Make Your Own Elderberry Syrup. It’s Easy!
Oh, magnificent elderberry! Is there anything you can’t do?
Sambucus nigra, Black Elderberry, is a shrub in which the bark, flowers, and berries have been used for centuries as powerful medicine. Elderberry is effective in treating cold, flu, and viruses; as well as stimulating the immune-system. It has even been used to treat cancer, HIV, nerve disorders and inflammations. Many studies have been done to prove it’s effectiveness, as doctor Mary Bove highlights and cites in this report.
A daily regimen of elderberry for prevention, especially in cold and flu season, is highly recommended by folk healers, naturopathic doctors, and western-medicine doctors as well.
Luckily, elderberry is easy to work with (and to wildcraft), and from the berries: syrups, elixirs, extracts, jams, and anything imaginable can easily be made. It has no known side effects and is well tolerated by almost all; however, just be sure to avoid the red elderberry, as they are toxic.
At the beginning of October, DH, Sweet Baby and I took a trip to the East side of our state, (the warm and dry side), to visit family and to seek out the remaining elderberry. There wasn’t much still available, but we managed to harvest a shoebox-full, and that was just enough for us to make about a quart of syrup.
TIP: On a cookie sheet, freeze the berries on the stem. Once they are good and frozen, you can quickly and easily crumble them off of their stems.
Elderberry elixir with honey is easy to make, and is suitable for your whole family, or those you feel comfortable giving honey to. Adults take a tablespoon a day, as children take a teaspoon, for prevention and overall wellness. Most take the weekends, or any two consecutive days off of the remedy for best efficacy. At first sign of illness, the elixir should be taken every 2-3 waking hours.
We generally wildcraft our elder, but if that’s not an option for you, Mountain Rose Herbs has the best source of dried elderberry that I’ve found. Also, I always run out of my foraged stash, so, I always end up getting theirs. (I don’t just say that to you because I’m an affiliate. I say it to you because I LOVE them. Check out my Instagram for a pic of my latest haul!)
Elderberry Elixir– Ingredients and Method
Scale this traditional elderberry syrup recipe up or down as needed.
- 1 C fresh or 1/2 C dried elderberry
- 3 cups filtered water (I use my Berkey )
- 1 C raw honey, (local is best if you can)
- 1 cinnamon stick*
- 1 Tbs powdered ginger*
- 2-3 whole cloves*
*Spices optional, but recommended
In a saucepan, combine elderberry, water and spices and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 20-30 minutes. Once liquid has reduced, mash the berries to release their remaining juices. Allow the mixture to cool and then strain. Squeeze or press out the mash to get the last remaining bits of goodness. Combine with raw honey and bottle. (Do not combine with honey when mixture is hot. You will lose the benefits of the raw honey). This elixir will keep about a month in the fridge. Who really knows? It doesn’t last that long around these parts…
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