As I was cleaning up to get ready for bed Friday night I grabbed a sip of water from my ever present water bottle & groaned. It tasted funny, which is always my first indication that I am getting a cold. Maybe my immune system was low from the brownies we had made earlier in the week, or maybe I wasn’t getting enough sleep, I don’t know. Either way, I did not want to get sick, especially before the busy weekend we were looking forward to.
I grabbed my Elderberry syrup, took a large dose (about 2 TBSP) and gave some to my husband and daughter to hopefully prevent them from getting sick as well. I went to bed with my fingers crossed that I would not end up getting a cold.
Unfortunately I did. I woke up at about 4:00 to nurse my baby girl with such bad congestion I couldn’t breathe through my nose, a fuzzy head, and my throat starting to get sore. I complained to myself while I was nursing then realized, “Hey, I just researched Immune boosting herbs . . . I must have something to knock a cold out on my blog. I should use myself as a test subject.”
I reread a couple posts including my info on Echinacea and Elderberry and settled on taking 1 teaspoon of Echinacea every 1-3 hours along with about 2 TBSP of Elderberry syrup.
It was so nice having information and dosing instructions already thought out and right at my fingertips, especially in the middle of the night. I’m not going to repeat allllllll the benefits of Elderberry and Echinacea here, but check out my other blog posts in the links above if you are curious. This is also a good spot to reiterate that I ma not a doctor & not offering medical advice, just sharing what I learn, so use your own judgment!
When I woke up again at maybe 6:30 or 7:00 to nurse I was shocked to be feeling somewhat better. I could blow my nose to clear out my sinuses, and my head was no longer stuffy. I took another dose of both the Echinacea tincture and Elderberry syrup, fed my baby, and started my day. I took another dose at 9:00,got my kids up and made breakfast, and by the time my husband got home from hunting at 10:00 I was so happy to report that I didn’t even feel sick any longer! Wow. The congestion never came back, my throat stopped hurting, and I never got sneezy. I could even feel my body temperature raise a bit (to help fight the infection), probably from the warming ingredients like Ginger in the Elderberry syrup. I even felt great and had enough energy for a very strenuous 3.5 mile hike in the mountains like we had been planning on.
In spite of not being able to take frequent doses of either the Echinacea tincture or the Elderberry syrup on Saturday because we were out of the house most of the day, it still seemed to work wonderfully. I woke up feeling pretty good on Sunday but I still took 3 doses of both Echinacea and Elderberry spaced throughout the day. It’s recommended that you start off at the beginning of a cold using the Echinacea more intensely then gradually decrease the doses as you feel better.
By today, Monday, I feel fine, no one else in my family got sick, and I’m busy making more Elderberry Syrup to restock my refrigerator. What I was initially frustrated and disappointed about- getting sick- ended up being a major confidence boost. I can use what I am learning to successfully treat me and my family. Writing on my blog is beneficial, even if it only helps me! Stocking up on herbal preparations is useful; I had just what I needed on hand when I needed it and didn’t need to wait hours or weeks for the syrup or tincture to be ready. I strengthened and supported my body to fight sickness rather than just rushing to the commercial cold fighters to suppress my symptoms. I think that my excitement from treating this cold stemmed from the fact that I could actually FEEL it working this time compared to just watching symptoms disappear when using arnica on my husband or diaper rash spray on my toddler or gripe water for my baby. My growing confidence in using herbs has rubbed off on my husband too! He told me today that he woke up feeling somewhat congested with some phlegm in his throat but he “knew just what to take” and got himself a serving of Elderberry syrup.
Here are the links to my other posts on using Echinacea, making Elderberry syrup & it’s benefits, and making tinctures if this has made you want to be prepared to treat your family’s sicknesses naturally.
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