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7 Herbal Remedies You Should Have In Your Arsenal

Avatar for Gaye Levy Gaye Levy  |  Updated: November 24, 2020
7 Herbal Remedies You Should Have In Your Arsenal

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With Winter right about the corner, it is time to begin to focus upon building up an arsenal of remedies to get us through the cold and flu season.  Not surprisingly, these are not traditional over the counter meds but rather  a variety of herbal remedies that you can concoct yourself from inexpensive ingredients not the least of which are herbs that may be growing in your yard or in the surrounding locale.

For preppers, the importance of learning to use herbal remedies is that if the time ever came when traditional medicines were not available, sickness would spread and we would be left on our own to treat even the most common viral and bacterial infections.

7 Herbal Remedies You Should Have In Your Arsenal | Backdoor Survival

What are these herbs and how do you use them?

In today’s article I call upon the expertise of Sally Thomas who has compiled a list of her favorite herbal remedies along with how to make them as well as special applications for children.  In this exclusive article for Backdoor Survival. Sally will list 7 herbal remedies – all of which will stop a cold or flu in its tracks before it takes hold.

Stop A Cold (or Flu) in its Tracks Before It Takes Hold

Want to know how to annihilate your cold or flu before it sends you into a deep pit for a week or more?  You will be happy to know that there are several herbal remedies that can totally wipe out your viral or bacterial infection before it grabs hold of you. The key here is – BEFORE IT GRABS HOLD OF YOU!

7 Herbal Remedies You Should Have In Your Arsenal | Backdoor Survival

But even if you aren’t able to stop the sickness in time, using these remedies can help shorten your cold or flu and make the symptoms more bearable (which is good too).

First of all, you need to begin listening to your body’s signals in order to catch your cold or flu virus BEFORE it gets a running start. For this, you need to be very aware of your symptoms and what they mean.

Symptoms That Sickness is Coming On:

• Are you extra tired, especially for no known reason?
• Is your throat scratchy or sore?
• Do you feel extra phlegm when you swallow?
• Are you sneezing or coughing?

Many of us don’t take these early symptoms seriously enough, but this is the key to fighting off a bug before it has you out of commission for a week or more.

Secondly, you need to give your body extra assistance in fighting the symptoms. You see, the symptoms you’re experiencing indicate that your body is beginning to fight off the germs that have invaded. If you work with your body’s own immune system by supplementing with certain herbal remedies, you can potentially ward off the sickness altogether.

Along with lots of fluids like water, herbal teas, and fresh juices as well as plenty of rest and daily sunshine, these remedies will either prevent a full-blown cold or flu attack or they will greatly shorten and reduce the misery. Either way, you need to learn how to prepare them and keep the ingredients on hand now so that they become familiar to you during.

7 Herbal Remedies You Should Have In Your Arsenal

1.  Oregano

The first and most powerful herb I can wholeheartedly recommend is oregano.

7 Herbal Remedies You Should Have In Your Arsenal | Backdoor Survival

Oregano is a powerful antibiotic and antibacterial – perfect for fighting tough viruses and bacteria. I have taken 5 drops of oregano oil at first sign of symptoms and woken up completely well in the morning.

This herb is only recommended for adults and children who can comfortably take capsules, as oregano is a very spicy, strong-tasting herb. My 6-year-old son is able to take it without problem, as he is able to take a few drops in capsule form without trouble. If your child is about 5 or older and able to swallow capsules without a problem, this herb will be a very beneficial herb in your arsenal.

Taking 2-5 drops in a capsule (depending on the severity of the symptoms) can knock out a cold or flu virus overnight. Make sure to take with food, as it can irritate an empty stomach.

HOW TO USE: Add 2-5 drops to an empty capsule. Take with food. You can also grow and cook with fresh oregano. It won’t likely pack the same powerful punch when symptoms start, but it will surely keep you more consistently healthy. When first taking, add only 1-2 drops until you know how your body reacts to the oil.

