• Debbie McCulloch Hopkins

Immune Boost with Elderberry~FireCider~CBD oil shots


Debra McCulloch Hopkins RN

January 14, 2019


It has descended upon us in all its’ ugly fury. No I’m not talking about the state of our current political system nope. I’m talking about the cold and flu season. Whether you get a flu shot or not, if you touch the wrong doorknob, or keypad at the grocery store then mindlessly rub your eye or touch your face you might be transplanting someone else’s rapidly dividing viral cellular detritus into your own bio-matrix. And despite all your precautions and hand-washing, if that virus senses a hint of immune system fragility, it will find you a suitable host, and well… the next couple of weeks are not going to be much fun.


Besides upping your vitamin C, getting out in nature, and getting a good night's sleep what other steps can you take to boost your immune system? Why not consider combining an elderberry elixir with fire cider and cbd oil. Elderberry alone has gained much mainstream popularity as an immune booster, as has fire cider. This elderberry concoction is abundantly sticky sweet and a shot of fire cider will grow hair on your chest. Alone they are not the most palatable, but together the rather stimulating essence of tangy tart sweetness can be rather life-affirming once you get used to it. From the moment it passes through your lips making its way through your esophagus and moves down into your stomach it delivers a full body sensation letting you know that backup support has arrived!


Elderberry has many promising benefits, the most well-known is as an antioxidant. Human studies are few but In rats, elderberry polyphenols were found to support immune defense by increasing the number of white blood cells.


Fire cider is a well know timeless herbal remedy made by combining fermented apple cider with other strong herbs and other popular antioxidant producing plants like ginger, jalapeno, onion, lemon, oranges, turmeric/curcumin and garlic infused together to create an immune strength building potion in its own right. Fire cider recipes have been handed down for generations but a product with that name has recently been trademarked and is available throughout the country for purchase.


Elderberry is available as a product brand named Sambicol. Both are a bit pricey. Purchasing Fire Cider or Sambicol in addition to buying CBD oil will cost you a pretty penny so why not do what we do and make your own? It’s fairly easy, and requires some assembly and preparation of ingredients in order to create these tinctures but mostly requires your patience and a tincture of time.


You can buy dried elderberries, but if you have access to the fruit, pick it once it turns it’s beautiful telltale purple ripe then place the berries on drying screens in a dark well ventilated space. When they appear firm and shriveled they are ready to place in a glass jar and be fully covered with food grade glycerin or a ½ and ½ mixture of glycerin and vodka, dealers choice. The mixture is then capped using screw top lids and placed in a dark cabinet for at least 6-8 weeks. When ready strain the berries from the elixir. Discard the berries in the compost and jar the purple awesome sauce for daily use.


To make your own fire-cider get a large bottle of Bragg’s fermented Apple Cider and pour it into a large 1.5 liter Ball Jar with enough room to combine large chunks of 1-2 medium chopped onion, 4-6 cloves of diced garlic, large slices of 1- 2 jalapeno peppers, grate a fist sized piece of ginger to add to the mixture then top it off with one orange and one lemon cut into 4ths and a tablespoon or two of turmeric or curcumin. Cover this mix and stash it next to your elderberry brew. They will both be ready to strain and use at the same time. Once strained you can add local honey to your fire cider to sweeten the mix if you like. I keep smaller more manageable glass jars filled with each so that I’m prepared to make my morning shot. Our morning routine involves taking a 30 ml shot glass and filling it ½ full with the elderberry preparation followed by filling the other half with our homemade fire-cidah (spelling changed to avoid TM complications) and to tickle my CB2 immune receptors I add a few drops of cbd oil. Chug it down daily and Namastay healthy!



The following is science based health information on each ingredient.



Ginger is a popular spice. It is high in gingerol, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is very well known for its’ anti-nausea and anti-emetic benefits

Jalapeno is also very high in antioxidants. It may have pain relieving properties and may fight cancer


Citrus fruits contain high levels of Vitamin C which contains antioxidants the molecules that boost the immune system. They do so by protecting cells from harmful molecules called free radicals. When free radicals accumulate, they can promote a state known as oxidative stress, which has been linked to many chronic diseases including cancer.


Garlic and onion both members of the allium family have high levels of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants- One large, 12-week study found that a daily garlic supplement reduced the number of colds by 63% compared to a placebo.


Turmeric/Curcumin has demonstrates antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties


CBD oil helps to replenish our bio-endocannabinoid system in all of our 12 other biological systems. It is theorized that endocannabinoid deficiency contributes to inflammation and a weakened immune system. The two most widely known cannabinoid receptors in our bodies are CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are largely located in our central and nervous system. CB2 receptors are located throughout the rest of our body’s organs but are especially prominent in our immune system.


Fermented Apple cider vinegar. Vinegar is used to make yummy pickled vegetables. Some folks wash windows and other surfaces making their own natural cleaning products because when applied it can kill or weaken several strains of bacteria. There is also some evidence that it can help lower cholesterol.