Elderberry Syrup Recipe

When I’m sick, I want to get better fast … actually, I’d rather not get sick in the first place! The simple, all-natural ingredients in elderberry syrup strengthen the immune system and support its work in keeping me healthy. (Or in getting me well again if the crud has already hit!) With almost anything, I’d rather save money by making my own, so I’m sharing my elderberry syrup recipe with you today.

Boost your immunity and prevent colds & flu this winter with easy-to-make elderberry syrup.

Boost your immunity and prevent colds & flu this winter with easy-to-make elderberry syrup.

Boost your immunity and prevent colds & flu this winter with easy-to-make elderberry syrup.

Last month, I got hit with a horrible sore throat – the worst I’d had in a couple years – and none of my usual remedies were working to give me any relief. Then I remembered … elderberry syrup! I had some in the fridge, and it was past time to start using it.

I started taking two tablespoons every hour, stretching out the time between doses as I began to feel better. It took only two doses before I noticed a significant difference in my sore throat.

Instead of constant burning pain that had me whispering most of that day, I was only mildly uncomfortable and could talk quietly. By the next day, the pain was gone completely.

Health Benefits of Elderberry Syrup

Elderberry syrup contains just five ingredients (plus water), and I bet you have most of them in your pantry right now.

Boost your immunity and prevent colds & flu this winter with easy-to-make elderberry syrup.

Cinnamon is a natural immune booster that helps destroy bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microbes – all those little nasties that make us sick. It increases circulation throughout the body, helping to speed white blood cells to their targets. Perhaps most importantly when you’re dealing with the common cold, cinnamon helps to break up and clear mucus from the lungs.

You may have heard that the cinnamon we typically buy in the grocery store isn’t actually cinnamon.

It’s true that your cinnamon says “Saigon cinnamon” or “Chinese cinnamon,” it isn’t actually cinnamon at all. It comes from the related cassia tree and is very similar in taste to true cinnamon. Ceylon cinnamon, from the actual cinnamon tree, is more rare and expensive – which is why we typically don’t find it on the grocery store shelves.

Thankfully, the two spices contain virtually the same medicinal benefits!

Clove, that wonderfully spicy smell that pervades the stores at Christmastime, is actually the dried flower bud of an evergreen tree that grows in parts of Asia and east Africa. Cloves are antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, pain relieving, and immune boosting. Components of clove buds help the immune system to increase white blood cell counts – precisely what you need when facing the cold, flu, or other illness.

You may have heard of ginger’s reputation as a nausea tamer, but it has many other benefits as well. Ginger reduces inflammation, relieves pain, and soothes coughs, nasal congestion, and sore throat. At a deeper level, it also strengthens the immune system to help fight off the viruses that cause cold and flu.

Delicious raw honey is a natural sweetener that is actually good for you. Along with containing vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and enzymes, honey is antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antioxidant. I can personally attest to its ability to soothe sore throats, and it has been shown to be just as effective as dextromethorphan (a common over-the-counter cough suppressant) for treating coughs.

And now we come to the star of this recipe: black elderberries. There’s an old European saying that when you buy land, you should “first plant an elder tree. Then build your house.” Whoever first made this statement certain knew the powerful benefits of elderberries, flowers, and leaves.

Along with flavonoids and other vitamins, elderberries are very high in vitamin C – that essential vitamin that not only helps us fight off illnesses, but literally holds our body parts together.

Elderberries are known to have immune boosting capabilities, making them excellent for treating the common cold, flu, cough, and other infections caused by viruses or bacteria. Studies have shown that elderberries can reduce the severity and shorten the duration of flu symptoms. In fact, during a 1995 flu epidemic in Panama, elderberry juice was used to effectively treat those affected.

Take care if harvesting your own elderberries. Only the berries from Sambucus nigra are considered non-toxic when eaten raw. Other varieties must be cooked in order to be safe. Even though this recipe requires cooking the berries, the safest option is to make sure you’re using berries only from the Sambucus nigra tree.

I like the organic elderberries from Starwest Botanicals or The Bulk Herb Store.


How to Use Elderberry Syrup to Treat a Cold or Flu

When sickness hits, elderberry syrup will help to ease symptoms and will also help your immune system to fight off the germ more quickly.

Depending on the severity of symptoms, take a dose of elderberry syrup every 1-3 hours. As you feel improvement, lengthen the time between doses until you’re taking the syrup just twice a day. Continue taking it morning and evening until you’re completely well.

How to Use Elderberry Syrup to Prevent the Cold and Flu

With all the immune-boosting ingredients in elderberry syrup, it can make an excellent tool for staying well all winter long. As a preventative, take one dose of elderberry syrup each day throughout the winter months.

 

Why only during the winter?

Sickness spreads more easily during the winter when we’re more cooped up and our homes are sealed tight against the outside. This is the time of year when our immune systems can most benefit from the strengthening properties of elderberry syrup.

