Introduction: DIY Elderberry Syrup - Home Remedy for Flu & Immune Booster
My immune system isn't the best. (It's a lot better now, years later :) Last year I was sick with bronchitis, sinusitis and ear infections almost every month. Every time I got over something - it seemed like I would get sick with something else. A wonderful woman in my painting class in school months back told me to try Elderberry syrup to help me boost the immune system. Then when I was at the store I happened to see it on the clearance rack and I bought it. I took a teaspoon of it a couple times a day here and there for several months and I did not get sick that whole time. It was extremely unusual for me during this time of year to not get those problems that I had the years before. I can only think that this stuff is really potent and has helped me. I can't guarantee anything as we all have our health issues and differences - but I highly recommend this to anyone and everyone.
If you've been watching the news lately, I'm sure you've heard about the flu spreading and people getting very ill and some dying from complications related to it. Honestly, I don't believe in the flu shots and my son and I have both had H1N1 and several other flu strains. So, we have some real immunity to it. But, there have been numerous studies in Europe which prove the efficacy of black elderberry in treating the flu. It's used in some other countries for this purpose and also to treat chronic fatigue and numerous other ailments effecting the immune system.
* Please note: Since elderberry may strengthen or modulate the immune system, if you have an autoimmune disorder or are on any medications to suppress the immune system, please consult with a doctor regarding taking Elderberry. Personally, I have an autoimmune disorder and I haven't had any issue at all, other than benefits in helping me get through times of sickness. This stuff has been a total miracle product for me. There are also many medical studies in different countries, as it is used at times as an antibiotic (replacement) for a variety of flu types and strains, with as much success (or more, without the side effects) as standard antibiotics. It is incredible. Please take at your own risk and/or consult a doctor.
Sorry for the long introduction. If you're ready to get started and would like to make some Elderberry syrup, please check out the following steps! It's really quick and easy to make!
Step 1: Ingredients for Elderberry Syrup Recipe
Elderberry Syrup Ingredients
- 1 cup of Dried Elderberries- I buy Frontier's Organic Elderberries Here
- 4 cups of Water
- 1/2 cup of Honey
- 2 Cinnamon Sticks
- 3 Cloves
- *Optional: 1 teaspoon of Ginger, Orange Peels & 1 Star Anise
This recipe makes a little more than a quart of Elderberry Syrup.
*Note: If you were to buy this in the store - it's sold in little bottles (like the one pictured with the blue label) and they are small and a bit costly. The different brands also taste differently. In order to extend shelf life, they are made with alcohol. The first kind I bought tasted so strongly of alcohol that I was concerned about giving it to my son. So, by making it at home you are spending so very little, you control what you put in the stuff and you get way more for your money.
Step 2: Making Elderberry Syrup
First measure out your ingredients. If you have cinnamon sticks - try to break them up before putting them in with the Elderberries. Pour the water into a saucepan and add the Elderberries, cinnamon sticks, cloves and other ingredients (except for the honey - do not add the honey now).
Put the saucepan on the stove and bring that to a boil. Once it begins boiling (which mine did very quickly) then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 30-45 minutes. You want the water to go down by about half. You should be able to see that in the pan - as the liquid goes down and it leaves a line of purple around it. Use a spoon or other utensil to smash up the berries also to release any more liquid from them. You can then remove the saucepan from the stove and let it cool.
Step 3: Now Add the Honey
Once it's cooled, you'll then want to strain it. Once that's done (and it's no longer hot) you can then add in the honey. I think it's best to add in 1/4 cup of honey first. Then taste it - and if it's too bland and you want it sweeter - add in more 1/4 cup at a time. All of the other recipes I've seen online call for adding in one full cup of honey. I did this the first time I made it and it was way too sweet for my son and I. It tasted like a syrup I could use on waffles or pancakes - which is great if you want to use it for that - but I'd prefer it not that sweet. But I don't like honey anyway! So please add in less first and taste before adding in more.
Then pour the Elderberry Syrup into a jar or other small containers and put it in the fridge. It is said to be good for 2-3 months in the fridge. And there are different recommendations online as to how much a person should take. Some people say to take one teaspoon a day to ward of illnesses or when around ill people. Other sites I've read to take a teaspoon three times a day when you become ill. For my son and I - I put it in a small cup (a teaspoon of it) with about a tablespoon or more of grape juice. Tastes great plain too! It is up to you and please note that I am not a doctor and am not responsible for what you do with this awesome stuff. I really hope it helps you though - as I noticed a difference right away!