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Old 02-10-2021, 03:06 PM
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Default Post-apocalyptic Medicine

Besides home-grown penicillin, what are some other effective, low-tech or DIY medicines/remedies that one might encounter and/or find useful in a T2k campaign?

DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!

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Old 02-10-2021, 04:26 PM
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Well, a certain PC run by a Canadian player has required treatment for an STD in the last week or two. There's been a reasonable amount of discussion (and a lot of joking) about the pre-antibiotic treatments such as internal application of hot needles and/or gunpowder, mercury and arsenic.
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Old 02-10-2021, 06:08 PM
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For 1st and 2nd edition timelines, the PCs (and NPCs) probably had grandparents who either lived through WW2 or lived through the immediate post-war period. Their grandparents may very well have used a number of "home remedies" for various ailments due to the rationing of medicines during the war and just after.
This would have been particularly relevant for those nations in the major theatres of war (Europe, Africa, Asia).

Honey and other types of poultice for aches, cuts, inflammation, bruises.
Sphagnum moss as a blood soak for when you don't have enough bandages.
Salt to promote healing.
Certain types of spider web can be used to improve blood clotting/stop bleeding (although I can imagine this being a pain in the rear to apply). Cobwebs also, apparently, promote healing.
Talc, if you can recognise the clay type (Geology skill), has obvious uses (talcum powder).
Many of the clays found around volcanoes have antibacterial properties and some of them are also apparently good for promoting wound healing.
And of course, that old favourite of rebellious teenagers, marijuana - but there are other plants found in Europe and Asia that have medicinal properties (I just can't remember the plants)
Baking soda and soap in water makes a useful fungicide as does horseradish in water.
Vinegar is useful as an astringent and vinegar mixed with hydrogen peroxide is useful as a general disinfectant (but not as effective as proper disinfectants).

Web searches of those terms will provide much better detail and obviously all of these treatments require some preparation to make them useful. The salient point is, people in the T2k era may remember some of what their grandparents did or their grandparents may still be alive and able to pass on that knowledge.
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Old 02-10-2021, 06:31 PM
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To take my post above further, this is a link to a Dark Conspiracy article I wrote for the ezine Protodimension. It has a better explanation of a few of the items I mentioned above but also includes some I didn't mention.
Protodimension, Issue 20, Page 43.
http://www.darkconspiracytherpg.info...mension-20.pdf
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Old 02-10-2021, 06:33 PM
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Before COVID blew up and my free time went to hell, I was prepping a PC for a PbP game who was basically a walking Foxfire collection. She was a priestess of an Appalachian backwoods syncretic neopagan cult/faith, with a halfway-decent modern education underpinning a lot of folk medicine. I regret not being able to start running her... it would have been interesting to see what I could get away with.

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Old 02-11-2021, 03:32 PM
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For those who are adventuring in Eastern Africa and the Middle East traditional medicine and healers would be the vast majority of what the populace were using pre-war - given the medicine shortages by 2001 there native remedies would be highly in demand by both the civilians and the remaining militaries.

Good article to read for Kenya to give you an idea of how prevalent that kind of medicine is there and would probably be what characters would need to use in areas where there arent any US military medics available

"Over 70% of Kenyans rely on traditional healers as their primary source of health care. This number is high because healers respond to diverse needs – they work as herbalists, birth attendants and spiritualists and they’re within reach of ordinary citizens. Some estimates suggest that there is one healer for every 950 patients, compared with one doctor for every 33,000 in Kenya"

https://theconversation.com/kenyas-s...rom-won-102205
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Old 02-11-2021, 03:53 PM
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I don't have much time but I had to pop in and post this...

You broke your leg, got shot, or are dying from a fever...

You: "Doc, I'm hurting! Help..."
Doc: "Take two Ibuprofin... Drink more water... and change your socks."

The universal field medic treatment system.
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  #8  
Old 02-11-2021, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swaghauler View Post
I don't have much time but I had to pop in and post this...

You broke your leg, got shot, or are dying from a fever...

You: "Doc, I'm hurting! Help..."
Doc: "Take two Ibuprofin... Drink more water... and change your socks."

The universal field medic treatment system.
Isnt "make sure you change your socks" the answer to all medical issues in the military?
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Old 02-11-2021, 10:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swaghauler View Post
You broke your leg, got shot, or are dying from a fever...

You: "Doc, I'm hurting! Help..."
Pre 1900 - amputation!
Bullet through the arm - chop it off,
Broken leg - that's coming off.
Hang nail - ooo, nasty, pass the bone saw.
Headache....
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If it moves, shoot it, if not push it, if it still doesn't move, use explosives.

Nothing happens in isolation - it's called "the butterfly effect"

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Old 02-11-2021, 10:51 PM
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I need to find some Electronic versions of Rob Krott's "Merc medicine" articles from the 90s Soldier of Fortune magazines. He was in a few places where he was the closest thing to a doctor around.
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Old 02-12-2021, 01:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swaghauler View Post
I don't have much time but I had to pop in and post this...

You broke your leg, got shot, or are dying from a fever...

You: "Doc, I'm hurting! Help..."
Doc: "Take two Ibuprofin... Drink more water... and change your socks."

