Elderberry Syrup Saved My Vacation (Recipe Included!)

Truth be told I really considered titling this post: How Elderberry Syrup Saved My Life.

And honestly, I know all the mamas who read this story will likely understand my dramatic testimony. However, since I’m well aware of my tendency towards mic drop statements, I opted to scale back on the wording. As a bonus to my story, I’ve included an easy to follow Elderberry Syrup Recipe!

So first of all, unless you’ve been living under a rock this flu season you’ve likely heard about the Elderberry Syrup craze that’s sweeping our nation. To catch anyone up that may have missed out, this stuff is truly an immune boosting magic potion! Not only does it ward off viruses, but it also speeds up the recovery process if you do end up with a bug.

Not to brag, but I drank the crunchy mom kool-aid years ago and our family has been obsessed with Elderberry Syrup since 2012.

I’ve said this before, but I am NOT a crafty, homemade kind of girl. And, even worse, I struggle more than most to follow a recipe. (Have you ever realized you forgot the main ingredient to a casserole half-way through baking it? Here’s a tip, it doesn’t really work if you try to add it in!) So I’ve always been content to purchase pre-made Elderberry Syrup. You can *usually* find it: here.

Enter winter and a major flu-epidemic. The price doubled. And then the product sold out. Everywhere.

Out of options, but feeling like my family might not survive winter without it- I decided to try my hand at making it. I set aside a “special” night, demanded complete silence from my kids so I could concentrate, and prayed my way through the first batch. The satisfaction I felt as I jarred the purple-ish black goop is indescribable. I felt like a true superstar until my husband came home wondering why the house smelled like feet.

I kept telling my daughter I felt like Harry Potter making a potion!

Nevertheless, we drank our recommended doses religiously throughout the winter. I made subsequent batches without any issues and our family escaped without a sniffle.

But then mid-February came and so did temperatures in the 70’s. We rode bikes, chalked up the driveway and stayed outside until the sun went down. I even hosted a neighborhood water balloon fight and surprised my kids with a day at the beach.

I let my guard down and foolishly believed that a little (natural) Vitamin D was all we needed to thrive.

At the same time, I looked forward to a weekend I’d marked on my calendar YEARS ago. An opportunity to go away on a Bible Study Fellowship leaders retreat. A weekend for me to recharge, worship and learn. And, (maybe most importantly), spend a weekend away from my kiddos. Though I love them dearly, my time away from them is rare and when it does happen- I NEED it.

 So imagine my horror as I’m packing my bag on Thursday afternoon, when my 6-year old complained about “feeling weird.” His forehead was burning up. I almost cried. And I’m not a crier.

My sick little buddy (yes, in Christmas jammies. Don’t judge!)

Instead I raced down to the refrigerator and began an insanely aggressive course of Elderberry Syrup for all of us. Of course, I need to credit prayer, sleep, good food, a typically healthy immune system AND the syrup for his supernatural recovery!

The next day, I was able to leave for the weekend knowing Miller was on the road to recovery. I confess, saying that Elderberry Syrup saved my life still sounds a tad too dramatic. But being able to spend 72 hours on this “vacation” was a true gift and I give almost all the credit to the to this crazy concoction of goodness!

Interested in making your own? Here’s the easiest recipe with a little tweaking to ensure my husband didn’t have to drink the stuff that “tastes like feet” (eye roll…my kids never complained. Just Brent.)

Elderberry Syrup Recipe

1 Cup dried elderberries

3 Tablespoons ginger

2 Teaspoons cinnamon

1 Teaspoon cloves

Peal from 1 orange

5 Cups of water

1.5 Cups raw LOCAL honey

  1. Bring water, elderberries, ginger, cinnamon, orange peals and cloves to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
  3. Let cool, then mash berries and strain liquid into a bowl.
  4. Mix in honey.
  5. Put syrup in Mason Jars and keep refrigerated.

The regular dose is 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp for kids and 1 TBS for adults every day. If you are exposed to an illness, have someone in your family get sick, or if you have a vacation coming up- you will want to up the frequency by taking it 3-4 times per day.

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