How to Make Elderberry Syrup for Flu Prevention

Homemade Elderberry Syrup Natural Remedy for Colds and Flu How to Make Elderberry Syrup for Flu Prevention

With flu season around the corner and signs for “flu shots” in every store, this is a natural alternative that is inexpensive and effective. It can be made easily at home.

If you or your child has ever had a bad case of the flu, you know how miserable it can be. Especially for moms, it is awful to see your children feeling so bad and not be able to fix it. Black elderberries (sambucus nigra) have been shown to prevent flu and speed recovery in those who have the flu.

Elderberries contain high levels of A, B, and C and stimulate the immune system. Several natural elderberry syrups are available at health stores or online, but usually for around $15 or more for 4-8 ounces. This recipe makes 16 ounces for a cost of under ten dollars and kids love the taste!

Homemade Elderberry Syrup Recipe Ingredients How to Make Elderberry Syrup for Flu Prevention

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How to Make Elderberry Syrup for Flu Prevention
Prep time
Cook time
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A simple natural remedy with a big nutritional punch. We keep this on hand during cold and flu season to ward off illness.
Recipe type: Remedy
Serves: 8+
  • ⅔ cup black elderberries
  • 3.5 cups of water
  • 2 T fresh or dried ginger root
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • ½ tsp cloves or clove powder
  • 1 cup raw honey (we get from our farmer's market)
  1. Pour water into medium saucepan and add elderberries, ginger, cinnamon and cloves (do not add honey!)
  2. Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour until the liquid has reduced by almost half. At that point, remove from heat and let cool enough to be handled. Pour through a strainer into a glass jar or bowl.
  3. Discard the elderberries (or compost them!) and let the liquid cool to lukewarm. When it is no longer hot, add 1 cup of honey and stir well.
  4. When honey is well mixed into the elderberry mixture, pour the syrup into a pint sized mason jar or 16 ounce glass bottle of some kind.
  5. Ta Da! You just made homemade elderberry syrup! Store in the fridge and take daily for its immune boosting properties. Some sources recommend taking only during the week and not on the weekends to boost immunity.
  6. Standard dose is ½ tsp to 1 tsp for kids and ½ Tbsp to 1 Tbsp for adults. If the flu does strike, take the normal dose every 2-3 hours instead of once a day until symptoms disappear.

Ever taken elderberry? Will you try this recipe? How do you ward off illness?

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Reader Comments

  1. says

    I am so excited to see this recipe! I’ve been a fan of elderberry syrup for about a year now, convinced that it eliminated my oncoming cold or kept the cold to a minimum. Thanks for the recipe!

          • Kim says

            If elderberry syrup lasts for several months wouldn’t the elderberry gummies last that long as well? Your recipe says they only last a week??

          • Lezli says

            I made some that was growing mold after a few weeks in the fridge. Could the elderberries have been too old or something? I got them locally but I’m making some more with ones I ordered from mountain rose tonight. So hopefully this will last longer.

          • Aissa says

            My twins are 11 mos, 3 mos adjusted. They’ll be one Dec 22nd……..I wonder if I can give them honey…..they take the store bought elderberry now with out a problem…any thoughts? Thanks!

          • Galina says

            My only question is, how do the concentrations of the elderberry compare between home-made and store bought brands? The store bought brands seem to compete based on the concentration of the elderberry extract, which made me wonder if you would need a higher dose with the home-made recipe…?

          • Llayla says

            Mine too went moldy within a month. Maybe too much water? I saw another recipe online with 2cups water and the other ingredients the same amount. My kids love it and it’s great to reap the rewards of something taste and benificial. It’s just unfortunate that this batch only lasted through one cold this winter due to mold.

          • Erin F says

            If your syrup went moldy you might not have been using pure raw honey? Because anything made with pure honey should not develop mold. Be sure you aren’t using processed honey. Get it locally and preferably straight from the source

    • Tanya says

      I made a big batch of this last year for ourselves, family and friends. My mom and I were both diagnosed with auto immune illnesses last year and neither of us got even a cold or flu when using it daily. My guy got a mild cold, but used this and kicked it out quick. This stuff is awesome, and I was buying the store bought stuff for about $16 for a small bottle….crazy!!!

      • kris says

        Tanya. My daughter has an autoimmune disease and I read that elderberry syrup could provoke the immune system to rev. What is your diagnosis? Thanks.

        • Susan Colby says

          I had JRA as a child and ended up getting 5 other kinds of Arthritis (one is Sjogrens Syndrome) , and am on all kinds of meds. My hands still killed me. I raise elderberries as a crop and 2 yrs ago I thought what the hell, I might as well take it daily and see if it helps colds, flu, etc. Within a week my hands stopped hurting, and it did not make the rest of my arthritis worse. In other words, its anti-inflamatory properties ONLY helped my arthritis. In my case, if I forget to take it for some reason 3 days later my hands will start in again, so it is a very quick response. Not to mention no colds or flu! I can’t recommend it more highly.

          • kris says

            Susan. Thank you for your reply. My daughter also has sjogrens. she has dry eye and her feet occasionally swell after a busy day on her feet. I read somewhere that Elderberries can provoke an immune response. It is so good to hear it helps you. I might consider it again for her, Thanks.

          • Francene says

            Susan I too have arthritis and fibromyalgia. Did you/are you using this recipe and how much do you take a day? If not this recipe would you share yours? I am desperately seeking something natural to ease my pain.


          • Susan Colby says

            Francene, I don’t bother with the syrup for my arthritis. I raise the berries myself and extract the juice in a steamer. If you just have access to the dried elderberries, soak them in water and then gently simmer them for several hours, til the water is red-purple. Since I have ready access to the pure juice, I take 1 to 2 T of juice a day; I put mine in a glass of tonic, very refreshing. You’d have to try a couple of tablespoons a day and if that doesn’t make a difference after 1 week try more. The syrup recipe has ginger, etc added to punch it up, but it’s really just the elderberries that carry the big anti-inflamation and antioxidents benefits. The honey or sweetener is just to preserve it longer in the fridge; I just keep out a week’s worth and freeze the rest to keep it. If it does start to ferment (like cider might in the fridge), just use it like you normally would, the antioxidents are still there. Hope this helps, if you have any more questions feel free to ask again. Elderberries have been amazing for me, and I love to prozletize (sp) them to other Arthritics. I have noticed from folks comments that some people are sensitive to them and end up with diarreaha, so you should start slow and work your way up according to how you feel-if it bothers your system it will show up in the beginning, probably not later on.

          • Laura Robertson says

            I recently discovered Turmeric and it is wonderful. My pain level has gone way down. I did not know it is an anti inflamatory and is good for so many things.

      • kris says

        Wellness Mama. would this recipe work with dried blueberries and have similar flu fighting effects as elderberries?

      • Sharon Lee Lockhart says

        I made a batch of this syrup yesterday from a quart jar of Elderberry juice I had, for making jelly.
        I love the taste, it is so good.
        I may have to make more, just so I can have it for other things, like my Kombucha Tea, I think it would make a great second ferment for it.
        I am looking forward to the benefits of taking this syrup daily, and have 3 quarts left for more if needed.
        I am so thankful for this recipe. I know it will help me with my immunity problem.
        Thanks again.

    • Tiffany says

      I see one problem. Vitamin C is fragile and is killed when heated. After 45 mins of boiling there would be no trace left, and although A & B are good, they aren’t nearly as good at boosting immunity as vitamin C is….so how do you suppose this works?

      • Katie says

        Katie provided a link for the berries, and in that link it says, “The complex sugars of the berries are the immune-active fraction.”

    • Kerrie says

      Very excited about the possibility of making my own elderberry syrup but as a vegan honey is not an option – is there something that can be substituted for the honey?

      • Jackie says

        Kerri, I was wondering the same thing. I am allergic to honey. I used black strap molasses. I used a 1/2 C. I am sure it is not as yummy tasting as the honey; however, I thought it would have excellent nutrients to help fight off bugs. I hope this helps.

      • Adonna says

        Karrie and Jackie, you could actually use “Apple honey” in place of honey. It’s quite delicious and amazing. Can be purchased at a whole foods grocery store or online

        • Jackie says

          Adonna, thank you so much for the suggestion. I hate to admit I have not heard of apple honey. I will definitely be on the hunt the next time I go to the store. Thank you!

    • Lisa says

      on the mold issue, we add about 2 oz. Brandy and the refrigerated syrup lasts until it’s gone (2 adults taking it regularly); that being said-if you have little ones in the house you DO NOT want to give them alcohol! I would make certain I sterilized my jar carefully as you would for any canning project. Strainers, Funnels-all of it! Then I would pour off small amounts into a bottle for daily dosing and refill as needed. It doesn’t take much to contaminate a solution.

    • Rebecca says

      This recipe is magic I swear. Seriously. Everyone should give it an honest go. Elderberries can be hard to find. I’ve used juice instead and counted it as part of the H2O, then added the remaining amount if H2O. Also, I like to add 1 rapid turmeric for added viral defense.

      • val says

        hi…was this supposed to be thick when its done? mine isn’t ..but it taste delicious! as for the berries….i made a batch of corn muffins and threw some in….omg….they are sooo yummy!! and to think i have just been feeding them to my chickens!!

          • Richard says

            Katie, is this just as effective with only a tad of honey for those who have Type II Diabetes due to our limited Sugar allowance?


