I’ve been seeing the word elderberry more and more, so of course I had to do some digging. According to the web, these berries are “packed with antioxidants and vitamins that may boost your immune system. They can help tame inflammation, lessen stress, and help protect your heart. Some experts recommend elderberry to help prevent and ease cold and flu symptoms.”
Of course after hearing all of the benefits, I was sold! I’m currently taking immunity vitamins that have elderberry as an ingredient, but of course I wanted to find out what else was out there. My gosh, there are syrups, teas, and even gummies.
I’m a DIYer, so I decided that I wanted to make my own elderberry syrup. However, right now it’s difficult to find GOOD berries. And when I say good, I mean ones that don’t have a lot of leaves, twigs and bark; or where the berries aren’t discolored. From what i’ve learned “elderberry leaves, twigs and bark are toxic...” so when purchasing you want a product that has been sifted through thoroughly. And of course when you receive your berries make sure to still check through all of the berries and remove any leaves, twigs and bark. Also, you want to cook the berries prior to using because “raw berries can cause nausea and an stomach upset.”
Anywho, searching Google and Amazon led to an empty cart and sold out virtual shelves. Since I was unable to find the berries to make my own, I decided to just try a syrup. Everyone in the WORLD is selling syrups, but I narrowed it down to what was available on the shelves at my local natural food store. Ha ha. I bought a syrup and a extract.
I’ve been using the extract so far for about 5 days. It reminds me of grape juice with a bit of a tang. I’ve added it to water, tea and juice, but I have yet to try it by itself.
Since i’m into natural products and holistic healing, I’ll definitely be making my own syrup at some point. The recipe I found, that I would love to try is below:
- 3½ cups water
- 2/3 cup dried elderberries (or 1 1/3 cups fresh or frozen)
- 2 TBSP ginger
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- 1 cup raw honey
- Pour the water into a medium saucepan and add the elderberries, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves.
- Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes to 1 hour until the liquid has reduced by almost half.
- Remove from heat and let cool until it is cool enough to be handled.
- Mash the berries carefully using a spoon or other flat utensil.
- Pour through a strainer into a glass jar or bowl.
- Discard the elderberries and let the liquid cool to lukewarm.
- When it is no longer hot, add the honey and stir well.
- When the honey is well mixed into the elderberry mixture, pour the syrup into a mason jar or 16 ounce glass bottle of some kind.
- Ta-da! You just made homemade elderberry syrup! Store in the fridge and take daily for its immune boosting properties. Some sources recommend taking only during the week and not on the weekends to boost immunity.
Well, that is all for now. Remember to wash your hands, don’t touch your face, practice social distancing and take care of your mental and physical health.