Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Combating Cold and Flu Season with Elderberry Syrup and Gummies

Elderberries have been shown to have antiviral and antibacterial properties, and to enhance our immune systems.  Here's a link to an abstract for one study, and another one.  There's quite a bit of info out there if you're the researching type.

Elderberry syrup can be purchased at most health food stores, some pharmacies and online.  However, it's super easy to make at home and Lucy thinks it's fun to help make "medicine."

I use the recipe from Wellness Mama, although I usually increase the spices a bit and always try to use fresh ginger.    You want to make sure and use local, raw honey, not the kind you buy in the cute bear at the grocery store.  Here's what you need- honey, dried elderberries (I like these), cinnamon, cloves (whole or powdered is fine), and fresh ginger.  If you're making gummies, you need a good quality gelatin like this one from Great Lakes.  A mold is fun but not necessary. You could always pour it into a jelly roll pan or baking dish and cut into squares.

You boil the elderberries and spices in the about 4 cups of water, and then reduce heat and simmer for about an hour.

Then you strain out the solids, make sure and smush the solids in the strainer to get all the liquid out.

Pour into a jar (reserving 1 cup if you want to go on to make gummies)

Take 1/2 - 1 tsp daily for kids, and 1 Tbs daily for adults. Increase that to every couple hours during an active infection.

If you're making gummies, use the cup of reserved syrup and follow the rest of Wellness Mama's directions.  I just poured the syrup, water and gelatin all into a bowl and whisked. It had a few clumps I had to pick out but otherwise worked well.  Put the mold on a cookie sheet, chill an hour or so and you've got germ-fighting candy!

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