Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Preparing for Colds/Flu: Elderberry

Elderberries have been getting a fair bit of press lately for their ability to fight colds and flues as they are quite rich in flavinoid anti-oxidants which boost the immune system and filled with anthocyanins which have an anti-inflammatory effect helping with aches, pain and fever. So in preparation for winter we harvested the elderberries and made some elderberry syrup.
Being from the "Mary Poppins School of Medicine" (a teaspoon of sugar....) this is one of my very very favorite winter remedies. It tastes like liquid candy.....Just ask my kids!

Take 1 T syrup daily (see recipe below) to prevent cold/flu. If you do catch a "bug" then take 3 T daily to speed recovery.

Intern Jessica (find her at Blackbirds Daughter), cheerfully removing the elderberries (Sambucus Canadensis nigra) off the branches.

Later she created a number of different syrups. Recipes follow:
The Basic Recipe
2 C fresh berries
1 C honey
2 C water

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 25 minutes or so until the liquid is reduced.

You can make your syrup with white sugar or agave or you can also add many spices to the syrup.

Another version of the recipe:
2 C fresh berries
5 cloves
2 small cinnamon sticks
1 T fresh ginger root (particularly nice to add because of it's warming effect when you are ill)
1 vanilla bean
1 C honey
2 C water

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover. Simmer for 20 minutes until some of the liquid is reduced. Strain and store in the fridge.


Nancy @ Live love laugh said...

Flu shot or a shot of elderberry? Hmmm...I'll take the elderberry! Where would we find them?

Rosemary said...

Nancy -- They are on the trees now. Elder is a native American tree that grows in many parts of our country. But never fear -- you can also purchase dried Elder Berries from your favorite herb shop. They work just as well!

Blackbird's Daughter said...

Susannah, check out this tasty-looking recipe for Elderflower Curd (like lemon curd, but floral) - yumm!

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