Tag Archives: elderberry extract

Natural Remedies for the Flu

Happy New Year!  Yes, I know it’s January 14th but I’ve been down and out with this flu since December 31st so I’m still in the New Year frame of mind.  Not sure about you, but up until this recent bout with the flu, I wasn’t always fighting my symptoms au naturel.  I’d try the over-the-counter options that would just make me feel drugged up but not better.  This year, I went to my trusted naturopath and learned all kinds of new things to share with you on natural remedies for the flu.   Before you reach for those OTC drugs, try these:

Bio-Vegetarian Immune System Supplement:   This supplement worked great.  It has high doses of Vitamin A and Vitamin C, along with B vitamins and herbs to help you naturally fight the flu and boost your immune system.  You’ll want to consult your doctor first and if you’re pregnant, you can’t take this supplement.

Cold Sock Therapy:  I know.  It’s counter-intuitive.  Who, in their right mind, would put on cold, wet socks when they’re sick?  But it totally works.  This, singlehandedly brought down my fever, relieved congestion and afforded me the best nights of sleep during my bout with the flu. AMAZING.  Here’s a link that tells you how to do cold sock therapy.

Hot Water, Lemon & Honey:  Rather than suck on sugary cough drops, this caffeine-free tea really helped.  If you’re feeling nauseous, add an inch of fresh ginger root to the mix.  If you’re wanting more of an immunity boost, add a 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric which is a natural anti-inflammatory. Bring water to a slow boil.  Add juice from 1/2 lemon and a teaspoon of raw honey.

Elderberry Extract: This is definitely the best tasting flu remedy I’ve tried.  Elderberry extract works to fight the flu virus and reduce the severity of your symptoms.  You can find Elderberry Extract at most health stores or healthy grocery stores.  Here’s our review of Elderberry Extract.

Avoid sugar at ALL COSTS:  I will say that this is my weakness, but when you’re sick, you have no appetite anyway.  Sugar deflates and weakens your immune system.  Avoiding or severely limiting your sugar intake will help you get better faster and can help strengthen your immunity to avoid getting this awful bug in the first place.

Wellness Junkie's Top Ten Wellness Faves of 2009

1. P90X – love this workout system! And yes, I’ve been on and off with my consistency…but it definitely delivers results.

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To learn more…

2. Hemp Protein Powder – As I research more, I’m learning it’s so important to have good, healthy protein sources.  Nutiva Hemp Protein Powder is great for smoothies or just to add to pastas or salads.

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3. NAET – If you have been dealing with allergies (food & environmental), put NAET on your list to try in 2010.

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4. Earth Shoes – I just bought a pair of these shoes – wellness junkie report coming soon.  So far, I love them….Learn more

5. NeilMed Sinus Rinse – Seems like I’m always telling people to wash out their noses…I know it sounds weird, but trust me, it works.

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NeilMed Website

6. Deep Tissue Massage – If you’re looking for a really good massage therapist in your area, reach out to your friends and get recommendations (facebook would be great for this).  If you’re in Kansas City and want to know my favorites, post a comment and I’ll send you my top 3)

7. Acupuncture Learn more about acupuncture and consider it as an option to address particular conditions or just for overall wellness. Learn more…

8. Vitamin D – Are you getting enough Vitamin D? Have your doctor check your levels and learn more about the healing powers of Vitamin D.

Learn more…

9. Black Elderberry Extract – Well, I still got a cold this winter, even with my nasal rinsing and black elderberry extract. But, who knows how long it would have lasted without it? We’ll never know…so still recommending you try this stuff.

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10. Retreats – You don’t need to go off to an all-inclusive spa to get away.  Search your area for bed & breakfasts, retreat centers, even monasteries near you and inquire about creating your own retreat. I went to a monastery 2 hours out of town for a weekend in October and it was just what I needed.  The accommodations and food might be modest…but the price is right!  Plus, if it’s about withdrawing from the craziness of life, the more simple, the better.

Sambucus Black Elderberry Extract

We traveled by plane this past week for Thanksgiving and took with us our anti-bacterial hand sanitizer, zinc lozenges, vitamins and Airborne tablets.  We’re not paranoid, just cautious.  So when my sister-in-law introduced us to Sambucus Elderberry Extract, I was intrigued.  She gives her three kids the elderberry extract and takes it herself to stay healthy during the cold & flu season.  When I got home, I picked up our own bottle of Nature’s Way Sambucus Black Elderberry Syrup to try.  It’s only been two days taking the syrup but after doing some research, I felt inclined to share…Surprisingly, it tastes pretty good – not medicine-like.  I’ll write an update in March and let you know if I avoid the flu for the season.

More about Elderberries:

One of the most important health benefits of the elderberry stems from its anti-viral capabilities. These richly colored berries are a good source of flavonoids including quercetin and the anthocyanins. It appears these flavonoids have significant anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects and can activate immune cells that help the body to fight off viruses. The elderberry fruit is also a source of components known as lectins which have been shown in the laboratory to stop replication of ten different strains of the flu virus.

Elderberry extract in the form of Sambucol appears to have activity against some strains of influenza virus. Be cautious when eating elderberries. The unripe fruit, bark, leaves, and stems may contain cyanide which is poisonous. Never eat the green parts of the Elderberry plant. Keep in mind that the anti-viral and anti-flu effects were seen with Sambucol, the elderberry extract, which would be safest form to use for influenza. Always purchase the extract from a reputable source. (I found mine on sale at Whole Foods)