Here’s to a happier, healthier, more natural 2013 for us all!

This guest post by Carol B and entry in our non-fiction writing contest.

Here are several suggestions for NATURAL treatments of cough, cold, respiratory problems, etc. Most of these herbs are available in bulk (you don’t need a 10-year supply just to try them!) from your local whole foods grocery store. They usually will also carry bottles (glass is best) of locally-produced, raw honey – indispensable for sweetener and for boosting your natural immunities in YOUR neck of the woods.

You can also buy ready-made teas for specific purposes at the same whole foods grocery, but they are VERY EXPENSIVE, IMHO.

Elderberry syrup will be available in the “cereals/syrup section”, so you may have to “look around” a bit to find just what you want; they are usually very helpful folks, if you ask, as well. But, this one is tasty! I’ll bet even the kids will like it!

DO NOT use VapoRub on chests; this is a petroleum-based product. I don’t care if Grandma did use it; petroleum has never been intended for human consumption; your skin is an organ. Everything you put ON your skin absorbs INTO your skin, then your blood stream, then gets run through your vital organs. Not good. Look up a natural recipe for such a “rub”, or, just go to the “Frugally Sustainable” website; I know she posted such a recipe; just use the search box for “natural chest rub”, or, something like that.

Got any horehound? Remember old-timey horehound candy? Yuck! Grandma loved it. It’s good for cough, if you can handle the taste. This herb can be added to any tea.

Cough (inflammation of the respiratory tract):

1. Productive coughs bring up mucus; non-productive coughs – do not (that’s simple enough).
2. If you have a persistent cough that will not “go away”, your body is sending a message, “help!”. It could be anything from “Stop Smoking” to “sinus infection alert”.
3. Try home remedies for a few days; if it does not clear up after a few days, consult our doctor.

Cough remedies:

Tea # 1: Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara). Warning: a study was conducted in a brief period, ONE study, in which lab mice were fed INORDINATE AMOUNTS of coltsfoot, in order to determine any negative side effects. There were several. Because of this poorly conducted, unscientific study, the amounts of coltsfoot fed (and nothing else!) per body weight, there is a tendency to find remarks such as, “coltsfoot is not safe” – most of those comments are based on this skewed study, which, by the way, was funded by the U.S. gubment. Go figure. Unless you are a consuming HUGE amounts of coltsfoot over a very long period of time, it has no known side effects. As in everything, however, different people will respond to every medicine, herb, food, etc., in different ways. You know you’re own body. You be the judge.

Coltsfoot has been used as a cough remedy since ancient times. It’s generic name, “Tussilago”, comes from the Latin word for “cough’. Coltsfoot, like several other herbs, contains chemicals calle dpyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs). At high doses, these chemicals can damage the liver, and long-term use can CONCEIVABLY lead to liver cancer. As a result, some herbalists have gone on record as saying that herbs like coltsfoot that contain PAs should never be ingested.

Commission E, the body of experts that advises the German government about herb safety and effectiveness, endorses using up to three (3) teaspoons of coltsfoot a day to make a tea to treat cough. At that dose, you won’t consume more than 10 milligrams of PAs, a level deemed safe for short-term and occasional use as a cough treatment.

Coltsfoot is very soothing to the throat, reducing the urge to cough.

DO NOT use this herb if taking a lot of medications, as you will “overload” your liver in trying to process all these medications/herbs together. DO NOT use coltsfoot if you have a history of liver disease or alcohol abuse.

ELDERBERRY (one of the best!) (Sambucus nigra): Israeli scientists have proven the efficacy of elderberry for treating colds, cough, and fever. A drug made of elderberry has also been proven (also by Israeli scientists) as effective treatment in recovering from flu. Purchase elderberry tincture, apply either by drinking in something or a few drops (2-3) under the tongue, several times a day, or, make a tea – use locally-produced, raw honey for sweetener, to help boost your immunities and healing power. Drink elderberry juice, put it in water or other drinks if too strong for you. You can buy it in most of these forms at any whole foods grocery.

GINGER (Zingiber officinale) – if you never tasted FRESH-sliced ginger from the actual ginger root, then you’ve never really tasted ginger. The powder in a can from the “spice” section just is not the same. Several chemicals in ginger (gingerols and shogaols) have been proven as high effective treatments for cough-suppressing, pain-relieving, and fever-reducing. Add it to tea, suck on it freshly sliced (it’s good like this!), or use ground ginger in herbals, teas, tinctures. The fastest way to use it, though, is the freshly-sliced ginger root, grated and eaten, if possible; or at least suck on it and get the “good” out!

LEMON: (Citrus Limon) Cough Formula: Steep 2 teaspoons organic lemon rinds, 1 teaspoon of sage (dry leaf), and 1/2 teaspoon of thyme (dry leaf) in boiling water 15 minutes. Then add the juice of 1/2 lemon and 1 tablespoon locally-produced, raw (unfiltered) honeyi. Drink 2 or 3 times a day. It won’t hurt to consume the entire contents, and will actually be beneficial. If you can’t do that, however, bind your herbs in cheesecloth, double-layered, tie up (rubber bands work just fine!), and remove this packet before adding honey.

Organic lemons (or, any citrus) are best as it is nearly impossible to wash away chemicals from the rinds of fruit.

LICORICE: (Glycyrrhiza glabra). I personally don’t care for the taste of licorice, but, it’s a wonderful medicinal, so, if I have to, I suck it up! Licorice soothes mucus membranes, and has a long history of use for coughs and asthma. Try licorice tea, made with 1 teaspoon (tsp.) dried root per cup of boiling water, or add licorice root to other herbal cough formulas. Do not consume more than 3 cups per day, as long-term use or ingestion of larger amounts can produce headache, lethargy, sodium and water retention, excessive loss of potassium, and high blood pressure.

