It's winter and cold and everyone around you is sick, or so it would seem. What can you do to prevent or treat the plethora of colds and flu circulating lately? Clean eating, exercise, fresh air, ample sleep, and a few key supplements for starters. Enter elderberry syrup. Countless studies show that elderberries have a strong anti-viral effect (here are two: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22972323 & http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/elderberry). The berries are full of vitamin C and they also boast anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Not bad for a cheap little berry. You can purchase elderberry syrup from Amazon or your local health food store. Or if you are looking to save some money and interested in only the best ingredients, make it yourself. I get my organic dried elderberries from Amazon or Frontier Co-op.
Homemade Organic Elderberry Syrup
Pour water into medium saucepan and add elderberries, ginger, cinnamon and cloves.
Cover, bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 60 to 90 minutes until the liquid has reduced by almost half. Remove from heat and let it cool enough to be handled.
Pour through a strainer into a glass jar or bowl. Use a meat tenderizer or large wooden spoon to push the elderberries down in the strainer so that all the juice is squeezed out.
Discard the elderberries and let the liquid cool to lukewarm. When it is no longer hot, add 1 cup of raw honey and stir well.
When honey is well mixed into the elderberry mixture, pour the syrup into mason jars or other glass bottles.
Store in the fridge and take daily.
The daily recommended dose is ½ tsp to 1 tsp for kids and ½ T to 1 T for adults. If you or your family have been exposed to the flu or are feeling symptomatic, take the recommended dose every 2-3 hours until the symptoms disappear.
**Of course, please consult with a physician or other practitioner if you have any medical conditions or are pregnant or nursing before taking elderberry syrup.