I live in Texas, you guys. In Texas, we have to rely on outside resources to teach our kids about the four seasons because we only experience 2 3/4 of them. We’ve got an A+ in summer. No brainer there. Spring is fine. That’s kind of the bridge of not needing heavy coats & still not being able to fry eggs on the sidewalk. Fall is a lost cause. And I won’t say we don’t have winter because there are definitely days when I can be found wearing my coat in beanie while in my home because our house is 100 years old– but we have the kind of winter where bugs just hibernate– we don’t ever actually kill them off, I don’t think.
And yet, despite our seasons being temperamental & summer being our longest running season, I think it’s safe to say our second longest season is flu season. I’m always surprised when we get our first notice that the flu has arrived because it’s still warm here– & then it just seems to linger far past its time.
Enter the elderberry! Elderberry is a centuries-old remedy to fight off the flu or cold & even helps with allergies.
I think Collins had just started a mother’s day out program when I first purchased elderberry syrup. I bought the same brand from the start, & it’s served us so well over the years.
Now we have three kids, & I take it too. We were flying through bottles of elderberry like Dumbo with his feather. Happy, healthy, & a little oblivious.
A few months ago, Blake asked if I thought it would be a better idea to make the elderberry ourselves, to which I replied back, “I don’t know. Do you want to make it?” I looked into it though & gave it a spirited try. In typical fashion, I took a simple recipe & complicated the situation by pressing too hard on my little handheld strainer, breaking it off into the bowl of purple gold & splashing it all over my Christmas pajamas. It was one of those where a kid heard it happen & asked what happened, & I pretended to be deaf so I could walk outside for a breath in order to not fall apart over a melted berry.
I tried again last weekend, & with my new handheld strainer in hand, we rose to the occasion. We filled our 16oz glass jar to the brim, & I was quite proud, if I do say so myself.
If you want to try elderberry syrup out but don’t feel ready to make it yourself, I’ll link two brands here: This one is the kind I bought because it’s local & I was able to buy it off the shelf (but she also ships). And then this one is one I have not tried before, but it looks legit, & it’s on sale right now.
If you do want to try your hand at making it (it really is very simple– if you’ve ever made homemade cranberry sauce, it’s similar), here is the recipe I used! Thanks, Wellness Mama!
I’ll link everything you need to buy for the recipe here:
Ginger– purchase a knob of organic ginger at your local grocery store for around 75 cents!
(And don’t skip out on the spices thinking they’re extra– did you know clove has the most antioxidants of any spice? Crazy!)
If you buy all of these items, you’re looking at spending just under $50. (To purchase one 12 ounce bottle of elderberry syrup, you’ll spend around $30.) One bag of elderberry will make you around two & a half batches of syrup (each batch makes 16oz). And of course, the jars of cinnamon & clove will last you a while. With any ginger you have leftover, grate it & mix in a teaspoon or two into some hot water along with lemon & honey for a soothing drink.
So really, it’s up to you to decide what you want to do! If you have four people consuming it daily for a while, making it on your own is definitely something to consider— but girlfriend, either option is a great option to help keep you & your kiddos healthy. And just for perspective, I give my kids 1 teaspoon a day (I mix it into their apple juice), & I take 1/2 tablespoon a day. If someone gets a fever or is showing yucky symptoms, I’ll repeat their dosage up to every 2-3 hours until symptoms fade.