I finally did it, I made my own natural remedy.  During the fall season our family stayed pretty healthy, until the beginning of November.  Then the nasty colds started, and the little one caught a stomach bug.  After I got a taste of it too, I decided to start down the path of homemade remedies.  I had heard a lot about Elderberry syrup, as a natural way to boost your immune system.  (Being pregnant, I can’t take echinacea, which also is thought to boost your immunity during cold season.)  Elderberries contain very high amounts of anthocyanins, which are antioxidants that protect cells against free radicals.  To help avoid colds, take 1 teaspoon daily.  For children (over one year of age) the recommended preventative does is a 1/2 teaspoon.  If you are already fighting a cold or the flu, take 1-2 teaspoons twice a day.

To start, I found the recipe for Elderberry Syrup on Naturally Knocked Up‘s blog.  I found it the easiest to follow, and included ingredients that were relatively easy to source.

Here’s the list of ingredients used:

  • 1/2 cup dried elderberries (I bought mine from Mountain Rose Herbs)
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cup honey  (agave is another alternative)
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Combine the elderberries and water in a medium sauce pot over medium high.  Heat to a boil, then simmer for about 20 mins.

Next step, strain the berries and cinnamon stick over a bowl.  I got about 8oz of syrup at this step.
Time to add in the honey!  I used Raw Honey, which retains more health promoting enzymes and other nutrients due to minimal processing.

As you can see, raw honey does solidify more than conventional honey.  In order to retain more of the healthy benefits, let your syrup cool off before adding in the honey.

Final product…about 12 oz of syrup.  When I bought elderberry from the store I was unhappy with how expensive it was, especially if you are giving it to everyone in the family.  By making it from scratch, the cost per once is very low.

I bought both the elderberries (1 lb bag) and a bag of cinnamon sticks on sale from Mountain Rose Herbs.  (I am an affiliate)  It took a week to receive my order via standard shipping.  If you are starting to feel under the weather, I would opt suggest a faster shipping method.

What home remedy should I try next?
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