How to Make Elderberry Syrup

A reader shares a medicinal elderberry syrup recipe that you can make at home to help ease the symptoms of a cold or flu at a fraction of the cost of buying it from the store.

| October/November 2018

  • elderberry-syrup
    Making your own elderberry syrup is both rewarding and cost-effective.
    Photo by Getty Images/Madeleine_Steinbach
  • elderberries
    Elderberries, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and honey come together to create a healthful syrup.
    Photo by Carrie Williams Howe
  • elderberry-syrup
    Strain out the berries and spices using a fine-meshed sieve or colander and discard.
    Photo by Carrie Williams Howe

  • elderberry-syrup
  • elderberries
  • elderberry-syrup

If you’ve walked into a health food store lately, you’ve no doubt seen a proliferation of syrups, tonics, and homeopathic medicines made with elderberries (Sambucus nigra). These products are meant to prevent and treat cold and flu symptoms and to boost your immune system, and often include honey as well. 

It’s no surprise that herbalists everywhere are combining elderberry and honey. According to information on the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center website, “Some evidence suggests that the chemicals in elder flower and berries may help reduce swelling in mucous membranes, including the sinuses, and help relieve nasal congestion. Elder may have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anti-influenza, and anticancer properties.” Honey is likewise well-known for its medicinal qualities — it can soothe a sore throat and calm a cough, and it’s thought to boost immunity and fight allergies.

While I’m a huge fan of herbal medicines, and I’ve found success with some of these elderberry supplements, I’ve had two complaints when I shopped for them in the store: cost and ingredients. A small jar of elderberry syrup can cost upward of $20, and many products contain alcohol, which doesn’t taste good to me and makes me not want to give the product to my children.

Rest assured, you can make a great elderberry syrup at home with just a few simple ingredients and a little bit of time. This is especially true if you grow your own elderberries or keep your own bees!



If you don’t have fresh elderberries on your property, or you can’t get them from a local farmer, look for a reputable source of dried elderberries, such as an herbalist or a natural foods store (a good online source is www.MountainRoseHerbs.com). We grow our own black elderberries, the most common elderberry in North America. Many types of elderberries can be toxic when raw, so cook the berries thoroughly.

Here’s a simple elderberry syrup recipe that will keep for a couple of months in your refrigerator. You can dole it out in spoonfuls just like cough medicine, or you can stir it into your morning juice or tea (stick to a dosage of about 1 teaspoon for kids or 1 tablespoon for adults). Just to be safe, consult your doctor before taking elderberry syrup, because it may not be suitable for you. 

ambwint519
10/5/2018 9:36:24 AM

When i first heard about herbal remedy i never believe on such word until i found dr ehi a great traditional doctor that was introduced to me by a friend that suffered from Hepatitis B and was cure with the help of this great herbal doctor (dr ehi) so i decided to contact him for help in getting rid of my families genital herpes virus 1/2 which i did and all i was told to provide was just some useful information and some materials use in preparation of the natural cure and that i did and now i am the happiest person on earth because i am writing this testimony of mine with joy and happiness in my heart to the whole world to know that natural remedy is real because i am a living testimony of dr ehi's traditional herbal cure and i want you all to contact dr ehi via his email: shomorikaspelltemple@yahoo.com or whatsapp him 2349035080936 or visit his website: drudebhuluspellherbaltemple.webs.com am sure he will help you too.


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10/2/2018 5:09:57 AM

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Alicia Bayer
9/10/2018 6:59:58 AM

We love elderberries! I just made another batch of elderberry syrup last night since a couple of family members are fighting off a bug and asked me to. I used fresh elderberries, since we had some in the fridge that hubby brought home yesterday from a nearby location. Keep in mind that ingredients like ginger and cloves add their own wonderful properties, but all you really need are elderberries, water and honey. Be careful not to heat them too much, as it destroys some of their beneficial components. It's also good to know that elderberries grow wild all over the US, Canada and Europe, so it's quite easy to forage them. Here are some other easy medicinal remedies you can make with elderberries and elderflowers: http://magicalchildhood.com/author/wp/2018/01/06/three-ways-to-use-elderberries-elderflowers-to-ward-off-sickness-besides-elderberry-syrup/







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