Since fall is here, I decided on Tuesday to prepare our elderberries that I ordered a few weeks ago for cold and flu season. (I get my organic elderberries from Frontier, here on Amazon.) Elderberries are high in vitamin C, and also contain vitamins A and B-6, making them great immune system boosters. Dr. Josh Axe has a wonderful page on elderberries that you can find here if you want more information, to see the studies he has cited regarding it’s benefits, and to be aware of any potential side-effects.
We use elderberries in two ways in our home; the first is a syrup. My favorite recipe comes from Heather, the “Mommypotamus,” found here. I really enjoy her blog and have used her syrup recipe and dosing recommendations for a couple cold and flu seasons now.
This syrup tastes wonderful, and it is so much less expensive than purchasing it pre-made from the health food store. (This batch cost me around $6.50, compared to 8 oz of this popular syrup on Amazon.!)
My next project was a tincture, an infusion of 100 proof vodka with the elderberries. I always keep this and an echinacea tincture in the medicine cabinet. Whenever my husband or I feel a bug coming on, we take a dropperful of each in very hot water with some powdered vitamin C, and it often times is enough for us to keep the sickness at bay!
The majority of elderberry tincture recipes I have found always call for 1 part dried elderberries to 3 parts alcohol, so that is what I do, leaving an inch of space at the top of the jar.
Tinctures need to sit in a dark cupboard for 4 – 6 weeks in order for the alcohol to extract all of the goodness out of the elderberries. Once I reach the date written on my label, I will strain out the elderberries and transfer the remaining tincture into a dark dropper bottle like these.
January and February seem to be the worst for my family as far as getting sick, so I am glad my tincture will be ready long before that time!
What are your family’s go-to remedies for cold and flu season?
This post is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnose or treat a medical condition, replace the advice of a doctor, or replace your own research on the use of elderberries. The sole intended purpose of this post is to share my family’s uses of the elderberry.
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