When I was going through my cancer treatments, the one thing I really tried to focus on was how to keep my immune system strong. All the treatments were depleting my system. After my stem-cell transplant I had to walk around with a mask on just like we all are today. I was even told not to dig in the dirt because I could pick up bacteria or something along that line that could make me sick. I did not enjoy that because I love to garden.
Something I've learned since then is that Elderberry Syrup is very good at helping to support your immune system. I had heard before that it's great for fighting a cold or the flu. It's also known for being an antioxidant, having vitamin C and fiber but when I was researching I also found that it can help improve heart health, and lower risk of cancer and diabetes.
I add it to my tea each morning. It's tasty and easy to make. About a week ago I knew I had to make some more so I thought I'd take some pictures during the process and share with you. Be sure to put on an apron. As you can imagine the elderberries can stain whatever they splatter on.
The recipe I use comes from Mountain Rose Herbs
2 cups of dried Elderberries. You can usually pick them up at a local co-op.
4 cups of water
1 organic cinnamon stick
1 tsp fresh grated organic ginger root or organic dried ginger root
raw local honey (or organic agave syrup for a vegan recipe)
Combine the berries and herbs with cold water in a pot and bring it to a boil.
Reduce the heat and let it simmer for 30 to 40 minutes. I wish you could smell these elderberries cooking. It smells so good to me, although my husband has a different opinion of the aroma. Have you heard that if you place a wooden spoon across the top of your pot, it won't boil over? I wasn't really worried about this boiling over, but it works great when boiling water.
Remove from heat and mash the berries in the liquid mixture. In the past I have used my immersion blender to mash the berries. This time I just used my wooden spoon. It was a little more satisfying.
After they are mashed strain the berries and herbs through cheesecloth or in my case I used a milk bag. Be sure you have let the berries cool and then squeeze out the juice.
As you can see, this part can be a little messy. It doesn't take too long for your hands to turn back to their normal color. Just make sure it's the day before your wedding or some big event. LOL
Measure the amount of liquid you end up with. I typically end up with 2 cups of berry juice. You will then measure out that same amount of honey or agave. Gently heat the honey and juice together for a few minutes until it's well combined. Don't let it boil.
Transfer your Elderberry Juice into sterilized bottles and place them in the refrigerator.
I think this picture is kind of funny. It looks like the bottles are floating on my counter.
If you decide to make some Elderberry Syrup, I hope you enjoy the process and the product. For a printable version of the recipe go to Mountain Rose Herb
Pam Bohlken is the founder of Healing in Progress Body, Mind and Soul and she is an energy healer. She’s a Reiki Master; she’s certified through Vibrational Sound Association as a Vibrational Sound Therapy Practitioner. She’s trained in the Maris Peer method of hypnosis, called Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT) and she performs Sound Meditations for groups using her beautiful Himalayan singing bowls. She is a co-author of The Ultimate Guide to Self-Healing Volume 2. Pam is a member of the Wellness Universe. She is also an amateur herbalist, she loves spending time with her grandchildren, gardening and sewing (especially if it involves her embroidery machine). To contact Pam, go to pambohlken.com