The popularity of elderberry has increased greatly within the last few years. Elderberry is most know for its immune boosting qualities and is often used to prevent and reduce the symptoms associated with cold and flu viruses. Extra precautions are needed during cold and flu season, and elderberry syrup is a natural remedy you definitely want in your medicine cabinet.
Let me help you prepare an easy and effective batch in 4 steps.
Here’s what you need:
⦁ 1/2 cup dried elderberries; or 1 cup fresh elderberries (only use ripe berries)
⦁ 1/2 cup honey (Raw honey is the best option to use)
⦁ 2 cups water
⦁ 2 Tbsp each rose hips, mullein, cinnamon, cloves, licorice (optional)
⦁ 1 Tbsp lemon juice, vodka, or brandy (optional for added taste)
- In a small saucepan, heat elderberries and water over medium heat- DO NOT BOIL!!
The water will start to steam. Continue on medium heat for about 30 minutes. Boiling can cause the elderberries to develop a bitter taste.
- Strain the elderberries and herbs.
- Measure 1 cup of the liquid. For consistency in dosing we only will use 1 cup, dispose of the remaining. However If more than 1 cup, you can also place the liquid back into saucepan and steam until you have one cup
- Cool down to room temperature, then stir in honey.
You’re done! Place in a storage jar and keep in the fridge.
Most recommendations say consume 1 tablespoon a day, and 1/2 tablespoon a day for children.
Yes, you can use sugar instead of honey to make elderberry syrup
- For diabetics, honey will cause an increase blood glucose levels. You can use any sugar free or low sugar alternatives. However, it will not last as long refridgerated if you do not use honey. When using sugar you should consume within a week. 1/2 cup or less of sugar should be enough, or just sweeten to taste.
- Sugar free options will only last a few days. Erythritol or stevia drops are good sugar free options.
- Honey is not appropriate for children under the age of one.
- You can leave out the honey or sugar completely if desired.
Storage and Shelf Life
If refrigerated, elderberry syrup will last for a few weeks. If using sugar, you should consume within a week. You can also freeze the syrup in ice cube trays for use later.
Dispose of the syrup immediately if you observe a film or mold growth.
It’s best to use a clear jar, such as a mason jar to inspect the syrup when in use.
Is elderberry syrup safe for pregnant or lactating women?
Many herbalists do not recommend the use of herbs in pregnant women until the third trimester. Honestly, there is just not enough evidence to suggest if herbal medicine is entirely appropriate for pregnant women. There are herbs that are used for nursing mothers to enhance lactation which are safe and effective. You should consult with your medical professional to make a determination.