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Fire Cider 101: What is Fire Cider?

Fire Cider 101: What is Fire Cider?

Fire Cider 101

Fire ciders have been infusing in kitchen cupboards for decades with likely hundreds to thousands of variations depending on what’s available and the preference of the family herbalist. However, all will contain the “5 tastes”, according to Chinese herbal theory: pungent, salty, sour, sweet, and bitter.

The result will be a medicinal liquid that is nutrient dense warming, nourishing, and stimulating. Taking a daily shot of fire cider during cold and flu season can be an effective preventative, fire cider can also be used on the first onset of symptoms to lessen the duration and severity of illness, like Roots and Leaves elderberry and honey tonic.

With the recent launch of Roots and Leaves Fire Cider Tonic, we wanted to make sure you knew where this popular recipe came from and exactly how it can benefit your body.

What is Fire Cider?

Fire cider is a vinegar-based infusion of spicy aromatic herbs and spices + pungent fresh produce such as garlic, peppers, and onions. You may be wondering why such a fiery-sounding concoction exists!

Fire cider, first created by folk herbalist Rosemary Gladstar in late 1970, is a remedy that has been used for decades to support the immune system naturally. It is referred to as a cider because apple cider vinegar is the main infusing liquid.

However, honey is added also, so in technical herbal terms it could also be considered an “oxymel”, this term comes from the Greek word oxymeli, meaning “acid and honey”.

So, what are the Ingredients in Fire Cider?

I love that fire cider is so customizable! Ingredients can be added or subtracted due to allergies, taste preferences, or by what’s available at your fingertips. Have a left-over red onion instead of a white one? Use it! Have a fresh harvest of basil? Put it in! Just don’t forget the garlic!

I decided when creating the exact recipe for Roots and Leaves Fire Cider to cold infuse our lucky number of 12 roots, herbs, fruits, and vegetables.

Our fire cider includes astragalus, ginger, turmeric, black peppercorns, rosemary, thyme, horseradish, chili pepper, oranges, lemons, onions and garlic. Along with the extracting ingredients of apple cider vinegar and honey! 

Fire Cider Benefits

Wow! What is fire cider not good for? It is most often thought of as an immune-boosting remedy but, fire cider has multiple benefits.

Fire Cider benefits include:

  • Antihistamine
  • Anticancer
  • Antiviral
  • Better Gut Health
  • Bronchial Support
  • Blood Sugar Support
  • Blood Pressure Support
  • Cardiovascular Health
  • Increased Immunity
  • Decreased Inflammation

Let’s take a look at the ingredients in fire cider one by one to learn more about the benefits of fire cider.

Apple cider vinegar has proven antibacterial and antioxidant properties and it may bring down blood sugar levels and combat high cholesterol. To learn more about the benefits of apple cider vinegar I recommend this book.

In traditional Chinese medicine astragalus, is used to support the immune system. Studies show that astragalus helps the body produce more white blood cells and antibodies, strengthening the body’s antiviral immunity.

The ginger, turmeric, and black pepper work synergistically to quell inflammation, decrease pain & nausea, and support optimum gut health.

Citrus fruits are a source of vitamin C and bioflavonoids. Bioflavonoids are plant compounds, found commonly in all plants such as chocolate, tea, and fruits. They have antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antihistamine benefits.

Onions and garlic are in the vegetable family called “alliums”; this group contains the mineral sulfur. Sulfur is necessary for the body to perform essential functions when it comes to healthy cellular health.

Sulfur is also essential for recycling the amino acid glutathione. Glutathione is an antioxidant that reduces inflammation and prevents cell degradation.

Rosemary and thyme are herbs in the evergreen family that contain a variety of terpenes such as thymol and carvacrol. According to the University of Michigan Health System, one of the main uses of thymol is for the treatment of bronchitis.

Carvacrol, also found in oregano oil has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Fire cider is known for opening your nasal cavities like no other! That potent effect comes from the addition of chili peppers and horseradish. These two together increase circulation and clear mucus.

We also add a dash of sea salt to Roots and Leaves Fire Cider for mineral support!

Fire Cider and Gut Health

In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), there is a theory called the “5 Flavor Theory”, which teaches that each flavor connects to and is beneficial for a combination of organs.

The five flavors include sour, bitter, sweet, pungent, and salty. The flavors in Fire Cider are predominantly pungent and sour, two of the flavors most often missing in our modern diets.

The flavor of sour connects to our liver and gall bladder which work in tandem to digest and assimilate fats and fatty acids. The pungency of fire cider supports the lungs and large intestine, this connects to the release of wind (gas) and waste.

While the other three flavors aren’t as present, they still exist in the fire cider remedy, sweet from the citrus fruits and honey, bitter from the citrus rinds, and salty from the salt.

Preventing the Flu with Better Gut Health

Did you know 80% of your immune system is in your gut? This is primarily due to your microbiome. The microbiome is the community of microbes, such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, and their genes, that naturally live in and on our bodies.

The microbiome’s role is to communicate with the immune system advising it which invaders are beneficial or harmful. It also signals the gut to increase antibodies by stimulating the tissue around the gut.

Antibodies bind with antigens and inactivate them so that other bodily processes can take over, destroy, and remove foreign substances from the body.

Fire Cider FAQs

So now you have a rather good idea of how fire cider can benefit you during the winter months!

The following are some frequent questions we get asked about the new Roots and Leaves Fire Cider.

How much fire cider should I take daily?

Adults typically take 1-2 tbsp a day and children under 12 typically take 1-2 tsp a day but remember this is a food so you can't take "too much". We have been known to take 1 tbsp every few hours when we need to for extra support.

What does Roots and Leaves Fire Cider taste like?

Our fire cider tastes mostly like raw apple cider vinegar, with a hint of spicy sweetness. If you are unsure about the flavor, then we suggest trying the 2 oz bottle to start with!

