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Home Forums General Discussion Healthcare off the grid, a must have!

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    Any ideas about healthcare coverage while living off grid? self care and herbal remedies are fine but some conditions really require a Doctor..diabetes asthma,ingrown toenail ETC. Traditional healthcare via a job is understood…anyone have another route? while in your 20s your bulletproof..but 40s and above some real health concerns arise. can the need for even preventative health care force your back into the grid?

    I own land in new mexico…all desert and remote, water well capable and a hotspot for solar and wind. As of now Im still functioning on grid but squirreling away money and supplies slowly to get off the grid, greenhouse,hydro,wood,solar all in the plan. But i cannot get around the healthcare question.


    I assume I will have to maintain a fulltime job just to get healthcare….which means near a qualified medical facility. Hence the trap of having to be on grid to some degree…



    6gun911 wrote: “Doctor..diabetes asthma,ingrown toenail ETC.”

    I’m in my sixties and have all of the above but no health care whatsoever.( (Its a long story – don’t ask) Nor did my parent’s generation. The fact is, you can take responsibility for your own health care effectively. Diabetes is often brought about by poor eating habits and can be cured using the same approach but in reverse. Proper diet will minimize diabetic symptoms and problems. If you are living off grid chances are you are also in a low air pollution region. This eliminates or greatly reduces asthmatic spells.

    The one time I did need a doctor was when I got my finger crushed between a steel wheel and a 600 pound welder on the track. In retrospect I could have managed with a upholstry needed some fine thread and a bottle of rum afterwards. Maybe even just taping it up might have been as effective as how the doctor stitched it up. Still have a big scar where the finger tip was reattached. The bone at the end of the finger was crushed and splintered so the doctor did nothing with it. Nerves are still numbseveral years after.

    There are any number of books on how to apply home remedies using common herbs and plant material. For example tumeric which is used in east indian food also has curative powers as an antiseptic and healing ointment or poultice.

    10 years ago I had a rash on my foot supposedly brought about from wearing construction boots all the time. No amount of expensive pescription medication seemed yo help. After severl years of no cure my wife applied a tumeric poultice that healed the open sore in less than a week. Now that we are living out in the boonies we find the native indians know about devils club plant and use it for a variety of cures. Asperin was originally derived from willow bark as is quinine (malaria fever) and digitalis (a variety of the deadly night shade plant) is used for heart disease. My viking ancestors used to apply spider webs containing penecillin to open wounds and cuts. Only after Banting and Best developed methods of cultivating peneclllin was it realized spiders cob webs also contains the same healing medication but in reduced amounts. I have read old accounts of mouldy bread being used as a poultice on cuts. Although the old accounts did not have an explanantion as to why it was good; modern knowledge suggest the yeast in the bread yielded penecillin growth as the bread got mouldy. If the new definition of going off grid means getting away from the establishment and organized big business then getting away from pill pushing doctors who are barely more than shills for the pharmaceutical drug companies should be a part of it. Much can be done in the way of self help both for first aid and longer term medial treatment. Simply getting away from the toxcity of big cities is a good beginning.


    I do not wish to give the wrong impression regarding doctors. Doctors have their place but in most cases medical treatment consist of first aid and dealing with minor issues such as infections from cuts and bruises or ingestion of toxic foreign substances. Occasionall it also deals with major injuries. The nursing profession has for several decades maintained their argument that they could in fact administer the same level of medical treatment presently reserved by law to doctors only.

    Read any of the biographies of early pioneering doctors and you will see how their daily work quite often consisted of common sense and the application of relatively few medications. Then compare these early days with present day medical practice of prescribing pills that subsequently proved to have disasterous side effects. Which is really better? Modern or old time pioneer days. Modern medical science has developed a term “placebo effect”. To this day no one is willing to assign a value as to how often this is what effects a ‘cure’ among modern patients. But note that even modern well trained doctors do acknowldge this effect and the part it dometimes plays in treating patients.


    I have been thinking more about this myself. I am a programmer by day and a paid volunteer EMT-Intermediate the rest of the time.

    There are definitely times when I have a hard time convincing myself that a person needs to go to the ER. There are cases when it is seriously warranted. But there are other times when it is It feels more like some people think just because they have a little owie they need to be seen by an ER doctor. Partially because of the mindset that our countries have gotten into, referring to previous comments.

    I have a blood pressure that is considered borderline. I understand what will happen if it goes uncorrected and am for now abiding by my doc and taking a prescription. I also realize if I could shed the 20 pounds that puts me in the overweight and get down to my ideal BMI I would probably not need it.

