Summer Survival Naturally

Summer is here!  It’s my favorite time of year.  Camping, Hiking, biking and pic nics, canoeing, swimming and being outside with only one layer of clothes on.  It’s a wonderful time of year.

Unfortunately, there are some not so wonderful things about summer, namely those pesky mosquitoes.   When I was a young parent, I sprayed some “OFF” on me and the kids, and we were good to go.  I never thought what it was that I was spraying on the supper absorbant skin of my children and I.

Many commercial bug repellents have a chemical called Deet in them.  Consider this worrisome statistic:  Each year approximately one-third of all Americans spray and slather insect repellents containing central nervous system toxins contained in Deet, on their children and themselves.  This in spite of the fact that previous studies have warned of Deets dangers.  For example earlier research by Duke University Medical Center pharmacologist Mohamed Abou-Donia, who has spent 30 years studying the effects of pesticides found that prolonged exposure to deet can impair function in parts of the brain and could result in problems with muscle coordination, muscle weakness, walking or even memory and cognition.  There are many other studies sighted at:

That’s the bad news.  So what can you do about all these bugs using you and your family as a buffet?  Make your own nontoxic bug repellent.  Here is a nice recipe, that smells good and is effective.

I got this recipe from a great site for a lot of natural ways to enjoy summer.


Essential oils:  Choose from Citronell, Clove, Lemongrass, Rosemary, Tea Tree, Cajuput, Eucalyptus, Cedar, Catnip, Lavender, Mint

Natural witch Hazel

Distilled or Boiled Water


Fill spray bottle (8oz) 1/2 full with distilled or boiled water

Add witch hazel to fill almost to top

Add 30-50 drops of essential oils to desired scent.  The more oils you use, the stronger the spray will be.  My personal favorite mix is Rosemary, Clove, Cajuput, Lavender, Cinnamon, and Eucalyptus….it works great and smells good too, and is non toxic.

So enjoy your summer, and the next Blog will be about What’s in your sunscreen and how to prevent sunburn, and treat it if you do get sunburned













Elderberry Syrup recipe

This is where I got my elderberry syrup recipe.  Wellness Mama is a great site.  Check it out.  In the meantime here is the recipe I use to get rid of my flu.  During flu season I take a tablespoon every morning.  When I get the flu I take it every hour till I start feeling better, then I back off to 3 to 4 times a day till recovered.

How to Make Elderberry Syrup for Flu Prevention

With flu season around the corner and signs for “flu shots” in every store, this is a natural alternative that is inexpensive and effective. It can be made easily at home.

If you or your child has ever had a bad case of the flu, you know how miserable it can be. Especially for moms, it is awful to see your children feeling so bad and not be able to fix it. Black elderberries (sambucus nigra) have been shown to prevent flu and speed recovery in those who have the flu.

Elderberries contain high levels of A, B and C and stimulate the immune system. Several natural elderberry syrups are available at health stores or online, but usually for around $15 or more for 4-8 ounces. This recipe makes 16 ounces for a cost of under ten dollars and kids love the taste!

Homemade Elderberry Syrup Recipe Ingredients How to Make Elderberry Syrup for Flu Prevention

Homemade Elderberry Syrup Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup black elderberries
  • 3.5 cups of water
  • 2 T fresh or dried ginger root
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp cloves or clove powder
  • 1 cup raw honey (we get from our farmer’s market)

How to Make Elderberry Syrup:

Pour water into medium saucepan and add elderberries, ginger, cinnamon and cloves (do not add honey!)

How to make homemade edlerberry syrup1 How to Make Elderberry Syrup for Flu Prevention

Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour until the liquid has reduced by almost half. At that point, remove from heat and let cool enough to be handled. Pour through a strainer into a glass jar or bowl.

Straining homemade elderberry syrup1 How to Make Elderberry Syrup for Flu Prevention

Discard the elderberries (or compost them!) and let the liquid cool to lukewarm. When it is no longer hot, add 1 cup of honey and stir well.

making homemade elderberry syrup recipe How to Make Elderberry Syrup for Flu Prevention

When honey is well mixed into the elderberry mixture, pour the syrup into a pint sized mason jar or 16 ounce glass bottle of some kind.

Homemade Elderberry Syrup for Flu Prevention How to Make Elderberry Syrup for Flu Prevention

Ta Da! You just made homemade elderberry syrup! Store in the fridge and take daily for its immune boosting properties. Some sources recommend taking only during the week and not on the weekends to boost immunity.

Standard dose is 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp for kids and 1/2 Tbsp to 1 Tbsp for adults. If the flu does strike, take the normal dose every 2-3 hours instead of once a day until symptoms disappear.

Ever taken elderberry? Will you try this recipe? How do you ward off illness?

Living with the flu without drugs.


Hello!  Welcome to Jensen’s Massage and Holistic Centers new blog.  Every week I will be sharing with you tips on how to balance your body, mind, and spirit so you can be what you were meant to be, healthy.

Last week, I had the flu.  It started with severe fatigue, then a fever, and severe body aches, then the sore throat, and ending with sneezing and coughing. I knew it was the flu because of the fever, a cold doen’t have a fever usually. Naturopaths believe that when the body has symptoms, they should not be suppressed by using drugs.  So I didn’t take Nyquil, or Alka Seltzer Plus, (which were my favorites when I was a nurse in the medical field)

The body has a reason for each and every symptom we suffer, to suppress these symptoms is to suppress a body that is fighting a war.  Usually a virus like the flu enters through breathing it in.  That is why the throat gets inflamed and sore.  Once a virus enters the respiratory tract, it drills into your own cells, and deposits it’s RNA into your DNA, and then kills the cells.  Next on it’s agenda is replication, and it does it at an astounding rate.  The scratchy throat, and coughing is the body fighting back by trying to expell that invader.  The fatigue and severe body aches,  is the body’s way of making you slow down and rest, so it can continue the war of fighting off the virus invader.  A fever makes the virus uncomfortable, and even kills many of the viruses off.  Viruses can only survive a very narrow margin of temperature change.  The immense amount of mucus, and all the different colors of it are the clean up team.  The war has been waged, the body has killed many viruses, and it’s own cells, and the mucus, is the dead cells being sweeped out.  So every time you sneeze, blow your nose, and cough, your body is cleaning itself.

So say you take Tylenol for the fever and,  a decongestant to dry up the mucus, and cough syrup for the tickling throat and cough.  Can you now see how you fight your body and are making it harder than it has to be for the body to heal itself?

Often we feel we can’t afford to take the 7 days it takes for a flu to be cured by the body.  I felt like that as I lay in bed sleeping for days on end, but this is your health and your body knows how to heal itself, it doesn’t need the help you give it if you give it what it needs.  It needs, rest, lots of liquids, clear liquid diet (home made soup broth is my favorite), some elderberry syrup every hour, and rest….rest….rest. To try to push through and go to work after only 3 days spreads the virus to all your co workers.  Stay home and take care of yourself, they will appreciate it.

Don’t tell your body to shut up, appreciate it’s wisdom, and treat the flu naturally.


Next Blog Post is my Favorite Flu Remedies that support the body’s natural defenses.