Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Elderberry Syrup

It's cold and flu season again and this year I'm determined to not get sick! I don't usually get sick often but the past few years, I have been getting one or two colds which knock me out.

I've been reading about elderberries and their effectiveness against the cold and flu viruses. Elderberries contain vitamin A, vitmain C, calcium, potassium and iron. They are also anti-viral and boost the immune system! Making a syrup from elderberries and taking it daily can prevent getting sick. If you do become sick with a cold, a flu or suffer from a viral infection, taking elderberry syrup will lessen the severity of the symptoms and decrease the length of illness.

So last month I made a batch of elderberry syrup and have been doing my best to take it daily. I don't mind the taste but my oldest daughter and my husband need some coaxing to take it!

Here's how I made it:
1 cup dried elderberries (if you can find fresh even better. They're usually found in September locally)
3 cups water
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup local honey, preferablly raw

In a pot, combine elderberries, water and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain by squeezing all liquids from the elderberries over a mesh strainer then pour back into pot. Pour in honey and stir until melted. Pour into sterilized jar and refridgerate for up to 3 months.

I take two teaspoons daily, my kids take one (I made one without honey for Sophie as she's under 15 months) and should we become sick, we'll increase to 3 or 4 doses per day.

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