Elderberry syrup has been a staple in my home in terms of natural remedies to ease cold and flu symptoms. Its effectiveness in shortening the duration of colds and flu is extremely impressive. I have many successful experiences with it. The most successful experience I've had was when my son was lethargic with the flu, I made elderberry tea and gave him 1/2 a cup of it. By the day's end, he was full of energy and playful again.
There are many ways to utilize elderberries as a natural medicine. You can drink it as a tea. Make a tincture of it or make it into a syrup. My preferred way to use elderberry as cold-fighter is a syrup. I have made a tincture of it and didn't it find it quite as effective as the syrup. I'm not sure why. It could be possible that the alcohol breaks down some of the vital components in the berries. My regimen involves utilizing elderberry syrup when a cold and flu is in full force and not necessarily as a way to prevent cold symptoms from evolving. Echinacea, I've discovered, works best as a preventative measure. (Taken at the first hint of symptoms) Elderberry syrup works wonderfully if used consistently throughout a 24/48 hour period.
Related post: Build Your Natural Medicine Cabine With Herbal Tinctures
HEALTH BENEFITS OF ELDERBERRY
BUDGETING - HOME MADE vs. STORE BOUGHT
I've never purchased elderberry syrup. The only store-bought elderberry syrup I experienced, was given to me. The elderberry syrup brand I was given was 8-ounces and required a teaspoon every hour during colds/flu or twice daily for immune support. Eight ounces of elderberry syrup would last half a day in my home if that, so purchasing elderberry syrup isn't conducive to my budget. It makes more sense to make a batch of 32 ounces (or more) for LESS than the price of an 8 ounce, store-bought syrup. The ingredients to make elderberry syrup are ridiculously simple.
Honey.....Water.... and Elderberries!
The essential factor that motivates me to make most of my remedies/meals from scratch is quality control. Especially when you're trying to recover from being sick, keeping the ingredient list whole and clean is vital.
BASIC RECIPE WITH HONEY
What you will need...
1/4 cup of dried elderberries
6 cups of water
2 cups of Honey (more or less to taste)
Bowl (glass or mixing bowl of some sort)
Potato masher or a sturdy fork
Jar, preferably glass with a tight-fitting lid
Add the berries to the water and bring to a good boil. Let the berries simmer for half an hour uncovered. Using a fork or a potato masher, mash the berries in the pot. Strain the berries from the liquid into the bowl. Use caution as the liquid will be HOT. Add the honey (more or less to taste). Drain the liquid into a jar and let it cool. Lid it and refrigerate! The consistency will be thin, similar to "simple syrup". If you'd like a thicker syrup, use cane sugar instead. Keep reading for the recipe.
MY TRIALS AND ERRORS
The honey acts as a preservative, so you'll need to have enough in the mixture to keep the syrup's refrigeration life for the next two months or so. I didn't add enough honey in my first batch and it fermented within two weeks!
BASIC RECIPE WITH UNREFINED CANE SUGAR
You can use unrefined, non-GMO cane sugar (not sugar beets) in place of honey. Simply replace the same amount of sugar with honey. I've used both. Both recipes are effective. For a thicker consistency, follow the recipe above and replace the honey with cane sugar. Return the hot mixture back into the pot and allow it to simmer and reduce to half.
MINT ELDERBERRY SYRUP
Mint is a wonderful respiratory aid when dealing with congestion. Using the same equipment and directions above. Add 1/4 c. of fresh mint leaves to the last ten/fifteen minutes of cooking time. Works wonderfully with honey or cane sugar. You can reduce the syrup for thicker consistency with this recipe as well.
BOOST YOUR REMEDY!
Fulvic acids are a powerful electrochemical transporter of nutrients, chelators of metallic minerals, and they aid in the absorption of minerals and nutrients. Add two teaspoons of Fulvic Acids to your final product would boost the activity of your remedy! Learn more about fulvic acids and check out the infographic.
HOW TO TO USE
Keep your elderberry syrup refrigerated! It should keep for at least two months in this condition. Freeze for longer storage periods. You can freeze in ice cubes or mason jars. During colds, give 2 tsp every one to two hours. For immune support 2 tsp. three times a day. Double the amounts for adults.