I want to spend some time talking about elderberry. For a long time I thought elderberry, used commonly in the winter, was a fad so I wasn't interested. Then there came a time when elderberry was the only herb I had available to me. I gave it a try and my opinion of it as a medicine changed dramatically.
When I was pregnant with my second child, my oldest daughter kept coming home from school with all sorts of Vermont winter colds and viruses. Because I was pretty worn down, I tried my Echincea tincture protocol, but got sick anyway! I had a bottle of elderberry, rose hip, echinacea syrup lying around that I had made with a friend earlier that summer and knew that it was safe during pregnancy, so I thought I would give it a try. I started with two to three tables every few hrs, and I felt better the next day!
That inspired me to do more research on elderberry, beginning with Paul Bergner’s book The Healing Power of Echinacea and Goldenseal and Other Immune System Herbs. Apparently, my experience with elderberry was in alignment with what his book stated about its effects: that you will heal faster from a cold or virus. Berner charts the best times during sickness to use certain immune boosting herbs(p 248). Elderberry is mentioned as effective for all stages of colds, but for me, this was not the case. It’s only worked well for healing me faster once sick. However, all of our bodies are different and they respond to herbs differently. Find your own relationship to elderberry and all the wonderful healing plants for that matter!
I like to add rose hips to this syrup because it is high in vitamin C which helps boost the immune system. It also tastes yummy! Echinacea is immune-boosting too, especially at the onset or beginning of a cold, so it adds strength to the syrup by including support for the immune system for all times/stages of a cold
Elderberry, Rose Hip, and Echinacea Syrup
What You’ll Need:
2/3 cup dry elderberries or 1 cup fresh
1/3 cup dried rose hips or 1 1/2 cups fresh
1/2 cup dried Echinacea Root
3 cups water
1 cup honey
Note: these qualities are loose, your syrup will be good no matter what!
Step by Step:
Bottle your syrup and store in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 months. I prefer to put mine into a brown bottle, but a mason jar is fine if you keep your syrup away from the light (the refrigerator does this fine). Make sure to label it! I can't tell you the number of times I didn't label some herbal concoction only to find myself sniffing it months later and trying to guess the mystery.