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Thursday, July 30

Herbal Immune Boosters

With an immuno-suppressed child, our family is constantly aware of the fragility of the human immune system.  It doesn't take much to shut it down - stress, sugar, poor sleep, poor diet - and we strive to keep it going.  If you're taking care of yourself properly, these herbal remedies will help give your immune system a kick in the butt when you most need it!

Now, you might be asking WHY I'm writing about immunity boosters at the end of July...and the simple answer would be that, once you've mixed them up, it takes six to eight weeks for their yummy properties to fully integrate into the vinegar.  (ie, you're going to let them steep for nearly two months...which will put you right at the beginning of allergy and cold season.)

Fire Cider

Fire Cider is a remedy for upper respiratory infections with a deep cough and severe nasal congestion. It is extremely spicy, and I don’t think there will be very many kids who will want to take this remedy. Take a tablespoon full every day - it's a very potent remedy, so go slowly with it.  During times of illness, you may take a tablespoon full every couple of hours.
  •      1 part minced garlic
  •      1 part chopped whole onion
  •      1 part grated horseradish root
  •      1 part chopped & seeded jalapeno
  •      1 part grated ginger root
  •      ¼- ½ teaspoon Cayenne pepper
  1. Place all of the herbs in a glass jar and cover with apple cider vinegar. 
  2. Make sure to put plastic between the lid of the jar and the vinegar, or else it will create a slime due to a chemical reaction between the metal and the vinegar. 
  3. Steep herbs for 4-6 weeks, shaking daily, then strain and keep in a glass jar.
  4. If you don't feel up to making your own, you can always buy a bottle.

Elderberry Syrup

For the price of one bottle of elderberry syrup at the store, you could make ten to fifteen times that amount at home!  This is super easy, and anyone can make it. 

Start with good, organic elderberries.  We can usually find a good organic brand at Amazon, but would rather pay more to get them from somewhere else if Amazon doesn't have the organic brand available.  Typically, we triple or quadruple the recipe and participate in an herb swap...more on that later.
  1. Put all of the ingredients into a pot and bring the water to a boil. Reduce heat to a very low simmer, and reduce liquid by about ½ (usually takes about 20-30 minutes). Strain out the herbs and add 1 cup of raw honey (optional).
  2. Store your syrup in a closed jar in the refrigerator.

Additional Information

Would you like more information on boosting your immunity?  Pick up a free copy of our sampler, Herbs for Autumn, or the complete course, Kitchen Fixes, which is designed to introduce the beginner to herbs and their uses, for both cooking and remedies.

One final word.....don't forget to eat a healthy, colorful diet. The foods we eat are the best immune booster of all!
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