We started taking Elderberry syrup a few years ago, always homemade – cause have you seen how expensive it is at the store?!? It helps shorten sickness and can even ward it off if someone else in your house has it. Here’s the sciencey stuff on why it helps boost your immune system.
This takes about an hour from start to finish. I usually keep a bottle in the fridge and put the rest in the freezer. With high honey content it doesn’t freeze solid and takes very little time to defrost. I prefer to use a local raw honey (local will help with allergies).
I get my supplies from Bulk Herb Store – Whole Organic Elderberries, Organic Cinnamon Sticks, Organic Cloves and Raw Honey if you don’t have a local source. Or if you prefer to buy from Amazon Prime here’s your shopping list – Whole Organic Elderberries, Organic Cinnamon Sticks, Organic Cloves and Raw Honey if you don’t have a local source. To make this cost effective you can either split the ingredients with a friend OR Make a large batch. What I have done is offer it at cost to friends and in local Facebook groups.
Why is this good for you?
- 1/2 C. Whole Dried Elderberries
- 3 C. Filtered Water
- 10 Cloves
- 2 Cinnamon Sticks
- Knob of ginger (optional)
- 12 oz Raw (Local) Honey
- Add everything except honey to a sauce pot and bring to a low boil.
- Once you have reached a boil reduce to a simmer for about 25 minutes.
- After it looks to be reduces by half pour through a strainer.
- Let cool for about 20 minutes, you still want it warmish, but not HOT.
- Pour enough to fill 1/2 of your container, fill other 1/2 with honey.
- Put a lid on and shake until honey incorporated.
We are currently in a house with a pretty basic stove and oven. My very lowest setting is too high – so I have to rig stuff up a little. I use a cooling rack to raise it from the fire (please excuse the dirty stove top – you know it happens really fast).
I love this Stainless Steel Mesh Colander Set from Pampered Chef. These are also great for soaking grains- like quinoa that are small. If you’d like to use Amazon these are pretty close to the brand name.
I usually keep my honey containers and fill half with the reduction and half with honey, screw on the lid tight and shake till it looks to be all the same consistency. That is why there is a “froth” on top.
Because of the honey content I feel totally safe storing this in the freezer without it cracking the glass. I do keep one in the fridge for immediate use for a few months – the frozen I use for up to a year.
How to Use
Our family has found it easiest to use 1/2 to one tablespoon in equal parts water and apple juice. I don’t necessarily like the added sugar when they are sick, BUT it isn’t “processed” sugar. We have tried with other juices we have had on hand and can tell you grape juice makes it too strong. Most of the kids and my hubby don’t mind it in orange juice.
We do one serving about 3 times a day when they aren’t feeling well and try to get a serving into the other kids to help prevent the spread. If you have had the store bought elderberry syrup it doesn’t even compare – we had to resort to this once when we were out of town and it was terrible trying to get my daughter to drink it. If you don’t want to drink your medicine OR want something a little more practical for the road these are a great option.