HERBAL HOME REMEDIES
This document covers some basics but I highly recommend you study and become familiar with the plants in your local surrounds in your own way.
DISCLAIMER: The information below is garnered from my own research and is provided for educational purposes only – please conduct your own research before using any herbs or remedies and do so in conjunction with your own health provider.
PLEASE NOTE: These herbal remedies outlined here have not been evaluated for use in pregnancy or breastfeeding.
Credit for many of the remedies below goes to Carolyn and Josh of www.homesteadingfamily.com. Check out their website for practical resources, presented beautifully, and made simple.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure...
Elderberry Syrup - this is an Immune Tonic for winter ailments
4 cups water
1 cup elderberries – make sure all stems, unripe berries and leaves have been removed
Optional: Cayenne pepper, cinnamon sticks, ginger
2 cups raw honey
¼ cup lemon juice
Simmer for 15 mins then strain/mash berries and spices out. Put juice back into clean pot and let cool down until you can stick in your finger without getting burnt. Add 2 cups raw honey (this helps to preserve to allow you to keep for 6 months in the fridge). Add the lemon juice.
This is a very safe remedy (for over 1 year olds). You can use like maple syrup. If you feel a cold coming on, take a teaspoon or tablespoon every 2 hours. Otherwise take 1 tsp a day for prevention.
Cold water showers: proven to boost metabolism, improve circulation, build immunity and improve your mental state and energy. After your warm shower, turn your faucet to full cold and stand, at first for 30 seconds, building up to 5 or 10 minutes for optimal benefits. Allow yourself to warm up naturally afterwards i.e. don't turn the warm water on again.
Peppermint tea and honey: calming and will coat throat to help alleviate cough.
Oxymel: in its simplest form it’s equal parts vinegar and honey. You can make oxymel more medicinal by steeping herbs in the vinegar before mixing with honey – hyysop or thyme are great for soothing a cough. Steep herbs in vinegar for two to four weeks then strain well and mix equal parts honey to vinegar. This is very shelf stable and will keep almost indefinitely in your pantry. Take a teaspoon at a time, multiple times daily until symptoms are gone.
Garlic salve: this salve is safe for adults, toddlers and even babies and will last about 2 weeks in the refrigerator
1/3 cup coconut oil (slightly warm)
3Tbs olive oil
8 cloves garlic (medium size)
5 drops lavender essential oil
Measure out all ingredients and peel garlic – add to high powered blended and blend until smooth. Pour into glass jar and store in fridge for up to two weeks. Put liberally onto chest, on back, neck area and soles of feet very regularly.
Plantain Tea: plantain increases the mucus in the throat as well as dries out and clears sinuses and the nasal passage. Directions: place 1 sliced marshmallow root in a pot and bring to boil, simmer for 5 minutes then add a small handful of plantain leaves. Cover the pot, remove from heat and brew for 5 minutes. Add either mint, peppermint or pine needles and brew for another 3 minutes. Strain and serve with honey.
Mullein: a great go to remedy for a stubborn cough (for humans and animals) including bronchitis, dry whooping cough, tuberculosis, asthma and hoarseness. Directions: mix 1oz mullein with 1 pint water, bring to a boil and turn off immediately. Allow to infuse, covered, for 30 mins or overnight, strain out herbs and either gently reheat (if necessary) to make a tea by adding honey and lemon. Alternatively make a syrup by adding more honey and lemon. This can be taken a few tablespoons at a time. For a dog, mix the strained mullein water with bone broth. Mullein combines well with other herbs including yarrow, mint, elderberries, elderflowers, cherry bark and Echinacea. Go with your intuition when selecting which to add.
Mustard Plasters: Historical remedy for bronchitis and pneumonia. Great to use (for any age) at start of any respiratory issue.
Approx 1/3 cup of white flour (depending on size of person)
Equal amount of mustard powder
Enough water to make a thick batter consistency
Take a clean cotton tea towel and spread the mustard batter into a rectangle the size of the chest it will be used on. Fold up the sides and place on chest. Put a layer of oil on the chest first then a clean flannel/small towel. Then put a heat source on top (heat pack/hottie). Keep on for 20 minutes but be aware it can be uncomfortable and make the skin hot and red – so monitor this in kids. When you can’t stand it on the front anymore, put it on your back over your lungs.
Yarrow: The recommended dose is as an infusion prepared by pouring a cup of boiling water over 1-2 teaspoonfuls of the dried herb and steeping for 10-15 minutes. The tea should be drunk three times daily, or if taken for fever, it should be consumed hourly.
The following website has some good herbal home remedies for flu so I won’t try and duplicate here. As with this document, print out so you have them on hand when you need them. https://theherbalacademy.com/8-herbal-home-remedies-for-colds-and-flu/
BRUISING, BROKEN BONES, MUSCLE STRAINS & SPRAINS
1 cup dried comfrey leaves or 2 cups fresh, bruised comfrey leaves
2 litres water, nearly boiling
Place comfrey leaf into a large heatproof bowl and pour nearly boiling water over it. Cover with large plate and let steep for 15 minutes. Strain or leave herbs in. You can place broken bone into the large bowl and soak for 20 minutes or dip a clean cloth into the tea, wring out dripping liquid, wrap the broken bone in wet cloth and cover with a larger dry towel. Leave compress on for 20 minutes. Repeat 3 x a day until healed. You can reheat the tea before each use or use at room temperature, whichever feels better to the bone.
