So. With the Coronavirus officially announced in Colorado I've had numerous people reach out for ways to boost their immune system and stay as healthy as possible in this time. My number 1 go-to is Elderberry Syrup. Number 2 is Fermented Garlic Honey. I wanted to share the recipes with you in the event they can offer you and your family immune boosting goodness at this time. They are fairly simple to make and the ingredients aren't usually too hard to get ahold of. Happy Medicine Making from my house to yours!
This is my personal recipe that I use in my house. I always use whisky (Irish, of course) to help as a preservative. In addition, the Irish believe the whiskey is one of the great healers, and I tend to agree, though sometimes I use brandy. It can be omitted for littles or people who do not want/need the alcohol component. For the honey, you could substitute with organic vegetable glycerine, however, I would suggest monitoring the sweetness component as it can get saccharine quickly when substituting. If you just want a plain elderberry syrup, change the recipe to 1/2 cup of elderberries and omit the other herbs.
1/4 c dried organic elderberries
1/4 c dried organic rose hips
1 tsp dried organic licorice root (unless you have high blood pressure, then omit)
1 tsp organic cinnamon chips
1 tsp dried organic ginger root
1 tsp dried organic echinacea root
3 cups water, preferably filtered
1 tsp dried organic elderflower
1 tsp dried organic thyme
1 tsp dried organic yarrow
1 tsp dried organic peppermint
1/4 c Irish whiskey of choice or more or less to taste (if using)
1/4 c raw local honey or more or less to taste (or organic vegetable glycerine)
Fine mesh strainer/cheesecloths (depending on how fine your strainer is)
Spoon for stirring
Glass Bottle(s) for storage.
Soak 1st 6 herbs (elderberries, rose hips, licorice root, cinnamon chips, ginger root, echinacea root) in water for 30 minutes and then simmer until mixture is reduced by 1/2 on stove (typically 30-40 minutes)
Remove pot from heat
Add the remaining herbs to mixture (still off heat) and steep for 10 minutes.
Strain everything with strainer into measuring cup. Put spent herbs in your compost.
When cool (but not cold) add honey and whiskey. Pour into bottle (s)
Store in fridge for 6 months. I usually take 1 tsp a day for preventative more for acute sickness. The amount that is made will vary depending on if you add whisky/honey and if so how much.
Fermented Garlic Honey:
2 heads of garlic
1 1/2 cup of raw honey
Quart mason jar with lid
Put naked cloves of garlic in the bottom of the jar.
Pour honey over top and stir until combined. Make sure all garlic is covered and coated (add more honey if needed).
Seal up the jar and let it sit on your counter for 3 days.
Unscrew the cap to let out any gasses that may have accumulated and give it a stir. (You may see bubbles as well at this stage…this means the fermentation has started! Yipee!)
Reseal that bad baby up and let it sit, stirring once every other day.
Do this for at least a week prior to using.
After a week you can use the garlic and honey goodness and it should keep on your countertop for a month! SO yum!
As always, if you're on medications, have plant allergies, pregnant/lactating, it's always good to run by any herbal combinations with your doctor.