About two weeks ago, I started preparing the herbal remedies I want to have in the house, ready to go when winter hits. The fire cider, in particular, takes at least a month to properly infuse in the vinegar. Elderberry syrup is a lot easier, and I can make it in an afternoon. I have a couple of good tea mixes ready, and I've lined up my ingredients for some salves and bath preparations for winter chapped skin.
Why bother, when I know I can buy off the shelf preparations for all of this? Love, for one. When I make things for my family, to preserve their health, it is one way to show my love for them. I, as the "mom" in the house, am the one who cares for all of us when we're sick. I put the intention of that love in everything I make for them. It is soul-satisfying.
Next, although commercial preparations may be effective, I've found that my natural ingredients may be gentler on the system. As well, there is scientific study, especially with the elderberry syrup, that they are effective. Elderberries are a specific for flu. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15080016). My Healthy Heart tea is filled with vitamin C from the hibiscus flowers, and hawthorn leaf, flower and berry which are wonderful for your heart and blood pressure (http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-527-hawthorn.aspx?activeingredientid=527&activeingredientname=hawthorn)
I want to spend more time on my herbal studies this winter, and perhaps finish the course of instruction I am studying with Rosemary Gladstar, to be certified. It's so satisfying to do this and share it with my family and friends. As well, I want to make sure that the food we eat, especially in the winter months, is wholesome, healthy, and healing. The recipe search is on!