Your previously happy and charming child turns into a crank at the slightest provocation, flushed cheeks, a cough here and there, and after a quick temperature check in the ear (with or without a struggle) – a fever.
What to do?
As of two years ago, I found my husband or myself trekking out into the night to the local drug store to pick up some cough and cold formula. But after drug manufacturers agreed to withdraw from the market all over-the-counter cough and cold medicine products sold for children under two in 2007, I was seemingly left with no options to treat my children when they got sick.
Around this time, I was in the middle of a personal natural health transition that had begun when my son was born in 2005. I had started removing all high fructose corn syrups, trans fats, sugar-loaded fruit juices and the like from our home. No more Gerber Graduates (I’ll get to the part where we ditched our microwave on another post) or other pre-packaged meals marketed to toddlers.
One transition I had yet to make was in the cough and cold section of our cupboards. I relied heavily on the syrupy pink formulas to rid my kids of the evils of germs gone wild.
After doing some research, I realized that there were many natural remedies out there that can treat a cough and cold without relying on the pharmaceutical industry. One that has been a favorite in our home is elderberry syrup. Many formulas containing elderberries can be found in any health food store but they cost upwards of $14-16 per 6 oz. No thanks!
Leslee Dru Browning, sixth generation Medical Herbalist and Nutritionist, shared with me this simple recipe for making your own elderberry syrup that is very cost-effective.
What you’ll need:
- 2 cups distilled water
- 2 oz of dried elderberries (preferably organic)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon dried ginger root
- 4 oz of food grade vegetable glycerin
- 2 cups of honey
Simmer the first 4 above ingredients in 2 cups of water for 30-60 minutes until berries have broken down. Let stand for 1/2 hour. Strain through a sieve pressing well. Add enough water to the simmered ingredients to bring the volume back up to 2 cups of liquid.
Add the honey along with the vegetable glycerin and gently heat to dissolve in the hot liquid. Allow to cool and then pour into dark bottles and keep in refrigerator.
Children’s Dosage: 1 teaspoon a day – if ill take 1 teaspoon every hour until well. It may be taken in warm water if preferred. This recipe may be doubled, tripled, etc. Adults, too, can benefit from this syrup. Adult dosage:1 tablespoon a day – if ill take 1 tablespoon every hour until well. It is not recommended for children under the age of 2 to consume honey.
Have you ever made your own cold and flu remedy? What’s your favorite concoction?