          • Elizabeth says

            I can’t find the elderberry anywhere here all they sell is the extract how much of the extract do i use?

        • Tanya says

          Beware! There is usually a good reason when recipes give instructions. The seeds and stem of elderberries have an emetic effect and cause diarrhoea and vomiting. Please discard the berries after infusing your liquid as the recipe says.

          • Amy says

            I have bought and made many a pastry that has elderberry in it – cooking them cancels out any harmful effects. Even raw you can eat them in small amounts (and very low doses of the type of cyanide like that found in eating one apple’s seeds or a small amount of berries isn’t going to harm you, actually it has been found to have anti-cancer properties) also… I’m sure there aren’t too many stems going into people’s muffins.

      • Jaclyn says

        I went to the mountain rose herbs website and can only find the elderberry extract and powder. Do you use these or the dried/fresh berries? Also if my child is 9months would you recommend honey or maple syrup?

        Thank you!

        • Layla says

          I know this is kind of old and your child is now over a year old, but honey should not be given to children under 12 months. Honey has spores in it that can cause botulism in young children. After one, the gut is usually acidic enough to kill the spores on its own. Just for future reference.

        • Susan Sudlow says

          I realized your post is almost a year old now but I just bought the elderberry powder from MountianRose as well…..did you ever find out or can anyone tell me if the powder is equal to the actual berries? And do you know if elderberry plants are hard to grow? I live in FL. thanks and I can’t wait to make our own!

          • Meg says

            I just emailed Mountainroseherbs yesterday and asked if it was equal to the berries. I am awaiting a response, if I hear back I will comment here for you :)

        • Connie says

          Honey should never be given to children under 2 years old! There are things in it that older children and adults can handle, but the little ones can’t. Don’t gamble with honey!

        • Abbie says

          2/3 cup of dried elderberries comes out to 2 3/4 oz, by weight…at least the variety I have; different size/moisture content will cause each brand/batch to vary slightly, but this can give you a ballpark idea of how many batches you can expect to get out of a bag of dried berries.

          • Sarah says

            I concur with AH. You would need a dry measurement, as can be achieved with a kitchen/food scale. 8 ounces per cup is a standard wet measurement (based on the molecular weight of water).

      • Kate Colvin says

        You are mixing fluid oz and weight oz.  There are 8 fluid oz in a cup, but the product is sold by weight oz.  It isn’t the same.  I only know this because I have done it so many times myself!

      • Andrea says

        That only works with liquid. There’s eight fluid ounces on a cup, but the weight to volume ratio of dried fruit is different. I doubt 5 oz is correct.

    • quiltedmama says

      I bought 1/4# bag, and it was about a cup (slightly more), so 4 oz should be enough to make 1 1/2 recipes.

    • Sebernard says

      I bought a pound of it and I have done one batch and have enough for another batch. If you will be making this a lot you would be better off to buy in bulk.

  2. Nicole Etter says

    I’ve never heard of this, but I am willing to give it a try! I have used olive leaf in the past and it seems to have helped. Do you have any thoughts on that?

  3. Stef says

    I’ve heard good things about elderberries, but never tried them before. I’ll be making this recipe soon, since I always tend to get something that floors me over the winter season. 

    That mountain rose herb shop looks awesome! What else do you buy there? 

    • says

      haha… I buy way too much there! My orders usually come in boxes
      that are big enough for my kids to play house in. Short list though: chia seeds, shea butter, cocoa butter, lavender, chamomile, red raspberry leaf, peppermint, assorted other herbs, himilayan salt, essential oils, coconut oil, almond oil, mango butter, spices, etc. Love mountain rose!

      • Stef says

        Excellent. I’m making a list right now. Just gotta wait until payday ;)

        Any suggestions on websites/books where I can learn more about natural home remedies? This stuff fascinates me!!

        • Liz says

          Try poking around at Earth Clinic. People from all over the world go there to share healing remedies and experiences. A gentle and generous website that beyond the sharing; promotes good will, trust, and friendship at a global level. People there helping one another may be from your home town or on the other side of the planet! Remedies are rated by readers, so you have an idea of what to try first. (…Someone asked him, “and who is my neighbor?” Jesus responded with the story of the good Samaritan– in other words, whomever he brings across your path who is in need.)
          Thanks for the elderberry recipe! Mountain Rose has fantastic quality. Have bought wonderful echinacea, olive leaf powder, cranberry powder, and bee’s wax candles. Olive leaf powder is an amazing, systemic, wide-range healer.

      • Gabe says

        I realize that this post is over 2 years old, but I live in the Mountain Rose Herbs town: I LOVE these guys!!! I pick up my orders on the way home from work, and they are an awesome group of people! Friendly, helpful and always willing to get info when you need it! Thanks for supporting this great company!

        • Tanya says

          My Dad lives in Silverton, Oregon. Want him to stop in and see them. Did they just have a small store in Portland? Or can you stop by and see their farm somewhere? I couldn’t find any information on their website. If you could help me out that would be great thanks.

    • Kandia says

      I have read a lot recently about not using ginger during pregnancy but I am not sure about in this case since it is cooked. I made “master’s tonic” which involves many herbs including ginger being soaked in braggs apple cider vinegar for a couple weeks and that recipe said to omit the ginger during pregnancy. Hope this helps!

    • sofia says

      I understand that this can’t be given to a child under one due to the fact it has honey in it. But what can I use on a child under one? Is the honey necessary?

  4. says

    Yes, it is safe during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.  Since it contains honey, you should wait to use it until baby is one.   You can give a baby under 1 some of the commercially formulated “kid’s syrups”.

  5. says

    That was to Jenny above…

    My questions is – can you take it in tea?  I’ve previously given it to my kids in yogurt or apple sauce, but never anything hot.  I’ve taken it in pill form myself, but I’d love to make the syrup and take it.  I don’t know that I can take it straight though, because I’m really picky that way. ;)   Also, any reason you can think of not to sub maple syrup for honey?  I ‘m allergic to honey.

    • says

      The syrup is actually really good. Some people even eat it on coconut flour pancakes or in homemade ice cream. You could definitely sub maple syrup… it might even taste better. It is possible to drink it tea, though without the honey/syrup, it might be slightly bitter.

    • Lisa says

      we have made it into tea and it is quite tolerable. You could use some stevia to sweeten if you have any. We used the berries in muffins after we steeped them. So yummy.

      • Amy Sasser says

        Such a good idea!! Putting the steeped berries in muffins! I REALLY want to try this – may go buy the rest of the stuff at the health food store tomorrow. yea!

  6. Mini says

    Susan had some good questions.  I would also like to add, what the heck does it taste like? It is pretty and I imagine it taste like blue berries or something, but not one person mentioned the taste which surprised me.  If it doesn’t taste good it is hard to convince the family to consistently take it.  also, if it has a weird taste maybe somebody has ways to ‘doctor it’ – Love to get some insights.  Thank you.  Love the photo instructions, I think better then video. Keep up the great work, Wellness Mama!

    • says

      I think it actually tastes really good. It is a definite berry taste, though not quite like blueberries. It is like I’d think blackberry juice would taste, though I’ve never had it. My kids (5, 3, and 2) drink it very willingly! The cinnamon adds to the flavor, I think,
      but it could be left out if your kids don’t like it.

  7. Dutch says

    The elderberries look dehydrated. If I’m using fresh elderberries, how many ounces or cups should I use?

    Thank You. :)

    • Basy says

      A quart has 64 tablespoons in it, and each tablespoon has three teaspoons in that.  you’d have to figure out how many doses that is for the people you want to dose.  If you want to know how long it will KEEP, that’s another story.  LOL

  8. Basy says

    I’ve made elderberry jelly before, years ago. and I’ve bought the syrup for my grandbaby when he was small, but so far have never tried to make it.  I’ll definitely be looking for the berries come next year, but they’re over for this year, for sure.   Wish I’d seen it sooner.  I don’t know why but I never see wild elderberries lately, it’s prpbably been twenty years that I’ve seen them just in passing like I used to.  

    • says

      Farmers have been taking out all of the elderberry bushes around here to farm as close as they can get to the creeks. Such a loss of food and habitat for many creatures just to get a few more feet of corn and soy beans.

    • Crista says

      It lasts almost indefinitely in the fridge. I had some for about 6 months in my fridge and just finished it…no mold or rancidity. It tasted the same as the first day I made it.

  9. Basy says

    my experience with herbals is that they should usually last one to two years.  this is a syrup, and we’re making a syrup of fruits.   I’ve had jams still taste good and be as nice as the day I made them five years later, so 1-2 years is conservative.  

  10. Pat says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for putting up this recipe!  We’ve been buying those 4 oz. little bottles of gold & it’s been seriously helping our toddler stay away from his previously frequent colds!  Now we have a whole big bottle in the fridge & mom & dad can even have some when they need it without breaking the bank.

  11. Megan says

    Where or When are Elderberries in Season? I live in California. We have lots of fruits always, never tried Elderberries. Thanks, Megan

  12. Ewins says

    What would be a good sub for honey?  I’m am anaphylactic shock allergic to honey so I can not use it at all.  Thanks.

  13. Tina Basinger says

    Can I skip the gingerroot in this?  My son once had a reaction that we thought might be to ginger, and I haven’t let him try it since.

