5 Ways to Support your Immune System during CORONA-MADNESS 2020

Everyone is in a panic.

Toilet Paper, hand sanitizer and water are flying off the shelves like it’s a zombie apocalypse.

(And the media-hype fear mongers have you right where they want you.)

Fear.  It’s a powerful, tool in the hands of those who would want to control you.


Is it possible for a  major pandemic illness to sweep the country or the world?  Well, yes. It is possible…

Is this is the next black plague?  No.

However, it seems to be all anyone can talk about, so I’m here to share what my family is doing to avoid the the Corona Virus, Influenza, the common cold, the Black Plauge … and to keep the zombies at bay.

It’s very simple.

Keep calm & use common sense.

You don’t need more toilet paper. You need to KEEP YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEMS BOOSTED AND HEALTHY

The most important thing you can do for you and your family is support your internal health, your immune system. Yes, it’s important to wash your hands, try to avoid touching your face, etc. But if you are proactive with your health it will pay off in the long run.

I’ll break it down to 5 basic things:

  • Try to get a good nights sleep.
    •  Shut down electronics an hour before bed.
    •  Turn off your wifi before you go to bed.
    •  Diffuse (or apply topically) thereputic grade Essential Oils like Cedarwood, Lavender, Vetiver, Patchouli, & Chamomile


  • Get lots of vitamin C – Don’t underestimate this. 
  •  Eat Healthy
    • Reduce your sugar intake (and quick sugar carbs like white bread & white rice)
    •  Focus on vegetables, fruits and protein.
    • Avoid processed, junk food

eat healthy

  •  Take Elderberry Syrup (or gummies) It’s super easy to make your own!
    • Click Here for more info and my super easy recipe.

Elderberry Collage

cold bomb

And let me just add one more thing. Call it a bonus.


Stressing about this and giving into fear will actually compromise your immune system even more. Our body and brain are in constant communication and it has been proven that psychological upsets can result in physical symptoms. Our immune systems are affected directly by our stress levels.

So take a deep breath and chill out.  The zombies aren’t coming for your toilet paper.  You just need to support your overall health and immune system.


Essential Oil Cold & Flu Bombs

Whether you are sick and looking to kick something or wanting to get ahead of an illness you’ve been exposed to, these bomb-diggity cold & flu bombs are what you are looking for.

We use these bad boys faithfully whenever the mountain man or I start to feel any inkling of under-the-weather symptoms coming on.  My kids aren’t able to take the capsules just yet, so for them I put this same mix in the diffuser and on their feet (mixed with a carrier oil.)

The combination of this oil blend and my elderberry syrup recipe has kept us well through many near-miss brushes with sickness over the past two years.  I have actually been using this blend off and on for several years, but the honest truth is, in years past, I tended to get a big cocky from time to time, and convince myself that I didn’t need to take them or didn’t have time to make a big batch.

“Oh, you’re fine, you’ve got this.”  –  What do I think I am, a magician?

“You don’t need to waste the oils.” – Why else do you have them?

“I’m too busy to make them right now.”  – A capsule seriously takes 30 seconds to make.

These times when I’m feeling too stubborn to make the darn capsules are the only time I get sick. So if you wait too long, and really let a bug take hold, you may have to deal with some of the consequences. These bombs help to support a healthy immune system. They can play a huge part in helping to take the edge off of your symptoms and shorten the duration of an illness, but they don’t always just kick the cold out the door.  IF YOU WAIT TOO LONG.

However, I have learned that the morning I wake up with a sore or scratchy throat or yucky feeling coming on. I go strait for the oils.  I try to keep a batch of these on hand in a jar at all times to be on the safe side but seriously, it’s 30 seconds to make a capsule, just do it.

Here’s what you need.

  • Vegetable capsules
  • Carrier oil (I prefer Young Living’s V6, but any culinary oil is also fine)
  • Thieves essential oil
  • Tea Tree essential oil
  •  Frankinsence essential oil
  • Oregano essential oil
  • Lemon essential oil
  • Peppermint essential oil

Depending on the size of your capsule, you can usually fit 2 drops of each oil in a capsule. Oh sure, you could make it complicated and use 3 drops of this and 1 drop of that but do you really want to have to stop and think about that kind of thing? No. Just keep it simple.  2 drops of each, and top off with carrier oil.  (Preferably not on an empty stomach & don’t forget the carrier.)

