DIY: Ultimate Elderberry Syrup |
AD

DIY: Ultimate Elderberry Syrup

admin January 21, 2013

Sarena-Rae Santos is a contributing writer.

If you haven’t read Is Elderberry Really The Best Flu Remedy? or our Elderberry Herbal Profile, I highly recommend doing so. These two posts are great starter points to understanding this remarkable yet often misunderstood herb. From not using elderberry if you have an autoimmune disease to taking elderberry will cause a cytokine storm and kill you; the misconstrued claims can be overwhelming.

A quick review of some elderberry benefits include:

  • May support the immune system
  • Rich in antioxidants
  • May improve cold and flu symptoms
  • Supports heart health
  • May help fight cancer
  • May lower blood sugar levels and reduce insulin dependence
  • Supports skin health
  • May improve allergy symptoms

The bottom line is that elderberry has many exceptional properties and appears safe in all studied populations.  I would recommend, personally:

  • Taking elderberry daily, in small amounts, unless you have a negative reaction to it (not all herbs are for all people!)
  • Using from August – March, during the majority of flu season, especially if symptoms develop or if you have been exposed
  • Caution is warranted in individuals with autoimmune conditions. Generally, I recommend trying elderberry for immune support when not sick to see how you’ll react to it.  Don’t try it for the first time when sick. If you find you respond negatively to elderberry, astragalus root may be a better option.

Elderberry and Other Natural Remedies for Colds

As we know, elderberries are really potent medicine, and they can have a strong effect on several conditions–flu, cold, strep throat, and other bacterial infections!  If someone in your house comes down with one of these, shows potential symptoms, or is exposed to these, begin dosing with this DIY syrup as quickly as possible.

Continue doing so for 2 – 5 days until symptoms abate, and follow up with lots of probiotics (especially those that contain lactobacillus plantarum or s. boulardii) and cod liver oil.  Fresh pineapple juice (including the core) may also prove beneficial during the illness.  All my research (see last week’s post) leads me to think this is probably the most effective remedy for these symptoms.

There are many other herbs and treatments that are beneficial as well, of course.  Many swear by oregano oil, olive leaf extract, colloidal silver, garlic, various other essential oils and herbs, and so on.  I think these, too, can have a place in the medicine cabinet.  Everyone’s body chemistry is different, and their “most effective” remedy will be.  

Elderberry syrup is the best general remedy I have found–the one I have found the most evidence for in larger populations.  The other remedies are not all as well studied.  Feel free to use or include whatever else you have personally researched or have found works for you.

I recommend freezing this syrup after an illness is finished so it will last.  It should last 1 – 2 months in the fridge, though.

As always, if an infection is not responding to home care and symptoms are worrying, call a doctor.  This is not medical advice, and in a medical emergency – such as if a child is truly lethargic, having difficulty breathing, etc. – you should seek medical help instead of looking here.

DIY: Ultimate Elderberry Syrup

Ultimate Elderberry Syrup

Prep Time5 mins
Servings: 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried elderberries
  • 4 cups filtered water
  • 4-1/4" slices fresh ginger
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1/2 cup raw honey or grade B maple syrup

Instructions

  • Mix the dried elderberries, water, and fresh ginger in a medium saucepan, turn the pan on low-medium, and heat until it begins to simmer.
  • Simmer this for 20 - 30 minutes, checking carefully to ensure it doesn't boil too hard or the water doesn't boil away. Add a bit of extra water if you need to.
  • When the syrup is cooked, allow it to cool for a while. Then, strain the syrup through a sieve. You should end up with around 2 cups of juice.
  • Discard the berries and ginger. Allow the mixture to cool to lukewarm. Add the honey. 
  • Add the lemon juice before stirring to combine completely. Pour it into a glass jar for storage and put it in the fridge. Your elderberry syrup is finished!

Notes

This should be used at the first sign of illness.  The dose is about 1 tsp. every 2 - 3 hours for a child, and 1 tbsp. every 2 - 3 hours for older children (6+) and adults.  Continue to dose this way during an illness for 2 - 5 days until symptoms abate.  You may combine this with warm baths in Epsom salts, crushed ginger swallowed or rubbed on the feet, and other natural remedies if desired.  Rest or allow the child to rest as much as possible too.
Make sure you continue cod liver oil daily. The vitamin A and D can boost the immune system and help fight off infection too.  Probiotics are also important -- offer fermented milk (yogurt, kefir) with live active cultures or other probiotic sources that contain l. plantarum.


