Many of you use the recipe for elderberry syrup that I posted on my blog a few years back. I'm updating with new information and a new recipe. Please update your bookmarks! (I will have a link to this post on the previous recipe page, as well.)
Elderberry has been shown to inhibit the replication of cold and flu viruses. In studies, it has been shown to be effective as both a preventative and treatment of influenza types A and B (study link here). An article on the Franklin Institute of Wellness website discusses another study on elderberry and its use in preventing colds and flu during travel (article link here). A meta-analysis on elderberries done by the Franklin Institutute of Wellness: (link here).
In clinical studies on elderberry, a 38% concentration of elderberry is used so this recipe has been modified to replicate that concentration.
180 grams of dried elderberries
(if you do not have a scale, this is roughly 1 3/4 cups of elderberries)
3 cups filtered water
1 cup honey
(you can substitute maple syrup or a simple sugar syrup)
Optional add-ins for flavor:
stick of cinnamon
1 tsp grated fresh ginger root
4 whole cloves
Bring water and elderberries (and any optional flavor add-ins) to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer. Continue to simmer the elderberries uncovered for a minimum of 30 minutes.
( This is an important step as there are constituents in elderberries that can cause nausea and vomiting if they are not deactivated by heat and allowed to evaporate. An instant pot should not be used to make elderberry syrup as it will still contain these constituents with that method. )
The goal is to reduce the liquid in the pot to 1 cup. If the water is evaporating too quickly during the simmer, just add more water. If there is more than 1 cup of liquid after 30 minutes, continue the simmer until only 1 cup of extract remains. Strain out the berries and add the cup of extract to the 1 cup of honey. Mix well. Store in the refrigerator. Use within 2 months (can be frozen for longer shelf life).
Dosing for prevention of cold and flu:
Adults: 1 Tb of syrup up to 4 x per day
Children: 1 tsp of syrup up to 4 x per day
Elderberry is active in the body for only a couple of hours, so during times of illness, the dose can be taken more frequently (every 2 hours) for a short period of time.
Because elderberry is a considered a culinary herb, it is relatively safe for most people. Those with autoimmune diseases or taking immune suppressant drugs should use elderberry with caution as the herb enhances the immune system. In these cases, a smaller dose may be helpful without causing unwanted reactions.
Monograph. Sambucus nigra (elderberry) Altern Med Rev. 2005;10(1):51-55.