Recommended dosage:

If you know you were exposed to an illness or are wanting to keep all your bases covered, before a big vacation or event, I recommend 1 capsule in the morning and at night (with food.)

If you are already feeling symptoms coming on, take a capsule 3 times a day for a few days until you feel completely in the clear.

If you are definitely under the weather give yourself a bigger boost by taking a capsule every 4-6 hours until you have been in the clear for a few days.  It can double back on you if you quit too soon!

*IMPORTANT NOTE: If you don’t have every one of these oils, make them any way.  I have needed to leave one or two oils out from time to time when I unexpectedly ran out, and they have still worked fine, but if you have them all, USE THEM ALL for the most effective results.

**ANOTHER IMPORTANT NOTE: Regardless of the ads that pop up at the end of this blog post, do not ingest any essential oil that is not labeled ‘Therapeutic Grade’. And for heaven’s sake, DO NOT BUY YOUR ESSENTIAL OILS FROM AMAZON. I only use Young Living because they have by far surpassed all others in their efforts to offer the cleanest most pure essential oil on the market with their Seed to Seal process.


If you have questions about Young Living, feel free to comment on this post, email me at homesteadstateofmind@gmail.com or check out this post.

***Disclaimer: These bombs are NOT meant to fight off a stomach bug. Think, common cold, flu, etc.

****Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nurse, or any other form of medical professional. The content of this blog is based simply my own experiences and opinions and have not been evaluated by any government agency. This information is not intended to “diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.” Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Website.

Natural Homemade Shampoo (with a crazy secret ingredient)

Many, many, moons ago, I decided to take yet one more step on my journey to a healthier home.  Let’s be honest, going chemical free is not something that can be done over night. If you even tried you would go broke, drive your husband miserable and loose your ever-loving mind in the process.

It is an important goal. It is a goal worth putting your time and effort in to.  The average home has over 60 toxic chemicals. They are in cleaners, paints, cosmetics, lotions, soaps and perfumes. Studies have confirmed that within 26 seconds of being exposed to cleaning products, traces of these chemicals are found in every organ in the body and according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 150 common products have been linked to birth defects, cancer, allergies and psychological issues.

But if you are here looking for a DIY shampoo recipe, you probably already know that.  Because, who would be wanting to take the time to brew up their own shampoo rather than dropping it in their shopping cart.  With their floral essences and silky smooth talking commercials, you’d have to just be one of them crunchy hippies to resort to concocting your own.

Or maybe you’re just smart enough to put your foot down and take your health (and your hair) into your own hands.

So, back to my original story, after taking baby steps of making my own household cleaners, baby products and toothpaste, I decided to go for the “no poo” crunchy mama badge.

My hair has always been a problem.

Back in my traditional shampoo days, I had to wash it EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. In the morning. Without fail. Or I would be left with an oily, limp, wet spaghetti mop.  And for a girl who spends 10-12 weekends a year camping and hunting, that’s just not something I could do.  I spent our time in the woods cringing as I tucked my oily mess under a ball cap and couldn’t wait to get in the shower the second we got home.

So the baking soda and vinegar route, sounded ideal.  I had read about these women who were going 2 weeks without a wash! I had also read some bad reviews from those who had done it for a few years and really felt like it wrecked their hair, but in order to get away from the chemicals and the daily demand of a hair wash, I figured it was worth the try.

It did okay.  Really it did. At first.  I couldn’t go 2 weeks without a wash, I was lucky to go 4 days but even then it was looking grungy. Day one would be great, but over time it just started to look sad. The volume I was getting started to feel more like build up and I started to have a serious problem with a bad, dry scalp.  Like cradle cap bad.

I knew my baking soda days were over. I even tried to go back to regular shampoo, but I was faced with the same limp locks and oil factory that I always had dealt with before.

That’s when I got really brave.  I decided to take the plunge and start experimenting with my own recipe using castile soap as a base.

There were some definite fails, but by George, I found it.  I mean, I really found a fantastic option for a natural, homemade shampoo and I’m NEVER going back.

My hair has NEVER looked like this before.  Not even with that fancy, store-bought, chemical-laden stuff. I have never had volume like this until now.

And guess what? I don’t have to wash my hair every day anymore.  It is quite happy to go 4 days, with just a dry shampoo boost on day 3 or 4 if needed. (Don’t worry, I SHOWER EVERY DAY.  I just leave my hair out of it.)

NOW … for the super crazy secret ingredient … A teensy, tiny smidge of Young Living’s Thieves Household cleaner.

