Winter is just around the corner and sometimes that means the sniffles or something a bit worse is inevitable. For me, and pretty much every one I know being sick is miserable, and thank goodness I don’t get sick often (*knocks on my wooden desk*.) However, when I do feel not my best, I reach for my elderberry syrup for a little extra immune help. I’ve been purchasing elderberry syrup for years, but it is quite pricey and doesn’t always have all of the ingredients I’d like it to contain. So, to amp up the healing (and preventative) power of my elderberry syrup I’ve added a bit of herbal magic to the mix.
Black Elderberries (Sambucus Nigra) on their own have been used for centuries to combat colds, fevers, and the flu. They are chock full of antioxidants and also contain vitamins A, B, and quite a bit of vitamin C. They also have flavonoids (dark plant pigment compounds) that are known to help boost the immune system. Think of your ‘eat the rainbow’ sentiment- dark colors in foods often indicate antioxidant content- your blueberries, cabbage, dark greens and the like are great examples.
So when you take elderberry syrup and add honey (anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and soothing to irritated tissues,) cinnamon (contains polyphenol antioxidants,) rosemary (anti-microbial, antioxidant,) ginger root (contains the active substance Gingerol that is effective at fighting bacteria,) cloves (an expectorant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory,) and lemon (high in vitamin C, B6, thiamin, riboflavin, anti-bacterial, and can help lower fevers) you have a high powered infection fighting, very tasty syrup!
DIY Elderberry Syrup Ingredients
1 Cup Dried Elderberries
4 Cups Water
1/2 Cup Honey
2 Cinnamon Sticks
2 Sprigs Rosemary
1 Thumb Fresh Ginger Root
1 Teaspoon Cloves
1/2 of a Lemon Rind (organic, if possible)
DIY Elderberry Syrup Instructions
1 Pour elderberries, water, cinnamon sticks, rosemary, and cloves into a medium saucepan on medium heat.
2 Remove about half of your lemon’s rind. Using a sharp knife scrape of as much remaining pith (white flesh) as possible. Also, remove the skin of about a thumb’s- length chunk of ginger root, roughly chop and then add both lemon rind and ginger into the elderberry mixture.
3 Bring saucepan to a boil and then reduce heat and let simmer for about an hour or until the liquid reduces to about 1/3 or until your desired consistency. I like my liquid to be super thick, so this recipe simmered for about an hour and fifteen minutes and ended up making about 12 ounces. If you allow for more water, you’ll yield more syrup!
4. Let your elderberry liquid (with the additional herbs and spices) cool completely. Strain out the herb debris and then stir in the honey.
5. When the honey is fully incorporated pour into airtight containers. Store in the fridge.
Traditionally, an elderberry syrup dose is 1 teaspoon daily as a preventative for adults, and when you are feeling ill you can take that dose every few hours for an additional immune boost. However, I am not a doctor, so if elderberry syrup is a new addition to your self-care routine make sure to consult your healthcare provider first!
Prefer this in video form? Take a peek below!
Some links are affiliate links. All opinions are my own.