Let’s face it: concerns about sanitation should be one of the biggest concerns that you have when you consider bugging out and going off grid. After securing food, water, and shelter, sanitation is the next biggest concern because you don’t want to catch a bacterial infection when no medical help is available.
Fortunately, when we look back into the annals of American history, we can find an all-natural antibacterial substance that we can use to help our bodies fight off infection. That substance? Camphor. Tammy Robinson writes,
The first chest rub was described by a doctor named Henry Hughes, who lived in Utah during the early 1800s. He said that a mixture of olive oil and camphor could be rubbed on the back and chest to relieve coughs and loosen phlegm.
Camphor is also a mild anesthetic and offers a “cooling” sensation, similar to menthol. This makes it a first choice for minor burns, cuts or other skin problems.
Let’s not forget that ugly little critters like lice or scabies were fairly common in those times. Our ancestors knew that camphor oil, mixed in bath water, helped to kill these annoyances. Even a small branch with leaves, tied to your hat or shirt, will deter most insects, including mosquitoes
Think about how much relief that you could experience while off-grid by getting rid of annoying pests. And, if your grandparents ever rubbed Vicks VapoRub on your chest when you had nasal drainage or a cold, then you have some idea of the power of camphor (camphor is one of the primary ingredients of Vicks VapoRub). I have very clear memories of waking up the next morning with a clear head and feeling like a new person.
Keeping these benefits in mind, you will want to make sure to only use camphor topically. Why? Robinson writes,
Although pioneers consumed camphor for heartburn and other internal problems, it is toxic and can be fatal. As little as two grams can be lethal. Never consume camphor internally.
So, it goes without saying that you should keep this out of easy reach of young children, especially those who are of an age in which they put everything in their mouths.
All-in-all, though, camphor is an incredibly useful plant to have around, and you may want to consider planting one now at your bug out location so that it is ready to use when the SHTF.