HOW TO STORE: Purchase therapeutic quality oregano oil, which should stay fresh for years. Store in a cool, dark place for best results.

PRECAUTIONS: Oregano is a “hot” oil and should be handled with caution. Can burn skin at full strength. Use with a carrier oil if using externally. Not to be used during pregnancy or for very young children who cannot take capsules. Check with your health care provider if you have adverse reactions that concern you.

Note: It has just recently come to my attention that oregano essential oil and oil of oregano are different. The essential oil is much more concentrated (and is the form I have been using). If you are using the oil of oregano, please be aware that it is not as potent when using as I have advised above, but may be more suitable for external applications. Check your label if unsure to see if any other ingredients are added (such as another oil).

Gaye’s Note:  For more information on Oregano Oil, read 25 Ways to Use Oregano Essential Oil for Health and Wellness.

2.  Garlic

A close second in my cold and flu arsenal is garlic. Garlic is a wonderful antiviral/antibacterial herb that I happen to love in my cooking. My first tip is to use fresh garlic as much as possible in your cooking, especially during the winter months. If you like to make soups or sauces, and garlic is a pleasing flavor to you, all the better!

7 Herbal Remedies You Should Have In Your Arsenal | Backdoor Survival

If you feel extra tired or your throat feels scratchy or sore, you can chew on a garlic bulb and wash it down with your favorite beverage (I usually just simply use water). Garlic is very spicy and hot, but even if you don’t particularly like the flavor it’s worth it to know that it’s “medicine” as well.

An extra by-product when consuming a lot of garlic is that it will make you smell like pizza to strangers that you pass (especially, I suppose, if you’re also taking oregano).

I make a special syrup mixture each year that was passed on to me from an elderly friend of mine. She called it “garlic potion,” so I do as well. I concoct this remedy mainly for my children as well as for my husband and me. It’s especially good for coughs that get into the lungs, as it helps break up the cough to make it more productive. It’s also great for prevention when you experience the first signs of sickness coming on and is a good companion to either elderberry or oregano.

It is very potent and strong, so beware. However, my children don’t seem to taste the strong garlic flavor – all they seem to notice is the honey (strange!) Make sure that your children are at least one year of age before giving them this remedy, as honey is said to be unsafe for those under one year.

Here’s the simple recipe for the garlic potion syrup. All ingredients offer antiviral/antibacterial properties to help your immune system.


What You Need:

• Fresh garlic bulbs
• Raw apple cider vinegar with the “mother” (I use Bragg’s brand)
• Raw local honey
• Two clean quart jars
• small tea strainer
• knife for peeling garlic cloves

First, peel the individual garlic cloves and place them in the empty jar. You are removing all the skin on each clove, therefore allowing the garlic properties to be released into the vinegar solution.

7 Herbal Remedies You Should Have In Your Arsenal | Backdoor Survival

Next, you will add the vinegar. Add just enough to cover the garlic. I highly recommend raw, unfiltered, organic vinegar and consider Bragg’s to be the best. Let the garlic and vinegar mixture sit in a cool, dark place for 5 days, shaking gently each day.

After 5 days, the garlic will have some bluish tint to it, which is normal. You will now filter the garlic cloves with a tea strainer (make note of the level where the vinegar liquid came to). This will leave you with liquid in the jar that is a little less than half of the quantity you started with. You can discard the garlic cloves or use them in vegetable broth, compost them, or feed them to your chickens (mine loved them). If used in vegetable broth, be aware that it does leave a fairly strong vinegar flavor in the finished broth.

Next, you will add raw, unfiltered, local honey to the liquid. Add to the level where the vinegar reached. Shake briskly for 5-10 minutes, or until fully combined. Let sit on a counter top overnight or 12 hours and then refrigerate. Will keep indefinitely, but it’s best to use up within one year. At the first sign of a cold or infection, take 1-2 tablespoons throughout the day, depending on how forcefully you feel the virus coming on. The more vigorously you dose yourself early on, the more likely you will overcome the illness before you are affected in a significant way.

