I’ve been hearing so much about elderberry syrup during the cold and flu season, that I wanted to look into it more. But, what I found out was, that it is extremely pricey in stores! Whether it was elderberry gummies, elderberry tea, or elderberry extract, it was all so expensive! So I decided why not make my own homemade elderberry syrup recipe?!
I looked around online and found out that you can also purchase dried elderberries to make the syrup with. You can purchase this from Amazon or from any health food store as well. You can even make this recipe with fresh elderberries too if you can find them.
I made my homemade elderberry syrup recipe without honey and used pure maple syrup instead. I will go over all the best ways into making this syrup as well as all the medicinal properties to elderberries too.
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What Exactly Is Elderberry Syrup?
You can make elderberry syrup from black elderberries. Whether they be fresh or dried, like I mentioned above. The fresh berries are grown on an Elder tree, which is also known as sambucus nigra.
I made my elderberry syrup recipe from dried elderberries for convenience. I was able to order them easily online from Amazon. Since I wasn’t sure where our closest local health food store would be, I thought it would be best to order them. And we all love the quick, two day shipping, right??
I decided that I wanted to take elderberry syrup for my immune system and to fight all the sicknesses that come with flu season. Elderberries contain Vitamin C and Vitamin A, along with many other immune boosting properties as well. They also are full of calcium, potassium, iron, folate, and fiber too.
But did you know that eating raw elderberries can be POISONOUS?! Therefore, you need to make sure to cook the elderberries before actually consuming them. Although they are just mildly poisonous raw, cooking them removes any and all toxins. That’s why you usually will notice elderberries in a syrup or extract instead.
If eaten raw, the toxin sambunigrin inside the berries causes diarrhea, vomiting and nausea. So be sure to cook the berries!!
Medicinal Purposes to Elderberries
Elderberries are very dark in color and as you can see, the syrup is almost a black color. That’s why many times they are referred to as “black elderberries” as well.
In a study put on by the National Library of Medicine, it was shown that elderberries are naturally high in immune boosting compounds as well as antioxidants. Also, that by taking elderberry syrup, it can relieve symptoms of the flu or other upper respiratory infections. Elderberries were often used in folk medicine too.
In this study, it was shown that by taking elderberry syrup daily, you can shorten the total duration of influenza by 4 days alone compared to not taking the syrup. So ultimately, many studies have shown that elderberry syrup can shorten the duration of cold and flu symptoms as well as lessen their severity too.
This is music to my ears because always, without a doubt, I get an annual Christmas cold or sickness. I don’t know what it is about the holiday, but literally every year on Christmas, or right after, I get sick. Last year was no exception to that!
There’s nothing worse than waking up with a sore throat on Christmas day! Do y’all get sick with a cold around the holidays too?? Or is it just me?? Please say I am not alone!
And this year I am trying my best to prevent that. So I figured by starting early in the cold and flu season, taking some preventative measures might just make me prevent it this year! It’s the perfect time to do so! And that way I can continue taking it all through the winter months as well to help prevent sickness from reoccurring.
You know I am all about taking supplements! And I am excited to add this into my daily rotation that already includes my favorite apple cider vinegar gummies too! These health benefits of elderberry syrup alone should convince you to start taking it daily too. But, also, you are reducing the extra cost of buying it in the store versus just making it yourself. I am all about saving money y’all and I know you are too!
How Much Elderberry Syrup Should You Take?
Elderberry syrup is considered safe for children too, but of course always consult a health care provider first before implementing a new supplement in their diet. But for kids, it’s recommended that they take 1/2-1 tablespoon a day per doctor’s orders.
And for adults, it is recommended that you take a full tablespoon per day. And if you do become unwell, at the first sign of sickness, start taking 1 tablespoon every 2-3 hours instead of just once per day.
The good news is that this tastes great so taking a tablespoon of elderberry syrup a day, is really not a chore at all!
How Long Does Elderberry Syrup Last?
