As far back as 2014 the country of Venezuela was experiencing political and social violence and scarcity of food and resources. Its hard to believe its been 6 years since Hugo Chavez died of cancer.
At the end of that year Venezuela’s central bank announced that the nation had entered into a recession due to plummeting oil prices, their greatest commodity.
Between 2015 and 2016 food shortages were so bad that Venezuelans lost an average of 19 pounds! This was just from a lack of food across the board.
Thanks to the corruption of their socialist government Maduro was reelected despite being seated at the helm throughout this entire mess. Now, Venezuelans are combating the scarcity, rolling power outages and the possibility of a civil war. Things don’t look to be improving.
The desperate people of this nation have lost their doctors and supply lines for medicines and medical supplies are also compromised. For those who understand the natural world their only hope in dealing with injury and illness is coming in the form of plants.
Let’s look at 6 common plants Venezuelans are using to treat themselves through this growing crisis.
As an effective tea and tincture the wood plant known as wormwood is a powerful natural medicine. This plant can be used to deal with things like inflammation. You might wonder about the name and yes it can be used to deal with parasites and worms that are in our intestinal tract.
You can also use wormwood to ease stomach discomfort, which is always something we need to consider when dealing with a collapsed environment where food and water are likely contaminated.
Another interesting thing about wormwood is that it can be used as a mild antidepressant. The people of Venezuela could certainly use some help with depression.
The deciduous moringa tree is an incredible survival tree that doesn’t get the airtime it deserves. This tree is full of edible parts and you can even use parts of it to purify water! The powdered seeds can be used to sanitize drinking water.
On the medicinal side of things the Moringa tree is a mulit use means of dealing with injury and illness.
The Venezuelans who know about moringa will use the leaves as a tonic to deal with things like bronchitis, UTIs and things like diarrhea and dysentery. The seeds of moringa have antifungal and antibacterial properties.
It’s a powerful multiuse tree that any survivor should get to know.
An economic collapse is a harbinger of many things. One such thing is disease and infection. We get very used to having access to things like band aids and triple antibiotic ointment. So much so that infection is hardly a concern because we know we can just get a prescription of antibiotics filled.
For the Venezuelan people things are more dire. When the doctors and nurses file out of town and the medical resources stop flowing into town, you are basically on your own. People can die from simple cuts on their hand just as easy as they can die from the flu.
Aloe Vera, being a plant that grows well in Venezuela, is a great option for dealing with cuts and burns. Its also a big help with sunburn that might be useful for people who have no shelter. This is another symptom of economic collapse.
Aside from its topical uses, aloe also can be ingested and used to bolster the intestinal flora. That is to power up the gastrointestinal tract. These are many reasons why this would be helpful. The most important being to deal with the strange, inconsistent and likely dangerous diets of Venezuelan’s struggling to survive this situation.
This powerful and natural astringent is well known for its powerful antiseptic properties. It is found in Venezuela and is likely helping people deal with one issue.
While lemongrass is one of those powerful plant medicines that works on all sorts of ailments, the Venezuelans are likely using lemongrass to deal with gastrointestinal issues. That is how its most effective in its tea and other medicinal forms.
You see, without food or safe water, people put things into their bodies that will wreak havoc on the digestive system. Whether its bad water or rotting foods both are filled with pathogens that can cause harm to the digestive system or even illness that can end in death, if left untreated.
To deal with bad water quality and food quality lemongrass is a great option to help with digestive upset and gastro intestinal illness.
A plant introduced by colonizers; rosemary is hardly a native plant to Venezuela. However, it’s just as effective a healer in Venezuela.
This woody stemmed perennial a strong place in the herbal medicine cabinet. Rosemary can help your circulation, digestion and even your nervous system. In Cuba its burned to chase away bad spirits and burnt rosemary has a tremendous scent.
In Venezuela it is undoubtedly being used to prevent things like lice because of the lack of personal hygiene and resources. You see, along with helping with minor aches and pains and headaches a decoction or essential oil can be used to help things like lice and fleas. It can be taken as a tea or used as a rinse to deal with all issues both inside and outside the body.
The astringent and antiseptic properties of common plantain are undoubtably being taken advantage of by the Venezuelan people. You see, they have been suffering resource shortages for years now and have been forced to learn what can be of use from the land.
Common plantain is a tremendous means of healing wounds in its poultice form and really helps when dealing with things like wounds.
In a fallen state like Venezuela one of the most dangerous things is infection. They do not have a consistent flow of antibiotics so simple cuts and wounds must be cared for with extreme caution.
Common plantain is one of the few plants that can double as a bandage and a poultice for expediated healing.
We don’t need to suffer an economic collapse or a collapse of any kind to call on plant medicines in our life. In fact, there are many people who depend on things like salves and decoctions daily!
These 6 plants are just a little piece of the full scope self-reliance that many of us are so intent on achieving. Why does it take sheer horror for us to return to the natural world for answers? We must eliminate all other forms of convenience before taking simple action.
At most, the processing of these plants requires some chopping and simmering or some chopping and steeping in alcohol.
Don’t wait till America is in calamity to get to know your own wild medicinal collection. You can also plant a bed’s worth of them in your garden this year!