Adventures in Attachment Parenting: Nature’s Flu Remedy by Allison Silver

Luckily the flu has not hit the Silver family (yet!).  I’m not sure about you, but I am open to any and all measures when it comes to flu prevention.  Every mom knows that there is no time to be sick. I have taken herbal supplements off and on for awhile and when I was teaching, I used to take so much Airborne that I should have bought stock in the company! I have always tried to avoid taking too many over the counter cold medicines and now with breast feeding I am much more sensitive as to what I can and can’t take.

My latest homeopathic discovery occurred a few weeks ago when I was researching homeopathic remedies to help combat the flu for nursing mothers and toddlers. I came across an article on the benefits of elderberry syrup. Have you ever heard of elderberries? Neither had I until I read this article.

It turns out that the juice from the elderberry has a long history of being used to help prevent cold and flu symptoms as well as to help speed up recovery if you do happen to get ill. When taken as a supplement during the cold and flu season it can help kill eight strains of influenza! Heck that’s better than a flu shot that is only designed to kill one primary strain of influenza! (By no means would I not recommend getting a flu shot, but this could be a great addition.) It’s also safe for nursing mothers and toddlers.

There are many different ways that you can take it, but the one I found the most intriguing was elderberry syrup. Since I want to give this to my daughter as a supplement I figured the syrup would be a bit sweeter since the actual juice from the berry can be a bit bitter. Plus who doesn’t like a supplement that you could also put on pancakes! After doing some research I found several different recipes to make your own elderberry syrup. I wanted to try it before I made a huge batch of it in my kitchen, so for our first go round I purchased some from our local Sprouts market. After spending fourteen dollars on a small bottle, I can understand why people are inclined to make it themselves. Plus if you made it at home you wouldn’t have to worry about any added fillers or preservatives. Luckily, I was able to buy the Sprouts brand which had no added garbage in it.

We just started taking it this week and both my daughter and I like the taste just fine. The little bottle I bought will most likely only last us two weeks tops so I definitely think I will be making my own in the near future. Yep, here I go again! Something else to add to the “crunchy” list! Since we just started taking it, I can’t comment on the effectiveness as of it yet, but I did wake up on Monday with a cough and runny nose and by Tuesday it was gone, so who knows. For those of you who are interested, here is the recipe for making your own homemade elderberry syrup.

Elderberry Syrup Recipe

– 1 cup fresh or 1/2 cup dried organic Elderberries (harvest blue or black, avoid poisonous reds)

– 3 cups water

– 1 cup honey

– 1 organic Cinnamon stick, 3 organic Cloves, and organic Ginger (optional)

Place berries, water, and spices in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Smash the berries to release remaining juice and strain the mixture. Allow liquid to cool and stir in honey. Place in a glass container or jar. Will last for 2-3 months stored in the fridge.

Dosage: Take 1 tablespoon/day to prevent illness, or take 1 T/hour if you are already experiencing cough and sore throat symptoms. Children under 12 years of age can take half the adult dose (1 – 1 1/2 teaspoons). Toddlers can take 1/4 of the adult dose (a little less than a teaspoon). I have been giving my 15 month old 1/2 a teaspoon per day.

Enjoy and I hope you and your family stay healthy this cold and flu season.

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