Natural Cold & Flu Prevention

With the official start to Fall just a few days away, I realized it’s time to start thinking about cold and flu prevention.  I tend to view sickness as normal and necessary for building the immune system, but definitely prefer to avoid it!  My goal is to support our health and build up our immunity so that any illness we get is mild and passes quickly.

There are a number of ways to prevent colds and flu’s naturally.  According to Dr. Mercola, vitamin D can cut your flu risk in half so during the winter months I add in a daily vitamin D supplement.  I also try to cut down on sugar since studies show it can suppress immune function.  Winter is also the perfect time for soups made with nourishing homemade bone broth, a great immune builder.

One of my favorite tonics is elderberry syrup.  Elderberries are excellent for preventing and treating colds and flu.  They contain a large amount of vitamin C as well as a good dose of anti-oxidants.  You can buy elderberry syrup at most health food stores or make your own.  There are numerous recipes online for making syrup but my favorite is from Holistic Squid.

elderberryElderberry Syrup Recipe Ingredients
1 cup dried elderberries
4 cups filtered water
4 quarter-inch slices of fresh ginger
2 cinnamon stick
3 cloves
1 cup raw honey

Elderberry Syrup Method
Add all ingredients except for the honey into a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil, and then lower heat to medium.  Continue simmering for 30-45 minutes until the liquid is reduced to half.  Before the liquid cools, strain it through a fine mesh strainer.  Allow the liquid to cool to about 118F (to preserve the enzymes in the raw honey), and gently combine the warm reduced berry liquid with the raw honey.  Store in a jar in the fridge for a few weeks. For longer storage, freeze into ice cube trays to defrost for later use.

You can find the recipe and original post from Holistic Squid here: http://holisticsquid.com/elderberry-syrup-recipe/

Last year I also added in some homeopathy and really saw a difference in our overall health and length of colds.  I was able to support my daughter naturally while lessening symptoms and avoiding any major asthma attacks.  Most health food stores sell a variety of homeopathic remedies for about $7 each.  Well worth it!  If you would like more information on homeopathy, Joette Calabrese has a great site.

Check out our Natural Health Board on Pinterest for some easy ideas to keep your family well.

What are your favorite ways to stay healthy?  Do you have any great natural remedies for when you do get sick?

Michelle has spent the last 5 years nurturing and raising her daughter in the Metro Atlanta area.  After enrolling her in a Waldorf Morning Garden program, her interest in the Waldorf method unfolded naturally.  As Client Services Manager for The Waldorf Connection, she provides the support for projects that parallel her own personal parenting values.

*I am not a doctor and this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Photo credit: HealthHomeHappy.com / Foter / CC BY