We all should know by now that COVID-19, or coronavirus, affects the lungs. That is, it does not affect the stomach. To put it politely, you won’t necessarily be pooping your brains out if you catch it. You’ll probably be coughing and sleeping in bed—if you do get it.
But because we’re living in a world where the overly-precautious are only a stone’s throw away from investing in a full-on bunker and never being seeing again, people are stocking up on toilet paper, leaving aisles completely empty.
While quarantine is serious and necessary for many at-risk areas, the toilet paper issue has gone too far.
And when we say the “toilet paper issue has gone too far,” we mean that people are now using plants to wipe their butts.
The toilet paper shortage crisis is upon us, and desperate times call for desperate measures.Are you concerned you may...Posted by Hills Herbal Collective on Wednesday, March 4, 2020
A viral Facebook post shared by the Hills Herbal Collective, a group of plant experts based out of Victoria, Australia, compiled a list of “common plants with leaves that will do the job perfectly with confidence and ease,” in response to all the people “panic buying” toilet paper as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The group suggested folks use “leaves to use in a toilet paper crisis,” specifically noting mullein, lamb’s ear, and mallow, and describing their properties below.
1. Mullein (Verbascum thapsis) Mullein is the most obvious choice of bog roll replacement, given its large, thick fluffy leaves that are absorbent and dont tear easily. It’s better than those fancy quadruple-ply aloe- infused toilet papers but grows easily as a weed in gardens and parks almost everywhere. Some people find the hairs on the leaves a bit irritating to their skin, so it’s probably a good idea to do a patch test on a not-so-sensitive area first.
2. Lamb’s ear (Stachys byzantina) For those who would like a slightly less heavy-duty option, lamb’s ear may be a good choice. Lamb’s ear has delightfully soft furry leaves that are gentle on your skin and will feel like you’re wiping with, umm, well, the ear of a baby animal (without harming any furry creatures!). Its leaves are on the narrow side, so you may need to use a decent handful or two.
3. Mallow (Malva neglecta) Common mallow has soft leaves that are broad, durable and won’t tear, but the larger ones tend to get a bit leathery and rough so opt for medium sized leaves. Mallow has the added bonus of demulcent qualities, so give the leaves a bit of a scrunch before using for some added skin soothing effects.
This came after news that Australia was having a hard time keeping up with toilet paper demand as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
The Collective writes, “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.”
“Stay away from plants with thorns, prickles or spiky bits for obvious reasons. Stinging nettle, St Mary’s Thistle, comfrey and aloe vera are all poor choices,” they add. “Check for any critters before you wipe.”
Here’s the toilet paper fiasco in action:
Someone in Sydney checked their toilet paper in as luggage for the flight... 😂😂 pic.twitter.com/Wt28p7owTC— Champ (@ChampChong) March 5, 2020
This is what happened yesterday when I went to Woolies. Guys, these Kleenex issues/toilet papers/paper towels are made in South Australia. In addition, all Dettol sanitising products were gone too. Guys, bleach is more effective in killing COVID-19 than Dettol! #toiletpapergate pic.twitter.com/g90VkV6Bof— Sara Zhou (@SaraZhouisme) March 3, 2020
And here’s what you should actually know:
Some good news. My niece (early 30s) was diagnosed with Coronavirus. She was unwell but is now recovered after self-isolation at home for 10 days with chocolate, Prosecco and Netflix. She did not need 144 toilet paper rolls, 88 bottles of water or 102 packets of super noodles. pic.twitter.com/77X5fOvxuC— Gregory Bufithis 🇬🇷 🌊 (@GregBufithis) March 9, 2020