DIY Winter Wellness – A 3 Part Series
Part 3 Elderberry syrup
The final remedy I present to you in our DIY Winter Wellness Series has a more difficult ingredient to find sometimes. Elder trees don’t grow everywhere (dude, don’t go foraging without 2 guidebooks and an expert to cross-reference please) and the berries aren’t found fresh in the produce section, but many health food stores now have a dried herb section where you can find dried elderberries. I get mine online from a very trusted herb supplier out of Oregon (mountainroseherbs.com). Elderberry syrup is a sweet and tasty antiviral preventative and treatment. It has gained popularity over the years and there are a few trusted pre-made brands out there, however, so many are made with processed sugars and I want to have control of my ingredients and flavors! Elderberries are high in potassium, antioxidants, vitamin C, Calcium and beta carotene.
I use ½ cup of dried elderberries for every three cups of water. The other ingredients are for flavor as well as more benefits; cinnamon is an amazing complimentary flavor. I like to add 1 stick. Other great variations to try are any combination of the following: 1/4c rose hips, 1/4c hibiscus, a thumb size piece of ginger, orange peel from two small oranges, 3 cloves, the inside of one vanilla bean ,1/4c hawthorn berries, 2 tablespoons of bilberries, 2 tablespoons rose petals, and a few pods of cardamom. I’ve experimented with many variations, using different combinations of those ingredients, all adding to 1 cup of combined herbs of your choice for every 3 cups of water used, in addition to the ½ cup of dried elderberries..
The berries, water, and a cinnamon stick are put into a pan on High until it comes to a boil. At this point you add any other ingredients, reduce heat and simmer it all on low for thirty minutes. Then you smash it up! Smash it up! I use a potato masher but you could totally use the back of a big spoon or an immersion blender (if your pan is deep enough). I’ve even sent them through a juicer (not recommended). Strain the liquid into a jar squeezing as much liquid from the berries as possible. Then discard (compost) the solid bits and pour the liquid back into the pan. Slowly heat the liquid and add 1/2 -1 c of raw local honey. The more honey you use, the sweeter (of course) but also the longer it will last. The heat should help the honey melt into the liquid.
That’s it! Now you have elderberry syrup! You can take a tablespoon-shot a day as an antiviral or more if you’re around sick people. At the FIRST sign of a cold, a tickle in the throat or swollen lymph nodes, I take a tablespoon every hour. If your symptoms do not get better in a couple of days, if fevers won’t come down or if things just don’t feel right, go to your doctor! I use this basic recipe to make all of my soda syrups using honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, brown sugar, or date syrup.
Hopefully these simple recipes can get you started taking your wellness into your own hands with DIY preventative measures! Lemme know what you make, how you like it, and if you have any questions!
Missed the other parts in the series? Click the links below
Disclaimer – not a fucking doctor. Not your fucking mother. Not telling you to skip the meds and eat random stalks growing in your yard. Nope! nope! nope! Be sensible. Be sustainable and earth friendly. Be educated. I am educating you on things I love for me, not giving medical advice.