Isn't it orderly?
I got a call from a distraught mama who wanted some Elderberry Syrup for her little one who has been battling an on again/off again cold for a few weeks. Oddly enough I was planning on making a large batch soon, so my herbal helpers and I hopped to it.
Organic elder berries and elder flowers
Then today I got two more calls requesting it. Got me thinking...hmm....I already have all the info typed up from a class I offered earlier this year, so I thought I'd share it with the blogosphere. After all, it's quite simple to make and really does help boost your immunity. Yeah, that's why I call it BOOST. Clever, huh?
Elder-Berry Immunity Syrup
Elder has long been touted as a healing plant in many lands and for thousands of years! The flowers and berries are the parts of the plant most commonly used. Pure Elder flower tea is wonderful medicine for treatment of colds and flu. Did you know that research has shown that the influenza virus has tiny spikes that it uses to invade healthy cells…the Elderberry disarms this action within 24-48 hours. As if that weren’t enough, it actually improves antibody formation against the influenza virus, ensuring stronger immunity!! That’s one tough berry!
So here’s the recipe for the Elder Syrup that I make. This is a staple in any Herbalist’s kitchen and there are many slight variations.
1 cup dried elder berries
½ cup elder flowers
4 TBS fresh diced ginger.
4 cups water
1 cup honey (you can use vegetable glycerite if you are not into honey)
¼ brandy or any other 80 proof alcohol.
**You do not need to add the brandy, in fact I rarely do because a) we use it fast enough that there's no need to preserve it longer and b) my kids take at least a tsp a day during the cold/flu season...that'd be a lot of booze. Ha Ha! Seriously though...if you're making a large batch just for your family, then go ahead and add the bit of brandy to extend it's shelf life a bit.
In a small saucepan simmer the water and elder (both berries and flowers) on med-low heat for 30 min. Crush the berries well and strain through a cloth, squeezing every last bit of juice from them. Return the juice to the pan and add the ginger. Simmer 10 min. covered. Strain ginger from liquid and reduce liquid to 1 cup on low heat. Remove from heat and pour the honey in, stirring to dissolve it (about 2 min). Add the brandy (if using). Cool and bottle. Store in the refrigerator and it will keep for 3 months (5 months if you add the brandy). If it smells "off" throw it out though, ok? Good. Oh, also go read my disclaimer at the bottom of the blog, ok? Great.
Dosage: Take 1 tsp a day as a tonic, or 1tsp 3 times a day if sick. This dosage is safe for both kids and adults. Not for children under 1 due to the honey. Make a tea instead! Elder syrup can be used as a gentle laxative if needed. Never eat uncooked elder berries.
So go forth and make some this year...you know you want to.
What's your favorite natural immunity booster?