Elderberry syrup has been used traditionally for many years as a medicine to strengthen the immune system and treat colds, flu, cough, and sinus infections.
Lately, elderberry syrup has received more attention because of its potent antioxidant properties. Our ancestors used the flower bud, bark, and berry of the elderberry plant to make medicines that improved overall health and wellbeing.
Here is an easy recipe for making your own elderberry syrup, giving you the opportunity to reap the health benefits of these powerful berries!
Nutritional Benefits of Elderberry
- High in vitamin C – Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps protect your cells against the effects of free radicals
- High in dietary fiber – Fiber has a host of health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
- A good source of phenolic acids – Antioxidants that help reduce damage from oxidative stress in the body
- A good source of flavonols. Elderberry contains the antioxidant flavonols quercetin, kaempferol, and isorhamnetin. Dietary flavonols provide a wide range of health benefits, including antioxidant, anticancer, antibacterial and cardioprotective effects.
- Rich in anthocyanins – Strong antioxidants with anti-inflammatory effects.
Health Benefits of Elderberry Syrup
1) Can Shorten the Duration of the Flu
When it comes to treating the flu, elderberry may not be a silver bullet, but it may ease symptoms. Research suggests that the use of elderberry could reduce the duration of flu by about three to four days, along with lessening symptom severity if taken within the first 24 hours of having the flu.
2) Reduces the Duration and Severity of Colds
Elderberry is high in both vitamins A and C and when taken as a preventative for colds has been found to shorten the duration of colds as well as reduce the severity.
3) It's Good For Skin
Elderberries are packed with anthocyanin, which is wonderful for your skin. Anthocyanins combat the negative results of aging on the inside, improving the appearance of your skin tone and glow on the outside. Elderberries also contain lots of vitamins A and C, which work to keep your skin healthy and moisturized.
4) Can Stabilize Blood Sugar
Elderberry can help improve blood sugar levels. This may have special relevance for individuals with type 2 diabetes, which is associated with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
5) Is Good for Your Heart
Elderberry may help improve your heart and blood vessel health. Studies show that elderberry juice may reduce the level of fat in the blood and decrease cholesterol. In addition, a diet high in flavonoids like anthocyanins has been found to reduce the risk of heart disease.
6) Reduces Inflammation
Elderberry contains anthocyanins and large amounts of vitamins A and C which have been shown to possess anti-inflammatory properties. The anti-inflammatory effects of elderberry show promising results in the fight against cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
Elderberry Syrup Recipe
- 2 C. Whole Organic Elderberries
- 4 C. Spring Water (or distilled)
- 2-3 Tsp. Ginger Root
- 1-2 Cinnamon sticks*
- 1 C. Raw Organic Honey
*can add additional spices, herbs or roots, including cloves, star anise, mullein, and nettle (optional).
- In a large pot, bring the elderberries, water, cinnamon, ginger and any additional spices, herbs, or roots to a boil.
- Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half, about 40-45 minutes.
- Allow the liquid to steep for one hour.
- Once cooled, drain the liquid using a fine mesh strainer, cheese cloth or muslin.
- Press all liquid out of the berries using the back of a wooden spoon.
- Add the raw honey and mix well.
- Store in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator for up to two months.
Honey should not be fed to children under the age of one.
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