Last winter, I spent the majority of it sniffling, sneezing, coughing and wheezing. It was awful. I thoroughly examined my diet in attempts to replenish any deficiencies. I went from being gluten free to eating bread again. I went over all of my allergens again and again hoping I may have missed something. My breathing continued to worsen no matter what I tried to do for myself. The only thing that seemed to make me better was the weather changing back to a warmer more manageable temperature and the rescue inhaler prescribed to me by an Emergency Room Physician. After my lungs finally filled with enough fluid to cause my asthma from childhood to return to me in a full exacerbation I ended up staying in the hospital for 2 days.
I want this winter season to be different. I want to be well. I began researching holistic treatment for the prevention and treatment of colds and flu. I realized that all last winter whenever I was sick I would always take some form of homeopathic treatment that contained Elderberries. Reaching this sativa hybrid Sour Diesel induced epiphany made me want to understand those little berries a whole lot better. I wondered what other herbs could assist Elderberries in taking it to the next level of health. Which led me to compose the following list of herbs I am hoping will take me to a higher road of health.
- Elderberry is used for its antioxidant activity, to boost the immune system, for coughs, colds, flu, bacterial and viral infections even and tonsillitis. It has been beneficial for asthma patients as well. The enhancement of the immune system is unsurpassed.
- Hibiscus has also been used traditionally to treat coughing and has been used for its antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. It supports respiratory health including the throat.
- Orange Peel is loaded with natural histamine suppressing compounds making it wonderful for allergy prone individuals like myself. It can help expel congestion and cleanse the lungs.
- Rose Hips are jam packed with Vitamin C. They are an excellent immune system supporter and are also rich in Vitamin A helping fight off infections.
- Ginger is used for upper respiratory tract infections, cough, and bronchitis. It is an antibacterial, antiviral, and rich antioxidant.
- Cinnamon naturally warms the body and clears mucous and congestion caused by colds, flu and allergies.
- Honey(local, raw and organic) not only is it naturally an anti-bacterial, using a honey that is local it can dramatically reduce allergy symptoms.
I went to my local herb store and purchased all of the ingredients I researched to combine them all into one mega healthy concoction. Each item I used is organic and locally sourced and I urge you to always do the same when possible. I present you with the elixir I am hoping keeps me healthy all winter long. I call it the “Worry Free Winter Tonic”.
WORRY FREE WINTER TONIC
- 1 cup dried elderberries
- 1/2 cup dried hibiscus
- 1/2 cup orange peel
- 1/4 cup rose hips
- 2 TBS fresh grated ginger
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 5 cups water
- 2 cups local raw honey
Step 1: Place all ingredients except for the honey in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes.
Step 2: Strain the mixture. Place a piece of cheese cloth inside a fine mesh strainer over a large pot.
Step 3: Squeeze the mixture inside the cheesecloth as much as possible to remove all the tonic you possibly can (my hands were turned a temporary shade of purple I squeezed so hard)
Step 4: Add the honey to the pot of juice and infuse the honey into juice over low heat, stirring until mixed well.
Step 5: Remove from heat and place syrup in a glass jar and refrigerate once cool for daily use. You may also can or freeze the syrup for later use.
It tastes great and is highly beneficial for you!
As a preventative: Take 1 TBS per day for an adult and 1 TSP per day for a child.
When feeling sick: 1 TBS per hour for an adult, 1 TSP per hour for a child.
Keeping it Green: I wanted to get all of the possible nutrients out of this, so I then made a batch of tea by dropping the filled cheesecloth into a pot of boiling water. There was still plenty of flavor left to make a tasty pot of tea.
*Do not give honey to children under age 1. You can substitute another natural sweetener like maple syrup instead of using honey.
CHEERS TO GOOD HEALTH!