I warned you it was crazy, but it makes all the difference. I found this out by accident when I once mistook my bottle of Thieves Cleaner for my bottle of ACV rinse in the shower one day.  The results were magical and the rest is history.  You SHOULD already have this in your chemical free arsenal. If you don’t already have it, YOU NEED IT.  Seriously, an amazing smelling, incredible, plant based household cleaner for less than $1 per bottle?  You’re crazy if your not using this stuff.

If you don’t have the YL Thieves cleaner, you can replace it with vegetable glycerine, but I honestly do prefer the Thieves.

Without further rambling, I’ll lay the basics on you and get you to the recipe.


Here are some things to take note of:

  • If you don’t have oily hair, you can probably get away with significantly more oil in your shampoo mixture.  Most recipes I have seen online use more.  But if I use the tablespoon they call for, just call me Severus Snape for the next week. –When trying out your homemade shampoo for the first time, it’s better to start small with the added oil and work your way up to find what works for you.
  •  Start with a small batch in case you don’t love my version, adjust it to suit your own hair.
  • If you are switching over from traditional shampoo, be prepared to have your hair freak out for the first week or so.  As our body learns to balance with the new shampoo, sometimes it goes a little oil crazy. Don’t give up.  It WILL find it’s balance and you’ll be pleased as punch with the results.
  •  I use an apple cider vinegar rinse to condition my hair.  I typically don’t apply it to my roots, due to my oil issues, but most folks can.  I will rinse the entire scalp with the ACV mixed 50/50 with water about once a week or so to keep my scalp healthy though. — I also use a (homemade/healthy) conditioner spray on my ends as needed if I feel like my hair is feeling a bit dry or do a natural, deep conditioner occasionally if my ends are starting to feel dry.  Again, if you are able to use a bit more oil in the shampoo base, you probably won’t need to worry about that.

Here’s the recipe!


1/2 cup liquid castile soap

1/2 cup strongly steeped chamomile tea

1/2 tsp grapeseed oil or jojoba oil

A few drops Young Living Thieves Household Cleaner concentrate (It’s crazy, I know.)

(Replace Thieves concentrate with 1/4 tsp vegetable glycerine if desired)

Cedarwood, Lavender and Rosemary essential oils

  1. Add all ingredients to a plastic bottle with a small spout (the only time you’ll hear me say, NOT a mason jar. You will use too much shampoo and waste it!)
  2. Shake well before using.
  3.  Drizzle just a few drops here and there, all over the scalp.  It will not spread well throughout the hair, so you’ll need to strategically place your drops in each quadrant of your scalp.  But it lathers like CRAZY, so you don’t want to use too much!
  4.  Gently scrub scalp.
  5. Follow with an apple cider vinegar rinse for conditioning.

And as always, if you have questions about the recipe or the essential oils products I use, please reach out to me in the comments here or at homesteadstateofmind@gmail.com.


4 Keys to Reclaiming Your Thyroid Health

Have you ever had that dream where there is something really important that you need to do or to focus on but you just can’t quite see well enough or move fast enough? Everything is shadowed in darkness, your body is unable to move, there is a force closing in around you, the darkness is swallowing you whole and encasing you in wet, heavy cement that, bit by bit, is beginning to harden… There is no other fatigue like Thyroid Fatigue.

Never fear though, THERE IS HOPE!! One of the most important keys to a Homestead State of Mind is reclaiming your health from Big Pharma and Modern medicine. 

I was diagnosed in 2010, with hypothyroidism and was put onto the typical thyroid medication.  It was during my first pregnancy and my thyroid just tanked; it was no surprise really, both of my parents had also been diagnosed with thyroid dysfunction.  I had no idea at the time just how vital and how all-encompassing thyroid function really is.  All I knew was that I was tired all the time and struggling with my weight.  In reality, thyroid dysfunction affects EVERYTHING, absolutely everything. 

But after 8 years on thyroid medication I found that my levels were only getting worse, and my dosage increasing over time rather than improving.  Let me tell you folks, there IS a better way.  I wish I had known earlier how much we are able to support our own endocrine system with diet, supplementation and for me, the most important component, essential oils. 