SLIPPERY ELM (Ulmus rubra): The FDA has declared slippery elm a safe, effective cough soother (as if we really needed them to tell us, but, anyway….) The bark contains large quantities of a mucilage that acts as an effective throat soother and cough suppressant. You can buy commercially prepared throat lozenges containing slippery elm, or you can use the dried herbs to make a tea.

ANISE (Pimpinella anisum): Commission E endorses aniseed as an expectorant for removing plegm in the respiratory tract and as a cough suppressant. You could try a tea made with one to two teaspoons of crushed aniseed per cup of boiling water. Steep 10-15 minutes, then strain. Suggested dose: one cup, morning and evening.
WARNING: if you have any intestinal or digestive disorder, such as diverticulitis (one example) DO NOT CONSUME ANY SEED, especially small seeds. You know why.

BURNET-SAXIFRAGE (Pimpinella major) – 3 to 6 tsps. for ailments of the upper respiratory tract from the plant root; it has properties of an expectorant and cough suppressant; widely used to treat bronchitis, hoarseness, and sore throat.

MARSH MALLOW (Althaea officinalis): Marsh Mallow’s soothing roots and extracts also contain mucilage, useful for relieving cough and sore throat. Used for treating irritation of the mucous membranes of the throat and any associated dry cough. Make a tea with 2 tsps. of dried herbs per cup of boiling water; sweeten with locally-produced, raw (unfiltered) honey, as always.

MULLEIN: I’ve sen you this alreadyS!

PRIMROSE (Primula veris) 1 to 2 tsps. dried primrose flowers to make a cup of tea for relieving coughs. This IS NOT “Evening Primrose” (Oenothera biennis).

STINGING NETTLE (Urtica dioica) – this herb has so many uses, it really should be at the top of the list for your herbal cabinet, anyway! Tea made from this herbal is an old standby for coughs. Has a long history of use for colds, whooping cough (pertussis), and tuberculosis. Make a tea from the leaves, and the usual local raw honey to sweeten. I have encountered only one person who has a reported an “allergic reaction” to stinging nettle, but it is possible with any herb, like any drug, or any food.

Source: (Mostly) “The Green Pharmacy“, by James A. Duke, Ph.D.

Grace and Truth, John 1:14; 1:17; 2 John 1:3

This contest will end on February 16 2013  – prizes include:

Well what are you waiting for – email your entries today. But please read the rulesthat are listed below first… Yes

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.


  1. HomeINsteader says:

    Add to this: my DH doesn’t care for fresh ginger (unfortunately – as I find it very tasty!), but, recently, when he was ill, I got it down him like this: a fresh glass of ginger ale soda (they do make all natural ginger ale sodas, but they’re very expensive) with a stainless steel (never aluminum!) tea ball infuser down in it; the infuser held freshly-grated ginger! Whatever it takes! By the way, I bought my stainless steel infusers, vintage, off ebay.

  2. Another great article for the book!

  3. HomeINsteader says:

    The “mullein” (rhymes with “sullen”) is missing, so, here it is:

    Mullein, a.k.a., Lamb’s ear – has a leaf that is very soft and “fuzzy”; what child has played with it in a meadow?

    It’s perfectly safe to eat and quite tasty if eaten when young. Keep in mind, however, that if you want future crops of mullein, you have to leave some until next year (2nd year mullein).

    One year mullein is useful as an herb, but, if you want to grow from seed, let it grow until the following year, for, only 2-year mullein produces seed.

    Mullein has been used to treat respiratory ailments for thousands of years. It works as an expectorant, soothes the throat, acts as a bactericidal, and stops muscle spasms that trigger coughs (works a lot like elderberry syrup, but elderberry tastes better!).

    A tea made from mullein is believed an effective treatment against flu; mullein contains a muccilage, which is what soothes the throat. Mullein contains saponins, which have an expectorant effect.

    A tea brewed from mullein, sweetened with locally-produced, RAW honey will help with all of these issues, IMHO.

    Mullein flower oil drops are used to treat ear infections. You can usually buy such drops from any herbal store, such as “The Bulk Herb Store” or Mountain Rose Herbs

    Mullein is used to help control respiratory conditions such as bronchitis, asthma, and even emphysema.

    You can make a tea with one or two teaspoons of dried, crushed mullein leaves or flowers per cup; allow to steep about 3 minutes; remove herbs before drinking. Sweeten with locally-produced, RAW honey for best medicinal benefits. A combination of mullein, red pepper (capsacin!), and licorice is deadly to such illnesses – if you can take it!

    I have the good fortune to have young mullein growing in on my front lawn, as I write this. I will have to transplant it to keep the DH from mowing it down!

    • My husband accidentally tilled up 40 mature lavender and echinacea plants last spring. I can’t ever remember being so mad and heartbroken at the same time. I was prostrate on the ground picking up root sections and bundling them into wet cloth. Terrible.
      Better get that Mullien moved soon, while the roots are little.

    • Desert Fox says:

      Mullein is a great herb for the lungs…(it was actually smoked by natives for that purpose!) also you can make a torch with it by dipping in fat. It was also called a “Sentinel” that guards your home. Good stuff!

  4. HomeINsteader says:

    what child “hasn’t” played with it….oops!

  5. Excellent! Well done. This is a great reference page for the notebook.

  6. GoneWithTheWind says:

    To the extent that this kind of thinking makes anyone believe herbs and honey are going to cure anything or improve your immune system I think this article does harm and borders on giving medical advice without a license. While it is true some “natural” herbs may moderate or alleviate some symptoms it cures nothing. And the whole trumped up concept that we can take these magic herbs and improve our immune system is bizarre. And just because an herb has a long history of being used to treat some illness does not mean it has any value in treating that illness. This is nothing more then voodoo, snake oil quackery.

