This is about as flash as I can be this week.
When I feel the hint of sickness lurking near my respiratory tract I take a dose of elderberry tincture straight away and knock it on the head. Now we are in spring and my supplies are all gone after sharing with lots of family in need this year and I am watching the flowers covetously planning a bigger bottle up for the still room.
I did find this calico bag of dried berries that I had stashed having never got around to tincturing them. The stem and seeds are emetic so it is important to remove them; adding vomiting and diarrhoea to your woes would be disastrous. Take the dried berries into your palm and clap your other palm over the top and move them gently together in circles. The stems will quickly and easily separate and if you do this action holding your palms vertically the stems will even fall away so you don't even have to winnow.
I steep the elder berries in a tea pot with a stainless steel strainer (non reactive to food acids and alkaline) and give them a light press and stir after they have re-hydrated. The fine mesh holds back the seeds. I also add sage and thyme fresh picked from the garden but you can also use them from dried form. Both of these herbs are known to aid coughs, sore throats and irritated and inflamed linings. They also have anti-septic and anti-viral properties.
It really is well worth planting beyond the basil and parsley and reading and extending your knowledge of herbs. I do stress the thorough reading and researching too, just because something is natural doesn't mean it can be treated casually. There is powerful medicine in plants and it is well to know their effects especially if you are on medication or have pre-existing disease.
I wish you good health.