Saturday, November 19, 2016

Easy Elderberry Syrup

Elderberry syrup is one of our winter staples and a traditional folk medicine staple in many parts of the world. And while I like to buy it from great companies, with our family of five it can get pretty spendy. So, last winter I ordered a bag of dried Elderberries and decided to try my own recipe.

It's quick and easy, and there are so many variations of recipes around the web, some with spices and some without. I'm posting the easiest, no-fuss version. Also, just a head's up, it's not thick and syrupy like store bought versions. It's definitely more of a juice consistency. I add it to a little cup and put in a tsp. of cod liver oil and they drink it down like a shot. But, I'm also stingy with my honey. Make it sweet enough and they'll be begging for more! 

Benefits of Elderberry (Sambucus) from Herb Wisdom

"Elderberry is used for its antioxidant activity, to lower cholesterol, to improve vision, to boost the immune system, to improve heart health and for coughs, colds, flu, bacterial and viral infections and tonsillitis. Bioflavanoids and other proteins in the juice destroy the ability of cold and flu viruses to infect a cell."

Give it a try! A bag of elderberries lasted in my freezer for one full winter and then another month into this current winter. We don't take it every day if no one is sick, but if we're fighting the sniffles or a stomach bug, we take it multiple times per day.

I purchased Organic Dried Elderberries and Dried Elderberries from Frontier Co-Op on Amazon. (disclosure: these are affiliate links!)

Super Easy Basic Elderberry Syrup

1 cup dried elderberries (try Amazon or Mountain Rose Herbs)
1 cinnamon stick
3 cups of water (or try 3 1/2 to stretch)
1 cup raw honey or to taste (I like Mickelberry Gardens or Bare Honey, both are treatment-free)
Optional: a few cloves, a chunk of ginger. 


1. Add the elderberries, water, and cinnamon stick to a saucepan and bring to a boil.
2. When the mixture is boiling, turn the heat down to low, partly covered, and let simmer for 45 minutes to an hour.
3. Remove from heat and pour the mixture through a stainless mesh sieve or strainer. Press the berries into the strainer to squeeze out all the juices. The leftover berries can be composted (or I read a recipe for elderberry vinegar, etc.)
4. Let the mixture cool before adding the raw honey, or the heat will neutralize the honey's beneficial properties.
5. Pour into jar and stick in fridge, where it will last 1-3 months!

Dosage: 1/2 - 1 tsp. for kiddos, every other day seems to help. 1 Tbsp+ for the adults. If you're sick you can take it more frequently, too.

There you have it! Simple, easy, cost-effective elderberry syrup!

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