    • Hunker-Down says:


      How are you going to find a way to hug your pharmacy after TSHTF?

      • HomeINsteader says:

        + 1

      • GoneWithTheWind says:

        That is the point. If there are no science based medicines and you depend on them then you are in trouble. But to tell people that these herbs will cure or treat diseases is downright criminal.

        • GoneWithTheWind,

          Herbal medicine has been PROVEN effective for many illnesses and has been in use for hundreds of years. Many pharmaceutical drugs are derived directly from many herbs and plants.

          • GoneWithTheWind says:

            “might reduce backpain”. Presumably it might not too. But what that reallly means is someone did a study and the results failed to achieve the statistical standard so they dishonestly claimed the minor statistical anomaly actually means something. The belief in herbal medicine is a cult. It is superstition based and can be harmful. I have already agreed that some herbs were found to be useful but the catch is that the useful ones were already identified and used and what is left is mostly useless herbs that may do as much harm as good. Byt the bottom line is you cannot name a herb that can “cure” anything serious. And by serious I mean heart disease, cancer, smallpox, measles, diptheria, TB, etc. We can thank science based medicine for the success in curing diseases. 100 years ago half the children born would die before their 5th birthday most from common diseases we vaccinate for today. Herbs didn’t prevent those diseases and didn’t cure them once the victim got sick. I do not believe that 1 million or so doctors who studied medicine for years and scientists who have researched drugs and treatments for years are all involved in some sort of conspiracy to push useless pharmceuticals and coverup valuable alternatives. This makes no sense whatsoever. Is modern medicine perfect or even close to perfect? Of course not but it has allowed us to double our life expectancy over the last 100 years. My concern is that people will believe a few willow twigs will cure them of something and that doctors will kill them. This is a dangerous mantra to be pushing. I am open to looking at herbs for possible medical value especially herbs that have not been looked at before but looked at with science and not the ruminations of 2000 year old cultures.

            • GWTW,
              You continue to embarass yourself. You say the same thing over and over and we all get it.
              You believe that anyone discussing, using, sharing recipes, or advice on anything plant based that can make someone feel better is committing felony quakery.
              Time to STFU, no one cares. It is time to BE gone with the wind.

            • Desert Fox says:

              I respect the science of medicine but may I remind you that medicine IS based on plants! Like with everything else, we need to learn all sides before making a decision. You have very clearly indicated your position, and are welcome to post it here, however, it is not necessary to disavow anyone else’s. If believing in herbal medicine is a “cult”, then you might not want to stay here. Regards.

              • HomeINsteader says:

                I’m thinking Gone With the Wind and Hocus Pocus are both one and the same – both trolls.

        • The CDC touts the benefits of elderberries for improving your immune system relative to the flu. The FDA approves slippery elm for sore throat. Aspirin is synthesized now but originally came from willow bark.

          I can’t speak for some of the other herbs listed, but, just because some FDA official hasn’t been hired to test and approve (with fees of over $100K per substance) something that commonly comes from plants and therefore WON’T make big money for the pharmaceutical companies doesn’t mean it doesn’t work.

          Here is a corollary: If a government official said it was ok to tie to the bed and dehydrate your dying grandmother so she would die faster and save Medicare some money would you believe them?

          • Tactical G-Ma says:

            I knew nothing about elderberry til ya’ll started talking about it. I started trying to identify it and it turns out I have a huge plant on the edge of my property. We also have tons of Poke and blackberry. This spring will be so exciting learning what is available.

            • Tactical Gma, makie sure that elderberry plant is producing black berries. Some of the other colors are not good for you…….

            • Tactical G-Ma says:

              Thanks for the tip. Will do.

            • HomeINsteader says:

              Yep. Sambuca Nigra (black elderberry). It’s my understanding that the red elderberry DOES have some of the same properties and it is o.k. to use them in moderation, but red grows primarily only in the upper northern part of the USA and Canada.

    • GoneWithTheWind,
      The only thing bizarre around here is why you would want to bring such negativity to someones article?
      Carol, did a great job in sharing something that she believes is benefical and useful.
      The Cancer Treatment Centers use Herbal and Naturopathic immune support. So, if you get cancer, don’t seek healing there.
      And plu-ease don’t seek pain management through opiates. Using a poppy to provide pain relief is just so BIZARRE!
      Don’t take that aspirin if you feel a heart attack coming on. That pesky Willow bark could stop a heart attack in it’s tracks.Bizarre voodoo, snake oil quackery at its finest.
      If you don’t believe in using herbs or plants for healing, then move on. No need to be a hater.

      • A lot of manufactured drugs are just distalations or chemical copies of natural products. I find no “quackery” and snake oilery or voodoo. Most medicines now don’t cure you just help alleviated symptoms till your body can heal itself. I find no difference in taking a CHEMICAL drug like mucinex to help clear congstion or a natural remedy that may do the same thing, as a matter of fact having a background in Chemistry I would RATHER take a natural remedy. Hope you don’t get sick after shtf and need something to help you through a bad cold that could develop into phnemonia and have no way to get to a doctor or pharmacy.

    • Gone With The Wind, Medical doctors use drugs derived from herbs all the time to treat their patients. Digitalis(sp) heart medicine is from foxglove, a pretty flower. Check out how many other other accepted medications are derived from herbs before you knock herbs.

      • GoneWithTheWind says:

        True enough. Science has spent a lot of time and research to find legitimate cures in herbs and other natural sources. But what is left was found to have no value. You can choose to believe two willow twigs will cure your headache but probably it will not. many of these herbs are dnagerous and all of them are impossible to determine the amount of any useful chemicals in them. The dosage would vary from season to season and from region to region. How much is enough? How much is too much. The simple fact is you cannot name any “natural” herb that cures anything. Nothing, zip nada. So why the blind faith???

