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Imagine that you are living in the 1700’s, pre-modern medicine. What would you do? How did people get better?

One of the ways people helped each other was through the kitchen. I remember my mom telling me that things I was using or learning during naturopathic medical school were things that my grandma did! There are many herbs, foods, plants that are tried and true for healing. Let’s talk about 2 very common ones.


Fresh garlic has been used for centuries back to Greek and Roman times. Garlic’s active ingredient is a sulphur based compound call allicin and has anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-infective. It also boosts and helps regulate the immune system.

What does garlic do: It helps fever, cough, is an anti-septic. I has been recorded to be effective treatment for tuberculosis

When to use: In the clinic I recommend using garlic on a regular basis if you tolerate it. Some people do get a little digestive irritation. You can also increase the dosage if you start feeling sick.

How to use: Use it in any cooking. Some of you that are more adventurous can eat fresh garlic cloves. The raw form does have more of the active ingredient so using it in salad dressings is an easy way to get it in.


Fresh ginger root juice is most effective as an anti-viral. What it does is stop the virus from attaching to the cell walls, stimulates your immune system’s antiviral activity, and also kills off viruses. It also has some bacterial and yeast action as well.

What does ginger do: It is great for respiratory viruses, helps decrease fever, decreases chills, thins mucous, decreases cough (as good as codeine!), is an analgesic, and reduces anxiety.

When to use: Start taking fresh ginger juice as soon as you feel something coming on and it can decrease sick time down to 3 days or less and lessen the symptoms. If you’re already ginger can lessen the symptoms and also shorten the duration.

How to use: Juice an 8 inch piece of organic ginger – you can also use the Vitamix, Nutribullet, or similar. Take 1/4 cup of the fresh juice, add 12 oz. of hot water, 1 tablespoon of organic honey, lime juice, 1/8 tsp of cayenne. Drink 4-6 cup/day. If you don’t have a juicer you can also do an infusion – mince the same amount of fresh ginger, add 1.5 cups of hot water, cover and let steep for 2-3 hours and then drink 4-6 cups/day. If you’re feeling a cold or flu coming on drink a minimum of 6 cups a day for maximum effectiveness.

Rerences: Herbal Antivirals Natural Remedies for Emerging & Resistant Viral Infections, Stephen Harrod Buhner,

In radiant health,

Dr. Laura