Nobody likes sick kids. Not me. Not you. Not the kids.
But let's face it, getting sick is inevitable, and arguably, an important part in building a robust immune system.
I'm about to let you in on one thing I do to boost my kid's immune systems so when they do get sick they recover quicker!
And just so we're clear...I'm not a doctor and I'm not trying to give you medical advice. I'm a mom who has spent endless hours researching ways to keep my kids healthy using diet and natural remedies. We're good? Great! Read on, my friends!
Elderberries improve immune function
To summarize the article from Mommypotamus (you can find the research links in her article if that's your thing):
Researchers found that flu patients who took elderberry syrup recovered about four days sooner than those who took a placebo.
The reason for this is because those patients had higher anti-haemagglutination titers (which meant their immune systems were rockin' it) and they found that elderberries inhibit neuraminidase, an enzyme that the virus uses to infect cells.
So my secret is to make a "syrup" out of these tasty little berries that kids can't get enough of!
Makes about 2 cups
Note: Because this elderberry syrup recipe contains honey, it should not be used in children under the age of one.
- 1/2 cup dried elderberries
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup Nature's Pantry raw honey
- 1-2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger (optional)
- 1 cinnamon stick (optional)
1. Add water, elderberries and ginger/cinnamon (if you’re using them) to a pot and bring to a boil.
2. Reduce heat and simmer until liquid is reduced by half. This should take around 45 minutes.
3. Strain to remove berries. Allow liquid to cool to room temperature, then stir in honey.
4. Transfer elderberry syrup to a jar and store in the fridge.
If you want to get some berries you can buy them online, here.
One bag lasts me about a whole year so it is an incredibly inexpensive way to boost your immune system.
We don't take elderberry during the summer months because we rely on lots of fresh air and sunshine to boost our immune systems. But during the cold and flu season we follow Mommypotamus's recommendations:
"Children are usually given ½ – 1 teaspoon per day, while adults usually take about 1½ teaspoons – 1 tablespoon. During illness, the frequency of administration increases to every 2-3 hours until the symptoms resolve."
We still have some raw honey available. Swing on out to the farm and grab some for your syrup!
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I'd love to hear from you. What's your favorite natural remedy for staying healthy?
To your health,