Elderberry syrup is an effective botanical for preventing - and shortening the duration of - the common cold and flu. This antioxidant-packed berry contains vitamin C, A and minerals.
To support the immune system, take elderberry syrup regularly throughout the fall and winter months. It is safe for the whole family - including kiddos and pregnant or nursing mamas. If you do get a cold or the flu, you can ramp up the dose (see below) to shorten the duration of your illness.
There are some great elderberry products on the market, including Honey Garden and Gaia, but for cost purposes, I make my own. It costs roughly $.43 per ounce to make, whereas it can cost up to $3 per ounce to purchase! I've been using this simple and affordable recipe for a few years. It comes in especially handy now that I've got a toddler in preschool!
I used to make elderberry syrup on the stovetop, but now I do it in my Instant Pot because it's a bit quicker. I'll include instructions for both!
Where to find organic dried elderberries:
You can most likely find them in bulk at your local health food store. I always get mine at the Mustard Seed here in Nottingham, NH. Or order some up online here.
Dosing for prevention and immune health:
Adults: 1 Tablespoon 1x day
Kiddos 2-7: 1/4 Tablespoon 1x day
Kiddos 8-12: 1/2 Tablespoon 1x day
Dosing if you start to come down with something:
Adults: 1 Tablespoon 3x day
Kiddos 2-7: 1/4 Tablespoon 3x day
Kiddos 8-12: 1/2 Tablespoon 3x day
Dosing recommendations from Dr. Aviva Romm, herbalist and MD.
Homemade Elderberry Syrup
Makes 32 ounces
4 ounces (about 3/4 cup) organic dried elderberries
1 cinnamon stick
1 chunk fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon clove powder
4 cups filtered water
1 cup raw, local honey
optional: 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons dried astragalus powder
Stovetop: Combine first 5 ingredients in a large pan. DO NOT ADD IN THE HONEY. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about an hour.
Instant Pot: Combine first 5 ingredients in the IP bowl. DO NOT ADD IN THE HONEY. Cover and lock. Set to Manual High Pressure for 20 minutes. Allow to depressurize naturally.
Using a mesh strainer, strain off the liquid into a large glass bowl. Use the back of a spoon to mash the berries and extract even more liquid. Discard/compost the berries.
Allow liquid to cool to room temp, then add honey using a whisk. (You could also a blender to blend in the honey).
Transfer to glass jars with lids. I use leftover kombucha bottles. Store in the fridge.