Tired of giving your kids medicine full of ingredients that sound more like a pesticide than something you should ingest?
Most folk fall into two categories on this topic.
Either skeptical- they don’t believe anything natural will actually beat their cold compared to over-the-counter meds,
or intimidated- they hesitate in thinking they can actually pull off making a medicine.
Let me tell you- I was intimidated. I saw all these words that I didn’t understand. Tinctures, elixirs, and extracts …..I had heard of these things, but didn’t know what it meant. I thought that it would be so difficult to do and I was scared to try something new. We’ve all been there right?
I started out in my natural medicine adventure trying different medicines at the health food store. If we had a cold, I would get different remedies and we would try them out, noting what worked, what didn’t, how we felt, etc. The best experiment was when all six of us got the flu. Seriously! Kris and I decided to try an expensive natural medicine that we had heard worked great from the sweet lady working behind the counter. This little bottle of dark grape-colored juice had the hefty price tag of $20 for a bottle that (maybe) was 20 oz! Not cheap.
We decided to split us up to get a good control group, lol. We gave half of us elderberry syrup everyday and half of us an O.T.C med that I won’t mention (Ahemmmmm quill something or other, wink* wink*). Every night at dinner we discuss how we felt and how we personally thought it was working.
The Results Were IN-
Not only did the people who took the expensive natural medicine feel much better overall than the ones that took the over-the-counter stuff, but the cold duration was THREE DAYS LESS than the well known brand. I was impressed! No bad side-effects. No weird disconnected head feeling…….and it tastes good.
So what am I talking about?
We spent the last two years buying that health food store brand before I decided to try to make it myself. I researched researched and researched. I saved so many Pinterest pins that I look like I might have an obsession problem with the elderberry plant or something.
Now that I’ve been making it myself for a while I can’t believe I EVER bought that stuff for that price *insert face palm here*. I figured that I can’t be the only one trying to find natural safe products for my family, so I decided to share with you all what I do and where I get the elderberries from- side note, I can’t wait to get the garden up and going in Virginia because I am DEFINITELY planting some elderberry (among all the other plants I use for my family’s medicine)
But first- a little on herbalism and why you can trust it
*The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 80 percent of the population of some Asian and African countries presently use herbal medicine for some aspect of primary health care. According to the WHO, approximately 25% of modern drugs used in the United States have been derived from plants. (More on that here)
*Pharmaceuticals are prohibitively expensive for most of the world’s population, half of whom lived on less than $2 U.S. per day in 2002. In comparison, herbal medicines can be grown from seed or gathered from nature for little or no cost.
*Herbal remedies are very common in Europe. In Germany, herbal medications are dispensed by apothecaries (e.g., Apotheke). Prescription drugs are sold alongside essential oils, herbal extracts, or herbal teas. Herbal remedies are seen by some as a treatment to be preferred to pure medical compounds that have been industrially produced.
*(links to wikipedia, although not a verified reliable source, the links will bring you to legit organizations and their data on the issue)
So if the rest of the world rely on medicinal plants why do we, as Americans, fear anything that doesn’t come from the pharmaceutical industry? Well, #1 BigPharma is a huge cash cow that is much too large now to take to the butcher, and #2 We’ve been duped into feeding that cow.
Check out this short clip from Dr. Otis Brawley, Chief Medical Officer of the American Cancer Society, who discusses-rather candidly-how the drug companies work with your Dr. to give you meds that you don’t actually need, all for the “Almighty Dollar”.
There are so many plants that work just as good or BETTER than synthetic drugs. Keep a lookout in my “Natural” section for new posts on this.
Ok, Here It Is-
It’s as easy as making your favorite herbal tea on the stove! How to make your own elderberry syrup to treat colds NATURALLY for your family:
- 1 ¾ cups pure water
- 1/3 cup dried elderberries
- 1 Tablespoon ginger (freshly grated or dried)
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon cloves
- 1/3 cup raw honey (local is best)
- In a medium saucepan, stir together the water, elderberries, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Bring to a boil.
- Cover and reduce heat to simmer for 45-60 minutes. When the liquid has reduced by about half, remove from heat and allow to cool.
- When the mixture is cool enough to handle, mash the elderberries using a potato masher, spoon, spatula, or similar utensil.
- Pour mixture through a mesh strainer into a bowl and allow the liquid to cool to lukewarm.
- While the liquid is still warm, add the honey and stir well.
- Pour your finished syrup into jars or bottles and seal with lids.
- Store in the refrigerator, and put any extra in the freezer.
……………………………… and that’s it!
To see the lovely blog that I got my recipe from click here. She also has some really good information on the ingredients and why they are used…as well as LOADS of info for making other medicinal blends.
Oh yea- and here’s where I get my elderberries. I get the 1 lb. wild-crafted organic option for $27 and it makes about 4-5 jars of syrup! That’s 4-5 X’s more syrup than the $20 bottle from the health food store!! (Get them straight from the vendor at the link -Amazon is about $2 more for the same thing, unless you have PRIME and save on the shipping)
Alright friends-You CAN do this! Try a little experiment of your own and let me know the results in the comments. I hope I have given you the inspiration and tools to jump in and make it for yourself. If you do make it please post a pic! Can’t wait to see you guys whipping up a batch of your own.
I have to add this for the irresponsible folks (insert eye roll here, SMH):
I am NOT a healthcare professional and I am NOT giving you advice on how to treat or cure any illness. Before using any medications please consult your healthcare professional. If your baby isn’t eating honey yet don’t give it to them. If you’re nursing or pregnant please do your own research because I have no knowledge on those specifics…..,,,. Don’t sue me. I am NOT responsible for your own personal decisions. The FDA hasn’t evaluated these comments and I’m sure they won’t anytime soon. I’m sorry for cluttering up things, but I gotta put it *shrug*.
But seriously, use common sense. Don’t take my word for it, do your research whenever you make other people’s recipes for this kind of stuff. I love using natural stuff, but I don’t just read one article on it and neither should you. There’s lots of good ingredient substitutions you can use. You can also use other bases besides water so check it out and read from more than one source.