Make Your Own Elderberry Syrup

Lots of folks have been hit hard this season with illness. That means there are lot of germs in the air, and with that being the case, everyone’s chances of catching something goes up. Thankfully, you’re not completely at the mercy of those odds. There are some very proactive things you can do to avoid getting sick. I’ve outlined 15 Ways to Support Your Immune System and Stay Well in this post, and last week, I wrote a post giving you some Easy, Natural Ways to Prevent and Treat the Flu. In both of those posts, I mentioned elderberry syrup, and what an amazing thing it is for immune health. Elderberry syrup has been shown in multiple studies to be more effective with regard to preventing the flu than the flu shot, and also extremely beneficial with regard to treating the flu--actually beating Tamiflu in studies, having been shown to reduce the duration and severity of symptoms. It is believed by experts that it inactivates the flu virus, and it can reduce bronchial inflammation and relieve sinus pain. It’s a natural and effective remedy that is effective for prevention of colds too, and also treatment. This fantastic stuff is available at the store both in liquid and pill form, but it carries a fairly hefty price tag (particularly if you’re using it every day), and even the organic varieties can contain ingredients like sugar and preservatives that make them less than ideal. Some children’s syrups have barely any elderberry in them!

This is why you should make your own! Making your own elderberry syrup is not only healthier and more cost-effective–it’s super simple and easy too! I had hoped to make a video tutorial for you all, but I can’t seem to get my act together on that, and didn’t want to let any more time pass before sharing the recipe with you. So I’m putting the recipe up today and hopefully one of these days soon, I’ll get a video uploaded to go with it 😉

One of the beauties of this recipe is that you can adjust the ingredients and ingredient amounts to your liking to either simplify the process, or keep costs down even further. A couple of quick notes about the ingredients: I would encourage you to purchase organic, especially with regard to the berries. Conventionally grown berries (of all kinds) are typically heavily sprayed with pesticides, which seep deep into the berries. In other words, you can’t just wash it off. One of the things that contributes to lowered immunity and illness is our toxic load and environmental exposure to toxins. It’s counter-intuitive to make an immune boosting syrup with ingredients that would work against your immune system, right? So really look for organic berries. You can buy them on Amazon here, or from Vitacost here.*** Your honey doesn’t have to necessarily be organic, but I would recommend raw, local honey, if you can find it. Raw honey has some great immune boosting benefits, including being a natural probiotic, and it contains some wonderful nutrients. It will also act as a natural preservative in your syrup. Be sure that you wait until after cooking the syrup to add the honey to the mixture. Cooking honey can reduce its health properties significantly. You don’t have to use the ginger or the spices, but each of those adds some extra goodness to your syrup. Ginger is a powerhouse for boosting immunity. Cinnamon is full of antioxidants and has been used for centuries to boost the immune system and fight infections. Cloves have also been shown to help with immune function, fight infections and help in the treatment of colds.  If you like, you could use some Thieves Vitality Essential Oil instead of, or in addition to, the spices. Or you could use Cinnamon Bark Vitality, Clove Vitality, and Ginger Vitality Oils. Any of those will increase the antioxidant power of your syrup and add more immune support. You can buy these amazing Vitality Oils here.

Elderberry Syrup


  • 1/2 cup dried elderberries
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 – 1 cup honey (to taste)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 cloves
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh ginger


  1. Combine berries, water, and spices in a pot.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce heat to simmer.
  3. Simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced by about half.
  4. Strain mixture through a strainer or sieve, squeezing as much juice as you can out of the berries.
  5. Add honey and stir until the honey is dissolved.
  6. Pour into a jar or bottle and keep refrigerated.


Your syrup will keep in your refrigerator for a month or more. If you make it in large batches, consider freezing part of the syrup in smaller freezer containers for easy use.

For adults, use 1 Tablespoon daily for immune support. For small children, use ½ teaspoon. In times of illness, you can increase this amount considerably.

Posted by Susan @

Try this and see if it isn’t super easy! You’ll be so glad you’re not spending a fortune at the health food stores on the store-bought stuff! I’ve also seen recipes to make this in an Instant Pot too, but although it might be a little faster, I don’t really think it would be any easier. So make you some of this awesome syrup, and then drink to your health!

***Update on 2/8/18: almost everyone is sold out of organic elderberries. Several sellers on Amazon have them on backorder, but the price on all of them is higher, due to demand. I searched, and the only other place I found them in stock right now is here at Their price is better, even if you have to pay a bit for shipping. Hope this helps!



photo credit: Neal. Sweet Harmony. via photopin (license)

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About Susan Cunningham

Susan lives in Texas with her husband and son. She loves sharing about her faith in Jesus, writing, homeschooling her boy, natural living, eating real food, pursuing health and wellness, and teaching others about essential oils. She blogs about real life at

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