healthy | Recipes

Respect Your Elderberries

January 14, 2020

Elderberries have been used for centuries to treat everything from the common cold to flu to rheumatism to constipation. Did you know that elderberry juice was successfully used (and documented) to treat a flu epidemic in Panama in 1995 and also, Germany’s version of our FDA has approved elderberry for treatment of coughs, bronchitis, fevers, and colds? Lately, I have seen several U.S. headlines about elderberries’ usefulness in the fight against flu and cold season which reminded me that in addition to doing my best to beware the obvious communal surfaces, I needed to make a batch of elderberry syrup.

Making your own elderberry syrup is really simple! I used to order Beeyoutiful’s Berry Well but several years ago, they ran into a shortage of ingredients and published their recipe in an amazing goodwill gesture, which I have been using as a base recipe ever since. I love this company’s products and ethics and I really appreciate that they still share their recipe on their site.

If you decide to make your own elderberry syrup, look for Frontier-brand elderberries and Traditional Medicinals Echinacea Plus tea bags. Any brand of Vitamin C powder should work but some of them are sweetened which may affect the amount of honey you want to add. Once you make your syrup, just pour it into your jar of choice and store it in the refrigerator to take as needed.

It tastes great on its own but you can also add a couple of tablespoons into your morning smoothie or drizzle it over your lunch salad. I have even been known to serve elderberry mimosas! When flu and rumors of flu start swirling around my community, this is my go-to and it should be yours as well!

Here’s the link again to that Elderberry Syrup recipe: Click here

Reminder: not suitable for infants under a year old because of the raw honey.

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  1. When elderberries were so scarce I actually bought VitaCost brand Elderberry Syrup. I had always made my own from our bushes (we’d had a crop failure, too). It’s a good product to keep on hand.
    I like to add dried rosehips to my syrup, along with cinnamon sticks, for the added Vit. C and taste.

    1. I haven’t tried the rosehips but that sounds like a great addition, Patti. Do you still grow Elderberries yourself?

      1. Yes, we do, but didn’t get ANY last summer; what a disappointment! We do expect some this year, so Gordon tells me. Last year I just ordered some dried elderberries from VitaCost and some from Mountain Rose Herbs, as they became available.

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