Elderberry elixir – sounds fancy, doesn’t it? Maybe even a bit magical? Well you would be right! In Medieval times, an elixir was a preparation that was supposedly able to change metals into gold or prolong life indefinitely. Today it’s an aromatic solution of alcohol and honey that is used as a vehicle for medicinal substances.
We’re going for the latter version, unless of course, you’re an alchemist who knows how to make the elixir of life or how to turn lead into gold. At any rate, this delicious remedy is just as good, and while it won’t make you live forever, it will at least help you feel more lively when down with the flu.
How to Make an Elderberry Elixir for a Strong Immune System
This time of year often leaves us feeling battered and beaten. Things start to crank up at work, there’s holidays to worry about, lots of cooking, cleaning, spending, and bending over backwards. When we get sick, we take medicine to cover up the symptoms so we can keep checking off our to-do list despite feeling exhausted, stressed, and spread too thin.
Your body is trying to tell you something. It’s saying “Slow down friend! You’re burnt out and I can’t keep up with you any longer!”. But that voice is muffled or flat out on mute when we’re guzzling down that Dayquil. We do all we can to cling to sanity in the hustle and bustle of it all, but what about our health? What about supporting the immune system when everyone around you is sick?
Instead of taking medicines that contain one active ingredient that works against one aspect of a virus, why not use a plant that has over 100 active ingredients that are effective against many types of viruses?
Elderberry is one of those plants, and what’s cool about it is it mutates along with viruses. It’s always changing and adapting. This is why elderberry always works so well for every cold and flu season.
Instead of suppressing our symptoms, it strengthens the immune system and helps the body fight off infection, germs, and viruses. It’s so good at doing this that it shortens the duration of colds and flu by half with consistent use. Elderberry is also an amazing preventative that keeps you strong and resilient while everyone else catches “what’s going around”.
Elderberry Elixir Recipe
Today I want to share with you how to make an elderberry elixir that will keep you well all season long. You might be wondering why I choose to go with an elixir instead of a syrup and the answer is simple: elixirs last indefinitely while syrups must be used in a short amount of time.
Don’t get me wrong, I love me some elderberry syrup, but I’m partial to having something on hand I know is going to be there when I need it. Because when you’re sick, you don’t want to spend time making remedies. You need something and you need something NOW and this fills the bill perfectly.
Keep in mind that you will need a bit more forethought when making this remedy. If you don’t already have some on hand, that’s when elderberry syrup comes to the rescue because it’s quick to make and ready to use right away. Elderberry elixir takes time to macerate, so it isn’t ready to use right away but will last you for years when it is.
Here’s what you’re going to need:
• A mason jar (I use a larger size but you can use whatever jar you have on hand)
• A second mason jar for storage (you need extra room for the honey later if you use method #1 below)
• Brandy (this tastes the best and is also good for soothing a sore throat)
• Raw honey (make sure you get raw honey as it has healthy enzymes and cold fighting properties)
• Fresh or dried elderberries
• Dropper bottles for easy use
Loving Preparation – Method #1
• If you’re using fresh elderberries, make sure all the stems are removed and the berries are rinsed clean. Fill the far to the shoulder with the fresh berries, mashing them as you go.
• If you’re using dry elderberries, fill the jar ½ way.
• Next, fill the jar to the shoulder with brandy. Make sure the berries are totally submerged.
• Allow the mixture to sit for 4-6 weeks.
• After 4-6 weeks, strain the tincture into a larger jar.
• Top with raw honey and mix until well combined.
• Store in a cool dark place or pour into dropper bottles for easy use on the go.
Loving Preparation – Method #2
In case you don’t have time to wait 4-6 weeks, here’s another way to make elderberry elixir.
• Fill your jar half way with dried elderberries (fresh may create mold, but they can be used!).
• Top the berries with raw honey.
• Cap and place on a sunny windowsill for at least 4 weeks. OR you can place your jar in a double boiler on very low heat for a few hours. High heat will destroy the lovely things in the honey.
• Strain out the berries and then top off the infused honey with brandy in a clean jar.
You can of course add a number of other herbs to your elixir recipe from the start like:
• Cardamom – great for coughing and digestive upset
• Cinnamon – helps with cough, breaks fever, staves off chills, calms digestive upset
• Clove – an effective herb for coughs, nausea, and fighting cold and flu
• Elderflowers – helps break a fever
• Fresh ginger – loosens congestion in the lungs and sinuses
• Lemon – loosens phlegm, anti-inflammatory, and eases histamine response
• Mullein – Soothes and moistens irritated mucus membranes and loosens mucus
And many others!
Before heading off to work, school, or just out for errands, take a dropperful of elderberry elixir to help strengthen your immunity throughout the day as a preventative.
During cold and flu, take the elixir 3-5 times a day to help shorten duration and support immunity. You can take it by the spoonful or add it to your favorite tea.
Elderberry elixir will last indefinitely. Keep it stored in a cool dark place out of direct sunlight to keep the integrity of the medicine intact.
Have you ever made an elderberry elixir? How did you like it? Please share below your favorite elderberry medicine!
Want to learn more about elderberry? Check out the articles below 🙂