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More of a Visual Person?+−
- What Does Elderberry Syrup Look/Taste Like?
- How Long Does Elderberry Syrup Last in the Fridge?
- Can I Harvest My Own Elderberries?
- Can Elderberry Cause Cytokine Storm?
- Where is the Best Place to Order Elderberries?
- What is Elderberry Syrup Used For?
- How Much Elderberry Syrup Should You Take Daily?
- Ingredient Substitutions
- Is There a Substitute For Honey in Elderberry Syrup?
- Can I Use Powdered Elderberries?
- Can the Elderberries Be Reused?
Elderberries are one of my most used go-to remedies for cooler months. The dried berries of the Sambucus nigra plant are naturally high in immune-boosting compounds that help with colds and flu. They can be used to make a variety of remedies, and my favorite is this simple elderberry syrup.
Elderberry: A Natural Remedy for Colds and Flu?
There’s certainly a time and a place for conventional medicine and doctor visits. Unfortunately, there isn’t much conventional medicine can do for the common cold or even a mild case of the flu.
If you or your child has ever had a rough case of the common cold or the flu, you know how miserable it can be. Especially for moms. It’s awful to see your children feeling so bad and not be able to fix it. Thankfully, nature provides us with remedies that can help us avoid minor illnesses. And help shorten the duration if we do get them.
Research shows black elderberries (Sambucus nigra) can help us avoid these illnesses. They can even help speed recovery time in those who already have them. I’ve also found elderberries offer some relief from discomfort during minor illnesses.
Benefits of Elderberry
Elderberries naturally have vitamins A, B, and C and stimulate the immune system. Israeli researchers found elderberries pack a punch when it comes to colds and flu. Their complex sugars are clinically shown to help support the immune system. It can cut recovery time in half or better!
Dr. Madeleine Mumcuoglu, of Hadassah-Hebrew University in Israel found that elderberry disarms the enzyme viruses use to penetrate healthy cells in the lining of the nose and throat. Taken before infection, it prevents infection. Taken after infection, it prevents spread of the virus through the respiratory tract. In a clinical trial, 20% of study subjects reported significant improvement within 24 hours, 70% by 48 hours, and 90% claimed complete cure in three days. In contrast, subjects receiving the placebo required 6 days to recover.
Elderberry Syrup: Easy Way to Get the Benefits
Elderberry syrup provides the concentrated immune-supporting benefits of black elderberries. Plus it tastes great! My recipe uses homemade elderberry concentrate with synergistic herbs like cinnamon and ginger. Plus raw honey for an extra immune boost. If you can’t/don’t use honey, see the substitution suggestions below the recipe.
Why Make Your Own?
For one, you’ll save a lot of money!
Several natural elderberry syrups are available at health food stores or online. But usually for around $15 or more for 4-8 ounces. This recipe makes 16 ounces for way less and kids love the taste! You can also fully customize this recipe based on your needs and flavor preferences.
Don’t have any dried elderberries on hand? There are some great pre-made elderberry gummies and elderberry syrup that work just as well. But these supplements do cost more. Also, if you have fresh berries or frozen elderberries on hand, just use double the amount in the recipe.
Making your own elderberry syrup is easy with this recipe!
Elderberry Syrup Recipe
- 3½ cups water
- ⅔ cup dried elderberries (or 1 1/3 cups fresh or frozen)
- 2 TBSP ginger (grated)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- 1 cup raw honey
- Pour the water into a medium saucepan and add the elderberries, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves.
- Bring to a boil and then uncover and reduce to a simmer for about 30 to 45 minutes until the liquid has reduced by almost half.
- Remove from heat and let cool until it's lukewarm.
- Mash the berries carefully using a spoon or other flat utensil.
- Pour through a strainer or cheesecloth into a glass jar or bowl. Discard the elderberries.
- When the liquid is no longer hot, add the cup of honey and stir well.
- When the honey is well mixed into the elderberry mixture, pour the syrup into a mason jar or glass bottle of some kind.
- 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.
More of a Visual Person?
Here is my one-minute tutorial video for how to make elderberry syrup:
What Does Elderberry Syrup Look/Taste Like?
I’ve found that elderberry on its own tastes a little sour, kind of like grape juice. The honey turns it into a sweet and tasty syrup though. Unlike some store bought versions, or syrups made with sugar, this one is thinner. So don’t be surprised if your elderberry syrup seems more liquid like!
How Long Does Elderberry Syrup Last in the Fridge?
The short answer is it really depends. I’ve found that placing the finished syrup in a mason canning jar while it is still warm creates an air-tight seal. This allows it to last much longer in the fridge, up to several months. As a general rule, it lasts about two weeks in the fridge and I typically freeze whatever I won’t use during that time. You can also freeze some in an ice-cube tray and defrost small amounts when needed.
You can also can the elderberry juice concentrate or the finished syrup. This greatly extends the shelf life.
Can I Harvest My Own Elderberries?
You can, and in fact, you can even grow your own elderberry bush. But it’s important to make sure you’re growing the correct plant. I also recommend working with a local herbalist to find/harvest fresh elderberries. Make sure to only harvest the berries. The stems and leaves are toxic.
Can Elderberry Cause Cytokine Storm?
According to Dr. Elisa Song, a Cytokine Storm is when the immune system overreacts and goes haywire. There is some concern that elderberry might increase the risk of this, especially with certain novel viruses. In short, the evidence right now points to focusing on Vitamin C, Vitamin D levels, sleep and a clean diet. Elderberry’s effects are new and unknown, but I personally think this is a balanced perspective…
From Dr. Song:
“While it’s true that some people have sadly died from influenza and other infections due to a “cytokine storm,” please remember that this is a RARE occurrence and that the media highlights the few and very sad cases of people who die from influenza (some due to cytokine storm, some not), and of course doesn’t highlight the 1000s of people who get influenza every year and do not die, including the many who have zero or very mild symptoms.
While we don’t understand the exact pathophysiology of the cytokine storm, we know it’s NOT just a problem of immune system OVERREACTION, it’s also a problem of immune system UNDERREACTION. The parts of the immune system that create inflammation are in overdrive, and the parts of the immune system that are supposed to REGULATE and bring this inflammation back to equilibrium is not active enough. Remember – INFLAMMATION is NOT always bad.. Inflammation is our body’s normal response to infection and stress. We need inflammation to heal. But inflammation that goes unregulated is the REAL problem. The cytokine storm involves dysregulation between PRO-inflammatory cytokines, ANTI-inflammatory cytokines, and REGULATORY cytokines.
And playing into this is a lack of antioxidants in most of our diets (think colorful fruits and vegetables), Vitamins A, C, E, and glutathione to mop up those free radicals that are produced when we’re sick with any infection. This is similar to what occurs in chronic inflammatory conditions and autoimmune illnesses, but not as dramatically as what has been coined the “cytokine storm.”
