Elderberries have been used for thousands of years to treat cold and flus and support immunity. They are rich in antioxidants and have a large amount of vitamin C and bioflavonoids giving them their immune boosting properties.
You can make a delicious syrup as an immune supporting home remedy. The process to make the basic syrup is quite simple. With the basic ingredients, I add other herbs to boost the medicinal power of it, however you can also just use elderberries and water and then sweeten with honey if you wish.
The extra herbs I add are:
- Ginger for inflammation support as well as circulation, it’s warming to the body and soothes the digestive tract. If any nausea is associated with our illness, ginger is our best friend.
- Cinnamon is helpful for blood sugar balancing since this is a syrup with the added sweetness of honey. It also adds a lovely flavor.
- Turmeric is anti-inflammatory and a strong cold and flu ally.
- Cloves are high in anti-oxidants and contain high amounts of eugenol, a compound with both anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties.
- Rosehips are one of nature’s richest sources of vitamin C and also contain flavonoids which help you assimilate the vitamin C . They are anti-inflammatory and powerful antioxidants.
When choosing honey: I recommend raw (local if possible) honey as it adds antioxidants, enzymes and other vitamins and minerals as well as having anti-bacterial and anti-fungal benefits which aids in your immune resiliency. To keep those properties, you would add the honey after the syrup has been taken off the heat and cooled a bit and as stated the honey has to be raw. Pasteurization removes or reduces these elements.
One last note before my recipe!
I only buy dried elderberries to use for this. I do not forage my own, so I cannot offer assistance with the fresh berry method. I am positive you can find a recipe online that does if that is of interest.
Elderberry Syrup Recipe
- ¾ cup dried elderberries
- 4 cups water
- 15 whole cloves (a little less than 1 tsp.)
- 1 tsp. Ceylon cinnamon powder
- 1 TBSP fresh ginger root (grated)
- ½ TBSP fresh turmeric root (sliced) (optional)
- 1 tsp. dried rosehips (optional)
- ¼- ½ cup Raw local honey (I don’t use very much because we like the bitter spice, so feel free to add as much as you need for the family to love it)
Add all the ingredients to a pot except the honey. Bring mixture to a boil. Once boiling reduce heat to a simmer and cover almost completely, leaving the lid slightly open. Simmer until the liquid reduces in half which usually is around 45 minutes.
Once you have reached that point take the pot off the heat and allow to cool slightly, I let it set for at least 15 minutes- longer is fine too. We are letting it cool so the heat doesn’t destroy the nutrients in the honey.
Strain the mixture into jars or into a large glass measuring cup or another vessel that will make it easy to pour into jars.
Slowly add the honey. I usually add a TBSP or two at a time to be sure I don’t over sweeten. Stir until honey is thoroughly mixed in and you have the sweetness you desire and pour into glass jars.
I use the 6 oz. jelly mason jars and keep one in the fridge for use now and freeze the other(s) to be defrosted later. A tightly sealed jar will keep for 2-3 weeks in the fridge.
How to use: My family takes one TBSP daily as a preventative and one TBSP every two- three hours if we feel something coming on. Remember that our bodies are all different and some herbs may not be appropriate for you and your health concerns. Please read up on herbs and their possible interactions with other medications you take or conditions you have before using. It is not wise to follow what you see on the internet or social media without doing your own research for yourself.
Photo credit: Silver Thumb Photo
Disclaimer: This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. I am not a physician. I am a health coach. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health concern. The use of any of this information is solely at your own risk, so please use caution.