The cold and flu season is nearly upon us, and I want to be ready.
Yes, I feed my family a whole foods diet, rich in nutrients and vitamins and minerals. But, despite my best efforts, sometimes a bug comes to stay in our house. Of course, my kids learned how to share, so they do.
Instead of running to the pharmacy for some OTC medicine that may have ingredients that I don’t want to give my kids, I make my own remedies to help deal with symptoms.
Enter in the humble elderberry, and the elderberry syrup.
Elderberries have been used medicinally for hundreds of years and may have a measurable effect in treating flu, allergies, and helping with respiratory health. (source:Wikipedia)
Instead of buying the elderberry syrup at the health food stores at the rate of $20 for a 4oz. bottle, I make my own.
Raw Versus Dried
Raw elderberries are actually toxic. Cooking them into a syrup eliminates the toxins from them, making them safe to use. You can make the syrup from raw, foraged berries or from bought dehydrated berries. The method will be the same.
To get started with raw elderberries, remove the berries from the stems.
The easiest way I have found to do this is by running a fork down the stems. You will want to wear gloves, or your hands WILL get stained. Measure 1 cup of raw elderberries to 4 cups of water.
I bought a 1lb. bag of dried elderberries for less than $20 and got to work!
Step 1. First, I took 2 cups of filtered water, and brought that to a boil.
Step 2. Then, I added 1 cup of the elderberries and took off the heat. I let the elderberries steep for 30 minutes, and swirled the pan every so often. I don’t have a real reason why I swirled it, I just like to do that.
Step 3. Drain the elderberries, and put the water back into the pot. I used a wooden spoon to “push” the rest of the tea into the jar. Your berries can now be composted.
Step 4. f honey, or brown rice syrup for every 2 cups of reduced water. Allow to the honey and water to simmer for 5 minutes to thicken.
Store in the fridge for up to 3 months.
How To Use
To use, simply add 1/4 cup of the syrup to a large mug and fill with hot water to drink as a tea, or take 1 Tablespoon by mouth while symptoms persist.
You can simply add a tablespoon of the syrup to a person’s daily diet as an immune support. Or, you can and use it in these ways:
- As a pancake syrup
- to top oatmeal or other porridge
- as a sweetener in tea or coffee
- as a topping for cake or ice cream treats
**This post is for educational purposes only. The information provided by myself is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any conditions. If you are seeking medical advice, please speak with a licensed healthcare professional.**
Heather’s homesteading journey started in 2006, with baby steps: first, she got a few raised beds, some chickens, and rabbits. Over the years, she amassed a wealth of homesteading knowledge, knowledge that you can find in the articles of this blog.