I have been making my own elderberry syrup for a year now and frequently get complimented on the potency and effectiveness of my magic potion.
In my family, we use Elderberry Syrup at the very first sign of illness. Cough, runny nose, fever, you name it. Even if someone just feels/seems off or we know they were exposed to something – we whip out the elderberry. I find elderberry syrup to be very effective when used at the onset of illess to ward it off – but have found it to be pretty ineffective on an existing cold or illness. If the elderberry “doesn’t work”, meaning the person I am treating still ends up being full on sick – I stop elderberry and begin moving down my list of other alternatives. However – I suggest using a few tbsp every few hours until symptoms magically vanish – and they most likely will. In the case of flu, I would drink 6 ounces per day – one ounce at a time every few hours until you are fully recovered. Elderberry has been proven to destroy the flu virus.
2 cups of organic black elderberries (just the plain, dried berries. Red berries and the green parts of the elderberry plants are poisonous. You must only use black elderberries with no stem or leaves, also known as Sambucus Nigra. Only purchase TRUSTED brands, such as the ones we link to.
1/4 cup Manuka honey
1 Organic orange
1/4 cup of organic ground cinnamon
optional organic ginger root
7 cups of cold, filtered & purified water
In a large stock pot, mix 7 cups of cold filtered water with 2 cups of dried elderberries. Leave pot uncovered. Set the burner to medium and bring to a boil.
While you are waiting for the water to boil, roll your orange around on the counter to bring the juices to the surface, and poke a hole in it- extracting all of the juice that you can. Zest the rind with a cheese grater and add it to the juice.
Once your water is boiling, add the orange juice and zest, 1/4 cup of ground cinnamon and optional ginger root to the pot, cover then reduce heat to a simmer. Set your timer for 45 minutes. Do not open the pot during this time. When the timer goes off, open the pot to stir – then cover and remove from heat. Let the mixture cool.
Get a very large bowl and sit it in a clean sink. Set a stainless steel strainer inside the large bowl and slowly pour the elderberry juice into the strainer. Once the juice filters through, take a meat masher or spoon and smash the berries to extract any remaining juice. (The best stuff is what you are squeezing out). Continue doing this until you have strained all of the berries and juice from the pot. Cover the bowl and let cool to room temperature.
When the mixture has cooled, put 1 cup of elderberry juice in a food processor or ninja with 1/4c of manuka honey and blend until completely mixed. Pour this into the big bowl and stir.
Stir in the remaining raw honey or maple syrup and bottle your syrup.
To prevent molding, make sure you dry the cap and ring of the jar after each use – and store upright in the refrigerator.
To prevent fermentation, ‘burp’ the syrup by taking the cap off for a moment and replacing it every day or two to let air in.
There are simpler and less expensive versions of elderberry syrup, but this blend packs the most immune-boosting vitamins and natural anti-viral/bacterial/fungal properties to create the most effective syrup. Store bought syrups have junky added ingredients, including sugar which suppresses the immune system. They also usually contain less than 14% elderberry meaning they are pretty ineffective.
If you do not want to make your own, the next best option is to buy elderberry extract and honey and just mix them on your own.
Cheers to amazing immunity!