DIGESTIVE & SKIN COMPAINTS
Slippery Elm powder: take 1 tsp in a cup of hot water 3 times a day. Also good for UTI’s, wounds and skin conditions (as a poultice), heartburn and respiratory issues.
Activated charcoal: especially good in a poisoning event – adults take 25g at onset of diarrhoea and nausea, children take 10g. Also good for bloating and gas, bile flow problems, alcohol poisoning, mould issues, water filtration, insect bites and rashes. It traps toxins and chemicals in its millions of tiny pores. NOTE: It should not be taken long term as it can interfere with nutrient absorption. Chug down with water or, if using externally, i.e. on acne, mix with Aloe Vera gel and put on skin. Can use to brush on teeth for whitening.
Yarrow: stimulates the production of bile and pancreatic juices. Use as a tea (see below recipe) along with other bitter herbs such as dandelion root and catnip.
Marshmallow: It is beneficial for so many ailments from stomach upset, constipation, sore throat, bronchial spasms and respiratory infections, UTI’s and even bruises, cuts, and scrapes. Use the leaves and flowers as poultices to soothe skin irritations, bruising, and irritation. Make a tea of the leaves and flowers for bronchitis and cough. The roots contain more than 30% mucilage that is soothing to mucus membranes and the digestive tract – boil them for 10 minutes then leave to steep for 10 minutes, strain and either drink as a tea (or use externally). The leaves in early spring, make a mild tasting, and healthful salad.
Mullein: this plant may have anti-parasitic properties against two types of roundworm. See above for recipe.
Food grade Diatomaceous Earth: 1tsp – 2Tbsps mixed into 8oz water and drink daily for 2 weeks.
Garlic (especially for Giardia and tapeworms): crush 2 cloves and allow to stand for 10 minutes for best therapeutic action. Mix with natural yoghurt and consume daily for 2 weeks or until symptoms are gone.
Pumpkin seeds: consume a few tablespoons of ground pumpkin seeds in food daily to paralyse intestinal worms.
Onions: squeeze the onions until you have 2 tsp, then mix this with natural yoghurt and consume for 2 weeks.
Oregano Oil, Clove oil, wormwood: these supplements are all useful anti-parasitics.
Olive leaf extract: is a natural antibiotic, anti-fungal and also kills internal parasites. You can dry and powder the leaves to make the extract and then use in a smoothie/tea or you can make a tea directly from the leaves.
Pick olive leaves in the mid-morning when any dew has dried. The leaves should ideally be oven-dried at just below 150 deg F. (65 deg C). When the leaves are dry, crush them by hand and remove the stalks. Steep 1 tsp of dried leaves in a cup of hot water for 10 to 15 minutes, then strain. You may drink three cups a day. The tea is very bitter so sweeten with honey. Take this tea with food to avoid stomach irritation.
Parsley and chamomile (mildly diuretic – help flush bacteria through increased urination) tea, with marshmallow root and plantain leaves. Directions: place 1 sliced marshmallow root in a pot and bring to a boil, simmer for 5 minutes and add a small handful of plantain leaves, chamomile flowers, thyme and parsley. Mullein is also good for UTIs. Cover pot and remove from heat. Brew for 10 minutes then strain and serve. This tea is also good for DIGESTIVE COMPLAINTS. Yarrow, another diuretic can also be used in a tea.
CUTS, SORES, BLEEDING, RASHES, BITES, VARICOSE VEINS
Yarrow: This herb stops the flow of blood so is an excellent herb to pick when you injure yourself. Crush with a mortar and pestle to release the juices, adding a little hot water so you can make a paste, or chew it for a minute and pack it onto the wound. It will sting for a few minutes but will stop the bleeding quickly and assist in the healing process. Yarrow tea can also be used as a wash for cuts and scrapes. (Also good for headaches and can help stop internal bleeding).
Plantain: is a good anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine. It provides mild pain relief as well as increasing circulation. It’s also anti-fungal and anti-bacterial.
SALVE: Infuse oil with plantain, either by brewing fresh or dried leaves in a double boiler or, if it’s summertime, fill a jar with plantain leaves covered with olive oil and keep in the sun for 4 weeks, shaking every so often. To make, slowly add grated beeswax (approx 1/4 cup to 2 cups oil) to the hot oil in a double boiler, until the right consistency is achieved. Add yarrow leaves and flowers to this remedy to harness the healing properties of both herbs. You can optionally also add Echinacea root, comfrey leaf, calandula flowers, rosemary leaf. This salve can be used for healing small wounds, bites, stings, nappy rash, and reducing varicose veins.
COMPRESS: make a tea by boiling water and pouring over plantain leaves then covering until it is cool. Soak a bandage in the tea, and wrap around affected area. If you want a cold compress, place tea in fridge first.
MENSTRUAL IRREGULARITIES & MENOPAUSE
Evening primrose: The seed of this plant contains Gamma Linoleinic Acid (GLA) which is an excellent dietary supplement, boosting the immune system as well as helping with skin, female and digestive issues. Use the root (in the first year of this biannual plant) – cooked like a carrot for 20 minutes. Cook the early leaves and use as greens in a dish. Use the flowers as a garnish or in a salad. Seed pods can be steamed and eaten, and seeds can be roasted and used like poppy seeds in baked goods.
Yarrow: is considered to be a uterine tonic as it enhances circulation to the uterus, improving the tone, increasing menstrual flow and reducing uterine spasms. Directions: add 1 tsp dried yarrow flower to one cup boiling water. Cover and steep for 30 minutes then serve and strain.