Do you use elderberry syrup?  What is your favorite natural remedy?

This is the writings of:

admin
AD

35 Comments

  1. We’ve been very healthy so far this winter. We have gone through a quart of elderberry syrup between the 6 of us. Making more today. We don’t have any autoimmune issues nor have I ever heard of anyone having any issues with elderberry so we take it daily with some breaks. That, some herbs and homeopathy, probiotics, and FCLO has kept the viruses at bay(:

    Reply

  2. Can this be made with frozen elderberries?

    Reply

  3. Please tell me why the ginger must be fresh? Have you tried it with dried ginger bits and found it did not work as well?

    Reply

  4. I am making elderberry syrup for the first time tonight! I am using your recipe (I love that you have included the lemon juice in it, this is the only recipe I’ve seen that has the addition of lemon juice) I have bought pre-made elderberry syrup in the past, but this is so easy! I will never buy it from someone else again. Thanks!

    Reply

  5. On med-low it does not come close to boiling or a simmer. So I am curious if it breaking down the toxicity. Do you know what temp it should get to? And for how long?

    Reply

  6. On other websites it says to bring to boil, then simmer for 45 min-ish.

    Reply

  7. In your other elderberry recipe (/2012/10/03/the-many-uses-of-elder/#.UR0IgqVwfgh) you cook the berries for 2 hours; in this one, you cook them for 20-30 minutes. Why the difference in time? Is the shorter time better?

    In advance, thank you for your time and help.

    Jennifer

    Reply

  8. […] tried elderberry syrup (which is more potent than you think!), vitamin C, and lots of other supplements recommended to us […]

    Reply

  9. […] it: Make your own elderberry syrup, or use it in cough/cold […]

    Reply

  10. […] 1. Ultimate Elderberry Syrup by Modern Alternative Mama […]

    Reply

  11. Is this safe for babies? I have an 8 month old, and while I hope we don’t have a reason to use this, I’d like to know if I can if the need arises! I’m assuming in that case I would need to use maple syrup instead of honey…

    Reply

  12. […] on all of this research, I will post a new elderberry syrup recipe next week that incorporates the best combination of natural remedies.  This syrup may also be […]

    Reply

  13. […] syrup is easily made (I’ve heard, I haven’t actually made it yet. But have been gifted homemade Elderberry […]

    Reply

  14. I have used elderberry successfully in the past. I take coumadin and wondered if it has a lot of Vit. K in it?

    Reply

  15. I did something like this the other day. But we’ve been mixing it into a mug of hot water and drinking it like tea.

    Reply

  16. Do you think you could can this syrup? It is berries. I’m wondering if I could water bath it. Have you ever tried?

    Reply

  17. I recently posted a question about my syrup fermenting. Was the post deleted?

    Reply

  18. […] other ingredients and we made several different natural remedies for the upcoming winter.  We made elderberry syrup, cough syrup, and some other projects I haven’t published […]

    Reply

  19. […] during the rash, but they all developed a cough after it began healing and at that point I gave elderberry syrup.  (I didn’t give it to the baby, he is EBF so I took it […]

    Reply

  20. Do you know how much fresh elderberries to use in order to equal one cup of dried berries?

    Reply

  21. Do you know how many fresh berries would equal 1 cup of dried berries?

    Reply

  22. […] Ultimate Elderberry Syrup from Modern Alternative Mama […]

    Reply

  23. […] You can buy elderberry syrup from many retailers, but it is very easy and much less expensive to make your own!  Here is the recipe we are using; it is adapted from the ebook, Herbal Nurturing by Michelle Augar and from the recipe from Modern Alternative Mama. […]

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Hi, I’m Kate.  I love medical freedom, sharing natural remedies, developing real food recipes, and gentle parenting. My goal is to teach you how to live your life free from Big Pharma, Big Food, and Big Government by learning about herbs, cooking, and sustainable practices.

I’m the author of Natural Remedies for Kids and the owner and lead herbalist at EarthleyI hope you’ll join me on the journey to a free and healthy life!

Meet My Family
Top
Love our content? Sign up for our weekly newsletter and get our FREE Nourished Living Cookbook!