Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Homemade Elderberry Syrup: Make Your Own Natural Immune System Support

I have friends that swear by elderberry extract and products like Sambucol for keeping colds and flu at bay or at least lessening the effects. It's not cheap--so when I saw a recipe for a homemade black Elderberry Syrup in the October 2010 issue of Whole Living magazine, I immediately tagged it to make. I finally remembered to buy the dried black elderberries at the health food store last week and brewed up a batch.


The dried elderberries (found with the bulk teas and herbs) were just a couple of dollars, and along with another several dollars for some local honey from the co-op, I had over a pint of the syrup--which is supposed to last a year. With no artificial ingredients, preservatives or processed sugar, it seems like a pretty good deal to me.


Whole Living says, "
Research suggests that the antiviral compounds in black elderberry may help fend off the H1N1 virus. For cold and flu prevention, take teaspoon of this syrup twice a day. If you're already sick, take a teaspoon every few hours until you feel better. You'll need dried black elderberries--find them at your health food store or order them from frontiercoop.com."--Tania Hannan

Directions:
  • Step 1: In a saucepan, cover 2 ounces of dried black elderberries with 1 quart water. Boil. Turn heat to low; simmer until reduced to a pint. Strain.
  • Step 2: Return liquid to the pan. Using a wooden spoon, slowly stir in 1 1/2 cups of honey into the mixture until honey is thoroughly dissolved.
  • Step 3: Let the syrup cool to room temperature. Pour into a clean jar with a tight-fitting lid. Label and date. It will keep up to a year in the fridge.


Notes/Results:
It actually tastes good--sort of like a sweet berry liqueur. Since I just started taking it I can't tell you how effective it is, but elderberries are full of antioxidants to boost the immune system, along with antibacterial honey, so it certainly can't hurt. With the winter cold and flu season well upon us it is good to have a bottle on hand. Plus the fun and satisfaction of making home remedies gives it extra entertainment points. I'll keep you updated on the effectiveness. ;-)


What's your favorite home remedy?

16 comments:

Joanne said...

I've heard of elderberries because sometimes whole foods has some dried ones but I've never done anything with them! It'll boost my immune system, eh? Maybe I should start taking this since I opted NOT to get the flu shot this year...

Pierce said...

I just can't make myself get a flu shot...but elderberries...I am sure willing to have that "medicine".

That is a very informative post!

K and S said...

that sounds like it will cure a lot :) hope you feel better soon!

5 Star Foodie said...

Homemade elderberry syrup sounds wonderful and I love that it is so healthy, a must try for sure.

Kim said...

I'm a firm believer in home remedies. I like to use a couple drops of geranium oil in my bath for cramps/sore muscles (I've been doing that since I was a teenager). My Mom always keeps an aloe plant, which I like to use for cuts,scrapes, rashes, and sunburn. I like to put vitamin E on my skin, as well as 100% cocoa butter(good for sunburn, etc). My favorite home remedy though is honey. Tea with lots of honey is my favorite way to deal with the symptoms of a cold or flu.
I bet this elderberry syrup is really tasty. It certainly looks pretty! I would certainly take this before I would take over the counter cold medicine.

ValleyWriter said...

I was just thinking I needed to pick up some zinc lozenges (another homeopathic remedy) to fight off this sore throat I feel coming on. As you might imagine, zinc has a bit of a metallic aftertaste. Maybe I'll stick to the tasty stuff and try this eldeberry syrup instead!

Pam said...

This is so interesting! I'm going to have to look for some elderberries.

Claudia said...

What an excellent idea, and especially now with colds flying back and forth. I've got to give it a try. Bound to be easier on those around us than raw garlic.

Reeni said...

I take an elderberry supplement - but this would be so much better! I haven't seen dried elderberries in my neck of the woods but will have to hunt some more for them! The syrup is so pretty.

Viviane Bauquet Farre / Food and Style said...

Oh... I love this! It might be good for the immune system, but it also tastes super delicious - you can't beat that!

Chow and Chatter said...

looks so pretty love the color they have eldberry drinks in the UK

Merry Christmas Deb

Rebecca

Kim - Liv Life said...

What a wonderful idea! We are in dire need of immune support here. While my son hasn't had so much as a sniffle, Liv has been sick on and off for the last 2 months. She's missed 7 days of school and numerous dance practices. I'm hoping that this school break will help, but the elderberry syrup sure couldn't hurt. I will keep my eye out at our health store and see what I can find. Thanks Deb... a timely post!

Lori said...

What a great homemade gift! I need to check out that magazine. Honey and ginger are my favorite remedies. I love ginger tea with a drop of honey and lime.

Fresh Local and Best said...

I'm not sure if I have ever had an elderberry, but I do like the idea of having this syrup around the house for in case I need it. Plus it sounds like it tastes good, so I'd probably drink it up everyday.

girlichef said...

"Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!" Okay...is it just me or does everybody think of Monty Python when they hear the word elderberry!? Just me? Okay then. This is fantastic, Deb...totally want to make some. Now. How to locate elderberries.... ;)

Rachel said...

You may try Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa (ninjiom-hk.cwahi.net). i know alot of people use it, its also non alcoholic, though it's effectiveness is not as good as alcohol based cough medicine, but it's still good to use on not so serious scratchy throat.