Elderberry Syrup - your Autumn Immune Bomb
This week I finally made the elderberry syrup from the berries in our French garden. Elderberry [sambucus nigra] is native to most of Europe and if you like a good potion-making session, (and you didn’t use up your entire crop for making elderflower syrup), this is a super potent way to boost your immune health.
You can, of course, buy elderberry syrup in a health food store, but it’s pricy - 240ml cost about £15 and often full of glucose sugar, So opt for dried elderberries instead. The 2 litres I got from this batch set me back about £10 - the cost of the raw organic honey I used.
If you have fresh berries, dry them at 50 degrees in an oven for 30-60 minutes, but I chose to sun dry mine to soak up as much summer sunshine strength as possible.
Before we go to the recipe, here is why elderberry syrup is a must-have for your winter:
Elderberries are packed with antioxidants and vitamins that may boost your immune system and help prevent and ease cold or flu symptoms. Antioxidants help tame inflammation, lessen stress, and help protect your heart. Research shows that elderberry disarms the enzyme viruses use to penetrate healthy cells in the lining of the nose and throat. Taken before infection, it prevents infection. Taken after infection, it prevents virus spread through the respiratory tract.
Covid19 is the virus on everyone's mind of course - I’m afraid I don’t have an answer for you. But doing anything we can to strengthen our immune health is a good step forward.
In a clinical trial by Hadassah-Hebrew University in Israel, study subjects reported significant improvement after taking elderberry syrup, 20% within 24 hours, 70% by 48 hours, and 90% claimed a complete cure in three days. The study group receiving placebo required 6 days to recover. Not bad, huh?
If you want to read more about the research, here is a good article.
Without further ado, let’s get started:
4 cups of water
1 cup dried elderberries
1 cup raw honey
1 tsp of cloves
Essential oils (optional): 3 drops of Cinnamon, 3 drops of Ginger - you may use 3 drops of Clove oil too if you don’t have the buds.
Alternatively use 1 tbs fresh grated ginger and cinnamon sticks. Made with fresh ginger this will last for about 2 weeks in the fridge, with the oils it will be much longer.
1. Pour water into a saucepan, add elderberries and cloves (ginger and cinnamon if using fresh)
2. Bring to boil, and reduce to let simmer for about an hour, until the liquid has reduced substantially.
3. Remove from heat and let cool for 10-15 minutes, or until safe to handle
4. Pour through a strainer into a bowl
5. Place the strainer on a soup plate or bowl, and mash the berries with a spoon against the side of the strainer, adding the juice you mash out into the bowl. Discard the mash (it’s compostable)
6. Add the raw honey into the bowl, stir until resolved, cover and leave until cooled down
7. Fill into glass bottles and keep in the fridge
Yay, your super immune bomb is ready! Easy as pie. In fact, easier than pie. Adults take one tablespoon per day, children under 12 one teaspoon. Take daily with your other supplements for maximum effect.
Let me know your comments below. Like what you read? Want to hear more? If you are not on the list yet, sign up to stay in the know.