With autumn approaching, and winter not far behind, not to mention the stress of our recent visitor, Ike… cold and flu season will undoubtedly hit with a bang like always. One tea I like to help keep the cold and flu at bay is elderberry. It not only works well in helping keep the immune system at full force, but it also helps if you’ve already gotten sick. It will help cut down on your sick time if you take it once you’re already ill. What I like to do during the autumn and winter seasons is keep elderberry throat lozenges on hand for when I feel a tickle in the throat, not otherwise associated with laughing to hard or inhaling powdered sugar. Also, in preparation for the flu season, I’ve started adding a teaspoon of elderberries to my nightly tea, whether that be chamomile or valerian or whatever. So here’s my recipe for what I like to call my “Sleep like a lion, sting like a bee” tea…obviously babies don’t sleep all that great, so I never understood why someone would want to sleep like a baby..waking every few hours, crying, wetting themselves, whereas nobody bothers a sleeping lion; and it’s my immune system stinging those nasty health invaders – it makes total sense to me 🙂
‘Sleep like a lion, sting like a bee’ tea:
1/2 tsp dried elderberries
1 tsp chamomile, or valerian (or any other tea you like)
6-8 oz water
Boil freshly drawn water, and pour over herbs in a tea sac. Let steep approximately 5-10 minutes. With these type of floral herbs, I’m not as much of a stickler about timing. Sweeten with nectar if necessary. Drink and enjoy!
Some other good info about elderberry…
-elderberry is one of the most effective herbs for preventing and treating upper respiratory infections, constipation, and fever
–stimulates the immune system
–benefits asthma, bronchitis, flu, sinusitis by keeping the viruses from infecting human cells. Compounds in elderberry thwart the damage caused to healthy cell membranes by various flu strains in order to infect the healthy cell. Since flu shots immunize against one, two, or at most 3 strains of virus, elderberry extracts offer significant added protection.
–relieves nasal congestion, fever, and sore throat
Some cautions: If you have access to the actual elder plant, you will want to avoid the stem of the plant due to its cyanide content. Also, large doses of elderberry juice can cause uncontrollable diarrhea, and uncooked berried can cause nausea and vomiting – so talk to the herbal guy before consuming any to get familiar with an herb before taking it.
I’m sure you can find it at just about any herbal shop, but here’s a link to where I buy my elderberry!
Happy Teatime and Stay Healthy!