Do I think that elderberry can trigger or make a cytokine storm more likely when you have influenza? I really don’t. The centuries of use of elderberry and data on its activity against the influenza virus, its immunoprotective and antioxidant effects leave me with very little concern that its “immunostimulatory effects” will cause your immune system to go haywire. Elderberry has been shown to increase BOTH PRO-inflammatory cytokines and ANTI-inflammatory cytokines, and REDUCE oxidative stress (oxidative stress = free radicals) and may help to REGULATE inflammatory disease like autoimmunity. There have not been case reports of elderberry-induced cytokine storms, and I have not stopped using elderberry for my kids or my patients, even with autoimmune disease. But as with anything, it’s always best to check with your naturopathic or functional medicine doctor!”
One study from 2021 looks at Elderberry’s effect on cytokines. The study authors found no evidence of a link between elderberry and cytokine storms. And there was some evidence elderberry may help reduce inflammation. They also reported on a small study that found elderberry sometimes worked as well as the anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac.
Where is the Best Place to Order Elderberries?
We don’t have a local source, so I’ve always ordered in bulk from an online source. (Order early because they always run out come Fall!) You can get wildcrafted or organic elderberries here.
What is Elderberry Syrup Used For?
Our family uses it as a preventative remedy by taking 1/2 to 1 teaspoon a day during peak cold and flu season. If we get hit with a minor illness, we double or triple that dose until we feel better. Elderberry is commonly used for immune support and can be used year round as needed for its health benefits.
The unique and complex flavor of elderberries also makes this syrup a great ingredient in certain recipes. I’ve made an elderberry panna cotta by substituting elderberry syrup for the sweetener. It would also make a yummy topping for homemade ice cream.
How Much Elderberry Syrup Should You Take Daily?
This is really a question for an herbalist or natural healthcare provider. Personally, I take 1 teaspoon a day as an adult and give half of this to my kids. During illness, I double or triple this amount.
I prefer to use raw, local honey when possible, but raw honey from the store will also work. I also use fresh ginger here, but you could use powdered if that’s what you have (just reduce the amount to 1/2 tsp). And cinnamon sticks and whole cloves could be substituted for the powdered herbs.
Some elderberry recipes add herbs like rosehips, echinacea, star anise, or even lemon juice. There are lots of options, but I’ve found the recipe above to be simple yet effective.
Is There a Substitute For Honey in Elderberry Syrup?
Some people prefer not to use a sweetener. Honey also isn’t recommended for babies under 1-2 years old. Some easy substitutes are:
- Use maple syrup or nutrient-rich molasses in place of the honey.
- Omit the sweetener altogether (this will make elderberry juice which will need to be consumed much more quickly).
- Make an elderberry tincture for adults. Mix the concentrated elderberry syrup with equal parts food-grade alcohol like vodka or brandy instead of sweetener. This obviously wouldn’t be for kids but is a sweetener-free elderberry extract option for adults.
Can I Use Powdered Elderberries?
Yes, I’ve used powdered elderberries when whole elderberries weren’t available. Just use about 1/2 cup in this recipe instead of 2/3 cup.
Can the Elderberries Be Reused?
I don’t recommend reusing them. Ideally, the boiling/mashing process removes much of the nutrients from the berries. Also, there’s some evidence that consuming large amounts of whole berries can be problematic.
This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Scott Soerries, MD, Family Physician, and Medical Director of SteadyMD. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.
Ever taken elderberry? Will you try this recipe? What natural ways do you use to ward off illness?
- Hawkins, J., Baker, C., Cherry, L., & Dunne, E. (2019). Black elderberry (Sambucus nigra) supplementation effectively treats upper respiratory symptoms: A meta-analysis of randomized, controlled clinical trials. Complementary therapies in medicine, 42, 361–365.
- Wieland, L. S., Piechotta, V., Feinberg, T., Ludeman, E., Hutton, B., Kanji, S., Seely, D., & Garritty, C. (2021). Elderberry for prevention and treatment of viral respiratory illnesses: a systematic review. BMC complementary medicine and therapies, 21(1), 112.
Discussion (1565 Comments)
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!
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.
Hi! Just wondering if the syrup portion can be made ahead of time, approximately 6-7 hours prior to bottling, without ill effects?
Can I use powdered ginger in place of the fresh grated ginger?
For sure! I actually think her old recipe before this post was updated may have called for it ground. I use 1/2 tsp. And it’s delicious. Been making it that way for years
Are you and your family still taking elderberry syrup with the current Covid-19 going around? Thank you Katie ?
I’ve always made this recipe on the stove and it turns out wonderfully, very delicious. Way better than store bought by far:) I’ve started to make it in the pressure cooker but it always turns out watery and makes 3 1/4 c of liquid. I don’t know if that’s how it should be? The directions for the pressure cooker are a little limited. Am I supposed to vent the entire time it cooks? Or natural release? Or quick release? I just want to make sure I’m making it potent enough as that is the whole point of making it.
Why does my elderberry suryp taste bitter? I added honey and its sweet but also bitter. How can i fix this?
This is a good recipe! I added a lemon and orange squeezed and halves thrown in to brighten it and it is delicious!
This recipe is giving me 24 ounces but it says it makes 16 ounces . Does that mean it’s not potent enough ? What a I doing wrong ?
It happened the same to me! So bitter!
You’re supposed to boil it down until there’s less liquid.
Can the recipe be doubled or tripled to make more.
The first batch I made also came out bitter. I tasted it around 30 mins and thought it was good, but at 45 mins the flavor completely changed to bitterness. I didn’t try to salvage that batch. I checked the directions on my bag of elderberries (the one she recommended) and it said to steep for 3-5 ins. So I felt safe not having to boil it for so long. I reduced the amount of water to 3 cups and boiled for 30 mins. It doesn’t taste good until you add the honey. Best of luck!
If you boil elderberries they will turn bitter. Instead do a summer for a longer period of time. I simmer mine for 45 mins or so and it reduced by half in that time.
The 3-5 minutes is for making a tea not the syrup. I just made her recipe, and it’s perfect! I simmered it covered for about an hour and used fresh ginger. The recipe made 2 cups for me.
What can I use to substitute ginger, cinnamon and cloves? I am allergic to these ingredients.
Is it supposed to be a bit runny? I did it in the instant pot and have more of a liquid
The same thing happened to me. Mine yielded 4 cups.
So I didn’t read the directions properly and didn’t mash them in the pot before straining them and I didn’t strain or mash them in until it was cooled off. Is this still safe to consume? I also didn’t add honey until it was cooler than Luke warm and the berries didn’t turn to very mushy they were kind of hard still. Safe to consume?
Breannah, I was going to say the same thing. The IP recipe doesn’t reduce it any and I doubled it, so I got 2 quarts! I just doubled the dosage since it is thinner.
Has anybody made theirs in the instant pot.. I tried this yesterday and its very liquid. Any tips to thicken without reducing it all down? Gelatin… Arrowroot?
I know for rice in the instant pot that the liquid is reduced because it doesn’t evaporate like on the stove. I imagine it would be the same for other recipes, but I don’t know by how much.
