If you wake up with a cold in my home…

If you wake up with a cold in my home…

If you wake up with a cold in my home…

you will most likely be offered tea. Summer viruses, or colds, have a tendency to be mild in the warmer months. Either way, most of us still want to find some comfort and relief from symptoms.

If you are dealing with a virus, it means that it has broken through your first defense-your immune system. Keeping this in mind, focus on building and repairing that line of defense. Adequate rest, proper foods, and staying hydrated are ways to support your immunity. There are many supplements that are effective in lessening symptoms and increasing immunity. One of my favorites, that I keep on hand year-round, is elderberry. I make elderberry syrup often. During the colder months (flu season), we take it daily as a preventative. In the warmer months, we take it occasionally. If someone begins to show symptoms of a virus, I make sure everyone takes it as well. It will often lessen the severity of symptoms in subsequent “victims” and sometimes even prevent them from showing any symptoms at all.

We also drink a lot of herbal teas. My children enjoy herbal teas and like to make their own from the herbs in our garden. We use fresh and dried herbs, depending on the time of the year and what is available.

Hot or cold, herbal teas can be soothing, nourishing, healing and uplifting.
There are many different combinations of herbs that can be used to create a wide variety of healing teas. I usually make our teas from plants and herbs we have growing in our yard. I use fresh or dried, whatever I have on hand. In the wintertime, we use mostly dried herbs. Here is a simple recipe my children enjoy to help tame the summertime sniffles.



  • Dried elderberries (a small handful)
  • Thyme (a couple of fresh sprigs or 1/2 teaspoon or so)
  • Mint (a small handful of dried or fresh leaves) We love chocolate mint leaves.
  • Stevia ( a few leaves, dried or fresh)
  • Honey
  • Fresh lemon
  • 1 quart water



Bring water to a boil. Add herbs and remove from heat. Cover, allow to steep 10 minutes or more.
Smash the elderberries a little bit to release more juice. Strain using a fine-mesh strainer or a regular strainer covered with folded cheesecloth or cotton muslin.


Add fresh lemon and honey to taste. This tasty tea is great hot or cold. Elderberry, thyme, and mint may provide antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. Thyme and mint may also be useful for bronchial type coughs and aid in the exportation of mucus. Honey is antibacterial and known to be effective in soothing sore throats and coughs. Lemons are high in vitamin C.
Happy, healthy tea-sipping…