Growing our immunity !!

Last month I was lucky enough to attend a hands on  work shop entitled “Growing your Immunity” and  hosted  by James Duke, author of  “The Green Pharmacy”.  Now in his late 80’s he has a lot to share !

The 2 things he spoke most about was Elderberry and Camu Camu – he had even written a song about them both !

Camu Camu is a small fruit grown in the Amazon priced for its high Vit C content amongst other things.  I have been taking it for years so was pleasantly surprised to hear Mr Duke talk so highly of this amazing little berry!

I was especially interested in learning how to make Elderberry Syrup which Mr Duke suggests taking daily this time of year  to strengthen the immune system.

It is so easy to make and I have even added some  ingredients of my own   Camu Camu, essential oil of Lemon and Cinnamon – making it a really potent tonic taken daily during the winter months to strengthen the immune system.


Elderberry Syrup recipe:-

1/2 cup dried elderberries, preferably organic  –  can be purchased here

1 cinnamon stick

5 cloves

1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger

3 cups filtered water

1 cup honey – preferably raw

Put elderberries in a saucepan with water, cinnamon stick, ginger and bring to the boil: turn down heat to simmer and cover until water has reduced in half – about 30 – 45 mins.

Mash the berries and then strain into a bowl with a fine strainer or a hand mill.

I use the hand mill and have to then put it through a fine strainer to get the final lumpy bits out.

Add 1 cup of honey to the now warm mix and stir until dissolved.  Pour syrup into a sterilized mason jar.

Store in the refrigerator for a couple weeks up to a couple months – can be consumed right away!

1 tablespoon a day as a preventative, 1 tablespoon an hour as an anti-viral when sick.

Amount can be adjusted for children, ages 1 – 6  – 1 teaspoon a day and 1 teaspoon an hour when sick,  ages 6 -12 – 2 teaspoon.

When making this I usually double or even triple the above recipe, as the whole family takes it daily and it goes fast !

I have refined this recipe to add the following if desired:

4 oz elderberry syrup

5 teasp Camu Camu

20 drops organic essential oil of lemon  (10 drops if for children)

5 – 7  drops of essential oil of cinnamon (1 – 2 drops if for children)

Blend the above ingredients together with a hand blender and bottle, keep refrigerated.  Take daily as you would the Elderberry Syrup – see above.

The above is not recommended for children unless you cut way back on the lemon and cinnamon – which I do for my 2 and  5 year old.


When I took my son for his 2 year old check up in June his Paediatrician recommended I start to supplement with Elderberry and quality Vit C – to boost up his immune system to be ready for the winter months.

The year before he had been diagnosed with “reactive airway disease”  which basically meant that whenever he caught a cold – which seemed like every other week ! it went to his lungs  and had to be nebulized with prescription drugs to keep his airways open.

Organic Elderberry Syrup is expensive to buy ! esp when I have been giving to my son daily since June !  I was so happy to learn how to make it at home, it is not only simple to make but you will save a lot of money !  and blending in the Camu Camu as I have it has served the purpose of using both things the Dr recommended – and my son loves the taste – he calls it his “juicy” – I mix it with some water and 1 drop of stevia.

And I am happy to report as of the end of November 2013, so far my son has had 3 little stuffy/runny nose episodes ,  cleared up within a few days, no Dr visits needed  and no cough – Yeah !



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