After you make your own elderberry syrup recipe, it can last you up to 3 months in the fridge. It just needs to be tightly sealed, that’s why I recommend using a mason jar.
This is great news about the shelf life of elderberry syrup. That way, you can make a big batch of it at once and keep it all in your fridge for future use since it lasts a long time.
This would also make a wonderful homemade Christmas present! If you like going the route of homemade for Christmas, why not put a jar of your own syrup in a gift basket or present for a loved one?!
Y’all know I love me a good handmade Christmas present. Which is why I made my homemade vanilla extract last year to give out as gifts as well!
Materials Needed to Make Syrup
- 1 cup of fresh or dried elderberries
- 4 cups of water
- 1/2-1 cup of pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon or 1-2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 teaspoon of ground ginger or 1 tablespoon of minced fresh ginger
- Large pot
- 1 teaspoon of ground cloves or 4 whole cloves
- Mesh strainer or a fine mesh sieve
- Measuring cups
- Mason jars or a similar glass jar
I used all dried spices to create this recipe as I did not have any of the fresh ingredients on hand. But, I would love to try it out again using fresh cinnamon sticks, minced fresh ginger, and whole cloves. If I ever do, I will definitely let you know how it turns out too!
Homemade Elderberry Syrup Recipe (Without Honey)
Add all elderberries, pure maple honey, herbs and spices into a pot. Set it to medium heat and bring it a boil.
Once mixture is boiling, lower heat to medium low and let it simmer for about 45 minutes. Or until the mixture has reduced by half.
Remove from heat and let syrup cool to room temperature.
Once it is finally cooled to room temperature, use a mesh strainer to strain all the liquid out from the berries. You can also use a spoon to press the berries down to extract more liquid from them as well. You want to get all the elderberry juice you can get from these berries!
Discard the remaining berries in the strainer. Pour syrup into mason jars and seal tightly. Then, place in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
I hope you enjoyed this homemade elderberry syrup recipe! It really is an easy recipe to follow, and doesn’t really take too much of an effort to make. And I actually made me a double batch of it so it can last me a little longer too. As you noticed, this recipe is made without honey and used with maple syrup instead.
If you don’t like maple syrup, you can substitute local raw honey in it’s place. I mainly did this because I was out of my local honey and needed a quick substitution! But, I am glad that I did, because it ended up being a delicious syrup regardless!
I’ve also seen other recipes that add in additional ingredients to their elderberry syrup as well. Such as star anise, orange peel, lemon juice, etc.
So you can look through different elderberry syrup recipes and see which one sounds best to you. Although, they really are all very similar. And you can always tweak the ingredients more to your liking.
The elderberry syrup will taste sweeter if you add in more maple syrup and/or honey versus adding in less. So really it is up to you to determine the sweetness factor to the syrup.
Honey/Syrup also acts as more of a sweetener in this recipe too. It is actually a natural preservative that helps the syrup last longer in your fridge. So you definitely don’t want to skimp out on it!
I hope that by reading all the health benefits of elderberries, you decide to make some of your own syrup too! It really is the perfect time of year to do so and a good idea to start taking some preventatively as well.
If you make this recipe too, let me know how it goes for you! I would love to hear what you think about it as well!
Be sure to save this video pin too for future reference as well!
Homemade Elderberry Syrup Recipe (Without Honey)
- 1 cup fresh or dried elderberries
- 4 cups water
- 1/2-1 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- Add all elderberries, pure maple honey, herbs and spices into a pot. Set it to medium heat and bring it a boil.
- Once mixture is boiling, lower heat to medium low and let it simmer for about 45 minutes. Or until the mixture has reduced by half.
- Remove from heat and let syrup cool to room temperature.
- Once it is finally cooled to room temperature, use a mesh strainer to strain all the liquid out from the berries. You can also use a spoon to press the berries down to extract more liquid from them as well. You want to get all the elderberry juice you can get from these berries!
- Discard the remaining berries in the strainer. Pour syrup into mason jars and seal tightly. Then, place in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
Be sure to check out more ideas on what to cook here too!