial temporary filling material, such as Tempanol, Cavit, or Den-temp.


• Oil of cloves (eugenol), a natural anesthetic. Often found in commercial preparations such as:

-Red Cross Toothache Medicine (85% eugenol)
-Dent’s Toothache Drops (benzocaine in combo with eugenol)

It’s important to know that eugenol might burn the tongue, so be careful when touching anything but teeth with it.

• other oral analgesics like Hurricaine or Orajel (Benzocaine)

• Zinc oxide powder; when mixed with 2 drops of clove oil, it will harden into temporary filling cement.

Here’s a video of the procedure:

• Spatula for mixing (a tongue depressor will do)

• Oil of oregano, a natural antibacterial.

• A bulb syringe to blow air and dry teeth for better visualization, and as a diagnostic tool to elicit discomfort in damaged teeth. A can of compressed air may be an alternative.

• An irrigation syringe to flush areas upon which work is being done

• Scalpel #15 or #10 to incise and drain abscesses

• Dental probes, also called “explorers”.

• Dental tweezers

• Dental mirrors

• Dental scrapers/scalers to remove plaque and probe questionable areas.

• Spoon excavators. These instruments have a flat circular tip that is used to “excavate” decayed material from demineralized areas of a tooth. A powered dental drill would be a much better choice, but not likely to be an option off the grid.

• Elevators. These are thin but solid chisel-like instruments that help with extractions by separating ligaments that hold teeth in their sockets. #301 or #12B are good choices. In a pinch, some parts of a Swiss army knife might work.


• Extraction forceps. These are like pliers with curved ends. They come in versions specific to upper and lower teeth and, sometimes, left and right.

Although there are more types of dental extractors than there are teeth, you should at least have several. Although every dentist has their preferences, you should consider including the following in your dental kit:

-#151 or #79N for lower front teeth
-#150A or #150 for upper front teeth.
-#23, best for lower molars
-#53R, best for upper right molars
-#53L, best for upper left molars

• Blood-clotting Agents: There are a number of products, such as Act-Cel, that help control bleeding in the mouth after extractions or other procedures. It comes a fabric square that can be cut to size and placed directly on the bleeding socket or gum.

chromic catgut

Chromic Catgut Suture

• Sutures: A kit consisting of a needle holder, forceps, scissors, and suture material is helpful for the control of bleeding or to preserve the normal contour of gum tissue. We recommend 4/0 Chromic catgut as it is absorbable. It’s small enough for the oral cavity but large enough for the non-surgeon to handle. Don’t forget a small scissors to cut the string. More information on suture materials can be found later in this book.

• Pain medication and antibiotics. Medications in the Penicillin family are preferred if not allergic. For those allergic to Penicillin, Erythromycin can be used. For tooth abscesses, Clindamycin is a good choice. These antibiotics are discussed in detail in the section dedicated to them in this book.

Just as obtaining knowledge and training on medical issues likely in a disaster is important, the study of dental procedures and practices is essential for the aspiring survival medic.

Joe Alton, MD


Nurse Amy has expanded her dental preparedness kit to include almost all the items you see in the list above. Check our her dental kit, and many other kits and supplies for survival medical issues, at her store at


Find more useful information in The Survival Medicine Handbook, by Joe and Amy Alton. You may also want a copy of Where There Is No Dentist.


Prepper’s Natural Medicine Will Take You Through Cold and Flu Season – and Beyond

It’s that time of year. If you haven’t caught a cold or the flu, there’s a good chance you will sometime in the next few months. How would you like to get back to health with natural medicine?

Prepper’s Natural Medicine will take you through the cold and flue season, and beyond. Cat Ellis, the book’s author, paid a return visit to DestinySurvival Radio this week. Colds and flu aren’t the only thing we discussed, but we touched on a few of the natural remedies you ought to know about.

When Cat was my guest a couple months ago, I knew I’d have her back because she’s so enthusiastic and knowledgeable about natural medicine. She makes my job easy as an interviewer. When I ask a question, she gives a thorough answer and brings up answers to other questions and issues listeners likely have. She knows her stuff, and I’m glad I can share her book with you.