Why is sea salt added to Roots and Leaves Fire Cider? 

In addition to following the TCM theory of 5 flavors sea salt is added due to its high mineral content. Minimally processed sea salt contains potassium, magnesium, iron, and calcium. 

Where can I purchase Roots and Leaves Fire Cider?

We are still delivering brand-new batches of fire cider to our retailers! Use our store locator to find the closest retailer to you, however, call ahead to ensure they have the NEW Fire Cider product in stock.

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Elderberry Tonic vs. Elderberry Syrup

Elderberry Tonic vs. Elderberry Syrup

Elderberry Tonic vs. Elderberry Syrup 

How is Roots & Leaves Elderberry & Honey Tonic different than the rest? 

The Roots and Leaves flagship product is our Elderberry & Honey Tonic infused with 12 different herbs, roots, and spices. We believe our formulation results in more comprehensive herbal support allowing you to stay supported all year long but especially during flu and cold season. 

In this article, we want to teach you about the differences between an elderberry “tonic” (our product) and a traditional elderberry “syrup” (their product), after reading we think that you will be able to determine what product is worth your financial investment and will keep your family healthy. We also wanted to take advantage of this space to give you a little insight into the benefits of elderberry and how exactly they boost your immunity. 

Roots and Leaves is a family-owned business with so much belief in our products that we’ve dedicated our lives to making this brand successful and traveling the country educating retailers about why they need it in their stores. We’re in several retailers across the country, if you would like to find a retailer near you visit our retailer map

What are the Benefits of Elderberry? 

Elderberries have been used for thousands of years in the regions where it is a native plant, these regions include Asia, Europe, North America, and North Africa. These cultures were aware of the many benefits of elderberry and used it to treat issues such as colds and flu, respiratory illnesses, burns, wrinkles, and even acne. Today, elderberry is primarily used for immune support, but it also touts many other medicinal and nutritional benefits. Below is a short list of the less-talked-about benefits of elderberries. 

Benefits of elderberries

  • Elderberries are a prime source of antioxidants that protect cellular health and prevent premature aging and conditions affected by inflammation. 
  • Elderberries are a source of vitamin A which protects the skin, heart, and lungs, and a source of vitamin C which facilitates the repair of body tissues and the formation of collagen. 
  • Research has confirmed that elderflower extract stimulates glucose metabolism and insulin secretion, lowering blood sugar levels.
  • Elderberries are a source of fiber, relieving constipation. 
  • Elderberries calm inflammation lessening joint and muscle pain. 

How does Elderberry support Immunity? 

According to Rosemary Gladstar, “In Old World tradition, an elder bush was commonly planted at the edge of the herb garden as the “protector” of the garden.” Similarly, elderberries and flowers function as the “protectors” of our immune system. In herbalist’s terms elderberries are thought to be “immune-modulating”, meaning they enhance the body’s immune response, in this case, to ward off colds and viruses. The stars of elderberries are the flavonoids called, anthocyanins. Flavonoids are the group of compounds that give fruits and vegetables their colors and anthocyanins are a subset of this group that gives the berries the deep purple color that is known for. 

As stated, anthocyanins are the star of this medicinal plant because it is those compounds that actually have the ability to attach to the viral glycoproteins that enable viruses to enter host cells decreasing the multiplication of the virus. Studies have shown that the consumption of elderberry products does in fact shorten the duration of a cold or virus and also lessens the severity of the symptoms. Additionally, elderberries and elderflowers are a source of vitamin C, which has also been recognized as nutritional support for the immune system. 

How should Elderberries be Consumed? 

When uncooked, elderberries contain a toxic substance that can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea if consumed in large amounts. For this reason, elderberries are traditionally cooked in the form of jellies, jams, syrups, and at Roots & Leaves, with honey to create a tonic. 

So, what IS the Difference between an Elderberry Tonic and a Syrup?

Ok, here we are at the final question! How exactly does Roots and Leaves Elderberry & Honey Tonic stand out from the traditional syrups other elderberry brands sell? 

We take the ICK out of the bottle! 

Most of us recognize the viscosity and texture that constitutes syrup, the sweetness and thickness are created from either a natural or artificial sweetener and/or a thickener. Common sweeteners that also function as thickeners used by mass-produced cheaply made elderberry brands include high fructose corn syrup (!), glucose syrup, fructose, and glycerin. Additionally, preservatives like potassium sorbate, malic and citric acids are added. 

Roots & Leaves Elderberry and Honey Tonic’s formulation is without any of those icky ingredients in the bottle! Instead, you will simply find filtered water, organically grown black elderberries, and 11 other herbs, roots, and spices along with organic honey and a dash of black pepper and lemon juice. Each serving contains 2,000 mg of elderberry, and every herb, root, and spice plays its part in keeping you healthy in myriad ways. 

An Elderberry Tonic is known to have a lower Glycemic Index 

Removing the heavy sweeteners that cause an elderberry syrup to be syrupy lessens the impact our elderberry tonic will have on your blood sugar. This has the greatest impact on those with diabetes or other blood sugar-related conditions, but it also supports those consumers that are on special diets like keto (our tonic is less than 1 carb per 1 tbsp), and those that don’t want to risk a blood sugar spike. Instead, we sweeten with the herbs rose hips and hibiscus and add raw unfiltered honey for a tad of sweetness but also for anti-bacterial and anti-fungal benefits. 

R&L Elderberry Tonic Packaging is Environmentally Friendly 

Too many elderberry products are packaged in plastic! As a company that values human life, we also value the earth we depend on. Therefore, we take pride in choosing only glass for packaging our Elderberry & Honey Tonic. Not only is it best for the environment but it's best for your body AND it can also be washed easily and reused for your own recipes like salad dressings, kombuchas, or cold herbal teas. Don’t forget we have an amazing loose-leaf herbal tea selection! 

