• Should I Be Taking Elderberry?

    What Is Elderberry?

    Elderberry is the purple berry that grows on the Elder tree in North America and Europe. The edible fruit of the Elderberry shrub or Sambucus Nigra is used to make many things. The most well-known use is for boosting the Immune system. The elderberry is very nutritious; with just 105 calories and 10g of fiber, and 58% of the recommended daily amount of daily vitamin C! On top of all of that, they are full of flavonoids that provide antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits. 

    An Israeli researcher found that elderberry contains complex sugars that support the immune system in fighting a cold and the flu. According to Isreal21c, Dr. Madeleine Mumcuoglu of Hadassah-Hebrew University in Israel completed multiple test studies during the Southern Israel flu epidemic. What she found not only did the sambucol have dramatic improvements in symptoms like fever, cough, & muscle aches, and pains but also a higher percentage of her patients felt better than the untreated group. Within 24 hours 20% of the patients reported significant improvement, 73% improvement by day two and 90% feel better in three days vs the untreated group only had 16% feel better after two days. The subjects that received the placebo required six days to recover. She also found that elderberry disarms the enzyme viruses used to penetrate healthy cells in the lining of the nose and throat. When taken before infection, elderberry prevents infection. Taken after infection, it prevents the spread of the virus through the respiratory tract. 

    As mentioned above the most commonly known use of Elderberry is for the common cold and flu. But it is said to offer many benefits. According to RxList Elderberry is also beneficial and have been used for the following:

    + Sinus Pain

    + Back & Neck Pain

    + Cancer

    + Swine Flu

    + Gum Inflammation

    + Nerve Pain

    + Hay Fever

    + Weight Loss

    + Constipation

    + Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

    + High Cholesterol

    + Headaches

    + HIV/AIDS

    + Toothache

    + Heart Disease

    Keep in mind that the benefits lie in the extract, which can be taken in many different ways. According to Eating Well, it is important to remember that the concentration varies with each product and recipe resulting in different outcomes. Some may work better than others. It is not recommended to use Elderberry syrup that contains honey in children under 1 year of age. Ask for a syrup without honey if you wish to give to younger children.

     

    References:

    1) www.rxlist.com/elderberry/supplements.htm
    2) https://www.israel21c.org/study-shows-israeli-elderberry-extract-effective-against-avian-flu/
    3) http://www.eatingwell.com/article/2060857/health-benefits-of-elderberry/

     

    Wellness Mama’s Elderberry Syrup Recipe

    A simple elderberry syrup recipe made with dried elderberries, honey, and herbs for an immune-boosting and delicious syrup. Can be used medicinally or on homemade pancakes or waffles.

    Course: Remedy
    Prep Time: 5 minutes
    Cook Time: 1 hour
    Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
    Servings: 2cups
    Calories: 6kcal
    Author: Katie Wells

    Ingredients

    Instructions

    1. Pour the water into a medium saucepan and add the elderberries, ginger,       cinnamon, and cloves.
    2. Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes to 1 hour until the liquid has reduced by almost half.
    3. Remove from heat and let cool until it is cool enough to be handled.
    4. Mash the berries carefully using a spoon or other flat utensil.
    5. Pour through a strainer into a glass jar or bowl.
    6. Discard the elderberries and let the liquid cool to lukewarm.
    7. When it is no longer hot, add the honey and stir well.
    8. When the honey is well mixed into the elderberry mixture, pour the syrup into a  mason jar or 16-ounce glass bottle of some kind.
    9. Ta-da! You just made homemade elderberry syrup! Store in the fridge and take daily for its immune-boosting properties. Some sources recommend taking only during the week and not on the weekends to boost immunity.

    Notes

    Instant Pot option: Put all ingredients except honey in pot, seal lid, and set manually for 9 minutes on high pressure. Vent pressure and strain. When cooled to room temperature, stir in the honey.

    The standard dose is ½ – 1 teaspoon for kids and ½ – 1 tablespoon for adults. If the flu does strike, take the normal dose every 2-3 hours instead of once a day until symptoms disappear.

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1tsp | Calories: 6kcal | Carbohydrates: 1.7g | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 1.5g

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  • The Wonders of the Neti Pot

    Photo Credit: dudeiwantthat.com

    Dr. Brenda Fairchild

    The Wonders of the Neti Pot

    As many of you know… I can talk about the neti pot all day.  I think this product is one of the greatest inventions of modern times!!  Now, I know not everyone loves to see and feel the neti pot doing its job, but it is a wonderful way to naturally rid your sinuses of congestion and infections.  And when you are pregnant and not a lot of options as far as decongestants go, this is a wonderful alternative!!

    The word Neti means “nasal cleansing” and comes from ancient India.  It has been around for over 5,000 years!!!  Yoga masters used this technique to help with mediation. They felt they could get to a higher and deeper state of mind.  Some yogi’s also believed it helped with mood swings and addictions as well.  The neti pot was then massed produced in the early 1970s and has since become a favorite for those of us looking to relieve the sinus pressure naturally!

    Benefits of the Neti Pot

    • Lessen the time of cold, flu, or allergy
    • Relieve the pressure of sinus headaches
    • Help reduce pollen from the nasal passage
    • Remove mucous
    • Allows for easier breathing
    • Great for post nasal drip
    • Allows for easier breathing

    Using the neti pot is pretty simple and oddly satisfying.  You can get a simple pot at most of the chain stores.  And most come with packets of sodium bicarbonate and sodium chloride.  Usually under $20.  You can get ceramic to metal ones at health food stores or online.  Now, from personal experiences, I highly suggest the packets!!  I have tried just plain water, and it did not feel well.  But, it is all up to you.  I like to use filtered water if I can.  I don’t use it all the time, but I try to as much as possible. 

    How to use the Neti Pot

    Add one packet to the warm water and let them mix.  I like to start with draining my most clogged nasal passage first.  This means the pot is pouring the water into the good side and the clogged side is towards the sink.  And let the magic begin!!  I use about half the pot per nasal passage.  Depending on what is going on with you our your child, the nasal mucous could be green or yellow which could be an infection to clear which could be allergies.  When in doubt, call your primary physician.  If there is a bad infection, there may be some blood mixed in.  When you have done one side, gently blow your nose.  You want to rid the body of the mucus, which is inflammation.  I always tell my patients “better out than in!”  You will instantly feel the pressure release!!!  It is amazing!!!  

    I start to use the neti pot at the first sign of a cold coming on.  I will do this 3-4 times a day if it is really bad.  And use that over the course of 2-3 days if need be.  It really cuts down the time of the cold or allergy.  And can help you get some sleep at night due to your breathing better!  

    Other recommendations to follow the neti pot.  Get Adjusted!!!  It helps with aligning your body and helps with draining your sinuses as well.  Watch your dairy, gluten, wheat, and sugar as they can be inflammatory.   Stay hydrated with water.  Get Sleep and make sure you are getting you vitamin D!

    https://yogainternational.com/article/view/the-history-science-of-the-nasal-wash

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