Although winter is fast approaching, it's still a great time to get started on elderberry tincture, and it is always a perfect time to make elderberry syrup, which can come to your rescue almost immediately!
Elder (Sambucas nigra) is a healing tree native to Europe with a long history of medicinal value. From her roots to her stems, flowers, and berries, elder is an ally you'll want for winter!
Elder's small purple-blue berries become ripe in the summer months, and can be found and foraged on the west and east coasts of North America, (and in many other locales), or can easily be purchased dried. Elderberries have been scientifically proven to stop viruses from replicating, and this is why she's my number one go-to remedy the very moment I feel an illness coming on. I swear by elderberry tincture (and raw garlic) to thwart colds and flu, however if my tincture is not ready I know that I can quickly brew up some elderberry syrup. Here's how to make both. - Téana
ELDERBERRY TINCTURE HOW-TO
You will need: • A large jar, perhaps a quart mason jar or a juice bottle • Enough dried elderberries to fill the jar 1/3 of the way • 100 proof vodka (80 proof will not do)
Fill your jar 1/3 of the way with dried elderberries. Add your vodka all the way to the top of the jar, then lid and shake gently, adding more vodka if needed to fill completely. Label and date your tincture. Let sit in a cool dark place for 6 weeks or longer, at which time you may strain the berries out and transfer tincture into smaller bottles, or keep the berries in the vodka indefinitely.
When you feel a cold or flu coming on, take a dropperful of tincture in a small amount of liquid up to 6 times per day and continue until after you feel the virus has passed.
ELDERBERRY SYRUP HOW-TO
You will need: • 2/3 cup dried elderberries (find at your local herb or health food store) • 1 tsp cinnamon • 1 cup honey • a pinky finger's worth of fresh ginger
In a medium saucepan combine 3.5 cups of water, the elderberries, cinnamon, and chopped ginger. Bring the mixture to a boil and then simmer for one hour or until the liquid has thickened. Strain the mixture and compost the remaining elderberries. After it has cooled some, add the honey and stir well. The syrup is ready to use immediately and will keep in your fridge for up to 3 months. Kids really love the taste of elderberry syrup and I suggest adding it daily to yogurt, applesauce, or oatmeal during the fall and winter months.