    I made the mistake of asking about a recurring skin breakouts. At 49 I felt like I should be done with localized acne :)

    Doc gave me an antibiotic, a 90 day supply because she said it would take a while to get rid of. I went for a followup a month later and while it was working she told me that i would probably need to keep a therapeutic level of the antibiotic from now on. No thank you, I finished the supply but I am not going to constantly take a low level of antibiotic. The annoyance of an occasional acne like break out is easier to deal with than the risks of getting resistant to a medication I might need later down the road for something more serious.

    About every other time I am at her office a drug salesperson is stopping by to drop off samples. I see the qty of ‘preventative’ drugs that the medical community wants to prescribe and it makes me sick by itself.

    oh well, probably enough of a rant. Off to blow away;more idiotic spammers.


    marshall, il


    I can only speak for my hubby and myself, we live off grid, have been here since Dec 07, we didn’t have health insurance before moving here and we certainly do not have it now. We are fairly healthy to begin with but are not in our 20s any more, I’m 45 and he’s 50. We are physically active, could stand to lose a little weight, we have to hike up the side of a mountain to get to our home, it’s not a long hike, but it’s not like we just pull up in the driveway and step into the house either, I believe that’s one of the reasons why are as healthy as we are. We use very little in the way of power tools and appliances, mostly doing everything by hand. Bringing anything home from the store requires several trips up and down the mountain to get it home.

    I am learning more and more about our local plants for medicinal purposes, I also utilize herbs and supplements from the health food store or buy online. We don’t go to the doctor when we get sniffles, we don’t tend to take medicines (prescription or otherwise) in the first place. So for us, this is an easy choice, it’s no different than we lived when we lived in the city, no insurance before, no insurance now. Except for real emergencies, broken bones, major bleeding, fall off the roof sort of things, neither of us will go to the doctor, we take care of our own problems. I did purchased a bottle of antibiotics from a fish supply, it’s the exact same medicine you get from a doctor without the doctor visit and bill. I don’t expect to actually use it, neither of us has had to take antibiotics in many years, hubby had some teeth pulled and needed it then, for me it’s been over 15 years since I took them, it was also teeth related. But in the event that we would need an antibiotic, we have it now and can take it if we need to, if it expires and we never use it, I don’t think of it as lost money, I think of it as our insurance in case we need it.

    I don’t know what people would do in our situation if they had major health issues, I will say though, there are many people living in our community who are poor and have health issues, it’s no different than being in the city, they go to the doctor and to the hospital as needed, many of them are on medicaid or medicare.

    I believe, like Bob Marshal and elnav said, many ailments we have are self inflicted, by bad diets, by not being active enough, by living in polluted and stressful places, by taking the poisons the doctors give out like candy, it’s high time to become more self sufficient with our health, stop relying on pills and doctors, allow our bodies to heal themselves, to take proper care of our bodies and mind (and spirit), our bodies are magnificent machines that are self repairing if we would only give it half a chance. BTW Bob, at 45 I still have skin breakouts, so don’t feel like you are alone with that, I have to wonder if it’s at all related to all the hormones given to cattle and chickens, in the meat we eat… I’m not a conspiracy theorist, it’s just a thought. Give the spammers Hell!

    One more thing, in our community, we have a physician’s assistant, this is a nurse who can do most everything thing a doctor can, this leaves the doctor free to treat more major problems, our PA can even do minor surgery if need be. We haven’t had to go to either of them, but I understand our local doctor and PA still do house calls, and I know that they sometimes work on people without taking payment, sort of like a real country doctor. :)



    There is a need to provide better public education on medicinal properties of common plants that are readily available without prescription. Aloe Vera is a garden plant that has found mainstream acceptance. I know of several people who keep Aloe Vera plants around as part of their ‘medecine cabinet” supplies. They use the plant in much the same way as other people use first aid ointment on minor burns scratches and cuts. Honey (natural not pasturized)contains a powerful antibacterial agent from what I have heard. This is why you should not use honey in infants food. The antibacterial properties would interfer with the growing baby’s ‘own developing immune system. Although the list of such plants is not endless it is considerable. Unfortunately many people are not aware of these properties. And the medical community is loath to support it since it would diminish the value of their own profit motivated services. I am encouraged by the fact several alternative menicine websitss are available but discouraged by the fact many of them simply use it to peddle over priced products. Not that the products are not effective but that the price for the concentrated extracts and pills is excessive. A member of our church congregation sells a health food supplement. The cost of a monthly supply is equal to half our actual food budget. When they tried their sales pitch on me I pointed out that we already consumed most of the listed ingredients as part of our normal food. So why pay extra for the expensive supplements. Case in point is ‘deoderized garlic’. I asked why would you pay 10X as much for tasteless and deoderized garlic instead of putting a whole real clove into the meal. The reply and my response did not contribute constructively to the conversation. Another trace substance which is supposed to help protect against cancer happens to be present in tomatoes, mostly in the skin. Even a modest sized green house will produce an over abundance of tomatoe plants. Wy pay dearly for the extract instead of enjoying lots of fresh tomatoes on sandwidges or as home made tomato soup with out the 35% sodium content as advertised on soup cans?

