Why did it take me so long to make this??
Last year towards the cooler months, I saw quite a few posts on social media regarding elderberry syrup and its benefits in boosting the immune system. I didn’t really think too much about it, because I don’t get sick very easily, and Audrey stayed at home with me, so she wasn’t exposed to much.
However, at the beginning of March, we decided to move towards family. And cousins. With snotty noses.
Needless to say, we battled cold after cold. I honestly didn’t think it would ever end.
I ended up purchasing a bottle of elderberry syrup from an acquaintance, which seemed to have worked wonderfully in clearing up Audrey’s head cold [and bonus – she loves taking it!]. Unfortunately, the shipping costs were equivalent to the syrup and it just made it unfeasible to continue using.
[Insert more snotty noses and horrible coughs]
And after months of contemplating purchasing dried elderberries, I bit the bullet a couple weeks ago and cooked up a batch of my own elderberry syrup.
So, why elderberries, you ask?
They provide major cold and flu relief. Elderberries are an excellent immune system booster and have been known to be a safe, efficient, and cost effective way to treat both cold and flu symptoms. They are a sinus infection aid with both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. They are a natural diuretic and a natural laxative which help promote both urination and bowel movements. And they ease allergies since allergies involve an overreaction of the immune system and elderberries ability to calm inflammation provides allergy relief.
I mean, seriously, what’s not to love?
Add those health-boosting berries to ginger which also has a long history of use in traditional medicine from helping digestion, reducing nausea, and fighting the common cold/flu and cinnamon, another ingredient that is loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, and you get a simple elderberry “juice”. Top that off with a healthy dose of local honey which helps reduce cough and throat irritation, and you’ve got yourself an all-natural, good-for-you, daily medicine.
Ginger Cinnamon Elderberry Syrup
makes 3-4 cups
- large pot
- large bowl
- cheese cloth
- 16 oz. amber bottles
- liquid measuring cup
- 3 c dried elderberries
- 6 c water
- 1-2 large thumbs of ginger
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- around 3 cups of honey*
Chop ginger into slices. Add ginger, elderberries, cinnamon, and water to the large pot and bring to a boil. Once the mixture reaches a boil, drop it down to a simmer. Keep the pot mostly covered, but have the lid slightly ajar.
Keep cooking until the mixture has gone down about halfway. This will take about 30-45 minutes.
When your mixture is reduced by half, strain with a cheese cloth lined strainer. You can either wait until the berries have cooled down and wring the cheese cloth to get all of the liquid, or be impatient like me and use a spatula to press down.
Measure the elderberry juice into your measuring cup and then pour it into a large bowl. While it is still hot, add equal parts of honey*. The amount of honey that is used will be determined by how much liquid you have. Whisk together until combined completely.
Use the liquid measuring cup to pour the elderberry syrup into your desired container [however, I’m loving the old-school feel of the glass amber bottles!] and store in the refrigerator.
Make sure to label the bottles with the date it was made and use within three months.
Standard dose for cold and flu prevention: 1 tsp. daily for kids 1+* and 1 tbsp. daily for adults. If sick: take dose every 2-3 hours as needed.
* This contains honey and should not be given to children under the age of 1.
Now c’mon, let’s get healthy!