This is simple to make and exceptionally frugal, costing around $1-$2 per 4 ounces vs. $10-$18 at the store.
When I say elderberries are “anti-flu” I’m not referring to a vague immune-boosting action.
Clinical studies show that Elderberry:
- binds to and inhibits H1N1 infection, in vitro. (source)
- suppresses the replication of the human flu virus, in vitro. (source)
- inhibits viral replication in mice while simultaneously stimulating flu antibodies, in vivo. (source)
We’ve been enjoying a spoonful or two every day as the winter season approaches. I made extra, since this homemade tonic also makes a pretty and purposeful gift.
Where to find the ingredients and bottles.
- Organic elderberries from Amazon
- Budget-friendly elderberries from Vitacost
- Tart cherry juice can be found at many grocery stores in the glass-bottle juice section
- I like these 4-oz. amber bottles
Here’s how I made it:
1/2 cups dried elderberries
3 cups water
2 cups 100% tart cherry juice
honey to taste (optional, I use about 1/4 cup)
1. Combine dried elderberries and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and lower to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes. (It will reduce to about 1 3/4 cups liquid or so).
2. Meanwhile, in a separate pan, simmer cherry juice for 30 minutes. (It will reduce to 1/2 cup or so).
3. Strain elderberry liquid, mashing elderberries (I used this masher, then the bottom of a bowl to push the liquid out of them.) Combine with cherry juice reduction in a tempered pitcher.
4. Add honey as desired. Keep refrigerated.
IMPORTANT NOTES: Honey should never be given to children under one. Make sure to check with your doctor or health care professional before taking any new supplements.
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