The Immune-Boosting Wonders of the Elderberry

This little berry packs a big punch! Elderberries, from the sambucus nigra plant, are wonderful immune-enhancing berries that can help protect our cells against some viral infections – perfect for the upcoming cold and flu season. The high antioxidant content of the berries also helps quell inflammation, making this berry a great choice for an autumn immune boost.
Elderberries grow on PEI and the berries can be used fresh or dried. When the berries are mixed in with the antimicrobial power of local, unpasteurized PEI honey and warming herbs, such as ginger and cinnamon, this beautiful syrup might help you stay healthy in the coming months.

Making elderberry syrup is easy, fun, and makes a home smell delicious. Follow this recipe to make your own.


Elderberry Syrup
½ cup of dried elderberries, organic or wild if possible
1-2 cinnamon sticks, organic if possible
5-7 cloves, organic if possible
Small piece of ginger, skinned
and organic if possible
3 cups of water
1 cup of local, unpasteurized honey
(try your local farmers’ market)

You’ll also need:
A strainer or cheesecloth
Clean glass jars for storing

Prepare the ginger by using the back of a spoon to take the skin off. Add the elderberries, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and water to a medium pot, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 45-60 minutes, then take off the heat and let rest.

Once room temperature, mash the berries to get all the healthy juice out. Strain the liquid using a kitchen strainer or cheesecloth. Next, add the honey and stir well. The syrup will keep in clean glass jars in the fridge for two-to-four months.

Take one teaspoon a day on its own, or in a warm cup of water or tea. When feeling under the weather, increase to one tsp. two to three times a day. Another wonderful way to enjoy this syrup is to add it to sparkling water for a pop alternative that tastes delicious.

Safety notes: Unpasteurized honey should not be given to children under one year old.
Elderberry bark, leaf, and root are not safe to be ingested, but can be used topically if cooked first.

Cassandra Goodwin, ND
The information provided is intended solely for educational purposes and is not a substitute for the medical advice provided by a physician or other health care professional.