When I hear of sickness flying around I like to do my best to support our immune systems naturally. Some of my favorite ways include Vitamins C and D, avoiding too much sugar, using probiotics, Thieves essential oil and spoonfuls of elderberry syrup.
Elderberries have been used for ages to support a healthy immune system and help support the body in fighting viruses and bacteria. It has been shown to possibly help prevent flu and to help speed recovery if fighting symptoms. Elderberry is considered generally safe so it is great to give to little ones as well as adults and since it tastes delicious it is also an easy herbal concoction to get kiddos to take! That being said, this syrup does contain honey so you want to avoid giving it to kiddos under the age of 1.
This syrup is very simple to make and you can tailor the herbs to ones that you prefer. I like to add some cinnamon, ginger and clove for additional immune support and on my most recent batch I began adding astragalus root as well. Astragalus has been used to support the body in fighting of viruses and is considered a tonic to the immune system. I love the flavor and extra support these herbs add, but you can also just make it with straight elderberries if that is your preference too. I love to try and give all of us a spoonful a day and this is one herbal syrup I don’t like to be without!
3/4 cup dried elderberries
2 Tablespoons astragalus root
1 Tablespoon cinnamon chips (or you can throw in a whole cinnamon stick)
1 Tablespoon cloves
1 teaspoon dried ginger root
4 cups water
1 1/2 cups raw honey (preferably local if you can)
-Begin by making a decoction with your herbs by placing the herbs and 4 cups of water into a saucepan over medium heat. Cover and allow to gently simmer for 40-60 minutes. I usually have about 2 1/2 cups of liquid at this point. Allow to cool close to room temperature or cool enough to handle squeezing out the herbs.
-Pour the decoction through a strainer or cheesecloth into a quart canning jar. You can then squeeze out the herbs to remove as much liquid as possible.
-Gently mix the honey into the decoction until it is completely combined. I like to store my syrup in the fridge.
The general suggested dose for elderberry syrup is:
Children: 1/2-1 teaspoon a day
Adults: 1/2-1 Tablespoon a day
While fighting flu symptoms:
Same dosage but can be taken every 2-3 hours.