Where to Purchase Roots and Leaves Elderberry & Honey Tonic 

Acquiring your own bottle of Elderberry Tonic with 12 herbs, roots & spices is VERY EASY! You can order here through our site or find a retailer that is close to you using our retailer finder map. We work hard to maintain inventory at several retailers but if you don’t see one close to you contact us to learn how to get your closest health food store on the list and you’ll receive a free bottle from us! 

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13 Stomach Bug and Food Poisoning Remedies

13 Stomach Bug and Food Poisoning Remedies

It's September and the stomach bug has arrived in full force. At least in the Carolina's. My daughter had it a couple of weeks ago, thankfully it was mild for her but I also think it was mild because I used these EXACT remedies below. Many other kids in her class got the stomach bug MUCH worse than she did unfortunately. 

I just dropped a new video on Tik Tok and Instagram showing how I make the gut healing popsicles for the stomach bug. We use these as prevention AND treatment. Check out the video if you are a visual learner like me. 

Gut Soothing Popsicles:

1 cup 100% concord grape juice, no sugar added

1/2 cup Elderberry and Honey Tonic

1-2 capsules of GI Detox OR Activated Charcoal  

Mix the juice and elderberry together and open up the capsules. I prefer to blend this up in my magic bullet so it won't be grainy at all. Blend and pour into popsicle molds then pop into freezer for a few hours! I have these from amazon! They are only $12 and have lasted me over two years.

I prefer GI detox over just plain activated charcoal because it has additional ingredients that help to soothe the stomach and mop up germs. Here is information from the manufacturer, Biocidin, and I absolutely trust and love their supplements. 

G.I. Detox™+ is formulated to provide broader activity than a single-ingredient product.* Zeolite clay, activated charcoal, and MMST silica, plus apple pectin, humic and fulvic acids, and aloe vera. Binding and detoxification agents long used in traditional medicine and supported by modern research.


  • Assists in “mop up” of microbial and biofilm components*
  • Supports healthy detoxification and full-body cleansing*
  • Supports clearance of mold metabolites*
  • Helps in the neutralization of histamine*
  • Supports a more comfortable cleansing experience*
  • May reduce bloating and gas*
  • Supports mental clarity* 


Viruses such as norovirus, adenovirus, and rotavirus are highly contagious. The norovirus is the most common, affecting up to 21 million people in the U.S. annually. A stomach virus is typically spread by coming into direct contact with someone sick. GI viruses can also be transmitted by touching an infected person’s saliva, stool, or vomit.

Food Poisoning

According to the CDC, 1 in 6 Americans (48 million people) suffers from food poisoning annually. I had a very dear friend that suffered with an awful case of food poisoning last year that landed her in the hospital and it was scary. 

The most common causes of food poisoning include the following:

  • Raw, undercooked, or contaminated meat
  • Contaminated water
  • Unpasteurized beverages
  • Raw fish or oysters
  • Fruits or vegetables that aren’t rinsed thoroughly
  • Soft or unpasteurized cheeses

For adults who don't feel like eating a popsicle for their upset stomach (although I recommend it because popsicles are FUN) then here is what I personally do:

1. Take GI Detox, one hour away from other supplements and medications. I typically take 2-3 a day when not feeling well. **

2. Take shots of apple cider vinegar or fire cider a few times a day

3. Elderberry Tonic every few hours to boost my immune system

4. Tummy Ease Tea which includes all of the herbs that are recommended for upset stomach. Chamomille, ginger, peppermint and more! 

5. Bone Broth, you can check out my bone broth recipe here 

6. I typically try to follow the BRAT diet (BRAT stands for bananas, rice, applesauce and toast) is commonly recommended for people recovering from the stomach flu. Why these four foods? They are all typically easy on the stomach and can also up bind up stools, which is helpful when you’re struggling with diarrhea. These simple foods can be a great start for the first hours or day of eating solid foods when you’re recovering from stomach flu. Just don’t rely on the BRAT diet long term because research has shown that this diet is too low in vital nutrients, especially for children.

7. Electrolytes – Coconut Water is a great source of natural electrolytes. I much prefer it to sports drinks like Gatorade that are full of food dyes and sugar (or even worse, artificial sweetener). My other favorite electrolyte mix is this powder from Seeking Health. We always have some on hand! 

8. Fresh Ginger – Ginger is widely known for its digestive effects. Studies show it to be an effective option for relieving nausea and vomiting. Grate fresh ginger into warm water and add honey.

9. Apple Sauce – Cooked apples are easier to digest and contain more pectin, which helps to reduce the symptoms of diarrhea and soothes the gastrointestinal tract.

10. Fresh or frozen pineapple – Pineapple contains the enzyme bromelain which acts as a digestive aid, is anti-inflammatory, and could potentially kill viruses.

11.  Warm Epsom Salt Bath – Epsom salts are good for detox, and will provide some needed magnesium. 

12. Peppermint Essential Oil – Peppermint is well known for it’s anti-nausea effects. Dilute it with a carrier oil and rub on the soles of the feet (be careful not to get it on the eyes or face). You can also diffuse it into a room or put it on a wet washcloth. (Please note that peppermint oil might not be the best choice for young children because it can potentially cause skin irritation and respiratory distress when inhaled.)

13. 100% Concord Grape Juice, No Sugar Added- Some people claim that drinking grape juice changes the ph of your digestive tract, making it harder for a stomach virus to multiply. Obviously, this has not been clinically studied or proven but it doesn't hurt to take a few sips throughout the day when you know the virus is going around. 

** The above is most effective when taken within 1 hour of experiencing symptoms of food poisoning or a stomach virus. During this time, the toxins are still primarily in the stomach and can be adsorbed by the binders in the GI Detox  before it is absorbed and spreads throughout the body.




