Packed with beneficial nutrients, the elderberry has been used for its medicinal and health benefits for thousands of years. During The Middle Ages, the elder was considered a Holy Tree due to its capability to enhance health and longevity. While the health benefits of elderberry are many, one of its shining stars is the impressive nutrition it provides. In fact, a homemade elderberry syrup recipe has most likely been in most homes for centuries.
In 1656, William Coles in Adam and Eden, summed up the thinking of the time on elder: “There is hardly a Disease from the Head to the Foot but it cures. It is profitable for the Headache, for Ravings and Wakings, Hypocondriak and Mellancholly, the Falling-‐sickness, Catarrhes, Deafnesse, Faintnesse and Feacours” (Baker, p. 55). (R)
Elderberry’s oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) score is over two times as much as blueberry and cranberry. Elderberry is also comprised of trace minerals and provides more vitamin C than oranges. Research shows that the health benefits of elderberry include:
- Supporting brain health.
- Improving immune system health.
- Safeguarding blood vessels and decreasing the growth patterns of cancer cells in the body.
According to Dr. James A. Duke, Ph.D., “Elderberry has been used historically to treat respiratory problems (colds, flu, coughs, tonsillitis, etc.). The medicinal benefit comes from the antiviral qualities of Sambucus. Bioflavonoids in the extracts of elderberry may prevent viruses from entering cells. More research will identify the value of synergistic phytochemicals within the plant, and undoubtedly provide more answers to its value as a medicinal herb.”
Hippocrates referred to elderberry as “nature’s medicine chest”.
Homemade Elderberry Syrup Recipe
3 ½ cups purified water
3/4 cup organic dried elderberries (bulk section of most health food stores or online)
1 Tbsp. grated fresh organic ginger (or one tsp. dried)
1 tsp organic Ceylon cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground organic cloves
1/2 cup raw apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup raw honey (use maple syrup for kids under one)
- measuring cups and spoons
- large pot
- fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth
- wide mouth quart jar
- wide mouth canning funnel
- bottling funnel
- airtight glass bottle for storage
In a large pot, bring elderberries, water, cinnamon, cloves, ginger to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, simmer until liquid has reduced by about half (usually 40-45 minutes). Allow the liquid to cool, then drain the liquid using a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth. Press all liquid out of the berries using the back of a wooden spoon. Stir in the honey or maple syrup. When the honey dissolves, add the apple cider vinegar. Store in an airtight glass container in the fridge. Start with 1 tsp. daily for kids. Good for 2-3 months. Freeze half for later. If using maple syrup, the recipe is good for 2-3 weeks. You can also freeze half for later.
Adults: Take a tablespoon of liquid whenever you feel a cold coming on; about a tablespoon, two or three times a day is suitable for adults.
Children over the age of 1 can also use this syrup. Children ages 2-5 can take 1/2 to 1 teaspoon; children ages 5-10 can take 1 to 2 teaspoons.
Children under one year can use this syrup if it is made with maple syrup instead of honey.
We hope you find this homemade elderberry syrup recipe one that you can use in your own home. It’s part of our mission here at Oasis Advanced Wellness (OAWHealth.com) to be your trusted partner in all-things pertaining to good health and wellness. We invite you to stop by and say hello on Facebook and Instagram. We are open 24/7 through our OAWHealth website for all your natural health information and organic supplements.