Natural Cold Care in 3 Easy Steps

Natural Cold Care (a.k.a. Cure All Known Diseases Instantly and Live Forever . . .  Doctors Hate Him!)

Sorry, we couldn’t resist throwing in this “completely false, clickbait title,” which TGN Trailblazer Scott Sexton humorously suggested for his recent Facebook post on natural cold care.

(You may already know that Scott is an herbalist, wildcrafter, funnyman, and all-around nice guy who regularly uses his knowledge of plants to feed and heal himself and his family. So if you use Facebook and don’t already follow Scott’s group—humorously titled “A Forager’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse”—we highly recommend you click here to follow and/or join it. Once you have, you can click here to view his entire post on herbal cold care.)

In his post, Scott walks us through the 3-part herbal-based remedy he used earlier this month when he was coming down with the common cold:

Natural Cold Care Step #1: Herbal Remedies

“A combination of peppermint, yarrow, and elder leaf is a great immune stimulant and diaphoretic (makes you sweat), if you start it at the earliest stages of an illness,” he says. “It helps make your immune system wake up and pay attention to what’s going on in your body, and it helps to raise your temperature.”

TGN’s Cold Away tincture combines the power of peppermint, yarrow, and elder in an easy-to-use kit. (You’ll also receive the digital training that will empower you to make more tincture on your own later, presented by Dr. Patrick Jones of the HomeGrown Herbalist School of Botanical Medicine.) Click here to buy your kit in the TGN Store!

Natural Cold Care - Peppermint

He then goes on to talk about dosages:

“I used one dropperful (probably about 20-30 drops) of elderberry tincture (I seem to be out of elder leaf), one dropperful of yarrow tincture, and a drop of peppermint essential oil.

“I always use Young Living peppermint oil. I don’t even keep a supply of peppermint leaves or tincture. I use tinctures for the others because it’s convenient, but there’s no reason not to make a tea, or whatever other method you prefer.

“The elder, yarrow, peppermint combo alone will often shut down an infection before it gets a grip on you. Especially if you start it early, use it often (3–4 times a day), and continue it for several days.”

“You want to take it long enough to be sure that the sickness is completely out of your system. Don’t give it a chance to get a foothold.”

Scott also uses essential oils in his natural cold care strategy: “I was also taking oregano essential oil (oregano loves killing things), Thieves (a Young Living blend which also loves killing things), and copaiba essential oil (antibacterial, immune boosting, and fun fact: one of the most anti-inflammatory substances on Earth) in gel capsules.”

Natural Cold Care Step #2: Water, Water, Water

Drink water, Scott recommends, until you’re “making an inconvenient number of trips to the restroom.”

Natural Cold Care Step #3: Rest

This may be the toughest of the 3 steps in Scott’s recommended natural cold care remedy. “In the United States, we like to go go go,” he says. “It’s hard to slow down and stop for anything . . . even our health. But rest is a vital part of recovery.”

“And that’s it,” he says. “My illness, which felt like a whopper coming on, was cut off before it could ever become anything more than a mild inconvenience. It was completely gone in about 48 hours (probably less). I experienced a fair amount of fatigue (which can be a sign that your body is devoting resources to fighting the infection—a good thing), and that’s about it.”

What about you? What are your go-to remedies when you’re dealing with a cold? Let us know in the comments!


Psst! Our Lawyer Wants You to Read This Big, Bad Medical Disclaimer –> The contents of this article, made available via The Grow Network (TGN), are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice; the Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information provided by TGN. Reliance on any information provided by this article is solely at your own risk. And, of course, never eat a wild plant without first checking with a local expert.


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  • peppypoblano says:

    Perfect timing since fall usually brings about cold season. Thank you.

  • Jens says:

    INtresting tea combination. Used to use elderberry sirup with hot water. Tast is better for the kids.

    1. Scott Sexton says:

      I’ve never though to dilute the syrup in water. That’s a good idea. My kids like to straight from the jar, but I may try that next time. Thanks.

