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Herbal Remedies to Keep On Hand: Preventatives

We don't just sit around and wait to get sick- we do what we can to try to prevent illness.  I think that most people, especially moms, would say this.  The difference is the angle we take.  I don't spray everything in my house with Lysol or bleach.  I don't dole out hand sanitizer like it's candy on Halloween, or even fill our soap pumps with antibacterial soap.  I open the windows whenever the temperature allows (which is getting to be less and less...).  I make sure my kids eat something probiotic every day, drink their fermented cod liver oil, take extra vitamin D, and limit their sugar intake.  I make sure we're all getting enough sleep.  I make sure they get plenty of hugs and cuddles (because it's been pretty well documented that contact with others increases immunity!).

But every once in a while we need a little something extra to help us get through times of increased stress.  Travel, eating less the healthy food over the holidays, overpacked schedules, or exposure to other sick kids all call for a little immunity boost.
  • Elderberry Glycerite- Helps support immunity and respiratory health, and I love it for kids.  Glycerites don't contain any alcohol, and the combo of elderberry and glycerine tastes yummy, so the kids don't mind taking it.
  • Echinacea and Oregon Grape (alcohol or glycerine tincture, depending on your preference)- Echinacea gets a lot of press- first it improves immunity, then they say it doesn't, and now health officials in the UK are saying not to give it to kids.  You should know all of these things before you use this.  BUT their concern is with allergic reactions, which are rare, and as an herbal proponent points out in the article, more children become ill from over the counter anti-inflammatory medications than have allergic reactions to echinacea, yet no one in the mainstream medical community would come out and say "no one under 12 should take anti-inflammatory meds."  Anyway... the combo of Echinacea and Oregon Grape can be used both as an immunity booster and as an antibiotic treatment during illness.   
  • Immunity Syrup- This combines both of the above preventatives in a medium that kids love to take- honey.  I give them 1/2 tsp of this mixture three times a day when we are traveling in the winter or during other times of stress.  Best of all, they take it gladly!
This post has been shared on Homestead Revival's Barn Hop.


Amy said...

How do you make the elderberry glycerite? I would love to know!

Brandislee said...

It's really simple! It's just a mixture of ground, dried elderberries, vegetable glycerine, and water. You mix them and let the mixture stand for 6 weeks before straining and storing. I'm working on an ebooklet on herbal remedies for home use- more specifics on the proportions and other recipes will be included!

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