If you haven’t heard (or have been living in a cave), this year’s cold and flu season has been horrible. Every single family we know has been affected in some way, shape, or form, and not just by bad colds, but the flu, upper respiratory infections, strep throat, or a terrible combination of a few! Typically I am not a big germaphobe, but I have been trying really hard to keep our family healthy by taking vitamins, diffusing and applying tons of essential oils, and washing our hands constantly. I started reading a bit about elderberries and all their amazing health benefits and decided that I would make some homemade elderberry syrup to supplement our efforts and keep our immune systems strong!
You can google “elderberries” or “elderberry syrup” and read about all the amazing benefits. It’s a natural remedy that’s been used for thousands of years; there are recipes dating back to ancient Egypt! The ancient Greek “father of medicine” Hippocrates described the elder plant as his “medicine chest.” It is an excellent immune system booster and powerful antioxident. It naturally improves colds, the flu, sinus issues, nerve pain, inflammation, chronic fatigue, allergies, and more. If used within the first 48 hours of symptoms, it will reduce the duration and power of the flu (think all-natural tamiflu!).
So I decided to give it a go. I’d seen a few recipes on Pinterest, and thought I wanted to make a bunch so that we could all take it each day. I found dried organic elderberries on Amazon , though they’re $20 more now than when I bought them (and $30 more than when I first started looking!). I bought a pound for about $30. But so many of the pre-made syrups that I’ve seen can be $20 for 8 ounces, and the recipe I used makes 36 ounces, and I still have at least a cup, if not two, of elderberries left for another batch of syrup. So even though the elderberries are pretty expensive, you can still save a lot of money since you can make a lot of syrup with just one pound of berries.
And I am obsessed with it!! I think it tastes like a cross between grape juice and apple cider. Kind of a spicy, syrupy grape/berry flavor. I take about 2 tablespoons a day, and give the kids one tablespoon a day. Hopefully it will keep us healthy! This is the recipe I used:
Elderberry Syrup (adapted from Boots and Hooves Homestead)
Yields 36 ounces of Syrup
6 cups water
2 cups dried elderberries
2 inches of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
2 drops cinnamon essential oil (or 2 sticks cinnamon)
1 1/2-2 cups raw, local honey
Add elderberries, ginger, cinnamon oil, and water to a large pot and bring to boil. Immediately reduce heat and simmer. Partially cover pot with lid and simmer 30-40 minutes, until liquid has reduced by about half. Strain out liquid into a large bowl. Discard elderberries and ginger. Add honey and additional ground ginger and/or cinnamon if you choose. Mix well. Pour syrup into glass jars (I used mason jars), and let cool on the counter until cool. Store in fridge up to 3 months.