With school back in session and flu season on the way, our immune systems could use a boost. This time of year it is so important to fortify your body with immune boosting foods and getting plenty of rest. One of our favorite ways to boost immunity is by taking my yummy homemade elderberry syrup. Of course you can purchase elderberry syrup from your local health food store or favorite online shop, but there are several reasons why we prefer to make our own.
- Local ingredients: By using local raw honey you are protecting agains allergens that are specific to your local area.
- Flavor: Some of the store bought syrups are not very palatable, especially for children. This homemade version is delicious!
- Quality Control: By making your own you can be sure that your ingredients are safe and healthy.
- Flexibility: You can add your own favorite herbs to the mix to suit your individual needs.
- Cost: Store bought elderberry can cost upwards of $30 for a small 4-8 oz bottle, with this recipe you spend less than $20 and get 24oz of syrup. Costs even less if you buy your elderberries in bulk.
- 1 cup dried elderberries
- 2 Tbsp echinacea purpurea
- Thumb sized piece of raw ginger, sliced
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 4 cloves
- 4 cups filtered water
- 1 cup raw, local, unfiltered honey
Combine all ingredients EXCEPT HONEY in a medium saucepan and simmer until liquid is reduced by approximately half (at least 30-45 minutes).
Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
Strain with fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth, reserving liquid. Make sure to really squeeze the berries to get as much liquid as possible. You should get close to 2 cup of dark purple liquid. You can either throw elderberry mixture away or save it to add to smoothies, muffins, etc.
Once liquid has cooled to around 100 degrees, add honey and stir until well combined (do not add raw honey to hot liquid, doing so will damage the beneficial enzymes in the honey). Alternately you can pour liquid into a 32 oz Mason jar, add honey, cap tightly and shake vigorously.
Store your elderberry syrup in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 6 months. Shake well before each use.
For preventative use
- Adults: 1 Tbsp per day
- Children over 12m: 1 tsp per day
To treat illness
- Adults: 1 Tbsp every 2-3 hours
- Children over 12m: 1 tsp every 2-3 hours