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Nebulizing- simple but powerful remedies

Nebulizing- simple but powerful remedies

Do you have a nebulizer at home? Many people do not, unless they have asthma or other lung issues. I am here to tell you that every household needs one and I will explain all the reasons why in this post.

Where to purchase one:

You can typically find them at your local pharmacy or amazon. We have had ours for four years and we spent around $140 on a very high quality one. I suggest you purchase one that is NOT battery operated as they typically are not strong enough to get the nebulized solution deep into the lungs. We purchased this one five years ago and you can order it HERE. 

What we personally nebulize and why:

The below is in no particular order of importance as they all serve different purposes.

We have nebulized the below three options for suspected pneumonia, bronchitis, excess mucus, to stop viral replication and as prevention when traveling or exposed to sick individuals. Please know, this is not considered medical advice and is for educational purposes only and my own personal experience with using the below methods. 

1. Colloidal Silver

2. NAC (N-Acetylcysteine)

3. Saline solution + Highly diluted food grade hydrogen peroxide + Iodine

Let's dive into each one.

Silver has been used to kill over 650 different illness-causing microorganisms, bacteria, viruses and fungi for centuries all over the world. Colloidal silver is a liquid derived from silver particles small enough to be measured in nanometers. Unlike silver that is a natural occurring element in nature, colloidal silver is produced using water, silver and a generator.

Some of the things to look out for when choosing colloidal silver are: 

  • Particle Size: The smaller the size of the mineral particles, the safer, more effective and greatest in bio-activity. The smaller the particle, the better absorbed and easier for the body to excrete what it can’t use. Particles 0.8 nanometers in size is best. The solution should be clear to ensure smallest particle size as silver reflects light when left in larger pieces. 

  • Positive Charge: The bioactive form of silver is the positively charged form, and in order for colloidal silver particles to be effective, they must be converted into a bioactive form. A higher ratio of positively charged silver (try to get as close to 100% as possible) creates an unwanted environment to unfriendly organisms. 

  • Purity: True colloidal silver contains more than 50% silver in nanoparticle form. On the other hand, if it contains only 5-10% nanoparticles, it is considered ionic silver. Pharmaceutical based water ONLY is best, void of any proteins or gelatin additions. 

  • PPM: PPM refers to the mass of a substance per unit volume of water. According to Sovereign Silver, when a silver product contains the most active species of silver, coupled with the smallest particle size and greatest amount of positively charged silver, then a safe low concentration of 10 to 23 ppm bioactive silver is sufficient.

Due to colloidal silvers antiviral and antibacterial properties, one of the most common uses is to nebulize it as a form of treatment for bronchitis, pneumonia and other respiratory infections. It is also shown to have profound oncolytic properties as an additional treatment against lung cancers (SOURCE)

Bronchitis is usually caused by a pathogen that inflames and irritates both the bronchial tubes, windpipes and the tiny hairs that line the passageways. This inflammation causes fits of coughing, mucous and a rattle in the chest when breathing. Other symptoms such as wheezing, chest pain and low grade fever may sometimes accompany bronchitis. The pathogens can be either viral or bacterial from a concurrent respiratory infection or other chemical pollutants. Colloidal silver has been shown to be affective against the pathogens that cause acute and chronic bronchitis after studies showing the ineffectiveness of the traditionally prescribed antibiotic medication. 

Although colloidal silver is effective when ingested as a treatment to disease, breathing it into the lungs delivers direct speedy respiratory support. Using a Nebulizer is the fastest way to get silver nanoparticles into the bloodstream, bypassing the digestive system, and straight to the lungs where they are absorbed. Not to be confused or used with humidifiers or essential oil vaporizers. 

My favorite brand is Sovereign Silver because it has been proven over and over again to be a very potent silver. 

How we personally use it:

For most respiratory infections, we typically nebulize one teaspoon, 2-3 times a day for 10 to 15 minutes. The first few days nebulizing colloidal silver may cause coughing and phlegm before treatment helps lungs feel better. Most holistic doctors recommend that treatment should be limited to no more than 30 days or as needed temporarily. Always check with your physician to be certain. They also make a nose spray that we use while traveling or when sick as well. If you have an active virus it will burn a little bit when you use the nose spray and I have personally experienced that several times. 

We have only had to use NAC (N-Acetylcysteine) two times in the past five years and we mainly used it to break up thick mucus, prevent bronchitis and pneumonia when there was mucus that wouldn't budge. The only downside to using NAC is that the liquid vials you use for the nebulizer are only obtained via a prescription by a medical professional and not all pharmacies keep them in stock. Oh and it smells like pure sulfur...which is also a slight downside. I make sure to always have some on hand and not wait until we "need" it. 

Why do I love it so much?

  • N-acetylcysteine (NAC), a precursor of the antioxidant glutathione, has been used to loosen thick mucus in the lungs and treat acetaminophen overdose for five decades. However, NAC can also boost the immune system, suppress viral replication, and reduce inflammation. SOURCE

  • NAC has anti-inflammatory/antioxidant properties and has been used in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and rhinosinusitis with variable results. The antioxidant effects of NAC are thought to be mediated by increased levels of intracellular reduced glutathione in the lungs and neutralizing oxidant species. Its mucolytic action is attributed to its effect of reducing sulfhydryl moieties, thereby leading to a disruption of disulfide bridges within the glycoprotein matrix of mucus. This causes a reduction in the viscoelasticity of mucus and brings the levels closer to the optimal level, thereby making it easier to transport along the airways. SOURCE

  • My daughter has a weak point in her lungs, mine is usually my sinuses. Everytime she gets a virus it always represents with coughing and mucus. One time she had a cough that wouldn't budge no matter what we tried. Nebulized NAC broke it up within 24 hours and we could all sleep again. 