HOW TO USE: As above.

HOW TO STORE: Can be stored for a year or more in the refrigerator. I simply make enough for one season, and it’s usually gone by the end of the winter months. I’m not sure if it can be canned or frozen, as I haven’t tried these methods.

3. Elderberry

Elderberry is especially effective for preventing flu viruses. Before I moved to my current location, I purchased the ready-made syrup, but since I have moved to an area with abundant elderberries growing in the wild, I am able to pick as much as I need (and no one seems to know that these wonderful berries are so valuable!).

7 Herbal Remedies You Should Have In Your Arsenal | Backdoor Survival

I live in Zone 5, and elderberries are very prolific here. Check to see if you have them in your area. They tend to be ready in late summer and early fall. You can keep an eye on them from spring through summer so you know where to pick when they’re ready. They grow on tall bushes along roadsides or along water areas. The flowers bloom in spring and are an off-white in large clusters that somewhat droop.

For the syrup and frozen blocks, first place the berries, stems and all, in the freezer for an hour or two. I had read that this would make the berries easier to remove from the stems, and indeed it worked well. I had my young sons help me pluck the berries, which they were happy to do.

After plucking them off, I then washed them thoroughly in a colander. Then I just covered with water in a saucepan and brought the water to a boil on medium heat. I cooked them, simmering lightly, until they were soft and the liquid turned very dark purple (almost black). I then strained the berries from the liquid and set the liquid aside to cool. For the amount not used right away, you can either pressure can or refrigerate for up to two weeks. The liquid can also be frozen in ice cube trays for single servings.

HOW TO USE: Use as hot tea with honey added, or add honey to make a syrup and take by the spoonful in about 1:1 ratio.

HOW TO STORE: I store some of my berries whole in the freezer, but I also make up some of the syrup and can it in small jars. If you freeze the berries, you can simply remove the amount desired and cook up a batch of the syrup when needed.

PRECAUTIONS: Don’t consume the seeds, as they’re said to be toxic. Some also say the stems are toxic. It’s easy to avoid both with the above methods. Make sure to pick only the dark purple, almost-black berries, as the red variety is said to be toxic.

4.  Rose Hips

I like to gather my own rose hips in the fall of the year when the temperatures begin to drop and the rose hips are bright red on the bushes. Make sure to collect rose hips that haven’t been sprayed. Rose hips are full of vitamin C that helps prevent colds and flu and also helps your body fight off the germs once they produce a full-blown sickness.

7 Herbal Remedies You Should Have In Your Arsenal | Backdoor Survival

I make frozen rose hip juice blocks to add to hot tea. This is especially good for children, as the frozen block cools down their tea nicely so they can drink it more quickly. Along with the nutritional benefits, rose hip tea has a very delicious, light flavor and can be mixed with other herbal teas easily if desired. My two boys (currently ages 4 and 6) truly enjoy their frequent rose hip tea in the wintertime. Provide remedies early on for your kids, and even let them help you make them, and they will utilize them readily without complaint.

No one else seems to know how rich rose hips are in nutrients, or perhaps they simply don’t want to bother to do the work involved with picking and processing their own rose hips for the vitamin C benefits. I thoroughly enjoy the whole process. But if you don’t, or if you don’t have access to wild rose hips in your area (or hips that have not been sprayed with pesticides), you can instead purchase dried rose hips for processing.

Make sure that you pick rose hips only from areas that you’re certain have not been sprayed with chemical pesticides or herbicides. I pick mine in fairly remote, wild areas from wild rose bushes.

Make sure to pick the hips when they are red but not shriveled. This would be in late summer, early fall when temperatures are cooling somewhat but no hard freeze has occurred. I picked mine in late August in the Northwest US.

Making Rose Hip “Juice”

The next thing you want to do after harvesting is to remove the blossom ends and stems of all the rose hips. The blossom end is the leafy-looking end where the bloom once was. Be aware that your fingers may get a little stained during this process, so you may want to wear gloves. After rinsing, I put them in a medium-sized saucepan and add enough water to just cover.

