The Healing Power of Plants

Our family has been ill with flu like symptoms this past week. First it was the kids and now today it is Tim and I. Yuck. Being sick is never fun (especially, when you have two kids that want to run and play outside).

Like with our cattle, we try to prevent illness in our family as much as possible. We wash our hands all the time, take a multi-vitamins, eat a well balanced diet and get plenty of sleep. When I feel illness coming on I make sure to up defenses with powerful antiviral foods such as garlic, honey and Echinacea tea. With the flu there isn’t much you can do, but take a fear reducer, drink some Sprite and nibble on some toast.

It is amazing the how little we know about the healing power of plants. We know a lot about the nutrition within a food, but we know little about how all the nutrients and parts work together. Diet and health are so complex because we know so little and everything is variable. Marion Nestle, a nutritionist, explains a lot of these complexities in her books and blog. I find her information very interesting to read.

Just like we know little about human nutrition, we are just beginning to understand animal and plant nutrition. On our farm, prevention is key to animal health. We try to provide a healthy environment, feed and care to prevent any illness or disease. When an animal does get sick, we use a variety of natural plant mineral remedies. Last night, I had three calves that we congested. While they were still “healthy”, they had what we would consider a mild cold and were uncomfortable drinking their bottles. To prevent any further illness I treated them with some capsules filled with whole and natural and plant ingredients. Ingredients such as garlic, ginger and fennel. The crazy thing is, they seem to work.

Many of today’s modern medicines were once derived from plant sources. They seem to work too, for a while. One key element that synthetic medicines miss, is the complexity of the plant source. Plants need to be constantly changing to survive. This why we have not found bacterial resistance to fresh, crushed garlic. We also need to cautious of “natural” health solutions that are not effective. In the link above you will find that garlic in any other form than fresh and crushed was ineffective.

The mysteries of plants and their healing power will probably not be solved in my life time. The best that we can do for family and our animals is provide whole, nutritious food. While we don’t yet understand the why, we do understand that a whole foods diet does work to keep us healthy.

I hope that Tim and I get better soon. It is suppose to be really nice weather this week.


Zweber Farms is a 4th generation family operated organic dairy.  We are proud Organic Valley farmer members and sell our milk under that label. We also specialize in sustainably raised beef, pork and chicken and sell it directly to customers in Minnesota.Visit our website to learn more,

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