A delicious and easy-to-make herbal remedy for cold and flu season. I keep a jar of this on hand throughout the winter months and take as needed when I am feeling under the weather. While I prefer to harvest berries fresh in the summer, freeze, and use as needed, dried berries will work just as well in this classic elderberry syrup recipe.
1/2 cup dried or 1 cup fresh/frozen elderberries (Sambucus nigra)
2 cups water (revere osmosis or filtered preferred)
1 cinnamon stick
4-5 slices fresh ginger
1 cup raw local honey
Optional: thyme, rosehips, orange peel
Add berries to a small saucepan and cover with water. Add the other herbs and bring to a boil. Once just beginning to boil, reduce heat and lower to a simmer, and simmer partially covered for 20-30 minutes. You want the liquid to reduce by half, so add water or simmer for longer as needed. Once mixture has reduced by half, strain and return to the saucepan. Add honey, heating gently while stirring to dissolve. Take special care not to overheat the mixture once the honey has been added, as high temperatures destroy the beneficial properties of raw honey. Once honey has dissolved, turn off heat and let the syrup cool completely. Pour syrup into a seal-able jar (such as a mason jar) and label with the date and ingredients. Store in the fridge, and enjoy within 3-6 months.
Why Elderberry Syrup?
Elderberries are native to North America (and Europe) and have been prized for centuries for their affinity to the immune system. Well-known for their strong anti-viral action, these rich and tasty berries are a go-to herb during the winter months during cold and flu season. The medicinal properties of elderberry extract well in water, and are preserved with honey to make a sweet and tasty medicine that the whole family can enjoy. As the saying goes, a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down!
How To Use Elderberry Syrup
I tend to use elderberry syrup at the first sign of a cold or flu. I take 1-3 tablespoons a day (read up on child dosing for children) and will continue to take the syrup until I feel the illness pass. It can be enjoyed on it's own, or as an addition to sparking water, in or over deserts, and even as a tasty cordial in cocktails. Please note that qualified health officials do not advise giving children under the age of 2 honey.
Note: The information on this site has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and is for educational, historical, and research purposes, and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information on this site should not be used as medical advice. If you have a medical concern please seek out a qualified health care professional, and always consult your physician before adding herbal supplements into your diet, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, or on medication.