  • Grammyprepper says:

    I’ve always got homemade chicken stock on hand, so that is one of my go-to’s, hot soup! Also, my multi-purpose blend of local honey, lemon, and ginger, with a little bit of ACV and garlic. We use this for allergies as well as colds. I am very interested to get some elderberry and try my hand at syrup and/or tincture. Another is increased vitamin C, usually supplements, but also drinking more fruit juices (not a normal part of our diet).Vitamin C, being water soluble, you can’t overdose on. Your body just excretes any excess. I am not a doctor, I don’t play one on tv, and I am not expressing medical advice. In my experience, taking larger doses of a C supplement at the onset of symptoms, followed with a regimen of smaller doses regularly for the duration, seems to help quite a bit.

    1. Marjory Wildcraft says:

      Oh yes, my go to is also bone broth 🙂

    2. Scott Sexton says:

      Vitamin C is some good stuff. You bet. Sometimes I’ll use supplements, but other times I make pine needle tea. It’s really high in C, plus it has some antiviral properties. Just yesterday I started a tincture with some pine needles. I plan to see how I like that compared to the tea. But all that stuff you mentioned is great. At my house, we love broth, ACV, garlic, honey lemon, and ginger! (Well, some of us like some of those more than others.)

    3. Jens says:

      A yes chicken stock. always a good one but I use it more for gut problems and if the kids or myself have some severe fever as it is high in minerals and nutrition in addition to the liquid. Always some frozen in stock as well as some chicken for making some on the whim.

  • Marjory Wildcraft says:

    Hi Scott, nice article. And I am not above click bait 🙂
    So glad to know about this use of yarrow. She (yarrow) didn’t live near me in TX, but I know I’ll find her close here in CO – or at least I can grow her more easily here. I feel quite an affiinity for the plant.
    Yes, we are all starting to buckle up and get ready for the change in season, the kids bringing all kinds of interesting new bugs home, and the increase in stress with the adjustment to the new schedules. Thanks for this.

    1. Scott Sexton says:

      I love yarrow! And I think she’s fond of me too…or my yard. I’ll see her green and happy here a lot longer than out in the nearby fields. Show your plant buddies some love and they’ll love you right back.

  • Marjory Wildcraft says:

    Oh! I forgot to mention – YES for WATER! Water is so crucial to helping everything that The Grow Network has worked to create an ebook all about it. Gosh, let me look and see when we can have that ready, but it is a good one. We had some serious major nutritionists help write it.

    1. Scott Sexton says:

      That sound great! I can’t wait to read it. Water is some pretty amazing stuff.

  • Heather Duro says:

    I have to disagree with the ingestion of essential oils. Most oils are way to concentrated of a botanical for the body to effectively process and 2. there is no science which shows what the oils do within the body especially the damage they can do to your gut flora, since essential oils work through the olfactory system not internal body absorption.

    I know MLM companies promote this usage but it is dangerous and at best no proof to back up the claims. There have been many, MANY cases of internal burns from ingesting essential oils long and short term. With so many other options available for natural healing, why even risk it?

    Not to say ALL oils are dangerous to ingest but I would be doing it through the guidance of a certified aromatherapist not someone with MLM marketing advice or an article posted online 🙂

    1. Scott Sexton says:

      We may have to agree to disagree, I suppose. Although our disagreement may be one of degree, rather than direction. I absolutely agree that essential oils could potentially harm gut microbes, though this is true of many herbal remedies (and pharmaceuticals). In some cases this could be desirable, such as in the case of candida overgrowth. In others, it’s something to be aware of and to manage appropriately.

      I’m not aware of any MLMs that encourage internal use of their oils, with the exception of Young Living. Even then, it’s only their “vitality” line, which has FDA approval to be used internally. I know that many of us wouldn’t trust the FDA further than we could throw them, but I mention it for the legal distinction. If one of the other oil companies was advocating internal use, they could get into some pretty serious trouble. Of course, the individual distributors might not be following the laws.

