Well, its that time again...the dreaded "cold and flu season". It's interesting, isn't it, that the second the month turns from August to September those autumnal illnesses start to spread. My theory is that its this time of the year that the hustle sets in- everyone's back to work, back to school and back to the grind which causes cortisol (stress hormone) to spike (especially in contrast from the summer...hello vacay!) which suppresses the immune system. The sun begins to set super early in the day (especially if you are here in Edmonton...) which means less Vitamin D production, which is also a co-factor in lowered immunity.
The season of autumn reminds us to slow down, nest in, and get ready for hibernation, but so often we do the opposite, right?
But for those of us who still need to get out there and hustle, for those with littles in school, those who have autoimmune issues, and all my pregnant and breastfeeding mamas- this recipe is a STAPLE and is safe for everyone! (excluding babies under 1- raw honey isnt recommended!)
Whats so great about elderberries anyway? Well, they are rich in anthocyanins (antioxidants!) and are rich in quercitin, a polyphenol that has anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. Elderberries possess both antibacterial AND antiviral properties- meaning that is beneficial for ALL colds and flus! Pair that with local, raw honey and warming spices and you have yourself a powerful elixir to help maintain your health OR fight off viruses and bacteria.
Bring water, berries and desired spices to a medium boil on medium heat for 25 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced by about half. After boiling, strain off herbs from elderberry decoction (fancy term for boiled herbal brew). You should have 500ml of decoction. The key to making a perfect preserved syrup is using equal parts honey to water, so add your 2 cups of raw honey and stir until its all dissolved. Pour your syrup into your mason jar and keep refrigerated for up to 6 months.
- 1000mL Filtered water
- 1/2 cup Dried elderberries
- 3 Cinnamon sticks
- 2 cups of Raw honey
- optional: knob of fresh or dried ginger, star anise, cardamom, etc
- 1L Sterilized mason jar
- For cold and flu prevention: 1 tbsp daily
- For cold + flu treatment: 1 tbsp, 3x daily
- For cold and flu prevention: 1 tsp daily
- For cold + flu treatment: 1 tsp, 3x daily
Stay well, friends!