Monthly Archives: September 2014

Viva la liquid gold: Elderberry Syrup

I have been making my own elderberry syrup for a year now and frequently get complimented on the potency and effectiveness of my magic potion.

In my family, we use Elderberry Syrup at the very first sign of illness.  Cough, runny nose, fever, you name it.  Even if someone just feels/seems off or we know they were exposed to something – we whip out the elderberry.  I find elderberry syrup to be very effective when used at the onset of illess to ward it off – but have found it to be pretty ineffective on an existing cold or illness.  If the elderberry “doesn’t work”,  meaning the person I am treating still ends up being full on sick – I stop elderberry and begin moving down my list of other alternatives.  However – I suggest using a few tbsp every few hours until symptoms magically vanish – and they most likely will.  In the case of flu, I would drink 6 ounces per day – one ounce at a time every few hours until you are fully recovered.  Elderberry has been proven to destroy the flu virus.

Shopping List:

2 cups of organic black elderberries (just the plain, dried berries.  Red berries and the green parts of the elderberry plants are poisonous.  You must only use black elderberries with no stem or leaves, also known as Sambucus Nigra.  Only purchase TRUSTED brands, such as the ones we link to.

1/4 cup Manuka honey

8 oz Raw honey or maple syrup

1 Organic orange

1/4 cup of organic ground cinnamon 

optional organic ginger root

7 cups of cold, filtered & purified water

DIRECTIONS:

In a large stock pot, mix 7 cups of cold filtered water with 2 cups of dried elderberries.  Leave pot uncovered.  Set the burner to medium and bring to a boil.

While you are waiting for the water to boil, roll your orange around on the counter to bring the juices to the surface, and poke a hole in it- extracting all of the juice that you can.  Zest the rind with a cheese grater and add it to the juice.

Once your water is boiling, add the orange juice and zest, 1/4 cup of ground cinnamon and optional ginger root to the pot, cover then reduce heat to a simmer.  Set your timer for 45 minutes.  Do not open the pot during this time.  When the timer goes off, open the pot to stir – then cover and remove from heat.  Let the mixture cool.

Get a very large bowl and sit it in a clean sink.  Set a stainless steel strainer inside the large bowl and slowly pour the elderberry juice into the strainer.  Once the juice filters through, take a meat masher or spoon and smash the berries to extract any remaining juice.  (The best stuff is what you are squeezing out).  Continue doing this until you have strained all of the berries and juice from the pot.  Cover the bowl and let cool to room temperature.

When the mixture has cooled, put 1 cup of elderberry juice in a food processor or ninja with 1/4c of manuka honey and blend until completely mixed.  Pour this into the big bowl and stir.

Stir in the remaining raw honey or maple syrup and bottle your syrup.

To prevent molding, make sure you dry the cap and ring of the jar after each use – and store upright in the refrigerator.

To prevent fermentation, ‘burp’ the syrup by taking the cap off for a moment and replacing it every day or two to let air in.

There are simpler and less expensive versions of elderberry syrup, but this blend packs the most immune-boosting vitamins and natural anti-viral/bacterial/fungal properties to create the most effective syrup.  Store bought syrups have junky added ingredients, including sugar which suppresses the immune system.  They also usually contain less than 14% elderberry meaning they are pretty ineffective.

If you do not want to make your own, the next best option is to buy elderberry extract and honey and just  mix them on your own.

Cheers to amazing immunity!

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Book Review: Baby oh Baby The Places I’ve Pumped

I was anxious to get my hands on a copy of this cute little book called “Baby Oh Baby, The Places I’ve Pumped” by Y.N. Farkas.  I just knew I would love it because of the title.

