It has been a while since I've been hit with the flu, but this year we were hit hard. Kaylee came down with the flu first. She woke up in the middle of the night screaming that her tummy hurt. So her and I sat up and watched cartoons for the rest of the night.
In the morning she developed a fever. Then a cough and lethargy followed. I spent most of my waking (and sleeping) hours holding her, so it was no surprise that a few days later, I also came down with the flu. Neither of our fevers ever went outside the 103° F range and we were both good a keeping fluids in our system, so we decided to treat at home.
If you aren't familiar with elderberries, they are rich in anti-oxidant flavinoids and the anti-inflammatory, anthocyanin. There have even been mainstream studies to suggest that elderberry extract inactivates the flu virus.
I have been wanting to make it for a few years, but finally made it for the first time this year. I am so happy I did because from what I have heard and read, the flu virus going around this year has been especially rough. It took Kaylee and I around 4-5 days to rid our bodies of the fever, and several more days to feel “normal” again.
Zoë ended up getting the flu too, but she was only down for 3-4 days. I started giving her elderberry syrup as a preventive measure at the same time I started giving it to Kaylee as a treatment, and I believe it helped her.
You can purchase ready-made elderberry syrup, but it's much more expensive than making your own! I made 40 ounces for around $16 using the best ingredients (that's around $0.40 per ounce). You typically see elderberry syrup for around $16+ for 8 ounces – that's $2.00 per ounce! What a huge difference!
It's clearly a much better deal to make your own, not to mention that you can control the quality of ingredients! From now on, I will always have homemade elderberry syrup on-hand during cold and flu season!
DIY Elderberry Syrup Recipe
- Bring your filtered water to boil in a large saucepan.
- Pour your elderberries into the water, then reduce to a simmer.
- Simmer the elderberries for 45 minutes, or until the liquid has been reduced by around half.
- When the syrup has cooled, strain through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth.
- Stir in the honey after straining (you want to make sure it's cool so you don't destroy the beneficial enzymes).
- Pour your elderberry syrup into a glass mason jar or other glass jar, then store in the fridge for up to 2-3 months.
- Adults: 1 tablespoon per day for preventive or 1 tablespoon every 2-3 hours for treatment.
- Children (over 1 year): 1 teaspoon per day for preventive or 1 teaspoon every 2-3 hours for treatment.
Have you ever used elderberry syrup to prevent or treat the flu or common cold? Did it work for you?
Disclaimer: The information included in this post is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions expressed here are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for your own situation or if you have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.
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