**Disclaimer: Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not take elderberry. If you have an autoimmune disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, ask your doctor before taking elderberry, as it may stimulate the immune system.
I’ll be honest I haven’t gotten a flu shot in over a decade and once I was diagnosed with Lupus I knew that I would never get one ever again. So far so good, I haven’t gotten sick and I pray that I never do. This year however, the flu is far more severe than it has been for years or ever. A man lost his fingers because he had the flu. What kind of flu is that? According to the CDC:
Flu Season 2018:
The flu season is still a bad one and it’s broken a few recent records, federal health officials say:It’s not time to panic about a new pandemic — it is simply a relatively severe flu season, one that’s hitting the whole country at once instead of in waves, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.“Influenza activity is still on the rise overall,” CDC’s acting director, Dr. Anne Schuchat, told reporters.Ten more children have been reported to have died from flu, bringing the total for the season so far to 63.Last season, 110 children died from flu in the U.S.Every year, influenza kills between 12,000 and 49,000 people and can send more than 700,000 people to the hospital, the CDC says. It affects so many people that adult cases and deaths can only be estimated.“This is a difficult season and we can’t predict how much longer the intense flu activity will last,” Schuchat said.“This season, we are on track to break some recent records.” For one, hospitalizations are the highest they’ve been since the CDC started a new way of measuring them in 2010.
So what can you do when you already have a weak immune system especially if you are taking immunosuppressants and everyone is a much greater health threat to you than you could ever be to them? You could always be that weird person in the crowd walking around with a mask on but yeah no one wants to do that unless you have to. You could stay indoors until the flu season passes but I’m sure you will develop cabin fever. Another option is to look into natural remedies and here’s where I have a few suggestions. I am taking an elderberry concoction that a close friend of mine made for me. She is studying natural medicines and I am happy to be her guinea pig. Apparently I’m not the only one who has heard about elder plant because it is sold out everywhere. So what is this fruit and how can it help?
Health benefits of the elder plant include naturally improving colds, the flu, sinus issues, nerve pain, inflammation, chronic fatigue, allergies, constipation and even cancer. When used within the first 48 hours of onset of symptoms, the extract has actually been found to reduce the duration of the flu with symptoms being relieved on an average of four days earlier. During the 1995 Panama flu epidemic, the government actually employed the use of the elderberry to fight the flu.
It gets better. When it comes antioxidant power, elderberry is higher in flavonoids than blueberries, cranberries, goji berries and blackberries. I’m sure you’re getting the picture that this medicinal berry is a real powerhouse for good health.
Benefits of the Elder Plant:
To add to your elderberry syrup here is a list of other natural remedies for cold and flu.
Home Remedies for Colds and Flu Shopping List:
Garlic – anti-viral, antibiotic, and antiseptic.
Onion – great for coughs and raw onion keeps the respiratory tract open.
Ginger – antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory. In addition to treating cold/flu, ginger is excellent for nausea and vomiting.
Sage – carminative, antiseptic, and astringent – the mouth and throat plant. Used for sore throats and cough. Also used for sinus congestion. Sage should not be used when pregnant or breast feeding.
Thyme – antimicrobial, antibacterial, antiviral, expectorant, and astringent. Thyme is great for respiratory infections and coughs. It is also good for the stomach and relieves gas.
Cayenne powder – stimulant, anti-microbial, analgesic, carminative, diaphoretic, and expectorant. Cayenne can help prevent a cold or flu as well as shorten the duration of a cold or flu. It brings heat to the body, which can help dispel coldness.
Honey – raw, local honey should ideally be purchased either at a farmer’s market or at Whole Foods or Trader Joes. Honey is antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiseptic. Do not give honey to children under 1 year old.
Lemon – high in vitamin C, lemon may help decrease the strength of the cold and flu virus in the body and reduce phlegm. Many folks use lemons to build resistance to cold and flu, and speed up healing.
Unfortunately my friend won’t give me all of the ingredients she used but she did tell me that she used: honey, clove, ginger, elderberry, water, and cinnamon. She also told that there is an herb that assists with cold and flu that she could not/ would not reveal. Perhaps you can figure something out for yourself with the help of this post and a bit more research.
Stay healthy my friends!