I’m laying on the couch, snuggling my sniffling toddler while we watch yet another episode of Sesame Street. Suddenly she sticks her germy little finger right into my mouth without any warning. “Mama, aaahhhh!” she happily sticks out her tongue. Yes, Mommy has a tongue just like you. A day or so later, I wake up with a sore throat, which quickly turns into a nasty cold. Sound familiar? We’ve been told by multiple doctors that the first year of daycare or grade school is the worst for your health. Kids bring home every wretched bug known to man and kindly share it with the rest of the family. If you’re like me, you get the worst of it, even if your kids have just a slight sniffle.
Our family doctors and pediatrician have told us a few times that there isn’t much you can do for prevention besides just hand washing. So we have a rule that as soon as we enter the house, all hands, large and small go to the sink to suds up. I’m sure it’s helped a little, but I haven’t noticed a big difference except that we haven’t contracted the stomach bug since implementing our new rule. With a toddler that can cover nearly every surface with her cold germs (I’ll spare you specifics) in about an hour, we still had a big problem preventing cold germs from spreading.
Finally, Something That Actually Works!
This year, I was determined to stay healthy. We’ve nearly come to the end of cold and flu season, which was pretty bad this year in the Armstrong home and I have finally found the answer! Julia has caught two colds since I started my new regimen and I haven’t gotten sick once…even after she sneezed right into my mouth while we were singing The Wheels on the Bus. Yep, kids are gross.
So, what is my secret? It involves Vodka. Yes, that is one of the main ingredients for my powerful Immune-boosting regimen. If you have a problem going to the store and picking up a big bottle of Vodka, you’re going to have to get over it. Or send a friend or your husband, because this REALLY does work.
*Disclaimer: This post is for educational purposes only. I am not a physician or nutritionist. Please always consult your physician before taking any natural herbs, remedies, or medications, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, or on other medications. The following has only been used for adults and is not recommended for children.
(Note: Some links in this post are affiliate links. Read our disclaimer here.)
Homemade Elderberry Tincture
The first thing I started doing was taking an Elderberry Tincture that I made myself. I stumbled upon this while trying to find a safe immune-boosting tincture while I was pregnant and everything I saw had Elderberry in it. I tried several different tinctures before I decided that Elderberry was the one common ingredient that was helping me the most. The problem was, that little bottle of Elderberry was horribly expensive, especially since I was taking it up to 3 times a day! When I visited our local herb shop to find a better solution, they told me that I can buy the dried elderberries and just make a tincture myself. Luckily, my mother-in-law has a great co-op in her town and was able to get a big bag of elderberries for me to use for a great price. You can also find some quality dried elderberries on Amazon here. I also picked up a big bottle of vodka from the grocery store. Because this has worked so great for me, I’m sharing this recipe with you. I hope it has the same effects for you too! Make sure you make this well in advance of cold and flu season, because it takes 4-6 weeks to set.
Here’s everything that you’ll need:
- A glass jar with lid (as big or small as you want)
- Dried elderberries (enough to fill your jar half-full)
- 80-proof Vodka (the cheap stuff is fine)
- Amber glass bottle with dropper (you can find this at your natural grocer or herb shop – or Amazon)
- brown paper bag
- fine strainer or cheesecloth
Fill your jar half-way with dried elderberries. Add Vodka, leaving 1-inch head space at the top of the jar. Close your jar, write the date on your paper bag and place the jar in the bag. Set this in a cool, dark place for 4 – 6 weeks. I placed it in the back of my pantry. Every day or so (or whenever you remember), shake it once gently.
After 4-6 weeks, it’s time to strain the elderberries out. Open your jar and strain the elderberries over a medium bowl to catch the tincture liquid. It’s best to use cheesecloth or a really fine sieve so you don’t get too much residue left over. Discard the elderberries. Fill the amber glass bottle using your funnel and pour the leftover liquid back into the larger glass jar to store.
To use: I’ve heard that the alcohol helps your body absorb the elderberry tincture better, so I add 20-30 drops (or a dropper-full) to a shot glass of water. I take this 2 – 3 times a day, depending on how I feel and if anyone in the house is sick.
If you have any religious or personal beliefs that prevent you from drinking alcohol, don’t worry – I’ve got you covered! You can either add the tincture to a mug of hot water or to your hot tea. This should burn off the alcohol and also dilute it greatly. I did this while I was pregnant just to be safe.
If you have children (over 1 year old) you want to give this to or you really don’t want to make this with alcohol, there is an elderberry syrup you can make with honey. There’s a great recipe over at Mommypotamus here. I actually made the Elderberry syrup and my daughter liked it the first couple times. I will probably try this again and see if she does better this time.
Don’t have time to make this yourself, or maybe you can’t get your hands on some quality elderberries? Check out this helpful guide over at Health Ambition to find the best elderberry supplement on the market. There’s also some more great information about the health benefits of elderberries.
This is just as important as the Elderberry. There are so many benefits to using Colloidal Silver, but my main concern is Cold, Flu, and Sinusitis prevention. Jacob and I are both prone to sinusitis. It seems like every cold or seasonal allergies will cause us to have a sinus infection. We were told about this by our Chiropractor and finally decided to give it a try.
Colloidal Silver comes in a few different delivery methods. There are drops, sprays, and nasal spray pumps. We’ve only used the nasal spray, but you can also use the drops in a Neti pot. I use the nasal spray 1-2 times a day, depending on how I’m feeling. The dosage is 10 sprays, but I don’t use the full 10 sprays unless I’m feeling something coming on or I’ve had a toddler sneeze in my face.
If you already have a sinus infection, you can use the drops to help. Put a couple drops in your nose and lay down with your head hanging over the edge of the bed or couch. Do this for 5 – 10 minutes.
Another amazing thing that we’ve noticed is that this seems to be helping with seasonal allergies. Jacob has always had pretty bad seasonal allergies and he hasn’t suffered so far this season. I’m hoping this lasts!
Some things to note: Only use Colloidal Silver from a trusted source. I recommend Sovereign Silver, which is Bio-Active Silver Hydrosol and is very pure and refined colloidal silver. There are some cheaper products that are marketed as colloidal silver, but are actually ionic silver or silver protein. These can cause argyria – which will turn your skin blue or blue-gray and is irreversible.
You can find the nearest retailer that carries Sovereign Silver by going to their website: https://www.natural-immunogenics.com/store-locator/
I am in no way affiliated with Natural Immunogenics Corporation, the maker of Sovereign Silver. These opinions are fully my own.
If you’re pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or nursing, please consult with your physician before using colloidal silver. Colloidal silver has not been proven safe or unsafe for use during pregnancy. Use your best judgement after doing the proper research and talking to your physician.
So there you have it – give it a try and let me know if these help you as much as they have me.