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Syrup Saves the Day-Homemade Elderberry syrup

My husband laughs because I always have some kind of “potion” brewing in a pot on the stove or tincture sitting on the shelf. I haven’t always been that way, but the more I learn, the more I love finding things in nature that benefit my family. Elderberry was probably what sparked my interest in all things herbal so I’d love to share this recipe with you! Elderberry products are all the rage lately, with several good studies that have been conducted about it’s immune boosting properties, but its been available in nature for centuries. I first learned about elderberry and its healing properties several years back when I was looking for a natural cough remedy. I had one son, who we jokingly say, was born coughing! He had a terrible, non-stop cough from literally the time he was born. We tried everything over the counter. He had numerous doctor’s visits and chest x-rays where they declared his chest clear and no infection so they sent us on our way. There just didn’t seem like there was anything there to treat other than the cough. He still kept on coughing and coughing! He was still so little, I didn’t want to give him cough suppressant, so I looked for other methods that might help. We were at our wits end, and we even tried onion poultices! Which, by the way, DOES work, but only for a short amount of time, and who has time for that!? It was when I was looking through some of my Mom’s (I often laugh and say my Mom was crunchy before it was cool.) old books that I found elderberry syrup could be used for coughs. I didn’t really know much about it, but I thought I’d give it a try.

I bought dried berries from a health food store while I was visiting the “Big City”, made the syrup, and I was amazed at the results! After some further study, I found out you can use it as a sort of “preventative” supplement also. We started taking just a little every day during the winter when cold and flu was so prevalent. If we did start to feel bad or have symptoms of a cold, I would increase the dose to several times a day. I am no doctor and I don’t claim to have the answers to your health problems, but this has benefitted my family greatly. Plus, I feel like you can take it everyday or as much as needed without feeling like you are pumping your family full of “medicine”. We are thankful for modern medicine and use it when necessary, but we also feel like, as with most of life, it’s all about balance. This is obviously not going to cure your cold or flu in an instant, but I feel like it does lessen the symptoms or maybe even the length of sickness. I do believe it’s helped my family stay healthy, plus it stops a cough when nothing else will!

It can be found in late July to early September. If you have the flowers they will often help to “sweat out” a fever and can be beneficial to add. As with any plant, you want to make sure that what you are picking is not toxic (there are several berries that look like elderberry and are poisonous). Also, never eat elderberries raw, always cook them first. When you are foraging for any plant or berry, always do your homework and if you have any doubt, you can buy from a reputable supplier or plant your own instead!

Elderberry Syrup:

  1. 1 cup of dried elderberry

  2. 1/2 cup of dried flowers (if you have them)

  3. 3 cups of water

  4. 1 Tablespoon of cinnamon (or you can use cinnamon sticks if needed)

  5. 1 teaspoon of ginger

  6. 1/2 Teaspoon of clove

  7. Honey (to taste)

  8. Drops of echinechea (if you have it available)

*This recipe is great because it can easily be multiplied or divided, depending on your specific needs.

Place dried berries in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and turn down to simmer on low. Add the dried flowers, cinnamon, ginger, and clove. Simmer for 30 minutes or until reduced down, stirring occasionally. Strain and add honey to taste or leave it out if you prefer. You don’t want to add the honey until you are done, because if you “cook” the honey, it will most likely cook out some of the good properties that you want to keep in the honey. Place in containers and you MUST store it in the refrigerator. It will last for up to 6 months. I call it syrup, but to me it’s not very syrup-y. You can add substances to make it thicker if you like, but we just use ours the way it is and it works fine.

**Disclaimer: As always, this is my personal experience with my knowledge and what works for my family. I am no doctor and do not claim to treat or diagnose any illnesses or diseases. It is always a good idea to consult with your doctor before taking any new supplement.

**Too busy? For those of you who have said, can you just make it for me? Below is a link to an Etsy shop I’ve set up and you can buy some of the products I use and make. It’s still under construction so check back in often as I add more items!

https://www.etsy.com/shop/OurLifeFromScratch <img decoding="async" loading="lazy" height="1" width="1" style="display:none;" alt="" src="https://ct.pinterest.com/v3/?event=init&amp;tid=2612520482987&amp;pd[em]=<hashed_email_address>&amp;noscript=1&#8243;>

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