Elderberry and elder flower are esteemed remedies for colds and flu. Elderberry syrup is useful for warding off or speeding recovery from colds and flus.
Elder’s lacy flowers are diaphoretic, meaning that they induce sweating, thereby helping to lower fevers. Elder’s berries have immune-enhancing properties and they are often combined with Echinacea in immune-stimulating remedies for colds. The berries also have powerful antiviral properties and so are helpful in treating viral infections including flus, herpes, shingles, and upper respiratory infections. With high levels of vitamins A, B, and C, these berries can help prevent and beat colds and the flu more quickly.
It is easy to make a simple elderberry syrup – it’s inexpensive and effective. And, it tastes pretty good! We are taking this daily to help keep from catching all of the colds that seem to be going around. So far, so good! You can also buy elderberry syrup products - here is an article that describes how elderberry interacts with our immune system and shows some popular elderberry brands (if you're not up for making it yourself).
I have made several batches of this, tweaking the recipe a bit from others I had found from other sources. I obtained my information on the herbs from “Medicinal Herbs” by Rosemary Gladstar. Another good source for information on herbs is The Herbal Academy.
Adding raw honey helps to sweeten the syrup, and honey also has many healing benefits - it has beneficial enzymes and antibacterial properties that help make this syrup so valuable.
Licorice root is an optional ingredient to this syrup. Licorice is soothing for inflamed and irritated tissue, and has antiviral agents that effectively ward off infections.
I have been making Elderberry Syrups with dried elderberries that I ordered from Mountain Rose Herb and Frontier Herb (from Amazon). Once I had seen a picture of elderberries and elder flowers I realized that I have this growing in my yard! So, this summer I will pick some fresh berries and try the syrup or a tincture with them.
Here is the syrup recipe I have been using:
-1 Cup of dried Organic Elderberries
-3 Cups of Water
-3 Tbsp. of fresh Ginger Root – grated or sliced
-2 Organic Cinnamon Sticks
-1 tsp. Organic Cloves
-(Optional - 1 Tbsp. Licorice Root)
-* Organic Raw Honey
-Pour water into a saucepan and add elderberries, ginger, cinnamon and cloves.
-Bring mixture to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer for 45 minutes to an hour until the liquid has reduced by almost half.
-Remove from heat and let cool enough to be handled, then mash the berries with a spoon or masher.
-Pour mixture through a strainer or use cheesecloth, squeeze and press all of the liquid out of the berry mixture. Strain this into a measuring cup and note its *volume, then return to the pot.
-*Add the same amount of honey and stir in the honey until thoroughly combined. Let cool.
(At this point you can taste it and add more honey for additional sweetening if desired)
-Pour into pint sized canning jars, or into an amber bottle for easier dispensing.
-Label and date the jars or bottles
-Store in the refrigerator for up to six weeks.
You can add Elder Flowers, Lemon slices, and/or Calendula Flowers to this if you wish. After removing the mixture from the heat, add any of these to the hot syrup – put the lid on and let it infuse for 20 minutes. Then strain and add the honey.
For warding off illness, use 1 to 2 tsp. for kids and 1 to 2 tbsp. two to three times per day for adults. If you feel like you’re coming down with something, you can take this every hour or two. It can also be added to smoothies, applesauce, and plain yogurt.
DISCLAIMER: This information provides benefits and uses of essential oils based on personal experiences and/or information detailed in medical/academic journals or other publications. This information is not to be interpreted as medical advice meant for diagnosing illness or injured condition of the body or for prescriptive purposes and is in no way intended as a substitute for personal judgment or medical counseling. Statements and ideas contained herein have not been evaluated or approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Anyone with a disease, illness, injury or medical condition should consult a qualified health care professional. Readers are encouraged to consult their health care provider prior to beginning any cleanse, diet, detoxification program, or any supplement regiment.
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