I love my job. I blog about it, I rap about it, I sing about it. But I REALLY love my VACATIONS. Vacations away. Stay-cations at home. They all provide an invaluable reset, catch-up, self-care that is so needed.
See, I work a lot. I can easily put in 80 plus hours per week of work seeing patients in the office, delivering babies, returning calls, doing surgeries, providing results, reviewing labs. That doesn’t leave as much time as I would like to see my kids, to open mail, to write (which I really enjoy if you haven’t noticed) and to do other things I love.
I was less than thrilled when I woke up Monday morning in chilly Chicago feeling congested and stuffy with sinus pressure and a scratchy throat.
Not my week off. Not my kids’ Spring Break. Not now.
Hark, I remember seeing my husband popping these herbal Elderberry lozenges that were supposed to keep away colds. And wasn’t he eating Kiwi fruit like it was going out of style when he felt like he was getting sick?
So I riffled through our junk drawer in the kitchen (don’t judge. If you don’t have a junk drawer you need one.) There they were. Sambucus Elderberry Lozenges.
I probably had two or three throughout the next 24 hours, and maybe another two Kiwi fruit. What usually happens when I get sick is I spend day 1 with a nose that won’t stop running. Day 2 involves a nose that I can’t unplug. Day 3 is characterized by a stuffy head and snot-a-plenty. Day 4 starts the up-swing. This time, day 1 was Monday. I found the Sambucus lozenges in the afternoon on Monday. I had one then and another couple on Tuesday with the Kiwi Fruit.
By Wednesday, I was a new woman.
My wellness caught me by surprise. It was like one of those movie moments where the actor just escaped death and comically touches his or her face and body to see if they are still there. I was like, “Wait, I feel good? How is this real?”
Oh, it was real.
Sambucus ebulus is an ancient medicinal herb. Elderberry is another name for it —Pliny the ‘Elder’ first described its therapeutic use. A few studies demonstrate that elderberries have anti-inflammatory properties. Elderberries may even have anti-microbial and anti-viral activities. Regarding the common cold, one study shows that elderberries may decrease the duration of a cold by a couple of days in air-travelers.(4, 5).
What I’m telling you is that I am a believer and I will from henceforth keep these little purple gems stocked up in my house for the anytime-I-feel-a-little-something-coming-on consumption.
I hope you too can find relief with these lozenges and Kiwi fruit. I think Kiwi are in season. I just bought some from Coscto. Check out this post about other proven home remedies to cheat colds, like Sambucus. Especially since winter doesn’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon here in the Midwest.
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Dr. Wendy Goodall McDonald is a board certified OBGYN. She began practicing medicine in 2007 and now uses her extensive knowledge and growing following to increase health awareness in a fun and viral way. She is the founder of The Gyneco-blogic and an author of numerous books for adult and childhood health education and social growth. For more, check me, I mean her out at dreverywoman.com