One of the most potent vitamins you can give yourself to fight off illness is packed into the elderberry. The best part is you can make your own elderberry syrup! Try out this recipe to support your immune system.
Benefits of Elderberry Syrup
Elderberries have come around in the health world, and probably even more the mainstream western medicine world as immune supporting food. Many over the counter drug companies are making some form of elderberry vitamins or gummies.
However, pure elderberry syrup, like most pure forms of food are so much better for you.
If you are like me, you had never heard of elderberries until the last few years. But they are worth paying attention to.
Elderberries are not commonly grown where I live in the midwest, but are common in some certain parts of the US. They are an extremely potent berry that are full of antioxidants and vitamins. They are even known to have heart protecting properties, and can help reduce inflammation.
Like most foods that have high amounts of antioxidants and vitamins, they help support our immune system.
Making your own Homemade Elderberry Syrup
When something new hits the market, there can be a craze about it. Soon every drug company is making some version of elderberry syrup vitamins or gummies. But like most things, I think it’s more potent and better to make it yourself.
By making it yourself you can add in other immune supporting spices and herbs. You can also control the potency if you like it a little stronger. So much power is in your hands when you make something like this yourself.
Also, if you heard me say it once, you will hear me say it again. It will save you money if you make it yourself!
A bottle of organic Elderberry Syrup from Thrive Market costs about $19.99. But when I buy dried elderberries and make the syrup myself, it’s probably closer to $10 a batch or less.
What you will need to make Elderberry Syrup:
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4 cups Water
Spices of choice (cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice, star anise, or ginger).
Jar or repurposed glass bottle for storage
In a medium sauce pan measure out 4 cups of water (filtered is best), 1 cup dried elderberries, and spices of choice. I usually use 2 cinnamon sticks and 5 whole cloves. Stir.
Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a very low simmer.
Let simmer with the lid on until the liquid is about 1/2 of what it was. This usually takes about 20 minutes. If you have your temp too hot and too much water has boiled off, just add a little more.
Then place a mesh strainer on top of a bowl and pour the elderberry and water mixture into the strainer.
Most of the liquid will fall right through the strainer, but the you will need to push the elderberries with the back of a wooden spoon or spatula to squeeze all the extra liquid and nutrients out of the elderberries.
Allow mixture too cool in the bowl for about 1 hour.
Then pour in 1 cup of raw honey. You don’t want the mixture to be too warm when you add the honey, as the heat will cook off some of the raw benefits of the honey.
Stir until combined well. Then pour into a storage container like a jar or a repurposed glass container.
Keep in the refrigerator. It should keep for multiple months.
How to use Elderberry Syrup
My family and I take elderberry syrup as a daily supplement. 1-2 tbsp is all you need. If we are feeling a little under the weather or if we are sick we will take 1-2 tbsp up to 4 times a day for extra immune support.
You can think of taking elderberry syrup kind of like taking Airborne or Emergen-C, when you are sick. Although, I personally think elderberry syrup works better than Airborne or Emergen-C.
You can use it in many different ways.
- Take it straight on the spoon, like you would a cough med.
- As a syrup on pancakes or waffles.
- Add it to yogurt or a smoothie. This is how I get my 18 month old son to take it. If you are giving it to young kids, just make sure they are over 1 year old since the syrup has honey it in. Babies under 1 are not supposed to have honey due to their stomach development.
I hope I gave given elderberry syrup an elevated view in your mind as you read this, but one thing I hope I haven’t conveyed is that by taking this elderberry syrup you will never get sick. Because that is simply not true.
It has been confusing for me in my “natural/clean living” journey to understand what all the health gurus are saying about these things. Marketing doesn’t make it any easier. They way some people talk about natural remedies can make it seem like this is “the superior way to be healthy”, “you won’t get sick if you take these things…”. And that simply isn’t true.
I think using things like elderberry syrup, vitamins, getting lots of fruits and vegetables, and using essential oils are great natural ways to support your immune system, but it in no way prevents you from getting sick.
To get sick is to be human. No matter how hard we try, viruses are all around us and we will inevitably get sick.
However, I do believe finding natural remedies is a way to help your body fight infections when they do come around. It’s like building up and arsenal in your body.
Personally, I have seen these natural remedies shorten the life of a runny nose or an upset stomach in my own body and family. So I really am a big fan of them. But don’t be mislead by anyone telling you this is the best way to prevent sickness. That is just not something we can do. But we can help our bodies for when those bugs do come around.
Have you ever considered making your own Elderberry Syrup?
Leave a comment below if you have any questions about the benefits of elderberry syrup or how to make it!