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They have very strong immune boosting properties, and have proven to be effective at reducing the length and severity of colds and flu.
Every July I harvest several pounds of elderberries for making jelly and an immune boosting syrup. Elderberries also make great juice, wine, vinegar, dressings, and shrubs the drink, not the plant.
I also dehydrate them to add to muffins, pancakes, granola, and oatmeal. Mid-September, when the air begins to get crisper, is usually when I start making batches of immune boosting elderberry syrup. The syrup is basically an infusion of berries and strong medicinal herbs , sweetened with honey.
My kids love the taste, and happily take their daily dose. Pour the elderberries, rose hips, echinacea, ginger root, and cinnamon sticks into a medium stainless steel pot. Bring almost to a boil, then turn the heat to med-low and simmer uncovered for about 30 min, or until the liquid is reduced by half.
Once the mixture has cooked down, strain the herbs from the liquid using a mesh sieve or cheesecloth. Rinse and air dry the cinnamon sticks thoroughly, then store in a glass jar or ziploc bag. Allow the strained liquid to cool until warm enough to handle.
Echinacea adds a little bitterness to the syrup, so I always go heavy on the honey. Plus, honey is good for sore throats, coughs, and colds. We take 1 teaspoon a day adults and children over a year old as a preventative measure. I would not recommend giving this syrup to babies under a year old.
Making your own elderberry syrup is so much cheaper than buying bottles of Sambucus at the health food store. Especially when you grow or forage the ingredients! Kendra shares all of her homesteading adventures on her website, New Life on a Homestead. Also be sure to check out her popular Canning DVD: We grow our own elderberry.
With just 3 bushes we get about 10 quarts of elderberries — enough for us and to share. Each summer I make up a long store syrup and tincture out of our elderberries. We use it to head off the flu during the season. For active flu, I make up a batch of syrup with the addition of star anise pods. The acid in star anise is the active ingredient used to make Tamiflu.
Used this a lot in the south for the old ones that are basically waiting to die. Doctors figured out what we were doing, checked it out, now its standard fair in the homes for the aged. I have been using elderberry syrup for many years but I never thought of adding all those other things. Maybe this one will work even better. Thanks for the recipe. This article should have been published at that time. By now, Mid October, the berries, if any left are bone dry resp.
But whoever reads this article now-is as far as I can tell -tooo late.! Elderberries were blooming like crazy this Spring. I drove from Kansas to Chicago and they were all along the roadways.
This was such a wet spring, it makes me wonder if wet years are better for elderberry production. Since we cycle through El Nina and El Nino, from flood to drought, I have decided to make as much elderberry syrup as I can during the really productive years. Launched today, the Community Consensus Statement is a basic set of principles aimed at making sure that happens.
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