Supercharged Elderberry Syrup
I posted an elderberry recipe awhile back that I used for a few years and loved. I have revamped the recipe and rather than update the old one I thought it would be more effective to rewrite. That post talks a little bit about the benefits of elderberry but you can also visit Herbwisdom for additional information.
There are literally thousands of websites that talk about elderberries. They are that awesome!
Elderberry on its own is a very powerful immune booster but combined with spices it can be even more powerful. I am still using dried elderberries for my recipes. They are easy for me to obtain and they work great. They may not be as potent as fresh but they serve their purpose dried.
Adding elder flowers to the syrup can help you sweat out a fever.
Ginger is a wonderful immune system activator all on its on. It also great for digestive issues that often accompany colds and flu.
Cloves are a multi-tasking spice. They help colds and flu while also relieving nausea and other stomach issues. They have analgesic properties as well.
Cinnamon is very warming and also carminative which means it helps with gastric issues.
Lemon is full of vitamin C and promotes immunity and fights infection.
Honey, oh wonderful honey! I used to use sugar because I felt that honey is a medicine all on its own. While that is true, I now think that adding honey to the elderberry add something really special. It is full of enzymes and helps with coughs. It also helps thicken the syrup beautifully.
Please note that if you want to make a shelf-stable version that does not need refrigeration you must use sugar, and a lot of it. You need to can it so it is sealed. For information on how to do this, please see PureCajunSunshine. The directions there are wonderful as well as the information about elderberries provided!
We take about a tablespoon daily in my home during cold and flu season as a preventative with one or two day breaks here and there. I put suggested dosage amounts during illness in the recipe below. If you are pregnant or nursing the minimum dose would be appropriate. I personally take elderberry during pregnancy and while nursing.
- 2 cups dried elderberries [or 4 cups fresh] about ¼ cup elderberries to 1 cup water
- 2 quarts(8 cups) filtered water
- 1 "finger" of fresh ginger - grated (about ¼ ounce)
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- Juice of 1 lemon and half a rind if desired
- ½ cup dried elder flowers
- raw honey
- Combine elderberries and water in a large pot.
- Over low heat with a lid slightly ajar, cook until the elderberries are soft. I let mine cook for hours, stirring occasionally.
- Mash them as best you can in the liquid using the back of a spoon.
- Using a cheesecloth over a mesh strainer, strain elderberries and return juice to pot.
- Add the ginger, cloves, cinnamon and lemon and simmer uncovered until it reduces by half.
- Turn off the heat and add elder flowers. Cover and let infuse for about 20 minutes.
- Strain into a large measuring cup.
- Let the temperature come down to warm and add the same volume of raw honey as you have elderberry juice.
- Stir to combine.
- Let cool completely, bottle and store in the refrigerator for up to 12 weeks.
- Dosage guidelines: Adults Take 1-2 tablespoons a few times a day while fighting or during a cold or flu. Children take half adult dose. Toddlers get half the children's dose.
Don’t want to make it? Buy it from my online store!
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or medical practitioner. Nothing in my posts should be construed as medical advice nor am I responsible for any misuse of herbs. Please educate yourself when using herbs and research any contraindications or interactions especially if taking prescription medication. For example, people with autoimmune conditions should check with their preferably natural health provider before using immune system stimulating herbs. Use common sense.
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Sarah is a wife, mom of 4, farm owner, and real food blogger at Real Food Outlaws. She is also an Master Herbalist and owns 90210 Organics, an Eco-boutique and Apothecary. She holds a Master’s Degree in Applied Clinical Nutrition from New York Chiropractic College and is a Clinical/Functional Nutritionist and Advanced Nutrition Response Testing™ Practitioner at Natural Health Improvement Center of South Jersey and Natural Health Improvement Center of Des Moines. You can often find her barefoot in the garden (or kitchen), or rummaging through a refrigerator (not necessarily her own).