How we personally use it:

  • Since liquid NAC is only available via prescription there will be instructions included with the vials. You will also need to ask for needles (my pharmacy doesn't automatically give them) to be able to pull the liquid out. You can get this in 10% or 20% strength, I requested 20% and this specific brand because it is preservative free. Below is a picture of my actual vile for you to show your doctor when requesting the prescription.

Ok, I know this one sounds a little out there and maybe even scary but I promise, we have nebulized hydrogen peroxide so many times I have lost count for over five years with ZERO side effects. BUT it's very important that you make sure you do it correctly, which is outlined below via an article I will link written by one of my favorite physicians. As always, check with your personal physician if you have concerns. 

Dr. David Brownstein, who has a clinic just outside of Detroit, Michigan, has successfully treated over 200 patients with what has become my favorite intervention for viruses and other upper respiratory infections, namely nebulized hydrogen peroxide. He has now published a book describing his approach, titled “A Holistic Approach to Viruses.” which I highly suggest you purchase and keep on your bookshelf.

A peer-reviewed consecutive case series of 107 COVID-19 patients treated with nebulized peroxide and other remedies, including oral vitamins A, C and D, iodine, intravenous hydrogen peroxide and iodine as well as intravenous (IV) vitamin C, along with intramuscular ozone, was published in the July 2020 issue of Science, Public Health Policy, and the Law.1 All patients survived.

Nebulized Peroxide Basics

I’ve embraced nebulized peroxide since the pandemic broke out and have received many anecdotal reports from people who have successfully used it, even at more advanced stages. Based on Brownstein’s experience, I now also add iodine (2 drops to the .01% peroxide solution since I have the 2% iodine) when nebulizing, as it appears to make it even more effective.

You absolutely must use FOOD GRADE hydrogen peroxide. Do not use the brown bottle from the grocery store, that is not food grade nor is it meant to be used internally as it has additional stabilizers that you would never want to inhale. I order my food grade hydrogen peroxide from Modern Alchemy, I trust their quality 100%. I reached out to the owner to let her know how much I love her hydrogen peroxoide and that we have used it multiple times with great success. I also asked her if my customers could get 10% off her products and she happily agreed. Use code: rootsandleaves at checkout on her site HERE to get 10% off your order. 

Keep in mind that the peroxide needs to be diluted with saline. Some physicians recommend diluting it down to 0.1%. Brownstein recommends diluting it to 0.04%. If you pre-dilute to 0.04%, it will stay potent for about three months when kept refrigerated. If you do a 0.1% dilution, it may stay potent a bit longer. I personally chose to do a .1% solution as outlined in the chart below. Here is a link to the full article on how to nebulize hydrogen peroxide written by Dr. Mercola. 

If you don’t have access to saline, you can make your own by mixing one teaspoon of unprocessed salt (such as Himalayan salt, Celtic salt or Redmond’s real salt) into a pint of water. This will give you a 0.9% saline solution, which is about the concentration found in body fluids. Using that saline, you will then dilute the hydrogen peroxide as described in the below chart. Since the peroxide I purchase comes in the form of 17% I dilute that down to 3% first and Modern Alchemy includes easy instructions on how to do so with your order and then I dilute it down to .1% using the measurements from the below chart.

How we use it:

We personally nebulize it two-three times a day for 10 minutes at a time when traveling or around a lot of people to stop potential viral replication and/or at the VERY FIRST sign of illness. Dr. Brownstein talks about when he was treating multiple covid positive patients a day he would nebulize the solution two times a day and he and his staff stayed healthy.

If you want to dive deeper into unique immune support strategies, what to request if you end up in the hospital, step by step guides on staying immune strong and keeping inflammation low then consider joining The Crunchy Club. You can also download this free 27 page PDF e-book called "IMMUNE" HERE. It is packed full of immune system support tips. It is free for a limited time so grab it while you can. 

And there you have it friends! The three items we always keep on hand for our nebulizer. We even travel with our nebulizer, just in case. As always, this is not to substitute for medical advice this is just what we personally utilize and I have followed the science and doctors for over a year before I was comfortable sharing this valuable information with all of you. But remember that I am not a medical doctor, I am an herbalist and a dedicated researcher. I feel confident enough to administer these modalities to my family, including my child and have never had any issues but always check with your medical doctor.

I wish you all health and peace.




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Top Benefits of an Infared Sauna + HUGE discount for my community

Top Benefits of an Infared Sauna + HUGE discount for my community

Five years ago, I had seen doctor after doctor.  Some of them helped push me in the right direction, but I still had a lot of health issues lingering from my chronic lyme. One holistic health practitioner recommended purchasing a sauna to help my body heal and detox (I have MTHFR gene).

I was told that a sauna could be amazing for some of the symptoms I was living with. Headaches, cold all the time, inflammation, inability to detox, overall fatigue and more.  

So, I tried one at my local gym. And after just one use...I felt worse, not better. I was determined to figure out WHY that sauna made me feel worse. I brought it up at my next holistic doctor appointment and she asked me what type of sauna I used. 

I told her it was a steam sauna and she said "oh that's why it made you feel worse". Steam saunas are notorious for mold spores. Since I already had high mold in my blood she said it "stirred up" the mold in my body. She recommended a specific brand and a specific type of infrared sauna that didn't use steam.   

I found a local spa that had the type of sauna my doctor recommended. I wanted to be sure it wouldn't make me feel worse. So, I sat in it for 40 minutes.  


Much to my surprise, I felt relaxed in the sauna. Afterwards I felt energized and then I slept great that night which had not happened in years. More importantly it did not flare up any of my symptoms.

I was so excited to finally find a sauna I could tolerate! So, I started digging into the research and details of why this particular sauna worked. And why I reacted to all the others.

The type of sauna that worked so well for me was an Infrared Sauna. 

Infrared saunas are very different from other type of saunas (dry sauna, steam sauna, heated rocks, etc...). Unlike steam, there is no moisture with an infrared sauna. That means ZERO mold spores. 