  14. EJ says

    A nice addition to the recipe is 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar. I also add elderberry extract which I make as well which boosts the potency. Adding it while simmering will cook off the alcohol content. I have also added Siberian ginseng, echinacea and Vit C powder as well for full spectrum immune boosting.

  15. Aladen says

    Where can u buy the elderberries? I would love to make this for my daughter instead of spending money buying it at health food store…..

  16. Rachael says

    I have made this recipe many times before and love it.  Recently I have moved to Africa and brought several bags of elderberries with me.  I am wondering the best way to store them.  Should I put them in my freezer or just leave them in the bags.  I’m not sure how long they will last since they are dried.  Any suggestions?

  17. says

    I picked a bunch of wild elderberries and have more than enough to make a batch. Can I freezer the leftover berries to use at a later time? Also, is the honey used to boost it’s medicinal quality or to give it the syrupy consistency? I only have maybe 1/3 cup right now. Can I put the mixture in the fridge and add the honey later?

  18. Frederica Huxley says

    I have been making a very similar elderberry syrup for the grandkids for a number of years now, but for us oldies, I make an elderberry tincture with vodka – a teaspoon a day in a glass of water seems to keep the colds and flu at bay all winter!

  19. kate murphy says

    Love this. Just placed my order from MRH. So these are high in vitamins A, B and C. My question is: Do you think this would be benefical to take everyday? My daughter has a lot of food allergies and is totally lacking in getting all the vitamins she needs. Especially C.

  20. says

    I am impressed with your recipe for elderberry syrup. Unfortunately, I made elderberry juice recently. I would love to convert that to the syrup. Can I do this and if so, how?

  21. tracy says

    can this be made with dried elderberries??? and if so, are the proportions the same? i can’t tell if wellness mama is using fresh or dried, and only dried berries are available to me at this time…. Thanks!

  22. Linda says

    Is there another place that you would recommend buying elderberries? RMH has been out of stock for a while. All their prices are listed as 0.00 since they are not in stock. What is a decent price for elderberries? Should they be organic, or is this one of the times conventional is ok? Thanks, I’m hoping to make this soon!

  23. Sarah says

    The syrup is wonderful!! Is it safe to eat the left over berries after making the syrup? or to eat the dried berries from MRH in general?

  24. Katie says

    Hi Katie, I bought the powdered elderberries, as they were out of the dried at MRH. Any idea of the amount of power I should use to make the syrup? Thanks in advance!

  25. Joyce says

    I have elderberry concentrate. How much do you think I should use? No alcohol, just elderberry and water listed as ingredients.

  26. says

    I am a big believer and lover of Elderberry syrup and have been buying it for years. This winter I decided to make my own since we are big local, raw honey fans! I just made this recipe tonight and so far, I’m only yielding about a 1/2 cup to a 1 cup of elderberry syrup(before adding the honey). I thought I did everything according to the recipe. I went back through your comments and it doesn’t sound like anyone else had an issue! Oops! Can you give me any suggestions on how to salvage what I’ve done?! Thank you!

    • Michele Balloun says

      I just made some tonight and it simmered for an about an hour and resulted in about two cups of liquid before the addition of honey. I was looking through the comments to see if I would find a result similar to mine! Yours sounds closer to what Wellness Mama ended up with; two cups final liquid.

      I stopped the simmering when it had reduced to about half, per the instructions, and the time was about right, though I was surprised when I strained it to see how much I had left. I really pressed the berries out really well so I wonder if that is part of it.

        • Dionna says

          Hmmm…the instructions say to put the lid on, but I was just searching comments to see if people did leave the lid off to let steam out. I guess I’ll leave it off half the time ;) Simmering now!

          • Farhaana says

            I am making it now. I left the top on while simmering it and it has not reduced to half at all. I left the top off to simmer a bit but it has already been cooking over an hour, so I’ll stop. I figured if it turns out to be more diluted, I’ll just give a little more than 1 tsp. to the kids.

    • Faith says

      I just bought some Friday from Amazon. More pricey than MRH, but since they were sold out, I needed to find some somewhere! A friend recommened this brand. Mine should come tomorrow and I’ll be making a batch of this syrup to get us through the rest of winter!

  27. calisa says

    Thank you for the wonderful recipe! The syrup is simmering now and smells delicious. I purchased my elderberries from Etsy- Michelle at OldWorldWays. She was wonderful to work with and SUPER fast shipping. Thanks for the recipe!

  28. says

    We have been drinking elderberry tea and taking elderberry syrup since the beginning of the flu season and no flu in this household! We take daily all-natural multi-vitamins and vitamin c from our local health food store. I won’t get my child the flu shot so this has become our wonderful alternative!

  29. Heather Bryner says

    Question… how much liquid should we have before the addition of honey? Your image shows that you had 2 cups of liquid after straining, but then you say to put the contents into a 16 oz jar AFTER the addition of honey, which would bring the volume to 24 oz. Could you please clarify? Thanks!!

  30. says

    We have been using this whenever we ‘start’ feeling icky. We havent been sick all year (this is the first time since we’ve had kids not being sick all year) even though we have a 5 year old who is into everything. My question is…its been working so well that we have some that has fermented in the fridge (tastes like yummy wine). Is it still ok/beneficial to use?

  31. says

    Thanks for all your “get well” recipes.I just sent my hubs to the store for elderberry powder. Not a store in this town carries the berries, but one place has the powder. I’ll be mixing this at lunch time and laying on my sofa with an “elderberry dose” timer set.

  32. says

    I would like to know where to buy the elderberries. Right now I just buy it premade at our local health food store. I assume in the warmer months I can get them at a farmers market but this time of year is hard. I have yet to see them sold in any store here. We are in the North East. Also are they fresh, frozen or dehydrated? Just curious. thanks

  33. gina says

    Must u discard the elderberries after straining? Or can they, too, be consumed (in a different way)??

  34. Lainy Elena Torres says

    I added the honey by mistake before boiling, killing off it’s properties I assume? Do you think there is any way to fix it? If i add additional honey after it cools it will probably be too sweet, right?

    Thank you for such a fabulous page! I’ll be making your gummy vitamins and marcona mayo later :)

  35. April Harrison says

    Can you boil the berries a second time with new water and make another batch (maybe not as strong as the first batch) or is this a big no-no? I have been searching all over the web for an answer with no luck.

    Thank you

  36. Roman says

    Hope this works. This is the third time in six weeks hubby has gotten a cold or flu. The syrup is simmering right now. I take Sambucol (OTC med in the US with elderberry) at the first sign of illness and it works well for me, but he wants “real” medicine.

  37. Lainy Elena Torres says

    2 tablespoons of ginger? Do you think that may be too “spicy” for a 3 and 5 year old? I like it, but don’t use it too much in my cooking because of them….thank you for the wonderful recipe :)

  38. Megan says

    Thanks for your lovely recipe! Just got a beautiful bunch of fresh berries today from a local market and can’t wait to make the syrup!

    I searched throughout your comments but couldn’t find an answer…
    What is the proportion if using fresh berries rather than dried?

    Thanks for your time!

  39. Tiff C. says

    Thank-you so much for the recipe! We bought elderberry syrup last year and it worked to keep us healthy, but was very pricey. I found fresh elderberries at the farmers market and made this today. A cold has already hit our house! I was wondering what the consistency of this should be. Mine seems really watery like juice and not like syrup at all. I think I may not have let it boil down enough. Will it still work, just less potent?

  40. Cheryl Misiuda Richardson says

    Hi LOVE YOUR SITE! just a quick question , Can this syrup be canned with out honey for use during winter months? or can the syrup be frozen with honey to be used later? I wonder this because anywhere I have read it is best to use up with in one month.

  41. Jeanette says

    Hi. We have blue elderberries (Sambucus mexicana) here on the california coast. Do you know if these have the same benefits? I just harvested some and made your recipe, replacing the black elderberries with the blue. It tastes great, just wondering if the health benefits are the same.

  42. Rachie says

    This stuff is amazing! I began making it last winter as an affordable, immune-boosting staple in our home. Last winter, my husband contracted the flu. My son had just turned one. While my husband was flat on his back for four days from the flu, all three of us took it every couple hours. My husband overcame the flu within a week and neither my son nor I got sick! A-mazing! We also crank up our vitamin D levels when we either have a cold/flu or when we’ve recently been around people who do. We have been known to take 80,000 to 100,000 IU’s for 5-7 consecutive days during this intense virus-fighting time.

    Sidenote: When I was actually pregnant with my son, my husband had a cold. I had taken 90,000 of the vitamin D3 every day for about 7 days. I then had a vitamin D blood level drawn. Normal levels are 30-150 ng/mL and mine was only 79. Oh, and I didn’t get a cold.

  43. Irene Tiger says

    I will take this when flu season rolls around! As it is, I’ve been seeing people coughing and sneezing a lot and I’ve had professors and classmates say they’ve gotten bugs, to I might start sooner rather than later

  44. Diane Chander Sutherland says

    Is this for dried or fresh elder berries? I have called my two local health food stores and they do not carry either…where does one get these berries?

  45. Heather says

    My understanding is that elderberries have a lot of arsenic that is very dangerous if they aren’t properly cooked. How long does it take to cook all the dangerous toxins out? I didn’t think you could just use them in muffins and whatnot–I am no expert here but wondering how much they need to be heated to get that out?

  46. Cindy O'C says

    are these dried or fresh elderberries? if they are dried, I saw a really great deal on them at the brewery supply store!

