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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Food for Thought :Try This Sweet Home Remedy That Fights The Flu

The Remedy Chicks
******************************************************By Linda B. White, MD
Sneeze in progress, showing respiratory droplets. CDC Public Health Image library ID 11162, James Gathany

The holidays are a time of warmth and generosity. We share food and exchange gifts, cards, hugs, kisses, and, occasionally, infectious microorganisms. Nothing quite blights a holiday gathering like an outbreak of influenza.

Influenza viruses are highly contagious, spreading easily via respiratory droplets—tiny drops of moisture released into the air when an infected person talks, coughs, and sneezes and inhaled by innocent bystanders.  Symptoms include sore throat, stuffy nose, cough, body aches, headache, fatigue, fever, and chills.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, peak months for influenza are December, January, and February, though cases occur as early as October.  That’s why you should get vaccinated against influenza early in the fall.  Because the viruses change with time, you need a yearly flu shot.

Other preventive strategies include frequent hand washing, staying away from sick people, staying home if you’re sick (no matter how much you wanted to go to that holiday party), and coughing into the crook of your elbow (rather than your hand).

In addition, the  Remedy Chicks recommend you make a batch of elderberry syrup to have on hand should illness strike.  Here’s why: European black elderberries (Sambucus nigra) have immune-enhancing and antiviral activity against influenza and other respiratory viruses. Three small studies have found that special elderberry extracts reduced symptom severity and duration in people with influenza. Two of the studies used a widely available product called Sambucol.

You can make your elderberry syrup.  Though your product won’t be identical to laboratory-made extracts, the creation is easy, gratifying, and delicious. Herb stores and online bulk herb retailers carry dried European black elderberries.  A reasonable substitute is American elderberry (Sambucus nigra, subspecies, canadensis). Verify the species of local varieties before consuming. Use only ripe, black elderberries.  Never eat species bearing red fruit, which are poisonous.

Our recipe also includes cinnamon and ginger, which are warming, immune-enhancing, and antioxidant.  Ginger inhibits some respiratory viruses, though it may not fight influenza viruses. It also counters inflammation, fever, pain, and cough—all of which can accompany the flu.

Elderberry Syrup – from 500 Time-Tested Home Remedies and the Science Behind Them

3     cups water
1     cup dried elderberries
1/8      cup cinnamon chips
1      tablespoon ginger
¾      cup honey

Bring the water to a boil in quart-sized saucepan. Add the herbs. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30-40 minutes until the water level is reduced by half.

Drape a piece of cheesecloth over a large strainer set atop a medium-size mixing bowl. Pour the mixture through the cheesecloth. With clean hands, fold the corners of the cheesecloth and wring out the liquid. Discard the herbs.

Measure the liquid and pour it into a clean saucepan. Add enough honey so that the ratio of herbal tea to honey is 2:1. (If you have 1½ liquid, you’ll add ¾ cups honey.)  Stir on low heat until the honey and tea are well mixed. Voila, you have a syrup!  Add a splash of brandy to preserve.  Jar, cap and refrigerate. After three months, discard unused syrup.

At the first sign of influenza (or after a recent exposure), take 1 tablespoon four times a day.  Give children half that dose. Do not give to infants under the age of 12 months.  (You can also add this syrup to smoothies, fruit salads, and atop French toast.)
Stay well. ----- The Remedy Chicks
The next few months I will bring  you topics on health (men and  ladies) Hope you enjoy  them as much as I  enjoy bringing them to you .

Look for some interesting things next year on men and  ladies health .

A proud Grand-poppa             G.


  1. Awesome!
    Great information. I learned a lot and will try the recipe. There is pure elderberry syrup at my health store but it tastes like crap. The recipe sounds delish and it lasts for 3 months.
    Good one HB. And thank you for adding some variety to our usual menu. Health posts are a great addition.
    Love and hugs

  2. Thank you my dear Lady .
    If there are pure elderberry syrup at the store , I am sure they have dried elderberries or can add you some .I asked the ladies in the compound and they all say they use the dried ones , syrup has other ingredients in it . You can try the syrup , Mamie (Jon wife) say it will not work as well .
    I do so think you and Nee needs a variety of health issues on both men and ladies .
    The lady in Wyoming is coming along fine , I think she will do well .
    I have some on lady problems and men problems , Nee enroll me in the health club so I can get weekly information like she do . Boy it's covers a lot .


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