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Last winter, I learned of the benefits of Elderberry Syrup to prevent and treat colds and flu. Elderberry extract has been proven to have antiviral properties, including against influenza (PubMed). After searching around a bit and seeing the price tags on Elderberry remedies at the store, I decided to make my own! It’s not hard… Really!
Growing up in Western NY, my family used to pick wild elderberries. (I do love elderberry pie.) Now, living in North Carolina, we don’t have wild elderberries so I had to improvise. I purchased dried elderberries here. I love the Bulk Herb Store – They have wonderful, quality products. I especially love their Brain Booster Tea and their Double-E Immune Booster. I think next time I order, I’ll try their Stress Buster Tea – What Mom doesn’t need that!
How to Make Homemade Elderberry Syrup
You will need:
- 1 cup dried elderberries
- 5 cups water
- 1 small piece of ginger, sliced thin (I did not have fresh ginger this time, so I used 1-2 T Organic Ground Ginger) ~Use fresh if you can!
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder (or 2 cinnamon sticks)
- 8-10 whole cloves (or 1/2 tsp ground cloves)
- 2 Chinese star anise (a key ingredient in the production of Tamiflu)
- 1-2 cups raw honey (I think I used about 1 1/2 cups)
- Add your dried elderberries, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and star anise to a large saucepan. Pour your water over it.
- Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover the pot and crack the lid.
- Simmer for 50 minutes to 1 hour.
- Remove from heat, remove lid, and allow to cool a bit. I allowed mine to cool for about 30 minutes before handling.
- Pour the liquid through a strainer into a bowl. My 4 cup glass measuring cup worked for this, but without any extra room.
- Smash the berries around in the strainer to get as much juice out as possible.
- Discard the elderberries and allow the liquid to cool.
- Once cooled, add honey and stir or whisk well.
- Pour into glass containers (jars or bottles) and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.
We take daily during the fall and winter months as a preventative (at least we try to remember daily)! 1 tsp for kids, 1 T for adults. If we do get sick, we take this dosage every 2-3 hours until well again.
If you would rather purchase your elderberry remedy, we carry Sunshine Heroes Elderberry Immune Chews in the store!
Do you make your own home remedies? What is your favorite?