These winter months can be tough on our bodies. From less daylight yielding less access to Vitamin D to all the time spent indoors, it’s not out of the question for even the most healthy of us to catch the whatever’s going around.
It’s wise to take extra care to stay healthy in winter, and much of this depends on what we put into our bodies. Luckily, there are simple, natural remedies that we can make ourselves at home. One of these popular, incredibly healing remedies is elderberry syrup.
Benefits of Elderberry Syrup
Elderberries are widely known for their health benefits and have been used for thousands of years as a natural medicine. They are very high in the polyphenol anthocyanin, which is extremely rich in antioxidants. Elderberries also contain many trace minerals and have more vitamin C than oranges. Elderberry has been acclaimed for its ability to fight the cold and flu.
“Viruses multiply by invading our cells through their hemagglutinin spikes. These spikes allow them to penetrate the cell membrane and move in and take control the cell. Elderberry contains a potent antiviral agent called antivirin which helps neutralize the activity of the hemagglutinin spikes. When these spikes are deactivated, the viruses are no longer able to get inside of the cell and replicate” (source).
The other ingredients in this syrup – honey, cinnamon, ginger, and clove – are all incredibly healing as well.
Raw honey is anti-viral, anti-fungal, and antibacterial. Because it has not been heated or processed, raw honey contains natural vitamins and enzymes. It is also highly antioxidant and helps strengthen the immune system.
Cinnamon is highly antibacterial and makes a wonderful natural disinfectant.
Ginger is helpful with any nausea or side effects of upset stomach that might come along with illness, especially if you come down with a stomach bug.
Cloves are high in vitamins and minerals. Like many of the other ingredients in this syrup, cloves are antibacterial and powerfully antioxidant.
1/2 cup dried elderberries (like these)
2 cups water (purified)
3/4 cup raw honey (like this)
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1.) Add water, elderberries, & spices (not honey!) to pot and bring to a boil.
2.) Reduce to simmer and let simmer for about 45 minutes-1 hour or until liquid is reduced by half. Stir occasionally.
3.) Strain elderberries and cloves, pouring remaining mixture into a pourable container (like a measuring cup). Be sure to squeeze as much of the liquid out as you can!
4.) Allow mixture to cool to about room temperature, then add honey, stirring in well.
5.) Pour elderberry syrup into jars.
Yields nearly 12 oz of elderberry syrup.
Storage & Use
Store in refrigerator.
Dosage: 1/2 tablespoon for adults and 1 teaspoon for children
If you don’t feel like making your own . . .