Also called Black Elder, European Elder, and Common Elder. Whole, dried elder berries are often used as a tea for colds, but are also used to make jams, jellies, chutney and cordials.
People have used elderberry for its health benefits for hundreds of years. Elderberry contains antioxidants, and many believe it can relieve colds, fight the flu, and boost the immune system.
Many of elderberry's health benefits can be attributed to anthocyanin. As an antioxidant, anthocyanin works by clearing the body of free radicals that damage cells at the DNA level. It also has antiviral properties that may prevent or reduce the severity of certain common infections. Elderberry also exerts anti-inflammatory effects, reducing swelling and pain by tempering the body's immune response.
Garlic, onion, and honey are a powerhouse of combined healing naturals. When you feel a sore throat, cold, runny nose, and body aches coming on, your immune system is probably running on empty. You can mix up this easy remedy for fast relief.
This syrup is all natural, and it tastes yummy too.
All you need are three ingredients:
A well-known natural remedy for colds and flu. Garlic has strong antiseptic and antispasmodic properties. This means that garlic is a natural antibiotic and will help you stop coughing. Its oil will also help open up your respiratory passages and can even help lower your fever.
Garlic is good for just about everything, and when it comes time to build immune strength and fight off colds and flu. It is also a natural anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic, anti-fungal, anti-coagulant, antiviral, and also boosts blood circulation. Garlic does all this without creating bacterial and organism resistance. It’s been used as a gentle, persistent healer for thousands of years. Use on a regular basis, not just when you’re sick.
It’s many properties include working to reduce inflammation, preventing and helping to resolve diarrhea, improving circulation, liquefying mucus, and purifying the blood.
It also helps relieve flu symptoms including coughs, congestion, respiratory infections and bronchitis. Use onion on a regular basis too.
Honey makes a wonderful cough syrup all by itself. It has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, so it is often used as a natural antiseptic in traditional medicines. Honey soothes and calms a sore throat, builds the immune system, and provides needed vitamins to restore your health.
As you probably already know, it’s tastes so good. It’s best to use only local honey, because it will counter pollen allergies. Honey is also a natural sleep aid, so when you’re sick you need extra sleep.
Combining garlic, onion, and honey we get a natural remedy for bacterial infection. Get well soon!
For adults to age 12, 1 tablespoon 3 times daily, but if really sick, up the dosage to 1 tablespoon every 2 hours. For children under 12, use 1 teaspoon instead at the same times as above.
You can add your “medicine” to your warm tea if you have trouble taking it from a spoon.
Honey should never be given to a child under the age of one. Also, remember honey is a sweetener, so be careful if you have diabetes.
You can leave your syrup on the counter, but to be on the safe side, store in the refrigerator and use within a few days.
A sage-echinacea spray has been shown to relieve sore throat discomfort as effectively as antiseptic medication spray.
Although you may know sage as an herb used in cooking, it also has several medicinal uses.
It has been used to treat many inflammatory conditions, and controlled studies suggest it can help relieve throat pain.
Echinacea is another herb that is widely used in traditional medicine. It has been shown to fight bacteria and reduce inflammation.
Follow this recipe to make your own sage-echinacea throat spray at home:
1 teaspoon ground sage
1 teaspoon ground echinacea
1/2 cup water
Boil water. Grind sage and echinacea if whole. Place herbs in a small jar and then fill with boiling water. Let steep for 30 minutes.
Pour mixture through strainer and then combine with 1/2 cup hard liquor (skip the liquor if you are an alcoholic or prefer to avoid alcohol for any reason).
A mixture of apple cider vinegar and water (equal parts) can be used instead of the alcohol.
Place in small spray bottle and spray into throat every two hours or as needed.
Discard after two weeks, or if it's gone "bad".
Soothing and cooling, it helps reduce fever and inflammation. It can be useful in treating sinus infections, bronchitis, sore throats and coughs. Violets can even help to shrink tumors and cancers. They are most effective when taken both internally and used externally as a poultice.
I personally use a violet tea for sore throat and it soothes and calms my coughs.
You can wild harvest flowers and leaves in spring, or buy dried here.
Also, I use an oil infusion of violets in my Violet Leaf Balm for painful breasts and lumps in breasts (buy here).
A sore throat is very uncomfortable! When you have a sore throat, you might find yourself reaching for a steaming cup of tea. For many people, there’s something soothing about the warmth, flavor, and aroma of tea and herbal infusions. Some blends may be especially helpful for relieving your symptoms.
Use this simple herbal recipe to soothe and heal your sore throat.
Optional flavors (choose one)
1.5 teaspoon peppermint leaves
2 teaspoons fennel seeds that have been crushed with a mortar and pestle (buy here)
1 teaspoon dried ginger root (buy here) and 1 teaspoon fresh grated lemon zest
Add all ingredients to a small pot, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer on low (covered) for 20 minutes. Strain out the herbs, if desired, and serve. The tea will be naturally sweet due to the licorice, but you can add honey and lemon slices if you wish.
Lisa Ray, Herbalist
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