Elderberries have been used in folk medicine for centuries to treat the flu, colds and sinusitis.
There are quite a few studies on its effectiveness against influenza (flu). In one of the studies, patients received 15 ml of elderberry or placebo syrup four times a day for 5 days and recorded their symptoms using a visual analog scale. Symptoms were relieved an average of 4 days earlier and rescue medication use was significantly less in those given elderberry extract compared to placebo. More information is on the pubmed website.
- 1 part fresh, fully ripe black elderberries (*see note for dried berries)
- 2 parts water
- 1 part raw honey (check local farmers markets or health food stores
- small piece of cinnamon stick and/or ginger root (dried or fresh), optional
- Collect the fresh berries and make sure no stems are left. (The stems contain a certain level of toxins.)
- Place the berries in a saucepan and cover with twice as much water (for 1 cup of berries, use 2 cups of water.)
- Optionally, add a piece of cinnamon stick and/or dried or fresh ginger. These are both warming herbs and great for when you feel like you have a cold. They also add an extra level of flavor!
- Place the pan on a medium heat and let it simmer.
- Adjust the heat as needed. Simmer the berries over a low heat and cook for about 30 minutes, slicing the berries occasionally with a fork as they cook.
- Strain the juice from the cooked elderberries into a glass jar or pitcher.
- Discard the seeds and pulp, as the seeds should not be eaten.
- Let the juice cool to a pleasantly warm, but not cold temperature, then stir in the raw honey.
Why raw honey?
Because it has its own antiviral properties. It also helps as a preservative to keep your elderberry juice from spoiling quickly. To maintain the benefits, raw honey should not be heated above 43°C.
Storing and using elderberry syrup.
Dosage. Take 1 to 2 tablespoons of elderberry syrup 4 times a day, or more often as needed when you are sick with cold and flu symptoms. This is one dose for adults, use less for children. If symptoms worsen or if you feel worried, talk to your doctor.
Honey should not be given to children under 1 year old.
* From dried berries: Use 1/2 part of dried berries and 2 parts of water. Cook for 30 to 45 minutes, then divide the juice and mix it with equal parts honey.
Viola - Get well soon!
– You can also add a dash of this syrup in your water for an extra taste 🙂