Great, great, post! Thx for sharing on Homestead Barn Hop. I love elderberries, and they grow in abundance in easy to harvest places here (along roads). For those who are not familiar with the plant, I wrote an extensive post on how to identify it, and another on making elderberry ice cream. I hope you don’t mind my leaving the link to my elderberry identification post. At the end of that post, I link to my ice cream recipe, if anyone is interested. Here’s the id post: http://ouroneacrefarm.com/foraging-for-elderberries/
Janet, thanks so much for stopping by and leaving your link!
I was wondering if you could harvest the juice using a steam juicer, or do to you think the heat would damage medicinal property of the Elderberries? The steam is a lot hotter than simmering but I find I get a lot more juice from other berries that I use it on.
I bet you could use a steam juicer. I just don’t happen to have one.
Cool. Now I just need some Elderberries. I would highly recommend a steam juicer.
I have been wanting an elderberry tree for SO long so I could make this fabulous syrup. I finally broke down and bought some from Amazon.com and will be using a recipe very similar to this one. Much cheaper than buying it already made and bottled, that’s for sure!
For sure! The stuff you find at the store is crazy expensive.
What do elderberries taste like? :)
They’re tart not very sweet. They shouldn’t be eaten raw, there are reports that the raw berries can be toxic and while not deadly (at least not in my research) they can cause stomach upset in many people. Always cook the berries! The syrup in my opinion is very medicinal tasting. It’s not yucky but it’s not something you’d want to put on pancakes either. I’ve had elderberry jelly that’s mighty good but it was heavily sweetened too.
I have a question about the lemon. Do you simmer it with the peel & pith?
I do. I just slice the lemon and throw the whole thing in there, peel, pith, and fruit. I don’t notice any bitterness from it.
Great post – Eldenberries are truly one of nature’s gifts for health. Love you recipe – will save it. Visiting from Tuesday With a Twist Blog Hop!
Thanks so much for stopping by Marla!
I love this article – will bookmark to use next year. Looking forward to harvesting all the wild elderberries around here now that I know what to do with them and what they are good for. Thanks for sharing at The Backyard Farming Connection.
Have fun harvesting those next year.
Stopping over from Unprocessed Fridays Link-up. Looking forward to trying this, just have to find Elderberries. Have you tried adding gelatin and turn this into gummies?
I haven’t tried to make gummies because I really dislike the texture of gummies, ha. I’m sure it would work just fine, however.
We planted a couple of elderberries in our yard. It’s hard to beat the birds to them! Thank you for the recipe for your syrup! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures
Oh, those darn birds! They got to the saskatoon berries before I could last summer.
Can you give me any idea of the efficacy of this vs. store-bought elderberry? The type we use (Planetary Herbals brand) says to take 1 t. up to twice daily.
Michelle, I can’t comment with any authority on how this would compare to the store bought brands. It’s not something I’ve done any testing on. I just know this homemade version has worked for us. I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful but I don’t want to be misleading either.
Thanks for your honest answer – it’s very appreciated!
I’m going to have to grow Elderberry in my garden next year. Thanks for sharing @ Tuesdays with a Twist. You’ve been featured @ Back to the Basics!
I bought organic elderberries from amazon.com. Do I use the same amount of berries? Also have I simmer the berries and water…can I put it through a regular juicer? I also bought mason jars to store it in…do I have to can them storing them in a jar? OR can I just throw it in the fridge or freezer? Sorry this is my first time making this syrup.
How long does it last in the fridge and freezer? Thank you for taking the time!
I would use the same amount of berries no matter the source. You need to cook the berries, I’ve read many recipes and methods for making elderberry syrup and every single one talks about cooking the berries before juicing. A steam juicer could work but I personally wouldn’t run it through a regular juicer. I’m sure you could freeze it with no problems, I’ve never done it. I do store my open jars in the fridge and they last a long time in there. I would just make sure there’s no mold or anything. In the freezer, I’m guessing they’d last about a year.
I had the same question about freezing it. Thanks for the post and this answer. :)
Hello! Do you have to put the ginger/clove in? I’m thinking my kids might take it better without it….would it be lacking?
No you could skip it, they have some medicinal properties but you’d be fine without them in my opinion.
Hi. I realize this post was a while ago but….these are all over our property! I really would like to use them for this. But I was always told growing up they are position? Any thoughts?
Elderberries should always be cooked to avoid the toxicity problems that can cause problems for some people (they cause stomach upset eaten raw). Make sure you’ve identified correctly before picking and always cook those berries.
Thanks for the response and info! I realize poisonous was auto-corrected to position. lol
Hi! How long will this keep after canning? Thanks:)
All canning recommendations suggest using it up within a year.
If you can the jars 10 minutes in boiling water it I think it would greatly reduce the benefit of the honey. If you are concerned about spoilage and don’t want to make a tincture, then you should use regular sugar, not honey.
In my opinion using sugar would negate any benefit at all from the actual elderberries. To each their own.
Can you use herbal teas, ie; chai, peppermint, or camomile in the water base? And
Shelf life being refrigerated?