I went back to work when my little sweet pea was only 6 weeks old, and  like most new Moms returning to work – I had to hide away and “pump up the jam” as my co-workers would call it.  I had a private office to do so, as my workplace was very accommodating to me during this time.  One lovely day, the President of our Company heard the little weeeeeeeeeeeooohhhhhhh weeeeeeeeeeeoooohhhhhh noise and came in to investigate.  Yep, you guessed it.  There I am, shirt up and double the suction cups – mortified.  Ahh, those were the days.  I think we all rack up a pretty lengthy list of pumping places while we are in that zone, and this adorable book brings light to the humor and dedication of breastfeeding Momma’s.
With a catchy and rhyming flow, this book is full of reality and humor that would surely bring a smile to the face of a new mom, or even a seasoned mom who has been there and done that.  I have been done nursing my babies for over a year now and I enjoyed reading it and will purchase a few copies to gift some friends of mine who would enjoy it as well.
Keep this book in mind for your holiday shopping or for any upcoming baby showers!  It’s a steal at under $10 here on Amazon!   A bonus feature is that every hard copy comes with a free digital download!
If you are shopping for a great pump, I tried four different ones before I fell in love with this one – it even comes in a handy backpack and runs on batteries for all of your pumping on the go adventures.
Cheers to all of you Mamas, pumping up the jam!

How to beat and survive SICK SEASON

Sick Season is right around the corner.  Does anyone know why we even have a sick season?  The answer is quite simple and probably not what you would have guessed.

Colder temperatures mean less natural vitamin D from the sun.  We spend more time indoors and easily become deficient in this essential nutrient to a properly functioning immune system.  Everyone knows that vitamin C is good for immunity, but D is even more important and a majority of people don’t know that. Vitamin D supplements are tricky.  You need a good one with K for absorption, and most of the ones on the market are full of harmful additives and the D never even gets absorbed into your body.   Another reason is the way we eat.  In the off-season, fruits and vegetables cost more and are not as readily available as they are in the spring and summer months.  This means even more nutrition deficiencies.  Most people consume much more sugar and starchy foods during these times, especially because of the holidays – leading to suppressed immunity and inflammation.  All of these factors play into what we call Cold & Flu “Season”.

There are essential vitamins that you need to supplement yourself with during these times.  Those are: Vitamin D, Vitamin C and Probiotics.  In addition, I like to recommend a great greens powder or multi-vitamin to catch any other areas that are often overlooked.

So, when illness strikes – there are tons of ways to treat them at home without ever having to step foot into a Doctor’s Office.  When you go to the Doctor, you not only spend money on co-pays and RX’s, but you risk catching more germs than you started off with.  Think about it, you’re walking into a place where sick people are in and out of all day, with a compromised immune system.  Worse than that, most of them will just push antibiotics which make everything worse in most cases.

I’m so glad you’re here, so we can help.

Here is everything that you need to stock your medicine cabinet with to be well armed to fight off this germ-fest that we know as “Sick Season”.

Do your research.  Learn how to use these remedies and what they treat.  The links provided below are of brands that we know and trust with our own families.

The total investment to stock your home with these items is around $200.  It seems like a lot of money, but the reality is, that not being prepared will end up costing you more money.  In order for natural remedies to work, they need to be started immediately at the onset of illness.  That means that you do not always have time to be trekking around to all of the health food stores in town, searching for them – when all of a sudden someone is ill in your home.  If you cannot begin these at onset, you will most likely end up needing a Doctor to help if your body doesn’t heal itself.  So, with that being said – be prepared.  Think of it as paying for these things instead of the pricy medical bills that would otherwise follow – and remember that you cannot put a price on health.  It’s so important to have these things on hand for when illness strikes.  If you treat a sniffle, chances are that it will  not progress beyond that!  If I had to pick the two most important rescue remedies, I would choose elderberry syrup and monolaurin. 

Colloidal Silver 250ppm

CS Soap 

Elderberry Syrup – though we recommend making your own since the store bought kinds are mass-produced, less effective and often contain additives like GMOs and sugar (which suppresses the immune system, so counter-productive, right?)

or Elderberries and Honey to make your own (Find the recipe here)

Monolourin

Echinacea

Echinacea and GoldenSeal Blend

Thieves Blend

Bone Broth – Check out this recipe to make your own

Belladonna 30c

Ear Oil 

I wish wellness and health upon each and every  member of your family!  These items will surely help, especially when paired with a healthy and organic diet full of vitamins and nutrients.  If you need help and advice on when and how to use these items, be sure to contact us.  

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