Question regarding elderberry, but other naturals as well..

silvertipgrizz Posts: 1,990 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited November 2020 in Herbal Medicine-Making

How could elderberry's withstand a temp over 118 and have healing properties still abundant? I want to make my own syrup from my bushes next summer and want to be as knowledgeable as I can be so I don't ruin it but also so it is as potent a healer as possible.

Thanks for any and all responses.


  • merlin44
    merlin44 Posts: 426 ✭✭✭✭

    It's my understanding elderberry is heated to boiling when making syrup to rid the berries of an alkaloid in them that causes nausea and vomiting. It's one herb never eaten or used in tincture raw due to that reason.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,505 admin

    Some plants need to be simmered in water to extract all their properties. Just like some herbs are best in an infusion while others are better as a decoction. With elderberry, it is the seeds that contain the alkaloid.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,358 admin

    Since this question came up, I would like to know what "cold process" refers to in elderberry processing. Considering it is as you say, @merlin44, the concept of cold processing doesn't seem to go with that, so its had me wondering for awhile.

    I know that the recipe that Heather gave me had "bring to boil, then reduce to simmer." The last batch made here actually boiled a bit too long due to being distracted. I do think it is nothing more than tasty syrup now. It is best to make sure there are no distractions.

  • hmsadmin
    hmsadmin Posts: 123 admin

    I took a class with Lori Rose Valentine this last spring and this question came up - Her advice was to simmer low and slow, and she recommended using a hot plate or something similar to have good temp control. But she said with Elder, a lot of the good constituents are fairly heat stable, and to not worry about it too much as long as you don't burn them.

    This fall I made some of my own... and I only have a propane cooktop to cook with... and I let it go a little too long... and it was still super effective! I made and started taking it last month when I was feeling a cold coming on, and within 2 days, all symptoms where gone and all was well.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,358 admin

    @Linzi boiling at all, or to that temp then way down for the remainder?

    I have cast iron burner plates, so heat should remain constant.

    It I'd good to hear that I may still have something useful.

  • Hassena
    Hassena Posts: 345 ✭✭✭

    I think a little bit of boiling isn't going to have much of an effect. When making the syrup, we keep it low and slow. It makes our home smell ohhh so good.

    Sometimes I bring it to a boil, once it's there...immediately turn it down and let it simmer to half it's mass. It's always been effective for us. It's my go to in the winter season. I've been making it this way for over a decade.

    It would be neat if somebody had their recipe tested. You may want to look at Gaia herbs. They list active ingredients, I suppose the vitamin info is from testing.

  • Gail H
    Gail H Posts: 359 ✭✭✭✭

    While I still do make elderberry syrup, I am finding a tea that I make very effective for stopping colds. For each cup I use 1 t. dried elderberries, a small chunk of fresh ginger or a wadded up ginger leaf (I grow ginger and bring it in every winter), some broken up dried organic citrus peel, half an inch or so of crumbled Ceylon cinnamon and a few whole cloves. According to Euell Gibbons, drying elderberries removes the component that can lead to nausea and I've never had an issue using them in tea. I find a warm cup of tea very therapeutic in and of itself.

  • Desiree
    Desiree Posts: 255 ✭✭✭

    I have read many herbalists say that it is okay to make an elderberry tincture using just the dried berry. I know that raw is not good because of the seeds but I just wonder why some say yes and some say no.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,505 admin

    Just don't consume the seeds. When you are making a tincture or syrup you are straining out the seeds so the juice, raw or cooked is OK. I have been making elderberry syrup for a long time, from both fresh berries and dried, and have never had any issue with it. I bring them to just below the boil and then reduce to a low simmer until reduced by half. There are several commercial brands of syrup on the market, including ones specifically for children. So I encourage everyone to try making their own. Rosalee de la Foret has a good recipe on her website and one for a spiced elderberry syrup as well.

  • silvertipgrizz
    silvertipgrizz Posts: 1,990 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thank you for all your responses. And your many suggestions.