Herbal Remedies for Common Ailments

Use these herbal remedies, recommended by Stephen Harrod Buhner in Herbal Antiobiotics, as alternatives to pharmaceutical antibiotics.

December 2013/January 2014

By Stephen Harrod Buhner

Herbal Remedies

Photo by Jason Houston

Malady  Remedy 
Earache Chop 5 cloves garlic finely; place in a small baking dish with 4 ounces olive oil. Cook overnight over low heat. Press garlic cloves well and strain. Add 20 drops eucalyptus essential oil and mix well. Store in an amber bottle. To use: Heat eyedropper under hot water and dry. Place 2 drops oil in both ears every half-hour, or as often as needed, for 2 to 7 days.
Strep Throat Hold 1/2 teaspoon Echinacea angustifolia tincture in mouth; allow to dribble slowly down throat. Repeat hourly.
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Juniper berries combined with bidens (such as Spanish needles or beggar’s ticks) will almost always work. Juniper berries must be tinctured in alcohol or eaten whole to be effective. Take 5 to 20 drops juniper berry tincture up to 3 times daily. The most potent forms of bidens are fresh-plant alcohol tinctures and the fresh juice. Take 45 to 90 drops of a fresh-plant tincture up to 4 times daily. For a tincture made from the dried plant, triple the dose.
Wounds Honey has worked for thousands of years. Organic wildflower honey is best. Many products sold as “honey” are actually corn syrup, so buy local honey if possible. Apply directly to wounds, then cover with a bandage. Change bandage daily.
Staph Infections, including MRSA Some of the main herbs used to treat MRSA are bidens, black pepper, cryptolepis, ginger, honey, juniper berry, reishi mushrooms and sida. Cryptolepis can be prepared as a powder, capsules, tea or tincture. For bacterial skin infections or wound sepsis, sprinkle the powder on the infection as frequently as needed. For antibiotic-resistant staph infection, take 1/2 to 1 teaspoon tincture 3 times daily. In very severe cases, increase the dose to 1 tablespoon 3 times daily.

To learn more about how herbal medicine can offer an alternative to increasingly ineffective drugs, read Herbal Antibiotics: An Effective Defense Against Drug-Resistant ‘Superbugs.’

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