It’s that time of the year when germs are out to get you and your family.
It seems that someone in my family always catches a cold during this time of the year and needless to say passes it along to the rest of us….
So, this year, I have decided to try something new to help boost our immune system and hopefully surpass the colds!
I’ve decided to give elderberry syrup a try since I’ve only heard great things about it and it’s natural and safe for toddlers.
It’s no fun being sick on such beautiful autumn days when all you want to do is enjoy the outdoors.
Fall is my absolute favorite season, not only do I get to wear comfortable sweaters but I also get to watch how leaves become vibrant with colors.
Here in New England, we get spoiled by the foliage and it’s defiantly breathtaking!
Anyway, back to elderberry syrup….
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What is an Elderberry?
Elderberries are small, dark berries that grow in clusters on elder trees (also called elderberry bushes), and are very common throughout Europe and North America. They have a long history of human use, from food to medicine.
What are the Health Benefits of Elderberries?
Elderberries are a low-calorie food packed with antioxidants and high in vitamin C.
Health benefits of the elder plant include naturally improving colds, the flu, sinus issues, nerve pain, inflammation, chronic fatigue, allergies, constipation, and even cancer.
- Major Cold and Flu Relief
Elderberries are an excellent general immune system booster. The berries contain chemical compounds called anthocyanidins, which are known to have immunostimulant effects.
When used within the first 48 hours of onset of symptoms, the extract has actually been found to reduce the duration of the flu with symptoms being relieved on an average of four days earlier.
- Sinus Infection Aid
With elderberry’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, it makes sense that it can help sinus issues. A sinus infection is a condition in which the cavities around the nasal passages become inflamed, and this antiviral herb has promise as a sinus infection natural remedy.
- Lower Blood Sugar
Both the elder flower and the berry have traditionally been used to treat diabetes. Research has confirmed that extracts of elderflower stimulate glucose metabolism and the secretion of insulin, lowering blood sugar levels.
- Encourage Healthy Skin
Elderberry has made its way into cosmetic products, and for good reason. Its bioflavonoids and antioxidants, along with its high vitamin A content, make it awesome for skin health. Researchers suspect that a compound found in the elderberry could give a natural boost to skin.
Those are just a few of the many benefits of elderberries and now you know why I am so eager to give it a try! I made the elderberry syrup because it is cheaper to make verses buying it plus I know exactly what’s in it.
Also, I have to admit, it tastes pretty delicious and my kids were eager to have some more when I gave them a teaspoon to try.
How to make Elderberry Syrup:
1. Pour water into medium saucepan and add elderberries, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves.
2. Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour until the liquid has reduced by almost half.
3. Remove from heat and let cool until it is cool enough to be handled.
4. Mash the berries carefully using a spoon or other flat utensil.
5. Pour through a strainer into a glass jar or bowl.
6. Discard the elderberries and let the liquid cool to lukewarm.
7. When it is no longer hot, add the honey and stir well.
8. When the honey is well mixed into the elderberry mixture, pour the syrup into a quart sized mason jar or 16-ounce glass bottle of some kind.
The standard dose is ½ tsp – 1 tsp for kids and ½ – 1 tablespoon for adults. If the flu does strike, take the normal dose every 2-3 hours instead of once a day until symptoms disappear.
Ever taken elderberry? What natural ways do you use to help boost your immune system?