      Also, I completely agree with essential oils’ effectiveness through the nose. It’s a pretty neat trick, actually. Aromatic oils can get straight to some of the parts of our brains that are a bit outside of our normal, conscious control. But they can also absorb through our skin and mucus membranes.

      I once went to a presentation by a doctor (can’t remember his name) who was doing cancer research with frankincense oil. He had said that, for cancer purposes, ingestion was good, but a suppository was better because more would be absorbed. And intravenous was even better.

      In any case, oils are a fascinating topic with plenty of room for amicable disagreement. Thanks for your thoughts and concerns!

      1. Heather Duro says:

        Its not disagreement IMHO its simple chemistry and understanding how the internal environment of the body react to an EO, for many oils its not a pretty scene not to mention the liver cant process these oils in concentration they simply build up over time 🙂 Look up all of the reports from those who ingested EO and ended up in the hospital.

        the thing many people mis-understand about frankincense “essential oil” which is distilled which means only volatile oils are left over (this is simple chemistry) the active ingredient of boswellic ACID (not an oil) which is what possesses the anti cancer properties in the resin, IS NOT FOUND in distilled essential oils so a distilled EO of Frankincense it has no cancer fighting properties. The only frankincense oil that is cancer fighting is when you make an infused oil with the resin or using the resin directly.

        As for the science behind safe ingesting, there is none out there, better to be safe than sorry. I mean aromatherapy oils are just that, for aroma therapy through the olfactory system that is how they are proven to work. otherwise it would be called ingesting oils 🙂

        Like I stated earlier some oils can be ingested and are fine and safe but the average person and MOST all MLM reps I have been approached by do not know which oils are safe and how to dose (just cause their marketing material says so doesnt mean it is so) them which is why i said should be done under the supervision of a qualified aromatherapist rather than a sales person.

        and you’re 100% right, I don’t listen to a word the FDA says..they still say cannabis has no medical benefit and chemotherapy is great to combat cancer.

        As far as I understand the FDA’s role in “approving” essential oils is more based on the therapeutic claims of the active ingredient not necessarily the safety of the product. I mean they approved chemotherapy and anti-biotics (which literally translates to anti-life kills everything not just the bad guys) to the point of extreme overuse, right?

        Thank you for your comments..Always happy to debate this topic.. its important for the community

        Happy Healing

  • erika.wessels says:

    My go to is ginger tea (freshly cut) with some raw honey and a slice of lemon, I may also add some ground turmeric to it I find this great for the start of a cold. Then I drink a lot of water with sliced lemon in as well, especially first thing in the morning

    1. Scott Sexton says:

      That sounds great, Erika. Ginger is so warming…and yummy too. Such a great way to start the day! You’ve got me craving some right now.

  • bear_ba_loot says:

    Thanks for the information. I’ve never tried the yarrow/elder/peppermint combo before,
    probably because I haven’t seen yarrow since I lived in Austria 4 years ago,
    but I’ve got peppermint growing everywhere like a weed,
    just harvested more yesterday during Flower time.

    I’ve begun distilling hydrosols (much safer than essential oils & in my opinion, more complete)
    & have been diffusing my eucalyptus hydrosol constantly for my daughter’s cold,
    that she picked up before they closed the schools.

    I started making elderberry syrup a few months ago,
    adding lemon & orange peels, star anise and sliced ginger to the berries while they simmer.
    Delicious with the local honey!

    If only I could get my daughter to rest, that’s the only part I can’t figure out yet!

  • spanthegulf says:

    Another great way to ingest elder juice (which admittedly may not be the tastiest!) is to mix it with a sparkling water. Here in Texas I like chilled Topo Chico brand. When I add a couple of tablespoons of unsweetened pure elder juice, it makes a wonderful and very healthy “soda” (much better than 18 ounces of high fructose corn syrup and chemical dyes!) Especially in the summer, this has become a healthy and refreshing treat to beat the east Texas heat. Thanks to this article, I now know I can add in peppermint and yarrow and beat the winter blues as well! Thanks so much for the information!

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