About this time of year - when the air is getting cooler and we are spending more time indoors - I start to see people coming to the clinic with coughs, sore throats and tiredness.
Our immune systems seem to notice the change in season and the food we are eating tends to be lower in some of the immune boosting nutrients of the summer.
As we come in to autumn I often recommend elderberry capsules to adults and children for their antioxidant activity and to strengthen immunity.
Elderberries are believed boost the immune system and help with coughs, colds, bacterial and viral infections.
I decided to have a go this year at making my own elderberry cordial. To be honest, it’s a little experimental so the quantities are rough and I will have to let you know after the winter how it has kept!
The elderberries will be gone in a couple of weeks - so make it soon. I imagine you could do the same with blackberries.
I use American measuring cups for ease. A cup is 250ml.
In to a pan I put -
2.5 cups of elderberries – they’re easy to get off the stalks if you run a fork down the stems
3 cups of water
7 cardamom pods (crushed)
2 cinnamon sticks
a chink of ginger as big as my thumb – sliced
the peel of half a lemon
I brought it to the boil and simmered the pan gently without a lid for about 40 minutes.
Then I let it cool, strained the liquid through a sieve and muslin cloth mashing and squeezing the cloth to get all the juice out (WARNING! It really stains your hands!!)
I then stirred in just over half a cup of raw organic honey which was kindly given to me by a patient from her local hive. Please do take the time to search out raw honey.
I poured the liquid into a clean, sterilised glass bottle and put it in the fridge. Elderberry is best taken as a booster rather than all the time. I am going to take 1tsp a day over the next few weeks (half a tsp for a child), possibly a little more if I start to see the sniffles…
Let me know how you get on with your experiment!