21 Aug Winter Elixir – Elderberry Syrup
The Elder has been described as a whole medicine chest in one plant. The berries are ready now and can be harvested to make Elderberry Syrup which has been used as a remedy for over 400 years. The syrup is a tonic that is ideal if you are feeling a little run down, research has shown that the berries have an immunomodulating effect on the body enhancing all aspects of immunity. Elderberry Syrup should be taken at the first onset of a cold or flu to reduce the severity and duration of symptoms. It can also be used for chest infections and as a cough syrup or take daily as a tonic throughout the winter. Take 1 teaspoonful neat every few hours for colds and flu, or use it as a cordial by adding boiling water to taste for a hot drink.
The berries should never be eaten raw as they can be toxic.
- Granulated or Muscovado Sugar
- Cloves or Cinnamon stick
Pick the bunches of elderberries when they are ripe and black but still firm and shiny. The easiest way to strip them from their stems is to use a fork.
Place the Elderberries in a saucepan with half their volume of water.
Simmer for 20 minutes.
Allow to cool and then strain the Elderberry mixture through a muslin cloth or straining bag. Squeezing to make sure you get all the juice out.
For each 500ml of juice add 250g of sugar.
Simmer the mixture for 10 minutes and add a few cloves or cinnamon stick.
Pour the Elderberry mixture into sterilised bottles, making sure that the caps have a plastic seal. Label with the name and date.
For every 500ml of liquid add one teaspoon of citric acid or tartaric acid or 2 squeezed fresh lemons.