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Elderberry & Rose Hip Gummies

Elderberry & Rose Hip Gummies

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When it comes to fighting colds and flus, nothing does better at bolstering the body than the immunomodulating flowers and berries of the elder plant (sambucus nigra).  

The elders contain high levels of nutrients such as phosphorus, vitamins A, B and C and nearly all amino acids.

The additional compounds in elder are very effective at inhibiting many of our prolific viruses – including influenza, pox, West Nile and various respiratory and GI tract infections – from taking root in our bodies.  

elderberries

How do you like your elderberry?

Elderberries are the tasty fruits of the elder plant and are the primary ingredient in our Winter Immunity Tincture. However, their medicinal value can also be extracted in a concentrated decoction. 

Which makes a terrific base for a tasty gummy treat… 

The idea of elderberry gummies is nothing new. I’ve come across dozens of recipes for them over the years, but most recipes leave out a very tasty herbal addition that’s a valuable disease-fighter, too. 

Yes, I’m talking about rose hips! 

rosehips

The secret of rose hips…

Rose hip is an astringent and nutritive herb brimming with antioxidants and bioflavonoids!  

They found their way into modern herbalism during WWII, when scurvy-susceptible England sent out field researchers to test local plants for vitamin C. And what a source they discovered! Rose hips contain higher levels of vitamin C than most citrus fruits!  

Rose hips literally are the dried “fruit” of the rose plant and can range in flavor from sour to more sweet, differing year to year and plant to plant.  Even the concentration of vitamin C in rose hips can differ depending on the plant’s growing environment and the hip’s ripeness when harvested. 

Vitamin C, as you may know, is a very fragile water-soluble vitamin that drastically loses it’s value when exposed to oxygen and heat above 70°F. 

The trick to making a vitamin C-packed gummy is to add the rose hips towards the end of the gummy-making process, without allowing the mixture to sit more than 10 minutes or so before straining and refrigerating.   

Here’s how…  

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Elderberry & Rose Hip Gummies

1 oz dried elderberries
3 cups of water
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
2 T. rose hips
1 T. fresh lemon juice
4 T. gelatin
1/4 cup raw honey
 
1. Combine elderberries, cayenne and water in a saucepan over medium heat.
2. Bring to boil and then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until the mixture is reduced by half.
3. Remove from heat and allow to cool 10 minutes.
4. Add rose hips. Steep, covered, for 10 minutes.
5. Then, strain mixture through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth.
 
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6. Add honey, lemon juice and gelatin to strained liquid and mix thoroughly.
 
I use a wonderful grass-fed beef gelatin from Azure Standard that dissolves quickly and smoothly, but if you’re using Great Lakes brand, be aware of possible clumping. To avoid this try “blooming” the gelatin by removing 1/2 cup of the hot liquid after step #2 and adding the gelatin to that. Then continue with the recipe.
 
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 7. Pour into candy molds (something like this) or a small pan lined with parchment paper.
8. Refrigerate for 30 minutes and then remove from pan and cut into desirable shapes. 
 
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For preventative health, take one gummy daily.
For a cold or flu, take one gummy every hour or so while symptoms persist.
 
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At the end of the day…

These gummies are so pretty. And quite tasty, too! 

I should mention, however, that you will not receive as many benefits from elderberry gummies as you would taking an immune-boosting tincture. Alcohol tinctures in particular extract far more medicinal compounds from herbs and influence the body quickly through the bloodstream rather than slowly through the digestive system. 

Then there’s also the sugar issue. Although raw honey is a great choice with many additional health benefits, it’s still plain ol’ sugar. Too much sweet can work to your immune system’s disadvantage. Just sayin’. 🙂

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