Elderberry syrup is a popular natural antiviral remedy known for reducing the duration of a flu thanks to the elderberry’s ability to increase your body’s cytokine production (in other words, it kicks your immune system into high gear). While you can buy premade elderberry syrup at some health food stores, we love to make it at home, as the yield is much more substantial and carries us through the whole winter.
- 1 cup dried elderberries (or 2 cups fresh elderberries, stems removed)
- 4 cups filtered water
- 2–4 whole cinnamon sticks
- 6–12 star anise pods
- 5–10 whole cloves
- 2-inch knob of fresh peeled ginger, diced or grated
- 1 cup raw organic honey (local, if possible)
- In a medium saucepan, add the elderberries, water, herbs, and ginger. Simmer uncovered for 35–45 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by half.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Mash the berries with the flat side of a spoon or a potato masher to release any excess liquid.
- Using a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth, strain the liquid into a measuring cup. Discard the spent elderberries and herbs.
- Once the liquid has cooled to warm, stir in the honey until fully incorporated.
- Transfer your syrup into a mason jar and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
Take 1–2 tablespoons daily as a preventative measure during cold and flu season. If you’re already feeling under the weather, you can take this dosage every 2–3 hours until symptoms subside.
Whenever we begin to feel sick, we love to double up our olive oil shot, filling it halfway with elderberry syrup and then topping it off with HEAL EVOO. On these days, we take a shot every few hours and have found that it does prevent major symptoms from setting in while shortening the duration of the illness altogether. The plentiful polyphenols in EVOO help kill bad bacteria, reduce inflammation, and aid in detoxification, which makes it a powerful remedy for illness.