It's that time of year...
All 4 kids are stuffy, coughing and complaining of a scratchy throat. Time for Mom to break out the medicine!
One of my favorite homemade remedies is elderberry syrup. It is simple to make at home, or can be purchased at most natural foods markets.
Elderberry syrup is one way to use the berries of the European, Blue or Black Elder plant. Jam and juice are other ways we can put this plant to use as medicine and food. It is important to use black or blue elderberry and from a trusted source. The leaves and stems of the plant are toxic and should not be used.
Elderberry is known as an immune booster and contains antioxidants, vitamin C, potassium and calcium. It is great to take a little bit daily to help keep the immune system strong and for use during times of sickness.
Half a cup of elderberry's (sambucus nigra) covered with about 2.5 cups of water, a tablespoon of sliced ginger, 1 teaspoon whole cloves and 2 cinnamon sticks and allowed to simmer for about an hour to reduce, yields about 20 ounces of syrup when the honey is added.
1 Cup black elderberry
3 Cups of fresh water
1" fresh ginger, sliced
1 tsp whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
Add ingredients to a saucepan and bring to a boil on medium heat. Reduce, cover and simmer on low for about an hour or until liquid is reduced by about half.
After the liquid has reduced by almost half, mash up the berries with a spoon or potato masher and allow to continue cooking for a little longer. Remove from heat and allow the liquid to cool. Pass liquid and berries through a fine strainer and add about 1/2 cup of raw honey to sweeten (or to taste).
To this mixture, you can add bee propolis, echinacea tincture or my favorite, raw apple cider vinegar or Fire Cider.
Why I love it: It's sweet and bitter at the same time, the kids don't hate it, it boosts the immune system and is a great home remedy for the flu, it is easy to make or buy at your local health food store. It blends well with Fire Cider and can be used as a syrup on pancakes or ice cream. Whats not to love?!?!