As we get into the colder part of Winter, we are surrounded by people with allergies, colds, flu's, you name it. Thankfully, (knock on wood) I have been staying clear of all of the above. People always ask me what they should be doing to stay healthy this season, and my answer is always the same: Elderberries, lemon, ginger, and Manuka honey.
Growing up with a dad who used to work for the supplement companies, we were always using alternative and natural methods for fighting off sicknesses. Elderberry was one of the tinctures I remember most, and one that I still swear by today.
A few months ago I learned that elderberries actually grow in Oklahoma, which just about knocked my socks off. I couldn't believe I had been raving about this berry for years and never knew I could find them locally! Sure enough, 360 Farms in Oklahoma is one of the largest suppliers of elderberry. Recently, I toured the farm, met the owners, and came home with all kinds of goodies. They not only had a beautiful, sustainable, and organic farm, but they were the most amazing people! I absolutely adore everything they do- and I'm sure you will too!
Personally, I have been using their lotions, soaps, oils, teas, and consuming the berries on a regular basis. I am madly obsessed with it all. I notice a huge difference in my skin since using their body products, and a huge improvement in my immune system since incorporating their teas and berries into my weekly routine! I highly encourage you to check them out, order online, or even make a trip out to their farm.
So, why should we add elderberries to our diet? Let's dive in.
Health Benefits of Elderberry:
- Boosts immune function
- Improves circulation
- Vitamin C (more than oranges)
- High fiber = improved digestion
To answer your next question... YES there is a huge difference between getting fresh/local elderberries compared to what you can buy in the grocery store. You used to be able to buy elderberry concentrate from health food stores, but now it's nearly impossible to find a good source that doesn't have a lot of added sugar. I'm sure it is still out there somewhere, but you would probably have to order that online, as well. So, why not get the real deal? Not only does it make more sense, but buying local makes a huge nutritional difference.
So, what do you do if you feel a cold coming on?
Load up on elderberries, lemon, ginger, and Manuka honey.
If you have fresh or frozen elderberries, you can eat them plain or put them in a juice or smoothie. If you have a liquid concentrate, you can drink it straight. Or if you have the tea, you can drink it all day long!
As for the lemon, ginger, and honey- you will want fresh lemons and fresh ginger root. I personally make this almost daily just to keep my immune system strong. I will squeeze half a lemon into a mug. Add some fresh sliced ginger, about a tablespoon of honey, a bag of elderberry tea, and hot water. If you are already sick, I suggest making a large batch and keeping it on hand. You can never have too much!
There's no need to load our system with over the counter medicine or prescription drugs if we take care of our bodies and keep our immune system strong year-round. So don't wait for sickness to appear - prevent it from coming!
If you want to know more, or have any questions- don't hesitate to reach out!