Monday, October 28, 2013

Homemade Elderberry Syrup

Fall brings a lot of wonderful things, but it also brings on cold season. Last night was a reminder for us, as my husband and I took turns rocking our coughing little boy. Nothing breaks my heart more than his sweet little face twisted in discomfort and sorrow. So, today, I made elderberry syrup. It's been on my to-do list for a while now, and thankfully, I had just purchased some elderberries at Kramer's Spice Market at Central Market.

So before I share the recipe, I want to share the healing properties of each ingredient in this amazing syrup:
~ Elderberries are often used for their wonderful antioxidant properties that help boost the immune system in order to fight coughs, the flu as well as bacterial and viral infections.
~ The healing properties of raw honey are too numerous to list. Simply put, honey is considered a cure-all remedy for nearly everything. From burns to bones to immune systems, it works magic all around. For this recipe, however, raw honey boosts the antioxidant properties of the syrup and it helps stimulate the immune system to fight infections such as colds and other bacterial or viral infections.{NOTE: local raw honey is the best and can be found at your local farmers' market or health food store. If you cannot get local raw honey, make sure you purchase raw honey, as the integrity of the product has not been refined, removing all of the good healing properties.}
~ Cinnamon contains antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which help aid digestion as well as help raise the body temperature which combats breathing problems. As a result, it is an excellent addition to this syrup, as it helps fight coughs and colds.
~ Cloves contain both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory healing properties {among many others} that aid the effectiveness of this syrup.

Homemade Elderberry Syrup
~ 2 oz. dried elderberries {or 4 oz. fresh}
~ 4 cups water
~ 3/4 cup raw honey
~ 1 cinnamon stick
~ 1/2 Tbsp. ground cloves

Combine water and elderberries in a saucepan and bring to a boil {uncovered}. Reduce heat and simmer about 30 minutes. Add cinnamon stick and cloves and stir to combine. Continue simmering, uncovered, for an additional 30 minutes, or until reduced by about a third to half. Remove from heat and strain liquid into a bowl {I used cheesecloth}. Allow liquid to cool to about room temperature. Add honey and whisk to combine. Pour syrup into an airtight glass container and store in the fridge. It will keep for a few months in the refridgerator. Recommended dosage: 1/2-1 tsp every 2-3 hours for small children/toddlers at the onset of illness, continuing only for a few days {not more than 5}. For bigger children and adults, increase the dosage to 1/2-1 TBSP every 2-3 hours.

** Never give to infants under 1 year since it contains raw honey. And, as with anything, I encourage you to do your own research! This is an excellent source on the topic.

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