At the height of cold and flu season, I will do just about anything to naturally boost my kids' immune systems!
That's why I started making homemade elderberry gummies a few years ago.
Loaded with Vitamin C and nourishing gelatin, sweetened with raw honey from our bee hives, my kids snack on them throughout the winter and fall! I love that I can feed my family these nourishing homemade gummies, instead of buying a synthetic vitamin at the store.
Types Of Elderberries
I learned how to identify and forage for wild elderberries over seven years ago. Since then, I've been making homemade elderberry syrup and recently made a bottle of elderberry tincture. Elderberries are my go-to natural source of Vitamin C when our immune systems need a boost.
We live in an area abundant with wild elderberry shrubs. Every summer, my family harvests wild elderberries to use in a variety of homemade immune-boosting foods.
Since our wild edibles books note that red elderberries (Sambucus racemosa) are toxic, we harvest only black elderberries (Sambucus nigra) and blue elderberries (Sambucus cerulea).
If you don't have a local source of elderberries to harvest, most herb shops and natural health food stores sell dried elderberries. Dried elderberries can also be purchased online.
Health Benefits Of Elderberries
Elderberries have been used for hundreds of years as a folk remedy to boost the immune system and fight colds and flu. Elderberries are widely known for their high levels of Vitamin C. They are also rich in Vitamin A, potassium, and iron.
According to Rosemary Gladstar,
“The berries also have powerful antiviral properties and so are helpful in treating viral infections including flus, herpes, and shingles. They're also used for treating upper respiratory infections.” (Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner's Guide, page 135)
Immune-Boosting Homemade Elderberry Gummies
Who else will do almost anything to naturally boost your kids' immune systems during flu season?! After learning how to make elderberry syrup and tinctures for their immune-boosting benefits, I started making homemade elderberry gummies too, and now my kids snack on them throughout the fall and winter to stay healthy. Learn how to make this easy DIY supplement for kids and adults today!
Place the elderberries and water in a saucepan on the stove. Bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat and allow the fruit to simmer in the water for 30 to 45 minutes.
Mash the elderberries to help release the juices into the water.
After 45 minutes, strain the elderberries from the juice with a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth.
Bundle up the elderberries in the cheesecloth and squeeze out all the elderberry juice.
Return the elderberry juice to the saucepan on the stove over low heat. Do not boil the elderberry juice.
Whisk in the honey.
Slowly pour in the gelatin while briskly whisking the juice so the gelatin doesn't clump.
Whisk until the gelatin dissolves.
Remove the saucepan from heat and pour the liquid into silicone molds or a glass baking dish. If using a silicone mold, place the mold on a cookie sheet before filling it with the elderberry mixture. Speaking from experience, if you pick up a flimsy silicone mold without the tray underneath, it will spill and make a big mess!
Refrigerate for several hours or until set.
Elderberry gummies should last up to 1 week in the refrigerator, although at our house they never last that long!
*Elderberries are bitter in their natural state so this recipe has raw honey added as a natural sweetener. *This recipe is just the right amount to fill one of my silicone molds. The recipe can be doubled to make a larger batch.
Looking for other natural ways to boost the immune system and stay healthy during flu season?
- 6 Natural Strategies To Fight Off Flu Season
- 14 Herbs To Boost Immunity
- High Vitamin C Sauerkraut
- Pepper Juice: An Immune Boosting Miracle Tincture
- 5 Foods That Are Compromising Your Immune System
Have you used elderberries to stay healthy during flu season before? How do you naturally boost your immune system during the fall and winter?
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