Tallow has a plethora of survival uses, including ones that may be naturally healing. Tallow, like lard, is a pure form of animal fat. Making use of all parts of an animal you are harvesting should be a key component of any survival plan. Learning how to effectively use tallow will help preppers achieve that goal.
The difference between tallow and lard is the type of animal they come from: tallow typically comes from cows and other ruminant animals like deer, sheep, and goats. Lard is a pork fat.
The most beneficial type of tallow is rendered from the suet – the fat that surrounds the organs of the animal – which is often used as part commercial of bird seed products.
When the ruminant animal fat is rendered (cooked down) the pure fat is separated from other connective body tissue. Tallow has been used in topical medicines and for both baking and cooking for centuries.
The process of rendering tallow is neither difficult nor time consuming, and can easily be accomplished in off grid style.
Tallow Nutrient Compounds
The micro-nutrients in tallow are the reason it has been highly regarded as a natural immune system booster, as well as an antiviral and antibacterial compound.
- Conjugated Linoleic Acid – CLA
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin K2
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin D
- Palmitic Oil
- Vitamin E
Tallow is comprised of 50% to 55% saturated fats – that is the same percentage of fat in human cell membranes, which makes the ruminant animal fat incredibly easy to absorb into our bodies.
Uses for Tallow Around the Home or Homestead
1) Use as a butter substitute when cooking or baking:
2) To make candles:
3) It can be used as a substitute for gun oil or grease.
4) Use as an active base ingredient for herbal salves and lotions:
5) Used to deep fry food safely because of its high smoke and melting point.
6) Tallow is a great base for homemade pemmican survival bars:
7) It can also be used as a fat substitute when making sausages; it’s especially tasty in deer sausage.
8) Tallow can be used for making soap, and creates a luxurious deep cleaning bar when combined with goat’s milk.
9) Tallow can be used to make a lubricant for black powder guns:
10) It can be used to help waterproof the leather clothing or footwear as well as tack, gun holsters, etc:
11) Tallow can be used as a vegetable oil substitute, particularly since sunflower cooking oil you typically find in stores is unhealthy..
12) Rub a pinch of tallow under your nose to help reduce the impact of seasonal allergy symptoms. If placed just around the interior rim of your nose, a tiny bit of tallow can act as a natural type of air filter from minor intrusions like pollen count, smoke, dust, animal feces, etc.
13) Tallow can be used as a substitute for flux when soldering.
14) Nursing mommas can apply a little bit of tallow to their breasts to prevent soreness, swelling, and cracking.
15) Women who have recently given birth can apply a pinch of tallow to the perineum area of delivery to help soothe the area, prevent cracking, reduce swelling, and perhaps provide a barrier against bacteria.
16) Rubbing tallow onto your skin can help reduce itching, swelling, and soreness often associated with poison ivy, poison sumac, and poison oak.
17) Tallow has been used as an active base (and alone) in home remedies, and designed to treat both yeast infections and candida.
18) In a survival situation, tallow could be used as a biodegradable form of motor oil.
19) It can also be used as a lubricant for mechanical parts in machinery.
20) Tallow can also be used as an alternative to plant matter when making biodiesel fuel.
21) It can be used as a makeup remover. Even if laterhing on cosmetics might not be part of your survival plan, tallow still could come in handy for wiping off camo paint that was applied to your face to help you deter protection while out on perimeter patrol.
22) Tallow is an excellent base ingredient in homemade chapstick and lip balms:
23) It can be applied to your face to protect it from windrash, or to help alleviate the condition.
24) Tallow also makes as great DIY natural sunburn or sunblock treatment – it is lightly waterproof, as well.
25) It can be used as a simple shaving cream.
26) Tallow can also easily be used as a beard balm, and mustache wax.
27) Beef fat rendered into tallow is also a good substitute for diaper rash cream.
28) If you combine about equal parts tallow and baking soda, the mixture can be used as a deodorant.
29) Combine two parts apple cider vinegar and 1 part tallow to help get rid of head lice.
30) Tallow gently applied to a baby’s head may also successfully alleviate cradle cap.
31) Slap a little bit of tallow on insect bites to soothe the wound, and to treat inflammation.
32) Feed tallow to you domestic pets and meat eating survival livestock to infuse more nutrients into their diet.
33) Dip brass fittings and screws in tallow before using them to help prevent corrosion.
34) Rub your heels and the tips of your toes with tallow to prevent and treat blisters.
35) Consuming tallow or slathering it onto your skin liberally might help increase circulation.
36) It can be rubbed onto the problem area to help provide relief from hemorrhoids.
37) Tallow can be used to make a solid laundry soap:
38) Use tallow to make a shampoo bar to help keep your hair clean. Any debris, animal feces, or other potentially harmful bacteria that gets into your hair could ultimately cause a physical illness if not cleansed away:
39) Rub a layer of tallow onto knives and other metal blades to keep them from rusting:
40) Mix tallow onto tinder or firestarter to help extend the life of little growing flames.
41) It can be used to make bone broth to infuse more nutrients into a survival diet, and to use the foraged or on hand ingredients to make the scant items into a true meal:
42) Rub tallow onto aching joints or areas of the body stricken with arthritis to help alleviate inflammation and pain.
43) Make camo body paint by mixing tallow with crushed leaves and other pigments that are safe to use on the skin, and heat it just slightly over low heat to combine the materials. Apply it to the skin after it has cooled to the touch.
44) Rub trallow onto the skin where fingernails and toenails have chipped back to the point where they hurt and are “below the quick” to soothe the pain, and to help them grow back more quickly.
45) Tallow can be rubbed onto candle wicks – homemade or purchased, to help prevent dampness from getting to them, and to extend and grow the flames they produce.
One of the many reasons why tallow is an excellent multi-purpose prep for survival situations is because of how well it stores. When rendered and stored in an airtight container, like a Mason jar, tallow can remain shelf stable for years.
It is best to store tallow in a cool dark place, like a pantry shelf. When possible use a colored or amber glass bottle to store tallow to better protect it from light exposure.
An opened jar of tallow can be kept in a refrigerator for roughly 12 to 18 months, but it will solidify from the chill. Simply put it in a hot water bath for 15 to 30 minutes, and it will once again be ready to use. Tallow should never be frozen, that can cause it to become rancid.
Always use a clean utensil when dipping into the tallow jar, and not your fingers. Any small amount of debris on your fingertips can cause microbes and bacteria to grow in the jar of tallow.