Our two-and-a-half year old daughter started preschool right after the New Year. Why so young you ask? We told her that when she was potty trained she could go to school like her big sister. Turns out this was the carrot needed. Lipstick and stickers were getting her there but they just weren’t quite enough. So here she is in school and the dreaded beginner immune system meets every possible germ on the planet waiting to test it. Crap. Truly, if I had remembered what we went through with our older daughter, just two-and-a- half years ago, I would have put off school until the fall. But I didn’t remember and here we are; smack in the middle of Preschool Cuck, The Next Generation (note to Hollywood friends, if you ever make this show, I will be happy to consult on it).
As a promoter of natural remedies I have made a fantastic Elderberry Syrup, much ballyhooed by natural moms on the internet. And while I credit this wonder concoction for keeping the kids healthy though the New Year, not even Elderberry Syrup can stand up to the bionic preschool cesspool of germs.
I have boiled eucalyptus oil with rosemary and peppermint oil to clean the air. We wash hands enough to make Howard Hughes look like Pigpen. We change sheets, disinfect doorknobs and drink homemade chicken broth like it’s going out of style, but still the cuck remains.
This morning I turned to my Facebook friends for the answer and have gotten a slew of new things to try. And whilst I intend to employ many of them, I will try to console myself that my little darlings are building their immune systems and taking us with them. I will also thank the Gods that we are facing immunity building in a time where a flu epidemic doesn’t mean certain death. Laura Ingalls, how did you do it?
Pioneer Elderberry Syrup (slightly modified to improve potency)
- 1 cup of dried elderberries (we get our from Mountain Rose herbs in Eugene)
- 4 cups filtered water
- 1 whole ginger root (good-sized)
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 8 whole cloves
- 1 cup of raw honey (raw is the key here, if you don’t have a farm source, Trader Joes carries it)
- Throw everything, sans honey, into a saucepan.
- Bring to a boil and then lower to med.
- Cook about 45 minutes until mixture is reduced by half.
- Allow to cook to 118 degrees (to preserve the enzymes in the raw honey) and stir in honey.
- Store in jars in the frig.
BTW, we’ve banned lipstick as a way of not spreading any more bugs until we’re well again.