Thursday, February 12, 2009

Elderberry Syrup and Tincture


Time to creative with health...this time, elderberries.

HT: Respect your Elderberries

I never knew what elderberries were until a few months ago. Truly. It would seem that the revered elderberry is far more widely known and used in the States than Australia. What a shame for us down under.

It was thanks to a few threads over at 4Real and one in particular, that brought this berry and it's health-giving properties to light for me. Firstly I searched the Australian net to see what was for sale..there were a couple of bottles of syrup but not much else.

So I decided I'd make it myself. I've made a bottle of syrup and a bottle of tincture, well in advance of our flu season but that is a good thing..the tincture in particular, needs time to develop it's potency, I have it marked out on my wall calendar in fact, end of April before I sift out the elderberry pips/pulp from my tincture.

HT: Bulk Herb Store

I bought my berries dry. I am in the process of equiring an elderberry plant but it will be a few years off before anything can be harvested so I will continue to buy dried berries in the meantime.

This is the recipe I chose to use to cook up the syrup, from Herbology in Australia. It is a recipe that is very natural - no sugar - just berries, water, honey and lemon juice. I soaked the dried berries in the boiling water overnight and then continued on with the recipe the next morning.

Here is a step by step tutorial with pictures!

Here is the syrup, ready to be strained (actually I poured this as is into my bottle first, tasted it and thought, 'this is too crunchy/pippy!" asked over at 4Real about it and was told...strain it!)

So that is what I'm doing here..straining it.

I couldn't bring myself to throw out the pips...and so I pose the question...what can you do with elderberry pips?

I cleaned up a 1.5litre wine bottle for the syrup. It is ready now to be stored in the fridge, ready for use.

I also made a tincture, about 150grams of dried elderberries place into a 750ml bottle of 40 proof vodka. I cleaned up a used apple cider vinegar bottle and sterlized it. I poured in the vodka and berries together.

I need to give it a good shake each day, for at least a month.

The apple cider vinegar bottles make great tincture bottles when empty.

The bottle is not the ideal, dark coloured glass, so I've put a bag over the top of it to keep out the light.

When I go looking for this elixir, I'll be giving it out in 1 tsp doses, 3 times daily.

You can strain the pips out or you can leave them, straining only what you go to drink, leaving the pips in the bottle...I think I'll probably leave them in.

We had a very sick season last year, there was alot of persistant illnesses around so we really hope to go into bat against these viruses with a bit more ammunition this time!

Elderberries with it's great anti-viral properties, makes it a good choice in a world where viruses cannot be stopped by much else.


little sparrow , florasita , sticklady , strong tree woman said...

Anne I too had no idea what elderberries were . I had a calling to the elder last yr .We don't have this here I guess it is just to cold .
I love your idea of the dried berry ! Your pics are wonderful I loved the Lourdes day especially ;-)
what I just cannot get over is all the green sunny openness you have in your part of the world . Oh I long for heat again ! Winter is so very long here .
I look forward to watching what else appears upon your herbal shelf ;-) Thanks again

Anke said...

Hi Anne, hope you will like the syrup. My kids come up with all sorts of excuses as to why they need to take it :) Also great as a topping for baked rice pudding.