Elderberry is a deciduous shrub which is native to most of Europe. It’s well known and valued within the field of Natural Health for its broad medicinal qualities . Elderberry can be used to prepare syrups, juices and tinctures, the most common ingredients being flowers or the characteristic black berries. Elderberry is traditionally used to boost immunity and aid in colds, or even just as a healthy and tasty addition to tea, especially during the colder months of Autum and Winter.
Elderberry’s flowers and berries contain a high amount of flavonoids which have a strong anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and duretic qualities. The berries contain vast amounts of Vitamins B and C which are crucial for optimal metabolism and immunity.
It is important to note that Elderberry stems, leaves and roots contain cyanide-inducing glycosides which can cause nausea, vomiting and can lead to a toxic build up.
This is why a proper preparation of Elderberry is of a crucial importance.
Elderberry syrup is traditionally used to aid in dealing with symptoms of colds and flu. it can also serve as a tasty addition to flavour teas and desserts. The Syrup is a rich source of Vitamin B and C so it’s especially useful during Autum/Winter season.
To prepare an Elderberry Syrup, you will need:
- 1kg of Elderberry berries
- approx 1kg of sugar (or other sweetener, honey works just as well!)
Elderberries don’t have any particular taste to them so feel free to spice the recipe up by adding some orange, lemon, ginger or turmeric!
Wash the berries thoroughly (but watch out, they STAIN!) before placing in the pan and covering with sugar and topping up with enough water to ensure a slight coverage.
Cook on medium heat until the berries release all juices (you could speed it up by mashing them a little).
Simmer for another 10-15 minutes until you reach desired thickness.
Leave to cool before straining and transferring into clean jars or bottles. Elderberry Syrup can be pasteurised for longer self-life or just kept in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
Enjoy as 2 tablespoons per day on its own on in a nice cup of tea.