How to Make Elderberry Syrup for Immune System Support

Learn how to make elderberry syrup

What is Elderberry Syrup?

Elderberry syrup has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for various ailments. It is made from the dark purple berries of the elderberry plant, also known as Sambucus nigra. This plant is native to Europe but can now be found in many parts of the world.
Elderberries are rich in vitamins A, B, and C, as well as antioxidants and flavonoids. These nutrients help support the immune system and protect our bodies from harmful free radicals. In fact, elderberry has been shown to have antiviral properties that can help fight off infections.

Elderberry Syrup Benefits and Your Immune System

Our immune system is responsible for protecting us against viruses, bacteria, and other foreign invaders. When it is weak or compromised, we become more susceptible to illnesses. This is where elderberry syrup can help.
Elderberry syrup has been traditionally used to alleviate symptoms of the common cold and flu. Studies have shown that it can reduce the duration and severity of these infections by boosting our immune response. It does this by increasing the production of cytokines, which are proteins that help regulate our immune system.
But elderberry syrup isn’t just limited to treating colds and flu. It can also help with allergies, sinus infections, and even support respiratory health. Additionally, its anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce inflammation in the body, which is a key factor in many chronic diseases.

How to Incorporate Elderberry Syrup into Your Routine

Elderberry syrup is widely available in health food stores and online, however it can cost more in comparison to making it at home. Using dried elderberries, you can save money and customize this recipe based on your needs and flavor preferences. Making your own elderberry syrup is easy with this classic and simple recipe below!
To reap the benefits of elderberry syrup, it’s recommended to take 1 tablespoon daily for adults and ½ teaspoon for children. During cold and flu season or when feeling under the weather, you can increase the dosage 1 tablespoon three times a day to help boost your immune system’s response. As a reminder, please consult with your healthcare professional before incorporating new herbal products and always listen to your body.

Classic and Simple Elderberry Syrup Recipe

Yields about 3 cups of syrup
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Cooling Time: 1 hour
Post Cook Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours


  • Medium-sized pot
  • Measuring cup and spoons
  • Whisk and mixing spoon
  • Funnel
  • Cheesecloth, undyed cotton muslin bag, or fine mesh strainer
  • Sterilized glass jar(s) for storage


  • 2 cups dried elderberries
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cinnamon stick (optional)
  • 2 whole star anise (optional)
  • ¼ tsp whole cloves (optional)
  • 1 cup raw, local honey (or maple syrup for vegan/infant-friendly recipe)


  1. Combine berries and optional spices with water in a medium-sized pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat and allow mixture to simmer for 30 to 40 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and let mixture steep for one hour.
  4. Strain berries and spices using a funnel overlaid with doubled cheesecloth, undyed cotton muslin bag, or fine mesh strainer and squeeze out liquid (careful, liquid will likely still be hot). Discard herbs in compost.
  5. Once liquid has cooled to just above room temperature, add honey and stir to incorporate.
  6. Bottle in sterilized glass and store in refrigerator.
  7. For health maintenance, enjoy 1 tablespoon per day. For assistance in recovering from a cold or flu, enjoy 1 tablespoon 3 times per day.
Tips: Be sure to add the honey in a 2:1 ratio to the decoction. For example, if you are left with 2 cups of elderberry decoction, you will want to add at least 1 cup of honey. This amount can change slightly each time you make it.
Disclaimer: The content and information in this article has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. We recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before starting any new supplement or herbal remedy, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications. For educational purposes only.
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