Can a Crock pot be used as well?
Could blavkberries oe blueberries be used instead ?
No, it won’t have the same affect…
If you double or triple the recipe in instant pot do you still cook for same time or longer per batch?
The reason you use elder is because it has healing properties whereas the other berries do not
It will make a syrup but not have the health benefits of elderberry.
When you use the instapot it doesn’t mention anything about mashing the berries and straining them in your recipe above. Do you still need to do that?
Yes, Follow the same instructions as the stovetop for straining.
Can you add tumeric like your tea recipe? How much would you add?
I used maple syrup instead of honey, and did the instantpot version. I completely forgot to wait to add the maple syrup until after it had cooled, is it totally unusable now? ?????
Can I use ginger powder instead of fresh? If so how much?
I have made this recipe for a few years now and love it. Although the last couple years Ive done it in the instant pot. I have always simmered it after releasing pressure to reduce it yet, since you don’t loose a lot of liquid in the IP verses stove top. Just curious why you don’t include that step in the instant pot version. Thank you.
How long does the syrup keep? How do you store?
Mine keep well in the fridge for 2-3weeks. If I double my batch I freeze 1/2 of it.
One batch last my family of 4 2 weeks in the fridge when using it preventively.
I made the syrup a few weeks back and put it in the fridge and we have been taking them almost daily. Yesterday it seemed to be thicker and looks slightly chunky. Does that mean it’s moldy or gone bad?
Could daily consumption, or prolonged consumption, adversely affect immune function?
Stephanie, mine is like that too. What did you decide? Mine tastes fine, but is thicker than originally, and gloppy.
How would I use whole cloves instead of ground?
I added the honey before boil in error! (Im horrible at reading all the way through) is it ruined??
Elderberries have a taste completely of their own. It is a pleasant taste when sweetened but can be quite bitter naturally. My family has used them to make the best jelly I’ve ever had. You can’t go into it thinking it is going to taste like something familiar but I assure you it is delicious when done correctly. The taste is impossible for me to explain, it’s sort of floral, sort of bitter…
What is the dosage for the tincture, please? Thanks for including that alternative!!!
This recipe tastes delicious! I do have a question about reducing the liquid-is there a reason the instructions call to cover and then simmer? I thought you are supposed to leave uncovered when reducing liquid as to allow the evaporation. I had to simmer a longer than an hour to reduce by half so just curious as to the reason for leaving it covered. Thanks!!
Hi! I make elderberry syrup all the time and my kids don’t like it like I do. For them, I put a tsp in a medicine cup then fill the rest with grape juice. It masks the flavor and they will take it. I do add honey to mine but the berries are still a bit bitter.
My children did not like it with 1c honey so I reduced the honey to 1/3 and it’s perfect for all of us!
Mercedes L Davis
I just made this for the first time, it took about double the time to reduce for me but turned out fine. I used frozen berries and local honey and I think it tastes good. Very sweet, some berry flavor. Hard to explain. My 2 and 6 year old liked it! Does anyone have any experience as to how long it lasts in the fridge? This recipe says only 2 weeks and some other recipes say 3 months.
I just made this but did not realize that the berries and water had not boiled down enough…after adding in the cup of honey my “syrup” is almost 24 ounces…will this make any difference?
I’m wondering this too! I yielding approx 16 ounces!
Did you ever get a reply. Mine did not boil/simmer “enough” I guess. I cooked for 45 min and ended up with a lot of liquid. Did you ever get an answer? Is it ok to still give my child this or should I chuck it and start over?
Hi I made the instant pot version and twice now it has congealed in the fridge almost like jelly. Does this mean it is bad? Also am I doing something wrong that this keeps happening?
I boil the mixture with a lid on, so it doesnt reduce as much, and add the 1 cup of honey when done cooking and cooled. It equals about 1 quart. I freeze half and keep half in the fridge because otherwise it molds within a couple months (6-8 weeks). I think it tastes like currents. My kids both take it willingly when I give it to them. My sister in law makes gummies with it for her kids.
Me too! I get a full quart by making it this way in my pressure cooker!
Why didn’t you increase the elderberries when increasing the other amounts when making larger quantities of the syrup
Ours tends to be a little runny and it is just fine.
Mine never went bad which I just finished off my very first batch a year ago. I froze half the batch and kept the other half in the refrigerator.
I froze half the batch, what’s the best way to thaw it? Just put it in the fridge?
I’d like to know the same!
Can I give my children a teaspoon of elderberry syrup every day during the cold/flu season? Ages 6 and 8.
I do! Mine are 10 & 5
Can I just use the elderberries, cinnamon and honey? Will the medicinal effects be the same? Do you actually need to add anything to the elderberries for the medicinal effects to be more or less? I have never made this and only have the one bag of 2/3 cup dried elderberries. Lol. I don’t want to fail. Thanks for the insight.
ginger would help a little ~ a slice of lemon ~~ but your ingredients are what matter. Simmer it down, don’t boil. since people are complaining about the amount of honey, just start with 1/3 cup (not enough!) and add up to the cup until you like it. I don’t know why everyone is having problem with this. if you end up with more..just take more! people are complaining about the taste – TOUGH. this is actual medicine ~ take it. I love the taste!
I’ve had mine in the fridge for a year and it still tastes fine. Almost gone, so I’m making another batch. I add lemon slices to mine. I think it tastes a bit like blueberry pancake syrup when it’s done correctly. You don’t want a rolling boil, just a simmer, and it likely will take quite a bit longer than 45 minutes to reduce, in my experience. Sometimes it turns out thinner, but I’m not really sure why.
To me, it tastes like blackberry and raspberry juice mixed. I also added cinnamon, echinacea and goji berries. This time I will add just cinnamon and ginger. I don’t think you need to add anything for the benefits but I like the different flavors. I understand it can last up to 6 months in the fridge but I wonder if the “up to” refers to the added ingredients because elderberry syrup made with honey lasts a really long time.
Hi there, I’ve been using your recipe and love it! We just decided to try frozen berries – and I just want to clarify the ratio. It automatically shows the 2 cup recipe as 1 1/3 cup frozen. However when I adjust it for multiple different ratios (down to 1 cup, all the way to the maximum size recipe), it still shows as 1 1/3 cup frozen. I just want to make sure I’m adjusting correctly off of an original recipe calling for 1 1/3 frozen. Any help you could be I would appreciate it, thanks!
Any time you switch to frozen berries to replace the dried you will want to use a recipe that calls for fresh berries. Frozen berries equate more closely to fresh than to dried and therefore you should be using a bit more, not less. So 2/3 cup dried berries should be changed to around 1 cup frozen (or fresh). To be honest, I haven’t found a source for fresh berries and I like the results of using dried so much that I haven’t tried a batch using frozen. I will definitely have to give that a try.
It will make a syrup but not have the health benefits of elderberry.
There is a spicy taste that turns my son off from having it. I think I will omit the ginger this time and see how it tastes.
If it seems spicy it probably is the ginger, but you could also reduce the cinnamon a little.
