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Elderberries, from the Elder (Sambucus) plant, have long been prized for their ability to help support a normal, healthy functioning immune system. One of the most practical ways to add this traditional remedy to your wellness regime is a Homemade Elderberry Syrup! In this Slow Food Live session, we will walk through the process of making a batch for you and your family. Additionally, we will look at some other options for integrating this amazing natural resource into your seasonal wellness routine.

Ed Kennedy is a Homesteader, Urban Farm / Garden Consultant, and Self Sufficiency Mentor near Denver Colorado. He is an active member of the Slow Food Family and sits on the Board of the Slow Food Denver Chapter.

Elderberry is in high demand at the moment and many purveyors are quickly selling through dried elderberry, but we love River Hills Harvest for all manner of elderberry products (and they’ve got their elderberry health cordial in stock!). If you’re looking for honey, look no further than Hani Honey Company, another friend to Slow Food and producer of fine, raw Florida honey. (Check out Beekeeping Basics on Slow Food Live with Hani Honey Company owner, Jennifer Holmes.)

Ed Kennedy’s Elderberry Syrup


  • 1 cup fresh or ½ cup dried organic Elderberries (Blue or black berries only.  Red berries are poisonous.)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup raw and unfiltered honey
  • 1 organic cinnamon stick
  • 3 organic whole cloves
  • Organic ginger (optional)


  1. Place berries, water, and spices in a saucepan.
  2. Cover and bring to a rolling boil
  3. Reduce heat, and simmer for a minimum of 30 min.
  4. Remove from heat and smash the berries to release the remaining juice.
  5. Allow it to cool until warm.
  6. Strain the mixture, pressing the berries to get the most juice possible.
  7. Add honey and stir until completely blended.
  8. Store in a glass jar or bottle.

Will last for 2 to 3 months if stored in the refrigerator.

How to Use Elderberry Syrup

  • Take 1 tablespoon daily to ward off illness.
  • Take 1 teaspoon every 2 to 3 hours while sick.
  • For children under 2 years of age, you might consider adding the syrup to hot water to kill any microbes in the raw honey.