Elderberry syrup

 I like to make Elderberry syrup in the beginning of every cold and flu season. It is an easy and delicious way to keep my family healthy. I also like this recipe because it is one of the best example of food being used as medicine. Elderberries are very popular in Europe and my grandmother always made syrup in the fall, for the winter months. We never thought of it as medicine since it was something we enjoyed and had on a regular basis; We drank it diluted with sparkling water as a refreshing beverage, but you can also pour it over pancakes and waffles, or take a tablespoon full straight out of the bottle every day.

Elderberry syrup is easy to make and easy to store. I have added some rose hips and  ashwaganda root to this syrup in order to increase its healing power and give it a little extra something to bring our bodies into balance. Rose hips are a vitamin C powerhouse and  ashwaganda is a wonderful adaptogen herb that lowers stress , nourishes the blood and the heart, and increases our ability to deal with the daily exposure to our environment.

 Here is what you need to make this amazing remedy:

 1 cup dried elderberries
 1/2 cup dried rose hips
 1/2 cup dried ashwaganda root                     
 3 cups filtered water
 2 cups raw honey

Put the dried herbs in a pot with the water and bring to a boil.( I use stainless steel or glass pots for all my herbal remedies.) Boil for a few minutes , then turn the heat down and simmer for at least 30-40 min.
 I like to leave the berries/roots to steep for a couple of hours after I turn off the heat. This gives them a chance to cool down .
 Strain the plant matter from the liquid and make sure to squeeze all the juice out of it. Now, you can add the honey. The mixture should be warm enough to melt the honey but not too warm to kill all the wonderful  enzymes in it. If you need to make this vegan , or honey is not in the budget, you can definitely use maple syrup or brown sugar. Proportions will stay the same.
 You can store the syrup in the fridge for up to six months. I keep mine in a mason jar for easy access. Take a tablespoon each day as part of your supplement routine.
This is just a basic recipe which you can modify to your liking. Spice it up by adding cinnamon sticks or cloves to steep with the berries.
 I also use the syrup to make homemade gummies for my nine year old. Make sure you use a good quality grass-fed gelatin for this purpose. It is a nutritious and delicious way to get your little ones to take their supplements. It works on husbands too! ;)

I hope that you are going to give this recipe a try! Be happy and healthy this winter season!