Monday, 5 May 2014

How to Make Elderberry Syrup to Fight the Cold and Flu


Elderberry (Sambucus Nigra) contains high amount of vitamin C and flavonoids and is known to boost the immunity. It has been used as a natural remedy for many years to treat cold and flu as it can help shorten the duration of respiratory illnesses. Some evidence suggests that it may help reduce swelling in mucous membranes and help relieve nasal congestion. This could be useful for those suffering from allergies.

I first started buying Sambucol (elderberry syrup) for my son as a natural remedy for cold and flu. But it does not come cheap, so I only gave him the syrup when he is down with the cold or flu. Recently, I did some research online and found that the elderberry syrup can be easily made at a much lower cost! With this affordable homemade elderberry syrup, he can drink it on a regular basis to boost his immune system. This is the recipe that I used to make the syrup.

Homemade Elderberry Syrup Ingredients:
  • 1 cup dried organic elderberries*
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 cup raw honey (preferably organic)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp cloves or cloves powder (optional)
  • 2 T fresh or dried ginger (optional)

How to Make the Elderberry Syrup:
  • Pour water into saucepan and add elderberries, ginger, cinnamon and cloves (do not add honey yet!)
  • Bring to a boil and then cover. Reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes to 1 hour until the liquid has reduced by almost half. Remove from heat and let it cool.
  • Pour through a strainer or cheese cloth into a glass bowl. You can quash the berries in the strainer to get as much juice out of them as you can.
  • Discard the elderberries and let the liquid cool to lukewarm.
  • Add the honey in and stir well.
  • When the mixture is done, pour the syrup into a glass bottle for storage to be kept refrigerated.

*For those residing outside of U.S.A or Canada, you can buy organic dried elderberries here

I made one batch of this syrup recently and its not difficult to do at all! However, I omitted the optional items as am not sure how my son would like it as the Sambucol that he drank previously do not contain these ingredients. Moreover, for a first time making it, I preferred to keep simple :)

The maintenance dose for kids is 1 tsp (5ml) daily and for adults is 2 tsp (10ml) daily. When you are down with a cold or flu, you can try to increase the dose to 2 tsp (10ml) twice daily for kids and 2 tsp (10ml) four times daily for adults.

Have you ever taken elderberries or tried making your own elderberry syrup? Love to hear from you!

Note: This post is for educational purposes only, and is based on my personal experience. Always consult your doctor before consuming any health remedies.