As you may have heard, a good portion of the human race is, for some reason, responding to a health crisis by buying a sh*t ton of toilet paper.
Just for the record COVID-19 does not, in the vast majority of cases, cause intestinal distress.
That said, the panic-buying of toilet paper all over the world is actually causing people to have to wonder how they’re going to clean their nethers in the coming weeks.
Except for people in places like France and Asia, who have smartly invested in the bidet for some time now, of course.
As usual, the internet has your back.
This time, in the form of a handy graphic that shows you what native plant life you could safely use in place of the missing toilet paper.
The information comes from the Hills Herbal Collective, a group of plant experts out of Victoria, Australia, where things are apparently getting real. It specifically notes that mullein, lamb’s ear, and mallow are excellent replacement choices if things get dire in your neck of the woods.
#1. Mullein (Verbascum thapsis).
These plants have large, thick, fluffy leaves that are absorbent and unlikely to tear, grows everywhere, and is not irritating to most people. Some do complain about irritation from the fine hairs, so you might want to test it on a less-sensitive area before going for it.
#2. Lamb’s ear (Stachy’s byzantina).
It’s less heavy-duty but is delightfully soft and furry, great for sensitive skins. The leaves are narrow, though, so one isn’t going to do the trick.
#3. Mallow (Malva neglecta).
These soft, broad, durable leaves are common, though the larger ones can get a bit leathery and rough. If you give the leaves a bit of a scrunch before using them, they’ll even provide a bit of a skin-soothing effect!
They also note that you should “steer clear of poisonous plants or you may end up with a nasty rash on your posterior. If you’re not 100% sure what a particular plant is, don’t put it anywhere near your sensitive bits. If you’d like to learn how to ID these plants and other medicinal and edible weeds, come along to one of our weed walks.”
Good advice for sure.
And while I hope that none of us will have to resort to these leaves because our dear neighbors decided to hoard a year’s worth of toilet paper in their basement, it’s good information to have.
You never know when you’ll be out for a solitary hike and have the urge hit you, right?