Sambucus nigra 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 inflamations. Many studies have been done to prove it’s effectiveness, as doctor Mary Bove highlights and cites in this report.
A daily regimine 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.
Scale this traditional elderberry syrup recipe up or down as needed.
- 1 C fresh or 1/2 C dried elderberry
- 3 cups filtered water
- 1 C raw honey, (local is best if you can)
- 1 cinnamon stick*
- 1 T powdered ginger*
- 2-3 whole cloves*
*Spices optional, but recommended
In a sauce pan, combine elderberry, water and spices and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Once liquid has reduced, mash the berries to release their remaining juices. Allow the mixture to cool and then strain. Combine with raw honey and bottle. This elixir will keep 2-3 months in the fridge.
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Shared with: Frugal days, Sustainable ways