How to Make Elderberry Syrup
Cold and flu season is in full swing! One of our favorite cold and flu preventatives is Elderberry Syrup. Lately you can find Elderberry syrup on every drugstore shelf and convenience store. In the past few years this natural remedy has gotten really popular and readily available. However, I prefer to make a pure organic version without the preservatives or refined sugar found in the products on most store shelves that may prolong illness instead of help it.
This recipe is economical and very adaptable to your own tastes and gives you the ability to use local honey as your sweetener which has proven health benefits. Elderberries contain high levels of vitamin A and C and are full of beneficial antioxidants. This syrup can be taken daily to strengthen the immune system and help prevent illness or as needed to ease a stubborn cough or soothe a sore throat. Sometimes we take Elderberry syrup during a cold or flu to decrease the length of the illness.
Basically we take this plant medicine daily to maintain our health during the crazy cold and flu season!
There are many, many versions of this recipe, but the below recipe, adapted from The Herbal Academy, is the one that my family prefers. I've also made this syrup without the additional ginger, cinnamon and cloves for my younger kids. Feel free to add more or less of any immunomodulant herbs, to your taste.
3/4 fresh or 1/2 cup dried elder berry (Sambucus canadensis or S. nigra)
4 cups of water (filtered preferred)
3 Tbsp. fresh ginger (Zingiber officinale), chopped or shredded
3 Whole Cloves (Syzygium aromaticum)
3 Cinnamon Sticks (Cinnamomum spp.)
1 1/2 cups raw honey (Local is best for your health, if available)
In a covered stock pot, bring the water, berries, fresh ginger root, cloves and cinnamon sticks to a boil.
Reduce the head and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half.
Allow the mixture to cool just enough to handle.
Strain the herbs and return the liquid to the pot.
Add honey and stir to dissolve.
Pour the syrup into glass jars, label, date and refrigerate.
Suggested usage for adults is 1 Tablespoon up to 3X/day and for children is 1 teaspoon up to 3X/day.
*Honey is not recommended for children under the age of 1
Another great way to get in your daily dose is to use this syrup as a topping for pancakes, oatmeal or desserts.
Using a jar spout like this one is a helpful dispensing tool and makes dosing less messy.
We also love these glass medicine cups for measuring our daily doses as they have measurements in several different sizes on the sides.