Are you coughing up a storm like everyone else this season?

Have you ever heard of elderberry? If you haven’t, you need to learn more about this amazingly healthy berry. Like an all-in-one pharmacy, black elderberry is incredibly good for you. This season, mix up a delicious, child-safe herbal tea for coughs with the addition of the equally amazing stinging nettle.

For this, you are going to need a few things in your herbal cupboard:

  • dried elderberries
  • dried nettle leaves
  • dried peppermint
  • dried strawberry slices
  • honey

You might be lucky enough to have these already. All four of those plants grow on our property. The nettle, unfortunately, decided to pop up in the middle of my bean plants last year (which is a reminder of why we wear gloves when weeding), but at least now I can say I have some! We don’t have bees yet, but I always have honey in my cupboard.

If you are unable to grow your own, you should be able to find all of them at your local health food store or bulk store. They are fairly common ingredients.

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Nettle and Berry Tea

Put 2 cups water on to boil. In a small dish, mix 1 teaspoon dried elderberries, 1 teaspoon dried nettle leaves, 1 teaspoon dried peppermint, and a few dried strawberry slices.

When the water is boiling, add the herbs, put on the lid and turn off the heat.

Leave it alone about 10 or 20 minutes. Basically, leave it until the water has cooled off to a drinkable temperature.

Pour through a small mesh strainer.

Alternately, put the herbs in the bottom of a French press, pour 2 cups boiling water over and steep as stated

Pour into a coffee mug and add honey to taste.  Remember, honey is part of the medicine, so don’t be stingy.

Hand the mug to the husband (or whoever is sick with that awful phlegmy cough) and wait for a reaction.

“Honey, while I really appreciate the tea, I have a chest cold. The phlegm is in my chest. A nice, soothing honey and berry tea isn’t going to help that, although it’s certainly feeling nice on my throat. Why didn’t you get me some expectorant cough syrup?”

“Ah ha!” I said.

(Yes, I really did.)

“The peppermint you’re tasting is partly to make it taste delicious, but peppermint also contains menthol – like cough drops – so it relieves congestion.

The honey – well, you and I have talked about how honey soothes the throat and esophagus and has many healing properties.

The elderberries are a powerhouse for cold-fighting and sinus infections, and they’re a traditional expectorant, antiviral and antibacterial.

The nettle is full of iron and vitamin C, it’s also an expectorant and a powerful antiviral and antibacterial, and, well, the natives say that the gods gave us nettle to cure every illness we have.

As for the strawberries, they have more vitamin C per ounce than oranges!”

He took another sip, looked at his mug, and said, “You did good. Wow. This is delicious.”

As with many herbal teas, the recommended dose is a warm cup of it three times a day, while needed, to ease and heal the cough.If you’re battling chest colds this winter, why don’t you make yourself up a big mug of this and see how it works?As always, realize that herbal medications, while generally safer than commercial products, are still medications. Treat any new food cautiously and be aware of allergies and sensitivities. When in doubt, please consult a physician. Just Plain Marie is NOT a doctor or a medical expert in any way – I share what has worked for me.

Just Plain Living