Here are seven plants at the top of my list:
Rose – Apply the petals as a bandage to inhibit bacterial growth on cuts.Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) – Apply the leaf topically to stop bleeding and act as an antiseptic to prevent infection, even in very deep wounds. It can also stop internal bleeding if the leaves are dried and ingested as a tea!
Plantain (Plantago major or minor) – Chop up the leaf and add spit or water to make a paste, then apply it topically to draw out splinters or soothe stings from insects or jellyfish (I do know someone who used it this way!).Chickweed (Stellaria media) – Eat the leaves, flowers and stems to bring down a high fever.
Usnea lichen – Antimicrobial properties mean it works as gauze for a wound. You can also dry it and then brew a tea of it to tackle pneumonia or a similar respiratory infection.
Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) – Eat the leaves or dry and brew as a tea to kill parasites hitching a ride as intestinal worms. This plant could cause an miscarriage, so don’t take it if you’re pregnant and want to stay that way.
Blackberry (Rubus discolor) – Dig up the root or pick and dry the leaf from this thorny vine and then drink as a tea to cure diarrhea. Might sound like a minor issue, but if left untreated, it could cause fatal dehydration.
It is in your interest to achieve mastery at identifying these plants ahead of time. You really wouldn’t want to be trying to match sketches in a field guide to plants you aren’t familiar with in a high-stress situation.
The links to the plants listed above will take you to my posts on identification and further use info.
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