Elderberries are an excellent remedy to resort to especially in cold weather months. They are dried berries that come from the Sambucus Nigra plant. They are naturally high in immune-boosting compounds that are specifically related to curing a bad cold or even the flu.
Most of us have experienced it for ourselves and know how miserable a cold or flu can be. For parents especially seeing your child in pain isn’t the most exciting thing and taking care of them can be a lot of work. Visiting the doctor is usually the first thing we do but even then the medicine they prescribe isn’t always the solution. If visiting the doctor just isn’t for you or you prefer to experiment with natural remedies instead, fortunately we have just what you may be looking for.
Elderberries are known to speed up the healing process during a cold or flu and even bring relief to pain and nausea you may be having.
Benefits of Elderberry
Elderberries naturally contain A, B, and C and stimulate the immune system. Israeli researchers found that the complex sugars in elderberries support the immune system in fighting cold and flu. They developed several formulas based on these complex sugars that have been clinically shown to help ameliorate all kinds of cold/flu.
“Dr. Madeleine Mumcuoglu, of Hadassah-Hebrew University in Israel found that elderberry disarms the enzyme viruses use to penetrate healthy cells in the lining of the nose and throat. Taken before infection, it prevents infection. Taken after infection, it prevents spread of the virus through the respiratory tract. In a clinical trial, 20% of study subjects reported significant improvement within 24 hours, 70% by 48 hours, and 90% claimed complete cure in three days. In contrast, subjects receiving the placebo required 6 days to recover.”
Elderberry syrup supplies the immune system benefits from black elderberries in a concentrated form. This home made recipe uses herbs like cinnamon and ginger plus raw honey for an extra immune system boost!
Making your own homemade remedies is not only cheaper but it’s an all natural alternative that will keep your body’s immune system healthy and free of toxins.
Homemade Recipe For Elderberry Syrup
A simple Elderberry syrup recipe made with dried Elderberries, honey, and herbs for an immune boosting and delicious syrup. Can be used medicinally or on homemade pancakes or waffles.
Serves: 1 quart
⅔ cup dried black Elderberries (about 3 ounces)
3½ cups of water
2 tablespoons fresh or dried ginger root
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
½ teaspoon cloves or clove powder
1 cup raw honey (we get from our farmer’s market)
Pour water into medium saucepan and add Elderberries, ginger, cinnamon and cloves (do not add honey!)
Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour until the liquid has reduced by almost half. At that point, remove from heat and let cool enough to be handled. Mash the berries carefully using a spoon or other flat utensil. Pour through a strainer into a glass jar or bowl.
Discard the Elderberries (or compost them!) and let the liquid cool to lukewarm. When it is no longer hot, add 1 cup of honey and stir well.
When honey is well mixed into the Elderberry mixture, pour the syrup into a pint sized mason jar or 16-ounce glass bottle of some kind.
Ta Da! You just made homemade elderberry syrup! Store in the fridge and take daily for its immune boosting properties. Some sources recommend taking only during the week and not on the weekends to boost immunity.
Kids: ½ teaspoon to 1 teaspoon for kids.
Adults: ½ tablespoon to 1 tablespoon for adults.
If the flu does strike, take the normal dose every 2-3 hours instead of once a day until symptoms disappear.
Q&A of Elderberry Syrup
How long does elderberry syrup last in the fridge?
The short answer is that it really depends. I’ve found that placing the finished syrup in a mason canning jar while it is still warm creates an air-tight seal and allows it to last much longer in the fridge, up to several months. As a general rule, it lasts about two weeks in the fridge, and I typically freeze whatever I won’t use during that time. You can also freeze small amounts in an ice-cube tray and defrost small amounts when needed.
If you know how you can also can the elderberry juice concentrate or the finished syrup to significantly extend the shelf life.
Can I harvest my own elderberries?
You can, and in fact, you can even grow your own elderberry bush, but it is important to make sure you are growing the right plant. I also recommend working with a local herbalist to find/harvest elderberries and ensure that only the berries are harvested (the stems and leaves can be dangerous).
Where is the best place to order elderberries?
We don’t have a local source, so I’ve always ordered online from:
Mountain Rose Herbs: My favorite source but often out of stock mid-year.
Amazon: They carry Frontier Brand organic elderberries that are also a great choice.
What is Elderberry syrup used for?
Our family uses it as a preventative remedy by taking 1/2 to 1 teaspoon a day during peak cold and flu season. If we get hit with a minor illness, we double or triple that dose until we feel better.
The unique and complex flavor of elderberries also make this syrup a great ingredient in certain recipes and I’ve made an elderberry pannacotta by substituting elderberry syrup for the sweetener in recipes.
How much to take?
This is really a question for a herbalist or naturopath, but I personally take 1 teaspoon a day as an adult and give half of this to my kids. During illness, I double or triple this amount.