Elderberry syrup is a delicious and delightful way to boost your family’s immune systems and help fight off the common cold and even flu virus!
If you ask Facebook mom groups, or natural-minded people for a preventative or treatment for colds and flus they’ll tell you elderberry syrup.
It’s medicinal qualities have been touted for years. It’s even sold at drug stores! In this recipe, I’ll walk you through how to make your own elderberry syrup for an easy, delicious flu-time medicine.
What is elderberry syrup?
Elderberry syrup is a delightful herbal concoction made from elderberries and honey. In it’s base form, a tea is made from elderberries (the berries from an elder tree), cooled, and then mixed in with the honey. Oftentimes other immune-boosting herbs are added as well including Echinacea.
Elder trees (sambucus nigra) are native to North America and Europe, grow up to 30 feet tall and produce large bunches of dark purple berries. If you’re lucky, you may even have some wild elders in the woods near you.
There is a lot of myth and folklore about elder trees, which speaks to their importance in human culture.
I find that a lot of folklore evolves to pass on the significance, sacredness, and utility of plants. There’s a lot of myth around elder trees, faeries and witches.
Elder trees were used to protect a home from evils (such as sickness?) and cutting down an elder tree without the Elder Mother’s permission would place a curse (or sickness?) on you.
Is elderberry syrup all it’s cracked up to be?
I was first introduced to elderberry syrup more than 10 years ago. A local wine maker made elderberry wine and syrups and basically promised that it would cure whatever ailed you. While the wine was absolutely delicious, I was skeptical about the promised medicinal benefits.
This study, though only 60 patients, showed that those suffering from influenza A and B reduced the length of their symptoms by 4 days in comparison to a placebo group. These patients were taking 15mL four times a day.
For more resources on Elderberry Syrup, check out the World Health Organization’s selected monographs (and search for Flos Sambuci), the American Botanical Counsel’s Clinical guide to Elder Berry.
How to Make Elderberry Syrup
Not only does this recipe give you the power to treat your family yourself, but it’s economical too. Starwest Botanicals has 4 oz of dried elderberries for $7.42.
To begin, you’ll make a strong tea out of the elderberries, cinnamon, ginger and echnicea. There are lots of other immune-boosting herbs you could add as well. Garlic comes to mind.
Strain out the solids, allow to come to room temperature and then mix in the honey.
Because the water content is high, you’ll want to keep it in the fridge.
Take 1 Tbsp daily as a preventative or 2 tsp every three hours at the first signs of symptoms.
For more immune-boosting herbal recipes, check out Herbal Academy’s Introductory Course. They have an entire unit devoted to how the immune system works and how to treat common dis-eases like the cold and flu!