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Monday, 15 October 2012

Elderberry Elixir

I've been feeling wretched the last week or so. I've not been sure whether it was a die-off reaction from GAPS or a nasty bug - but now I'm convinced it's both.

Whilst there is no real cure for die-off except to take plenty of detoxing baths, I can do something about the cold/flu part.

Elderberries are incredibly helpful with cold and flu viruses, in fact according to Prescription for Herbal Healing, “a clinical study of elderberry found that it cured 90 percent of flu infections within seventy-two hours. In the same trial, patients receiving a placebo needed six days.” Source 
photo credit

I felt better within just an hour of taking a handful of elderberries, but I'm currently whipping up a batch of this elderberry elixir that I found a recipe for in one of my old books from when I studied complementary medicine. It smells amazing and I know I'm going to love it. There's a lot of ginger in it though, which I suspect will make my children cry. Putting that in perspective though, if they get a secondary chest infection (strong possibility for Elisha) then they will have to take antibiotics, which also make them cry and have a whole host of other nasty side effects, so I'm going to make them take the elixir. 

Here's the recipe if you want to give it a try:

- 1/4 cup dried elderberries (we collected ours for free in the local park and washed and dehydrated them a while back) 
- 2 inches of ginger root, peeled and grated
photo credit
- 2 cups of distilled water
- a couple of cinnamon sticks
- 1/2 a cup of honey (preferably raw) 
- zest and juice of one lemon

Place the berries, zest, ginger, cinnamon and water in a pan and simmer for about 45 minutes. Do not allow the mixture to boil! 
When it's done you should see that the volume is reduced by half. 
Strain the liquid through a cheesecloth/muslin/coffee filter and allow to cool to room temperature.
Stir in the honey and lemon juice. 

An adult can take 1-2 tbsp up to four times daily. 
Children (over one year old) should take 1-2 tsp three times daily.


***UPDATE*** Both my kids have taken this without complaint and Will even asked for a second spoon! Success!

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