The science behind Elderberry Syrup being able to help fight off the flu has long been documented.
Living in this strange pandemic time as we are, what we consider normal is constantly changing. But for me, my twins (who are 14) have gone back to school today, and i’ve been fending off all-the-feelings about that.
But one thing is true of our children returning to school after the ‘holidays’; colds and flu are rife. So in an effort to take care of my humans i’m doing the same thing I do every year – making a batch of Elderberry syrup. The antioxidants in elderberrys are well known in helping the immune system fight off colds and flu – and just giving it an all round boost.
(Disclaimer time – don’t eat them raw. They must be cooked through, and the stalks and stems must removed.)
Making the syrup is simple and takes about 30 mins of not doing much cooking at all; stand next to the pan, occasionally stir and sip your tea.
But it’s the magic that takes that extra effort, the berries are providing the science, it’s down to us to give it that little bit more.
The recipe is simple; equal parts berries and water – so a cup or bowl of berries, a cup or bowl of water.
You’re going to want to put a sweetener in there, as that helps with shelf life – but to be honest, I pick the berries and freeze them in batches, and make a syrup every three weeks or so, so I don’t have to put too much in. I use honey or maple syrup as a sweetener – and making small batches, of a cup of berries at a time, i put in approx three table spoons and then give it a taste. (You can put in some ginger root if you like a bit of spice, but my girlies don’t.)
I will pop a small piece of cinnamon in ~ this can be interchanged with the ginger if you don’t like it.
From the moment I think about making this recipe, i’m manifesting. And this is where the magic comes in. I’m holding my humans in my mind, consciously keeping them healthy and well through the winter months. As I pick up the fork and prong the berries from their stalks watching them fall into the bowl, I think of the branches that I picked them from, offering thanks for this harvest.
It has become an autumn ritual, an intrinsic part of my craft. Thinking about the warm summer and gentle rains that have nourished their growth.
As the pan begins to gently simmer, I pick up my tea and check the clock ~ i’m going to stand with this simmering pan for thirty mins now. Making sure it doesn’t burn or boil away.
I look at the liquid going a rich glossy burgundy, and as the cinnamon stick sways with my stirring circle, I hold the image in my mind of the tingly energy from the cinnamon sparking the magic to life; the health of me, the health of mine, so mote it be.
As you know, my magic usually works in three’s, but when it comes to this, the words just circle round and round in my mind. As many times as needed.
Once the thirty minutes is up, and the mixture has reduced a little, I strain the berries and cinnamon and decant into an airtight jar. Take 1 tsp a day all through the season. (And another at night if you can feel a sniffle coming on.)
I try to return what I use to the land – but I worry about dogs in the woods eating these squishy berries and being poorly. So I say thank you, and pop them in the bin.
Have a gentle winter lovely people,