Mine taste very honey-y.. anyone else?
Is this safe during pregnancy?
So I made some syrup. I had 1.5 cups of dried berries, a little more than 6 cups of water. Boiled then simmered for 45 min. I still ended up with 4 cups of liquid. I already added my honey and lemon but I’m afraid that I didnt reduce it enough and now its unsafe for my kids. Do you think it’s ok to take it? Or should I trash it and redo it?
Hello! Is the recipe supposed to say “simmer covered”? Or uncovered? Thought it might be a mistake cause usually to reduce liquid you need to have it uncovered so the water can evaporate. I was also wondering if the high heat of the instant pot would destroy the therapeutic properties of the berries? I was reading a post on mountain rose herbs about this and thought I’d double check with you. Thanks!
Hey! What’s the already made syrup ratio vs boiling the berries for the popsicles? Thanks!
So I made this in the instant pot per your directions. As I thought might happen, it made 2x as much as you said it makes in the instant pot you don’t lose any water. Can you tell me
How much water I should use when using the instant pot?
The opposite happen to me, all the water evaporated and after smashing the berries, I yielded like a 1/2 cup of syrup! That’s pretty wasteful! I followed the directions but the venting seemed to have taken forever and evaporated it all.
A different recipe I have says to add water back in to the amt expected (1/2 of the original liquid. What you’ve done is make a SERIOUS concentrate, that’s all).
I made it on the stove and ended with double what I was expecting. I even let it simmer for twice as long!
I’d like to know the same!Same here. I took the lid off after an hour and then it evaporated down.
Made this in the Instapot and I didn’t lose any liquid. Does that mean it isn’t as potent?
How much of the tincture would an adult take?
Hi! Can’t wait to try this recipe!!
I was wondering if you can/how to make this in a gummy form. And how would the dosing change for adult and child if it were in gummy form?
Thank you ?
I wasn’t paying attention and just followed the directions without thinking using the Instant Pot. I don’t think it reduced as it should have. Did you ever get an answer?
Instant Pot version: I found similar recipe online that adds an extra step after it is the pressure cooker natural release–boil in “saute” mode until reduced by 1/2.
I also followed this instant pot recipe and the syrup tastes less potent.
I followed it too and within minutes my instant pot said HOT even on saute low setting. I got scared and cancelled and did on stove. Did anyone else hVe it go to hot setting?
Also I keep seeing online Elderberry not for adolescents under 18. But I have always used with my kids. Since when do they say this?
it tastes awesome! smooth and sweet. I use this recipe for my family!
That’s the first thing I noticed: the smell.. I do not know what straight-up elderberries taste like but I’m only assuming that they may not taste so great..I think that the cinnamon, honey and other ingredients make it palatable ?BUT, it’s now something that I definitely don’t want to ever be without…
Hi! We have been giving our 2 almost 3 year old twins elderberry you get from the store of course. If we make this is the dosing for kids for their age range? Thank you.
My syrup was thin day 1 but day 3 it seems to be taking on a jelly like thickness in the fridge…I cooked it longer…could that be why and is it getting spoiled if its this thick…please help. Dont want ro get sick
I have been canning my own elderberry juice, drink ( from second press) , jam and elderberry pie filling for many years , (we grow our own) and it has a taste similar to blueberries and black raspberries mixed together. We simply freeze our cleaned berries, press and heat pure juice to 191 degrees then jar up and process
Our entire family takes it and we love it. It definitely has a unique flavor but it tastes surprisingly good. The spices and honey help with that. I like more of a cinnamon flavor than the ground cloves, so when I make next time, I will add more cinnamon spice and less clove. I think you can mess around with the flavoring a bit if you prefer. My kids remind me to take it everyday, so it has to taste good to them 🙂
Using molasses was mentioned in this thread, that might be an option for you. Molasses is full of nutrients and a good source of iron. I might try that myself. Good luck.
I had a question I am doing low carb and would love to make this syrup but the honey has too many carbs for me. Is there anything else that would be used in place of the honey.
Using molasses was mentioned in this thread, that might be an option for you. Molasses is full of nutrients and a good source of iron. I might try that myself. Good luck.
I made this for my mum doing keto and used sweetener. Just added it gradually to taste.
Since coming across this recipe and using it for the last 6 years I have been sick only a few times. My husband was the only one at his work that didn’t get sick. This recipe has been shared with several friends and family who love it.
Not so much like blueberries, more like raisins. I buy fried blueberries from amazon. Haven’t tried fresh blueberries even though they grow wild here in oregon. I made the syrup. With cognac which your kids prob woul dnt like or need
I have unopened elderberries I bought from Amazon about six months ago. I’ve kept them inside of a Ziploc bag in a dark place in my cabinet. Do you think this would still be OK to use? They are frontier organics from Amazon
The taste is amazing! Everyone I’ve made it for (and I’ve made it for many people, including my mom who is probably the biggest skeptic of natural remedies I know) has told me they have a hard time not guzzling the entire jar at one time.
You’ll love the taste!
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.
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.
I love elderberry syrup, however I don’t use it anymore after being diagnosed with 2 autoimmune diseases; MS and Hashimoto’s. Stimulating the immune system can cause an autoimmune flare, so it’s best to avoid or use very sparingly. I’m still recovering from my last MS flare after 2 years. At the time I was taking the recommended dose when first presenting with a cold, which is higher than the preventative dose. My neurologist advised me to avoid elderberry and echinacea.
I’m sorry but can you explain the rationale behind this theory? So what you are saying is that you should suppress your body’s natural ability to heal? Kind of like how immunosuppressants destroy your immune system and better yet the underlying pathogens replicate into areas of our bodies that will eventually kill us? This theory is horrific and wrong!
Elderberry syrup is not going to cause an overactive immune system and if it helps your body then that should be your focus. I would highly encourage you to get to a functional Dr immediately who will find the cause of your illness. Trust me when I say there is ALWAYS an infection connection for autoimmune diagnosis. Time to educate yourself as you are the only advocate who can help you!
It is believed to be caused or triggered by a virus, but there is no definite proof of that link. And in the case of MS, it doesn’t matter what caused it, only how to manage the disease.
Your answer was a bit too one size fits all. But I agree boosting the immune system only makes logical sense.
Rochelle, I understand your passion for healthy living, but I do not understand or condone your condescending reply that this woman needs a “functional doctor” to diagnose her illness.
I am an Adult ICU Nurse Practitioner with 18 years of experience.
First. Immunosuppressants do NOT “destroy” your immune system. They SUPPRESS your immune system so that your inherent immune response does not go after and kill important things like….oh….a kidney, liver, lung or heart transplant. Those tissues are seen as foreign invaders and your immune system will reject them. Thus, immunosuppresants. if a lung or heart transplant patient were to take themselves off or even miss doses, the inherent immune system kicks right back in and begins killing/rejecting the new organ.
Second. Stimulating the immune system in an autoimmune disease is PRECISELY what you DO NOT want.
