Elderberry Syrup Recipe

Naturally supports the body during cold and flu season.

This Elderberry Syrup recipe is not just any Elderberry Syrup you can buy at the store!

It’s a combination of effective herbs that help to support the immune system.

From the months of August to May I keep an extra batch in the fridge and take a dose on nearly a daily basis. When I feel drained or have been around those who are ill I take a couple of doses (about 1 Tablespoon each dose) daily. It has always helped!

Added bonus, it tastes great!

Elderberry Syrup

Free of Dairy, Gluten, Nuts, Corn, Eggs, Soy

Servings – about 1 quart

Preparation Time – 20 minutes

Cook time – 4 hours


1 cup fresh elderberries (1/2 cup dried)

3 cups filtered water

1/8 tsp. ground cloves or 1-2 whole

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon or 1/2 stick

1 inch fresh, chopped ginger root

1/4 cup honey or Grade B Maple Syrup

1/4 cup brandy (opt.)


If using fresh berries… In a medium sauce pan, mash fresh berries with water, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger root.

If using dried berries…. In a medium sauce pan combine berries, spices and water, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger root.

Bring to a boil.

Simmer until reduced to desired concentration. Remember, the

longer the syrup is simmered, the more thick and concentrated it

will be. I find 3-4 hours to be a good amount of time.

Let cool for a couple of hours.

Strain. I place a colander in a larger bowl. Place a cheese cloth in the colander and pour contents of pan into cheese cloth. Make sure to use a large enough cheese cloth to be able to pull the sides together in order to squeeze the juice out. Remove pieces of chopped ginger root and cinnamon stick.

Pull together ends of cheese cloth and twist to hold contents in a  not-too-loose, but not-too-tight sack. Squeeze and strain contents from berries.

Return liquid to cooking pot. Stir in raw honey or maple syrup.

The honey is added at the end so the beneficial enzymes are not destroyed. For children under 1 year of age, maple syrup can be substituted for the honey. (I always use Grade B Maple Syrup. There are many health benefits to honey, so do make it this way if you desire!)

Optional- add approximately 1/4 cup of alcohol. If Brandy makes

it too sweet, choose another consumable alcohol. This will

greatly increase the shelf life of your syrup. Bottle and

refrigerate. Shake well before using.

The syrup will last weeks or even months in the refrigerator.

If it is not preserved with alcohol I would use it within 10 days.

Take a spoonful daily or every other day to prevent cold and flu.

Elderberry syrup can also be taken for symptoms during illness. (I can attest to this first hand! I was feeling drained, like something was com ing on. I took 3 doses of the syrup, and by noon the next day I felt 100%!)


•Add 1 tsp to cold or hot tea – flavorful and easy way to take.

•Add 1 tsp to a 8 oz. glass of sparkling spring water – yum! Short video

•For someone suffering from a cold or flu making frozen ice-pops would very refreshing! Add 1-2 tsp to juice for each pop.

Body-type and Wellness Insights

Ever since I learned of this recipe and experienced the benefits,  I always have a batch of it in the fridge. If not, it always seems when we need it most, there is none in the fridge; especially August through May!

Elderberries grow in clusters that resemble the alveoli of the lungs, and according to the Doctrine of Signatures, this indicates that it is good for lung conditions. The Doctrine of Signatures is an herbal philosophy for helping to recognize the use of herbs. The alveoli of the lungs have a striking resemblance to the way Elderberries are distributed on their stems- indicating their role in supporting this part of the body.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, foods and herbs that are dark blue, purple and black indicate that they support the vital forces in the body; another indication that Elderberry syrup is helpful in supporting the body during times of stress and illness.

Clove, cinnamon and ginger have warming affects on the body and can help the body more heat like fever from the inside to the surface and naturally, effectively and safely move heat out of the body.

If using honey, there are natural immune-supporting qualities to honey. One long-time remedy for allergies is to consume local honey daily (even in small amounts) as the pollens that make their way into the honey have a natural medicinal effect.


Get a printable version of this recipe here.

Elderberries can stain pans, surfaces and clothing.

If this is a concern, buy a porcelain-coated pan at Target $10 last time I checked just for making syrup.

This recipe based on a recipe and is used with permission from Connie Karstens (HealthbyConnie.com), a knowledgeable herbalist in Hutchinson,MN. She recommends this syrup as a good preventative for the H1N1 virus.

Over the years I have added some details, tips and tricks for preparation and more recently, Wellness Insights which you can find at the end of this recipe.

The FDA has not evaluated this information.The information presented here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. You are responsible for the safe application of your homemade remedy.