Greetings, dear friends! As the whirlwind of holiday gatherings and the hustle and bustle of this joyous time of year envelop us, it's essential to take care of ourselves amidst the excitement. The holiday season often brings a mix of travel, festive gatherings, stress, and an abundance of sugary treats, leaving us susceptible to feeling under the weather. That's why I always make sure to have a batch of my homemade cough syrup on hand— a lovingly concocted remedy to provide comfort if needed.
This delightful elixir is infused with the goodness of some of my favorite natural ingredients: ginger, a warm and invigorating herb that aids the immune system, and elderberry, a cherished antiviral powerhouse. Combined with the antimicrobial and respiratory support of raw honey, this syrup is both effective and delicious. Plus, it's simple to make and gentle enough for the whole family.
- 1/2 cup raw honey
- 1/4 cup dried black elderberries (sambucus nigra)
- 1/3 cup boiling water
- 1/4 lb ginger root, about one big root cluster
- 1.5 oz brandy, vodka, or tincture of your choice (such as echinacea or elderberry), or raw apple cider vinegar
1. Begin by pouring boiling water over the dried elderberries in a small bowl, covering them, and setting them aside for at least one hour to steep and infuse their goodness.
2. While the elderberries soak, measure the honey into a pyrex measuring cup or glass jar, and gently warm it by placing the jar in a bowl of boiling water. Alternatively, you can warm the honey in a double boiler over very low heat until it's just warm and pourable. Be cautious not to overheat, preserving the magical enzymes in the honey.
3. Grate or juice the ginger root over another bowl. If grating, use a piece of cheesecloth to squeeze out all the juice from the root. If juicing, let the juice settle and carefully pour off the top liquid without the sediment, aiming for about an ounce of ginger juice.
4. Strain the liquid from the steeped elderberries into the bowl with the ginger juice, using a fine sieve or the cheesecloth. The remaining elderberries can be repurposed for your morning oatmeal, pancakes, or even a treat for your chickens!
5. Combine the warm honey with the strained elderberry and ginger juices, stirring until all the ingredients meld harmoniously. Add the chosen alcohol or vinegar and mix once more.
6. Transfer your beautifully blended syrup into a dark glass bottle, and store it in the refrigerator. This sweet elixir will maintain its potency for up to 2 or 3 months.
7. When needed, take a teaspoon every 2 hours for adults, or half a teaspoon for children. Feel the soothing embrace of this homemade remedy as it comforts and nurtures your well-being.
Speaking of wellness, staying warm during the colder months is essential for our health and vitality. A visit to the sauna is one of our favorite ways to achieve this. It's a true gift to our health, offering a delightful balance to the damp, cold winters of the Pacific Northwest. Let the warmth penetrate your bones and the aroma of cedar fill your lungs, providing solace and rejuvenation.
Until our next encounter, sending you love and rays of sunshine to brighten your day!