While the Cold & Flu yells: “It’s our Season.”
Elderberry simply, but firmly, says: “NOPE!”
by Shannyn Caldwell
If you make your way through the Holistic Health Professional, Traditional Doctor of Naturopathy, Clinical Herbalist or Master Herbalist programs at Genesis, you will learn to make tinctures and syrups, teas, tonics, decoctions, poultices, and salves.
Additionally, you’ll learn about essential oils to boost your immune system and teas that will open your lungs and sinuses. You’ll learn about “super-heroes” like Echinacea, and Eucalyptus and where to apply them on the hands and feet to help the body begin to heal itself.
No matter how many tools you collect in your naturopathic tool kit, there will always be a star at the cold/flu season… Elderberry! “’Tis the season,” as they say, so I thought I would help us along with this wonderful, seemingly magical elixir. So, elderberry syrup. What’s all the fuss about?
First…the elderberries themselves: Elderberries (Sambucus nigra and Sambucus canadensis)
What do we know? First, we know it’s been around a long time.
Nerd fact: Hippocrates, the “father” of modern medicine wrote about it. So did Dioscordes who was a Greek physician, pharmacologist, botanist, and author of De Materia Medica. So…cool. In a 1650 medical text elder was translated from Latin to English as the “medicine chest of the common people.”
Elderberry… The medicine chest of the common people.
What else to we know? The berries themselves are nutrition to an extreme. Flavonoids (obviously…check out that color!) High Vitamin C, A, as well as iron and potassium. They are off the charts as an anti-oxidant. As far as the honey in the syrup, it has a powerful antiviral as well as a high ‘yummy’ factor!
How about the cinnamon, ginger and clove? They are warming (take that cold) plus they aid in digestion. An entirely differently blog could be done just for the power triangle of the goodness of the ginger, cinnamon and clove combination.
I made this basic recipe over the weekend. It was beyond yummy and hopefully our little family will have our healthiest season yet! Want to try your hand?
*2/3 C Dried Elderberries
*3 ½ C Pure Water
*2 TBSP Ginger Root
*1 Cinnamon Stick
*1/2 TSP Clove
*1 C Raw, Unfiltered, No Additives Honey
(Note: I use all organic ingredients. It is advisable not to mix toxins with medicinals.)
Pour water, elderberries, ginger, cinnamon and clove into medium sauce pan and bring to boil. Once boiling, cover and reduce heat. Reduce liquid by about half. It will take anywhere from 25 to 45 minutes. The time will vary. So just watch it closely.
Once the syrup is reduced by ½, remove it from the heat. Cool slightly, then strain into a glass bowl. Next, when the liquid is cooled to luke warm, add the honey and stir until it is incorporated. Pour into a 16 oz jar. Your syrup will last several months in the refrigerator.
Adults: 1 TBSP & Children: 1 TSP
Take daily as a preventive during cold and flu season. At first sign of a cold, the dose can be raised to as much as 1 TBSP per hour for adults and 1 TSP per hour for children*.
*Infants under one year old should not ingest honey as their digestive systems are not yet sufficiently developed.