You know those people who research things like an FBI agent before they ever make a decision on something? Well, I’m one of ’em. I can’t help it. I like to know factual information and I keep on digging until my indecisive nature finally gives in. Making elderberry syrup last year was no different. I researched until I found a great recipe but honestly, I wasn’t pleased with it. I made several different recipes but none were quite as good as what I had tried from local places. By the way, our local favorite is Sweet’s Syrup when we need some in a pinch & you can visit her Etsy shop here.
Here we are again, on the brink of cold & flu season. If your family is anything like ours, you’re looking for every natural way to protect yourselves from the ick. We have a new tiny human in our house this year too, so we need all the good health we can get! I made our first batch of Elderberry syrup today and after trying out and tweaking lots of recipes last year, I was pretty pleased with the outcome this time. I’ve also been over here researching how to grow my own Elderberry plants and how long before I can harvest them, just in case Amazon runs out.😆 Over the counter medications don’t do much for a cold, let alone touch the symptoms of the flu. If you’ve never tried Elderberry syrup, I encourage you to give it a try this fall/winter! In fact, its not a bad idea to take it year round, as it provides a plethora of health benefits.
Here’s what you’ll need to make your own:
- Elderberries (I grabbed these organic elderberries on Amazon)
- Filtered Water
- Honey (Local honey is always best! Use a honey purity test to make sure your honey is legit.)
- Cinnamon Sticks (preferably Ceylon)
- Whole Cloves
- Grated, Fresh Ginger
In the past I’ve also used organic dried wolf berries and next time I’ll add in some Vitamin C powder to give it an extra boost! You can adjust the volumes based on what you need in your medicine cabinet. This recipe yielded about 3 pints or 48 ounces.
These are the volumes I used:
- 2 cups dried elderberries
- 6 cups filtered water
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 4 whole cloves
- 1 orange, zested and juiced
- 2 tbsp fresh grated ginger
- 1/2 cup raw honey
- Place all ingredients EXCEPT for the honey in large pot. Bring to a boil and then quickly reduce to a simmer. Stir occasionally, letting the mixture simmer for about 1 hour until the liquid has reduced by half and will coat the back of a spoon.
- Allow the liquid to cool to room temperature. Remove cinnamon sticks from the liquid and then drain using a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth.
I placed a cheese cloth over a large glass measuring bowl. Then I squeezed out the juice using cheesecloth. Unlike making jelly, you want to squeeze the berries and get out as much of the juice as possible rather than letting drain on its own.
- Press all liquid out of the berries by squeezing the cheese cloth or using the back of a wooden spoon.
- Add the raw honey and mix well. Some recipes call for 1 cup of honey but I found that was too sweet for us so we cut the amount in half for our recipe.
- Store in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator for up to two months.
If you pour the liquid into a mason jar while it is still warm and it seals, it can be good in the fridge for up to 6 months. Keep in mind that although this extends shelf life, some of the health benefits may be decreased.
The standard dose is ½ tsp – 1 tsp for kids and ½ – 1 tablespoon for adults for daily immune boosting. If the flu does strike, take the normal dose every 2-3 hours instead of once a day until symptoms disappear.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. This blog provides general information and discussion about medicine, health and related subjects. The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other health care worker.
Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog or in any linked materials. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.
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