We just made our first batch of Elderberry Syrup for the season.. with fall germs and dare I say flu season around the corner, we try to be as proactive as we can. There is a time & place for modern medicine, but there’s not much that they can do for the common cold or even a mild form of the flu – and if you’ve ever had the flu, you know just how terrible it can be, especially if it’s your little ones.
As a child, I remember we’d always go out a pick bucket loads of berries – but my parents always sought out elderberries. We made jams and syrups and used them all winter long.
Elderberries have been used as a traditional remedy for hundreds of years – from colds, flu, fever, burns & cuts, bladder & urinary tract issues and even stomachaches. Rich in flavonoids, particularly anthocyanins which are a powerful antioxidant that keeps the immune systems strong. This high antioxidant activity stimulates the immune response while bioflavonoids and other proteins in the juice of the berry deactivate the cold or flu virus enzymes that can infect our cells. On top of that, they are rich in vitamins A, B & C. In short, the immune-boosting compounds in Elderberries have been specifically shown to help beat the cold and flu more quickly by inhibiting duplication of the virus.
During the cold winter months, most stores are wiped out of their over-priced syrups – they are usually for around $15-$23 or more for 4-8 ounces. This recipe makes 16oz for under $5. I grab dried elderberries here.
We take 1 tsp every few hours when we are feeling under the weather and every day or two to keep our immune systems humming along – especially in the winter months when I hear of all the things going around.
This the base recipe we used & love.. we also double it and keep a jar in the freezer.
2/3 cup dried organic black elderberries
3 1/2 cups water
1 cup raw local honey
1. Add water & elderberries to a large pot and bring to a full boil.
2. Cover and reduce heat to a low simmer for (a minimum) 45 minutes to an hour, until the liquid reduces by almost half. (Add water if needed during the process if it’s cooking down to quickly).
3. Remove from heat and let cool until it is cool enough to be handled.
4. Pour 75% of the juice through a strainer into a glass jar or bowl. Return any berries to the pan and mash the berries carefully using a spoon or other flat utensil. Pour this remaining portion through the strainer as well. Discard the elderberries and let the liquid cool to lukewarm.
5. Pour into a mason jar (or any glass jar with a well fitting lid) and store in the fridge. Add to your daily (or every other day) routine for an immune boost!
When the honey is well mixed into the elderberry mixture, pour the syrup into a mason jar or 16 ounce glass bottle of some kind.
DOSING: Standard doses are 1/2-1 teaspoon for kids and 1/2 – 1 tablespoon for adults. If a cold or flu does strike, take the standard dose every 2-4 hours until symptoms subside.
Have you tried Elderberry syrup before? Have you made your own? I’ll probably make a batch into homemade gummies soon too!