Elderberry syrup is an old standby for the herbal apothecary. Every year as summer is ending, we make a batch to keep on hand for winter use.
This is her own secret version of classic elderberry syrup.
We take a teaspoon three to five times a day if we feel like we really need it and a teaspoon a day for regular maintenance.
Here's the ingredient list:
Fresh elderberries can be difficult to harvest and process given the fact that they love to ferment as soon as you pick them. If you don't refrigerate, dry, or use them right away (within hours), you'll likely lose them. When we can't get it together to collect and process enough for syrup, we buy dried elderberries and keep a stash for winter in case we need to make more.
Turkey Tail Mushrooms
Turkey tail mushroom has been used for thousands of years to make tea.
We forage our turkey tail since it's fairly common where we are but it's also available in capsules.
Usnea is a common lichen that grows on older trees.
It takes a long time for usnea to grow, so only use what you find on the ground after it's been blown down.
Look for it after wind or a storm -- we usually make a point of grabbing a little whenever we come across it.
We use echinacea from our garden.
Since we can't easily grow ginger where we are, we rely on the grocery store for this ingredient.
Another grocery store ingredient, lemon juice helps balance the sweet of honey and elderberries.
We use local honey.
6 cups water
1 cup dried elderberries or 2 cups fresh elderberries
1 cup turkey tail mushrooms, broken into 1 inch pieces
1 cup usnea
1 cup echinacea flowers, leaves, and stems
3 TBLS fresh ginger, chopped
3 TBLS lemon juice
1 cup honey
In a medium-sized sauce pan, combine everything except honey and lemon juice, bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer, covered, for 30 to 40 minutes.
Remove from heat, strain out the herbs, and stir in honey and lemon juice (mixture should still be warm but not boiling).
Set aside to cool, pour into jars or bottles, and refrigerate for up to 3 months. Syrup can also be frozen in ice cube trays or plastic containers and stored for up to a year.