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Biblical Herbs, Foods and Spices for Colds and Flu

Lemons infusing in honey for cough syrup

Lemons infusing in honey for cough syrup

Many of the herbs and foods commonly used from Bible days on, along with old fashioned home remedies your Mom or Grandma used, when used properly, can be your body’s best and least costly  defense against colds and the flu. These remedies also help to minimize the misery if you do get a cold or the flu.

Each week I chat with Matt Swaim or Annie Mitchell on the Sonrise Morning Show, Sacred Heart Radio about Bible herbs & foods. Today we talked about how some herbs & foods mentioned in the Bible and/or eaten during Bible times are in the forefront today when it comes to healing colds and flu.

Although I feel these recommendations are safe, always, check with your health care provider before using just to be safe. And don’t give honey to babies under a year old.


Exodus 30:23: “The Lord told Moses to collect the choicest of spices: myrrh, cinnamon and sweet cane, among other spices.

These spices were used to infuse oil for anointing.  It was actively traded a thousand years before the birth of Christ and this important spice is mentioned in many places in the Bible, – from Exodus to Proverbs to Revelation.

You can add a stick or shake of cinnamon to some warm apple juice and it will help warm the body and clear mucus congestion.


Numbers 11:15 We remember the fish that we ate in Egypt free cost: the cucumbers come into our mind, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic.

With antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal benefits, garlic is the Swiss Army Knife of garden remedies, so it’s not surprising that research has shown that garlic supplements can prevent a cold.

When someone is feeling under the weather and they can tolerate only liquids, augment your chicken broth with a smashed clove of garlic. Smash a few cloves, then let them sit for 5 minutes to allow the healthful compounds to “bloom” and thus go into your broth. Garlic is incredibly good for your tummy, too.


The ancient Romans also imported vast quantities of ginger and taxed it heavily because it was in such high demand. 

At that time, spices were expensive because they were so scarce. Ginger was costly for just the opposite reason—because it was plentiful and everyone wanted it, so they taxed it.

Ginger helps induce sweating so it can help break a fever. It’s also calming to the tummy and  a light “tea” can be made by simmering ginger slices in water. Strain and sweeten with raw honey, a natural antibiotic. You can also freeze ginger root.


It has its roots in Bible days and still grows wild in the hills of Jerusalem. Thyme eases coughs and bronchial spasms. Stir in a bit of thyme when you brew your tea in the morning, strain out and you’ll notice a slight peppery flavor. Thyme also has lots of antioxidants.


Peppermint Luke 11:42 “But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” 

Headaches go along with the flu.

Peppermint helps ease digestion and relieve headaches. Again, peppermint works well as a tea.

Or you can buy peppermint essential oil, mix a few drops of  it into what is called a carrier oil, like almond or olive oil (you don’t want to put pure peppermint essential oil undiluted on your skin), dip a cotton ball in it, and then rub that onto your temples, avoiding eyes. Rub it on your forehead and the back of your  neck, as well. It will help you breathe, too.


A couple ways to do it. I’ve shared recipes before. Here’s my latest “tweaked” recipes.

Add organic, chopped up lemons to some organic, raw, honey. If you like, add some smashed ginger root for helping soothe the tummy and for anti-inflammatory properties.

Smoosh everything together with a spoon to release the nutrition and healthful qualities of the lemon and ginger into the honey.

Bring it to a very low simmer on top of the stove. Add a shake of cayenne pepper to break up congestion if you like. Cool, bottle and refrigerate. No need to strain. Take a teaspoonful or so as needed throughout the day.

Or, even easier:

I just cut up an organic lemon in chunks  (first, roll it around on the counter to soften and release juices) and then cover with raw honey, smooching the lemon down into the honey. I’ll sometimes add fresh ginger root, grated or smashed and cayenne pepper to help congestion.

This is best used after a few days – store in frig.  It’s also good added to tea.

Tip from Rita’s kitchen: Cleaning Citrus with Homemade Wash

Image 1
I like a rather strong solution: equal amounts of clear/white vinegar and water. Either put in a sprayer and spritz the fruit or make a solution in the sink. Let sit a minute or so, rinse, drain and dry.

You won’t need much. This cleanses the skin of the fruit, removes bacteria, etc. Lots less expensive than the commercial fruit wash and this is all natural. This works on all citrus fruits and even apples, pears, etc.







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  1. Pat Kennedy

    Hi Rita, you gave a recipe for twice baked potato casserole on the Son Rise Morning Show, but I can’t find it on your website. I think I remember it, but would like to be sure. Thank you for responding. God bless you.
    Pat Kennedy <

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Pat,
      Whoops – I had it under “loaded baked potato casserole”. I just redid the title to include “Twice Baked” so let me know right away if you can’t find it.

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