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My Top 4 Herbal Remedies — The Grow Network Community
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My Top 4 Herbal Remedies

I've learned to make tinctures and salves myself, and I have started to create my home apothecary with the things I use for my own first aid and heath care. This is in no way intended to offer medical advice. This is just what I use myself. Please do your own research and consult a health care professional if needed.

Here are 4 I always keep on hand. What would you add?

  1. Elderberry syrup - you can find many recipes on line and in books. Great for cold and flu season.
  2. Cottonwood salve - I gather sticky and fragrant winter cottonwood buds from downed limbs, and cover them with olive oil for at least 6 weeks. I've gone a full year before straining them to make salve. I gently heat the strained oil, adding 1 ounce of bees wax beads for each cup of oil. I add more for a harder salve. When the wax is melted, I pour into small containers and keep for cuts, bruises, abrasions - anything but puncture wounds. Also great for sore muscles!
  3. Mullein oil and Garlic oil - I buy these at my local herb store and combine for ear aches. A few drops in the affected ear several times a day helps quite a lot.
  4. Oregon Grape tincture - I make with vodka and use for infections that I feel confident I can treat at home. It's a great remedy for ingrown toenails that have become inflamed, and I use it for sore throats, too.


  • greyfurballgreyfurball Southeastern PennsylvaniaPosts: 592 ✭✭✭✭

    @Mary Linda Bittle , I'm not familiar with the mullein/garlic blend for earaches. This problem seems to be a staple around my house and the only thing a doctor can recommend is another round of antibiotics. I just won't let them go there.

    So I will check this out and see what I come up with, giving it a try and see if this leads to a solution, not just another temporary "band-aid". Can you give us measurement totals? Is it an 1:1 ratio of each oil variety?

  • wbt.affiliateswbt.affiliates Posts: 100 ✭✭✭

    Those are excellent recipes! I also have a few favorites.

    1. Elderberry syrup (of course)
    2. I make a garlic salve for athletes foot and other fungi.
    3. I harvest plantain to make a plantain oil for hard-to-treat fungi infections such as toenail fungi. I don't need it for myself any longer, since my treatment solved my toenail fungus problem. So I make the oil for others. While I could add a little beeswax to make it into a salve, I don't. I use a Q-tip to apply the oil.
    4. I eat raw garlic to keep from getting sick. Actually, I cut it into little pieces and swallow it with water. When I had a toothache, I used that method for several months to decrease the infection until I could get to the dentist. Garlic (especially raw) is a natural antibiotic that you body never develops an immunity to. It's also an anti-inflammatory. It lowers high blood pressure, so during those months my blood pressure numbers were the greatest I'd seen in years. I may continue with the garlic and take myself off my meds.
    5. I never take statin drugs. They're killers. So to combat high cholesterol I use cinnamon, turmeric, red yeast rice and other herbs to combat it.
    6. I make a rosemary lotion for my skin. It's especially great in the winter when everything is so dry inside the house!
    7. I make a garlic salve for sore muscles.
    8. I harvest mullein as a sleep aid and to combat my chronic rhinitis. I think the cause of the rhinitis, though, is milk products. I do love my cheese! I make a tea of the dried mullein.
    9. I also harvest alfalfa for use in a tea and drink it in the afternoon. I'm overweight. If you are, then you'll need alfalfa because your weight is making your kidneys work overtime. Alfalfa strengthens the kidneys.
    10. There's more, but I think that's enough for now.
  • wbt.affiliateswbt.affiliates Posts: 100 ✭✭✭

    Sorry. I need to make a correction. I make a CAYENNE salve for sore muscles. My mind was on garlic.

  • montanagrhmontanagrh Posts: 3 ✭✭✭

    Great info! For earaches I would try onion juice. It's simple, available, and effective.

  • @Mary Linda Bittle I did not know that about cottonwood, wish I had for all the years I was surrounded by them lol.

  • HassenaHassena Posts: 311 ✭✭✭

    Awesome! Totally excited to see what everyone has to say.

    Elderberry syrup yes! We harvest berries from our trees. Cook em, like boil with water, strain and then add honey. We freeze them until ready to use. I just can't add sugar to elderberry syrup.

    I make a spray for sore muscles with menthol/camphor crystal and peppermint essential oil.

    Plantain salves are a must.

    I would like to make a more winter salve, for that dry skin. I'd like to try the Rosemary.

    Thank you

  • judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 Posts: 3,469 admin

    Dang Shen/Codonopsis has been a life changer for me. It is the only herb that has really helped my chronic asthma.

  • VickiPVickiP Posts: 586 ✭✭✭✭

    I just made a simple menthol salve that can be used for sore muscles as well as a nasal decongestant. I used around 1/3 c coconut oil for the base added a few bees wax pellets a couple of drops of eucalyptus essential oil and about 2 tsp menthol crystals. You can adjust to your preference, add or subtract ingredients. This can be used in an infuser, rubbed on etc. I wanted it strong.

  • You guys are amazing! I make a lot of things, too. It's a lifestyle. Every day I am making something or harvesting wild plants or herbs to have on hand for home made concoctions. At some point I will make a list of home made products that I keep on hand. I just made tinctures from wild oregano and motherwort, both are amazing allies!

  • toreytorey Posts: 2,874 admin

    I use just straight Mullein Oil for earaches. Usually, just 1-2 drops in each ear will do the trick.

    Oregon Grape Root Tincture is one of my go-to herbal antibiotics. Really great for anything topical; impetigo, boils, etc., but works well for bacterial respiratory infections. sore throats, etc.

    I harvest Cottonwood Buds every spring and make oil as well as tinctures. One of my favourite joint and muscles salves is made with Cottonwood Bud Oil and Cayenne Oil. I blend Cottonwood Bud tincture with Arnica and Wormwood tinctures for an excellent liniment (rubbing alcohol works great for this and keeps the cost down, but make sure you label it "For External Use Only").

    Elderberry Syrup is made regularly in my house. I add brandy to the syrup to extend the shelf-life and it also helps with patient compliance for some adults.

    So your top 4 herbal remedies are very similar to mine.

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