I have been asked this so many times, I figured I should finally get around to throwing this up on the wall! I also added some great studies done on elderberry extract at the end of the post, showing the effectiveness in double blind placebo studies. Pretty friggin neat stuff. The best part, in my opinion, is you can easily make it yourself, at home, with no crazy ingredients. You could take it a step further towards self sufficiency, and grow your own elderberries, and make this for literal pennies.
I like to jazz my recipe up in taste and possibly effectiveness by adding a few other things. Here’s the list:
- Dried elderberries
- Stick of cinnamon
- A thumb of ginger
- A thumb of tumeric
- Orange peel piece
- Whole cloves
- Raw Local Honey, for after the cooking process (we don’t want to heat up raw honey, as then we would lose the raw benefits)
So you take these ingredients, or just the berries if that’s all you have or care to do. Add water in a 4 to 1 ratio, as this will reduce down quite a bit with prolonged cooking. Bring to a boil, then simmer quietly with a lid mostly on for several hours. I like to do it during the day, in the backround, so I start it after breakfast and let it do it’s thing, periodically checking on it to stir it and observe. If the water gets too low (goes below berries) simply add another cup or two and either turn down the heat, or secure the lid better.
After several hours, or when you remember, (sometimes I don’t remember till I am cleaning up for the night, so really, it’s not that serious) simply strain it with a fine strainer or even a cheesecloth till you have a nice, dark liquid. I let it sit here, for about an hour, till it’s not uncomfortably hot, then I get to work again. Have you noticed that most of the process is not requiring of your attention and strict supervision? I love that.
Anyways, I fill my little 4oz mason jars about 1/3 of the way with raw honey, then fill with the elderberry extract. You can use more or less honey depending on your tastes. Put the lids on, and refrigerate! You’re done! Wooohooooo you are officially a hippy. Go ahead and throw up a peace sign, just because.
You can use it as a preventative during cold and flu season, by taking a small teaspoon daily. Or you can keep it on hand till you get sick, then start pounding a tablespoon every few hours. I also use it when I know I have come in contact with someone who is sick. I have seen nothing but results using it, and cannot wait to grow my own berries! (Even some ginger and turmeric if I can…)
Let me know if you make it, and how it works for you!