Elderberry is a medicinal plant is known for its ability to help support the upper respiratory tract as well as being super high in antioxidants and vitamin c, and it tastes delicious! Varieties of sambucus grow all over the US, Europe, and Australia but the black variety is the one prized for its health benefits.
Elderberries are the fruit of the flowering Sambucus plant. If you are forgaging or growing your own please use caution and make sure you are identifying correctly as they do not all hold the same medicinal benefits as the black variety.
I love to make things with this plant because it tastes so delicious and is quite versatile. I even made a cordial and a simple syrup out of the fresh flowers this year! In the past I have experimented making tinctures, syrups, and cough drops. Despite all these great ideas, I have to say that my go-to recipe is elderberry syrup.
Benefits of Elderberry
High in antioxidants
High in Vitamin C
Safe for children
Helps to shorten the duration of flu and cold
Good for upper respiratory health
Mildly laxative, diuretic and diaphoretic (inducing perspiration)
How To Make Your Own Elderberry Syrup
1 cup dried black elderberries ( if you have access to fresh or frozen increase to 1 and 2/3 cups
3 and 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons fresh (or slightly less dried) ginger
1/2 teaspoon crushed cardamom pods
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon raw honey
Steps To Make Elderberry Syrup
Pour the water into a medium saucepan with the elderberries, ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon.
Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer. Let the herbs simmer for about 45 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by half.
Remove from heat and let cool.
Pour through a mesh or fine metal strainer. Make sure to press the berries to get all the liquid out!
Discard the cooked herbs and add in the honey and mix until combined.
When the mixture is combined completely you can put it into a glass container to store. A quart sized Mason jar will work well.
Store your elderberry syrup in the fridge.
Please note that dosage varies for adults and children. Children should be taking only 1/2 tsp and adults 1/2 to 1 tbsp.
Raw honey is not advised for children under one years old.
This is not medical advice just a simple recipe on how to make an herbal syrup. Please check in with a well-versed health care practitioner to see if elderberry is right for you!