When I first started writing this post, I wasn’t actually sick. Maybe I could feel it kick in, so I absentmindedly started a thing. I’m currently listening to The Chew while I write this. They’re making a makeshift, tiny greens greenhouse out of plastic sheeting and PVC pipe. It seems cool. I’m also drinking some lemon-chaga water and constantly blowing my runny nose. I ran out of all of my sickness remedies for last time, so the following is my grocery list for later today.

The second time I worked on this post, I was riding a bus back from New York City with three strangers at one of those table seats on a Megabus. We ended up playing HQ and I didn’t finish this, so here it is – the latest and greatest Barefoot Aya post.

(This post contains affiliate links)

1 – Echinacea

blog-featured-echinacea-20180131If you are looking to boost your immune system, echinacea is what you need. This purple flower that grows in colder, northern climates, provides a boost to kickstart your immune system. If you live in the Northeastern part of North America like me, you can grow these in your backyard, watch them come back every year, and make your own tinctures!

2 – Goldenseal

billburchgoldenseal2photobyACH_0Now, if you want to double that immune boost, you can combine echinacea and goldenseal. My favorite tincture is a mix of the two (but I get the one with alcohol in it from my local co-op). The first time I heard about using flower tinctures at all is from a former friend and colleague who was trying to start a film production company in LA. One day, I told him that I was coming to a table read, but that I was very sick and to keep that in mind.

He met me at the meeting with this bomb tincture and told me to put 3 droppers full under my tongue – to keep it there for as long as possible. My cold was gone in 3 days!

Now, this method is a little extreme. The bottle directions tell you to mix it in water or maybe with some honey. However, I still go hard and squirt this guy under my tongue on the Megabus with strangers… because who has time to mix it with water, really?

According to the Internet, goldenseal contains isoquinoline alkaloids such as berberine, canadine, and hydrastine. It is antibacterial, antiviral, antiparasitic, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-secretory (nose sniffles), and anti-proliferation properties, which could mean the propagation of harmful cancerous cells.

3 – Turmeric

tumeric-powder-root-1296x728.jpgSomething in turmeric prevents cancer. It’s called curcumin. That’s not all it does. According to the US National Library of Medicine, turmeric is also anti-inflammatory and has antioxidant effects, which makes it great for fighting your cold. Get it in a pill supplement or add it to your food as a spice! For some reason, turmeric is always paired with black pepper to “increase” its benefits. Regardless, it tastes great together.

4 – Mullein Leaf

mullein_basal_rosette_5-22-14Mullein leaf is an expectorant and used mostly to clear your lungs. It has been used in Native American medicine for centuries in order to clear your respiratory system of mucus and whatever else. Although you can smoke this and drink this as a tea, the best way (and traditional way) to use this herb is to vape it.

How do you vape an herb?

You can purchase a vaporizer and fill it with whatever herb you would like. Electronic vaporizers are a bit expensive, but you can take them anywhere and they take minutes to get hot. They don’t use water (the ones that do are aromatherapy diffusers and they are for essential oils. Please do not use this to vape a dry herb. You can hurt yourself). You can also boil the herb in water, like a tea. Instead of drinking it, you wrap a towel in order to close your face around the bowl and breathe in the vapors. This take a bit longer to do and it’s a lot more mess, but it gets the job done!

5 – Slippery Elm

maxresdefault-e1525097376697.jpgAnother expectorant and anti-inflammatory, slippery elm is one of my go-to supplements for a painful, itchy throat. I usually go for Thayers lozenges (they come in different flavors!), but you can also get the dry herb and make your own if you don’t want any of the additives. You can make a tea out of the dry bark and drink it that way.

In addition, raw honey is also great for sore throats!

6 – Apple Cider Vinegar

AN5-Apple_Cider_Vinegar-732x549-ThumbnailAhh, apple cider vinegar. This probiotic go-to will acidify your pH levels and balance your gut microbiome. If I don’t have anything else on hand because I’ve used up all of my echinacea tincture the last time I got sick, I will add a cap of ACV to water with lemon and a bit of raw honey. It tastes great and it helps you fight that cold.

7 – Colloidal Silver

104924484-TradingNationV1.00_00_08_23.Still001.1910x1000I’m not suggesting you lick on a silver spoon to cure your cold, but in medieval times, those who used silverware fared better than those who ate with wooden utensils. Many claim that this is due to silver’s antibacterial properties. Although there isn’t much research on colloidal silver, a liquid silver you can get by the bottle, people swear by it to help cure illnesses. I personally use this one if I feel a UTI coming on, but I use it very sparingly. If I use it, I never get a UTI, so boom-chaka-laka, am I right? Apparently you can make your own colloidal silver, which seems a LITTLE sketchy, but it’s totally up to you. I would never… you know, it kinda seems like you could burn down your house with this tutorial.

8 – Garlic


“Michelle, you mention garlic in just about every single article you write.”

I know I talk about garlic and the benefits of allicin a lot, but what if you hate garlic? My mom hates garlic so much that she can’t even stand the smell. Enter Kyolic garlic, a fermented garlic supplement that my mom started using to lower her blood pressure. A friend at my local co-op recommended it to me when I told her that I couldn’t get my mom to eat garlic, but she wanted all of the benefits. The supplement probably isn’t as strong as the benefits of freshly chewed allicin, but I can tell you for sure that my mom recommends this… since she’s used it every day for a year now.

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Some of the links in this post are affiliated links and The Barefoot Aya may receive a percentage of the item purchased. This does not mean that any company supports The Barefoot Aya nor does it mean that I do not fully recommend these products. I would never link to a product unless I fully recommend it.
Related Content:
Colloidal Silver | Dr. Axe
How to Make Your Own Colloidal Silver | Cancer Tutor
How to Find the Best Quality Probiotics | The Barefoot Aya
Featured Gif Credit: a-night-in-wonderland (this is AMAZING)