Pharmaceutical drugs for the purpose of controlling cholesterol are a huge deal these days as they are the most commonly used medicines in America (at least as recently as this 2009 article). When you consider how commonly medicines like aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol), and ibuprofen (Motrin) are used, this says that a huge number of people are using cholesterol drugs.
So, what happens when a disaster situation prevents access to drugs to control cholesterol because pharmacies are closed down or deliveries are prevented due to closed roadways? What will people do to control their cholesterol?
Fortunately, people in this situation have a few options. Dr. Chauncey Crandall gives a few choices that people can make to help control cholesterol without drugs. His suggestions include:
- Changing your diet. Dr. Crandall recommends changing from an animal-based to a plant-based diet. If you’re homesteading already, then, chances are, you’re already growing your own food. From this basis, you can choose to change completely over to a plant based diet with “large amounts of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, along with meat substitutes like beans.”
- Get 8-10 hours of sleep per night. Yes, getting adequate sleep is connected to issues such as cholesterol and obesity. If you want to lose weight and/or control cholesterol, stop skimping on the sleep.
- Exercise one hour daily. This exercise can take many forms including a brisk walk or mixed up with bodyweight exercises or other kinds of exercises. The nice part about walking and bodyweight exercises is that you don’t need any special equipment to do them. Just decide to do them and take action.
- Put cinnamon on your food. Charlotte Libov notes that “[i]n one study researchers found that about ½ tablespoon of cinnamon daily cut total cholesterol by 26 percent.”
If taking these actions don’t bring your cholesterol under control, then you also have another option to add into the mix: a persistent little weed in your yard called purslane. Why purslane? Kristen Duever explains:
Purslane is remarkably high in omega-3 fatty acids – which can help lower bad cholesterol — and contains more of it than any other leafy green. It also has calcium, iron, potassium and magnesium. Additionally, it is high in vitamins A and C and pectin, the latter of which can lower bad cholesterol, too.
If you want to grow some in your yard, you can find it in the wild, if you know what you’re looking for, though you may be better served by going to your local garden center before a disaster situation and buying some seeds.
How do you eat it? Well, first, Duever recommends staying away from any that are growing near roads or where chemicals have been sprayed. You can use the (preferably organically grown) leaves in a salad or on sandwiches in the same way that you would use lettuce or spinach.
So, with a few simple choices, you can take more control of your cholesterol now and, hopefully, keep your cholesterol under control in a disaster situation.