Elderberry Syrup Recipe: Why You Should Respect Your Elderberries

Published on Nov 18, 2018 in DIY

I’m sure you’re familiar with Advil, Tylenol, and Sudafed. In fact, you’ve almost certainly taken at least one of them at some point in your life, unless you and your parents have always been careful only to take natural products, or you’ve miraculously never had a cold, flu or fever These medications work, but are they worth it? First of all, you spend approximately $338 per year on over-the-counter medicines, compared to elderberry syrup which is natural and inexpensive. 

Plus, you don’t know what sorts of ingredients are going into those medications. It is, quite frankly, scary to think about it. And worst of all, they can cause addiction.

Going the natural route ensures that you’re saving money, getting healthier ingredients, and generally choosing the best option for your body. Having said that, I’d like to introduce you to an effective alternative to cold and flu medication: elderberry syrup. Not only does it work, but it also tastes sweet and delicious, like honey, which makes it easy for adults and children to ingest.

What Is Elderberry Syrup?

Elderberries Are Full Of Immune Boosting Nutrients

They may not be as popular as strawberries or raspberries, but elderberries certainly have their benefits! Elderberries are the fruits of the Sambucus tree, which has various subspecies, the most common being the Sambucus Nigra, which is native to Europe. The fruits of the elderberry are not eaten raw, but are cooked – or made into elderberry syrup!

Elderberries have been used historically to cure many ailments, including headaches, toothaches, influenza, heart pain and nerve pain, among others. The bark and leaves, as well, have been used for other forms of pain relief and inflammation.

These days, though, elderberry syrup is more commonly used to boost the immune system, or target respiratory infections and flu symptoms. Elderberries are an excellent source of Vitamins A and C, and have antibacterial and antiviral properties. The syrup is popular in the winter because that’s the most common time of year for your immune system to take a hit. Taking a couple of spoonfuls a day when you’re battling a cold or flu can work wonders!

How Do You Make Elderberry Syrup? DIY Recipe

This Natural Alternative To Cough Medicine Will Have You Feeling Better Without Nasty Chemicals

Elderberry syrup is really easy to make, and it’s a perfect natural remedy against the challenges of winter. If you don’t want to fork out money at the drug store every week in the cold months to get commercial cold or flu medicine, then elderberry syrup might just be the answer! Recipe from The Happy Herbal Home website:


  • 1 cup dried elderberries or 2 cups fresh elderberries
  • Cinnamon or ginger, optional
  • 4 cups water
  • 12 oz organic honey


  1. In a saucepan, bring the berries and the water to the boil. (If you’re adding ginger or cinnamon for additional benefits, now is the time to add them in.) Simmer on low for an hour, breaking up the berries every so often. The liquid should reduce down to about half the amount.
  2. After the berries have cooked for an hour, remove the saucepan from the heat, and allow to cool until the syrup is cold enough to touch.
  3. Strain the juice through a fine mesh strainer, applying pressure to the berries to get all the nutrients out.
  4. Add honey to the warm liquid. Store your elderberry syrup in a glass jar and keep refrigerated.

Elderberry Syrup Side Effects Explained

Kick That Cold Faster With Elderberry Syrup

It’s not advisable to eat raw elderberries, because they are known to cause nausea (with or without vomiting) and diarrhea. Elderberry syrup is much safer to consume, but there are still some things to be careful with.

Elderberry syrup works as a diuretic and a laxative, which is good news for someone who is unwell, as it naturally flushes toxins out of the body. But at the same time, it can put you at higher risk of dehydration, particularly if you have a medical condition which makes you susceptible to dehydration. Make sure to increase your fluid intake to remain hydrated.

Elderberry syrup can also lower blood sugar levels. Again, this is not necessarily a bad thing, just something to be aware of, particularly if you have diabetes. Too-low blood sugar levels can also be unsafe.

For most healthy people with no pre-existing medical conditions, however, elderberry syrup is considered a safe way to keep your immune system up and the germs and viruses at bay.

Where To Buy Elderberry Syrup

If you’re not the DIY sort of person and would prefer to buy elderberry syrup, there are plenty of options available. You can easily find the syrup in many online stores, like iHerb or Amazon, with many different brands and choices available (such as organic, sugar-free, or syrup for kids). You can also buy it in brick-and-mortar stores, like Walmart. And it’s quite likely that your local health food store will stock it, as well.

What Is A Safe Elderberry Syrup Dosage?

To keep the immune system strong, adults should take 1 tablespoon of elderberry syrup per day, and children should take 1 teaspoon. This can be used year-round, but it’s most necessary in the winter months. If you’ve already got a cold or the flu, you can increase the dosage to 1-2 tablespoons every 3-4 hours, taking no more than four dosages in 24 hours. For children with a cold or flu, the best dosage is 1-2 teaspoons, taken the same way as adults.


The weather in winter might be cold, but you don’t need to have a cold, too! Vitamin C is one of the most well-known antioxidants, and that’s because it’s super important and great at keeping your immune system in top form. Elderberry syrup is loaded with Vitamin C, and is safe to be taken year-round without worrying about addiction. (No promises that you won’t find yourself addicted to the delicious sweet taste, though!)

So before the next cold season comes along, make sure you have a jar of this stuff handy in your fridge. There’s no doubt that it will be put to good use – and if you aren’t already, you’ll soon be hooked!

Check out some more delicious and healthy recipes like our very cherry smoothie and DIY cough drops, right here at Maple Holistics!