Preparing The Herbal Medicine Cabinet For Winter

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We are now deep into fall. The days are getting shorter, the temperatures are cooling, and the sniffles have started up all around us. One thing I am sure of is that we need to be prepared for whatever comes our way this winter.

I find preemptive strikes against the winter cold much more affective than treating something that is already upon you. So I implement the following three practices, when we can, in order to boost our immune system to the viruses and bacteria that are already all around us:

Gut Health. This is your number one defense. Around 80% of your immune system is in your gut, so it is essential that you keep it healthy. Some of my favorite foods as medicine include:

Elderberry. This is a good thing to take all season long. A spoonful per day is enough to keep away some colds and flus and will generally boost your immune system. You can make your own from elderberries and glycerin as per this tutorial . Or you can purchase a bottle of elderberry syrup.

Acerola. If you’re looking to keep your vitamin C intake up acerola powder is a great supplement. It is simply the ground up acerola berry which is extremely high in vitamin C. A whole foods supplement is always better and more usable for your body.

If you’ve already come down with something then your best bet is rest, nourishing foods, and more rest. But there are a few things you can do to treat the underlying problem whether it is bacterial or viral.

Echinacea. Echinacea is well known for fighting infections. So keeping an easy-to-take tincture around is a great idea. Try to find one that uses both the leaves and the roots if you can for maximum potency.

Mullein. A good friend recently showed me that mullein can really tackle a virus head on. So I will definitely be keeping a bottle of mullein tincture in the house from now on.

Essential Oils. By far the most concentrated form of plant extract is the essential oil. Various plants have different properties, but the ones I keep around to mix and match and use on bodies big and small include:

Combining all of these creates a homemade version of the popular Thieves oil and is great for just about any illness.

So that’s what I like to keep on hand for those times of illness. How do you stock your medicine cabinet?


  1. Lauren says:

    Great post! Curious-what do you do with the essential oils to help? I”m just getting into them and I have a few of those, just not sure what to do with them :) .

  2. Rhoda says:

    I keep some good Oregano Oil on hand too. Just a drop or two in some water or juice throughout the day when one starts to feel like something is coming on is usually enough to stop it in its tracks. Is very good for the lungs and the immune system.

  3. Christine says:

    Great advice! Plant medicine is the best way to go when dealing with common ailments!
    And making an echinacea tincture is really easy:

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