Article by: Beth Blessing
School is back in session and with it brings more exposure to illness. The kids spend more times indoors and those lovely cold and flu bugs spread like wild fire. To help give my kids (and myself) an edge on fighting these germs off, there are a couple of natural remedies that I like to start taking when school begins.
Bone Broth: Bone broth or stock is something I make year-round and cook with almost daily. However, once school starts, and more importantly cold and flu season, we consume bone broth on a more regular basis. It is an excellent source of minerals, and has been used for generations as a flavor enhancer and a tonic to help speed healing from illness. It is easy once the weather turns to start incorporating more soups into your weekly routine. We also like to boil a cup of bone broth, add some salt, and sip on it like a hot beverage. Check out the Healthy Times blog for more information on the health benefits and how to make bone broth.
Elderberry Syrup: My family’s go to natural medicine is elderberry syrup. It is high in vitamin C and powerful antioxidants that are anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and immune activating. Once school starts we take a maintenance dose (1/2 teaspoon for the kids and 1 teaspoon for the adults per day) of elderberry syrup to help give our immune system a little boost. Elderberry syrup is easy to make and holds well in the fridge for several months (all through the cold and flu season if not longer). It is advisable to make your elderberry syrup now because once the cold and flu season hits, the elderberries are often out of stock. Plus, you want to be ahead of the game and have it ready when needed. It is much cheaper to make your own elderberry syrup, but if you don’t have the time there are natural elderberry syrups available at health food stores and online.
Elderberry Syrup Recipe
Recipe by: Wellness Mama
2/3 cup black elderberries
3 ½ cups water
2 tablespoons fresh or dried ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
½ teaspoon cloves or clove powder
1 cup raw honey
Pour water into medium saucepan and add elderberries, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves.
Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour until the liquid has reduced by almost half. At that point, remove from heat and let cool enough to be handled. Pour through a strainer into a glass jar or bowl.
Discard the elderberries and let the liquid cool to lukewarm. When it is no longer hot, add 1 cup of honey and stir well.
When honey is well mixed into the elderberry mixture, pour the syrup into a pint sized mason jar or 16-ounce glass bottle.
Store in the fridge and take daily for its immune boosting properties. Standard dose is ½ teaspoon to 1 teaspoon for kids and ½ tablespoon to 1 tablespoon for adults. If the flu does strike, take the normal dose every 2 to 3 hours instead of once a day until symptoms disappear.