Elderberries are one of my FAVORITE homeopathic resources for their immunity building, cold & flu busting power.
It is flu season again and this year I made the mistake of running my family out of fermented goodness. Most of the time we are able to avoid the worst of the cold/flu bugs by keeping our immune systems strong via the wonderful world of fermented veggies, bone broth, essential oils and magnesium. This year, however, we have some big things going on and I slipped up on our normal regimen… and we caught the bug. Thankfully, I had my stock of elderberries on hand and it didn’t take long to whip up a batch of Elderberry Syrup and Elderberry gummies.
As we all know, there really isn’t much that can be done from a conventional strand-point for treating the common cold or a mild case of the flu. It can be miserable to sit by and watch your kiddos go through it and not be able to do anything to fix it. Thankfully, there ARE some homeopathic things that we can do to help them through it and Elderberry Syrup is one of those things.
Elderberries contain vitamins A, B & C, and are a potent resource of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties and immune boosting compounds. They have been used medicinally since the fifteenth century and can be used in a variety of ways for a variety of illnesses.
Even according to WebMD “Elderberry is used for “the flu” (influenza), H1N1 “swine” flu, HIV/AIDS, and boosting the immune system. It is also used for sinus pain, back and leg pain (sciatica), nerve pain (neuralgia), and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
Some people use elderberry for hay fever (allergic rhinitis), cancer, as a laxative, for constipation, to increase urine flow, and to cause sweating…”
Also, as stated on https://wellnessmama.com/5913/elderberries-herb-profile/
“Studies have shown that Elderberries prevent and fight at least 8 different strains of influenza. While helping to stop production of hormone-like cytokines that cause inflammation, they also increase the production on non-inflammatory, infection fighting cytokines as much as 10 fold… Dr. Madeleine Mumcuoglu, of Hadassah-Hebrew University in Isreal found that elderberry disarms the enyme viruses use to penetrate healthy cells in the lining of the nose and throat. Taken before infection, it prevents infection. Taken after infection, it prevents spread of the virus through the respiratory tract.”
Since Elderberries are a berry and therefore a “food,” they can be used in countless preparations including, tinctures, tonics, syrups, gummies, popsicles and baked into muffins and breads. My favorite go-to recipe is for this Elderberry Syrup that I am going to share with you today.
Elderberries on there own can be pretty sour, but when paired with the right ingredients they can be quite magical. This syrup recipe tastes great and even my kiddos come running when I announce it’s time for some Elderberry Syrup. In this recipe, Elderberries are paired with ginger, cinnamon, cloves and honey (all of which not only make this syrup taste great, but also have their own medicinal benefits) making this a truly wonderful treat.
And if you are wanting to bump up the infection fighting/immunity-boosting power, you can add some Echinacea and will lose none of the fantastic flavor.
(An added benefit to this recipe is that you can find all the ingredients HERE from my favorite herbal supply resource.)
Here is the recipe.
Homemade Elderberry Syrup
1 cup Dried Elderberries
4 cups water
2 Tablespoons fresh or dried ginger root (or 2 tsp powder)
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon powder (or 1 cinnamon stick)
1/2 tsp cloves (whole or ground)
1 cup raw honey
1/4 cup dried Echinacea (optional but highly recommended)
- Add elderberries, spices/herbs and water to a saucepan and simmer gently on the stove for 45 minutes to 1 hour until the liquid is reduced by half.
- Remove from heat and either mash/strain in a wire mesh strainer or add to a French press and press out the juice.
- Cool the juice until warm but not hot then add the honey, stirring well until combined.
- Store syrup in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.
- Preventative Dosage for children is 1/2-1 tsp per day for children and 1 Tbl per day for adults.
- If you are fighting off illness, take the normal dose every 3-4 hours until symptoms have passed.