Order your elderberries early!! If you wait too long, they will be out of stock and you will have a hard time finding them. I prefer the organic dried elderberries from Mountain Rose Herbs. I like to keep this syrup on hand in the fall and winter. While elderberry is a safe and effective treatment for a variety of viral illnesses, it is particularly effective against influenza. Studies have shown elderberry to be safe and effective against Influenza A and B, as well as some bacterial pathogens. Elderberry syrup is super easy and inexpensive to make at home.
This syrup is actually a glycerite, meaning the base is glycerin rather than alcohol or honey. It's ideal for children as it is naturally sweet but contains no sugar. It is also safe for children under 12 months, when honey should be avoided. If you prefer to make an elderberry syrup with honey instead of glycerin, Wellness Mama has a great recipe. The spices are optional. It does have more of a medicinal flavor with them, but they offer lots of benefits as well. I think the spiced version is good, but Zula prefers it plain, so I usually make it like that!
2oz dried elderberries (about 1/2 cup of the variety I use from Mountain Rose Herbs)
2 cups filtered water (we are Berkey fans!)
1.5-2 cups organic glycerin (I also buy this from Mountain Rose Herbs)
Cinnamon - 1 to 2 sticks or 1/2 teaspoon, or a couple drops of Cinnamon Young Living Essential Oil
Sliced ginger root - few thin slice, or a couple drops of Ginger Young Living Essential Oil
Dried cloves - 1/2 teaspoon, or a couple drops of Clove Young Living Essential Oil
First gently mash dried elderberries, a metal cooking utensil works well. In saucepan heat water and elderberries, as well as optional ingredients if using. Simmer very low, stirring occasionally, for approximately 45 minutes. Check water level and add a bit more if you need, but mixture should reduce considerably during cooking. Remove from heat and cool for several minutes, then use a fine mesh strainer to strain out elderberries, keeping liquid in a glass jar. Use your hand or a spoon to push the elderberries against the mesh to get out as much liquid as possible. Add glycerin and gently mix. Store in the fridge in a glass jar or bottle. These 8oz glass amber bottles are perfect.
For prevention, take orally most but not all days. Elderberry as a preventative actually works best if NOT taken every day, 5 out of 7 days per week would be perfect.
Adults 1-2 teaspoons
Children 1/2 teaspoon
For acute illness, take a dose every few hours until symptoms subside, gradually decreasing as you improve.
You may see different dosing recommendations for similar recipes. Additionally, as a home-brewed product the exact amount of elderberry per dose will vary per recipe. That's OK! As long as elderberries are properly prepared, they are safe and you don't need to worry about the exact amounts. Stay well:)