Here are 4 keys to support your own endocrine system and thyroid function:

  1. Diet – By this, I do not mean “dieting” like, “lose 20 lbs in the next 30 days” fad diet nonsense.  What we’re talking about here is good nutrition and avoiding or moderating a few particular culprits that are fighting against you.  Two of the main Bad Guys that are going to sabotage your thyroid are caffeine and quick sugars (anything that will spike your blood sugar.)  This is all a balancing act folks, a tired thyroid cannot defend itself against a dose of adrenaline and both caffeine and quick spikes to your blood sugar do exactly that. 
    • Caffeine.  This is one of the hardest things for me to do because I LOVE coffee.  But deep down, I know that it does not love me back.  If you are a coffee addict like me, and some days herbal tea (which I also love) just isn’t going to cut it, chicory root is a great substitution and comes with a whole host of its own nutrition benefits.  There are many brand choices out there, I use Dandy Blend, which you can find it on Amazon.  It combines Chicory root and Dandelion root for a super beneficial nutrition boost to your day.  Another herbal option with a pick me up is Yerba Mate, which has its own (more gentle) non-caffeinated energy boost but this option will be more like an herbal tea rather than the darker “coffee fix” of chicory root.
    • Quick sugars.  Many others I have spoken to will say that avoiding gluten all together is the key, and that’s always a safe way to go; but for me, I’ve found that I can tolerate some gluten in moderation.  The key is fermentation.  I can enjoy sour dough bread in moderation without all the negative side effects because the fermentation process eats up the sugars in the wheat.  But we’re not just talking bread here folks.  Sugars, highly processed grains and fruit should also be avoided or moderated.  Along with sourdough bread, I have found that I can occasionally enjoy some fruit (berries are lowest on the glycemic index and your best choice) and whole grains like brown rice, whole oats etc. but not on a daily basis.  Overall, a lower carb style of eating is a good rule of thumb.  Weight loss is also something that will help to improve your thyroid function but since weight gain is a symptom and byproduct of a slow thyroid, it can become a vicious cycle.  Lowering your consumption of quick sugar foods can help both with your weight and with your thyroid at the same time.
    • Supplementation – This one for me is very simple.  Vitamin D, Iodine (with Kelp) Magnesium and a good probiotic.  (Rather than purchasing a probiotic, I use a variety of fermented foods to support my digestive health, but Young Living also carries pro and prebiotic products that are fantastic.  Plexus also provides a fantastic line of supplements, but for me, Young Living has been life changing. Young Living also has a Thyroid Suppliment called Thyromin which is a special blend or extracts herbs, amino acids, minerals and essential oils that maximize nutritional support for healthy thyroid function. 
  2. Sleep – Once again, we are working to support your thyroid and an overly taxed adrenal system will stop you in your tracks.  Getting regular sleep is vitally important.  If you are having trouble sleeping Cedar wood and Lavender essential oils are my favorite combo to support a healthy sleep cycle and as an added bonus, Cedar wood oil is one of the beneficial supports for a healthy thyroid. 
  3. Endocrine disrupters – This is one aspect that I didn’t take seriously enough for quite some time.  Chemicals like artificial fragrance are known endocrine disrupters meaning they seriously affect and hinder your endocrine (or any hormone) system.  I slowly began to weed out as many of these chemicals over time and hadn’t realized the real difference that it had made until after our move to Alaska last year.  During the moving process I found my old favorite perfumes and candles and I started using some perfume here, burning a candle there… and then I started cleaning cabins for some side work.  The combination of fragrance and chemical cleaners sent me spiraling!  Headaches, inflammation, fatigue, brain fog and mood swings were OUT OF CONTROL.  Thankfully I realized what might be happening.  As soon as I stopped using the scented perfumes, lotions and candles and started bringing my own Thieves Cleaner (from Young Living) to work, I was good as new again!  The difference was unmistakable, I am so grateful to have beautiful smelling oils for perfume and diffusing, and an exceptional, plant based, household cleaner at hand at all times.
  4. Essential Oils – This one is no joke people, I don’t know that I would be successfully off of thyroid medication without it.  Endoflex – This is my main go-to here, a powerful combination of oils that support healthy thyroid function.  I find that I get the best results when I take the Endoflex, Clove and Copaiba internally and thanks to Young Living’s line of vitality oils, you know that they are safe.  I DO NOT suggest ingesting any essential oil other than Young Living.  To my knowledge Young Living’s line of Vitality oils is the only line of essential oils to be granted a GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe) by the FDA for ingestion. Some other oils that will help support your thyroid are:
    1. Frankincense
    2. Myrrh
    3. Myrtle
    4. Cedar wood
    5. Clove
    6. Basil
    7. Lemon Grass and so many more…
    8. Ningxia Red (superfood, antioxident drink)

“…This sweet and tangy drink’s formula includes wolfberry, which is touted for its health benefits. Also featuring plum, aronia, cherry, blueberry, and pomegranate juices and extracts, Young Living’s NingXia Red is packed with superfoods to support overall wellness.