And unlike other types of saunas, infrared saunas can be used effectively at lower temperatures. This can be helpful for people with mold symptoms and histamine issues.

Let’s talk about what an infrared sauna is and how it works. 

(Jump to the discount info here if you don't want to read the full article)

Infrared Sauna: How It Works + Health Benefits  

Infrared light is felt as an internal heat. The soothing, natural warmth from the sun is infrared heat. But unlike the sun, the infrared light here doesn’t have UV rays that can cause sunburn or aging.  

In fact, you can be exposed to infrared light for hours without any risk of burning.    

Infrared light therapy is 100% safe 

I find this gentle heat so relaxing and comforting. It reminds me of being on a beach, soaking up the sun on a warm summer day.

Research on infrared saunas has shown the below health benefits: 

  • Helps with wound healing and muscle recovery
  • Immune support
  • Boosts metabolism 
  • Helps remove toxins from the body (detoxification) – i.e. mold toxins, chemicals, metals.
  • Inflammation-lowering effects 
  • Acts similarly to antioxidant nutrients 
  • Activates the cell healing cycles 
  • May help to potentially lower dementia/alzheimer's risk 

Not all infrared saunas are created equal though. In fact the best infrared saunas provide 3 different bands of infrared wavelengths:  

  1. Near Infrared 
  2. Mid Infrared 
  3. Far Infrared 

Each of these wavelengths provides different benefits.  

Near Infrared reaches the skin’s outermost layer. It energizes and regenerates cells. Benefits include:  

  • Cell Health/Immunity Boost 
  • Faster Wound Healing 
  • Skin Rejuvenation 
  • Muscle Recovery 

Mid Infrared wavelengths reach the body’s soft tissue. This is where inflammation occurs. Benefits include:  

  • Pain Relief 
  • Improved Circulation 
  • Muscle Recovery  

Far Infrared reaches deepest into the body. It can reach deep into the tissues where toxins are often stored. Benefits include:  

  • Weight Loss 
  • Detoxification 
  • Relaxation 
  • Immune Support

My Recommendation for a Safe Infrared Sauna– 

When I recommend something, I do a lot of research on that product. I take a lot into consideration and I try it for myself first. 

In the research I did, I learned that not all infrared saunas are equal. In fact, they can be very different in terms of EMFs, chemical off-gassing, and need for high heat temperatures.   

So, which sauna was it that has worked so well for myself and many friends and family?

The sauna I settled on is from Sunlighten

Here is what allowed me to tolerate Sunlighten Sauna when I couldn’t tolerate other saunas. 

These are the 5 major reasons why I went with Sunlighten Sauna: 

  1. Has all 3 infrared wavelengths: near, mid, and far 
  2. Can get the health benefits at lower temperatures for shorter times 
  3. Low EMF (with 3rd party testing validation) 
  4. No chemical off-gassing 
  5. Sustainable materials used (better for the environment) 

My favorite of Sunlighten’s sauna has a patented infrared technology with all 3 wavelengths. These wavelengths deliver those gentle, warming infrared waves directly into the body.  

Delivering the infrared waves directly into your body is what can allow you to detox without high temperatures and in a shorter period of time than other saunas.  

With some saunas, only the air is heated. That means only your outer skin is getting hot which means you won’t have much detox happening – so what’s the point?  

But infrared waves penetrate your body deeper. These waves reach those deeper tissues where toxins are stored. Particularly reaching the fat-soluble toxins like mold toxins. 

Another reason I like Sunlighten is the low EMF factor. 

One of the reasons I had trouble with so many saunas is that most emit a lot of EMFs. And there is clear, solid evidence showing how EMFs trigger inflammation.

So, you don’t want a sauna with high EMFs, look for 3rd party testing for EMFs by an independent testing company.  

You don’t want to just go by the company’s own evaluation, though. It’s too easy for a company to skew their own results if it’s not 3rd party tested. 

Sunlighten Saunas were 3rd party EMF tested in 2020 and 2021. This testing showed EMF levels in Sunlighten Saunas were lower than 95 percent of common household devices like hair dryers or vacuum cleaners!   

Of course, I still tested with my own EMF meter as well. And I found the EMF levels in my sauna to be very low.  

And some people (like me) can be triggered by off-gassing of toxic chemicals. This is another reason I had trouble with other saunas in the past. 

Sunlighten doesn’t purchase saunas from a large, mass-production sauna factory. They source all raw materials from PEFC-certified and FSC-certified woods. These are certifications for socially and environmentally responsible wood sourcing.  

They have also done extensive third-party testing to ensure their saunas are made with safe, non-toxic materials. So, no weird chemical smell, and no off-gassing! 

The sauna I picked is made with hypoallergenic basswood. This is the wood I’d recommend if you have any chemical sensitivities or allergies.

There are a lot of great health benefits and there have been many clinical studies done to back up the claims. Below is just a snippet of some of my favorites but if you scroll down to the bottom of this post there are a ton of studies under references. 

>>> A 2016 study compared to people who used the sauna once per week, those who used it 2-3 times per week and 4-7 times per week had a 21% and 66% lower risk for dementia, respectively. For Alzheimer's disease specifically, the risk was 20% and 65% lower, respectively.

>>> A 2013 study (see references below) concluded that repeated sauna may help people with allergic rhinitis. This is a kind of nasal swelling and congestion often associates with histamine issues, mold, allergies and mast cell activation.

>>> A case study that was published in 2014 showed that sauna was helpful for severe chronic itching that didn’t respond to antihistamines.

>>> Further, there are studies showing how sauna can support the nervous system and relaxation. 

>>> A 2013 study looked at the effects of just a single 15-minute sauna session. The study showed that sauna improved the white blood cell profiles. 

>>> Sauna use has also been shown in studies to help the skin in people with psoriasis and eczema. 

