A few days ago I posted on my Instagram page (@aroliving) and my Facebook page about me taking Elderberry Syrup. It's practically all the rage right now in the herbal world. For good reason, too. Elder is known for its amazing immune enhancing benefits. The berries are known to have anti-viral properties to help fight against the cold, flu, and shingles viruses.
A lesser known benefit for Elder is its ability to help with fevers. Elder allows the body to release heat and dilate the capillaries close to the skin helping a person to sweat, thus naturally cooling the body down. The flowers make a wonderful tea, adding a perfect sweetness to the drink, while the berries are often used at making a syrup.
While a simple tea made with Elderflower, Peppermint, Ginger, and Echinacea are great at warding off a cold and congestion and is soothing to the body when you are feeling cold; Elderberry syrup is fast and easy to take when you can't stop long enough to enjoy a cup of tea.
I made my own syrup a few weeks ago adapting it from the recipe found it Rosemary Gladstar's book Medicinal Herbs.
1 Quart of dried Elderberries. I get mine from Mountain Rose Herbs, however, they are in huge demand right now and may be hard to come by.
1/4 ounce freshly grated Ginger root
1/2 tsp ground Cloves (I used 1 Cinnamon stick because it has a lighter flavor and wouldn't be too spicy for my kids)
Cook Elderberries over low heat with lid ajar, until the water is reduced by half. Strain the berries out, saving the water. Discard the solid and return liquid to the stove. Add Ginger, Cinnamon or Cloves and simmer uncovered until the liquid is reduced by half. Add honey to pot. Rosemary says to add the same about of honey as there is water remaining in the pot. So if you have 1/2 cup of water in your pot you'd add 1/2 cup of honey. Other versions say to add honey to taste- really its up to you and your taste. Let mixture cool then bottle. Keep in the refrigerator and use within 12 weeks. Using Local honey is best since it can help with local, seasonal allergies.
To treat or fight off a cold or flu take 1-2 Tablespoons throughout the day. For kids, 1-2 teaspoons during the day. Since this contains honey its best to not use it on children under the age of 1 year old.
Do you make your own Elderberry Syrup? If so, what is your recipe?