It’s been few weeks we’ve had in the Salmon house!!!
Since the beginning of November, every member of our house has been hit with some level of coughing, cold and ear aches. Some for a few days and others for literally weeks.
My immunity is probably the highest in the house and I even got sick for 3 days (after boasting that I never get anything and I’d be fine).
We only ever use natural remedies and there are some great recipe you can make to reduce the length and severity of a cold when it arrives, but what I haven’t been focusing enough on recently is prevention.
The whole food diet we eat is a means of prevention in and of itself, but I feel that moving to a new home, new area, being around lots of new people and children and going to so many events and activities since we’ve been here has probably caught up with us (not to mention the everyday challenges of parental and business stress hubby and I are faced with).
So to maintain and protect us over the weekend, I’ll be whipping up a few batches of this amazing immune boosting syrup.
There are quite a few elderberry recipes around, as elderberries are so good at combatting colds and flus symptoms and boosting immunity. I found out about elderflowers and elderberry syrup years ago and made various recipes a few times, until I refined the recipes to what I have now.
Simple recipes which use just elderberries, ginger and honey can be very effective, but with a few more additions it’s even more effective at reducing the length and severity of a cough, cold or flu once it’s here but also at reducing your risk of catching them in teh first place.
The recipe includes
Dried Elderberries – These tart little berries, which you can get dried or fresh, are rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, A 7 B6, which all make them super immune boosters. They are famous for helping coughs, colds, nasal congestions and even relieving upset stomachs, gas and arthritis.
Echinacea – One of the most effective immune boosting herbs around, whether it comes as a herbal tea, tincture or in a syrup, echinacea is specially useful in reducing the length of a cough, cold or flu and supporting the immune system so during the colder months to prevent you from becoming sick in the first place.
Liquorice Sticks – I’m not taking about the yummy old fashion black sweets, but the nobbly stick you can see in the picture. Even though liquorice can help so many health complaints, from PMS to depression, it is also very useful in helping coughs, colds and flu symptoms, with the added bonus having a lovely rich sweetness that adds the lovely taste of this syrup.
Garlic – Even though fresh garlic is more potent than when it’s cooked, garlic has still been shown in clinical trials to lower blood pressure, cholesterol, kill parasite and treat the common cold. It’s high levels of sulfuric compounds enable it to wipe out bacteria and virus when used regularly and along with good hygiene and hydration.
Ginger – This fiery root contains antioxidants, natural antibiotics, is antimircobial, can kill cold viruses, soothes a sore throat, helps eliminate congestion and combats chills and fevers.
Cinnamon – Not only does this culinary spice add to the great taste of this syrup, it also helps stabilise blood sugar levels and has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties.
Vitamin C Powder – This antioxidant vitamin, found in high levels in kiwis, red peppers, kale, spinach, raspberries and pineapples, can help so many conditions, from periodontal disease, preclampsia in pregnant women, heart disease, diabetes and asthma. But it’s most commonly known to support the immune system by attacking bacterias before the have a chance to develop into a full scale bout of cold and significantly reducing the time a cough, cold or nasal congestion lasts if it does take hold.
Honey – This is used as the base of the syrup, but it also contributes to its potency with it’s antimicrobial, antiviral and soothing properties. You can replace this with vegetable glycerine or maple syrup if you’re using it with children under 12 months old.
Immune Boosting Elderberry Syrup
Wheat, Gluten, Nut, Dairy, Yeast & Sugar Free
Prep Time – 30 mins
Cooking Time – 30mins
Yield –3 cups
1/2 cup of dried elderberries
1/4 cup of echinacea loose herb or 4 teabags (ensure they only contain echinacea)
1 inch chunk of fresh ginger root peeled and chopped
2 liquorice sticks broken into 2-3 pieces
3 cloves of garlic peeled and chopped
5000mg (5g) Vitamin C Powder
1tbsp of ground cinnamon or 1 cinnamon stick
4 cups of water
1 cup of honey (preferably raw & organic), (for children under 12mths use vegetable glycerine or maple syrup)
1.Start by putting the 4 cups of water into a pan and bringing it to the boil.
2. Once the water is boiling add the elderberries, echinacea, cinnamon, ginger, garlic and cinnamon and stir. Wait for the water to come to the boil again and then reduce the heat and cover so it can simmer for 30mins or until it’s reduced by half (i.e. there’s 2 cups of liquid remaining).
3. Now pour the mixture through a sieve and press as much of the liquid out as possible, there should be about 2 cups of liquid produced.
4. Now add the vitamin c powder and honey (or glycerine / maple syrup) and stir them in thoroughly. Then store in a glass jar with a lid in the fridge.
Most experts advise to take 1 tbsp daily as a maintenance does during the winter months and 1 tbsp every 3-4 hours during an illness. I would always recommend that your take each does along with a 200 – 300mls of water. This will help prevent dehydration that can contribute to almost any illness and help to flush away the waste products produced as the immune system goes to work.
This syrup can last in the fridge for around 3 months, but as this recipe produces about 3 cups ( roughly 45 tbsps), if you take at least 1tbsp a day it will only last a month and a half per person, and much less time during an actual illness. But if you choose to make a few batches by doubling or tripling the ingredients, you can store it for a few months in case illness arises.
I hope you found this recipe useful and if you have any questions, please feel free to comment below
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The Naturally You Coach
About the Author: Leah Salmon, The Naturally You Coach, is a bestselling author, speaker, nutritionist, live blood analyst and life coach, focused on womb & pregnancy health and premature birth prevention & on a mission to help 100,000 black women to eat for health, think for happiness and live in harmony by 2020 or what she calls Becoming Naturally You. She does this through her clinic, books, programs, coaching, events, workshops, videos, articles and a free weekly ezine.