In the Petruno household, we've been making elderberry syrup each fall and winter for years. Probably 5 or 6 years now. Elderberries are harvested around late July and early August and can be dried and stored all winter long. If you don't have a bush near you, you can buy them dried to make your own concoctions with them.
They are rich in flavonoids like rutin and quercetin, which, when consumed, make them great at supporting a healthy immune response and a healthy histamine response. The only problem is that they are pretty bitter by themselves, so what you'll see most often in the store are elderberry gummies and syrups - with added sweeteners to make them palatable.
But, the syrup is SUPER easy to make at home with just some elderberries and honey, and it lasts for a while in the fridge as honey acts as a mild preservative.
As part of my fall preparations, I made some elderberry syrup over the weekend. Rather than adding other dried herbs to our syrup as we normally do, today I added 1 drop each of several Vitality essential oils to add both flavor and immune and body supporting benefits. Vitality oils are Young Living's essential oils that are labeled with white labels to indicate they are safe for ingestion - I do not recommend just using any oil from the store for ingestion, as most mass marketed oils contain synthetics, additives, and other things that are not listed on the bottle (there is no regulation of the essential oil industry, which is why you want to use a company with a strict quality standard). We use and trust Young Living Oils in our house.
Here's the recipe I used on this last batch, and it turned out delicious - like, I want to just eat a giant bowl of it as soup.
Elderberry Syrup Recipe
- 3 1/2 cups water
- 2/3 cup dried organic elderberries *affiliate link
- 1 cup raw honey
- 1 drop Clove Vitality
- 1 drop Cinnamon Bark Vitality
- 1 drop Ginger Vitality
- 1 drop Frankincense Vitality
- 4-5 drops Orange Vitality to taste
Add water and elderberries into a medium saucepan.
Heat water and elderberries to boiling then turn down heat to simmer for 45-60 minutes until water is reduced by half. Remove from heat.
Strain out elderberries into a bowl or large glass measuring cup. Discard berries. Then, add honey to elderberry liquid and oils. Pour into a pint canning jar and cover with a lid!
Take 1-2 oz daily as a health supplement.