After my toddlers suffered from a terrible bout of the flu one year, I knew I needed to pull together a homemade Elderberry Syrup recipe!
I had been hearing a LOT of, dare I say “wonders”, about the benefits of Elderberry Syrup. As a mom, I would give just about anything for our family to avoid the flu again! Because, let’s be honest, no matter if you or your kids are sick, it’s never convenient, it’s always costly, and it throws basically everything out of whack.
Why is Elderberry Syrup so popular?
Elderberries have been used for HUNDREDS of years for medicinal purposes. Elderberries are the fruit from the Sambucus nigra plant. They contain antioxidants (specifically anthocyanidins), antivirals, and nourishing vitamins such as Vitamin A, Fiber, Calcium, Iron, Potassium, Vitamin C, and Folate! Elderberries along with the branches, twigs, and leaves need to be cooked before they are consumed. If eaten raw, side effects may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or more serious complications.
Is homemade Elderberry Syrup good for you?
Absolutely! Elderberry Syrup is shown to alleviate:
- Cold and flu
- Respiratory infections
- Signs of aging
- Joint and muscle pain
- Kidney problems
- Fluid retention
If you’re a “prove it to me” kind of person, check out these efficacy studies:
Elderberry Syrup has been shown to shorten the duration of influenza by 4 days compared to those who did not take Elderberry Syrup per this study.
In another study, taking Elderberry Syrup was shown to shorten the duration of cold symptoms and reduce the severity of symptoms experienced when compared to those who did not take Elderberry Syrup.
As a whole, the FDA acknowledges that more research needs to be completed on the effectiveness of elderberry on health and healing.
Is Elderberry Syrup safe for kids?
Always consult with your pediatrician first before giving your child Elderberry Syrup. This Elderberry Syrup recipe contains honey which is not advisable to give to children under the age of 2. It will be up to you and your pediatrician’s discretion of when to administer it to your child. In our experience, we started giving our children Elderberry Syrup at the age of 3 and older.
How often should you drink homemade Elderberry Syrup?
You can drink Elderberry Syrup daily as allowed by your physician. The suggested dose for Elderberry Syrup for immune boosting and prevention:
Children: ½-1 teaspoon per day
Adults: 1 tablespoon per day
If you become sick, continue taking the recommended dose but increase the frequency from once per day to every 2-3 hours.
What does homemade Elderberry Syrup taste like?
The taste of Elderberry Syrup will widely vary based on the type of sweetener, how much sweetener is used, and any additional ingredients in the mixture. Our homemade Elderberry Syrup recipe tastes like a lightly sweetened spiced berry cider in my opinion!
Is it easy to make Elderberry Syrup at home?
It is very easy and cost-effective to make your own syrup! Purchasing from a store will cost you about 4x MORE than what it would cost to make it yourself. Not only that, it’s easy peasy, and it makes your house smell nice when it’s cooking. And I’ve heard that the store-bought varieties do not always taste very appealing to kids.
What do I need to make Elderberry Syrup?
Fresh or Dried Elderberries
Local Raw Honey
Dried Rosehips (optional)
Arrowroot Powder (optional thickening agent)
A pot to boil
My first choice for organic dried elderberries is from Frontier Co-op which is usually easy to grab on Amazon (linked above). If they are out of stock, I’ve also purchased from alternate shops on Amazon as long as they have good reviews. Or you can check your local health food store to see if they have any in stock.
Why do you add extras into the syrup?
I add extra spices and herbs for taste and additional nutrients! For example, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits. And I add dried rosehips for an extra punch of Vitamin C! I add local raw honey to sweeten, preserve, and PACK the syrup with extra nutritional goodness. You can also add Arrowroot Powder to thicken the syrup for a more “syrup-like” consistency.
How long does Elderberry Syrup last?
If you keep it refrigerated and tightly sealed, Elderberry Syrup should last up to 3 months.
Now that you know the answers to common questions about Elderberry Syrup, it’s time to get to the recipe!
How can I thicken homemade Elderberry Syrup?
This homemade Elderberry Recipe leans more on the thin side and isn’t necessarily a thick, syrup consistency. If that’s what you prefer to make, make the following changes to the recipe:
- Create a slurry using 1/4 cup of Arrowroot Powder and 1/2 cup of water in a separate bowl.
- Add the slurry once the Elderberry Syrup has boiled for 30 minutes.
- Remove from heat after 10-15 mins and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Continue with remaining recipe instructions.
Homemade Elderberry Syrup Recipe
1 cup of dried elderberries (or 4 cups of fresh elderberries)
4 cups of water
1 tsp of cinnamon or 1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp of ground ginger or 1 tablespoon of minced fresh ginger
1/2 tsp of cloves or 2 whole cloves
1 tablespoon of rosehips (optional)
½ to 1 cup local raw honey (or pure maple syrup)
Add elderberries, water, and all herbs/spices into a large pot.
Set to medium heat and allow for it to boil.
Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for approx. 45 mins or until the mixture has reduced to half.
ALTERNATE OPTION: If you prefer a thicker consistency, you can create a slurry using 1/4 cup of Arrowroot Powder and 1/2 cup of water in a separate bowl. Add the slurry once the Elderberry Syrup has boiled for 30 minutes. Allow mixture to simmer for 10-15 mins then proceed with instructions below.
Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Once cooled to room temperature, use a mesh strainer or a cheesecloth to strain liquid from berries. Use a spoon to press into the berries to release any additional liquid. Discard remaining pulp.
Add honey to liquid and stir to combine (I usually use about ½ cup but you can use up to 1 cup if you prefer it sweeter).
Pour into a storage jar, seal tightly, and refrigerate for up to 3 months.
If you love soothing, homemade recipes for wellness, you’ve got to check out this elixir from my friend Shelby that uses honey and garlic for cough!
Homemade Elderberry Syrup Recipe
- Large Pot
- Mesh Strainer or Cheesecloth
- Measuring Cups
- Mason Jars
- 1 cup Dried Elderberries
- 4 cups Water
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 tsp Ground Ginger
- 1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
- 1 tbsp Rosehips (optional)
- 3/4 cup Local Raw Honey or Pure Maple Syrup (use more or less depending on your preference)
- 1/2 cup Arrowroot Powder (optional thickening agent)
- Add elderberries, water, and all spices into a large pot.
- Set to medium heat and allow for it to boil.
- Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for approx. 45 mins or until the mixture has reduced to approximately half.
- ALTERNATE OPTION: If you prefer a thicker consistency, you can create a slurry using 1/4 cup of Arrowroot Powder and 1/2 cup of water in a separate bowl. Add the slurry once the Elderberry Syrup has boiled for 30 minutes. Allow mixture to simmer for 10-15 mins then proceed with instructions below.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Once cooled to room temperature, use a mesh strainer or a cheesecloth to strain liquid from berries. Use a spoon to press into the berries to release any additional liquid. Discard remaining pulp.
- Add honey to liquid and stir to combine (I usually use about ½ cup but you can use up to 1 cup if you prefer it sweeter).
- Pour into a storage jar, seal tightly, and refrigerate for up to 3 months.
I hope this article has helped to inform you about the benefits of Elderberry Syrup! We have truly seen a difference in our family’s health since we began to incorporate it into our daily diet.
Looking for another soothing recipe packed full of nutrients? Don’t miss this Calendula Tea recipe!
Let us know in the comments below your feedback and any questions you may have on our homemade Elderberry Syrup recipe!