Elderberry Syrup Recipe and Benefits
What is all the fuss about elderberry syrup?
Elderberry syrup is a great tool to have in your medicinal lineup during the darker months of the year, when colds and such start to really show up as we detox a little. Elderberries are a great source of Vitamins A and C.
Vitamin C is a great antioxidant, working to protect the cells from free radicals. It also works with the body, to improve the absorption of iron. Vitamin C also can limit the formation of carcinogens. Like most vitamins and minerals, it is most effective when we keep our bodies stores up, and not try to "catch up" when the symptoms show up. The symptoms are just telling us that our body is trying to remedy the lack of support.
Vitamin A (retinol) is not just needed for vision. It also supports cell growth and is important for lung health. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble, and your best sources of this vitamin are going to be found in animal products such as raw milk, pasture raises eggs, meat, and fish... but you can also get some through plants such as berries, leafy greens and tomatoes.
Honey has traditionally been used in the treatment of eye diseases, bronchial asthma, throat infections, thirst, hiccups, fatigue, dizziness, constipation, eczema, healing of ulcers, and wounds and used as a nutritious supplement. Honey has been found to have antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial properties.
Although I often make elderberry syrup to sell, I always feel like empowering and helping equip others to do so on their own is a great way to build community.
Passed down recipes are some of my favorite treasures from my late grandma and great grandma. This is part of where the whole "heritage" part comes into play in our business name. We feel as though passing on things of our heritage and building a heritage culture is so vitally important in today's society.
So, without further ado, here is my own elderberry syrup recipe. Locals can sometimes find frozen or dehydrated elderberries in our online shop here or purchase them from other online shops as well.
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups elderberries
- 1 cup raw honey (local is best, but any raw honey is better than heated)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 5-10 whole cloves
- 1 inch cube of ginger, sliced (optional)*
- Thieves essential oil (optional)*
- Start by boiling your water and adding your elderberries to the water.
- Slow simmer the berries for about 30-45 minutes, this helps to draw out as much of those healing properties from the berries as possible.
- Remove from heat and let the water come to about 90 degrees. (I personally don't really use a thermometer, I am just shooting for above room temp, and below 100. I don't want to pasteurize my honey and kill the nourishing properties of it)
- Once it cools enough, strain the berries and spices.
- Add honey to your extracted berry water and stir slowly to melt honey into your syrup.
- Pour syrup into jars.
- I like to add one drop of Thieves essential oil once the syrup cools to room temp, for extra healing benefits (the flavor is great too)
- Store in fridge for up to 8 weeks, or you can also take it another step to can it and store on the shelf, for longer.
As a preventative, our family takes about a teaspoon a day during the darker months. If we notice somebody coming down with something, I will give the kids 2 teaspoons a day, and The Cowboy and I will just start swigging it from the jar, HA!