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People in town have been coughing.
At the grocery store, at Target, even at our local natural foods co-op, and judging by the accompanying complaints of fevers, chills, and body aches (seriously people, stop going to work and spreading this stuff when your symptoms are that bad!), I’m pretty sure it’s not just allergies…
I never used to worry much about viruses. People get sick, bodies are designed with immune systems to beat the bugs back, and since antibiotics don’t even do anything to combat viruses I figured there wasn’t much I could do about it anyway- other than help out the immune system in any way I could.
Rest. Fluids. Hot tea and good apple cider, nourishing chicken broth, and lots of garlic, that has been my main prescription for years.
Then my girls developed asthma, and it became pretty clear that viruses were one of Grace’s major triggers. That girl can go from a runny nose to aching feverish pneumonia in a matter of hours!
Hours. Not even kidding, though I pretty much, totally, wish I was.
Then flu season 2009 came, with all of its accompanying swine flu panic. I wasn’t worried, really, the flu has never worried me, even with asthmatic girls.
But then they got sick.
It wasn’t the flu.
Not H1N1 nor “regular” seasonal flu, but they were really sick, and getting sicker. It turned out to be another serious active case of RSV, for both Grace (6) and Hope (4), and they each spent 7 nights at Children’s Hospital in St. Paul, including one night in the PICU for Hope and three nights for Grace. Not fun. Not at all.
Really scary actually.
I never want to watch one of my children being suctioned, while being held down screaming and crying right over the tube shoved up the nose and down, down, way down past the throat, again.
It wasn’t the flu, but RSV is a virus too, and I’m officially on the Mom Watch for it and any other snot, sneeze, cough, or wheeze inducing bug from early fall to the end of the “cold & flu season”. And then some.
I’ve bought Sambucol in the past, and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it, unless maybe you’ve got more than 2 people in your family and could quite possibly go broke buying enough to give to 9 people on a daily basis through virus season…
Which brings me to my making of Elderberry Syrup.
I was so excited to get up the gumption to make my own! Really. It was so easy and saved us so much money, and that right there makes 2 excellent reasons to get excited.
Wanna make your own? You could spend a while Googling, or you could do the following…
How to Make Elderberry Syrup
1/2 cup Dried Elderberries*
1 cup Raw Local Honey
3 cups water
1. In a saucepan, heat the berries and water to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
2. Mash the berries, mash ’em up good.
3. Strain the berries and liquid through a mesh strainer.
4. Add honey to strained liquid.
5. Mix/stir until well incorporated.
6. Bottle and store in the refrigerator for 2-3 months.
Enjoy a tablespoon daily to keep the immune system strong.*
*Due to the raw honey, do NOT give this syrup to children under 2.
You can take a spoonful every 3 or 4 hrs when sick, which has been shown to shorten the duration of some illnesses (like the flu!), getting you back to good-to-go sooner rather than later!
Disclaimer– I am not a certified herbalist or naturopath, (though I would love to eventually be!) What I am is a Mother who has done a LOT of reading and research and who prefers to take a more natural route when I can.