Flu season is a way bigger deal now that we have a little lady running around tasting everything from the bottom of her shoes to library books to shopping cart handles. I don't love getting sick, but I know I would hate it a million times more if my girl was feeling really yucky. We managed to escape last year's cold and flu season unscathed, and I'm hoping we can say the same this year. So far, so good!
As soon as October rolls around, I run to our local co-op for a bulk bag of dried elderberries, a bottle of turmeric, and some local honey. Turmeric has lots of awesome immunity boosting properties and I like to add it to our soups, which we generally eat a couple of times a week in the winter.
And for flu fighting, elderberry syrup is the stuff. I'm not one to measure when I cook, but I generally use a couple of tablespoons of organic dried elderberries to two or three cups of filtered water. Bring to a boil and then turn down to simmer for twenty minutes. Let cool and strain out berries. Add honey to make it more palatable if you wish and store in a closed container (I use a mason jar) in the fridge for a month or until your family uses it up and you need to make more!
Elderberries are known to fight off infection, reduce mucus and inflammation, and boost the immune system and are much safer (and probably more effective) than the over the counter alternative.
We take this syrup a couple of times a week for prevention and a couple of times a day if we feel the sickies coming on. You can also purchase elderberry syrup at your natural grocery store, but why not when you can make it in bulk on the cheap at home and know it doesn't have any additives?
Taking these measures on top of continuing to nurse makes me feel okay about sitting in the toddler section of the library listening to seven other kids cough. We've been going weekly all winter and have stayed healthy so far!