Since you can see info about Cat and my review of Prepper’s Natural Medicine in the post I wrote about our first vbisit here, this post won’t be so lengthy. I’ll focus on this week’s DestinySurvival Radio conversation.


Prepper's Natural Medicine


Get the Basics of the Conversation

Cat says her book is doing well, which is a good indicator of how interested people are in taking more control over their personal health. She hopes that will continue because she wants you and me to delve into natural medicine for ourselves.

You’ll find a lot of helpful knowledge packed into Cat’s book. It’s not just theory either. She has practical, real world experience. If you’re new to natural medicine, or you are looking to increase your own knowledge, you’ll welcome the book’s indices which guide you to the answers you’re looking for.

Briefly, here’s a bare bones overview of what we discussed on this week’s DestinySurvival Radio.

  • The term “natural medicine” encompasses more than “herbal medicine.”
  • No matter how self sufficient you want to be, you won’t be able to grow everything you need for herbal remedies and essential oils; but you’ll be able to do more than you might think.
  • Stock up on essential oils, and learn how to be wise about their use.
  • You can make your own cold and flu remedies to fit the needs of you or your children.
  • Prevent or diminish the impact of colds and flu by strengthening your immune system, practicing cleanliness, eating properly, and getting needed rest.
We also talked about some ways you and I can find a credible herbalist. One good starting place is the American Herbalists Guild. Cat is a member herself.


Get to the Heart of It

I really hope you’ll take the time–a little less than an hour–to hear my conversation with Cat Ellis. Listen to DestinySurvival Radio for November 5, 2015. (Right click to download.) Get your copy of Prepper’s Natural Medicine by clicking on its title wherever you see it in this post.

By the way, Cat has a second book coming out on December 1st called Prepping for a Pandemic. From her description of it, you’ll want that one, too. I know I do.

One more thing. On November 10th Cat is conducting a Webinar on herbal medicines for the cold and flu. If you’re reading this after that date, and you’ve miss the live event, you can download the content from her site. Details are at She has also started offering a series of PDF reports on herbal and natural medicine.

Cat is a trustworthy source of knowledge because she’s not only sharing what she knows about natural medicine, but she’s looking at the world through the lense of preparedness and survival. And that’s a great combination.

If you have any thoughts about what you’ve read above or heard on this week’s DestinySurvival Radio, feel free to leave a comment below.

Would you like to hear more from Cat on a future episode of DestinySurvival Radio? If so, what topics do you want to hear about?


Prepper’s Natural Medicine Gives You Needed Guidance for Making Your Own Herbal Medicines

Natural medicine is a popular topic with many preppers. And rightly so. What will we do if the medical care we’re used to isn’t available?

If you want to explore herbal medicine, or if you want to expand your horizons in it, let me point you to a credible resource. Cat Ellis’s book Prepper’s Natural Medicine gives you needed guidance for making your own herbal medicines.

In an SHTF situation, how do we deal with diabetes when no insulin is available? What if we can’t get antibiotics? These and other questions on key medical topics spurred Cat Ellis to collect answers and put them in her book.

Cat’s goal is to teach people how to make medicines from herbs. She addresses both acute and chronic conditions. In the event we’re without hospitals, with her book you’ll be able to prepare the medical remedies you’ll need.

I’ve read Cat’s book, and I interviewed her for this week’s DestinySurvival Radio. What follows is my summary about Cat, her book, and our conversation.


The Herbal Cat

Cat Ellis is the proverbial fount of knowledge about natural medicine. Her dedication, enthusiasm and confidence are quite evident in what she has written and what she says. She gives straightforward, practical information, without the New Age angle I hear from so many herbalists.

We had no problem filling our time. In fact, I hated to bring the show to an end. I plan to have her on DestinySurvival Radio again to answer questions we didn’t get to this time.

Here’s more background info.

Cat Ellis is a practicing herbalist and dedicated prepper. Her love of herbs began in the 1990’s when herbs helped her recover from the flu. Cat now sees clients and teaches herbal medicine through her private practice, Herbwyfery. She is also a massage therapist, certified in MotherMassage™, and is a member of the American Herbalists Guild.

