I don’t know about your family, but it seems like the second that kids go back to school (and mine are technically homeschooled) is when they all come down with their first cold of the season. It never seems to fail!
I try to be thoughtful and we do our best to keep the germs at bay. We wash our hands, get our vitamin D, and clean with germ blasting natural cleaners. While many people like to load up on the hand sanitizer, we actually shy away from that stuff and you can find out why in this post. All those are great things and they can help, but sometimes you just need to bring in the big guns.
What am I talking about?
Elderberry syrup is like the epitome of natural remedies. If you ask any natural living/natural remedy lover what their must have for staying healthy is they will all shout (yes, shout!): Elderberry Syrup! If you’ve never heard of elderberry syrup, you might be curious to know what all the fuss is about this supposed miracle worker. Allow me to explain…
Elderberry syrup is a syrup (although it’s not quite as thick as a syrup, it’s almost juice consistency in my opinion) which is made from, you guessed it, elderberries! Black elderberries by the way, if you are wanting to be adventurous and harvest your own elderberries, make sure you harvest black elderberry and not the other varieties!
What makes elderberry syrup so amazing is that it helps prevent colds and influenza. In fact, elderberry syrup has been shown to prevent against 10 strains of influenza! To put that in perspective, the flu vaccine is designed to protect against a few strains. This elderberry syrup is not messing around!
But, it gets even better than that! Elderberry syrup does not just prevent you from getting sick, it is also a remedy just in case you do get sick! Isn’t that amazing?! When my kids get sick (which by the way, always seems to be because we missed one dose of elderberry syrup), I just give them spoonfuls of elderberry syrup and they recover much quicker!
Now you can buy elderberry syrup. Many natural stores are carrying it now and of course there is always online! However, store bought elderberry syrup is ridiculously pricey! The last time I checked, it was about $18 for just 8oz! Yeah… with the amount my family needs to get through the sick season that price is not going to work. What’s a frugal, DIY mama to do…?
Make your own homemade elderberry syrup!
I often say that if you can make tea, you can make elderberry syrup and it truly is as simple as that! Making your own elderberry saves you a bundle! It’s been awhile since I’ve done the math and it all varies a bit depending on when you buy your elderberries (the price goes up the deeper into sick season we get… so buy them now!) but I was calculating about $2-3 per 8oz for homemade elderberry syrup! If you want to save more by getting the most out of those elderberries then be sure to check out how to reuse them!
- In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil.
- Add elderberries and reduce to a simmer.
- Simmer for 30-45 minutes or until reduced by half.
- Let cool and then strain into a clean jar.
- Add honey and mix well.
*Do not give honey to children under 1 year.
To Prevent Illness:
1 tablespoon/day for adults. 1 teaspoon/day for children over 1 year.
To Treat Illness:
1 tablespoon/2-3 hours for adults. 1 teaspoon/2-3 hours for children over 1 year.