        • Hunker-Down says:


          You said, “But what is left was found to have no value”.

          We disagree; what is left is found to have no financial value to the pharmaceutical industry.

          So why the blind attitude? You speak as if you have been brainwashed by medical school. Google doctor Julian Whitaker.

          • GoneWithTheWind says:

            It is indeed possible that there could be a plant based substance that the drug companies decided not to use for profit reasons. I doubt you can name one, I can’t think of one.

            Actually my attitude is the opposite of blind. Do you think I have not looked at herbs and alternative medicine? If there was something there of value I would champion it, I would be shouting it from the rooftops. There is not. I choose to base my decisions and ideas on science and I reject superstition. I am open to all and any new ideas but I insist on proof. I understand statistics and science and I know how the frauds are perpertrated. The internet is full of misinformation and anyone who does not insist on proof is being foolish. It is sad that you consider doctor Julian Whitaker to be a source of useful information. Vitamins and minerals in excess of what your body requires (MDR) do not make you healthier or cure illness. It is pure quackery.

            • GoneWithTheWind,

              Wow! You seem to know everything – a broad statement such as those in your comments needs to be based on fact not pulled out of your butt. To say that “herbs and all alternative medical care have no use or base in science” shows your complete lack of knowledge of the subject and of the medical field in general.

              There have been many controlled scientific tests performed in labs over the year (and those are still being done) that have shown the positive effects of using herbs and alternative medical treatments.

            • Hunker-Down says:


              You cant prove a negative. Stop trying.

        • HomeINsteader says:

          Science? The same “science” that proved fluoride gives us stronger teeth, for example? That was a lie fabricated by the “scientists” paid by the Rothschilds who didn’t like their profits dropping when the demand for aluminum slid after WWII started winding down. Flouride is a byproduct of aluminum manufacturing. Aluminum is toxic to humans, when consumed. The scientists were ORDERED to find a way to boost the need for aluminum byproducts, and this was their answer. What good parent didn’t want their child to have strong teeth, after all?

          I don’t have to prove this – it’s already out there – for those willing to do their homework and see it for themselves.

          The same “science” that proved margarine is good for you, but butter bad? No, that’s not right…eat the butter, not the margarine! Science has proven the butter is better..

          The same “science” that said, “chicken soup has no medicinal value”? No! That’s not right. “Science” says, “it does!”

          The same “science” that said, “let’s cut into people’s brains…it will make them behave the way we want them to behave!”..and lobotomies were born. The same “science” that said, “NO! Wait! Lobotomies aren’t working….let’s drug ’em instead!”….

          “Science”. They love people like you. Don’t concern yourself with the truth – just swallow whatever lie we spew at you and hope you’re too dumb to figure it out for yourself, or, better still, that you’ll help spread our lies.

          Oh, and about that coumadin? You obviously don’t know anything about coumadin, or you wouldn’t be praising it. That nurse tried to help you; you chose to refuse to listen.

          “Science” has its place; it is not infallible. I have worked with some of the world’s greatest and best known scientists in a world-renowned academic setting; I can tell you they’re just humans, subject to errors, subject to keeping the grant-givers happy in order to keep their jobs.

          You don’t seem very interested in learning anything, just spewing “what you think you know”.

          Good luck. You’re gonna need it.

          • Yall know right that coumadin is mouse poison? Yup that is right……..arsenic dears…… a controlled dose. And tea made out of willow bark and elderberries brewed strong takes down a fever and shortens a cold or flu by a couple of days and reduces coughing. Don’t need science to any of the above…

    • mountain lady says:

      GWTW: I remember you. You are the one that jumped all over me about GMOs. Eat your poison and keep taking big pharma drugs.

      • Mountain Lady,
        Oh no he/she di-int jump on you about GMO’s! Really? The nerve. I have had some knock down drag outs on GMO’s. I am sorry I missed it.
        Snarky trolls are so BIZARRE!

      • GoneWithTheWind says:

        The study of GMO could someday produce something bad. I agree with that concern. It hasn’t yet and that is where we disagree. GMO plants are a boon to the human population and have produced more food and allowed food to be grwon in locations it was not grown in the past. But here is the issue: If we outlaw GMO research, as some people want to, then instead of it being done here where laws and oversight controls it it will be done in China and 3rd world countries with no controls and it is far more likely to have a bad result. I do eat GMO and pretty much anything and everything I want. I have no food biases and enjoy all foods. I do understand nutrician and human biology and I’m more then ready to find fault with any food or drink available for consumption. I shun illegal drugs, alcohol, tobacco and excesses in anything. But I am very skeptical of what is on the internet.

        • GWTW,
          You are the DUMBEST person I have ever wasted my time talking to. That list is pretty big and you just topped it.
          I am going to clear something up for you since I am afraid that someone might read the words you just vomited into this blog.
          The very nature of a Monstano Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) is to withstand the onslaught of the ROUND UP HERBICIDE that it is drenched with, not once but twice.
          Monstano gladly admits this and you can watch it on you tube.

          Do not confuse this with Hybrid Seed that is cross pollinated to withstand specific conditions. Something that occurs in nature.

          Then it is served up to blithering idiots like you that run to the pharm companies to make all your chemical poisoning go away with more chemicals.
          Not only does the toxic chemical poison the food, it destroys the soil. The micro organisms and the billions of benefical insects and nutrients are wiped out. They must then add more Monstano chemicals to replicate the nutrients.
          No one wants to outlaw GMO research, au contraire. We only want companies to label the products that contain it. So the public can make an informed decison. We need much much more GMO research. Research the “Effects of GMO”. research.
          Countries all over the world have banned GMO seed and foods. We are one of the last to still allow it.
          I am sure all this just went right over your head and I have wasted my time.
          You should shut up.

