Saturday, November 1, 2014
It is the beginning of cold and flu season. For me and my family I add lots of immune boosting herbs to our food. To see exactly what check out Brrrr it's cold outside. We wash our hands frequently and don't use anti-bacterial soap. Killing the good germs along with the bad doesn't make any sense to me. And studies have shown that as well. The one thing I always have on hand this time of year is elderberry. I have tincture to take at the first sign of anything. And anything can include my co-workers having the sniffles. I work in close quarters three days a week at the cube farm and a spoonful of elderberry a day keeps their germs away. I also make elderberry syrup which can be used in the same way. This tastes amazing and contains no alcohol so it is great for children. It boosts the immune system. Clinical trials with elderberry have shown that elderberry both prevents and resolves cold and flu symptoms. We have experienced this as at our house with colds. We haven't had flu symptoms in our house so I can't speak to that.
This recipe is based off my friend Rose's recipe. I tweak it every time I make it. I put a post it note on the recipe with the changes and notes for additions or subtractions for the next incarnation. Today's syrup recipe yielded two and half cups of heavenly elixir.
2 oz. dried elderberries
1/2 oz. astragalus root
1/4 oz. candied ginger
3 cardamom pods
1/2 oz. Reishi mushrooms
4 Cups water
I combined this and brought it to a boil. I covered it and turned the heat down to a low simmer and left it for two hours. I then strained it. It yielded 2 1/4 cups of liquid. I added this back to the pot and added 1 1/2 cups organic cane sugar. I kept it uncovered and brought it slowly up to a boil stirring until the sugar dissolved. I then let it simmer a few minutes before pouring it into a mason jar. I poured some in a beautiful decanter that sits on the counter so everyone in the house remembers to indulge.
This syrup can be used on pancakes or ice cream. It can be added to cocktails or iced tea. It's uses are only limited by your imagination. It can be taken at the first sign of a tickle in the throat or not feeling yourself.