More about beating the flu and cold

March 13, 2016

I posted something recently about tips and tricks to prevent the flu and cold but sometimes you don't beat it and you just have to get through it. My tips for this are to keep warm, gargle with salt water, rest as much as possible, and stay hydrated. If you need to go to the doctor, do it.  But otherwise, put raw garlic on everything you can, wash your hands and sleep.  

My entire house succumbed to the flu/cold that is going around.  I tried everything I could think of to fight it, and I thought I did!  I was in the clear! Everyone else had been sick and was on the mend and all I had was a little sniffle.  No big deal! I could handle that!  Then, one morning I woke up with a weird pain behind my eyes, but really didn't think anything of it.  I took my daughter to school on our commuter bike and by the time I returned home, I could barely make it in from the garage and up to the couch.  I was laid up for 2 days, with splitting headaches, nausea, dizziness and fever.  This has been a nasty flu and cold season.  I feel like I hear that every year from various people, but this year I really feel that it is true. 

Here is a wonderful recipe for a homemade preventative elixir that will help to prevent the cold and flu.  I don't feel that I started this soon enough to fight it off completely, but I do believe that it helped me fight it and decreased the severity (in relation to everyone else in my house)

Elderberry has been shown in countless studies to fight multiple strains of the flu virus and is a wonderful base in this syrup. 
Step 1:  Obtain one cup of dried elderberries.  Boil 1/2 gallon of distilled water.  Put the elderberries in the bottom of a 1/2 gallon mason jar.  Pour the boiling water over the berries, filling to the top.  Put a lid on tightly and let it sit for 12 hours or overnight.

Step 2:  Strain the berries through a tightly woven mesh strainer or cheesecloth.  I mash them to make sure that I get all of the goodness out of them. Get all of the juice out of the berries, and discard the berries and keep the juice.

Step 3:  Put them into a non reactive pot or saucepan (stainless steal or glass) and warm until you see steam rising off of it. Add 1/4 cup rose hips, 1/4 yarrow (omit if pregnant), 5-10 cloves, 2 sticks cinnamon, 2 TBSP fresh ginger, 1 oz Huang Qi (astragalus root).  Place a wooden chopstick in the pot (braced along the edge) and when the elderberry color has seeped up about half way, you can strain out the other herbs. Stir often when on the heat. 

Step 4:  After straining the herbs out, cool the mixture to slightly above room temperature. Add 1 cup of RAW honey. Do not add it when the mixture when it is too hot or it will kill the beneficial microorganisms in the honey. Mix thoroughly. Store in a glass container in the refrigerator. If you are storing for longer than 6 weeks, add 1 - 2 oz of brandy.  If you add the brandy, it will store in the fridge for up to 6 months. Dose 1 - 2 tsp a day for adults, more often if you feel like something is coming on. 1/2 tsp a day for children under 6.

I hope you enjoy this recipe.  Play with it and add special herbs that you think you would like in a preventative syrup. Echinacea, chamomile, whatever you want!  I am in the middle of developing a cough syrup since we all now have this lingering cough and nothing out there seems to fit the bill. Whatever you do, you will save money as well as empower yourself in taking charge of your health!

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