Sunday, August 26, 2012

Elderberry Syrup for Colds and Flu

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Last year I had a discussion with a colleague of mine and she told me that her husband was making his own cough syrup using Elderberry.  They purchased several Elderberry bushes and were using the berries to help fight infection.

Since that time I have been doing some research on Elderberry and am intrigued to learn all of its medicinal uses.  Elderberry is commonly used in Europe to fight the flu:

Research has been done on Elderberry and its ability to fight H1N1:

As I gathered information on the Elderberry, I noticed that it is effective to relieve the nasal passages due to allergies and sinus problems.  Unfortunately, I have had severe allergy problems for over a year now and have not been able to find relief.  My allergist has me on a nasal spray, Zyrtec and Singulair.  These medicines simply are not working.  The next step is weekly allergy shots.  Before I give in to that, I'm going to try making Elderberry syrup!

There are many recipes for Elderberry syrup.  The basics include Elderberry juice and local honey (which is also known to boost immunity and help fight allergies).  I've chosen to include a few extra goodies in my syrup!  Here are the ingredients I used:

1/2 cup dried Elderberries
2 cups water
1 cinnamon stick
1 Tablespoon cloves
4 Tablespoons fresh ginger
1 cup honey

The first step is to reconstitute the Elderberries.  To do this, I simmered the dried Elderberries (available online - I got mine from  I've heard Mountain Rose Herbs is good also:  

I added the cinnamon stick and cloves, as well as the ginger.  I simmered that for 30 minutes.  After that time, I used a masher to mash the berries, allowing them to give up their juice.  When that is finished, I strained out the juice, discarding the berries, clove sticks, ginger and cinnamon stick.


I let the juice cool and then added the cup of honey.  Store the syrup in the refrigerator and it will last several months.   The research I've done says that adults should take 1/2 tablespoon - 1 tablespoon per day.  Apparently if you get sick, you can increase the dosage by taking it every 2-3 hours.   I am not a doctor, only a school principal.  Please do not sue me (I'm in hock up to my ears - you won't get anything).  I am only letting you know what I am going to try.  You need to make your own decisions, along with your doctor.


Apparently the berries are ripe, in late August and September.  I'm thinking about going on a hike to see if I can spot some..................(those of you that know me are now laughing hysterically.

Wish me luck!  I hope that this helps relieve my allergy symptoms! 

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