This month I’m going to share with you, two of my most important things for my family’s medicine cabinet.
When I feel a sore throat or cold coming on I often times ignore it hoping it'll go away or I scratch my head and think “hmm what should I be doing for a cold?”
I ‘know’ of a lot of natural remedies that help with the cold and flu but when it comes time to actually do them they don’t all redly come to mind!
With that being said, i’m sure if I sometimes forget to might help me when I feel like i’m getting sick, i’m sure you probably wonder the same as well at times.
Here is my number one recommendation to have on hand for cold and flu season.
(check back in two weeks for my second most important thing)
1. Elderberry syrup
Elderberries have been studied some but not enough to make definite scientific claims about what they can do for you. Although, they have been used for a long time to speed the recovery of a cold or flu. Elderberries contain antioxidants and are very immune boosting.
“Elderberry wine was traditionally used for influenza and the ill effects of the chills, and the juice of the black elderberry has historically been an invaluable remedy. The elder has often been called the ‘medicine chest” of the country people.” (Source)
Elderberries have been used for centuries as a traditional herbal remedy. Here’s a little bit about how it works.
“Dr. Madeleine Mumcuoglu, of Hadassah-Hebrew University in Israel found that elderberry disarms the enzyme viruses use to penetrate healthy cells in the lining of the nose and throat. Taken before infection, it prevents infection. Taken after infection, it prevents spread of the virus through the respiratory tract. In a clinical trial, 20% of study subjects reported significant improvement within 24 hours, 70% by 48 hours, and 90% claimed complete cure in three days. In contrast, subjects receiving the placebo required 6 days to recover” (Source)
Elderberry syrup/concentrates as well as elderberry cough drops and lozenges can be bought from the store but it is a lot more fun and cost effective to make elderberry syrup yourself!
The syrup that I make is less like a thick pancake syrup and more like sweetened elderberry concentrate. The base is simply water and dried elderberries and raw honey is added in.
If you are merely wanting to avoid a cold or flu adults should take a teaspoon of syrup a day and children 1/2 a teaspoon. If you are already sick you can take twice that!
1/3 cup dried elderberries
1 3/4 cup water
4 cinnamon sticks or 2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 TBS chopped ginger root fresh or frozen OR 1/2 tsp ginger powder
1/2 tsp whole cloves OR 1/2 tsp clove powder
1/2 cup raw honey
Put everything but the honey together in a pot with the lid on, simmer on low till half the liquid has evaporated.
Strain the spices out of the syrup and let it cool till it is warm but not scorching hot.
Stir in the raw honey.
You’re done! Keep this in the fridge for a week or two or freeze in an ice cube tray and melt an ice cube or two when necessary.
You can take a teaspoon of this every day to help prevent sickness or twice the amount if you are already sick. It taste great so it really isn’t hard to remember to take or have your children take.
Have you every used or made elderberry syrup? I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences.