The Secret Ingredient
Our Current LOVE of a Recipe
Syrup or Elixir? Herbalist techniques.
Now the determination of whether it's a syrup or elixir is if the recipe has finished tincture in it (with alcohol) or not. Syrups and elixir bases are often double and triple decocted meaning the shelf life is extended by concentrating the herbs with simmering off extra water content. A decoction (herb and water simmered for 30 minutes) further reduced by half is a double decoction, and further reduced again is a triple decoction. Then honey is added to make a syrup. Here we are making a double decoction and adding honey and finished tinctures, hence I call it an 'elixir'. There are many ways to make syrups and elixirs with the ultimate goal being to extend shelf life and concentrate potency. Without these preparation techniques of the herbalist you will barely get a week before fermenting (not bad so just drink some in your water), but mold and spoilage will become issues. Trust your nose. It always knows when something is questionable or needing a trip to the compost.
ElderMoon's Elderberry Elixir Recipe
2 cups fresh/frozen elderberries (1 cup dried if that's all you have)
2 1/2 cups water
1 inch ginger root fresh, sliced thin
1 lime zested and juiced
2 sticks of cinnamon bark
1 cup wildflower honey
4 tablespoons (2oz.) elecampane root tincture (or a lung herb you love)
4 tablespoons (2oz.) elderberry tincture (or immune herb you love)
1. Combine elderberries, water, cinnamon, and ginger root in a pot and bring a gentle simmer uncovered for 35-45 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.
2. Once lukewarm strain through a sieve and press all the juice as best you can from the berries.
3. Stir in honey, tinctures, and lime juice. Label, date, keep refrigerated, and shake well before dosing. Good for 3 months.
Options: A straight good brandy can be added for the tinctures. Herbal infused vinegars or straight apple cider vinegar can be added instead of tinctures but I suggest using up within 1 month.
Dosing: 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon per day. Increase dosing to 1 tablespoon every 4 hours while awake with signs and symptoms of microbial invasions.
Much Love, Jen