This is probably how your elderberry trees will look now after forager's like myself and more common the birds have eaten them all. What does this picture remind you of? If I turn it upside down I see lungs and the little stems look like blood vessels. Elderberry has been used for years by herbalists for symptoms of cold and flu, and a potent remedy for upper respiratory infections (lungs). It is rich in phytonutrients (Phytonutrients are a class of nutrients that are thought to have health-protecting properties and produced from colourful plants.)
Here is the recipe for elderberry syrup from my lovely book called Tonic and Teas by Rachel de Thample which I highly recommend.
So you can either take this syrup as a preventative, 1 tbsp every day over the winter season or when your feeling a little something coming on and then take a tbsp 3 times a day until you feel better. It's not recommended you take it for long periods of time, just when you need it or during the winter season. If you want to make this now, you can use dried elderberries which you can find online.
100g fresh berries or 50g dried
500ml filtered water
1 tsp echinacea tincture or 1/4 cup of dried
3cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled
1 cinnamon stick
zest and juice of 1 orange
125g raw honey
Take all your elderberries off of the stalk and put in a sieve
Give a little wash
Place in a large saucepan with the water, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and orange peel
Bring to the boil and then turn down and simmer for 30 minutes, then turn off
Let it cool right down to just warm (remember raw honey will loose it's amazing benefits if you heat it)
Drain the liquid into a large bowl using a fine mesh sieve, muslin or nut bag
Now add your orange juice, echinacea tincture and raw honey and stir until dissolved
Sterilize a bottle or glass container - to do this wash it out and place the glass vessel (not the lid) in the oven for 10 minutes at 140 degrees c/275F or gas mark 1.
Remove (with gloves!)
Wait to cool and then decant your syrup into your vessel.