  47. Kelly Blechertas says

    I was dying to try this out this fall/winter, but I only veerrry recently found out I am pregnant. And now I’m not sure being in early pregnancy is good time to try new things. Maybe I’m just being paranoid? I could find documentation on it being safe, and some on it being not-sure-it’s safe! :(

  48. Brooklyn says

    We have been making this for many years for our family and as gifts. I have to say, it has really worked. I do make mine a bit stronger (I start out with more elderberries and water and decoct it twice before the honey) and I do add an ounce of homemade elderberry brandy to the “adult” version to preserve it even more–although it gets used so quickly that I don’t really need the extra preservation really. My 21 month old son begs for more and it’s quite adorable to hear him chant “more el-der-ber-ry PLEASE Momma”

  49. Christie Blanchard says

    Hello, How long does the syrup last in the refrigerator….I’m thinking I can also freeze it, thoughts? :) thanks!

  50. Maggie Laverman says

    I was thinking of buying elderberry extract in a 2oz bottle instead of the berries themselves. How much of this extract do you think I should use to get the equivalent of this recipe? Thank you, and God bless!

  51. Shaina says

    I’ve read that there are side effects to ingesting raw and unripe elderberries. Is there any risk of this happening when making my own syrup using elder berries? I love this idea and hope I can stop buying the overpriced store made soon!

  52. Bonny Sommert Rambarran says

    planted an elderberry tree in the spring . . . hoping I get enough berries to do this next year!

  53. Bobbi says

    I just ordered my elderberries and some ginger root tonight…I have the rest of the ingredients on hand and can’t wait to make some of this!!!

  54. Washi says

    I love all of your advice & natural remedies! Thank you for your diligence in helping me stay healthy naturally. I only have one problem with this recipe, I am unable to eat honey due to being on a low-FODMAP diet for health reasons. Could I use agave syrup or maple syrup instead? I know I’d be missing out on the antimicrobial benefits of the honey, but I wouldn’t be able to tolerate it.

  55. Andrea S says

    Hi Katie, I’m looking into brands of essential oils. DoTerra and Young Living seem to be of the highest quality, and prices. How do EO from Rose Mountain compare?

  56. Sherri Bellinger says

    I have never tried elderberry syrup but have been studying herbs and natural medicines. This is one recipe I have wanted to try since reading about the medicinal qualities of the elderberry. I have always used vitamin C, echinacea, and honey separately. I have all the ingredients for this syrup except for the elderberries. You can bet I will be getting some soon. Thinking about growing my own elderberries too. Thanks for you recipe.

  57. Shaina says

    i was only able to buy 2 oz of dried elderberry at our local store. could i still follow the measurements in this recipe or do i need to scale it down? thanks!

  58. Nancy says

    We use homemade elderberry syrup for colds and flu in our house and share it with others as we can. If you find an elderberry tree, you can take the clusters off and freeze them for pulling the berries off later as you need them. I usually cover the berries in water, (Be careful to remove any twigs as they contain small amounts of a toxic substance that could have adverse effects!) then bring it to a boil and simmer for about an hour or until the liquid is reduced to about half. I then mash the berries well with a potato masher, pour the mixture through a small mesh sieve and then add honey. I use equal amounts of honey to syrup if it is going to need to last more than a week. An herbalist mentioned to me recently that she makes a tincture first with alcohol then adds the honey. I have never added other ingredients but we also use throat coat tea at the first sign of a sore throat and boost vitamins d and c. :)

  59. Siací Ross says

    I have used elderberry syrup that a friend makes. If I take it just as I feel a cold coming on, the cold is much, much shorter…or it never develops.
    I am going to make my own syrup this year!

  60. Abby Auman says

    Hi! I have made your syrup and have had great results! Love the stuff. Just wondering, I have a diabetic father-in-law. Could I make it with stevia and still get good results?

  61. Marzolf Nicolette says

    I have a question, how long would this syrup last, and if I canned it would it be just as effective, or do you know of any other ways to preserve it that dont take the refridgerator :)….. I`m a big pantry stocker kinda person :) I do a lot of canning and dehydrating and cant seem to find much info other then making a syrup or wine outa the berries :)

  62. Heather Huelskamp says

    I made this today, and it came out to almost 1 quart. Is that okay, or did I not book it down enough? It says fills a 16 ounce bottle, but the beginning volume would be closer to a quart.

  63. Danielle Retherford Kriegel says

    In this recipe did you use dried elderberries or did you soak them first? I just got a bag of dried berries from frontier and don’t know how to store them either?

  64. Ashley Klitzke says

    just made 8 pints of this! (I doubled the recipe, 4 oz equaled exactly a doubled batch) It is super yummy and I actually have the flu now and my throat does feel better, this is incredibly soothing. I used the Really Raw Honey (the completely unfiltered, unbarreled and unheated), it costs more but I love it! I used ground ginger because that’s all I had. Thanks for a great tutorial!

  65. Kenzie says

    We made ours about 2 weeks ago and it’s starting to get a real potent/super strong/almost taste like beer-flavor. Is this normal? how long does it keep? Its almost like its fermenting because when we take the lid off it fizzes up. Thank you!

    • Mel says

      Try your local health stores. If your like me, the items stocked at my local health stores are pretty limited or they are outrageous on their prices. I normally order online from Vitacost and they carry the elderberries. Mountain Rose Herbs also carries them.

  66. Maggie says

    What do you think about using elderberry powder? I accidentally ordered elderberry powder instead of dried elderberries. I was hoping I could somehow substitute them in this recipe. Any ideas?

    • margo says

      YES! It makes great soda- my grandson calls it “special soda’ because it is the only “soda” that Grandma will give him. I add about a tablespoon to a glass of plain soda water. The syrup is very tasty as pancake syrup as well.

  67. Ruth says

    I am not sure if we have elderberries here in Hawaii. I will go look, since its flu season in our household as we speak! Thank you!

  68. Sarah Burnheart says

    Ive been making elderberry syrup/cordial for years. The cloves also help preserve it and I have kept mine for up to a year before. I usually forage for my elderberries – theres a few trees along my favourite walks.
    You can also put clean dry elderberries straight into jars of honey (and with orange or lemon slices too if you like) Leave for a few weeks and strain – then use the honey for flu/sore throats.

    • Brenda says

      No, not garlic. There’s a spice called cloves. You can buy them whole or ground. They’re used a lot in baking for pumpkin pies, cookies, etc.

  69. sonja says

    just made it and i’m so excited to eat this daily. next time i’ll try making it thicker so i can spread it on a sprouted grain cracker. just wondering- why throw away the berries? wouldn’t it be nice to keep the berries in the syrup? also, my mixture didn’t boil down with the lid on, so i left the lid ajar. thanks for the recipe!

  70. Rose says

    Fantastic site! Love these DIY posts :) I’ve been looking to make some Elderberry syrup myself as those commercial made ones are sooo expensive. Do u have any idea how long the DIY Elderberry syrup can last with refrigeration? Thanks!

  71. Dawn Nguyen says

    Is your syrup brownbor purple when you are done? I had a lot of elderberries. 4 cups so I tried to do it all at once. It took a LONG time to reduce the liquid by half. Did I do it wrong?

  72. Tina Dodorico says

    I wanted to make this for my family , but wasn’t sure if the raw honey would be safe for my 18 month old . Any suggestions for use on a toddler? Dosage?

    • JJ says

      My son is 16 months and I’ve been giving him 1 tsp since he was a year old. He loves it. Sometimes I give it in a lil water in a sippy cup.

  73. Geo says

    Awesome article! I usually take the commercially available product (Sambucol), but would consider your approach if I had more time. Thanks for posting!

  74. Dee Stauffer Heath says

    I just made this for the first time tonight and I’m afraid my syrup didn’t reduce as much as it was supposed to. I simmered for the full hour and it appeared to have reduced by half….will it be as potent if it’s not quite as thick as it should be? Will it thicken once it’s stored in the refrigerator? Thank you for this recipe.

  75. Patty says

    I had been buying the already made syrup at our local natural foods store but man is it expensive! I have been wanting to make it myself at home. Anyone know where I can buy dried elderberries? Also I see there are elderberry extract capsules that you take every day. are these less potent then the syrup?

  76. Robin says

    I just made it and love it! I could sit down and have it all right now :) After an hour the liquid didn’t cook off with the lid on so I took it off and that worked better. The syrup retains the flavor of the spices (ginger, cinnamon, and cloves) making it comparable to chai tea with a little bit of sourness and fruitiness from the berries while still being sweet, but not too much!

  77. Des says

    Just made my second batch, and used my nut milk bag to strain it out- a lot quicker,easier, less mess, and I’m sure I squeezed out all the goodness. Idk why I didn’t think of it last time.

  78. denise says

    Just diagnosed with h1n1 type A. Been using this syrup 3 days and IT IS WORKING MIRACLES…doc started me on tamiflu as well but not sure if I need it. Love the more natural remedy…don’t believe in herbals, try this just to boost imune system & you will be a believer ???