In addition to these antioxidant ingredients, NingXia Red’s formula includes pure vanilla extract and Lemon, Orange, Yuzu, and Tangerine essential oils for a great-tasting, healthy treat.

Young Living NingXia Red benefits include support for energy levels, normal cellular function, and whole-body and normal eye health. A daily shot of 2–4 ounces helps support overall wellness with powerful antioxidants.”

*I also use Young Living’s Progesence Plus Serum and Lady Sclareol or Sclaressence to finish rounding out the support for my female hormones.  Something important to remember is that when one part of the Endocrine System is out of whack, it’s a spiraling cycle of dysfunction.  Working to balance all hormone related systems will improve all systems.

All in all I am posting this in hopes that someone else who is struggling with their Thyroid health will find some improvement in their own quality of life like I have.  If you are interested in finding out more about the essential oils that I have mentioned here or how you can buy the highest quality oils available at wholesale prices, follow my link here. https://homesteadstateofmind.com/2018/02/01/discovering-essential-oils/

Happy Thyroid Awareness Month folks, it is a happy one for me and I hope that soon, you will be able to say the same.

*Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nurse, or any other form of medical professional. The content of this blog is simply my own experiences and opinions and have not been evaluated by any government agency. This information is not intended to “diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.” Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Website.

DIY Earl Grey Tea

My heart is closely connected to the scent of Earl Grey Tea.  When I drink a cup I am filled with a sense of strength.  It is uplifting, yet relaxing, boosts my confidence, relieves stress and the most important asset is that it brings my English Grandmother to my mind.

My love for my Grandma Hilda, in turn, has instilled in me a love for all things English, where deep roots of our family run.  I miss her dearly and cherish anything that will remind me of her, so it only makes sense that such a strong English tradition would take me back to her.

But why the automatic mood boost?

The secret is in that magical ingredient…



The Earl Grey blend is named after Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey, the British Prime Minister in the 1830’s.  It is said that he received a gift, most likely by a Chinese diplomat, of tea flavored with bergamot oil

“Bergamot orange (Citrus bergamia) is a small citrus tree which blossoms during the winter and is grown commercially in Calabria, Italy.[13][14] It is probably a hybrid of Citrus limetta (sweet lime) and Citrus aurantium (bitter orange).[15]”

My sister and I used to joke that we could both drink Bergamot essential oil straight, the scent is just so intoxicating.  So once we realized that Bergamot was the magical ingredient our beloved Earl Gray, it didn’t take long to connect the DIY dots.

Earl Grey

Earl Grey is one of my favorite afternoon pick-me-ups….Bergamot is one of my most prized essential oils.  It’s a match made in heaven… it’s just perfection, plain and simple.

This recipe is beyond simple, but the really important key to it all is to only use the highest quality ingredients.


Your ingredients are:

Black Tea 

Bergamot Essential Oil – I only use Young Living Essential oils.  It is absolutely VITAL if you are ingesting essential oils to only use Therapeutic, Grade A, Organic Essential oils(Don’t be fooled by oils labeled “100% Pure” which are only actually required to contain 5% of the actual essential oil in order to be labeled that way.)  

*Orange peel or Rose Petals, optional


To infuse your own Earl Grey tea :

  • Drop 4-16 drops of Young Living Bergamot Essential oil to the sides of a glass mason jar.  (I realize that this is extremely vague but it really varies from person to person.  My husband likes it best when it is mild, while I enjoy it very strong.)
  • Add your loose, black tea leaves (2 cups) and any other added ingredients (citrus peel, rose petals, etc)
  • Stir/shake the contents of the jar vigorously to coat.
  • Let the tea “cure” for several hours up to a few days.

You can drink a cup right away but I recommend being patient and letting the mixture cure.  For best results use within a few months as the flavor will fade over time.

This has been one of my favorite Homemade/DIY projects that I have ever done, I hope you love it as much as I have!

Earl Grey Collage

Elderberry Gummies

So, you’ve heard me talk about the endless benefits of Elderberries, and I’ve shared my favorite Elderberry Syrup recipe.

