Monday, March 10, 2014

I Make It Myself: Elderberry Syrup

For several years now, I have been buying "Berry Well" elderberry syrup from I saw their price going up each cold season (and I see now that it is out of stock!) and ordered another brand from Vitacost.  I noticed that taking the syrup at any sign of sickness either keeps me from getting sick at all, or at least cuts the length of the illness dramatically (could be other factors, I suppose, but I have noticed a difference with taking elderberry.) 

A few years ago, I made Very Berry Tincture (from but I just could not stand the alcohol taste so I did not take it faithfully.  I still have the mix of herbs left, so I may try to make it again as I made the syrup. 

I bought organic elderberries through Amazon.  $12 for a whole pound. 

I found a recipe online to make the syrup, but as usual, I made my own adjustments.  Here's the recipe I found: 

This is what I used: 

4 c. water

1 c organic dried elderberries
2 - 1" chunks of ginger root, sliced into pieces
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp whole cloves
1 c raw honey

Pour water into a pot with berries, ginger, cinnamon and cloves.  Simmer on the stovetop for 1 hour.  Let cool and pour through a sieve.  I also put the berries through a food mill, because I didn't like the idea of wasting any of that goodness.  I think it also added a little thickness.  After everything is cool and processed, add the honey.  

This made over 24 oz of Elderberry syrup.  

If you do the rough math:

$6 for 1 c. berries.
$8 for 1 c. honey.
$4 for herbs.
= $18 for the equivalent of 3 - 8oz bottles.
= $6 per bottle.

You can find straight-up Elderberry syrup on Vitacost for about $8 a bottle.
If you want added goodness, like bee propolis and raw cider vinegar, like in Berry Well, it will cost you $22.

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