Flu Season Rx: Make Your Own Elderberry Syrup

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This is certainly not a post I ever thought I would be writing, and making elderberry syrup is definitely not something I ever thought I’d be doing. But, here’s what I DO know: having an entire family come down with the flu at the same time TWICE (while seven months pregnant) is something I never want to experience again.

Enter elderberries. 

They aren’t new; in fact, they are considered ancient medicine, and they are now all the rage. When I’d previously heard about elderberries, I just shrugged them off. Then, all of a sudden, I kept hearing and seeing more and more about them and decided to do a bit of research. As it turns out, elderberries are among the most antiviral fruits that exist. Studies have proven their effectiveness at curtailing flu symptoms. They are jam-packed with nutrients such as iron, potassium, phosphorus, vitamins A, B, and C, as well as protein and fiber. They contain organic compounds that are both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. They can help with digestion, heart and respiratory health, bone health, and the clincher — they BOOST IMMUNITY. You can read more about them here, here, or here

After watching a few videos depicting the ease of making your own elderberry syrup, I decided to give it a go. 

Why not buy it in the store? First of all, it is insanely simple to make. (Seriously, if I can do it, you definitely can!)  Second, it is much more cost effective. (Depending where you purchase your ingredients, it can be about a third the cost!) Third, it is healthier. No additives, extra sugar, etc. and you can modify it to suit your family’s needs. 

I gathered a list of ingredients from various resources and created the recipe below. Each ingredient touts myriad health benefits, most of them emphasizing anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and immune boosting properties. There is a reason health experts stress the importance of fueling your body with healthy foods! A tiny piece of my dad’s food scientist expertise worked its way through me as I found myself fascinated by learning the benefits of each of these ingredients beyond just saying “it’s good for you.”

How to Make Your Own Elderberry Syrup

Ingredients:

(Ingredients can be found at any health food store or less expensively through co-ops such as Frontier, Mountain Rose Herbs, or Bulk Herb Store.)

Directions:

Step 1: Soak the elderberries in distilled water for about 30-60 minutes until they are soft. 

Step 2: Add all of the ingredients, except honey, in a pot. Bring to a boil and simmer (NO LID) until the liquid cooks down to about half (approximately 45 minutes). 

Step 3: Strain the liquid. (Don’t forget to put a bowl under the strainer to catch your syrup!!!)

Step 4: Pour honey into a jar. (Note: omit the honey for children under 1.) Add the liquid and mix it up. Once cooled, refrigerate for up to six months. 

All in all, I’m glad I tried this experiment. If making this super-easy elderberry syrup with myriad immune boosting health benefits keeps our family from getting the dang flu all at the same time again, call me a believer. If it doesn’t, no harm no foul. Can’t wait to hear how yours turns out! 

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Family is everything, and I can think of no better town to live in with my high school sweetheart and our four young children. Although we've been here for a few years now, we often find that it still feels like vacation. Embracing the natural beauty and slower pace were easy. Learning to love Orange wasn't too hard. However, my mid-western roots shine through in my inability to accessorize my daughters with giant hair bows and my preference for unsweetened tea. Being a mother is more incredible than I ever dreamed, and even though our days are utter chaos riddled with exhaustion, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I blog about anything and everything related to motherhood at Stroller Savvy..

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