>>> Finally, there are numerous studies showing how sauna supports removal of toxins in the body. This includes mold toxins and was my main reason for purchasing one.

I think the most important reason to own a sauna right now is the clinical data backing the fact that infrared saunas can drastically boost your immune system. When we feel like we are coming down with something we get in the sauna, which can induce a rise in basal body temperature, and viruses do NOT like heat. At first sign of illness we combine sauna treatment, elderberry tonic every two hours, high dose vitamin C/D and we are usually good to go within a day or two. 

How Infrared Saunas Can Boost Your Immune System During Cold and Flu Season

The cold and flu season is upon us. It is far better to strengthen the immune system so that you reduce the chance of getting sick in the first place. After all, viruses can only make you sick if your immune system allows it.

How a Fever Improves Immune Function 

When you have an infection, your immune system induces fever in order to stimulate immune function and make the body less habitable for pathogens [1]. Generally, fevers under 104oF (40oC) help the body fight off pathogens without the risk of febrile seizures. In addition, people infected with rhinovirus (a type of cold virus) who use anti-fever medications experienced reduced immune response — they experienced worsened symptoms, took longer to recover from the cold, and were more infectious than those who didn’t use medications [2]. 

According to the American College of Critical Care Medicine, fever is defined as a core temperature of 100.9°F (38.3°C) or higher, i.e. just above the upper limit of an average human temperature, irrespective of the cause [3]. Sunlighten infrared saunas can penetrate deep into tissues and raise core body temperature to approximately 102°F (39°C). Although the sauna heats you up differently than a fever does, the increased body temperature can provide many benefits of fever, such as improving immune functions and preparing your body for the cold and flu season.

1) Making antiviral and antibacterial immune responses more efficient

Many aspects of immune function are heat-sensitive and are designed to be mobilized in response to a fever. Specifically, fever-range body temperature causes the body to favor anti-viral and anti-bacterial immune response (Th1) over the antiparasitic or allergic (Th2) immune response. In addition, fever-range temperature helps the immune system better remember germs that you are exposed to, so that the next time you encounter them pathogens, your body can fight them off better [4]

In addition to heating the body, near-infrared light also stimulates white blood cells and increases antibodies against germs by increasing cellular energy production [5].

2) Hormesis

The term “hormesis” refers to a small amount of stress that trains the body to get stronger. For example, exercise is a type of hormesis. Many health benefits of saunas are due to hormesis. 

Using the sauna generates heat stress and oxidative stress at the low levels that help the body better deal with these stressors. The heat exposures trigger the production of heat-shock proteins, which help other protein molecules fold correctly. In addition, heat-shock proteins also help the immune system fight off viruses [6]. 

Too much oxidative stress can damage tissues and immune cells, which reduces your ability to fight infections. The sauna generates small amounts of oxidative stress that increases your cell’s antioxidant capacity, which reduces your risk of getting sick [7]. 

3) Anti-aging for the immune system

The immune system, which is continually replenished by immune stem cells in the bone marrow and thymus, is one of the most sensitive systems to aging. This is why the elderly (>65 years old) are more likely to get sick and develop complications from cold and flu. 

As people age, their immune stem cells have a declining ability to regenerate more white blood cells. Interestingly, photobiomodulation, especially from the near-infrared spectrum, may stimulate the mitochondria of these stem cells and help mitigate age-related immune decline [8].

4) Reducing Stress 

Stress significantly increases the incidences of colds by reducing the antiviral immune system, partly because cortisol suppresses the immune responses [9, 10, 11]. Exposure to far-infrared sauna significantly reduces post-exercise cortisol, which may mitigate the immune-suppression effects of stress [12, 13]. In addition, you can use Sunlighten infrared saunas, along with Acoustic Resonance Therapy technology to help you get into a relaxed state, which may further help reduce the risk of getting sick from stress. I personally like to meditate and use my sauna time as "me time", I look at it as a huge stress reliever and my time to check out. 

5) Normalizing the Circadian Rhythm and Improving Sleep

Not all sleep is created equal. Deep sleep helps build your antiviral immune system, so you want to increase deep sleep in the winter [14]. 

During colder months, when the days are shorter and sunlight is dimmer, your sleep could get thrown off. You may hardly notice it because you are still going to work and sleep on the same schedule, but you may experience changes in mood, fatigue, and more frequent colds partly because you are not sleeping as deeply.

According to board-certified sleep psychologist Dr. Micheal Breus, the steep drop in body temperature in the evening helps cue your body that it is time to sleep. Using the infrared sauna in the afternoon to help you relax before allowing your body temperature to drop naturally will improve your sleep quality. 

Using the Sauna Reduce Incidences of Common Cold

In an Austrian study, 25 healthy subjects who regularly used saunas had significantly fewer episodes of common colds than those who did not [15]. This benefit becomes more significant, especially after 14 weeks of consecutive sauna use. Therefore, in order to fully experience the immune-strengthening benefits of sauna use, you want to use it regularly, at least twice a week throughout the year.

And now that I’ve found a safe sauna option, it’s one of the key steps I recommend for almost everyone to include in their healthy lifestyle.

Remember, as I have said before, not all infrared saunas are worth your money. This is worth repeating if you are serious about purchasing a sauna.  

The really nice thing about the type of sauna I share with you below is that you don’t have to heat it very hot to get the benefits. In fact, you can start with fairly low temperatures.  

You don’t even have to sweat to be able to get the benefits from the sauna I picked. This is really nice for people who are still having trouble sweating or can’t do high heat. 

My favorite of Sunlighten’s saunas has a patented infrared technology with all 3 wavelengths. These wavelengths deliver those gentle, warming infrared waves directly into the body.  

Delivering the infrared waves directly into your body is what can allow you to detox without high temperatures and in a shorter period of time than other saunas.  

With some saunas, only the air is heated. That means only your outer skin is getting hot which means you won’t have much detox happening – so what’s the point?  