          • HomeINsteader says:

            MamaJ, YOU’RE MY HERO(INE)!!!! : )

            • Agreed!

              What I find funny is GWTW is touting all the benefits of big pharma but what they haven’t even touched on is that one pill will POSSIBLY work to reduce or prevent a specific problem, but in turn every warning ad states it will possibly have 4 or more other side effects with it. Not so sure I like those odds.

        • Hunker-Down says:


          Look at the PROVEN stats in Dr. Whitaker’s book regarding the industry you are trying (and failing with us) to defend.

      • HomeINsteader says:

        mountain lady: YOU GO, GIRL!

  7. HomeINsteader says:

    Your Big Pharma drugs cure nothing, as well. But they do make Big Pharma rich and they love that people think only what they have to offer is helpful. Truth is, there is NO drug the body is designed to take ad infinitum.

    I think you’re missing the point, entirely. No one even suggested there is “magic” here – a suggestion I find “over the top”. What is offered here is NATURAL ALTERNATIVES to Big Pharma. But it’s this kind of extreme knee-jerk reaction that Big Pharma cheers, and hopes there are more of you who think in this manner.

    I can tell you from personal experience that they do work, very often. But just like Big Pharma’s drugs, they don’t necessarily work the same way for everyone, and there may be some “natural” solutions that may be a problem for you, but work well for somebody else. I believe the article above makes that quite clear. Just like Big Pharma’s “Make Me Rich and Who Cares What It Does to You” drugs, you won’t know until you try. And, yes, I AM radical about Big Pharma, and make no apologies for it.

    But if NATURAL ALTERNATIVES are not for you, then, don’t use them. It’s just that simple.

    Big Pharma thanks you.

    • Hunker-Down says:


      Do you have the statistics on the annual number of deaths caused by “Big Pharma”?

    • PGCPrepper says:

      You seem compelled to challenge or respond to everyone here. What kind of ego do you have? Just let the person say his/her piece. You must post more than anyone here. Why don’t you start your own blog? You are one reason I’ve stopped subscribing to every post. No offense.

      • HomeINsteader says:

        None taken, PGCP. I’ve read your posts. I see your heart.

        • PGCPrepper says:

          You see nothing of the kind. God only knows my heart to which I’m sure you must agree.

          • PGCP, I believe that she may be the author of this article–and in judging entries, MD has said he considers the author’s follow up in the comments as well as the article itself.

            FWIW, I took her to be saying that she saw that you *have* heart, not that she could see what was *in* your heart.

            You’ve graciously shared about your failing health, and that your beloved wife is why you are here, despite the toll it takes. Your determination and sacrifice have won wide respect here, and no doubt many continue to lift you and yours up in their thoughts and prayers. Take care, friend.

    • GoneWithTheWind says:

      Are the “alternatives” or pure BS? Does some ancient culture of people who probably believed in sacrifice to improve the harvest really know what will cure cancer?
      If you believe any herb or natural cure will cure anything then give me an example. I’m not talking about a cold or headache but actual diseases like cancer, heart disease, strokes, cholera, TB, etc.

      “Big Pharma”! The phrase conjurs up rich bad guys. But of course that’s the intent, to smear, to call them names. Think about this; doctors go to college for 8-12 years they study the human body and how medicines affect it positively and negatively and then they go out into the world to save lives. Do you really believe they knowingly give their patients medicines that they know won’t work and worse that they know will harm them??? Do you really think that? Most people who really need “big pharma” are thankful that they are there and that dedicated scientists spend their lives creating medicines to cure diseases and alleviate symptoms. These medicines are not perfect and the diversity of the human gene pool creates conflicts that can be dangerous to some but not others. Then there is the problem that people who are sick enough to need multiple medication may have interactions between those medicines. All of that is true. Health care is not and can never be perfect. But the simple fact is in 100 years our life expectancies have doubled and during that period modern medicine ascended and herbology descended. Even in China where their belief system favors herbs and other oddities when they really get sick they seek out Western medicine and not rhino horns.

      You are absolutely correct and I agree that I don’t have to use herbs or other alternatives. My belief is that knowledge is good and superstion is bad and superstition based alternatives are NOT medicine and it is improper and possibly illegal to advocate for them. It is not some harmless hobby. People have believed in these things and have died as a result.

      • GoneWithTheWind,

        Do you work for a pharmaceutical company? You would be great at writing their advertisements…

        btw do you know of any pharmaceutical drug that will cure cancer, heart disease, strokes?

        I personally know several people in the medical field one a doctor with over 30 years under his belt and he often recommends herbs to help prevent and treat many different illnesses.

        I know for a fact the curcumin greatly reduces inflammation and associated pain. I know this because I use it myself and it works. And is much safer than prescription pain medications.

        • GoneWithTheWind says:

          Happily retired and enjoying life. I have great respect for doctors, scientists and for that matter the firemen, nurses, police and our military. My point is I do not believe that a million doctors and 100,000 scientists in the medical field are lying to us or trying to poison us.

          I have a different take on doctors who recommend herbs, I would consdier them to be quacks. A few years ago I was admitted to the hospital with blood clots in my lungs, Luckily I survivied and was prescribed coumadin. One of the nurses voiced her opinion that she would not take coumadin and I should look at herbs to take instead. I almost reported her to the hospital for malpractice. I wish I had, god knows how much harm she has done. I have a pretty negative opinion of the superstitution based practices.

