Here we are, deep into cold and flu season. I want to share one of my favorite recipes for boosting the immune system both before you and your family are sick, and while you may be symptomatic. This specific recipe comes from my dear friends at herbFOLK community medicine, and I think it's fantastic, so I'm excited to share it with you all.
ELDERBERRY ELIXIR is a classic remedy that is most effective when taken regularly (preventatively), or at the onset of cold and flu symptoms. Studies show that elderberry syrup can reduce the duration of a cold or flu up to four days.
This formula balances elderberries (cooling in nature) with cinnamon and cloves (warming) to strengthen the immune system. In addition, specific recipe incorporates Elecampane and licorice, which are herbs that expectorate and clear the airways of congestion and phlegm. That makes this specific recipe great for upper respiratory symptoms.
1/2 cup black elderberries (dried)
2 tsp cinnamon (1/4 stick)
1/2 tsp cloves
1 tsp elecampane
1 tsp licorice (1-2 sticks)
2 tsp aged citrus peel (you can use fresh organic tangerine peel)
1/2-1 cup organic local raw honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
Add the herbs to 4 cups of water to a saucepan. Simmer 1/2 covered about 40 min, until liquid is reduced by half. Do not let it come to a rapid boil, as this weakens the efficacy of the medicine.
Remove pan from heat and strain liquid. Allow to cool, and then add vanilla extract and honey.
This should last 2-4 weeks in the refrigerator. The honey acts as a preservative, You can also add 2 tbsp of vodka to help with further preservation.
Kids: 1/2 - 1 tsp daily
Adults: 1 tbsp daily
When sick, take the standard dose every 2-6 hours until symptoms clear, or for 3-4 days.