Autoimmune means that your body is overproducing its ability to attack and kill things that it “sees” as dangerous. This can and does include the body’s own healthy tissue. The last thing you want in an overactive immune system….is to stimulate it more.
Please educate YOURSELF. you are not informed and not everything natural is good. Considering the underlying health ussues from and PROPER medical standpoint is the only way that PROPER health regimens are developed.
There is no one size fits all. The fact that you browbeat this poster for being concerned aboutthe effects that this may have on her DIAGNOSED BY A PHYSICIAN conditions, shows that it is you that needs to step back from dispensing medical advice.
I would be grateful for any references to peer reviewed articles that have investigated the effects of elderberry on people with auto-immune conditions.
LOL Ohhhh Rochelle,
Sadly you are seeing how hard it is to get people to use their own common sense rather than trusting a doctor as a God. Also sometimes they will just react because you had the audacity to tell them the truth and HURT THEIR FEELINGS lol so you must do it more…gently Nah, keep doing what you are doing!
awww..my name is Dee Dee too and I also have MS…I take both eldeberry and echineacea but only when I feel a cold coming on…I also take black seed oil…I acutally just mix them together. I hadn’t had any problems behind it. So far so good.
I accidentally added the honey before rather than after. Any issues with that?
I’m just scrolling through because I’ve done exactly the same thing!
So annoyed with myself as I quadrupled the quantities too…
if you see this can you tell me how yours turned out, please?
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.
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!
Can I add apple cider vinegar to this recipe
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”.
Just made it! will start feeding it to everyone tomorrow 🙂
Can this be canned to extend shelf life ? We’re blessed with a flourishing elderberry bush.
You can freeze the berries. Avoid stems and leaves.
As a former bee keeper, I would not can the syrup. The heat in the canning process would destroy the very properties in the honey that you are using the honey for. That is why you buy “raw” honey . . . it has not been processed (heated) and still holds the beneficiary properties that promotes digestive health. It is antibacterial, anti-viral and has anti-fungal properties. Raw honey will never go bad because bacteria cannot survive in honey. It may crystalize, but can be reconstituted by placing the unlidded jar in a pot of very warm, not hot water and it will return to it’s original state.
My syrup is runny. Does that mean I need to throw it out? I’ve tasted it and I love the taste but with it being runny I’m afraid to give it to my 4 yr old grandson. Plus I ended up with almost a quart. I boiled it for 53 minutes.
This recipe is wrong in a lot of ways. It should be simmered uncovered. I recommend using a different recipe.
Is this safe to use while breastfeeding? What about pregnancy? And how old does a child need to be to use it?
My daughters pediatrician actually recommends using this while breast feeding to Medicare baby.
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!
I know this is an old post but your info is wrong about ginger. Ginger is used especially during pregnancy to prevent or cure nausea and is recommended by obstetricians and midwives.
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?
You can use maple syrup to sweeten instead of honey until baby is one year old. Grade B 100% pure maple syrup has lots of minerals also 🙂
What would be the dosage amount for children under 1 with elderberry syrup made with Maple Syrup? Would it be 1/2 – 1 tsp or would still be slightly less? Maybe 1/4 – 1/2 tsp?
Katie - Wellness Mama
I give my kids about 1/2 tsp at that age.
Botulism is killed by cooking, so if you are concerned about giving it to an infant, just heat it to boiling first.
No, please don’t rely on boiling, those spores are heat resistant! just give it straight or with other sweeteners, babies don’t have a preference for sweet yet.
Hello, so I just harvested some elderberries and I am going to freeze the juice for future use. How much elderberry juice would I need for this recipe. The juice is 1 cup berries to 1 cup juice if that helps. Thanks!
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?
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!
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!!
Crystal Marie Raphael
Try Frugally sustainable and DIY Naturals those are my two favorites though I may have to add Wellness mama after this wonderful recipe!
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.
You sound like me… What else can I read to help stay away from doctor offices an heal naturally. I got the book “Be You Own Doctor” by Rachel Weaver M.H… It is WONDERFUL. I like Wellness Mama because nice to be able to ask questions. I ordered it from Natures Warehouse.
Hi! I just tried your elderberry syrup recipe using the instant pot. Your article says that the recipe yields 16 oz. Using the instant pot I got a full quart after adding the honey. Does this sound right or should it be boiled down using the saute function?
Also, what reactions are possible if the berries were not cooked enough?
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!
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.
What’s the best bottle to use to store elderberry syrup in? So many choices out there! Thanks all!
How do you use chia seeds?
I add an ounce of Everclear to a quart jar to help preserve it. Good stuff!
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?
Olive leaf works pretty well too… though I like this one because it tastes good 🙂 (and my kids love it, which is another plus)
You use the flowers(dried) to make tincture, not the berries. And if you ever make tincture with anything fresh you need to use everclear, very high proof 95% alcohol.
How many ounces of elderberries do you think is in 2/3 cup? The link you provided sells in ounces.
4 ounces should be plenty for this recipe.
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!!
Katie - Wellness Mama
It won’t be nearly as thick as store bought options but it will still be effective 🙂
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?
I can’t find the elderberry anywhere here all they sell is the extract how much of the extract do i use?
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.
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.
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?
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.
layla, do you know would honey also affect an unborn child?
Mountain rose herbs has dried elderberries… I just saw them on there yesterday.
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!
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 🙂
Just want to say that elderberry plants are reputed to be easy to propagate. I live in TN and they grow wild here. I didn’t even know they were growing on my property until a friend pointed them out! I harvested a bunch a couple years ago. I will say this, the berries are super small and are tedious to pick off the stems……BUT the syrup is worth it’s weight in gold! Good luck with growing some! here’s a good link..http://www.mommypotamus.com/how-to-grow-elderberries-from-cuttings/
If you put your berries ina paper bag, stick it in the freezer til frozen. Take bag out and shake. Berries come off stems..
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!
i have always read 1 year. i haven’t given it to my 18 month old yet but curious where you getting the 2 years?
I’m a beekeeper and that safety zone is no honey for children less than 1 year old.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that you do not give honey to a baby younger than 12 months. (Honey is safe for children 1 year and older.)
4 ounces is plenty. My health food store sells it by the 1/4 pound and it measures right at one cup.
Was curious how many fresh berries I should use for one recipe? Is the 2/3 cup fresh berries or dried? You maybe answered that for someone already and I missed it.
I had the same question but don’t think I got a response!
I doubled the recipe (for 32 oz) and cooked for an hour. After straining, I ended up with 33 oz before adding the honey. Is that okay? Like others, just want to ensure the berries cooked long enough. Will 1 1/2 cups of honey be enough to self preserve?
Love your site!
It still should. For bigger batches, I often freeze part of the batch until I’m ready to use it, just to make sure.
Katie, thanks so much! Next time, I’d like to make with actual cloves, cinnamon sticks and raw ginger. I used a fine mesh strainer and cheesecloth and was still left with a lot of spice residue – or is that good?
