Flu season has officially arrived in northeast Oregon.
Maybe you’ve heard that the flu vaccine isn’t cutting it for everyone this year (it’s true – sometimes they miss the mark on which strain they vaccinate against, and this is one of those years) or maybe you choose not to vaccinate.
Either way, I wanted to share with you one of my favorite preventative medicines for the flu: Elderberry syrup!
Elderberries have antiviral properties that have been shown to help prevent the flu, reduce symptoms, and accelerate recovery time in multiple studies.
You can make your own syrup, or you can buy a premade version at Nature’s Pantry. I guarantee it’s the tastiest medicine you’ve ever had, and kids LOVE it!
Here’s how to make your own:
- Measure out 1 part dried elderberries, 1 part sugar, and 2 parts water.
- Heat the water to a simmer, dissolve the sugar in it, and pour in the dried elderberries.
- Measure how deep the water is, and make a note of it. I like to use a wooden chopstick to do this, and I just mark the water level with a pen or Sharpie.
- Continue a low simmer, stirring occasionally, until the water is decreased to half its initial depth.
- Strain and refrigerate!
- Take 2 tsp/day for adults and 1 tsp/day for kids as preventative medicine. If you’re exposed to someone who has the flu, or you start feeling a little “off,” up the dose to 4x/day.
A couple notes:
– You can sub honey instead of sugar, which has its own amazing antimicrobial and immune supportive qualities. If you use raw honey, add it at the very end of the recipe after the mixture is removed from heat to keep all the medicinal qualities intact! (Remember: no raw honey for kids under 1 year of age.)
– You can choose to add other medicinal herbs into the mix as well:
– If you’re adding things like dried roots, add them at the same time as the elderberries (I like to throw in a cinnamon stick, a few star anise, licorice root, echinacea root, grated ginger, rose hips, and orange zest. You can buy most of these in bulk at Nature’s Pantry).
– If you’re adding in dried leaves or flowers, add them at the end, after the mixture is removed from the heat. Cover and let steep x15 minutes before straining.