It's time to bring out the elderberry syrup! This is something we have used off and on in our family over the past couple of years and honestly, I go back and forth between buying it and making our own.
This past week I opted to make our own since I already had the dried elderberries on hand.
Not familiar with elderberry syrup? That's okay! At one point I wasn't either, but I have since come to appreciate the immense benefits that this syrup offers.
Elderberry Syrup is antiviral, high in flavonoids and antioxidants and contains high levels of A, B, and C vitamins making it a great immunity booster that has been proven to shorten the duration of colds and flu.
In fact, "numerous scientific studies have investigated the use of elderberry as a treatment for flu, and all have demonstrated efficacy similar to Tamiflu and Relenza." source
Why is Elderberry Syrup Effective?
According to "Smart Medicine for Healthier Living" elderberry syrup reduced both the severity of flu symptoms and also the duration of flu from 2-3 days versus 6 days.
"This is because elderberry inhibits neuraminidase, the enzyme used by the virus to spread infection to host cells." source
Also, elderberry syrup contains 3 different flavonoids. Did you know that flavonoids are effective against at least 8 different strains of the flu virus?!
Here's what else it does:
- Helps boost the immune system
- It stops the production of hormone-like cytokines that cause inflammation
- Studies have also shown that elderberry reduces excessive sinus mucus secretion, and some even suggest that elderberry can help lessen swelling of mucous membranes, improve sinus drainage, and decrease nasal congestion source: http://www.naturalfertilityandwellness.com/how-to-make-elderberry-syrup/
Elderberry Syrup is Beneficial for Nursing Mothers
"After taking elderberry, a nursing mother can expect a recovery from flu symptoms within the time frame typically applied to adults who have taken Tamiflu or Relenza. Elderberry possesses powerful antiviral action and can reduce the duration of flu symptoms by 2-3 days. Additionally, elderberry is anti-inflammatory and may help to reduce fever and aches associated with flu." source
AND, if you happen to be nursing a baby I have read that if you take the syrup 5 minutes before you nurse, the baby can receive the benefits too!
Here's How We Make Ours
1/2 c. dried elderberries
1-2 sticks of cinnamon
1 T freshly grated ginger (although this last time I did the equivalent of ground ginger because that's what I had and I think the kids preferred it this way)
2 c. filtered water
1 c. honey (raw if you have it)
2 T dried rose hips (I haven't tried this yet, but read that you can and it will add extra vitamin C so plan to try it in the next batch)
Add dried elderberries, cinnamon stick, ginger, cloves and water to your pot. Cover and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and allow to simmer for about 20-30 minutes.
Take simmered berries and strain the juice into a bowl. (I mash mine down with a spoon to get all the extra juice!)
Add 1 cup of honey and stir.
Store in the refrigerator for up to a couple of weeks. Makes 1 pint.
The standard dose is 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp for kids and 1/2 Tbsp to 1 Tbsp for adults. If you come down with a cold or the flu, take the recommended dose every 2-3 hours instead of once a day until you feel better.
What natural remedies do you use to beat the flu?
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