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February  2014 Herbal Talk Notes

Lynn M

 Lynn Moddejonge

Topic: Getting & Staying Healthy for the Winter
with Natural Remedies

Your Immune System

Your immune system is what helps you to fight off viruses such as the common cold, allergies, HIV and other diseases caused by viruses.
About 80 percent of your immune system is located in your digestive tract. Thus it is important that you have a healthy
digestive system
so that it can remain strong and healthy.

Benefits of a Strong Immune System

Avoid the Common Cold. You will never have to worry about the common cold ever again. This is because as soon as a foreign
virus enters your body, your system will attack and remove it from the body so that it cannot harm you.

Fevers. Fevers will also be a thing of the past, as your body will not be laden down with toxins.

HIV. A strong immune system will also help you to battle the symptoms of HIV, and other autoimmune disorders.

Allergies. Allergies are the result of the system over reacting to a foreign substance such as pollen and dust. The system
overreacts because it is weak and feels threatened, but when it is strong it can simply attack and remove the foreign
substance from your body without any symptoms of allergies.

Fatigue. It will help you to fight fatigue so that you will have more energy to do the things that you enjoy doing.

  Three herbs help boost immune system are Elderberries, Ginger and Cherry Bark


Elderberries are rich in flavonoids which are natural compounds with antioxidant qualities that protects cells against damage or
infections. Elderberry also contains vitamin A, B, significant amounts of vitamin C and amino-acids. All these nutrients can help
you stay healthy and prevent diseases, by boosting your immune system.

The antioxidant effect is reinforced by the presence of large quantities of vitamin C. This difference in

bioavailability has been proved though the administration of both blackcurrant and

elderberry juice to volunteers, and testing the presence of the anthocyanins in the

urine. This is a measure of their bioavailability, or how easily they are absorbed by the

body, and the greater this bioavailability, then the more effective is their antioxidant


In a 2004 study of 60 people suffering from flu-like symptoms, for instance, scientists found that those who used elderberry
extract for five days (taking 15 ml in syrup form four times daily) saw their symptoms subside four days earlier than study members assigned to a placebo treatment.


According to Dr. Oz, elderberry juice has antiviral properties that block the flu virus. According to herbwisdom.com, elderberries contain
anthocyanins, which are bioflavonoids that enhance immune function by boosting cytokine production. Cytokines are proteins that act as messengers
to help regulate immune response. Elderberries are also rich in quercetin, which stops replication of viruses and bacteria.


Ginger root has been used to fight off and alleviate the symptoms of colds and flu, as it contains immunity-boosting abilities.  Ginger also
possesses anti-inflammatory properties that could help with arthritis.  Ginger has been found in the scientific research to help balance the
immune system to restore it to proper functioning. Ginger has also been found to enhance the protective functions of the immune system.

Ginger root slices, boiled in water with added
lemon or orange juice, and honey, is a popular herbal drink in ayurvedic
medicine to relieve common cold, cough, and sore throat.

Ginger and the Immune System

•strong antioxidant

•Antimicrobial (kills bacteria - including salmonella) - internally and topically as an antiseptic

•two natural antibiotics are found in ginger

•contains anti-inflammatory agents

•helps eliminate congestion

•ginger root tea eases some throat pain

•kills cold viruses

•inhibits production of cytokines which cause pain and swelling

•combats chills and fever

•lungs: helps with respiratory problems, eases asthma symptoms

•also contains Vit. A, C, E, B-complex, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, iron, zinc, calcium, beta-carotene

Wild Cherry Bark

Has been used throughout Native American history to  treat colds and suppress coughs, wild cherry bark is also used as an ingredient
in cough syrups.  Its active constituents are believed to include the tannins, scopoletin, and cyanogenic glycosides, such as prunasin,
which may help to reduce inflammation, relieve spasms in smooth muscles, and have an astringent effect on tissues.

Along with coughs and colds, wild cherry bark is typically touted as a natural treatment for the following health problems:





•sore throat

•whooping cough

In addition, wild cherry bark is said to alleviate pain and stimulate the digestive system.

Cherry bark extract contains prussic acid, and while the concentration is relatively low in medicinal doses, it is not recommended for
long-term use. The prussic acid also makes the extract unsuitable for those with kidney or liver ailments. A side effect of cherry bark
extract is sedation, so it should not be used by those with high blood pressure or hypertension. Be sure to consult a physician for
concerns about cherry bark extract interaction with medications or negative side effects.

