What are some of your winter staples? Things you keep around the house in anticipation of colds, runny noses and sore throats?
One of mine is Elderberry syrup. You can easily purchase this at your local health food store, or make your own. Making your own is MUCH more beneficial and super cost effective. You will have the added benefits of medicinal spices and local honey when you make this yourself!
Elderberry syrup is high in vitamin C and other immune supporting nutrients. Depending on what you add to yours, it could become a nutrient powerhouse. I tend to load mine up!
I use turmeric, the yellow spice that gives curry its yellow color. This yellow root is loaded with nutrients and anti-inflammatory capabilities. I also add ginger, which is another nutrient dense root that is forgotten sometimes.
I've worked at a health food store for over 15 years and elderberry syrup has ALWAYS been a best seller. Making my own is IDEAL. I get to add the spices I mentioned above, in addition to local honey. Local honey contains local pollen properties that can also support your immune system.
I use it as a preventative at my house, but you could also just break it out when you felt you were coming down with something.
Here's what I do...
Prep time ~10 minutes
Cook time ~1 hour
4 cups water
1 cup dried elderberries (Can be found in bulk at health food stores)
1 cup raw, local honey
1 teaspoon dried/fresh ginger or a little more...
1 teaspoon dried/fresh turmeric or a little more...
1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Bring water, elderberries and spices (ginger, turmeric, cinnamon) to a boil in a large pan. Turn heat down and simmer for ~45 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced to half of what it was.
2. Once the mixture has reduced (or about 45 minutes), turn heat off and let set until mixture has reached room temperature.
3. Once it has reached room temperature you can strain out the elderberries. I like to use a cheesecloth and glass bowl. I squeeze all the good stuff out of the berries and then throw them into my compost container.
4. Mix the raw, local honey into the elderberry liquid. Its important that you don't do this when the liquid is hot. Heat kills some of the good stuff in the honey!
5. After you've mixed them together you can store in the refrigerator for a several months. This will last you all winter long!
You can use daily for overall immune system support, I use 1/2-1 Tablespoon a day for adults or 1/2-1 teaspoon a day for children. Remember children under 1 year cannot have honey.
Let me know what you think!