We have all experienced being caught without toilet paper. It is something we dread, obviously, because recent times have shown us that toilet paper brings a sense of tremendous psychological comfort.
Even the thought of being without it, renders the average person uncomfortable at best, and extremely desperate, in the worst cases.
Fortunately, we have options. This article will help you navigate them.
One very positive point of using leaves as toilet paper is that most plants, including the ones listed in this article contain anti-bacterial components. These leaves will help prevent infections from developing.
Squeeze the leaf before you use it to release the medicinal compounds.
Lamb’s Ears (Stachys Byzantina) – The ‘Charmin’ of nature’s toilet paper options
Lamb’s ears tend to grow in similar areas to Mullein, arid and rocky.
Although this plant can be found in northeastern climates as well.
In ancient Roman times this plant was used for band aids. Lamb’s-ear flowers in late spring and early summer.
Plants produce tall spike-like stems with a few reduced leaves and small, light purple flowers.
Mullein (Verbascum) – Second runner up to Lamb’s Ears for softness
Mullein sightings are along roadsides and in rocky and gravel banks. It thrives in full sun and grows well in arid conditions.
Mullein has a deep spindle shaped root from which a rosette of leaves rises. It has soft hairs and its leaves feel like velvet.
In summer months the stalks are tall and produce long clusters of yellow buds that crown this majestic plant.
The leaves can grow to three inches wide and six inches long. This makes the leaves a great substitute for toilet paper when out in the woods.
Plantain (Plantago) – Unbreakable and easy to find almost all year long
Plantain is a very common plant in lawns, driveways and many partly shaded wooded areas.
It is known as nature’s band aid and has remarkable wound healing attributes.
The leaves shown here can grow quite large, about half the size of a slice of bread, or even larger.
Grape Leaves (Vinis Vitifera) – Used as toilet paper in ancient Greece
The ancient Greeks left us with a tremendous legacy of knowledge – toilet paper alternative included.
Wild grapes grow prolifically in hot sunny areas and can be found in warmer months in northern climates.
Two benefits – the leaves are wide and incredibly sturdy.
Cabbage or Cauliflower Leaves (Brassicas) – Wide, strong, plus very hard to break
In harsh times homesteaders would use cabbage leaves as toilet paper.
You can even dry them and stack them for future use.
One major advantage for gardeners is ease and proximity. You’ll always have an option!
Brussel sprout leaves also fall into this category.
Borage (Borago Officinalis) – Use the young leaves only!
Borage is also an option.
Just make sure that you forage the young leaves in June and July before they become too large or prickly.
You can stack the smaller leaves and make a small fan to complete the job.
The purple flowers are delicate and beautiful. They make this plant easy to spot in sunny forested areas.
The flowers have long been used to bolster courage. In medieval times the flowers were embroidered on the mantles of knights and jousters to bring them courage!
This plant brings many gifts: it soothes respiratory ailments, boosts adrenal function and alleviates depression.
Yellow Dock (Rumex Crispus) – Very easy to spot and has large leaves
Yellow dock is also a common lawn and partly shaded wooded areas plant.
Notice the intricate vein structure and blood red vein running up the middle. It is a prominent feature.
The leaves can grow extremely large, the size of a romaine lettuce leaf!
The roots have amazing blood cleansing properties and the leaves are very sturdy, making them a prime toilet paper substitute.
Common Tamarisk Moss (Thuidium Tamariscinum) – The elegant, exotic alternative
When you are in the woods thick layers of moss are easy to find.
Moss layers come up easily when you peel them off of a tree.
It may look intimidating but do not worry, they contain tannins that are naturally antibacterial.
With the green side up, if you have enough make a soft roll.
In thick dense wooded areas this is a common and wonderful alternative because it is soft and has cleansing properties.
Trees Have Hundreds of Leaves! Large Leaf Varieties Also Make Great Toilet Paper Substitutes
Catalpa Tree Leaves Win the Prize for Size
Native to warm temperate and subtropical regions of North America, the Caribbean, and East Asian trees are primarily used for lumber.
The large showy flowers are white, yellowish, or purplish.
Bees love them!
You will spot the fruits of this tree, cylindrical pods with white tufts of hair at the end.
This tree will give you an endless supply of natural toilet paper if you can find it!
Coltsfoot (Tussilago Farfara)
You will find Coltsfoot in shady lowland wooded areas that are often rocky.
It grows from spring through early winter and the leaves can grow to the size of your hand.
It is tough to break them so they are a great alternative for toilet paper.
This leaf has been used since medieval times as an expectorant and is very high in zinc.
Redbuds Tree (Cercis Canadensis)
Soft and fuzzy to the touch, the beautiful heart-shaped leaves on this tree turn a brilliant red during the fall months.
The leaves are quite thick and are larger than your hand.
The bark of the tree was used by the Native Americans to treat diarrhea.
Empress Tree Leaves (Paulowmia Tomentosa)
Paulownia came to the west from China where it was a highly prized variety.
In the east, it was used to treat a wide variety of diseases.
Tea from the leaves used to dissolve ulcers, heal bruises, revive the growth of hair and prevent greying.
It is more common in warmer climates but can also grow in the north.
Caught In a Snowstorm Without Toilet Paper?
Pack a dense snow ball and use that for a wipe.
It is not a perfect alternative but it is something that can at least buy you time plus keep your hands clean and reduce bacteria.
Don’t forget to wash your hands with new snow afterwards!
Now that you know some of your options don’t you feel the panic of possible toilet paper shortages fading away?
The gift of nature is that it makes us confident and resourceful in all circumstances. Try some of these options, before you actually need them so that you will really be prepared.