Updated: Aug 25, 2022
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One of my regimens for my kids health during the winter is elderberry syrup. Our winter bugs have been way less dramatic this year after introducing this into our daily lunch routine. They love it so much I can use it as bribery! Score one for mom!
If you are new to elderberry syrup it is a great home remedy and support for coughs, flu, colds, aches, pains, arthritis, inflammation and has also been shown to help prevent cancer and reduce risk of dementia/Alzheimer's!😱 Why? Because black elderberries have a higher flavonoid (plant-based antioxidant) count than goji berries, cranberries, or blueberries! The flavonoids help boost our immune systems and prevent cell damage in our bodies. Of course they are also a great source of vitamins A & C! So enough of the science.... I read great things about making your own so that's what I did the first time. It was delicious and we loved putting it on pancakes or waffles too! Recipe at the end of this post. I got some elderberries off Amazon just pick an organic one like this one. It made me two batches. Which with just a teaspoon for each kid 5 days a week is probably going to last me through the winter. I loved making my own because I could put what I wanted in it. I added a few drops of ginger essential oil and OnGuard essential oil from DoTerra that I had to help support our immune systems and chose my own honey!
When choosing a good honey you know you've gotten a good one when if you turn the jar over the air bubble takes it's time to rise to the top. If it goes fast then you know it's been diluted with sugar water. (I learned that from my uncle who is a bee keeper in Indiana). I also try and get a honey from nearby or as close as possible to my current living location because it provides tons of great local pollen and allergy fighters! I found this local one on amazon too yay for not needing to leave the house!
Now just a few weeks ago my mother in law found a small bottle of pre-made elderberry syrup in her fridge she didn't know if I had left. It wasn't mine but we've been trying that one too and surprisingly my kids like it somewhat! It's more sour and has no sugar content added other than naturally from the berries and it also has echinacea which is very immune system supportive! I think both have worked great it ultimately comes down to whether or not you like to have more control over what you are making and putting in it or if you need to save the time and buy something pre-made. Here's the one we got pre-made and it is smaller and more expensive this way but hey it does save me the time of making my own plus it's organic and non-gmo. But if you prefer to make your own you can look up a recipe or just follow these guidelines:
Take a cup of dried elderberries and simmer in about 1-2 cups of water until a lot of the water is gone. Then pour over a cheese cloth to strain the liquid into a glass container preferably. Add in about half a cup to 3/4 cup of honey and mix in any other things you want to add like essential oils or cinnamon or clove powder is great too! It's that simple! If you don't have a cheese cloth or nut milk cloth these cheap bag ones will make it convenient. Note that less water and more honey makes it more sweet and syrupy or more water and less honey gives you more to work with without a ton of the natural sugar in honey if you are trying to avoid sugar. If you are fighting off a sickness up your preventative dose to double like 2 tablespoons 3-4 times a day is fine for an adult I have found but I am not a doctor and don't claim to be so please consult your physician if you have any concerns. Also note that raw honey is not recommended for children under 12months of age so for Simon i used a few drops of the pre-made one mixed in his food or applesauce if he needed the immune system boost. Do you have a favorite elderberry syrup recipe I'd love to hear about it! Or have you tried elderberry syrup homemade or store bought and if so which do you prefer? Do your kids like it? Have you found it effective? Join The Homefront Facebook Community for daily tid bits of knowledge and safe swaps to help defend your home and family.