Monday, October 30, 2017

Elderberry Syrup

As I mentioned in my last post, we are huge fans of elderberry syrup around here. Elderberry syrup is great for cold/flu prevention, as well as helping to kick a cold to the curb if you already have one. We use the Elderberry brandy for ourselves after we get home from work, but this syrup is great for during the work day , and perfectly safe for kids.

We've purchased elderberry syrup at the store, but it's so expensive - especially when you have 3 people taking it, so I started making my own. And it's insanely cheaper. For example, I can buy a bottle of Elderberry syrup for about $12 at my local natural foods store. Conversely, I can make a batch four times that size for about $6 in ingredients. So it's a no brainer to make our own. Plus, it only takes about 90 minutes to make a 4 cup batch.

  (Mommy, can you put my truck in your picture??)

I start out with 1 cup of dried elderberries (Amazon is a great place to get them) and put those in a pan with 4 cups of water. I add 2 cinnamon sticks, 1 star anise, 6-7 whole cloves, and then 1/4 cup dried echinacea.

Bring to a boil after stirring well, then lower to a simmer. Cook for about 45 minutes to an hour. Strain out the spent herbs and berries with a fine strainer, and use the back of a spatula to smash any extra syrup out of them.

Then I add 3/4 cup to 1 cup raw honey. Raw honey is so good for you and is loaded with all sorts of antibacterial properties. I'm slightly obsessed with local raw honey. Each variation (wildflower, orange blossom) has it's own taste. I found a Sweet Clover Wildflower honey at my local store and it's my new obsession. The taste is unreal.

 Anyway, I digress.Once your syrup has cooled to room temperature, add up to 1 cup honey. The herby taste is a little strong due to the echinacea, so if you have kids who are sensitive, I'd use the full cup. I started there with ours, and have now decreased it down to 3/4 cup and my son doesn't even know the difference.

Then store in a jar in the fridge. I know many who keep theirs in the pantry, and quite frankly, you could, but I like to be safe rather than sorry and keep mine in the fridge. For dosage, I give my son about 5ml (about 1 tsp) once per day as preventative medicine (although it's good to give your body a break every now and then, so we only take it for a week or so before taking a day off) or 5ml twice per day if he's fighting a cold. For adults, I recommend 15ml (about a tbsp) in the same frequencies.

Oh label maker - how I love thee!

And as always, I'm not a medical professional, so please check with your health guru prior to use.

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