My Sick Secret: Elderberries

HAVE YOU GOTTEN SICK YET!?!??! Don’t worry if you haven’t—you will. And when you do, you’re going to be GREAT because you are going to have an ARSENAL OF CHEAP AND SICK SECRETS AT YOUR DISPOSAL (or, at least this 1 secret).  Who needs healthcare when we have each other? (Ha.) Anyway none of this is medical advice—or financial advice for that matter!—I am not a doctor, nurse, lawyer, or even anyone’s mom. Don’t listen to anything I say.

SO: ELDERBERRIES. I learned about elderberries from a hippie friend some years ago when I was working in a grocery store and EVERYONE WAS GETTING SICK. I did not want to get sick, and was advised to purchase ELDERBERRY SYRUP and swig it to ward off the flu.(You can also make your own but, as I always say, why DIY when you can buy?)  I bought some and swigged it and guess what: I never got sick! MIRACLE SUBSTANCE. 

So the syrup worked. But as the years passed I forgot about it. I lost the indigenous medical knowledge of my people. (I moved from Portland, Oregon.)

Cut to: A few weeks ago, Brooklyn, New York. I’m walking down the street, feeling like I’m sick, realizing that I’m probably sick, but hopefully I’m not? But probably I am. When, sent by the universe, a health store appears in front of me. I walk in, on autopilot. “Do you have elderberry syrup?” I ask the man behind the counter. “Elderberry syrup, that is such great stuff, so so good for you,” he says. “But no, I do not have it.”

Crushed, I shuffle home. When lo, on the next block: Another health store! An herb shop! Called The Herb Shoppe! I walk in. A man is talking to the woman behind the counter, explaining his wife’s diabetes and his lack of insurance and she is telling him some herbs to buy. I wait my turn, then ask for elderberry syrup. They don’t have the syrup, but they have the tincture, which is elderberry extract mixed with alcohol. I buy it ($14.40 for an ounce). At home I fill a dropper and squeeze it down my throat. Then I gulp some water and go to bed.

I still get sick. Fever, chills, aches—in bed for three days! HOWEVER every few hours I drink some of the tincture and lots of water, and it is is my firm belief that this ritual shortened my sickness. And that’s enough! 


Do you have a secret about how to prevent getting sick or get better quickly if you are sick or any other kind of healthcare hack? SEND ME YOUR SICK SECRETS. I will put them on my website maybe. And once again: Don’t take any advice from anyone, ever, especially not me.


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