Bring the pan to a simmer over medium heat, pressing the hips gently with a spoon. Once the hips soften and begin to break apart and the liquid is a nice rich amber color, you can begin to scoop out the liquid. Be aware that you may see some worms among the rose hips You will also see seeds from the insides of the hips. They are both white, but the worm is long and thin and the seed more rounded. No need to worry with either. You can scoop them out as you see them, but you will also be filtering the liquid through a strainer before use.

As you begin to scoop out the liquid, place a tea strainer over a quart-size jar and pour the liquid through to catch any particles. As you remove the liquid, squeeze the measuring cup or spoon down into the rose hip mixture in the pan. Then add more water and continue to simmer, stir, and gently press the mixture. Once you have a jar full, let it cool to room temperature before proceeding to freeze into blocks. Then, I like to pour a small amount at a time into a measuring cup or other container with a spout for easier pouring into the ice cube trays.

Once the blocks are frozen, remove them and place in a freezer bag or other freezer-proof container.

When ready for use, simply drop a block in a mug and pour boiling water over it. This makes the tea a perfect temperature for a child to drink fairly quickly. I like to add raw, local honey to sweeten. The flavor is mild, so it blends readily with other flavored teas as well.

HOW TO USE: Rose hips can be used as above, or you can dehydrate them after removing the blossom end and washing. The dried rose hips can be made into tea by pouring boiling water over them or you can make the juice above from the dried hips.

HOW TO STORE: Rose hip blocks would be stored in the freezer, or you can dry the rose hips and store them in an air-tight container in a cool, dry place. You could likely can the rose hip juice the same way you would can other juices, but I haven’t tried it myself.

5.  Echinacea

Echinacea, also called “purple coneflower” due to its color and the cone-like center of the flowers, is a worthy herb to have around to help fight off colds and allergies.

7 Herbal Remedies You Should Have In Your Arsenal | Backdoor Survival

It is advised to not use Echinacea for more than two weeks at a time. Gather in the wild when you can, or grown your own, but don’t take it all so it can re-seed for the next year. My favorite use of Echinacea is for tea. Simply crush the flower heads and add to a tea strainer to make hot tea. Blends well with mint varieties.

HOW TO USE: As a tea.

HOW TO STORE: Store dry flower heads in an air-tight container in a cool, dry place.

PRECAUTIONS: Don’t use for more than 2 weeks at a time. If pregnant or nursing, consult with your health care provider.

6.  Mullein

Mullein grows in the wild with gusto where I live in zone 5. It’s quite an unsightly “weed” some might say, but it’s a very beneficial herb, especially for lung issues and earaches.

7 Herbal Remedies You Should Have In Your Arsenal | Backdoor Survival

Pick the leaves when the plant is flowering in late summer and early autumn. Pick green healthy-looking leaves and flower heads. Dry the leaves and flower heads and pack in an air-tight container (I use a quart jar).

When using for tea, make sure to filter through a coffee filter, as there are “hairs” on the leaves that can get into the tea and just ruin the mouth feel of the tea. Add honey to taste. Mullein can also be made into an infused oil that is very powerful for earaches (especially prevalent in young children).

HOW TO USE: Use as tea or infuse in oil for earaches You can purchase the dried leaves or you can purchase mullein essential oil to use if you don’t have access to wild mullein in your area.

HOW TO STORE: Store the dried leaves and flower heads in an air-tight container in a cool, dark place.

7.  Cayenne

Any kind of hot foods are great for preventing and getting rid of sickness. Cayenne is no exception, and it’s easily stored in its powder form for use when needed.

7 Herbal Remedies You Should Have In Your Arsenal | Backdoor Survival

Along with adding it to foods and soups for spiciness and flavor, you can also add it directly to chicken broth along with some chopped up fresh garlic as a soothing remedy for congestion and overall yuckiness. The broth is nourishing when you don’t feel like eating much, and the spiciness of the cayenne and garlic will zap those germs and aid your body in getting well.

