Natural Remedies – Fact or Fiction?


Frieda Schweky

Hello again, it’s me, Frieda. Welcome back to my monthly column, in which I interview community members about trending topics.  

This month, I decided to talk about natural remedies. Through my contact with people via Instagram and in direct conversation, I have noticed a clear trend to reach for things that people already have in their kitchens over modern, Western medicine.  

I must begin with the critically important disclaimer that I am not a doctor, and neither is any of the people interviewed for this article. My intention here is not to present authoritative medical advice, but rather to describe people’s experiences with natural remedies. It goes without saying that one should not begin any remedy without first consulting with his or her physician. 

There are many reasons why people are resorting to more traditional ways of healing. One is that the 2021 vaccine push, urging us all to take a brand-new vaccine before its consequences and side effects had a chance to be accurately studied, disillusioned many people. Additionally, people began realizing how much money big pharma makes off of our illnesses, leading to a good deal of skepticism about conventional medicine. And, with the growing trend toward natural and organic foods, many people feel uncomfortable putting into their bodies medications with ingredients that they do not know anything about.  

But the question then becomes, do natural remedies really work?  

To answer this question, I asked on my Instagram page @friedaschwekyphoto if anyone had tried a natural remedy that had worked for them, and I received numerous responses. Let’s hear what some of our fellow community members had to say.  

Leah Nachmani @dumbanddelish

I began to make my own elderberry syrup, and I truly believe that my kids didn’t get sick this winter because of it. I give it to them every day. Whenever I feel something coming on, I take it three times that day and feel better. I also bring my kids to the chiropractor once a week to make sure their drainage systems are working properly, especially during the winter. I’ve also been seeing the chiropractor regularly, and this winter I’ve felt better than I have during any winter in my life. 

Once, my son was complaining about pain in his ear, and the doctor said it was an ear infection and prescribed antibiotics. I picked up the antibiotics, but then decided to hold off until nighttime to see if he really needed it. I went straight from the pharmacy to the chiropractor, who had my son adjusted to drain the fluid causing the pain. On the way home, I asked my David how his ear felt, and he said, “What ear?” He really felt better. I called the doctor and told him what had happened, and he said that if David felt better there was no need for antibiotics.  

To be clear, I’m not saying not to take your kids to the doctor, and I do take my kids to the doctor, but the chiropractor visits have really been working well for us.  

Sandra H Cohen 

As a patient suffering from IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), I attended a Zoom meeting run by a community leadership consultant about this disorder. He spoke about acid reflux, which is one of the symptoms I experience, and he recommended Bragg apple cider pills. My gastro had told me about using apple cider with warm water, but it’s exceedingly difficult to drink. So when I heard about the pills, I bought them right away. I take one whenever I know I’m about to eat something acidic, and it helps a lot. Apple cider vinegar works even better than Pepcid. It’s amazing! I had a feeling it would work because many people on the Zoom conference mentioned how well it works, but even so, I was still shocked at just how well it helped me. 

For nausea, Yogi brand ginger tea helps me a great deal, as do oregano tea (hot water with fresh oregano leaves or regular oregano spice), eating mints, and smelling perfume. A heating pad or hot water bottle on the stomach alleviates both stomach pain and nausea.  

Unfortunately, I have lots of experience, and I find that natural remedies work much better, and have a longer-term effect, than conventional medicine. It’s sometimes not as potent, and it takes patience, but it definitely works with the body’s natural chemistry.  

In general, I don’t like medication, as many of them are not healthy for the liver, can have side effects, and damage one thing while fixing another. Many medications simply mask symptoms, leaving you with a temporary good feeling. They can also be addictive. Natural remedies have healing properties, and that’s why I now reach for them first. 

Frieda Laniado, Co-founder (along with Michelle Bendayan) of Roots and Remedies @rootsandremedies_  

My friend, Michelle Bendayan, and I were both interested in giving our children cleaner options to help them feel better, and so we began making our own elixirs for our families. After four years and lots of research, it became second nature. We gained confidence and knew what we were doing; we had both knowledge and experience in healing. When corona came around, friends and family members began turning to us for help, asking us questions and expressing interest in natural remedies. We knew we needed to help them, because no one had been there to help us, and we knew that feeling. We had to figure it out on our own. That’s when we started our company, Roots + Remedies. 

Here’s how it works: you contact us, tell us what you or your child is experiencing, and we will tell you what product or package you need in order to feel better. Simple and fast, we offer the remedies and the recommendation for what you need, so you don’t have to do the research. This process empowers the patient or parents to try and help the body heal naturally, and to feel good doing it. As moms, we’ve got a lot to handle, and one of the things that moms in the recent past couldn’t really do was be proactive about preventing and treating illness. These products help give a mom more tools in her arsenal to help combat certain things and even heal common illnesses. 

We sell elderberry syrup, cough syrup, and drops for pain relief and for boosting the immune system. We also sell Glycerites that we make from roots. Each Glycertie can help different conditions, such as UTI (urinary tract infection), coughing and anxiety. We have a chest rub which is like a natural Vicks VapoRub, and an “everything balm” which is great for scrapes and dry skin. We also have body oil, scar oil, and many other products to help to heal – rather than just mask – ailments. 

