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Knock out colds and flu and keep them away with the immune-boosting power of elderberries. Protect everyone with high levels of vitamins A, B, and C, as well as powerhouse antioxidants and anti-inflammatory goodness, all in a delicious syrup the whole family can enjoy.

TIME: 45 minutes to brew
MAKES: 16 ounces elderberry syrup
COSTS: $8

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup dried blue or black elderberries* (find them here or in most herb/health food stores)
4 cups water
1 cup raw honey or pure maple syrup

*Do NOT use red elderberries as they are toxic! 

EQUIPMENT:
Saucepot
Muslin bag or fine strainer
Sealable container

DIRECTIONS:
1. Rinse berries and mix with water in a saucepan.
2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for up to 45 minutes, until the liquid is reduced by half.
3. Mash the berries to release remaining juice and strain the mixture before it cools.
4. When the liquid is still warm but not hot, stir in honey, and then refrigerate. The syrup will last for 2 to 3 months when stored in the fridge in a sealable container.
5. Take 1 tbsp every day during the sick-prone months to ward off illness and a tsp every 3 hours while sick.

TRY THIS:

  • If you want to use raw elderberries, double the amount, and be sure to cook them completely before ingesting. Remember, stick only with the blue or black elderberries.
  • Want more than just elderberries to go to work for you in this tincture? Make it even more immune-boosting (not to mention tasty) by adding the following extras before boiling your berries:

           2 tbsp fresh minced ginger root
           2 cinnamon sticks
           1 tsp cloves

  • The ginger helps digestion and works to fight off colds, while cinnamon is a known immune aid and natural painkiller. Cloves are naturally antifungal and antibacterial and even work as an expectorant to help kick coughs to the curb.

PSSST:

  • Our elderberry syrup has honey in it, so don’t give to little ones under 12 months.
  • If you have blue elderberries where you live, don’t fuss over the white film that covers them—that’s a wild yeast like the kind you see on blueberries and does not need to be washed off.

WASTE NOT:
The most waste-free elderberries come straight from the plant. Elder shrubs blossom in the spring and fruit in mid-to-late summer. If you’re not growing them yourself, locate plants in the spring when their white blossoms are peeking out from the otherwise hard-to-notice greenery. Check often in summer for ripe berries, as the shrub produces ripe berries in different stages.

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