I’m not a doctor, and this isn’t medical advice, but in my experience, elderberries are a great way to fight the winter sniffles. As kids head back to school and the weather cools, elderberry syrup can be your best friends to keep colds and flu at bay.
Studies show that elderberry extract significantly reduces cold and flu symptoms, when taken at the first sign of illness. This study shows that elderberry extract reduced the duration of flu symptoms by an average of 4 days when taken within the first 48 hours.
Some raw elderberries can cause stomach aches, which is why we make a syrup. You can use fresh elderberries or frozen elderberries, but I usually dry mine out in the dehydrator for use whenever someone in the house has a cold.
I’ve used honey instead of sugar as there is some evidence that honey reduces the severity of coughs. Add an optional 1 tablespoon of fresh grated ginger to prevent nausea and inflammation.
- 1/2 cup dried elderberries
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup honey
Place elderberries and water in a pot on the stove and bring to a boil. (If you are going to add ginger, do it here!) Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the water has been reduced by half. Remove from heat and pour through a sieve. Press down on the berries to get all the liquid out and then discard the pulp.
When the liquid is warm (not hot!), add the honey and mix well. Take 1 teaspoon a day for an immune boost and 1 teaspoon 3 times a day when ill. Will last about 2 weeks in the fridge.