How to Avoid Colds and Flu

16 Aug

Schools, shopping carts, door knobs – it’s pretty much impossible to avoid coming into contact with viruses.New Picture

But, you can fight back, in a very tasty way – elderberry syrup – and it’s very easy to make.

When my grandsons lived with me, during the WHOLE school season the boys took elderberry syrup EVERY MORNING. One morning, I grabbed shot glasses to give them their elderberry syrup in, and Jack, the 8 year old smart alec, called it ‘morning whisky’ so from that moment on that’s what we called it – served of course in shot glasses. Every morning, they got ‘morning whisky’ (no alcohol in it at all). No one got a cold or flu the entire school year.

You can purchase elderberry syrup in the stores or on line. It will run you well over $10 for 8 oz, or you can pick or purchase your elderberries and make your own for a LOT cheaper.

Willing to try? Here’s the recipe.


  • ½c dry black or blue (not red) elderberries or elderberry powder
  • 3c water
  • 1c sugar or honey

(Optional ingredients, I don’t use them but you can use 1 or more if you like – they are also virus inhibitors)

  • 2 Tablespoons of fresh ginger (peeled and sliced)
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons cinnamon powder or 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon powder or 5 whole cloves
  • 1 tsp star Anise or 2 pods

Place the 3c water and 1/2c elderberries in a saucepan with a lid. If you use any of the optional ingredients, add them at this time as well. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes. Strain the berries out (I mash the berries and run the juice through it a couple times to get all the goodness out of it), cool slightly and add sugar or honey (under 118 degrees if you are using raw honey and want to preserve the natural enzymes), pour it in a jar and store in the refrigerator.

NOTE: DO NOT give honey to a child under 2 or an immune deficient child or adult.

Dosages are ½ to 1 tsp for children and ½ to 1 TBL for adults. These are just guidelines for daily preventative use. Elderberry syrup is good on pancakes too, and I know of no one who uses 1 tsp of syrup on pancakes. It’s quite harmless – unless you’re a virus.

If you begin to get symptoms of a cold or flu, take the recommended dosage (or double it) every 2-3 hours.

You can purchase Elderberries at numerous sites, including Mountain Rose Herbs , Monterey Bay Spice Company or even One pound will run you between $10 – $16 and contains approximately 2 cups (makes 4 – 2 to 3 cup batches). If possible, purchase several pounds at a time, it will save you on shipping costs and enable you to have it for the whole season.

Elderberries also grow wild around here, but before you pick them BE VERY SURE OF YOUR PLANT IDENTIFICATION, and do not eat too many raw, as they can cause nausea and vomiting until they are cooked for about 20 minutes.

Elderberry is a very potent anti-viral. It is even excellent for Influenza A – H1N1 (swine flu), H5N1 (avian flu), H3N1 (a variation of swine flu), Influenza B, herpes simplex, shingles, Staphylococcus aureus (both resistant and non-resistant) , Streptococcus pyogenes, group C and G, Helicobacter pylori, E. Coli, Samonella poona, and even ebola among others.

(See Herbal AntiVirals by Stephen Harrod Buhner – a MUST HAVE along with Herbal Antibiotics for your prepping library)


By Michele Cooper


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