We've been building our arsenal of natural remedies to combat the flu as it continues run to rampant across the country. Besides taking Vitamin D3 to help boost our immune systems during the Winter, we've been thrilled with the healthy boost that our homemade elderberry syrup has offered us and our kids.
- Black elderberries are anti-viral immune boosting little powerhouses. They have been shown is research studies to be especially effective against different strains of the influenza virus. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study, elderberries reduced the duration of flu symptoms to 3-4 days.
- Ginger has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-parasitic, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and expectorant properties. It boosts the immune system, warms and induces sweating (which helps push fever and toxins out of the body), and calms coughs and sore throats quickly. It also stimulates appetite, which is important to sick individuals weakened by infection.
- Garlic is a powerful anti-bacterial, anti-viral. It also offers great expectorant properties and has even been used for children with whooping cough, giving the juice of a garlic clove 2-3 times a day.
- Honey adds a ton of anti-bacterial and anti-viral healing properties and can help soothe coughs and lighten the spice load of the elderberry syrup.
How to Make Homemade Elderberry Syrup
Here is my simple recipe. Trust me, it'll be worth the time and effort to fend off those germs. The kids won't fight you on this one either because it's delicious! And you won't have to worry about risky food dyes either.
2/3 cup dried organic black elderberries
3 1/2 cups water
2 Tablespoons of fresh ginger (peeled and sliced; you can also use organic ginger root powder)
1 1/2 Tablespoons organic cinnamon powder
1 teaspoon of organic clove powder
1 cup of raw, local honey (if you can't get it locally, try this one)
- Add first 5 ingredients (everything except honey) to a medium size saucepan
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat
- Let simmer for 3- 4 hours to reduce by nearly half, stirring occasionally
- Remove from heat and strain liquid to remove elderberries and ginger, discard or compost
- Once completely cooled, add honey and mix well
- Store in airtight container and keep refrigerated (the syrup lasts about a month when refrigerated)
The standard dosage is 1/2 to 1 teaspoon for kids daily and 1/2 to 1 tablespoon for adults daily for prevention of cold and flu during the toughest part of the season. If the flu strikes, take the normal dosage every 2 to 3 hours until symptoms disappear.
What's in your natural arsenal?
Fighting a cough that just won't go away? You've got to try EcoKaren's Asian Pear and Honey Cough remedy!