Hi, I'm Tieraona Low Dog, and I am here at
my friends' at Mountain Rose Herbs, and I'd like to show you how to make a basic
elderberry syrup. You know, the winter months are coming along and one of the
questions I get asked a lot, "Are there things that I can use for my
family that are sort of nutritious, and help get us through the sniffle season,
you know, strong and healthy?". Well, one of my favorite herbs is
elderberries. Now you can use them fresh or dried, but for our purposes, I'm going
to show you how to make dried elderberries, because they're easier to
find, right, all year long. It's easy to access dried elderberries. Now, when
you're using elderberries and you're making a syrup, there's just a couple
things I want you to keep in mind. Syrups that are shelf-stable,
meaning that they're going to sit out at room temperature for a long period of
time, require more sugar, you're going to have to…or alcohol…but you're going to
have to add something to it to keep from getting bacteria and mold and other
things. So the syrup I'm going to teach you how to make today, I'm intending for
you to keep it in the refrigerator, all right? And you don't need to use as
much sugar, and we're not going to use alcohol, so it'll be stable for everybody
in the family, except we are using honey as our preservative. And remember, honey
itself has lots of wonderful properties to it, especially during the the sniffle
season. But, honey is not safe for children under the age of 1 year old,
right? So you can't use honey. If you are going to make this recipe for somebody
that was littler than 1, that we were going to share with in your household,
you would need to substitute either sugar or maple syrup for that, and again,
you would keep it in the refrigerator. But again, honey is my preferred
preservative as well as sweetener in syrups, but just not suitable for kids
under 1 because of a rare condition called infantile botulism. Sounds scary,
you don't want it, all right? Now, so when you're going to make your syrup, all you
need to do is have a pan this is a ceramic, nonstick pan; glass works well
too. I mean, I think the main thing you want to avoid are any types of pans that
off-gas or do anything else like that with making your herbs. I
discourage you from having them in your house to cook anything anyway. So, this is a
nice pan we're going to use, we have dried elderberries, we have some ginger, I
like ginger in my elderberry because it's very warming, it has a very
warming effect, and when people feel like they're just getting a little bit under
the weather, that ginger really kind of has this dispersing quality to it. It's
very, very nice in a syrup. So all we're going to do is, we're going to take our
pan, and this is 2 cups of pre-measured dried elderberries. All right, so I'm
going to put it into my pan, okay, and here I have 4 cups of water that's
already been pre-measured…Remember that your finished herbal product is only as good as what you start with, right, so the ingredients matter, and that includes water. So water should be
distilled, or it should be a good spring water, or purified water, depending upon
where you live. Now, I'm going to add the 4 cups of water here. I like a lot of
things in my elderberry syrup. Today, I'm going to just use ginger and cinnamon,
but I also want to tell you that you should be creative. There's not just one
way to make spaghetti sauce, every grandma has their spaghetti sauce recipe,
right? And it had little tweaks of this or that in it, and so you want to be
creative with your syrups. I think one of the things that beginners often struggle
with when they're just learning how to make some of these herbal
products for their home, is that they're very rigid in how they do things. You
can be creative, you can add vanilla bean (I LOVE, like, a slice of vanilla bean in
here), cardamom tastes really good… So just be…give yourself permission to play with the flavor, okay? Now this is ginger, this
is dried ginger, and again, I love ginger. I mean, during the cold season, is there
anything better than just coming home on a cold day, everybody's chilled, and you
make yourself a cup of ginger tea with a squeeze of lemon and a little honey in
it? I mean…So ginger is sort of associated with cold weather because of
its beautiful warming properties. Now you don't want to use too much dry ginger
because it's stronger than the fresh, right? It's just, it's
stronger in its flavor than the fresh. So we're gonna just put this on—whup, let let me put my cinnamon stick in here, got put in my cinnamon stick—and we're gonna
turn on our heat (is this not the cutest, EVER, sort of, little hot plate? I want one!)
So anyway, we're going to turn this on, and we're gonna watch it. We're gonna
watch it, we're going to stir it up occasionally. I'm going to let this come
to a boil, and as soon as it begins to boil, I'm going to turn down the heat, and
I'm going to let it simmer for 30 minutes, all right? So it's just going to
simmer for 30 minutes, I'm going to leave it covered, I'm gonna keep an eye on it.
And then, once it's done simmering, I'm going to turn the heat off, and I'm gonna
let it steep for an hour, all right? So you know the longer, the longer you
simmer and steep something, the more we're going to be able to pull into the
water, because we're gonna discard all the herbs, so we want to get as much as
we can basically into our liquid tea before we turn it into our syrup.