  79. Valentine Kitamura says

    Hey Mama, I can’t thank you enough for your articles, love them! This is what I just posted on my Facebook about your recipe above: “Natural remedies works! I have been holding off before posting this to make sure it was actually working, but I have made it back in November, and had the time to test it between me, hubby and the kids, anytime we started to feel sick with the sniffles, took this right away, and within a day, symptom GONE! So it works friends, try it! (I also added 1/4 cup of dried marshmallow roots (not the candy, lol) because I read about it in another article). This recipe makes a lot, so I froze half of it, took it out not long ago and tried it, still works!!! And important to note; it tastes good, even the kids like it! Herbals are amazing”

  80. Deanna says

    I noticed that the flu busting gummies only last a week. Does this recipe expire as well? Also, is it necessary to skip the weekend days? It’s easy to remember it every morning, but harder to remember to skip days!!

  81. Ashley Ferrara says

    How long does the syrup last? I’d love to stock up on these while they’re in season and use the syrup all year.

  82. Lem says

    Made a batch. Waiting for it to cool down. Stunk up my whole house. My housemate had to leave. Said the smell was going to make him sick. I like the smell, the cloves and ginger are quite strong smelling. Just a warning, the vapors ares strong!!!

  83. Betsy says

    Love it! Great recipe. I just made it yesterday for the first time. It is a great combination of ingredients to help boost immune and fight of respiratory issues. Thank you.

  84. K Davis says

    Assuming one has the option, is the syrup more effective taken on an empty or full stomach? In the morning vs. evening? What are your thoughts?

  85. Carrie Talbott says

    I was wondering if the spices can be omitted? I have a balsam of Peru allergy and am definitely allergic to cinnamon, and cloves is on my list of things that are possible allergens so I want to avoid that as well. Will the syrup still be as effective without the spices? Thanks!

    • Sieyra says

      This isn’t my site, but fyi the medicinal value here is with the elderberries, so it would still be effective. The spices and honey are more of a tolerate the taste addition, and while they do have their own medicinal value, not necessary for this.

    • Sieyra says

      Thanks for the recipe! I made A LOT of it this season and have 2 quarts left over now… I tried to scroll through the comments to see if you already answered the ‘ways to store this’ and ‘how long does it last’ questions, but I just found a lot of other people asking without a reply… can you help answer this? I’d hate to lose 2 entire quarts now that the season is over…

      Thanks! :)

        • margo says

          I water-bath can mine, and it seems to be just as effective years after it is made. I have some I canned in 1999 and used it last winter- I’m pretty healthy as it is so I can’t swear it was the elderberry syrup, but I didn’t get the flu and got over colds in a day…

  86. Kathryn says

    Hi there, I cannot find an answer anywhere to the question about using fresh elderberries – how much fresh berries would be the equivalent of 2/3 cup of dried berries?

  87. Sharon Johnson says

    So today I made this for the second time, unfortunately I was trying to get the directions for the recipe from memory! I put the honey at the beginning with everything else! The syrup turned out a little bitter! Had to dilute with water for the kids to take it better! Ha Ha silly me, I will not forget next time. Should I throw it and start over?

  88. Nancy says

    Thankyou so much for this recipe! Just made it for a second time today and both my boys ( 1 & 8 ) love it :-) I definitely feel like it shortens a cold! Your website is my first go-to for all things natural! I really appreciate you!

  89. Aimmee says

    My husband picked wild black elderberries around our home last summer and we froze them in the hopes to make jam or jelly. When I found your recipe I got them out and measured them out and found that I have about 12 quarts of berries! My question is, if I make syrup out of these how can I preserve it?
    Maybe I could start my own business…

  90. Mary says

    If I want to make this for my 7 1/2 month old, can I replace the honey with raw coconut nectar syrup? or probably agave? I have the coconut nectar here .

  91. Mona says

    Thanks for the recipe! Much less expensive than the prepared mixture I bought from the store.
    Maybe you shouldn’t eat the leftover berries in muffins, since they may still contain seeds. This might be of interest:
    The ripe, cooked berries (pulp and skin) of most species of Sambucus are edible. However, most uncooked berries and other parts of plants from this genus are poisonous. Sambucus nigra is the only variety considered to be non-toxic, but it is still recommended that its berries be cooked slightly for culinary purposes. The leaves, twigs, branches, seeds and roots of Sambucus plants can contain a cyanide-inducing glycoside (a glycoside which gives rise to cyanide as the metabolism processes it). Ingesting a sufficient quantity of cyanide-inducing glycosides can cause a toxic build up of cyanide in the body.

  92. Sara says

    Hi katie, i am addicted to your blog! Quick question: i tried mixing the syrup in homemade carbonated soda water (from our soda stream), and it tasted lovely. Do you think the carbonation reduces the benefits of the syrup and is best avoided? Thank you!

  93. Margo says

    This recipe sounds great and I’m excited to try it. My baby is a year and a half and I’m wondering if the raw honey will be a problem for her…. what do you think?

  94. Sarah says

    Hello, I actually just bought some elderberry syrup because I couldn’t find elderberries anywhere but I’m just wondering if you think it would be okay to give my one year old honey. The bottle says to wait until at least one years old but I’ve heard about how honey can cause botulism.

    • Layla says

      Honey is fine after 12 months. The spores that cause botulism are easily killed by digestive acid in a developed gut. Small babies don’t have enough acid to kill the spores.

  95. JJ says

    I make this recipe for my lil family at least once a month. My frugal ( ok cheap lol ) side is wondering if the berries could be simmered again for another recipe something less therapeutic of course. I hate to not get another use out of them for something lol. If nothing else I think I’ll re simmer them freeze and use it as a natural egg dye for easter.

  96. connie Denmark says

    I usually buy a natural elderberry syrup but then my daughter told me about this website. Bought the berries at a winemaking supply store. It got rid of my cigarette cough and any bronichial problems. Is also good for asthma and allergies. I have been taking it for 2 years!! I can’t wait to make my own instead of buying it!! It will save me money!

  97. Barbara Waaka says

    Hi… I live in Australia and have 3 elderberry trees fruiting as I type … I so want to make this syrup, tincture and anything I can so as to use up all these little globs of gold . In Katie the gorgeous Wellness Mamas’ recipe for syrup… it reads 2 T ginger. Please .. what measurement is ‘T’ … here in Aussie, we don’t have a measurement ‘T’ .
    LOOOVE this blog .. it rocks as do all you wonderful contributors xox

  98. Irma says

    I made some of the syrup in January and I still have a small jar left over. It helped us through this crazy winter and the cold season, my girls love it! I opened the last little jar this morning and saw some little white mold spots along the edge of the jar…Should I toss it and make another batch or just clean it up and pour the syrup in another jar? I’m leaning toward tossing….

  99. Steph says

    Such an easy recipe! I shared it with others on FB. I think they all think i’m an herbal genius now, lol :). Love that this is a base and that i can add other herbs if wanted. Keep up the good work!

  100. Lorie says

    I just ordered bulk of the dried berries and some of the powder. I have 2 questions. 1. Can I store the dried berries and powder in canning jars with an O2 absorber or vacuum seal them with my food sealer for longer storage. (I also ordered some elder trees/bushes and wondered if when the flowers blossom – can I dehydrate/dry them and jar them also for long term storage? 2. After I make the syrup can I pressure can or water bath can for long term purposes (if yes, is that with or without the honey) I don’t believe I should pressure can in my pressure cooker with the honey but I suppose the honey could be added whenever I unseal a jar in the future.) Thank you – I am so excited to make this. I have been purchasing the store elder syrup but it is costly.

  101. Autumn Andahl says

    I love elderberry syrup and my family loves the gummy vitamins! I got bulk berries off of Amazon for now. I have a friend who has the plants growing wild on her property and I am planning on going to pick when they are ready. Do you know much about harvesting the elderberry? I have heard if you do not get all the outer skin off it can make you ill?

    I LOVE Mountain Rose Herbs as well.

    I Also have a hard time tossing the leftover berries so I have re batched the cooked berries into a less potent juice I mix with my homemade kombucha. When I have cooked all the juice out of them they go to the chickens or compost pile.

    Loving your page – thank you for sharing your talent and insight with all of us!

  102. Sherryl says

    I wonder if one may can (hot bath preserve) elderberry syrup? I am going to try it and can it without adding the honey and apple cider. I then plan to add the honey and apple cider after I open a canned juice. I don’t want to destroy their wonderful healing constituents. I will let y’all know how it goes!

  103. Taylor says

    My question may have already been answered so I’m sorry if I’m repeating it :) but does anyone know if a four month old can take it if I replace the honey with maple syrup? I’m in desperate need to know!

  104. Dina Rodriguez says

    Hi, I want to make the syrup, but I cannot find the elderberries, I just find the edelflower can I use instead of edelberry?

  105. Sara says

    Mine has gone all fizzy with a lot of gas escaping when I opened it up today. It has been a while since I’ve used it, maybe two months. Has it gone bad?

  106. Clare says

    Dear Wellness Mama,
    Thank you for everything you do.. I read your blog ALL THE TIME when I was pregnant with my son. He’s 10 months now. Reading your blog again now brings back memories of preparing for his arrival. I had a home birth planned and you were one of the people who inspired me. Birthing him at home was the best choice I ever made. I did it! I birthed with no fear. My dream of a natural birth came true. I’m not one to comment much, but I want you to know that you’ve helped me and inspired me. Thanks. Just picked some elderberries to make your syrup recipe. =)

  107. Coco says

    Howdy Katie-
    Been loving the elderberry syrup and have tagged/sent the link to more peeps than I remember. I made some for a family that was plagued by the flu and they praised me to high heaven for this “miracle” I made and shared with them! I sent them the link and let them know I was just a messenger;)
    My last batch started fermenting, it was fizzy when I opened it. It tasted ok, not “bad”. I’m used to fermenting second batch kombucha in the fridge so the fermenting itself doesn’t bother me. Quite the contrary, I’m a fan of fermenting but I don’t know about the immune boosting properties of the syrup: helped or hindered by fermenting?
    Any info or experiences would be appreciated.
    Thank you-

  108. Lark Craft says

    Can (or should) I give this as a daily supplement to my 5 & 6 year old? Or should this be given only during flu season? And lastly, lol can I give this to my 1 year old twins?

