What are Elderberries and where do they come from?
Elderberries are small, cute lil round fruits that typically measure about 1/4 to 1/3 inch (6 to 8 millimeters) in diameter. They grow in clusters on the elderberry shrub, which is a deciduous plant belonging to the genus Sambucus. When ripe, elderberries have a dark purple to blackish color and a glossy appearance. The berries have a tart and slightly sweet flavor, similar to the blackberries we all love so much.
Elderberries seem to thrive all over the world! These shrubs are native to Europe, North America, and certain parts of Asia. They are often found growing wild in forests, along roadsides, and near bodies of water. However, they are pretty adaptable plants and can be grown in other places too... Who knows, maybe we will do a blog about how to grow them indoors!
Benefits of Elderberries:
Elderberries have been used for their medicinal properties for quite some time, and making your own syrup allows you to use their potent immune-boosting and antioxidant-rich benefits! Some health benefits include:
Immune system support: Elderberries boost the immune system due to their antioxidants, which are known to reduce the severity and length of cold and flu symptoms!
Anti-inflammatory effects: Elderberries have anti-inflammatory properties that may aid symptoms of chronic inflammatory conditions.
Antioxidant power: Elderberries are very high in antioxidants, which helps to protect body cells from damage!
Heart health: Eating elderberries on the regular may help lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels, and even support healthy blood vessels.
Cognitive support: The anthocyanins in elderberries may improve brain function and health and potentially reduce the risk of certain brain and memory ailments.
How long does this syrup last & other info:
This syrup should keep well for at least two weeks when stored in the fridge. Longer if you use distilled water. Conveniently, it can also be frozen!
Also, homemade elderberry syrup doesn't become as thick as the store bought version because it uses less sugar and no preservatives or thickeners, so don't be surprised if it has more of a liquid consistency. You could experiment and add a natural thickener if you wanted (arrowroot powder, etc).
-1/2 cup dried elderberries
-2 cups water (distilled is best to make it last as long as possible)
-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or a cinnamon stick)
-1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (or a few whole ones)
-1 tablespoon fresh ginger (or a tablespoon of dried)
-1/2 cup raw honey
-Combine the elderberries, water, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger in a saucepan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a light boil.
Alright, that's it! Super straight forward and simple. We encourage you to experiment wit the ratios of spices and make it your own creation! Don't forget to check out our other super simple syrup recipes here: Cardamom, Vanilla Bean, & Rose.
Watch the video below to see Chelsea, SBA's Herbalist/Founder/CEO, make the entire recipe, step by step!
Here to help,
Brier C. & Chelsea H. (Founder & COO/CEO)