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How to Choose an Elderberry Syrup

Posted by Liz Farrell on
How to Choose an Elderberry Syrup

Elderberry is a popular berry and there are new products out there almost every day. This is not an advertisement for our own Elderberry Apple Shots, but rather a helpful tip on how to choose an elderberry syrup.

Spend Your Money on Elderberry

If you want to spend your money on ELDERBERRY (rather than another ingredient), here's how to make the best choice. Of course you may have other requirements (for example, gluten-free or honey-free or child approved), but this is a great starting point. IF YOU DISLIKE MATH, SKIP TO THE CONCLUSION "Survey Says!" BELOW.

1. Find three numbers on the elderberry product label you are looking at:

  • the number of servings in the entire product ("A")
  • the number of grams of elderberry in a serving ("B")
  • the price (include shipping if applicable) ("C")

2. Calculate the price per gram ("D") this way: D = C ÷ (A x B) 

Let's Calculate the Example in the Photo

1. In the Elderberry Syrup pictured above, there are 30 servings in a bottle.

2. There are 1.5 grams of elderberry in a serving, or 1,500 milligrams.

3. It costs $26.39 (on October 28, 2019) and $0 for shipping.

So --  $26.39 ÷ (30 x 1.5) = $0.5864 per gram of elderberry.

Keep in mind that most labels show elderberry (also called sambucus) as milligrams per serving.  If that's the case you will need to make the following adjustment to convert milligrams into grams:

D = C ÷ (A x (B ÷ 1,000))

Survey Says! 

In my on-line research I have found a price range of $0.15 per gram of elderberry (Fat Stone Farm, $22 for a 9.3 oz bottle) up to $1.49 per gram of elderberry (Elderberry Queen, $19.99 for a 12 oz bottle). If the bottle seems like a bargain, it probably has very little elderberry in it. 

If you need any help doing a formula or deciphering a label, you can DM me on Facebook (@fatstonefarm) or send me an email (liz at fatstonefarm.com). I honestly don't care what brand you have, where you got it, or what you plan to do with it.

If you are looking at our Elderberry Apple Shots, you may notice that our label looks different than many other brands. We sell our "Shots" (like a syrup, but slightly too thin to call it syrup) as a regular food item, not a supplement. I've written a short article about why we did that.

What About Homemade Elderberry Syrup?

Most homemade elderberry syrups call for dried berries, which reconstitute in hot/boiling water. Even some commercially available syrups use dried berries. I cannot find any information about how many milligrams of elderberry are present after the boiling phase. I have doubts that the dried berries have more nutrition after all that boiling, and so a homemade syrup may end up being more expensive on an elderberry-per-gram basis than a purchased one made from fresh/frozen berries. 

Would love to hear your comments or suggestions! (due to bots/spam issues, the comments are moderated so you won't see your comment right away) 



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  • Harriet Honderick on

    After reading several different articles in various places l chose Fat Stone Farm because of the Apple Shots. The article intrigued me and the testimonials definitely made up my mind. This as well as home grown made my direction. I don’t have one complaint! I follow the directions and have moved into your home, although you don’t know this.!!
    I just put it in my water and sip til its gone, the flavor is not unappealing. Rather more like prune juice, that’s my close to taste! The price wasn’t a factor, it’s whether the product works as stated.
    I’ll be back to order more later…

  • LIsa on

    I pick them fresh each summer and make my own juice. Freeze then make jam with it. Made syrup for taking a few years ago but found a recipe to add sugar and cloves, didn’t like the cloves at all. Wondered if i use honey to make syrup for taking.? In the meantime, i buy elderberry tablets and take two daily. Haven’t had a cold or flu for atleast three years now!

  • LuAnn on

    I dont know how I heard of Fat Stone Farm but 1 of the top best things to happen to me. I have ben using eldeberry syrup for years but diskijed the sweetness….ugh always too sweet and then I found Appleshots….So much better and I feel the difference with the better quality product. Thank you Fatstone Farms! Ally your products are great. Gummiez are great!

  • Kristi on

    After years of collecting elderberries in the mountains, I finally planted a bush in out backyard. I have often wondered what the nutrient comparison was between dried and fresh elderberries.

  • Griselle on

    Like Tabatha, I too use organic dried elderberry and have gotten great results and a lot of positive testimonies from clients. You definitely have to follow a recipe from an expert source. Many of the recipes you find online are terrible and would not recommend. Instant pot recipes for example. That’s a big no-no. The elderberry has to be brought to boil and left to simmer uncovered at medium heat. And once it boils, simmer for an hour. It takes along time , but it needs that time to get rid of cyanide like properties.

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