Learn how to make a decoction of Aronia berries, elderberries, and other immune-boosting herbs to make a delicious tasting Aronia berry syrup packed with healthful benefits to help ward off the cold and flu.
Most people are aware of the health benefits of elderberries, especially elderberry syrup, and that it’s a must-have for our natural herbal remedies cupboard during the fall and winter cold and flu season, but very few people know about Aronia berries.
Aronia berries are also great to use throughout the whole year for their immune-boosting properties. We've found it's easiest to get the benefits of both berries in this syrup recipe.
The video below demonstrates how to make the Aronia berry syrup, however, I don't include them in this syrup. For the Aronia syrup recipe, continue on down the blog post!
Not only will this homemade Aronia berry syrup help you prevent the common cold and flu by strengthening your immune system, but it will help kick any cold and flu you do catch to the curb much faster.
Before we start:
This herbal information is just that, information. This blog post and I do not intend to treat, cure, or diagnose any disease or illness. This is for informational, education and entertainment purposes only. Please consult a physician before using herbs medicinally.
This post also contains affiliate links throughout. Translation: We get a little kick back for sharing certain products, at no additional cost to you, should you choose to purchase said items. And - thank you for supporting our farm and family! Read the full disclaimer here.
What Are Aronia Berries?
While elderberries are fairly well known, Aronia berries show up a little bit less in mainstream information. We have been using them for years in our Harvest Berry, Barn Raising Tulsi Berry, and Aronia Plum Berry tea blends as well as our Rose Berry Kombucha Flavoring.
Our friends at Mt. Hope Farms grow some excellent berries and it is our privilege to get to use them fresh and local in our teas! (Not to mention how we enjoy their fabulous, award-winning Blackberry-Aronia Berry Fruit Spread!)
Aronia berries are actually native to North America, and also grow on a shrub. They have smaller clusters than the elderberry, but the berries are much larger. Aronia berries are very firm with an earthy flavor and are not as juicy as the elderberry.
Medical News Today suggests possible health benefits of Aronia berries may help prevent colon cancer growth, inhibit cancer cell growth in general, reduce cell damage due to breast cancer, contain anti-diabetic properties, reduce liver damage symptoms, and aid in artery and blood vessel health.
Add to all that goodness that these berries pack an additional nutritional punch of vitamins and minerals including Vitamins C, B, K, iron, zinc, and magnesium making them one beneficial super berry.
What Are Elderberries?
Elderberries, known botanically as Sambucus Nigra, are a deciduous perennial "shrub" that sometimes turns into a giant tree. The shrub produces small berries after sending out delicate white flowers from an umbel at the end of every plant branch.
Elderberries form part of the adoxaceae plant family. They are native to Europe, Africa, and Asia though they have been naturalized to USDA zones three through seven.
Are Elderberries Safe to Eat?
Elderberries pack a sweet, yet bitter flavor. One that you will not want to try raw as the fresh berries can make you sick.
Elderberries should be cooked and/or steeped as tea before consuming. Also keep in mind that while the black elderberry is edible, the red elderberry is not. Some also suggest that seeds should be strained out. Something there is no need to worry about when using them in teas or the syrup we are making today.
Why Should I Make Aronia Berry Syrup?
This method of making syrup is making a “decoction” which means that as we are heating the ingredients, we aren’t just extracting the flavors, we are using heat to extract the constituents from the roots and plants. This turns the health benefits into a more concentrated form.
Speaking of super berries, SuperBerries.com states that:
"Though the elderberry is the closest to the Aronia berry in flavonoids and polyphenols, the antioxidant fighting compounds of the elderberry still don’t quite measure up to Aronia on the USDA Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity or ORAC Scale. 100 grams of the Elderberry scaled in at 14,697 on the ORAC value scale, while 100 grams of the Aronia Berry scaled in at a whopping 16,062 on the ORAC value scale."
Wow! That says quite a lot for Aronia berries.
The natives in this country used to use them to promote labor (so maybe not a great berry if you are expecting and sweet little baby is not ready yet), get rid of headaches, as a diuretic, and to aid in fevers.
As you can see, the combo of these two berries really makes a mighty duo.
I hear ya though, you're ready for the deets! This awesome Aronia and elderberry syrup is just what you are asking for and includes a few more medicinal herb ingredients to really give you a boost.
A real quick rundown of the other medicinal herbs in this awesome berry syrup and then, I promise, the recipe!
Additional Syrup Ingredients
Astragalus is a lesser-known root, used more in China than in the United States. Astragalus is known as an adaptogen herb that helps to normalize functions in the body and aids in stress relief. It's also helpful in upper respiratory illnesses.
Oh echinacea, how I love you, you boost the immune system at the first sign of illness and ward it off before it shows its ugly face! This herb has saved me from many illnesses and I always keep it around, usually in a kid-friendly glycerite like this one from Herb Pharm.
The roots and leaves of goldenseal are often used for all sorts of infections, including intestinal, sinus, mucus membrane, vaginal, eye, and urinary tract. It's also known as an immune booster and digestive aid.
Ginger is an expectorant herb that helps aid your body in removing mucus.
Expectorant herbs are known as anticatarrhal in the herbal world. Anticatarrhals help to remove excessive mucus in both the respiratory and digestive systems. These herbs will help break down the mucus and send it packing.
Orange peels, ick, yuck, blah! Not the part that most people eat from the orange. But did you know that the peel has more vitamin C than the orange itself? Yep! And the pith is actually great for lymph circulation.
Orange peel is used in this recipe for its vitamin C content.
Cinnamon is a well-known culinary herb that most people have in their baking cupboard. Cinnamon is a great antiviral which is why it is part of our elderberry syrup recipe!
Aronia Berry Syrup Recipe
- ½ cup Dried Aronia Berries
- ½ cup Dried Elderberries
- 6 cups Filtered Water
- ⅛ cup Cut & Sifted Astragalus Root
- ⅛ cup Cut & Sifted Echinacea Root
- ½ cup Dried Orange Peel
- ½ cup Dried Rose Hips
- 10 Cloves
- 1 tbsp Cinnamon Bark Chips
- 1 tbsp Dried Ginger Root
- ⅓ cup Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 cup Local Raw Honey
- Bring filtered water, Aronia berries, elderberries, and all of the dried herbs to a boil in a medium saucepan on the stove.
- Once the herbs and berries are boiling, cover with a lid, and turn down the stove to bring the mixture to a simmer.
- Simmer the herbs and berries for about 30 minutes or until the liquid is reduced by half.
- Strain the berries and herbs from the mixture using a fine metal sieve or an unbleached cheesecloth making sure to carefully remove all of the juices. A metal potato masher, wooden spoon, or silicone spatula can help remove them without the mess of the juice and getting burned from the heat of the herbs. Pro Tip: If you have a French press, it works well in place of a sieve to get all the juices removed from your decoction.
- Once strained, dispose of the pulp in your compost pile, and let the Aronia berry juice cool to room temperature. It is important to allow the juice to cool. Otherwise, the heat will kill the beneficial enzymes and nutrients in the raw honey and apple cider vinegar.
- After the juice has cooled to the touch and is no longer hot, add raw apple cider vinegar and local raw honey.
- Whisk in well or use an immersion stick blender to incorporate the honey and vinegar well.
- Pour into a quart-size Mason jar and store in the refrigerator. It will safely store up to two weeks. This recipe can be doubled or cut in half to accommodate your needs.
- Supplement 1 tablespoon daily for adults. When fighting a cold or flu increase to 1 tablespoon every 2 hours until symptoms subside.
- Medium Saucepan
- Metal Sieve or Cheesecloth
- Potato Masher, Wooden Spoon, or Silicone Spatula
- Whisk or Immersion Blender
- Quart Mason Jar with Lid
How Much Aronia Berry Syrup Should I Take?
At the first signs of illness, we recommend adults taking 1 Tablespoon 3 times per day, or up to 1 Tablespoon every 3 hours. For children (age 12 and under), reduce this to 1 teaspoon 3 times per day, or up to 1 teaspoon every 3 hours. Not recommended for children under 1 due to the honey.
It’s always our recommendation to check with your doctor before administering these remedies.
Aronia Berry Syrup (plus elderberry) is just one tool in our cold and flu-fighting kit. There are so many other wonderful herbs that we love to put to use in our home and we make sure that we keep a stash of them on hand.
Many of those are included in our Growing Herbal Teas eBook as well as the ones that we use from Homesteading Family's Healthy Healing at Home free online course. Also, find other wonderful Elderberry Recipes in our Free Elderberry Recipe book here.
Other Posts You May Enjoy
- Elderberry Health Benefits
- Herbs for Allergies (Fight Seasonal Allergies)
- Herbal Allergy Fighting Tea Recipe
- Tools for Preventing Colds, Coughs & Flu Part 1
- Herbs for Colds, Coughs & Flu Part 2
- Herbal Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies
- Best Medicinal Herbs to Grow in the Shade Garden
- 10 Herbs to Grow for Tea
- 6 Tips on How to Grow an Herbal Tea Garden
Share with us in the comments below your top 5 herbal must-haves for keeping your family well and healthy! It's always fun to get new herbal tips and recipes!
Are you getting weekly tips on all things herbal?
Growing, creating, recipes, herbal medicine tips, and more every week right to your inbox (including sales on herbal goodness!) Make sure you grab it here!
We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.