Also, you (and most elderberry instructions) recommend taking 1 tsp daily. However, I recently bought fresh elderberry syrup, with similar ingredients to yours, and she recommended 1 TBSP daily. Why so much more?
I makes six times this recipe to make for friends and ended with the double amount I thought. I simmered it for over two hours. Do you think it will be okay? I am a little hesitant after reading about uncooked berries.
Jennifer J Cormier
Their are 8 oz in 1 cup, so 8 divided by 3 is 2.666666666667 so approximately 5 oz give or take.
I love math-minded people 🙂 If i have time tonight, I’ll actually
go measure this out and weight it for you to give you an exact
I made it and it’s the least bit syrup like? It’s juice essentially. I have read that only store bought is actually syrup like. Can we start calling it elderberry juice, syrup is so deceiving.
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.
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).
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!
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.
There are 8 oz. in one cup. Therefore there are 4 oz. in 1/2 cup. (8 divided by 2=4.
Only if you’re talking about the juice, Ida. The berries are a dry measurement. Think of it this way. A cup of rocks and a cup of feathers both fill a 1 cup measuring cup, but rocks are a whole lot heavier than feathers! Dry substances must be weighed individually. It would take a much bigger bowl to hold 2 ounces of feathers than it would to hold 2 ounces of rocks. Does that help?
Does anyone know if you use frozen elderberries in this recipe if you would need to change the amount of water?? We have wild elderberries.
Not actually. You are mixing volume ounces (as in cups) with weight ounces. They are not necessarily equal, it all depends upon the density of the items being measured.
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.
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.
Do i need to pick out the stems before i boil. I usually just measure the dried elderberry and cook.
Yes the stems need to be removed
2/3c. dried elderberries is just under 3oz.
thanks Jenna … im going with you!
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!
Please tell me how long this will last in refrigerator for? I love this syrup but made too much of it.
I want to know this, too. Anyone know how long this can last in the fridge??
Katie - Wellness Mama
It should last for several months.
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??
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.
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!
Mine also grew mild after only s month in fridge. Any reason this would happen?
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…?
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.
Can I use ground elderberries?
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
Curious because I keep seeing different suggestions of how long will last. How will you know it’s bad? We’ve had a big bottle of it and is couple months old? Is it st I’ll good? If bad will it look or smell different? Also can it be frozen if too much is made?
Katie - Wellness Mama
It does get an off flavor or smell if it goes bad, and you can freeze it.
Hello, why exactly do i have to let it simmer for so long? Does the long boiling not kill all the good things in it? If i just boil it for 20 minutes, it is also a thicker very dark liquid. Is it still safe to drink it when boiled for only a shorter time?
Hi katie and other peeps!, i just measured the elderberries that i have dried myself and 2/3 of a cup weighs in at 2.05oz I have a total of 1 cup and that weighs 3.10oz…..
wondered if I can expand the reciepe ingredients so it can go a little further? what would you reccomend?
thanks getting excited to do this for the whole family and my folks too!
I had essential oil of lemon and a tbs of blackberry brandy. it lasts for months
I love it. Thank you for the recipe!!
Can the syrup be frozen? Thank you!
You could, but it will also last for several months in the fridge.
thank you so much for this post! we made the syrup and my kids love it. how can i tell when i should toss it?
How long will pure elderberry juice without the honey etc.last in the fridge after it had been frozen? It has been in the fridge for about two weeks-I didn’t get a chance to make some elderberry jelly and wanted to know if it is still good.
Can my 16 month old have this?
Hi!!!! Above you mentioned 2 weeks in the fridge. The honey content helps so much with shelf stability. We’ve had it last months for sure. Usually only in the summer…..in the winter, a batch gets used super fast ;).
I have my syrup simmering on the stove now! Many of my berries that I harvested and put in the freezer turned green after frozen. Im afraid to use them now. Could it be that I harvested them a little too soon? They were not green before freezing. Are they safe to use? Some that I harvested later did not turn green, so I used these first.
Also I notice that some people use the berries in pie. How is this safe as the seeds are toxic? Thank you for any advice you can give.
Should the recipe make a quart or a pint? The top says serving size is a quart
but the bottom says to fill a pint mason jar to store. Mine made a quart and I’m wondering if I did it correctly or made a mistake. Thanks!
It is a quart… I mis-typed on the size to store in. Fixing it now . 🙂
I have found that by adding 2 tablespoons of vodka as a preservative storage time increases to up to a year. This is safe in my opinion. Otherwise, I freeze it after two weeks.
Is it necessary to wash the dried Elderberry before cooking it ?
I made this a week ago and still have loads left.
It states it only lasts for 2 weeks.
I added one tablespoon of camu camu powder to try and extend the shelf life which was recommended by another person
How long will it last in the fridge or should I throw away after another week?
How do you know when it has expired?
Generally, it is said that elderberry syrup lasts for about two weeks in the refrigerator. If you would like it to last longer and it is for adults only you may add some vodka to it and drink it as a cordial every evening as a preventative
How much vodka? And when in this process do you add it?
I’ve been keeping my homemade elderberry syrup in 1 cup mason jars in the freezer. Because of the honey it only freezes to a firm but slushy consistency. I can scrape off the amount I need with a spoon. Added bonus, feels great on a scratchy or sore throat if you’re trying to fend off a developing cold.
I made elderberry extract years ago by soaking dried berries in only vodka, and am still using that same batch today. I mix a teaspoon in a cup of water. Just a few months ago I knocked out a bad cold in 2 days that usually would have lasted for weeks.
I love Susan’s vodka and elderberry recipe in this reply thread. Thanks for the contribution, Susan!
Mine usually last for about 6 months in the fridge. I would like to know this….I have a friend who would like me to mail her some. Is that possible?
I had black around the rim of my mason jar, but the syrup still smelled, looked, and tasted like normal. I’m wondering if the syrup becomes dis colored when in contact with the metal rim for an extended period of time and it is mistaken for mold, or if mine actually had mold growing in it :/ it has been in the fridge for a month. I used maple syrup inst ad of honey Bc I have a mild honey allergy.
the reason she uses honey is that it has antibacterial properties (and antiviral I believe) so that helps to preserve it. Since you cannot use honey I would add a dash of vodka or rum to help prevent mold
I had decocted elderberries many months ago and had it in my fridge, never having added honey. I also saw some of this possibly black mold. I’m re-simmering it now for about 20 mins. Then gonna add honey. Do you think it is safe to eat?? If not, why?
Katie - Wellness Mama
I would not eat it after that amount of time. Without the honey, it can easily go bad and if you thought you saw mold, it would definitely not be considered safe to consume.
Hi Katie I wasn’t sure how to just ask u a question separately so I’m asking on this reply option. I made syrup in a crock pot with dried elder berries, dried rose hips, and star anise. The house smells awful. So much that the neighbors have been complaining. Is that a bad sign? Thinking maybe it’s just the smell of medicinal herbs or have I made a bad batch? Have u ever heard this before?
