School started and a chill is in the air. My son came home with a mild cough and I got to cooking. Making up a batch of my homemade elderberry syrup. Did you know that elderberries are full of antioxidants? They actually contain higher antioxidant levels than both cranberries and blueberries.
To help boost the immune system I started turning to homemade natural food remedies. I use recipes like my soup for colds which is loaded with high quality bone broth onions, garlic, turmeric and hearty vegetables, home made cough syrup using local raw honey and my newest addition this elderberry syrup. I find that by using these items my family is not sick as often as when we do start to feel down using these get us back on our feet quickly and with out all the side effects of common drugstore options. Go into cold and flu season with this by your side.
Try this homemade elderberry syrup just as it is, over pancakes, ice cream or mix it into a hot tea. You could even dilute it with a little water for an elderberry juice.
You can find dried elderberries and aronia berries at some natural food stores. i find it easiest to purchase them online. Here are the elderberries I used.
Homemade Elderberry Syrup
Makes about 1 ½-2 cups
½ cup dried black elderberries
¼ cup dried Aronia berries
1 inch piece fresh ginger, sliced
1 whole cinnamon stick
½ teaspoon whole cloves
1 teaspoon turmeric
4 cups water
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
½ cup honey
Combine all ingredients expect honey and vinegar in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer 30-45 minutes until liquid reduces by half. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Using a fine strainer, remove berries and spices from liquid gently press on them with a spatula to remove excess liquid, discard berries. Add honey and vinegar to the liquid and stir well. Pour mixture into a glass jar and store in the refrigerator.
Instant Pot Method:
Put all ingredients in pot except honey and vinegar, seal lid, set manually for 9 minutes on high pressure. Vest pressure, strain add honey and vinegar, store as directed.
Standard dose is 1 teaspoon for kids (1-3 years) taken daily if feeling ill take 1 tablespoon twice daily. For ages (4 to adult) take1 tablespoon daily if feeling ill take 2 Tablespoons twice daily.
*Mix into a “juice” 1 tablespoon in ¼ cup water
*To make a thicker consistency syrup you can add 1 tablespoon corn starch mixed with 1 tablespoon water. Blend into the syrup and bring to a boil for 1 minute before allowing to simmer.
Why These Ingredients?
These dark berries are packed with antioxidants vitamin c and fiber. They can help fight cold and flu symptoms, support heart health, and fight inflammation and infections. *Note some are toxic when eaten raw. Be sure to source your berries from credited vendors and always cook them for best health benefits.
Known to have protective qualities against cancer. Helps to boost the immune system and reduce inflammation.
Ginger has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
It is commonly used for various types of “stomach issues,” such as motion sickness, nausea, colic, upset stomach, diarrhea, gas and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS),
Cinnamon has natural anti-inflammatory properties, making it a good herbal remedy for pain and swelling. It contains antioxidants and antibacterial properties that can fight harmful bacteria, improve blood flow and create a pleasant warming sensation in the body.
Some studies have found that the compounds in cloves support liver health and helping stabilize blood sugar levels. It may also help promote regularity, and strengthen your immune system.
Turmeric is most well known for it’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin which can help decrease inflammation. Research studies show that turmeric may offer protection against certain cancers, arthritis, help reduce blood sugar, and support the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.
Apple Cider Vinegar:
Use raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar for the most health benefits. Vinegar can act as a probiotic aiding the digestive system in the creation of good bacteria and killing off harmful bacteria. Vinegar has a history of use as a disinfectant and natural preservative.
* Note taking vinegar in full strength can cause harm to tooth enamel and cause stomach issues be sure to use it with other ingredient or dilute well with water.
Honey is a natural sweetener containing minerals, such as iron, calcium, phosphate, sodium chloride, potassium, and magnesium. It is known to contain antioxidants and have antiseptic and antibacterial properties. It can also be used as a natural cough remedy for it’s soothing effects.
*Note it is not recommended to give honey to children under the age of one as they risk ingesting bacteria that can cause infant botulism.