Cold and flu season is rapidly approaching, and we want to start the season off with the best immunitywe can provide. Of course,we are not medical professionals so listen to your doctor, but we feel elderberry syrup can make the difference. Elderberry syrup along with a heathy diet and washing your hands regularly can help reduce your chances of becoming sick as well as has seen a decreased length of time of a particular illness. The reduced time a person is sick leads to increased productivity and an overall feeling of wellness once an illness has passed you by. Who would not want to reduce the time they are sick? I know I would.
To help with that, we make our own Elderberry syrup using berries we grew on our family farm or those that we found and harvested from the roadside. Elderberries are an often wild grown, edible plant with multiple health benefits. The main reason we use and make Elderberry syrup is to help prevent flu and colds. If someone happens to get the flu or a cold, we increase the amount of syrup they take.
I like that Elderberry syrup can be made from fresh, frozen, or dried berries. Since we harvested our own berries from plants that we grew, once they are a deep purple color, we remove them from the stem and get rid of any leaves and freeze for later use. The stem and the leaves can be toxic if consumed so be sure you are only saving the berries.
The syrup is simple to make and easy to store. You can make a big batch and water bath them for later use or just make what you need for your family to make it through the season. I usually make two-quart sized jars for our family of seven during the cold and flu season. Once those sniffles arise everyone takes a couple of teaspoons in the morning before school. That way their immunity stays strong, and hopefully prevents any further issues.
3 1/2 cups water
2/3 cup dried elderberries (1 1/3 cup fresh/frozen)
2 tablespoons grated ginger (1 tsp ground ginger)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
Honey to taste
By Allison Libby-Thesing