    For winter time cooking, sun dried tomatoes is definitely on our menu. A solar food dryer is easy to make.


    Tomatoes are the best! I’ve heard it said too, about their medicinal values. Up here in Canada, all citizens are allowed access to the hosplitals & doctors (if you can find one taking on new patients) through our nations healthcare provissions & I think that this has also aided in the abuse of this system. If a person had to pay for each visit, that person would be a lot more careful with what they were doing. But as it stands now, ER’s have as many or more people with flu sympoms & kids with runny noses, than people requiring actual emergency medical treatment.

    Most of this could be dealt with through educating the people better. Young mothers now “rush” to the ER’s with their runny-nosed babes, because they just don’t know about mothering & babies. I’ve even heard of people with hangovers trying to get B-12 injections through our hospitals ER dept. (this one I can “almost” understand).

    But I think that a better quality of education is the key to better health. Most people now a days do live in an toxic enviroment. The cities they live in mass produce it. They breathe it in all day long & then reside inside a lot of it while at home and eat toxic foods for their meals, then relax with a good smoke & mass bottled beer while wasting the remainder of their time watching their favorite TV shows. And they do this because they just don’t know! They’ve no freekin clue about what they’re doing to their own bodies.

    Public schools won’t teach them elsewise either. Heaven forbid if a teacher in the system actually taught something more useful than the 3 R’s. They’d lose their jobs for discriminating against something bigger like their own Teachers Unions financial investments!


    Rustyfingers, don’t feel like Canada has the corner on ERs being filled with stuffy noses and such. I’m not one to go to doctors, in fact I haven’t been to one in over 15 years. I am a caretaker for a lady who has legitimate health problems DIRECTLY CAUSED by our government, she was a downwinder in the last above ground nuclear bomb test in Nevada, everyone who lived in that town during that time has suffered multiple cancers and other health issues, most of the people she knew from there are dead. I often go with her to the various doctors she visits each month, from the clinics to the hospitals, I see the waiting rooms filled with mostly young mothers with their snotty nose babies. I will not even go in to the fact that most of them don’t speak English and it’s questionable if they are legal or not…

    The sad part of all of this is the fact that with our economy the way it is, it takes 2 people working full time to make ends meet. With the acceptance of women’s lib, it was acceptable for mothers to go out and work and allow daycare or the state to raise their children, I’m not against women having all the rights afforded to them, but please, if you want to have a career, then don’t have children, if you want children, then make THAT your career, at least be there for your kids while they are growing up.

    It used to be that a new mother had a major support system around her… her mother, grandmother, aunts, sisters and female neighbors. With that female support system came the education, the experience passed down from woman to woman about how to take care of your baby… what to do when your baby had a fever, what to do when your baby had a rash, what to do when your baby was croupy… you only went to the doctor when there was a real need, major illnesses that couldn’t be taken care of at home, broken bones, stitches and such. With today’s lifestyle, all of that is all but gone, along with all of the history and knowledge. It’s a real shame.

    I can’t imagine that having even more state run healthcare could make things any better.



    i live in Canada and heath care is my sunshine card as we call it here in Quebec two years ago after a bull gored me with a 6″ gash on my belly holding in my guts with one hand driving with the drove in to the hospital 30 miles away as soon as i told them in emergency my condition they put on a bed with out asking me for my sunshine card they took care of me only after giving me needles for the pain xrays ultrasounds did someone ask me for my card and on topak that they called a technician in at 9.00 at night to do an MIR and a surgeon sowed me up by midnight …………..any time i need a doctor i call up the clinic in my small town i usually have an appointment the same day and all i do so flash my sunshine card and i have to thank Tommy Douglas the father of Canadian heath care

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