  109. Julie says

    I have fresh elderberries and want to make this syrup. What is the amount of fresh elderberries to use in place of the dried?

  110. Ann says

    I just moved overseas and found out I have an elderberry bush in the backyard and a neighbor who Is a beekeeper. Guess what I will be making?

  111. Tamara says

    Thanks for this great recipe – I bought some elderberry syrup from a vendor at my farmers market and have been wanting to try making my own. I am wondering how long this recipe will keep in the fridge? I am always paranoid about things going bad on me. Thanks!

  112. daniela says

    Great recipe . Can’t wait to try it !! But heat destroys Vitamin C, just an fyi :) Maybe use fermented drinks ( try elder flower and lemons, it’s delicious) or sea buckthorn purée :)

  113. Mary says

    Just from experience , Our family leads more of a primitive life so we have been foraging and living off of the land many years . The literature out there purports that honey can grow certain strains of spores which harm infants under one years old since there hydrochloric acid levels are too weak to kill the spores. This is true but for only the Heated filtered strained honey that has been watered down. The spores can then grow in the honey because the natural antibacterial properties have been killed through heating and the added water has provided a better growing medium. Feeding an infant Raw unfiltered unheated solid Honey has always been safe and nourishing practice in our family. I have eleven childen that have been nourished with Raw Honey combs and all. We also consume fresh elderberries with seeds intact. It would surprise most people that 90 percent of whats in your backyard is edible just as is. Not all of it is palatable lol.

  114. Pamela says

    It seems that I am not the only person wondering this… what would be the equivalent amount of fresh berries for this recipe if we have fresh instead of dried?

  115. Mere says

    I will soon have my first harvest from the Black Lace elderberries (the very desirable Sambucus nigra) I planted several years ago. These plants are gorgeous – dark purple, finely-cut leaves with pink flower clusters in the spring. I highly recommend them as landscaping plants. They fruit better having another variety to pollinate with (I have Johns.) Thanks for the recipe! I will be using it within the month.

  116. Rachel says

    Is dried ginger root the same thing as the dried ginger sold in the spice aisle at the grocery store (powdery substance)? The measurement threw me off because when cooking, I always see in recipes to use a 1/3 of the amount of dried herb when subbing it for fresh ????

  117. Abigail says

    Thanks for this recipe. We made it last week, adding just a bit of apple cider vinegar after it cooled, and it is delicious. It is thin for sure, but we don’t mind. We’ve been having a hard time keeping it for flu season!!!

  118. Rachel says

    Hi, Katie! This smelled SOOO good simmering on the stove! I didn’t add the honey until it was cool, not lukewarm, so hopefully that won’t make a difference. Here’s my question….I don’t do any kind of added sweetener. Will this syrup be effective if I don’t add honey, just bottle it after straining? If so, how much would a daily adult dosage be?

  119. kathy says

    help!!!I made the syrup for flu season but its not syrupy at all. tad bit thicker than juice. is this suppose to be like a cough syrup consistency ? do I just leave it as is or thicken it somehow?

  120. Meg says

    I wanted to make this for my kids, but they are not supposed to have honey right now. I bought some in the store that was no sugar, so could I make this with out the honey? Not sure if I would add stevia to make it taste better? Not sure what I should do.

  121. Melissa says

    I just went out and picked a ton of elderberries! There are a ton of them up in Bear Lake (Idaho and Utah). Can’t wait to turn them into syrup. I have enough to give away to some friends, too!

  122. jennifer says

    Hi! I just made this tonight for the first time :) When straining, do you try to “squeeze” out as much juice as you can from the actual berries, or just gently pour through the strainer and discard the berries? Some of the comments regarding the seeds being toxic have worried me…I’m afraid that squeezing the berries during straining might release some seeds into the syrup (I pressed the berries into my strainer with a spoon to squeeze out excess juice, then questioned if this was safe). Also, are the toxicity concerns eliminated if using dried elderberries? Thank you!

  123. Melanie Haspels says

    Has anyone ever frozen this syrup? Does it work? Would it be best to freeze before adding honey? We have been using this for awhile but don’t finish it before mold begins forming on my jar and lid. I could make a smaller batch but would prefer to not have to make it as often!

  124. Rita Simpson says

    Love this recipe – thanks for posting. Trying it for the first time with the very small batch (less than 1/3 c) of fresh berries from the elderberry bush in my front yard. This spring I almost chopped it down when I was clearing/planting my flower bed, but decided to find out what it was first. Took a while, since I had no clue (thought it was a tree at first, rather than a bush), but when I discovered it was an elderberry and found out about its medicinal properties, I was SO glad that through the internet I was able to find this info. I don’t actually have any idea if it’s the right variety though, so I will do a bit more research to find out if the medicinal properties of the berries are the same for all varieties (do you happen to know that?). I’ll probably get another bush to plant.

  125. Rita Simpson says

    Oh, and one more thing, since several commenters mentioned the supposedly toxic properties of the berry seeds and stems:
    The Mountain Rose Herb website states: “The branches and leaves are poisonous. The small stem which is sometimes left on the berry is safe.” and “According to the Botanical Safety Handbook*, the unripe and raw fruit, seeds, bark and leaves contain a component, sambunigrin, which may cause vomiting or severe diarrhea if ingested.”

  126. Jessica says

    Hey Katie I really appreciated this recipe! It’s my first time trying homemade syrup and I just love how easy it is, how delicious it makes my house smell, how much my kids like it, AND how fast it seemed to help me get over my last cold! I just blogged about it and linked to you… I use the “leftovers” for tea and it’s so great! Thanks for sharing this!

  127. Lisette says

    Hi Katie,

    Do you use fresh or dried elderberries? Where do you purchase yours from? I want to make this for my family as we ARE NOT getting flu shots this year!! Thank you so much!

  128. Marisa says

    Thanks for the recipe! Have you ever taken elderberry syrup during pregnancy? Is there any reason why a person shouldn’t? Thanks!

  129. shavonne says

    I habe cinnamon sticks, how many would I use for the recipe? Is there anyway I can screw this recipe up and then it is not as effective? I don’t want to do that! ; )

    • Karen says

      I was wondering the same thing. Can’t find dried elderberries anywhere and would love to make this. If anyone has tried the powder or knows if it would work please let me know :)

  130. Melissa says

    I was wondering if there was a situation when it isn’t helpful to take elderberry syrup. I’ve heard that people with auto-immune diseases can be affected negatively. Also, I have a friend who is going through radiation treatment for cancer. Do you think it would help in this situation?


  131. Kacey says

    Does the cinnamon add Heath benefits or is it just for taste? I really don’t like the taste of it and would rather skip if it dosent help. Thanks!

  132. Peter says

    Once I make a batch of syrup, can I reuse the same leftover strained berries to make a second less concentrated elderberry syrup?

  133. Stephanie says

    We are fortunate enough to have 2 elderberry bushes on the property we just purchased. I was able to harvest a few bags full and freeze them before the season was over. I made this today for my hubby who will be traveling the next week. Thanks for sharing the recipe it tastes great and hopefully it helps his immune system while traveling through yucky airports :P

  134. Sharon Lee Lockhart says

    I was wondering if this would work with canned Elderberry Juice? I have about 4 quarts that I canned up a couple of yrs. ago, and thought this may be the way to use it up.
    I had planned on making Elderberry Jelly, but DH isn’t too thrilled with it, so I thought this may be an option.
    Please let me know if you think it will work, OK?
    I just love this site and am always looking at it for more ideas.
    Thanks for all your time you put in to make it such a great site to come to.

  135. kris says

    Wellness Mama. would this recipe work with dried blueberries and have similar flu fighting effects as elderberries? Or fresh or frozen??? Thanks, Kris

  136. Iris De La Torre says

    I love your site & have passed it on to several of my friends. One question on the Elderberry syrup recipe. Is it possible to use Essential oils of cinnamon bark & clove in place of the powder? I have no idea how many “drops” would equal the quantity in the recipe, since the oils are generally more concentrated form. Thanks for any input!!

  137. Bettina Ferrando says

    Just made the syrup for the first time with dried elderberries. The flavor is more honey than berry. Not unpleasant but was hoping for more berry-like. I bought the berries from what looked like a reputable seller on amazon – the monterrey bay spice company. And its the same genus – sambucus nigra and they are organic. I let them simmer down for an hour to about half the amount. The honey is a raw one from Trader Joes. Should I just try adding some more simmered down berry juice to it or is that how it is supposed to taste?

    thanks, love your site and all the amazing information!!

  138. Suz says

    If you have a younger child and don’t want to use honey can you just leave it out or should you sub it for something like Agave? Also, if you don’t like cloves can you leave that out or sub it with something else? Is your recipe using dried elderberries?