My Aunt made a batch of elderberry jelly and the whole family complained that it smelled of dirty socks. Perhaps it is the strong scent of the elderberries?
Carolyn, that makes no sense. I make elderberry syrups all the time and they smell delicious & fruity. Is it possible you bought something that was not elderberry – either by scam or accident?
I was planning on making in a crockpot. Did you cook on high or low? When did you know you cooked long enough when the berries were able to be mashed?
You can freeze it in ice cube trays. Once it is frozen..take out what you need.
I am also a great fan of Elderberries. I made some of this wonderful syrup last year and it is still as good as ever. I take a teaspoon every morning snd have not had a cold or flu all year. And I have been exposed from my grandchildren numerous times.
I had leftover juice that I didn’t get around to canning from last year and it was also good. I just used that juice to make jelly and it was delicious.
What recipe did you use?
Did you use this recipe that on the thread you are commenting on? Did you change anything? I just made a batch. I am sure it won’t last as long as yours but has it just been sitting in your fridge for a year, taking a spoonful every day?
If folks are having problems with mold make sure you sterilize your jars before filling and then fill with hot syrup.
Re-read the article. It’s in there.
We love this recipe. We make it every year and even have friends and family request some from us! Question to you: I was thinking about adding zinc. How much zinc would you recommend adding? Or do not recommend adding zinc?
Recipes for eldeberry syrup say to mash and strain the elderberries through cheesecloth. Couldn’t you blend everything up in a blender? It seems like discarding the elderberries would result in a loss of nutrients. I have never made eldeberry syrup; I am interested in making and just wondered.
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!!!
Where do u buy elderberry at?
I buy my organic berries on Amazon.
I buy my elderberries from Mountain Rose Herb and they are amazing!
I got my elderberries from Wilderness Family Naturals.
I ordered from Mountain Rose Herbs. They’re organic and cheap.
I purchase organic foods in bulk from both Azure Standard and Frontier Foods. My cost for elderberries is 50% less then what Amazon charges for freeze dried elderberries. Additionally, we grow 14 varieties of fruit, among them elderberries and this is our elderberries 3rd year. I hope to be able use my elderberries to make my tincture this fall.
Can I use Cinnamon and ginger essential oils (that can be taken internally)? If so, approx drops?
I bought my organic berries from Amazon..
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I also have a patch of elderberries, what exactly do you do to them, and why cant we use them fresh, like when we make a pie, Do they have to be concentrated/dried?
Please make sure to test for lyme disease through a specialized lab like igenex. They misdiagnosed my daughter with JIA and myself and ended up being lyme. Thank heavens we avoided the harsh drugs and listened to my gut and pushed past 2 rheumatologists who told me she would be in a wheelchair if I didn’t start treatment. Well 6 months after lyme treatment she’s fine!
I also have an autoimmune disease. My doctor said to avoid things that stumilate the immune system like echinacea but he actually recommended elder berries. He said they don’t stimulate the immune system, they help by keeping the viruses from replicating.
Elderberries are immunomodulaters- meaning they modulate the immune system, adjusting to what it needs- stimulation or repression. Amazing little berries!
Wellness Mama. would this recipe work with dried blueberries and have similar flu fighting effects as elderberries?
It would not work as well. Elderberries have much higher levels of Vitamin C, antioxidants and anti-viral substances than blueberries.
Sharon Lee Lockhart
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.
I use this to second ferment my water kefir and its delicious!
Morgan, you make this recipe and use some to second ferment your kefir??? Or you just use straight elderberries? I’m intrigued!
Did you add water with the elderberry juice you had, or just the juice itself? I have some juice we extracted from berries we picked this fall. I’ve only ever used the dried berries, but my mom juiced all of these to make jelly…
How much of the juice and water do you use if you’re not using dried berries? I have jars of elderberry juice, but not sure how to adjust the recipe.
This can actually cause your therapy in treatment of the autoimmune disease to be nullified. You need to check with your Dr. In autoimmune disease treatments the point is to knock down your immune system so it stops attacking your body. This boosts your immune system and builds it back up and can be destroying any work done by your DMT. As a nurse, I would check with your treating physician; and as a patient myself who battles Multiple Sclerosis (MS), also an autoimmune disease, I learned quickly that something as simple as melatonin was highly dangerous for my overall health and staying in remission. Just because it’s natural doesn’t make it safe for everyone. I love this stuff and my entire family uses it; but I can’t. It’s too great a risk for me. If I have to chance a cold over being bound to a wheelchair or worse… I’ll choose chancing a cold. Just a thought from the other side. Everyone will have an opinion, but what your treating physician- who knows YOU and your battle can give you the advice you need. Sometimes they aren’t familiar with some of the homeopathic remedies & brush it off. That’s where your education & where you have actual research comes into play, you might need to educate them on our world of adjunctive therapies. Specialists are pretty good at being in the know, but if you get brushed off, make sure you share your concern about peer reviewed research and how it boosts your immune system. That’ll grab his attention, or just start with that. Good luck & good health now & in the future. Staying well during the winter is tough, and we have to be diligent, but it is possible. Be blessed!
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 provided a link for the berries, and in that link it says, “The complex sugars of the berries are the immune-active fraction.”
As we know that vitamin C is not stable to heat but this does not mean that cooking food will completely destroy vitamin C. By following the experts cooking methods and advices we can save a good amount of vitamin C from being denatured.
mine comes out of the steamer at 180degrees not boiling. I would suggest heating in large pot to 180 degrees for 5 minutes and them adding your other ingredients to save your vitamin C. I put in sterilized jars and seal. So far have not had a problem. We have used this for years and try to keep juice on hand all winter in case I need to make up syrup I can.
I never used a steamer. Please recommend one. Does it actually show the temperature?
I’m sure you probably won’t see this but I can recommend 2 steamer/juicers. Mehu Lisa-expensive but reliable and Norpro-much more affordable and gets the job done
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?
You can omit the honey you don’t have to substitute but substitutes I know of are Agave or Maple Syrup.
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.
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
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!
If i want to fill up 20 8oz jars of elderberrie syrup how much would i need?
Vegans usually know what their own favorite alternative sweeteners are due to having to use alternatives so often…. maple syrup, agave, date water or “syrup” are a few.
pure agave nectar is a great substitute for honey 🙂 also tons safer to use with younger children who can’t have raw honey
It’s actually not as safe as you think. I wrote about it here: https://wellnessmama.com/2457/agave-healthy/
Can i use fresh ones straight from tree
Make a tincture instead, using just the berries. You wont be as cool lol but it will work 🙂
Raw agave syrup
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.
I made some using vegetable glycerine. It has a low glycemic rating. Of course it is a tincture and takes 4 to 6 weeks. No refrigeration required.
Can also add Bragg’s vinegar. About 2 tablespoons, or more to taste.Actually tastes very good. Add after cooled and has added benefit and helps preserve it. My grandson loves it!
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.
What is rapid turmeric?
Excuse me, how much is 2 T of ginger? I don’t understand the T measure. Thank you.
