A Natural Defense Against Illness
I am always looking for ways to boost my immune system, especially during the colder months of the year when illness becomes more prevalent. In addition to Instant Pot Bone Broth, elderberry tinctures and syrups are supplements I commonly use to prevent illness. These forms work very well for my husband and I, but it is always a struggle to convince the kids to take them. Elderberry Gummies solve that problem! The gummies are delicious and you would never guess that they are actually good for you.
*The information in this post is in no way meant to replace the advice of a physician. Always consult your health care provider before taking any new supplement.
Benefits of Elderberry
These deep purple berries come from the Elder tree and are well known for their many health benefits. Elderberries help build up the immune system by increasing cytokine production and stimulating the immune response. They are also high in antioxidants which protects cells from damage.
Elderberries can be used to:
- Fight off and decrease the duration of viral infections such as a common cold and influenza
- Lower blood sugar levels
- Promote urination and bowel movements
- Improve skin health
- Provide relief for allergy symptoms
Supplies You Need
Elderberry syrup can be purchased at pretty much any grocery or drug store but I prefer to make my own since it is quite pricey. It is a much more cost effective option especially when the whole family is using it. Frontier Co-op sells organic dried elderberries on Amazon for a very reasonable price. They really go a long way when made into syrup. My one pound bag lasted for over a year. If they are sold out, which they tend to in winter months, here is another great brand of dried elderberries. I love making the syrup in the Instant Pot because it is so fast! It can also be made on the stove top if you prefer that method.
The Gummy Bear Molds I used are adorable and make small-sized gummies. Using these molds, the recipe made over 300 gummies!I chose to use gelatin powder from grass-fed cows due to the numerous health benefits which include improved digestion and gut health. You can read more about the health benefits of gelatin here.
Give children over the age of one 1/2-1 tsp per day and adults 1/2-1 tbsp per day as a preventative approach to illness. If you get sick, take the same dose every few hours throughout the day.
The gummies have been a huge hit with my kids (and my husband)! I start giving them one gummy a day during the fall to start boosting their immune systems. I bump it up to 2-3 gummies per day if they have been exposed to anyone who is sick or if they start exhibiting early symptoms of illness. Elderberry is most effective when given in the first 24-48 hours of an illness.
Give this elderberry syrup and gummy recipe a try to help keep your family healthy this year!
Instant Pot Elderberry Syrup
- 1 1/2 cups Elderberries
- 1 tbsp ginger
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup honey
- 1 cup elderberry syrup
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1/4 cup gelatin
Add all the ingredients into the Instant Pot EXCEPT honey.
Lock the lid in place and close the pressure release valve. Using the manual button, set the time to 10 minutes.
Using the quick release method, release the pressure and then remove the lid.
Set the Instant Pot to saute and let the liquid cook down for 10 minutes. This will allow the syrup to thicken.
Place a fine mesh strainer over a medium-sized bowl, and pour the berries into the strainer. Mash the berries in the strainer to make sure all the liquid is drained into the bowl.
Place the bowl containing the syrup into the freezer for 15 minutes or until it is room temperature.
Remove from the freezer and stir in honey. If you don't want to make gummies with the syrup, pour into an airtight container and store in fridge for 2-3 weeks.
Only one cup of the elderberry syrup is needed to make the gummies. Whisk together 1/4 cup of the syrup, water and gelatin until well combined. Then slowly mix in the remaining 3/4 cup of syrup.
Pour into silicon molds and place in freezer for 20 minutes or until the gummies are firm.
Remove from molds and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three weeks.
Recipe inspired by The Awe Filled Homemaker
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Have you ever tried using elderberries? What other things do you do to boost your immune system?