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Category: Health

European Alternatives To Balsam Fir For Medicinal Purposes

European Alternatives To Balsam Fir For Medicinal Purposes

In an article published here on my blog, I outlined the medicinal use of balsam fir, Abies balsamea, for cuts, grazes and sores. I then went on to describe how I had made use of the sap in helping a wound heal while I was on a wilderness canoe trip. The article generated a fair few questions relating to whether there are any European species with similar medicinal properties. For example… John asks “are there any UK trees where sap…

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Medicinal Use Of Balsam Fir For Cuts, Grazes & Sores

Medicinal Use Of Balsam Fir For Cuts, Grazes & Sores

On this year’s Bloodvein River canoe trip, Amanda and I capsized our canoe on a little rock shelf drop-off. The bow of the boat went a little too far left, into slower water, turning the boat. Consequently we ended somewhat side-on to the flow in a small recirculation. This was enough to turn the boat over and we swam. I kept hold of my paddle, as any good paddler does. In maintaining the fist of my left hand around the…

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Water Mint, Mentha aquatica – A Not So Wild Tea

Water Mint, Mentha aquatica – A Not So Wild Tea

Water Mint, Mentha aquatica has a wide distribution across Europe (except the far north), Asia and Africa. It is the most common of the wild mints in the British Isles but is less frequent in Scotland. It has a number of food and medicinal uses and is therefore a useful plant to know for foragers and those interested in bushcraft and survival. As its name suggests…

A Personal Wilderness First Aid Kit: What to Include?

A Personal Wilderness First Aid Kit: What to Include?

The best wilderness first aid kits are ones where the contents, your experience and the likely risks are in sync. This is why assembling your own kit is the best option. The choice of equipment to include in your kit is a personal one. The process of optimising your first aid kit and training, as well as assessing the risks you might face, improves your wilderness survival skills and maximises your….

Creeping Death – Hypothermia And How To Avoid It

Creeping Death – Hypothermia And How To Avoid It

Every year people die of hypothermia or in hypothermia-related incidents. Hypothermia most commonly takes hold when people are not prepared for it. They are often ill-equipped or dressed in inadequate clothing. They do not understand the contributing factors; they do not recognise the signs and symptoms in themselves or their companions and they do not…

Cold Injuries: Take Care In The Blue Zone

Cold Injuries: Take Care In The Blue Zone

The human body’s mechanisms for staying cool on an extremely hot day are powerful. The human body’s mechanisms for staying warm on a very cold day aren’t nearly as effective. An understanding of how your body is affected by cold will make you more capable in cold environments and help you avoid cold-injuries…