Every body needs some extra immune boosting during cold and flu season! Elderberry syrup is one of my favorite remedies I pull out at the first sign of a sniffle, sore throat, or cough. If your body is even thinking it might be sick, get out the elderberry syrup!
When I first learned about the benefits of taking elderberry syrup (before I embraced my crunchy ways!), I bought it pre-made online like this. If you can’t make my homemade version because you don’t have access to the ingredients or a stove to cook it on, do purchase a bottle from Amazon. But, if you have kitchen access and a few extra minutes to spare, I recommend making this homemade elderberry syrup because not only is it a great natural remedy, but it is super easy and will save you some $$!!
Elderberries contain antioxidants, potassium, beta carotene, calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin C as well as natural substances called flavonoids which help reduce swelling, fight inflammation, and boost the immune system.
According to WebMD, studies have found that elderberries can:
- ease flu symptoms like fever, headache, sore throat, fatigue, cough and body aches.
- cut the duration of flu symptoms by more than 50%.
- might be effective against even H1N1 or swine flu.
- may help with bacterial sinus infections and bronchitis.
With so many positive benefits you probably are wondering what the catch is, right? The only cautions I came across is to never eat the fruit, flowers or leaves of raw elderberries because they contain a chemical that produces cyanide. I work with dried elderberries in my syrup so that is never a concern for me when making this recipe.
How often and how much do you take?
There are differing recommendations on the amount and the frequency of dosing. As an adult I am comfortable with taking 1 Tablespoon daily to support my immune system. Or, if used in the case of a compromised immune system (feelings of a cold or flu coming on) I would take it every few hours and aim for about 4 doses in a day while symptoms last. For children I would opt for about 1 tsp as the appropriate dose.
Elderberry Syrup Recipe
- 1/2 cup dried elderberries I buy this kind
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup raw local honey (for some sweetness AND because when dealing with the symptoms of colds and sickness raw honey has amazing benefits!)
OPTIONAL AD INS: 1 cinnamon stick, 3 cloves and a pinch of organic ginger root.
Super Syrup: You can make yours a super syrup by including 1/4 cup of high vitamin C dried rosehips or hibiscus. 1 Tablespoon of immune boosting echinacea is another great addition. If adding additional herbs you may want to add in another 1 cup of water to the recipe before simmering down.
Simply combine the berries, optional herbs, water, and spices in a saucepan. Bring it to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 20- 30 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by about 1/2. Smash the berries to release remaining juice and strain the mixture. Allow liquid to cool and stir in honey*. Pour the strained liquid into a glass jar or container with a lid. This mixture will last for 2-3 months stored in the fridge, but in my family we go through a lot and it never lasts that long. I give it to my children straight by the spoonful as needed.
*Because honey is not recommend for babies under 2 years, add the honey to the syrup when it is still hot so that it will kill any microbes in the honey. Or you can opt for maple syrup instead of honey.
Be Prepared and Empowered!
In addition to using my essential oils, this syrup is my first line of defense against threats to our immune system. The combination of my antiviral and antibacterial oils and this syrup has not only blessed our family with improved health, but has empowered me as a mother to be equipped for any bugs that come our way.