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Elderberries have been a remedy for centuries in North America, Europe, and Asia. Many studies have shown that Elderberry is high in antioxidants and can be used to lower cholesterol,  improve vision,  boost the immune system, improve coughs, colds, flu, bacterial and viral infections, tonsillitis and heart health. Elderberry boosts the immunity by stimulating  the immune system to produce infection and disease fighting proteins which destroy the ability of cold and flu viruses to infect a cell.

A majority of the studies that produced the results above were done using Elderberry extract. Elderly extract has higher concentration of active components than that obtained by simply eating the berries. Elderberry syrup can be very expensive so I decided to try and make my own with dried Elderberries that I ordered off of Amazon.com.

Here is the recipe that I adapted from several different recipes including other health boosting ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup black elderberries
  • 3 1/2 cups of filtered  water
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh ginger root, finely minced, or 1 tsp dried ginger
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
  • 5 whole cloves or a sprinkle of  clove powder
  • 1 cup (or less) raw honey
  • 1 1/4 tsp real vanilla extract
  • a few of sprigs of fresh lemon balm or a couple bags of lemon balm tea.

Add all ingredients except the honey to a saucepan and bring to a high boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour until liquid reduces by 1/3-1/2. Remove from heat and let cool enough to touch. Strain and squeeze out the berries and lemon balm.  Add the honey to the liquid and stir well. Store in a bottle or jar in the fridge.

Recommended dosage: 1 tablespoon for adults and 1 teaspoon for children over the age of two. Take once daily for immunity support or every few hours for treatment of flu or cold.

Here are some health benefits from the ingredients used:

Ginger- is a powerful anti-inflammatory herb that is used for the most extreme cases of inflammation, including rheumatoid arthritis.

Cinnamon – Laboratory studies have found that cinnamon may reduce inflammation, have antioxidant effects, and fight bacteria.

Vanilla – Vanilla’s main constituent is vanilli which has antioxidant properties.  Vanilla helps reduce stress and calm nausea.

Cloves –  Cloves have antiseptic and germicidal properties that help fight infections, relieve digestive problems and arthritis pain..

Lemon Balm – relieves stress and insomnia, and helps in healing cold sores .

Raw honey – has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties to keep your immune system healthy and ward off colds and the flu.  It also is a very effective cough suppressant.

***It is recommended to eat only fully cooked elderberries. The unripe fruit, bark, leaves, and stems may contain cyanide which is poisonous. Never eat the green parts of the Elderberry plant.*****

Most research Is from the internet and I am in no way a medical professional.  I would love to hear your elderberry syrup recipe or feedback on this recipe and the effectiveness. We are all learning and constructive criticism or improvement are always welcome.

**ADDITION**

I have also tried to make elderberry extract.

4oz of dried elderberries

1 quart bottle of cheap vodka or brandy

1 quart jar with lid

Each day, shake the jar and during the first week, Make sure that the alcohol still covers the berries, add more  alcohol if necessary.

After 6-8 weeks, or longer, remove the berries by straining them through the colander. The extract will remain potent for 1-2 years if kept in a cool dark place.

This is extract, it taste like extract, and needs to be added to other things such as tea, seltzer or milk. It still has all the wonderful properties, maybe more, as the syrup recipe. Serving 20 drops for adults and 10 drops for kids once a day for prevention and 3 or 4 times/day during a flu or cold. For kids 2 and over, but I think I will stick to the syrup for my younger ones.

-Theresa

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