But you’ve got tiny humans in your house… and lets face it, they may not be so keen on the idea of swallowing a spoonful of some mystery flavored, black-ish purple liquid… (if they only knew just how yummy it really is.) 

Elderberry Syrup 2


If that is the case, or you just want to see your kids get REALLY excited about consuming a powerful, antioxidant rich, vitamin packed remedy, then these babies are just what you are looking for.  They’re cute, they’re sweet and they’re super fun to eat!  My kiddos are crazy about them.  It’s just another fun step into the world of Redeeming Comfort Food when you can take a sugary-treat like gummy candies and replace them with something like this.


And the best part?  They are a cinch to make.  



Here is what you will need:

1 cup Elderberry Syrup

1/4 cup Gelatin (Good quality)

1/2 cup Hot (not quite boiling) Water

Silicone molds (or a glass dish)

Here is what you do…

  1. Add 1/4 cup of gelatin to 1/4 cup cooled Elderberry Syrup.  Mix well to temper the gelatin.
  2. Add 1/2 cup hot water and stir until smooth.
  3. Add the remaining Elderberry Syrup and stir (once again) until smooth.
  4. *Carefully pour into greased molds or dish.
  5. Refrigerate until firm (approx. 2 hours)
  6. Take as needed (see my Elderberry Syrup recipe for dosage details) 

*I place my silicone molds on a large cookie sheet to catch any spillage and make the molds more stable while moving into the refrigerator.

Elderberry Gummies

Homemade Elderberry Syrup (Instant Pot & Stove Top versions)

Elderberries are one of my FAVORITE homeopathic resources for their immunity building, cold & flu busting power.


It is flu season again and this year I made the mistake of running my family out of fermented goodness.  Most of the time we are able to avoid the worst of the cold/flu bugs by keeping our immune systems strong via the wonderful world of fermented veggies, bone broth, essential oils and magnesium.  This year, however, we have some big things going on and I slipped up on our normal regimen… and we caught the bug.  Thankfully, I had my stock of elderberries on hand and it didn’t take long to whip up a batch of Elderberry Syrup and Elderberry gummies.

As we all know,  there really isn’t much that can be done from a conventional strand-point for treating the common cold or a mild case of the flu.  It can be miserable to sit by and watch your kiddos go through it and not be able to do anything to fix it.  Thankfully, there ARE some homeopathic things that we can do to help them through it and Elderberry Syrup is one of those things.

Elderberries contain vitamins A, B & C, and are a potent resource of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties and immune boosting compounds.  They have been used medicinally since the fifteenth century and can be used in a variety of ways for a variety of illnesses.

Even according to WebMD “Elderberry is used for “the flu” (influenza), H1N1 “swine” flu, HIV/AIDS, and boosting the immune system. It is also used for sinus pain, back and leg pain (sciatica), nerve pain (neuralgia), and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

Some people use elderberry for hay fever (allergic rhinitis), cancer, as a laxative, for constipation, to increase urine flow, and to cause sweating…”

Also, as stated on https://wellnessmama.com/5913/elderberries-herb-profile/

Studies have shown that Elderberries  prevent and fight at least 8 different strains of influenza.  While helping to stop production of hormone-like cytokines that cause inflammation, they also increase the production on non-inflammatory, infection fighting cytokines as much as 10 fold… Dr. Madeleine Mumcuoglu, of Hadassah-Hebrew University in Isreal found that elderberry disarms the enyme viruses use to penetrate healthy cells in the lining of the nose and throat.  Taken before infection, it prevents infection.  Taken after infection, it prevents spread of the virus through the respiratory tract.”

Since Elderberries are a berry and therefore a “food,” they can be used in countless preparations including, tinctures, tonics, syrups, gummies, popsicles and baked into muffins and breads.  My favorite go-to recipe is for this Elderberry Syrup that I am going to share with you today.


Elderberries on there own can be pretty sour, but when paired with the right ingredients they can be quite magical.  This syrup recipe tastes great and even my kiddos come running when I announce it’s time for some Elderberry Syrup.  In this recipe, Elderberries are paired with ginger, cinnamon, cloves and honey (all of which not only make this syrup taste great, but also have their own medicinal benefits) making this a truly wonderful treat.


And if you are wanting to bump up the infection fighting/immunity-boosting power, you can add some Echinacea and will lose none of the fantastic flavor.

