How about some Solutions?
Well, there’s plenty of posts about why we should be concerned about the vaccine . . . That one’s a done deal as far as I’m concerned . . . They’ll have to hit me with a poisoned dart, and drag me out of my house by my feet before they get me to submit to a vaccine . . . And then, I’ll probably cut my arm off like the natives in Apocalypse Now, when I wake up . . . .
So, of course, on the off chance that something really does come of this panicdemic, I’ve been developing an “influenza kit” to keep my family safe. One of the items is elderberry juice and/or elderberry syrup. Here is an excellent summary (from my new favorite emergency prep/homesteading blog) of the use of elderberry for prevention and treatment of influenza: http://purecajunsunshine.blogspot.com/2009/05/everything-you-ever-wanted-to-know.html. It seems that elderberry has a long, tested track record (unlike the vaccine) for the treatment and prevention of influenza . . . even the dreaded avian flu. And, for those of you (like me) who are wary of Tamiflu and the like, the good news is that elderberries are just becoming ripe right now, in northern Illinois. They are as common as weeds, and easy to harvest. If you haven’t time to put up syrup right now, you can freeze them, and do the processing later. When you go foraging, remember that elderberries like forest edges and rather moist, if not quite boggy, ground. Here’s what the shrub looks like in flower, although usually they’re more assymetrical, because they lean out toward the light from forest edges:
In the spring, the flowers are easy to spot . . . so you can take note, and return in late August for berry picking. Here’s a closeup of the fruit and leaves:
Remember that uncooked elderberry juice is moderately poisonous, so no munching in the field, kids . . .
There are a number of elderberry syrup recipes online (including one in the link, above). Some contain alcohol, and others do not. I plan on making some syrup with alcohol, as it keeps on the shelf (no refrigeration) that way. Also, a touch of alcohol is useful for a cough, in the event that you are using the syrup in higher doses for an active case of the flu.
That’s it . . . Back to the kitchen with me, now . . .