This may be a little late for cold and flu season, but Elderberry Syrup can be used year round for immune boosting benefits!
Elderberry (Sambucus nigra) is a small tree and member of the honeysuckle family. It has small white flowers which emerge as berries between August and October. This powerful berry has antiviral and antioxidant components. Elderberry has been shown to lower cholesterol, boost the immune system, fight bacterial and viral infections, and improve heart health. Studies have tested elderberry and found the bioflavonoids in it to be effective in hindering Human Influenza A (H1N1 virus) by blocking the ability of the virus to infect host cells. People who take elderberry upon first symptoms of the flu reported less severe symptoms and had faster recovery than those who did not. Studies have also found that elderberry extract reduces oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. This oxidation is one of the contributing factors of cardiovascular disease.
Elderberry syrup can be bought in many health food stores for approximately $15 for 4 ounces. However, you can easily make this recipe which can give you 16 ounces for less than $10.
3 1/2 cups cold water
1.5 cups organic dried Elderberries
1 organic Cinnamon Stick
1 tsp fresh grated organic ginger root
½ tsp cloves
raw local honey
Combine the berries and herbs with cold water in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow herbs to simmer for approximately 45 minutes. Remove from heat and mash the berries in the liquid mixture. Strain the berries and herbs and squeeze out the juice. Add ¼ cup- ½ cup raw local honey. Bottle in sterilized glass container such as a 16 ounce mason jar.