Homemade Elderberry Syrup Recipe (2024)

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Use this homemade Elderberry Syrup recipe to keep your family healthy all year round!
Homemade Elderberry Syrup Recipe (1)

I started using elderberry syrup when my daughter Meghan was a toddler. Elderberries are rich with health benefits, including:

  • Boost the immune system
  • Fight and protect against bacterial infections
  • Fight and protect against viral infections
  • Reduce the symptoms and duration of a cold or the flu
  • helps clear sinus infections
  • hasnatural diuretic effects and promotes bowel movements
  • anti-inflammatory properties
  • anti-carcinogenic properties
  • eases symptoms of allergies
  • high in antioxidants
  • high in vitamin A, which makes it great for healthy skin

Clearly elderberry is a powerful plant! Through the years I’ve tried to be consistent in having our whole family take elderberry syrup, especially during the cold and flu season. The problem? Elderberry syrup is expensive!

I would much rather buy a product than have to make it. I’m a busy mama and adding one more thing to my plate can cause me to drop and break the whole plate. Nobody wants to see that.

However. When I discover I can make something for significantly cheaper at home and it’s really not that difficult, I make room on my plate. I might have to take something else off the plate, but I make room.

This homemade elderberry syrup recipe is really easy and worth the effort for the money saved. One of my lovely readers actually first shared the recipe she uses for homemade elderberry syrup with me last year when I was lamenting about the cost of buying the syrup.

Can I take a minute to tell you how much I love this community of readers? You guys are awesome and I love that we can help each other!

I use the basics of that recipe, but changed it slightly. I use dried cinnamon rather than a cinnamon stick and instead of using dried ginger and whole cloves, I use ginger and clove essential oils. I note in the recipe below that you can use either.

The first step will be to get yourself some dried elderberries, which I get on Amazon. (affiliate link) Oh, how I love my Amazon Prime membership. 2 days later and you’ll be ready to make some immune-boosting syrup!

The whole process is easy and can be done while doing other household chores. You start by simmering some dried elderberries with water and spices for about 45 minutes. That’s when you can be doing other things. No need to hover over the pot here.

Once the liquid is reduced by half, you drain the liquid. I use a fine mesh strainer which makes it super easy. (Mine are very similar to these and I use them for everything!)

Homemade Elderberry Syrup Recipe (2)

Make sure you squeeze all the liquid out of the berries so you aren’t wasting any. The back of a wooden spoon should do the trick.

Homemade Elderberry Syrup Recipe (3)

Make sure the liquid is cooled, and then you can add your raw honey. Raw honey sweetens the syrup so kids will take it easily, but also has its own medicinal benefits. Win-win!

Homemade Elderberry Syrup Recipe (4)

Then you store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator and it will last for about two months. For adults, take 1 tablespoon daily and for children, 1 teaspoon daily. If you or your children are experiencing sickness or feel something coming on, that dose should be repeated four times daily.

Here’s a video to show you how easy it is to make homemade elderberry syrup at home!

Here’s to a healthy cold and flu season!


Homemade Elderberry Syrup Recipe (5)

★★★★★4.8 from 110 reviews
  • Author: Happy Healthy Mama
  • Total Time: 50 mins
Print Recipe
Print Recipe


This homemade elderberry syrup can be made in less than an hour and will keep your family healthy all year long. It’s the best natural immune booster you can use.



  • 3/4 cup dried elderberries
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon dried cinnamon or 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon dried cloves or 4 whole cloves or 1 drop clove essential oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger or 1 teaspoon dried ginger or 1 drop ginger essential oil
  • 1 cup raw honey


  1. In a large pot, bring the elderberries, water, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger to a boil.
  2. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half, about 40-45 minutes.
  3. Allow the liquid to cool, and then drain the liquid using a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth.
  4. Press all liquid out of the berries using the back of a wooden spoon.
  5. Add the raw honey and mix well.
  6. Store in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator for up to two months.
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Category: natural medicine


  • Calories: 1113
  • Sugar: 278g
  • Sodium: 21mg
  • Fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 299g
  • Protein: 2g

Take along with this Vitamin C Smoothie for extra immune-boosting power!

Homemade Elderberry Syrup Recipe (6)

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting my mission to help as many people as possible live a happy, healthy life!

Homemade Elderberry Syrup Recipe (2024)


How much homemade elderberry syrup should I take daily? ›

Preventative Use: Take 1 teaspoon daily during the cold and flu season. During Illness: Increase to 1 teaspoon 3 times a day at the onset of symptoms.

Is homemade elderberry syrup better than store bought? ›

Homemade Elderberry Syrup vs Store Bought

By comparison, my homemade syrup is about a quarter of the price of over-the-counter options. The other draw back of over-the-counter versions is the sweetener, usually it's glucose. My recipe uses raw honey as a sweetener, which has so many healing properties.