          • GoneWithTheWind,

            The JOURNAL of the AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (JAMA) Vol 284, No 4, July 26th 2000 article written by Dr Barbara Starfield, MD, MPH, of the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, shows that medical errors may be the third leading cause of death in the United States

            The report shows there are 2,000 deaths/year from unnecessary surgery; 7000 deaths/year from medication errors in hospitals; 20,000 deaths/year from other errors in hospitals; 80,000 deaths/year from infections in hospitals; 106,000 deaths/year from non-error, adverse effects of medications – these total up to 225,000 deaths per year in the US from iatrogenic causes which ranks these deaths as the # 3 killer. Iatrogenic is a term used when a patient dies as a direct result of treatments by a physician, whether it is from misdiagnosis of the ailment or from adverse drug reactions used to treat the illness. (drug reactions are the most common cause).

            • GoneWithTheWind says:

              Indeed and very sad too. So what is the alternative (and I don’t mean to use herbs)? Millions of people go to hospitals every year, many of them near death or facing certain death. Doctors often make decisions in seconds without time to run tests and gather information. Some of these decisions are wrong or maybe right but still fail to save the patient, What would you have them do with a gunshot victim? Give hime two willow twigs and have him call you in the morning? Do you really think all of these people would have lived and gotten well taking herbs?? Your herbs and roots are for the sniffles and colds not because they help but because they make you feel better just like when mom rubbed Vicks on your chest when you were little. Herbs don’t “cure” anything they appease your superstitions.

              • GoneWithTheWind,

                You just don’t get it and never will. No one said not to go to the doctor, or to chew on “willow twigs” or to seek emergency medical care if gut shot. Please stop making broad (and stupid) statements and assumptions. Both “western medicine” and “alternative treatments have their usage and there should be a meeting of what works regarding both fields. This is my last comments to you about this – do and believe what you will as for the rest of us we are getting tired of your repeated and baseless remarks on this subject.

                • GoneWithTheWind says:

                  “no one said not to go to the doctor”! Perhaps not in this forum but in the “herbal” community that is the common belief and some of those in this forum clearly stated that big pharma and doctors will kill you.
                  I will indeed make this my last remark on this subject but they are hardly baseless. If you believe the wisdom of the ages and the quacks and fakers in the alternative medicine field have somehow discovered things that modern science have not then that would be baseless and contrary to common sense.

                  • GoneWithTheWind,

                    “I will indeed make this my last remark on this subject”

                    Thank you…

                  • GWTW….You have offered many mean-spirited opinions. Here is mine…You should really get a checkup from one of those brilliant doctors. But, just in case they can’t figure out what is wrong with you (like they couldn’t for me) you might want to dig deep for your humanity and manners. Someone like the author of this article helped me learn to deal with the symptoms of a severe auto immune disease AND suggested an honest to goodness real MD who was able to diagnose me after years of being told I was fine by another board certified physician. If I had an attitude like yours, I would be dead by now. God bless.

                • HomeINsteader says:

                  Thank you, M.D.!

            • GoneWithTheWind says:

              I do not post my responses to simply disagree or be arguementative. I sincerely believe most if not all of what the counterculture alternative medicine community is putting out there is pure baloney. I DO agree that some of the natural herbs and treatments can somewhat alleviate symptoms; for example honey will reduce the pain of a sore throat (as will sugar water) and Eucalyptus drops will open up nasal congestion, mint and ginger will calm an upset stomach, etc. But to go past those claims (as some do) and claim herbs “cure” diseases is malpractice and dangerous. I am merely offerring an opposing view. We are all adults and certainly can handle a point of view that challenges our beliefs. I sincerely believe what I have posted and I sincerely believe a healthy skepticism about the efficacy of herbs and alternative medicine would be beneficial to everyone. I respond to each of the comments that have either asked me something or challenged my points. It is not my intent to dominate the comments. I read all the posts on this blog and I comment on very few of them so it’s not as though I am trolling. I think that discussion on this subject is a good thing and I think everyone should keep an open mind. However if you think this discussion is useless or counterproductive I will drop it.

        • livinglife says:

          My ex and child have Lyme, curcumin is one of the supplements used for joint inflammation. It doesn’t destroy any organs in the process either.
          Man kind did fine before synthesized meds, they were just not a money maker like it is now.

          • GoneWithTheWind says:

            This is a prime example of the problem as I see it. Probably the curcumin is useless as a treatment for lyme but the quacks are out there in full force touting it as a cure and selling it for big profits (sounds like big pharma). So assuming curcumin does no harm to you over time (which we don’t know) then what’s the harm except that you pay good money for snake oil? The harm is that by shunning science based medicine you can make your condition worse or allow it to progress to the point where it is irreversible. Steve Jobs choose “natural alternatives” over surgery for his cancer. A cancer that was very operable in it’s early stages. Jobs would be alive today if he had not been duped by some naturopath. In my opinion someone should go to jail for that. Not just the nutcase prescribing natural ‘cures” but the writers who sell books based on this fairy tale and the individuals who tout this sort of thing without a clue. uncounted thousands, tens of thousands of people die every year because they are duped into thinking herns are real medicine and Dr Oz is right and 100 years of science is somehow wrong. What a shame, what a crime. All I can say about curcumin is I hope it does you know harm and I hope you continue to follow the recommendations of your “real” doctors and I wish you luck.

      • Tactical G-Ma says:

        You are so misinformed. While men of the great medical profession were cutting open peoples brains, using their medications like laudanum and blood letting. Root medicine was refined and handed down from mother to daughter for generations. They kept my ancestors alive. It wasn’t science but experience, lore. When my father was young there was a dentist of sort. Some time in the 50s a Peace Corps nurse set up a clinic but could do little more than put in stitches.
        Root medicine has been defamed, attempted to be outlawed for one reason only: patents are not issued for plants, minerals, and naturally occurring substances. Anyone can use willow bark but millions were made selling BC powder.
        Modern medicine is wonderous but it was developed on the backs of Root Doctors around the world. Root Doctors who might have been paid a jar of peaches or beans if that.
        Maybe you aren’t misinformed. Maybe you just like instigating an argument. Either way you are boring.

