How to make Elderberry Syrup
Elderberry is a traditional flu remedy. In recent years, it has been shown in laboratory studies to be effective in preventing and reducing the effects of influenza. I have been making elderberry syrup every flu season for the past 15 years, and in this video I show you how to make your own elderberry syrup.
Inhibitory activity of a standardized elderberry liquid extract against clinically-relevant human respiratory bacterial pathogens and influenza A and B viruses
Sources for dried elderberries:
Monterey Bay Spice Co. (I use the "wildcrafted" berries.)
GIFTfromNATURE (ships from Bulgaria)
(1/3 recipe in parentheses)
7 cups elderberry juice (2.3 cups)
8 ¾ cups honey (3 cups)
3 cups 80-proof vodka (1 cup)
To reconstitute dry berries, put 1 cup of berries in a quart jar and pour 2 cups of boiling water over them. If they soak it up, add a bit more. Place in the refrigerator or a cool, dark place for 24-48 hours. Then strain through a clean cloth, squeezing every bit of liquid out that you can, even twisting the cloth to get the last drop. If you can't get 7 cups of the juice, you may rinse the jars with a small amount of clean water and add that to make up the difference.
Sterilize 4 quart canning jars and one pint jar in boiling water (or an equivalent in other size jars) for 5-10 minutes.
Warm the elderberry juice to hot, but not boiling temperature -- 150-180F. Stir in the honey, and continue stirring until it is completely dissolved.
Remove from heat and stir in the vodka.
Pour into sterile jars. Wipe the sides and rims clean, cap, and label. Store in a cool, dark place
DOSAGE: As a preventative during flu season, take 1-2 tablespoons twice a day. As treatment for flu, begin dosing at the first symptoms (fever and achy feeling), taking the same dose as above every 3-4 hours until symptom-free for a week. For children under 12, give half the adult dose.
For toddlers and infants, talk to your physician. But, lacking that, 1 teaspoon given at the same intervals as the adult dose should be adequate.
ALTERNATIVE (NON-ALCOHOLIC) RECIPE
7 cups elderberry juice
14 cups honey
Follow instructions for original recipe, just leaving out the vodka.
ALTERNATIVE (NO HONEY) RECIPE
(Best for babies under a year old.)
7 cups elderberry juice
11 ½ cups sugar
Stir until the sugar is dissolved in the hot juice, then bottle.
This recipe produces around 4 ½ quarts of elderberry syrup. Cost of ingredients in my area is $15 per quart for honey, $8 for the vodka, and $10 plus shipping for dried elderberries bought online from Monterey Bay Spice Company. Estimated total: $50, which is around $5.50 per pint.
The non-alcoholic variation requires refrigeration, but I have kept the original recipe in my pantry for up to three years, and the only noticeable change was a slight reduction in the amount of liquid from evaporation.
I have made it with fresh, native berries I picked locally (Sambucus canadensis) and with dried European elderberries (Sambucus nigra), with identical effectiveness. My husband and I have not had the flu since I started using elderberry
To me, having a few jars of elderberry syrup in my pantry gives me a contented sense of security . . . that I am prepared for flu season, ready to keep myself and my family healthy in a natural way.
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