You’ve probably heard of elderberry syrup, or at least passed a selection of it the last time you visited the cold and flu remedy aisle at your local health food store. Want to make your own Elderberry Syrup? Click here to jump to the recipe.
Why You Need to Make Your Own Elderberry Syrup This Winter
Elderberries come from the Sambucis Nigra plant, which is native to Europe. Elderberries have been used for centuries to help boost immunity and fight sickness. Something you definitely need in the wintertime.
Elderberries naturally high in immune-boosting compounds specifically shown to help boost your immune system, which in turn helps to kick things like the flu faster
Elderberry is used for “the flu” (influenza), H1N1 “swine” flu, HIV/AIDS, and boosting the immune system. It is also used for sinus pain, back and leg pain (sciatica), nerve pain (neuralgia), and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
“Some people use elderberry for hay fever (allergic rhinitis), cancer, as a laxative forconstipation, to increase urine flow, and to cause sweating.” source
Why Elderberry Syrup?
Elderberries are high in vitamins A, B, and C, all of which help to bolster your immune system.
If you have access to an elderberry plant, know that while berries of the plant, bark, and flowers are safe and useful, the leaves and stems are poisonous. Because of this, I usually order dried elderberries online.
If you purchase elderberries, you’re not limited to just syrup (which, by the way, is awesome on gluten free pancakes, in case you were wondering). Because elderberries have a flavor similar to tart blueberries, you can also add dried elderberries to muffins, pancakes, waffles, and more. You can even toss them in trail mix! I’ve also used elderberries to brew a tea when I’m feeling a little off.
And yes, you can buy elderberry syrup (and it’s around $15 for 4 ounces!), but it’s much more cost effective to make your own tincture (and then you know exactly what you’ve got). Honestly, you probably have most of the ingredients lying around your house already:
If you’re like me, you probably don’t have elderberries, but ordering them is easy, and for the amount you’ll be able to make, it’s very cost-effective (plus it make awesome presents!). In fact, the pound that I bought last year is still supplying me with syrup.
Make Your Own Elderberry Syrup
- 2/3 cup dried elderberries
- 3 1/2 cups of water
- 2 Tablespoons fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 1 cup local raw honey
- 10 drops Theives oil
Place the first 5 ingredients into a large sauce pan and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 45 to 60 minutes. When liquid has reduced by about half, remove it from the heat.
Using a fine mesh strainer, strain your syrup into a glass bowl. Allow it to cool slightly, and then stir in your honey. Make sure that the syrup is not longer steaming hot, as you don’t want to kill the antibacterial properties of the honey.
Pour your syrup into a quart size jar and store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.
To use, simply give 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon to kids. Adults should take 1/2 Tablespoon to 1 Tablespoon. Each dose should be taken once daily.
If you find yourself sick, just take a dose every 2-3 hours until symptoms are gone.
I always encourage everyone to do their own research and talk to an herbalist before using any wildcrafted herb to make sure that the correct herb is being used safely. Elderberries and other herbs are not a substitute for medical treatment when needed and (this should be obvious, but it has to be said) check with a doctor or health care professional when dealing with any illness or before using a natural remedy.