How To Grow Your Own Medicine: Herbs, Roots, & Berries

Learning how to cultivate your own medicinal plants is crucial for safeguarding your family’s well-being during prolonged emergencies. Establishing a backyard apothecary and mastering the art of creating and preserving natural remedies can prove beneficial even before any crisis occurs.

Fortunately, apart from our elderly parents, none of my immediate family members have to manage chronic conditions or rely on daily prescription medications. This fortunate circumstance prompts me to express gratitude each day. However, I remain prepared for the possibility of unforeseen changes when the luxury of calling 911 might not be available.

Included in our survival apothecary are natural alternatives to prescription medications that our parents and some members of our community rely on. Alongside growing medicinal plants, it is essential to learn how to identify and cultivate healing weeds, wildflowers, and other beneficial plants to complement our survival apothecary.

Please note that I am not a medical professional, and this article is intended solely for research and educational purposes. I am sharing my personal experiences with natural remedies and gardening practices that have proven successful for myself and my community.

Over the past decade, I have not required medical attention (except for annual vision examinations) due to my reliance on natural remedies and a routine involving colloidal silver. However, it is important to recognize that what works for one person may not work for another. Although the tips shared in this survival apothecary all revolve around natural solutions, it is crucial to consider potential allergic reactions, side effects, or negative interactions when combining remedies, conventional medications, or alcohol. Consulting a healthcare professional before making any medical decisions is always highly recommended.

Top 5 Survival Apothecary Herbs And Berries

These small berries are known for their immune-boosting properties. A daily intake of 1 teaspoon (for adults) in the form of syrup can help alleviate sore throats and reduce fever. To make elderberry syrup, boil 3 cups of water and add half a cup of dried elderberries. Let the mixture simmer for 30 minutes, then strain it into a glass jar with a secure lid.

While the syrup is still hot, add 1 teaspoon each of ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Finally, mix in one cup of honey. Allow the syrup to cool before consuming up to four teaspoons per day to combat illness effectively.


Garlic is a valuable addition to any survival apothecary due to its antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. It can be used to treat wounds, bites, and stings, as well as cleanse the bloodstream. You can consume garlic raw, incorporate it as a spice in your cooking, or apply it topically to infected areas, covering them with a clean cloth.

For a potent germ or toxin cleanse, combine one chopped clove of garlic with a shot glass full of carrier oil such as coconut, olive, or almond. Let the garlic infuse in the oil for at least five hours. Then, apply the mixture to the soles of your feet before bedtime, and cover them with clean socks.

Simple Solar Dehydrator

In a long-term disaster or power grid down scenario, it is crucial to preserve your apothecary harvest. You can create a simple solar dehydrator using just a piece of screen, a glass pane, a wooden frame, and a couple of elevated bricks to lift the screen off the ground.

Holy Basil

Also known as Tulsi or the “Queen of Herbs,” Holy Basil is a herb rich in vitamins A and C, chlorophyll, calcium, and zinc. It has been traditionally used to treat various ailments including diabetes, ulcers, joint pain, bronchitis, malaria, and even as an alternative treatment for cancer.


Turmeric is a healing herb with potent anti-inflammatory properties effective for treating joint pain, muscle and tendon strains, stomach aches, cirrhosis, and possibly even cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease. Growing turmeric can be challenging in some regions, but it can be cultivated indoors or stocked in bulk during winter. To create an anti-inflammatory poultice, mix one part salt with two parts turmeric and enough water to form a paste. Apply the paste to the affected area, allowing it to harden for at least 30 minutes before rinsing off. Repeat as necessary until pain and swelling decrease.

For growing herbs, space is not a concern as they can be grown in small planters on a folding table placed near a window with good sunlight or using a grow light. This allows for year-round herb cultivation and the ability to grow non-native varieties of medicinal plants.


Oregano, another versatile herb, has antioxidant, antibacterial, antimicrobial, and expectorant properties. It is rich in vitamins A, C, and E, as well as niacin, iron, copper, potassium, and zinc. For sinus infections or common cold symptoms, combine 2 drops of oregano essential oil or 1 teaspoon of dried or fresh herb with 1 teaspoon of carrier oil. Heat or rub the mixture onto your hands or feet to combat infection and cold symptoms. Alternatively, you can double the amount of oregano, mix it with water, and drink once daily for about five days to alleviate sinus problems, sore throat, headaches, and stomach upset commonly associated with cold or flu.

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