Elderberry syrup has been used for generations, and the latest research supports its use for the cold and flu.  One of the ways scientists believe elderberry fights viruses is by stopping the virus from replicating.   Studies have shown that compounds in elderberry can coat the exterior of a virus, rendering it non-functional and unable to penetrate our body’s cells.  This stops viral replication and shortens the course of the illness.  Elderberry is also high in antioxidants and other chemicals that help our immune system fight an illness.

As flu season progresses, it can be harder to find Elderberry Syrup, so consider making your own!  It’s simple, delicious, and much less expensive than buying off the shelf.

Here are my two favorite recipes.  One version is a “no-cook” method that involves soaking the elderberries overnight and uses a small amount of alcohol (vodka), and the other recipe is a traditional stove-top cooking method.


Elderberry Syrup Recipe (No-Cook Method**): Makes 8 oz of syrup

1/4 cup dried elderberries
2 tsp fresh grated ginger, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1 cinnamon stick
4 oz boiling water
2 oz 100 proof vodka* (or, 1 oz 80 proof vodka)*
1/2 lemon, juiced
~4 oz raw honey or sugar
Mix all the dried herbs together in a mason jar.

Pour boiling water over the herbs, add the alcohol.

Cap and let infuse 8 hours or overnight.

In a muslin, jelly bag, or cheesecloth strain the herbs from the liquid.  Squeeze gently to get as much fluid from the herbs as possible.

Add the lemon juice.

Measure out exactly how much liquid you have in a glass measuring cup (you should have about 4 ounces).

Add an equal amount of honey to the liquid.  Mix well until sugar dissolves.

* 2 oz of 100 proof vodka is shelf stable for 1 year.  1 oz 80 proof vodka needs to be refrigerated up to 1 year.

** No-cook recipe adapted from herbalist Darcey Blue of Blue Turtle Botanicals

Elderberry Syrup Recipe (Cooked Version):

Makes 8 oz of syrup

1/4 cup of dried elderberries
1 tsp fresh grated ginger, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1 cinnamon stick
3/4 cup of water
Place elderberries, all herbs and water in medium sauce pan.  

Turn heat to high, bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 20 minutes (covered).

Turn off heat and allow to cool until you can comfortably process it further.
Strain the mixture through cheesecloth, squeezing it well to get the most elderberry juice from the mixture.
Measure your resulting liquid.
Add equal part of honey to the mixture. 
Store in fridge for up to 1 year.

You can learn more at www.lianesherbalwellness.com

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