Cold, flu, COVID… oh my! ‘Tis the season for the sniffles and the most important time of the year to take extra precautionary steps to boost your immune system. Throughout the winter months, elderberry syrup is a staple in my household because of it’s immune-boosting and anti-viral properties.
Elderberry Syrup Basics
So what exactly is elderberry syrup and why should it be a part of your wintertime health routine?
Elderberry syrup is a combination of four simple ingredients: raw honey, cooked elderberries, water and cinammon. Elderberries are small fruits that have long been touted for their medicinal properties and health benefits, including:
- Immune boosting properties
- Antiviral – elderberries help decrease duration and severity of respiratory illnesses
- Natural antioxidant – elderberries are rich in anthocyanins (a type of flavonoid) that act as an antioxidant and have anti-iflammatory, anti-vital and anti-cancer benefits
- Helps to clear sinus infectons
- Reduces symptoms of allergies
- Chock-full of vitamins and minerals
- Natural diureic – help promote bowel movements
Incorporating elderberry syrup into your daily health routine can have so many benefits beyond cold and flu prevention. It’s really a powerhouse plant that supports many whole-body functions and benefits the entire family!
Benefits of Homemade Elderberry Syrup
So why make your own elderberry syrup instead of simply buying it from the store? For starters, store-bought elderberry syrup is expensive. To put it in perspective, a 3-ounce bottle of Gaia Elderberry syrup costs around $16. According to the recommended dosage (1 teaspoon a day) for a single adult, that bottle would only last 18 days (36 days for a child). The cost of elderberry syrup can quickly add up, especially if you’re using it throughout the entire cold and flu season.
Aside from price, the majority of store-bought elderberry syrups contain potentially harmful ingredients. Even the products marketed as natural or organic contain ingredients that can have adverse side effects.
Many popular elderberry syrup brands contain:
- color and flavor additives
- sugar (in the form of glucose syrup, corn syrup, cane sugar)
- preservatives (citric acid and potassium sorbate)
These ingredients can be irritants for those with sensitive digestive systems, acid reflux, allergies, and hypersensitivity.
In the case of elderberry syrup, homemade is best! My recipe incorporates pure, simple ingredients that truly support your health. It also yields more syrup than store-bought options and at a fraction of the cost.
Supplement and support your families health with this affordable, homemade recipe.
Immune-Supporting Elderberry Syrup Recipe
- Large cooking pot
- Fine-mesh strainer
- Mason jar with lid
- 3/4 cup dried organic elderberries (click here for my favorite brand!)
- 3 cups water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3/4 cup raw, unfiltered honey
- In a large pot, bring water, elderberries, cinammon, ginger, clove and vanilla extract to a boil.
- Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 40 minutes (or until the liquid is reduced by half).
- Drain the liquid with a fine mesh strainer into a mason jar or other glass storage container. Press the elderberries with a spoon to remove all liquid from the berries. Discard the cooked elderberries.
- Let the mixture cool until it reaches room temperature.
- Add raw honey and mix well.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Note: Shake well before every use.
- Store in an airtight container (mason jar with a lid is best)
- Refrigerate for up to 2-3 months
- Freeze for up to 6 months
Adults: 1 teaspoon a day for maintenance, may increase to 3 teaspoons a day when sick or feel an illness coming on.
Children over 1 year-old: 1/2 teaspoon a day or maintenance
- Do not give elderberry syrup to infants under 1 year old. Honey can contain bacteria that causes botulism in infants.
- Elderberries MUST be cooked for safe consumption. Do not eat dried elderberries, as they are toxic and contain cyanide-inducing glycoside. Cook elderberries for at least 20 minutes.
This recipe yields about 16 ounces of elderberry syrup and costs about $12 to make at home. This batch will last the average adult about three months when taken once daily.
Most store-bought elderberry syrups average around $15 for 3 ounces, which amounts to over $75 for 16 ounces. By making this elderberry syrup recipe at home, you can save around $63. That’s a HUGE cost savings and a small investment in your personal health and wellness!