HOW TO USE: Add to foods and/or broths, adding as much as you can tolerate.

HOW TO STORE: Store powder in an air-tight container in a cool, dry place.


Other Home Remedies

In addition to these 7 herbal remedies, I have a few additional tried and true home remedies to share with you.

Vinegar Tea (for sore throat)

1-2 tablespoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (with the “mother” – I use Bragg’s) added to a cup of hot water. Drink as hot as you can take it without burning your tongue. Will help soothe and heal a sore throat as well as aid in germ-fighting (vinegar has antibiotic properties as well).

Lemon & Honey (for sore throat)

Use fresh-squeezed lemon juice if possible and raw local honey. Add the juice of one lemon along with a tablespoon of honey to warm water, stirring until dissolved. You can also use this without water as a syrup by the spoonful. My mom gave this to me as a child, and I thought it was very tasty.

Prune Juice (for constipation)

Prune juice is a fairly common constipation remedy for occasional irregularity. Strong doses of vitamin C can also provide the same effect.

You don’t want to be all clogged up when you’re sick or your body is fighting off a cold, as the germs are more likely to build up in your body and you’ll have a harder time fighting it off. Get yourself cleaned out regularly, and this will go a long way toward staying well and fighting off sickness once it takes hold.

Zinc Lozenges

Zinc lozenges (while not exactly an herbal remedy) are also good to have around for soothing a sore throat and shortening a cold. Zinc is very beneficial for strengthening your immune system.

Gaye’s Note:  You might also be interested in the following articles:

DIY Cold and Flu Bomb
DIY Healing Vapor Rub for Coughs & Congestion
Using Natures Remedies for Health and Wellness


With each of the above herbal & natural remedies, make sure to use caution until you know how your body will react. Discontinue use if any troublesome symptoms occur and seek medical attention.

Let me know down below in the comments  you are using any of these remedies currently or have others to share. And be aware that this is definitely NOT an exhaustive list.

About Sally Thomas

I first connected with Sally over a year ago after she reached out to tell me about her book, Frugal Cooking With Beans: Over 40 Deliciously Simple Bean Recipes Using Dry & Canned Beans.  I was impressed enough to keep in touch and extended an offer to have her share he vast knowledge with my readers here on the blog.

Sally Thomas | Backdoor Survival

Sally is a “Do It Yourselfer”  loves to get creative in the kitchen and utilize herbal remedies as much as possible to help keep her family healthy. She has been an avid prepper since 2008 with a particular devotion to foraging, food storage, and herbal remedies. She shares her knowledge and experience on her blog at where you can sign up for her free e-course “Jump-Start Your Food Storage in 30 Days.

The Final Word

During a grid-down emergency or disruptive event, getting sick from a viral or bacterial infection can be serious and even deadly. None of us wants that, so learning how to prevent and remedy these seemingly innocent “bugs” now, and stocking up on the ingredients to stop them seems prudent.

I don’t know about you, but I now reach for herbal remedies or essential oils before I consider taking pharmaceuticals.  I firmly believe that making natural remedies a habit now will go a long way toward keeping you and your family healthy and safe when an emergency does strike.

To me, it just makes good sense.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

If you enjoyed this article, consider subscribing to email updates.  When you do, you will receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-Book, The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

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Below you will find the items mentioned in today’s article.

Bigelow Mixed Herb Teas: I love Bigelow teas with my favorite being lemon-ginger.  Made especially for herb tea lovers who like to enjoy a variety of flavors, this mixed case includes 20 tea bags each of the following 5 caffeine-free herb teas, cozy chamomile, mint medley, sweet dreams, orange and spice and perfect peach and 18 tea bags of my favorite caffeine-free lemon ginger.

Oregano Essential Oil:  I prefer essential oils from Spark Naturals.  They are well priced and of the highest quality.  Plus, when you use code BACKDOORSURVIVAL at checkout, you get an extra 10% off.  For the budget minded, you may want to consider NOW Foods Oregano Oil especially for use in cleaning products.  Please, do not use NOW Foods essential oils internally.

Nature’s Way Sambucus Elderberry Immune Syrup:  For centuries the dark berries of European black elder (Sambucus nigra L.) have been traditionally used as a winter remedy. In recent years, medical researchers have proven its efficacy in clinical trials.  Read the reviews and decide for yourself.  Better yet, make your own.

Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar:  This is the #1 seller for good reason. This is the real thing and it includes the “mother”.

Starwest Botanicals Organic Cayenne Pepper Powder: Purchasing cayenne powder in bulk is the way to go and is so much cheaper than purchasing those little bottles at the supermarket.  As a matter of preference, I like the organic and have never been disappointed with the Starwest Botanicals brand.

Wedderspoon Raw Manuka Honey:  The Queen of medicinal honeys is Manuka honey.  It is such a powerfully antibiotic that it’s been recognized scientifically and the active substance has been isolated. More expensive than normal honey, it definitely has its place in the emergency survival medical kit.

Tropical Traditions 100% Organic Raw Honey:  This is my favorite honey; I purchase a dozen jars at a time.  I guarantee you will love this honey even if you do not typically enjoy honey.  The taste is difficult to describe.  So good poured over a bowl of Greek yogurt and sliced bananas!  These are the same folks that make my favorite Coconut Oil.



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14 Responses to “7 Herbal Remedies You Should Have In Your Arsenal”

  1. To go along with your “other remedies” section, gargling with salt water always helps a sore throat. We always did this as kids and I do the same for my family now too. Practically free and not time consuming since you just add a bit of salt to enough water to gargle three times a day or so.

    • April,

      Yes, indeed! Salt water gargles are great for a sore throat. You can also mix together a concoction of fresh lemon juice and raw honey to soothe and heal a sore throat. Thanks for adding your remedy.

  2. I have an infection in the root of my tooth and it’s also in the bone. Will oragano oil help to heal it. I won’t do a root canal so my other choice is to pull the tooth. Unfortunately that tooth holds a bridge.

    • Instead of Oregano EO, you might want to try this recipe for “Dee’s Cocktail”. This is amazing stuff made from lemon juice and common spices from your pantry. Good luck – been there done that and it is not fun.


    • Kathleen,

      My apologies for the delay in responding to you.

      I would not use oregano oil, as it is a “hot” oil and will likely be very painful. I have heard that clove oil is very good for tooth problems, although I have not used it (yet). I am looking into clove oil for my own tooth issues and for the future. It is a natural numbing agent, I believe, and a friend of mine recently got rid of a toothache overnight with it. Sorry I couldn’t help you more with your tooth issue.

  3. You are about ten years behind the times in my experience. Colds are simply a sun deficiency. So your only real defence is D3. The rest may help some in building up your fighting ability, but none of this gets to the nut of the problem. Since realizing this and writing about it, I have never had a cold or flu. So the mechanism is this: when you body is low on D, you go into a defensive mode commonly called “A COLD.” That welcomes secondary viral in infections that exhibit various symptoms and some can be harsh like flu.

    • Well, James, I do agree that vitamin D3 is extremely important, but this was not an exhaustive list and was predominantly about herbal remedies. I do believe that getting enough vitamin D3 in the form of sunlight is very important to staying well (along with a host of other benefits), but that’s not always possible in the darker months. Using a supplement is another way to get vitamin D3. However, I disagree (good naturedly) that vitamin D3 is all we need to prevent. Thanks for your input!

