Earlier this month, my entire family got hit with the flu. I was caught a bit off-guard, because we had not been sick in so long, and I realized I had never unpacked my herbal “medicine cabinet” after our move onto the land. Furthermore, when I finally did find my box of herbs, tinctures, homeopathic remedies, and essential oils, I found it rather incomplete. It was time to re-stock with natural remedies for health and wellness, and to make elderberry syrup.
One of my favorite plant medicines, reported to be an immune booster and cold and flu remedy, is Elderberry (Sambucus nigra). A subspecies of S. nigra grows as a native perennial here in Missouri, and in fact, there are a few plants on our 60 acre land trust. We also purchased 25 young Elder bushes last spring and planted them throughout the property, but it will be a few years before they bear fruit.
Inspired by a few elderberry syrup recipes (this one from Montana Homesteader, this one from Wellness Mama, and this from Gypsy Forest), Ella and I made a batch of Elderberry-Echinacea Syrup to drink as an immune booster, and to have on hand should my family gets sick.
How to Make Elderberry Syrup
Elderberry Echinacea Syrup
2/3 Cup Elder Berry Powder (Use 2c. fresh berries, or 1c. whole berries)
2 TBSP Echinacea Root
2 TBSP Fresh Ginger Root
1 Cinnamon Stick
1/2 tsp Whole Cloves
3 1/2 C. Water
3/4 Cup – 1 1/2 Cup Raw Honey (sweetened to your personal preference)
1) Place all ingredients EXCEPT honey into a heavy saucepan and SIMMER for 30-45 minutes.
2) Strain the liquid using a mesh strainer or cheesecloth. Because I had used Elderberry Powder, instead of whole berries (Mountain Rose was out of whole berries), I strained the mixture a second time, through a mesh tea strainer.
3) Allow the mixture to cool until it is just warm to the touch. Add honey, and stir until well-mixed.
4) Refrigerate until use.
For immune boosting, I have read that adults can take up to 1 TBSP of the syrup per day, while children should take 1 TSP. For acute illnesses such as colds or flu, take the syrup several times per day. Note: Honey should not be given to children under 1 year.
(**As I am not a health professional, please do your own research, and consult with your physician to determine what is right for you.)
Enjoy this delicious and good-for-you syrup!
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