So I seem to have picked up the Swine Flu. And yes, I am calling it that, and not H1N1, after learning that the virus has been traced back to factory farms in the United States (and subsidiaries in Mexico) and that the hog industry lobbied for the much-harder to say jumble of letters and numbers.
In the days that I have been bed-ridden, I’ve received countless messages of support but also some words of warning. Many are concerned about vaccines such as Tamiflu and cite recent articles that draw in to question their widespread use in treating viruses that are all too often non-threatening.
With all these man-made assaults on my body, I decided to stay as natural as possible for my treatment. On day one of my illness, I pulled out of my fridge a medicinal elixir that my friend Nicole gave me earlier in the year. The tincture bottle is labeled “Elderberry Syrup” and is composed of the namesake berry, along with honey, brandy, lime, cinnamon, ginger, and clove.
Some of Nicole's elixirs. Photo: Julie Sabatier
I asked Nicole to explain the properties of the elixir.
The elderberry elixer was made from locally harvested elderberries. They grow all over the pacific northwest and are harvested in early fall. Elderberries are rich in anti-oxidants, vitamin C and are anti-viral and immune boosting. The elixer is an awesome remedy for colds, influenza and other respitory problems. It is also soothing to the throat and tastes delicious.
Elderberries (elder sambucus) have been used as a folk remedy for hundreds of years. They were a main medicine in England and also used by the native people of this area. Some Native American tribes made flutes from the elder branches and so called it “the music tree”. It was said to protect from evil spirits and in some traditions was planted on the gravestones of the dead. It is a very magical tree and has a strong connection with the fairies!
The elixer also has brandy, honey, osha root, licorice root, ginger root, rose hips and orange peel all increasing the medicinal qualities of the elixer. It was super easy to make, just put it all in a mason jar, let it sit for four to six weeks and squeezed it out with cheese cloth. yum!
Nicole among her garden plants used for medicine. Photo: Julie Sabatier