January brings the full force of cold season and that sends lots of people to pharmacy shelves looking for relief. Many products feature elderberries, long prized for the antioxidants and vitamins they contain. We found three local ways to get your dose of elderberries. It will be no hardship to take these (unlike most commercial cough and cold syrups) since all are delicious. Enjoy them by the tablespoon straight from the container or stir a few tablespoons into hot water to make a soothing tea.
Elderberry syrup from Buffalo Creek Berry Farm
Laura and Cameron Phillips appear to have been destined to be fruit farmers. Laura earned her PhD in food science from UGA by studying drying Georgia blueberries and Cameron grew up on a pomegranate farm in Australia. That’s where the couple met and were married. Now settled on 23 acres in Oglethorpe County, the couple grows a wide variety of fruit including blueberries, blackberries, muscadines and mulberries. The farm is Certified Naturally Grown and they offer u-pick berries in season. And they are growing the elderberries from which they make elderberry syrup. The ingredients in the syrup are elderberries, blueberries (no nutritional slouch themselves), honey, cinnamon, cloves and orange essential oil. The Phillips suggest adults enjoy a tablespoon or two a day as an immune booster and a tablespoon or two every two to three hours if sick.
$20 per 8-ounce bottle. Available Saturday mornings at Freedom Farmers Market and beginning in February from Athens Locally Grown and online at bcberryfarmga.com/.
Miss Henrietta’s Elderberry Elixir from Savannah Sauce Company
Tracey Richburg and Mike Roberson of Savannah Sauce Company started their company in 2014. They developed two hot sauces and put them on the market with a plan to donate part of the profits to helping homeless veterans. Success with their hot sauces led them to produce many more products including ketchups, salsas, jams and fruit butters, barbecue sauces, relishes and salad dressings. What caught our eye was Miss Henrietta’s Elderberry Elixir, a thick syrup of honey and elderberry juice concentrate, spiced with a little cinnamon and ginger. Miss Henrietta was Roberson’s grandmother, affectionately called “Honey” by the family because many of her home remedies included honey. This is a syrup that’s more tart and sweet, with the honey providing the soothing consistency and cinnamon and ginger adding their healing properties to the mix. A portion of the profits from sales still go towards helping homeless veterans.
$12 per 20-ounce jar. Available online at savannahsaucecompany.bigcartel.com.
Elderberry Elixer from Piedmont Provisions
Heather Russwell of Piedmont Provisions in Winterville, Georgia, makes delicious preserves and shrubs, but it was her elderberry elixir (part of a line of elixirs and bitters) that caught our eye this time of year. She calls out this particular product as “immune supporting” and she’s included a wide range of ingredients, each with a particular purpose. Along with the elderberries, the mix includes Siberian ginseng for its warming properties, rosehips and hibiscus for vitamin C, astragulus and echinacea to boost immunity, and orange, clove, ginger, star anise and cinnamon to tempt the palate. She recommends taking a teaspoon or so every four hours if you feel a cold coming on.
$18 per 4-ounce bottle, $30 for 8-ounce bottle. Available Saturday mornings at Freedom Farmers Market and online at piedmontprovisions.com/.
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