Black elderberries have been used for hundreds of years for their medicinal value in treating colds, the flu, allergies and to boost overall respiratory health. Found along rivers, forests and even roadsides, this common botanical yields ripe berries that are rich in antioxidants, potassium, beta carotene, calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin C. Elderberry syrup is a simple and tasty way to ingest the nutrients offered by elderberries. It’s believed that taken daily, it can help to prevent flu and colds as well as aid in the recovery of an existing illness such as the flu, colds, excessive mucus and even a sore throat.
For my homemade elderberry syrup I purchased a little DIY Elderberry Syrup Kit from Jes of Good 4 You Herbals. (Be sure to check out Jes’ DIY for making your own custom herbal tea blends.) However, you can also find all the ingredients you need for this elderberry syrup recipe at Mountain Rose Herbs. Mountain Rose Herbs also offers their own, larger version of this recipe on their website that also includes cinnamon sticks, organic cloves and organic ginger root. You can find that recipe here.
Don’t have time to make your own? You can also buy Elderberry Syrup. Mountain Rose Herbs has their Elderberry Syrup on sale for 15% off during the month of October. Or try their Forests Tea, a warming organic tea created for the respiratory and chest area that helps to open airways.
Homemade Elderberry Syrup Recipe
1 1/2 oz. organic elderberries
1 1/2 cups filtered water
1/2 cup raw honey
Start by weighing out the elder berries, then place in a large cotton muslin bag (optional.) Pour your filtered tap water into a small saucepan on the stove, turn the heat on high and add the bag of elderberries.
Bring the water to a boil.
Then reduce heat and allow to simmer for twenty minutes or until the water is reduced to half.
Now remove the elderberries from the water and press firmly to squeeze out all of the remaining juice from the berries. If you did not use a mesh bag, strain the berries from the water.
Combine the water with the raw honey – I bought local clover honey from my Farmer’s Market – in the glass pyrex measuring cup and stir to combine thoroughly. (Keep in mind raw honey is not recommended to children under two years of age.)
Finally, using a funnel, slowly fill your amber glass bottles. Don’t fill them too full or the syrup will spill out of the edges when you place the lids with the droppers on them. Label as desired.
You can store your elderberry syrup in the fridge where it will keep for 2-3 months. To use, take one Tablespoon daily to help prevent illness. If you have an existing cold or flu, take one teaspoon every 2-3 hours while ill.
Want to teach your children about the benefits of natural herbs and botanicals? Check out the book, A Kids Herb Book, by Lesley Tierra! It’s packed with beautiful illustrations, charming herb facts, coloring pages, herb check lists, funny stories, herbal bed time stories, a “how to make” section, herbal mythology written for kids, as well as a plethora of engaging herbal information for the young ones.
What are some of your favorite home remedies?