You've heard the buzz, but have you tried it?
Elderberry syrup is taking over your medicine cabinet and mamas are singing it's glory!
I've been using this syrup consistently, but I have to admit not daily because my mom brain doesn't allow me to be as consistent in my life as I'd like to be.
We've definitely had our fair share of sickness this season, mostly just common colds, a little fever, but nothing crazy - yet. But we haven't been illness-free in my home despite using elderberry syrup as often as we have been. This is my disclaimer.
So with all of the hype, remember that there are many, many ways to boost your immune system beyond elderberry syrup. Start with ways that are practical for you and your family.
Here are my favorite ways to stay healthy and keep those kids' guts healthy, too:
-Limit refined sugar: nothing kills good bacteria and allows the bad bacteria to grow as much as refined sugar does. So limit the treats and you'll be better off - and maybe those littles' moods will be better off, too!
-Fill up on fruits and veggies: fiber gives the good bacteria in our guts food to eat so they can keep growing. We all need to eat, feed them well!
-Eat some type of fermented food regularly: daily if you can, weekly will suffice as well. Just another way to feed your gut the goods. Kombucha, yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, or kefir are your friends.
-Sleep more: getting 7-8 hours is a great start, but even adjusting when you sleep is helpful, too. Try to match when the sun goes down and when it rises for when you sleep and wake (Minnesota winters here should make us all sleep plenty, ha!).
Trying something like elderberry syrup has shown us mamas who do use it that even though we might get a cold or two, it may not have been as bad as it could have. Definitely worth a try in my opinion.
You could always buy premade syrup from Amazon like I did to get started. You would be more cost-effective by making your own, saving yourself about $3 per ounce!! With that kind of money savings I'll be making my own syrup from now on.
2/3 cup dried elderberries
3 1/2 cups water
2 Tbsp dried ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 cup raw honey, (Aldi also has started selling this as well!)
1) In a medium pot, combine berries, water, ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Heat on high until mixture reaches a boil.
2) Lower the heat to simmer on low. Cover the pot and allow to simmer for 1 hour, the mixture will have thickened slightly.
3) Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
4) Mash the berries with the back of a spoon to release more juice.
5) Pour the liquid through a mesh sieve into a large bowl. Discard the elderberries.
6) Stir in the raw honey and combine.
7) Store the syrup in a large glass jar or you can freeze smaller amounts using ice cube trays or smaller containers.
Instant Pot Directions
1) Combine all ingredients except the honey into the pot of your Instant Pot.
2) Cover and lock the lid. Set to 'Manual' for 7 minutes on high pressure. Quick release the pressure when time beeps.
3) Remove the lid then set to 'Sauté' and simmer the liquid for 15 minutes until liquid has thickened slightly.
4) Mash the elderberries with the back of a large spoon. Pour the liquid through a mesh sieve into a large bowl. Discard the berries.
5) Allow liquid to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, stir in the honey and combine.
6) Store the syrup in a large glass jar or you can freeze smaller amounts using ice cube trays or smaller containers.
*Dose: 1 tsp daily for children 2+ years | 1 Tbsp daily for 13+ years
*Dose if actively sick: 1 tsp every 3 hours for all ages until symptoms are gone
**Not for children under 1 years old. Children this age cannot digest honey.