My cold weather first aid and cold season kit: part 1

When the school year starts, I start thinking about cold weather. I wait, rather impatiently, for the need to pull warm sweaters out of their storage places. I long for hot tea and soup of autumn. I also start planning for the cold season that is ahead.

One of the drawbacks of daycare/school is the fact that illness swirls around the school almost constantly for 3 months of the year. We have been lucky for the last few years and have had few bouts of illness with E. I don’t attribute that to luck, or even the good diet she eats or the amount of physical activity she gets even when it is cold out. I attribute it to Elderberry Syrup. I make a big batch of my own, freeze 2 quart jars of it in the freezer and enjoy it all winter long. Here are a couple of my cold season necessities. Enjoy making your own.

Everything and Elderberry Syrup:

8 oz elderberries (dried)
2 oz Oregon Grape Root (dried)
1 oz Licorice root (dried)
1 cinnamon stick, 5 inches or so
2 oz rose hip (dried,cracked)
3 oz ginger sliced thin (fresh)

Weigh each ingredient into the pot except for the ginger (feel free to add 2 oz ecinacea root if you will not be using this too frequently. Astragalus is another good herb to add. Play around to develop your recipe). Add 9-10 9 cups of water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Add ginger and simmer for another 15-20 minutes. Strain the mixture through cheesecloth (I use a kitchen napkin). Add:

2 cups honey
1/4 cup brandy

Pour the syrup into bottles/jars – I then put it into the freezer and keep one of the containers in the fridge. Take 1 Tablespoon each day during cold/flu season and multiple times a day (3-4 times or as you feel comfortable) when you feel the beginning of an illness. We go through lots and lots of elderberry syrup!

Wellness tea for all
chamomile
lemon balm
mint
rosehips
hibiscus
nettle
1 oz each each or so. The exact amount isn’t that important – I used about .75 oz for the lemon balm and the mint for this batch and 1 oz for everything else.

Measure all the ingredients into a jar you can keep on hand. When you need some, take out a tablespoon or so, put it in a tea ball. Pour boiling water over it and let steep for 5-10 minutes. Add lemon and/or honey. Enjoy.

Cough Tea
1-2 part wellness tea
1 part dried thyme
1 part dried sage

Mix all the ingredients into a jar you can keep on hand. When you need a cough tea, take out a teaspoon or so, put it in a tea ball. Add:

1 slice fresh ginger (or cubed, sugared ginger if you can do sugar) added to taste

Pour boiling water over it and let steep 5-10 minutes. Add lemon and/or honey. Enjoy.

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