So we've simmered our elderberry for 30 minutes, and now we're letting it steep
for an hour we're almost to the end of that. And I just wanted to go over a
couple of things with you. You know, how much herb you use to how
much water when you're making a syrup varies on a number of things: the
type of herb that you're using, and what your overall goal is. So in this case, I
used 1 ounce of elderberry for every 4 ounces of water. Now, this is a very
strong decoction that I'm making, right? Because I'm going to make it into a
syrup where I only want to have to take, you know, a teaspoon, a couple
teaspoons a day. So remember this is a strong tea. Teas are normally consumed,
you know, you drink cups of it every day, so when you're making a syrup, it's got
to be stronger, right? You have to use more herb for water. One ounce of herb to
4 ounces of water, 1 ounce of herb to 8 ounces of water, tends to be
common. If you find a recipe for elderberry syrup that says 1 ounce of
the elderberry to like 16 ounces of water, that's also a perfectly fine
recipe. What you'll have to remember is, after you've simmered and steeped, you'll
strain the herb, and then you've got to reduce it by half. So you'll have to, you'll have to simmer it for another, you know, 20 to 30
minutes until it's reduced to half of its original volume. That is a perfectly
acceptable way of making syrups. The reason I'm teaching you this way, is
because many herbs, you don't want to do that with, like thyme herb. If you were
making a thyme syrup, if you put 1 ounce to 16 ounces of water and then you had
to reduce by half, all that heat would destroy a lot of the therapeutic
properties, all of the wonderful volatile oils and that that are in thyme. Osha is
the same kind of thing, so this is a good standard recipe for you to remember:
1 ounce of herb to 4 ounces, steep or simmer based upon the herb, strain, and
then add 50%—measure your final liquid, and then add 50% honey, and you're done,
okay? So we'll write this all down in the blog so you'll have it all written so
you know, you know all the little variations you can do. But right now,
we're done, the timer's gone off, and I'm going to strain out our elderberry, our
ginger, and our cinnamon. Now, to do this, you just need an appropriate-sized jar,
any kind of funnel (canning funnels or other types of funnels are good). If
you're going to use a cheesecloth, make sure that you really do double it up so
that you don't get little pieces coming through; you can also use an undyed
muslin. I encourage you to, you know, you can certainly purchase them online, on
many places and including getting a lot of these supplies from Mountain Rose
Herbs, but I would also say going to your local fabric stores can also be very
good, because they have huge, huge rolls of undyed muslin which can also be very
useful for these kinds of things that you do at home. So now, we're just going
to pour our syrup through our cheesecloth—oh it smells divine! I know
you can't smell it through the camera, but let me tell you, the cinnamon and the
ginger are really coming through with this sort of subtle, beautiful elderberry,
just gorgeous! Now this is quite hot, so if you are
going to squeeze this, really, well, you'd want to make sure that you have gloves
on or that, or that you've left the lid off that last 15 minutes or so, so it
cools off, because you don't want to burn your hands, right? And then you'll just,
you'll just squeeze really well—oh, that's so beautiful!—and when you're
finished with your herbs, you know, I hope you compost them (they're great to just
put out in your compost pile), that you just don't throw them, you know, down the
sink or in the trash. Your plants like to go back into the earth where
they came from, alright? So then, we sort of take this out…beautiful, beautiful,
beautiful! And then, you would add your honey. So you would measure how much
liquid you have, right? So if you have 16 ounces of your finished syrup, you would
add 8 ounces of your honey or your maple syrup, right, or your sugar, right? But
honey is the best, really. For sniffle season kinds of syrups that you're
making, use the honey. You may not know this but actually, the American Academy
of Family Practice and the American Academy of Pediatrics, they sort of
recommend honey for younger kids that, you know, come down with sniffles, and
scratchy throats and that, because honey is so soothing to the throat. So
remember, not for children under the age of 1, but honey is wonderful in and of itself. So, if you have 16 ounces of your syrup, you would pour 8 ounces of honey into your syrup…oh it's so beautiful!
Now, I get a lot of questions about, "Is it raw? Local? Which kind should I use?". Obviously, raw, local honey is the best, and for the purposes of this
video, we're sort of moving through these steps kind of quickly. I would add my
honey once my syrup had cooled, not quite to
room temperature, but close, because I like to use raw honey, and I
don't like to get the heat over 100 degrees when I'm using my raw
honey, because I'd love to keep all those good, natural enzymes and everything in
there, right? So, oh my goodness this looks so
beautiful! And I want you to think how little time
and actually investment this took us to make with our dried elderberries, a
little cinnamon stick, some dried ginger powder, and some raw, local honey. I have
made now this beautiful elder ginger cinnamon syrup. I'll store it in the
refrigerator, I'll put the date on it so it has the date that it was prepared
(probably with heart, like something made with love) on the date, and I'll put
the name elderberry syrup on it, and then I'll keep it in the fridge. And in our
house, the way I would use this is, I would just have everybody in the morning
or in the evening enjoy 1 to 2 teaspoons of this just straight out of the fridge,
just as a daily nourishing sort of beverage to take us through the sniffle
season and the long winter months. I hope you've enjoyed learning to make
this basic elderberry syrup. I hope that you'll try it at home, that you're not
intimidated by trying these things, because really, if you can make if you
can make a basic spaghetti sauce, you can make any herbal kind of remedy that you
want. From my house to yours, thank you.

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