Katie - Wellness Mama
“T” equals Tablespoon. “t” equals teaspoon.
There is a VERY important step left out of your elderberry syrup recipe. After simmering, the berries must be mashed before being strained. The compounds needed to effectively fight viruses are located on the inside lining of the berry skin. If the berries are intact when strained, you won’t have fully effective syrup. Thanks!
Hi Kim… thanks for pointing this out. I assumed this was somewhat common sense and would happen during the straining (I always mash into the strainer to make sure this happens) but realized I hadn’t specifically explained this in the recipe so I’ve added it to reflect it. Thanks for reading.
Does this matter that it was cooled down when I mashed them in the strainer? I usually buy a kit with all ingredients from a friend but she was away. It taste spicy nothing like hers! Too much ginger? Was it because it cooled too much before draining and mashing berries? Did I ruin it? My kids won’t drink this. Ugh
I used fresh berries and I didn’t think it would need to be refrigerated. Why would you refrigerate when most of the ingredients needs to be refrigerated?
I used fresh berries and I didn’t think it would need to be refrigerated. Why would you refrigerate when most of the ingredients needs to be refrigerated?
Also, what is the dosage?
Hi! I have a few questions regarding the Instant Pot version. When it’s done cooking, should the pressure be released naturally or should I do a quick release? Also, will I need to boil down the liquid further to get to the 16oz portion or do I just mash and strain after the pressure release is complete? Thanks!
What about using clove oil from doTerra?
Ingesting essential oils of ANY purity is not advised. You can use actual clove oil which is made from adding cloves to oil, and heating. COMPLETELY different than clove ESSENTIAL oil. Do not ingest essential oils unless under the direct supervision and guidance of a naturopathic Doctor who knows all your health needs. Don’t listen blindly to a sales Representative. Also, do you own research outside of DoTerra and Young Living. If it’s affiliated with them, find another source.
Hannah, your “warning” of “ingesting oils of any purity” in unfounded. My family have been using DoTerra oils for several years, topically and internally both in diluted and neat applications. I can’t speak for other oils, and I am NOT a representative of the company. I am just one that has experience with said oils and they are very effective and safe. This mentality that one can’t think for themselves and must contact someone else is hogwash. I respect naturopathic professionals, I even consult with one from time to time, but the bottom line is still my decision in the end. The line of DoTerra oils classified as CPTG(Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade) are safe for taking internally.
Your experience of your family ingesting oils and them being “safe” is not proof they are safe. Toxicity takes time to build up and can be years and years down the road. There are also actual cases of toxicity from ingestion of essential oils, especially liver toxicity. My mother-in-law is a master herbalist and aromatherapist and would NEVER suggest ingesting an essential oil. I think it is funny that people take recommendations from companies selling oils and ignore people who are actually highly trained in the usages and dangers of oils.
The CPTG you refer to is given out by the COMPANY themselves. It is NOT verified by anyone outside their company. Sort of like ANYONE from ANY company saying THEIR product is verified…..whatever they want to say about it.
Some may do ok with ingesting, but others not so much, and /or take too much…etc. Many E.O’s can be toxic if taken straight….oregano, rosemary are very hot, and can burn internally. Peppermint, also.
Taking or doing something that a company says is ok with their product, if not checked by others that have knowledge (like a Homeopathic Doctor, Naturopathic Doctor, certified Herbalist or other professional), is unwise, to say the least.
I never heard anything bad about Young Living Oil but now will look harder.
I am only certified level one aromatherapy; level two is where chemistry involved but taking can be extremely dangerous. I have contemplated but always a second thought telling me not to.
The majority of oils need a carrier oil to even safely be used on skin our largest organ.
Good advice bc anything with medicinal properties can interact with medication or medical conditions.
Europe has prescription aromatherapy oils made at compounding labs to specs sent by doctors for many.
Anything used frequently in high concentrations should be checked for any contraindications.
I love tumeric but it can cause Kidney stones if not correctly cycled.
I just made this and added wild orange essential oil and it is super tasty!
I would NOT do that.
I am getting ready to try this recipe and then make the gummies for the kids, what I need to know is it alright to use ground ginger instead of fresh ginger root. And secondly, after I make the gummies, will they be sticky and if so how can I keep them from sticking together?
Ground ginger is significantly more powerful-tasting than fresh ginger, so I would check the container to see if it has a fresh-to-powder conversion chart on it.
Crap…I just used 2 T of ground ginger before I read this. It’s still on the stove. How can I fix my mess up.
I was so excited to make this and followed the recipe exactly. I wish there was a conversion in the recipe because the recipe says “2 T of fresh or ground ginger.” I did 2 T of ground and it’s is so spicy and terrible tasting my kids won’t drink it. Obviously it can’t be 2 T of ground ginger – can you update the recipe to be less for ground or to encourage people to at least look for a conversion. Bummer that I wasted a whole quart of elderberry and honey from following the recipe.
I did the same thing. First time making it and after tasting it, it was waaay too spicy. Have to throw it out. 🙁
I also used ground ginger in my first batches. The first few were pretty spicy because I followed the recipe at 2tbs per batch. I had to take a drink of water after drinking it. My daughter says it burns her mouth. I’m making it again but I did a 6 batch pot and only used 8tablespoons instead of 12. Hoping it turns out better.
I made your recipe for elderberry syrup. It tastes great. I have 2 questions.
1) how long does it last?
2) it needs to be refrigerated, correct? Thanks, april
I did the same thing in my first batch; used 2 T of ground ginger; so it was wayyy too strong for me. The conversion is 1/2 tsp if you are using ground ginger rather than grated.
Each time I make the syrup, the house smells WONDERFUL. I also get more than 16 oz–and her video does not show her getting all of the berries in the strainer. Also, I slightly press the berries again once they are in the strainer because they hold so much liquid. I suppose that is why I get more than 16 oz from each batch. The syrup is delicious.
Can I skip honey and use stevia instead? Also can I skip all the spices? My family doesn’t like ginger, and they probably won’t want cloves either. In that case it would be juice and that syrup so does the dosage change?
I bought mine from Amazon but next time I will make it with this recipe
Hi, can this be made with pure elderberry juice? Thanks
I believe that is what most of the posters are referring to. Taking berries and making juice from them to use in these tonics.
Thanks. I have no access to elderberries but can get really good elderberry juice from my local whole food shop. I wondered could I reduce that down with the other ingredients to make the syrup.
Yes, just skip the steps for cooking the berries and making the juice. You might want to check the bottle of the juice you buy, sometimes commercial juices are pasteurized and that cooks it at such a high temperature that it pretty much destroyes any good properties thst are in the berries.
Then proceed with the rest of the recipe and enjoy.
Even if you don’t have elderberries available to pick or buy in your area, you can always order them on line. There have been a lot of sources posted here that will explain where and how to get them.
Amazon sells dried elderberries!
I just made a batch and followed the recipe exactly and it seems to be extremely thin…not like syrup at all. Does refrigerating change the consistency or did I do something wrong???