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I’m all for a daily ritual over a week-long illness. Since no one has time for cold + flu season, we’ve gotta take care of our health now and give our bodies the best shot at staying healthy. This homemade elderberry syrup recipe is an easy edition to my morning routine during the school year and gives my body a much needed immunity boost. I’m going to teach you how to make elderberry syrup, along with 4 delicious ways to use this useful recipe.

elderberry syrup recipe
Table of Contents
  1. Homemade elderberry syrup recipe
  2. Benefits of elderberry
  3. The many uses for the elderberry plant
  4. FAQs
  5. More natural remedies
  6. Elderberry Syrup Recipe Recipe

Homemade elderberry syrup recipe

Making this elderberry syrup recipe isn’t super difficult, and can be adjusted based on your preferences. Here are some tips on what to buy where, and how best to prepare this delicious syrup.

I buy elderberries from Mountain Rose Herbs because they are certified organic and I trust where they source their ingredients. I buy local, raw honey. It’s most effective to buy in your current season, so it can help with any seasonal allergies you have, yet it’s not necessary.

fresh ingredients for a homemade remedy

While ground ginger works great, fresh ginger root is even better + more nutritious. Grate your ginger and cook with the elderberries, then strain it during step 2. This will up the anti-inflammatory properties of your elderberry syrup recipe.

If you’ve got any other fresh ingredients (cinnamon, cloves, etc), then use them! You’ll reap only benefits.

how to make elderberry syrup

Benefits of elderberry

Elderberry is a berry that comes from a Sambucus tree. Used for centuries by people throughout North America, Europe, northern Africa, and parts of Asia to relieve pain, inflammation, and swelling, this isn’t a new remedy. Raw elderberries are poisonous, so make sure theyre properly cooked before consuming.

Elderberry isn’t just a flu fighting force. Cooked elderberries make delicious jams, pies, syrups, juice, and wine, just like other berries. While you might not find them in the produce section of your local grocery store, they can often be found in their dried form in health food stores, or at local markets. I order mine through Mountain Rose Herbs.

There is some controversy as to the effectiveness of elderberry in medicine, though it is one of the most common natural remedies found throughout history across multiple continents. A study by the US National Library of Medicine showed that elderberry significantly shortened the life of a cold. So keep this elderberry syrup recipe on hand!

recipes for using your elderberry syrup

The many uses for the elderberry plant

While the berries are most often sought after, other parts of the Sambucus tree can also be useful (and edible!):

  • Both the berries and flowers are edible when cooked/prepared properly.
  • Cook down the berries to make syrups (keep reading on how to make my elderberry syrup recipe below!), juices, or jams. These are both delicious and healthy.
  • Boil the flowers into a soothing tea, or use raw on top of a salad.

6 Recipes using elderberry

I love using this homemade elderberry syrup in recipes; it’s super simple to add and very effective. Here are a few of my fav ways to use it:

  • Elderberry popsicles– make a batch and have on hand whenever you get a tickle in your throat
  • Immune-boost smoothie– Drink on a weekly basis for an extra dose of nutrients
  • Smoothie cube boosters– Once you freeze and store a batch, drop 4 cubes in a smoothie for a kick of health
  • Fruit leather with elderberry syrup- 4 ingredient snack that your kids will love + it supports their immune system
  • Berry Sangria uses elderberry syrup to brighten, add sweetness and also boost the benefits of this non-alcoholic mocktail
  • Take 1 tablespoon a day using the recipe below (I usually take it in the morning) for daily support and prevention.

How do you like to use elderberry syrup? Leave a comment below and let me know any new recipes I need to check out!

easily add nutrients to smoothies through smoothie cubes


Is homemade elderberry syrup good for you?

This is a natural remedy that has been used for centuries for preventing and treating colds and flus.

Is it okay to take elderberry syrup every day?

Yes! As long as the elderberries are properly cooked, you can take a tablespoon per day, or add it to your fav smoothie recipe.

What are the benefits of elderberry syrup?

Black elderberries are loaded with antioxidants and vitamins that help boost the immune system and can also help with inflammation. The raw honey is anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and aids in digestion.

homemade elderberry syrup recipe

More natural remedies

I care about 1 thing when it comes to home remedies: it has to work. I am all for finding a cleaner way to stay healthy, yet if it doesn’t work then there’s no point. Over the years I’ve built up quite the recipe base for some great remedies that actually work as good as the above elderberry syrup recipe; check them out for yourself:

This is my go-to arsenal for whatever ails me, and I hope it helps you too!

