Elderberry Syrup Recipe
I love having a batch of Elderberry syrup available in the fridge or freezer, it’s so versatile as not only is it the perfect immune booster but it tastes so good added as a mixer to refreshing drinks in summer and made into gummies, my kids and even my dog love it!!
In fact I was inspired by this batch because my beautiful dog, a Malamute named Lupin, gets allergies and he is a bit under the weather with what seems like a terribly sore throat. He went off his food and just wanted to lay underfoot. After one dose of this batch of syrup he was back eating his food and after the second he was up for a walk to the park.
While conventional medicines have their place, I like to avoid them and only rely on them as a last resort. When natural remedies have such a long history of successful use with minimal side effects I am much more trusting in Mother Nature. But please use your own judgement and seek medical assistance when required especially for your children.
I’ve got the family taking some daily now too since we’ve been really busy lately I want to boost their immune system so we can keep up and stay healthy.
Elderberries (Sambucus nigra) are packed with flavonoids and vitamins C, B and A. They’re antiviral, antioxidant and immune enhancing making them great for preventing sicknesses such as the common cold and other viral infections, naturally supporting the bodies immune system at the front line. Research has shown elderberries have reduced the severity and length of the flu soothing the discomforts of the illnesses and they are so gentle that they are perfect for children!
Making your own elderberry syrup is a cost effective way to have a natural remedy on hand all the time, plus you can tweak it for what you need and have on hand at the time.
Cinnamon is a common spice most of us have on hand in the pantry. It is known for its use in the digestive system and for insulin resistance but it is a strong anti inflammatory herb that stimulates the immune response making it a great support for the common cold.
Cloves are another digestive herb but with high levels of flavonoids and the essential oil Eugenol, they are great antioxidants and anti-microbials for fighting infections. With expectorant qualities meaning it will help expel mucous from the body, helping you cough up all that gunk.
Ginger is warming and anti inflammatory, it supports acute infections, fever and the common cold among many other indications, it is amazing for so many things.
Raw Honey is full of phytonutrients that make it one of the best antibacterial and anti fungal remedies. Raw is important as the heat and processing kills off these properties leaving just the sugars behind. Local is best as it may support lowering the allergy response to local pollens.
Some extra herby goodness that I like to add to our elderberry syrup gives such a beautiful twist to the traditional recipes. Not as easy to source as the other pantry staples but if you can get some from your local health food store or online it makes a beautiful addition to the blend.
Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea) is immune enhancing and modulating. This means it not only boosts the immune system but brings the immune cells into balance so that the system can function at its best capacity. It is of course great for preventative health as well as acute and chronic infections of many different systems .
Marshmallow Root (Althea officinalis) is a demulcent meaning it makes the passage way smooth and slippery. It soothes sore throats, coughs and the digestive tracts that are inflammed. Making food, drinks and medicines easier to swallow and consume without pain or difficulty.
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is a diaphoretic, meaning it supports a fever by inducing sweating. It is also antimicrobial a great addition to remedy the common cold or influenza.
What you need:
A big pot
1.5L of water (filtered is best)
2/3 cup of black elderberries (Sambucius nigra)
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp whole cloves
1 cup of raw honey
2 tbsp dried Echinacea
2 tbsp dried Marshmallow Root
2 tbsp dried Yarrow
Fill your pot with the water and add all the herbs, leaving out the honey.
Bring to the boil then turn to a simmer with lid on, for 45mins - 1 hour stirring occasionally.
Allow to cool then stir through the honey.
Muse a potato masher to squash and mash the berries and herbs.
When honey is dissolved, use a nut bag or sieve to strain the herbs from the liquid.
Bottle the syrup into a glass stopper topped bottle or mason jar to help it keep. Pour any extra into an ice cube tray for longer term.
You can compost the strained herbs and berries or use it in some messy art with the kids as it’s a beautiful purple colour.
Adults can take 1 tbsp daily for prevention and up to 3-4 times daily in times of sickness
I Half this dose for children and dogs.
It is not recommended to give honey to children under 12 months but if you are breastfeeding, taking the syrup yourself will help support your baby. You can also swap the honey for maple syrup, molasses or sugar.
Also, it is not recommended that you consume Elderberries whole or uncooked in large doses as that can have negative health implications.