Something I do every year during the autumn and winter months is make my own Elderberry Syrup. Full of Vitamin C, antioxidants and more, just taking one tablespoon per day has kept the flu bug away. It boosts my immune system to fight off cold and flu symptoms, supports heart health and fights off inflammation and infections. If I start feeling rundown or a cold/flu virus trying to latch on, I up my dosage, taking it every few hours throughout the day, until I start feeling better. All this to say, I haven't had the flu in almost two decades — and I have never in my life received a flu vaccine.
If you would like to stay healthy and save some money in the process, here is my recipe for Elderberry Syrup.
|3/4 cup of dried Black Elderberries|
|2 tbsp fresh ginger (chopped or grated) or 2 tsp ground ginger|
|1 cinnamon stick or 1 tsp ground cinnamon|
|5 whole cloves or 1 tsp ground cloves|
|3-1/2 cups of water|
|1 cup raw honey|
- Pour the water (I prefer and recommend filtered water) into a medium saucepan — add elderberries, ginger, cinnamon and cloves. If you are using fresh or frozen elderberries use 1-1/3 cups worth. All of the solids will be strained at the end, so you can just chop up the ginger rather than grating it. I've also successfully used cinnamon sticks instead of ground.
- Bring to a boil then cover saucepan with a lid. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 45-60 minutes until the liquid has reduced to almost half of its original volume.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool to the point you feel comfortable enough to handle.
- Pour contents through a strainer into a bowl. Use a spoon or flat utensil to press/mash the berries so that all of the liquid and juice is released.
- Discard the solids left in the strainer (I compost mine) and allow the liquid to cool to a lukewarm temperature.
- Add the honey (locally harvested honey is always best) and stir well.
- Once the honey has blended well with the elderberry mixture, pour the finished syrup into a glass mason jar, add a screwtop lid, and store in the refrigerator.
The Elderberry Syrup should last up to two months in the refrigerator... but you'll probably use it all up before the time expires.
Doseage is typically 1/2 to 1 teaspoon for kids (daily) and 1/2 to 1 tablespoon for adults (daily). If you start feeling like a cold or flu is coming on, take the normal daily dose every few hours, continuing each day until the symptoms disappear.