Elderberry Syrup: why we love it & how to make it
Our family has relied on Elderberry as an immune support remedy for many years. I’ve always known it was quite easy to make, but just never got around to it. Well, after already having one nasty head cold as we approach the winter season, I wanted to make sure we have it on hand & wasn’t really keen on spending $20 for 200ml from the pharmacy. I also love that by making it ourselves, we can ensure it contains the amazing quality local raw honey we have access to.
So Camilla, Hazel & I got to brewing up our own….
It was so easy, super cost-effective and is definitely kid-approved for it’s yummy taste. One of my absolute favourite things about incorporating natural remedies & essential oils as our primary wellness tools are that we’re instilling these values into our girls – they have never once asked for a symptom management mainstream medicine, but instead are becoming increasingly in-tune with their bodies and what they need to stay well.
Read on for more about the benefits of Elderberry Syrup and how we got going with our homemade Elderberry Syrup:
I first placed a bulk order of dried elderberries. If you live in an area they grow, then by all means go foraging! I purchased a bulk organic bag from a trusted source and split up with friends to keep the expense down. Dried elderberries are from the Sambucis Nigra plant & contain immune-boosting constituents, particularly high in antioxidants & vitamin C, and have significant evidence to support that they can speed up the time it takes to get through the cold or flu.
Dr. Madeleine Mumcuoglu, sited that “elderberry disarms the enzyme viruses used to penetrate healthy cells in the lining of the nose and throat. Taken before infection, it prevents infection. Taken after infection, it prevents spread of the virus through the respiratory tract. In a clinical trail, 20% of study subjects reported significant improvement within 24 hours, 70% by 48 hours, 90% claimed complete cure in three days. In contrast, subjects receiving the placebo required 6 days to recover.”
The second main ingredient to make elderberry syrup is raw honey. We love that there are several beekeepers in our local area thorugh which we can buy beautiful quality raw honey, offering many more benefits for our overall health & respiratory systems, not to mention the delicious taste and texture it creates for the syrup.
They are various modifications to the recipe depending on what you might prefer in both flavouring and additional benefits.
- ¾ cup dried elderberries (double if using fresh or frozen)
- 3 cups filtered water
- 1 cup Raw Honey
- Option 1: 5-8 drops total Thieves, Lemon, Ginger, Copaiba Vitality Essential Oils *** this is for those who are comfortable ingesting essential oils and have done their own research to make an informed decision about safe ingestion of oils.
- Option 2: 2 Tbsp Fresh or dried ginger root + 1 tsp cinnamon or ½ stick of cinnamon + 1 tsp dried cloves
Mix all ingredients except raw honey and essential oils into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer for approximately 45 minutes to an hour. Remove from heat and allow to reduce temperature to slightly warm. Mash the berries into the liquid slightly and then pour liquid through a mesh strainer or cheese-cloth into a glass measuring cup or pourer.
Add honey + optional essential oils and mix well.
Store in sealed glass bottle in fridge. Most sources suggest to take daily for immune support & preventative wellness or more frequently (every 2-3 hours) as needed during times of sickness. Adults: ½-1 tbsp per dose – Children: ½-1 tsp per dose.
You can even use this syrup for your pancakes, waffles, yogurt or ice cream too and it makes a beautiful gift!
*Some species of elderberries are poisonous when eaten raw.
*You may opt to substitute maple syrup or date syrup for the honey if preparing for a child under 1-2 years old.
*Add more honey if you like it thicker & sweeter.
*If you’re not a DIY kind-of person, I would still encourage you to get a bottle from your local health food or wellness store to have on hand, especially throughout winter.
Some helpful links:
- Elderberry Extract Inhibits Several Strains of Influenza
- Elderberry Flavonoids bind to and prevent H1N1 Infection in Vitro
- Randomized Study of the Efficacy and Safety of Oral Elderberry Extract
- The Master Tonic: Natural Flu Anti-viral
Hope you found this helpful & thanks for reading!!!
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