I am writing this on the cusp of a cold. My throat is scratchy and I'm clasping a handkerchief. Justin succumbed to a cold three days ago. He had a horrible fever. It's like I've seen my future, but I'm committed to avoiding it.
I'm not sure I'll succeed, but I'll go down fighting. I've been making sure I get plenty of sleep, drinking vitamin c loaded smoothies which I've been stockpiling in the freezer, and filling myself with tons of probiotics.
With cold season officially upon us, I figured it was time to make some elderberry syrup. Elderberries are extremely high in antioxidants and help boost the immune system. If you have a mild case of the flu or a cold, elderberry syrup could help you knock it out fast.
Plus, I feel kinda like Mary Poppins when I take a spoonful of this.
There was a study done by the Journal of International Medical Research that taking elderberry syrup could shorten the duration of your sickness by up to four days.
Beyond cold and flu, it's great for allergies too. It's an anti-inflammatory which will help reduce agitated and inflamed airways. Allergies kick your immune system into overdrive and the elderberries will help keep things balanced.
It's something I recommend keeping on hand when the sniffles come your way. I think it goes without saying that nothing will replace a Doctor or antibiotics, but this is great for those in-between times. A doctor won't be able to fix a cold or your allergies.
Elderberries are pretty easy to find in bulk in the dried fruit or beauty section. But you can grow them in your own backyard! This is a great plastic-free alternative to get you feeling better. Along with veggie soup.
- 2.5 Cups of Filtered Water
- 1/2 Cup of Dried Elderberries*
- 1 Cup of Raw Honey**
*1 Cup of Fresh Elderberries **You can sub maple syrup
- Place the water in a pot on the stove.
- Add the elderberries
- Bring it to a rolling boil
- Once at a rolling boil, place the lid on the pot and turn the heat down to low
- Let it simmer for 30 minutes
- Strain the elderberry liquid through a fine mesh sieve
- Make sure all of the juice is out of the berries
- Compost the berry skins
- Let the juice come to room temperature (an hour or two)
- Mix the honey with the elderberry liquid
- Store the syrup in an airtight container like a mason jar
- Keep it in the fridge for up to three months
Alternatively, freeze it in an icecube tray. It will make two tablespoon portions that can be defrosted as needed.
Take a teaspoon a day if you feel a cold or flu coming. You can read more about elderberry here.
How do you prepare for cold season?