By Momsanity Sister Cheryl Borchardt of Healing the Homestead
Have you heard of elderberry? I first discovered it a few years ago when I was researching flu prevention and alternatives to antiviral medications, which can have some unpleasant side effects. Traditionally, elderberries were valued among the Indians of North America and have been used in folk medicine practices for a plethora of ailments. You can read all about the amazing uses and benefits of elderberry here.
Elderberries are known to have powerful antiviral properties and studies have shown it to be effective at preventing the flu in certain cases. “Anti-viral components of elderberry fruit extract were tested and found to effectively inhibit Human Influenza A (H1N1 virus) in vitro, possibly by blocking the ability of the virus to infect host cells. The extract was so effective, that researchers compared it with the prescription medications Amantadine and Oseltamivir (Tamiflu).”
My family and I have used our homemade elderberry syrup for the past few years to prevent the flu. Along with eating a mostly plant-based diet, aiming to avoid processed foods, supplementing with vitamin D during the winter months, good handwashing practices and making quality sleep a priority, we have seen the incidences of sickness drop significantly in our home of 6.
Here is my family’s delicious recipe for you to enjoy at your home! Please talk with your doctor about any supplements that you or your family are taking or if you have any questions regarding the safety of supplementation with elderberry.
Homemade Elderberry Syrup
- 1/2 cup of dried elderberries
- 3 cups of water
- 1 stick of cinnamon, plus 1/2 teaspoon
- pinch of cloves
- 1/4 tsp of dried ginger or freshly minced ginger (optional)
- pinch of nutmeg
- 1/2 cup of local honey
- Pour water, spices and elderberries ONLY into pan
- Bring mixture to a boil and then cover and simmer for 45 minutes to reduce.
- Strain cooled liquid into a glass jar ( a clean, quart-sized mason jar works well) and discard berries.
- Add honey and stir well
- Store in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks
- Dosage: In our family, the adults and teens receive 1/2 TBSP per day during cold and flu season as a preventative and our younger children receive 1/2 tsp ( 8 years old and 4 years old). If someone were to get the flu, we would take the listed dosage every 3-4 hours.
Find more tips and ideas from Cheryl on her website . She is also available for one on one consultation and can be contacted via her website.