An immune boosting, naturally sweetened elderberry syrup recipe that every holistic person should have in their home apothecary.
Elderberry syrup is something that’s been around for quite a while at this point. Many know this immune boosting liquid to be especially good for fighting off sickness during the cold season.
While I totally agree, I also think that a healthy well rounded diet and lifestyle is key to fighting off sickness as well. This is just a great addition to the naturalists’ home apothecary for battling those cold/flu symptoms when they first start and even nipping them in the bud before they begin.
Why you should make your own?
Elderberry syrup is pretty expensive in stores where I live. Roughly around $20 a bottle that will maybe last you a few months. So, onto Amazon I went and found a 1 pound bag of organic elderberries for roughly $23 that can be divided up to make several batches of syrup. Making your own is more affordable in the long haul if you would consistently like to keep this in your regime.
Control of Ingredients
The second best part of making your own elderberry syrup is that you get to control what goes into it, leaving out processed sugars and mystery ingredients.
The recipe I came up with calls for all of the typical ingredients including the addition of raw organic apple cider vinegar. I felt adding this in would offer extra immune support since ACV is great for gut health. And in case you haven’t heard, gut health = immune health.
Benefits of Consuming Elderberry Syrup
- Elderberries contain high amounts of vitamins & antioxidants
- Help to reduce inflammation within the body
- Reduces the length of cold and flu symptoms
- Heart healthy and can possibly reduce cholesterol
What is in Elderberry Syrup?
Elderberry syrup can be made with several different ingredients, but the base ingredients are generally the same; elderberries, honey, and water. A lot of recipes use added spices like cinnamon, ginger, and cloves to enhance the flavor.
There are even recipes omitting the honey and replacing with cane sugar. In this particular recipe I used 1 cup of elderberries, 1/2 cup of raw local honey, 1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger, 2 top of apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp of whole cloves, 2 cinnamon sticks, and 24 ounces of filtered water.
How to Make Elderberry Syrup
Making the syrup is very easy. All you need is a saucepan, a mesh strainer or cheesecloth, and a container to store the liquid in.
To make, simply measure out the elderberries and the water and add to a saucepan on the stovetop. Bring the berries and water to a boil for about 5 minutes, adding in the ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Then turn down to a simmer for 20 minutes.
It is important to remember that elderberries need to cook for the full amount of time. Raw and uncooked elderberries are not safe to eat. They contain glycosides in the seeds and need the cooking down process in order to destroy those, making them safe for consumption.
Cooking down the ingredients for a bit of time also allows all of the healthy qualities to be extracted from the spices and berries. In most cases, the simmering process will leave you with less liquid than you started with, but this recipe anticipates that and adds in extra water.
Once the elderberries are cooked down, add the mixture to a mesh strainer over a bowl and press the remaining juices out of the berries and spices. You really want to get as much out of this as you can.
I ended up with right at 16 ounces after the cooking down process.
Once cooled, add in the honey. Use a raw local honey for added immune benefits if available. Like elderberries, this is loaded with antioxidants and known for fighting off sickness. For this step, the reason we wait until the liquid is cooled, is because you don’t want to destroy those healthy micro organisms that are actually alive within the honey.
Last, stir in the raw apple cider vinegar to complete the recipe. I used ACV with the mother as this is the healthiest choice.
How long does Elderberry syrup stay good?
Kept in the fridge, elderberry syrup will stay good for up to six months. This is assuming you have used a proper container, not allowing any airflow to reach the syrup.
How frequently should Elderberry Syrup be taken?
To be as effective as possible, it should be taken once every day. If you feel the onset of a cold, you should bump this up to twice a day. Just like with probiotics, your system will need a steady dosage to be able to fight off any sickness.
However, I personally do not find it necessary to take elderberry syrup year round. In my household, it is only made and taken during flu season and winter.
If you’re interested in trying to build up your immune system, elderberry syrup is a great thing to use, but as said above, try incorporating more probiotics into your daily eating or drinking. I have a post on here for making basic kombucha tea, which is a great start to a DIY fermented foods approach.
- 1 Cup of Dried Organic Elderberries
- 1/2 Cup Local Raw Honey
- 1/2 Tsp Freshly Grated Ginger
- 2 Tsp Raw Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Tsp Whole Cloves
- 2 Cinnamon Sticks
- 24 Ounces of Filtered Water
- Add the water to a large pot on the stove and bring to a boil
- Once the water has reached a boil, add the dried elderberries along with the ginger, cloves, and the cinnamon sticks
- Let these ingredients sit at a rolling boil for 5 minutes, then reduce the pot to a simmer and let cook for 20 minutes stirring a few times throughout the process
- Once the syrup is done cooking, strain out the liquids over a mesh strainer in a bowl, smashing on the elderberries and spices to extract all nutrients
- Let the syrup cool to room temperature
- Stir in the honey and apple cider vinegar
- Store in the fridge
- It is important to cook the elderberries for the full time. Elderberries not cooked thouroughly enough are not safe for consumption in large quantities
- Make sure to let the syrup cool down completely before adding in the honey and apple cider vinegar. These ingredients contain importatnt qualities that aid in the recipe. If too hot, the ingreidients will lose these qualities and be ineffective