Updated: Jul 15
Elderberry is packed with antioxidants and vitamins that boost your immune system and even help you fight colds and cases of flu! Several archaeological sites in Switzerland revealed that people have been eating elderberries since the Stone Age and are popular in holistic remedies all over the world.
A really important thing to remember is that elderberry should be used at the very early stage of your flu or cold. It initiates an immune response that actually promotes inflammation in the body
That is how it helps clear out pathogens. But for some people, it should not be used daily or through an entire season. You can just take elderberry at the first sign of illness or just several times a week during flu season and that is enough to help boost your immune system.
A little more about the Chinese Medicinal properties of Elderberry
Let's Make Elderberry Syrup!
What do you need:
You need about 2 cups of fresh or 1 cup of dried elderberries (I like this brand)
4 cups of water
4 cinnamon sticks
4 TBSP fresh sliced ginger (keep the skin on) (or 1 tsp ground ginger)
4 cloves or 1/2 tsp of clove powder
3/4 cups raw unfiltered honey we will be adding at the end.
You can also add rosehip for extra vitamin c if you like and some people even add orange slices and cardamom. We aren’t doing that today but definitely play around with this recipe and see what works for you!
Place everything in a stainless steel pot and raise the heat to medium temperature. Once you see a few bubbles reduce the heat and let it simmer for 40-45 minutes. I like to leave the lid cracked open slightly to vent.
About halfway through I do like to mash up the berries to get some more flavor
Once done let it cool to room temperature.
Use a mesh strainer or a cheesecloth to strain the liquid from the berries. I use a spoon to press into the berries to release any additional liquid. Be sure to squeeze all of the liquid out of the berries before Discarding the remaining pulp.
It’s really important to let the liquid cool before adding the last step which is the honey.
This is when you add the raw honey because you don't want to lose the antibiotic properties and enzymes from the honey with the heat of the liquid.
Now you can bottle the syrup and store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 months.
I like to label my bottles from the date it was made. When getting your spoonful make sure to Shake the bottle slightly
My kids and I take daily spoons of elderberry syrup. I started giving elderberry syrup to my kids when they turned 3 so do ask your pediatrician if it's okay for your child between the ages of 1-3 years old.
*** Never give this elderberry syrup to kids under 1 because it does contain honey and honey is not safe at that age. ***
What’s the dosage?
Children 2 to 3 years old: ½ tsp
Children 3 to 12 years old: 1 tsp a day
Adults: 1 TBSP a day for a maintenance dose.
If you are starting to feel sick then switch it up to 2-3 doses a day.
People with autoimmune disorders such as celiac, rheumatoid arthritis, and Hashimoto's need to be careful about cytokine storms that can happen when taking elderberry.
Cytokines play an important role in normal immune responses, but having a large amount of them released in the body all at once can be harmful.
What are the symptoms of cytokine storms, look out for fever, chills, tiredness, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, cough, and low blood pressure. That could come from a lot of different things but if you are experiencing any of these symptoms definitely stop the elderberry and talk to your doctor.
Always listen to your body because your body is wise and your symptoms are always here to teach you something that you need to know.
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