Garlic mixed with olive oil may sound like a robust marinade to the uninitiated. But to an holistic health practitioner or aromatherapist, it’s the all-natural way to kill bacteria, kid maladies included. Which goes to show, playing with your food should be a welcome contact sport.

Just ask Australasian College adjunct faculty member Deborah Halvorson, who was recently featured in the November 5 Orange County Register article,  “Homemade remedies for sick kids.”

Halvorson, a graduate of the

Aromatherapy Practitioner program, teaches online introductory and advanced aromatherapy courses for the Portland-based college, and leads herbal and natural health workshops in Southern California.

According to the article, Halvorson,  “a mother of three, first saw the power of alternative approaches when her oldest son was 2.” Suffering from chronic ear infections, she feared her son would need medical intervention.  “Halvorson mentioned this to her chiropractor. He said he could manipulate [her son’s] ears to release fluids so bacteria would not grow.” When the ear infections stopped, Halverson became a believer.

Although natural remedies are not a replacement for traditional Western medicine, ACHS President Dorene Petersen wants people to know that there are viable, evidence-based alternatives for people who prefer a more natural approach to wellness. Prevention is best, according to Petersen, but there are also significant benefits to using herbal medicine in the treatment of cold and flu symptoms, including  “a direct source of fresh vitamins and minerals, affordability, and easy access.”

With more than thirty years’ experience in the holistic health industry, Petersen, whose credentials include diplomas from the South Pacific College of Naturopathy and the Holistic Institute of Acupuncture in Hong Kong, says, “Health is a slow, cumulative process, built up each day from our daily habits. Rather than just the absence of illness and injury, it is the condition of physical, spiritual, and social wellbeing.” She believes strongly in the use of herbs and natural medicine to attain optimal health, which is a message firmly ingrained in all courses offered by AustralasianCollege.

(ACHS is a DETC-accredited and Oregon State approved Institute of Higher Learning. For information on the college, visit their website at

“But,” Petersen says, “that doesn ‰t mean the sniffles can’t be helped along a bit.”

Here are 3 simple homemade remedies Petersen recommends to keep your friends and family healthy.

1. Horehound

A weed, which commonly grows throughout the U.S., horehound is partial to wasteland and pasture where sheep have grazed. The leaves are oval and ash-green in color, and best collected as the plant begins to flower. Well-known for its effective treatment of all lung troubles and bronchial coughs, horehound is somewhat bitter, and best mixed into a cough drop or syrup form.

The many benefits include: a considerable quantity of vitamin C, antibacterial substances, and powerful decongestants. (It is essential to identify weeds correctly before you harvest. For accurate information, take a wild plant identification walk with an expert, or most herbal stores, including the College ‰s Apothecary Shoppe, will have dried, whole herbs ready for use.)

Recipe: Horehound Cough Syrup

1-cup raw sugar

2-T honey

Juice of 1 D2 lemon (about 1-T)

1-T sunflower or corn oil

1 D2-pt horehound infusion

2-3 drops peppermint essential oil to taste

DIRECTIONS: Combine the sugar, honey, lemon juice, and oil over a low heat and simmer until it forms a syrup and thickens. When the syrup has thickened, stir in the horehound infusion. Add peppermint oil and remove from the heat. Bottle and store in the refrigerator.

2. Garlic

Although an Asian native, garlic is easy to cultivate and found most places, and wild garlic is especially found in poorly drained soil in the Pacific Northwest. Organically grown garlic is said to be more effective medicinally because of the presence of enzymes that are not found in garlic grown on chemically fertilized soils.

Daily use of garlic has been found to keep the nose and lungs clear of mucus. Small, daily amounts are best taken as a fresh food ingredient.

Recipe: Cold and Flu Support

1 D4-oz rosehips

1 D4-oz parsley

1 D4-oz rosemary

1 D4-oz thyme

1 D4-oz garlic

1-pt water

DIRECTIONS: Mix the rosehips, parsley, rosemary, and thyme together. Crush the garlic and add.

Bring the water to a boil and add to the herbs.

Steep for 10 to 15 minutes and then drink one cup three to four times during the day. Store in the refrigerator for up to eight hours. Children can take one tablespoon every hour. Adults can take two to four tablespoons every hour.

3. Blackberry

A common plant found in cooler climates worldwide, Blackberry has prickly foliage, a white rose-like flower, and dark juicy berries.

The roots, leaves, and berries can all be used; although, kids find the berries most tolerable, and they can be purchased frozen year-round in your local natural foods grocery store. The main benefit is a high level of vitamin C.

Recipe:  Blackberry Support

DIRECTIONS: Add whole berries to grain cereals, like oatmeal, eat as a stand-alone snack, or use as a special treat on top of homemade vanilla ice cream.

* DISCLAIMER: The information in this article is not intended to take the place of diagnosis and treatment by a qualified licensed health care provider. Any recommendations are for educational purposes only and are believed to be effective.

However, since use of any material by others is beyond the control of Australasian College of Health Sciences, no expressed or implied guarantee as to the effectiveness of this information can be given nor liability taken.