I’ve been on an Immune System kick for my last several posts. With Halloween around the corner and
Sugar Season the Holiday Season about to start, I want to load you up with ideas that will allow you to make it though the holidays, and then winter, strong and well.
Immune Tonics are AMAZING. Two years ago, my oldest daughter, Megan, gave me Fire Cider for Christmas. It’s a blend of herbs and spices that are both immune boosting and germ killing. I made my own last year, and have just bought the ingredients to make another batch this weekend. It has to sit and brew for a few weeks, and I want it to be ready for when all my kids are home from mid-December to mid-January.
Why not use an OTC cold/fever/flu medication? Have you seen their ingredients? The artificial dyes, the artificial flavors, the petroleum products and artificial sugars.. disease in a bottle masquerading as medicine.
Here’s the ingredient list for Vicks Dayquil:
Inactive Ingredients: Citric acid, FD&C yellow 6, flavor, glycerin, polyethylene glycol (aka PEG, I wrote about this in the Miralax post), propylene glycol, purified water, saccharin sodium, sodium citrate, sucrose.
Active Ingredients: Acetaminophen ( #1 cause of Liver Failure in the U.S.),Dextromethorphan HBr, and Pseudoephedrine HCl ( banned from store shelves since 2006).
It’s time to get rid of the false notion that fevers, coughs, runny nose, and watery eyes are either Virus or Bacteria getting the best of us.
Fevers, Coughs, Runny Noses, and Watery Eyes are OUR IMMUNE SYSTEM COOKING, KILLING, AND EXPELLING BUGS. We actually WANT those “symptoms”, they’re signs of a strong immune response. Even fatigue is good for us when we’re sick; the less energy we exert on activities, and the more we lie around or sleep, the harder our immune system can work to Kill the Bugs.
Instead of Vicks, next time you or one of your kids gets sick, (or even better, BEFORE you get sick as part of your supplement routine) reach for one of these tonics:
Elderberry Syrup. Why? In addition to Elderberry’s long history of medicinal use, numerous studies have verified it’s efficacy against cold and flu. Elderberry has very high levels of Vitamins A, B, and C, which are great for our immune system. You can buy Elderberry Syrup in any health food store, or you can make it, which is honestly super easy, and potent! My local health food store sells Elderberries ( cheap ), but you can also buy them on line.
Parents: This is delicious, your kids will actually WANT to take this.
Here’s the Recipe for Elderberry Syrup from the Wellness Mama site:
⅔ cup black elderberries
3.5 cups of water
2 T fresh or dried ginger root
1 tsp cinnamon powder
½ tsp cloves or clove powder
1 cup raw honey (we get from our farmer’s market)
Pour water into medium saucepan and add elderberries, ginger, cinnamon and cloves (do not add honey!)
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 (or compost them!) and let the liquid cool to lukewarm. When it is no longer hot, add 1 cup of honey and stir well. ( you don’t want to kill honey’s live nutrients )
When honey is well mixed into the elderberry mixture, pour the syrup into a pint sized mason jar or 16 ounce glass bottle of some kind.
Ta Da! You just made homemade elderberry syrup! Store in the fridge and take daily for its immune boosting properties. Some sources recommend taking only during the week and not on the weekends to boost immunity.
Standard dose is ½ tsp to 1 tsp for kids and ½ Tbsp to 1 Tbsp for adults. If the flu does strike, take the normal dose every 2-3 hours instead of once a day until symptoms disappear.
Here’s the recipe for Fire Cider, which is DELICIOUS served over vegetables or salads. Or you could just be tough and drink a tablespoon mixed in water. Again, this is Immune Boosting and Germ Killing, which is far, far smarter than just suppressing symptoms. (Recipe from Mountain Rose Herbs.)
1/2 cup fresh grated organic ginger root
1/2 cup fresh grated organic horseradish root
1 medium organic onion, chopped
10 cloves of organic garlic, crushed or chopped
2 organic jalapeno peppers, chopped
Zest and juice from 1 organic lemon
Several sprigs of fresh organic rosemary or 2 tbsp of dried rosemary leaves
1 tbsp organic turmeric powder
1/4 tsp organic cayenne powder
organic apple cider vinegar
raw local honey to taste
Prepare all of your roots, fruits, and herbs and place them in a quart sized jar. If you’ve never grated fresh horseradish, be prepared for a powerful sinus opening experience! Use a piece of natural parchment paper under the lid to keep the vinegar from touching the metal, or a plastic lid if you have one. Shake well! Store in a dark, cool place for one month and remember to shake daily.
After one month, use cheesecloth to strain out the pulp, pouring the vinegar into a clean jar. Be sure to squeeze as much of the liquid goodness as you can from the pulp while straining. Next, comes the honey! Add 1/4 cup of honey and stir until incorporated. Taste your cider and add another 1/4 cup until you reach the desired sweetness.
Make this year’s cold and flu season the least annoying/invasive/troublesome ever. Focus on giving your immune system what it wants and needs to fight the millions of germs we come into contact with every single day. Real Whole Foods.