It is that time of year again when sniffles and coughs can turn into nasty colds and the dreaded flu. But there is a sweet syrup that goes down “easy like Sunday morning” and helps beat those viruses that want to bring you down.
Elderberries!! Ever since I made my first batch of elderberry syrup over 20 years ago during my Herbalist Certification course, I’ve been in love! These berries are packed with so much nutrition and they love helping our immune systems. In folk medicine, these were called “winter berries” because they knew how powerful they were at keeping people well during the winter months.
Elderberry syrup is loaded with antioxidants, vitamin C and immune supporting minerals. Scientific research is supporting the use of elderberries for illness.In a double blind, placebo controlled, randomized study, they found Sambucol (standardized black elderberry extract) reduced duration of flu symptoms by 3-4 days (Immunology Laboratory, Depart. of Oncology Hadassah University Hospital). Making your own syrup is super easy and below I have a 3 ingredient syrup that kids and adults are sure to love!
*3 cups of filtered water
*3/4-1 cup of raw honey (local preferred)
*1/2-3/4 cup of dried organic elderberries (I get mine from Frontier Co-op)
1. Place dried elderberries and filtered water in a medium saucepan.
2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer on low-medium heat for 30 minutes.
3. Remove pan from heat and mash the elderberries to release any remaining juice.
4. Strain the mixture into a glass bowl using a cheesecloth.
5. When liquid has come to body temperature or lower, gently stir in raw honey and mix thoroughly. **At this point I sometimes mix in 6-8 drops of Thieves Vitality essential oil blend for added immune boasting support (www.youngliving.com)
6. Store and label in small 8 or 12 oz. amber glass bottles. Will last 3-4 weeks in a cool dark pantry or up to 4 months in the refrigerator.
Children 2-12- 1 tsp. 1-2x day as preventative during winter months. 2 tsp. 3-4x a day if active illness going on.
Adults and children 12+- 2 tsp. 1-2x a day as preventative. 3tsp, 3-4x a day if active illness going on.
*Do not give products with honey in them to children under 1 year of age. Can substitute simple sugar instead of honey and give 1/2 tsp. to infants 6 months and up if active illness going on.