  139. olivia says

    i have a high speed blender – wondering if i were to blend the whole mixture rather than straining off the liquid, could that intensify the healing properties? or would you recommend against doing that for any reason? thanks!

  140. olivia says

    i have a high speed blender – wondering if i were to blend the whole mixture rather than straining off the liquid, could that intensify the healing properties? or would you recommend against doing that for any reason? thanks!

  141. Tawni Holloway says

    I made this recipe and messed up and put the honey in while cooking. Do you think this batch is still ok? Also, how much should I use?

  142. Michelle says

    Do you think there is anything I can add to this syrup to make it so it won’t spoil if I want to ship a container of it to a family member which could take several days? Would the addition of fresh lemon or lime preserve it for a few days time? Or, do I just need to ship the dry ingredients and honey and container and give her instructions on how to make it herself? Thanks! :)

  143. Alisha says

    Hello! Just curious, I would love to make this elderberry syrup but a vegan version, what would you recommend is a good replacement for the honey? Perhaps maple syrup?

  144. Andrea says

    The elderberry syrup hasn’t helped too much with our cold. Of course, it is probably milder than what it could have been. But the syrup has a laxative effect with another family member. She is taking 3 iron pills a day due to anemia issues so she is getting quite constipated from all the iron. The syrup has helped her with the constipation issues as over the counter remedies were making her very ill. And she hasn’t gotten the cold that I have.

  145. Suz says

    Instead of throwing out or composting the strained berries can you put them on/in pancakes/waffles or anything else? Thanks!

  146. Christine . says

    I want to make this for Christmas gifts, can this be made with Elderberry juice? I picked lots of elderberries this fall, made lots of jelly and froze the remainder of my juice

  147. Nancy Alexander says

    i made this over the weekend. I simmered mine for an hour, but mine is not a syrup, more of a liquid. I am thinking that I am still getting the healing properties. I made it Sunday, and by evening I started with a bad cold. I feel taking this has reduced the time of my cold. Thanks for sharing. I am going to make another batch and see if I get the same results. I am thinking it is still okay, even though it is not a syrup?

  148. Sarah says

    My infant has a cold and my midwife suggested that I give her Elderberry Syrup. I have made my own previously using the honey but I am wondering about using honey in it for my child under 1 as I have heard they can’t digest honey. What do you think? Any other suggestions if honey is not okay?

  149. Jess says

    I was so excited to try this recipe and save a little money. To make a long story short, my batch was taking forever to reduce. After a few hours, I had to leave to get my kids and then forgot about it until bedtime. I was too tired to deal, so I left it until the morning…. and then didn’t end up straining it and mixing the honey in until that evening, about 28 hours after I initially started reducing it. I’m wondering if the added time the elderberries steeped in the water made it stronger? If so, is it bad or should we just take less? I saw in a comment that some reduced it w/out the lid. I think I’ll do that next time. Thanks for the great recipe, I can’t wait to use it to make gummies.

  150. Diana says

    Hi – I’ve made your recipe a few times and love it. My question is this – I give it to my kids daily. Is there any reason I shouldn’t be doing this? Someone said they should only get it when they are sick. I use it daily as a preventative. Thanks!

  151. Annie says

    I’m an herbalist and have made this many times. You can mash the simmered berries a bit, to release more properties, but you MUST strain and discard the seeds. We usually drink more like 1/4 cup every few hours. Years ago, I forgot to strain, and had strong waves of nausea and hard vomiting for about 30 minutes. You can also adjust the spices as you like; we like more cinnamon, less ginger, and we add about 1/4 c lemon juice. I’ve never stored it for more than a month, because we finish the bottle for a round of flu. I love your website very much! <3

    • Suzanne says

      I’m sorry you had a bad reaction. But we still eat what is leftover of the elderberries (I usually make a crostata with it) with no reaction. [maybe because it’s cooked twice and we use dried elderberries no stems or anything]

  152. Kim says

    Oh no!! I accidentally added the honey at the start – I got too excited!! lol will it still be OK? Will the honey just pasteurize now and not have as many beneficial properties?

  153. Erin says

    I just made this and ended up with a full quart, not 16oz. Did I do something wrong? Does this mean I need to take a double dose for the same potency?

  154. Fran says

    Hello! I am very excited to make this recipe. I just have a few questions…
    1) I am using GROUND ginger. Should I adjust the recipe to 1T or continue with the 2T as recommended?
    2) I have a 14 month old who is currently fighting a virus. I am wondering how much I should give to her and how often? I know you recommended 1/2t for children under 1, but I wasn’t sure when that does increases to 1t.
    My husband and I are taking 1T 3-4 times/day until the bug is out of the house.

    Thank you so much!

  155. Lindsay says

    Are clove powder and cinnamon powder the same as ground cloves and ground cinnamon spices? Or is this something different that should specifically say “powder”?

  156. Shelly A says

    Thank you for this recipe! I just made my first batch of this and would like to mail a jar to my husband who is working out of town. Does anyone know how long this can stay out of the fridge for shipping (if at all)?

    Thank you!

  157. Erin says

    Hello! I am excited to make this recipe! I have a few questions…
    1) I will be using GROUND ginger. Should I alter the recipe to 1T instead of 2T?
    2) I have a 14 month old who is currently fighting a virus. What dose should I give her and how often? You had mentioned to do 1/2t for babies, but I am not sure when that dosage increases to 1t and how often I can give it to her.
    My husband and I will be taking 1T 3-4 times/day until the bug is out of our house.
    Thank you! Love your website!

  158. Alesia Nickerson says

    I love this recipe. It really works. Last winter I gave it to my friend who had SCLC (Small Cell Lung Cancer) and it was still helpful.

    • Susan Colby says

      When you boil the water with the elderberries you are cooking them-think about it. If you boil potatoes for 45 min, they sure are cooked. And actually, I wouldn’t assume the dried ones HAVE been cooked; they could just be air-dried. That’s how I dry mine, but then when you use them you have to cook them cause they’re raw. You should definately pick all the stems and leaves out when you’re dealing with fresh elderberries, but you don’t have to be nervous dealing with fresh, just boil em and you’re set. They’re also anti-inflammatory, and taking this recipe daily helps my arthritis as well.

  159. Lisette says

    My son has nasal congestion and productive cough for a while now. I don’t think it’s necessarily a cold. Should this syrup help?

  160. Cindy M. says

    Thank you for this recipe! It states 1/2 tsp cloves or cloves powder. Are you saying 1/2 tsp of WHOLE cloves? Would I use a smaller amount if using ground clove?

    The reason I ask because I got a tummy ache and a headache (and very stimulated) after consuming it the first time so I’m wondering if I put too much ground clove. I might have taken too much because I didn’t measure it out so I probably consumed 2 TBSP.

    • says

      You could reduce the cloves by half or leave them out. The upset stomach may have been due to the naturally antibacterial properties of the elderberry though, as some people experience this, depending on gut bacteria.

      • Cindy M. says

        Can I just say YOU are AWESOME? Thank you for taking the time to share your wealth of knowledge and respond so quickly.

        I do have gut issues (probably leaky gut). However I’m still nursing my daughter and plan to for another year so I’m hoping to heal my gut after that BEFORE getting pregnant again.

        Thanks for helping out the community.

  161. Michelle says

    How many cups does a batch of the syrup make? I’m making this recipe to use in the Elderberry Gummies and wondering if I’ll have syrup left after making gummies.

  162. Amber says

    Two things…I just made this and it does have a more liquid consistency instead of syrupy. Is that the results most people got? Also, when it comes to the toxicity of the syrup I have read once it’s cooked down the toxicity leaves regardless. Is that right? I strained it and was careful to not get any in the syrup itself. Now I’m just paranoid :)

  163. anja says

    I grew up in Germany where Elderberry bushes grew everywhere! In the fall, we picked the berries and made our own syrup from fresh berries and sugar. to drink, we warmed it up and then added a splash of fresh orange juice – divine and of course no cold or flu.
    Thank you so much for sharing the recipe, I made my first batch as the “German” version today: I just used the berries, no spices, but I did replace the sugar from my version with honey. I guess, 1/2 cup honey will do for me next time though, but it is still so delightful! just like I remember it!
    Thank you for all you do! Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving!

  164. Linda says

    Hello, I was so excited to see and try this recipe as I had heard about the health/healing properties of elderberry syrup. I made this and followed the directions exactly. The first day we all took our respective doses, my 16 month old vomited for 8 hours. I got hit the next day. It could be total coincidence (my oldest and my husband did not get sick) – but needless to say I am hesitant for us to keep taking it. Now I have a huge batch of syrup and leftover elderberries in my freezer that we will probably not use. Just wondering if this happened to anyone else, as I know nausea/vomiting can be a side effect of elderberries. Thanks.

  165. Nicole says

    A friend made some of this and I didn’t know it needed to be refridgerated. It sat out on my counter for 2 days. Do I need to throw it away? :( Or is it ok?

  166. Jessica says

    Hi Wellness Mama! I made a batch of this about a month ago and didn’t put it in the fridge (partly because I was unaware it needed to be there) Now when I open the bottle it has pressure, like opening up a bottle of soda. Do you know what this means and should I dispose of it? Thanks!

      • Sara says

        What is it that causes the fermentation? I’ve been making elderberry syrup for my family for going on 3 years. Sometimes it last a month in the fridge (never more because we’ve usually used it all by then) and sometimes it lasts barely over a week before it gets fermented. I can’t figure out what the difference in process is between when it doesn’t get fermented and when it does though! I’d appreciate any advice. I sure am tired of spending the time to make a great syrup only to have it go bad after a week or so. Thank you for any insight!

