Thursday, September 25, 2014

Cold Kickin' Elderberry Syrup Recipe

I’ve been harvesting elderberries from my yard. Those dark purple berries are good for many things, dying hands included. I'm going to make elderberry syrup for the upcoming cold and flu season and since I have extra elderberries I’m going to dye some white Corriedale wool that I have in my stash.

It’s messy work but very gratifying. This particular elderberry syrup recipe is delicious. I’ve had some that are…well, not delicious. I’ll leave them to their place in history.

Elderberries have been used for centuries to treat the cold and flu, make champagne, and other elixirs. The elderberry is kind of amazing. The University of Maryland’s site says that there is some evidence that the elder flower and berries reduce the inflammation and swelling in mucus membranes. Web MD says that one type of extract, “short-circuits” flu symptoms. There is certainly a time to go to the doctor when you are sick but sometimes you just get a cold and you want a little relief.

Since the cold and flu season are almost upon us, here is the recipe that I use. My hope is that both you and your family (and me and mine) don’t have to use it this year. But just in case…

Cold Kickin’ Elderberry Syrup Recipe


2/3 cup black elderberries (do not use dwarf elders they’re toxic)

3 ½ cups water

2 Tablespoons fresh ginger root-sliced

1 teaspoon cinnamon powder

½ teaspoons whole cloves

¾ cup raw honey (more if you want it sweeter)


1.) Measure out water, elderberries, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves into a large sauce pan. Bring to a boil and cover. Boil until liquid has reduced by half. Set aside to cool.

3.) In about 20 minutes add honey while it has cooled some but warmer than room temperature. (This will help the honey melt into the liquid.)

4.) Bottle and store in the refrigerator.


Kids - ½ to 1 teaspoon with the onset of a cold/flu symptoms

Adults - ½ to 1 Tablespoon with the onset of a cold/flu symptoms


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