Elderberry syrup is one of my top recommendations to help your family avoid colds and flu season. Growing up with holistic and alternative parents, herbs and other tinctures were common in supporting immunity and always came before the doctor. I am a firm believer and using in herbalism and wanted to pass on a few tips for cold/flu prevention.
1. hand washing! My son is now 10.5 months old and his hands are everywhere: mouth, eye, dirt, nose, feet, back to dirt, in the mouth and eye....you get the idea.
2. House washing - kick off the cold and flu season with a natural disinfecting of the home. I take a new sponge and add 5 drops of either lemon or lemongrass and wipe down everything...cell phones, electronics, door knobs, cabinet knobs....everything you can think of that you touch and do not regularly clean.
3. staying active - luckily I live in the beautiful Tucson Arizona, and my family is able to stay active year around. If your home has a long winter with snow - try to find indoor activities that keep you active and the immune system "pumped" to stay healthy. Yoga, mat routines, are some for the indoors. A fun idea for the outdoors - create a scavenger hunt of items and take the family on a walk (snow shoes, cross country skii) to find the items.
4. sleep - try to get as much as possible. The studies to poor sleep leading to depression, lack of focus, and immune failure are incredible. It is a very real thing, the more sleep the better.
5. Catch it before it starts - here is where this delicious elderberry syrup comes in hand. As soon as you begin to feel a tickle in the throat- begin sipping. I also recommend an echinacea tincture, and if you have a mucous growing, an echinacea/goldenseal tincture will help. You can purchase these tinctures at local natural food stores or order them online. If you are interested in making your own tinctures (HUGE savings to make your own) Stay tuned!
If you are a bit hesitant of this "herbalism stuff," there are many quick reads on the benefits of elderberry (its even on wedMD if you are really interested heheh) Elderberries are very high in vitamin A, B, and C (more than an orange!) to support the immune system.It is also very high in ORAC, or oxygen radical absorbance capacit. Studies have aslo shown that elderberry supports brain health, improves immune coordination, protects blood vessels and reduces cancer cell growth patterns in the body...yes worth researching!
1/4 c. elderberries
6 whole cloves
1 tbs ginger
4 tbs rosehips
1 cinnamon stick
2 tbs echinacea agustifolia root
4 c.filtered water
1/2 c honey for 1+ years old, 1/2 c maple syrup for under 1 years old
fine mesh strainer
**glass bottle with dropper top for giving to little ones
add herbs to pot (no sweetener)
add water to pot and bring to boil
allow to simmer 1 hour until it reduces by half (2 c.)
strain herbs and compost
allow to cool
add sweetener - if using honey, add while liqyid is still warm
store in mason jar for up to a year!