Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Beating Colds & Flu...Nature's Way

Sniff, sniff, cough, cough. It's that the first sniffle, 2nd cough, or hint of a tickle in the throat, I reach for the elderberries and make up some elderberry syrup. It's a great antiviral, antioxidant, and boosts and supports the immune system. Sometimes I don't wait for the sniffle, if we are headed somewhere public and a lot of sickness has been going around, I'll give my kids a spoonful or a sip before heading out.

I used to buy the syrup already made up, until I figured out I could order dried elderberries and make it myself, for pennies on the dollar. This year I ordered from Mountain Rose Herbs for $10./pound (on special). With one pound, I can make about 4 quarts of syrup. Retail, it's about $15. for a 4 fl. oz. bottle. That would be $120. for 1 quart of syrup or $480. for the 4 quarts I can make out of my $10/pound berries (plus the cost of a little cinnamon and honey). I don't have the time to make a lot of my own stuff but the cost savings makes this one worth it to me!

Elderberry Syrup:
1/2 C. Dried Elderberries
2 C. Water
1 Cinnamon Stick
Add a bit of ginger and gloves to increase the effectiveness, if desired

Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer until the liquid is reduced by 1/2 (about 30 minutes).
Strain with a fine mesh strainer.

Add honey (to desired sweetness) while warm and stir until dissolved.
Makes about 1 pint.

If we aren't currently fighting a bug and I have some made up, I'll let the boys have a tablespoon or sip everyday. If they are fighting something, I'll try to remember to give them some every hour or so.

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