I love natural remedies that boost your immune system and help prevent colds and flu and relieve sinus congestion (Source). I especially love them when you can make them at home for way cheaper than you can buy them in stores! Double win. Elderberries are one of those go-to’s for me. They are naturally high in immune-boosting compounds that are specifically shown to help beat the cold and flu more quickly. They can be used to make a variety of remedies, like this simple elderberry syrup.
Elderberries contain high levels of vitamin A, B, and C and stimulate the immune system.
Unlike fire cider, which boosts immune performance through an infusion of pungent and spicy herbs, this elderberry syrup recipe uses a sweet and simple decoction of berries and honey- if you have kids, they will prefer this one!
- ⅔ cup organic black elderberries
- 3½ cups of water
- 2 tablespoons fresh or dried ginger root
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- ½ teaspoon cloves or clove powder
- 1 cup raw honey
- For the onset of a cold or flu add 4 tablespoons dried echinacea for it’s antibactreial properties (although don’t take echinacea daily. Any drug that tampers with the genetic material of a virus cell (as echinacea does) could also affect the genetic material of cells in the body or could cause viruses to change genetically and become more resistant and more virulent). So it’s great for quick responses but not ideal for long term use, when adding echinacea.
- Mason jar or Tincture bottle (depending on how you will want to store it)
- Pour the water into a medium saucepan
- Add the elderberries, echinacea, ginger, cinnamon and cloves (NOTE: do not add the honey yet!)
- Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by almost half. At that point, remove from heat and let it cool. Mash the berries carefully using a spoon or other flat utensil. Pour the berries and echinacea through a strainer into a glass jar or bowl.
- Discard the elderberries and echinacea (or compost them!) and let the liquid cool to lukewarm. When it is no longer hot, add 1 cup of honey and stir well.
- When honey is well mixed into the elderberry mixture, pour the syrup into a pint sized mason jar or 16 ounce glass bottle of some kind.
- Store in the fridge and take daily for its immune boosting properties. Should last about 2 months.
- Standard dose is ½ tsp to 1 tsp for kids and ½ Tbsp to 1 Tbsp for adults. If the flu does strike, take the normal dose every 2-3 hours instead of once a day until symptoms disappear.