  167. Paula T. says

    There are 3 adults in my household and we will all be taking this elderberry syrup. If I were to buy a larger package, say 1 lb. of elderberries, how should I store them? Should they be stored in the refrigerator in a ‘tupperware’ like container? Do they need to be kept in a refrigerator at all? Thank you for this recipe! I am ordering the berries online on Friday. I can’t find them anywhere in my little town.

  168. Kiersten says

    I was reading over the comments here and still feel like I don’t have a very clear answer. Could we use the leftover berries for smoothies, baking, etc? If so, could you store them in the freezer until they are ready to use? How do you know when the toxicity is gone?

  169. Cyndi says

    OK so I made this today and I followed the recipe exactly, except, I forgot to remove the elderberry right after taking it off the heat. I left it in the liquid until it was lukewarm and probably a little more on the colder side. I did strain it out and added the honey and the honey did stir in fine but I am wondering if me not removing it when I was supposed to is going to hurt the recipe any or make it too strong for us and cause any issues? Please let me know if anyone has the answer!

  170. Cyndi says

    Also I wanted to say I got all my herbs including the dried elderberries from mountain rose herbs. Should I leave them sealed in my cupboard or should I freeze the ones I’m not using? We will probably be making this once a month since we take elderberry every day especially in winter. Thanks again!

  171. Danielle says

    I am so glad i found this recipe! I just got finished making this for my daughter who just started sniffling! And who wants to pay $16 for the store bought kind?!

  172. Yoly says

    Definitely want to try this elderberry syrup :) I heard Organic Blackstrap Molasses was a great nutritional sweetener, but wonder if it’ll be okay to use in this recipe as a substitute for honey. I also wonder how it’ll taste…….

  173. hallie says

    How much of this recipe should I take at one time? and how much can i give my daughter who is almost 2?
    Thanks so much.

  174. Trooke says

    This syrup is positively delicious!! It tastes like liquid Apple pie & my 1-2 yr old Granddaughter loves the taste & needs no convincing to take it. I’m getting ready to make a batch with 100%pure NY maple syrup for my Granddaughter who’s under 1.

  175. colleen chamberlain says

    I use this for my two children(17 yrs old and 16 yrs old) and they love it because it clears up their colds almost immediately. They tell all their friends about it and I am always asked by the parents about it. It is the best cold buster ever. My one friend had a cold for weeks that she couldn’t get rid of. I made her a batch and within days the cold broke and she was feeling back to her old self. I am actually ordering a few plants to grow in my yard so I can have a supply anytime I want or need.

  176. Dr. Nancy Oots says

    I have a friend who touts this as “less than 10 dollars” per 16 oz. How nice! After sourcing elderberries (Mountain Rose is forever out of stock) and raw honey, plus mason jars…my total comes out to about $70…and then my time and labor…another $70…
    When I try to rate this recipe it will only let me give it 4 stars. Fair enough, given that I can not and will not rate FOR REAL until I’m out $140 to actually try it….

  177. Melissa says

    I am a nursing mom and am curious if you have an opinion about elderberry syrup and breastfeeding. Some sites caution against it, but I would like to boost my immune system this winter. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

    And thank you for all you do; our family are active followers of your advice, suggestions, recipes and practices.

  178. Meg Orispoli says

    I made the elderberry syrup using frontier elderberries. The honey sweetened it but the syrup has an overwhelmingly bitter taste. I have to be honest I have an electric stove I am not used to and after it came to a boil I turned it to low which looked like it wasn’t even simmering but left it like that stirring every 10 minutes. 40 mins later it tasted very weak so I turned it p to a boil again and then turned it down to a higher temp then before for another 30 minutes. I am wondering if maybe I over cooked it an that’s why it tastes so harsh?

  179. Jessica says

    Is this recipe similar to the kind you can buy at the store? I just bought some to try and my kids love the flavor. Just wondering if it will taste similar if I follow your directions?

    • Shanda says

      My kids like the taste of this one better than the ones we have tried from Whole Foods & Sprouts. Hope that helps. :-)

  180. Lisa says

    I am allergic to cinnamon, is there an alternative to cinnamon and cloves that I can use in this, I want it for whole family use and my hubby will not take cloves. Thanks so much.

  181. Nicole says

    I bought black elderberry syrup from the Gaia company – it says on the label not to take during pregnancy but have read contradicting information on the net. What do you think?

  182. pallavi says

    how much elderberry in mg will be in one dosage of this syrup ? because store bought one has some standardized dosage. I dont wanna over do it on my 1 year old.

  183. Patti Mc :-) says

    I made an elderberry tincture about 6-7 yrs ago, but I haven’t had to use it yet. I soaked my elderberries in vodka for about 6-8 weeks. I was going to add 8-10 drops into a glass of water & take it 3x’s a day. But, since I get my flu shot, I haven’t had to use it. But, I’m keeping it on hand…just in case. It should last indefinitely due to the alcohol content. I used 80 proof vodka.

  184. Tamara says

    To preserve Elderberry Syrup, I add 1 cup of Brandy plus 2 drops of Thyme essential oil. My Syrup has never gone moldy and it tastes even more delicious with the brandy. Might not be suitable for children. The Thyme EO also helps to preserve.

  185. Shanda says

    I made my very first batch of Elderberry Syrup today. It made a lot more than I expected. I am so happy to say that it is a total hit with my whole family!!! Very seldom does this happen, so I just had to let you know & say thank you for this great recipe! :-)

  186. Heidi Murdoch says

    FYI Anyone who needs to adhere to a low oxalate diet other spices can be substituted for cloves and cinnamon which are high oxalate. I use nutmeg, cardamom and mace.

  187. Felicia London says

    I know this is an old post, but what if you already have elderberry juice all canned up in quart jars in the root cellar? Would you still use 3 1/2 cups of that to make the syrup, or would it be less? Or would there be any other changes to the recipe? Sorry for asking, but I really would like to make my own syrup!

  188. Allyson Bossie says

    Is this good to take WHILE still nauseated or to recover/prevent. I just got my elderberries yesterday, made my first batch (DELICIOUS) but now I have a sick 5 year old. Not sure if to give now or wait

  189. Melissa Waldrop says

    I just have to tell you about my elderberry syrup experience…

    For TWENTY YEARS I have gotten a sinus infection every, single December. Every year! Until this year. The difference has to be the elderberry syrup I started taking consistently in November. It’s the only real change I’ve made this winter.

    And not only did I not get the annual sinus infection, my family has been so much healthier this winter. The last couple of years, we have literally been sick from November – March. Strep, flu, colds, etc. This year, my 7 year old got the flu, but was over it completely in 48 hours. I got a sinus infection from an allergic reaction a couple weeks ago, but got over it without any antibiotics in about 7 days. And my husband hasn’t had really any illnesses to speak of – has felt a bit puny for a day here and there, but that’s all.

    Elderberries are most def something we will always keep on hand. And elderberry syrup is a daily vitamin for us now. I’m a believer for sure!!!

  190. Kelly says

    I have no idea if anyone else has suggested this yet, but if you are Instant Pot lovers, like me, you can make this in your IP and it’s perfect! I use 4 cups water, but otherwise it is the same. Manual mode for 15 minutes. Still strain and add honey when just over room temperature. I also add a healthy dash of ACV. Yum!!

  191. Kelly H says

    I noticed you changed your Elderberries from Mountain Rose Herbs to a Amazon preference. Is there a reason why you changed your preference of purchase? Is the Amazon option organic?

    • says

      The amazon option is organic. I prefer Mountain Rose Herbs but they are out of stock and I was getting a lot of complaints and questions so I temporarily changed the link so people would have at least one option…

  192. Jenn says

    Please advise!!!! What if you were to leave this syrup unregrigerated and a fermentation starts? It has become fizzy…Is this okay or harmful in anyway? Does it absolutely need refrigeration or is that just to preserve it longer?

  193. Angela says

    Is the regular cinnamon (Simply Organic) spice I use to cook with the same thing as cinnamon powder? I am having a hard time finding the “powder” at Whole Foods. Also, is this recipe safe for my 1 year old?

  194. Hilary says

    If I get the bag of elderberries, how long will those last? If frozen, will they keep over a couple of winters? Thanks for the recipe!

  195. Mere says

    Here’s my report on the effectiveness of black elderberry syrup (juice or extract): When I get a cold or flu, it hits me hard. I’m in bed for 3 days minimum, off work for at least a week and then spend two or three months overcoming the related cough. Whenever the CDC doesn’t get the flu vaccination compounded correctly (like this year – 23% effectiveness) I catch every virus coming down the pike. But this year my black elderberries produced their first crop and I concentrated the juice and froze it in small cakes, using the spices listed in this recipe and reconstituting it later with water and adding stevia to sweeten. (It ended up more as a juice than a syrup.) I downed two ounces a day. Then I caught a bug. I upped my dosage to 2 oz. every three or four hours and I swear it was a downright miracle! My symptoms were so mild – which has NEVER happened to me – that I didn’t even miss a day of work and no residual coughing at all. I think some people become nauseated when ingesting black elderberry (hence the ginger?) but I never had a problem with it. Highly recommend planting and using black elderberry! And this recipe is tasty to boot!

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