In the Martin & Sylvia: Nature School story "Nature Medicine", Martin wakes up, his throat is sore, and he feels tired; then he realizes it's Thursday and he really doesn't want to miss out on his favorite part of the week. He coughs at breakfast, and mama asks him if he feels well. He says yes, even though he doesn't.
Later, at Goose Eye Wilderness School, his group is gathered around the fire, talking about natural plant remedies. His apprentice Eva notices that Martin isn't feeling all that well and offers to have him in her group. While the rest of the group explores the woods, Eva talks to him all about "Martin Medicine" and what will make him well.
One of the best cold remedies I know of, for children and adults, is elderberry syrup. It is made of fresh or dried elderberries (sambucs negra), cloves, ginger, water, and honey.
Elderberry syrup is easy to make and tastes so much better than any store-bought cough and cold syrup. It works in two ways: you can take teaspoon or two each day as an immune booster and cold preventative during cold season, or if you or your child feels like a cold is developing, take a teaspoon of the syrup every two to three hours. The elderberries are rich in vitamin C, while the cloves and ginger are anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory. The honey is also anti-bacterial and will help to coat a sore throat.
1/2 cup of dried elderberries
4 cloves one 1 inch nob of fresh ginger
4 cups of water (filtered is best)
1/2 cup of honey
In a medium sauce pan, place the elderberries, ginger, cloves, and water. Bring it to a boil, then lower the heat and leave it to simmer for 45 minutes. This is your basic decotion. It is more potent than tea, which is only steeped for 2-5 minutes.
After 45 minutes the liquid will be reduced by a lot. Using a mesh sieve or a coffee filter, strain the liquid into a clean jar and add the honey, stirring until the honey is completely dissolved. Put a lid on the jar and allow the syrup to cool to room temperature before placing in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to three months.
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About the Author
KC is a full-time radical homemaker and mama to two spunky little girls. She writes about all kinds of radical goodness, from gardening and cooking with whole foods to crafting, sewing, homeschooling, and mama musings. Read more on her blog The Nettlesome Life.