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Making Medicinal Elderberry Syrup

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Fill your home herbal medicine cabinet with homemade elderberry syrup for a cold busting remedy that also tastes good.

There’s nothing fancy or fussy about this elderberry syrup recipe, it’s simple and straight-forward in both ingredients and method.

An open jar of elderberry syrup sitting on a floral napkin next to a spoon surrounded by fresh elderberries with text overlay.

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:

How to Make Elderberry Juice

In order to make elderberry syrup, one first has to make elderberry juice. You have two options to do this with fresh or even frozen elderberries.

Boiling Berries

Put elderberries in a pot with half their volume of water.  So 4 cups of berries, add 2 cups of water as an example.

A woman's hands holding fresh elderberries in her hands.

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.  If you have a large quantity of berries, consider getting a brew bag that home winemakers use to juice fruit.

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.

Steam Juicer

If you have a steam juicer, use that to juice your berries and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to get the most juice possible.

Ripe elderberries hanging from the bush.

Long Term Storage

After the elderberry syrup has been made. Store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

For longer storage, consider making it into ice cubes. Freeze the ice cubes until solid. Pop out of the trays and store the syrup cubes in airtight containers.

Thaw a cube at a time in the refrigerator to use as needed.

Process small jars in a boiling water bath canner. Consider using the 4-ounces jars so you only have to open a small container at a time. Process for 10 minutes, adjusting for elevation. Store any opened jars in the refrigerator.

An open jar of elderberry syrup sitting on a floral napkin next to a spoon surrounded by fresh elderberries

How to Use 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.

Elderberry Resources

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:

Yield: Approximately 4 Cups

Homemade Elderberry Syrup

Elderberry syrup in an open glass jar sitting on a floral napkin next to a spoon surrounded by fresh elderberries on the stem.

Use this elderberry syrup recipe to help fight off the common cold and flu naturally.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 Cups Elderberry Juice
  • 1/3 Cup Honey
  • 1 Inch Cinnamon Stick
  • 1 Whole Clove
  • 2 slices of Lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Ginger, chopped

Instructions

  1. Combine everything into a saucepan.
  2. Simmer the mixture over low heat for approximately 20 minutes.
  3. Strain the spices and lemon out of the syrup.
  4. Pour the syrup into a clean bottle and store in the refrigerator or freezer.
  5. Alternatively, can the the syrup in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes (adjusting for elevation).

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

192 teaspoons

Serving Size:

1 teaspoon

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 5Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 3mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 0g

We try our best but cannot guarantee that nutrition information is 100% accurate.

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Pat

Sunday 13th of September 2020

Hi I’m wondering if I could make blueberry syrup with this recipe..I would like to preserve the syrup but not sure where to start.

Kathie Lapcevic

Monday 14th of September 2020

The folks at Ball have a good recipe for blueberry syrup - I'm sure you could substitute saskatoons: https://www.freshpreserving.com/blog/blueberry-syrup-recipe

I imagine you could use the elderberry syrup method too but I haven't tried it.

Joly

Friday 27th of September 2019

Hi can I put the stems and elderberries through a juicer and then use this juice for this recipe

Kathie Lapcevic

Sunday 29th of September 2019

I would remove the berries from the stems. I can't confidently say it's safe to do otherwise.

Vanessa

Friday 13th of September 2019

Thanks for sharing! Does it keep long?

Kathie Lapcevic

Sunday 15th of September 2019

Canned it will last a year.

Suzanne

Friday 13th of September 2019

This looks so good! This would be a nice gift to give at Christmas in lieu of cookies!

Christy

Saturday 13th of April 2019

What is the shelf life of this?

Kathie Lapcevic

Sunday 14th of April 2019

All canned goods should be used up within 1 year.

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