Elderberry Syrup - What's the Big Deal?

Elderberry Syrup - What's the Big Deal?

Suzanne Finley
Hey, it's January and it's the season of viruses unfortunately. Have you heard of Elderberry Syrup? It's one of those amazing natural immune boosters that you can make right at home. Read on to see how to make this natural wonder and where you can get the elderberries!
Elderberries come from the Sambucus plant and have been hailed as a natural remedy for a variety of ailments. It is recommended only for adults until more research is done and the elderberries must be cooked before ingesting. Eating the berries raw can cause a variety of negative side effects. It is also important to know that only the berries should be used when making the syrup; never use the bark, twigs or leaves of the plant.
You can read a good deal more about its uses, benefits and warnings here.
This is the recipe I have been using for a few years now and you can read all about tinctures and other natural immune boosting things right here.
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup fresh or ¾ cup dried elderberries
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp fresh sliced ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon or ½ cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 cup raw honey
Make It Like So:
  1. Place elderberries, water, ginger, cinnamon and cloves in a pot. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 45 minutes to one hour.
  2. Remove from heat and using a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth, strain out mixture. Transfer liquid to a jar and stir in 1 cup of honey.
  3. Keep in the fridge sealed for 2-3 weeks.
Remember that because this is a freshly made product and water is used, as #3 states above, you can only keep this for about 2-3 weeks in your refrigerator because a preservative has not been added. This is 100% natural!
Now where in the world can you get the elderberries? We use either Monterey Bay Spice Company (fantastic company with loads of spices, herbs and botanicals!) or Mountain Rose Herbs although, at the writing of this email, Mountain Rose Herbs was out of them. Mountain Rose Herbs also offers an Elderberry Tonic that's already made but with different ingredients. I have not tried this so can't speak to its taste or effectiveness but if you want to give it a try, you can find it here. Also, I just want to add that, while I love Amazon for a variety of things, I choose not to purchase edibles there unless I know exactly where the edibles are coming from. I prefer organic from US farmers.
When I purchase the elderberries, they are dried. If you have elderberries growing near you, they can be harvested in the summer months, frozen and stored for later use.
Remember that with any type of medicinal use, caution should be used. Read more about this at WebMD. Elderberry Syrup should be used only at the onset of illness and through the duration of the illness but not more than five days usually. It is recommended that you take one tablespoon in the morning and evening although some sources recommend a tablespoon 4 times a day when you are in the throes of an illness. Again, this SHOULD NOT BE GIVEN TO CHILDREN despite what other online sources may tell you.
If you are pregnant or lactating, do not take elderberry syrup. If you have any questions about this, ask your doctor. I am not sure if all doctors will know about this or will recommend it since most are trained to go with pharmaceuticals. This is in no way a diss to doctors! But unless your physician is a holistic practitioner, most do not study natural homeopathy.
Other things you can do to avoid the flu are get enough rest, drink lots and lots of water, keep your hands away from your face, wash your hands regularly. Remind your children to not pick their nose, to wash their hands after using the bathroom, after coming home from school, etc. Take Vitamin C as a daily supplement even if you are taking a multivitamin.
Here's to a healthy winter!

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