Monday, September 17, 2012

Influenza - An After Action Report

The flu is distinctive.  Fever, body aches, chills.  I have only had the flu one other time (about 18 years ago) and was not relishing giving it another go.

I woke up Wednesday morning with a sore throat.  I didn't feel terrible, but I went ahead and drank apple cider vinegar (mixed in water), just in case it was Strep.  By the afternoon, my sore throat still hadn't gone away, so I took more vinegar and hoped for the best.  I managed to do school with the kids and get my afternoon work done, but by the time dinner was in the oven, I was feeling pretty rough.

If you'll remember, Sir Knight, Maid Elizabeth and I made Elderberry Wine last fall specifically because of its purported benefits for treating influenza.  Fearing that I might indeed have the flu, I drank a glass of Elderberry Wine before retiring for the night.  I felt really puny the next morning, but still had tea with Sir Knight before seeing him off to work and then went about my day.

Throughout the day I drank a few glasses of vinegar (mixed with water) and managed to get everything done (including a 3 mile hike) that I had on my agenda.  However, by 3 O'clock in the afternoon, I was a shivering, sweating mass under a pile of blankets.  I could barely make it from the bathroom back to my blankets without stumbling, I was shaking so hard.  I had another glass of Elderberry Wine and put myself to bed by 8 pm.

Friday morning, I was feeling positively perky.  Another swig of vinegar (ugh!) and we were off to town for a trip that just couldn't be postponed.  Although somewhat weak and lightheaded, I had plenty of energy to make it through the day.  But, by 3 pm, I was shaking in my chair under piles of blankets (again), although other than running a fever I didn't really feel too bad.  I shivered my way through the evening, drank another glass of wine and tucked myself in bed by 8 pm.  Once in bed, the shivering gave way to heat and I couldn't get the blankets off myself quickly enough.  After a miserably hot night, I woke up refreshed and ready for my day on Saturday.

I cleaned and baked and did laundry on Saturday (preparing for company after church on Sunday) with no problems.  Three o'clock came and went and I kept going.  I did drink another glass of wine on Saturday evening, just for good measure, slept well and got up on Sunday morning in time to prepare dinner and tidy the house before church.

Other than a bit of a stuffy nose, I feel great.  Obviously, I have no empirical evidence that Elderberry Wine aided in my quick recovery, but it sure did seem to do the trick to me.

Truth be told, I don't like the taste of wine much.  I never have.  However, you can be quite sure that when the frost is heavy on the ground and the Elderberries are ripe, the kids and I will be harvesting those little purple berries and we will be filling another demi john with a new batch of Elderberry Wine.


  1. Glad to hear you recovered so quickly. When you said you were down with the flu I feared a repeat of what your family went through last year. I keep elderberry tea and wine on hand for just the reasons you mentioned. Wish I had an elderberry patch near by in order to make my own.

  2. Enola,

    (captaincrunch again)

    I forgot what the flu is like. I did not know it was that bad for you. Im glad the wine helped and your up and about again. My cure all again is Jalepeno peppers and heat, lots of heat. Blazing hot showers really help, only problem is I feel like a lobster in a pot of boiling water trying to cook the viruses out.

  3. For us it's orange juice and lots of it. My husband and I caught a bug the weekend of the 8th. We just kept pouring down the OJ like it was going out style. Licked the bug pretty quick. And jalapenos are fantastic for getting the sinuses cleared out.

  4. I treated my flu last week with garlic honey and Double E Immune Boost glycerite (I bought the herb blend from The Bulk Herb Store). I had a fever, body aches, and felt generally miserable Monday evening, but that was my only bad night. I was a bit more tired than usual the next two days, and that was it! I never took the Elderberry Cough Syrup I made earlier this fall, because I didn't have a cough, but I did give it to two of my children who were sick at the same time, and their coughs never developed into anything more serious. Next time I will remember to dose myself with the elderberries, too!

  5. How much ACV do mix with water? Thanks and glad you're over it!

  6. I make Elderberry Syrup from fresh Elderberries.
    My recipe is 1 cup Elderberries, 2 cups water, 2 cinnamon sticks, 6 whole cloves. I simmer this, then strain everything twice. I add 1 cup wildflower honey and 2 tbsp. lemon juice, mix well, then can the mixture in pint jars in a water bath. (I make more than one batch of this! ;-) )
    This concoction is so delicious and an easy way to work up the berries quickly. The nice thing about this recipe is that it can be taken all throughout the day vs. the ferminted blend only taken at night (which I'd like to also make someday.)
    I enjoy your blog and like your helpful hints and recipes. Thank you for your inpiration!

    ~ another reader from california :-)

    1. I forgot to write that I also add 3 tbsp. fresh ginger to the first part of the mixture. :-)

      I was sorry to hear that you were sick. I'm glad it didn't get worse than it did, or last longer than it could have. :-)

      God bless you!

  7. Soooooo glad you are better.
    Welcome back.

  8. missed you while you were gone and hoped for your full recovery...does not sound like flu...sounds like a virus though. i agree with capn crunch...heat and warmth, and lots of fluids usually will get you over a virus or a light case of flu.

  9. Very glad you're feeling better, but if you have the flu pleeeeeze don't go out and spread it! Hope you're 100% soon.

  10. I've been a reader of your blog for a while and do enjoy it. I am hopeful you've completely recovered from the nasty bug. I have suffered with similar things. I am also interested in knowing if ya'll sell any of that elderberry wine? I have a good friend whose wife loves elderberry jam and just about anything elderberry. I'm not sure if she would like the wine, but I thought I would ask. I'll check back here. Uncle Al

    1. Dear Uncle Al;
      Unfortunately, the USPS, fed ex and UPS all have rules about shipping wine - you can't! If we could, we would have been happy to send you a bottle. I hope you can find some - it is really quite good.

  11. If u can't ship wine then how do those wine
    On the months get
    To people? I'm curious
    Now, cause
    I too
    Was thinking about that wine in my cabinet for just

    1. I used to have a copy of the double blind study the Israeli's did. They proved Elderberry works.

  12. I think you can ship either Fed EX or UPS, just not regular mail. We've shipped bottles of wine from CA to SC to the inlaws.


  13. What is clear here is that if you had skipped that yucky vinegar and just drank more of that yummy wine you would have got better much quicker.

  14. Greetings!

    Another elderberry suggestions: Elderberry cordial. Simply put elderberries in a large mason jar, cover with vodka, and leave to soak for 6 weeks (or more), shaking occasionally. The berries will change color as the juice is extracted. After 6 weeks, strain the berries out, and add a simple syrup (water & sugar) to taste. I'm sure you could use honey in this as well. You could even add a cinnamon stick and some whole cloves to the vodka, then just strain them out with the berries.

    The reason we like using this method, is because there is no heat involved. Heat can break down the beneficial qualities of elderberries, so the less heat the berries are exposed to, the better! However, be warned! This makes a STRONG drink!!!

    Our get-better-quick recipe:

    Garlic, orange juice, colliodal silver, elderberry cordial or jam, and plenty of echinacea tincture!

    To make garlic easier: Cut fresh garlic cloves into pill-sized pieces. Take with a cup of orange juice (the kids can handle it this way... sometimes they even chew!) And we all stink together! :-)