Sickness can strike at any time — here are seven easy-to-prepare herbal remedies to have on hand for when you need it.

via Numen Film:

The very best way to learn about herbal medicine is by using herb medicine, but there is so much information available on what plant to use for what ailment that it is easy to get overwhelmed. This is my list of seven herbal remedies that I turn to on a regular basis. These aren’t all of the remedies I have or all I use, but these are easy to prepare on your own, inexpensive, and a great way to begin. Try experimenting with them on small, easy-to-heal conditions so that when you are faced with something more serious, you can build on your direct, first-hand experience. That’s what I’ve based this list on—not on what I’ve read I should use or have on hand but on what I’ve found that I do use and like to have on hand.
Rosemary Gladstar always taught us to read about an herb from at least three different sources before we tried them so make sure you educate yourself about the plants before using them. The Numen Resource Guide is a good place to begin, and it includes a list of books for going further.
This list is just to get you started—I hope you find it helpful!
Disclaimer: If you ever think you should call a doctor about a particular condition, call a doctor. It is better to be safe.
Good organic garlic: In my experience nothing stops a cold or flu better than chopping up garlic and eating it in a spoonful of high quality honey. I do this several times a day, as often as I can remember. If I have lemon on hand (not often), I add that—it tastes wonderful!
Plantain: Nothing draws out an infection more powerfully than a poultice of chopped-up (okay, chewed-up) leaves placed on the infected spot. Change the poultice every five minutes, 2-3 times if you can. Try to do three times a day. It’s a bit messy, but it works. I’m tincturing plantain to have it on hand to use as a compress once the frost hits.
Goldenseal Root Powder—organic only (available from Mountain Rose): I use Goldenseal rarely, both because it has been so overharvested and because it is so potent. But there is nothing better when you want to stop an infection: put a bit of powdered root on the cut, cover with Band-Aid and check again the next day.
Elderberry: I make a syrup several times a year. I haven’t found a recipe that my kids love, but they will take it when they start getting sick. Find a recipe you like (Rosemary Gladstar’s is a good place to start) and experiment to find your family’s favorite before the flu season sets in.


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Faye Sakellaridis

Faye Sakellaridis’s interest in psychedelics and consciousness led her to become an managing editor at The Alchemists Kitchen and Reality Sandwich, where she enjoys the scope of visionary thought that she regularly encounters from the site’s many contributors and the “rich spectrum of intellectual essays on consciousness through a diverse lens of art, culture, and science.” Faye recently earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Queens College in NYC, and her professional and academic life have been centered on journalism and creative writing. However, Faye—a classically trained improvisational pianist—says that spiritually, she identifies herself first and foremost identify as a musician. “Music is my most intuitive language,” she says. “If it weren't for music I'm not sure I'd truly understand the concept of the sublime. Writing and music are two are elemental parts of me, and communicating through them is what I do.”

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