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An Ounce of Prevention

The immune-boosting power of elderberries in a simple recipe you can make in your own kitchen.

Nature has a way of supporting the body’s immune response. Compounds in elderberries decrease cell proteins that trigger an inflammatory response and increase protein (by up to ten times the normal amount) that spur the production of an infection-fighting response. Research studies show that elderberries may inhibit a virus’s ability to penetrate healthy cells that line the inside of the nose and throat – our body’s first defense against the flu virus.†
Although you can buy elderberry syrup from most health food stores, it is quite pricey… especially when consuming an ounce daily. You can make your own right at home for a fraction of the cost!


Place ingredients in a saucepan and soak overnight. In the same saucepan, bring the mixture to a gentle boil and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Strain off herbs using a cheesecloth or a fine-mesh strainer to squeeze the juice out of the berries. Measure the remaining liquid (1 to 1 ½ cups). Return juice to the saucepan and heat until steaming. Mix in an amount of sugar or honey equal to the amount of juice you measured after straining and stir. Let cool and pour off into a dark blue or brown glass jar—label with the contents and date and store in the refrigerator. The syrup will keep for about three months.

Elderberry Syrup

1/2 cup dried elderberries

3 cups filtered water

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 cinnamon stick

8 whole cloves

1 tsp minced fresh ginger root

Organic cane sugar or raw, unfiltered honey

† Source: Elder Berries for Cold and Flu Prevention, Mothering Magazine. Kristy Cronkrite helps others to live in harmony with nature through self-care practices using gifts from the Earth. kristycronkrite.com

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