Fight winter colds with this natural cold syrup made using elderberry, honey and cinnamon.

Just like there's no crying in baseball, there are no sick days when you live on a farm. Animals still need to be fed and cared for no matter how cruddy you feel.

Fortunately in our family we manage to stay pretty healthy by living the same way as we raise our animals - with a varied diet filled with plenty of healthy locally grown food, lots of water, fresh air, exercise and natural preventives and immune system boosters. 

But sometimes the germs still manage to get the upper hand, and this easy-to-make elderberry cold syrup is a wonderful substitute for store bought cold medicine. You can also try how to make elderberry gummies as well.

Elderberries are easy to grow, and in fact grow wild in lots of places, including here in Maine. Just be aware that raw elderberries, the leaves and stems are all toxic. So be sure to cook or dry the berries before consuming them. You can purchase dried elderberries if you don't grow your own.

Interestingly, wild birds will eat the raw elderberries with no problem, and I'm told that chickens will also eat them. Although we don't have any growing on our property, so I can't attest to that for sure. 

Homemade Elderberry Honey Cold Syrup

Elderberries have wonderful cold-fighting properties and I love using them in cold syrup. 

The elderberry cold syrup can also be used as an immune system booster during the cold season to help protect you from getting sick in the first place.

Here are the ingredients I chose and the reasons I chose them for my Elderberry Honey Cold Syrup.

Elderberry |

treats respiratory illnesses, colds and flu, relieves nasal congestion, anti-inflammatory, antiviral

Honey |

is an antibacterial and antioxidant, soothes coughs, may help reverse bacterial resistance to antibiotics

Cinnamon |

contains anti-infectious and anti-microbial compounds to stop the growth of bacteria

Ginger |

is a digestive aid, clears sinuses, alleviates nausea, anti-inflammatory

Elderberry Honey Cold Syrup

What You Need |

4 Cups of water
1" piece of fresh ginger, grated

What You Do |

In a saucepan, bring elderberries, water, ginger and cinnamon stick to a boil, then simmer covered for about an hour, or until you have reduced the liquid to about one cup.

Strain, then remove from the heat and let cool. When cooled, whisk in the honey and then pour the cooled liquid into your jar.  Store in the refrigerator. The syrup should keep for several weeks.

Take 2 teaspoons of syrup at the first sign of a cold, then repeat every three hours until symptoms are gone. Or take 1/2 teaspoon daily as a preventive and immune system booster.

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