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Last week, I wrote an entire post all about elderberries. If you haven’t read it, make sure you do that before making this. There are some different recommendations based on the extensive research that I did, different from what many are saying and from what you may have heard before. It’s important to understand how to properly use elderberry — and who shouldn’t use it. (Hint: if you have an autoimmune condition, you really need to read that post.)
Elderberries are a really potent medicine, and they can have a really strong effect on a number of conditions — flu, cold, even strep throat and other bacterial infections! If someone in your house comes down with one of these, begins to show potential symptoms, or is exposed to these, begin dosing with this syrup as quickly as possible. Continue doing so for 2 – 5 days until symptoms abate, and follow up with lots of probiotics (especially those that contain lactobacillus plantarum or s. boulardii) and fermented cod liver oil. During the illness, fresh pineapple juice (including the core) may prove beneficial as well. All my research (see last week’s post) leads me to think this is probably the most effective treatment for these infections.
There are many other herbs and treatments that are beneficial as well, of course. Many swear by oregano oil, olive leaf extract, colloidal silver, garlic, various other essential oils and herbs, and so on. I think these, too, can have a place in the medicine cabinet. Everyone’s body chemistry is different and their “most effective” remedy will be, too. This is the best general remedy I have found — the one I have found the most evidence for in larger populations. The other remedies are not all as well studied. Feel free to use or include whatever else you have personally researched or have found works for you.
I recommend freezing this syrup after an illness is finished so it will last. It should last 1 – 2 months in the fridge, though.
As always, if an infection is not responding to home care and symptoms are worrying, call a doctor. This is not medical advice and in a medical emergency — such as if a child is lethargic, having difficulty breathing, etc. — you should seek medical help instead of looking here.
- 1 c. dried elderberries
- 4 c. filtered water
- 4 1/4″ slices fresh ginger (must be fresh)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 c. raw honey or grade B maple syrup
Please excuse some of these pictures. Yes, the background is a little cluttered and messy! I made this syrup at the end of a veeeeery long day of cooking projects and half of it was done while sitting at the table while kids ate dinner. Thus, their plates and rice-mess is everywhere. Such is life while blogging with small children.
In a medium saucepan, mix the dried elderberries, water, and fresh ginger.
Turn the pan on low-medium and heat until it begins to simmer.
Simmer this for 20 – 30 minutes, checking carefully to make sure it doesn’t boil too hard or that the water doesn’t boil away. Add a bit of extra water if you need to.
When the syrup is cooked, allow it cool awhile. Then, strain the syrup through a sieve.
You should end up with around 2 cups of juice.
Discard the berries and ginger. Allow the mixture to cool to lukewarm. Add the honey. (Total dinner time shot here. The kids were so curious.)
Add the lemon juice.
Stir to combine completely. Pour into a glass jar for storage and put it in the fridge.
This should be used at the first sign of illness. Dose is about 1 tsp. every 2 – 3 hours for a child, and 1 tbsp. every 2 – 3 hours for older children (6+) and adults. Continue to dose this way during an illness for 2 – 5 days, until symptoms abate. You may combine this with warm baths in Epsom salts, crushed ginger swallowed or rubbed on the feet, and other natural remedies if desired. Rest or allow the child to rest as much as possible too.
Make sure you continue fermented cod liver oil daily, as the vitamin A and D can boost the immune system and help fight off infection too. Probiotics are also important — offer fermented milk ( yogurt, kefir) with live active cultures or other probiotic sources that contain l. plantarum.
Do you use elderberry? What is your favorite natural remedy?
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