There were a bunch of sick people at SPA last weekend and even more that came down sick after. I keep hearing of people falling ill. It is that time of year. Thaw starts, we get out more, we pass on germs and voila colds are all over the place again.
I used to get sick at almost all of the events like SPA. Closed area, weak immune system and the next week I’d be feeling awful sneezing and coughing. I’m not saying that doesn’t still happen but now I put my defenses up so that if I do get sick, I know I’ve done everything I could to evade it.
One of the things I take is those little Vitamin C packets like Emergen-C. It’s easy to drop one of those in a glass of water and drink it down. Gotta stay hydrated at these things you know. Another piece of my arsenal is a product from do-Terra. They’re little beadlets called On-Guard. These 2 products I can leave in my purse and they don’t take up a lot of space so when I forget my herbals, I have them. They’re meant to be on the go and that’s just what they do. Great travel companions.
My favorite part of the sick arsenal is Elderberry Syrup. Not the stuff you get from the store, that stuff is weird and kinda gross. In a pinch though, it’s better than nothing. I make Elderberry Syrup a couple of times a year (unless we get sick more and use it all up). Today, I thought I’d share this recipe with you. It’s morphed and changed over the years and I know it’s possible I’ll change it again in the future but this is what I am using right now.
1 cup Elderberries (dried)
1/2 cup Rose hips (dried)
3.5 cups of filtered clean water
2-4 Tbs of fresh chopped up Ginger
1 full cinnamon stick crushed
1/2 – 1 tsp of Cloves
1 cup of honey
I like the spice and warmth that Ginger, Cinnamon, and Cloves add to a syrup. Cloves in particular is a very powerful herb. If you have wee kids that are using this syrup, I would recommend using only 1/2 tsp of cloves. And in general, know you and who is going to take this. If you’ve never made it, start out with the lower amounts and see how it works for you. Moderation is always important.
-In a medium saucepan add in the water with everything except your honey. That’s only added at the end.
– Bring it to a boil, don’t forget to stir, reduce it to a simmer and cover. Cook on a simmer for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. The key here is to have the liquid reduced by half. Depending on where you are depends on how long that takes. So I always check at the 30 minute mark and gauge from there.
– Remove it from the heat and let it cool to the point that it’s safe to work with.
– Strain through a mesh strainer to so that all your left with is the liquid. Save the liquid and add discard the used berries and herbs.
– Add the honey when the liquid is warm but not hot. If you’re using raw honey, too much heat will kill off some of it’s benefit so be cautious as to when you add it. Honey blends easier when the liquid is warm but you don’t want it to kill any good stuff. So use your discretion and know that wee kids shouldn’t have raw honey anyway.
– Bottle it and store in the fridge. Mine usually stays fresh for about 4-6 months.
You’ll notice in my picture the cap on my mason jar is a plastic one that I wrote on. That’s just Sharpie. I can run that lid through the dishwasher and that writing will stay. I rub it with ghee, and the writing disappears. If you have those plastic lids, feel free to write on them all you want.
If you forgot to harvest and dry elderberries and rose hips this fall… You can pick some up at Mountain Rose Herbs.
Stay healthy and maybe next post I’ll show you some weaving I’m working on.