Elderberry Syrup

We are deep into winter now and though I have just published a book about some positive aspects of this cold season, a big negative still remains, namely, flu. Many of our loved ones have had or currently have the flu. While our family and church community remain in constant prayer for the sick we are taking precautions to remain healthy as well. Less handshaking, less beard stroking (this one is particularly difficult), more hand washing, more dietary preventatives like elderberries. Besides the fact that the elderberry sounds incredibly epic and akin to the Elder Wand from that book series about wizards, it is also epically powerful. Elderberries have more vitamin C than oranges and they have been used throughout history to treat ailments ranging from the flu to cancer! In addition to watching our children twice a week so that JoAlison and I can spend time alone together, my mother is really good at making healthy choices about food! She comes from a long line of Appalachian Mountain folk that have learned to harness the benefits of God’s green earth for the betterment of His image-bearers. A timeless craft, to be sure! She came to church last Sunday bearing gifts in the form of elderberry syrup and jam to keep the Higgins family on the up and up. It works like a natural Tamiflu. We are very thankful!


  • 1 cup dried elderberries
  • 3 cups filtered water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 tsp chopped ginger
  • 3 cloves (1/8 tsp ground)
  • Simmer on low for 40 min
  • Let cool to room temp
  • Strain berries
  • 3/4 cup of raw honey
  • Mix well and bottle
  • 1–3 tbsp a day