Elderberry Syrup

As my final project for my herbalism course I am making Elderberry Syrup. The recipe is from The Herbal Academy of New England.

I purchased dried Elderberries from Mountain Rose Herbs and added the ingredients below – most of our herbs are organic from Frontier – Simply Organic.

The Elderberries simmered for 45 minutes and the hot liquid is straining through cheese cloth now and cooling. Once it is cooled – I will add a cup of local honey and store in two containers – one for home to keep in the refrigerator and one to take to work and use for tea.

2/3 cups elderberries (Sambucus nigra)
3.5 cups water
2 Tablespoons dry Ginger
1 Cinnamon Stick – I used a little organic powdered cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 cup raw honey

*Put all ingredients except honey into saucepan
*Bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered, for about 45 minutes to reduce liquid by half.
*Remove from heat and strain liquid through cheesecloth into glass ball jar (for storage). Compost herbs and cheesecloth! When we honor the cycle of the plants, they impart their medicinal qualities to us.
*Once warm, not scalding anymore, add honey and stir to dissolve it. *Store in the fridge and use by the teaspoon to strengthen your system again colds or flu.
*Or just make tea or juice with 1 teaspoon syrup per 4 ounces of water.

As I was finishing up the project, I heated some water and made a cup of tea – and it’s delicious. My Mom said when we were young, we used to eat the elderberries that grew between our house and our neighbors and she and her friend used to make elderberry wine together.

This tea has that kind of flavor. A vague nostalgia mixed with the flavor of waning summer. This is why I wanted to take this course – to understand the plants around me and learn their nutritional value. But it’s so much more than that. It’s empowering to know that in a couple of years, when our elderberries are grown, I will have all I need to make this nutritious syrup on our little lot in the city.

And who would every turn down a delicious cup of berry tea?   =)