Economic pressures and a desire for greater freedoms sparked Cat’s interest in survivalism and homesteading in 2008. She describes prepping as having “hundreds of practical hobbies”, like gardening, canning, and self defense. For Cat, being prepared brings both peace of mind and personal satisfaction.

Cat’s love of herbal medicine merged with her love of prepping, resulting in her website, Cat Ellis is the author of Prepper’s Natural Medicine: Lifesaving Herbs, Essential Oils, and Natural Remedies for When There Is No Doctor, and her articles have been published in PREPARE magazine. Cat has also ventured into the world of broadcasting with two weekly, live, internet radio shows. Cat hosts her own show, Herbal Prepper Live, on the Prepper Broadcasting Network, as well as co-hosting, The Medic Shack, on The Survival Circle Radio Network.

Cat Ellis lives on the New England coast with her beekeeper husband and homeschools their children.


Prepper's Natural Medicine


The Leaves Between the Covers

Before I share a few of my own observations about Cat’s book, here’s an overview of what you’ll find inside.

When disaster strikes and you lose all access to doctors, hospitals and pharmacies, natural medicine will be your family’s best hope for survival. Prepper’s Natural Medicine is the definitive guide to creating powerful home remedies for any health situation, including:

  • Herbal Salve for infections
  • Poultice for broken bones
  • Natural Ointment for poison ivy
  • Infused Honey for burns
  • Essential Oil for migraines
  • Soothing Tea for allergies
  • Nutritional Syrup for flu

With easy-to-read herbal charts, a breakdown of essential oils, tips for stockpiling natural medicines and step-by-step instructions for creating your own elixirs, salves and more, this book offers everything you need to keep you and your loved ones safe.

Chapters cover…
  • Stocking the Home Apothecary
  • Basic Skills
  • Materia Medica
  • Herbal First Aid Kit
  • Everyday Natural Medicine
This isn’t a big book–a little more than 230 pages, but it covers a lot of ground in a relatively small amount of space. My review copy has no pictures or drawings. If you want to identify plants, you’ll need to get another manual on herbs for that.

The headings and subheadings aren’t printed as boldly as I wish they were. I recommend getting a set of brightly colored highlighter markers and marking up the book as you see fit, so you can find your way around in it more easily.

For doing herbal tinctures, extracts, infusions and more, you’ll need to know about alcohol, vinegar, glycerine, raw honey, just to name a few of the key elements. And Cat fills you in on them all.

Tinctures and the methods for making them are also explained. Cat discusses syrups and elixers, too. She’s a big fan of raw honey because of its numerous benefits.

Get ready to learn several terms, such as infusion and decoction, to name just two.

Materia medica is another important term. It’s a reference guide to substances used for remedies and cures. Chapter 4 is devoted to 50 top herbs. Cat acknowledges there are more, but her listing is a good start. She would have included more, but didn’t want the book to become unweildy.

The herbal first aid kit discussed in chapter 5 is meant for long term scenarios, when there is no hospital available. It lists ailments and injuries you might encounter and the treatments for them. For example, burns, heart attacks, muscle and joint pain, migraines, poison ivy, snake and spider bites, and wound care are just a few.

If you’re serious about natural medicine under such conditions, Cat recommends you take a first aid course suited for wilderness survival.

Chapter 6 emphasizes prevention and good health. Recipes included will help in dealing with a number of chronic ailments, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, allergies, asthma, and more. One section is devoted specifically to women’s health issues.

Doseage recommendations include doses for children and the elderly. That’s an aspect of Cat’s book I’m sure you’ll find helpful.

Prepper’s Natural Medicine isn’t meant to be the final word as far as reference guides go. But this one should definitely be in your survival library. You’ll refer to it often.

To do further research, in the back of the book you’ll find a resource listing of books and Web sites. You’ll want to make frequent use of that back matter because it includes an appendix, glossary of actions of herbs, and indices. One index lists ailments and where to find the info about them in the book.


