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Elderberry Syrup

Elderberry Syrup

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With the news going around about the coronavirus spreading – and just because it’s flu season, I thought I’d share my recipe for Elderberry Syrup.

Although it may seem like a “Grandma’s Home Remedy” studies have proven elderberry syrup to be efficacious in either preventing or reducing the symptoms of virus-related diseases. Although there have been no human studies of elderberry ( Sambucus nigra ) and its ability to fight against a coronavirus, there was a study published by the US National Library of Medicine that shows that elderberry was able to inhibit coronavirus in chickens. Does that translate to humans? This is their conclusion: ” These results demonstrate that S. nigra extract can inhibit IBV at an early point in infection, probably by rendering the virus non-infectious. They also suggest that future studies using S. nigra extract to treat or prevent IBV or other coronaviruses are warranted. “

I was listening to a director from the National Institute of Health yesterday and he said that the creation of a vaccine would be about three months away. Three months might be too long to wait for some people.

We’ve been using Elderberry Syrup in my family for years and it has always proven helpful as a deterrent to colds and cases of flu, but also as a symptom reliever.

So, without further ado – here’s the recipe:

(If you’re starting with dried berries, to get “juice”, put 1 cup of berries in a quart jar and pour 2 cups of boiling water over them. If they soak it up, add a bit more. Stash in the fridge or a cool, dark place for 24-48 hours. Then strain and squeeze every bit of liquid you can out. (You can twist the berries in a muslin towel and get most of it.) You’ll need three “jars” of the stuff to get enough for 7 cups. )

Elderberry Syrup Recipe
7 cups elderberry juice
8 ¾ cups honey
3 cups 80 proof vodka 

Warm the elderberry juice to “hot, but not boiling” temp… between 150 and 180°F should be plenty. Stir in the honey and stir until it’s completely dissolved and blended.

Remove from the heat, and stir in the vodka.

Pour into sterile jars or bottles (sterilize them by boiling for 5-10 minutes in boiling water, then let drip dry upside down until filling)

Cap and LABEL. Store in a cool DARK place (or bottle in dark brown glass)

The standard dose for adults would be:

Prophylaxis (prevention) 1 tablespoon 2x a day. If there is active flu in your office or family, double that, or take more often.
Treatment: 1-2 tablespoons every 3-4 hours
Children under 12: half the adult dose 
Toddlers and infants: Talk to your doctor! But, lacking that, 1 tsp at similar intervals to the adult dose should be adequate.

There is NO way to overdose on this! Put it in juice, jello, pour it over ice cream- any way you can get the kids to take it is fine. 

If you do not want to use any alcohol in the syrup, use
7 cups elderberry juice
14 cups honey

If you don’t want to use honey (probably best to NOT use it for babies under 1 year)
7 cups elderberry juice
11 ½ cups sugar

Where I get my elderberries –

Where I get my bottles – (But you can use canning jars, just store them in a dark place, or put them in brown paper sacks.)

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  1. Heather Patterson
    January 25, 2020 at 9:47 am

    Thank you for this! Would Manuka honey be beneficial at all to add at least a partial amount? How much dried berries do you need?

    Again, thank you so much!

    • Terri Reid
      January 30, 2020 at 9:00 pm

      I LOVE Manuka honey and since you’re not heating it to boiling, I think it would be awesome!! You need about one pound of dried elderberries to make about 7 to 8 cups of juice.

      Best of luck!!


  2. Rebecca Bowers
    January 25, 2020 at 12:57 pm

    Hi, Terri. I also comment on facebook, so if you respond there first just ignore this one.

    How many lbs of berries do you need to rehydrate and get the 8 cups of juice? – Thanks

    • Terri Reid
      January 30, 2020 at 8:59 pm

      Hi Rebecca!!! I saw your comment on Facebook – but just to be sure – about one pound of dried elderberries to get 7 to 8 cups of juice. And you are so welcome!!

  3. Bob
    January 28, 2020 at 9:54 pm

    I make elderberry syrup all the time. I grow it in the back yard and pick it in the mountains. I Squish the berries, and then boil them, strain out the juice and add equal amounts of sugar to juice. Boil and then bottle and that is it. Goes great on ice cream or waffles. If I’m feeling something comming on, I put a little in a cup and add water and drink it down. Good stuff. I don’t store it long term and make a batch from stuff I have frozen when I run out.

    • Terri Reid
      January 30, 2020 at 8:58 pm

      Hi Bob!!! That’s great!!! Delicious and good for you!! Take care! Terri

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