Since planting elderberry bushes a few years ago, we’ve been enjoying an abundance of fresh elderberries each Summer. I freeze what we don’t use right away, and use those berries during the slow winter months to make an immune boosting elderberry syrup.
If you don’t have access to fresh elderberries, you can always use dried ones.
Immune Boosting Elderberry Syrup
*Yields approx. 1 quart
- 1 cup elderberries (fresh, frozen, or dried)
- 8 Tbsp dried rose hips (If you want to grow your own plant the Rosa Rugosa variety)
- 8 Tbsp dried Echinacea root
- 3 tsp dried ginger root
- 4 whole cinnamon sticks
- 4 cups water (not treated/city water)
- 1 1/2-2 cups raw, local honey
Pour all of the ingredients except the honey into a medium pot. Bring almost to a boil, then turn the heat to med-low and simmer uncovered for about 30 min, or until the liquid is reduced by half.
Strain the herbs from the liquid (and feed them to your chickens). I rinse and air dry the cinnamon sticks to be used again.
Allow the liquid to cool until warm enough to handle. Stir in honey, tasting until you’ve added the right amount to suit your preference. I’ve found the echinacea adds a little bitterness to the syrup, so I always go with more honey to offset that.
We take 1 teaspoon a day (adults and children over a year old) as a preventative measure. When we’re sick I usually double or triple that, taking a tsp at mealtime throughout the day. I would not recommend giving this syrup to babies under a year old.
Store in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to 2 months.
Making your own is so much cheaper than buying bottles of elderberry syrup at the health food store. And it only takes a few minutes to prepare. I challenge you to give this recipe a try!