5 from 7 votes

Elderberry Syrup Recipe

This homemade elderberry syrup recipe uses elderberries to harness the healing power of plants. Simple and kid-friendly to make and take, this syrup will help keep you healthy and happy all winter long.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 5 minutes
Author: Jen Hansard
Course: Natural Remedy
Cuisine: Healing, Plant-Based
Serves: 30


  • stove


  • ½ cup dried elderberries
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp ginger ground
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 ½ cups honey
  • 2-3 tbsp apple cider vinegar optional
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  • Place all of the ingredients except the honey and apple cider vinegar (if using), into a non-reactive saucepan. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Use the back of a wooden spoon to smash the elderberries a bit as they soften.
  • Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes. Pour through a fine mesh sieve, pressing to extract as much liquid as possible.
  • Stir in honey and apple cider vinegar. Transfer to a quart jar with tight-fitting lid.
  • Store in refrigerator for up to several months. Adults, take 1 tablespoon daily.


  • Please do not give to babies under 1 year old.


Calories: 53kcal, Carbohydrates: 14g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 2mg, Potassium: 14mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 14g, Vitamin A: 6IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 7mg, Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe? Show me!Mention @SimpleGreenSmoothies or tag #SimpleGreenSmoothies!

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  1. 5 stars
    3rd day of school and my daughter already came home with a runny nose. I ordered the ingredients for this ASAP after kicking myself for not getting a batch made before school starts! Tomorrow morning my family will be taking this daily all school year.

    1. Oh no! I hate to hear that, yet glad that you know this recipe helps! I need to go ahead and make some for my family as well.. it’s about that time!

  2. I saw they have elderberry powder on MRH too. Do you reccomend whole dried berries over powder?

    1. Whole fresh anything is usually better than a processed version. However, if the powder is of good quality and it’s a best fit for you, then we say go for it!

  3. 5 stars
    Thank you for this wonderful recipe. You suggest we use fresh ingredients when possible. I have fresh cinnamon, cloves and ginger, but I don’t know in which qty to use them. I don’t want any of those ingredients to over power the syrup. Any suggestions?

    1. Great question Letty! Usually a good rule of thumb is using 3x as much of the fresh when a recipe calls for the dried or ground version. So for instance, if 1 tsp ginger is called for, use 1 Tbsp of fresh grated ginger.

    1. Kale yeah you can Kelly! Sounds like breakfast yum with a side of immune boosting!

  4. 5 stars
    Just pulled up this recipe to make a new batch! Thank you again for the great recipe 🙂

  5. My granddaughter is 2 1/2 years old and has had a cold for over a week. Can she take this, is it safe @ this age?

    1. Hi Miriam! Poor little one! I’ve used elderberry with my daughters when they were that small. However, we def recommend checking with your pediatrician first because each body is different and we want the best for your granddaughter. Hope she feels better!

  6. Jen, how would you alter this if using fresh (frozen) berries? I have a bunch in my freezer I need to use up!

    1. Awesome question Lolly! So if using fresh or frozen (totally jealous of that freezer stash btw!), you would want to double the amount. The recipe called for 1/2 cup dried, so use 1 cup fresh or frozen. Also, you will need to reduce the amount of liquid. Try starting with 1 cup of water instead and add more if needed.

  7. I’m almost 70 yrs old. With covid and the flu season approaching I’m always looking for ways to boost my immune system. I have heard about elderberry syrup but never tried it. Thank you!

  8. I am super stoked to try the elderberry syrup. What a fantastic way to help boost my immune system and to keep myself healthy during this winter season!!

  9. Tried this for the first time this year and it shortened the length of my cold by about a week! I am a total believer now.

  10. 5 stars
    YES!!! I’m so glad to see this recipe today— the sicknesses are flying around. I have a neighbor who makes her own and I’ve wanted to try it too. It can get a little pricey buying it from the store, so making it at home sounds like the way to go. If anyone is looking for the elderberries, I just ordered mine on Mountain Rose Herbs:

  11. 5 stars
    It’s all about keeping the family healthy in the most natural way and you always help with that.

    1. So true! We rely on all-natural remedies and listen to our bodies so we can bounce back even stronger. 🙂