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  • shayngrant

Elderberry Syrup for Winter Wellness

The end of summer brings ripe elderberries. This is my most important harvest of the year and I make sure never to miss it, no matter how little I actually manage to pick (I remember one particularly meagre year, after late April hailstorms had damaged so many fruit trees…).

The reason for this is that it is essential to my winter wellness regimen. Elderberry is antiviral against cold and flu viruses, and very high in vitamin c, which is key for immune health. This makes it an excellent part of winter cold and flu prevention strategies as well as treatment.

Studies suggest that elderberry shortens the duration of a cold or flu symptoms. This is the way I see herbs work with acute illness; they push it through more quickly, rather than suppress symptoms.

I usually freeze my elderberries, and make batches of elderberry syrup throughout the darker months. But you can buy dried elderberries if that’s not available to you.

This is my basic recipe. I often add sprigs of thyme and/or sticks of cinnamon while I boil the berries (both of which have antimicrobial qualities). Once the syrup is made, you can add a few tablespoons of tincture if you tolerate alcohol. I would suggest elderflower or echinacea for this. Elderflower as it dries up excess sinus secretions, echinacea because it supports the immune system even further. Also, if you have a juicer, fresh ginger juice added to the final product is another great way to add to its healing potential.

For approx 200 ml of syrup

1/2 cup frozen elderberries

1 cup water

Bring to a simmer for 20 minutes.

Strain elderberries from liquid and compost.

Let the liquid cool until it is warm and no longer hot. Then stir in nearly equal amount of raw honey to liquid.

That’s it! Enjoy

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