medical library bookshelf

The Prepper’s Library Series: Medical Books for the Prepared

If the SHFT tomorrow, would you have all of the skills necessary to survive long term? I seriously doubt anyone does, but a well-curated reference library could be the difference between life and death for you or a loved one. Important skills should be practiced, but there are only so many hours in a day. So I recommend adding a selection of survival medicine books to your prepper library to help you get through any situations that may arise.

This edition of “The Prepper’s Library” will focus on medical books. I suspect this is an area most know little about, even a seasoned doctor could reasonably only know a portion of all the ailments, diseases, conditions, and treatments. So the medical spectrum must cover the entire body, medications, and treatments.

I will break down the library into categories and sub-categories to help you identify the areas that you’re looking to improve.

NOTE: “The Prepper’s Library Series” is a work in progress. When updated, more acurate or better content becomes aviliable this post will be revised. Please comment below if you see any oversight. -Thank you

First Aid

Defined as: Emergency care or treatment given to an ill or injured person before regular medical aid can be obtained.

The Survival Medicine Handbook: A guide for when help is NOT on the way

by Joseph Alton and Amy Alton –
A guide for those who want to be medically prepared for any disaster where help is NOT on the way. Covering Survival Skills, Disaster Relief, Safety/First Aid and is geared to enable the non-medical professionals to deal with all the likely issues they will encounter in catastrophic scenarios.

Bushcraft First Aid: A Field Guide to Wilderness Emergency Care

by Dave Canterbury and Jason A. Hunt –
Bushcraft First Aid teaches you how to be your own first responder. The authors’ years of experience and training will help hikers and backpackers deal with a variety of emergency situations, from cuts and burns to broken bones and head injuries.

ACEP First Aid Manual

by DK –
Covering more than 100 different conditions, from splinters and sprained ankles to strokes and unconsciousness, and shows exactly what to do with step-by-step photographic sequences. Every condition is clearly explained, outlining causes, symptoms, and signs, and action plans.

First Aid Fast for Babies and Children: Emergency Procedures for all Parents and Caregivers

by DK –
An indispensable guide for all parents and caretakers covering a wide range of childhood emergencies. From anaphylaxis to burns to severe bleeding and bruising. First Aid Fast for Babies and Children offers clear advice, and step-by-step photographs show you what to do.

Advanced Medical Care

Defined as: Maintaining and restoration of health by the treatment and prevention of disease. (As in medicine, dentistry, psychology, and health)

Where There Is No Doctor: a village health care handbook

by David Werner, Carol Thuman, and Jane Maxwell – Covering all aspects of health ranging from diarrhea to malaria, bone fractures, and ringworm. The book explains to readers what they can do themselves and how to prevent, recognize and treat many common sicknesses.

Where There Is No Dentist

by Murray Dickson – Instructions explain how to examine patients, diagnose common dental problems, make and use dental equipment, use local anesthetics, place fillings and remove teeth.

Medicinal Plant Preparation and Uses

Knowing what a plant looks like, how and when to harvest is great information, but knowing what to do with it once you have it is an art form that requires tutelage. Learning how to extract the medicines and use them is crucial information that requires study.

Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs: A Beginners Guide

by Rosemary Gladstar – Craft a soothing aloe lotion after an encounter with poison ivy, make a dandelion-burdock tincture to fix sluggish digestion and brew up some lavender-lemon balm tea to ease a stressful day. In this introductory guide, Rosemary Gladstar shows you how easy it can be to make your own herbal remedies for life’s common ailments.

Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine

by DK – With 550 key herbs and their uses as natural remedies for nearly 200 common ailments, Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine is the definitive home reference to healing with the world’s oldest form of medicine. From ginger to lavender and thyme to dandelion, learn about the chemistry of plants and how and why they work as medicines within the body.

Alchemy of Herbs: Transform Everyday Ingredients into Foods and Remedies That Heal

by Rosalee De La Foret – Imagine being prepared for that next cold, scrape, headache, digestive issue, stressful day, or sleepless night with simple ingredients from your cupboard. Instead of pills, reach for Cinnamon Tea to soothe your throat. Garlic Hummus to support your immune system. Ginger Lemon Tea for cold and flu symptoms. Cayenne Salve to relieve sore muscles. Cardamom Chocolate Mousse Cake for heart health. A glass of Spiced Cold Brew Coffee as a powerful antioxidant. Alchemy of Herbs will show you how to transform common ingredients into foods and remedies that heal.

The Modern Herbal Dispensatory: A Medicine-Making Guide

by Thomas Easley and Steven Horne – A comprehensive, full-color guide provides detailed, easy-to-follow instructions for making and using approximately 250 herbal medicines at home, including practical tips and numerous effective formulas developed and tested by the authors, both expert herbalists with years of experience.

Medicinal Plant Identification

Dedicated identification guides have served me much better than the usage books. They are often much better in many areas, photography, geography, availability, portability, etc. For these reasons I always like to have good ID manuals nearby. I highly recommend looking for regional plant books, which will focus on the native plants in your area. There’s no point looking around for plants and trees you’ll never find.