We are using Hashem’s natural medicine that He provided for us, and which has been here for thousands of years, to help our families heal without the discomfort and side effects of Western medication. The pharmaceutical industry has not been around since the beginning of time; natural remedies were what people used before you could run to the pharmacy and purchase medication. Hashem provided all these things as part of creation; we just need to tap into these resources and take full advantage of them. Of course, there’s a time and a place for Western medicine, but these herbs and roots also have a place in the home. Their healing properties are not to be ignored or dismissed as ancient and outdated wives’ tales. We’ve had countless successes in healing ourselves and others where traditional medicine wasn’t working or, in some cases, were causing more harm. 

We did not expect the success of this enterprise. Most people grew up like us, going to pharmacies and taking what is now regarded as “normal medication.” But as time went by, the people who were open to natural healing saw success with our products, and told their friends and family. Through word of mouth, more and more people decided to give our remedies a try. We’re so happy to be able to provide an alternative option for situations where Western medicine isn’t working or is causing problems – which, as we all know, it can. 

The herbs don’t suppress; they help heal. If we can imagine the immune system as an army, then these remedies are the weapons, going in and aiding your body to go fight illnesses. Our success in both healing and in business is all from Hashem; He provided these solutions by placing them in our world, and we are just helping to popularize them again. The products speak for themselves. I could tell you many stories of people who have “tried everything” before turning to us, and we were able to help them with our natural arsenal of remedies.   

Mollie Elbaz 

When my son was suffering from a virus last year, he became very congested. He couldn’t sleep through the night because he’d wake up coughing. A friend recommended that I cut onions in large chunks and leave them around him and his room while he was sleeping. I did it the first night and he finally slept!! I ended up doing it for three days, and he was all clear. I changed the onions each night, and I touched them with gloves because they were filled with germs.

Lauren F. 

I suffered from painful menstrual cramps for years. I tried Tylenol, Advil and Midol, but nothing helped. And, Midol made me extremely jittery. My mom told me to try fresh ginger in hot water, and it worked like magic. It completely relieved the stomach aches, and helped so much when I was pregnant, too. 

Sophia Beda  

When I’m not feeling well, I always load up on zinc drops. It’s a concept I’ve read about, called “zinc shock therapy.” I also drink one full glass of freshly-squeezed orange juice with three drops of oregano oil and vitamin D, one drop of vitamin K, and a ginger shot. I drink this twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening . This really helps with any cold symptoms or sore throat. 

Lillian Cohen 

I’m very new to natural healing, but I want to share my recent experience.  

Just last month, around Hanukkah time, my daughter got sick. My husband and children tend to run extremely high fevers when they are sick. This time, I decided to take alternative routes to healing. The thought entered my mind: “What in the world am I actually giving my children when I just reach for Advil and Tylenol?” So the first thing I did was contact Roots and Remedies and asked them to drop everything in their arsenal. Then I went to the health food store and got a bunch of things, including bentonite clay and magnesium bath, and Doterra essential oils. When I got home, I tried making a bunch of things I saw on Instagram: fermented garlic in honey, a ginger shot, a castor oil pack, and anise tea for stomach unease, to name a few. I also tried the cold sock foot treatment (putting wet cold socks on the feet and dry wool socks over them), potato slices in the socks, and onions in the bedroom. I basically threw the entire holistic book at my daughter. During the night, I regularly went in to check on her, because she had a fever and I was so nervous about not giving her typical medication, wondering if maybe this was the wrong move. To my shock – I was really mind-blown – she slept through the night, fever free. She told me “Ma, your oils are magic.”  

It took about 36 hours, but whatever she had was gone. I did so many different things that I can’t pinpoint which particular remedy helped, but I definitely feel like I did the right thing, and I’m so pleased that I have the tools to naturally heal my family. 


When I began working this article, I had a cough, and was so congested that I would peel a tangerine and wouldn’t smell it, and take a bite of food and taste nothing. It was difficult to sleep because I was so congested. I even tried wearing a nasal strip to bed, which normally works, but I still had to open my mouth to breathe. So I decided to try some of the things I was writing about. Firstly, I got Roots and Remedies’ elderberry syrup and immune boost drops, as well as their chest rub, which was great. I also used the chest rub as a replacement for Blistex on my dried lips. It worked like a charm. Next I tried taking ginger shots from Trader Jo’s and a Suja immunity defense shot with turmeric from Costco. Additionally, I drank Yogi Tea I found at Trader Jo’s, that was said to help with immunity. Now, four days later, as I am completing this article, I feel 95 percent better. My cough and congestion are much less extreme, and I can taste and smell again. These things tend to linger for weeks, so I am amazed at my speedy recovery. I for sure plan to use natural remedies for myself and my family going forward, and I hope that you give these things a try, as well. 

Please remember: This is not medical advice; please check with your doctor before you try anything. 

Follow me on Instagram @friedaschwekyphoto and let me know what topic you would likeme to write about next!