        • HomeINsteader says:

          + 1

        • GoneWithTheWind says:

          This is exactly what superstition based medicine is; beliefs handed down from mother to daughter. Why would you accept superstition over science?? Do you really believe 1 million doctors are in a grand conspirarcy to maltreat patients and hide the efficacy of “roots” and herbs??

    • PGCPrepper says:

      Composing an argument around the supposition that “Big Pharma” is only after the almighty buck is akin to hating on “Big oil” for making a small profit while providing you a gallon of gas in your auto. It loses me and sounds like the arguments used by libtards to justify their belief that a company should conduct research and produce a product only for the greater good; and a profit motive is evil.

      I do not disagree with your premise that herbs and alternative medicinals are valuable though. I just do not dismiss GWTW’s argument by inferior reasoning displayed here. It’s almost as if everything in the world is a conspiracy to some here. You know there are many quacks trying to make a buck off of of alternative quackery too. “Big Herb.”

      • PGCPrepper says:

        My post was in response to the statements below by HomeINsteader.

        “Your Big Pharma drugs cure nothing, as well. But they do make Big Pharma rich and they love that people think only what they have to offer is helpful. Truth is, there is NO drug the body is designed to take ad infinitum.”

        “Just like Big Pharma’s “Make Me Rich and Who Cares What It Does to You” drugs, you won’t know until you try. And, yes, I AM radical about Big Pharma, and make no apologies for it.”

  8. HomeINsteader says:

    HD, if they are out there, I haven’t tried to find them. And I’m not sure you could find accurate numbers, anyway. Drugs usually take years to kill (although not always), unless you’re talking chemotherapy or radiation therapy, both of which sicken, and often kill, fairly quickly. And I don’t know of any Board-Certified M.D. who will admit that drugs kill anyone. The A.M.A. would yank their license in a N.Y. minute, and they’d probably never get it back – the A.M.A. being the original whoremonger to Big Pharma.

    That’s what I use a Naturopathic practitioner (and they aren’t easy to find!).

    (This is for all readers, HD) – And before anyone else jumps to any more erroneous conclusions about natural treatments, Naturopathic M.D.s are actually better educated than “regular” M.D.’s; N.M.D.’s must have an M.D. first, then go on to a minimum of two (2) additional years of medical school to get a Naturopathic license. I believe NMD’s also have to pass an annual exam, whereas MD’s pass it only one time, unless they have their license yanked for some reason.

  9. Ozark Flower Lady says:

    Fantastic article. Thanks for the link to the book.

  10. Carol B,
    Fantastic article on alternative healing and herbs. I am not familiar with BURNET-SAXIFRAGE, but I am going to read up on it.

    The more information we have about growing and using the natural flora around us for medicine, the safer we will be 6 months after the SHTF and the pharmacy shelves are empty.

  11. This is definetly one artice I will print out and keep in the book for future reference.

  12. Thanks for an interesting article–and for the walk down memory lane. Yes, my grandmother loved horehound candy. . . Maybe it’s worth another try.

    Do you think it would be suitable in a honey & lemon style drop like this

    Are you growing any of these herbs, or mostly buying them? Many are new to me. I’ve heard that ginger can be planted like an iris. It’d only be an annual here, but I’d like to see if that works.

    • HomeINsteader says:

      I did look at this, and, yes, it is my opinion that these would be very helpful; they will only give temporary relief, of course, but, especially in a child, temporary relief will work while “other” treatments work at a different level.

      I do grow some of my own herbs. I have a small greenhouse; we used our gallon water bottles (having consumed the spring water contents first) to build the walls; just filled the bottles “almost full” with about a tablespoon of liquid bleach and stacked them in place, between the studs of the frame-up DH built.

      Where we live, it doesn’t get cold enough to freeze the bottles of water/walls, but, if you leave enough headspace, it won’t matter. It would still work. Think “igloo”.

      We now have a cheap greenhouse AND about 200 gallons of emergency water supply, should we need it, just in that one place.

      The roof is made of opaque corrugated “fiberglass”-type panels. The door is a multi-light wooden door I found at the local dump! It makes a beautiful greenhouse door! And it was free!

      I’m explaining all this in case anyone else wants to build a cheap greenhouse. You will need to build a frame. You will need to strap the bottles in place, every 3rd row or so. There are lots of cheap ways to “strap”, but we bought thin strips of heavy plastic for this purpose.

      The greenhouse is small, so, I’m limited, but I have lemons and limes that bloomed out during the winter and are growing “babies”, as I write this! I did not heat the greenhouse, either, even though it does get cold here (but nothing like other areas, I’m sure).

      I have not grown my own ginger, but that’s next!

      I do have a bulb of garlic sprouted in a glass of water at the moment! I bought it organic at whole foods, left it in veggie drawer to “sprout”, then moved it to a glass of water, which I keep just full enough for the bottom to touch, changing the water daily. We haven’t had much sun lately, which is slowing the process, but I have 5 or 6 green shoots, quite tall, out of the top, and several new roots popped out of the bottom. A day or two of good sunshine and I can plant this! I want it to grow large enough to develop bulbs so that I can start a fresh garden of garlic!

      If you grow the ginger in your house, as a potted plant, I do believe it would work just fine. Just a thought!

      • I planted ginger from the grocery store last winter in a pot. It grew about 2 feet tall, then it died back in the spring. I took the root out and stored it, and eventually ate it. It was many times the size it had been. All you have to do is leave a ginger root out and it will start to bud, just like garlic or onions will.

        • Tactical G-Ma says:

          I just order some ginger. I planted it once before but in the wrong location. My dad, in central FL, grows huge batches of it. It is a rhizome like the iris. I hope it grows well.

