Happy New Year friends!! I hope you are pumped up and excited for another great year! There is so much I want to say about 2017, but for TODAY, I wanted to get a post together about one of our favorite ways to build our immune systems naturally: elderberry syrup!
Yesterday, I heard a mom and daughter say that one of their mottos in life is to "share good things," and I loved that! Here on the blog, I love to share about Jesus (the BEST thing!), I love to share about marriage, I love to share about homemaking tips, and I love to share recipes and wellness tips. And elderberry syrup is another "good thing" that has done great good for our family, and I am excited to tell you about it, too!
A LITTLE BACKGROUND:
We first started using elderberry syrup about 6 years ago when we lived in Baton Rouge. Emerson was sick ALL THE TIME in his first year of life. By 8 weeks he was on a common medication for reflux, by 12 weeks he was on pre-digested formula, by 6 months he had had 4 ear infections and by the end of his first year, we found out the hard way that he was allergic to penicillin when he broke out in hives! PHEW! It hurts just typing that! He was on antibiotics A LOT, and it felt like he just kept. getting. sick. We were told again and again that it was just a normal part of baby's first years. But I couldn't understand for the life of me why the medications didn't seem to be working! I'll share more of our story at another time, but this place of desperation is what brought me to start looking into more natural health options for our family. I bought my first jar of elderberry syrup from a lady in Baton Rouge, and after having such wonderful results (aka not sick for as long, less allergy symptoms, less green snot, etc.), we were hooked.
We take elderberry syrup just about every day, especially during cold & flu season. When any of us start to feel sick, we take it 3-5 times a day. I am not a doctor, nor have I ever claimed to be, and I can't tell you what will or won't work for your family. But having three kiddos I can say that this has been wonderful remedy for our family!
WHAT IS ELDERBERRY SYRUP?
In a nutshell, elderberry syrup is an immunity-boosting concoction derived from the little but powerful elderberry. Numerous scientific studies have confirmed that elderberry syrup is an "efficient, safe, and cost-effective treatment for influenza." The elderberry is chock full of Vitamins A, B and C, and has anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties. You can read all about it on the web, but our family has seen amazing results using this syrup for the last 6 years. Even WebMD finds it to be useful:
Feel free to do more research of your own, but do I have you convinced yet about how wonderful this elderberry syrup is?!
HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN ELDERBERRY SYRUP:
Elderberry syrup is wonderful, however it is EXPENSIVE. One of the popular brands retails for $20 for just 8 ounces! Because we use this as a part of our daily wellness regimen, I decided to start making my own. If you are interested in making your own, follow the recipe below! It was originally shared by Wellness Mama, and I made a few tweaks of my own.
- 2/3 cup dried elderberries
- 3 1/2 cups of filtered water
- 2 Tbsp fresh or 1 tbsp dried ginger root
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1/2 tsp clove powder
- 1 cup raw honey
- Pour water into medium saucepan and add elderberries, ginger, cinnamon and cloves. **DO NOT ADD HONEY JUST YET.** The heat will destroy many of the medicinal benefits in the honey.
- Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes until the liquid has reduced by almost half.
- At that point, remove from heat and let cool enough to be handled. Mash the berries using the back of a spoon.
- Pour the syrup through a strainer into a glass bowl. You can use cheesecloth if you prefer your syrup to be "less gritty." But beware: it gets pretty messy!
- Discard the elderberries and let the liquid cool to lukewarm. When it is no longer hot, add 1 cup of honey and stir well.
- When honey is well mixed into the elderberry mixture, pour the syrup into a jar of some sort. We like jugs like THIS because it is easier to pour.
- Keep your syrup stored in the fridge. It will last 4-6 weeks refrigerated. I have read that you can add lemon oil or brandy to extend the life of your elderberry syrup.
- Shake well before use.
- Maintenance dose: 1/2-1 tsp. for children and 1/2-1 tbsp. for adults
- Intensive dose: take the regular dose 3-5 times a day at the first sign of sickness.
For those of you who prefer a visual, Etta Jayne and I put together a little video of us making elderberry syrup several months ago. Prepare to be wowed by our amazing video making skills:
If you prefer not to make your own syrup, I've got good news for you! I make and sell it for several families right here in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Please contact me to place your order!
I hope that you and your families will also benefit from this powerful little elderberry. Drop me a comment below if you have any questions about the process, and let me know if you decide to make a batch on your own!
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