I’ve recently been battling a cold and as I love nothing more than a natural remedy when I am under the weather, I decided to make an old but tried and true one. Enter Elderberry syrup, it has been used for years as a natural go to remedy for colds and flu and there are several reasons why. It contains high levels of vitamins A and C , is anti-inflammatory, antiviral, lowers blood sugar and encourages healthy skin. Traditionally elderberry syrup is made with honey for its antibacterial properties but if you are avoiding honey for any reason, it can be made with other plant based sweeteners like coconut nectar.
For the syrup that I made, I used dried elderberries which was perfect although you can of course use the fresh variety too. The recipe makes a lovely tasting and healthy medicine and is also good and safe for kids too. Although it’s good to remember that if you do decide to make this and use honey, that honey shouldn’t be given to children under one years of age.
3 1/2 cups of filtered water
2/3 cup of dried elderberries
2 inches of fresh ginger root
1 tsp ground cinnamon powder
1 cup raw honey ( 2 to 3 tablespoons of alternative sweetener if preferred )
In a medium pan add the elderberries, ginger, cinnamon and water and bring to a boil.
Cover the pan with a lid but leave a rack open to allow the steam to escape
Allow to reduce for about 45 minutes (reduce the heat to a simmer)
When the liquid has reduced by half, remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Strain the liquid into a glass bowl and add the honey (or sweetener)
Mix thoroughly and pour into a glass bottle or jar.
Store in the fridge (It will last for a few months)
1 tsp to 1 Tbsp every 3 hours when suffering from a cold or the flu, otherwise just a regular once daily dose will do.
For children the dose is 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp (about 5ml to 10ml)
Elderberry syrup can also be enjoyed in some dairy free yoghurt or breakfast cereal or pancakes.
Happy cold / flu fighting!