I don’t know honestly about using herbal teas for the base, I don’t know why not but I haven’t tried it. Shelf life refrigerated is about 6 months, though if it molds of course I’d get rid of it.
I have a question …I froze all my elderberries from last year ..could they be thawed and used in this recipe? Thanks
Yep, that’s exactly how I’ve done it.
I have an elderberry tree and those darn birds eat the flowers! I may have one berry left even though I have netting on the tree.
Just made my final batch of syrup from 2015 berries in the freezer and reading your posts. Regarding the birds, I’ve put a scarecrow and a Scare-eye balloon near my elderberry patch, and that seems to work – somewhat. I’m also planting more, so that there will be enough for all.
Do you happen to know what variety those elderberries are? Not a big deal, just curious. Lovely post!
I’m sorry I don’t. A friend has several large bushes that came with her house and well we just pick.
not sure what is meant for water amount.please clarify.
It’s half as much water as elderberries. So if you put 1 cup of elderberries in the pot, add 1/2 cup of water.
I am making some elderberry syrup right now with dried berries I bought online. I feel a nasty cold coming on, so I am desperately waiting for it to be done. I did use more water since the berries are dried. I will let you know how it works out.
I hope it works well and you feel better soon.
What is the shelf life on this elderberry syrup? We have a lot of elderberry!
It is usually suggested that anything canned be used up in a year and I think that’s a good rule here. Once it’s opened and in the fridge, use it up within a month.
“Thank You for the recipe. I am 95 years old and my son-in-law makes sure I get some Elderberries every year so I can make some jelly and I am anxious to make the medicinal recipe too. God Bless and “Thanks” again
You are so welcome! Thank you for stopping by and enjoy that jelly and the syrup.
I have played with elderberries for years, making jelly and syrup. This is the first time I have found any recipes for their use. Your recipe for syrup is a lot better than mine. Thanks so very much for sharing.
Oh I’m so glad this will come in handy for you! Enjoy those berries!
Have you ever added rose hips? I am going to pick elderberries tomorrow and am thinking about adding rose hips… Just not sure how much I should add. Suggestions?
I haven’t but I know other folks do. I’d toss in half as much rosehips as elderberries but that’s a guess. I’d try it and keep notes. They’re so high in Vitamin C I don’t think you could go wrong.
Hi, do you have to use fresh elderberries? Or will dry ones work? I can’t seem to find them in Northern California fresh…. Also, does this recipe just make one jar?
I haven’t tried this recipe with dried elderberries but there is a link in the post to a recipe that does use dried elderberries. This recipe is totally scalable depending on the amount of elderberries you start with.
How long does the syrup last on the fridge?
At least a month – I’ve kept it in much longer. Just watch for mold.
Your recipe is very similar to mine. I don’t use cinnamon (I’m allergic to it) but I use cloves and ginger like you. I also add plantain and elder flowers (if I have them) . Because of the plantain, I have to add extra honey or it tastes like grass. Hahaha.
Nice – I hadn’t thought of adding plantain but yes it doesn’t have the best flavor.
Back in September, a friend invited me to pick elderberries at her farm. There was no doubt that I would be making medicinal elderberry syrup with those gorgeous orbs, but at the time I was overwhelmed with the garden and all the food preservation work that comes with the high harvest. All those beautiful berries, were promptly put in the freezer to be dealt with when things weren’t quite so overwhelming. This weekend was that time.
Volumes have been written about elderberry and their success at reducing the length and severity of colds and flu. There are, I’m sure, a multitude of ways to make elderberry syrup. I use a combination of methods and recipes I’ve learned over the years as well as my own little take on it.
This is more of method than an actual recipe so that you can adapt it to the amount of elderberries blessing your herbal kitchen. Here’s how to go about making medicinal elderberry syrup for your medicine cabinet:
Chopped, Fresh Ginger
Put elderberries in a pot with half their volume of water. Simmer and stir occasionally for about 2 hours or until reduced by about half. Strain the berries and squeeze out the juice using cheesecloth or a jelly bag. Unlike making jelly, you want to squeeze the berries and get out as much of the juice as possible rather than letting drain on its own.
Measure out the strained juice, into a clean pot, and for every quart of juice add:
1/3 Cup Honey
1 inch of Cinnamon Stick
1 Whole Clove
2 Slices of Lemon
2 Tablespoons Chopped, Fresh Ginger
These measurements are approximate, a little more or a little less of any of them isn’t going to ruin your syrup. Return this pot to the stove and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain and bottle. You can store the syrup in the fridge, freezer, or can for 10 minutes in a water bath (adjusting time for elevation).
To use your medicinal elderberry syrup: Take 1 teaspoon every hour the minute you feel a cold or flu coming on. This concoction has worked wonders for me over the years and while I’m not a doctor and can’t treat whatever ails you, next time you have a cold or flu you might just want to give this a try.
Some great elderberry (and general herbal medicine) resources – most of which I used as source info for this article and my own elderberry / herbal education:
Do you use elderberry as part of your herbal medicine chest? Any other suggestions for making medicinal elderberry syrup?
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Original article and pictures take http://homespunseasonalliving.com/making-medicinal-elderberry-syrup site