During the winter, my family takes elderberry syrup along with other supplements to boost our immune systems. Elderberries have been known to shorten the duration of illness, and it’s a berry so it’s generally considered safe for pretty much anyone including pregnant and nursing women. I personally have taken it while pregnant and nursing. I really enjoy making and taking the elderberry syrup. If you don’t want to make your own elderberry syrup, you can buy it here.
Elderberries (sambucus nigra) grow in the wild, and you can harvest them yourself and make the syrup if you would like. Some of the benefits of elderberries are: cold ad flu relief, blood sugar stabilizer, natural diuretic, good for allergies, and high in antioxidants. They are also high in vitamins A, B6 and C, which helps them boost the immune system.
I purchase my organic elderberries in bulk from Amazon. They’ve always been great quality and I like buying in bulk so I don’t have to worry about running out when I want to make it. Sometimes I also make elderberry tea by steeping 2 teaspoons of elderberries in 10 ounces of boiling water. I add in some raw honey and it is delicious! Here’s how you can make your own elderberry syrup:
- 4 cups of filtered water
- 3/4 cup dried elderberries
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- sprinkle of nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 Tablespoon dried ginger
- raw organic honey to taste (we purchase from Costco)
- Add 4 cups of filtered water to a medium sized pot and sprinkle in elderberries, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger.
- Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. I let mine barely bubble and check it every ten minutes. It smells so good while it is cooking! When it looks like the liquid has been reduced and is a little thicker than it was, turn the heat off and remove it from the burner.
- Let the mixture sit for awhile to cool down. After this has happened, I take my potato masher and squish the berries to release the liquid. When done squishing berries, strain through a metal strainer into a glass container. At this point, you can discard your elderberries.
- When the liquid is just warm, add honey to taste. We add between 1/2-3/4 cup of honey. Stir to combine!
We take 1 tsp for kids and 2 tsp for adults daily as a preventative. When illness strikes, take that dosage every two to three hours until symptoms disappear. I actually use the elderberry syrup added to my daughter’s cod liver oil since she prefers the flavor. She takes it with no problem and actually reminds me to give it to her if I forget!
Make sure to consume elderberry syrup within a month or so. I have seen it mold when not consumed quickly enough, and that is why I don’t make more than one recipe at a time. I shake mine well before dosing to the family members. The last illness we had lasted about 2 days for us, and didn’t seem to be as bad as other peoples’ symptoms and I attributed that to the elderberry syrup!
What do you do in the winter to boost your immune system?