A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs: Eastern and Central United States

by Steven Foster and James A. Duke – The clear and concise text identifies the key traits, habitats, uses, and warnings for more than 530 of the most significant medicinal plants in the eastern and central United States and Canada including both native and alien species. Seven hundred plus images, the organization-by-color system, and simplified warnings make identifying medicinal plants fast and easy.
[Note, there is also an edition for the Western United States.]

Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild (and Not So Wild) Places

by Steve Brill and Evelyn Dean – Shows readers how to find and prepare more than five hundred different plants for nutrition and better health. More than 260 detailed line drawings help readers identify a wide range of plants.

Eastern Trees Field Guide

by Peterson Field Guides – This field guide features detailed descriptions of 455 species of trees native to eastern North America, including the Midwest and the South. Color photographs and 266 color range maps accompany the species descriptions.

To Conclude This Chapter

There are a few important things to consider when you’re building your library. First, there’s no replacement for hands-on training. If the first time you crack a book is when you’re in need you are likely going to fail miserably. Remember the 7Ps, proper planning prevents piss poor performance. I book is not a replacement for learned skills, it should serve as a reference, second opinion, and a reminder/refresher.

You’re going to need some gear, equipment, supplies, etc. Many skills require specialized tools for satisfactory end results. If there’s something you can foresee doing you should take the time to at least gather the supplies for the task. Additionally, you should have the basic equipment for performing a variety of tasks. Many of the plants used in medical treatment require preparation. Cutting tools, cook pots, jars, alcohol, waxes, cloth, and other kitchen instruments dedicated for medical plants would be great to have on hand.

If you’re just starting to build your prepper library I would recommend getting a variety of books that range across all aspects of prepping. Once you have a good variety, you can identify what holes need to be filled in as you go. Better to have a little of everything, than a lot of 1 thing that you might not be able to use. (Don’t put all your eggs in 1 basket.)

5 thoughts on “The Prepper’s Library Series: Medical Books for the Prepared

  1. there’s knowing what should be done, and then there’s having the gear and practiced skills to GET it done (fast enough to suffice) You can easily drive yourself crazy over your failings in all this stuff, on top of using up all your time and investing 10’s, if not 100’s of thousands of dollars. Gotta decide where to draw the line. Attacks upon people, by other people, occur every minute, of every day in the US, So not being ready for that, with hand to hand and pistol skills, is really stupid and shameful. Prepping for such is fun, and not all that costly. a couple of grand of gear and 2k more of instruction, then about a grand a year after that, in order, to maintain, at the very least, a SWAT cop’s level of “skill”. This is assuming that you know to use airsoft,,.22lr conversion units, cast your own handgun bullets and load your own ammo.

  2. Thank you, DangerFox, for starting this list! There are two books here that i didn’t know about, so i am grateful! Don’t forget to look for good books on HOW and WHEN to harvest them properly! My household forages and wildcrafts many herbs and spices all season long. Most of the herbs we gather are processed into tinctures, salves, and syrups. Some we hang dry to dehydrate, then store in sealed glass mason jars in a large cabinet designed to keep out light just for our herbs! We have now taken to gathering good old dollar tree spices and things like that every time we go to town to grocery shop! Pepper, salt, and garlic powder being among the chief of these. We are in Oregon, Lane County, and there are quite a lot of trees here that provide some interesting healing properties! My mom just bought me a book for my birthday last October (I turned 44), “The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies” by Claude Davis and Nicole Apelian. Check it out here: ,I loved it and immediate bought three copies for Christmas presents! I immediately noticed a superfood tree listed in its pages that I know for a fact has been quietly making its way into many American backyards! If you can spot this peaceful invader he’ll provide you with food (all parts are edible), water (it can purify it), more protein and calcium than milk, four times the iron of spinach and… a LOT more! I planted one in my backyard two years ago and was absolutely blown away by how fast it grew – over 4′ feet in just 2 months. Best of all, this tree already grows in many American backyards, so see if it grows in your own backyard as well.
    Wanted to share my good find with you, I really believe you will add it to your list!
    Joy & Health to you,
    Justin Baker

    1. Hi Justin, Glad you found the list informative. I enjoy providing thoughtful recommendations based on my experiences. Sounds like you are doing a lot of herbal remedies which is awesome, I wish I was doing more. Find wild food is something I really enjoy. I have a journal where I keep a calendar of when things are in season and location where I’ve found certain plants for harvest. I’ll look into that book recommendation, I’m always looking to expand my knowledge base.


      1. Good evening, Jason. Foraging for wild food is also very very important to me too! As well as making what I call BIGs and BOGs. Bug In Gardens and Bug Out Gardens. Basically, after some research and practice, I make little gardens with some essentials using strong, resilient, heirloom seeds. these are not only all over the woods in a mile circumference around my home, but also in strategic locations along the route/routes of my evacuation plans. Some of these plants will die out before use. Some will be ravaged by wild animals. But, given what I have learned about growing things and was selective in my seed choices, I am sure some will thrive. Anything to get better chances of survival in any given situation. The old term for this was “guerrilla gardening”. it’s fun too!
        Hope all is well with you!
        Justin Baker

  3. You can have all the ammo in the world, but after awhile, the ammo will run out, firefights, quick retreats, etc. But a good solid knowledge in making a bow and arrows. Priceless

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