Cold Season Blues

How can a city that gets so hot, also get so darn cold?! Being from the Midwest, I dreamed what it would be like to move to the South. In my dream, it was warm, the sun was shining, and I would never have to wear a coat. In fact, two years ago, when I moved here, it was almost 90 degrees in mid-May. Where I am from, it doesn’t get warm until July, maybe August. I was happy to find, even in the fall, it was warm enough to go outside and do activities. 

Just when I started to get the hang of “Hotlanta” BOOM, January came! Weather advisories, school cancellations, and freezing temperatures. It was time to pull out my Uggs, get a hooded coat, a cute hat and scarf, and ADAPT.

We all know, with the cold comes sickness. My first year here, my daughter and I would take turns being sick. It became a vicious cycle. By March, I had run through all of my sick days. My daughter had four ear infections and I had two of my own.

We were prescribed antibiotic after antibiotic and spent lots of time in and out of the doctor. This year I decided something had to be different. I hated seeing my daughter sick. I hated being sick and wanted to find natural ways to help my family. 

As most mothers know, with children medicines are limited and you hope and pray the cough and congestion will end. After doing research, I decided to try out elderberry.

The University of Maryland Medical Center states, “Elderberry, or elder, has been used for centuries to treat wounds when applied to the skin. It is also taken by mouth to treat respiratory illnesses such as cold and flu. Some evidence suggests that chemicals in elderflower and berries may help reduce swelling in mucous membranes, including the sinuses, and help relieve nasal congestion. Elder may have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anti-influenza, and anticancer properties.”

I am not a doctor, but as a desperate mother, I was willing to try anything safe and natural to help my family. As the seasons changed, my daughter developed a runny nose and slight cough. I took it as a perfect opportunity to test out elderberry and see if it was worth continuing. 

You can make it yourself, but I was not ready to commit so I researched where I could buy it. I realized Whole Foods sold it. The brand they carry is by Nature’s Way and it is called Sambucus Elderberry. It was a 4 ML bottle and cost about $14 with tax.

I tasted it myself first. It was actually wayyyyy better than medicine I remembered taking as a child. MY DAUGHTER LOVED IT TOO! She even asked for more, of course, I denied that request, but I continued giving it to her 5ml twice a day for 3 days and by the weekend her symptoms were gone.

I was pleasantly surprised but not sold. I decided to do more research and learned that you could use elderberry for preventative purposes as well. Like a vitamin or a daily supplement to help to boost the immune system. This time I took the leap and learned how to make it myself. It was easier and cheaper than I thought and it lasted a lot longer.

All I needed to create my own syrup was elderberry, honey, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, and lemon. This time, I looked up local stores that sold natural ingredients and found an awesome Nature’s Corner Market. There are two locations, one in Marietta and one in Woodstock. I was thrilled to find this awesome local family-owned store. Everyone was very nice and super knowledgeable about the products and the benefits. I also found it to be cheaper than Whole Foods which is a win-win.  

For about $25 I was able to make two glasses of homemade elderberry syrup. I even bought gummy molds from Amazon and made vitamin gummies out of the syrup. Here is a link to the recipe I used.

It is impossible to assume your children will never get sick, but it is a great relief to find something that helps take some of the stress away. Have you ever used elderberry? In what form do you consume it? Have you found it to be beneficial? I would love to hear about your natural remedies and what routines that you have found that work best for your families! Happy Reading, STAY WARM and HEALTHY MAMA!

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