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
- 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?