Bring on the Elderberries

October 13, 2015

I love making homemade elderberry syrup, partly because I know and love everything that’s in it and partly because it makes the house smell amazing.  It’s been our family’s go to remedy for the past few years during the fall and winter months.  Sometimes, I’ll give it to my kids with preventative intentions, but usually I’ll give it or take it when a cold or cough presents.  Studies show that taking elderberry can decrease the intensity and duration of colds and the flu.  So I say, at the first sight or feeling of symptoms – start taking it!

Elderberries contain Vitamin A, B, and a large quantity of Vitamin C.  They are also loaded with flavonoids which have antibiotic properties, and therefore help the body defend itself against colds and the flu.  In some studies, flavonoids are shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and may inhibit the production of free radicals in the body.  Yes, please, to that!

The benefits of elderberry have also been sited to reduce cholesterol, boost immunity, improve vision, improve bacterial and viral infections, benefit diabetes, asthma, and weight loss.

Because buying bottle after bottle of Elderberry syrup gets expensive, I found a homemade elderberry syrup recipe at, and slightly changed it.  Here it is, and here’s why I love it………

5 c. purified water

1c. organic elderberries

1 tsp dried cloves

3 tbsp fresh ginger

3 cinnamon sticks

1 1/4 – 1 1/2 c. manuka honey

Put everything except the HONEY in a pot and bring to a boil.

Turn the heat down to a simmer and wait for the amount of liquid to be reduced by half (you’ll see a line in the pan from where you started).

Remove the pan from the stove and let it cool completely.

After it has completely cooled, add the syrup to the honey and gently stir.  I like to use a large ball jar or a large empty jar of honey.  So that the properties of the honey are not effected by the heat, make sure the elderberry concoction is at room temperature before adding it to the honey.


Along with all the great benefits of elderberry, I love the other ingredients in this recipe too –

Manuka honey is definitely worth the splurge in this case.  All honey is not created equal, but this honey is antibacterial, anti-fungal, benefits the digestive tract (throat, stomach, intestines) and is anti-inflammatory.  It may help with sore throats, colds, and coughs, acne, cuts, rashes, and eczema.  The cinnamon stick, cloves, and ginger are all commonly used herbs in Chinese Medicine.  I love that they are all food grade herbs with medicinal properties to help warm and nourish at a deep body level.  I smile just thinking about it!

There is no recommended dosage for elderberry syrup.  I typically give my kids 1 tsp a day for prevention or if they start sniffling.  If they start coughing or have a fever, I will up the dose to 3 tsp a day.  As for myself and my husband, we will take up to 1-3 tablespoons a day, depending.  So, this usually lasts our family about 2-3 months or more depending on how often someone gets struck with sickness.

I hope you enjoy the goodness and benefits of elderberry as much as I have!


Disclaimer: The following information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

*Image courtesy of sativa at*

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