Sunday, January 13, 2013

Flu: Home-made Helps

From the kitchen, I can hear Violet "teaching" Levi and Lillie.

For someone who says she doesn't like school,
it is funny that she wants to play it with them.
It makes me feel just a wee bit of pride hearing her repeat things she's heard during school this week,
especially since I didn't realize she was listening quite so well.

She does a great job, too.
Every home-schooling mother should have a Violet in their home.

From the other room, I can hear snoring
with an occasional cough.

 My hard-working farmer has succumbed to the sickness going around:
cough, chills, aches and headaches,
that nasty feeling in the sinuses running down into the chest.

It is pitiful to see him.
He rarely gets sick and I don't think I've ever seen him this bad.

I decided I'd better make up some natural medicines to help him.

The birds got to the elderberries this past season.
I saw they were just about ripe,
and then in just a day's neglect,
nearly 5/6 of the berries were gone.

Still, I managed to save about a cup's worth.
I cut the whole head off the elderberry bush,
stuff them into a plastic bag,
and then freeze them until I will need them.

 Once the need arises, I remove the whole thing from the freezer
and rub the berries off of the stems.
I try to pick as much of the stems off as possible,
and then pour them (one cups worth) into a pan with 2 cups of water,
5  or so whole cloves, 1 heaping Tbs. of  crushed fresh ginger, a stick or two of cinnamon.

The pan is set on a lower setting until it comes to a boil,
and is left to simmer for 45 minutes.

I set this batch on the woodstove,
and, oh, the aroma of the cloves and cinnamon made the house
a festive mixture of sweetness!

 Once the time is up,
the cooked berry juice is poured through a strainer,
and a cup of raw honey is added and stirred in.

This tasty brew is super high in vitamin C.
It has been shown in studies
that taking elderberry (cooked into a syrup as such
or even using the dried flowers in a tea),

A Tbs. or two is helpful, 
or even a bit in a small cup.

Another great sickness preventor and healer of the cough
is garlic.

I find it rather hard to ingest raw, so I love to buy pickled garlic.

 This variety is super potent because it is mixed with hot peppers,
but it is amazing how it loosens the frustrating phlegm in the throat.

(I usually eat a small piece of bread after eating about 5 cloves of this garlic,
just because it helps it not be too hard on my stomach.)

Elderberry syrup can be purchased at health food stores 
and online if you don't want to go through making your own "medicine".

The dried herbs can also be purchased
and used in tea.

 I make a tea with the elder flowers
as well as mullein leaf

Vitamins are a beneficial help to everyday living,
but these are some extra measures that can be taken to protect health.

I'm hoping my farmer is feeling a bit better soon.

It's never fun to see a man sick,
especially when it falls on a weekend.

You can purchase dried elderberries to use to make this syrup
from Mountain Rose Herbs
or from Bulk Herb Store
or your local health food store.

(If you cannot find elderberries,
I also use this product and find it very helpful).

*(Please realize that I am NOT a doctor and I only share this information
as something that I find helpful for my family; some herbs need to be taken with caution,
such as garlic, because of the contradiction they can cause with other medications).*

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  1. I was just looking online for a remedy such as this and saw that you wrote about it on your blog! Thanks so much. I hope your hubby is feeling better soon. :-)

    1. Thank you! I hope you will find this a helpful and tasty remedy! :)

  2. Thanks for the great tips! I love how you take care of your family.


    1. Thank you, Sue! I'm sure you do the same for yours! :) I should have taken more of the stuff myself, though. I came down with it the next day and my husband then had to take over the house for days. But he recovered quickly, so that's saying something, right? :P

  3. Robin Matteson SiegfriedJanuary 13, 2013 at 7:17 PM

    Feel better Shawn!! :)

  4. I didn't know of the good of elder flowers and berries - just that they make delicious jam and jelly. Thanks for this!


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