The universal field medic treatment system.
For us it was take the Ibuprofin, and rub some dirt on it.
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  #12  
Old 02-12-2021, 02:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockwolf66 View Post
I need to find some Electronic versions of Rob Krott's "Merc medicine" articles from the 90s Soldier of Fortune magazines. He was in a few places where he was the closest thing to a doctor around.
I think the first article was in the October 1999 issue.

EDIT: I got the hint from a website about survival tips etc. etc. and then decided, "Well, I'm at the entrance to the rabbit-hole, I might as well dive in!"
So I did.
This is what I found: -
https://archive.org/details/soldiero...e/n45/mode/2up

The internet archive has a digital collection of SOF magazines from 1975 to 2007 and best of all, you can download individual issues.

Last edited by StainlessSteelCynic; 02-12-2021 at 02:59 AM. Reason: adding new information
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Old 02-12-2021, 06:41 AM
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As a former EMT-Paramedic and person whose hobbies include post apocalyptic role-playing, I keep copies of Where There is No Doctor, Where There is No Dentist, and The Survival Medicine Handbook around (in hardcopy of course).

These are useful.

Take for example, Diarrhea and Dehydration (which throughout history has probably put more people in the ground than all the lead ever fired in anger), Survival Medicine covers making your own rehydration salts, BRAT diet, OTC and RX medicines like Imodium, Zofran, along with natural substances and treatments, like Blackberry Leaf, Raspberry Leaf, and Peppermint (combine any and all that you have into a tea and drink a cup every 2-3 hours). Likewise, there's 1/2 clove of garlic, 1 teaspoon of raw honey, throughout the day is suggested to help; also ginger tea for abdominal cramping.

There are other folk remedies throughout the books and I'm hoping to never have to use any of them!
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Old 02-16-2021, 01:02 AM
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I have read in a post apocalyptic novel and seen a news report in the last year regarding people using antibiotics for animals from pet stores as the book found them least likely to be looted. The news article was regarding people buying them due to there price compared to buying the similar product at the pharmacy.
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Old 02-16-2021, 01:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolffhound79 View Post
I have read in a post apocalyptic novel and seen a news report in the last year regarding people using antibiotics for animals from pet stores as the book found them least likely to be looted. The news article was regarding people buying them due to there price compared to buying the similar product at the pharmacy.
Interestingly enough, in my part of the world, animal medicines are typically more expensive than human versions. This is probably in large part to a much smaller demand (smaller population) for animal medicines in my region but I raise the point because in some locations, vet supplies may be overlooked because there's plenty of large population centres in the area (and plenty of hospitals and pharmacies) but in some pokey little rural town, the vet supplies are just as likely to be raided to keep livestock alive rather than for use on humans (and so there would be nothing left to pilfer for anyone wandering through).

Last edited by StainlessSteelCynic; 02-16-2021 at 01:28 AM. Reason: sentence correction
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Old 02-16-2021, 02:35 AM
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in the book if remember correctly it was a large town and it was safer to get the meds from the small pet store as the larger big name store were all being looted or already had been looted. I do see your point that the more rural areas may have had time to secure and round up vet supplies and vet stores. My own home town and surrounding farm towns all have multiple vet and equine services. Very important supplies to keep the farms going.
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Old 02-16-2021, 07:06 AM
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And I just remembered... there's a good example of humans raiding veterinarian hospitals for medicine in the third Terminator movie.
John Connor, attempting to stay off the grid before Skynet takes over the world, breaks into a vet's to patch himself up after sustaining some injuries.
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Old 02-16-2021, 09:34 AM
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It's worth mentioned that where I am, animal shelters and veterinarians encourage people to drop off their expired medications for animal use.

Additionally, years ago when I was working for a rather large multinational pharmaceutical company, I learnt that at least in Australia, all medicines must still be fit for human use at least twelve months after the expiry date. This was to account for those who didn't pay much attention to printed dates, or hadn't properly stored the medication.
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Old 02-17-2021, 12:22 AM
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Boiled cottonwood bark, skim off the scum and dry it = aspirin.

(Better/more accurate description of how to make the distillate here:

https://cedarmountainherbs.com/cotto...ain-relievers/ )

(I am not being snarky, I do not want a discussion on the various merits of any real-world drug situations coming up...with that said...)

Pot grows in most conditions, it is effectively a weed, and has at the very least, palliative effects.
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Old 02-17-2021, 07:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raketenjagdpanzer View Post
Boiled cottonwood bark, skim off the scum and dry it = aspirin.

(Better/more accurate description of how to make the distillate here:

https://cedarmountainherbs.com/cotto...ain-relievers/ )

(I am not being snarky, I do not want a discussion on the various merits of any real-world drug situations coming up...with that said...)

Pot grows in most conditions, it is effectively a weed, and has at the very least, palliative effects.
You would be surprised at all the home brewed medicines my grandmother learned from her mother - and one thing they were making was basically aspirin - and various distillations with alcohol, garlic, honey, onions and that home made aspirin that worked wonders on sore throats, colds and other ailments

As for other things - the Germans in WWI were using onions and garlic as antiseptics when they ran out of drugs late in the war - and they worked quite well

attached some research on the effectivity of onions on fighting bacterial infections
Attached Images
File Type: pdf SJAMS-Antibacterialeffectofonions.pdf (499.4 KB, 3 views)
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Old 02-17-2021, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
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Isnt "make sure you change your socks" the answer to all medical issues in the military?
No, that would be "F**k it, Drive On," or FIDO.
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