(An added benefit to this recipe is that you can find all the ingredients HERE from my favorite herbal supply resource.)


Here is the recipe.

Homemade Elderberry Syrup

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 cup Dried Elderberries
4 cups water
2 Tablespoons fresh or dried ginger root (or 2 tsp powder)
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon powder (or 1 cinnamon stick)
1/2 tsp cloves (whole or ground)
1 cup raw honey
1/4 cup dried Echinacea (optional but highly recommended)

Instant Pot:

  • Add all ingredients EXCEPT HONEY to Instant Pot and stir.
  • Secure Lid and set for manual pressure, 7 minutes.
  • When cooking time is up, do a quick-release and release lid.
  • Turn on saute function and simmer until liquid is reduced by about half (15 min or so- watch so it doesn’t burn!)
  • Remove from heat and either mash/strain in a wire mesh strainer or add to a French press and press out the juice.
  • Cool the juice until warm but NOT hot, stir in honey until combined. (You can add more honey to taste.)

Stove Top:

  • Add elderberries, spices/herbs and water to a saucepan and simmer VERY gently on the stove for 45 minutes to 1 hour until the liquid is reduced by half. (Watch this step closely, all burners will simmer at a different rate and yours might go much quicker than mine.)
  • Remove from heat and either mash/strain in a wire mesh strainer or add to a French press and press out the juice.
  • Cool the juice until warm, but NOT hot then add the honey, stirring well until combined.

Additional notes –

  • Store syrup in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
  • Preventative Dosage for children is 1/2-1 tsp per day for children and 1 Tbl per day for adults.
  • If you are fighting off illness, take the normal dose every 3-4 hours until symptoms have passed.

Elderberry Collage

Discovering Essential Oils

Essential Oils with Mama Natural
Have you ever noticed that when you smell a rose you instantly felt more serene? How about noticing that getting a whiff of peppermint helps you feel more alert?  Or add a squeeze of lemon to your water and feel more refreshed?

If so, you’re already practicing aromatherapy. Therapeutic scents can literally help us feel better inside and out.  (Contrary to what my dear hubby says– he likes to call it voodoo.  But that doesn’t stop him from going straight to my oils stash when he feels a cold coming on.)

Why choose Young Living essential oils

When I first started using essential oils, I started with the stuff that you can buy from the health food store.  (I have since learned that those oils are not therapeutic grade and not as effective, not to mention they are frankly not safe for continuous use and NEVER safe for use internally.) I used them for homemade cleaners, and tried to use them for home remedies, but I noticed that I had to use a LOT of oils to get any effect at all.

As I got more serious about essential oils, a friend started to talk to me about Young Living but the idea that I needed to buy a starter kit that cost more than $100 seemed crazy.  NO WAY, I thought, no way am I going to spend that kind of money when I don’t even know if they even work.  Little did I know, the gold mine that Starter Kit really is.YL_Starter kit breakdown

I finally went to a class was REALLY impressed by their quality.  The first whiff of peppermint oil was completely different than those low grade oils I’d been wasting money on at the health food store.  Not only was I impressed by the quality  (above organic) and their seed to seal process, but also the fact that they own most of the farms themselves.  They weed by hand; they use their own oils for pest control; and they gently distill their oils without chemicals.

They also rigorously test their final product both in-house and by a third party to meet therapeutic standards. Plants and their oils are powerful yet delicate in nature. By using Young Living, the plant’s “living energy” is preserved in every bottle. Their essential oils are 100% therapeutic grade, effective and safe.

Plus, Young Living has the best and most affordable starter kits out there. They make it easy for a newbie to get started!

“What do I actually do with Essential Oils?”

That’s most people’s question when they get started, but oils quickly get incorporated into daily life. People diffuse oils daily to uplift spirits or help cranky toddlers sleep. They use Thieves oil at the first sign of cold or cough. They use them for sinus pressure, aches and pains, fevers, blotchy skin, headaches, hair loss, eczema, sun spots, sore throats, athlete’s foot, and we could go on.

Are you curious about Essential Oils?

If so, give Young Living a close look. One of the most popular ways to get started is sign up as a distributor and get their Premium Starter Kit with the diffuser.

This kit retails for over $300, but as a Wholesale Member, you get a 50% discount

Here’s what’s inside the Premium Starter Kit.  It’s not the only way to get started, but in my opinion it is by far the best way to start.

