Monday, January 09, 2012

Boosting Immunity with Homemade Elderberry Syrup

I'm always looking for ways to combat the onslaught of colds during the fall and winter. I've recently learned about elderberries and how amazing they are for you. However, the store-bought elderberry syrup is really spendy, so I decided to make my own. We've been taking it daily for a couple of months now, along with multivitamins, omega-3's, vitamin d, and probiotics. I can't say we've not been sick at all, but the kids seem to bounce back more quickly than before, and we even had an entire month of the kids being healthy. That's now come to an end, so we're upping their dose of elderberry syrup.

Homemade Elderberry Syrup
1 cup dried elderberries (mountain rose herbs has a great price on them)
1/4-1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4-1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
4 cups water
1 1/2-2 cups honey (raw is best, but certainly any honey is better than sugar)

Simmer all ingredients except honey in a saucepan until liquid is reduced by half. Put a large bowl under a strainer, then pour mixture through and press out as much liquid as you can. Add honey to mixture and stir well. Pour into quart-sized mason jar. Store in the fridge for up to a year. Daily maintenance dose is 1 tsp 1-2 times a day for kids and 1 tbsp 1-2 times a day for adults. It is especially known for kicking influenza really fast. If you feel something coming on, you can take a dose every few hours throughout the day.


Unknown said...

What is the difference in the benefits between the elderberry syrup and just eating the elderberries?

miraclebaby said...

the berries in any form are great for you. I imagine it's because it is more concentrated in the syrup. Plus the syrup has the benefits of the raw honey, cinnamon, and ginger, which are also good for immunity. There have been studies done on sambucol brand of elderberry syrup, and the results were amazing.

plus, I think it might be hard to get kids to eat enough of the berries to get as much as they would from the concentrated syrup. They're also not really common, so finding them fresh isn't always an option for people. But yes, fresh berries would be wonderful to eat and cook with if you have them on hand. Thanks for asking!

miraclebaby said...

I also thought of another thing that I didn't mention in the previous comment. A common complaint with eating the berries raw is that they can cause stomach upset. This is eliminated by making a syrup.

Robyn said...

this sounds good :o) I wish I would have known this sooner. My poor son..he's a former 25 weeker who is now almost 7..has Type A and Type B Flu and a sinus infection. Not fun around here right now. What's even worse, is that my youngest has a 25 percent chance of getting it too..ugh!

miraclebaby said...

I'm so sorry to hear this! You can get the syrup at health food stores, so I'd go grab some for the rest of you. It is more expensive, but it's worth it to avoid flu. Then order the dried berries and make your own syrup for the next time. Hope he gets well soon!

Robyn said...

Thanks so much! I will look for it at the Health Food Store when we are near it next time :o) He seems to be all better today. No fever since Tuesday morning, no vomiting since Monday night. Back up and running around and eating like normal. That Tamiflu works very well! I'm also glad for yougurt to help even him back out after being on it and the Amoxicillian! My kids aren't sick that often, but I guess when they are, they do it right! LOL!