Homemade Elderberry Syrup- A Natural Remedy for Cold and Flu

Are you looking for a natural remedy to help support you and your family’s immune system? Well look no further!  You just found a unicorn...nope elderberries... but in this case they are the same thing. Let's find out why elderberry syrup can be a simple and easy powerhouse for your family!

History of Elderberries: 

Elderberries have a long standing reputation for its medicinal uses.  Historians have found recorded medicinal elderberry recipes used in Ancient Egypt and even Hippocrates himself, the Ancient Greek and “father of medicine” described  black elderberries as his “medicine chest” because of the many ailments it was able to cure. It is a tried and true natural remedy that is known for its anti-viral and immune supporting properties among many other health benefits. 

Benefits of Elderberry: 

Black elderberries whether fresh or dried are naturally high in immune boosting compounds that have been researched for their ability to help prevent and minimize the effects of the common cold and flu and decrease inflammation in the body.  One such study showed that using elderberry can shorten and decrease the severity of flu like symptoms up to 4 days earlier. In 1995 during a flu outbreak in Panama the government employed the use of elderberry to fight the epidemic.

Elderberries are also rich in a nutrient called flavanoids….no those are not aliens. Mostly known for their anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and giving foods rich, dark colors. You know the kind that every mom loves, but remember this time you found a sparkling unicorn! Elderberries have a higher flavanoid content than blueberries, cranberries, goji berries and blackberries...BOOM! In another study the specific flavanoids present in elderberries were used to inhibit H1N1 infections(Influenza A) and were found to work just as well as other known antiviral support medications.

This is so stinkin’ awesome. Now the unicorn you just found has rainbow hair and sparkles.

There is a time and a place for conventional medicine.  There is also a place for natural remedies! I am going to use the word empowered here. Natural remedies empower you and I to feel confident that we have resources in our homes to help our families get and stay well without always having to run to the doctor!

Elderberry Syrup: A Simple Way to Use the Benefits of Elderberry

Elderberry syrup is a fabulous way to use the immune supporting benefits of elderberries in a way that the whole family will enjoy.  Mom tested and kid approved...LITERALLY! Just like that your rainbow sparkly unicorn had a baby! In my elderberry syrup recipe I also add other whole foods such as lemons, oranges, raw honey (other options for those that can not have honey).  I also add certain ingestible essential oils that give support for a healthy immune system and they rock!

Essential oils are organic compounds that are extracted from plants.  They are another powerhouse to add to your home’s natural remedy tool box. Many essential oils can be ingested but remember they are POWERFUL so a little goes a long way! For this recipe I add one drop of ginger essential oil, and one drop of a blend of essential oils called, On Guard. Studies show this blend of essential oils to decrease and suppress the effects of flu symptoms. Happy dance...this study is so cool!

By making your own elderberry syrup you will also save so much money!!!!  With a simple outline and recipe you’ll easily be able to make this for your family year round. In certain areas fresh elderberries are very prevalent certain times of the year. If not your local health food shop or apothecary should have dried black elderberries for pennies compared to what you’ll pay for a pre-made elderberry syrup and it tastes fantastic!

How to Make Elderberry Syrup: The Recipe

You'll need:

⅔ cup dried elderberries (double this amount if you are using fresh berries)

4 cups filtered water

1 organic orange diced or sliced

1 organic lemon diced or sliced

1 drop ingestible ginger EO

1 drop On Guard EO

1 Cup Raw Honey (you can use organic maple syrup or molasses for non honey diets)


  1. Add water, elderberries, orange and lemon in medium saucepan.

  2. Bring to boil and then cover and simmer for about 45 minutes till liquid reduces to about half of its original starting point. Remove from heat and let cool for at least 15 minutes.

           *****FOR INSTANT POT PEEPS**** Set to manual pressure for 10 minutes.  Let the pressure naturally release, take lid off and set to saute till liquid reduces to about half its original size stirring occasionally.

  1. Strain elderberries and fruit from mixture and mash any last bit of moisture from fruit.

  2. Let stand in container till room temperature.

  3. If using essential oils add now along with raw honey/sweetener to mixture and mix till honey is dissolved.

  4. Store in a quart sized mason jar in fridge and vuala!  You’ve got an amazing immune boosting remedy the entire family will not complain about...they may even ask for more!

Standard dose is 5 ml for children and 15 ml for adults daily for preventative efforts.  Most of the studies I have referenced were using this amount and then using 4 times per day when cold or flu symptoms start and continue that protocol till you feel better.

YOUR HOME WILL SMELL AMAZING...part of that unicorn thing again.  You are welcome. 

Other Tips:

Warm up and drink as a tea when fevering.

Add ¼ to ½ tsp chia seeds to standard dose for another natural remedy to help with nagging coughs.

Use in place of normal syrup on waffles or pancakes for an immunity power packed breakfast or meal!

Would love to hear how yours turns out! 

Keep on shinin'


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