Monday, October 25, 2010

Elderberry Syrup

 I kept putting off making elderberry syrup this season until my girls got sick this weekend. Nothing like a little motivation from sick kids. I have purchased commercial elderberry syrup and I truly believe that it helps shorten colds and  the flu around here. This HERE is the syrup I have purchased before. I haven't used it as a prophylactic, but will be doing so this year. I use honey to make this but my girls are all at the age where they can have honey. I wouldn't give it to babies. It's sweet, you can put it in teas or on top of pancakes, though it's not thick.

I think it's a wonderful blessing that God gives us such good natural things that are good for our bodies and some with healing properties. I love using natural things when possible.
What's so great about elderberries/Sambucus canadensis? From what I've read they are high in anti oxidants, vitamin C, potassium, and there are studies that prove them shorten cold and flu symptoms and strengthen the immune system. Read up on your own, I'm not doctor. I did just find this site tonight and skimmed over it, but be mindful and wise about what you read. http://www.blackelderberry.info/index.cfm?id=361
 They/Elderberries/Elderberry syrup works wonders for us. Cold/flu symptoms reduce in 24 hours around here.
I purchase dried elderberries online. You can find them at several places online. Mountain rose herbs is one place http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/bulkherb/e.php#h_eld_b
I purchase mine because I don't have a plant and haven't checked around for frozen berries. Even if I saw a plant, some parts of the plant and the red berries are toxic. I don't know enough about them to feel safe picking them.

I used 
1/2 cup dried black elderberries
2 teaspoons dried ginger root - you can use fresh also
5-6  cloves
1 cinnamon stick
2 pieces of lemongrass- optional I like lemongrass so I add it.
3 cups water
up to one cup of honey

  Bring the everything BUT the honey to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 45-60 minutes until the liquid has reduced by half.

Pour the mixture and strain through a sieve. I lined mine with a paper towel. You can use cheesecloth or a coffee filter. Press the liquid out of the berries.
I mix the liquid with a one to one ratio of honey. Discard the solids.
Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks in a glass container. I say glass because I am sure it would stain plastic and metal might change the taste.
If the girls are sick I give them 1 tablespoon a day if they aren't I give them 1 teaspoon a day. 
However I have seen dosages at
Prophylatic 
1 tablespoon a day for children
2 tablespoons for adults
double that during illness.

(Please note, I'm not a doctor- if you have any questions please consult your primary care physician. This just happens to work well for us.)
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