Thursday, January 23, 2014

Elderberry Syrup and Elderberry Husbandry

Curiously it turns out that the elderberry was cultivated in domestic orchards in England during the eighteenth century because of the high quality of the wine produced allowed it to be used to upgrade cordials in particular.  This alone suggests that it demands an renaissance in our food culture.

This certainly suggests that the berry can be used to produce several core products.
1                    Elderberry wines
2                    Elderberry cordials
3                    Packaged frozen elderberries.  This opens easy access to consumers for both ice cream, other desserts and of course the well-known elderberry pie.
4                    Elderberry syrup as a key anti flue medicine.
That is a pretty viable list.

Harvesting is now potentially much easier.  Both the flowers in season and the ripened berry bunches can be simply snipped off the tree and placed gently into a carry basket.  The flowers in spring can then be processed directly to produce their products which are beyond our purview but appears highly recommended.  In the fall, the berries can then be flash frozen and sent over a vibratory screen to shake the berries free from the stems.  This produces a largely uniform frozen product easily picked clean at home at least if thought necessary.

The plant itself loves to have wet feet and is best grown on land typically flooded often.  As these are lands that simply do not welcome early spring cultivation, the fit into agriculture becomes natural and complimentary.

Homemade Elderberry Syrup
Tess Pennington 
January 21st, 2014

It seems that each year, the flu virus strengthens and becomes more difficult to treat with vaccines and over-the-counter medications. This year alone, the deaths of children from the flu has risen exponentially. Maybe it’s a bad year for the flu, or perhaps the vaccine itself is useless and causes more harm than good.
I’m trying to find ways to treat ailments naturally and without the use of vaccines. Rather than waiting to medicate until the flu virus has overrun my body, I am treating the virus naturally when the symptoms first begin. I am a believer in natural medicine and the use essential oils in medicine. I have found that elderberry syrup is a must-have for boosting my immune system and fighting off the flu.

The Organic Prepper calls elderberry extract “nature’s tamiflu” and she couldn’t be more correct in this statement. In her article, the Organic Prepper writes, “Scientists have isolated the active compound in the elderberry. It is called Antivirin and is found in proteins of the black elderberry. The compound prevents the flu virus from invading the membranes of  healthy cells.”

She also goes on to say that, “Unlike the highly touted flu shot, black elderberry has actually been conclusively proven to be effective. It is one of the few natural remedies that has been written up in the medical journals.”
Elderberry Benefits
  •  antioxidant, diaphoretic, diuretic, laxative, immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory
  • To treat coughs, colds, flu, bacterial infections, viral infections, tonsilitis, lower cholesterol, improved vision and heart health.
I found this recipe for elderberry syrup using basic ingredients that I had in my pantry. My family takes 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp for kids and 1/2 Tbsp to 1 Tbsp for adults each day during the flu season.

Elderberry Syrup

·         2/3 cup black elderberries
·         3.5 cups of water
·         2 tablespoons fresh or dried ginger root
·         1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
·         1/2 teaspoon cloves or clove powder
·         1 cup raw honey (we get from our farmer’s market)

1.      Pour water into a medium saucepan and add elderberries, ginger, cinnamon and cloves (do not add honey!)
2.      Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour until the liquid has reduced by almost half. At that point, remove from heat and let cool enough to be handled. Pour through a strainer into a glass jar or bowl.
3.      Discard the elderberries (or compost them!) and let the liquid cool to lukewarm. When it is no longer hot, add 1 cup of honey and stir well.
4.      When honey is well mixed into the elderberry mixture, pour the syrup into a pint sized mason jar or 16 ounce glass bottle of some kind.
5.      Ta Da! You just made homemade elderberry syrup! Store in the fridge and take daily for its immune boosting properties. Some sources recommend taking only during the week and not on the weekends to boost immunity.

Standard dose is 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp for kids and 1/2 Tbsp to 1 Tbsp for adults. If the flu does strike, take the normal dose every 2-3 hours instead of once a day until symptoms disappear.

Stay healthy, everyone!

No comments: