Every summer, I tag all the elderberry trees on our property, with the hopes of harvesting some juicy purple berries in the fall. And every fall, I'm disappointed to find that the deer have beaten me to the harvest.
Those deer are a sneaky bunch.
I know that the deer are the culprits because I've become very adept at tracking. Not footprints. But poop. Specifically, purple deer poop. And I'm pretty certain that our deer population is much healthier because of those berries.
Elderberries are known for being high in antioxidants. They are also packed with vitamins, A, B, and C, and are great for boosting the immune system. Fresh berries can be used to make jams, jellies, and wine. Dried berries are great for adding to baked goods, or rehydrating and making syrup.
Elderberry syrup has been used for medicinal purposes for hundreds of years. Taken at the onset of a cold or flu, elderberry has been shown to reduce the length of illness. Some people even take the syrup on a daily basis to keep their immune systems strong during cold & flu season.
And since "The Crud" has decided to pay our house a visit, I decided to take some action before the Mister gets it.
Because there's nothing worse than a man-cold. (Click here to see for yourself.)
I owe it to my family to keep that from happening.☺
2/3 cup dried elderberries (I purchase mine here.)
3-1/2 cups filtered water
1-inch piece of fresh ginger root, peeled
2 sticks of cinnamon
8 whole cloves
1 cup raw honey (as local as you can get it)
Pour water into a medium saucepan and add elderberries, gingerroot, cinnamon sticks, and cloves. Bring to a full boil; cover, and reduce heat to simmer. Let the mixture simmer until liquid is reduced by half. This will take approximately an hour to 90 minutes.
Remove from heat and strain through a fine-mesh strainer. Allow the liquid to cool to lukewarm.
Add honey to cooled mixture and stir well to combine. Store elderberry syrup in a glass bottle or jar in refrigerator.
I give 1 teaspoon, 3x's/daily to my children. (For kids under 6, I would give 1/2 teaspoon.) The Mister & I dose up with 1 Tablespoon, 3x's daily.
*Never give raw honey to any child under the age of 1.
This post is linked to Fresh Eggs Daily's Farm Girl Friday Blog Fest and Dandelion House's The Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop.