I've been reading. A lot. Truth be told, I have a new obsession.
Herbs. Medicine making.
We've been trying to drink more herbal teas and we certainly notice a difference after just a few days. I also made some very delicious elderberry syrup. This is something I have been curious about for ages. After listening to an informal workshop this fall at the Taproot Gathering, I was even more intrigued. Elder berries nourish the cell wall, making it more difficult for viruses to penetrate, aka immune boosting powers. Amazing stuff right?
This recipe is a combination of two syrup recipes from my favorite herb book. Elder berries are especially effective when combined with echinacea, another immune boosting herb. Ginger is warming and nourishes your respiratory system. All good things for this time of year! We all love this syrup. It really seems to nip a cold if you take it at first onset and it has certainly shortened the life and intensity of the virus bugs that have made their way into our home this fall. If one person gets sick, we all take it and we have not had as much sharing of colds between us, which is wonderful. Best of all, it uses all dried herbs! So you can make it any time of year.... though I do hope to find elder berries next fall to make a fresh + local batch. (my favorite source for dried herbs)
Our Elderberry Syrup
1/2 cup dried elder berries
1 TBSP dried ginger root
1 TBSP dried echinacea root
3 cups water
3/4 cup raw honey
*if using fresh elder berries or roots, double the amount*
*echinacea & ginger should be rough pieces, not powder/ground*
Place elder berries, ginger root & echinacea root into a heavy bottomed pot. Add water & simmer for 30-45 minutes. Be sure to simmer gently & not boil, or you will lose too much of your liquid. Drain the liquid from the herbs using a mesh strainer. Be sure to mash and squish the berries so you get as much goodness from them as you can. You should have about 2 cups of liquid. Let cool until barely warm to the touch. Add your honey, stir well & refrigerate. Your syrup will last 2-3 months. Take 1 tablespoon daily for wellness (immunity), and 1 teaspoon every 2-3 hours if sick. (dosage from here.) It can be drizzled over ice cream, yogurt, or even pancakes! Children under 12 months of age should not have honey, but you can add it to very hot water or chamomile tea for them. (this will kill off any microbes in the honey) For adults & older children, let your tea cool to drinkable temperature before adding so you keep some of the benefits of raw honey intact.
Wishing you good health!