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Kick Your Cold or Flu With Elderberry

22 Jan

ELDERBERRY and honey syrupWhat I’m about to tell you may be hard to believe, but it’s the truth.

Last Tuesday afternoon I wasn’t feeling right. I felt I might be coming down with a cold. By Wednesday, my nose was all stuffed up and I began sneezing and coughing.

I remembered reading about how good elderberry was for colds and flu, and had even printed out several recipes for elderberry syrup. I thought now would the perfect time to try it, so I went to the health food store and bought some dried elderberry and made a simple syrup using just the elderberries and honey. I took my first dose.

Thursday, I stayed in bed…all day. My head was so congested. I had a really bad headache, had to blow my nose several times an hour, had brief episodes of nausea, and lots of coughing. Yep, I definitely had a cold!

I did everything I could think of to feel better: took ibuprofen, applied my cold and flu vapor rub on my throat, chest and temples, drank warm teas with honey, sprayed my room with essential oils, and took a dose of the elderberry syrup every 4 hours.

Friday morning, I felt like a different person! I couldn’t believe it!

My sinus pressure, headache and congestion…GONE!

Runny/stuffed up nose…practically gone. I had to blow my nose maybe once every several hours. My coughing and sneezing spells had drastically been reduced.

In fact, I had a sense of well-being and increased energy. I did several loads of laundry, went grocery shopping and baked a cake. Amazing, considering that just the day before I felt so bad! It had to be the elderberry syrup. I say this because it was the only new thing I did differently when I treat myself for a cold.

By Sunday I was symptom free! I have NEVER recovered from a cold this fast. Normally my colds would start in my head like this one did, then settle in my chest accompanied by a hacking cough that would last for weeks. I honestly believe taking the elderberry syrup early helped my body combat the virus before it got worse.

Now, I’m taking one dose of the Elderberry syrup daily to support my immune system. I’m also giving it to my husband daily. It’s good for children as well, and it tastes good too!

Here’s some good articles and information about this amazing Elderberry.


A super easy natural remedy for the whole family during cold and flu season.  Mother nature definitely got this one right!

2/3 cups dried Elderberries

3 cups pure/distilled water

1 cup honey (raw is better for you if you have it)

Place the Elderberries and water in a medium saucepan. Bring it to a boil, then turn down the heat and let it simmer covered for 20-30 minutes, or until it’s reduced to about a half. My husband doesn’t care for the smell…it is kinda potent.

Strain the mixture into a glass jar, bowl or measuring cup, pressing the elderberries with the back of a spoon to get ALL the juice out of them, and then discard the Elderberries.

Allow the mixture to cool until it’s just warm. Add the honey and stir until the honey is completely dissolved.

Pour into a glass bottle or mason jar and keep in the refrigerator.

Dosage: As a daily preventive measure: 1 tablespoon for adults, 1 teaspoon for children.

If you come down with a cold or the flu: Take the recommended dose every 3-4 hours. Once the symptoms are gone, continue taking the dose 3-4 times a day for a couple more days…just to be sure virus is out of your system.


My Rosemary Hair Conditioner and Muscle Rub

6 Jul

After four days of camping, swimming, walking and being in the hot sun, my hair was in need of a good moisturizing treatment and my achy legs needed a soothing massage.

Homemade Hair Conditioner

My Rosemary Hair Conditioner

This hair treatment makes my hair so soft and smooth that I can’t stop touching it.   It’s a welcomed change from the curly frizz I had to live with the last few days!   Rosemary essential oil is known to be beneficial to the health of your hair and its scent is uplifting and energetic.

Here’s what you’ll need: 

1 teaspoon Olive Oil

5 drops of Rosemary Essential Oil

Hand Towel

Small plastic trash bag 

  • Place Olive oil and Rosemary oil in a small bowl.
  • Wet your hair and apply the oil mixture onto your hair with your fingers.   Work the oils into your hair, especially the ends.
  • Wet the hand towel with hot water, wring out and wrap around your hair.
  • Place the small trash bag over the towel and secure
  • Leave on for 20 – 30 minutes
  • Remove the bag and towel and shampoo your hair thoroughly…you might have to wash it twice…leave out the conditioner, you won’t need it.


My Muscle Rub

Both my husband and I use this muscle rub all the time. My husband calls it “my miracle stuff”. He’s a paint contractor and does a lot of climbing up and down ladders, bending and reaching every day. He’s pretty tuckered and sore when he gets home. In addition, he had back surgery several years ago and is susceptible to backaches from time to time. 

