Crafting Wellness:  Elderberry Syrup and Infused Honey

Crafting Wellness: Elderberry Syrup and Infused Honey

Vicky Madruga
Children are such beautiful little creatures. The way they are so open to the world and inviting to all kinds of new information. The way they explore and play and create. Children are wonderful candidates for the world of herbal medicine because their minds and bodies are attuned and ready to receive Earth's medicine. But giving children medicine can sometimes be a challenge. That's why I like to make it tasty! Here are two fun ways to infuse herbs into medicinal potions that your kids will enjoy! Elderberry syrup (check out our house made syrup too!) is not only delicious, it’s great for the immune system AND super fun to make, have your kids help with the process and they will be that much more excited to try their concoctions! The most basic of syrups require: 1 cup fresh or 1/2 cup dried Elderberries 3 cups filtered water 1 cup honey Instructions for brewing: 1. Add your berries and water to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer on low for about 30 minutes. (If adding additional herbs, add them now) 2. Squish the berries to insure all those juices get in your mixtures and then strain. (You may need to strain more than once or use cheesecloth, sometimes those twigs and skins can slip through mesh colanders) 3. Once mixture is strained return to pan and add honey. Stir until honey is infused into the liquid and taste. Keep taste testing, you may find that you need more or less honey, but don't get too wild this isn't a dessert, its a medicine. :) 4. Bottle (make sure to label with date of preparation) and store in the fridge for about 2 or 3 months. Optional additives: I always find that a team of herbs works much harder than any individual on its own, just like us as humans, herbs are strengthened in community! Feel free to add in other herbs to your potion for extra benefits. For children some great ones are rose hips, lemon balm, nettle, mullein, chamomile, lavender, cinnamon chips, lemon or orange peel and of course the list can go on and on, but ask your kids what plants they connect with and listen to their instincts. When I make infusions with my nephews I bring over jars of all kinds of plants and I spread them on the table for them to examine- look at, hold, smell, connect with. I allow them to listen to their bodies and see who they want to work with, this in itself is such powerful medicine. Honey!!!! Who doesn't love a spoonful of honey? Did you know it’s super easy to infuse honey with herbs and make it that much more powerful to help with whatever ailments or pesky problems you and your family might be battling? Herbal honeys can be used to improve so many areas in your life including, but not limited to: digestion, anxiety, stress, restlessness, allergies, immune system, pain and the list goes on… To infuse honey first start with the honey itself. It’s important to choose honey that is organic and preferably local to your area. Using local honey has its own added benefits and helps to support your community! You can choose to infuse your honey with one single herb to make it simple or maybe just for a specific flavor, OR you can toss in a team of herbs an make a powerhouse honey for your needs. When infusing honey you can use fresh or dried herbs, the difference will be that fresh plant matter contains water. The water will also infuse into your honey and will make it a bit more runny. If purchasing dried herbs from your local herb shop you will often find that they are finely chopped and this can make straining them out rather difficult. So you can always dry sprigs of your own herbs at home, or just use them fresh- your call! What you will need: a jar honey herbs chopstick or wooden stick for stirring 1. Load your jar up with your plant matter 2. Cover in honey 3. Give a good mix with you chopstick 4. Allow time to infuse Infusing time depends on you! If you want to allow your herbs to stay in your honey then after a few days you can start to enjoy it's benefits because the plants will continue to give while bathing in the delicious golden nectar. If you are planning to strain your honey, allow the mix to sit for about a month. You can put it in your windowsill so it can receive the sun and moon medicine. You can give it a little stir or a flip from time to time to make sure everything is moving and grooving in there. You can sing to it or dance with it, maybe even read your honey some poetry or quotes from your favorite authors. The important thing when making any kind of medicine is your intention. Why are you making this? What and whom is it for? By touching and creating you are infusing your own energy and magic into the potion as well so be aware of what you are offering and honor that.
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