  13. Thanks for this article. The book link is great. Herbs work wonders. ty

    Vicks vapor rub is a good product to have imo. might make a sick person have a good memory if TSHTF. Always makes me think of my mom.

    Thanks again ,printed and saved!

  14. Thaank you Carol B for this great information. Wanted to add that in Japan they use fresh ginger for nausea by making a tea and sipping on it. Have tried it and it does work. When I read the ingredients on the regular ginger ale can, I was suprised that it contains no ginger at all, just caramel colored water with sweetener.

    • HomeINsteader says:

      Ginger is, indeed, efficacious for nausea! It has many other medicinal uses, as well.

    • Ginger tea will also get the body’s elimination system moving after surgery. After my c-section, I was told I had to stay in the hospital until that system was operating normally. A kind nurse I knew asked if I wanted some ginger tea. It gently got everything back on track and I was released that day.

      • Tactical G-Ma says:

        My grandma made senna tea for regularity and as spring tonic for detox. Never tried ginger tea but that is now on my list.

  15. livinglife says:

    Of course natural remedy’s aren’t safe, there is no way for big pharma to patent them. It all comes down to dollars and paying people off to keep the money coming in.

  16. Tactical G-Ma says:

    We are prepping for what if. This is a preppers blog. I am learning pioneer lore, herbal and root medicine, and conventional medicine and prepping best I can for what if we can no longer easily attain pharmaceuticals or the benefit of an M.D. If we have to lay low and DH cannot get his plavix even temporarily I had better know what to do. Last time he was off plavix 10 days for shoulder surgery blood clots developed and one stuck in his heart in the recovery room. Thank God it didnt stick in his lungs or brain. Then he had to be on hepprin IV for a week. Just saying. Everyone has an opinion. What will you do in a worst case scenario?

    • Sw't Tater says:

      T GMa, cod liver oil, 3 tbsp day/ in two doses,, garlic, 1000mg 2x day pills, ALA, 200mg daily,and CoQ10100 mg 2 x day, have been used to replace coumadin.this is what my mom uses.

      • Tactical G-Ma says:

        I’d better get the handcuffs and a funnel if I ever expect to get that down my little snuggle bear! Guess them arteries are gonna slam shut!

  17. mindyinds says:

    Another very fine list of natural remedies that will go in my notebook. I have some pause about the Vicks Vapo-Rub, however, having heard before about the evils of using petrolatum on the skin. Ya know, coal miners discovered petroleum jelly coming out of seams deep in the earth, and they found it to be a healing substance when applied to cuts and scrapes. Hmmm, so, I would think that occasionally used with an infusion of camphor, etc, it would not be detrimental (unless you want to go into the quality of the aromatics used in the petrolatum). Will continue to use it seasonally as a comforting balm to my stopped up sinuses before bed.

  18. Being a retired teacher of anatomy and physiology and the daughter of a medical person, I certainly am aware of the importance of science. I am also grateful for modern medicine which has allowed many people to live after having a catastrophic injury or disease. I am, however, preparing for shft. Hopefully, there will be a doctor to consult, but, I cannot count on that or the availability of a corner drugstore. Because of that, I am trying to learn as much as possible about herbalism and the like. While herbs may not cure everything or work as quickly as drugstore medicines, they may be all we have, and we better know something about them or be willing to just wring our hands in a crisis. I do know some of them work very well. I know that the yarrow growing outside my back door will stop my husband, who takes Plavix, from bleeding when he cuts himself. I do know that the comfrey, plantain, St. John’s wort, and calendula salve that I make will stop the itching and take the sting out of bug bites much better that the gallons of calamine lotion, etc., that I’ve used in the past. I also know that my grandmother had ll children and did not lose one when there were no doctors anywhere around because she knew what to do to keep them well and treat them. She married a man with three very ill children. She got iron nails and put them in water to rust and made the children drink the water. Those children lived to be in their 90’s. She was only 17, but she was equipped for shft. Are you?

  19. HomeINsteader says:

    Pack, there are so many good ideas shared here! And this is exactly why we need each other… no one of us can “know it all”, now, can we? We bless one another, and I know there are many of us here who recognize and appreciate those blessings.

    I leave you on this subject with some scriptures from the Word of Holy G-d relative to “herbs”:

    GENESIS 1:29-FOOD FOR HIS PEOPLE- “And God said, See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.

    GENESIS 3:18- Thorns also and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field.”

    GENESIS 9:3-“Every moving thing that lives shall be for food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs.”

    EZEKIEL 47:12-MEDICINE FOR HIS PEOPLE- “Along the bank of the river, on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees used for food; their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail. They will bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for MEDICINE.”

    REVELATION 22:2- “In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the HEALING OF THE NATIONS.

    (all emphasis is added)

    and one last blessing:

    3 John 1:2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (New King James Version)

  20. I appreciate the article. Just a little thought I had… and considering I don’t have them that often… this may be dangerous territory.

    Most folks are looking at herbs and alternative options for when the SHTF… I am no exception. But something just came to my mind. With the BS DC is pushing down our throats with obummercare and this new list of EO’s on gun’s but looks to really be aimed and negating HIPPA laws…. why wouldn’t we also be looking to alternatives to keep from going to the Dr. as often. Not only will the alternatives be cheaper and possibly home grown, but you don’t have to worry about a Dr. adding you into the database the TDL wants created.

    • HomeINsteader says:

      Excellent points, SW!

    • Tactical G-Ma says:

      I think everyone should be responsible for their own healthcare.
      Just like routine maintenance for your car, your body needs routine maintenance. We all know diet, exercise, routine checkups can lead to a better quality and longer life. Their are things we can do so we don’t need an M.D. everytime we cough or get a scratch. We each have one body and to learn as much about it and its care is wise because we need every edge to remain healthy.

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