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Carrie Williams Howe – Make Your Own Elderberry Syrup

If you’ve walked the aisle of a health food store lately, you’ve no doubt seen a proliferation of homeopathic medicines, syrups, and tonics made with elderberries.  Often including honey, these products are designed to prevent and treat cold and flu symptoms and generally boost your immune system.

According to the University of Maryland medical center: “some evidence suggests that chemicals in elder flower and berries may help reduce swelling in mucous membranes, including the sinuses, and help relieve nasal congestion. Elder may have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anti-influenza, and anticancer properties.”

Honey is likewise well-known for its medicinal qualities (read a history of honey and its medicinal uses in this Mother Earth Living article) — honey can boost the immune system, sooth a sore throat, calm a cough, or fight allergies, especially if it is from your local environment.

Its no surprise that elderberry and honey are being combined by herbalists everywhere.  While I am a huge fanof herbal medicines and I have found success with some of these elderberry supplements, I have two complaints when I shop in the store: cost and ingredients. A small jar of elderberry syrup can cost upwards of $15 to $20 and many of these products contain alcohol which doesn’t taste good to me and makes me not want to use the product for my children.

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