Five Common Natural Remedies Used By Amish (For Everyday Ailments)

The Amish use a wide array of health care and wellness solutions, including both “conventional” and “unconventional”. This can vary by the Amish group, community, or family. But generally speaking, natural remedies – those derived from plants, vegetables, herbs, and the like – make up a big part of what many Amish people use to treat common ailments. And this is not necessarily unique or specific to the Amish. Many of these are remedies which have been used and passed down for generations in non-Amish society as well.

I put this video together based on two previous posts – Five Natural Remedies Used By Amish & Five More Amish Natural Remedies – so if you’d like to read more on this, I’ll direct you to those.

And as I’m not a natural remedies expert, I mainly used two books here – Emma Byler’s Plain & Happy Living: Amish Recipes & Remedies and Nature & The Environment in Amish Life by David McConnell and Marilyn Loveless.

Dark brown vinegar being poured into a bowl

By the way, this post is not meant as medical advice, but for educational purposes – though I know some of you will be familiar with these and maybe have even used them. I have actually used just one of them, but multiple times.

The five remedies I discuss in this video are:

1. Dandelion – Emma cites the dandelion more than any other in the book. Among its uses are for liver problems, warts, and Emma describes her father using it as a base for “bitters”.

2. Goldenseal – The root of this plant is used to make a tonic for sore throat and mouth. Emma explains that it can also be used for poison ivy and leg sores, among other purposes.

Goldenseal root pieces in a yellow-green hue
Goldenseal root

3. Super Tonic – As you might have seen me discuss before, this is one I’ve tried, and also bought in its commercial version in Amish stores. Intended for immune system-boosting, and for when you’re ill.

4. Feverfew – This plant is part of the daisy family. It’s recommended for coughs, colds and flu, and also has another non-health use that surprised me.

Feverfew plant flowers close-up
The feverfew plant

5. Pig’s Ear Leaves (si ohra blatter) – Also known as broadleaf plantain or Plantago major, this one is used for injuries to reduce swelling. Emma shares a story of how her nephew used it when an injured foot was too swollen for a cast.

Check out the full video here. And if you have any experience with these or other remedies, would be glad to hear about it. Runtime: 7:08

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    19 Comments

    1. Denise

      Plantain for bug bites & stings

      Definitely use plantain leaves here in Iowa. One can tear a leaf and just crush the edge on a bug bite or sting for instant relief. I made an alcohol tincture from the plantain leaves as last year when I got a wasp sting I couldn’t even begin to hunt for a plantain leaf. Ouch! Now I’m prepared. I also made an alcohol tincture from wild hops. Temporary instant topical pain relief. Loved the topic today!

    2. Anna

      Into the Wilderness

      I have to admit, I prefer over-the-counter medicine after seeing the movie Into The Wilderness. In this movie the young man mistaken an non-edible plant for an edible plant with tragic consequences. So, I keep my medicine cabinet small with only few necessities (cold remedy, and a spray for insect bites)and a first aid kit. I remember my Grandmother using tree sap to remove splinters and bee stings. She said that most often the splinter or bee sting would stick to the sticky sap and then was easily pulled out.

    3. judy melish

      5 Common Natural Remedies

      Loved the video today. I think I need some Super Tonic at my age but more than 50 years as a Nurse makes me a little skeptical. Thanks for all the Amish info you provide for us Erik.

      1. Glad to hear it Judy. And I can understand skepticism. I can only say that at the least, I always seem to feel good after a dropperful or two of the Super Tonic. I guess it’s the kick it gives you. So I at least enjoy it for that, and if it’s giving me health benefits too, then great 🙂

        1. judy melish

          Erik,
          I might just give it a try! Thanks for your perspective and sharing the Amish experience with us. Nice to hear from you.

    4. Robert Mottice

      Burdock leaves

      Burdock are extremely effective for burns of all degrees. They are soaked in warm water until supple then applied to the burn.

      1. Good addition, Amish use those leaves with the B&W ointment. There’s more on that at one of the source links at top.

    5. Remedies

      Plantain is a staple for me – it also helps with skin infections when pounded and applied directly, as do violet leaves!
      Some of the names you used for herbs/plants are not the same as we use, so it was good to see Pig’s Ear explained
      I have used natural remedies as much as possible for years… my daughter calls me an ‘original greenie’ 🙂

      1. Winona Johnston

        Pig's Ear

        In Lancaster County, PA, we called them Hog Ears. Thanks for your input!!

      2. Interesting – and yes I think there are even more names for the Pig’s Ear Leaves!

    6. Wendy

      Super Tonic

      Where would you recommend getting some of that super tonic? I’ve been sooo sick and modern medicine isn’t hardly doing a thing for me. I love in Mount Pleasant, mI 48858

    7. Natural remedies

      I’m a true believer of natural remedies instead of pills doctors prescribe in most cases. And its all about diet too. The Indians too had natural medicines as well. Most pills from doctors create more harm with side effects and l9ng term damages other parts of your body. So best to keep it as natural remedies as possible. Thank you to the Amish for passing along natural remedies to heal.

    8. Evenins

      It’s interesting, and I agree that Pig’s Ear Leaves probably go by a few other names as well.

    9. Clara M. Miller --email is in hubbys name

      Please help--bowel problems

      Several years ago I had very bad leg cramps. Dr prescribed medicine that is very bad for you if you take too much and become addiced to it. I was truly afraid of it so I googled natural pain remedies and got GREAT advice. I still drink vinegar and honey most every morning and very rarely do I get leg cramps now. When I went into my Dr he asked me what in the world was I doing. My blood sugar is down, my pain was/is very seldom now, my blood pressure is still down and I have lost over 100 pounds! (over couple years) So I truly believe in their health remedies. I now have a bad bowel problem now and I truly am looking into help. I am 84 years old but basically still in good health. I would appreciate any help. Thank you for your suggestions Thanks!

    10. Donald L. Peters

      Erik's website

      I used to receive Erik’s e-mails but have recently been dropped off for some reason. Would you please add me to your list again.

      Don dontheminnow@gmail.com

      Thanks

    11. Jana

      I’m a believer in natural remedies, which usually work better for me than standard drugs. I have a real problem with bug bite reactions, usually mosquito & ant. I thought I’d pass along what has eliminated my problem- I use one of those clickers that snap a little charge of some sort directly on the bite. The sooner you use after the bite, the better. Now no more bad reactions!

    12. Thanks

      Thank you, these plants are available in nature and are easy to get. I have a dandelion flower but have never known its effects, thank you for sharing.