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How To Make Elderberry Syrup


Learn how to make elderberry syrup to keep your family healthy this winter!

Image shows a mason jar full of elderberry syrup with a spoon next to it in the foreground, with two jars of honey in the background, all sitting on a wooden table. Text overlay reads "How to Make Simple Elderberry Syrup"

So, the flu is spreading like wildfire. And not just in my area; it seems to be everywhere in the Midwest and southern states.

Needless to say, none of us want to actually catch the flu (duh!) we’d rather keep our kids healthy through the school year and beyond.

So what can we do? This is a game of strengthening our immune systems.

You can limit potential immune weakeners like sugar, dairy, and going out in public to the extent that you can, and at the same time, maximize immune strength in every area that you possibly can.

I have a big week coming up this week with being scheduled for two speaking engagements (my first ones ever!) and traveling out of state, and frankly, I’m terrified that I’ll come down with the flu right at the worst time possible – eek!

Photo shows a glass jar of elderberry syrup on a wooden table, with a spoon resting next to it. In the far corner is a bottle of honey, some dried elderberries, and vinegar.

Here are some of the ways helping our immune systems fight the good fight:

  • Lots of hand washing
  • Drinking immune-boosting herbal tea
  • Diffusing Thieves essential oil throughout the house
  • Lots of vitamin C – we love making homemade vitamin C gummies!
  • Nutrient-rich vegetables (things like kale that are often called superfoods)
  • Garlic on eeeeverything
  • Elderberry syrup

The simple concoction of elderberry reduction, raw apple cider vinegar, and raw honey that makes up elderberry syrup has almost a mythical – or mystical, I’m not really sure which is more appropriate! – reputation among home herbalists, and quite frankly, it’s not without reason!

Unlike homemade cough syrup, which is designed to help manage symptoms and aid in healing after you’ve already gotten sick, elderberry syrup is designed to help your immune system stay strong beforehand and get strong if you’ve already succumbed.

Image shows a jar of elderberry syrup sitting on a wood table. a spoon rests at the top of the jar, with elderberry syrup in it.

Sadly, elderberries don’t grow in our part of the country, so we order ours online.

  • Amazon.com carries reasonably priced organic elderberries with prime shipping, which I highly recommend if you don’t already have some on hand.
  • Apple Cider vinegar has become common enough that you can get it at most grocery stores. However, it’s important to make sure you get real, raw apple cider vinegar with the mother, such as Braggs or Eden Organic. The cheap apple cider-flavored vinegar will do you no good here. It’s the enzymes and microbes in the raw vinegar that you’re after, and if the “mother” grosses you out, know that that’s where the highest concentration of the good stuff is.
  • Raw honey is also an important component in this elderberry syrup – at least if you want your kids to drink it. It’s important also that you use raw honey, which contains helpful antioxidants and antibacterial properties. Pasteurized honey would be doing little more than adding sugar to your syrup, which would potentially have a negative impact on your immune system.

Those three things are the most critical components of how to make elderberry syrup however, there are a few optional ingredients that make it even better – and taste better too!

Optional ingredients to improve your syrup

  • Cinnamon – You can throw a cinnamon stick or two in your elderberries to boil and add flavor + more bacteria-fighting goodness.
  • Ginger – Grate about 1/2 an inch of ginger into your elderberry reduction 15 minutes (give or take) before it’s done cooking to add anti-inflammatory components to your syrup. Ginger will also help calm the stomach if you are taking this while you’re sick.
  • Fresh-squeezed lemon – adding the juice of two lemons to your finished syrup boosts the antioxidant level in your elderberry syrup.

I did a Facebook live video a few days ago that shows how easy this syrup is to make, I’m going to go ahead and embed it below. At the time I did it, there was a really cool meal planning freebie that I talked about at the beginning, so just ignore that. Just scroll below the video to find the exact recipe.



How To Make Elderberry Syrup

Elderberry syrup is a must-have during cold and flu season- here’s a simple (and tasty) recipe to make your own at home.

  • Author: Elise
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 40
  • Total Time: 55
  • Yield: 50 1x
  • Category: Health and Wellness
  • Method: Stovetop




  1. Put berries, water, and cinnamon sticks if using, in a sauce pan and bring to a boil
  2. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30-40 minutes until water volume is reduce by 1/3-1/2 half, adding ginger in the last 10-15 minutes if using.
  3. Let berries cool some, pull out cinnamon sticks, and drain through a sieve, squeezing out as much juice as possible.
  4. Pour into a jar and stir in remaining ingredients.
  5. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
  6. Standard doses are 1/2-1 teaspoon for kids, and 1 tablespoon for adults 2-3 times a day.
  7. Keep in mind that this is a home remedy concoction made from real food – not a drug, which means it’s good for you!

Keywords: elderberry, syrup, elderberry syrup, cold and flu

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  1. Have you found a use for the pulp of the Elderberries once you’ve cooked them? Could it be mixed into brownies or something?

    1. I have not. They have hard seeds in them, so I’m not sure I would recommend putting them in brownies. We feed them to our pigs.

  2. Just curious. Why are lines drawn through some of the words in your advice on the ingredients? Especially the words raw honey.

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