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Elderberry Syrup

This is a recipe I used to make every year. I would forage it in the hedgerows whilst always ensuring there were enough berries for local wildlife.


750 ml of water (around 3 cups),

1 cup of fresh picked elderberries (sambucus nigra) with stems removed

2 sticks of cinnamon, some cloves,

1-2" piece of ginger root chopped a bit,

1/2 cup honey (local preferable)


After removing the berries from their stems stick them in a steel pan, add the water and spices/roots. I also grate in a little nutmeg or allspice powder (just a pinch).

Bring up to the boil and then let simmer for about 40-50 minutes. It should be reduced by about half by then.

Let it cool down but still warm and sieve through a strainer/sieve so you don't get the debris but the deep purple liquid.

Whilst it is still warm (but not hot) add the honey and stir through. Pour contents into a jam jar which has been sterilised (to clean jam jar wash in hot, soapy water and then put in oven at just over 100 deg C for about 20 minutes). Seal with lid. This makes about a jar's worth.

(I sort of learned the hard way by reading old herbals and then experimenting with ideas but to give credit where credit is due some of my inspirations over the years are Mrs Grieves and Glennie Kindred).

Disclaimer: As I am not qualified in medical herbalism I make no claims about the above recipe. Please seek advice from a medical herbalist and if you have a medical condition or are taking medication please consult with your GP or pharmacist before taking any herbal products. It is always important to correctly identify herbs so if in doubt do not make it. If any mould grows then please discard as well.

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