Now is the time to the natural remedies that can get you through the dreaded cold, flu and general illness season coming up soon. Here are some great ones to have on hand for the whole family:
Elderberry Syrup can ward off colds and flu and even speed up recovery if you do get sick. Make your own with dried elderberries, raw honey and herbs for a simple, yet potent and effective natural syrup.
Elderberry Syrup Recipe
Serves: 1 quart
- ⅔ cup dried black elderberries
- 3½ cups of water
- 2 Tablespoons fresh or dried ginger root
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- ½ teaspoon 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.
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.
Store in the fridge and take daily for its immune boosting properties.
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.
Homemade Cough Syrup
Raw honey with lemon juice and herbs can help soothe a cough or tickling throat and help speed up recovery from sore throats.
- 1 quart of filtered water
- 1/4 cup Ginger Root (fresh grated or dried)
- 1/4 cup Chamomile Flowers
- 1/4 cup Marshmallow Root
- 1 tablespoon Cinnamon
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 cup honey
Pour the water into a medium saucepan and add the dried herbs.
Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
Simmer until the volume is reduced by about half. (You will need 1 cup of liquid after herbs are strained off)
Pour through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth to remove herbs (compost the herbs!).
While liquid is still warm (not boiling) mix with lemon juice and honey and stir well.
Store in airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 months.
Bone brothis a popular mineral rich infusion made by boiling bones of healthy animals with vegetables, herbs and spices. You can buy is pre-made now in many health food stores or make your own.
Bone Broth Ingredients
- 2 pounds (or more) of bones from a healthy source
- 2 chicken feet for extra gelatin (optional)
- 1 onion
- 2 carrots
- 2 stalks of celery
- 2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
Optional: 1 bunch of parsley, 1 tablespoon or more of sea salt, 1 teaspoon peppercorns, additional herbs or spices to taste. You can also add 2 cloves of garlic for the last 30 minutes of cooking.
A large stock pot to cook the broth in and a strainer to remove the pieces when it is done.
The first step in preparing to make broth is to use high quality bones.
Aim for 2 pounds of bones per gallon of water which usually works out to 2-3 full chicken carcasses.
You’ll also need some organic vegetables for flavor that are optional but add extra flavor and nutrition. Use 1 onion, 2 large carrots, 2 celery stalks, rough chopped
A bunch of parsley
Place the bones in a large stock pot. Pour (filtered) water over the bones and add the vinegar. Let sit for 20-30 minutes in the cool water. The acid helps make the nutrients in the bones more available.
Rough chop and add the vegetables (except the parsley and garlic, if using) to the pot. Add any salt, pepper, spices, or herbs, if using.
Now, bring the broth to a boil. Once it has reached a vigorous boil, reduce to a simmer and simmer until done. Simmer times over the course of two days:
Beef broth/stock: 48 hours
Chicken or poultry broth/stock: 24 hours
Fish broth: 8 hours
During the first few hours of simmering, remove the impurities that float to the surface. A frothy/foamy layer will form and it can be easily scooped off with a big spoon and thrown away. Check your pot for this every 20 minutes for the first 2 hours. During the last 30 minutes, add the garlic and parsley, if using.
Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Strain using a fine metal strainer to remove all the bits of bone and vegetable. When cool enough, store in a gallon size glass jar in the fridge for up to 5 days, or freeze for later use.Especially in the fall and winter, drink at least 1 cup per day as a health boost.