With all the walking we did on our vacation, my legs were soooo stiff. I couldn’t wait to give them a good massage with my muscle rub. I keep one bottle of it upstairs in our bathroom closet and another one downstairs in a kitchen cabinet, so I can grab it whenever we need it.

Homemade muscle rub

Here’s what you’ll need: 

1 Tablespoon Olive oil

5 drops Wintergreen essential oil

2 drops Lemongrass essential oil

Amber glass bottle 

  • Pour the Olive oil into the glass bottle and add the essential oils. Cap and turn bottle several times to mix. 


Turn bottle a couple of times to mix. Open and apply several drops to the area and massage towards the heart. Wash hands thoroughly. Store in a cool, dark place. 

Note:   I use a 15ml (1 tablespoon) amber glass bottle with a dispensing orifice reducer (built-in dropper).   You can find amber bottles at a health food store or online.  There are also bottles that come with a squeeze dropper (pictured above) that you could use also. 


Wintergreen essential oil contains 85% – 99% methyl salicylate which is the same component of aspirin for relieving pain. It is also known to have a cortisone-like affect that relieves pain quickly. Wintergreen and Lemongrass essential oils have analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic and anti-rheumatic properties. Olive oil is useful for dehydrated, sore or inflamed skin. Aromatherapist have been using it for centuries to alleviate rheumatic pain. 

Emotionally, Wintergreen is calming and soothing which can be beneficial when coping with pain. 

We all get aches and pains from time to time…it’s apart of being alive. You can however, help your body recoup more quickly by using this natural muscle rub.  Try it, and like me, you’ll want to make several bottles around so it’s available when you need it.

Lavender First Aid Ointment

4 Jun

I just love Lavender essential oil! I enjoy the calming aroma and its ability to heal the skin is amazing.

It seems I am always burning myself either with my clothes iron when I’m sewing or from the oven when I’m baking.  The first thing I do is reach for my Lavender First Aid Ointment.  It helps relieve the pain and when applied several times a day, the burn scabs over and heals in a few days.  I keep a container in the kitchen cabinet and in my purse…I use it all the time. I also like to give it as a “homemade gift”.

Last year my husband and I went camping with our daughter, her husband, and our two grandchildren.  My daughter’s husband cut his finger and I had him put the ointment on it.  Then, my husband got a bug bite on his foot which started itching really bad.  I applied this ointment and within seconds he said the itching stopped.

Here are some FACT SHEETS I put together about Aromatherapy and four (4) of my favorite essential oils: Lavender, Tea Tree, Lemongrass and Rosemary.  They are very informative and explains why Lavender is considered a must have for everyone’s medicine cabinet!


Makes 2 small containers

Here’s what you’ll need:

2 Tablespoons Olive oil (doesn’t go rancid and is wonderful for the skin)

1 Tablespoon beeswax (in the candle making section at Hobby Lobby for $14.99 for a block…check for their 40% off coupon and Joann’s has 4 oz. Pellets for $4.99 online)…the block will last you forever!

1 Vitamin E capsule

20 drops Lavender essential oil

5 drops Tea Tree essential oil

Small pan and measuring spoons

Small containers, washed in hot soapy water (you can get a 2 – pack of the blue containers (pictured) at Walmart for 97 cents) and the white ones online…I can’t remember where I got mine.

  1. If using beeswax in a block, shred or cut into small pieces, then measure it,
  2. Place Olive oil and beeswax into a double boiler (set the pan in another pan that’s filled with a few inches of water, pictured above).
  3. Heat the oil just until the wax melts. Remove from heat.
  4. Pierce and stir in the contents of 1 Vitamin E capsule.
  5. Allow the wax to cool a little and then stir in the Lavender and Tea Tree oils. If the wax starts to cloud up and harden, place the pan back into pan of hot water.
  6. Pour mixture into containers. Allow to cool completely before adding the lids.

Store container out of reach of children.

Note: Beeswax has a low melting point, so you may notice that the ointment softens after awhile. That’s OK, it will still work.

When I give this ointment as gifts I like to include a card letting the recipients know what it’s good for and what’s in it…if you’re interested in making and giving this ointment, here’s the cards I use.   Lavender First Aid INFO CARDS

I’ll be posting these essential oil recipes in future posts: Lavender Herbal Shampoo Spray, Lavender & Rosemary Leave-In Hair Conditioner and Lavender & Lemongrass Air and Bug Spray…so start reading up about these essential oils in my FACT SHEETS  above, so you’ll know why I use and LOVE them.

UPDATE:  I tested this ointment on a cut I got…the very day I was drafting this post.  You can read about it here:

Special Update…to My Lavender First Aid Ointment


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