I don’t suggest taking a daily dose throughout the entire year because it’s important for our bodies to have a break from any herbal treatment. Read Cycling Herbal Dosages for Best Results to learn more.

Even through the winter, it is a good idea to take regular breaks from the elderberry syrup. Perhaps taking daily doses through the week and then not taking any on the weekend will work for you.

Best Dosage for Elderberry Syrup

For prevention, adults should take ½ to 1 tablespoon daily and children should take ½ to 1 teaspoon.

During times of sickness, the individual dose can be increased to 1-2 tablespoons for adults and 1-2 teaspoons for children.

Making Elderberry Syrup

I like to make my elderberry syrup in small batches because it will mold after a while, even if stored in the refrigerator. I’ve ruined three jars so far, and I finally decided to only make small batches from now on.

The recipe below can be easily doubled or tripled if you want to make a larger batch.

Even with my small batch, I put half in the refrigerator and freeze the other half. When the first jar is getting low, I move the frozen jar into the fridge to thaw. No mold problems this way!

This recipe contains less honey than other recipes I’ve found around the Internet. I’ve found most of them to be almost sickeningly sweet, so I reduced the honey content.

The result ends up tasting like a sweet, cold drink that you could enjoy on its own even without all the health benefits. It’s actually so good that I’ve considered crushing some ice and making a snow cone out of it…

Elderberry Syrup Recipe How-To

You’ll need just five simple ingredients, plus water.

  • 1 ¾ cups pure water
  • 1/3 cup dried elderberries
  • 1 Tablespoon ginger (freshly grated or dried)
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • 1/3 cup raw honey (local is best)
Boost your immunity and prevent colds & flu this winter with easy-to-make elderberry syrup.
Elderberries, cinnamon, cloves, and freshly-sliced ginger

In a medium saucepan, stir together the water, elderberries, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Bring to a boil.

Cover and reduce heat to simmer for 45-60 minutes.

Boost your immunity and prevent colds & flu this winter with easy-to-make elderberry syrup.
Your house is going to smell soooo good.

When the liquid has reduced by about half, remove from heat and allow to cool.

When the mixture is cool enough to handle, mash the elderberries using a potato masher, spoon, spatula, or similar utensil.

Pour mixture through a mesh strainer into a bowl and allow the liquid to cool to lukewarm.

While the liquid is still warm, add the honey and stir well.

Boost your immunity and prevent colds & flu this winter with easy-to-make elderberry syrup.
This time, I let the juice cool too much, so I put it in a water bath to heat it back up enough to melt the honey.

Pour your finished syrup into jars or bottles and seal with lids.

Store in the refrigerator, and put any extra in the freezer.

It takes about an hour and a half to make, but most of the time is just waiting while the liquid simmers. Easy!

Grab the printable recipe below and let me know how it works for you.

Immune-Boosting Elderberry Syrup
Keep sickness away all winter long with this delicious, immune-strengthening elderberry syrup.
Ingredients
  1. 1 ¾ cups pure water
  2. 1/3 cup dried elderberries
  3. 1 Tablespoon ginger (freshly grated or dried)
  4. ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  5. ¼ teaspoon cloves
  6. 1/3 cup raw honey (local is best)
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Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan, stir together the water, elderberries, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Bring to a boil.
  2. Cover and reduce heat to simmer for 45-60 minutes. When the liquid has reduced by about half, remove from heat and allow to cool.
  3. When the mixture is cool enough to handle, mash the elderberries using a potato masher, spoon, spatula, or similar utensil.
  4. Pour mixture through a mesh strainer into a bowl and allow the liquid to cool to lukewarm.
  5. While the liquid is still warm, add the honey and stir well.
  6. Pour your finished syrup into jars or bottles and seal with lids.
  7. Store in the refrigerator, and put any extra in the freezer.
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Holistic Health Traditions https://holistichealthtraditions.com/

Sources

13 Surprising Benefits of Cloves. Organic Facts. Organic Information Services Pvt Ltd, 2017.Axe, Dr. Josh. Health Benefits of Cinnamon & Nutrition Facts. Dr. Axe: Food is Medicine. Dr. Axe, 2017.

Barrett, Mike. 10 Health Benefits of Ginger – Prevent Cancer, Inflammation, and More. Natural Society. Natural Society, 2012.

Christopher, John R., Dr. School of Natural Healing. Christopher Publications, Inc., 2014.

Elderberry Benefits. Herbwisdom.com. RFI Media Ltd, 2017.

Manistas, Andrea and Monaco, Emily. 7 Health Benefits of Cinnamon You Need to Know. Organic Authority. 2015.

Mercola, Dr. Joseph. 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Honey. Mercola. Dr. Joseph Mercola, 20 October 2014.


This information has not been evaluated by the FDA and is intended only for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure disease. Always consult a healthcare professional before making significant changes to your healthcare routine.

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