Premium Essential Oils Collection (5-ml each)

  • Lavender (skin irritations and relaxation)
  • Valor
  • Peppermint Vitality™ (muscle soreness and digestive issues)
  • Lemon Vitality™ (detoxification and cleaning)
  • Frankincense (youthful skin, spiritual connection, and MANY other amazing things)
  • Thieves® Vitality™ (immunity, colds/flus)
  • Citrus Fresh
  • Peace and Calming
  • Raven
  • DiGize™ Vitality™ (All stomach issues)
  • PanAway® (pain and inflammation)


  • A home diffuser (a $96 value. I use mine daily.)
  • A bonus oil! 5 mL bottle of Stress Away (I LOVE this oil. My favorite scent by far 🙂 )
  • Aroma Glide roller fitment (to turn any oil into a roll on)
  • 10 sample packets total of Lavender, Peppermint, Peace & Calming, Lemon, and Thieves for travel or sharing with family and friends
  • 2 NingXia Red 2-oz. samples (a yummy antioxidant supplement)

Want to try Young Living essential oils?

You can get Young Living Essential Oils in two ways.

  1. as a Wholesale Member (highly encouraged… it sounds like a serious commitment but it’s really not)
  2. or as a Retail Customer via the Young Living website (don’t recommend it because you don’t get the discount!)

I highly recommend joining as a Wholesale Member, even if you’re a beginner. As a wholesale member you get access to the Premium Starter Kit which is a savings in itself, and you also get an amazing 24% discount off every product you order. There are no tricks or gimmicks, no automatic charges to your credit card, and no required monthly orders (unless you want to get even BIGGER savings with our Essential Rewards program, but that’s a whole ‘nother thing we can talk about later.)

You don’t need to “sell” oils to be part of this

For Wholesale Members there is no requirement to sell or meet monthly quotas or anything like that.

But if you’d like to earn some extra income…

Wholesale Members do have the option of sharing oils with their friends and family in order to earn commissions and participate in promotions for free oils.  If this is something you’re interested in, sign up with me and I’ll help you get started!

Here’s how to begin

You start by purchasing an enrollment kit. There are three options to choose from. However, I REALLY REALLY recommend the Premium Starter Kit with the diffuser (pictured above). It is by far the best value and will help you actually start using essential oils. It’s the only kit that gives you the 10 Everyday Essential Oils (plus a bonus oil, StressAway, which is one of my absolute favorites). These 11 oils are some of the most commonly used and will give you endless options in treating your family and yourself.

Sign me up!

To get started, just follow these steps.

  1. Click over to the sign-up page.
  2. Select “Sign Up As: Young Living Wholesale Member” (The links I have provided here already have my enroller/sponsor ID included so that I can be a helpful resource to you as you start your own oil journey)
  3. Fill out your name, billing address, shipping address, and contact info. (The reason you are asked for your SSN is for tax purposes; if you make over $600/year selling Young Living products, you will receive a 1099 form in the mail, as is required by law. Young Living never shares this info with anyone.)
  4. Create your password and pin which you will use to log in to your account and order your oils.
  5. Select your enrollment order. This is where you can specify which starter kit you would like. You must sign up with one of these kits to become a Wholesale Member.
  6. Set up your optional Essential Rewards Program.  Buying one of the ER kits is not a requirement to sign up as a Wholesale Member. However I HIGHLY recommend it. This is a rewards program you can opt into to immediately start earning money back in free product. And the best part is, if you enroll now, you will earn points back immediately on the starter kit you’re purchasing. You can skip one month per year if you are unable to order AND you can cancel anytime, easy peasy. You can select one of the ER kits available or you can build your own if you have another oil or product in mind. If you aren’t interested at this point, you can skip this step by selecting “No, thank you. I plan on enrolling in the Essential Rewards Program later.” But seriously consider it. Why not earn all that extra cash back on your starter kit?
  7. Agree to Terms & Conditions.
  8. CONFIRM YOUR ORDER. Many folks miss this step and end up not fully checking out. To confirm, the tool will log you in and it will show you your order again and it will make you enter in your payment information again.

Congratulations! Welcome to the amazing world of essential oils!

You’re going to love this next phase of your natural living journey!

WAIT!!  There is one more bonus that I, personally can offer you.  This is not something that all YL customers get, it’s a special perk just for hangin’ with me!  Since we all have that “okay, now what?” moment after ordering a kit, I can sign you up for an 8 email series on how to use and fall in love with your kit!

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