It will only be a matter of time before we encounter some kind of foot problem during a survival situation. Blisters, ingrown toenails and corns are just a few examples of minor issues that can turn into big problems if left untreated. Fortunately, nature has provided us with some tried-and-true remedies that can treat common ailments, and here are a few that are are worth knowing about.
Blisters are not just painful areas of chafed or damaged skin, they are essentially open-sores that are very prone to infection. Consequently, its important to keep them as clean as possible while protecting the affected area from further injury. In the absence of some antibiotic ointment, bandages and tape, you can use plantain, comfrey or yarrow as an effective alternative.
Smash and pulverize bits of the plants until they develop a moist and pasty, yet fibrous consistency. Apply it directly to the blister and secure it in place with a bandage or improvised alternative. Repeat the process once or twice a day until the wound heals. You can also use the same technique for treating minor cuts and scrapes.
The pain associated with walking with an ingrown toenail can be excruciating. Bacterial and fungal infections can also develop if the nail cuts through the skin. Normal treatment involves removing part of the nail, applying antibiotic ointment, bandaging the toe and resting the foot for a couple of days. However, this may not be possible during a survival situation. Fortunately there is an alternative solution: Acorns.
Acorns contain tannic acid, and tannic acid can provide relief in as little as a day after treatment. Tannic acid causes the nail to harden while also firming up the skin. In some cases, this can cause the nail to return to its natural position while healing damaged tissue. This process can also make it easier and less-painful to remove the part of the nail that’s causing the problem.
Take a couple of handfuls of acorns, crush them up, and add them to a gallon of water. Bring to a boil, let the water cool to a comfortable level, and give your toe a good soaking. If you need to walk around, consider soaking a cotton ball into the acorn-infused liquid and apply it directly to the affected area.
Do this a couple of times a day, and you should experience relief in no time.
Did you know that salicylic acid is the active ingredient in most treatment products? This is also the active ingredient in aspirin, and aspirin has been synthesized from the bark of willow trees. If you’re afflicted with a corn or bunion in the field, grind up an aspirin tablet and make it into a paste. Apply it to the affected area, cover with a bandage and you’re good to go.
If you don’t have any aspirin, peel some fresh bark from a healthy willow branch and steep the strips in hot water for about 30 minutes. Soak the affected foot for about 15 minutes, and repeat as often as desired until the bumps start to shrink.
These are just a few examples of a number of safe, natural and effective remedies that can be used to treat all kinds of foot problems in a survival situation. Take some time to learn more about them now so that you will be able to take advantage of their benefits in the field later.