Fall is here, which means flu season is here too… : ( I know many of us would like to be immune from all the sicknesses that come with the cold weather, and unfortunately I don’t have a magic spell for that, but I do have a great method to boosting your immunity. Have you heard of elderberries before? They’ve been used for years in herbal medicine and more recently, they have been successfully used in research studies to battle the common cold and flu virus. Don’t get me wrong, I am a big fan of Western Medicine, but if there is a relatively easy, inexpensive, way to boost my immune system–I’m in!
Recent studies have found that the use of Elderberry syrup can reduce symptoms of colds and the flu (Yes the flu!) by an average of four days. Read about it here and here. Which means, even Western medicine is seeing the efficacy of Elderberry syrup. You may have seen Elderberry syrup on the shelves of your local pharmacy since it’s popularity is on the rise, but it’s actually quite easy to make at home. The store bought Elderberry syrups are not always made with real elderberries and are quite pricey for the amount you get.
This is a great syrup to give to your children too! My son loves it plain or mixed in with his applesauce/yogurt. I made this version with Agave, so it is safe to be given to children under 12 months old. This batch has last my family well over a month. I recommend taking about a 1-2 tablespoons a day when you feel a cold coming on, and 1 tablespoon for children. Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, please consult with your doctor if you have any medical questions or concerns about taking Elderberry syrup.
- 3/4 Cup Black Elderberries (I get my organic berries here)
- 4 cups water
- 1/2 cup Agave/maple syrup (1 cup honey)
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp clove or ground clove
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 drop lemon essential oil/2 tsp lemon juice
- Bring water, elderberries, clove, cinnamon, cinnamon stick ginger, vanilla to boil (Yes your house will smell amazing!)
- Reduce heat to low, cover pot and let the mixture simmer for 50 minutes
- Remove from heat and let it cool
- Crush berries (I used a potato masher)
- Strain mixture with a fine strainer (Preferably into a glass mason jar)
- Mix in Agave syrup and lemon essential oil--You may want to reheat at this point to get the sweetener properly mixed in.