Berries are the healthiest fruit, offering potential protection against cancer and heart disease, boosting the immune system and acting as a guard for the liver and brain. -Dr. Michael Greger
Who hasn’t been trying to boost their immunity these days?
Boosting my immune system has been a priority in my life for years now. I have researched nutrition and made significant dietary changes in my life. Specifically, I have made it a must to add some type of berry daily to my diet. Different types of berries have different amounts of nutrients but all, in general, have been proven to provide a high amount of immune-boosting properties to the body.
When traveling or whenever I know I’ll be exposed to possible diseases I even add some supplements like those store-bought made from the Sambucus Nigra plant. With recent events due to novel COVID-19, things have gotten a little more complicated as you all might know. Moving across the country when this pandemic started was rough. As you would imagine, I purchased and ingested some of those boosting Elderberry syrups. As the health crisis continues and we look for ways to maintain and increase our immune system I decided to look for ways to make my own supplement syrup, save some money, and know EXACTLY what ingredients are in the mix.
The syrup is not a “magic pill”. It is a supplement. It is not a substitute for healthy eating, daily physical activity, mental relaxation (or prayer), sleep, and other overall healthy habits so necessary for an overall boost in your health. But, as I said, the added benefits don’t hurt. Several natural elderberry syrups available at stores and online are sold for around $15 or more for only 4-8 ounces. This recipe makes around 2 cups of the syrup for the same cost or less. By the way, kids love the taste too!
As always, I will encourage you to promote your long-term health habits NOW more than ever. No better time than the present for the world to become healthy. You protect yourself and your loved ones by improving your own health. Adding some simple foods on your diet could help. This syrup might be a chance for you as a family to read about nutritious and delicious ingredients that will help improve our health.
What a better opportunity we have been given, as having the time and space to create? I looked up various recipes and decided to come up with my own version of Elderberry Syrup. It was a fun and interesting experiment I got to experience with my kids. Another learning moment! Win-Win.
Here is the list of ingredients I decided to use and some of their health benefits. I tend to avoid animal products but I added raw honey from a local apiary I visited for a homeschool trip with my girls. Of course, always consult your doctor if you have an underlying condition that might interfere with some of the ingredients.
Elderberries- Packed with antioxidants, most often taken as a supplement to treat cold and flu symptoms. This berry naturally contains vitamins A, B, and C.
Ginger – This root helps to alleviate symptoms from osteoporosis, migraines, cramps to muscle pains. Aids in digestion as well as prevent infections.
Cinnamon – aromatic spice used in many dishes for its flavor and its anti-inflammatory properties.
Cloves- Another high antioxidant spice that has also been proven to have antimicrobial properties.
Anise Star- spice known for the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties.
Honey – good source of antibacterial and antifungal properties that helps with digestive issues too.
Immune Boosting Elderberry SyrupLeila Diaz-Thamer
- 1/2 Cup Freeze Dried Elderberries See notes at the end for other options.
- 4 Cups Water
- 1 Tbsp Fresh Grated Ginger
- 3-4 Cinnamon Sticks
- 4-5 Whole Cloves
- 3 Whole Anise Stars
- 1 cup Raw Honey Use Maple syrup for a vegan version
- Pour the water into a medium saucepan and add the elderberries along with all ingredients except the honey.
- Bring the mix to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes to 1 hour until the liquid has reduced by almost half.
- Remove from the heat and allow it to cool enough to be handled.
- Mash the berries carefully using a flat utensil.
- Pour through a strainer into a glass jar or bowl to mix.
- Discard the elderberries along with all other cooked ingredients and let the liquid cool to lukewarm.
- Once it has cooled off, add the honey and stir.
- Pour the syrup into your selected glass jar.
- Enjoy a daily dose of your homemade immune-boosting syrup!
- I used some of my freeze-dried fruits from my daily shakes but you can also use just dried ones (available in Amazon) or fresh if you can find them. If using dried (similar in texture to raisins) the recommended amount is to add 2/3 Cups. If fresh or frozen add 1 1/3 Cup.
- Store in the fridge and take daily for its immune-boosting properties.
- Take as a daily preventative remedy by taking 1/2 to 1 teaspoon a day during peak cold and flu season. When we get sick I usually double the dose until we've improved. In recent times dealing with novel COVID-19, we've been taking it daily and I double it when we need to run an errand.