This immune boosting botanical is packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Elderberry syrup has a long history of use in traditional European medicine and is so highly regarded that it has been called the “medicine chest of country people.”  Elderberry preparations are traditionally taken early enough to ward off a viral invasion from the start but can also be used as an effective treatment. This proven remedy is known to shorten the duration of colds to 3-4 days and is also effective against 10 different strains of the flu.

Several elderberry syrups are available at health food stores and online, but we recently started making our own using dried elderberries (we get our from Mountain Rose Herbs) which is easy to prepare and saves a lot of money. Not all varieties and parts of elderberries are edible, and even the edible kinds should never be eaten raw, so always check to make sure yours are safe for consumption before using freshly picked elderberries.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh or 1/2 cup dried elderberries
  • 3 cups of filtered water
  • 1 cup of raw honey (use local if possible)
  • Optional: 3 whole cloves, 1 cinnamon stick, freshly grated ginger

Preparation

  1. Place berries, water, and spices in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Smash the berries to release remaining juice and strain the mixture.
  4. Allow liquid to cool and stir in honey after to preserve the enzymes.
  5. Bottle syrup and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

Elderberry juice stains everything it touches, so wear an apron and cover your work surface with a dish towel you’re not too precious about.

Dosage

Child: Administer 1 teaspoon per day for prevention or 1 teaspoon per waking hour at the onset of cold/flu-like symptoms. Not suitable for children under one year of age.

Adult: Administer on same schedule, however increase dosage to 1 tablespoon.

Recipe adapted from Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health by Rosemary Gladstar

The information about the use of herbs and/or essential oils contained in this site is not meant to be a substitute for seeking the advice of a qualified health care provider. Always consult your health care provider before administering or taking herbal remedies, especially during pregnancy, when breastfeeding, or with children. To locate an experienced herbalist in your area, contact the American Herbalists Guild. To locate a licensed naturopath in your area, contact the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians.