Elderberry-Rose Hip Syrup


We have had an sickness of monumental proportions come running through our house. When you have a big family, especially with little children, this happens. The children won’t always share their toys but they happily share their sickness.

I had prepared a batch of elderberry syrup when the first child showed that she was under the weather…but with multiple people taking it…it didn’t last the whole time.

So I whipped up a new batch.

This time it was Elderberry and Rose Hips.

Rose hips are amazing little things. Chock full of vitamin C…which is always welcome when you are ill. They are sweet, which can help with the sweet-yet-not-sweet taste of Elderberries.

I called this the “Extra Magic” version because it also has other beneficial herbs for extra magical healing.

To make Mama’s Extra Magic Elderberry and Rosehip Syrup

  • 1 cup dried Elderberries
  • 1/2 cup dried Rose hips
  • 1/2 cup Licorice
  • 1/2 cup Echinacea angustifolia root *Buy cultivated
  • 1/4 cup Oregon grape root. *Buy cultivated
  • 6 cup water
  • 2 cups honey

Bring elderberries and rose hips to boil in the 6 cups water.

Once boiling, reduce to simmer and add in remaining herbs. Simmer until liquid is reduced to about half.

Strain out all herbs (squeezing the herbs to get all the good stuff out but be careful because it will be hot, don’t let it cool too much because you need it warm/hot for the honey)

Add the honey to your liquid and stir until dissolved.

VOILA your Extra Magic Elderberry and Rosehip syrup is done.

Bottle, label with ingredients and date made.

Store in the fridge for up to 6 months.


Adults: 1 tablespoon several times throughout the day…at least 4 times.

Children: 1-2 teaspoons 4-5 times during the day.

*Echinacea spp. is currently on the United Plant Savers (UPS) “at-risk” list. Please buy cultivated to support this plant reestablishing is native population.

*Oregon grape root is currently on the UPS “to-watch” list. This plant takes several years before it is ready to harvest and then because you are harvesting the root, kills the plant. Please buy cultivated when possible. If wildcrafted please check with the company to find out their standards for harvesting from the wild (taking less than 1/3 of any growth for example).


Curious about why I don’t add Astragalus to my Elderberry? This is a very popular addition as Astragalus is amazing as boosting the immune system…however WHEN YOU ARE SICK Astragalus should be discontinued. In traditional Chinese medicine tonic herbs (which Astragalus is) are ceased during illness because it can cause stagnation (meaning stuff won’t move…think of stagnant air or water) and even “feed” the illness (from Adaptogens by David Winston).

My Materia Medica – Angelica

3 years now I have been studying clinical herbal medicine. It has been three intense years…and I still have 2.5 more to go in the Advanced Herbal program.

One thing I do, it to compile in one place the herbs that I study….botanical names, part used, plant family….uses, dosing (from multiple sources), contraindications. A working materia medica.

Today I got to enjoy the study of Angelica. Angelica archangelica.

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I first became interested in this herb because of its use (according to Susun Weed) as a remedy for retained placenta. In her book Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year, Weed mentions how 30-50 drops should do the trick. As a doula…and one working through midwifery apprenticing…this really caught my attention. Our 4th child was a born in a beautiful water birth, and then my placenta didn’t want to come out. So instead of enjoying that first hour uninterrupted with my baby, I had to get out of the tub (umbilical cord hanging) and waddle to the bed to receive massage and Pitocin to get my uterus out without serious complications.

Thankfully, my skilled midwife was able to get it to release without having to reach up and forcibly remove it. While my birth was amazing, sometimes I wish I had was knew about Angelica for that purpose.

As I read through Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Healing for Women and then Matthew Wood’s The Earthwise Herbal, A Complete Guide to Old World Medicinal Plant. I just fell in love with this herb.

It uses reach from retained placenta to sluggish liver to congestion and stagnation.

In my postpartum practice, Angelica is added to the Vital Fire tincture that also contains Cramp back and White willow…used for after pains. It is not to be used during pregnancy.

I look forward to incorporating this into my practice.

pickled and baked

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in our home we are fans of homemade. we try to avoid packaged goods when we can, not just for the health issues but also to minimize our waste.

graham crackers are a favorite here but the ones from the store are empty and lots of packaging. so we pulled out a favorite cookbooks “the Homemade Pantry” by Alana Chernila and whipped up a batch. Oh how I love these crackers.

We ditched the cinnamon sugar topping for just plain cinnamon and we never use shortening (we just substitute more butter because butter is awesome)

While that was going on, we had beets in the oven for their cooking before becoming pickled beets. I am a fan of beets but when my husband went to Norway for work, he was served pickled beets and decided we needed to make them. So we did.

Prick the beets (4) and bake on a cookie sheet for about 3 hours or until soft.

Skin the beets and chop them up. We did a thick Julienne.

Place them in a quart size mason jar and add 2 teaspoons of salt and top until covered with water.

Cover and keep at room temperature for 3 days, then move to cold storage.

The beets my husband had in Norway were just sliced so please don’t feel stuck to a julienne.

We will soon be trying more pickled vegetables using Sally Fallon’s “Nourishing Traditions” as a guide.