Winter is in full force over here in New England, and while so far we have had it pretty easy in terms of snow, we have still had the usual series of colds and flu to fight.
You know that run down feeling that comes out of nowhere? First your head gets heavy, then your throat gets scratchy and your nose stuffs up.
A cold is coming your way and this is your chance to fight it off.
You grab some vitamin C, make some tea, maybe take some zinc, and try to get some rest in hopes that you will avoid the impending doom of a winter cold.
There are lots of things on the market to help you out at this point—or you can make your own organic elixir to help heal your body. This is a recipe inspired by a book I love and really helps around my house (for the adults) when that first sign of sickness comes rumbling in. I like to make up a big batch mid fall and give it out as gifts during the holidays.
Take a few tablespoons before bed when you first feel a cold coming on and let the concoction work its magic while you get some deep sleep.
Elderberries have been used for centuries to combat cold and flu and as a first responder, they have proven themselves to be quite successful in lessening the severity of symptoms. Add in a little honey, some fresh mint and warming ginger and you have yourself a tonic worth taking and sharing.
*Please note: this is not safe for children to consume due to the alcohol content.
- 16 oz. dried organic elderberries (can be found online)
- 1 bunch fresh mint
- 2 inch cube of ginger root sliced
- 1 litre brandy
- 4 tablespoons honey
Fill two 24 oz. glass canning jars with even amounts of elderberries (it will be about 2 cups for each jar). Divide the mint into two bunches (about 1 cup each) and put one bunch in each jar. Divide the sliced ginger into each jar. Add 2 tablespoons of honey to each jar and pour brandy to the top. Put the lids on and store in a dark cabinet for 3 weeks.
Place a strainer over a pitcher and pour the contents of each jar into the pitcher, discarding all of the leftover fruit and herbs. Fill 3-4 8 oz glass jars with the cordial, or pour back into the jars. Serving size is two tablespoons for an adult before bed. *Not safe or intended for children.
Author: Liza Curtis
Editor: Renée Picard
Photos: Author’s Own