We are in the heart of cold and flu season, but that doesn’t mean you have to get every little things that is floating around. I have just recently discovered how amazing elderberries are. The berries are nutritious, rich in flavonoids, and high in vitamin C, vitamin A, bioflavonoids, betacarotene, iron, and potassium. (Gladstar, 2012). Basically making them a great ally when fighting off sickness.
Elderberries are dark purple to black. They can be used to make many things; jams, scones, muffins, cakes, etc. But for this blog we are going to focus on making the syrup.
Im sure you have seen Elderberry Syrup in your local health food store. Its health benefits have become more widely know and so it popularity is on the rise. This is great, but if you would like to know exactly what you are putting into your body I would suggest making you very own medicinal elderberry syrup.
What You Will Need
This list is fairly strait forward, I find a lot of my organic herbs online from Mountain Rose Herbs, they are based out of Eugene Or and have always supplied me with high quality organic products. Check out their site here. (Not sponsored)
- 1/2 cup dried elderberries
- 2 TBS dried echinacea root (optional)
- 4 cups water
- 1 TBS dried ginger root
- 1-3 cloves
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 2TBS dried rose hips (optional)
- 1 cup honey, local and organic if possible
How To Create Your Syrup.
It is very strait forward making this elderberry syrup, follow the directions below.
- Place all ingredients except honey in a pot.
- Bring to a low simmer, too much heat can ruin the syrup.
- Let simmer for a few hours or until the liquid is reduced by half.
- Strain the herbs out of the liquid. You can use a fine strainer or a cheese cloth. Press or squeeze out as much liquid as possible from the herbs. This should leave you with about 2 cups of liquid. – Note if using a cheese cloth it can be difficult to strain the herbs, I learned this the hard way.
- Return the liquid to your pot and add honey.
- Heat very slowly just until the honey melts. Use as low of heat as possible, too much heat can kill the good enzymes in the honey.
- Transfer your Syrup to an air tight container, lable with name and date.
- Keep syrup in refrigerator for 1-3 months.
How To Use Your Syrup.
Now that the hard part is done and you now have this wonderful elderberry syrup, what do you do with it.
Elderberry syrup can be taken daily as a preventive, or you can take 2 teaspoons of syrup every 3-4 hours at the very first signs of cold or flu. In most cases Elderberry syrup will stave off an illness or help reduce the length.
There is a caution, elderberry syrup is not a replacement for antibiotics and if you are on antibiotics you should consult your doctor if it is ok to take elderberry syrup with them. If you are experiencing an symptoms of influenza or any other symptoms of infection see you doctor right away.
I hope that you all enjoy a cold or flu free winter while sipping on you handmade elderberry syrup!
I am not a doctor or licenced nutritionist. If you have any questions or concerns contact you physician. Also consult your physician before taking elderberry syrup to avoid and adverse reactions.