Brrrrrr! I don't know about where you are, but it’s a chilly and rainy holiday season here in Northern California. This time of year can really put a damper on your immune system, spirit, and body. That's why I make a point to do what I can to make my immune system crazy strong. Like super-duper strong. My favorite thing to do is to whip up a homemade batch of elderberry syrup. Elderberries are magical little forest gems. I LOVE them so much. They grow in many parts of the world. Each year I collect them by the bucket, but you don’t have to forage for them. You can easily find dried elderberries at your local herbal medicine store or natural foods market. Or you can purchase some dried elderberries directly from online stores like Mountain Rose Herbs or Bulk Herb Store.
Elderberries are power-packed with antioxidants, vitamin C, and they have anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammation properties. <―― this is all important for boosting your immune system this holiday season. You can try this simple recipe at home. Personally, I make a few jars of elderberry syrup each autumn, and it usually lasts for the entire year.
1/2 cup dried elderberries
1/4 cup water (filtered, if possible)
juice from 1/2 a lemon
3 tbsp of local honey
Put 1/2 cup of dried elderberries and 1/4 cup of water into a small pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer on low for at least 30 minutes (until berries start to break down). Using a wooden spoon or potato masher, smash the berries (while still in the pot) to release all juices. Add juice from 1/2 of a lemon. Stir. Add 3 tbsp of honey (local if possible; this helps to combat seasonal allergies). Stir. Strain the mixture using a small colander or cheese cloth. Allow liquid to cool. Use a small funnel to pour liquid into small jars or cough syrup bottles. Store in the fridge. The syrup should last for a few months if stored in a cool, dark place.
Take a single teaspoon twice a day as a preventive measure during cold + flu season. If you come down with an illness, or notice symptoms you can take twice the daily dosage amount with hot water.
Here's to a healthy winter!
PS. Do you have any DIY tips for immunity boosting? Let me know in the comment section below.