Elderberries. It’s time that we talk about them, get some, take some, and turn some into syrup. I don’t know if you know this, but elderberries are well-studied, highly effective, and are a legit remedy for preventing influenza and naturally treating whatever it is that ails you. Elderberry is liquid amazing in a bottle, magical powder in a capsule, and a super hero for the acute infections that side-swipe us without warning.
The reason you haven’t heard of it? Because it works. The reason you haven’t tried it? Because you might not know why you should.
Elderberry is one of those natural remedies that has been used since circa day one to treat colds, influenza, and sinusitis. Studies show that it is more effective at treating influenza A and B viruses than medications, is safer, relieves cold/flu symptoms, shortens the duration of a cold, prevents them in the first place, can counteract oxidative stress, stimulate the immune system, reduce uric acid levels, boost the activity of antioxidant enzymes, is antimicrobial, and is active against human pathogenic bacteria and influenza viruses.
In other words, it’s nothing short of amazing and there’s not a single medication that even comes close to touching the therapeutic and preventative benefits of a good elderberry tonic.
How to Make Elderberry Syrup
There are a lot of different ways you can get the benefits of elderberries. You can take an herbal supplement, drink it as a tea, buy the syrup, take elderberry lozenges, combine it with lemon juice and gargle it for sore throats, or make your own elderberry syrup.
I am a huge fan of making your own syrup because you can throw things into the mix specific to whatever you’re targeting. You could add ginger for digestion, cinnamon and raw honey for a cold, vitamin C and lemon/orange juice for prevention, and can control the concentration of your remedy. You can also opt out of sweeteners that don’t jive with your diet and can ensure it’s the freshest batch with the highest quality elderberries.
If you’ve never made elderberry syrup before, don’t be overwhelmed. I’m 100% DIY-challanged and even I can do it. Just follow this step-by-step recipe below to make elderberry syrup and play around with the optional add-ins when you get brave.
- In a small saucepan, bring the water to boil. Once boiling, add the ½ cup of elderberries + optional add-ins and reduce heat. Continue to simmer for 30 minutes.
- Strain the elderberries using a fine mesh strainer over a bowl. Squish the berries down to extract a little more liquid. Discard or compost elderberries unless you have another use for them.
- Rinse out pot and pour the elderberry liquid back in it. Place back on stove and turn the heat to medium/low.
- Add your sweetener of choice: Raw honey, coconut sugar, or a low glycemic alternative sugar and stir to combine until the elderberry syrup forms.
- Pour into a small glass container (I like these.) and store in the fridge for several weeks, using as needed.
How to Take Elderberry Syrup
Adults: Take 1 tablespoon 4x daily during the flu and 1 tablespoon each day for prevention.
Children: Take 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of elderberry syrup 3x daily during a cold or flu and 1/2 -1 teaspoon each day for prevention.
If you want another fun, creative, and convenient way to get the benefits of elderberries, check out this recipe for elderberry gummy lozenges using the same elderberry syrup you made here.
The elderberry syrup recipe used in this post was created and submitted by Stefanie Read, a mother of two with a passionate love for natural wellness, wholesome food, and attachment parenting. She taught herself about fermentation and using essential oils safely, and has been living a grain free/dairy free lifestyle for three years with her firefighter husband. To see what’s happening in her kitchen, you can follow her on Pinterest HERE.