Harvesting the Goods

I have the utmost admiration for those like Cat who study and practice herbalism. I’m interested in it, but it goes over my head in a hurry. Of course, those who have such knowledge will be valuable to you and me in difficult times when modern medical care isn’t available.

Prepper’s Natural Medicine isn’t casual reading. However, I’ve only read through it once so I could tell you about it. I would approach it differently if I were intent on making herbal medicines. It’s truly a study guide.

I appreciate Cat’s conversational writing style. I also appreciate what she relates from her personal experiences. She told me in our visit that she has done what she could to make her book understandable.

She put information in it which she wishes had been in the first herbal books she read. That should be a boost for you if you’re new to natural medicine.

If you’re going to harvest the goods from Cat’s book, I recommend reading it through once to get familiar with it, though you may want to skim the materia medica section. Then go back over the book as needed. You’re not going to get it all with one read through.

If you’re new to herbalism, Cat recommends starting at the book’s beginning because that’s where she discusses the skills that are involved. The herbs she wrote about include those you should be able to grow yourself or buy in bulk. The recipes she provides aren’t theoretical formulas cut and pasted in. She has prepared each one herself.


A Dab of This ‘n’ That

Did you know golden rod isn’t the cause of allergies that most people think it is? Cat says so in her book.

Did you know St. John’s Wort can be used for wound care, not just for depression? You’ll need the book to see more on this, too.

Oh, and here’s a health tip for all of us, both for now and in the future. Getting rid of sugar in our diets would be beneficial for improving our overall health.

Incidentally, if you’re concerned about the alcohol in herbal solutions, don’t worry. Cat assures me you or your children will ingest only a tiny amount, especially when a tincture is diluted.

During our conversation I asked Cat how to know what to do with a given herb. Make a tincture? Dry it? Much depends on what you need the herb to do and how fast you need it. But to take the guess work out of it, in her materia medica she spells out the best uses for each herb.

Concerning essential oils, Cat says in her book to use them with caution. Several require combination or dilution with another oil, called a carrier oil. Otherwise, you may burn your skin.

As for shelf life, dried herbs will last more than a year. Herbs preserved in alcohol have a long, indefinite shelf life. For oils, coconut oil makes a great carrier oil because it resists spoilage. Cat talked about shelf life more in our conversation.

You probably have most of the equipment you need in your kitchen for preparing herbal medicines, especially if you can your garden produce or make jelly. You will likely need to buy suitable bottles and containers.

Cat tells you in her book what glassware and other equipment to use. You can take her word for her recommendations because she’s writing from experience.


No Better Time

Learning to become an herbalist won’t happen overnight. It takes time. Perhaps years. So start now, if you’re serious about pursuing this as part of your prepping strategy.

Don’t think there’s that much time left? Then I suggest you get to know someone who takes herbal medicine as seriously as Cat does. Hopefully, that’s someone who has a copy of Prepper’s Natural Medicine.

Cat recommends not waiting until disaster strikes before you delve into herbal medicine. For example, some formulas take six weeks to complete. Besides, if you have a chronic condition, the sooner you get yourself into better health, the more ready you’ll be in the proverbial SHTF scenario when modern medical care isn’t available.


Cat’s Top Five

Here are Cat’s top five reasons why preppers need to learn about natural medicine.
  1. Natural medicine works.
  2. Natural medicine belongs to everyone.
  3. Natural medicine is easy to learn.
  4. Natural medicine is sustainable over the long term.
  5. Natural medicine provides valuable barter items.


Digging at the Roots

As usual, I’ve written a longer post than I intended, but it still only scratches the surface of things. Hear my conversation with Cat Ellis by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for August 27, 2015. (Right click to download.) Get your copy of Prepper’s Natural Medicine by first clicking on its title wherever you see it linked in this post. That takes you to the page where you can place your order.

If you have questions for Cat, you can contact her through her site at Or, if you like, contact me, and I’ll ask your question the next time I have Cat with me on DestinySurvival Radio.

If you have thoughts on what you’ve read above or heard in my conversation with Cat Ellis, feel free to leave your comment below. Are you into natural medicine yourself? Do you have advice for others who want to make their own herbal medicines?