But infrared waves penetrate your body deeper. These waves reach those deeper tissues where toxins are stored. Particularly reaching the fat-soluble toxins like mold.

With Sunlighten, I’m finally able to get all the benefits of a sauna without experiencing any flares!  

Sunlighten saunas have good research behind them and have been proven to 95-99% effective.  

And as a bonus, it’s super easy to use.   

Adding an infrared sauna to your home is affordable and easier than you may think. 

When I first tried the Sunlighten Sauna at the spa, I felt so great, I knew I’d want to come back again and again. I just felt so good afterward. 

Even beyond detoxing, I already knew the research on infrared sauna use and longevity was solid. So, I figured now that I’d found a sauna I could use, I’d want it to become part of my regular health routine for the long term. 

I looked at some numbers, next. The cost of going to this spa 2-3 times a week for the long term was going to get expensive quickly.  

When I added what it would cost me to get 3 sauna sessions per week for a year, it was going to cost me more than just buying a home sauna!  

Since I knew I’d use it frequently…and because it was a great investment in my health…it just made sense to get a sauna I could use at home. 

It certainly isn’t the cheapest thing I’ve done for my health. But, they had financing options, a great warranty, and a return period. I knew if it could help me through my mold detox and with my muscle and joint pain, it would definitely be worth it. And it really has been, we absolutely LOVE our sauna. And even better, I wouldn’t have to worry about other people’s germs and sweat. 

If you are thinking about getting a home sauna for yourself, you’ll want to know about the different model options. This can save you some time. 

Sunlighten has 4 models: 

  1. mPulse 
  2. Solo 
  3. Amplify 
  4. Signature 

Let’s start with the mPulse. This is the one I want in the future but it was out of my budget four years ago so we started with the Signature.   

mPulse Sauna Model:


The mPulse offers all 3 infrared wavelengths: near, mid, and far.  

The near infrared has been shown to be very helpful for cell rejuvenation and anti-aging.  

And the construction has something called an emissive coating. This allows the sauna to produce more infrared per square inch than any other heater on the market. That translates to more health benefits with lower temperatures and shorter amounts of time in the sauna. 

It comes with a built-in Android control panel. The control panel can be used in airplane mode to keep the EMFs down. 

I also like that it has 6 preset Wellness Programs. Each program uses a different combination of wavelengths: 




Pain Relief 

Weight loss 


Custom program options – this is where you can create your own programs. 

The mPulse does need a little space in your home and also needs a dedicated outlet (meaning nothing else runs off that circuit). 

We are saving up our money to purchase this unit in the future, but for now we are still very happy with our signature 2. 

But what if you don’t have the space or budget for a walk-in unit?  

Solo Sauna Model:

For those that don’t have the space for the larger sauna or don’t want to spend the money on the walk-in options, Sunlighten also has a portable infrared sauna called the Solo System.   

The Solo can be a great option if you don’t have space for a larger sauna or need a more budget-friendly option.   

It differs from the mPulse because it isn’t a walk-in model.  

Instead, you recline and are cocooned in it, but your head remains outside the unit. This can be good for some people who are extremely heat sensitive for any reason. 

The Solo model doesn’t have all 3 infrared wavelengths. It just has far infrared, but this is still great for detoxifying and immune support. 

The Solo model doesn’t need a dedicated circuit, either.  

What about the other 2 units? 

Amplify Sauna Model:

The Amplify Sauna has 2 ceramic heaters at the front for people who like a hotter sauna. This sauna technically provides all 3 wavelengths, as the extra heaters are full spectrum.  They don’t provide the same, quality, precise wavelengths as the mPulse. 

Signature Sauna Model:

The Signature Sauna also offers far infrared only. It can be a good choice if you want a cabin unit and are only interested in the detoxification benefits. This is the one that we purchased because we felt it was the best bang for our buck and at the time I mainly needed detox benefits. 

Four years ago my husband and I decided that for our Christmas present (for years…ha)  to each other we would invest in a sauna, and it has been worth every single penny. 

After owning and testing out my sunlighten sauna for four years I decided to reach out to them to see if I could get my community a discount, and they said YES! I really wish I would have had this discount when I purchased. 

If you’re ready for a sauna, it can be a great investment in your health. I get in my sauna 3-4 times per week! My husband gets in almost everyday and it has dramatically helped his chronic back pain.

I tend to feel cold a lot. And when the weather turns cooler, it feels so good to hop in there to warm up! 

While these aren’t the least expensive sauna units, they are, in my opinion, the best and highest quality on the market.

I love being able to share new products with you that I’ve found helpful. But I know cost can be a concern for those of us with so many health expenses. I have lived that after spending thousands and thousands on doctors that didn’t help me.

UP TO $600 (Either $500 or $600 depending on the model)


$250 off a solo unit 

Two different ways to access the discount:

# 1 - Use this link directly to order online. The discount will be applied as long as you don't navigate away from the direct link.  

# 2 - Call Sunlighten at 877.292.0020 x1  and tell them you’d like the "Roots and Leaves Discount"

You can also learn more about Sunlighten Sauna here:

>>> Learn more about Sunlighten Sauna

As passionate as I am about this sauna, there are those who might not be ready for it, though.  

Who Shouldn’t Use Sauna?  

When considering if sauna is safe for you, there are a few other situations where you should definitely talk to your licensed medical provider first: 


Metal implants 

Multiple Sclerosis, Central Nervous System Tumors, and Diabetes with Neuropathy 


Recovering from surgery 


If none of the above describes you though, then you can do further reading and exploration on saunas and you might consider giving Sunlighten Sauna a try! My body thanks me every time I use mine! 

Enjoy the discount friends and let me know if you end up purchasing one and how you like it (I know you will!).





**as always this does not constitute as medical advice, this is just my personal experience with using infrared saunas.

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