  4. I enjoyed your article very much! I have been studying herbs for a very long time, and agree your choices. I would like to suggest two more to add to must have herbs and spices. I always make sure that I have them on hand. One is’s great for colds and so many other things. It is an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, good for infections, and fevers, and even helps with upset tummys. I used on the last lousy winter cold I got, and what could have turned into a weeks worth of wheezing, helped clear up in about 4 days. Use an infusion. I made a tea, and drank twice a day. Just use the tops of the plant. If you can’t get the plant, use some fresh herbs from the store, a tsp boiled in water.
    The other herb I keep on hand is comfrey. I love this one. It is good for sprains, burns, bruises, and is known for the speed of healing broken bones. I pick the leaves and let them sit in my crock pot which has coconut oil added to cover the leaves, I leave it on warm for a few hours…make sure it doesn’t get to hot and fry the leaves. I then stain and add melted beeswax, stir, and put in jars. sometimes I add some willow bark to seep with the leaves for added pain relief. Works great for sore muscles and sprains. If you
    want stronger salve, add some of the root with the leaves. Although, not an herb, but a spice, I keep turmeric on hand. It would take me several paragraphs to write about the benefits, but I don’t want to get tedious, so take it from me…keep it on hand. Does so many great things….Love herbs, and can write about it all day…lol…Again, thanks for article, and hope this wasn’t too long…lol

  5. Why wouldn’t you use Echinacea for more than two weeks at a time? What happens if you do? What are the effects?

    The garlic recipe seems like a good one. Garlic in any form seems to be absolutely positive for anyone! Here’s an article that goes into great detail about the benefits of garlic, with links to studies done on garlic, for anyone who is interested:

    Assessment Of Aggregate Biological Threats & Confirmation Of Garlic As A Natural Remedy For What Ails Modern Civilization
    By Bill Sardi March 18, 2014


    If you cannot stand the taste of garlic there’s a capsule recommended in that article which seems pretty good and has very little to no taste. It’s called Garlizyme.

    I am just amazed at the health benefits of garlic, especially for cardio vascular benefits. Bill Sardi has written a number of articles discussing in detail the many benefits of garlic, specifically I am interested in the allicin in garlic, which can only be obtained if you eat a fresh garlic clove within 45 minutes of crushing it, or take Garlizyme. In one of his articles it says allicin is not obtainable if you boil it or use aged garlic. I’m thinking that the dried garlic bulbs you buy in the grocery store are aged garlic. If so, what I wonder is, at what point from when you pull it out of the ground does it become “aged”?

    Also, vitamins D3, K2 (K2 is found in things like kale) and magnesium are important to take to fend off colds and such. For more on that see: What You Need To Know About Vitamin K2, D, and Calcium By Joseph Mercola December 24, 2012.

    I like to eat foods with probiotics to fend off colds and flues, foods like raw refrigerated sauerkraut. I’ve been considering making some, someday. I’ve read that your immune system depends upon a healthy gut.

    I wonder if any of you add magnesium to your soils when you grow your herbs? I’ve read that soils become depleted of things like magnesium rather quickly. If so, what do you use? And, do plants uptake zinc?

    I didn’t know about the seeds and stems of elderberries being toxic, nor to avoid the the red variety. Thanks for that. It’s good to know.

    • From what I’ve read, the reason to not take echinacea for more than 2 weeks at a time is due to its effectiveness in supporting the immune system. It can actually cause a reverse of its immune-enhancing properties, which is called “immune suppression,” thus causing your immune system to become weaker instead of become stronger. Kinda like the body becomes immune to the herb itself. Some sources say not to take echinacea for more than 2 weeks at a time, and some sources say 8 weeks. I like to border on the side of caution, however, and go with 2 weeks. You can take it for 2 weeks and then stop taking for a week and then begin taking it again safely.

      I agree with you wholeheartedly on the probiotic recommendation! It is indeed very important to maintain healthy gut flora in order to keep a strong immune system. Fermented foods are excellent for this!

  6. Great info!

    When I got to the Elderberries, I couldn’t help but think of John Cleese of Monty Python fame.

    “I don want to talk to you no more! Your Mother was a hamster and your Father smells of Elderberries!”

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