For the past few years, my husband and I have relied solely on natural remedies to prevent us from getting colds, flus, and other seasonal illnesses. We have found our favorite all-natural ways of preventing common seasonal illnesses, and we find that we get sick no more than anyone else. Regularly taking homemade elderberry syrup is easily our go-to way of staying healthy throughout the year.
One huge disclaimer before we move on: I’m not a medical professional, nor am I making any judgements. This is simply a recipe for an incredibly healthy syrup that helps us stay well during cold and flu season. When I say that elderberries are healthy, I mean it. Do a quick Google search on these fabulous purple health-giving berries. Elderberries are super rich in vitamin C and vitamin A, antioxidants, and so much more. They are a true all-in-one!
Moving on, I wanted to share with you my own go-to elderberry syrup recipe. I use this syrup as a preventative measure, and also as a get-better-quick remedy for when icky cold and flu symptoms creep up.
Why make elderberry syrup instead of just buying it?
Check the price tag on any elderberry syrup at a health food store and you may feel a tad bit of sticker shock. Depending on the brand, you’ll pay on average $3/oz. The last time I made multiple batches of my elderberry syrup, I made about 166oz for $30. You still get just as many health benefits from homemade syrup, and you can customize the ingredients that you add.
Where on earth do you find elderberries?
Before trying to make my own elderberry syrup, this question intimidated me to the point that I almost didn’t try it. I admit this to you even after having been the marketing director of a health food store a few years back! Elderberries are available in fresh and dried form. I always choose dried elderberries because they are the easiest to find. While I don’t have any reliable suggestion as to where to find fresh if you choose that route, dried elderberries can be found at nearly all health food stores in the bulk spices area (i.e. look for the section of the store with the large bookshelf-looking apparatus with labeled jars).
Before starting to work on this recipe, take note: it’s slightly time consuming. I like to make this syrup on one of my days off. I use a simple blend of dried elderberries, water, fresh ginger, cinnamon, local honey, and cayenne.
• 1 cup local, raw honey
• 2/3 cup of dried elderberries
• 3 1/4 cups water
• 1 1/2 tsp cayenne
• 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
• 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
1. Add water, elderberries, ginger, cinnamon, and cayenne to a saucepan that fits all of the ingredients. Bring to a boil.
2. Once boiling, cover and reduce heat to low for about one hour.
3. Remove from heat for about 30-45 minutes (or until the liquid is warm instead of hot).
4. Strain and discard elderberries and grated ginger, and pour liquid in to a large heat-safe bowl.
5. Stir in honey.
6. Pour syrup in to mason jars. For this recipe, you will need about two mason jars (they will not be completely full). Refrigerate syrup.
The finished elderberry syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for several months. My husband and I take about one teaspoon per day as a cold and flu preventative. If we fall behind on taking care of ourselves and start to feel a scratchy throat, fever, or any other symptoms, we up the dose to about three teaspoons per day. This is our absolute favorite way to stay healthy over peak cold and flu season.