This time of year I love anything with immune boosting properties. I hate to see my children suffer when feeling really sick and I too need that extra immunity. All of us do! There are many ways to boost our immune system but one of my favorites is making elderberry syrup. I love it because it’s incredibly simple to make, it costs way less when made at home and my kids love it. They remind me to give it to them each night! We typically take a teaspoon full at night after dinner but also drizzle it on foods such as fruit or yogurt.
Elderberry, known by its herbal names as Sambucus Nigra has been used as a folk remedy in many parts of the world such Asia, Europe, Africa and North America. The immune boosting properties of elderberries have been widely studied. These berries have bioflavinoids which act as antioxidants in the body and actually decrease the ability of cold and flu viruses to infect a cell. In one randomized double blind placebo study, Elderberry syrup was also shown to reduce the duration of the flu by 3-4 days.
I purchase the brand Frontier Natural Products Co-op – as they are organic and come in a 1lb bag. This is my third year using the berries from this bag, so they last quite a while.
1 cup of dried elderberries
2 cups of water
1 cinnamon stick (optional)
2 cups of honey
Combine the all the ingredients except the honey in a small saucepan, bring to a boil and then turn it down to a simmer uncovered for about 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally. You’ll know it’s ready when the liquid is reduced by about half. Take it off the heat and let it cool to room temperature, then add honey and stir well. I place the syrup in a glass jar and put it in the fridge.
This amount will last my family of four all winter. You can double the recipe or cut it in half depending on your needs.
*Recipe adapted from a Mommypotamus recipe and a great video can be found at her site on how to make it. http://www.mommypotamus.com/elderberry-syrup-recipe/