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Elderberry Syrup:    Give your immune system a boost

3 cups water

4 tables of fresh or dried elderberries

one half cup honey

one quarter cup brandy

Put the elderberries and the water into a stainless steel sauce pan. Bring to a boil

and then let simmer on low heat for fifteen minutes. Turn off the heat and let the

elderberries infuse for a couple of hours. Strain the elderberries out and put them

in the compost pile. You now have a strong elderberry tea. Turn the stove on low

and simmer the tea without a lid on the pot until the tea is down to one half of its

original volume. In this case you are starting with three cups of tea and cooking it

down to one and a half cups. This process is called decocting. Take the tea off of

the stove and add the honey while the tea is still warm. Stir in the honey until it is

dissolved. After the tea cools, add the brandy. Store this syrup in the refrigerator

with a shelf life of about three to six months. Take a tablespoon every hour and a

half at the first signs of a cold or flu.

Among the many recipes provided by Mrs. Grieve, from A Modern Herbal,  is one for syrupy concoction called elderberry rob. She suggests crushing the berries, but a juicer will also work. You can also use dried Elderberries.  Simmer the berries with 1/5 part sugar, cooking it down to the consistency of honey, bottle and refrigerate. This concentrate will keep for several months. She says, “One or two tablespoonsful mixed with a tumblerful of hot water, taken at night, promotes perspiration and is demulcent to the chest,” meaning that it soothes, moistens, and loosens respiratory congestion. It also tastes delicious, especially served warm over ice cream, a fitting recompense for the waning of summer.

November 18, 2010 by JJ Pursell

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