A few years ago, we were headed on a trip to North Carolina in the spring and our little one started with the sniffles. I was pretty sure that nothing was going to stop me from visiting my sister, so off we went to Whole Foods to visit the vitamin guru there. He suggested that we give our little guy elderberry pills often, until he was better.
So we did…and it worked!!
Ever since then, we’ve had a steady stock of elderberry lozenges/pills in the cupboard. Then I saw the syrup, easy to swallow and tastes great. Whenever we get colds, it’s a one-two punch of the elderberry pills and syrup. But, they syrup is expensive, it can be upward of $24 a bottle for organic! Yikes!!
We recently went to the Common Ground Fair here in Maine and bought a bottle of elderberry syrup from a local company. While it was great, it lasted us only a few days and had agave in it, which I am not a super fan of.
I thought, if they can make it, I can too! So I started researching it and found organic elderberries online, ordered some, got busy and then put them aside.
My Mom recently got a bad cold and I thought, no better time than the present.
The benefits of elderberries, especially where colds are concerned are big! They are a great source of vitamin C, are full of antioxidants, have anti-vial and anti-histamine properties. Elderberries also reduces mucus and inflammation of the sinus and mucus membranes. I also recently found out that it can help with your complexion and wrinkles!
I AM IN!!
It is recommended that you take a daily amount of 1-2 teaspoons and 1-2 tablespoon every couple of hours when fighting a cold or flu.
Now, as I said, I made this in a hurry for my Mom, so the pictures aren’t great. Next time I will do a better job with the pictures and update them when I do.
So, here is the recipe:
1 1/2 cup dried Elderberries
7 cups water
2.5 teaspoons cinnamon
4.5 Tablespoons fresh ginger root or ginger powder
2 Teaspoons cloves
2 cups raw, local honey
(It is important to make sure that you allow your elderberry syrup to cool to below 90 degrees before adding honey in order to keep the integrity and healing powers of the honey.)
Place the elderberries, water, cinnamon, ginger and cloves into a pan. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover and bring down to a simmer. Continue cooking for about an hour and a half or until the mixture has reduced by half.
Strain out the berries. I couldn’t see throwing the berries away so I shared them with the pigs and chickens. They loved them, gobbled them right up!
Let the liquid cool to about room temp. Add the honey and stir well. Pour into bottles and refrigerate. It will last several months in the refrigerator.
My kids LOVE the flavor of the syrup. Sometime when I make iced tea, I throw a couple of handfuls of dried elderberries into the tea as it is steeping. I strain the tea, add some, ice, juice and honey and YUM!
Do you use elderberries?
I have heard that you can make wine out of them as well! That would certainly make any cold more bearable. 😉