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Flu season is crazy right now.  All over Facebook, I see posts about people whose families are being ravaged by this multi day yuck that is circling.  Having just begun a new business 6 months ago, my husband and I cannot afford to be sick and miss out on work…and my son leaves for a mission trip in 2 1/2 weeks, so we are no holds barred on the immunity boosting.  All my crunchy mama friends have been downing elderberry syrup, so I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon.  The last week or so we’ve been mixing a couple teaspoons into a small shot of juice and I’m hoping this superfood will keep the sickies at bay.

Elderberries are helpful due to their crazy vitamin content.  They are high in Vitamin A and Vitamin C, contain the antioxidant quercitin, are anti inflammatory and possess antiviral properties.  Whew!  Worth a try, huh?  I buy elderberries through Frontier Co-op.  I can buy wholesale through them because I’m in a group that orders together.  I love buying my spices, cocoa powder and teas there.  I would imagine you can find them at health food stores, though.  It goes without saying that you should make sure you buy them from a reputable source so that you know they are safe to ingest.  Don’t go picking random tiny berries in the woods and making this with them!

There’s a ton of variations on elderberry syrup online, but I’ve tasted two before this one and it’s hands down the favorite for my family.  I based it on this recipe.

Mix water, elderberries, cinnamon, ginger and cloves and bring to a boil.

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Turn down the heat and simmer for 45 minutes.  Mash with a potato masher to get the berries good and smooshed.

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Drain through a metal strainer, pushing berries with spoon against sides to get all the juice out.

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Let cool until room temperature and then add the raw honey.  If it’s too hot, the honey won’t be raw anymore!

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Mix well and store in the refrigerator.

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Use 1-2 teaspoons daily – adults can use as much as 1T.  I use about 2t. daily for both my kids and I.  If we do get sick, I will bump up the dosage, but for now I feel like it will help our bodies ward off the germs!

*As with any vitamin/supplement/herb, you should consult with your physician to make sure that it doesn’t interact with any medications you’re taking, or worsen any conditions you currently have.

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