Contra-indications: Immunosuppresessants, auto-immune diseases






Recipes to build your Immune system

by  Lynn Moddejonge
 of Moddejonge Herbals in Everett, WA

Homemade Elderberry Syrup:

§  2/3 cup black elderberries

§  3.5 cups of water

§  2 T fresh or dried ginger root

§  1 tsp cinnamon powder

§  1/2 tsp cloves or clove powder

§  1 cup raw honey (we get from our farmer’s market)

Pour water into medium saucepan and add elderberries, ginger, cinnamon and cloves (do not add honey!)

Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour until the liquid has reduced
by almost half. At that point, remove from heat and let cool enough to be handled. Pour through a strainer into a glass jar or bowl.

Discard the elderberries (or compost them!) and let the liquid cool to lukewarm. When it is no longer hot, add
1 cup of honey and stir well.When honey is well mixed into the elderberry mixture, pour the syrup into a pint
sized mason jar or 16 ounce glass bottle of some kind.

Ta Da! You just made homemade elderberry syrup! Store in the fridge and take daily for its immune boosting properties.
Some sources recommend taking only during the week and not on the weekends to boost immunity.

Standard dose is 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp for kids and 1/2 Tbsp to 1 Tbsp for adults. If the flu does strike, take the
normal dose every 2-3 hours instead of once a day until symptoms disappear.


Elderberry Tincture Recipe

What you need 

  • clean preserving / mason jars
  • elderberries
  • a fork
  • bowl
  • colander
  • vodka (40% + alcohol)
  • 100g of sugar per 1/2 litre of vodka

What to do

To make this alcohol-based medicinal tincture, you must first pick a quantity of elderberries according to the amount you wish
to make. (Don’t mistake water hemlock for the elderberry as it’s toxic, it has hollow stems with purple stems) You need
enough berries to fill your mason jar loosely with berries to within 1 inch of the rim.
Take the berry umbrellas by the main stem with one hand and with the other take the fork and use it to force the berries off
the stem into the bowl below. When this is done place them in a pan of water and all the little tiny stemlets remaining will float
to the surface, when you have removed these, take the colander and strain the berries.
Place the berries loosely into the jar followed by as much vodka as will fit into it, ensure the alcohol covers the berries at least
1 inch so that the liqued fills the jar almost to its rim

Add the necessary amount of sugar according to the amount of alcholo that you have ut in and close lid tightly

Each day, shake the jar and during the fist week, open the jar to ensure that the vodka still covers the berries add a little more if necessary.

After 6-8 weeks open the jar and remove the berries by straining them through the coloander. 
This herbal tincture will remain potent for 1-2 years if kept in a cool dark place.

The recommended dosage of elderberry tincture is 20 drops for adults and 10 drops, in case of children.
This can be taken twice or thrice per day after diluting it in a glass of water. This can continue till the illness gets cured completely.



A cold is an infection of the upper-respiratory tract where the mucous membranes of nose and throat are inflamed
and vulnerable to secondary infections (sinusitis, ear infections, bronchitis, etc). 
Anti-biotics are often prescribed to ward off the secondary infections.

Herbal anti-microbials: Cayenne, Echinacea, Elderflowers, Elderberries, Garlic, Peppermint, Thyme, Yarrow

Anti-histimines - Eyebright, Sage, Nettles

For Adults:

To stop cold or cough (at beginning of cycle)

2 parts Goldenseal
1 part Cayenne
Put into capsules and take two every three hours

2 part Elderberries
1 part Ginger root
1 part Fennel or Yarrow

For Cold Care:

2 parts Boneset
2 parts Elderflower or Elderberry

1 part Yarrow
1 part Peppermint
Steep 10 minutes, strain, cover and store in a cool place. 
Take a wineglass full (4 oz) every 3-4 hours

Essential Oils in a Diffuser

Eucalyptus, Pine, Lavender, Spruce, Ginger or Rosemary


For Children

For cold  and congestion prevention:

1 cup of Catnip infusion with honey

For Runny Noses:
2 tsp Echinacea
4 cups water
1/2 tsp Boneset (immune system)
1 tsp Lemongrass(antiviral)
1 tsp Lemon Balm(antiviral)
1/2 tsp Sage(antibacterial)
1/2 tsp Peppermint (decongestant)
Create decoction of Echinacea, reducing water to three cups. Remove from heat and pour over other herbs. 
Steep 5-10 minutes.  Cool and strain.  Sweeten with honey or maple syrup. Serve hot in 1/2 cup doses.
  Keep in fridge, reheat as necessary.

Above is for informational purposes only.  It is NOT medical advice.  If you need medical assistance or advice,
contact your Doctor or qualified medical professional.

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