Therapeutic Elderberry Syrup

My friend Josie is picking fresh elderberries this week, so I thought it would be timely to post this recipe. Black elderberry (Sambucus nigra) is a natural remedy with high levels of antioxidants for building a healthy immune system, and with proven antiviral properties for treating strains of influenza viruses. A traditional remedy for fever, colds and colic, black elderberries grow wild here in the Southeast and can be cultivated. You can purchase ready-made elderberry syrups and tablets, but I prefer to make my own, adding other natural ingredients which make it even more soothing and tasty. If you don't have access to fresh elderberries, dried berries are sold in some health food stores or online from companies such as Mountain Rose Herbs.

Very soothing and therapeutic for coughs and sore throats due to viruses such as the flu, this syrup has no pharmaceutical ingredients and doesn't cause drowsiness.
  • 1 c fresh OR 1/2 c dried elderberries
  • 3 c water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves
  • 1/2 in piece of peeled fresh ginger root
  • 1 c honey
Combine all ingredients, except the honey, in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer 30 minutes. Smash the berries, strain the mixture. Cool. Stir in the honey. Stores 2-3 months in the refrigerator. Use as needed, by the teaspoon.

This is so tasty and healthful, there is not reason why you couldn't enjoy this syrup even if you don't feel ill! Thicken the initial mixture with a dilution of cornstarch or arrowroot powder and use it mixed into plain yogurt.