What not to mix with elderberry? ›

Possible Interactions
  • Diuretics (water pills). Diuretics help the body get rid of excess fluid and increase the amount of urine your body makes. ...
  • Diabetes medications. Elderberry may lower blood sugar levels. ...
  • Chemotherapy. ...
  • Laxatives. ...
  • Theophylline (TheoDur). ...
  • Drugs that suppress the immune system.

Can you take too much homemade elderberry syrup? ›

Are There Elderberry Side Effects? There is a downside to consuming too much elderberry, and that is an upset stomach. Just like with any high fiber fruit, eating too much can cause stomach pain, upset stomach, and diarrhea.

What is the best time of day to take elderberry syrup? ›

Although there is no specific time of day to take elderberry, you'll maximize its benefits by using it consistently on a regular basis. You can choose whether to use it morning, afternoon or evening. It may be best to use elderberry for short periods of time to support healthy immune function, and then take a break.

What is the healthiest way to consume elderberry? ›

Elderberry pie, elderberry syrup, elderberry jam—the sweet taste and even sweeter health benefits of this tiny fruit come in many forms. The most popular way to use fresh elderberries is to cook them into a syrup or extract used to support your immune system.

Should homemade elderberry syrup be refrigerated? ›

It's a good idea to always have a bottle on hand throughout the year to help with immunity, allergies, colds, and flu. Like any other fruit juice it will start to ferment if left out for too long. Elderberry syrup, when stored in a glass jar in the fridge, will stay good for 3 months.

What form of elderberry is most effective? ›

However, studies have shown that elderberry syrup is the most effective form of elderberry supplement for immune support.

Do elderberry gummies work as well as elderberry syrup? ›

The syrup is absorbed most quickly by the body—whereas if you take elderberry gummies, capsules, lozenges, or teas, they're less potent and/or take longer for the body to digest. Not to mention, the gummies often have added sugar.

Is elderberry safe for kidneys? ›

Cardiovascular disease risk biomarkers and liver and kidney function are not altered in postmenopausal women after ingesting an elderberry extract rich in anthocyanins for 12 weeks.

Are there negative side effects of elderberry? ›

Elderberry is possibly unsafe when uncooked leaves, stems, or fruit are consumed. The elderberry plant contains a chemical that produces cyanide in the leaves or other plant parts and in the unripe green fruit. This can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, or more serious side effects if consumed in large quantities.

How do you remove cyanide from elderberries? ›

After gathering your elderberries, rinse them thoroughly under running water. This will help remove any dirt or tiny creatures that may have hitched a ride. Next, you need to cook the elderberries to remove the cyanide. Cooking elderberries breaks down their cyanogenic glycosides, thus making them safe to consume.

How long does homemade elderberry syrup last? ›

Homemade Elderberry Syrup Shelf Life

Typically, it can last 2 to 3 months in the refrigerator when stored in an airtight container. Some people establish freshness by using natural preservatives such as honey, particularly raw honey, which may slightly extend this period.

Does elderberry syrup detox your body? ›

The humble elderberry is considered to be quite the superfood. It was first used by early indigenous people of the Americas to brew up heady concoctions to boost the immune system, detox and cleanse the body, reduce inflammation, and to treat fevers, cold, and flu too.

How long does DIY elderberry syrup last? ›

Homemade elderberry syrup stored in a glass jar generally lasts 2-3 weeks if the pH is not below 4.2. However, its shelf life can be extended anywhere from 3 to 6 months if you've added an acidifier like lemon juice, citric acid, malic acid, or the liken and keep it in the “way back” of the refrigerator.

Can you take homemade elderberry syrup daily? ›

Elderberries offer excellent nutrition that contains antioxidants and vitamin C, which can boost the immune system among other benefits. Yes, you can take elderberry supplements daily, even three to four times a day. However, you should not take more than the recommended daily dose.

Is it OK to take elderberry syrup everyday? ›

Elderberry supplements seem to have few risks when used daily for up to five days. The safety of its long-term use is unknown. Risks. Never eat or drink any product made from raw elderberry fruit, flowers, or leaves.

Should you take elderberry syrup in the morning or at night? ›

Elderberry can generally be consumed at any time of day—in the morning, at night, or in between. Since it's a food itself, you could take Elderberry on an empty stomach if it seems to work for you. It can also be taken with food.

How long does it take for elderberry syrup to work? ›

May improve cold and flu symptoms

One 2004 study of 60 people with influenza found that those who took 15 mL of elderberry syrup four times per day showed symptom improvement in 2 to 4 days, while the control group took 7 to 8 days to improve ( 10 ).


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