I can't even begin to describe how much I love this stuff! It's like Elderberry Syrup on steroids. I recently had a cold and took approx. 1/2 tsp of the elixir every 2 to 3 hours (along with about 1 tsp. of Fire Cider in the morning and at night), and my cold immediately started improving and was completely resolved within 2 days. My husband was not a believer until HE got the cold...I started him on the same regimen (except he insisted on taking more than 1/2 tsp. at a time), and guess what? His cold immediately started to improve and was gone within a day or two as well. His only complaint was that it tasted like cough syrup, which it does, but that's because of the alcohol content. The taste does not bother me at all, but it is strong.
According to herbalist Kiva Rose Hardin, " Elderberry is MUCH more effective when not heated in any way… Elderberry does not simply stimulate the immune system, which would make it somewhat dangerous to those with autoimmune disorders or certain other chronic diseases. Rather it modulates the immune system to more appropriately respond to environs and circumstance. It also disarms the virus and helps it flush through body quicker, while strengthening the mucus membranes, supporting the body’s natural fever mechanism without overheating, improves energy and stress handling AND last but certainly not least, it tastes great too...If I had a snake bite, you bet I’d reach for the Echinacea. But for viral afflictions and general immune support, there’s no better herbal ally than the bounteous and lovely Elder!"
I would have to agree with Kiva - I did notice the huge difference in effectiveness between the unheated elixir and the heated Elderberry Syrup. Her recipe on the link above is simple and great - just elderberries, raw honey and brandy - but I used a more "loaded" recipe from The Herb Society. Please visit the link, because it includes some more great information on the Elixir, as well as variations and dosage information. I did alter the recipe slightly based on the ingredients I had available at the time, so I re-wrote it below. Hopefully, you will get over your initial fear of leaving a jar of edibles in the cabinet for 4 to 6 weeks like I did and give this a try. It's probably my favorite cabinet detox project yet!
2 pint jar and lid - sanitized in boiling water
1/2 ounce dried elderberries (or 2 oz. fresh elderberries to fill approx. half the jar)
1 cinnamon stick
1 oz. ginger root, peeled and chopped
large handful of fresh rosemary and thyme (1/2 rosemary and 1/2 thyme)
chopped peel of half an orange
approximately 1 pint good-quality brandy
1/2 to 1 lb. honey
Directions: Place the herbs in the jar, cover with honey and mix well with the end of a wooden spoon. Add brandy until the jar is full to the brim and mix well again. Place in a cupboard to macerate for 4 to 6 weeks. When maceration is complete, strain with a cheesecloth (make sure to squeeze out the herbs well!) and store in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid in a cool, dark place.
Dosage: 15 drops or 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. every 2 to 3 hours at the first sign of an oncoming cold.