Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Elderberry Syrup for Immunity

This is the sight we woke up to this morning!

It was a beautiful sight, everything covered in a fresh layer of white, the trees blanketed with a thick and clinging snow. 

Unfortunately, with all the beauty that winter can offer, it also ushers in cold and flu season.  Lately it seems like everyone I know has had sick kids with fevers, coughs, and stomach bugs.  Since hibernating till spring is really not an option, we have to do our best to keep our immune systems functioning the best that we can.

A couple of years ago I was introduced to Elderberry Syrup.  It is purported to boost you immune system because of it's high levels of anti-oxidants and bioflavinoids.  It is all natural, safe for children* and easy to make and while I cannot make any claims for what it does, I know that we have not gotten significantly sick in the last few flu seasons which have been particularly bad around us.

Elderberry Syrup

1/2 C. dried elderberries
2 tsp. ginger powder (or a 1" chunk of fresh ginger)
2 cinnamon sticks
1 echinacea tea bag
2 C. water
1 C. honey (preferably raw, local honey)

Place everything but the honey in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over med. heat.  Simmer 5 minutes.

Strain liquid into the honey and mix well.

Take 1 tsp. for children or 1 Tbsp. for adults once a day to boost your immunity.  You can take it every 2-3 hours if you are feeling like you might be catching something.  You can also use the "syrup" on pancakes or place it in juice or yogurt. 

*Because of the raw honey I would not give this to an infant or toddler without first checking with your pediatrician! 
~Store syrup in the refrigerator, it will last several weeks.

~This makes a nice addition to a care package for a sick friend.

~You can buy dried elderberries from many herb shops and natural food stores, or you can order them online from here.

~I use echinacea tea that is available at any grocery store, it contains more than just straight echinacea, but I like the flavor.  You could use 1 Tbsp. of dried echinacea if you have some on hand.

Over the next week or so, I will be sharing some other favorite homemade remedies from the kitchen.


Jille said...

I might give this one a go. I made a batch of elderberry cordial but it tasted like cheap ribena!
Jille x

Heart-Hands-Home said...

This is sweet, but you are only taking a little bit at a time. I found the flavor can change depending on the honey.

Jaime Lynn said...

Visiting from the homemaking link-up! Thanks for this recipe! I am going to make this soon!

Fanoffeathers said...

Echinacea should be used as a holistic medicine for treatment of a present problem, not as a prophylactic.  I would encourage anyone who is interested in trying this recipe to research echinacea.  Perhaps you could make two versions, one with (for current illness) and one without for a supplement.