The flu 😷 is hitting our community hard right now! I do my best to keep our family healthy- lots of hand washing, good sleep 😴 hygiene and diet, and yes, the flu shot 💉 (no judgement: I go back and forth on this every year and really, to each his/her own). This time of year, we all could use a little boost to our immune systems, especially those of us whose systems may be compromised from a recent Celiac diagnosis, gluten exposure, or simply due to the autoimmune nature of the disease.
My go-to remedy to ward off anything viral is Elderberry syrup. I’m sure you have read a ton about the benefits of Elderberry so I won’t rehash that here in any great detail. In short, Elderberry is derived from the Sambucus tree and is packed with antioxidants and vitamins that boost your immune system. Elderberry is also said to fight cold and flu symptoms, support heart health and fight inflammation and infections. If you do contract the flu, taking Elderberry supplements can lessen the severity of symptoms and duration. Read more on the benefits, possible side effects and potential drug interactions here, to determine if taking this supplement is right for you*.
You can purchase Elderberry in many forms (liquid, gummies, and lozenges to make a few) at your local pharmacy, grocery store or Whole Foods, but buyer beware - it can be pricey!
A 3-4oz bottle can cost anywhere from $10-$20 depending on the quality (meaning higher concentration of elderberry, less “other stuff”).
Let me tell you, 3 oz does not last long in a family of five!
Making your own Elderberry syrup at home is quick, easy and MUCH more economical. I have been following this simple recipe from #WellnessMama for the last year. It’s has just a handful ingredients: Water, Dried Elderberries, Fresh Ginger, Cinnamon, Ground Clove and Raw Honey. That's.It. Follow the instructions in the recipe carefully and be sure to add the raw honey only when the Elderberry mixture has cooled. Raw honey will lose its valuable nutrients when heated. Note: You can adapt the mixture to your family's taste buds. I use only 1 TBSP of fresh ginger because my kids find 2TBSP too spicy.
This recipe yields a 16 oz batch for roughly $10! I’ll do the math for you- that’s $1.60/oz vs $5-6oz. I whipped some up last night for our family, and had enough to gift some
to a friend in need 😷.
I purchased these freeze dried elderberries from #Amazon for about $30/1 lb bag. Seriously, you can get anything on Amazon 😂. There are several brands to choose from ranging from $25-30/ lb. The bag lasts a loooong time so you can use it over multiple seasons/years.
Dosing Instructions: Standard dose is ½ - 1 teaspoon for kids and ½ - 1 tablespoon for adults. If the flu does strike, take the normal dose every 2-3 hours instead of once a day until symptoms disappear. (source: WellnessMama.com).
We take it once a day during cold and flu season to maintain wellness, and 2-3x/day if we have the cold or flu.
*As with any supplement, check with you doctor if you are taking other medications to ensure they do not counteract, if you have a chronic health condition and/or if you are pregnant or nursing.