Among my holiday preparations this year has been production of Elderberry Syrup for gift giving. A beautiful and tasty cordial that supports the immune system, elderberry (Sambucus nigra) has been shown to shorten the duration of colds and flus and is a great preventive. One study showed elderberry reducing the duration of cold by three days, another showed it reducing the severity of flu symptoms. In vitro studies with elderberry found it could inhibit the H1N1 flu virus. My recipe below is adapted from the Mountain Rose Herbs blog.
- 4 cups cold water
- 2 cups organic dried Elderberries
- 1 organic cinnamon stick
- 12 organic star anise
- 1/4 cup organic cloves
- raw honey
- Combine the berries and herbs with cold water in a pot and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and allow herbs to simmer for 30 to 40 minutes.
- Remove from heat and mash the berries in the liquid mixture.
- Strain the berries and herbs through cheesecloth and squeeze out the juice.
- Measure the liquid and add an equal amount of honey. Gently heat the honey and juice for a few minutes until well combined. Do not boil!
- Bottle in sterilized glass.
Kong F. Pilot clinical study on a proprietary elderberry extract: efficacy in addressing influenza symptoms. Online Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmacokinetics. 2009;5:32-43.
Roschek B, Fink RC, McMichael MD, et al. Elderberry flavonoids bind to and prevent H1N1 infection in vitro. Phytochemistry. 2009;70:1255-61.
Roxas M, Jurenka J. Colds and influenza: a review of diagnosis and conventional, botanical, and nutritional considerations. Altern Med Rev. 2007 Mar;12(1):25-48. Review.